Monday, June 27, 2016

I Feel Like My Head is in the Clouds Even in the Spanish Sun

Wow it just hits me little by little how much time I have left on my mission.  We had conference 2 weeks ago and it was too bad because I was thinking that it’s still a long ways away until I go home, but little by little things happen in the week that remind me that everything has its beginning and end.  For example there was a young woman who gave her farewell talk on Sunday because my last Sunday here in Sabadell will be hers as well.  She is going to serve in Uraguay and I was just thought to myself "what an adventure you will have".  My mission has taught me a lot of things that I must do to be more like the savior.  I don´t want to spill the beans now but the mission has taught me through obstacles and trials.  My mission was not an easy one for me, but I have learned what the Daytons have been campaigning since they got here last July that we are the creators of our own happiness.  We choose to be happy, sad, to be successful, to feel like a failure, to work, to not work, etc.  We have the agency to choose and we can´t let the world make that choice for us.

Random thoughts:

We had a big miracle last Monday.  we were tracting and we found a less-active family who before when Elder Olaso and I knocked the door the person said that they didn´t live there anymore, but we found this family from Paraguay/Argentina.  They are so great.  The 17 year old son opened the door and we taught him and then set a visit his family on friday and it was a blast.  I really enjoyed our visit because it was a miracle.

I said hola to a dog.  I was running on robot mode for a little bit.

We were walking down the street one evening and we saw these Ecuadorian ladies in their traditional clothing and my pants were longer than they were.  Had I served my mission with Sam, we would have been a giant to these people.

FYI, there are bats in Sabadell.  We see them fly around at night.  Small little things, and hardly make a sound.

We had an intercombio last week with our district leader Elder Tonks and we made a passby for a lady on the ward list that I don´t know.  We rang her doorbell on the street and she buzzes us in.  As soon as I open the door, an old woman was just leaving and just chews us out.  She asked us why we were here and why were we bothering people after a night of crazy fireworks and fiestas and knock the doors of tired people and just some really picky things.  I tell her, "tranquila" ,cool down, we are just going to the 3rd floor, first door to visit a friend.  And she fights back what door is it?  which floor?  who is it?  I repeat with some annoyance in my voice, 3rd floor, 1st door, her name is Veranica.  She just stutters, well, well,well.....and just storms out of the building.  I´m sorry but you are not stopping the Lord’s Work.

Death by heat and humidity.

In church a speaker said the three day más importantes, that are the most important.  yesterday, tomorrow, and today.

We got Luz to church.  It has been 10 weeks since I have had an investigator in church.  that streak will keep going because we did have an investigator come to church but we had a lot of less active in church!!

I had a funny story.  I asked Elder Gibson how to say "refrigerator".  He didn´t know.  So I used to the old spanish trick, ask a spaniard and I said " how do you say...and he said no, I don´t want anything to do with religion.  I don´t believe in God...I just want to know how to say refrigerator...

Well Family.  I hope that you have had a wonderful week like I did.  I enjoy the time I have to be here and enjoy the blessing of serving the Lord with all my heart.  I know that this church is true because the Lord in invested in our wishes and desires.  He wants us to be happy and wants the best for us.  I know that God lives.  Christ is at the head of His church.  I know that Joseph was a prophet of God and I know that families can be together forever.  I Love you all and hope the best for you.

Con mucho amor,

Élder Gonzalez

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hot Day In Barcelona

June 6, 2016

I don´t have a lot of time today because we spent most of our time in Barcelona and were visiting some really cool places.  It is starting to get really hot now and I need to buy some new shoe insoles because my feet are killing me and my knees.  I bought some last year in Pamplona and I´m sure I have put like thousands of miles of walking on them.  The shoes are fine and I just need to buy some insoles.

Well we had a few really good miracles this week when we went to this small pueblo near our city of Sabadell...on foot...and after knocking doors and contacting people in the streets we went to a store called Día and grabbed a quick snack.  I was waiting for my companion and a man comes up to me and asks if we believe in a Hell.  I asked him if it is a place of fire and devils with really long forks, then no;but a place for people who have done bad in this life then yes.  He said that he did not like what his church was telling him about doctrine. we were about to talk more when his friends called for him and he left before we got his information.  He was great.

Random thoughts during the week:

We gave two BOMs to two gypsie boys.  The book has the power to change lives.  However they tried to make us say a few bad words in Spanish thinking we were dumb.  Like repeating everything they say, but no, we are smarter than that.

I was ringing a doorbell of a building and next to doorbell box is a publicity box of random ads.  I picked one up and was randomly looking through it and quickly threw it back in the box with force because I ran across the underwear ads.  I don´t wants those!

We were on a metro to go to sant Cugat, a pueblo we have and the Tic Tac company bought the train we were on and placed large tic tac ads on the floor and ceiling, and it was scented with the new flavors of tic tacs.

