Monday, February 23, 2009

Logan - Lorca Week 5


Thanks mom for your letters! I got two this morning from you and One from EMily. AT least the family is faithful in letter writing! EMily I will send the camera card today with a letter. Well Iam still illegal which is kind of exciting in a sense. We havent had to run form any cops but just knowing that I might have to is fun and my alertness has been raised a notch. I went to the office the other day and they have no clue about anything. Everytime I go they tell me somthing different and give me different papers to fill out. This time I pulled the whole Hey whats you name and number because you will be getting a call from my Abogado or lawyerer. They refused to give me their information becasue the girl wasnt quite sure on the whole situation herself so she said she wouldnt be able to tell the lawyer any new information. I got more papers and I m going to try to take out residency again in a bigger city 30 mins away on thursday. I hope it works out. Mean time the lawyer has not answered his phone. We ll see what happens this week. Dad th Chrismas letter was hilarious both of my companions were on the for laughing. I also thought it was great. This week we were walking in the center of the city and a man frm Ecuador came to us and said he was inactive and so was his wife but wanted us to come over. He also told me that he wanted us to pretned we hadnt talked to him so that his wife would think that we were guided there by the spirit. Little did he know it was amazing that he even found us because we are no normally in the part of the city where he lives. WE went by to suprise visit them and we couldnt find the piso. WE were in the area and had given up. WE decided to head back and he whistled out the window but from where i was he just looked like a crazy man. I finally felt that we should at least see who it is and it happened to be him. WE went up and taught them and the spirit was felt strong. At the start of the misison I was a lot more timid. I feel like I ve become very bold which sometimes a bad thing. Needless to say in this apt. it worked to our advantage. I plainly told them to get their lives back and order and stop being flojo or lazy, (you get sick of hearing the same excuses everyday day after day) We set goals to start doing the little important thigns that make the big differeance, scriptures, prayers, and church. I then told them that we were willing to do everything in our power to help them accomplish those things becauser thats how important they are. THey got the point and we saw them at church yesterday which was great. Menos activos are hard to deal with because they always say we ll see you at churhc and then dont come and then week after week you have to listen to the new but same old crappy excuses. It was nice to see them rise to the challeng or put off the natural man Mos 3:19. Well everything else is going well. I like Lorca and I am not excited for the heat to come. I could be moving this transfer which would mean that you shouldnt send letters after the 2nd of March. I m coming up to the year mark! crazy. We are also having Zone cnfrence this week so I lok foward to that. Love you all have a great week Elder G

