Mission Call

Mission Call

Dropping CJ off at the MTC!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Possibly the last email... YIKES!

How do i even express how i feel right now as it all rolls to an end... AMBOT!

What a week we had and what a week we have ahead of us! Staying busy is the only way to go! As ive said my entire mission with my batch from the MTC, "go big or go home!" ... now that we are going home its more like..."youre going home so go big!"

We had a super awesome family home evening last monday where we made a piggy bank for them to save money to go to the temple. We let Sister give us pedicures so we could help them get started. It was fun to decorate the container with pics from the Liahona and then watch them put their first 25 pisos into the bank with smiling faces! :) The mission is so rewarding!

So i said how we went hiking last monday... oh my... ive never been so sore in my life... i think. Sister Manzano and i were dying that night. Our legs were throbbing like crazy. Walking was impossible but we had to if we wanted to go home. What an experience!

I traveled to Tacloban with Sister Larsen on Thursday cause she had a doktors appt and i had my exit interview with President Malit. We had quite the fun time at the hospital. Then i think my interview was an hour... maybe longer. Everyone laughs at me cause im known for taking forever in interviews... oops. i dont mind though. I have been able to develop a great relationship with my mission president, President Malit. He helped me so much this week. He helped me figure out for myself that im ready. I am strong. I can face the challenges ahead.

On friday and sat we had our giant zone conference/farewell ni President Malit and his family. Friday morning all us departing missionaries this transfer did a day with President and Sister Malit. SO MUCH FUN! Then in the afternoon we started conference with all missionaries! We did presentations and sat we had testimonies. I managed to not cry! What a success. My prayers were answered cause i knew it was going to be way difficult if i started the whole crying business. I was the last of the 17 of us going home to bear my testimony. What a spiritual meeting that was. There is so much more i could share about it but ill keep it short and just say it was awesome! I was so happy to be able to see everyone again right before i leave the mission.

President was so nice to allow us 4 sisters to stay sat night so we could see the baptism of Beth. Sister Quimson and i found her and she is amazing! The baptism was very tender moment. Sister Quimson and i were the on the spot speakers but it was awesome and i felt so privileged! I love Beth! Since we stayed we werent able to go home till Sunday morning.That was an experience!! Man... our church service is 8 to 11. We left Tacloban at 530am... we arrive in Calabyog at 1030am! I had the van take us directly to the church... we carried our suitcases into the church, ran upstairs and walked into sacrament meeting. It was pretty funny when the 4 sister missionaries all walk in late... awesome examples! I was sad that we missed sacrament and the other meetings but as i sat on the bench listening to the talks i realized how grateful i was to be there, even if it was only 30 min.! So many people came to church too... it was the highest attendance so far! 123! :)

Scripture of the week, Jacob 5:71. As i go into my last week im giving it all i got! If i do i know i will have blessings/the fruit of my labors waiting for me. Im so grateful that ive been able to serve a mission here in the Philippines. Heavenly is real and Jesus Christ lives! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church on this earth. i have no doubts!

Gugma gad!
Sister Carissa Jones

P.S. Might not be able to email next monday... if not... see you soon! AHH

Monday, June 20, 2011

3rd to the last email!

Its getting really close huh!? Half this week we will be here in Calbayog and on Thursday thru Sat we will all be in Tacloban for one last final zone conference with the entire mission! Im excited to be able to see everyone right before i leave. President Malit and his family will leave a few days before we do. He is really sad but he is being such a great example to all of us! I love him and his family very very much!

This last week we had one of those difficult weeks... no one being home or too busy! But we kept going! There is no end to missionary work!

We had interviews this week. It was great! Of course i cried like a baby... Its a difficult time. Then after we had a fireside with the branch with President Malit. He told some stories and then did a question and answer thing. Super funny questions. It was great. Then after he took us 8 missionaries, plus the 2 Assistants out to dinner. We ate at the hotel he stayed at. It was so nice! Nicer than some hotels in America (if i remember correctly). The food was delicious. President Malit is so good to all of us!

So my companion, Sister Manzano, whom i love so so so so much!, reminds me of Kimmy from Missouri (Fanny Farkle). The way she looks and then sometimes she makes faces or just acts like Kim. She is the filipina version of Kimmy :)

Every Sunday night we teach an english conversational class. Its so much fun! The members are so funny! We did skits last night using phrases we taught. They love acting so it was super funny.

