Current Address

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Oct. 27, 2014

As my companion and I were walking home last night, we were talking and reflecting on how blessed our work was this week. 
Oh my goodness. Miracles.

Mama A came to church again. So did her teenage daughter (who hasn’t come in forever!). And the daughter brought her boyfriend. And, when we stop by their house to visit they are actually happy and excited to see us.

Lola R. came to church. She hasn’t been in years because she was working “on the mountain” and then since coming down her kids always ditch their super crazy kids with her. So that’s why she can’t come to church – because it’s been so long that she is embarrassed and cause her grandkids are all over the place. But our lesson with her this week was about opposition and how we need to be agents that act – not be acted upon. At the end of the lesson I promised her that I would bring crayons and paper so I could keep her grandkids busy. She did it! She came! I colored with the kids all through church. We dropped by Sunday afternoon and asked how church went. She cried and said that it’s such a different kind of happy, that words cannot describe. I’m so glad she was blessed with courage and determination to ACT!

The L family also is really progressing. Mama L is an investigator. Papa L is a member who is not active in church. Their 11 year old daughter is also investigating the church. Mama L. had a baptismal date before, but she didn’t make it. She doesn’t like coming to church without her husband. She says she is waiting for him to be active in church before she gets baptized. We had a great lesson about agency and accountability and challenged her to come to church with or without her husband. Guess who made it to church?! Mama L! We went by to teach Papa L on Sunday afternoon. The branch President and Branch Mission Leader met us there. They talked about preparing to go to the temple. Mama L is so excited. President mentioned a temple preparation class while he was talking. When we were leaving she asked what classroom the temple prep class was at the church. President told her she needs to get baptized first. Mama L is working to be baptized by Dec. 20 (her birthday) and Papa L is working to be able to baptize her.

The Fonganilio family missed church. BUT! We taught them Sunday evening and Bro. Bong hadn’t smoked a single cigarette that day!! Our lesson was on The Law of Chastity and it went really well.

*Side Bar*
You know the story in the Bible of Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath? (1 Kings 17:7-16) When I read this story, I was thinking about how hard it must have been for Elijah to ask this widow to give him her food. Her last meal. But he knew that because it was a commandment of the Lord, she would be blessed exponentially for her obedience. She also knew that. So she did what he and the Lord asked and “the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which He spake by Elijah.”

As missionaries, we speak for the Lord. And sometimes I lack the faith to ask people for their proverbial last drops of oil and handful of meal. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable, after investigators or other less active members do so much, asking them to do EVEN MORE [cue my repentance].
While teaching Bro. Bong, when my companion said that earrings for guys are not appropriate, Bro. Bong put down the Book of Mormon he was holding, took off his earring, and literally threw it out the window. OUT THE WINDOW! OH MY GOODNESS! HE HAS SO MUCH FAITH! I feel so blessed to be able to know and teach the Fonganalio family. I feel so lucky to be their missionary right now.

Rachelle, an investigator, came to church this week! She is 17. We are hoping to teach her family.

Our recent convert, Eric, received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday. What will his first ordinance be? He will be baptizing our investigator, Bro. Domingo, this Saturday!

Also, we had a baptism on Saturday. Janice. I’m so happy for her and her family.

Such a fulfilling week. Thank you all for the prayers and support. I feel so satisfied and at peace with my work here as a missionary. I am so blessed to be able to serve in Agoo right now with great members and an awesome companion who loves the gospel and the Lord. Life is great!

P.S. Thank you THANK YOU to Sister Wood’s seminary class! I loved reading all your letters and my companion and I enjoyed all the treats (they were gone in 2 days!) Thanks for brightening our day! It sure does mean a lot to us missionaries!


Janice's baptism!

Sister Hardy and I both wore yellow to church on Janice's confirmation day because it's her favorite color

It's so hot here! We were cooling off by the fan at church. :)

Thank you Sister Wood and class!!!!!!!!!!!


