Elder Beau Gardner -
Hawaii Honolulu Mission, August 2011 - 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Last days in Hawaii & My Homecoming

Getting ready to leave
My last couple days in Hawaii seemed like a blur.  Those couple of days flew by so fast!  It was a very memorable time in my life I might also add.  Our schedule was pretty much filled from the time I left Kona to the moment I stepped foot back on Oahu.  We put our luggage away and headed over to our mission presidents house for a breakfast and testimony meeting.  It was neat to hear all the testimonies of the Elders that I had started with in the MTC.  What a huge change Ive been able to see in each of their lives.  Almost immediately after our testimony meeting we headed up to good ol Laie to spend the day at the Polynesian Cultural Center.  After spending some time there we made our way to the temple to do a session with our mission president.  After the temple we headed back to the Polynesian Cultural Center and caught the Night Show, which was incredible!  I highly recommend this!  If you are ever in Hawaii this is a must see.  We the headed back to the mission home and called it a night.  The next morning we got up early and headed to the airport to say goodbye to all the Elders who were leaving back to Utah, so pretty much all of them except me... I had all day because I had the red eye flight.  We said our goodbyes and I spent the day with Elder Mortensen.  I had a good solid day with one of my best friends and before I knew it, it was time for me to get on that plane home.
At the Temple with President and Sister Warner
Me and Elder Ahotau my boy
At the Polynesian Cultural Center
Words cant really describe how I felt when I got off the plane and saw my family for the first time in two years.  One word that would describe that moment would be Grateful.  Thats one moment in my life that I will never forget and that I will keep close to my heart forever.  Instead of trying to write out how it went and the feelings I felt, I put together a little video on the past two years of my life and ending with my homecoming back in AZ.  Hope you Enjoy!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Aloha Oe


Wow, my very last email that I will ever send as a missionary... This doesn't even seem real to me.  Has the two years really gone by?  Is this really happening?  This email will be brief because I still have to pack and we are super busy tonight, but I'll just leave a few of my thoughts. 

We had our baptism on Saturday for Kekai Robbins.  That was really good!  I'll show you the pictures when I get home.  It was really nice to be able to end on such a good note.  That was truly a blessing to have a baptism on my last Saturday.  Sunday was a roller coaster!  That was a hard day to get through.  I told myself that I would be strong and not cry when they sang Aloha Oe to me at the end of sacrament... I started crying during the first hymn of sacrament meeting!  That was a hard moment in my life.  I love this place with all my heart and I love the people here so much.  Your right it is VERY bittersweet.  I’m so thankful for the wonderful opportunity I've had to be able to serve my mission especially in the Hawaii Honolulu mission.  Words wouldn’t do justice to describe how thankful I am to my Heavenly Father for this awesome opportunity!  I know its cliché but these truly were "the best two years." I can’t wait to see all of you again and it will be awesome to reunite and have the best times ever!  I will never forget the life lessons I have learned out here.  I am so grateful with the whole faculty of my entire soul I am grateful for my mission. 

I can’t wait to go golfing!  We just went today and it was a blast!  It doesn’t really matter who comes to the airport I’m just excited to see everyone again.  As for the ice cream the cherry banana one that one is sooo bomb!  Well got to go, Love you all the most, see you in a few!

Elder Gardner

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Final Stretch


Aloha!
My final Mission Leader Conference (MLC)
We had Mission Leader Conference yesterday so I didn’t have a chance to email yesterday, and today was supposed to be our p-day but we were so busy we didn’t even have time really to email until now at 9 30 PM... Sounds like everyone’s week was pretty bomb!  I can’t believe that I only have one more email to go.  I honestly thought there was no way to make it this far!  I never thought this day would come.  So crazy.  I’m on the very last stretch.

This past week was pretty awesome.  It was my birthday on Wednesday that was pretty crazy!  It doesn’t even feel like I’m 21.  I had dinner at the Hooper’s so they took care of me for my birthday.  They made these Oreo cheesecake cupcake things that were super good and they made some hamburgers also.  Thanks for the package that was awesome!  We had a pretty awesome baptism on my birthday.  
Breakfast at the Kahanus'
Ke'ei ward had a baptism, but since the missionaries got white washed Elder Melville and I were the ones to baptize them.  It was a really good service. Good birthday present that’s for sure!  
Kaysha and Pearly's baptism.  I baptized Kaysha, the girl right next to me
On Saturday we took a trip over to Hilo because Ala and Troy invited me to their O.K. Farm’s 20th anniversary Luau.  I don’t know if you remember them but they are the ones I had that miracle blessing with when I was with Elder Limb.  I’ve kept in contact with them throughout my mission and I finally got to meet up with them again!  At the Luau they had some Tahitian dancers and the dancers came and picked all of us to come dance with them in front of everyone!  Imagine four missionaries shaking their booties in front of a huge crowd... haha it was nuts!  
Troy and Ala at the O.K. Farms Luau
On Sunday I spoke.  It was my "pre homecoming" talk.  It actually went very well.  I don’t know what my topic is for my actual homecoming talk but I plan on using the same one I used this past Sunday.  Do you know what my topic is?  

