Monday, December 9, 2013

Hey fam!

I can't believe another week has come and gone! I hope December is treating you well! Here in Sucre it is super hot. Muchismo calor. But it's great. My favorite thing though is that there are random days that are cold and rainy. I love them for some reason. The weather is crazy here.

The work is moving along here! There is a new member in the ward named Tresea, she just moved here to start studying at the university. She was baptized a month ago in Villason (right by La Quiaca). She wants to share the gospel with everyone and has helped us teach some lessons and one day wants to be a missionary! It is cool to be able to help her learn more and prepare for the mission! Also, Pablo who was baptized in October blessed the sacrament yesterday! It was so great to see that and watch him progress in the gospel!

We were walking past some stores and I felt like we needed to talk to a man that was behind the counter in one of these stores. It turns out he has many friends that are members and has come to church before too! He was super receptive and wants to learn more! We have a lesson set with him for this Saturday so hopefully that goes well! I have learned the importance of never dismissing a thought to talk to someone. Sometimes we get straight up rejected, but most of the time the people are much more receptive than I was expecting! This work is so amazing and it is so beautiful to have the opportunity to devote all of my days to talk about the gospel!

I had a cool experience with prayer this week. One day I was feeling a little off and didn't know why. I ended up going into the bathroom and praying out loud. I really just talked to my Heavenly Father and told him everything that was on my mind. It was amazing how I felt the comfort I needed and received the strength I needed as well. I know that Heavenly Father is always listening to us. He is always there ready to help us. We just need to do our part and pray! There is so much power in prayer!

Oh something funny. I am really missing running for some reason. Weird I know. My comp doesn't want to leave the house to work out in the mornings so I ended up running in figure eights for fifteen minutes in our study room. It was quite hilarious.

I love you all so much and hope all is well! Thanks for all your love and support!

Hermana Gardiner

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sucre for life!!!!

Hey Fam!


To start off, I don't have a transfer! Hermana Bolaños and I are going to be together one more transfer which I am super happy about. We have been working hard and are just starting to see the fruits of our labor. I hope that I'll be able to see the baptisms of many of our investigators that I have been working with for so long!

We are teaching Andrea who has a fecha for December 21 and she is progressing super well! She came to church yesterday with her friend that gave us the reference. I have a strong testimony of references and working with the members. It is definitely the most efficient and successful way to do missionary work! We also taught our couple again. This week the husband told us how he wants to get baptized so badly. The wife still lacks on having a testimony, but we have set to teach her every morning this week and help develop a greater understanding of the Book of Mormon. They have also worked out many of their problems in their relationship and are working with the bishop to get married! I hope and pray that they can continue to progress and one day have an eternal family. I have the faith that they will get baptized this transfer! The father of Shirley and Rilber will return from work in Santa Cruz this week or the next and Nelby told us that when he arrives they are going to get married so she can get baptized. The mom Nebly, is incredible. She brings her kids to church every week without fail and has a super strong testimony of the gospel and wants to be baptized so badly!

I am grateful that I have another transfer here! I love Sucre so much and the people (both the members and investigators) are amazing! The work here is moving along! We have lots of lessons planned with members this next week which I am excited about and we have been working hard for them. It was cool, yesterday we literally had 4 people tell us how they want to teach with us this week!

Yesterday was Hermana Bolaños' birthday which was fun! She turned 26. She is so funny. We get along super well and work well together as well. It'll be good to be together one more transfer.

I just read this week about the anti-nephi lehites and how they buried their weapons of rebellion. I love this story so much! They are such great examples of their desire to follow Christ and change their lives! Here in the mission I have realized how many weaknesses and faults I have. I have many "weapons of rebellion" that I need to bury! I am so grateful for the atonement and the opportunity I have to partake of the sacrament every week and try to be better. I have realized that that is really what "endure to the end" means. To continue to do your best to be better and more like Christ every day.

I cannot believe that it is December! We can Skype on Christmas for 40 minutes:) so I need a Skype account that is attached to one of yours! If you could give me the info to log in one that would be great. It will be so good to talk to you guys! I love you all so much! Thanks for all your love and support. I pray for you guys every day! I am doing well and I love this work so much!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Gardiner!

Monday, November 25, 2013

It's almost December and transfers...Loco!


Hola Familia!
Life is good here in Sucre! Holy cow! I am so so excited for Molly and her mission call! AH! The mission is the greatest most amazing thing in the world. She is going to love it and be so amazing!!! We worked hard this week and it was hard but we have a handful of new investigators so hopefully we can see some progress with them! We taught one family this week, the Familia Copa. The father, Edwin, is inactive. He was baptized when he was 10 because at that time to use the soccer field you had to be a member. He didn't even have a Book of Mormon which was super sad! His wife, Nohelia, and daughter, Leslie, are not members. We taught them the parable of the Ten Virgins. This is definitely one of my favorite parables. The spirit was so strong in this lesson and they have the sincere desire to do what is right. They just need to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration and I have faith that this can happen! I already have a great love for this family and want so badly that one day they can get sealed in the temple!
Mom mentioned that she wanted to know what my everyday life is like, so here is my average day:
6:30 wake up, say my prayer, work out (which consists of jump roping or ballet haha)
7:00 get ready, eat breakfast (this week was strawberry yogurt, oats, and bananas)
8:00 personal study (Book of Mormon, New Testament, Preach my Gospel)
9:00 companionship study
10:00 language study--right now were reading the ensign, me in Spanish and Hna Bolaños in English and are working on our pronunciation.
11:00 go out and work and teach. The mornings are a little hard because we rarely have set appointments but it's good:)
1:00 eat lunch which always is soup with a second course of rice and meat and veggies and with a postre which can be fruit or yogurt or flan or jello
2:00 leave to go teach some more and bring the people of Sucre unto Christ:)
8:30ish eat dinner
9:15ish plan for the next day
10:30 go to sleep!
It's pretty excited I know....:) but really it is great! I love having a schedule to follow and I know that it is divine! I love studying in the morning and it prepares me for the day and for what we are going to teach!
This week we had a special training with the president and his wife. It was exactly what I needed. They talked about using our time wisely and this is definitely something I need to get better at. I have never been super great at using my time well so I am excited to get better at this! President and Hermana Dyer are so great and I am so grateful for them!
Yesterday we had a special training about ward counsel for the area and they showed a training with Nolan Taylor as the mission president. So that was cool! haha.
I'm sorry my emails aren't super exciting or funny haha. I'm not good with words, but yeah, all is well! And I am happy. Hermana Bolaños and I get along super well and laugh all the time!
I love you all! xoxoxoxox
Hermana Gardiner

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hola!


