Monday, October 31, 2016

We're so grateful for grandmas this week!  Hermana Garner has had real physical challenges with unexplained abdominal pain the past few weeks. As a result of that and with a need to rest her sweet Grandma Garner (who lives just across the road from Gilbert in Mesa) became Hermana Garner's companion for several days at her home while Hermana Garner rested.  The rest has been helpful and today Hermana Garner was able to see a specialist who found evidence of a possible ruptured cyst and was abel to then refer her to another specialist who she will see on wednesday.  She is still hurting but it is improved some and we're finally getting some answers and feel certain that she will receive the treatment she needs to move forward!  She is back with Hermana Cedeño with limited activity as she continues to recover.

From Hermana Garner
This week was really, really weird. I did a lot of resting at Grandma's house, and because of that I'm a little behind on exactly what's happening in my area. I know that Luis didn't go to the baptism, and that they weren't able to get a hold of Laura. We have two new investigators from this week, Nereida and Ricardo - Nereida's brother is a member and just barely had the opportunity to baptize their mother, and though Nereida wasn't actively looking into the church they invited us in and committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon! Their family came to the branch's Trunk or Treat on Saturday, which is awesome. Apparently the branch was really good about bringing non-member friends to the activity, so hopefully we'll see some work spike up soon!

Even though I didn't get to teach a lot this week, I had other cool experiences and grew a lot spiritually. I'm learning more and more to rely on the strength of the Lord, not just spiritually but physically as well. In Grandma's ward on Sunday (it was SO weird going to an English ward again!) an RM gave his homecoming talk (he just got back from Brazil) and the bishop talked about enduring to the end, using an example from the 1992 Olympics when a runner collapsed 100 meters before the finish line but got up and hobbled his way to the end, even though everyone else had already finished. It fired me up even more to make it to the end of my mission! I was always determined to do so, but I'm even more determined to face and tackle the physical challenges involved, not just the emotional/mental challenges.

Saturday Tim and Sonia (Hermana Garner's cousins who live in AZ) came over to grandma's with their little kids, Roman and Malia. It was weird, but also really good to see them :) They brought me PHO, which was such a fun surprise! And we got to carve pumpkins! (Well, I drew out the designs, Sonia carved mine for me haha)

 When Tim and Sonia were visiting, I had a cool experience with Roman. I was reading my Spanish scriptures, and came to Alma 21:9, where Mormon is relaying Aaron's early experiences as a missionary to the Lamanites.. I thought it would be fun to see what he'd say, cause he's always so cute, so I said, "Hey, Roman - I'm going to read a little bit in Spanish, and you translate for me. Ready?" He promptly agreed. So I started to read: [Note: even though I read the verse in Spanish, I'm writing out the English translation so you can understand :P]

Me: "Now Aaron began to open the scriptures unto them concerning the coming of Christ..." What does that say?

Roman: It says, "Hope!"

Me: All right ... "and also concerning the resurrection of the dead ..."

Roman: Umm ... "Be kind!"

Me: "...and that there could be no redemption for mankind save it were through the death and sufferings of Christ, and the atonement of his blood."

Roman: "Heavenly Father loves us!"

It made me laugh and smile, but as I went back and reread the verse with his "translations" in mind, I was struck by how it made me think about it in a more profound way. When Aaron talks about the coming of Christ, Roman said that what he meant was "hope," which is what all the prophecies before Christ were about - spreading that hope of His coming and the power of redemption! I haven't come up with a great connection between the resurrection and "be kind," except to think about doing temple work for our ancestors to give them the opportunity to receive these saving ordinances. But the one that really struck me was, of course, the last one. Aaron speaks of the atonement, and Roman said, "Heavenly Father loves us!" It's true! Just as John 3:16 says, He loves us, so He gave us His son, that we might be able to return and live with Him if we are true and faithful!As hard as this week was (and as incredibly weird as it was) I'm grateful for the opportunity that I had to grow closer to my Savior, and to learn to rely on Him more. My faith is definitely growing on my mission, and I know that this trial with my health is just one more way the Lord is helping me refine and exercise that faith to be a more worthy and effective servant and always follow His spirit!

