Monday, March 27, 2017

People Like Money, I see Dirty Houses, and I eat Mangoes

Mangoe season is in full bloom, I've been eating mangoes almost daily. They are at about 10 for a dollar right now so it is a good deal to eat some. We had a great week here in our area, we worked hard and we found a lot of new investigators this week so we were rewarded for our hard work. We also had some investigators come to church this week. The members brought all of them to church, I've found that is more effective. One member brought her boyfriend to church who is not a member, that is especially efficient fellowshipping. 

I went on interchanges this week and I was displeased to find the house I went to in the condition that it was. I left my house in order with my bed made, but when I arrived to the other missionaries' house the bed I had to sleep on had no sheets on it, however it did have, trash, dirty clothes, and stains on it. I told them to clean that house, it sure needs it. 

We had a lot of people ask us for money this week. It always makes me feel sad to see the devastating poverty, I want to give to everyone oftentimes. But, I also don't want to fund addictions and other wastes of money. So, I tend to prefer to just give food directly. We aren't really supposed to be giving handouts to people but sometimes I just feel bad. It humbles you to see this and makes you grateful for all that God has given us. 

I learn something new every day, but some things never change or get old. I know that Christ lives and that the gospel has been restored to the earth. I feel it a pleasure to try and share this message with people, I like to see the joy it brings to people when they decide to change their lives. I hope that all of us will focus on the positive this week and allow the good to overrule the bad so that we can be more happy. Everyone have a great week!

Elder Gardner

Monday, March 20, 2017

Looking for New Investigators and Teaching Deportees

We had a good week, as usual. Elder Burris and I are getting along well and we had an abundance of new investigators this week. We are also teaching two guys who lived in california for over twenty years. They speak perfect english, but they also have a lot of crazy ideas since they lived in L.A. for such an extended period of time. We tried to explain the three kingdoms of glory as described in 1 Corinthians 15: 40/42, but he was convinced that God has created a separate place where all of the "warriors" will go for the eternities to continue to battle. 

I ate a lot of fruit this week, mangoes, bananas, apples, oranges, pineapple, jocote, maracuya, green mangoes (not the same), and also I ate some of those mini bananas that are very sweet. Basically, I enjoyed the tropical fruits this week. 

I had a problem with my eye this week and I was forced to wear my glasses for a few days, people would just look at me weird with those glasses. I'm glad to be healthy again and to have my contacts back in. I'm happy to be in the mission, I don't have a ton to report this week.

Everybody seems to think that we don't believe in the Bible here, but I spent a LOT of time this week clarifying that. Several people admitted to us that they love the Bible more than their own children and that only by reading the bible can we be saved. Some people here like to read their bibles on the sidewalk in front of their houses so everyone will see them, I find this sad. They obviously have misunderstood the Savior's command to do good works in secret so that God will reward us openly. But I love the people here, a lot of them have great intentions and they are all very sincere, I wish the best for all of them. 

I hope you are all enjoying the spring weather, I send the best regards. 

Elder Gardner

Monday, March 13, 2017

Hospital Fraud, Toe Surgery, and Compton, Californina NG Nathan Scott Gardner Reply| Today, 10:06 AM

How is everyone doing this week? I'm doing fantastic and I hope all of you are finding joy in your everyday routines and interactions with others. 
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We had a meeting on tuesday for all of the zone leaders and after the meeting we went to the hospital to remove Elder Burris's ingrown toenail. He forgot his insurance card so we weren't going to be able to do it that day. But we just switched nametags and he went in under my name because I had my insurance card, so Nathan Gardner got an ingrown toenail taken out on tuesday. I was shocked by the hospital, it is supposed to be the nicest hospital in the country but they didn't even make us present ID. So, Elder Burris got operated on under my name. It is all the same insurance so it doesn't really matter but it was funny. 

We found a ton of new investigators this week, we even found one that lived in Compton for 20 years so we teach him in English. He is a cool guy and he was deported for drugs, but he is a good guy and his undesirable return to El Salvador has humbled him a lot. We actually have another appointment with him tonight. 

My companion and I are getting along great, we are giants walking around in these streets. One thing that has always been annoying are the teenage girls that say things to us as we walk by. One girl told us this week "I love you" in english, we just laughed. I think it is funny how people have no shame to say things here, the culture is great in El Salvador, I'm well adjusted now. 

I have enjoyed my study of the New Testament recently, I finished studying the 4 gospels and I always love reading about the Savior. I always am interested about how He was focused on others and their welfare at all times rather than His own. His life was really an example of selflessness. I am happy to be in the mission, I know that the message I share with people is true. 

I hope that you all have a wonderful week! Stay classy and enjoy the upcoming spring weather, it never stopped being hot here....

Elder Gardner

Monday, March 6, 2017

New Companion, I'm the Short Guy Again

elder Rojas mission complete

I got a new companion this week, he is about 6'4. So he makes me feel kinda small and the two of us make everyone else here feel pretty small. We had a good first week, other than my companion's ingrown toenail and carrying his suitcases in the heat of the midday sun for a mile everything went smoothly. 

I learned how to roll my r's this week, it is about time. I started praying for help to improve my Spanish and I began to practice to try and roll my r's and I figured it out. So that was a very direct answer I received to my prayers this week. I have been trying for a long to do that and all my efforts had been futile up till now. 

Lucio Figueroa, our recent convert is doing very well. He received the priesthood this week and began taking institute classes. He was also socializing with some of the young single adults so that was funny to see, he is 27 so I guess it is time he looks for a wife. We taught him about temples this week and about the priesthood. 

We have a meeting tomorrow for all of the zone leaders, I think this meeting will be the twelth monthly zone leader meeting that I've gone too. My companion pointed that out to me, it is crazy how fast the time tends to fly us by. So, we'll have a two hour bus ride to go to San Salvador tomorrow. 

I bore my testimony in Sacrament Meeting yesterday (I usually always do), I enjoyed the meeting this week and everyone in the meeting felt a sweet spirit as the members shared their testimonies. I know that as we strive to do what is right (follow the Savior) people will notice the example and they will be touched by the Holy Spirit. I love to serve and this week flew by. 

I hope everyone is enjoying the cold, humidity gets old and I yearn for the day when I can breath in some piercing cold Idaho air. Have a great week everybody!

Elder Gardner

I tamed a pitbull in this picture, I thought it was going to bite me at first.