First of all: HAPPY BIRTHDAY OWEN!!!!!!!! You´re turning five today, right? Have a fun party with lots of wrestling and cake :) This week was one of the very best of the mission! It was a lot of fun to be able to celebrate Christmas in a different culture, and to learn more about the spirituality of Christmas. We got to have two huge meals with members, one on Christmas Eve and one on Christmas day. They were DELICIOUS, and it was a lot of fun to talk with the members. We´ve also been very blessed in the work of salvation this week. We have three investigators that are going to have their baptismal interview this Saturday, and the following week they´re going to get baptized!!! They already know SO much knowledge of the Gospel. Last night we took them to a district fireside with President Zanni speaking. He didn´t know they were investigators at first and looked at my companion and I funnily when we walked in. While he was talking to the youth, one of the investigators was answering more than half of the questions, and President Zanni was getting a little bugged. It was funny when a leader from our branch told President that they weren´t members, and President Zanni changed fast from annoyed to really excited. We were so happy to know that those guys really listen to us, haha :) We´re excited to see them get baptized on the 9th of January!!! I also got to speak in Sacrament Meeting yesterday, and I was nervously preparing all week. But when I started the Spirit helped me out and I was able to give an understandable talk about the vision of the tree of life. This week we´re going to teach a ton of lessons to our investigators (Their names are Nicolás, Leonardo and Julián) Love you all, Carlos
Monday, December 21, 2015
Everything´s going great here! I hear Tali got married, Christmas is coming, and I had my first baptism!!! It was a crazy, crazy, crazy day. We got to the church around 3 to start getting the font filled up for the baptisms at 7, and the water stopped coming out of all of the sinks and spigots on the whole church property. We called the Branch President, and for the next four hours we were all trying to figure out how to turn it back on. We were getting desperate, and the leaders were about to say that we couldn´t have the baptisms that day, and so we started filling up buckets, jugs, and anything else we could find to start filling the font. There were about 10 missionaries there helping, and a lot of members. We hauled and hauled and hauled water until the font was just full enough to be able to kneel down and do the baptisms, and four souls were saved. Yesterday at church the members were all really excited about missionary work, haha! It was an awesome experience to see the members and missionaries from 2 branches working so hard so that we could conquer Satan and his plan to keep those investigators from baptism. It was a true miracle. We´re also getting ready for Christmas here, and I´m SOOOOO excited!!! It´s going to be the best. The mission is giving us 300 bonus pesos (30 dollars) just to buy yummy things for Christmas! I´m going to just go nuts. Well, congrats to Tali and Jesse, I love you guys!
Posted by ellisgomez at 9:10 AM
Monday, December 14, 2015
So this was the end of week two in my new area in Venado Tuerto. Probably the biggest thing to report is that our members are AMAZING!!! They are a branch with about 60 attendance. They are very converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Up until this area, I had received probably less than 5 referrals in my 5 months in the mission. Just in the last week and a half, we´ve gotten about 5 or 6 already! It´s the BEST! We´re teaching a few of them right now. One is a 13 year old boy named Nicolas that has already gone to church 4 or 5 times. We taught lesson one, and we´re pretty sure he´s going to be baptized in this transfer! Also, we went to church yesterday and a less active brother came and brought two new investigators!!! It was the best suprise ever! We taught them the same evening. Their names are Victor and Pamela. They are not married but live together, and have a little baby boy named Gabriel. Victor told us that he has gone to a lot of churches, but that he felt something different in ours. He told us that he could feel real love. Pamela said that she felt like she had been wearing a heavy backpack, and that she was able to take it off and rest in the chapel. I know that this is Christ´s church. They already want to be baptized as well. I´m super excited, because up until now I haven´t had a baptism and I have my very first one on Saturday!!! His name is Esteban, and he´s 12. It will be a great way to have a good time here while Tali and Jesse get married :) We have an amazing family named the Martin family, and they invited us to spend Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day with them! We´re SO blessed!!! My companion Elder Wagner is doing well. He´s learning Spanish quickly and is getting used to the mission. We´ve been having a great time. The church is true, and the Atonement works. I love you guys, ciao!
