Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Semana 37-first week in Chillogallo

Hi everyone! I hope all is well in all that you`re doing. Things are going well here. I`m getting used to my new area in Chillogallo. We live about 45 minutes or so from the mission offices. I forgot how loud Quito is. Pelileo is really calm since it`s not so much city and a lot of farming. In Chillogallo (Quito) it`s nearly all city. I really like it here though. The people are very nice. The members help out a lot here.

I`m really excited to work here. My companion Èlder Tzun and I have set some goals tohelp us have a vision and work hard every day. We have a gaol to have 7 baptisms and reactivate 4 inactives this transfer. We repeat these goals to ourselves a lot as we`re walking to help motivate us. As we put our trust in the Lord and work more diligently and effectively every day, we`ll be able to reach these goals.

We have one investigador with a baptismal date. Her name is N.M. She came to church yesterday and another time two weeks ago. She has a baptismal date for May 9th. She`s super excited to come to church and to be baptized on that day. The ward is working to fellowship her and make sure she feels good here. We have a lot of other investigators who have church attendance but don`t have a baptismal date. 

Well that`s about it for this week. I`m really excited for this week and I know that we will work hard and will have success this week. Hope you all have a great week and I hope to hear from you all soon. 

Have a great week!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Semana 36

Hi everyone! I hope you`re all doing well!
We had transfers today and I left Pelileo and I`m going back in Quito. The area is called Chillogallo. I`m here with Elder Tzun from Guatemala. I`ll be finishing his training. My companion Elder Ercanbrack will be staying with Elder Nielson. I really miss Pelileo and Elder Ercanbrack a ton, but I`m excited to work here in Chillogallo. It sounds like it`s a really good area and they`ve got some really good people that are progressing.

On Saturday morning we did a service project at 6 in the morning for a member where we cleaned and dusted out the computers in his internet cafe. Then after we had an activity in the church. It was for the youth where they were going to be missionaries for the day. We taught them about our purpose, some of the rules in the mission and how to teach. After that we went out and visited people with the youth. It was really great. The youth in Pelileo have very strong testimonies and are going to be great future missionaries. 

It was pretty sad to leave Pelileo. The ward mission leader and other members were crying. Even though we didn`t have the most success in Pelileo, I really loved being there and all the people there are really special to me. We were able to help the Branch a ton. The members are stronger in faith and have a lot more confidence in the missionaries. The Family G has their interview with the mission president on Thursday and will be getting baptized on Saturday. I was kind of sad that I wasn`t able to see them get baptized, but something important to learn is that the mission isn`t just about baptizing, it`s about serving and helping others come unto Christ, including yourself. My zone leader told me that there is a missionary who finished the mission this week and will be going home and the missionary said that in all his mission, he only baptized one person, but at the end of the mission he could say that he knows his Savior. The investigators aren`t the only ones who need to change, but also us. I`ve learned to be a more faithful and more humble missionary and rely more on the Lord, and in my time in Pelileo, my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has grown and I have a more solid testimony as a result. 

We had a really special Stake Conference on Sunday. It was a satellite transmission for all of Ecuador coming from the Conference Center in Salt Lake where Elder Jeffery R. Holland and Elder Richard G. Scott spoke to us. It was really powerful. They all talked about how the members in Ecuador can be more rooted in the Gospel and strengthen their families and their ability to resist temptation. They even spoke in Spanish which was cool. Elder Holand at the beginning was speaking Spanish but then he said he was going to start speaking English because his Spanish is ¨horrible¨, as he said it. It was funny. Then they just had a spanish translation dubbed over his voice. In the end he shared his testimony in Spanish which was realy powerful. You could really feel the spirit in that meeting. Elder Scott gave a really powerful talk on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and Easter. It was really great. 

Easter here in Ecuador is a lot different. Since most are Catholics they celebrate the Holy Week and not only the Sunday of Easter. On the Thursday and Good Friday (Holy Friday as they say here) they make a special dish called the fanesca which is a soup with fish and pretty much all grains and cereals. A member family made it for us and it was really good. On the Thursday, starting in the afternoon they people walk to Baños, starting from Ambato and Pelileo. They walk all they way to Baños to see the Virgin of Holy Water (La Virgen de Agua Santa) and pray to her and then I think they celebrate in Baños. The walk takes all night long, usually starting from 5 to 6 and it can take as long as 6 in the morning. All the main roads were closed off so we couldn`t take taxis to get around we just had to walk. On Friday, everyone got school off and most people got the day off for work, so most people were in their homes or visiting family in other parts, so the streets were pretty empty that day. It`s interesting how they celebrate Easter. I`m thankful for Easter because it`s a reminder of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us. Because He suffered and died, all of us may have eternal life with Heavenly Father again and our families if we live and obey the Gospel.

