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21 January 2013

Week 60: How Will I Send Thee...?

Well, another week comes and goes, so fast. I'm amazed at how fast the time goes by, and it's hard to think that January's almost over when it just barely started. 

Mom - It seems just like you to need some more air ;) Just kidding! Kind of! I know that the gospel holds the answers to many problems. If there's anything I've learned while I've been on my mission, it's how much the Atonement really offers us. Whatever the problem is, Christ has gone through it, and through faith in him, and faithful endurance, He blesses us with the way out, whatever it is. Just know that you have someone in Puerto Rico who loves you. :) ("Someone from smiling airplane loves me"... remember that shirt?) :) Thank you for being a great mom.
Dad - And you too! :) You are one of my greatest role models, and I'm thankful to have you as my dad. Anyway, I'm glad that your talk went well! I really loved that talk by Elder Bednar - in fact, it's along the same lines as the one he gave in Provo last Christmas, so I've kind of heard it twice. I love that talk so much, and there's so much we could discuss if we were in person. Lots to learn about it haha. :) And thank you for the info on the TMJ, I'll keep that in mind as I keep stretching my jaw - it's been helping, so I'll keep it up. :) Oh, and the Jazz beat the Heat?? What?? Anyway, love you much!!
Marilee - I'll write you separately. :)

Anyway, another crazy week. On Tuesday we had a leadership meeting with all the ZLs and DLs in the mission. It was really good, and we learned a lot of how missionary work is going to change in Puerto Rico. We're also going to be working a lot closer with the people with the keys (a.k.a. the Bishop and Elder's Quorum President) to help build the wards. It's a great plan, and it was a great meeting all about how to do it and stuff. But yeah, things are getting kind of crazy with Elder Andersen coming in a little less than 3 weeks! 

Besides that, we had a few really good lessons this week, including one with Luis and Vicelis, this couple we've been trying to get married for the past couple months. They're all ready to be baptized, they're just not ready to get married yet - so it's a bit frustrating. But we set some goals with them, and I think they'll start to progress. At least I hope so! 
At St Thomas during Choir trip in December 2012

But something that was really cool was that yesterday we had a special Stake Conference. We all went to Trujillo Alto, and the stake conference was transmitted in via satellite from Salt Lake City. It was for all the stakes in the Caribbean area, so that was way cool. Elder Russell M. Nelson presided, and Elder Craig Zwick conducted. Also present were Sis. Wixom from the general Primary Presidency, and Bro. Beck, the General Young Men President. It was a really great conference, and they all spoke to us. We were in the English room with the Metro Ward (the English speaking ward), and it was funny because both Bro. Beck and Elder Zwick spoke in Spanish, so for once we were having to listen to the translation! It was really great though, and they all talked about paying tithing and being faithful. They talked about the beautiful temple in the DR, how they needed to pay tithing, how their kids need to learn English and math, and how they need to spend their money on wise things. It was really great, and I just love listening to the prophets and apostles speak nowadays. 

Also, another interesting thing to mention, this weekend was the Fiesta de San Sebastian, and so a bunch of Puerto Ricans from the whole island came up to Old San Juan (which is in our area) to party. Luckily Old San Juan is way out on the western part of the area and we don't get there much anyway because I hear it was just nuts. The Tren Urbano only comes to where Santurce starts, so from there they had to take the busses, and HOLY COW was the train station full and the busses PACKED. Last night we were heading home and the station was so full and rocking with music and dancing and (I imagine) drugs and alcohol, there was no way we were going in there. So we rode 40 minutes from Santurce to Bayamon haha.. crazy. But it was fun, and not a bad ride at all. But yeah, we made it back to report numbers and get ready for today. :)

So yeah, that was the week. :) I'm glad I got to finally write a decent email! I hope you have a happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and that your week turns out to be better than the last. I love you all so very much, and I wish you the very best. I look forward to hearing from you in a week!!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Kimball Ray Gardner
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

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