Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My First Transfer Down and a lot More to Go!!!

My first transfer down and a lot more to go!!!

We have transfers this week and that´s why I didn´t email yesterday.  I´m still here in good old castellon and loving it.  We had a wonderful week last week.  I feel my spanish is coming along.  We have a new sister in our area named hermana Solo.  We helped her with her bags this morning and said goodbye to hermana wallace.  After dropping her stuff off, we carried a bunch of books of mormon to the church because we have an open house this week for our new chapel.  It´s super nice and so we are getting things ready for that.  We´ll have the missionaries from Valencia come up and help with the tours and stuff.

We had a crazy day yesterday and you can just read the letter to president to find out what happened.

So right now I don´t have a lot of money in my card because of how much we travel in the month, but it´s fine because I´ll just send in my receipt to the mission office and get a refund.

Before I forget, please send letters to the mission home because I need to be more focused out here in the mission and sometimes the letters get a little distracting, but I love them though.

So last week was very crazy because I went on an intercombio (companion exchange) for a day and went down to Valencia on wednesday with the zone leaders.  I took the train by myself and read a lot of scriptures.  One of our zone leaders came up from valencia and stayed with Elder Westfall; I went down and stayed with Elder Hachenberger who is from Austria!   We did a lot of street contacting and met a crazy guy who was doing english classes in his house at the top of this really nice apartment.  We didn´t know that and found out that it was like a party thing instead, so we got out of there as fast as we could because we know that it was not good for us to be there.  The guy is nice, but it was not a place for missionaries to be.  We also had a lesson with this guy who is about 21, is in a wheelchair, was one of the zone leader’s investigators and was super receptive to the gospel.  We taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I did a lot of it in Spanish.  My spanish is improving here and there.  The next day I then went back to Castellon and was with Elder Westfall again.

On saturday we had a problem.  Elder Westfall was sick and he slept all morning.  I did personal and companionship study by myself.  We didn´t go to deportes (sports) at the church, but we had a cool evening because we met this lady at the church who has been a less active for a long time.  We were able to teach some doctrine to her.  She is a crazy lady, but a fun one by the way.  We went to institute, which is held in our church building by the way, and gave the young single adults (JAS) a book of mormon challenge by allowing one of them to hand out a copy of the book to a friend this week.  Also, we were supposed to have a baptism that day, but our investigator was out of town for two weeks in Madrid and then Boliva, but we´ll work with her and try to get her a fecha (baptismal date) sometime in November.

On sunday my companion gave a really good talk, and we had a super good lunch at a member’s home that afternoon.  We had turkey and rice with the BEST flan I have ever had!!!

Well, I should get off soon.  I just want to let you all know that I love you and pray for you every single day.  The work progresses the most when members and missionaries are working together as one (we saw this a lot yesterday).  The book of mormon is the most correct book in the world and that we can get closer to Heavenly Father by reading and studying it every day.  I know that the church is true and that families can be together forever.  I love my family and wouldn´t want anything else in this world but them.  I love you all and hope you all have a great week.

Elder Gonzalez


Monday, October 20, 2014

What a Crazy, Busy Week

5 weeks down and only a bunch more.  So we had such a busy week and what more can I say than that.

On monday we went with the hermanas and made lunch at the church.  We had tacos and apple pie.  However. we had use of a cool, new touchscreen stovetop that we weren´t able to use, so we cooked the chicken in the oven instead and cooked the pie afterwards.  It was super fun (mom just to let you know, there is no crisco here in spain, so I just used butter instead and it worked out fine.)  The pie was super good, but the crust was super crumbly and the inside was a bit runny, but was SUPER good!!!!

Tuesday we had district meeting here in castellon because the church building in Valencia was being fumigated (sorry for the missspelling.  All of the spanish computers here in spain make all the english words in red as errors and I just seem to ignore them).  It was super spiritual. and I gave a quick talk on diligence.  It was cool.  (it was in english by the way).  Then, afterwards I went on intercombio (companion exchange) with Elder schoen from valencia.  I stayed overnight in Valencia.  Elder Alder, our district leader, came down and stayed.  We had a nice evening because we did lots of contacting in the streets and talked a lot about the mission and how things work.  I enjoyed being with him.  Elder Schoen is from texas and is big and super fun to be around.

On wednesday we went to a nigerian woman´s piso and talked to her in her doorway about her reading in the book of Mormon, and she was super funny to be around because she thanks Jesus for everything and is just fun to listen to.  Elder schoen made a super good lunch and got on the train to castellon with Elder westfall, whom we met back up at the train station.  We went back down and had some more visits and had a fun noche de barrio (it´s like a ward night).  we talked about prayer and afterwards I had a nice talk with the ward mission leader  in spanish.  We talked for like 10, 15 minutes.  That was a testimony builder for me because I got to see a sneak peak of my progression in spanish.

Thursday we had our normal studies and watched like an hour and a half of the district because we had to catch up on the "12 week program."  So, I popped some popcorn, ate and watched.  we did some more visits and i just love the members here.  Our investigators are progressing very well and soon we´ll get some baptisms here, but these people just need to work on a few things.  We had our priesthood council after english class and that went very well.

