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

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Last days in Hawaii & My Homecoming

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

Monday, August 5, 2013

Aloha Oe

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

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

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

Elder Gardner

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Final Stretch

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

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

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

Elder Gardner
Mission Leader Conference

Monday, July 22, 2013

Wolf Pack


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

Elder Gardner
Fire in Kona

Monday, July 15, 2013

Choke Steeze


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

Elder Gardner
Elder Dahl's last District Meeting.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Da Popo

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

Monday, July 8, 2013

Baptize Me Maybe

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

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

Elder Gardner
Elder Buck - Nasty!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Mission President


So we had Mission Leader Conference yesterday and were in Oahu most of the day so that’s why I couldn’t email you yesterday.  Our new mission president is here, President Warner.  He is really awesome!  I honestly didn't know what to think getting a new mission president, but I’m really impressed with him.  So after MLC he was talking to me and kind of pulled me off to the side.  He told me that the Lord wants me to extend for another 3 months... So I’m going to have to cancel all my classes and contact BYUI to let them know what is going on....
Elder Melville, Elder Boudousquie and myself
Three of my companions and I came out with each one of them: Elder Carrel, Elder Mortensen and Elder Melville
PSYCH , just kidding!  July fools!  How crazy would that be if they called me to extend?  That doesn't really happen these days so you wont have to worry about me extending.  You guys are so lucky you are at Lake Powell!  I hope that catching wakes and getting some sun for me.  Lucky dogs!

This week was a pretty good week for us.  We are still trying to get another investigator with a date.  We have a couple that we are working with so we'll see what this week will hold for us.  We have some lessons lined up this week that should be pretty good.  We did find a new investigator this week.  His name is Darren.  We had dinner with the Belanio’s and they invited one of their friends.  It was perfect he was interested in learning more about the gospel, so we taught him a lesson and had dinner afterwards.  It was awesome!  That is one of the best, and non-threatening ways to invite someone to hear from the missionaries. It’s such a money approach.  Also, like I mentioned the new mission president and his wife came in.  President and sister Warner are the bomb!  I really didn’t know what to expect but now all I’m thinking is "dang I wish I could serve with them longer"  He is very different than President Dalton, but I know that he is meant to be here and that they are called of God.  Super cool.  As the weeks are winding down I continue to try and stay motivated and finish strong.  Not going to lie though, I’m pretty excited to come home and see everyone again.  It still seems like I have quite some time left but in reality its only 5 weeks.  Honestly, I’m kind of nervous I guess, I don’t really know what to expect.  Everything will be different.  It will be good.  
Kona Sunset...
Can you believe that its already the 4th of July?  I can remember exactly what I was doing last year on the 4th.  Any plans for the 4th?  How’s your new ward mission leader calling going dad?  Well that’s about it for me and this week.  Sorry I don’t have to much to say, but know that I’m doing just fine out here and I’m ok.  Love you the most!

Elder Gardner

Monday, June 24, 2013

Oh Hey!

How’s it going?!

