29 June 2011

27 June 2011

We had a touching experience with the recent baptism we had last
Friday. As this passed week we had a follow up lesson with her about
how the Holy Ghost works within us. Toward the end of the mission she
shared with us something she recognized as the Light of Christ that
prepared her toward baptism. She shared how a friend has invited her
to stay in the mainland this passed spring and summer. At first she
was stoked to go but afterward she shared how she had this distinct
feeling that she wasn't suppose to go. That something was resisting
her to go with her friend. As a result she followed the prompting and
expressed to her friend that she wouldn't be going with her but will
rather stay back in Hawaii. Well just that next week she met Two new
friends through soccer who are apart of the singles branch we cover.
To make a long story short, those two friend became the pivoting point
of her life as they invited her to listen to the missionaries, and she
now is one of the most recent converts of the church who couldn't be
happier. The exciting part of this all is that she recognized how God
paved the path for her because she listen to the spirit and stayed in
Hawaii. No one knows what would of happened if she went, but we do
know what would of happened if she stayed.
  When I think of missionary work I like to refer to 1 Nephi 8:12-16.
Lehi is a great example of the attitude toward missionary work. In vrs
12 just think of how wonderful the gospel has been in your life and
how it has shaped you. We all have those moments to look back on when
we have partaken the most sweet, the most white, and most desirable
fruit above all other. Whether it was the influence of the atonement
in our life, or just that simple moment in the room feeling the spirit
by a sincere prayer.
  But I love the first thing Lehi does after he partakes of the
fruit, that he casts his eyes around for his family. He looks for
missionary opportunities around him knowing that we are all brothers
and sisters under God who is are loving heavenly father. That as it
states in vrs 14 "they stood as if they knew not whither they should
go." I've really come to find on my mission and as I look back when I
was in Utah that there really are people who want a better life but
don't know where to go to find it. Yet the cool thing is that we do
and we can be that tool in God's hands and answers to searching
   How do we do that? Lehi once again shows how in vrs 15 as he
beckons with a loud voice to come and partake of the fruit. Just by
simple invites to come to church, a family home evening, a dinner to
show we are normal, or ward activities. It's by small and simple
things that brings great things to pass. Just as vrs 16 states as they
came and partook of the most desirable fruit!
   Truly missionary work has brought the greatest happiness in my
life because i've learned  the greatest joy come from the success of
others. What better success can come into a person's life then the
gospel of Jesus Christ and the comfort to know God's perfect plan! I
love all of you and I"m grateful to have seen how the gospel truly
does bless families as we live faithful to what God asks us.
 Love Elder Gardner

20 June 2011

20 June 2011

Aloha Everyone,
   Sorry about the last week of having no email. My companion and I
had a meeting in Oahu that lasted all day. But I'll recap on what's
happened the last 2 weeks in Maui for us. Last week we had our zone
conference which I like to look forward to cause afterwards I always
have this extra boost to work that much harder or to work on something
I can improve on. But this time it was a little different as now
instead of me recieving the training I was giving the training to 25
other missionaries. It's crazy to think how fast time has flown by as
I feel like it was only yesterday when I remember my very first zone
conference and to compare how I used to think to now. But I do look
forward to the opportunity to help others, as I have found the
greatest happiness comes from the success of others. Its so cool to
see a missionary step out of old habbits or take a step out of the
comfort level there used to and watch them grow and flourish into a
confident missionary with a purpose. Nothing can beat that.
   Then this passed week we had an incredible baptism in the singles
ward who has been taught for quite a while now but couldn't ever
commit to a date. She's been the hardest person I've ever had to
teach, but those make the best baptisms cause of all the sweat, tears
and prayers that go into it. Hopefully the picture I sent will be
posted to see.
   Also this passed week we had a lesson with our investigator who
was the one who beared his testimony in fast and testimony meeting and
then later told us he wanted to be baptized as soon as possible. Well
he cancelled a few lessons and we started to doubt his sincerity. Then
he kept pushing the date back until all his family could be there
which would of been at least a month if not longer. My companion and I
were pretty nervous cause this is what he did last time and by the
time the date came he dropped last min. We didn't want him to loose
the feelings he had shared with us and his softened heart.
   Yet he called us up on wed and wanted to meet as soon as he got
off work. So we did so and he bought us some lunch and we just talk
story to gain a mutal relationship and then began the lesson on the
Plan of Salvation as he had some questions referring to it. As it
comes down to it. He really grasped the concept and lightbulbs were
flashing left and right. By the end of the lesson he was so determined
to get baptized as soon as possible before the advesary could take his
turn and make an effect. So with out hessitation he scheduled this
coming friday to get baptized with or with out his family. He just
wants to do it.
  Well to make this long story longer and get to the point. We got a
call yesterday being sunday and it was him stating how he is now on
the Big Island where his wife was working for the week and went to
church there. He then asked for the approval if he could just get
baptized over there sense his family was mostly with him; and the rest
is history. He ended up flying over there last min and then getting
baptized. For us and the history with him it was a miracle before our
face and exciting moment for my companion and I. As now latter today
we'll be meeting with him again to have him share his experience of
being baptized. So that's the major updates for this week.  Thanks for
all you do.
 Love Elder Gardner

