Sunday, August 30, 2015

2015-08-24 Independencia

Hey Mom,
looks like the summer has come to an end. I don´t feel any difference.
This week was pretty uneventful from what I can remember. No that´s not true, It´s just that on preperation day I´m always super tired. We have been teaching a man named J., two sundays ago we found him when we entered the chapel, and there he was. he´s about 50 years old and a year ago he met the missionaries, but he got in a terrible motorcycle accident and so he was in the hospital for a long time. Right not he can´t walk without crutches, but he has been getting better. We have been teaching him for about two weeks, and he has been coming to church, and he wants to get baptized. He´s a bit hesistant though because of his legs I believe, and I could understand, but I believe that he is spiritually prepared, and with that he can be physically prepared as well. since we have been visiting him, he has felt a big difference, he has been reading the book of mormon and has been praying and for that has been recieving spiritual strength. We teach a lot about faith, ether 12, alma 32, because that is what he needs. He has a lot of questions and such, and we have been answering them. I guess I just need to be a little patient with him because he has the desires, he just might need a little bit more time that others. I always think "Get baptized now now now!" but Heavenly father has a plan for everyone, I just need to keep trying to understand it.
Did I ever tell you how many drunk people there are here in Independencia? There are so many. theres a bunch on monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday and on saturday and sunday there are too many! they are pretty funny to talk to, especially the ones that contact us. There was one a couple of weeks ago that said. "hey i read the book of the mormons, it talks about how the angel moroni came back to give the two tablets of Moses to Joseph smith...give me one of them books" hahahaha almost buddy.
I thought I heard something about elders now being able to enter when they came home, because two many were leaving early, but who knows. I guess it depends in what President McArthur has to say. I went to the offices today to get some more book of mormons, and elder jones started to talk to me about birds, then the new matrimony missionaries started to talk to me about birds, then president mcarthur started to talk with as about the birds and I basically started to teach a birding class on birds of utah and northern mexico hahahaha.
I love you all so much!
Elder Garner

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2015.08.17 Independencia

Hey Mom!
Sounds like school is rolling back into town...except for me! When I get back I´ll probably just become a seminary teacher and nothing else because I don´t remember any biology or math or anything. Oh well, I hope it comes back when I get home.
Yea this area is pretty tough, but it´s not a big deal. You know how MT SAC is a super tough course? Well I always felt really good after I finished that race, and super happy ( i think I always had a pretty good race every time there) Well that´s what "Indepe" is like. Tough, but it´ll build a lot of {spiritual} muscle. 
We had a stake conference yesterday, unfortunately none of our investigators could come, but It was a very good conference none the less. The stake President talked about the atonement, and the three main consequences of the atonement.
1. it restored everything that was lost with the fall of adam
2. It created the posibility of repentance
3. It opened the opportunity for exaltation
It was a very good talk, a very good conference over all, and it was in the chapel right by the temple, so there was that nice sight. fun fact: The patriarch in this stake is a convert, and his story is mentioned in Preach My Gospel. it´s in chapter nine: how do I find people to teach, in the section "talk with everyone". He gave a pretty funny talk, where he mentioned that before his conversion, he had talked to two other missionaries (of another church) that said "kill me! because I´m a missionary and I´ll go to heaven, and then after you can repent and you´ll go to heaven!" and his wife came out saying "what´s all that about killing each other!?" you can use that for family home evening hahaha.
of other news, I finished the Book of Mormon for the 5th time in the mission. it gets even better each time I read it. I am able to find even more teachings in each verse that I´ve already read. The Holy Ghost can speak to use when he read a certain scripture to gain a testimony of a certain truth of something that may had not been quite as important to use before. He continue to read the scriptures because we can recieve revelation through them. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and that there are still many things I haven´t learned from it, and I will keep reading it. (half way through my goal as well!)
I love you guys so much, keep having fun in California.

Elder Garner

Friday, August 14, 2015

2015-08-10 Independencia

Hey Mom! 
Eating campanchanas with Elder R.

