20 December 2010
13 December 2010
07 December 2010
29 November 2010
22 November 2010
First thing I wanted to share with all of you is Happy Thanksgiving. Especially being on a mission and seeing how lucky I am, and thankful I am for the things that I had in my life. The list can definitely go on and I'm sure all of yours can too. What a great Holiday to set a time to give thanks, and most importantly give thanks to the Lord.
Something interesting that I ate this week was rabbit. Sorry for all those who are rabbit lovers. But it actually tasted pretty good, a mix between beef and chicken.
This week we had what's called a mission tour where one of the General Authorities come and teach each zone to there needs. It's hard to explain what he taught us over email but I can tell you it was great inspiration. We've already put it into play and have seen results. Of course though, it's revelation from our Heavenly Father. The General Authorty and his wife who came were Elder & Sister Pipper. During this time it was next to the Kona temple so I was able to at least get to see it again and take some pictures.
For the Zone we had one big transfer where every companionship is broken up into different area's to build zone unity and learn from other missionaries. The zone leader Elder Condiff came with me as I stayed in my area. So I got to show him our area and how it is run. Although the coolest part is the Elder Condiff and I are the only 2 red heads in the mission and we were companions! (red heads United). It's always great to learn from other missionaries and see how they teach.
The most exciting thing that happened this week is the Laie Temple Dedication on Oahu. We were able to have it broadcasted to our chapel and I was able to be apart of it and see another temple dedication. Though this time it made a lot more sense as I was able to understand the meaning behind everything. Something I'll never forget.
That's about all the happened this week. I can't believe another week as gone by. The day's of the week just seem to blend together. But I can definitly see why everyone calls it the best two years. But rather I like to see it as the best two years for my life.
I love you all,
21 November 2010
15 November 2010
26 October 2010
18 October 2010
Thank you so much for all the support and love you have shown me in the letters you have sent me. I thoroughly enjoy reading them. They are like presents every time!
What an exciting week it has been as always. This week has been far the best though as in our companionship unity. We finally have made each others weaknesses become strengths. But sense it's been 6 weeks, it's transfers. Therefore as soon as I finally figure our my companion he gets transferred this Wed. Now I get the responsibility of running the area for the first while while my new companion adjusts. I don't know who my companion will be till Wed. when I pick him up at the airport. But Ka'u is huge, the area of Ka'u is as big as , land wise. I definitely feel inadequacy but that's when the faith is put into place and you see how God works through you. I'm definitely going to miss my companion Elder Salima from western Samoa. I've learned far beyond what I could of imagined. Especially life long traits, like patience. He taught me very well by example of how to teach, by going to heaven and asking inspired questions, speaking slowly with love and passion behind, along with applying everything to the needs of the individual. As we are really teaching people not lessons.
I don't know if i talked much about who Billy is, but we taught him twice this week. Not only that we got members to come out with us. The ward is making big progress. But Billy's wife passed away 2 months ago and he has had kidney stones for the last 3 months. He was telling me how much pain he was going through, Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually... Obviously he ran into missionary's in kona on work break, got taught at his boss's house then referred to us sense he lives in our area. We've got to know him very well, the frist lesson about the restoration was great, but the next lesson on the Book Of Mormon and Prayer was a very spiritual high. We'll see how he does on his commitments of reading the chapter we left him.
In the Planation out side our house and the church we harvested hundreds of carrots and other things that don't grow in utah. After our long 4 hours of harvesting on Saturday, we got to watch my companion climb the coconut tree's and knock all of the coconuts down. Then see how he slices it with the machete and drink the juice inside. For a how-lie (someone not of the islands) it was a awesome thing to watch, I gave it a try but it's harder then it looks. The juice was great but obviously an acquired taste. I had one and a half and my companion, Bishop, and uncle Andy all had 3-4.
We had dinner with Bishop again this week and we got talkin story for quite a while, and got to hear his life story and conversion. He was the number one drug dealer in Ka'u making bank, telling all kind of stories of how it was like, sense I was interested in different life styles. He shared how powerful his conversion was and 6 years later being 29 he's the bishop, doing an incredible job getting the ward to where it needs to be. Getting order put back to where it should be.
Last for the best, this p-day we got to go to the Lava Flow by Pahoa. where the Lava goes into the ocean. It was gorgeous! We were walking on dried lava and got to where it was flowing out and into the ocean. Something that can't be explained but truly a magnificent thing to watch.
Have a safe week! Alofa ia te oe
11 October 2010
When I was in on of my lesson's with a recent convert, talking about the importance of Fasting and Faith, this phrase came into my mind, Higher the risk higher the Reward. Used a lot with stocks but I referred it with the lesson by saying Higher the Faith, Higher the Reward. I thought that goes very well with everything in life. So there is my thought of the day.