Emily - Vigo Week 8


Hello Everyone...The weather is still nice and Im so thankful. Also, we still have hot water. More and more I realize that Im not a rainy weather person. We had a really neat experience on Saturday morning. Planning as you all can imagine has been one of the hardest things for me about the mission. Filling up hours of time with good things to do is kind of hard. Once and a while we have visits plugged in there but even then sometimes the people arent there. We plan out huge chuncks of time and then huge back up plans. Im not very good at it. Anyways Saturday we had a huge chunck of time and I was having a hard time feeling the desire to leave the piso. I prayed to Heavenly Father that if there was someone waiting for us somewhere that He would guide me to them. I looked at the map and a street we had never really been on kept popping out. I decided we would spend the day on that street. I looked in the area book to see if we had any potentials and they werent. We put our bags on and headed out with a prayer. I didnt tell my comp anything. The road was very long and headed out to a part of our area we dont see much. It ended at a beautiful view of the ocean. It was so nice to be in some trees and have silence. I dont like big cities. As we walked out and on the way back I kept looking for something to stick out to me. The road didnt have too much on it for knocking like I had hoped. Well it got close to mediodia and we were tired from walking so we headed back. As we crossed the street there was a 50 year old man that stopped us and said in english, excuse me I need to talk to you. Usually I feel nervous as men try to talk to us but it was different with him. He went on to tell us that three years ago the Elders taught him. Well the areas changed and the church was moved from where he knew it and he lost contact. He said he has been looking for us and he couldnt believe his eyes when he saw us walking down the street. He is a Marine and works a lot with other people that speak english and he also travels to the US alot. He had a little cafe on the street where he found us and pretty much begged us to come by. He told us that we are very welcome to come by anytime. Im sure he remembers how he felt as the Elders taught him years ago. We are going to stop by this week. It was a huge miracle for me. I know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and is very mindful of us. It really has been through the small miracles that I realize how much He loves me. Im one in a world of billions but I see His hand in my life and in the lives of others. Ana called us and canceled our follow up visit. We asked her to pray about getting baptized. She said Manuel needed to go to Portugal and just told her. We stopped by the next day and Manuel answered and said he had to go to a meeting. I wanted to say well we want to talk to Ana. I think he is getting frustrated because he is suppose to be the one with all the knowledge. In the lessons he starts saying crazy science stuff and then I testify and slam him, in a nice way of course. Ana loves the lessons and told us that for the first time she feels like all of her questions are being answered. Anyways we left the building and I felt a little discouraged because I knew Satan was doing everything to keep us from having contact with her. About 30 minutes after leaving Ana called us and said Manuel left and I want you to come over. When she called we were on our way to a less active to take her fresh bread and freezer strawberry jam. Yes mom I finally made the freezer jam. Anywyas we stopped in and said hi to them and then went to Anas. She had run to the store and bought a load of food for us. She made french fries, eggs and steak. Then for dessert strawberries and kiwis. It was sooo good and I was so glad that she called but I told her I dont want to do this behind Manuel´s back and cause her more problems. She said well this is how it has to be done. He wants to control me because he is unhappy. He thinks that if I get a job or friends I will desert him. She is praying and reading. I dont know if I already told you that one night she was praying and opened the BOM. She said she read exactly what she needed to hear. I told her that is the way I knew that the BOM was the word of God. I would pray after bad days at school and when I opened the Book of Mormon I felt peace and read exactly what I needed. Heavenly Father talked to me through that sacred book. Well anyways Manuel took her back to Portugal so they didnt come to church. In fact we were suppose to have 7 people and only our good faithful Nigerian Ricky showed up. I love Ana and Manuel. I keep praying that Heavenly Father will help us know how to help them. They are both at such differnt spots in their lives and they have so much baggage.The Romanian family were some of the people that were suppose to come. We went by their house early Sunday morning and they didnt answer the door. It so hard for people to change even as they have the Spìrit manifest to them that what we teach is true. Im so thankful to have the gospel in my life. Life is hard but it would be a lot harder with out hope and faith is something more. I know that I will be with my family in the next life. I will do everything I can to be worthy to live with you and God again. I love my Savior and I know that this is His church.I love you and miss you!Love,The sister

Monday, February 16, 2009

Logan - Lorca Week 4


I got Jennys letters and My B-day package thank you so much!

