Monday, March 16, 2015

Humility in Pontevedra

View from the bridge over the river which runs through Pontevedra

 Family and Friends,

The mission is the best! It is the hardest thing that I have ever done as well as the most rewarding. I don´t think I ever realized either the difficulties or the joys that I could have on a mission. They both are such a blessing for me. Let me share a little of both with you.

On Sunday we went to our little rama (branch) here in Pontevedra. I love our rama and the people in it. It was really difficult for me to understand the brother teaching Sunday School and I was getting discouraged thinking about the things that I could be doing if I had served an English speaking mission. I thought about how I could contribute more in lessons or how I could show the members how much they meant to me. All of the thoughts and feelings of my heart. I felt all of my inadequacy with all the things that I was struggling with. I began to ask why I was here and why I wasn´t able to communicate and why I wasn´t able to be an amazing missionary who could speak and convey the thoughts of his heart. I felt the peace of the Spirit and I learned a couple of things. I learned that the Lord called me to speak in Spanish for a reason.  One of those reasons was because He doesn´t want me to teach people with my words, He wants me to learn to rely on Him. As I study and focus my language learning on my investigators he will provide me with the words He wants me to speak in the moment that I need them. I teach more simply because I can do it no other way. I am so grateful to be speaking Spanish even though I have such strong desires to speak and to make friends and teach eloquently. The Lord works in His own time not mine. I need not carry this burden of worry and frustration when we are promised that as we do our part the words will be put in our mouths to say.

With Nelu
A joy from this week. On Saturday night we went to visit a Romanian family, Nelu and Tudora. When we got in we saw Nelu passed out on his bed. His wife went and woke him up and we sat down to teach them but they wouldn´t let us say anything until after they had fed us. Nelu kept yelling ¡Come! ¡Come! meaning Eat! Eat! while we tried to put food in our mouths. If we ran out of food he would pick up another slice of meat and put it in our hands to keep eating. It was just about the funniest thing I have yet to experience, a big Romanian man yelling at us to keep eating. After we finish eating we tried to share our short message about the Book of Mormon more or less successfully  when Nelu yells ¡Fumamos! meaning We smoke! Of course we said no but still he asked us again "Fuma?" "no" "Fuma?" "no" "No? ¡Yo Fumo!" It was one of those experiences that made us laugh.

I am grateful to be here. Another joy is our Investigator Richard. He is a super cool guy who found the church through his girlfriend, who got baptized in December. Amid the rejections and uninterest from so many he is a blessing in our lives. I am grateful that the Lord has entrusted his teaching to us. Please pray for him.

 The food here is great! The chocolate is sooo much better. The milk is like shelf milk that tastes different but it's still pretty good. The Serrano family is amazing! He is the Branch President and his wife makes me a loaf of GF bread on Sundays.  This Friday we went to their piso to eat lunch and have correlation meeting and after eating a gluten free meal she brings out a tray piled full of  GF brownies. It was probably the most wonderful thing I have ever seen or smelled or tasted.

I love you all and am so grateful for your love and prayers on my behalf.

Elder Gustafson

Park/Beach at Villa Garcia

Sunset at Villa Garcia

1 comment:

  1. It's so good to find your son's blog. My son, Elder Giforos, is his trainer and companion. I post his stuff on my blog