If I Let Him, If I Love Him

If I let him, if I love him

It only took a couple dozen times for me to finally get something that I should have realized about 999 years ago. And that is something very important.

Something very important about Easter.

I learned it one moment, a moment when you are teaching and suddenly you find yourself saying an idea that you have never had before and in that moment you know the Holy Ghost is teaching. I am glad for those moments for I as the joyful bystander receives an expanded view that blesses my current pupil and my own soul.

The idea is actually not terribly new, we celebrate Christ’s resurrection on Easter. But when you think of all that led to that and what it really meant it is glorious, we are not just celebrating that the tomb was empty, or a new start, or spring, or hope for seeing family members who have gone on. Those are all part of it, but when we look at it really, the theme of this holiday surpasses every Valentine’s Day, or Thanksgiving, national pirate day or New Years. It does that because on Easter we are celebrating the Atonement. The crowning event that made the whole of earth life and the plan of salvation possible. What allows us to depend and return. To Earn and to experience, cry and then turn our faces back to the light of new starts and forgiveness. The bridge that saves us from one misplaced word or hasty reaction splitting us from our father who loves us. He makes our way home. The atonement of Jesus Christ.

Now that is something to celebrate.

And we did. We had joy, it was a good week. It was a week filled with lots of service and a tausch with sister Baker. Sister baker served with my companion sister Pratt. And so it was fun to hear some of the same stories that I had heard from sister p but from sister b. Ha ha. It was an alright tausch, usually I like to do more teaching and street contacting during tausch to see other missionaries In those sorts of situations, you can learn a lot. But we had two days with long service projects, which turned out to be a lot less packing and moving the R’s to their new house and more cleaning up the bathrooms and kitchens. But it is alright, to ease the pain.. We told stories to do something while we worked. Got some creative juices flowing and cleaned a lot of dried on stuff off or most surfaces.

It was pretty great when a man came up to us and just started asking if we where Christian. I mean that makes the whole starting a conversation thing go a lot smoother. He also told us we were just shining with some sort of light. We had a great talk with him and an on the train platform lesson of the restoration. Also he said I had a face like a Mary Magdalene. Soooo… I’m ok with that. We will bring him a copy of the Book of Mormon.

We were able to finally meet with T again we met at sister C’s house. She had prepared everything it was so sweet. Tea and chocolates and pastries. T is sweet but really does not give breathes for us to speak, and sister C was able to get in a few more words than us. But I was still able to finally break in and share our go to for Book of Mormon conversion, Moroni 10:3-5. And bear strong testimony, the spirit was so strong and she was almost in tears, but then after a little while of listening kept going on about her divorce and her new boyfriend and. and. and. But it was good and we are taking little steps also it is so important that she creates friendships with members, so that is good. She tells us she feels good when we come. I wish she would accept the connection we have tried time and time again to make that it is the Holy Ghost telling her what we say is true. Not that we are just so sympathetic-isch.Easter activity

I would say a highlight from this week was the Easter activity. We had a really nice turn out and it was really fun, we did a whole Easter program at the beginning using Easter eggs with different objects that acted as symbols to tell the story of Jesus’s atonement. We sang together and watched two sort films. We had a lot of people come, families and new converts and a few investigators. After the spiritual section we handed out later colored Easter eggs on paper and invited them to write how they have found new life in Jesus Christ and then put it somewhere in their house that someday when they need it they will “find” this Easter egg.

I was mostly staying to keep children from dropping eggs into dye bowls from an unreasonable distance above, so I did not have lots of time to observe what was happening on the cookie decorating table, or the blowing out the egg and doing a marbled dip dye, or the water coloring, or the food table, making sure J S  does not suddenly have a dark green mutated flower shape on a light pink shirt was a general objective.eggs

It was great, it was fun to set up and everyone helped put it down. I am glad for that, glad that people came, sad that I did not take more pictures, but glad that the overall impression and feeling was there. Considering we were pretty in panic when we went to go buy everything in the morning and all the stores were closed for good Friday, it turned out to be a success.


