Monday, April 18, 2016

3 day weekend in Palma de Mallorca!

Yep we had our interviews with our mission president in Palma de Mallorca.  It was a blessing to be able to talk with our wonderful mission president.  He really helped me to feel good about myself. Missionary work is tough, but the Lord is always on our side.  We just have to look for the little miracles in our lives in order to enjoy our mortal experience.  Little pebbles will make our wagon trip a little hard, but we have help from both sides of the veil.  We flew
out on Friday morning and came back on Sunday afternoon.  We had our district conference too. We are not a stake so we are under the direction of our mission president.  He does the temple recommend interviews and all of that.  He makes frequent trips out to the islands.  We met all together in the small chapel in Palma for the adult session on Saturday and then we met in a school auditorium on Sunday morning.  We didn't stay long on Sunday because we had to catch our plane.  During the weekend we were on splits with the other Élders in Palma helping them in their visits.  We met a lot of crazy people.

Random thoughts:

My companion got another package from home.  2 times or 3 times as many as I ever got.  But I get mail!

A man stared at our chapas and nothing.  It's funny how much effort people go out of their  way to look at our name tags, then quickly duck for cover from the Mormons.

We found a grey cat in a stairwell while knocking doors.  It was blocking our path.

I saw an ad on a bus for monument valley.  I've been there!

A less-active we are helping is studying marketing  and she said:  pensar es creer, hacer es invocación.  Y si no van, no crecer.  To think is to believe, to do is innovation.  If you don't move you don't grow.

A drunk man asked us if we needed a lift to the airport on Friday morning as we waited for the bus.  No thank you.

I got orange juice on my shirt right before interviews.  How embarrassing.

Hermana Dayton talked about how we are to be a Christlike mission.  She talked to us right before interviews about how we are to keep this missionary glow always, now and after the mission.  She says that a mission schedule of daily life helps us keeps that spirit and glow for
after mission life.  I want the glow and I want to take advantage of the time I have to grow and mature. She just radiates with light and happiness.

I helped a drunk man on Saturday who wanted nothing from God but to die.  It was really sad to see him in a bad state, but we helped him get on his feet when he fell over the wall and gave him some tissues to wipe his tears from his eyes but mostly testified of God's love for everyone.

Heat in, sweat out.

I saw a child without hair while riding a bus, and had the assumption, cancer.  Right before I was thinking of Christ's infinite atonement mentioned in 2 Nephi 9:6-7.  All of life's unfair problems will be made right in the day of our judgement.  Keep an eternal perspective on like the fog lights on a car to see outer and up.

I met myself this week (name).  Jared is a man from the uk, and he's gay, and wears women's makeup.  We have a visit with him tonight to give a copy of the Book of Mormon.

I got my hair cut in a Chinese peluquería, hair store.  They also do nails and massages too.

Well family I want to say that the Lord is good to us.  Adversity is part of our mortal life.  I love learning from the scriptures here in the mission field.  I’m in acts 10 and loving the stories of the apostles.  I am learning more and more each day how true this church really is.  I know that God speaks to man as He did in ancient days like Adam and Moses.  President Dayton spoke in the adult session of conference and said that " God is not an energy, nor a spirit" (that's what most people think he is here in Spain, an energy). He is a real person with a body of flesh and bones, glorified with power.  He knows each of us and knows how we can find true happiness in a difficult time to live in.  There are many paths to take in life, but in Christ we find freedom and lasting peace.  We had a fun companionship study this morning with all 4 of us in piso introducing a scripture, reading it, and applying it.  I shared 3 Nephi 27:33.
Straight is the gate and narrow is the way.  Read this scripture and think of president monson's talk from conference on our choices in life.  We all need a guide to make it back to our father’s presence.

Con gratitud que tenemos la iglesia restaurada de Jesucristo,

Élder Gonzalez

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Monday, April 11, 2016

"With all that is going on in the world, with the lowering of moral standards, you young people are being raised in enemy territory."- pres packer.

Sometimes when I wake up and go to preach the gospel I feel I have gone back in time and I'm in the 1940s during world war 2.  I am in enemy territory on my little island with spiritual land mines and traps to ensnare young missionaries.  Those who live outside of the commandments of God are living on a sinking ship.  We cry to them to jump into the lifeboats but they would rather dance the night away.  It is hard sometimes to help someone who doesn't want you, someone who wants to live life on the edge, without restrictions, without God. However, Moroni 7 says we should pray with all our hearts to be filled with this charity which is the greatest of all.  We went shopping this morning for preparation day and we walked by some shops that could use a good reading from the " For the Strength of Youth" ( by the way I bought these awesome shoes).  If I am to walk away from my mission having only gained a stronger testimony of this church, I would be a "rich" man.

