Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Baptisms coming soon!

Hello Everybody,

This week we went to go have two different lessons with Luz and Gustavo. The first one we had with Gustavo was really cool. He hasn't showed a lot of interest lately but always seems to surprise us. They have been going through a lot lately and haven't had money to pay for gas to go places, buy food, and are even cutting it close on the rent. Gustavo told us that he had a really cool answer to his prayer because he was praying for help money-wise and out of nowhere his neighbor asked him how they were doing.  He said not so good, so the neighbor gave him all the cash out of his pocket (which was about $6) but Gustavo was very grateful because it was enough to get them through the day with food until he went to work the next day. Gustavo always surprises us and has lots of faith, we just need to help him stop smoking again. We also taught Luz a few days later when Gustavo was working and she told us about how she had been having a lot of flashbacks recently to when she was young (really horrible memories) and was asking us why God had made her remember all these terrible things. Immediately 2 Nephi 9:39 came to my head and I read it to her. Then the spirit started talking through me to say what she needed to hear. I was talking for about 15 minutes until I finally stopped and she just stared at me and said "wow, that was the answer to my prayer". Then she proceeded to tell us how every time she has a problem we show up as an answer to her prayers. She told me how she had been thinking about the question that she asked us when she was watering the plants yesterday and she knew that God had sent us to answer her question. Luz and Gustavo are really close to getting baptized.  The only thing is that they are still waiting on the divorce papers but they are going to come August 4th, which is really soon so we are excited for them.

We went on exchanges this past week and Elder Martinez and I had a really cool experience. We were teaching this lady who is about 60ish years old. When the missionaries found her a week ago, they left a Restoration pamphlet.  She has bad vision and can't read so they asked her grand kids to read it to her. We came back and they hadn't read it yet so we read it with them. We had trouble keeping the lady's attention and at the end of the lesson we asked the lady to say a prayer. She said she didn't want to but Elder Martinez told her we weren't leaving until she prayed. I told her "si se puede!" which means "yes you can" and after a few seconds of silence I said "the flies are waiting" which was a really odd thing to say but it came to my mind and 3 three of us started laughing uncontrollably. After some more silence I explained to her that a prayer is really simple and all that matters is what comes from the heart. All of a sudden she started praying and burst into tears. She prayed for about 10 minutes talking about all the people that were close to her that have died and all the hard things she was going through. Eventually she ended her prayer still in tears and got up and hugged Elder Martinez and I and wouldn't let us leave her, but eventually we got away. It was a cool experience.

Thursday night was a crazy night. At about 10:25 we got a call from... DELTA SOUTH (my old area). We were super surprised and Elder Guzman and I got to talk for a while. He told me he was calling because one of our old investigators (who has been taught about 6 months) Carolina Montiel just found that she has kidney cancer and it's really serious. She is not here legally so she can't get any treatment here so she is leaving to go back to Mexico as soon as possible. It was really sad news to hear because Carolina is awesome.  She has a strong testimony but just hasn't been baptized because her husband and family don't want her to and she doesn't want to be rejected by her family. Then Elder Guzman proceeded to tell me that Familia Guzman has not been progressing since I left and they are going to have to drop them. However, finally a bit of good news: Jacqueline Ross (a 9 year old girl we were teaching) is getting baptized this Saturday. We had to drop them when Elder Guzman and I were there because the mom was studying with the Jehovah's Witness and didn't have a car to get the family to church. We stopped by the day before I left and sat down with the mom and promised the mom that if she prayed about what she would do she would know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. Elder Guzman told me how she took our challenge and found out for herself that the church was true and because she's already a member, is going to start coming back to church and now her daughter is getting baptized. I'm really excited because I get to go back to Stockton for the baptism this week, give a talk about the Holy Ghost during the baptism, and see some old investigators and members down in Stockton.

Elder Austin and I are also excited because we have a baptism the 3rd of August. Frederico, the 9 year old son of a super less active lady is going to get baptized. We have been teaching him, his younger siblings, and a lot of his aunts (that are between 6-25 years old (it's an interesting family)). Frederico is the first of many in the family that are going to get baptized and we are super excited about that. He is awesome and hasn't been taught anything about religion his whole life but he loves to pray and read the Book of Mormon, and loves when the missionaries come over.

We committed the wife of Nelson, a less active guy we found from Costa Rica to be baptized in August as well! However she is Philipino and only speaks English and Tagolog so we are passing her off to the English missionaries in our area. But we had an awesome lesson with them and she is super solid. Nelson is also really cool and working on cutting alcohol out of his life again.

That's about all I've got for this week. Hope all is well!

Los Quiero,
Elder Gaskill

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