Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wonder Miracles are taking place in the Branch!

Hello family and friends.

I have to go soon so I'll summarize the highlights!

Last week we have a dinner appointment and home teaching lesson with our home teaching companion and member. He's very well off and took us to an expensive restaurant which served cheeseburgers a foot and a half tall, and we tried to each them all before we left but it was impossible. haha

We also taught the Missionaries in the Mission how to use ASL to contact deaf people. And it turns out that one of the Missionaries then found a deaf person the next day and used the asl we taught her to communicate and give us the person's information! I'm happy the Sisters were able to give us the referral.

Saturday we have a Halloween activity in the Branch and it was very successful. We got many many non members and less actives to come. And we have involved Taylor, our young interpreter we have been teaching for a month or two now, to help us with a less active, who showed up. Everything worked out perfectly! And Sunday was awesome as well. I was asked at the last minute to give a talk. So I talked about the Priesthood. Good thing I'm ready on the spot to teach almost anything.

Anyway, I need to take off now! So have a great week! More stuff and photos next week!


Elder Gardner

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Wonderful Sunday!

A Wonderful Sunday!

Hello family and friends,
This past week was a little slow, trying to find and teach. Trying to help the Branch. Many appointments falling through. Thursday we had district meeting and Friday we had temple and I helped interpret for Elder McGill. Also, Elder Erickson has a new gps now so we are using his and retiring ours. It's been put to good use but needs a break.
Sunday was the most amazing day this week. We came and taught our Sunday school class. The young women we have been teaching how to interpret, was coming to interpret. She shows up and I taught her the branch member's name signs. Then we had a combined Priesthood, Relief Society Young Men and Young Woman meeting for second hour. We talked about family history and how the deaf can look up their ancestors. I continued to help the young women with asl. At one point, the door opens and one of our super less active members shows up! Hasn't been to church FOREVER. We have tried to contact him again and again. Never home. We all gave up, but he, on his on will decided to show up. Instantly everyone started to gasp and Bro. Speckhard, who was conducting with Sister Molen interpreting, stopped the meeting and pulled him over. Elder Mitchell and i were the only ones in the district now to know him, but we were shocked! And two of our investigators came to church!!! YES!!!
Then Sacrament meeting came. Sister Molen grabbed T and told her she was going to interpret. She was freaked out and didn't want to, but all of us encouraged her. This has been our goal for a month now. I sat near her and reviewed the talk she was to interpret. The time came and she went up and interpreted. W.O.W. Improvement! She did very well, I only had to help a few times. It was awesome! She is also helping us with a less active young adult who wants to quit the church.
This week we will be showing the Missionaries in our Mission how to sign in ASL. We got permission to have 20 minutes with different groups. We are excited about that!
That's about it. I am very happy. This transfer will be amazing. Elder Erickson is awesome. Elder Mitchell and I are training very well.
Until next time,
Love Elder Gardner.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Trio Training, District and Zone Leader, Elders Quorum...

Family and Friends,

Well... hi! Sitting here in Houston Texas in a college with my new trainee and other companion. I'm never been more exhausted in my life. Trio training and leadership responsibilities. Gotta love them! I'm happy I have a strong testimony of the church, or I wouldn't be doing this. The church IS true!

This past week Elder Erickson flew in and we greeted him and he threw himself directly into the work. He wants to work hard, more hard than I have. He's pumped up and ready to get people baptized, which is exactly who we need. He knows asl very well and has already been leading lessons. I'm excited for this Elder.

As District Leader now I have to make decisions in the District, teach meetings and go to meetings. It's a lot of fun!

We have a TON of new Missionaries and a ton of new trainers. Some of them just few in a few months ago and are already training!

We are such a big family in the Mission!

Updates on our investigators and members:

Sherman's mom has a wall now, isn't changing. So we are using the Match family to involve her in the Branch. That should soften her heart and encourage her to allow Sherman to be baptised. HE IS READY! Please pray for them, that she might open her heart and allow him to be baptized.

Taylor has been progressing good. She's the member we have been teaching asl to. She will be at the branch next Sunday so we will have her interpret. She's awesome! Very excited and is helping us with another member...

Adrianna is a less active return missionary. She has had emotional problems and wanted to quit the church. I spent an hour trying to convince her to use the Atonement of Jesus Christ to heal her wounds. She is very scared and I bore a powerful testimony to her. I even mentioned a super personal experience where I had pondered quitting the church myself and used the spiritual experience I had to comfort her. We asked Taylor, who's the same age, to get her involved. Become friends. Do stuff together. I hope that she will come back to church and not quit.

This week will be busy with meetings and Temple. I will probably have the opportunity to help interpret there, which will be a super unique experience.

That's about all I can think of. I hope everyone has a great week!


Elder Gardner


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Transfer week and guess who's training AND district leader!

Transfer week and guess who's training AND district leader!
Family and Friends,
Well... that's right. Just Today President Pingree called and asked if I were willing to become the District Leader AND Train Elder Erickson along with Elder Mitchell. Yes, we are Trio Training.
So... things are going to be very busy around here. And Today was crazy because we were swamping cars. So we didn't have time to email.
And now Elder McGill needs to pack because he's going South now. And I still need a haircut...
So sorry for the late and short email. I will try to sneak in a letter to my family soon.
With more responsibility comes less time to do emails and other things. The Lord is giving us so much trust and I don't want to disappoint Him.
Watching General Conference was the best thing I have ever done. You should all watch it on lds.org. It's recorded so you can watch it again and again. The messages on there are inspired from God. They are the things we need to know TODAY right Now, from a LIVING Prophet, just like Moses, Noah, Abraham, Joseph Smith, and Jesus Christ Himself. God loves us and wants us to be happy. So we need to pay our tithing, DON'T GIVE UP IF WE ARE DEPRESSED, repent, follow the Savior, don't prioritize other things over going to church on Sunday, and so on.
These messages will help you, I promise. They are helping our members in our Branch. They are helping me. They will help you.
This Saturday we hope to have a baptism... the mother of the son is struggling to approve, so I ask for your prayers for Sherman that his mom might open her heart. We met with her last week and I was led by the spirit and Testified of the truth of the Gospel. The spirit was amazing in that house. The spirit led me to say what I needed to say. The mom is slowly changing, but we hope she can change soon so we can baptize her son. He needs it.
I ask for you to also pray that we might change the heart of Eric, an investigator who wants to be baptized... so he can receive food from the Bishop Storehouse. We will need to work with him about that.
Also pray for a young women we are teaching sign language to. Her name is Taylor. Shes 25 and is trying to learn sign language. She got called as an interpreter, but is really nervous. We are working to help increase her confidence in interpreting, so I ask for prayers to give her that confidence that when I say 'time to practice interpreting' and start talking to her, with the intent of her to sign to us in return, that she won't look nervous but do so confidently.
I think that's about it for now. Have a great week! I love you all!
Elder Gardner.