Monday, January 25, 2016

Worldwide Mission Conference

This week was a blast because we had a worldwide mission conference.  A broadcast was given from the motherland of SLC to every mission across the world focusing on repentance, baptism, and improving our teaching to share the restored gospel to all of Gods children.  I really enjoyed it even though we watched it at 6pm in Barcelona and had to run back to piso before it was late.  I really liked what Élder bednar said about how we are not the teachers, but the spirit is.  I have heard and read that many times but has not hit me until that moment.  We are to teach in an environment and in a way  that the spirit can touch the hearts of the investigators.  This is the lords work.  I am understanding it more everyday what it truly means to be a missionary. It is to invite others to Jesus Christ and his gospel.  We have the evidence called the Book of Mormon which clearly tells of Gods dealing with the inhabitants of the American continents and his goose, plus show that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  Our efforts as missionaries of teaching this message are different than what other
missionaries and prophets have done in the past because the world is changing but his truth is the same and his messages shall be given to ever person.

does your piso have a heating system?  : yes
 How are the people that you are teaching doing?: okay many of them are not progressing very well or we can only visit with them once a week and we need to meet more frequently.
  You had mentioned that you had a couple of people planning to be baptized this coming weekend, how are they doing?: yes we have 4 people on fecha to be baptized this weekend.  We are very excited. 
Random thoughts

Thank you family for have the practice of family prayer and scripture study because I can see a big difference in the lives of less actives and nonmembers.

We had a great lesson with the plan of salvation with a man named Ramón who is on fecha for his baptism this week.

The gospel can change lives. It is the great medicine for mankind.

We ate tacos this week.

We were trying to find a street and we asked a woman for directions.  She pointed to the location.  We turned around and found her next to her car with her husband and her baby daughter.  She asked if we wanted a ride.  We were hesitant, but she pushed her husband to do so.  We got in and they were very nice to us.  We were dropped off and said thanks, but we're very grateful to visit with them, but felt kind of awkward for such a strange miracle.

A young woman we contacted complimented me on my Spanish.

We talked to a man who was taking out the trash and gave him a Book of Mormon, then had a followup visit the next day and he was there, a fixed visit!

We were leaving the worldwide conference and as we were going to catch our train, the station workers had just finished a train strike and were reopening the doors to the public,  we made it just in time to not miss our train.

I got a free book on saturday.  We passed by a less active named Jacobo, and he was moving and gave me a Catalan to Spanish dictionary. 

We cleaned the church on Saturday and I was really tired afterwards.  I wanted to take a short nap, but couldn't.

Interviews with president!  He is a great man, president Dayton. 

Our investigator family got married on Saturday and are progressing to be baptized on Saturday!

Dad do you know the show mr. Magoo?  A black and white cartoon of a man and his cat.

Church was really stressful, lots of confusion and people who made things a little difficult to feel the spirit, but my companion and I were asked to bless the sacrament.  I haven't blessed the sacrament in a long time, like since the first week of the Mtc.

Well family, I know that God loves us and we can know by the power of the Holy Ghost.  I am grateful that I get to pray a lot on the mission.  I get to pray in lessons, in the street, on the bus, when I am stressed, when I am happy, whenever.  I have been on my knees pleading with the Lord to make me into something new, someone helpful, someone to push the lords work along, but I learned this in my studies from Marc 2 from the institute Manual        "President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency shared the following experience to teach the importance of combining our righteous efforts with others:
Some years ago in our meetinghouse in Darmstadt, Germany, a group of brethren was asked to move a grand piano from the chapel to the adjoining cultural hall, where it was needed for a musical event. None were professional movers, and the task of getting that gravity-friendly instrument through the chapel and into the cultural hall seemed nearly impossible. Everybody knew that this task required
not only physical strength but also careful coordination. There were plenty of ideas, but not one could keep the piano balanced correctly. They repositioned the brethren by strength, height, and age over and over again--nothing worked.“As they stood around the piano, uncertain of what to do next, a good friend of mine, Brother Hanno Luschin, spoke up. He said, ‘Brethren, stand close together and lift where you stand.’“It seemed too simple. Nevertheless, each lifted where he
stood, and the piano rose from the ground and moved into the cultural hall as if on its own power. That was the answer to the challenge. They merely needed to stand close together and lift where they stood.“I have often thought of Brother Luschin’s simple idea and have been impressed by its profound truth. …“Although it may seem simple, lifting where we stand is a principle of power” (“Lift Where You Stand,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 53–54)."

