Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Picture at Buenos Aires airport

Airport Love. Notice the Justin Timberlake posters hanging up in the backround

Ramos Mejia- Week #61

Lactation and Reckless Chariots

Howdy there,

Well, just to start out, I got Grandma’s package! I made a video to thank her for it, but there is some bad news. If there was a tie in there, it was stolen, I don’t know if we want to tell her that or just let it kind of slip her mind…but other than that it was great! I loved the mango liquorice! How does she find stuff like that? Also, when you go down there fix her computer, she said she can’t read my letters anymore, and it makes her sad. Anyway, I also need to take this time to wish everyone a Happy World Maternal Lactation Week. I don’t know if I have ever talked about this before, but breast-feeding is a whole new ball game down here. In the states it is done privately and politely, but here it is not inappropriate to do it in public. And by public I mean in the street, the store, the bus, or sacrament meeting. It is just another part of life here. If a baby is crying, you can expect shirts to be coming up. It took some getting used to, but after a while it isn’t a distraction, although still unusual. You would think that the mother would be uncomfortable with everyone around. Anyway, I am not trying to write a whole letter about breast-feeding, but I wanted to tell you that it was world maternal lactation week. How do I know? Well, we were going to Capitál for mail, and were driving on 9 de Julio, the most famous street in Argentina (where the obelisk is) that is like 18 lanes wide or something, and hanging on one of the big buildings is a giant poster, covering this 20 story building, of a young mother nurturing her young and wishing everyone a happy W.M.L. week. Oh Argentina, how I will miss you when I leave.

Speaking of leaving Argentina, last night my tio, my second companion back from Castillo days, Elder Shields, hopped on his plane last night. It was really weird…especially because we were in the airport with him! President had us all go to the airport to say goodbye to him. It was way weird…I was on international soil. It was kind of like going back into the world for 30 minutes, and then stepping back into the mission. I took some pictures and a video. Definitely a strange feeling, to see probably my most important companion, that taught me the most, go home. He is the first companion of mine to go home since Elder Torres my first transfer. He went back a week early to start school. He is running BYU track.

So that is cool that Brett and Kyle thought something was actually interesting in my letters. I always find myself just laughing at their stories and imagining them telling me in person. If Kyle liked that quote, check this one out that I got this week from Jamie Melin, who still is a faithful writer even with three children.

“In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil, and you must never forget that. When disappointment and discouragement strike—and they will—you remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at reckless speed to come to our protection. They will always be there, these armies of heaven, in defense of Abraham’s seed.” –Jeffrey R. Holland -2 Kings 6: 16-17

I wonder if Elder Holland just sits and thinks about how he can just make something sound 10x more intense… He could have just said that we have help and comfort when we are discouraged…but I’m glad he didn’t. Also, Brett, we met when we were 10…or at least I was 10…10 year anniversary of being best friends! BFF! Or in Spanish, MAPS! (mejor amigos para siempre)…or in Tagalog…NGKISHPOPTUM! I assume Kyle will understand that translation.

So, moving on, B-B-BAU-TIS-MO-MO-MO on Saturday! Elias is getting baptized on Saturday, finally! It took some work to get him to commit, but we finally are going to have his service on Saturday, and Bishop will be baptizing him. Germán is completely lost for now. We haven’t seen him since he came to church a few weeks ago. Elvira and Gabriel returned home early from vacation, and both of them went to church in Corrientes. That is like meeting an investigator, them coming to church one time, teaching them one time, and they go to another state to visit some people, but attend the ward building there on vacation. Golden. Also, Brett is right…I am not doing anything, because we kind of just work all day in the office, and somehow we had 8 investigators in church on Sunday. Ok, we go out and work everyday at 4, but still, I rarely ever had more than 5 or 6 when I was out in the field full-time, so the blessings of the Lord are overflowing. We had another one of those crazy stories on Sunday. A woman, Margarita, showed up to church, because she works with a member in capital and he told her to go, so she came…and luckily for us, Hermana Benton was visiting our ward and just latched onto her and made friends with her quickly. So Hermana Benton was with her the whole block, helping her with everything, and we have an appointment with her on Wednesday…so people are just showing up to church on their own…kind of helps.

