Monday, August 29, 2016

Oh Benque....

It's been hot and humid here in Benque these last two weeks. This little town has proved to have its challenges. We are on our fett 8-10 hours a day under the blazing sun, very few people here receive us. As far as the missionary work goes this place is a little rough. 

My spirits haven't dropped and I'm not discouraged, as one leader once told me "It doesn't have to be fun to be fun." I'm still enjoying myself as a missionary, things just move along slowly here, but you got to try and find some humor in things as well. 

I' d like to share some of the dialogue that I've had contacting people here in the streets of Benque these last few weeks:

1. A Normal Door we knock (usuallly spanish, it's a weird mix here)

Me: "Hola hermana, como esta?" (Hi, how are you doing?)

Lady: " Yo soy catolica" (I'm catholic)

Me: "ok, pero como esta? Que tal su dia?" (ok, but how are you? How's your day?)

Lady: "yo soy catolica" (I'm catholic)

Me: " Que bueno! Que bueno que usted es catolica! Pero hermana, le gustaria escuchar un mensaje muy especial de Jesucristo?" (That's great! That is awesome that you are catholic! Would you like to hear an exciting message about Jesus Christ?)

Lady: "Ya recibo ensenanza, ya estoy en el camino" ( I already receive teachings, I'm already in the way)

Me: Have a great afternoon!

2.  A Door that we knocked (this was in english)
Me: "Hi, how are you?"

Person: "That's private information."

My companion: "ok, we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My name is Elder Ostler and this is my companion Elder Gardner, what's your name?"

Person: "That's private information."

Me: "Alright, that's great! Have the missionaries ever visited you before?"

Person: "I just moved here."

Me: "Oh, cool. Where from?"

Person: "That's private information."

Me: "Ok, as missionaries we share a very special message about Jesus Christ. Would you like to hear about it?"

Person: "No."

Me: "Why not?"

Person: "That's private information."

Me: "ok, have a great afternoon!"

It is interesting to talk to a variety of people and to be rejected by them in unique ways, these are just two examples. The first example is extremely common here, these people are taught to not talk to anyone about God in their church. That seems a little self-contradicting but it's all good!

I'm doing great here and it is a joy to see the changes people have in their lives when they'll just give our message a shot and change their lives. It is a great joy to see how true principles and application of the teachings of the scriptures help people. I know this message is true, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ can make everyone happier. 

I hope you all have a great week, 

Elder Gardner


I'm doing pretty good. We are working hard here with Elder Ostler in Benque, he's a good guy. This area has been my hardest area by far, we just seem to get rejected by everyone that we talk too. Benque is a small town and about 6,000 live here. The work historically has always been very slow here, but we still have some very positive people that we are working with so we've been blessed. We had no investigators in church this weekend, but I'm not getting discouraged, we just got to move forward with a smile. I'm happy to be a missionary and to serve the Lord. 

Last P-day, we went to another ruin, called Xuantinich. It was a cool place to go and see. That is the third ruin that I've been too. The ruins are cool to see  


Because of the size of the group we speak every sunday in sacrament meeting. I talked about obedience and the sacrament and how the Lord will bless us with his Spirit as we keep those covenants. I felt good about my talk and the people paid attention so that was great to see. 

We cleaned our house very well this morning, I think that you would be pleased. We scrubbed everything down, mostly using Clorox to try and deeply clean some things. It turned out very well, I am glad that we cleaned it. It just feels nice to leave in a clean home, at the beginning of my mission the majority of my companions were very dirty so it is nice to have been living a lot cleaner during my time here in Belize. 

I know that this church is true. I'm grateful for all the Lord does for me, I try to recognize his hand in all things, and if I don't I always still know that He is in control. I know that Joseph Smith is the chosen seer of this dispensation, I know that the Bom is true and that the Priesthood has been restored. I'm just so grateful that I have the restored gospel, it is the power of salvation unto us. I feel lucky to have been born into the covenant, I see ppl reject the gospel all day, they just don't realize that it would make their lives easier and better, and that it would do so forever. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Good Week!

