Current Address

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

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Real Life

June 2, 2014

This week was crazy. Experiences, lessons and people that should just be found in Ensign articles. But it was real. I feel so blessed to be a part of it.

Our new investigator, Evelyn, has cancer. She is living short term here in Baguio to try to manage her stress. She is one of the most accepting, most genuine believers I have ever met. I love teaching her. When we leave her house I just feel so full. The spirit is always so strong when we teach her and I think her heart is open and she is so humble. Sister Campos and I are praying that she will have enough strength to go to church.
Rachelle and her friend Hanna both work at call centers from 11pm-7am.  When we stopped by Hanna’s house at 7pm, Rachel had a fever still from the last 3 days, but she couldn’t miss work because she had to meet her quota. Thanks so much Sherilyn for the Extra-Strength Tylenol! I had some in my wallet and was able to give it to her. This month the work schedules change. We are praying they both get the 3pm-11pm shift.
(Also, Sherilyn, thank you for sending me earplugs. Our back door neighbor decided to get a rooster and keep it right behind our bedroom. I use earplugs every night!)

Lovely – love her – gave us a really hard question this week. When Sister Campos was asking her if she believed if our message is true she told us that when she prayed, she got an answer from the Lord that it doesn’t matter what church you join as long as you have faith and serve God. Hmm…AWKWARD! What am I supposed to say to that? It’s been interesting to have seen so much of Lovely’s journey so far because I talked to her on my third day here in Baguio City. Sister Pelayo always said, “If she will just read the Book of Mormon then she will know!” Well, she started reading it, but nothing has really changed. Sister Campos is thinking that if she will just come to church she will get an answer. (She is a leader in her own church though.) I think the overarching principle is faith: once we can help Lovely obtain enough faith to act on whatever God says, then I think she will know. All in the Lord’s time.

Sad story – one of our investigator’s cousins committed suicide. The cousin texted asking her and her mom to come over and help her, but they said they couldn’t come because their store was really busy. Oh my goodness. So sad. And so hard. They are both living with so much grief and sorrow, but also guilt. Our investigator asked us if suicide is a sin, and how God will judge her cousin. We taught her about repentance and the atonement and the Spirit World. We are so lucky that we have such a merciful God and He gives ALL OF US the opportunity to come unto Him and be clean again.
Also, a member that has not been coming to church shared that she was super SUPER hurt in the past. She told us her story this week. But before that she kinda ripped us apart. She said we were just show offs, that we were fake. That we didn’t actually care about people and that we don’t know anything… we just stood there. I was thinking, “I hope Sister Campos says something, cuz all the things I am thinking right now aren’t very missionary-appropriate. But then this lady continued. She explained, “When I was baptized, life was great. Life was so good. I loved going to church here in the Philippines. I loved everything about church. But then I went abroad, and I was at the church. I had my eyes closed and I was praying with all my heart. And do you know what they did? They picked me up under the arms and threw me out of the church. They told me I didn’t belong there. Every time I see people like you, I hurt. You don’t know anything. You don’t understand anything.” Then I REALLY had no idea what to say! How awful. What a sad experience. Just then her daughter walked up, who we were waiting for, so we didn’t have a chance to say anything. I hope the next time we see her we can help her heal. What a terrible feeling to carry all these years.

So, I said to two investigators (11 and 12 year old girls) “You two are goats, right?” They looked at me like I was a crazy person. There was a little bit of fear mixed with the confusion in their eyes. Oh my gosh! I can’t believe I still mix up “kambing” and “kambal”! I meant to say, “You two are twins, right?” Language mistakes still happen. It’s a work in progress.
Thank you all for your prayers and letters of support and encouragement. I seriously have the best friends and family around! Mahal ko kayo!

Don't I look like a GIANT compared to my tiny companion and our investigator?
Wow! They are so small!

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