Monday, March 31, 2008

Emily @ Santander Week 3

Hello Everyone:
This week I got a letter from Sister Sarah in the mail, today actually. It got here really fast. I loved your letter Sister, thank you so much. I´ll try to write you back today, a REAL letter. Also an email from Dad, and sister Jessica. Dad I will have to comment on your e-mail in a private letter, oh my goodness! Thank you for always knowing how to make me laugh. Sister Jessica I am going to have to print yours off and read it later, but thank you so much for the letter, I love you. Mom I think you probably put one in the mail and it just hasn´t gotten here yet.

I hate writing this e-mail, sorry but its true. It is impossible to explain what is going on here. Plus I only have 45 minutes now and that is just no time at all. I will try to give you a glimpse of what my life is like right now. I´m still trying to accept that I´m here and that I´m a missionary.

Every week we go to a Independent Living Center and spend a couple of hours with this lady named Juani. She is so sweet and she always gives us cookies wrapped up in napkins that she steals fromt the kitchen. She has a friend Diego who comes and takes her on drives. So all four of us get in the car and drive around to all the pueblos is Spain, they are gorgeous. Once you get out of the city, its miles and miles of rolling green green hills. Diego always shows us some really beautiful places and then he takes us out for hot cocoa. Its my favorite couple hours of the week. I´ll send some pics. today of what it looks like where we went.

This week we went to a ladies home who is Catholic. She likes us to come over and visit her but not talk about the church. She treats us like royalty. She gets out nice china, napkins and serves us hot cocoa and crescents. She is a really special lady and its nice to just go over to her house and visit with her. Hopefully with time she will start allowing us to share the gospel with her, I think she will.

Olga continues to be our best investigator. She is always so kind to us and feeds us every time we come over. The Spirit is always there when we teach and I know she can feel it. But sometimes I think she gets really confused with all the information. The other day she asked us why the names in the book we gave her were different than the ones in the bible. That was after we had taught her all of lesson one. Also she asked us who is this José Smith? Again after we had taught her all of lesson 1. Hopefully we can get something to make sense for her in the next couple of visits. She is great and I hope she gets baptized. She came to church with us last Sunday.

Church is always really interesting here. The missionaries help it along A LOT. This Sunday we had a couple talks, suprisingly everyone showed up. One of them was about the Millenium and when Christ is going to come. Luckily I didn´t understand all of it, and its to bad that our investigator speaks Spanish, I think she got it all. I bet she will be baptized really soon. Our investigator also came with us to class, unfortunately. WE have two crazy old guys in there and every week they get stuck on something random so we never really hear a lesson. This week one of them wanted to know why in the picture in the BofM of Moroni, it looks like his fingers are cut off. We talked about it for at least 20 minutes. Also, one of them has some major word of wisdom problems and neither of them have showered for years. It makes a real nice setting for a doctrinal class for investigators. I got a bad headache from the smell and was excited when the hour was finally over. I am proud of them for making the effort to come to church at least.

My thought after this week, is that it is an absolute miracle that anyone gets baptized! The church is true, I know that but man for someone to get to that point, to get over all the stumbling blocks, it really is a miracle. We are teaching this really nice lady named Edna. We only have a couple things to work on. Number one she works every sunday so she can never come to church. Number 2, 3, that she has been married multiple times and right now she lives with the father of her daughter and he legally is her husband but also her boyfriend lives with her. She is married to the father of her daughter to give him citizenship so he can be here with their child. So ya once we help her work out all of that and help her gain a testimony we should be well on our way to baptism.

A couple days ago we took a bus home that went all along the coast. It was absolutely gorgeous and I can´t wait to come back here with you guys. There were lots of people surfing, DAD! You should look up on the internet how the surf is here. Well there is so much more that has happened but I am running out of time.

I´m sending you a package of pictures today and a letter. Let me know when it gets there. Sister your letter got here really fast. Mom just to let you know if you put iron pills in the letters it will take forever for them to get here because they will search it. Your so funny mom, I love you so much.

Well everyone the church is true and I´m thankful to be a member. I´m thankful to be a part of an eternal family that loves me and supports me. Heavenly Father loves all His children and I hope that I can help some of the people in Spain see and feel His love. We knocked a lot of doors this week and so many of them told us that they don´t believe in God. It breaks my heart! Thank you for all your letters, prayers and love. The work here is hard and sometimes I wonder why Heavenly Father chose me to serve here but I know someday it will all make sense. He knows us better than we know ourselves. I know I´m here for at least someone, ME and hopefully someone else. DAd:Thank you for the money. I bought a coat today and its really warm. It was nice for like one day and now its back to rain. I hope you all have a wonderful week. I love each one of you so much and think about you often.

