Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Cyclone.... more like PSYCHlone

Sister missionaries sang as they walked and walked and waaaaaalked
Palm trees... blue skies.... paradise :)

It’s been a CRAZY week everyone.

We have been stuck in the house allllll weekend long because of a cyclone warning. It was awful! Haha. I JUST WANTED TO GET OUTSIDE AND WORK SO BAD but also it was pouring rain as if God took a jazillion power washers and pointed them all at Kone at once on and off about every five minutes for three days straight. Wahoo. Then the kicker is the actual cyclone never touched down. How exciting!

We still had church on Sunday morning. This time we had bread for the sacrament because I made some. What else do you do when you're stuck in the house for two days? And a cute inactive young mother came with her adorable baby!! We were all super pumped. But the BEST part of this story is when she asked us if we could come over and teach her sometime, because she "only has a few lessons left before she can get baptized." Uh.... WHAT! Yep. That awkward moment when Elders have been here for the past seven months and NO ONE KNEW SHE WASNT BAPTIZED. The elders just assumed that she was inactive because her husband is. So we have a baptism coming up real soon!! We will be teaching her today! Wahoo!!!!!

Then yesterday we got out porte a porteing once again. Walking outside feels like walking through a sauna while someone is pointing a flamethrower at your face haha. Anyways, after walking about a mile and a half to actually get to the neighborhood, and we start yelling bonjour at houses. And everyone just ignores us!!! Even if they’re outside and DEFINITELY can hear us, they just pretend like we aren’t there! How rude! I’ve never seen anything like it. Anyways... After about an hour or so of that we didn’t have a ton of hope left. But we kept going, and kept on getting rejected.

THEN. We stop in front of this brick house with a car parked in front of it that I recognized. I remembered that I had waved at the beautiful black lady that had been driving in that car earlier that day! I knew that Heavenly Father had led us to her. Lucky for us she didn’t ignore us when we yelled and she came out to talk to us. :) After presenting our message, she was kind of trying to say goodbye when I asked her her name, Wilmida. :) Then I asked her where she was from, the West Indies. Then she started asking questions about us too. Then she asked us if we needed some water, and YES, we desperately needed some water!! She was soooo sweet and asked us all about our beliefs. Turns out, one of our inactive here is one of her best friends! So cool. She said that Soeur Clarque had talked to her a little about the church before. Then as Wilmida took care of feeding her baby we cleaned up the kitchen and did the dishes and helped her out. Then she even made us a milkshake, which she is working on perfecting because she’s going to open a milkshake/smoothie/juice place here in Kone, which will be SO cool because there’s nothing like that yet here. Anyways, SHES AWESOME! And we didn’t talk really to her husband because he was weed whacking outside, but he seems super cool too. MIRACLES HAPPEN! There are people here prepared for the gospel! God WILL lead us to them!!

I couldn’t be happier right now. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! And I love you all :)


Soeur Gardiner

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Para, para, paradise :)‏

 Welcome to the hotel Konéfornia
 Isn’t our backyard gorgeous?
 After your average day of prosélytisme
You know just your average pack of horses in the field you walk through to get to the village every day when you live in Koné

Welp, hello everyone!

First of all... I AM IN LOVE WITH KONE! It is so so gorgeous. Everyone is so so friendly! I couldn’t be happier! :) I don’t want to jinx myself but I really wouldn’t mind staying here for the rest of the mission. :)

First of all, Zone Conference was awesome. I had an awesome interview with President. He gave me lots of good advice. He is such a wise man. Then in the actual Zone Conference, he really laid it down. He told all of us that we could do better. It was awesome.

Funny story... At Zone Conference, the Zone Leaders told us that we wouldn’t be able to leave for Koné until Saturday or maybe even Sunday. So Friday we are sitting doing our studies when all of a sudden we get a phone call from the Zone Leaders telling us they’d be there in 15 minutes to pick up our stuff because we were leaving to Koné right then. AH! Haha, we definitely weren’t expecting that. We threw everything together as fast as we could and off we were!!

