Sunday, February 21, 2016

2016.02.15 Huasteca

Hmmm... Huasteca'n you so long to snap the picture?

Hey Mom,

This was a super good week! Ah it was a super good week! wow there was so much that happened that I don`t know where to start! I`ll just tell you a little bit.

Elder S
Fun Fact. My Companion knows Cousin C [who on his mission in Germany]. We were talking about Cross Country and I mentioned that sometimes I went up to utah and I ran with the ogden team, and he asked if I knew the guys, well I did, and he remembers Cousin, so that`s super cool.

Hey we did a bunch of cleaning today too, it was super cool, but I did not have that cleaning song to listen to that I liked when I was a little kid. "Sweepy sweepy sweepy, sweeping up the floor...till there aint no more." At least my little dungeon room will be all nice and cosy...cosey?...cosie???...comodo. ahì està.

This week was super duper because of the quality of work that we were able to do. We were able to work really well with the ward, such as doing splits with the priests, getting refferals and being introduced to people by the members, as well as seeing the kindness and love that the members show to the new people at church. that`s really awesome. We also were able to experience the sweetness of responding to the still small voice various times each day, and we were able to be part of the answer to someone`s prayer. As President Monson has described, that is probably one of the most rewarding feelings there is. One of the amazing experiences that we had was with a past-investigator that Elder S had, and that always loved listening to the missionaries but never wanted to go to church. We visited her, and after so many times of trying, Elder S was kind of tired of trying to invite her, but since he had a new companion he wanted to try it again. She was telling us about how she invited the Lord in her home, and the things she did so that there could be peace at home, it was quite a cute lovely home. We mentioned that it was wonderful that she invited the Lord to her home, and started teaching about how the Lord invites us to his house, to "Supper"with him, and we taught about the sacrament and the last supper. She was almost convinced, but said that she wanted the Lord to come and extend his arm to her to bring her to church. Then Elder S shared something very inspired, which was quite clever because I had heard it as a joke before:

Huasteca is a valley.
there was a man on his rooftop during a rising flood, who was praying to god to be saved. A speedboat passed by and the man said "Hey get on and I`ll save you!" and the response was "No, I`m waiting for God to save me."  The flood rises and another speedboat arrives, and offers the same, but he rejects the offer with the same response. then up to his waist in water, a Helicopter comes and says "This is all we got, grab the ladder so we can save you!"..."No! I`m waiting for God to save me!" Well the man drowns, and goes to Heaven, and there he asks God "Why didn`t you save me?" Then God responds: "I sent you two speedboats and a helicopter, but you didn`t want to be saved!"

Cerro de la Silla in the distance.
Well then Elder S mentioned, "We are true representatives of Jesus Christ, are we not his hand carrying you to church?" She thought for a moment, and said "You`re right, I`ll go to church with you...but next week, so I can bring my daughter as well." Well she was so greatful, she told us to come by her house right before we went home so she could give us some tamales! She lived really close to our house, so right before going home at 9 we got a bunch of super hot tamales. Awesome.

I love you mom, keep being my mom,

Elder Garner

Sunday, February 14, 2016

2016.02.08 Huasteca

Dear Mom,

 This area is super cool! it`s about an hour from where I was (in bus) and it is in this giant valley between a bunch of mountains. Pyrrhuloxia, Loggerhead Shrikes, Merlins, and many kingbirds and Kiskadees can be found here, so it`s kind of like an Arizona-ish climate, so to say.

The worst part is that my new Companion, Elder S, threw me in the smallest room possible, so I have to study and sleep there, and it`s the worst. I feel like Harry Potter, dang it. Whatever, I guess that means I get a dwarf thing [Dobby] who tells me not to go to school, so that`s all good. 
Davis in the Harry Potter room.  At least there is a cool falcon drawing.

As a zone leader we started out on tuesday with a small presentation of the zone after the district meetings, and put the baptism goals for the change. We check all of the district meetings (there are three districts in the zone) and we have a lot of contact with all of the district leaders, and with the Assistants to the President (By the way, my old companion Elder T is the newest assistant, so that`s pretty cool.) We went to the Leadership counsel this past friday, and we talked about the challenges about the mission and how to overcome them, and also reviewed the responsibilities we have as leaders. We also ate lasagna (sweet.) We also have meetings with the Stake President and Mission President every month to talk about how the members and the missionaries are working together, we are going to do a zone conference at the end of february, where we will give a presentation on how to help investigators keep commitments. We do divisions with the district leaders, and call many more people than I did when I was a district leader, but it`s ok because each of us has a phone. Elder S is a super good missionary too, and he has just 3 months left in his mission. he has quite a bit of time here in Huasteca, but it is possible that I`ll be his last companion. 