On Thursday when Hna Cedeño picked me up at Grandma's house, she told me that they'd stopped by the house of one of our potentials, the Ruela's family. We've been there quite a few times, but they're not actually investigators yet because we usually don't get the opportunity to teach them and it's all kind of back-and-forth. But we've definitely developed a relationship with them, and the little boy Mateo (Matthew) who's seven years old was showing me his rock collection the last time we were there. Well, when they visited the family without me (Hna Cedeño was with a young woman in the branch) Hna Cedeño told them that the reason her companion wasn't there was because I was sick. Mateo gasped and said, "Hna Garner's sick??" I'm really surprised he remembered my name, but then he immediately ran inside and grabbed this rock from his collection and told Hna Cedeño to give it to me and tell me to feel better. It was sooooo sweet and really touched my heart!! It will definitely always be one of my most treasured possessions from my mission.

  I finished Acts today, and Paul was so amazing.  
Love you all!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tough week!

This week was hard in a lot of ways, but mostly physically. I was in the hospital pretty much all day Thursday being tested for various things, and everything came back negative. So the pain I've been having is, as of now, unexplained. But I'm moving forward. I know the Lord will support and sustain me until we can figure out what's wrong! But over the weekend I lost 5 pounds, so that's awesome haha. (We'll update everyone when we know what's wrong, right now she needs your prayers that the doctors can find the cause of the pain and address it!)

Her sweet companion did all she could to lift her spirits even thought she was in pain and got her smiling for pictures.

It's weird that over a fourth of my mission is already done. It goes by so fast!

I was "called" in the zone as the zone pianist and music coordinator :P  Everyone's been given a different responsibility and way to help uplift everyone else, so the unity is tighter and it's nice to rely on each other in that way.  Also musically, Elders McKee and Carter taught Noche de Hogar on Monday and asked me to do a musical number. So I figured out the chords to "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and tried to improvise it ... it did not work out very well, in large part because I didn't think about the fact that I would need to read the Spanish lyrics at the same time haha. But the spirit was there, so that's what's really important!

Luis made some amazing progress this week. On Monday, he came to Noche de Hogar (Family Home evening). He's already come twice before, but what was so amazing about it is that he didn't come to the lesson. Let me explain - he got home late from work, and so often he's always complaining about being too tired to go to things after he comes home, that he just gets to his apartment and rests, veging out in front of the TV. Well, Monday, without any pushing from us or anyone else, he got home, immediately changed, and came to Noche de Hogar as soon as he could! He chatted with the members, and we were able to have a short lesson about el Dia de Reposo (the Sabbath Day) and the importance of church attendance. He was truly happy to be there, and it was fun to see him starting to feel more and more comfortable as part of the branch family (even though he's not baptized ... yet :P) On Tuesday we had a lesson with him where we continued to read the introduction of the Book of Mormon. We had a long discussion about the Joseph Smith quote about the Book of Mormon being the most correct book on the earth, because he initially said, "No me gusto," feeling like Joseph Smith was lessening the value of the Bible. So we talked about how they support one another, and how the Book of Mormon isn't enough on it's own, and the quote isn't saying it's more important than the Bible. It helped him feel some clarity and peace on the subject. Then, as we were about to end the lesson, he brought up a bunch of really personal questions and concerns. He's opening up a lot more than before, and he really wants to hear the answers from us. It's amazing how with so many of the things he's asking, we have no personal experience whatsoever, but the spirit can lead us to the things he needs to hear from the scriptures and from our own mouths. The spirit was incredibly strong that night, and after he said the closing prayer he kept looking down at the ground for a couple of minutes before he looked up, a smile on his face, and said, "The feeling gets stronger every time. Do you feel it?" I couldn't help beaming at him, and I just said softly, "Si." It's amazing to see him actually recognizing the spirit, but just feeling it!  And then, we saw an amazing miracle! He's always so hesitant to commit to going to activities and things, but as we were leaving Hna Cedeño suddenly asked him if he would come to a baptism with us on the 29th (this Saturday). I was sure he was going to say no, or at least need a lot of convincing, but he immediately said, "Seguro que si." It was so amazing! He wants to go to the baptism, and we know the spirit will be so strong there! Hna Cedeño confirmed with him last night that he'll be going, and he said yes.  Continue to pray for him!