A Cookie made for sis G

We had a nice afternoon on Sunday at the S’s house and with the “family”

My aunts and uncles. Health food sister T, wearing the pants sister S, political shrink brother T, and quiet joke cracking brother S. And then of course sister A, with her nail polish and Instagram. Then the cool 12 year old E who happens to think my tough guy Russian accent to be the funniest thing. Then grandma and grandpa R and brother H. Then there is of course the oldest “son” not moved out of the house but actually just an exchange student from California M, and the mysterious, not sure how he is related or how he appeared uncle/son who has become part of the family R.  Then of course the 5 screaming nerf gunning little cousins running around, baby M who everyone loves, and the silent observing oldest teenager from the S’s . Sadly uncle F was in Austria. (note from mom- it is nice to hear how those she serves with and around have become like family)

Then there is us, the missionaries. I don’t know exactly where we fit in to the whole picture. But I am glad that I got to enjoy that evenfulness for our dinner hour on Sunday. I hope the kids will remember me playing with them and remember that missionaries are cool and they should do it too. 🙂

Just one last story to describe our Easter Sunday, because it displays it really well. At least the quirky-ness of it. We are all standing in a circle after finally rounding up everyone to eat. The table is decked with spicy chimichangas, a roast ham, salad, a garbanzo bean smelling Syrian soup, Heath bran banana muffins and apple juice. Sister S asks brother H to say the prayer. Surprised by the invitation, he asks if he should say it in English or German. He of course is now in a house of English speakers but really cannot speak much English. Brother S jumps in quietly. “Say it in Arabic.” Brother H says ok and then makes some jumbled sort of Asian Arabic sounding nonsense words. R just looks at him, still all of the above described holding hands in the circle,  and says very dryly, “seriously” then everyone is laughing and sister S pops back in “you can say it in German.” Then he says a lovely prayer in German and we all bow our heads and pray to our Father in Heaven… Wow, I could go on and on, and I would love to, but for today I am done.

Have a good week, look for the tender mercies and remember that God made us so that we would have joy.

All my love,

Sister GardnerEngland Snowdrops


  1. On a golden springtime, underneath the ground,

A tiny seedling lay asleep until the sun shone down.

Awake, awake, O little seed!

Push upward to the light!

The day is bright. With all your might,

push upward to the light!


  1. On a golden springtime, Jesus Christ awoke

And left the tomb where he had lain; the bands of death he broke.

Awake, awake, O sleeping world!

Look upward to the light,

For now all men may live again.

Look upward to the light!


  1. On a golden springtime, in a forest glade,

The Father and the Son appeared as Joseph knelt and prayed.

Awake, awake, O nations all!

Receive the gospel light!

The gospel true is here for you.

Receive its glorious light!

Silver White Winters that Melt into Spring

Silver White Winters that Melt into Spring….

Alright, well this winter was not the whitest but spring is definitely in the air. Everything is going two by two, birds, college students, old people….I could usually add us to that list, but not this time. In Tübingen, we go by three.

I thought this week I would mix it up a bit and give you a day by day account of what I have been up to. Are you ready to rumble???????