We just need to stand and lift from where we are and we will be of good use to the Lord. I hope you all have a great week.  I love you. 
Con cariño
Élder Gonzalez

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Let's Go to Badalona!

We went to badalona today, almost.  We had a zone activity where we
went and played soccer and had fun by the river in cold Spain right
now because of the humidity.  We had a great time.  As I looked across
the river and took the same metro line I normally took in badalona a
bunch of memories came back to me about the good times of the mission.
I am very grateful for the time I have to be here on a mission, and
for a loving family supporting me in this great adventure I have.

Random thoughts.

We met a man named Nordil, or something like that from Morocco.  He
was very crazy and tried explaining the basics to him but went over
his heard.  Admits the trial and craziness of the contact I had a hymn
in my heart and we handed out a book.

We ran to catch a train for district meeting in Manresa.  Two tall
Americans running around town to catch a train.  Not as fun as it

This week I read this in chapter 26 of Matt in the institute manual
about prayer.

The Savior’s submission to the will of the Father in the Garden of
Gethsemane set an example for us, inviting us to submit to God’s will
in our life. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles explained: “It takes great faith and courage to pray to our
Heavenly Father, ‘Not as I will, but as thou wilt’ [Matt. 26:39]. The
faith to believe in the Lord and endure brings great strength. Some
may say if we have enough faith, we can sometimes change the
circumstances that are causing our trials and tribulations. Is our
faith to change circumstances, or is it to endure them? Faithful
prayers may be offered to change or moderate events in our life, but
we must always remember that when concluding each prayer, there is an
understanding: ‘Thy will be done’ (Matt. 26:42). Faith in the Lord
includes trust in the Lord” (“Behold, We Count Them Happy Which
Endure,” Ensign, May 1998, 77).

Victor can you send me a copy of the talk we read in the car, if you
can remember, about 3 years ago when we were driving to Cali for
Christmas from Élder legrand Richards.  It was a great talk.  I just
read his brief history in the ensign from my iPad this past week. I'm
doing a study of the old prophets and apostles.  Super cool.

How's abuelo?

We knocked a door last week and met a lady named Fani.. We had a quick
visit and handed a Book of Mormon.a no said she would read it!

I helped a man with directions with my iPad!

We met a man who was blind as we were sitting on a metro seat.  He sat
next to us and we talked for a little.  He was nice and very

I helped a man who fell down an escalator.  His wife fell down too but
was carried to the top floor.  The man was doing barrow roles up and
down.  I helped him on his feet and the first thing he asked me was "
¿dónde está me mujer?  Where's my wife?  He was more concern with his
wife than his own health, even though he had bad cuts on his face and
was bleeding really bad.

Excellent week.

Adversity, will it beat you?

We had ward conference this weekend.  And the stake leaders just
announced the blue prints for the new chaple the are making.  It will
be beautiful.  3 floors and a parking lot.  It looks like a temple.

We met a Catalan woman who is an English teacher and we had a 50 min.
Long visit with her about the restoration.  She knows the church
because of the famous music stars who are Mormons.  She was a great

A day of rest is a day of spiritual rejuvenation.

Our stake president said to never be afraid or ashamed of being a
member of the church.

We had Sunday lunch with am investigador ñames kim, from Korea.  She
made sushi and it was good.  An awkward visit because she invited
friends over and the friends were a little awkward and we explains the
Book of Mormon with them, but whey were not interested.

Well family I have to go.  Life as a missionary demands that I help
other unto Christ.  I love this church and the gospel in my life I
hope you have a great week.

Con cariño

Élder Gonzalez

Monday, January 11, 2016

Let's Go to Montserrat

We just came back from an amazing trip to Montserrat, a mountain close to us that I have been wanting to go since February of last year!  It is big and beautiful.  Our bishop drove us to the top where there is an old cathedral.  It has a famous statue of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus.  It was a splendid art work and beautiful, but a great reminder of the importance of the Restoration.  As we were walking through the church, I was very impressed with the blessing of having living prophets and apostles who have the priesthood to perform saving ordinances.  We too have beautiful buildings.  They are called temples of God.  The most famous and most beautiful is the one about 45 minutes from my house depending on if there is traffic (but now I realize it is just easier to use the Trax) the Salt Lake City Temple, a beautiful white building that represents the life of clean living and a covenant making life.  Our home in heaven can be like a temple.  We are "lawful heirs" (D&C 86:9-11).  When we read our patriarchal blessing with this in mind, we will discover the blessings God wishes to bless us with.  But first "True to the faith that our parents have cherished, True to the truth for which martyrs have perished,To God’s command, Soul, heart, and hand, Faithful and true we will ever stand." Hymn 254.  Aka endure to the end.

