Monday, June 19, 2017

We are doing great here in Ciudad Arce! We put a lot of baptismal dates with our investigators this week and we tracted. I really enjoyed this week and the time went by quickly. In the mission it seems like you are on one of those very long walking treadmills in an airport, you are just cruising along and you seem to arrive sooner than you expect. 

Last P Day we went bowling, my first time in two years. I beat most of the other missionaries with a score of 116, (not that good) that was fun. Some of them had never been bowling before, it was interesting to see some of them huck the ball instead of rolling it. They actually managed to break one of the railings off a lane, I thought that was amusing.

We had a lot of good lessons this week were I felt that the people really felt the truthfulness of our message and the Savior's love for them. The work is still going along and we are trying to accelerate it. I know that we are helping people to be happier and experience true joy in their lives as they are freed from the "bondage of sin". 

I'm enjoying each day and I'm glad to be a missionary. I hope you all have a great week. 

Elder Gardner

Monday, June 12, 2017

Mushroom Omelet, BBQ Pork, and Apostolic Visit

We had a great week this week working in our area, my companion, Elder Acuna is a great day and it is a pleasure to go out and work each day. I love being a missionary and we are doing awesome! It was great to have several investigators and less actives in church yesterday, they enjoyed church and they were smiling!

Elder Renlund, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited all the missionaries from El Salvador on Tuesday. We packed into the chapel that lies by the temple and we heard some powerful teaching and he motivated everyone to have great faith, attitude, and effort. I got to shake his hand, I told him where I was from and he knew where Nampa, Idaho was at! That was cool, it was a fun to see many former companions and friends as well at the multi mission conference. 

I had my last interview with my mission president on Friday. He gave me a lot of advice for the future and formally thanked me for my service. I told him "Hey, wait a minute...." "I'm not done yet! I still have 4 weeks left!" He told me I was right, I'm not done yet. But, it was a good experience and there is a lot to look forward to after the mission is over. 

We had some strong spiritual lessons this week teaching people about the sacrament and the importance of it. We emphasized this especially with less active members. 

I was very hungry on wednesday afternoon and as we were visiting I kept thinking about BBQ Pork, for some reason I just really wanted a BBQ Pork sandwich. I thought this was funny and I just imagined I was eating BBq pork when I got beans, rice, and tortilla for dinner. Also last night, a member family gave us dinner. They served us a mushroom omelet, kinda strange but I ate it all. But then they brought out a plate of cow intestines and I told them I was full. But three other missionaries were eating there as well and they dared to try it, they regretted that decision as two of them just about gagged at the dinner table. El Salvador cuisine is always and adventure. 

I know that through Jesus Christ we will all live again. We will all receive a physcial body and be raised from the dead. If we live the gospel and follow the teaching of Jesus Christ we will be able to live in the presence of God and Jesus Christ forever. This knowledge was restored when God called Joseph Smith to be a prophet, we can learn more about this by reading the Book of Mormon. I know that if we read the Book of Mormon we will come closer to Jesus Christ and be happier. We will come to a greater understanding of our mortal purpose and find joy in this life. 

I hope you all have a great week. 

Elder Gardner

Monday, June 5, 2017

Two Decades and Wow, It's almost been two years.

Well, it was a great week and we worked very hard in our area here in Ciudad Arce. I enjoyed visiting all week long and working with my companion. We were happy to see several investigators and less active members come to church. 

I turned 20 this week, that came quickly. The district of missionaries here threw me a little surprise party. They had balloons, cake, and a little scavenger hunt for me. I'm pretty sure the sisters were behind most of the planning, very nice of them. It feels good to be recognized every once in awhile. 

I got an email from our mission office this morning, and to my surprise I saw, my flight plans! That changed my mindset a lot, I will be getting home after 8 on thursday so it's official, I'm going home. 

I liked the talks that were given in the General Conference in April to all priesthood holders by Elders Uchtdorf and Eyring. I liked how they talked about serving others and expecting nothing in return, to "Lift Where You Stand", to believe that your service to others is valuable in whatever capacity you fill, and about the importance of helping others in our service. Sometimes we seek to do things ourselves in the best and most efficient way, however, oftimes it may be helpful to delegate to others to allow them to grow as well. I know Jesus Christ lives and our eternal progress is His work and allowing us to help Him and serve others is a privilege. 

I hope you all have a great week, 

Elder Gardner