First thing to say is that Grandpa G. Was wise in the not talking about surfing thing. At first it didnt bother me at all but the videos of Dad almost cathing tube and shredding across the waves as the sun was setting was a bit much. You should of warned me or somthing I was sitting on the Train and I plug the new card into the camera and started watching. All of the sudden I was junmping out of my seat yelling for you to paddle harder and to cut back etc. Everyone sitting around was scared. My jaw was dropped as I looked at the pictures and watched and notcied how your surfing level has greatly improved. I m jealous but everytime you go surfing while Im on the misison means you have to take me twice as many times to make up for it. Just remember that before you plan the next surf trip without me. NIck is stealing my place as co pilot for the surf trips but I m glad you have someone to sit with and talk and of of course occasionally snake a wave from. Ok enough about surfing Im shaking a little bit. THe way I get my adrenaline fix on the mission is just telling stories from the past or talking about surfing.
Ok I visited murcia last week and they said that I still cant get my residence card. I have to go to barcelona and so that is in the process of being figured out. I m going to go by the office once more today and try and get a different lady to help me and see if that makes a difference. If not then I ll be headed up to Barcelona soon. As the way of mission work this week was kind of rought. We had to kids of 14ys that had dates to get baptized but they parents out of no where just said no. I was not very happy. They agreed a few months ago but have changed their mind. THe wierdest thing is that they kids both have bothers and sister that have already been baptized. I m very impressed with the kids because they come to church every sunday and are great memebers even though their parents arent memebers and dont support it. When you compare that to parents dragging their kids to church everyday you can see a big difference. These kids at a young age have already truly been convereted to the Gospel. The good news is that a older SPanish man that we have been teaching has finally accepted to get baptized. he has been coming to church for two years and was a devote Catholic before. When I first got here I asked why he wasnt a memeber and they just said he is stubborn and dosent like getting pushed. I m pretty sure I just said well I think he needs a little push. Durning planning we pray and talk about whaty to do with each person and then listen to the holy ghost prompt us in what to teach or do. WHile we were planning I felt that we should invite him to pray about the Book of MOrmon again even though he had already told us he knew it was true and was reading it everyday. We ended up doing it and that last appt. we had with him he said he had recieved a strong witness and is ready to get baptized. I m very thankful and for the Holy Ghost. I m learning better how to recognize the small promptings we recive daily. Some members I think oftenly always expect it to be a strong overbearing influence but I ve come to know that its more commonly new ieas or thoughts that pursuade to do good. Obviously this is somthing we here oiften in church but I thought I d mention it becasue its somthing that Im doing instead of just hearing from someone else and thinking ya I know. As we apply the principles of the Gospel lights just start turning on in the head and you come to know what youve already heard a 100 times. This letter is su`per long. The other exciting thing is that we have been visiting with our lawyer this week becasuse the office hasnt been paying our rent so we almost got kicked out. Everything is in good shape now though. The b-day package was amazing everything. The jump drive xd converter is great the lead and everything. I had root beer floats and they were fantastic as well. Thanks for the thought and care. Love you all

Elder G

Emily - Vigo Week 7


Hello my family...
I have lots of good news! After a transfer of taking bucket showers we finally got a new water heater. Our dueño kept telling us that when the weather warmed up our water would warm up also. Well the sun came out and the water stayed cold. They came on Thursday to put in a new one and Ive taken more showers in the last couple days then I have my whole mission. Next good thing is the sun actually did come out. I have seen the sun for a couple days now and its helped me feel a lot better. I LOVE the sun! Right now the temperature is perfect. It feels like spring but I feel like Im kind of just waiting for it to start raining again. More good news is that I got my V-day package on V-day. Good job sisters! We were heading out for the morning and the mail man came in the door and said Emily. I tried to stay calm but it didnt work. I signed and ripped the package open. I love dark chocolate and the cookies were good too.
I went on a little cleaning rampage myself. I threw away bags and bags of junk. A couple of pdays ago I cleaned out the kitchen and then today I finished off the rest of the house. When the dueña came over to put in the new water heater her and her husband thanked us a lot for taking better care of the piso. They are more willing to help us out now with all the little problems. She was so excited to see it looking nice. I guess she usually came over and cleaned it after hermanas would leave. She is an older lady and I told her that it is our job to take care of it. I asked her to please tell us if there is anything that we need to do to help take better care of the piso.
Ricky is still doing awesome, we taught him the law of tithing this week. He accepts all the compromisos sin problema. It really is like he just knew it all before we started teaching. Camila an 18 year old girl from the rama came with us to a visit and helped out a ton. It was fun to have her go with us. Her family invited us over for dinner on Friday night. It was the second eating visit with a member that we have had in a transfer. They lived in the states for little while so it was really nice to chat and eat with them. I shared a little message at the end and I felt the Spirit very strongly. I hope they understand how much it meat to us to have dinner with them. We thanked them a million times and brought them some banana bread.
Ana pretty much told me yesterday that she wants to get baptized. Her and Manuel came to church with us on Sunday. They drove us home which by the way is really weird because that is like the 5th time Ive been in the car in the last year. Anyways they invited us over for dinner and it was soooo good. Manuel told us that he asked her what she wanted for V-day and she told him that she wanted to make a nice dinner for her friends. She had tears in her eyes while he told us. She is a good friend and I love her a lot. I just keep telling her that she is my sister and giving her big hugs. During the lesson Manuel got frustrated with me and left the room. He knows what Im saying is TRUE. He told me that Im immovable and I think thats a nice way of saying that Im stubborn.LOL! Anyways Ana and I talked and she said that her faith was at zero her pages were blank and white. Then she started visiting with us and she started feeling peace and happiness. She looked at me and said I know everything is true because I feel good. I only have one question do I have to be a missionary? Oh I almost started laughing but I held it together and let her know that she could go if she wants to but its not mandatory. She wants to get baptized. We are going back on Wednesday to teach her lesson 3 and set a fetcha. Im so HAPPY for her! I came to Spain partly to meet her and help her. I gave her a big hug like always. We have plans to take a couple trips together after the mission. It was a great experience. She needs the gospel so badly.
We met with a family from Romania last night and it was really fun. They just treated us like family. They have a very humble home and we all sat together on their bed for the lesson. They told us we are welcome back at anytime. We will be back on Wednesday. ITs so nice to be treated so well. They dont know us at all and they welcomed us in to talk about God. The little five year old boy shook my hand when we left like a little man it was so cute. I asked them to come to church on Sunday, we shall see.
I love my greenie. We get along really well. Its been fun to have her here with me.
Well I better finish up. I love you all so much. I know that this is Christ´s church, no doubt in my mind.
The Sister

