Sunday, July 31, 2016

New Flatmates

Another good week! We have some fun news! 2 elders from the city next to us have moved in to our apartment and are living with us now! The reason is not so good. Their apartment got broken into and a lot of things were robbed including their keys. So they got all their stuff and moved in with us. Elder Frei (from St, George, Utah) and Elder Benitez (Paraguay) are really fun! It’s more exciting to be living with more missionaries. 

We had a cool miracle on Sunday. Once again our investigators did not come to church. We did everything we could to help but everyone has the ability to choose. And then a lady named M. walked into church and told us that she is not a member but wants to learn about our religion. We taught a great lesson and she invited us to her home this next week to teach her, her husband, and three kids! It’s always amazing how when we do our best, God sends us blessings. 

This is Taylor in Dubai: "Celestial water is sold everywhere"
I had an interview with President Robertson this past week and he told me that no good act will ever go unnoticed by our Heavenly Father. Someone will always be blessed for your work, whether it is you right now or your kids in fifty years, there will always be a blessing for your obedience.

Hope all is well back home! 

Elder Gygi

PS to Taylor: What country are you even in right now?? From mom and dad I have heard England, Czech, Austria, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, So. Africa and now India?! 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Sun's Out!

The sun is finally out! It's still 30° but at least the sun's out!

This week we did a lot of traveling. We had to go to Ramos Mejía, downtown Buenos Aires, to the mission offices because Elder Hammond had an interview with President Robertson. It's about an hour and a half by bus and train. When we got there, Elder Hammond went in for his interview and I waited in another room. Then Sister Robertson comes in and says she has a surprise for me. She takes me into her office and shows me her freshly baked batch of chocolate Texas Sheet Cake. She handed me a knife and said, "Elder Gygi, you can cut as big of a piece as you want and I'm not going to watch!" So I cut a big square and ate the whole thing in like 2 bites. It was the best thing I have had in 11 months.

Oh we started teaching English to try and find new people to teach the gospel! It is very fun. We started mostly with "Hello my name is..." "I am pleased to meet you" and stuff like that. Hopefully we can find some new people!

I learned this week that Peruvian food is delicious. It is the Chinese food of South America. Basically fried rice type stuff.

Nothing else I can think of, have a great week everyone!

Elder Gygí

Monday, July 11, 2016

There's a Gospel Metaphor In Here Somewhere

I am extremely tired (more than normal) and I’ll explain why in a second. It has been a busy but great week! Tons of stories and experiences. I’m fighting hard to keep up in my personal journal! 

So I have been learning a little bit of Guaraní, the native language of Paraguay. We did some service for a family from that country and I’m trying to understand them. We built a roof for their house, and my job was to make the cement for like 4 hours. Basically I shoveled rocks, sand, water, and cement mix into this big mixing machine. It was very heavy, but very fun! So if anyone back home in Arizona needs to know how to make low-budget concrete, I’m your guy! 

Also we got stuck in traffic. But we weren’t in a car. Elder Hammond and I were crossing a very busy street and got to the median, but there was fast and heavy traffic on both sides. I didn’t even have room to stick my arms out! I am happy I wasn’t hit! I am always looking to relate things to the gospel, so as I was in that moment I thought to myself, "this could be a gospel metaphor or something..." I began to think of how we are surrounded by Satan’s temptations every day and all around us. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves stuck with seemingly no way out. But the red light will come and the cars will stop. Just as we found a way out, the scriptures, prophets, and prayer offer everyone a way off the dangerous road of sin and temptation.

I had a great spiritual experience in sacrament meeting this week. Two priests were preparing to bless the sacrament. One of them, named S., is mentally disabled. He had very slow movements and slow and shaky speech. The first priest blessed the bread and deacons passed it to the members. Then the time came for the water. I watched as S. got on his knees and began the prayer. Very slowly, he stumbled along. He messed up a couple of times and restarted. I thought surely his companion would take over and finish for him. But he continued. After multiple attempts, he successfully finished. His companion took him by the arms and helped him of the ground. I sat in the congregation with tears rolling down my cheek, pondering all the times I have quit in my life. I thought of countless occasions where I simply gave up. S. could have given up, but he knew unto what office he was ordained and he wanted to fulfill his calling. I have never, nor will I ever, hear a more beautiful prayer. I am grateful for his example in my life. I am certain he has no idea the influence he had on me.

Hasta Luego,
Elder Gygi!

PS: We played soccer this morning with our whole zone. It was super fun. It was an international team.  Elders and Sisters from America, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Spain, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, Columbia, and Guatemala! I got everyone to sign my flag. (Jared has an Argentine flag for companions and missionaries to sign. It was a great idea from brother Taylor.)

Monday, July 4, 2016

President Benson and C.S. Lewis

July 4, 2016

This week it rained. Every hour. Of every day. I am not joking when I say I haven’t seen the sun in 6 days. And our area is 80% dirt roads (I guess technically I should say mud/water roads). But I’m a missionary serving in the Lord’s army so what more could I want?

Elder Hammond and I are doing good! Everyone thinks he is from the United States so they all complement him on his Spanish! It is really funny. It’s great to have a new elder as my companion because his energy keeps me going. 

So this morning I read the talk by President Ezra Taft Benson, "Beware of Pride." In his address, President Benson speaks of how pride is the most universal of all sins and the hardest to identify. He defined pride as "enmity towards God or our fellowman." I had to pull out my dictionary to define ‘enmity.’ It means opposition or hatred towards something. 

So we are being prideful whenever we are in opposition or hatred to God or our fellowman. Basically, it’s whenever we think our own judgment is better that God’s. Presidents Benson also quoted CS Lewis saying:

“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” 

I have tried to apply this in the mission by not comparing myself to other missionaries and wishing I had their success. There’s a reason why pride is a central theme in the Book of Mormon!

Elder Gygi

PS: Happy Independence Day, 'Merica!