Elder Carlos Samuel Gomez

Elder Carlos Samuel Gomez

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Wrap up of mission

Alright so I got back this last week and I'd like to close out my emails and tie off my mission experience a bit. These last two years have been amazing. I feel like a completely different person. I've felt the love of the Savior and I've seen His hand working in the lives of many people. I know that this is the Lord's work and that He is in charge of it. I have come to know that "The worth of souls is great in the sight of God". He is waiting for us to come to Him, and as soon as we do He will accept us with open arms. He cares about every person in the world, because they are His children. And he will always do all He can to help them find Everlasting Life. It has been a privilege to witness this many times on the mission, and I will continue to seek opportunities to help others on the path even though I don't have a name tag now. We should all be missionaries. I know that this work is real, that it is true, and that He directs it. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Un-edited stories shared after safely home

So these are a few experiences that I decided not to send in my weekly emails for the sake of my mother and her physical, emotional, and mental health :) I'll start with the least crazy.

1. On one Sunday morning we set out at 8:30 to walk to church and when we were just about there we received a phone call from the other elders informing us that someone had broken into our apartment and robbed us. We got a ride back to the apartment, and the door had been completely destroyed. We walked right through to the house and a couple of police officers, the other elders, and Brother Vuksanovich were there at the scene. The police asked us a couple questions and we looked around and found that our cameras, the dvd player, my companion's usb, and his shoes had all been stolen. It was a ton of fun to try to get the door fixed, because the house was just sitting there wide open for a few days and we slept with the other elders.

2. In Arroyito, my first area, I had a few sketchy encounters. In my first week on the mission we were walking out of the Raffagnini home (A member family), and a man on a bike stopped right in front of us and asked if we wanted to buy some greeting cards. We said no but he still wouldn't let us pass. He looked at my watch and said that he would give me some cards for the watch, and he started trying to take off my watch. We just said Tomatela (Whatever get lost) and we went around. 

3. Still in Arroyito, we were in the villa (slums), and the other elders called us. Our phone that was in my sock started to go off and we took off speed walking to get out before anyone noticed. We made it out and about 5 blocks away and thought that we were safe when we heard someone running up from behind. We turned around and the guy started reaching into our pockets and yelling "Dame todo dame todo te voy a matar tengo arma!!!!" That means that he was saying that he had a gun, he was going to kill us, and that we were to give him everything we had. It turned out that he didn't actually have a gun, but he tried to make us think that. We gave him the dollar or so that he wanted and he ran away. I was pretty shaken.

4. One morning in Arroyito I was walking with Elder Gutierrez and we spotted three women that were sitting and drinking mate in the slums across the street. We went over and started talking to them. They were actually pretty receptive. Out of nowhere a short, chubby, drugged, and very drunk man walked into me from behind. He stood with his nose right up to mine and began to threaten and say that he wanted to fight me. He kept talking for quite a while saying that he wanted to kill us, box us, and also a bit of nonsense. After a while he grabbed us and took us a little deeper into the ghetto. We arrived at a little dark 3-walled room made out of sheet metal. Bullet holes dotted the walls. He had us sit down on a wood bench along the left wall and told us that the room where we were was where he killed people. We figured that trying to preach to him would help us get out of there, so I snatched out a pamphlet and started to preach the Restoration to him. To our horror he was interested and decided that because he liked us he wanted to show us his arsenal of weapons. At this point we were really trying to get out of there. What saved us was when a man came to talk with our friend about a "job" that he needed done the next day. We took advantage of the pause and said we had to go and that we'd be back the next week. We made it out of the ghetto and never went back.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Luisa, Sunday Miracle, Over and Out

Well, on Friday I had my 2 year anniversary of being a missionary. It has been the  best time of my life. I´ve learned a whole lot and gotten a whole lot happier. This last week was a good one. Luisa is on track to be baptized this Saturday, so I´ll be sending that picture. We had a great Sunday as well. We were looking for new investigators in the cold all week and had not reached our goal, but when we went to our last plan on Sunday we found a new family to teach! It was a miracle. Well I don´t want to talk a lot about finishing the mission because I will just be sad. But the work here is going well, and will continue when I leave. I know that this is the work of God. This is His Church. The Book of Mormon is true. I will always know that. 
Have a great week!! Over and out.
-Elder Gomez 

