Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Elder Price at the Christmas party

Christmas package

to our Super Missionary

Christmas has come and gone

Hey fam,

Well I dont have much to say and I just wanna go play soccer today anyways and try to burn off all the food from this weekend.
Heres a bunch of pics from the ward christmas party and the missions party too.
It was a fun weekend and not a bad last christmas. It was good to talk to you all, and for those who didnt get to talk to me... well just wait for another 4 months.
I love you all and hope you all have a great week this week and a happy new year!!
Dont have to much fun without me this year... again!!

Elder Gardner

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Elder Broderick heading home

4 more months

One week until Christmas!

Well less then a week away now and I cant believe it. I remember when I completed a year in the mission and thinking that christmas was never gonna come but were here already. Im sick of christmas music already and its not because im a Scrouge but it kills me.. it gives me weird feelings of when I was at home. Im really happy though... this week is gonna be one heck of a week. We have 2 Christmas parties... for the mission and for the ward. Me and Elder Cac have a part in the drama that the ward is doing about the Scrouge so were excited about that. More then anything about the food but its gonna be interesting. Me may end up singing a song too. Im gonna sing a verse in english, him in Qeqchi (the dialect that he speaks), and then the last one in spanish. Weve got some thinkin and practicing to do.
This week has been hard cuz weve been just doing all kinds of errands for the other missionaries cuz there are 3 families getting married and baptized in the zone. Oh and yeah changes were this week and im gonna be staying in the ward for another 6 weeks, im gonna have 6 months here in this area and then just 12 weeks in my last area!
On wednesday Elder Broderick, my trainer, and bunch of my best buddies in the mission went home and ugh that was really hard. I remember when I just had 5 months in the mission and I was with Elder Broderick in Sabanagrande and saying that when he goes home I will have 20 months and now that day has come and past. I knew it was gonna be one of the hardest changes to get over cuz of all my buddies going home. On top of that the missionary that trained me who also went home but he offerend me his house in Costa Rica whenever I wanna go visit so im excited for that someday. Time really is winding down.. and i dont wanna believe it!! My last call!
I dont have alot to say this week cuz Ive got a lot to talk about on sunday.
But know that I love you all!! I wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
Until... well after Christmas!!
Thanks Warbys for my package... I got it today! Thanks!!!!!!!!
Love you all
Love your missionary
Elder Gardner

Monday, December 12, 2011

We did it!!

Hey fam,

Well im sure your all waiting for the good news about the long awaited baptism. Well satan didnt give up till the very last second on Jasmin. This whole week weve been working on lots of paperwork for marriages and trying to keep up on the few investigators that we have. Overall it was really good though. Just so you guys have somewhat of an idea about how hard satan works against the families that we have... thursday the day before the baptismal interview Hosman (the husband of jasmin) got in a fight with her brother just 10 minutes before we got there to their house because of problems with money and hosman got scratched in the face and bit and it was just nasty. Luckily the brother had taken off and everything but Jasmin and their little daughter was in tears and it was just really bad but we were able to calm them down and eventually prepare for her interview and everything. She answered everything perfectly and after we had given her the challenge to read the book of mormon marking everytime it mentions Christ, God, Lamb, or anything that refers to Jesus Christ. On friday she was already in Jacob and showed us each page that she had marked up. Im doing it to and shes gonna catch up to me if I dont hurry up!!
So saturday comes around and in the morning we couldnt get them to answer the phone and we couldnt find them. Then all the sudden at about 12 her mom calls me and says that she is sick and cant be baptized and that we need to do it another day. I told her mom that no she is going to baptized today and that we will go and start heating up water cuz right now the water in the fonts the water is super cold. She then passed me to Jasmin and I told her to not let anything get in the way for her getting baptized cuz I think it was more the mom that was afraid of letting her get baptized. She told me that she was gonna get baptized no matter what!
She made it there and as much as we tried to heat up water and pour it in the pila it didnt do much and even though she is TERRIFIED OF WATER and for that she almost didnt even get in the font. Hardly any of the members showed up to baptism but the most important thing is that she got baptized and confirmed.

This week there are changes and I dont know if im gonna have changes or not but I guess until next week youll have to wait to know.
I love you all, thanks for your prayers in helping this family make their way into the church!!!

