Monday, March 28, 2016

Bridge to the castle

View of the old city

Okay this week has been a good one! It's been stressful because there
were some problems with some people in the district and I've been
stressing to solve them but as of now I think they're all good. Hahah
my companion also loves to say "la Vida" as we walk through the
streets and don't see anybody. I swear this place is a ghost townFace with tears of joy
Tuesday we picked up a couple Colombian investigators. We told one to
come an hour before English class to talk and we showed up and she
brought her friend! Except they totally thought we were there to teach
English hahaha yeah right. Lesson one, boom! It went super well
though! They were asking awesome questions and were really interested
then they both accepted the invitation to read and pray! We've got a
lot of hope for them and are excited. Then again, we tend to hope and
trust people to too much, then get our hearts broken every time. Broken hartYou
think we would learn by now but nope. Such is the life.

Wednesday we played some soccer with some Latinos. I played keeper and
got some legit turf burns. Throw back to Friday nights. Not gonna lie,
I miss getting in the shower and finding random turf burns that hurt
like nobody's business.Face with tears of joy

Thursday night was the beginning of the Easter celebrations here so
the whole city shut down. We had a lesson in the main part of town but
everybody and their dog decided to go there for the parade or
something. Lesson failed us so we were literally trapped in the castle
and couldn't leave. Visited a member and waited til it passed. We left
and saw the Great and Spacious Building from the dream of Lehi. I've
never felt the Spirit leave so quickly. Literally this shrine to the
Virgin Mary being carried above the heads of ten men in black clothes
and a band playing dark music behind. The Spirit left, but my
testimony got stronger, and we left with it.

Friday went on splits with the ZLs in Madrid. It was really fun! We
got 5 references in 30 minutes....Madrid is legit. Too bad I'm in an
area where it would take 8 hours and 39 minutes to get 5 references
(we did the math). Ran a lot, taught a lesson, ran some more. Good times
in the city there.

Yesterday was Easter here. It was super cool! All week we've focused
on Christ of course so Sacrament meeting was something else. I'm not
gonna say that I've never felt the Spirit while taking the
sacrament... But yesterday was unreal. I had the water in my hand and
just stared at it. I drank it and the Spirit just swarmed (is that a
word?) my body and the rest of the meeting I just wanted to hug
everyone and cry and love everyone. But it was a special experience
for me(:

Well that about raps it up for our week here in Toledo! I just want to
bear testimony that Jesus is the Christ. I'm so grateful to serve this
mission and for the experiences that I've had with these beautiful
people. At times I feel super down because we could contact and knock
doors for 5 hours straight and get home with 0 references and still
nobody to teach..but the Lord lets us be broken down just to build us
back up. I know that to be true. Day after day when we put our Faith
and Trust in the only person who knows everything and has experienced
it all, we can know that what we're doing is the right thing to do,
and He always comes through. Much love my friends, much love indeed!

Just live your life,
Elder Gearig

Monday, March 21, 2016

Much ado about nothing

Good day everyone. Good day.

Just a little nighttime cathedral action

Hope all is well wherever you might be reading this. Shoot birthday
to McKayKayKayla on Wednesday! The big 19. One more month til I join
that club.

Well my friends, it has been a good week! Not a ton of things happened
but it was just a solid week and I have no complaints. If you're
wondering, no tears were shed over missing Vigo this weekSmiling face with Sunglasses hitting my
stride and moving forward because it does no good to look backwards.
That's something I've learned for sure, we need to constantly look
upwards and forwards! Looking in the past does us no good and we have
so much good to do in the future! Look not behind thee. Don't be like
Lots wife. I think she was diabetic because she needed more salt Smiling face with open mouth and cold sweatGrinning face with smiling eyes
yikes that wasn't a good joke. Anyways, move forwards.

Like I said, nothing too important or big happened this week but any
week on the mission is a good week to be alive. Any week in general is
a good week to be alive! We met with a less active 19 year old,
Richard, like three times this past week because he likes spending
time with us and we always have way deep conversations about life with
him. Again, I'm glad for the challenges we have in life because after
we overcome them, we can use them to help other people and that's what
I've been doing with this kid. He hasn't been to church in white some
time and he came yesterday! 30 minutes late, right in the middle of my
talk in sacramenet meeting but he came! Hahah Sunday school was
awesome. A RM from Germany taught it and it was all YM and YW and it
was such a good discussion, it wasn't a lesson because we literally
discussed Lehis Dream the whole time and had a really good discussion
about the teenage life. It's awesome to give some somewhat adult like
advice lol. It was super spiritual and I think it helped Richard a
lot(: he called us Friday and was like "hey can we have a FHE with you
guys tomorrow?" Uhh what's happening with this kid? He wouldn't talk
about the gospel two weeks ago but now he's asking for
FHE...repentance works my friends!

