Brett Gonzalez has been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Mexico Tampico Mission. He entered the Provo MTC on April 3, 2013 and is expected to serve a period of 24 months. He is a beloved son, brother and friend and we are overwhelmed with joy to share him with the wonderful Mexican people.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hey it's the sea!

     Much as you know I was not able to write on Monday. All the missionaries had the change and solely to be cautious. We had rain and that was it, but it was a lot of rain! 
     More in actual news, I'm Ampliación, barrio del Valle 2 =) a change of scenary and a new companion, His name is Elder Tuñon and he is from Panama, the only Panameño in the mission! New opportunities and more children of the Lord whom I can help come closer to Him. Those I left are in good hands and I know that with all they can do and all the support they have now, that they will be entering the waters of baptism here soon =) Haha, you never really think about the way people feel about you until you leave them. I am grateful to be loved by the people, but I know that it only comes from the fact that I am sharing light and truth with them and helping them to feel the love of our Father. His love is true and unending. 
     With it being a new 6 weeks I forgot my planner that has my notes from the past week...Well we have had success with a family , the majority of them, to go to church and to accept the lessons and to commit to read and pray to know for themselves of the truth and the path that they ought to take to come closer to the Lord. The rain has been fun and we have found more people at home because of it. All-in-all the week was a good one, we found someone to teach by offering to carry some things for her, she lives down the street from us too! She is young and has a little girl with her husband and we had planned to visit her Thursday =). with everything I feel and have felt the adversary and the hand of the Lord.

     AHHHH La Noche Mexicana SUD style =) that was great =) I have some pictures =) we could only stay for so long and they started late so we didn't get to see much, but it was a lot of fun!!! Many people say that I look like Emiliano can tell me =)

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Elder Gonzalez
     -Warrior for the Lord-
Haggai 1:7

For those of you like me who have noooo idea who Emiliano Zapata is, this is a picture....

.....I'm going with NOT his look alike. 

Dearest Family

     My dearest Family, 
   I want to let you know that I love you. We are blessed with this Gospel, the Unity it brings. As we are all growing up and growing out, we can and will be together as a family for ETERNITY. I cannot express with words right now, the feelings of my heart, but there can be strength in these words. Our family is in the covenant, were it not so we would be lost. We are NOT lost. We have each other and we have our Father and our Father. The Father and His Son. Only by these Powers and the authority given to men in these the latter days is this possible. 
     This is my message. This is a Purpose. 'that they might know [Him] the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom [He] hast sent.' 
     Families can be difficult, we are all different, but we are FAMILY. Even more so sons and daughters of the Living God. I hope that all that I am teaching in these days will be able to find the way to accept and apply this Gospel, it is perfect and will help to perfect them, as it helps to perfect us. 
     I have had very interesting experiences in this past week, the Spirit is there, I have had the chance to have it work through me, to bring hope to the eyes of the despairing and the healing power of the week. The Lord know how to succor His people, I testify of that. 
     I am weak, I am very imperfect, but I have my Savior and I bear His name. There is power in Him. Only through Him have I grown and only through Him will I continue to grow. I hope to never lose these feelings of assurity and security. 
     I have never been a great son or a good brother, but I am growing. I love you, my family. We will never be alone because we have each other. I have you.

     Never, please, NEVER forget that the Lord sent us here in Families. We grow as a family, to be many families as the children start to have their own. Time is a necessity. TAKE THE TIME. 
     I love you all. 

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Elder Gonzalez
     -Warrior for the Lord-
Luke 24:5-6

You guys read the scriptures right?...