Elder Gardner


Monday, December 5, 2011

December feels unreal

Hey Fam,
Well i think ive gotten over the feelings that singing christmas songs gave me before. Now it seems like everyone wants us to just sing christmas songs when we go to teach them, since there are only like 8 christmas songs in the spanish hymn book im getting bored of them already all though they still make me miss home for some reason. I remember feeling the same last year though about christmas season but this time around its gonna be even harder.
This week has had its trials as well. We have just been doing everything possible to help Jasmin and Hosman feel better in the church and with all the teachings. They have had a whole lot of trials this week as well though cuz everything was going good until tuesday when they had a fight with the brother of Jasmin that lives in the same house as well. They live with Jasmins mom, grandma, and her tremendous brother. Since they had that fight the only thing they have wanted is to flee from the house, just 10 days before her baptism they want to move out of the house. They had us just super down all week cuz after everything that weve done and the friendship we have built they have no other choice but just get out of there. If its not one thing... its another in their situation. On tuesday we got it worked out with the bishop and Relief Society Pres so that they could go to the Bishops storehouse and get some food so they werent always asking for money from everyone. It really helped them and all but I think they are just even more confused then we are about what to do.
They took off thursday afternoon and since he doestn have a cell we knew nothing of them until sunday morning, but we got ready super early so that we could go to their house and they would be there. The sound of their little daughter screaming and crying never sounded so sweet when we showed up at their door knowing that they were there. Now I hope the lord has forgiven us but she gave us the excuse that she didnt have diapers for the little daughter and thats why she wasnt willing to go to church, so.... we went and bought 2 diapers on sunday morning. I felt bad but I didnt want that to be the reason for her baptismal date falling. Luckily there was a member passing when we were walking to the church that grabbed her and took her to the church cuz if not we for sure would have missed the sacrament. Luckily we made it and Hosman the husband came later cuz he wasnt there when we passed at 8.
With all the things that have happened it payed off and we got a family in church... but i just dont know if we are helping or hindering them by doing this. We will have to see what happens this weekend. She is set up to be baptized saturday at 5 but who knows what will happen. Keep her in your prayers.
I cant believe my little brother is gonna be 15 this week... will someone tell them to stop growing up on me. It seems like christmas is still way far away but its scaring me how fast time flys by. Last night we had the chance to see the satalite broadcast of the Christmas Devotional from the First Presidency. That didnt help me with my trunkyness but it was really awesome to hear their messages.
I sure do love you all and I hope your all surviving the cold winter. Its starting to warm up here. 2 weeks ago it was freezing and last night it rained a little bit but its warming up little by little!
Until Next Week
Elder Gardner

Monday, November 28, 2011

Run away baptism

Hey fam,
I really wish I could be sending you the pics of this long awaited, family completing, baptism... but no. We spent all week meeting with them everyday and preparing them for the baptism but as soon as friday got here there were some emergencies that came up with money problems....again and they took off in the morning when we were gonna do the baptismal interview. Turns out Hosman, the husband, doesnt have a cell phone so we had no idea how to get ahold of them. We went by later that night at around 830 and they had just gotten there and were exhausted but Jasmin said she felt great about the baptism and everything. Well saturday comes around and they take off at 10 in the morning... again but this time it was a little bit bigger of a deal cuz we didn't know whether to cancel the baptism or what. We sat at their house from 1 to 2 with her brother hoping they would come home for lunch.. but nothing. Elder Cac and I were just sooo confused and didnt know what to do, 4 came around and we had to call all the members and cancel the baptism saying that we just don't know what happened. We didnt hear from them or know anything about them till last night about 6 when we went back to their house and they just explained to us that there were some emergencies that they had to take care of. Ugh but this weekend was just extremely long and we still dont know what to believe with them. She accepted a new baptismal date for the 10th of December but we will see.
Other then all that stress... the mission continues on. Getting harder and harder as we continue having no success in our area. We found 2 new families at the beginning of the week and everything was going good, then I dont know what we did but all the sudden they wanted nothing. The people here just hear soo many bad things of the church that we cant get anyone to progress unless were right on their side every day. Nevertheless.... were doing good. Me and Elder Cac get along really well, my spanish vocab is getting bigger ever day being with a latino again.... i think i like being with latinos better. Greengos are just pridefull.. haha
I can honestly say that in the past couple weeks, or 2 months the hardest thing for me has been trying to maintain the spirit... while working and doing all the errands that we have to do as ZLs.. the stress is what satan uses to kill the zone leader missionaries.
In church they announced the Christmas Devotional next sunday and im so stoked to see that cuz I didnt get to see it last year but now that im in the city it makes everything so much more easier. I cant believe December is creepin in this week. Time just flies.
I love you all sooo much, despite all the hard stuff that we have to deal with, my testimony of the church only gets stronger everyday!!
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.. I was thinkin about you all when I was eating my humbly made beans, saly honduran cheese and eggs. We just didnt happen to get any invatations this year and since its not celebrated only certain people know about it. It was a really good dinner though! Dont get me wrong!
Love Elder Gardner