Oct. 20, 2014


MAMA A HAS BEEN SHARING THE VERSES & INSIGHTS FROM OUR DISCUSSIONS WITH PAPA A. Sometimes he is home when we visit, but he is so shy that he never joins us. Mama A told us that as she read one of the verses with her husband, he cried and said, “We are going to church again.”

They made it! Mama A, Papa A and Lola! (Lola is a recent convert.)

PALPAK means “FAIL.” 

Here goes! Yesterday Sister Hardy and I went to visit some less active members of our church that were in the hospital. I was asking the lady at the front desk where Gian’s room was, but she really just was not understanding what I was saying…Then a guy sitting in the waiting room jumped up and said, “I know where Julieann is! I’ll take you there!” (I thought he said Gian.) He hurried up the stairs; we hurried up after him, down the hall and into the room. As he closed the door and left us in there we realized that we didn’t know any of the people inside, but they were so happy to see us! We were confused, thinking, “Wait…do we know you?” Then after chatting for a bit they finally asked, “So…who are you guys?” Haha. Wrong room. Well we found  Gian, the one we were there to visit. She said we could come teach her on Wednesday! We asked her cousins (who were visiting her and had told us that they see us walk by their house all the time) if we could teach them another day. They didn’t say anything. They just looked down. Awkward!

Another success story! We went to a less active member’s house at 6:30pm one evening. They were already asleep. They heard us and woke up and said, “Sisters! Come in, come in!” And later, Mama O explained, “You represent Jesus Christ. If I turn you away, it’s like I am turning away Jesus.” Wow! I wish everyone we wanted to teach had that perception of us!

Another palpak story! Hiking through the rice fields is trouble. Especially for accident prone people, such as me. We had 15 mins. to get to our next appointment, so we decided to cut through the bukid (rice field). There are lil paths, but the straw-like plants cover them, and sometimes there are little holes that are underneath, but you can’t tell that they are there until you step in them and fall over. Bro. Oliver (our Branch Mission Leader) and two of the grandkids of the people we had just visited were with us. The kids had a flashlight, but we were just using the flashlight that we have on our phone. I totally fell in a hole. Then stood up into another hole. Then tried to get out again but fell into ANOTHER hole. My companion was dying laughing – so was I! I decided to just roll over and wait on the ground for a bit. Then my companion took a step and she totally fell. And then Bro. Oliver took a step and gracefully stumbled. Such a funny night. Lots of bruises. Lots of memories!


Janice is getting baptized this Saturday! She is adorable. Love her. She is so ready.

Bro. Domingo brought his grandkids with him to church. We also found out this week that he WALKS to church. And it’s not a short walk. Have I told you about his daughters yet? Well, Annabelle and Elizabeth always wanted to listen to us. They would hang around when we were over, send their kids in to listen, and try to hear, but never join themselves. Then one time, we decided to go without a ward member fellowshipper. We told Annabelle and Elizabeth that we couldn’t teach unless they joined the lesson – explaining the mission rule (we can’t be alone to teach a man). They have now joined for the last 4 or 5 lessons. I ran into Annabelle yesterday and told her that we missed her because she wasn't at the last lesson. She told me she snuck in a little bit late, but that she was sitting behind us and listening to everything we said. Cute, and a lil creepy at the same time.

Fonganalio Family – we have to postpone the baptism because of a smoking addiction. BUT, they are still doing great and I know they will make it.

It’s been a great week! Lots of laughs and fun. Lots of teaching and progressing. I’m so lucky to be here!

