Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Kamusta mga pamilya ko at mga kaibigan ko!!! Pinaka Mahal Kita! Magmiss lahat kayo!
I leave for the Philippines in 9 days!!! I am 1/18 of the way done with my mission! We got our flight plans sahapon (yesterday)!!! I fly with 6 of the 10 people in my group- those of us going to Legaspi and Sister Carr who is going to Urdineta.  So here is the schedule: I leave on Monday the 15th from the MTC at 7:30. My flight from SLC to Portland, Oregon goes from 11:15 am to 12:04 PM(oregon time).  Then I leave from Portland at 2:10 and we fly to TOKYO! We get to Tokyo at 4:55 PM on July 16.  We leave Tokyo at 6:25 PM and fly to Manila.  We get to Manila at 9:55 Manila time.  Then we stay the night in Manila and then we fly to Legaspi, pero Hindo ko alam what time that flight is yet. So not a lot of time for talking on the phone because our layovers aren't very long, but I will call whenever I can.  I'm buying an international calling card here so I will be good on that.  Just translate all the times into SLC time and try to be around with your phones ready when I call! I am so excited to talk to you guys! I will try to perfect my Tagalog so I sound legit haha.  It doesn't feel real that I could possibly be leaving in 9 days! I am so stoked though! For sure nervous about the language, but everytime I picture myself back in the Philippines I get so Masigla!
Okay so now for my week, probably the best week at the MTC so far/ the fastest.  So last Sunday we had amazing speakers all day long.  Sheri Dew spoke to us and gave us things she would hope we would learn on our mission.  She is such an inspiring woman. We also had Robert P. Swenson speak to us.  He said that this is YOUR mission, not anyone elses.  The way your mission goes is completely up to you.  He said to not waste a single second.  That really stood out to me.  I don't want to waste ANY time.  I can sleep after my mission.  Joke Lang.  We also watched "Character of Christ."  It is a talk that Elder Bednar gave a while ago at the MTC.  It is about the Character of Christ, obviously.  I mainly talks about how Christ turns outward when the natural man would turn inward.  Bednar was so blunt the whole time.  At one point he said "Get over yourselves and lose yourself in the service of others."  I loved that! I want really work on turning outward on my mission.  I have a lot to work on to become more Christlike, but I know my mission will help me.  I said goodbye to Elder Barker also on Sunday.  He seemed very excited to be going.  It was wierd to say goodbye without giving him a hug, but don't worry Sarah I have him a really good handshake for you! I'll miss seeing him around! He wrote me a very nice note.  He will be such an amazing missionary.  He is so happy each time that I see him!  Also on Sunday we had a really cool experience with our District.  We all shared our testimonies of the Aklat ni Mormon and experience that we had had with it.  Elder Manning had finished the Book of Mormon for the first time earlier in the day.  He said he knew it was true the entire time he had been reading it, but he needed that special witness.  So him and his companion went back to their residence he went in the room while his Kasama waited outside the door while he prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true.  He said he got an answer and that he knows it is true.  He said he can never deny the Book of Mormon.  He was crying the whole time he was telling this story.  It was such a testimony builder to me that he KNEW it was true. An 18 year old boy KNOWS the Book of Mormon is true. 
So on Monday my mission opened! Thanks for the Martinellis mom! We all celebrated after class and added the mission to the map of the missions in our Klase! Also on Monday I had to go to the Dentist because I though I had a cavity.  Turns out that I don't, but I have been grinding my teeth so they are sensitive. They are feeling a lot better though.  Me and my companion got to go outside of the MTC though! It was so weird! We drove in a car...that felt weird. Then they were playing real music! It was AWESOME! Music has NEVER sounded so good.  They played Ho-Hey and it sounded like the best song EVER! My and Sister Christensen were dying! The 2 districts above us left on Monday and we got 4 NEW DISTRICTS (40 people) into our zone! It was SO hard to say goodbye to the Elders and Sisters.  I was so close to them and I miss them so much.  It just isn't the same.  I am already looking forward to seeing them in 1.5 years.  The new missionaries are all really fun, but if I can ever get half of their names I will be proud.  There are way too many of them! We have 4 new sisters in our room though and that is really fun! They are all so nice and we have fun!
