Friday, June 26, 2009

Logan - Week 24 Lorca


Happy Fathers Day!

I recieved letters from ashley, Jess, Emily and Mom thank you very much

Well I got emilys camera card this week and that was very fun to see brenna and everyone. I also liked hearing about the surf comp. 2nd place dad thats way good. You guys better watch out next year though I ll be back!

Everything is going well here we actaully have two kids that want to get baptized but the parents wont let them. THe parents want them goingto church but wont come themselves, they told me that the kids need it but wont let them get baptized. Thats a little frustrating especially because the kids have really been converted. The One kid from Rumania told me about how he recieved his answer and what it felt like and said that he wants to get baptized and serve a mission like me but hes worried his parents wont ever let him. We will see what happens. I pray that things will change in the near future.
I had my first intercambios which is where we change comps and being Dl I am supposed to help them and their areas. I always thought they were kind of a waste of time but I wanted to actually have it make a differeance andI felt like it went really well. THey have been lacking on their contacts and I practiced and hleped the ELder with it a little bit and this week they did better then they ever had so that felt good to do somthing and see it work. I have three baptism interviews this week which will be intresting as well. I have never done oneof those before.
We have a baptism this Saturday and I am excitied about that and we will also have a couple being baptized after getting married the following week. My comp and I will actually get to be the witnesses for the wedding so that will be fun. I have been working with this family for a long time and I am glad I get to be here for their baptism that is finally goingto happen. I had to visiti offices in Murcia for them etc. to find out what they needed to do to get married. The husband has been truly converted and will be a great leader in the church.
Well not much else to say sorry this way kind of boring. EVerything is going well, its really hot and I hope and am pretty sure I will be getting moved to a new location in three weeks. We wills ee though because things could change witht the new president. We go to ALicante tommorrow for our last confrence with President Waddell. Then the following week again to Alicante to have one witht ht enew president. I miss you all and Love you. Send some pictures! I like how you play with brenna like a cat I think thats way funny. Have a greta day !