Wow that was long. It´s much easier to talk than to write I guess. My letters would probably be pages if I could do that. First of all, I want to apologize for that past letter because really it didn´t reflect the past week. I had a good past week, but while I was writing I was tired from a missionary activity that we did and Elder R only wrote two sentences to President in his weekly letter and so it kind of frustrated me.
But this week was super great! We had a lot of wonderful experiences and I´m having trouble writing them all!
First of all. In our first week here in Independencia we had found a mother and her two sons that were very interested. (unfortunately their father isn´t very interested, he doesn´t have a problem with any of it though, but we´ll keep trying) We had taught them a couple lessons with them, and when we invited them to church, O, the mother, said: "Oh we´re going on vacation!" Dang it...well there goes them. But that´s not true, because they returned, and we found them this saturday, and they were super excited to see us! They told us about their vacation, and how they had told their family members about us and all the things that they had learned. P, the youngest son, 12 years old, was very good at explaining all of it. The other son is named E, 13 years old. We talked to them about testimony and following the commandments and the happiness that comes from those things that day, and asked if they still were thinking about being baptized. They said that they were, and we put the goal for the 30th of August. That meant that they needed to come to church. But they came! and sister O entered and almost yelled "buenos dias!" hahahha they were super happy to be there, and the members that were there were happy to meet and greet them. The Relief society President sat with them and sang the hymns with them and explained about the services and all. It was dandy. I´m actually really excited to bring them to next sunday because There will be a stake conference, and the stake center is right by the temple, so we´ll be able to show them the temple.

This week we went to one of the more rich areas of our zone, where there aren´t any members. The night before we told Heavenly Father that we wanted to find some new people going there. That day we went, contacted for 2 hours, and left with nothing, we were heading back from that colony and I saw a man with his daughter on some swings, so I went to contact them. He told  us that we could visit him the next day. We had a lesson with him in the chapel and it was very full of the spirit. He expressed to us his feelings for his daughter and how he wanted the best for her. We told him that his HEavenly Father wants the best for him, and that he has a marvelous plan for him and his daughter. He also mentioned that he had been preparing to be baptized with the missionaries when he was young in San Nicolas, but his parents didn´t allow him. He wasn´t able to come to church this week, but he will be able to come all of the other weeks, so we will be able to work with him and it will be great. Maybe there´s a lesson there. Maybe there wasn´t anyone prepared in that one colony, but there was someone prepared, and God placed him there at that time so we could be guided to him.
I found a scripture very valuable in 3 Nephi 22:4 (Isaiah 54:4)

 " Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame ; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more."
I guess no matter what we have done, the Lord can sanctify us through repentance, and we can leave our guilt and shame behind. I really like it for the reason that it says youth too, because I am one, and I guess everyone has done things in their youth that they aren´t proud of (like throwing their mom in the pool)
I have a couple things to ask you, for the next package you send I guess. I want to get Elder R an English hymn book, and an olive oil holder for christmas(he doesn´t have one) and I will need the 2016 Audobon calendar for the next year (It´s coming so fast!) I have more than 11 months here wow. Also, maybe some more shirts (mostly short sleeve) because they´re getting badly stained by the sweat/sun screen) So I might need some more, like 3 or 4. (One of the shirt´s sleeves lookes like it got dipped in mustard.)
Sorry mom that I haven´t been putting in everything in my journals, I´m trying to write what I can, There isn´t as much time I would like, but i´ll add that stuff in too. I still need to write you guys a nice handwritten letter.
But anyway, everything I going "super duper dad!" 
I love you mom,


