Monday, March 30, 2009

Logan - Lorca Week 12


Thanks Jessica, hepworths, and Mom for your letters. The year package was great and the insoles have helped a lot. I love granola as well that is always appreciated. Jessica and Sarah Happy B-day! our family is getting so old its crazy. Nothing too exciting this week that I can think of right now. I made a great tamale pie and the cooking is going well. I also spoke in church this week and I thought that went super well. I felt amazed to be speaking my thoughts and describing myself so easily in the spanish language. ONe recent convert I had to tear into a little this week and that was intresting. He is spaniard which they usually have more pride then the south americans or anyone else with whom we work. Anyways somthing happened at church and he got offended and is not coming back. As he was explaining everything I was just shaking my head and saying orgullo or pride in english. I explaind to him that the was one of the main themes from the Book of Mormon and the cause of all the destruction, beware of pride. He said hes not coming back untill the branch president gets kicked out of the church. I bluntly told him what I thgought of how he was acting and we left on good terms. At least he said I am welcome back into his house whenever I want. I hope to help him do what he knows he supposed to do. Well I dont have much else to say. Have a great week, Love you all Elder G

Monday, March 23, 2009

Logn - Lorca Week 9


Thanks so much Audrey and Emily I really enjoyed the letters.

SO some old news that I think I forgot to tell you is that My new Mission president will be President Hinckley. I cant remember which son it is but I am sure it will be announced in the Ensign. I feel like in the next few transfers everyone I know will be going home. Elder Carpenter my trainer and all his group along with the mission President will be going home in June.
Ok the week has been average and I did enjoy a bit of an adrenaline rush one day. Actually yesterday some girls from the ward were walking home and some guys were following them saying tontarias or in english dumb things. We happen to see the whole thing so we crossed the street and just walked with the girls untill the guys left them. After getting near ther house we let them walk the rest of the way by themselvs and we turned the other direction. We walked for a little bit and but felt like we should turn back and check on them, so we turned around and kind of jogged to wear they were at. As we arrived to the area we saw the girls running from the 2 muslim kids that had previously been following them. I ran across the street (in my suit which always looks funny) and then picked up the bigger kid by the shirt and put him up aganist the wall. We shared some words and then I hopefully scared him enough to the point that he wont follow them anymore. Meanwhile across the street all the chinese people come out from a chinese food restruant and are watching the show. I enjoyed the little bit of adrenaline that we as missionaries dont feel as often.
On the more spiritual side of things we have also been teaching some ROmanians that will be getting baptized this saturday. WE fasted with them that they could find work and they day we fasted we also had an apt. DUrning the apt. they recieved a call about work. I was amazed and greatful for God answering our prayers and fasts. They recognized the Lords hand in it as well and are excited to get bapatized on Saturday. The women has so much faith and is ready to do anything to be apart of the church. They have alread read half the book of Mormon.
Everything else is going well, Thanks Dad for the med kit you gave us for Christmas last year I still use it all the time it was very well though through. Last week we rented bike and I will include a picture of that. Love you all and have a good week. Has Sarah been able to get onto my email accounts or web pages?

Love Elder G

ps the cooking endeavor has been a succes this week I ate very well.

