20 December 2010

20 December 2010

Mele Kalikimaka Everyone,
Wow, thank you everyone for all the letters, packages, and Christmas cards I received these last 2 weeks. It means a lot and I appreciate it. Though I do feel bad for my companion every time we go to the mail box.
What a fantastic week it has been for us Elders here in Ka'u. My companion and I were sitting down talking last night about how much are area has changed. It really feels like night at day here. It's been great to see the result of hard work and diligence, as the area has become one of the most progressing area's. But it's all because of our Heavenly Father who has brought us here to do his work.
Last week on Monday as a zone we went to some more beautiful sights called rainbow falls, and Akaka Falls. It's something else to see these wonderful creations with the water falling hundreds of feet with green florishing around.
As missionaries we have a stop smoking program that i've come to see how wonderful it works. We have taught it to 3 of our investigators who are wanting to quit, and after we gave them the 15 steps program to a non-smoker they haven't smoked sense. It's great to hear how excited they are as they tell how wonderful they feel as they are able to breath and save all the money they spend. Which is usually around $200-$300 a month.
Big Island missionaries had there zone conference this week, and it's always delight to look forward to them. This one was definitely centered the meaning of Christmas as we celebrate the birth of Christ. But what was pretty amazing is that we all watch "the other side of heaven" for zone conference. That movie has a totally different meaning now that i'm on a mission but also on a island as i'm able to relate to the culture.
I like what my mission pres's wife said. that hero's have three things: Require little, Give thoughtfully, and Serve Faithfully.
Merry Christmas to all of you. May you remember the true meaning of christmas and how Christ has been that influence in our lives. I love you all so very much.
Mele Kalikimaka,
Elder Gardner

13 December 2010

13 December 2010

Aloha Everyone,
Thank you for all the christmas cards and love!
The highlight of this week was my exchange with my trainer (Elder Salima) who's my new zone leader. So he was able to come back into his old area. It was a blast to bring back all our past memories! Plus the area had changed a lot sense he left, like now the grass is now green due to all the rain we've received the last month. But it was a blast to be back with my Samoan companion for a couple of days. It was priceless to see the members faces when they saw that Elder Salima was back for the day.
Exciting news is that one of our investigators has now completely stop smoking with the help of the smoking program that we have been teaching her. But the best part is hearing her excitement when she was telling us her wonderful news and how it was all because of her sencire prayers to our heavenly father. That she coudln't of done it with out his help and the atonement of our savior Jesus Christ. I couldn't help but have sore cheek muscles from smiling so much!
This week Hawaii got hammered by a huge lightning/thunder storm, and Hawaii supposedly never gets lightning. So that was pretty exciting as I was finally forced to use my umbrella for the first time. But we still got soaked to the bone haha. Yet the weather is gorgeous over here, it's hard to believe it's Christmas time with no snow on the ground.
I guess you could say we have a pet dog, not literally, but because every night it comes to our pad for some love.
The ward had it's annual Christmas party this week on saturday which in and of it's self was a blast with so much food that we had 14 gallon bags left over of just rice not mentioning the corn, and lbs. of meat. We cooked over 120+ lbs. of meet. But even with all that the best part was actually cooking the food with the Portuguese oven in our backyard. After the fire we made the oven got to 1100 degrees inside! We had to wait for hours to cool it down and then today 2 days latter we checked the oven and it's still got heat inside. What a crazy oven.

07 December 2010

6 December 2010

Aloha Everyone,
I think the most important thing I have to say is that the temperature here is spectacular! I can't believe it's December, probably cause I see no snow. It's going to be different having Christmas with no snow. But I'm liking it better not worrying about the cold. I still don't own any jackets, just my missionary clothes short sleeves and some board shorts. What a life...! :)
My companion and I went to a place called pizzaria out in the middle of no where that makes unbelievable pizza, but they have this old time pinball machine where you pull a lever to hit the baseball and win cards. After a few quarters in the machine I hit a GRAND SLAM and won the card Roger Clemens! It was made in 1985 so it's got to be worth a few million...maybe...
This week was transfers again, I can't believe it's already another 6 weeks that have past, time is flying. But what's awesome is that my companion and I are still together, where as our whole zone had changed companions and one area was white washed. Then my dad (trainer) came back into the zone and is now my Zone leader. That was so awesome to see him again! My companion became the DL so it's cool to get the scoop on what's going on.
Can't wait for our ward Christmas party on Dec 11! the whole community comes and we light up the Portuguese oven in my backyard.
Well the work is progressing and I'm absolutely loving it. I love reading the scriptures as now everything that I've been taught is coming together. Then to be able to teach it to others...life can't get better then that.
I just wanted to share one quote from my study time while reading the general conference talks. Pres Uchtdorf said this, "We don't discover humility by thinking less of ourselves; we discover humility by thinking less about ourselves." So true, the times when I'm most happy and enjoying the work is when i'm in service of others and thinking zippo about myself. I love all of you and thank you for your prayers!
Love, Elder Gardner

