Monday, December 29, 2014

Hello Family

This has been a wonderful week.  I have enjoyed this wonderful christmas.  We had a lot of fun with the members here.  I have had a great treat of talking with my family.  This was the high light of my week.  I enjoy my family and the wonder testimony I have of the plan of salvation.  I don´t need to have constant contact of my family to know that they love me but I know that I can be with them forever.  This is my greatest gift.  I love of my family.

I received my copy of the Enseñanzas de los Presidentes de la Iglesia: Ezra Taft Benson.  estoy muy animo to read this book this year.  I have enjoyed the teachings of the prophets.  I have it in spanish though, but I will understand it someday.  poco a poco.

Right now I´m listening to a talk President benson gave in 1986 on the book of mormon.  I love the book of mormon.  I want to tell the whole world the importance of the book of mormon.  This same talk I used in my farewell talk.

I have a problem...I´m getting my new year’s goal is to lose weight by eating better food and doing more exercising in the morning.  my pants fit a little too much.

We have 2 investigator this week with a baptismal fecha.  Danny is a really good young man and Juan is an older man in his 40s.  i know as he repents he will change to become better.

yesterday we were with a recent convert and she went off on gossip and stuff about her family and this ward.  i felt sorry for her because I wanted to help her and to let her understand that this gospel can help her solve her problems that are of importance consequences and not simple non-important things.

Well family I need to go soon.  I love you all and pray for you with all my heart.  I pray for my family individually, my friends who are on their mission, and for the progression of my language speaking.  I know that the book of mormon is true and that it is the word of God.  I know that we can be saved through the power of Jesus Christ, whose name is on my chest.  I know these things are true.  I love you all.  Have a wonderful week and a happy new year.
Elder Gonzalez

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas....I Mean Feliz Navidad

Merry Christmas everyone. This week has been super fun, but as for me not very busy. We had a lot of activities that took up a lot of the day and so we only planned for stuff that took up the other half of the day. For example, we had a ward christmas dinner on friday and so we had like 4 hours taken out of our day, but it was still fun and we had a lot of people show up and we were able to talk to a lot of them.

We also had a zone conference yesterday that took up most of the day, but it was super spiritual and I loved every minute of it. even the free flu shots they gave us. Yep that´s right we got flu shots by the church. Mine was fast and easy, but my companion had a harder time with it. We also had some really good piella after the shots!!! yum, except for the rabbit meat. I´m not a big fan of rabbit meat, but it wasn´t too bad.

We have one investigator on track for a baptism for the 3rd of january!!! He´s such a super good kid and I just know with a little push from the YSA here and the ward, he´ll be an active member forever. We haven´t had any contact with Claudia because last monday she moved to Galicia, outside our mission boundaries, and so we don´t really know what is going on with her, but I just hope she has found a ward nearby.

It´s so weird to be in a trio really because when we teach it´s hard to share the time we have in the lesson. Sometimes we want to share something, but we don´t want to hog the time. But it´s so much fun. this last week we went on splits with a return missionary here in Castllón and we are able to cover more ground. I do enjoy my companions because they are super good and I love them a lot.

I don´t really have much to say right now other than can´t wait to see you guys this christmas on skype!!!

I will end with my testimony of the plan of Salvation for this is what we learned in zone conference. We are children of a Heavenly Father who loves us and we can live with him again. We came to earth to gain a body and we are to be tested to see our worthiness to return back to him by the way we use our agency and how we treat our body and to those around us. After this life we will all die and will go to the spirit world. There the righteous will preach the gospel to those who have not heard the gospel before and will be able to accept the word by having their work done for them here on earth in the Lord´s holy house. When Christ will come again, the earth will live in peace and joy. Later we will be judged of our works here on earth and will be placed in kingdoms of glory and we can live with our families forever. It is a marvelous plan and we should always strive to help others know of this wonderful plan of happiness. I know that families can be together forever and we are children of God. I love you all and hope you all have a great Christmas and a happy new year!

Elder Gonzalez

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Craziest Week of My Life!!!

So we had transfers last week.  We had monday as our day for Elder Westfall to say goodbye to the members and our investigators.  And it was long, but really fun.