Well I`m really excited to be starting this new transfer and to do my best here. I know that the Lord will help us and guide us here to find success and find those people who are prepared to received the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

That`s all for this week. Stay safe and hope you all have a great week! Hope to hear from you all soon!

-Èlder Gòmez

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Semana 35

Hi everyone! I hope all is well for your all!!

We´ve got transfers next week and I think I´ll probably be going. I´ve been here four months in Pelileo and my companion has three months here so he´ll probably stay and I´ll probably go. Even though we haven´t had the type of success that we wanted, I know that we´ve really helped out the Branch here. The members are a lot better and helping and more people are asisting church, so I know that we´ve really helped out here. In my time here in Pelileo, I´ve learned the importance of putting our trust in the Lord. My faith has really increased. I´m really grateful that the Lord has put me in Pelileo to learn these things. I really love it here in Pelileo, and if I go, I´ll be sad to leave behind all of these great people, but I know that wherever the Lord needs me to go is where I need to be. 

The Family G has their baptism this Friday!! We have Stake Conference in Ambato this Saturday and Sunday so we had to move the date for Friday. It´s been a challenge with them. There´s been a lot of opposition, but I know that if we do all possible they can do it. They´ve had problems with their testimony. They always say that they haven´t received an answer that this is true. But then we found out that weren´t praying! If we want to know if these things are true, we need to pray! There´s no other way to know. We need to read, pray, and asist church. If we do ALL of these things we will receive the answer through the Holy Ghost. Anway, the Family G started reading and praying again and they said that felt a huge relief, that a lot of their stress went away and are feeling a lot more at peace in their lives. I know that they´ve received their answer through the Holy Ghost. I´m really happy for them. It will be a great way to end this transfer, especially if I´m leaving to see them finally get baptized. The Lord often holds his blessings for the end. Presidente Henry B. Eyring talked about that in the Saturday session of Conference:
"If we choose the right,we will find happiness—in time. If we choose evil, there comes sorrow andregret—in time. Those effects are sure. Yet they are often delayed for apurpose. If the blessings were immediate, choosing the right would notbuild faith. And since sorrow is also sometimes greatly delayed, it takesfaith to feel the need to seek forgiveness for sin early rather than after wefeel its sorrowful and painful effects."
-Presidente Henry B. Eyring

If we can press forward with faith, the Lord will always give us the blessing we deserve, in His time. 

The Sisters had two baptisms on Saturday and I was able to baptize them. We´ve been helping the Sisters a lot with their investigators. As district leader, I´ve been doing a lot of baptismal interviews for them and we´ve gone with them to visit their investigators to try to help them. I really enjoy serving. That´s what the mission is about. Christ didn´t come to this earth to be served, he came here to serve others, and that´s how we should be as missionaries. 

Well that´s about it for this week. I´m really excited to hear what´s going to happen for the transfers. I´ll be sure to let you all know next week. Well, until then, I hope you all have a great week this week. 

-Élder Gómez

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Semana 34

Hi everyone! I hope all is well for you all. Things are going good here en Pelileo.

Conference was amazing! We had to go to the stake center in Ambato to watch it since there`s no satelite in the chapel en Pelileo. Ambato is about a 30 - 45 minute drive from Pelileo. We were in Ambato all day Saturday and Sunday. Since Ecuador is an hour ahead of Utah, the Priesthood Session ended at 9:00 pm here I watched some of the sessions in spanish and some in english, and I think I honestly like it better in spanish. I can understand it in spanish and I just don`t really like listening to english. The American Elders that were there think I`m weird for that, but oh well.. haha

We were able to visit a less active that we`ve been trying to find for quite a long time now. She lives in a place called Pingue which is on the way to get to Baños and Baños is in another zone. We got on the bus to Baños hoping to get off at the right stop. We got on and since Baños is a huge tourist site, there were Americans on the bus which was kind of weird. Since we`ve never been to Pingue before, we didn`t know where to get off and the bus only makes stops if you ask them so we accidently left the zone and entered Baños! Luckily we got off before getting too far into Baños and were able to catch another bus and get off at Pingue. We found the less active. She got baptized about 4 years ago but her husband abandoned her and her two kids about a year ago and so she stopped going to church since she had to start working a lot more. She has a really strong desire to start coming to church again and she wants the blessings in her life again. She came with us to Ambato on Saturday to the morning session of General Conference.

