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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kona Temple

I usually don’t email on Tuesday but today is our p-day because we went to the Kona Temple today and it was part of our p-day.  So, we had a normal day yesterday.  It was very good!  Kona is a cool place.  It’s totally opposite from Hilo- its crazy.  It more desert and stuff.  
Me and Elder Ahotau

Me and Elder Villareal (he looks like David Archuletta!)

Pretty good place to hang out - wouldn't you say?
I went to the mall today and got a quicksilver shirt with some of the money that grandma gave me, haha. 

I still haven’t received your package yet... I hope that it will come tomorrow!  Elder Ahotau said he received revelation that it would come tomorrow so I hope he's right!  I was so happy to talk to you on Christmas!  It was awesome to hear all of you again and it was nice to be able to talk to all the family that was there.  It made me miss all of you a ton and especially being together for the holidays.  But, I only have to go through one more Christmas in Hawaii alone!  Well I don’t really have to much to say right now because I have dinner in a couple of minutes.  I hope you got the pictures that sis. Nakaahiki sent me, I just forwarded them to you. 
Check out Elder Ahotau's antlers, I'm supposed to have a candy cane through my head!

These are real Hawaiian stockings.  I got the one with nail polish! haha
Love you!
Elder Gardner

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka

Mele Kalikimaka

I cant believe its almost Christmas!  Time flies for real.  Nice job with the basketball games and tryouts bruthas!  That’s tight!  Glad to know that everything is good and that everyone is safe, and also that everything is going good financially.  I hope you sent my package usps because if you didn’t then they won’t send it to my island... I’m trying to find some other stuff to send you.  Many members have given me things and I just plan on sending it back to you.  So this Sunday I have two sacraments to go to.  I'll get home from church around 11 and then I'll head over to bishop’s around 12 so I can call you around 1 o clock Hawaiian time.  Can’t wait!

So my new comp. is awesome!  His name is Elder Ahotau.  He’s from Tonga.  He’s soo funny!  Man I’m so glad I have someone cool.  I really enjoyed Elder Limb and I can’t believe I’m already done with him. It’s kind of hard to understand Elder Ahotau with his accent and all, but I don’t care he's awesome.  
Me and Elder Ahotau
So about that news article haha that’s so funny!  One night Elder Ahotau and I were street contacting on Bayfront and this reporter came up to us and asked us some questions about the weather and stuff.  I didn’t think he would actually put it in the newpaper!  Dang I’m so cool, I’m in the paper.  There is this other elder in my zone that looks exactly like David Archuletta it’s crazy haha.  So Eric’s baptism went very well.  Choke people were there to support him!  Unfortunately his parents weren’t there...  It was still good though.
With Eric at his baptism
So we got a referral from the office and we called the lady and we set up an appointment to come visit her.  So I’m hoping that she will become and investigator!  We’re also working with this man named Tim.  We’re doing some service for him and hopefully we'll end up teaching him the lessons. 

Elder Ahotau and I were tracting the other day and we ran into this older lady and she was out doing work in her yard.  Her yard was a jungle!  So we asked if we could come do service for her and she said yes.  So were hoping that she will also turn into an investigator.  Funny story.  So, Bro. Okura (Kilauea Ward) brought a guy that he ran into the store the other day to church.  This man was Chinese and barely spoke English.  So, after sacrament meeting, Elder Ahotau and brother Cheng ( 2nd counselor in Kilauea Ward) went and taught him the first lesson.  I had to go to ward council for Kaumana ward.  So while we were in Kaumana ward sacrament meeting that Chinese man came in the middle of the meeting and came and sat with us.  It was super embarrassing and awkward because we were sitting next to the Haslams (ward mission leader in Kaumana) and he kept playing and touching their little kids like nonstop through the meeting.  Ahh I was so embarrassed!  The good thing about that guy was that he agreed to let us come back and teach him.  So things are looking really good right now with potential investigators.  Hopefully it can stay this way!  It seems as though things have really started happening with Elder Ahotau here!
The Straight Family
The Jarrett Family 
I’m super Excited for Christmas!  I got a letter from the stake presidency, which was really nice.  I'll be able to tell you many more stories and experiences on the phone so get ready with you questions that you will ask me.  Love you all and hope you have a wonderful White Christmas!  Mele Kalikimaka
Elder Gardner 
Making some Kalua Pig

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Elders Gardner and Ahotau make the paper!