  • This is what we like to call our preparation day. Perhaps you have heard of it. The locals around here have got a special name for it. P-day, Vorbereitungstag. V-day? Are we some sort of secret agent agency. Code words, maybe? Well, that might be but you certainly won’t find any secret combinations with us. (Ba-doom-tisch)
  • We did studies, cleaned speedy, gets messy faster with three, but also gets tidy quicker with three. Plus sister Whiting has a much higher level of tidiness than us two. Ha ha, we are grateful. “You did the dishes again” “yeah, well it needed to be done.”  Round of applause for the lovely miss Whiting.
  • We met F and the elders to go see a tower in Tübingen not far from the end stop of one of the city buses. We enjoyed our mini hike and headed quickly down through Tübingen castle to catch our bus for a visit with P. We were able to stop and feed the birds with the American bread that was still in our fridge completely unchanged since my birthday in November when sister Wilkes made me french toast. American white slices are spooky,
  • Nice visit with P, we talked with her a bit more about the temple. She wants to go and once the temples in Germany are opened again, she can go make a trip. She must stay in Germany because of her current visa. She has so much faith and wants the very best for her children. She is someone who needs a hug and to know that she is doing a god job and that the Lord loves her…. But then again are we not all like that?
  • Finish it off with a another famous missionary FHE. The whole point was to get R S registered for family search so that she could prepare the name of her father for the temple, sadly she did not come, but we had a good time with the elders, Bruder H and E N. They all brought a little something and we were able to have dinner together at the church. Pretzels, carrot salad, sliced up apples, over cooked but yummy cookies from the elders. Life is good. We shared the Easter video and did a Strihavka tradition of going around the table and talking about the high of our day and the low. Lots of testimony sharing going on during that. Guess that is what happens when you are a missionary.


  • We finally got sister Whiting anmelded, or registered that she lives in the city. It is a long walk through the alte stadt for something that does not take so long but it was good to get it done. I like being the one who can help answer the questions not the one sitting quietly as the worker speaks with my companion. I get a little bit of that still with sister S, but I have definitely graduated a bit
  • Our water counter had to be replaced. I demonstrated the over view of the plan of salvation as loudly as possible without making it too obvious that I was hoping the repair person would listen up. They left with an Easter card.
  • The repair appointment had taken a while so then we rushed to the church for district meeting. It is always fun to sing around the piano as elder Erickson plays our opening hymn.
  • The F marathon began! We met with him and the elders and talked about the temple. Baptisms for the dead and starting to read on the temple prep book more about the endowment. It was nice, the temple actually gives me a lot of peace now when I teach about it. I am excited for when I can go again.
  • He drove us to visit sister D. She is a member in our ward who was baptized long, long ago, but as we are coming to find out actually never received the lessons and does not really know what the plan of salvation despite already being a member a long time and going through the temple. Yeah, that was a shocker. But we drew it all out for her and she did not recognize it, I suppose she just has a lot of faith, anyhow, we are teaching her all the lessons again, she invited the sisters and elders and F who drove us for lunch and a lesson. We had cheese fondue! Woo! Switzerland style with cut up pieces of bread. She is a sweet lady, she also showed us a traditional costume that her daughter made. It was very intricately embroidered. With different pieces that have to be attached correctly. It made me think of the BYU folk dancers costumes.
  • The we piled back in the car for a lesson with D. We had a great lesson with him, focusing on the last part of the plan of salvation. He is so earnestly seeking to know if it is true. He is determined to come on Sunday.

    coloring eggs

    Sister Strihavka, Sister Gardner and Sister Whiting coloring eggs


  • T Ml refereed himself to receive a copy of the Book of Mormon. We get to his house and he has a wall covered with guitars, a drum set and two keyboards. All squished in his tiny room. Ha ha, glad to see he has his priorities straight. And I mean that. Made it really easy how searching and finding out for yourself requires action just like in order to learn to play guitar you have to build up. Calluses. I did not know that word In German. Thus I was glad for the beautiful human dictionary sitting next to me.
  • Ran to the bus to visit sister A, a part member family. Her husband is not a member, he is kind of like W maybe a few months or years before I met him. Already coming to church quite often, but for some reason cannot quite accept to be baptized. We are working on that. He is a very fiery Austrian, and I think the funniest part was when they played some Polka music and then began dancing together.
  • We went with sister C, the relief society president and did service for one of our investigators C M whose husband is already a member. She is due to have their first child in a few weeks and the baby inside is big, so she gets tired just standing up. We shared the Easter video and sister C taught the visiting teaching message for that month.
  • The lesson with S and co was nice. A calm review of the restoration. M was great. He know so much and of course J is just bursting with right answers and her shining spirit and obvious desire. She is such a good example to her family. It was nice to just sit and read in the little kid Book of Mormon with them at the end of the lesson.


easter eggs

Lots of eggs!