My patriarchal blessing project was put on hold because we got really busy, but thanks for reminding me, I need to get back on that. My favourite food right now is oreos with milk that I still eat every Thursday…no just kidding, I don’t know if I have a favourite food right now…but I miss toasted PB&J…we don’t have a toaster here…also, just informed we have a toaster here…so I will be filling that need soon. Also, this computer’s default English spell check is English (Ireland) so it keeps spelling things weird…like favourite, instead of favorite, and I think it spelled licorice differently, too. It is getting nice outside, and spring is on the way. I don’t want to be a writer. I want to actually support my children. We are going to the temple today! Have fun at the USC game Dad, if you go. I am wearing my Trojan shorts today. This is the last season I will miss…they better not make it to the NC or I will be fuming mad for having missed it.

So last thing, we ate lunch with the coolest family in the ward on Sunday, the Salas family. They all speak English, and live in a house nicer than most U.S. homes I have seen. The dad is the former stake president that I talked about in the story with Elvira. Anyway, he showed us a video of some Canadian country band called Sons of Maxwell, who sing a song about how United Airlines broke their guitars and wouldn’t give them a refund. It is pretty funny, and disobedient for us to do, so I had to confess that to everyone so they know I am not perfect. It is called “united breaks guitars”. Anyway, that’s all for this week, I think.

Oh how I love my Savior, because He first loved me!

Elder Sean

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ramos Mejia- Week #60

Family Vacation


Well, like you said, today is month number 14 for me. Exactly one year ago I stepped off a plane and set foot in Argentina. A lot has happened since then, and it is weird to think that I have more time in the country then I have left in it. I will miss it when I leave, good thing it isn’t for a while. Didn’t end up going to the temple today. We are going next week I guess, I got confused. Kind of a bummer, because I was gearing up for it. There are rumors that it is going to close in October, so this might be one of the last times I can go for ten months…I am actually surprised how depressed I am about that. We take it for granted being so close to temples in the states, and having multiple within driving distances.

This week was great. We are really humming along in the work. We have a lot of great investigators. We ended up teaching Elvira and her son, Gabriel. So you know how we just met her on Sunday, well she gave us her address to pass by with the member and everything, and we went by. It was a huge apartment complex, and we buzzed in 2A, which is the address we had, only to hear an angry man answer. We asked for Elvira or Gabriel, and he said that they had moved, and then hung up on us…we had just seen her on Sunday! How could they have moved! He wouldn’t answer again, because I buzzed a few more times, and he wasn’t having it. So we left, a little deflated, because she was so ready to hear the gospel. We didn’t have her phone number or anything. However, the Lord gave us a second chance. It wasn’t an hour later that we got a call from Brother Salas, the former stake president, and our gospel doctrine teacher, who is quite possibly the most amazing member I have met. Also, he speaks perfect English. So I picked up the phone, and he says (in English) “Hey, where are you? Elvira has been calling me wanting to know where you are. She is waiting for you. I think you should go over, she is really prepared.” He had given her his phone number on Sunday in case she had any questions…that is a member with his priorities straight. He helps investigators feel comfortable. So he gave us her phone number and we called her. She lived in 12A, not 2A! How embarrassing! Haha, they sound similar in Spanish. So we ran back and found her, and her son, whom we taught. They are soooooo ready to hear this message. I have never seen anything like this. The son is 19 and just had a smile on his face the whole time. He told us that he had stopped smoking, drinking, and messing around with his girlfriend BY HIMSELF, so that he could be closer to God...uh…ok…wanna get baptized maybe? They both have made up their minds to be baptized, but they went on vacation to another province for two weeks, but get this, Elvira already had looked up the address to the church building closest to them there. Golden! We are basically just waiting for them to get back. Also, Elias’ parents are giving their permission for him to be baptized, too, so we have a date with him for the 29th. He really needs support, because he changes his mind a lot, but he set this date by himself, so we will see what we can do to help him along the way. Germán dodged us again, so we didn’t see him all week. He doesn’t have a cell phone, so it is kind of hard to pin down where he is.