Much amor,

Elder G

Emily - Vigo LAST


Hello my dear family...
Wow where do I start. I really cant believe that this is my last time writing an email from Spain. As you can imagine my emotions have been pretty wacked. Its hard to take all of this in. I had an absolutely fabulous final week in the mission. It will be impossible to tell you everything that happened this week but I will try to get in the best ones.
Yesterday we finally taught Diana and Arturo together. My last chance to share the 1st lesson was with them. Their store was opened but we all sat together behind the cash register on pink princess chairs. It was very hot and sunny yesterday so everyone was at the beach and we didnt have to many interruptions. We compared the apostles and prophet to a captain and his marinos in a boat. The prophet is like the captian and the apostles are his helpers but what happens if they get thrown over board and all of us are left on the boat? Some think we should go to the north, others think the south and some say we should stay put. Everyone is confused and we dont have anyone to guide us. That is exactly what happend after Christ and his apostles were rejected and killed. Everyone left in their own saftey boat and no one knew which was the right way to go until Joseph Smith was called as a prophet to restore the truth. I loved their comment after we finished teaching everything they said, "wow Ive never heard of this before, its very interesting." When they make a comment like that you KNOW that they understood the apostasy and restoration. Thats not even the best part...after I shared the first vision Arturo told us that "yo la habia vivido" like the message sounded familiar to him. He told us that has only happened one other time in his life. I told him very clearly that it was familiar to him because its true. He prayed at the end and I was almost in tears. He prayed for us that we would be able to share more with them and that more people would listen to the message. He prayed for his marriage and the store. I love hearing pure prayers. He really was talking to his Heavenly Father about what was going on in his mind. I asked them to pray together about the message. I left floating. Im going to write my testimony in a BOM and give it to them before I leave.
I think what I love most about them is that they arent ashamed to be with us at all. Everyone always sees us with Diana and they always ask her who we are. She tells them very clearly "son mis amigas de la Iglesia de Jesucriso de Los Santos de Los Ultimos Dias." We live right by their store so before they leave at night they timbre us and we wave to them as they drive off on their moto.
Because they took me out to eat American food we had to eat food from my companions country too. On Saturday they took us out to eat again for carne asada and it was delicious. We ate octopus as like the starter plate and I actually liked it. Wow they have really treated us well and I sure love them. They are coming to the tren station tomorrow to see me off. One day Im going to come back to Spain to see them sealed for eternity.
I stopped by to see Manuel and Ana yesterday to say bye. She made me arepas and oj one last time. They make me so sad. I bore my testimony to them of Jesus Christ and how through him we can be forgiven and forgive. They have so much hate in their hearts. I shared the verse in Matt that says love them that hate you and also the verse where Christ says forgive them because they dont know what they are doing. We suffer when we dont forgive more than the person that caused us pain. Ana´s eyes filled up with tears as I testified to her of the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that we can be forgiven and forgive and truly be healed. I want that so badly for them. Manuel told me that my time with him has had a positive effect on their lives. He said that he isnt sure where the force comes from but he felt a peace and happiness when he came to church. One day that man will learn to think with science and faith. As I left Ana came running out the door and gave me a big hug. I told her that I loved her. When I hugged her I realized that she doesnt get hugs. Im probably the only person that hugs her with true love in my heart. As she hugged me it felt like to me that she was starving for a hug. It was almost like she didnt know how to hug but she wanted so badly to know how. I pray with all of my heart that someday her circumstances will allow her to receive the gospel so that at some point in her life she can feel true joy and peace. Its amazing how even just a hug can help someone so much. She has also helped me realize to keep loving and keep trying even when it seems like they dont want it. Really the problem is they just dont know how to receive it. We keep loving and serving as Christ would.
On Friday the jovenes had a talent show and asked us to participate. We did the makarena with scarves tied around our waists. The Elders even danced with us and all of the members were laughing hysterically. Missionaries dont really know how to dance. I was laughing so hard through the whole thing because it made me realize how much of a WEIRDO Ive become.
We went to another church on Wednesday with an investigator. It was quite thee experience I tell you all about it later. I will say that Im grateful to know that the still small voice only can be heard when we are reverent.
Im so grateful for my mission. Im so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. I want you all to know that I know without a doubt in my mind that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ. Throught the Prophet the truth was restored to the earth. I know that I am a representative of his church. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Through prayer confusion with cease and we can find the truth.
I love you all so much. Thank you for helping me become a missionary. This experience has truly changed my life.
I guess I will see you in a couple days...cant believe it.
The Sister

Monday, June 15, 2009

Logan - Lorca Week 23


Thanks Jenny, Jessica, Mom, Grandpa Gogarty and Emily for your letters this week. I get a lot more mail then most missionaries with the time I have in the misison. I am glad I havent completly escaped your thoughts. This week has gone well and we saw a lot of success. I think i told you about the two kids that came to church last week from Rumania. We got in with there whole family this week and I was able to practice a bit of my rumano. They were content to see that I at least tried and I was able to share quite a bit of the first because I learned a ton of the languauge while teaching Ilia and Ana our Rumanian Recent converts. They look good in white as I say and should be getting baptized soon. Its always great to teach families. We have another couple that finally got their papers to get married and so we should have their baptism as well next month. The work is going siprisingly well and I am glad I didnt take seriously the comments from people about ¨not baptizing in Europe¨ before my misison. We took another trip to Aguilas the beach town and enjoyed some nice sea food witht the Old branch president. The poor guy wants to start the misisonary work there and when we sat down with the family to get names to pray for and begoin teaching each family memeber came up with an excuse and left the room lol Including the wife. We are still going to continue working there once a week. I have made good friends witht the Spanish Investigator and he always asks for me to come by and visit with him. Its been nice talking to him because I ve learned alot about the spanish culture. He always has his grandaughter call me and invite us over to sit down and talk. I think I ve done everything is my power to baptize the man but he wont have it. Doing anything more then what I ve though of would be taking away his agency lol. Its been nice to be in our gospel principle class and listen to son many honest people who are looking for the truth and are sick of people lieing to them. A lot of people get work, work and then never get paid. Its really sad. Its nice to see them ccoming to church and finding the truth which makes them happy. There is nothing better then being a missionary. Seeing the changes in people has been very rewarding and makes everything worth it. Even this horrible heat. Its like playing lava everyday but we hide in the shadows and avoid the sun. The catch is that it actually burns you as where is a house you just fall on the ground. Anyways I think thats enough for now. I want pictures of river surfing and the bike shop and just everything I want more pictures. Is Sarah still alive? I wouldnt mind hearing from ya ! Oh and try to keep emily coming home on the dl that means down low I really dont want to hear about it too much I dont think it will help me at all right now. Lol thanks Love you all Elder G