Here comes the Christmas music

Hey Fam,

Well even here in Honduras they start super early with the Christmas music. I couldnt stand it at first but its starting to wear on me. Its just the feelings that it gives a missionary away from home for the 2nd time... its hard to explain. I try not to let it make me feel baggy or trunky.
This time of the year for missionary work for some reason slows down... whether its because of the animo of the missionaries or if its just the people not wanting to make changes this time of the year... im not sure. We are really struggling in finding new people but we have lots of plans in this next week to be creative with the members and help them to feel the sprituality of us so they will feel the desire to want to take us to their friends cuz knocking doors is just not working out. Just as it is with all members that are really good at teaching or super faithful in everything we do... they are the first ones we look for to take with us to lessons.
The best is that Jasmin went to church again yesterday and is now very ready for baptism. There is a lot of trust that we have developed with them in the past while. She had a doubt about the baptisms for the dead that we do but I just hapened to be with Elder Lopez... the missionary that I trained... in divisions that day and so we taught her the plan of salvation and understood very well why we baptize for our ancestors. It was a really good lesson... im sure if we would have left her for too long with that doubt... it could have killed the baptism for us. We saw that saturday night when we were there with them again she was even defending the church from her brother when he started saying stupid things that are just not true. She stood up fo rthe church though!!
Jasmin is getting baptized this saturday at 5 and sometimes I cant believe we finally did it. From contacting them in the street at 830 at night nearly 4 months ago... to now! We may not have many baptisms right now but I feel really good about the ones that we do have!!
These times of the year like i said arent making the work any easier but were trying. I cant believe im gonna be calling home... agian in just over a month! I hope they leave me here in this area where im at for christmas... that would stink to leave here only 10 days before Christmas in changes.
I love the work though, even when it hard!
I love you all!!
Until next week!!

Elder Gardner

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My ward's primary

Humble prayer

Hey Fam,

Weeks are just becoming more and more un real, especially how fast they go by. This week has been one long awaited though because the lord has worked in lots of mysterious ways with Hosman and Jasmin... they are now back together and we have taken members over there to help them get over the little things that happen. All week we were with them, almost every day just helping Jasmin be ready for her baptism on the 26th and she says she is ready. We were really sure what to think about that though cuz they have said so before but then somthing comes up. We had Jasmin pray on Saturday night and she said one of the most humble prayers ive ever heard from her, especially coming from someone who at first wanted nothing to do with us. I remember specifically she asked the lord that he would not put any obstacles in the way so that she could go to church and that their year and half year old daughter that is in my arms in the pic I sent. would not have any set backs. Well sunday morning... sure enough at 830 they were ready to go. Hosman comes out and hands me his little daughter cuz she now has developed the trust with me and comes running out the door when we get there. She is the cutest thing ever. Yesterday was the Primary Program in the ward and it went soooo well. The kids in the ward did their part so well and everyone was just loving it. Especially Jasmin. I wrote in my journal last night that we finally did it.
After church we walked the lady that only has one leg that got baptized when i first got to this area, she is in her wheelchair and now the members have dedicated themselves to go get her in the morning and its just a huge blessing and she is always soooo greatful. I love these members sooo much. Despite the fact that we are having problems finding people and baptizing like we want to... the members are starting to help more and more.
After church and everything we went to a new area to start contacting and we found 2 new people. A guy that lived in the states for 20 years and admired the church and had the desire to hear the message since 15 years ago but no one had ever passed by to talk to him. It was a really good lesson and he is gonna read the book of mormon and see if he wants more later on.
Its been really hard to work in our area the past week cuz we are trying to help 5 different familes get married and the paperwork that one hast to gather is just ridiculous. But were there workin on it all.
I love the mission, im learning more and more each and every day!
I love you all and miss you more and more every day as well. I hope your all enjoying the snow once again while were still sweating like crazy now that the rain has ceased!
Until next week!!

