Monday, May 30, 2016

2016.05.30 Huasteca-Mitras

Davis, little M and Elder G
Dear Mom,

this was a great week! as you can see, we had a very nice baptism. V and E [the couple from North Carolina?], along with the little girl M were baptized. that young man in the last picture is a priest that baptized M. It was really nice because a lot of the members came to support, they shared bilingual messages, and the spirit was strong. Elder G and I did the ordinance for V and E in English (strange when they called me to preach the gospel in Spanish.) I baptized E. This computer is really slow. M and E shared their testimony and the end of the service, and it was really special, especially for all of the investigators that came to the baptism. At the end, E invited one of the investigators that we have who is progressing to be baptized! Way to be, missonary.

Davis, E, V, and Elder G.
We still continue to work hard, so we can have special moments such as yesterday continue constantly. We have a couple of investigators progressing fairly well with whom we can put a baptismal date again, and another (E´s younger brother) who has a baptismal date. The members (especially our ward mission leader) are helping us out a lot and we are enjoying the work of the Lord.

I`ve been trying to put a lot of effort into becoming a better person, preach the gospel from the heart to the heart of others, and to learn more about Jesus Christ. I guess with all of the assignments and tasks that we have as zone leaders, there isn`t as much time to study the scriptures as there was when I was a junior companion, or even a district leader. But there always seems to be a little bit of time to ponder and listen to the Holy Ghost, to reflect and to meditate, and to pray. I think that sometimes I might be a little bit hard on myself, and that that could take time and effort away that could be better used to get better and thank the Lord for my weaknesses and be gratefully humble. I feel that I`m in good condition though and I`m grateful that I still have 3 months left as a full time missionary. FYI mom, 3 months is a LONG TIME! (Longer than the wingspan of an Andean condor, longer than the bill of a sword billed hummingbird in ratio, but not as long as the migration flight of an arctic tern, which is 18,000 miles if I remember correctly.)

I received one package just today form President McArthur, it was from the Ward! Thanks for all of the treats, my favorite part was all of the letters. Thanks to everyone who wrote me a bit in EspaƱol and to all of those I do not know that wrote me. I`d like to respond to and meet everyone. Right now the time doesn`t allow, but maybe i`ll be able to next week and I can get all of the names and letters organized. I got the chocolate milk mix out and said to Elder G ¨Looks like we won`t have to buy any this week!¨ [Note to reader - it was a good sized container of Nestle Quik.  I think that means that Davis will use up the whole thing within a week.  His recipe is to fill the glass mostly full of Quik and add a splash of milk.]

President and Sister MacArthur (mission president) with E., V., Davis and Elder G.

Baptismal party

I`m about to read Alma 5. It`s a good chapter for self reflection. I came across part of a talk by Pres. Marion g. Romney where he talked about a pure heart and clean hands, and how it should be a goal for all of us to present ourselves with such before the Lord.

Well, I guess we will see how this week goes, Love you all very much!

Elder Garner

PS. the kid with the crutches in the last picture was supposed to get baptized too, but a week and a half ago he broke his leg again! right after he got it off. (dad voice: gosh darn kids)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

2016.05.23 Huasteca-Mitras

Hiking up Cerro de la Silla

Oh no! Falling off the cliff... again...
Cerro de la Silla
Elder G and Elder G on top of the mountain

Dear Mom!

Oh Boy do I love you! It´s because you have always been there for me in all that I´ve done, I don´t think I´ve had a better motivator than you, and I try to follow your example. Thank you.

Industrial equipment on top of the mountain?

Guess what, We finally went to Cerro de la Silla!!! after 21 months we finally got up it! It was awesome! And now we are super tired! Awesome! We had a really cool experience where Elder G and I hiked up with a young guy (older than us) who was from some other religion, and we were having a very uplifting gospel conversation, and when we got up to the top, we gave him a book of mormon! He was really grateful and asked if we could visit him and go with him to another mountain. He lives by the mission offices, and we said it would be hard, but anyway, great experiences. It was really beautiful because we were over all of the clouds.

