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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Honolulu Zone...Kind of a Big Deal!


Sup!

Yeah, it was super nice talking to you last week on Christmas.  Man, when I start talking to all of you its like I never even left home haha its crazy! Lucky all of you are in St. G.  I miss that place like a banshee.  Hopefully there is still a possibility of having that Lake Powell trip when I get home?  It was nice to hear from all the girls haha cant wait to reunite again and mega freaking chill!  It was crazy so last night while we were up in the office doing numbers Elder Menlove... well I guess I should just say Menlove came up and visited.  I don’t know if I told him about you but he was my zone leader in Laie and he finished in August but he’s back with his family visiting.  He helped me a lot when I was in that zone.  Anyways he came up and I got to talk to him, man I miss that kid a ton.  He is already done with one semester of school.  I was thinking about it and that’s going to be me pretty soon!  He says he hates school and he misses the mission so much.  I know that’s how its going to be for me too. 
Honolulu - Am I going to miss this?  YES!
 This week was crazy!  So I don’t know if you already know but our zone is about to hit the high water mark again, for the 5th time this year!  We’re on the verge of 31 baptisms for the month of December plus our mission is about to hit the high water mark for the year, which is 1106 baptisms!  The last time this mission got that much was in the early 1900's I believe, and we’re about to break that record!  Heck yeah!  Elder Mafi and I had a baptism this past week so that will be 4 baptisms for us in the month of Dec.  We baptized this Chuukese woman named Sinti, her husband works with Pisope and he was baptized earlier this year so he wanted his wife to be baptized so it was pretty cool.  
This is Sinti at her baptism
Our zone is on fire right now its awesome!  I’m stoked to be serving with all these missionaries they are honestly the cream of the crop... well minus one or two but you always get those couple of knuckleheads in your zone.  I love everyone that I’m serving with, that’s what makes the mission a lot of fun.  
Hike we took last P-Day
Christmas was good, but it still doesn’t feel like Christmas because of the climate and I’m not used to having an 80 degree Christmas morning.  Thanks again for all the presents, I don’t know how I’m going to listen to all those John Bytheway talks because Grandma Donna sent me the John Bytheway collection #2 haha so now I have like 20 hours of John, nice! 
Our Christmas breakfast feast!
We went on a pretty sick hike this morning to Diamond head it had some pretty great views, I’ll try to get some pictures headed your way so you can see.  Not too much happened this week honestly except for our Baptism and bunch of running errands and a bunch of baptism interviews that’s pretty much what our week consisted of.  Oh yeah, so yesterday in the singles branch I saw Brandi and it looked like she was going through a hard time or something when she saw me, like she was crying and stuff, so she went off and then came back and asked me to give her a blessing.  So this week was pretty good, I’m stoked to hit the high water mark though it’s going to be awesome!
Hike that we did for P-Day today - Yes, those are all houses!
 So, what’s the plan for new years?  I think the zone is just going to chill at the tabernacle.  I just bought a glow in the dark Frisbee so we can all play that tonight.  I want to see a picture of Sam’s new car.  You should send me a picture of it.  Hope all continues to go well back at home and enjoy the rest of the holiday:)  Love you the most!

Elder Gardner

Monday, December 17, 2012

No, You're Wrong Colonel Sanders...


Look-out point that we went to on our last p-day
Wow, another p-day is here and in one week its Christmas and I also get to talk to all of you.  I’m super stoked!  The last time I talked with you was like 7 months ago and that was the long stretch of time.  Sounds like everything is going good and cold over there back home.  Honestly it doesn’t feel too much like Christmas over here in Hawaii.  Probably because of the tropical climate.  It has been raining a lot though.  I got your package!  Thank you so much that was awesome!  I pretty much ate all the cookies on the day I got it haha.  That 12 ways of Christmas is awesome, I look forward to reading a new on everyday.  Where did you come up with that?  There should be a Christmas package coming your way pretty soon with some cool Hawaiian gear.  I haven’t sent it yet but I’ll send it really soon.  So Tomorrow is transfers, I’m staying obviously but its crazy that its already transfers again.  I think most of the zone is staying but there will be a couple changes.  Elder Mafi and I might be getting the singles branch, but we'll see. 
Elder Mafi, the Tongan teddy bear...
A perfect shirt for a missionary, don't you think?
 So this week was pretty awesome.  Last Monday for p-day we spent the day at a members house in Kahala which is a super rich area in our zone.  We bbq some steak, and played some rugby at their 35 million dollar home haha, that’s just a little bit of money.  Then I left early with the UH branch missionaries to go to Aygee’s baptism.  Remember the girl that Elder Bowlby and I were working with in Laie?  I got to see her baptized!  That was super cool, seeing her be able to get baptized and coming to this zone at the perfect time.  Sweet!  Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Hayward that was pretty fun.  I always like going out with him because we can always talk about the MTC and stuff.  Plus he is one of my good friends out here on the mission.  Wednesday, we went on another exchange except I stayed in our area and went with Elder King.  That was super fun.  So quick story about that exchange:  So we received a referral from the visitor’s center and we decided to go see it.  Well, the referral was in this low income housing called Mayor Rights and it turns out that the referral was just a less active member.  So we didn’t go plus it wasn’t in our area so as we were walking back to our car this guy across the street in his car stops us.  He tells us to come over to his car and he asks us if we know any other missionaries in this mission.  We tell him yeah we know most of the missionaries.  Well, it turns out his younger brother is serving in this mission.  By the way he is Polynesian, and he tells us to tell his brother to give him a call, so were like sure.  Then he asks us if we have eaten lunch already and we said yes we just barely ate.  Well he reaches into his pocket and pulls out the biggest wad of cash I have ever seen in my life!  It was probably 5 in. thick and mostly hundreds.  He gives us a hundred and tells us to go get some food hahah.  Gotta love polys! 

