Monday, December 29, 2008

Emily - Vigo Week 2

12.29.08

Dearest Family...
I had thee most interesting Christmas of my life.It was like no other Christmas in my life. I didnt try to make it how it is at home. The Elders came over for piso checks and they a small little tree over in the corner with out presents. They freaked out and couldnt believe we didnt have gifts. I loved how we spent our Christmas. After the phone call we went to an investigators house whose name is Manuel Santos. He is from Portugal. He invited a bunch of his random friends over so that we could come over. We spent Christmas Eve with him, a Spaniard Ateo, a woman from Colombia, and a doctor from Cuba. WE ate a bunch of shrimp and bacaloa-dont know if that is spelled right. ANyways the food was pretty good but it was especially interesting to be with such a diverse group of people. They werent quite sure what to do with us. Manuel Santos is like the man off of Mr. Kroogers Christmas in some ways. He treats us like his daughters. He is very lonely. Anyways everyone just asked us questions the whole night. I loved it and I loved how confident I felt with a bunch of doctors/business men talking to me about my beliefs. I know the Spirit is what gave me the confidence. We left them with a hymn, silent night after we had to run out because the lady from Colombia had to leave. The spirit was so strong as we sang of our Savior Jesus Christ. They just kept shaking our hands and telling us how much of an honor it was to spend this holiday with us. It was a really neat experience.
On Christmas we went to a home of a family that has a few problems. The mother is Catholic but wants us to help her son. She treats us very kindly but always leaves as we begin to teach. In this visit she stayed because we watch Joy to the World together, she loved it. I testified of Jesus Christ as my Savior after the movie ended. He and his girlfriend arent sure at this time what they believe but I know they felt something special. The girl was just looking at me straight in the eyes while I talked. People are progressing little by little.
For lunch we ate with a member and her two daughters. Her name is Eugenia. WE had an amazing lunch from Venezuela and we played with the girls and their new tea set. They are an awesome family and I already feel really close to the mom. She told us of how different this year has been for her as she tried to help her daughters focus of the true meaning of Christmas. She shared a special story wiht us and I felt strengthened by her.
For dinner we went to another investigators house. They made us more shrimp and ribs. They are from Peru. I ate more shrimp in these last few days than in my whole life. Their son is a member in Peru and they are now taking the lessons. They are having a hard time getting rid of old traditions. They treated us so kindly and we shared a message with them about our Savior Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for us.
All the in between time we spent taking cookies to people. It was a beautiful Christmas. I loved testifying of my Savior Jesus Christ and telling people why Im really here. I was worried about not having visits with members but it was wonderful spending it with people who are learning of Him and His church.
I know that Jesus Christ came to the earth. He was crucified and He payed for our sins. After three days he was resurrected and all of us will receive that same gift. As I continue to study, teach, and learn more of Him, I cannot deny that He is my Savior and my Reedemer. I know that He lives and loves me. Im grateful to represent Him, especially at this time. I pray that I will be able to find the people who are ready to hear His message and feel of His love.
I loved visiting with you. I love you all soooooo much. Thank you for loving me and supporting me.
Love,
The Sister

Logan - Elche Week 6

12.29.08

Thanks Jenny, Ashley, Grandpa and Grandma Gogarty, and Mom for your letters. They are always greatly appreciated.

For Christmas day we went out to the campo which is basically a house out of the city. We ate with some members there and then listened to one of the Hermanas that just got into the misison cry to her parents for an hour. I bet her a Euro that she would cry and she just kept saying no then as soon as she picked up the phone she started balling. I am glad everyone was able to hold it togther while we talked I really enjoyed hearing everyones voices. Talking to you on the phone already seems so long ago. The 27th was a beautiful day. We baptized Jeannette and Gustavo from Columbia and it was a great experiance. Gustavo has really changed its been fun to be a pàrt of. On sunday he came to church with his hair cut and wearing a suit. The best part of the baptism was when they bore testimony and explained how they came to know that CHirst has restored his church on the earth today. Jeannatte also explained how she wasnt going to open the door but then felt that someone said open the door theres good people on the other side. It has been a fun experiance I looked back to the first night in my Journal when we talked to Jeannatte and I had written down that I felt that is was a family that would get baptized and accpet us. Sunday my companion and I confirmed them members and gave them the holy Ghost. It was amazing to feel so guided durning the blessing and the words that came to mind even though it was in spanish I cant remember what I said but I felt the spirit very storngly. Gustavo will be baptizing his daughter next week if all goes as planned. I am very excited how the work is progressing here in Elche. That was all the big news I am glad you guys had a nice Christmas. Love you all

Elder G

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Emily - Vigo Week 1

12.22.08

Hello Family..Is this year really almost over, I cant believe it. It doesnt at all feel like Christmas is going to be in three days. Its weird on the mission how everyday just feels the same. I dont really think about the date very often. If you think about the time to much you will make yourself crazy. Anyways I cant believe that Im already in Vigo, my last area. Its so weird that I started my mission at the beginning of this year. I havent had mail for a while obviously because Im in a new area. Im in a letter drought like my brother would say. I did get my Christmas package it came to our door when I was leaving with my bags for Vigo. In came JUST in time. I was so happy to get it. The goodies were crazy good. I dont remember us making that good of stuff before. You must have a lot of time to do things like that since no one is home for Christmas. I did get about three letters from Aunt Laura at conference. Please tell her how much I appreciated each one of them. As for pop´s business items. I think you should call at about three in the afternoon, my time. That would be 7 in the morning for you. Or you can wait until later like if you want to sleep in. But, I believe that you will be so excited to call that you wont sleep the whole night. I know thats how Im going to feel. We can do a conference call with brother. I would love to talk to everyone. Oh I love you so much!!!So on Monday I realized that Ive been collecting stuff in the mission. I barely fit everything in. I even have a plant. I had so much stuff that three Elders had to help me put in all on the train. They barely made it off in time. It was sad saying bye to everyone. They all ran next to the trian and made crazy faces at me as I left. Everyone in the train was looking at me. Especially because I was carrying a plant. IT was funny. Vigo is really pretty, we have a beautiful view from the kitchen of the port. It is a little bit warmer here but still pretty cold. There are a lot of hills and Im dying but grateful because it will help me lose some weight. Its weird to be here and think that this is the last place Ill serve. This morning I was reading in the bible in John 15:12-14. I love those verses. Jesus Christ is our greatest friend. He gave His life for us. He loves us so much. I know that ONLY through him can we be healed from pain caused by sins. Im so grateful to represent Him at this time as a missionary for His church. Im so excited to talk with you. I just love you all so much! The greatest gift that I have in my life is the gospel because it allows me to be with you forever. I know that we are an eternal family. Thank you for marrying in the temple so that I could be sealed to you. I love you and I miss you. I cant wait for the phone call. Love,The Sister

Logan - Elche Week 6

12.21.08

I recieved letters from Jenny, Emily, Redell Reed and Mom. Thank you everyone very much. Emily I recieved the camera card I ll send it home now. I also need a Card form home to exhange mine with Mom. I would like to do a confrence call with Emily and I will be avaliable the whole day you can just call me on the number I gave you whenever and I should answer 637,460,842 If the connection is not good I ll give you a number of a member and you can call me back with that number. I absouletly loved the photos of mi sobrina she is so cute I want to see her more then anyone else and Ive never even met the girl, but she is a lot cuter then the rest of you. I really cant wait to hold Brenna. This week we reached the Zions banner of Excellence. The president has put numbers that we should strive for each week and not a lot of people get it because its very high. Numbers of how many lessons we teach, members we visit, people we talk with etc. I wanted to get it the last week of our first transfer opening a new area but we fell a few short in lessons. This week though we had higher numbers then the banner. Obviously the numbers arent important but the people they represent are. I feel like I am becoming a lot more effective in using the members, setting goals, making plans, and schdeuling. Our family that we are teaching is progressing very well. We have had daily contact with them since we met them which has helped them a lot. I am convinced you have to do that with everyone that has a goal to be baptized because satan is working so hard with those people. They will be baptized the 27th the whole family. Its a very rewarding experiance to find teach, and baptize someone becasue usually you come into an area and they ve already been found and taught so you baptize or vice versa you find teach and then get moved to a different area and someone else baptizes them. But since we opened this area we have got to work with them through it all. SOrry this letter sounds like its going to the president not my family lol, we have been working very hard and I am excited about the change I ve seen in Elche. I dont really have any sotries that I can think of from this week there are some but I will save them for the phone call. I laughed when I heard Sampson was coming for christmas thats wild. All the elders that live with me know all about him lol. We baught a pata which is a huge pig leg that you cut meat of for sandwhiches and what not. I think I ve sent pictues of it before. I am very excited for Dj and james. Tell Dj to start studying Preach My gospel with the Book of Mormon and it will help prepare him a lot. Well I dont have much to say I love you all and have a Merry Christmas. LoveLogan

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Logan - Elche Week 5

12.16.08

hanks james for the letter and Mom for the package. I was wondering if you got my letter of the things I wanted before you sent becasue if you didnt you must have been inspired. I got everything I asked for I was shocked when I saw the muddy buddies. Thanks you so much I love you. Congradulations becasue it was the closest thing thats got my to tunkiness lol. the chex mis especially. I am waiting to open the wrapped gifts till Christmas.


