Monday, August 2, 2010

New Companion

Hey Fam and Friends!
Well the news long awaited.... my new companion is Elder Broderick from Arizona. His house is actually like 15 minutes from Waweep and so he was able to understand what I was going through having family in Lake Powell without you! But ah this week has just been so loaded with things that happened and yeah. To start though, me and Contreras last day here in sabanna grande decided to go hike up to this big rock, which is pretty much the highest point in the valley of SabanaGrande and Im sending some amazing fotos from that. Its really just was so nice to get away for a minute and just sit up there and think, as you can see the wind was blowing really hard but ah it was so beautiful!
So wednesday we had Cambios and I picked up Elder Broderick and introduced him to our area here in good old SabanaGrande, hes got 4 months more then me but he clicked real fast and its been a fun past week or so together. We have been learning so much and just contacting like crazy, which is something that me and Elder Contreras hardly ever did so that has been something new for the both of us because he has been in the south for the past 4 months where its hotter then hot and his past couple companions have just been really planchero... like disobedient i guess is the best word in english. In other words we are both Craving just contacting and since we literally have no investigators now we are starting from scratch and man do I have some amazing contacting experiences to tell you... but not the time really. Basically saturday it was hotter then hot here and in the morning after our studies we werent feeling contacting but we knew what we needed to do so we left and just walked about 20 minutes up this cobble stone path and just started knockin doors, the very first door that we knocked was just this old little house with a big red door, and no doornob or a way to open it from the outside, yeah like the picture of christ knocking haha and this little old man opened the door after we stood there for every calling for someone and knocking. This mans name is Jose Benita... we didnt even ask.. he just invited us right in and sat us down after we basically just told him that we had a message for him about Jesus Christ and ended up teaching the entire first lesson with him and he just sat and listened with such intent. I dont know how amazing this is but just the way everything had been going that day and the circumstances we were in just dripping sweat in this little home with this little old man It was just such a tender mercy of the lord to me and I wish you all could have been there just kinda watching over because I know the spirit was there putting the words into my mouth as I taught my first really... lesson by myself with another Greengo. I dont know how better to describe this whole moment but I think back now and this was also the first time I had taught an actual man to be honest. WIth my little bit of contacting experience my first change and only teaching members or Laura and the two teenagers... this was the first time. So many more amazing things happened after that lesson that I couldnt have had a better saturday. He didnt end up showing up to church, but just from that hour and half of contacting that saturday morning we found 4 families and have appointments with all of them tomorrow. Just miracles are pouring out upon us. I know that to be true! I know its not impossible to find, baptize, and retain perople here in Sabanagrande, like so many other missionaries and even the mission pres himself thinks... something is about to change in this area... yes with two Greengos. The first time ever by the way... with just two Greengos!
Ok just real quick, but most importantly... I had a really stong feeling come over me to go visit with that Hermana Laura Avila that we hadnt visited with in over 3 weeks now... well we visitied with us our second day and she had so many questions about our church, we answered all of them, and just this weekend... she bore testimony to us that she knows everything is true and that she knows she needs to be baptized! She told us straight up that she wanted to baptized. There is so much more I wish I could say about the past couple lessons with her and how she got to this point. The problem that we are dealing with is getting them married but the good thing is that she knows!!!! We didint even have to accuse her, she came out and told us what she needs to do to be baptized in our church and be married too so that she is not living in sin! Her story to me is worth more then anything in my heart and I wish I could share it better but she is just our little miracle and Golden Investigator!
Anyways... I know this church is true and that miracles are performed throught the hand of the lord, even here in these poor little vilages of Sabanagrande Honduras.... Its so amazing to see!
Until Next week though... wish us luck in finding more people to teach and to be the miracle missionaires to change this area and the expectations. After all we had a total of 8 people in the church during the sacrament this sunday, and a total of 22 at most but its just ridiculous and I want so bad to just one day... fill every chair in our little chapel. There are 68 total chairs in our chapel... and one day my companion and I will fill everyone of them. DOnt know how, when, or where these people are but we can do it! I know that!
I love you all!
Love Elder Gardner