Random thoughts:
We set a fecha with our investigator Gustavo, but he lost it because he didn't show up to church.  Inv

estigators have to go to church at least twice before they can get baptized and we have district conference this week, because we live in a district and not a stake. He is a great man though.  He says he wants to change his life and come closer to God, plus he had really good questions and a hunger to learn more.

A member named Ana went to Nigeria for six months and we had a farewell snack with her at the church on Monday night.

We saw some kids playing in a pond last week with a fishing net trying to catch fish.

We went contacting for 15 minutes before our district meeting via Skype and we met a man named Cesilio from Paraguay.  His girlfriend is a member and he was very interested to learn more about the church. We met with him the other day and had a good first visit with him.

While on a bus I talked to a Pamplomian!  I talked with a woman who was staring at my chopa.  She got very interested in what we taught but got off the bus before we could get her number. I think her name was Camilla?

We taught a French couple this week while on an intercombio.  It was all in English.  They were visiting and we got them to think about the church and met them again in the streets the other day.  I hope they visit with the missionaries.

We met a 98 year old ibizinco man who turns 99 this month.  He was deaf and was super Catholic.  Bless his soul for keeping on moving because he was like a 45 degree angle almost with his Spanish cane.  I felt bad because we had to practically yell at him to communicate.

We have this apartment building in Sant Antonio that we found that is just a Gold mine.  We spent 2 1/2 hours just knocking this building and finding golden people.  We met a woman named Maria and her husband who are old Spanish folk from the peninsula ( that is what they say if you are from off the island.  And we gave her a Book of Mormon to add to her three bibles collection.  As we were knocking the next door, we heard the daughter who is like in her 40s was reading the book out loud starting from the introduction and it was a miracle to me to hear someone actually read the Book of Mormon and not just place it on their shelf and let it sit there for years.  We also met a terrific family from Colombia.  We accidentally left our phone in piso and they tried calling us to cancel but we went by anyway.  We had a quick first
lesson with them talking about the Book of Mormon and they loved it.  It just complements the bible.  But the daughter was in the shower because this family lives in a one room apartment, and in the middle of our lesson she walks out and with only a towel on walking and grabs some clothes and walks back into the bathroom, super awkward.  Luckily our backs were towards her, but as soon as we turned we quickly went back to the lesson.

It was Élder Saunder’s birthday, he turned 19... He's young.

We went to an evangelical church this last week because we were contacting in the street and a man walked up to us and wanted to listen.  He invited us to his church which was across the street and so we went for a few minutes.  They rented out an old theater and had drums and sound systems and it was just a different environment.  We were respectful.  Élder Merrill put, our district leader, it like alma in alma 30 and the apostate zoramites. They were really nice though. It gave me a new perspective of what an investigator feels like going to church.

We were protected this past week as we made some attempts to go tracting near the castle because it is filled with gypsies.  We go in during the daytime and knock some doors.  We found some success though.

Only the humble are converted.  Those we teach become converted with true intentions and with humility.  Those that believe listen.

We helped a French member couple, different French couple, find a hotel.  They call them hostels here.  They are going to be sealed in the London temple.  He served his mission in Switzerland.

We were in Sant Antonio doing some tracting and some Michael Jackson music was playing from a soccer stadium.

Fast Sunday.  We had visitors this week from France and Germany.  The German member gave his testimony in really good Spanish saying that he was met by the missionaries 33 years ago and got s Book of Mormon and read it and got an answer.

I hit my head on a lamp while exiting an elevator.  The plastic bulb fell off and I thought it was glass, but luckily it was plastic because it hit hard.

Well family I come to know in real sense that this work we are engaged is the work of the Lord.  He is at the head of this church.  I know that we must follow His commandments to find true happiness and peace in this life.  "We have weaknesses, as everyone does. We may not
speak the language very well or be able to answer every question you have, but we have been called by a prophet of God to share what we know. We know that our message is true."-pmg ch.10. I know God lives.

I know He answered our prayers.  I know this church is true. I love you all and hope you have a great week.