Hello Bro. and Sis. Gardner--

Today in our local newspaper, the Hawaii Tribune Herald, there was an article about the weather with a quote from Elder Gardner!  Thought you might like a copy.

We have been having tons of rain lately as Elder Gardner has probably told you.  Of course, here in Hawaii, winter is our rainy season and after a couple of drier than normal winters, this one has been a bit of a change.  Hilo normally gets something like 120 inches of rain annually.  It has also been much colder than normal for this time of year.  When we first moved to Hawaii some 8 or so years ago, I laughed when I saw flannel pajamas for sale in Macy's.  But I laugh no more.  We have had to wear the flannel pjs and put the flannel sheets on the bed even though it gets into the low 60s at night.  That would be warm in the place in Utah where I used to live.   Humidity makes all the difference in the world.
Mele Kalikimaka to you and your family,


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Another Nice Letter From a Member

Hello Bro. and Sis. Gardner

Today my husband and I had the privilege of taking Elder Gardner and his companion Elder Limb out to lunch.  Elder Limb (my great nephew) is being transferred tomorrow.  Since Elder Gardner came to our home on Thanksgiving Day, it was great to see him again and to get to know him a little better.  
Sweet Stockings!
He is a fine young man.  He looks good and seems to be adjusting well to missionary life.  He said that he will be a trainer for his new companion so he will be in the Hilo area for another 3 months.  Hopefully we will run into him again before he leaves and perhaps take him out to lunch again!  The members in Hawaii love the missionaries and take good care of them.  I know you will still worry and think about him every minute of every day but know that he is in good hands.  These young men are very special and the Lord watches over them and takes good care of them too.

Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) to your family.  

Aloha nui loa,  Cyndie Seiersen

Monday, December 12, 2011

A New Assignment

Oh ba you like one soda?

Hey family how’s it?!  Glad to hear everything is going well with you in AZ.  Sam dude I cant believe you broke your nose man that’s crazy!  Going on dates with all your guy friends?  Man, are you even old enough?  Nate can drive?  What’s the deal I thought he was like 14 or something.  That’s good that your updating all the computer stuff.  Macs are bomb for sure; no doubt no doubt in my mind.  I’m so out of the loop with technology I don’t even know what’s new and stuff haha, but I’m in loop with the scriptures more than I ever have before!  This new study program is super awesome for real.  I’m excited to get the package you sent me!  I have another package to send you.  Its macadamia nuts and Hawaiian sea salt with garlic, super good for cooking.  A member in Kaumana Ward gave it to me to give to you.  Its been raining a lot again... I don’t really like that.  I’m getting tired of rain.  The only movies I ever watch are Mr. Kruger’s Christmas, Joy to the World, the Testaments, and Preach my Gospel haha.  Its good to hear that all the surgeries are going well that’s awesome!!  I can’t wait to call on Christmas I’ll probably go to bishop Irvin’s house and call so ill just call after sacrament meeting. 

Well here’s some big news.  So Transfers are on Wednesday.  I found out that I’m staying and Elder Limb is leaving, but I got a call early on Friday night from the mission president and he gave me a new assignment, and that’s to train.  So I will be training and I just barely got done with MY training.  I don’t know if I’m ready for that!  I feel like I don’t even know enough yet.  I’m super nervous about who my companion will be.  I’m praying that he will be good and that ill get along with him and that he'll work hard.  ohhh man this is nuts.  So I will be in Hilo for another 3 months.  My first area will be a 6-month area.  So I will be able to let you know how everything goes next time I write you.  Time seriously flies while you’re out here!  I left in August and is Christmas already!  Crazy ba!  Well that’s the news for transfers.  This past week has been good though.  We taught about 16 lessons l think.  Still no new investigators but Kaumana Ward is really trying to push the 15 names and were really pushing with our ward mission plan so I think things will work out.  Eric’s baptism is scheduled for Dec. 18th.  He wanted to do it on Sunday so his parents could come and they are non-members.  I’ll be able to have pictures of the baptism for you as well next Monday.  Dad how many baptisms did your mission have a month when you served?
The Meyers