Brother Domingo and his grandkids

Mama A and family


Oct. 13, 2014

Oh, what a great week! Such a great balance of success and failure, spirituality and craziness. ALL 6 of our investigators with baptismal dates came to conference. I totally fell into a rice field. Less actives are actually getting EXCITED to hear from us. We got locked out of our new house so after quite a crazy evening/night we ended up walking over to the other sister’s apartment and sleeping there (I’ll save the details of this one until I get home…) ALL of our investigators with baptismal dates are now living the Word of Wisdom. We celebrated Sister Beckam’s birthday all weekend. Brother Domingo’s family FINALLY joined us for a lesson. We are STILL enjoying desserts and running WAY too much. We got invited to a GIANT Family Home Evening at our recent convert’s house and had basically our whole teaching pool there – Janice (Oct. 25th), less actives, investigators. And, did I mention conference? The only sad thing about conference is you have to wait 6 more months for it to happen again. #missionaryprobs

While sitting, listening to conference, I was sort of just reflecting. Life. Missionary Life. I am so thankful for all the people open to the gospel here. I’m also thankful for the people that aren't super open. I’m thankful for all the good days and the not so good ones. I really have lost myself and found myself in the work. I've found the self that is more like the person that my Heavenly Father wants me to become. We come on the mission to give our all to God, and He takes what we have to offer and makes it better and gives it back to us. Isn't that always how it is in life? We sacrifice for the Lord – keeping a commandment that is hard for us, giving up time, energy, things we enjoy – and He always blesses us immeasurably. I know I wouldn't be the person I am today without a lot of things – my parents and family, the choices I've made, and the opportunities and blessings the Lord has given me. I don’t think I could have become the person I am today without my mission. I guess that’s why they say the first person you convert is yourself. And it’s still a work in progress.

I am just so happy! Life is great! And, on top of all of the great things I mentioned already, I got so many letters this week! Thank you so much! Even though I have been out now for a while, I still get super excited when I get mail. Thanks mom, Em, Erika, Thurmans, Merrills, Andersons and Dunnaways. Oh my gosh! So many letters! I feel so loved!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Cold Sprite in Africa

So many great things happened this week! I don’t even know where to start! My companion, Sister Hardy, and I have been working hard and were able to see the fruits of our labors – especially at church on Sunday! J

I need to preface this week’s post with a story. Last fall my dad and I traveled to Africa. One day after being there for about a week we were walking through the small village market in the hot sun. It was a nice afternoon – we were just sweating BUCKETS! (Kind of reminds me of life right now.) It also happened to be my birthday. My dad asked if anything sounded good, but really I just wanted a Sprite. We walked over to a store that looked like they had canned soda. Yup. Success! Even better? It was COLD! Fresh out of a FRIDGE! (That was the first time we had had something cold since being in Africa.) It was by far the best Sprite I have ever had in my life – I don’t know if I will ever have a Sprite as wonderfully delicious as that cold Sprite in Africa.

I shared this story with a less active member of our church that we have been teaching. I made it into a little analogy. They are having a lot of struggles – sometimes they don’t even have money for food. But instead of allowing these struggles to bring them closer to God, Mama H is asking, “Why me?” As she was expressing her trials and her doubts to us, I shared the cold Sprite story (but I changed it to Coke because Filipinos love Coke). I said that we go through life and hard things happen. It’s hot. It’s a struggle. But when it’s super hot and you are so sweaty and thirsty and you’ve been walking all day a cold Coke becomes heaven on earth. Whereas if it’s a cool day, you are just hanging out, sipping some Coke…it’s wala lang (just nothing/regular). That’s why God gives us trials. So we can appreciate and more fully enjoy our cold Coke.

We went back to Mama H’s house a few days later. She was actually really excited to see us. She invited us in right away. She told us that she had been up all night just thinking about her problems – just worrying so much. She decided to flip open her Book of Mormon and just read. She ended up reading Alma 34. She cried, telling me, “I remembered what you said about the cold Coke. It’s true. If I didn't have the trials in life I wouldn't appreciate this.”

