Wednesday, January 15, 2014

1/13/14 Ups and Downs

Dearest family and friends,

This week has been crazy! Lots of ups and downs, but I learned a lot this week. This email might be all over the place. So Monday we traveled to Legazpi for MLC. I always learn a lot from MLC, but this week I realized how much I want to just have an eye more single to the work. I want to be more focused and give my all all the time. The time is passing quickly and I want to learn all that I can and help as many people as I can in the time that I have left. 

We also had a really good district meeting this week about teaching people, not lessons. Ever since then my companion and I have been teaching much more effectively and we have been able to really find out the concerns of our investigators. We also watched a video about the Atonement and Missionary Work. There are clips of Eyring and Holland speaking in the video and they talk about how missionary work is not easy because Salvation never was easy. The price payed by Christ for Salvation was not easy, so how can we expect missionary work to be easy? The blessing of the Atonement in missionary work is truly amazing though. If missionaries just rely on the power of the Atonement, they can accomplish so much and bring about so much good and experience so much growth. The fatigue, disappointment and sadness that missionaries often face, really is so small compared to what the Savior suffered. 

This week I got the latest conference Ensign in my package and so I have started reading it and a talk that really stood out to me that didn't really when I heard it in conference was "Be Meek and Lowly of Heart" by Elder Ulisses Soares. One of my biggest goals on my mission is to change to be a more Christlike person, and meekness is one of the biggest parts of the Character of Christ. Some of the attributes of a meek person that are mentioned in the talk are: righteous, humble, teachable, patient, recognize weaknesses, kind, anxious to improve, self-worth, self-control, calm, temperate, not prideful, faithful and forgiving. I love this idea of meekness and know that if we are meek that we will truly be happy. We will not ever be trying to compare or compete with others, but we will be content with ourselves and therefore be able to help and lift others. If everyone was meek this world would be such a different place! Christ is the ultimate example of meekness and because of him we have the opportunity to change and become more like him. Become meek. 

Church was really good this week! The spirit was really strong in every meeting and our branch is progressing so much! It makes me so happy! So right now we are teaching a girl that is 14 and her mom and sister are members but they are less active. We are also teaching her older sister, but she is out of town. Anyway, she has come to church 2 weeks in a row. The first time she liked it, but was embarrassed because all the girls had nice church outfits and she was wearing jeans and so this past week we gave her a skirt I never wore. She was so excited and she looked to cute at church! She is darling. She is brave to come to church all by herself! 

On a not so good note, we had to drop Roeal this week. It is kindof a long story, but basically we went again to teach him with President Lario and we were so excited because last time went so well, but it went really bad and we just can't go back. He is not listening to the spirit anymore and is not willing to sincerely pray about our message. No one can know the truth unless they will listen to the spirit and humbly pray to the source of all truth. Before we left he looked me and Sister Lang in the eyes and told us that he truly loves us and is so thankful for all that we do, but that we feels bad for everyone in our church because it is not right. It BROKE my heart. We both started crying. Roeal was so close to finding true happiness and he completely closed himself off. I know that Roeal loves us and I know it is because we brought him the truth and I know he saw and felt something different. I will continue to pray for him every day of my life and hope that everything will work out for him. After we left though his wife texted us a really sweet text. I feel bad for her. I know that she knows it is true, despite the hardness of Roeal's heart. Before we had left she wanted all of the pamphlets from the lessons we hadn't got to so that she could read them. I hope she will read the Book of Mormon and can help soften Roeal's heart.

Now on a lighter note- Someone in our branch uploaded a picture of me on her on facebook and someone from her mission commented and said the knew me and it ended up being one of translators from when I went to the Philippines before! Small world! 

While we were at the mission office earlier this week (which is like The Office tv show- the new financial secretary is such a Jim Halpert it is amazing)- they were telling us funny stories that happen in the office and this was my favorite.  One of the Senior couple missionaries said "My wife thinks I'm a God, she always feeds me burnt offerings." I was dying laughing. 

I also have a new favorite sentence "Kawili-wili ang kilikili mo." So fun to say. 

I hope that you all have a great week! I love and miss you all every day! 

-Sister Gardner

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