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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wow, All I Have to Say is Wow!

Wass up!?

First off, I have to say that mom is a freakin boss for helping with the deck.  I don’t think I’ve ever even done that stuff, and trust me I think I’ve gotten my fair share of yard work from raking to burning to mowing to tearing the fence down.  I’m very excited to see the new improvements on our home, seems to me like our house has been on the Extreme Makeover: Home edition.  I can’t believe that Easton is already going on his mission.  That’s super cool to hear.  Everyone else too, man I might just be coming home to a ghost town.  It is crazy to think that within these next couple of months everyone will be coming home also.  Crazy stuff!
Zone Leader Conference photo in front of the Kona Temple
I have to say that this week was supreme!  This is going to be a great transfer, no doubt, no doubt in my mind.  So Elder Melville is sick!  I love the guy so much.  I've always been tight with him throughout my whole mission because we came out together and now that we’re companions, we’re just going to tear things up and have a blast at the same time.  He is from Orem, Utah, and he is 6'6 and plays basketball.  He is going to play for Westminster when he goes home.  Sending Tup home wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t get a little trunky, because I did.  I mean come on it’s towards the end of my mission and seeing someone that gets to go home and see his family, who wouldn’t want that?  By the way Tup called me this morning.  He said that it’s pretty cool back home, but he misses Hawaii like a banshee.  Elder Melville is stoked to be here in Kona, and stoked to be out of the office.  He went into the office the same time that I got transferred to Honolulu.  AP's fly a lot, especially the travelers.  They travel sooo much.  President Dalton probably flies the most though.  Over his span of 3 years as president, he said that he has flown over 500 times.  Yeah, I know... So let me get on to the juicy stuff.  So I don’t even have words to explain how awesome this week was.  So remember Leah the one girl that I was talking about that her mom told us to come teach her?  Well she had kind of fallen off the radar until we saw her mom the other day and she told us to come over again.  Well we stopped by and Leah was home but the mom wasn’t so we said we would come back later.  Well the mom actually called us and told us to come over and give Leah a blessing because she had burns on her hands.  So we came gave her a blessing then gave the mom a blessing and taught Leah the plan of salvation and committed her to baptism for May 17th!!!!  She also came to church this past Sunday!  So Elder Melville and I were super stoked about that, and to make things even better, Monday we had Zone Leader Conference and after ZLC we came back and rushed over to our ward mission leaders house to teach the Ounyoung family.  We had a little FHE and talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and committed the family for baptism for May 11th!!!  They are super stoked to be baptized!!!  Not to mention that Lyn, the mom, used to be Catholic and Sam the dad used to be a Monk!  They want us to come over everyday and teach them until they are baptized.  I've wanted to baptize a family from the beginning of my mission and now here it is.  I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers for real!  So yeah, that is pretty much the good stuff that happened this week.  We are also going to commit someone tonight for baptism.  Talea Chartrand.  So, if we get her then we will have 6 with a date for May!  Heck yeah that’s what I’m talking about.  Well shoots, got to run, hope you have a great week!

Love you the most,
Elder Gardner
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Green Dot Boy

This is a picture of the Gasbar family, can you pick me out in this photo?

So yes this week on Wednesday is transfers.  Crazy how fast it sneaks up on you.  I now have a green dot on my picture on the transfer board.  I never thought I would ever make it this far on my mission!  A green dot means that you have 3 transfers left, Yellow dot means you have 2 and Red means you have one.  The end of my mission is coming in hot!  Elder Tup goes home on Wednesday.  Well, he flies into Honolulu and stays there until Thursday night then catches the red eye flight and will get home Friday morning.  It’s hard to kill a missionary off (send them home).  This is the first time I’ve done it on my mission; it just makes me think of when I’ll be going home.  It’s cool though, I’m just trying to stay as focused as I can.  
Last District Leader Training Meeting of the transfer.

