Current Address

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

Monday, February 23, 2015


I’m getting SO LAZY with my group letter lately. I feel like my life as a missionary has sort of mellowed out: lots of finding and some teaching, studies, sleep, eat, do it again, and try to improve. Even though I am used to this life, I am trying to remember/think of what is different or interesting so that I can give you all a better taste of life in the Pines.

*Scary moment*
I had to give a workshop at Zone Conference in front of President and Sister Balledos about how to improve teaching skills through planning. I think I have developed a little bit of a public speaking fear on the mission. Sweaty palms and butterflies – it was terrifying because I heard from other missionaries from other zones that there were chastisements. Yikes. The workshop was fine. I am no expert, but I guess I did well enough – no chastisements.

*Spiritual moment*
Even after 1000 times of sharing my testimony, one time this week I just knew it. I felt the spirit so strongly. By the look on her face, I don’t think she felt it. I think she was just thinking, “What the --? Why is this American girl crying in my house?” We know that every time we share our testimonies they become stronger. That’s another perk of being a missionary – we get to share our testimony multiple times a day. So if nothing else, at the end of the day, we know we have grown stronger.

*Sad moment*
I missed church this week. Yup. It feels super weird. Something is definitely missing. I got sick again bright and early Sunday morning. I think it’s those amebas…they are a true friend; they’ll never leave me. :) But really, the true friend is Sister Lacdo-o for taking care of me – keeping a hot pack on my tummy for the pain. And she also cleaned the whole house which is AWESOME! And I’m already feeling way better, just a little bit like a jack-o-lantern.

*Heart breaking moment*
I can’t go to Agoo on Saturday for the baptism of Fangonillo and Jerabese. So close, but so far away.

*Trunkey moment*
Today I have exactly 2 months left on the mission. I’m not yet having a hard time focusing on the work, or having any regrets or anything. It feels like just yesterday that I was walking into CSI with other missionaries asking them how much I should barter for things. They told me it’s basically like Target. Oh.  ;) That was my first day in the Philippines. Time goes so fast. Every moment, every choice matters. Make the most of every moment – good and bad, happy and sad, because then those moments become memories.

I’m going to make the most of my remaining moments. :)

Sister J

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


February 16, 2015

It’s been a great week. I went on my first exchanges. Best compliment EVER – towards the end of the day Sister Magaliano said, “Huh, it doesn’t feel like I’m on exchanges with a Sister Training Leader. We are having WAY too much fun!” YES!

I learned so much though in those 2 days. Sister Magaliano is so kind. Just so genuine. So happy. So giving. I hope I can be more like her. She was just so eager to learn and improve. I worked with Sister Hudson the next day. She is so diligent. Especially with learning the language. I need to have language study…I’ve been getting too complacent with what I’ve learned so far.

So that was Tuesday and Wednesday. These missionaries are assigned in my old ward, by the way, but not my old area. But then on Thursday I went with the Elders assigned in my old area!! They still haven’t been able to find where some of the less actives live. It was SUPER weird to climb those mountains again. Same steps. Familiar faces. Some people have moved – like Angie and Hanna. Some people have gotten super hard-hearted. BUT! Guess who I ran into!?!? Rowena Baysic. I gave her a giant hug right there on the side of the road. She was on her way up to pick her kids up from school. She said they would try to make it to church. (It didn’t happen…sayan…)

Basically, I got to spend half of my week in Burnham 1st ward. Woohoo! It was great to see familiar faces and meet so many new people and make new friends.

Valentine’s day! I decorated the cave (our apartment) with all the decorations you sent me mom. I kept our traditions alive and made pink pancakes for all the sisters in the zone. It was super great. Bonding. On the floor (because we don’t have any chairs).

Of course, shout out to my boyfriend – it being Valentine’s day and all.  

Sister J   


February 9, 2015

I think the shock has faded. I don’t really feel like I am in a dream anymore. And standing at the bottom of the mountain, I don’t look up and think, “What the…why am I here?! I can’t climb one more step.” 

It’s good. Sore muscles have faded. Determination has grown.

