Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Teaching Through Song!

Okay, SO much happened this week I'm a little worried about being able to type it all fast enough!! Gaah!!

On Wednesday we had a lesson with our TRC investigator, Viridiana. We were teaching her about the atonement and the importance of prayer. At the end of the lesson, we'd planned to ask her to read Enos as a commitment, but the more we spoke to her the more it just didn't feel right. I felt really prompted to ask her to read Moroni 7, but the crazy thing is I couldn't remember ANYTHING that was in Moroni 7, even though I'd read it recently!! I opened my scriptures to skim over it, but it was in Spanish and I really couldn't understand it that quickly! So I took a leap of faith and committed her to read it. Afterwards, when I got back to the classroom, I read it in English and SO MUCH of what's in that chapter directly addressed her concerns and questions! It was really amazing! The spirit truly will bring things to your remembrance, even if you're not completely sure what it is you're remembering in the moment! It was truly another miracle I've experienced since being here!

Thursday - we sang an arrangement of "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" in the morning. It was the first meeting of the mission president seminar, and almost all of the twelve apostles were there. We didn't see them, though, because we were standing in front of them while singing, but knowing that we were asked to invite the spirit into this seminar before anyone even spoke was such a humbling and powerful experience. I felt the spirit so strongly and definitely teared up as we sang, as I was able to share my testimony through song. As we left the room, the person conducting the meeting got up and simply said, "We're all here because He lives." It was a powerful moment when everyone in the room could feel the truthfulness of that song.
Picture of the choir singing taken from the Deseret News, Hermana Garner is 6th from the right
The next morning, while we were practicing for the next performance, Elder Baxter (a General Authority Seventy) came in with his wife and thanked us for our performance. He told us about his and his wife's conversion stories, and I felt even more of a desire to get into the field and share the gospel. Afterwards, he thanked us again for singing, and said, "You didn't sing a song, you said a prayer." I teared up at that, because I'd felt the day before and I knew that our performance was a fulfillment of the promise in D&C 25:12, which is my favorite scripture.

Also on Thursday - after we finished singing at the seminar, we went to practice our song for the next day, and two investigators happened to see us and follow us into the room. We were able to sing for them, and the spirit was so strong! They didn't speak English very well, but the woman said, "I didn't understand most of the words, but I felt it." It was a powerful moment when I saw what is truly the Gift of Tongues in action. They don't need to understand my words completely to understand the message, because the spirit will teach them. It was almost a more special moment than performing in the seminar itself.

So, on to Friday - our second performance was also incredibly spiritual and powerful; we sang an arrangement of "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer," and the message really stuck out to me - the message of the majesty and mercy of the atonement and that He truly can take all our pains, guilt, sorrows, and afflictions away from us if we only turn to Him.

Later that afternoon, we had another rehearsal as a choir, so we could practice "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" for the next day. Brother Eggett (the choir director) decided to change the way we were standing, and he put us into "companionships" of sorts, alternating between sisters and elders. Then, he had us sing the song without him directing it, focusing on teaching those people who were in front of us and testifying to them. He kept saying, "Don't sing - teach." It was an incredibly powerful experience, and I felt the spirit rush into the room as we all did so. 

Then, when we were done rehearsing, we were about to leave, but President Bertasso (in the MTC mission presidency) told us that the cafeteria, where the stage was, was open if we wanted to go up there and practice quickly. We did, and guess who was sitting in there? ELDER ANDERSON! He and his wife were waiting for something, and we got to go in and perform basically just for him. They were smiling so brightly, and it was such a privilege to see our testimonies touch him as we sang.  As we started leaving, he stood up and shook our hands, thanking us each individually. It was a wonderful experience, and I felt the spirit confirm to me once again that he truly is an apostle and prophet of the Lord.

OKAY, now for Saturday - WOW! So, in the morning, as we were practicing before our last performance at the seminar, ELDER BEDNAR just walked into the room with his wife! He spoke to us for a little bit, thanking us for sharing our talents and bringing the spirit. Sister Bednar was so complimentary, and it was such a humbling experience! Even though we didn't get to shake their hands or anything, it felt so personal and individual, and I could feel their love for us. The apostles and their wives truly are amazing people! 

When we performed that day, ALL members of the twelve apostles were there AND President Eyring and President Uchtdorf! How awesome is that?? It was such a special experience to be able to sing about that amazing vision that Joseph had in the grove and bring the spirit into that room to preface President Uchtdorf's talk. And I loved that we got to look directly at the audience rather than at a director, and really focus on telling them the story. It was so powerful.

