Monday, May 29, 2017

A New Area, Hills, and a Fruit Sampler

My new area is awesome. It is big, has a lot of people and that is great for me because that leads to opportunities to do the work. My companion is from Nicaragua and he has been fatigued this week, I don't think he is accustomed to so much walking. There are so many hills here and it is a little tiring for me but my companion (a bigger guy) at the crest of each hill is completely out of breath, dripping sweat, and stumbling a little bit. But, he is resilient and I respect his resolve to keep going. 

We found lots of new investigators this week and we knocked a lot of doors. I am having fun getting to know new people and to invite them to come unto Christ. The lady who cooks lunch for us here is a great cook and they ward has a dinner schedule for us, so I have been eating hot meals and less pupusas. 

We went to visit a recent convert this week and I was shocked by the amount of fruit in her kitchen. We had pineapple, watermelon, some kind of red pear, guava beans, another white fluffy fruit, a fruit called "nancy", plums, and another one I'm not sure how to describe. I had never experienced anything quite like that but it was good, I was reminded of my brother Connor a little bit.
I am doing good, I am enjoying each day, and I'm striving to work hard to the end. I'm grateful for the knowledge of a Savior. I'm grateful to know that we will all be resurrected regardless of what we have done and stand before Jesus Christ to be judged for what we have done and what we have become. We can all become better people through Jesus Christ. Truly, Jesus Christ has done all He can for our salvation and we must personally take advantage of what He has done. I find it helpful to analyze my own life and see what I am doing to take advantage of what Christ has done for me. 

I know Jesus Christ died for us and He loves us. No other knowledge is quite so comforting to the human heart and mind. 

I hope you all have a great week, enjoy these last days of school!

Elder Gardner

P.s. sorry for the weird baby, I thought it was funny

Monday, May 22, 2017

Spoiled Milk, The Book or Mormon, and I'm Gone

Hey Everyone! It was a great week, I have began my goodbye tour because I am leaving my area. I will head to a new area for my last change called La Esperanza which in English means "the hope". So I'm excited for a new transfer, a new companion, and another new opportunity. 

My milk fell out of the fridge because the fridge doesn't work, our fridge hasn't been working my whole time here. The elder who is in charge of supplying our houses with appliances isn't my best friend right now, without milk there is no cereal! I guess he doesn't quite understand that, but at least that isn't going to be my problem anymore because I am leaving my area!

We gave out a lot of copies of the Book of Mormon this week, we had a lot of success in teaching a lot of lessons. I had some great interchanges this week as well. My last week as a zone leader was a good one, I am going to be a district leader now. I am happy for a little rest, I won't have to deal with so many problems now.

I began to say goodbye to the people here in my area. It is always sad to say goodbye, it makes me sad and some of the people get sad as well. I have a lot of invites for these next few days so I'll be very busy and probably eat way too much. 

I'm doing great! I'm excited and I am still going! I'm grateful to be a missionary, it is fun to be a missionary and it is a blessing. I am going to continue to give copies of the Book of Mormon out and continue to invite people to learn about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If any of you who read this email are not members of the church, I invite you to read the Book of Mormon and learn about the Restoration as well. I know it can bless your life. 

Have a great week everyone!


Elder Gardner

Monday, May 15, 2017

Skype, the temple, and Aguacate

It was a great week. There were several highlights. 

First, we had a large zone conference with our mission president. He taught a lot of great motivational doctrine and talked about how we can improve and be more efficient with our time and our efforts. 

I got to go to a temple sealing on Saturday (for those of you who don't know what this is it is basically a marriage inside of a Mormon temple). A family that I had helped to be baptized a year ago was able to go to the temple and that was a happy moment for me. There was a sweet peaceful feeling there and all seemed to be calm, I am grateful that I was able to attend. What a special experience to see a family make special covenants with our Heavenly Father.

I Skyped my family last night, they are looking good (much better than me at least). It was great to see them and I have been blessed with a great family and incredible parents. Nobody was sad this time, but all were excited because in 7 weeks we will be conversing in person!

The time has flown. But I have no regrets about using this time to serve my Savior. I know that I am in a good cause and that this gospel will make people happy. I walk around everyday trying to help people to be happy, isn't that awesome? If people really understood what we are doing they wouldn't hide behind the doors or tell us to come back another day and not be there....

But I am doing awesome and I hope you are as well!

Have a great week!

Best regards, 

Elder Gardner

P.S. I only mentioned Aguacate (avocado in spanish) because I needed a third option and I have eaten aguacate on various occasions this week. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Well this week was very busy and we had to make a ton of trips to different places in our zone. Early on in the week I got sick, but I was able to continue to work to whole time. However, Elder Rasmussen in our zone got extremely sick so I had to rest with him for a few hours one day while he suffered from what is probably Chickinguna (this is awful). I need no greater motivation to use mosquito repellent. 

We have an investigator who accepts many things we teach him, but not the Book of Mormon. He is very nitpicky and he tries to attack the wording of the Book of Mormon and his arguments are all quite illogical. He is coming along, but he gets distracted very easily. It is almost like he is in a candy shop but he finds the smudge on the wall and stares at it instead of viewing the wonders available!

They called me last Monday from the mission office, they asked me an interesting question. They asked me "Elder Gardner, a cual aeropuerto quiere llegar?" Or in other words "Elder Gardner, which airport would you like to arrive to when you go home?". I told them. I said "Boise, Idaho". The missionary on the phone is from Guatemala, so it took me a long time to explain where Idaho is at. 
The time is creeping up on me. 

I hope that everyone had a wonderful week. Everything is going very well here in El Salvador and I'm grateful for all of the blessings that the Lord gives me. I hope that all of you have an awesome week. 

Elder Gardner

Monday, May 1, 2017

Leadership Meeting, Family Tree, and 1 2 3

It was a great week this week everybody. We worked well in our area and although we didn't have the results we might have liked we feel good about the effort. 

On tuesday we had a leadership meeting and it went well, they made some changes to the weekly schedule and meetings and that was good. They also announced that we will now be allowed to go to the temple with recent converts to help them do temple work. I am excited because we will be going to the temple next saturday, woo hoo! That has been a highly anticipated event for me. 

I was helping a recent convert do family history work, when we finished with him I showed him my family tree. When the family history consultant for the stake saw how long my tree went she was in awe. My family tree is pretty awesome, it is enjoyable to do genealogical work.

When we sing hymns with people I always tell them, "ok, count to three to start us off". That is a confusing instruction to people, it is always entertaining when people say things like: "Ok, here we go.....3!" or they'll say" one" and look around like someone else is going to say two. One man just stared at me blankly and I repeated the instruction to him several times, he finally understood, turned to his side and yelled to his daughter "Did you hear that? Count to three!". You can't help but laugh sometimes, these people are great.

I enjoyed my study of scripture this week. I enjoy reading of the missionary work of Alma and the Sons of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. They really show a good example of how we should approach the work and fear the Lord and not men. I love to read the Book of Mormon and the New Testament and I learn continually. I know that the scriptures are true and that Jesus Christ is the Savior. 

I hope you all enjoy that nice spring weather. 

Elder Gardner