Monday, October 27, 2014

Another Week-Another Miracle

Familia Mia, 
We saw another miracle this week! The boyfriend of Ana (the mom of Analee, the girl that was baptized 3 weeks ago) came to church yesterday! This absolutely blew me away, because for the entire time I've been here he's been hard-core avoiding us. Last week he got into some problems and ended up in jail for 4 days, and from our conversations with Ana and the family, it seems like he's reconsidering his life a little bit. The other miracle is that Ana was planning to come to church before we even invited her! Ever since she's known the missionaries she's needed a lot of exhorting and encouragement to do things like read the scriptures, pray, and especially come to church, but yesterday morning when we called her she said, "Well yeah I'm coming, that's why I'm up at this hour." 
    My supervision of Elder Pigott's cooking continues with some fantastic results. On Thursday he made 6 loaves of banana bread and about 15-20 muffins. Not surprisingly, I snacked on the batter and bread until I was almost sick. Haha that night when we got home Elder Pigott made a joke about having some more and I said, "Elder, I don't think I could even touch banana bread at this point. That stuff is evil." What was I doing 20 minutes later? You guessed it. Eating banana bread. 
    I'm sorry, I don't have too much more time today. Elder Pigott and I are doing well and seeing the Lord's blessings in this work. 
Elder Gaughan

Monday, October 20, 2014

Another Baptism!

Mi Querida Famila,
It's been a somewhat eventful week! The biggest news is that Analee Chinchilla was confirmed yesterday! I'll send another email with a picture from her baptism. 
       We started teaching a woman named Marina about a week and a half ago. We had two fairly good visits with her, but the third one was intense! We had invited her in the previous lesson to pray about the story of Joseph Smith and ask God if he really was a prophet, and when we followed up, she said, "I prayed. And what came to my mind was the Book of Mormon." Elder Pigott and I were both shocked when we heard that, seeing as we understood that her only interaction with the Church had been casual conversations with previous missionaries that had passed by. She then told us how 22 years ago she met the missionaries for the first time. They visited with her for awhile, gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, and apparently lost contact at some point. But she told us how for a long time she was in an abusive relationship with a man that heavily drank, and that what brought her peace and hope and helped her believe that things could get better was reading the Book of Mormon. 
   We brought a member with us who then shared with Marina a portion of Alma 7 and we testified to her that Jesus Christ not only suffered for her sins, but for every hardship and wrong she has ever experienced. I'm pretty sure she felt the Spirit. We invited her to be baptized; she expressed some doubts and didn't to commit to anything, but said she would read from the Book of Mormon and pray about baptism. Pretty amazing though, right? 
     We also attended a CRAZY baptismal service on Saturday. Long story short, the woman being baptized, Alma, had an epileptic seizure right after she was baptized. Elder Pigott and I were giving a presentation to everyone in attendance when one of the sister missionaries came from the bathroom, poked her head in and whispered to us, "She just fainted!" and then took off again. At that point we just awkwardly stood in front of everyone for a few minutes, seeing as they already had people in the bathroom taking care of her. So we weren't really sure what to do. We ended up saying a prayer for her, sat down, and waited it out. As it turns out that's a normal thing for Alma, so after the seizure was over she just got up, got ready, came back out, and we continued the service! But there's one baptism I'll never forget. 
    Well, being companions with Elder Pigott (I almost wrote "Kyler" again) has been a pretty good deal. He's an awesome cook, which I definitely can't say for myself or most of my previous companions. Like, we eat real food in the apartment! This is a first. Yes, cereal and sandwiches are still the main staples, but last week we had full-on gourmet pasta with beef for dinner! And we had leftovers from our own dinner! Also, as you can see, we (a.k.a. Elder Pigott with my supervision) made biscuits. 
Love you!
Elder Gaughan. 
1. Elder Gaughan making biscuits
2. Elder Pigott Analee Chinchilla's baptism
3. Home Sweet Home! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Baptism and Meet the Mormons!