My talk yesterday was on missionary work. Weird right? What was weird
is that I dint know the members here yet and I don't necessarily have
their trust quite yet. So I should have picked a nice, calm subject
right? Sike. I felt inspired to chastise them. So I did it! Right
before the meeting, a member of the Stake Presidency starts talking to
me and said he'll be speaking right after me. This is when I
considered changing my talk because I wasn't about to chastise the
congregation in front of this guy. But I went through anyways. And
wow, it was incredible. I hard,y said a thing I wrote down and just
followed the Spirit. I did in a loving way I feel like and afterwards
it was just dead silent as I sat down... Honestly I don't remember
what I said. But the Stake Presidency guy gets up and basically
testified of my words for 10 minutes then sat down. "How inspiring it
is to have a bold, excited, dedicated missionary like this among you."
And when it was all said and done, the members didn't say a word to me
after so maybe they got offended. Idk. But the missionaries were
stoked for what I said so I guess it was goodGrinning face with smiling eyesFace with tears of joy

I just want to testify of the Book of Mormon. How lucky are we to have
the Fullness of the Gospel in our lives? In one book we hold all the
keys necessary to have and live a successful life. I had the
opportunity of finishing the BoM again this past Thursday. I got down
in my knees and asked our Heavenly Father if this truly was his word.
I sat there in silence for a few minutes as this warmth and peace came
over me. I got the chills and it was just this comfortable warmth I
felt. I knew before, I knew during the process, and I know without a
shadow of a doubt that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Joseph
And Hyrum Smith died for this book, among many others who died for it
and this religion as well. They wouldn't lie in front of God in their
last moments of life on a book if it wasn't true. I invite you all to
watch the Mormon Message "Testimony of the Book of Mormon" by Elder
Holland because it's something else. So powerful. I'm grateful for
this book and the opportunity to preach it's word here in Toledo. It's
so simple that a sunbeam can understand it, and we can change our
lives through it.

Much love amigos.

I've got soul but I'm not a Soldier,
Elder Gearig

Enjoy this portrait of a man from the bishopric. Notice the BoM

Monday, March 14, 2016

Withdrawals and Toledo:for dummies

Well I never thought this week would end but yet here we are!
Well this week has some big things happening. Mainly the 29th birthday
of my beautiful mother and 23rd of my wonderful sister. Wednesday & Friday I'll remember to sing happy birthday in my head or something.

It was fun to be back in Madrid. The early morning was worth it.
(Disregard the coca cola truck lol)

First District Meeting. Who's that little boy in the bottom right? Oh that's my comp lol.

Okay this week has been interesting. I don't really know where to
start so I'll go with Tuesday night. Lol I'm sitting in piso making
calls and getting to know the missionaries in my district. At like
10:50, 10 minutes before bed I got a call from the ZLs who were doing
the same thing, getting to know the DLs. They were like "we're out of
time but we will talk in the temple tomorrow." Uhhh wait what? Hahah
nobody knew we had the session in the morning so my whole district had
to wake up at 4:30 to catch a bus to be in Madrid by 7 to find a
subway to the temple by 7:30 to make the 8 sesh. The Hermanas here
live literally 3 minutes from the bus station and of course were late.
We had to sprint for twenty minutes to step on as it left. But it was
weird being back in the city and actually understanding what was going
on. I remembered all the subway stops so nbd. After 5 1/2 without the
temple, I finally got to go! It was stressful but the moment I stepped
inside it just went away and I was able to have an amazing experience.
It filled a little hole in my heart that had been gone for almost six
months. Temples are amazingHeavy black heart️
Half my district had to catch the later session so we waited around
and just had district meeting there in Madrid. First district meeting
was a successThumbs up sign🏼 I'm super happy with how it went and we talked a lot
about repentance in the conversion process.