Elder Gardner

Thursday, November 10, 2011

meeting Elder Wedemeyer and his mom Elise

Putting Angel Moroni on the temple

My new companion, Elder Cac from Guatemala

Buenos Dias Familia

Buenos Dias,

Well this week was kinda crazy, I still cant believe that all the changes were this week too. Nielsen is now in his house and it was a crazy last couple days for him. The ward did a big goodbye activity for him and it made me super baggy of course but the members let me know that they love me as well... so thats a good thing at least.
We got a lot of Latinos in our zone this change... its a total of 18 misionaries that we have now and 2 of them are sisters that are opening up one of the areas. My old comp Elder Martinson is in our zone now too.. opening an area and training a new missionary from Canada that speaks 3 languages.. spanish, english and french. Really good missionary.
Oh duh... and my new comp is Elder Cac from Guatemala. With this area, we have 3 areas that we have shared, or that we have both been in. So we talk a lot about the stuggles that we both had in our areas. We get along super well. We have the exact same time in the mission so thats better then being with someone who is getting ready to finish the mission.
We had a super cool experience on friday when we had the Zone Leader council with the Mission President and the Asistants. Its a council that we have every month to talk about baptism goals and all that good stuff. Well we had kind of a surprise that morning when they ended early, gave us subway sandwhiches and told us to get into a little bus cuz we were gonna go see the crowning of the Angel Moroni on the temple. Unluckly they had already put it on at noon on friday and we got there about 2 but there were a TON of members and people there. We were the only missionaries though. Supposidly people started getting there about 9 and just sang hymns. All the members testified in fast and testimony meeting of how spiritual it was there on top of the hill on the side of the temple. In fact that morning there was a Rainbow that came out and many members talked about it that was just incredible. The most defined rainbow they had ever seen in their lives. The bishops wife, one of my favorite members ever, just balled as she told about how the Rainbow surely was a sign of such a long awaited event in the history of the church here in Honduras and how the lord puts these beautiful things for everyone to see. It was a really emotional meeting for everyone there.
The bad news is that Hosman who just got baptized, and Jasmin his wife had some problems in their marriage that caused lots of stress for me. We went to go get them both for church at 8 yesterday morning and Hosman and left, he didnt even come home satuday night and that there was no way she was gonna go to church as she told us in tears. I didnt know what to do. We just told her we would pass by later that day. We were really worried cuz she has only been to church once and had the baptismal date for the 19th. We were really bummed that whole morning that we werent able to fulfil with what we awaited all week but when we went and saw her last night she said she still wants to get baptized but has no idea what to do about Hosman... they dont want to try to make it work.. too many economic problems and they have the poor little daughter not even 2 years old. We tried to do out best to comfort her but we will have to see if she read 2 Nefi 2 tonight. Keep her and Hosman in your prayers... there gonna need it.
Its been a week of lots of trials but a week of lots of lessons learned. We werent able to find any new investigators and we want to fulfil our goal of 2 this month we gotta find someone this week.
Despite all of that... I know for sure, maybe even more then ever that this is the true church. I love my family sooo much... you have no idea!!
I miss you all and always pray for you!! Thanks for everything!

Love Elder Gardner

Friday, November 4, 2011

wood carvings of the temple

Comp goes home this week

Hey Everyone,

Another long week that flew by as we look back. It was the last full week of Elder Nielsen... he flys home on thursday so he has slowly been saying his goodbyes and trying his best to work as hard as he can in these last couple days!! He has help up really well, I hope I can do the same. I figure that by the 14th of December ill be headed on my way to my last area which is just crazy cuz its such mixed feelings after watching Nielsen in his last days.
This week wasnt anything amazing... we found lots of new people but sadly by the end of the week they werent progressing much and only 1 of the new ones came to church... of course a sister of a member. We have really been struggling with the members wanting to work with us. Ive made a lot of goals for this up coming change to work with the members in different creative ways. We are starting to do more activities too which has been good, we have one tomorrow and more planned later in November... I cant belive were already in November and less then 2 months away from Christmas.
As far as the progress with Hosman and his wife Yasmin... well they did not come to church yesterday and it was super devistating. He got called into work at the last minute and with the fact that he has been without a job for over 3 months before this one... he felt really obligated to go and his testimony of everything just isnt super strong yet.. which worries us but we met with them last night and worked some things out and had another really spiritual lesson. Were gonna have to put the baptismal date of her back another week it looks like, to the 19th but she said she is willing to work towards it! We know that if she will just go to the church... she will feel what she needs to feel to be converted with all the awesome members that we have!
The stake President here lives in our ward and he is so awesome.. he has been helping us out a ton. He is only 34 years old and him and his wife both served mission... even met each other in the mission. They always want to leave with us despite the fact that they are soooo busy with their 4 kids. We are gonna go do a service project for them tomorrow and paint a whole new part of their house where they have built were excited about that.
This is gonna be a hecktic week, with Nielsen going home and me getting a new ZL Companion but im excited and definately ready for a change. I just hope its not another baggy greengo in his last change... I just might die if I have to do that again.
I dont know if I let you know last week... but I got the package and the letters and candy bars that you all sent me.. I love them!!! Thank you
I want you all to know how much I love you all, I got the newspaper article about Grandma Manwaring too and Ive been showing her off to everyone... My hero!!
Wish me luck in this upcoming week with my new comp and all the new changes in the zone and the mission. There are 19 elders going home right now and 19 elders, and 2 sisters that are all coming in as well... I feel bad for the Elders in the office! haha