So today I was writing some letters, and one was to Alex Greaves…yay…but anyway, this story isn’t about her. I wrote in one part about being “dead serious”, and the memory popped into my head of Brett in his room at BYU saying in a slow serious voice, “I am deathly serious…” I could not stop laughing, because he would say it and like start doing his fake laugh, which actually makes him laugh, so it turns into a real laugh. Deathly Serious…just one of those things that are only funny to a few people. Sorry I hate when people do that, but I don’t remember many things that happened this week to tell you about. I heard a country song the other day and remembered just how much I liked the genre. It was that song, “the good stuff” I don’t even know who sings it, but it was a great little moment. Also we scored some Gladys Knight singing primary songs and hymns, and making it all gospel-like, which is just a picker-upper. Also, the internet isn’t working, so I can’t get back on to read any questions you had for the week.

President and Hermana Benton went on a trip out to the campo for a District Conference, because there isn’t a stake out there yet. It was kind of funny on Saturday they were all getting ready to head out in the van, packing everything up, and making sure they had everything. The assistants were going with them, and we were helping load everything into the van. It was so strange; it felt like getting ready for a family vacation or road-trip. Elder Sabey and I kind of laughed talking about how it always is the same sequence of events on family trips. You set a time to wake up, but only Dad wakes up at that time. You think you did everything the night before so that you only had to load up the car in the morning, but somehow there are a million things you forgot to do when morning rolls around. Dad has people on a strict schedule, telling us how much time is left before the car is rolling out of the driveway. You never leave on time. Dad is honking the horn yelling that we are 20 minutes behind schedule and we are never going to make it on time, while Mom is in the house still packing a cooler or something. She yells out the door, “Oh we forgot something; we have to stop by the grocery store.” Dad either rolls his eyes, or mutters how there is no time to do that. The kids have pillows and blankets in the car, no matter what time of day it is, or how hot it is, because the trip goes faster when you are asleep, and sometimes the air conditioner gets cold. Mom wakes up two times just to say she needs a bathroom, and the kids are out cold the whole trip, or playing gameboy Pokemon. Dad takes advantage and listens to some talk radio show about politics or sports. If the kids do happen to wake up, he sits through a backstreet boy CD about five times, until they fall asleep again. When they are out, his show is over and he drives in silence. The air conditioner breaks in the middle of a desert, and you shove the blankets in the trunk, and drive 80 mph down the highway with windows down. You arrive where you are going, and if there is family waiting for you they ask how the trip was. Mom always answers, “Oh it wasn’t bad at all.” Dad doesn’t answer. His bloodshot eyes are answer enough. He just starts unloading the car and wants to sleep, but the kids were asleep all day, so they want to do something, so Dad takes them out for a burger and a shake. And that…is the perfect family vacation. Aren’t dads great? At least mine is. I hope I am like him with my kids.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

New photos today

¡MIA! Just one more small Argentine I wish was my girlfriend. Her mom is the lady I did a baptismal interview for a few weeks ago.

My area! ¡Ramos Mejía! This picture is off of the balcony of the Smith Family Robinson´s Treehouse...and by that I mean, The Smith's apartment. Pretty cool view, huh?

Ramos Mejia- Week #59 cont.

