Sunday, July 26, 2015

2015-07-20 Independencia

Hey mom!
[Davis responded to seeing pictures of the renovations we have done at the house since he left on his mission.] first, you said your room, and then ya room. Do I have a room in New Jersey now or something? Go to ya room misstur dAAAAviiis! well that´s how it would be wouldn´t it. But I feel like I´m going to come home to a different house than what I left from. Who was the returned missionary? I remember when Dad first told me that RMs that don´t tell stories give boring talks. Sister E had just got back along with J. s. and she just told stories for 20 minutes and he told all of the doctirne that she didn´t speak about. hahahaha.
Anyway, here in mexico it´s just peachy Dandy....hahahah just kidding it´s super hot. The canicula started...which are a 40 hottest days of the year. Honestly it isn´t that bad when we´re outside and it´s sunny and stuff. I mean it´s super hot but I can deal with it. But it is killer at night, because the house is an oven and my fan just blows me that hot air in the house! But when we wake up it´s all good because we only have cold water, i like that. 

Davis with "M" and her family

Davis and Elder T (old companion)

Davis and Elder R (new companion)

Independencia neighborhood


The work is going. I guess it´s still weird to open an area and have nothing, but we got someone in church today. Her name is "F". She is a 16 yr old girl who just moved back to live with her mother and sisters, and she is super ready to be baptized. all of them are recent converts from about 6 months ago, and they are super active and enthusiastic about everything in the church. I can clearly see the work of the Lord here in this family, how this family came in contact with the church, was baptized and confirmed, and cultivated the love and faith in their home that would nurture a returning daughter with many problems, looking for a change. It´s pretty incredible to be honest.
We are teaching another family (except the father :/) And they are pretty swell too. They couldn´t come to church yesterday, and I have a funny story about it (well it´s funny for me) In our weekly planning, we were talking about this family and how we were going to help them prepare to get baptized, what we were going to teach next, etc. I said "We have to teach about the opposition in the next lesson, because I KNOW it is going to hit them soon." Well we went to the lesson, taught the plan of salvation, very cool and all. The day before the two sons went to the mutual activity and such. At the end of the lesson I ask, "So is everything good for sunday?" and then the mother says "Oh, we just got a surprise from my daughter that she´s going to come and take us on a little trip until monday!" NOOOOOOO! hahahahaha I got stabbed in the heart! I explained the opposition, and told them to not worry about it, and come next week.
I found a lot of cool things in the Book of Mormon this week, but at the moment I cant recall anything. But I never knew that the third verse of "How firm a foundation" was based on Isaiah 41:10, so when I found that I was pretty excited.
But anyway, Good week, I love you guys!

Monday, July 13, 2015

2015.07.13 Independencia (Center of Monterrey)

Davis' new area is just South of his first area, San Nicolas.
Dear Mom, 

Thanks for sharing with me that lesson. It`s always good to re learn those things. But don`t say that I already know it. Maybe I do, but I got to keep learning over and over to strengthen my testimony and remember my covenants. Do you remember the talk by the french bishop in this past conference? "Is the gospel still wonderful to you?" And he says "I`ve already read the scriptures, there`s nothing new for me there." This cuts our faith off from progression. We had a lesson with a recent convert that`s preparing to go to the temple (she`s super awesome, and she`s Elder J`s convert too) and we talked about Alma 32 and giving nutrition to our faith. She said "When your faith is growing like a seed into a tree, and you say "I already know it" you`re basically pulling out the root, or chopping down your tree...with that state of mind your faith won`t be able to grow." Those were some wise words. I`m not saying this to you specifically, this is just something I learned.

Looks like everything is going great over there. Do you see how Nathaniel is like me? But with creme brulee and not chocolate milk! ahahha. but anyway...

Do you remember when Brother Johnson gave a talk and he said that God liked baseball and he read genesis 1:1 "in the Big...inning"?