 Also, remember Luis, the less-active we've been working with? Well, on Wednesday he told us he wants to start taking mission prep classes!! We were both sooooooo happy!! I know he would be an amazing missionary because of everything he's gone through, so we're going to continue to work with and support him. It was an amazing miracle, and something that definitely lifted my spirits. Those are pretty much the highlights from the week. There's been a lot more resting than I'd like, but I know it's better to rest a bit than push myself over the edge. I've received a lot of direction and comfort from the spirit about that through my scripture study.

Another quick note I wrote down to share - on Wednesday we had Family Home Afternoon as a zone and went to a member's house, the Porters. Mom, it was decorated EXACTLY how you decorate. The house even resembled our first Jersey house. She had the same pitcher, even! Also, she collects nativities, and they have a ton of things displayed from their world travels. So I basically felt like I was home. It was a little weird, and definitely made me miss you and want to see your fall decorations!!

So, it's been a hard week, but the Lord is always there! I've been telling so many people about how we can find joy in the midst of our trials, and now is my chance to really put that into practice. I'm choosing to be joyful and push through! One thing that stuck out to me this week was from my Patriarchal Blessing, which I'm reading a lot more often. It blesses me to keep the Word of Wisdom that I may be healthy and strong, and then adds, "That strength may be called upon in future years." I received a strong witness that this is one of those times that that strength is being tested. I know that as I strive to take care of my body the Lord will give me strength and support!

I was also reading a lot of scriptures about missionaries in the ancient church and all the trials and suffering they went through. One example is Paul - he was beaten and thrown into jail unjustly so many times. In Acts 21, immediately after a crowd tried to kill him, he turns around and starts preaching to them. He didn't let the pain stop him from fulfilling his calling to preach the gospel, and felt love and compassion for people even when they were literally trying to take his life. It's an amazing example of perseverance and dedication to missionary work.  Ammon, Aaron, Alma, Amulek, and so many other Book of Mormon missionaries had so many struggles as well. Alma 17:11 stood out to me: "And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites [or the people of Gilbert, AZ], thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls." They were patient in their sufferings, and pressed forward with faith, which is exactly what I am going to do. When I was in the temple on Saturday, the Lord also gave me direction, guidance, and peace with D&C 10:4 - "Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means ... but be diligent unto the end." So I'm going to be diligent :)

Love you!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Training, Talks and a Sugar Fast.....Oh My

A lot happened this week, as always! At the beginning of the week, Hna Cedeño decided to go on a sugar fast, and I followed suit. It's not just to be more healthy, but we're doing it for a month with the prayerful purpose of sacrifice. It might be a little silly, but the Lord knows our hearts! And definitely, doing this over Halloween is a HUGE sacrifice for me. But it hasn't been as tough as I thought it would be, because we have a purpose!

On Tuesday, I was asked to give a training to my zone about the Doctrine of Christ in relation to the Book of Mormon ... it was a little bit of a vague topic, so during my studies I started going through lesson 3 of Preach My Gospel (which is the Doctrine of Christ) and looking at the Book of Mormon references cited. I noticed that there were a lot, which led me to figure out the percentage of the scriptures cited in that lesson that were from the Book of Mormon ... that led me to be curious about the other lessons, and long story short, I ended up doing calculations and statistics for ALL of the lessons in PMG as well as the Topical Guide. So, nerd alert: I'm about to overload you with stats. (I will mark this section before and after with asterisks, so feel free to read it at another time or skip it all together :P)