This week was good! We worked really hard to work with the members and find new investigators. Unfortunately saw little success but we're having the faith that we will be blessed for our efforts one day! haha. We have 3 contacts that will hopefully become investigators that will progress as we teach them this next week. We've been working hard with inactive families this week and had three FHEs. They were all super spiritual and hopefully we can start seeing progress with them. We are teaching one family, the familia Loayza, that has the goal to go to the temple. They are so great and the mom, Hna Lourdes, is working on reading the Book of Mormon for herself for the first time. It is so great to see her excitement and she recounts what she has learned and studied. There is so much power in the Book of Mormon! I love this book so much and it is so amazing to help others realize the power of it.

This next Friday we have a dinner for all the leaders in our ward mission plan. Hopefully this will help them be more excited about our plan and working in the work of salvation. It is a lot harder that I thought to animate the members to work with us, but nothing worthwhile is easy, right? I have such a strong testimony of member missionary work. All of the converts I have had the opportunity to teach have been references from members. I think many times the members don't realize the power and ability they have to share the gospel. I know that the Lord is always with us when we are trying to spread the gospel!

I love Alma 8:14-15! Alma is sad because nobody wants to hear what he has to say, but then an angel comes to comfort him and tell him that because he has been faithful in keeping the commandments he will be blessed and has reason to rejoice. This scripture brought me a lot of peace as appointments were falling through this week. As long as I am doing my best to be obedient and working my hardest I have a reason to be happy and continue in the work! Sometimes life is hard and we don't always see the success we want to, but I know that as long as we are doing our best to be better every day and continue to follow the example of Jesus Christ we will be blessed for our efforts!

I love you all so much and am so grateful for your love and support!

Hermana Gardiner

Monday, November 11, 2013

LIFE IS GOOD.‏


dear familia.
 
Roberto is the one without the tie
I have had a good week! The baptism of Roberto happened and it was quite the event becasue the baptismal font is broken... haha so I ended up bailing out buckets of water so we could clean it and then refill it just in time for the baptism! It was super cool because Roberto's friend, Eduardo, baptized him and his cousin, Ismael (who had been baptized in June), shared a simple but very powerful testimony. It is cool to work with the young adults and watch as they change their lives and find happiness in the gospel. In our ward we have a lot of young adults that are here for school that are inactive so we are going to plan an activity with them to get to know them better and hopefully we can start working on reactavating them.

This weekend we had stake conference and President and Hna Dyer were there along with the new temple president, Pres Jensen. It was so awesome and I felt the Spirit so strongly, especailly in the Saturday evening session. Hearing their talks made me so grateful that I am here on the mission and what a wonderful opportunity it is to be a missionary. Words cannot describe the joy that comes as you watch others realize the happiness that is awaiting them and the look on their faces as the truths of the Gospel "click" and make sense.

Yesterday we had an awesome lesson with one of our investigators, Carlos. He has ALOT of questions all the time and it is really hard to connect with him. We were teaching him the Plan of Salvation and he had a lot of questions to begin with so when it was my turn to teach about the three degrees of glory I was worried what his response was going to be, but I just followed the spirit and did my best to teach clearly and simply. When I asked him if he had any questions about the different kingdoms he replied, "no, I'm just imagining how beautiful the Celestial Kingdom is." When he said this the Spirit was so strong and testified to me that yes, the Celestial Kingdom is real and beautiful and where I want to live one day! I know that it was not my words that touched his heart, but the Spirit. I may not know the scriptures super well or can speak the language well, but with the Holy Ghost helping me I know that I can do anything. Sometimes it is hard to trust that the words I need will be put in my mouth and sometimes my faith is week and I am alone to try to talk. But when I trust in the Lord and His promises miracles happen. This work is full of miracles and I feel so blessed to see them everyday.

 We have five investigators that have come to church more than the three times they need to be baptized and continue to come every week but for some reason they still are not ready to be baptized. Juan Jose and Gladys are two of these people. They still need to get married... but they are happy and their relationship is much better than it was before and they want to get baptized. They just have to work out some problems with their extened families. Gladys was even fasting on her own without us saying anything to her, so cool! Trifon is also one of these investigators. He is ready to be baptized, but feels like he needs to know everything before he gets baptized. Hopefully this week we can set a date for his baptism! He is so great. He studies the scriputres everyday and truly wants to follow Christ. Another is the mom of Rilber and Shirley, Nelby. We are just waiting on her husband to come back from work in Santa Cruz so they can get married and she can get baptized! The fifth investigator is Fernando Torelio. His wife is a member and he has come to chruch MANY times. He just needs to start reading the Book of Mormon. Until he starts doing this he really can't progress much more. Hopefully he can find the desire to do so! Hopefully things can work out with all of them. I love them all so much and pray that they will follow Christ and be baptized!

I am so happy and am excited to see what this week brings. I love you all so much! Thanks for all your prayers and support!

 Hna Gardiner

Monday, November 4, 2013


Hello my dear family!

 

It sounds like all is well! I had a good time in Cochabamba, but it is good to be back and working. I felt so useless while I was there haha, that being said I did get the opportunity to teach with Hna Hill and Hna Cordava, which was awesome! It is so cool to teach a lesson as a missionary with one of my best friends! It still feels unreal at times that we are both here in the same mission! I definitely am the happiest when I am working hard and teaching! Everything went well with the tramites and hopefully I'll get my visa soon. While we were in Cocha Hna Adams received a call for an emergency transfer to Potosi so she is no longer here with me in Scure which is super sad. Also, while in Cocha I lost my camera.... but  Heavenly Father answers prayers and a lady at the clinic found it and I was able to get it back! What a huge blessing!

 

I got back to Sucre Thursday and then next two days were Day of the Saints and the Day of the Dead. They have quite the customs here for these two days and it was nearly impossible to find people in their houses, but we tried our best to teach and the Lord blessed us yesterday with the opportunity to contact future investigators, teach a new investigator, help two sisters that struggle to come to church (Andrea-who was my comp for two days and her sister Belen), and plan the baptism of Roberto for this Thursday!

 

Roberto took all the lessons with the Elders a couple months ago and been to church many times but wasn't ready to be baptized. Hna Moscoso and I taught him a couple times and then he stopped showing up for our appointments. Two Mondays ago we ran into him as he was entering a house of a member whose sons he is friends with. We asked him when we could teach him and he said "right now!" So we taught him. haha. And when we extended a baptismal date for a day in November he asked us if he could be baptized the next day which shocked me! He was going to be baptized the following Saturday but had some problems with keeping the Sabbath day holy so we decided to wait until he figured it out. This Saturday night we received a text from him saying that he wanted to be baptized before church yesterday; we called him and explained that we had to fill the font and he needed to have his baptismal interview. So tonight he'll have his interview and Thursday he'll be baptized! I am so excited for him. He sincerely wants to change his life and REALLY wants to be baptized. This whole experience this past weekend strengthened my testimony of the fast. We started fasting Saturday after lunch that we would be able to set dates for our investigators and that they would follow through with their commitment to baptized and then 6 hours later we got the text from Roberto. I know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and is looking out for us!

