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

Monday, February 25, 2013

Where Can I Turn for Peace...and Sleep

Yo, what’s up!!

I swear the weeks are getting shorter and shorter.  It seems like yesterday I was emailing you guys.  I have to say that I’m totally cool with missing out on all that snow haha.  Snow is definitely not on the list of "Things I’m excited for when I get back".  Kona is pretty hot, usually like in the 80's.  Carlsbad again?  For real?  Man, I still hope that one of these days in my life I'll be able to make it over there so I can see what all the hype is really about.  Yeah that’s too bad your not going to be at the hospital for spring break... I heard that place was pretty cool.  Speaking about spring break, BYU-I doesn’t have a spring break so yeah the best time would be in the winter or the summer to go to Hawaii.  With winter there’s more of a chance for rain, but more waves to surf.  Summer is nice weather but not so much waves for surfing.  I’m anxious for Sam to get his neck brace off so he can start doing stuff again.  Is he still dating choke girls?  I bet your pretty stoked to have this week off dad, I once considered asking President Dalton for a p-week instead of just a p-day if we hit our high water mark, but he would never allow it haha. 

This week was pretty good!  Elder Tup and I hit the pavement this week.  We worked pretty dang hard.  We were able to talk to a lot of people and set up a lot of lessons, but we didn’t find any new investigators this week.  Kona is definitely a lot slower than what I have been used to.  I still love it here though.  Our ward is sooo sick!  We still have a couple of investigators that we are working with to get a date.  One of them will probably get baptized in March before he moves to St. George.  We typically tract every day unless something else comes up.  We only set aside one-hour window for tracting a day.  I’m sure you heard me say before that tracting is not my favorite thing to do but you just have to go out there and do it at times.  Other than tracting we go and visit less active/part member families, or former investigators.  Friday we had this scout spaghetti dinner and dessert auction.  That was super fun!  We got in for free (benefit of being a missionary) and during the auction the first counselor gave us each 10 bucks so we could bid.  I got the banana cream pie of course because that’s my favorite.  I was surprised how much money people were laying down on baked goods.  It was all going to the scouts but someone dropped 70 bucks on a Chantilly cake!  Saturday was pretty cool we went to Honoka'as baptism and after that we had to make a trip to Hilo to pick up some commissary from the zone leaders.  That was like going down memory lane.  I still remembered everything when I was driving through.  We had some lunch with the zone leaders and then we went and stopped by some of my old members to say hi.  They still remembered me and they were super shocked/excited to see me.  That was really cool!  That’s pretty much all that happened this week.  Not too many cool stories this week just a lot of hard work and no new investigators... I haven’t really been sleeping that well since I’ve been here I don’t know why.  This past week I’ve woken up at the same time every single night and it takes a long time for me to fall back asleep... I’m doing to go get some ear plugs today (you probably know why) to see if that will help. 

Today we had president’s interviews.  That was probably my shortest interview with President my whole mission.  All he asked was how I was doing, how Sam was doing, and he told me to hit the high water mark.  Then I was out of there haha.  I love the guy to death though, I’m with you dad, he’s pretty much like my second dad.  Well, any more updates about FAFSA?  I hope that everything continues to go well back home.  Know that I love each of you and you are constantly in my prayers.  Be good Sam and Ben or I’m going to whoop your butt when I get home haha.  Well have a good week!

Love you the most
Elder Gardner

Monday, February 18, 2013

First Kona Baptisms

Wow, another p-day is come and gone.  We are now on week three of this transfer!  This transfer is a 5-week transfer because the transfer dates kind of got messed up back in December.  So, next transfer will go back to 6 weeks like usual, but we are already half way done with this one... Crazy!  Sounds like it was a good week for all of you.  That’s a bummer about Blue Ridge basketball, especially when it is so close like that.  Sounds like Valentines Day was a hit for both Ben and Sam haha.  So Emmi and Hal are going to live in Snowflake permanently?  I thought it was just for a little while.  Sounds fun.  I just got an email from Sterling and he’s doing great.   Yeah, Elder Hanks and all them finished last transfer.  That was super weird because I was pretty close to most of those elders.  You can add Elder Hanks to Facebook if you want I think he knows that I don’t get on. 
Paula's Baptism:  L to R - Elder Tupouniua, Paula, Bro. Hooper, Me 
Well this week was a pretty good one.  We had our baptism on Saturday and that went really good.  We had set the baptism for 5:30 because Paula needed to get off work so we were waiting and waiting and turns out she got off work late so the baptism happened around 6:15.  It was good though, everything worked out and it ended up being really good.  As for the other 2 investigators with a date - one of them will probably get baptized in March.  His name is Nicko and he’s planning on moving to St. George pretty soon but he expressed to us how he wants to be baptized before he moves there.  The other one that we have isn’t so solid so right now were kind of in a finding/rebuilding mode so we can crush March since it’s a 5-week month.  Speaking about baptisms Daniel, the golden investigator from the singles branch, got baptized on Saturday, that was pretty sweet!  I called Elder Mafi and he told me all about it and he said that it was awesome!  That made me feel good.  The ward I serve in is awesome!  The families are so cool and super nice.  I’m so glad that I’m over here in this ward and in this zone.  
Much of Kona has a different look for Hawaii, but it is still pretty...
On Valentines Day we went on a date!  An older lady in our ward named Barbara and her daughter took us out to Outback steakhouse.  The days leading up to Thursday they kept reminding us about our date with the cougars..... haha it was cool though, I had a good time eating ribs and talking about cats.  I’ve been eating a lot of fast-food lately.  There’s like nothing else to eat out here.  I still weigh about the same as last time I told you so no worries. 

