Elder Gardner

Elder Gardner will enter the MTC on Wednesday, June 23rd. We will keep this blog up-dated every week with his letters and pictures. If you would like to write to Elder Gardner, please click on the "write a letter" link on the right hand side for directions and his address. If you don't know much about Mormon Missions read the "about missions" page to learn more; it may help you understand some confusing terms in the letters.

Monday, July 19, 2010

MTC, Week 4(?)


Well, I've made it another week. It's crazy, I've almost been here a whole month. I'm just about at my half way point of the MTC. I'm way excited to get to Argentina and start teaching real people, but I am still enjoying being here. I heard that Argentina recently legalized gay marriage. That should make the next two years a little more interesting...

So, mom asked me some questions about how mission presidents are called. I don't think she actually expected me to answer them, but since my companion's parents are mission presidents I asked him and he told me how it works. The person being called has be to officially recommended be a General Authority (member of the 70 or higher); stake presidents can suggest names to them but only GAs can officially submit them. The recommendations are given to the presidents of the quorum of the 70 and they make the intial decision as to who will serve in what mission. Their decision is then given to the quorum of the 12 apostles who go through and make changes if they feel like it. The apostles then send their decision to the first presidency who make the final decision. The people being selected as mission presidents have no idea any of this is happening until they are called and told to meet with an apostle. So, that's how it works. Hope you're happy mom. And if I got any of it wrong blame my companion.

Nothing too exciting happened this week, just normal class and teaching. Spanish is coming along alright; it's hard but not horrible. Taking Latin in high school has helped a little bit with understanding grammar, but it hasn't helped at all with vocab or anything. Mainly because I forgot everything from Latin.

During our TRC this week we had to talk to someone on a "bus." It went ok, my companion did most of the talking, but I understood and said more than I have on previous weeks. Then we taught the second lesson in English. The second lesson is the plan of salvation (in case you were curious) but we didn't get very far. We talked about pre-earth life and Adam and Eve but then he asked about baptism and we spent the rest of the time talking about why he would need to be baptised again and why we don't baptize babies. We did a good job of answering his questions, he seemed sastisfied enough. Sadly we didn't get to teach him anything about what happens after death. O well, I guess he'll find that out when he dies.

Our teacher had us teach in Spanish for the first time on Saturday. It was pretty intense. We had about twenty minutes to prepare, so we went over what we knew how to say and tried to get ready. We taught a companionship that has been here a week less than we have (one of them was Elder Jones, I knew him by his first name Tyler while at BYU). But they understood most of what we said. Hopefully the parts they didn't understand was because they didn't know enough Spanish yet, not because we didn't know enough. It was pretty rocky, but we got the message across. When we were finished we went back to class and our teacher told us we were going to teach in Spanish again in ten minutes. So we talked about what we could do better and did it again. The second time was much better, but we still have a long way to go in speaking Spanish. I'm happy our teacher had us do it again because we ended on a good note of improvement instead of a sad note of not teaching well. Considering the fact that four weeks ago I had never spoken a sentence of Spanish in my life, I think I'm doing pretty good. But the Lord deserves the credit for that, not me.

On Sunday we couldn't go to the Music and the Spoken word because they are doing construction in the gym and only have room for the sisters. That was sad. But church was really good. Sunday's are a nice break from class. Sunday night we had the usual fireside (which we had to watch in the cafeteria because of the construction). The speaker was the administrative director of the MTC, Brother Heaton. He talked a little about the new mormon.org that was launched a week or so ago. It seems really cool. All of you who are members should go set up a profile, and those of you who aren't should go look at it. Then he talked about how Preach My Gospel has changed the course of missionary work and how they are trying to get it to change even more. He said that all the missionaries in the world are getting training right now on how to better help people to come unto Christ for themselves. He then gave us a little break down of the training missionaries in the field are getting. It was pretty exciting. I think that if we can actually apply the things we was saying we could be a lot more effective in helping people come to Christ. Hopefully all the missionaries can put them in into practice. It made me really want to get into the field right now and start teaching.

Well, that's all for this week folks. Now for some birthday wishes: Happy Birthday Emily (I'm late I know), I can't believe she is a year old already. Happy Birthday Nate (I'm late I know). And Happy Birthday Becca (I'm not late, I know)!

Con Amor,
Elder Gardner

"Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see."

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