Monday, December 21, 2015


Terrassa Zone Conference, Jared is back row sitting 3rd from right
First thing, family I will by calling by means of Skype this year.  I have an app on the iPad that I can use, which will be easier for me, so do what you need to do so we can talk on Friday at 6 for me in Spain, so like 10am in Utah.  Access your account, or whatever is needed so we can talk and have a joyous Christmas!

Random thoughts:

We contacted a man the other day in the street and he had some really strange ideas about religion, God, and other points of doctrine.  We talked for like 35 minutes but not even the simplest of doctrine was making sense to him.  It made me very frustrated but in the end it
also helped me in my testimony of the restored gospel and how much I have been blessed to have this in my life since birth.

I enjoyed president packer’s last talk and testimony of the savior in the ensign/liahona.  It was amazing.  I felt the spirt from my iPad. It was a powerful testimony from one of the greatest teachers earth has to offer.

We helped a woman carry her groceries as her bags broke.  It was a miracle for me because never in my time on the mission have I ever carried someone's groceries because everyone is a little closed off, but God put her in our path to help and serve.

We pushed a car that was broken to help start the engine.  It was a lot of work because it was very heavy and there were only 3 people pushing.  Do a good turn daily!

We sang Christmas songs as we contacted this week.  A little Christmas spirit.

Again I will be calling at 6 from Spain so 10 am at home for you.  I only have 40 minutes so we can't waste time.

Our bishop said in sacrament meeting that we are Jehovah witnesses.  It sounds better in Spanish " testigos de Jehovah".  Because we testify of him before his birth as the God of the Old Testament and the Christ of the New Testament and the Messiah of the Book of Mormon.
We testify that he lives as the resurrected savior.  Lord of Lord and King of kings.

As I was waiting for my companion during an intercombio, I sat on a bench in a train station and read from Libro de Mormón.  A lady sat next to me and asked if I was reading the bible?  I said no I was reading El Libro de Mormón.  She asked if I was a Mormon and I said yes, and then she asked if we went out two by two and I said yes, but I was waiting for my companion.  So people do notice us and recognize us as different people.

Well family I have to go but I would like to share with you a small quote from something that I learned this week.
"If one believes that all roads lead to heaven or that there are no particular requirements for salvation, he or she will see no need for proclaiming the gospel or for ordinances and covenants in redeeming either the living or the dead. But we speak not just of immortality
but also of eternal life, and for that the gospel path and gospel covenants are essential. And the Savior needs a church to make them available to all of God’s children--both the living and the dead."-Élder Christopherson from this year’s conference.

It is so clear why we have a church of Jesus Christ, so we can perform the ordinances needed to make it back to our Father’s presence and to save our ancestors.  I love this Church and I love the mission too, even if it is hard and people think you are the gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe, but I am learning the road of true discipleship has to go near the garden of gethsemane and we must know that salvation is not a cheap experience.  The refiner’s fire is real and those who pass through it will become someone the Lord can use to get his errands done.  I thank my family who has sacrificed so much for me to be here.  I love you all and hope you have a great Christmas.

Con cariño

Élder Gonzalez

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Short letter, sorry :(

Well family it has been a very interesting week with again ups and downs, but mostly ups.  So yes I am still here in Terrassa but my new companion is named Élder Islas.  He is from Texas.  His dad's parents are from Mexico and his mom is from Nicaragua.  He has 7 months on the mission and one transfer in the Salt Lake City east mission while waiting for a visa.  He is great and knows so much about people skills and teaching.  I am learning a lot from him.

Random thoughts:

Matt 19-20 in the institute manual has great talks from Élder Ballard and holland.  I would invite you to read them because they helped me feel the spirit a lot.  I was having a crummy day on Thursday and that morning was a blowover from the day before, but when I read about Christ's atonement I knew I has hit, but far from out.

"However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.

There is no dream that in the unfolding of time and eternity cannot yet be realized. Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning." - Élder holland.

The savior is happy that we accept him at what every hour of the day as long as we repent and turn unto him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then will his grace be sufficient.

We were asked by the senior missionary in the office to go by an old Hermana piso that had been closed but still belonged to the church because the church got a huge bill for 400€ on heating.  We went in and nothing, but we did get a few things for our piso...all in the service of the Lord.  We'll just give them back when new missionaries come.

A bus was making a turn and some old ladies were walking really slow and the bus driver honked at them because it was a red light for crossing.  Point scored for busses, old ladies still leading by a lot.

We were walking Saturday night and all of a sudden a water balloon fell from the sky and almost hits me.  It was a miracle not getting hit.  Mobutu we saw that there were some people in the apartments above us.  Saved again by missionary protection:)

Well family I love you so much.  This is becoming a great Christmas season.  Work is tough and now we have lots of area to explore and work in, but I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father and how he blesses with miracles.  I know that this work is a sacred calling.  I know that as
we put our part in the Lord will magnify us to fit the role.  That is something I am still learning because I didn't really believe it at first but now I know that it is true.  Christ is at the helm.  This is his church and he has called those to watch over his sheep.  It would
be wise to follow the council of our church leaders and obey the Lord’s commandments to receive those blessing that we so desperately need.  I loving having my chapa on and I love studying his word. I just have to continue finding the elect and bring them to the well of
everlasting life which is Christ the Lord.  I love you all and wish you a wonderful week.

Con cariño
Élder Gonzalez

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Transfers are Crazy as a Missionary

Especially with the holidays.  So yeah I have a new companion named Élder Islas, and he is from Texas but was born in California.  He has Latino roots like I do, but spoke Spanish before the  Anyway he is great.  I'm still here in Terrassa, but they took out a set of missionaries and so I am here with a really big area called Terrassa and Rubí plus the pueblos.   We'll just run around dead every day, but kicking it.

Random thoughts.

Mom I got your package.  THANK YOU AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!  Plus can you, mom, go and do scholarship hunting for me because there might be some that end by the end of the year of stuff like that, but I don’s know, I'm a missionary:)

 first week here in Terrassa we knocked a door of a man named Benjamin.  He is Catalan and lives alone.  He wasn't very interested but accepted a Book of Mormon.  During weekly planning last week he called us and said that he was moving close to Madrid and wants to
find the church in his new town.  It was a miracle.

Well family I have very little time to write because this morning I had to wake up early to go to Barcelona to drop off a companion at the train station and pick up my companion then travel to the mission office and back and I am very tired tonight, and it is only 6:24.

Well family as you can clearly see I will not be home for Christmas, but Christmas is the time of year we celebrate the birth of our savior, but because of modern revelation we know that Christ was born near Easter.  As missionaries, representatives of him, we have the great opportunity to testify and share his message to all the world. This year, like last year, the church has come out with a Christmas video.  I would strongly invite you all to watch and share this video on or  "A savior is born".  Our thanksgiving is always for his atonement that redeemed us from the fall and that he can and will take upon himself the pains and temptations and sins of His people as He lifts us up.  It is my great privilege to wear his name next to my heart with the title "Élder Gonzalez, LA IGLESIA DE JESUCRISTO DE LOS SANTOS DE LOS ÚLTIMOS DÍAS".  I am grateful for our savior Jesus Christ.