Every morning when I wake up now I practice the piano, since the church is 2 feet away I just walk over and practice so I can play at times for choir practice and for priesthood. I wish I would of practiced a little more at home ha ha.
When tracking this week we ran into Jehovah Witnesses. Both times you knew who they were just by the way they came to the door and talked to us. We couldn't help but laugh when they threw done there preachings to us and gave us all this stuff to read. I just sat back and watched with a smirk on my face. I see why bible bashing has no effect, there is no spirit there. But we proved them wrong over and over but whatever we just gave them a card to read with a free DVD and told them that "here's a picture of Christ, also known as Jehovah" then they go off again.
We Continued to teach Lesli this week. Every lesson was so strong, we all shared many experiences on how pray and scripture study really does bless us in everyday life.
But the most EXCITING NEWS is Lesli's Baptism this Saturday and her Confirmation on Sunday. Wow it was a total different experience, now that I see the importance of Baptism and why it is what it is that we are doing. She wanted me to give the talk on the and I thought that was cool sense I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost at my brother's Baptism. It's hard to explain how amazing the baptism was being my first one. But we had a great turn out and she is going to be a very strong member, I wouldn't be surprised if she is the Primary, Relif Society, or YW President in the future. It's been a privilege to see her progress and come closer to Christ, and now enter the gate of baptism on the straight and narrow path.
I'm getting the hang of the food now, I can pick the bones out of the fried fish a lot faster making it so when I eat it, its not cold ha. This week I had a lot of fish and I had Pigs feet twice. the flavor it's self wasn't that bad at all. Just the Slimy slippery texture was hard to swallow at times. Thank goodnes for lots of rice!
When Tracking one time, we had a funny experience as we always do. We saw this one house with kids out front riding there bikes and as we came to every door that came house they would yell every time. THERE NOT HOME! We laughed and then said well they want to talk to us, so when we went over they just ran away. It happened quite a few times. It was one of those you had to be there moment but, you can visulize it being pretty funny. Then the last house of the day when tracking we saw a bunch of older females watching TV. As we walked to the house all of them looked over at us through the door screen and all of a sudden you saw them all Book it out the back door and we saw them hop the fence and were gone. We busted up laughing and knocked on the door anyways. After 4-5 knocks someone came to the door, and we shared a message.
Donel came to church this week which was a huge step for him, and making commitments, he still is way indecisive, he wants to know everything about everything till he makes a choice. It's hard though cause he can't read, and his wife who is a member can't stop talking when we try to teach him. I think we have heard the same story 10-15 times but we still at times get our point to Donel.
The Garden is a task every week, this week we worked in it from 8 to 12. This week we will be harvesting it all up. It's more like a plantation!
It's so beautiful every morning and night to see the sun rise and set. Pictures can never grasp the beauty of it.
On suday we finally had a Ward Council after we had the Stake Presidency come and teach how Ward Council was to be done. Elder Salima had me conduct everything but it went over very well. We finally have all the auxillary leaders motivated and enthusiastic about missionary work. The hardest thing in this ward is the lack of fellowship but we are now making changes and progressing as a ward. We're starting from scratch and seeing a progression. I can't wait to see how things turn out in a few months.
This Sunday was 10-10-10!!! I thought it was way cool so for those who didn't see that, now you know :)
Elder Flint Gardner
04 October 2010
So this week was venturous as well. It started with another exchange within the district. Which is fun to get to see how others teach and there methods throughout the day. Still makes me grateful for my companion and how he teaches. It's helped me slow down, have pauses to allow the spirit to testify to them and think of inspired questions to let them teach themselves. After the exchange our district all stayed in our pad cause the next morning we drove to the Kona temple and was able to do a session there and witness a family whose dad/husband passed away and be sealed together. Hard to explain the feelings there. Kona is quite beautiful and saw one massive cruse ship too.
Occasionally we get a hold of a hard investigator, who's not progressing very well, his name is D.A.N. (Daily Afternoon Nap) He has many concerns, but after the temple and drive we got to teach him. The lesson might of gone a little to long, next time we'll invite him to baptism.
That night we went to a Filipino family, the Tiyamins. Known to serve crazy food but this time it wasn't to bad. But I didn't eat fish at all at home so when they put a whole fried fish on my plate with some rice, I just stared at it wondering how to eat it. my Samoan companion just went away at it so I just watched and learned. To my surprise it actually tasted pretty good, that was a testimony builder for the gift of tongues. Not with speaking but for tasting haha.