29 November 2010

29 November 2010

Aloha World,
I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving! This week has been a very successful, and exciting week!
We visited a less active member who hadn't been to church for sense high school, and she's around her mid 50's now. But she let us in and we were able to find her needs and teach her to what she needed in her life at this moment. She could only remember very little about the church and so we started from the beginning. We really focused on the book of Mormon, praying to know if it's true, and then coming to church. After our 2nd visit toward the end of our lesson she asked us when church started. It was a very exciting moment as we were able to see her desire grow and feel the spirit. By the third visit she shared her experience of how she came to know the Book of Mormon is true, by sincere prayer. She tried her hardest to express her feeling of joy and comfort when she prayed as her eyes filled with tears. It was definitely a tender moment as we felt the love from our Heavenly Father.
What's even more exciting about this news and her desire to come to church is that she became the transportation for our investigator who couldn't get a ride. It's was amazing to see how the Lord provides a way.
Thanksgiving this week was Cherry! We had one thanksgiving dinner with Lesli who is the recent convert whom we baptized last month. She couldn't help but share her excitement with us the day before thanksgiving. On thanksgiving day we had 3 more feasts. One was at noon, then at 2:00...long nap... then later that night. As missionaries we had the day off. One of our members fed us lamb instead so that was cool. I'm pretty sure I haven't had lamb before.
For Church this last Sunday our bishop had us give 15 min talks to get the member motivated and excited about member missionary work. It was fantastic because we had the most people come to church then I've seen the whole time I've been in this area. The whole chapel was filled as 4 of our investigators came to church and 2 less active members whom we have been teaching. It couldn't of been a more full filling day!
Some thing I learn that is interesting is the Hawaii imports 85%-90% of there food for the people to eat!
Thanks for all your prayers and support. I love the letters.
Love, Elder Gardner

22 November 2010

22 November 2010

Aloha to the World,

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,
Elder Gardner

21 November 2010


Notice the cows and the farm land. This was his old truck.

Green Sands Beach, South ends of the Island

First companion, Flint and Bishop of the ward

15 November 2010

15 November 2010

Aloha Everyone,
This week has been a lot different compared to the rest. But it first started off on last P-day where we went to the Black Sand Beach in Punalu'u. I've never seen black sand before and plus there were sea turtles the size of a large dog. I guess I can compare it to that. We took a hidden trail that had been covered up by tree's. It once was a trail but it hasn't been taken care of in years. But in doing so we saw awesome views of the ocean while it crashed upon the rock soaring pretty high into the air. Then we saw a random tiki/idol in the rocks just chillin. Not going to lie, it was pretty freaky and we could tell the atmosphere changed. So...we took some pics and went on our way.

Later this week starting on Thursday till Saturday night we went to Weimea on the other side of the island. The Mission President, his wife, and the AP's had a special training. We were the last Island they came to where they were to teach us. It's the new training for all missionaries in the world. Each day it was from 8:00 - 3:00 as we had an intensive meeting/training. It's all about asking inspired questions to everyone we come in contact with, but mostly as we teach our investigators. To allow who we teach to teach themselves. Also so we can help them recognize the spirit and when they had felt the spirit in the past. It's absolutely amazing and I love it! Just in these last few day's I've seen the difference it makes. It will definitely enhance Preach My Gospel.

Sadly this week we lost the truck and instead we got a 2010 Toyota Corolla (white) But it's still an awesome car, so I can't be sad, though the truck was awesome.

It's funny how every time we go in public stores or places people always come up to us and ask us questions, like what Isle can I find the Pillows. Everyone thinks we work there so now we just go with it ha.

