Friday, July 19, 2013


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


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

Letter July 9, 2013

This week was another great week of learning and growing! On Sunday my district was in charge of the special musical number and we all sang A Child´s Prayer together. Hermana Hill and I made eye contact when I was singing because only she knows how funny it is that I was singing in front of over 100 missionaries. The spirit was so strong while we sang. It was awesome. Earlier on Sunday Hermana Adams and I taught our district Sunday School lesson which was on the Developing Christlike Attributes chapter in PMG, which is my favorite chapter in PMG, hence why we volunteered to teach the lesson. It was so great. I loved studying and preparing for it! It is amazing how as a missionary the Lord reveals to you your weaknesses, but also provides a way to make you better. I have found my answers to my shortcomings in chapter six. Luckily the Lord does not expect us to do it alone, with faith and prayer we can become better!
It sounds like you all had a great Fourth of July! That makes me happy! Here in the CCM they decorated the cafeteria in red white and blue and had "American" food which was basically like a thanksgiving dinner with three kinds of meat and a giant American flag cake. It was so fun!
We went to the temple today and my companion was in charge of taking a group of new missionaries to the temple for the first time. We got everyone where we needed to go safe and sound. The temple was so awesome today! I learned so much. It is amazing how much Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us!

I love the Book of Mormon so much! It has the answer to every question. It amazes me how it even answers questions that I didn't even know I was asking. Ha-ha. I saw this happen this morning as I was reading Alma 32 for my "investigator" Carla and I was also spiritually edified beyond what I could imagine. This gospel is so amazing. I love everything about it.

The Spanish is coming along, I feel different about it every day. Ha-ha. I think I just need more confidence, because I get tripped up on trying to figure out exact words when it would be better just to move on and my teachers would still understand what I'm saying. My biggest struggle is finding a balance between speaking Spanish and focusing on the spirit in lessons. It'll come.

Dad asked what I do for exercise. Usually we do squats, pushups, abs and such for 10-15 minutes and then I try to run for the rest of the time. I love it. I feel more in shape than before I left even though we're fed tons of food here ha-ha. There is also volleyball and soccer which is fun as well especially with the Latinos.
My district is absolutely amazing. There is a great spirit and we are all trying our best.
I hope all is well at home! It sounds like things are getting back to normal! Good luck with everything and know I love you so much.
Hermana Gardiner

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sara's first three letters from the Peru MTC

I am in Peru safe and sound :) I am loving it. The flights were great especially because of the little package I got to open! Thank you all so so so much for your notes and pictures! (especially Kate for the bracelet!). All my luggage is here and I feel like I have everything I need (thanks Mom!). I hope you all know how much I love you and am grateful for all your support. I am blessed with such a wonderful family!
My companion is from Tuscan AZ. She is also going to Cochabamba and is such a joy to be around. I already have a great love for her as I try to serve her and help her feel comfortable here. The living arrangements are basically like a glorified Helaman Halls ha-ha. Six girls to a room with a tiny closet :) it's fun.

Today we are going to meet with the Mission President and stuff so that will be cool, then tomorrow the real MTC life begins (we got to sleep in until 8:30 today which was much needed because we didn't get to bed until after 3:00am!). I love being a missionary so much, especially having the name tag on me! It makes it real. It is cool to have my focus on being a representative of Christ 100% of the time (which it should have been already, but I definitely wasn't good at that). This gospel is true. It is so cool to see so many other young people here with me (70 SISTERS!! The biggest group of sisters here ever)!
I must go, time definitely flies when trying to type an email ha-ha. But don't forget that I love you all! You are seriously the best family in the world. I love this work and can't wait to get started!
Hermana Gardiner

Hola Familila!

Tuesday's are my p-day. This is the first time there has ever been more Americans in the Peru MTC than Latinos. So many American hermanas. It's awesome! I absolutely love being here. The spirit here is amazing. It is super intense though. Like holy cow. Haha. We had to teach our first progressing investigator last night... Eh. It was muy mal.

The food is so so so good. It's basically really yummy flavorful rice, meat, potatoes, and tons of veggies (especially cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower which I am cherishing because I won’t be eating that in Bolivia). There are also really weird and really good desserts. Also, I've been eating eggs every day for breakfast. You'd be proud of me momma!