That night, I MET MY MISSION PRESIDENT!!! President Wheeler and Sister Wheeler are SO amazing!! They were so excited to meet us, and so fun and happy! They're also so obviously in love with each other, and Sister Wheeler made fun of her husband the whole time because he couldn't stop talking. I really, really love them and I'm so excited to get to Gilbert and serve under them! We were the first missionaries that they interacted with who are going to their mission, so it was really special! We'll be the first new missionaries they get in the field!

​Me with President Wheeler and Sister Wheeler!
So, there are about 170 missionaries in my mission, even with how small it is, but only FOURTEEN of them are Spanish speaking, INCLUDING me!! I was the only Spanish speaking person here in the MTC, and there are four other sisters and nine elders in the field. But President Wheeler said that some of them might even be going home!! Que loco!! It makes me more determined than ever to learn this language so I can help others come unto Christ and feel the spirit!

There were four sisters and seven elders going to Gilbert. They're all English-speaking, and we're all leaving on the same day, even though they JUST got here last Wednesday. It was fun to meet them! 

Me with the English sisters going to Gilbert!​
​All of the missionaries in the MTC going to Gilbert!​
Half-Christmas! Our beautifully wrapped presents

That night was super fun, because after we finished classes and studying, we had half-Christmas as a district (since it was exactly 6 months until Christmas). We each had a $2 limit and we bought little gifts (or took things from our room) for a white elephant gift exchange. It was absolutely hilarious. But the gifts were things like a Japanese Book of Mormon, a bottle of vinegar, breathmints, and other silly things we could get from the bookstore. We were all laughing so hard by the end of the night, and we grew so much closer as a district. It was probably one of the funnest nights of my life, if I'm being honest, just because of the pure joy and love in that room.

OKAY, now for yesterday - We decided as a district to "fast" from English for the day. And though it wasn't perfect (there were people who forgot at different points and such) it was a cool experience. We started and ended our fast with a prayer, and we all tried to gently remind each other throughout the day. I feel like I learned so much more Spanish yesterday, and I want to try to speak it more often 

Hermana Casós and I taught a new investigator yesterday in TRC. Her name's Sofia and she's AMAZING!!! She has such a strong testimony already and is just the sweetest person and so fun and easy to talk to! And even though she spoke fast, I understood most of it, which was such a blessing!!

OKAY, now onto some of my studies for this week! I just finished Alma and am going into Helaman and there are SO many stories and things that I would love to share, but I just don't have time! I would just say, reread Helaman. There are so many amazing stories that we don't often talk about in the church, but they're SO incredible and miraculous!

There's so much more I could say, but I hardly have any time left! I love you all so much, and I'm so grateful for the experiences I'm having here!

Les amo MUCHISIMO!!!

Hermana Garner

Sunday, June 26, 2016

sunday songs - "glorious"

Every Sunday, I will post a video or audio track of a church-related song, whether it be a pretty arrangement of a hymn, an EFY song, or even an inspirational, Christ-centered song by a Christian group not affiliated with the church. Music has such an unbelievable power to change lives - it is through song that I feel the Spirit the strongest in my life, and I hope that as I share these songs you can feel the truth of the messages they teach.

Each of us has a part to play in this gospel. That is why each and every member of a ward or branch is essential. We all have different roles we fulfill, different strengths we bring to the places where we are planted. Please never, ever, EVER, feel like you are less than those around you. No one can do what you can do!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Half Way Through the MTC

My district girls
Hola familia!

I haven't been asked to perform a solo yet, and I suspect I probably won't be since I'm in the mission president seminar choir. It's never a guarantee even if they say you're a "yes" because there are sooooo many talented people here! If I get the chance, they'll put a letter in my mailbox, and I'll let you know.

The choir is pretty amazing. We're singing three songs - "Testimony," which is "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" set to a new tune that's SO gorgeous; "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer," also set to a pretty new tune; and "Joseph Smith's First Prayer." We're singing them to preface talks by President Nelson, President Eyring, and President Uchtdorf!! How cool is that???? Unfortunately, we won't be able to stay and listen to their talks unless they invite us, but it's so special that we get to invite the spirit through music and that they've entrusted us to begin their message! I feel so humbled from the opportunity. It's definitely been an experience I needed here, and has brought the spirit even more into my experience here. The choir director is amazing, and he's always talking about how we shouldn't be singing, we should be teaching the song to those who are listening. It's helped me gain an even deeper appreciation for the power of music, which I hadn't really thought was possible. The other day, when we were singing "Joseph Smith's First Prayer," the way he was conducting it, and as I pondered upon the words, I just started bawling. The spirit was so powerful, and I felt the wonder and majesty of that moment over again. Memorizing Joseph Smith's words - even in another language - about that experience has also deepened my testimony of the truthfulness of the restoration.