The Kuikahis

Grandma Wassman  and Elder Limb

The McBrides
 Ok for the rice, I ask everyone how to make it and they all tell me the same.  You have to have a rice cooker though.  For white rice you use one cup of water for one cup of rice.  Brown rice I think you use 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.  The rice you buy in the Asian section of the store.  One of the main brands of rice they use here is Hinode.  What makes the rice good is that it’s really sticky and good.  Ok I have something for you to try for dinner.  Make rice and chili, get a plate of rice and pour some chili on top and then put some mayonnaise on top and mix it with the chili and rice.  OH man sooooo good!!!
Sweet dreams of rice and chili...
 Well keep encouraging people to write letters to me.  That really keeps me going because I could be having a bad day and no one will listen to us and everyone is gone, but when I look in the mailbox at 3 pm and there is a letter for me that definitely brightens up my day!  Thanks for all of you who have written me it really means a lot to me and I appreciate it so thank you!!!!

Well I am anxiously awaiting the day that I will be able to call you.  It will be awesome, I will be able to tell you all my stories and stuff.  Keep it up with basketball, work, jojo and everything else!  I love you all and Mele Kalikimaka!

Elder Gardner
The Hawaiian moon

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mona Kea

Aloha Family!

Jeeze you guys have the craziest weeks it seems like!  You’re always doing some awesome stuff!  That’s so crazy about the snowstorm and that you had to stay in Globe.  Hey at least you got to watch the BYU game... I didn’t.  I forget what texting and facebook is like, it’s crazy.  I can’t even really imagine it.  Dad, glad to hear that your surgeries are going well too!  Super busy is always the best, because when you lay in your bed at night you feel so accomplished.  So everyone is using iPads in my family now... that’s cool just get one when I leave!  Where’s the loyalty man?  Well I also got a new camera today, it was on sale at Wal-Mart.  I decided that some of the pictures I take I want them to be really good and I’m pretty sure the infrared sensor on the red camera was going out.  So I got a new canon camera, 16mega pixels and 5x optical zoom!  Its tight - only 100 bucks. 

So this morning I went to Mona Kea!  It was the coolest thing ever!  I have some awesome pics that I’ll send you. 
Me and Elder Lyons on Mona Kea

Elder Limb, Brother Bazilla and me on Mona Kea

Mona Loa
 I was seriously on top of the world!  That is where the whole world has their telescopes and stuff.  It’s super cold up there and hard to breathe but I got to touch some snow up there.  It wasn’t that great... haha.. I don’t miss snow at all!  
There really is snow in Hawaii!  Check it out...
I guess one of the mirrors they use in the big telescopes that is only like 5 feet costs millions and millions of dollars, and there are quite a few up there.  This past week was a good week though.  Our numbers were kind of lame but Tuesday we had 3 lessons, Wednesday we were on exchanges and E. Willyerd and I went and did service for a potential investigator, we decided to walk to his house it was fun.  That took all afternoon pretty much.  Thursday we had week plan but did it in the afternoon because E. Limb had DLTM.  E. Limb has only been out a year, but he will probably leave for transfers.  I could still leave but I have a feeling that I'm going to train - haha.  Friday we had zone conference in Waimea, which is on Kona side with the Kona elders.  You should look up pictures of Waimea on the Internet, it’s an awesome little place!  Zone conference was Awesome!  I learned so much from the training and everything President Dalton had to say.  We got this new study packet called Mana, which means, “divine power” in Hawaiian.  It’s such an awesome thing to have.  It will really help me study more in the morning and help me gain a greater knowledge and testimony of the gospel.  It has us reading a ton of stuff.  The BOM, D&C, New testament, part of the Old testament, POGP, Jesus the Christ, Our Search for Happiness, True to the Faith and Our Heritage.  I’m super stoked about it because I love personal study, that is one of my favorite parts of the day for sure!  
A perfect Hawaiian sunrise
We also watched a movie at zone conference!  We watched 17 Miracles.  This is one incredible movie if you haven’t watched it yet I highly recommend it, it’s definitely a tear jerker haha.  It was a good week nonetheless.  We are still working with Eric and we have a baptism date for the 17th.  We are kind of having trouble with new investigators but its kind of always like that.  Oh well that’s missionary work for ya. 