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Logan - Lorca Week 3


Thanks Audrey for your letter and The fox family as well. Emily I got yours too and I sent you one today as well. Grandma Happy Birthday this week!

Well the week has been pretty exciting and fun. I am enjoying my compànions and we seem to work well togther. We had one of out investigatiors get baptized on saturday. He is from Peru and will be a great editing to the Branch. This week I had a great experiance teaching a man from Africa using 3 Nephi chapter 11. It is a very powerful chapter and I felt the spirit very strong as we explained how we can learn to listen to the Holy Ghost from reading about experiances other people have had in the scriptures. I also compared a few verses to Faith. IN that chapter After Chrisit has come he says Levantos or Stand and come to me. I told him even though Jesus Christ was with them and could have helped them up he invited them to stand and come unto him. I explained that his arm is still extended today but we have to do our part have faith and stand up to reach out to his merciful hand.
We also traverled to a near by Pueblo called aguilas that is right on the beach. A member owns a pizzaria there and let us make our own pizzas it was way good. As we drove through the mountains and then saw the beach it made me miss surfing and snowboarding a little bit. You almost forgot that you ever even did those things. I think its supposed to be that way and is a lot easier when your not thinking about it.
The other news is that Im still illegal! That office has taken to long on my papers for some reason and I went to go get my DNI card which is liki Spain Identifaction and the man told me that is cant becasue I ve waited to long. I talked with out registrator who is actually a member in Valencia and he just told me he dosent know what to do. SO in the mean time we have to avoid the Authority Figures. I am going to Murcia tommorrow to try and sort it out. I would be very frustrated if I have to leave Spain Early. Hopefully everything works out tomorrow. everything Else is going great though and we are having a good time Love and miss you all.