  • Well this morning started with an early train ride to bondorf for GMK. It went really long. We had lots to discuss and it is always the debate or wracking our brain how to work to get all members of the ward involved with missionary work. I was glad to be done, there is so much talk, talk talk talk. But nothing happens until you actually do. That is what I am realizing more and more. I want to be a doer, not just a talker. There needs to be a specific plan with a specific time restraint.  Setting deadlines for things in all parts of life is so important. And of course spur of the moment following the Holy Ghost.
  • We went out to a referral that lived in the middle of nowhere. Over the river and through the woods and pastures and pastures and fields. But finally we came to the house. Brother H was so kind to drive us. We get there. No one is home ( we only received an address in the email) we wait for a while then decide to leave a note, we are about to go and then the sixteen year old younger sister of the referral shows up, we explain who we are and she is so excited and invites us in. Her sister had been in on exchange in America staying in Utah with a member family, during her time there she had been active in the church and started to be taught. The missionaries came for a while to them but for some reason stopped. We were going to go after getting the phone number and making an appointment, and then the sister comes home. We show them the Easter video. And the story is explained all over again, We ask if she still has a Book of Mormon. Yep. She then goes up and gets her temples calendar that the family in America sent her for Christmas. It was wild. Then the mom came home and stood there in the doorway confused as to who we were. Then suddenly this expression of understanding comes over her face. She almost goes to hug sister Strihavka. Ha, ha, she was so glad to see us and invited us for dinner. We will see them again on the 31st. They all happened to come home early. Accident. No. That is called miracle.
  • We had a great visit with V. She really helped me a lot with her testimony that day. It was a short lesson, but as she shared her experiences with how to have peace and let go of anger, it really was inspiring.
  • The JD( junge dame) young woman activity was just fun. We taught a dance class. We got squished into the primary room because the young men where sword fighting in the relief society room. But we made do. It was a great time. So good to dance again. dance class yw


Then to finish off the week. Back to S and M and J. We are doing the lessons over again. We were talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I had made a
little staircase for her with the steps and this time I made a little paper J and M so that they could go up the steps. But we come in to a crying M who tells
us he does not want to get baptized anymore. We try to console him but he is mostly just quiet and crying. His mom is pretty frustrated with him and J
just asks him if he will please pray. It was sad but at that moment I just wanted to snuggle the little kid in my arms and tell him it would be ok. We think
it had to do with having to put away his mindcraft videos when we come and he does not want to give up all him time for the lessons. (Curse you second
generation of babysitters) So I still have hope for him. Because at the end after leaving for most of the lesson he came back and did put his little person
on the staircase on the umkehr or repentance step. So there is hope yet, we just have to take it all a bit more slowly. Teach repentance, baptize converts.
Friday we also visited R H and T F.


  • R Family. it had been almost a month and a little while since we had been there. The house looks great, if you can remember those photos I sent a while ago in October when we were breaking out the wall, it is all finished now, with a beautiful window where the wall once stood. It makes me so happy to see them in the house, there is still much to do, but it is more livable now. It seemed like some sort of Phoenix metaphor. Our of the flames of destruction is something beautiful begun. Sister Whiting and I cooked them lunch as the others cleaned windows and  other things. I was not planning on that, but the chicken needed to be cut so I find myself with a knife in my hand and my fingers freezing in the cold meat in the even colder house.
  • Coming home we drove through Tübingen to be in Reutlingen. We went and visited old sister H in the hospital. The elders and brother K came along. She had to have most of her leg amputated off, so it was nice to spend some time with her, just holding her hand and singing for her. Elder petty the tech master was all excited to show her the Easter videos. We were able to show it also to the three other old ladies staying in her hospital room. She is sweet and so positive despite this trial. She will have a prosthetic leg eventually.