I love you all and hope you have a great week.
Con cariño
Élder Gonzalez

Sent from my iPad

Monday, November 30, 2015

After all is said and done, does it persuade you to do good?

Choir for conference with visiting Elder Christensen

I have had a wonderful week here in Terrassa.  Lots of walking and door knocking and fired visits, but a very positive week indeed.  I am finding the joy of missionary work.  I hope it isn't that "click" that you get when you finally get missionary work and then you blast through the rest of your mission and the next thing you know you’re on a plane going home.  Élder smith is my district leader who goes home next week at the end of transfers.  Yes, next week is transfers because we only had 4 weeks in this past transfer to prevent a transfer and mess the week of Christmas, so next transfer will be 8 weeks long.  Fun...

 Random thoughts from the past week:

We contacted a man named victor who is from Ecuador as we were making our way back to piso last Monday.  It was a miracle for us.

We had specialized training last Wednesday and we learned a lot of stuff.  The church in Barcelona had most of the electricity cut off and so we had to meet in a cramped room on the top floors with 2 zones.  We learned a lot.  I got a flu shot too jst like last year except that the people who were giving the shots were doing it really fast.  1...2...3 in and out and done.  Lots of the elders were scared while the hermana did theirs really quick, but not me.  I just looked the other way, poke and done.  Plus I got a bunch of letters from family!  Thanks guys!

We saw meet the Mormons as a ward activity!

We visited a less active and his nonmember wife who had knee surgery last week he was in the hospital.  It was nice to build our relationship with them.  We brought chocolate turron to share with them because all worldly problems can be solved with chocolate, right?...

We knocked a door last week and a woman named Eva and her daughter named Gicelia answered.  Well, we knocked the door and the daughter asked who was it, stuck her head out of the second story building and we got them to open the door.  The mom wasn't very interested because she has the " i believe in God in my own way" syndrome, but we were able to talk to them and hand a copy of the Book of Mormon and the girl was super excited to read the book.  If all else fails, the girl is going to read to book and later in life she'll want to get baptized, but we hope we can change that soon.

I am thankful for the Holy Ghost that gives me comfort.  One day we were walking and it was a cold, humid night.  I was humming a hymn and the spirit touched my heart.  I was filled with warmth.

We had thanksgiving at the Johnsons, an American father who served here in the Barcelona mission many years ago and now lives here with his family.  We had turkey with sweet potatoes and homemade stuffing, but no mashed potatoes.  But we had pumpkin pie and I made an apple pie too!  It wasn't the same, but still a great lunch!

The other elders had a baptism last week and I helped Élder smith get the family to the church in sabadell, another city south of terrassa, with a nice chapel with a font, because we don't have one.  We missed the bus and so we had to walk to the church, and the pregnant mom was huffing and puffing but with faith made it to the church.

We got on a bus that night with someone who threw up on the bus floor and it smelled bad.  One lady almost slipped and hit her head, but I caught her arms.  The old ladies were getting mad at the bus driver.

In the fifth Sunday combined class on Sunday we, the elders, helped the bishop hand out copies of the Book of Mormon to members to hand out to their friends.  Also, our bishop always has a copy with him where ever he goes in his work bag to hand out.

Well family I love this work every day a little bit more.  At first I didn't because of the stress of missionary work, but the table has turned and I am facing life with a little more spring in my step.  In my last interview with president he asked me what is my favorite thing about being a missionary? And I said the time I get to spend one hour reading from my scriptures.  It is such a blessing to have a little bit of time meditating over the scriptures and really getting to know about Jesus Christ, especially in the New Testament.  Something hit me while I was studying for gospel principles class on Saturday.  We were chosen before we were born, found in the gospel principles book in chapter 2.  it says "The scriptures teach us that the prophets prepared themselves to become leaders on earth while they were still spirits in heaven (see Alma 13:1–3). Before they were born into mortal bodies, God foreordained (chose) them to be leaders on earth. Jesus, Adam, and Abraham were some of these leaders. (See Abraham 3:22–23.) Joseph Smith taught that “every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was [fore]ordained to that very purpose” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 511). However, everyone on earth is free to accept or reject any opportunity to serve.

We were not all alike in heaven. We know, for example, that we were sons and daughters of heavenly parents--males and females (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). We possessed different talents and abilities, and we were called to do different things on earth. We can learn more about our “eternal possibilities” when we receive our patriarchal blessings (see Thomas S. Monson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 82; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 66).

A veil covers our memories of our premortal life, but our Father in Heaven knows who we are and what we did before we came here. He has chosen the time and place for each of us to be born so we can learn the lessons we personally need and do the most good with our individual talents and personalities."

A little long, but some brain food to think about for a while.  I reread my patriarchal blessing like 4 times this week and after the course of my mission I should have that thing memorized because I have read it so many times.  I love this work that we are engaged in doing.  The powers of the gathering of Israel are truly at work.

I just want to let everyone know that there is a new Christmas video on and that I think you should watch and share it with a friend.

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful post thanksgiving week and jump into the Christmas season with a happy spirit of giving and service.

Con cariño

Élder Gonzalez 

Ps put more family photos on family so I can use to show investigators or stories please if you have nothing else to do.  Thanks Erica for the pictures and letter.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving! Feliz dia de gracias!!

Well family another week has passed as a missionary in the service of the Lord.  However this week was a very special week, if not my favorite week of my mission.  A very uplifting week too.  We had district meeting on Tuesday and a special mixed zone conference with members of the 70 and area presidency with our beloved mission president and his wife and wives of the 70.  Luckily I was transferred to the Barcelona zone to be part of this great conference about missionary work, the atonement, and the Holy Ghost.  We saw president Dyches from the area presidency, Élder Christensen, who was the President Dayton family’s home teacher, and another area 70 from Spain but I do not remember his name though.  It was very spiritual. Then on Saturday and Sunday we had stake conference in Lleida.  It was a blast.  We went to the adult session in sabadell here close to Terrassa and then on Saturday we took a two hour bus ride to Lleida , a city very far away, for the stake conference in a university auditorium and got to listen to the same talks like in Bilbao in September.  Also, it was my companion’s birthday on conference Sunday, like mine!  It was a boastful week with miracles and blessings left and right.

Random thoughts:

We saw a man jump the fence to catch a train......

I sang in the choir for the conference on Wednesday called "come unto him.” In Spanish it does not exist but we found a translation "Venid a el".  It was written by Élder Christiansen.

We had a terrific visit with a part member family.  The couple is from Ecuador, but the husband was baptized in Los Angeles.  He is very active and both work in the hospital like dad.  She has been meeting the missionaries for like 4 years now, but has doubts.  We
planned to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, lesson 3, but as we discussed faith in Jesus Christ, we just spat out all the doubts that she had about the Mormons and baptism.  We answered her questions and reassured her that we are not here to tear down her catholic beliefs but to add to them, beginning with faith in God.  We are going by tonight to give a blessing to the husband who is going in for knee surgery tomorrow.

