Monday, November 23, 2015

Wild Week

Nathan's new companion he is training Elder Perez from Dominican Republic and President and Sister Hintze

CCM friends

Elder Gardner in his apartment

Freddy and his 2 sisters (family they are teaching)

silly sign Nate found
So I am now a trainer...!!!! THat is pretty crazy, I barely finished my own training and now I am beginning the training of another missionary. His name is Elder Perez and he is from the Dominican Republic, he is a great guy. These first couple days we have worked really hard, I think he almost died on the first day when he discovered how fast I walk up hills. Our area is a hill so he will adjust little by little to that, my calf muscles have become defined so that is good....because my stomach is far from behind. The last time I got myself on a scale I was up 6 pounds!

In the mission when one becomes a trainer they are called a father, so I am now a Dad. So that is kind of a funny missionary slang that we use. But all is great around here, I have a lot of people to teach and I am really enjoying everything. The people are great "bien amables", and I enjoy helping people to feel the love of the Savior in their lives. It is something really special to do. 

So, I had some really crazy visits this week. We went with one family called the Familia Romero, they have a female pitbull. It always just sits in the corner when we visit, but not the other day. They had invited a male pitbull over and they were trying to get them to breed. So the sounds that I heard during that lesson as well as various commentaries made it one of the most absolutely bizarre things I have ever done. But it was funny.

A few days early this same family got robbed by the gangs, so I was glad that they were jubilous about the dog breeding because they were really depressed when they got robbed. In this family 3 are members of the church, but the Dad isn't a member and an uncle that lives there is not as well.

We were talking with this chubby lady in front of a bus stop named Guadalupe, when all the sudden this bus absolutely crushes this dog. Unfortunately, the dog didn't die immediately and it suffered for like 20 minutes. So that was kinda sad, that visit was a little awkward as well because of the moaning of this poor dog.

Yea, I'm kinda anticipating the end of terrible dog experiences....

Well, I don't think that Thanksgiving will be the same this year. Our mission had a celebration with turkey on tuesday and it was really good, but I have no plans for a dinner on thanksgiving. I will sure miss the football. Please savor some pie and some stuffing for me!

I have felt uplifted as I have walked through the filthy streets of San Salvador, the people here are really great and everyone has something to give. I have felt the Holy Ghost in my life, I just smile sometimes because I'm happy. I read the Book of Mormon with this one guy and he immediately toldme, "hey, what you just read right there was from God". I asked him, "how do you know?" he told me that he felt it. I didn't gain a personal belief of the Book of Mormon that quickly, but by praying about that book and trying to live by it's teaching I have felt a great change in my life. I'd like to invite everyone of you to read in the Book of Mormon and ponder the words that are in it, I promise everyone that it has something for you. I feel blessed, I'm happy, I hope that all of you have an amazing Thanksgiving holiday and give thanks for all that you have. 

With Love, 

Elder Nathan Gardner

Monday, November 16, 2015

man, twas an interesting week

From Last weeks P-day Hike

man, twas an interesting week.

This dog bit me in both legs, it was a little dog but it really hurt. My companion thought it was pretty funny, I don't think I have ever wanted to do bad things to an animal in my entire life. If I ever needed to reason to dislike the nasty dogs of this country even more, this dog gave me one. It took all the self restraint that I had to not kick this dog, and then kick it several more times.

I have been drinking a ton of water, I estimate that I have been drinking 4 liters of water a day. That is my trick to not getting sick, I haven't really been sick at all during my mission thus far and I"m extremely grateful for that. But I have been putting on weight, I think I'm up about 10 pounds. It is pretty bad, I don't like mirrors anymore.

So during this lesson this week I was teaching this guy named Oscar, I couldn't remember his name for some reason and I wanted to ask him a queston. So I began to ask the question and his name just came out of my mouth, I can truly testify that God put that name in my mouth. I felt something really cool in that moment and I feel fantastic that the Lord can work through me.

We helped this guy build his house this week and I wore shorts, this was the first time that I didn't use mosquito spray in several weeks. And usually I always wear pants, but the mosquitoes made me pay severly. I have many bites on my legs, I can't remember a time during this mission where I haven't had at least one mosquito bite.

Some interesting things happened with my companion this week, he tried to convince me that many girls have tried to kiss him during the mission. I don't really believe but I thought that was amusing, he also really likes the photo of my sister, Katelyn. He told me that he would like to visit her after his mission, I have some advice for my sister, run and hide.

Also we did splits with two members of our ward Los Llanitos, I went with Hno. Freddy Matute and we had a great lesson with the FAmilia Espinoza. I felt really good during that lesson and they have a beautiful little family. I hope they can come to feell that the gospel is true and experience the beauty that comes from living it. 