 

Things are great with Hna Bolaños! I am excited for our first full week together and we have a lot of good things planned! There is a lot of work to do with the members and with our investigators! One thing I have learned is that we have to rely fully on our Savior. There is no way I could do what I need to without Him. It is because of Him that our weaknesses can be made whole and we can become a little better every day.

 

I love you all so much! Have a great November!

 

Hna Gardiner

Monday, October 28, 2013

The work is moving forward!!!


Hola Familia!

This week was a great week! Hermana Bolaños is here and is awesome! It's funny cause if anyone in the mission looks like hna Moscoso, it's her. She has been out for 7 months and is 25 years old. She is super smart and knows the scriptures like the back of her hand. This is a huge blessing for me and something I had been praying for-a greater knowledge of the scriptures, and with her this will definitely happen! I have a lot to learn from her and am grateful for the opportunity to serve with her. She is happy and smiley and great to be around. I definitely did not get the step-mother curse like my sisters did here in the mission. She does teach differently and it'll take some time before I'm totally used to it, but all is good!

Right now I am in Cochabamba again for visa work. I left Sucre last night, and after an 8 hour bus ride arrived in Cocha at 4:30 this morning. I got my blood drawn, my teeth checked, a mini physical and all the works by 10:00. We (Hna Adams and two other elders) enjoyed a nice breakfast of salteñas. Super yummy. We don't have any more stuff we have to do until Wed, so today Hna Adams and I will be with Hna Hill y Hna Cordava (which is also my sister in the mission, like her first comp... which means by default that we are going to be comps one day too;)) and tomorrow we hope to go to the temple! I believe I am flying back to Sucre Thursday morning which will be good. I didn't want to leave my area because we have a lot of work to do and Hna Bolaños still does not know the area very well, but oh well, I am excited to be here in Cocha.

Yesterday I had an amazing experience. One of our investigators, Trifon, told us how two of his grandkids died in an accident. We proceeded to teach him about work for the dead and how his family can be together forever. I felt so strongly that these two kids were in the room with us, wanting so badly that their grandfather will accept the gospel and do their work in the temple. This gospel is so amazing and I feel so blessed to be a part of it! The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings families together and so much joy! I am so grateful that I have had the blessings of the gospel all of my life.

I am so proud of Peter and his football game! What a stud. Kate's Haunted Jr High sounded way fun! I wish I could see her cheer! I hope Emma's dance is going well and is liking 2nd grade! I am so excited for molbot and her decision to go on a mission! She will never regret it! Mom, Dad, thanks for all you do for me! I love you all so much and am so grateful for all you have taught me!

Love,

Hna Gardiner

Monday, October 21, 2013

Transfers, Trainer-less, Two Baptisms, and Tender Mercies


This week has been full of many emotions and blessings. First off, we had the baptism of two kids, Shirley and Rilber. Remember how a couple weeks ago I said that we had set baptismal dates for a mom and her two kids? Well this is there story: The Hervas Family is the first reference we recieved with our new ward mission plan from a member, Augustine Vargas. We taught the mom, Nelby, and two kids, Rilber and Shriley but the dad was away for work in Santa Cruz. They came to church the first Sunday and wanted to be baptized! The next time we taught them the dad, Ruben, was back from work and 5 minutes into talking to him we found out HE IS A MEMBER. He was baptized in Santa Cruz ten years ago, but became inactive shortly after. Hno Augustine told us that they were not married so we taught them the Law of Chastity and they said they would get married. The next day when we went to help them get started on the wedding papers we found out they didn't want to get married anymore. We were devastated. Nebly couldn't get baptized anymore and we didn't want to just baptize the kids for them to become inactive, which happens a lot when kids are baptized without their parents. After a couple of weeks continuing to teach them and even having the whole family come to conference, church, and a ward activity, Ruben expressed a sincere desire to have his kids baptized and Nebly promised to always bring them to church we talked with the bishop and felt like it was the right decision to have Shirley and Rilber baptized. I have never seen two kids so excited to be baptized. They were literally jumping up and down with joy when we told them they could be baptized. Ruben had to go back to Santa Cruz to work, but Nelby told us that when he gets back they are going to start their papers to get married! And hopefully within the next month she will be baptized. The day of the baptism was Friday, so Hna Moscoso could be there for it. There always seems to be problems on the day of baptisms and it turns out that this day the elders forgot to fill the font... and the drain was broken so we couldn't fill it ourselves. It was a mess. We ended up going to another chapel for the baptism. The water was freezing, but the kids were troopers and got baptized anyways. It was amazing to see how excited they were to make this covenant! It was quite the day!

Hna Moscoso is officially gone. It still doesn't feel real to me. The last two days before she left her trainer, Hna Holbrook came and visited Sucre because she started her mission here. It was cool to spend time with her and the people she worked with. Listening to her and Hna Moscoso talk made me realize how many amazing experience I have ahead of me and a lot of amazing people to meet. It is crazy to me how fast the time flies! I have been out for 4 months now. Unreal. I have learned so much and much of it thanks to Hna Moscoso. She was the best missionary in the mission. I have a lot to live up to, but I am grateful for the opportunity I had to learn from the best. She taught me how to: think creatively, work with members, truly listen to and love our investigators, have patience, have fun and be myself, to work hard every day, be obedient, be a good companion, truly study the scriptures, love being a missionary, serve others and a million other things. I am going to miss her so much.

The past two days without Hna Moscoso, Leidy Flores, the granddaughter of my pensionista, was my companion. She is so great and is starting her mission papers. We had a lot of fun together and received many blessings! We had a lesson with a lady named Tatiana who is a reference from a member in another ward in the stake. She is going through a divorce and is looking for comfort and help at this time in her life. She is so ready for the gospel it is unreal! She accepted everything we taught and told us how she is going to read all the Book of Mormon in the next 4 days. So cool! She is also very sensitive to the Spirit and can recognize it really easily which is awesome. Hopefully she will get baptized soon! It was also a neat opportunity to be on my own and apply everything Hna Moscoso has taught me and I have studied. Instead of relying on my trainer I truly had to rely on the Spirit to direct me in what to say. These past two days have really strengthened my testimony that the Lord does put the words in our mouths that we need to share His gospel and help us know the needs of others. We are not alone in this great work of salvation! Today and until Wednesday when my new comp comes I am with another member in the ward, Andrea. She is 19 and adorable and is from Argentina-near Salta:). She is here in Sucre to study. Hopefully all goes well for us the next couple days.

