Current Address

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

Monday, February 3, 2014

That’s What It’s All About!

My week was good! We had a couple of WAY awesome lessons, crossed some ghetto bamboo bridges and found out why everyone has been punting us for the last two weeks! (It’s because their local pastor told his congregation to stop listening to us!)

Toby, I hope you had a fantastic birthday! I was thinking about you on your special day! Have a wonderful year as an 11 year old! Tell me all about it!
Not only did I celebrate your birthday with this caribou, I also had a super awesome day on your birthday Toby! Seriously, one story might be “Friend” magazine worthy. Get excited!

We have been teaching an older lady and her 12 year old grandson for a while. We’ve caught them home maybe three times. Last time a couple of neighbor boys were sitting outside listening and when we left they asked us for copies of the Book of Mormon. We only had one left, so we gave it to Jim Jim and promised Jun Jun we would bring him one next time. Since then, we have walked passed the house twice and both times Jun Jun came running after us asking for a Book of Mormon. Both times we had already run out! Jun Jun wanted the Book of Mormon so badly, he bought Jim Jim’s for 2 pesos! This week when we saw him, we asked him how far he had gotten. He ran and grabbed his Book of Mormon to show us! He is on page 15! He said he reads every morning! He took us to his house so that we could teach his family another day (they don't have electricity and it was already dark when we got there).

Seriously though, how cute is that? Jun Jun, a 12 year old boy, has such a strong desire to read The Book of Mormon just from listening to the lesson from outside that he bought the book from his friend! (Also, this explains why whenever we see Jim Jim he doesn’t make eye contact or talk to us anymore! He is ashamed he sold his Book of Mormon for 2 pesos!)

While tracting one day, we heard someone laughing super loud which is rare, because it is a time of day when it is so hot out that everyone takes a nap! So, I said we should try that house, and we taught a lesson there! It was funny, we were actually surprised she let us in! When she said, “Pasok!” (enter) I thought, “Talaga??” (really??) Ha ha. Hopefully since we know why people have been dropping us, we can address their concerns better now. 

Here in the Philippines, there were a lot of names of members of the church without any contact information that just got sent to Manila. As missionaries, we are trying to find these lost members, or AUNs (Address Unknown). We have a list of seven names that might be in our area that we go around asking people, “Do you know this person?” It’s a real life scavenger hunt! I love that we then explain, "We are looking for this person because we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” It’s such a great get-passed-the-gate opportunity!

When we ask where some AUNs lived, most replies were “There!” and we would reply, “Where there?” They would answer, “Straight, there!” Ugh. The best directions we got were “Right at the bridge,” so we walked across two super sketchy bamboo bridges looking for our AUNs. When I was crossing, a chunk of bamboo fell off! So sketchy!

We did not find any AUNs but we did find one really promising potential investigator and one new investigator! It was totally worth crossing the sketchy bridges. Sister Rose lives in a little Garden of Eden! She has little rock pathways and tons of beautiful potted plants. It was gorgeous! When we were walking up to the house, through the garden pathways, I said to Sister Gerhards, “We gotta teach her a really good lesson so we can come back here!” I’m terrible; I should be thinking that about every house! All throughout the lesson I kept thinking, “How do I know her?” At the end of the lesson, Sister Gerhards asked, “Do you know Violetta?” YUP! THEY ARE SISTERS! Before we found this out and closed the lesson, Sister Gerhards and I both kept pushing for her to come to church. We really, really wanted Rose to commit to attending church, but she wouldn’t. Later she told us Violetta has been inviting her every week! Oh my goodness!

Violetta is such a good fellowshipper – and she isn’t even a member of the church yet! (Violetta is getting baptized on Feb. 22!) She agreed to come with us to pick up her sister Rose for church. They live on opposite sides of our area, so we met on the highway and started walking to Rose’s house. Along the way TONS of people knew Violetta! TONS! Sister Gerhards told me later they were making fun of her for being with us. 

After Sister Gerhards told me they were making fun of Violetta, I was so mad! Well, not really mad. I am guessing it’s what you call the “momma bear” feeling. How dare they!? But Sister Gerhards told me that Violetta wasn’t bothered by it. She said, “It’s fine!”

Seriously, this is like Lehi’s dream, The Iron Rod, in real life! We are on our way to pick up someone for church, people are mocking on either side, but Violetta has tasted the fruit. She is holding on to the rod. She is such a great example to me!

Thank you for all the prayers, love and letters! Keep ‘em coming! I used to have the wrong address posted so my mail was being sent to the wrong mission and took a really long time to get to the right mission. Here is the correct address for mailing letters:

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

Seriously, y’all are the best family, friends, ward family! 
Mahal ko kayo!
God bless

Sister Violetta! I love this great lady! She is amazing!

Trike ride! The mirror distorts the image and makes it look big. 
It's not!

 Sketchy bamboo bridge!

 Super sketchy bamboo bridge - "No Hands!" because the side railing was falling off/gone!

Our ward Relief Society President

Preparation-day walk on the beach! Today was the first day we had an activity that allowed us to wear non-proselyting clothes!!

Sister Latimer and I made this for our zone activity contest this morning. We were given a bunch of random ingredients and we had to make a main course and dessert using all of the ingredients. We used the watermelon as the bowl for our fruit salad (that qualifies as a dessert here!). Elder Alihandro took all the leftover food, put it in a blender he found, and made a nasty watermelon-banana-cream-sweetened and condensed milk-smoothie. So gross!

Sister Gerhard's mission is half way over! We celebrated with this lovely cake. I look a bit crazy... it was the end of the day! 
Happens to the best of us :)

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