Sunday, June 9, 2013


June 8, 2013 - Pamilya po ako!!!!  Magandang Hapon!  Kamusta po kayo?  First off... I leave July 15th now.  YAYAYAYA.  They changed it for our district.  Thank goodness.  More time to learn the language and more time here!!  I can't believe that it is already Saturday (my P-day) and I am writing you!  I absolutely love it!  The MTC is wonderful.  I haven't been homesick yet and I am having a blast!  I love home, but right now I am completely happy to be at the MTC.  Where to even begin?  Okay, so my Kasama's (companion's) name is Sister Christensen.  She honestly is so great!  We have different strengths and weaknesses and so we make a really strong companionship.  She is from Oklahoma.  She lives on a farm, has a huge family, and graduated with like 13 people?  So we come from very different backgrounds but we love eachother and lift eachother up!  I cannot speak highly enough of my district!  I love every single person that is in it.  We have such a range of people.  Everyone is so unique and I love all of them.  We help eachother through the hard times and with the language and we laugh and laugh...and laugh.  We are a really strong district.  We love being together.  We always sit together at dinner and study together.  Our district leader is Elder Finneman.  He is part Filipino and has been to the Philippines several times.  He can understand the language so he has quite the advantage.  He doesn't speak it but it is a lot easier for him to learn.  He spends most of his time helping us with learning and pronounciation.  I love him dearly!  He is the most selfless person I have ever met.  He is such a natural leader.  Then there is Sister Carr.  I love her!  We have so much in common.  We love folk music, are studying Interior Design, and thought we would go to France on our missions.  She is so easy to talk to.  She is an older sister and really helps us younger sisters out.  Elder Wilcox is the funniest person ever for personality.  He makes jokes all day long and I DIE!!  Then there is Elder Manning who likes to convince people he is Petyon Manning's nephew (he's not).  He has such a strong testimony of the BOM and I really admire him for that.  I love Elder Packard's enthusiasm about EVERYTHING. It is getting him far and he is doing awesome with the language.  Elder Benson is also pretty funny.  What I admire most about him is his kindness.  He helps everyone in such a sincere way.  He bore his testimony to us and told us that his older brother died without serving a mission and so he is here for him.  He is just the sweetest.  Okay now for my favorite.  ELDER JOSEPH! He is from MicroAsia.  A small island in the middle of the Pacific that isn't on the map.  He speaks 6 languages because they are always being governed by new people and have to learn the language!!  But he does not know Tagalog yet.  He was baptized a year ago today and so he gets to go through the temple for the first time today!  I am so excited for him!  He is very nervous.  He misses his island and his parents, but loves it here.  He loves us and said we are his family.  We love him!  He is the only member in his family but he has already baptized 20 people back in Microasia!I love my district.  I already know I will miss them!  Luckily most of them are going to Legaspi.   I have learned so much from them.

So, the MTC is hard.  They throw so much information at you each day.  It is so overwhelming, but it is amazing how much you retain with the help of the Lord.  We were taught to learn the language as if it were a spiritual gift.  That has really helped me.  My teacher doesn't EVER speak English.  Every lesson is completely in Tagalog.  I am so amazed at how much I have learned so far.  I have a long way to go, but it is only my fourth day and I can pray, bear my testimony and basic greetings and questions.  Tagalog is the hardest and strangest language ever but so fun. Everyone not speaking Tagalog thinks we are insane.  We try to SYL (speak your language) as much as possible.  So me and Sister Christensen speak Taglish.

I already love my mission!  I have seen a lot of people here at the MTC! I see James, Christian and Rachel a lot.  They all seem happy! My Kasama says I know everyone here!  I love all of the love and support from home! I have received so many letters and I love to read them! Keep sending them!

Mahal po ako!
Sister Gardner

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