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

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

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hilo, Hawaii

I just thought it would be helpful to map out exactly where Hilo, Hawaii was in comparison to the rest of the Hawaiian Islands.  As you can see from the map, Hilo is on the northeast side of the Big Island of Hawaii.  Hilo has a star that is easily recognizable.  For those of you who are Hawaii illiterate (which I am), Honolulu is actually located on the island of Oahu, as is Pearl Harbor, The Polynesian Cultural Center, BYU Hawaii, and the original Hawaii temple.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another Week...

How you stay family!
Ah it stay good ova here in Hawaii!  This week was a really good week very solid and also a busy one.  Yes in the words of Dirk Gardner busy is good.  I don’t like it when we have snowdays (when the planner has no scheduled appointments) because it makes it easier for you to become a sack during the day.  

So the baptism with Jennifer is still on for this Saturday!  I’m stoked its going to be a good baptism because we are including a lot of the ward members in the baptism program.  Hopefully the confirmation goes well.  I’m still nervous about that.  Saturday will be very busy because right after Jennifer’s baptism we have another baptism, but its not a convert baptism, just a child baptism.  The baptism is for a little Marshallese girl named Kylie and she asked me to baptize her!  I guess I’ll be getting a lot of practice in. 

It rains a lot over here.  The other day it rained all day its was nuts!  The weather is extremely perfect, and couldn’t get any better.  I already told you about my weight so we don’t need to talk about that again. haha.  Today we went to Rainbow Falls here in Hilo.  It was awesome!  
Rainbow Falls
Beau with his companion Elder Limb at Rainbow Falls
I’m getting along with everyone here.  We have an awesome zone seriously.  We are all obedient, and there aren’t any apostates in our zone which is very good.  
Elder Gardner and Elder Allen on exchanges in Pahoa
Yeah, its hard because there are really good days and then very bad/hard days sometimes its very hard to stay positive.  I think things are getting better and better each day.

Weird story... so yesterday we were going to a lesson and the guy was named Walter.  We were planning on teaching the restoration but when we got there he just preached to us.  It was really weird and we couldn’t really say anything because he was talking the whole time.  At the end when Elder Limb was saying the prayer Walter kept saying "Thank you Jesus!" "Yes Lord!"  It was so hard for me not to laugh!  I love the people here they talk soo much though we call them "portegue" that means talk too much.  Incredible people none the less always kind and sometimes offering us food while were tracting and stuff.  
Yesterday we had an awesome meeting with bishop and our ward mission leader.  We came up with the idea to have a Sunday School class and teach PMG so we can get the members excited about missionary work so they can help us out instead of always relying on us.  Were also going to start teaching members how to teach starting with the ward council so they can know how to teach when the opportunity arises. 

I guess I have a lot of people writing me but the more the merrier! Love you all soooo much. Aloha

Elder Gardner

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happiness in Hilo...

Me with Elder Halle, one of my Zone Leaders.

Aloha Family,
Well everything is still going good with me here in Hilo.  I’ve gained weight I think, I'm almost up to 160 pounds... haha.  
I'm really not making a face, I have just put on a little weight!
The work is going pretty good as well.  Unfortunately I won’t have 2 baptisms like I told you - just one.  We found out that Mary is on probation for the next 3 years so she is out of the question now.  With Jennifer, we've had to move her date back again, not because she smoked, she is doing really good with her smoking, but bishop told us that we have to wait another week with her.  So that’s our only investigator with a date so far.  She asked me to confirm her!  I’m stoked but I’m also kind of nervous though because I will be confirming her in front of the whole ward! 
We met up with the Kuikahi's again (the family that I gave the daughter a blessing).  They invited us to dinner!  They are so nice, we had a great dinner.  I tried some poi, poke (raw fish), and lomi salmon for the first time.  Lomi salmon is sooo good!  We really want to help that family and baptize her boyfriend and son. 
I had interviews with the mission president on Saturday.  That was awesome!  He gave me some really good advice about being out here because I’ve had some concerns.  Seriously, being on a mission is hard, a lot harder than I expected.  I have some really awesome days that go so well and then I have other days where I ask myself what did I get myself into?  I don’t know I just wish I could get to that point where I was comfortable and I could enjoy every second of it...  I just get really overwhelmed with all the paperwork and area book stuff its confusing.  Were you ever comfortable being a bishop dad?  I kind of have a feeling that I'll be training soon.  Not this upcoming transfer but the one after that. 
It’s so hot here it’s a continuous 80 degrees every single day.  It usually rains a little everyday, which is very nice.  
A little place about 5 minutes from our pad.
I’m starting to drive now so I can get to know the area more so I’m driving almost everyday this week.  I fly to different islands when I get transferred; like I went to Honolulu when I first got here then flew out to Hilo.  I think I’m starting to feel a lot better about my mission now and have a better attitude about things.  I just try to look at the bright side and not think about the past or what will happen in the future.  I’m here now and I need to make the best of it, and plus I’m in Hawaii - the tightest place on earth! 
The best food I’ve eaten since being here is kalua pig.  It’s delicious.  Also musubies.  The rice is fantastic!  You need to get a rice cooker.
Hope everything is going great back home.  Keep telling people to write me letters… haha.   Love you all so much.
Sorry this is so short but I got to go to lunch with bishop
Elder Gardner

Monday, October 3, 2011

How's It...