For my address, its 73-1192 Loloa Drive, if you’re looking at the house we live on the top floor.  Its a pretty sweet set up we got in there.  And for the best time to come to Hawaii when I come back: well anytime would be good.  If we did come in the winter, there probably is a good possibility that it will rain while we are there.  But in the winter is when the waves are big and all the surfers are out surfing.  Spring break would also be a good time as well.  It probably won’t be as rainy.   
This is a picture that Elder Mortensen just sent me of me and him in the MTC.
 Well hope you all have a fantastic week and I look forward to getting your email next week.  Have fun over there, because if your not having fun then your doing something wrong.  Love you the most.  Shootz

Elder Gardner

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Kona Gold

Wow, what a week!  It’s been crazy the past couple of days that’s for sure, but super good though.  So I’m sure you have already guessed why I didn’t email you yesterday.  Yes, we had our temple trip today which is definitely a temple trip I will not forget...... I'll explain to you later in the letter.  
At the Kona Temple with Elder Garr.
Striking the pose at the Kona Temple with Elder Williams.
Thank you so much for the package!  That was awesome!  I wasn’t really expecting a package but made my day when I saw it sitting at our door step.  Sounds like everyone is good at home.  Always good to hear. 

Man, Kona is bomb!  Its sooo awesome!  I love it over here so much.  At first I was kind of apprehensive coming over to Kona because I always heard it was slow and that there’s not much over here, but man was I wrong.  What I heard was true in a sense.  The landscape here is nothing much.  There’s a lot of lava rocks and bushes, it’s definitely the driest area/zone I’ve been in my whole mission, but its cool because it kind of reminds me of home.
Kona Sunset - Beautiful...
My companions name is Elder Tupouniua from Magna, Utah.  He's Tongan.  He’s super cool!  I like him a lot and so far we've been getting along just great!  He's a hard worker and likes to go out there and get stuff done so it’s a big difference from being in Honolulu.  The zone is super cool!  There are a bunch of really cool elders in this zone, so I feel like everyone will get along and just be good friends.  We just cover one ward, which is the Kona 2nd Ward.  Just in the short time I’ve been here, I’ve seen how awesome the members are here.  They are super friendly and have a bunch of aloha.  I know I will definitely enjoy my time here in Kona for sure!  There are two sisters in our zone and they seem pretty cool also.  We have 3 investigators with a date right now for our ward, and one of the baptisms is for this Saturday so it should be really good.  The other two are scheduled for the end of this month.  I’m still kind of bummed that I have to miss Daniel’s baptism because he was such a golden investigator.  But it’s all G!  I’m still trying to get used to the area but hopefully I'll be able to pick it up pretty soon.  Everything is so spread out over here so sometimes we travel like 40 miles to the next town where the elders are.  Road Trip!  All in all, I’m very happy where I’m at.  The Lord has blessed me so much with my areas and with my companions.  Plus, we probably have the biggest pad in the whole mission!  3 bed 2 bath!  Score!  So just real quick to talk about what happened today... I'm not going to go into to much detail, but I’ll tell you more maybe when I get home or over the phone... Anyways it just made me realize how real Satan is and that this kind of stuff really happens.  So there is this elder in our zone and when he was in the celestial room he just went mentally nuts... It was really quite scary and luckily the AP's were with us and the temple president was there but yeah he might have to go home and he's not doing too good right now.  It might just be mental problems or something else but it was really crazy!  So yeah that’s kind of the crazy highlight story of this week that I’ll never forget in my whole life.
This picture is at Stephanie's with her and Tristan.  This was my last night in Honolulu...
Well, that’s about it for me. Sorry if this email is kind of shirt, but I hope all of you have a great week!  Love you the most.

