Monday, July 27, 2015

A Baptism!!

Baptism of Andrea, taught by her brother, an RM, both from Ecuador.  Jared and Elder Ward

You said that you miss peanut butter.  Does that mean that peanut butter is unavailable, or it's too expensive to buy?:  Both. It´s too expensive if you find it, and it´s really hard to find.  plus it doesn´t taste the same as american peanut butter.  

What's the story behind your T-shirt and red scarf of San Fermines?:  It´s just what the people wear for san fermines.  I don´t have access to wikipidia.

Have you met President Dayton yet? :  yes when they first came in they had a tour of the mission in the beginning of july and we had interviews with them this past week.

So did you get a chance to see any of the running of the bulls?:  no we aren´t allowed to go there during the festivals for our safety.
So how are your investigators progressing? :  this past week, none, but we have a fecha for this weekend for a man from camarun.

have any of them made any progress towards the baptismal fecha?:  see the previous question.  Kevin is his name.  He was progressing fine until a few weeks ago when he just stopped coming to church and last week had a bunch of faith crushing questions.  It saddens me to work so hard and have him slipping from our fingers, but we´ll keep on trying.
Well I want to quickly go through the random stuff I write down during the week.

First we went to this thrift shop and I bought a ti 83 graphing calculator, in english, in great condition for 6 euros, which is like 7 or 8 dollars!  prepping for school mom.
There was a poster in the street the other day that said " there are others who fear vaccination."  it was propaganda for people to help the people in africa.  We are so blessed to live in the united States.

I had been holding on to this romanian restoration pamphlet for like 4 months and finally handed it out to a man we contacted the other day.  Being prepared weighs a lot but the reward is even sweeter.
We went to victoria to have interviews and Hermana Dayton made rice crispy treats.  yum.

Happy 24th of july.  I was sitting on a bus when the time and date sign flashed by and it hit me, IT´S PIONEER DAY!!!!  But i´m in spain and so that has no effect here....
Girls should never wear thin t-shirts, it´s not good for elders....

I contacted this lady on a bus the other day and on our way to a visit the next day I said hi to her I said " buenos tardes" rather than "buenas días"  que greengo.  I´m still imperfect, but that´s okay because I´m improving.
I got to pass the sacrament on Sunday because we were a little short on priesthood holders.  It was a blessing to do that.  The sacrament is the only ordinance in which we do for ourselves over again.  I was told that by Pres. pace and it was a hit to the head to understand that we do it every Sunday to renew our baptismal covenants.  Also, people are very grateful for what we do for passing and blessing the sacrament worthily because there are some people, like me, who wait all week to take the bread and water in remembrance of the body and blood of the lamb of God.  We had missionary prep with the JAS yesterday (YSA)  and we were going over chapter 3 lesson 3 in pmg.  It says that the sacrament is a commandment.  just a few things I have been thinking about this week.

A talk by Carlos Galarza, the brother of andrea who was baptized this past weekend!  gave a really good talk about prayer.  He said a few things that I jotted down.  He said  "all great miracles come after prayer"  examples: Christ prayed in the garden of Gathsemane, or Joseph smith and the first vision.  When we pray we are to do two things every time.  1) pray for forgiveness 2) pray for things we need/want.  Always pray with faith.
We were walking and we met a bother of one of our investigators.  His daughter is in the hospital in Romania and was very depressed and sad.  We sat by him on a bench and shared a little about the plan of salvation and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon.  We read Alma 7:11-13 with him and to me it was a really spiritual experience.  We are hoping something good comes from it.  I love sharing my testimony of the plan of salvation.

Well those were the things which I wrote down in my planner that I thought I ought to share with you.  This week has been good.  We are working hard here in Navarra.  We received a reference from the office that a person in the south of Navarra wants to listen to us, but he or she lives like 2 hours away in car.  um....we´ll find a way to get in contact with him or her.
It has been a while since I have truly said I love you, but it´s true.  I truly love you.  I got your letters mom on Wednesday and they were great.  I loved the pictures you send.  Keep sending more.  My mission president says you all look sweet.

I love the mission.  It is hard, because like Elder Holland said " because it was never easy for him."  We all have to experience a little of what he had to go through.  It’s hard but a wonderful journey.  I love handing out books of mormon.  it is a physical way of seeing my progress as a missionary.  I mark how many boms I have handed out in my mission and it is a lot.  Sometimes I think a missionary is one who goes to south america, and partly it´s true, but it´s one who gives up his or her time to the lord and all their wants and desires and he will gives us in return a changed person AFTER the fire of affliction and refinement of challenges and tests.  We all live in God´s family, not a yellow submarine.  I know the church is true and the Book of Mormon too.  I love you all and hope you all have a great week.
Con amor,

Élder Jared Alex Gonzalez

Monday, July 20, 2015

Libraries are so much better than ipads, let me tell you

Well this week I have decided to write using the library computer because it is just so much easier, and my hands don´t get so tired, and I can type so much faster without auto-correct. Even though I will still need that because I am really bad at spelling and grammar.

First I have some things that I had written down from 2 weeks ago that I haven´t told you about. A member helped me out on a visit. Sadly it fired. But as we were driving away I asked him his conversion story. He said that one day he came down from France to vacation in Pamplona and was camping in the mountains. He stumbled upon a group of YW. He was talking to them and found out that they were mormons. They invited him to come to church and so he did and later he was baptized. cool story.

mom what is the difference between us and we?

We were on a bus and I can´t remember where we were going, but as we were exiting the bus I ducked down, but not down enough, and watched my head hit the hand rails that you use to hold on to when the bus is moving. A few people laughed including me.

