Monday, March 31, 2014

Two thumbs up!

Hola familia!
I am so happy and all is well!
I got to see the yw conference! We watched a recording last night is the stake center. It was so beautiful and I learned so much! I learned that the work I am doing now is so so important to help the women and young girls I am teaching realize their potential and importance as a woman today. Also, it is a great opportunity to help them realize how much the Lord loves them and is ready to bless them if they make and keep covenants with Him. It also made me so grateful for a mother that taught me how much my Heavenly Father loves me and that I should live worthy to return and live with him! I feel so blessed to be a woman in this world today and have the opportunity to be an example and help others understand and see the beauty we can find if we are focused on serving the Lord!
We had huge blessings Saturday and Sunday! It was fast Sunday because of conference, so we were fasting especially for Marina Velarde (i sent the pic a couple weeks ago with her and her two babies) and her family. Her husband hasn't wanted anything to do with the church, but Saturday night we went to visit her with a member and he was there! We were able to teach him about how the family can be eternal and the member was able to answer a lot of his doubts about the different churches there are in the world. The spirit was strong and we invited him to come to church with his family so he, for himself could see what the church really is like. And the biggest miracle of all is that he actually came! It was incredible! He was smiling and seemed like he enjoyed it. Also, because it was fast and testimony meeting the spirit was so strong as the members shared their testimonies of the truth! It was perfect. We can only hope and pray that the spirit touched his heart and he will continue to have the desire to learn more. We'll see how it goes when can teach him again this weekend!
Life is great and we are working hard. It is the last week of the transfer so when I write next week I'll know what will happen with Hna Perez and I. Our goal is that hopefully we can have more investigators with baptismal dates this week! Sorry this letter is short!
I love you all so much!!!

Hermana Gardiner

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


 me and my compys
 our zone
my cute district
I am alive and well and made it my first (almost) week here in the MTC. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be here.
Here is a typical day for me:
6:30 wake up, get ready.
7-7:45 eat breakfast.
7:45-11:50 personal study, companionship study, language study
11:50-12:35 eat lunch
12:40-4:30 more study, teach our investigator Gregory
4:30-9:30 Language with Soeur Judas
I am NOT going to sugar coat my experience here. It is HARD. Very hard. I have definitely been pushed to my breaking point. The food is hard to eat. I have not gotten a lot of sleep. I have needed to rely a lot on prayer. It has been an awesome testimony building experience. The lord definitely qualifies the called, and it is not an easy process.
I am in a lovely tripanionship. Which definitely has its ups and downs. Particularly downs. It is hard enough to stick to one person, let alone two. Both of my companions are going to the West Indies. Both are 23 and 24 and have graduated from college. One is from Florida, is Haitian, and converted to the church when she was 18. She's sassy and fabulous and constantly talks about Dwyane Wade.The other is from LA. It has been quite an interesting experience getting to know them both but I am growing to love them. When it is hard, I just pray and ask for patience. I have definitely felt the lord bless me with that. I am SO different from both of them. But it’s okay.
The french speaking missionaries are the coolest ones in the whole MTC. I love everyone in our zone and the other french speaking zone. Six missionaries going to New Caledonia left yesterday, and I wanted to stowaway in their suitcases so badly haha. I will miss them, they are awesome missionaries. The Tahitians also left after being here for 12 WHOLE WEEKS. Shout out to Elizabeth Watkins who will LOVE the MTC and is probably one of the only people I know who has faith enough to endure it for that long. Liz, you will LOVE IT. Oh, and another shout out for you Liz--The kid who plays Thomas Dobson on Ephraims Rescue is my Zone leader. He's going to Lyon. He doesn't really have a british accent, haha.
Here we call people according to where they’re going/what they speak. The Tahitians, the Frenchies, the Creoles, the Canadians, and then... us. Haha our district is just kind of a melting pot. In our district we have my tripanionship, and then two elders who are both going to New Caledonia. Elder Simmons is from West Valley and Elder Tempany is from Australia. Have you ever heard someone with an Australian accent speak french? Pretty sure his voice was sent from heaven haha. Once the Canadians leave this week, we will be the only girls left speaking French for at least two more weeks. So that will be interesting.
The french is coming! It has been amazing to see how much I remember just from high school. The whole immersion thing we do here really helps. I am getting better and better at understanding french everyday. It's just the responding in french that’s tough. But I love it, and Soeur Judas is so cute, and an amazing teacher. She's from France, so that is pretty neat.
Well, that’s about it!! I love and miss you all so much. THE CHURCH IS TRUE.
Avec l'amour,

