Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dallin H. Oaks, Cafe Rio, and leaving the nest‏

Elder Jonathan Downs! He's a cute elder, even on a P Day. He got here last week and he left today to Kansas!

 Elder Abbate, cutest French elder ever. He LOVES America, especially cheeseburgers. He has learned all of the English he knows from American TV shows, and so he has said a few embarrassing things. He has American flag ties, and even an american flag above his bed. He sings and dances to Let it Go in French, and it is hilarious. He has been helping us with our French, and we have been helping him with his English.
 I love taking selfies because you really get to see people's personalities come out
  Our zone, in blue this week. :)
 Me and Sister Leah Mouritsen, headed to Jamaica!

BONJOUR mes cheries. Here we are at the final week! Oh, what a wonderful thought.
Last Tuesday, we were graced with a talk from Elder Oaks. Yes, that makes THREE apostles in one week! Honestly, the Lord is looking out for me. With everything else that's going on here, hearing these apostles speak have made it all worth it. Elder Oaks laid down the law like he usually tends to do. He gave us some incredible advice. Anyone can change, anyone can achieve, but it takes real hard work and sacrifice to BECOME a missionary. It was an amazing talk! We have been so, so blessed here.

Nothing much has changed! Just getting ready to leave on Sunday. Mom, I can buy a calling card here in the MTC. I have no clue how to use it but it has instructions on it so I can figure it out. Luckily for us I'll most likely be able to skype you all next week! I can't wait to let you know what the island is like.
It feels like it has been a lifetime since I was back at home. I have changed so much, but only in good ways. I feel ready to get out and work hard!!

Last week, two elders from Vanuatu came who are going to Tahiti. I LOVE them. They are so so cute and humble! I am so excited to be around those wonderful people for the next year and a half. Every time I see them (there super shy so I haven’t actually talked to them, other than saying "bonjour!"...) it just gets me so pumped to teach those amazing people. I already love everyone in New Caledonia and I haven't even been there yet!
Sunday will be a beautiful day! Elder Simmons and I are already excited to feed our mate Elder Tempany his first meal at Cafe Rio. We are glad we get to give him a taste of America that is better than the MTC cafeteria. :) Only sad part is, because we cross the international dateline while we're flying, Cinco de Mayo doesn't even happen for us. Hahaha.

Here is my official New Caledonia address!
Soeur Molly Gardiner
Bureau de la Mission
BP 15154
98 804 Noumea Cedex
Nouvelle Caledonie

I love you all! I hope you have a good week. Next you hear from me, I will be in paradise and serving the Lord! I cannot wait.

Soeur Gardiner

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Joyeuse Paques!!! :)

 Excited to open the easter package!!!
 My companions were way impressed that these were hand-crafted, not store-bought!
 It was a very happy easter!!
Every week our branch color-coordinates. It has been a tradition for a long time apparently! My companion only owns red, black, and navy. So here are us sisters in red! The new girls are both 23 and done with college as well. I am definitely the baby of the pack.
 Our whole new zone! One new district is Haitian-Creole speaking going to Florida, and everyone else who is new is going to Paris. 
 We love our district!
 Getting creative with the angles.
we love missionary selfies.
I think everyone should spend an Easter in the MTC. It has been such an amazingly spiritual weekend! The MTC really helps put things into perspective. Easter was so Christ-centered, it was incredible. I am so grateful for my Savior and his Atonement. Without him, I would be nothing.
On Sunday we had a giant sacrament meeting for the whole MTC, and Dieter F. Uchtdorf came and spoke. It was pretty incredible because he is the first member of the First Presidency that has come to the MTC in 4 years, so we got pretty lucky! (And last Tuesday, Elder Andersen came and spoke. Double whammy!) Uchtdorf's talk was INCREDIBLE. It was the perfect combination of an Easter talk and a missionary talk. I wish the whole church could have heard it! Essentially, what he talked about was how before Christ's death and resurrection, the apostle Peter was afraid. He had the beginnings of courage, but ultimately, he was scared. He denied Jesus thrice. But then, once he saw Jesus resurrected, he became a fearless missionary who "feared no man." He was able to preach the gospel even at the risk of his own life. This isn't "doctrine," but tradition says that when Peter was imprisoned, his testimony was SO powerful that they constantly had to replace his guards because he kept converting them. Uchtdorf said that Christ gives us the power to "fear no man" as missionaries as well. We cannot be afraid! As missionaries, we are essentially the extended arm of the 12 apostles. It is our duty to teach and testify fearlessly. It was exactly what I needed to hear!
Then, kind of a funny story. I love my compy, she is 23. Anyway, so as we were leaving the meeting she decides that she MUST meet Uchtdorf, and that she had been praying that she would be able to talk to him. So, she starts running around the building to get to the door that he would come out of. On our way, we ran into a member of our Branch Presidency and his wife, the Dowlings. My comp asked if they had seen him come out yet and they said they weren't sure. Anyway, so we stood there for a second, and lo and behold, he came out of the door! He shook our hands and wished us a happy Easter, which was pretty cool. 
Well I hope you all have an amazing week! Gardent la foi. (Keep the faith.) Love you all!