Love Elder G

Emily - Vigo Week 6


Hello my family...
Well another week has gone by. I got letters from the Fox family and sister Sarah. I have emails from Dad and my dear Grandma Gogarty.
Mom I didnt get a letter from you this week and I didnt know what to do with myself. Sister is lucky that hers showed up, otherwise she would have gotten a major beating. I will probably beat her up when I get home either way. Just think, I will have a year and a half of frustration built up.
In an email from President today he told us that this winter has been the coldest/wettest winter in 70 years. I could have told you that. IM FREEZING! It rains every single day. I will not live in a place where it rains a lot ever again. I cant believe how much it has affected me. Ive heard it will start warming up in June when I go home!
I got my residency paper work today. On wednesday I will got stand in the street, in a line, for 3-4 hours, at 6 in the morning. I will have permission to live here for two years and work. DONT WORRY though mom Im coming home in June.
The other day I was sitting at my desk and I felt the need to yell your name and see if you would answer. Im pretty sure my greenie thinks that Ive lost my mind and I think I have. I really wanted a mom hug on Saturday. I had a rough day. The mission really allows you to see very clearly all of your weaknesses. I have a lot to work on. I think you know what they are before the mission but on the mission because you deal so much with people your weaknesses are easily seen. Im a big procrastinator and Ive got to do better.
Ricky continues to amaze me. We taught him the law of chastity and had planned to teach the WOW also and he basically started teaching us about it. When I asked him if he would live the law of chastity now and after his baptism he was like ah duh. He pretty much already knows what we are going to teach and already agrees with it all. He had a pretty crazy life in Nigeria but realized that he didnt like where he was at so he started studying the bible. He tells us how important it is to pray before studying so that you interpret the scriputres correctly. I think because he has always been guided by the spirit in his studies that he has prepared himself for receiving the gospel. He really already understands everything before we teach. Everytime we talk about his baptism he gets thee biggest smile on his face. He is so excited and he is taking everything so seriously. I dont even worry if he is going to come to church or not. When we were teaching about enduring to the end I asked him how we endure to the end. He said well you go to church, read the scriptures, pray and live the commandments. I asked well sometimes its hard to go to church every sunday what do we do when its harder to live the commandments. He looked at me in the eyes and said there is a time for play a time for work and a time for worship. Sunday is the day we worship and if you dont want to go that is Satan trying to keep you from doing what is right. We must go to church every Sunday. Wow perfect answer thank you Ricky. I always leave our visits like with my mind in another world, its crazy. He is so prepared and I know he is really going to help the church grow in some way.
Ana is doing pretty well. We stopped by on Wednesday to see how they were doing. They made us hot cocoa and arepas. We talked about some questions Manuel had in the BOM. He thinks that the book is 90 percent history with wars and problems and 10 percent of doctrine. Ive never seen someone see the book in that way. I know its a book of history but everything in it can be applied to our lives. My mission has really helped me to learn how to do that. I shared a verse with them that was an answer to a prayer. I testified that the book is not just a history book, it is a sacred book written by prophets. EVERYTIME I testify the room gets totally silent. I know he can feel the spirit and it bugs him. He doesnt know what to say back to me after I testify so he usually gets up and gets some more food. Ana just sits back quietly and takes everything in. She understands everything very well and that also bugs him. Faith is so simple but so hard for him to understand. They didnt come to church but we will stop by again this week and try to help them feel the love that their Heavenly Father has for both of them.
We did a service project this week for a lady that was recently baptized. Her house was a dumpster. She hasn´t thrown anything away for 10 years. We spent three hours throwing away trash in one room. When she left I just threw everything I picked up into the trash. I like having service to do because its nice to do some work and feel useful. Sometimes its hard to recognize your efforts teaching/finding.
We stopped and visited an awesome family last night. They lived in the states for a little while so they speak/understand english pretty well. It was really nice for my greenie to be able to talk and joke around. I remember how hard that was to not be able to have a realationship wiht anyone but your comp. They told us they want to have us over for some Mexican food. I dont think they realize how much they mean to us. Its so nice to just be in a home for an hour with a good family. The daughter is going to help us with a visit this week and I invited her to live at our house this summer.
Well I sure love you and I sent a good letter with some pictures last week, you should get it soon. I know the church is true there is no doubt in my mind. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love our family!
The Sister

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Logan - Lorca Week 2


Grandma sorry about desroying your towel when I was down in St. George!

