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.