The week has been great luckily I am staying here this transfer with Elder Ramsay still. I cant remember one thing thats happened this week and all the little notes I wrote down I dont reallly feel like writing about anymore. We continue to work witht he family from COlumbia and they are progressing very well. They have firm testimonys and are truly converted. I am very greatful to be able to teach them its been a blessing. This week we had the primary presentation and I loved it. Watching all the litttle boys sing Yo quiero ser un misionero ya which is like their version of I hope they call me on a mission. I really enjoyed it and looked back and felt like I was just there and now I am here on my mission. It was a great presentation and I felt the spirit very strongly. I really feel so much mroe receptive to the spirit due to living all the rules. Its a weird concept but I am greatful in how were blessed as we are obedient. I can just open the hymn book sing a hym and feel the spirit so strong where as before the misison you can be at general confrence and it not have any major effect on you. God really only gives us what we prepare ourselves for I have learned. I have never been happier in my entire life. The feelings of happiness and joy I get are more intense then any other time I can remember. I imagine that is from the spirit and I am greatful we have such a comfort in this crazy world. I have already been gone 9 months and it still feels like I left yesterday. I dont really have much more else to say. The piso is great and we share everything. WE spend less money then all the other missionaries on grocerys and eat way better meals. The work is going well and the ward makes all the difference. IN valencia I was always worried to bring investigators to church because the ward was not very loving and here it the exact opposite. ONe of the first things the investiagotrs said were I felt loved welcome and good. Its like a family and thats how it should be. I hope you welcome and love every new person that walks through the doors. I remember when I took Aarons family to church and everyone just stared at us and no one said Hi and then we left. Not the best experiance lol. Its hard to feel the spirit if we are uncomfortable with our surroundings. WEll I better go. Thanks everyone for your prayers and mail. Love you all

ELder G

oh ya Merry Christmas which translates to Chirst more we need more of Chirst in our lives always!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Emily - A Coruna Week 17

12.15.08

Hello Family...Okay first things first, I am calling in 9 days! Well I guess you will call me. My phone number in Vigo will be 607-513-097 and I think you have the country codes from the last phone call. Next, my address will be: Travesia de Vigo 171, 3 derecha36207 Vigo (Pontevedra)Start sending letters a bunch of letters. Just because we are going to talk on the phone doesnt mean you can get lazy about letter writing. Ive been thinking about what time to have you call. Im not quite sure what to do. My comp. will have her call the next day and so she will just be waiting around. Ill think about it while Im writing. This week Ive been really sick. Everyone has the flu and so of course I got it. It started with a sore throat, headache, fever and chills. Now my head just feels like its going to explode. I stayed in bed for a couple days. I just strated feeling better this morning. It wasnt the best way to end my last week in A coruna but hey what can you do. I felt bad the entire time I was resting. But at the same time I knew it would be crazy to go outside in the rain and cold. Being a missionary is a funny thing. Anyways Im grateful to be feeling better this morning. Dad Im really afraid for you when I get home. Last week we played spoons in the capilla with the Elders. We put the spoons all over the church so we had to run for them. Well because I couldnt shove the Elders out of the way...I threw a chalkboard at one of them and a chair at the other one. There was a spoon behind the chalkboard and he ran to grab it, so I grabbed the chalboard and ran towards him with it. Oh my goodness it was so funny. My favorite family came and said bye to me last night. They werent at church because they were in Vigo. They told me they let everyone know I am coming. Bibiana, the mom told me she wouldnt talk to the hermana that is leaving because it is her fault I have to leave before Christmas. Anyways on their way home they stopped by the piso. I ran down and gave them BIG hugs. It was really hard to say bye to them and Jakelin and katherin. Everyone was mad at me for coming to church because Im sick. I walked outside for one second and Jakeline smaked me on the butt and started yelling at me. She is like my mom here. She wanted me to tell you in the phone call hello from her. They are sad and lonely. Katherin wants a family for Christmas and Jakelin feels bad that she cant be around more because she has to work. I really wish I could do something for them, somehting special for Christmas but Im leaving. I had a neat experience a few days ago. I went to a pueblo on a bus with the other hermanas to a noche de hogar with a family from the rama. Anyways I had only been there like twice and I forgot to bring the address. We missed the first bus and there was lots of traffic so we were already really late. The later bus we caught took us on a different route and we got dropped off in a totally different place. The family was waiting for us and everyone was realying on me to get us there. I had a huge headache, it was just one of thsoe days, you know where nothing goes right. My comp told me she would pray for me and everything would be okay. When we got off the bus I just started walking. AFter aobut ten minutes I thought, what am I doing I have no idea where Im going but then my next thought was trust me and I will guide you. I just kept walking and with out mistake we ended up directly at the front door of their house. Im so grateful for the spirit and the power of prayer. I know with out a doubt in my mind that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth. Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet of God. A young boy prayed to God and his prayer was answered. Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. We can be freed from sin. Thank you for helping me build this testimony.I love you so much and I cant wait to talk with you. Maybe you should call me in the morning. Then if thats not the best time we can say when we can talk. Oh wait we will have one more pday before the big phone call. I will see whats going on that day and then let you know in the next email. I love you all soooooo much. Love,The sister

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Emily - A Coruna Week 16

12.08.08

Hello Everyone...Sorry you didnt get a letter from me yesterday or last week. We had our Christmas zone conference yesterday. I hope mom didnt worry too much. Its funny that logan is worrying about not having anything to talk about. Im worried about talking too much. I cant wait to hear your voices. President told us yesterday that the phone calls are Christmas presents to mothers from the Prophet. Moms are amazing, especially mine.I guess the craziest news is that Im leaving A coruna and I cant believe it. Im going to a town called Vigo, which is really close to here. Im staying on this side of the mission and I will be in the same zone. I will learn the city in three weeks and then IM TRAINING! Im really nervous, I have no idea what Im doing. I guess I will learn really fast once I become in charge of everything. Two new hermanas are coming on the 7th of January and I get one of them. I think Im going to my last city because President told me Im coming home in June. That means I will be in Vigo for four and a half transfers. Im still taking everything in. Its weird to think that Im going to my last city, so weird. I am leaving on the 17th of this month I think. It kind of stinks to be leaving right before Christmas because all of my favorite families have already invited me over but I will find more friends in Vigo hopefully. Katherin and Jakelin the people you sent medicine to, told me that they will come down on Christmas day and eat with me in a park. Oh I cant wait for you to meet them. We have like three Chrismas trees in our piso and so on Sunday my comp. and I took one to the Brazilians. The mom Edilueza always gives us a big bowl of soup when we get there because we are freezing. We shared a message about the love of Christ and then gave them some cookies. I love being in their home. Edilueza always gives me a big hug and I love it. We had a fun conference. We played the white elephant gift and the boys of course brought a bunch of swords and stuff. It was like Christmas morning. They were running all over the church with their new shields and swords. IT was hilarious! Im here with a lot of really cool people. Its so funny to be with a bunch of boys all the time. Well I am so excited for the Christma call, I cant wait. It will be so nice to visit with you for a little bit. Im hoping to talk on Christmas Eve on the cell phone. Ill give you the number in nexts weeks email. I hope and pray that we can find some good things to do on Christmas. Maybe go look for all the inactive members or something. Thank you for your love and prayers. I know that my Savior lives and that He loves me. Im thankful for this opportunity to serve Him. Love, The Sister

Logan - Elche Week 5

12.08.08

I recieved letters from Ashley, Laura, Mom, the Menittes and I cant remember who else sorry. Last week we went to a castle in Alicante that is on top of a huge hill over looking the Ocean and the coast. It was beatuiful I had a really good time and actually recognized the city from whenI was there with Emily and Jess. I saw the spot on the beach where we layed out and its so funny to think I am seeing some of the same places I saw while we were here. We also took a train to Valencia this week and had a great chirstmas confrence. Everything was really fun and the best part was visiting with Elder Carpenter and some other people that I had a good time with in Valencia. I didnt get to see Patricia the Woemn I baptized but I did hear about all the recent converts of my and Elder Carpenter and they are all still active and doing well. That was a relief and good to hear. On the way home from Valencia the train stoppped for a min and I hoped out to get some freash air because the coach was reallly hot. The train started going without me and I had to run and jump in and the door closed on my arm it was crazy. I barley made it and I had to manually close the door because it got stuck on my body. I came into the coach Laughing and explained to everyone that I almost stayed the night at the last stop. This week everything has been amazing. the family from COlumbia came to church! all of them the parents and their to kids. The Mom bore her testimony in Relief Society and said she wasnt s to be a member and the Dad after church while we were eating said he feels an energy while we teach and it feels good. we explained that was the Holy Ghost. They are scheduled to get baptized the 20th with their daughter who is 16. WE had a great fast and testimony meeting and the spirit was felt so strong. The memebers also did great greeting and be friendging them which makes all the difference. I am very excited to continue working with them. I felt lead directly to their house and feel like they are a big reason why I am here in elche. I am sneding a christmas card and I would like it if you guys could make copies and send it with yours. If not no worries I already sent a bunch out myself but it cost more to mail. The other thing is I need more Labels for myself if you could send them in the next letter. I am really enjoying Elche and the members here are amazing we eat almost everday and they always help us with teaching. Oh the other thing I was thinking if you have questions for me then write them down so I can answer durning the chirstmas call. Otherwise I am afreiad we will just be sitting there listneing to one another breath. I really dont know what to say already and I dont think a few weeks its going to help. So list of things to ask or things to talk about for the chirstmas call. All is well I love you all Love Elder G

Monday, December 1, 2008

Logan - Elche Week 4

12.1.08

Thanks Jenny, Mom, Emily, Nick, Reese, and Audrey for your letters.

