Tuesday, January 26, 2016

P-day hiking to some lighthouses

Literally this was the fastest week of my life. Such a blur. And just know this is kind of long but I believe it's worth the read. 

K my week.  We had that worldwide missionary conference Wednesday which was amazing! Literally like a general conference for missionaries and my mind was being blown off left and right, taking some spiritual sucker punches here and there, and just buoying being a missionary.

1) First miracle is having Elder Reese in the same district as me. Y'all don't know this but he was my MTC comp. he played football for LP and we've played against each other a couple times. But Elder Reese and I talked about it (the conference) for the hour and a half bus ride back to Vigo. I just want to publicly give him a shout out because we had no clue who each other were before the mission and now he's already one of my best friends and will be AP one day and is a stud. Glad to have him so close to me out here. 

2)Thursday Elder Jones and I found 4 people on the street! FOUR! It was a miracle! Hahah we've never found that many people in a day before and the best part is, they all gave us real phone numbers! It was literally a miracle. We found 8 references this week which is another miracle in itself. Patience pays off my friends. But we only taught 2 lessons the whole week which surprisingly isn't the lowest we have. 

3)we were in a little grocery store and I was looking at the wall mural which I've seen 10 times and studied it out. I've never said anything about it though but randomly I blurt something out in English about it and the guy in front of us starts talking to us in English. I think the Holy Ghost made me say something because if I didn't, that guy wouldn't have known we spoke English and we wouldn't have talked to him for 30 minutes and set up a lesson with him this week. He's from Peru and his fam lives in Texas but he's here. He loves Americans and wants to feed us so I'm not complaining 🤓 

Lol that same day we were talking to people and I was scanning the street and saw a group of six girls and did a double take because they screamed "typical white girl" from the states. So being the shy guy I am i go up and I start talking to them. They're all like 22 here for school and were really friendly! Some had been here for 5 months (like me) so I start talking to Spanish in them and they had no idea what I said. Lol I felt so bad because I embarrassed them in front of everyone there. The Gift of Tongues is real people. But like I said, they were really friendly. A little too friendly if you know what I mean, so we took a selfie and left their presence.
Our American friends. (Elder Jones didn't want a picture apparently, he's over my shoulder lol)

4) Yesterday all of our non-active families came to church again! It was awesome and they have come 3/4 Sunday's this month! I love seeing them come and it brings me so much joy. The chapel was overflowing which wouldn't be a problem in Utah, but it was here. It was awesome because when we first got here it got maybe half full. So we really enjoy working with the members. Miracles!

Right before Christ appears to the Nephites, all the signs from the former Prophets take place. Every prophecy was fulfilled. The people were terrified and eventually didn't make a single sound for a few days because of their astonishment. Christ says to them before His appearance in 3 Nephi 10:4, "how oft HAVE I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you." Then again in verse 5, "how oft WOULD I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings." Later in v.5, "how oft WOULD I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not." And verse 6, "how oft WILL I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart." A hen puts her life on the line to protect her chicks, and when danger is there she spreads her wings and covers her chicks to protect them. Christ is telling us He will do the same thing for us! Idk bout you but that's pretty comforting to me. Look at the words in caps now. Have I, would I, and will I. He HAS protected us before, he WOULD HAVE protected us IF we would have let him, and HE WILL continue to do so. We just have to let Him and do what he asks of us. The Gospel is simple. 

Quote of the week, "Life is tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid." -John Wayne. 

My miracles were probably different than what you assumed. But Miracles are all around us my friends, sometimes we just need to look at them from a different angle to realize what we are being blessed with. 

(Spiritually) Waaaay up I feel blessed, 
Elder Gearig

A beach with literally no sand. It was 100% seashells. Really cool if you have shoes on. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

5 months older and wiser too.....

Happy 5 months to me! Crazy how time is flying. 
Happy birthday tomorrow to Meagan and Wednesday to Jordan my little brother! The big 13, officially a teenager. Crazy kid. And still waiting on Bella's call so that'll be exciting this week. 

Well this week was about the same as any other week lol. Every lesson failing and nobody talking to us, not as much rain though so that's good! My dad said something about a hurricane so that would make sense why my shoes are still soaked. 
Anyways, the good stuff. We've really been focusing on finding all the less active members in our area and we've had success there! There's this 75 year old woman I've been trying to get an appointment set up with since my second week here, and we got one Saturday morning! She made us a four course Spanish meal though lol. No Bueno because we had a lunch appointment with my favorite member right after and she usually fills us up so I didn't know how we would explain to her why we couldn't eat. But luckily she loves me so I could sweet talk my way out of it lol! Hahah nah I still ate all her stuff though it was still good. Just don't ask me how much I weigh.....

