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.

Friday, November 26, 2010

El Cazador Week 1

Well, I´m not in Kansas anymore. Actually I feel a lot more like I am in Kansas now than before. My area is a suburb of the city Escobar. The city is about an hour and a half north of Buenos Aires (the city). So I am in ´The Province´ (outside of the city Buenos Aires but inside the province Buenos Aires). It is a lot different from my last area. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Parque Chacabuco (specifically Villa 1-11-14) is one of the most dangerous areas in the mission. El Cazador is one of the safest.
2. In El Cazador there are dirt roads and people actually have yards.
3. There are chickens and roosters and ducks and horses all over the place.
4. At night time there are fireflies.
5. People here are actually from the Argentina.
6. Parque Chacabuco has an average sunday attendance of 140. El Cazador: 70.

My companion is Elder Merrill. He is from Idaho Falls, Idaho. He is the district leader here and is a very good missionary. We are teaching a couple that is going to get married and baptized in two weeks. The husband is blind and the wife is 18. They have a one year old little boy. We are also teaching two kids whose grandad got baptized a year or so ago but no one else in the family. The kids want to get baptized in a few weeks and we hope to baptize the rest soon enough.

Besides that this area has a ton of inactive members. We are working hard to get them back to church and help the attendance on Sundays. There is a lot of walking involved here. People don´t live all close together like they do in the villa.

Well, this week is Thanksgiving. I hope everyone remembers how blessed they are to live in the United States of America and to have the lives that they do. I am more thankful now than ever for what I have back home.

That´s all I´ve got for this week. I hope to have pictures of some chickens or something for the next time. For the first time of my life I am living outside of a city. It is weird, but I love it. Have a great week!

Con Amor,
Elder Gardner

Elder Merrill standing in their room.

Doug and Elder Merrill

The stairs. I think they are awesome cause they are spirally.

The bottom story of their apartment. Kitchen/other elder´s room.

I am attaching a letter. ¡You are not allowed to open or read it until thanksgiving! It is about some of the things I am thankful for. You can have Dad read it before you eat on thanksgiving or something. I am going to be very jealous of the great food. There isn´t really turkey, mashed potatoes, or stuffing here. So have someone eat extra for me. But don´t eat too much mom! You got to watch your health.

Having lived outside of the United States, especially outside of Irvine, Ca, I have come to be thankful for a lot of things we take for granted in the States. Among many, the main three are: my house, my religion, and my family.

1. My house. I have seen all sorts of houses here. Most of them are just cement and brick. Many of them are literally smaller than my front room. They share a kitchen and a bathroom with other ´houses´ that are close by. The people here don´t have the ability to go to their room to be alone, to have a nice table where they eat, couches are almost non-existent, a lot of people don´t even have chairs, just stools. There are also people who don´t even have that much, all they have is the clothes on their back. It is so hard to walk by people sleeping on the street and not just want to cry. To have my own bedroom with my own bed, a fridge, a kitchen, a couch, a tv, a computer, carpet. All of these things I am so grateful for.

2. My religion. There are so many people who don´t know why they are on the earth. Who have no purpose, no foundation. When something bad happens in their live they have no where to turn for comfort or guidance. That is why we have the gospel. That is why we have Christ. So that no matter what happens we know who we are and we know why we are here. It gives meaning to live and a reason to get going enough when life is tough, which it always is.

3. My family. There are tons of broken families here. Girls that got pregnant as teenagers, dads who left, kids who live on the street. The strength and protection that a family gives is invaluable. To have parents who love me and will do anything for me. Siblings that care about me and are always available to give advice or hang out with. It is a great blessing to have a strong large family that loves eachother. Even though there will be at least one more nephew that I don´t know when I get back, I love him too. Though there will actually be at least one more neice/nephew, because Rachel is pregnant.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone. I love you all. May God be with you till we meet again.

Les quiero mucho,

Elder Gardner

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