****In all of chapter 3 of PMG, which is where the lessons are outlined, 38% of the scriptures cited are from the Book of Mormon. That's a pretty high percentage when you think about how long it is in proportion to other standard works, because it's definitely not 38%. It makes sense, obviously, because it's the keystone of our religion.In lesson 1, however, only 27% of the scriptures are from the Book of Mormon. Again, this makes sense - lesson 1 is all about the Restoration, so you talk mostly about the times of Christ and ancient prophets, and don't introduce the Book of Mormon until the end. Lesson 2 - the Plan of Salvation - has a higher percentage of 42%. Lessons 4 and 5 have 36% and 23%, respectively. So in none of the lessons are more than half of the scriptures from the Book of Mormon.Except the Doctrine of Christ. 55% of the scriptures that are referenced in this section are from the Book of Mormon. Now, the Doctrine of Christ is the first principles and ordinances of the gospel (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, and Confirmation) along with Enduring to the End. It's the road-map Christ has given us to be able to return and live with Him and our Father in Heaven once again. What's really interesting is that if you look in the topical guide under the sections relating to baptism and confirmation, only 25% of the scriptures listed are from the Book of Mormon. So why were 55% of the scriptures in Preach My Gospel chosen from this book? The Book of Mormon truly does contain the fulness of the restored Gospel. It makes clear things that the Bible doesn't. It shows us exactly what we need to do, and outlines the Father's plan for us in detail. We never have to doubt whether or not we're on the right path, because it's all there.Anyway, stat-time's done :P I just thought it was super interesting and a huge testament of the power and importance of the Book of Mormon.****

We had some great lessons with Luis this week! We were able to share some spiritual thoughts and get him to actually start reading a bit in the Book of Mormon. He was really confused by a lot of it, though, so Saturday night we went over and started reading through the introduction with him. We only got through the first three paragraphs because he had so many questions. But I kept telling him, "Focus on what you feel more than the questions and thoughts that you have." We obviously want to help him answer his questions, but I still have questions after being in this church my whole life! I testified to him that even before he completely understands, he can know that it's true, just like he knows the bible's true. It was also something Hna Cedeño and I had talked about, because almost every time we've asked him about how he felt he says vaguely, "Bueno," or, "No senti nada." (I didn't feel anything.) It's been frustrating, so we focused on helping him recognize the spirit. When we started talking about how Jesus Christ visited the Nephites in the Americas, he all of the sudden jumped in his seat, looking a little startled. He showed us his arm, and he had goosebumps. He started talking about legends in Mexico from the Mayans and the Aztecs other civilizations, and you could see that the spirit was helping him to recognize the truth of what we were teaching and that those legends are remnants of the true record that we have in the Book of Mormon. We testified of that to him, and it was really powerful! After we had our closing prayer, he looked up at us with this little smile and said, "Les digo - senti algo diferente ahorita." (I tell you - I felt something different just now.) I left the lesson with my heart literally singing for joy -  

We met a few new potentials this week (and some people really, really prepared in English). It's amazing when you meet people how you can see the Lord has been preparing them, whether they recognize and receive it or not. He truly has His hand in our lives!

On Sunday, I played the piano in sacrament again, AND Hna Cedeño and I gave talks! We got the text from Presidente Martinez asking us to speak on Saturday, and we were so excited! He didn't give us a theme, so we both prayed and prepared individually. I felt prompted to talk about how I received my testimony of the Book of Mormon. It was a really personal talk, and I testified of the importance of personal conversion. I talked about how blessed I was to be taught by my parents, but that if that was the basis of my testimony I wouldn't be here today. I'm so grateful for the scriptures and for the Holy Spirit which testifies of truth to all those who seek for it!

This past Thursday, we did service for most of the day helping to set up for the Special Olympics in Mesa this weekend. And then, on Saturday, we went and volunteered to help run it!  It was a really fun day! There were a bunch of kiddy-sports, arcade-style blow-up games. The elders were assigned to run them and help the participants play. The most service we did was literally just cheering for the athletes! It was so precious seeing these special children of God enjoying themselves and feeling proud of what they'd accomplished! I kept my clapper.

