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, August 29, 2011

¡Oh está todo bien! (Loma Week 17)

I have officially been in Argentina for over a year. I´ve been in the mission for 432 days. That means I`ve worn each of my shoes about 216 times, each of my shirts about 80 times, my suits about 50 times, and my pants about 90 times. The shoes are wearing out, the shirts are not very white anymore, one of the suits has a tear in the sleeve, and I`ve had to sew several of my pants back together. Let`s not even talk about the socks. But I`m wearing out my clothing in the work of the Lord, and it is definitely worth it. And so far I haven`t had to sew up dog bites or anything, let`s pray it stays that way.

So this week was pretty good. We are working with two awesome families. One is the family I`ve been talking about for a while. They finally got everything done to get married! They are going to get married on September 23 and then baptized on the 24. Hooray! We have had several activities with them and other members to help them to get to know everyone in the church. They are awesome. And he makes very good baked goods.

The other family is a family from Peru. We found them a while ago and they said that they were baptized in Peru. This week we were finally able to enter the house and teach them. The 14 year old son is a member and has the priesthood, the step father isn`t a member, and the mom claimed to be a member. But when we talked about baptism and confirmation she said she was baptized but never confirmed a member of the church (or in other words, she never recieved the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands). Which means she needs to get baptized again (see Acts 19:1-7). And every time we go over they invite friends/neighbors to come to the lesson too. They are awesome. The mom also made us arroz chaufa. I LOVE peruvian food. I miss it a lot. We used to eat arroz chaufa all the time in my first area.

But sadly, neither of the two families went to church on Sunday. The whole week is a build up to Sunday. All we do all week is try to help people to go to church on Sunday. So it is rather disappointing when no one goes. We even went and clapped the house of the peruvians but they didn´t wake up. But it`s all good. Next week they will come, I`m sure.

That`s all for now. I hope everyone has a great week. I believe school is about to start again soon. So get ready to study! Some one has to take a physics class for me. =)

hasta la próxima,
Elder Gardner

Monday, August 22, 2011

¡Hola! ¿Cómo andan?

On Wednesday I complete a year in Argentina. That´s crazy. It doesn´t feel like it´s been nearly that long.

This week was pretty good. This awesome family that I´ve been talking about for a while is still awesome, but Satan is working hard with them. They were going to go get everything done so they can get married, but the day they were going to do it their son got sick and had to go to the hospital and didn´t leave the hospital all week. Fortunately by Saturday he was better and the whole family went to church on Sunday! Hooray! This Tuesay they are going to go do the whole marriage stuff for real this time.

We also some miracles of a family that had no idea who we were but invited us into their house to wait for it to stop raining. We taught them about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and they really like it. Also another kid that we´ve been teaching for a while came to church and really liked it. We have been having some good, well needed miracles here.

That´s all I got for this week. I hope everyone has a great week and stays away from trouble! Stay tuned for more next Monday!

Con amor,
Elder Gardner

Shoes.... They don´t seem to like that I walk all day every day for a year.

Me and Elder Witherspoon (District Leader). You can also see my awesome new haircut.

¡No me mates!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Elecciones (Loma week 15)

I can't believe we are already half way through August. This week flew by. This month flew by. This year flew by. I don't even know what´s going on anymore, everything is just flying everywhere.

But this week was pretty good. Yesterday was a big day. It was the primary elections (is that how you spell it in english?) for the president of Argentina. And here it is mandatory to vote, if you don't vote they hunt you down and make you (supposedly) so there weren't very many people at church or at home yesterday. But that's alright. The mission has been having great success. Last month we broke the mission record for most baptisms in a month and a week ago we broke the record for investigators in church (as a mission). President Gulbransen has us focusing a lot on working with members to find, teach, and get people to church. Here in Loma Hermosa we are slowly improving in our efforts with the members. Slowly but surely.

I'm trying to think of a good story... Alright, this one is ok. On Sunday in the morning we went to go pick up a kid to go to church. The kid was sleeping and didn't go, but we ran into his uncle who was standing on the roof (that's normal here, the roof is flat). He was clearly drunk or on some sort of drugs and was crying. He said his ¨wife¨ (they aren't married) left him and that he didn't have credit on his cell phone to call her. He said he was going to kill himself. We told him not to, that God loves him and that things will get better. We tried to get him to come to church with us, but he didn't want to. The good part is that we talked him out of doing any serious, and that when we went by later in the day he was asleep, but still alive. I don't know if he really would have done anything, but we might have saved his life. I guess God wanted us to go by that house for a reason.

