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