Oh yeah I bet you're wondering who my new companion is... haha. Her name is Hna Bolaños from Columbia. I don't know much about her other than she has about 6 months out. I am sure she is great and I am excited to get working with her!

I love you all so much and hope all is well! THE CHURCH IS TRUE.

Con Mucho Amor,

Hna Gardiner

Monday, October 14, 2013

There is a new member of the Church here in Sucre!


Hola!

           

This week has been crazy and great! We had a baptism, but it wasn't Vanessa.... It was one of our investigators, Pablo. He has been to Church many times because his esposa (wife, or person they live with) is a member. We taught him for the first time the week before we went to Cocha and set a baptismal date for the 12th. We weren't able to teach him at all the following week so we were unsure where things were at with him. We taught him Wednesday night and he had read, prayed and had a firm testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. It was amazing. I could tell he had truly humbled himself, had a desire to learn and follow Christ. He is a great example to me. He expressed that he wanted to be baptized on the 12th as planned! We were so happy. Before we started teaching him we asked his esposa if they were married and she said yes, so we were super relieved that we didn't have to worry about that. The day for his baptismal interview came and our district leader said he was good to go, but afterwards the Elder told us how Pablo told him that THEY WEREN'T MARRIED, but were starting their wedding papers to get married in the next couple weeks, but he was willing to live all the commandments. We had to talk with him and his esposa and confirm that he was moving out until they were married and that they were certain that he wanted to get baptized now or if he should wait until after the wedding. We also had to confirm that he realized that he is making a covenant with God and the seriousness of that decision. He was set on being baptized and moved out of the house that day. I was so happy for him and his decision to follow Christ and be baptized. I hope that in a year I can see him and his esposa sealed in the temple with their son!


 

On Saturday we also had a huge missionary activity. All the missionaries in Sucre put on a talent show for the members and investigators. I was in two skits. I was sososo nervous. I am definitely not an actress. I would much rather be dancing. One skit was about Jacob and Leah and Raquel. I was Raquel---The Choca. It was funny. The other skit was a made up story that one of the daughters of Ismael was super ugly and none of the Lehi's sons wanted to marry her. Hna Moscoso was that part and was so good at it--she's an actress. I was one of the other daughters: Pamphala the Choca. Choca is the word they use here for blonde people. So basically I was used for my blonde hair in both the skits. Haha. But yeah it was fun! I am so so sad to be saying goodbye to Hna Moscoso Saturday morning. I don't know what I am going to do! I am going to miss her so much. I am so grateful for all I have learned from her! I know I will be okay though and I have more stuff to experience and learn with a new companion. There is a chance I will find out who my comp is tomorrow because Hna Moscoso has connections, but otherwise I'll find out Sunday night. I just hope my comp is someone that wants to work hard and with the members!








I am doing great and life is so good! I love you all and pray for you!

 

Hna Gardiner

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ohhhh Hello!

10/7/2013 Sucre, Bolivia

Hola familia!





 

Well first, I'll talk about Cochabamba... It was so great, amazing, wonderful, and fantastic. It was so fun to spend three nights sleeping over with Hermana Hill. I can't believe that we are both here in Bolivia. It is still unreal to me. Monday was P-day so we spent most of it with Hna Hill and Hna Simon. We went bowling (I am still as awful as ever haha) which was fun! We even spent a good hour and a half in the mission home so that was cool. It is a beautiful house! President and Hna Dyer are so awesome. That night we met people from Hna Moscoso's first area, Villa Luz. It was so great getting to know the people that she has told me all about! Everyone is so amazing, I love the Bolivian people so much! Tuesday morning we went to the temple. It is so so beautiful and if felt so good to be in the House of the Lord. It really helped me refocus on why I am here on the mission and what is most important--making and keeping covenants with God so we can live with Him and our families for eternity! I also got to see all my friends from the CCM which was so awesome and Elder Jerrell as well! After the temple we practiced our class for the Leadership Meeting. I was so so nervous, probably the most nervous I've been on the mission haha. With a lot of prayer and help from the Lord I made it through the presentation just fine without making too big of a fool of myself (atleast I hope so). That night we meet the most amazing people in Hna Moscoso's second area, Calla Calla and had lasagna with tons of Hermanas. So fun. Wednesday morning we got stuck in the airport for a solid three extra hours but finally made it back to Sucre! I feel so blessed for the opportunity I had to go to Cochabamba!

On Thursday I had my interview with President Dyer. It was so great. He is such a great man. He told me that Hna Moscoso and I will be friends for eternity, that she'll show up in my life many more times, and that nothing in the mission is a mistake. I feel so blessed to have had her a part of my life here in the mission! She is such an amazing missionary--the best in the mission. He didn't say anything about what is going to happen to me next transfer when it comes to companions so I'll just have to wait and see what happens with that. I just hope my companion wants to work hard and with the members.

Conference was so so amazing. I especially liked both of Saturday's sessions. As I was watching I was thinking, how in the world can this not be true? I feel so blessed to receive the word of God for this day and age! I can't wait to read all the talks again! I loved how much they talked about missionaries and members working together! It really is the way the Lord has intended missionary work to be done.

Members have so much power in the missionary work! I also loved how much they talked about Christ. He truly is our Savior and it is only through Him we can have the strength and ability to make it through this live and receive forgiveness for our mistakes!

Our investigators are doing well. Vanessa is supposed to be baptized this Saturday, but she still is not sure if she is ready, so hopefully it works out. The couple we are teaching is still having problems, hopefully most of them can get sorted out before Hna Moscoso leaves cause I don't know if I can handle them all without her haha. We got a new investigator this week, Trifun Ramos who is 75ish and so awesome! He has a date for Nov 2! The work is moving along!

Today we went to a Dinosaur Park a lot like the one in Ogden, but not quite as cool. Haha. I loved it! Remember how I wanted to be a paleontologist? Good times. Haha.

Life is so good here in Bolivia. Hna Moscoso and I are trying to work hard as she only has two weeks left in the mission! I love you all and hope all is well!

Hna Gardiner

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hola Cochabamba!!!!!

9/30/13 - Sucre, Bolvia

Hola familia!

This week was crazy but awesome! The work is moving along and we receive so many blessings every day!