Sounds like everything is going great back at home.  Super stoked to hear about Sam’s MRI.  I’ve been praying about that a lot, and that makes me feel a ton better.  I’m sure you've already heard about this but a lot of members have told me about Juicing.  I heard it’s really healthy for you and helps you heal or something like that.  One of the members was saying Sam should do it haha.  Now that you have the yard looking nice, and the bug almost done, I bet your just ready to cruise right into summer! 
The Aholelei's, a cool family in Kona
This week was a pretty good one.  A lot of great things happened.  First of all do you remember in my last email how I was telling you that we were going to go teach that family that our ward mission leader brought to church?  Well we taught them on Monday night for Family Home Evening and they LOVED it!  That is the coolest family ever!  They are the Ounyoungs and the Mom is Filipino the Dad Tai and they have 3 girls 1 boy who is disabled.  Two of the girls are baptism age!  The girls already knew the whole Joseph Smith story and the parents loved the lesson and the concept of Family Home Evening.  After the lesson we gave them 5 Books of Mormon. one for each person and a couple of church DVDs.  I was stoked!  So later on that week we met up with E. Tup’s brother in-law who we see quite often and he took us out to lunch.  Well, he must have been inspired when he said Krua because that is Sam’s Restaurant (The family we taught).  He came up to us and told us that he had been watching the videos that we gave us and that he loved them!  The wife also came up to us in the restaurant and told us that Sam had watched those movies over and over again!  He also asked us if he could get some more!  They are so solid and definitely potentials for baptism!  They came to church again yesterday also!  The wife was sick so Sam brought all of his kids by himself and stayed the whole time!  I’m sooo stoked about this family.  A lot of good things are starting to happen right now.  I’m so glad that I’m staying here.  I hope that I finish my mission here but I don’t think I will.  I think that I might get released as zone leader after this transfer and go somewhere else... Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that my new companion is Elder Melville.  I came out with him and he just got released as an AP and is coming to Kona to be with me.  I’m super stoked because Elder Melville and I are pretty tight, and we’re going to tear it up out here.  We weren’t able to visit Talea because her mom had surgery so we didn’t really get a chance to stop by last week but this week we'll go over and hopefully be able to set up a baptism date.  Sheri is also doing well.  She’s still got her hurdles to face but she is still making progress slowly but surely.  Barbara thinks that she'll get baptized by the end of this year.  That's about all the greatness that happened this week.  It was a baller week that’s for sure.

It’s crazy because I’ve been hearing about a lot of the missionaries that I’ve served with that have gone home already and are engaged!  That really blows my mind haha.  I don’t think I could get engaged that fast because its going to be super awkward when I’m around girls because I’m so used to the missionary way... haha it will be fun though.  Well shoots, that about does it for this one.  Hope you all have a great week and that you are successful during your workday on Saturday and all the other stuff you will be doing.  Love you the most

Elder Gardner

Monday, April 15, 2013

Life's Good in the Hood Baby!

How’s it?!

So, the reason for my email title is the other day it was Elder Buckley’s birthday and we were eating at this super bomb place called Splashers.  As we were sitting down waiting for our food, some tourists came up and they sat at the table next to ours and the wife said to the husband "Life is good in the hood baby!"  It was just one of those moments where everyone at the table just looks at each other with the "okayyyy..." expression and acts like nothing happened.  It was super funny.  But yeah Aug. 7th – I’m pretty stoked and I feel good about it.  So I’m not completely certain about the travel plans but I might be flying on the 7th and not get home till early morning on the 8th and I put Sky Harbor as my airport that I’ll fly into.  As for what we can do when I get home, well first we can go to the temple together then just get me to somewhere where I can go swimming!  I want to go swimming so bad!  Other than that anything is good for me. 
Over here in Hawaii, there are many tasty things that we can't get on the mainland.  This is the best ice cream on the planet!!!
This week was pretty good.  Elder Tup is still holding up strong.  I give him a lot of credit because he goes home in a week and he's still trying to finish strong.  Let me tell you, and I’m sure Dad and Hal can probably testify to this, that when it get down towards the end of your mission its a lot harder to focus, But you gotta do what you gotta do and just grab a straw and suck it up.  We are still teaching the Chartrand family.  I love that family a lot.  We taught them the Restoration last week and it went great!  I asked the dad about setting a date with Talea and he said yeah probably the next time we come over we can figure a date out or something.  Yes!  I always look forward to going to their house.  We are still trying to work with some of our other investigators but they are kind of flakey... Right now our most solid investigators are Talea and Sheri. 

