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25 June 2013

Week 82: Farewell, President Alvarado!

Well, this was an emotional week for the mission, but I'll get there in a second.

Mom - Well it sounds like you had a pretty good week. :) I think it'd be cool if you started working again, and I think you'd enjoy it.  Hehe. Anyway, I hope that all works out okay. And good luck with the white water rafting! It's really, really fun, but be careful!
Dad - Haha well it sounds like you had quite the experience there… I hope it went okay! And it's great to hear that the garden is doing well. :) I wish I would have helped more with that in the past rather than being a lazy bum… I'm sorry. And sweet, a new flag pole! Is it stronger?
Farewell to the Alvarado Family
Anyway, this week was pretty crazy. The Zone was really blessed and we had some stellar results. It was fantastic. 

Also, on Saturday, Elder Caballero and I witnessed a very intense car crash. This car was parked next to a freeway exit (I don't know why) and this drunk guy just came up right behind her and slammed into the back of her car, sending her flying OUT of her car and landing on the ground. Another car then came and hit the drunk guy's car from behind. We pulled over and went to help, but we couldn't do much. The medics got there pretty quick, and they got the lady out of there. The drunk guy was just out of it, and they took care of him, and the other guy was shaken up, but safe. it was intense. 

On Sunday, we met as a mission and watched the Hastening the Work of Salvation broadcast from the Marriott Center, and that was really cool! We learned a lot of things from that, and it was all really missionary oriented. It was great. :) Did you have the chance to watch it? If not, you should!
And then yesterday, we had a farewell P-day for the Alvarados, which is why I didn't write yesterday (sorry!) But they gave us time to do that today. Anyway, yesterday we went to El Morro, the number 1 tourist place in PR, and had a blast! It was great. :) I'll send the pics next week 'cause I'm out of time, but Sis. Alvarado sent us some that I'll forward. It was a lot of fun. :) And then we ended with a very emotional farewell devotional. Very powerful.

Anyway, P-day's about over (it's only until 4:00 for today) and so I need to get going, but know that I love you, and thank you so much. I look forward to next Monday to hear from you, and by then, President Smartt will be at the head of our mission! Crazy. 
I love you so so much. :)

Elder Kimball Ray Gardner
Puerto Rico San Juan Mission

18 June 2013

Week 81: Happy Father’s Day!

Well howdy there family!

Mom - Well thank you so much for the packages, Elder Caballero was ecstatic when he saw it. :) He was so happy, and he's still enjoying it, so thank you. :) And good luck! And haha yeah, Elder Peacock is AP right now, along with Elder Mello, a Peruvian. They're pretty cool. But yeah, sounds like things are just the same old normal (besides the things that clearly aren't normal haha), and I hope you're doing good. :)
Dad - Well happy father's day yesterday! I hope it was a good day. :) Haha well no, not AP (thank goodness), still trying to keep my head above water as a zone leader haha... whew! But thank you for sending the password stuff for BYU. As I read through the website and stuff, I discovered that it would probably just be easier for you to take care of it and ask me questions via email on what needs to be done.

So… a pretty crazy week. We had the lovely privilege of driving all over the San Juan Zone to mark all the missionary apartments and chapels in the stake on Pres. Smartt's new GPS. Great. The AP's had done it before, but the GPS got robbed from them haha… so… we were lucky enough to drive all over the place this weekend and remark all the places haha… great, right?

Besides that, we got to do tradeoffs in Fajardo this week, and that was pretty cool! Fajardo's really awesome and reminds me a lot of Guayanilla, but a bit bigger. I really liked that day. :)

Other than that, we had a good week in our area, and taught some good lessons. Nothing too out of the ordinary happened. We found some really cool new investigators, and they're going to progress a lot!! Also, Francisco, our recent convert, is going to get a calling!!!! He didn't know he wasn't supposed to tell us, so he let it slip that he's going to be the 1st counselor in the Young Men!!! I was sooo happy!! :) :) <-- see? :) Haha anyway, that was great, and he's just progressing so much, going to institute and all the activities and stuff. Good times. :)

So yeah, that was the week. I did get a picture with a starfish that some investigators caught, so I'll send that to ya. I need to take more pictures I think. :S Sorry! But anyways, sorry for the short letter, but I hope you're doing great! I love you all and look forward to hearing from you next week. :)


Elder Kimball Ray Gardner

Puerto Rico San Juan Mission

10 June 2013

Week 80: The Fun Never Stops in the Caribbean

Haha well the fun never stops here in the Caribbean (hard to believe, right?) But yeah, a pretty good week I think. :)

