Tuesday, December 6, 2011

YM doing the Haka

Love to see the YM do the Haka!  These are some YM in Jordan's area that said he could make a clip of them doing the haka.  Fun to see the traditions!

December 6, 2011

A few pics that are a glimpse into his life as an AP.  He loves meeting all the missionaries in the zones, loves their testimonies and their friendships!  So hard sending his friends home!   He also is a huge fan of President Dalton.  I know you've all read many times how much he admires and loves this great mission president of his and his wife!  They have had a great influence for good in his life!  Cooking is not his favorite thing to do, but he's learning!   
 Grillin' with Elder Moala
 Elder Street (right) and others headed home
 Elders Stelter, Gary, Sa'u, Behymer
 Group headed home with Pres. and Sis Dalton (on the ends)
 President Dalton (on his birthday!)
 With Elder Griffin
With Elder Stelter and VC sisters!

                                                                                                              With Elders Hatch and Porter                    

ALOHA!!!!!!!!!!! December 6, 2011

Boy whats going on! Sounds like it has been a pretty good week, we
have had a good but crazy week. Best of all the Cougars came over here
and stomped on Hawaii so that's always good news! All the UH fans were
not happy about that, but I made sure they heard about it because they
sure we letting me know about it before the game! Haha nah I didn't
even know BYU won until the next day, you kind of forget about all
that stuff on the mission.

So we started Christmas Zone Conference this week and boy is it a good
one! Man I tell you what if I could go to a Zone Conference everyday I
would be set for life, especially one completely centered on our
Savior Jesus Christ. We didn't do much training so that's always a
good thing. All the Zone Leaders give a training about the Doctrine of
Christ and what not, super spiritual. Every single one is different
but so good. I have never felt so good after a zone conference than I
did on Tuesday. Wow my boy Elder Smith and his companion Elder Ence
gave one of the best trainings on the Atonement. It was about his
suffering, death and resurrection. They hit it all and it was just a
very spiritual time. We all bore testimony of that great event, it was
really cool. During Christmas Zone Conference it's always a treat
because you get to watch a movie. This year we are watching 17
Miracles. If you haven't seen that, I would highly recommend watching
it. Unreal show, super sad though. That movie is the reason I am serving
a mission. That is the reason I gave up 2 years of my life, because
they gave up SO MUCH more. It's just a testimony to me of the
truthfulness of the Gospel. That is a solid movie, seen it 3 times and
we have 4 more to go and I am going to watch it every time, good

So after 3 transfers of being with my boy Elder Stelter,  he is being
released and an assistant. It'll be hard, he was a phenomenal
companion that taught me so much. I know that the Lord put me with him
simply to learn, to grow and learn. He taught me so much about being a
good missionary. I am so grateful that the Lord continually surrounds
me with great people. All my companions and the people I have served
with teach me. It's a wonderful experience and something I am very
grateful to my Father in Heaven for. My new companion is Elder
Menlove. Elder Menlove is so solid, we have served around each other
for a while now and he is another one, greatness surrounding me. We
are going to have a lot of fun together.

All is well, life is good, I love you all! I hope all is going well,
stay in touch, I'd love to hear how your holiday seasons are going. I
miss you all, I thank you all for everything that you do for me! My
prayers are with you, may the Lord bless you during this wonderful
holiday season!

Love to all,
Elder G. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

11/18/2011 SC Village part 2

Oh to be out on a paintball field again! It's very exciting! We love to watch our team!

11/18/2011 SC Village--If you know Jordan, you know he loves paintball--this is a clip from one of his teammates, Ethan, who is serving his mission in CA. Their team played several times on this field, long before their missions! Jordan is going to be sooooo jealous of Ethan! haahaha!

Some weird clips pop up after this one is played. Just close out of them!  I don't know how to stop them from coming up at the end.  I'm sure there's a way!

ALOHA!!! November 29, 2011

This week has been a good week, a lot of preparation
for the upcoming zone conferences and a lot of eating!

So for Zone Conferences (the first one was today and we have more all
this week and next) we developed a new personal study program for the
missionaries to guide their studies, it's friggin sweet! It was
actually developed a year ago and Elder Stelter and I have put the
finishing touches on it. It has us read all the standard works, PMG,
and all the missionary library. It's been very time consuming for us
tho because we have had to cut and bind them all. Also we made a
baptism DVD for this year and it is sweet! It has so many good
pictures and is very spiritual. So needless to say that is what we
have been doing this week, it's been a great learning process and
pretty fun actually, learning a lot of different skills!

Thanksgiving was solid! First off we had the Turkey Bowl with our ward
and Hawaii Kai ward (my second area) so it was fun playing with all of
them. Little did they know Elder G can play a little QB! Ha it was
super fun, President came out and just had a good morning. Than we had
2 dinners and it was outrageous how much food there was. The first
house we ate at had a ham, 2 turkeys and a pig! Unreal it was so good.
We get taken care of so well out here. I love these members and people
in Hawaii. Nicest people in the World.

So other than we just geared up for zone conference. Had the first on
Kauai today and it was the best one I have ever been a part of.
Goodnight, I was crying the whole time. Focused completely on the
Savior, there were so many good talks and trainings. We watched that
new movie, The17 Miracles, about the pioneer handcart company, that is one
I want to give out to people and say this is why I am out here because
of what they went through. If you haven't seen it, you better watch it,
unreal! But anywho, I am just rambling.

 All is well in Zion, life is
good, I am loving the mission and everything about it. Love you guys!
Elder G

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Aloha!! November 21, 2011

So, I think I am behind a week!  That would be life right now.  It was meant to be because I do believe Jordan is in the middle of zone conferences. or something!--we did not hear from him today, so I will post last week's letter and a little clip I found from a few months ago!  I just love to hear him talking! This was a time he was on Molokai with Elder Street and the elders serving on Molokai.  

