Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 15: Change is Good!! Life is Good!!

Hello family!!
Great to hear you are all doing well; congrats to Mackenzie and happy for Jordan with Show Choir and Northern Lights activities – Happy Birthday to them both!

How’s it going!? This week flew by and I’m surprised I’m already writing! This week had 3 main things that went on!

So first i had an exchange with Elder Duran (the guy in the pictures) which went great! Really enjoyed the time on splits with him and getting to know him better. A good example to me.

Second, we had the Worldwide Mission Broadcast and received the changes to the mission schedule including p-day and key indicators! That was welcomed for a lot of missionaries but since I’m new it’ll just be a new routine for me! I like it because it allows us missionaries to have agency and to prepare us to use that agency after the mission! It’s been great based on the fact that we can go to bed at 9 30 now and only have studies till 11! We also get two more hours of P-day which is great.

Third, the last major thing that happened this week was our exchange with the Zone Leaders! I went with Elder Child! He’s from Springville Utah and did a lot of the same things I did in high school! He’s super cool but also an English missionary!! So I got to speak English for the day and one of the things he had me do was share a scripture with a member to seek referrals! So I shared Helaman 5:12 (which was one of my goals to do through the week) and I just tied it to referrals! I really like this scripture because it’s a scripture for everyone. Build your foundation on Christ. Simple as that.

I know that this is a true principle. I went to high school with no members of the Church. It was hard because I was expected to keep such a high standard when many people within the school weren’t. I know that if I hadn’t of had this strong foundation on Christ, which my parents helped me to build, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to what I am today.

I’m so thankful for that and for the role God plays in my life. Without him I wouldn’t have met the amazing people I have, or be the person I am today. I constantly see the blessings he’s given me, my loving family, and friends. I know that through him we can truly be happy!!

I love and miss you all and am thankful for every single one of you! Hope you all have a great week!

1) Alright so the first one is a selfie of all my district getting ready to go on splits with the Elders
2) The ones after that are pictures of signal hill from the top! we ran up the hill for exercise that morning!
3) The last ones are of me and Elder Duran! One of my good district buddies from New York!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 14: Wet Wet Wet in California!

Buenos dias mi familia!! 

Good to hear from all of you this week!! This week was an interesting one! The week started with exchanges with Elder Keeler and Horton! I went with Elder Keeler in his area for the day and it was fun! Great to have a change in scenery. We did have dinner with members almost every night which was nice again! 

As you can see from the title, it rained a lot this week. Almost every single day! But the worst was yesterday (Sunday)! It POURED all day! So much that a section of Long Beach was under 30 ft of water!! We saw a guy canoeing!! CANOEING!! Well lets just say that California is not prepared for rain. EVER! It was pretty funny but we got soaked!! 

I also got Grandmas gift this week and also a card from Nana! They were both great! I enjoyed the quotes! I will read one every p-day for the next year! 

Also on Saturday, Elder Keeler and Horton got a call that they were moving apartments and had an hour to get ready! So they called us and we helped them move into their new apartment! This Sunday we also had Stake Conference which was good but only 3 families from the Spanish branch showed up so that was unfortunate!  

This week I had the opportunity to share a message with a family here in Long Beach about building our foundation on Christ. I used Helaman 5:12 and talked about how in this era, the tempations, tempests and whirlwinds, as referenced in Helaman, we have to ensure we have a strong foundation. Without that foundation, we will fall to the temptations of Satan. A strong foundation is so important and becoming more so today.

Oh and one of the young girls in the ward painted my nails (yikes!) See pic and also of our area before the storm.

I hope you're all doing well! I miss and love you all! Sorry for the lack of time next week!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 13: Elder Holland Visit - Highlight!

Buenos tardes mi familia! How are you all?? This week was one for the books! First of all, we had a dinner every day this week!!! And one was with an investigating family!! it was great!! The highlight of our week though was a surprise mission conference with Elder Holland, Elder Hallstrom and Elder Gent!! It was great! They talked a lot about how the success of our mission isn't dependent on how many baptisms we have or the less actives we make active but rather on how great of a person we become because of the mission. They stressed a lot about being good fathers and mothers! Then they talked a lot about missionary work and that we don't have the right to return from our mission and go inactive. I really liked it because he really touched on the fact that a mission is supposed to prepare us to be better people in the future and i really liked that! it was great! we all got to introduce ourselves and shake his hand! He definitely carries the spirit with him all the time! Plus he was way shorter than I expected... anyways that was really the highlight of my week! I love and miss you all! It's so great to hear about the fun times you're all having back home! I keep you all in my prayers and miss you a lot! Tenga una buena semana!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Week 12 - Much work to do - little time to email!!

Sounds like things are crazy and great and awesome!! Happy for Jordan!! And the show choir of course! I really want them to do well so Jordan can have a great experience! I know show choir really was a great experience for me and i want the same for him!! Church here is great! I really wish you guys could experience it! I love the families here and the constant love they have!

This week was pretty normal!! We had zone meeting this week though and got to meet all the new people in the zone! We also studied a lot this week just because we've been needing some help finding and teaching! We only had dinner one time these past two weeks!!! Crazy right?? So we've been starving! We finally got fed by the Souza family though which is great because they're so loving!! We love them!! But this Saturday we had a very interesting experience. It was about 8:30 at night and we were tired, ready to head home, but we decided to go visit one of investigators who isn’t progressing too much. His name is Jose. We've been stopping by for the past 4 weeks and he hasn’t been home! So we decided to drop by! Surprisingly enough, he was home! We invited him to church and he said yes! So on the way back, we ran into 3 others! We did the same thing with all three of these people and they all accepted return visits and to come to church the next day! It was amazing! But, there's always a but. The next day at church none of the 6 people who committed to going to church came. And it was really unfortunate. We were sad especially since there was a baptism after that they could've attended as well! But we'll visit them this week and try and follow up!

