Tuesday, May 6, 2014

4/14/14 Conference

Family and Friends, 

This week was a mix of the good and the bad- the miracles and the rejection, as most weeks are here on the mission. Despite a lot rejection, we did find some really awesome people!

First, the Lobo family! Tatay Lobo is a less active that has a wife and 10 kids that are not members, but are all somewhat familiar with the church due to random visit from missionaries, and the Book of Mormon's and pamphlets lying around their house. They all live in this small house that Tatay Lobo has been slowly working on for years, and they are awesome. We visited them twice this week and are starting to catch the attention of some of the kids and Tatay Lobo is now reading in the Book of Mormon again! Then there is Pipito. Not the person I would usually start talking to about the Gospel, but the spirit prompted me to and so I did. We left him a pamphlet and he said his house was "doon lang" and that we could come back. When we came back all his kids, his wife, his mother and many other extended family members were there. We got to teach them all. It is always hard to tell if people are surprised to see an American speaking Tagalog, or if there are interested in the message, but I think they were interested and we are going back this week. I am really excited about their family! Their 5 kids are all boys under the age of 12. How awesome would it be if they all served mission?! 

We has exchanges this week. Sister Ilago and Sister Longson were able to talk to a lady named Blanca. They said that they originally walked right by her, but then felt prompted to go back, so they followed the prompting and I am so glad that they did! We taught her last night and she is so prepared. She has a really old Book of Mormon that her sister left her before she died. It has seen many baygios, but she said she still reads it when she finds time. She had so many questions. She wondered where this book came from, why there were so many churches, and what would life be life after this life. Perfect for all of our lessons! She has such an interest and I am so excited to keep teaching her! 

We are continuing to teach our investigator, whose mother was a member, but died when he was young. He has a hard time understanding the doctrine and can never really remember what we have taught, but he told us that ever since we started teaching him he feels closer to God and feels like he is starting to change his life. That made me feel good and like we are accomplishing our purpose.

One of my favorite rejection stories this week is when we were looking for a less active family and so we asked a family if they knew them and they send us up a hill where supposedly their house was. When we got close to the end of the hill we asked a man if he knew the family and he told us that they lived at the bottom of the hill. The less active family we had been looking for was the family that sent us up the hill. That same day we were looking for another less active- found her- and mid conversation she started walking away from us down a random path. Awesome.

This week we has interviews with President and it was a very spiritual experience of course. Considering that I am getting pretty far in my mission he had a lot of questions for me about what I have learned, but mostly who have I become. He said that yes numbers are part of a mission, but the most important thing is who are we becoming. He said that too many missionaries fail to focus on the most important part of a mission- who it makes you. I think that this applies with anything that we are pursuing in our lives. The most important part of anything that we become a part of is who is makes us. So who are we becoming? Are we making choices daily that will help us meet our ultimate goal of Eternal Life? Even little sins will lead us off the path that will lead to our ultimate happiness. Things that bring only temporary happiness are just not worth it. On my mission I have gained such a testimony of obedience. We are so much better off if we are obedient to God's commandments. He knows best, NOT us. If we think differently, that is pride. We constantly need to evaluate our lives and make sure that we are becoming the person that we want to be. It is up to us who we become, regardless of our circumstances. Whether we are missionaries, children, grandparents, or somewhere in between- our choices matter and will determine our eternities. 

The best part of this week was Conference! It was so nice to just sit back and listen and feel the spirit for a good 8 hours. All the talks were good and I learned so much (including that I missed the Olympics, I had no idea that the Olympics happened). One of my very favorites was Henry B. Eyrings talk about being an example and leaving a history for your posterity (I am going to become a much better journal writer and picture taker). I also liked Russel M. Nelson's about being tied to God and not something else. Also to not segment our lives- but to always show integrity. Of course Uchtdorf always in my favorite. He always has a happy and positive message. We all need to have an attitude of gratitude and be thankful in our circumstances. "Don't wait for the rainbow before thanking God." I also loved Richard G. Scott's about righteous examples and Michael John Teh's (Filipino's are the best) about not getting caught up in wordly possessions, but rather placing our treasures in Heaven. I am sure that I will have a lot more thought about the talks as I study them more, but I felt that every speaker was telling members to just step up and be better examples. Live the commandments and do something about your faith! 

This week is Holy Week- so pray for us to find people to teach- considering Camalig is centered around a giant Catholic church- where I think 90% of the people will be this week. 

I love you all and hope that you have a good week! Thanks for all the prayers and support! 

Mahal ko kayo, 

-Sister Gardner

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