Soeur Gardiner       

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter, the most wonderful time of the year!‏

Me and Hermana Nieves, my cute companion, in the middle!
Hello my dear family!
We are working, working and working and it is so so fun. I just really love this work so much, I wish we had more time in the day to visit more people and talk with more people. I just love being a missionary. Like, right now I am so excited for tomorrow and all the lessons we have planned. I feel like the days are passing so quickly and that there isn't enough time to do all we need to do!
The work is moving along and there is always someone to teach which is great. I think the reason why I love teaching so much is because every teaching experience is an opportunity to feel the love that God has for every one of his children. We are teaching a mom (Maribel) and her daughter (Maria Consuelo). We had taught Maribel the Plan of Salvation and she wanted us to teach it to her daughter as she was washing her clothes in the water hole buy their house. Another lady was washing her clothes and he little kids were just sitting there waiting. This little boy that was probably 3 or 4 came and sat down right next to me and listened quietly as we were teaching. As I looked into his big brown eyes I had a special moment where I really could feel how much God loves him and is aware of him and the grand potential this little boy has as a son of God. His mom wasn't very interested in listening to us, but I hope one day when this little boy has grown older, that the missionaries will find him and he will have the desire to listen to them as he listened to us this day.  It is sad to see how some of the people have to live here. I am determined that the Lord has chosen very very special spirits to live the way they do! The people here are incredible.
We were able to put a baptismal date with Jessica, the daughter of Marina Velarde. She has come to church many times but hasn't wanted to accept a set baptismal date. We were able to set one for the 3rd of May, but she still wanted a firm confirmation that this is the right day. The miracle was that this Sunday the Gospel Principles class was about baptism and the spirit was so strong as a recent convert shared her testimony of being a member and her decision to get baptized. I know the Lord is looking out for our investigators and is always there to help them learn and understand what they need if they really are searching. Mayli ended up going on a trip for two weeks... so it looks like she won't be getting baptized on the third. So so sad, because she is so prepared, but hopefully everything can work out after she gets back! We also have more investigators with baptismal dates and have started teaching the Ale family again, we feel like now they are prepared and ready to accept the gospel!
The pday with Pres. Dyer was fun! And we ate really really good food, with a dessert of brownie with marshmallow and chocolate frosting (like mom makes) so that was good! Our pensionista is going to move out of our area so we had to find a new pensionista for the next month, which I think will be good for my companion because she is struggling with adjusting to the food and our new pensionista will be more willing to help us with that. My companion is just great like I said last week! We are becoming better friends and we are able to work well together. The funny thing though is that we both struggle when it comes to singing haha so when we sing in appointments with our investigators it gets interesting haha. It’s great.
I hope you all had a great Easter! I have always loved this holiday. I don't know why, but it is extra special to me. This year was so beautiful to celebrate Easter here in the mission, because it really is here that I have learned more about my Savior and strengthened my testimony of Him. I know with all my heart that he knows and loves every one of us individually! It is only through Him that we can return to our Father in Heaven. He is willing to do anything for us as we repent and work every day to be a little more like Him. I know that he is the perfect example for us and if we really try to be like Him we will have more and more happiness in our lives. And most of all I know He lives! He is our Savior!
I love you all!

Hermana Gardiner

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Refiner's Fire

 We love temple walks!
 The whole zone, before the other two districts left for France and Florida
 Temple walks tend to be rainy
Saying goodbye to Elder Shaw and Elder Frost, going to Lyon France
3 Nephi 24:2 But who may aabide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a brefiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap.
Heavenly Father shapes us to become what he wants us to be, through the trials and experiences we are given. I think it was a young women's leader who told me that when a silversmith is refining silver, he knows it is ready when he can see his reflection in the silver. I love that. Christ is our silversmith, and our ultimate goal is to have Him see Himself in us. It takes a lot of time, and a lot of pressure, but the outcome is worth it.
The MTC definitely has been a refiner's fire for me. I don't think my faith has ever been tested this much before. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. But I can feel it changing me for the better.
While studying the Doctrine and Covenants, my seminary teacher told us that like Joseph Smith, we would all have our own personal Liberty Jail experiences. Times when our faith would be tested to the extreme. This is definitely the closest it has gotten to that for me. Classes are long, the food is killing me, but man, I have had to rely so much on my savior, and that has made this experience worth it. There is no place I would rather be.
French is coming along. It's weird, they hardly TEACH any French to us. They pretty much expect us to teach ourselves. It's been an interesting process, but it has been good. I love the language so much. I can tell that I am improving.
I have thought SO much about my Savior and his Atonement while I have been here. Make sure you take time to recognize what our Savior has done for you every day, especially with Easter coming up. He has done so much for us.
Well I love you all! Happy Birthday Emma, Peter, and Kate!!! I hope you all have had/will have good birthdays. Happy Easter!

