Sunday, October 20, 2013

The work is beautiful.

Here we are again! already another monday!

We are still just going to town down here! always working hard! this week i started the week with an intercambio (splits in English)... God puts you with people for a reason. I'm very grateful for my companion! We obviously dont always get along perfectly, but for the most part we love each other and work really well together! 

Then we just continued with the week taught people, shared the love of christ, met some crazy people. you know, just the normal stuff. 

We met this guy named Nelson, he has some sort of neurosis which makes his life really hard but he was a really nice guy, sincerely searching for change. We taught him a bit then came back another day and he was like completely changed! he had cleaned his whole house, he was wearing clean clother, he had done his hair, it was impressive! So we are going to see where that goes!

We also got a reference from some elders in another sector, we went and visited this guy and he just like smiled and acted like we were besties and let us in. we didnt havea lot of time so we didnt teach much but just basically talked to him and set up an appointment to come clean his house and teach him. Hes super funny, he talks like a zillion miles per hour so its kinda hard to understand him but hes super duper nice. he always talks about how young he looks hahaha he is 50, thinks he looks 40, and looks 60. His mom died in June so he is super lonely. but we had to leave before we could do much for him we came back... this guy never throws anything away. He was willing to when it came time to clean but we found so much crap and random rotten food. we only cleaned like one tiny room, and there were massive spiders everywhere! but we survived! and then taught him a lesson and he just like accepted anything... it made me wonder if he was even listening. he really just accepted all of it as fact. we kept trying to ask questions to make sure he was understanding and he was but he didnt even seem like it was new to him. Then we invited him to church. He just showed up no problem! it was sweet! he really loved the meeting, lots of people talked to him and he felt good. Hopefully we keep working with him.

The church here is wierd... i dont know, we just lack good leaders. we had church talks about temple sealings, then the Bishop got up and gave this big shpeel about one time when he helped an elder cast out a devil. it was... lots, it definitely hurt the progress of Dariela. the kids just run around and up on the stairs, they scream and nobody goes and gets them. its just madness, it is really almost painful. We also have this gospel principles class for recent converts and investigators... I dont even know where to start with that, we have this one awesome guy who has some mental problems so he doesnt think about the noise hes making, he just talks to the little kids, gives them his phone to play games on full volume... we struggle. and the teacher is... very opinionated. We had 2 recent convert ladies. one returning less activy lady, and 3 women investigators... i said that wierd but you get the picture... long story short we were talking about the sabath day and she told all of the women, very factually and forcefully, that they had to wear skirts to church otherwise they were being disrespectful and provocative. Me and my comp were just dying. it was so bad. we had to defuse all sorts of bombs. but despite all of this... stuff. They always feel the spirit. We can just have an awful day at the church, i just feel like the world is crumbling, but then we ask the people about it and they always feel something. therefore. the spirit helps us SO MUCH! SOOOO MUCHHHH!

Later that night we found this street that was like crazy accepting... almost everyone we talked to gave us another time to come, and not just like, "ya whenever but not right now" they were like specific! so yeah, lots of them are probably gonna say "ummm actually no" but even if just a few work out... it was a crazy street! then we visited these people, taught them the first lesson and gifted the book of mormon. i dont know how to explain why these people are different... sometimes they just feel better. the prepared of the Lord. 

The work is beautiful. i am so happy to be here! cambios are coming on saturday... i doubt any of the four of us are gonna leave but we will see. 

I love you all! keep the faith!

Elder Gold

Just some pictures! A few from the beach... sorta

a random light up train

Hermana Estrella

the Vargas family

fun with food for those of us who dont have an oven or a stove! 

These pictures are from a festival we had. all the countrys here have a specific dance and all the youth from each ward danced the dance of one country. kinda cool

Monday, October 7, 2013

I really am learning a ton more about agency and all it contains

Alright! so Last week was super crazy! sorry about that! But! we are still working with the Vargas Family! hopefully i will have better pictures coming soon with more people dressed in white clothing! they have a date set for the 19th of October so thats what were working for! i think theyre gonna make it! they came to conference for two sessions! that was awesome! We also had another one of our investigators come... she didnt quite get what she was expecting... so we are gonna have to work a lot more with her. that was a huge dissappointment... but thats ok. i really am learning a ton more about agency and all it contains.