Posted by ellisgomez at 9:56 AM
Monday, December 7, 2015
This has been the first week in my new area, Centro 1 in the Venado Tuerto District. It´s also been the first week with my new trainee, Elder Wagner! (It´s pronounced Elder Vogner) It´s been SUPER crazy this week, definitely the most loco week of the mission. The new companions got here, and I got assigned to my first American companion, so it was the first time that I was the one who spoke more Spanish. I´m doing all right with the help of the Spirit in that aspect so far, and my companion took twelve years of Spanish so he understands about 60% of the things being said. That is definitely a blessing! My companion is a very intelligent person. He apparently took every math and science class his high school and the community college had before he graduated, and after his freshman year at USU he has 3/4 of an engineering degree already! It´s almost comical that I´m "training" this guy, haha. He is used to living on his own, which has been helping us out a lot lately. We are opening a new area, which means that we got here and didn´t know a soul from the area and didn´t have an area book. Also because it´s a new area we haven´t had a cell phone as of yet, and the apartment is new. It´s a really nice apartment, but because of some Catholic holiday this weekend we haven´t been able to turn on the water or the electricity yet. We´ve been going to the Zone Leaders´ apartment to shower in the mornings and to the church to go to the bathroom and drink water. This has all been a bit stressful, and you all know I´m a stressful person so the Lord has been helping me out a lot, mostly through my leaders and companion. We will be getting lights, water, and the phone on Wednesday this week, and there are sister missionaries in the other half of the area and gave us the half of their area book that is in our area. Also, the leaders here are spiritual GIANTS! One family already offered us to spend Christmas Day with them and the branch president lets us use his phone sometimes. These have all been great blessings that have helped me not explode from stress and responsibility. Elder Wagner is taking it exceptionally well and regularly says "It´s like we´re camping!" We have had a number of very powerful lessons already, and we are thinking that one less active sister that we taught is going to come back to the church!!! Lots of blessings. Get ready for Christmas and send lots of pictures. I love you guys, ciao!
Posted by ellisgomez at 2:21 PM
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Hey family and spiritual family, things are going fantastic in Argentina! We got the info of the transfers, and I am staying in the same zone (Venado Tuerto), but I´m going to a different area. It´s brand new! There is a branch that had sisters serving, and so they divided the branch into 2 areas and I´ll be training a new missionary in the other half! I´m SO excited to get another chance to train! If you remember, the last transfer I trained too but my son had to go home and I finished the transfer in another area. I´m very grateful to be able to train again. Also, I´m excited because it´s a new area and neither my new companion nor I will know anyone. It´ll be an adventure for sure! Tomorrow I´ll meet my new companion in Rosario, so we´ll be traveling at about 4 in the morning to get there in time. Because it´s a new area we also have a new apartment, and it´s beautiful. It´s across the street from the church!!! We´ll be playing some serious futbol in exercise time! Because I´ve been moving around so much I´m pretty much homeless right now. Today was the first time that I´ve been able to empty my suit cases in about a month! It will be nice to finally settle down and be in one set area... Something else wonderful happened yesterday too! I´ve been teaching people from other areas a lot in the last bit, and during an FHE last night a 12 year old investigator name Esteban asked me to baptize him!!!!!! He´s part of an amazing family that are going to get baptized on the 19th of December. He´ll be my first baptism!!! Wow, so many things are happening lately. It´s been tough to focus on the work lately, being so busy with other things. It´s been a great chance to learn how to turn my focus outward to other people. I´m still excited to settle down in a new area though, haha. I have already started loving this branch. I love you guys, ciao!
Monday, November 23, 2015
This week has been VERY interesting! We´ve been working a lot with the members because my companion is the Branch President, and so there hasn´t been as much time as I´d like to do regular proselyting. This last Saturday we finally got to go to another little town that is also in our area. Usually we go every Saturday, but we couldn´t when I got here the other week, so this was the first time. We woke up early in the morning to catch the bus that went to the town (named Wheelright) and it had passed ahead of schedule. Because our town is so far away from any big cities the buses only pass by every 4 hours or so, and Wheelright is about 14 kilometers away from Hughes. We were about to head back to the apartment, but we felt the Spirit say that we needed to go still. We thought about it for a while, and then started walking. We walked about 7 miles, and then a member from Wheelright picked us up. It was lots of fun to talk with Elder Anzola and just walk. It was pretty exciting too. We saw two snakes and an iguana! I didn´t know there were iguanas in Argentina, but aparently they eat them too! One of the less active members promised us he´d cook some up for us soon :) We were able to have some great lessons in Wheelright, and at lunchtime we were super tired. We were about to go back to Hughes and my companion felt that we should talk to a lady that was outside her house. We talked to her and her husband, and we felt the Spirit so strongly! We´re way excited to go back next Saturday. Today my district leader Elder Cadiz had a huge asado because he´s going to die (go home) at the end of the transfer. We ate 16 kilos of beef between 9 Elders and a few members, and then played mud soccer. It was the best! I´ll have to send those pictures next week because I had another Elder take my camera and other things back to the apartment. The little branch here is growing! I´m getting excited to see more progress here. I love you guys, ciao!