We lunched with the smiths.  we ate a brazilian dish because the smiths served missions in Brazil and had an old companion over.  We spoke english, spanish, catalan, and portugues in the visit.

I missed a fate with destiny by avoiding a pigpen trying to go to the bathroom on my head.

We have a fecha with a woman named Rita who is from Nigeria.  She is really nice and said that she would love to be baptized, because she has never done so.  But the only problem we have is that she works of Sunday.

We found America!  We were doing some passbys and we met a woman while knocking doors named America from Ecuador.

We were walking one evening and we passed a bar.  some young adults were calling us over.  Normally I just ignore them because they are usually looking for trouble, but we stopped and talked to them. there were like 7 of them.  We answered a lot of their questions and were able to explain who we are and what we do.  It is just what missionaries are to supposed to do, inform and invite others unto Christ. Plus to help the rising generation to know who they are and what potential they have.

I was so tired the other day that I walked into a door frame of our piso.

We had a magical weekend by having our multi-stake conference.  It was a European conference because it was by satellite and we got to listen to Elder Christofferson and some other general authorities like sister oscarson, the presiding bishop, and another 70.  It was broadcast from Salt Lake from the conference center.  Cool.  We had the wards of Terrassa, Sabadell 1 and 2, and the branch of manresa.  I got to see Elder Montalbo, my old companion, and lots of old ward members.

We were walking to the metro this morning with a bunch of people and then the crowd starting running down the stairs and then I realized why, the train was leaving!  so we ran, with me and my long legs just flying by avoiding the ceoling so i don´t hit my head.

Well i love the mission because I wake up, work, speak spanish, and come home and sleep, contact and teach in my dream and speak Spanish too!  ¡Que Bueno!

Well family I know that the church is true because I see how sad peoples lives are without the gospel in their lives.  I wish I could just "download" the information I have into their hearts so they can just GET IT!  But that is not how our mortal life works.  We learn line by line.  I know that this work is true because I get out what I put in.  I find myself the creator of my own happiness.  I see myself a changed person because of the trials I have each day that test me to see whose side am I on.  Is it my will or the Lord´s will?  Thank you for everything you have done for me.  I hope you have a great week.

Con cariño,
Élder Gonzalez de Sabadell España

ps lots of people have complimented me on my acento(con la zeta), it´s
not american anymore. :)

Monday, June 20, 2016

¡¡¡Feliz dia de los padres!!!

I had this strange thought yesterday as I was getting ready for church and I thought when is father´s day?  And my question was answered in church by a member who was on his phone telling us about father’s day.  Felizes padre!!  Because of the mission I have become so appreciative of having a wonderful father who is a worthy priesthood holder.  I was at tibidabo today and there were quite a few tourists up there.  As I looked around I saw many men who were covered from their head to their feet in tattoos and I thought of how grateful I am that my father is a clean and honest man who loves the Lord and his family.  I am sure that these men were good and decent men, but only one holds true in my heart and his name is Dad.  He has a big mustache and wears glasses and at dinner time takes his hat off and tries to land it on the railing next to the kitchen table.  He knows how to teach his children.  He can bring sunshine into a person’s life with a joke or a kind act of service like working in the garden.  He travels the world and helps children with medical issues to gain their lives back.  He believes BYU is undefeatable.  He makes frequent trips to the temple on saturday afternoons that has left lasting impressions in their families lives.  He doesn´t leave his family behind or alone.  He is strong.  He is brave.  He is the family compass.  He is the mexican.  He still swings the clubs around and still makes belly putters a cool thing.  He still uses his youngest son´s backpack as his scripture bag.  He is a prized husband and father.  He is my Dad

Well this week was week of grinding in the streets and fighting the spanish finger and overcoming obstacles in our paths.  Adversity is the gas that keeps us going.  Without it mortal life would not be fun.

Random thoughts:

So we had our combined zone conference in Barcelona with the badalona zone and our mission president and his wife were doing a practica on how to use different contacting approaches with Athiests, catholics, people who believe that all churches are true, those who are not christians, etc.  President Dayton plays the role of the missionary and Hermana Dayton played the role of a person with prisa.  President starts off by saying that he is a missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints and is sharing a message about Jesus Christ and if she had a moment to listen.  Hermana Dayton says "I am in a hurry but you have one minute".  This threw president off and said that this wasn´t what they had practiced and wanted to do a redo, but Hermana Dayton says " no you idiot this is my practica I´m playing the role of the investigator".  Everyone starts laughing and president was laughing too but he was bright red.  FYI our president is not an idiot. he is so smart, pulling all of these scriptures in the bible to trump all other religions and ideas that would try to trump us and his medical and vocabulary knowledge is just outstanding.

I got a text message this last week said that I just won 1,905.555€  Wow mom, i rich!!!  don´t trust everything you see.

Long week.