Argentina Primary is just as good as American Primary

So tired…no p-day…guraahgahag

P-Day count for the transfer: I/4 …So I am really at a loss of what to write this week. I mean, a lot of stuff happened, but man I am fried. We have been really busy basically since the transfer started. Once again we will not have a P-day, due to the fact that four missionaries that were assigned to Venezuela were reassigned due to visa problems, and show up today, so we have been getting everything ready for them. I have to make their orientation binders, so I have been printing things off like crazy. I didn’t have the actual binders with the church logo on them, because they come in the shipments that I order every couple of weeks. Well, I made an order like 3 weeks ago, thinking that it would make it here in plenty of time, (they usually show up in a week and a half) plus we just kind of found out a month ago they were coming. So I have been waiting for this shipment and everything, which had a ton of materials the missionaries have been asking for. The binders were in there, as well as a bunch of lesson 1 pamphlets, which a lot of people use to teach the first lesson. Well, for two weeks we haven’t had any pamphlets in the whole mission, and I have gotten some heat for it from some missionaries. At first it made me feel kind of bad that they didn’t have what they wanted, but then I realized it is not a requirement to have a pamphlet to teach a lesson, so I just started to tell people to hand out copies of the Book of Mormon and quit complaining. No where does it say that a lesson 1 pamphlet is the key to conversion, or the lesson, or that you can´t teach without one. The first missionaries bore pure testimony of the Book of Mormon, and baptized thousands. Elder Sabey made a good point when he said, “When have you ever heard a General Authority say, ‘I gave my friend a lesson 1 pamphlet’ NEVER! They always say, ‘I gave my friend a Book of Mormon.’ So do the same.” Anyway, about 20 minutes after we left to go distribute the mail to everyone…the shipment came hahaha…so a whole lot of frustration could have been avoided if we would have left 20 minutes later. Not a big deal though. I just laugh now.

News flash, President just told us that the new financial secretary is Elder Maxwell, from my MTC district. We are basically taking over the offices. So on a less stressed upbeat note, there were a ton of miracles this week in our missionary work. Germán showed up to church, clean-shaven, and with a smile, which was so nice to see. We have a lesson with him tonight, and we plan to re-set a baptismal date with him. Anyway, as is probably obvious, we don’t get to work the whole day in the missionary work, because we are working here in the offices, so sometimes it can feel like if we only had more time we could be having so much more success. This week, however, has shown me that the Lord is blessing us double in the missionary work, for the time spent in the office. We have wanted to find some new investigators that will progress towards baptism (like every other missionary on the planet). Well, we showed up to Church, and sat through priesthood class. Our Sacrament meeting is the third hour of the block, which is weird to think about in the States, but is the regular schedule here for most wards. So we are about to go into Sunday School, and some woman comes up to me asking me questions. She asked where gospel doctrine class was and everything. I had never seen here before so I introduced myself and all that good stuff. Turns out she wasn’t from here. She is from the south of Argentina, and brought a friend who lives smack dab in the middle of our area. Her name is Elvira…yes…like the song, which I have sung about 100 times since Sunday. They met on the internet, and the member came up to Ramos to take a class and has been staying with Elvira. So they decided to come to church together, and she LOVED it, she is going to bring her 19 year old son next week…if he wants to come. Our members are sooooo cool! They just swooped in and scooped her up to make her feel welcome. We were playing the role of the directors of the play, telling members to go say hi to her, and sit by her in class and in Sacrament Meeting, showing her how the hymn book works. It was great. We have an appointment with her on Thursday, and a member she already met and became friends with is going with us. We are in the best ward in the mission. So even though we aren’t in the street as much as other missionaries, the Lord still blesses us with success.

