Monday, September 15, 2014

I love my life.

HOLA MUNDO! 

It has been SUCH A GREAT WEEK! I don't think I've seen so many miracles in one week in my life. Our dear investigator Olga was baptized yesterday and was SO very happy! Her whole family was too. Bah, que lindo era... She is 71 years old and always told us that it CANNOT be cold or rainy on the day of her baptism, or she won't be baptized. Yesterday it was cold and rainy, but she was baptized anyways! She was happy as could be. We went through a lot to get the baptismal font to be warm. In the end, it worked out!
 
 Also, this Saturday we went to the temple! Olga came, and was feeling the spirit really strong. And guess who else came. THE SCARFO family! Well, the two parents, Desiree and Fabian and their 1 year old son. Desiree was going to come alone with us and with her son, but at the very last minute (literally, right before the bus that the ward had got to their house to pick us 3 up) Fabian got a text that said he didn't need to go to his work meeting thing! And so he said, "Puedo venir con ustedes?!" :D (can I come with you guys?) We about died of happiness in this moment because we KNEW the effect the temple would have on Fabian and Desiree and their progression. We got there, and it was SO great to see their reaction and questions and AWE that they had for the temple, it's cleanliness, it's spirit, etc. Fabian was especially shocked when he learned about and noticed all the safety features the temple has, and he said that the place has to be something special. He's into that kind of stuff. Desiree used a skirt (lent from a member) for the very first time in her life. It was such a touching and special experience to help them learn about the things of eternity. It made me realize what a privilege it is for me to have this knowledge already! It is literally a privilege to know without a doubt that the temple is the only place where families can be sealed together forever and we need to make promises with God that will allow us into His presence. This is the only place! And we as missionaries are doing all that we can to help the Scarfo family understand that. Then the next day (Sunday) they showed up to church all on their own! We didn't go "buscar" them, and they didn't take the church bus to church either! They came completely on their own, not having eaten lunch. (Church is at 2:30pm). It was a MIRACLE to see them walk in the door with Fabian in his suit coat and Desiree and their son in their best clothes. I have SO much faith that they will be baptized this month. I KNOW IT! We think about them CONSTANTLY and I have so much faith that now is the time for them to come closer to Christ. 

We are working shoulder to shoulder with the ward members. It is AMAZING to see the difference between a ward that works with the missionaries and a ward that doesn't. I've done both, and the first option is THE BEST. The progression of Olga and the Scarfo family is serisouly due to the support of the members! My companion and I had a great conversation with Bishop Rios yesterday that really helped us gain his confidence in us and our confidence in him. I think I'm seeing a tid-bit of how the Lord wants His children to do His work. The ward isn't perfect, and the missionaries.... MENOS! But if we are constantly focusing on what Heavenly Father would have us do as His servants (missionaries or otherwise) we will see success!

I know Christ is my Savior. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. There is power in the Book of Mormon that I cannot explain. I know that the temple is the literal house of the Lord, where His Spirit always resides. It is such a privilege to be here!

I love you all,

Shout out to mom! Happy birthday!

Hermana Gardner

Monday, September 8, 2014

¡Ituzaingo 4 es lo mejor!

¡Hola familia! ¡Ha sido una semana de DIEZ! Amo mi misión. Amo mi compañera, y AMO el barrio Ituzaingo 4.

Ayer tuvimos nuestra querida familia Scarfo en la iglesia nuevamente! Y tambien nuestra investigadora Olga and un otro quien se llama Hugo. Olga va a ser bautizada éste fin de semana! :D YAY!!
Yesterday we had our dear family Scarfo at church again! And also Olga and another investigator Hugo.
This weekend Olga is going to be baptized! SHE IS A DOLL. I love her. Always smiling. She is like, my best friend. haha pictures to come.

And we were SO happy to have the Scarfo Family at church again this week! The members are really friendshipping them. We have a lesson with a member scheduled for this Tuesday with the first counselor in the bishopric. His name is Hermano Cobian, and a few years ago, he didn't believe in God! And then the missionaries helped him with his faith, and then he served a mission, and now he's sealed in the temple! And so, hermano Cobian is PERFECT for the father of the Scarfo family because he (Fabian) is struggling a little bit with his faith in God and and really feeling like God is listening to his prayers. So that's his weakness right now. He still feels like he is talking to the wall when he prays and he feels awkward, too. So we're helping him with that, along with the help and friendship and example of the members. It's the best way to do this work! :D

This week we had a special 5 hour meeting with Elder Walter F. Gonzalez (Area 70, southamerica south) and it was GREAT! He and his wife are studs. I feel like I knew his wife before. We leared a lot about how to be full-purpose missionaries,  o sea, 1. Baptize 2. Retain AND 3. Re-activate. It is possible to do all three while at the same time baptize more people! This is the work of the LORD and HE is in charge. And when we do it HIS way, He'll bless us!