Another sister in my zone is in the choir as well. Her name is Hermana Gibby, and she's so sweet! We've been going on splits in the mornings so our companions don't have to drop us off and pick us up from rehearsal all the time. We've spent a lot of time together, and she's really been able to strengthen me and make me feel loved.

 Last night, as I was writing in my journal, I realized I was having a hard time writing anything positive about the day, and decided that I needed to get a blessing. Hermanas Gibby and Jeppeson (the new sister training leaders since one of our districts left this week) called up the zone leaders, Elders Stephens and Cornejo, and we met them at the front desk. Elder Stephens talked to me for a while to figure out what was going on, and he gave me some great words of encouragement and advice. One thing he shared with me was Romans 5:3-5 -which says, "we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us." It was a comfort to me, as was the blessing he gave me. He blessed me to be able to discern the feelings of others, and that others would be able to discern my intentions. He also blessed me to be able to feel the love that those around me have for me. And then he went on to bless me with the gift of tongues, that I would be able to touch the hearts of those that I teach. When I got back to my dorm, I had a LOT of positive to write in my journal. the spirit truly does bring comfort to our lives when we seek it.

On Sunday, the administrative director of the MTC spoke to us. He had four missionaries who were recent converts come to the front and share their stories about their conversions. It was so inspiring. One thing that he pointed out that I liked was "Just simply being there is a big part of your job as a missionary." It's true. We're sent out to serve and support those around us.

I've learned SO much more Spanish this week, even though I know there's so much more to learn! It's definitely a process. I'm better at writing and doing activities on the computer than I am of thinking of the word in the moment (or how to conjugate in different tenses) but I know it'll get better! One day last week, I ONLY spoke in Spanish the whole day, and I was surprised at how much I was able to say! We've made a district pact to ONLY speak in Spanish for this next week, starting TOMORROW! It's going to be interesting - we'll probably be talking a lot less - but I think it'll be good for us to push ourselves and exercise our faith.

Speaking of exercise - I can run again! I'm taking it slow, but my leg's not hurting anymore, which is a blessing. For the first few days of the week it hurt quite often, but now it's fine. I know that I'm being physically strengthened by the Lord.

Things are really crazy here with the mission presidents seminar coming up. I'm really excited I get to be here at this time. We perform Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the choir, and they said Deseret News will probably be taking pictures, so watch for that!

Scriptures that stood out to me this week:

 Alma 7:11-13. I love these verses. Alma shares his testimony about the atonement and resurrection, and I especially loved the end of 13, when he says, "and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me." I loved it because it's also the testimony that's in me, and I felt I could read those verses as if they were my own voice.

D&C 33:7-8. It's the field is white already to harvest scripture, but verse 8 stood out to me when it said, "Open your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even as Nephi of old". HOW COOL IS THAT?? I studied that a bit further and it led me to 2 Nephi 1:27-28. So inspiring!

D&C 75:1-5. The promises made to us as we proclaim the word of God are simply amazing, and so humbling!

We've had some really fun moments in our district and zone this week. I don't really know what exactly to write about, but our elders just bring such a happy spirit to our district and relieve some of the stress, especially Elder West. At the same time, they're also in tune with the spirit and focused on sharing the gospel. It's amazing watching people who are so young grow so much and give their lives to helping others.

Elder Furgason is obsessed with pens. OBSESSED. Here he is displaying his collection. Elders West and Shober are photobombing. It's one of my favorite pictures.

Me and Hermana Hall
There are two new districts in our zone! The new missionaries are great, and it's fun getting to know them! One of them is named Hermana Hall, and she and I have hit it off really well! She's just the sweetest person, and the first thing she said to me as we sat down to talk was, "I just looked over at you and couldn't believe how beautiful you were!" She's so sweet and kind!

Hermana Casós and I have been asked to be the new Online Coordinators for our zone, which basically means we show the new missionaries coming in this week how to use the computers. We have no idea what we're doing. We get 22 new missionaries this week - 18 elders and only 4 sisters!! It's going to be CRAZY!!

One of the districts left this week! I'm going to miss them. They were such an inspiration, though. It's crazy to think that I'm already halfway done with my time here!
The district that just left

Well, this email has been all over the place and not at all organized! Thank you for the bathrobe - it's a lifesaver! 

