Honduras San Pedro East Mission

Monday, October 31, 2016

1st Week in Honduras

Elder Gardner and Elder Guadarrama

Out his window
Hello everybody,

It's been a good first week here. I'm in the Ocotillo area which has been described as the dump of San Pedro Sula and its pretty true. There's wild pigs and chickens and dogs everywhere. People just dump trash everywhere and then when the pile is too big or stinks too much they burn it, so there's always lots of smoke and things here. Its all dirt roads and lots of mountains around here so its pretty much hiking all day and trying to avoid animal waste in the streets. My companion is Elder Guadaurrama from Mexico! He's pretty cool and doing a good job of teaching me everything here. The people here are all really friendly  even though I don't know anything they are saying. The Spanish they speak here is different from what I learned and the older generation slurs all the words together so its hard to tell whats going on. I'm sure ill learn it fine though, just needs time. We eat lots of beans and rice here but the members feed us everyday so its good. I'm probably going to gain weight because I have been very full the whole time I've been here so far.

The people here live in concrete huts with tin roofing. Our house is the same, but a little nicer since we have a tile floor. Pretty crazy how everyone lives here. Our shower is just a pvc pipe that sticks out of the wall, and half the time we don't have water. Its pretty humid here and most of the time I'm just soaked in sweat. Supposedly this is the rainy season and it gets a lot hotter.
A lot of people here are less active because they don't like the bishop. We have plenty of people to teach because of this. We met a few people this week who seem interested so we will see how that goes. I invited one person to baptism and she accepted so as long as she comes to church  she should be ready in a few weeks.
Most people here  have a little store in the front of there house where they sell chips and candy and things for pretty cheap. There's a lot of evangelical churches, pretty much on every corner.
The people here don't have a lot, but you know that everyone has a massive stereo system and there's always loud music playing.
Anyways its been a good first week  and hopefully I start understanding what people are saying soon.
Avanza Su Verdad
Love Elder Gardner

The pics are of me and my companion and then just the view fro my window. I'll try to take more  this week.

On Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 2:48 PM, Nicole Gardner <wesandnicole@hotmail.com> wrote:
Jarom:  Hey bruh is you still on?
Yes bruh! the internet stopped working so we had to go to a different place 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

1st Day in Honduras

Dear Family,

We are pleased to have your son, Elder Gardner, here in our mission.  He arrived this morning, October 25th, and was assigned his new companion, Elder Guadarrama from Mexico. They will be serving in the El Carmen zone in the town of El Carmen here in Honduras. 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve with your son.


President and Sister Carlisle
Elder Gardner with President and Sister Carlisle

Monday, October 24, 2016

Last Week at CCM

So fun to see Elder Josh so happy!  Today is the day he arrives in Honduras!  Waiting anxiously to hear...
Elder Andrew Craven and Elder Gardner

Futbol Rapido outfit

Chastised by Elders who inspected 

Called to Serve
Its been another busy week but its been good. I got my flight plans for Honduras on Tuesday and its pretty crazy. my flight is at 4 am Arizona time on Tuesday morning . Its a 2 hour flight to El Salvador and then an  hour flight to San Pedro. From there I'm not sure what will happen but at least Ill be with other people in my district.  I'm excited to go even though I still need a lot of work on the languange.  I sure I'll learn fast though! I packed my bags today and I'm all set to go , just a few other small things I need to do.We had Bonnie Oscarson, the young women's general president, visit us this week. It was cool except she mainly tallked to the sisters. Christofferson is also in Mexico so it was a little disappointing that it wasn't him. But I got plenty of good notes to keep me alive so Ill be fine!

A lot of the guys here love my ties and we had kind of a black market in our house the other night. I traded a few but for the most part kept my closet locked until they left haha. Things go missing fast when there's 10 guys in your room!

Its been kinda weird to be here cause you meet so many awesome people, but then they leave  just a week or two later and you know that you'll probably never see or talk to them again. Its been awesome to be around so many cool people here and how I can connect with different people just because we are in the same situation.

I probably won't be able to email again until the 20 or 21 so until then be safe!

Avanza Su Verdad!
Elder Gardner

The pictures are me with Andrew Craven, it was his first week here! He went to my high school and we hung out a little. The other one is me in my futbol rapido outfit. Great times!

yeah not til  the next monday, i forgot the do the date different here   so i based it off the 10 month  haha. Its hard to keep track of days here love you!

On Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 1:51 PM, Nicole Gardner <wesandnicole@hotmail.com> wrote:
Love this!  Lookin good!  What do you mean the 20-21st to email?  Today is the 20th.  Next Monday is the 24th - you go to Honduras the 25th.  Do you think pday will be Monday the 31st?  Halloween?  Dad will  be in London.  We will be anxiously awaiting news from Honduras!  So exciting!
I love you! 

Answer to Mom:
Sounds crazy! Typical  though its always crazy at home. yes I  am very excited to get there but also a little scared! Not too bad though yet. Language is a little better but the grammar is hard. I'm still a little sick but pretty much over it. There's lots of rumors about my mission here so I'm just ignoring them until I actually get there and see for myself. One of the volunteers we taught last night shared  this crazy experience of how he got in a car accident and was in a coma and was going to the light, but then someone told him he cant go yet because he needs to help his family find the gospel. they are all Catholic and he is the only member so that was a cool story.

.A cool talk if you want something to do is by President Holland.. Um I think its about preach my gospel? It's an MTC talk. But he tells the story of Peter, of how he went back to fishing after Christ died instead of continuing to preach. Until Christ was resurrected and came back for peter. Anyways its really cool and powerful and i wont give away the best part for me, but everyday the words  Elder Holland quoted echo in my head and its been awesome for me as I've been reading Jesus the Christ. There so many insights that i see now whenever I read the BOM or the Bible from that book.

haha OK so this picture is what the Latinos in our house gave us. We had a house inspection last week, but they did it during pday when we were in the middle of laundry and doing things so we didn't do very good on it. That night the Latinos came in with their own inspection. It was pretty funny.
Love you and have good week!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Another Great Week - 1 Month

I just have to say as Mom and the moderator of this blog that I think Elder Josh is glowing!  He has true joy in his service and it warms my heart to see his growth in just a month!  He says it's exactly a month but he forgot already that he left us early on a Tuesday and his pdays are Thursdays in the CCM.  Love this boy!
District 11C before transfers 

New haircut

Hello everybody, 
Hope you are all safe and enjoying life.
It's been another great week here at the CCM. Lots of studying and learning still. We have to write a 5 minute talk each week for sacrament and then on Sunday they randomly choose 4 people. It's been awesome to write these and I feel like  even though they are in a different language they are still some of the best talks I've ever written as I have been guided by the Spirit in what thoughts I should share.
We had an awesome devotional this week from Elder Bednar! He talked on basically how to make the most of general conference talks now that we  have heard them. Basically we have 3 sections for each talk: The doctrine, the invitation, and the blessings promised. If we find these things for each talk  then we will be able to make the most use of it in our lives.  It reminds of of the scripture in D and C somewhere about how when we do what the Lord has commanded, he is bound to do what he said he would. Essentially if we do our part then he has to bless us for it or he would cease to be God. Pretty cool to think about and ponder on if I am doing all that is asked of me to receive those blessings.
I guess it's been officially a month today I've been gone! It almost feels like a dream and it has passed very fast. It's hard to believe that I'm actually here sometimes. As my brother Dallin told me, we have 2 years to serve and a lifetime to think about it. This will help me sometimes when I get distracted that I need to  do all I can while I have the chance.
I know I haven't had the chance to really teach any real investigators yet but this gospel is so amazing and I can't wait to share it with others. I've been studying a lot the life of Jesus Christ in the book Jesus the Christ by James Talmage. Its is amazing and reading that has probably been the highlight of my CCM experience so far. I can't really express how I feel about Jesus and all he has done for me, all I can do is try to help others find this for themselves.
Have a great week!
Avanza Su Verdad!
Elder Gardner

These pictures are me and my new haircut, and then everyone in our house. The Latino guys finished up their CCM training and left already. We have 12 new Latino guys in our house now, hopefully they are as cool as the last group.

To Mom and Dad in answer to questions this week:
hola! yeah we had a great devotional on specific prayer!  Basically we tell the Lord a specific blessing we need, why we need it, then like give a specific time period for something to happen and have faith it will work out. Kinda hard to explain real quick but like one missionary left his bag in a taxi, and it had everything from his whole mission in it- pictures, journals, todas cosas. He prayed that he would stand on the corner of the 7 11 for an hour holding a sign. Then after 58 minutes of standing there, the taxi driver handed his bag out the window of the taxi and said don't worry I'm christian, I didn't take anything!
tons of other examples too that I don't have time to tell! but specific prayers work!

So the letter I sent wont show up for a few weeks, but the letter you sent should probably get here my last week. It takes about a month for stuff to arrive here.