Soeur Gardiner

Monday, March 24, 2014


Hello dear family!!!
This was a great week! I just love being a missionary so much!
Yesterday I had one of the most beautiful experience of all my mission. I was so set that we were going to have a lot of investigators at church because we had worked so hard, invited EVERYONE we talked to, and even did a special fast for our investigators so they could start progressing and I was trying my best to exercise all the faith I had. As you can imagine I was devastated when no one came to church, but when I was partaking of the sacrament I felt peace and knew I was not alone. Then, in the Gospel Principles class we talked about faith and action. I felt like, "Okay, I just have to have to work harder with the members in inviting them to help us pick up the investigators for church, because I have been lacking on that." I felt like I knew what I needed to do to have more success the next week. In Relief Society the lesson was on trusting in the Lord, especially in our afflictions. This brought me peace and comfort and I knew the Lord would bless us in his timing. AND HE DID! As the other ward that is after ours was leaving their sacrament meeting, out walked two of our investigators, Rosemary and Wilson!!! They arrived late and couldn't find us so they just entered with the other ward. I almost started crying... actually I'm pretty sure a couple tears fell from my eyes because I was so happy and felt so so blessed. Heavenly Father heard my prayers! It was incredible! I felt so strongly the love of the Lord in this moment. I know with all my heart we are never alone and the Lord is always with us! Rosemary and Wilson loved the meeting and are excited to come back the next Sunday! Rosemary also has a date for her baptism the 12th of April, and this week we will definitely invite Wilson to be baptized with his wife!
This week I also had another intercambio with Hermana Bolaños. I was great! We had a beautiful lesson with some less actives so that was great. I always learn so much from Hna. Bolaños. She is a great teacher and has a great love for everyone. We also had a FHE with a family and we almost got stuck with finding a home for a baby kitten at 9pm so that was interesting. Haha it was great remembering our time in Sucre. I sure miss Sucre. My family from Sucre (my pensionista Estella and Leidy) are coming to the temple this Friday/Saturday so Leidy can receive her endowment before she leaves on the mission April 10! Hopefully we can get permission, or work it out that we can see them. I sure miss them and love them! The mission really is incredible. All the people we get to know and love. It is one of a kind. I am so grateful for my decision to go on the mission! I will never forget this time here in Bolivia! Oh, I also found out I have a semi-convert!!! Domy from Sucre, who I taught the first 3 lessons to, finally got baptized! I was so happy to hear this. She is so great!
The update here in Cocapirhua is that after two days of blockados they figured things out with the dump and everything, but we've asked and nobody knows what the final result was. So funny. The other day we were in Esquilan Grande (the fields) and we set up an appointment with two of our investigators and their friends. I was on the intercambio when we had the lesson, but Hna. Perez told me that the people just kept coming and coming as they were teaching and wanted to listen. We ended up getting 6 new investigators in this one lesson and they all want to read the Book of Mormon as well! So cool! We have another lesson with all of them Friday, so we'll see how that goes! Things are moving along and we have a lot of hope that our investigators will start progressing!
Wellp, life is good! I love you all and the Church is true!

Hermana Gardiner

Monday, March 17, 2014


This week was a good week! We saw so many blessings and miracles! We went with a member to visit an investigator and she wasn't home usually we would go back a different way but she said that there was by chance a different road and we decided that we would see if we could find it. We then ran into two cholitas, Margarita and Ximena, that the member knew. We were able to teach them and they accepted baptismal dates! It was definitely the Lord that directed us to go on this street and put them in our path. Oh sad news.. the Ala family have stopped progressing completely so we hope that this week our other investigators can start progressing and we can know better who we need to focus on!
I have also learned this week that I have so so many weaknesses. I feel like the more I am trying to do my best here in the mission, the more I realize I need to do better and change. This talk by Elder Bednar-- has really helped me have a better perspective of what my focus should be and how I can apply the atonement more in my life. It talks about how the atonement is the enabling power that we have to become the best people we can be and is the power to help us do what we cannot do alone! This is so so true. I have felt so many times that I cannot do it. But then I am able to remember my Savior, and that I am not alone. I know that he can help us in every situation if we just turn to him and put our faith in him!
Things are getting exciting here in Colcapirhua. Some city leader sold land out in the area of Esquilan Grande (this is the area of fields with all the cholitas:)) to put a garbage dump for ALL OF COCHAMAMBA and other smaller cities. Let’s just say the people are not pleased. They but garbage all over the city building and blocked the door so people can't enter. They also put donkeys on the steps. It's great. I hope that they don't end up having the dump here cause it is so so pretty and great and the dump would just bring in bad smells and animals... so we'll have to see what happens haha.
Oh this last Friday night we had a special dinner with President Dyer and Hermana Dyer! It was so great. Let’s just say that I don't think I have been so happy to eat a taco salad with ranch dressing in all my life. It was to celebrate the Relief Society and also because Hermana Dyer's friends were visiting and she wanted us to meet them. It was a good ol time with Hna Hill, Hna Black, Hna Forsey, and Hna Alford as we were basically celebrating our nine month mark as well!
Wellp! I hope all goes well getting Molly off! I am so excited to be serving at the same time as Molly! What a cool opportunity! I hope you all have a great week and know I love you all so much!!

