Tuesday, December 29, 2015

BEST DAY EVER (for this mom...well, one of the many).....Christmas Day from Spain

Yes, those are my bed sheets, mom...
Streets at night

December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!
Holy cow I never thought this day would come. I've got just over four
months out here in España, my training is done, and I get to see my
family in T-Minus 3 hours and 30 minutes. What a great day to be
K so it's almost been two weeks since my last PDay but not a ton has
happened in that amount of time. The people are colder than the
weather here, mostly because the weather is quite nice. But I mean
Last week we had our Zone Christmas Devotional and President put Vigo
in charge of the food. We thought it would be easy but let's just say
we finished the week with one lesson taught.. Getting ready for the
devotional consumed our whole entire week. Late nights, lots of
stress, and a whole lot more of stress. But we pulled it off and it
was awesome! We made ribs, chicken, salads, French fries, sausages,
eggnog, and a whole lot more. It was an awesome day. I was also one of
the (not so)wise men for the play we did, I've got a picture of that
for y'all. I helped one of the Senior Couples take some Elders to the
bus station afterwards and we almost ended up in Portugal after so
that would have been fun since President was waiting for us back at
the restaurant.
The members here have been treating us awesome this Christmas. I think
we are with four different families yesterday, and we have some more
today. I'll be needing to hit my morning workouts extra hard to make
up for all the rice pudding we've had too... Last night we slept over
with the other Elders here and lit a ton of candles and put them in a
circle, then read Luke 2 and basically had a two hour long testimony
meeting about everything. It was amazing and the Spirit was really
strong. This morning I woke up and made them all French toast! It was
actually really really good. I made this Cinnamon Syrup stuff and did
some experimenting and although it was more of a frosting than syrup,
it was really good #wifemeup #homemaker
We haven't met with our investigator in the past two weeks, we can't
get ahold of him so it's really sad...but we'll see him soon
hopefullyGrinning face with smiling eyes we got two member referrals this week, which is two more
than we have gotten in the past 12 weeks...so that was awesome. We
taught one of them The Restoration and the Spirit was incredibly
strong. His two sons, 11&8, bore incredible testimonies!  The other referral we
actually met with THREE times yesterdayFace with tears of joy in the morning we showed up
at our District Presidents house to make cookies with the YSA (4 girls
actually) and she was there so we used it as an ice breaker. We went
to her house three hours later so her mom could teach us how to make
Peruvian food, then an hour after that she had dinner with us with a
different family. So we shall see where this goes with her! She loves
doing things with the YSA so that's awesome.

K spiritual thought.
This Christmas we've decided to challenge people to give a gift to
Jesus Christ. Because birthdays are a time of giving to the person
whom we're celebrating (even though his birth was in the month of our
Dear Lord (like mine) of April). As I've pondered what gift I
personally want to give Him, I came across quite a few choices. I
noticed a trend of topics in conference about being Disciples of
Christ, and also keeping his commandments. What better gift could we
give him then to be obedient to the things he's asked of us? Many
people think commandments are there to restrict, or think one of them
is so small that it doesn't hurt to not follow it. Well when you break
even the smallest commandment, you move closer to Satan. You may not
even realize it until you're already on the slippery slope. Samuel
Johnson said "The chainz of habit are too small to be felt, until they
are too strong to be broken." RT of the week. We can't afford to fall
into bad habits. "Eat, drink, and be merry. For tomorrow we die" is
the attitude of some. Have fun now, break the commandments, then
repent at the last day, because God is merciful and will forgive you.
But we should Keep the Commandments, constantly repent, and strive to
do good. Why? Well...because tomorrow we die. Carole M. Stephens said
"His laws are a manifestation of His love for us and obedience to His
laws is an expression of our love for Him." We show love and
appreciation to him by obeying his rules. "If ye love me, keep my
commandments." It's not complicated. If you keep falling back into the
same transgressions, go read the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehites
starting in Alma 23. Once they were murderers and did very bad things,
but through repentance and love for God, they turned into some of the
best examples I can think of. Literally they buried their weapons in
the earth just to refrain from being tempted to use them. We all
should "bury our weapons" per se, and avoid and not do anything to
rekindle those things again. I prooooooommiiissseee you all that
commandments are not to hold us back, but following them will bring us
more happiness and joy than we would have had if we broke them, and
more than we could possibly imagine. President Monson said "May we
realize that our greatest happiness in this life will come as we
follow God’s commandments and obey His laws!" Just Trust in God and in
His timing especially. Jesus gave us The Atonement, and we should not
let it go to waste. Use the Atonement every day.
Y'all are the best and I hope you remember the reason why Christmas is
a thing! Be safe traveling, it's better to be late than to never make
it at all. Much love!