I love you all, and can't wait to hear how you're doing!
<3 Hna Garner

Saturday night, we were driving away from trying to contact one of our potentials, and saw this HUGE column of smoke. We drove over to see what it was, and one of the complexes that's been in the process of construction caught fire! It was crazy being that close to everything, but we were just glad it wasn't in the neighborhood of our members (because we thought that's where it was when we first saw the smoke! It was really close!). We don't know if anyone was hurt (we don't get the news) but hope that the construction was done for the day and no one was there! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Beautiful Scenery and Beautiful Miracles

We went hiking on Tuesday with the whole zone, and you know me and my scenic photography :P It was soooo much fun and really beautiful. We got up at 4:00AM so we could get there and hike and come back in time for studies, so we got to watch the sun rise as we hiked up!

Sooo excited for another transfer in Gilbert! I feel confident that I'm going to finally have my first baptism this transfer!  We had a GREAT lesson with Laura this Thursday, and were able to talk about the Plan of Salvation. There was a lot that she didn't know, but she accepted what we taught. We could tell that she felt the spirit testify to her of the truth of what we were teaching, and after teaching a little bit we asked her if she thought the Fall was a good or a bad thing. She thought for a minute and then said, "Well, a good thing, because if it hadn't happened we wouldn't be here." It was a really cool moment because so many people have a negative view of the Fall, but she was enlightened during our lesson and saw it for what it really was! She also was enlightened by the fact that we lived with our Father in Heaven before, and said that it made sense.  Also, she came to church!!!! She felt the spirit and felt really comfortable there.

And now, LUIS!!!! We had a lesson with him on Thursday this week, and we got really bold. It was actually a really emotional lesson, and Hna Cedeño and I basically poured out our hearts. He had told us how much we've helped him and how much his life has changed, which we've seen, and how he thought we were sent to him to bring more tranquility into his life. I said, "Luis, that is absolutely a part of the purpose that we have, and part of why we were sent here. But it's so much more than that. We weren't just brought here to bring you peace in this life, but to bring you eternal salvation. That's why we're asking you to read. That's why we're asking you to pray and come to church. Because if what we're teaching you is true, your eternal salvation is at stake. But you need to act in order to know that for yourself." He was so humble, and admitted that he hasn't been acting on what we've asked him to do in order to know. At this point, he's worried about betraying his faith, since Catholicism is all he's ever known, worried that by converting he would be fraudulating his entire life up to this point. We're praying for him to receive a more sure witness and to understand that all of his life experience up till now was preparing him for the truth.  And then, the next day, we received a text from him, asking us for the link so he could watch conference! It was really a miracle because he's never taken the initiative to go searching after something before without us extending a specific invitation, so it showed some real progress! 

