Sunday, December 6, 2015

I am grateful for...

Preparation day with part of our zone in Madrid at Sol.
November 30, 2015

I am grateful for...

A bag of carrots

This week we met with a member here in Torrejón. He doesn't have a whole lot of money, not even enough to pay the light bill in his piso. We set a meeting with him on Thursday in the afternoon and as he walked into the church he came in swinging a plastic bag full of big carrots. It was very clear that they had been carefully washed and prepared for us with love. He handed us the bag apologizing that he didn't have anything better to give us. We thanked him for his wonderful Thanksgiving gift to us. I know the sacrifice made in order to give us a bag of carrots and they are probably the sweetest carrots I have ever eaten.

The power of a testimony

I am so grateful for Felix and the testimony that he has in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been teaching him about the law of chastity and modesty. As we taught it to him he told us that he had an appointment to go and get a new tattoo that he had already paid 500€ for. As we talked he told us "I know what is the right thing to do. I've gotta go cancel it." I am grateful that he has a solid testimony of what is right. It is one of the coolest things to have an investigator who we can teach and have an incredibly spiritually experience with but who is also one of my best friends.

A mission president's wife

This week we had a training with all the hundred and something missionaries serving in the Madrid area. It was a great training, we talked about the way that commandments are a way of keeping us free. Sometimes we think of commandments as things that keep us chained up, or sometimes we think of commandments as a fence that keeps us inside the boundaries so that we are free within our fence to move, but I believe that the commandments are even more than that. I believe that the commandments keep the evil trapped in and keep us outside and free. Sometimes we can't see more than the fence right in front of us and don't know which side is inside and which is out. After this great conference we had a full on Thanksgiving Dinner complete with Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Cranberry Sauce, etc and even included Pumpkin Pie at the end. I am grateful for this sacrifice of time and resources from Hermana Pack and all those who helped her in this endeavor.

A hard working companion

I am so grateful for my companion. He is a great example to me. I am grateful for the things that he has taught me these past two transfers. This week in particular though I am grateful for his dedication to work hard even when we are out contacting meeting few who wanted to hear the word of God. When I asked him how he was feeling he said terrible. We talked about going and taking a rest for a minute but he said essentially there is work to do let's keep going. I think about Brigham Young and his companion who upon leaving for their missions, and being very sick, stopped the wagon rose and shouted Hoorah for Zion!

My family

I am grateful for my family. I don't give my family the credit that they deserve in my letters home. I am so grateful for every member of my family. I never realized how great I had it until I left and probably won't until I have a family of my own but I know that I owe everything to them. I am so grateful for a Mother who has shown me love in everything that I have done. I am grateful for her example of love she shows me the importance of demonstrating our love to others through our actions more than just through words. I am grateful for a Father who teaches me to work diligently and to spend time working for others,selfless service. I am grateful for Mckenna who teaches me the importance a of being true to yourself and what you value. I am grateful for Eliza who teaches me that love comes from the heart. I am grateful for Andrea who teaches me the importance of being engaged in good causes. I love my family and am grateful for the ordinances that bind us together for eternity.

My Savior

Above all this Thanksgiving I am grateful for a Savior who allows me to change who I am. I am grateful that through Him I can become different than the person that I am right now. I am grateful for the relationship that I have with Him and the opportunity that I have to help others build this relationship with others.

I love you all
Elder Gustafson

PS this week I am ponderizing the scripture Alma 26:22

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