Saturday, June 11, 2016

Moments to Minister

June 6, 2016

I know I´ve said it before but this has probably been the busiest, craziest week of my mission. I´ve gotten a lot of questions about what I do and what my responsibilities will be.
  • What will Elder Maxfield be training you to do? Where is he from?
Elder Maxfield will be training me to manage all of the pisos of the mission, this includes making sure that bills are paid, the owners are happy, missionaries are taking care of their pisos, and organizing repairs that come up on the 100 pisos that we have in the mission. (piso = apartment) He is from Utah.

Elder Kirby is training me to drive in Spain, and because we are in Europe I have to learn how to drive a manual, which will be a great skill, but I´m learning in a 9 passenger van on the narrow streets of Spain, so it is quite an adventure.
  • Will you get to proselyte in the evenings?
I do get to proselyte in the evenings. We try to leave the office at 6:30 every night. It is quite dificult sometimes because the work never stops. There is always more to do in the office but we are working to get out in time and develop a proselyting area as well. We serve in the same area as the APs, and the area where President Pack and his family live.
  • Do you live close to the temple and Church offices?
We live about 15 minutes in car from the temple and will have the opportunity to go once a transfer.
  • Will you get to travel the mission? 
I will not do very much travelling outside of the Madrid area. Inside of Madrid we seem to always be running people from the airport or train station out to an area of Madrid.
  • Is this assignment for 5 transfers, until the end of your mission?
I am unsure as to the duration of my stay in the office. Because I am getting my driver´s license it is very probable that I will stay until the end but President has told me that we will cross that bridge when we get to it. I for sure will be here 4 transfers.
  • What is your daily schedule like?
My daily schedule starts like any normal missionary at 7:30 studies from 9-11 and then in the office until 6:30 that night, with a short break at some point for lunch. At 6:30 we start to proselyte, usually. This is the normal schedule that we follow about 20 percent of the time. The other 80 percent crazy random things come up, and that may just be because it was transfer week this last week but we´ll see.

If you have more questions please feel free to ask I enjoy responding and very rarely know what would be interesting for you to know.

One of the things that I have learned this week is to treasure the time that we have. There are many missionaries who just long to go home, back to their girlfriends and families. What they don´t realize is the spiritual nourishment that they are receiving. Coming into the office on about Thursday I realized that I was feeling down and couldn´t figure out why. I asked the other elders in the office and they explained to me that I was feeling what most missionaries feel when they go home. When they stop spending all of their time out preaching the gospel and get caught up in the workings of life. They helped me to understand that I would need to make a real effort in praying, studying, and looking for the times to minister.

I recommitted myself to doing those things daily and since then have seen small increases in my attitude and disposition. I want to share two experiences when we were able to minister this week. First we got to teach a man on Saturday night named Toño, As we finished the lesson he testified of how what we had just taught to him had been worked by the Spirit. That he had been meditating on the topic and that he just needed an invitation to act. Second, on Sunday during our lunch break we got a call from President calling us into the office. We grabbed our lunch, two pots of arroz and lentils, and flew over to the office. We talked to the security guard earlier that morning and told us that he had a long day ahead of him. As we had a short down moment in the office we ran downstairs with a bowl of rice and lentils and gave it to him. It was a small act but a moment to feel like we could serve individually in the midst of a high tense situation.

I am grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord and show the God´s love for his children in a small way.

Elder Gustafson

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