Anyway, yesterday we had our stake conference, and we had a lot of success getting investigators to church, because the members helped us out a lot, and a lot of the investigators could be edified by the words of the Stake President, Temple President, Mission President, President of the Church(just kidding) and an area Seventy. The area seventy talked a lot about missionary work as well as the power of fasting, and our investigators really liked that part about fasting, because they were able to learn how many blessings come from fasting and donating a generous fast offering. Good experiences!
We are looking towards a great week. We are going to have a zone conference tomorrow and so we have prepared for that. We invited some members to help us with being taught by the members. Then this sunday we are planning a baptismal service for this sunday, and We should have at least three people entering the baptismal waters, four if an investigator gets permission from his mom and if he gets back on time from some out of town trip, and six if there´s a miracle. I´m excited and I have a lot of hope for the things that will occur this week. I hope that they strengthen the missionaries, the investigators, and the members, as well as ourselves. Oh what a marvelous opportunity it is to be in the service of the Lord. I don´t want to stop. I know I won´t be a full time missionary in a couple of months, but I can still sure share the gospel every day. Elder G and I have been "practicing" on preparation days to be able to share the gospel in ordinary ways (such as hiking and passing by others, we were able to get to know wonderful people and share the gospel with 4 or 5 of them.) It´s fun, and we try to do it as if we are just regular people. Right now it´s still kind of easier because we are still full time missionaries, even when we are in regular clothes, but it´s great!


Elder Davis Garner

Saturday, May 14, 2016

2016.05.02 Huasteca + Mitras

Elder G and Elder G selfie.
Ehy Mammie!

C.S Lewis once said "If you give a mouse a cookie...he`ll probably want some milk to go with it!"

HEY GUESS WHAT the change just ended and it turns out that Elder G and I are going to be companions for another change! Another thing, there were a lot of changes in the zone, and we are absorbing the zone Mitras, so now we have the whole stake as our zone and it is giant. It also means that Chipinque ecological park is in our zone, and that I can go there to look for more birds. Maybe I`ll be able to find those Maroon-fronted Parrakeets.

PDay lunch at Chili's (an order of ribs for Davis, of course).  Hang loose Elder G.
A dessert worthy of a picture.
Also, they changed our preparation day, so that we have our district meetings on monday (in P-day) in the morning, and our pday will be until 9:00pm. I`m a bit unsure about it, I just hope that the missionaries will get in their houses on time. Good thing it doesn`t get dark until 9. We will see how it goes.

Anyway Mother`s Day! I will probably call you guys around 5-7 (on sunday), so for you guys it will be 3-5 that I will ring in. Isn`t that weird that I`m gonna skype you? weird weird weird.

Noteworthy experiences this week. That investigator that we gave a blessing last sunday felt much better and came to church this sunday. We had quite a few other people in church as well who had very pleasant experiences. I think that some people will be baptized soon, and the ward is very engaged in helping us out and finding people that need the gospel. Just a very good week in the work of the Lord.

Well I guess in the video call you`ll have to tell me what classes I`m taking and stuff, that`s about it.

Love yOu Lots!

Elder Garner

last thing. If you want to sent letters and packages a lot faster, just send them to this address. President picks them up when he goes to Nuevo Laredo, you still put that it`s for the Mexico Monterrey West mission though

1211 San Dario Ave. 1357
Laredo, Texas. 78040

Saturday, May 7, 2016

2016.04.25 Huasteca

Santa Catarina
Hey Mom (I love you),

This week was neat-O. when I pass by anybody I always say hell-O. sounds like the week was not so mell-O. The Bishop here is such a nice fell-O. Man I really miss eating Jell-O.

This week went by fast, as all the other weeks have. I haven`t had time to write in my journal for a couple of weeks, but also I think that I haven`t had quite so much motivation to do so when I do have a bit of free time in the evening or on P-day. It seems to be that I have been attracted to use my free time to read Jesus the Christ, being that I`ve never read it before. I really like it, because it`s a good commentary on the life of Jesus, and it helps me better understand the context of the New Testament. But, I´m not reading the new testament right now, maybe I could along with it, or at least all of the referenced scriptures. I enjoy reading all of the notes as well, being as they explain antecedents and such to the events in Christ`s life. Such as today, I read about Jesus`encounter with the samaritain woman at the well, and how marvelous that conversation was along with his two day tarry in Samaria. one of the notes at the back of the chapter explains the long history of the unmeasurable hatred between the Jews and the Samaritains, and for that it was a large act of love and withhold of judgement for Jesus to teach and testify among them. I really liked reading that, and how we should have an increased amount of love towards those that so despise us (or that we may too despise.)

I had two very neat experiences this week, which both actually happened yesterday.

