Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Best Christmas Ever!

An old castle wall
written December 27, 2015

This has been the best Christmas ever. I have received so much this Christmas, far more than I could ever have asked for. First and foremost I got to Skype my family which nothing can beat. I am grateful for a family that supports me so much and is anchored in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Another great part about Christmas here in Talavera are the members. They are amazing, excited to work towards growth in their branch which sometimes lacks in bigger wards. It is amazing that on Sunday we had four investigators come to church. There are two that I specifically want to highlight. Jose Luis, a man we met on the street on Monday who loves learning. He wants to find out who is God and really what is the relationship that we can have with Him. He is a great guy and we are very excited to be teaching him. Second is Lucy. She is a woman who is friends with our Relief Society President. She was brought to church two weeks ago by her friend and we went and ate with them after church. As we talked after the meal her friend shared a powerful testimony and Lucy told us that when she gains a testimony that she would like to be baptized. :) God shows us miracles when we pray, and work hard to bring people into his fold.

Another Christmas miracle may take a little bit more of an explanation. The story starts the day after Christmas. As you probably know missionaries go through amazing days, incredibly amazing experiences that build and lift us, but the opposite side of that is that we also go through rough days. Days that hurt. We know that without those hard days we wouldn't be able to fully understand the joy and exuberance that we feel most of the time. Anyways this was one of those days due to some things that had happened and the way that I had responded to them. As I was thinking on Sunday about what had happened the day before, I was quite discouraged and didn't know who to talk to. As I was sitting there in the first hour of church you would never believe who walked into our little chapel, Felix, Veronica, Paola, Alejandro, Adrian, and Sebastian some of the people who I have grown closest to in my time here, visiting me from Torrejón. They had planned to surprise me at church as a Christmas gift to me. It was an answer to my prayers. I know that the Lord knows who I am specifically. He knows me well enough to send some of the family that I have found here in Spain to be with me. I love Him. I am grateful for his infinite and atoning sacrifice that allows me to make mistakes and learn from them. I am grateful for his grace which comforts me when I get down. I love Him.

I love you all,
Elder Gustafson


With the Torrejon gang

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