So first about the Typhoon! I keep hearing crazy stories and am honesty SO grateful that Legazpi was okay. I can't imagine being a missionary in Tacloban! So I'm sure many of you know that all the missionaries were taken out of Tacloban. Many of them passed through here on their way to Manila. The rumor is some of them will be reassigned here is Legazpi on the 26th. We will see! A bunch of members from Tacloban stayed at our chapel for a night. The members here are so awesome! They all came together and provided food for them and showers and all they needed. The members from Tacloban were ones that had cars so they drove out and then took the ferry and drove to our chapel to stay then went to Manila. We went over and ate with them and talked with them and helped out. It was so heartbreaking. They all looked so exhausted and just shocked. Their cars were full of anything that was spared and all the things they would keep from their precious life. It made me so sad. Everything they know is just gone. Good news though, Sister Gamba was able to hear that her family is safe! They said the biggest thing is lack of food though.
So this week has been pretty crazy! I got super sick with the flu and had a super high fever, which sucks in the Philippines because you can't cool down. So that affected our work on Friday and Saturday, but we still had a lot of awesome lessons! We were able to visit Angelica (the ones whose dad is a pastor for 7th Day Adventist). She always has had a problem with the Book of Mormon, but after our lesson she said she wants to know now if it's true and that it makes sense. She now understands that is doesn't replace or take away from the Bible. She said she will begin to read from the start. The spirit was so strong! Then there was our lesson with Delia. The hard core Catholic that knows her Bible. Inako! Basically she denies everything we say. It was cool though because at the end we bore POWERFUL testimony and she couldn't deny that. When you bear your testimony as a missionary it is like the people become dumbfounded. They can't deny your testimony. They just go silent.
So my birthday was awesome here! The sisters in my apartment surprised my with cake and balloons and sung to me. I didn't know, but they had stayed up the night before getting it already, while I was dead asleep because I took Niquil haha. The best part was opening my package from home! Just knowing that it came from home made me happy! We had 2 dinner appointments haha. Both of the Derosan families found out it was my birthday and so they insisted on having me over. They are my second and third families here! I love them so much! They made my day so happy! I was so full though after I thought I was going to die. Eating mass amounts of food some days and then barely anything on others is for sure a skill gained here on the mission.
So we got transfer announcements on Saturday and I am being transferred! I am so sad to leave my first area, but excited for a new adventure! It was hard to say goodbye to a lot of the people here. It breaks my heart to leave our investigators and not be able to see their progression, but I know there are people waiting for me in my next area! Legazpi has been so good to me! I will find out tomorrow where my next area will be and who my next companion will be!
So this week I have thought a lot about happiness. I have always been a happy person due to the gospel and good friends and family, but sometime here on the mission there are days where it can be hard to be cheerful. Investigators don't progress a lot of the time, less active members are stubborn, companionships aren't perfect, and you are away from you family and friends. But happiness really is a choice. No matter what the circumstances are you can choose to be happy and look for the good. You can put a smile on your face and not let the bad get to you. True happiness comes as we embrace the gospel and choose to be happy. There are trials that await us each day when we get up, but if we will pray to find the good in the day and choose not to focus on the bad we can be cheerful. Other people will see that joy and be happier because of it.
That is all I have! I love you all so much! Have a great week!-Sister Gardner