This week has been great and I feel very comfortable here and Elche. For thanksgiving we didnt have a lot of time to do anything so we just had some pasta. Luckily on friday they had a young singles t day activity and we were invitied if we could get some non members there which we did. We werent able to stay very long but we did get osme turkey, taters, and corn that tasted pretty good. It was weird being at a singles activity and not really being single if you know what i mean. We had Moms introducing us to their daughters and asking us how much time we had left and if we planned on coming back. We just smiled and pretended like we didnt understand. The language is a nice protection if you need it. You can always just say no Hablo EspaÑol with an american accent and most people will leave you alone in the street.
We have also teaching a less active kid that is about our age and has become a skin head. He has a gang of that he hangs out with and he actually introduced us to all of us friends when we saw them in the park. They all said to let them know if anyone ever gives us problems. So now we have a gang of skin heads backing us in the streets if we need it. I dont know if I really feel that much safer though lol.
This wednesday we are headed to Valencia for the Christmas Confrence and I am relaly excited to pass by some of our recent converts. Elder Carpenter my padre will be there as well so I am very excited to see everyone. This week we were lead to a women from COlumbia and as I rung her timbre and talked to her lil boy I knew they were prepared to hear the gospel. Yes everyone needs it but only certain people are ready to change and to listen. When we got to herdoor we talked for a while because we couldnt enter being there was no man there. Right as I lookd into her eyes though it felt like I knew her very well already. Its a wierd thing that seems l¡to happen alot on the misison. Meeting people you feel like you already know and doing things that it feels like you ve done before. I get Dejavu all the time it seems like. Anyways I am very excited for her family we have taught the fist and I am committing them to get baptized this week.
We also had a great meeting witht the stake president pretty my correcting the memebers and stongly urging them to help us more with la obra misional. He spoke very storngly about the manin purposes of the church but after he was finsihed and asked what they were no one knew. I was just thinking come on where were you guys the last hour I dont even speak this language and I still know what he said better then you. I need to continue working on the patience thing but sometimes its hard. Anyway thats much to information for one week. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is looking foward to Christmas. Love you all. Oh ya today we are going to a castle right on the bech I ll be sending pics very soon

Elder G

Monday, November 24, 2008

Emily - A Coruna Week 14

11.24.08

Hello...
Im not really sure where to start. Honestly I dont feel like writing this week. This has by far been thee craziest week of my mission. Today I got a phone call from the A Coruna police station. They are looking for my friend Cristina. The one that is suppose to get baptized in a couple weeks. I wont go into to details about whats going on. But we had been trying to get a hold of her all week and then I got that phone call today. Im kind of just in shock not really sure what to do and Im really sad. I hate how close I get to people sometimes. Im still praying for her but she is in a lot of trouble. There was a lot of stuff going on that we didnt know about. I know she really felt the Spirit though and I believe that for the first time in her life she felt loved and accepted. I guess I have to believe that for my own santity.
Oh business stuff....I will ask if I can call on Christmas Eve. I got letters from tiff, mom, and my dear Grandma. I think thats all, cant remember, sorry. Emails I of course have from pops. Thank you for your love.
Today I have been cooking. I made some bread, potatos, yams, and a turkey tomorrow. We are going to have a big feast together before transfers. Im not leaving this week but in three weeks, 3 hermanas are leaving and Im pretty sure I will have to leave. I didnt want to leave but now Im kind of ready to go to a new city.
We met a guy named Joni this week. He cried through the whole visit and just told us all about his horrible life. I couldnt sleep that night after thinking about him. Now with all the problems with Cristina, I dont know what Im going to do. He was a drug addict and still is an alcoholic. He told us how badly he wants to be good but feels like satan has like taken over his body. He cried as he told me that he doesnt think God loves him or listens to him. It hurt me so much to listen to him. I felt pain for him and the life he has lived. I just started crying and tried so hard to explain how much God loves him. We tried to teach him how to pray but he couldnt focus. He told us that he knows he was suppose to be with us and it wasnt a coincidence but because he was doing something good satan would try to help him be bad. During our 30 min visit he got a bunch of phone calls from friends asking him to go drink and do bad things. It seemed like I could literally see him fighting with his body between good and bad, it was horrible. He wants so badly to be good but doesnt know how.
Some more good news is that as a companionship we picked three people to work with out of the ward. All of them have told me NO. One of them even explained to me why. She said she has helped with the obra before and never seen the results from her efforts and so she refuses to help us. THANK YOU. What do you think we are doing everyday LADY. Please be good member missionaries. They need you, the new people and the missionaries.
I feel exhausted again. Its so hard to have everyones problems on your mind. I dont know how the Prophet worries about the whole world.
Well I have a lot more on my mind but my time is almost up and I dont really feel like typing anymore. I guess we will talk in about a month. That seems unreal but man I cant wait.
I love you all so much. Sorry if this email stinks. Please keep praying for me. I know the church is true. A young man prayed and God answered him. No doubt in my mind. Keep helping those new members mom and dad thats wonderful.
Mom...will you call mel tomorrow and tell her happy bday for me and that I love her and miss her. Ive been tyring to write her for a couple weeks but havent had time. thanks.
love,
the sister

Logan - Elche Week 2

11.24.08


This week we had interviews with the President which I always enjoy and we also did service for a Doctor that lives in the campo. I am really enjoying the other Elders I am living with. It makes everything so much easier. We cook great meals togther and are having a good time. We are making our christmas card this week so I will try to send those out as soon as possible. The only thing I am not enjoying is our small shower. The water pressure is so low that when you turn the shower head toward the ceiling it stops. WE changed the hose and the head but the pressure is just really bad. You have to decide between a cold powerful shower or a hot trickle. Other then that everything is amazing. I feel like I have family in the ward and they are excited to help us with missionary work. We pass by the members, teach them short powerful lessons from the Book of Mormon, and then we tell them we are not supposed to be wasting time looking in the street for people to teach. We tell them we are here to teach and then we ask for names of friends and family to teach. Very blunt but it has been getting the job done. We are teaching members friends right now and it helps to have the members helping us so much and just being their friends.
We had a great time doing service on saturday. We built a dog cage thing for a doctor that hasnt had a lot of time to finish it. He has a little raft that he goes out in the ocean to fish with and also does scuba dives from it. He hunts fish with harpoon which is pretty common here. So for lunch we had Sardines that he just threw in the fire and they tasted great. He just cooked the fish whole and you pick everything off you want. My Companion was disecting it and I dont think he enjoyed them too much but I really liked them.
We are now teaching a skin head who is less active and his Girl Firend who is a non member. The first lesson went well and I am excited to get back and meet with them again. I feel more comfortable with my spanish everyday and I feel like my accent is pretty good. Its amazing how much help we recieve from the Holy Ghost in all things we do. We are having a big thanksgiving dinner at the church this week so we are excited for that. Everything is well here. Love you all

Elder G

Monday, November 17, 2008

Logan - Elche Week 3

11.17.08

Buisness: Thank you everyone for all the letters! I recieved letters from P=atriarch Chambers, Aunt Laura, Jenny, Emily, Mom, Jessica, and The Hepwor=th Family. Thank you it was a great boost durning the week. Oh and mom I=got a package form you today it looked like. =20 Emily, the 1st counselor in my ward is Alfanso Sanchez, His daughter is liv=ing with you in your piso right now I think. How crazy is that! Well this week has been a lot of fun. Elder Ramsay and I get along great a=nd I feel like the ward likes us a lot, or at least the people we ve met =thus far. We have been working a lot and have seen some progress in a fe=w of the people we are visiting. We havent had a cell phone because our =sim card is in Barcelona still so that has made thinks very difficuilt bu=t we are getting by without it for now. Saturday night I read Jessesicas=letter and I really enjoyed it. I started laughing when I read about Br=enna and you Laughing at eachother. The whole concept of babies is just =so strange...small people. I dont know, but when I read about you too si=tting togther and her laughing at you while you were singing it made me s=mile. Then Yesterday we had a class on how families can be togther forev=er. As I sat there I thought why are families so important and so many d=ifferent ideas came to my head. Just looking back at Adam and how God cr=eated Eve to be with him because it was not good for man to be alone. Th=e social unit of the family is so important and to think that we wont hav=e families after this life I think is kind of crazy. A lot of peole say =in heaven we ll have anything we enjoy here on earth w=C3=A9 ll defiently=have in heaven but even better. While I was thinking of my family and h=ow some of the greatest times I have ever had and the happiest times in m=y life have been with my family I thought there is no doubt in my mind th=at we will be with our families after this life throught the sealing powe=r of the priesthood that Christ gave to Peter in Chapter 16 of Matt. And=said what ever you seal on earth will be sealed in heaevn. I am so grea=tfull to be sealed to my family and have the opurtunity to live with them=after this life. Every week is just seems like I have a big realization=of one thing or another and I always end up sharing in my letters becaus=e its on my mind.=20WE ate at a Mexican food restraunt this week and I started talking to the=owner and he had a funny spanish accent so I asked where he was from and=he said France. Then I asked how he knew how to cook mexican food and h=e told me we worked with one in Italy. I thought it was pretty funny to =be eating mexican food from a french man in spain. Lets just say I will =be greatful to get some real mexican food back in P town after the mish. =I love you all very much. I love seeing the blessings that come from li=ving the gospel in the lifes of others. This work is very rewarding in s=o many ways. I use to think I was giving two years of my life but know I=realize I am reciving much more in so many ways. The church is true. W=hat a simple but yet powerful statement. Anyone can know if they seek an=d knock. Love you all Elder G =20

