Sunday, April 24, 2016

Huasteca 2016.04.11

Dear Mom,
Well Elder G is from Lyndon Utah, he is "a cool cat from the alley in back" as they say down here in Monterrey (they really don`t say that.) I don`t know what else to tell you about him, he`s a really good friend, and since I knew him from the MTC once we got put together we just started working, I didn`t need to get to know him because I already knew him.
Oh yea, Thanny is a sophmore now, huh, hudda thought. Why did dad call him sanyo in an email he sent me? hmmm. [The answer is that the phone thinks Sanyo is autocorrect for Thanny.]
This week we had another super duper work week, but we didn`t get the results we had hoped for. None of our investigators came to church. We had great experiences with them in this week and all, one of them told us that they had recieved a testimony and was really excited to be baptized. Turns out that that youth had to change schools because he couldn`t pay for the other and so he is going to school on friday saturday and sunday. (I really don`t know how the school systems are here.) But he`s trying to look for a way to change and go to church, and the ward is helping alot as well. The other investigators were very commited to go, so something must have happened. Others, I imagine, just slept in. But we did have someone in church that we didn`t know before. A less active family came that the ward has been working with (that I didn`t even know where they lived) came, and the husband is not a member, but was going to get baptized but couldn`t because of work or something. He told us that they are going to try and go every sunday now, so that was a nice blessing we recieved.
We had interviews with President Mcarthur this wednesday, and after the interviews with the whole zone we did divisions with him in our area until we had to go to a meeting with the Stake President in the evening. I went with President McArthur and we visited a couple of people, and it was a very good experience, he loves testifying about the doctrine of Christ and eternal families. He would tell the investigators that I`m a very good singer.
I did find a very interesting scripture that prophisies(? ayuda vocabularia por favor) the coming of Christ, but also gives a very good description of the Holy ghost and the way to judge: 2 Nephi 21:1-4
  And  there  shall  come  forth  rod  out  of  the  stem  of  Jesse , and  branch  shall  grow  out  of  his  roots.
  And  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord  shall  rest  upon  him,  the  spirit of  wisdom  and  understanding the  spirit  of  counsel  and might,  the  spirit  of  knowledge  and  of  the  fear  of  the  Lord;
  And  shall  make  him  of  quick  understanding  in  the  fear of  the  Lord;  and  he  shall  not  judge  after  the  sight  of  his eyes,  neither  reprove  after  the  hearing  of  his  ears.
  But  with  righteousness  shall  he  judge  the  poor,  and reprove  with  equity  for  the  meek  of  the  earth;  and  he  shall smite  the  earth  with  the  rod  of  his  mouth,  and  with  the breath  of  his  lips  shall  he  slay  the  wicked.
Anyway, that`s all I got for this week. I love you all! Eat your floss and sunscreen your teeth, and apply vegetables when it`s sunny! (Lo digo con mucho cariño a ti mama)
Elder Garner

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

2016.04.04 Huasteca

Dear Parents, and Thanny and everyone else that purposely or accidentally stumbles upon my weekly email (Hey that`s pretty clever Elder Garner. Thanks, Elder Garner. Hey Elder Garner stop writing the email to yourself. Oh yea, oops.)

Hey do you remember what I told you guys last week, that this was going to be an action packed week? Well it was! At the end of last night, Elder G and I had come to agree that we had never been more tired after a week in the mission before. But wow was it worth it. It turned out that we had to wake up early every day, so today we "slept in" till 6:30 and that felt pretty good. Last monday night, the assistants called to inform us that we were to give a presentation in the leadership counsil on how to use our time wisely and work efficently, so we had to prepare that for friday, and had to take some time to do that. On Wednesday, we headed over to the Temple, and that was a lovely experience as always. The missionaries in Nicolas Bravo told me that O was still a faithful young teacher in the church, but was having many problems in his family in part of his parents, so I wrote him a rather long letter to send with the zone leaders on friday at the leadership conference. The presentation went well in the leadership counsil, and we left very spiritually strenghtened with all that had happened there. This general conference was truly magnificent, and I was very pleased because many of the investigators could go and enjoy the words and counsil of our modern Prophet and Apostles. We had a young boy, E, that went to all of the sessions! even the priesthood all the way in the stake center! He loves being there and is a very sober young chap, who is preparing to be baptized. We had two other families that we have been teaching come to sessions (the I family and the Q family) and there was a woman who came with her member neighbor, who invited us over this evening to visit with her. It was a very successful general conference for the work of salvation.