We were walking one night and contacting and I felt like we needed to contact this old Catalan lady.  Normally the old people want nothing to do with religion, but she was so nice and loved that we gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, but when we asked for a return visit she
flat out said NO!  We had a prayer with her in the street and asked again if we could have a visit, but she said thank you so much "guapos" but no.  Her name was Purificación.

I was sick with a bad cold all week again.  When I get sick it hurts a lot more because you still have to work when you feel sick.  My ears where plugged all week and are beginning to pop.

We were placing English fliers for our English class one morning and we saw a brand new Astin Martin car!  Cool!
We spent a lot of time in the streets this week contacting to find new investigators because ours are not progressing.  We spent a whole day with 1 lesson and 6 1/2 hours in the street one afternoon, but the surprising thing was that we were happy and full of energy.

We had a lesson right before the adult session of conf. on Saturday.  We were with this young family and they had these two dumb dogs!  I hate all dogs, minus Mary's dog, but these dogs were the worst.  This little tiny one was neutered the day before and was just hyper and was eating my shoes and pants during our lesson.  I would be reading the scripture in alma 16 about the anti-Nephi-lehi and fighting off this dog with my food or a chew toy.  I felt really bad during the closing prayer when all was silent while my companion was praying and all of a sudden there was a loud thud!  I kicked the dog off my shoe for like the 50th time and walked away from that visit with scratches, bites, ripped pants, bags and shoes.  I hate dogs!  Then we had to run to catch a train and we were sweating bullets afterwards.

How are you doing this week?  :good
How is the new area?  :okay, not the prettiest but okay, just like badalona, cramped.
How is your new companion?  I hope that you are being nice to him.  :
he is great.  I love him.  He is from Richfield Utah.  Tall, skinny just like me.  Speaks really well.
How is the new ward/branch?: ward, big and fun.
How is the new piso? :nice but very dusty and dirty, but new.
 Are there any other missionaries in town? :2 other elders in our area and we live together.
 What zone are you in now? : Barcelona, but the stake of Lleida.
 How many people are you teaching right now? Lots of less actives and investigators.  But we are finding lots.
do you feel oriented enough to find your way back to your piso? : piso okay, church same, but anywhere else no.
 and find the church?  Okay
How is the chapel where you meet?: very small and in a not so nice location, hard to find, but clean and good enough for our needs to worship our God.
 is it a real chapel or a rented building?  :bajo but I miss the chapel in castellón.
So many questions you need to share what you know, how exiting.  How long did it take to travel to Terrasa from Pamplona? :4 hours from Pamplona to Barcelona sants then an hour to terrassa.
 how many trains did you have to take?:2

Well family during the conferences I learned a lot about enduring to the end.  We as members of this church took a covenant with Jesus Christ  to witness of him at all time, keep his commandments and always remember him.  It's hard to remember all the Lord has done for
us if we are tossed by the waves of affliction.  Dad sent me a letter that said if we take upon the yoke of Christ he will make our burdens light.  Enduring to the end is not biting the bullet but living life with hope of eternal life and justice from the savior of the world.  I love knowing that "all is well" for come come ye saints that we sang on Sunday.  I am learning a lot about adversity in my mission like I have never experienced before, but one can't quit and expect others to move along.  " we are all enlisted until the conflict is over".  I love sharing my testimony about the restored gospel.  I heard a few wonderful stories about how some members here in Spain were baptized after a missionary left to go home and became members of the seventy or a stake president and have righteous posterity because a missionary did his or her duty and thought that their service was in vain.  I have thought many times if I have done enough, and we will never know our mark in life til the life to come.  Later these member got in contact with the missionaries years later and rejoiced together.  How
wonderful is this gospel?  I love the Lord and I love my family.  I am grateful for my time that I have to serve the people of the Barcelona, Spain mission and would not trade it for the world.  Have a happy thanksgiving.

Con amor
Élder Gonzalez

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


From Jared's mom:  A new location and some researched info:

Terrassa is a city of 200,000+ located in the east central region of Catalonia, just north of Barcelona.  Stone tools have been found dating back 800,000 years, making this one of the oldest sites in Europe...Romans founded a town here in 69 AD, overtaken by Muslims in 718.  Below is a former monastery from the 1300s

Terrassa is a partner city of the Art Nouveau network, as seen in this building below.

Interesting fact:  Terrassa is referred to as the "most Olympic city in the world, " as 124 athletes of this city have participated in Olympic games since 1928, with field hockey leading the way.

From Jared:
 I will order your new dress pants tomorrow.  Do you need a larger waist size?  Nope
You said that you had gained some weight...just wondering?
Anything else you might want/need? Pens.

Well I forgot my planner because it is somewhere in my bags because I just got transferred to a new area called terrassa, Cataluña.  Anyway. I have a new companion named Élder Barton who is from Richfield, Utah, and he just finished training so I get to help him learn from walking to jogging.  He is about a 1/4 of an inch shorter than me, but still way tall, and a year younger than me.  I love him!

Sorry about not having my planner, but I'll try to put some random thoughts down from last week.

We ate a lot because I was passing by a lot of members yesterday and Sunday, but now I'm hungry.

We had a wonderful miracle when a less active that we have been working a lot with finally came back to church after falling away for some years, but has a member, less active friend, who we gave a blessing to on Saturday. He was an ex-missionary and was answering questions
like crazy on Sunday!

We taught a lady who had a big miracle with the priesthood and priesthood blessings.  They truly work by means of the faith of the recipient.

Wow my mind is blank, I can't remember anything from last week.  I know that I need to write in my journal more but oh well.

I spent 71/2 months in Pamplona and now it has come to a close. :( but all things must come to an end and now I am in a new area.

Well family I hope you all received the email from president Dayton, but if not he has made a new rule that we are not allowed to read family emails during the week, but only on preparation day, but we get 2 hours to write now if we need too.   I need to get off and go
buy food.

Family, I love and hope you have a great week.  P.s. Listen to "let us all press on" from the Mormon tabernacle choir from the church’s website, very inspiring!  Love you all and hope you have a great week
Con amor
Élder Gonzalez

Monday, November 2, 2015

Rainy Preparation Day in Pamplona

Well family I just want to say that I love you!  I am just on a spiritual high right now.  We saw many miracles last week and prayers are answered by the Lord.  I just want to let you know that the family is the central unit of this church.  The Lords plan is perfect and we are all important in this sacred work of bringing his children his restore truth.

Random thoughts:

We had a fhe last week with a Bolivian family who has a daughter going on a mission to Argentina on Wednesday.  We had a lesson and after we ate piquemacho, or something like that, and it is so good!  Claudia, convert in castellón, made some for us once and it was really good.

Mom, I need more return addresses for sending letters.

Also thank you Erica for taking the time to go on family search and placing photos online for people like me to know more about my family. ( completing the second part of plan de Europa)

I have a twin brother name sabastin from chile.  He is a less active,  but he is the same age and we both like the same stuff like Starcraft and movies.  He is a great kid, and has a cat too!