The amazing family we are teaching is still amazing. They had to go far away to vote so they didn't go to church this week, but they are going to select the date to get married today. Hooray!

That's all I got for this week. I hope everyone has a great week and stay tuned for next week.

Les quiero,
Elder Gardner

Monday, August 8, 2011

Trabajar (Loma Week 14)

¡Hola mi gente! Espero que estén bien.

This was a pretty good week. I decided a while ago that I was going to work hard this week. I haven't been all that happy with myself because we haven't been teaching as much I would have liked. I decided to stop making excuses and just work. We worked well, we talked to lots of people in the street and found some people to teach. I felt good because I was teaching and testifying of Christ and of the sacrifice He made for us. But none of the people we found went to church because we didn't have members involved with them to help them.

While we were talking to people in the local villa, we talked to some lady who didn't want anything to do with us, but she told us that two mormons lived in the house behind hers. We were like, ¨really!?!¨ So we went to talk to them. They got baptized in Peru (everyone from Peru is either already a member, or went to church and talked to missionaries in Peru) and moved here but didn't know where the church was. So we told them were it was. I love it when things like that happen. We show up at some place without knowing why, but then we end up finding someone or helping someone who was waiting for us to come. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

The amazing family that went to church last week is still amazing, but they had a birthday party Saturday night and went to sleep late and didn't go to church yesterday. But that's alright. This week they should take out a turn to get married.

That's all I've got to say for this week. I hope everyone has a great week. Talk to you next time.

les amo,
Elder Gardner

Monday, August 1, 2011

¡Oro! (Loma Week13)

¡Hola familiares, amigos, conocidos, extranjeros, y todos los demás! Ojalá que les haya ido bien esta semana.

This week was a lot better than the last couple of weeks. Mainly because we are teaching a golden family. We found them a few weeks ago, the husband is the cousin of a member. When we started teaching them they couldn't come to church because the husband worked in a bakery shop on Sunday and the wife didn't want to deal with the two kids alone in church. But this week the husband, Leonardo, got mad at his boss and quit his job. It´s sad, but now they can come to church! And when we started teaching them Leonardo was very interested in everything (they talked to missionaries two years ago and he felt that it was true) but the wife, Xoana (yes, that´s a weird way to spell Joana), said she had prayed and hadn't felt anything. But she was going to go to church because it was helping her husband.

Well we went to their house on Thursday and the wife told us, ¨I am going to get baptized in your church, so I want you to explain tithing to me.¨ (the three year old son had stolen my pamphlets and apparently she read them) So we explained tithing and she said a few more times that she is going to get baptized, ¨me voy a bautizar.¨ I was like, ¨Wait a minute. What happened? Where did this change come from?¨ She didn't go into detail, but she said she felt that the Book of Mormon is true. Wow. Miracles are real. They came to church on Sunday and liked it a lot. It just so happens all the talks and classes on Sunday were about the program the church has to help people get jobs, which is what Leonardo needs. Then on Sunday night we talked to them about marriage, since they need to get married before they can be baptized. The husband was thinking about waiting a little bit but the wife was like, ¨Let´s do it now, I want to get baptized already.¨ She´s awesome. This week we are going to go to take out a turn to get them married, and hopefully it will all work out before the end of the month.

So that was the miracle of the week. It was a very well needed boost for my enthusiasm. But now I am excited and ready to go out and testify to the world that Christ lives and that Joseph Smith was called of God to be a prophet.

Hasta la próxima,
Elder Gardner

This is what Elders do when they are bored on p-day.
Yes, those are hymn books we are using as ping pong paddles.

I´m not sure why, but I really like this picture of Elder Romero.

We went to McDonald´s to celebrate that I finished with the dentist.
The happy meal toy was a smurf, I had to buy it.

Those are some big piles of dirt. We helped move them to the other side of the wall. The dump truck just puts the dirt in the middle of the road, then the owner has to move it to where ever it is s/he wants it.

Wheel barrows are fun. To explain a little more: the member wanted to raise the level of the ground in her property so it doesn't flood when it rains. So she ordered a ton of dirt and we helped put it in her yard (her yard is HUGE). It was tiring work.

Leonardo y Xoana in church!