And in the End…

This is the last note I wrote home to my family before they flew to Munich to pick me up, it remained archived during the hullabaloo of me coming home, enjoy…

I have been putting off writing this email. Honestly, today was the first day I actually went through and emailed all my old companions because I was putting off this one. But then I thought, just because it is the end. Does not mean that this writing will come to an end. The story of these people is not over, there is still more to be told. I will never be done telling the story of my mission to the Alpine German speaking mission. So for anyone who wants to keep listening my heart, and experiences are there for those who need them.

I was thinking about the Word End.

Ende. Das Ende. We come to a lot of ends in our life. the end of the line, end of the string of spaghetti, the end of a relationship, the end of a book, the end of the corn maze, the end of our ropes, the end of a vacation, end of an awkward stake dance, the end of a very nice ice cream cone, end of a sickness , the end of a documentary of the migratory patterns of north Atlantic seabirds in the 21st century, or at least the end of the stairs. you follow what I am saying.

I think that everyone has been arguing that It is the end. for me. yes true. I am down to a few day. ( luckily the traveling around the mission for a week lets me wear this badge a bit longer, (muwhaha) But the time is coming to an end.

This fact has been a dark rain cloud over my head for the past week. It was fine during the day, but at night still just driving me crazy… So Thursday morning I wake up with this feeling like, ok, enough is enough. So I decided to be happy. There is this Mormon message that I love, It is called “Men´s Hearts will fail them” It basically talks about an apostal on a plane that is on fire diving out of the sky. on lady across from him is screaming and crying hysterically. He says, ” I was calm, I was totally calm, even though I knew I was going down to my death , I was prepared to meet my maker” I just made me think on my situation. I thought, why on earth am I being the screaming lady on the air plane? Ha ha, it made me chuckle a bit, but then also made me think. I have peace. I can be calm because I can trust that my maker has a plan. Anyhow in the video the plane does not crash, and the end image is him sitting there will a copy of the book of Mormon in his hands. The Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. Proof that he was there. If I can put the gospel of Jesus Christ into my life, if I am really letting it work, then I can trust in my future… and even this end that is coming.

I want to talk a bit about my week as well. I felt blessed to have a good week, lots to do, lots of appointments, lots of teaching. a lot of music, and a little bit of cake, and Peruvian chicken.

Helen was just a little name written on a blue card in blue ink found from and elder flying home that day at the airport. Helen is actually a mom with two kids and a husband who is now wanting to meet with us to learn everything about the church and also have us give her two little boys English lessons. She said. “I really want to come closer to Jesus Christ, can you help me with that?” …………. Does my name tag have Jesus on it. yes.

When it is raining often people don´t want to stop and talk on the street. But sometimes you teach a whole restoration lesson with someone in the park, and then in the end you get to give them your umbrella and you see them later walking around with that. I think that was a nice moment this week. One little yellow plastic portable ten given out, one yellow pamphlet with Jesus Christ on it. Two umbrellas to protect us from two different types of projectiles… Think Heleman 5

We saw heroic acts of missionary work from our tiny Italian ward missionary who came with us and helped us go finding. She stopped them and then I was able to ask our question. It was really fun, I have never had a member who wanted to go finding with us, That was a miracle.

We taught someone about the basic beliefs of the church using crude stick figure drawings, (me), google translate ( Elder Wright), a worn out whiteboard marker, (Sister Pugh) and some good simple questions, (Elder Mateer) I think that despite the language barrier, we where able to make some really great progress with one of our new contacts we found this week.

Sylvia is making progress. She made us potatoes this time when we came, and showed me her spice box from India. She will be baptized someday soon, she makes progress every week. She had been saying last week she did not feel answers to her prayers. This week she let us know that she had woken up with a terrible ache in her jaw, she had knelt down prayed for the pain to go away and she said she could feel it starting to fade as the prayer ended.

I have felt a lot of love from members and part member families this week, and I am grateful for that. I was worried no one would remember me here, but I have been glad to see that I have made a difference, and if anything pried open a few doors that where sealed tight as can be. I can only hope the seedlings planted will grow through the further work of other missionaries.

I loved having our mini fireside about the life of Jesus Christ. It was by no means perfect, quickly put together with not many visitors, but it was just what was needed of the people who did attend. I am grateful for the many ways we can share the gospel, for the i pad that hold videos, music, music, notes and scriptures in all kinds of languages.

I am grateful for the happiness I see from members who live the gospel. I mean I would rather keep being a full time missionary, but life seems to be pretty good for those guys too..

On Sunday we played piano for sacrament meeting in the third ward, and then I gave a talk about honoring your father and mother in sacrament meeting of the 1st ward. We had two guys show up to church randomly, potentials, which was great, and then Lucho and Sylvia came. It made us so happy when we opened the door of the Spanish Sunday school class and we see Lucho in there from the back. ‘As I looked out at the ward, I could not help but feel sad, They still need so much support, I just want to keep healing these people and bringing people back to the church.  or to the church, or their spouse to baptism. It all has it´s time. I am just another paint stroke in the master piece.

In my talk, I mentioned how during my mission, I have strengthened my relation ship more with my heavenly parents than my earthly ones simply because I have been with them less than my Father in heaven and I have spoken, but as I went on, the rest of the thought formed it´self as it came out of my mouth. Because my relationship with my father in heaven is stronger, my relationships with my earthly family can be strengthened as well. I suppose I will find out just how far that works out when I get back, but i have confidence. 😉 Í also mentioned how obedience is really the way we can honor our Heavenly parents. our performance here on the earth is not simply for our benefit, and it does benefit us greatly, but it is also a chance to show them we love them.

I did not get to share my testimony with the Zone, and I don´t have time to write down the whole thing, but I hope you can see a bit, from these words I have written today, from the words I wrote last week, and in Graz and after a bike crash, and during the winter, and when I came into England, and when I said goodbye to good friend, and when I was excited and when I was sad, and when I just was probably singing too much. .. ‘And I hope you will continue to see them.

I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father, That is Son is our Redeemer, and The Holy Ghost can bring that knowledge to our hearts.

That is it really, actually, all the other things just fit in with the basics. I don´t know how to write how much I love this gospel or my time as sister Gardner… It is astonishing really.

I love you, And you will hear from me again. .. So this is not goodbye…

rather. Bis aufwiedersehn.
All my love, Sister Gardner