Tuesday, May 6, 2014

3/24/14 Transferred to Camalig

The best Family and Friends in the world!

So the big news of the week is that I am being transferred! I was SO sad when I found out! I though for sure that I would be staying on Masbate...but nope! Transferred! Not only that- I will be training and opening and area! Mamatay ako! I am so scared! It is going to be crazy! I am excited though and it will for sure be a big adventure. We left Masbate this morning and I will have some trainer workshops and then my trainee will arrive on Wednesday and off we will go to our new area in Camalig. Hello rice fields and mountains! I am going to miss Masbate so much! I have really learned my purpose as a mission here and grown so much. Masbate is where I really came to love this work with all of my heart. The people on this island are so dear to me. 

Again this week was a crazy one, so I will just go day by day! 

Monday- Rosalie told us about her feelings during her baptism and confirmation. The Holy Ghost is powerful people! She said she felt completely clean as she came up out of the water. We taught her about missionary work and she is so excited for the whole barangay to be baptized haha. Our p-day ended with a butt load of laundry. My favorite. Never take a washer and dryer for granted. They are beautiful creations!

Tuesday- Shirley told us she wants to be baptized because of Rosalie's testimony to her about her feelings at baptism. What a good example Rosalie is! 

Wednesday- We went to the mountain in our area for the first time and found some new investigators! The Delphine family! Brother Delphine told us that he felt cold and that his hairs on his arm were sticking up when we spoke. We were meant to find them!  Later we were just walking around and Jojo (the nicest man ever) climbed a tree and got us buko and we ate it right there. The juice and the coconut part. It was so masarap!!! I love the Philippines! 

Thursday-We watched the Restoration video with Shirley and Lindol and their kids and the spirit was so strong! Shirley thanked us for bringing them the truth. We found out later that Lindol has been reading the Book of Mormon. He always tells us that he doesn't, but Bryan Ramirez caught him reading it. Haha. 

Friday- We got transfer announcements and I was super sad.

Saturday- I had one of the most memorable experiences of my entire mission. So it was district conference and during the Adult session they had two random missionaries come to the front and teach a family whatever they felt prompted to teach to help stenghthen them. Guess who got picked? Sister Donato and I. I was so terrified! I was praying so hard that the spirit would be with us and that I wouldn't choke on my Tagalog. The Lord answered my prayers. We got up to the front and taught the Laurio family about faith (using Ether 12:27). I just had to pretend that no one was watching and just really focus on them two and really listen to the spirit. The lesson was so amazing. It was just what they needed and there were tears on everyones part. My companion started out and asked them questions and the couple started to cry and tell us the faith that is requires for them to get to church each week. They live so far! All the way in the far mountain and have such a hard time coming up with the money each week to get to church, but as they exercise faith somehow the money come. I shared to verse and talked about how our trails make us humble and more faithful and more reliant on the Lord. Faith helps us trust in God and hope. Honestly, I don't really know exactly what I said, but I was led by the spirit and somehow it was powerful and my Tagalog was the best it has ever been. I'll never forget the feeling of completely relying on the spirit to guide me and I will never forget the sight of Brother Laurio as he could not control his tears. The Lord works in mysterious ways. It was an experience that we all needed. My faith was strengthened as we taught them about faith. 

After district conference was Marilyn's baptismal interview and long story short- she is ready, but she will have to wait because her and Tatay haven't been together for 5 years. Our only hope now is that Tatay's first marriage isn't valid and then they can be married. I feel so bad! She is so ready and wants to be baptized to badly! I know that Heavenly Father knows her desired and sees her faith.
Sunday- We had the Sunday session of district conference and I was a mess! I could not stop crying the whole time. I am so sad to leave Masbate! I never knew I could love these people so much!  Tatay Dominidor showed up! It was a big rain storm and he walked all the way from the mountain to church in the rain! He has such simple faith. Even though it is hard for him to understand the principles, he feels good and knows this is the right path for him, so he does everything in his power to keep the commandments. After church I had to say goodbye to all the members here. That was hard! They are so faithful and some of the strongest saints I have ever met! 
I had to go and say goodbye to the Ramirez family. It just about killed me. I know I am going to miss them everyday. They are so special to me! Dende was saying that she is sad that I won't be there for her, Bryan and David's baptism. It about killed me! I can't wait for that day though, even if I won't be there. Dende also told me that she has been reading in the Book of Mormon and she told me the story of Lehi and his family in detail. I hope she will serve a mission! She would be so great. She is going to work with Sister Donato and whoever her new companion is next week. When I gave Rosalie a hug goodbye she started bawling. It was so sad, but so sweet. She thanked me for what I had brought to their family. I am eternally grateful and humbled that I was able to bring the truth to them. I hope more than anything to see all of their sweet faces in the Celestial Kingdom. Ah I love them so death! 

So that was my week! A lot of hard goodbyes, a lot of miracles and a lot of lessons about faith! I am learning so much each day and my testimony is strengthened each day! I love my mission so much! It goes by way too fast! I can't believe I am headed to my third area already! 

I love you all so much!!!

-Sister Gardner

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