Well another week down and it has flown by as usual! We are doing a
lot of preparing for the upcoming Christmas Zone Conference, which is
going to be awesome. We are super excited for it. President and Sister
Dalton are coming out with a new study program for this mission which
is sweet! It's called Mana and it will get you through basically all
the Standard Works and the entire missionary library, PMG, and an
Atonement Packet that our mission puts out each year. It will be nice
and give a lot of direction in study. Very inspired decision by them!
We will be watching the movie "17 Miracles" as well which should be a
good one. I can't wait, Christmas Zone Conference is the best!

So this Saturday was super cool! We went to a couple baptisms and one
was for a girl whose family are not members but she had a lot of
friends that are members. She went away to college and realized how
blessed she was living around friends in the Gospel. She started
getting taught by the missionaries and was baptized super quick! She
bore a really powerful testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel and
how she knew it was true. Her entire family was there and I think they
really enjoyed it. It was one of the biggest baptisms I have ever
seen, so many people there!

Right after that was the baptism of a young 12 year old boy. I don't
know his story too much but I know that his family aren't members
either. He met a couple friends at school and they started inviting
him to scouting activities, mutual, etc. He was welcomed with tons of
love and started coming to church. He wanted to be baptized and his
family felt okay with it. He had some family there and the coolest
part was when he actually got baptized. When he came up out of the
water I have never seen a bigger smile on a kid's face! He just looked
at everyone with a huge smile and just sat there for a little bit. You
couldn't help but smiling as you looked at him! That was the highlight
of my week, everything bad was gone after I watched that kid
get baptized. Very cool Saturday, I love going to baptisms!

We are teaching a man right now that is working his way to the temple.
He is the best guy in the world and since we have started teaching him
you can see a distinct change in him. He is a lot happier and just has
hope in his eyes. It's so cool to see that, it is something that you
can immediately recognize! He set goals with the Bishop and is well on
his way to going through the temple and being sealed with his wife!
Awesome guy, I love him so much! The mission has the best experiences

So as far as the mission is concerned it is doing well! We have
unfortunately lost quite of few elders the past couple weeks due to a
number of circumstances. That naturally hurts and kind of hinders the
work but as in the words of our President "I will never let Satan
win." We had 17 baptisms this last weekend which is pretty good, a
little above average. We are probably going to be around 60 for this
month and then we will head in "White Christmas" December and shoot
for Vision 100 once again. The work is really progressing out here!
Thanks for everything, I love you all! Have a great week!

Love to you all!
Elder G. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 14, 2011

Well this week has been a good week for us! All the craziness finally
ended on Wednesday with all the missionaries going home and what not.
It has been a wild transfer, Satan was trying to work us hard core!
But it is all good now. It was nice to be able to get
back into our area and do some work. I love missionary work, there is
always something new that you never expect!

Glad to hear everyone back home is doing well.  Man I wish I was going to the UH game, I
asked President but Hawaii fans are pretty nuts and he said it would be a really bad environment for us, he didn't even consider it.

Tell Grandma Hampton and Grandma and Grandpa Harding hi for me and that I love them. I wish I
could write people but there is just no time. I haven't written anyone
for over a year. Once I got into leadership time just ran out, and
especially as an assistant I just can't do it. I hope people don't
take it personally, I really wish I could but if I wrote letters
that's all my P days would be.  Just whenever
you see friends tell them I love them and am thinking about them even
if I don't write them! 

I am so happy for Christi! That is so crazy!
Did she say if she will be in the visitors center or not? I am not
sure how that works with VC sisters. Because most our sisters are VC
but we have like 12 that are strictly full proselyting like the
elders. She is going to do so well.  She will fit in perfect here,
that is so cool I am so proud of her. A lot of my friends that are girls
are going on missions! Marci, Christi, Daisha is planning on going
too! Really cool stuff. If you ever talk to Daisha tell her I say hi,
I haven't talked to her forever either and I feel bad. Send everyone
my love!

So here is the crazy story of the week for you guys! We get a text
referral saying this guy wants a bible. So we call him on Friday and
he says oh yeah come over tomorrow morning at 1030, we will drink soda
and you guys can share what you have. So we are like shoots! We go
over there and right when we walk in it just doesn't feel right. I
mean the house is nice and everything, but you could just tell. Well
we sit down and Elder Stelter and I are across from one another and he
is on the side of us. He said yeah I know that it's either the Latter
Day Saints are right or its the Catholics, so I am just trying to make
my decision. Just acting all golden. But you can't say
anything just in case he is being serious so we teach him and it was a
good lesson, just bore powerful testimony. He kept asking stupid
questions and what not and then when we got done he is like "you guys
hungry?", and orders a pizza. So now we are stuck! He said okay, now I
want to share. He goes and grabs an easel and he has a whiteboard and then like 6
tri fold poster boards with all this stuff about the Catholic Church
and how it's true! It was comical really, he was bringing up the
dumbest things. He was way smart though. He went on for like 2 hours and
then at the end he gave us all these pieces of paper and he wrote our names on them and then says"so are you guys coming back, or do ya gotta kinda "strategize" what you are going to do next time?" We
just shook our head and said probably not. And he said "well I just
hope that you'll pray and ask God if what I said is true", and I just
said and you do likewise. It was a joke, he has
to order a bible, and then act all interested and try to prove us
wrong. It was just a testimony of the importance of the spirit to me,
because there was no spirit and even though he was super smart, it meant
nothing. He didn't promise us one blessing whatsoever, just a waste of our time.

 Needless to say, I won't be joining the Catholic Church
anytime soon! Haha the stories of the mission!!!