The house was a greasy mess when we got there. There was just this sticky layer of gunk all over EVERYTHING in the kitchen. President told me that the first thing I needed to do was get the house in order, so we did. I scrubbed that stove for a good three hours straight and it still isn’t perfectly clean. 

Sunday was pretty interesting. None of us had bread so we just used crackers for the Sacrament. We do have one active member, the annex president, President Mukadi. Hes from South Africa and hes super cool. He left his family in Africa and came here to work in the mines on a contract for two years.... that contract ends the end of March. It’s a huge bummer he is leaving. We will definitely need to reactivate our inactives so that we aren’t left completely on our own! We have appointments set up with two inactive families tomorrow :)

Other than that, we have just been trying to find people! We started with our neighborhood just to try and introduce ourselves. Then we’ve been contacting and porte a porteing and all that good stuff. Nothing quite miraculous has happened yet, but I’ve learned to just be patient and keep working hard. :)

Have a great week! Love you all!
Soeur Gardiner

Sunday, January 18, 2015

How many sisters does it take to kill one cockroach?

 Saying goodbye to Josie
 Cleaning off in the Stake Presidents river after doing service on his ginormous jungle property.
 Corossol.... the weirdest yummiest fruit I have ever tasted. You can’t compare it to any other fruit. It’s amazing!
 Triooooo. :)
 Because I guess it’s normal to see wild parrots all the time when you live on an island.

Here’s the answer: one. The other four are on the other side of the room standing on chairs and screaming. Haha, my two companions are both deathly afraid of bugs, and so are Soeur Gauthier and Soeur White. Needless to say, I’m the one that has to take care of the cockroaches.

So here’s the scoop: We aren’t in Koné yet. Super lame. We have Zone Conference with President Brewer next Thursday, so they don’t want to go all the way up to Koné just to come back down. Gah so frustrating. I JUST WANNA GET TO WORK IN KONE!!

So we are stuck staying in Dumbea Sur Mer until next Friday. Not that I don’t absolutely adore Dumbea or Soeur White and Soeur Gauthier, it’s just that I want to get to work so badly!!!!!! Argh. That means that by the time we get to Koné, two of six weeks worth of work are automatically down the toilet. Huuuuge bummer.

Trying to stay a little positive about the situation though! One fantastic part of being here was yesterday I got to see Vaiarii bless the sacrament. My eyes may have watered a little bit :) He’s already doing missionary work too! He invited a friend to church last week, and he came again this week! He wants to be taught by the missionaries!! Wahoo! I’m so so proud of him :)

Sorry this is lame. I promise next weeks will be a whole lot more exciting! I’m so so so so so excited to get up to Koné and get to work. If I ever get there, that is.... Ha.

Oh yeah, and today is my 10 month mark. Double digits... we are really getting down to the wire here. Why does time fly so quickly? I just want to be a missionary forever.

Love you all!!!

Soeur Gardiner

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The other side of the other side of heaven...‏

We love the bishop’s wife!!!
The thing I made for the thank you party our ward threw for Elder and Soeur Pecqueux, who have finished up their missions. It was a hit!
I may good at writing but look at what the Tahitian sisters did for the party! Wow... It’s incredible. I tried weaving one myself but it did NOT turn out the same haha

I look kinda crazy heh but this is me with Soeur Pecqueux!

So I have some good news and some super crazy news.

Let’s start with the good news first. I'm staying with Soeur Tellus!!! Wahoo!! I’m so happy! We have gotten sooo much better at teaching together and the fruits of our labors are just starting to show, so I am so happy we get to keep going! En plus I just really love Soeur Tellus. :) Aaaand we have a new addition to our team as well! Soeur Westerlind. She is from California and she got here right when Soeur Tellus came. Wahoo!

And now for the super crazy news...