So the boys will like this.  At zone conference I met a missionary, Elder Unga.  Yes Harvey Unga’s brother.  He is just about to be done with his mission, and go home and play football for Utah.  He’s way cool!  About the haircuts, I cut my own hair.  I 1/2 and cut it all one length.  Its easier that way.  If you want to make good Hawaiian rice you have to have a rice cooker.  The rule of thumb is one cup of water for every cup of rice.  Don’t use the uncle bens kind of rice though its rubbish.  If you could also send me a Mormon Messages DVD in the package that would be awesome!  Those are really helpful for lessons and stuff. 

Well that’s about it for this week.  A very good week for me!  Next time I write you I should know if I stay or not or if I will train.  Hope everything goes great for you this week and stay warm because you know I will!  haha  Love you all the most for real ba!  I love the pics to!  Especially the one where they are fighting and Jojo’s tongue is hanging out - haha must be and awesome camera.

Love Elder Gardner
My backyard...  Nice!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Hey Family!

This week was a really good one!  Sounds like you had so much fun in St. George!  Lucky!  I wish I could have been there.  Thanksgiving was great for me!  We had our first meal at noon at Bishop Irvin’s house.  We had the Adams over and another lady that bishop invited.  Right after we got done at bishops we headed over to Pahoa to Elder Limbs auntie’s house to have another dinner that’s where the picture you got was from.  Then after that we went to The Nervisa’s a really cool family in Kaumana ward.  By this time I was struggling bad, I couldn’t even finish my plate like my throat would reject the food that was in my mouth so I had to drink water with every bite so I could just get it down.  
This is me after three Thanksgiving Dinner.  I'm stuffed to the rafters!
They have rice at thanksgiving but they also had regular thanksgiving food also like mashed potatoes and all that stuff.  So at the Nervisas they have a RM that just got married and the girl he got married to has a twin sister, and Here everyone when they greet each other they give aloha kisses.  That when you go up and give a kiss on the cheek.  So she went around the table and did it to everyone including me haha it was super awkward, because she was super cute and missionaries aren’t really supposed to do that but if I said no to her in front of all her family and stuff they would have got offended.  Thanksgiving was awesome though.

So we had another baptism on Saturday.  Suli Fa'anunu.  He was only 9 years old and he didn’t get baptized when he was 8 so it counts as a convert baptism.  It was really cool!  I have some pictures that Ill send to you. 
The Fa'anunu family - Suli is the one dressed up
 I didn’t have anything to do with the baptism, but that’s all right we taught him the lessons.  So we found out that Jennifer is smoking again.  We were helping a member move apartments and we looked outside and Jennifer was standing outside and smoking a cig...  We confronted her about it and she totally denied it and stuff.  She was saying that it was a flavored cig that’s helps her quit her addiction.  She is such a liar.  I told her to please be truthful with us because its kind of hard to believe her right now.  She was like I can prove it to you and look it up on the Internet.  So we said ok.  Well She didn’t find anything about it on the internet.  Of course because there is no such thing!!  Ugh.  For everyone out there:  if you tell the truth the first time then it definitely saves you a bunch of trouble just saying. 

Here’s a funny story for you - so last night we were coming home from our mission leaders house and we are coming up to our pad and we see a flashlight going on in our house and then two guys dressed in black with a sack run out of the house.  We look inside and turn on the light and the couch is all messed up and the chairs were knocked over and things were messed up but nothing was stolen.  I knew it was the Keaukaha elder because I recognized the laundry bag that they were carrying.  It was E. Willyerd’s bag.  Elder Limb got kind of put off by the joke but everything ended up ok.  It was funny.  I love those Elders!
A perfect day in Hawaii - the tightest place on earth! 
Anyway, I went to the mall to get you all some stuff and I got you all something don’t worry.  I was going to get you all two things but I didn’t have enough money to get Mom or dad shirts just Sam and Ben.  Everything is so expensive here like the cheapest long-sleeved white shirt was 25 bucks.  So sorry...  I found out how to make the rice.  You have to have a rice cooker and you get the rice in the big bags at Safeway and for every cup of rice you add one cup of water.  That’s how you make good rice.  Well I got to go so hope everything is going great, it seems like it is.  Love you all!
Elder Gardner 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Special Thanksgiving Letter

This is a thoughtful email that we received from one of the families Beau had one of his THREE Thanksgiving dinner with:

Hello Bro. and Sis. Gardner--

Today Elder Gardner, his companion Elder Limb (who is my grand nephew), and the two elders from the Pahoa Ward where we live here in Hawaii were all guests at our house for Thanksgiving dinner.  We had a delightful gathering.  I thought perhaps you would like to see a photo of the four.   They make quite an impressive group!  This was the second T-day dinner for the four of them and Elders Gardner and Limb had another dinner scheduled for later in the evening!