I love you guys! Thanks so much for everything!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 14, 2011

So, I found some clips on Jordan's SD card that he sent home, and I just like to hear his voice.  So I am putting one on here--he and Elder Condiff were driving past a military airport"Barber's Point", but it was fun to hear him!  There were also some pics of he and Elder Condiff when they served in Makakilo, just prior to this transfer as assistant.  Random pictures!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

ALOHA!! November 7, 2011

Boy well time sure does fly by! Sounds like everyone back home is
doing very well. The young men that were just barely priests when I
was there are now getting ready or have already left on their
missions. That's good. Sad to hear about Sister Pehrson in the ward
but it's good to know that the ward can fast like that for someone. We
have a really good ward back home. I still remember like yesterday
when we fasted for Dale Hull and all the miracles that proceeded from
the fast and faith of everyone. That's what the church is all about.

Snow back home huh? That's too bad really. The weather out here is
perfect, it's not too hot and definitely not too cold. The trade winds
are picking up and so we get a nice little breeze every single day. A
nice little sprinkle here and there, it's nothing really to complain
about. However, I sure do miss the seasons. I miss seeing snow and
believe it or not I kind of miss being cold. I probably won't be
saying that when I come home!

The mission is doing really well at this time. Last month we hit 103
total baptisms for the month of October which was stellar. The mission
is reaching new heights that it has never reached. If you remember
back to May the push to get "vision 100", 100 baptisms in that month
was a huge start to a good year for us. We were able to hit 100 right
on the money that month and it just proceeded on from there. In July
we once again hit a phenomenal number of 105 total baptisms, and then
here again in October we hit 103. Vision 100 three times in the past
six months is something that has never been done before in this
mission so we are pleased! It's awesome and we will finish these last
2 months very strong and see many miracles!

On Saturday Mele got baptized! She is amazing! Mele was a referral we
received from a member about 3 weeks ago. She has been living with her
Aunty who is in our ward. Mele started taking the lessons and was
loving it. She loves learning about Christ and what we taught just
added more on to her faith. Every lesson she would always thank us so
many times for teaching her things she never knew about Jesus Christ.
She thanked us for helping her testimony grow. She basically committed
herself to baptism and was ready to be baptized from day one! I love
Mele, she has made a lasting impact in my life and will be someone I never
forget. Sincere, humble, loving personality. She is from American
Samoa and is Tongan. The Polynesian people are the best, so blessed to
be serving here around them!

Transfers were good this week, everyone got to where they needed to be
and for the most part it all went smoothly. We are stoked for this
upcoming transfer, Christmas Zone Conference and a lot of good things
planned. Elder Stelter and I are together again and are super happy
about that! He is the man and has taught me a lot. We will do work
these next 2 months. Hope all is well back home, don't die in the

Love you all!
Elder G.

Monday, October 31, 2011

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! October 31, 2011

Boy this was quite the week, a lot of good stuff happened. First off though, I want to express my love to Astra Waller and her family. Astra was an amazing person and a hero of mine. This last week she past away after a 20 year battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Astra never let that get her down. I still remember the days of playing on the same soccer team with her for a couple years, hanging out in middle school and high school. She was a phenomenal dancer and never let her 42% lung capacity ever hold her back. Astra is gone but her Spirit will live on for a very long time, she was an inspirational person and will never be forgotten. As sad as it is to see her go, what a joy it is to know
that she is at rest and will be resurrected with a perfect body. What a comforting feeling it is to have a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation in which we will be able to see our family and friends after we pass on. Brothers and Sisters, we will all see Astra again when we all pass on. She is watching over each and everyone of us, just begging for us to be completely obedient so that we can live with her again. I testify that these things are true.

                                            Elder Garritson, Pakela, Elder Stelter

Saturday was an amazing day for us. Pakela, the 17 year old young man that we have been teaching was baptized!! His baptism was awesome, he had a lot of his friends there. His best friend that was baptized a couple months ago was able to baptize Pakela! He bore a powerful testimony after he got baptized and said he knew everything was gone and felt clean. On Sunday, he asked me to confirm him a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and give him the gift of the Holy Ghost. That was the first time I was able to do that, and it was an amazing blessing. Each and every baptism is a confirmation of the testimony I have. These wonderful converts give up so much more than I ever have, and it is so cool to see them make changes. I really look up to converts, because this is a complete life change for them. Every time I see them happier than they were before, they all have a special glow about them. Even tho at times it's hard, it's always worth it. I am grateful I was able to be a part of his wonderful conversion!

We also taught another girl that is from American Samoa. She lives with members in our ward so she came to church with them a couple times. She agreed to meet with missionaries and she was so grateful for us. It was cool to think that I am doing my job. She thanked us so many times for teaching her things that she did not know. She said that she knows this is true and she is going to be baptized this Saturday! It was quick, but that is how fast the Spirit can work if we are diligently seeking. It doesn't even have to be for those that are non-members, it can be for each and everyone of us. If we will stay close to the Lord through prayer, scripture study, and church attendance, and really are seeking for truth, we will be changed by the Spirit. It is the promise that our Heavenly Father gives us, he has to fulfill it. The mission is awesome!

I just want to say, I am getting worked by insanity! Man if any of you have ever done it, that is no walk in the park! Every morning when the alarm goes off at 6 AM, I don't want to get up. BUT... after the workout you feel so good. It's just the doing it part that sucks. I think my legs may fall off! Goodnight!

Crazy stuff upcoming this week, 12 new missionaries coming in, 11 going home. Hope all is going, Love you all!
Elder G OUT!

This is Astra's obituary.  We were able to go to her funeral for Jordan--she was an extraordinary young woman who will be missed by many.  She touched so many lives.

Astra Lauren Waller

(July 27, 1991 - October 22, 2011)

Our beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend, and heroine, Astra Lauren Waller, age 20, passed away October 22nd, 2011 in South Jordan after a valiant twenty year battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Astra lived her life with great tenacity and courage. She was a great example to all those she touched.

