Monday, August 15, 2016

2016.08.15 Nuevo Laredo

Dear Mom,

Well, we didn´t get that last baptism, but C got confirmed, and I confirmed him, so that´s the way to go out with a bang. We have the Zone Conference tomorrow, and then I´ll go down to Monterrey to visit my converts, and then I´ll see you guys on Thursday!

ALSO, there is going to be a world wide devotional for the young adults on September 11th in Salt 
Lake I believe with elder Cook, do you think you could investigate for me to see If I could go to that?

I love you guys, see you soon.

Elder Garner

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

2016.08.08 Nuevo Laredo

August Leadership Training

Singing during dinner (?)

C's baptism

Dear Mom!

Holy Mole how ya doin? This was a splendid week. We didn´t have so much time to work as we desired because we had to head down to Monterrey for the Leadership council. That is always pretty uplifting and we came out with a lot of good ideas to help the zone out and to keep working with them. This week we had a baptism! C, the blind man, was baptized, and it was a very special baptismal service. Actually, some members invited some non members, C brought his son, and a young woman brought a friend, and they were both there for the baptismal service. The service was so special, full of heart and the spirit of God, and following it we invited the two new investigators to be baptized, and they accepted! wow! how cool!

We also are totally going to have another baptism this week, we just have to work a bit more to help this person receive these great blessings. M V is who is going to be baptized, and she is all on board. She just needs to get married to he ¨husband¨first, but they almost have all of the things they need and they can get everything else ready before Friday, so we need to get everything else ready, such as the service and the clothes and remind them to get their medical check, and then they can get married and then she can get baptized!!! She´s really stoked too, because she has been waiting for a while to be baptized.

 LET´S GO!!!!

I am just going to do as much as I can this week. We are going to help out the other missionaries this week (We do that every week, but especially this week.) So Let´s keep working with all diligence, as Jacob councils: Jacob 1:19

 19  And  we  did  magnify  our  office  unto  the  Lord,  taking  upon  us  the  responsibility ,  answering  the  sins  of  the  people  upon  our  own  heads  if  we  did  not  teach  them  the  word  of  God  with  all  diligence;  wherefore,  by  laboring  with  our  might  their  blood  might  not  come  upon  our  garments;  otherwise  their  blood  would  come  upon  our  garments,  and  we  would  not  be  found  spotless  at  the  last  day.

Also, check out this Poem that my Mission President sent me:

SOMEBODY SAID THAT IT COULDN’T BE DONE
(Author Unknown)

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done, but he with a chuckle replied
That maybe it couldn’t but he wouldn’t be one to say so till he tried.

So he buckled right in with a bit of a grin and he took off his coat and went to it.
He started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn’t be done and he did it.

Someone scoffed, oh you’ll never do that, at least no one ever has done it,
But he took off his hat and he took off his coat and before he knew he’d begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin, if any doubt arose he forbid it,
And he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn’t be done and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done, there are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one the dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle right in with a bit of a grin and take off your coat and go to it,
Just start to sing as you tackle that thing that cannot be done and you’ll do it.

Thanks for sending me the agenda [for the week between his arrival home from Mexico and his departure to college]. I´m going to try and gift most of my clothes (ties, pants, clean shirts, rain jackets, black suit, etc.)

I love you!

Elder Garner

p.s. Still a missionary Oh Yea!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

2016.08.01 Nuevo Laredo

 News report on Nuevo Laredo shooting.

Hey Mom, what´s going on!

Man this was a crazy week. I got two crazy stories and two awesome stories.