Elder Jones and I took a bus like two stops past where we should have so we had to walk quite a ways to get to where we were going, and we were in the middle of nowhere. Literally. We saw one person ahead of us so we got closer and started talking to her. It was super cool! We talked for like 20 minutes and was like the perfect little miracle finding situation you always hear of! Then she randomly walked away lol. Almost had her. 

We visited this 90 year old Peruvian and she begs us to come over every time we see her so we did and she shared her conversion story and started crying and it was tender. Cute woman. 

Helped a member move some couches 5-ever away hahah it was really fun though. Picture four elders with sofas and recliners over their heads trying to dodge taxis and the Spaniards in the streets. It was hilarious hahah. The easiest way to carry them was upside down on top of our heads so we literally couldn't see a thing and were using me as the leader to not lead us into the ocean. Fun experience. 

 K spiritual thought:
"Nephite Pride Cycle." You may be familiar with it, you may not. But it is impooortant. How they go from being at the top, to the bottom, to the top again, then back to the bottom. When Moroni and Helaman were their go-to-guys everything was going good. Heck, it was going great! They counseled with the Lord and made the right decisions for the people every time. The Lamanites couldn't touch them. After so much success though, the members of the church got too prideful. The prophecies of Mosiah and Alma become fulfilled as the members dissent from the church and seek after worldly things. The moment they come back and repent, they prosper again. Seems pretty obvious what they should do right? Guess not.. Because not too long after, thanks to preaching from Helaman, the Lamanites become stronger than the Nephites now. Now, today, only Lamanites are on the earth, the Nephites are goneeeeee. Oh how the turntables have....turned..
I've noticed that the people become strong in repentance and remembering God ONLY when it's convenient for them. When they're rich and prospering they don't thank God and try succeeding on their own, then God takes it away from them. Causes wars and a famine among them, and right before they die, boom! They magically remember their God once more. They repent and start succeeding again until the same thing starts happening. They rely on themselves until God has to humble them. Happens every time. So please don't rely on God only when it's convenient, rely on Him ALWAYS! Give thanks in ALL things, no matter how small. Here's a quote I love. "It is possible to return! It is possible for those who have ceased to pray to pray again. It is possible for those who are lost to find their way through the dark and come home. And when they do, they will know, as I know, that the Lord is more concerned with what a man is than with what he was, and with where he is than with where he has been." -Elder F. Burton Howard. 
Reminds me of Chayden's farewell talk when he said something like "God doesn't care about who we were, he cares about where we are now." 
So there you have it, don't be prideful, be humble! Thank God over everything and work to be better every day! 

"Gods got your back. Satan does too...but with a knife."-Elder Gearig (me) and my RT of the week (if you could RT yourself..) 

I saw the rains north of Africa, 
Elder Gearig

Monday, January 11, 2016

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plains...