Monday, July 10, 2017

LUISA, Muddy Travels, RAW Talent

I´m going to start with the funny things! The other day we didn´t have lunch with a member scheduled and the other elders called us and invited us over to eat. They had bought some oven bags and were super excited to try them out. They threw in a bunch of vegetables, sauce and steak inside and put them in the oven. The mastermind was Elder Starr, an elder in our district. He is always cooking and is good at it too so I was excited. We started to eat and there was a weird flavor. I thought it was the sauce or the spices but once I had eaten almost all of it Elder Starr said that the meat wasn´t cooked and we hadn´t been able to tell because it was all covered in sauce like a stew. That was an awkward moment, haha! But nobody got sick so we´re all good. 

We were pretty much laughing the whole week because it was rainy and we were slipping around in the boonies where a lot of our investigators are. It´s all mud there. I almost ate it about a hundred times but luckily I never fell, haha! One of our muddy lessons was with Luisa. She´s Eric´s aunt. We met her about a month and a half ago and she actually gave us the referral of Eric. We could never find her again until last Sunday when popped up out of nowhere at church. We taught her this week and she said that she wants to be baptized and have more peace in her life! She went to church again yesterday and loved it. I love seeing when people have a change of heart like that. On Saturday we invited her to ask God if she should be baptized on July 22nd, and she offered the closing prayer. Before saying Amen she paused and waited in silence for a minute or two and waited for her answer. She said Amen and told us that she had received her answer! It was a powerful moment. Elder Deem was really excited. I´m happy that he´s having these experiences at the beginning of his mission, because now he´ll always have the faith to invite people to be baptized. Have a great week, I love you all!
-Elder Gomez

Monday, July 3, 2017

MURICA, FHE, Fish Sunday, Gustavo

We met a guy this week that lived in the U.S. for 15 years and speaks pretty good English. It was weird! Elder Deem was in seventh heaven because someone finally talked to him in English haha! It was fun. 

We had a super FHE with the ward this week! We played a game called "Do you like your neighbors?". It was a riot. The members loved it. It´s in the same category as musical chairs, so there´s always someone wrestling for a chair. Lots of fun! Two future missionaries from the ward gave the lesson and they did a great job. I was imagining them with name tags on in the field and I felt a good feeling. I love to see the members having fun together. Every ward needs to be united and activities are a great way to help them become friends.

Thanks to the fun Home Evening a ton of people went to church! Elder Deem and I had a super funny morning yesterday. Villa ConstituciĆ³n is right next to the Parana River, and everyone eats fish here. I´ve been given fish many times as a gift. The last time my companion cooked it in the apartment and for a month the whole place smelled like fish. Well this week an investigator gave us a huge fish that was about as long as my arm and so we offered it to a needy family. They said to drop it off Sunday morning when we stopped by to walk them to church. When Sunday came around they didn´t wake up so we were stuck walking around with a huge fish getting followed by the 10,000 stray dogs in the city! But it paid off because we had a killer Sunday! 7 investigators made it to church. The Zanzo´s, the Urunde´s, a new couple named Marcela and Fernando, Eric´s aunt Luisa, and Mabel. What a miracle! Elder Deem and I were pretty much skipping around church we were so happy. 

In the evening we taught Gustavo and Melanie. They already have received all the lessons now and are just waiting to be able to get married and Gustavo will be baptized. Towards the end of the lesson Gustavo said he had a question. He said that during the two months that we have been teaching them, he hasn´t been able to stop thinking about his grandma who passed away. He got teary eyed and asked us if it was a sign. We taught him about baptisms for the dead and family history. I´ve never felt the Spirit so strong while teaching about temples. I could imagine him, Melanie, and their 5 kids dressed in white in the temple. He loved it and committed to search for his grandma´s info and when he gets baptized take her name to the temple. It was a neat experience. I love it when we teach a principle and the Spirit takes it to the heart of the person. There is no better feeling. It´s something that I will miss so much. I hope that you attend the temple regularly. Have a great week, I love you!
-Elder Gomez