I got a letter that I have a package so looks like I will go pick that up Monday. As for Christmas, wow, it is coming fast and I can feel the Spirit in the air. We had Stake Conference this last week and a member gave a talk and related it to the movie Santa Clause. In this movie Santa leaves to go deliver the presents to all the people in New York. However this wasnt a very good year for the people in the world. Many had stop believing in Santa and werent being so good. Due to the lack of belief the people had for Santa his reighndeer didnt have the magic to fly anymore and Santa Crashed in some park. The people stop believing and little by little the miracle of Christmas was failing. Santa couldnt help all of the other kids. This member related it to these days we live in now. Little by little the people and even the members of the church are lossing their faith. This isnt good. Like we can see in the Book of Mormon, we are blessed, we prosper, we become prideful and disobey, the Lord humbles us dramatically, and we start over again. The question is how do we prevent this cycle to strike our families. A vacation to Hawaii sounds good haha. No really, I am so happy for you guys, sounds like you are going to have a tropical christmas like me, without the waves and the relaxing. I honestly cant wait to talk to all of you. It should be the highlight of Christmas this year. We had another fun week, we are working so hard to get new investigators to church, contacting a bunch of referrals and Inviting everyone to come unto Christ this Christmas season. What a wonderful season to first think of our Savior Jesus Christ, to repent and make the changes neccesary to start the new year with goals. This is a sweet time to be a missionary. It is getting a little windy here in Santa Ana like the Santa Ana winds there, it feels so good when we walk with the breeze. Dad ask some of the crazy traditions here and one of them is fireworks. The little hoodrats in the street are always throwing super loud m80s and the members say its even crazier during Christmas and the new year. We will be walking in the street and some kids will be playing with them behind us and light one off and it litteraly sounds like a gunshot. We are going to eat alot of turkey and beans for Christmas and should be some super tasty dinners. CANT WAIT!
How are your investigators doing? LEGIT! Gabby: Has a date for the upcoming week. Shes a powerful girl. Jaquelinne: Also has a date for the upcoming week. A little timid but wants to be blessed. Tatianna and Olga: 2 news we found that are super humble and poor, living without work. We are helping them learn how to live the commandments to recieve blessings and looks like Olga will be coming to church these week, tatianna, her daughter has to go to San Salvador... We will have a date set for the end of this month. Dana: A reference we contacted yesterday who is super positive and is coming to church, we dont know her challenge yet. More news: we will see who comes to church this week and with who we can help progress. How is your health? SuperBien How are you and your companion getting along? Teaching him the ways, hes at the point where I pretend I am new and he has to do everything. I also want him to know our area really well when I leave so he can be a good leader as well. Spanish is still a little rough for him, when he is trying to understand he gets this funny look on his face and the members think he is really serious or mad, but we explain it everytime that he only has 2 months here. The most important thing I feel I have helped him with is I have helped him enjoy the mission. We obey all the rules but being obedient doesn't mean you cant have fun. I have helped him loosen up a little bit and have fun here. Seriously I was worried when he got that he hated everything. He was really negative like Cade sometimes, I hate this..I hate that... but now he has this glimps of love for the people. I can see his testimony grow as well. He will be an awesome missionary, we just have to work on Spanish. Pray for us!
I love and miss you guys so much. Plan for Christmas eve at around 730 if you guys can, cant wait to talk to you guys.
