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

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