So, the highlight of the week also happened on Sunday. It was a national holiday…Dia del Niño. Children’s Day. Yes…like mother’s day or father’s day, but for children. Best holiday ever invented, and it is legit here, too. The children get presents and everything, and everything shuts down, no one wanted to have us over, the usual big holiday treatment. Well, in celebration of this great holiday, the Primary had a special treat, and guest visitor…US! Elder Sabey and I taught Sharing Time in Primary, and it was probably the highlight of my mission so far. It was all combined, so we had the little tikes as well as the older kids who were too cool for Primary with us. Little do they know, that ten years from now when they are on missions, the only thing they will want to do is be in Primary again. So we played all the games we could remember from our Primary years, and surprisingly they weren’t familiar with any of them…so either it is different down here, or they have done away with the old primary traditions. We also did a few magic tricks for them and got them just hanging on our every word, after which we taught about the Book of Mormon and the Spirit. I think the teachers enjoyed it just as much as the children did. One sister came up after Sacrament Meeting, a good hour and a half after we taught Primary, and said, “Elder, you still haven’t told us how you did that trick.” And she was dead serious…haha, actually it was kind of awkward trying to get away without giving her the secret to the trick. Anyway, I had a great time, and can see why missionaries are in the class with investigators and new members, and not the Primary, because the kidnapping charges would probably sky-rocket. I wanted to take one home with me ha…but not like in a creepy way…the kidnapping was just a joke. Also, last week I found out that when you are really stressed and busy, it is helpful to sing Primary songs. And well, I am the material guy, so I have huge stocks of the Children´s Songbook in Spanish, and this whole week I took the liberty of memorizing primary songs in my spare/stressed time, in preparation for Sunday. It totally paid off too! I knew 3 of the 4 songs we sang.

I have also found that I can’t feel bad when I have an apple in my hand. Strange, yes, but an observation I made during the week. If I am eating an apple, I feel good, physically, and mentally. And with that little piece of information, I will leave you for another week, and hope that we have a P-day soon…because I ate 5 apples yesterday. Is that healthy?

I love to see the temple, I’m going there someday…next week…

Elder Gilmore

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mission Pictures

Well, looks like Sean had to work through P-Day again and didn't get a chance to write a letter. I don't know if he will get to write this week or not, but thought I would post a few more pictures that he has sent us. Enjoy!
Sean looks so happy doesn't he?

Sean and Elder Fox

Elder Gilmore

Does Sean look taller to you? Love the sword too....

pics pics pics

Elder Arriola and Sean at the temple in Buenos Aires

Sean raises the Title of Liberty?

Sean really liked that new years day pig

I'm sure it liked it a lot better after it was BBQed

more mission photos

Sean and companion, Elder Arriola

Sean with Argentine family

Sean with Ciris and companion, Elder Gonzalez

Ramos Mejia- Week #59

unfortunately we dont have pday again, so i dont know when i will write...there were going to be 5 new missionaries with visa problems coming today, but something happened and that number has dwindled down to 1, but 3 are staying for a week...it is just a big mess...and i am tired, and want a p-day...but it escapes me again

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Missionary Photos

Sister Pollock went to Argentina to pick up her son a couple weeks ago and she was nice enough to send us these pictures she took. Thanks!
Elders Sabey, Woodmansee, Pollock, Gilmore, Marchello, Frost and Varela

Sean showing Elder Pollock something on his camera... nice winter coat!

Ramos Mejia- Week #58

General Authority Week!

Welcome to the Sean Gilmore Show,

Do you ever wish your life is a movie, or TV show, like the Truman Show? I would probably watch this last week on re-runs. Actually, this week was kind of a hard one. Everyone was really stressed out with the three conferences, we didn’t get a lot of time to get out and work, our baptism fell through, and the second counselor in our bishopric died, which has hit the ward pretty hard. He was 29 and had cancer. He has a wife and three children, one only eight months old. Last week was testimony meeting, and everyone was just a mess. It was hard, as a missionary, this is my ward, my home ward for six months, and you build relationships and get attached to people. When you spend long enough with anyone, you can learn to love them, but it is even easier when they are great people trying their best to live the gospel.

Anyway, regardless of the trials, there were so many great things that happened. I call it General Authority Week. You know General Authorities are on your mind, when they start appearing in your dreams. Last night I dreamt that L. Tom Perry came to our mission and we were talking with him. Do quotes from a General Authority in a dream count as modern scripture? That wasn’t a serious question...

