Current Address

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

Thursday, March 26, 2015


March 23, 2015

This week has been so nakakapagod (tiring). I fell asleep in a couple of lessons. That was a repeating nightmare for me as a new missionary. And now it’s happening in real life and I’m just like, “eh…ayos lang.” (It’s ok)

*Random side bar about pinching*
I don’t think I’ve ever written about this. Kids sometimes like to pinch my arm hair. Cause  it’s blond.
And people here don’t really have arm hair. 
But they use the Tagalog word for “fur” to describe it. Nice.

Alrighty – here is why this week was so nakakapagaod:

  • Two late nights (Sunday and Monday) and then waking up early Tuesday morning because of departing missionaries!! (Note to self….pack bags earlier than the night before.) It was fun to stay up and help them pack, and then drop them off at the bus. But it made for a killer Tuesday and Wednesday – my companion and I were the walking dead.  
  • Thursday night (Friday morning, actually, 2am!) we left for Manila. (All of the departing foreign missionaries had to go get fingerprinted for leaving the country.) I had gotten sick – around midnight I started throwing up. But this was the last group of departing foreign missionaries going to Manila for fingerprinting before I go home, so I had to go even though I was sick. Thank goodness for some well-timed bus stops…It was great though because I got to catch up with Sister Golightly! We haven’t really been able to talk since she visited me when I was in the hospital. But we were up for almost 24 hours, so we got to catch up. On the bus ride to Manila (from 2am – 9am) we gave up our seats to a mom and her kids. So we sat in the aisle on a little kid stool and a bucket. We got to Manila, got fingerprinted, and then went to TACO BELL. Oh my gosh. Words cannot describe. I felt like Orphan Annie, “Could someone pinch me please?” But wait! It gets better! Taco Bell is located in one of the malls in Manila. Our super nice drivers gave us an hour to walk around before we had to go back to the bus. It was like a little piece of America. Sister Golightly and I split a Krispy Kreme donut and got smoothies, and just walked in all the stores with our mouths hanging open. Culture. Shock.

  • I’ve received mail these last few weeks! Thank you so much Mama J, Cook family and Sherwin family. I feel so loved. And lucky.
  • I have the best companion ever. On Thursday night there were 12 sisters at our house (perks of being assigned in Lingsat…Party! Party!) Sister Golightly told me when my companion heard me throwing up, she jumped up (everyone was sitting around talking) and said, “My companion is sick!” and ran out the door (I was outside). She held my hair out of the way and rubbed my back. She is so nice!
  • I get to rub shoulders with spiritual giants. Our mission president stopped by our district meeting. He had super great insights about everyone’s cases (each companionship takes turns sharing something about a progressing investigator or less active member). We asked for ideas on how to help the ward better befriend one returning member in our area who is practically deaf. President asked us “What has been done to help this sister hear again?” That never even occurred to me. [Go to the root of the problem and actually help make a big difference.] President said, “Imagine how much of a difference it would make to this sister if she could actually hear the gospel.” So true! Since getting his counsel, my companion and I have thought of four other ways that we can better serve the people – really help them.
  • Everyone I’m with has a good sense of humor. And forgiving heart. In one lesson, with Sister Chita (a blind member of our ward), I fell asleep while my companion was reading the Book of Mormon out loud. When it was my turn to read, she passed it to me and I just straight up dropped it. (Dang it. My husband just got less attractive.) After I read my five verses, Sister Chita asked me what it meant. OK…I can’t understand Isaiah on a good day, let alone on a day when I’m pagod and reading in Tagalog. I read it quickly in English and thought about it. Then just admitted, “I don’t actually know…” Everyone had a good laugh.  
I truly am a lucky missionary. I'm lucky to be here in this beautiful place with wonderful people. I'm lucky to be serving the Lord and to be loved and supported by all of you!

Mahal Kita,
Sister J

Goodbye crazy psycho-clown-red hair!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

"Sweet"? Nope, these were definitely sour. Still fun to see Washington apples though! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Missions are great places to learn. The first thing you learn is humility – even without learning a new language I feel like the mission would still be a very humbling experience. I've also learned a lot just from going into lots of different people’s homes. But I've also been able to learn a lot of things from myself. As one missionary said, here on the mission all of your weaknesses are “thrown in your face.” And it’s so true. Good thing God gives us the opportunity to make weak things strong. Otherwise missions would be a whole lot more discouraging.

Last Sunday after transfers I was murmuring. I was complaining about things out of my control – not with the intent of improving the situation -just for the sake of complaining. I just did not really have a great attitude about the whole thing. Until Monday afternoon when I got an email from my sister Emily about what she had been reading in the scriptures. “1 Nephi 2:12 talks about Laman and Lemuel…that is true!” Who is the missionary now?! (Cue my repentance. My Mission President knows best.)