We are continuing to teach Lesli and we are still on track to have her baptized this Saturday! she couldn't be more prepared.
after her lesson though we got a referral of a man named bill so we finally found his house in ocean view and got to speak with him and here his situation. He's 45 and his wife just passed away august 8, he has 3 kids too. Not only that he has had kidney stones sense the beginning of august and is now able to get surgery to break them apart. Two days after the surgery he had to go back to work in Kona everyday. I don't know how people do it but God definitely had him run into the missionaries for a reason! He said to us that he's now trying to plan his life again to see where he wants to do. I really hope he opens his heart and hears the truthfulness of what he have to offer to him, and the comfort that comes with it.
Then what better way to end the week with General Conference. Now out being on a mission I've come to understand the importance of the it. For those who wonder why it is. It's because Thomas S. Monson and his apostles and general authorities are called of god to receive direct revelation especially our prophet to instruct us on what we need to hear now. That's what the B.O.M. is as well. The teachings of the prophets. You can imagine Christ himself on the stand when they are speaking. I'm come to see that, and see how important it is to read the magazine after conference. That it's scripture as well.
Alofa ia te oe
Love Elder Gardner
27 September 2010
Thank you everyone that has been writing me, I thoroughly enjoy it! But I don't always have time to reply, but I'm very grateful to hear from you, Alofa ia te oe
This week has been another fantastic week here in Ka'u on the big Island of Hawaii. I had my first exchange this Tues. to Wed. with the zone leaders. It was a great experience to get out and see another area and how others teach. It made me appreciate my companion more on how he teaches. But I also got to see the green side of the island in Hilo. My stomach is getting more adjusted to eating what ever comes to my mouth. On Tuesday night we had fresh slaughter beef, rice and cabbage stew which was amazing until my teeth chomped on something hard. I looked at the fingers of the mother and saw she had missing fake fingernails and about had a bad experience on the table haha but I used my napkin with slyness and it happened quite a few times. So I figured it was probably just some bone. My companion and I are getting along very well. We teach so well together and he has taught me a great deal of patience.
We taught a family who are recent converts about the importance of temples, the blessing that come from them, and family history. It was a very neat experience, they all had smiles from ear to ear. That in one year they will be able to be sealed as a family and do proxy work for there own family that has passed away. Something I won't forget and helped me understand the real importance of temples; and how lucky I was to be so close to one. Speaking of temples Our Island is having a unique opportunity to go to the temple this Friday morning. We're going to the Kona temple.
We are also teaching a lady who couldn't be more prepared to hear the gospel. She had such an open heart and her spirit its just growing immensely. She committed to baptism on our first lesson then that coming Sunday she couldn't make it to church due to a lack of transportation. She lives 45 mins away in ocean view. So instead she studied for 8 hours that day on mormon.org and reading the Book of Mormon. We couldn't believe it, this last week on Saturday she went to the Relief Society conference and she told me all about it. (It's interesting that I'm only 19 and I can interact with people 3x my age and they listen to me). Then this Sunday she went on a blitz with the Relief Society to go teach to the Less actives to bring them back to church. It's only been 2 weeks sense she's heard of the Mormons. That's what the spirit can really do. It's not us at all. For I can not boast in my self (2 nephi 20:15) (alma 26:11-12) (alma 29:9). Her baptism date is on oct 9.
I had my first zone conference which was fantastic, it was on the Book of Mormon combined with the Spirit is the MOST powerful resource in conversion. It shows how important the Book Of Mormon is to everyone. It's the teaching of Christ himself to the Prophets. We have a new goal now that goes with vision 100 baptisms a month, that's vision 1000 for the year. and we're at 700.
Ka'u isn't on the map, it's just the area that everyone calls it. It covers many towns, the size of Ka'u is the size of Oahu. If that gives you a good picture. but some towns are Ocean view, Pahala, Naalehu (which is where I live, behind the chapel.) and some others I can't spell.
I love you all tons! Thanks for your prayers
20 September 2010
13 September 2010
07 September 2010
03 September 2010
So this weeks once again has gone by so fast, I can't believe that I leave this Tuesday! Here I come Hawaii! I can't wait to get out of here even though I've loved it here for the last 2 1/2 weeks I want to get out into my mission field and make a difference in people's lives. Later this week we had a TA where we teach volunteers and it was awesome to see that the gospel can answer so many simple questions that we take for granted in knowing already. But like I said it was a great experience to see how an investigator can receive direction while feeling the spirit.