My companion is doing GREAT. I think she is really feeling the weight of being senior companion, but she loves it. This week I asked her kind of jokingly, "How can you be so focused when you only have 2 weeks left?" and then she said to me, "Because I've been waiting 16 months to be senior companion, and It's finally here." with a huge smile on her face. She is super focused. And we never ever speak english, by the way. She is just so great! 

I love my mission. I love being representative of Jesus Christ. I love my companion. And I love my area. The mission isn't easy in the least, but it is SO worth it. 

I LOVE you all! Yes, YOU! :)

Hermana Gardner

Monday, September 1, 2014

Holaaa!

Hola mundo! Como estan. ¿Todo bien? Expetacular :)

Below are pictures of me and Simona and the Store named Figoli in Chacabuco. I forgot to send y'all these a long time ago. I LOVE SIMONA! haha :)

This is a picture of me and Hermana Leiva MY VERY FIRST COMPANION that I had here in Argentina. O sea, mi mamá! Anyways, now she is in my Zone, and it is SO great to be back with her once a week during meetings. I LOVE that missionary.

This week was so great with Hermana Mumford! We had 7 inactive members at church, and we brought another investigator and another family to church! It was SO GREAT! Sadly, a prominent member of the ward passed away this week, and so a lot of people weren't in town. They were all in another city for the funeral. But church was great anyways!

Okay, something SO GREAT that I learned this week. It applies directly to missionaries, but to everyone of us as well! 
Doctrine and Covenants 51;16-17. It says basically "I give unto you this land for a little season. You should act upon it like you are going to be here for years. This will turn unto you for your good."

Don't you just LOVE that?! Lets make an example. I was reading an article in the Liahona and it said, "Why should I accept a calling and become involved in a ward if I know that I'm only going to be here for a little while?" Because it will bless you! There are SO many un-imagined opportunities and blessings that we don't realize or recieve because we don't give all we have to where we are at the moment. We need to put in our all where we are right NOW! Don't wait to "finally" arrive to the "promised land" because the Promised Land is the JOURNEY! Ya? Okay, awesome.

I love you all! Keep being GREAT!

Hermana Gardner
Here are pictures of the front and back of our apartment. We live on the 3rd floor.
Technically we live in Castelar. 2 blocks from the Train station of Castelar.


Monday, August 25, 2014

¡I love my life!‏

Hola!!

This has been such a great week! Really and truly. I feel like my companion and I have been real effective instruments in the hands of the Lord. We worked our tails off together these past two weeks, and I LOVE it! I LOVE my companion. It brings tears to my eyes to think about how much I love her. I didn't really know her before, but now I feel like I've known her for years. We've already had many many great experiences together that I am SO grateful for. She is a stud of a teacher and a stud of a missionary. Hermana Mumford has so much love in her heart that she expresses to the people so well. She is such a great example to me! It is a humbling experience to be her companion because I brought myself down to the "teachable" level again--and from that I have learned so much. We are learning so much together and I am just so grateful to be here in Ituzaingo! Technically we're in Castelar if you're gonna Google-earth it. haha we live a block away from the train station of Castelar :)

  We're helping a couple get married that we're really excited about, we found a REALLY awesome family of 5 (that are married) that were a reference from a member that we're working with and super excited about, and we're coming up to the baptism of a faithful older woman in September! It is so great to be able to work with them! A couple of sad things happened this week though, like, we brought a young man investigator to church but he left after the first class.. and our other really great and faithful investigator that came to church with us on Sunday told us that he doesn't ever want to talk to us again and "no quiere saber más nada." But we're continuing on! :) Heavenly Father has a plan for them, and He has a plan for us! We're here to find out what that plan is (by acting, and then being directed by the Spirit) and carrying it out! Woo!
I don't think I've had the Spirit with me so much on my mission, and I know that is because of the example and help from Hermana Mumford. The Spirit that we and I have is constant, and strong! It is so amazing to see and feel. I love being a missionary and learning how to have the Spirit with me ALWAYS!

