Sunday, June 28, 2015

June 22, 2015 Father’s Day

so funny story, my watch has time settings for 4 cities, and it was the on the wrong one. so my companion woke up from relaxing, i was reading, and asks me, "why didn’t you wake me up earlier?"
"’s only 2"

“ no, its 5"


but we have an appointment with a member at 6, so we have to leave early and i don’t have time to write really, so sorry

happy fathers day!

elder gandola

June 15, 2015 The dangers of being lukewarm

 i don’t have a lot of time, so I’ll just share a thought i had this week. we are much more complacent with things than we should be. i realized that i am not really doing anything bad, i am following the rules, i am working all day, I’m basically doing everything that i should, but I’m not really doing anything overly spectacular either. and i was thinking, why should we settle for just being mediocre, for just doing what we are "supposed to?" if I’m here on a mission dedicating all of my time, then i should dang well be doing everything possible to use it in the most effective way i can. the mission lowered the baptismal goal when i arrived from a baptism every week to every month. if it’s possible to achieve something, then we should not settle for less.

in the church i have realized that there really no is any standing still. you can progress or we can unprogress.  Christ’s plan has always been progression, like it says in revelations. "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:  I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." if we are going to be involved in something, we had better be committed, or there’s really no point.

so this week i started applying something found in the new testament, when the rich young ruler came to jesus and asked him "what lack i yet." i feel as if we don’t ask this question enough, and i think the reason is because we all feel sure that we will get an answer.

so that’s my challenge for all of you, go get an answer. then work on it.

that’s it for now, be good, love you guys.

elder gandola

June 8, 2015 I like to Move it, move it


we actually basically didn’t work this week, we weren’t sick or anything (or in jail for kidnapping), we were just working on other stuff. so the secretaries landlord wanted to raise there already high rent, which wasn’t gunna fly, so we got to find  a new house and move everything over there.

fun fact, moving is hard without a car. especially when you are the secretaries, who need a house fitted to hold 12 elders, and is packed with junk that the old guys leave behind when they head home. so basically we spent the whole week taking stuff apart and moving it over .  we ended up finding a member with a truck

the first day of the week, all the zone leaders were coming to stay with us, so we moved all the beds that day. they all got there at the same time we finished, so they all had  to help us put them together. they didn’t actually know how to do it though, because they didn’t  take them apart, so we had to go around and fix them all when they were done.

friday we had divisions, and i went over to the zone elders area, and i was thinking that finally i will get to work normal again. first thing we did was go do service. we helped a woman lower down a big wooden bed frame down from a third story roof with ropes.... i have a curse.

we didn’t have any extra space, so we had to bring the washing machine to the assistants. we went to pick up the keys, but the assistants were out with president, so when we got there, president invited us to go eat hot chocolate with him. he had chocolate tamales brought out for us to try, and he asked us if we would like him to order more, ap 1 "no, I’m good" ap 2 "no, I’m good" secretary goff "nope I’m good" me "...yup" lesson i have learned in the mission, if people offer you things, they usually actually mean it. also, if you are a junior companion at lunch with president and his wife and the assistants and a secretary ...then you are allowed to take advantage of the situation. it was a good tamale.

but we got it all done, so... yeah. like i said we don't really have a lot of lessons this week, but we had good ones. we went to visit the recent convert that we just baptized and her family, and we brought the restoration video to watch. they started it in english on accident and so i started translating as a joke, but turns out that they lost the remote, so they couldn’t actually change the language, so i just translated all of it. i think that makes up for last weeks spanish jahaja

today we had transfers, i got sent to san luis potosi in the city this time as senior companion. my comp is elder P, he has like 6 months in the mission, and we have already gone over the explaining new companions thing.

well, that’s real all i have for this week. take care, be good, love you guys.

elder gandola

June 1, 2015

hey guys,

so first of all, i got the package this week. the sour gummy worms were super mega great. they were even better because we didn’t have food, so i still had something to eat. (i actually did have money, but nobody else did, so we didn’t go to the store, but now we all have money again, so it’s all good) also we didn’t have light or water for a couple days because the electricity got cut and we didn’t have time to pay it. but luckily we are moving houses this week, so hopefully no more problems like this. we are moving for 2-3 reasons. 1. the rent is being raised. 2 me and elder gonzales are gunna go move apart from the secretaries, so were gunna move twice. also i'm gunna have transfers probably. president told me that i would probably have transfers this time, and after that i will train... president has spoiled the surprise of every single transfer i have had. but anyways, we were packing stuff all today, and so we are running a bit late