Ps. Watch the testimonies of the apostles on the church website from the seminary videos of 2000 on president Eyring and Nelson, or on the gospel library app under "special witness of Christ".

Random thoughts:

We met a man in the street named Jose, who is mute, he cannot speak or hear, but we used our iPads to write to him and he communicated with sign language.  With my little 5 grade study of sign language coming back to me, we could speak to him and he enjoyed our conversation as well as we did.

We were walking to a visit and took the bus, and a member was on the bus too.  We both got off the bus at the same time and she went into a convenience store and bought us each a box of donuts and a Coke.  This member is crazy about missionaries.

Our alarm clock did not go off one day, the day of zone enfoque, so we scrambled to get ready and catch the train to Barcelona.  Plus my desk clock alarm broke one day when I went to turn the alarm off and knocked the clock off the desk and it broke.

We went to Barcelona again this week to get Élder Islas legal.  He had gone 7 months without a DNI, our residency in Spain, so he has been carrying his passport around.

I love the Christmas letter mom.

Smiling really works.  I feel happier and I don't get so down when I get doors slammed in my face.  That's great- Hermana Dayton 

We helped a woman on Saturday named Gilda from Peru who was moving pisos. Élder Islas saw her and we helped carry her big suit case up 2 flights of stairs and then go back and grab more bags and carry them up the stairs too.  We were an answer to her prayer because she lives alone, had problems in her old piso, works all the time, and prayed for God for help and she said that two angles came to help her.  She said that she wants to come to church next week!  Plus her friend Alfredo.

We met a woman yesterday named Margery from Cuba.  Not interested but nice.

I loved Sunday and the church meetings.  I love going to church and feeling the spirit in the sacrament and in the classes.

Did you bear your testimony yesterday? : yes
 Are you speaking the language with Elder Islas? :yes but a little less
 Are you reading your BOM in Spanish, going back and forth in English for clarification?: yes my goal this year is to finish the Book of Mormon in Spanish and all I have to do is read one page a day, plus PMG in Spanish too.
Is the family on fecha still progressing?  : yes
What did you have for breakfast?  : brownies because I made them yesterday.
Did you reconnect with Jacobo?  : no he fired on us but that is how we found Gilda on sat,
Are you doing push-ups?  : yes

Well family I am grateful for the blessing to be a missionary.  To study the scriptures for an hour every day and teach by using my testimony and the spirit.  There are many times when I think that I have failed, and the most important thing is if I shared a spiritual message and if the spirit was felt.  I am grateful for my family who are a Wonderful example to me of how to be a disciple of Christ and what a happy family should be.  The family is under attack and I can see when gospel principles are not lived in the family.  I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.

Con cariño
Élder Gonzalez

Sunday, January 10, 2016

New Year with New Chances

Hello family

Random thoughts:

We ran to catch a train last week and was on the platform as the train was leaving the station.  My hand was on the door but nothing.

I love my new pens and pants!  Thanks mom!

We changed study rooms in our apartment.  It's smaller but it gives our living room more space to "live".

I feel like I am becoming better at listening to people.  As in
Spanish, but also in general.  I understand what they are trying to explain, their doubts, their fears, questions, etc.  now I can respond and help.

Mom I used your medicine that you sent me for my birthday, it was helpful when I was sick last week.

11am and no one in the street on 1/1/16:(  we were in the streets all day and nothing.  Nobody was out.  No one answered the doors either.

We walked into a town square and heard the church bells ring at noon.  It was a sight to see, only in Europe can you take in such a breathtaking sight.

We were knocking doors last week and all of a sudden a glop of bird poop missed me by inches.  A fat pigpen was perched on a telephone pole.  A quick miss from pigeon poop.