So my comp Elder Mafi did something super nice.  On Thursday he told me he had to go with another missionary for a little while so I was like shoots go ahead.  Well they come back and I was like where did you go?  They wouldn’t tell me so I was like whatever your just being dumb.  Then he takes out a brand new Tongan rugby shirt and gives it to me for a present.  Its super cool!  Its kind of big but he said for me to have my mom make it fit better because she is good at sewing haha. 

Well on Sunday we got 2 of the 3 confirmed!  Just one more to go whoo hoo!  Honestly though, I don’t think they should've gotten baptized but I couldn’t really do anything about it.  I'll explain the whole thing to you when we talk on the phone.  I’m just going to say that I didn’t feel good about it.  We’re looking pretty good as a zone right now, we will probably hit in the 20's for baptisms this month which is awesome!  Oh yeah I almost forgot to tell you this story: so Saturday and Sunday we had the Honolulu Christmas concert at the tabernacle.  The missionaries were the ones that were the ushers and a bunch of people showed up.  I'll just tell you right now, if we come next year to Hawaii around Christmas time the Christmas concert is a must!  It’s free and the Church puts it on.  So there were a bunch of members and non-members and on Saturday I got called on to give the opening prayer in front of everyone!  It was nuts!  There were tons of people there.  But it was a cool experience. 

That’s awesome for Easton’s mission call to Peru!  He's going to be a solid missionary.  I got a letter from the Sargents and I was reading Joey’s letter and he'll probably be leaving on his mission in June/July.  Wow, sometimes I feel that since I’ve been on my mission that I’ve pretty much stayed the same but everyone else around me is growing up, especially my brothers and cousins, I don’t know how to explain it but its weird.  I’m trying my hardest to not get trunky.  I'll be honest there are times were I am and I get lazy sometimes but I’m trying to finish strong, because my call letter states ill be serving for 24 months not 22 or 23.  Well that’s about it for me this week.  I can’t wait to talk it up on the phone next week!  Heck ya!  Well, love you the most.  Laterzz.

Elder Gardner

Monday, December 10, 2012

White Christmas


Dang another week come and gone haha, man that’s nuts!  Your right dad, December always seemed so slow but now it feels like it’s a weeklong or something.  Hey just a couple more weeks than I can talk to you guys on the phone!  Heck ya!  Seems like everyone is doing good in lakehizzle.  Every time someone asks where I’m from I say Arizona, and they always ask "oh what part"  I already know in my head that they wont know where I live so I say "Lakeside" and they’re like "Oh, is that by Mesa?"  I just say yeah its by there.  I’m stoked to get your package, Elder Mafi has already gotten 2 packages and he is stoked because last year he didn’t get anything because his family doesn’t send him stuff because its way to expensive and long to send something from Tonga.  Yeah, sorry my emails have been shorter lately – I don’t know, I think its just because of the area I’m in.  It seems like my p-days don’t exist here because we are always doing something.  We either email at the library, which is timed, or the Mac store, which is busy, and we can’t upload pictures, or the mission office where its not timed and it takes ages to upload pictures.  I just feel like the days are starting to blend together and everything is moving so fast.  Its crazy!

