Monday, June 22, 2015

2015.06.22 Cienega de Flores

Dear Mom, wait

Dear Dad,

HAPPY FATHER´S DAY! I hope you hade a good US open, who was the guy that won again from last year that went to U of Florida and was super young? or was that another tournament? Anyway I bet Phil Mickelson didn´t win because he´s super old now.

Zone Conference: Davis back row right of center, President and Sister Swapp front center.
This week was a lot. first of all, we had our zone conference and it was the last time that I´ll see President Swapp before our next President comes next week (President McArthur). he was a super great Mission President. He taught us that it really is through small and simple things that great things come to pass. (alma 37:6-7) so don´t give up! keep going, because you can´t see the wonderful things that will come wuth time (D&C 63:33-34) Also, I got to see Elder J! That was awesome.
Davis and Elder J.
Well there are quite a few challenges that we have been facing here in the branch. We haven´t really had any luck finding any real investigators. There are many people here who will glady listen to us, but the won´t come to church or complete with their comittments. It´s not to say that they aren´t bad people. We have many great lessons with various people, where they can undoubtly feel the Holy Ghost, and they tell us, but then they forget the feeling and don´t want to really change for the better. It really is kind of a bummer for that to happen. 

We had a lesson with A. at the end of a tough day though, and it was pouring rain outside. We sand the hymn "Master the Tempest is raging" and he began to explain how he was still battling to get work off for all sundays. Elder T shared the story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus. When he had his eyes on the Lord, his faith was firm and there was not doubt, and he could walk on the water, but he began to look at the waves and feel ther winds, his eyesight went off of the Lord and began to doubt, that is when he began to sink. We explained: "Is this not like all of us, If we put our faith in Christ, and look towards him in every moment, we will not have to doubt that everything will go well, but when we look around and ask ourselves the "what ifs?" and think about consequences and situations that could possibly pass us by, well that´s when we begin to sink." opening to the short scripture in doctrine and covenants 6:36 filled the room. I think that Elder T and I needed that lesson as well, not just A. The rain had stopped when we finished the lesson, and it was a good end to the day.

A. arrived early to church and was confirmed, next week he will be able to recieve the Aaronic Priesthood.
A. after his baptism (wearing what was probably Davis' favorite tie.)
There are still many other things, we have to do a lot with the small branch to get it on its feet. We´re trying to start activities every week so that they´re more united. Sometimes, when I think that my portion is hard, I think about how hard it was for Joseph Smith to restore the Church, And I think of how hard it must have been for Christ to suffer for our sins. Then I remember the words of Nephi in 1 Nephi 4...Let us be diligent in keeping the commandments of God. I guess sometimes, we need to sit down for five minutes nd breathe everything out, then get up and get to work. Mom there are lots of things I want to tell you about how I feel and what I´m doing, obviously there isn´t the time to do it. But I want you to know that I´m never going to stop working hard. But if you could, I would like if you could share with me what you guys learn at church, what things you learn throughout the week about the gospel, what experiences you guys have, like thanny´s testimony! :) I just want to recieve spiritual nourishment wherever I can find it. 

We went to the markets today, and I got some things for you guys. our Branch President said that he was going to go to Utah in a month, so if I stay for another 6 weeks I´ll be able to send the stuff with him. There´s a late mother´s day gift that I´ll put in there too. 

I love you guys so much! Sounds like everything is great over there! I´m glad Thanny had fun at conference! I´ll send some pictures.

Elder Davis Garner

Nathaniel gets to choose the one he wants: howling coyote or gecko.
Howling Coyote (or a cat with bad breath?)

Gecko T shirt

Monday, June 15, 2015

2015.06.15 Cienega de Flores

2015.06.15 Cienega de Flores
here let me answer your questions first.

Well, 6:30 we get up and do exersize. right now I´m doing something that my convert F taught me, where you start with diamond pushups and then you go to marine push ups and then regular and then spread pushups. I also do the jump rope a bunch and core and whatever else I have time for. ITS SUPER HOT IN OUR HOUSE. honestly it is not a very pleasant house, but that´s ok I didnt come on the mission to be the prince of bel air (smell ya later!) It is super humid, so it´s hard to fall asleep. You can´t open the windows unless you want a million cockroaches to join ya! so we got our two fans and that´s that! the spider unfortunately died :( poor guy, but I find other weird bugs in the house so it´s ok. anyway in the day what we´ve been doing a lot is looking for families, we talk to families, we teach families, we eat with families, we ask people if they know families. Well we talk with everyone, EVERYONE! but we want to find that family that desires to have the restored gospel in their life. Weather=super hot.

