Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Merlo- Week #48

Temple Trip!

Hey Fam,

So…my birthday was good. I took a bunch of videos so those will be heading your way soon. Only a few people in the ward knew, but then one of the youth told the Relief Society and they like bombarded me with handshakes and congratulations…it was kind of nice. I had to give a talk, and that went well. Then our lunch appointment had made me a cake, and the other elders did too. It is all on the video. President called me in the morning to wish me happy birthday. He asked, “So how is my young gunner doing on his birthday!?!” I said fine. “You, Elder, are burning up the tracks with that resfuerzo (greenie) of yours!” He then went on to talk more about my birthday. Tomorrow we have interviews with him. Ok before I forget, I don’t want to scare anyone, but I almost DIED this week, but I read in my handbook we shouldn’t write about dangerous experiences that we have, which I did not know before, so just remember May 25th 2009 in my journal, because it is a sweet story!

I just got back from the temple, and it was sweet. It was a really welcome time to relax and meditate. I did the whole thing in Spanish without help, so I consider that a big deal. We have been working like madmen this week. It was like freezing cold one day, and then blasted hot the next, we aren’t quite sure why…but whatever. I am really tired, but I guess I will leave you with a little bit of the studies I had this week. So I have realized that studying the doctrine over and over again gets to the point where you know it, but it starts to unfold in your mind more. For example, we are children of God. We are children of God. We are children of God. Spiritually speaking, we are of noble birth; we are the offspring of the King of Heaven. My family tree goes like this, The Almighty God – Sean Gilmore…it can be written on one single line! It suddenly clicked one day. Also, I heard a pretty sweet quote the other day from a former Apostle. “The most shocking thing for us when we pass through the veil will be how much we know our Heavenly Father, and how familiar His Face is to us.” Wooaaaaah….that is cool. Ok, I am tired and want to go eat some fruity pebbles. I love you all, and got a sweet letter from Brett yesterday, with a picture…which is always welcome.

Love, Sean

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Merlo- Week #47

Hey Family and Friends,

First off, I broke the record for received packages for one day in the mission this week. In our District meeting I got seven...four from Mom, Dad, and Lacey, and three from Grandma Sherry, plus a card from Grandma Wilma and a letter from Natalie-thanks for the birthday wishes. In other news, I am leading my son to mission glory as we are tearing Merlo apart. We are number 11 in the whole mission right now. Also, tragedy has struck like a plague in our zone. This week 6 elders got Dear Johns...that is like a record. It is actually kind of funny, in a weird twisted sad kind of way. Including our zone leader Elder Mackay, who only has 4 months left of his mission. Also, we are in the internet cafè right now and the Nickelback song “I love you” is playing and he looks like he is about to stab someone right now...he is not a happy camper.

Other than that, not much else to say except that my presents were amazing! All the ties and food, and socks, and Cds and everything. The videos were SA-WEET!!!! Also, all the Elders in the pench were laughing watching the ones of our family, and one made a comment, “That probably would have been really awkward for me to watch, but living with you totally prepared me for it, and it was hilarious, I can tell you come from them.” I took that as a compliment. Yes, my friends, although I might be growing spiritually, my child-ish nature prevails every now and again...that’s what you call likening the scriptures to our lives. Except you become as a little child, no Celestial Kingdom for you. Or something like that. Anyway, I am not really focused right now, don’t have very many desires to write, catch ya on the flip side. Todo bien.

