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, June 23, 2012

Dos Años

Today is June 23, 2012. Two years ago today my parents and Nate and Katie dropped me off early in the morning at the airport. I flew by myself to Salt Lake City where Becca picked me up and took me to the MTC. I said my last goodbyes to the family there and walked into the next phase of my life. They gave me a plaque with the name ¨Elder Gardner¨ on it. I dropped my suitcases off in the dorm room then they took me to my classroom. The teacher said something in Spanish and I just stared blankly at him. My new companion gave me a big huge which I didn´t know how to respond to. Our teachers tried to teach us how to pray in Spanish. They were probably wondering how they were going to help these 19 year old boys become men. I went to bed that night nervous, unsure of what I was doing or why, but firm in my decision to do it. Little did I know all that would come in the next two years.

June 23, 2011. One year ago today I was in Loma Hermosa with my first latin companion. For the first time I couldn´t speak english to anyone. And boy did I miss it. I was struggling to figure out why I had been placed in that area with that companion at that time. I wasn´t sure who I was or what I was made of. I knew what God expected of me but I couldn´t push myself to do it. In the morning we went to the dentist where he continued to drill away at my two front teeth. That night we went to an investigator´s house and challanged him to be baptized in three days. He accepted. I went to bed with a prayer asking God to help me give up my desires and to only want to do His will.

June 23, 2012. Today I woke up with one thought on my mind: how to help Cintia to get baptized tonight. Yes I was excited to write my family, but all of that had become an afterthought. My first and foremost desire was to help a child of God enter the waters of baptism. My companions and I discussed our plans in English, but with so much Spanish grammar and words thrown in it wouldn´t be understandable to an American. We arrived at the offices and gave the usual big hugs to each of the elders there. Some one says, ¨elder,¨ and my head instantly turns. They say, ¨Doug¨ and I don´t even notice. I will go to bed tonight exhausted, as always, but thanking my God for the opportunity He has given me these last two years. Oh how I wish I could stay here for another two years! La gran mision Buenos Aires Norte, te extrañaré.

1 comment:

Camila said...

It seems that you learnt a lot in the mission. You helped a lot of people enter the waters of God, but there is something you are not saying: you helped you. Travelling is not only a trip, but a journey that changes us forever. I remember when I went to Argentina. I was so young and I didn´t know what wha going to be next. I got this apartment for rent in buenos aires thinking I was only going to stay for 15 days. Thanks God I rented a flat and did not stay at a hotel! Because I ended up staying for a year. And that changed me, I´m a much better person now, I learnt something from the locals, and that is their kindness!