The missionaries who come to serve in the Hilo area--and everywhere for that matter--are very special people.  We appreciate their willingness to serve and the willingness of their families to share them with us for 2 years.  As a group of young men, they love to have fun and they also love to share their testimonies.  Blessings to you and yours at this holiday season!

Aloha,  Cyndie and Woody Seiersen

What a great looking bunch of missionaries!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ohh Bah...

Hey family!

Well thanks again for all the pictures and all the updates and stuff.  It’s great to hear that everything is solid back home.  I miss St. George so much I wish I could come with but I’m stuck here on the tightest place on earth eating three Hawaiian dinners on Thursday.  We don’t go out to proselyte on Thanksgiving so its pretty much another p-day but not for us just dinners all day.   It’s crazy I’m almost done with my second transfer and my training.  Just think in 2 more transfers I will have been out for half a year already!  Time flies for sure.  I kind of hope I stay here in Hilo because I want to stay with Elder Lyons but I wouldn’t mind going somewhere else also.  It rains too much here!  I never see the sun, which means I cant wear my raybans... 
Elder Lyons with his sexy Disco shirt...

Elder Lyons straight up G
 So this week was super solid actually.  We found three new investigators!  The first one is a friend of Jennifer - the girl we baptized.  She is really nice but kind of has some depression problems.  She is living in some kind of home.  Our lesson with her was awesome though.  We'll see how things turn out with that.  The second investigator was a lady that has been coming to church with a family in our ward.  Her daughter is dating a boy that is in that family.  So we taught her the first lesson during gospel principles class.  She is way golden.  She really wants to be a part of this church.  She really likes how this church is super family oriented and she said she has been searching her life for the right religion.  One problem thought she lives in Pahoa, which isn’t our area so we can’t baptize her, but we can teach her.  The third investigator is a kid named Eric.  His girlfriend is a member in Ainaola ward but he lives in Kaumana.  He really wants to get baptized so were going to meet with him this week and hopefully set up a baptismal date!  Its weird how you get on these hot and cold cycles with missionary work.  You either have a bunch of people all at once or you have nothing at all. 

Funny story.  We were tracting the other day and were walking up this street and some guy started yelling out the window at us saying "Jesus Christ is the only begotten son, Jesus Christ and Satan were never brothers!"  "I know what your religion teaches stop teaching false doctrine to my neighbors!  You guys are fools!!!"  I just yelled back "Later man!  Your weird!"  haha some people I swear.  The very next house we went to we walk up to the driveway and this fat houli guy comes up to me and gets right up in my face and said "Didn’t you read the newspaper 40 years ago?  God is dead!"  I wanted to say "I wasn’t even Alive 40 years ago brah!?"  but I held my tongue.  Instead I asked him if we could help him and he said "absolutely not!"  haha those are just some funny situations that I run into every day. 

Well that’s about all that happened this week.  It was a good one though.  Let me know how St. George goes and I'll let you know how my thanksgivings go. 

Love you all
Elder Gardner

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rainy Days

Well another day in paradise!  I'm just glad it’s sunny today!  It has been raining non-stop since last Monday and today is the first day that the sun has been out since then.
An awesome rainbow after one of the many rains
Glad to hear everything is going great with soccer, basketball, jojo, braces, Nebraska, Mesa, and Emmi and Hal.  For real I miss you guys so much.  I miss taking trips down to Mesa - those were the best.  I also miss staying up with you dad and watching YouTube videos, and I miss cruising around with mom going to stores and stuff, and taking Sam and Ben to practice.  It’s all right though being out here is awesome and I meet so many awesome families that are super loving. 