  • I am running out of time.
  • Highlights: J getting confirmed, R’s cooking, and brownies with the H’s. They are excited to help with the Easter activity on Friday. I am so grateful for the good friendships with members

I am sorry I’ve got to go, but be happy, the world is lovely.

Sister Gardner


Getting Better All The Time

Getting Better All the Time
This week was a week that wears you out but in the best sort of way. Lots to do, people to help, lives to help change. The usual for someone with this sort of name tag.
We had a nice singing stunde (hour) with the voice teacher of brother H. She has been helping him practice his solo for the choir song we are singing on Easter, I have got the Soprano solo so it was good to practice with her. She is a delightfully unique, very sweet lady. But you know what he is paying her to teach him to sing, so if she can do it, I can do it too. ha, it was nice, it is a good way to teacher her more about the church, she has interest to learn more but does not want the pressure of actually being an investigator so she is wavering between potential and something else. sunflower

We went to visit J every evening that we could, Just taking time to review and read in the scriptures. I just love this family. The baptism was great. We had a bit of a fiasco with the programs because the computer program in the church is so, so old but with some glue sticks and attempts at deep breathing we were able to get it all done. We tried to make it all very special, I bought her some white tulips and we made her a cake for after. Sadly it got eaten before I got a picture but I had made a layered flower out of sliced strawberries.
But all the preparations are not important. What was important was that yesterday at about 1 o´clock J G decided to be baptized. She decided to begin her journey as a disciple of Jesus Christ and with the quick dip, she was washed cleaned and made a covenant to think of Him always. I felt the spirit so strongly and she was so sweet. right before, I ran and grabbed her some socks from the closet and put them on her and then hugged her. She said something to the extent of “why does everyone keep hugging me” her mom replies, ” because they love you and are happy for you” It was something really special to see. I am so glad we were able to teach her and help her to make this promise. I can´t wait to see what she does as she grows up.
Of course part of me would love to see a little black badge, but we will see.


P-day Adventuring

It was an excellent thing for her family, Her brother is excited and her mom is more excited and her other older brother, the 21 year old, wants to be taught. He lives in the area of Elder Erickson, so I had him call him on our phone and they made an appointment. It was wonderful. I look forward to next week when she will receive the gift of the holy ghost. I was really grateful for her amazing primary teacher who gave great talks, and then of course her mom saying her first prayer for the congregation.

I love the way S talks with God, it is simple honest and beautiful, with pauses and listening and thinking what to say, just like a real conversation. I think I can learn a lot from that. I have high hopes for the eternal perspective of this family. S informed us that the papers G needs so that they can get married should be coming soon.

march dritt

The Tübingen dritt – Sister Strihavka, Sister Whiting and Sister Gardner

We had a nice time in Munich at mission tour, the area 70 talked to us about the missionary work here since the beginning. They showed us a picture of one of the first copies of the Book of Mormon given out in Germany, and very, very old pass along cards. The message, what will you leave behind? Who will remember you?

feeding the birds

Elder Petty and Sister Whiting

I have asked myself that a lot. What are my efforts actually going to do in the future. I know I do not have the whole perspective, but I can trust that God sees it. I just need to be ready to be the tool that God needs when He does his work.
We had a nice time with the Munich sisters and we got the visa all figured out. We also met some really cool people while we waited at the visa appointment. A couple whose wife went in for the interview and the man had to stay out with us to wait. And one of them being a tenor opera singer from china who gave us his email so that we can let him know about activities and music. He also took a copy of the Book of Mormon a long. I enjoyed that conversation very much.
All the lovely people, where do they all come from… all the lovely people, how could I ever go wrong.