Also Tuesday as I was laying in bed I was looking through pictures of
Vigo and had a breakdown again. My little 9 year old won't give my
heart back and idk what to do. But it was the only time I cried this
weekFace with tears of joy
We've been focusing a ton on thinking outside of the box here because
contacting just doesn't work in this country. We were walking and I
saw this kid playing basketball by himself so what did we do? Went and
dunked on him white shirt and tie style. Asian kid in college here,
never knew what American basketball was like. Neither did I because I
haven't played in six months. But we got his referral and played again
the next day with his four friends and taught a lesson after. Super
weird teaching people who don't know who Jesus Christ is.
Later that night we were going up to the old part of town. This small,
super young family walked on the bus and instantly I had this
impression to talk to them. It was apparent that they were going
through difficulties because they were like 19 with two children and I
just wanted to help them. But guess what I did? Nothing. But as we
left the bus I looked back and they got off too so I figured it was a
sign that I should say something. Guess what I did? Nothing. Just
joking I talked to them hahah. Cut to the chase, didn't beat around
the bush and straight up told them their family was going to change
with what we had and they got super excited. So we wrote down their
number and we'll see where this goes.
Later we decided to hand out English class cards to teenagers. In the
main square is where there's hundreds of teenagers so that's where we
went. We were standing when a group of like 7 girls start talking to
us. Started asking some...interesting...questions so we left because
they were Satan. But more people came and started talking. Soon we had
a group of like 20 kids and we were talking about why we are here and
stuff and they were super interested. They need the law of chastity
and word of wisdom though so we are currently thinning the crop to see
who is actually interested hahah. Snakes...

Well Toledo isn't Vigo. My comp is truly awesome and is a big help
even though he just finished training hahah. Stud. I was talking to
the missionaries in Vigo Saturday night and they started getting
emotional lol. Then telling me how the branch won't stop talking about
me. Right in front of the new missionaries they've been straight up
telling them to send me back. I feel bad because they need to love the
new missionaries but I feel good at the same time because I know I
made a difference in the people's lives in Vigo hahah. After talking
on the phone I called Elder Reese and it felt like I was breaking up
with him, like it was our last time ever talking lol. After that I hit
my knees and had to repent. I know I'm in Toledo for a reason and I
need to accept that! The sooner I do the better off I'll be. After a
truly sincere prayer I felt I had been forgiven and hit the hay to
start this off right with the members. It'll take some getting used to
but I'm grateful to be here!

Temples, repentance, and trust my friends. We need temples, we need to
repent, and we need to trust.

Teach me how to Toledo,
Elder Gearig

Haven't had time to take pics but here's the steeple of the cathedral.

Steeple of the Cathedral

Stay tuned.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Chau Chau Vigo! Hola Toledo!

Chau Chau Vigo

Well good morning everybody!
First of all congrats to the boys for taking the ship! (TRANSLATION: BINGHAM MINERS BOYS BASKETBALL ARE 2016 5A STATE CHAMPIONS!!!) And my man Schy
Shoey for that MVP!! 

This week has been a pretty different week to say the least. Had my
comp take over everything this week and it was a big humbling
experience for me and my patience was taken to the brinks. Needless to
say we finished the week with one lesson taught. Like I said, humbling
experienceThumbs up sign🏼lol and my new area is supposedly harder than this but
we'll see. Stereotypes are bogus. so with that I was pretty stressed
helping him prepare to area train this next transfer. Not to mention a
call from the APs saying I'm district leader in my new area.
Stresssss. But and like my subject line implies, I'm out of here! I'm
actually currently on a train going through the breathtaking Spanish
Countryside/mountainside. Hermana Jensen is my companion right now
actuallyFace with tears of joy we've been together for 4 1/2 months now in Vigo and we're
split now. She's going to Villalba which is where I thought I would
go. Sike I'm going to TOLEDO! That probably means nothing to any of
you but my dad will be stoked. It's basically the Spanish Jerusalem,
old city surrounded by castle walls with a newer-older city. It's
absolutely beautiful and I can't even put it into words to help you
understand so stay tuned for pictures over the next few months(:
It's been a stressful week having to say goodbye to my family here in
Vigo. We had district conference so I didn't get to give my farewell
talk and say bye to the branch which broke my heart. Had to go one by
one to some houses. Go for a few minutes, take pictures, cry, run to
the next house and cry while running, over and over again. A lot of
tears and a broken heart later and here I am!

