Monday, March 31, 2014

Transfer week, my goals and hopes

Family and friends,

Transfers happened. Elder Mitchel is now North again, and I am with Elder Oleson in the South. I'm probably going to die South, I think.

After transferring Elder Mitchell, we went to an investigators home. He was sent to the Hospital because of sudden sickness and needed emergency help. He's mostly blind and deaf. We gave him a blessing. We had our asl class that night. Guess how many people showed up? 14! Two moms with children, the English Elders whom serve in the area our church is in, and two YSA girls. Also a guy from a ward came as well. It was so exciting to have a full row of chairs filled!

Because I have two transfers left, I have decided to set a goal THIS transfer to baptize four of our investigators who are the most promising. One is a 20 year old girl. She lives near one of our member's homes. She is still in school, I guess had educational problems or something. Her mom doesn't seem to like us, as she doesn't allow us in her home, so we teach her outside. We had a fantastic lesson with her Wednesday. I was trying to help her understand the differences between God's church and other churches. I grabbed out our picture book and showed her Joseph Smith and his first vision. Then she started looking through the pictures and found the Salt Lake City Temple. I told her that's where we can be married and sealed for eternity, never to be separated. She started to become excited. We kept showing her more photos in the book and then she stopped and said he was attracted to the church and wanted to be baptized! So we committed her for April. She accepted!

Another investigator is an older women whom has been interested for a while. We need a man with us to enter her home. Finally Thursday we were able to enter, and teach her the Restoration. She was very interested and wanted to be Baptized! Same with our other investigator, female. Our problem with these investigators is they don't have rides, or their cars are broken down. So we have to figure out what to do to help them get to church.

Saturday became a small mess. We originally planned to have an Elder's Quorum exchange, where the other three Elders go and teach and we do home teaching assignments. However, our EQ President had a rough week and needed the day to do other things. So we still did exchanges, but didn't have many backup plans decided. So we did some home teaching stuff and checked Facebook. I felt bad, because I knew we could have had a more productive day if we planned better. Oh well.

Sunday was good. Taught our ASL class, then I taught Sunday School. Then we had a combined Relief Society and Priesthood meeting and learned about registering accounts on Sacrament was good, with Fast and Testimony meeting. Then Skidmore's for Fast Sunday Dinner, as always. Wonderful! It's a tradition to wear aprons there, so Elder Erickson's mom made each of us matching Texas Houston Mission ones, and we got to wear them there.

This week will be great! We will teach our asl class, we have three investigators, with one potential. We have general conference coming up, which I am excited about! I cannot wait to hear the Prophet speak to us again! This will be my last one on my Mission, so sad! But the church is True!

Please pray for the above investigators that their hearts may continue to soften AND that their situation can improve so they can all get to church and be Baptized next month!

I love you all! Have a great week!


Elder Gardner.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Blessings of the Lord because of Obedience

Family and Friends,

Since I last emailed, we have had a typical week and a few miracles happen. We have one investigator  whom is interested in church and we have taught her the first two lessons from Preach My Gospel. She is very interested and wants to be baptized next month! We hope she can figure out her ride situation so she can get transportation to church. We went to Chick-fil-a to find this one worker there who is learning sign language and we hope to invite her to attend our class Tuesdays.

We had a fun PDay last week with all the Zone in the Stake Center. We got special permission. It was fun, I got to meet a few new missionaries and chat with old friends. Sister King still knows ASL, impressive!

Thursday and Friday we attended the Temple. Great experiences! Friday Elder Mitchell got his boot off and now can walk in normal shoes. He cannot jump, bike or swim until next month. Which is okay, considering we don't do any of that as ASL Missionaries anyway, haha.

Sunday we met with a Deaf young man who's 17 and a member of the church. He is going to serve a Mission next year and wants to join us in lessons. We are excited and will try to get him involved with us as soon as possible.

That's this past week. Tomorrow is transfers! Elder Mitchell is transferring. Most likely going North. I am staying south with Elder Oleson.

I need a haircut... guess I know what I'm doing Tonight!

