Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Challenging Week

This has been one of the toughest weeks in my mission in one way, but in another, one of the best and most uplifting.
As some of you know from my last letter, I was transferred last Tuesday and am now serving in Mesa in the Mesa Grande Spanish Branch. I was of course excited for change, but nervous as well. Our Mission President told us we would be 'white washing' which means starting from scratch in an area to fix previous problems. When we first got here, the apartment was a mess and the area book, (our only tool to use for information), was completely empty.
We did what we could, using other missionaries and our ward mission leader for help, and we went on our way, trying to find houses with potential. This entire past week has been us riding up and down the streets on our 1/4 mile area, looking for former investigators.
The most difficult part for us is gaining trust back from the people here. The members, the other missionaries, and even the investigators. The other missionaries caused some pretty good sized problems for a lot of people and therefore, nobody has trust in us anymore.
The difficult parts about this area, so far:
1. My bike tire popped
2. Our area in TINY
3. Everyone is member here, so there is not a whole ton of potential
4. The potential that there WAS, has been lost in distrust
The rewarding parts of this area:
1. We have gained member trust back already, and many of them are extremely willing to help us
2. We have several return appointments with formers who are willing to give us a chance
3. We gave a very powerful blessing to a less active widow
4. Finally, people are gaining trust in us!
So, it's been tough, but the miracles and blessing of the Lord are coming. I am so glad to be where I am right now, (especially since we are a 20 bike ride from the temple). I know the Lord is with us and guides us where we need to go. He loves us all and wants us all to know that. My testimony of this gospel grows stronger everyday and I can't wait to share it with more people.

Elder Pilkington

Transferred to Mesa! (Elder Pope)

So, I have 0 time today, but I wanted to let you know I got transferred!!! I am now in Mesa, white washing an area. The branch is called Mesa Grande. We are a 15 minute bike ride from the temple. The members hate missionaries here because of things that have happened. The investigators dropped THEM, when normally we drop the investigators. It is bad news, but we will turn it around. More on this next week. I love you all and know that your prayers have impact on me. Thank you for everything.

Monday, February 10, 2014

2/10/14 (Elder Gutierrez-Gomez)

Hola party people. I sincerely apologize for not doing the blog letter last week.
Only a few things have really happened since then. Don't be upset with the lack of detail.
We had 3 baptisms 2 weekends ago, and 3 more this past weekend. Of those, I baptized 2. A 26 yr old mother of 7, and her oldest daughter who is 12. What an amazing experience!!! The feeling of baptizing people who you haven't known for a long time seems like it could be a little weird right? It's not at all. It feels more like bringing home family. 2 of my sisters have now been put on the pathway home thanks to me. Incredible to think about it in that way. 3 of the other baptisms we had were for other kids of this woman, and the other baptism was of a young 13 yr old boy who is living with his grandma for a little while. He grandma is a very strong member and helped us to get him to this point. Great to see how these lives change while they learn more about the gospel and begin to apply it to their lives.
Other news, we got a car! Long story, but now we're riding in a 2014 Toyota Corolla. 15 miles when we got it. Too suave.
I think that's about it for now?? Oh, and we've have been to the open house for the new Gilbert, AZ temple like 5 times. Amazing pictures to come! Honestly the most beautiful temple I've been in.
Also, February 2 was a pretty trunky day for me. The super bowl AND groundhog day!!!?!?!? Man! Oh well.....
We have more baptims coming this month we hope. Stay tuned for more info on that stuff.
Love you all. Stay close to the Lord in all you do and He will bless your lives.
Elder Pilkington