We went to eat fast food a few times this week, yum.

We were on a bus, because that is all we ever do is ride buses, and there were a few catholic priests on the bus and two elders.

Élder Montalbo said the pledge of allegiance as we were walking one day and it was terrific.  The words were so good.  It was on Saturday and we were contacting with a member and I had a power fraze go through my head.  A young woman walked by.  Normally I don't like to contact the young adults because I simply feel a like awkward around them sometimes.  Anyway, I asked if she believed if God can answer prayers?  She said yes and was very interested to listen for more.  We were shocked that someone actually stopped to listen to us.  We talked for a little bit more and she was hooked with our message.  We even had the member testifying too.  Our only problem was that we forgot to hand her a Book of Mormon, silly mistake on our part, but we know where she lives though.  Miracles!

We had a great Sunday.  Ana, an investigator, came to church.  We lost contact with her last week and she didn't come to church last week, but she came without us having to call her.  We have a visit with her on Saturday.

We were walking out of church and we saw a man who was drinking beer in the bar under the church.  He fell over and cut his head open and blood was gushing out.  The members stormed to help.  He was super drunk, delirious.

And we had a Halloween dance for the youth in the church here and they brought a lot of their nonmember friends.  It was really good.  I helped put decorations up because I'm so tall.

Well family last weekend was "todo los santos" and this is a holiday here in Spain.  It is when families go to visit their family who have passed on from this mortal life into the spirit world.  It was truly a blessing to have knowledge and a testimony of this restored gospel that we can live as families now and forever.  Thanks to the priesthood "that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven" (hel 10:7).  I don't know abuela muy bien pero sé que
viviremos con nuestras familias para siempre.  This time, this earthly life is for men to prepare to meet God (alma 12:24).  " Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" 1 cor 15:29.  Because we shall live again.  Christ died and broke the bonds of death.  Death has no sting.  The grave has no victory.  I know that, yo sé que, my redeemer lives, vive mi señor.  Gracias a él viviremos.  Thanks to him we will all live again.  I love you all and hope you have a wonderful weeks.

Con carino,
Elder Gonzalez

Monday, October 26, 2015

"Yo sé que vive mi Señor" himno número 73

Random thoughts:

We were walking one night and we came across a community band and choir singing on a rainy night.  They were really Spanish because they had guitars and accordions.

We met a recent convert/ less active in the street, one we were trying to get in contact with, and God placed her in our path.  Miracle

We were walking one day and I came upon this sign, translating into English, "Lazaro, an insurance company".  Life insurance anyone?

We knocked doors one day and we gave a Book of Mormon to a man from Argentina.  The spirit in that book will touch his life.

We went to Burger King one day with the less active/ recent convert I mentioned above, and we had lunch with her at Burger King because she only has time during lunch time. I ordered an ice cream and they didn't give me my chocolate sauce:(

We asked a man what a word meant in Spanish in the street and the man said it meant "hurry" and quickly ran off saying that he was in a hurry too.

We contacted another less-active too because we were contacting one day and found out that she is from Columbia and have a visit with her on Wednesday.

We had tacos for lunch one day and they were soooo good!

We were on a bus and we contacted a lady who has been living here for 48 years. she was from New Jersey.  She knew that we were Americans because we are 6 feet plus and have Mormon name tags on.

We saw a cool sports car I believe it's called a mazarati or something Like that.  It has a trident as its symbol.  It was really nice.

We met another American family from St. Louis, Missouri.  They have been here in Europe for 40+ days.  What an adventure.

The streets flooded.  A pipe was accidentally broken and water flooded a street.  We made paper boats and sailed them down the street. :)

Élder Montalbo gave a talk on Sunday on baptism.  It was really good.

We had beautiful weather on Sunday.

We had lots of people at church on Sunday.  We sang hymn 208 in Spanish.  It's our mission song!

Our G.P. Teacher has just been released and so he gave his last class on Sunday, and gave a goodbye compliment to all the people that were in class, which were a lot.  Even to the investigators he gave praises and compliments.

We had a really good lunch on Sunday in a pueblo with an Ecuadorean family.  It was really good food, with a beet salad!

Well family I love the savior.  I have the wonderful chance to read from the New Testament as an assignment from president Dayton.  I have been going slow right now in my reading but I have discovered the blessing of the holy bible that we have now days.  It is a blessing to be able to read of stories that have been preserved from generations to generations.  It is not a complete, accurate account of ancient church history, but with modern prophets and the Book of Mormon we can learn more who the savior is and why he is so important.  I really liked matt. 5 the sermon on the mount, pres. Monson said " the greatest sermon given by the greatest person who ever lived."  Read your scriptures and receive your daily bread from the
Lord by means of prayer and meditation.  I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Con cariño,
Élder Gonzalez

Monday, October 19, 2015

Missionary Work is a Great Experience

Questions from home:
Question;  When you have visitors in church are there members that go out of their way to meet them and make them feel welcomed  in church?:  some yes others no.  I hope you go out of your way to greet people.

  Do you introduce them to the visitors so they can have a member come in contact with the visitors?: we make a great effort to so they keep wanting to come back.

  Do you have an ongoing Gospel Principles class for new members and visitors? : yes in all of my areas there have been teachers that teach the class.

who teaches it ?   : a member named Stalin Castro from Ecuador.

How many are in the class on a regular basis?: like 12.

Random thoughts 

I accidentally was trying to tell a less active that she looked young by trying to say 25 as a joke, but my mouth misinterpreted and said 50.  Now every time I see her she always laughs and I laugh because she keeps saying she's 50 but in reality she's 44.  Oops

We were on a train to Vitoria and there were a lot of young teens that were saying bad jokes and mean things.  There was also guardia civil on the train too.  I so glad to have for strength of youth.

I want mission stories.  Mom, dad, tony, victor...I want to hear some mission stories just for fun to read and treasure.

Mom, please send me electronically a copy of the baptisms for this year to me so I can send them to the office for an end of the year video, plus a hand copy of Claudia's baptism in December to send to her for a one year celebration of membership!

This week was a good week.  We saw many miracles and saw success too.  There won't always be stormy days.  The sun has to come out some time.

I would like to start off by sharing a great miracle that we had this
past week.  We were knocking doors one day and we were late on time so we skipped the first two floors.  We had extra time the other day so we decided to finish knocking that building.  As we came down to the first and last floor and the second to last door, we knocked and nothing.  We were just on our way to the last door and out the building when we heard a voice coming from the door of 1,D.  Normally when someone says "who is it?"  you normally answer back and say " we are missionaries", and then they shoo us away without even opening the door, but we answered back and said that we were missionaries.  The man opened up the door.  He was 25 years old and invited us in.  He is very catholic, but we went in, sat down.  He told us that he was in a hurry but we could share a quick message.  We explained who we are and told about the Book of Mormon.  He took ingress and invited us for
Sunday lunch.  It was an incredible visit, one I had been praying for.  It shot our enthusiasm through the roof and gave us desires to work harder.  The visit yesterday was terrific.  No fecha yet, but little by little.

