Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Open House Miracles

With my friend after the dedication of the new chapel in A Coruna

May 23, 2016

What a crazy week we have had in A Coruña! And how many miracles have we seen! Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this week we had the open house for the new chapel. It was quite different because there was a lot of down time waiting for people to come but it was a great experience and we got to meet some interesting people. In the evening on Thursday we saw some really cool miracles. We went to visit Rafa, a returning less active, who is awesome! His greatest desire is to serve a mission. As we all talked, we felt the Spirit as it testified of the next steps that he needed to take to get to be able to serve a mission and complete that desire. He shared with us how much his cousin, who is currently serving a mission, has influenced him and his desires to return to the church.

Later that night we went to make some phone calls on a bench and a guy came up to us and asked if he could sit next to us. It was a little strange because there were like five other open benches right there but of course we made room, we weren't about to pass up on a conversation. So we get talking and he tells us about his life, and tells us that he has met with missionaries before but lost contact with them. So we get contact information and ask if there is another day when we could share a message with him and he asks, well what can you share with me now. Of course we talked with him about the restoration and got a second lesson with him this coming week. I'll keep you posted.

Another miracle from the week. On Thursday night I had the impression to call Salvador, the man who came to church by himself a couple of weeks ago, to invite him to the open house. He hadn't picked up the other times that I had called but I decided I'll try it again. He picked up this time all excited to hear from us. After receiving the invitation he said, "of course I'll come, it will be good to give you a brotherly hug!" He came and it was awesome we have a lesson set up this week and we are going to give him copies of the duty to God and personal progress programs which he requested for his children. Finally at the dedication on Sunday we had seven of our investigators there, which was awesome! As the meeting started I was saving seats for Kandy and Iago but after about five minutes without them showing up, I moved in allowing others who were still coming in to sit down. Two women that I didn't recognize came in and sat down in those seats. I was a little frustrated that Kandy and Iago hadn't shown up and someone had taken those seats but little did I realize who had sat down. After the meeting I introduced myself and it turned out that one of the women was a less active who we haven't had contact with and the other, her friend that she had brought for the dedication. Anyways we have a lesson set up this week. It was amazing the ways the Lord has blessed us this week! This really is his work and we can try and try but it doesn't matter at all if He is not involved. I wish I had time to share all the miracles that we see but know that He blesses us every day.

Thank you for your prayers on my behalf and on behalf of my investigators.

I love you all!
Elder Gustafson

You Don't Need an Apostle to Learn

May 16, 2016

Wow! What a week we've had here! On Friday night we left at 10:20 at night and got into Madrid Saturday at 9:20 AM. It was an interesting adventure in a seat all night long but worth it to be able to learn with Elder Bednar. There was a lot that I learned during the conference with Elder Bednar but I want to highlight four principles that are all related together that really impacted me.

First, there is no reason to stop and check the oil every five minutes if the car is running fine. When we are doing the best we can, keep going, trust in the Spirit to turn on the oil light when there are things to fix. In life we can't be so caught up in asking Am I a good missionary? Am I good home teacher? Am I a good disciple of Jesus Christ? We forget to focus on others. When the Spirit says change the oil, don't argue don't get stopped on the side of the highway of life worrying about your imperfections, change the oil and get going.

Second, Faith is being able to focus on others or turn outwards, trusting that the Spirit will indicate those things that you need to change in your life. Have the confidence that you are doing well. The Spirit, if you ask, will always show you where to improve. Have faith that He will lead and guide you so that you can return to live with God, as you are striving to keep your covenants and serve those around you.

Third, treasure up the words of life constantly in your mind. If we want power when we speak, one of the requisites is that we treasure up the words of life constantly in our minds. In the scripture that I was ponderizing last week it talks of the principle of opening our mouths and as we do it at all times and in all places we will "strength such as is not known among men."