Crazy story number 1: I went to get all of the new missionaries tueday morning and bought the bus tickets and we left at about 2:30 in the morning. We got up to Tamaulipas and a Mexican Border official got on the bus to check Identification. Everyone except the new honduranian missionary had his, so the guy pulled him off of the bus! HEY! I got off and talked with him and he said that we was going to take him to the international bridge migration center. I tried to debate with him for about 5 minutes on him letting me go with the missionary, but he wouldn´t allow it. URG. So I got on the bus, we left him there. I called the secretaries and the financial secretary said that he would go up with the assistants to bring his identification and passport (which had stayed in the office where it usually is, but everyone in our zone has to have their ID or their temporary residence card, and no one had given him his card.) So once we got to our area my companion and I went to the international bridge and gave directions to the assistants so they could get there. A bishop had gone to the center to try and convince them to let him go, but because he was honduranian (there are many honduranians crossing illegally) they wanted to keep him over night. The secretary and assistants got there, and right when they got there with his ID and such, they let him out! It was a miracle because they WEREN´T going to let him out, but they said that his ¨boss¨ had called and told them to let him out. Who was his boss, it wasn´t the mission president. Maybe and Area Seventy, or the Area Presidency? Who knows!

Second crazy story: Last night there was a large shooting. RELAX! Everyone is okay. RELAX OK! anyway the story. It happened around 8:40 and ended at 8:50. We were already in our area. We heard it from our house, and I supposed that all of the missionaries were in their house. But I found out a bit after that the two missionaries in an area super far away from the city had just arrived from their town and were heading towards the house of other missionaries where they stay. They had an impression to go into one of the grocery stores and take money out of the ATM, something you typically wouldn´t do on a sunday. Right when they entered, the shooting started close by, and many people ran into the store and they shut the doors. The other missionaries had went to pick them up, but they weren´t supposed to leave their house! it was past the time! so they were outside when it happened and they ran into another store and hid in the bathroom. Everyone of the missionaries was fine and a member picked them up when everything cleared up. So why do I share this with you, not to scare you. RELAX. I´m probably one of the most precautious missionaries in the zone. No, I am, partially because it´s my responsibility make sure every missionary is ok, but also because that´s part of my personality. Also President told me that I could share this so you know what is going on. One pair of missionaries was warned and guided by the spirit, the other pair apparently wasn´t. Why not? Well the first pair had a late leaving bus and were just getting to the house, that´s what they´re supposed to do and there wasn´t any earlier leaving bus. They were obedient. The other pair left their house after 8:30pm to get the other missionaries. They disobeyed an important rule to do something that they didn´t need or had to do. The Lord gives us commandments and rules so we are safe, and when we follow them, we´ll have his spirit. When we don´t, how can we expect to listen to the still small voice when we don´t heed the written word of the Lord or his prophets. I´m grateful that those missionaries could follow the spirit. There is no doubt in my mind that it was the spirit that guided them into the store. I´m glad that the other missionaries were ok too, and that they weren´t that close to the danger, I believe.

Cool story: We have a baptism planned for this sunday!!! It´s a blind man named C, and he just has soo much faith! We need to continue teaching and strengthening him, but he´s really excited.

other story (sorry these ones aren´t really stories because I don´t have that much time.): We had a great lesson with a couple where the husband is a member, but the wife isn´t and the only thing blocking her from baptism is that they aren´t married. (so they aren´t really husband and wife.) anyway they got disencouraged after a while, we were working with them, but we had a great experience in a lesson and now they´re going to try again and this time we´ll have success!!! and she´ll get baptized!!!!!

Anyway, I love you guys


Elder Garner

Friday, July 29, 2016

2016.07.25 Nuevo Laredo

Davis, O, and Elder L.
Hey Mom!

O got baptized! and she got confirmed! and our zone was the most baptizing zone this change! Awesome week! O´s story is a good one. We were praying at the end of the first week this last change to know where to work, and after praying we looked at the map, and we pointed to a colony named "las torres" so I looked at elder L and he said "I think we should work there too." So we made a list of all of the less active families and contacted them all. We found O and her kids, who are all members. We started to teach her, and she had some stuff in her life that wasn´t quite in line with the gospel. she wanted to change everything, but she said it wasn´t her time yet. we prayed and we fasted for her on fast sunday. We kept going with her, being persistent and inviting her to be baptized on a certain date. She refused, until one day we went to her house and she told us that she was going to move (as I told you last week.) Well that was her wake up call, thinking that she could take that for her new start. She made plans to quit her new job, to do a lot of stuff, and then after two days she decided not to move, but she still planned to quit her job and rechange her whole house, etc. She felt very prepared after the baptismal interview, and she had a great experience with her confirmation. I baptized her and Elder L confirmed her. I feel that she was one of those people that my patriarcial blessing said I would find, because she told us that one of the reasons why she decided that it was her moment to change was the happiness that elder L and I emmulated.