I love you all!!
Love Your Missionary
Elder Gardner

Monday, October 24, 2011


The Lords Tender Mercies

Hey Fam,

Ugh I gotta lot to tell you all. This week has been something else and ive been just dying to be able to tell you all.
I wanna start by telling you all about our baptism Hosman Huete Moncada... who we found about 7 or 8 weeks ago. We have seen nothing but the miracles of the lord working on him in the past nearly 2 months. When we found Hosman he had no job and as a welder... its been really hard for him to get a job. He was contacted one night back in the beginning of September and 2 weeks after that night when we were finally able to teach them a lesson. That same night we challenged him and his wife to baptism on the 22nd of October... well that day finally came. It wasnt as easy as that though. As he fought with trying to find a job... him and especially his wife fought with doubts. There was one time when he asked us to pray for him because the situation of him and his wife economicaly was really really bad. That day we did a fast so that he could find a job. It wasnt even 3 days later that a buddy of his had called him and said he had a contracted job to do with the MORMONS!!. He wasnt sure what to think when in just the first couple days he was just welding a buch of railings for a parking lot. He called us 2 weeks ago when he was litteraly on the Temple Site working... little did he know he was working on a Temple of the Lord when they called him. As a welder they actually gave him a job clear up on nearly the top of the temple welding huge windows in their place. He actually called us on tuesday while he was up ON THE TEMPLE asking what the other buldings are right next to the temple (the stake center, and visitors center, and guest house). When he told us that about a week ago... we couldnt believe it. We couldnt belive that not only did he get a job to be able to let him maintain his family.. but he is working in a place that members who are also struggling would die to work there. On thursday this week before his baptism he gave one of the most sincire closing prayers ive ever heard as he gave thanks to the lord for sending us to his house, for giving him a job in his holy house, and was PLEADING in prayer after a very spiritual lesson on Finding Faith in Christ (mostly for his wife) that his wife could come to know that these things are true!! The baptismal service was really spiritual as all of the leaders showed up and supported him soooo well. We were worried that his wife Yasmin wasnt gonna show up cuz she showed up way late and alone with thier little daughter. If she wouldnt have showed up we would have died cuz that baptismal service was just incredible. Especially his testimony afterwards, as he shared with all the members and his wife of the miracles that the lord has thrown at him in the past weeks. Nearly in tears he bore his testimony to his cute wife and daughter that he knew these things were true... cuz if not.. the lord would have never blessed him in the way that he has.
Hosman has really helped me get, realize, and see again how the the lord works with the CHOSEN. He has had soo many trials in the past while in his life that if I would have had to pass them... i dont know what I would have done.
I felt the spirit over and over again in this weekend, I wish you could have all been here to see the things that happened this weekend. Hosmans wife now has the baptismal date for the 12th of November and we hope that she can get over the doubts about the book of mormon. I felt that when we watched The Testiments last night with thier family it helped her see the importance. It was a really good lesson!!

I love you all soooo much! I always wish I had more time but keep Yasmin and Hosman in your prayers.. they are gonna need your help!!

Your missionary
Elder Gardner

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hey Fam,
I wish I just had a ton of good news for you all today, but its gonna have to wait till next week when we have a baptism!!! Its been really really wet lately in the city, and supposidly even worse in the south... lots of rain. In fact the Elders in my old area.. Buena Vista... well they are trapped there, and have been for over a week now cuz the streets are completely fludded and so muddy that no one can get there. No busses or food can be delivered out there. It happens every year but its always a stressful time id imagine.
Nothing bad or good hapened this week so weve just been fighting to not get disanimated, we find new people and then somehting comes up and we have to drop them for one reason or another and the rain isnt working on our side at all. Its just like the snow in UT, when its there, we dont want it after about 2 weeks, and when its not there, we want it. What do ya know!!! My boots are no longer waterproof and just as it was last year in SabanaGrande... nothing ever dries cuz its so humid and if its not downporing, its a constant mist. The bright side is that this country is super green and super beautiful this time of the year.
Earlier in the week we had to take on a missionary from Honduras, and fresh right out of the MTC in Guatemala cuz his Mexico visa hadnt gone through yet. We took advantage of it and went on splits with other future missionaries in the ward and it was really good. Sadly though they took him away from us on saturday morning cuz they found him a companion but it was a good experience.
With Hosman, our investigator that gets baptized this next week, hes been pregressing like a charm, reading the book of mormon more then I do somedays and is always super animated to go to church. We are trying to get his wife to get in the water too but shes not completely recuperated from her surgery. Plus they have a little year and a half year old... cutest thing in the world.. is always really distracting when we really want her to focussed. We watched a movie about marriages and temples and it was really good, it was the most interested ive seen her but its gonna take her a while more.. .maybe next month.
Im praying for you guys all the time cuz this time of the year is never easy. But its been kinda hard for me down here too cuz I feel like Christmas is gonna be here before we know it, and the fact my comp is gonna be home for christmas, and thanksgiving and everything, well he sometimes likes to rub it in. Im trying to stay strong though... haha.
I got the little package too by the way and thank you all so much for the letters, I love you soooo much!!! Dont forget to let me know when you get my letters cuz im always waiting to find out if you got them.
Oh and of courst Happy Birthdays to Alexa and Tadd last week and this week. I love you too!! Letters are on the way and have been for a while!!!
Thanks to all of you for your love and suppport! Your the best family ever!!!!
Love your missionary
Elder Gardner