We aren't staying in Motor Pool. We aren't even staying in the south. That's right....
WE ARE GOING TO KONE.  Yes. Did you hear that right? Koné. The one up NORTH. The one where sister missionaries have NEVER gone before. The one that doesn't even have a branch, but an annex to a branch with no active members except for the missionaries. (There will be a set of Elders up by where we are as well.) We are going there. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Mom, please don't freak out :) It is actually pretty civilized up there. It’s like the capital of the North. There are stores and streets and things. And the internet I’m pretty sure!! But I mean... It won’t be anything like Noumea. I’m so excited!!!!!!!!

Heavenly Father has definitely prepared me for this. We will be whitewashing from Elders and literally starting from scratch all over again. I am so grateful for the experiences that I have had here in Motor Pool to get me ready, because I couldn't have gone straight from Mont Dore to Koné without learning a little more about how to build up a secteur first. It feels good to know that President trusts me enough to put me up there. We are sooo PUMPED to take on this challenge.

But of course we are getting moved right as things are going perfectly. Last Wednesday we set baptism dates with Lovina and with Josie! It’s a huge bummer that we can’t continue to work with them but it is super cool to know that fruits are coming from our labors. Wow!! Elders will be replacing us.

Welp... there ya go! We head up there on Friday. It takes about three hours to get there. Ah I am so excited!! Ready or not, here we go.

Love you all so much! Next week I’ll be emailing you from the wilderness!!! :)

Soeur Gardiner

Monday, October 13, 2014

I couldn’t be happier. Really.‏

Bonjour tout le monde!!!!!
I just wanted to start out this email by letting you all know that I am SO HAPPY. I have never been happier in my entire life!!! The joy I feel I just can’t even put into words. I was sitting next to Soeur Harding and Soeur Martinez during conference (since my companions were listening in French) and I just realized how HAPPY I feel here. How happy I am that I have met all of these incredible people, missionaries and amis, who I never would’ve met otherwise. I love this gospel so much!! I love being a missionary!!
And I LOVED conference sooo much. It was so incredible! My favorite session was without a doubt the Saturday Morning session. I looooved the metephor that the Korean seventy made about the man with palsy!! Missionaries and members working together is sooo crucial in this work.
Speaking of the importance of members, we ate at the family Marvons on Friday, and they pointed out that Frere Marvons father had read the ENTIRE Book of Mormon and wanted to get baptized. He is an old ami from a long time ago that we wouldn’t have even known existed without their help! They also pointed out several families in their apartment complex that had met with the missionaries in the past and would be ready to meet with them again.  It’s so important that the missionaries and members work together!
And remember how I told you last week that Sovita and Florence had a problem with the word of wisdom? Well. At our last appointment before Sovita broke his foot, they decided that THEY were going to teach us the next lesson. So, we gave them some Word of Wisdom brochures and they said they would prepare the lesson. ça y est, Sovita broke his foot and was in the hospital, so we weren’t able to have a lesson until Monday, and it was only with Florence. She understood the Word of Wisdom PERECTLY, and the fact that our bodies are temples so we need to take care of them. She said that giving up smoking and coffee was no problem at all, and she was happy to do it! She said that in the hospital, Sovita started taking hot chocolate instead of coffee--something VERY untypical of him. So yeah, apparently they don’t have a problem with the Word of Wisdom at all!
I love you all!! A la prochaine! :)

