Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Great Week in Elk Grove

Hello everyone!

It's been an awesome week here in Sacramento! Got up to about 110 two different days this week so that was really tough and unbearable. Elder Austin and I have been doing really well and having a ton of success this week and I am really happy about that!

This week we met a new lady named Zaida who is Venezuelan but has spent time in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Mexico and has gone through a lot in her life.  We met her this past Tuesday.  She had actually been robbed the Thursday before so we showed up at the perfect time like missionaries always do.  She thought we had been sent by someone because the timing was so perfect.  She recognized us as messengers from God sent to help her.  She told us about how she's been to pretty much every church besides the Mormon church but her mom and aunt are Mormon and she has a Book of Mormon too.  She told us how she didn't like a lot of things about a lot of other different churches and she knows a decent amount about religion but doesn't really go to a church.  This past Saturday we had a lesson with her in the home of a member family and it went extremely well. She loved everything and had all her questions answered and is on the fast track to baptism.  The only problem is that she has a foster child who is part native american and because of rules with him she can't take him to church.  We are working on talking to the Social Worker and the tribe that the kid is from so he can get permission to come to church with us.  Zaida is definitely a blessing and is an awesome investigator.

We started teaching a lot of kids this past week who were a referral from some English elders.  We are actually already teaching a lot of their parents/uncles/aunts.  The English elders tracted into the grandma's house where some other brothers live and so they got referred to us and we started teaching them.  It's really interesting that we are teaching about 3 different sets of parents and kids who are all related but live in different parts of town.  They are really cool too and we love teaching them.

We had a really awesome lesson with Francisco (the 78 year old guy who has lost all his faith) where we brought a recent convert named Ruben with us.  Ruben was perfect for Francisco because he is 66 and has been through a lot.  Ruben has lived all over the world, fought in the Vietnam war, got divorced when he had to go to Mexico on an undercover assignment from the government, went crazy and didn't know who he was and went to an asylum, got it all back together and got remarried to a lady who is using him to get her papers and for his life insurance.  He lost his house once before because his wife wouldn't help him out.  He's been through a lot and is an awesome guy and will be a good friend for Francisco.  We're going to try to set up another lesson with the two of them and make dinner for them and also get to meet Francisco's wife which we're really excited about.

Yesterday the Familia Ramos came to church which was awesome.  The mom was baptized a long time ago but was super less active.  Non of her kids have ever been to church and all of her sisters that they live with haven't either.  We've been teaching a lot of the kids because they are super awesome and love praying and reading the Book of Mormon.  Yesterday we got them to church and the mom brought one of her sisters who's about 21 who also seems to be really interested.  The ward was great too by "pouncing" on them after sacrament meeting and saying hi and that they had missed them and that they were glad they had come back to church.  We are going to have a lot of success with this family and all the sisters in the near future.

Yesterday we went over to see Jesus Alvarez, who is the old guy who has his own TV show about religion and does his own sermons on tv every week.  He showed us the last one he made which is all about the Book of Mormon.  He did it on Alma Chapter 1 (all about Nehor) and it was amazing that he understood everyone perfectly.  Jesus has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon but he doesn't quite understand what it means and where it came from so we have to work with him on that.  He is also a little crazy (but really smart) so we have been working a lot with him.  

Elder Austin and I had an awesome week and look forward to continuing the fire into this week.  I'm thankful to everyone back home for all the support and for all the prayers, they really pray off and I can feel the love and I know there are a lot of people keeping me in their prayers.  I love this work and am so excited to be sharing the gospel with everyone around me.  Spanish is coming really well which is making me really happy!

Que les vaya bien (durante esta semana, hasta el proximo lunes)
-Elder Gaskill

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