Friday, January 23, 2015

11/24/14 Enjoy it while it lasts

Dearest Family and Friends!
I can't believe that I am heading into my last week as a missionary! Doesn't seem real AT ALL! I am of course excited to see all of you in just a short time, but also very sad to leave this beautiful country and mostly these wonderful people that I love so much. It really has been THE BEST 18 months! It is quickly coming to end. I know this last week will just fly by, but I am going to enjoy every minute! 
It was a good week though, but soooo busy! On Tuesday I had my very last exchanges. I was companions with Sister Hafoka and we worked in her area. It was fun to teach with her. She really has become such an amazing person because of her mission. We both just want to do our best until the very end and that made it a really good exchange! Man I will miss Sis Hafoka. The happiest missionary. 
This week we were able to teach a lot of really great lessons. It made me realize how much I am going to miss proselyting. I love being able to teach people the fullness of the gospel each day and see their lives change because of it. My favorite lessons this week were with Aurora and Mark. We finished teaching Aurora about the Plan of Salvation. She wants so so badly to reach the Celestial Kingdom. At the end of the lesson she was crying about all the trials in her life and we testified about how all of those trials are just making her strong and worthy to reach the Celestial Kingdom. She is gaining such a strong testimony. Can't wait to see her baptism. In pictures. haha.  Then with Mark! He is so smart! He has remembered about why there were so many churches and then totally got that Joseph Smith restored the only true one. (Not many people seem to grasp that). He was telling us that he has a lot of questions for God later. He accepted a baptismal date and we are taking him to church on Sunday! 
Then the craziness! On Thursday Sister Christensen and I went to Manila for a day to get fingerprinted. Just us two. We had tons of fun, but it was exhausting. We went to the GIANT Mall of Asia. I felt like I was in America. Not really sure how I felt about it. But the workers danced in Cold Stone (yes we ate real ice cream- couldn't finish it because I haven't had anything that rich in 18 months) and they danced in this other sweet Pilipino store. At the hotel we saw some of the missionaries that we knew from the MTC. It was so weird to see them! It made me feel like the last 18 months just flew by. Manila is just not as pretty as Bicol though. We were so happy when we landed in Legazpi. We felt like we were coming home. It was nice to see some rice fields again and of course the Mayon. Other than the fact that we missed our flight was a good trip. Manila traffic is not my friend. It was so embarrassing, but the Elders were champs and got us another flight an hour later. I don't think Sister Christensen and I will ever live that one down. 
Sunday was great! Lots of less actives came to church! And some investigators that we did not expect! 
Today we had District Activity. My last. We went to these really pretty falls and had lots of fun! 
That was my week! This one will be a bit sad, but good! We will be busy. Lots going on! No promises that I will email next week...but maybe I will send some pictures! 
I love you all! I can't wait to see you so soon! 
-Sister Gardner

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