Astra was born on July 27th, 1991, in Salt Lake City, Utah to Art and Jamie Waller. She adored acts of giving and receiving and loved dancing. She graduated from Bingham High School and was a student at the University of Utah in her third year. Astra was selected as one of 12 people across the nation to be placed on the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Calendar; she won the “Leaders of Tomorrow Award” for demonstrated leadership, citizenship, moral character, and outstanding academic achievement; She was a Three year member of the Bingham High School Minerettes drill team – during her tenure they had won both state and national championships and was a member of the Region 3 Dance Drill Team and her senior leadership position was Vice-President (all accomplished during this time with 42% lung capacity) Astra was featured in a South Valley Journal article, “Bingham High dancer forges ahead despite adversity.” She was a “Heroes of Hope” Living with CF nominee sponsored by Genentech, Inc. Finally she was selected as a recipient of the Boomer Esiason Foundation’s Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship Program.

Astra is survived by her mom, Jamie; her dad Art; brothers and sisters; Sara, Erin, and Alex; brother-in-laws; Tommy and Troy; nieces and nephews; Samantha, Parker, Hannah and Boston; aunts and uncles; Brad, Robin, Bill, Laurie, Leigh Ann, and Sharon; cousins; Markay, Oliver, Willie, and Brianne; grandmothers Marion and Barbara. Preceded in death by her grandfather Art and uncle David.
We wish to thank the many wonderful family members and friends who have given their love, time, and support to Astra over the years. We are grateful for your service to our daughter and our family.

October 25, 2011

Whats up, this week has been pretty crazy and really good. Not too
much happened as far as our area because we were off island for most
the week. We were over on Maui this week and wow was it good to be
there. I love that place. I was on exchanges over in Kihei for one of
the days and it was fun to see the places we were when we were over
there last May. I saw the hotel we stayed in, the outback we ate at,
some of the courses Ryan and I played at, amazing! That's a really
special place, I would die to serve over there even though it probably
wont happen. The elders over there are amazing. Young guns, but taught
me so much. Our mission is really young now, a lot of the older ones
have gone home and so it's kinda weird being the oldest. I never
noticed how much missionaries look up to you, but honestly it is like
the other way around for me. I see all these missionaries come out
reading the Book of Mormon 5 or 6 times, gone through Preach My Gospel
already and they are just solid. Some amazing people are in this
world, and our mission gets a lot of the greats. I see so many future
leaders of the church.

For us, we have a baptism this weekend on Saturday. I cannot wait,
this is for a 17 year old kid who is solid as heck. He will serve a
mission guaranteed, he will be a great man in the kingdom of God. His
name is Pakela and got introduced to the church going to a baptism of
one of his friends. So as we can conclude, take your friends to
baptisms, its solid.

 But I am just rambling on. All is well. We started transfer plan yesterday which I cannot believe, it is going by so quick. It's a good process, a long one but a very revelatory and learning time. I love it. I love you guys, the work is moving forward, and your prayers are much appreciated! Thanks for everything.

 Love ya!
Elder G.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Opportunities to do good!

Jordan emailed me today and asked that this video from Mormon Messages be put on his blog. He is sensitive to children who have had medical struggles, as he has had from the day he was born. I thank my dear friends, family, and ward who helped us during those difficult times! We, too, would have never made it without their help!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ALOOOOHA!!!! October 17, 2011

This week was the best week ever. The Jays got sealed on Friday and Elder Stelter and I were able to go and be a part of it! What a wonderful experience that was. I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of that because I know that doesn't happen very often. They are the most solid people in the world. They were so excited to go through and receive their eternal blessings, and they did so well. Amazing how that works, after the sealing they both gave me a big old hug and said "look what you started!" It was awesome to hear that, tears filled my eyes and I knew that nothing else in the world matters but the Gospel. We can do whatever in the world we want, but the most important thing in life is our family and the gospel. They have just started their forever family with forever happiness because of missionary work. The scriptures talk about how God will use the weak things of the world to bring forth his righteous purposes and that definitely rings true with missionary work! I mean, think about it, I was a 20 year old kid teaching a 75 year old man who knows the Bible like the back of his hand, but his heart was so open to the truth, and with the Spirit they entered into the first covenant of baptism and the final covenant of marriage in the Temple on Friday. I couldn't think of anything better that I could be doing or be a part of. I sat in the sealing room with a smile ear to ear because I knew that they are doing what the Lord wants them to. I now know what I want in my life, and that is the Gospel and the Temple. It's so true, I cannot deny it. I know that as clearly as the night is different from day. Friday October 14th will be a day I remember for a very long time and will be a day I will never forget. I love the Jay's so much, they changed my entire life and I thank them so much for being my second parents out here!

We had a couple lessons with the boy that is getting baptized on the 29th, he is solid as ever. Other than the Jays, I have never met anyone in my life so prepared to receive the Gospel. He just wanted to change his life, he came to a baptism and is now one of the smartest kids I know. He is going to make a super solid missionary. He has the strongest testimony, reads and prays everyday and loves the Gospel. I am shocked every time we teach him because it is like he is teaching me. It's been awesome seeing him come along so far.

We started doing insanity in the mornings and it is kicking my butt! Holy cats I don't know how many of you have done that but it is dang hard. My legs have been hurting for the past week straight, I have never jumped so much in my life! I cannot believe that I still can do it every morning. It's fun tho.

The mission is tight, we are looking good for 115 baptisms this month! We have over 50 with a date scheduled for the last weekend of October, it is going to be nuts. Satan is working super hard to stop things from progressing but with faith, prays and diligence everything is going to work out. I have never seen so much excitement in the mission for this goal that we have set. Hitting 115 this month is going to get us started off on a good path for the upcoming months of November and December and the year of January. Pray for the missionary work to progress, we had a meeting with Elder Whiting this week, the area Seventy for Hawaii. He talked about the harder Satan works, the harder we have to work. We have to be more diligent, more obedient, we can't just fill our calling we need to magnify our calling because Satan is at it full force ahead! We can't sit and putt around at the bottom of a hill and expect to get to the top. If we sit and mess around at the bottom, yes we will fulfill our calling, but we won't magnify it. To get to places we have never been, we must do things we have never done!