We met a lady right after this visit and met a lady in a bakery named Money from Bulgeria.  She is really nice, young and full of energy, plus we bought pumpkin shaped cookies for Halloween, and no they do not celebrate Halloween here in Spain, only all saints day.

We had a primary choir for the baptism of 2 children of this ward here from active families.  It was really nice.

A man from Logroño came to our church and shared a message about addiction recovery.  He is from the US, and has a strong THICK American accent.  I had to think to myself how is my accent?

Mom dad, hope you two are having FHE.  if no, join up with another family and have one.  it is a sacred time during the week to be together with the family and fill our spiritual lamps.

We cannot teach anything unless we first have a testimony of it in our own lives.

We played a fun game for noche de amigos with the JAS called bear, fish, mosquito.  It's like rock, paper, scisors (sorry have no idea how to spell that).

We contacted a man from Taiwan who speaks very good English named Elvis.

I just want to let you all know that I do have a testimony and that a mission is the hardest 2 years I have ever done/will do.  It is not easy but "salvation was not a cheap experience"- Élder holland.  Our savior Jesus Christ is our redeemer from the fall.  I have the chance to read the New Testament as assigned by president Dayton to begin a journey to study about the life of the savior.  I have only but read the first chapter of Matt, but I have first started off studying what is the bible and how and why it is so important.  It has gone through hundreds of years worth of translation and false dedication to get to our homes and we sometimes treat it lightly.  I know I have, but it testifies of the savior as well as the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ.  We must use the bible to gain a testimony of the basic Christian doctrine and read from the words of modern prophets to help us fill in the missing gaps.  I love this work even if it makes me want to pull my hair out:)

Well family I love you all and wish you a great week.

Con cariño

Élder Gonzalez 

Sent from my iPad

Monday, October 12, 2015

Spiritual Questions Require Spiritual Answers (Élder Anderson in the oct g.c. in 2014)

Hello family how are you all?  ¿Cómo estáis?  This has been a good week.  Lots of work demanding out attention.  This is a sacred work with much to do by those who have been called to thrust in their sickles and bring God's children to the restored truth of the
everlasting gospel.  Which gospel is it?  The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of the living God.  Big words from someone who has a hard time understanding a second language and who knows nothing about technology, and yes mom I do remember what UTI means and BP. I might be a little slow, but I can still remember that Warfarin should not be taken with vitamin k or garlic.  Nor should your darks with whites go in.  

Elder Montalbo, Elder Gonzalez, Elder ?, Elder ?

Things here in Spain are good.  People still want very little with religion and street contacting is a hard work when half your day fires, and yes dad I do have plan B's- F's and G's.  "Now is the time for members and missionary to work together."- pres monson.  The members are key to growth in the church.  I am convinced that there will be far less baptisms from this ward here in Pamplona from just missionaries without the support from the ward backing us up.  We have lots of potential but we are struggling to connect the ward to investigators, by having a member with us in visits that will lift and support those who are investigating the church.  I feel bad sometimes because I have been here for a long time and I haven't seen an explosion of success, but that might just be me for not looking hard enough.

Random thoughts:

Élder Montalbo and I have seen more miracles together though.  We were contacting again with our server questions and we contacted this lady who has heard some lies about the church and this left a bad taste in her mouth, and didn't really want anything from us.  Luckily we were literally next to the church so we asked if she wanted a tour of the church.  She said yes and so we took her inside and she was really impressed.  We also gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, and she was very excited to read it.

We had a great visit with a less-active named Martha from Bolivia and she had a friend in the visit.  As we were talking, her friend, Angela, did not want anything to do with us, but we got her to participate in the lesson and as soon as we started to read from the Book of Mormon
in 1 Nephi 3:7 she loved it and started to read more and so we gave her a copy to read at home.  Tonight we are going back to talk to them more about the book.

People are like weeds or plants.  They may look small on the outside, but have deep roots underneath.

The Barcelona trains in Cataluña were shut down because some people destroyed train tracks and communication cables, leaving thousands stuck all over Spain.

We had a really good enfoque de zona!

The march of the "guardia civil".  We saw the national police march down the street.

We gave 2 Books of Mormon to two Brazilian ladies this week!

We saw a man with a u of u hat, but he didn't want anything from us.

Another miracle we had this week with Élder Montalbo was when a man right before church walks in to see who the Mormons are all about because he looked us up on the church's website.  It was a miracle that he found our website and not an anti-Mormon website. Plus he
stayed for all three hours!  We have a return visit for him on Wednesday.

I completed a true fast, with a fast, prayers, testimony, and meditation.  I sat in church on Sunday and had the thought to share my testimony, and I did.  These are the 4 things I said, 1) Heavenly Father 2) Jesus Christ 3) Joseph Smith 4) Thomas s Monson

Mom questions:

Are you still doing push-ups?  : no
What do you and Elder Montalbo do for morning exercise? : running and some push-ups
Has it cooled off enough to wear suit coats or sweaters?  : president Dayton has eliminated that rule, but if the weather is cold we are to wear coats and sweaters.
Will you be able to go visit the village from where the Doria gentleman from whom you descend lived? : send me an exact address please and I will see if I can go, preferably by this week, before Sunday.

I just want to leave you with my love and a quick spiritual thought, October 2011 Élder christopherson. "In a general conference address entitled “The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness,” President Boyd K. Packer provided this analogy:

      “In April of 1847, Brigham Young led the first company of pioneers out of Winter Quarters. At that same time, 1,600 miles [2,575 km] to the west the pathetic survivors of the Donner Party straggled down the slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains into the Sacramento

      “They had spent the ferocious winter trapped in the snowdrifts below the summit. That any survived the days and weeks and months of starvation and indescribable suffering is almost beyond belief.

      “Among them was fifteen-year-old John Breen. On the night of April 24 he walked into Johnson’s Ranch. Years later John wrote:
      “‘It was long after dark when we got to Johnson’s Ranch, so the first time I saw it was early in the morning. The weather was fine, the ground was covered with green grass, the birds were singing from the tops of the trees, and the journey was over. I could scarcely believe that I was alive.

      “‘The scene that I saw that morning seems to be photographed on my mind. Most of the incidents are gone from memory, but I can always see the camp near Johnson’s Ranch.’”

      Said President Packer: “At first I was very puzzled by his statement that ‘most of the incidents are gone from memory.’ How could long months of incredible suffering and sorrow ever be gone from his mind? How could that brutal dark winter be replaced with one brilliant

      “On further reflection I decided it was not puzzling at all. I have seen something similar happen to people I have known. I have seen some who have spent a long winter of guilt and spiritual starvation emerge into the morning of forgiveness. When morning came, they
learned this:

      “‘Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more’ [D&C 58:42].”