Love,EM (hermana Gogarty)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Logan - Provo MTC Week One

March 28, 2008

OK well I ve gotten letters from, Audrey, Kayli, Ashley, Dad, Mom Jess, Sarah and I think thats it. No worries about the v necks and I barley missed jess today I saw her car but I never saw her we must have been in the temple at the same time how crazy is that. When I came out she was gone.

So My comp is Elder Wilcox and Elder Bishop they are in most the pictures. Both of them are form UT so its fun telling them things like you ditch class instead of sluff. Utah is another world. Anyways Elder Bishop is going to spanish speaking VA, Richmond and he is the one playing his leg like a guitar in those pics then Elder Wilcox is doing the matrix pose with me. I ll be sending some pics of josh sean and me soon.

The MTC is great like I said the other night I was tried and wrote some letters one to kayli and one to Audrey and believe it or not I got them back the next day. I am embarrassed to tell the story but I put their adrees where my adree should be it was pretty funny but I am still getting crap for it lol. I guess thats what happens when you grow up with email and cell phones. I dont think I've written more then 20 letters in my lifetime. My comp gives me crap because I didnt know how to turn on a vacum the other night he says Logan you can style your hair 28 different ways but you can turn on a vacum.

He is great Elder Bishop is a way fun guy. Not to much esle going on I am gaining some weight from eating such big meals but I get to work it off in the gym. The MTC is crazy thats about all I can say So many dedicated young men and women in and of itself proves the church is true. Thousands of kids setting the world aside for a year and a half to two all to share a message with complete strangers who shut doors in their face its pretty incredible.

We get to teach fake investigators and thats my favorite part I think I am developing my speaking talent I seem to keep my cool and flow better but its only because the spirit guides me. I am running out of time so I may try to get back on later how a great day and keep writing snail mail its a ton more fun.
> Love
> Elder Gogarty

Monday, March 24, 2008

Emily @ Santander Week 2

Hello Family:This week I had a couple letters waiting for me at the mission home. One from mom and the rest from Elders. They must have stolen my address from Sister Nickolaisen. One of them was pretty serious!LOL. I´m not really quite sure how to respond, he pretty much confessed his love for me. They are all good Elders, it was fun to hear from them. Kind of sad that I got more letters from the MTC Elders than my family. Just Kidding! Grandma I didn´t get yours, sorry. Maybe it is sitll on its way.

An hour is not enough time to tell you everthing that has happened this week. That is so awesome that you can see where I live. It is true that I live in a very high building but there is nothing else here. You know it the East you can´t see the sky because of the trees, well here its because of the buildings. Everyone lives in a piso and a lot of times they have families in each room of the piso. ITS CRAZY!

Ill start by telling you who we are teaching. First of all I can´t figure out what mission I was actually called to. I think we have talked to someone from every country in South America. Right now we are teaching this really neat lady from Dominican Republic. She is reading, praying and she came to church on Sunday with her grand-daughter. She is just a really good person and she always treats us so kindly. She feeds us every time we come over. The first time we came she made us this amazing juice. It was like a creamy lime smoothie. I will show you how to make it in a year and a half. She has also made us some not so good food. The other day we had cold sweet bean soup. I almost threw up!

We taught a lot of people this week, that we were just randomly able to get a hold of. The area book stresses me out. There are so many people that were interested and haven´t progressed. To find one of them takes like 30 mins. Our area is huge and it includes a huge hill so it takes along time to walk to each piso. Last night we taught this family at a members house. The members are from Ecuador and they are amazing. They dress just like the people I saw while I was there. WE ate dinner with them and then watched Legacy. After the movie I felt really strongly that I needed to share my testimony. As they began talking when the movie finished, my heart was pounding. I just jumped into the middle of their conversation and was like, puedo compartir mi testimonio? The whole room just turned and looked at me. I shared a really simple testimony of Jesus Christ, life after death with our familes, and the power of the atonement. For some reason I was crying. The family that we were teaching are really great people. I hope that we can help them continue to progress. I guess they have been taught all the lessons. ITs hard not to want to force people to accept what they know is true. If that makes any sense. It is so hard for people to take the necessary steps to change their lives.

