Monday, September 28, 2009

Last Week Sept 29, 2009

Hey Family,

Sorry this letter isn't too fun or exciting.
I'm amazed at how fast the Holy Ghost was able to each me Tagalog

So information about flight stuff, I got cleared today to leave...I went in Tuesday and told him I felt fine and told me to wait till monday so that means they haven't talked to travel yet. I went in there early morning and they are getting things settled I should know when I'm leaving sometime tonight. I don't really know why they had me wait, but I know not save the Lord commands, thats the kind of attitude you must have on a mission..and humility and that's a tought one. However, I am hopeful, faithful, and true. This week has had a lot of great events. So this last week basically I had a lot of 1 on 1 time with Brother Hyde who is a teacher but didn't have a class so we just taught a lot this week and street contacted other missionaries in Tagalog, and I can say that it is becoming easier and easier. I begin to feel the Spirit in Tagalog and I can usually say whatever I want...If I can't I'll have a companion! Haven't really got any mail this week, As in I don't know if you sent it or if my "New District Leader" hasn't given it to me. He's a bit frustrating and we got into an argument. However, I've been nicer to him and we get a long better I just cannot "mesh" with his personality..which is self-righteous. I got placed into a district with a lot of obedience problems so that has been fun(sarcasm). It's truly interesting and I know the Lord wants me to learn how to stand up and say things to people when it's wrong...however I'm not too good at that.
My new companion for 1 week was Elder Derosia, I really started liking him we get a long well and he tries to work hard, but his companions (he was in a threesome) were horrible and would sleep during study time and really are wasting their mtc time. Other than that I'm really just anxious and anxious to leave..Here comes that Patience thing again...d' ba? or right? It was truly a blessing to be here for another week, but it's time to go! The days almost here and I will be ready to serve and teach, I'm pretty fired up but I need to try my best to stay diligent here it's tough! I hope you guys have been doing I said before haven't really heard from you on a ccount of my mailbox being moved from 264--->314 probably because I guess they throw Dear Elders away when the Elder "isn't here" I've already got into a few conversations with the mailstaff and they aren't happy people. Patience Patience Patience Patience, Humility, and Pride I've learned this week. Oh and a TON of Tagalog. But's it's been good to me. I don't really know whatelse to say I'll probably be calling you tonight or tomorrow to let you know when I am leaving for sure so expect one soon until then I'll relay a story about the RC.

It was about a lady named Nicole, she had been chatting with me for a few minutes and then wanted to talk on the phone to explain her problem. So I went downstairs to the calling center. It was a really good experience, I taught a lesson in 3rd Nephi--Which is when Christ appeared to the first time to the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. It was a powerful lesson and I could truly feel the happiness that this lady radianted when she spoke about her testimony of the Gospel. I bore testimony to her and asked her if she would be baptized. And In fact she was already planning on it! It was a very spiritual, and the Respect she had for me was a little strange, I suppose I don't quite understand the influence I have when I teach with the Holy Ghost. But after this weeks trials and frustrations I'm looking toward the future in faith and hope, in a matter of hours I should be in the Philippines or on my way, I have an amazing family, great and numerous friends, I hold the keys to preach the gospel and administer ordinances of salvation, got out of the temple a few hours ago, and I am apart of the Lords church.

Congratulations Zach on your Football game! and thank you for the dedication however I don't deserve it! Next game dedicate it to Curt he has been to every single game and practice! But love you Lil' Bro and miss you good job! Mom keeps me updated on all your games! Tiffany hope you're doing well in school. Jessica I meant to right you last week however had no time because I had to move rooms and I have to go pack after this! Sometime sOON! Mom hope your feeling better, I have been praying for you. Curt hope your still happy and making bad jokes ;)

Mahal Ko Kayo!--Talaga!

Elder Gonzalez

Something Interesting,
Isaiah 11
speaks about before the 2nd coming of the Lord, he will send his people to teach those in the Isles of the Sea and gather the tribes of Israel for one last time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

September 21, 2009


Kumusta po Kayo? I miss you badly. This week has been trying... however, it's also been interesting and a good experience. I guess I'll start off 4 days ago. When I got called down to the President's office he told me that I would not be leaving with my District this week but would be staying behind on account of my foot, at the time I had been walking on it for 2-3 days, and there is virtually no pain. This was at first really upsetting and I was really mad, I thought I'm going to miss my districts farewell I love these people, It's going to be so lonely blah blah blah. I was mad for about a half an hour. Then I felt an impression that sad this: Who was with you when you joined the Church? I was Who was with you when you studied those nights and truely asked me for faith? I was and Who will be with you when we fly to the Phillippines and through out your mission? I will be.