Preparation Day, October 12, 2015
 Well family I love you so much and hope you have a great week.
Sent from my iPad

Monday, October 5, 2015

I love general conference

Jared and Elder Montalbo, aka Jared's body guard (this guy could be a linebacker, 6 feet 4 inches and muscles)
Wow what a crazy week.  I have been running around town trying to help the other missionaries and trying to help my companion in my new area of town, which is very weird because it is not the same area that I started out with.  So now we are working really hard because we have a baptismal goal of 3 for this month and so we have to work really hard to find the success and the blessings from the Lord.

Random thoughts

We contacted a woman from Mexico last week who is here in Pamplona studying for her phd in applied physics in medicine I think.  She was more or less interested in our messages, but we had a nice chat with her and got her phone number.

We watched half of G.C. In English and Spanish.  It was okay in Spanish, but I like to feel the emotion and the spirit of the leaders of the church testifying of the truth of the gospel.  It is a blessing to know English and can listen to the prophet without a translator.  I was really happy during the priesthood session that the translation did not put up the music in the rest hymn, and I was proud to sing in English.  It felt really good.

I saw my old companion Élder Dixon again.  His parents came and picked him up.  He was visiting his old areas and so I got to say hello to him this weekend.

This week Élder Montalbo and I worked together like a well oiled machine.  It was really good.  We received a great idea from our ward mission leader on how to better contact   people.  We make a questionnaire and start asking people questions to get their interests.  It worked out really good. We even handed out a few copies of the Book of Mormon.

Mom, I want more church pants from mr. Mac because my old pair have a few holes and are losing their luster.  Maybe like one pair.

Brother Anderson Emailed me and said that the fathers that have missionaries out have to share a 2-3 min. summary of their child.  Well, I have thought about it and I have 4 points of my testimony for you.
1) "1. I am a child of God, And he has sent me here' Has given me an earthly home With parents kind and dear." Hymn 301
2) d&c 76: 22 "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!"
3) d&c 135: 3 "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it."
4) the family, "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."

These are a few points that I wanted to share with you all that I have been thinking about this week.

I got a haircut today. 

Mom questions
When is the last time that a member fed you and what did you eat?: Saturday, we had shrimp with the shells on with rice, I didn't really like the shrimp because there was no flavor.
do you as a male missionary attend women's conference?  : no because we are ELDERS, not sisters, duh.
do you need a new pair of shoes?  : no
When was the last time you went for a run? : a few weeks ago.
You never did say where Elder Wheat is from...?  btw: sandy
Have you met any elders who are going to Snow? : yes Élder can't remember

Well family I just want to let you all know how grateful I am for the blessings of the Lord.  We have the opportunity to write letters by means of iPads.  We have the standard works and the words of the living prophets.  I am in a wonderful country serving a mission with clean water and speaking Spanish!  I know at times this mission can fee; like a hurricane, not just a rain cloud, but a real test of character and obedience of the Lord. I pray that "25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;" Abraham 3:25.  This is a time of consecration unto the Lord.  Many Ward members , mostly the JAS,YSA, don't like my complete exact obedience because in the past some elders
liked to goof off and "hang out".  This is not the time.  Missionaries are the workers of the Lord for 2 years with all their hearts. We must have an attitude of obedience to all the Lord’s commandments, like president monson said,  we must keep all of the Lord’s commandments.  I am very grateful for the Lord’s leaders of his church.  The apostles and prophets are called by God to direct his work.

Family I love you and I'm continuing to press forward in the Lord’s work.  Have a great week.

Con amor,
Élder Gonzalez

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Five Transfers in Pamplona!!

Hi family!  This week was really good week!  I had so much fun.  This week’s letters will be very short, because of transfers and just being busy right now trying to help the other new elders here in Pamplona.  My new companion is Élder Montalbo from Centerville, Utah.  He is from my group and the first companion who does not have more time than me in the mission.  He is BIG.  he is 6'4" and I'm just a little taller than him.  We look scary walking the street talking to people.

Random thoughts:

I want missionary stories from your missions please.

Limpia , Roxana, guadaloupe were three people we met on Friday who asked where the church was because they are new to the area.

Bumped into Maria and her mom.  They are investigators we met in May and just got in contact with.

We got so board while ringing timbres, doorbells, and so we played rock soccer with a stone in front of a door and a member walked out and just gave us this weird look.  It was fun though.

Elders from Burgos came down to do splits with us because my companion and his companion left to go home.  I killed two companies in my mission!

General conference week!!!!!

Well family this is all that I have for now.  Remember that the savior is our guide and we are to follow his light.  This weekend we get the chance to have listen to the prophet and apostles.  Prepare yourselves now for the voice of the Lord to speak through his servants.  We will see and sustain 3 new apostles.  Invite those who are less active or nonmembers to listen to the voice of the Lord if at all possible.  If not, pray for missionary opportunities.

Con amor
Élder Gonzalez

Monday, September 21, 2015

Got Home Teaching?


Welcome to September everyone.  The temperature is 7 degrees Celsius and I have no idea what that translates into the U.S. Standard.  We have calculators on our iPads but I'm too lazy to check it.  I do know the math equation is Cx1.8+32=F so...I still know math:)

Right now I'm on a bus going to Vitoria again, because that is what we seem to do here is go to Vitoria, to go play soccer, futball, with the zone!  I'm so excited, we played last week and it was a lot of fun.

Last week was a very hard week, maybe one of the hardest weeks I have had on my mission, at least emotionally.  I had been feeling really down, so we are going to see what will happen with this final week I have with Élder wheat because this is his last week in the mission because he goes home this next week, and more than likely I'll stay here in Pamplona another transfer, hopefully with more missionaries.

We had a really good week with the ward members.  We have seen a lot of success with teaching and ward motivation in missionary work.  After stake conference, many members are pumped to have the Ward split in the near future.  I am really excited to see what will happen.  For example, one thing this ward needs to do to split is to increase the number of home teaching and more elders.  So yestrrday the elders quorum president made all the elders go and do home teaching.  I was adsigned with another member and we went and visited javier Montoya, a member who works for the national police force, or the army resumed, I
don't know, but in order to get to his home, we had to go through security.  They had to scan my DNI card, my European citizen ship card for Spain, and then we went and visited Javier.  He is such a great guy.  He's the Sunday school president.  He was a missionary in Malayan in 2001 and showed us his gun he has in his piso.  Super cool!

Random notes:
It has been a windy week this week, and the weather has turned to a cool fall temperature.

We had a visit with this new Romanian family we met on the street last week and it was a great visit.  We didn't plan on it, but we taught the family a proclamation to the world.  It was a really good lesson with a great family.

This week i have been making my prayers a little more personal.  At night I would walk into another room of our piso and I would close the door to find myself alone and kneel down and pray out loud.  Sometimes they were good prayers when I could feel the spirit, and others were prayers of complaints to the Lord.  Missions are hard and requires all the energy you can consecrate to the Lord.  Sometimes I get scared what happens to my letters when I write home.  I don't know who reads them or what happens to them, but I will say this, this week was a testimony rocker.  I really had to think, is mission good for me?  Should I stay here? Am I doing any good in the world when even though I take 2 steps forward, I feel like I'm going 3 steps back.  While others are maturing I still feel like a boy.  I still look at people and still wish to be the Victors and the Sam Garrards of the world because they are people that I do look up to, even wanting to be more like dad.  Anyway, that is enough complaining from me for one day.

