31 January 2011

31 January 2011

Aloha Everyone,

Ok so I take back all the other weeks. This week was the best week on my mission so far, and I hope next week will surpass this week. A lot of it has to do with just me personally developing into what God has intended for me.
The mission this transfer called 4 Assistants to the President and 2 of them are called traveling assistants. Being that we are all spread out in different islands it's hard for the president to get to see everyone. For example he has never been out here in Ka'u. Maybe someday in the future. So this week the traveling assistants were in our zone going on an exchange everyday with all the missionaries. Lucky the Elder who came with us got to stay for 2 days. I can't even begin about how much I learned from a very experience Elder whom I can say changed my mission. Lucky though for the traveling assistants, they get to see every island and area.
While tracking we ran into a full blown atheist like all missionaries do, and as always it never gets anywhere. He could of gone on for hours trying to rebuke us, and it doesn't help that the first thing he says is I eat you guys for breakfast. Ha, ha. That's not a nice way to start a conversation. After cutting him off and leaving his friend pulled into his driveway. "you just missed the Mormon's, I tore them apart and this and that...yada...yada." haha all I can say is at least we help some have a good day and feel good about them selves ha.
Saturday we had our huge movie night for the community. For the last 3 weeks we've been advertising it to everyone. Though sadly it wasn't as big as a turn out as I thought it was still successful! We watched Joseph Smith: the prophet of the restoration. I would have to say it's one of my favorite movies! It is so powerful and can be hard to hold back the emotions as we see what he really went through. How could such a man go through such persecution and still preach the gospel. No wicked man would do such a thing unless it was of God.
I love you all
Elder Gardner

24 January 2011

24 January 2011

Aloha Everyone,
Just a short email about my first full week with my new companion Elder Pincock. I would have to say it has been another one of my favorite weeks on the learning side. It has been a very successful week in Ka'u and hope to see it continue to grow. There's a lot of potential that is starting to spark with the ward.
Though I"m pretty lucky to now have 3 companions that we get along with very well! We both are learning at such a rapid rate, especially now that I'm the one setting the example for my new companion. I don't have an older companion to rely back on, so it's helped me to really learn how to solve situations that come up and put my trust in the lord. By doing so my testimony has grown immensely! I always knew it was true that if you put all your trust in the lord by being strictly obedient, you would always be taken care of through the rough patches of life. But now I have a testimony of experience for myself. At times I can remember me being pretty worried about making sure everything turnout how it's suppose to. Yet, I see now that if we worry, we have a lack of faith and through mighty prayer my relationship with the lord has become 1 in purpose. That's when missionary work become so fulfilling and then time fly's by.
Wed was the coldest day I've experience so far. It was so cold I had to wear a jacket all day! ha ha. I dropped clear down the 55 degrees! Everyone stayed inside that day, which was good for us, we got to get to talk to a lot of people.
I've come to such a great excitement to talk to everyone and anyone. I love talking about the gospel, especially now coming to a great realization giving everyone an opportunity to change there live around. I just love. How great is my calling!
Thank you for all you do!


18 January 2011

17 January 2011

Aloha Everyone,

What an exciting and exhilarating week it has been. Being that this week was transfers my last companion (Matt Killian now) has finished his mission and went back to his family. He left Wed morning, and I have to say it was harder then leaving my family at the MTC. Being with him the last 3 months have brought us closer then just brothers. I guess you could say spiritual brothers bonded together with a unified purpose with the Lord. I'm so fortunate to have been companions with a spectacular missionary that he was and in doing so taught me life long lessons I'll never forget.
On Monday we were eating with one of Elder Killian's Recent Converts who happened to be in the area and wanted to feed us. Though during are time with her, we received a call from our Mission President, Pres. Dalton. So I stepped outside to be able to hear and he informed me that I have been called by the lord to be a trainer for the up coming transfer. All I could say was, "wow." I was with out speech and couldn't believe it. So here I am now training my new companion Elder Pincock who is from Highland Utah around 30 mins away from where I stay.
He's a wonderful Elder and it's fascinating to see how just being out on a mission for around 5 months has brought so much change for the positive. Though I would have to say the first couple days were pretty rocky but as of now we are doing just great together. I'm pretty lucky to have now 3 great companions that I get along with really well.
But the best part about this week would involve reflecting back to my past. For the most I believe most of you heard about my snowboarding accident I had a few years ago where I had to be life flighted to the hospital. Well coming to find out that my companion also has a love for snowboarding, along with his cousin. So on the way back from picking up Elder Pincock from the airport we were talking about snowboarding and my story was brought up. Then the unthinkable happened and we got in a head on collision with another car...ha nah I'm kidding but still the unthinkable was revealed. Elder Pincock's cousin is the one who went of the jump and landed on my neck. They thought that they had killed me after hearing that the paramedics said I was leaking spinal fluid etc...well the story has now been unfolded and It still dazzles me the connection we have ha.
It's truly been a blessing to have the opportunity to train where I have to put my trust in the Lord and see how he truly does bless us when we put him first and are strictly obedient.
I love you all!
Elder Gardner

