Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Love of a Missionary

August 3, 2015

Preach My Gospel class with Klaudia
I love Pontevedra, all the people here, the people we meet, the members, our investigators, everyone. There were many experiences this week that showed me really how much I love these people.

The first is a really cool lesson this week with a lady that we contacted from the area book. She told us that she wanted to go and sing with us at the chapel because she loves our hymns and singing with the Mormons. We got there and started to talk with her and share the story of Joseph Smith and when we got to his experience in the grove instead of recounting what happened we sang "Joseph Smith's first prayer". It was a powerful way to bring the Spirit and to teach in a different way. (Elder Bartholomew is a great singer and plays the piano really well so it was really good) I have grown to love the power of music and the effect that it can make on my day. In the scriptures it says that a song of the heart is a prayer unto God. I know that it is one way that we can praise and worship God.

Another really cool experience that we had was our lesson with Pili. We invited our branch president to come with us to this lesson and it really was an inspired decision. He was able to explain and testify of the importance of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ because really there was a period of apostasy where the priesthood was taken from off of the earth. He was very bold in stating what he knew without doubt or hesitation. He went through the events that led up to and through the apostasy with power and clarity that it was amazing to be there. The best part about that lesson is that Pili is continuing to understand and realize that what we are teaching makes sense but more than that even, she continues to read and pray to receive an answer for herself. I am grateful for Pili and the time that she is taking to find the truth for herself. Really she is amazing and has great desires. Please keep praying for her.

We talked with Victor this week and he told us essentially that he does not want to talk with us or see us again. It was hard to hear that after spending so much time thinking about, planning for, and becoming friends with him but something that Klaudia a great example of a member missionary in our branch said during our PMG class really helped me. She said that sometimes people decide to stop meeting with us and it's sad but the progress that we made with them will have an impact in their lives and will not be for naught. I believe that with all my heart. The time spent with Victor was time well spent, we made a difference in his life and will continue trying but even if nothing else happens we know that everyone has their agency to use as they will, all we can do is try to make an impact where we can. I am also grateful that God knows me personally and is willing to put people in my path to cheer me up when I need it.

I love this role that I have right now as a missionary. People sometimes ask if being a missionary is hard and really it is. It is not an easy thing to live the life of a missionary, but it is so rewarding. I think about the points of being a real man as proposed by Brother Parker and really they are the points of being a real missionary, being a real disciple of Jesus Christ. As we seek to do these things we find that we are blessed more abundantly than we can imagine. I am grateful for the parents and all of the priesthood leaders and examples that I have had to learn and grow from to prepare me to be here now. I am so blessed to be here. I am so blessed that I have this moment to meet the best people in the world. I love the people here in Pontevedra with all my heart and I love my Savior. It is because I love those people that I am obedient, and work with my heart, and with that love the work is easy.

I love you all and pray for you.

Elder Gustafson

Homemade rice pudding

Eating at the Kebap. Delicious mystery meat!

Chorizo from a vending machine, Yummy!

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