Man, is it really 45 more days?  That’s super crazy!  We are already on week four of this transfer so that means 2 1/2 more weeks left of this transfer and then another 3 1/2 weeks after that.  Wow, so crazy!  Man, our backyard looks so dope I can’t even believe it.  I’m pretty excited to see all the new changes on the house and yard.    I can’t believe you are going to Lake Powell AGAIN!  That’s like 3 times since I’ve been gone... I don’t even know what to say.  Nah, nah, it’s cool though.   
Elder Melville, Elder Carrel and myself
This week was pretty good.  It was actually a lot slower than most of the weeks that Elder Melville and I have had since we've been together.  I don’t know what’s going on maybe we've just baptized everyone.  We’re still working with Dave and Angela.  Dave has a couple of concerns about Priesthood, the Apostasy, and Prophets, but he’s still willing to learn and try this all out.  I’m just really hoping and praying that something will click and he'll receive an answer.  We go over there about twice a week so we’re definitely keeping good contact with them.  Auntie Darlene is doing great, she is solid, and has goals to get to the temple!  The Ounyoungs are golden!  We go over there once a week.  I know that I always say this but I just love them so much!  We are going to help them with their roof this Saturday.  Sam has the Aaronic priesthood now and has already been home teaching and given the sacrament to shut ins.  Last time we were over there we were talking about how next summer they are going to try and make a trip to the main land, rent an RV and they are going to come down to Arizona and see us.  I told them that they could stay with us at our house and that the girls could sleep with Ted, and Jojo.  The girls just about died when I told them, they were so excited!  By the way mom, can you send me a copy of your most delicious pasta recipe?  I told the Ounyoungs I would ask because they love pasta and I told them I had pasta probably 3 times a week back at home haha.  We are still on the search for some new investigators.  I don’t want to give up yet there is still some more work to be done.  We actually found 2 new investigators yesterday during dinner.  They weren’t very solid, but the family that had us for dinner invited them and not going to lie it was pretty awkward.  Not a silence awkward, but the family and the lady they invited were like arguing/joking the whole time.  The spirit was totally gone and I don’t think they took our lesson very seriously.  You can tell when people are elect and not.  That was pretty much my week in a nutshell.  
This is President Dalton back in High School.  One of our investigators went to the same high school as him and pulled this out for us.  We had a good laugh about this one.
That broadcast was legit!  We could only stay for the first hour because we had to head off to dinner, but the hour that we caught was awesome.  Crazy to see how the work is moving forward and how everyone is catching the wave.  Super awesome!  By the time Sam and Ben are out on their missions they will probably be using Ipads, Facebook, and Texting.  We don’t have any of that stuff right now.  Guaranteed if this mission had texting our baptisms would increase by a lot!  Just saying.  As for BYUI, I should be registered for all my classes by Thursday.  I only need to sign up for 2 more classes and I should be good.  I’m super stoked that I got that swimming class.  I lucked out on that one for sure!  It’s kind of scary when I log in to BYUI and I check the finances page it says I owe $2000... That’s kind of scary.  It also says that the parent taxes and all that stuff are still waiting.  I’m not sure when that stuff will be able to be processed in to the system but I’m hoping its soon!  I heard the Heat took the Championship again.  I would rather it be them then the Spurs.  I’m just not the biggest fan of the Spurs.  We went longboarding again today for p-day that was super fun!  Well that will probably do it for me this week.  Hope everything goes great with work, surgeries, summer fun and all that good stuff.  Love you guys the most!  Shoots!

Elder Gardner

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dying Testimony

So the Internet is still down at the family history center... It’s really starting to annoy me because we actually use the computer for a lot of things like Sunday night numbers, Tuesday noons, and emails.  They said it probably wouldn’t be fixed for a while... Typical Hawaii for ya.  So I’m emailing you from a member’s house.  Sounds like you all had a pretty awesome week!  That’s super cool to hear.  A bunch of new and exciting things happening like Dad’s new machine, Sam’s job, Ben’s scooter sessions.  Sounds awesome!  I can’t believe that Joey already gave his farewell.  So crazy!  I won’t be able to see him for days!  

This week was pretty bomb!  The beginning of this week was kind of slow just because we had to finish up the video that we we’re going to present to President Dalton at our last zone conference.  We made it on sister Gasbar’s Mac book pro.  Those things are so nice!  I really want to get one for school, those things are dope!  
Last Zone Conference with President and Sister Dalton.
So, zone conference was on Friday, that was pretty crazy.  I totally forgot that I was giving my dying testimony.  That’s the testimony you give at your last zone conference.  It was pretty special because I gave my greenie testimony in the same building 2 years ago that I gave my dying testimony in on Friday.  I also was able to give it with Elder Melville, Bowlby, Carrel, and a couple other close buddies that I’ve made on my mission.  President and Sister Dalton also gave their dying testimonies as well because it’s their last one also.  I honestly love President and Sister Dalton so much.  They have been my parents over here in Hawaii.  They have been a great example to me and I respect them so much.  It’s really going to be sad to see them go.  The new mission president seems pretty legit.  He’s like the vice president of the U or something.  
Last Zone Conference with Elders that I came out with:  l to r  - Elder Makalio, Elder Mortensen, me, Elder Carrel, and Elder Melville.
So, about Melville and I, what they will do is bring a missionary up with us for our final 3 weeks and then we both leave and the other missionary will stay in this area and the mission office will send another missionary to be with him.  I feel bad for the missionary that will be in a threesome with us.  He has to take over this area in only three weeks and deal with all the goodbyes and aloha oe's and stuff that Elder Melville and I will be going through.  
Auntie Darlene's baptism
Auntie Darlene’s baptism was a success!  She was soooo happy!  That was really cool to see.  It was a really good baptism.  I had the privilege of confirming her on Sunday.  We’re still searching and trying to squeeze a couple more baptisms in before the end.  I really want to try and get a couple more.  We have a few that could.  The Herrera’s are still coming a long and the new investigators that we found the other week are good, we still have some work to do with them though.  All in all I’m happy and things are great so I cant really complain.  