Emily - Vigo Week 24


Hello Family...I got a lot of letters. Everyone is trying to sugar me up before I come home. I have two snail mails from Jess and mom. E-mails I have from Grandma and Grandpa Gogarty, Dad, and my trainer. I can´t believe this is my last week in the mission. Some exciting news is that one of the districts will become a stake in September. That will be a huge step for northern Spain. It will be exciting to see what other changes will follow. Today we went to the most beautiful island in the world...or so they told us. The sand was a beautiful white and the water very clear. I cant even explain to you how much I wanted to just touch the sand. We will have to take a trip to CA very soon. Im sure that wont bug pops. Ive missed the water a lot, I cant imagine how much brother is missing it. Our friends Arturo and Diana made us lunch and we spent the day together. It was really nice and Im going to miss them a lot. We continue to teach her behind the store but really want to teach them together. Hopefully they can give us some time during mediodia. She asked us a lot about the temples and it was neat to talk to her about eternity. Her and Arturo have a really good relationship. They are like mission companions because they are together all day long in the store. They just seem like really good friends, its neat. They have been such a blessing to me in my last couple weeks here. They love us and look out for us like family would. The other day we came late from a visit and Diana had Arturo waiting outside the store to see where we were. She pointed at her watch and was like um where have you been. She helps us with and respects the mission rules because she respects and loves us. This week we met with the older spanish couple. We had such a nice time together. The wife pretty much told us that she knows its the true church but she wont leave behind her husband. I think he knows its true too but cant give up smoking. They treated us so kindly and I really felt like I was just with Grandma and Grandpa Gogarty at their table in St. George. They even talked to us and counseled us about life. They try to go every year to Florida and love it. It sure makes me sad when people cant enjoy the blessings of the gospel because of something so stupid like a cigarette. There are so many horrible addictions in this world that take over peoples lives. Everyday our building smells likes smoke because people cant get out of the building fast enough to light up. They dont want to smoke in the house but they have it hanging out of their mouth with their lighter in their hands and its the first thing they do once they step out. We went to a Romanian birthday party this week that was pretty crazy. The little girl was turing two and had NO IDEA it was her birthday. I sang to her in english. We ate big chunks of meat with our hands and a big glass of coke. All of the food was set up outside on the dressers from inside. They were really excited to have us with them for the party and only invited us to drink about 6 times. I guess we will need to teach them the word of wisdom. Ill show you the video when I get home, its hilarious. Oh the experiences we have in the mission. Really I dont ever feel uncomfortable anymore in ANY situation. Ive seen it all. A mission prepares you for so many things in so many different ways. I have felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude this week for this experience. I have been so blessed to be a missionary for Christ´s church. Im really grateful for my mission. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. It changes lives and allows us to be truly happy.Thank you for your love and support.Love,The Sister