I gave a talk yesterday in Kilauea Ward.  It went pretty well I thought.  It was on faith and obedience.  Seriously, like speaking in public is not even an issue really for me anymore.  I have to give another talk in Kaumana Ward this Sunday with a returned missionary.  The work is still going good but it is a little dry.  This week we had 18 lessons, which is really good, and we visited 8 part-member / less active families that we had never seen before.  We can’t find any new investigators though.  That’s what we are struggling with.  The wards don’t help out at all with referrals.  Super laid back.  If we do find anything its all from our own efforts.  
I'm struggling trying to find new investigators - you can see it in my face...
We are trying this new thing that our Ward Mission Leader set up with Preach My Gospel.  We want to have the families in the ward get familiar with the lessons in Preach My Gospel and then ultimately they will study the lessons and teach us and do some role play so they won’t be scared to do the same with their neighbors or whoever they run into.    We have a baptism scheduled for Nov. 26th to a kid who is part of a active members home but just never got baptized when he was 8 so were teaching him right now.  So it still counts as one.  They are really stressing the 15 names thing in ward council.  Dad, did you ever do the 15 names?  If so how did you regulate that to the different auxiliaries to make sure they would do it because, they never do it here.  Hilo is just a dry area I’m pretty sure.  Oahu always has stuff happening there especially west side of Oahu like Waiani, Makakilo, and Millilani.  Hopefully I go over there soon.  I hear that if you have a Polynesian comp. then you baptize so many people because they are just baptizing machines. 
Elder Burbidge (my Zone Leader) and I after tracting in a torrential downpour!
 I’m getting more and more comfortable with everything.  It just makes me feel better to know that I’m in Hawaii.  I sort of have a feeling that I might be training next transfer - haha that will be really crazy.  Well ‘m glad to hear everything is going good!  I love you all.

Elder Gardner

Monday, November 7, 2011

Total Mission Work

Aloha family!

Thanks for all the emails and pictures they were totally awesome!  I love seeing how everyone is doing, and it seems that everyone is doing absolutely great.  Blue Ridge soccer ya?  Wow that’s seriously incredible.  No. 1 in the nation!  Those are my boys!  That’s so tight.  That’s crazy to think that I was the team to start that.  I must be legendary man!  Jojo is gargantuan, jeeze she looks like a normal English bulldog, not a puppy anymore.  I miss her haha.  Ted still looks the same.   Those are some sweet pics at Lake Powell!  I like that a lot I miss the red rock there.  So basketball has already started - that was fast!  I also happen to be on a basketball team for the Hilo missionaries at 6:00 in the morning at the stake center, yeah no big deal.  haha just kidding but I really do play basketball every morning. 

Well this has kind of been a downer week I’m not going to lie.  It’s been raining so much!  It rained Monday-Wednesday non-stop it was ridiculous!  There was like flash flood warnings and stuff.  I dislike working in the rain it makes the days worse.  Transfers were also this week we got a new elder in our pad that replaced Elder Mecham in Keaukaha area.  His name is Elder Lyons from St. George.  He’s a pretty awesome guy.  He’s a really nice guy and he’s pretty funny.  He tells us all the stories he had in Waiani the ghetto part of Oahu - its interesting.  
Just chillin' on the uke with Elder Boyle
I can’t believe next month is December!  I get to call you next month!  Tight! 

I have some pretty interesting stories this week.  The first is we were tracting and we were coming up to our last house of the night.  It gets dark here at 6:30 and Hawaiians like to go to bed early so we can’t really do anything when it gets dark except see members and stuff.  Anyway, last house and we go up to the door and we didn’t even knock or anything and some lady opens the door.  She must have been waiting for us or see us on the street coming up to her house.  Right off the bat she started saying that she is only interested in her religion and talked about studying the Bible in Hebrew or something.  We started talking about Christ’s earthly ministry and the apostasy, and she was totally trying to bash with us.  We would talk about the priesthood and she would start to raise her voice and get all mad and disagree.  She seriously started to disprove the Book of Mormon and then she basically disproved herself.  We were there for like 30 minutes and just going back and forth it was not good.  So we just were like hey we got to go and just left.  So I had my first experience with bashing.  I didn’t like it at all!

So guess who’s in my zone now??? Elder Mortensen!!!  Yeah how crazy is that?  Elder Dahl is training him in Waikahe.  So I get to see him ever Monday and Tuesday.  I’m so glad he's here that makes me so stoked! 
I'm really starting to become one of the islanders!  Sheesh!  Look at me! 
The work here is going pretty slow right now...  I wish it would pick up but I guess Hilo isn’t a high baptizing area.  Oh well I’m sure I will go somewhere where it is eventually.  So we have 3 thanksgiving meals scheduled on Thanksgiving Day... I’m scared for that day.  One at 1:00, 3:00, and 6:00... I’m going to throw up for sure!