Actually, the first one started since friday. I was reading in Words of Mormon, and I was just pondering about all of the effort and faith he had put in to abridge the plates while fleeing from the lamanites. I thought about how God had done those things for a wise purpose, and how he had prepared the Book of Mormon for US! since 2000 BC. So I thought to myself "This would be a good talk topic." and I imagined myself giving a talk. Well this sunday, it must have turned out that one of the speakers was absent. I realized that as one of the teachers came up to me and said "Hey, you`re going to give a talk." Isn`t that exciting? I really do think it is, I had about ten minutes in my head to prepare, but I guess the Lord had already given me a topic, so I got up there and I talked abou the Book of Mormon. It was a very good talk, if I say so myself. But I don`t acredit myself for that, because I know that it`s just a gift that I have recieved from the Lord. I am still quite amazed that (even though I do acredit myself to speaking fairly fluent spanish with a good vocabulary and correct grammar) my spanish, or speech, seems to be much more fluent and clear while I am speaking. I am always grateful to speak in sacrament meeting and to bear my testimony.

The second experience we had was just about the end of yesterday. At 7 in the evening we have to go home to call the district leaders and then wait for the assistants to call us for the weekly report, and whatever other announcments or assigned tasks there will be. It was 6:40 and we were going to head home on the bus, while in a far off colony, and I recived a call from one of the members, who had called to inform that one of our investigators had passed by her house to ask if someone could give her a blessing. I told her it would be quite difficult for us, since we were far from their home, and we had to go home to do some calls. I said we could pass by the next day. The call finished and I thought maybe we could call someone else to go and give her the blessing, but as I was looking in the phone contacts I heard that still small voice "Don`t pass up the opportunity to use the priesthood." So Elder G and I decided to go right before heading home, in some way. JUST as we had agreed on that, a taxi passed by and saluted us, and so we stopped it. We got in and he said "I just wanted to wave hi because you are missionaries, but that`s great that you need a taxi. He had heard about us before and knew about our church well and had a great respect for us. We asked if he could take us to one place first and then to wait, and then to take us to our home, and we was perfectly fine with that. We got to the house of the investigator and she was in very poor condition, crying and moaning. We gave her a blessing, and thanked them for calling us, and they were very grateful that we had come. We headed over to our house, and it turns out that the money I had was just a bit under the fee, but the Taxi driver was grateful that he could talk with us, so he just accepted the 50 pesos I had. Elder G and I were left there thinking about what had just happened; the promptings of the spirit, the hand of the Lord, and the great opportunity to hold the priesthood.

I just need to keep worthy always of the covenants and promises that the Lord has made with me, and everything will be alright.


Elder Garner

Sunday, May 1, 2016

2016.04.18 Huasteca

Los Payazos

Dear Mom,

That´s good that a lot of people turned up for the Mars thing. We had a really good turn out as well in a ward activity that we did. We had planned a circus, with one of the member families that are all in the circus. Well, when we started the activity, there were only about 20 people, but just as it started a lot of people started to arrive. there were 126 people there (including about 30 kids) so it was a big success. It was super fun too and a lot of the investigators could come and have a good time.

Unfortunately, many of the investigators didn´t come to church! Oh darn. I don`t feel frustrated when they don`t come, but I do feel bad for them, because they are missing out on a lot of blessings. C`mon Investigators! We did find some new investigators on saturday who came to church this sunday, but they don`t speak spanish! So we talk the restoration in english and it was a bit bumpy, but a very good lesson. In Sacrament meeting, my companion translated the first talk, and then I did the next two. Live translating is not the easiest thing to do, but it was fun and I want to keep practicing. I can do it with the conference talks I have in english on my speaker and translate them to spanish, as well as from spanish to english. I should probably pray for the interpretation of tongues in this case.

We are working very hard in our own ward and with the whole zone. We did one district activity where all of us went to one area and we split up to find people in that time. In two hours we found 6 investigators, so it was a success. Then on friday, all of the zone went to another area to invite all of the less active members and investigators to a talent show that that ward is going to have this upcoming thursday. I think we are going to participate in that, but some of the sister missionaries want me to sing that mormon missionary parody ¨hello¨, but I don`t think it`s appropriate for a missionary. That`s not very important though.

Dear mother, I must apologize, because If my mission call was to learn how to make meals from where I served, I would finish my mission and dishonor my whole family, and I would have a long interview with the Stake President and he would rake me over the coals. What do I mean with saying that? It means that I haven`t learned anything. Oh what regret. I do, however, want to learn how to make salsa from here, because it`s super good, so I`ll try and do that.

Talk to you next week, Love you!

Elder Garner