Mom - I did hear about the new age for missionaries. Crazy! Such a huge change, and a great one. So many more missionaries will go out because they won't have that extra year to go cold. They'll just leave, which is exactly what they need to do. What hit me the most from that talk was when Pres. Monson said "effective IMMEDIATELY". Wow. That plus the fact that nobody besides him and the rest of the Apostles knew. Surprise to everyone! But that was great, and one part I really enjoyed. I want to say that I am proud to be called the son of Patricia Gardner, and I try now more than ever to live up to that responsibility. :) I love you so much, Mom! (Oh, and that pizza looked delicioso!!)
Dad - Well, it sounds like things are going good with the Halloween preparations and everything, and I look forward to more details! And Nightmare on 13th sounds great! I hope you two had a great time. :) Thank you for the GREAT news of BYU beating Utah State, that really made my weekend perfect. :) But Dad, know that I love you too and that you are a great example to me, and I look up to you in so many ways. You're pretty much my hero. :) Thank you for all that you've done for us as a family and for me personally. I love you Dad!
Marilee - I love you too little sis, and I'll write you separately. :)
But anyway, getting down to business "to defeat the Huns" ;), it was a crazy week because President gave us the challenge to get 10 member present lessons or we couldn't go to Conference. Wow. To some it may come off as crazy, and at first I didn't really like it, but then I repented and followed his counsel. He received that revelation for the mission, and to sustain him, it's my job to do what he says. So that's what we did. We took members out to all our lessons and taught some street lessons and everything and we did it. We got 10 member present lessons. For the first time in Guayanilla, and the first time in MY MISSION. It was great!! And then we were able to go to Conference! Yeah! We bought a ton of candy and then Hno. Caraballo lent us (Elder Durfee and I) one of his laptops to watch General Conference in one room in the church, while the Spanish speakers went to the chapel with his other laptop and a TV. It was great. Elder Durfee and I watched it with the recent converts from Yauco, Jonathan and José and had a great time. :) Might I say that 4 talks in particular really hit me?
Elder Cook's talk. Wow. I have never seen Elder Cook so intense in my life! That was powerful.
Pres. Uchtdorf's Saturday afternoon talk. Also powerful to me.
Of course, Elder Holland's talk. I had seen one similar to that that he had given in the MTC a few years back, and it was just SO powerful. Do you love me? Then FEED. MY. SHEEP. Amazing.
And then Elder Bednar's talk about testimony and conversion was so mindblowing that I can't wait for the Liahona to come out so I can read it and mark it and everything. I loved that talk.
But yeah, Conference was great, and I loved it, and was sad when it was over. There were a couple of glitches, because the power went out in Ponce during the Priesthood session and we missed the last part of Elder Christofferson's talk before it came back on, and then the laptop was losing power on Sunday morning. But it was still great and I really enjoyed it.
And then today was Super P-day! We went up to Caguas this morning for our district meetings and everything, and also had transfers! And... no changes, still in Guayanilla with Elder Caal. So at least one more transfer in Guayanilla! That's alright, there's a baptism planned for my birthday, so that's fine with me. :) But after district meeting and stuff, we got changed and then went and played sports all day until 3:00! It was great! Although I hurt my shoulder pretty bad on a fall during basketball. Oh well. :( But now we're here in Yauco doing our emailing and we'll do some shopping soon and then try and head out to work! Elder Hammer is back from his sickness, and Elder Mangelson goes home in three days. Wow! How fast time flies. But it was great to see all the other missionaries, and we all had a great time together. Oh, and I did get the package. Thank you so much! I was honestly not expecting anything like that haha, I didn't even know they made refrigerated packages. But thank you so much, and I'm sorry if that was a lot of money :S I really didn't mean for that to happen haha. But thank you very much.
And so that's about it! A crazy week, and I bet another crazy one ahead of us. I keep you always in my prayers. I hope you all do really well this week and that all goes well for you. I love you all!!
Con mucho amor,
Elder Kimball Ray Gardner
Puerto Rico San Juan Mission