Current Address

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

Monday, July 28, 2014


(kanya = him/her, atin = we/us, yo/inyo = you, akin = I/me)

Surprise! NEW HAIR! I got it Rebonded. I love it! My hair isn’t falling out in chunks anymore and it’s super easy to do. SCORE! The only bummer is the bakla who dyed my hair didn’t dye the roots…even though that’s all I needed dyed…oh well! Ya can’t have it all!

This week I learned a knew phrase “bagay sa yo!” or “that looks good on you,” or “that suits you.” I realized this applies to a lot of things in life – not just hair. We were teaching Coleen, one of our investigators, about the Kingdoms of Glory and my companion asked her which kingdom she wants to go to. She said, “The Terrestrial Kingdom. It seems like I’ll fit in there. I am not really interested in doing all those requirements to get to the Celestial Kingdom.” She decided that The Terrestrial Kingdom was “bagay sa kanya” and at first I was a little bit surprised. But, then I realized, we all have moments when we choose Terrestrial or when Terrestrial is “bagay sa atin.” Through our little daily choices we decide whether The Celestial Kingdom or The Terrestrial Kingdom will be “bagay sa atin.” I hope we can all live every day so that The Celestial Kingdom becomes “bagay sa atin.”

You know what else is “bagay sa akin”? Hospitals. Don’t worry! I wasn’t the patient this time! We went to a hospital to visit the daughter of a member of our church. The daughter had dengue. She was there for 5 days. So sad! We went on Tuesday night right when we found out she was in the hospital, then we came back on Wednesday afternoon with a lil’ fruit basket and crackers and stuff because on Tuesday it didn’t look like they had much food! We taught them last night and they seem to be doing well now. Oh my goodness – the difference between a private hospital and a public hospital. It was so kawawa! Beds were all over the place. I saw a poor little toddler - his IV fell out of the vein and blood was going up the cord, and he was sitting there bawling. Just sobbing. I went and got a nurse to help him. It was so so kawawa! I am so grateful I was at Notre Dame Hospital.

“BAGAY SA AKIN” *sarcastic* moments:

I’m talking to the member working with us at the top of the stairs, gesturing, telling some weird story, I forget… The stairs here sometimes get really slippery because they get this green slimy stuff on them from all the water/pee  …so I took a half step backward, slipped on the green stuff, and almost fell backwards down the stairs, but the fellowshipper grabbed one of my arms and my companion grabbed the other. Yep. Classic for me. Bagay sa akin. 

We were running late to meet a ward member at the house of one of our less active member’s. Their “house” is in a compound with a lot of houses. Some of them belong to their adult children, some belong to some cousins. Anyway, to avoid the hassle of checking every house (we never know where they are) we just asked some guys, maybe nephews, where the people were. They pointed to a house and said that they also had visitors. Sweet! Got ‘em! So we hustled over there, knocked on the door, and I ran in before they even said “pasok.” To my surprise, there were two, not just one, members sitting on the couch. Neither of them looked familiar but I only talked to the person at church for about twenty seconds, so I figured I just forgot what she looked like. I was very apologetic, “I’m so sorry we are late! How are you? How long have you been waiting?” etc. My companion was pretty quiet. The two ladies on the couch were just GLARING at me. I was thinking, “Dang man! Why so serious? We’re not that late!” Anyway, they said they wanted to close with a prayer. Again, I’m a lil’ slow, thinking “Oh! They already shared the VT message? That was fast!” We all started praying, and I couldn’t hear what they were saying cause the rain was so loud. But I could feel my companion staring at me. She whispered, “They are missionaries from ----- church!” OH MY GOSH! I’M SO DUMB! Turns out the church member we were looking for was in another house. I went to the completely wrong house!…oops…Bagay sa akin.

Anyway, we had a lovely week, and I am looking forward to the next 9 MONTHS! I can't believe I'm already "9 months along!" Haha, is this bagay sa akin? I think it just looks a lil' freaky!

This water was totally FLOODED one night this week. It was dark; we couldn't see, so we just walked through it. Remember the movie, "The Pacifier"? Yeah. That's what I smelled like. Sewage. Nasty. I didn't realize everyone's poop flooded into it too.  

Friday, July 25, 2014


July 21, 2014

I finally got back to work this week! It felt so great. I did have to go back to the hospital a couple of times for tests and such, but I have some new medicine that is working way better! I think I am finally on the mend. HALLA!