 Tuesday we had our preparation day and we went to a castle.  It was so big and it was super long.  It was as long as the mountain.  Sadly we didn´t that much time, but we came back and got elder westfall off on the train to barcelona and my new companions came in.  Their names are Elder Harris and Elder Slauson (when I heard Slauson, I thought he said Skousen and thought I was going to be with my district leader from the MTC, but no)  They are super fun and great missionaries.  We did a little visits that night.

Then on wednesday we did the other half of our emailing because the time was crazy yesterday and didn´t have the full 1-1/2 hours to email, so we did the rest on wed.  We had an intercombio and Elder harris and slauson went to valencia; I stayed with the district leader.  His name is Elder Grau.  He´s from paraguay.  I learned/realized how much my spanish has improved when I had to speak to him in only spanish.  We did a lot of visits/passbys that I planned.  (not to brag, but when Elder Westfall left, I was dumped with the responsibility to plan and get visits ready for the week because I was the only one who knows the area.  So I winged it doing what I know to do with the little spanish and mission experience I know.)  We had the intercombio because the hermanas had an interview planned for one of their investigators, but couldn´t show up because of work, but this week we have another intercombio/interview for him for baptism.  For noche de barrio (ward night) we did the nativity scene that mom sent,  THanks mom!!!

 Thursday we had district meeting because of the crazy week and transfers.  It was good and half of our district was changed.  We had a great meeting and afterwards went to dominos for pizza to celebrate the new people who are in our district.  As we were eating we got a text from president who sent it to all the missionaries saying to make the new missionaries feel welcomed.  I then turned over to our new sister missionary who is having her first day on the mission and said "do you feel welcomed yet with all this pizza?" she said yes.  ps dominos does a great deal here in spain.  a 6.50 euro for 2 people for unlimited pizza any size and topping and crust all year long.  they need this in the USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Friday we had week planning and took apart the area book, cleaned it out and put it back together.  it was a long and boring job, but needed to be done.  That night we went to the church and had coordination (colaltion here in castellón) with the ward mission leader then afterwards stayed for the welcome home fireside  for the 2 return missionaries from the ward.  they served in malaga.

 Then on saturday we played sports with the ward and had a fake snowball fight.  it was the hermanas´ idea.  they put flour in nylon socks and we threw it at each other.  it was a lot of fun.  then we got back changed and went to valencia for a stake choir night and we sang in the choir.  it was a lot of fun and the best part was the african choir that sang.

Sunday was super stressful because I was tired and we found out that Claudia didn´t come to church because we found out that she was moving to madrid.  She was supposed to be confirmed that day and didn´t. I was sad and depressed because I felt like Ï should have done more to get her to church and should have communicated more.  I felt better after lunch with the rojas (they are one of the families that had a son return from his mission.  Just listening to him and his spiritual experiences helped me).  After lunch we went caroling with the hermanas and then out of no where it just poured.  We were so wet when we got to the church.  We then watched the christmas devotional and called president about what to do with claudia because she was baptized but not confirmed.  He told us to confirm her now, so we called her up, and she was still in town.  We swung by with the ward mission leader´s car and brought her to church.  The bishop was there and we confirmed her right after President Eyring gave his talk.  It was just perfect for her at the right moment.  This was just a big miracle for us.

Well, I should finish my letter now.  I want to tell you all how much I love you all and how much I miss you.  If you have not watched the "he is the gift" video, please do,  It is super good.  THe church is tracking the progress with this video with us missionaries and seeing how well the message is getting out.

I would like to leave you all with my testimony.  I know that God lives and he is our loving Heavenly Father.  We can speak to him as if he was here in front of us by prayer.  Prayer is more than just checking things off our daily list, but rather talking to our father and telling him things from our heart and expressing things we are thankful for.  We have a wonderful gift to pray.  I also know that Jesus Christ is our savior.  I know that he died for us that we may live with our families forever.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I don´t know how to speak this language or how to be a terrific missionary, but I do know that the lord has not sent us here to fail ( see refiners fire mormon message).  We are all sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father and he loves us all.  we may not know everything or have as many talents as the person next to us, but when we do our very best and do what is right, the Lord will help us and we will have the strength to keep pushing forward.  This all for now.  I love you all and pray for you all every day and night.  Have a wonderful week and share your love to someone this week.

Elder Gonzalez

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hello Everyone!!!

Well like I said yesterday, we had a crazy busy day and so we split our emailing time in half.  So I´m doing the family letters right now.  