This week was one of trials, but promised blessings. The Lord continues to shine His Light upon us, and wrap us up in His arms of mercy. I love this mission I am serving. I love the Lord. I am not even sure what to write, so I guess I will leave you with my testimony. I want to make it to the Celestial Kingdom. I want to see Heavenly Father again. I shake to my core when I think that our brothers and sisters one day will have to stand in front of Him, and see Him, for the last time, for eternity. As childish as it sounds, I hope they get a hug before they have to leave His presence in the Final Judgment. I want to give every single person I see the chance to know how they can stay with Him and not have to feel that sorrow, that torment, when having to turn their back on their Holy Father, with tears in their eyes, and surely in His, when they leave His presence for eternity. How blessed we are to have this gospel in our lives! How blessed we are to know that because of an infinite love, we can live with our Heavenly Father forever! I don't want anything else. I want to obey His will. Some news from home kind of got me down, but I want to accept His will in all things, because I know in so doing I will make it back to Him one day. He will lead me. He will guide me. He loves me, more than any other person in the universe. I love Him. I honor Him. I worship Him. I am thankful for His Son, who came to the earth to give me the chance to live with them again. He is my Brother, my Master, and my King. Under His banner I march, until he releases me from this service. I can't imagine anything else I should be doing with my life right now. I know that God lives. I know it, and there isn't one thing in this earth that could convince me otherwise. I love Him.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Merlo- Week #46

Mother's Day and.... the Call !

Well, hello hello Well, after that wonderful 14 minutes of talking to my family on Mother’s Day, I have to say that buying phone cards and calling collect might be the most frustrating thing I have ever experienced. It is alright though, we have everything figured out and will be calling again to have a real conversation soon. Today if possible. There are a few details I want to cover on the scripture covers but we can talk about that on the phone. So, glad to hear everyone’s Mother’s Day went well. This week I got letters from Grandma Sherry (boss letter) also I think she is confused and thinks I am the assistant to the president, which is false ahah, Todd (also boss), and Kittye Bowen (triple boss because I haven’t heard from BYU people in a while), also the Melin family sent me a SWEET letter, complete with decorations and Kung Fu Panda stickers...which I thoroughly enjoyed. No packages this week, but I’m sure they are on the way. There is no guac here dad, only churri.

So I am still enjoying reading about Brett and Kyle’s experiences, mainly because they sound like they actually have cool nice scenery to complement their work...whether it be Spanish castles and cobblestone streets, or Philippine waterfalls and strange bearded sages with alligators...I just have my area, in the slums of Buenos Aires, where I walk the streets all day hoping not to get robbed or have rocks thrown at my head (I have learned that the Spirit can actually prompt me to dodge, dip, duck, dive, and dodge (the five D’s of Dodgeball)) also, that I pretty much lived the Samuel the Lamanite story this week, and it was probably the coolest thing ever...small, and large, rocks showering down around us, and us walking out without a scratch.

Well, we are still working away with Elder Latorre here in Merlo. We have a sweet family we are teaching right now. A single mom with 7 kids...yeah...big time. We have baptism dates with four of them, because two are too young, and the oldest two don’t listen to us, but they will come around, so Silvia and her three children Milagros (miracles), Ruben, and Cristian are all excited for their baptism, and we will be doing everything we can to help them meet that goal they have set. It is interesting how your mentality changes in the mission field. I entered wanting to baptize because I knew it was necessary, but now I get a lot more enjoyment helping in the actual process of conversion, helping them prepare for baptism. We have a program in the mission to help our dates make it to the water, and it is 1.Daily contact with the church, us, members, or somebody to keep them focused on their goal. 2. Teach in the houses of the members 3.Talk about the date every visit, and how what we are teaching them is preparing them for their baptism...and since we have been doing that in the mission, baptisms have skyrocketed. Passing everyday, not to try and shove more doctrine down their throat, but to just talk and see if they need help with everything, really puts them at ease and they feel more comfort from the church.

Also, just to let you know, the more I think about it, I realize that maybe the technical malfunctions calling was really a blessing, because we didn’t spend the time we thought we would in the Bishop’s Office, and when we left, we got to work and barely met our weekly goals that we set, which we wouldn’t have been able to do if we were talking. Also, our leaders are giving us the whole 50 minutes to talk again, so we should be good to go. Also, Mom, I like that green tie just so you know, it was a gift from Elder Steele, I thought it was sophisticated lookin...but now I am just embarrassed and never going to wear it again, good job. Nah, just kidding, I will still wear it. Well, until next week for some, and tonight for my mommy. Hope everything is going well.

