Current Address

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

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Pasko in the Philippines

Nialigayang Pasko! This week has been a roller coaster. But I love rollercoasters! On Monday after an insane preparation day we went caroling to ward members with the 6 other missionaries in our ward. Caroling in the Philippines is super different. Kids go around house to house singing until someone comes out and pays them. So, we decided that we would show them how Americans carol – spread Christmas cheer and leave a little plate of goodies (and maybe get some dinner appointments for Christmas - it totally worked)!

Christmas Eve morning, I read the Christmas story in Jesus the Christ. It was so wonderful. Then I read about what was happening at the time of the birth of Christ in the Book of Mormon. Afterwards, I wrote out my testimony of my Savior. I prayed before I started my studies that I would be able to feel closer to may Savior than I ever had before. This was probably the most memorable Christmas Eve morning I have ever had. I could feel my Savior’s love so strongly. I know Christmas is over, but I highly recommend studying Christ’s life and birth more in depth. Who wouldn’t want to feel the spirit of Christmas every day!?

Christmas day we had zone studies in the morning – which was so good. Christmas morning was rough. But with all the missionaries in the San Fernando zone studying together it made it way easier. We had a 3 hour workshop, gift exchange, and then set out for work! That night we exchanged gifts as a house which was super fun. I was feeling a little sad about missing my family’s Christmas traditions and just missing them in general. Sister Golightly – not even knowing about our new matching PJs tradition – got us matching leggings (see picture…they are crazy cool). Such a little thing for her, but a HUGE thing for me.

My top three lessons this week were all on Saturday and Sunday:

·         Albenez family – they are less active but still read and study all the time. They love the gospel; they just don’t have enough money for the fare to church. On Saturday we talked about faith and how after a trial of your faith, the Lord will bless you even more. Guess who came to church the next day?! I am so thankful that the spirit was able to convey to them the importance of church attendance.

·         Violetta – one of the shyest, sweetest ladies I’ve ever met! She speaks Ilocano, so we weren’t sure if she has even understood any of our lessons. But, this last lesson when I asked her questions she answered them and when we challenged her to come to church she said yes! She came! All by herself! That action alone speaks louder than any words – I know it was way hard for her. I am so impressed by her testimony.

·         Alexandra – this one is my favorite for purely selfish reasons! I could understand way more than usual! I understood her questions and was able to ANSWER them well enough that Sister Gerhards didn’t have to do any “Damage Control.” Happy Day!

Two random new skills I have learned:

·         How to fix a sink with a plunger.

·         How to kill mosquitoes in the shower WAY more effectively. (When your hand is covered in suds and you swat them, they die in the soap! Don’t worry; I flicked it off before I kept washing my face.)

MAHAL KITA! Thanks for all the support. You have no idea how much it means to me.

Creepiest Santa EVER! (Zoom in on the face)

Matching Christmas leggings :) 

Roommate gift exchange

Merry Christmas with Sis. Gerhards

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