Current Address

Sister Jorden Elizabeth Jackson
Philippines Baguio Mission
PO Box 115
National Highway
Brgy. Lingsat
San Fernando, La Union

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thankful Thoughts

Kumusta Pamilia Ko!

Thank you for all the lovely letters and packages this week! I feel so blessed and so loved :) I will write you all back when I get on the plane this Monday for THE PHILIPPINES!! But for now, I am busy spending my last few days with my lovely Kasama and soaking up every last moment at the Missionary Training Center.

Thanksgiving was beautiful! I loved spending time with my district family. In the morning, Elder Nelson came to the MTC for a devotional. There was a massive crowd of missionaries waiting to go inside. One Elder said, "This is the closest we will get to Black Friday!" How cool is that!? Instead of going shopping, we get to listen to an apostle of the Lord. I would make that trade any day. Elder Nelson told us about how important it is to work with the ward mission leader and family history consultant in the wards where we are serving.

After the devotional, we had a lovely Thanksgiving lunch in the cafeteria. After lunch, we did a service project where we packaged 350,000 meals for kids who are in need. It was so fun to work side by side with the missionaries and do so much good.

Thanksgiving dinner was supposed to be a sack dinner... but it ended up being a fantastic feast! We all brought what food we had from our families or friends. Elder Harris's mom sent him a boat load of fresh fruit and veggies, rolls, apple pie, and sparkling cider. We feasted, shot baby carrots at each other, and enjoyed each other’s company. Since we didn't have cups, we cut water bottles in half and used them to make a toast. It was so fun! It most certainly is one of my most memorable Thanksgivings. 
Spending it with my district was my home away from home.

Earlier this week we taught our last lessons with our progressing investigators. One particularly was wonderful! We started with a song again and really taught from our hearts. The spirit was so strong. I loved it! We taught Kenneth about faith, repentance, baptism and the Holy Ghost. At the end of our lesson, he asked if he could just get baptized tomorrow, because he doesn’t want to wait 6 more weeks. I am so grateful that the Lord blessed us with such a great last experience teaching at the MTC. I know it’s all Him- I'm pretty much the same last week as I am this week. But He is making up the difference for me in our lessons and it is so great!

Our teacher gave me two really good pieces of advice: Love the culture wholeheartedly and love the people. Try everything and love it! Love everything about everyone and everything, and you will be so much happier with your mission. (I think this applies to life in general too!) He also told us to teach with power. He said we know the doctrine and enough of the language (#doubletake) that all of our lessons should be taught with power.

On Sunday, I fasted for stamina to learn as much as I could this last week at the MTC and for guidance in my studies so that I could learn what the Lord needs me to learn. I can feel the Lord’s help with all my efforts. Even though I don't know nearly enough of the language and I am not a well-qualified teacher, I am trusting the Lord and jumping into his work! I am so thankful for all the blessings the Lord has given me. I am so thankful for all the love and support I receive from each of you! It really means the world to me.

This week was wonderful and so happy. Here are some of the funnies:

-I go around saying "ready...GO!" in Tagalog all the time, but what I thought was “ready…GO!” is actually "ready....SING!" Oops. When I am about to jump into bed, "ready...SING!" When I am leaving the dinner table, "ready...SING!" When I want our district to start walking, "ready...SING!" 
Good thing I went over some new verbs this week.

-One night at the residence, we were doing impressions from movies or famous people. I said, "Guess who I am....’Talaga?!?’" in my teacher’s voice - he says that all the time. They got it right off the bat, of course :) The next day, my roommate told my teacher, "Last night Sister Jackson said, ‘Guess who I am....TALAGA?!?’pretending to be you!" Thank you Sister Smith... 
out of context I sound like a total creeper. :)

-We are assigned to help set up the gym every Monday and Saturday night for devotionals. We have to spread a giant mat out over the ground and then put up chairs. In order to get the mat out as quickly and neatly as possible, we unfold it as a group, lined up along the edges. We unfold a section together, then go back to the other side and unfold another section. The mat is massive! It takes a ton of people, and as we keep going the folds get bigger and bigger and people move pretty fast. This week while we were walking backwards, unfolding a section, Sister Golightly fell, and was half dragged, scooting along next to me. I was dying laughing (I’m so mean!) and trying to help her up, but I couldn't! So, she was dragged half way across the gym! And, she ended up losing one of her shoes and socks! The guy on the megaphone (that tells us all when to pull) asked everyone to fold the mat back up until we found her sock and shoe underneath. She is such a good sport though, love her!

Missions are awesome! I love it so much at the Missionary Training Center, and I know I will love it even more in the Philippines on Monday

Love you all! Thank you for everything!

 White tie or white T Saturday! 
Our last day at the temple before it closed. 

 Thanksgiving lunch in the MTC cafeteria. It was awesome!

Service project... future lunch ladies? 
I think I found my calling for life after the mish. 

Our Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving toast

 I love my district!

I'm going to miss our roommate circle talks :)

 Our teacher - Brother C.
Our teacher - Brother T.

It was so hard to say goodbye to our awesome teachers. Loved them! 
Both Brother Cohen and Brother Trebas have been awesome. 

Our Mandarin speaking friends. They will head to Taiwan the day after we leave for the Philippines!

Selfies <3
We got a little bored in field orientation yesterday. 
It was literally ALL DAY!!
 But we had fun :) and learned lots :)

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