Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 30, 2013

I hate driving on black ice!

This week was one of the fastest weeks I've had on my mission! We had P-day on Monday, Christmas Eve on Tuesday, Christmas on Wednesday, weekly planning on Thursday, District meeting on Friday, and Church on Sunday!

Monday we went Christmas caroling in our area and ate Krispy Kreme donuts! Except I drove 15 miles on straight black ice. I hate it.

Tuesday was Christmas Eve! We couldn't really go out and knock doors, so we made cupcakes and took them to member's houses on Christmas. We had a Christmas Eve dinner at the Wilkinson's! (The sister missionaries live in the Wilkinson's basement.  We had a chance to say hello to Brother Wilkinson on Christmas Day as we were "Skyping".  Thank you for watching out for our missionary.  We love and appreciate the Wilkinson's!!)

Wednesday was Christmas! We opened presents at a member's house and ate breakfast there. It was so much fun! Then we had appointments all day. We got spoiled by our ward members for sure! And I got to Skype my family! It was so much fun! Then we went home and crashed after our sugar high. 

Thursday we had weekly planning. I don't remember what else we did. Hahaha.

Friday we had district meeting. Sister O'Very taught and did such a good job! We also had a lunch appointment with a part-active family. So that was really cool! Elder Isaacson asked us to go over and see Amanda and Eddie (recent converts of Sister Harper's and Sister Gardanier's that are struggling both spiritually and physically). They're moving to an apartment and I probably won't be able to see them again, so I went to say good-bye and call them to repentance. It was bittersweet for me. Probably mostly bitter for them. Eddie was kinda getting upset with me and Elder Isaacson cut in and stood up for me and told Eddie what a great missionary I was.  Elder Isaacson also told Eddie and Amanda how important they are to me. It was so awesome. Elder Isaacson made me so happy. :) 

Saturday nobody was home. We struggled all day.

Sunday there were so many people in church! There was a ton of family in town and we got to meet a lot of them. We taught the Jacob's and had a very interesting lesson. Hahaha as usual.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you have an awesome New Year! As this year is coming to an end, I've been thinking about all the things I learned in 2013 and how grateful I am to be serving a mission. I'm grateful to have a loving family who loves and supports me through everything. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is aware of all of us personally and is so aware of our personal struggles. I know that one day I will be able to stand in his presence and see the love that he has for me and that he will be proud of me for the decisions I've made and the person I've become. I know the Book of Mormon is true. And I know that I have been called by a prophet of God to share the knowledge that I have.

I love you. 

Sister Gardanier

                   Merry Christmas!!  Just an interesting side note...we wrapped
                   several of her gifts in "Barro's Pizza" boxes.  She really giggled
                       about that.  Brought back old memories of her first job!!

                                                  Happy New Year!!

                                    Making red velvet cupcakes....her favorite treat!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 25, 2013 Christmas Day


We were able to Skype with Sis Gardanier on Christmas Day for about an hour.  We had so much fun just watching her and being able to talk back and forth.  She looks amazing and is doing fantastic.  She loves the members in Liberty Lake and is keeping her fingers crossed that the transfers in mid January will let her stay just a little bit longer!!    

PS - Jordan sent us some shirts and a baseball cap from the colleges in Spokane.  You can see Cole wearing his new Gonzaga shirt, and Lexi got a WSU shirt. Thanks Jordan!!  We love you so much!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2014

I hate driving in snow!

This week has definitely been quite eventful. I have officially decided that I HATE driving in the snow. I had a little bit of a mishap this week with snow and the car....We're okay! And we still have our car! :)

Monday- We went to the Christmas party for the members in our ward! Its was awesome! There was an atheist there who was making us feel super awkward, but he left after dinner because he didn't want to hear our "spiritual thought". Hahaha so sad. Maybe one day he'll open his eyes. :) After that, we went caroling with our zone! It was way fun, as usual. :)

Tuesday- I don't really remember what we did. But we did eat dinner at a member's house! They told us they wanted to feed us every other week! So every other Wednesday we are going over there to eat. Hahaha I love this ward!

Wednesday- We went over to a lonely member's house and borrowed her kitchen to make cupcakes! It was lots of fun! We contacted a referral who wasn't interested, but it's okay! We gave her 2 DVDs and she was super nice. That night, we ate dinner with another family. They took us to this really nice restaurant. The wife recorded a video of us and sent it to our parents. It was super awkward but so funny. :) We had correlation and then went to bed!

Thursday- Longest day OF MY LIFE. We had to temporarily move out of the member's we were living with because they needed our room for their family coming into town for Christmas. So, we spent the whole morning packing and moving into another member's home. We didn't eat lunch until 4:00pm. So we were really glad to be done with that for the day. We did absolutely no Weekly Planning and did it during sacrament meeting yesterday....Hahahaha. We also had a dinner appointment with an investigator! Her name is Diana. I've taught her before with Sister Luki, but Diana went MIA after our lesson....But we ate dinner with her and read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon with her and her member roommate. 