Mom - It's weird to think about graduation... that was 2 years ago! Agh! Haha but yeah... wow. And yes, I am so happy that things worked out the way they did, because I'm just so content with life. Anyway, I love you, Mom, and I do miss mowing the lawn and bagging the grass, so that makes two of us ;)
Dad - Well it looks like things are kind of boring back home! I bet you're loving the new calling though, I sure would! It would be like right now being relieved of my ZL assignment and becoming a normal senior companion somewhere... if only... Anyway, I'll keep watch for the packages; we're going to the office today, so I'll see if they're there. :) Thanks for everything dad, and I hope you have a happy Father's day on Sunday! I'll try and send a card as soon as I can. :)
18 month picture
Anyway, so a pretty good week I think. A member last Wednesday took us out to eat at Sizzler, and that's the first time in a while I've actually felt "trunky" haha... oh wow. Eating American food again... wow. It was good. But bad. But good, because I wasn't too trunky for too long haha ;) But yeah, then on Friday we had a Mission Leaders' Council, which was Pres. Alvarado's last one. To be different from all the others, we did it in the mission apartment, which used to be the mission home, before they got that one. It's on the 15th floor of this beautiful apartment building in Guaynabo, and from there, you can see all of San Juan, Carolina, Trujillo, Bayamón, and Guaynabo. It was great. Basically, you can see all of the San Juan Zone. Yay! But it was good, and it was a good meeting. 

Besides that, we taught a lot of good lessons, and there's a couple of our investigators who are progressing toward baptism. One, his name is Modesto, came to church, and we set date for the 23rd with him. He wasn't all that sure about it, but we're going to push our faith and make it happen.

Also, Francisco is doing great! He loves the church and he comes out with us all the time to lessons. He's progressing so much and learns so much, and he now participates in lessons, bears his testimony, and just ... is great! My most active convert to be sure. :) I'm so thankful to have gotten to know him, and I can't wait to see the kind of missionary that he'll be a year from now. He's a stud.

But yeah, other than that... just the same old missionary routine and worrying about the zone. Really tired, and sometimes overwhelmed, but always happy. :) Thanks to the Atonement, I don't have a reason to be sad.

Anyway, I love you all so much, and I hope you're doing great! I hope the summer's not too hot for ya, and that you enjoy it! I think it's gonna be a hot one here, but we'll see. I think there are some storms a-brewin' out in the Atlantic, so we'll see what happens there. But yeah, love you lots!
Con mucho amor
Elder Kimball Ray Gardner

Puerto Rico San Juan Mission

03 June 2013

Week 79: 6 for the Books that We Call Sticks!

Well Mom, thanks for rubbing it in my face all the great movies that are coming out! Goodness! ;) Haha just kidding... kind of. But no, I've seen the poster for After Earth here in Santurce and looks way cool! We'll definitely be having some movie marathons when I get back haha... that's for sure. Wow. I also miss hamburgers and barbeques, so thanks for that also, and... yeah! I'm just giving you a hard time though, I'm glad you're doing well! :)
Dad - Haha well I'm glad you're showing everyone that you can lead music now, I got a good laugh out of that haha.. and sounds great, I'll be watching for it!

Anyway, a crazy week! On Tuesday we had our interviews, and I had a really good one with President, and at the end he gave me a big big hug and then said "I had to tell you that I loved you before I dropped this rock on you. Are you ready?" I just froze and said "sure." He opened up the transfer board and then moved mine and Elder Caballero's pictures to the top of what said "San Juan" and then took down the "Metro" word and told me that the Metro zone was no more, and that the San Juan and Metro zones were once more reunited. So now instead of 7 companionships and 2 districts, it's now 17 companionships and 6 districts that we are to worry about. I was a bit overwhelmed, but also excited to work with some new missionaries and everything. :)

Besides that, we had a crazy experience last night. There was a companionship of sisters that wasn't answering their phone to report numbers, and so President told us to go to their house and see if they were still doing okay. That was weird to me, but we went, and we got there and there were a couple of members there also. So under their supervision we hopped the fence and knocked on the doors and scared them to death! I felt so bad for them haha... but we got the numbers and then raced back to the office. An adventurous night, and I didn't get to bed until late haha... fun stuff. :)

Anyway, besides that, we had some good lessons this week, and Francisco just keeps on growing up! He's great, and I'm so blessed to have been able to work with him and get to know him. :)

So yeah, that's the week, and I'm really tired haha... but happy. :)  I love you!!

Con mucho amor

Elder Kimball Ray Gardner

Puerto Rico San Juan Mission