This week was pretty legit!  So as you already know we had Zone Leader Conference on Monday, which was good, so Tuesday was our p-day - well half a p-day.  Wednesday was pretty normal, we tried to get some work done but we always end up running errands for the zone or giving blessings.  I swear this zone should be called the Hospital zone because we have 3 major hospitals in our zone so we’re constantly getting calls to go and give blessings.  We got like 6 calls last week, gosh that’s like a blessing a day!  Some days we gave two in one day, the bad thing about it is the parking... Parking is the biggest joke here in Honolulu, its outrageous!  Every time we go to the hospital we have to pay to park... it ridiculous!  Thursday was awesome we had our presidents interviews and Christmas celebration.  Honolulu west zone was combined with us.  We did our musical chimes that we do every Christmas, and our zone put on a really cool skit that we did for president and sister Dalton.  It was tight!  Then while president was interviewing people we got to watch the Other Side of Heaven.  I forgot how great that movie was!  I can actually relate to it now and it makes A LOT more sense!  My interview with President went really good he told me a lot of things I needed to hear.  So that was pretty much Thursday.  Friday was nuts!  We started the day off with District Leader Training Meeting and after that we had to go on splits with other elders because I had to go take our car into Firestone and Mafi had to go with one of the district leaders to go give an interview for our baptism.  Let me just tell you about the Tongan style of doing missionary work. They will baptize anyone into their ward, it doesn’t matter if their Tongan or not, or if its in a different zone they will still baptize them. It doesn’t even matter to them if they are married, living the Word of Wisdom, or the Law of Chastity, or if they have been to church more than 3 times they will baptize them no matter what, so we have been working with some people to try and get them baptized. Well, the bishop wanted them all baptized on the same day so on Friday 3 of our investigators got baptized!  
Here is Antonio and Darleen that were baptized on Friday
This is Tani that was also baptized Friday
Heck yeah, I know I was stoked! Well they should have gotten confirmed after they were baptized but they were going to do it on Sunday.  Guess what all three of them didn’t show up to church... so none of them have the Holy Ghost, and they are all wandering around without the light... Crud.  This has never happened to me before on my mission.  I think it was just a big miscommunication with the fellowship.  The fellowship called them and they said they were going to make it on Sunday, but I think he thought they were going to come by themselves, but they actually needed a ride.  So yeah that’s my crazy story for the week.  3 baptized 0 confirmed.  That’s the most baptisms I’ve ever had in one day though!  After the baptism we had our Tongan Christmas party.  Let me tell you Tongans know how to party!  I had a lot of fun.  There is a lot of music that has come out since I’ve been gone, I don’t know any of the new music.  I feel like a lost puppy haha.
This is the Tongan Christmas party
Well, Everything is fine here in Honolulu.  I absolutely love it here.  I was just thinking the other day that I honestly couldn’t be happier with where I’m at and with the people I’m serving with.  It’s awesome.  All I want to do is baptize and build the kingdom of God here in this part of the vineyard.  No need to worry about me everything is good.  Before you know it I'll be home.  Just think back to last Christmas, I can remember exactly what I was doing and where I called you from and how much time I still had left on my mission.  I absolutely love my companion.  He is the greatest guy ever.  I'll tell you more about him when we call.  Hope everything goes well this week with surgeries, basketball, school, and everything else.  Love you all so much, hope you know that.  Laterzz

Elder Gardner 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Deck the Font December


Holy cow, December?  It’s unreal I can remember exactly what I was doing last Christmas and where I was.  Everyone is right; once you get past your year mark time goes by super fast.  I think its because I’m starting to get the hang of things and I think also when your in leadership you forget about time because you only know about what companion reports, district meetings, District Leader Training Meetings, and exchanges are haha.  Honestly, just send me granola for Christmas and I would be perfectly happy with that.  I don’t need anything really.  If you could get me a couple baptisms that would be good too haha.   Na, everything is all G!  Thanks for the pictures you sent, man Jojo is massive, it’s crazy to think that when I saw her last she was pooping in that kennel that was in our family room.  Sam and Ben are also growing a lot and maturing as well.  Its all going to be so exciting to see when I get back.

So this week was pretty good - busy, but good.  The city is still good, super busy as usual.  I love this zone a lot.  I love the missionaries in this zone.  Right now this zone has 17 with a baptismal date and our goal is 35.  We'll get it!  Deck the font December baby!  Our apartment is pretty good - super average though.  It’s on the first floor.   We are still trying to find some investigators with dates for our area.  Things are about to explode I can feel it!  So, I don’t know if I told you about that guy Antonio and his family that were kind of homeless that we were trying to teach?  Well they ended up coming to church on Sunday.  They don’t speak Tongan because Antonio is from Mexico and his wife is from California.  I was kind of worried that they wouldn’t enjoy it that much because they couldn’t understand, but I guess they really liked it, which is good.  Antonio loved it, but his wife kind of seemed a little hesitant.  Anyways the bishop called them in his office after sacrament meeting and I guess bishop asked them to get baptized this Friday!  haha gotta love the Tongan style.  So hopefully this Friday we should have two baptisms.  We are still working with a couple other people as well and were working really hard with the members to get us referrals because that is the only way in the Tongan ward because its so spread out.  Oh yeah, the reason I’m writing you today is because we had Zone Leader Conference yesterday so today is our p-day.  Funny story - so Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder Miller (the guy from Mesa in Bree’s ward).  We had to run some errands in the morning so our morning was kind of shot so we kind of started lunch a little early.  By the time we got done eating we still had quite a bit of time so we wanted to go to get some Mochi ice cream (which is super bomb btw) at a store called Bubbies.  There is a Bubbies close by our pad and we were trying to search for it and we just couldn’t find it so we decide to type the place in to our GPS.  Well, it ends up taking us out to the Bubbies all the way in Hawaii Kai.  So we get in there and it’s only us and one other girl.  So we get our ice cream and sit down and all of the sudden we hear, "are you Mormons?"  We turn around and it’s the girl asking us the question.  So we say “No Mormon died like 400 AD”... haha jk no we didn’t say that, we said yes and asked her if she had talked to missionaries before and she said no.  She mentioned that she had heard some stuff about our religion and she asked what we believed and stuff, so we briefly told her what we believe and then she asked us this question, "So what’s the purpose of life?"  Well we answered that question too.  Come to find out she is Hari Krishna or however you spell that.  She asked us if we wear magic underwear haha so that was kind of weird to answer but she was mostly just curious about our religion not so much interested, but we gave her a card and told her to go to our website.  I honestly think that’s the reason why we went all the way out to that Bubbies that day.  Who knows maybe somewhere down the road she will remember that time at Bubbies.