Soeur Gardiner

Monday, April 14, 2014


Hi family!
First off I will tell you all about my companion. Her name is Hermana Nieves (snow in english), she is from Lima Peru, she just turned 21 in January, she is studying to teach kindergartenish aged children, she is a convert as of 8 years (with 3 of her 5 siblings) and her parents are not members, and she is incredible!!!!! She is such a great missionary and I have learned so much from her!!!! She has such great desires to be here in the mission and loves teaching, which helps me a lot so I don't feel like I have to do everything! She is willing to talk to everyone and we work so well together. She has a sincere love for everyone we meet and is really patient. I am so excited for these next two transfers and I feel like we are going to have a lot of success! She reminds me a lot of my trainer, Hna Moscoso, and has the potential to be a really great missionary!
We have a lot of new investigators that we are working with! We visited a mom, Reina, with her two kids and niece and nephew. She along with her sister and kids came to an activity in the church Friday night! It was a miracle and so great to see them there!
Mayli is progressing just great! She came to church and said she liked it a lot! I have the faith that she will get baptized on May 3 like we have planned!
Today we have p-day with Pres and Hna Dyer! We are going to eat at their house and then visit a museum, I am super excited, it should be fun!
I was studying the October 2011 ensign about the Book of Mormon (the area presidency has said everyone should read the Book of Mormon, so we are focusing on that with our less actives) and I just love everything it says in this ensign. The Book of Mormon really has so so much power and is key to helping us develop a testimony and to have the power to overcome temptation and difficulties! I just love the BoM so much! It has changed my life and it is incredible to help others understand the importance of the BoM and receive blessings from reading it! I know it is the word of God!!!
Love you all and have a great week!
Hermana Gardiner

P.S. We had a cool service activity going to hospital where babies have cancer the picture is of this! (me with hna nieves)       

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Shall we not go on in so great a cause?

 New Cal, here I come!
The elders loved the scotcheroos you sent
 Jumping for joy at the temple with another cool Australian elder
 Temple walk selfie
Elder Fisk and Elder Garside
 Tomorrow is my MTC halfway mark, and the words of Bon Jovi's "Living on a prayer" have never rung truer for me. I am halfway out of here, and I really am living on a prayer. I pray so so so much here, and it's an incredible thing. I have grown so much closer to my Heavenly Father, and have felt so much of his love for me. The Atonement is so incredible and real. Isn't it amazing that Heavenly Father loves us enough that he sent Jesus Christ to pay for our sins, so that we can have the power that Heavenly Father has? It's amazing. Never take the Atonement--L'Expiation en francais--for granted. Christ has suffered all of our afflictions and knows everything we are going through. The Atonement can get us through anything and give us the power to do everything we are called on to do.
Conference weekend was FANTASTIC. I am so so grateful I had the opportunity to watch it here. Not only were they fantastic talks, it was nice to have a little break from the usual stresses of the MTC. :) Holland's talk was incredible, as usual, but the Sunday morning session was prime. I LOVED Uchtdorf's talk on gratitude. Everything was just amazing.
We got to watch the David Archuleta special they showed between sessions on Sunday which was way cool because I was in it! Well... you never actually see me up close but I'm in the crowd, and my voice was definitely one of the many singing Hark All Ye Nations with David. What a cutie he is.
For our Sunday Devotional, Vocal Point came and performed. The spirit speaks to me much more easily through music, so David Archuleta and Vocal Point were both real tender mercies for me. We've been hitting the jackpot when it comes to devotionals!
Every Sunday night, they show church movies like The Testaments or The Restoration and things like that. We watched Joseph Smith and MAN I forgot how much I love that movie, and how much I love Joseph Smith. That movie just re-solidifies my testimony of Joseph Smith and I cry every time. If you haven't seen it recently, watch it. And my favorite quote ever, which I had forgotten about for some reason: "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" When things are hard, when we want to quit, it always helps to remember WHY we are doing what we're doing. Especially here in the MTC, when you aren’t teaching real investigators and feel like you aren’t good enough, it always helps to remember how great a cause this is. It is worth it to keep going!
Well, I love you all! Thank you for the love and prayers. Hope things are going well in the real world. Have a good week!!