Soeur Gardiner


Hey my dear family!
I love you all so much! Can you believe how fast this week went by? It's freaking me out. But when you are working hard and having fun time flies. This week was amazing and I learned so much. There were so many little blessings. And big ones as well. It was great.
We had two awesome intercambios this week. One of them was especially special because I was in the area where my trainer, Hna Moscoso started her mission. In this intercambio with Hna Callata Lord was giving me answers to my prayers and He gave me the strength that I needed spiritually. We had the opportunity to see two priesthood blessings in two of our lessons. It was amazing. There was a mom with her disabled daughter. This mom was so distraught and tired. The spirit was as strong as we testified of the love that God has for her and her daughter and as the brother that was accompanying us gave her the blessing. We also taught a family--a dad and his five kids (his wife is in Spain). They have passed through so many trials recently, bad health etc. It was so so sad to see this grown man cry as he explained what was going on in his life. I felt so much 
hope for him though as we testified of the blessings of the gospel and he and his kids are excited to come to church this next Sunday. His son is really sick and he also received a priesthood blessing. I am so grateful for the priesthood and the blessings that come from it. How amazing it is to have the restored gospel here on the earth!
We were also able to have so many miracles in our area! I don't know if I ever talked about a lady... She is one of my favorite, most special investigators in our area. I don't know why but I had always been afraid to invite her to be baptized... maybe because she is a teacher for the first communion and confirmation in the Catholic Church... but this week we just decided to do it and invite her to be baptized. It was amazing. She expressed how she felt the need to be baptized like Jesus did someone older and that chooses for himself. She also said that she feels like what we teach is true and that as she has learned from us she has found a happiness that she didn't have before. She accepted the baptism date and I am so excited to see how she will progress!
We also have many other investigators that are progressing and others that have the potential to progress. I am excited to see what the Lord has instore for us this week. We have also seen so many blessings in our area and the work is progressing so much! I feel so blessed to be a missionary and to love and serve the Lord in his vineyard every day!
I love you all! Sorry there aren't photos this week... we're in a bad internet and I don't want to get bugs on my camera... next week for sure!

Hermana Gardiner

Monday, September 22, 2014

Looks like I'm gonna die in Alalay

Yesterday was stake conference and the stake center was far away and we had never been there before haha, but we had investigators that we wanted to take (Raul's family). So we went to pick up this family of nine... Raul couldn't come but we were able to fit us and everyone else in one taxi and we made it to the conference. It was awesome because they talked a lot about the family and how important it is, which was exactly what this family needed to hear. The dad was listening and was very focused in everything that was being said. Both the mom and dad have problems with drinking, but they have a true desire to change and learn. We have high hopes for this whole family! It was funny because we actually had more investigators in the stake conference than we usually have in the normal ward meetings.
Oh and funny story. After the stake conference we were just about to eat with the Familia Salinas and we got a call from another one of our investigators. We had invited her to go to the conference in the stake center. It turns out she got there late (like an hour after the reunion ended), but entered the building and went to the bathroom even though there were only a couple people there. These people didn't realize she had entered and while she was in the bathroom the locked the church. She ended up getting locked in the church and called us, begging for help. We had to call the bishop and zone leaders so they could tell the members from this ward to go open the building so she could leave. So funny but sad at the same time. Luckily she had a good attitude about it and was laughing.
This week has been one that has made me think a lot about the things I need to change and do better. I read Alma chapter 5 this week which is one that definitely makes me think about my conversion and the things that I need to differently to be a better servant of Jesus Christ. I love that life is about constantly changing and trying to be better. It is not something easy but it is something that helps us become closer to our Savior and to become more like Him. I have also enjoyed studying the recent conference talks about missionary work. I love this quote from Elder Ballard: "It is impossible for us to fail when we do our best when we are on the Lord’s errand." How true is that! If we do our best we will have success! I love this work and feel so blessed to be a missionary in this time and place!
So you're probably interested to know what happened with my transfer haha. Wellp it was about 7:30pm when I got a call from President Hansen, which is definitely not normal cause the district leader is who usually calls about the transfers, so I kind of freaked out. He ended up explaining that he felt like I needed to stay in my area and be a sister training leader. Hermana Morales from Peru will come here and we will be the new STLs for three zones. I am excited and it should be fun. I am excited to go on exchanges with all the sisters and serve and love them. It'll be interesting though because neither of us knows how to be STL but I'm sure with the help of the Lord it'll work out okay. My companion, Hna Vara will be going to Scure! So I am sure she'll love that even though she is sad to leave. This means I will finish my mission (die) in this area--Alalay. I am excited because I love the people and the members and there is a lot of work to do.
I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Hermana Gardiner