We made a virtual tour of our church last week with our iPads so we can show the investigators what our church looks like because that is what president Dayton wants us to do.  Plus new pass-along cards with a photo of the church.

I had the biggest desire to play "the pyramid" a game show from the 70s for English class, but need more time to come up with a plan on how to do it.  Instead we played jeopardy.

A member had a picture that said " if you need help from God, call these numbers : John 14:13-14; Matt11:23-28; Luke 11:9-10; Isaiah 55:1-3; rev 21:3-7".  So if you ever need something. give him a call.  Operators are standing by to take your call.

Well, family there isn't much more that I have to write other than the fact that I love you and I know the church is true and I have a testimony that the church is true.  I was sitting next to one of our investigators in church yesterday while my companion was with someone
else.  I sat there and in like 10-15 seconds I felt good, like I was in a place I needed to be.  The church here is just as true as in Utah.  I still feel like a popcorn in a bowl of hot oil, like when
tony makes his Sunday batch of popcorn, I want to jump out but I'm not cooked through yet.  I still want to pull my hair out and my head still wants to explode, but stressors make stress receptors stronger to stretch the capacity to be stressed.  I think the movie " it's a wonderful life" puts it in plain terms for all to  know just by reading the title.  God is the father of our spirits and parents only want the best for their children, and if you spare the rod and spoil
the child how can anyone grow and mature?  We receive challenges to define our characters to make ourselves that much closer to the savior of the universe. I don't know what the Lord has planned for me but I pray that I'll keep him planned in my life's daily schedule.

I love you all family.  Hope you have a great week.

Con cariño,
Élder Gonzalez

Ps sorry about missed words, this bus is really shaky and autocorrect
is just off today.

Sent from my iPad


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bilbao and Vitoria Zones, September 2015

Random thoughts:
Vitoria bus ride, man smells like beer.

Dad I'm glad you shared a short testimony 2 weeks ago.

We met a lady named Janni from Peru while we're asking for directions and bumped into her.  Mom is a member and she loves the missionaries. She wanted us to write in her Book of Mormon but her bus came and we didn't have enough time to.

My companion wrote, "bad spellers of the world, untie!"

We had noodles and pesto sauce for lunch because Élder wheat is a great cook.

I was wowed by my letter that I sent last week.  Testimonies are Written on earth and in heaven.

We taught tongue twisters in English class.  Challenge: say Irish wristwatch 5 times!

We made our way to the center of town and as we go there we were in crowded streets trying to find a member’s house late at night.  I am so glad to be a faithful member of this church.  There were a lot of drunk, smoking teens out in the streets.  The member is from Peru studying here working on his masters.

I have been studying the atonement all week long in my personal study.  It was a great experience and I found a lot of new scriptures that I have never before used in lessons.  For example 2 Nephi 2:6-9 is a really good one that I found that helped me out, plus the conference talks that we have access to on our electronic devices.

Mom I have homework for you, a thought came to me when we were at the member’s house who is getting his masters.  He got a scholarship to be here and it hit me, I have till march to turn in scholarships for snow college, please could you start getting in that for me please.

So how does it feel not being a teenager anymore?: yes I feel like a young adult, the same things I used to like have less importance to me, except running.
So did anyone sing to you? : yes
Did you let anyone know it was your birthday?  : no but they did get the answer out of me because they kept bugging me about it and just made it a big mess.  Leave me alone! But no it was great and I had a lot of fun.
Speaking of which, dad was wondering if you could pick up some T-shirts (size XL or XXL) to bring home like the one about Pamplona's Running of the Bulls?:  Shirts for who, dad?  If you want anything from Spain, put the money on my card and I will pick it up.
This week was just amazing!  I had so much fun that I just can't hold it in.  First, on Friday we finally got in contact with this lady whose name is airnara I believe, don’t know because it is a vasco name, but she called herself Noma.  She's 17 and last year was part of the foreign exchange student program to Utah for her "junior year".  They don't have seniors or freshmen here in Spain, and I don't know how the school schedule works either.  Anyway we met her on the first day of the transfer 4 weeks ago and then later she went on vacation.  We met with
her on Friday with a member, took a bus to the church where there was a ward dance at the church, and we gave her a church tour and she was just befriended by the youth here. She's a prepared daughter of God.  While in Utah she went to manti high school; church; trek; young womens; general conference; the Payton temple open house; the manti pageant; and loves all of it!  She was so surprised when she found out that there was a Ward here in Pamplona.  Miracles do happen and she will be baptized here, I just know it.

 At the dance, the JAS set up a surprise birthday party surprise, somewhat secret, and I got a small cake and they sang happy birthday to me even though my birthday was on Sunday...
Saturday was the adult session of stake conference here in the Vitoria stake.  It was really good and I enjoyed listening to the speakers.  A member of the seventy from our stake came and spoke to us.  The transmission was by television/Internet.  President and Hermana Dayton spoke too!  But the best part was that on Sunday we caught a bus at 8 to go to the university of Bilbao because we were going to have live session of stake conference.  We have 3 buses from our ward in Pamplona, the biggest ward in the stake with only 2 missionaries!?!  We were in a small bus with the JAS, who again sang happy birthday.  Stake conference was a blast.  We were in an auditorium of the university.  We had some 500-600+ people from the
two mission zones of Bilbao and Vitoria, which are part of the same stake.  President Franco from Brazil made an amazing promise of revelation, split the stake in 4 years!  Meaning a lot of work on our part, AND the members.  It was a wonderful promise that president Franco made.  Plus the new stake patriarch was called, a member from our ward, president echarri, who used to be the old 2nd councilor of the stake presidency.  Great man with a powerful testimony.  The old stake patriarch was too sick to work.  Plus we went back to Pamplona
to have a quick visit with a new investigator we found who really wants to learn the gospel, but fired on us, hopped on a packed train to go to Vitoria for zone conference on Monday in Bilbao, so we stayed overnight. The train ride was packed.  We were standing because there were not any more seats because of the students.

The ticket man came down and told us there was more room on the other side of the train so we went and found a group of 4 seats with one woman in it.  We sat down and started talking with her.  She was a lady from Ecuador.  Right before the train pulled up to the station I handed her a copy of the Book of Mormon that I always carry with me when I travel, because you never know when you can place a copy of the Book of Mormon and change a person’s life.   And yesterday the zone conference that we had with Bilbao was great.  We had a really  good talk from President Dayton on the early history of the Spain Barcelona mission and the experiences of the first missionaries from 1969 when the mission opened up.  No chapels, no members, just 8 missionaries and some Books of Mormon.  And Hermana Dayton did a great talk on positive thinking.  Great people.  I saw Élder westfall for the last time because he goes home this transfer.  He is finishing training an Élder named Élder gonzález.  So great to see him again.  And that was my birthday weekend marathon!