Soeur Gardiner

Monday, April 7, 2014

Miracle(s!) on 42nd Street! ...I always liked that movie

This week was full of so many miracles I don't even know where to start!
Saturday night we went to visit a mom, Marina Carillo (Marina #2) and her daughter, Miciela, that hadn't been progressing much. We had a great lesson about the Book of Mormon and profets and invited them to the conference yesterday. A friend, Sarel, was also there and expressed how she wants to learn more from us and how she is searching for happiness in her life. The spirit was so strong as we testified of simple gospel truths that bring such great happiness. Yesterday, the mom and daughter came to church, which was the biggest miracle of all! Marina always said that she would come when she felt like she wanted to take that step. AND SHE CAME. It was great. I could not be happier and I know the Lord is guiding us every day!
Saturday we also went to find a girl we contacted in the street and it turns out her house was at the VERY END of our area which I had never even gone before. You see the mountain in the distance and think wow that is far away and then you get to walk there which is fun. Haha, it really was fun though. We followed her directions and ended up at a house, it turned out it wasn't her house but the miracle of it all is that it was the house of a random cholita that started talking to us one day, but left before she could give us more information than, "I live down this road." We got to teach her daughter and we'll be going back Saturday to teach more of her family! The Lord definitely prepares the way!
We also found a new investigator, Mayli (pronounced, Miley), it is cool cause we started out talking to her aunt when we were searching for a less active, we then taught her brother and then one day she opened the door and we got to know her and she is so so prepared! She is already living basically all the commandments and she is looking for the true chruch! She loves reading and is so so excited to read the Book of Mormon. It'll be fun to see how she progresses!!
And there are a million other blessings and miracles I could share... We are so so blessed! This work is amazing! I am just so happy.
I have come to realize that there is something magical about this work! I feel like I work as hard as I can every week and then the next week I have the strength and ability to work just a little bit harder. I feel like this really comes through the Atonement. I really is the enabling power to help us do the things we cannot do alone!
Oh yeah my transfer... hahaha! Wellp my cute companion, Hna Perez, is going to be in the same zone as Hna Hill. She is sad, she really wanted to stay here with me another transfer, but I know the Lord has so many people prepared for her there. I will be staying here and training! I am excited. It will be cool because my companion will have started her mission the same day as Molly! So it'll be special, like I am training Molly. I feel like we will see many more miracles and blessings this next transfer!
Wellp Conference was just great, right?! It is so great to hear the words of the Lord! I really felt like there was a big emphasis on the Atonement and having our faith set on Christ! I loved it all! I will definitely be looking forward to reading the talks in English. We only ended up seeing one session in English and the rest in Spanish. (Mom can you send me the English conference ensign when it comes out? thanks!) Conference always helps me adjust my focus and helps me know what I need to change and be better at.
I hope you all have a great week, especially with the birthday of Emma!!!!! I love you al so so much!

Hermana Gardiner

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tender Mercies‏

 Our district on a rainy walk to the temple
 pretty much all of our zone! i dont think anyone is missing that i know of...
 the back of my name tag--my dork dot from my first day here and my amazing australian sticker from Elder Tempany and my little desk i sit in for hours and hours and hours on end
 me and Hermana Lindsey Greer, a friend from high school and a fellow cherry hill lifeguard
saying goodbye to the canadians who left today

Tender mercies from Heavenly Father are what keep me going here at the MTC. Tender mercies come in many forms. Through the spirit, through the scriptures, through music, and most of the time, through people.
It has been a very long, long, hard week. You just have no choice but to take it day by day and find the simple good things that make being here worth it. Every Sunday we have a devotional, and we don't know who is giving it until we get there. Sunday was easily the hardest, longest day of my life. I was just done, I wasn't feeling well, and I wanted to quit (not that I ever actually would haha, because GARDINERS NEVER GIVE UP). Then, David Archuleta came walking through the door. He was the cutest little RM you have ever seen in your life. He just got home on Wednesday, and you could tell it was hard for him to speak English. He sang beautifully, and it was the strongest I have felt the spirit since I've been here. Heavenly Father answers prayers. It isn't always going to be in the form of an angelic voice--but Heavenly Father will always provide the comfort you need when you ask for it. Because of that, and other little miracles that have happened, I know I can keep going.
Brother Dowling, (fun fact: his wife owns The Dance Club in Provo) a member of my branch presidency, was talking to us one day, and shared with us an incredible insight about ways we receive revelation: "A floodlight will seldomly be used when a flashlight is sufficient." I love that so much. A lot of the time when we are looking for an answer, we expect a huge glorious experience, when really, a lot of the time, all we need is the little flashlight. I felt like that really spoke to me, especially concerning my choosing to go on a mission. I always wanted the floodlight, but the little flashlight had been there all along.
Thank for all of the love! You are all incredible, and I hope you have an amazing week.
Je ils adore,

Soeur Gardiner