Monday, April 24, 2017

Boldness, Dogs in Sacred Places, and Sabbath Breakers

Elder Chiquival

It was a wonderful week here in Sonzacate, El Salvador. We worked diligently and had a lot of success in teaching people the restored gospel of Jesus Christ!

It was very hot this week but the heat has been going away a little bit, march and april are the hottest months so I'm almost out of the woods with that sweltering heat! My sunscreen has been a dear friend these last few weeks. 

We went to a baptism on Saturday in one of the town in our zone called Izalco. Two adult men were baptized and it was a great service. The only thing that bothered me was when I saw a dog come into the room, I was going to kick the dog out but everyone assured me it was fine. It was the dog of a relative of someone was getting baptized, but I don't think dirty dogs should be present for events like that. But, the people didn't care and nobody thought twice about it, the service went as planned. I guess that some of the cultural differences I will just never quite understand.

We found a man named Adalito a couple of weeks ago but we hadn't had a good opportunity to talk with him in a teaching setting. This week we did and something surprising occurred in the lesson with him. We were very very direct and bold with him in explaining gospel principles and to our surprise he readily accepted a baptismal invitation. You can never go wrong with boldness, a good direct explanation or invitation to do something is always the best. 

El Clasico, the name bestowed upon the matchup between Barcelona and Real Madrid, is a highly anticipated and viewed event in Latin America. Yesterday was El Clasico, everyone watched it and it reminded me of the Super Bowl. Everyone spent the Sabbath day watching soccer instead of thinking about God, it is interesting to see where our priorities lie. 

Everything is going great here in El Salvador, I'm enjoying each day and I love the people here. There are many wonderful people who genuinely want to follow Jesus Christ, and a general belief in Him among almost everyone, it is a pleasure to serve among these people. 

Have a wonderful week, 

Elder Gardner

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mystery Soups, Dirty Shoes, and a Trip to Belize

I don't have a lot to say this week. We were busy. We had to travel to San Salvador twice, once for a meeting and another time for immigration purposes. 

I had soup a few times this week. I like soup, but when it is always hot and humid I don't really want to eat a big bowl of piping hot soup! But I had some good soups this week although it is sometimes difficult to tell what dark colored soups are made of. 

We had some great visits with people this week. There is one experience that particularly touched me this week. We visit a family that hasn't come to church for many years. The dad smokes and has a negative attitutude, he says that when he went to church and lived the gospel before he was happy, healthy, and he loved life. Now he says that life feels like a drag and he has to suffer through every day. Whenever we go to this house they are all just sitting there silently watching tv, last night we went there and such was the case. 

The wife was sick, laid out on the couch with a grimace on her face. The daughters were watching tv and the dad was sitting there smoking on his tailgate of his truck. They were all in the same house but isolated in their own worlds. They let us come in, we taught a simple message, and then they began to talk. The whole atmosphere changed, they felt the Holy Ghost, they began to feel happy. They started to smile, they started to laugh, and it touched my heart to see that. After we ended our message with a hymn and a prayer, they gave us some food and by the time we left they were talking one with another and they looked happy! 

This was a simple experience. But I know that the Spirit changes people's hearts, it isn't anything special that we do as the missionaries. I know that God wants us all to be happy and to love each other. It is amazing how life changes when we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives and the negative influences of Satan go away. 

My companion will go to Belize this week. We were suprised by that as he already went to Belize. So I will have a new companion from Guatemala. I also got hit by a dirty shoe this week, long story short. 

 Enjoy the Spring weather back in Idaho. 

I've written too much.

Have a great week everybody!

Elder Gardner

The Rat in Hat and a Former Companion visits

Elder Mejia was my companion in Belize

Elder Lopez

This is the last week of this transfer, it has gone by seemingly fast. I feel as if it just begun, we had a large multizone conference this week and my former companion came. He is visiting from Mexico, but it was very odd for me to see him again. He is just a normal person now, no longer a missionary. I didn't talk to him too much, he just told me that he has been unable to find a girlfriend for the last 3 and a half months. This is coming from the same man who told me he'd be married 6 months after his mission...his chances of meeting the goal are looking rather bleak. 

We had a rat get into our house, it left excrements over all of my things. I was very unpleased with this, those poor choices the rat made led to its painful death. My companion was terrified when he knew there was a rat in the house. He hid in another room and shut the door while I killed it. After I killed the rat I had it on a stick and I approached him with it, that got a girly squeal out of him, haha. The isn't the first animal I've killed in my houses during my mission. I've killed rats, bats, cockroaches, and monkeys.(That part about the monkeys is a joke) 

The missionary work is going well here in El Salvador, we are always looking for more people to teach. We run into a lot of people who know the Bible and are obsessed with it, many people even believe if something isn't in the bible it isn't true and that God is unable to reveal anything else to us. It is difficult to help such close minded people who lack faith in God and His power, if God revealed truth before why can't He now? 

General Conference was great this weekend for all of you who saw it, I enjoyed the talks and the messages from the living prophets. I was glad to watch it in English and hear it in the original language, it just isn't the same in the spanish translation. 

I hope all of you have a great week! Be happy and don't forget to smile! Enjoy that nice spring weather, don't forget to put on sunscreen!

Elder Gardner