     First things first, do you read the scriptures I put at the end of my letters?? They change and they are ones that I like that I read during the week in my studies; they help me and I feel they will help you too!
     We are now allowed to play Futból in the mission!! YEAH, we played today and it was fun! I hope it lasts! 
     This week has been great, with our visits we are really seeing progress in those whom we teach! More coming to church, reading the Book of Mormon, praying. We have some interesting situations here, but all are things we can work with and nothing is impossible with the Lord. We know three investigators (I say 'know' because one is, for the time being, no longer an investigator) that are pregnant, two of which could give birth anytime and are due in these coming weeks. The other has two months to go. They are all great and it's interesting to the differences in each of them, especially with them being pregnant and all =) I know that once they give birth they will be that much closer to the presence of the Spirit. I know it will help. 
     The temple was another goal for us and a milestone for those we teach, they had great experiences and I love teaching them! 
     With the 15th coming up there are tons of flags and things around, I'm excited because I'll be here for the celebration still, I think I'll finally be leaving in this next transfer, but we'll see. 
     Does Coppel exist in the US....? It's great and I have found some awsome stuff there. 
     ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡Best thing of the week!!!!!!!!!! I don't know why, but when it comes to talking about where I am from and the new Elder. Elder Olson, who is from Mona, Utah. The people have been asking if we are menonitas....HAHAHa AMISH!!!! Where does that from! HAHA oh the things people think. 
     Well I love you all!!! Sorry I don't have really much to say, I'll be better next week!

Elder Gonzalez
     -Warrior for the Lord-
Philemon 1:4-6

What a week!

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     This week was short, but packed full!! Tuesday was interesting and we had some great lessons. We walked a lot too, all over. It was interesting to talk with a sister who feeds us, her husband is not a member, but is practically a member of the Masons....the Masons have a building here in the city. It's not huge like the one in Juneau, but it's an ok building. We are working with this sister's kids right now, who she wants to go on missions. One is part way there, the other no so much, but we're getting there. They are really good kids and they could be a great help to the ward, but they live far away and don't have a lot of support. 
     Wednesday we had interviews with the President early in the morning and Elder Arcela and I went first. I really like the interviews, they make me feel good. I was first and we spent a good portion of time talking, then when I was done I went with the Zone Leaders to play Jeopardy and that was tough! I am still learning things and the satisfaction of having things memorized =). After that We practiced a Ward Council meeting.......hahaha yeah.....I had the role of Bishop there, it was interesting and eye-opening. Afterwards we went with the Assistents and had a good lesson with them about how to best use our planners. Haha we had some good exercises and demonstrations. After that we went to eat and they called us to let us know that one of the assistents would be staying with us and we needed to go pick him up at the church. Elder Flores went with us to a few visits and some lessons and we helped a part member family (the dad) with some manual labor =) I always like to see and learn from the other Elders, their teaching styles and they way they involve the investigators. Our final lesson of the day was super difficult, no one would commit to even reading a verse of the Book of Mormon. Then did and another. What was interesting is that the first person hadn't even been there the whole time. But from what we've taught and the end was a very large difference and it was cool to see happen. Hearts softening.
     Thursday was good, we had to drop off Elder Flores early at the church and that was hard because here in Valles we really need our sleep, but it was good because we got a little head start on the day. We have our weekly planning and meeting with the mission leader on Thursdays so the day feels even shorter, but we get things done.
    Friday we ate very well!! Tacos rojos! Tasty. We had good lessons and are always finding out more about how to help the members and non-members. 
     Saturday, that was the day the rain started. There is a Hurricane and right now half of Veracruz (city) is underwater. The day was hotter because it didn't rain all day and the vapor makes it worse!!!
     Sunday was full of rain. Sundays are hard here, we don't look for less actives or past investigators because almost everyone is drunk and it's hard, because everyone leaves on visits. But thankfully the Lord puts people in our way and in our minds to teach and help. 
     Today has been very rainy as well. We haven't done much, but we have had a blast, a good and needed bout of relaxation and fun. I have some great photos from this week, but not a lot of time. 
     I love you all and I love the scriptures. They teach me more and more of how Christ loved and taught, served and sacrificed. They help me love Him more as I get to know him better. He lives. and I feel like Nephi with my pillow wet with tears when these people refuse us and this Gospel, all that they can have and they just don't want to know it, don't want to change. I love them anyway. 
Too all a fantastic week, don't miss me too much!!

