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

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 9: Light of the World!

Hola mi familia! Este semana estaba muy interesante! This week was very interesting! on Monday, we balled up until around 5 then got in the door of one of investigators, Edith, and taught the restoration! they're a great family with really great potential. We talked with them throughout the week as well! Tuesday we had some crazy good ice cream called Frostbites and then got challenged to a two v two basketball game in the park! we got crushed because everyone who plays in the park are crazy good! Wednesday we had zone meeting which was new! Thursday I dropped our first investigator which is really unfortunate but she just wasn't willing at all and supposedly had been taught for months before I got here. we also got caught up in a daycare fight and a bunch of kids were throwing stuff at the teacher and they were all dropping f bombs and cussing out the teacher, so the teacher turned to us and said "Elders, get em" and we just walked away. Friday I got my package and my letter from dad which was great and then we went and cleaned out my companions last apartment which took some time! but later that night we had dinner and correlation and then went on exchanges! Saturday was my first exchange and it was a great experience! I went with Elder Cruz who is the district leader! it was so great to learn from him! also it was my first time on bikes and throughout the day we had some weird experiences! We got offered a blunt and watched some kids and their mom roll some weed! that was weird! but then later that night we had a crazy experience with a member of the light of the world church and he showed us a video of his "apostle" and was crying and praising him the whole time. But me and Elder Cruz both felt such a strong feeling in our hearts that the message was absolutely wrong. So it just goes to show that during this time of false prophets and teachings, God will always make it known what the truth is. Then Sunday, we had Spanish church and got a baptism but she lives in Mexico so we had to transfer it to her hometown missionaries! always our luck! Then we had dinner with the Camarena family and then ended our week!

Man it was a crazy week but it went by so fast! Hope everyone's doing well and enjoying the Christmas Season! May God be with you in all your doings! Love and miss you all!!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 8: Not Missing the Iowa Cold - its 70 here!!

Hola! Como estan?? This week went by fast! Starting to get down and dirty with the work! (not literally though). Anyways some highlights of the week:

Tuesday we had new missionary training and reviewed our purpose in the mission - so that was fun.

Wednesday we had our second district meeting and just summarized our efforts as a district and what we could improve on. We have 5 investigators that we're going to try to get a baptismal date for here in the next month or so! Later that day we did service! Our new mission president I guess, limited us to only 2 hours of service each week so we just do it all on one day! We go to a Hospice center and write condolence cards for families whose family members died in the hospice center! Its pretty fun because we write them in many different languages like Spanish, Cambodian and Japanese. pretty crazy. We had dinner with the Quintanilla family who has 2 sons and 1 daughter all very young! but basically had a thanksgiving dinner again! Then went out and visited a family (Manriquez) who had requested a blessing so... yes I did give my first blessing and I gave it in Spanish! It was a great opportunity and the father was very thankful!

Thursday was busy. Right away in the morning we got a call from a Brother and he said one of the elderly members in the ward had fallen and really hurt himself so... we went and gave more blessings! This time the man asked if I could do the annointing and the brother to do the blessing, so again I got to practice using Spanish with blessings! That night we had dinner with the Sousa family (coolest family ever, I already got the invite to come back after my mission:)) but we had fish tacos and yes I was nervous at the beginning but they were actually really really good. So yes Justin ate fish!!!

Friday we met two new investigators named Justin and Casia (bf and gf) and they are so cool! They speak English though so we had to hand them off to the English missionaries but the bf has crazy potential!

Saturday we had lunch at Panda Express but later that night we had a Christmas dinner with the whole branch and that was super fun!!

Sunday we had Spanish church and fast and testimony meeting so that was great! We then went back to some other missionaries' apartment and  then had a dinner with the Chavez family all together! They fed us spaghetti and beans! A great meal! And that basically wraps up my week!