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.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Parque Something Day 2

Well, I am here in Argentina. It´s been a crazy two days, but I made it and I´m starting my new life as a missionary.

There are eleven new missionaries in Buenos Aires North. After we arrived we were taken to the mission home in Buenos Aires where President Gulbransen gave us some intsruction. We had lunch (empanadas) which was really good. Then we met our trainers. My companion´s name is Elder Ludwig, he is from Las Vegas so he speaks English (thank goodness!). We are in an area called Park Something (I can´t remember the name); it is in the city of Buenos Aires, but not the down town part, the poorer part. We live in a small apartment with two other elders, neither of which speak much English.

After we met our trainers they sent us off to our areas to go work. We had an apointment with Juan and Margarita who are from Bolivia. They are investigators who live in a one room apartment with two kids. The whole family sleeps on the same bed. I didn´t understand much of what they said, but Juan asked a lot of questions about the word of wisdom, which Elder Ludwig answered. At the end I bore my testimony and they gave us milk (heated not cooled). They live in the villa (pretty much means ghetto), where most of the foriegners live. They are all really poor.

After that we went to the church building to give the Bishop something and talked to some of the members who were playing fútbol.
I didn´t understand anything they said either, but they seemed nice.

This morning we had a district meeting. It was all in Spanish and I understood a little more of what they said. I think I am getting better at it, but I still don´t understand a whole lot. Then we got lunch from a member family (the parents weren´t home so we had to eat it in our apartment) and went shopping for food. And now we are here.

It´s been hard. I´ve never been on such an emotional rollercoaster in my life. From the excitment in leaving the MTC, to the spirituality with the mission president, to the nervousness when traveling to my first area, to the frustration when trying to understand anything people say; it´s a lot of feelings to go through in one day.

If you ever want to be really tired, wake up at 5:30 a.m. in Provo, drive to Salt Lake, take a four hour plane ride to Atlanta in the middle seat of an airplane with small seats, run to your connecting flight, then try to sleep on a ten hour flight to Argentina. Arrive in Argentina at 8 a.m. in the morning and don´t go to bed until 10:30 p.m.. That will make you really tired, trust me.

If you ever want to feel loved ask my mission president (President Gulbransen) for a hug. He is the most loving guy I have met.

If you ever want to feel incredibly inadequent try talking to someone on the street in Argentina about Jesus Christ in Spanish.

If you ever want to feel completely out of place just walk down the villa in Buenos Aires, where people are so poor they make fires in the street to cook food, wearing a white shirt and tie. And all anyone speaks is Spanish and you don´t know a thing they are saying even though you have been studying Spanish non-stop for the last two months.

But if you want to feel that it will all be ok, just remember that you are a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. And no matter how hard things get you know that this is His work and that it will all be ok in the end. It will probably take a while, and it will definitely be hard, but other people have gone through the same thing and they managed to make it work. And the Lord is there, never forget that and it will be ok.

So that is what is going on Buenos Aires. I´m trying to do my best. Hopefully I can understand things soon. I would appreciate your prayers.

con amor,
Elder Gardner


Katie said...

You made me cry, jerkface! I needed that reminder that everything will be ok in the end. I've been on an emotional rollercoaster myself recently. It is so hard to keep the end of the ride in focus, but the knowledge that there is an end and that it is so worth it keeps me moving forward. I love you kid! My final advice still stands, learn Spanish, k? :)

Anonymous said...

Such a beautifull letter.
My daughter is now doing a spanish immersion in Argentina, I miss her so much. You remind me so much to her. Thanks for sharing, very nice.
Good luck there!!!