I experienced my first typhoon. It was only a level 2, so it was basically really rainy, cold and windy. The most exciting part was definitely the “BROWN OUT” which is actually a black out, but when you are in the Pines it’s a brown out. :) My companion and I got home before the other sisters, and since we couldn’t see anything, we were just were lying in our beds talking and laughing. Well, our house mates got home and were praying downstairs. They thought we weren’t home yet. They thought someone broke in the back door and was in the laundry room. They locked the door to the laundry room then started praying again. They heard someone again and Sister Tune got way scared, quit praying, ran out the front door and called their District Leader. Good thing I was the first one down the stairs because Sister Mortell saw my white legs reflecting the moonlight and realized I am the only other American for miles around. Sister Tune was already frantically talking to her District Leader – he had no idea what she was saying, but she explained it was just us so all was well! We dug up some candles and did nightly planning. :)

We are teaching a new investigator who is super awesome. She is the girlfriend of a return missionary…super intimidating! Oh my gosh! I hope I’m not an intense RM. We told her if she had any questions feel free to ask. Her boyfriends started muttering “James 1:5… James 1:5….” Awk! Anyway, we taught up to the Plan of Salvation and I used my chalk from you, Heidi, and it was GREAT!

Looking forward to this week! We have a couple ward activities so I am hoping to get some investigators and less active members to come! SANA :)

 Sister Campos and I are so cute, right? hehe
We had a fun zone activity this morning.

And the lamest missionary award goes to…

July 14, 2014

Well, I wish I had a good week to report on… but I literally stayed home sleeping all week. My poor companion is so antsy! I did make it to church and back- then crashed and slept for 3 and half hours- despite the dogs and roosters going CRAZY right outside my window. I’m so kawawa.

My companion is the best. She is so cute. She keeps making me eat even though I don’t want to. She tries to make food look more appealing to me… “Sister Jackson! Look at this banana! It’s so delicious! It’s healthy! You will love it!” Ha ha the only way she could actually get me to eat is by only letting me take my pain killers after I eat. She is so good. We’ve had a lot of funny conversations lately.  One afternoon I taught her why some people have blue eyes and some people have brown eyes. She answered all sorts of random questions I have had about the Philippines.

Monong  Bien, our kind, crazy, super nice, super harmless caretaker at our apartment stopped by our window this morning. He was talking about all the missionaries that have left and how they are so nice. I asked him if anyone has ever given him a pamphlet. He said no. So I gave him a pamphlet, told him it’s the reason why all the nice missionaries are here, and invited him to read it. I also told him he can ask any questions after he reads it. He looked at the cover and said “Oh! That’s Jesus!” then gestured to his beard and said, “Hey! I’m Jesus!” not quite… ha ha that was my missionary work for the week and it felt SO good! :)

People have been so nice going on exchanges with Sister Campos and me so that, even if it’s just a couple hours, she is still able to work in our area. I have been companions with Sister Hatch, Morrill, Dizon, Tune, and Mortell this week. They have all taken such good care of me!

Thank you for all the prayers. I really feel myself becoming stronger and stronger every day. I only woke up last night ONCE because of a stomach ache! Miracles do happen! I am going to hurry home now, sleep the rest of the P-Day and HOPEFULLY work tomorrow. Love you all!
The one picture I took this week - Monong Bien

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The good, the bad, and the ugly…

July 9, 2014

Good news! I didn’t get transferred! Sister Campos and I will be companions for at least another 6 weeks. Yay!

 The work is really picking up. Partly, I think because we made a new rule that when we get punted, before we go to our back up plan, we have to find at least one new person. So, we did a lot of tracting! We found some interesting and some awesome people to teach! We taught Sharon (who we met at a burger stand on Thursday) on Saturday. She was saying things like “I feel like all the different ways I try to come closer to God just don’t work.” or “I feel like there is something lacking in my life.” Wow! Yup.

There is a less active family who lives in our area… 10 kids! The dad was never confirmed because he didn’t come to church the Sunday after his baptism. Well, we had a Family Home Evening at their house on Wednesday night and it was awesome! Filipino style FHE’s really bring everyone together. I remember going to this house one time with Sister Pelayo, but they were pretty cold… THEIR TIME IS NOW! I’m way excited for the Montrios!