How’s it family,
I say how’s it because that’s what you say here to everyone.  You don’t say hey or hi you just say how’s it.  I loved the pictures of jojo she is huge now!  Speaking of dogs the main kind of dogs over here are pitbulls.  Everyone either has a pitbull or has a mutt.  Its weird.  Things are still going solid here I love Hilo.  It’s an awesome place!  It’s really good to hear that my family is doing great!  I love all of you. 

Alright this week has been incredible!  Seriously.  I've been able to see some miracles it’s awesome!  So on Wednesday I went on exchanges.  I went with Elder Mecham and we were in his area Keaukaha.  
Elder Mecham and I in front of the Kona Temple
Everything went perfect that day!  No appointments fell through and right before we went to dinner we parked in a neighborhood and tracked for a little because we had some time.  I usually get about an hour of tracting in every day.  The first house we went to, a lady answered the door and she was like, “did the bishop send you?”  And we were like no we are just in the area and wanted to share a message about the restoration.  She said that she was a part member and that we came at the perfect time because her mom needed a blessing right then.  Elder Mecham and I were stoked!!  I did the anointing and He did the blessing.  Then I gave a blessing on the house because they wanted one.  It was an awesome experience.  The very next day Elder Limb (my comp) and I were going about our day and we had just planned our week that day and we decided that we needed to work smarter, not harder because our areas are pretty big.  So we just got done giving a lesson to the Jemwais a Marshallese family that I absolutely love!  Grandma Jemwai is one of our new investigators but the whole family are members.  We looked in the area book to find a house close by and we both decided on this one less active part member family to go visit.  When we got there we introduced ourselves and again the lady was like “did my mom send you?”  We told her no, that we were in the area and we wanted to visit the ward members and get to know everyone.  She told us that we came at exactly the right time because her daughter needed a blessing because she was really sick.  I was sooo stoked!  This time I gave the blessing.  The mom got very emotional during it.  After the blessing the girl seemed fine and she was running around and everything.  We set up a return appointment for this week and were going to try to get her back to church.  Her boyfriend is not a member and she has a son that is 9, and she said she wants her son to be baptized but it’s his choice.  Its things like this that make me love being on a mission!  Even though I have 2 years and it seems like I’ll never come home haha.  Were still working with Jennifer and her smoking problem.  She hasn't smoked in 4 days!  She really wants to get baptized.  Last Thursday, she smoked and because of that we had to push her baptism date back.  That was seriously one of the hardest things I've had to do was to tell someone that really wants to get baptized that we have to push it back... she was super bummed.  I didn’t like that.  I gave her a blessing though and she said it really helped her a lot. 

It’s incredibly beautiful here!  It rains randomly which is really cool.  The sun will be shining and it will start raining.  It’s very green here also.  

Last Friday, our zone went to Kona to go to the temple.  That was one of the coolest things!  That temple is beautiful - very small though.  Kona is an awesome place!  
Me and my companion Elder Limb in front of the Kona Temple
The food here is amazing as well.  Every single meal I eat, I have rice.  The rice here is really good. Sorry mom, but I’m going to have to say its better than the rice you make... haha.   I’m still trying to get a hold of a scale so I can weigh myself.  Today I went fishing in the ocean.  We went to a place called Coconut Island like 5 min. from our pad.  It’s awesome!  
Coconut Island
I got some pics of it.  I caught like 5 fish!  All were very small though.  
What a catch!  We're eating good tonight!
I want to  send you some Hawaii warriors shirts or something I just got one today its sweet.  Oh, can you send me my oil vile thing I think I left it at home... whoops.  That’s sick that everyone is checking out my blog it make me feel human that people still think about me haha.  I’ve got 2 letters one from a girl from BYUI and I got letters from the Sargents they all sent me letters they did it for FHE that was really cool to get letters from them.  I’m getting along with everyone here my zone is awesome!  I try no to get discouraged thinking that I still have 2 years left.  It’s hard sometimes.  Missions are a lot harder than I ever expected but also very rewarding at the same time.  Oh yeah yesterday we ate dinner with the McBrides in the Kaumana ward.  I was telling them about my life and how I used to live in St. George.  They asked me if I knew a Herb Basso and I was like yeah I do!  That was my dad’s boss!  Their daughter was married to his son for a little while.  Small World huh?

Conference was awesome!  I watched every single session and enjoyed all of them!  Yes I actually enjoyed conference I never thought something like that would come out of my mouth haha I am definitely changing.  I actually paid attention and learned valuable things!  You think I would have learned this concept earlier in my life!  I really enjoyed it though and I’m looking for the next one in 6 months. 

Well I’m really glad to hear everyone is doing great.  Keep updating me with things that are happening in your lives I love you all so much!  Do work!

Elder Gardner