Saturday was a really hard day. The weather here has been crazy! At night it sounds like someone is slamming a tree against our window and spraying it with a fire house. It is like hurricane weather. So anyways it was wet and cold on Saturday and we were wandering around looking for people from the area book. We would go to their piso and ring the bell and then no one would answer. So we would ring all the other bells until someone would let us in the building. Then we go from floor to floor knocking on doors. SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM, everytime it happened I thought I would get more use to it, It hurts every time. Then we were walking down the hill and these 10 year old kids flipped us off. WE smiled and waved at them. I thought about giving them a friendly slap on the face. The kids here are crazy, just like I remember them in Madrid. Pornography is out of control here and there are marijuana stores that sell everything. I feel so bad for them, they all look horrible. The girls have no self respect. Its so sad!

We did a lot of knocking this week because no one was on the street. This week is Semana Santa and everyone is on vacation. So here in Spain for Semana Santa they have a parade. People beat themselves and crawl down the street on their knees. The way they dress is really scary. If you don´t know what I´m talking about search it on the internet. I can´t explain it all I am running out of time. We ran into one the other night when we were going home. I got the most horrible feeling in my stomach when I saw it. People here are either Catholic or don´t believe in God at all. There are some pretty messed up things in this country because the religion was forced. I don´t even know how to explain it but their religion is their culture.

On Sunday I bore my tesimony and lead the music for every meeting. The missionaries help run things a lot in the ward. There are people from all over the world in the ward and they are all very nice. We went to two eating appointments. The first one the food was awesome and the women we ate with were so nice. Afterwards I shared my testimony and a spiritual thought from the March Ensign. Wasn´t that Ensign amazing, I have it in English and Spanish. The second cita almost made me throw up too. Thank goodness they don´t feed us everyday here.

There is so much more to tell you but I dont´have time and I don´t know how to put a lot of it into words. I will have to write you some hand written letters today, I need to get some things off of my mind. I think it would help to write them down and I want you guys to know everything that is happening. I get to talk to you in May and I´m so excited about that. I´m glad you got Logan off. I left him some treats at the CCM in Madrid with a letter. He probably left with more clothes then I did.Sister thanks for your e-mail, Dad thanks for yours and mom as always thank you for your beautiful hand written letters. I love you guys so much and I do miss you a lot. I still can´t believe that I´m here and that I´m a missionary. I pray for you everyday and I try to not think about you all the time. Sister Sarah where are you? I love you! Coby I hope your doing well too, I love you! Oh and one letter from you is not going to last my whole mission, there better be more on the way. Hope everyone is doing well. I love each one of you so much and Im thankful for your support and prayers.loveem (hermana Gogarty)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Emily @ Santander Week 1

I don´t know if I believe it but I´m in my first area. IF you can believe it, I already can´t remember the name of the town that I´m in right now. Hold on I have to ask my comp. Okay the name of the town I´m in is Santander.

I live right on the coast. The town is actually a little knob off of the side of the country. The bay of biscay is on three sides of the town. I can´t even describe it, its like a movie. There are millions of high buildings all different colors. People everywhere, little shops, panderias. I feel like I´m in a dream, its hard to accept that I´m finally here. Yesterday I counted it out and realized that I have been waiting a half a year to get to my first area. My first night here, last night, we went to an investigators house and taught him. I understood my comps. Spanish but not his. IT SOUNDS SO DIFFERENT!

Right now it is 1:30 in the afternoon which means that its 6:30 in the morning there. Logan is probably getting all ready to go into the MTC. I am so glad that he already has his visa. Good luck with everything today! I wish I could be there.

My mission president and his wife are really nice. They live in a beautiful area and we had a nice dinner with them yesterday and then I headed out on a bus for Santander. This is the most green place I have ever been to in my entire life. Its rolling hills of green and apartments. Its really pretty!

My address here is:
C/ Pelayo 1,
8D39008 Santander (Cantabria)

If you haven´t already sent that package you can send it to this address. I am going to be here for a while, so send all mail here. I´ve heard that I will only be in like 3-4 areas my whole mission. Also I found out that there are only 82 missionaries in my whole mission. Including me there are 4 missionaries in my district. The Elders are really nice, they helped take my bags to my piso last night. The piso, is for sure a missionary piso. I want to clean it up a little bit but its fine for now.

My companion is really sweet. She is from Hurricane, Utah. She will finish her mission with me in two transfers I think. Then I stay here and show the city to another sister. Good thing my trainer is really good at maps. She said she will help me know the city like the back of my hand. My p-day is Monday and my comp. just said that we write at about 11:00 AM. I will write you again on P-day. Today was just to let you know that I´m here and I´m alive. I hope you have a wonderful time together in Utah. I wish I could be with you. I love you all so much and I will write you more on Monday.
Love,Em(hermana Gogarty)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Emily - Last Day MTC Madrid

Well today is Thursday the 17th and its 2:30 so that means that it is 7:30 in the morning for you and actually you are probably headed to an airport on your way to Utah. It is really funny to me that tomorrow I head to Bilbao to start my mission and Wednesday Logan starts the MTC training. I am so happy that he got his visa. I actually kind of knew that he had it because they told us a huge group of missionaries got theirs and I figured he was one of them. You are probably wondering why I am writing right now. President is giving us the rest of today to pack, clean and write our families since we don´t know when our p-day will be in the Bilbao Mission.

