Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Staying with Elder Guzman

Hello Everyone,

The transfer calls came in last night and the verdict is....
Apparently this is really weird  None of the missionaries have ever heard of a missionary who just finished getting trained staying with his companion/trainer for a third transfer, especially since Elder Guzman has already been in this area for 6 months.  Usually missionaries get trained with the 12 week program (2 transfers) and then they get "follow-up trained" by another companion for 1 transfer.  When the Assistants called us last night they said, "We've been fasting and praying about it and we really feel like you guys need to stay right where you are".  I know that Elder Guzman and I are going to have a lot of success this transfer.
So the most interesting things that have happened this week were all in the last 24 hours.
We just got back from the temple which was awesome.  We get to go 4 times a year and everyone in our district went.   We met lots of other missionaries too.  The Sacramento Temple is so beautiful and I love it.  It reminds me a lot of the Bountiful temple, which is my favorite.
Yesterday was a very very interesting day.  Elder Guzman and I were saving up our miles (since we can only drive the car a specified number of miles every month) so we could go to the temple.  We decided to bike around yesterday since it wasn't going to be too hot.  It's a lot of fun because you can stop and talk to people as you're en route to your destination.  So anyway, we were waiting at a light to cross the street and we noticed this old looking lady standing at a bus stop.  We didn't think anything of it until we turned around later and she was walking toward us but when we looked she immediately stopped moving.  The light turned green and we kept going on our bikes.  We went a few miles and stopped to talk to these people that flagged us down.  We talked with them for about 30 minutes and eventually this same lady showed up and stopped walking in front of these people's houses when she saw us.  She didn't respond when the guy asked her what she wanted and just stood there.  Eventually we went back to our conversation and I turned around after a little bit and she had taken a few steps but stopped when she saw me looking.  I started talking to her and she started talking to us and then it became weird.  She randomly asked the guy if he had a daughter and when he said yes she asked "what is she afraid of?" (which she asked a few times). She also told us not to listen to the man who turns in to a bat because he's a bad man. She told us that one of the people we were talking to us had a great work to accomplish and the other was a high priest.  She told us we were good people and the daughter of the man we were talking to was an angel.  She was talking to us about the lost scrolls that Joseph Smith found and also the angel Moroni.  She told us she had spoken to an angel but then when I asked her who the angel was she said "whoops, I shouldn't have said anything about that, he's going to be mad at me". It was really weird.  Eventually we left and we continued our conversation with the family.
Later in the day we were near one of our investigators houses and when we knocked on the door a lady answered who used to be in investigator but she told us how she told the missionaries never to come back because they had made really offense jokes about her and her family.  When she told us the missionaries name we called him because we had never heard anything less than the best about this guy.  He told us that the lady we talked to was a witch and that we needed to be really careful with the people that live there.  He told us he had a really personal/bad experience with her and he didn't want to talk about it but she had just misunderstood something he said in Spanish about "casting pearls before swine".  Anyway, I had never heard anything about witches before besides what I learned about witches in Salem, Massachusetts in history classes.  My companions told that there are a ton of them out here in Sacramento and that it's a real religion and I don't want to talk about it too much because there have been a lot of bad encounters with missionaries in the mission and bad things some witches do and it just a bad spirit.  I had no idea about any of this before last night but when they were telling me about it last night the Spirit definitely left and they told me it's not a good idea to talk about it so I'm going to stop now.
So later in the night we were going to sleep and we were all about asleep when we heard a gunshot right outside our apartment.  It was really loud and really close so we called 911 and they sent some people over there to check it out.  It was already midnight and we were getting up at 4am to go to the temple so we went to sleep quickly after that and never found out what became of it.
Other news:
Elder Guzman and I found a really cool family called Familia Garcia this week.  We got their referral from some Elders a few weeks ago.  We had talked to two of their kids but we went by on Saturday and the parents were outside and we talked to them for a while.  They were really really cool and extremely interested in what we had to say.  We talked about prophets, apostles, tithing, priesthood, missionaries, bishops, the restoration, pretty much everything that we talk about as missionaries.  They are going to be an awesome family that we will go back and teach on Saturday.
Familia Guzman has unfortunately not been progressing.  Yesterday I had the idea that we should write them letters bearing our testimonies about things we knew to be true.  We knew that either one of us could be leaving the next day because of transfers so we wrote them as if we were telling them everything we would want to say to them if we got up and left tomorrow.  They were really busy when we went by at the end of the day so we just gave them the letters and told them to read them later.  That same night, right after we got our call from the APs telling us if we were staying or not, Hermano Guzman called us crying and said he felt really bad and that he didn't want us to leave.  We told him we just found out we were both staying (which neither of us expected) and he was SOOO happy about that.  Hermano Guzman is so awesome and he knows the church is true.  He just has trouble keeping his commitments but I know everything is turning around from what happened yesterday and his family will get baptized this month!
I forgot to mention about what happened last Sunday.  We had a really special Church all about Missionary Work.  Our mission president and one of his counselors (who speaks Spanish) came down to help us.  President Lewis, President Martinez, and Bishop Clegg all gave some of the most amazing talks I have ever heard and the Spirit was definitely there.  President Martinez taught all the adults for the next 2 hours and President and Sister Lewis talked to the youth since they all speak English.  It was one of the coolest experiences I have had as a missionary.  I know our ward is going to change and help us a ton as missionaries from now on.  Between the 4 companionships in our ward we got 47 member referrals which is awesome! We also had a missionary musical fireside that night and I sang "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet" a capella with some other missionaries and "Nearer My God to Thee" (but in Spanish) with all the Spanish missionaries, except I did a solo and sang one of the verses by myself. It went really well!

Sorry this letter is so long but I hope I didn't bore anyone! I love you all and hope all is well!

Los Quiero,
Elder Gaskill

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