Then a Hymn came into mind :How Firm a Foundation: which says which I'm sure I quoted her before

Fear Not I am with thee oh be not dismayed.
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen, Help thee, and cause thee to stand.
Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand.

and then I felt peace and order, I still don't know exactly why I'm here but I kind see that it's a blessing from God. I have another week to study the language or maybe help the district that is struggling here. I'm really thankful that I got to call you it was nice to hear your voice, and the letter was great.

Something I realized this week: People can say they believe in God and have all faith and would do anything for him, but I noticed this week especially with myself, when the times does come when a tribulation or infirminity comes along, it really lets you know where you are at. Are you on the line pushing back to hold that faith you so dearly love, or are you in the stands buying popcorn. I'm glad I had this experience at first I was really troubled as to why God would have this happen to me, but I'm thankful he reasurred me in that hour that I needed let me know that he still loves me. I was a little bit ashamed for a day or so I walked around with a temper and just overall sadness, that really put me in place. I don't like or have the faith to Suffer the Will of the Father, and now I know I need to. I need to face whatever comes to me and look toward the horizon and know that God is there. It's sadden me that it's true but I also rejoice because now I can fix this problem, pray for faith and diligence in this work that it so dearly needs. One thing I am greatful for is that there is a God who's arm is extended to anyone who will lift up and grab it, it's available to all. The best decision I have made in my life was to open my eyes and see it, and that was because of great friends and loving neighbors. And I was able to see it because I was raised in a wonderful home with extradinary parents and siblings! So thanks again!!! It's so great to here about Zach's games and how well he is doing it's amazing! It's good to hear about Tiffany and how well she is doing. I hope jess is doing well with her new job and Jason I'm going to try and write them today. I hope nanny and papa, Curt and dad, and you are great as well. You sound to have had a pretty tough week at work, I hope the world is treating you well.

Oh! I forgot to mention Elder Holland<-- another apostles came and spoke to us, he is one of my favorites, incredible intelligent man. He is so enthusiastic about missionary work and loves every single one of us he really pumped me up for my mission he said he has thought about his mission everyday for the past 49 years, and every good thing that is in his life is a result of it. I hope that I may serve and learn to love the people, forget my culture, and self and serve unselfishly to have that same experience. although the MTC experience is coming to an end these are days never to be forgotten. I've grown so close to my district, God, and even though we are far away family. I'm sorry for not always being around I realized the important of family here, and I cannot wait to see you again.

I'm not worried about Tagalog, I have a lot of studying time this week. This week I think is just really for self reflection and studying Christ life. I have 100pages left in the New Testament and I already finished the Book of Mormon. I think I'm just going to read over the book of Job and see his strength and faith and then read about Christ... I believe that's what this dark and sad world needs hope in something that is eternal and loving, opposed to temporal satisfactiorial things. and even if they don't listen to my message or slam the door in my face I'm just going to try to have the attitude and countenance of Christ so that the Love of God for his people will be shown through me and that maybe my smile can bring happiness to one person.---Sorry for this Rant, it's how I feel though.

I'm overly excited to get to the Philippines, I want to help those people badly and I want to lose my culture so that I can "Makisama" and so that they may know I speak words of Truth and Eternal Life. Everything that brings me hope in my life is my family and God himself. That is why I am here, that is my purpose, that is my eternal identity.

Wish me luck and keep up with the letters I truly love them they inspire me and help me through out the day. I'm changing districts so when you dear elder just put my name Elder Gonzalez Philippines and they will find me, I'll write you later this week to let you know my address.

Wish me luck, I pray for you nightly and love you.

It's time for me to make my clap that will sound throughout all eternity and serve and love so that those people who see me will know that I stand with the Lord, that I am his servent, and I will be his servent forever. And If I happen to die there it will be a testament to Heaven that I will stand with the Lord forever and held nothing back.