Baptism of Sarahi

Colton and Jaimie

18 Months down

Hey fam,
Ah this was an awesome week. So I wasnt able to let you guys all know last week cuz we didnt know either that we were gonna have a baptism this weekend. That girl Sarahi that randomly showed up to church a while back, we taught her everything, and she accepted baptism with us and then she moved away from us the same day that she accepted baptsim... well we got the other missionaries that live close to her new place to go meet with her. She told them... the missionaries already taught me everything and I wanna get baptized on the 8th... we didnt tell her to say any of that. But the good news is that in her baptismal interview she asked if either me or Elder Nielsen could baptize her. So friday night before the baptism they told us they wanted to go to the baptism. As you can see in the pic I baptized her. She is so awesome and has a testimony of gold of the athority and everything... even though she doesnt have support from her direct family she has that testimony that will hold her up.
With all of the great news of last week, I just might have spoken too soon. We have lost a couple of them, and had to drop others but we still have 3 maybe 4 planned for the 22nd. They arent 100% or anything but were hoping so. Were gonna have an awesome family home evening with the bishop and stake president tonight with these 4 people so we will see if that gets em. Not a whole lot happened this week, just a whole lot of rain and very little new people to teach.
Were still holding up, my comp told me he has only this P-day and 3 more, so he is getting baggy on me and im not too excited to be with him as he dies in the mission. Ive having to push a little harder then before but were doin good.
I wish I had more time today and I realize this is prolly the shortest email in along time but were super busy today and were headed to a multi-zone activity in a stake center that has a basketbal court... not very common... so were stoked about that!!!
I love you all very much though and thanks so much for the pics and good news about Noel! Im dyin to be able to write him.
Keep us in your prayers this next week, we need these investigators to stick in there!!!
Love Elder Gardner
PS that other pic is of Jaimer, the one you guys talked to on monday through skype. He just happened to be at the baptism of Sarahi so he told me to take a pic and sent it home to you guys. He remembers me from when I started the mission in that zone... hes a good guy!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

AHHH He made it!!

Hey Fam,
You guys have no idea how much I have been just DYING to find out that everything went well and that Noel made it. I think I'm done crying now after seeing all those pics, I could hardly even sleep the past two nights. I cant believe this is all happening!! Please tell him how much I love him, and miss him already. Take lots of pics and just spoil he crap out of him the next two days or whatever that he has. I LOVE my family sooooo much. You guys are the best ever. Noel has just been sooo excited to see you guys as I'm sure you've been able to see. Tears just busted out of my eyes as I was eagerly waiting for my email to finally open and I saw those pics. Ugh I just lost it. I'm done now though!
Fam this has been one heck of a week. I cant believe its already over, we started the week anxious to be able to see General Conference this weekend and then I get the news that we got on friday and I lost it. Ever since that moment on friday morning, iv been waiting for this moment right now. To see Noel with all of you!! Conference was awesome, and even though my mind was in a lot of other things, I learned a lot and got a lot of answers from my prayers as im sure as a lot of you guys did too. I just love this church sooo much, and it got a huge energy boost as me and Elder Nielsen just stayed at the church in our own little room watching the satelite transmission in english, and staying for everything, the world report and everything. It truly is just a manifestation of the great and marvelous work that me and now Noel have a chance to be a part of.
Just before the priestood session on saturday me and my comp and a couple other greengos that wanted to blow a little hole in their pocket we all went to Chilis here close to the chapel, and even though my meal was only 12 bucks, its a lot in the form of 220 Limps, and on top of that for the missionary budget.
This week was one heck of one too as well. We weren't expecting much out of it to be honest cuz of Conference and how hard it is to get people to travel to get to a chapel to watch it. Regardless we found 5 new investigators this week and challenged them all to baptism. We went from having 1 person with a baptismal date... to 7 from just last week. We found a father and his 23 year old daughter who came from up north not too long ago, had never heard anything about the church, and when we found them, they were just ready from the get go. Even though they only got there for the final words of the prophet on sunday morning... they made it and they are still set to get baptized on the 22nd. This mans wife, and the rest of his family, of 5...they will be here in December and they are married... MIRACLE!!!! We hope to eventually get his whole family in the water later on. The members have just helped us soooo much this week with teaching and supporting our investigators. We have one other family with the baptismal dates for the 22nd as well, so if the lord can help us this month, it will be an amazing month. Just in this week believe it or not... from nothing... to something.
I have a lot more to read and right but ugh you have no idea how HAPPY i am right now... and i dont know how to express it to you. I love this church and everything about it, the tender mercies of the lord are just pouring out upon us right now, on top of that one of my best friends ever... a convert of not even a year and a half... now with my family, seeing temples and im sure just exploring and seeing all over Utah. I love this church, the mission, and everything that comes with it in this great and marvelous package!!!!
I love you all!
Until Next Week!!!
Remember lots of pics with Noel, and SPOIL him. hahahah
Love Elder Gardner