This week, my companion started a huge kitchen fire!! haha nah, jk it wasn't that bad. She had super hot oil on the stove and put tomato paste on it, and then a HUGE FIRE in the pan started! The fire was up to the ceiling and super wide! And so we stared at it for a few seconds in panic, and then she stopped the stove, and then we looked at it more, and then it stopped. hahah. The thing is, we don't have lids to our pots and pans here, and so we didn't know how to stop the flame. But we got a few lids that people didn't want for future use. And I think I'll cook for now. Pobrecita. lol

I think Mom and others asked if we're on bikes or walking or have cars, etc. and what it's like here

    1. This mission doesn't have cars.
    2. We're walking! Love. I need new shoes.
    3. We are close to Ramos Mejia which is kind of close to BA the city.
    4. Yesterday it was HAILING a TON and the hail was GOLF BALL size! Luckily we were in a collectivo (bus) at the time, really it was a little dangerous because it can knock someone out! lol
    5. It was SUPER hot this week and freezing today. Who knows when spring will come.
    6. Our ward is the BEST! The ward members and leaders are actually working with us and we're having a    lot of success with less actives and baptisms. LOVE this ward! And plus, they're super funny. hahahaha. LOVE.

Anywho I love you all! We're going to cut this computer time short because we have a lot to do. 

Remember who you are! (Simba)

Hermana Gardner

Monday, August 11, 2014

¡Hola mundo!‏

¿Como andan?

So, I've been in Chacabuco for 8 months. ¡Chacabuco tiene mi CORAZÓN! todo todo todo todo mi corazón. And tomorrow is transfers... so, tonight they're going to tell us if we have changes or not! We're super scared! haha I hope I never leave this place. We have seen SO much progress in the branch, it is rediculous. haha even though it's been super hard, we're really seeing the fruits of our labors. Chacabuco has seriously changed my life. I am FOREVER grateful for this place! From the leaders of the branch, our investigators, the members, to the little "autoservicio" next door named Figoli (it's their last name). haha. It's like everything I've learned in the past 14 months has all been put to action this past transfer, and really this past transfer has been the best EVER. But we'll see what the next 4 months of my life have in store for me! :D

A few of you have been asking what I've been studying. Do you have an hour? haha but with the 6 minutes that I have left, I'll share with you my FAVORITE thing I've learned.

I have learned that The Gospel of Jesus Christ is PERFECT. Without error. Without mistake or change. The truth is the truth. It always has been, it is, and it always will be. People, however are not perfect. It is our purpose to strive to become perfect like Jesus Christ through His Gospel and through His Church. I know without a single doubt that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true! It is real! I cannot EVER deny this! God's laws and commandments are ALWAYS in effect, no matter the situation. What is right, is right. And what's wrong is wrong, and always will be. No matter how the world is changing. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is what we need to live, and it is through His Church that we are able to live it fully! I know these things are true. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. :)

I love every single one of you!

Hermana Gardner

Monday, August 4, 2014

Chacabuco Fog

Hola people!

Every day this week has been SO FOGGY that it like, rains without raining.... the inside of our apartment was soaking wet all week. But that doesn't stop the work of the Lord :)

I don't think I've learned SO much in one week in my whole mission! This week was SO hard, (physically, spiritually, emotionally, and otherwise) for so many reasons, but it has been the most edifying. Heavenly Father Loves us SO much! He is so AWARE of the specific needs of His children. I hope you can all appreciate His specific love for you (Gracias Becky, for your thoughts on the Love of God).

I don't have any more time this week, but we'll see what's in store next week! Until then,

Hasta luegito! :D

Hermana Gardner

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hello World!

How is life?
I have 7 minutes.. So sorry. But the following things happened this week:

Us 4 missionaries participated in a funeral this week for the uncle of our convert family Diaz. We sang O my Father (it was awesome) and a brother from the branch said a prayer for the family. Then it was super funny because us 4 missionaries (with helmets and all) and this brother from the branch all rode on our bikes together from the funeral home to the cemetary and my comp and I were cracking up laughing at how funny we all looked. I LOVE MY MISSION. hahaha
The cemetary is HUGE and weird, but at the same time is was a spiritual experience to realize the truthfulness of the plan of salvation. But seeing so many tombstones and caskets made me stressed out at all the Proxy work we have ahead of us. START NOW! haha :)

I gave the RS lesson "Quieres ser Sano?" by Elder Dychs last conference talk. YAY for him! It was super fun.

We found a Friend magazine in the church library and we found the picture that APRYL STOTT drew in the march 2009 issue. It made me so happy! haha

I love you all! Remember who you are! 

Hermana Gardner