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, January 24, 2011

Un bautismo milagroso (Cazador week 10)

Well, this week was rather amazing. A couple weeks ago I mentioned that Elder Merrill found a member family that isn´t on the list of members, and that in this family there is a 12 year old son who isn´t a member (or wasn´t a member). The grandmom and son came to church two weeks ago, last week Juan (the son) came by himself, and yesterday he was baptized. So the story:

Juan´s mom died about three months ago. Ever since then the whole family has been kind of depressed (he lives with his grandmom, dad, and 8 year old brother who has down syndrome). The grandmom and dad are members but the dad stopped going to church a long time ago and the grandmom stopped about 5 years ago. Elder Merrill showed up at their house the day after the grandmom had a dream where the recently deceased mom asked her why she doesn´t go back to church. After the grandmom and Juan came to church the first week we tried to teach them again but never found them at home, we passed by three times during the week but they were never there. After Juan came to church by himself we realized he was really interested and we needed to talk to him. So Monday night we set an appointment with him, his dad (who is almost never home), and the grandmom. We felt that we should invite him to be baptized, but he is going on a two week long vacation on Wednesday so we didn´t know when to do it. We prayed and decided that it would be best for him to be baptized before he left, so we invited him to be baptized on Sunday. He accepted and his dad was very supportive of his decision. We had to call the mission president to get special permission to baptize him before church on Sunday, at 8 in the morning. So with lots of help from members, we went to his house and taught him every day this week to help him be prepared. On Saturday morning he had his baptismal interview, he was there 15 minutes early waiting for us to arrive. Then on Sunday morning we were a little worried because he was late, but he showed up a few minutes later with his dad, grandmom, and aunt and cousins. It was a great baptismal service and there were lots of members there to show him and his family support.

So, Juan has been our main focus this week. We have had a lot of help from the members who were willing to go with us to visit and teach, which was amazing. We realized this week how willing people are to help, they just need someone to invite them to do it. Also this week the ward had an activity on Saturday. There was a carnival in the soccer field in the back of the chapel. Sadly I forgot to take my camera so I don´t have pictures, but there were lots of little games (throw a ball at cans, ring toss, water balloon toss (I got wet), get candy out of flour using your face, etc). It was really fun and lots of members came, along with Juan and his cousin who had a great time.

We have seen God´s hand guiding us to people who need our help a lot in the past week. From guiding us to Juan and his family that really needed some comfort in a hard time of their life, to talking to another lady on the street that recently had to get a restraining order on her abusive husband. There are a lot of people who need help, it is amazing to be an instrument in God´s hands to bring them the help they need.

I hope everyone has a great week. Keep up the good work and remember to take time to stop and lift the hands that hang down. You can be the miracle that that person was praying for.

Elder Gardner

"These are Argentine keys. Yes, they look like they are keys to a castle or something. It´s awesome."

"Juan with more of his family: his dad, grandmom, brother, aunt and cousins."

"Juan and his dad, his dad is inactive, but is fully supportive and very proud of his son´s decision."

"Juan and the missionaries, Elder Merrill baptized him."

Juan Ignacio, the amazing young man that got baptized yesterday.

"A few weeks ago we went to spend some time with Adrian and Rocío (the couple that got baptized a month or so ago) during p-day. Adrian showed us some of his guitar skills, it´s rather impressive considering he his blind."

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