Language is going good and I've been busy learning  tons of different things. Ill try to send them an email since the letters won't arrive for a while. Love you!  

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Working Hard - Language coming along-Week 3 - October 6, 2016

Elder Jared Slone-Paraguay    Elder Gardner                     Elder Hafoka

Its been another long week here, but its also gone by very fast. Last night we taught 2 members and i was able to understand most of what they were saying so my Spanish is coming along pretty good! Not really alot happened this week, just lots of time in class pretty much. Oh yeah General Conference was awesome! I learned a lot that hopefully Ill be able to remember and use. Things are going pretty great here. I have some kind of Mexican cold but its a lot better than what my roommates have so ill take it haha. I'm studying lots of different books right now and i pretty much only have an hour each day to study what i want s that kind of tricky with how much stuff they want us to be doing.  But I'm trying to make the best of any spare time i have by reading .Hope everyone is doing good! Today is pretty much the first real pday since the last 2 we were at the temple all day.But its been awesome! Our zone leaders left on Monday and it was sad to see them go.We will probably be the next zone leaders since  next week we will be the oldest district here. Come what may and love it!
Avanza Su Verdad!
Elder Gardner

Miracles are Real - Another Great Week- September 29, 2016

District 11C Mexico City Temple

Elder Gardner and Elder Hafoka

Mexico City CCM District 11C

Elder Gardner and Elder Sessions

Well its been a great time here so far and time is flying. First thing is that miracles are real and I witnessed one. The Elder who had his face crushed a while back spent 7 hours in the operating room and received a total of 11 titanium plates in his face. He is definitely very lucky to be alive. Not even a week after he was injured, he was already back here and going to his classes. He will need to go home for some more surgeries after this completely heals, but his recovery is a miracle and he is very lucky. I testify to you all the the power of God is real and he watches over his children. I have seen so many blessings in the short time i have been here. I have learned so much. I have seen lots of progress in myself but i still have a long ways to go. My district is great and we all get along real good. 5 others in my district are going to my mission, 4 are going to the other Honduras mission, and then 2 are going other places. My companion is great and I have learned a lot from him already. A lot of these guys have problems with the sleep schedule, but I mean 8 hours is pretty much vacation for me, plus the lord promises blessings with obedience. I know if it wasn't enough, through being obedient through the Lord He will make it sufficient for us.

Haha theres always gunshots going off here. Were super high up in the clouds so its always raining and foggy. Ill probably go through quite a few umbrellas over the next two years, but things aren't too expensive here so its not a big deal. Thanks for your support and prayers, things are coming along great for me. I forgot to mention but they made my companion district leader so that's a fun time. Ha he lost the key to the mail this week and the hermanas were freaking out on him. But he was able to buy another one and now I'm responsible for the mail key haha.Were going to the temple again today and that will be great. Its about a 6 hour trip total so pretty much my whole pday. They have a little shop across the street that I'm going to get some cool stuff from. I underestimated the amount of normal clothes I would need but its not a big deal since the stuff here is like $4 US. The pictures are me and my district and my companion. Hopefully they are good because i didn't check them.

Love you guys and thanks for everything.
Elder Gardner

To Mom and Dad:
This week was great! Can't remember anything major that happened but they keep us super busy. The Lord is definitely helping with the language though the gift of tongues but only as hard as I work for it. I'm sending a letter hopefully today if i have time. Sunday is probably the best day here, we have sacrament and other priesthood meetings, lots of personal study time and 2 devotionals. It is awesome and truly a day of rest! I started reading the bible and there is some crazy stuff that they used to do back then. My favorite chapter  this week is Romans 8. I want to study it some more when i have time.Every Tuesday we have either an area 70 come or we get a broadcast from Provo MTC or a  general authority. They are super awesome. Hey I'm not a greenie here anymore! Our zone leaders leave this Monday so well see who they pick to be the new ones. I thought there was a blog but i guess not if you cant find one. OH and tell Dallin i found Chuck Sessions from the singles ward! he has a completely different schedule so it was super lucky i ran into him. There are about 800 missionaries here. The lessons are getting better as i learn more Spanish but they are still hard haha. Its hard to understand and hear what they are saying. I found out how to get my camera to work but i haven't really taken too many pictures yet. Other than the miracle of healing i saw earlier nothing has stood out too much but I'm sure there have been many others here. The Lord definitely is protecting his missionaries, no matter how immature some of them are.
That's crazy about Jarom, hopefully he gets caught up and i hope he is doing okay.
For Ben- whats up buddy! Ben bruh! Keep working working hard and be good buddy! I miss you and love you bro! keep up the clanning doobie bruh! 

