Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My 2nd Christmas in Central America

It was a wonderful Christmas week. It was also very busy. We are visiting some great people and it is nice to see how receptive they are and excited to change their lives.
We hard a Christmas party at the church this week, that was a big event. We got about 100 people there so that was great on Wednesday. On Thursday we had a really  big activity! We set up a big projector screen right in the town square with videos from the church and we talked with everyone who walked by, giving them copies of the Book of Mormon, pamphlets, cards, and candy. I was dressed as Santa Claus so I was giving out candy to everyone, taking pics with kids. I think Santa Claus was a little to young and skinny in my place, but the kids didn't seem to care.
We helped paint a shack the other day with Elder Ostler my former companion, he did an interchange with me as AP. We are great friends and we helped a guy named Obed to paint a shack, we had longer arms so we made the job a lot easier for him. It was fun to be with Elder Ostler again.
I got to call my family yesterday. It was great to be able to talk with them, it was the highlight of the Christmas for me. I was very happy to see everyone, to see my grandparents, everyone just looks so good. I was wishing I could just climb through that screen, right out of the suffocating humidity into my cozy living room. But, Skype hasn't added that feature yet so I was unable to do that, maybe for Mother's day.
I am doing great, I am so happy to have the gospel in my life and to come closer to Jesus Christ. It was a great Christmas season, I hope that everyone is doing well back at home. I love you all and wish you a happy new year.
Elder Gardner

Me as Santa Claus

Monday, December 19, 2016

Belize Navidad, It's going to be a hot Christmas

The weather here has cooled down a lot, we still got humidity to nearly 100% but we are usually only in the 80's or 90 degrees instead of well over 100 degrees. 

Some crazy things happened this week. A large drunk man tried to mess with the sisters while walking in Belize City. I immediately stopped, went over there, and forced the guy away so the sister missionaries could run away. To keep the story short the man got really physical and aggressive in his pursuit of the sister missionaries so I had to keep holding him back. He continued to try and make his way through me as we were walking on a sidewalk over a bridge, I put up an arm-bar and pushed him back repeatedly. He was walking behind me, trying to make his way through, it was somewhat difficult because I was always carrying a suitcase for another sister missionary at the same time! The man finally stopped trying to force his way through and he punched me in the back of the neck!

I was shocked! It didn't hurt so much, but I was surprised. The man immediately ran away, so it was good that the conflict ended at that. Everyone around said that the guy hit me extremely hard and that it made a sickening noise. I feel that it was a miracle that I wasn't really hurt. But, at least the sisters were fine and I have a great story to tell! I have enjoyed telling everyone about that experience!

We found an awesome family this week called the Gentle Family, they already went to church many times before and listened to the missionaries. They told us that they had been waiting for us to come and that they want to be baptized. They are really cool, it was a miracle how it all worked out. 

I'm doing great and I'm grateful to be a missionary. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Lord's Kingdom built up on the earth to bless the human family in these latter times. I know Jesus Christ is the Savior, and although He was born in April, it is great to celebrate Him in this Christmas season. I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and keep the ultimate gift close to you.

With love, 

Elder Gardner

Monday, December 12, 2016

New companion- Elder Daly

 Elder Daly is great, he's energetic and we've been working hard. We are going to have an awesome transfer together.  I'm thinking that this might be my last change here in Belize so I'll have to make the absolute most of it. I'm enjoying myself and I've been working hard. This last week was awesome, we worked very hard and we had a good time. 

Today for P day we'll probably watch a church movie in the chapel, we have a bunch of sistersin teh district and they can be very hard to please sometimes. Our investigators are doing good. We only have a few that are progressing very quickly but that is ok, we do a ton ton ton of less active work. I enjoy less active work, it is easier sometimes as well because it gives you a big advantage as they are already familiar with the church. 

The package you sent is awesome!.Thank you billions! It will be an awesome Christmas. 

I'm doing great, I'm growing in my testimony and I love the Savior. I'm happy to be in the mission.

I got my package!


Monday, December 5, 2016

Another Transfer

I'll be in the beautiful Belize for at least another month and a half. My companion is going home, he isn't too sad about it. He is ready to go eat his mexican tacos and be with his family for Christmas, I can't blame the little guy I gues, haha. I've enjoyed my time with him and I'll miss good old Elder Mejia. 

My next companion will be named Elder Daly, he is from Maryland. So that will be nice to have a companion who can understand and talk to the people. I won't have to do all the talking anymore... that will be a nice switch up for the people. 

I set up my Christmas tree, it isn't really the prettiest thing (it isn't even a tree, just lights). But it helps me get into the spirit of Christmas and I enjoy it, Christmas was always my favorite holiday. It will be the last one this year that I won't be home for. 

We had some investigators come to church this week, Saul and Trisha came to church. They are a very young family and they are interested in the message. They seemed to enjoy church but their little baby almost makes it impossible for them to focus on anything. But, they had a good experience and I'm hoping that they'll come back!

I'm doing great overall, it is a wonderful time of year to reflect on what the Savior did for us and that He is the gift. I'm grateful for all that I have been given in my life and I hope to press forward with a steadfastness in Christ. I know that He lives and that through Him we can achieve great happiness. I hope that all of us can focus on the true meaning of Christmas this year! I wish the best for all of you. 

Elder Gardner