Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015

so this week was interesting. but I’m short on time.
i will make the theme of this letter phillipeans 2:13 "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

so we had a zone conference this week with president, and he showed us that us as a mission have amazing potential, but we are honestly not achieving as much as we could be doing, he gave us some awesome council, but i realized that it doesn’t really do much unless we apply it. so this week we worked on applying the stuff and it worked amazingly well and were able to bless many more people.

for example we received training on how to ask for referrals from everybody. it really wasn’t anything new, though they did clarify some stuff. and we received 20 referrals in this semana, when the average is like 3... in a good week. and that’s just from applying well and working hard in basic stuff, we need to do it, God helps us with that, but even before that, we need to want to do it, God helps us with that.

friday we went on divisions with the other elders in our district. they are great elders, but this transfer they have been discouraged and have hardly been contacting people. so after trying many things to help them, i gave them a very simple assignment, pray in every prayer for the desire to contact. this week was so much different for them, and overnight they completely changed how they were working. why? because of anything i did? no. because of anything they did? no. it was because they wanted to, because of what God did.

so it is with each of us, we all have things that we should do, but we won’t do anything effectively unless we want to, and the desire comes from one source, God. i like to look at it from the scripture stories, we read about amazing missionaries like alma and ammon. but they were not great servants because their dads told them to be, it tells us that they were filled with burning desire to share the gospel, the sinners that they were before would not have wanted that unless they had been filled with the desire by the spirit. i guess the message is that to magnify our callings and responsibilities, we should do the stuff, but first, we should seek the desire that will drive us.

that message was kinda convoluted and I’m not gunna proofread or anything, so I’ll end with something a little less confusing, the investigator of the week.

se llama R. we found her by just talking to her in the street. she is a teacher of kindergarten and a super happy energetic person. she has been listening to us for about a month. we haven’t really been sure how to help her progress, but this week we visited her with a member, and turns out she taught the members kids in school so they already know each other. the sister invited her to come to church this sunday and... she did! (yaaay! party! confetti! but more reverent than that!) our ward is pretty small, but all the people are awesome, like 7 people came up and started getting to know her, sitting with her in the class, and even walking home with her, so we think that she felt pretty comfortable there, and we hope that it will help her to want to receive more of the gospel.

That’s all for now, love you guys, be good

elder gandola

August 17, 2015 Back-up Plan

Back-up Plan 

hello all,

well this (the title) doesn’t really give me a lot to tell you about. to explain that better, sometimes when we have an appointment that seems too sure to fall through, i put, "cry" as the backup plan. ...we cried a lot this week.

so we didn’t really have a ton of lessons this week, and we didn’t have anybody in church, but like i told the zone leaders while reporting our weekly progress, "we haven’t had to much success, but i honestly feel like we are doing our part, and giving our best effort, so maybe it won’t happen right now, but i know that the blessings will come." so don’t worry about it, all is well over here.

like i said, this will be short, but i want to end with something that i almost started a while ago, but want to actually do. so the investigator of the week is L. she is a single mother, has 2 kids, 15 and 3 years old. the 3 year old has adhd, and is very hyperactive, but they are all great.  she is a contact that elder P did in divisions with the other elders, we visited her once with him, and she was very interested. we passed by again like 3 weeks ago with elder M, but then for like 3 weeks, we completely lost contact with her. we managed to reach her by phone like a week later, but she told us, "I’m not sure when i can, I’ll call you"  for those of you who don’t know, they will never call us. even if they have tons of interest (that doesn’t really work in english does it?) they don’t call. but last night we felt like we should just pass by and whadya know, she was there and we could teach her again. her big problem right now is she can’t come to church for work, but she is looking to see how she can make it work.

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

elder gandola

Aug 10, 2015

miracle monday (and tuesday, and wednesday, and... some other days)

so this week was pretty cool. the thing about mission weeks is they all seem pretty normal, but when you look back on them you can see all the blessings.

so the first miracle i had this week almost made it into the last letter, so monday we left a bit late and we had an appointment that we needed to get to, but i had forgotten our map... and their address. but i knew that we did not have time to go back for those things. so i just kinda had an idea of where it was, didn’t say anything to my comp, said a prayer and started walking. a couple streets later i suddenly remembered exactly where it was, down to their obscure street name, and we didn’t miss a single street getting there. elder M even commented, "wow, you have a good memory." it wasn’t my memory.

