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

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