Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm now 21! Fun week!

Family and friends,

I want to thank you for your birthday wishes on my behalf! I can't believe I'm 21 now! We thought about what things I am legally allowed to do now, and all the things are either against Missionary rules or our Commandments. Well, glad to know as you get older, you are allowed to sin more, as Elder Mitchell says. Puts a new perspective on things.

So! Monday was our Zone Pday, where all the Missionaries gathered together. We arrived and a woman came up to me and said she had some surprises. I knew someone was coming but didn't know what the surprises were. So she shows me a video of my mom and family, then took a photo with me and the Sisters there. Then I was shown our cupcakes and got a video of myself saying thanks. Then everyone else showed up and we had a ton of fun chatting, seeing each other again, 

I gave two Sisters my last planner and challenged them to make pictures for them. So they did, and so I got a photo with both of them and the planner pictures they made. Also got a photo with Sister Shell, a visa waiter who is leaving soon.

Tuesday we had a good day, and taught several people at our ASL class! Wednesday we had a miracleWent to a Less active member's home and explained, once again, about the importance of going to church. I felt prompted to show him a General Conference video about your 4 seconds (sat afternoon session) on Earth, and as I went to do that, his friend shows up. So it became a member present as we watched the video and Testified of the importance of following the commandments.

Thursday we went to Court and tried to resolve Elder Oleson's case. We met a YSA girl there who was caught speeding. So we spent 3 hours there. Then visited some people, then correlation. I love the new Branch Mission Leader, Brother Mealey. He's very sarcastic but has a sincere heart. Friday was District Meeting, possibly my last one. We went to the Galleria and tried to mall sign. The mall is very long, feels like forever walking back and forth! Then went to a deaf social. We saw an inactive member there, awkward!

Saturday morning we went to a baptism. So background, E. Erickson contacted a man and gave the information to the Sisters. They taught him, he accepted baptism, wanted E. E to baptize him. SO, we went to their ward building and he baptized him. Then got an oil change, then did family history. I LOVE FAMILY HISTORY! It's so much fun finding names and connecting my tree!

Sunday was a good day at church, felt the spirit. Went to Galveston again, tried to contact the referral, but not home. Oh well. :(

Anyway, have a great week!


Elder Gardner


Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter!
Family and friends,

I hope ya'll have a happy Easter and can enjoy and remember our Savior Jesus Christ and what He's done for us to help us live with Him and our Heavenly Father again!

We have the opportunity now as Missionaries to read the full Book of Mormon and highlight passages which talk about how we can use the Atonement. It's hard for me to read a book and progress well without getting distracted. However, I have been able to keep up with my reading and have been doing a good job with the Book of Mormon so far. I do hope to learn a lot as I find passages that relate to how to USE the Atonement.

As far as the Branch and work is going, we are trying to help our investigators get to church through whatever means we can figure out. We tried to get a member involved to help our investigator's van get fixed, but he suggested we go to a local shop. So now we need to encourage her to use family or friends to help get funds so she can become more independent.

We finally received a new Branch Mission Leader. The Mealey family. They are fantastic and are trying so hard to learn sign language as fast as possible. He is amazing, has sarcasm and humor but knows when to be serious.

Friday we went to the Temple to do Baptisms for the dead with our Branch. It was fantastic seeing Brother Speckhard again, as well as watching members of our Branch help do family names for us. I've been doing a lot of family history and have been trying to fix up my tree as well as do the ordinances for those whom haven't been done yet.

Unfortunately, a member passed away last week on his birthday, so we attended a birthday party funeral for him.

Saturday was exchanges, as Elder Mitchell had the awesome opportunity to go team interpret with Brother Tuck at a Stake Youth activity way far up north where Book of Mormon characters come to life. Then we had dinner with him when they came back down, and had a fun Gospel discussion with them.

Sunday was good, talked about and learned more about Easter. I taught Sunday School, Elder Erickson taught Priesthood. Sacrament meeting was good. Then Skidmores for Easter Dinner.

This week will be good as we continue to work hard and bring souls unto Christ.

Have a great week!


Elder Gardner

Monday, April 14, 2014

Transfers, interviews, Temple and my birthday coming up?

Family and friends,

Last week we said goodbye to some members. I will miss them! Then had exchanges and Elder Erickson went South and Oleson north. The following day we visited a member, a deaf and blind man, who went to the hospital again. He was not doing well. In fact, he passed away just after his Birthday. :(

Thursday after we planned, President called and says he wants Elder Erickson to go South by Saturday. An emergency transfer, halfway through this transfer! This is on purpose and I will explain more as my time comes to an end.

The weekend was an exchange and Temple trip. Then we ate Dinner with the richest member in our Branch.

Following that we did family history.

Sunday we went to church. Our Stake President came to speak with us, as it was Branch Conference. It was good. I also spoke with many of the members to make sure everyone will still be here and not on vacation in June, when my family picks me up. We then went to Galveston to try a contact a referral, who wasn't home.

So that was my week. We shall see what happens this week!

Oh, and yes I hit my 22 month mark this week. And apparently my birthday is next week? I've been on a Mission too long and don't remember that stuff easily. But I will when I get presetns :D haha

Anyway, have a great week!


Elder Gardner

Monday, April 7, 2014

General Conference Weekend!

Family and friends,

This past week was General Conference weekend! Prior to that, we had some interesting experiences. First, after emailing home we went to the stake center and sister king and shell was there. We chatted for a while when our phone buzzed in a text. Turns out one of our progressing investigators was sent the hospital because of a heart problem and wouldn't be released until 3 weeks later. Saddened by the problems Satan throws at our Deaf people we try to help, I started to lose hope. Sister King said to have faith, and said we should pray. So the four of us knelt down and prayed for her to recover fast. Last that night Elder Oleson suggested we Fast for her the next day. We texted the zone and asked them to pray as well. Just a few days later we got a text that she was released from the hospital and was recovering! We were so happy that it worked!

We had some good lessons this past week, most of them focused on General Conference and encouraging members and investigators to watch it. Thursday night before heading home we tried a referral that I've lost some hope with, but he was home and we taught the Restoration lesson on his doorstep and he accepted a book of mormon! Friday we had zone meeting. In the past, the Saturday morning before General Conference we would go to iHOP, however we decided to go to Red Robin instead Friday afternoon. Then after checking facebook, we found a Deaf social and went to a mall. The mall was huge and a ton of worldly distractions were present. I avoided them as much as I could! We ended up seeing a group of HS girls who were taking ASL classes. Awkward... we spend about 20-30 minutes introducing ourselves and then decided to just leave, haha.

General Conference weekend was fun! But sadly, we missed half of it! Wouldn't you know, Saturday morning the computers and projectors and everything is setup, when just as it starts, everything goes down. The satellite receiver fails. So the other Ward's tech guy and I frantically resetup everything so it could play in both asl and english. Afternoon session we went to a member's house, but they were late by 40 minutes. Sunday morning we resetup things better, but the one projector died, so we had to depend on ASL only. Afternoon was the best, we got a TV to work. I was very happy I could use the little technology skills I could still remember to help out.

(Priesthood session , the man interpreting the songs was my Deaf MTC teacher!)

That's the past week! I am excited to see what happens this week! The Hausman family is leaving in a few days and won't return to Houston until I leave, so we will say goodbye in about 30 minutes.

As Missionaries we have planners that we use to keep track of schedules and stuff. We put pictures on them for fun, sometimes. So for my last planner, I gave the covers to two Sisters that I'm friends with, trusting that they can use their skills to create a fun surprise for me :)

Anyway, that's all I have! Have a wonderful week!


Elder Gardner