Tuesday, June 2, 2015

It Will All Work Out

This has been a hard week in Pontevedra. It was a great week but it's been hard, as well. It is a blessing though to be able to learn from those hard times, as well as the good.  I was sick for the first time this week which is a blessing that I haven't been sick more but it wasn't fun (I'm better now). There is nothing that I dislike more than not being able to do those things that I need to do at the level that I want to do them because of something completely out of my control, for example like health. That being said I believe that my personal relationship with God is strengthened in those times. When I need or want to do more, but can't do anything about it, the only person to turn to is my Father in Heaven who is in control of all things. I don't think that I have ever prayed so hard or felt His presence so close as I had praying to be able to get through this next lesson or this next hour of contacting or whatever it was that we were trying to accomplish. I know that He does bless us and is always with us and for this I am grateful. 

This week we have been blessed with great miracles. I've started writing down the miracles that I've seen that day each night during nightly planning. It has really helped me to be more grateful for the things that the Lord is blessing me with, which has helped me to be happier in this work. On Thursday we had a great day planned out with lessons filling almost all of our time which is always our goal. During studies that morning slowly all but one of our appointments cancelled on us. Again something that I have no control over that I'm learning to turn to the Lord for help with. We were disappointed to see our great day turning into passbys and contacting which is great but I'd rather be teaching all day. But we were able to set another cita (appointment) with a less active member that morning and had a great lesson with her. She even came to the District Conference (like Stake Conference but for Districts) that we had on Sunday! Then that afternoon after mediodia (midday) we were finally able to get in contact with Richard and talk with him which brought great peace and comfort to us to know that he is still keeping his commitments and trying to get to church when he can get time off from work. Later, we went to our set cita to teach Tania with our branch president but she failed to show up. We went out looking for her in her usual places but couldn't find her. We really didn't want to have wasted our Branch President’s time, as well as his efforts in walking 40 minutes back to his home. As we searched for Tania, almost about to go back and tell him that we were sorry we weren't going to have a lesson after all when we ran into our investigator named Victor. He is from Nigeria and a super cool guy. We found him on a park bench a couple of weeks ago and hit it off because he used to rap and knew all of the rap artists from the U.S. Anyways we've taught him before but this time we met in the chapel and showed him the Restoration movie and talked about his desires to receive an answer from God. When asked what that would mean if God answered his prayers he immediately said “I would become a member because I want to do what God wants me to do.” We then committed him to baptism when he receives his answer. The Spirit was there testifying to me that that was what we needed to be doing in that moment not what we had planned, that even though we were stood up the Lord always has a purpose. As we were talking with Victor as he was leaving the chapel he turned to us and asked when we were supposed to have met. We responded saying that we had set a cita with him for Saturday the last time we had met. He then said something like "it is amazing that we met tonight then, we had an appointment for Saturday but God led us to meet tonight." I know that God led us to meet with Victor that night and that He is really in charge. I am so grateful for the comfort that that gives to me that I am not in charge and that as long as I am trying to do the best I can God can use me as an instrument to help others. 

In other news from Pontevedra we have not heard from Raquel in almost three weeks. We had a cita with her on Friday but we got a text from her boyfriend saying that she wouldn't be able to make it. It was such a miracle when we found her and we are still praying that she can make the decisions that she knows she needs to make. I hope that we will be able to keep teaching her and to see her progress and achieve that joy that can only be found in living the gospel. 

iPad update: we will be receiving iPad minis on the 10th of June but I don't believe that we will be able to access Facebook yet, although that will be coming as a proselyting resource in the future.

I love you all and am praying for you!

Elder Gustafson


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