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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Surprise (Somewhere week ???)

So, first off, you´re probably all wondering why I´m writing on a Saturday instead of on a Monday like normal. Well, you are about to find out...

This week started like any other normal week, on p-day we went shopping to buy ourselves Christmas presents since I didn´t get too many letters or packages (hint, hint). Probably not too surprising that I bought myself a sweet zippo style lighter. On Tuesday we went to work like nomal and as we were walking to a lesson I got a phone call that changed my life. The asistant called me and told me that I have been called to a new area in the mission. That new area is in Virreyes, and also happens to be the mission offices. That´s right, you read that right, I´m an office elder. I am the new coordinador de viviendas (living coordinator). So the asistant told me to get packed and be at the offices at 9 the next morning.

I get here on Wednesday and got right to work. I am replacing an elder that has been here awhile, his name is Elder Unrau. There is also the President´s secretary, Elder Johnson, and his replacement, Elder Nielsen, here in the offices with us. My first day Elder Unrau stated showing me how everything works and what I am supposed to be doing. Basically, I will be in charge of all of the apartments in the mission. I have to find new ones, make the contracts to rent them, deal with the owners, call people to make repairs when things break, make sure rent gets paid, etc. It´s pretty crazy. I authorize the spending of tens of thousands of dollars every month. Wow. Talk about responsability. And it´s a lot of making phone calls every day. I don´t even like making phone calls in english, and I know nothing about contracts and rent and stuff; how am I supposed to do this in Spanish? But that´s ok. One thing I´ve learned in the mission is that I don´t know how to do it. That´s the point. I can´t rely on my own knowledge of what to do. I need to rely on God. I think that´s the reason why callings are always changing in a ward. Once we think we know what we are doing we no longer rely as much on the Lord and He sends in someone new who doesn´t know what he is doing.

I think one of the reasons I got sent here was because in my last interview with the mission president he asked about my family and I mentioned that Dad works for google. So he asked if I knew how to use a computer and I said yes. Kind of funny story: When I got here everyone was talking about dropbox and they were all really surprised that I already knew what it was. And in our first office meeting with President (he was in tierra del fuego until Friday) he asked me if I knew how to use google docs and I said yes. So he put me in charge of setting up a mission account and putting stuff on google docs. I was surprised no one else knew what it was. I guess I know more about computers than I thought.

We also have an area with people to teach and everything. But we start teaching and stuff around 5 or 6 everyday. The ward is amazing. The members just come up and ask us when they can accompany us to a lesson and we teach a lot of lessons in the church building. I´ve never worked in a ward as good as this one. So I´m pretty excited about that part, but we only teach for a few hours a day so I still have no idea who any of the investigators or members are.

We have our p-days on saturdays since none of the apartment businesses and places we deal with are open on weekends. So from now on (until most likely the end of my mission) I will be writing on saturdays. And when you send me a letter or package I will get it immediately (hint, hint). This is all pretty crazy, but I am way excited. I´ll learn a lot of new skills and tools I never thought I´d learn on the mission. I´m kind of wishing I had watched more of ´The Office´ before. Now I understand it a lot better.

Love you all. Hope you have a great New Years. Read the end of Alma 51 and the beggining of Alma 52 to celebrate New Years


Elder Gardner

Coordinador de Viviendas

Misión Buenos Aires Norte




I got a hint that something was up when I received the following e-mail on Friday, but I didn't know what until I got Doug's e-mail today.

Dear Gardner Family,

Elder Gardner is now working in a position where he will need to be able to drive here in Argentina. To be able to do this, he will need an international driving permit, which can be obtained from a local AAA office. We are sending you a picture of Elder Gardner that you can print out (2” x 2”) and use to get the international permit. A good place to print off the pictures would be in Kinko´s or Wal-Mart. We are also sending the signed form and a copy of his driver´s license. If you take the form, the picture, and the copy of his driver´s license to AAA, you should be able to get the permit.

Because of mailing delays, we would appreciate if you could to mail the permit as fast as possible so that Elder Gardner can start driving right away. Please let us know when you have sent the permit.

Fed-Ex and DHL would be the fastest carriers to send the license alone. Thank a lot for all your help and support of the missionaries!


Elder Nielsen


Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte



Monday, December 26, 2011

White Christmas (Loma Week 34)

MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and will have a happy new year.

We had a pretty good Christmas week. On Thursday we had a mission Christmas conference. All of the mission (except for the elders in the south) got together and we played some Christmas games and President gave an awesome Christmas talk. It was a fun day to celebrate the birth of the Lord with all our fellow servants in His work.

This year we worked hard to have a `white Christmas` (that means you have a baptism on Christmas; since you dress in white when you get baptized). We were going to do the baptism on Saturday the 24th, which is when all the Argentines celebrate Christmas, but we decided everyone would be partying and not go to see the baptism. So we had it on Friday the 23rd. The 17 year old boy named Miguel got baptized. It was a really spiritual baptism and his friends from out of town that are members came to watch it. It was a great experience to watch Miguel be born again during the holiday that marks the birth of the Savior. I have pictures I want to send but the computer doesn`t like me today (it never does).

Then on Saturday my companion and I decided to make a ton of sugar cookies to give away to people. So in the morning we made about 200 cookies (considering we have no electrical mixers and only one shelf in the oven it was quite an accomplishment). We proceded to go around and deliver them to members and people, along with other presents. It was pretty fun and we felt good being Santa Clause. But after a while we realized that they didn`t really like the cookies. They don`t eat all that much sugar here, and sugar cookies have a TON of sugar. So the cookies were too sweet for them to handle. Even my comp and I felt a little sick after eating a few since we lost the habit of eating so much sugar. But it`s the thought that counts and they liked the fact that we made cookies from the states for them to try.