Monday, June 8, 2009

Emily - Vigo Week 23


Hello Family...
Well its weird to think that I will only be writing an email from Spain two more times. Its getting harder and harder to sleep at night. I have so much on my mind. I hate the process of going home just as much as pops hated the dropping off process. I want to just get on a plane here my last day and fly home. They want us to stay focused but we start the going home process a week or more before we leave. I would seriously love to just get on a plane the 25th of June and head home.
Guess what I know it may be hard to believe but it started raining again. Remember how I told you it got hot well that lasted about two days. Today is a big rain storm with lots of wind. I think everyday pday of my mission it has rained. My comp. said that it has rained the most here out of all of her cities. Ive seen so much rain since I got I dont know where its rained the most. We came home last night soaked from head to toe.
We had a visit this week with Dana, Andrea and Adrian. Remember the three that came with us to church. We taught them about prayer. Its amazing how hard it is for people to pray. Especially when their religion has taught them that it is something other than a conversation with their Heavenly Father. They pretend to cry and repeat weird phrases. We went through every step of a prayer with them and tried to help them think of a prayer like a conversation with God. It went really well. As we were talking about the things we can ask for Adrian stopped me in the middle of the lesson and in portuguese said how do I stop smoking. Sometimes you wonder if people are really listening but when he asked that I knew that through the spirit he felt the desire to change. I looked at him straight in the eyes and told him that he was a son of God and that he loves him and wants to help him. We told him that prayer is a great start. They can pray as a family and individually for strength to quit smoking. When I told him how much God loved him and wanted to help him he turned his head and when he looked back at me his eyes were full of tears. We left them with the compromiso to pray together and individually. We also told them that we are praying for them and yesterday I fasted for him. Its amazing how when we feel a good spirit its makes us want to change and do better. Its going to be a hard process for him but I know through God´s help he can stop. People have so much guilt and living the commandments gives us freedom and peace.
We had a visit this week with an older Spanish couple. They are really good people. We sat around a table with them and visited for a while before the lesson. I felt for a minute like I was in St. George. We watch Finding Happiness with them and then asked them what part they liked the most. We ended up talking about God´s creations and a lot of what is says in the proclamation to the family. Its frustrating sometimes when people agree with everything we teach but wont come to church and dont progress because they are afraid of "religions". I wish they could understand that this is Christ´s church, that is why you agree with everything and it makes so much sense. It wasnt organized by man. I understand why they are afraid of religion but I pray that someday that fear will break here so they can receive the gospel.
Diana and Artuo our friends that own the candy shop next door have pretty much become part of my family. On Saturday they took us in taxi to a mall that has an American Resturaunt and we all ate together. The name of it is Hollywood and its like Chilis. It was the first time I have eaten food like from home since I left. They were so excited for me to be able to eat something that was familiar. We are teaching Diana in the back of the store with Artuo works which stinks because I want them to learn together. But this next Monday they invited us to go with them on a ferry to some islands and told us that we could teach them together out there. We are going to share the restauracion with them and Im so excited. Artuo told Diana that "son distintas" or distinct-is that a word in english? Anways it has been wonderful getting to know them. Its amazing to me to think that it all started years ago when her father accepted the missionaries into their home. She remembered seeing a blue book and asked me about it one day. I cant explain to you how much I love them. They have been prepared to receive the gospel. I dont know when but they will someday, I know it. I appreciate them so much. Its nice to know that they are right next door and they actually care about us. Ive never gone out to eat with anyone but missionaries my whole mission. They really treat us just like family. Its been such a joy and blessing to be a part of their lives in the last couple of weeks.
I stopped a lady in the street the other day from Venezuela. She told me that a friend had already talked to her about the church and she would like to come and see how it is one Sunday. Remember Teresa the lady we helped when my greenie first got here. Well she lives in A coruna now and a friend she made there is getting baptized this month. She talks to everyone about the gospel. Ive had a lot of dreams the last couple nights of people I want to talk to when I come home. Im so thankful that my mission has helped me to not be afraid to talk to people about the most important message in the world. It has also helped me to learn how to talk to people in a normal manner with out throwing up everything on them. I love that quote in PMG that says like something they say will allow you to teach a gospel truth as we converse and listen to people. Everyone has preguntas del alma. Im so excited to take what Ive learned here and apply it to my life.
The gospel of Jesus Christ allows people to change and feel more at peace. I know it is familiar to them because it was first presented to us all when we lived with Heavenly Father. I know this is Christ´s Church and as we apply the principles we taught or lives and everyones can change. I love my Savior and I know that He lives.
I love you all!
The Sister

Logan - Lorca Week 22


Thanks Kayli, Jordan, Shannon, and Emily for your letters!

