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.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Semana Loca (Cazador Week 4)

Well, this has been one of the craziest weeks of my life (I think I say that every week, but it´s still true). Let me tell you a little about it:

First some good things. On Monday we went to visit the brother of Adrian (the guy who got baptized a week ago). The brother´s name is Claudio and his wife is Sonia (they aren´t married but they live together and have a kid). We went to their house with Adrian and Rocío and talked and it was clear there were relationship problems. They were on the verge of separating, mainly becuase of Sonia, Claudio still wants to stay together. We taught them about the gospel and how it can help their lives and Adrian and Rocío told them how it had helped their relationship. It was a really good lesson and we helped them come closer together. We gave them a Book of Mormon and asked them to read it together. Claudio said he would. Sonia said, ¨si no me voy antes¨ or ¨if I don´t leave first.¨ Wow, that´s harsh. But we are sure that God can help them overcome their problems and if they will just read and pray together they will be happier. They are still together and doing a lot better. It is awesome being an instrument in God´s hands to bless people´s lives like that.

Tuesday night/Wednesday morning was the real adventure. Before I tell this story let me preface it with this warning: Do not freak out! We are all safe and all fine. Don´t worry! (That got your attention, right) We woke up at 2:30 in the morning because our doorbell went off. It was the middle of the night and I didn´t understand anything that was going on so I was just about to fall back asleep when Elder Merrill said, ¨There is a fire outside the window.¨ I looked and sure enough there was! It was just a little fire on a tree about 5 feet away from the door. I figured it was no big deal (I was tired remember) but it would be nice of us to go put it out. So I put on a shirt while Elder Merrill put on his contacts. We opened the door to see if anyone else was outside and a woman yelled, ¨chicos, ¡salgan de ahí!¨ or ¨Kids, get out of there!¨ The fire was a little bigger and we thought it might be a good idea to leave just in case. So we closed the door, woke up the other elders in the apartment, all of us used the bathroom, we got our important things (cameras and journals) then left. We still didn´t think it was a very big deal, but we were wrong.

There used to be a lumber yard right next to our house. The key word in that sentence is used to be. As soon as we left it caught fire too. So we called the mission president because there was a pretty good chance our house was going to burn down. He told us the assistants were going to come and make sure we were safe. His last words, ¨Enjoy the experience Elders.¨ The roof of our house caught on fire, but fortunately the firefighters came in time to save our house, and we live on the bottom story. The assistants came and after a while we decided there was no way we were going to get back into our house and there was nothing we could do. So at about five in the morning they dropped us off at the church and we slept on the benches in the chapel for a few hours. Until about nine when a female member came into the chapel, that was awkward. We woke up and left because an activity was about to start.

We went back to our apartment to see what happened. The door got burned and we couldn´t open it, so we jumped the fence and came in through the back. The window shattered because of the heat and the house smells like smoke, but besides that everything is fine. The only thing that got even a little burned was my flag that was in front of the window. Thankfully Argentines build their houses out of cement and brick so it is pretty fire proof. But now we are fine. We are still living there, things smell a little smoky at times but every thing else is normal. The only real difference is we have a much better view out the window. :)

Then to top things off it has been raining off and on the past few days. Before you think I´m just a whinner, remember that about half of the roads here are dirt. Or maybe I should mud. It isn´t very easy to walk around on a mud road. But whenever there are big problems it is because great success is right around the corner. And that was true this week. On Friday we taught an amazing young man (about 22 years old) who told us he truely wants to change his life. We read the story of Alma the younger in Alma 36 and talked about how the gospel can change his life. He told us that he wanted to go to church but instead of us picking him up at his house he would meet us at the bus stop by our house. Usually we don´t like to do that becuase if they don´t wake up there is nothing we can do, but he said he would call us when he left so we would know. Sunday morning he didn´t call us. But we went and waited anyway. Twenty minutes later he still wasn´t there and we were about to take the next bus to town when we saw him walking down the sidewalk! We were so excited and happy that he came. He really liked church and is excited to go next week. The gospel is truely for this type of person, someone who really wants to change their life. That is the whole reason I am here, to help people change and find more happiness.

So this has been our week here. We are working hard and starting to see some real success in this area. Elder Merrill is a great elder and has a ton of faith. We get along great (he likes to sing songs from musicals, what else need I say?) Spanish is coming. I´m working a lot on my accent and it is getting better. I still can´t roll my r´s but that´s ok.

Thanks for reading my really long email this week! I hope you enjoyed it. Fire is always fun (in case you were wondering I did not start the fire). Have a great week everyone!

Nos vemos,
Elder Gardner

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