Monday, June 16, 2014

Zest for Life

The transfer is coming to an end this Sunday and I'm praying for more time in Lanzarote with my comp! I've learned so much here and have made so many good friends. We had an awesome week, like always. Full of blessings and miracles. Not sure where to start.

We met a really good group of kids that love to play basketball. Hey! So do we! A lot of them are super prepared to hear the Gospel. We had a great time and we're going to play with them today again. I've been amazed by how much talent there is on the island. These guys play basketball like professionals. They keep my comp and I working our butts off. Speaking of that! We started going to a gym. My comp is a great gym buddy, I might be huge by the time I leave this island. The weather here has been super hot. All day, all night. The people here say that it's not even summer yet... What's summer then? The thick Kalima (dust from the Sahara desert) hasn't even rolled in yet. It's going to be a great next couple months. We're pumped!!

On Tuesday we said goodbye to two amazing members. They're going on a 5 month vacation to Columbia. We had a farewell for them and decided to sing them a famous Spanish song. It's called "Friends" by Los Enanitos Verdes (The green dwarfs). We had a member play along with his guitar and the whole ward was singing to them. The Spirit was super strong and they were balling their eyes out. There's a really special love here in the island. Elder S and I helped them move all of their furniture out of their apartment down 4 flights of stairs. I didn't have to worry when they asked us to take down the refrigerator because my comp can basically do it by himself!

We met a super cool guy from Canada. He told us that he travels around the world and he's visiting a bunch of islands right now. He had a ton of questions about the church because he's heard a lot about us throughout his travels. We had a great lesson with him and then he had to hop on another boat to head to another island. He seemed happy, I hope he finds more missionaries.

The World Cup started, as I'm sure that many of you know. Haven't heard much about who is winning but I have heard a lot of cheering in the streets from all the people.

My comp and I, we planned a Fireside for the Ward here. It went really well, the Spirit was very strong and the speakers delivered the message perfectly. We prepared a few musical numbers with the uke and the piano. The Bishop gave a really great talk. The air seemed to get sucked out of the room because of how strong the Spirit was. Amazing Sunday. I also gave a talk yesterday about repentance. It was a great opportunity for me to learn more about this miracle that God has given us. There is a lot of scripture to study on this topic.

I listened to a talk by Elder Holland called, "We are All Enlisted." Here's a bit from what I learned and wanted to share with all of you. Elder Holland was very straight up about how Satan is real. He calls him, "The personification of evil." We need to remember that he is trying to destroy us. He knows that he will be defeated but he is determined to take us down with him. We need to be careful in the choices we make and the things that we involve ourselves in. Even seemingly harmless things can grow into serious problems. There's one easy solution to avoid these situations: always make sure we are keeping our lives in harmony with the Gospel. The Lord has given us His Gospel as protection against Satan. It is the only way that we can one day return to our Father in heaven. We cannot tell someone to change if we have not ourselves. Also, like in the story of the First Vision, Joseph Smith felt a force that was intending to bind his tongue. Satan is trying to "Bind the tongue of the Faithful." Elder Holland tells us to Speak up! He says that we need to unbind our tongues and watch as our words work wonders to the people who are held from the truth only because they know not where to find it. This was my favorite part from the talk (you need to watch it to feel the power behind it). He says, "Whoever you are and whatever you've done, you CAN be forgiven." I've learned a lot on the topic of repentance this week from this talk as well as preparing for the talk that I gave. What a blessing it is that God has prepared a plan for us. To be able to feel relief when we are grieved and comfort when we are discouraged. I love the Lord. 

To close off my letter this week I'd like to invite everyone who is "worthy and able" to serve a mission. There are SO many people in need. "Show by deed and by word that in our families we serve missions."

I love you guys,

Elder Giforos

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