Oh ya my Dad is making me start off all my letters in a new way...hold on I have to look at the example. Here we go..Dear Family/Friends:Thank you to the following for your letters:Grandpa Gogarty: I loved your story about the coat. I also enjoyed the scripture that you shared with me, thank you. Your letters mean so much to me. I love you! Grandma Gogarty: I have to admit I have been wondering why I haven´t heard from you more. I can´t wait to get to Bilbao and read your letter. Thank you so much for your e-mail, it made me cry. I agree with everything you said. It is amazing to me that Heavenly Father really does know each of us by name, He loves us so much. Grandma and Grandpa you are both such beautiful people. I have learned so much from both of you and I´m thankful to have you be such a big part of my life.

As I sit with President and Sister Hill I think so much of both of you. I pretend to be sitting at your table with you. They have had many adventures like yours. Its funny how much they remind me of you. I didn´t think I was going to be able to get to President Hill, like I did Grandpa. I´ve had such a short time here but in the last couple of days I´ve been able to get him laughing pretty hard, its great!Grandpa took weeks for me to understand but I think I got some extra help with President since I was only going to be here for a few weeks. Sister Hill is just kind, warm and loving like Grandma. I can get her laughing pretty hard too. People can´t fool me, no matter what their age! I love you both so much.

Mom: I got your letter with the pictures from your trip to Canada! I love all the pics. you send. I think I am receiving a lot of blessings from Jessica´s mission. Mom and dad feel bad about everything they forgot to do for her so I´m pretty well taken care of. I love your letters so much and I love to just hear what is going on in your mind, your so funny. Your letters are like no one elses. Dad: I about pee my pants when I read your letters. I always have to share parts of your letter with my Elder comp. I hope I have a comp. some time on my mission that would appreciate your humor as much as I do. I loved what you said about Dansko but can you wait till I get back to egg the building, I want to help. I´m hoping my first comp. will help me find some. Don´t worry about sending any.

Sisters: As always I love hearing from you. Jess I believe in one of your letters there was some lame excuse about how you would write more but it is so EXPENSIVE and then later on in the letter you told me that you bought a 350 dollar stroller. WOW you guys sound really POOR! If you are buying a 350 dollar stroller for your first baby you can handle paying 0.80 cents for a stamp. Do I make myself clear? Also sister Sarah, your a homeschooler. No more excuses from you either!

Okay now I´m really going to start my letter. I could go on forever but I want to tell you about some really neat experiences that I´ve have in the last couple of days. Every Saturday before we go to the park the teachers put up a chart on the white board. The chart has four categories: BofM, lessons, refrences, and pamphlets. We are suppose to write our goals of how many we are going to give out. Well I dread this because I hate numbers and the whole time I´m at the park I worry about giving something out. So before this Saturday I prayed a lot for help to have a different perspective and different attitude about the park. Well before we left we had a devo with President. My prayers were definately answered. He said he came into the room Friday night and was looking at our goals on the board. He knew that something needed to be changed. He gave a wonderful messgae and then told us to forget the numbers on the board and instead make a goal of talking to a certain number of people instead. Everything he said I totally agreed with and it helped me so much. Instead of worrying about what I was going to give the people so I could make my goals I was worrying about talking to people and then giving them something according to their needs.

I can finally say that this Saturday was one of the best missionary experiences. One of my teachers Hermana Ganaza came with us, she is a sweet heart. She is so good with people and she talked with everyone. With her confidence I was able to talk and share the gospel, it was wonderful. We talked to one guy who didn´t believe in God, it broke my heart. He went on and on about if there is a God then why is there so much suffering. I was so scared to speak up because he was talking really fast and he had so many negative things to say. My heart almost jumped out of my chest, when I felt the prompting to talk to him about families. I asked him about his family and he calmed down a little. He turned his attention to me and I could tell he was very curious to see what I was going to see. After asking him a few questions I told him that I could see his family is very important to him. I told him that my family was very important to me too. I said my family is very far away from my right now but I know that we will be together forever. I bore my testimony about families and how much God loves us. I know he felt the Spirit I could see it in his eyes. It scared him and although he was quiet during my testimony, he went off again. We listened and then he said goodbye.