With all my love and wishes
Your Son,

Elder Gonzalez

Monday, September 14, 2009

September 14th

Thanks for the update about Zach and the games. I'm really proud of him for not given in to peer pressure he is a heck of a kid. Yeah it seems as soon as you hit high schools its cool to smoke and drink now, and I've seen some of my friends ruin their lives because of it, even some people here in my district used to be in the garbage and it's the thing they regret the most. So Zach I'm proud of you man "Piling Ang Tama" or choose the right ahha Love you and have a good birthday this week, what are you getting for your birthday?
This week has been very good to me. An experience happened this week that I don't really have time to explain but basically Tuesday we see if my companion has to go home for 6 months to be put on medication or if he can go to the Phillipines with us. It was a really sad night, Brother Leslie and I gave him a priesthood blessing and I knew then that I had always loved my companion and it hurt me to see him troubled. Weird huh? He is suffering from OCD-like depression. me and Brother Leslie had a teary conversation about it. I guess it was good for me because I learned never to forsake my companion but truly see if he is alright, I don't know theres more tothe story but for sake of time.

Other than that I got my flight plans and I will be able to call you from SLC or LAX. so expect a call around 7:35-10pm? I'm most likely going to call from LAX.

21st of September
Our flight leaves SLC at like 835 or something
We get to LAX at 9-10 4 hour delay here (I'll be able to place some BoM woooo!)
Our flight to Taiwan is like 1:50
we have a 3 hour delay in Taiwan
Then I'll arrive in Manila and meet my mission president at 11:40am at the airport.

then a 2 hour busride to San Pablo. and I should be working around 4:00pm in my new area! weird huh?

---My whole District is flying on the same plan together so we are together till Manila then we go our separate ways it's so great!

It's amazing how fast the MTC has gone by and how much I've changed I guess. I don't really feel it to much, but my district leader says so. I've learned a lot here pertaining to my place and identity in the world. And yeah it's been hard, VERY HARD i've been frustrated, sad, i've cried tears of joy and pain but it's the best thing to ever happen to me. I'm trying to think if anything really exciting has happened this week and I can't really think. We had a Teacher Appointment and we taught lesson 2 in Tagalog and I basically could follow the whole conversation so that made me feel really good and confident, I'm exciting to call you guys again and hear Jax since he has YET to write me!I'm actually becoming sad that I'm leaving the MTC, but I'm anxious to get out into the field. I love everyone in my district and the spirit that is here, but It's "time to get out of the desert and into the Sun, Even if it's alone" I've been taking a TON of pictures for you at the MTC and I'll make another CD this week and send them to you.

I was very happy to recieve a dear elder from Nana and Papa I'm going to try and write them back this week it's just really hard please understand, I've personally stepped it up this week to review basically everything we've learned....and ITS A LOT. So my days are packed and the only time I really have to write is Monday and that's once a week. So next week I'll write and remind you of my intinarary?

I love you guys so much and miss you terribly, I love you Zach, Jessica, Tiffany, Mom, Curt, Dad, Jason, Nana, Papa, Aunt Saundy--speaking of which I never recieved her letters with the kids in her sunday school class? not sure but who knows. and I love anyone else who read these things, I honestly pray for my friends and family everynight.

Mahal Kita,

Elder Gonzalez

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Monday September 7th

Written by Debbie: For those of you who are not aware, there was a 47 year old man, who ended his life on Wednesday evening here in Awatukee. He hung himself in a tree right by a grade school.
My friend was arriving officer and had given me the information that day and warned me to stay off Pecos Road that day because of the ongoing investigation, his physical body was there until late morning and the site was horrendous.
I was writing Josh an email at the time and asked Josh to pray for him and his family, as he is/was married with 3 children and a wife with mental issues..
I was later given the man's name and information and am selfishly relieved it was not anyone we knew personally.

Letter from Josh:

Hey Family,

I hope everything is going well for you this labor day. We don't get to go to the Temple this morning :( so that's why I am emailing so early. I just got some of your email's again about the note, could you send the whole thing to me while i'm here. I honestly have no idea who that is and that doesn't even sound like me, but my God am I greatful that he could work through me and touch that persons life. This week has been relatively good, I was a bit upset last week when I fired off the email about my companion Elder Saunders. Well much hasn't changed with that haha but he seems to just lose his sense and reason to be a missionary. For example we had scheduled a TE where we were to teach in Tagalog. And instead he wanted to cancel it and just sit in the room so we did that. Then on Sunday during the 4hours we had to study, he just sat there. It's very frustrating to me when I see people waste the Lord's time. It's like GET OVER YOURSELF! you aren't here for you! You know what I mean?

