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, March 28, 2011

Clark Kent (Cazador Week 19)

Clark Kent. That is what everyone says when Elder Clarke says his name. It´s pretty funny how everyone here knows who superman is.

Anyway, this week has been pretty good. We have started teaching Celeste, the girlfriend of a kid in our ward who is leaving on a mission in June (apparently no one warned him that girlfriends never wait). But she has a solid testimony of the church. She has gone to church a few times and read part of the Book of Mormon and prayed and asked God if it was true and He said yes. That is the way God works, you do your part by reading and going to church and then ask Him if it is true and He answers. It´s pretty simple. So she is getting baptized because she wants to not and because her boyfriend wants her too, which is good.

Then we have Angel, a 91 year old man. He is the grandfather of a member and has talked to missionaries lots of times but never wanted to get baptized. Then last week during church he told me to come over and said ¨me voy a bautizar. Pregunté a Dios y Él me dijo que sí.¨ Or something like that. Basically he had prayed about baptism a lot and never got an answer but when he did it again a week ago God told him that he needs to get baptized. So we are working with him and he should be baptized soon, which is awesome. God has been answering a lot of prayers here the past week; just like He normally does.

Other than that Silvia and Tatiana are still loving the church and the Book of Mormon but their husbands aren't helping them with the whole getting married problem. My companion, Elder Clarke, is really cool. He has a really happy and positive attitude all the time that just rubs off on people making everyone happy. He is a great companion.

That is all for this week. See you all next time.

Nos Vemos,
Elder Gardner

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Transfers (Cazador Week 18)

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing well.

So transfers was today. Some weird things happened. Elder Southern is starting his last transfer, and since he just got here we assumed he would stay and finish in El Cazador. The question was whether I would stay or go. But we got the call last night and they told us that Elder Southern is leaving. He is going to the Boca (back to the capital city in the zone where I started) as the companion to two zone leaders. And I got a new companion. His name is Elder Clarke. If that name sounds familiar to you give yourself ten points. He was in my apartment when I was in Parque Chacabuco. He is the third missionary in a row to come here to El Cazador from Parque Chacabuco. It´s really weird because I already know him and lived with him before. He is from Utah and has about a year in the mission. He loves to make jokes and enjoy life. It should be an enjoyable transfer.

Exciting events this week: There aren't a whole lot. Silvia and Tatiana are still doing really well. We talked to them about marriage this week. Silvia has to wait for her husband to get divorced and that is going to take awhile (it´s expensive to get divorced here). Tatiana wants to get married but her husband is a little less enthusiastic, but he said they will talk and think about it.

We found a praying mantis the other day. We were walking and I saw it walking on the street. So we picked it up and brought it home and put it in a jar with some leaves. It is pretty cool, I had never seen a praying mantis before. I have pictures of it I would send but the computer won´t let me.

That´s about all I can think of to say for this week. Sorry, a little bit boring. This transfer went by so fast! I feel like Elder Southern just barely got here and now he is gone. Time really needs to slow down. There is still too much left to do.

Well, I hope everyone has a great week this week. Stay tuned for some more updates next Monday.

les amo,
Elder Gardner

Monday, March 14, 2011

(Cazador Week 17)


One thing I learned this week: I do not like the Colombian accent. I did divisions with an elder from Columbia and I had a very hard time understanding him. But at least I was able to understand when I paid really close attention, that´s better than nothing.

Anyway, this week was alright. There was a capacitacion (training) for the leaders of the mission so that´s why I did divisions with the Colombian (Elder Pabón). Whenever there is something like that it always makes the week go by so fast. I feel like I was just writing the last letter a few days ago. So I´m not even entirely sure what happened this week or the week before or what to write about, but I´ll try anyway.

Some highlights: Adrian (the blind man I baptized) received the Melchizedek (is that how you spell it in English?) priesthood yesterday. That was awesome. He has blessed the sacrament several times, even though he is blind. And he reads the scriptures in braille and goes with us to visit people whenever we ask him too. He is an amazing man, I´m so glad I was able to be part of his journey to Christ, though I really didn't do a whole lot. I got to stand in the circle during the ordination to the priesthood, which was cool. I felt the spirit testify that this is the priesthood of God. The ability to act in His name in order to bless the lives of His children is the greatest privilege, blessing, and responsibility that we can have here on earth. The power and authority of the priesthood is real, it truly is on the earth again and through it we can receive all the blessings that Christ made possible when he atoned for our sins.

The ´husband´ of Silvia came back from working far away. That´s good because now we can start working an the divorce and the marriage. But he didn't come to church yesterday. We called Sunday in the morning and he said that he had guests over but that Silvia and the rest of the family were on there way. That´s kinda sad because he is a member and the rest of them aren't, he should be the first one to come to church. Silvia was also rather upset with him. The gospel is meant to bless the whole family. It helps individuals as well, of course, but it is so much better when the whole family follows the gospel and goes to church together. The family is there to help each other out and support each other. That´s a huge problem here (in this ward); almost every family has someone who doesn't go to church, who left the path and hasn't come back even though the rest of the family is continuing forward faithfully. I´m so grateful for my family and the guidance my parents gave me as I grew up. ¡Thanks mom and dad!

That´s the most exciting things that happened this week. There were a few other fun things, like going on splits with the ward to visit less actives, and showing up at Silvia´s house on day and finding the presidency of the Relief Society there already teaching. It´s awesome to see the ward working and helping, that´s the way it should be. We all have the opportunity to help someone come unto Christ, you don´t need to be wearing a black name tag to go visit someone who didn't go to church last week.

Well, that´s all the time I got. I hope everyone has a great week and looks for every chance to help pick up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees.

Con amor,
Elder Gardner

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hola (Cazador Week 16)

Hello everyone. Here we are, one more week gone by. One more week that we had to make choices that can change the rest of our lives and the lives of thousands of people. I hope we all made good ones. That is the whole reason we are here: to make good choices that will make us more like Christ and help other people come unto Christ as well. Remember that next time you have to make a decision: Which choice will make you more like Christ, or in other words, which one will make you happier in the long run?

Anyway, this week has been alright. We have been working more with Silvia and her sister in law. They have been reading the Book of Mormon a ton and went to church again yesterday and they are loving it. We are really happy for them, they are amazing. Every time we talk to them they tell us about how much better they have felt and how their lives are changing. They have truly become more patient and happy and loving. It has been awesome to see the change that has come as they have made the choice to come unto Christ. He truly has the power to change us for the better.

Other than that nothing too exciting has happened. I have learned a lot this week about how important it is to be giving it all in the Lord´s work. I have found that as I work hard I am truly happy, but when I slack off or waste time doing other things I´m not happy at all. It´s interesting, I´m doing things that before I would have considered hard, something I wouldn't want to do, like walking in the street talking to people. But now they are things I need to do in order to really be happy. I've truly had what the scriptures call a change of heart. Or as Christ said, ¨He who loses his life for my sake, shall find it.¨ (I don´t know the citation and I might have quoted it wrong, sorry).

Well, that´s all for this week. I hope everything has another great week filled with great choices. Nos vemos.

Elder Gardner