Well, I hope everything is still great over in Lakeside,  I miss it there and I miss you guys too.  I can’t wait till I’m able to call you in December.  Love you all the most!  So you get my emails at 5:00?  I send emails at noon!  haha crazy time difference ya?
Elder Gardner

Monday, October 31, 2011

2 months out!

Thanks for all your emails I love hearing all the new stuff that is going on back home like sports, Maverick, the rooms and Jojo.  I never hear anything about Ted...  Man, time has flown by.  As of today, I have been out on my mission for 2 months!  Transfers were technically yesterday but the meeting for transfers isn’t until Wednesday.  I’m staying with Elder Limb again because all new missionaries go through a 12-week training thing so I still have a transfer left with him.  Elder Mecham is leaving which is sad because he was a great guy and he taught me so much and our exchanges were always so fun.  Hopefully, the new Elder that comes to our pad will be pretty tight.  I would love to stay here in Hilo, its simply amazing, but I would really love to serve in Laie.

So guess what I’m going to dress up as for Halloween?  That’s right a missionary!  haha  Well its pretty cool since today is p-dizzle, we get the whole day off because they don’t want us going out at night because that probably wouldn’t work out very well. 

This morning we went fishing with Will (Keaukaha investigator) at Coconut Island.  Fishing is way fun here!  I always catch fish every time I go.  Today I probably caught the biggest fish I’ve caught in my life.  It was a surgeonfish.  It is a very tropical looking fish with a light blue body and yellow fins.  Pretty neat huh? 
Getting better...me with my HUGE surgeonfish
Sea Turtle
Later today we will probably go to Kaumana caves.  I stopped by BJ Penn’s gym today because I wanted to buy some merch, but it was very expensive...  I guess he lost his fight a couple days ago. 

That’s awesome to hear all of you are staying busy with everything especially the house.  I can’t wait to see some pictures of everything!  I’m staying pretty dang busy myself.  Don’t worry about the food.  Even though Hawaiians might not know how to eat well, they have the best food.  They always tell me that they want to fatten me up! haha.  I love the Wards here!  I’m getting used to everyone and I just love everyone!  
Hernandez family (Awesome family in Kaumana Ward)
We are kind of struggling with new investigators though... It’s hard to find them here.   I love the wards to death but they are so laid back its ridiculous.  We don’t get any referrals from the ward or anything.  It’s all from our own efforts, so we usually do a lot of tracting.  Oh well, its good for me to get out and open my mouth to strangers and teach the message about the restored gospel. 

Thank you so much for praying for Troy Keolanui and his son!  They are doing awesome!  We had dinner with the family last week and we showed them the restoration video.  I think he really liked it!  We are going go do service at his farm this week and he said we would talk about it again when we come to help out.  I get along really well with that family because they are a soccer family and he has a soccer field that he made at his farm that is awesome and sometimes UH Hilo plays their games there. 

We have stake conference next week so that will be good.  The Sunday after that I speak in Kilauea Ward.  The work is going great though - it’s awesome!  I love meeting new people.  I can tell you that I definitely will not be shy when I come back home. 

As for creepy things... not really, just run into a lot of homeless people and stuff.  There are a ton of roaches here too!  I hate them so much.  The weather is still perfect here!  I still wake up to a perfect sunrise every morning, unless it’s a rainy day.  
Sunrise in Hilo, Hawaii
I don’t really like rainy days it makes me feel down.  I don’t know why?  Sunny days here are the best, especially when we’re out tracting and I look out and see the beautiful blue ocean stretching endlessly out towards the horizon.  It’s incredible!  Those moments, I just breathe in deep and think to myself "Ahh, my mission is the best!" 
Cool Hawaiin tree - I don't know what it is called.
Well thanks for everything you guys do!  You mean the world to me!  Maybe you should send me some pictures because I always send you pictures. haha. 
Love you all!
Elder Gardner

Monday, October 24, 2011

First Baptisms

I know dad that you don’t like it when people do that but I’m totally going to do that when I give my homecoming talk because I hear that every single Sunday.  This has been an incredible week!  So much stuff has happened its awesome.  I’m definitely staying busy a lot.  Hawaii is seriously like a different country, like I don’t even feel like I’m part of the US while I’m here because it’s so different.  Seriously, everything is different except that you still drive on the right side of the road and people talk English - somewhat.  It’s also very poor.  I was surprised to find out how poor it was here.  I always thought I would be around nice houses and everything but the majority is very low income housing and apartments.  Of course you still have nice neighborhoods and stuff, but not as many as you would think.

