Current Address

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

Monday, December 29, 2014


It was such a great Christmas. Christmas as a missionary is so hard. But then it’s not really hard at the same time. It’s easy. It’s hard to be far away from all the family, friends and fun. But I realized that celebrating Christmas as a missionary is the BEST because it’s so easy to remember Christ. It’s so easy to be happy as long as you focus on your purpose as a missionary. This Christmas was probably one of the best Christmases of my life.


December 23 – we spent the evening cutting chicken and wrapping presents! Getting ready to make tacos and give out pictures of the Manila temple on Christmas!

December 24 – ok, today wasn't THAT interesting. We did service for one of our investigators in the morning. We helped her make kakanin (sticky rice with a cheese-milk topping…mmmm delicious! Don’t worry family, I’ll make it for you when I get home). She had a huge order to make. It took some muscle to halo-halo (mix, but we had to pull up as we went) that big pot of sticky rice for a half an hour over a fire. I’m so grateful she let us serve her. It was so nice of her to teach us how to make it.  #sosweaty #memories

Making kakanin

Finished kakanin

Christmas eve – my housemates and companion decided to call home and talk to their families. It was kind of spur-of-the-moment. Sister Korosauu called her family, and as we all overheard her talking with them in Fijian she sounded so happy! So Sister Alpes decided to call her family. Just for 5 minutes. Then my companion Sister Apin called her family for 5 minutes and after she got off the phone everyone was quiet. Good thing I had a bunch of surprises planned for Christmas Eve:

  • Gingerbread houses (out of crackers and candy)! This is the first time my companion had ever made one!
  • Keeping traditions alive, I got us all matching leopard print jammies #gmagpajackson
  • More of keeping traditions alive, lip sync! (to an EFY song, but it was still super fun)

Presents for my housemates: matching Christmas PJs

modeling our matching PJs

Movie night! We dragged a mattress out into the kitchen, piled up all the pillows in our house and watched Legacy. My companion even made popcorn!

(Writing this out makes me realize how simple it was, but hey, everyone was busy so no one had time to be homesick!)

December 25 – Christmas morning – we woke up and went on a run to Jollieebee! Pancake breakfast! After we got home I opened the package from home. Thanks Great Grandma Penn, Sherwins, Merrills, and Judi Tenney for thinking of me! I appreciate the much needed personal items, clothes and snacks. 

I had two Christmas wishes this year. (1) For someone to play with my hair. (2) Letters. Oh my goodness – I got a whole book full of letters from family and friends. Thank you so much for taking the time to write me, and for sending your smiling faces. It is something I will keep forever.

Our gifts (pictures) all wrapped and ready to go!

We went out to work! Our first stop was the Lucben home. When they set the picture of the temple out on the table and started talking about how they want to go there someday and how they heard from other members the feeling you have when you go inside is just “light,” the feeling in their house changed.

Our next stop was to see Elma! We shared the Christmas story from the Book of Mormon with her. She loved it.

We had Christmas lunch and a gift exchange at our branch president’s house. I drew Bro. Oliver’s name and he drew mine. Who knew? 

Christmas lunch

Christmas gift exchange

After the festive lunch we visited the Gaerland family’s house. They were just as happy as can be. Mama G was excited to receive a Book of Mormon from us because her brother has one.

The Fangonilo family loved the picture of the temple too. I’m totally squatting in this picture!

When Raquel opened the picture of the temple she said, “I can’t wait to go back there.”

Tatay Memerto kissed his Book of Mormon when he opened it. He used to have all the scriptures, but they got lost and damaged moving and in floods. He said, “it’s been so long!” THEN he told us the BEST NEWS EVER! Everytime we visit he tells us that the time will come that he will come back to church, that he just isn’t ready yet. Well, on Christmas he told us, “My sisters, this January I am returning to church!” YESSS!! We asked him how the Word of Wisdom was going. He said he only had a few shots earlier that day. Haha. Our little message to their family was super funny because of the random uncle who was hanging out there, TOTALLY drunk, giving us random “Praise Jesus!” and “Hallelujah!” throughout.

Nanay Liza got teary when she opened her gift. She just kept saying, “Wow! Wow!” and couldn’t stop smiling.

I got a stolen shot! Nanay Luz smiling! She is one tough cookie, but we melted her heart this Christmas. Bro. Domingo loved his gift. Ties! Now he doesn’t have to borrow any when he passes the sacrament! His expressions were priceless.

That night at our house we had a little gift exchange. I wrapped everything separately for my companion so she would have lots of gifts to open. I even put one shoe in one package and the other shoe in another!


December 26 – Skype with my family! It sort of feels like a dream. They said I have an accent. Toby and Spencer are both a lot taller now. Spencer’s voice changed. I talked with Whit about dating. I talked with Em about going to college. Just kind of crazy how much has changed, but also how everything that is important is still the same.

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