Good job Brookly ! I'm glad you got the class almost finished. As long as you pass its ok! Love you!

Love you all and miss you
Avanza Su Verdad ! 
Love Elder Gardner

Alive and Well - Week 1 Sept. 22, 2016

Hello everyone hope you are doing good. Thanks everyone for your support. I am alive and well in the Mexico City CCM. They keep us very busy here but the food is pretty good so its cool. 

So something super crazy happened this week that i saw! we were playing soccer during gym time. the goalie was hanging upside down on top of the goal, when he slipped off and landed on his back. Then the whole goal fell on top of him and totally crushed his face. this goal was made of 4 inch metal pipe, so it was not very light. blood was just pouring out of his face. We gave him a blessing right there then he got another one from the president  a few minutes later . he went right to the hospital. Our president told us he had a very complex surgery, but he was very lucky because his eyes and brain were not touched at all. so deifinitly a good reminder to follow the rules and not mess around.

It was mexican indepedence day last thursday and it was crazy. Viva Mexico! we are surrounded by houses on the mountain right next to us, and they were blaring music untill probably 4 in the morning. tons of fireworks were going off all night to! we had an awesome  ceremony that they probably put on the mtc blog. 

Sleeping is isnt too bad. theres no ac so we always keep the windows open but it still gets kind of hot. There isnt really a cool side to the pillow, its kinda just one bot thing. a fw things is we have wold flocks of little parrots that live in the trees here and at night they just swarm around and make tons of noise. super annoying. Theres also always random gunshots, fireworks, and sirens all the time. And we can hear traffic from all the crazy streets outside! Trains that come through town  blare their horns for literally 25 to 35 seonds  and once there was three of them going at the same time. Yeah, i counted off how long they go. It always wakes me up haha. Super nice weather during the day though. 

I dont have a lot of time but it has been a great 10 days so far. Hope yall are doing good!

Avanza Su Verdad,
Elder Gardner

More to Mom and Dad:

Hello mom and dad! things are crazy here but it is getting better. The first week went by super slow but it is already thursday and time is fliyng! the spanish is hard but im slowly getting better the more we have. Thanks for the sonuts and milk! that was super awesome and if you want to keep sending letters that way so i can hear from you more than once a week that would be awesome. My companion is elder hafoka from tonga! he is trying his best and has a great testimony. The food is here is pretty good most of the time. they dont have chocholate milk but the do always have milk and horchata on most days! all meals are pretty much dinner meals here, theres not really a specific breakfast meal. but its os pretty tasty. the weather here is perfect and could not get better! its like the weather when we were in california. No problems with bugs here. We went to the temple today! it was super awesome. My district is super awesome and we all get along pretty great. the study is pretty crazy, literally the only free time is when im eating. the language is very hard to learn and its kinda discouraging with how much i dont know. Good to hear about the news from home and i hope things go good. the stuff here is pretty cheap and next time we go to the temple im going to get a cool shirt at one of the stores there. 

We have 8 latinos and 8 whites in our house, so its cool to practice and talk with them. everyone here is super friendly. the worst part is having to teach lessons cause we barely have enough time to study. we are suppposed to give 20 minutes lessons in spanish and its really hard cause we have to keep progressing the investigator when were still barely know parts of the restoration in spanish.  Just not enough time to study for what they want us to do so most of the time i just end up reading off  from the pamhflets, preach my gosple, and 2 other books that they gave us and different scriptures. id rather  be able to actually learn it inspanish so i can just teach from the heart. I have to teach tonight and ove literally only had 20 minutes of prep this morning for it... oh well. 

they keep us very busy so i dont have have a lot of time to think of home  but i do miss and love you guys. Hope you are all doing good. sorry for all the bad spelling and such but this computer wont switch to english and i dont have a lot time to fix it.

Alive-- September 13, 2016

ALso my pday isnt until next thursday so you wont hear from me again until then!

On Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 5:14 PM, Joshua Brian Gardner <gardner.joshua@myldsmail.net> wrote:
Your Missionary's mailing addres is:
Elder Gardner
25/10/16 11 C
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

The estimated departure date for your missionary is 25/10/16. The use of the
above address on all correspondence will greatly faciliate delivery to your missionary
at the MTC. Please don't send packages.

I am alive but don't have lots of time. Traffic is crazy here. Its been a good time so far. 
Elder Gardner