Sign outside of store ran by Chinese (most store owners in Belize are Chinese)

The other night we went grocery shopping from a chinese grocery store, I didn't really need anything but I wanted some ramen so I just grabbed one package of ramen that cost a quarter. After I paid, the chinese lady asked me, is that all that you are going to have for dinner? I said yes, and to my great surprise she yelled something in chinese to a coworker and they brought my a big jumbo pack of ramen, some sausage, and some avocados. then she told me "now you have real dinner for today and tommorow"  I was shocked by the generosity of this lady, I previously had some stereotypes about the chinese in my head form other things that I have seen. 

But this completely changed my perspective, this act of generosity touched me not because I needed it or because they gave me anything particularly great, but because they did it! I've always made fun of how the chinese language sounds and of some of the mannerisms of the chinese people, but now I've gained a new appreciation and understanding of them after spending some time among them here in Belize.

 Last P-Day, we went and visited another zone, Cayo, and we did a p day together. We played volleyball, I got kind of bored so Elder kreutzer and I started throwing a football around adn we had a good time. He played football for a big high school in California as a receiver so he was fun to play catch with bcus he caught everything. 

We are working hard here in Benque, but this is the hardest area I have faced. Everyone shuts us down practically when we knock on their doors.

This week Belize legalized gay marriage. There were a lot of our investigators who wanted to talk about that, and they wanted to know about our stance on it. I'm honestly sick of talking about it and I think I'll just let the final judgement speak for itself. I'm sick of liberalism that is filling up the whole world, the prophecies which state that wickedness will be considered righteousness and righteousness will be considered wickedness are being fulfilled before our eyes. 

The american ambassador here is all about gays, he took it to such an extent that he had all the Belize news agencies go over to the American embassy and he raised the rainbow flag over our american embassy. Hearing that wasn't the greatest for me, it is too bad that the world is going off a moral cliff. But it just makes it even more important that we teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all that will listen to us. 

Overlooking Benque

Translating Spanish to English for stake conference

Monday, August 8, 2016

Hurricane Earl and Benque Viejo

E. Schellenburg

Hurricane Earl

New Comp. E. Ostler

Missionaries coming from coastal areas that were evacuated from homes

pamphlets for Chinese store owners
Arkansas plate in Belize

I was in a hurricane this week, Hurricane Earl swept through belize earlier this week and hit us hard here in Benque Viejo. It was a fun experience, we didn't get into the house before the big rain hit so we got soaked! 

4 other missionaries who are assigned to Belize City and San Pedro came here to Benque to stay for a few days during the Hurricane. San Pedro and Belize City were hit hard so they were moved here for safety. Our little house here in Benque was crowded, but luckily we had enough mattresses so everyone slept through the storm. We had to stay in our house without leaving for a short time, but everyone was ok and no major damage was inflicted here in Benque. Just all the banana trees were ripped down, so, no more bananas for me!

This was my first week here in Benque, and although we had limited time to do visits due to the effect of the hurricane I met a lot of people. Here in Benque the church is very small, there is only a group here. The church building is the second floor of a house that is rented out. But there are some great people here, the main language here is spanish. 

We were walking past a reggae restaurant the other night and a guy named Henry Ford from California invited us in and bought us dinner. He was a native belizean, but he was really cool. He told us to get whatever we wanted on the menu and he invited us to a beer (which we courteously rejected). He had a great life story and he told us of his dreams of retirement here in Belize. 

We are visiting a lot of people who are interesting in learning right now, 2 of the people we are teaching, Jessica and Kaivan, came to church. There are a lot of people here so hopefully we'll have some great success in helping people learn of the restored gospel. 

I'm doing great. My companion, Elder Ostler, is a great guy and we click well. I'm really enjoying the opportunity to be here in Belize and to serve the people here. I'm grateful for all that God gives me and the opportunities that I have to serve Him. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true and I invite all to visit and learn about it. I love the people of Belize, and it is a pleasure to teach them about Jesus Christ. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic week, 

With love, 

Elder Gardner