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

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

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hole in One


How’s everything going?  I can’t believe school is already winding down and summer is coming up hot!  Sounds as though baseball is doing good for Ben, and I’m sure Sam is stoked to be able to go golfing all summer.  That’s super cool to hear about Joey and his pitching so well in the state championship baseball game.  What a cool way to end your high school baseball career!  What a stud!  I can’t wait for Gia to get her mission call, its going to be interesting to see where she goes.  I could see her going east coast for some reason, like New York maybe.  Seems like everyone is growing up in our family and moving on with life, so cool. 
Lia's baptism
Lia's baptism
Talea's baptism with her family
So this week was pretty awesome.  Both of our baptisms happened and went through.  They both had a really good turn out and they were both pretty spiritual.  I was so happy for Lia, and Talea.  They both seemed so happy, and that’s what matters.  We were actually able to find a new investigator this week.  We had dinner on Thursday with the Apolos and they wanted to introduce us to their non-member auntie.  So we were able to meet with her and talk to her about church and the Book of Mormon and stuff.  Apparently she has already come to church before and she really liked it, so it was easy to talk with her.  She seems pretty solid and she even came to church on Sunday, which was super cool.  So we'll see how things turn out with this.  The work really seems to be moving right now here in Kona.  I’ve never seen so much potential in one area in my mission.  It’s pretty solid potential too.  I’m excited to see how things start to roll out this summer and all the new people we will try to start teaching.  The Ounyoungs are solid!  They came to both of our baptisms that we had this past week and they brought food to both of them haha.  I swear those are the most solid converts I've ever had my whole mission!  I swear Sam is going to be a bishop one day.  I was telling them about you guys and how we are probably going to visit Hawaii this Christmas break and they seemed pretty excited to meet you guys so I’m sure that we'll have a good time.  

Ok so the reason for my email title:  This is a super funny story and It actually happened today.  So Me, Elder Melville, Elder Bowlby, and Elder Richards went golfing at Hapuna golf course for p-day today because some member hooked us up, it was pretty dope, and it was on a super nice course that is regularly $200+ a round.  So we’re golfing and we come up to a hole that is a par 3.  I hit the ball and it lands on the green and it doesn’t really land that close to the hole, and Elder Bowlby just starts screaming and cheering for me and starts yelling "HOLE IN ONE!"  "YES, YOUR FIRST HOLE IN ONE!"  So the party in front of us stop golfing and start clapping for me and congratulating me on hitting a "hole in one" and I just go pretend to pull the ball out of the hole and hold it up like its a trophy or something, it was super hilarious.  After the 18th hole we saw the people who were in front of us and they were all Asian, and they came up to me and start shaking my hand and congratulating me on my hole in one, and I just told them that it was luck and I’m just out here to have fun.  They asked me how old I was and I said 20 and they were just so amazed how young I was.  It was super funny!  My score was actually 84 but with the "Hole in one" it would have been an 82.  
Golfing at Hapuna Golf Course with Elder Bowlby, Elder Melville and Elder Richards
The golf scorecard showing the "Hole in One"
I’m excited to hear all the experiences from EFY, St. George trips, work and baseball that are coming up these next couple of weeks.  I can’t believe that Sam is already going to EFY again.  It honestly seems like he was just there a couple of weeks ago.  So crazy!  That’s so weird that Blue Ridge is switching to that new schedule.  I’m kind of glad that I never had to do that.  Well, that about does it for me this week.  Hope you all have a good one and I'll hear from you soon!  Love you the most

Elder Gardner

Monday, May 13, 2013

Life's Good...

The Ounyoung Family that got baptized last Saturday.
It was very nice to talk to all of you yesterday!  The talks on the phone with your family have got to be the quickest hours of a missionary's life!  It was good to hear everyone though.  I'm so stoked to be able to see everyone again and to be able to hang out with the gang, and do stuff just like we used to.  I'm excited for the baptisms that we have coming up this week.  It should turn out really good, so I'll have more to report on next week.  Well, I love you all so much and I hope that you have a bomb week.  Shoots! 

Elder Gardner
Elder Melville, Elder Carrel and me
That's right, I'm holding Kobe Bryant's actual game shoes signed.  I'm Cool!
Sunrise at Mauna Kea
Pretty sweet ya?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Colossus of Clout


Dang what a week!  Just like last week I don’t think that I have words to describe this week and how awesome it was!  Sounds like everyone is doing good at home which is great.  Very sad to hear about your friend Sam... I remember when one of my friends died when I was in Jr. High.  It was super weird and it made me have this sick feeling, but man, thank goodness that we have the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation.  Without that I mean I don’t think that I could even think of what it would be like without that knowledge.  I can’t even believe that it is Mother’s Day in a couple of days!  I honestly kind of forgot and I thought it was in a couple of weeks but it’s already here.  It seems like yesterday that it was last Mother’s Day and I was sitting in Laie talking to you guys. 
Missionaries aren't typically known to be cool.  Just look at me, I must be an exception to that rule!
So this week was awesome!  In my last email I talked about Lia’s baptism date for the 17th, well that is still solid, and she has come to church two weeks in a row by herself now which is awesome for a 10 year old.  I’m really impressed with her because a lot of the kids that you baptize are just like yeah sure lets get baptized, but with her she really wants to know if this is right, and she really knows that baptism is a big step in her life.  She definitely knew more than me when I was her age.  We are going to meet with her twice this week to finish the lessons and make sure everything is set in stone.  The Ounyoungs are getting baptized this Saturday!  I love that family so much!  They are a family of 6.  Sam, Lyn, Alexis, Bell, Bri, and Marky.  Only 4 of them can get baptized because of the age, but Bri will get baptized in a year or so and Sam will be able to baptize her.  They are so ready for the gospel is unreal.  I’ve never met people who were so prepared in my life!  They are so nice they gave Elder Melville and I each a $100 gift card to their restaurant.  We are definitely going to eat there when we come back.  I'll be able to tell you how that goes this Sunday.  Also we picked up another with date this week also!  You remember me talking about the Chartrands?  Well we committed the daughter Talea to baptism on May 18th!  It was pretty cool because she is super shy and we tried talking to her about baptism and setting a date before but she wouldn’t talk back so this time we drew on a piece of paper all fancy "Will you be baptized May 18th?  Yes/No (circle one)" and gave it to her.  She immediately lit up and took the paper and circle "Yes" and then proceeded to color in all the words haha.  So as of right now Elder Melville and I have 6 people with a baptism date for May!  How crazy is that?!  Things are honestly going so good right now, probably the best I’ve seen my whole mission.  For example, we have so many appointments lined up for this week that we are literally having to squeeze people in just to meet with them and wer’e actually not sure what to do with our dinner appointments because we don’t even have time this week to fit them in.  It’s so awesome!  I hope it can stay like this because its times like these that sure do make the time fly by.  I know that once all our investigators that have a baptism date get baptized it might slow down just a little, but we’re still trying to find some more people to baptize before our missions are done.  I have to try and hit my goal by the end of my mission, and I’m almost there.  I’m so lucky to be able to serve in the tightest place on earth.  I can’t wait for you guys to come out here and see Hawaii its soooo bomb!  That’s pretty much my week for you - super busy just like dad’s surgeries and full of excitement!

Well hope that you all have a great week and I'll talk to you in a couple.  Shoots then!

Love you the most,
Elder Gardner