January is gone! Feb. 3, 2014

¡Hola familia!

Here we are, another week, another transfer gone, and January has disappeared!  Wow, how did all of that happen so fast?  Yes, transfers are tomorrow and everyone was notified today whether or not they are getting transferred.  As for me and my companion, we get to stick around here for a little while longer, climbing hills and enjoying the view of the smog-filled valley.
Yesterday was the Day of the Candelabra, a Catholic tradition where – as far as I heard and saw – people buy dolls of the Christ child which they dress up and then take with them to a Catholic Priest to receive a blessing.  I’m not sure of all the details, but it somehow involves the God-Fathers and God-Mothers of families as well…  For more information about this celebration and to decipher this mess of I-don’t-really-actually-know-what-goes-on, I would recommend just going to Google.  Maybe you can actually tell me what really happened this weekend with the tons of people carrying dolls of the Christ child to Catholic churches.
In other news, my companion and I continue to find new investigators and to have progress here in our area.  Things continue on the up hill.  The trick now is to really organize our time.  We had quite a few lessons this last week, but I know we can do better if we organize our time better.  Looking at how much time we actually have been given by the Lord, it falls to us to make sure that we use this blessing well, because there are no second chances with lost time.
This week, my companion and I had exchanges with our District Leader, Elder Jimenez from Peru, and his companion, Elder Porter.  My companion worked in our area with Elder Jimenez while I went to work with Elder Porter in his area.  It was fun to get to know Elder Porter a little bit more.  He is also from Utah – surprise there – and has been in the mission for about four and a half months.  He was actually trained by Elder Ramirez, who was my companion and who finished my training here in Mexico.  Elder Jimenez and Elder Porter our in our same ward, and so it was interesting to see the ‘other side’ of the ward.
Well, before I close, I would like to share how grateful I am for the things I have learned so far in my mission and for the opportunity that this is to grow closer to Christ.  I know that He lives and loves us.  I testify that God is our loving Heavenly Father, who has revealed his gospel in this time so that we his children can know the way to obtain joy and return to him.  Bishop Castañeda of our ward made an interesting comment yesterday to a sister who was baptized a month or so ago.  He basically sad that ‘many people think that God sits on a throne, but the reality is that He is more active than we could imagine, watching over us and helping us to come to him’.  I think that is quite true.  This is His church and his work.  Of these things I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Sincerely,
Elder Tyler Gardner
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