Emily - Vigo Week 11


Hello My Dear Family...
Well I got some great letters from mom and sister this week. I needed both of them really bad. Sister Jess I cried and laughed through your journal entries. Everything you said sounds way too familiar. It will be funny to read journal entries together after the mission.
Today we had a great pday. We finally organized that every companionship has to plan a pday. Today we went to a beautiful park that reminded me a lot of Manitou park. We played ultimate frisbee and baseball. Then we ate together and took some pictures. I really enjoyed it because we were kind of away from the city and it felt good to play hard even though now Im exhausted.
We had a couple random experiences this week. An older lady looked over at us while we were waiting to cross a street and said sois hermanas which means are you sisters. I said no and she asked while you look a lot alike. Which I dont know how that is possible because Im like three feet shorter than H. Rudder. Anyways we walked with her up the road a ways until we came to a little cafe. She was like hey come in and ill buy you a coffee. I said sorry but we dont drink coffee. She was like well just come in a sit with me and get a pop or something. She grabbed my arm and pulled me in so my comp. followed. We sat down at a table and she talked our heads off. She had like a cycle of 5 stories that she told over and over again. I took me a while to notice. She told us how lonely she is and that her husband died about four years ago. She said that she doenst have anyone to talk to and she gets really bored in her piso all by herself. Anyways she goes to mass everyday at 8 and drinks a coffee about two hours before it starts in a cafe right next to the church. She REALLY needed someone to talk to. I wanted to share the plan of Salvation with her but Im not sure she was all there. She would ask the same questions over and over. Then the question she asked would trigger the same story. Oh well Im glad we could be there for her to have someone to listen to her. Hopefully we will see her again on the street on her way to mass.
We stopped by on Thursday night to visit a family from Romania. When we got there we heard a lot of noise inside. We knocked the door and when they opened we found the entire extended family inside. They live in a VERY small home. The three of them barely fit in it. Of course they wanted us to come in and as we entered everyone looked at us like movie stars. They all asked us if we were Americans and they told us a million times that our skin was beautiful. We sat on the bed with ten other family members and then there were another 15 people sitting around the bed on chairs and on the floor. The Dad of the family we teach got up and grabbed the BOM and was like teach us okay. I opened up 3 Nephi 11. They all took turns reading and translating to the mom who doesnt speak spanish. Anyways it was a pretty cool experience. I felt like I was giving the spiritual thought at a family reunion or something. I dont know how much they understood because after I finished teaching one of the men was like I have a question out of all the churchs that there are which one do you think is the best. I love the random questions we get as missionaries.
I gave a talk on Sunday about how I prepared myself for the mission and how I feel now as a missionary. I felt really prompted in what to say. It was weird to think back to my first talk in the mission and how now I just got up there and spoke in Spanish. My first talk I read word for word and sat down. After explaining three ways to prepare I told the youth that the times I have felt the best on my mission would be sharing the first vision. Then I asked them all to listen really closely and pay attention to how they felt. I said the first vision over the pulpit and I cant explain to you how much the room changed. I watched everyone and everything stop moving, even the children. It was amazing to watch. The last speaker got up and talked about the Spirit in missionary work. He also explained to the people the change he saw in the room. There is SO much power behind those words because it truly happened. I thought I had a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith before the mission but now I cant explain how much my testimony has been strengthened. There is NO doubt in my mind that he did indeed see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. The prophet Joseph Smith restored the church of Christ again on the earth.
I love you all sooooo much. Im thankful for your prayers and your letters.
The Sister

Monday, March 16, 2009

Logan - Lorca Week 10


Thanks Riplie Family for the letters they were great! Well after all the traveling last week I had no money and I didnt want to dip into my home fund so last week I toughed it out with 7 euros. I Bought a bag of potatoes and noodles. I had to be creative and it made me realize how poorly I cook. I made a menu plan this week and I am going to come home a chef. Everyone is so dependent on the pre packaged stuff from stores that the majority of people will die as soon as the stores stopped getting stocked. I fall into that category as of now but have goals and plans to learn how to cook better this next year. Emily, What do you usually eat? I wish you could cook for me just once a week. Well nothing much has happened, I am senior companion now and I like that, not much has changed though. We had a confrence in Alicante with the whole stake and I was able to see A lot of peole form the Elche ward including a family I baptized while I was there. It was so fun to see them and to see Gustavo the Dad recieve the higher Priesthood. We are running a lot now that Elder Kempkens is gone and with a two man piso I can actually keep it clean. Its amazing for the first time in a year my living conditions are up to standard. I am enjoying it while it lasts. The weather is super hot and it hard to keep my self form jumping into the ocean. We work in a pueblo that has a beautiful section of coast line.Sorry I cant think of anything very exciting that happened. I changed flavors of Yogurt actually that was pretty intense. I had been gettting the same strawberry for the last year. I do enjoy and am greatful the changed perspective the mission has given me. For example onions on hamburgers, flan, and green olives were big dislikes before the mission and now I really enjoy them. You cant know if you dont like somthing untill you try it. I have most definitley learned that in many ways. WEll, all is well. Have a great week I love you all Elder G