Today we went to the Volcano and saw the huge Crater as well as a huge lava tube! One had lights in it and the other we used our flashes from our camera's to light the way as it was pitch black. It's was some sight to see!

So that's the run down of how my mission is going along, I'm absolutely loving it and I'm loving my companion as well. We are indeed a good companionship! Thanks for all the support!

Love Elder Gardner!!!

08 November 2010

8 November 2010

Aloha Everyone!
Once again another week as flown by! This week was nothing to crazy, but there are a couple good stories to write. The first one is with my companion. He got bit by a centipede in the night and woke up with his big toe killing him. 2 day's passed and he could barley walk due to the poison and swelling. Luckily it has been raining a lot this week, but that results with choke centipedes in the pad. We found a ton of this week, and now I check my bed, clothes, shoes, etc inside and out cause I hate them ha, I even dream about them.
On this passed Tuesday we had dinner with a non-member who was interested in coming back and our lesson was so spiritual, he said from this time on he was going to stop with his addictions. Toward the end of the lesson we went to our car to grab a Book Of Mormon for him and I left the truck unlocked. Only a few mins later we left his house and I jumped in the car. I looked to my right and saw that the passenger door was wide open. My companion noticed the same thing and he hurried and jumped car and we looked in the back to see if someone was there. Luckily nothing was stolen, and my companion's camera was in the cup holder. So we must of just scared him away. Crazy though cause during the lesson, Loyd who we were teaching was wondering why his dogs were barking, but now we know why.
We found a new investigator and she committed to be baptized on Dec 4! That was very exciting.
I keep learning at a deeper understanding that questions are not only the best way to learn but to help others learn as well. Everything is changing for the way missionaries are to teach. We are to teach by inspired questions and are receiving training this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in wiamea.
I find tracking pretty fun, as we had walked to someones door they came out and started chewing us out and to get off his property. In the mean time it was as if someone was dropping buckets of water down for rain. So we walked out from his covering that protected us from the rain and then his wife came out. I thought she was going to calm her husband down, but I thought wrong she was worse and started calling the cops on her phone. I thought it was pretty funny and gave her a big loving smile and continued on in the rain.
The next day at church, Bro Aina the secretary pulled me aside and said that she called and wanted our information of where we live and our names so she could report us in. We busted up, saying if the cops wont even come out to do a drug bust what makes her think they come and talk to us. So it's been a pretty interesting week and I thoroughly love missionary work. I can't explain all the small and large things I'm learning. As I gain a life time of experience in these next two years.
Thank you for all your prayers and support!
Love Elder Gardner

01 November 2010

1 November 2010


Another very exciting week as already gone by. Time is going by so
fast, and I'm absolutly loving it out here in Ka'u!
Scripture of the week that I came across is Alma 7:23-24. This
scripture is who I want to be, and i know that as I live the gospel
that this is who I can be.
Everyday we have been doing the word of the day. A couple of them
are, Dabocle, Swick, Spectastic, and Cool Runnings.
I've ben reading a book about missionary tips, and one said to
rearrange the furniture while your companion is in the shower. So
that's just what I did, and he didn't even notice till companion
One of the members took us to the Shaka Bar & Restaurant, the most
southern-est bar in the U.S. So now I can say I ate at the most
southern-est restaurant.
Something crazy that happened this week was when we were driving
out of a place called Discovery Harbor. As we wer on the single windy
road out, my companion randomly went off the road half way in the
rocky dirt. At first I was confused until a truck can flying around
the blinde sided corner half way in our lane and just barley missed
our truck. Afterwards my companion and I was silent and then he said
that he felt strong inside to move off the road onto the side and slow
down. It was a pretty intense moment and a moment to look back on in
my life to remind me of my testimony of spiritual promptings. I liked
what my companion said after it happened too. He said, "I'm glad that
I'm living in such a way that I could recognize the spiritual
promptings and then to act upon them."
We found 2 new investigators, which is great for Ka'u and we
invited both to baptism after our frist lesson. Both said yes and one
is scheduled this Nov 20. The other has to get married which is the
biggest thing we run into. No one wants to get marriend, and yet they
have 3-4 kids, and have been living together for the last 20 years.
But we'll keep encouraging and promise them the blessing they will
recieve if doing so.
I've found out this week, the real importance of an effective
weekly plan and a daily plan. The more specific the better and the
more efficent the day is. It's been completly different now that I'm
the one in charge of the area and trying to teach my companion all
about the area. He keeps saying how unique the place is. And that when
I go to the city it will be completely different. I can already see how
sad I'm going to be when I have to leave. So I won't think about it.
I'll probably be here for 5-6 months sense my companion dies next
transfer (goes home) and then I'll have to introduce another elder
into the area and get him familiar with the place. So that's 6 months
right there.
Halloween was awesome, Saturday night was the ward party and we
were able to go and bond with the ward. Sunday night on the actual
halloween night we couldn't be out so we went to bishop's for dinner
and talked story for most the night got to hear more about his crazy
Thanks again for all of you that write me. I do enjoy them very much.