We also found three girls from Texas about my age. One of them knew who we were because her babysitters when she was little were LDS. They were Christians and they had beautiful testimonies. It was neat to share more with them about the Book of Mormon. They actually had some questions and between the three of us my comp, Hermana Ganaza and I, we answered all of them. They asked about Joseph Smith and I started to tell them and then realized that I had never memorized the first vision in English. I just started saying it and the words just flowed out of my mouth. I bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. I know they felt the Spirit too. We happened to have an English Book of Mormon in our bag and we gave it to them. I hope they read it and pray about it. It was fun to teach in English and be able to say everything I wanted to say.

So many little things have happened in the last two months that keep reminding me of how mindful Heavenly Father is of me and each of His children. I can´t even explain it all but just the little things each day, that prove to me, He is there. I know He listens to us and He knows what we need even though we think we know. Miracles do happen Grandma, I agree. Heavenly Father loves us so much. The church is true(Sister)

I had my departure interview last night with President Hill. He told me that I have a real gift with the language. He said some missionaries take a long time to get it down but he thinks I will be able to progress very quickly and therfore concentrate in other areas. He told me to be myself with my mission presidnet and let him know who I am. He said, Of course not in a prideful way but share who you are. I think he realizes that I started to open up a lot more in the last week. I´ve had a good time here but I´m ready to get out my classes.

Okay of course I have to share some funny stories now. Dad made me start the letter off all serious with the to whom it may concern crap or what ever it was. Anyways I can´t tell you how many times I have been called Sister Fowers this week. One time it was by President Hill, so funny. His wife caught him and was like um its Sister GOGARTY hunny. My teacher also calls me Sister Fowers and every time someone does it they are so akward about it. I just laugh and try to get them to move on to something else. They get so confused, its hilarious. We are together so much that we confuse everyone in the building. When we taught lesson 3 together this week our teachers told us that we teach really well together. They also said that we are going to freak out when we hear the same gender teaching with us. S

o I leave at 7:15 tomorrow morning and then I think the flight is an hour long. I stay the night at the mission home and head out Wednesday morning. On Tuesday sometime I am told I will e-mail you to give you the address of my first area. I can´t believe its really starting. Well I have a lot to do to get ready to go, I guess I better get off. I can´t wait to tell you all about my first companion and my first area.

I love you all so much and I´m thankful for your letters and I´m especially thankful for your love for me. Brother I will be praying for you on Wednesday. Pray for peace in your mind and in your heart. It is a big step and I know how hard it is. But I also know that Heavenly Father will bless your mind and although it will be hard to leave you will feel an overwhelming peace about your decision and what your doing. I love you so much! I can´t wait for you to get to Spain. I´ve already told everyone all about you!I love you ALL!Love, Em (Hermana Gogarty)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Emily MTC Madrid Week 4

Dad and Mom thanks for your responses to my letter. I wanted to make sure you got the last letter before I wrote the next one. Dad you can go ahead and send that stuff to the Bilbao Mission home because Im leaving here on Tuesday early morning. Mom, yes I have been getting your iron pills, your so funny. But I only have like three now, not enough for my whole mission. Thank you for Tiff´s address. If you could still try and get Breanna´s and Ashley´s that would be great. I will check my email later to see if you were able to get them. If not I will try to find the mission home office address and send their letters there. I have been getting the pics. too thank you so much the house looks beautiful.

I can´t believe but I am actually starting my mission on Tuesday. Early in the morning at like seven, Elder Fowers and I will fly to Bilbao. I don´t know whats going to happen after that. I think we have lunch with our mission president and then they send us off. Hopefully they will send me off to the best trainer in the mission. That is what I´ve been praying for the last couple of weeks. I told Elder Fowers that I´ve been praying for my first comp. he loved the idea so he started doing the same thing this last week. Im not really sure what kind of sister to be praying for but I know Heavenly Father knows.

I have to of course start off with the park experiences. This last Saturday was, I´m sorry to say not any better. We talked to one lady for a little but she knew who we were. She told me that she was Catholice and we were more than welcome to visit with her but nothing about religion. She had two of the ugliest dogs, of course I think all dogs are ugly but these were especially hideous. Anyways I had to talk to her about her dogs for like ten minutes. I know this is hard to believe but I think people here are more obsessed with their animals then in the US. Its hard for me sometimes to wear my miss. tag because it scares people off. I actually really like to talk to people because I have half of mom in me but most won´t even give us a chance just to visit with them. They are so afraid that we are going to share a message its really frustrating. A couple people at the park saw us coming for them and they got up and quickly ran in the opposite direction. I can´t say that it doesn´t hurt anymore. Although I think everyday I will get better at dealing with the rejection. I don´t think it hurts me, its just hard to not want them to have what you have. We are so blessed to know the truth. I think I say that in every letter, sorry!