Due to my struggle trying to wake up 6:30a every day, I have a few friends from our Zone as well as my ASL District to join me in a Fast Yesterday. I hope to improve the morning schedule and I hope these last two transfers I work as hard as I can. I be as obedient as I can.

General Conference is coming up and I'm excited! My last one as a Missionary. I can't wait to hear the living Prophets on the Earth talk to us about things we need to prepare for. I hope we can be ready!

Have a wonderful week! Love ya'll!


Elder Gardner

Monday, March 17, 2014

Progress in the Branch!

Family and friends,

It's been a crazy week! Our ASL Class we host Tuesdays at 7 wasn't successful last week. No one showed up! So we hope someone comes this next week.

We had an Elder's Quorum exchange Wednesday. Elder McGill and I had a meeting as a Presidency and got a lot of progress done. Thursday was fantastic. We visited an investigator names Kaitlyn. The background of this story, first. A week ago Sunday we visited a referral by the name of Kaitlyn. We had a powerful introduction of ourselves as Missionaries and she was very interested. We visited her a second time last week and she had problems with her grade at school and her mom wasn't happy so we asked if she was reading her scriptures and she said she gave them to her boyfriend to read. So we gave her a second copy. Then just before Sunday we texted her and asked if she was coming to church. Turns out she had already started to read the Book of Mormon AND prayed about it AND knows it's true AND wants to be baptized. She came to church with three guy friend, one being her boyfriend. He told me he was smoking and wanted to quit and she was trying to help. His deaf church has problems so he wanted to find a new church to go to. He said he wanted to be baptized in our church. So I told him the requirements. He wants to quit smoking and I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ will help him! So we have two progressing investigators who want to be baptized!

We had Dinner at a member's house who is a true cowboy family. They cooked us the best steak I've ever had on my Mission! Wow. Friday we did exchanges again, I went North with Elder Erickson and McGill. Good day. My two companions found a new investigator! Saturday we went back to member's home and we helped build shelves in their garage and do sanding to their stairs. Good time! Then we tried to contact a few people ad then went to a member's home for dinner.

Sunday was good. Not a lot of people showed up, many of the leaders were gone but I taught both Sunday School and conducted the Priesthood meeting. Sacrament was good. Two members gave talks before they get released. We did family history afterward and the APs and YSA Sisters showed up and we chatted and stuff.

It's been a good week, and I hope we can progress and take advantage of the possible last week we have together.

Oh and 3 months 1 day left. I'm not trunky. ;)


Elder Gardner.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Miracle Week

Family and Friends,

We have started an ASL class for all interested. Unfortunately, only three people showed up! So we ahve changed the date and hope things will improve!

Two Spanish Speaking Sister Missionaries from the Texas Houston East Mission found some Deaf girls and gave us them as referrals. However, the girls didn't feel comfortable with three random 20 year old guys (Elders) going over. So with permission from our Mission President AND their Mission President, we got to have them join us in two contacts. The first was in their area. The girl was excited to meet with us again. The second one was outside the Sister's area. So we met them and taught the second referral the Restoration on the spot. Very smart girl! The Sisters were so excited to watch us teach a lesson in sign language. Now we are all friends!

Saturday we had the opportunity to help the M family do service in their backyard. They are a part member family whom has had many struggles and has a Deaf son and a Hard of Hearing husband, not member. We setup a playset for them (thankfully doing that with my dad before my Mission gave me the experience I needed, thanks dad!) and we spent 6 hours doing that. Crazy!

Sunday we had church. Former Missionaries Alder and Kauo came to visit. I think they need a haircut! Then met the other referral I mentioned earlier.

Today we were invited to join the Magnolia District in celebrating two Missionary's birthdays. Tons of fun hanging out at the park. Got to play card games and one of the Sister's names is Schellhous, however she likes to cheat, so we all call her Cheathous. Then i joined in cheating and they called me Mr. Cheathous. That became awkward, since it implied we were married, haha.

Anyway, that's this past week! Thanks for the prayers, keep them coming!


Elder Gardner