Sounds like everything is going good back home though, except for the possibility of another surgery for Sam.  Well if he does end up getting another surgery at least the recovery is only 2 weeks.  That’s pretty good!  With Sam it will probably only take a couple days haha.  I can’t wait to be able to call home on Christmas that will be awesome!  Well that’s about it for me this week hopefully I'll be able to report some baptisms to you soon.  I’m kind of on a dry spell right now.  Honestly, I think it’s starting to click.  I feel I can truly say I’m focused on baptizing.  That’s really all I want to do is to just bring others unto Christ.  Yeah, I still think about others things here and there but that doesn’t stand in the way.  Bapi ke mate!  Love you the most.

Elder Gardner 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tongan Thanksgiving


Dang it’s already p-day again!  I can’t believe it.  Another Thanksgiving has already come and gone also.  Crazy!  I can remember exactly what I was doing last Thanksgiving in Hilo.  Its weird to think that this much time has already passed.  Sounds like you had a pretty great Thanksgiving though!  I miss family Thanksgivings.  I can’t believe you got a new dog Emmi, that’s nuts haha.  And the pictures that you sent of the new rooms wow, I hardly even recognized those rooms... You’ve sure done a lot to them.  I’ve still never experienced a black Friday yet.  Nobody really talked about black Friday here.. Maybe it was a big deal but I’m not too sure I guess just being on a mission blocks that kind of stuff out.  

Honolulu
This week was pretty dang good.  I’m still loving it here in Honolulu.  Any area that I go to I’m going to love it because I mean come on its Hawaii what’s there not to love?  Elder Mafi is still a beast I love the kid he's super FOB though even though he's about to go home haha.  I’m still a zone leader though, I'll probably be a zone leader for most of my mission because they usually leave leaders in for quite some time unless there is a problem.  I’m alright with that but sometimes it just gets pretty dang stressful and I just really wish I could be a regular missionary sometimes.  Ok so my pad is right by Date Street and Kapiolani, those are the closest streets.  Date and University is another major crossroad.  So yeah, that’s where I stay - it’s on a little road called Laau.  I have to parallel park every time we go back to the pad so by the time I come back home I’m going to be pro at parallel parking.  The work here in Honolulu is way different than anywhere else.  Especially in the Tongan ward.  We rely heavily on the members haha, and man let me tell you the Tongans have no fear at all.  The pisope (bishop) of the Tongan ward got up in sacrament and announced over the pulpit that anyone who has friends that they need to refer them to us, because we need to hit our goal.  Also in ward council he told the auxiliary leaders to get two baptisms each and they all said yes and he was like well remember the answer that you gave because you said "yes" to getting 2 baptisms haha its so crazy!  We have a couple people that we’re trying to work with right now but we don’t have anyone with a date... but no worries it will only be a matter of time before we get someone with a date.  Cool story, so yesterday we got a referral from one of our members and we called the guy up and he wanted to meet with us so we drove all the way to Kalihi which is sort of far but we met him on the street corner and he was Mexican and we started talking with him and his wife and daughter came out and his wife was on a wheel chair because her legs are pretty bad but we were just talking with them for a little bit and they were mentioning to us how they need a place to stay.  So they are kind of homeless right now but they have enough money to buy a studio but they just don’t know where to look so were going to get the ward to help them out.  They wanted to come to church with us but it was their laundry day and they said they really wanted to come next week so we might be able get them which I’m stoked about!!  Thanksgiving wasn’t like last one where I had 3 dinners but I felt like I ate the same amount haha it was a Tongan thanksgiving so there was turkey, tapioca, raw fish, potato salad, ribs and just straight Tongan food it was really good though I was super stuffed!  They feed us really well over here; well they mostly just buy us a bunch of food, or give us money haha.  So yeah Elder Miller is in my zone, I’m actually emailing right next to him as I type.  He's super cool I like him a lot.  So yeah that’s about it for me this week.  Were trying to hit our high water mark for December.  Our goal is 35!  Were going to hit it no doubt! Papi ke mate!

The Honolulu Zone on our temple trip
Well I love you guys so much sorry I don’t have any pictures to send this week but I’ll send some for sure next week.  Hope all of you have a great week!  Love you the most!

Elder Gardner

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ma'lei


Fefe Hake?

