Thursday, September 8, 2016

September 5, 2016 Reflections (Elder Gandola's Last Email)

hey guys,

so i guess this is the last time that i will be writing, from the mission at least, which is kinda weird, but i guess the end kinda had to arrive at some point. 

well looking back the mission seems, well, both long and short. but i have learned so much, i guess that ill share a few of the main points

1. life focus

i have noticed that we make a lot of things a lot more important than they should be. i remember arriving in mexico and picking at all the little cultural differences, not quite as annoyances, but more of me looking for a new, strange experience. i came to realize that it really doesnt matter. for example, in my time in mexico, i have seen maybe 10 washing machines, 3 dryers, and 0 dishwashers. i have showered with heated water in a bucket for at least 9 months. yet i have never seen these things as inconveniences. actually i think that one of the biggest annoyances i will have when i get back is the unwarranted ammount of importance we give to "necessary" things. sure cars and phones and houses and work are nice, they are ok to have, but what really brings us true hapiness and true satisfaccion is our relationship with god and with our families.

2. service

human beings tend to think about themselves, what we want, what we need, how we feel. well if we think about what we need, we will always find more things to want and we will never be satisfied. if we stop thinking about ourselves and look at the needs of others, we will forget all about what we think we need.

3. trust in god

there are lots of things that qwe can do, and lots of things that we cant. God can do everything. if we look for what he wants us to do, he will use us to do what we cant. lots of times we wont be able to see exactly what he is doing, but we will keep moving forwards, and afterwards, we can see his hand in everything.

4. jesus christ is our savior

there are no words to express all that he has done for us. he has paid the debt that was never his, we caused him infinite amounts of pain and suffering that he did not deserve, and yet he loves us with all of his being and invites us to come home. truly there is no other path than through him, and there is nothing in our lives, no trial, no pain, so great that he cannot (and has not) overcome. our job? trust in him, do as he asks, and work to become as he is

well, i guess ill end with the person of the week. he has probably undergone the biggest conversion that i have seen on my mission. i have truly seen him come to know and love the savior, dedicate himself more fully to god, and learn how to follow him. he has had lots of trials, lots of ups and downs, and even though he is not perfect, he has worked hard to improve, and has become a better person. if you havent guessed, its me. i know that i have a lot to learn, and a lot of things to do in my life, but i know that these two years that i have been given to serve the lord have changed me more than anything else could have. i am pleased to say that i have been able to serve an honorable mission, and would never have changed this experience for anything.

well, i think thats it for now, see you all in a couple of days

Elder Gándola