Dear Family, I bet you are super excited to hear what happened over here during changes. NOTHING...I am still working hard in my first area, Piramidal. There are still people here that I need to teach and baptize, like Gabby Cardona who has a date for the 16 of December. She is so sincere and has such a big desire to start her life over. She also didnt want us to get changed so we could see her get baptized. There is a picture of her, she is on the right. Our zone got changed a little bit and there are some new, good missionaries in our zone. We got a new zone leader and he should be a good addition to the zone. This past weekend we had the baptism of Jorge Alberto and he had an awesome experience and was so happy. He was really a golden investigador like they always say. The first visit we put a date with him, he hadnt even been to church yet. Three sundays later he was dunked and is stoked to have a calling and recieve the priesthood later on. We are working hard to find new people everyday. Our ward is doing awesome. I feel we have such a strong relationship with the members that they are going out of their way to help us find and teach. We have been working hard to strengthen this realtionship to grow as a ward family. We are hoping they will work even harder to bring more souls unto christ and help more people come to church this Sunday. Now is a perfect time to change and grow spiritually with the Birth of Jesus Christ and the new year. It is a time to set goals and make plans to accomplish them. We are looking so hard for families and partial families that we can complete. We have found some people that are trully interested and we need to help these people get their answer. I am so grateful for another 6 weeks to work here in Piramidal, I know there are still people I need to find and help with my testimony. Dad, did you see Elder Mecham, joey mecham, who is serving in London, probably not but he is there right now. You guys sound super busy and sound like you guys are having a lot of fun. Those stories that you hear in the other missionaries letters are crazy, absolutely nothing dangerous, scary, or threatening ever happenes to me.....ha... Just want to let you know that we are protected, we walk with angels by our side and the Spirit manifests to us where we need to go. We had an awesome experience while looking for someone to teach. The Lord directs us and we follow. This country is a lot different, but my mentality has convinced itself that this is normal. I can already tell you guys that I will be weird when I come home. I am accustomed to some different things but one thing I have grown to love is the stuy of the scriptures. You guys wouldnt believe how much I love to read the Book of Mormon. I feel a little nerdy because I can tell you what happens in every one of the chapters of ALMA. I can tell you that there are 239 chapters in the book of mormon and 174 of them touch on topics of war, violence, destruction, terrorism, assasination, and secret combinations (GANGS). But Why? BECAUSE THIS IS THE WORLD WE LIVE IN... if the book of mormon only spoke about peace and love, we wouldnt learn from the Book of Mormon. This country is just like the rest, full of people who break the word of wisdom, law of chastity, the laws of the land and everything, but little by little we are spreading the word of god to change these people. Be a light, and more and importantly be a missionary. Sorry for the preaching, I will declare repentance unto you guys maybe for Christmas, but definitely when I get home. I am not perfect, but I want to be. I love you guys so much, Have a safe and wonderful Christmas. I cant wait to talk to you guys!!! Love Elder Gubernick
Dear Family... Questions we asked Reed: Do you think you will stay in your area for XMas? I could change but who knows. When do you think you will call? I think Christmas Day but I dont know anything. Did you get transferred? Dont know yet. how is the weather there at Christmas time? I get cold at night but it is perfect during the days...I like it like this. We are finishing this change and the training is going great. We are getting ready for Christmas and all is well here in Piramidal. Changes are this upcoming Wednesday, I will find out this Sunday night if anything is changing. I have a feeling something is changing. With new missionaries coming in there is a constant need for new trainers, but I know I am not training again. There should be alot of changes this change. I am hoping for the best as a missionary and for our area. If you didnt realize, I hit 6 months today...WOW, isnt that wierd. I feel completely disconnected from the world, now I understand just a little bit about how AJ felt when we picked him up. One of my good friends out here and my zone leader is going home this change and it is so wierd for him and for us to think about it. We try not to think about it at all but it makes us sad. Your trip to San Fran looked like a success. I remember all the family trips we went on and they are some of the best memories I have till this day. I am so happy for Marissa and for everyone and their accomplishments. As for this area in this moment. This past Sunday, we had two baptisms. They were so spiritual and powerful converts. Sister Elena Meda has been going to church for 5 years but never accepted a baptismal date. This strengthened my testimony that I am meant to be here and teach these people. Some investigators react differently and better to certain people. The other baptism was with Elmer Segura, also an old investigator. We worked hard with him and we allowed him to get married with his wife, Brenda, and also get baptized that same day. Those baptismal services are super hectic for us as missionaries to get all the papers and do all the work for these investigators but It is so worth it in the end. We are looking for bigger and more prepared families to baptize in these upcoming weeks. I have a goal to baptize every week with my companion and so far we have dates this week and a date for the 9th of December. If we have a lot of investigators in the Sacrament Meeting this week, we can put some more dates for this month and have a nice CHRISTMAS. I really can't wait to talk to you guys on the phone but MOM always be prepared and have those questions that I know you will have. I have a lot to talk about too. I got the pictures mom and they are awesomeee!!! thank you so muchhh. I am so lucky to have supportive parents like you. This pday was wierd so I couldn't write much but next pday I will have alot to tell you about changes and everything. Love your Son, Elder Gubernick
WOW what a sweet letter. I feel like I am getting ready to play Garden Grove all over again. The gang sounds better than ever. Getting ready for the holidays without me huh... Its all good, I just hope Mom doesn't randomly start crying on the way to the movie theaters like she did the first Thanksgiving Aj was away. Mom, It will be all right. Im being taken care of here. I eat so much. I am still jacked like Cade would say but I have eaten over 200 pupussas in 4 months. Good things that's only 20 to 30 dollars. All i do is flirt with the Abuelitas who work the pupusarias and we get the hook up. 7 for a dollar or 10 for a dollar if I do it well. My comp loves pupussas so we have been getting them almost every night.