Everything is going great with me though.  I’m still holding on haha.  I’m very glad that we have that baptism on Saturday because that really is keeping me focused.  Sorry this email is so short its super late and I’m extremely tired.  We have breakfast with a family tomorrow and service in the morning also.  Love you all so much cant wait to see you next week!  

Elder Gardner
Mission Leader Conference

Monday, July 22, 2013

Wolf Pack


Aloooha!  

I’m going to do that for my homecoming just because I know how much you don’t like it dad hahah.  Na na Just kidding.  I will say Aloha though.  Dang, It’s p-day again - where is the time going?  This is guaranteed the fastest part of my whole mission.  Sounds like everyone had a great week.  I checked out Sam’s song that is soooo awesome!  I was like wait Eminem?  No wait this is freakin’ Sam Geezy! That was awesome, I would love to do a collaboration wit chu dawg!  Thanks for sending the package.  I haven't received it yet but I’m sure it will come in the next few days.  Honestly it doesn't even feel like my birthday is coming up on Wednesday.  21 years? What the?  
Another Gasbar photo, but this time with the whole Wolf Pack!
This week was crazy!  4-somes can either be junk or they can be super fun.  Our 4-some is awesome!  I’m having so much fun!  Our name is the wolf pack, so we’re always yelling out wolf pack.  So awesome!  The new Elders that came with us are Elder Burns from West Jordan, Utah, and Elder Doel from Lehi, Utah.  They are two blonde hair blue eyed, yoked to the max studs who just tear everything up.  We are trying to weight lift at a member’s gym every morning so we can get fit before we go home.  So our baptism is still 100% on for August 3rd.  I’m pretty stoked for that!  We actually might get another baptism the same day.  Our bishop is really pushing to get his daughter’s boyfriend baptized on the 3rd as well haha.  I love our bishop, he is such a stud.  We set up an appointment with Jason (bishop’s daughter’s boyfriend) for tomorrow and bishop told us to commit him to baptism and he said if we don't or it doesn't feel right, then the next lesson he said he will commit him himself!  haha I love that kind of stuff!  So awesome!  We have a baptism this Wednesday on my birthday also!  Technically it’s not our ward, it’s another ward.  The elders just got white washed from that ward so they wanted Elder Melville and myself to baptize them!  I'll be sure to send you pictures of that.  Everything is great over here so I don’t really know what to say.  I’m kind of tired of emailing because I’m just ready to see all of you guys and talk story face to face.  
Cutting up a shark head.  Maybe shark head tacos sound good?
Mom, if you could make grilled fish tacos when I get home that would be amazing!  I don’t know what kind of fish you can get over there?  What fish were you planning on getting?  Love you the most!  

Elder Gardner
Fire in Kona

Monday, July 15, 2013

Choke Steeze

Steeze

Wow, is it really Monday again?  For real?  I can’t believe it seriously.  I get little moments here and there that punch me in the face and say "Hey, you go home in three weeks!"  Other times it feels like I have a while left to go.  Honestly, it feels like I’ve been serving a mission my entire life haha.  I love it though and wouldn’t trade it for anything in this entire world.  Sounds like everyone's week was pretty dang solid.  Congrats on the baptism that’s super cool.  I bet everyone was pretty stoked!  How many is that for the Rainbow Lake Ward this year?  I’m excited to see the new changes to our home.  I feel like I won’t even be able to recognize the place when we pull into the driveway.  Super cool though!
P-Day at Spencer Beach Park
Major Swack!
This week was pretty bomb!  So real quick before I get into the meat I thought I would let you know that transfers are on Wednesday.  My very last transfer of my whole life!  So you know how I was saying that we would be in a threesome for the rest of my mission, well they changed that and they are making us a foursome!  They are adding another missionary to the crew.  So I will be ending my mission in a foursome.  I really have no idea what to think about this party; I guess we'll find out in a couple of days.  So this week turned out to be pretty successful.  I thought that it was super funny how both of your emails said how it would be cool to have a baptism on my last Saturday on my mission.  Well guess what?  We’re going to have a baptism on the last Saturday of my mission, August 3rd!!!! SWEET!  It was cool because the kid that has a baptism date is a unbaptized kid that we have been trying to get a hold of and baptize since I’ve been in Kona 6 months ago.  His name is Kekai Robbins and he is 10 years old.  He's wanted to be baptized for a long time, but there were some complications with the mom and all that stuff but finally we met with him, the mom and dad on Sunday after church and set a date for the 3rd.  I’m soooo stoked, there couldn’t be a better way to end it.  That’s the great news that I have for this week.  
Proxy hug at the Gasbars.  Since we can't hug on our missions haha.  This was our last Sunday dinner with the Gasbar family.
Filling up the font for Ke'ei's miracle baptism.
Our bishopric also wants us to speak our 2nd to last Sunday here and pretty much give a homecoming talk.  So I'll pretty much be giving 2 homecoming talks first in Kona second in Arizona haha.  
Yeah BYU I starts on the 16th.  Oh yeah, good news about that.  I got a scholarship through the mission.  It’s a 400-dollar scholarship!  I just called and asked sister Scott and she got it for me.  Pretty sweet huh?  Dad, were you able to take a look at those missing documents that BYU still needed?  Man, I soooo hope that I can go to Lake Powell with the Miles and with Brett.  That would be so fun!  Would all you guys not be able to come?  Well I know this email is short we gotta bounce and get to our dinner.  Love you all so much and I can’t wait to see all of you!  Have a great week.