Emily - A Coruna Week 15

11.17.08

Hello Everyone...Yesterday I completed 10 months in the mission. I just cant even believe it. Its so weird to me and I know brother said that I talk about the time in every letter but its just so weird. Its fall and this year is almost over. I have emails from both sisters, Grandpa Gogarty, Pops, and a letter from sister Jess with the memory card. I have watched the videos about a hundred times. There is a little bit of space left so Im going to put a couple videos on there and send it back. Or what exactly am I suppose to do with this memory card? Anyways thanks for the letter sister. The lack of letters was made up with the videos. It was weird to hear someone say Aunt Emily. I know Im an aunt but Ive never met the reason why I am an aunt. We had some really great experiences this week. We met up with an old investigator from a couple years ago. We have really been focusing on having the inv. pray in the first visit. She couldnt do it, she believed that God had more important things to do than listen to her, a sinner. I tried so hard to explain to her how much he loved her and wanted to listen to her but she wouldnt do it. We went back a couple days later and read about prayer in the BOM. I tried with everything in me to explain to her how much God loves her and wants to hear from her. She finally said she would do and I could tell she was really nervous. She bowed her head and the her 35 year old son that still lives at home rang the timbre. I wanted to take him out when he came in, especially when he told her that he had prisa. He was waiting for his dinner. She closed the door and said okay you do it. I just looked at her and said please do it Carmen. She grabbed my hands and PRAYED a beautiful prayer. It was wonderful. It felt so good to listen to her talk to her Heavenly Father. Cristina is still doing really well. I love her so much. She came to church on Sunday in my skirt after working all night long. She had like three piercings in her face and there all gone. She just really changed over night. Its been amazing to watch her and be a part of her conversion. She just looks different and I know that she will find even more happiness through living the gospel. She told us while we were teaching the Plan of Salvation that its like a map. We were like yep exactly, a map that you can follow to return to your Heavenly Father. When we taught the kingdoms of glory I told her that God wants her to return to His presence and I want her to return to His presence. She is reading, praying and you can really see that her faith in Christ is changing her. I pray for her a million times a day. I hope that I can do everything to help her feel prepared for her baptism on the 6th of December. Its been amazing teaching her and loving her so much. We went to a pueblo the other day to check up on a family that we havent had time to get back to for a while. We had an amazing lesson with them and I felt very guided in what to say. I love what we have been taught recently about having the inv. pray. We talked about that and she prayed at the end. It really makes the whole experience so much better. Sometimes we feel the Spirit and they do too but dont recognize it. It is a wonderful way for them to act, feel and it gives us the opportunity to explain what they felt. The mom told me that they have been waiting for us to come back because they want to hear more about this book. I feel bad that it has taken us so long to get back there. We have a visit with them tomorrow and I cant wait to tell them about the BOM and how it can change their lives. I love the gospel! I love you all soooo much!Love,

Monday, November 10, 2008

Logan - Elche Week 2

11.10.08

Uncle Mike thanks for the email! Today we took the train down the coast to Alicante to play some soccer with the other Elders. It was nice to relieve some stress playing. Opening up a closed area has been hard. Normally there is someone to show you arond and introduce you to everyone and people that were already being taught, but we are starting from sctrach. Luckily the city is not too big and is pretty easy to get around. THis morning we had to clean our piso, it was filthy but now un monton mejor. My comp and I get along great his Mom actually works in the lds book store in springs so maybe you could pass by and say HI because I want a certain highlighter thing they sell there. Its like an mechanical pencil that has different color lead for marking scriptures. WE are pretty excited for la navidad over here we already have our christmas tree up and ready. We live with the Zone leaders and it has been a great change. The maturity level went up 100 points compared to my last piso. We live the law of concencration practically and it is so much better. Everyone helps clean and we all share food and do shopping as a piso. When there is dishes whoever sees them does them. It is quite the change from my last piso where I was having to hide my dishes becasue no one would wash theres and steal mine. We also just speak in spanish now so my ability to speak has increased immensely and of course my english has gotten a lot worse sometimes when I speaking in english spanish words slip in its so weird. Elche is very pretty and I enjoy the city a lot. THe ward is great and warmed up to us very quickly. The Bishop is very missionary orienanted which I think has made his ward very strong and helped others become members. From the ward missionarys they had 5 people baptized last transfer. Its incredible was we can do when we all work togther. Not too much has happened right now we are just trying not to get lost and getting to know all the members. We were able to find 5 new people to start teaching this week miracoulsly so we will see how that goes. I hope everything is going well and I love you all. For christmas I cant think of anything really. I will try to think this week. Its not worth sending things because of how much it costs so maybe just letters from the whole family and some candy. Oh and of course some money on the old card lol I just need a new tie, sueter, y pantalones. Creo que ya esta muchas gracias. Os quiero Elder G

Emily - A Coruna Week 14

11.10.08

Hello My Beautiful Family...November is here and before I know it and you all know it, December will be over. The leaves are beautiful here right now but man we are getting rained on. It rained for like 3 days straight and then it finally let up for a little while. I cant remember if I liked rain before the mission but I might hate if after the mission. Being in the streets all day is already tiring but then when there is loads of rain its just the cherry on top. Sarah needs to serve a mission in northern Spain and then tell me that she loves rain. No it hasnt been that horrible but I must say I dont know how I lived with out these boots. They keep my feet so warm and dry.I have letters this week from Tiff, mom, my trainer, and Aunt Laura. E-mails from POPs and pics. from my sister. Im still waiting to hear from my sisters. They think if they send one letter a transfer they are doing well. Everyone is going to see some major beatings when I get home, especially Dad. He writes me every week but for some reason its just more fun to beat him up. I dont know what I want in my Christmas package. What do you do for Jess? I cant think of ideas right now. I really enjoy the shopping here though. If you want to just send a lil package for Christmas and then put money in that would be great for me. I have something very wonderful to tell you. Remember that girl that I wrote to you about last week, she is going to get baptized. She changed completely after the first visit. She is like my best friend now and asks us when we are going to come back. She has done everything we have asked her to do and I am so thankful for the opportunity to teach her. In about the 3rd visit we left her with the promise from the BOM and asked her to read 3 Nefi 11. When we came back I asked her if she had read and she said yes. We read over it a little together because she had some questions. Then we went to the promise and I asked her to tell me about her experience of praying to know if it is true. She pointed to her chest, close to her heart and she said, I felt something right her that I dont know how to explain. We read in the BOM and explained to her that she felt the Spirit. Then we read another verse from 3 Nefi 11 and I asked her to be baptized in to the true church of her Savior Jesus Christ. I tried what Grandpa wrote to me about in his last letter. The Spirit was so strong. She was waiting for me to ask her. She said yes and gave me the biggest hug ever. I was crying and I just promised her that she just made the best decision of her life. Her face has changed and she just looks better in every visit. We visit with her three times a week and I love her more every time I see her. The gospel of Jesus Christ is really going to change her life. She told us she feels so good that its weird to her. I cant wait to teach her all the commandments and watch her enjoy the blessings that come from living a pure, clean righteous life. Im so thankful for the opportunity to teach her who her Savior is and that His church is restored through a Prophet. Every time I talk to her about Gods love for her she just stares at me like she has never heard that before and if feels so good to her to hear it. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. We had a district meeting with President and Hermana DuVall a couple days ago. We are starting a new focus in the first lesson on prayer. I learned so much. We practiced teaching so that the investigator would have the desire to pray at the end of the lesson. With that prayer they are acting for themselves on faith and will have a spiritual experience. I taught H. DuVall and I felt prompted in what to say. Ideas came to mind in how to teach and what to say. It was a neat experience and I feel really strongly that what they taught is very important. People need to know that they have a loving Heavenly Father that is waiting to hear their voice. I know He will answer any of His children, that ask with faith and a sincere heart. H. DuVall called me yesterday and thanked me for my example. She said it was the best she has heard in the whole mission and that I am becoming a master teacher. I appreciated so much her phone call. I know that I taught with power not because of my own abilities but because of the Spirit who guided my heart, my mind and my mouth. I know the church is true. I have no doubt in my mind. I have a feeling that I cant describe that runs through my entire body as I testify of Gods church restored on the earth today. I know I represent my Savior. I love you all so much. I miss you with all of my heart but I know we will be together soon. Thank you for loving me and praying for me. H. Truscott is here now with me and its wonderful. She is an answer to my prayers. Love, TheSister