Sad news, Elder L is getting changed for the last change noooo! My new companion will be Elder M for the last 3 weeks, and I already know him and he´s super awesome, so it will go well. These last three weeks are going to be just as the rest of my mission, all I got!

Have you got the iternery yet? I didn´t. I´ll tell the secretary to send it to you today.
[Davis will be returning to Los Angeles Intl. Airport on Thursday, August 18.]
Love,

Elder garner

Monday, July 18, 2016

2016.07.18 Nuevo Laredo

Dear Mom,

The mission home is organizing bags to donate and throw away clothes of the old missionaries. The executive secretary called me this week and told me that he would get me a direct flight from MTY to LAX. I imagine then that I will land in LAX, not Burbank, but that it will save a lot of time to have a direct flight. I have not received a printed nor emailed form of my itinerary, but I´ll check on that and will have it for you next week.
Sounds like you had a pretty fun week.We had a really good week as well! Elder L and I were  able to visit a lot of people, and we found quite a lot of new families to visit. The toughest thing is getting them to church, it´s always been like that. We start since Friday to really commit them and get them rides from the members, and then we commit the members to help us and then we go on Saturday to assure everything, and then we call others in the evening. We have members come with us Sunday morning to pick some up and then others pass by for the other investigators that they know. We had a lot of support from the members this week and there were a lot of people who committed to come to church, but this week we only had four people in church. It´s OK though, because we did everything we could to help our investigators to go to church. Some great news is that we are going to be able to baptize every week for the rest of the mission!!!! YEA!!! We have to work hard for it but we can totally do it!!!! This week we have an investigator named O, who we were struggling with a lot. We prayed for her, fasted for her, we taught her, and she prayed a lot too, and one day we arrived and said that she was going to move to live and support her parents, and that she wanted a new start and wanted to get baptized before she left. Then, two days later, she told us that she decided not to move, because her brother said that he would take care of their parents, BUT that she still wanted to change her life and be baptized! she is going to have an interview with the mission president (we can repent of all things) so if everything goes well she will be baptized this week. We´re just on standby until tomorrow, when the interview will take place.
We´re going to keep working hard! I just realized that I´ll be home in less than a month, which is pretty crazy, but it doesn´t really bother me. I would like if you could send me my classes and teachers and stuff, that´d be nice.
Love you mom!
Elder Garner

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

2016.07.11 Nuevo Laredo

Leadership training meeting (before going to the hospital)
Hey Mom!!!!
Sorry I didn´t tell you too much about the hospital last week. We stayed in the hospital and Elder L had a super cool bed that moved up and down, and I slept on a futon that they had. President McArthur´s counselor, who lives close to the hospital would bring me food. One day was fast sunday so he didn´t have to bring me food for a day, but to break my fast his wife made me meatloaf, and it was really good. (en espaƱol se llama pastel de carne)
A meaty pastel llama.
we tried talking to all of the nurses, because their were many with specific responsiblilites, but there was one that we could talk to well, and we gave her a book of mormon and got her direction! We got home by bus, that took about 4 hours, but it was ok because I printed off some talks to read.
That´s pretty good advice mom. Looks like you´re doing a great job in college. Keep going and you will get your diploma!...oh wait. I´m probably just going to mention in my homecoming talk that my little brother thanny is the cute priest on the stand (then everyone will laugh and he´ll blush) 
I still don´t know how to cook.
This was a really good week. Elder L is feeling a lot better, and so we have been able to work a lot more. We had one experience on wednesday, where we suddenly got a phone call from a member in Torreon Mexico! They told us that she had a reference for us that wanted to get baptized, and so we decided to go with him immediately. Well, he really wanted to get baptized, and we had a really awesome lesson with him, where he shared a little bit about how he was searching for the truth for 5 years, and how his friend had introduced it to him. He´s a widower, whose wife passed away three years ago. We asked if he could go to church this week, and he said that he had already asked his boss if he could get work off on sundays, well he did! and so now he has a baptismal date for the 6th of august!
We had another experience where a member had brought a neighbor to the fathers activity that they had in the church, and he told us that he wanted to get baptized too. He came to church, and it´s true, he told us that he wanted to have more peace in his life and be baptized, so he also has a baptismal date for the 6th. He´s a blind man, but he still loved church. We have a really good pool of investigators. There is a partial member family that a member gave as a reference to us that wasn´t able to come this week because they had an accident in the family, but they´re great as well and they should be baptized soon. You can see that all of these people are coming from the members. It is true that members are the best missionaries. Really, we as missionaries are called to teach full time, while members are called to find full time. That´s something that Elder Bednar said in a general conference a while back. It´s been like that for the most part my whole mission, So that means that when I get home I´ve got to really look hard and find people that the missionaries can teach, even in utah and BYU 
I put sunscreen on everyday and I drink a lot of water. I eat pretty healthy as well, at least that´s what Elder L tells the other people.
I love you mom!
Elder Garner

