Sunday, December 20, 2015

2015.12.14 Independencia

Dear Mom!

Hey how is everything going! This week was super duper, and to top it off, my handy dandy bird calendar tells me that the Christmas bird count starts today! So get out there and get counting! Besides that there really isn´t much else

love you

Nativity scene at the Monterrey Temple
elder garner

[Note to reader: Davis thought it was funny to send only this short email and then wait another 30 minutes before sending any more. Mom doesn't think it is very funny.]

Pssht yea right, a bunch of cool stuff happened this week. Where do I start. Well it sounds like the stake idea was super good, and it´s pretty funny that thanny was a robber, but I hope he got his recompense of justice, maybe he can read Alma 41

Anyway, we did another service project this week. We cleaned part of someones house, because it had set up in flames so everything was burnt and we swept everthing out and made it look all empty and less burnt. It was fun, but there was a lot of "sackcloth and" ashes (a good place to repent ey!?) and so we had mouth covers and even still I was coughing a bit during the day. No matter.

Also, this week was a very big week for mexico. Let me start with the more worldy things, and then we will go to the more spiritual things.

First of all, The Tigres (soccer team here in Monterrey) one the national cup last night so everyone in the streets was going crazy and yelling and shooting off fireworks...actually until 4:30 in the morning. That´s some celebratory stamina if you ask me. But I woke up at about 4 today and there were still fireworks going off, pretty crazy if you ask me.
Vamos Tigres!

Also, 12 of December is the birthday of the virgen maria guadalupe, so this whole weekend all of Monterrey came to our area to go to the giant catholic church and all of the stores and shops nearby. There were lots of parades, bands, traditions and noise. That contributed to the crazyness (and coolness of the week)

Lastly, We went over to the chapel of the temple yesterday to watch the broadcast of the Tijuana Temple Dedication. Wow was that amazing. I´ve been to the rededications (or the transmitions) but never a dedication. That was something different. President Uchtdorf was the one who dedicated the temple, and he gave a wonderful talk before offering the dedicatory prayer. He mentioned that we should always walk upright before God and be worthy to go to the temple continually. He invited everyone un Mexico to remember this special experience (and to write it in their journals, especially the youth.) Speaking of that, I finished the second journal I had and have now started in the new one, so I will see if there´s a quick way that I can send it, or if I will just hold on to it until I come home.

I´m kind of posed like a sister missionary, dang it...whatever i don´t even care!
Elder T and I worked harder than ever to finish this change. We truly thrusted in our sickle with all of our might. For that we were able to find a humble man who had just came out of prision, who wanted to change his whole life for his family. He wants to find God, and we contacted him on thursday and went to visit him on saturday. We talked about his family, and shared a message about the restoration of the Gospel and how throught knowing that it was true, he could change his life, be forgiven of his sins, and make promises with God to have an Eternal family. That touched his heart, and he felt the spirit, as he described: "A happiness that fills my chest, that I´ve never felt before, but something that gives me peace and hope for a better world." (Isn´t that what Moroni tells us in Ether 12:4? ) That was a very special experience that we had, along with many others this week, that I recorded in my journal. I know that when we talk about the importance of family, we can attract people´s attention, and when we teach them that the way that we can make covenants with our loving Heavenly Father to have an eternal family has been restored on the earth, they can feel the spirit. Try doing that this Christmas: Share the message of peace and good will.

Well I literally have no clue where I will be tomorrow. I´ve been here for 6 months, but there is a rumor that I will stay another change (which would be perfectly fine with me) but we´ll see tonight. I will confirm how we will communicate for Christmas next week. I´ll try to send a lot of pictures from the area.

Well, tell thanny not to rob anymore gold coins.

I love you!

Elder Garner

Sunday, December 13, 2015

2015.12.07 Independencia

In December, drinking horchata, I look psychotic...

Hey Mom!
That´s great that it arrived, Dillon is the best (not Elder J anymore...dang) [Note to reader: Davis sent a gift on the plane with a returning missionary who mailed it to us when he arrived home.] It sounds like the footlocker race was really fun and that thanny had a busy birthday.

Service projects are a good excuse to use machetes.
We did another service project this week. We went to the area of the zone leaders and cut grass and bushes in a park. it was tough and took a while because we only had machetes and some other tools, but I learned to use a machete really well! President and Sister Mcarthur came too, and it was a fun service project.