Things started getting kinda bad on Saturday. Turns out I got amebiasis again because last time I had cysts that were not killed by the drugs. (Maybe that’s why the recovery was so rough!) Well, I didn’t recognize it as amebiasis right off the bat because the symptoms came in a different order. We worked all day Saturday then went to church on Sunday morning. President and Sister Balledos were there. They told me I should go home and rest up. As symptoms got worse, we texted Sister Balledos and decided to go to the hospital.

Even though I had only been sick for 2 days at this point (unlike the last time I went to the hospital - I had been sick for 6 days), when the doctors in the ER saw me they got me on an IV right away because I was dehydrated. I looked at the scale when they weighed me – I dropped 5 pounds in 2 days. I ended up lying on the tiny emergency room stretcher from about 4 pm until 1 am before I got a room at the hospital. My feet hung off it; it’s definitely Filipino sized :)

Some crazy things that happened during my time at the ER…

They revived a woman, then she died again, then she came back to life again. The crazy part was they grabbed the little finger heart beat monitor thing off of my hand and put it on hers… THAT WAS ALL THAT MONITORED HER HEART! Oh my gosh! I was supposed to go into my hospital room at 11pm but that’s when she came so all hands (staff) were helping her. And it’s not like I could complain or demand someone to wheel me to my room… there was a dead lady on the other side of the curtain! It made my situation seem less kawawa [wretched].

Another funny/kawawa emergency room event… I was trying not to throw up! (Because then I would for sure have to stay overnight.) Sister Campos and the Sister Training Leaders: Sister Oco and Sister Gerhards (Sister Gerhards got transferred to Baguio!) all crowded by the edge of my stretcher staring in anticipation. Maybe that’s why I didn’t throw up! The audience was super intimidating. The Sister Training Leaders came to bring us food, then go on exchanges and go back to the house with Sister Campos to get our stuff. So nice!

While I was at the hospital, a nun came and prayed for me. I told her I was a missionary. She said "Me too!" She served for 29 years in Indonesia and 18 in a state that is really cold and I am drawing a blank on the name right now. Anyway she put her hand on my shoulder and said, “Say a prayer in your heart.”

Oh man! Crazy story: If you get grossed out by blood don’t read...

So my IV fell out and blood started going up the tube (this happened three times). The third time they decided to switch hands, then when they put it in my hand it started gushing blood everywhere. Since they only give clean sheets in the morning, I had to sleep in them. Yuck! I requested tissue and tape and covered the blood. So gross.

I pretty much had an awful night. I think I should just skip the rest of the ugly and go back to some good :)

The next day Sister Dizon and Sister Morill heard that I was still in the hospital. Since it was Preparation Day the first thing they did after studies - before emailing or even eating - was come and visit me. I was so touched! They said they didn’t even know where Notre Dame Hospital was, they just got in a taxi and said, “Take us to Notre Dame!” They came from the church, so it was quite an expensive trip.

President and Sister Balledos drove 3 hours from the mission home back to Baguio just to visit me. I’m pretty sure President was also going to let me call home because he got my home number and dialed it, but the call failed! Dang man! But, I was still super touched by their visit.

Also - Sister Golightly came up from La Trinidad! Her companion went with Sister Campos to 7-11 and McDonald’s so Sister Campos could eat some food. Oh my goodness, it was so nice of them to come! It was great to sit and chat with Sister Golightly for a while. So great.

Then Sister Mortell and Sister Tune came. Sister Mortell gave me the rest of her jello from a package she had received. Yum! (The hospital food here was not super appetizing to me... see the pic.) They also brought me LETTERS! So it was like I got visits from Mom, Em, Whit, Grandma and Grandpa Anderson, Miranda, and the Anderson kids! Thanks so much for the letters!
This week reminded me of when I was 5 and spent the night at the hospital with my broken arm and all the nurses loved me. Oh my gosh!! The nurses here loved that I can speak Tagalog! I really should have been passing out pamphlets in there because so many people were like "Oh my gosh! You can speak Tagalog! What are you doing? How long have you been here!" etc. My hospital vocabulary is really growing.

I was finally released on Tuesday afternoon. I’m feeling much better now. Just super super super tired. And I walk like I’m 90. After emailing, we’re going to buy some groceries then I’m going back to bed! I’m so so thankful for all the love and support- especially this week. From at home and here on the mission. I feel like the missionaries here who came and visited me and took care of me (especially Sister Campos) served not just in their area, but really looked outward just how Christ would have. I am so thankful for their Christ-like service to me and for them sacrificing their Preparation Day time. Just for me. AWE! TENDER!