This week has been incredible. I relaly love Lorca and working with two companions. We are very effective and get a lot done. we usually do splits with the members durning the night so we get twice as much done. I have really enjoyed eler Worthen and Elder Kempkens. Elder Worthen and I want to room togther after the mission. Today we had a lot of fun climbing the highest mountain we could find in Lorca. It got a little intense when I realized we couldnt turn back and was wishing we had a rope. Luckily everyone is fine and we got some great pictures hich I will tr and attach if I can figure it out. The work in going amazingly we are having a ton of success in a lot of differnt ways. Just last week we set two baptismal dates and have two people ready to be baptized this week. There are some really great people here. We are seeing miracles and plan on seeing al ot more while we are here. I am worried its going to get too hot too soon. this week we also had at a chinese buffet and were there for about two hours. I know we got our moneys worth because the German ate 6 steaks. The food was way good and they cook it all in front of you. I had frog, squid, and octopus it was super good. Well everything else is going well the piso is super nice and now its all cleaned and organized. Well thats about all everything is going well and I am really enjoying lorca. Oh and the shower is amazing compared to the last piso I m like excited to wake up every morning and use it. Love you all

Elder G

Emily - Vigo Week 5


I got letters from mom and jess this week. It was really nice to hear from both of you. Im still waiting for a letter from sister Sarah that should have made it here by now, if she sent it when she said she would. Dont ever tell a missionary that your going to send a letter and then not send it.
Ricky is still moving along. Last night we retaught him the Plan of Salvation with pictures. I was trying to hide the other pictures while we taught the first part and he was all anxious to see what else there was. He saw the sun moon and star and was like what is that. Its fun to watch someone have fun learning about the gospel. He usually teaches me when we are there. I cant remember if I told you last week that I showed him a picture of the saints in Nigeria in the Ensign and he was like oh thats fantastic. Its fun teaching him and watching him walk himself to church every Sunday even though he doesnt speak Spanish.
We found someone new this week. She is from Ecuador. It was a miracle for me. I was pretty down and we were doing some passbys. I rang her door and I heard someone yell out quien es. I came out from under the building and found someone hanging out the window. I asked for Rebeka and she looked at me weird but let us in. She welcomed us right in to her house and we sat and visited with her like we had known each other forever. She told me that she is Catholic but she never closes her door to people that want to talk to her about God. We visited for a while and she asked us about our families. It was so nice to just have someone treat us nicely and ask us about our families. We are going back on Saturday to visit her. I bore my testimony to her about families and prophets. Im excited to visit her again.
We had a nice visit with Ana this week. That lady really is my sister. There is no doubt in my mind that we were suppose to find each other. Its interesting to think what all happened for us to be put together. We spent some time with her on Saturday. She made us arepas and fresh orange juice, it was soo good. We talked a lot and I tried so hard to explain to her how special she is and how much God loves her. She has had a really hard life. She doesnt even believe that happiness is possible but she does want to find peace. I almost feel quilty for how happy I know Ive been in this life, especially when I think back to wonderful memories with all of you. Im so grateful to have you as my family forever. I told her that she is my sister and Im going to do what ever I can to help her find happiness and peace through the gospel, I know its possible. We cried a little bit together and I gave her a big hug. I want so badly to help her that it makes me crazy thinking about it. I know that I can only do my part and I have to watch her struggle to do hers. I want to just do it for her because I know how she can be happy. I think we have all felt that way before with someone we love. She thanked us for spending time with her and said that we have treated her better than she has been treated her whole life. She told me that I was a princess. I want her to understand that she is one too. That sounds super cheesy and dumb but really she needs to understand that she is a daughter of God.
It has been soooo nice to speak Spanish and have friends that are like family. All of the struggling in the beginning was worth it to be where Im at now. I love sharing the gospel!
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love my Savior. I know I represent His church. Thank you so much for helping me find my own testimony so that I could be a missionary.
I love you all sooooo much and I miss you a lot!
The sister