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!


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!



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