Well, all is good down here in El Salvador. I'm getting fat, I'm having fun, I am enjoying life and I hope for the best always. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, I believe that through following and believing in HIm we can discover the joy that we are meant to have in this life. 

With Best Regards to All, 

Elder Nathan Scott Gardner

Monday, November 9, 2015

Que Loco, esta gente a veces.....‏

Well I taught some interesting lessons this week. We basically find all of our people to teach by knocking doors, it is hard to receive references from other people because nobody know their address here. So, as always, to find people we talk to them in the streets and knock on doors.

I was working in a neighborhood called the Santisima Trinidad this week and I taught a lesson on a door step to a women named Genesis Valle, she is about 20. We were having a great lesson and conversation until her mother came, she is a crazy Evangelico, she starting screaming at us and she informed us she was a prophet. So, this lesson was just nuts, this lady had a dog named Kobe Bryant (who is my least favorite basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers, due to his poor treatment of the Utah Jazz), Kobe Bryant was barking so loud and he was trying to get up on my lap. Kobe was an absolutue nuisance, I could barely hear myself talking, and this lady was yelling at us with her "prophetic authority", to make matters worse the neighbors cranked up some Japanese meditation music so then it was just absolute chaos. I wanted so say, thank you, we are always here to serve you and share if you want to learn more, but we'll pass by another day. But, no, my companion Elder Zelaya persistently argued with the lady, so that was a really just frustrating experience. Kobe Bryant is still making my blood pressure rise in the mission the same as he did before.

We are teaching teh Familia Gonzalez, they are super friendly and they have come to church for two weeks. They will be baptized around the end of November, they are great and I hope they can continue to learn more and experience the peace and blesssings that the restored gospel can bring to their lives.

I also taught a self proclamed "man witch"this week. He prays to San Simone, I'm unsure of who that is exactly, but he also smokes red cigarretes for love, blue for health, black for death, and yellow for wisdom. I am a little uncertain about his practices but he is alittle crazy, his house is not a house that I will make a priority to return to.

Last week, I was basically the entertainment for the activity in Barrio Vista Hermosa, I danced and DJ'd a talent show. The people loved it when I danced and my area isn't in the Barrio Vista Hermosa, but the other missionaries who work over in that area have informed me that I have achieved celebrity status in that area. I will post a picture.

I'm doing well overall, I have learned a lot of life lessons in my mission so far. I have learned a lot about patience, tolerance, and the importance of prayer. I can say with my whole being that God answers prayers, he listens, and he knows what is best for us. He doesn't always answer our prayers in the way we want Him to, but He answers.

The world is a wicked place, I am in a country that is losing its culture, and is filled with violence. My heart goes out to the people here, I just want to help them experience a little happiness in a dark world, I firmly believe that the greatest source of happiness in this life is a knowledge that through Jesus Christ and living the principles of His gospel, we can live together with our families for eternity. I encourage all of you to smile this week, look for opportunities to serve another, and to be grateful for all that God does for you. 

With love, 

Elder Gardner


 view of San Salvador from up on a hill
 this couple former missionaries who feed them on Sundays

 Zone Conference

Monday, November 2, 2015

Wild Week

Dont have much time but I have some funny stories and advice. 

1. Avoid Gossip, I've seen it do some ppl in

2. Be patient, and smile while you are being patient.

So we were teaching familia alvarez and we had to do the heimlich on a child who choked while my companion was praying

my first investigator from my first area was baptized, Juan Montano, Elder Gee showed me the photo. It is awesome to see my labors coming to a little fruition.

So I met this guy from Alabama, ""hey utah! Is that sunscreen you're putting on?" I heard that southern accent and I just smiled, I talked with this dude for like an hour. All of his family live in the U.S. but he got deported, he lived for 35 years, his whole life over there so I feel a little bad for him. I'm not sure why he got deported. And I was spraying mosquito spray, not sunscreen. 

Also these members invited us to dinner after I had been fasting all day, I hate half of a pan of lasagna. They were horrified and amused, but that lasagna was delicious and I'm so grateful for that meal. Alvaro and Gabrielle Merino (the family) will always be some of my favorites. 

A dude tried to jump us, he asked for our money and our phone but we just told him no. I started laughing bcus he didn't even have a gun, after all the times ppl have wanted stuff from me they should at least have a gun if they want to intimidate me.

So, it was a good week. I'm gaining weight, I don't want to lie. Any resemblance of a 6 pack that I had before the mission has all gone away. I am learning a lot about relationships and how to get along with ppl. I have learned a lot about self reliance as well, I have a testimony that Jesus is my Savior. I believe that he has restored his gospel and given us the Book of Mormon to bless us and give us the truth. I invite every one of you to read the book of mormon and pray with real intent to know whether it is true. I promise you the Lord can answer your prayers.

I send my love to all, Have a great week.

Love, Elder Gardner