The worst was saying bye to my little girlfriend (saying bye to Elder
Reese finally was bad as well but I'll see him soon). During District
Conference, she was sitting on the other side of the room facing me
and occasionally we would make eye contact and make faces at each
other then laugh. Then it hit me I was saying bye in a few hours and I
looked down at my lap and cried. I've seriously never experienced a
pain like that in my life. My heart just sunk and stayed there and is
currently there still. She drew me a picture and gave me her last
nameFace with tears of joy she wore a penguin shirt which brought my tears again.
Yesterday was the final goodbye and I gave her my stuffed penguin and
she named him "Gearig." More tears. Gave her a big hug then had to run
to the bus. I almost died from not seeing where I was running but hey

Not a ton of things happened this week so sorry his was a big sob
story from me. I got to Vigo and opened the area with my trainer. We
went from literally nothing to, well... A little bit more than nothing
in six months hahah. But it's been an extremely humbling experience
and it killed me to leave. The members became my instant family and I
just can't put into words my feelings towards them. The love I have
for them is one of the greatest things I've ever felt. I can't imagine
how much Heavenly Father loves them. It was the hardest thing I've had
to do to say goodbye to them. It was tough to say bye to my real
family of course but I knew I'd see them again, idk if I'll ever see
some of these people ever again though. Goodbyes suck. I feel
confident that I'm leaving it in better shape than when I arrived so
I'm happy(:

Never forget how much love God has for you all! We are never alone in
anything we do! We have so many privileges as members and the promise
of the Holy Ghost with us as our constant companion as long as we
strive to remain worthy of it. 

Love you all and have a gr8 week
<-(thanks THans) 

 Toledo Bound,
Elder Gearig

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

weight losing/sheep finding=fun

Welcome back. It's been a good week so I'll try to squeeze it all into
140 characters. Also good luck to Alyssa and Cody and all others who
are leaving in the next week for the MTC!

Megan is going to Germany! Lucky duck, she got my dream mission! She was in my ninth grade class of German I'm pretty sure so that's cool #claimtofame 

Hermana Staker and I are having a weight loss competition for her last
two months. So I'm on a diet for the first time in my life and it's
coming along pretty wellFace with tears of joy it doesn't make sense because she's a twig,
basically Hannah Spencer, but I have a lot to work onGrinning face with smiling eyes#missionlife
Transfers are Saturday and I'm 98% sure I'm goneso. I'm scared to
leave because turns out that my companion has more of a native
mentality than I originally thought (some of you spanishgang fellas
know what I mean) and I don't know what's gonna happen to these people
we're teaching if I leave. But everything happens for a reason and we
have goals set to help him prepare this weekGrinning face with smiling eyes

I stole Elder Howard's leather jacket and we were in a members car and
the song Sulten of Swing (or whatever it's called) came on and I felt
like my Dad for a second so that was a cool experience. Idk why I
shared that but yeah, there's that.

So I'll say a little bit more about this investigator of ours.
Saturday I kind of ripped in to him a little bit because he wasn't
keeping his commitments when he knew he should have been. But by the
end of the lesson he was like "yeah you're right, I really need to
read this book." And I was like YES YOU DO -- GOOD JOB... I should have told
you that before! Sike I said it a hundred times before he understood
it. But he does now so thank you to he Spirit for helping him
understand that.

We have five progressing less actives which is a key indicator we use,
I heard it's something we do in our area only but I'm pretty sure
every mission does it as well, idk, but yeah, 5! We visited our friend
from last week who I feel like is my brother already. I know I'm here
in Vigo still just to help him out. In our lesson (which his less
active mom joined as well) he said he was feeling really sad last week
and he didn't know why, when all of a sudden we randomly showed up at
his house. He said when we left he was in such a better mood! I looked
at him and said that The Spirit told us to visit him (which is 100%
true, we just didn't know that in the moment that we visited him for
the first time but found out in this second visit) because God knew he
needed some help. He started bawling and his mom did as well and it
was a neat experience for all of us. His mom and sister came to church
for the first time in a looooong time as well and the members were
shocked to see them but excited so it made me super happy(:

No investigators came to church but we helped a lot of less actives
come this time which is just as good. I have come to have a strong
testimony about what we can do to keep ourselves active and how to
help those who have fallen as well.
As well as this I have a strong testimony of following even the
smallest spiritual prompting, even if we don't know it's a spiritual
prompting in the moment. When we visited our friend for the first time
I didn't think it was a spiritual prompting. But after hearing that he
was really sad that day then we randomly showed up, I KNOW it was The
Holy Ghost.
Much love and have a gr8 week!

Looking for the lost sheep,
Elder Gearig