Grandpa Layton happy 84th!

Well this week was fast sunday and I did see a few mircales come from it. The first being that the Branch President was released. lol he wasnt that bad and you cant blame him because he has been serving form more then 8 years but I am excitied that a new one was called who will hopefully be a litle more succesful and helpful. This sunday we had two kids show up from Rumania who I had contacted in the street and will will be teaching them today. I have really enjoyed working with the youth of the branch and finding/teaching more. It has been a great experiance.
Last week we did some service which was way fun and also fairly akward. We painted for a family thats moving back to ecuador. The are trying to get the piso cleaned up because they have been renting for the last few years. I dont know what the contract that was made between the memebers renting and the Land Lords but when the land lady came over and saw that two punk kids were painting her apartment she was not very happy. Her husband asked us where our painting suits were thinking we were actually painters. lol situations like these I just pretned not to understand nor speak spanish. That is always the safest bet. Needless to say the apartment looked pretty decent by the end of it even though the land lords found out that we werent hired painters lol. He asked me if I had ever even painted befor and I si si but I dont think he was very convinced lol.
WE also went to the coast a city called Aguilas and did service for memebers that own a pizzeria and that was way fun. We helped make pizzas and also learned how to make our own. I tried convince them into letting us deliver their pizzas on their scooters but I ended up with just a picture instead. They want me to come live there for a summer and deliver for them which would be a town of fun. It would be fun to kite surf ,scuba dive fish, sail etc.
My first District meeting went well and durning my announcments I let everyone know that I was writing my companions sister. I dont think he liked that too much but everyone else thought it was funny and it is actually true so I didnt feel too bad.
Well a funny spanish mistake I amde this week was while teaching about how families can be togther forever I said that you can life with your brother in law instead of spouse for eternity lol that was fun. The words are super similar and I should have just used esposo but I am trying to expand my vocab.
Anyway everything else is going well here. We did get a new neighbor and he is big fat and never wears a shirt so I get to wake up to that every morning. He is always looking at me its creepy. I dont like apartment living that much but that seems to be the way its done here. Anyways I love you all have a great week and keep shredding the crap out of the river waves for me.

Elder G

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Logan - Lorca Week 21


I am trying to refrain myself from punching in the computer screen right now. My nice letter just got erased as I clicked send.

Thanks Mom and Sharla for your letters.

I am staying in Lorca and have been called as District Leader!

We had the baptism of the 14 yr old from Ecuador on saturday. It went really well and his Mom came who is also investigating the church. She was dressed nicer then all the memebers at the baptism. The branch President showed up a half hour late and was trying to blame it on me (its the first baptism that hes came to while Ive been here) The reason he came is becasue we asked him to baptize javier. I like having the members baptize the converts because I hope it makes them feel tied to them and feel the need of helping them reamin active as the missionaries come and go. The baptism went well and the spirit was felt during the special ordiance. Even though I did have to offend the branch president and not film it for him. lol wow He brought his video camera I thought that was a known rule or at least common sense.
Another great experiance was visiting a less active family who hasnt been to church in years. I feel like I am becoming a bold missionary. I know and realize that a lot of these people I will never see again and if I can help them in some way for this short time I am here then good and if they get offeneded then thats their problem. I asked the less active family if they had any real reasons not excueses for not coming to church. After a few moments of thinking they realized no and said they would be there. It was great to see them at church and the members were suprised as well. It make me worry that there are so many peopel that just need one visit to reactivate them but have no one that cares about them.
A lot mroe happened but of course I dont have time. We are in the pretty beach town of aguilas today and its heen so hot. I would love to jump in the ocean its very tempting.
Oh ya and on the way down here I was taying a leak in the bus station and the cleaning lady came in and started mopping around my feet. Europe is a little diferent thent the states lol.
Ok I want the camera card so I can see pictures of cali! please send that soon.
Oh and one more thing I got a call from the family we baptized in Elche. It was great to hear from them they told me everything every misisonary wants to hear. They explained how greatful they were and how happy they are due to the gospel. It gave me such a boost. Gustavo the dad is now a counselor in the Elders Qurom. Well no time left I love you all send the camera card

