Thursday, December 22, 2016

He is There

December 21, 2016

Let me share with you a Christmas miracle that we have seen this week. On Monday Elder Trantham and I went to La Moraleja, a very posh area of Alcobendas, to give an English copy of the Book of Mormon and “Meet the Mormons” to an American family that he had met a couple of weeks before. We had taken the time to wrap these gifts making them a Christmas gift for this family. As we got there and rang the door bell the dad who was waiting in his car, got out and told us that he was waiting for his daughter and that we could move along without bothering them. We left understanding that part of his family could have benefited from this Christmas gift but also with the faith that we could find another family, English speaking, that would enjoy our gift. So we went down the street to knock another door and to our surprise the woman who opened the door was very American, in fact so American that she had worked in Nashua, NH. We spoke for a minute but she didn't really want to hear from us, we offered the gift thinking that she was the one who would use it but she rejected it saying, "Give it to someone who will use it". That was the line as we spoke with several other English speaking families that night, "Someone else will use it."

As the night drew to a close we decided to be done for the night and head home. I felt down not knowing why we had come to La Moraleja and come so close to giving out a simple gift all night long but hadn't been able to do so. We both felt disappointed and ready to be done. Until we saw a dark-skinned kid walking up the street and Elder Trantham said to me, “he's the one.” I thought no way he's South American and probably won't come close to speaking English enough to read the Book of Mormon. We slowed down and casually greeted him and he walked past but Elder Trantham came to a stop and stopped this kid. We began talking to him in Spanish he introduced himself as Leron and somehow the fact that he speaks English came into the conversation. What do you know, this kid from South America is actually an American born and raised in Ohio. During the following minutes we had a great conversation about how God still guides his people through prophets and we were able to give him a Christmas gift that we hope can influence his life for good. It taught us the importance of continuing until the end. There is no stopping, there is no being done, keep going there is someone ready for the gospel.

I am grateful for this and all the other wonderful lessons that I have been taught over the past two years. I came to Spain hoping that I would become someone different because I could change myself during two years. I was hoping that along the way I could be able to help someone, to show someone what the gospel is. I have realized that in two years I have not changed myself, I have not changed people's lives, but I have been changed, and I have been an instrument in the hands of the Lord who is in charge. He is the master and there is no other. In two years I have come to understand that I am nothing when I am alone, but I know that when the Lord is with me I can see Him work miracles. I have had the incredible privilege to see Him work miracles in the lives of those around me. I am grateful to have found a best friend on the mission. I have always wanted a brother, what I haven't realized is that I've always had one. I am grateful to my Savior for the opportunity that He has given me to be here. I am grateful for the many chances that he has given me to repent and to change. He has been merciful with me, allowed me to change, comforted me when I was in need. I know that He is my Savior, my Older Brother. I look forward to his continued companionship as my life takes a turn and I start a new chapter. I love Him. I invite you all to seek Him in your times of need, He is always there, always willing to forgive, always quick to strengthen, always loving. He has always been there for me and He will be there for you.

I love you all,
Elder Gustafson

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