We had some great teaching experiences this week! We taught our investigator Rombi for the second time.  He is so receptive it is unreal! He was very shy the first time me and Sister Christensen taught him, but he started to come out of his shell and it was amazing! He told us his heart felt Mabuti (good) and we told him that was the spirit.  He wants to learn about the gospel so badly and he always has really great questions for us.  He wants to know how we know these things are true! I feel the spirit so strogly when we teach Rombi.  Then there is Jay aka the hardest investigator ever.  I talked about him a lot last week I think.  We finally got somewhere with him! We talked about the Holy Ghost and we got him to pray! We have been trying to get him to pray for 3 weeks and he finally did! We asked him to be baptized and he said he wanted to, but he was afraid he was too weak and he didn't want to build up his faith to just have it come crashing down.  So we are talking about having faith in the Lord and the blessings that come from being obedient and I think he will accept the invitation.  I love Jay so much and I want to help him so badly!
The language is coming more and more each day.  We have been doing this thing where we speak to English speakers and have to translate back and forth between English and Tagalog.  It really, really helps.  I feel like I am really starting to be able to say what I need to.  It is so fun to speak! I love Tagalog more and more! I know when I get to the Philippines I will probably have to start over, but I can't wait to be fluent.  I decided I am going to teach my kids Tagalog! It will happen. 
The Fourth of July was a great day at the MTC! Our whole district when all out with the Patriotism.  We didn't have night class.  Instead we got to watch 17 Miracles with the whole MTC and then we got to watch the fireworks! It was really fun! It definitely wasn't the same as having a BBQ and getting to watch fireworks close up and then do your own, but it was a good break from the usual routine of the MTC! Last night there was a crazy storm! I don't know how it was in SLC but the lightening was basically hitting the MTC.  The thunder was SO loud! I can't wait for the rain in the Philippines!
Okay so for some stories. I literally feel like I laughed all week long, but here are some of the best ones.  So our teacher Brother Trebas is going on a cruise so he won't be here for our last day of class.  We were all giving him crap and Elder Wilcox goes "Ano po ang Our Whole Relationship was based on a lie sa Tagalog."  It was funny...but you probably don't get that.  One day during class Elder Trebas let us ask him question about the Philippines as long as they were in Tagalog.  Elder Manning asked if he ever held a monkey, but he used the verb that means to hold the priesthood.  We laughed pretty hard.  Here are my two favorite stories- Elder Joseph made a song about our district and our experience at the MTC.  It is the funniest/ cutest thing ever.  I am going to film it and I'll try to send it next week! The other one- Brother Kovach taught us a song he heard in a Jeepney while he was in the Philippines.  It goes "Sino ba, sino ba, sino sino sino ba, sino ba ang tatay mo?  I'll let you figure that one out on your own.  Hint- Tatay means Daddy. 
We have fun with the squirt guns! So thanks! I'm pretty sure we annoy everyone in the Residence, but oh well we leave in 9 days.  The residence will be a lot more peaceful without the Philippines sisters.  Thanks for all the packages everyone! Logan, Olivia, Aunt Amy, Mom, Dad, and Trent and Shelly! I love them! I always have yummy treats to eat and share! Expect letters from me, I sent them today! Thanks sooooo much for all the support everyone! I don't know if you understand the feeling of getting mail in the MTC.  It really is the best feeling ever! So keep writing! It might be harder when I get to the Philippines! Caitlin Jensen! I don't know if you read these..but you come in on Wednesday! I didn't think I would get to see you! I am so excited! I will be looking for you! YOU WILL BE SO GREAT! The MTC is the best place on earth! Be so excited! So excited to see you and give you a giant hug!
Mahal Kita! Talk to you next week!
-Sister Gardner

Shortest and tallest missionary in the MTC.

With Elder Cook

Me and my Kasama

With Sister Cutia.

With Elder Barker.

Celebrating the opening of the Philippines Legaspi Mission, July 1, 2013
4th of July

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