Landon with local farmers

Landon with local farmers

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tear bringing, Soul shaking, Heart changing

Hey all!!!

Wow. 6 weeks here in the field! Time sure does fly. That is for sure. I have already learned so much, and I have a lot more to learn, and to go even...I can already see how this mission is going to change me. It’s kind of scary, but I love it here! All the members are so nice to me and always willing to help out if I need something! -So great. 

Two major things happened to me this week, that I will get to shortly. This whole week we focused mainly on the less active members and trying to get them back to church. There is a ton of them! I never knew how many people just gave up on going to church. We committed all of them (8 families) to come back to church, and they all said yes! But, sadly only 3 of them came. My companion and I are thinking of ways we can get them all back there. I think we are going to go pick them all up Sunday morning next week.
--Which is a lot of work because they all live way far apart, like 30 minutes walking for each family! It’s a ton, but it will be worth it in the end!! That’s what keeps me going everyday even though I am so dead tired. I love this work!

Two main things:

1. I finished the Book of Mormon for the second time on my mission!! So cool, right?? The goal for me is 6 times, and I will mark different verses or words each time I read it. I know this will help me gain a better understanding of the Book of Mormon and help me teach with greater power because of my understanding in the Book of Mormon. I feel like I am more converted in the gospel as well- which is absolutely needed because the Golden Missionary Rule is "you can only convert someone up to your own conversion" and that is totally true! I am learning so much and I feel so much better as an individual because of it!! 

Elder Jeffery R. Holland
2. Michael’s baptism… was incredible! He asked that I be the one to baptize him! I have just helped someone come closer to Christ in way of baptism. He has made that first covenant and first step in being able to return into the Kingdom of God again! It’s like... amazing. I can’t even describe it. When we were changing after the baptism, he said to me, in ENGLISH "Thank you Elder Garner... I feel so... clean... I feel....happy... thank you" -all that while he was struggling not to cry. That really hit me in my heart. That’s what a mission is all about! It reminds me of what Jeffery R. Holland had to say in Conference a month ago in his tear bringing, soul shaking, heart changing, bold talk that he usually gives... "I include in that call to fixed faithfulness every returned missionary who ever stood in a baptismal font and with arm to the square said, 'Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ.' That commission was to have changed your convert forever, but it was surely supposed to have changed you forever as well."... Those words will stick with me forever! He is right though. Being able to take part in that really does change you. I can feel it.

I love this work! I love you all! I am so grateful to have you all in my lives! You all are such a blessing to me. Thank you for everything you all do for me. Every one of you. You know who you are! You have been such great examples to me. :) thank you so much. Until next week! Halong!!! 

Elder Garner

P.S. Hey mom and dad, for Christmas, if I could ask for just one thing, and one thing only, it would be books that Jeffery R. Holland has written. I love his stuff.  All of it. Let me know if that is possible! I have already read the Book by President Monson by the way. I also started a book by Gordan B. Hinckley called "Discourses of Gordan B. Hinckley Volume 1." It’s way good! I love the words of the prophets along with the scriptures, I really don’t do anything else in my free time! 

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