The work is moving forward brothers and sisters, the Gospel is true, God lives, Jesus is the Christ, The Church of Jesus Christ is the only true church on the earth today. I love you all! Have a great week!

Love you all,

Elder G.

Monday, October 17, 2011

HELLOOOOOO​OHA!!! October 10, 2011

This week has been one of the most exciting weeks of my entire mission! On Thursday we were driving down the road and nothing was happening, no one was home, it was blazing hot, no one was on the streets to talk to, it was just one of those rough days. Well I am sitting in the car as E. Stelter is driving and I get a call from a random number. I answer and all I hear is "hey, we are getting sealed next Friday at 4!" Man it was Sister Jay, they are going through the temple to be sealed for all time and eternity!!! I cannot wait, I am so excited. They invited me to come so Friday is going to be one amazing day. We get to go be a part of their endowment session and then right after for the sealing. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a witness of this. I would have never imagined in a million years that someone I would teach would get sealed so quickly and I would be able to be a part of it while I am still on my mission. What an experience the mission is. It has strengthened my testimony more than I can even put into words. I love it!

We taught the young man that is getting baptized coming up on the 29th this Wednesday and it was a solid meeting! He is probably smarter than I am hahaha! He really knows so much and is way excited for baptism. I can't wait to see him progress, I was just thinking as we taught him that he will be a solid missionary, and I believe that is something he will be doing after he is baptized. Its nice to know that you are making a difference. But all is well out here, the mission is doing really well as far as our goal of 115 baptisms here in October. We have 116 scheduled for this month and have had 17 already, so it'll be big. These next 3 weekends are going to be huge so everyone is really excited. I love the work, I love the mission, I love you all! Have a great week!

Sorry it's so short, I don't have much to write but I am super excited for this week! It's going to be awesome going to the the temple with the Jay's!

Monday, October 3, 2011

ALOHA October 3, 2011

Boy what a good week last week. We got a lot of things accomplished and the best part was watching conference! Man conference is the best thing in the World, I cannot believe I never paid attention when I was younger. It seems like when people go on missions or grow up they seem to realize the importance of conference. Men of God are speaking to us, it's unreal. I would take watching conference over any TV show or movie any day, it was super enjoyable. I learned so much. A lot on missionary work which always hits home, a lot on trials and a lot on repentance. We were talking the other day about our favorites and it is just too hard to pin it down to one or two. I could watch and listen to any of them over and over. I thoroughly enjoyed Elder Christoffersen's about repentance and the power of the atonement. The 5 things he listed really was cool to hear. Elder Holland in Priesthood Session was phenomenal, but that's what you expect from him. You young men I sure hope you were listening to his and President Packer's talk. They gave some solid advice! I don't know how you couldn't listen to them. Mom & Dad, you better have been listening too, you're getting to that ripe old age of serving a mission as well hahaha! It's really cool how the church is helping to support the senior couples so they can serve a mission. Think about it, if this church was false, why would the church go through so much strife and cost and everything to send people out on missions? If this church was false, why would 14 million people listen for 10 hours to old men in white shirts and ties? There is no way this is not true. No one can honestly listen to these general authorities, apostles and the prophet and tell me this is all a hoax. To listen to men of that stature, so well accomplished in life talk about how Christ and His Atonement and how blessed their lives are, bearing sincere and solid testimony of Him, come on now, IT"S TRUE! I love it. My testimony was strengthened by each and every talk given. What a great weekend!

This week we had a great lesson with the 19 year old kid that we have been teaching. He is solid, he is a fire knife dancer and performs for tourists almost every night. Really good at it, I am super jealous of him. He was so stoked for conference so we will see on Wednesday what he thought. He is getting baptized on the 29th of this month so that will be a good day. He reads the Book of Mormon everyday and that is why his testimony is already so strong. Listen to Elder Callister's talk about the Book of Mormon,  he talked about why the Book of Mormon is true. Every single investigator that gets baptized is a living witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, it really will bless your life more than you can imagine. The lady we were teaching has taken a break which was real disheartening but she will come around I know it.

On Thursday we were teaching this teenage girl that we tracted into. She is super cool, grew up believing in God and such but just has never really been active in any church that she has attended. She said she is looking for something new so Elder Street and Elder Mafi taught her a lesson once and then on Thursday was the first lesson we had with her. In light of conference, we obviously taught about prophets and the importance of conference. It was super cool and spiritual, we first taught about prophets in the past and their pattern and then we told about Joseph Smith and then said the Prophet today is Thomas S. Monson. She jumped a little and said "wait, there is a prophet on the earth today!?" Amazing the knowledge that we have of that and no one else does. She was excited to watch conference so hopefully everything went well with that.

Other than that things are well, we had ZLC today which was good, President gave us a powerful testimony. We have a lot of good stuff coming up, the mission is striving to hit 115 baptisms for this month of October and the mission is really loading up for the next 4 weeks, we will see what happens. Good stuff is in store. I love you! Thanks for everything you do, it means so much to me! God speed!

PS. Mom you were right, you should have MADE me play the piano when I was younger, I now regret it haha!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

ALOHA!! September 26, 2011

 Elder Stelter and Garritson tracting!
Elders Stelter and Garritson

Elders Street, Garritson, Post and Stelter

Aloha friends and family! Its good to hear from you each and every week, I love to hear about what you are all doing. It's always comforting to know the ones I love back home are doing so well. Things out here are good! The mission is looking good for the upcoming month of October. We had a couple of good months, August and September, and with October being a 5 week month, we will see at least 100 baptisms! We are shooting for our 115 so we'll play it out and see what happens! The weather out here is nice as always, it does get a little cold at night, drops down to 65 or so, have to throw on a jacket sometimes haha!

