Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2/16/14 Valentine's Day In the Philippines

Family and Friends!

So this week was transfer week! My new companion is Sister Donato. She is from the Philippines and really funny and an awesome teacher! We are having fun together and working hard! It is always an adjustment and transfers, but I think that it will be a good one!

So this week was a really awesome one! We had a lot of really good lessons and we have some solid investigators that are really progressing! Well it was awesome until Sunday when most of them didn't come to church. Sunday was a rough day because it meant a lot of moved baptismal dates, but other than that it was a good week!

We were able to teach Rosalie and her family quite a few times this week. She is beyond ready for baptism! She cried in one of the lessons and thanked us for what we have brought to her family. She said that each night her 3 little girls pray together and she is so grateful that they now know what it is to pray. She really wants for her whole family to be baptized. We are still teaching her 2 girls that are 9 and 11. They will be baptized with her and then we started to teach her 2 older kids this week and it went awesome! We are still trying to catch her husband when he is home from work, but it has been a struggle! He reads the Book of Mormon though! We taught Rosalie about Tithing and Fasting this week. I am always nervous about teaching those 2 lessons, but I guess I need to have more faith. Rosalie said that of course she would live those 2 commandments after he baptism because she has faith that God will bless her and her family if she does. Golden! We are teaching her about temples tonight! It is going to be such an awesome lesson for her! 

Marilyn came to church for the 7th time and is so ready for baptism! She never ceases to make me smile! She always walks into church with the biggest smile on her face and whenever I ask her how she is, she says happy! 
We are continuing to teach Glen and Riza, and they are just so golden! They are so shy to come to church though! They had had a really hard day one of the times we went to teach them this week and after the lesson they just kept thanking us over and over. They said that whenever we are there or whenever they read the Book of Mormon that they feel peace and everything feels okay. They are so special! One night they texted us after we taught them the Plan of Salvation and thanked us saying that we have shown them the way to return to the Celestial Kingdom. So sweet! So prepared!

One of my favorite things this week was the Valentines party at the branch. We are sitting doing our weekly planning and we get a call from the branch president telling us to come to the chapel for the valentines party because no one was there haha, so we go and it is some of the couples in our ward dancing and playing games. It was literally the funniest thing I have ever seen! I was dying laughing. Filipinos sure know how to have a good time. (I will try and upload a video to my skydrive). All the members made me play this game where you have to get a candy out of a giant pile of flour. I was covered in flour after. It was funny, but I could barely breath!

On Sunday I taught Relief Society all by myself with no preparation, and even though I wasn't exactly excited to get up and teach a lesson I hadn't prepared for in my second language- after I was thankful that I can finally do that. Just get up and ramble in Tagalog!

So despite people not going to Church, it was a good week! I learned a lot about the Atonement this week. We all have disappointments, heartaches, mistakes, hurt feelings, and mountains to climb- but if we apply the Atonement we can learn from these experiences and feel the love of our Heavenly Father and the love of Jesus Christ. Their love is real and their power in our lives is real. On my mission each day I feel an unseen power each day, giving me strength beyond my own to keep going and working my hardest. No one could handle the emotional and physical stress of a mission without the Atonement. I am so thankful for my mission because without it I would not be able to begin to understand what the Atonement really means for me.

I love and miss you all!  Pray for me to survive the 100 degree weather this week!

-Sister Gardner

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