Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Home Sweet Home

1st Companion

My first companion Elder Contrerras, from Costa Rica

Who needs to shower?

After our appointment, we walked home 3 miles in a down pour, my umbrella didn't keep me that dry.

Beautiful

water in a bag

Monday, June 21, 2010

1st letter from Teg-Honduras


Hola!!
 
Well im here and safe! This country is beautiful! Let me just first say that I love it here so that whatever i say next wont scare ya because I definately did have a rude awakening but ahhh its just so new... and so...different! I love it!
Pres and Hna Chaverri are so awesome, I cant understand a single word that they say but i guess that will just have come with time haha Mom im sure its been a long week not being able to hear from me and not knowing if I made it safe but im fine! 
Im sure you are all wanting an update on just everything that I have been doing and so on day one we all got off the plane to Humidity that I have never been in before! It wasnt as hot as I thought it was going to be but its actually pretty nice here in Teguc for the most part... heat wise! After we got picked up by the president and his APs so we at least had some others who knew english. From there we went to the mission office and chilled for a little while while the president took the rest of the elders who were going home that day to the airport as well! I missed the other Elder Gardner by like 20 min but the Elder Brinton was at the airport picking us up so I met him. Anyways we eventually went and got lunch and then went to the mission home for a little nap, 1 hour, to prep for our first experience teaching with the Zone Leaders and their companions, I went out with Elder Thatcher, he is awesome, hes been out for just over a year and they had an appointment with 2 families so we hurried to an area called Las Palmas and I saw my first miracle! I dont even know whatto say about this country to describe it... its really busy and everyone are just crazy drivers. Dad remember in Mexico when we thought they were bad.... well here its 10 times worse haha, its fun though! Gotta love it right! So we went and met with Concepcion and Jose and their familes and wow we hiked up to their house that was basically just on the side of a hill in the ghetto to just a cement block with one big room and 4 large matresses and pathways around. They had been to their house once before and thats it and without even having to ask they had started reading and we taught them the 1st lesson obviously and they asked me to give the opening prayer and the first vision and my testimony when they needed it in the lesson which I was find with and really comfortable with once we got to know the families! The kids are just the cutest things you will ever see, its unbelievable! haha Yeah it was just a miracle because at the end we asked them to read 3 Nefi 11 and they said ok... come back tomorrow haha they are just so accepting.. everyone litterally!
Day 2... we got 13 nativo missionaries from the guatemala MTC and only 2 of them knew a little bit of english so we were able to talk to thme but that was an experience!
Day 3...we had a ton of just instruction in the mission office and then after we went to the mission home and kinda just hung the rest of the day while Hna Chaverri made this Huge dinner for all of us new missionaries and for all of our trainers that night and most of the missionaries took a nap and I just studied with elder Carter and Belnap. So later that night we ate dinner and then had a big ceremony of the Cambios or Transfers where basically they just told us who our companions were and where our areas were and all that! My companion is Elder Contreras, hes from Cost Rica and has 6 months on the mission! He is sooo good and he knows pretty good english, he understands it, just doesnt speak it very well! Me and him get along really well though! That night i was soooo sick, I dont know what it was but I just was not feeling good at all! I was just weak, headache and all of the above! Uh it was bad, then we had our hour and a half lonce ride to our area in Sabanna Grande, I was told that It is one of the toughest areas in the mission but oh well! I was stoked I just couldnt show it cuz I felt like crap! Elder Contreras gave me a blessing that night and I was eventually able to get to sleep so Im grateful for that!
Gosh there is so much that I want to tell you but this keyboard is sticky and I just dont know what you want to know!
Day 4...I started to feel a whole lot better but my companion woke up with a cold or fever or something. We started our day just going around talking to everyone and its amazing how accepting the people are here to listen to us and they know that wea re all servants of the lord! Every single person will stop what they are doing to listen to us and they will let us set up an appointment with them.. the problem is that Sabanna Grande is like a big village split by one fo the big highways here so the only way to find someone is to just get the best directions you can and then just hope you can find them again! its rare and frustrating but we are working really hard! Elder Contrerras has been in Sabanna Grande for 3 changes now and the most baptisms they had in one change was 4 so this time our goal is 5. They had one last change. Its a tough area because almost everyone is members.. but inactive! Or they just dont live by the commandments and its frustrating. There are some things that go on in Sabanna Grande that probably bad for me to write in an email so i wont but its sad! Really Sad! Later that day we did end up teaching 2 lessons and we walked a total of probably 6 miles to one part of the Colony, or village I guess to find a lady but we couldnt find her house but we talked with one lade to ask her if she knew here and she right off the bat invited us in and we taught her a lesson, its was sooo cool! Bien Marciso. She let us in when it was raining and starting to get dark and we left when it was downpouring, dark and we had about 3 miles to walk home.. haha but thats honduras for ya! I learn alot on the walks so it wasnt so bad but even wiht my umbrella I was SOAKED!! haha
Day 5.. I decided to wear my boots for the first time and that was awesome! I love them, they were really nice because it was raining once again almost all day! Gosh dang the country here is so beautiful! We walked...a long ways again and took plenty of pics! Our goal was to invite all the members and others to the conference on sunday, the church pays for a bus to come and get everyone, we just have to get everyone there! 
Day 6... Sunday... we woke up at 530 in order to catch a bus to go to the conference which was about another hour and half more south where its a whole lot hotter there then it is in our area. Its called san lorenzo and they have a big conference center for us meet in for big events like this. We wear our suits on sundays so by the time we got there and after the bus ride we were soaked! This heat is not somthing to just get used to! Ugh haha But Elder James B. Martino of the 70 spoke to us, he gave a talk in this last conference and I talked to him for a while afterwards and he served his mission in central america too,so that was cool! Good news though from that day was that we had a record beating 37 people show up from our area so that was exciting!
 
Ugh ok anyways today is our P'day and every Pday and Thursdays we have to travel back here to Teguc because my comp is the district leader so thats so fun to have to travel back here so much especially when its an hour and half ride and the bus is packed and we are usually standing up the whole time trying to read or whatever.
 
Anyways that was alot and thats what is new with me! Whats new with you family? I sure hope these pics work. We are able to make copies of photos and CDs here too so when I need to Ill send a CD home. The missionary that was before me was checking his facebook and everything but I just want to be strictly obedient and stick with just this but ugh thats frustrating that he was doing that! Anyways, they rarely have problems sending packages or letters or anything here so just use that address if you need to send me anything in the future! Letters take about 3 weeks when I send them and sometimes shorter to get them but I will send some out today or next week probably and we will see how that goes! When I got here I had a letter from Dad and Jade but that was it. It was just in the DearElder form so that was cool but we will have to see what happens when I go to send them back! K i dont know what else to say other then I officially do shower with a bucket at our house and our water for showers and all comes from the rain and gathers in that big cement box that I sent a pic of! haha it sucks but its now too bad once you get over the inital shock of having to pour freezing cold water over you early in the morning. The life of Honduras I guess... haha i love it. Im having fun and its tough, id be lying if I said I havent said I wanted to go home but my testimony got me here and its going to keep me here. Im fine, theirs good moments and theirs bad moments but its fun! Dont worry about me, just pray for me. I pray for you all every morning an night in spanish but its ok the lord listens by the intentions of our hearts, I have a testimony of that! Wish me luck this next week, we need investigators...we currently dont have any but we will try hard this next week!
 
 
Love your servant of the Lord!
Elder Gardner