Monday, December 2, 2013

11/25/13--Transferred to the Island of Masbate

I am transferred!! To the Island of Masbate! It was sad to leave Legazpi and all of our investigators there and the members, but I am really happy here! It is so beautiful here on the Island! Our apartment is right on the Ocean, not the prettiest beach, but still RIGHT on the water! It is a dream! Our area is all along the beach- basically paradise! My new companion is an American. Sister Lang. We spend much of our time walking all day. I love her so much! We have so much fun together! She was the first American sister ever on the island and I along with another sister that came with me this transfer are the second.  So yes, three Americans and one Filipino in one apartment. That never happens!

Our branch is really small, but bigger than my Brooklyn branch! The Branch President is is only 25 years old, but he so awesome and so involved with Missionary work because he served his mission here so he knows the area really well! Our area is basically an open area. My companion and her old companion split the area, but we got assigned the far area that they rarely went to. When I got here we had 4 Investigators in our area and then 2 less active members. Now from tracting we have 18 new investigators and a long list of less active members to find! So yeah we basically go tracting all day every day. So many people let us right in to teach them. The people are super nice and since they have never seen Americans before they are super excited about that! All of the little kids follow us around everywhere. One day we had a herd of 30 kids! They try to come into lessons with us, but we tell them they can't, so they wait outside until we are done and follow us to the next appointment. It is so great! Sometimes since we are both American, things get a little sketchy for us...but we have had a lot of experiences where the spirit warns us to get out of certain areas, so we feel safe. We don't work at night either. We do our studies at night now and we feel completely safe in the day. We have had so many crazy experiences this week though! 
We basically became marriage counselors in one lesson-- haha. We were tracting and then we started to teach this couple and they were listenening and then all the sudden they start asking us if it is okay if they split up. We were like ummm we are 20. The wife kept saying he is my second husband and he is madaldal (it means like super talkative in an annoying way) and then the husband kept saying she was his 4th wife. We were just laughing. But then they fed us Otap, so we were okay. 
So every time I teach about families- I always ask "Do you want to be with your family for eternity" and everyone usually responds by saying "of course," but here on the island it is a different story. Now it is a joke between me and sister Lang to see what people will say. I have gotten three no answers this week haha for various strange reasons and then yesterday this one guy said to me when I asking him "Sino ayaw." Which means like, who would not want that. I just wanted to say, you would be surprised. Haha its pretty great. 
My favorite story from the week- So we are tracting and we start talking to this lady and we asked if we could come in and share our message with her. She kept trying to make excuses and we could tell she didn't really want us to, but she finally just said okay I'll listen, but I am busy. So we sit down and are talking to her and she isn't really paying that much attention, so we are a little frustrated. She was looking down and writing in this book. So then we pray and start the lesson. Slowly she stopped looking down at her book and eventually she was completely focused on our message. She began answering our questions and telling us about her family! At the end of the lesson she told us that she felt cold when we spoke to her and that the hairs on her arms were sticking up. She told us it was something different than the wind though. She said she has only ever felt that way when she sings at church. The Holy Ghost!!! It was such a testimony builder for me to know that people recognize the spirit when we teach them. 
Miracles are really happening in our area! Yesterday we had two people that we had tracted and taught show up to church! That never happens! We were sooo excited! I am feeling the spirit so strongly this transfer and seeing so many miracles already! I know that it is because we are being obedient and working our very hardest to build up our area and bring the gospel to there people! 
I am just so happy here on the island! I am so thankful to be here serving these humble and kind people! The Lord is seriously preparing people to receive the gospel. It is amazing to be a part of it and see!
I love you all and miss you! Thanks for all the prayers and support!
-Sister Gardner

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