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

2016.07.04 Nuevo Laredo

[Message from Mission President's wife June 27]
Elder Garner asked me to email you to tell you he won't be able to email you today. He is doing fine just busy!    He will be coming to the office Thursday for leadership council on Friday. He said he would email you then!  He's a great zone leader and we love having him here in Monterrey!
Love, Hna McArthur

[June 30]
Hey Mom!

Sorry I didn´t write on monday, the ciber´s computers weren´t working, so I talked to Sis. McArthur and she said that I could write you when I got here to the offices on thursday for the leadership council on friday. We are having a blast up in Nuevo Laredo! and we are working very hard with the members, they´re all amazing here! (or there since I´m writing from Monterrey.)

Announcement: President´s Executive Secretary asks if I can return on the 20th instead of the 18th. I think that it would be best to go directly to LAX if that was the case because there should be a direct flight, but if there was one to burbank that would be even better. I´ll talk to him to get my itinerary and I´ll let you know the next week.

Elder L is getting better. We had a great experience in the zone, because we had three baptisms in the zone that came out of no where! and this week every area will baptize! I´m so excited! Miracles are happening everyday, because the Elders are taking steps to grow their faith. It is truly wonderful.

Well I´ll write a short letter for today, but I love you! Happy anniversary! ask dad "is it everything you hoped and dreamed for?" [Davis is referring to the golfing on a trip we took that week.]

Love,

Elder Garner

[Message from Mission President's wife July 1]
I talked to Presidente and the reason he wanted the two elders to leave a couple of days later was so we could take them to the airport. Which of course we love to do!  We will be busy and unable to take them on the 18th. We have made arrangements for someone else to take them so they will be able to leave on the 18th as originally planned.
Thanks
Hna McArthur.
[July 4]
Dear Mom,

since I emailed you on thursday I haven´t really done anything, this is why:

after the leadership council, Elder L decided it would be good to go to the hospital to solve things once and for all. He was ingresed since friday and we just got out today at 4:00pm, so I didn´t really do anything. I finished Doctrine and Covenants, and the pearl of great price, so that was a productive use of my time.

Hmmm, I don´t have much to tell you, the 18th is fine. we have to catch the bus soon, so this letter will be quite short  I do apologize. But I love you and I´m grateful that you sent me awesome pictures of what you´ve been doing. Que loco que ya es julio.

This is going to be an incredible week. We are going to see a lot of miracles. I can feel it. Let´s just make the pathway bright with the faith we have, and when we walk into the darkness of the unknown, Jesus Christ will guide us, if we only have the faith to carry on.

Love,

Elder garner

Monday, June 20, 2016

2016.06.20 Nuevo Laredo

Dear Mom!