Emily - Vigo Week 11


Hi Family...Today is my 14 months in the mission mark. I cant believe its been so long since Ive seen you. Ricky was confirmed on Sunday by a man that served his mission in California and speaks english REALLY well. You can hardly notice when he switches over. He gave a beautiful blessing and Ricky was smiling soooo big as he walked back to his seat. He will recieve the Aaronic Priesthood next Sunday. Im very happy for him. Our only problem right now is getting him to wear a tie. He HATES ties. Will see where that goes. He is so funny.We have been teaching a bunch of people from Romania lately. We started teaching this young mother who was left here while her husband went looking for work anywhere in Europe. She is really lonely and invited us to come by whenever. We set up a visit and when we got there she had invited all of her family too. It was awesome. One of the men listening told us that about 7 years ago he was homeless and some missionaries from our church brought him blankets and food on the street. He made us dinner to repay them. It was a humble little dinner around a very little table. There werent enough chairs for everyone. The little piso didnt even have an oven. They believe its true but are very stuck in their ways. Their culture or religion I guess is still very much a part of their lives. They are very confused. Its funny how people can be so confused and yet the message we share is so simple.The message is as simple as my testimony. I know that God lives and He loves me. I know that Christ is my Savior and that I need to allow him to take my pain and suffering away. He already payed the price. I know that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He was called to restore the church on the earth again. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and it can and will change lives. I love you all!LoveThe sister

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Logan - Lorca Week 9


Thanks MOm and Emily for your letters! Im staying in Lorca keep the letters coming! This week has been crazy and I dont have near enough time to tell you all the crazy things that happened. First off and most important Martin a man we have been teaching was baptized saturday. Like always it was an incredible thing to be a part of and the spirit was felt strongly. I am excited for him and know he has already gained such a strong testimony of the Gospel. THis week I have traveled to Valencia twice which is 4 hours on the train each way. I have finally recieved my residency but it wasnt an easy process. After racing around Valencia in a taxi, Using Elder Fiske as a fake lawyer, and making phony goverment documents, the process has been finished. I will be going back in 40 days to pick up my card and to re new it since I have already been in spain so long. I was on the phone with the real lawyer and president all week running to a ton of different buildings and waiting in lines. More good news is that I was able to attend a firework show while I was in Valencia as well as visit some good friends. The families from the ward were shocked to see me and we had a good time. Yesterday while I was on the way to Valencia a 26yr old, attractive lady sat next to me and we begin talking. She actually spoke english quite well so we randomly switched in between english and spanish. She had gotten off the train before me and was waiting for me. We walked up to her and began talking again and then said we had to go. She grabbed my and then leaned in to give me besos (kisses) and I had to pull away. Her face was bright red and she was offeneded, I tried to explain that we couldnt as missionaries and I dont think she understood lol. We then basically just ran off and the whole situation was just super akward but funny as well. So many other things have happened but I dont have time. Eldr kempmkens my other comp the german got transfered. I am staying in Lorca with Eldr worthen. I m excited to see what we can do. I was also cursed by a gipsy week but other then that not much has happened. Hope everyone is doing well I love and miss you all next week is the official 1 yr mark...and thats crazy. Love you all Elder G