We sang a song in sacrament meeting as the 4 of us missionaries.  It was super good.  Elder Gibson was on the piano and did an amazing job and we sang "I Know that My Redeemer lives", my favorite song.  It brought the spirit so well and you could cut it with a knife.

Not a whole lot happened this week But I did enjoy this really cool idea I had on saturday while preparing for our gospel principles class on the holy Ghost.  I compared not having the gift of the Holy Ghost like a wifi box.  One who isn´t a member of the church can feel the presence of the Holy Ghost when they are around those who have the spirit.  THey can tap into a spiritual "hot spot" but without having that constant companion they are in a "dead zone".  When one receives the gift of the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands they are able to have 4G coverage for everywhere they go as long as they remain worthy of that gift.  Something interesting to think about.

Well Family i hope that you have a great week and that the Lord guides you in this wonderful world that Christ created.  I know that the church is true.  I have been around the block enough to see the different bells and whistles to see that Heavenly Father is mindful of his children and has given them what they need when they need it.  He speaks through his living prophets today and loves each and every one of us.  I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días es la iglesia de Dios ha sido restaurado aquí en la tierra hoy en dia.

Con mucho amor,

Élder Gonzalez 

Monday, June 13, 2016

I speak English, Spanish and understand Catalan

Well Family life in Catalunya is a fun adventure some days, and others just a blast, and others a grind.  But we did have a lot of fun little activities and miracles that happened this last week.

Random thoughts:

We had lunch on tuesday and it was super hot.  I was just dying.  And all of a sudden we were talking about our many blessings we have to serve here in this mission like 1)it’s spain 2) safe food 3) speaking spanish 4) my clothes still fit 5) etc.  It was super cheesy but it worked, counting your blessings really makes you feel better.

We had a family home evening with president dayton in the mission home.  We have one every 2 weeks and the mission pres and his wife set it up.  we just have to bring a less-active, recent convert, or an investigator to go.  It was a lot of fun.  The mission president talked about the word of wisdom and the law of chastity.  It was really good.  However our investigator was not the best person to bring because we was upset that we got home a little late on our way back home from the FHE.

WE had an awesome lesson with our part member family, less-active father with non-member son.  I was on an intercombio and taught this lesson with elder peay, from pleasant grove, the companion to the district leader, and it was a power pack lesson reading 3nephi 27:13-22;james 2:17-26 (didn´t use because of time but would have);moroni 10:32-33;and matt26:26-28.  Everything we do in the church is centered on Jesus Christ.  We show our faith by acting.  One way we show our faith is by "coming unto him" and following him and everything that he does and says.  We go to His church and partake of the sacrament which is a remembrance of his body and blood which were shed for us.  That through him we can become perfected.  "this is theway; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. (2nephi 31:21)

I heard a littler girl on a bus, but didn´t see her.  We got off the stop after and walked down to see if the mother needed help but said that she was fine.  I just want to help !!!!

We found 2 miracles by knocking doors this week.  We contacted a less-active named luis who was on the verge of tears because of how hard life is and because he is living away from his family and was super happy to see us.  We found another member who lives in Matorell on the other side of R4 the renfe train  and is just visiting her boyfriend but was surprised to find the missionaries outside her door.

We had a visit with the Smiths again this week and they had some really good stories about their life and missions to tell us and testified to us how grateful they are for serving a mission.  They said that they would not be here if it wasn´t for their mission, literally they’re here in spain speaking spanish because they served in Brazil.  I was spiritually uplifted with something bro. smith said that we  all wish to sit underneath an apple tree eating the fruit of our labor but we can never truly see the fruit of our labor until after this life.

I ate pasta from a real italian man.  We had a visit with this family who speaks 5 languages.  The mom is from Barç and the dad is from italia.  The family speaks Spanish, english, catalan, italian and french.  They pass between languages like it is a game.  I was blown away.

WE had lunch in a bread shop called Girona and had some sandwiches and some pastries after a zone enfoque.  Elder Montalbo is in my zone and it was a treat to see him again!

WE walked passed a mini chinese factory the other day.  A window was open and we peeked in and saw dozens of sewing machines and lots of thread and fabric and fans blowing trying to keep the place cooled down.  It was a mind blowing experience.

The fireworks shops is up and the fire crackers sound like bombs.  Watch out!!!!

I saw a rainbow the other day on the metro to sant cugat.  It must have been the humidity.

So what is it that I hear about a shooting in the usa?  We contacted a man the other day and the gentleman said that if God existed why would he let this happen?  I said, if this life is the only life we have then we have a God that is very unjust.  BUT if this life is only a small part of our existence that we have much to live for, and that God is at the head of everything.  I read that this morning So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 2 thess,1:4-6
So God is wise and will not let his children go un rewarded or un punished for their actions.

Well family I love you so much.  I have to go now to preach the restored gospel to the people of spain.  i hope you have a wonderful and safe week.
con mucho amor,
Élder Gonzalez