Living in a White-less Wonderland
Elder Gearig

Christmas in Spain>>Christmas in Florida

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

....one of my favorite quotes, President Eyring said "If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill. The Lord is anxious to lead you to the safety of higher ground."

Hey everyone! Well I hope you are all enjoying the Holidays from
wherever you are.
I don't know if finals are still happening but if they are then good
luck to everyone with that lol.
So since I won't be emailing next Monday I gotta cover a lot of
things! I'll email Christmas morning though so no worries. But happy
birthday to Meleah on the 16th and my brother William on the 24th!
What a neat time of the year.
K so my week has been pretty simple. Not a ton happened but Saturday
was an awesome day. We started it off with some service. We demolished
these wardrobes and threw them in the street (how you get rid of them
here) and it was awesome. We ended the day with more service! This
time instead of demolishing wardrobes, we built them! The other Elders
here found this less active family who needed help with them and
luckily we were on our way to their street for an appointment anyways
so it turned out perfect. We could help for like twenty minutes before
our lesson though, but they cancelled on us at the last second so we
could keep helping. It was great. The family made us this chicken and
fries and it was to die for. Elder Howard had me help him with the
last wardrobe while our companions shared the message. We thought it'd
take like 15 minutes since we had already built one before, but we
opened it and it was completely different. Started it at 8:25,
finished at 10:15(curfew is 10 here). So we were really late but we
had the district leader and zone leader with us so we ended up being
fine. But all in all it was a really great day. It was awesome to be
able to feel the Spirit of Christmas through service.
Also that day was the Vigo annual motorcycle parade, where everyone
who owns one dresses up as Santa clause and cruises the streets. I'll
post a video, it was pretty cool. It never ended too, it was 5ever
long. So yeah, great day.

Yesterday we went carroling with the YSA here. We visited this rest home where a member was and sang a bunch of songs and brought
the tears rolling out of those old people's eyes. Lol we invited this
random woman to be in our picture and she was so touched! Hahah she
was ecstatic. After she tried following us home because she didn't
like the rest home lol. It was amazing. We visited another member
who travels a long way to get to church every Sunday and she was
bawling the moment she saw us. Also really strong spirit. The best way
to spread Christmas cheer is how? Singing loud for all to hear!
(@alyssamecham) I testify that that is true.
That's about it for my week! Here's my spiritual thought.
So I've been studying Elder Dallin H. Oaks' talk "Strengthened by the
Atonement." And these are my thoughts about some things he said.
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord
deliverereth them out of all."-Psalm 34:19. This reminded me of one of
my favorite quotes, President Eyring said "If you are on the right
path, it will always be uphill. The Lord is anxious to lead you to the
safety of higher ground." We all have afflictions, sufferings,
temptations, tests, etc., but D&C 121:7-8 teaches that if we Endure
them well, we shall be exalted on high and triumph over our foes.
Think of Ammon while he was preaching to the Nephites and he said when
they were about to turn back and the Lord said to go among the
Lamanites and bear afflictions with patience and they would be given
success. So that's what they did and the fruits of their labors were
great. Sometimes the Lord heals an infirmity...but sometimes, in my
opinion more times than not, He gives us the strength and patience to
endure our infirmities. He has descended below all things and is the
only person who knows exactly what we are going through and He wants
to help us so badly because He knows what we need. But we need to do
so willingly and humbly. James 4:10 "Humble yourselves in the sight of
the Lord, and he shall lift you up." After which, these weak things in
our lives are turned into strong points, as Ether 12:27 teaches. (I'm
kind of just bouncing from scripture to scripture now as they pop in
my head, sorry) There's a reason, as missionaries, we ask members who
have had similar trials which they overcame to help us in lessons with
someone suffering similar things. They know what it's like to humble
themselves, and now this thing is so strong in their lives that they
can help others overcome it through Christ as well. But ultimately it
comes down to if we are willing to ask Him. More importantly, if we
are willing to sacrifice our will for His, and act in faith. This was
a lot longer than I anticipated, but I hope somebody got something out
of it.
I know that the Atonement was the single greatest event in the
history of the world. I learn something new every time I study it and
I know we can't even comprehend what actually happened. But as we
strive to know more, we will be strengthened by Christ and have a
deeper testimony of this stunningly accomplished task. During this
Christmas season, I challenge you all to study something about Christ
and get to know Him a little bit better. I promise you'll feel His
love for you as you do so. You will feel something special as you seek
the Spirit of Christmas.
Much love and I'll talk to you on Christmas!