Well he was right, Heavenly Father does play baseball, and he threw me a curveball this week.

I`M NOT IN CIENEGA DE FLORES ANYMORE! We were in a lesson with one of our progressing investigators when we got the call that I was going to be transferred. Honestly it was tough news. Our last Sunday was so great, M and her family were progressing and Elder T and I had figured out a great program to pump up the enthusiasm of the Church. But, I got called that I was going to be with a new missionary in a new area.

My new companion is Elder R. He`s from Cancun and he`s just out of the MTC in Mexico City. He`s a nice guy, and he`s really excited to be a missionary. He`s kind of quiet though, and he doesn`t know much. He doesn`t know much about the book of mormon and he doesn`t know anything about the bible. It`s ok though because that isn`t required to serve a mission. D&C 4:3 "Therefore, I you have desires to serve God, you are called to the work." It doesn`t say knowledge or charisma or any of that. He has a testimony that the church is true and that the Book of Mormon is true and that is what matters. Notwithstanding...I`ve got a lot to teach.
Birds eye view of the Barrio Independencia church building.
My new area is called Independencia. It`s right by the Center of Monterrey, just on the other side of the almost dry Santa Catarina river. It`s on the side of a hill, and there are a lot of stairs. I think it`s pretty cool. We started from scratch because the missionaries before us didn`t have anything to leave us. But we talked to everyone we could, and know we have found a family that we are now teaching. Barely, we found them on Saturday, but they feel like the kind of people that are ready to receive the blessings of the restored gospel and make sacred covenants with God. I`m going to do my best to share more personal experiences and teach the people, not lessons. With this family, we asked one of the young men (Thanny`s age) to offer a prayer to start. The sincerity of the prayer is what really invited the spirit. In his prayer he described various problems and challenges that he had gone through in his life and that he was grateful to God for helping him out of tough situations. After the prayer, they were are a little bit teary and ready to listen. We taught about the comforter of the gift of the holy ghost and how they can receive it through baptism. They feel the need to get baptized, now it`s just up to them to read the Book of Mormon and receive an answer to their prayers.

Oh, did I tell you that our new Mission President, President McArthur is Awesome!? Well He is!

I don`t trust this cyber, so I`m not going to send you any pictures, sorry.

But I love you so much!!!!!!! You guys are the best!

Elder Garner

Monday, July 6, 2015

2015.07.06 Cienega de Flores

[The email sequence from this morning:]

From: Davis Garner
Sent: Jul 6, 2015 8:49 AM
To: Jennifer Garner
Subject: hi 

Ay I´m online rite now jstsoyaknow

O´ll write you a lettah in just a few min

Oliver Twist (jk, Davis)

On Mon, Jul 6, 2015 at 9:30 AM, Jennifer Garner wrote:

Oh Davis,
  Sorry, I meant to write early this morning but slept too long.

Are you there?

On Mon, Jul 6, 2015 at 9:32 AM, Davis Garner wrote:
hehehehe yes, writing the letter now

On Mon, Jul 6, 2015 at 9:34 AM, Davis Garner wrote:
hey mom, I actually found something great for you that I read in an old conference talk, hold up...

you always ask me what I´m doing and you want to know more about how I do it, I read this in the talk of Elder Ballard "Following up" in the May 2014 conference:

Brothers  and  sisters,  can  you  imagine  the  impact  if family  and  friends  included  things  they  
are  learning from  their  personal  study  of  Preach  My  Gospel  in  their letters  and  emails  to 
 their fulltime  missionaries?  Can you  picture  the  blessings  that  will  come  to  families when 
 they  know  and  understand  better  what  their  sons and  daughters  will  be  studying  and  teaching  on  theirmissions?  Can  you  even  begin  to  fathom  the extraordinary  outpouring  of  atoning  
grace  that  will  be ours,  individually  and  collectively,  according  to  the Savior’s  promise  to  all  who  bear testimony  in  the process  of  inviting  souls  to  come  unto  Him—and  then following  up  on  those  invitations? 

there´s an invitation for you mom. I thought it would be a good idea.

