Monday, August 26, 2013


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



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

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.
Hna Gardiner

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


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