I read a really good article in the January Liahona this week. It was just a little story about how a little girl gave her teacher a nice, clean, shiny potato and how we shouldn't wait until we have an “apple” before we serve others. It’s so true! The author gave a good example – instead of waiting until you have time to make a homemade card and buy some flowers just skip the card and flowers and visit the sick person. Don’t procrastinate the day of your service. I got to see a few examples of this in my ward this week (but they are too confidential to share – sorry!)

We had new missionaries come in this week! They stayed at our house! All these things that are just a part of life for me now (examples - you have to use a bucket every time you flush the toilet, and why we eat hot dogs for breakfast) they were super confused about. It was so fun to be around new missionaries though. They just have such a great energy. And so much faith! They literally have no idea what they are getting themselves into, but they are still here! Still happy! Still excited! Still ready to serve! I’m learning from that example.

Another perk of living here in Lingsat, we get to host the missionaries right before they go home! I saw Sister Dizon!! We didn't get to spend very much time together because she was busy packing and I was busy preparing our house for the arrival of the new missionaries. But it was so good to see her even if we just talked for a bit. Something learned – I could totally get a job cleaning ANYTHING after this. I wish I had taken before and after pictures of our house! :)  

Probably the biggest lesson I learned this week was…don’t try new hair dye on Saturday night! Oh my gosh. My hair is fire engine red. If I pull the little curly pieces by my face out I look like a psycho clown. Yup. All of the Relief Society ladies loved it though. The Elder’s faces were priceless when they saw it on Sunday morning at church. Their eyes practically bugged out of their heads. “You look like Ariel. Not the cartoon one. The one at Disneyland.” Cross your fingers – I’m going to try to fix it today.

I’m also learning A LOT from my new companion. I was praying to have a companion that I could learn from her example. God answers prayers! Sister Saguinsin is a great person and missionary.  

I still have 5 weeks to try to learn as much as I can! Soak it all in! And hopefully make it to the beach too.

Sister J  

Sister Saguinsin and me

The new missionaries!

Monday, March 9, 2015


So much stuff happened this week. I can’t believe it’s only been one week. Where to start? In order of craziness or in order of events?

I’m in San Fernando Zone again. I got emergency transferred. Transfers aren't supposed to be until tomorrow, but I've been here since Friday. President called Friday morning and said, “Pack all of your stuff in 2 hours and hop on a bus.” I’m now assigned here in Lingsat. It’s kind of a lot of pressure – it’s the ward that our Mission President attends. It’s basically the center of the mission – APs, office elders, STLs. I was a lil’ worried, but so far it’s been ok. :)

I’m here because tomorrow both Sister Beckham and Sister Lunar are getting transferred, so I've been trying to learn the area as best as I can – memorize names and places and faces in the past few days. It’s been super fun getting to know Sister Lunar and hanging out with Sister Beckham! I have been laughing so much.

Next week. It’s going to be a bit stressful. We have new missionaries coming in. And we have a couple of sisters staying here because their house has no water. Sister Lunar and Sister Beckham are leaving, and they are both leaving some of their stuff here because they are close to going home. Then I have 2 new companions coming – and one of them is leaving in a week. I know both of them and I’m SO EXCITED! One of them, Sister Sauginsin, is my batch mate and I've been thinking for the last few transfers, “I really hope we are companions.” BOOM! IT’S HAPPENING!

*Becky Moment*
I really want to just kick everyone out and clean the whole house and go through stuff and throw it away.

*Fun Fact*
I am here in San Fernando at the computer shop I used to go to when I was being trained. As a new
Missionary. So crazy! The couple’s baby (that owns the internet shop) is now running around! Time flies. AND! I can go on exchanges in my first area. Cause I’m the zone’s STL.

Back to missionary work:

I love this area. I feel really lucky. I have gotten a good mix of areas on my mission.
Pagdalagan – tobacco and corn fields and bamboo houses
Baguio – slums of the city
Agoo – rice fields
Baguio – nice city feel
Lingsat – beach

Yup. My current area has the beach in it. I’m definitely going finding to all the houses along the beach. :)

I have a few goals for my last transfer on my mission. One of them – I've been praying for a companion who I can learn a lot from their good example. I think Heavenly Father is answering my prayers and then some. I am surrounded by spiritual giants. I hope I can just soak it all in.

There are a lot of people with special needs here. I can already tell that I am going to learn a lot from their examples. Nanay Dina (Dee-na) is hilarious. So funny. She is 75 years old, loves to sing hymns and is so happy all of the time, even though she can’t walk because of the stroke she suffered. I seriously just need to bring a hidden camera to the lessons because this lady is my favorite. She shared what she read in the Book of Mormon with us (2 Nephi 9:31), then she said, “This is not true. I don’t believe this. Just because they cannot hear, they will perish?! They are so kawawa! This, this part is not true.” [Maybe you had to be there…just try to imagine it in the cutest old lady voice ever.]