So these past couple of weeks were crazy what with transfers and stuff. Monday was a good Pday, we all went and hung out at the Clowards house for the final Pday of the transfer! Had a good old BBQ, played some ball and just cruised, always a good time to be with other missionaries. That is one of my favorite parts of the missions, being able to meet all the missionaries and get to know their stories. There are a lot of cool people in this mission!

Tuesday and Wednesday were crazy with all the new missionaries coming in. Its always cool picking them up and seeing how excited they are to go out and baptize. It takes me back to the day I first came in and I just think how much more prepared these missionaries are. We had a solid group of elders and sisters come in! They are really good! Wednesday is the day of transfers which is always crazy but this one went really smooth. Everyone got where they need to go and that is all that matters haha! The mission has taught me a lot and one of those things is how to be patient. There are times when you just have to bite your tongue and hold give your whole-hearted support through a difficult time! Definitely a humbling experience! I learn a lot, so its all good.

Thursday was probably one of the hardest days of the mission. Thursday is the day the missionaries go home. So we get to be with them most the day, driving them around. This group that went home was a solid group of elders. All were zone leaders, 4 of them were assistants, and the sisters were solid! They all were missionaries I've looked up to my entire mission and some of my best friends out here. It was cool being able to hear each one of them bear their final testimony of how the mission has blessed their lives. The Spirit is always so strong in that room. We eat and then drop them off at the airport. So hard to say good-bye to each and everyone of them, that's the hardest thing of the mission, saying good-bye to those you love. The only thing that gets me thru it is knowing that I will see them again, whether in this life or the next. Every single one of them, i'ts a comforting doctrine! The mission is very young now, it will be a good 8 more months!

So as for Elder Stelter and I, we have taken over the Kaimuki ward. The ward is solid, we already have 2 people that are getting baptized in the month of October. It's good to have an area and investigators of your own! The first lady is super solid. She is probably in her early to mid 30's and one day just showed up to church. About 10 years ago she was meeting with missionaries and just felt like the church wasn't for her. She went on and went to other churches and kind of just stopped. One Sunday a couple weeks ago she showed up to Church and said she just got a prompting that this is where she needs to be. She met with the ward mission leader who is SOLID and he just made her feel really welcome and involved and she definitely felt the Spirit. We have taught her 2 lessons and they were great! She takes notes, reads everything and recognizes the Spirit as she does so. She is super excited to get baptized at the end of this month on the 22nd. It is always a strengthening of my testimony to see miracles happen like that! The other boy is 19 and he just graduated from high. He had a friend just get baptized a couple months ago and he is just loving it. His friend invited him to church and now he is planning to get baptized on the 29th of October so its really cool. We haven't had a lesson with him but he already has a strong testimony

Love this work man, its the best. Thank you all for everything, thank you for the prayers! Stay close to the Gospel, this world is getting crazier and crazier but I know as we stay close to the Gospel and our Savior Jesus Christ we will be protected from the storms of the adversary. Love you all, have a great week!

Elder G.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

ALOHA! September 19, 2011

Once again, What's not to love about Hawaii! 

(Found some pictures Jordan sent in July, some I hadn't posted yet.  He was with his comp, Elder Street in the pic above.)
Hey all,
Hey I won't be able to sit down and write anything today, we got too much tonight. 
Things are solid, gearing up for the greenies tomorrow and then all my buddies go home Thursday, that'll be rough!
 Anywho, things are good here. Mission is doing alright, we could be doing better as far as baptisms. We had 60 last month and will probably get around that this month. For some reason we keep pushing the 5 week months so I bet October we hit 100 again. It's pretty cool, Elder Stelter and I finally got an area. It's the one Elder Street is in right now so, when we go in, we have a couple already getting baptized in October so it will be good! Should be a good transfer, no zone conferences and stuff so we can just work hard on exchanges and in our area!!

Love ya
Elder G.

Monday, September 12, 2011

ALOHA!! September 12, 2011--HAPPY BIRTHDAY JORDAN!!!!

Whats up! Thanks for the birthday wishes, much appreciated. I am being taken care of out here don't worry. We hit up some Denny's this morning and then tomorrow night President is taking us out to eat so I am pumped. It's just another day, 21 already though, crazy stuff. Its already been 21 years I cannot believe it.

So this week was good, we had some good zone conferences around the island. Tuesday we were over in Makakilo at the Stake Center, which is in Kapolei. So many good memories over there! I love that place to death, it was cool just driving around there. Wednesday was over in Maui and what's not to like about that place. Thursday was here in Honolulu and that was solid just because of everyone that was there. It's hard to see all the missionaries that are going home bear their final testimonies. It's definitely a testament to me of how true the Gospel is seeing how the Lord shapes us while we are out here on a mission. The 7 elders and 4 sisters that go home this next week are some of the best we have. They were all very successful out here and changed many lives, but most importantly their own lives where changed. It is going to be hard to say good-bye to these missionaries.

This weekend was just kind of planning out for the upcoming transfer so nothing to special. We found a solid mexican food place to eat at tho! Man you don't realize how much you miss something until you don't have it anymore, and mexican food is one of those things in Hawaii! There are hardly any places so its always a blessing to eat at one!
Anywho, I love you all! I know that this is the true Church on the earth today, that Jesus Christ established it. I know that he is our Savior and he did what he said he did so that we can return to Father. Thank you for everything, have a great week!
Love to all.
Elder G.