Emily - Vigo Week 10


Hey Fam...Well the week went really fast and slow. It continues to be weird to me how mission time can be that way. We had a great p-day last Tuesday. A girl from Venezuela showed up at church. She works for a company that travels all over the world by boat looking for oil. She is a navigator. She invited us to come and check out the boat they are building. It is suppose to be ready this Wednesday for them to head out towards the US. They work five weeks on five weeks off. She was so excited to be with Mormons. After the tour she took us out to eat and bought us all lunch. The boat was insane. There were so many cables and wires everywhere. Everyone on the boat was from a different country but they all have to speak english. We talked to everyone and it was really cool to hear what they do. I think it made the Elders think a little bit more about what they want to do with their lives. In the port there were millions of guys working on the boat. Des, H. Rudder and I were like the only girls. Everyone was staring at us. I asked her if she ever gets nervous and she said the men that she works with take good care of her. It was fun for me to be with her and it made me start thinking up more adventures. Oh good story about that trip one of the Elders was talking to one of the men that work on the boat. The Elder asked him where he was from and he said the UK. Well the poor little Elder thought he said the Ukraine. Then he was like well what language do you speak there. The man was like ahhh english. Ohhh it was funny, especially because the man didnt even crack a smile. I tried not to laugh but it was hard.Oh my comp just reminded me to tell you that she knows Elder Wasden. We were looking through the pics from home and she was like oh I know him. He is from her home stake. CRAZY!We had Ricky´s baptism last night. I was a little stressed out but everything went really well. Camila a friend in the ward that lived in Utah for a long time came and played prelude music on her violin. It was beautiful! Yago a younger Spaniard that was baptized less than a year ago did the baptism. He doesnt speak a ton of english but he is always so good about talking to Ricky at church. He was really excited and nervous when Ricky asked him to do the baptism. He did the prayer in english and spanish. He was so nervous but he practiced a million times and did everything perfectly. He had even practiced things to say to Ricky like...Ricky Im bery happy far you, tank you far choosing me (keep the accent in mind). Anyways it was a great experience for both of them. All the missionaries sang together, Senor te necesito. I think in english it is I Need Thee Every Hour. I felt a very sweet Spirit last night. I love going to baptisms. We asked Ricky how he felt and he was just like, good good very good. Hey brother I have a funny beso story too. My greenie forgot that we cant give besos. A Dad of a family that we just started teaching definatley gave my companion dos besos. Then he came for me and I stiff armed him. It was SUPER AKWARD! He got kind of embarrassed and I just giggled a little and sat down. Its hard to get embarrassed anymore. So many akward things happen on the mission that I would have an ulcer by now if I worried about all of it. We also got cursed by some type of witch. We knocked into her and for about 5-10 minutes she prayed that the devil that was in us would be taken out. My greenie was freaking out the poor thing. I tried to talk to her but she just closed her eyes and prayed over us. There was a really weird creepy feeling. Anyways I think she was trying to freak us out so I just stayed calm. I bore my testimony and then told her it was nice to meet her. Once again there has been so many experiences like that, that its not worth getting worked up over. When we got in the elevator my greenies eyes were the size of apples, poor thing. I pretended like that was an out of the ordinary experience. No really Im very honest with her. I think its better that way. We are stil having a great time together. She just got a package from home and it was awesome. Its so weird to see stuff from the US and in english. Well I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers and love. The weather is still nice although it rained for a day or two, its back to sun today. Love,The Sister