The members take very good care of us here.  I eat a lot of food! Yesterday I had A'ama crab for the first time... it wasn’t bad at all!  I eat a lot of meat and rice pretty much every meal. 
Yeah right...They expect me to eat this? 
Ah Yeah... No, I'm not throwing it up, just savoring the taste!
Well the baptisms went great!  Jennifer’s was very good.  Her mom and sister came and she even invited a friend.  It was crazy trying to get everything set up.  I was all stressed trying to get everything done on time and get the font filled up and stuff.  It went very well though.  It was great to see how happy she was after. It was the greatest experience to see someone you come to love get baptized.  That’s what makes all those crappy times worth it.  Elder Limb baptized her and then I baptized Kyliee Pa who was a child record baptism right after Jennifer’s.  That was awesome also even though it wasn’t a convert baptism.  I was touched that she wanted me to baptize her.  Right after the baptism of Kyliee, bishop confirmed her.  There was also another child record baptism and the missionaries weren’t there to baptize her so they asked me to do it.  So, I got to do another baptism that day for a little kid!  His name was like 10 names long I can’t even remember it!  That was seriously the best day ever!  Three baptisms! Solid!  The confirmation went very well also!  I was scared but I got through it!  First one down!
First Baptism - Jennifer.  Elder Limb baptized, I confirmed. 
Kyliee Pa
Funny story, haha, so Elder Limb and I were having a terrible day on Thursday I think, and all of our lessons fell through and none of the less active members were home and it was just a crap day.  So later that night we were going to a potential investigator that said we could come back, so we went back and they told us that they weren’t interested... of course.  Right across the street from that house there was a less active part member family that lived there.  We decided to go over and visit them when we got up to the house we saw that their door was open, so Elder Limb yelled "Hello" and all the sudden this white Satan dog came running out of the house and jumped up and bit Elder Limb right in a very tender spot... Oh man, he was yelling and stuff and they came out and got the dog.  It was a mess.  Elder Limb was in tears and I told them that we needed to leave.  They felt really bad and so did I, but I couldn’t help myself from laughing a little because you only see that kind of stuff in movies!  It was a classic missionary moment!  So after we thought the day couldn’t get any worse we were about to give up and go home but we decided to stop by the Kuikahi's the house were I gave that little girl a blessing.  We just wanted to see how they were doing and we didn’t have a lesson planned or anything.  We ended up talking with the non-member dad and he brought up the church while we were talking to him out of nowhere.  He really respects our religion and likes us but he had some questions and concerns.  We ended up pretty much giving the restoration lesson and he really liked what we had to say!  Him and his son are our two new investigators from that visit and they are really solid!  I think that we can baptize them in November!  If you could, can you pray for the Kuikahi family? (Troy and his 9 year old son) to give them the desire to pray and to get a witness that this church is true and that Joseph Smith is really a prophet.  Thanks!  Strength in numbers

Bad story...  So at church a new investigator came and was in the gospel doctrine class.  She was with Sis. Trainer her friend, and after the class we stayed after with her and Sis. Trainer to talk.  She said she really liked the lesson and thought it made sense and she really likes our church.  Elder Limb testified also that families really can be together forever through the gospel of Jesus Christ and his atonement, and that you can experience happiness in this life from living this gospel.  Well, Sis. Trainer butted in and said "No, not necessarily", "I’ve never been happy in my life being part of this church, you can never see true happiness until you see God".  "I do know this church is true but it doesn’t make me happy.  Knowing it’s true is better than experiencing happiness".   These aren’t her exact quotes but it was pretty dang close.  I wanted to really strangle her!!  You don’t say that to anyone, especially an investigator!  Silly members!

Well, today I went to A’kaka falls.  It’s awesome, Ill send some pictures.  
A'kaka Falls 
That's actually a coconut, but it could be a CD cover or a wallpaper...
I haven’t heard anything about an earthquake or felt it.  I’m totally sheltered from the world I have no idea what’s going on with the world, haha.  Oh well.  Love you all so much!

Elder Gardner