The couple we are teaching is progressing! We've been teaching the wife every morning at the church which has been awesome and I can tell her heart is truly changing. The husband has a lot more problems than we realized that are keeping them from being married. But hopefully through the Atonement he can change and they can be ready to be married. They are so great and I truly love them so much and want them to receive the blessings that come from the Gospel of Jeus Crist!

Vanessa is progressing super well as well. She has a date for the 12th of October; her only worry is that her mom doesn't want her to be baptized. We had a super spiritual lesson with her this week about the family (she is engaged to a RM in the ward) and had a young married couple in the lesson. They shared their testimonies about the family and the spirit is so strong. The family is so important and words cannot describe how grateful I am to know that my family can be together forever! What an incredible blessing. I love you all so much!

Wellp, I'm in Cochabamba right now! So cool! We arrived yesterday and visited people in Hna Moscoso's first area. It's so cool to meet all these people she has told me about! Also, we are sleeping over at Hna Hill's apartment until Wednesday! It is still unreal to me that we are in the same mission. I feel so blessed to be able to chill with one of my best friends for three days when I am on mission! We're also going to the temple tomorrow which will be super cool to see everyone from the CCM. I am super nervous for the lesson we have to teach in the leadership training but I know the Lord will help to say what I need to!

Life is so good and I am so happy! I love this gospel so much and I know it is true with all my heart. I hope you are all doing well and I will try to send pictures next week!

Les amo mucho!!!!!

Hermana Gardiner

Answers to some of Sam’s questions:

Conference will be at the stake center (1 min away from mi casa) and we'll watch all 4 sessions! I'm super excited for this.

I'm doing great physically, the bed bugs are gone and I haven't really heard about fleas. I shower every day so I think I should be fine haha.

There are always a couple dogs on every street but I haven't had any problems with them.

We don't really ride buses much because our area is relatively small and since we are in the center everyone comes to our area on p-days and to go to the stake center. But here the little buses (vans) are called truffies

My favorite food... no sé... me gusta los platos que tienen ensalada.

For breakfast... haha... some days its oreos, or chocolate con auga caliente, or nothing, or fruit. It depends. This next transfer I plan on being better about breakfast haha.

I'm emailing in the same room as Hna Hill right now and we are sleeping over at their apt for three nights! So cool!

The weather is pretty mild. It gets hot mid afternoon but other than that it is super pleasant.

We walk everywhere... but I haven't gotten tired of it yet and I am yet to have my legs feel like they do after a day at Disneyland haha.
How did you get to Cochabamba? via a choppy plane ride haha.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A week of working with members


Hola Familia!

Como esta? It sounds like life is going well! Yay for the Utes. I am very happy about the win. The work is moving along here in Sucre! We are so busy everyday it is awesome. I feel like we have so many investigators it is hard to give them all the attention I want to!
This week we had Elder Calderon of the Area Seventy visit us and we had a big conference here at the stake center with all the missionaries from Sucre, Potosi, and Tupiza. It was super awesome and so fun! It was cool because Elder Calderon had given a devotional to us in the CCM and at that point I couldn't understand much at all and had to wear earphones with the translation in English, but this week I understood everything (with context clues for the words I didn't know haha)! I was very happy about this. Elder Calderon talked a lot about how our work is for Christ and really helped me focus on my role as a missionary to bring others unto Him. He also talked a lot about working with members which made Hna Moscoso and me so happy because we have been so focused on this. The night of the conference Elder Calderon had a meeting with all the bishops as well and as he was leaving with Pres. Dyer and the assistants we were finishing up a map we made of the ward mini-mission we created to help the members get involved in the missionary work. They liked the idea so much Hna Moscoso and I are going to go to Cochabamba next week to present the plan in the leadership training for zone leaders and sister training leaders. I'm super nervous about having to present in front of people in my broken Spanish, but it will be cool. We'll also probably get to go to the temple with everyone in Cochabamba which I am way excited about. It'll be cool to see Hna Hill and all my friends from the CCM!
This week was awesome! We taught so many awesome people and have one family (a mom and two children) that a member introduced us to that came to church on Sunday and has as baptismal date for the 19th of October. We also have Vanesa that is progressing super well towards her baptismal date on the 12th of October and 2 other young (18 and 21 years old) girls that have dates as well! The only sad news is the couple we have been working with... They have problems in their relationship that are making it hard for them to get married and be baptized. Tonight we are going to have to talk to them and see if they really want this and that they need to figure things out... that will be interesting haha.
Things are great and I am so so happy! I love you all so much! I love being a missionary as well, this work is truly the Lord's work and I feel so blessed to be a part of it!
 Hna Gardiner

Monday, September 16, 2013

I ATE CHUÑO

9/16/2013
Hola Familia!
This was a great week of working hard in the missionary work! Remember the pictures we took in the park? Well we delivered some of them and the result has been awesome! Every person that we delivered the pictures to were willing to listen to us and accept another visit! We taught one awesome family (parents and two little boys) the other day and they have so much potential! Hopefully things work out with them. Once were done handing out all the photos Hna Moscoso wants to do the activity again because we've been able to find such amazing people from it.
I finally ate chuño, which is the foot stomped/frozen outside potatoes, for the first time. Everyone is shocked that I made it 6 weeks without ever eating it haha. It wasn't that bad, but I definitely tried not to think too much about what I was eating haha.
This weekend was the Festival of the Virgin Guadalupe which involved a lot of folk dancing. Basically it was two days straight of a parade of dancing. I loved it!
This week was crazy with transfers. I went to the airport three times and the bus terminal twice to pick up and drop off hermanas that were traveling solo and needed companions. I met my "sister" (also trained by Hna Moscoso) Hermana Cordova which was cool. Also, my other "sister" Hermana Burton just got transferred to Sucre as a sister training leader so we had her stay with us the past two nights while her companion was getting sealed to her family in Cocha. It was fun to have other people with us. Everyone is so awesome!
I have three scriptures from my study this week that I loved: 2 Nephi 25:29, 3 Nephi 14:24-25 and 2 Nephi 26:31. They all kind of connect in the sense that everything we do needs to be centered on Christ. When we are determined to serve Christ in all we do we can be assured that all will work out in the end! What an amazing promise.
I love you all so much and hope all is well! Congrats Mom on the job!
Hna Gardiner

Monday, September 9, 2013

Buenos Días!