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Emily - A Coruna Week 13

11.4.08

Hello my Family...
Dad-Could you please send those pics to everyone. Thanks!
This week I have letters from Tiff and Mom. Also emails from Pops, Grandpa, and a forward from my long lost sister whats her name. Her daughter is really cute and she is getting really big.
It is raining raining and raining. I dont know how I survived the beginning of my mission with out these boots. They keep my feet really warm and DRY.
Mom did you like the secret phone call? I couldnt stop them and I didnt really want to. They wanted to thank you for the medicine and help me by getting the recipe. I could hear you crying and it made me cry a little. Katherin was almost in tears just listening to your voice. Jakelin told me that I have to do the same for her when Katherin is a missionary in the US.
We met a girl this week as a reference from a member. I think its the first reference I have received in my whole mission. We came the next day to visit her. She is a 19 year old girl from Spain. When we arrived she was hiding under a blanket. The member pulled the blanket off her head, handed her a BOM and told her to listen to us. Then he said I got to go, dont leave before I get back. We have some of the most random experiences as missionaries. Anyways you could tell that she was super scared of us. I just started talking to her like we were best friends. Then I pulled a pic of our family out and was like, hey do you want to see my family. Then I plopped myself down on the couch next to her. We talked for a while to help her feel more comfortable and then we began teaching. I love telling people that they are children of a loving Heavenly Father. I almost cry every time I tell someone that. I can just feel His love for them. She hasnt talked to her mom in two years and I could tell she has had a hard life. I loved telling her how special she is and how much God loves her. Her eyes were just set on mine as I talked and I realized at that moment that she hadnt heard anything good about herself in a long time. When we left she gave me a hug and I could tell that she felt very comfortable. We invited her to come to church and she said she was really scared to come. She also said she doesnt have a skirt. I gave her one of my skirts but told her its okay if she comes in jeans. I was so excited to see her walk in on Sunday. I sat right next to her like I told her I would. We go back tonight to teach her some more.
Im really starting to enjoy myself a lot more as I learn more Spanish. I finally have friends that I can talk to and joke around with. Im thankful for the chance Ive had to learn so mush Spanish with my companions. The two new hermanas will arrive on Wednesday.
We had a ward activity on Saturdays with a huge barbecue. I played basketball with like ten guys and got a bunch of them out. It was so much fun. I was trying to hide how much fun I was having as I slammed the poor things. H. Rafa the ward mission leader tried to give me a brownie but I was having too much fun whipping the boys. He mad a comment about it on Sunday in class. He said he has never seen an hermana play like me. It was really fun and I was laughing so hard my cheeks hurt. I think the Elders saw another side of me. WOOPS!
I sure love you all and I have to go. The hour always goes so fast. I miss you a lot!
POPs-sorry but I need more money. The boots were 150 euros and the exchange rate sucks. I gave her 100 and didnt want to take anymore out just in case it would overdraw. Thank you and sorry they were so expensive.
I know that this is Christs church. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that we can be freed from Sin.
Thank you for your love and support.
Love,
The Sister

Logan - Elche Week One

Hey mom thanks for your letter and Grandpa for your email.
Dad dont worry about the shoes they are fine.

THis Morning I am in ELche! My companion is from COlorado SPrings Elder Ramsey and He looks like a fun kid. WE have been called to white wash this area. Which means we are re opening an area where there hasnt been elders for a while we both arrived this morning and will be living witht the Zone leaders. The train ride was beautiful as I came down the coast this morning with the sun coming up. The piso is nice and big so I am excited about that as well. My new adress is

Elder Gogarty
C/ Martin de Torres
14,1 der
03202

I am very excited to be here the city is beautiful with a ton of palm trees. WE ended our last week in Valencia very strong and I am going to miss those guys there. I learned a lot from them even though it was a little rough at first. I had a funny experiance this week lol I was praying for a family that we had just finished having a cita with and I thought the wife said her name was destiny but it turns out that was the name of her baby that is still in her stomach. So as I am parying I give thanks to destiny for her hospitality and love for us. Everyone was laughing when I finsihed praying it was great. WE had a great week though and got to work with demion who is a 16 yr old in the ward a lot. I am going to miss him a lot. THere are a lot of people I am going to miss its hard always saying bye. You leave friends and family at home then make new ones and then have to do it all over. It is fun to get to know so many people though. WE had a great eating cita with a man that has one leg. He woke up at 5 to prepare us all the food. IT was incredible, We brought an investigator and he had printed out litle tabs for each of us to sit and for the investigator he had a tab that said investigator lol I thought that was funny we use a lot of lingo in the church that seems normal to us but to the rest of the world it is not. The love and charity that man has though was just amazing. He was so willing and happy to get up at 5 and roll around all morning with one leg cooking us lunch. I will really miss some people form Valencia. Well I dont have much to say I am excited and nervous to work this area, we have to start from scracth and really work hard. I am expecting on seeing amazing things happen here. The church is true, if you want to know then live by some of the principles and see the difference it makes in your life John 7:17 I think it is. Well Love you all I hope to get lots of mail here shortly. The spanish is going well I feel comfortable with it. I want to learn another language after the mission that is latin based. Love you all take care

Love
Elder G

Monday, October 27, 2008

Logan - Valencia Week 13

10.27.08

Jenny thanks for your letter and Mom thank you as well. The week has flown by once again. Please dont send anymore mail to the valencia address after today. I have a week more here and the next time we talk i will be in a new area with a new companion. Dad please post this blog today so people know not to send mail here anymore. Just hold onto it for a week untill I get my new adress. The week has been great we had a very inspiring zone confrence and I learned a lot. President compared us to the Rescuers of the Martain and willy hand cart companies. He explained the story in great detail and then related everything they did to us. He talked about their obedience in following President Youngs council, the sacrifice the went through and how they didnt stop until they died, and also the help they recieved from on high. The zone confrence was great and I felt like it was especially related to me as I thought about Daniel W. Jones one of My ancestors who took part in the rescue group. One of the quotes President used while he was describing what happened was from Daniel W. Jones and he used the one where he said I told them that we were better then angels becasue we had what they needed. I felt the spirit very strongly as he described the efforts of the heroic group that saved a lot of people. The spirit was felt very strongly and I felt greatful to be related to such a great man that set such a good example for all of us. We have been working hard with a lot of people this week but had to change both of our baptismal dates becuase no one showed up for church yesterday. That is probly the most frustrating thing for me. One of the kids we are teaching is 17 and we just started teaching his family. We had a great lesson and I felt like I had a ton of hlep with my spanish as I was able to describe everything needed without problems. Its amazing to see how much help I have recieved with my spanish. I know its all been from the Lord. We are going to relax today and get things ready for the transfer. Its crazy to think I will be living with a new person new piso new people new place nect week and I wont know till sunday, the day before. I like the thought of that. I love change and suprises. Thanks everyone for your letters please wait till next week when I post my new address. Love you all Elder G

Emily - A Coruna Week 13

10.27.08
Hello my dear family...Can you believe that October is over. Im calling home in about two months and I cant wait to hear your voices. I got letters from Mel, brother and mom and emails from Pops, my trainer and my dear Grandma. Thank you all, I love you so much. A couple funny things...Im pretty sure that Im loosing my mind. The other day while I was eating something right out of the fridge I blew on it to cool it down. My comp. was just staring at me like I was crazy and then I realized what I was doing. There are so many things in my mind all the time, its crazy!Another funny story or random I guess but normal in the mission...We went to teach the first lesson to a really nice Brazilian lady on Saturday morning. She opened the door and it was obvious that she had just woken up. We wanted to watch a new DVD with her called Finding Happiness. We went to the living room and the DVD player didnt work and so she told us to follow her into another room. Well she turned on the light and there was a man asleep in his bed. I was like oh its okay we can let him sleep and instead we will just talk in the sala. Its so funny to be in random peoples homes all day. At first it was weird but now its weird that its not weird...hope that makes sense. Carmen my friend from Cuba was on my mind again a lot a couple of days ago. We stopped by and her eyes were full of tears. She has a lot going on right now. I just gave her a big hug. She has like three pages of registro and has never come to church but she knows its all true. We stopped by for her yesterday and helped her and her mom get ready and they came!!! It was fun to walk with them to church. The mom is kind of loosing her mind and she is so funny. When I was fixing her hair she told me she was going to find a boyfriend for herself in the capilla. We walked with our arms hooked together to the church. She always tells me the most random things also because she cant hear and she just wants to talk. Sometimes she doesnt know when Im praying and she pats my arms during the prayer. Then she just talks during the whole prayer and every once in a while I look up at her so she doesnt feel left out. I really love those women and I pray that Carmen felt loved and comforted at church on Sunday. We went to the Brazilians house again on Sunday. Ediluza the mom needed a Book of Mormon and asked me to bring her one. I handed it to her and then she came running back and said hermana you didnt write in it. Its funny how all the converts and accustomed to having a blue covered BOM with the testimony of a missionary in the front. I sat down on her couch and wrote her a little note with my testimony. We taught them the story of Nephi going to get the golden plates with pictures. We have to be really creative when we teach because we teach a group of like ten people of all ages. Josinaldos and his wife didnt come to church and it made me sad. Their kids are singing the hymns and praying and I pray that their parents will see the need to change and raise their family in the gospel. After the lesson the kids were really excited for me to hook more links on to their chain. I told them that they could hook them on while Im gone but their mom said that its my job to decide how many to add. I love them so much and I feel right at home with them. I feel the Spirit so strongly as we pray, sing, and talk about the gospel together. Yesterday we sang Families Can Be Together Forever and I was almost crying. Brother told me he is on the verge of tears like all the time and I feel the same way. We are like old people that cry about everything. It really is amazing to be so set apart from all the crap in the world. Katherin is so appreciative for the medicine. They are like my family here too. We taught her the law of chastity the other day and it was awesome. She is so firm and confident in her beliefs. Its fun to watch a young girl take hold of the gospel and be filled with confidence. We had a good chat and we talked about what her friends tell her. She is a good girl and I feel kind of like her big sister. I talk to her like I talk to Sarah. I hope that I can help her more and that she can continue to be strong in the gospel. They gave us some cookies and hot cocoa after the visit. The mom always gives me the I love NY cup to drink out of because she thinks it helps me feel closer to home. So sweet!!Mom and Dad-I love your letters and I love you both with all my heart. Its raining a lot now and my feet are always wet. I guess we are allowed to wear boots right now because of the weather. My comp. bought me some and I need to pay her back. They were 155.00 dollars...ahhh sorry. Could you please put some money in my account. Thank you so much. Just go ahead and put 500 dollars in for every trip dad has taken since I left. Wow we have a lot of traveling to do and a lot of shopping when I get home. Dad is going to pay me back either with beatings or vactions, your choice!I love you all so much. I know this is Christs church because the Spirit testified to me that its true. I love feeling the Spirit. I love representing my Savior. I know that He lives and that He died for me. I love you all soooooo much!!!! I miss you!!!!Love,The Sister

