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.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Miracle Baptisms (Cazador Week 6)

Bueno. This email is going to be short and to the point. We are going to Temaiken today and want to be able to spend as much time there as possible, so I need to be fast. Temaiken is a very famous zoo in Argentina, it isn´t open on Mondays so the only chance we get to go is on transfer days when p-day switches to Tuesday. And in case that didn´t give it away: I am still in El Cazador and still with Elder Merrill for the next transfer. There are no longer four elders in our apartment (one got sick and the other got called to the offices and they closed the area) so it is just us two. The other elders in our district are the same, but now their area is twice as big since they got the other area that just closed.

This week has been tough. With all the Christmas decorations and everything it is hard to keep focused on the work. And when you start thinking about Christmas you think of home then start to get homesick. I´m actually kind of glad for Christmas to be over so I can focus easier. It was also tough because Christmas Eve our golden family dropped us. This is the family that we found last week that was way excited about everything. We´ve had several lessons with them and they seemed to be progressing really well, reading the Book of Mormon and praying. But Christmas Eve they told us they felt ´impresionados´ (how do you say that in English, ´pressured´?) and wanted to take things more slowly. They don´t want us to visit for at least two weeks. And our other golden investigator, Cristian, told us he is way to busy and won´t be able to find time for us until after the fiestas. So it was kind of a sad day, but we are confident that there are people here who are ready and we are working to find them. We realized we need to work a lot more with the members, all of our investigators we found through contacts on the street, which isn´t nearly as effective.

But along with all this disapointment came a miracle. The elders in our district have been trying for four months to get two girls baptized but couldn´t get the parents permission. On Sunday they finally got permission and decided to do the baptism Monday (yesterday; it´s pretty weird to have a baptism on Monday but they felt that they needed to). So Monday we went to the church at 5:30 so Elder Merrill could do the baptismal interviews. We got there and the elders were literally running around trying to get water. The baptismal font had filled up about a fourth of the way and then the water in the chapel stopped working. We tried for about 40 minutes and couldn´t get water. Elder Merrill then had to do the interviews and the other elders continued running aroud looking for water; the bank next door had water but wouldn´t let them use it, they called the bishop, the city matience people, the firefighters, but nothing worked. At about 8 we still didn´t have water but the family was there and waiting for the baptism. So us four elders knelt and prayed and asked for a miracle. After looking around for a few more minutes we were talking about how we felt during the prayer. One of the elders said he felt very peaceful that it would all work out. The instant he finished talking the door opened and a member walked in. We told him the problem and he fixed it in about 45 seconds. So it was now 8:20 and we had 15 minutes to fill the font and get the girls baptized. We found as many hoses as we could and started filling. I got a bucket and filled it up from a faucet in the bathroom and threw the water in the font. Finally at 8:45 we were ready. The girls changed into white, we had a prayer and a short talk, then they got baptized. It was the craziest baptism I have ever seen, but it happened. And it truely was a miracle that the member arrived just at the time he did. It was interesting. The entire time we were thinking, ¨what do we need to do to get water?¨ It never crossed my mind that we could cancel the baptism and do it another day, the whole time we were just focused on getting water. And at the last possilbe minute God blessed us with what we needed.

This work is true. God lives. 2010 years ago His son was born into this world, and today that Son lives. Miracles still happen, you just have to look for them. I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas and has a great week.

que Dios les bendiga,
Elder Gardner

p.s. that was a bit longer than I meant for it to be, but I had to tell that story.

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