Saturday, May 25, 2013

Growing and Learning

First of all, I don't know when I'll have time to respond to everyone (I can't believe how many letters/emails I've already gotten), but you're posting this on the blog right? I just hope everyone knows who's written me how much it's meant. Every letter puts a big smile on my face. I don't know if I ever mentioned this to anyone before I left, but I realized recently that at least in part, I wanted to dedicate these two years as a big thank you to all the family, friends, and teachers that have helped me get to this point. I'm here first and foremost because I love the Savior and want to bring His gospel to Heavenly Father's children, but I've been almost overwhelmed recently as I've thought about all the goodness and kindness I've received throughout the years. 
     By the way, I've run into a ton of people I know. I met Bro. Jarman's brother literally on the first day--he taught a workshop my companion and I just happened to run into. Haha I couldn't believe how similar they were, I almost felt like I was back in Green Valley Ward. Elder Wood got a picture of us, so I'll try to send that to you soon. I also run into Elder Justin McBeth every day or two, so that's been a lot of fun,
    The Spanish is coming along really pretty well, we've taught 5 lessons and it's definitely becoming a little easier every time. 
  The gospel has opened up to me both intellectually and practically this week and a half in really meaningful ways.
Love, John
Picture Update: 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

First Email Home

First of all, everything has been a crazy blur. The MTC has been an eye-opening and really good experience so far, but it's definitely a lot harder than I expected. Every second of the day there's something scheduled, you get a lot of (really good) goals and challenges from a multiple, uncoorrdinated sources, we're in class for about 16 hours every day, and we already taught our first lesson in Spanish. It's amazing here though. On the first day they had three big rooms, and they took all the new missionaries in to watch a simulated discussion in each one. Long story short, it really displayed to me the power in this work and the difference we can we can make as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. While the intense schedule and demands are already leaving me a little bit stretched, every day I'm seeing little miracles, and there's always at least one or two really powerful moments when the Spirit hits home and gives me a broader perspective and gets me really, really excited for the work.
      My companion's name is Elder Wood. He's from Lehi, Utah, and he's a great young man. He wants to be as obedient as possible, and he's always sharing great spiritual insights with me, which has been great. I can't tell you how grateful I am the Lord gave me a companion that's looking to be his absolute best. We have our disagreements and things about each other that don't click, but we've really been able to help each other be better missionaries. I know the Lord had a purpose in mind when he made us companions. Haha funny story about that though. When I went to class and met my district for the first time, my companion didn't show up. We sat around, had a little orientation, then went to the new missionary devotional with all the elders and sister that reported this week. My comp still hadn't showed up, so I just sat between the other two elder companionships in my district. The main speaker, a member of the MTC  presidency, kept saying things like "Well here you are, presumably with your new companion," and "we have a little exercise for you and your companion" and "here's some advise about how to make the best out of your companionship," so my district got a kick out of that. But we were unpacking in our rooms a little later and Elder Wood finally showed up, and we all celebrated.
       This gospel is true, and this work really is the most important and glorious on the earth. It's hard, really the most demanding thing I've ever done; but there's no where else I'd rather be. I wish I had time to tell you about the first lesson we taught--I've never experienced anything like that. The spanish is coming along well, but I know I can push myself to use it more.
Love you!
Elder Gaughan

P.S. I was called as District Leader yesterday. To me, it's just another testimony that Heavenly Father knows what His children need. I feel like at least in part this was given as an opportunity for me to focus on loving, helping, and lifting those around me. It means a few more responsibilities and meetings, but I'm grateful for the opportunity. Would you mind keeping the district in your prayers? We have a great group of missionaries, but I know we all need the help.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Elder Gaughan's Mission Farewell

Gaughan Family
Nick, Mike, John, Sheree, Frank, Kyler, Alex, Tara and Penelope
All Friends and Family Who Came to Elder Gaughan's Farewell
Gaughan Brothers
Nick, Mike, John and Alex
John and Nick

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Temple Trip

Elder Gaughan's Temple Trip
San Diego Temple
May 1, 2013

Elder Gaughan

Gaughan Family
Frank, Kyler, Alex, John, Tara, Penelope, Mike, Sheree
Families Are Forever


I'm Elder Gaughan and I have been called to serve as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Dallas Texas Mission. I will be preaching the gospel in the Spanish language and leave for the Missionary Training Center on May 15, 2013 and will return with honor on April 29, 2015. 

All are welcome to follow this blog for updates posted throughout my mission, as well as learn about the people and families that I will be teaching. 

I will have my weekly email as well as pictures posted once a week throughout my two-year mission so check back frequently for new updates. 
Feel free to comment, share, or ask questions if you have them.