I will get to the Elder Zivic stuff later on, but we got the Church News this week and it had summaries from the talks at the New Mission President Seminar. It was just chalk-full of amazing quotes that everyone has to read! I liked it because the General Authorities understand better than anyone, what being on a mission is. They understand it isn’t a breeze, but that there are a lot of grinding times, when you think you will break. President Uchtdorf gave some advice to the mission presidents when he said,

“Please help your missionaries to understand that the fruits of their labor will reach far beyond their present horizon. Generations to come will be grateful and bless their names for their faithfulness and dedication. As these noble missionaries endure rejection, loneliness, self-doubt, homesickness and exhaustion, the Refiner’s fire will purify their souls. They will increase in wisdom and GROW UP in the Lord, and their confidence will wax strong in the presence of God.”

I love the term, Refiner’s fire…I have started to use it too much…but one thing is for sure, if I am not doing any other thing on that list, I am growing up. I liked what you said Dad, that there will be time after the mission for other things, but this time only comes once, and I have to use it as best I can. Anyway, President Uchtdorf goes on,

“A powerful jet reaches its true potential in the air only after the landing gear and takeoff flaps are retracted. Missionaries might experience a similar experience in their labors. They might arrive in the mission field a little clumsy, timid or even cocky, but as you help them to get rid of some early drag, as you guide them to develop some added acceleration and extra lift, they will discover their true potential and become what they were meant to be. They will become true servants of the Lord, following His promptings and magnifying their callings—climbing during their mission to greater spiritual heights and reaching out to faraway goals.”

Then Elder Holland put into words what I have felt, but couldn’t really express, about when you meet someone who is progressing and finally ready for baptism.

Elder Holland: “Spirit will prompt testimony and an invitation to be baptized. There comes such joy and peace in the room, such a near-tangible atmosphere of divinity, that neither the missionary, nor the member, nor the investigator experiencing such a moment would choose to be anywhere else in all the world at that time.”

They understand! Anyway, just a few more quotes and I will write about me. Elder Holland is pretty famous in the MTC for his talks that he has given there, and there are some classic lines from his messages. He always ends them in a powerful way that just makes you think, “Wow, did he just say that?” So here is how he ended his address to the missionaries, just before sitting down.

“The Godhead will bear testimony of you and your companion—frail, little uncelestial souls that you are—when you have earnestly tried to become part of the Divine Order…If you try to live this way—try with all the best that is within you—the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost above you will smile and say, ‘It is enough. We will let these missionaries and their investigators feel a portion of the power of heaven. We will let them feel the touch of our unity and our divinity. …’ Welcome to the work of angels. Welcome to the work of divinity.”

Haha I like the frail little uncelestial souls part. It is so true though. You just can’t have another experience like a mission. Like he said, it is the work of angels; it is the work of divinity. You can’t go on a mission, and put the least little bit of effort into it, and not come back better. All young men go on a mission. Shoot, all young women go on a mission. Everyone go on a mission, I don’t care who you are, how old you are, or your circumstances. You aren’t making the wrong choice if you choose to go on a mission. Senior couples, go on a mission…ok so I can’t really order senior couples around…but just my opinion. Alright so enough of that little rant, on to the Elder Zivic stuff.

Did everyone know that Elder Zivic was a mission President in the Spain…Bilbao mission! Cool huh? Brett is serving in the mission Elder Zivic used to preside over. I told him my best friend is there right now. Also, he is the new financial Secretary, cool stuff Brett! So the interview with him was pretty interesting. He told a little about his story. He lives here in this stake, and has all his life. He helped build the chapel I serve in, and the one the offices are attached to, here in Ramos Mejía. Get this too; he met his wife…in Primary…yeah! That is SWEET! I don’t even remember any girls from Primary. It was really interesting though, I thought he would talk about how important getting out of the offices is to go do missionary work and all that, which he did, but most of it was counsel to enjoy and take advantage of the time spent in the offices. Take advantage of the close relationship being developed with President Benton, because other missionaries just don’t get that opportunity. He said the offices are like Logistics, in the Army, making sure the troops on the front lines can work to maximum efficiency. So that was kind of cool. He really loved his office elders in Spain, and said sometimes they don’t get the credit they deserve. I think the missionaries here are pretty nice to us. They usually are appreciative and send us brownies and stuff…well…the sisters do anyway.