Monday, October 20, 2008

Emily - A Coruna Week 12

10.20.08

Hello my dear family...
Oh my goodness is October really almost over? I am in a time warp and its r=
eally weird. Anyways guess what I finally received that package that you =
sent when I started my mission. I LOVE THE GRANOLA! I dont know if it jus=
t tastes better because I know that it was made be moms hand but man I su=
re have enjoyed eating it for breakfast, Thanks Mom! I also got the camer=
a...yaaaa! I loved looking at the pics that were left on there. I think i=
t might be possible that sister Sarah has more pics with the baby than Je=
ss. The baby is so beautiful and its weird that she is just growing and I=
ve never met her. I saw a baby the other day that has 6 months and she is=
big. I want Brenna to be small still when I see her so tell her to stop =
growing. I got a slip in the mail for the other package for Katherin. I w=
ill pick it up today. Thank you so much for sending that medicine, they a=
re very grateful.=20
Other news that isnt as uplifting, two of our Elders got hit by a car on Fr=
iday night. Remember Elder Fowers my comp. from the MTC. He is in my dist=
rict now and he and his comp. got hit by a car as they were crossing a cr=
osswalk. They people drive like maniacs here. They dont wait until you cr=
oss the whole way. I have felt cars brush by my legs so many times its sc=
ary. Anyways its a miracle that nothing was broken and that Elder Fowers =
the bigger of the two was on the inside. His head went through the windsh=
ield. They will stay in piso for about a week and werent able to come to =
conference.=20
The weather is staring to change again and Im getting a little nervous for =
the rain to start again. In the mornings the city is full of fog. I dont =
know if Im ready to attack the streets with my umbrella again.=20
My new comp. is here and her name is H. Albi and she is from the Islands. H=
er Spanish is really different and she told me that her culture is very d=
ifferent from Spain. Her Spanish more sounds like she is from Cuba. Anywa=
ys she is 26 years old and super sweet. We only have two more weeks toget=
her before two more come. We have a lot to do in the piso to get ready.=
=20
Elder Sterry from the Area Seventy came to our conference on Saturday. The =
leadership meeting and the conference were incredible. He gave us five qu=
estions and told us he would probably never see us again so we should fee=
l comfortable and answer truthfully. The zone leader was not normal throu=
gh the whole meeting but I was grateful that immediately after he said th=
at I felt really comfortable and was able to share my feelings. Elder Ste=
rry really just wanted to know what we need help with and how he can help=
. He and President spoke directly to the hermanas after talking to the El=
ders about their responsibilities. President told Elder Sterry that the h=
ermanas make up forty percent of the numbers they turn in every week. The=
re are only four hermanas in the whole zone. They thanked us for our exam=
ples and the work that we do and I really felt their appreciation and it =
helped me a lot. It was neat that because of attending that meeting I fel=
t prepared for the conference and learned more.=20
The conference was amazing. I learned so much that its impossible to tell y=
ou everything. Elder Sterry was an amazing teacher. I felt really comfort=
able because he is just a friendly guy and it helped me learn. Its also a=
lways really neat to be with all the missionaries because it helps me to =
realize what I am a part of. H. DuVall talked to us about how we are agen=
ts of the Savior who created all, cant remember the verse. Anyways it is =
amazing to always feel the Spirit so strongly even just listening to a hy=
mn.=20
On Sunday the Brazilians all came to church. I started an activity with the=
m to help them read, pray and come to church every Sunday. There is a mem=
ber family and non member family that live together and we teach them all=
. Anyways we put a picture of the temple up and every time they pray, rea=
d or attend church they have loops of paper that they staple together, ea=
ch color representing each category. Once the chain reaches the picture o=
f the temple we are going to give them a pizza party. I cant really expla=
in to you how much I love these two families. They all came to church on =
Sunday and I felt so much joy when I saw Cristina come into RS. I sat by =
them in gospel principles too and they have thee cutest lil boy. Anyways =
we stopped by later on after church to see where they are at with the act=
ivity and they are struggling but are trying. I just loved seeing them at=
church. In the visit on Sunday I really focused on the temple and what t=
hey need to do to get their family there. I think they kind of feel like =
its impossible because they arent married and they dont have their papers=
so they have to travel to Portugal. I think Im going to just give them m=
y month money so then can go. I just love them so much and Im not leaving=
A Coruna until I can help this family get married so they can get baptiz=
e and work towards going to the temple together. The Moms are like my sis=
ters. I felt really guided in the visit by the Spirit and Cristiana opene=
d up a lot afterward. Her husband also told me that he doesnt work on sat=
. or sun. now and they can come to church. They seemed excited again, to =
start working towards bringing their family into the gospel. I have got t=
o figure out how to help them. Cristiana doesnt speak a ton of Spanish bu=
t somehow we communicate and I just feel so close to her. I feel like thi=
s family is the reason I am in this city. I pray with all my heart that I=
can do what I need to do to help them. Ok dont know if any of that made =
sense but dont have time to read over it.=20
Dad-I loved this part of your letter it made me laugh soooo hard. Thank you=
for always knowing what to say. "Im also certain that your companions ar=
e benefiting from being with you and your example. They better be, becau=
se it would really piss me off if we dont get to be with you and then the=
y dont appreciate you!!"
Mom-thank you sooo much for the package. I was waiting for you to pop out a=
nd you never did. The whole package made me laugh because it was just ran=
dom but I understood your thinking process as you put it together. Your a=
mazing and I love you soooo much.
Well I better go my time is up. But I want you all to know that I know that=
the church is true and it was restored through the Prophet Jospeh Smith.=
He saw a pillar of light exactly over his head above the brightness of t=
he sun. It was the Father and His son Jesus Christ. I know that families =
can be together forever and that eternal life is possible.
I love you all sooooooo much. Thank you for loving me!
Love,
The Sister

Logan - Valencia Week 21

10.20.08

Emily thanks for your letter. I havent got the mail today yet I am pretty sure Moms should be waiting.

This week has been great. Our piso tension finally got so high that everyone snapped! Lol the week was crazy but everyone is on good terms now. I was messing with one of the Elders and he had had a hard week and then I was the needle on the hay stack he finally snapped and tried to fight me. Needless to say I got him in control and he apoligized. Working out very morning paid off. I wont go into anymore details but we are all working a lot better togther now. Living togther with a bunch of people you love but may not neccesarily like to much is a new experiance. I have definetly learned a few things for the married life.
This weekend my Comp and I spoke at a baptism and I felt the spirit so strongly. The whole weekend has just been very edifying. Church went very good as well. The spirit was also present in the meeting. Its so hard to describe the Holy Ghost to people, but is vital because the people we are teaching have to know what it feels like in order to become converted. It is the only way we can know of truth without having to see it. I have been studying a lot and my understanding of things has grown immensely. I know that its not because of me though it has all happened through the holy ghost. As I am studying I really feel like my mind is just illuminated and I learn exactly what I need for the day. As well with the Spanish I just realize that I could have never learned it by myself. I am very greatful for the help we recieve through the Holy Ghost in all that we do.
I have started learning another language. Its called pigeon! The africans speak it and its basically just degenerated english with no rules what so ever. There is no written ttt for it. I am understanding it now though and I want to start speaking becuase we run into a lot of Africans on the streets.
Thanks for all your love. Dad I was a lil jealous reading your email, you are traveling a lot without me. I want some surf trips when I get back. Please also send some more family pictures of all of us. Everything is going well here yesterday was my 7 month mark crazy! Have a great week cant wait to hear form you next week. I will be getting Transfered the 3rd Of novemember its almost 100 percent sure but then again I did say that last transfer. Love you !