oh, and my recommendation for you this week, take a look at the new Easter film. I suddenly hits you with the spirit like a ton of loving bricks. enjoy. enjoy the flowers.

tuppence a bag

Enjoy the birds too

I am happy. Until next week.
Love, sister GARDNER

Will All The Missionaries Please Stand Up

Will  all the Missionaries Please Stand Up

 Have you ever had your heart swollen of so many different feelings at the same time? So many things going so right amid the bits going horribly wrong.  Miracles amid the Maladies and hope despite the Hurt. The thing is, as a missionary you are dealing with the lives of so many people. Your own life is really just defined about how the others you care for and love and support are doing, their lives are living and changing, yours is a sort of fixed point amid the chaos that we call human life. Chaos, from one point of view a perfectly crafted poem from the other side.

Sister S

Pday Hike

One of our dear members, the newest convert here in the ward, just lost his best friends. We met with him today to go on a walk, he did not speak much about it, just that he will be now taking care of the friends children. He told us about it last night. It was the moment of silence not knowing what to do, it seems almost fake. When you know how much someone means to someone else and then just knowing that they are gone. The most comforting part is than he now is hoping and wanting to take his name to the temple to do his work for him.

I felt a little angry.  A little sad as well. My fists curled and I just sort of had to stare at the wall for a second. Angry that those who find the gospel have to face so much after. That they are tested and tempted so after making this important step. It comes in many different ways. That is sad because then they think, what have I done wrong, but in reality then have done nothing wrong, and if they can just hold on then this trial can bring them closer to their God and Savior. That is why they need true friends. Everyone needs them, but especially new converts.

And the other end of the spectrum, you get a message that someone has decided finally that they will go to the temple, and you just start yelling with joy with your companions in the apartment, because that was the topic of conversation for the last three appointments almost.

Sunday dress

Sis Stihavka, a ward member and Sis Gardner

R came to the conference and sang in the choir. It is funny you would look at her and think that she has been a member for so long, but in reality she hasn’t. She just fits right in, I hope the gospel continues to bring her joy.

Goodness S is so cool. We will be teaching something and then J (daughter) will have a question and then S jumps In and clarifies. Like baptisms for the dead. She jumps in and clarifies that.  She is a super woman.

M was so sweet we get into the appointment, we are about all sitting down and then he just gets this very serious sweet face and stands up walks to the middle of the room and then turns around. ” I have something I need to say, I have decided to get baptized, I prayed and asked Heavenly Father, and I got an answer.” Of course Sister Strihavka and I are up on our feet and we go join in the group hug that little J has already started, her arms around the neck of her older brother. It was a beautiful moment. We had made invitations for J, cute little flowered handmade paper invitations. M said he would want some to give T’s friends too, but hopefully with Pokemon balls on them instead of flowers. We shall see. His date is for the 10th of April
We now have four baptismal dates.
There is D, we have been working with his friends, but through the friends we were able to find him, now his friend lost interest, but D got the number from his friend and asked us to please
come back and keep teaching to him. He has already been baptized before, but he says if it is God’ss plan then he will do it again. He has slowly gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon and always reads the little pamphlets we give him. He looks like a total hip gangster. He is so great. The flat brim hat and the sort of low pants, but not so bad, ha ha, he is a classy gangster. Before we knew his name we always called him “cool hat guy”

The we have W a student from China. She is studying breast cancer research. She is so sweet we met her by contacting at Bahnhof waiting for a train in a totally different city. It turns out she lives about ten minutes with bike away from the church. She is doing great, also she scored some more brownie points from me when she cut her hair herself.   I asked her why she did, ” I cut it when it starts to be uncomfortable.” I feel you sister. Also she loves it when we call her
Sister J so that is what we do, she always prays that got will bless his daughters.