Speaking of families, we found many this week. It was so awesome to teach many full families about the restored truth of an eternal family. We would start each lesson with "families can be together forever" and with that I could feel the spirit fill up my whole chest, and I´m positive it did the same with my companion too. From then on, in every lesson we were truly guided by the spirit, and If I had the time I could tell you many wonderful experiences that we had in the lessons. 

Oh but in sunday, we were disappointed. We sat there waiting in sacrament meeting, and not one of the 4 families that we had commited to church came. A. came late and wasn´t able to be confirmed (but don´t worry about him, his work won´t be a problem now and he will be on time next sunday) I thought to myself "I thought that the blessings came after the trials" Later I felt that voice say to me "patience" Well here is another lesson that I learned. Sometimes we are stuck in the middle of a sticky situation, and we feel heavy in trial, and at the end of the day we say to ourselves "I suffered it well and willingly, the blessings will come." But, I guess sometimes we don´t understand that some trials are longer than others, saying to ourselves "be patient" and then expecting the blessings tomorrow isn´t really being patient. If there was one spider that I could have in my house, it would be charlotte so she could sing to me "Cheer Up! Cheer Up!" 

But don´t worry about me, I´m not the lest bit disanimated. I thought to myself "Well, If these families, or I, are not receiving great blessings, my Heavenly Father should be sending them to my family." I hope you guys feel wonderful this week. The gospel is the most wonderful thing we have and It´s great to have the blessing of an eternal family. Maybe since Nathaniel is so bored, you guys could all go to the Temple, or do a super fun family home evening where you do service to a neighbor or an old person and then get ice cream. Dad is in charge of the service projects in the ward now isn´t he? He should have plenty ideas.

dang I didn´t bring my thingy to send photos, but next Week! We´re going to go to San Nicolas for a zone activity in the afternoon, but then we are going to stay and work there in the evening in the area of two other missionaries and stay at their house, because tomorrow we´re going to the temple, and after we are going to have a zone conference! It´s the last zone conference with president Swapp too, how sad, he´s going to be leaving in two weeks. He´s been an awesome mission president and I´ll miss him a bunch. But I am excited to have another, it´will be super cool to learn from two mission presidents. Hey, did I tell you guys that Elder J is the newest assistant to the President now? So I´ll get to see him tomorrow as well! 

Let´s all 4 of us have a super duper week!

I love you!

Elder Davis Garner

(for dad Elder Davie Chocolate)

Monday, June 8, 2015

2015.06.08 Cienega de Flores

Dear mom!

Sounds great! It´s funny how I was going to do an intership at the NPS in Santa monica mountains, and then once the guy sent me the thing about the Least Terns at the naval base, I went and did that. Nathaniel should have fun there. I miss running, It´s kind of tough not running. but there are more important things...

A got Baptized!!! Yea, the other missionaries in the branch were going to baptize the two youths on a thursday evening, and so we called A "Hey do you want to get baptized?" "Yea when?" "7pm" "ok I´ll be there at 6:30" Woo hoo! He has been felling more and more confident every day, and he has been getting good at recognizing the spirit. He says that he is going to make the final decision this week about his job so that he can go to church every sunday and be confirmed a member! (He wasn´t this week because it was the stake conference)
Baptism of two youths (young boy and girl with glasses) and "A" (probably the one right next to Davis in white).