We were on a bus ride to Logroño for a district meeting and the bus passes by the stops in the middle of nowhere. There´s a world famous pioneer trek here in spain called el camino de santiago and people from all over the world go to walk it. I had the chance to talk to a lady from NY and she was walking with a man she has never met before until the trip, a man from Denmark. We had a nice talk about gospel stuff.

We were on another bus and as we were getting on a muslim lady with a cane who is quite young actually and had a young daughter paid the extra ticket for a girl who didn´t have enough money for the city bus. All religions in the world teach of good principles. Look for the good in everyone.

We were walking one day and I looked down and found 5 euros. We tried to find the owner, but no luck. We bought some candy afterwards.

 We were walking and we met a young lady from NY who contacted us and asked if we were missionaries because her friend just came back from her mission in Chile.

During san fermines the church was very empty, we only had 2 investigators come.

We have two phones now because my area was closed and now we have all of navarra (have you looked it up yet, it was once an entire country!) and later the office called and wants my phone back. so that’s a bummer because one phone for 1 set of missionaries.

So that was 2 weeks ago. I said I was going to write a lot. San fermines was tough because there was a lot of the city that was blocked off from use to see, visit, and work. THere were a lot of drunk and crazy people on the streets, on the loose so we had to avoid the sketchy areas and go to safe areas to work with or go to members’ homes, who too were not home because of the holiday!!! San fermines is great, but not for missionaries.

Now thoughts that I have been writing down this past week: For ward council last week we were told to do a few things. 1) read a talk from chi wong hong from GC on working in unity. 2) write a talk in case we were ever called to give a talk, and that´s what i did on monday, i wrote a talk on the book of mormon and used a lot of stuff from pmg.

Elder ward and I were contacting on the last day of san fermines, and he had contacted this guy who didn´t want anything to do with the restoration, but I prayed in my heart and handed him a BOM and he accepted it. miracle!!!

Mom, please send english stuff to me for english class. For example sentence structure, grammar tips, anything. misspelled words. I´m teaching english class again.

President Echarri, 2nd councilor in the stake presidency, had to accompany me to the bus station and drop off Elder Steadbeck. We drove back to my piso and he was going to fix a broken light in our piso, but he decided to do some personal studying as we were waiting for Elder ward to come in. As he was studying I was cleaning up piso because I felt really embarrassed to have him in our messy piso.

We bought new bus passes and now we don´t have to spend so much money to recharge the cards every time we run out of passes. We can just pay monthly.

The temperature changes a lot here in pamplona, it gets hot and then cool. When it’s really hot the clouds will change and it will rain a little to cool of the evening. one night it was really raining and there was a big thunderstorm and the wind blew all of our windows shut and that woke us up in the night with a fright.

There’s a kid here in this ward who’s from columbia and looks a lot like victor. So maybe victor is from columbia. it makes sense right? he likes to party and that is a big party country.........well....maybe.

Elder bednar´s talk is coming to pass from GC about how we might have worldly fears about things in the world. one thing he mentioned that struck me this past week was how some nations are fighting for independence. this can be scary, especially when you live in the middle of it, but always remember that Godly fear dispels worldly fear.

I would like to finish with a brief testimony that I have on the joy that I have on the mission in the service of the Lord. When we serve other people we forget our worldly cares and think of only helping others feel the love that God has for each and every one of us. I know that from experience. Elder Ward bought me an ice cream last week and it help me out when I was feeling stressed. We are all on the same team with the service of the Lord. We will receive many blessings when we serve with a full heart. I wanted to testify that this is true.

Well family that is all that I have for now. It feels so good to write home and receive letters from family. I pray for you all and hope that you have a wonderful week.

Con amor,
Élder Gonzalez

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Run From The Bulls!!!!!!

July 7, 2015


It's San fermines here in Pamplona.  We are super scared because the population just jumped by a lot because of all the tourists here visiting and having a good time.  The weather is getting hotter, but we are staying alive.  Everyone is wearing white shirts and pants with
red scarves and belt things.  Like me!

Well the big news...transfer calls came in on the 4th of July, and I'm staying here.  My companion left, and there will only be two missionaries here in ALL OF NAVARRA!!!  If you haven't seen a map yet, I would advise you to because we have a lot of area to cover.  I'm with
elder ward from Ogden.  He was already here in Pamplona when I came in.  He's going to finish his mission here and as for me...I don't know yet.  We'll be working a lot in both areas.  It so weird how everything turned out.  Our district is now part of a city called logronio.  We are going to take a bus to district meeting there tomorrow, so that will be fun.

The stores are closed today, so we'll buy food another day.  We have eaten so much food here because of elder Dixon leaving.  But now, I'm hungry again.

I was really sad when elder packer passed away this past week because it was in fast and testimony meeting when a few members were mentioning him in their testimonies.  It really caught me by surprise.  I know that the Lord has a plan for him on the other side of the veil and one day our number will be called but we will rejoice when we see each other again.

This week we are preparing one of our investigators to get baptized.  I'm a little nervier when we have to do splits and I'm the one in control.  It puts a lot of responsibility on my shoulders, but the thing is that the Lord calls the weak to teach His perfect gospel.  I just need more faith and less fear, because faith and fear cannot be in the same place together.  I hope I don't become a leader in the future, but by saying that it will happen.  Because I hate calling the shots I would rather be a follower.

Well family I have got to go.  I hope you all have a great week and to always remember to read the scriptures because they are the waters of life because they teach of Jesus Christ who is our savior.  See you later

Con amor,
Élder Gonzalez