Well... that's it. The last week came and went in the blink of an eye. (Sent on Dec 2)
What a way to go out. We had a mission leadership council on Monday with Elder Cornish in Arecibo. A great meeting, and we learned a lot. That evening we had a sweet lesson with that family we've been teaching, and we taught about tithing. The mom committed to live it, which was the only thing holding her back from baptism, and so we set the goal for this past Saturday. On Tuesday, we were in Ponce for their zone conference, and then likewise Wednesday in Mayagüez, and Thursday in Caguas. Finally, on Friday we could go back to work. We visited some less actives, but our focus was on the mom of that family.
She was baptized on Saturday, November 30, 2013. In case you don't remember, that is exactly 2 years from the day I set foot in the MTC and began my mission. That's pretty incredible.
It was a sweet baptismal service, and we all felt the spirit. It was wonderful. Not many missionaries have that joy of being able to baptize their last week in the mission.
Yesterday was also a wonderful day. The confirmation was sweet. Saying goodbye to the members was sad, but knowing we'll see them on Friday made it not so hard. They have no idea we're coming, it'll be great. :)
Yesterday this man just showed up to church, looking for God. We set an appointment with him for the afternoon. We taught him and he accepted a baptismal date for Dec. 21st. A different man had called us on Saturday, and wanted us to visit him. So we went up to the campo way up in the mountains and taught him. He accepted a baptismal date for Dec. 28th. A good way to go out I think. :)
When I think about my mission, it's impossible not to smile. It was incredible. It was a blessing. I saw miracles before my eyes, and witnessed the hand of God working not only in my life, but in the lives of those that I love.
My testimony has strengthened. I'm still not perfect; far from it, actually. However, I at least know where the path is that I need to follow.
Jesus Christ lives. He is the path. He is our Savior and our Redeemer. He atoned for our sins that we may repent and be clean. He called Joseph Smith to be a prophet, and through him, the Lord restored His church and His authority. The Book of Mormon is true. President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, and those who deny it or say otherwise will suffer the consequences that come from persecuting God's prophets. This is the true church. I know it, and I love it. :) In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I'll see you tomorrow. Get ready for some big hugs. :)
I love you all.
Elder Kimball Ray Gardner
Puerto Rico San Juan Mission
|Hello little sister, Mom and Dad|
Note from the Editor: We arrived in Puerto Rico on Monday 2 Dec, Elder Gardner took us all over the island and we visited with some of the most amazing people. We've seen how much they love our son. We are very thankful that they took care of him. We go through life with the hope of meeting some friends we got separated from when we crossed the veil: we met some of them during this trip. We won't forget them. Thank you again.