Monday, June 9, 2014

Wait, what? I only have a week left? How is that possible?

Family and friends,

6:25 this morning I woke up to my alarm and realized; wait a minute... I only have a week left as a called and set apart Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to focus 100% on inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them to receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end? That's alright! Keep working, keep praying, keep showing faith, keep teaching, keep inviting, keep committing, keep following up.. His work isn't over, and one week or one year left makes no difference to me!

The Lord has provided us with miracles. Ever since the new year, we have been teaching an investigator named Beatrice Fey. She lives in Pasadena which is far. She showed an interest in the Gospel and we have tried to visit her weekly. We have taught all of the commandments and lessons and had accepted everything we have taught. Sunday we committed her to baptism, and she accepted! She will be baptized June 21st! We are excited and will work hard to keep her strong and ready.

While teaching the Pascalin family Wednesday, their daughter asked me to help her more with her family names. So we helped her fill out Spanish names. Wow, they are long! The chain of bye-bye-Elder-Mitchell-and-Gardner Dinners started that night at the Gudino's home. Delicious!

Thursday was a little bit slow but we tried a hit-and-miss meetup with an inactive member of our Branch who has been struggling to come. As we were teaching, one of our members from the opposite side of town showed up to visit. We were excited and taught a lesson that honestly wasn't very productive, but I felt the purpose of the visit wasn't for the inactive member, but for us to learn that the other member should be their fellowshiper.

Friday was a very good day. I had asked Elder Mitchell to give me a lesson assignment for Zone Meeting so I can stay focused and not distracted while on my last few weeks left. So I was able to tech about how to resolve companion's concerns without involving our Mission President. I felt the spirit and taught very well. We also had a short skit to show what President maybe feels and goes through day by day as different Missionaries have different situations they are not sure how to solve.

We visited one member who is an interpreter and used to come to our Branch weekly. Her husband recently passed away a few months ago and she has been trying to stay as strong as possible despite troubles. We went to visit her and had a very neat spiritual experience. As Missionaries, we cannot enter a home if only a Woman is there. We need a man 18yrs old or older present. When she opened the door, she invited us in. I hesitated at first because we shouldn't unless a man is there. But then I felt the spirit say go ahead, you are fine. Nervous as I entered, we sat down. I immediately felt her husband's spirit's presence in the room and tears came to my eyes as I felt the spirit Testify to me that he was in her home and the Lord was pleased that we were there. We spent some time talking, and she vented on her experiences and troubles leading up to and since his death. I promise you, his spirit was there and it was powerful as she shared sacred experiences with us. We left her home almost in tears, knowing the Lord needed us there and provided us with a man, even from the other side, so we wouldn't break the rules. That was a testimony builder!

Saturday was physically exhausting. The Match family (father is Elder's Quorum President, Mother is in Relief Society, son is Deaf and other son is hearing) bought a house in a nicer and safer part of town and we spent 6 hours helping them load boxes into a truck, driving there, and unloading. In the Texas sun, almost 100 degrees. But it was worth it. It was a ton of fun!

Sunday we were blessed to have President and Sister Pingree visit our Branch and provide talks. Sister Pingree felt impressed to speak on family history and told me she was very nervous about the talk but I told her we as a Branch have been getting involved with family history recently, and she was relieved. President Pingree spoke on talking with everyone and always finding Missionary opportunities. We encouraged our Deaf members to find opportunities to invite their Deaf friends to learn more about the Gospel. We were also blessed to have Dinner with a struggling part member family.

I am very excited for our investigator's baptism. I also know that this work is real. The Lord is hastening His work in these Latter-days. He needs our help and we need to be willing to do whatever we can with whatever talents, skills, interests and abilities we have.

I thank you for all of your prayers! Have a fantastic week!


Elder Gardner.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Stake Conference and Miracles!

Family and friends,

Last week it flooded a little but all was well. Had a Temple trip Thursday, that was good! Saturday was Stake Conference as well as Sunday. I got to see the Boyer family there. Then we visited a family in Katy.

This week is going to be awesome! Hopefully we can solve a vehicle problem with a member and help her progress to baptism before my Mission ends, I'm hoping!

Shorter email, sorry. A lot of things to do this week, a lot of my mind.

Thanks for all your support, love, patience, etc.


Elder Gardner!