The husband of the Family G came with us to Ambato for the Sunday Morning Session of Conference and he really liked it! They are progressing well. They have a baptismal date for the 19th of April. The only problem is that they refuse to have an interview with the counselor of the mission president. If they don`t have this interview, they can`t be baptized. 

The Branch is really changing. There is a lot more excitement in the members and a lot of them are inviting people to listen to our message, and help out the less actives. I think some of them are doing it to get food from us but enough though they want the food they`re starting to see that`s there`s blessings from participating in missionary work. Soon it will get to the point where the food is just a little side blessing and they`ll do it regardless of getting food or not. 

Well that`s about all for this week. Have a great week everyone! 

-Èlder Gòmez

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Semana 33

Hi everyone!! I hope everything is great for you all!!

Things are going great here. It´s been almost 9 months since I left on the mission, and the time has gone by way fast. They all say that it goes faster once you get one year but I already feel like it´s been speeding by. The time goes by way fast and there´s no time to rest or goof off. 

The new thing I learned to cook this week: Churros. I´m really loving to cook. For our district meetings our zone leaders want the ditrict leaders to cook something each week to give to the missionaries after the meetings to help them feel moer welcomed and more excited to work. So last week was my turn and I made churros and brownies and my companion made monkey pull apart bread. It was so good. Everyone loved it. 

The sisters had two baptisms and we were able to baptize them. It was a miracle that they were able to get baptized. They were scared but went to visit them with the sisters the day of the baptism and were able to help them feel good about their baptism. My companion shared something about faith that really helped one a ton. 

Our tiny chapel is filled and doesn´t have much room anymore!!!! When I first got here there were about 70 to 90 coming to church. Last week we had 115 and yesterday we had 105. We can´t even go into the class for investigators now since the room is so tiny. They´re going to have to make the chapel bigger soon. It´s really exciting to be here in Pelileo. There is a new wave of enthusiasm for mission work among the members. They´re starting to help us a lot more. Everyone is excited to see the chapel filled up. A year ago I think there we´re only about 30 people or so every Sunday in church. Everyone is so excited for this branch to finally become a ward after 40 years of being a branch. Yesterday, we taught the third hour and we taught the members about sharing the Gospel. This month of April is going to be the month of fellowshiping and inviting new people to hear the Gospel. We made a challenge that every member that can invite 15 people to hear our and message and if they get 3 to asist church, we will give each one a cake, cookies, and bake them monkey pull apart bread. Everyone is really excited now. One member said ´´I know what I have to do and I´m going to beat everyone.´´  So we told him that if he invites 50 people and 15 come to church, we will give him two cakes, cookies, bake him churros and monkey pull apart bread and two bags of chocolates. He accepted the challenge saying that he would do it. They´re all really excited now. I think most of the members here feel like they need something in return to participate so if this is what we´ve gotta do, we´ve gotta do it! I´m more than willing to bake all these things if means more support from the members and more people to teach!! By sharing the Gospel they will come to learn that the greatest prizes are the blessings and happiness we receive as we share the Gospel. 

Well the Family G didn´t get baptized as we planned. They had their interview with the zone leader and there´s some issues so they need some more time. We´re going to try to visit them tonight and tomorrow and give them a new date. They´re such a great family and we´re going to do all possible that they can be baptized. They feel a lot of love and support from the members so that´s helping a lot. 

We also have another family that came to chruch!! The Family C. They were former investigators from a year ago but since they aren´t married and didn´t want to get married I think the missionaries stopped visiting. We´ve come back and it´s been a miracle!! They used to fight in the lessons, but now they say that they aren´t fighting as much and have more desire to improve their relationship and get married. When they came to church yesterday they received a huge wave of love from the members. The wife R felt so happy to be in the church again and listen the Elderes again. We´re really starting to see a lot of miracles here. 

Well that´s all for this week. I´m super excited for General Conference. I hope you can all watch all the sessions. If we listen atentively with the Spirit with us we will be able to learn truths of the Gospel that will help us in our everyday lives. 

¡¡Tengan una buena semana!!

-Élder Gómez