miracle tue(sday): so in monday night planning, we saw that we had an appointment with E. only one problem... who´s E? but we felt like we should keep it there anyways. so we went through the day and were praying to be able to find him,.and we eventually remembered... nothing. nope nothing, i had no idea. well, let’s go work. so we were going to our other appointments, when we felt like we should go to try to find a reference, we had passed by before, but they were never there. so we go over when all the sudden, "...hey elder" "yeah?" "you remember when we contacted that guy who lives next door the last time and put an appointment with him, but didn’t write down his name?" "yeah" "...i know who E is." so we found him. but he wasn’t there. but his mom was. she has been inactive for over thirty years.

miracle three (sunday): so last week for fast sunday i fasted that we could have people in sacrament meeting, just 1 person. in 6 weeks we have had a grand total of... 0 people there. we received a promise from president that if we study the doctrine of the lessons for half an hour every day, that half of the investigators in sacrament meeting would baptize. awesome promise... but half of 0 is 0. so this week we worked hard and we were waiting for 7 people , guess how many we had? we had (drum roll please) ...0. yup, nobody. then in the second hour we were called into the bishops office, there was a man there (who had sat next to me in sacrament meeting) who had apparently been baptized 15 years ago, but was never confirmed, he lives right outside of our limit, but attends here, so we will most likely still teach him. so we couldn’t count him this week, but at least we had somebody there, just that 1.

long moral short, there are three things we need to see miracles, or receive guidance in our lives. 
1. ask 2. be worthy (that includes in our desire) 3. do our part.  that last one is key, God more easily directions moving feet. want something? get moving

that’s all for this week, be good, love you.

elder gandola

ps. we had a miracle on wednesday too. i found a woman who sells churros for 1 peso each. that’s 15 for a dollar. i may have bought ten, because the miracle of churros is the greatest miracle of all.

Aug 3, 2015

well, this week was kinda interesting. it went by super-fast because we didn’t really have many "normal" working days.

so the thing about being a leader is you have to do divisions more, you have to do them  with all of those in your district, (preferably twice so you can do it with each companion) and you have to do it with your leaders as well. so we planned on having them with elder M and elder G thursday to friday, and then the zone leaders called us and told us we would have them with them tuesday to wednesday. so i guess with pday and church the only day that elder M and i worked normally and a full day was saturday.

so remember how i said that my old  companion elder C was our zone leader? well he came to work with me, it was really nice, because of all the companions that i have had, our teaching styles fit really well together. we had a couple good lessons, it was also good to get some input by somebody with a bit more experience on some of the administrative stuff of a district, i was kinda thinking, "well this is good to know, but i don’t really think i will ever need to apply it." well i had to apply a good amount of it pretty soon afterwards, so good timing there.

then the next day with elder G we didn’t really have too many lessons., but i got to know him a bit more, he is a bit quiet, so i didn’t know him too well, but he is a good missionary, and really smart. when he was at home he played in chess tournaments and won and stuff, he thoroughly handed it to me that night when we had the chance to play.

church was good, but a bit different. the teacher of the first principles class and the president of elders quorum (two young semi-recently returned missionaries) just got married. they were on their honeymoon and i was thinking in sacrament meeting "hmm, wonder whos gunna teach the classes today." quick answer, it was me. in both they came up to me and asked, hey can you teach the class? yeah, ok well then you have the time right now. ...ok.  they actually turned out really well and i had to cut one short to finish in time. something that i have learned this week is that sometimes we can do super legit stuff, like teach both classes on the spot, but if we started thinking about how good we are and how great we do, we can’t do super legit stuff anymore. for example i know that i had the lords help in those classes. if i had had a week’s notice and had thought, "psshh preparing is for losers" then i don’t think i could have done it on the spot, but if we are humble, and do what we can, then the lord will help us.
moral: i am a super humble person, probably more humble than anyone i know.
(ok that’s not actually it, its trust in the lord.)

but anyways that’s all for now, love you guys, be good

elder gandola

Monday, August 10, 2015

July 27, 2015

hello all,

this week was good, i learned a lot

lesson 1: parenting is hard.