Other crazy things:
I was pickpocketed. Dang it.
I gave a workshop at MLC
I love the heat! :) 

Love you so much!! Talk to you soon! I’m gonna work my butt off, take pictures on the beach, try my best to eat healthy (pray for me on that one) and make so many memories and friends.

Sister J



March 2, 2015

Is this the case with all missionaries? Or is it sort of a Philippines thing? Do people hide from you guys? This week we went to teach a family that is so kind – they always let us teach them. They live in a one room house that has one wooden “bed” (it’s kind of like a platform), a bench, and an entertainment center with a TV. They have 10 kids. The 16 year old girl and 3 little siblings were home when we stopped by early in the afternoon. We had a few other appointments in the area that we figured we could teach first, so we told them we would stop by again later that day. When we came back the 16 year old said her mom still wasn't home. We asked if we could teach her and she reluctantly  said yes.

We could tell on her face she was TOTALLY hiding something. As we talked with her the toddler toddled over to the bed, sat on the floor next to it, and started jibber jabbering away. Then a hand poked out, grabbed his hand, and shushed him! I poked my companion and gestured towards the bed. Yup. There was the mom. Hiding under the bed. We started laughing, said, “Hi! We found you! Come on out!” She got up, climbed up on the bed and out the window. People only hide like this during earthquakes or if the missionaries are coming over.

This week was good though! When I was on exchanges with Sister Lomibao, a different less active that I have never even met before was home and we were able to teach him! His story is so sad. They were a strong, active family. But then after his wife died everything just fell apart. His kids went different directions – abroad, Manila – and he just lost control. One time he went to church by himself and one of the members said, “Where are your kids? Why aren't they here? This church is for families. You’re not a very good dad.” Oh man. I’m sure that member had the best intention, just the wrong advice at the wrong time. He said he wants to come back. We invited him to come back and prepare to go to the temple so that he can be sealed to his wife. He said he will try. And (this part is so kawawa) he and his grandson are the only ones now that live at his house. He said, “We are lonely a lot. Something is missing here.” It’s true! The Gospel of Jesus Christ! That’s what’s missing! 


  • Twice this week I was asked if it’s against our religion to ride in cars/jeepneys. Haha. Nope…we just don’t have enough money to taxi everywhere.
  • There was an earthquake this week on Tuesday morning. Really small, but it knocked over my picture frame.
  • I slipped in a river. Just decided to walk the rest of the way in the water.
  • I had a “Spencer” moment. Almost passed out when the man we were teaching described some gnarly stuff involving blood. YUCK. 

There is a festival here in Baguio right now called the flower festival. There was a dancing parade on Saturday, a float parade yesterday, and today the main roads are closed down and covered with shops. Which is super fun EXCEPT we can't get transportation. It is seriously the biggest pain. Sunday we had to just walk to our area...which is not close. IDK how long it took... an hour?

And it took us an hour earlier today to get a taxi. We were walking and waving and yelling for taxis to come pick us up.... everyone was full. Even all the jeepneys. We even asked a lady if we could share her taxi with her. Nope. We offered to pay. Nope. BUT then a jeepney pulled over and one person got out. A guy cut in front of us and got on, but I was determined. I jumped on the jeepney, sat down on the remaining space that was too small for a small child and then put my housemate (Sister Panganiban) on my lap. Usually if jeepneys get too full people put their children on their laps... but these people were just staring at us like, "you idiots." As Sister Lacdo-o walked back and forth inside trying to find a seat Sister Faka'osi just sat down on the back. Sister Lacdo-o decided to just sit on the floor. Everyone was staring... EVERYONE inside and outside the jeepney. It was hilarious. Then the driver turned to me and said, "Can you please take a different one?" Dang it. 

We just decided to keep walking. As we were walking Sister Panganiban and I made a sign that said,
"Share a Taxi?" To hold up. FINALLY we saw someone get out of their taxi! We sprinted over,
yelling and waving and praying that no one would steal it. SUCCESS!!! (Hence, I am emailing you.) :)
When we sat in the taxi we were quiet for a sec. Sort of a group *sigh* then Sister Faka'osi said, "Never again."  Ha ha. Making memories!!

These pics are from this morning! We got up early and went to Burnham Park for a walk. There were news people in the park. I was really uncomfortable because 1. I was wearing workout pants that were probably too tight for a missionary and 2. This is literally the only time in all history that the news people STOP REPORTING and start STARING at the person with NO MAKEUP wearing WORKOUT CLOTHES (because I'm white??). I just wanted to leave but my companion really wanted to take pics so we stayed for a bit. We saw two floats left over from yesterday, and took pics with some kids that were still dressed up from the parade. :) They let us wear their hats. :)


Someone brought a couple of FOOTLONGS to the ward activity. They were cut into tiny pieces. Everyone got two bites. I teared up. Seriously SO GOOD!! I asked the member where she bought them... she made them. Dang it!

Loving my life in the Philippines! 

Sister J