Hey We had a great week!
Finally we broke the drought of not having people in church and we got 5 people there, and all of them were on time! Our most prominent investigator, M., who has a baptismal date in three weeks, Is growing strong in her faith. She is reading the book of mormon almost daily (and with her daughters) she obeys the word of wisdom, and is working on all of the papers so that she and her "spouse can get married" since they´re living in free union. She told us that in sunday morning, she felt tempted to sleep in and not go, but then she remembered how we explained the oposicion and she said to herself "NO! I´m not giving up!" she arrived to church and after, she told us that SHE LOVED IT! She said that now she had even more conviction to convince her husband to come and learn about the restored gospel. She´s already a missionary, how about that. 

A. received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday! He is super engaged in the church and is head on into learning. He just wants to learn learn learn! It´s awesome. I told him about the institute and he´s gonna go, he´s just pumped on the Gospel! I wouldn´t blame him, it´s awesome!!! He volunteered to give a talk in 2 sundays as well and it´s just great.

I have been learning a lot about challenges and blessings, a lot of times we aren´t going to know when the blessings come, and how long our trials will be, but we can be sure of one thing: That the Lord will always fulfill his promises as long as we are faithful. D&C 58:2-4 is a scripture that reminds me this.

Well I don´t know If Elder T and I will stay together another change, or If I’ll leave of stay or whatever, we´ll find out tonight. All I know is that I´ll be doing the will of the Lord, and that´s pretty good for me!

I love you. Hows Thanny! What are you guys up to?

Until Next Week,

Love Elder Garner

Thursday, July 2, 2015

2015-06-29 Cienega de Flores

Dear mom!

Sounds like everything is great! hhaahahahahahahaha I was so happy to read all of that and it was so funny to see Nathaniel in his goofy outfits! He`s goofier than I was (but you’re cool Nathaniel, you`re cool)
At the SLC temple grounds, S. Garner (cousin) and Nathaniel (wearing DAVIS' shirt and tie).  Davis probably wishes he had had blue shoes to go with it.
Wow Thanks so much mom. I did read that experience in the Liahona [Link to Article] and I thought to myself "Well no problem if I just stay in Cienega another change" Sometimes I think "Goodness gracious, How is it that I am throwing it all out, talking with everyone and doing everything I can and I can`t even get anyone in church, meanwhile there are other missionaries in other zones baptizing everyday every night? What am I doing wrong?" This is a very famous missionary question. I prayed about it and knelt there at my bed for a while and I just felt "Keep going!" I guess Cienega is a pretty old town built on a catholic backround (as is all of Mexico, the white stripe in the flag represents the catholic church) and there are a lot of people who live there but work very far away and so they`re never home.
Here is a shot of one day from Davis' schedule notebook
Here`s a cool experience though. We went to San Nico to go play soccer with the other missionaries this morning, and after the long bus ride we took a taxi and I was talking to the guy. I thought "ok, we`re going to do something more fun than just straight up contact him." "Hey, we want to sing you a song." Luckily I had a choir of three missionaries in the backseat, and we sang him "families can be together forever." It was a good lesson taught in a taxi, but when we asked if we could visit him, he said "ah I live very far Cienega de Flores." "Oh perfect we live there! We just came from there." We`re going to go visit him to see how interested he really is.

We had a branch activity that us 4 missionaries planned. It was great! We started out with a spiritual activity and then played volleyball and water balloons. The members were super animated from that, and we`re going to do them every Saturday. There were even more people in the church this Sunday.

Hahahahah I don`t know what else I can tell you with my limited time. There`s a lot that happens always. I Feel like I`m working very hard, even If I`m not seeing all the results. Thanks for the encouragement.

I`ll let you know what happens this week...NEXT WEEK!

I love you all!

Elder Davis Garner