Today I was able to go golfing again!  Yes!  It’s always such a bonus when I get to go golfing on P-days.  I love it so much.  I didn’t play to well today but I did get a legit clean birdie on one of the holes.  Tigah for birdie!  So you asked me what I wanted for my b day?  Just a set of clubs and I'll be the happiest guy in the world.  Registration for classes also went very well.  I was able to sign up for most of the classes that the counselor recommended.  I signed up for Book of Mormon, English, a cultural awareness class, Intro to business, and a Swimming class!!  Heck ya!  All the golf, basketball, volleyball classes were full.  I got lucky and snagged a spot in the swimming class.  I checked my FAFSA thing on BYUI and it says its still awaiting.  So hopefully it will go through.  There are two more classes that I need to sign up for, Math, and Science.  All my classes are foundation classes so they are ones that are required except for of course the swimming, and business.  I’m pretty stoked for the remainder of this year.  It will be one that is full of excitement, learning, and great times.  I’m stoked!  Well that’s about it for me this week.  Great to hear from you all.  Love you the most!

Elder Gardner

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Shreddin the Gnar

Sorry I wasn’t able to email yesterday, sometimes the family history centers Internet doesn’t work. It seems like in never works on the days that we really need to use it.  Especially with me needing to register for classes tomorrow!  So, I’m sitting in the Kona Business Center and emailing you from a little cubicle office thing.  Sounds like everyone had a pretty bomb week!  So the Youth Conference was a hit?  Nice!  What did Hank Smith talk about?  How was camping in the backyard?  I was just talking about it with Elder Melville this morning how we can’t wait to just hang out and cruise with our families!  It’s going to be so fun. 
District Meeting
This past week was really good.  Auntie Darleen is still super stoked for her baptism this Saturday.  We have a lesson and baptism interview with her tonight.  I'll have updates on how the baptism went for you next Monday.  The Herrera family is still doing pretty good.  The kids are in Oregon now and we have just been teaching the parents.  They are still coming along and they are still going to church so that’s good.  Dave is still trying to study it out and still has questions about a lot of stuff but he's coming along.  We found 2 new investigators this week so that was pretty cool.  So we stopped by this part member family that we found on the ward list and we talked to the daughter who is 17 and she seemed pretty interested.  Her name is Baby.  So we set up a lesson for this past Tuesday.  Well, she texted us and asked if we could meet on Wednesday instead.  So we stopped by on Wednesday and no one is home... Go figure.  So we call her up and she said that she was at her friend’s house that is just up the street and she told us to come up and teach both of them.  So we go up and teach both of them and they actually seemed pretty interested and they were telling us how they really wanted to come to church!  They didn’t end up coming to church on Sunday but no worries we'll get them.  We’re going to try and contact them this week. 
Finding our inner feminine side with Elder Dahl
So here’s a funny story, on Wednesday night we were getting ready for bed and I was already laying in bed and Elder Melville grabs his blanket and starts shaking it out... (I have no idea why)  Well, since he is really tall the blanket caught the fan and ripped it right out of the ceiling!  The mount that it was in just broke in half so it was just hanging by the wires.  The next morning we had to go to Home Depot and grab the new mount part and come back and fix it.  I had to climb up in the attic and take the old one out and replace the new one.  That was crazy!  It was kind of like Extreme Makeover fan edition.  Our zone isn’t doing so hot right now.  I don’t know what’s going on but it was nothing like it was in May.  Hopefully we can get the fire back again. 

Oh man, I was laughing when I read that dad got called as the ward mission leader.  Not saying you won’t do a good job, I’m sure that you'll rock it but I guess I just can’t really picture you as the ward mission leader.  I guess I’m so used to you working with the young men, and all the youth and stuff.  Hahaha oh man that’s awesome!  I'll help you out if you want when I get back home.  I can’t believe that I’m going to be registering for classes tomorrow!  Time is winding down pretty quick.  I’m trying my best to stay focused but not going to lie it gets pretty dang hard sometimes.  Well that’s about it for me this week.  We have zone conference coming up on Friday and that will be our last zone conference ever with President Dalton.  He goes home June 30th.  Well love you all so much, hope you have a great week.  Love you the most.

Elder Gardner

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Letter From a Sister in Kona

This was a letter that President Dalton received from a sister in the Kona 2nd Ward and he forwarded this to us.  Very, Very nice...

