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07 May 2012

Week 24: New Place, Different People, Same Gospel

Dear family -

Another week has come and gone. Crazy! It's been a little strange adjusting to a new area, but it's been great at the same time. It's been good to finally use my bike, and since we don't have a car in this area, that's all I've been doing, is either biking or walking. So yeah, I get a bunch of exercise haha, which is good. Anyway, not a terribly eventful week, but a pretty good one. I'll get to it in a second.

Mom - So my little sister has taken over the mowing, eh? Good for her! I hope she likes it at least a little. I almost can't even imagine cold mornings anymore haha… living in one of the hotter parts of the island, it's hardly ever cold. It's been raining a little bit more lately and I have a crazy story for you in a bit, but I guess hurricane season starts next month all the way to December, so that will be interesting!
Dad - It's good to hear the garden is in, and that that went well. I hope Rexy boy is doing good! How is he? There's a ton of dogs around here (all mutts and strays) but they make me miss the dogs back home a little bit. Regarding the letter from the High Council, I haven't gotten mail since the last transfer day, and so I don't know what I've gotten. Zone conference is this Friday up at the office, so we'll see if anything is there or not. Anyway, I look forward to talking to you on Sunday!
Marilee - I already replied to your email. :)

Anyway, this past week was a nice, wet, rainy week. Hurricane season here we come! Last night one of the members said that this year the moon got the closest to the earth, and that it does that every few years, and when that happens something really bad happens, like Katrina, or the Tsunami in India and stuff like that, so he was basically saying that there's going to be some really bad hurricanes this year. We'll see, but I don't know how much truth is behind all of that. Anyway, I'll be buying some stuff for my 72 hour kit today, just in case.  :)

But moving on, last Monday we didn't have any money for anything, so we just went and played some basketball, since there's nothing to do in Guayanilla or Yauco. Monday really wasn't all that eventful either, we just did a bit of contacting, and then visited a member family. Nothing too big happened there.

On Tuesday, we were able to go and teach our investigator, Zondy. He is such a humble, great guy, and he knows he needs to be baptized. He's such an amazing guy, and I know he's doing all of this for the right reasons. He's trying really hard to stop smoking, and actually called this morning because he gave in and smoked. So we talked him through it and everything, and we're really trying to help him. He's dedicated and very receptive. That night, we weren't able to get him a ride to institute that he really wanted to go to, so he started walking. He did get a ride from a friend, but he was dedicated to walk the whole way. And then there was no institute, because the teacher cancelled, so he met with the bishop for a little while and we had a nice lesson.

It was really good for the bishop to finally meet him, because on Wednesday, we went over to Zondy's house with the bishop and had a really great lesson about the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement. It was a pretty dang good lesson. Besides that, nothing too special happened on Wednesday. The main focus this past week has been working with Zondy and really trying to help him quit smoking. He is so close, too! So yeah, we did some contacting the rest of that day, and visited some members.
Thursday we did a lot of riding around trying to find people, and contacting. It turns out that institute was actually that night, so we went with Zondy, and he enjoyed it pretty well. However, the few members there started talking about some crazy stuff that he'd never heard of before, so on Friday, we passed by and cleared some things up about the temple and stuff. Nothing too deep, just stuff that is normally taught after baptism.

Anyway, Friday was a bit crazy. We were out riding around in an area called Quebradas, which is a fair distance from our house. And then it started POURING rain. I mean POURING. So we started riding back home. I was soaked. We passed under an overpass, and Elder Mangelson asked me if we should stop. I figured we were soaked enough already, that we might as well just keep going. So we did, and rode through puddles, and cars drove by and got us all wet and stuff, and so by the time we got back to the apartment, I was DRENCHED. It was seriously as though I had jumped into a lake. I dumped out a ton of water from my shoes. And then a car drove by through a puddle and got me even more wet as I stood by the door waiting for Elder Mangelson to unlock it haha. It was crazy. My shoes weren't dry until yesterday. Goodness. We basically then just dried off, waited out the rain, and then went back out on foot. It was still drizzling a bit, but not pouring anymore haha. Too crazy.

That was Friday. Moving onto Saturday, it was kind of cloudy, but not too rainy. It was still wet, but not like Friday. We did teach another investigator though, named Felix. He's kind of a weird guy. He was in the army, and told a bunch of crazy stories of him flying and stuff, but he's kind of weird haha. We taught a good lesson though, about the Plan of Salvation, and he was pretty receptive. I think it was a pretty decent lesson. Besides that, we visited some members, and got Zondy a ride to church, and started fasting. Other than that though, nothing too exciting.

Then yesterday, Zondy came to church! He really liked it, and the bishop actually talked about him in the middle of Sacrament meeting, talking about how great of an example he is, and that he walked all the way to institute and stuff like that. All the members the rest of the day were complimenting him and stuff. During Gospel Principles, the teacher basically taught straight to him, and committed him to baptism again... and then in Priesthood they were all talking about how Zondy is going to go to the temple soon and all this crazy stuff. It was a bit wild, but Zondy enjoyed it all. He said he really loved the testimonies. So yeah, he's progressing and I think he knows it's true, he just needs to stop the smoking. But yeah, then after church we contacted for a while, and then passed by an investigator, Miguel, but he was with some friends so couldn't let us in, so we went to a member's and that's where we set up the phone calls for next week and stuff.

And then this morning, the senior missionaries in our district made us breakfast. :) They're the best!

Just 6 days and I’ll be calling. Just be ready around 3:00 and I'll be calling. I love you all so much, and keep you in my prayers. You are all an unfailing source of hope and support to me, and I am forever thankful for all that you do. I love you all very much. Talk to you soon mi querida familia!
Les amo mucho- mas que puedo decir.

Con mucho amor,

Elder Kimball Ray Gardner
Puerto Rico San Juan Mission

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