Man this week was nuts!  So much stuff has happened its crazy!  I’m emailing you on Tuesday because we had our temple trip yesterday so today is our p day.  Yeah sounds like everyone is doing great though!  That’s good, also sounds like the Chicago trip was a success so that’s pretty sweet.  Nice Sam water boii for life!  "Ma ma ma momma said" Dont skip seminary you punk haha J Nice Ben, giving a bunch of talks now that’s pretty sweet!  I’m anxious to see all the new changes to the house.  Thanks for all the pictures you sent me those were sweet!  
A Hike we did last P-Day in Maui
So yeah my new area is in Honolulu.  It’s pretty sweet and its SUPER busy all the time!  Like it would be comparable to downtown phoenix or something.  I cover the Tongan ward so we cover all of Honolulu zone so Hawaii Kai all the way through Honolulu west zone so we cover the whole city, so we definitely have a car.  I like it a lot, its really cool. 
Elder Limb, my trainer, just went home!  Crazy!
 My companion is awesome his name is elder Mafi from Tonga - he's so hilarious I love the guy to death!  Our pad is an apartment and its off of date street.  I don’t know the exact address yet but I’ll let you know.  I have to parallel park every time we come into our pad at night... ugh.. Yeah there is a lot of work because its the Tongan ward, dad you might know how it is they just commit everyone to baptism so we will probably be having a lot of baptism these next couple of transfers.  So some lady cussed me out the other day because I accidentally cut her off on the freeway and she followed me all the way to where we were going just to cuss me out... haha it was ridiculous!  So cool story:  I don’t know if you remember me talking about an investigator named Aygee that we taught in Laie.  She was the Filipino one that had a dream that Elder Bowlby and I baptized her.  Well I saw her at stake conference and she came up to me because she lives down here and she said she is doing really good and she still wants to take the lessons and be baptized!  So I went with another elder yesterday to the UH branch FHE and she was there and we talked to her some more and she set her own baptism date for Dec. 3rd!!! I was the happiest guy ever because I was the first to teach her the discussions and now I get to see her baptized!  Yeah I saw Brandi at stake conference.  That was a total shocker - for real!  I was not expecting that at all.  It was good to see her, but it wont be a problem because I probably won’t really see her around here because its too big and we’re usually too busy.  But that was really cool to see her.  
A picture with Brandi when I saw here at Stake Conference
We should hopefully have a baptism this week.  Like in the Tongan ward its a lot different the members just find people and then they usually call us and tell us they have someone for us to baptize so its pretty crazy!  Honolulu is a baptizing zone for sure.  Yeah that’s kind of what happened this week.  

The Kahananuis from Maui
The Santiagos from Maui 
The Tuiteles! 
This is the Kawaa's - our ward mission leader in Maui
I also on Sunday night logged on to my BYU-i account and I filled out a scholarship application because the deadline for it was in April so I thought the sooner the better.  But yeah, sorry this email is pretty short I’m emailing from the Apple store in the mall.  I promise next email will be a lot more, but I love you all a ton and hope you have a great week!

Elder Gardner

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Honolulu Hawaii



Honolulu is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. Honolulu is the southernmost major U.S. city. Although the name "Honolulu" refers to the urban area on the southeastern shore of the island of Oahu, the city and county are consolidated as Honolulu County which covers the entire island. For statistical purposes, the U.S. Census Bureau recognizes the urban part of Honolulu as a census-designated place (CDP). Honolulu is a major financial center of the islands of the Pacific Ocean. The population of the census-designated place was 337,256 at the 2010 census, while the population of the city and county was 953,207. Honolulu is the most populous state capital relative to state population.
In the Hawaiian language, Honolulu means "sheltered bay" or "place of shelter". The old name is said to be Kou, a district roughly encompassing the area from Nuuanu Avenue to Alakea Street and from Hotel Street to Queen Street which is the heart of the present downtown district. The city has been the capital of the Hawaiian islands since 1845 and gained historical recognition following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor near the city on December 7, 1941.

-Wikipedia


Monday, November 12, 2012

Honolulu Here I Come!


Well it’s already transfers again, I can’t believe it!  This has honestly been the fastest transfer of my life.  Maybe its because we had so much fun.  I don’t know, the beginning of this transfer was kind of hard with finding potential investigators, but towards the end everything started to fall in place.  The Lord always comes through.  So yeah, I was pretty positive that I was going to stay in this area because I have only been on Maui for 3 months but I was wrong. I’m getting transferred to Honolulu zone!  My feelings right now... well excited and bummed.  I’ve always wanted to serve in the Honolulu zone - that’s like right down town Oahu like straight city right by Waikiki.  It probably looks like where you were staying in Chicago when you went.  Its going to be a huge change because most of the areas I’ve served in have been quite country.  I’m bummed because I love Maui so much.  This has been my favorite place to serve so far.  Everything is great about this place!  The ward I was serving in has been my favorite thus far and so many good things were just starting to happen here... like we have 2 with a date now as of this week and I’m leaving!!  That always happens, it’s the worst.  Elder Mortensen and I were getting along really well to but I guess it was bound to happen one of these days haha.  My comp in Honolulu will be another Tongan Elder and we will be covering a Tongan ward so I’m going to start putting on the weight big time.  Honolulu is the highest baptizing zone so I'll hopefully be a part of many baptisms, which is really good for me because I kind of need that boost right now.  I haven’t been one of those elders with a bunch of baptisms under his belt, and I know that’s not what its all about but it definitely helps.  I’m still pretty dang stoked though, its going to be a great new adventure!

Sounds like Chicago was bomb!  I’ve never been that far east in the U.S in my life.  Colorado is the farthest east that I’ve been.  I look forward to receiving all your pictures you took and stuff.  This week was great!  As I mentioned before we have two with a date now Bree, and Betty.  Bree is solid!  She was a referral that her friend gave us and we teach her at her friend’s house so it’s kind of like what happened with Reyna.  That is the best way to do missionary work.  You invite someone to dinner and you also have the missionaries come over to and it just works out.  It’s way better than tracting or anything else.  The most effective way is through the members.  That’s where you usually find your more solid converts as well.  Betty is a little less solid but were working with her still I cant remember if I told you the story about how we found her or not?  Yesterday was invite a friend Sunday throughout all of Hawaii we had about 15 non members show up so it was pretty good and some good things came out of that like a boy that wanted to be baptized and another guy that wants to take the discussions so that was tight!  What was even tighter was that two of my recent converts spoke!  Peter and Amanda.  They did awesome!  It was so cool to see both of them up on the stand bearing their testimony.  Nothing could make me happier than that!  Peters was slightly awkward but the end of his was great.  That was a really good Sunday!  Today we went to the Lahaina skate park and tore it up!  We are also going on a bamboo forest hike in a couple hours so it should be pretty bomb.  I also have to pack and say goodbye to everyone too. 