Monday, September 26, 2011

service project, pouring cement


Hey Fam,
Ah well its been a really awesome week. Changes were this wednesday, but as expected I didnt have changes and I stayed here and im gonna be here with Elder Neilsen until he goes home on the 3rd of November... Im not looking forward to it just cuz its gonna make it really baggy but were doin good so far. In our zone there at 8 areas and 5 of the 8 areas had changes so we got a lot of new Elderes which was a good thing, for the most part. We just have a lot of old missionaries in the zone and for some reason they think that with the more time they have, the more lazy they can get. If youve got any tips on how to animate missionaries to work hard in their last 4 months... just let us know cuz none of them want to listen right now. Its been hard for us lately to show the example as far as results in our area cuz we havent had much success... but were getting better. We just had a really aweome baptism of an 18 year old future missionary!!
We had been working really hard with Edin all week, he is a best friend of one of the other future missionaries in the ward, and ever since we started teaching him he has just been super humble and accepting. When we go to visit his family.. its just sad. They live in one of the worst conditions... for being in the city at least. I got used to seeing that when I was in the south but being here in the city its just sooo sad. Edin, his older brother, and Dad all work, they have machettes and they cut grass and clean different parts of the city... and for just 75 limpiras a day. Which is about 4 dollars. They live extremely poor. The first time we went to thier house, we saw a bag from the bishops store house that had rice in it before, and we found out that the future missionary who gave us the reference of them had given them what he had, because he as well, is homeless, he just has the luck to be living in the house of a returned missionary and his family. I have the faith that Edin and his family will soon be baptized with time. We took the chance to baptize Edin so that he could set the example for his family and just by having his family go to the baptims and see how beautiful it is. Well... Satan seems to be pretty good at throwing stumbling blocks in our way and his family, on thier way to the baptism, his dad passed out and fell down for which we found out later was lack of nutricion. Because of that no one in the family was able to go to Edins baptism, but luckily a lot fo members came and supported him. Despite that, Edins dad, just the day after was able to go to church, and being the super humble guy he is, loved the church, could only stay the first hour because he wasnt feeling good. We hope the lord will soften their hearts and help them come to get baptised as well.
Im sending some pictures as well of the service project that we did for the owners of my last house in La Reforma. We went over early in the morning on tuesday and made cement and then hauled it in buckets back to the back of the house where we pulled off a Honduran cement job... it was kind of a joke, but it was fun. Despite the fact that they are really really strong and faithful baptists, they love us now, and they gave us one heck of a lunch. So it was worth it in the end. Maybe someday they will be baptised since the wife there has a sister that is a member, sealed in the temple and everything... its just hard, cuz she wants nothing to do with us!
Anyways... thats my week in a short message, keep us in our prayers cuz as we go into this new month of October, and especially with General Conference coming up, its a huge week for missionaries just trying to find people to go to the conference. Were gonna need all the help we can get, especially with the very little investigators that we have.
I love you all very very very much. I STOKED for General Conference.... I got home just 10 days after the next one....dont worry im not baggy and I dont think about it much... haha
Love Elder Gardner


Enjoying the Rainy Season!!

Hey Fam,
Ugh well its been quite a week. The week right before changes and the week of changes are usually super hard, but we seemed to make the best of this one right before changes. We got to do some divisions this week and so I got to go back to my old area, La Reforma, for a day and that night for dinner some of the families that I loved so much were there waiting for me and made me a super amazing dinner. I miss all of them soo much. I never got to say goodbye to them when I left so I got me some pictures with them.
Were starting to get into the harder more heavy part of the rainy season so weve been getting really wet, despite the fact that we have umbrellas, they dont seem to do very much for our pants and especially shoes as you can see in the pics I sent yall. Thursday was the Independance Day for Honduras so there were all kinds of parades going on...nothing like what they are in the states... instead of throwing candy to kids, the kids are told to stay away and the cops stand at the sides of the street and get all kinds of crap at them. Its scary, they take advatage of using these marches to say what they want to say and do all kinds of un called things. It really makes you miss the perfectly safe parades that they do in the states.
We had a lot of good things happen this weekend though. We were on divisions once again on thursday and me and and Elder from El Salvador, Elder Barrera, went with me and we went to a new part of our area and found 6 new people and 2 new families. Sadly only one came to church but it makes you feel good at the end of the day when you felt like youve done something. Sunday turned out being a really awesome day. We only had 2 investigators in church, and the recent convert recieved the preistood yesterday and was super excited. The lady, Sarahi, that showed up to church on her own 2 weeks ago now, who sadly we tried but were not able to meet with her, she showed up alone once again and in the investigator class began crying about how her dad is in acoma, but was able to say that if she decided to get baptized, he will be there to support her in what she decides to do. The best thing about her is that the lord really has called her and shes a chosen, and that the doubts are not in baptism at all, its more that she wants to know perfectly these things are true before she takes any steps, we explained to her Alma 32: 16-19 cuz she believes in everthing we have taught her, but for some reason is scared to ask God, if the Book of Mormon is true. We had a great lesson with her after church though. Shell be baptized next month though for sure... thats the faith anyways.
Everything is going really good here in Honduras, changes are this week and me and Elder Neilsen are definately ready for some new Elderes. Some of these guys are just tremendous and it seems theres nothing we can do to get them to work sometimes. Our area is getting better though as long as the rain lets up a little bit.
I love you all very much though and I want you all to know that!!!
Take care
Till next week!!