Matthew 10:22
--Elder Gonzalez
 -Warrior for the Lord-

A lot of love

   I really do just love all of you. This week was a crazy one =) haha I can barely think of how it all fit in one week!! It was a plethora of experiences that I will never forget from the power or lack thereof that was felt in each moment. 
     I would like to first ask you to thank Sister Bridget Fielding for her letter as well as her CTR-4 class, I appreciated it =) AND while you're at it, I don't remember if I asked you to thank the Robinson's for their letter as well (a long while back). 
     We had some crazy and unreal experiences this week. I will not go into much detail, but when I mean crazy and unreal it's probably not so much in the way you're thinking. Tuesday we had a FHE for the ward, well it was ok, the point of having it was to try and have investigators and less actives invited by them, the members, and they were all up and ready saying they had someone, when not a single-one of them had someone....poop. But it was still good for those in attendance and Hermana Yola, mission leader's wife, made some awesome Zacahuile!! So good =) We have had some success in finding some new investigators, but the lessons are far in-between which isn't so great for us... Elder Arcela is helping me in a lot of different ways, that help me in the way I teach and to be able to help those we teach feel more confortable with us, in the way that they know we are there for them not for the lesson. 
     Friday to Saturday we had divisions (exchanges) where I was with Elder Olson. We were invited last minute, 20 minutes after it started, to a FHE in the home of a family where the were also celebrating a birthday. We gave the message. Well I gave the message and Elder Olsen helped a little =) he's doing better than I was when I got here. It was good, more people like me now because I talk more. Haha it's easier for me to smile and laugh because I can express myself more efficiently and with the right words. I trained in the morning! =) That was cool! I think I did well =) We had some good experiences in the lessons we had throughout the day. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY we, Elder Olsen and I, were saved from diarrhea =) haha 
     Sundays are always special, this one was no exception. 
     Well that is all I really have to say about this week, it was full of many things but much of it was little and to detailed, but no worries I have a journal. I love you all and please give Marvin a hug for me!! LOVE YOU!!!


Elder Gonzalez

     -Warrior for the Lord-
Matthew 5:19

Sorry no time

Sorry this one will be short. I love you all!! Done.

Little note: my cute brother does this. I personally don't mind because I know how much time you DON'T have as a missionary, especially on Preparation day. Maybe he'll get better but I wouldn't hold my breath. (My poor mom)

Transfers! August 5

Well I'm still here in Valles. But my companion is going to Mante, about two hours north of Valles, but he has to go all the way to Tampico and then to Mante because we don't travel alone and he was the only one from our zone going to Mante. My companion will be Elder Arcela from Peru. Only one Elder in my zone has met him/heard of him, he's newish as well, so this will be interesting. This past week was good, it went by really fast, and with the slight stress that came from the baptism and making sure everything went well, all is very relaxed. We have prospective investigators and they seem promising and show interest! As well as they are the references of Recent Converts they are members that we can take, or be in their houses so we can teach them! So great!! 
     The baptismal service was great. We had to move from the room with the font to the chapel because there were so many people, about 60. The talks went well and all that we had planned and also that was a surprise to us (surprise special number). For the service a sister who plays the piano came and she played which made things so much better!! Emmanuel's mom and older brother were present and supportive of his decision to be baptized. And they felt the spirit, but we'll see of they have gain the desire to know more in time. 
     The week went by very quickly and we need to find more people to teach, the thing is they are there, we just need to have actual contact with them! They are so close, but far as well, the only bad thing coming is school starting again. I never really thought of school as an obstacle, but here it is because we have the RCs that are still studying, their references too, as well we have investigators that are in school or are teachers, and that puts everyone at the same time available for visits and leaves us with virtually nothing in the start and majority of the day. We will find!!
      There are many amazing things that I have seen in these few months I have been in Valles and the real one for me is the change I have seen in myself. But I am more grateful for the change I have seen in others. I know that it is not me or my words that touches their hearts, but the truthfulness of the message and the Holy Spirit testifying to their hearts that they need this Gospel. I still struggle in being clear with the message. But there is a message in the Liahona that I know can and will help me. I have struggles with teaching in the form that the questions we as are more effective and allow them to truly learn. I will learn first =).
     This Sunday was fantastic with the testimonies. We had people at church that haven't been in years or really haven't shown interest, but were there to hear the testimonies (Reminds me a little of Brigham Young and his conversion). I know that they are always very special Sundays, but boy do they need support to know what a testimony really is and that they don't need to cry to be sincere. AHH I was so glad that all of our recent converts will be going to the Temple this month!! They go once a month on the last Saturday and with some we had been struggling to get them to want to go. But what has helped a lot is Family History! A lot!! So great. Any way that's all I have for right now, we'll have some adventures this next week. =) Love you all!! 

Elder Gonzalez 
   -Warrior for the Lord-
D&C 93:28