Sunday, June 28, 2015

Homecoming Plans

Gabe's homecoming plans are set.  He will be speaking in 2 sacrament meetings, both on August 23rd.

He will speak in our old ward, the Alpine 10th Ward, at 9:00 am.  The church address is 327 South Long Drive, Alpine, Utah.

He will speak in our new ward, the Highland 22 Ward, at 11:00 am.  The church address is 9621 North, 6050 West, Highland, Utah.

You're welcome to attend either or both services.  You are also welcome to stop by our house to visit afterwards.  Our address is 6075 West 9740 North, Highland, Utah.

Here's a picture that was posted by one of Gabe's fellow missionaries recently.

And for Fathers' Day, we went and showed our skills out while making cookies. Courtesy of the Carrasco Family, who brought all of this to the church for the ward Dads' day party. It was awesome.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Heat Season

I am great! haha.  It is so hot here!!!  We don't use blankets. I sweat at night and when we shower and get out and dry off, it's like I didn't even get out. We still sweat, haha.  So it's hot, very hot. It was up in the 100s this past week. This coming week, idk.

Our investigators are good. We found a family that are really humble and are listening to us. They love when we come over.  They're from Kansas, but they don't speak English.  The zone is really good.  We have a zone meeting today, so I hope it goes good.  We're trying to get the missionaries a little more excited and pumped up to do the work.  Lots of them seem like they're sad or just dying, idk, it's weird. So it will be good to talk to them today.

I miss you, Dad. I miss all those camping trips we did. I love you. 
Men in Black and White

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Not in Kansas Any More

This story is from Elder Jackson, Gabe's new companion:

We were walking in the street and trying to find somebody, ANYBODY, to talk to, and failing miserably (seriously, the only reason that people walk in the street in our area is to get from the house to the car), and I will say that saying hi to people on their balconies has its benefits, because next thing we know there is a woman coming out onto the street and asking us to talk to her. At first we thought that she might be a little drunk, because her neighbors were having a little fun throwing the alcohol around, but as we got closer we saw that that was not the case. She had just gotten into the city from Kansas, (and for those of you who don't know, my brother is on his mission in Kansas) and asked us to teach her, because she had been taking the lessons in Kansas, and the only reason she can't come to church is because her mother is seriously ill with some king of muscular atrophy, but she wants to be baptized and it is super awesome just going there, because the spirit is so flipping strong and its just a super cool experience.

Here are a couple of pictures Elder Jackson posted.  The captions are his, too.

This is Elder Castleton, my companion. Despite appearances, he is American, from Alpine Utah, and super awesome.

This is the view of Juarez we have from our roof. Best view in the whole dang world.

What's Really Important

Editor's Note:  Gabe hasn't been sending a lot of missionary stories lately, so I'm going to share a couple that other missionaries have shared involving Gabe.  These were posted on a Ciudad Juarez Missionary Moms Facebook page.  This one is from Elder Cox, who is in Gabe's zone.


The experience I wanted to share with you was that me and Elder Castleton went on divisions and visited a new investigator. It was a lady in her 40's and her mother who I really don't know how old she was but she's pretty much terminally ill. And we were just getting to know them and about them. The mother who was sick was telling us that really she's looking for something that can give her hope and that she doesn't know which visit with us will be the last. It was kind of sad, but it really opened my eyes that sometimes we just get focused on getting things done as missionaries and just the numbers and that people really do find hope in what we have. When really if we focus on helping the people understand and receive the gospel, then Heavenly Father is happy with our work. He's not counting our lessons, he just wants us as missionaries to do what we can to make sure people receive the Gospel and realize how important this work is.

Coming to the End

Hey, guys, so yea, it's been a good week!  Yea, my new companion is Elder Jackson. He's chill. We had some cool experiences this past week!  i wanna save them for when I'm home. It's kinda hard ending cause everyone is like hey, you're going home and I'm like yea.... but I'm ready as well. I wanna start my life. But I'm still goin here, still preachin.  It just doesn't feel real. It's weird. I can't see my self living in Utah.  I have dreamed a ton and wished to make it back home safe and see the green grass movin by the wind and the mountains standing tall and strong and my dear sweet beautiful family.  That's all I want. I just want my family.  The gospel and family is all I want. It's all I need to be complete, at least for here on this earth. But in the next life it will be better. I just dream of seeing Utah again.  I understand how hard it is for some people to have the desire to go over to live in the USA but they can't.  It feels like I've had the most perfect life and people here want to do the same.  They dream of crossing the border to live in a place like our place. I don't know, it's just hard sometimes.  But I miss you guys and hope everything goes great.  Have a great week!

Baptism Surprise

Editor's Note:  It's been a while since I posted here.  Not to make excuses, but we've been moving...  I'll try to post a few today going back to the end of April.

HEY!! So this week we had a baptism surprise! It went well. Well, there were two baptisms, of a familia and their daughter and the other daughter that's like 8.  But we activated the family and helped them and we just had the baptism.  It was really nice. i could feel the spirit really strongly. 

In my last area I don't know if that lady got baptized. We can't really talk to the other elders from the other areas. It's a rule. But hopefully she did. We also had an activity in the stake where, well I'll say it was the president of the stake's idea. We got all the investigators to come to the church for this activity and the recent converts from some of the other wards shared their conversion experience. It went really nicely and us missionaries sang in a choir there. it was awesome. We also gave out Hershey kisses and cookies, like from Pres. Packer's talk in general conference.  But we used Hershey kisses cause we obviously can't be goin around kissing people so we used those chocolates. It was fun. That was yesterday. So that's some fun stuff that went on. We are planning to have more activities this summer, a lot more, so we're gonna see what we can do. 

How are you guys doing? I know some hard things have happened but just keep goin.  Help someone have a good day.  An elder here, his father died.  He left to see him for a week and he died. Then he returned here to the mission.  He's a strong elder and it helped me as well cause he cares about the work and he trusts God. So I know as we just follow the steps in the gospel God will help and bless us. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING ACTIVE IN CHURCH AND IN THE GOSPEL.  I hope you guys have a good week :)  See you next week.

Elder Castleton