Alrighty Family, here's the news: 
1. A young girl we've been teaching named Analee was baptized this week! Her grandmother was baptized this January o February, and the missionaries have been working with their family for awhile. We had to put together almost the entire baptismal service, and I forgot how many details there are to work out! Programs, refreshments, the baptismal clothing, the baptismal interview, filling the font, the baptismal record, who's going to say the prayers, give the talks, perform the baptism, etc. It strengthened my testimony that 'if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear" (that's somewhere in Doctrine and Covenants), and that the Spirit can be stronger when everything is prepared and in its place. It went well though! Analee was happy and told us she felt great after her baptism.
     Funny story though: as we were getting everything in place just minutes before the baptismal service started, I called out to Elder Pigott to leave something alone, and with everything racing through my mind with the baptism I said, "No Kyler, it's fine like that." I surprised myself when I said that, and the other companionship that was standing nearby got really wide-eyed and just stared at me. Haha they new our situation though and I apologized quickly. 
2. We got to see "Meet the Mormons" as a mission last week, and it's incredible! I'd highly recommend it if you haven't seen it, whether or not you're a member of the Church. It's interesting, inspiring, funny... if I keep going this is going to sound like a cheesy movie review, but seriously! It's good! Go see it. 
That's the biggest stuff from the week. Elder Pigott is great--he's bold, he's Spanish is improving like crazy, and his cooking is awesome. I haven't had many companions that can really cook. And we get along well! It's been great getting to know him better since we didn't spend a ton of time together before. 
   Unfortunately we don't have the pictures from the baptism today, but I'll try to send the next week!
Love you!
Elder Gaughan

Monday, October 6, 2014

New Companion!

Well, I know you already know, but I feel like this requires a second announcement: I'm Elder Pigott's companion!!! To answer your possible questions, I never said a word to our mission president about him coming, yes it was VERY weird the first few days, we do our best not to talk about home too much (haha that's probably the biggest obstacle of the situation), and yes, Elder Pigott is a great missionary. He's bold, motivated, obedient, and trying to help the people we teach come as close to the Savior as possible. And his Spanish is incredible for not having any pre-MTC experience. Almost every missionary I told about Elder Pigott said I would be his first companion, but I didn't believe it! It seemed to good to be true.
   Here's the crazy part of the story: we had some complications with our ride to transfers, and we got there about 40 minutes late. We got there and waited in the foyer while the Mission President and Assistants finished their comments in a meeting with all the missionaries coming, leaving, and being transferred to a new area. What you have to understand is that I still thought I was a long ways off from finding out which new missionary I would receive, which is usually the last thing they announce after training the "trainers" (the missionaries that will be companions with a new missionary) and the new missionaries.Then a missionary friend came out to the foyer to greet me during the closing hymn of the Transfer meeting and said, "Hey, I met the missionary you're going to train--he said you grew up together!" I asked how he knew it was my companion and he said, "There's only one Spanish Elder coming in." Long story short, I was the only spanish-speaking Elder that would be training, and he was the only spanish-speaking Elder in a group of over twenty new missionaries.
   And we had some crazy miracles when he got here! Yesterday a young girl from a family we visit (if you remember Ana from two or three weeks ago, it's her daughter) passed her baptismal interview and will be baptized this Sunday! Also, Nora, a woman the missionaries have been visiting since early this year, announced to us Friday night that she wants to be baptized!!!  
   Now, quick lesson about trusting impressions and revelation. About 4 weeks ago we were lost as to what to do with Nora. She felt confused and unable to decide between the church she grew up in and our church, even though she had a testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the divine calling of Joseph Smith. She told us how she had felt the Spirit as we visited with her, and had seen a positive change in her husband. As I prayed one night over what we needed to do with her, the answer came very strongly, "Drop her." "Drop" is the term we use to describe when we no longer visit a person or focus our efforts on them. Elder Fisi'iahi agreed, so the next day we told her that we would continue to stop by occasionally to visit her recently baptized husband Alfredo, but that we would not focus our lessons and visits towards helping her prepare for baptism.
     For the next few weeks we looked back and ask each other, "Why did we give up the best investigator we had?" She stopped attending church with us and reading the scriptures, and started attending her current church weekly. We wondered if we had lost her forever. We continued to see her and share messages with both her and her husband, but she didn't seem to respond very well. Then, Friday night we came by and she told us that she had been reading the Book of Mormon and that her previous confusion was waning. She said she felt more confident that this was the right path to follow, and that she wanted to be baptized.  
    The Lord's answers do not always make sense to us immediately. Think of how Joshua was instructed to conquer Jericho, or how the Lord initially guided the Brother of Jared to build boats without means of obtaining light or air (compliments to a good friend Allison Walker for pointing that one out to me). He knows the correct way, and if we will follow His promptings, even if it seems like foolishness for a time, He will, to roughly translate a Spanish hymn, "reveal His purposes with all splendor." 

Running out of time, love you and pray for each of you!  

Elder Gaughan

And here's a picture! Elder Pigott also got some sweet ones of a storm that hit Grand Prairie the other day, but then he accidentally deleted all of his pictures...
   It's hard not to slip and call him "Kyler"! Elder Pigott still just sounds weird. Haha also, we weigh exactly the same and are exactly the same height. From the same town. I'm pretty sure he could visit my old areas and impersonate me.