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.


Elder Garner