Monday, October 28, 2013

Semana 11

Hi everybody!

We`re already at the last week of this transfer. These six weeks went by a lot faster than the other transfers. That`s good though because it means we`re focused and working really hard. We had a lot of appointments that fell through this week and no baptisms this week since our investigators with baptismal dates didn`t show up. None of that should let us down though. One of my teachers in the MTC showed us a talk from Elder Jeffery R. Holland that he gave at the MTC where he talks about why he thinks missionary work can be really hard at times:

"Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul."
-Elder Jeffery R. Holland
I really like this because if it wasn`t easy for the Savior to suffer every one of us, then why should we think that missionary work and living the Gospel is always going to be easy. Missionaries who enter the field thinking they`re going to have success every day and every investigator will get baptized are in for disappointment. I`ve decided for myself that I will never fight or argue with any of my companions. Because that will just drive the spirit away and we won`t be able to get anything done. The missionaries who have trouble with companions and troubles in the mission say that it goes by so slow in these times. I don`t want that to happen so I`m going to try enjoying every transfer and companion. 
Well even though we had a lot of appointments fall through this week, we were still able to teach 33 lessons. The new goal is that missionaries teach 34 lessons every week so this should be easy for us. Some missionaries here don`t always get this much, usually like 15 or 20 lessons a week, so I feel like we`re really blessed. We also go on divisions multiple times a week so we can do more than one lesson at the same time, so that helps a lot too. Our Ward Mission Leader is amazing too. He is always willing to help us. A lot of wards have mission leaders who don`t want to work so this really is a blessing from our Father in Heaven that I`m in a ward where the majority of the people are excited about participating in missionary work. 
So we have our transfers next week and I`m really excited about what`s going to happen. I feel like I might be staying here but wherever the Lord needs me is where I will go! 
Well hope you all have a great week and stay safe and I can`t wait to hear from you all. 
-Elder Gomez

Monday, October 21, 2013

Semana 10

Hi everybody!

Well we had a good week. We had two baptisms this Saturday. One for EC and the other for MH. We had a few baptisms planned for this week but none of them came to church so we won´t be having any baptisms this week. But we´re still working really hard. We go on divisions many times every week since we have a lot of appointments. We´re almost always kept busy with teaching appointments. At our zone conference this Friday, Sister Ghent, the mission president´s wife, was checking all the area books and she said that she was very happy to look through ours since we have so many people that we´re teaching and that we´re working hard. It´s like what President Benson said that the secret to missionary work is ´´work´´! That´s the only way you can be successful in the mission. There´s some missionaries that like to take breaks and don´t put in all their effort or don´t have much enthusiasm to work. Those who are excited to work and put in all of their effort will be successful missionaries and have the Spirit with them guiding them to the people who need to hear this message.

Well we had only two investigators come to church today. We have a family of four and others that said they would come but things happen I guess and they didn´t come. My companion was pretty upset, but I don´t see any reason why we should be upset. If we expect every single investigator to progress then we´re going to be disappointed. People who always worry and get upset or angry easily are going to have a hard time. As President Monson said ´´It´s better to look up.´´ The best thing to do is just smile keep happy thoughts and press forward.  

Well this has been a really good week and I´ve been really feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost a lot more in my life. I know that this work is true and it can be happiness to many people because I´ve seen what it´s done to many people. We have a family named the family Gomez who have said that they don´t fight as much as they used to and there´s more peace and happiness in their home because of what we´ve been teaching them. This really can bring families closer and more united and become eternal families. 

Have a good week everyone and I hope to hear from you all soon!!

-Elder Gomez 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Semana 9

This has been a good week. We had three baptisms this Saturday and are getting ready for two more this coming Saturday. J and NE got baptized and also MG who is the wife of a member who studied at UVU and is recently getting reactive in the church. The work here is really progressing. They keep saying in conference that the Lord is hastening His work and it is so true and evident here. We`re working a lot with our ward mission leader and the members in finding and teaching people and it`s working. It`s true that missionary work only works if both the members and missionaries work together. We have an amazing ward mission leader. His name is HR and he`s always so excited to help us. He comes with us to lessons almost every day. And we fast with him every Sunday for our investigators so that helps out a lot too. There`s a lot of miracles happening. We have an investigator named O who would never come to church and we were about to stop teaching her because we need time to teach people who will progress. But we taught about the temple last week and I think something happened because she seems a whole lot more willing and excited to prepare for baptism. She came to church yesterday and I know she is going to progress very well. We should be able to have a baptism for her on the 26th of this month. 

We visited this new family who said that one of their sons was killed a while ago and the wife was really sad and crying and wanted to know why we have so much challenges in this life. Our ward mission leader was able to teach her that families can be together forever and she doesn`t need to worry. We were able to help her a bit and I could see the spirit.

This Saturday we have the baptism for EC and MD. We`re also teaching E`s dad who we invited to be baptized. He accepted but didn`t accept a date yet. 

Well that is about all that`s happened this week and I know that with the help of the Lord, we will have even greater success this coming week. 
Hope to hear from you all soon!

-Elder Gomez

Monday, October 7, 2013

Semana 8

Hi everyone hope you all had a good week. Conference was really good. We watched all of the Saturday sessions in the Stake Center, then we had a baptism for J in between the Afternoon and Priesthood Session. It was a really good experience. His cousin C baptized him and his parents and brothers came who aren`t members, and so it was really cool since we were able to teach them about baptism and why we do it. Then the next day we watched General Conference in our Ward building. The mission president and his wife came to the Stake Center to watch it on Saturday and Sunday then they made all of the missionaries lunch and brownies on Sunday. There was a lot of really inspiring messages that I really liked from Pres. Uchtdorf in the Saturday Morning Session and also Elder Holland.
We`ve been working really hard and keeping ourselves busy. This week we have three baptisms planned. One for MC whose husband is a member who has recently started coming back to church. The others are for J and NE who are living with their uncle who is in the bishopric. Most of our investigators are progressing very well. The Lord is hastening His work and the Gospel is being spread rapidly here in Ecuador. Sadly we`re going to have to stop visiting a few investigators because they aren`t progressing, but there`s always more people to find that will progress and attend church. 

We were told that last year that this mission baptized over 30,000 people, but currently only about 9,000 are actually active. So this is what`s going to be the focus of Ecuador and four other countries. The area presidents and 70s have introduced a plan to the mission president and we`re going to be getting training these next few weeks. 

Last week we had a really good opportunity to work with President Ghent last week. He had to come down here and give one of our investigators an interview before he could be baptized. After we asked him if he would come and do some visits with us. I went with him and our ward mission leader to visit a family. And my companion went with members to other visits. We visited the family C who have a son named E who is getting ready to be baptized but his mom is inactive and his date is investigating the church but feels like E isn`t ready for baptism. President Ghent shared some really good thoughts and council that helped them and they were really excited after he came. We were able to set a date for E's baptism for October 19th and he and his dad came to general conference together and his dad seemed to really like it. 

Well we`re doing really great here and progressing far. Hope you all have a good week and I can`t wait to hear from you all. 

-Elder Gomez