so I may not be a real parent, and i may not be beginning the training of my companion, but no obstane, through training a new missionary and having a district, i think i got a little taste of what it’s like to be a parent. The thing is that more than ever you have to worry about everything you do.  1. you have to be a good example so that they can learn the right stuff to do, 2. you have to not do anything wrong so that they don’t call you on it, and 3. you have to worry about every interaction you have with them, especially when you are teaching them, was that too firm? was it not firm enough? did they understand? how else could i explain it or show them so they will start applying it? what else could i , HEY, DONT PUT THAT IN THE ELECTRICAL SOCKET! ... ok, so maybe nobody almost electrocuted themselves, but still. I’m sure that it will be even more so when i have real children.

also the thing about being a leader/ example is that you have to pretend like you know what you are doing. the more that i gain life experience, the more i am convinced that nobody knows what the heck is going on, they all just pretend. at least i sure as heck hope they don’t know what’s going on, because i sure don’t, and i don’t see that changing anywhere in the next few (ok many) years. the trick is just pretend that you know what you are doing and people will think that you do. (I’m really good at that with directions now, when your lost you just pretend like you know exactly where you are until you actually do.)

lesson 2: take advantage of people.

ok not quite like that, but same kinda principle. so i realized, as I’m sure that most people do, that service is important. giving service is easy, the hard part is learning how to accept service. i have seen this from 2 different points of view.

1. fun fact, missionaries hardly ever give service. why? because nobody lets them. there are many times when we offer service, usually its very obvious that yes the people actually need help. the thing about service is that we all think we are very humble and willing to serve, but we are to prideful to actually accept help from others.

2. so we left the house of some members, they have a little shop and they offered us water bottles like they always do. i gladly accepted because the chimp was ironing (it was hot) but my comp refused multiple times but asked for a glass of water.  now obviously in situations like this we should not overly take advantage of them, it is a source of income, but when they offer us things out of the goodness of their hearts, it can validate them, and help us too. and I’m sure that the feelings of generosity that they had and the blessings for the small act were worth more than the 50 cents that the bottle was worth.

so yeah, the moral of this lesson, be humble enough to accept assistance (without overly taking advantage of them)

well, those are some main points of this of this week. do with them what you will.

love you guys, be good

elder gandola

July 20, 2015

greetings friends family and possibly enemies.

so this week was kinda interesting i guess.  the week itself was pretty normal, we looked for a lot of people and nobody was there, but we had some unusual lessons and such.

so first of all we found a now investigator, a woman who lives with her husband and 2 kids. she was super great, but her son made the lesson very interesting.  he is a 3 year old who came out at the beginning of our lesson, he was talking a lot and trying to show his mom everything that he was doing on his phone and such, but hey kids are always distracting. but then his mom told us that he has adhd and problems with anger and such, which soon became very apparent. so after a bit he wanted the phone, he wanted specific things on the phone (which weren’t there) and when it didn’t work he started screaming and crying. so we ended up waiting for this kid for like 20 minutes.  most of the stuff he did was completely illogical. "i want cookies!"  "ok here are some cookies" so he took them and just threw them on the floor. "mom they fell down, pick them up" "no, i didn’t throw them on the floor" "... you did it" eventually she went to pick them up but he just screamed and tried to stop her.  he basically did that with everything down to juice, and then he got mad when she was handing him stuff because he physically "couldn’t walk" to go get them and a lot of stuff like that. but eventually he calmed down and we have another appointment for when he is in daycare, but i think she will progress.

this week was the last week of transfers, but we already knew we were going to stay the same, but probably receive a third elder. elder P goes home in two weeks, so it wouldn’t make sense to send him anywhere else for only two weeks. but guess what? we did have transfers. elder P got sent to his old area with his old companion and another elder for the last 2 weeks, so all the changes don’t really make a ton of sense but bueno. i received an almost new missionary, he is halfway done with his training, so i get to finish training him this transfer. Technically president has told me all of my transfers so far then, except for the special transfers that he didn’t know about before. because he told me that i would train this next transfer. the bad thing about this is that i missed all the good parts of training. 1. i don’t get the buffet breakfast that everyone gets when they go to get their trainees. 2. we don’t get to mess with him because he already kinda knows how stuff is. 3. i can’t tell people, "this is my beloved son, hear him." the most that i can do is "this is my adopted son, hear him... if you want to" doesn’t really have the same ring to it.

anyways, he calls himself elder M, he is tall, he is mexican, and he can’t walk too fast right now because he cut his foot open last monday with a machete while he was trying to cut grass. so we will probably go to the hospital today or tomorrow so that they can take the stitches out.

but yeah that was my week, that’s it for now. love you guys, be good.

elder gandola