P.S. GOD BLESS AMERICA! We had a great pancake breakfast this Friday at our house. (Ignore the bedhead in the picture.) :)
Pre-plague 4th of July feast
Pancake breakfast - just like my friends back home in the Fisher's Landing Ward
Family Home Evening fun from a couple weeks ago
My attempt at the Filipino "pogi" pose. I'm so kawawa! These hospital pictures were taken on Tuesday, so I don't look too ill anymore. :)
Trying to "peace" but my hands hurt from all the IV drama!

This sign was posted in my hospital room. It was a Catholic hospital :) "Emergency a nurse..." what the?!
Sorry for the bad quality - I took this picture off the screen of Sister Mortell's camera. Can you see the eyes in the fish? I almost threw up when I picked up the cover. Haha.
Sister Mortell was nice enough to remove it for me. :)
More sketchy hospital food (not as bad as the whole fish with the eye in tact though)
Another P.S. Did you know sometimes I write to you in Tagalog and then I have to backspace and think about how to write it in English. he he

Friday, July 4, 2014

It was a great week!

This week wasn’t super eventful or anything (sorry if this post is a little dry), but stay tuned because we encountered some crazy dogs, taught great lessons, and exciting things happened at church!

It was Wednesday – my second full day out working since being sick – and I still wasn’t feeling quite up to par. My companion and I were tracting, and turned to walk down a really narrow road bordered by cement walls of houses. Tied to one of the houses was a massive dog. My companion is scared of dogs and it saw us, started barking, and right when I was in the middle of saying, “It’s ok, look, it’s tied up.” The dog JUMPED at us, the tie BROKE and my companion’s first instinct was to run/jump into the opposite wall. She cut her shoulder (not too bad though). My first instinct wasn’t much better. I stood my ground (don’t show fear?) and opened my automatic umbrella at him. I don’t think either of our tactics worked. We are just lucky the dog went the other way and a close by neighbor called us over to get inside the protection of her gate. She didn’t want to hear our message, but it was nice of her to let us wait inside her gate while the other neighbors chased down the crazy dog.

Another day a harmless but super muddy dog jumped all over me. It was not my week with dogs.

We had a super fun ward party this week! We played awesome pinoy games. I really want to have a pinoy games (and food of course) party at Fisher’s Landing Ward next year my friends! It will be the BEST ward party ever! At the party, I realized I will be a classic, super awkward returned missionary because the Minute-to-Win-It type games felt super intimate to me for some reason. What the?! I’m awkward already!

We taught Marcilina – a 75 year old lady twice this week. She is less active but she has been less active for so long, she is practically an investigator. The lessons with her are usually pretty basic, but she always reads her Ilocano Book of Mormon. So funny – since day one any time we teach something and can tell she understands she answers with “siguro” or “maybe.” (I do a really good Marcilina impression, but for now…you’ll just have to imagine her.) Anyway, she is having a hard time understanding the apostasy and the need for a restoration. I brought that cup object lesson you sent me mom, and for some reason it just clicked with her. It was the first time she said “yeah” instead of “maybe.” Our second lesson with her, we read Moroni 6:4-5 with her. After she finished reading, we waited, and then asked her what she understood and she said, “God wants me to go to church.” Wow! Progress! But, she did not come to church this week. If I am still in the area this transfer, I hope we can get her to church.  

We had so many people, not just Marcilina, commit to come to church. We were so excited. It’s been hard the last few weeks to have nobody come. No fruits to our labors. I honestly can’t even imagine how hard a European mission would be – for that reason alone. Anyway, we watched as the other missionaries in our ward brought families of investigators to church, reactivated members, and have baptisms, etc. While I am so, so happy for them, I also want the people in my area to experience the joy and blessings that come from keeping the commandments. My hopes were dashed slowly as Sacrament Meeting went on and nobody came. I am not going to lie, I got a little teary-eyed and passed my companion a note that said, “Gusto ko umiak.” [I want to cry.] Then, as we were getting out our hymn books to sing the closing hymn, my companion started smacking me frantically. I didn’t dare to hope…but I looked up and saw SISTER LORENZO CAME! (Mom, she is the “strawberry lady” I told you about on Mother’s Day.) Oh my goodness. I was so happy. Doctrine and Covenants 18:5 We haven’t made it to the kingdom of God yet, but I can already feel how true this scripture is. :)

Well, I am still having some health struggles, but it’s ok. I will be fine. Thanks for all the love and support! Love you all!