So glad that everyone is doing well though:) thank you for everything you do it really does mean a lot! 

Well that’s about it for me this week, I’m sure next week I'll have choke stuff to say about my new zone and companion it should be pretty sweet!  Everyone is jealous of me going to Honolulu.  I seriously have been super blessed with areas Hilo, Laie, Maui, and now Honolulu.  This is the greatest thing ever!  Love you all the most have a bomb week, laterzz

Elder Gardner

Monday, November 5, 2012

Indulgent Trail Mix


Family –


Another P-day is here, and another Halloween has passed.  I've been reading in my journal the things that I had been doing a year ago in Hilo.  Its crazy!  10 months left on my mission... I’m excited but nervous at the same time.  Dad, I can’t believe you sent me a picture of your stretch marky butt!  Thank you so much for the package you sent me.  That was awesome it had a lot of really awesome stuff!  Thanks! 
This is us taking off to Molokai.  The picture is of Lahaina right at the dock.
 Well that’s awesome about Sam!  Man, that tumor will go away; it'll just take some time.  Having a tumor is probably just like a roll of toilet paper: it goes by slow at first but pretty soon you forget about it and before you know it its almost gone!  Everything will be all G.  I know it.  So Blue Ridge won another state championship huh?  Dang, that’s nuts.  They must be really good, or the other teams must be really bad.  They are probably just really good haha.  They always are.  I can’t wait for Ben to be on the high school soccer team that will be the best!  I don’t really hear too much about the election.  I don’t really think people in Hawaii care too much about that?  Maybe they do but no one really talks about it.  Shoots!
Kaulapapa on Molokai.  This is where they banish all the Lepers.
On the boat ride back.  This is the ride when I got sick
 This week was pretty dang good.  We had quite a few miracles happen.  We still don’t have anyone with a date but we’re working on it.  We met with the Kuamoos again on Wednesday.  They were kind of in a rush to go to some Halloween party so we just shared a quick object lesson and they loved it!  We really need to just commit them to baptism already because I don’t want them to think that they can only just get a couple cool lessons and not progress anywhere.  I really want them to progress because their family would be great with the gospel in their lives.  Our first miracle that happened this week was on Halloween, but in the morning.  So, we had a tracting window set for the morning like 11:00 to 12:00 and of course thoughts and excuses crept into my mind that there was probably something else that we could be doing.  It was kind of like I had an argument with the Holy Ghost haha.  Anyways, we ended up just tracting and toward the middle of the time window we knocked on the door and this lady came out.  Her name was Enna.  We asked if we could come in and say a prayer with her.  Well, we came in and she said she was a born-again Christian.  I’m surprised she even let us in because born-agains don’t like us at all.  She had some questions about our religion and we ended up teaching her the whole restoration and we gave her a Book of Mormon!  She said she would read and pray so I really hope she does.  Were going to see her on Wednesday so I hope that it will go good!  Another miracle that happened was on Friday.  We were supposed to have a lesson with a former investigator but they weren’t home so were like Ahhhh what are we going to do?  We felt like we should go to Bro. Pampalona’s house to ask him about a former investigator that he had been a fellowship with in the past so we went there and talked to him about it and not even 10 minutes into the conversation there was a knock on the door and guess who it was?  The lady that we were asking him about!  So we taught her right there and set up another appointment for this week!  That was pretty tight!  So there are definitely a lot of good things that are happening in our area we just need to commit them!  We had stake conference this week it was really good!  Man, I feel like this zone doesn’t have any desire or drive.  I have no idea what to do.  Everyone just wastes so much time and there numbers are super junk and they never find any new investigators and then it makes Elder Mortensen and me look bad when we have to report and account from our zone.  Its super irritating!  That’s pretty much the only struggle that I’m going through right now.  Hopefully this next transfer will be better.  I love it out here though, I love my mission and I love this work.  I feel like I truly love the people.  It’s awesome!
Ahhhh Yeah!  I still got it!
Man, Christmas package is already coming up?  Wow, I don’t know, I don’t really need anything either haha, maybe just send me some more talks or something that’s all I really need and maybe some more homemade granola I love that stuff!  I will probably stay here another transfer.  For sure I don’t see me leaving anytime soon which is good because I love this place a lot!  Maui is tight!  I can’t believe my brothers are growing up so fast.  It’s going to be crazy to come back and see the change in everyone.  haha Scary movies definitely sound familiar to me.  I wish I never would have watched them because guess what, out of all the movies that I’ve seen I remember the scary ones the most... that’s not good.  Its pretty much like giving Satan a boarding pass to enter your home if you watch scary movies.  Just saying haha.  Well, I just want to let you know mom and dad that I love you.. a lot.  I’m so grateful for awesome parents like you.  Its good examples like you that make me want to be better because I would never want to disappoint you.  There is definitely nothing like you two in all this world!  Hope this week is a good one and you do a lot of really cool things so you can tell me next week.  This church is true, the book is blue.