Oh and stake conference of san Nicolas was awesome! As Missionaries we are only supposed to go to the sunday session, but, the priesthood meeting needed a male piano player and the closest one in the stake hour and a half a way(me) so we went, and I was able to see a lot of the members of the Nicolas Bravo ward. After the meeting, the stake president came up to me and said (in english!) "Thank you so much Elder, keep working hard" He´s got pretty good english, but it´s always unusual to hear it hahahaha. And then on sunday, guess who I saw!? O!!!!! Early to church as always in his nice shirt and tie! I also got to see his parents V and K, goodness there is such a difference in them now that they are going to church every sunday and preparing to get married and baptized. I love them so much.
Davis and O at the San Nicolas Stake Conference
Elder T is super cool. We are working super hard together and he is super fun too. This week we came home on sunday night exausted, but we felt that the Lord was greatly pleased in all of our efforts. We have two whole families in the teaching right now, and we have faith that they will both progress nad be able to be baptized. Both families show the interest, intentions, and humility to truly desire to follow the saviour. 

This Week Violet from the Incredibles said: "Super Duper Dad!"

Love you mom, I´m going to send you some pictures.

Elder Garner

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

2015-06-01 Cienega de Flores

Hey mom,

The truth is I don´t know. [Davis is responding to a question about whether or not he has gained weight since he doesn’t run as much on his mission.] Since I´ve gotten to Cienega my pants have loosened a lot, I´ve been pulling them up a little here and there. But last time I weighed my self i was 165lb, but I don´t know how much I was when I was in Nicolas Bravo or anything. hmmmm. I feel all right in terms of health. I don´t feel super in shape though, cuz I can´t run all day every day and do more after that. 

Farewell to Elder H
Elder H was changed out, and now I have a new companion. Elder T. He´s from...Monterrey! He´s lived in Monterrey since he was 20 and then moved to coahuila, and there he got his call to monterrey. he´s 25 years old too. But he´s a cool guy, a hard worker and he does excersize. We did go on one run this week, but only for 10 minutes because I didn´t know if he was feeling great or whatnot, he was probably fine.

This week was pretty tough, as in we worked pretty hard. A was super animated because he got his work buddies to help him out so he could go to church on sundays and be baptized. We were super excited. But in  the morning on sunday when we were filling up the font, we got a call from A, saying that his friends didn´t want to help him anymore and he had to work. Dang, we were all pretty bummed. But don´t worry, he will find a way to make it happen! One way or another!

Hello Elder T
We have been looking for families, and we found one! It´s a family of three, and when we found them, the mom said "Hey I´ve been waiting for you guys for a while, you always pass by and I wanted you to talk to me, we want to go to your church." Awesome! We still haven´t gotten to known the husband because he was sound asleep when we found them. They were heading on their way to church yesterday, but then they got a call and had to go help her mom with something, it was something urgent. Dang again! Oh well, They´re for sure coming next time!

Oh here´s an awesome story!!! First of all. the zone cienega de flores was so small this change, that they merged it again with San Nicolas, my old zone. Now there is just one zone for the whole stake of san nicolas. So, now we have to go all the way to the stake center for the zone and district meetings, which is almost 2 hours away! The super cool thing thought, is that it is my old area Nicolas Bravo! So many good things from there. Elder G (one of the Elders that was in the MTC with me) is in that area now, and he was telling me how strong my converts are, they´re all doing so well! The best to hear about was O and his family, he´s still being the valient deacon that he has always been, and now his parents are coming to church every sunday AND FINALLY V [O’s dad] WANTS TO GET MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!! Elder G told me his story, that he lost his job, and he told the missionaries it was because he wasn´t doing what they were saying. They promised him that he would get a new job if he started going to he started, and he did! Now they just need to find the time and means to get married and then BOOM, they can get baptized and O and his family will be able to recieve temple blessings in a year! That was probably the coolest thing this week, even though it wasn´t in my own area.

Hey mom make sure to take pictures up at Berkeley, that´s cool that you saw a pacific loon. I found one of those with J one time at sycamore in febuary. I´m pretty tired from this week, but I feel pretty good, sometimes there are things that stress me out, but I can always find a way to relieve it. 

I love you mom! I´ll send some pictures


also, I don´t use gel in my hair anymore, and I saw a curve billed thrasher, northern bobwhite, verdin, and a bunch of roadrunners.

Maybe Davis doesn't wear hair gel because he cut all his hair off.

one more...found a turtle in the middle of nowhere