9/9/13
Hola familia!
So first off... Transfers.... Hna Moscoso and I are staying together here!!!! Yay. I am so happy. I have so much to learn from her in the next six weeks and know this is how it is supposed to be! She is the absolute best!
Oh, I cut Hna Moscoso's hair last week, that was exciting! After a day or two it looked okay.... haha jk her hair is curly so you couldn't really tell that I cut it other than the fact it was two inches shorter. It felt cool to channel my inner hairstylist. Also, I ate beets. A LOT of them. One meal for lunch half our plate was full of beets. It was quite the adventure, but I can now say that I like (only a tiny bit) beets. Missions are real exciting. haha.
Oh yeah! It turns out the zone leaders go to Cochabamba the beginning of every month so I got packages on Friday!!! Grandma's, Sean's, and Lisa Davis'! So nice and generous! Tell them all thank you so so much from me! I feel so blessed to have such great people in my life. I am definitely spoiled. Hopefully I get your packages the beginning of next month!
On Friday we also had companion exchanges with the sister training leaders. I went to the other area from 12 pm on Friday until 8 am Saturday morning. It was cool being in a different area and I learned a lot from Hna. Tinoco. I am definitely grateful for my area though and where we live. It just feels like home.
Thursday night we had a cool experience when we were looking for old investigators. We only went to two houses but ended up with three new investigators by the end of the night! The Lord provides the way when you are putting forth effort and trying to do your best!
The couple we are teaching are still great! But still need to get married. We are having fhe with them tonight (making lasagna) and hopefully that goes well! The work is moving along! We have four other investigators with baptismal dates so hopefully they continue to progress as well!
Last night we had a big meeting with the ward about member missionary work. We have the ward divided up like a mission with zones and districts. Each family has a paper to record weekly goals and actual numbers for investigators the bring to church, lessons with the missionaries, and friends they introduce to us. Everyone is super excited so hopefully it works and the members become more a part of the missionary work!
Life is so great! I love this work so much and feel so blessed to be a missionary! I know the church is true with all my heart! I love you all so much!
Con mucho amor,
Hna Gardiner

Monday, September 2, 2013

Week 5 in Sucre!


Sucre, Bolivia
Hola!

I cannot believe it is another Monday! The weeks are flying by! This week had its ups and downs but I am so amazed by how much the Lord has blessed me! First of all I read the letters you gave me for when I was feeling discouraged, they made me so happy and was exactly what I needed to hear! You are all the best! Also, yesterday we had an amazing lesson with the couple we are teaching! They, in tears, expressed their desire to have an eternal family and change their lives. I was then able to extend the invitation to be baptized. This was probably one of my favorite moments yet on the mission. Watching people that I truly love and pray for make the decision for themselves to follow Christ it the most rewarding thing in the world! They are working towards being baptized on the 21 of Sept and getting married on the 20th! Hopefully that all works out!

 Yesterday we had a district activity where Elder Robertson and I dressed up in Bolivian costumes (because we are the only two Americans in our district and they thought that we would attract the most attention haha) to take family photos with people at the Parque Bolivar. We are going to print the pictures and take them to the people’s houses and teach them about the Gospel and the role of families in it. It was funny and definitely out of my comfort zone. It was cool though. And even after we were out of pamphlets and Book of Mormons and were no longer taking pictures people were ASKING for appointments to learn more about our church! So so cool.

 My health is great! I literally have not had a problem and the bed bugs are gone for good. I took my clothes and sheets to be washed today because it would literally take me hours if I were to do myself. I do wash some clothes by hand every other week though and that works out well! I did have a blister on the bottom of my left forth toe, but it is totally gone now and me feet are as happy as ever! I love the food and look forward to every meal! My pensionista is awesome.

Life is so good and I am so so happy! I love being a missionary so much! Oh! I also love 2 Nephi 9. Such an awesome chapter of scripture! Our goal this week is to focus on getting new investigators so hopefully that goes well! The church is true! Love you all!

Love,

Hna Gardiner

Answers to Sam’s questions:

Transfers are on the 11th, and yes, you only travel if there is a change (which the zone leaders call this Sunday night with our assignments for the next transfer which should be no change for us).

Yeah, Sefany is with us and it is going great!

The conferences with Pres. Dyer are every three months and yes he travels to Sucre, but next time it'll probably be in Potosi and if I am still here I'll go to Potosi for that.

Monday, August 26, 2013

I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M STARTING WEEK 5!


8/26/13 Sucre, Bolivia

Hey fam!

First off, I love you all so much! The work is moving along here. I love it so much. It is funny because I still have moments where I look at my name tag and the city around me and can't believe that I am actually a missionary. It is so amazing and I feel so blessed to be a part of this work!

This week we did a lot of service for both members and investigators which was so great! We helped people learn English, cleaned houses, organized stores, did laundry... It is amazing the blessings that come from serving others! The day we spent the most time serving we had the most lessons and success!

We have a local sister in the stake that is supposed to go to Mesa AZ on her mission but can't get her visa and her date keeps getting pushed back (she was supposed to leave in May). Her mom asked if she could go out with us a couple times a week, but then we thought it would be cool to invite her to live with us and serve a mini mission for a month with us, so for the past week we've had a third companion! Her name is Stefany and she is doll. It is great to watch Hna Moscoso teach her because I learn so much more myself.

One day we had so many appointments we had another sister in our ward come with us so we could split up and teach more lessons. I was with Stefany and had to take the lead! It was kind of scary, but it was amazing how the Lord helped us teach. I felt especially blessed because I felt like I could explain myself in Spanish and teach by the Spirit. It was so great and I was so so happy. It so cool to be doing the Lord's work. It is a good thing the Lord qualifies the called, not calls the qualified. haha. Otherwise I definitely would not be here. Every day I have to trust in the Lord to make up for my weaknesses because I have so so many!

I am focusing on studying Chapter 10 in PMG which teaches us how to teach better! I love it and I can already see changes in my teaching as I apply these principles! I love PMG so much. I wish I had studied it more thoroughly before I left.

Good news, A couple we are teaching came to our ward! Every Sunday they have been going to their friend's ward that is after ours so when they came to ours we were so so happy! They even came to the stake fireside last night as well! We are just praying that they will decide to get married!!!!

 We have a lot of other investigators with dates, but none of them came to church yesterday which was a bummer, but hopefully this week we can help them continue to make commitments and keep them!

I love you all so much and I hope all is well!!

 Hna Gardiner

Answers to Sam’s questions:

Haha I get 'gringa' yelled at me a lot more than I hear 'la rubia' haha, but yeah, people do mention my hair!

Yeah, La Quiaca is still in my mission! The missionaries in Tupisa would be the ones serving there, but I honestly don't know if there are missionaries there or not right now. I hope so! That would be so cool to serve there...

Things are so great with Hna Moscoso. We get along so so well! I honestly don't know what I am going to do without her (she is most likely leaving Oct 23 which I think is the end of my second transfer... so I should have a full two transfers with her, unless President Dyer makes a change which Hna. Moscoso is really afraid of, and me too. She gives me great advice every day and leads by example. She is the best.