Les amo mucho!

Hermana Garner


Sunday, June 19, 2016

sunday songs - "be still my soul"

Every Sunday, I will post a video or audio track of a church-related song, whether it be a pretty arrangement of a hymn, an EFY song, or even an inspirational, Christ-centered song by a Christian group not affiliated with the church. Music has such an unbelievable power to change lives - it is through song that I feel the Spirit the strongest in my life, and I hope that as I share these songs you can feel the truth of the messages they teach.

I love this hymn, and the spirit with which David Archuleta sings it is so strong!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Lord Knows and Cares for Us!

Quintessential giant map picture!

Okay! I hardly know where to start AGAIN with everything that's happened this week, and I partly can't even remember what was this week and what was last week! But here it goes!

It was such a tender mercy to see you, Allison, and Kenn at the temple, and I love hearing about all the coincidences that brought us there at the same time! It's funny because my district had initially been planning on leaving half an hour later, so there were "coincidences" on my side of things as well. It was a tender mercy that I needed, and the rest of the sisters in my zone were so happy for me! Hermana Casós (I figured out how to do accents!!) was so happy for me, and said when I asked if it was hard for her that it wasn't, she was just happy to see me happy.

This week has definitely been a little more difficult as far as having a companion goes. It's HARD to be with one person 24 hours a day!! But we love each other so much and we're both really honest and do our best to work things out lovingly and respectfully. It's a learning process, and I'm grateful for such a patient companion who truly wants to do what's right and looks out for me.

Me and my companion, pointing to our missions!

The veil is so incredibly thin. The Lord has really let me know that this week. Tuesday night, after I emailed and everything, we had a devotional with Elder Bednar. It was all about how the Lord knows and cares for us "one-by-one," and Elder Bednar kept saying, "Listen with your heart, not your mind." It was something I needed to hear, because even though I know God loves me, sometimes I have had a hard time actually feeling it. But at the end of his talk, he ended by pronouncing an apostolic blessing upon us (which, I mean, how COOL is that?) and he said that, "By the power of the Holy Ghost you will know not just in your mind but in your heart that you are a ONE." It was such a powerful statement, and I truly felt the Lord bless me with that. I've been able to feel His love more than ever before, and I've seen and experienced sacred and miraculous things during my time here at the MTC.

In the temple last week, when they prayed for the missionaries, I felt the spirit surround me in almost a protective embrace. And then, when we were sitting in the Celestial room - our entire zone together - I felt closer to Heaven than I think I ever had before. Truly the Lord watches after His missionaries and supports and sustains us. It's all over the scriptures, but experiencing it first hand is so incredibly humbling.

So, exciting news - I've been asked to join a special MTC choir!! The mission president seminar (which my new mission president will be at) is coming up next week, and as part of the fireside on Sunday a small choir of about 30 missionaries was chosen. We're going to be singing in front of almost the entire quorum of the 12 and the first presidency, as well as ALL the new mission presidents!!! It's so humbling to be chosen, and I'm so excited that I get to be a part of it!! I've also been approved to do a special musical number ("I Know That My Redeemer Lives") if they find a place to put me in. I'm so grateful that I get to bear my testimony through music while I'm here!

The Spanish is coming. I definitely know more than I did last week, but it feels like I'm not progressing as much. Still, I know that the Lord will help me, and it's all a process. Sometimes I'm still lost in class and in lessons, though. Pray for me to receive the gift of tongues!

So, scriptures - SO many I don't even know where to begin! I've been reading in Alma, which is ALL about missionary work, with Alma and Amulek, the Sons of Mosiah, and then the preaching to the Zoramites - it's just full of scriptures that are incredibly applicable to my life at this moment. I'm learning about how to be the Lord's servant as I read these verses, and how to love more deeply.

Dad, I know you love the story of Ammon, so I specifically wanted to share some of my thoughts when reading that this week. When the sheep were scattered, I know one of your favorite things is Ammon's reaction. But verse 32 really stood out to me (in chapter 17): "And it came to pass that they went in search of the flocks, and they did follow Ammon, and they rushed forth with much swiftness and did head the flocks of the king, and did gather them together again to the place of water."

Now, I'm going to retype that, but substituting a couples words: "And it came to pass that they went in search of the flocks, and they did follow [the prophet], and they rushed forth with much swiftness and did head the flocks of the [Lord], and did gather them together again to the place of water."

