Monday, November 11, 2013

Miracles and Trials

Family and Friends,
This week was the hardest, craziest, and most full of joy week in my whole mission.
At the beginning of the week I traveled down to Madrid to do my Spain residency. I rode in a train for a total of 11 hours that day by myself. So that was sweet. I got down there and I was told to wait for the missionaries to pick me up. No one came! So I got some things done, I ate lunch, took some passport photos, walked around, talked to people. Then I found them. Apparently they had been praying to find me and they even had my name called on the loud speaker. ELDER GI...GI...FOURIO...FOR....LOS. Something like that. You'd think that since this country is pretty close to Greece they'd be able to say my name. Nope. My teachers calling role back in high school had a better chance. Anyway, I went and did my residency, it was an MTC reunion pretty much. I saw Elder F again, that was a special moment. My bro! It was so awesome to see him again and catch up.
I baptized someone for the first time in my life on Saturday. She's our investigator, we found her, taught her all the lessons, baptized, and confirmed her. It was a feeling of joy that I cannot describe. A feeling of the joy of heaven. Cut in 16ths.
Satan is real though. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were full of trials and problems. Every prayer I said was answered. Every single one. God listens to our prayers, I am a witness. I witnessed a miracle this weekend.
In fact, there were 3 baptisms in Oviedo this week. We are planning on having 9 this month. We are getting a lot of work done here. Our investigator, M, is going to be baptized on the 23rd maybe even this Saturday. He is my best friend, I know we'll be friends for life.
With miracles though there are always trials. After the baptism yesterday we taught a lesson. Right after the lesson we got a phone call from the sister missionaries. They were crying and said B, the man who was baptized 4 weeks ago who has stomach cancer, is not doing well. He's in the hospital and they needed us to give him a blessing. We ran. Hopped fences and somehow found a hospital that we did not know of. We got there and members were there, the sister missionaries, as well as B's brother and sister in-law. Everyone was crying. B was in his bed taking each breath like it was his last. I've never seen anyone like that before. I sat next to a man who was dying. Right now he is in a coma and the nurses said that they are waiting for his heart to stop.
We gave him the blessing last night. There was power in our words but also the will of God. We know that whatever happens B will be fine. His faith astonishes me. I've never seen anything like it and he is an example to all of us.
Today I went up in the mountains with the Hs. My comp went to play soccer and I'm feeling a little sick so I went with them. It was good to spend time with them. They're like another grandpa and grandma, I love them. We drove far up in the mountains and through a little village. A crazy lady gave us these weird nut things that were disgusting, but the H's liked them. It's cause they're old I think. We ate at a really good restaurant. I ate crabs that were cut in half and they had eyeballs. Shrimp, paella, these eel things, sardines, potatoes, Russian salad, rabbit, and RICE PUDDING. I haven't eaten like that in a while. It was so good.
Really a week that has helped me to grow in many ways. I've learned that I really like the Bible too. My favorite scriptures to read from are by Paul. All his epistles. One God, one baptism, one faith.
I love you all. Here's a quote for you all:
"True happiness is lived over and over again in memory, always with a renewal of the original good; a moment of unholy pleasure may leave a barbed sting, which, like a thorn in the flesh, is an ever-present source of anguish."

Elder Giforos


His little friend and his dinner.

Getting spoiled by his surrogate grandparents.

I wonder how the rice pudding was?

A day out with the Hs.

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