Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Family History, Zone Conference and last time at Skidmore's, oh my!

Family and Friends,

Last week was great and busy! Friday we had a Zone Conference. The difference between a Conference and a Zone Meeting is that Conferences usually have 3 or 4 zones together. So, we had 4 in ours, I believe. Got to see all of my friends again, since our zone split. Was able to say goodbye to a few I won't see again. All of the Missionaries who will be leaving this transfer all shared their departing Missionary testimonies, including myself. The spirit was very strong and powerful. I love hearing Testimonies from those whom have served and are about to head home!

Saturday we went to the Stake Center with a member, another member joined us. We went because two Sisters in our Zone have been struggling with their family history and asked Elder Erickson and I to help. It was good! I felt the spirit as I helped Sister King find names and we felt led and directed to certain people through searching on Google. I know family history is such a great way to introduce non members to the Gospel because the spirit of Elijah is always present. Sometimes the spirit will hit you and you will feel where to go.

Saturday evening we went to Pearland texas and met with a referral that the South Mission sisters found. One of them knew just enough sign language to communicate with their neighbors and so we came to start teaching. It was great! Four deaf people who are smart and educated! The sisters have an interpreter and ride setup for them too!

Sunday I had the opportunity to share my Testimony, as it was Fast Sunday. It was the last one with the Branch, so Elder Mitchell and I went up to share ours, followed later by Elder McGill and Erickson. The spirit was very strong. Then we enjoyed dinner at the Skidmore's one last time! Last time eating spaghetti and salad, plus blue bell and brownies. :(

Yesterday was PDAY, and memorial day. So libraries were closed and thus I couldn't email. So with permission, we are emailing Today. We were going to head to the park, but it rained hard core and we ended up with a bit of flooding, but we are alright mom and dad! Don't worry! We stayed in the Stake Center instead and hung out there. Then had dinner at a member's. A woman recently moved into our Branch to learn and use sign language, and we became friends with her, so whenever her parents are home she invites us for Dinner.

Today is a good day! We are emailing, then we will go to CRR then visit a member in Sugarland and then teach our ASL Class tonight, hopefully people will show up!

Have a great week!


Elder Gardner

Monday, May 19, 2014

Temple, Miracles, and Family History, oh My!

Family and friends,

How was your past week? We had the opportunity to attend the Temple and witness many miracles! One example is this past Tuesday. What happenedWe planned on going to CRR to do service but as we pulled out of the parking lot we realized that our back left tired was slowly deflating. So we headed for a shop, got it fixed. While waiting, a man came up and offered to pay us lunch. So we went with him to a nearby fast food and talked for about 30 minutes. Then we got our keys back and were told the service was free. Thanked the man, then headed to our first appointment, which we arrived early to. Decided to knock anyway, and felt we should wait. 1 minute later the member we were trying to meet drove in the driveway, so we got to teach him! Then off to an investigator. When we arrive, and knocked, he happened to just wake up and feel the knock. So we taught the Restoration, but then Elder Erickson had to use the bathroom bad, and the investigator's plumbing wasn't functioning. So we went to a fast food, and then drove to our ASL class and despite traffic, arrived just in time. The Lord was in control of the day and everything worked out perfectly!

Wednesday we go to go out to eat with a member and their local Missionaries. After the local ones left, we had recently had a conversation with the family about doing family history and their lack of knowledge and experience with it. I offered to help them with family history and they accepted! So now I'm helping the family get family names ready for the Temple.

Friday we attended the Temple together as a Branch and help do Baptisms and Confirmations for the dead. Elder Mitchell and my last ones here! Then we met with other Sisters whom were working on their family history but were stuck, and we helped them with theirs.

Saturday was more of a difficult day. We had a few appointments planned but most of them fell through, so we ended up with nothing to do most of Saturday, which sucked. We ran out of miles to drive far and had visited everyone. If we were English we would tract, but that's not effective for our Branch, so we headed home and cleaned up and did other to-dos which we hadn't done for a while.

Sunday was good! I taught Sunday School and Elder Erickson taught Priesthood. Then Sacrament meeting Elder Mitchell interpreted and Brother Tuck as well. We ate food, then went to Kleinwood but it was packed so we went to the park and walked around, enjoying nature and getting exercise, then went to the Temple, then home.

This week is Zone Conference week! So excited! And 4 weeks left! But I'm still strong, still obedient, and still hardworking. Ask my companions, Branch President, and Mission President. :)
Anyway, have a great week!


Elder Gardner

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day, 6 investigators and 5 weeks left.

Hello family and friends,

Happy one-day-late-Mother's Day!

The past week we said goodbye to Elder Oleson, then went to the Zoo, with permission of course. We went with the plan of helping the Deaf in downtown Houston learn about the animals in the zoo and also how to apply for jobs at the zoo. We have been cleaning our apartment like crazy and trying to be as organized as possible. Elder McGill gave me a haircut and kind of screwed it up a little, but that's the beauty of hair... it grows back, haha.

District Meeting Elder McGill taught, why? He's now the District Leader. So he taught about talking with everyone whenever we can. So later that day, when we went to try and visit one of our member's who feel through, we went to Sonic and met a Deaf woman and man there! We contacted them and hopefully they will contact us back soon. :) Also went to Texas Road House for Dinner that night. :)

Saturday was an all Temple day! It was great doing Ordinances for our deceased ancestors. Sunday was good, President and Sister Pingree came to speak in InWood and will speak in Fallbrook soon. Church was good. Then we went to Speckhard's to Skype home. I enjoyed it. Planned our trip a little and just chatted. I'm excited to see my family.

Anyway, I hope y'all have a great week! Enjoy the Summer!


Elder Gardner

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Transfer week, my LAST transfer on my Mission, and guess where I am now?

Family and friends,

This past week has been very interesting. I needed to do exchanges with Elder Mitchell and be with him for one day, and at the same time he needed to do Zone Leader exchanges with other Missionaries. So I was asked to stay up North, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. So half the week I was up North. It was fun, being able to relax and enjoy different companions and the North area for a few days.

Friday was Zone Meeting and it was good, followed by a Deaf social at the Galleria and saw a member there, so we chatted with her. Saturday was an all service day. We cleaned up Fallbrook, then we helped a part member family weed their garden. Then our investigator who was planning on moving, postponed the move to next week, so we went to eat Dinner at a member's house, then to a graduation party from a recent convert.

Sunday was good. Had a rough morning but got to church and had a good day. Testimony meeting. One woman, who has almost hit a year since baptism, shared a long but powerful testimony on resisting temptation and no matter what others say about the LDS church, that you have to stand strong and be brave with your beliefs. Sunday School I asked a member to teach it, and she did a great job! Priesthood Brother Match taught. Had Dinner at the Skidmore's house. Only one more left. :(

Last night while waiting for transfer calls, President Pingree calls us. I answer and he asks to speak with Elder Oleson. I hand the phone over, and a minute later we find out he's going to be transferred back to English on Tuesday. Sad! But it's the Lord's will, so we helped him pack. Thus, Today we will eat together as a District. Crazy, my last transfer call ... full two years ASL...

So, one more transfer left... crazy! I still remember when we went to the MTC for the first time, and now I'm about the go home... but I have more adventures and plans to go through after my Mission. Until then, however, I will continue to find those whom the Lord desires for me to find and teach and baptize! 6 weeks left!

Have a fabulous week!


Elder Gardner.