2015-08-03 Independencia

Hey Mom!
Sounds like all of the camps are going great. I remember that our high adventure camp was one of the best camping trips I ever went on. It was super fun, we went camping way up there in the mountains, and we had devotionals and such. I remember when Nathaniel was in charge of the devotional, he was very prepared and spoke very well, that was something very cool.
right now I´m pretty tired, This area is a pretty tough area. Like I told you there are a lot of crazy people, but there are a lot that aren´t prepared to recieve the gospel yet. It´s kind of a bummer to leave from church on sunday and see just about everyone! drunk and walking around the streets, yelling and laughing loudly.
I feels different because I don´t really feel like I have a companion that I can talk to and recieve motivation and support. With Elders SJ/H/T we always worked together and felt together. we could get advice and support from eachother, and disstress eachother. Here, with Elder R, he´s a new missionary who doesn´t know much. But apart from being a new missionary, he´s very different. He doesn´t talk a lot, well we doesn´t talk unless I do (good thing I talk a lot) I´m teaching him many things, and he´s learning, but I need to keep having patience. You know that sometimes I had mental breakdowns at home, nothing really unhealthy just overstress. I think that it has happened to me a couple of times when I was the junior companion, and I was able to empty out my jar or stress and learn from my companions. But I can´t do that now. I need to be a good example to Elder R. I have made sure that no matter what I feel, I´m always prepared, always smiling, always diligent, always obedient, always enthusiastic. I am looking for a new was to empty my stress, thorugh the scriptures, through hymns. I want to find a way to empty it all at once. Over all of this mom, I think that there are a lot of things that my heavenly father is teaching me, and for that I feel greatful.
I don´t think I´m as stressed as I conveyed there mom, really I´m very happy to be here, I´m very excited to talk to many people everyday and teach them about the great blessings that come from the restored gospel. I´m still writing in my journal everyday, and I´m going to write you and dad a good letter to tell you about thoughts that I have that would be better described on a piece of paper.
I love you very much mom, If you went to the girls camp, you´ll get to read this letter and then a letter soon that says "YEA AWESOME WEEK EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!"
I love you,


Saturday, August 1, 2015

2015-07-27 Independencia

Pine Grosbeak and Sooty Grouse? [Birds that were spotted on a family trip and reported to Davis.]
I feel like when Elder J told me that he saw a chestnut crested warbler and a slate-throated redstart...jealous. Hahahaha that´s super cool though.
Looks and sounds like it was pretty fun. This week was pretty tough. We had a lot of lessons and taught and found a lot of people, but no results in church. Hmmm, well maybe We aren´t having success now, but soon we sure will be! I did have some really cool experiences this week. One was on divisions, when we were going up some stairs, and I saw a young boy. He was less than 8 years old, but I felt impressed to talk to him. I asked him if his mother was home, and he went to fetch his mom. She invited us in, and told us that she had listened to the missionaries before, and had a book of mormon. We decided to share something with her in the book of mormon. She told us briefly that she was having a lot of problems and troubles in her life, and so I wanted to share something that would give her hope. I really didn´t know what, but I went to Mosiah 24 and we talked about the people of Alma in bondage by Amulon, and how through their faith they were relieved of their tasks, and they could do them easily and go through their trials with patience, and be freed by their God. She felt very impressed by this scripture, because all of her problems were due to the bad decisions and consequences of others. I was surprised in how she felt after reading that part. We then talked about how she could have this relief like this people by making a covenant with God, because God remembered the covenant he made with the people of Alma. We then talked and invited her to baptism. After the lesson We left, and I was just kind of dumbfounded on how little I did, and how much the spirit did.
The ward here is super awesome, they´re super supportive and loving. The Bishop is pretty young, he´s about 30 and he only has about 5 years as a member, but he is a Go-Getter. He took us to some batting cages today hahahaha. Elder R had never played baseball before, and so it was something new for him, but it was super fun!
Hillside view in Independencia

Batting cage

The New Mission President, President McArthur is super great. He has many poems memorized and he shared on with me in his letter to me:

If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win but think you can’t
Its almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose , you’ve lost
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will
Its all in the state of mind.

If you think you are out-classed, you are
You’ve got to think high to rise
You’ve got to think well of yourself
Before you’ll ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
to the stronger or swifter man
But sooner or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.
I don´t have much else to say. but I hope you´re all doing great. Let me know what you learn in church and all of that stuff, and everything else that happens in the week.

Elder Davis Garner