Monday, December 29, 2008

Emily - Vigo Week 2


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.
The Sister

Logan - Elche Week 6


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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