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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Honolulu Zone...Kind of a Big Deal!


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