My days usually consist of waking up at six, getting ready, eating breakfast, studying, class, more class, lunch, personal study, physical activity, more studying, class, dinner, more class, daily planning, getting ready for bed, and sleeping. Holla. It is so great. I love it!! Having a schedule is fun. It's sometimes frustrating though because I don't feel like I have enough time to do everything I need to do and study all I need to study. My favorite part of the day is physical activity! It is so fun to run around and remind myself I have a body that can move.

My teachers are great here at the CCM. They know enough English to communicate with us, but they primarily talk in Spanish. My district consists of 8 hermanas and 4 elders. Five of us hermanas are going to Cochabamba so that is fun! Our district is the only district out of all the new districts that have p-day today, everyone else’s is on Thursday. I'm glad mine was today because I was so excited to email you! In class we have learned how to introduce ourselves, pray, and bear a simple testimony. Its frustrating por que they have not taught us any grammar or and expect us to be able to teach lessons in Spanish already! Our lesson last night was seriously so bad. Our investigator Francisio FELL ASLEEP on us. So bad. It was interesting, but a good learning experience. We have to teach him again tonight, so hopefully that goes better! It is interesting because every companionship in my district has one companion that is semi competent in Spanish except Hna. Adams and I. And out of our companionship I have the most experience, which you all know is basically nothing. Heavenly Father definitely pushing me out of my comfort zone and making me work hard and more than I ever have before. I had a cool experience last night though, on Sunday I picked a Crist like attribute to work on this week. I picked patience. When I knelt down to pray last night I instantly felt the Spirit whisper to me that I need to be patient with God and myself when it comes to learning the language. I will defintinitely be needing patience in this process. I just want to teach and speak perfectly right now!! It will come through and I will work for it! I wouldn't be able to do this without Jesus Christ and a loving Heavenly Father. I have already learned how important it is to rely on the Lord and I'm sure I'll have many more opportunities where that becomes even more clear to me.

I absolutely love Sundays here at the CCM! Sunday was so awesome! I hope you all saw the missionary broadcast! How cool was it that they showed Lima Peru on the screen! I started crying. I can't believe I am a missionary especially being trained in Lima. So awesome. Such a blessing and wonderful experience. You guys are great examples of loving everyone around you and I think you all have great work to do as member missionaries. You guys are the best!

For p-day we went to the temple which was so great and went to a Wal-Mart type store and got some Peruvian treats! It was so great. I love being outside the walls of the CCM. We get to go contacting on the streets on Saturday! I am so excited!

I love this work so much. It is the BEST.

Yo se que al inglesia es verdadera! Yo se que Jesu Crist es mi Salvitor. Yo se que Thomas S. Monson es la profeta y el Libro de Mormon es la palbara de Dios! En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Don't judge me for that testimony, I am in a hurry and couldn't check if it is right haha.
Hermana Sara Gardiner

Well the coolest thing that happened this week was that Elder Christofferson came to the CCM!!!!!! The 100th stake in Peru was made this weekend so Elder Chirstofferson came to be a part of the festivities. We had been told that he would probably be too busy to visit us, but he came on Friday! It was so awesome. The rarely have apostles visit here so it was a big deal. He was eating in the cafeteria while we had our physical activity time. We were playing volleyball close to there and as I was about to serve he stepped out to say hello to us! Luckily I got the ball across and I didn't embarrass myself too much in front of him ha-ha. He joked around for a second. What a great man. He shared great thoughts with us and did a question and answer session as well (Hna. Hill even asked a question!). We got to shake his hand and say hello. It was great.
Another cool thing was on Sunday when we watched an old devotional from February at the Provo MTC and I saw Marissa Anderson in the choir singing! I almost cried I was so excited ha-ha.

Basically yesterday was my favorite day at the CCM yet. Our lesson with our new progressing investigator was really lead by the Spirit, it was awesome. Yesterday was also the first day that I really felt like myself ha-ha. I just felt so so good. My personal study was fantastic. I played soccer and didn't make a fool of myself so that was fantastic. It was over all just a really great day.

The Spanish is coming along slowly but surely. It is a fun yet frustrating process. I love the language though and can't wait to get out in the field!