Elder Gardner
Elder Dahl's last District Meeting.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Da Popo

Quick story that I forgot to mention to you today in my email.  So, we were driving to Kohala to go on our hike and probably 10 miles outside of Kohala I get pulled over... I knew it right when I saw the police car flash its lights at me.  So I quickly pulled over and the cop comes up to me with his radar and shows me that I was going 53 in a 35... Hey, I really wanted to get to that hike ok... I just agreed and said that It was totally my fault.  I gave him all my information and stuff and he asked me what my occupation was.  I told him I was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and he walked off back to his car.  All I was thinking in my mind was how much is this ticket gonna cost.  Keep in mind that we aren't in proselyting clothes because its p-day and we're going on a hike.  So after a couple of minutes he comes back and says "It's hard for me to cite people who are doing the Lords work, just slow it down and dont speed anymore".  WHEW!  That was a close call.  That kinda stuff only happens when your a missionary!  That was soooo lucky!  Yeah, that's my crazy story of the day.  

Monday, July 8, 2013

Baptize Me Maybe


This is Pololu hike.  It's super sick!  Second time we've done it.
Man, those pictures you sent me were sick!  I wish that I could have been at Lake Powell so bad.  You guys are so lucky!  Lake Powell and Hawaii are my two favorite places on Earth.  Period.  Sounds like everyone is doing great just soaking in these last couple of weeks right before its time to start using your Mandula and sitting in school class.  I’m stoked to see everyone when I get home its going to be awesome!  I really don’t care who stays at the house the more the better.  If I could make one suggestion though, you said that your going to have a Mexican dinner, and it would be amazing if you could add fish tacos to the menu. Then life would be complete!

It’s still kicking over here in Kona.  It’s starting to creep in more and more that I come home in 4 weeks.  I honestly never thought this day would be here.  I think back on the beginning of my mission and it honestly feels like a dream.  Which is really sad because I want to remember it, but it’s gone by so fast.  Good thing I have kept a journal my whole mission.  So this week was all right.  We didn’t get too much done because I swear we were always busy with something else. Monday was MLC and Tuesday was our p-day. Thursday was the 4th, and Saturday we went to the other missionary’s baptisms.  We were supposed to have a lesson with Darren but he had to cancel.  He was one of the guys that we were going to commit to baptism.  He's working down south so hopefully we can still teach him on weekends or something.  We have a lesson with Kekai this Saturday and we’re just going to commit him on Saturday for a date.  Can’t be wasting any time out here, right?  There is still potential out here so we’re just going to go until the end.  So what is going to happen with us at this transfer in a week (17th) we will have another zone leader come and be with us.  We will be in a threesome for 3 weeks and then Melville and I will leave and they will bring another zone leader to be with the third guy once we leave.  So it’s not a complete white wash just kind of half of one.  Elder Carrel is the traveling AP so he is all over the place that is why he is in a bunch of my pictures.  The 4th of July was a bang!  It was so fun.  In the morning we had a ward pancake breakfast.  Ok, so I just realized something.  Every ward must do a pancake breakfast or something.  I thought it was just a Lakesidy thing but I guess they do it over here also.  So after the breakfast we headed down to Milolii (last fishing village in Hawaii).  We had to do a couple of baptism interviews for the Ke'ei Elders.  That was cool.  After that, we longboarded for a bit, then we hit up the 4th of July Parade and that was cool but very short, and finally finished it off with some fireworks.  The fireworks are sooo short over here it only lasted 7 minutes!  It was still very fun.  I’m just really hoping that we can baptize a couple more people before we leave.  How sick would that be to have a baptism my last Saturday on the mission?  I’m sooo down!   That’s kind of it for me this week.
Me and Elder Bowlby
All three of us are dying together (going home) in a few weeks!
So for school I know that I will for sure be rooming with Carson, Elder Dahl, and Elder Bowlby.  I’m sooo excited to room with all of them.  We already told each other that we have to be serious with the whole school thing, so we are going to hold each other accountable, and no getting crazy on the weekdays only on weekends.  Work hard play hard.  I can’t wait to see Brett again. Tell him we are going to mega freakin’ chill when I get home!  I've thought about soccer and I might try out for the competitive soccer again, I’m just going to play it by ear and see how things turn out.  I still have to find a job when I get to school and I can’t have all my time taken up.  Well love you the most!  See you in quatro weeks

Elder Gardner
Elder Buck - Nasty!