Friday- It snowed all day! We got 4 inches. :)  I taught district meeting! I taught on using the Book of Mormon the resolve concerns. It was so great! It was lots of fun and I got to see how the missionaries in my district teach! Then we ate lunch and drove home to mail my family a package. HERE"S MY CAR STORY! So I was driving and I meant to turn left, but instead I went straight. So I was going into a parking lot to turn around but there was so much snow i turned too early and drove into a ditch. Long story short. a truck had to pull the car out. But there is no damage to the car! YAY! So we didn't have to call the Mission Office. :) Then we drove back to the stake center to help set up for the Ward Christmas Party. Then back home to help a member, who cancelled as we were driving up to her house. Then back to the stake center. Then I forgot to get my stuff for exchanges, so back home and then back to the stake center. Hahahaha it was so snowy! I was slipping all over the street.... and we don't get snow tires or anything! I guess I need to pay more tithing so we can purchase snow tires.  That evening I went to West Valley for exchanges with Sister Burk.

Saturday- I was in West Valley. We visited a lot of people. We picked up an investigator for them! We went to her house and taught her. and as we were leaving she told us she wanted to give us something, but not to look behind us because that's where the surprise was. (by the way, there was a rake behind us...) And as we walked to the door, I whispered to Sister Burk "is it okay that I'm freaked out right now?" Hahahaha she gave us a glass statue. We didn't die. :)

Sunday- Lexi (Lexi is their recent convert that is less active) was home! We went to see her and see if she wanted to come to church. She obviously didn't. After church we visited members.

I hope you all have a fun Christmas! I miss you all and I'm so glad for all the love and support I get from you! 

All my love,
Sister Gardanier

                             Look at all that snow....and where are her gloves?  :-) 

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

"O Come All Ye Faithful"


This week went by so fast. Probably because P-day was on Wednesday last week. hahaha. But The past few days have been full of fun and crazy days. Its awesome!

Thursday- We helped a member set up her Christmas decorations because she and her husband are having a Christmas party with a ton of non members and they told us to come and share a message. So, basically they can't run away because they'll be sitting and eating while we are giving our thought. It's a genius idea. :) We met with Sis. Tilley and went on a blitz in our ward. A "Blitz" is where our district goes to one area and tracts it. We didn't really get anything from it, but it was a good experience!

Friday- We went out with the Single adult rep from our ward to visit single adults with her. We went to go see Bob Brown, an alcoholic. Its ALWAYS an adventure for us when we go over there.....We made him posters with scriptures on them and we hung them on his walls so he can maybe feel the spirit occasionally....

Saturday- We had a new member lesson at Janine's. Then, we went to see Amanda and Eddie! They haven't been keeping the Word of Wisdom, and the Elder's asked me to go over there and call them out on it. It's super sad to see them making poor choices, especially when they know the things they were taught. But I'm so grateful for the opportunity they have to repent and be better! That night, we went Christmas caroling with the zone! It was wayyyy fun. The Spanish Elder's picked up new investigators from caroling! It was really fun. and the elders can sing really well! 

Sunday- We went to round some people up for church, but nobody came. :( Wahh. But sacrament meeting was all about missionary work! And the Ward Mission Leader's wife spoke, so it all worked out :) We saw Mimi (Lexi's grandma). Lexi (a less active new convert) is still MIA (missing in action)  which stinks because it' so close to Christmas. Then we saw a few other members.

I'm so grateful to be a missionary during the holidays. So many people are serving the people around them. Including us. :) We have too many holiday treats! Remember the real meaning of Christmas during the craziness of the holidays.

I love you all.


Sister Gardanier

                                 Yep...she is standing on a frozen lake....

                                       The sister's went bowling last P-day
                                                Where are her gloves?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December 11. 2013

Orange Juice with an Egg Nog Chaser...Happy Holiday's!

This week a member "bar tended" for us. He gave us so many holiday drinks. Hahaha. Sister Pope doesn't like egg nog, so I helped myself to her "shot" of egg nog. She and I were both sick by the end of the night. Haha.

Its also been freezing cold here. Last week it was a warm 1 degree outside. With NO SNOW. What the heck? I don't understand. Isn't it supposed to snow when it's that cold outside? Apparently not.... So there's hardly any snow on the ground... BUT the lake is frozen and it's probably going to melt sometime this week. So, we're going out on it today so we can walk on the ice. :)

I don't have a ton of time today, so I'll just talk about the highlights. (If I can think of any....)

Sister Pope is going to teach me a lot this transfer. She's super solid and has learned a lot from her trainer. And she isn't liking how slow our area is compared to her last one. So she broke out this brainstorm list and told me to make calls to all our "Missionary Minded" families. (mom and dad and family, you better be one of those families....) to make appointments to get referrals. As of today, we have 7 referrals we have to contact. I can't wait to see our area pick up! 

Monday we had interviews with President Mullen. I passed, again. Yay! So It looks like I get to stay another 3 months until our next interview. :)

Tuesday (yesterday) we had zone meeting. we got a from talking-to from one of the AP's about our low baptism numbers. So we're hoping to be able to step up our numbers. They weren't so hot last week.