This week I studied a lot in PMG chapter 6 i believe, Christlike Attributes and mainly about Charity and Hope. The Book of Mormon has really helped in strengthening my testimony and helping me to realize how important it is! I love hearing about your week and everything! I hope everything is going well! This was really the highlight of the week though! Good and bad!

But I miss you all a lot and appreciate your support! Love you all and hope you all have a great week!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Week 11: Happy New Year from Cali!

Hello all!! Crazy to believe that it's 2017 already!! This week was nice! Monday before emails I forgot to say that i got a haircut and then played volleyball with the President's family for their P-Day! Tuesday was a busy day and it started with us cleaning out the rest of my companions old apartment! That took a lot of time unfortunately but after we went to go visit a less active family named the Salazars! theyre super cool and have 2 sons who are our age who both LOVE soccer! Its great! Wednesday was pretty busy as well, we had District meeting and service which took up a lot of our day and then went out with a  member Hno. Quintanilla, and tried to visit as many people as we could! it was a good night! Thursday we had weekly planning and we got leadership calls! My companion got called to District Leader and wasn't too excited about it, but accepted the challenge! We decided he needed a cheering up treat so we went to this place called Afters! Its ice cream which they squeeze into a close donut! It was amazing! Friday, Elder Urbina had leadership training so i just sat in the Mission office for about an hour waiting until he was done! After that we went to breakfast with our investigator Bessy! She took us to a Hondurian spot and we had these things called Baliadas. They're basically just tortillas with beans sour cream and chicken put in the middle and they were great! Later that night we got to set up the New Years Dance with the Souza family because they needed a lot of help! Saturday was pretty slow just because everyone was gone for New Years Eve so we tried to get in to places to talk but didnt find really any success. Sunday, the first day of the New Year, we started the day by going to church! It's always great! After the Souzas had leftover pizza from the New Years party so we went and picked it up and had it to break our fast! After dinner we went to the Salazars house again because they're a wonderful family and we really are pushing to get them active again! After that though we got transfer calls and learned that Elder Urbina and I would be staying! I was pretty happy about that! Thats really the sum of the week for me! We had some great experiences and its time to start my Black Year! (The whole year from Jan 1 to Dec 31 without seeing your family) So here we go!
Love you all and miss you all! Hope you had a great New Year and are doing well!

Elder Gilmour

Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 10: Christmas with Elder Gilmour!

It was a great Christmas!!! - One of the best for sure as we got to Skype with Elder Gilmour and to talk live with him and his companion from Long Beach. We looked forward to this day with anticipation and it exceeded our expectations.

He is doing well!! His Spanish is great and is loving the people of Long Beach, California. He sounded great; it was so good to hear his voice again - you wouldn't think that hearing his voice would have such an impact on us, but we sure do miss his personality and sense of humor in our lives. Brothers reunited - Jordan and Justin's relationship is a special one - great to see them interacting again. Our extended family were with us in Utah when we Skyped and it was the highlight of our Christmas season.

A few pictures - including a not so traditional family one.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 9: Christmas Week

Hello family! How are you all doing? It's been great to hear from all of you! I got Grandma and Grandpas letter in the mail this week and that was great! Happy to read and receive!

This week was pretty basic. Monday we got to talk to our strongest investigator Bessy, and she invited us to dinner this week so that’ll be great! She's in a difficult circumstance so were working hard with her to get her baptized here in the next month or 2! Tuesday we had a pretty slow day and didn’t teach any lessons but had dinner with a less active family and shared a spiritual thought so that was good! Wednesday we had district meeting and after i got to meet my trainers’ last and favorite companion Elder Quintana. He was super funny and really awesome! We did service also and wrote condolence letters as usual! Everyone in the office is super cool and the oldest ladies daughter is Elsa at Disneyland! Pretty cool! After we had dinner with the Quintanilla family and they’re always great to us! After dinner we went up to signal hill and did some walking and contacting up in that area and also saw the great view over LA and Long Beach! It was so cool! Thursday was an interesting day. My companion had to go to a leadership training at 9, so I basically went on exchanges with Elder Duran for the day. We taught two lessons to investigators in his area and then my companion and his companion came back!

Friday was a nice day because i got to eat out at BDUBs and In n Out and ice cream right after! It was so delicious! Saturday was cool because one of our investigators challenged us to a 4 v 4 street basketball team and we took them on and beat them! 1-0 on my career and then we had a lot of time to walk and talk to random people looking for investigators and practicing my Spanish with them! It was neat! Then we had dinner with the Sousa family who are sooooo cool! We played a card game called scum and in the game there’s a King, queen, knight, and slave and i said "I want to be the slave!" and the 13 year old said back "You can’t be the slave you’re the whitest one here!" It was so funny but it’s true about everywhere I go! Yesterday we had Spanish church and we met a RM from Peru and i hope my Spanish is as good as his after my mission because it was amazing!!! We then had lunch with the other elders! After we went out and walked and contacted and then had dinner with the Camarenas! They’re also soooo cool! Then my companion wasn’t feeling good so we went home early for him to get some rest! That’s about how my week went!

It’s crazy that Christmas is already this week! I’m so excited to share some great messages! It’s always a great time for us to share the Christmas spirit! Anyways love and miss you all and wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays!!

Elder Gilmour