Yes I got the package from Marissa. Wow! They ties she made were so sweet. I told here I won't trade them so you guys will get to see them when I come back. As for the work not much has changed. This week we put a date with the Dad of the little Mauricio we baptized. He is the only member of the family that's not a member and a bunch of missionaries have worked with him... We finally touched his heart and he is getting married and baptized the 25th of this month. Another cool thing is We put a date with the mom of the little girl we baptized. She has been going to church for years but never accepted baptism. We tried to put the date and finally she accepted. So awesome. We baptized the two little ninos and then their parents followed. Its amazing how the example of two 8 year olds can affect the family. This was very sweet.... We also have a date with a brother of a member. His name is Jorge Alberto and has a date for the 2nd of December. He is so awesome and was prepared for us. We are working with some very positive new investigators. I can testify that working with the members is the way to work. We havent knocked a door with out a member in 2 weeks and we are really seeing the power. I love this way in which we work because I am builidng bonds with the members like never before. It is miraculous the way we have success as a ward. I love and miss you guys so much and I hope Bergen had and awesome birthday and I hope you guys as a family can enjoy the blessings in this time of Holidays. My English is getting worse but I will be able to talk to PAPI over skype this christmas. Not too far away...
PS. Thanks for sending the pics,,,I will tell you if I get them and the package. Thanks for everything.
Dear Family, Sorry I have been a little chambone about my letters. The start of my mission has been a little crazy. Litterally everything is happening so fast. I never thought It would be happening like this. There are some times throughought the day where I am so deep in a lesson and I look out the window for a second and I think to myself...I am in the middle of El Salvador and I am teaching the word of God in a different language. I am so comfortable here, it is so natural. When these times hit me, I can feel the love of God overcome me. In these moments I testify for why I am here in the mission. I tell them all the things I have left behind to help these humble people. Awesome Experiences. First off I know its wierd that I am writing on a Tuesday. It is because we have a huge temple activity tomorrow and We havent had a normal PDAY in a while. President told us to have PDAY today. First things first. My new companion is doing so much better. The best way to help him out is by loving him more and more. I have been trying to dig deeper into his life to get to know him better and better. When he can be more comfortable with me, he will open up with me and he will be more trainable. The thing I learned from my first week of training is that I have just as much to learn, apart from the Spanish. He is struggling but we are working hard, speaking spanish all day if we can. I leave time every lesson for him to share what he can but most importnatly his testimony. I told him how important his testimony is and he told me, no they can't even understand it. I shared some experiences that I have had where I am teaching and I instantly know I made a bunch of grammar mistakes and they dont even catch it because they are being filled with the Spirit. The Spirit really testifies of our message no matter how butchered our Spanish is. Elder Thornton is doing awesome. Baptized before he even finished his first week, and he will be baptizing again next week. I really wanted him to have the opportunity to baptize Giovanni, but our Zone leader accidently asked Giovanni who he wanted to be baptized by and he said me. Also my companion was fine with it because he still is trying to memorize the prayer. He will be ready for the baptisms next week. The two baptisms we have next week are two kids. We had to work hard with the parents to get permission and we are still working with them to get baptized following the example of their kids. We have been looking for alot of new investigators, working with the members. We are a little low on the progressing investigators right now because we found a ton of people that live out of our area. We have this activity for the members and investigators tomorrow to invite everyone to this activity. We are looking to have 4 or 5 investigators at this activity. The temple is the best missionary in this country. More people who have come to these activities have been baptized than anyone. Pray for us tonight that we can bring alot of investigators to this activity. We are working with the rest of the family that we baptized, grisselda and Wilber. They are looking very positive. I got a lot of letters from new people this week. Brother Ballard, the best seminary teacher ever, and many more people. I dont have much time to respond to all of them but thanks for the love. I haven't gotten those packages that are coming. Mom, I am still waiting for those pictures. Aj, keep being a boss, I love you man. I love all of you. Keep working hard and dont forgot the work of the Lord in your own lives. I am still alive and healthier than ever. The Lord blesses us in many ways. I am praying for Madeline...I have heard what happened in New York. Elder Gubernick