The people here are so different. We yell, “Tao po” and most hide. One lady came to her door, saw who we were and started shaking her head and arm. Almost like she was waving to us. But…she wasn’t. :) Another guy didn't get up and come to the door. He just yelled, “What do you want?” and I said, “We are missionaries…” and he interrupted me yelling, “There is no on home! Goodbye.” So funny!

MLC. Cause I’m a “mission leader.” It was so fun! I got to have a sleepover on Monday night at the Sister Training Leader’s house in San Fernando. That’s Sister Beckham’s house!! It was so fun to catch up. Talking. Hanging out with friends. It sort of felt like Girls Camp. SO FUN! All of the STLs are from far away places – La Trinadad, Baguio, Mauacon, and Agoo. So, I gave a bunch of letters to the Agoo Sisters to give to all my people. Yes! (Sorry family…no letters for you this week.) The Zone Leaders told us on Monday afternoon to pack our bags cause we’re going to San Fernando. We got there and President told Sister Beckham to have everyone get up early for sports, but no one brought clothes or shoes for sports. Most people just decided to go anyway, but Sister Smith and I stayed home so we wouldn't have to fight for showers. At 6:30am everyone’s phones started going off. #missionaryprobs (We went through everyone’s bags to find their phones and turn off their alarms!)

Sister Balledos cooked us (all the zone leaders and STLs) breakfast. Pancakes! And rice, of course. It was so good! We then had a stats review for 2 hours. After that, we talked about the budget for a few hours. Lunch. I used the Bauang STLs phone to call Sister Golightly. It was so great! Ah! Then I saw SISTER CAMPOS because she stopped by to pick up a t-shirt. Ah! So fun! She is assigned in Sevilla. She is going home soon. So Crazy!

In the afternoon we had more meetings and training. They kept passing out snacks to help keep us awake. They even passed out GUM. I was so surprised (bawal for missionaries). I was thinking, “Maybe it is a test to see if we are obedient or not??” Nope! I saw President and the APs chewing it…so…not a test. Just a snack. So weird. We talked about teaching skills and creating quality lessons for investigators. It was great.

After MLC…I got mail! A package! Thank you so much family! I’m sorry…I feel so bad I haven’t written you letters in forever. It was so good to “see” your faces on the Christmas card. Y’all are as cute as ever!

We waited for FOREVER to catch a bus back to Baguio. But it was totally worth it. I had a blast and learned so much.

Sister Lacdo-o and I received a great referral this week!  A less active lady in our area. She was baptized when she was a young adult. We taught her and her kids and she cried saying that this is what was missing in her life.

The cool part about this though, the member who gave us the referral said she has been praying to have an opportunity to share the gospel. This member teaches at an elementary school. She met one of her student’s parents months ago and noticed how great this lady was. Then, after so many months that parent texted saying she wanted to come closer to God. She asked if she could come to church with her.

So cool! Such a win-win-win situation. I don’t know who is happiest – us, the member, or the woman who is coming back to church. Missionary work is SO GREAT! When everyone works together… Doctrine and Covenants 50:22  “Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.” That’s my challenge to you this week. Pray for a missionary opportunity and follow through with courage. Really. Anyone and everyone can feel that “missionary high.” It’s the best feeling ever!

This morning we got up at 3. yup. That’s right. 3. Cause our whole zone rented a jeepney (can seat 21 tightly... we crammed 24) and toured Baguio this morning. We met at the church and left by about 4:45. We headed up to this great look out place to watch the sun rise but it was too cloudy.... bummer. It was still a great view though! We had fun sitting on the top of the jeepney waiting for the sun to come up. #bonding

Then we went to this haunted house/hotel/mansion/church. It was cool. Defs creepy when Sis. Faka'osi and I were the only ones on the third floor. And it was light by this point. So I can’t even imagine what it would be like at night... :) haha it’s fun to psych yourself out sometimes though.
Then we visited the strawberry fields (which was a little underwhelming). But none of the Filipinos or Tongans had seen strawberry plants before so that was cool for them.

We had 4 other places planned but it’s actually really hard to herd a huge group of missionaries and of course everything takes longer than expected. But we finished at the Philippines Military Academy. Saw some airplanes. They had these cool fountains and it totally reminded me of Disneyland - maybe just because everything was so clean :)

Well. I have been going strong since 3 AM. It’s 1 PM now... my head is KILLING me. But that’s ok.

Sister J