Love,
Elder Gardner
Tight! 
Ahhh, Look at my ankle...DOH!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Molokai Adventures and Free Skateboards - wahhh!?


How’s it?

Sweet!  Fall package, I like that.  I’m excited to get that.  I know I’m fat but like its not that bad, the only thing I’m worried about is the stretch marks on my butt, they are pretty gnarly.  Everything I eat goes straight to my butt.  Not cool.  So I’m emailing you from the Wailuku library right now because we usually email at the family history center but they are redoing all the carpet in the stake center so no can do this week.  Yeah, the shark attack email you sent me is by me.  We live in Wailuku.  We were talking to one of our members and they were telling us how it is shark-breeding season right now so the sharks come a lot closer to shore.  It’s nuts!  But its also whale season so that’s pretty cool too.  Man, Its crazy to hear about all the things Sam has been going through.  I sure that Sam and Ben have both grown up a lot in the year that I’ve been gone but man its crazy to hear about the great changes that he is going through.  Dude, holding up the "I’m Single" sign at a volleyball game haha - I don’t think I could do that!  I would be the one just to go to the game and cruise and hopefully end up talking to some girl but Sam, you dirty dog did you at least get her number?  Its going to be weird to come back and see you driving around.  Man that’s junk about the traveling soccer team and only allowing 2 LDS kids to play in a tournament.  Junk. 

So MRI time huh?  I know that everything will be all right.  Ever since the beginning I knew that Sam would make it.  Just let me know how everything goes.  I guess sometimes things don’t always work out the way we want it to.  Like, look at Joseph Smith I’m sure he wasn’t like "wow, that turned out exactly how I wanted it to" haha.  Everything will be fine.

Man, this week was nuts.  Good nuts though.  We had a Tsunami warning Saturday night and we all pretty much got evacuated.  All the missionaries went to up country and stayed the night there.  Well, nothing even happened.  I thought it was supposed to be big but I don't even think there was a wave.  Work wise it wasn’t the best, a lot of things fell through and we weren’t able to see as many people or find as many new investigators as we had hoped but that’s ok.  This week will be good for sure.  We are still working with the Kuamoo family down in Kahakuloa village.  In fact we are going to see them later on this afternoon and we are also going to meet with Dotty, Chris and their daughter tonight as well.  These are two families that we are working with that are super ready; hopefully they will be able to accept the baptismal invite.  That would be the tightest thing ever!  We have also tracted into another family that we are going to try and contact this week.  They have some potential and we've tried to stop by a couple times this past week but they were busy and they still want us to come by because they want everyone to be there!  So things are getting there.  So on Tuesday night we got on the ferry to Molokai and stayed with those elders over there for all of Wednesday.  Man, Molokai is the sweetest place ever!  Its super country over there and a gallon of milk is $10!  I went on exchanges with elder Mecham and Eneri.  That was so much fun!  It was kind of awkward because at one of the less active members house that we went to, some Jehovah’s Witnesses came and tried to teach the less active members while we were still there!  That was super weird.  They tried to bring up the question "Why does God allow evil and suffering to occur in this world?"  We answered it easy and they just were rambling and it didn’t make any sense at all... I’m so thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It’s beautifully simple and simply beautiful!  The ferry ride was kind of gnarly.  The way over to Molokai was good and I didn’t get sick at all because I just fell asleep, but the ride back wasn’t so hot.  I fell asleep for most of the ride and I woke up with about 30 minutes left of the ride.  I was like “I got this its only 30 min.”  All the sudden I started sweating really bad and I just ran to the back of the boat.  Luckily, I didn’t throw up but I was over the railing and just waiting for it.  I could have laid on the deck with my white shirt and tie and I wouldn’t have cared what people thought or if I got dirty because I felt so sick... I almost threw up in the car going back to our pad too... no bueno!  Thursday was pretty normal not too much happened.  The craziest thing that happened was Elder Mortensen go plowed over by a pitbull.  We were trying to go see a potential investigator and the gate was open and we didn’t even step into their property and this white pitbull just came at a dead sprint and just shoulder charged Elder Mortensen.  I’m really surprised he didn’t bite him but it knocked him flat on his back!  The dog turned towards me and was ready to get me when the owner came out and got mad at us!!!?  I can’t stand people like that. 

Friday was super funny so we still go skateboarding for morning exercise.  I definitely get a really good workout doing it.  So we only have one board and we just take turns.  Usually we are the only ones in the park but on Friday these two local guys came and started to skate.  We talked to them for a little bit and we told them we are missionaries.  They thought that was cool.  Then they went to go smoke some weed and after a while they came back and they were super stoned.  Well, Elder Mortensen snapped the board in half so we didn’t have a skateboard, and one of the guys came up to us and he thought the snapped board was super cool.  So he gave us his nice board for the snapped one and said "I come across a lot of boards but I don’t come across good guys like you everyday."  His friend saw him give us his board and thought that he needed to give us his also haha.  So they gave us their skateboards and they took the snapped one.  I was stoked.  Moral of the story:  don’t smoke weed.  So yeah that’s about it for me this week it was a super fun week.  I hope and pray that this zone will be able to pick it up a little in November.  It’s a little sloppy joe right now... Everyone is not as excited as they were last transfer. 

