Monday, October 28, 2013

More Pictures!

More pictures this week!!  Yeah!

Well, it's been a good last week in Duncanville. We found a couple named Leo and Clara Monriquez that seems to have a lot of potential. They told us they've been searching for the true church for years, and every church they've looked at in the past has a mixture of great things and "human corruptions" as they put it. The husband has some ideas we'll have to work with (it doesn't matter what church you go to, you can baptized as many times as you because it's just an expression of dedication to God, etc.). They're really open to learn and they both said they would be baptized if they receive an answer. The big miracle this week happened with Elder Powell and Evans from our district. On Thursday night we had a meeting at the church, which they got a ride to from a member. When they got back and were getting ready for bed, Elder Evans looked out the window and saw that their bikes were gone. They called the police who came by and said they'd help out, but we all assumed that the guys that took them were long gone and they'd probably never find the bikes. Obviously we all prayed for the elders that they would be able to find them, but that was about all we could do. Then, a little after 10:30 I got a call from Elder Evans saying that they found the bikes! he and Elder Powell were searching the area around their apartment, and they found two guys riding them around. Elder Evans talked tough to them for a few minutes, and they guys finally gave the bikes back when he said they were stealing from missionaries of God. Heavenly Father really looks out for His missionaries and answers His children's prayers!
      We got transfer calls this week and I'm going to Dallas 5th Ward in Mesquite! My new companion is Elder Trujillo. I'll meet him tomorrow when we have transfers and send a picture next week. I was also called as Zone Leader, which was about as shocking as when I got the call to train. I'm excited for the challenge and opportunity to serve, but I know I'll definitely need the Lord's help!
   Love ya!
Elder Gaughan

Update-Added Later:
The family is the Garcias. She's the sister from our ward in charge of the food calendar--her son Jonathon went out with us a few times and we had a family home evening with them once. I didn't mean to send that one but there it is. Also... I just found out Elder Powell and Evans were pulling our legs about how they found their bikes. They forgot them at the member's house that took them to the meeting. But technically our prayers were still answered!! Also, this should be a picture of our district this transfer on our last Sunday together (I was also District Leader which was a great experience--I learned a lot).

Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekly Email with Pictures!

From this week forward, no more shoddy, 1 paragraph emails. I promise. 

Here's the miracle I was going to tell you about last week:
We've been having trouble getting investigators to church this transfer. Like, a lot. We've been working with some great part-member families and investigators, and they've all promised to come to church, but up until last week we still hadn't had a single person actually come. I finally decided last week that I had to exercise some more faith if we wanted anything to change, so I started a fast that those over which we had stewardship would come to church. We had a part member family, (the familia Hernandez), a couple (Roberto and Gabriela Lopez), and a young man named Tommy who seemed pretty solid, so I was especially praying for them. We had another part-member family I prayed for in a "Thy will be done" attitude, because I had only seen them come to sacrament meeting once to get their baby blessed, and we hadn't taught them that week. 
    When it came time for church to start and we were greeting everyone at the front, I learned once again that the Lord answer our prayers in His way, not in ours. Instead of the two families we were expecting and Tommy, the Mendoza family, a less-active sister, and a less-active couple showed up! The less-active family, Ruben, Nancy, and Maria Valle, was the biggest miracle. Ruben was baptized about 7 months ago, and he and his wife were called as ward missionaries.  we had only visited them once, and it didn't seem like things were going to change any time soon. But there they were! And they not only stayed for all three hours--they attended the coordination meeting for ward missionaries after, Sister Valle came out with us for a lesson three days later, and we had dinner with them last night. 
   For a long time I honestly didn't understand the principle of fasting or see it make much of a difference in my life, but the experiences I've had like this have showed me that it's precious commandment the Lord has given us in order to bless us. It's so important that we take fast-Sunday seriously, choose specific things to fast for, pray with faith, and trust in the promises of Heavenly Father.
    That's the most exciting thing that's happened recently. Last night Elder Sanchez and I knocked three doors and got three lessons, which almost never happens. It's also finally starting to cool down, which has been a huge relief. Other than that, it's just missionary life as usually--insanely busy, slightly stressful, and extremely rewarding when we do it right.
Missionary scripture of the week: "Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost." (Alma 36:24)
Elder Gaughan

1. Personal study!!

2. El Si Hay--the missionary-voted the Greatest Taqueria in Oak Cliff

3. There's not too much o see in Duncanville, but the sunsets are usually gorgeous

Monday, October 14, 2013

Questions and Answers

Mom Asked: 
1. Are you still in the same area you were when you first came out? What's the name of the area? 
2. Why are you so busy--emailing other people?  Playing soccer? Contacting in the library?  Just curious.

Elder Gaughan's Responses: 
1. Yes, kind of. I started out in Oak Cliff West, which included the former Oak Cliff South area (which we literally almost never visited). After my first transfer when I got called to train Elder Ericson, they divided West and South again, and we went to South and pretty much reopened it (let me tell you, it was a project cleaning up the apartment). That's where I am with Elder Sanchez right now. I've been in the same ward, Oak Cliff 1st, the entire time.

2. Well, most preparation days we play basketball or something and go do emails after, and we almost always still have a long list of things to do after that. Or, like last week, we put it off until the very end of the day. and emailing other people/president Durrant. Also, I'm a very, very slow writer.

The best thing that happened this week was yesterday at church. What the--session ending, sorry. I fasted and saw miracles. Bye!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Contacting on a train

Conference was reallly, really, good. I especially enjoyed the Saturday sessions--I don't think they've ever flown by so fast for me. What I realized more than anything this conference is just how much love the leaders of the church exhibit. I did not understand just how much suffering, heartache, sin, sadness, obstacles, and problems of all kinds there are in the world. I can't count the number of people that have asked me to pray for them--and really need it. I had never considered before this weekend the spiritual and temporal load that our church leaders at every level carry, and I'm inspired by the way they do it with so much love, patience, faith, and diligence. Sorry, it's going to be short again this week. So quick recap: went on exchanges with Elder Powell from my district, and get this: he worked for a fishing cabin near Gustavos, Alaska! He was talking about Point Adolphus and everything. Also, contacted on a train for the first time this week--I was pretty uncomfortable with it at first, but we got a good number of referrals and had a chance to teach a few people. That's all I've got for this week, but I love you all, the gospel is true, and look for opportunities to share it!