Monday, December 2, 2013


The crazy week of Typhoon Yolanda or I guess there are calling it Haiyan in the U.S. First of all, I am totally fine! It was only a level 2 typhoon in Legazpi, so just a really bad storm- nothing severe! The beach area was the most affected, which is my area, but we evacuated to Daraga and stayed with the Sisters there for 2 nights. There are lots of trees down and some of the really poor houses have damage, but the people are okay. It is nothing like Tacloban here. The scariest part is that is should have hit Legazpi as hard as it hit Tacloban, but by some miracle it went around us. The people here are so thankful!
So rewind to the start of the week. We had very little work this week because of the storm. Mostly before the storm all the people we taught wanted to talk about the storm coming and after all they wanted to talk about was the storm- so basically we related every lesson to the storm. 3 Nephi 8 was a favorite this week. On Monday we taught a new couple Josalyn and Melchor. They are awesome, except for the fact that they only really speak Bicol- so I guess I will start learning Bicol now- something I have been avoiding. And the fact that it took us 45 minutes to get Melchor to pray at the end of the lesson. Haha he was so stubborn, but so were we. We also have another new investigator- Danilyn! She is 21 years old and so smart! We talked to her and left her a pamphlet last week and then visited her this week and she had read the whole pamphlet and had tons and tons of questions. They were awesome questions too like, How do we know which of all the churches is true and if the church is centered on families what do you do if you are the only member in your family. She is so awesome!!! We are excited to go back and teach her!
So Wednesday is when we started hearing about the Typhoon. We were told to put everything from the first floor of the apartment up to the second floor because at least 6 feet of flooding was expected because our apartment is below sea level. So we came back early from working and moved EVERYTHING up stairs. Including the fridge. That was a struggle. We then were told we would spend Thursday night and however long until everything was safe wit the Sisters in Daraga because their apartment would be safer during the storm. So we packed enough food and water and clothes for at least 4 days. Thursday morning we had zone training, but spent most of the time moving all the stuff in the chapel on the stage there because flooding was expected. The storm was supposed to be a level 5 here so most of the people were really preparing. After zone training and before we went to Daraga we spent a few hours going and visiting the members and investigators in our area to see if they needed help preparing. Some of them were ready to evacuate, but some of them were just chillin watching TV. Good thing the storm didn't hit bad here because a lot of people would not have been prepared!
So then we were stuck inside the apartment in Daraga from Thursday afternoon until Saturday morning. We had fun because there were 8 sisters, but we for sure got bored! A lot of studying and laughing. We kept watching the storm and thinking it was going to get worse, but it never got too bad. There were a couple really loud gusts of wind, but nothing too major! The power was out for a day and half- which meant to water, but nothing serious. Everyone here is fine!
I think the people were really humbled though and just thankful it didn't hit here like it did in Tacloban. We had so many people come to church yesterday it was insane! I guess the storm made people think about what really is important.
One of the Sisters in our apartment is from Tacloban and she hasn't been able to get in any form of contact with her family. I am super worried, but she says she feels like they are okay. We have been praying a lot for her. Last night me and my companion saw a little clip of news while were were walking by a house and we were shocked! The damage is insane! I don't even know how to react because it could have been here. I'm sure we will be doing some form of service for those affected, but I'm not sure what yet.
This week has for sure been a crazy one! One I will never forget! I am safe though and I know that in any natural disaster here I will be okay, the missionaries are very well taken care of.
This week we will get transfer announcements and I will most likely be transferred. So I will be saying a lot of goodbyes this week and getting ready to go to my second area! I can't believe how fast the time is flying! I love you all and thanks for all of your prayers for the Philippines during this time! Mahal Kita! Ingat!
-Sister Gardner
P.S. We had district activity this morning and went bowling...again...but I creamed my whole distrcit...again...I think I found my hidden talent.

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