Did I not tell you about Fa’amausili?  Yeah he went home because of his diabetes.  It’s pretty sad, but I hope he’s doing good over there in Samoa.  Man, Jacob Carter comes home in 2 weeks?  That blows my brain!  Wow I can’t believe that it’s already been two years for him.  That will be cool to see how much he has changed.  Well,  hope you have a great week and keep me updated on everything!  Love you the most.

Elder Gardner

Monday, October 22, 2012

Shoots I'm Fat!



Cool Hawaiian tree with a beautiful sunset
Dang, another week has come and gone.  I can’t believe its already week 4 of the transfer and already the end of October?!  What the?  Yeah I’ve had some really good Hawaiian shaved ice, especially in my last area.  soooo good!  The weather is still great, hasn’t really changed at all.  It rains sometimes, just depends where you are.  Like here on Maui it doesn’t rain too much.  On Kauai it rains a ton and Hilo it rains a ton as well.  It’s probably going to bite when I have to go back to freezing cold Rexburg and I’m going to look like a whimp to everyone else.  So new carpet huh?  That’s awesome!  I have a lot to look forward to when I come back home.  I probably wont even recognize the place because you have done so much to it.  Man, the Blue Ridge game sounded sweet!  I miss football games a lot those were so bomb.  Let me know about when you will go in for the MRI.  I know everything will be fine. 

This week was pretty dang good.  Last Monday after p-day the Hosinos called us. They are a family in our ward, and they said they had a family coming over that was going through a hard time and they wanted us to come and teach about prayer.  So we go over there and we teach about prayer and honestly like it felt like a good lesson, but I didn’t know how much they got out of it.  Come to find out that Dotty and Chris (the one we taught about prayer) loved it!  They told sister Hosino about everything.  They said right after they got in the car to go home they turned to each other and said "did you feel that?"  haha sooooo awesome!  I love that kind of stuff!  We left them with a BOM and I guess the daughter reads it all the time and wants to take it to school and stuff!  So hopefully we'll be able to get something started with them.  We are going to meet with them again tonight.  The only bad thing is that they live in a different area... so we'll see how things turn out.  Wednesday was my first zone conference as a zone leader.  That was pretty hectic.  So we got everything set up in the morning and when president and the assistants flew in we picked them up and were getting everything set up.  They didn’t tell us we needed a projector screen so we had to rush around trying to find one.  Luckily we found one.  Then two of the companionships came 10 min late so that was super lame, I also had to conduct, my first time conducting.  We had called one of the wards to prepare lunch and I’m pretty sure they forgot because 30 min until lunch they weren’t there and sister Dalton was asking if they were coming.  So I was like Ahhhh!  I guess she made some calls and the ward just bought a bunch of plate lunches for us... Then on top of that we didn’t know we were supposed to have a zone musical number so no one had anything!  Luckily Elder Mortensen knew how to play the piano so he just played a hymn.  Gosh that was like the craziest day I swear.  I just wanted to pay attention the whole time but I couldn’t because I was too worried about doing everything else.  
Zone Conference - the Maui Zone
Man, I don’t know about zone leader, I feel like I’m just dealing with all this useless stuff.  Driving missionaries here, picking them up there, answering questions that could easily be answered by themselves, and dealing with sister missionaries.  I don’t know how much more of this I can handle!  I just want to be a regular missionary.  On a good note, the rest of the week was good.  On Saturday, we went back to Kahakuloa village and we spent some time with the Kuamoo family.  That was awesome!  I definitely have to show you that place when we come and visit.  It’s amazing!  Anyways we went and did some service for them.  We cut down some branches.  They fed us breakfast and we skateboarded on their homemade skatepark.  
Ahhhh Yeah - I still got it!
Then we taught them a lesson about families.  I think they really enjoyed it.  The mom seems really interested and I can kind of tell she would want the gospel in her family’s life.  The dad is super nice but kind of just laid back too much.  They still want us to come over so we'll probably go over there this Saturday.  This week Elder Mortensen and I ended up with 9 new investigators!  Tight!  This week I’m pretty dang stoked because we are going to take the ferry to Molokai and spend a day going on exchanges with those elders.  So I'll have some updates on that next week!

Mom, can you send me some granola please!  I miss that so much!  I need to start eating more healthy because I’m gaining weight pretty fast.  I’m not lying when I say that a size 36 feels more comfortable than size 34... I love the Hank Smith talks, I want to collect all of them because they really help!  It was funny we were listening to a Hank Smith talk and we used lines from that talk 3 times in 3 different lessons, and we also used one of the talks to teach gospel principles in the singles branch.  haha typical Ben always wanting new cleats.  Not going to lie Ben, those cleats are pretty dang sick!  Sam, for some reason 2 nephi 9:34 just popped into my head when you sent me that email.  I don’t know why haha that’s weird.  Dad, I bet your stoked to be home for a bit, for some reason I don’t really remember you going to Nebraska when I was still home?  Maybe I’ve just been out too long?  Yeah, I just got that package from Brandi, that was super nice!  Tell her I said thanks and that it was bomb!  I'll try and write her as soon as I can.  Well that’s about it for me this week.  I look forward to hearing from all of you next week!  Hope you have a great week!  Love you the most!
ofa atu…

Elder Gardner