F came to help for a lesson with, both, D and W, and he did such a good job. It was wonderful to hear his testimony. Often he makes jokes so you can’t tell how much it really means to him, but hearing him talk about his conversion process makes me realize just how important and life changing the gospel was for him. He always starts it with, “Elder Maw and Howard tackled me on the street and started to talk to me about sports, and then the next day we met at the church, and then he gave me this book. After every chapter I read, I would pray and ask God if it was true, and then I felt peace and that it was true.”

Simple as that folks.
village 2
We went an took care of a very old woman for a little while  her sister went with the elders and Bruder  H to visit a very less active person. The daughter of the very old woman is one of the only ward members who still has contact with this other woman. We played the German equivalent of “Sorry” and sang some songs for her, that was until she started to lose then she got a little tired and just got up without a word and climbed the stairs to lay down. She was trying to tell us a story but she forgets everything every few minutes and got very scared by her cat when she went into her bedroom. We tried to calm her, it was an interesting un-planned service, but I am glad we were able to help, in the little cottage in the middle of snowing Schwarzwald. (Black Forest)

We thought we would never see J again. So needless to say I got a bit excited when I saw him from the back coming out of the Internet cafe. Kind of like the shouting his name and running and then having to stop yourself from hugging him sort of way. So he has not been deported yet, but it is going to happen possibly any day, he is ok, but really so, so, so stressed. He just wants it to be over. He has more white hairs now than when I met him. He has been trying to solve the problem, and his phone stopped working and he did not know because he has two others. So now we secured his email and other phone number. We are not going to lose him again  now at least if I never see him again. I got to say good bye and bear my testimony one last time.

We had a great stake conference.  You, you reading this email, you are a missionary.  that was really the message for the whole conference. It is what these German people needed. “Tell the missionaries my house is open for you, my oven is baking a cake for you.” Then he shared his conversion story.  He was a bearded guitar playing roamer who saw the missionaries in the park, felt practically shoved by the Holy Ghost to talk with them and changed his whole life around in two weeks when he was baptized. There was a member who helped at every lesson. Now, today, he and the member are both still friends, and their son and daughter married each other. I was privileged to volunteer to share my testimony when he asked for any sister missionary to come up.

I think he thought I was funny because we were on the front row and I just agreed with so much of what he was saying that I was smiling like an idiot, and then on Sunday we were able to sing in the choir. Good old EFY medley. over done? A little cheesy? Yeah. But I think we can forgive it for the spirit it brings. If it brings the spirit. I am ok with certain amounts of Käse.

This is a Pinecone

Elder Elwell and the Pinecone

Elder Petty and Ewell

Elder Petty and Elwell

Ahmm, Yes

Something to make her Smile

Brief overview of our district:
Elder Erickson: Superman the Musical
Elder Young: Deep in the Heart of Texas
Elder Petty: Technology Merlin
Elder Elwell: The Hunter
Sister Strihavka: Austria
Sister Whiting: The Fruits of the Valley
Sister Gardner: I don’t know what to call me… Any suggestions?

….Still Singing
Ah there we go.

Some last points:

* Good times with our dritt (trio), lots of running around as usual
* We are excited for Easter
* Our apartment is pretty cozy for three
* We are always looking to improve
* The world needs to judge a whole lot less.

Lots of love,
Sister Gardner


Something From Millie

(A Note from Sister Gardner’s mother – This post is actually last weeks email 3-1-16 that because of wifi trouble didn’t come through to me for several days.  I was so glad when it finally did come through.)

Another transfer has slipped by me, and I am getting a bit older

I’m looking over this last week here in my planner and I can’t help but wonder how two whole transfers with my dear Sister Strihavka and I have gone by in the blink of an eye.

I use that phrase very pointedly, for in the blink of an eye, usually things still look rather similar, the sky is often still the same color and the apartment is still there with the two bags of apples purchased in preparation for the coming sister. And the Necker River still runs under the bridge and the pigeons still pick mindlessly at soggy cigarette butts on the sidewalk, the empty journal page still needs to be written on, and there are still phone calls to be made. Not much changes in one eye blink.