Some days it seems like my Spanish SUCKS but I have to admit its amazing how fast I´m learning it. Its not because of my abilities, Heavenly Father is helping me so much. President Hill told me yesterday that I need to be more confident about my Spanish. He said I´m one of the best he has heard from new missionaries. It felt good to hear that. Today I went to a shopping mall with my comp. and we both bought watches. The one Jess bought me broke too. Anyways I talked to the lady for like twenty minutes. We talked about the church a little and missionaries. She was really nice and she told me that my Spanish was really good for only being here for a couple weeks. It really is crazy I can usually understand almost everything everyone is saying to me. I can´t wait to be totally fluent.

So Dad I don´t have time to write Dansko but I think you should. I´m so mad that we spent so much money on these shoes. I haven´t even started tracting and the insides are all torn up and the first couple weeks I wore them they tore my feet up. Today I had to go buy inserts for these stupid shoes. One girl that is here right now is going home because her feet are so messed up from her shoes. I guess she never said anything and they just kept getting worse and now she has something seriously wrong. I told Sister Hill someone needs to do some research on shoes and be more specific about what missionaries should bring. Sister Taylor the doctor´s wife said they send about 6-7 miss. home a month for medical reasons. Her husband is the doctor for all of Europe.

This last week there have been two sisters here from Barcelona. I guess one of the has some major mental issues. She has tried to kill herself, so she is here to see the doctor. I think she is going home, she is from the Islands. Anyways a couple nights ago I felt like I should go into their room and talk to her comp. Her comp. is from CA and she only has two months left on her mission. I think being here away from the mission dealing with all of this has been really hard for her. Anyways I went in their room and the one that is going howe was in the shower. So I sat on the sisters bed and we just talked for like 30 minutes. I needed her and I think she needed me. Heavenly Father is so mindful of us, we just have to ask. We talked a little about the mission pres. and his wife. She said they are wonderful and she thinks they are about 45, pretty young. They had two daughters both around the age of 20 living with them but they recently came to the states for school. Good thing they are across the ocean from Logan. By the time he gets here, if he comes in 3 weeks I don´t know if it will have hit him that he cant date anymore. They have two boys at home still too.

I can´t believe brother is going in on Wed. Brother the best way to stay sane in there is to laugh. Some peopel will try to make you feel bad about laughing. Which is still hard for me to understand since part of our purpose in this life is to have joy. Anyways just ignore them and have a good time. Oh ya take good care of the sisters in your District. I love you so much and I can´t wait for you to start this adventure with me.

Big news, H. Nickolaisen got her visa along with 34 other missionaries. There have only been four of us here and now they are getting 35. Their visa system is so random! She comes the day I leave, I´m so sad. But I´m so thankful that she got her visa. Elder Fowers got a letter from one of the Elder´s in our district yesterday and I guess they all fasted together for her visa. I love my MTC district what good Elders.

Now a coupld funny stories OF COURSE. My Elder comp. Elder Fowers isn´t doing as well with the Spanish. His favorite word is preguntita, which means little question. But its a feminine word so you have to say it with an A at the end. Everyday he says preguntito and I think it about drives our pregnant teacher up the wall. I think I figured out why his Spanish is so bad though. Yesterday we were in the library organizing it and labeling stuff. Well he had the label machine and he was trying to print off all the labels for us. He handed one to me and I wasn´t sure what language it was. Sadly enough he was trying to spell an English word, cupboard and he spelled it cubberd. I think he needs to learn English before he starts trying to learn Spanish. I understand a lot because of cognates, he never gets those, POOR KID! He is at the point where he is wondering if Spanish is even going to come in two years!!!

A couple nights ago one of the teachers had us all get in the elevator. We went to the top of the building and then we had to say the first vision before we hit the bottom. I was the only one that was able to do it! GOGARTY POWER! Hey I have to get excited about something. I think Ive only been at this MTC for a couple weeks but it feels like ive been here forever. Last story, today we went to the temple and it was awesome. We first did a session and then baptisms. This temple is gorgeous. We did baptisms because the Elder from Portugal has never been. So he and Elder Fowers did confirmations and then President Hill did baptisms. I think we were really lucky to do baptisms. Its been nice to have such a small group a lot more personal and I have learned so much Spanish. Its especially nice to have such a small group in R.S. I love Sister Taylor and Sister Hill. The lesson on Sunday was exactly what I needed to hear. I wrote Sister Hill a little note and told her how thankful I am to have her here. Its so nice to be with such good women since I can´t be with my sisters and my mom.

