Saturday, August 17, 2013


Mga pamilya at kaibegan ko-
First of all... I won the bachelor bracket!!! I called it! I won all the way from the Philippines. I knew it was Chris after one episode. So I expect a reward friends...
Anyway, this week was great! I had some of the best moments, and some of the worst, but the good times always make it worth it and make the hard times bearable. Toward the end of the week I always have a hard time. I am always so tired and I find myself really homesick, but Heavenly Father knows how far he can push me. Just when I think I can't make it- the Lord extends his hand and shows his mercy. I know I am becoming stronger and stronger each day and becoming the person I am meant to be. It is not easy, but it is soooo worth it. Alma 26:27 was my scripture for the week. I read it right when I needed some comfort.
So rewind back to last Monday. Such a good night! We had family home evening with the investigators of the other sisters in our apartment. So we went over with the bishop and his wife, the mission leader, and the relief society president and her husband and then us missionaries. We are thinking it is going to be just the one family. UM.. NO. Their whole Barangay- like a mini neighborhood, its like a grouping of homes- was there. Tons of kids and parents! They were so excited when we got there! It was deep in the jungle and so beautiful! They were all nonmembers. We had so much fun! We played tons of Filipino games, laughed, ate food and shared a message about faith with them. They were all so interested in the church and now the other Sisters have a while new barangay of investigators! While we were there the mission leader- Brother Roman aka the funniest person ever started dancing for everyone. It was halarious. He was just smiling and doing some filipino dance while everyone laughed. Those are the moments that make missions so great.
So this week we went to Ligao for exchanges. I love Ligao! It is so beautiful and just a happy place. I want it to be my next area so bad! I adore the sisters there. So when we got there on Tuesday, we had another family home evening with most of the missionaries in their district, a big investigator family, and the stake president and his family. It was so much fun! We played more crazy Filipino games and ate delicious food. My new favorite thing- dad you would like this. It is Filipino fruit salad. So you just cut up a bunch of fruit- we had pears, apples, mangoes, grapes, and bananas- then you add a can of condensed milk and a can of cream (I think- it's called something else, but i can't think of it). Not whipped though- its soupy and yummy. Try it this week!  Ligao was just happy. I loved all the people I was able to teach there. I went with one of the sisters to this older couple's house and I guess it is tradition whenever a new missionary comes there they have to sing for the Tatay. So yes, I had to sing all by myself. I hated it haha but it was funny. What else? I made a baby cry because I am white. She looked at me and then wouldn't stop crying for like 30 minutes. So that's good.
We had combined zone conference this week with Ligao. I got to see many people from my MTC district and hear some of their funny stories. I got to meet a lot of missionaries and that is always fun.
Mom, you would be so proud. I have started to cook and make your recipes. So last week I made your stir fry. Our apartment loved it! Then this week I got stuff to make the Lemon pasta recipe you gave me! and french toast. You can call me top chef. I always am the assistant chef to the Filipina sisters when we travel. I am trying to learn how to cook Filipino food. I need recipes though, they just throw it into the wok.
It is hard to talk about all the investigators we have. We teach so many lessons per week and have so many investigators, recent converts and less active members. Some of my favorite lessons from this week though are Jane and Alex. So Jane is someone that Sister Fienga met with her previous companion. She had said they could come back, but I guess wasn't really interested so we haven't gone back yet. We were close though and so we decided to stop by. What an amazing lesson! Her question for us was why are there so many churches? It was perfect because we had planned to teach the Restoration. She was so happy to have her question answered and said it made perfect sense. At the end of the lesson she said she was excited for us to come back and knew our message would make her family happy. We had many experiences like this throughout the week. We randomly decided to visit former investigators, or people who we met that didn't seem super interested because we were close and they were all so receptive! I am excited about the people we are teaching right now!  So Alex, she is someone who owns a tindahan that we walk by almost every day. We always talk with her, but hadn't taught her a lesson yet. We taught our first one on Friday. We taught the restoration and then invited her to be baptized on October 5th and she accepted! I am so excited for her! Then there is Manny! We will visit him tomorrow probably. We met him on Saturday. He was sitting on a rock not doing anything. We said hi to him and then just walked by...but then me and Sister Fienga looked at each other and went back to talk to him. We have him a pass along card and he was so excited. He was so interested in talking with us and wants us to come back and teach his family.  I just have a good feeling about him and am excited to teach him and his family about the gospel. He was such a happy person.
So yesterday our ward was filmed singing "Sister's in Zion" for a relief society project in Washington state. Some ward is getting footage of different countries singing and then they are putting it together. I am trying to have it sent to you mom and dad when it is done so you can see the relief society here! Then last night we went to bring Sister Nelson cake for her birthday (senior missionaries that live next door). They invited us in and we sat and talked with them for an hour. They are the nicest people ever! It was what I needed after a rough day.
Apparently we are having a typhoon right now, but I don't really get it. It is just rainy...but what else in new? A little more cloudy which is nice. Apparently it is Philippines "winter", but I am still sweating like none other while everyone puts on their sweaters, sweatshirts and even beanies. I don't get it. It is sooo hot.
Everyone here gets amazed when I speak Tagalog on jeepneys, triceys, to give directions, at the store, etc. It is funny. They just get wide eyes and say- you know tagalog? (in tagalog) haha it makes me feel good. I tell them conte lang. Then they usually start talking to me and I can barely understand them.  I am becoming a pro at directions and catching jeepneys and such though. haha It is harder than the New York City Subway.
That is my week! The time passes fast and I truly love it here! The people are so amazing and so loving! I love and miss all of you! Keep writing and keeping me updated on your lives!
-Sister Gardner
Birthday Party

Neighborhood Teaching Appointment

Mission Leader Brother Roman dancing

Sister Missionaries


No comments:

Post a Comment