Even the statues don't listen....
Happy day to everybody. Happy happy happy. 
Yay for @bellahousel for getting her mission call next week. She's the realest
Well this week has been awesome!
First of all it has been raining out.of.control here. Like I don't know how to express to y'all how much rain has been dropped from the heavens on us. Vigo was on the news the other day because everything here flooded, including the whole soccer stadium in like four feet of water (it's a big stadium). Half of Pontevedra flooded and the rest of Galicia as well. Nonstop for two weeks straight. I kid you not. I just don't even know what more to say. The rain in Spain most definitely does not stay in the plains. It stays in my shoes and clothes for two weeks Straight. From the time we leave in the morning to getting home at night we're soaked. I found out I'm not a good umbrella buyer cause I've gone through four already lol. Thanks dad for the trench coat, it's getting put to great use.
Monday night we visited a couple less active teenagers brothers and shared an awesome message with them then talked video games and COD for an hour. Luckily Elder Jones knew a lot because I sure didn't. But they really opened up to us so that was awesome. Video games do help I guess (we didn't play them, don't worry)
Tuesday was splendid. We visited this family across the bay that came to a ward activity last week. We taught them The Restoration and I've never felt the spirit so strong in my life. Everything went according to plan for the first time in my mission and we said exactly what we needed to say to allow the Holy Ghost to touch their hearts. Aaaaaaand we committed the mother and son to baptism! We walked them to the dentist right after and made plans to come back later in the week when the father would be home! Then we left. BUT! They haven't answered our calls and won't answer anything so we kind of got curved again. So it is in Spain I guess... Super sad but I've been praying harder than ever before for this awesome family to let us come back. 
So Sunday we had a lot of less actives in church that we've been teaching(: we were SO happy. We've reactivated two families and are working on some more! Seriously the joy that we felt yesterday when they all walked in was greater than having an investigator in church. Reactivating is not as easy as I thought hahah.
It was my turn to teach Ward Family Home Evening on Wednesday so I shared the video "The Hope of Gods Light." (PLEASE PLEASE GO WATCH IT.) Then I asked everyone some questions about prayers and receiving answers. Some people got really in to it and it ended up being a super spiritual night. I know God answers prayers. Always. In His time, and according to our faith and willingness to act upon receiving answers. If we aren't reading and going to church though, we won't receive an answer for awhile (most likely). So if you pray and feel like you need an answer, open up those things called scriptures and start reading! 2 Nephi 32:3: 3 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. Feast upon His words my friends and you'll be guided to where you need to be! Here's a quote that's one of my favorites and is very applicable in all our lives. 
"I thank God for protecting me from what I thought I wanted, and blessing me with what I didn't know I needed."
Sometimes the answer isn't what we were expecting, but are we ready to be led down a different path led by The Savior? I say yes! Trust, have faith, be patient, and search. 
Much love to you all from me. 

Just tryna' make it rain,
Elder Gearig

Next baptismal  candidate

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Haaaaaaaaaaappppppyyy 2016 everybody!

So New Years was super fun. We went to these members house and just
chilled and ate some chicken and ribs, I freestyle rapped about
everyone there as part of the entertainment, then we got back to piso.
So we bought the Spanish version of Martinellis and enjoyed the rest
of the night (I only had two, sorry @TRob). We were like 2 minutes
early when we celebrated though because we looked at the wrong clockFace with tears of joy
but Vigo went hard. A lot of Cheers. Fireworks for hours (my dad would
have flipped) .  Elder Howard and I started throwing the football
in the main room and talking about things while our companions got
ready for bed, next thing we knew it was quite some time later. We
talked about our lives and he gave me a lot of advice on this next
year since he goes home in April. We did the math the next
morning...and we had thrown the football over 2000 times. Gotta
practice somehow.
That next day I had exchanges with Elder Howard again hahah. We are
with the Mission Leader and he gave us 0,0, which is alcohol-less
beer. Soooooo disgusting. One sip and I was sick for the rest of the
day. We went tracting for my first time and this lady opened her door
and we talked for about ten minutes while it was pouring rain and we
didn't have umbrellas so we were soaking wet and she wouldn't let us
talk to her family lol. But the spirit kept us warm.
So literally everything we do to try to find investigators doesn't
work, so we decided to try something different. We put signs up around
the city inviting people to a free movie night with popcorn to see
Meet the Mormons. Aaaaaaaand although nobody new showed up, we had a
lot of members show up and an investigator of the Sisters there. 
It was awesome as usual and was actually a really spiritual
experience for everybody. After it ended I thanked everybody for
coming and bore a testimony about missionary work and other things. 

In my reading his week I was reading in Alma. The people were asking
him how they could apply the experiment of faith and how they could
change. Alma tells them to read the scriptures, pray, and follow
Christ. Aren't those the same things we're told today? They're
obviously important things to do so why are some of us not doing them?
The people of Moses were being tormented by snakes so God told Moses
to make a Type, with a serpent on a stick and all those who looked at
it would be saved. Literally....all they had to do was look. LOOK! And
people were too stubborn to lift up their head! It's a representation
of Christ being raised up on the cross. All we need to do is look up
to Him and follow Him, and if we do what he asks, we will be saved as
well. It's simple my friends.
So this is my challenge to you all for this year, and I know you all
have goals already so it isn't going to be a big one. Read one verse
in the Book of Mormon a day. One verse. Slowly and surely you'll have
the desire to read and learn more. Just gotta start somewhere.
Y'all are the best and I hope you look at each day as the first day of
the rest of your life. Much loveHeavy black heart

Happy New Gear
Elder Gearig