We had a family home evening with a family last Saturday.  The mom is in the relief society president and she served a mission in her country in Columbia and her husband in his country of Peru.  A missionary parent duo like you mom and dad!  We played a Mormon game called "chose the right". It looked like a game you could buy at Seagull book.

We were in sacrament meeting on Sunday and as I took the sacrament I felt the spirit really strongly.  It was an aw moment for me to take the sacrament in the church of Jesus Christ in a small, bajo chapel in Spain, speaking Spanish.

We had planned to pass by a man named Jacobo yesterday and we
bumped into him in the street.  He contacted us!

We had lunch with a Catalan family named the Reals.  It was really good.  We had lasagna.

We were in correos today because I was sending a box home (ps keep an eye out for a box going home full of books and stuff), and we met a man named Ababacar, or something like that, from Sinagal.  He didn't speak Spanish so we helped him with his delivery.  Small acts of kindness.

Well family it is a great time to be a missionary.  I can see the blessings of the Lord in my life.  It is a blessing to be here in Spain of all places to preach the restored gospel.  We will have lots of trials too.  we will have doors slammed in our faces, people cursing at you, getting weird glares from people who will not even give you the time of day ( I finally got what that meant this week when I asked someone for a direction and nothing).  As I was contemplating this experience we have as missionaries, I came to an uprising discovery.  As missionaries we carry the most important message in the world.  We teach of the restored gospel and how God still speaks to man by means of prophets.  A plan that is corrected from false doctrine and theories of our purpose of life ( we had a strange encounter with a member family who had reincarnation and resurrecting mixed up).  And the proper authority to baptize and confirm people.  However we are treated as naught.  2 Nephi 28:16.
However my discovery is to keep our message simple and ourselves
humble, that we are tested and tried, to keep the purity of our message true.

Had we basked in the praise of men and ward members we would not thank Heavenly Father for our wonderful blessing and our perception of the Savior’s sacrifice as not important.  People are stubborn so that means they are not ripe fruit.  They need more time to ripen.  We are called to find the "elect" sons and daughters of God who are willing to find the restored truth.  Christ’s mission was not easy so ours in not as well. That is something that I was thinking about this last week.   Hope you
had a great week and a happy new year.

Con cariño
Élder Gonzalez

Sunday, January 3, 2016

And a Happy New Year

And one with a new start.  But why is it only at the beginning of a new year that we believe is the perfect time to turn a new page in our lives?  It is every day that we can repent and turn a new page in our life book.  I have a few resolutions for this new year and a few for the rest of my mission.  I am trying to become a more consecrated missionary because I love the Lord and I want to serve him.  I know the atonement works.  I see it in my life.  I am becoming my "first" convert.

Random thoughts:
We had Christmas Eve with a group of old ladies .  We were invited by a member to a birthday party and ate salt free meals and sugar free cake.  Yum.

Mom I saw your video, and have one thing to say, I'm very disappointed that you are sending videos to members who are trying to share it to me while I'm at church.  Very distracting, but I love your video, even though I did not hear what you said very well because the volume button was broken on the member’s phone, yes miracles.

Got a hair cut by my companion.

Contacting is not working.  We can be in the streets for hours and see nothing, even though the holidays are in swing.

We deep cleaned our piso today.

Sorry left my planner in piso so I can't remember what happened this week, that's why I write them in my planner to remind me.

Well family I don't really know what to wright right now.  Well I do really want to express the love I have for you.  It was really nice to skype.

Last night we had a lesson on the plan of salvation.  I used two scriptures.  2 Nephi 2: 22-25 and alma 34: 8-10.  The atonement is something I have been study a lot with much excitement because dad suggested that I should.  As I have been studying this topic I have come to love the sacrifice of the savior with greater appreciation. The atonement is the power to overcome death both physical and spiritual.  Because of the Fall of Adam, we are separated from God’s presence and we will all sin and make mistakes.  We will encounter sickness and death and our mortal body will turn to dust.  But the resurrection of Christ after the 3rd day makes the bands of death and broken forever more.  But it is also by the atonement of Christ that our sin can be clean and we can become white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). Christ is  the center of this great plan of happiness.  Without him there is no light at the end of the tunnel.  But he is the life and light of the world ( mosiah 16:9).  So there will be a new day.  I love the scriptures and the combination of prayer.  We can have access of this power in our lives if we allow it to work and accept His teachings.  I'm learning this personally.  I love this work, and I love you.  Have a happy new year.

Con cariño