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, January 14, 2012

Transfers (offices week 2)

Hello family,

Well, it has been a pretty intense week, I´m not going to lie. Definitely the week where I´ve gotten the least sleep in my mission. I´ll try to be really descriptive and detialed in my descriptions of the week. That way all the females out there will be happy. Guys you can just take a quick nap.

Last saturday, after I wrote home we had an activity in the church. It was a special open house thing that a senior
missionary couple is trying to get working in Argentina. Pretty much we set up a fake statue of the statue of Christ in the Salt Lake visitors center in the sacrament room. The visitors would sit there and listen to the same recording that is played in Salt Lake. Then there was a little display where sister missionaries taught about the gospel. The senior couple tried this a month ago in a different church and it totally failed; Only ten people entered. So president was determined to make it work this time, and so were we. We invited all the members and their friends and then when it started we all stood out on the street corners (the members too) and invited everyone that passed by. I was out there for about two hours and didn´t get a single person to go inside. Finally I saw some teenage girls walking my way so I thought, ´sweet, this should be easier.´ I guess they thought I was cute or something cause when I said I would go with them to the church they agreed. They told me they don´t believe in God, but they went through the tour. My comp and I then got some fourty year old women to go, then another elder and I got an old man with his little puppy to go in too. In the end it was a success.

On Sunday church was good, but then came the fun part: transfers. We had to make sure all the zone leaders knew what the changes were so they could tell their elders. We had to call everyone who is flying south or coming up from the south so they knew their flight plans. We had to update all the systems with the changes, update the baptismal information, etc. Let´s
just say Sunday night we left the church at 2 am. Then monday all the changes happened. All the elders came here to the offices, met up with their companion, then left. Well, two elders took their cell phone with them from their old area to their new area, one cell phone got stolen and two got lost. We added elders to three areas, none of which had enough beds for more people. People showed up late, others early, others left stuff at the church. Finally at 3 pm we were able to eat lunch. Also, two of the APs went home, and the two older office elders both left. With just a week and a half of training I was left to run the apartments by myself. (The elder I replaced was trained for a month before the other elder left.)

On Tuesday the new elders flew in from the states. So we spent the whole day in the mission home (president´s house) helping out with that. During that time one of the new elders had his luggage get lost in the flight, one of the elders coming up from the south missed his flight and so did one of the elders that was going home to Chile. So Elder Nielsen made lots of phone calls while I sent emails to the new missionaries parents so they knew they got there safely. Tuesday night we drove to the airport at midnight to pick up some elders coming up from the south. The flight was delayed by an hour so we went to get some McDonald´s, but it was closed, and it was raining. We got to bed around three.

Wednesday things mostly calmed down. I was able to get some work done with the new apartments we are trying to rent. In the night time we went to pick up another elder from the airport at midnight. When we got there the flight had landed half an hour earlier but the elder wasn´t there. Almost an hour later he still was no where to be found. We searched the airport inside and out (fortunately it is pretty small). Right as Elder Nielsen dialed president´s number the missing elder showed up out of nowhere. Close call. This time I got to drive on the way home. My international drivers license came and now I can drive. Sometimes it is scary. They d
rive like maniacs here, but it is fun. I had forgotten how much I enjoy driving. We got to bed around 2 again.

Thursday was nice and calm. We had interviews with President. It was a good interview. He shared a scripture with me in D&C 33:16 and promised me that if I focused on the gospel and on teaching that the spirit would ´quicken´ the office work. That night was the first and only night of the week that we got to sleep at 10:30.

On Friday president´s promise about quickening the work came true. We have been waiting for new cell phones for over six weeks. And on friday one of the APs cell phones stoping working right. President likes to say things like, ´we need that done yesterday.´ That means you get it done NOW. But the person I have to work through at the area offices for cell phones has never really pulled through for me on short notice. This time I sent him a few emails, made a phone call, and within an hour the APs phone was working and the new phones were on their way in a taxi. That was as quick as you get.

The best part of Friday was afterwards though. Even with all this craziness happing, we had a baptism. He is a 70 something year old man named Roberto who is probably one of the most humble and nice men I have ever met. He is the friend of a lady who got baptized about a month ago. He got baptized by a 21 year old kid who
got baptized a few months ago and recieved the priesthood last sunday. It was one of the best baptismal services I have been part of. It helped me remember that I am here to teach and share the gospel. Sometimes it is easy for me to get lost in the office work, but the whole reason I do the office work is so that the spreading of the gospel can go forward. This is God´s work, and it will not be stopped until it covers the whole earth. It is awesome to be able to be a part of it.

Friday night we were in the offices until midnight working on things for a mission tour next week. Elder Foster (a member of the seventy in the area presidency) is coming on monday to tour the mission. So the mission president is pretty focused on making it a good tour. Today in the morning we went over to his house to eat pancakes (yumm, real maple syrup) and work more on the mission tour. So that was this week. Just one more week in the offices. Things should calm down soon, they say transfer week is the worst part.

I hope everyone has a great week and is enjoying all the fun activities. Make sure to study your scriptures, pray, and go to church.

Elder Gardner

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