Monday, September 5, 2011

ALOHA--September 5, 2011

Boy sounds like everything back home is flying by 100 miles per hour! Its good to hear you guys are doing well though, that the baby is healthy and school and stuff is in order. You know, it puts a smile on a missionary's face hearing about his family and how well they are doing. Being 3000 miles away and knowing that they are doing well is good stuff. I love it. Sounds like the football season is in full swing, Cougs & Utes coming out victorious is always a good thing to hear. Bummer to hear the Aggies barely lost to Auburn.

The work of the Lord here in Hawaii is solid as ever!
This week was crazy with all the zone conferences! We started Tuesday in Kauai, Wednesday back in Laie (ah I miss that place like crazy), Thursday over in Kaneohe and Friday we went over to Big Island. Man it was a fun time, we had some good stuff happen. Zone Conference is the best, so much learning goes on and the best part of it all is to hear President Dalton speak at the end. The focus right now is the Doctrine of Christ and that is always something good to hear.

This weekend was amazing! On Saturday was the baptism of Tayla Jay, the daughter of Brother and Sister Jay who were baptized last year when I was in Kahala. The baptism was so spiritual. It was cool to be able to be back in Kahala ward. So many good faces and members that I haven't seen in a long time, it was good to be there. On Sunday we got to be a part of her confirmation and being up on that stand while she was being confirmed brought a flood of memories from last year when Brother and Sister Jay got confirmed. Such a testimony builder. The blessing she received after the gift of the Holy Ghost was pronounced upon her was wonderful. I have been so blessed with everything out here on my mission. Companions I have had, wards I have served in, investigators and converts I have been able to meet, everything. I couldn't ask for anything better! I love it, I love this work, I love this Gospel. Sorry this is so short, things right now are crazy but are going really well, I love you all! Stay in touch!

Friday, September 2, 2011

ALOHA!! August 30, 2011

What a good week over here in Hawaii, every week is a good week come on now its Hawaii! We saw some good miracles and the hand of the Lord in a lot of our work, it was great.

On Monday we were able to go to the Jay's and be there for the marriage of their daughter. She was baptized by the bishop of the Kahala Ward and it was a very good talk he gave! He talked about having a "high performance" marriage and how that is possible. It was something that obviously didn't apply right now but I put it in the back of my mind for the futute haha! See I got it all down. The best part is now that they are married, they will be baptized this Saturday! Almost one year from when Brother and Sister Jay were baptized. I am so excited to be back in Honolulu, I have been able to see Bro. and Sis. Jay a couple times while being in town, they are just the best. Bro. Jay is still cracking his jokes and making everyone laugh, I love it! I cannot wait for the baptism this Saturday, it will be the best

On Wednesday we were over in Waipahu and saw a huge miracle. The elders over there have been working with these 2 kids for a while now and the kids are dying to get baptized but the father feels they aren't ready. Every time the kids pray they would just pray that they can get baptized. They attend church every week and it was just time, just waiting for that right moment. Well a tradegy happened and we went over there and explained that if the kids receive the Holy Ghost it will help them through this hard time. The Father's attitude completely changed and he asked us if we really believed that was true, we bore testimony that it was and it will! He said okay lets do it this Saturday! The kids were baptized and on Sunday recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost! What a miracle, the Lord always provides a way, I love it!

Friday was a great day, I was able to go out with Elder Carter and Elder Bown. Elder Carter and I were in the MTC together and he is just a hilarious kid. So being together with him is always just a riot. We have a good time and do some good laughing but get a lot of work done. Elder Bown is the man too. I would love to be companions with him one day, that would be awesome!

Saturday and Sunday we just had a lot of planning for these upcoming weeks, the next 2 weeks we will be around to all the zones at zone conference. We are really excited, this will be awesome! Today we were over on Kauai for the first of 7 zone conferences. I saw my boy Elder Smith, he is the best. I miss that kid like crazy we had some good old days back in Kahala. He is doing well over there, lucky guy this is his second time serving on Kauai and most people never get to serve there! Also crazy stuff, Sister Brown gave her final testimony. She goes home next transfer. The crazy thing is that she came out with us. So that just means time is running by quickly. Still have a while but its scary! I am loving it tho, these 2 weeks will be awesome!

Well Elder G is an uncle once again! My brother Tyler and his wife had their second baby last night. Autumn Alexandria Garritson. She is so cute! I wish I could be there but I know I am in the right place right now. My other niece Afton is huge and now is talking, its amazing how fast kids grow up. This gospel is the best, I am so grateful that we can live together as families forever! What a joy to be able to have that knowledge!

 Thanks for everything, love you guys!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ALOHA- August 22, 2011

Well another week down and this week was definitely not as eventful as the last week. We went on some good exchanges this week but nothing too crazy. We had a way cool experience on Saturday when we went up to the baptism of a guy in Laie. He has been taught by missionaries for over a year and was super solid but never felt right about being baptized. He had a lot of days where he committed to being baptized but never got to that point, until Saturday. He got baptized and it was a super spiritual experience! He bore his testimony after and said he knew that everything was true. Glad to see another worthy convert enter into the covenant!

This week was my "return to old areas" week. On Wednesday we went out on exchanges with the zone leaders over in Kapolei! I went with Elder Routt, he is one solid elder! Really taught me a lot and we had a good time being together. We had some good success, found a couple new potentials and saw the old members. Boy do I miss that ward, I love everyone there they are the best. We stopped by Roclyn and Elroy's house as well, they are the best! I miss those 2 like crazy! They were super shocked to see me but we had a good talk and they are doing solid. Been confirmed and just loving the church. They are going to seminary as well and love it. Great day.

Thursday was another great day, we went out to Kahala, my first area! I love that area too, such a solid place. I went out with E. Nawatu from Fiji and E. Menlove from Olympus. Two more great missionaries that just work their hearts out. They are having a lot of good success over in Kahala, but that is expected because they are good, hard-working elders. Everyday I go out I learn something new and it just makes me so grateful to be able to see so many elders.

