Monday, April 28, 2014

Counting my Blessings

Truthfully, there's not too much to report this week. Everything is going pretty well, but we're pretty much in the same boat--trying to find investigators (mostly by knocking doors), and teaching as much as we can. In the beginning of the week our car was getting repaired and we left our apartment on foot for two days, which was a fun experience. I've had the blessing of being in a car my entire mission, so it made me "count my blessings". And at least a few good things happened as a result--for example, we got flagged down by a former investigator at a main intersection, so we jumped into his car and he took us to lunch, and then we set up an appointment to teach him!
If you could keep someone we're teaching in your prayers--her name is Josefina. She was baptized the Saturday before I arrived (two weeks ago), and for health/family reasons hasn't made it to church since, and therefore hasn't been confirmed. We're hoping she doesn't wait too long and have to get baptized again, because she's afraid of water!
Elder Gaughan 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Loving Longview

It's been an interesting week. As usual, coming to a new area has included a lot of changes--adjusting to a new companion, figuring out how to navigate a new city, meeting new members, missionaries, and investigators, etc. It's been pretty good though. 
   I really like Longview, but the hispanic community is pretty small. and because of that we cover a huuuge area. We're in a car, and apparently have the most monthly miles allotted to us out of the entire mission. Elder Vasquez has been here for 6 months, and directly knows or knows the friends or family of 5 to 10 of the people we contact every day. I really like our branch. We meet in part of a rented-out office building, and there are about 60 active members. haha as usual I got a weird look when I told them my last name "Gaughan" and had to repeat it 2-3 times with everyone I met.
    We ate dinner with a member family from el Salvador yesterday, and they told me when we sat down to eat that it would probably be the only time I would have that meal in my life. Now I knew it was fish, but it wasn't until we were finishing up that I realized it was a fish HEAD. It wasn't bad, but I think life will go on if I never see it again. I guess they cut it down the middle and prepare it in some special way, and only serve it during Holy Week (the week before Easter).  
    Not much more to say than that. I hope you're all doing good and praying for opportunities to share the gospel! 

Elder Gaughan

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Out in the Country

Dear Family,

I got transferred! After 6 months in Seagoville, I'm now in east Texas, which is about 3 and a half hours outside of downtown Dallas. I'm back to working only Spanish, and for the first time I have a legit hispanic companion! His name is Elder Vasquez, and he's from el Salvador. We cover 7-8 cities, which to me was mind-blowing. It's absolutely gorgeous here. it's very similar to Virginia, actually--lots of greenery and trees, and most things are quiet and slower-paced. I'll try to send some pictures from last transfer & with Elder Vasquez next week. 
    Last week we saw miracles in our area. One of the greatest ones happened when i was on exchanges and Elder Nebeker (my last companion) was in our area with another missionary. They were in a neighborhood knocking doors, and started talking to a man about to enter his house. He told them he had been at work, and for some reason he had the strong feeling he needed to go home. He got there and waited in the car for awhile, wondering what he was supposed to do. Apparently he felt something when he saw the missionaries though, because as he got to the front door he delayed going inside hoping they would talk to him. They gave him a Book of Mormon and basically had a lesson on his porch, and had a great experience. I don't know what's going to happen to him, but it was testimony to me that, as Preach My Gospel says, "the Lord is preparing people to receive you [the missionaries] and the restored gospel. He will lead you to them or He will lead them to you" (p. 155). 
     Jesus Christ is our Savior, and he will heal, guide, and help us through all of our trials. I've seen people change through their obedience, faith, repentance, and His grace. I love the opportunity to celebrate His Atonement and resurrection and this time of year. 
     By the way, the church has just come out with a new video called "Because of Him". If you haven't seen it, check it out (  and share it. This is a great opportunity to share our testimonies of Jesus Christ with our friends and family. 


Elder Gaughan

Monday, April 7, 2014

Another great week

This week I'll start with a cool connection that popped up this weekend during General Conference, my mission president, Devin Durrant, is the new 2nd Councilor in the Sunday School General Presidency! Once he's done here this July he goes back to Utah to start his new calling.

One of the last talks in the Sunday evening session was about laying up our "Treasures in Heaven". Something I get to see a lot as a missionary is where people put their treasures. A large number of people that listen to our message believe it is true, however only small percentage of that group do everything they need to do to make it to baptism, confirmation, and full activity in the church. Some of that has to do with how well we, the missionaries, as well as the members, help these people in that difficult transition. However, the fundamental decision comes down to the person we're teaching; and sadly, many times people decide that the opinions of their family, their traditions, their pride, or their habits are more important than the commandments of God. These people show pretty clearly through actions just how important the Gospel is to them--those who read, pray, attend church, and strive to make changes care, and the other people don't (or at least not enough to change). For example, we're teaching a woman that is on the verge of baptism--she complies with almost every requirement, believes Joseph Smith is a prophet and the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, and has seen her heart and very character change as she has embraced the message of the restored gospel. However, she's having trouble letting go of the religion she grew up in, and it's impeding her progression.
   One thing I plan to do this week is take a look at how I spend my time, energy, and thoughts, and figure out exactly where my "treasure" is, and what I can do better to "store up my treasures in heaven."
     Not much to report on this week though! Conference was wonderful, and we were able to go to the temple this week which is always a great experience. I invite y'all to check out Elder Ballard's talk from Sunday (I'll let you guess what the theme is). I testify that the Spirit is real, as are the promised blessings of following the Savior. We have the responsibility and opportunity to share that with others. I love you!
Elder Gaughan