So this was pretty cool, I got an email from the assistants who was told by president to forward an email to me from Barbara Davis (Sheri Hanai’s mom) and I’ll just copy and paste it real quick for you to read:

President Dalton,
I wish to commend these young men for their devotion and work with my daughter Sharron Franken.  I am a new member of the Church, having been baptized in September of last year.  My daughter and her husband were great supporters for me in my conversion.  Unfortunately in October Sherri lost her husband to a sudden heart attack and has been under great stress and emotion since that time.  Shortly after his death Sherri began attending Church with me and started weekly visits with the two Elders.  Prior to Wednesday April 3, she seemed to be missing some of their words and had expressed to me that going to Church only impressed upon her how she was “so alone” and without family.  In all her 41 years of marriage it is true that she and her husband really did do everything together, including doctor visits.  That Wednesday the Elders brought a film  “The Testament” – which covered Jesus’s return both in the Holy land and in the Americas.  The film was one hour long and yet following the film the most marvelous thing happened.  My daughter opened up to the Elders (and Sister Joyal Gaspar who was also present) and spoke at length on her feelings and unhappiness.  All of this was after the Elders had merely asked what her thoughts were regarding the film.  During nearly 2 hours more the conversation covered how she had not been able to mourn her husband and how apart she felt.  Both young men read scriptures to her and continued to talk with her on the path of salvation and the ultimate reunion with her husband. It was really marvelous to behold.  The glow on the Elders’ faces, their own happiness showing through at this breakthrough with Sherri. Again, I cannot commend these young men more and express my love and appreciation for them.   I see my daughter more content than before and I know in the coming months she will receive more and more help and love as she continues to meet with these missionaries (except as they move on and are replaced) and will eventually come to be converted.   But in the interim I am so thankful for all that they are doing. 
Sister Barbara Davis

That made me feel pretty good when I read that :)  Also, our ward mission leader, Bro. Ahuna brought this family to church yesterday that own this super bomb Thai restaurant and we are going to teach them tonight!  I hope and pray that it will go well!  Other than the massive 1st birthday party that we went to for our member’s granddaughter on Saturday that’s about all the highlights of my week.  It was a good one.  I mean I could of had someone throw up on me while camping... oh wait... haha but yeah cant complain really.  As for a package it doesn’t really matter.  I could use some basketball shorts if you can. 

Well love you all the most!  Have a good one

Elder Gardner

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's Official

A picture of the Kona Zone on a p-day hike last week.

Dang, I can’t believe that conference already has come and gone.  That is my last conference I will ever attend while serving a mission... kind of sad to think about.  I loved conference!  It really helped me and gave me that boost that I needed.  The only bad thing about conference is that it’s too short!!!  I honestly could watch it for days.  I only dozed off twice, which is pretty good since conference out here starts at 6:00 in the morning...  Unfortunately none of our investigators came to conference with us but some of them committed to watch it at home so we'll follow up with them.  Sounds like everyone had a pretty decent week.  Nice! 

This week was pretty good.  So it’s official.  I called Sister Scott in the office and I told her that I’m going to be going home mid transfer in August with 8 other elders that I came out with.  So our transfer is split half and half.  Half of us are going home mid transfer, and the other half is going home end of August.  So I will end my mission on August 7th - your birthday mom!  Happy Birthday haha.  I've thought and prayed about it and it seems good to me and it would help me in the long run. 

This week was a bit slower than most weeks.  I’ve had worse weeks and I've had better.  Let me tell you about the highlight of my week though.  So, this family that we have been working with (The Chartrands), the one I talked about in my last email.  So we went over there twice this week.  That family is awesome!  I love them so much.  We are getting closer and closer to the family and they keep telling us that they want their daughter to be baptized.  So we’re going to start the first lesson tomorrow.  We’re going to try and set a baptism date too.  Hopefully we'll be able to get it at the end of April, but if not May for sure.  We were also able to teach Sheri this week.  Sheri is in her 60’s or 70's and we've been teaching her for a while.  Her husband died 6 months ago and she is having a super hard time with it.  She wants and knows she needs to get baptized but she just cant get over those few hurdles that stand in her way.  We were thinking about what to share with her and we felt like we should share the Testaments dvd.  So we did and she loved it and she said it answered some of her questions which then led to her opening up to us and telling us some of her concerns.  We finally committed her to read the Book of Mormon that night and she gladly said yes.  We went back the next day to teach her recent convert Hanai mom and she was so excited to tell us that she read that night!!  She'll get baptized for sure and she's definitely taking the right steps.  Today we helped clean the Kona temple.  That was pretty dang sweet!  We cleaned every room of the temple and it was cool to experience something like that. 

