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, July 25, 2011

Loma Hermosa Week 12

Well, here we are again. I hope everyone is doing well and has had a great week.

First off, for those of you who realized that this is transfer week, there are no changes in my area. I am staying here with Elder Romero for another six weeks. Hopefully we have more success than we did this past transfer.

Probably the most exciting news is that I have my new teeth! The dentist put them in on Monday. They look really good and I am very happy with them. I have one more check up appointment and then hopefully I don´t have to go to the dentist ever again.

Other than that I don´t really have much to say. We worked hard this week, but didn't see very many results. Our mission president has said several times that the biggest test of faith is doing everything right but not getting the results you were expecting. Let´s just say the last few weeks have been a very big test of my faith. (But I guess that just means God trusts me. In 1 Corithians 10:13, it says that God will never test us more than we can bear. So if He tests us a lot it means he knows we can withstand it) We have several people we are teaching that are really awesome and have desires to follow God but for some reason we haven´t been able to help them come to church. They say they are going to come, we go to look for them Sunday morning, we have members go look for them, but they always are sleeping or something. Sometimes you wish you could just make people do things, but that´s not God´s plan. I´m here to invite them to follow Christ, if they accept or not is their choice.

Well, that´s all I really have to say. I hate to sound so down hearted, I´m not really. This is God´s work and His church. I know that He lives and that He is waiting for us to come unto Him. He is standing at the door and knocking, and whoever will here His voice and open the door can enjoy and the presence of God in their lives.

¡Hasta Luego!
Elder Gardner

A ¨far away¨ view of the new teeth.

The ¨close up¨ view.

I was going for a strike. Not quite, but not too bad.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I´m alive (Loma Week 11)

Well, I´m alive and well. That´s always important, right? I Hope everyone over there is doing well too.

This week was one of those weeks where I was just hoping it would end soon. I would say it was a bad week, but that wouldn't be strong enough. I don´t have much time and I don´t have much to say, but I´ll tell you the best part of the week.

On Saturday all of our plans fell through. We ended up near our house with about an hour and a half left and absolutely nothing to do. I was highly tempted to just give up and go home early, but we didn't. Instead we decided to walk half an hour to a member´s house. We got there and for the first time ever they weren't home. So I was pretty discouraged. We started to walk home and I was just going to give up. But something told me to go to visit a less active member´s house. So we went there and for the first time ever we found him home. He let us and and we talked to him and his wife. The day before their pet hamster had died which made them think a lot about God and the church. They decided they were going to go back to church and had just barely been praying about it about an hour before we got there. When we showed up the husband told us he knew it wasn't a coincidence and said they would go to church. And the came!!

Even when we have a terrible day, God has something planned. Just hang in there and you´ll find out what it is!! That´s all I've got for today. Talk to you all next week!

con amor,
Elder Gardner

Monday, July 11, 2011

Traveling (Loma week 10)

Hello everybody! Hope everyone is doing well.

This week was a lot of traveling. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday we had to go to a training meeting in the mission offices with lots of elders. And on Thursday we had to go to Capital to go to the dentist. Hopefully I only have to go to the dentist one more time. The training was really good though. I learned a lot of things we can do better to help more people come unto Christ.

The exciting news of the week: we had a baptism! She is the granddaughter of some members. A few weeks ago we were teaching this member family and the granddaughter came in and told us she wanted to be baptized. The only problem was that the mom (who isn't a member) doesn't let her go to church if she behaves badly. Apparently in order to punish her daughter she doesn't let her go to church. To me that seems like a silly thing to do. That´s like not giving some one the medicine unless they get over the sickness. But we talked to the mom and she gave us permission. So the granddad had the privilege of baptizing his granddaughter. It was a nice baptism.

Another good experience was the power of prayer. During the training meetings President really emphasized the importance of praying every time before we enter a house, and specifically asking for help to find men and families to teach and baptize. It has always been hard for us to find people to teach here. But when we started saying the prayer and that very day we found a man named Fabian. As soon as we entered his house he told us that he knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that the church is true. And he told us he wants to get baptized. Wow. That was cool. So we invited him to come to church on Sunday and be baptized the following Saturday. He accepted. But he got sick (the weather here is making everyone sick) and didn't come to church. But he is still excited to get baptized in a few weeks.

The same day we also found a family! And the dad of the family said he believes the Book of Mormon is true! Wow. It makes it a lot easier when they already know the Book of Mormon is true. Because if the Book of Mormon is true then the rest of it has to be also. And it is. It really is all true. I don´t have any doubt of that.

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

hasta luego,
Elder Gardner

This is what I wear to work every day. It's actually got a little warmer, but it's still cold at night.

This is what I wish I wore to work every day.

Ajedrez. I won.

Florencia with her granddad.

Florencia with her sister, aunt, and cousin.

Florencia with us.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hace frío (Loma Week 9)

Hello everybody!

Just so you all know: ¡¡IT´S COLD!! I wake up everyday and the first thing I do (after praying, of course) is light the gas heater we have. Then I do exercise in front of the heater, I take a shower (thank goodness we have hot water), I eat breakfast in front of the heater, I study in front of the heater, I basically don´t leave from the heater until it is time to walk out the door. And when we are outside I wear one or two sweaters, a jacket, a scarf, a beanie, and gloves. Yep, it´s cold. When we go to people´s houses they are like, ¨elders, what are you doing? It´s cold. Aren't you allowed to stay inside when it´s cold?¨ We tell them, ¨Nope. We are here as servants of the Lord and He works no matter how cold it is. So we do too. When one makes a covenant with God to serve Him you can´t go back on that promise no matter how cold it gets.¨ Alright, I don´t really say all that. I usually just say, ¨No, we have to work anyway. Can we come inside?¨

Well, there isn't anything all that excited to tell this week. Since it was cold Sunday morning there was almost no one in church. Argentines seem to use what ever excuse they can to not leave the house. But I guess I can't blame them too much since no one has cars and they have to walk to church. We are working with a few people who should be baptized soon, but we realized we don't really have a very big teaching pool. We need to find more people to teach.

The best part of the week was the confirmation of David. We visited him almost every day after his baptism last Sunday and he was excited to go to church and be confirmed and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then we called him on Sunday morning and he said he hadn't slept at all during the night and asked if we could wait till next week. I said no and we went to his house in a remis (taxi). When we got there we found out why he hadn't slept: two youth from the church were at his house all night playing computer games. The good old teenage life.... We convinced David and the two members to come with us to church, so we all got in the taxi and went. My companion had the privilege of confirming David a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and giving him the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a good moment.

Things with my companion are good. Le bajo la caña mucho. Pero lo hago con amor. Y tengo que hacerlo para que entienda. We get along just fine. But it is hard to have a conversation with him. I love him though and try to help him the best I can. I've really learned a lot being with him.

Have a great week everyone! Enjoy the warm weather for me. And have a happy 4th of July! God bless America. It truly is an amazing country.

con amor,
Elder Gardner