Apart from that, I think that the Lord had quenched one of my long lasting doubts, or worries, that I`ve had since I became a missionary, and I`ll explain it because I would imagine that many missionaries, future, current of returned missionaries have had or have or will have this fear. Since I have be growing spiritually in the mission field, I have had a small fear of "When I return to my home, to the real world to say, will I still be this converted, will I continue to grow spiritually? Will I continue strong in the straight and narrow path?" Reasonablely, I will not have nearly as many spiritual experiences when I return, nor will I have the opportunity to constantly be preaching the gospel. but there is always a fear of falling back into mediocracy, laziness, arrogance, lack of interest, etc. So I was watching the conference, kind of impatiently after the saturday afternoon session, and then a bit anxious in the sunday sessions, until the final talk! that`s where I felt that this small internal fear could be released. I felt that Elder Holland`s words were for me, and not just because of the gift he has to speak, which I do dearly appreciate, but because the Holy Ghost spoke to me during his talk. I thought to myself: "Would the Lord give me such a wonderful opportunity to serve him for 2 years and to grow spiritually so I could return to fall back into averageness? Of course not! When Joseph interpreted the dream of the Pharoah, they knew that they would be nourished and prospered greatly for seven years, and then for seven there would be trials, but they could have supplied for that time, and they would be prepared. So that is what it is like, but not so much famine. I won`t be a missionary with a plaque and tie forever, but I will be a disciple of Christ forever, and that the things I learn here will benefit me forever, even if I can`t fully comprehend right now. And even more than that, Will not my Father in Heaven provide even more opportunities to learn and progress after? I am certainly not going into a famine, but a time to thrive and have great joy, and to grow and to learn, and especially to help others do the same." So that is what, more or less, came to my mind, and I`m very greatful for the general conference, and the still small voice. I know that we can recieve great blessings for following the words of the Prophet and the Apostles, as well as the other General authorities. I have great confidence that our joy will continue to increase, even if the world seems to get darker and darker. For the lack of time I can`t include the scriptural references that come to my mind that I would like to share, but I think what I have writte will suffice.

I love you all very much, Let us all press on with firmness in the Lord this week,

Elder Garner

Monday, April 4, 2016

2016.03.28 Huasteca

Dear Mom,

Looks like everything is just Peachy! I`m pretty peachy myself, or if I were to express myself in the spanish tongue, Duraznoso!...(?) That`s pretty cool that you went to Anacapa and saw peregrine Falcons and stuff. The last time I saw a peregrine falcon was in Cienega de Flores. They are Western gulls. That`s nice that the missionaries say thanks and mom. When the members with little kids give us rides and I sit in the back, they need to open the back door for me because it has a child lock, so I say "Gracias papá."

Anyway this week was Super awesome. Elder G and I got along right off the bat and started to work very hard. on every bus that we would get on we would sit next to people and start sharing the gospel with them. We had a lot of success with the members and there are many investigators that are reading the Book of Mormon, and that gets me really excited because they are studying it honestly and reading with true intent, and I have a lot of faith that soon they with receive a testimony respectfully. I`ll tell you one sad thing, that hardly anything was mentioned of Easter this week. In the sacrament meeting it was all about general conference, with is very good (and I am very ready for it as well, and we have been helping the investigators to get ready as well.) but there wasn`t much talk of Easter, dang. It was kind of weird that yesterday was Easter though. But anyways, we are working very hard and praying fervently so that these investigators we are teaching can know for themselves of the truth. We are teaching a 14 year old boy, a lovely family of 5 with kids between 21 and 13, another lovely family of  5 with kids between 9 and 11, and the wife of a less active member and an older man. Some have tough challenges, others have a couple of doubts, but we all know that there is nothing that the atonement of Christ can`t do to help them. There was a scripture in 1 Nephi 20 (Isaiah 48) that goes with this:

10  For,  behold,  I  have  refined  thee,  I  have  chosen  thee  in  the  furnace  of  affliction .

He chooses to help us in the midst of affliction, and he even gives us that strength to believe in his name, and to follow his example so that the power of the atonement is applied in our very own lives. I have confidence in what the scriptures and prophets have said to us.

This is going to be a pretty busy week. We are going to the Temple this Wednesday (I was happy that we didn`t change our p-day to that day so we could wash our clothes.) We have a leadership conference this Friday, and then General Conference this weekend. I`ll try to share something very uplifting next week. I hope that it is a story about the investigators!

Anyway, tell the Oklahoma Missionary and Brother Parry that they should be friends (Territory folk should stick together...)


Elder Garner