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, May 24, 2011

11 Months! (Loma week 3)

Today is my eleven months in the mission day! That´s a long time! I can´t believe it has been so long.

Here is a summary of my progress after eleven months:

Spanish: I don´t have a problem with Spanish. I wouldn't say I´m at the fluent mark, but I can say just about anything I want to say and I understand almost everything. I have a good grasp of the grammar and if I don´t know a word I can ask what it means or describe it in another way. I don´t have to think to speak in Spanish, and I often find myself thinking to myself and dreaming in Spanish. So that is one challenge out of the way; I´m still working to perfect the accent and vocabulary, but the Spanish hurdle has been jumped. In fact I gave a talk yesterday in church. I thought I was going to have about seven minutes but I ended up having twenty. I hadn't written a talk anyway out so I just got up and talked, without any problem.

I feel like I've learned A TON on the mission. I have learned a lot about the gospel and about life in general. I think I have become a better person. I´ve become a little more outgoing, but I still have a lot of shy tendencies. What I haven´t really learned is how to be a good missionary. I've been here working in Argentina for 9 months and have only seen four people enter the waters of baptism. I don´t care much about numbers, but I have great desires to help people come unto Christ, that is what I came here to do. And it´s hard because at times I feel like I´m not doing enough or not doing it right or something. There are people out there waiting for this message but for some reason I can´t find them. I've been here for three weeks as senior companion and I feel a lot more responsibility for the progress of the people here. And I haven´t really seen any yet. But there is no reason to get discouraged or down. I am participating in the work of God; I have no doubt of that. Sometimes He just wants us to learn patience.

Anyway, this week we worked hard but not much too exciting happened. We had a baptism of a nine year old kid planned for this coming Saturday but it rained Sunday morning and the family lives in the villa were all the streets are made of dirt, so they didn't make it to church. Rain is not your friend when you are a missionary, especially Sunday mornings.

But here is good uplifting story of a miracle the past week: We passed by a member´s house for no good reason, just to see how she was doing, and she asked us to come in and give a blessing to her grandson. He had gotten an ear infection and they had just bought medicine but it was still hurting him, and the doctor had said it would take about a week to go away. So we gave him a blessing and then left. The next day she told us that after we left the kid went to take a nap and woke up without any pain at all. The problem was completely gone. The power of God and the authority of the priesthood is real. I have no doubt that this is the church of God.

Well, that´s all the time I have for today. I hope everyone has a great week!

les amo,
Élder Gardner

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