So this week was transfers and I´m still here in Castellón and Elder Westfall left to go up to Barcelona and I got two new companions, Elder Harris and Elder Slausen.  I´m in a trio. Elder Harris is from south carolina and he reminds me of Aaron Taylor, a goofy kid, but super full of energy and the spirit.  He has 2 transfers left.  Elder Slausen is from sandy and he has been on the mission for 1 year now.  he is great and is super calm.  This transfer is going to be the best!!!!!

Yesterday for preparation day we went to a castle that sits on top of a mountain and overlooks the ocean.  IT´s super cool.  We then got back, had lunch, went to the train station and dropped Elder westfall of and said good-bye plus picked up the new elders.

This weekend was the Valencia stake conference.  It was really good.  We went to the parent meeting on saturday night.  It was really good, from the parts that I could understand at least.  THen on sunday it was SUPER cold.  THE wind just blew and I was a popcicle!  But the conference was great and we watched the regular session by computer broadcast from catarroja.  Some of our investigators and less actives came and it surprised me.

This week, claudia is going to be confirmed a member and the hermanas have a baptism tomorrow!!!  so things are moving here in castellon.

We have some good days and we have some bad days too.  We have one recent convert who is being a bum and is getting bad influence from a member who left the church, but we are trying our best to get him back on board.  On sunday we gave a blessing to a lady who is a less active who is coming back.  she has a court case this week to gain the custody of her son and so we hope she wins and finds a job and an apartment to live in because right now she is living in a womens shelter.  she´s super good.

Elder westfall was a great companion.  He knows so much, and is very good at talking with people, skills I will need to develop more.  I will miss him, but I have 2 companions to help me now.

We have 2 missionaries who are coming home this week.  The bishop´s son and the Roja´s son.  From what I hear, they are super good people.  Plus in a week or 2 we will be able to go on splits with them and destroy this town!!!!

Also this week we had a baby shower for a member who is having a baby this month.  She´s crazy, but is such a funny person.  We had games and food, but that day elder westfall and I had like 2 meals before that and so we were super stuffed.

Also on sunday there was the castellón marathon.  I woke up and people were running on the streets outside my window.  As we walked to church I asked Elder westfall if we could take the side streets because this was too much of a distraction.!!!

Well family, I need to go hope you all have a great week and I will write you next week.

ps mom update your skype so we can talk in a few weeks.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 12!!! I'm Almost Done With Training!!!

Sorry but I don´t have a lot of time to write today.  I had to take a spanish assessment test on the computer and that took up some time, and I also typed some letters to some people.  

So this is my last week in training.  They say that you´ll be ready to train when you have finished the 12 week program.  Yeah, I think I´m going to need a lot more time to practice before I start training.  THis next week is transfers, so I´ll write you all on tuesday.  I have a feeling that I´m going to leave castellón.

For thanksgiving we went to a member’s home.  She lived in Utah for a few months and so she understands that thanksgiving is BIG and so she did her best and we had a wonderful meal.  I made two pies.  "You didn´t have one slice, but two slices hahaha run minny run!"  And that was fun to see what the spaniards think of this american holiday.

Also on tuesday we did splits and I went with a YSA guy named marvin and with the Relief society president to victor´s house.  We talked about the church block system and watched finding faith in christ.  Then we invited them to church, but they didn´t come.  My companion was with another investigator and he placed a baptismal date with her for the 4th of december!!!!!!!!!!   I´m going to have my first baptism!!!!

We did a lot of contacting this week and got a few numbers.  I´m getting better at contacting people in the streets and the trains.  It has been raining a lot the past 3 days and it is cold, but not utah cold.

I should go but I want to leave with my testimony of testimonies.  on saturday we met a man from sudan and he´s Muslim.  He knows a lot.  my companion likes to bash by means of proving his point with the scriptures and grace in his speaking that shows that he knows how to debate.  As for me, I just tell what I know and testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Joseph Smith restored this church here today and it is being led by Thomas s. Monson.  My simple testimony has helped me A LOT in the mission when I get down.  I ponder on it and think and feel better about myself knowing that I am a son of God and that families can be together forever.  I love this church.  This work is hard, but I know with a lot of prayer and faith I can do this.  This spirit leads us in what we do and say, we just need to follow and do what he tells us.  Have a wonderful week and do a simple service today to help someone in need.  Charity never fails.


Elder Gonzalez

ps this is the district