Posted by ellisgomez at 12:44 PM
Monday, November 16, 2015
This has been by far the craziest week of the mission! Last Monday about 8 hours after emailing I got a call from Presidente Zanni and he said that my companion would have to go home... . Elder Gutierrez left that night, and the next morning I got emergency transfered to a different area. It´s in the Venado Tuerto zone on the other side of the mission. I took a bus for about four hours to get to the city Venado Tuerto, and another bus about an hour to Hughes, a tiny town with 6,000 people. After my first night here I had to go back to Venado Tuerto for the zone interviews with the mission president, and the next day I went back to Rosario again for visa stuff. I´ve been nauseous from traveling for about a week now, haha. Yesterday was my first full day here in Hughes. There are only about two weeks left in the transfer, so we´ll see if I´ll stay or pack up again. My companion is named Elder Anzola, and is awesome! He´s from Colombia, and has been a missionary for a little over a year. He´s the Branch President here in Hughes! There is only one missionary acting as a Branch President in the mission. Elder Anzola is a very powerful missionary. He has been a trainer, a district leader, a zone leader, and now he´s the president of a branch. Needless to say, I´m learning a TON from him. The other day we did the tithing, and on Sunday I taught gospel principles, blessed the sacrament, and spoke in sacrament meeting. There are only two more active Melchizedek Priesthood holders in the ward, so we have a lot of responsibility. Usually the Branch President here shows his companion how to do everything, and then his companion becomes the new president, but I think that because I was emergency transfered I won´t be the next one. I´ve only been a missionary 4 months, and it would be a little overwhelming to have that responsibility, but I´m going to learn everything I can in case that happens! Whew, things are pretty crazy here. I´ll be sending lots of pictures of Hughes, and my new companion Elder Anzola!!!
First pictures of their last lunch with the Vargas Family and a going away party of sorts :)
New area... new companion!
Posted by ellisgomez at 10:08 AM
Monday, November 9, 2015
If you remember Marisa from last week´s letter, she is going to be baptized on the 28h of November!!!! She´s also reading the Book of Mormon every day, and she can feel the difference. The whole ward is excited! Also, the leadership of the ward are stepping up their dedication to the Work like never before. They have been very focused and organized, and are making our job easy.... easy is relative, haha. We found 8 new investigators this week, which is outrageous for our area. The Lord is sending us lots of people. The other missionaries have 5 people with baptismal dates in November right now, and with Marisa, we´re going to see tons of baptisms here. It´s been almost 4 months without a baptism in this ward, so the members are way excited. Elder Gutierrez and I are working well together. He´s learning tons about the mission and is teaching me a LOT. We were in the villa, (the really really poor area where the houses are made of sheet metal and bricks) and we felt like we should visit an investigator from 3 months back. It turned out that his son was there, and he knows the Bible more than anyone I´ve ever met. He quoted the Bible about 20 times in an hour. Whew, we have our work cut out for us with him. Also, we taught a teenage boy named Alexis, and later that night he went to the hospital due to drugs. We´re going to pass by today and see if we can help him out. We´re seeing miracles here! Keep on keepin on. I love you guys, chao!
I also bought a soccer ball, which is a very important step in the development of a missionary in Argentina.
I also bought a soccer ball, which is a very important step in the development of a missionary in Argentina.
Posted by ellisgomez at 7:01 AM
Monday, November 2, 2015
Things are going great! A member in the young womens named Rocio had her feliz quince, and so we helped set up before, and then served the food for the ward members. It was great to see them all together and happy! Rocio and her mom Marisa have had a really tough life together, and there are big problems with her dad that make things really dificult. We had a lesson with the two of them yesterday, and it was really powerful!!! All four of us missionaries went, and we could see the change that their family is going through. They used to never get along well, but Marisa has been trying really hard to help Rocio and they´re starting to become friends. We gave them the challenge to read the Book of Mormon together every night, and we are going to read with them 3 times a week. We think Marisa is going to be baptized!!!!! I´m freaking out at this point from excitement! When I got to the mission in Arroyito (My only area so far) we only had one investigator, and it was Marisa. She´s been an investigator for about a year! We think that she is finally going to be willing to humble herself and change. When we were visiting the Vargas family, who are really close friends with Rocio and Marisa, one of their sons asked me "Can you imagine what would happen if Marisa got baptized?" He is Rocio´s boyfriend, and has helped us out with a ton of lessons with them. I felt so much of Christ´s love for them in that moment. I feel like Alma the younger, when he desired with all of his heart that the Lamanites would be converted and be happy. I can´t stop thinking about it! Well, I´ll tell you all how it goes this week. We also lots of success contacting! We´ll be teaching lots of lessons. I love you all, adiós!
Posted by ellisgomez at 8:07 AM
Monday, October 26, 2015
Hello! Things are going great here. I just finished the first week with my greenie companion. He´s great! He teaches really well and with the Spirit! I´m excited to learn from him. He is really obedient too, which of course helps me to always be obedient. We´re really excited because we visited an investigator that had not been progressing before Elder Gutierrez came, and now she is really interested! Her name is Graciela. Also, one recent convert name Rocio just got out of the hospital, and her mom is an investigator that hasn´t progressed much in a long time. When her daughter was in the hospital a lot of members visited, and us missionaries went and gave her daughter a blessing. She messaged us and wants us to come by!!! We´re REALLY excited and we think she´s finally going to be baptized!!!!!! There were the presidential elections in Argentina yesterday, so we had to stay indoors because it was dangerous. We looked through a lot of old teaching records and found a ton of people to go out and contact! We´re really excited to find more people to teach! Training a new missionary is teaching me a lot about patience and sticking close to the basics. I´m trying to be a good example for my new son! I love you, have a great week!
Posted by ellisgomez at 8:58 AM