In the big conferences I took about 6 pages of notes. He talked a lot about how we get these “mindsets” about what is possible, and we refuse to think outside that mindset and do new things. He talked about an experiment that some scientists did – they put 4 monkeys in a large cage, with a staircase leading up to some bananas. Once they let the monkeys go, they all obviously ran for the bananas. Once they were almost at the top of the stairs, the scientists hosed them down with cold water, soaking the monkeys (not a very nice thing to do, if you ask me) and made them run back down the staircase to avoid the cold water. Every time they tried to go up and get the bananas, the scientists shot the cold water at them until finally the monkeys decided that they didn´t want to get wet anymore, so they stopped trying to get the bananas. Then the scientists took out one of the monkeys and put in a new monkey that knew nothing about the cold water. Obviously, the monkey went straight for the bananas, but when the three other monkeys saw where he was going they thought that surely the cold water was coming, so they grabbed him off the staircase and carried him away, and started punching and kicking him until he stopped trying to go for the bananas. He thought, well, I guess I shouldn´t go over there. Then the scientists took out a second monkey and put in a second new one, and just like the rest started running for the bananas. I probably would have, too. The two monkeys who remembered the cold water grabbed him off the staircase and carried him away, then started punching and kicking him, and the first new monkey didn´t know what was going on, but started punching and kicking anyway because that´s what happened to him, so he figured he would join in. The scientists changed out the third and fourth monkey, with the same thing happening, until there were 4 monkeys that knew nothing about the cold water, but none tried to go get the bananas. Elder Zivic said that we as people laugh at that story, but many times we get caught in a mindset that is just as ridiculous as the monkeys and the cold water. It happens a lot in missionary work. We don’t try things, because it is not how things have been done, and generations of missionaries have said not to do it that way. Moral of the story, don’t be a stupid monkey. Be a smart monkey and go for that banana! Never mind the cold water. So we also noticed that you don’t have to be an Apostle to have good quotes. Here are a few from him.

Elder Zivic quotes:

“Satan, you have awakened me, and now you will see me work – and it will make you tremble.”

“In the moments when we plead to God saying, “Why don´t you do more to help me?” I can sometimes imagine Heavenly Father say, “Remember that it is you, not me that have to achieve divinity. I already have.”

“When we have a positive attitude, 50% of the work is already done.”

So it was a pretty uplifting week in the sense of learning from the General Authorities. I got my package, thanks a lot! I ran out of peanut butter so that was welcome. Even though I am in the bigger city now, I have still yet to find peanut butter in this whole country. I did know Elder Tyler Larson, he was my district leader in Merlo for a few transfers, and we did divisions together. I would love to hear about the Education week stuff, and discuss it. Glad to hear everything is going well with Lacey, and she had a good time in Livingston. I can’t believe Kim Larson is already getting off her mission…she just left…a few months before me, haha. Well, that is about it. Just to end General Authority Week with a bang, here is another Elder Holland quote that I found a while ago that has quickly become one of my favorites.

“When things aren’t going well, remember that God loves broken things. He especially loves a broken heart. We still live the law of sacrifice. Christ died of a broken heart. We are put in situations to break our hearts. So try to be as good and as big as you can be and see it through, because we get it back, all of it! Everything that was dead and gone. We are given a new life. We all have to give a broken heart sometime. It is our Holy walk: the road to salvation goes through Gethsemane. Endure and save yourself for days of happiness ahead-because they are ahead. Endure! Just stand there and take it! Where else will we go? Peter said, “Lord, to whom would we go?” This gospel is the only hope you’ve got! The sun went down on a very black Friday (as it will for all of us at some point during this test) and it didn’t rise again, but it will. Don’t cave in the middle of the three days. Christ did it. You can do it too!”

Love, Elder Gilmore

P.S. It is amazing how long an email can get, when half of it is quotes copied and pasted into a word document.

P.P.S. There are rumors that an Apostle could be coming to the mission in November, but nothing official.