Friday was just like thursday, but packed with a lot of visits.  I picked a few names from the area book of investigators and less-active members to go visit and we had some success with contacting them.  We met a peruvian man named victor.  He´s super receptive to our message, and I was able to speak a good portion of the time.  I know he´s getting baptized.  We didn´t have correlation with the ward mission leader, but we did meet with Emilio.  Emilio is this investigator we have, and he´s been taught a lot of times and now progressing a lot.  He was able to open his heart to us a lot too.

Now saturday was a LONG day because we did a lot of walking.  With my gps watch, I measured 2 miles from our piso to the church.  We walked to sports at the church in the morning and played/had piella (because it was Rita´s farewell, a girl who is going on a mission).  We left to go back to piso and shower and change to go to a visit that night.  We went to the church again to talk to some of the friends who were at a birthday party for one of the ward member´s son.  We then traveled another mile out of town to visit an investigator.  I shared the story of when we prayed for help when we were on scout camp this summer (remember dad?) because we were talking about faith. We walked back to the church then back to piso.  So we did like 10ish miles that day and I was super tired.

Sunday was a good spiritual day.  Church was great and the spirit was super strong there.  We went to lunch at the Roja´s again and had more piella with octopus, yum!  Then went back to church to meet with bishop, but we never got hold of him.  It was a hard day for me because I wanted to understand what was going on in church and with all the lessons, but the stupid language barrier stopped me from understanding.  When I focus with 100% I can understand some, or at least enough to know what´s going on, but if I get distracted.  It´s hard to understand/concentrate.  We had a guy come up and gave a good lesson on church education and watched a video about famous mormons in history. that was cool.

Well I need to go.  Hope you have a great week and sorry but I can´t send any more handwritten letters during the week.  President told me that I can only do that on preparation days. so yeah.  Hope you all are well and talk to you next week.

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

So I just finished writing my letter to president so you can just read that for the highlights of my week.  Some interesting things this week were: I ate snail for lunch with one of my investigators.  We were locked out of our piso on friday night and slept at the bishop´s house.  I helped in giving two blessings this week.  I also helped in two ordinations for aaronic priesthood on sunday.  We got takeout lunch on thursday and gave our grapes and juice boxes to a homeless guy.  We met a jamaican man on sunday who talked about how Jesus is the government and that was interesting.  I got a haircut monday and will send pictures next week (it was more like a buzz, but a little longer,  I miss my hair though).  We went to a catholic church on monday for preparation day.  Tomorrow I get to go on exchanges with another elder from valencia overnight and can´t wait.  Today we are going to make a pie because we have no money to go to valencia to play with the other missionaries because Elder westfall and I paid 160 euros to get the locksmith to open our door (he just used a card to pick the lock!!!!!!) and the hermanas have to go up to barcelona this week, so we´re kind of short on money.  I have two letters going home this week, so look for them.   Sorry that this letter is just a mess with random events and activities because I spent too much time writing to president and copying your letters and printing them off.

Well, I love you and want to let you know that I´m working really hard out here in spain and that I´m not homesick anymore, that I have not bad days but hard moments and good moments too.  This mission in tough and I wish people would have told me that earlier, but it´s a wonderful learning experience.  I Love the scriptures and I love the people out here.  The church is true and Christ died for us so we can live with Heavenly Father again.  I know that families can be together forever.  I love you and pray for you.  Have a wonderful week!


Elder Gonzalez


Monday, October 6, 2014

Hi Family

This week has been one of my favorite weeks so far on my mission.  I got to watch general conference by the use of "internet and other electronic devices.”  I´ll explain that later.

On Monday we mostly cleaned our piso and that was a hard work because we had to clean the entire kitchen because we had bugs everywhere and that was not fun.

Tuesday was fun because I went to velencia on a companion exchange and it was a nice change to have to be with a new companion meeting new people.

Wednesday Elder Alder (my district leader) and I went to an investigator’s house and taught her the plan of salvation and that was fun because her son in a week return missionary.  He was a machine and it was great to see how a finished missionary should look and act.  We also gave a blessing that night to a lady who lived on the other side of town.  It took many buses and train ride to get there.  I anointed the oil and Elder Alder gave the blessing.

Thursday we had zone conference and I got to see the missionaries from our zone and I was able to see president pace again and have a wonderful interview with him.  He is such a great guy and love him a lot.  I enjoy listening to him.  We took the train ride back and we had burger king too because we didn´t have lunch at the meeting.

Friday and saturday was mostly the same thing, but we mostly just talked to a lot of people and told them that we had conference and that they needed to come and watch.  However, on friday we went to help the sister move pisos and that was a fun night because it was 9 when we started and we had a lot of people help and it was about an hour later that we finished.  Their new apartment is so much nicer than ours.

Like I said we watched conference, but the wifi at the church is no bueno.  We had to go to a member’s home to watch conference and that was good because we used one of the laptops to watch general conference in english.  We watched the saturday morning live at 6pm and watched the recoding of the priesthood session at 11am on Sunday, had lunch then saw the recording of saturday afternoon then watched the sunday morning live.  I´ll never ever complain about conference again when i get home because it was a headache here.  We´ll just watch the sunday afternoon session later this week though.

By the end of today, I´ll have given 4 priesthood blessings on my mission.  i gave three last week and one tonight.  However, the organization here isn´t very good in castellon because the member we stayed with yesterday wants a blessing for his aunt but we have preparation day today and have things we need to get done and the members rely heavily on the missionaries to get things done.  just call your home teachers or the elders quorum president not us!!!

I love you family and hope you have a great week.

Elder Gonzalez