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 30, 2012

Los Lowrys (mission week 105)

Well, it´s been one of those weeks. Lots of things going on, little time to think. Transfers are always crazy. Even more so when you are actually part of the farewell fireside and the departing missionary lunch. Things that I have helped with for the last six months but I never thought I would actually participate in them. It feels unreal. One of the missionaries that left said, ¨It´s kind of like death. Everyone knows they will die some day, but no one actually believes they will. It´s the same with ending the mission.¨ That´s exactly how I feel. I know that it is time, but I don´t really believe it. There is still so much to do, so many people to help. And I love it so much. I was sitting there on Sunday during sacrament meeting while Melisa was being confirmed and I just couldn´t stop thinking about how glad I was that I´m not leaving yet. I would hate to miss the baptisms of these people that we have been working with. Tomorrow Melisa´s sister and cousin are getting baptized after church. So we are pretty excited for them.

Monday was the departing lunch at President´s house. The conversation was geared toward going home sort of things, like the first food we will eat when we get home (in-n-out for the win!). And President taught a lot about marriage. He pretty much just took all the doctrine we have been teaching for the last two years and tied it all into marriage. Then everyone I started the mission with got in a bus and left for the airport; except for Elder Beck. His parents drove up in a car and I saw them meet for the first time in two years. Let´s just say that it was hard to keep thinking about mission things after all that. But, I´m here still and the work must go on, so I kept on working.

On Tuesday all the new missionaries came. ¨All¨ the missionaries being two latin missionaries and the Lowrys. We have not received a single American missionary in two transfers. There are 28 of them that we are waiting for that are currently serving in the states. This whole visa mess is killing us. We had to close five areas because we just don´t have enough missionaries right now. But once all these 28 get there visa we will have to open another 10 areas. So, things are getting interesting around here. We keep praying that the politics of the countries won´t get in the way of the spreading of the word of God.

On Wednesday the fun began. With Elder and Sister Lowry in the country and ready to work we got started teaching them the ropes. It´s been interesting. I didn´t realize how much easier it was for me having already been in the offices for three months and in the mission for a year and a half before I took over the finances. I have to take time to explain a lot of things to Elder Lowry that I take for granted. Like, how many zones there are, how the rents are paid, why we do things the way we do, etc. It´s been a slower process than I was expecting, but Elder Lowry is doing a good job getting up to speed. He asks question after question until he understands exactly what is going on. Kind of like the way Dad would do it. We´ve already made several changes to the procedures as we realized I was only doing what I was taught to do and there is a better way to do things. I like change, especially when it is for the better, so it has been a good experience. 

On Thursday we went over to the mission home to talk to the zone leaders about zone money, and we stuck around for lunch afterwards (tacos!). And then on Friday we went over again because our zone broke the baptismal record for the second month in a row! We are doing pretty well here. Four out of the last five days I ate lunch at the mission home. And it sure was tasty. 

Well, that´s about all the news I have for today. We have been working hard in the area and are excited for the baptism tomorrow. Now we just need to find more people! Have a great week everyone.

Nos vemos,
Elder Gardner

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