but anyways, not too much time, but 2 quick things. first of all i learned an important lesson this week, not really a missionary lesson, but a spanish lesson. short version: por and para are very important. long version: so we were out on exchanges and we were contacting and  worded one of the questions weird, i will explain it from my point of view first. "blah blah contact stuff... so these are your kids" "yeah." "oh, well what are your hopes for their future?" (he gets this really confused/disgusted look on his face) "...nothing" "...really, you don’t want anything for them?" before i continue the conversation i will tell it from his point of view. " these are your kids?" "yeah" "well how much can i offer you for them?" "...nothing" "really, you wouldn’t sell them for anything?" at this point we realized what he thought and clarifies "oh, no, like, what are your dreams for them" "oooh..... i thought you were trying to buy them." so the moral of this story is learn por y para better when you study spanish and pay more attention to which you use. also missionaries should not buy children.

secondly we had an meeting with elder Arnold of the 70. i was ready for another nice meeting with a general authority... he planched us pretty hard (planchar means to iron but missionary slang its kinda like... chewed out? no not quite, but like be really direct) he did it with love so it was ok, but he helped us see the things that we can do better and how we can achieve more in this time. a lot of what he said reminded me of something i studied in d&c 3:1

 "1 The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught."

now something interesting about this section is that he is talking to joseph smith about the lost pages, it was Joseph's actions that  were not in line with the lords will. now if he did anything against God, he could not have stopped the restoration, he just wouldn’t have been the one to restore it. so basically the lord will do his work with or without us, we just have the opportunity to be the tools he uses, but if we are not doing what we need to, we are all replaceable. Basically, we can live in a way that we can be used to hasten the work, or we can get out of the way. i feel like hastening the work is a better option.

well that’s all for now, be good, love you guys.

May 25, 2015 Secret Agents

greetings again,
so lucky for you guys i actually remember some stuff from this week. because this week was different.

so we were in a gated community, and we went to visit somebody, when all of the sudden a guard pulls up on his bike (you know, bikes aren’t very intimidating) and tells us to hit the road. so we go up to the front to see what’s up. so when we enter, we always have to give them our id´s and the address we will go visit. so they were upset because we gave them an address, but went and visited multiple people. we didn’t know beforehand that that was a problem, so we explained our situation, what we do, and offered multiple solutions, but they just told us, "nope, until here, no more, you guys can’t come back." i was mad, we weren’t even aware of a problem until then, but there was nothing to do, so we left, even though we had appointments with  our recent baptism and with our only baptismal date in there.

so we called them to cancel the appointments, but they were all, "not in my gated community," so they came and picked us up and told the guards that we were coming in,  they let us in as long as we give them all the directions. but anyways, we can enter now, but they always follow us now "in secret"

but yeah, well now i guess i will just have to one up you guys. danielle told me that you guys had a stake conference with a 70. well we had 2 at our stake conference. oh yeah we are also having a meeting with just the missionaries in this are with another 70, elder Arnold. oh yeah also this past tuesday we had an all mission meeting with another 70, elder piper. Oh wait, he was accompanied by another guy, (wait for iiiit).... Elder Bednar. yup, we got to meet with an apostle. you may be thinking the same thing i thought when i heard he was coming, "i didn’t know that Elder Bednar spoke spanish." ...well he doesn’t, he just used a translator

 he started out by telling a story  (that i have heard somewhere but don’t remember where) about a woman who always cut off the end of the ham before cooking it. when asked why by her husband she said she didn’t know but that it was how her mother had done it. so she asked her mother who responded in a similar manner, so she asked her grandmother and discovered that when they were first married that her grandparents had not had a pan large enough for the ham.

he explained that many things we do, especially in the church are silly, and that the only reason we do them is because that’s the culture. one of the things we do is our notes, we note down a history of the meeting, and then later we never use them and can’t even find them. that we shouldn’t do that, but that we should take notes of spiritual impressions that we receive and it will serve us much better.

then he told us that he would not be giving a talk, but that he would be asking and answering questions. another one of those ham cutting traditions is playing a game called guess what’s in my head, and that we ask questions that are ineffective because they are just asking people to do just that. so all of the questions where not meant with a specific answer. so we basically just had a chat with elder Bednar and our whole mission.

what i learned most was the ability that we have to be agents (secret agents, like Bourne, ok maybe not). we have agency, which doesn’t mean we just get to choose, it means we get to act, and that we should cause things to happen. so when we want something, we should not be an object, and pray for God to make it all better, we should ask for help and then do our best to do it ourselves. Nephi didn’t ask for God to get him out, he asked for strength so that he could burst the bands.

so i don’t really know what you guys need right now, but go ask God for his support, and go do it.

signing off,

double-o gandola