Every time I pray at night I become so much closer to Heavenly Father. I talk to Him about everything because I can´t talk to you guys. You really learn how to rely on Heavenly Father on your mission. What is amazing is that when you learn how to rely on Him life will get a lot easier. We naturally want to depend on things that we can see, things that we don´t have to have faith in. But if we really believe that God is our Heavenly Father, that He loves us and He wants the best for us, our perspective will change. He is there although we can´t see Him and He really does listen to every single pray in all languages. Sometimes I am overwhelmed when I think about how much love He has for me and how mindful He is of me. God loves us so much! The church is TRUE!( that was for you sister)Ok well I´m headed off for Bilbao bright and early Tuesday morning. I can´t wait to see what its going to be like. I love you all so much and I sure do miss you sometimes. Thank you for the letters and for your love. Love, Em(hermana Gogarty)

Emily MTC Madrid Week 3

I don´t even know what to say for this week. Things started off a little rough on Saturday and the rest of the week just seemed to follow along that same track. This Saturday I went to the park with my new companion and she speaks three weeks of Provo MTC spanish. So pretty much she knows how to say her name, where she is from and how old she is. It was up to me to take charge with the Spanish. We were able, wait, I was able to talk to one guy the whole time we were at the park. I talked to him for a while which was good. We talked about families and how they can be eternal and I gave him the Family Proclamation to the World phamphlet. I tried to give him a Book of Mormon too but he wouldn´t take it. I thought the conversation was going pretty well and then he said, don´t you guys have more than one wife. I tried to pretend that I didn´t know what he was saying but it was pretty hard to play dumb since he knew that I had understood the whole converstaion for the previous twenty mintues we had been talking before the big question. Anyways at least he was nice to us. Everyone else saw our name tags and I could tell they were reading them and then we would say Buenos Dias. When we tried to start talking to them they would quickly turn the opposite direction and run. We may not have been able to share the gospel in the park on Saturday but hey I at least had fun making everyone take an alternate route home. Who knows if any of them got home, I´m pretty sure they were willing to take any route home besides the one we were on. My comp. must have been scared out of her mind she had only been her for a couple of days by the time we went on Saturday. She pretty much walked about 5 feet behind me the entire morning. I think she thought the Spainards were going to eat her. Anyways not the best time of my life but I´m praying that this Saturday will go better. Its hard enough to approach some random person that speaks Spanish with your companion and it was even harder to do it by myself.

I have only like ten days left here and I´m pretty excited to head to Bilbao. Can you believe that on the 16th of this month I will already be gone for 2 months. It has gone by fast but today it seems like I´ve been out for a year. Although this week was kind of hard I have learned some amazing things. R.S. was really good(I thought I would never say that) but it was only 4 of us so I don´t really think it was R.S. But anyways it was just my comp. and I, Sister Taylor and Sister Hill. We just talked for like an hour and then did a 20 min. lesson. I needed it so bad and I´m thankful that they took the time to just visit. President Hill teaches a doctrine class for us a couple times a week and they are amazing. I learn so much from him that I can´t write it all down fast enough. Hopefully some of it stays in my memory.

Yesterday My Elder Comp. and I taught lesson two together. Every week we have what they call a milestone. Your given a situation and then you prepare for it and teach the lesson. It didn´t go to well. It was hard enough to get everything out it Spanish and then the teacher pretended to be a 72 year old woman that had just lost her husband. She was Catholic and had a million questions. I knew what I wanted to say in English and I could think of great scriptures to share but I didn´t know where they were. My head felt like it was going to explode by the time we were done. The teacher that we taught only had like 15 SUGGESTIONS for us. She was pretty rough on us for our first time teaching lesson 2 but hey I guess thats how its going to be out there. I have learned so much from the scriptures during personal study. It is true they really do answer questions of the soul. During that whole lesson I could think of great scriptures to answer her but I need to memorize where they are at. Sometimes its overwhelming how many things there are to work on, to become a better missionary. Okay I´m sick of talking about all the bad things that happened this week.

