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, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter! (Cazador week 23)

Matthew 27: 39, 42, 22, 23, 35, 37, 46, 50, 59, 60
Matthew 28: 1, 5, 6, 7, 9, 20

¨And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
¨He went away the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, they will be done.
¨Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
¨And the crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots.
¨and set up over his head his accusation written: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
¨and about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
¨Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yilded up the ghost.
¨And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb.
¨In the end of the Sabbath came Mary to see the sepulchre. . . And the angel said unto the women, He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go and tell the he is risen from the dead.
¨Behold, Jesus met them, saying. . . lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world, Amen.¨

I hope you all had a great Easter and remembered why we celebrate the holiday. If you didn´t have a chance to read the Easter story (all four of them in the Bible) I invite you to read them today; For it is because of Easter that we do everything that we do. I know that Christ lives. Through Him we can find goy in this life and eternal life in the world to come.

With love,
Elder Gardner

Monday, April 18, 2011

Baptisms are stressful (Cazador week 22)

Hola familia y amigos y conocidos,

You know, baptizing is hard. First you got to teach the person the gospel and help them come to church and help them want to get baptized. That´s actually the easy part. The hard part comes the week before the baptism when you have to get everything ready. At least when you do it kind of last minute like we did this past week.

We had been working with a few people that could be baptized, but the only one that was ready was Michael (the 15 year old son of the lady who has to get a divorce). Here were some of the problems in planning the baptism: Apparently he didn't tell his family about his baptism, and we didn't either (totally our fault) until Thursday night. They were all very surprised, but by the next day they were very supportive. We then asked Michael who he wanted to baptize him but only person he wanted to do it declined the night before. The morning of the baptism the family asked to change the baptism to two hours later so that the step father could be there; so we had to call lots of people to change the time. We then had to fill the baptismal font, which took longer than we thought it would so we had to fill up a trash can with water in the bathroom and throw it in the font to fill it in time. Michael and his mom arrived 45 minutes late, but finally they arrived and we started the service and everything went well. Except that they had to do the baptism twice because Michael´s foot came out of the water. So after all that stress Michael was baptized on Saturday and confirmed a member of the church of Jesus Christ on Sunday.

That was the most exciting news of the week. Other notable events: We had zone conference on Wednesday. It was really good and motivational; and I got some letters! Thanks to Natalya, Danielle, and Bridget for the letters. Now the rest of you should write some too ;). We made pancakes twice this week at family home evenings. For some reason they didn't turn out right. When I make them in our apartment they are all nice and fluffy and delicious. But both times this week they turned out flat and rubbery and I don't know why. If anyone has any ideas on why let me know.

That´s all for this week. We are working hard and having lots of fun. I hope everyone is doing well and not having too much fun without me.

Elder Gardner

p.s. New experience of the week: running at 9:15 at night with a blind guy holding on to my shoulder, pans in one hand, a Book of Mormon in the other, and a bag on the other shoulder. It was tiring, but we made it home right at 9:30.

My companion and Michael

Me, my companion, and Michael.
(I gave the camera to a member to take the picture, he didn't do a very good job)

Michael and his family. His mom Silvia holding her 5 month old daughter.
And his step father Rafael, an inactive member.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

¡Hola! (Cazador Week 21)

Hello everyone,

This week has been all right. For those of you who remember that I said we had baptisms planned for this week, they did not happen. The two people need more time to prepare. The two are the 91 year old grandfather of a member and the 15 year old son of the lady who can´t get baptized because her husband has to get divorced. They are both great people and we are working hard so that they can be baptized this Saturday.

Besides that there isn't too much to say about this week. We have lots of really good investigators that we are teaching. It makes missionary life a lot nicer because we spend almost all our time teaching instead of walking around looking for new people to teach. But we still walk a lot because all the investigators live far away from each other. One day we walked from 4:00 in the afternoon until 8:15 without stopping because we went to visit a lady that lives really really far away and she wasn't home. But that´s the life of a missionary, you got to do what it takes to help people come unto Christ.

I've learned a lot this week about the importance of attitude and outlook. If we had a bad attitude about life then we won´t be happy no matter what, even if we have a good life. It´s so easy to just focus on what we don´t have. And if we have a bad outlook and expect things to go wrong then they will go wrong. But if we expect things to go right there is a chance they will go wrong but they are a lot more likely to go right. Not so much because our thoughts magically make things happen, but because we will work harder to make things happen the they we want them to. We get the things we work towards and pray for. And if we have a good attitude and always look on the bright side of life we will always be happy, even if we are stuck inside a box that is glued to the bottom of a tree that is being chopped down by a beaver. I've always wanted to see a beaver in the wild.

So those are my thoughts for this week. I hope everyone had a good week and that everyone will make this week be even better.

para siempre Dios esté con vos,
Elder Gardner

p.s. I've been trying to send pictures for the last few weeks but I never have good luck with the computer. Sorry, I really am trying.

ok. only one. I finally got it to work but don´t have time for more.
It is of me and a rabbit in a farm that a member owns that lives really far away.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Divisions (Cazador week 20)

Well, here we are again. Time is flying by as always. This week was busy and I am exhausted! But I feel good. Being busy is the best way to be.

Last week on Sunday our ward mission leader asked if we wanted to do divisions every night this week. We said yes. Divisions means that I go with one member of the ward to one area and my companion goes with another to another area. So every night this week I went with Adrian (the blind man I baptized a few months ago) and Elder Clarke went with Nahuel (a 19 year old who is leaving on a mission in June). It was interesting working with a blind man, I had to pretty much do everything since he couldn't see where we were; that´s probably what it is like training a new missionary. But at least he knows Spanish and has a great testimony and loves to share it with people.

I´m not sure if I told you why he is blind. About five years ago he shot himself in the head trying to kill himself. He used to lead a crazy life. He was telling me stories as we were walking of when he used to do drugs, of some gun fights he was in. He got shot in the foot but he shot someone in the arm. He had some crazy stories. But now he has really changed his life around and is leading a life centered in the teachings of Christ. You can tell that he is a lot happier now, even though he can´t see. God saved his life five years ago and now he is giving him the chance to help others by working with the missionaries.

We´ve got a lot of work to do here. We have two baptisms planned this weekend and two more planned for next weekend. We are working hard to complete families. There a lot of people who get baptized without their children or parents and we are trying to help the whole family be united in the gospel of Christ. General Conference was amazing. I love listening to the prophet´s and apostles´ voices. We got to watch it in English which was nice. The spirit is always strong during Conference. I hope everyone watched it and is trying to follow the prophet´s counsel. If you didn't watch it, go to lds.org and watch it right now. And if you did watch it but aren´t following the counsel, repent.

That´s all for this week. My time is up. I hope everyone is happy and healthy. Talk to you next week.

Elder Gardner