Current Address

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

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I had to make that the title, cause it’s such great news! Thank you for all of your prayers! I think I am finally starting to get the hang of things here… 6 weeks later! My conversational Tagalog understanding is probably less than 5% but my understanding of Gospel vocabulary, topics and conversations has made a huge improvement. My favorite moment of this week was when Sister Gerhards and I were helping out the new missionaries and one of them asked me, “When do you go home? You go home soon, right?” Made my week!

Helping the new missionaries on Thursday was super fun! We went to their companion study and helped them practice “Preach by the Way” by first being someone super nice and receptive; then being someone super mean. I was way mean! It was too fun! It reminded me of the first Thursday Sister Golightly and I spent in the Philippines and did the same activity. Sister Taliavo was our PBTW candidate and she just straight up walked away. She was such a good actress, we couldn’t tell if she was faking it or not! Sister Taliava is now Sis. Go’s house mate. :) We also helped a group of 8 new missionaries get on a jeepney to the plaza, and then go around the plaza doing Preach by the Way. They were so adorable! After the activity, Sis. Gerhards and I said goodbye and one of the elders said “Wait! How are we going to get back without you?” Ha ha so cute!

We had some really great lessons this week! Oh my goodness. One night we were walking back from a lesson that we taught with a ward member. Sister Gerhards was talking to her and I was walking behind them a bit because the streets are too narrow for 3 in a row. I saw a woman walk up to her gate and I said, “Magandang gabi po!” because at a workshop earlier that day with our zone, I decided to stop and talk to anyone who made eye contact with me that day when I greeted them. She was the first one – and it was 7pm! So I went over and introduced myself (my companion followed) and right away she said, “Pasok!” or “Enter!” which never happens. We sat down and all her teenage/young adult children came in and sat down to listen. That also never happens! Usually Sister Gerhards and I have to persuade the other family members to join in a discussion. Right after the song and prayer their dad came home from work! He changed his clothes and joined us! Never happens! The spirit of the Lord was so strong the whole lesson and the whole family was sitting on the edge of their seats – especially when the ward member taught about Joseph Smith. After she recited the First Vision she asked, “What happened when Joseph Smith prayed?” The dad answered, “He saw God and Jesus.” I love how she helped them gain a testimony even as she was teaching. At the end of the lesson – after accepting commitments to pray, read the scriptures and go to church – Sis. Gerhards looked at me to extend the baptismal invitation. Usually I have no problem with this, but after the perfect lesson I did not want to mess up! I said, “Ayaw ko!” which means “I don’t want to!” but she wouldn’t do it! She is so stubborn sometimes. :) Well, the spirit wouldn’t let me leave without extending it. Even though I did mess it up (I said it too fast and had to repeat it), they ALL verbally said yes!It was seriously a divine lesson. 

Last week a lot of our investigators dropped us and no one was keeping their commitments. Sister Gerhards and I have really been praying for the Lord to prepare people for us to teach. It just works out so much better when the Lord is in control.

Another pretty awesome lesson was with a woman who owns a sari-sari store. She is in her 60s, has bright orange hair and is super adorable! We were trying to find someone else, but she invited us in and asked us, “You’re monsters, right? Wait no! I mean Mormons!” We got a kick out of that. :) At the end of the lesson, I gave a heartfelt baptismal invitation, the spirit was there, and we paused…waiting for her answer…”Meryenda tayo!” which means, “Let’s snack!” We were not expecting that! Take that as a no then! So funny – I wish I could imitate the way she said, “Meryenda tayo!” It was hilarious!

Remember Violetta? Super shy, sweet lady who came to church once back in December? We have tried going to her house multiple times but she has always been gone. And she hasn’t come back to church. But, on Tuesday we caught her at home! We taught a beautiful “Plan of Salvation” lesson. She has been reading the Book of Mormon! And I’m pretty sure when I asked her if she prayed, she nodded a little! At the end of the lesson we asked her to be baptized and she said yes! We then felt like asking her to pray and see if Feb. 22 was a good date for her to get baptized. She said the closing prayer (that’s huge!) and in her prayer instead of asking if Feb. 22 was the right date she said, “Can I please be one of the people baptized on Feb. 22?” She cried. It was beautiful. She came to church yesterday!

Shout out to the Dinkles – a senior missionary couple that had all the Sevillia sisters over for dinner on Sunday. Oh. My. Gosh! Sister Dinkle made casserole with stuffing stuff and chicken. It was so good! And she had a green salad and ROLLS and FRESH HOMEMADE JAM! And for dessert…BROWNIES AND ICE CREAM! I cannot believe I am writing about American food, but seriously. I teared up a bit when I tasted it. We call their house, “Little America.” :) The Dinkles are the best! Ah! I almost forgot! Sister Dinkle sent us each home with a cinnamon roll! I can’t decide if I am going to eat it or just keep smelling it!

I have been reading conference talks as part of my personal study for the past few weeks. I love this quote from Elder Richard G. Scott’s talk, “Personal Strength through the Atonement of Jesus Christ”
“The Lord sees weaknesses differently than He does rebellion. Whereas the Lord warns that unrepented rebellion will bring punishment, when the Lord speaks of weaknesses, it is always with mercy.”

As I look back on the first 6 weeks in the field, I notice some things I could have done better. But, I also think I am a little too hard on myself. Since the Lord looks on our weaknesses with mercy, we too should always look on our weaknesses with mercy. There is a difference between rebellion and weakness, and as long as we constantly turn to Him, I know the Lord will “make weak things become strong.”

Mahal Kita!

P-day waffles!

Trike transportation
Trikes are motorcycles with a sidecar. One person rides side saddle on the back of the motor cycle (which I tried this week, way fun!) and the other three are crammed into the car (as pictured). 

My trainer and her trainer. Her trainer is now heading home!

The Sevellia Ward Sisters

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