Here’s a quote from the talk “The Fourth Missionary” that goes along with this:

“Every challenge you face, every hard thing you confront, every bad thing that happens to you, every unfairness, every conflict, every sadness and tragedy, every disappointment and heartache, every temptation, and every opposition happens for one purpose only: to give you opportunity to respond by applying in your life the teachings of Jesus. As you do so, you are changed to become more like Him.”


OH. MY. GOSH! We have TONS of progressing investigators! Brother Ordinario is doing GREAT! He is living the Word of Wisdom. He couldn't make it to church this week because he got a boil on his butt. Yup. He told us that when we dropped by Sunday afternoon to check on him. He is going to get BAPTIZED on Nov. 1st!

Jan, a girl we are teaching, is also progressing. Let’s be real, she is basically a member. She is 10 and lives with her aunt and uncle who are members. She loves coming to church and is excited to get baptized on Oct. 25th!

The Fonganillo family came to church! The mom is abroad working and the dad usually works on Sunday. He is a trike driver (the motorcycles with a side car). We promised him that if he came to church, even just for one hour, that his family would be blessed. He came! So did all the kids except for one. We taught them all Sunday evening and they LOVED church. Bong (the dad) said it felt really good inside and he wants to keep going. He was able to talk to his wife about baptism and she said she will support him, whatever his decision is. GUESS WHAT!? THEY WILL BE BAPTIZED Nov. 8th! Brother Bong still needs to overcome some addictions, but he will make it. J


  • We moved! The new apartment is tiny. The bedroom my companion and I share is barely big enough for 2 twin mattresses on the floor. Since we don’t have screens yet we have to keep the windows closed so it is in an OVEN in there! Yup. I only got 2 hours of sleep the first night. Hopefully we will get screens soon!
  • I got electrocuted last night. My arm is really sore but I am totally fine.
  • My companion and I go running! We also eat cookie dough so I think these two things sort of cancel each other out.

Thank you all for your love and support. I am loving life as a missionary!

Friday, October 3, 2014


I transferred! I am now here in Agoo! (uh-go-oh) I love my area; the branch here is so great and my new companion…DRUM ROLL…

 Sister Hardy! I’m companions with an American for the first time since the MTC. I miss Sister Campos and Monong Bien and my housemates and my cool Baguio air, but I am LOVING Agoo. So Much!

I got here on Thursday afternoon. We are switching apartments (hopefully this Tuesday), so I am just living out of my suit cases. My area has a lot of rice fields. It is COMPLETELY FLAT! It’s also A LOT smaller than my area in Baguio which is nice because when I get home at night I don’t feel like I am going to fall over with exhaustion. My new fabanay (housemates) are Sister Hardy (obviously), Sister Beckam, and Sister Alpes. Sis. Alpes is the only Filipina. Good thing I’m fluent in Tagalog now *sarcasm*. It’s a SUPER fun house. I love these girls! I think I am going through Sister Tune withdrawals though…I’ve lived with her for 6 months!

The work here is really different. We work off of referrals. We had 5 investigators come to church yesterday! Members are working with us all the time. #missionaryheaven

It’s not perfect. No area is. I tried talking to a lady by saying “I’m really new here and excited to get to know other people in the area…” then she said, “The only one that will listen to you is the dog.” Ouch. Harsh.

My favorite investigator is Brother Ordinario. He is an older man. He had his vocal cords removed because of past addictions. He can’t speak; I can’t read lips. He is the kindest man though. This week was his first Sunday at church and he wore a fedora. SO CUTE! Brother Domingo is super nice! The other 4 investigators at the branch were all kids or teenagers so we gotta get their parents to come!

This week I will get to know the members and investigators and find lots of new potentials! I’m so excited to have so many more people to love!

Well! I’m off to the beach! Don’t worry, I won’t swim, I’ll just look at the water and work on my missionary tan lines.

P.S. Shout out to Aunt Heidi! Thank you so much for the package. You are the best. I love it all. I was almost out of Chap Stick. But now I am ok! Also, everything was perfect. As usual. I love it all. Thank you!!