07 June 2011

6 June 2011

Aloha Everyone!
     Every week just seems to have it's unique flavor. Especially this week sense a lot happened in the space of 7 days. I'll see if I have time to write all that I want.
     On Wed. Elder Davies and I went to Molokai. We ended up Leaving at 5:45a.m. for the day to spend with the missionaries there. It was quite the experience, more toward the boat ride. We heard a lot about how horrible it can be with the huge swells but luckily we went in the morning before the wind had a chance to pick up. Still though it was an exciting ride, especially for a "missionary" who can't even touch the sand nor ocean. 
    So we sat on top of the boat where their is a good view and open air to the endless ocean, and  being surrounded by 3 different Islands. At first everyone went on top, where it was full of people. But that all changed when we hit the channel that goes between the islands and it gets really rough. 
   Rough enough to the point where  when the boat hit the swells waves would come hurling over and on top of the boat. Just after that first wave the entire top cleared in a hurry down below were it's enclosed. Elder Davies and I along with only 2-3 people stayed on top. We couldn't help but laugh between each other as we took every wave as an opportunity to touch the ocean! Not to many missionaries get to take a boat over the Ocean, so we took all we could get. This is the highlight of missionary work ha. We didn't get to wet but after we dried we had salt all over us. Once again a day I won't forget.
   I was really grateful for the opportunity to be able to work with the young missionaries to be that inspiration they need as they are continuing to grow. That's what made the difference for me in my mission as I got to see a whole new level & experience through the example of other missionaries! namely Elder Killian, Bigg's and now to add to the list Elder Davies.
   The picture I sent is the bed I got to sleep on when on the exchange as I just put together a makeshift bed out of chairs. It didn't work out so well as every time I shifted around the chairs squeaked across the hard wood floor plus we had to wake up at 4:00 the next morning to catch the early boat ride home.

Next we find out unexpectedly that there was a need for a baptismal interview on the island of Hawaii. At first Pres Dalton was going to fly over this passed Friday but that all changed as we cheerfully suggested on how we can do it for him by taking the ferry over to Lanai, so he wouldn't have to take the time out of his busy day. Well it worked he gave us the permission and this passed Friday as well we got to go to Lanai. The last Elders that have touched that Island has been around 5 years. Right now there is a Senior couple who go over ever other week. So that was a once in a life opportunity as a ward missionary gave us a tour around the whole island after the baptism in the ocean. The Tour only took less then a half a day because of how small the island is. 
    Then to seal the deal on this passed Sunday as it was fast and testimony meeting at the very end of the meeting a gentleman walked up to bear his testimony. Elder Davies and I immidelty turned to one another as we both felt that he was a Non member bearing his testimony. He then goes on the share how God has really soften his heart and his desire to be more apart of the church has strengthen. 
   After the meeting ended to make a long story short we leave to go to the singles ward and we get a call from the 1st counselor in the bishopric on how this gentleman who bore his testimony wants to be baptized as soon as possible before the advisory takes over. So we rushed back, interview him, he had already been taught everything a year ago so he passed with flying colors and he wants to be baptized this coming Saturday. So this week was packed with experiences that will never be erased. I don't know if I can keep up these incredible weeks one right after another. I've never been so busy in my life and can't believe it's Monday again to write my weekly email. But I love it and I feel satisfied, what else can I ask for.
  I love you all thanks for your wonderful Letters and support.
   Love Elder Gardner