The best part of the entire exchange was that we had dinner with the JAYS! Man it was so good to see them again, they are doing very well, B. Jay is still the Gospel Doctrine teacher and S. Jay is in the Relief Society Presidency. They are currently in the temple prep classes and they finish them up in about 1 month. They are going to be sealed in the temple for all time and eternity!!! I am so happy, they are either doing it the last week of September or right after conference, ah what a blessing. It made me so happy to hear that. I cannot wait until that day, they are the best. To add more to the cake, tonight their daughter is getting married and coming up on the 3rd she will be baptized along with her husband! It starts with one person and the rest follow when they see the change come into their lives. I am so grateful for that, cannot wait for these upcoming months, they will be the best.

Things are going well out here, I really appreciate everything that you have all done for me. May the Lord bless you all in all that you are doing,
Love you guys!
Elder G

Monday, August 15, 2011

AROHA! August 15, 2011

Another day another dollar! Whats going on my friends, this has been a crazy week, at times it feels like it has been going on for 9 and a half years and than I look back and can't believe it is already P day again. It was nice today to have some rest from the hectic week, transfer weeks are always nuts, its fun. I am enjoying it out here, things are starting to cool down so we have a nice breeze always coming in and the temperature doesn't get too hot. Everyone is back to school, not as many tourists around and things are back to normal.

So the start of this week was one of the coolest and most spiritual experiences I have ever been a part of. I am not sure if I mentioned about R**** and E**** last week, the 14 & 15 year old girl and boy that we tracted into when I was with Elder Larsen in Kapolei. Well they have always been so close to baptism but never could make that final hurdle. On Saturday night President Dalton went over to their home with their home family and they just could not deny the Spirit that was felt. We talked about it and they both wanted Elder Larsen to be there so they did it on Tuesday night, the last night for Elder Larsen!! What a way to go out from a mission, your investigator gets baptized on your last night! Unreal, it was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. It was so cool to see how excited they both were before, but especially after they got baptized. No one that I have ever seen be baptized has denied the truthfulness of what they are doing! I am so blessed to be able to be a part of something as miraculous as this. I came home and just sat there and thanked my Heavenly Father to be able to be out here serving a mission. To see people change their lives each and everyday to come closer to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They put off so much to enter into the waters of baptism because they see how important these things are. Its not always easy, but they never have any regrets. R**** and E**** are two of the greatest people I have ever met in my entire life. They really strengthened my testimony and I am just so thankful that I was able to see such a change in them. These are two people I will never forget for the rest of my life. The coolest part of the whole thing was that on Tuesday, 18 new missionaries came to Hawaii, so instead of taking them to orientation we brought them to the baptism! The chapel was PACKED! There were so many people from the ward and all over the island to support them in this great decision of their life. What a day, I love this Gospel!

Wednesday was the crazy day, transfer day! This is where all the missionaries on Oahu come to get transferred around to their new areas and meet their new companions-they all come at around 1:00. It's a cool morning to see all the missionaries that you haven't seen in ages. I have gained so many friends out here. When would I ever meet people like this from all over the entire world? And not only meet with them but be able to serve with some of them and serve around a lot of them. Its amazing how diverse people are but even more amazing, how much the gospel brings people together. You know this has to be true. We had a good time with transfer day, it was great to see so many missionaries gathered together in one place, it doesn't happen often so I love it when it does.

Thursday of transfer week is one of my most looked forward to, but also most dreaded days. The good part is we get to be with the missionaries that are heading home for basically the whole day. The best part is to be a part of the testimony meeting that is held right before they head off to the airport. There were 18 that went home, so the Spirit was so strong hearing all the missionaries bear their witness of how the mission has changed their life. It really is something that will shape your life forever. They just say things that just bring the Spirit and confirm what is true. The bad part of the night is dropping these wonderful people off at the airport. The hardest part for me is seeing all the leaders that I looked to growing up in the mission step onto the airplane. Some of my best friends, Elder Larsen, Elder Jaramillo, Elder Lunt, Sister De Arton, and Sister Sandoval all went home. There were many other amazing people but these were all people I either served around or was companions with and just watching them leave was hard. Each and everyone of these 18 missionaries served their Father in Heaven faithfully. Its hard to see them leave but the only thing that makes it bearable is knowing seeing them leave is only temporary, I will get to see all of them again.

Other than that, the rest of this week was planning for the upcoming month and getting things organized. I am excited for this upcoming month, the mission is on the rise and all the missionaries are excited. We saw 105 people baptized last month so we keep seeing miracles. We have a lot of good stuff upcoming for these next 5 months.
 I love it. I am so blessed to give 2 years of my life to my Father in Heaven, what I give doesn't even come close to what I receive. Thanks for everything!
 I love you all.
Elder G OUT!

Friday, August 12, 2011

ALOHA!! August 8, 2011

A couple more pictures from the hike up Mauna Kea.

Jordan with his companion, Elder Street. 
So this week was pretty basic, nothing really happened. We did a lot of the transferring planning and had a good time doing that. It truly is amazing how the revalatory process works, I love it! It really has taught me a good lesson that I will use for the future. The best thing is being able to serve around President Dalton, man what a blessing to serve around such an accomplished man in the church and in life. I have started a book of advice from President Dalton.

I am doing solid, tomorrow the greenies come in and it is going to be crazy! Its wild when the new missionaries come in, but its fun I love it. I can't wait this is going to be a good week. I love you guys, thanks for everything!

Love, Elder G.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pics for August 1, 2011

haha these were the two Elders that I thought I was going to have to kill the dog with.

My future home. We tracted into this house, the people here are so relaxed they jsut invited us for a drink, wanted nothing to do with religion but love to talk story, it was hilarious!

Solid lookout right on the edge of the area

It was way cold up there! I was so cold that I had 2 coats on and a blanket with a huge hat!

Yes there is snow and ice in Hawaii!