I hope you all have a good Holiday season! It's so great to be able to say 26 degrees is warm. :)

Invite the missionaries over to have dinner for Christmas. :)

I love you!
Sister Gardanier

                                      Twin sister missionaries at Zone Conference.
                                      It's a "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree"!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

That awkward moment when... 

The JW's (Jehovah's Witnesses) are tracting the same street the sister missionaries are street contacting on. Yes, this happened. They probably really needed the gospel, but they had their daughters with them and it was actually really intimidating. Hahaha.

I'm getting to the point on my mission where I actually know the missionaries leaving at the end of transfers, and it's super sad :(

First off, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope you all ate lots of food and gave the missionaries your leftovers. :)

Second of all, transfer calls were last night. I can't believe it's already time for another transfer. Anyways, I'm staying in Liberty Lake and my new companion is Sister Pope! I have no idea who she is, but I'm not training her so I think I can handle it. This will be her 3rd transfer and she just finished her training. :) 

Tuesday night Sis Imangazi and I went to visit people she wanted to say goodbye to. She was getting sick, but there were people she really wanted to see. So Sis. Gummersall (Ward Mission Leader's wife) gave her some NyQuil at 6pm and we to visit a couple of families! Needless to say, around 8pm she was half asleep. Hahaha but she was a trooper and made it through all the visits! She came home and collapsed in bed and was sound asleep when I came back in after planning. Haha

Wednesday I dropped Sis. Imangazi off at the mission office. There was another temple square sister going back to Utah, so me and her companion were temporary companions! (sorry if that was confusing). And she was actually serving in my old area in Post Falls, ID! So we went there for her District Meeting and I got to see how much the District has changed since I left. I recognized nobody. Hahaha. But I loved being there! Then we picked up our new temporary companions! They are Temple square sisters who just arrived for their outbound. My companion is Sister Luki from New Zealand! Her accent is so pretty and all the member adore her! She can honestly work circles around me. She's solid!

Thursday was Thanksgiving! We had appointments from 11am to 9pm. All day! We were able to have 11 lessons that day, and I think we hold the record in the mission for that day. No big deal. :) We had 8 meal appointments. So we were really full and sleepy by the end of the night. 

Friday we had district meeting and then went to lunch with the sisters! Sister Peterson had her last DM (district meeting) ever and so we had to celebrate. She left this morning. :( I don't remember what else we did....It snowed! but its all melted now.

Saturday. I don't remember what we did that day, either. whoops. 

Sunday. We saw Lexi (their less active new convert) and tried to round up a few people to come to church. We had 3 investigators in church! It was great! After church we had dinner with the Hagerty's and helped decorate the Gehrett's Christmas tree. :) Later that evening we got transfer calls.

I love you all tons! Have an awesome holiday season! :) 

Sister Gardanier

                                                   Hello Sister Luki!
                           Making Gingerbread houses with some ward friends.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sister Imangazi

It's funny how someone we have never met has touched our lives so much!!  

Sister Imangazi left to go back to Temple Square on Wednesday, November 27, 2013.  These two sisters sure had a great experience together.  They bonded from the beginning, and got along so great.  A letter she wrote to our family calls Sister Gardanier an "angel spirit,...so full of charity, kindness, patience and love".   We love you Sister Imangazi!!   You will be missed!!  

Before Sister Imangazi left Spokane, Washington...we asked her to share her conversion story.  There are not many members of the church in that part of the world.  Here it is written in her own words.  

Sister Gardanier's family!! 
I love sister Gardanier! She is so perfect and great sister missionary!!! She is full of charity!!! Great example for me!!!! 
My conversion story: 
My family --- the first Muslim family who joined the church in 2003 & sealed in Sweden temple in 2005.  My whole  family Mormons except for my grandmother. She is still Muslim but she gave us permission to join the church. I grew up with the gospel. Gospel blessed me & my family so much!!! I'm so happy that we met LDS family who came from America to work in the Embassy.  We met them in 1997. We became good friends with them,  and they shared the Gospel with us and showed why they're so happy. When they began to share the Gospel, we felt that we related Mormons then any other Christian beliefs. They gave us a Book of Mormon to read and pray to find out the truth. Since there were not missionaries and church chapels, they invited us to come to have sacrament meetings and family home evenings at their house. We really loved everything they were offering because they didn't force us to follow their beliefs, but invited us to have great joy with them. It took couple years to have our baptisms and join the church. A few years later, the Church was able to be built in Kazakhstan and the missionaries came and started preaching the Gospel. I love Muslim tradition, even I'm Mormon I still keep Muslim tradition in my country. We're happy "Kazakh" Mormon family.
Sister Imangazi 
from Kazakhstan!!

We will miss you Sister Imangazi... enjoy Temple Square for the next 3 months before you finish your mission and return to your family and friends in Kazakhstan.  

We love you so much!!