But of course things can. Traffic lights, the status of four stacked ice cream cones when faced with gravity, heart beats, stubbing your toe, popped balloons and I think most importantly opinions. Life keeps living amid the blinking eye, what helps it to seem less futile is to look at what really happened during that time. The time goes ever fast, “on wings of lightning” But The Lord proves that lightning bolt speeds are just fine, for he works in moments.

The moment of decision or mouths that open and are filled with the words spilling out that had stayed packaged In a neat little, ” open when you are brave” box on the never ending shelves of gifts to give if we only take the courage to speak. Moments of coming out of the water clean and sealed His through baptism, moments of sincere prayer and undeniable answer, moments forgotten that are later remembered and
the flinging of seeds to a currently fruitless field in hopes that some shall take root and grow to the giants they were always meant to be. The lord works in moments, but also perspective, a knowledge that a blink of an eye is often just the start of more than we as his learning, striving, forgetful children can comprehend. He
lives in moments and as I am his daughter and his handmaiden. That means I give my best to live in moments too. And that I can rejoice in every blink of an eye that I am so privileged to live and love and try to hold on to. Looking ever forward to the moments, I am so privileged to experience.


Sister Stihavka and Sister Gardner

I’ve got a song for you.

(roughly to the tune of Girl from the Beatles)

Is there anybody going to listen to my story
All about the boy who went to pray.
It’s the kind of work you love so much it makes you weary
But you don’t regret a single day
Oh joy-y this boy-y-y

He knew when he was young that faith would lead to answers
So he went and tested just to know.
A light came down and rested upon his shoulders
His eyes were filled with a heavn’ly glow
Oh joy-y-y this boy-y

It’s the kind tale that makes you glad when you are blue
Blue, blue, blue
It happened in a grove a trees when Joseph kneeled down on his knees
It’s true ooh true true
oh Joy-y-y this Boy-y

Some of you probably appreciated it more than other, but I think I can forgive that.

and so the “Augen Blick” goes forward. This week was a all leading up to the musical concert at the end of
the week on Saturday, rehearsals, writing the program, cleaning, setting up, practicing and calling people to invite the masses. The other time was spent running from town to train to bus to appointment
to bus and back again. We really did get to meet with many this week, some that we have just started meeting, some that are old favorites and some that have been a bit missing in action for a whileTübingen district and Felix

J is our sweet little Chinese gal that we are teaching, she came to church for the first time and we are meeting up twice this week. She is working on understanding or receiving answers to prayer. She said she would be baptized if she felt the feeling, so she had been praying for an answer this week and was very glad to report that. The troubles was that she prayed that for her answers a Chinese song would start playing. And it didn’t. I am all for clear signs and direct answers but we have got to work on the learning to feel answers.

Something sad. J has disappeared. He had a meeting to decide if he would be a loud to stay in Germany. We called and called and of course missed the one time he called back because we were in a lesson. He
left no message and then was not able to come to our lesson. Usually he calls if he will even be late, but this time, he just did not show up. We really fear he was deported. Which means he is now in Africa,
despite having been here for more than 15 years. I try not to think about the reality of it, but it is very possible I will never see or hear from him again. Please pray for him. With everyday of silence, the possibility that he is still in Germany gets even smaller.

And then of course that bit with R and her answers about the God head.

Saturday was almost a whole day event from studies in the morning to working madly to finish the program. Sadly that morning three people canceled. That was pretty frustrating, but elder Erickson played Claire de Lune for the concert because I knew he played that song, (one of my favorites). We had a nice mix of modern and classical, and then some bits of rock, alternative and of course a blasting addition of astonishing. Who would have thought that this song would get to see the light of day anywhere but my apartment on my mission, I am glad for that. It was a successful Evening of Music.

And now I have to go.

I love you all, have a good week.
Sister Gardner