10 January 2011

10 January 2010

Aloha Everyone,
Not to much as happened this week but the biggest thing that will be happening this week is Transfers. Since Elder Killian is going Home back to Arizona I'll be for sure getting a new companion. But I'm definitely going to miss Elder Killian, whom has been known as one of the best missionaries out here in Hawaii. And being with him for now 3 months never leaving each others side I have come to find out for myself how amazing this Elder has been. I'm truly grateful for his wonderful example and humility he shows each and everyday.
One event that is pretty exciting this week has to deal with a pig. This wild boar has been eating all of this members food that she feeds to her chickens. Since we have been teaching her we have run into it quite a few times and she wants it gone. So what do we do? We call up our young bishop and we bring his truck to haul it away. Yet this boar was super smart and wouldn't let either Elder Killian or I to get behind it to grab it's back legs flip it over and rope it's legs. So we changed plans and tried to set a trap to have it's back legs get tied together. Yet it again it kicked off the rope and this time it ran off. We were so close, and it was a pretty exciting experience for me since I haven't dealt with anything like this. (My companion is a cowboy) So tomorrow on Tues we're going back to catch it, but this time we'll be more prepared. To be continued....
I just have to say, serving a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints it the best decision any 19-26 year old young man can make in his life. There is so many valuable skills and lessons learned that can't be replicated anywhere else. I can't express in words how wonderful and grateful I am to be on a mission I strongly encourage all who are on the fence about going on a mission to find out for yourself the tremendous blessing a mission can offer.
I love you all so much and wish you a wonderful New Year!
Love Elder Gardner

03 January 2011

3 January 2010

Aloha Everyone, 2011!

My first new years here in Ka'u Hawaii. What a difference it is compared to the mainland for the most part. The night first started by eating. Yes of course eating with the Bishop and his family. They feed us like kings like always and we watched them light up hundreds of fireworks. After getting stuffed to da max, we promised a family we were teaching that we'd come to there extended family party as well. So we did just that and got what we expected, tons more food and strongly encouraged us to eat, and eat...well and eat some more. After talkin much story with the locals we went back to the bishops who then feed us dessert, as if we haven't eaten enough? We had to be back at our pad by 9:00. But were we stay is on top of a hill and we can look out and see the whole little town. All that night was a constant blare of fireworks. Though as time winded down, it sounded and turned to a battlefield. Hundred's if not thousands of fire crackers, and cakes ( the ones that fly in the air and explode) set off. But that's not all, all sorts of guns mostly semi auto assault rifles added to the extensive noise that roared through out the streets. Haha what a sight it was. In just seconds the whole town was smothered with smoke like it had just burned down. I felt like @ any minute I might just get hit by a stray bullet. Luckily I didn't ha. But it didn't stop right after the new year started. This went on till the rising of the sun and then the next 3 nights in a row fireworks just keep exploding in the air. So...that was my first experience of having new years in Hawaii. It was radical.

Love, Elder Gardner

02 January 2011

27 December 2010

Aloha Everyone,
What a week it has been as Christmas as already come and gone. I remember a year from thinking wow...I'll be on mission my next Christmas, and now here I am Celebrating my first Christmas away from home in the tropical boonies in Big Island Hawaii. What could be a better picture then this. It truly was on of my most memorable Christmas's in my life; as I'm closer to my savior and Heavenly Father then ever before. The true meaning I have come to a great realization, seeing how magnificent Christ was and is in our life. I love the Scripture Isaiah 9:6 describing what he is like.
Christmas Eve we got to go to a huge family party, with of course endless amounts of food lined up to eat at any moment. The family was mostly non-members but a few where as they asked us to come and to bring a message about the birth of Christ. Therefore that is what we did. We showed them part of the video "Joy to the World," and afterwards we gave them questions to see how well they were listening. But of course there was several prizes for who answered correctly. It truly felt like my second family down here in Ka'u spending time with the Ka'awa family, playing games and seeing the kids sit on Santa's lap.
Christmas day was fantastic, as we opened our eyes to our 12" Tree with a snow flake on top. But the best part of all was to be able to call home to hear my families voice and excitement. We latter went to Hilo to exchange our secrete Santa gifts to all the elders, and just cruised for the rest of the day. That night we went to south pt. to watch the most gorgeous sun set fall behind the continuous ocean. Can explain in words how beautiful it is around here especially with all the new rain in these winter months.
Then to finish the night with a bang by preparing my talk for sacrament on whatever I wanted. Which as we all know the best subject to be asked to speak on. So I decided sense it is Christmas and that the week before had not talked about Christmas, that I would talk about the true meaning of Christmas. Although I combined it with the talk given by Pres Monson, " the divine gift of gratitude." So I talked on having an attitude of gratitude of what Christ has really done for us, and why we should celebrate his birthday.
The last few days my companion and I have been listening Truman G. Madson speak about what Joseph Smith went through in detail as we travel long distances and just before bed. I never realized how much Joseph Smith endured, and the obstacles he over came. There's no doubt in my mind that he was called of God to bring back the restored gospel. I can't express my increase of gratitude to Joseph Smith and the sacrifices he did for us. Along with our Redeemer Jesus Christ.
This morning was spectastic as we had our baptismal interview for our investigator and afterwards I learned how to rope animal's as I swirl the rope around my head and catch it by the neck. But I still can't see myself being a rancher haha.
Again thanks for all the love and support in so many various ways. My heart goes out to all of you and to remember the true meaning of Christmas throughout the year.
Elder Gardner