 Unless we feel prompted by the Spirit we never knock doors... we have so many references that if we don't have an appointment we are contacting those people!

We eat dinner at 8:00pm but we usually are working until 9:00 and then eat.

 We don't take siesta unfortunately......haha.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Being a missionary is the best! Highlights from the week.


When Hna Moscoso and I have comp study we start with a song. You all know how bad I am at singing... One day it was so bad Hna Moscoso and I were in tears from laughing so hard. She's trying to teach me to be better.

 I had bed bugs this week. Super fun. Don't worry mom, I washed my sheets and blanket and everything. They are all gone now thanks to following in the footsteps of my dear father and putting my mattress on the roof! That was fun!

Dulce de Leche is the new Nutella. I love it so much. so much.

It turns out the couple we are teaching aren't married... so we had to push back their date so they can get married. It’s awkward though because the husband wants to get married, but the wife is not sure... They have two boys 7 and 5. Hopefully the wife starts praying and reading the BoM so she can have a change of heart.

 We're teaching a girl that is 11 but her father doesn't want her to be baptized... so we keep having to push back her date to try to figure things out there.

Saturday the stake had a huge dance festival. It was probably one of my favorite moments on the mission so far (aside from spiritual experiences). The cultural dancing was so beautiful. I love this culture so so so so much!

I finally got the Spanish headache.. haha but I am actually starting to understand most things so that's great. I just need to work on my speaking!

Hna Moscoso is amazing and I am learning so much from her. This work is the best I love it!

I love you all so much, keep being amazing!!!!!! Good luck with everything!

Hna Gardiner

Monday, August 12, 2013

BEING A MISSIONARY IS THE BEST. YIBANA WAS BAPTIZED!


8/12/13

Hey fambam!

Life is so good here in Sucre, mom is right, it does look a lot like Europe. It's great! I love this city so so much and could not imagine serving anywhere else. I would say my area is pretty nice! Every house we go into has a couch, tv, etc.
I am going to go through my week by day like mom does for me:
Tuesday 6-it was Bolivia's Independence Day or something like that...haha. We had a huge ward activity and we had about 7 investigators there--most invited by their friends. SO COOL! The ward here is so amazing and I feel so blessed to work with them. We taught a couple, Gladys and JuanJose, they are so so prepared and accepted a baptismal date for the 24th of this month so hopefully it works out!!!!!!!
Wednesday 7-our first day of not having much success. I got a nice pat on the shoulder and a "welcome to the mission" haha.

Thursday 8-another day of little success. But it was still so so great:) Oh and I had my first mate... not a fan haha but I guess I'll have to get use to drinking it! It kinda tastes like dirt. Yummmm.

Friday 9-we had our zone meeting today (I didn't get any packages, so hopefully next transfer!) and my district surprised me with a cake for my birthday. It was super nice and I even got my face shoved it the cake haha. I guess that is how they do it here in Latin America! It was funny!!!!
Saturday 10-BAPTISM DAY FOR YIBANA! At 10:30 we met with Yibana to teach her a couple more concepts before the baptism so that was cool, then delt with some font problems-the water was dirty and wouldn't drain, at 1 we had tacos at the Bishop's house, 2 an awesome ward party where the Relief Society brought food from all 9 departments in Bolivia. That was cool. And then 4 was the baptism!!!!!!! It was so wonderful and Yibana was so happy. It was fantastic. Oh and we got a golden investigator, Miguel, and he accepted a baptismal date for the 25th!!! (He was taught by the missionaries in March and came to church then).
Sunday 11-I am 20!!!!! I hope you all feel old cause I sure do haha jkjk. My morning started off with trying to hurry and prepare my talk I had to give on retention in the ward. Real exciting. I used the three points from the front of the July ward newsletter. I was super desperate haha, but I got up there and talked. I know I made a fool of myself with the Spanish, but I hope the ward members appreciated my effort. Before my talk though, Yibana was confirmed!!! Best birthday present ever! We had another awesome lesson with Miguel and then it was time to head back to our casa for dinner. Everyone (familia Flores and the elders we eat dinner with) surprised me for my birthday, lights off, balloons, cake, and everything. It was so sweet. It was a great way to end my birthday!
I love being a missionary so much!!! Thanks for all your love and support and all the birthday wishes!!!!! I hope all is well!!!
Hna Gardiner

ah spiritual thought!
One of the most spiritual experiences this week was when I was reading Romans 8:38-39. These verses really made me realize the reality of God's love for each of His children. NOTHING can come in the way of his love for us. It is through our Savior that we can feel of his love by repenting of our sins and being comforted because He knows everything that we have been through. I have realized how important it is for the people I am teaching to understand how much Heavenly Father loves them and that they can be completely forgiven of their sins. I love this work so much!

Hna Gardiner

Answers to a few questions Sam asked: the weather is great, the food is rice, meat, potatoes, lots of veggies which is awesome, fresh squeezed juice, soup for lunch. We go to the stake center and my apartment is just up the street. It is great. And it is a ward (not a branch) that we are in!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sara's Last Three Letters - She made it to Bolivia