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Emily - Vigo Week 9


Hey Fam...Well sorry Mom, I hope you werent freaking out but yes I had zone conference. I forgot to tell you. I cant believe that I only have two more left. The weather is still great and I actually think its starting to warm up but that doesnt mean that it wont rain again. I got letters from brother(I loved the pictures), mom, Aunt Laura and jess. I love getting letters. By the way that pic of us looking out the window together is us waiting for the mailman. Well its been another crazy week, like always. Ive been a little stressed out getting everything ready for the baptism. On Saturday he had his interview. He is pretty fuerte because he understands the bible really well and likes to preach. Our district leader came out of the interview with really red cheeks and sweating profusely. I think the conversation became a little intense. Our DL asked us to come in afterwards and he told us he answered everthing fine but he didnt think he was humble. Anyways after talking to him for a while I found that they both needed to humble themselves. I told our DL to call him back in, kneel down together to pray and then redo the interview. In PMG it says that the interview should be a spiritual experience. They both came out looking a lot better and the 2nd interview lasted about 10 minutes. His baptism is Sunday.On Sunday after mediodia we had a list of people to passby. About a week ago we recieved a reference from someone in Valencia. He says he knows brother. Anyways I have been trying to get a hold of them. Its a family from the Dominican Republic. Before we left for the tarde I asked Heavenly Father to help us find the people in house who needed to talk with us. We went to their house first and actually the reason we werent able to get a hold of them before is because the address was wrong. I decided that we would just go a timbre the whole building to see if we could find them. We got there and the first piso we timbred opened up for us with out asking who it was. When we got up there the door was open. A lady came to the door and welcomed us in like she knew us. It was like they were waiting for us. The husband had been taught in Valencia and was looking for work there. Then came back here to his family. Anyways we had a great lesson with them and I felt the spirit very strongly. They treated us like family. I love their culture. They even invited us to her birthday at the end of the month. I pray that they will accept the gospel. They have a beautiful family.I loved zone conference. I think it was just for me. It was so nice to see everyone. I became really good friends with the people in my other cities. Its been hard for me here to not have the friendships of the Elders. I think its because we live really far away from each other. To further explain our relationship, after zone conference they got on the train with out us and didnt even realize we went with them. We came later with two of our Elders. I did have a good conversation with one them on the way home. His name is Elder Sayaz and he was in the CCM with brother. Oh ya I pretty much embarrassed myself over and over again at zone conference. My comp and I did the special musical number. We practiced with out a piano and didnt realize how high it was. Oh man there were parts huge chuncks actually of the song that we just didnt sing. We both got all flustered and started singing the 1st verse again. I was barley keeping myself from laughing through the whole thing. H. Truscott played the piano and I could tell she was about to burst herself. We sat down and Pres. started to talk. We all were shaking trying to hold in the laughter. Then I spoke in the tu form when I gave an answer. I corrected myself and then looked at President all scared. I really am loosing my mind. Then President asked in the middle of his talk if anyone had a degree in Theology. He was trying to make a point because he knew none of us did and dont worry I raised my hand because I thought he said psychology. In english he said H. Gogarty you have a degree in theology and I was like um no sorry. Dont worry I had my whole table laughing. Im pretty much a crazy person.LOL!Oh ya just so you know my address is:c/ Travesia de Vigo 171, 3 derecha-it means rightVigo (Pontevedra) 36207my address has been different every time but luckily the letters have been coming to me with out any problems and it gives me a good laugh. I sure love you all a lot. I know God loves us and listens to our prayers. I pray for you everyday.Love,The Sister
ps happy anniversary mom and dad!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Logan - Lorca Week 8


Hey I recieved a bunch of lettter this week thanks to Lis, Jordan, Mom, Ashley, Bryndee,Jessica and Jordana Jonshon. I really appreciate it and I ll try to write you back today.

Dad thanks for keeping me posted on the bike shop its super fun to see how everythings going. What is the name of the shop going to be ?

Well theis week has been quite crazy where do I even start. I m sure you ll be happy to know that yes thats right im still an illeagal citizen. If I get stopped on the street by the police it will be an instant 150€ fine. I will be going to Murcia again on Tuesday and hopefully this will be the last time. THe other news or warning is that I strongly recomend everyone to avoid the hair cutting schools at least here in Spain. This week I thought I would save some money and get (practiced) on. The girl that cut my hair was shaking so bad that she almost cut me multiple times, when I say me I mean my head not just my hair. Finally I sent out an SOS and the teacher came over and tried to fix it even though it was past the point of no return. I could go on but lets just say I had to buy a hair clipper after and it was still hard to fix.
We had zone confrence in Murcia and its exactly what I needed. THe topic was obedience and enduring to the end. I was suprised as I felt he was specifically talking to me through out the condfrence. It reminded me that he is called of God and recieves inspiration and revelation specifically for each of us. The best part was bearing testimony after the confrence. I felt the spritit strongly and it was nice to have a strong confirmation remind me that I m exactly where I need to be. WE were fasting with a man that we are baptizing this saturday that he could find work yesterday. I have seen so many miracles come from fasting on the mission. I know withouth a doubt its a true and powerful doctrine. We started fasting saturday togther and on sunday morning he recieved a job offer in murcia so he took his papers to the office and they are thinking of hiring him. he has been here a year without work and it was truly a mircale that someone came to him with an offer.
Mom! I made root beer and it tasted super great. I was so shocked that it was that easy. Thanks for sending the syrup. All is well here love you all. Make sure to send letters to the mission office after today because I may be moving. I ll let you know tuesday morning. Have a great week

Love, Elder G

my english is getting horrible !