Fourth, what was said by Elder Bednar was what everyone needed to hear, and what we heard from the Spirit was what each of us needed to hear. Really we don't need an Apostle to come teach us because, as members of the church, we have a member of the godhead with us in all times. He is the real teacher, as we learn to listen to Him we will receive everything that we need.

I loved this conference because of how empowering it was to keep moving forward. Don't get caught on the side of the road, the Spirit will teach you what you need to know as you put in your effort to keep moving forward. I love being a missionary. I am great fun for the experiences that I have everyday that testify of my Father in Heaven. There is no greater blessing in this life or the next than to have a relationship with Him!

I love you all,
Elder Gustafson

P-Day Futbol
Happy Missionaries!

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Spirit Guides

May 9, 2016

Torrejon gang in Galacia!
This has been a crazy week in A Coruña. I was in a trio with the other Elders here in Coruña because my companion went down to Madrid for the leadership counsel, we had some absolutely great times together, teaching and getting to know their investigators. We had a great lesson this week with Kandy and Iago. We talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon in receiving revelation about our message. As we talked and had a conversation the Spirit guided our conversation so that her doubts came out and shared with us how she was feeling. It is amazing how the Spirit is able to touch people's hearts and move people. 

We also had a super solid lesson with Yeiry and Samil and Yesairy. She talked with us about how some of the temptations that she faced have left, because every time she faces one of her temptations there is a voice in her head that tells her not to do it. She described the voice as being a combination of my voice and my companion's voice. It is the Spirit working miracles. She still needs to come to church with more frequency please pray that she will have the strength and courage to be able to come.

I love you all,
Elder Gustafson

At the mall with Elder Bartholomew

Displaying IMG_2043.JPG

Great Week in Espana

May 2, 2016

Well, once again this week has been absolutely amazing! I love being a missionary, with all of the rough parts of being a missionary it just makes the great parts amazing. This week we saw some amazing miracles! We were at church yesterday, we get there half an hour early in order to great those that come in and a man walked in who we did not recognize. we greeted him and he told us that an inactive friend had invited him to come to church to see the new chapel, but that the member had decided not to wake up that morning so, Salvador, the man, had decided to come by himself anyways. He told us that he didn't want to stay for the meetings but wanted to talk and pray with us. Perfect! We went into a classroom and talked about the Restoration and our beliefs he was very open and agreed to stay for part of Sacrament meeting as he had an appointment at the top of the hour and so could not stay for the whole thing. We were stoked! It is very rare that people walk into the chapel by themselves looking to talk about God. Then during the second hour, the branch President pulls my companion and I out of class and introduces us to a woman who had come the church looking to pray and talk with God because her mother was very sick and in the hospital. She asked if we would be willing to go and give a blessing to her mother, we happily agreed and will be going in the next couple of days. It was like God was saying here, this person needs to hear the gospel, and this person, take good care of them. I am very grateful that He sent these people to us so that we can help them find the peace and the answers that they are looking for. I know that miracles exist.

My companion is a boss. He is really one of the best teachers that I have met. I have learned a lot from him and have grown so much in the last couple of weeks. But there is a lesson that I have had to learn with him as with all of my companions, which is the danger of comparison. Comparison is a tool of the devil to either build up pride or to tear down oneself. When we compare ourselves to others, we say he is better than me or I am better than him. Both frases are destructive and will drive away the Spirit. We are all sons and daughters of God, He knows who we are and what we need in our lives. The most important thing is that we trust in Him to mold us in His way. As we eliminate those feelings of better or worse we can feel love for others as well as love for ourselves. The second great commandment teaches us, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." I invite all of us to look for our strengths and our weaknesses not to put ourselves down but so that we can go to the Lord looking for the strength of His Atonement to change, which we will find. Let us look always for the good in others but also in ourselves so that we can use our gifts to bless the lives of those around us.

I know that God loves us and has given each and everyone unique skills and talents for the reason of building His Kingdom and blessing His children.

Elder Gustafson