Elder Gardner

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Kona, Hawaii

Kona is the name of a moku or district on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi in the State of Hawaii. The term "Kona" is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to its largest town, Kailua-Kona.
In the Hawaiian language, kona means leeward or dry side of the island, as opposed to ko‘olau which means windward or the wet side of the island. In the times of Ancient Hawaiʻi, Kona was the name of the leeward district on each major island. In Hawai‘i, the Pacific anticyclone provides moist prevailing northeasterly winds to the Hawaiian islands, resulting in rain when the winds contact the windward landmass of the islands - the winds subsequently lose their moisture and travel on to the leeward (or kona) side of the island. When this pattern reverses, it can produce a Kona storm from the west.
Kona is the home of the world-famous Ironman World Championship Triathlon which is held each year in October in Kailua-Kona. The Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park marks the place where Captain James Cook was killed in 1779. Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park and Honokohau Settlement and Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park are in Kona.
The volcanic slopes of Hualālai and Mauna Loa in the Kona district provide an ideal microclimate for growing coffee. Kona coffee is considered one of the premium specialty coffees of the world.


Monday, February 4, 2013

On the Road Again...

Wow, another week has come and gone and another transfer is in the bag.  So crazy!  I have 7 months left and 5 more transfers.  Unreal.  Sounds like everyone is doing great back at home with golf right around the corner.  Pretty exciting!  Well as you can probably tell from the title of my email... Yes, I’m getting transferred again.  I’m pretty excited, but of course sad at the same time.  It’s always hard to leave an area unless you don’t like it.  Honolulu definitely did me good, and took me for a ride at the same time (Tongan Ward) but I honestly did have a fun time, and I love the zone, and we accomplished a lot together.  I'll definitely miss the singles ward - that was the coolest ward ever!  In just the short transfer I was there I made many friends and found one of my most solid investigators ever, Daniel.  Sad to say that I will not be able to be at his baptism... Somehow, that always seems to happen to me.  I find someone solid and they are about to be baptized but then I leave... where’s the loyalty man?  Its cool though, I’m still going to count it as one of my baptisms.  I’m sure you are excited to hear where I’ll be transferred to?  I’m going back to the Mother land, big island.  Except this time I’ll be on the Kona side instead of the Hilo side.  I’m pretty excited!  I’ve only heard good things about that place and plus I have the biggest pad in the mission!  I’m still a zone leader, and president said the reason I'm going over there is to hit the high water mark.  No pressure right?  So yeah, that’s the news with me.
Honolulu hike in the concrete jungle
A nice overlook point on our hike 
This week was pretty dang good.  We taught Daniel again.  Man, I love that guy he is so solid!  I’m super bummed I wont be there for the baptism... We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he just soaked it in and he loved it!  It made sense to him and he was asking questions the whole time.  We asked him if he was still good for the 16th and he said cutting me off "Oh absolutely!" He said he set 4 calendar dates 4 days before his baptism reminding him to get ready and to not chicken out and stuff haha, super cool!  We had two baptisms on Saturday, which went pretty good.  It was in the Tongan ward, and it was the ones that I was telling you about in the previous email.  
At the baptisms of Ekson and Asamy with Elder Mafi...
So I’ll end my reign in Honolulu with 8 baptisms.  Not too bad, I’m hoping to tear it up in Kona though!  We were able to teach another black guy in the singles branch on Sunday during Sunday School.  I don’t know what’s up with me teaching all these black guys from North Carolina but they keep showing up haha.  He was cool, but he was asking some pretty tough questions about priesthood and stuff.  He was one of those people that believe if they accept Christ into their lives as their Savior then they are automatically saved... We tried to explain it to him but I don’t know how much he understood.  He accepted to pray and read the Book of Mormon, so hopefully it turns out good.  That was pretty much the highlights of my week.
more of the overlook from our hike. 
So I ran into brother Sant.  I think that is his name.  The guy that you saw over Christmas break that used to be in our ward in Utah and now lives in Hawaii.  He was telling me about you guys.  Dude Sam going on a date with a senior chick?  What the!  What was her name?  Was she bomb?  It’s weird how fast time is going. I’m sure I'll have plenty of stuff to tell you next week about Kona.  Mom, I do know what kind of chocolate that is.  I'll try and get some over to you :)  I just bought this new book off of Deseretbook.com its called Increase in Learning by David A Bednar, I’m pretty stoked to start reading it.  Well Love you all the most have a bomb week! 

Elder Gardner

PS.  Grandma Donna if you are reading this.  Sorry I haven’t replied to you in a while.  I am getting all your emails though so don’t worry.  Thank you so much for the John Bytheway cds I love listening to those talks they always help me out a lot and plus I can use them in lessons as well!  Everything is going great over here and thank you so much for all your prayers and support, trust me, it means a lot!  Hopefully I’ll have more to report next week with my new area and stuff, but I love you so much and I hope that you have a great week.

Elder Gardner