We were so hopeful that he would come to church, and when he didn't we were both really disappointed. So we went over last night to check in with him and see if we could teach a lesson. He was in the middle of eating, so we weren't going to have time to actually teach anything, and then suddenly Hna Cedeño says, "Do you want to go to the Visitor's Center tonight?" I was pretty surprised, and so was he.  It was 6:20PM, and we said we'd pick him up with Hna Angelica at 7:00PM.  Here's the thing - we hadn't planned this. At all. We've been wanting him to go to the Mesa Temple Visitor's Center with us FOREVER, but never been able to work out a time. And we can't drive over there ourselves - though we have permission to go, we have to have a member drive us there and back. And since this was unplanned, we didn't have a member, but  Hna Cedeño had already told Luis that Angelica was coming with us!  So we RAN over to Angelica's house. She answered the door, and we quickly explained what happened. She was soooo excited, and immediately agreed to go with us! She's SUCH an amazing member missionary, and such a great friend to Luis!  Hna Cedeño and I run home, grab what we need, then drive back, as we drive up, we start talking about what we want to show him at the Visitor's Center (again, NOT PLANNED). We say a prayer, are both quiet for a moment, then Hna Cedeño says, "Lesson one," or in other words, The Restoration. That was exactly what I'd been thinking and feeling, so we got out of the car feeling inspired and even more excited!  We all drove over together in Angelica's car, took a picture with the Cristus statue, then waited for the visitor's center missionaries so we could find a way for us to watch the restoration video. They ushered us into Theatre One, but we weren't actually able to watch it in there because they're having an exhibit of artwork. So we walked around looking at the artwork, and though Luis was visibly touched and we were able to teach a little bit, we were anxious for the visitor's center sisters to find a room for us to watch the video in.  After what felt like an eternity, there was finally a room free, and we went inside. After a short introduction from the sisters, one of them went to turn on the video using the panel on the wall - and it wouldn't work. For at least ten minutes, she was pushing fervently on the panel, trying desperately to start this video for us. I was feeling my heart sink into my stomach. We'd felt sooo prompted to share this video, and now I felt like Satan was working super hard against us to make sure that Luis wouldn't be able to have a spiritual experience!  Finally, the sister turned back to us and said, "I don't think it's going to work. But, we can always say a prayer." Luis actually laughed a little bit at that and was like, "A prayer for the TV to work?" And she said, "Yeah, of course! Would you say it?"  He was visibly surprised, but after a moment bowed his head to say the prayer. It was a beautiful prayer, just as his prayers always are. As soon as it was over, we were all silent as the sister turned back to the panel. For a moment, it seemed like it still wasn't going to work, and then - the video started. She smiled, turned to Luis, and said, "The Lord answered your prayer," before leaving the room so we could watch the video. It was a SUPER powerful moment, and really a miracle! The spirit was incredibly strong, and as the video ended I saw that Luis's eyes were a little teary. As he shared some of his thoughts, it was clear that he was touched by the spirit and received some personal revelation, and more of a desire to truly know if what we're teaching him is true, and more direction on how to do so and recognize the answer. The sister who'd been helping us and working on the panel shared her testimony, and challenged him to go home and pray just as Joseph Smith did that night. As she did so, she said, "I know He will answer your prayer, because He already has." She pointed to the panel. "That was a direct answer to your prayer, and a miracle. A small miracle, but still a miracle, and I know that the Lord is aware of you and listening to you."We continued to talk and share and teach all the way back to Luis's house. We're not sure how long this personal journey of his is going to take, but I know he was touched by the spirit. We'd promised him we wouldn't be gone more than an hour at the visitor's center, and we didn't leave until we'd already been there for an hour and a half. He joked that we'd robbed him of his time, but then said more seriously, "But I really enjoyed it. I'm glad I came." The whole night was such a miracle, and one of the coolest experiences of my mission!

So much more happened this week, but those are definitely the highlights! Sorry it was so long, but the whole night was so amazing I didn't want to miss any of the details!!

As always, I learned a lot this week. Continuing on after conference, I've been thinking about the theme of repentance and what it means to really repent. As I was thinking about this, I ran into Acts 11:23, where the disciple Barnabas is traveling and preaching to the people in Antioch, and it says that he "exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord." I was thinking about that phrase, "purpose of heart," in line with the phrase "real intent" and how we will continue to make mistakes throughout our entire life. But as we strive to keep the commandments and to improve with real purpose of heart, that is when we receive forgiveness. It doesn't mean we won't stumble, but we can know that our intentions are pure, and that we are striving to be more perfect each day.

Also, I was thinking about how to overcome temptation, and was reading in 2 Nephi 4, where Nephi laments for his weaknesses. And as I was reading, one word continued to jump out at me: REJOICE. I had the thought, "The antidote to temptation is JOY." I think there's SO much truth in that! As we come to truly know the joy that is in the gospel, as was talked about in conference, we won't have the desire to seek after the counterfeit that the world offers! We'll know the difference, and just how much powerful that eternal joy is. I want to seek to be more joyful and rid myself of temptation to yield to the natural (wo)man!

