Wednesday, September 23, 2015

La Fe Trae Esperanza

July 20, 2015

I love being here in Spain and especially here in Pontevedra. It’s been just another crazy week filled with hard work, crazy adventures, and many miracles.

First crazy adventure starts on Wednesday on our way out to District Meeting in Vigo and then on to have intercambios (I think they're called exchanges in English) in Ourense. So an Elder from Ourense was going to come to Pontevedra and my companion was going to Ourense with the other Elder. Anyways after District Meeting we were leaving when we realized that neither one of us had grabbed the keys that morning off of our study table, and our landlord would be in Madrid until the next night. It was a humbling experience having to call the Zone Leaders to ask them if we could crash at their piso I. Vigo that night after working. But in the end it turned out just fine the next night we were able to get back in the piso. First lesson learned always grabbed the keys, second, when you pray for experiences that will help you to be more humble be ready to be humbled. As frustrating as that adventure was there was still a purpose in it, besides helping me work on my pride. When we got to Vigo that night we had some time until we were supposed to be in piso and it was really cool some of the people that we found. We found one girl sitting on a bench and sat down next to her and started talking with her. As we talked she seemed interested but not a whole lot so Elder Bailey (from Ourense) pulls out a Book of Mormon and we explain it and then read the first chapter with her. When we finished we could see the desire that she had to keep reading. She didn't have a whole lot more time but she agreed to keep reading later and gave us her number to pass to the missionaries in Vigo. This was a testament that the Lord uses flawed servants to accomplish His purposes. Always things go according to His plan even when they don't go according to our own.

Another thing that I loved about this last week is something that my companion taught me. When we are out contacting even though my Spanish isn't perfect I need to be unique with what I say. It is so easy to say the same things overs and over again but as we see those that we talk with as people and not as another phone number or another thing but really as people with whom we can connect we can be better representatives of Jesus Christ because that is what he did. We need to see those on the streets or anywhere in our lives as children of God. There have been a couple of contacts that have really stuck out to me this last week when I was trying to follow the Spirit and be a representative of Jesus Christ rather than a "salesman". The one I'll share includes two ladies one probably in her 90s and the other, her caretaker, pushing her wheel chair. As we stopped them we talked at first with the caretaker who seemed more likely to be interested in our message but because she had to work all the time she had no time to meet with us and just didn't seem all that interested. As we were giving them pass along cards the older lady started to read it out loud, it was a card that said "Faith brings Hope" and had a picture of Jesus Christ on it. The lady looked up at us and said I need more hope in my life. We then got to testify that really the message that we share is a message of hope and happiness. It was a really cool contact that felt different from the others that we usually have. She has no telephone but is always out in her wheel chair by our church building so we are praying to run into them again. I am grateful for the hope that this message brings into my life. Because of this message I know that this life is more than a time to drink eat and be merry because there is more than just this life. I am grateful for the perspective that I can see because I know the Plan of Salvation and I know that when I make mistakes I can be forgiven through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I love you all, please keep praying for Victor he is going through a hard time and could use your prayers, Pili is doing well and we look forward to meeting with her again when she gets home from vacation.

Elder Gustafson
Love those Pontevedra sunsets!

Gluten Free cheesecake!

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