I saw elder G at the counsel, and we made fun of each other, so I think we will be ready to room together [in college].

There are so many people here that want to listen to the gospel, and the ward here is really big and they are doing a lot of things to get the missionary work going. The youth are on their toes with inviting people to church, so I`m really excited to work here. We had two people in church yesterday, and two other kids came with their friends, saying that we could meet their family soon. (they were two boys 10 and 11 in Dodgers sweatshirts, so they`re already pretty awesome.) I`ll let you know soon how the work goes.


Elder Garner

Monday, February 8, 2016

2016.02.01 Letter from Mission President

                                         February 01th, 2016

Dear Elder Garner´s Family:

It is my pleasure to inform you of a recent leadership assignment given to your son, Elder Garner, He has been assigned to serve as a zone leader in the Mexico Monterrey West Mission. Elder Garner has been a wonderful example, demonstrating fine leadership qualities and a strong testimony of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

A zone leader has a great opportunity to build the kingdom of God by serving, helping, and teaching the other missionaries. A zone leader sets an example for the missionaries in his zone though his obedience, hard work; proselyting skills, study of the scriptures and the gospel, and other aspects of missionary work.  He carries a full proselyting load in his assigned area, and strives to baptize weekly.  He supervises, teaches, and inspires the missionaries during zone meetings, companionship exchanges, and visits to district meetings.  He demonstrates effective planning and teaches how to work with local priesthood leaders and members.  He also holds the missionaries accountable for their proselyting efforts.  He works with the district leaders and other missionaries, teaching proselyting techniques, planning zone activities, and keeping the missionaries in his zone supplied with the materials they need.  He reports pertinent mission data, successes, and problems directly to the mission president, and receives training from the President in zone leader councils. Our zone leaders are essential to the success of our mission.  I trust that Elder Garner will carry on in this assignment as he has in others, working diligently and showing great faith.
Sister McArthur and I appreciate Elder Garner, for his efforts to carry forward the work of the Lord in this new assignment. We express our appreciation to you for having raised such a fine young man. One who loves the gospel, loves the Lord, and serves him with all of his heart, might, mind and strength.  It has been my pleasure to get to know him and to work with him in this great and important work of the latter days.
May the Lord bless you while your son is away serving in this marvelous work.

       President Daniel D. McArthur                   Sister Bunny K. McArthur
    Mexico Monterrey West Mission                   Mexico Monterrey West Mission
New Zone Leader training


2016.02.01 Independencia

Dear Mom,
hahaha that´s awesome! Thanks for sharing that! [He's laughing at a tragic story about his brother getting a terrible case of poison oak.]
Hey don´t worry about me not having a car for a bit in college. I got a bike.
Well this week was pretty awesome, but it seems that you guys are going to be wondering where I will be, so let me put that to rest first. I had this experience yesterday and it was really unexpected:
So about 6:00pm yesterday we had just visited a less active member and were were walking down the street to go visit some contacts that we had done. I recieved a call, and it was from President McArthur. He congratulated us on the baptism that we had earlier in the day and he apologized because he wasn´t able to attend (he had told us that he wanted to go but had a previous engagement to attend.) He said "Elder Garner, you´ve been in Independencia for a long time, and I need you as a zone leader in Huasteca with Elder S. I need obedient faithful missionaries who can be leaders, and you´re one of them, right?" I responded yes. Then he described to me that they would be announcing changes on sunday night so that there was more time to prepare, so now you won´t have to wait a week to know where I´m going. So I will be in the Zone Huasteca, in the Area Huasteca (ward) and my next companion will be Elder S (from Utah.)

This was a great and crazy week! It snowed on the mountains here on wednesday because it was super cold! then the next day it was blazing hot and all of the snow melted!
Snow on Cerro de la Silla

Also, Y and E were baptized! And what is even better, their Husband/Dad baptized them. They are a remarkable family with eyes on the Temple, so that they may have the blessings of an eternal family. J L was inactive for a long time, but after so much time, he had the impression that he should return to the church, with his family. With the help of the relief society president, who knows the wife, and putting them in contact with the missionaries, they were able to prepare to make sacred covenants with God. Y and E were both super excited to be baptized, and they were filled with happiness and joy.
Baptism of Y and E by hubby/father.

Also, yesterday, my companion dared me to eat some super big chili and I did and I turned red and started sweating and crying and he thought it was super funny and we aren´t friends anymore...ok that last part isn´t true, but yea it was pretty funny.
Anyway, I´ll send some pictures really fast.
¡Les Amo!

Elder Garner