Wednesday, March 12, 2014

3/10/14 Half Way

Family and Friends!

This week has been super crazy (like every other week), but so good! I don't have that much time to email either because we had to travel to the mainland today for MLC, but I will try my best to make sense. I think that I will just go by day because so much has happened!

Monday- Rosalie told us the story about how the first time Sister Lang and I came to her house she wanted to not let us in, like she she had done with all the other missionaries from other religions, but she said she was prompted by something (Holy Ghost) to let us in and then after that to let us come back. She said how thankful she is that she let us in and that it was meant to be. She told us how different her life is now and that she wouldn't know the truth if we had never come to her door. Her baptism is with two of her little girls. I am so excited for them! 

Tuesday- We taught Tatay Dominidor with a translator because he only speaks Masbateno and it was an amazing lesson! He came all the way from the mountain to let us teach him and he commited to be baptized and was relieved that he wasn't too old. At the end of the lesson he gave his first prayer without any help. It was so sweet. I truly felt that he was talking with his Father in Heaven for the first time. Sister Donato and I were both teary after his prayer. 

We also had FHE with the Ramirez family (Rosalie's family). It ended up being just Rosalie and the kids, wala si Brother, but it was still awesome! It was a lot of fun and their family got to know some of the members better! Games of course were the best part. We played the pulis and magnanakaw game-my favorite FHE game. It's about as intense as it gets here on the mish. 

Wednesday- HALF WAY! My 9 month mark here on the mission! I have no idea where the time has gone! I know that the second half is going to be twice as fast! I don't know how to feel. I am a completely different person and I hope that I will continue to grow and progress and be more Christlike for the last half (and become more fluent in Tagalog while I am at it). 

Thursday- We had exchanges this day, I was with Sister Boorau. One of our appointments we basically had to walk through the ocean to get to our appointment because the tide was so high. It was worth it though, because it was a really good lesson. 

I started to read the Book of Mormon from the start again. I am trying to do the "It is not how much you go through the Book of Mormon, but how much of the Book of Mormon goes through you." I am really trying to take my time to read and ponder. I love the spirit I feel when I read the Book of Mormon, it is different than anything else. 

Friday- I went to the doctor for my ear and apparently I have holes in my ear drum, but all is good and I have medicine and pain killers and the whole shabang. No trip to Manila. I will just be deaf for several weeks until it heals...haha. Super awesome in lessons. The sweet Elders gave me a blessing though and all way up hill from there! Blessing are always better in Tagalog. We taught Tatay Dominidor again. Poor Tatay. He has the hardest time understanding, but he has such strong faith. He stayed up until 2 am the night before trying to read and understand the pamphlet we gave him. He is making me determined to learn Masbateno! And guess what? We always tell Tatay that we want to come to the mountain and eat Buko with him, and he brought 7 Buko with him down from the mountain for us! That is SO HEAVY! He is the sweetest! 

We reviewed the baptismal interview questions with Rosalie, Katrice, and Divine. They are so ready! I just love them!

Saturday- The Ramirez family had their interview. Rosalie and Divine did awesome, but poor Katrice, she was terrified of the Elders and was just bawling because she was scared to be interviewed. We finally calmed her down though and she did awesome! 

During lunch we put those coconuts to good use Pilipino style and made coconut soup! My favorite! 
Then we had quite the adventure! We were working with a member and she gave us a referral...their house was like far into the ocean and we had to go across this bridge...this sketchy, sketchy bridge. I thought for sure I was going to fall and my comp and the member didn't know how to I would be the one to save them. It was worth it though, the family was awesome! I am just terrified to go back. I will leave my camera home that day in case I fall in. 

Divine had her first "missionary moment." Someone asked her is she was becoming Mormon and Divine told her yes, and then the other kid said that we had a different God- Joseph Smith. Divine cleared that one up fast! 

Sunday- So much happened this day, but I am running out of time! The best was when we taught Bryan and Dende (Rosalie's oldest kids). We taught by candle light and I guess that just set the climate for the spirit to be strong. There were a lot of tears in that lesson. It was about the atonement. Dende said that closing prayer and in her prayer she said that she was thankful she went to church with her mom because now she knows what she needs to do. Dende is so amazing and I can see that as she accepts the gospel into her life she is finding peace and direction. 

We also taught Marilyn and she said she will get the cenomar she needs in order to be baptized tomorrow. Rosalie set the example and now she is excited to be baptized! She is so ready! 

That about sums up the week! I could tell a million more stories but I have to save some to tell when I get home! Things are so good right now! I love my comp-we have so much fun and she is such an amazing teacher and example for me! I don't ever want to leave Masbate! I don't think I can do it! I can't leave the Ramirez family!! I love them way too much! 

I love being a missionary! The best decision I ever made was to come on a mission. I thank my Heavenly Father every day for letting me know I needed to go. I don't know why I was stubborn to go when the age change came out, but at least Someone knew what was best for me. 

I love you all! Thanks for all the prayers and support!

-Sister Gardner

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