I'd never before thought about this part of the story of Ammon as allegorical, but it jumped out at me during my scripture study! As we move forward with swiftness and obedience and love for our fellow man and God, the Lord will work miracles! And it's our job to gather his flocks!

Reading about Lamoni's wife made me cry the other day. She was such a faithful woman, and for the first time it stood out to me that she was the first to preach to the people about God - the first to be awoken after they'd all fallen to the earth and the crowd had gathered. And when Lamoni awoke, he said, "Blessed be the name of the Lord, and blessed art thou," as he reached out to her. What a love they had for each other, and what a wonderful example of marriage in the scriptures!

Well, I don't want to overwhelm you. There's so much more I could say! I love you all soooo much!!!

Hermana Garner
Elder Shober with his artwork. He's Picasso!
Elder West. Don't even know how to describe him other than hilarious and off the wall!

Hermana Zimmerman and I have the same skirt, and we coincidentally wore it (and both wore blue shirts) on the same day!!
Sunday temple walk!

"For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their own heads." 
D&C 25:12
"Porque mi alma se deleita en el canto del corazón; sí, la canción de los justos es una oración para mí, y será contestada con una bendición sobre su cabeza."
DyC 25:12

Sunday, June 12, 2016

sunday songs - "soy un hijo de dios"

Every Sunday, I will post a video or audio track of a church-related song, whether it be a pretty arrangement of a hymn, an EFY song, or even an inspirational, Christ-centered song by a Christian group not affiliated with the church. Music has such an unbelievable power to change lives - it is through song that I feel the Spirit the strongest in my life, and I hope that as I share these songs you can feel the truth of the messages they teach.

No matter the language it is sung in, the message of this sweet hymn is true. 

¡Nosotros somos hijos de Dios!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Oh my goodness, I feel like I couldn't POSSIBLY tell you everything that's happened in the last week. It's really been an amazing experience being here at the MTC. 

I LOVE Hermana Casos! I learn so much from her, and we really support each other. Our companionship inventory this week was really productive and good, but when we tried to talk about any challenges or conflicts in our companionship we really couldn't come up with anything. We're super honest with each other and it's easy to talk to her. The spirit has really blessed me with humility and patience in all things, and I'm just happy to be here.

Hermana Casos, me, Elder Toro, and Elder McDevitt! 

Our district is AMAZING. There are six girls and three elders. Most of us are going to different places - one of the elders and two of the sisters (including Hermana Casos) are going to Kansas Witchitaw. One elder and one sister are going to Colorado. One sister is going to Oklahoma, one is going to Idaho, and then there's me! The other elder is going to Virginia, so he's the only one going out East.
District selfie! (Elder Shober's face is cut off)

Spanish is definitely a challenge, but I've learned so much more than I thought I would in the first week! Our teacher, Hermano Clement, is so patient and helpful. Like SOOO patient. Our other teacher, Hermano Page, is like the most uplifting and supportive person ever. The first day I said "oui" like a million times and I keep saying "mais" for but instead of "pero," which is the Spanish word. It's funny that I didn't realize how well I knew French until I started trying to speak in Spanish, but also the other day I couldn't think of the French word for "Thank you," and all I could think was "Gracias," so that's progress! 
Playing hangman to practice our espanol!

The spirit is amazing here. We spend almost all day in our classroom studying either the scriptures or the language, and it's really been a growing experience. I've changed so much in the last few days. El don de lenguas (the gift of tongues) es real!! I am so grateful for the spirit and for the guidance I've received personally, for my companionship, and for our "investigator" Ricardo.

Sheri Dew gave the devotional on Sunday, and it was so inspiring! I'd encourage you to read the third verse of "Hark All Ye Nations," because it's so inspiring and really gives some context to what my purpose as a missionary is and what the whole purpose of the church is, to bring people unto Christ. One thing that she said that I wrote down was "Everything that is good in my life has come to me because of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." She also encouraged us to be diligent in our studies because "We can only testify of what we know." It's so true. I want to know the scriptures better, and I've made a goal to memorize five scripture references a week while I'm here. She also said that "None of us are entitled to revelation without effort on our part," and I know that's true.

Hark All Ye Nations (3rd verse)

Chosen by God to serve him below,
To ev'ry land and people we'll go,
Standing for truth with fervent accord,

Oh, how glorious from the throne above

Shines the gospel light of truth and love!
Bright as the sun, this heavenly ray
Lights ev'ry land today.
                                                                         Teaching his holy word.