8/5/2013
Hola From SUCRE BOLIVIA!!!
Hey Family:)
I am alive and well in Sucre also known as the City of White or the City of Chocolate. Both are pretty neat. Before I knew where I was going Pres. Dyer said two sisters would be going to Sucre and the rest would be staying in Cochabamba. I pretty much knew I would be going to Sucre, I could just feel it. Haha. My trainer is Hermana Moscoso from Ecuador. I am her fourth daughter and she is dying on me... two weeks earlier than the "12 weeks of training" I am supposed to receive... so that will be interesting to see how that works out. She is the most amazing missionary ever. I keep notes of the good things she does in lessons because I want to be exactly like her. Her and her best friend in the mission opened our area last transfer and focused on working with members and have totally changed the way the missionary work is done here. It is awesome. She was not planning on training again... so I think it was hard at first when she found out she wouldn't be finishing her mission with her BFF, but she has an awesome attitude and that hasn't been a problem. She is absolutely hilarious and so fun to be around I have lucked out! She knows English super well so we communicate just fine. I hope that doesn't keep me from learning Spanish as well.
I love Sucre so much. I haven't suffered from culture shock or anything of the like, I feel like I belong here and love the culture so much! We live with our pensionista and everything she makes is delicious. There hasn't been one meal I haven't liked! Life is so good here. I love the people here so much as well. We have one investigator, Yibana, that should be getting baptized this Saturday! So exciting. My Spanish is super rough and sometimes I wonder if I feel like I am not super good at teaching because of the language barrier or I'm just a bad teacher haha. It'll come though... I'm not worried. It's funny, in lessons Hna. Moscoso will be teaching and then all the sudden she is looking at me, waiting for me to say something. Most the time I only have a vague idea of what is going on and the topic we are teaching. I just go by the Spirit and try to say something in my broken Spanish. It's exciting.
I'll tell you about my arrival to the mission... Our flight landed in Cochabamba and the President, his wife and lots of missionaries were waiting for us! It was great. We then went to a local hotel, had a 3 gigantic pizzas and went to bed. The next morning was spent doing paperwork for our visas and such. We ate lunch and then at 3 it was time to find out who our companions were and where we were going!!! So exciting. Since Hna Moscoso and I had a flight to Sucre the next morning we slept over at the hotel again (hna. Adams is the other new hna here!). I liked Cochabamba a lot, but my heart is definitely here in Sucre!
I got to talk to Hna. Hill on the phone last night so that was cool! It sounds like she is loving it. Hna. Moscoso trained her trainer so here in the mission I am Hna. Hill's aunt. Haha.
Today was an awesome P-day. For our zone activity we went on an hour van ride to the bridge that connects Chuquisaca (the department Sucre is in) with Potosi. It was so so cool. Even cooler than the Tower Bridge in London. I love this place so much! I have pictures that I tried to send but it didn't work... I'll try again.
Missionary work is the absolute best!!!! I love it so much!!!!!!!!!!
It sounds like life is crazy, but going well! I love you all so much! You are the best family in the whole world.
Love,
Hna Gardiner

7/31/2013
Hi Family!
I have made it safely to Cochabamba. I could not be happier! I love
President and Hermana Dyer and the city is so beautiful (at least what
I have seen)! I will write you more on Monday. Love you all so much!
Hermana Gardiner
 

7/23/2013
 
MY LAST PDAY IN THE CCM‏

Hello Family!

 A week from today I will be on a plane to Santa Cruz Bolivia and then a 6 hour bus ride to Cochabamba! So crazy and exciting. I cannot wait to get out in the field! I don't know how calling is going to work out, but I will definitely try my best to call you. I could be very early in the morning if I call before my flight. Just make sure to have your ringers on. If I don't call, don't worry, I'm still not sure if it will even happen. I will make sure to let you know I arrived safely in Bolivia as soon as I can.

This has been a great week of growing closer to my Savior. It is amazing how the Lord puts scriptures, lessons, devotionals, etc. in your path to help you come unto Christ if you are praying for that opportunity! I came across 2 Peter 1 which I loved! I especially loved verses 5-8 because they tied to the talk I told you about from President Monson and it explains what you need to do to gain knowledge of Jesus Christ, which is exactly what I am trying to do! I also started reading 'Our Pursuit for Happiness' which is so amazing. I love how simply Elder Ballard explains what we believe.

Today we are going to the temple and since I am in the best district at the CCM all the teachers are coming to our session and we get to have pizza after. I'm excited. Yesterday we took the big group picture and there were so many Hermanas. It was insane. They even took a picture of just us hermanas because it is the biggest group they have ever had. We had to line up in height order and surprisingly I was the second to last in height... I didn't think I was that short. Haha and my comp was the first in the line. So funny! We are quite the pair. I have really come to love Hermana Adams. It is amazing that she is on a mission right now and I am so grateful that she is here. I have learned so much from her! Oh by the way, Phillip Baker just got here, so that was cool to see a familiar face.

I don't have much more to say! I just love being a missionary and am so anxious to get out in the field. I am nervous about the Spanish, but I know with hard work and the Lord it will come. I know this gospel is true with all my heart. I can't wait to serve and love the people of Bolivia!

I love you all and hope you are all doing well!

Hna Gardiner!
Sisters at the MTC going to the Cochabamba Bolivia Mission

 

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 16,2013 I LEAVE THE CCM IN TWO WEEKS. CRAZY.

Hola Family!

It's been another great week here at the CCM with all the ups and downs of missionary life!

The coolest thing that happened this week was going proselyting (spelling?)! I didn't talk about it last time because we didn’t end up going because there was a huge Catholic festival going on, so Saturday was our first time out on the town! It was such an amazing experience! Hna. Adams and I had a teacher with us which was a huge blessing! We placed four Book of Mormons and handed out some pamphlets as well. We mostly knocked doors! It was so fun! We got into one house and it was the neatest thing ever! The lady who answered the door is named Mirian Saldoval Villegas. She is a gem. We even got in her house without help from our teacher. Anyways, Mirian is married with the cutest 3 kids in the world. They had such a great spirit about them. We taught her and her 7 year old son (which made me think of cute Emma) about the plan of salvation and a little about the Book of Mormon. The teacher that was with us did a lot of the talking in the actual lesson but I had many opportunities to teach and bare my testimony which was so awesome. I could feel the spirit so strongly in their little house and I knew she could feel it as well. She was so receptive to our message. Before we left she even got a picture with us and her kids. The teacher has a copy of it on her phone so hopefully I can get ahold of it so I can have the picture as well! Basically I am so stoked to get out in the field! I love talking with the people. It is so easy to love them.

I got your package with the Yellow Fever Card and your notes! Thank you so much. That was exactly what I needed! Tell Emma thanks for the glow in the dark dog! I can't wait to get it when I get home. The other yellow fever card you sent in the mail came and since it was blank and Hna. Forsey forgot her yellow fever card the lady in the office had her fill out her info on it. Haha. So both were put to use! You're the best momma!

I read the talk 'come all ye sons of God' by President Monson. It is such an amazing talk! I recommend it to anyone interested in being a missionary whether in the field or at home! He tells us to ask ourselves at the end of the day 'Today, have I increased in faith, in virtue, in knowledge, in godliness, in love?' I have been trying to do this and it has been a good goal for me to have!

Yesterday we played a super sweet soccer game during physical activity! It was so fun. I'm pretty sure I'm going to try out for the BYU woman's soccer team when I get back. Haha.

Life is so good! Heavenly Father is always there to lift us up when we're in need! I have seen that so much here! I love being a missionary and already know I will never regret my decision to be here. If anyone is trying to decide whether or not to go on a mission, I say go! It is the most amazing, fulfilling experience in the world! Nothing is better than testifying of Jesus Christ!

I love you all so much!

Hna. Gardiner:)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pictures!

Sara and McKenna at the airport with Sister Adams before Sara knows Sister Adams will be her companion!

The sisters from Sara's District in front of the Lima Peru Temple

Sara with Sister Black at the Lima Peru MTC