Aloha President Dalton,

May I convey my deepest appreciation for your prayerful discernment in knowing the needs of the Kona Second ward as it pertains to the missionary work herein this part of the Lord's vineyard. The companionship of Elder Melville and Elder Gardner is truly a gift from our Father.

Their hard work, can-do & winning attitude, accompanied by an ever willing heart was quite evident from the very first ward council meeting. Impressively, they continue to instill a spirit of trustworthiness among many members here as families are excited to feed them, bishopric members use them as 'object lessons' in sacrament talks & as they participate in ward activities (e.g. talent show, eagle scout service project). In fact, according to our ward mission leader, in his recent sacrament talk, describes these fine elders as the best missionaries currently serving in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission:) The sister missionaries who were there in attendance, had to “smile” at that comment.  In all seriousness though, they truly put their best foot forward and follow closely to the footsteps of our Savior.

As the weeks disappear, these elders countlessly prove to be a force of good and have made great efforts in building and solidifying relationships among members of the ward council. They have strengthened the confidence of these members to work closer with the missionaries. Their weekly progress reports are always complete, well-organized, informative and yes, inspiring. They never leave the ward council members 'guessing' what's next. There is a plan to be executed with each report. I have witnessed firsthand how working with the missionaries offers a win-win experience in both rescuing efforts as well as bringing those into the fold.

Again, thank you for all that you do and please rest assured that Elder Melville and Elder Gardner are diligently, faithfully and consistently serving with all their hearts.

Warmest Regards,
Sis. Joyal Gaspar

Monday, June 3, 2013

So Pitted Brah!

Dude what’s up everyone!

Sounds like everyone had an awesome week!  That’s really good to hear.  Everything is still cherry over here in Kona.  I’m telling you, I really don’t think life could be any better than it is right now!  Glad to hear that EFY was a success for Sam.  That’s also super cool that Ben is in his first golf tourney.  Let me know how that goes.  Congrats on the Cub Master calling Emmi and Hal, that’s dope!  You guys will tear it up I’m sure!  I’m super stoked to see all of the family again.  It still doesn’t really feel like I’m coming home that soon.  It still feels like I have a while left.  You can have whoever you want to come to the Airport that’s totally fine with me.  Nine weeks left that’s really crazy!  Wednesday is transfers, which also happens to be my last full transfer.  Crazy stuff.
P-Day at Spencer Beach Park
This week was pretty golden.  We had a lot of good things happen which I’ll fill you in about.  So remember me talking about Auntie Darleen?  Well she has a baptism date for the 15th!  We committed her to that date and she was super stoked!  That’s all she can talk about now is her baptism.  We’re still hoping to commit a couple more people.  This kid named Kekai who came to church for the first time we can probably get him baptized end of June or sometime in July.  I’m really pushing to hit my baptism goal for my mission and I’m so close so I have to push hard and make it happen somehow.  So, that family that I was telling you about in my last email - the one where we blessed the house.  So, we went back a couple more times during the week to teach them.  On Wednesday we went back with our ward mission leader and taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson and it turned out really good until we committed them to baptism.  They said yes to baptism, but they had some concerns because they have already been baptized before, so we ended up teaching part of the Restoration, and I’m pretty sure it left them pretty confused.  So that was kind of a bum visit.  Well, on Friday Angela texted us and wanted us to come over and give each of them a blessing because they were still experiencing some stuff so we went back over and gave each member of the family a blessing.  After that we sat down and answered all their questions and it turned out really good.  One thing we found out is that the kids are leaving to Oregon for the summer, so it will just be Angela and Dave.  What we’re hoping for is Dave to be baptized and then when the kids come back he can then baptize them.  Dave and Angela are the ones that are a little more interested anyway about the whole thing.  They continue to read the Book of Mormon and continue to invite us over, so something must be going right!  

So I found out that Elder Melville and I will be dying together in Kona!  (finishing our missions together)  I’m soooooooo stoked about that you don’t even know how excited I am to finish my mission in Kona!  It would probably break my heart if I got transferred to a new area for only one transfer.  It’s super sick over here!  Today for P-day we went longboarding.  It was sooooo sick.  Probably one of the best p-days I’ve had on my mission.  I only have videos so you'll have to watch them when I get back.  Yeah, that’s about it for me for this past week.  Definitely a good one, so no complaints there!