Love Elder G

I hope you having fun in the river without me! Its soo hot here in the 100s

Emily - Vigo Week 22


Hello my fam...
Okay it was raining and cold like always and then all of a sudden it turned to a 100 degrees. Im not sure how to convert exactly but I think it was 36 degrees the other day..crazy. I dont remember it being that hot last summer.
I had zone conference yesterday, my last one and I cant believe it. It was so weird to be the one in that position. I gave my dying testimony. I felt the spirit very strongly and much gratitude for this experience.
My favorite experience this week was teaching Diana my chuche friend that works next door. We taught in her storage room that is behind the store, sitting on boxes of water. It was a million degrees inside and she brought us little spanish fans and popcicles. She told us that she doesnt think it was casualidad that we live right by their store and that she has always had contact with us. I told her that I agreed. We taught her about Gods love and families. Its amazing how much the lessons just become a conversation when the spirit is teaching and not us. She opened up so much and I already love her but felt even a greater love for her while we taught. I told her as I looked at her right in the eyes how much God loves her and I know she felt something special because she asked me to say the same thing to her husband before I left. They work a lot but invited us to come over and teach during mediodia when they go home to eat. Otherwise we can only teach her while he runs the front. Anyways before we left we were talking, laughing and I said Arturo God loves you a lot and you are his son. He looked at me for a second and then just said thank you but really sincerly. I agree with brother the mission helps you be more blunt. I think its confidence through the Spirit. They have become like family. We see them like everyday and they invited us to eat with them this Saturday at a place called Hollywood. Oh I love them a lot. It will be hard to will be hard to leave behind. I dont know if I should type this but parents can take this part out if they want..anyways its been amazing to me how over and over againg the inv. and non believing people have treated me better than the people I see every Sunday. Im thinking about using that thought as my homecoming talk topic but I dont know if one ward can handle my dad and!
We had three people with us at church this Sunday finally. Three young adults from Romania. A couple visits ago we talked about the things we dont do on Sundays and someone said oh we shouldnt work and the guy was like ya you shouldnt work but you can ask for money. He is pretty funny and likes to joke around a lot. They were all shoked when I took his jokes and threw them right back at him. We still have all the visits together on the bed. The parents arent progressing and we stopped teaching them but we are teaching their neice and her sister and her sisters husband. They have become pretty good friends and I can actually understand them when they speak in Romanian. Not everything of course but it freaks me out when I realize I answer them after they say something to me in Romanian. They also speak in Portuguese sometimes because they lived in Portugal. I can understand that a lot better. I really hope I can find ways to keep my Spanish up when I get home. Oh ya it was pretty neat on Sunday I was sitting by the three of them in church and I told them that they could take the sacrament if they would like but they didnt need to. I heard the guy talking to the two girls in Romanian about how they smoke and they went to a discoteca last night. He didnt feel that they were worthy to do so and I really thought it was neat that he respected and partially understood what it meant.
Today we went to Pontevedra a little town close to here to see my favorite family that just moved. They made us empanadas and we just sat around and talked. I made peach cobbler and it was sooo good. I made the Elders play twister together afterwards for entertainment, it was so funny.
Well there is much more to say like usual but no time. I love you so much.
The sister
ps Grandpa I did your study on prayer of faith and I want to talk to you about it when I get home and a lot more. It will be so nice to just visit with you and Grandma. I love you both dearly.