Lets move on to a funny story. I don´t have as many being here because there aren´t as many people but I still have some. On Sunday the only two Elders that are here right now blessed the sacrament. Well there were only nine of us all together for testimony meeting. As they were breaking the bread they realized that there was a lot of bread for only nine people. When the tray was passed to me, I went to grab a PIECE of bread and instead grabbed a sandwhich. I looked over at Elder Fowers while I tried to slam a piece of bread, I mean partake of the sacrament. We both almost busted up laughing but couldn´t really because there were only nine of us in the meeting. I guess since it was fast sunday they didn´t want to break the bread into too small of pieces because they figured we were hungry. After sacrament we did have an amazing testimony meeting. It was one of the best that I´ve been to in a long time. Everyone of course shared their testimony because there were only 9 of us. When I got up to share my testimony as I was speaking I realized how much my testimony has been strengthened in the last two months. I´ve learned so much in such a short time and I can´t believe how much more there is to learn. I can´t believe that we are the only religion that I know of that believes that families can be together forever. I can´t imagine not having this knowledge. We are so blessed to have the truth and know of Heavenly Father´s plan for us.

Oh two more funny things, sorry. Number one I already can´t speak Enghlish anymore. The other day after I taught lesson two with Elder Fowers. We went back to our classroom and I was so frustrated and I threw my hands down and said, I´m going to go freaking out! Also today is p-day and so my comp. and I ran some errands. We accidentaly go on the wrong bus(actually she said it was the right one) and ended up being on the bus for an hour before it took us to the right spot. That story isn´t funny yet but hopefully it will be in a couple weeks after I leave.

Okay I´m done venting now sorry. I have thought of a couple things that I would really appreciate having sent to me. Mom I know you have loved having that cookbook and your welcome to have it but could you send me another one. Also, I could really use one of those exercise bands that has two handles on the end. We can have our MP3 players if you could find mine in my stuff and Sarah could load music on there. Find out by other miss. what is allowed and fill it up with music and send it to me. Then I will buy speakers to plug it into. That is one thing I have missed and I think would really enjoy is just having some music in my room. My fan worked for a little while after I super glued it back together and now its dead. I really liked it because it was small. I looked today and couldn´t find another one. If you happen to find one will you send it to. The last two things that I need our addresses. On my cell phone if you could call Ashley Yates family and get her address and call Breanna Tycksen´s family and get hers also. I have two numbers in my phone for them make sure you call the home phone that I have for them. I would really like to write them but I don´t have their addresses. Oh also just to let you know I transferred 200.00 dollars from Ameritrade.

Have you heard anything about Hermana Nickolaisen´s visa? Jess if you see her tell her that I love her and I am still praying for her visa. Also, tell her that I sent her a letter today. I wish she was here right now, I miss her. Okay sorry that was a lot of things but I made some goals for exercising and those are a few things that I need to help me keep my goal. Elder Fowers helped me make an exercise plan, he really likes biking and running so he had fun putting together a plan for me.

Dad: Thanks for your letter and thank you for always being so real in your letters. I probably am to honest sometimes in mine but I know you enjoy that. You may have sick patients that hate you but I have a whole country of Catholic Spaniards that hate me. The YM are lucky to have you. Sometimes I wish I could just call you guys and visit for a little while. This week I´ve had a lot on my mind but I think I´m getting better. I love you guys so much!

Mom: I got your letter and the house looks great! Thank you for writing me all the time. I love your letters because they are just your random thoughts. I always laugh so hard when I read them. You know how we were on at the same time last week, I knew we were. It was weird while I was writing for some weird reason I counted out the time and I could just picture you at the computer. For some reason I was just thinking about you while I was writing it was weird. I guess its just our mother to favorite daughter connection. Oh ya to answer the question about the food, no me gusta. They eat a lot of carbs and at most meals there are no vegtables. But all the cooks are from different countries so actually most of the time we aren´t really sure what we are eating. I am excited to make my own food in Bilbao.

Sister Sarah: hopefully you get my letter this week, I sent it about 6 days ago I think. I don´t know if you got my e-mail. but anyways I love you so much and I wish you could be here with me. Write me more you lil brat!O

kay well I guess I better go. I could probably keep typing for hours with everything that is going on in my head right now but I need to finish my laundry and all that crap. Thank you for being such an awesome family. I love you guys so much and I try to not think about you all the time but sometimes its hard not to. Good thing the gospel is true other wise I would just come home. I just read back through my letter and I don´t know if its a good idea to post this one. But hey you know what I´m in Spain right now so if any one has a problem with what I said I don´t really care because I´m half way around the world. I will try to write a more uplifting e-mail next week. I love you each one of you with all my heart. I know I don´t always respond specifically to your letters all the time but I do read them and most of the time I read them a couple times. I pray for you everyday! I love you!Love, Em (Hermana Gogarty)