I have a testimony that families can be together forever.  I reflected a lot on abuela this weekend.  It marks the 20th anniversary of her passing away and my birth.  I know we can be together forever. I love you all so much and I love the work I'm doing.  I can wake up every
morning and say this day will be a great day even though our visits will fire and we will have little success that day, but we can still have a great time doing this work. I love so much my family and hope you all have a great week.

Con mucho amor
Élder Jared Gonzalez.

Monday, September 7, 2015

hello, random thoughts:

on monday it rained a lot and we got super wet as we were making our way to the church to write email with our ipads.  a guy on a moto was trying to switch lanes and pass the bus.  Bus vs moto, bus wins!  the man backed off when the bus driver honked at him.

I had swollen ankles last week and bruises on my feet too because my shoes are old and the insoles have expired,   So I bought new ones and hope that they´ll last for a long time.

My companion told me " ties are antennas to the spirit".

We had a zone enfoque this last week and we had intercombios too.  So I went to vitoria again and after the enfoque we went out to dominos and had pizza as a zone!

During my intercombio, I was with Elder Turner from CA, and we met a man from Morocco who was atheist.  He didn´t really want anything, but we were able to talk about the Book of Mormon and later became very interested to learn more.  He took the copy and was so prepared by the Lord that he was patient as he waited for us to find a tarjeta with the phone number of the elders in vitoria.

Elder Wheat and I were walking and doing some passbys in an area of Pamplona and we passed a girl with a sweater that said "Arizona State,” so I called out to her and she stopped and said no that she was not from the US, but she did have a friend that was Mormon and was some what interested to come to a church activity.  mini miracle.

Soccer is legal in the Spain Barcelona Mission, aka El Faro.  When president pace was here he took soccer away because of the amount of accidents due to this sport, but the angel of pres. Dayton, he made Soccer legal!  yahoo!

I had my last visit with Roberto, an investigator we have from Romania.  He lived in a small candy shop and is moving back to his country because he cannot find work here and is trying to make his way to the UK.  I finally gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon in romanian and signed it, so check my email to see if I have an email from him.

On saturday we went running in the morning with Elder Wheat because he too is a cross country runner!  I am very slow and out of shape...

power of prayer, see bottom.

a member helped a lady with a handicap with her legs cross the street.

Mutual was on friday and we helped out the young men by sharing some missionary videos and teaching about missionary stuff too.  Good kids, good ward.

I wrote a quote that I thought of during zone enfoque last week "we teach a lot but when those we teach keep not their commitments, they receive no promise and gain no testimony."

We talked to a man on a bench last week and his name was Rafael.  An 85-year-old spanish man with hair sprouting out all over his head, nose, ears, chin, eyebrows, etc.  Dad is not equal to this man, if so trim the hair on your face.  You should not have hair so long that you need a lawnmower to cut it all.  But if you are like dad and have a great mustache, it’s okay!

Sacrament meeting was really good this week because of fast and testimony meeting.  If fast and testimony meetings were like basketball, we saw the starting team rush to the pulpit in a matter of minutes.  We had so many people talk that it pushed time of sacrament meeting over!  Also a man walked into sacrament meeting and he had a big beard and jeans.  I thought nothing much about this man, until he went up and bore his testimony about the restoration and I was just outstanded.  "thus the commandment, judge not" thomas s. monson.

I made fried eggs for breakfast this morning.

we rode bikes again and with to the citadel thing, the big castle/fortress in the middle of town.  FUN!

was wondering if you eat corn on the cob in Spain.  ?? : sometimes, but mostly no.
Did you have your Visa renewed already?: No
do you have to go to a specific immigration office to get that done? : yes in barcelona

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions.  Missions are great don´t get me wrong, but they can be definitely hard and discouraging at times.  This is the hardest work that I have ever done in my life.  My companion and I were talking this morning and he said the apostles are like missionaries.  They teach the Gospel 24/7, but they do it for their entire lives and not 2 years or 18 months.  The difficult thing about missions is that you can´t relieve stress the same way as if you were at home.  I´m here in a different country trying to teach something that has been so very important to me and that can help men and women find peace in this life and in the life to come.  The language is comparable to my confidence.  If I am confident in what I´m doing I can be sure that my language skills can adapt to the circumstances, but if my faith and confidence are decreased, I can see the same change happen with my language abilities.  The life of missionary work can be so difficult because you are helping others come unto Christ by means of faith, repentance, BAPTISM, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  It is not an easy experience because in order to repent and come unto Christ, they need to make and keep commitments.  As a missionary, you are to teach clearly in a way that the spirit can teach and testify to that person for them to make a clear decision about what road to take to lead to happiness or Missouri( yes I know I spelled the state).  Therefore, there is a great responsibility placed on your shoulders as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.  You have companions by your side 24/7, leaders, and family to you out too, but sometimes you are to walk a path only you may go and your testimony and your strength are what power you to keep on moving forward.  Yes, at times I have had thoughts of wanting to go home and the temptations of the adversary play a big role in making you quit and give up, but the Savior is at the helm of this church.  He has all power.  It is when we are on our knees that we are empowered from on high.  When we keep that continual communication with a being who loves us beyond our comprehension, he can bless with blessings that "we will not have room to receive it".  This past week I took 2 nights and went to a quiet room of our piso and closed the door in order to be alone and knelt down and offered up a prayer unto God out loud.  I spoke to him in the same manner that I would to a friend or family member, personal.  I explained all the troubles of my heart to find peace to my troubled soul.  I received no visitations of angels, neither visions, nor a literal voice of the spirit speaking to me, but a warm feeling that came to me.  I don´t know the meaning of this feeling completely, but I do know that it was a sign from God.  It may be that I am working the best of my abilities and he is pleased with that and I should too, because I have felt for some time now that I am not doing enough and that my best is not sufficient for the Lord and this sacred work in which I am a part.  But I do feel a little better now and I pray that this week will become better and that I can find that THING that will make my mission just the most spectacular time of my life.  I pray that I can "pray and not faint", and speak and have the spirit testify of the truth and that the investigators will hear, feel, and understand and progress towards covenent making, covenent keeping latter-day saints.  This was/is my great depression, which I have had much of in my mission.  I have had many moments of depression, but I am trying to see the moments of good and happiness more often because if I look for negativity I will be sure to find it.  As we put Christ in the center of our lives, read, pray, and go to church, we take upon his name, and his yoke, which is his labor that he has asked to us to do Mosiah 18:8-10 plus sacrament prayers, we will receive added strength to endure trials with patience and love.  We will have a stronger testimony of our savior Jesus Christ and his atonement, the working of it in our lives with great abundance.  I wish I could speak as an angel and a trump and tell the world this joy, but little by little, we learn and grow.

I love you so much family and pray for you all with a heart full of love.  Have a great week and thank you for the birthday wishes.

Con amor

Elder Jared Gonzalez