Well we had an amazing lesson by Brother Leslie, I honestly love him he has helped me so much in my Tagalog study and I really learned my purpose as a missionary and learned so much about the gospel through him.

So I'll explain, I was really frustrated in class becuase I was annoyed with the language that day and this week was tought stressed filled, but however. Elder Leblanc (French Canadian) and Elder Simmons were singing a church hymn like really loud in the middle of class when our new teacher Sister Rather was writing on the chalk board so I was like "Elder Leblanc Huwag! which means stop in tagalog and i was like why are you singing that's just distracting" and then he lossed it and like through his books on the floor stormed out of the classroom and punched the door. Everyone was super confused. He came back and Sister hawkes the District Coordinater over the Tagalog branches was like "Can I talk to you Elder Leblanc" and he refused to leave the room and then yelled at her and it was an awkward mess. At any rate he later calmed down and I apologized and he said no it really wasn't me he just builds up anger. So later that night in Brother Leslie's class. He told us to all write down our frustrations on posted notes and put them on the chalk board he then would read them aloud and we would try and find the reason for these frustrations. It was such a stress reliever.

Then I realized I missed the point of a mission completely. I got so stressed out in the language and with my companion, and my district that I forgot to be happy I forgot to enjoy myself so after that day It's been so wonderful in the MTC--I think John 16:22 Jesus says "In the world you will have afflictions, but be of good cheer, because I overcame the world"

I absolutely LOVE being a missionary and working day and night. I cannot wait for 2 more weeks to be in the Philippines serving Heavenly Father's children. I just hope that I can live up to his expectation but I know through him and my faith I'll be able to truly love those I serve like I do my family.

by the way another miracle happened this week! BYU beat Oklahoma 14-13 haha! It's been the talk of the town in Provo infact my Branch President skipped Mission Conference and meeting the New Missionaries because he flew to Oklahoma for a "Culteral Event" hahaha

I got your letter this week and your package however the package I can't get till tuesday because everything is closed and I forgot to pick it up on friday I hope everything isn't gross when I get it!!

I read your letter about the man who hung himself, I think that's so incredibly disturbing and sad. Have you guys found out who it is yet? I hope that it's no one we know and I pray for the family, that's such a selfish decision that has eternal consequences.

By the way I never thanked you for your Tagalog letter haha you said it took you hours to write? That's amazing!! you're crazy mom!! Umm I understood a little of it. Haha let me try and explain Tagalog in a few paragraphs.

So basically the layout of sentances is Verb Actor Object Location/Recipiant (so it's Yoda talk)
You have to mark every verb,actor,object,location,recipiant with a ANG NG or SA marker and there are 6 markers for each for different people. for example the ang set is Ako-1st person me, Ka-you but in the sentence. Ekaw-you if it's in the begining of a sentence, Sila-Him/Her,Kami-Us EXCLUSIVE,Tayo-Us INCLUSIVE,Kayo-You plural or you use it when you want to speak with respect to someone(you also use PO in every sentence when you are being respectful) and Sila-them

The really cool thing I like about Tagalog is that it's a root based languange that basically means that every word is made up of some kind of root, and you add on prefixxes and suffixs so change it to a noun,verb,adjective for example

Buhay means Life
Mabuhay means full of life/or live long
makabuhay- means ability to live
mabubuhay means able to live in the future?

and the list goes on and on! it's kind of fun though because you can make up words that make sense? haha I don't know I'm kind of nerding out!

anyway my foot is okay, it should be 2 weeks or something I go back to the Dr. everyweek until I leave, I wrote a letter better explaining it so that you will understand.

I love you guys so much and miss you! I hope everyone is doing well! I want to hear from you all this week! and I will try and respond we are just SUPER busy!

oh and tiffany starting a club that's hilarious! But i know she can do it!


Elder Gonzalez

ps. one of my favorite hymns right now

Brightly beam our fathers mercy, from his light house evermore
but to us he gives the keeping of the lights along the shore
let the lower lights be burning send a gleam across the wave
some poor fainting struggling seaman, you may rescue you may save

I pray to God that I can rescue the struggle seaman, I met the Elder you were emailing he's a great kid! I write more in letters I had NO TIME! Because i had to read some other emails I love you all very much and pray for you daily.

Give Zach a break he's just going through the motions of being in High SChool and thank him for sending a card, I'll be sure to send one back!