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


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!

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

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!


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.