Saturday night was the best. Argentina celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve. So Saturday we ate dinner with the bishop`s family then had to go home at 9. We went to bed at 10:30 like normal but set the alarm for 11:50 to get up and watch the fireworks. Starting around 11:55 they started setting off a ton of fireworks. Noise ones, in the air display ones, all sorts of them. It was awesome! It kept up for about half an hour. They celebrate Christmas here like we celebrate New Years. We took lots of videos and pictures, but the computer doesn`t like me. Great.

Sunday was pretty good. Christmas day. Miguel got confirmed and recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost (what a good Christmas present!). After church we called home and ate some more food. We ate lots of food the past few days. I love being a missionary and I love Christmas. Probably the best combination ever.

Well, I hope everyone get some sweet presents. I`m sure Shelly is enjoying her new slippers. I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, I want to with you a Merry Christmas, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart!

¡Feliz Navidad!
Elder Gardner

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm dreaming of a (Loma Week 33)

Hello one and all. Here we are, one week away from the holiday that celebrates the birth of our Lord. What a great time of the year!

This week has been intense. Full of running around, teaching the gospel, planning, studying, eating, painting walls, ward activities, and more teaching the gospel. We are pretty tired, as normal. But it feels good being tired when you are working hard.

Today for p-day we went to a mall to eat, look at christmas decorations, and go bowling. So we just got back and don`t have much time before we need to go work again. Pretty much that means I can`t tell you any exciting stories. I can`t think of many anyway.

I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas and takes the time to read the first couple chapters of Luke before getting lost in the excitement of presents.

Cherry Samtrism,
Elder Gardner

p.s. I totally forgot the last couple of weeks. Happy Birthday Shelly! Happy anniversary Robby and Jenny! Happy birthday Grace! Happy anniversary Mom and Dad! Happy anniversary Matt and Sabrina! Happy anniversary William and Danielle! I don`t remember if there was anyone else to wish happiness too, if there was I am sorry.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sacerdocio (Loma Week 32)

Hello once again. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in front of a computer describing the exciting details of life as a missionary in Argentina. But here I am a week later, doing it again.

This was actually a pretty good week. It started out rough. We did divisions on Tuesday with the zone leaders. I went to over to their area for the day. Instead of teaching and preaching the gospel we had to spend the whole day buying food and carrying it back and forth to a members house who was going to make lunch for us during zone conference. It was intense and I was dead tired by the end of the day. And the zone leader who was my area working with Elder Carroll made a huge mess and got a few families mad at us. So I got to spend most of Wednesday asking for forgviness and fixing some problems.

Thursday was zone confrence. The lunch was really good. We had asado. A lot better than the normal three empanadas they usually give us. During zone conference we talked alot about having faith to plan that the investigators are going to go to church and having members lined up to sit with them and talk with them during church. So we made a lot of plans and talked to the bishop and fixed all the problems we were having.

On Friday we did divisions with the other elders in our district. I went to work in their area. It was sweet because they have bikes. I hadn`t ridden a bike in over a year and a half so it was kind of scary at first. But by the end I was riding like a pro. Life is way better when you have bikes intsead of walking all over the place. You can get a lot more done and your legs aren`t as tired. My legs were sore though, I hadn`t worked out my bike muscles in while. Dogs chase you alot more when you are on bikes. But we just kick them and they go away.

On Saturday I got back to my area and we got to work getting people excited to go to church on Sunday. Sunday was a really good day. A less active member we`ve been working with went to church with her nonmember grandson and her neighboor. Miguel, the young man who went to church last week, went to church again. A less active family we have been helping went to church and the dad recieved the aaronic priesthood as he prepares to baptize his son. And the parents of the family with ten children finally brought some of their kids to church and they loved it. And the dad of the family had an interview with the bishop and will recieve the priesthood next week. We were pretty happy. I love it when people go to church and can then recieve more of the blessing God has for them.

That`s about all the crazy adventures for this week. I`m sure there are more coming. Keep tuned and hopefully you will hear some. Talk to you all next week!

Hasta luego,
Elder Gardner

Alright. I`ll admit it. I`m addicted to coke. Alright, not really addicted. But I do like it alot. And seeing as how I had never drinken it in my life before the mission, that is pretty much addicted.

Elder Gardner on a bike

It`s Christmas time.... What do you expect?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Diciembre (Loma Semana 31)

Wow. I can`t believe it is already December. Time has been flying by so fast. It`s crazy. I hope everyone is getting ready for Christmas and is enjoying the cold weather while I am down here suffering in the crazy heat.

So this week was pretty good. I did my first baptismal interview. And I did two of them. They were both with people who have been going to church for a while and just now are able to get baptized. So they already knew everything really well and they passed the interview with flying colors. It was an interesting experience doing the interviews. It was rather spiritual and I got to share with them my testimony and help them be excited for their baptisms.

Another good thing this week was a young man named Miguel. About two months ago I ran into him on the street and talked to him. He seemed really nice and said he had a good friend who lives in capital that is mormon. We wrote down his address but could never find him home, so we gave up after a while. About two weeks ago we got a call from the mission offices and they told us that two sister missionaries in capital had taught Miguel with his mormon friend and he wanted to go to church. So we went to his house and taught him a little and invited him to church and to be baptized on Christmas eve. He accepted and went to church yesterday and made friends with the youth in our ward. He is an awesome 17 year old man.

That`s about all the good stories I have. It was a pretty good week. Thanks for reading my letter and thanks for your prayers on my behalf. I hope everyone has a great week and gets lots of stuff done.

!que Dios les bendiga¡
Elder Gardner