White-less winter, still a Feliz Navidad nonetheless.
Elder Gearig

Ugly sweaters

Monday, December 7, 2015

Still in Vigo....

Heyyyyy hope you're all enjoying the snow or whatever is dropping from
the sky. When we got here we were told it would rain a ton but it
hasn't...until we bring it up then it randomly pours and we get
drenched lol.
Alright about my week! So I was with the greenie this week because our
companions were in Madrid. Holy cow, I'm so glad I'm not training, my
patience was soooooo thin. First thing I did when I got my comp back
was apologize for being difficult and he told me I acted like I
already had 1 year under my belt and wasn't even bad so that's cool.
Speaking of which, I'm staying with Elder Jones in Vigo! I'm his first
companion he's had longer than two transfers! We're really really
So the greenie and I taught a lesson Tuesday to an investigator of
mine, then his investigator randomly showed up so we taught them about
The Plan of Salvation. 
We talked to this lady on the bus and had a nice conversation then she
got off and we said bye. We got off the next stop and walked to an
appointment which fell through which wasn't anything new. When this
happens we turn around and contact the first person we see because we
figure it failed for a reason. Guess who it was? The lady from the
bus! It was super cool and we got her number and she was a sweetheart.
But she doesn't want anything to do with us which wasn't surprising.
Oh well.
What else... Let's see. We talked about emergency plans on Thursday
with the zone and we all got really scared because we talked about
what to do if your comp dies.. Terrifying stuff.
I can't remember hardly anything else about the week... But we hit up
the main square here with all the Christmas stuff and it was awesome.
It felt like temple square and they were playing the same songs as
when Meleah, Kelsey, TWelch and McKayla took me, Austin, Taylor, and
Emmett to temple square on a scavenger hunt so that was exciting.
Pictures to follow.
So I studied a lot about eternal families and temple work this week,
as well as service. It brings so much comfort knowing what happens to
our loved ones after death. Reminded me of he talk from conference
from President Eyring and I got this part from it
Finally, Dad said quietly, “A little girl has gone home.”
He shed no tears. That was because the Holy Ghost had long before
given him a clear picture of who she was, where she came from, what
she had become, and where she was going. The Spirit had testified to
him many times of a loving Heavenly Father, of a Savior who had broken
the power of death, and of the reality of the temple sealing he shared
with his wife and family. The Spirit had long before assured him that
her goodness and faith had qualified her for the return to a heavenly
home where she would be remembered as a wonderful child of promise and
be welcomed home with honor. For my dad, that was more than a hope.
The Holy Ghost had made it a reality for him.
We know what happens because of the Holy Ghost and I'm ever so
grateful to have Him in my life. We also need to have Charity because
without charity, we are nothing.-1 Corinthians 13:2
Verse 13 says it's more important than faith and hope so take that for
what it's worth.
Also a friend told me that if you smile, everything else is much
easier and I tried it more this week, and it's true! So smile people!
Until next week.
White-less winter
Elder Gearig