Isn´t it so exciting that I´m here in Nuevo Laredo? The chapel is on a small hill and I can see the US-Mexico Border from there. (One of the areas is the direct border.) So let me tell you some of the differences from Monterrey. First, besides that tiny little hill where the church is, this place is flat! flat flat flat. Second, it´s HOT! Oh wow it´s hot! It´s hotter than Monterrey, and we are just entering into the canicula (the 40 hottest days.) Also, we study until 10am, then we start to preach, and we have to be inside at 8pm, which is much sooner before it gets dark. Elder L and I share a house with 2 other missionaries, who are in the ward (One is a new missionary that I met in the offices that loves birds almost as much as I do, so that´s neat) And we live on the second floor, above the Stake President. As you might have heard, the mission rules for dress and apperal in Mexico recently changed, and they now allow us to wear modest sunglasses and hats. I opted for the sunglasses, because the sun is just killer here. A lot of the members go over to the states so it is pretty easy for me to send things to you guys.

Well it took a while for you guys to find out that Independencia was dangerous, but I guess I couldn´t expect to hide that the border was, dang (well duh)

Anyway this place is awesome. The ward, the stake is super hard working, and it was honestly a weird first week for me, just adjusting and such, but I´m super stoked to be here and to be with my Compadre Elder L. He´s grown a lot, and now we will finish together with ALL WE GOT!!!! Really we are excited to see a lot of miracles, as we are already seeing. Elder L has already baptized 8 people here, and we are preparing many others, and maybe I can´t tell many stories yet, or just so I don´t count my eggs before they hatch (That´s really superstitious, but more to be reverent and not boastful) But we have had many experiences in this week, and with the zone. Also, Elder L told me that every week we are going to some retired colony called lampasos that has no churches, but 3 members have been living there and have been preaching the gospel, and we could establish a house of prayer there before I leave. We didn´t go last week though, and Elder L has been sick, so we had a crazy week, but we already have some people preparing to be baptized. We decided that we just need to have so much faith, confidence, and throw away all doubts, and the Lord will grant us success. D&C 11:8 We have the faith that we will baptize this week and the next, and I believe that we can baptize the week after. There are many people here who need the gospel, and we´re here to help them receive it.

Thanks for sending me the scriptures and hymn book, I should get it tomorrow or wednesday with the package because we have interviews tomorrow and the meeting with the Mission President and Stake President, as well as doing divisions with the Assistants on wednesday. This should be a very successful week.

Looks like the schedule is good, I really don´t want to come home early, I´d rather baptize people unto repentance, but I guess I have to come home some day...

I´m not going to send pictures because this Ciber isn´t as nice. But I love you! I´ll try and send a letter with printed photos next week.

Elder Garner

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

2016.06.13 Huasteca-Mitras

Miracle! E2s´ Baptism!

What a week to finish the change!

Well, I sent you the pictures first to save from the suspense (that you may or may not have as you read, or that I might just ficticiously invent.) E2 got baptized! It was a bit of effort, because he had a lot of opposition. This week we tried to have the interview on tuesday, but he didn´t show up because he had to stay longer at work. On thursday we were at the chapel during the mutual, teaching a lesson to E1´s younger brother F (who will be baptized on the 21st.) and E2 arrived so we were able to do the interview with the district leader there. On sunday there was even more opposition. He arrived really late because his work had him stay more again! (C´mon give him a break, he´s 15.) We were going to have the baptism at 12:00, right after the services, but he got there at 12:47, as fast as he could, but then we couldn´t do it because the other ward had classes in the baptismal salon. SO, we posponed it to 7:30 in the evening, and there wasn´t really any opposition there because he just stayed with the Bishop´s family. It was a very special service, as he was very excited and grateful to do something that he´s been waiting to do. He shared his testimony saying that he didn´t think that he´d get as far as to being baptized as a member of the church, he just got invited to play soccer at mutual, but he says "It looks like that invitation has brought me to something even better than futbol." He has had a lot of difficulties in his life as a young boy, he only lives with his mother and has almost no moral support from her (She barely gave him permission to be baptized.) The bishop´s family has been the family that has been there for him, which is awesome. He has a great desire to continue faithful in the church and serve a mission! Again, Awesome.

Elder G, Huasteca Bishop, E2, Davis
Some other success stories from the week. Hna M told us this week that she was going to find a way to convince her family that she wasn´t "loca" in wanting to be baptized. We invited her to pray to know how she could be succesful in her prebaptismal missionary efforts. Well, she walked into the sacrament meeting and passed by smiling saying "¡Todos! ¡Todos vinieron!" And I was smiling while thinking "Huh?" but then I saw right behind her; her whole family following, and they loved it too! We were as excited as she was in her quest for bringing eternal happiness to her family.