Love, Elder Gardner

26 October 2010

25 October 2010

Aloha Everyone,
So I got my new companion, Elder Killian, who has been out for 22 months. I couldn't ask for a better companion. He already has taught me many things. One thing that he shows by example is being what a missionary should be. He said that I pretty much have the best Pad in the mission so I've got the high life right now.
He's defiantly a hard worker, which is exactly who i wanted, to teach me how it needs to be done. One thing we do very well is having a open communication which is key to missionary work and companion unity.
He's from Arizona, and is a cowboy living on a ranch. He had 79,000 acers, I can't really grasp how much land that is.
My last companion left to Honolulu HI, the exact opposite of Ka'u. Elder Killian says talks a lot about how unique this area is and the difficulties it comes with it. But we are finding way's to find quality investigators, sense that is the hardest thing in Ka'u. Members are starting to trust us more and see the importance of missionary work. Hopefully in the future we'll see some more progress there.
Every morning now we run to bishop's house and throw on the weights. I starting to notice that the mirror is looking better each and every day!
Church yesterday was awesome. A member brought an investigator who had just moved in two days ago. I was planning to teach gospel principles and the lesson that week was on the law of chastity but i figured i should change it, due to a new investigator. It's awesome to see how the mission already has helped me. I would of normally panicked about what to do but instead I just made a new outline on teaching about prayer, and i was able to teach the full hour lesson. I know that it's not me who performs but i'm just a tool that can be used in God's hand.
I'm finally getting in the grove of missionary work and seeing it be apart of who I am where it become natural and to be able to recognize the spirit. I can't count how many times I remember things in my past that I share to people to build that testimony or help someone start there's
There's no doubt that this gospel is the same gospel christ established on earth. It has brought so many blessing in my life I will always be in gratitude to my father in heaven
Elder Gardner
So I tried shrimp for the first time! It was amazing

18 October 2010

18 October 2010

Brothers and Sister Aloha,
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 Christmas 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 Oahu, 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
Elder Gardner

11 October 2010

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 Holy Ghost 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

4 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

27 September 2010

Aloha everyone!

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

Elder Gardner

20 September 2010

20 September 2010

(Mission President and his wife at the Mission Home)

Ok Sorry about last week, but here's the run down. I'm in Ka'u on the big island it's the most southern area in the U.S. Southpoint is in my area, it's the biggest area as well. It's about an hour and a half south of Hilo. It's super dry because they have had a drought for 2 years now, and have been feeling the major effects this last year. It's pretty bad. I'm the first greenie to come to Ka'u in 9 years. It's a hard area cause it's so spread out and so travel takes up a lot of time. Which also means there is a lot of less active cause they don't have the money to drive to the chapel. Our pad is behind the chapel, it's way nice it was where the couple missionaries used to live. But they left when I came in so we moved from his last pad into this pad, therefore we got all the left over food, the truck,, which there is only 3 in the whole mission, so a lot of missionaries envy it haha. We have queen size beds and just a nice all the way around pad (living quarters). Oh and my companion is Elder Salima, He's a great missionary, he's from samoa and we get along just great! He doesn't have his license so I drive everywhere.
The person next to me on the plane coming to Hawaii was so confused on why I was going to Hawaii for 2 years and I coudn't get in the water. I tried to explain to her why, but she was lost and I probably didn't so a very good job ha. But we did have a good long conversation. Right when we got our luggage is where we met our mission president and the assistants. We went over to his house and just learned more about the mission where we were going and who's going to be our companion. I found out though that the mission home is where the Josh Grober, from the movie "the Other Side Of Heaven" family lived there and when the apostals would come to the home they slept in the same room as I did. Pretty crazy. I love the weather here of course, and I love the humidity. The next day they threw us out on the streets on Oahu and broke us in as new missionaries haha, it was a good experience. Lost were rude, but we were able pass a out a Book of Mormon, got her number and a time to visit her.
So I've tried a lot of different food's mainly cause the bishop and his wife come every night with something new ha. I've tried Blood Pork/ Octupus/ Poi/Raw Fish/ some fish and meat thing rapped in a leaf/ and others that I can't spell or remember the name ha.
So friday night we came home and I saw my Ipod was missing from my IHome Docking system then my companion had his hair trimmer missing as well. We went out side looking around and found his hair trimmer on the ground and never found my Ipod. Later we saw they broke in the bathroom window. We don't know why they didn't steal my docking system and only my ipod, then drop his trimmer then decide to take my shoes as well.... :) the best two years! haha no but really it's been amazing we've got two people with baptismal dates and 3 more on the way, We'll have to go I'll catch up on the rest next week.