Earlier this week we had a district meeting, and the branch pres asked Elder Flynn to give the prayer but it sounded like my first name and so out of habit I just stood up and gave the prayer. Afterwards everyone was busting up, and then they found out that my name was flint and so yeah...it was a funny moment I thought to share.
I've now got lesson's 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, down, though that's not how you teach them. but you get to know each concept and the principles in each lesson, so you can teach it with the spirit and toward there needs D&C 11:21 "seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be lost...(and) shall have my spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men."
So it's been a crazy week for my companion his leg was hurting him pretty bad and so we got a MRI done on it and found out that he has a contusion on his patella and torn cartilage! It was devastating and even worse he found out he has to get surgery on wed and he'll be here for another month! But I know there is a purpose to his stay. It's been a blessing though in ways. We've learned to be more dependent on each other and have come closer as a companionship.
Last Tuesday Richard Hinkley spoke to us for our devotional, and as always it was amazing. He gave us 10 pts to be the best missionary.
So today was my hair cut before I take off. But before I came here I always enjoyed cutting my hair myself with the flobee so when I got to the barber and they asked how I'd like it. I had no clue what language they speak to get what you want haha. So I just said just cut it short. Well that's exactly what I got. It looks like I wont be getting a hair cut for the next year haha.
Preach My Gospel is absolutely amazing! It's so simple but so profound in how the gospel works & how we should prepare to meet God ( Alma 34:32). I strongly encourage that all families especially father's and son's to spend 15mins a week studying from Preach my Gospel. I promise you will see a strength in the family. That you will have the spirit more in your life and in the family to be able to recognize and act upon it's promptings. I know as you live the gospel with strict obedience & hard work, God will be pleased with you and will bless you in ways that you may never come to realize until looking back upon your life. I know He will Because He has with me throughout my life and infinitely on my mission. I say these things in thy Holy name, Jesus Christ, Amen
One last note, I found out that you don't have to send me letters, there is a easier way and it's free. Go to dearelder.com and type in my Hawaii address. It will send it to me in Hawaii from your computer and it will be much faster and cheaper. :) I love all you guys, and i know that who ever might be reading this has had a major impact on my life, so thanks for all that you have done!
(The Elders in my District)
27 August 2010
Thank you again for the letters that you have sent me they always are the highlight of going to pick up mail and knowing that I got a letter. I got a bunch of questions so I’ll answers those now.
Of the twelve in my district 4 are going to Hawaii 4 are going to Disney land, and the other 4 are going to temple square. My schedule consists of well a really fast paced day. I wake up at 6:00 and go to bed at 10:30 and in between I just study and I can't get enough of it! but I have class time of learning how to teach and how to use preach my gospel and then we teach volunteers that come as investigators and it rocks! The food is amazing, and it's all you can eat so how could i be disappointed haha but it's not healthy at all so...are rooms always smell bad ha. we have like good meals though like biscuits and gravy, etc...not much time to tell. They don't tell about the culture really at all mostly how to teach and teach with the spirit. But brother Reis is from Hawaii a teacher here and knows all about the mission so he gave a lot of insightful information. Got me so pumped up to go I can't WAIT!
So I can't believe it's Friday already, time is flying bye and I got to host the new missionaries that came into the MTC on wed. it was a blast to tell them all I've learned how to have the best experience. On Monday I got a huge stomach ache that put me out all night but it was only a 24 hour thing. But the other district in our zone, 10 of the 12 are sick and 2 have bronchitis. So I’m making sure i take care of myself. So the big highlight of this week was on Tuesday when we had our devotional. We were singing called to serve and Elder Jeffery R. Holland came and spoke to us! It was a really inspired talk that boosted us all in missionary work. It was all about us and I was only like 50 ft. away. He just talked about how to be a better missionary. But the spirit was so strong chills were going down my back it felt like.
So we had a lesson on Tuesday as well that helped us teach with the spirit. What we did was learning how to ask inspired questions and we were to really focus on the person talking and focus on the body language as well. but the key point was to completely erase all my thoughts about what I'm going to say next, but to have faith that when it was my time to talk the spirit would tell me what I needed to say. And wow it was the best experience I've ever had. Ever sense then my companion and I have taught the gospel way more effective and the spirit is 10 X stronger! the next day on wed, we had a volunteer come and be an investigator and so we implemented what we had learned from Tuesday. It was the most powerful lesson we have ever taught. We came out shaking cause the spirit was so strong, everything we asked was of the spirit and everything we testified was so powerful. The man had nothing to say.