Also, we passed by with a young couple who we had contacted two weeks ago and visited them. They said they would like to be baptized and we invited them to church, and they came! They have two adorable kids who were very reverent as well, just a very adorable family.

And then, before arriving to the church, Elder G and I were talking about how we had never had success in contacting someone before church in the morning and bringing them, even though we had tried many times. Then, all of a sudden, some guy came out and said "Hey, where ya going?" To Church! Well he came right along with us! Hahaha, who woulda thought?

Everything is going very well here in Huasteca. Actually President McArthur came to the baptism (when it was going to be at 12. He didn´t come back for when it was at 7, but that´s ok.) When he came he told me something that partially crushed my heart. "I´m moving you! To Nuevo Laredo!" WHAT!?!?!?! NOOOOOOO! And then I asked him, "Does that mean I´m going to be with? yes...ELDER L [first mission companion in the Mission Training Center in Provo]!!!!! (That part was good news) So, looks like tomorrow I will be shipped off to the US-Mexico border in Tamulipas and I will be reunited with my MTC companion. That´s pretty exciting, and I imagine that is where I will finish my mission, and that I´ll finish it with him (We´ll see if I´m right on that.) It´ll be really exciting, but I am very sad that I´m leaving this wonderful ward, and these wonderful people. If anywhere, this has been a "sweet spot". I remember telling my investigator Hna M that I was going to be changed, and she looked devastated, because she, as long as her mom P (who will be baptized the 21st,) wanted me to be at their baptism. "I´m really sorry. There´s nothing I can do about it." "There´s nothing!? Are you sure!?" was there response. I feel as I did with M from Cienega de Flores. I wasn´t able to be there for her baptism, but I was very grateful to be there for her conversion, and hear her testimony. That´s how it is with Hna M and her mom, but we are going to visit them today in the evening so I´ll take a picture with them to send next week.

E1, V and F were pretty sad too, along with a lot of members. I had a really good relationship with all of them and it helped a lot to do the missionary work here. Today though, V and E1 are taking us Bowling and to Olive Garden, so that´ll be fun.

Anyway, that is what has happened this week. I love you so much mom,

Elder Garner

Miracle! E2s´ Baptism!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

2016.06.05 Huasteca-Mitras

Hey Mom!

dang, I forgot that I was going to reply to all of those wonderful ward written letters, but I don´t have them with me because we just got back from going to Chipinque (again) but this time with President McArthur and his wife as well as 2 senior missionary couples. It was really fun, but we really didn´t see any birds. We did see some weird mammal that wanted our food, but it was still really fun just being in the forest relaxing, going on a brisk hike. After that President took us to his house and made us Hamburgers and then we had ice cream and brownies, so that was a really good outing.

This was a super cool week. This past Sunday. V and E got confirmed. M couldn´t because their family didn´t arrive due to a hard rain, so I don´t really blame them not waiting outside for a taxi when it was raining so hard. She can get confirmed next week without a problem. E also recieved the Aaronic Priesthood, and he felt very grteful for that. He actually did divisions with us along with another member yesterday after church, and we had a lot of success so it was awesome. Him, as well as his wife, are very happy and are progressing very well, and we are very grateful Elder G and I to have gotten to know them. We have other investigators who have baptismal dates for the next couple of weeks, and It would be INCREDIBLY AWESOME if I don´t get transferred this wek, but there´s a good possiblilty. But let´s hope I don´t, I´ll let you know next week. One of the investigators said that she loved the testimony meeting, although the first time she went to church she thought it was quite repetitive and didn´t enjoy it. Well within that month she has recieved a testimony that the things we have taught her are true, and so she adored the meeting yesterday. She says that every person she meets has a certain light in their eyes. That´s wonderful.

Thanks for still emailing me mom. I guess you have to do it becaus you´re my mom, but thanks. I really like when dad emails me too so you can give him a nudge in the side today. I´m trying to send some pictures right now from my companion´s camara but it isn´t working right now, hmm.

Love,

Elder Garner