cleaning the font

baptismal font

Jose Amador's baptism

Hugo's Baptism

Hugo's Baptism


Hola Familia y Amigos,
First of all I just want to say Hi to all my family and Friends in Lake Powell right now without me :( haha nah im jealous and all but I know this is where im supposed to be and there will be PLENTY of summers to come that we will be able to live up just as much! Lake Powell aint goin anywhere... right??
Well im of course sending a lot of pictures this week because I forgot last week but as far as words... man i dont know where to start! We had another baptism this saturday of Jose Luis Amador and what a great experience once again that was. The plan was to have one of the recent converts and a good friend of Elder Contreras and mine in the ward baptize him but he had some problems getting out to SabanaGrande for some reason with school so Elder Contreras baptized him. The baptism though it was just as amazing as the baptism of his brother but I just keep picturing him as bryson and just love him the same way because not only does he need it becasue of his family situation but it helps me too! Jose is 13, so the same age as Bryson so that has been a really fun experience teaching him the lessons cuz Im able to get over the nervousness of my spanish and just kinda let Elder Contreras correct my conjugations but yeah its been really fun and I think I have learned the most from teaching him because I really studied hard in Predicad Mi Evangelio so that I knew what i wanted to say and what not but ive sure been growing a lot in spanish and not really even noticing it. Its been fun though and I no longer worry about saying things wrong, but just having patience with my companion and how much he DOES correct me. Its good though because most of the other Latinos here will just pretend like its correct and catch the just of everything... but this has been a really good, frustrating, fun, spirit, emotional, physical strengthening companionship. We find out tomorrow night where were gonnna go for Cambios, whether i stay here and get a new companion, or I go and he stays... could go any way so who knows... hes been here for 3 almost 4 months now so I think i know whats gonna happen and Im a little nervous but Im excited and ready!!
Well a little more about this week and what happened... we did a lot of divisions because supposedly the whole missionary program is changing... new videos that the church made, all kinds of new teaching material and everything so Elder Contreras was called in by President Chaverri to be there with the Zone Leaders and all to go over everything for 2 days. So I went on divisions with an Elder Quenta form Bolivia, he goes home tomorrow, so of course he was a bit Baggy but he is a really good missionary and I brought him back here to our area and we had some of our last citas with Jose Luis and other appointments and then just contacting but I sure did learn a lot from him. His spanish was a whole lot harder to understand and he never had the desire to learn english on his mission so that was a bit tough coming from my companionship because my companion is able to really work with me and supprisingly knows a lot of english for only having 7 months in his mission. But nah it was good, lots of different contacting techniques thats for sure! We placed 2 Books of Mormons and have an appointment with a familly of 9 this week, thanks to the help of Elder Quenta, so we will see how that goes!
Its been raing A LOT this past week and been having to wash a lot more clothes so my hands are getting pretty torn up haha but im stating to get the washboard technique down but just be greatful for them washing mashines that you all have haha. Oh and the daughter of our Concinera (cooking lady) whom are not member, are starting to have a lot of questions about what were doing, and we brought our photos over one night before dinner this week and she jacked one of our pictures of just me and Elder contreras that we had taken up in Aposonigua and just put it up on her little banister with her other pictures without even asking haha but it was cool and of course we were cool with that. Weve been able to develop a friendship and trust with her and her daughter. In fact her daughter, which is 23, wants to start learning English too so I offered to have a lesson or two a week with her. We also told them that we have some videos that we want to watch witht them..."because we dont have TV" and of course they are just simple movies about our church but yeah its been going good. We dont want to do anything to affend her just because her food is so amazing and is sooooo much needed haha but I pray the the lord will provide the way for us to touch their hearts and be able to teach them now that we have let them know that we are normal people, even though we have the title here "the mormons" but they know that now and its all good. Lots of progress is being made
 Not much more happened this week, it was just a really fast week once again and were getting ready to have changes now.. its hard to believe that my first Cambio is already up! ¡Que Rapido! I just want to share my short and simple testimony once agian with my family and friends in lake powell right now for family night, and all the other family and friends that read this later! I know that this church that I am in this foreign country, learning this foreign language for... is the church of Jesus Christ and it is the only true church on this earth. I know that because I look at the members of the church here, and especially these 2 new young boys that we have brought closer to christ, and the happiness that they have is unmatchless. I dont know how to describe my happiness that I have, it truely is a lot of blood sweat and tears.. but its also a lot of physical, emotional, and especially spritual growth and there is nowhere else that I would rather be. I only have almost 2 months here.. but I have seen the hand of the Lord in this great and marvelous work and their is no one else I would rather be serving other then my Brother, savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ, and my Father in Heaven! I especially know that prayers are HEARD and ANSWERED! Thats my new short and simple testimony in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Now thank you everyone for the prayers and support! They are felt and appreciated! And for those of you on the Lake.. I sure do love EACH and EVERY one of you and dont you dare forget that! Dont have too much fun without me and save some water for when I get back aight!
Love yall