I've also gotten a lot of witness from the Lord about this particular time in my life being the right time for me to be here. Sheri Dew said, "The Lord has chosen you to be here now." Elder Bednar said it in a WONDERFUL video we watched called "The Character of Christ," which was so inspiring (a quote I loved from that was "When you don't think you can do this, you're right. But in the strength of the Lord you can."). During mission conference on Sunday, the mission president said, "You were prepared and preserved for this special call in the premortal existence," and I received a witness that that's true for me.

During testimony meeting, I bore my testimony IN SPANISH!!!! WHAT????? I felt inspired to get up there. I'd prepared some of it beforehand, but a lot of it was in the moment. For a small part of it I switched into English, but I can't believe that four days in I was able to communicate in another language! The language of the Spirit really is the language of simplicity, and I can testify of Christ without having an extensive vocabulary. As I was bearing my testimony, the spirit also bore witness to me that I am able to learn this language because of Him and not because of myself, and I know that's true. I'm rolling my "r"s all over the place!!! What I'm struggling with the most is the verbs, but it's coming.

My whole zone thinks it's amazing that I have a masters degree haha. They're always talking about it. And the zone leaders say I'm the "Mom" of my district. It's funny because I don't really feel that much older than anyone here (other than the elders at times ...) and I really feel comfortable and like I fit in.

There are SO many scriptures I want to share with you, but I had one especially cool experience! We were all talking about our favorite scriptures, and I told them mine, which is D&C 25:12. But when I told them it, I accidentally said it was D&C 24:12 (I've never been especially good at references). So when I realized my mistake, I looked up that scripture, and it was exactly what I needed to read! It says: "And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men." What a POWERFUL scripture for a missionary learning a language to read! It's so amazing that the only reason I was led to it was because of my weakness in remembering references, and I'm grateful that the spirit works in mysterious ways sometimes!

Another scripture I wanted to share with you all was Mosiah 2:41. I've been reading so much about the mercy of God in my personal study, and I feel so close to Him and so grateful for all He's done for us! In this verse, it talks about how happy they are that keep the commandments of God, and I know that's true. It's a beautiful verse! Another that stood out to me was 2 Corinthians 12:10: "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distressed for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." It seems so counter-intuitive to be grateful for these things, but we really should be! It means that the Lord trusts us and is pushing us to be better!
Uno mas: D&C 31:3 - "Life up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation." I'm definitely rejoicing, and my tongue has already been loosed in Spanish! Though at times the communication is difficult in lessons with Ricardo, he's been able to understand us and we've been able to understand him and address his questions while testifying of truth. It's such a blessing! One of the lessons, Hermano Page saw that Hermana Casos and I had a lot of notes about phrases to say, and he encouraged us to go in without any notes. I'm SO glad I did that, because I was able to really focus on the spirit and I realized I knew more Spanish than I thought!

There's SO much more I can tell you, but I've already been writing for 35 minutes!!! I'm so grateful for this opportunity!! I know that the church is true, and I know that I'm here for a specific purpose.
Les amo! (I love you!)
Hermana Garner

Sunday, June 5, 2016

sunday songs - "i know that my redeemer lives"

Every Sunday, I will post a video or audio track of a church-related song, whether it be a pretty arrangement of a hymn, an EFY song, or even an inspirational, Christ-centered song by a Christian group not affiliated with the church. Music has such an unbelievable power to change lives - it is through song that I feel the Spirit the strongest in my life, and I hope that as I share these songs you can feel the truth of the messages they teach.

This is one of my favorite hymns, and this arrangement is incredibly powerful to me. I know without a doubt that my redeemer lives, and I feel so blessed to be able to serve Him as a missionary.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A Quick Note

Hola, Mama y Papa!

I get to send you a quick note tonight to tell you that I'm here! I'm LOVING it so far, even though I don't understand a word they're saying in my classes, and am so happy! The spirit is so strong, and the love that I feel for those I am going to serve surpasses what I'd imagined. Truly I have been set apart to feel that love, and I know it will only grow as I grow stronger in the spirit.

My companion is Hermana Casos, and she's amazing! So excited to get to know her better!

My P-day is Tuesday, so you'll hear from me again then.

I love you! Hope you're all doing well! Send my love to everyone else!

Hermana Garner

"For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their own heads." 
D&C 25:12
"Porque mi alma se deleita en el canto del corazón; sí, la canción de los justos es una oración para mí, y será contestada con una bendición sobre su cabeza."
DyC 25:12

    At the airport ready to go

Goodbyes at the airport in NJ