Monday, April 6, 2015

Careless Words

His first time making German pancakes.
We had our Zone Training this week up in Santiago and it was great! We talked a lot about finding people and showing love towards others. Probably the most spiritual part of the meeting is when one of the Elders, through tears, testified of the importance of never talking bad about others. In this setting, regarding other missionaries. I feel that I have learned a huge lesson throughout my mission to "Search for the best in everyone you meet." Nobody is perfect and in the end we all come short of God's glory. That's why Christ came, He came to save everyone, no matter who it is. Everyone deserves a chance at forgiveness and who are we to judge our brother? We need to be extremely careful to speak positively of others and to cut the criticizing. We never really know how much damage our words can do. I love what President Monson says here, "We must be careful that we do not destroy another person's confidence through careless words or actions."

I have been a victim of "careless words and actions," I'm sure we all have. It hurts so bad and just by thinking of those moments in my life, it motivates me to watch what I say and do. Focusing on the positive can help us to avoid those pain-causing and regretful actions.

We spent a few hours this week helping a family move into a new apartment building. Lacking the assistance of a moving truck (you don't see those here), let alone a 4 passenger seat car, we hauled furniture, bags, and other heavy things by pure missionary muscle to the new apartment. Down 3 flights of stairs, up 5 more, down 3 flights of stairs, up 5 more... etc. Despite how exhausted we were, it was all worth it. We developed an even stronger relationship with that family and we realized that there was no way they could've done it without our help. I dropped a TV.

The great thing about not having a car or bike in your mission is that you get to do a lot of running. We were put to the test the other day when we had to make a bus that was about 25 minutes away walking and about 10 minutes sprinting. The bus was going to leave in 12 minutes. We took off running with our backpacks and missionary clothes on. It's been up in the low 80's here lately (which is a miracle for Galicia, NO RAIN!) and we ran hard. We made it though and could not believe that we had. The Lord blesses us in many different ways, what is important to us is also important to Him.

I had quite the bonding moment with Galicia the other day. We were returning from a little town about 40 minutes from Pontevedra in a bus. We drove through the countryside while the driver had his Galician Folk music playing. I felt like I was in a movie and I really felt appreciation for the beautiful landscape here. Everything about this place is awesome!

I learn new things everyday from my companion. The other day I told him he was a "Stud" which I've always thought means like an "awesome dude" or something. He said to me, "Do you know what that word really means?" I thought about it and realized I actually didn't. He told me this, "A stud is what they call a male horse who's main purpose is to breed." I said, "Oh, well flip Elder!" I just about died laughing. Now I know and so do all of you. You can thank my companion, Elder Gustafson.

We saw many miracles this week, one of the biggest was being able to watch almost all the sessions of General Conference (We didn't see any of the afternoon sessions.) There were a lot of great talks.
I'll have more to say about conference in the coming weeks. Here's what I can say now, what my religion is and what my existence thrives upon is that of a family continuing to exist beyond the grave. I love my family and all of your families and I know that we'll be bound to them for eternity.

Elder Giforos

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