Love, Sean

(on Mother's Day Sean called us on a calling card that was supposed to last for 30 minutes and it only lasted for 7 minutes. He had two cards so he used the second one and it only lasted 7 minutes also, so we had a total of 14 minutes on the phone with him and the line went dead... so we are happy he gets to call us tonight because we felt a little frustrated on Sunday).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More Pictures from Merlo

Elder Sean Gilmore with his new greenie, Elder Latorre from Chile

Elder Arriola, Eduardo (wearing Elder Gilmore's name badge) and Elder Gilmore

Elder Gilmore with Rocio. She wanted to share her food with him.

Santa Rita is blessing their water so they don't get parasites. (It is under the water tank)

Antonia and Mikaela's Baptism

Elder Sean Gilmore and Mikaela. Baptism in Merlo, Argentina

Elder Arriola, Antonia, Mikaela and Elder Gilmore

May 25, 2009- Merlo, Argentina

Merlo- Week #45

Fighting for my Son's Life

Hey family!

Let’s just say that my keyboard has all the letters scratched off of it, so this is really going to test my typing skills. Yes I am sure I want short sleeve. All my long sleeve shirts are fine, but after wearing all the short sleeves all summer, and washing them so many times, they are just yellowish brown...I need new ones. I have no idea where someone could hem pants here. Also, they really should put the tags to pants in the front so I don’t have to go to the bathroom to check my size...which is 34. You are correct mom; my bug spray is still sealed in my suitcase, not to be opened until it becomes a big enough problem to annoy me. I will probably die of dengue, and it will serve me right.

Well, I can’t believe Mother’s Day is already here. It kind of snuck up on me, and I need to go buy a card today. We haven’t gotten any news about it, but tomorrow is zone conference, so I am sure President will say something. It will most definitely be the same time limit to talk, and I have no idea when I will be calling. Probably in the afternoon your time, later evening my time. Feels like we just hung up from Christmas...kind of...I admire you two for how well you handle the separation from one of your children. I, too, am a parent now, so I can relate. Basically, I am not sure how you said goodbye to me in the MTC because the thought of having to say goodbye to my boy and give him to some other missionary makes my emotionally, and physically, sick. Haha, nah, but really.

Well, my first week as a Trainer was interesting, to say the least. We had ups and downs, and drunk guys grabbing my companion, and me coming to his rescue. Elder Latorre is great, but he has the MTC lag, or in other words, he thinks that every lesson is like how he practiced in the MTC, so we have been working on realizing how to teach shorter lessons and according to needs, but other than that, he is great. He is a great teacher already, and he already does his contacts. The first few days he was scared to do them, but now he has become...a machine...YES! I was really nervous because I wanted to reach a few goals, 2 estandartes at least, to give him some excitement, well without Monday or Tuesday to work, I was nervous that he wasn’t going to have that experience, but I went to work trying to be the best I could be as an example. Long story short, many prayers were answered and we reached 4 indicators! SWEET! I am feeling good for this transfer. Basically the hymn lyrics describe it perfectly. “I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me. Confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me.” I made a lot of mistakes this week, but it all worked out pretty well in the end. Anyway, so the drunk guy story. We were walking in our area, and now that it is winter it gets dark at like 7, but we don’t go home until 9. So we were walking and some old drunk man is in the street, and stops us to talk, I blow by him and tell my kid to do the same, but he doesn’t listen to his father...and stops frozen in fear thinking that we were getting robbed. I told him to come on, but he didn’t move, and the drunk guy walks over to him and grabs him, but more like he was disoriented and didn’t mean to grab so strongly. Then starts apologizing, but still holding on to Elder Latorre, asking him where he is from, and stuff like that. Haha, he was a harmless old man that was drunk, but my comp looked like he was going to die from fear. So I go over there to get him off, but the drunk guy gets mad because I am northamerican and starts yelling at me about how he served in Iraq against the US, so I asked if he was a terrorist, and he looked at me funny, squinting his eyes, then says, “Depends....are you a spy?” I was tempted to go along with this game...but didn’t and said we were missionaries, grabbed my son in his still frozen state and walked away...he attempted to follow after us, but soon gave up his quest when we turned a corner out of sight. That was about the highlight of the week, and now I am going to use the time I have left to try and send pictures. Love you all!


P.S.Congrats Todd!