Hermana Gardiner        

Monday, March 10, 2014

I'm a surviver.... of CARNAVAL

Hola mi familia!
Like the title says... I survived Carnaval. A little wet, but I survived. haha. We enjoyed two afternoons brushing up on the Restoration and the lives of the pioneers. We found Hna Burton's DVD of the D&C videos that that was funny. The children here have no mercy and get everyone wet! But it was fun as well. It is cool to get to know another culture. They definitely celebrate Carnaval more than Christmas here.
This was a week full of faith and hard work! It feels so good to give everything to this work. Sometimes we don't see the results right away, but I know that the Lord will bless us in His time. Whenever I feel like my faith is starting to weaken, if I am discouraged or something like that, I start singing "tengo fe! tengo fe! tengo fe!" (I have faith) haha I am sure my companion is getting sick of it but it helps me stay positive and have faith!!! We had a huge blessing this Sunday and that was that Delia came to the stake conference! We have been working with her for a long time but her mom never gave her permission to come to church. It was so great to see her there and I am sure she was able to feel the special spirit of the conference. I have faith that she will continue to progress!
This was a special stake conference from Salt Lake for all the stakes here in Bolivia! It was so great! I learned so much. It was so cute, Sister Reeves from the General Relief Society Presidency gave her talk in Spanish. She was so nervous and trying so hard. It really brought the spirit because we could feel her love and desire to connect with the people here. Elder Nelson also talked. The spirit was so so strong as he talked about how special the Cochabamba temple is and the people are as well! Bolivia really is an incredible country.
We got to go with José to the temple as he did baptisms for the dead for the first time. It was so amazing and the smile on his face was incredible. He is so excited to go back and bring his own family names!! This work really is one of a kind! His wife should have her baby any day. This is the only thing that is getting in the way of her getting baptized, so hopefully everything can work out and she can start coming to church! I feel so blessed to know this family!
This week I read my patriarchal blessing every day. This brought me so much strength and help! It is such a blessing to have this guide in my life. I still remember how strong the spirit was the day I received my blessing and I know that it really was the Lord that gave me this blessing and insight into my life. As I read my blessing it also gives me a greater desire to do what is right and give my all so that I can receive the blessings that are there!
I hope all is well! Have a fun last week with Molly! You guys are the best, I love you all so much!!!!
Les AMO!

Hermana Gardiner

Monday, March 3, 2014

Life is good!‏

 One of my favorite families! We are also teaching her two older children. 
 They are so great!

 The district at the Christ Statue acouple weeks ago
Us with Nohelia and Delia!
Hey fam!
We had another week full of miracles! We are teaching two sisters, Nohelia (24 yrs old) and Delia (19 yrs old), they are great and really love learning about the gospel and are progressing in their personal study and prayer! They only problem is that they work Sundays and haven't made it to church. Last night we went with the ward mission leader to visit them and it ended up being an amazing lesson! The spirit was so strong and testified that if we really act on our faith and trust in what the Lord needs us to do we will receive the help we need. They committed to come to church this next Sunday! I am so excited to see what will happen with them!
Last night I had a great experience after we returned to the house for the night. I was feeling like I needed help and direction. I opened the scriptures to Alma 37 and every word I read was just what I needed. I love what Alma says about faith and obedience! With these two things we really can receive miracles from God! I know with all my heart that Heavenly Father is our father and is ready to give us the guidance and help we need! He loves us all so much! I am excited to focus this transfer on really loving everyone and helping them find what they need through the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Today and tomorrow is carnaval so we have to be in our house at 4:00pm and can't leave after that. It really isn't too bad here in colcapirhua so that is good. What they do here for Carnaval is they get everyone wet. Haha, but I have only gotten wet once Saturday when someone threw water at us from their car. It was amazing yesterday that we didn't get wet at all. There were tons of kids getting everyone wet, but when we walked by they didn't do anything to us. It was like we had a shield around us. It was cool. 
We had an exciting service activity last Saturday... we cut a field of tall grass with machetes. Let me just say, it's a lot harder than you think it would be. But it was funny to try to do it. We also did a lot of service washing clothes and dishes Tuesday, so that was fun too!
Oh I forgot to tell you how Jose is doing! He is progressing so so well! It really is the cutest thing ever. Every time we go to visit him he tells us about what his is reading in the Book of Mormon, the Restoration pamphlet, and in the Gospel Principles manual! He is a testimony to me of the power of the Holy Ghost in helping us learn. He is learning so much so fast now that he has the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He's going to go to the temple this Saturday to do baptisms for the dead. So cool! We still need to get to work teaching his wife. With her pregnancy it is hard to talk to her because she is sleeping a lot of the time, but we should finally teach her this week.
Wellp. I am as happy as a peach (maybe because it is peach season here and I am enjoying it to its fullest!) and all is well here! I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for us this week! I love you all so much and I hope all is well! Good luck with Molly's farewell and sending her off!
Les AMO Mucho!!!!!!

Hna Gardiner