Monday, March 28, 2016

Semana Santa

Happy Easter everyone, I didn't celebrate anything yesterday other than take the sacrament which is Easter every Sunday to me.  Yesterday felt so much like a regular day that I forgot that it was Easter.  The Catholics here were not very eastery.  Things were very quiet except for the tourists walking around.  We talked to a woman from Italy who knows the church from her country.  I said that my mom lived in Rome 35 years ago.  None of our investigator showed up at church last week. Even our referrals from have gone sour.  We are scraping the bucket to get real lessons in and not just street contacts.  Too many people who work all day and all night and literally have no time.  Something I don't understand is how we will ever get a lesson with these busy sheep.  Our branch president wasn't at church so our district
leader conducted church.  I gave the opening prayer and conducted the music.  Fun Sunday.

Something that impacted me in church was in gp class.  We were on the atonement.  I was reflecting on a story that Élder christofferson used in oct. of 2011 from president packer.

"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 Valley.
      “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].”

I know the atonement is true because I feel it in my life. It allows us to be clean and come closer to God.

How was your missionary  training meeting? : it was great, we went to Palma de Mallorca, and had our zone conference with president and Hermana Dayton plus the ayudantes.  It was a great conference about the importance of the law of chastity, how to teach it better and
teach the WHY behind this law, for our spiritual and temporal well-being.  Plus how to use the scriptures better and how to drop un-interested investigators.

 Did all 4 of you travel together? : yes we got up at 5 to catch our flight by 7:30 and I sat with Élder Merrill in the emergency door so we had extra leg room! :). And then had a 20 min flight both ways. Then caught the plane at 10:25 pm to come back to Ibiza.  We go back for zone enfoque this week on Wednesday.

 I got a view of the place that you live in, your piso, Is there a peluqueria school near?  : yes

 I got to Google your area and it seems like is a very populated town with lots of buildings and businesses all over. I can see why you are there to find those that have been prepared to hear the good news of the restoration of the Gospel.  Keep your eyes and heart open for the
opportunities when the Spirit will give you hints of who to contact and talk to.  Keep your eyes open to notice the miracles all around you.  You are there for a purpose, either to plant seeds or to harvest fruit that is waiting to be picked.  : well dad we have to have our eyes down and our hearts locked. the summer season is coming up and the girls are de-wintering.

Did you observe any Holy Week/Good Friday/Easter Sunday celebrations (keeping in mind that we celebrate the resurrection every Sunday with the sacrament)? : semana Santa, which is a time in which the Catholics celebrate the week of Christs triumphant entry.
Do the kids search for Easter eggs?: no that's an American thing

Dad showed me your apartment on Google maps.  Are you on the ground floor or an upper level?  :2nd floor
Are you by a beauty shop/barber shop?: yes both
He also went sightseeing on your island, but I didn't look, as I was working, but he reported to me that your island's a bit on the dry side.  Did the rain this week help to green things up?: a little more green.
What tender mercy did you experience today?: a member at church to protect us from false testimonies from two 13 year old girls looking for trouble, following the promoting of the spirit.  That is what the member did when she was at the church to help us.

Random thoughts:

Talked to a woman from the Philippines .

We met two Spanish fishermen, and I made the comment to them that they are like Peter, and we are asking them to drop their nets and follow Christ.

We met an Irishman named who said some weird things to us about how the Book of Mormon is false, all religion is corrupt and that in order to meet God we have to be high on drugs and stuff...uh no.  My testimony grows from experiences from people like him.  We have commandments to keep us safe.  He said that we should go clubbing with him too...

The conference was great.  We have been called by God to the places we serve on our missions and the people are placed in our path and we need to do our part the best we can.

We saw a bike race in a city called San Antonio.

We have 2 Muslim investigators!

Sorry mom about the notary.  They couldn't cancel the payment.  It was a lot of money for a couple of colorful stamps and some signatures on a piece of paper to allow my goodly parents to get me into school, especially since I already signed the paperwork and the school lost it.

Well family this week is general conference, the week all missionaries wait for.  The semana de la conferencia general.  It is a blessing to be on the mission and be filled with the spirit every day and grow closer to our Heavenly Father.  I don't realize how much of a blessing it is to be here until you see those living in broken families, spiritually famished, living beneath their privilege, etc.
"1. Come, listen to a prophet’s voice,
        And hear the word of God,
        And in the way of truth rejoice,
        And sing for joy aloud.
        We’ve found the way the prophets went
        Who lived in days of yore.
        Another prophet now is sent
        This knowledge to restore.
Hymn number 21.
Isn't true?  Come listen to a prophet’s voice, and be filled with the spirit of God.  I know that as we live a life of obedience to God's commandments we will be blessed and protected.  So now the time begins to prepare yourself spiritually and physically to have your eyes, ears, hearts, and spirit to listen to what God wants us to live for the next while to overcome to the pitfalls of the adversary and find joy in affliction.  I know these things are true.

Con mucho amor por los profetas y la restauración de la iglesia,
Élder Gonzalez
Sent from my iPad

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