13 September 2010

13 September 2010

This week I don't have much time but in the future I will. So I'm pretty much loving it out here! yup I'm loving everything. I'm in Ka'u on the big island, it's super dry and I'm the first greenie to be in Ka'u in 9 years. My companion is Elder Salima and he rocks, it's very dry but I have no time this week but I have much more to write and I will next week.

07 September 2010

7 September 2010

Today Flint left for Hawaii, he is so excited to begin his mission in Hawaii and teach the people. He was able to call the family while he waited for his flight at the airport! Everyone was able to talk to him, even Angie in Washington. His flight left at 11:40 this morning and was suppose to land in Hawaii at 6:45pm. The mission president's wife met him at the airport and then off to the mission home to find out his first area!

03 September 2010

September 3, 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!

Elder Gardner

(The Elders in my District)

27 August 2010

August 27, 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

First Week in the MTC

Thanks to all those who sent me packages and letters. The food is amazing, I think I'm gaining weight and it is not muscle. My companion is Elder Brown, who is 6'6". He is so strong in the gospel and is always being as obedient as he can be. He is also very orderly so that is nice to have someone who has the same mind set. We get along very well and continue to grow in the gospel. The spirit is so strong in the MTC! I just has an experience with the spirit recently while logging into my email. I totally forgot my username and password, and my time was winding down to 20 minutes, and so I gave a sincere prayer that I may be able to remember. And in a few moments the letters appeared in my mind. The gospel is such and amazing tool in our lives if we stay closer to our Savior and his example. The last few days have been amazing, though it has been very crazy in that I have so much to do, and prepare. it is pretty much Sunday school x100 all day long. On Thursday, we met our branch presidency and they explained how the MTC works and called a district leader. He took each for interviews and called me to be the district leader for 8 Elders and 4 Sisters in our district. I thought I had a lot to do before, and now I have double the work. But I'm loving every minute! Because I'm so busy, time is flying by! Some of the things I do is just conducting meetings, interviewing, picking up mail twice a day and other little things that add up. But it's been a blessing, and a good experience of being a leader. One of the hardest thing I've had to adjust to is calling everyone by Elder and Sister, rather than saying dude, man, guys, etc... Our district is the biggest it can be and we are so unified. It 's so amazing to be with the people who are all here for one purpose, who leave behind our worldly habits. All we do is speak about the gospel and how it has changed our lives and then we teach it to others. Missionary work though is hard and yet so rewarding. Thanks so much for every one's prayers and support.
Love Elder Gardner

18 August 2010

Entering the MTC

Today at 1:00pm, Flint entered the MTC. Mom, Dad, Tina, Coral and Steel dropped him off with many happy tears. Angie, Craig and their family had already left for Washington, but said their good-byes on Sunday, the day of his farewell.

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.
The day started early. Flint was set apart at 7:15 a.m. with Pres. Stoddard. Now officially a missionary he was at our side. We enjoyed sharing our feelings with each other and Flint bore his testimony.

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 day still continued.......
We came home and no one wanted to leave Flint's side. We all just sat in the family room while Flint rested on the couch.....the day still continued.....we all knew the time would come......it came slow.....we wanted it to move along faster.....but did we?

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.

-Barbara Bowen-

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