Monday, August 18, 2014

A Lesson from Elder Gaughan with Pictures!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a guy that we were teaching who, all of a sudden, sent us a text saying that he had issues with God and didn't want to meet with us. Well, we're pretty sure he was drinking when he sent us that, because he let us come back! He's had a lot of questions about God and why the world is so cruel, and it's amazing to see how he's put his faith and God and begun to find answers. When we explained the Plan of Salvation and God's purpose for us, he said, "You just answered a question I've had for years. Nobody has been able to give me a good response until now." He still has a long ways to go, but it's been amazing to see the hope he's found and the ways he has showed his faith. 
  Mom, you asked me about Aramis and her family. They're doing pretty well! We had a really good visit with them last week, and she explained to us her conversion story. She said that before she met the missionaries, she liked to drink on the weekends, go to dances and parties, and look for ways to distract her from a feeling of emptiness that she usually carried within. When she started learning about the gospel and living it for herself, she said those other things just fell away. That empty feeling was replaced by a peace and tranquility she had never experienced, and she no longer needed the cheap distractions she had sought before. 
   I immediately thought of a talk I recently read by President Spencer W Kimball in which he said, "Jesus saw sin as wrong but also was able to see sin as springing from deep and unmet needs on the part of the sinner. This permitted him to condemn the sin without condemning the individual."   From what I've seen, that makes sense. It's the same thing that one of our investigators said when we asked him why he drinks: it's a way to forget all the bad things in his life, and numb the hurt of being separated from his family. I've never fully understood this scripture before, but in light of what I've studied and heard this week it rings very, very true: 

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that shall give him shall never thirstbut the water that shall give him shall be in him well of water springing up into everlasting life.
(John 4:13-14)

I know that as people strive to live the gospel, God changes their hearts and desires. Without fail, when people who are accustomed to live in the world begin praying sincerely and daily, read the scriptures, and hearken to the voice of the Spirit, they find happiness, understanding, peace, strength, forgiveness, and guidance, and they change. Of that I have no doubt. 

Also, I'm being transferred this today! We got the call Saturday night, and I'm going to an area west of central Dallas called Pioneer. The funny thing is that I'm replacing one of my old companions, Elder Trujillo, and will be with a missionary that he just finished training. My new companion is Tongan. I don't remember his name because it's very Tonganish, but I'll tell yall about him next week! Also, I'll have to get a few more pictures before I go just to show you how beautiful it is out here in Longview. 

Love you! 
Elder Gaughan

1. Dionisio Cadenas (our branch President) and I
2. The Plascencia family. This brother has a pretty cool story, I'll be sure to tell you all about him some day. 
3. Juan Castillo, Elder Ballstaedt, and I. I wrote about him a couple of weeks ago I think. We haven't been able to meet with him in two weeks, but he's a great guy and we've seen him make some good progress. 

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