As for the school situation, I have an Idea of what classes I need to sign up for.  I’ve emailed one of the councilors in the business department, the one that changed my major for me, and I asked her what classes I should sign up for and she looked up my profile and gave me a whole list of classes I still need to take as well as classes I should take.  Thanks for working on the FAFSA stuff dad, sure has been a big help.  Let me know when you find out more or get any updates.  So you asked about girls when I come home?  I’m excited to date again but will be feeling a little awkward because by the way, I don’t know if you've realized but I’ve been on a mission for 2 years so my canteen is pretty much dry from walking in the desert for 2 years haha.  So you asked what kind of food for my homecoming?  Well I would love to have some Mexican food, and also I know its probably pretty hard to find up there but if there is any possibility to fry up some fish.  I would love that.  

Well that’s about it for me.  Hope you all have a great week!  Love you the most

Elder Gardner 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'm Going to Steal Your Birthday Stuff...

So, it sounds like this past week was pretty full of awesome things.  I really enjoyed reading all your emails and getting updated on all the stuff that’s been happening lately.  I don’t even know where to begin.  So Knoxville, Tennessee?  That’s pretty awesome!  I know that Gia will love it out there for sure.  Happy late birthday to you Ben!  Just to let you know that while you were enjoying you b-day bringing in the dough I was mowing a huge lawn!  It was cool though, I actually enjoyed it, and I kind of miss mowing the lawn haha.  I miss St. George, and I can’t wait to go back again, it will be cool.  So it says that I will leave Honolulu at 10 PM?  I was talking to Elder Melville and all the other elders that go home mid transfer with me and they all leave at 8 AM on the 7th.  I wonder if that is just the easiest way with how all the flights line up or something.  
Elder Hudson.  This is the last time I will see this kid on the mission.  He goes home in a week.
This week was pretty bomb!  So Auntie Darleen the investigator that I was telling you about - we were able to visit her this past Thursday and we taught her the Restoration.  It was awesome!  We talked about baptism and we asked her if she would be baptized and she said yes!  So we’re going over there tonight and we’re going to set a date, hopefully for June 15th!  I’m pretty stoked about that.  I feel like Heavenly Father is really blessing me right now especially since it’s coming up towards the end of my mission.  I don’t know if its like a "Thank you for serving, here take this miracle"  type of thing going on, but we've been seeing a ton of miracles.  
This was at our MLC in Oahu
So here’s a pretty cool miracle for you that happened yesterday:  so yesterday was Mission Leader Conference.  So we were in Oahu the majority of the day.  When we came back we had dinner with Lia (Recent convert) at the Hao's.  After dinner we met up with sister Brown who took us to one of her non-member friend’s house so we could giver her a blessing.  The friend I guess had hurt her back pretty bad and she was leaving to Alaska today so last night we gave her a blessing.  It was really cool and the lady really enjoyed it!  That will probably be a good potential when she gets back from Alaska.  Ok so now to the pinnacle of the story.  Right after we gave that blessing we got a call from bishop asking if we could stop by this sister’s house in our area that needed a blessing.  I had no idea who this sister was so we got the address from bishop and stopped by.  We showed up and I kind of had a weird feeling about the whole thing at first.  It was a part member family that had just moved to Kona from Oregon.  The mom (Angelas) is a less active and the dad and two kids are non-members.  Well, she proceeds to unload this story on us how one of her friends a while ago got into all this devil worship stuff and it was a mess so she kind of stayed away from that friend.  Well I guess they started talking a couple years ago when they were in Oregon, and the devil lady was trying to hook up her kids with Angela’s kids and it got pretty bad and a lot of bad things were happening.  I truly believe that God works in mysterious ways because as this was all happening the dad got a job offer to come work in Hawaii, and he took it.  They were living in Hilo for a couple of months but couldn’t handle it so they moved to Kona.  Well long story short, the mom was looking to bring the Gospel back into not only her life but her family's lives as well.  We blessed the house and everyone felt way better and the whole family wants to come to church and start reading the scriptures!  So we’re going to try and baptize the family in June!  We are meeting with them again tomorrow so I'll let you know how it goes next week.  
Things are really going good right now here in Kona, which is good because it sure does make time go by a lot faster when you are busy and you have people to teach and baptize.  I can’t believe that I have about 2 months left... That just blows my mind.  That’s pretty crazy that I'll be giving my homecoming the same day Jacob is giving his farewell.  Sounds like there will be plenty people there.  It’s almost time for me to register for classes.  Well that’s about it for me this week.  Thanks for the pictures they were pretty bomb!  Shoots!  
Love you the most

Elder Gardner