De un misionero de España,

Élder Gonzalez

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Happy Conference Weekend

We still haven't watched the Sunday afternoon session yet, but we will sometime this week.  Our schedule went like this: Saturday at 6pm we watched the Saturday morning live. Then on Sunday at 11 am we watched the priesthood session, then at 2 we saw the Saturday afternoon, at 4 the women had their session, then at 6 pm again we saw the Sunday morning live. We did all of this thanks to our iPad in the church.  When president Eyring or uchtdorf says by satellite or Internet, that was us. We hooked the iPad to a projector and projected the video onto the sacrament room wall.  Meanwhile, we the missionaries and one Nigerian member watched the rest in English in a separate room.  General conference is just spectacular.  Our church is truly God's kingdom here on the earth.  My thoughts go back to when I was at Montserrat and I was in the Catholic Church on top of the mountain.  We believe in continual revelation from our Heavenly Father through his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7, d&c 1:37-38).  We live in a very busy world and if we are not in tune to the spirit, we will be choked like the parable of the sower.
     "7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
"22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful."- Matt 13:

When I think about this I think about an old seminary video about being in tune with the spirit given by Élder wirthlin called" Sensitivity to Spiritual Communication, Part 3". Copy and paste the
title in and find it and listen to it.  I know as we heed the promptings of the spirit we will live lives more virtuous, and if we are in holy places the spirit can speak to us and direct our path if we let him.  General conference gives us the chance to reflect, what are we doing in our lives?  Is it within guidelines that the leaders of the church urge us to do?  We can find greater light in our lives and know what the savior wants us to do to come unto him.  Let us repent of our sins and errors and do as sister Christianson, wife of one of the presidents of the presidency of the seventy, said a few months ago as they visited our mission to wash our garments in the blood of the lamb of God, quoting Isaiah.

16 ¶Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Random thoughts of the week:
We were walking this week and a random person honked at us, gave us a thumbs up and shouted " ¡mormones!"

I have seen a lot of hummers here, or maybe the city is so small that it's the same one passing by...

We were walking down a street one night and we walked passed a bar with inappropriate music and dancing and my companion touched the wall and said " this is the closest the spirit will have to this building."

It officially getting hot, 22 degrees C and sweaters!

We had a zone enfoque in Palma.  We flew there in the morning, had our normal studies in the piso of the other elders before the meeting, and I made the elders’ beds and took out their trash, very messy piso.  We had dominos pizza afterwards too!

I forgot my pin for my church card last week.  A big old brain fart came up and attacked me and I forgot my number.  I hit the PIN number wrong a few times and locked my account for 24 hours.  I had to call the mission office for my number.  I was super embarrassed.

On the flight back to Ibiza from Palma I saw little tiny boats out in the Mediterranean Sea, with long sails.  They looked like ants from the sky.

We went contacting with a member last week and I walked passed a young couple thinking that they weren't going to listen, and the members contacted them. Min fact the man knew the church and the missionaries from his country in the Dominican Republic, and the woman talked to the other elders just before.  I learned to talk to everyone.

We talked to another Italian man who spoke English.

We had a few sprinkles this week.

We went to a beautiful pueblo to go tracting.  It was a typical Spanish town with small yards and old people.  Beautiful, but they need the gospel more.

I ripped my pants while putting clothes in the washer, so today I bought some thread.

Guess what!! Go to the sustainings from this General conference and look up this name MARK L. PACE!!!!!  My mission president is a 70!  It was a jaw dropper.  I knew that he was a holy man and that he was going to become a general authority some day.

We had conf. In our small chapel. we had a few show up for conf.

Our branch prez told us a great story about how he was trying to get the members here to a district meeting ( because we are not a stake yet here in the islands, we are trying to become one in 2020) and they didn't have enough seats in the plane So he called the district
leader and said all 21 of us are going or none.  Within a few minutes the president got all the members to the meeting and back.  What a big miracle.

Well family I hope that you have enjoyed this wonderful weekend as I have.  I know as we heed the warnings of the prophets and not treat them as restrictions we will be blessed by our faith and obedience.

May the Lord bless you in your activities this week and counsel as a family in all your plans and goals. I'm still here too, only just thousands of miles away on an island in the Mediterranean Sea!  I hope you have a great week!

Con mucho amor por nuestro profeta, Thomas S. Monson,
Élder Gonzalez

Sent from my iPad, from Spain!