I tell this story not to tell you about the negative but how it was a positive in my life. One of our companionships in our district were have a really hard time because one elder was all about himself and a few other things. So I really was impressed to just pull him aside and talk to him. It was amazing, because I again implemented what I had learned on Tuesday about inspired questions. I can't even remember what I said to him because everything I had to say and ask was from God. He literally was speaking through me and touched his heart so hard, He never smiled before and never showed emotion but he broke down and opened up and I was able to bring happiness and joy into his life. It was such a great experience to me to see how the spirit can really work if ye have faith in God. The MTC is so filled with the spirit and has impacted my life in ways i never have guessed! I LOVE it here and Every Young man must go on a mission if he can! no wonder they make it a priority not only for yourself but then again for all the others you get to teach and bring the gospel in their lives and be blessed like I have all my life! I think I might of said this before but our district and our zone is so unified! We get along so well besides a couple but that's how it is. But we have so much fun while serving the Lord, what kind of life is better than that.
If you want to write me go to dearelder.com and my mailbox is #154 its free and it prints at MTC and I get it the same day.
Love, Elder Gardner
22 August 2010
Love Elder Gardner
18 August 2010
Flint had requested to eat at Cafe Rio one last time before leaving, which is ironically the same place Craig ate the day he went into the MTC.
Passing down the phone. Coral is excited to get Flint's old phone, Steel wishes he could have Flint's phone and Tina....just glad she gets to keep her phone.
Tina and Flint
Flint and Mom
Coral and Flint
Last hugs for Flint and Steel
Dad and Flint
Last time in his room, and walking through the front door...okay, last time for the next 2 years!
So long, farewell, we love you! You will be a great missionary!
Setting apart as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We ate breakfast at home and took some pictures in the back yard of the family. Angie, Craig, Jack and Clara were in our thoughts in Washington. Flint finished packing most of his things last night. Today he rearranged items in his suitcase and put the final items away. It was a wonderful solomen day. A day that seemed to never end.....
Duane gave Flint a Father's Blessing and we visited as a family for sometime, It was a sweet and tender moment. Then off to Cafe Rio where Flint wanted to eat one last time. No one was hungry though. We nibbled and visited.......
The drive to the MTC was long Flint was very excited and ready to move on. He had prepared himself for this moment all his life and now here it was. We all knew he needed to go. I thought it would be easy to let go but I was wrong.......
Driving away I realized that the boy I knew was gone and he would come back a man. I would miss those long late night talks, sharing of text messages, cleaning the kitchen together and just letting him make me laugh....but I knew it must be. He is doing the Lord's work and he is so happy and excited to serve. We are very proud of him and the preparation he has made to be ready. We look forward to his e-mail and to watch his growth.
15 August 2010
I have been shown a poem titled, “Jesus My Best Friend” that has really touched my heart, and expresses my testimony about our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jesus My Best Friend
Fear not dear friend, I'm here for you, your Faith in me will see you through.
Keep my commandments day by day. The Holy Spirit will guide your way.
When trials come, as they surely will. Have hope, and in my peace be still.
With charity to fill your soul, Go forth with strength and self control.
Love one another, help others grow. Angels will help you, as onward you go.
Praise God for blessings great and small, And know that he is over all.
I know that God and his only begotten son are always there in all of our circumstances of life. That when we have true faith without uncertainty, we are able to become one with god’s purpose and be guided through the Holy Ghost. That we may know how to be effective tools of our heavenly father to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man; and by doing so we get to have people around the world feel of the pure love of Christ. That they might understand all the pieces of the gospel, and feel at peace through the glorious atonement prepared for us before we made our journey to gain a mortal body and to use free agency. Because trials will surely come, but what a blessing they are in our lives if we learn to see that trials are what shape us into who we desire to become. If we ask for more patience with others, God won’t just give it to us; rather He will help us recognize opportunities that will enable us to apply patience.
I’m truly grateful for the blessing I have to be capable of participating in a mission. For I know that I have been called of God to serve in the Honolulu Hawaii Mission.
I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His son and later was able to translate the golden plates into what we call the Book of Mormon and restore once again the true church of God. I know the Book of Mormon to be true as I have been able to experience the spirit touch my heart and testify of Moroni’s challenge. That if we ask God if these things are true, with a sincere heart, with real intent, and faith in Christ. God will Manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost.
I know the importance of the Atonement and the power that it brings into each one of our lives. I have become closer to Christ by exercising that power, as it has brought a complete change in my life, and will bring a complete change in lives to come as we stay close to the gospel. I’m anxious to be able to continue to share what I have been blessed with to several others. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Flint did a wonderful job on his talk and was well prepared. We are so grateful for family and friends who supported him today. Many came, ate and visited. The day couldn't have been more perfect.
Flint with Grandma and Grandpa Gividen