This blog is kept and updated by the parents of Elder Gardner to share his mission experiences as he teaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Spanish to the people in South Carolina. The blog covers the period of time before Elder Gardner's mission as he prepares to serve and follows him throughout his mission until his return home to Arizona.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Que pasa?

Such a good week this week! I want to thank everybody for all the letters and packages! Thank you to the Halls for their package and also to Grandma Williams for the birthday present! Yes, I already opened it... I have that kind of free will here;) I have to say, that it was so awesome to see Nate! I saw the back of his head in the cafeteria on Wednesday, and I just went up behind him and surprised him. He was so excited and I almost started to cry (imagine that..). It was such a good thing. I love that kid so much. He is doing great, and he has two great companions, and he is the district leader! As for me, I am the assistant to the district leader, who is Elder Volmar. We are straight fire, here at the MTC. We have just been killing it and having so much fun. We have grown close to Elder McEntire, who is also in our district and everyone is just so jealous. Our group is called "sick nasty". Elder Lopez, who is going to the Omaha Nebraska mission, is also doing great. I still have a lot of fun with him. I actually had a deep heart to heart with him last night. I have really come to love him, and it will be hard to leave. I absolutely love helping people through their tough times. I can relate to them, and I love to put myself in their shoes. I want to weep with them. Just like Jesus did with Mary, when they told him that Lazarus was dead. Although he knew that he was going to bring him back, and that he was going to be okay, he put himself in Mary's shoes and wept with her. I want to do that on my mission. 
This is me and Volmar. This is literally how we walk around the MTC.
We are seriously the kings of this place, whether they know it or not!
Me, Elder Volmar, and Elder McEntire. The "sick nasties".
Elder McEntire is like a math freak. He looooves math, it's weird.
But he's hilarious and I love him.
I have to say, with only 13 days left in the MTC, I'm SO pumped to get out! I only have one more p-day in this place! That's so crazy to me. I feel like I just barely got out here, and now I'm one month into my mission! And Jake is almost two? Whaaaaaa? I think of home a lot still, of course, but now when I think of it, It's almost like extra motivation to get things done. Because I know that you guys would want me to work as hard as I can. I get more excited/anxious to get out in the field, and really start my mission! I can't wait to stop teaching fake investigators, and start teaching real ones! You are taught everyday how to help people and how to love them, but there comes a point where you want to just teach real people. I get to do that in less than two weeks! Speaking of fake investigators, we just got a new one last Wednesday. It was a man named Marco. Me and Elder Volmar had no clue what we were going to talk about, and we were so nervous! All we could do was have some faith and pray that things would work out. Well we got in there, and we introduced ourselves, and then I just started going off... I didn't even know what I was saying! It was insane. I seriously sounded fluent. After Every few minutes, Marco would just sit back in his chair and say "Bueno Pregunta" (good question) and I was just sitting there, and I didn't even know what I asked him. I didn't even know that I had asked a question haha. But it was so good. The spirit was so strong, and the gift of tongues was so real. I love Spanish, and I'm so excited I can learn it. I understand very well what people are saying, and the actual speaking is getting much better.

