Monday, April 25, 2016

I speak at a wedding‏

they got married and baptized!‏


This was a good week, we had a lot of opportunities to serve people and to teach people. We had a wedding/baptism on saturday. This couple, the Velasquez family, had been living together for quite some time and they got married so they could be baptized. It was a really good experience, I spoke at the wedding and I share some scriptures about how marriage is of God and it is not good for man to be alone. 

It was weird to speak at the wedding/baptismal service, but I enjoyed it, marriage is a topic I feel slightly inexperienced with given to the fact that I have never been married. But it was fun! I told everyone how to have a good marriage with no experience!

On tuesday I went to the area of Barberena, I think I got food poisoned or maybe Dengue because I got dizzy in the street and passed out! We were in a super dangerous area and after laying down for 10 minutes I had to keep moving due to an imminent lack of safety. But I made it back to the house in Barberena and I vomited up every thing I had eaten in the 2 days previous. I never have felt so sick for an hour period in my life. I felt like my stomach was expanding like a balloon, but now I am all good! I am overall pretty healthy, I think the key is always drinking lots of water (filtered water here).

I got my haircut this morning, the music was so loud in the little barber shop I couldn't hear the man asking me how I wanted my hair cut. But with hand symbols I explained but the results were not overly desirable:/

But all in all I am doing great, we have lots of people that we are teacing that are changing their lives and that makes me happy. I talked to a guy named Jose Angel on the street 3 months ago and asked him how he was doing. He and his son were baptized over a month ago and his wife will be baptized this weekend. The change in their lives is obvious, it makes me so happy to see the happiness that this gospel brings to people in their lives. People change habits, and in the process they change themselves with the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

I testify that the Book of Mormon is true and that I am exactly where the Lord wants me to be. I am happy to be a missionary and I feel it to be very strange that I have been at this for almost a year. Time is a merciless enemy. 

I hope everyone has a great week, with best regards,

Elder Nathan Gardner

Me in the street, really sick

Monday, April 18, 2016

It's been a while...‏

How is everyone doing? 

I am doing great here in San Salvador!

We had some baptisms here last week and that was a really special experience to take part in that! I love seeing people make changes in their lives that make them happy and allow them to enjoy life more fully. This week was a lot of fun, we worked really hard and several people that we are teaching are progressing towards baptism. I am enjoying my mission and the opportunity to be able to help people be happier, I know that Jesus lives and that this message is true.

It is mango season! I have sure been enjoying that, fresh mangoes for 5 cents is a good deal. They are kinda sticky and messy but they sure taste good. 

I made a bad mistake with my spanish this week, I learned a word "mamada". Which means two things in spanish, one of its meaning is hikkie. So somebody told me that I had a hikkie because my neck was red and had a little rash from my shirt collar. I didn't know what the word meant but I learned the word for hikkie in that moment. Later, we visited the house of the people who got baptized last weekend. They asked me why my neck was all red, I told them that I had a "mamada". Apparently mamada is a bad word and it has an alternative meaning that is gross. I will not proceed to explain what this word is but google translator can shed some further light if anyone would like to know. I told them I had received a "mamada", how embarrasing. My worst spanish messup in over 6 months!

Overall I am doing great, in 3 weeks there will be transfers and I have a feeling I may be visiting a different country pretty soon. I am unsure but we will see, Belize could be headed my way. But, wherever the Lord sends me I will be happy and continue to work hard. 

I love you all and wish you all a fantastic week, 

Elder Gardner

spaghetti with mayo or called "la cream"

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Conference Weekend‏

Elder Zelaya

Elder Lopez

Elder Sanchez

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I hope everyone that had the opportunity to watch general conference this weekend really enjoyed it. I love listening to the messages of the 12 apostles and the prophet. I was edified by them and I encourage everyone to watch it. 

On wednesday we had transfers, I didn't have a transfer, but I continue in my area with my companion, Elder Sanchez. 

Our area is doing well, we have many people that are preparing for baptism in the near future so I am excited for that. It is beautiful to see people be baptized and receive a remission of sin. This conference weekend was fantastic for us, we had 11 investigators come to church! That was a grand success, I am glad that many people we are teaching were able to come to church. 

I am doing well with my health, I feel great, I am still gaining weight but it is ok. People always give me soda/pop (whatever you call it), I feel bad if I don't drink it so I end up drinking a considerable amount of pop daily. I never drank Coca Cola before the mission but the average Salvadoreno drinks Coca Cola with every meal! I have observed and paid careful attention and I now know that people drink more Coca Cola and juice than water!

I am grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord in my life, I can see how He helps me every day and I know that He lives. I am grateful He has restored the fulness of the gospel, I have learned a lot in the mission what it means to truly be a follower of Christ. Living and believing the gospel are two different things completely. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful week, 

Elder Gardner

Week before Transfers ‏ 3/2816

Elder Nathan Gardner
Easter Celebration in the streets of El Salvador

Elder Haynes, Gardner (Nampa guys)

 what made me the most happy was to see a guy named Juan Montano. He was an investigator in my first area that we taught in a shack an hour's walking distance from our house.  although it seemed impossible at that time that he would ever except the gospel I saw him yesterday and he is planning on going to the temple. No effort is wasted!

We had a very eventful week this week and some encounters with strange people. There are a ton of drunk people always just wandering through the street that want to talk to us, I always say hi and invite them to church because I feel bad if I ignore them. So this one guy named julio Barahona isn't 100% mentally and I saw him in the street this week and invited him to church. 

I never imagined in a million years that this guy would come but he came, he wanted to sing to me, dance in the church and he just caused a grand disorden. He was really loud and he was really irreverant, but we helped him to calm down and he stayed relatively quiet. It was quite funny to watch, he wanted to go up and sing through the microphone but we didn't let him. So, we visited him later on and he can't remember anything because he lost his mind but he came to church, so we'll be nice to him but it would be impossible to teach him. If you have ever seen the movie ELF, imagine having him in church, it was exactly like that, funny but frustrating. 

On saturday we had a activity in the chapel that is next to the temple. This activity was for all less active members and new convert who wanted to come and see the temple grounds and learn. I was in charge of teaching baptism in front of the baptismal font in the chapel. It was fun, but what made me the most happy was to see a guy named Juan Montano. He was an investigator in my first area that we taught in a shack an hour's walking distance from our house. My companion didn't really want to go visit him but we continued and although it seemed impossible at that time that he would ever except the gospel I saw him yesterday and he is planning on going to the temple. No effort is wasted!

We visited with several members this week and one night we did visits with Hermano Eber Amaya in his truck, we were driving and there were a bunch of baby kittens in the street. We just plowed them over! It is a little sad that many baby kittens had to die, but, when Hno. Eber started laughing I did as well. I guess those kittens were saved a life of misery in the streets here:(

Overall I am doing great, I have a front row seat to see how the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ changes people's lives. I've seen people quit addictions, become happy, and find hope through this gospel. I know the message that I share is true and I am always trying to improve how I share it. 

I hope all of you have an incredible week,

Elder Gardner