Monday, January 27, 2014

Semana 24-Transfers

Hi everyone! I hope all has been well for you all.
We just had transfers today and I`m staying here in Pelileo for another 6 weeks. My companion Elder Morones left to Riobamba and my new companion is Elder Ercanbrack. He was in this zone before so he didn`t have to travel very far. He only has six weeks in the mission so I will be finishing his training.
Well yesterday I had guinea pig (cuy) and rabbit (conejo) for the first time. I thought it was really good. They both kind of tasted like ham. jajaja
Well we`re getting people coming to church, just not the people with a baptismal date. A couldn`t come to church so her date fell through but we have a visit with her tomorrow so we`re going to give her another date for the 15th of Febrero. The L family didn`t come to church but we did talk to the dad and he said that he believes he received his answer so we have a visit with them tomorrow and we`re going to verify the baptismal date that we invited them to pray about. Things are starting to pick up here and we should have a few baptisms lined up for this transfer so we`re going to start seeing the fruits of our labors from the last transfer.
I had to go to Quito last week for a special leader meeting. All of the district and zone leaders and sisters leaders were there. We had to leave here at about 6 in the morning to get there at 9;30. We had training and talks for from 10;30 am to 8;30 or so. They gave us breakfast lunch and dinner and we did some activities during it so we weren`t sitting down all day long. Those of us who live outside of Quito slept there and left the next day. I learned a lot there and it was really good. They taught us how to be better leaders and how to help the missionaries in our districts and zones.
Well that`s about all for this week. This area has improved a ton and none of this would be possible without the Lord`s help in this great missionary work. All we have to do is trust in the Lord always but always stay diligent and obedient and hard working and we`ll get the blessings we need here as missionaries.
Have a great week!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Semana 23

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week. I just recovered from some really bad parasites. I think I ate something bad so I felt pretty sick. The nurse said I had amebas so she had me take some medications and I´m feeling better now.
This is week is the last week of transfers and this has been the fastest transfer ever! It´s crazy how fast these days fly by. I´m already going to have 7 months in about two weeks. I feel like I´ll be staying here and possibly training a new missionary again. We´re just gonna have to wait and see what happens though.

We´re starting to have a lot of success show up here. We had 5 people come to church yesterday. One of them is named A and she has a lot of desire to learn more. She said she prayed and asked if this is true and she received an answer and felt really good. She has a baptismal date February 8th so we´re going to to help her a lot to get that. The L family came to church also but they say they still haven´t received their answer. We and the members are going to work together really hard to help this family. Another investigator who came to church was D who has pretty much become an eternal investigator. He´s only member of his family that´s not baptized. He comes to almost everything that goes on in the church with his family and usually participates the most out of everyone in Sunday school classes. So he´s pretty much a member just not baptized. He´s pretty hesitant to committ to baptism and with his job it´s really hard for us to visit him. We want to make a greater effort with him to help him reach a baptismal date.

We also found an investigator last week who seemed really interested but then he told us just yesterday that he already got baptized 12 years ago and it seems like he forgot everything. He was baptized in Guayaquil in that area so we´re going to have to communicate with the ward there and try to transfer his records here. 

Other than this all has been very well here in Pelileo. The Lord has really blessed us in this transfer and I´m really thankful for all that the Lord has given us here. We´ve seen a lot of miracles despite the difficulties we´ve faced. In the end, God always give us the blessings that we need.

Have a good week everyone and stay safe. Hope to hear from you all very soon!

-Élder Gómez

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Semana 22

Hi everybody! I hope you´ve all had a great week this week.  We´ve been working hard here and are seeing a lot of success come forth.

The sisters in our district had baptisms this Saturday so I had to the baptism interviews which was my first time doing baptism interviews. Me and my companion were able to baptize them and it was a great experience. We have a family we´re teaching that wanted to come to the baptism but they got there right after the baptism while we were changing out of our wet clothes. It´s too bad they couldn´t come for it all since they really want to learn more but they say they´re going to come to church and come to the next baptism. They didn´t come yesterday though but we´re going to visit them this week and help them. The ward mission leader told them a while ago to go online and look up the church since they wanted to learn more. They did that and ended up reading anti mormon literature and bad stuff about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon that damaged their testimonies a little bit. They asked all these questions to the missionary who was here before me but since he got transfered and we hadn´t been able to visit them since they were always busy they´ve had all these doubts. We visited them last week and they asked us these questions. I remember reading all of that stuff before I left on the mission and it doesn´t matter what people say because in the end only God can give us the answers. We told the family that they just need to ask personally pray and ask God if this is true. They seen changes in their life for listening to the missionaries and keeping the committmens so they know it´s true deep down they just need to get on their knees and pray. We´ve followed up with them and they said that they are praying but say they haven´t received an answer yet. James chapter 1 and Moroni 10 both council us that we should always pray and ask God for answers and that we will receive through the Holy Ghost. That is the only way to know the truth!

