Monday, January 18, 2016

Gratitude in Talavera

There are so many things that I am grateful for this week. We have seen so many miracles once again here. I want to share with you some of my feelings of gratitude for the things that have happened this week.

This week I am grateful for the inspired leaders that guide this church. I especially am grateful for the work and efforts of our branch president that was released this week. He has traveled every week for the past 2 1/2 years to Talavera from Mostoles, a trip of about 120 km. I am grateful for the sacrifices that all of the members here in Talavera make. They really are pioneers of the church pushing to see growth and while we see many of the same problems that hit members at the beginning of the church they keep pressing on. They are powerful and strong because of the things that they pass through. I am grateful for a member in our branch who is so dedicated that he has accepted the callings to be Ward Mission Leader, Elders Quorum President, and Branch Secretary. I am grateful for a member who is now serving for his fifth or sixth time as Branch President. I am grateful for a Relief Society President with cancer who calls us twice a week to stop by her house so that we can pick up food that she has prepared for us. I am grateful for a family that shares the gospel not only with their friends but with people they see and then bring their friends to us to teach in their home. And so many more. I am grateful for the miracles that the Lord puts in our path. On Sunday night we were out contacting and we had fallen into a rut of contacting this last week and so last night we decided that we were going to go 100% and pray to see miracles. As we began talking with everyone with energy that could only come from Christ, we started to see a difference we got to share our message in the street with a father and his little son, we also ran into a woman named Milagros (Miracles) who we had run into before and passed to the Toledo missionaries where she lives. Turns out that she is staying here and we will have the opportunity to begin teaching her. These are just two of the many miracles that we have seen this week for which I am grateful.

I am grateful for my companion. I am grateful that he is here with me. I am grateful for the experiences that we are having together. I am grateful for his patience with me as I make so many mistakes. I am grateful for his generosity as he is able to share so freely. I am grateful for his ability to take everything calmly.

I am grateful for our investigators, Lucy, Manuel, Jose Luis, David y Conche, etc. Lucy once again expressed her testimony of the church to us is week. She is amazing! Manuel continues to show signs of progression as we continue to meet with. After one of the classes on Sunday one of our Stake visitors asked why he had never met such a solid member before. David and Conche are an adult son and his mother, whom we just began teaching this week and we have a lot of hope for them. We found David and his girl friend out on the street before Christmas but haven't been able to get in contact for quite some time until this week.

Anyways things are going really well here. We have been in Toledo today looking at swords and all manner of cool stuff. We are also having a world wide missionary training on Wednesday which is really exciting. I'm not quite sure what to expect but it is going to be awesome! I am grateful to be here at this time.

I love you all,
Elder Gustafson

Not a sword, but close...

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