Monday, March 2, 2015

El Griego

They call him "El Griego." Translation: "The Greek." Sounds familiar...
My companion got transferred! More changes coming my way. Ready for the big news? I'm going to be training a new missionary!! I have no idea who he is or where he's from but he should be here either tomorrow night or Wednesday morning. I'm so excited to train and I'm going to be District Leader again. I missed studying for those meetings, our district is awesome. Right now I'm in Vigo waiting for my new companion. It will be a great next couple of months.

I had a pretty momentous occasion this week.. I threw away my chapstick. I only lasted about 3 days then I had to use it again. That's pretty good though. I know that I'm addicted, I'll work on it.

Something pretty cool about Pontevedra is that all the Gallego Hillbillies when they aren't using their umbrellas, they hang them on the back of their collars. It's pretty funny but also a random fact of Galicia. There you go.

We had Zone Training this week up in a city called Santiago de Compostela. The meeting was incredible. We focused a lot on personal responsibility to the Lord and not blaming others. We also talked about how when we blame others or deny responsibility we lose control of our own lives. For example, if someone is offended by someone at church and they stop going because that "one person" is there, they lose control of their lives because now their Salvation depends on that "one person." It just doesn't work that way. Our Salvation is very personal, between us and the Lord. We should live the Gospel because WE want to and because WE love our Heavenly Father. Basically what I learned this week was, "When we give an excuse for our faults and sins we deny the power of the Atonement."

We also watched a clip from the movie called "Facing the Giants." It was a scene where the coach proves a point with one of his most inspirational players. (The players name is Brock.) He puts a blindfold on Brock, has another teammate get on his back (who weighed 160 lbs), and has him bear crawl to what Brock thinks is the 50 yard line. He pushes him and when Brock takes off the blindfold, after giving it everything he had and more, he finds that he is in the end zone. So often do we put limits on ourselves when we are capable of doing extraordinary things. Like I said last time, "The Lord can do more with you than you can do with yourself."

We were teaching one of our investigators this past week. He's a really smart, older man. He's actually a lawyer. We were asking him if he had read from the Book of Mormon over the past week and he said, "No I haven't, I've had a lot of work to do." By him not reading, we then decided to read with him. We all opened up our scriptures and I saw he had a little bookmark placed at the end of 1 Nephi. I said, "If you haven't read, then what is your bookmark doing there?" He then said, "Oh! I did read!" He seemed pretty pleased with himself. We read 1 Nephi 2 together and talked a lot about how Nephi received his own, personal answer from the Lord to his questions. In verse 19 it says why Nephi received an answer to his prayers, "And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart." If we want answers to our prayers we need to do our part in seeking diligently (reading our scriptures, studying the words of modern day prophets, seeking the advice of our inspired leaders, and studying it our in our minds) and by being humble (meaning that when we receive the answer we accept the Lord's will rather than our own, trusting in His omnipotence).

This week my companion told me a story that was pretty interesting. He said, "There was once a group of monks in Nepal who were learning teachings from their Sensei. The Sensei said to them, "We have a great problem and I need you all to solve it. He who solves the problem will then become the next Sensei because he will be wiser than the rest." The Sensei then put a glass vase with a beautiful rose in it on a table and left the room. The monks sat there puzzled and unsure of what to do. Then one stood up, walked over to the table, grabbed the vase with the rose and smashed it on the floor. The other monks were shocked with what their fellow monk had done because of the beauty of the rose. The Sensei came in and congratulated the monk for being the wisest of them all." ....I'm not too sure how the story ended or what the principle was but it was good! Sorry everybody. It had something to do with "It doesn't matter how good it may look, if it's a problem, solve it." Something like that.

To end this letter I had a random memory from when I was really little. In family home evening I remember singing "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam." I loved that song (I must have been 5 years old) I would go over to the light switch and every time we would say, "A sunBEAM!!" I would jump and turn on the light. Look how a simple Family Home Evening has stuck with me for so long.

Love you guys,

Elder Giforos

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