Thank you for all your love and prayers!
Hna Garner

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Testimony of Following the Counsel Received From the Prophet and Apostles

First, the big transfer news - WE'RE STAYING!!!! Yet again, Hna Cedeño and I get to be companions in Gilbert!! We're SO excited! Also, Sisters Young and Sorenson are BOTH staying in Gilbert as well!! We've all gotten so close as a house, and we're thrilled to be staying together!

Next big news - LAURA'S ON DATE!!!! That's right, the cute little abuelita that we just started teaching last week is on date for baptism the 29th of October! Also, SHE CAME TO CONFERENCE!!! She came to the Sunday afternoon session (which I watched in Spanish!!) and absolutely loved it! We're really excited to continue teaching her.

We met a bunch of new potentials this week, and have one new investigator - Andres Dias. He's going through some hard times in his life, and he was receptive to the quick lesson we gave on the restoration. We're seeing him again tomorrow and are going to teach him more about it. Both of us have a strong feeling that he's been prepared, and can't wait to see the light of the gospel come into his life.

 Luis has stopped progressing a bit. He keeps saying he'll read and pray about the Book of Mormon, but never does. Pray to help him understand the importance of this step and start to take action for himself.

All right, on to conference! It really was sooo amazing! Of course it always is, but there's something special about being a missionary. People always said that to me, but I never understood it until this weekend. The spirit's with you in a different way than before, and also, every time someone talks about the missionaries or missionary work, there's a sense of pride - as well as humility - knowing that you're a part of that small group striving to make a difference in the world.

I took SOOOO many notes from conference. I'll basically just share the highlights of what I wrote in my notebook - quotes and thoughts! 

President Uchtdorf "What shall we give in return for so much?"

Carol F. McConkie "If we expect to receive we must ask, seek, and knock."

Craig C. Christensen "Joseph did not let his questions paralyze his faith."

Elder Neil L. Andersen"When you share the love of the Savior with another ... your grade is always an A+."

Elder Quentin L. Cook"...we need to avoid the philosophies of men that lessen our commitment to the Savior." 

Elder Gary E. Stevenson"One is never too young to seek and receive a personal testimony of the Book of Mormon."

D. Todd Christofferson"Learn to abide the law of a Celestial Kingdom, so we can abide the law of a Celestial Glory!"

W. Mark BassettMy note: Trust in the Lord! His wisdom is greater than your own!

Kazuhiko Yamashita"Be ambitious - be ambitious for Christ!"

Elder Dallin H. Oaks"People learn when they are ready to learn, not when we are ready to teach them."

President Monson "We need to know God's laws, and live them."

President Russell M. Nelson "Our joy has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives."

Elder M. Russell Ballard"The restoration is not an event, but it continues to unfold." 

Dean M. DaviesMy note: Spiritual experiences have everything to do with what is happening within our hearts.

I have such a strong testimony of the power of following the counsel we receive from the living prophets and apostles! I'm still waiting to hear from ALL of you (minus the parents) about your favorite things about conference, or most poignant thoughts!

One thing I wanted to share was a thought that Hna Cedeño shared with me this morning during our companionship study. Every zone or district meeting that we have, they ask if anyone had a miracle, and everyone raises their hand. We all get to share some of our miracles from the week. Hna Cedeño said that when she has FHE with her family, she wants to ask the same thing. We really can see miracles every day in our lives, though sometimes we don't recognize them as such. I want to encourage all of you to look for those every-day miracles, and share them with others!

I almost forgot about this story!!! So, Elder Reynolds goes home tomorrow early in the morning, so last Tuesday was his last District Meeting. He wanted to go to Red Robin as a zone, and even though we were all super poor since it was the end of the month, we decided to go. We sat down, made our orders, and were chatting. Then, after we'd been sitting for a bit, our server comes over and says, "Hey, just so you all know, the man who was sitting right behind you with his family paid for your whole order. So once you're done eating, you're good to go." We were all SHOCKED! It was a huge miracle, and we wish we could thank him, but know he will be blessed for his generosity! We were seriously so thankful!

Les quiero muchisimo!!!!!!!Hna Garner​