We knock a Ton of doors. I dont know if i have mentioned these before or not but they have these terrible inventions where the doorbell calls the house so all the have to say is "no, no, gracias" and hang up the phone. you dont even have a chance with those suckers. But we have a lot of interesting experiences! you really cant discount anyone, because sometimes it seems like the people who wouldnt want the gospel, are the ones prepared to accept it. and some people who seem really accepting but really arent. We went to one house of an inactive teenager and talked to his dad. he told us his son wasnt in and we asked him where he was at then started talking more about him and what he does and eventually he let us in. we had a lesson and we have gone back another time. He is accepting of the Gospel and we have a good friendship. i wasnt expecting that. Then we have these people who tell us they are busy so we set up another time to visit them and we come by and they are gone. so we come back and they tell us they actually really dont want us to come. some people dont want to tell us that straight up so they just make up ridiculous excuses. one lady told us she was gonna be sick for the next month. other people tell us to come back in like february. a little crazy but thats ok.

Im also learning a lot more about attitude. i thought that was a lesson i had in the CCM, but apparantly its a lot deeper than i thought! you really do choose to be happy. its part of your agency. Wednesday was a sweet day, i chose to be happy and i just felt it, all day, i loved people, the language was better, everything was beautiful. I went to the pension that night feeling full! The next day i did it again. BUT, almost every one of our appointments fell through. it was a little bit impressive! but every single time something fell through, it opened up the opportunity to go do something else that we learned was definitely more necessary. we were truly guided by the Lord and told where we should go and what we should say. it was truly impressive. we had an incredible day. At one house i knocked on the door ( we had already made an appointment) and she moved the blinds in the window, looked at us, we waved, and she walked away. so we waited... two minutes later we knocked again. then we heard the tv go on. so we knocked a gain and said "hello" to make sure they knew we were there and nobody came... so we were at the point of leaving when a family we had contacted a while a go but could never seem to catch up to walked by. We started Talking to them and asked them when we could come by. they gave the usual evasive answers... we are busy... my schedule isnt set... yada yada. but then my companion just bore testimony of families with power and the spirit and before he could even finish completely they told us when to come back. they said they might not be there but if they arent just keep trying. that was a sweet experience.

Also, we had an experience walking down the street when a lady called out after us and asked us when we could teach her! What?!?! we try and get people to "just listen and see" and we get shut down all day long! she ran out of her shop and yelled out to us! Super surprising! super cool! We werent actually in our sector though... so we had to hand it off to the other two elders but still! way cool! and hopefully it will get them a little amped up about the work!

We also had a really cool correlation meeting with the ward mission leader, where we really discussed realistic ways we could be better and not just, "we need to work together" "yea". we discussed and tried to help eachother out. hopefully that will help. my dream is to be able to get the ward as excited about missionary work as the missionaries (hopefully) are. i would love to be able to do that.

We have started running in the mornings and we played soccer today, which was super fun for me since i sat there the whole time. Yay for cripples! but all is well! i dont tell you this story to complain, just to assure you that im being nice to my knee. :)

I hope you all enjoyed conference! and realized the huge blessing we have to listen to it! now we just have to remember to apply it! one of the guys in my house noticed that when they made the challenge to invite someone to come to church before  christmas that nobody wrote it down! they were all taking notes but then strangely ommited that one... so this is my hope! that you can try to apply conference! and find someone that you can invite to church! 

I love you all a ton! miss you like crazy! remember to enjoy what you have!

Elder Gold

p.s.  My address now is, 
Elder Gold
Casilla 70

Letter for this week (9/30) is crazy short

letter for this week is crazy short... we had a new family come to church! and the othe investigator came again! so stoked for conference! we are still working hard! wasted our day doing visa stuff so we have almost no time now! i have pictures and such but its gonna have to wait until next week! were still just working like crazy! trying to get more people reactivated! and hopefully have a few baptisms here and there! love you guys!

Also! we had this big conference with the mission president and everyone in Arica... a ton about obedience! it has helped the other members in the house a ton!