Elder G

Monday, October 13, 2008

Emily - A Coruna Week 11

10.14.08
Hello my Dear Family...
Ok on Wednesday of last week I got three letters from mom, grandma and sister Sarah. Then today I have one from brother and mom. E-mails I have from pops, Sister Jessica, and my dear Grandma. Grandma I am getting your letters, dont worry. I think it just took a little bit longer this week because of a festivo. I loved your letter and the history that you sent of my ancestor. She was a very strong woman and I felt close to her as I read about her life. Im excited to read more. I love you so much!
Well I guess I will start with letting you know about the big changes. On Wednesday my companion is leaving me. Im sad! We have become really close. But we are already planning on her coming to stay for a little while after the mish. She leaves early in the morning and then I hang out at the tren station with the Elders and then my new comp. comes a couple hours later. I will only be with her for three weeks to teach her the city and then we get two new hermanas. One will go to her and then H. Truscott that served with for a little while in Santander will come here to be with me. President decided to make it a four hermana city. Im excited to see what happens with more help. We have such a huge area to cover that its hard to really work and focus in one area. We have investigators spread out all over the place. To walk to the other side of our area is about 45 mins. to an hour. We also do a lot of work in some pueblos that are about 30 minutes away in bus. Ive been studying the map with the district leader and it is up to he and I to divide the city up. Yes, everyone I started to use maps and sometimes I know where Im at but that doesnt mean I ever know which direction Im going. I was a little stressed trying to figure out how to divide everything up but I think no I know our minds were guided in how to do it. It makes sense how we have it now and I know it wasnt my mind that was able to divide it up.
There will be four hermanas in the piso now and Im a little worried about that. Sometimes its scary enough with two girls together 24/7. I wish girls would just beat each other up and get it over with, when they have a problem with each other. Oh well we will see how it goes. I have a lot to clean and organize before they come.
We have zone conference this Saturday and Im really excited for that. I always learn so much and feel inspired to do better. A General Authority will be coming and President asked me to sit in on the leadership meeting that they will have before conference. Im really nervous! I dont know what Im doing. I pray that at least the meeting will be in english but we shall see. There is so much growing to do in the mission, in more ways than one.
We have met with Carmen a couple times this week. She just prays for us and we show up. Its like her name just pops into my head and we happen to be close and we stop by. Then she always tells us that she was praying for us. Her way of having us come by is a lot cheaper than having to use a phone. Her husband left her this week for another lady that lives above them. I guess its been going on for a while. We sang with her and read about the Atonement. I gave her a big hug before we left. We have been trying to help her find a way to move her stuff. She reads the BOM like crazy, its always with her. She has a really strong testimony of the book. She always turns to it when she needs help and guidance. The missionaries have been teaching her for a while but she has never come to church. I hope I can find a way to help her progress. I feel so comfortable in her home. I know I really am finding and meeting the people that were talked about in my fathers blessing before I left.
We have been eating like crazy again because H. Garcia is leaving. We had a fun dinner at Santiagos house again with 2 of our investigators. Also a girl that showed up at the church that is from Texas. She is here all alone and I invited her to come and eat with us too.
An investigator this week said something really interesting that I want to share with you. When ever we have a visit with him its always late, after we have been in the streets all day. He always tells us how tired we look and seems confused by why we do what we do. Every time we come we ask him if he has read and he says no with an excuse. We read a little bit with him and bore our testimonies. He finally said I think I know how you feel. Its like when I know Im right about something and my friend tries to tell me Im wrong but I really know Im right, there is no doubt in my mind. EXACTLY! That is why we keep coming by, even when you havent done your part and we are so tired. We know we carry with us the most important message in the world that is true. When we testify there is no doubt in our mind that what we are telling you is TRUE! We know that if you do your part that the blessings we promise will be given to you. Thats why we keep coming back because we want you to have what we have. I know he understands when we teach and has had the Spirit testify to him on more than one occasion that what we teach is true. Finally the other day I just asked him Andy you know what we teach is true but your scared to change arent you. You dont want to read or pray because your scared to have the truth confirmed to you. He looked at me and didnt deny what I said. I pray that I can help learn to not have fear but to trust in God.
I know that I am a missionary for my Savior Jesus Christ. I love to love people and serve them. I know thats what Christ did when he was on the earth. This is Christs Church there is no doubt in my mind.
Thank you for loving me and praying for me.
Dad-thank you for your inspired letter. I translated it the other day for my comp. because she was having a really hard day. She just cried and cried, it was exactly what she needed to hear too, minus the iron part. Her Dad isnt a member and sometimes she feels all alone. Thank you for your guidance, love and prayers. I know you and Mom are blessing the lives of so many people in Pueblo. Im looking forward to helping you when I get home.
I love you all!!!!!!!
Love,
The Sister

Logan - Valencia Week 20

10.14.08
Well first off buisness... I recieved letters from Mom, Jenny, and Audrey today I was pretty excited. They were all great and Audrey thanks for the pictures they were great. Jenny I want to see you class project preiview so send it!

For the next package whenever you do send it I would really appreciate a new brush to my electric tooth brush brand:Oral B Vitality. I hope you can find it. Second I have been cutting a lot of hair and I would like a short book on that so I can do a better job and maybe start charging. Lastly that body language book that you said you were sending I would appreciate that. There is no hurry for these things just whenever its convienet.

This week has been amazing, today we went and explored ruins of an old castle with the whole zone. We had a lot of fun and I just really felt greatful to be here in Spain seeing and experiancing so many new things. So many times in life we are always just looking for whats next instead of just enjoying right now. Like president Monson said last week. I am very content and happy to be here.
I had an intresting experiance this week. Our recent Convert Nelson from venezula speaks russian and english as well. We somehow ran into a member from russia and for obvious reasons had trouble communicating with her. We called Nelson and he came over and translated a lesson we gave her from spanish to Russian. She then asked us for a blessing of comfort. I gave her a blessing in English while Nelson translated it into Russian. It was a very neat experiance and I always feel the spirit so strongly as I exersize the priesthood power. The church is true, I have been studying like crazy lately everything and the more I learn the stronger my conviction of the church grows. Our church is not just another sect. It is the same church Chirst formed while he was here. We have the same authority that christ gave his apostles (LUKE 6:1-9) and I am so greatful for it. Just from the logical standpoint its true and then we are blessed enough to have the Holy ghost confirm that truth through feelings and thoughts that are not your own.
We had a rather exciting experiance this week also when a snake tried to get us. We call the girls snakes, ones that show too much intrest in us even though they know we are missionaries. There is a Women in the ward that is 26 or somthing and she likes the missionaries. We make sure we always take another male to her house just in case anything happens. Its a misison rule to always have another male with you in a womens house just in case anything were to happen they can testify in court. Well this crazy lady called us and said she had made us some food and she wanted to give it to us. We said we would stop by and pick it up. We show up to her house and the door is open and I peek in. She has candles lit all through the house, a wall of different fragrances hit me in the face and, soft music was playing. When she came to the door and tried to get us to come in I was just like are you kiddding. She knows clearly the rule that we have. So I just said NOOOOOO we are fine its aganist the rules. So she gave us the food very angrily and slammed the door. It was rediculous.
We also had a man visiting form japan at church this week and he spoke englkish so I was able to translate the meeting for him. I feel like I am fairly dewcent at translating I am able to listen and speak at the same time. Its hard to explain but I feel like I am developing the skill. I have started memorizing a scripture everyday to use in lessons and to develop a photogrphic memory. Its going well so far. I have 10 masterys memorized and am able to use them frequently. Thanks for everyones letters and prayers. I lvoe you all so much, have a great week.

Elder G

Monday, October 6, 2008

Logan - Valencia Week 19

10.6.08

I recieved letters from Emily, Madre-2, and Ashley. Thank you for the letters they mean a lot. If you were listening closely in confrence you would have heard he commitment to be writing and supporting the missionaries that are out. I hope I get a lot of letters in the next two weeks.
Well we had a great week every monday I can hardly remember what even happened. I do remember eaten with our Africian recent converts which was a very intresting experiance. In spanish when a souviner in a recuerdo like somthing you remember. WEll occasioanally we smell somthing as missionaries that remind us of home or somthing of the past. Like the other day I smelt shampoo and it took me back to river surfing with Aaron. He must have used to same kind because it was vvery strong and distinct smell. Anyways when we walked into these Africans house I had another smell recuerdo and it took me back to the pueblo zoo unfourtanetly. The reason it was unfourtanate was becasue the odor was coming from our plate of food. IT was called Ban-koo, You pretty muct roll up a ball of stick mash potatoes in your hand, dipp it into a pile of gunk and then swallow it whole. It was suprisingly pretty decent but we could harldy work after. I told The African man that it was very heavy in my stomach and he said in Africa we eat to live. Lol .
COnfrence was amazing this weekend. Saturday Night we watched one session and then all sunday we watch the rest. The members are tougher here. We had all four sessions on Sunday. I really enjoyed it though and took notes the whole time. Some many of my questions were answered and I felt the spirit so strongly throughout the whole thing. I cant imagine being apart of a church that dosent claim priesthood authority or have a Prophet. I know Tohomas S. Monson is a Prophet because as I raised my hand to sustain him 6 months ago in the MTC with 2,000 other Elders I felt the fire of the Holy Ghost tell me right then and there that he was the Prophet. I really anjoyed all the confrence talks and I cant remember which one it was but They were talking about how some of Jospeh Smiths Prophecys had been fulfilled or were being fulfilled. It reminded me of a scripture in Romans I think chapter 8 but it says that you can know if a prophet is true if his prophecys come true. Joshpeh Smith Prophisied of the missionary work that we are currently aengaged in. He said that ift would go forth boldy and nobly until Chirst comes again. We can see that happening as we have sent out over 1000000 missionaries to all parts of the world. This church is true. Anyone can come to know that if they will just humble themselevs and ask with real intent. Meaning that they are willing to change if they do recieve an answer. Not just asking to know if its false or not. Everything is going well. I am truly greatful for the oppurtunity to be part of such a great work. Love you all