The weather here is changing, and the trees on the Mountains are turning red and orange. It's really pretty! You would love it mom. It's getting a little cold, and I'm excited to go to SC where it will hopefully be a little more warm! The pictures of my room and the house look so good! I'm so excited for you guys to paint those ugly walls! I did leave you guys a little surprise with all of my stuff;) I did not want to take care of that before I left so I left it all for you:) Are Emmi and Hal buying a house?? Or are they just getting the furniture? I love them so much, and Millie is just the cutest! I printed off a picture of her. She's getting fat!
Me and Stetson before he headed out. I love this guy,
and I grew pretty close to him over the past two weeks.
He'll do awesome out there! I also made a sweet bag trade with
someone in my district! Do you dig it dad? Its a lot better than my
last one, and much more stylish. 
My selflessness is coming along slowly but surely. I have been working on the Christlike attribute of patience and endurance this week, and It has been helping me love and change the thoughts of the people around me. I tend to judge less, and love more. It's so important to love the people around you, because most people just want to feel loved. I have thought a lot this week. Patient endurance is to be distinguished from merely being "acted upon". Endurance is more than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstances; it is not only the acceptance of things allotted to us, it is to "act for ourselves" by magnifying what is allotted to us. (Alma 29:3-6) If, for instance, we are always taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be. If we are constantly comparing things to see if things are fair, we are not only being unrealistic, we are being unfair to ourselves. Therefore, true enduring represents not merely the passage of time, but the passage of soul. Endurance is not just getting from point "A" to point "B", but getting from point "A" to point "Z". It involves much more than putting up with a circumstance.  Sometimes, enduring may mean "letting go" when everything within us wants to "hold on" such as to a loved one, or family. Being here, I have had to "let go" of a lot of things. That doesn't necessarily mean that I just stop loving them, because that is absolutely impossible! But in order for me to succeed and do what the Lord wants me to do, I have to "let go" of my feelings and thoughts of home, so to speak. I never stop thinking of you guys, but I don't let it get me down anymore. I use it as extra motivation. I know that I am blessing my family, because I pray every single night and morning and meal that my family will be safe and healthy, and now, my Dad and Mom are free of cancer. Not that they had it, but their checkups were free! I know that is because of the Lord and partly for me serving a mission. I've learned that it takes time to become the person that you want to become. You have to work for it. 

Twigs are bent, not snapped, into shape.

So this Sunday will be my birthday. I'm sure it will be a little sad to not be with my family, but I think it will also be a good experience and a spiritual one as well. The Choir director from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is going to be coming and he will be doing something called The MTC and the Spoken Word. Basically we sing three songs and he gives a talk in between all three and explains the songs. I am so excited!! One song that I know for sure that we are singing is "How Firm A Foundation", and the third verse of that song hits the feels for me. 

"Fear not, I am with thee, oh be not dismayed, for I am thy God, and will still give thee aid. I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand." I don't know if I got all the words right, but I have had that song in my head for a while. It will be such a good experience for me, and it will be such a good birthday present!!
I got to see Jase and Wryder at the same time. Just like old times!
They are both doing very well. 
I love hearing about BYU football. Word in the MTC spreads fast, and I hear all about it! On Saturday night, we had "personal study" so me and Elder Volmar went to the far west corner of the campus and listened to the game! You could hear the fans and music and announcers. It was sick! I felt like I was actually a normal person haha. I guess that more missionaries knew about it because half the MTC was doing "personal study" right with us in the far west corner. It was awesome. For those Boise State fans (Brent), EAT IT! That's my team! I'm glad that they are doing so good.   

I got some letters from Wendy, and ED. They were great letters, and I'm so grateful for them and the advice that they gave me. I'm also thankful for the letter that Dad gave me about his experiences on his mission. I have read it over and over again, and I have learned so much. Thank you for that. Whenever your heart is full, just write me and I will hold on to every word. 

Being a missionary is good, but being a missionary is hard. It's not what the primary songs make it out to be... It's a lot of hard work and trying to persevere through your hard times, which are a lot. I often tend to ask myself that - why is being a missionary so hard? Why isn't the only trial that we have to face, that of pneumonia from being in the water all day baptizing people? Why is it so hard? Answer: because it wasn't easy for Him. (Mosiah 14:3) Christ did not have it easy, so in order for us to take upon ourselves his name, we have to experience some of what he went through. When Christ suffered for us, He didn't just sweat a few drops and groan a little... He sweat drops of blood from every pore. He gave it his all. He did not back down, or give up. He did not have it easy, so we won't have it easy. But the good thing is that He knows how we feel. He has been there before, and He is here with us now. He is in our midst. Not on His throne in Heaven, but in the midst of us. He is on our right hand as well as our left. He is a shield in front of you and he will be your rear guard. He will not forsake us. 
​Me and Volmar ballin' like the usual. 
I'm so excited to get out and teach. I'm so excited to give it my all, and to help people through their times of sunshine and their days of sorrow. I love you guys so much. Thank you all for your birthday wishes. I wish you could be here to celebrate with me, but I'm glad I'm where I'm at. I love you all so much, and I pray for you individually every night. Words just can't explain my gratitude for my family. 

les amo,

Elder Geezy  

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