News Release

First senior full-time missionaries from Belize called

Temple work for the Gordons has always been a priority


The missionary work of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began in Belize on May 5, 1980 with the arrival of President Samuel Flores of the Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission and Elder Robert Henke, a full-time missionary. The next day, 10 additional missionaries arrived and the Belize City Branch was organized.

Three years later Hilberto Cassanova was called as the first full-time missionary from Belize, and it was not until 17 years after the arrival of the first missionaries that the first senior couple was called from Belize to serve as full-time missionaries.

On May 15, 2017, Silbert George Gordon and his wife, Jennifer Georgia Gordon, boarded a bus in Belize at 7:40 p.m. and traveled all night, arriving in Guatemala City at 5:00 in the morning where they would begin their service as missionaries in the Guatemala City Temple.

Brother Gordon has always had a special love for missionary work since he joined the Church in 2001. "I always worked with the missionaries," says Brother Gordon. "I admired those young people. But I always thought that my time had passed, and that I would never have the opportunity to fulfill a mission. "

All that changed last year when President Luis A. Ochoa, president of the Belize City District of the Church, invited the Gordons to his office. At that meeting, President Ochoa extended an offer to the Gordons to serve as full-time missionaries in the Guatemala City Temple.

Brother Gordon remembers the event. "We could not believe it. Tears of joy filled my wife's eyes. How could we say no? When it comes to the work of our Heavenly Father, why not sacrifice? He gave us life, gave us work, gave us everything. We will find a way to serve. "

"President Ochoa told us that President Norman, president of the Guatemala City Temple, asked him if there were members of Belize who could be considered to serve as missionaries in the temple. President Ochoa said he stopped for a moment and then saw us clearly in his mind. At that moment I knew that I could not turn my back on our Heavenly Father. "

After the Gordons accepted the call to serve, President Ochoa said: "I will tell President Norman that you are coming."

Like all full-time missionaries, the Gordons had to make many preparations with their family and work to fulfill a mission. For Brother Gordon, that meant retiring from a place where he had been a valuable employee for 28 years.

The work in the temple has always been a priority for the Gordons, who were sealed for time and all eternity in the Temple of Guatemala City on August 10, 2007. Sister Gordon remembers the difficulties of going to the temple, but she added that everything was worth it.

"It takes a lot of sacrifice. The temples are so far away (from Belize), "she said. "We left at midnight in order to arrive at 6:00 in the morning so we could spend the day in the temple. Being here in Guatemala has been a blessing. Since we arrived here we have also been able to go to the Quetzaltenango and San Salvador temples to do temple work for our ancestors. We have received many blessings. "

The temples are the only place where ceremonies such as baptism and eternal marriage can be performed in favor of deceased persons, a practice that Latter-day Saints hold that was followed in the New Testament era but then lost.

Speaking of the joy they have encountered since joining the Church, Sister Gordon said: "We are very happy to be Latter-day Saints. It teaches us so many things that make us happy. We live a different life and we are happy now that we are members of this Church. "

Brother Gordon expressed similar feelings. "Every day I am happy for the joy I feel at being a member of this Church."

The missionary work of the Church is voluntary. Missionaries pay for their own mission, except transportation to the mission field and back, and receive no compensation for their services.

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