We´re working really hard here and we´re finding a lot of new people. We´re finding about 10 new investigators every week and a lot of them have potencial. One of them is G. He´s really great and has sincere desires to change. He says he wants to give up everything because he´s had problems with divorce and alcohol and wants to start fresh and feel at peace and overcome his problems. We gave him a baptismal date for the 1st of February and he accepted but this weekend he broke his collar bone and has to stay in the house for two months to heal. That means he won´t be coming to church and won´t be able to be baptized until he heals. We´re going to keep visiting him every now and then to give him support and encourage him to press forward so he doesn´t lose the desire that he has. 

We just got a message from President Ghent saying that the new mission president has been called. His name is President Christensen and is from Utah. He served in this mission 40 years ago and will officially begin work on July 1st. 

Well that´s about all that´s happened this week. I hope you all have a good week. I hope to hear from you all soon!

-Élder Gómez

Quito is very close to the equator and the sun can be strong during the day.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Semana 21

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good new year.

We had our p-day on Tuesday for New Year´s Eve and we had to be inside the house by 6:00 and couldn´t work at all that day. They had us do our daily study at night. It was pretty crazy what they do here. I already told you about the men who dress up as women. There´s kids that wear demon masks then hold ropes across the street, stopping cars then making them pay to be able to pass.

Well things are starting to happen here. We´re seeing miracles and the Lord´s hand is in all this. We found a lot of new people this last week and a new family that´s really great. The only challenge we´re facing is trying to get them to come to church. A lot of them have been gone for the holidays but now with the holidays over everything should start going back to normal and the people should be on a regular schedule. 

A few investigators came to church this week. One of them always comes with his family and the past missionaries haven´t been able to commit him to baptism but we´re going to work hard with him to help him reach a baptismal date. 

We´re also starting to get more member involvement and that´s helping a ton. We´ve planned with the sister missionaries to do activities every Friday in the chapel and bring our investigators and recent converts and less actives. So things are really starting to change. When we have trials we just have to keep our heads up and have faith that it will get better and when things get better we have to always stay thankful and remember that all of this possible only with the Lord.

Hope you all have a great week and can´t wait to hear from you all very soon!

-Elder Gómez

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Semana 20

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great Christmas and are going to have a great new year tomorrow!
I really can´t believe it´s already been six months and I´m 1/4 of the way done. It goes by super fast. The days where we´re completely focused and work to our fullest just fly by!
Normally on P-Days we start working normally at 6 PM but because of it being new years eve we have to be in the house by six to avoid all the parties and crazy things they do. They have a tradition on new years eve in Ecuador where the men dress up as women acting like poor widows and then they annoy the people asking for money and bother them a lot. The other thing they are doing here is they make paper mache manakins and then they burn them. Some of them are popular people or characters like Iron Man. Some of the ones they make are huge like over 10 feet and some probably 15 or 20. I think it´s funny that they take so much time to make these things and then they just end up lighting them on fire.
Well these weeks here in Pelileo have been a bit difficult. Almost everyone is gone on vacations for the holidays or busy making jeans so we´ve been having trouble getting into homes. The people here are pretty strong Catholic. We don´t have very many investigators here and this area hasn´t had baptisms in probably four months, so it´s been a bit of a challenge coming here. I have a lot of faith and confidnce though that that´s going to change. No point in letting yourself down over the challenges an area has because the Lord will always give us the miracles and success we need. I remember how we had a ton of success and lots of baptisms in Los Chillos and I was thinking how we got that success and how can we apply that to this area to help us. I was thinking and I think a lot of it is member support. The past missionaries didn´t really work much with the members and leaders and I think that´s what´s going to give us the most success here.

In our district we only have me and my companion and a companionship of Sisters and we share the same branch. They have a baptism this Saturday and I will be doing the baptismal interviews with them since I´m District Leader now. I´ve enjoyed being District Leader working to help my district and be an example to them. 

We found a new investigator on Sunday named M who was really receptive to our message and we invited her to be baptized on January 25th and she accepted. We are going to really try and work hard to help her maintain this desire. With this baptism on Saturday, it will be an excelent oportunity to invite investigadores to the baptism to let them see what it´s like and help them gain a testimony.

Well I want to wish you all a happy new year in 2014. I hope to hear from you all soon!

-Elder Gómez