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28 May 2012

Week 27: Six Months Ago

My dear family - It's hard to believe that almost 6 months have passed, just like Dad wrote to me! In two days I celebrate my 1/4 mark. I can't even believe it. It still feels like we drove into Provo just last week. Unbelievable. It's crazy how fast the time has been flying, and it's almost June already.

Mom - I'm so sorry to hear that about your dad. :( I hope all is going well down there, and that everything gets taken care of. I hope and pray that you have a safe trip, and that all works out there. I will keep praying for you. I love you, Mom!
Dad - A solar eclipse?? That's awesome! Did you get any pictures or anything by chance? Either way, that's really cool... The members here sometimes give us food, sometimes not. There's a couple families that we pass by, and when we do, they usually feed us, so that's nice. But overall we're pretty much on our own here haha. How did money and stuff work back then for you guys? And were transfers the same way, every 6 weeks? It's so cool to read about your mission, and I always look forward to it!
Marilee - You already know, but I'll respond to yours separately.

Anyway, this week had its low points, but overall, it was a pretty good week! We were able to work with Zondy really well, and he's gone like 9 or 10 days now without smoking, so he's on track for his new baptismal date of June 9! That actually turns out to be his birthday also, so what better day to be born again than on the day you were first born? I just hope I'm here to see it, since it's three days after transfers. I have a feeling I'll be staying in Guayanilla, but really nobody knows except President and the Lord haha. But we had a really great lesson with Zondy and a couple of members this past Thursday. The high councilor over missionary work and the first counselor in the Stake Presidency came down from Penuelas to this lesson, and it was an amazing lesson. They bore such powerful, sweet testimonies, and the Spirit was definitely there. Zondy is still progressing, and he's making the changes he needs to so as to be ready. I'd love to stay for his baptism because it would be my first! But the important thing is that he gets baptized, and keeps following on the path to exaltation.

Besides Zondy, we were able to go up to Penuelas on Saturday. The old Stake President, Hno. Doel Irizarry, is one great man. He drove all the way down from Penuelas to take us up there, then stayed with us all that afternoon as we contacted a referral and set up an appointment with him the next day, and visited a less active and a recent convert. Incredible. He then brought us back home later that day. And then on Sunday, he drove back down to pick us up, and take us to our appointment which he offered to hold in his home! Sadly, the man was busy, and said he'd call us... so hopefully we'll be able to get into contact with him and teach him, because he is looking for the truth, and I firmly believe that once we start teaching him and helping him come unto Christ, he will know that this is the true church. It's so good to start seeing some changes here in Guayanilla. :)

On top of that, we got a ton of referrals from the members this past week! So now we have a bunch of people to contact, and it's even better because the members are more willing to work with us, since they are worried about their friends. Also, one member brought a couple of her friends to church yesterday, and we were able to set up an appointment with them for this Thursday with the ward mission leader. So really, miracles can happen when the members truly put in a little effort to help out the missionaries. That's when the real growth comes, and it's been so great to finally see the changes and blessings that come when we work with the members, and seek to truly strengthen them and help them. While there were slow days, and days where we had to just contact and visit less actives, it was really good, because we started to see a little bit of change in the way we work with the members here. An overall good week. :)

Anyway, I'm doing pretty good here! It's getting hotter every day, and I get burnt a little bit, but it's all good. Puerto Rico is beautiful, and I'm loving it here. It's hard work, and every morning I wake up a little more tired, but it's good. :) Oh! Before I forget, one day this past week, I think Tuesday, my bike decided to start acting up on me. The back tire just deflated when we were far away from the apartment, so I tried pumping it back up, but it just deflated again. So I found the hole (the seam on the inside of the tube had just split) and tried to patch it. It held for a bit, but didn't really fix the problem, so I ended up having to buy another inner tube. That was obnoxious. So basically I had to take off and repair my back tire twice. Such a pain. But it's all good. Life is good, and keeps pushing forward. :)

I love you all so very much my dear family, and I hope you're all doing well. I keep you in my prayers morning and night, and I always look forward to hearing from you on Mondays. :) Mom, again, I hope all is going alright for you and everyone in Argentina, and I will keep them in my prayers as well. Thank you for your support and prayers and for everything. :) I love you!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Kimball Ray Gardner

Puerto Rico San Juan Mission

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