Elder G

Emily - A Coruna Week 10

10.6.08

Oh my Family...
I have so much to tell you that I dont even know where to start. First I would like to tell you thank you for your prayers. I know you are really praying specifically for me and I can tell you that its really helped me this week. I have emails from Dad, Sarah and my trainer. I also got a snail mail from mom. I am so blessed to have you as my family.
I had a couple really neat experiences this week that helped remind me, why Im really here. On Saturday morning we went to visit a less active member that lives in a pueblo. About six months ago her son was going to be baptized but couldnt because the dad wouldnt get permission. We actually had put her name down to go see her but kind of as a back up plan if our potentials list failed us. We pressed her timbre and aksed for an investigator and she was like she doesnt live here who is this. We told her that we were the missionaries and she said this is Veronica come up and see me. I know that it wasnt a coincidence that we accidentally knocked her door. We went up and she just let everything out. It was like she had been waiting for us to come all morning or for months. She bore her testimony to us of everything and I couldnt figure out what was keeping her from coming to church. Then, she told us about her X husband and a mistake she made many many years ago. She of course loves her children and is a wonderful mother but is suffering from a mistake she made when she was a lot younger. Her X husband keeps them from enjoying the blessings of the gospel. I could see in her eyes how much she is suffering. I just told her how much God loves her and that the mistake she made years ago can be forgiven. I told her that she is a beautiful and wonderful mother. I told her how mindful God is of her and how thankful I was to be with her. I could feel Gods love and Christs mercy for this women that I had just met. I did my best to let her know what I know They wanted her to know. I was crying because I just felt overwhelmed by how much she needed to hear that someone loves her and that she is forgiven. She was crying to and I just gave her a hug like she was my long lost sister.
This week we also had a visit with our friend Rosemary from Brazil. She comes to church with us every Sunday. We are her best friends here in A Coruna and she loves spending time with us. Anyways we taught her about the plan of Salvation. We didnt have a bunch of time but I knew that I needed to focus on HER purpose, Gods love for HER personally. I told her that He knows her by name and He loves her so much. Tears welled up in her eyes and the only thought that came to my mind is I wonder when the last time was that she heard someone tell her that they love her and really mean it. She left home when she was about 16 because her mother died. She doesnt really have any strong family attachments.
Yesterday after conference we went and visited Katherin and Jakelin. They are from Uruguay and she got baptized when I first got here. Anyways they werent able to come to conference and I wanted to tell them a little bit about it. I was really touched by President Monsons talk that he gave Sunday morning. Its through the stress of life that we forget what is really important which is the people around us. I feel like Ive let that happen a couple times on my mission now. Through stress of the numbers, maps, area book, planning, schedule and everything else I forget sometimes whats really important and that is to share my love. I am so blessed to have so many people that love me. I know that my purpose here in Spain is to invite people to come unto Christ. I have felt so much better this week as I have shared my love with members, non members, inactive people and so on. After I told Jakelin and Katherin a little bit about the Prophets talk I told them how much I love them. They always invite us to come in and they always give us heated up hot chocolate and cookies. They are like my family here. I always write them in my journal but I realized in the Prophets talk how important it is to tell people and show them your love for them. In this busy crazy hectic life we all need to stop and remember what is important. What are we going to do in the life to come? I plan on being with my family and the ones that I love. The relationships we make here in this life can and will continue into the next.
Dad-I loved your letter and the experience you shared with your east side friend. I will start taking my iron thats probably it. We hardly ever eat meat, only with the Brazilians. I was taking a multivitamin everyday and I ran out. I love what your doing with Mom in regards to the missionary work in Pueblo. Do you think you two could move here and help us? You two are doing exactly what every missionary wishes the ward missionaries would do. Thank you for marrying mom. Thank you for being my Dad. I love you both so dearly.
Sister Sarah- I cant wait to get your letter. I dont want to see the word marry in your letters ever again. We are going to be single and have fun for at least a year when I get home. I love you my dear friend.
I loved the Prophets talk. I didnt get to listen to everything because of the time difference but Im excited to get the Ensign. I want each of you to know that I know that this is Christs Church, restored on the earth through a living Prophet. There is no doubt in my mind that Thomas S. Monson is Gods living prophet. I felt sad for the people in A Coruna yesterday when there were only about 30 people in the whole city that knew there was a living prophet speaking to the world. We are so blessed to have the gospel in our lives. Share it in any way you can. Even sharing your love by giving someone a hug or a note is a way of sharing Christ like love.
I love you all soooo very much. I miss you sooo very much. Thank you for your prayers and support.
Love,
The Sister

Monday, September 29, 2008

Emily - A Coruna Week 9

9.29.08

Hello my Family...
Dad: Sorry I made you feel bad. I’m really not miserable. I just feel useless sometimes and I hate that feeling. Please don’t worry so much. I think I was just really tired last week. Maybe as time goes by on the mission I’m
not as good to recognize the Spirit guiding me. Or I take for granted how much the Spirit is a part of the work but don’t recognize it as much now because I’m use to it. It just seems like I read things from other missionaries and I don’t seem to be having the same experiences as they do. I just feel kind of blah and really tired. Something that I’m doing needs to change; I just have to figure out what. I sent a package the other day with a CD of pictures; you should get it in the next couple of days. Please don’t worry about me. Last week I was just discussing thoughts that only come to my mind on p-day when I actually have time to think. During the week I’m usually pretty happy and although no one here seems to care, I am
thankful for my testimony of the restored gospel. Thank you for loving me and worrying about me. I will try to be more positive. Oh as for the package President came on Saturday for interviews and I guess it didn’t come
before they left. It takes a lot longer for me to get stuff from the mission home because I’m on the other side of the mission. I will probably get it at conference in a couple weeks.
Well brother thinks he is in a letter drought, what does that mean he got less than ten letters this week. Just wait brother everyone starts forgetting. I must say I faithfully get a letter from my dear mother every week
and an e-mail from pops every Monday but as for the rest of you, learn to be more consistent. I did get an email from Aunt Kelli, thank you. Oh and good job on finding the letter. Tell everyone hello and that I love and miss them.20
This week we had a neat experience with a boy named Jefferson. We found him knocking one day. We talked to him over the timbre and he asked us to wait at the door and he would come down to talk to us. When we met him he told us that he had met missionaries before, his brother and mom are testigos but he was interested in learning more. He looked really young and honestly I thought he told us we could come back so that his brother could
have a good fight with us. But when we went back a couple days later he came down and we taught him in a park. He told us that some Elders about eight years ago taught him how to pray and ever since that day he has prayed how they taught him. He understood that it is a conversation with God.
We also asked him if he knew there was a prophet on the earth today what
would you ask him. He said well I guess like what the purpose of life is
and what happens after this life. Oh wow those are really interesting questions. When we finished the lesson we asked him what called his attention the most or how do you say that. Anyways, he said well the boy that prayed and had a vision. He was obviously touched by the Spirit that is so
easy to be felt as we recite the first vision. We asked him to pray and w
e left him with the first folleto. We made a visit for the following day
because he is in the military and will be leaving for two months. We gave
him the Book of Mormon and the 2nd folleto so that he can read while he
is gone. When we came back he had read the whole folleto and prayed. I re
ally wanted to teach him the Plan of Salvation but he will have to read and we can talk when he gets back. It was a neat experience and I wish I could tell the Elders who taught him how to pray that we are teaching him
now. I know how nice it is to hear that planted seeds really do matter.
20
Cris decided to not get baptized this Saturday. We had a really intense les
son with him on Friday. I knew exactly what to say the whole time but that doensC2B4t mean he accepted the challenge to put God first. He is in his mid twenties and works like mad to take care of his mother and a brother that can’t work because he is injured. He knows the church is true and
wants to be baptized but wants to do it when things settle down. Right now he is afraid that he will be baptized and won’t be able to come every Sunday or have the visits with us during the week. I told him that it won’t
be easier in four months. Satan is going to do everything to keep him from being baptized. We promised him that if he puts God first by obeying the commandments like the Sabbath Day and tithing that the windows of Heaven would be opened. He is so afraid and can’t seem to find the faith to let go of the worldly things and trust in God. I know God will take care of
him if he will just put Him first.20
we had a fun dinner yesterday with thee most amazing people. Santiago a man
from the Dominican Republic made a huge dinner for all the missionaries
and our investigators. We ate outside on his deck and the food was amazing. We had pica pollo, arroz, fried platanos, and yuca. I want to start having a potluck with everyone every week like you are doing. Our investigators loved it and it really helps them feel more comfortable. It’s amazing
how many people don’t even recognize that we brought someone to church with us. If they only knew what it took to get them there? I think that missionary work is really going to change when wards become full of returned
preach my gospel missionaries. I can think of so many things I wish I would have helped with before my mission. Also now that it’s not memorized members can help teach and share their personal experiences. It really helps
s investigators to hear from members because they think that missionaries
are like perfect and we don’t have trials. Oh if they only knew....
Anyways I’m excited to someday apply everything that I’m learning right now into my normal life when I get home. It really is the simple things that keep us on track. Pray, read and go to church. If you do those three thing
s everything else will fall into place. 20
President said that H. Garcia is leaving this transfer. I’m a little nervous
because that means I’m supposed to speak Spanish. I really love her and I
feel like she is my sister. She plans on staying with us for a while after the mission. Anyways it’s possible that I will be with H. Truscott again, the greeny that came to Santander from WA.
Okay that enough for now. I sure love you all and think of you often. The
church is true-Sister! Don’t forget about me!
Love,
the Sister

Friday, September 26, 2008