Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Great teaching this week

Hello Everyone!

This week went pretty well. Elder Hernandez and I are getting along really well and doing some good work.  I don't know if I wrote very much about him last week but he is from Orange County in Southern California.  He was born in Sonora, Mexico and came to the United States when he was 3 so he pretty much was raised here and just knows Spanish from speaking it at home with his family.  He's a cool guy, doesn't really play any sports but is a nice guy, the stereotypical California kid.

We had a really good lesson with Arturo this week.  We keep challenging him to get baptized and he always says he's not really sure and doesn't want to make any decision until he's sure and he can talk it over with his family.  Elder Hernandez and I went over there and we taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he understood it really well.  At the end of the lesson we all knelt down and took turns saying a prayer and then being quiet and listening.  There were 3 ladies in the other room being really loud and laughing but the Spirit was still there.  At the end we sat down again and bore testimony and I could tell something had definitely changed in him.  Normally he always looks at us as we talk to him but this time he was just staring down at his hands and listening to what we said.  Afterwards I told him I knew he was going to get baptized and he told me it was true, so I made him promise me that he won't deny the Spirit and that when it tells him he needs to get baptized that he will listen, to which he said he would.  He goes back home in about 2 weeks and I hope he decides to get baptized before then but if not I know he will get baptized back in Mexico.  His family is coming up on the 21st to spend the rest of the year between L.A. and here and so I'll get to meet his family soon too.  If Arturo doesn't get baptized here some missionaries in Ensenada, Mexico are going to get really lucky because he'll get baptized really soon and he has an awesome family so they'll get 4 more baptisms on top of that.  The most important thing is that he gets baptized and I just hope we can stay in touch after he goes back.

We also have a really solid investigator that will probably get baptized in Mexico too.  She loves the church, and loves anything you tell her about Joseph Smith and the Restoration.  She just has trouble coming to church because she's an old Grandma that has lots of physical health problems so she can't be by herself.  We taught her about the Word of Wisdom a few days ago and the only problem she had was with coffee because that's how she gets the medication she needs (through a special type) for her bone health, but she told us that she would stop drinking that and start taking the pills that do the same thing even though she doesn't like taking them.  She is a really solid investigator but lives in Mexico and is going back in 2 weeks as well.  She is just going home long enough to get her VISA renewed but she might very well get baptized while she's there.  She wants to get baptized but she needs to come to church more first and hasn't been able to in her situation.  She thinks it will take about 2 months to get her VISA renewed so she might come back here to get baptized too because she really liked Elder Martinez and I and wants one of us to baptize her.  We'll see how that plays out.

There were lots of Ward Christmas Dinners this weekend and that was fun.  We went to our branch's dinner and an English ward's dinner and there was definitely a huge difference in the livelihood and "alegria" that was there.  I don't think I'm ever going to be able to go back to an English Ward after my mission.  It was a lot of fun and the member's brought a couple friends that we're going to start teaching and hopefully they'll be really interested in the gospel.

Last night we had a big fireside that we have been planning for a while.  Our ward mission leader's son served a mission in Ukraine and married a girl from out there, so him, his wife, and his sister in law flew out from BYU for a weekend to do this fireside.  He is a really good singer and they are really good on the piano and on the violin so the fireside was a musical fireside with Christmas/Classical songs that featured a combination of voice, violin, and piano.  It was really good.  They recorded the fireside so I am going to try to get a couple copies of it to keep and send home.  It was a whole stake event and they advertised it in the newspaper so there were a lot of non-members that came.  Hopefully some of those people were touched by the fireside and decide to listen to the missionaries and accept the gospel that will make them truly happy.
This week has been great, Christmas time is coming up and I hope you all are remembering the true spirit of Christmas!

Les Quiero Mucho!
Elder Gaskill

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