Monday, March 7, 2016

1/19/16 - Welcome to Texas

hello friends and family!

It is good to write letters again. I love it! I also love being a missionary and I am so happy that I am here doing what I am doing.

Texas is so good! I am in the area Kemah. The city is Dickinson/League City. I think it is close to Galveston! The weather here is so nice right now! Almost every day has been blue skies and sunshine. best weather for missionaries! My branch is called the Kemah Southwest Branch. Only Spanish people and I couldn't be happier about it. the branch is SO strong. such good people and the branch president is amazing. I am so lucky that throughout my mission I have been in such strong places!

All of my travels here were great! But funny story. On the airplane, I sat in between two ladies and they were both from Texas. And they were.....lets just say....everything is bigger in Texas. But we got to talking and one of the ladies looks at me and she says "GUESS HOW MUCH I GOT MY PLOW FOR YESTERDAY" and I was like "...what?" and she says "MY PLOW!" She said, " I got such a good discount on this plow yesterday, it was $6000!!!" And I said, "WOW!" acting like I knew that was such a good deal. And the other lady said, "Welcome to Texas".

I am in a trio! I don't just have one companion, I have two! Hermana R and Hermana S. Hermana R is from Washington and has the best laugh and sense of humor. She goes home in May. Hermana S is from Delaware and has 10 kids in her family. She always tells people "yes..we are that Mormon family that sings around the piano on Sundays together and sings hymns". But she is so sweet! This is her last transfer! Being in a trio is super different than I expected. It is like a party all the time but it is also hard....just like being in a friend group of 3 is hard. But we work pretty well together and they have already taught me so much! I love them!

So my first day was good! After I got off the plane, Pres. and Sis. Hall were there hugging us and had lunches all ready for us. We went to a church where there were other missionaries. We were informed that half of us would have interviews and half of us would go OYM (open your mouth...basically contacting on the street) outside the church! So we did that! I went with a missionary from Peru (it reminded me of Hermana R in Mexico) and we did great! She said "You are super pretty so everyone will want to talk to you!!!" ok....people are the nicest here. But we did and I spoke Spanish and English to people and they were all sooooo friendly! We stayed overnight at a couple missionaries house (SO NICE....probably the best shower I have ever had) and the next morning we went to the mission office (church building with offices). We ate Kolache's (stuffed rolls with eggs and breakfast yumminess), had a little training, got companions, got bikes and went on our way! We do have a car but when we want to save miles, we bike! We just keep the bikes on the back of the car and the helmets in the back seat!

Switching missions was way different than I thought. Mission rules are different, here it is more strict generally and mission presidents are different too! President Hall and his wife are soooo great. They are so loving, fun, active and the people I need. Pres. Hall calls me and checks up on me regularly just to make sure I am doing good. I love him but I also miss President Stutz. He was so great!

As for the people I am teaching and visiting, they are fantastic! the weekend before I got here, my companions had a baptism of R. He is a single adult and he is awesome. He has such a strong testimony. The cutest story will follow. So the Relief Society President's (the person at church who leads the women’s organization) husband isn't a member. But she has one of the strongest testimonies I have ever seen. They have two daughters and at one point he was taking the missionary discussions but a missionary wasn't very nice and basically tried to force him to be baptized so he stopped talking to them. He goes to church every Sunday, the ward loves and knows him. He is a great guy. On Sunday, President Alred (branch president) called us into his office. He said "I have some news. You are getting a golden investigator. It is Hermana P's husband and he wants to get baptized" We started cheering and yelling and everything. And then he said "but he wants to keep it a surprise for his family. so you cant say anything to anyone about it! he is a secret investigator" we were soooo happy and very curious how this was going to work. we went over to their house last night for a family night. we asked Hermana P "what happened?" and she said "I don't know!" and shrugged! We "taught" the first lesson, the Restoration and we didn't invite him to be baptized or anything...he already has a baptismal date Feb. 7 and he wants to tell his wife and family Jan. 31. so we went through the lesson and he was talking about how he likes the church but still wasn't sure about it all. I was kind of confused, but afterwards he pulled Hermana R aside and explained that he is acting and that he can't wait for the end of the month. He said "when are you coming next?" with a smile. seriously we are not teaching this man. his name is O by the way. but it is ALL the Holy Ghost, we are just lucky enough that we are the missionaries here at this time with him. he is SUCH a miracle!!! I am soooo excited!

Sorry I didn't write yesterday, we email at a library and it was a holiday yesterday so we couldn't come! Today is P-day.

My address is:
600 Deats Rd. #G1
Dickinson, TX 77539
if you want to mail me things, this is the address to send it to! thanks!

thank you for all of the emails and support! I miss you all but I'm so happy to be here on a mission! have such a great week!

Hermana Garner

 ​left-Hermana R, right-Hermana S and yo girl in the middle.
We do this service project every Friday. It is at a local church and people from around here come that need food and we give it to them for free! Everybody there loves bananas so we were the favorite station..haha! We call it "Food Truck Friday"

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