Well, yeah that’s about it for me this week.  You guys are lucky you get to go play some golf.  I know that all of you will be better than me, but as long as I get to be out there with you it’s good enough for me.  Well shoots, love you all so much. Have a great week.  Laterzz

Elder Gardner

Monday, April 1, 2013

5 Months Left...

p-day hike today.  This was the old baptism font in Kohala

Dang, another p-day is here, I can’t believe it.  Seems like I was just writing yesterday.  Thanks for all the pictures, they were awesome!  Looks like you guys have so much fun over there in Carlsbad.  Can’t wait to go.  Sam and Ben are growing up so fast its crazy.  Looks like the fashion style may have changed a little bit since I’ve been out on my mission as well?  To answer your question before I forget I did mean vog in my previous letter.  Vog is the smog stuff the volcano lets off.  It’s not good to breath in, and its really thick some days over here in Kona.  So thick that you can’t even see the ocean. 

Yeah, it's pretty cool here, I guess...

This week was a pretty good one here in Kona.  We’re still trying to work hard to find some new investigators so we can continue to baptize at least every month.  We were able to stop by this family that are members but they had just moved back from Las Vegas and I think they kind of went less active for a while because they have a 10 year old daughter that isn’t baptized.  They were super cool with us coming over and they want us to get their daughter ready for baptism and teach the whole family the discussions!  I was pretty stoked about that.  That was probably the highlight of the week.  We have a lesson with them this Tuesday so I'm definitely looking forward to that.  I’m finally over my sickness.  I haven’t really been too sick my whole mission, only a couple times.  I remember right when I went into the MTC I had a cold, and this is probably the 3rd time on my mission that I've been sick.  The other two times only lasted a couple of days and this one lasted about a week so it wasn’t even that bad.  I've really been blessed with good health.  I honestly can’t even remember the last time I was very sick.  I think probably when I was in high school.  On Thursday Elder Tup got his trunky packet.  It has his ticket home and all the information on what he will be doing his last two days of his mission.  He was pretty stoked to get that.  I also had a package sent to me the same day and I opened it up and it was a penny board (skateboard)!  Stephanie in my last area sent it to me because I guess she heard me saying that it would be cool to have one so she sent me one!  Super nice of her. 

Sunday was a pretty interesting one.  So there is this family (The Andersons) from Utah that have been calling us the past 3 weeks or so because they were trying to set up their son’s baptism here because they wanted to do it in the ocean (which they don’t do here anymore).  So I gave them a couple of phone numbers of the bishopric so they could work it out because I’m not really in charge of that kind of stuff.  Well on Saturday and Sunday they were calling and calling, but I really didn’t want to deal with that.  So I ended up talking to them in church on Sunday trying to help them get it figured out because no one really wanted to help them and no one wanted to be witnesses for the baptism either.  So we told them we would just go and be their witnesses.  So we go down to this place that they had picked out previously and it was kind of awkward because we had to walk a ways to get to the location.  Just imagine two guys in suits walking with a family and the dad and the son are wearing all white jumpsuits with sandals and the family is following them... we got a lot of eyes following us.  Well, we get to the spot and there are choke people there, so there is no way we’re going to baptize a kid in the ocean when half of Kona is at that beach... It probably wouldn’t have turned out good.  So we end up going back to the chapel and we fill up the font and just do a quick baptism and we help the dad confirm him after.  It was definitely an experience.  I felt bad for the family, I really did, but at the same time they should've realized baptism isn’t all about how fancy you can get it.  It’s about the ordinance and feeling the Spirit.  Also Nico, the guy we baptized 2 weeks ago, he got the priesthood!  We ordained him yesterday.  That was pretty sweet.  So yeah that’s kind of my week for you, well just the exciting parts.
Got enough warning signs?
By the way, we didn’t end up hitting our high water mark... its ok though; we ended the month with 11 baptisms.  April is looking pretty wet if you know what I mean;)  Well that about does it for me.  Hope you all have a great week and pinkey thumb shaka fly brah!  Love you the most.

Elder Gardner