Baptism of Hermano J
Also, we had a baptism this week! Hermano J was baptized by his neighbor and dear friend JM. Hermano J has never been one to understand much of what we teach him, and less to remember what we teach him, but he has recieved the spirit of God and knows for himself that this church is true. He has humbled himself and repented of his sins, and now he has made a sacred covenant with God. It as pretty funny actually in his baptism. The members took a little time to go into the primary room for the baptism, so Hermano J said "Ya, I don´t want to wait anymore, I want to get baptized" so he went by the stairs that lead into the font and he was just about ready to jump in! We started, sang a hymn, said a prayer and shared one tiny little message and he was in there! hahahaha! Isn´t that great? I´m glad he was so excited to get baptized. He´s not a very social old man, but after his baptism he hugged every person that came. That was a great experience.

Remembering the MTC is a "Back to the Future" moment.
This week, Elder T and I probably had one of the most spiritual experiences of our missions. Last sunday, we had found an old lady named S, along with her husband J. They´re both very old and J can´t see or walk. That day we taught a little bit about baptism and authority and they accepted the invitation to be baptized. We returned on tuesday and that day she was very stressed, because she is having some problems with her family, a lost son and an angry grandson. Her and her husband both felt very bad in terms of health, and so instead of teaching them, we felt inspired to explain to them what a blessing is and see if they would like to recieve one. They have great faith and we gave them each a blessing of comfort and counsel. They were very greatful, and I was as well, that we could hold the priesthood and serve others with the responsiblity that the Lord had given us. Later, on friday (I was on divisions so I was not there) Elder T went to visit them and Hermana S was very ill with a fever and all. They  gave her another blessing and went to buy her medacine and dispense. I had seen her in the morning that day, before starting the divisions, and she did look pretty bad. Then, Saturday, we went and visited her, and she looked much better, much healthier. She told us about how she felt terrible and abandoned on friday, but how special that blessing was that my companion and the other Elder had given her was. She said that in that moment, she felt that God was speaking directly to her, and that he told her "Te mando que te esfuerces y seas valiente." or in enlgish "be strong and of good courage." Elder T and I were literaly stunned! and Elder T told her that was actually a scripture, and opened up to Joshua 1:9. She then bore us her testimony (not even knowing what a testimony is!) and said "I know that the my Heavenly Father spoke to me through the Holy Ghost that day, and that he loves me and that everything will be alright. I know what you [missionaries] are sent by God and share the truth, and that you do his will." That´s from what I remember, she said a little bit more than that, but it was amazing, and the spirit was stronge the whole lesson. That was probaly the smoothest, easiet lesson I have ever taught of the restoration of the gospel. She had read the pamplet before and said "I know it´s all true, the holy ghost told me, I just have a question or two about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon." After the lesson she said. "I know that it is all true, and that everything you are going to share with me is true." She wasn´t able to come to church with her husband, because they´re still recovering from being ill, but they will sure come the next sunday. I was so happy after that lesson I think I shouted "Hoorah for Israel!"

So, I probably only have one week left in independencia, or at least I´m guessing. Next sunday we will go to the chapel in the Temple to watch the Temple dedication of the Tiajuana, Baja California Temple, so that will be pretty awesome.

I haven´t got the package yet, but who knows it´s probably in the offices now. Let me know what you´re going to do for Christmas, I don´t know what I´m going to do yet, or where I´m going to be! (Mars)


Elder Davis Garner

Sunday, December 6, 2015

2015.11.30 Independencia

Drawing of the district by Davis

Hi Mom!

Well looks like Thanksgiving was a blast! I´m sure thankful that I´m here in the mission, and I´m very thankful that I have such a loving mother, a funny dad, and a brother who wears skinnier jeans than I ever wore.

This week, what happened...Well We have an investigator named J, I believe I have mentioned. He´s old and he´s fraile and he can´t see very well, and he´s sick and he doesn´t remember things...BUT he wants to get baptized, and he has felt moved to finally make that decision in his life. We try to teach him and everything, but he doesn´t remember hardly anything. He has listened to the missionaries before, and had recieved basically all of the lessons. but back then he didn´t want to get baptized. All I know is that he has humbled himself and repented of his sins, and wants to be baptized. He tries to obey the commandments and doesn´t have any problems with them, so he will probably be baptized this week!

Elders in the district before tree cutting service project.
Elder T in a tree with a machete.

Elders after service project with machetes, limbs intact.

We have been working hard in this area, and it is tough to find people who want to listen, even harder to find people who want to progress, but we have had some lessons this week that were full of the spirit, and that is what I really liked the most. It is great to see the spirit working in the person during the lesson, it often changes the whole outcome of the lesson. We taught one lady who was a bit skeptical at first, she had listened to us two times before and he had brought some members to come with us. The lesson was very powerful and at the end she said, tearing up "I´m in good hands, I´m with good people."

Now it´s December, that was fast. That´s about all that happened. Tell Aunt Sue that I don´t really see any birds in the area that I´m in because it´s really urban.
I´ll send some pictures that I couldn´t send last week.


Elder Garner
Found a Utah license plate in Monterrey.