Elder Gardner

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Honduran Temple

Bowling, a favorite for the Elders

Patriarchal Blessings

Hey Fam,
Ok well it was a really good week. I have no complaints. On tuesday as Zone Leaders in the mission, I had my first ZL Counsel with the President of the the mission, Pte Hernandez. It was really good actually. Im gonna be looking forward to those, they always give us breakfast and lunch and its all in the mission home...really nice house. I talked more with Elder Wedemeyer on monday night cuz he is a ZL in the south and so they stayed in our house over night, it was really good experience working monday night with him as we did divisions in our area. He had no idea his mom was at our house though, he may know now but he didnt. He ispires me, he is the happiest person in the world, and well known for it. I learned a lot from him in just those couple hours we worked together, we actually found a new family in that little bit of time, were not sure if they are gonna progress yet but it was good.
This weekend was a little bit harder, thursday because of the ZL Counsel that we had, we had to prepare a capacitation for the 18 other elders in our zone on thursday. It was mostly focussed on the Doctrine of Christ, and how much we need to follow what our patriachal blessings teach us, and to apply it in our mission. I took the part on the Patriarchal Blessings cuz when the Presidents wife, it hit me hard cuz I dont read it as much as I should... but i do now... I repented. It went really good, and from what weve seen its been a huge help for the missionaries in the zone as far as animating themselves more. Especially for me and my companionship.
The joy of being a Zone Leader is doing Divisions with all the Elderes in our zone. Theres always good things that come from Divisions, i just had to keep telling that to the missionaries that I got with cuz its true and its prooved itself to be true. Friday on Divisions we didnt have much planned and so I figured it was gonna be a lot of contacting and knocking doors. When the night came it was about 7:30 and didnt have anything to do, so we just starting knocking. About that time everyone is in there house and we started to notice that but the first about 5 houses didnt even open their doors and just nothing happened. Ive learned that its always at the last moment, and right when we get disanimated... that that person finally opens. Sure enough, we knocked on a door and a lady just barely just opened the window to talk to us and as quick as possible we just said we wanted to get in and teach her something about Jesus Christ. We had a really really good lesson, and they accepted baptism. The mission has been teaching us that we need to be challenging to baptism on the first lesson, and as we do it, weve seen a lot of success. Our mission reached the highest goal ever reached by a central america mission... 222.
Its been a huge learning experience for me the past little bit after receiving this new calling. I know this is the work of the lord, im sure of it, I see the miracles being performed left and right.
I love you all very very much. I appreciate all the updates and I love hearing from you all!!
Until next week!!
Love your missionary,
Elder Gardner

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lots of Rain

Hey fam,
Well its been quite a week. This whole past week there have been warnings of big rain storms coming as after affects of the Tsunami or somehting that hit in NY and we didnt think much of it all week cuz it was just hotter then ever this week, which truely is a sign that its gonna rain. When it gets super hot here, it means its gonna rain soon. All week though we were fine up until saturday afternoon and it CAME DOWN!! The worst part was it just happened to start falling about 45 minutes before the Preistood meeting for the stake conference we had this weekend. Needless to say we were soaked in the process of trying to get our investigators to the meeting and some recent converts. We were only 15 minutes late though and were there just in time to listen to Elder Martino, of the 70 speak to us, and shave us, and capacitate us. It was really good, and actually exactly what we needed to hear, and especially the preistood leaders here in this country.
Sunday was really awesome though, the official day of the stake conference. The only part that makes everything hard is that the stake center is pretty far away from our area and the majority of people here dont have cars here obviously. Reguardless though, we told the Family Molina to be there early cuz they said they wanted to go on thier own and sure enough, the both of them were there bright and early, they even beat us there. We have started to teach their 21 year old daughter recently though, and shes listening for once, but se wasnt able to go to the stake conference cuz of school. She seems to progressing now too so we will see what happens.
Yesterday was a really good day cuz we were able to go in divisions with some youth from the ward for a couple hours and it was really good. Something good always happens when we do divisions with the youth, and future missionaires of the ward. Despite all the rain we got this weekend, we got 4 investigators in church that we did not really expect.
I dont have much time but I want you to know that this is without a doubt the true chruch. I love this work so much, it was hard seeing my buddies home last week but the only cure to baggyness or trunkyness is going to work and it seemed to help me out this past week. Were finally starting to work a whole lot more with the missionaries in the zone, to do divisions and meet them more, and especially their investigators. I love that part about being a Zone Leader, im slowly becoming one of the oldest missionaries in the zone, its weird to say the least. I still feel like i have so much time left but I know how fast the past 7 months have passed me by and it makes me nervous. Im loving it though. Know that I love you all!! Very much!!
Take care!
Elder Gardner
PS. Heres a couple funny videos that I have done recently, including the storm we just had this last weekend. I hope you like them!!