One of the cutest things happened this week while we were walking around... The little kids are always saying, "Americana!, Americana!" Well one kid said that and then a girl, maybe 10 yrs old, replied. "Dili siya americana! Dili siya nakahibalo sa english! waray waray la." Translated that is, she isnt american, she doesnt know english, just waray :) It made my day! Sister Manzano and i couldnt stop laughing. I finally did it! I became a filipina!! SUCCESS!!

We've had some less actives come to church and families make temple goals. It brings me so much joy i cant even describe. Im getting super close to all the people in the branch... it will be so hard to leave them!

Earlier today we took an adventure with a bunch of branch missionaries. We went to the waterfalls. First off, i asked if the way was difficult... they responded no... but they had no idea! Plus we wore tennis shoes... dili pwd! We had to take the shoes off and one of the elders carried them for Sister Manzano and I while we went barefoot. The path consisted of an hour and a half hike of mud, and balancing on a 3 in wide cement thing, crossing rice fields, etc. An adventure to say the least. Luckily the falls were beautiful and we were able to rest and feel the freshness of nature... then an hour and half hour hike back to the highway. Its one of those really good experiences that you are glad you did but you would do it again on the mission. :)

Scripture of the week...1 Nephi 3:15. Im not done yet!

Naghigugma ko sa iyo ngatanan!

Sister Jones

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 13, 2011


First, happy anniversary Mom and Dad!

This week has been great! Lots of great lessons and people coming back
to church.. but of course still many that dont yet have the faith
built to act. We just have to be patient but persistant in extending
the commitments to repent to them.

We had some really amazing, spiritual lessons this week that are very
close to my heart. Its hard to describe how great it is sometimes. I
love being a missionary so so much. Also so really funny ones.! As in!
I prob had the funniest "look at what you are teaching in Sister
Jones!" moment... ill tell you about it in person (just remind me)
cause its such a good story.

We had a MCM on Saturday night which was really good although long.
President Dawisan (branch president) ask me to speak on Sunday (the
following day). I accepted with a smile. I should be use to it know to
teach on the spot. I gave my talk on Temples! I really enjoyed it! I
hope they enjoyed it. :) I have such a strong testimony of the temple.
It truly is the house of the Lord and where we all should aim to go!
One reason i am excited to come home (one of very few) is that we get
to go to the temple in Manila! It will be a nice prep for the long
plane ride. I would like to go on Friday in Idaho Falls so if we as a
family to plan to do that i would love that. Anyone that can come!

Scripture of the week... Moroni 10:3-5. If you doing have a testimony
of the Book of Mormon i encourage you to develop one :)

I love you all!

Sister Carissa Jones

June 6, 2011

Sorry i wasnt able to say more last week... this will be much better...

Ok so first off Heavenly Father must really love me! Im feeling a little spoiled!! I couldnt ask for a better way to end my mission... seriously!

My companion is Sister Manzano, which is my apo (grandchild) in the mission! Tapos, Sister Larsen (who i trained and who trained S. Manzano) also lives with us. And my last companion, Sister Quimson, is the companion of Sister Larsen. Us 4 are having such a blast together. Its different living with more people but the 4 of us work really good cause none of us are caddy. Sister Manzano is so good at learning languages and we are learning really fast together. the language is Waray waray but the Waray waray here is much different than the Waray2x i learned in Tacloban. Its so fun to learn language after language after language! A really growing experience! I truly love every minute of it! The weather is hot and rainy... nothing too different :)

We are all in Calbayog in the same branch along with 4 elders... so 8 missionaries total in one branch! When i first got here on my mission there were no sister missionaries in Samar. About my 4th transfer they opened Mondragon for sisters. Us being assigned in Calbayog is the 2nd sister area in Samar. Im really excited to be able to serve here because many sister never get the chance to see Samar. Us sisters have been given a special assignment. We strictly do reactivation and retention. Their are many members here but MANY less active. They have been a district for so long when other areas around that started at the same time have grown into big stakes. President Malit really wants to help them become a Ward and Stake so that is why we are here :) The 4 elders teach all investigator and then us 4 sisters strengthen the members and bring back less actives. Its a whole new ballpark of missionary work but im really loving it! We've had to change all our goals around which we have had lots of fun doing.

We had a good week. The members are great about working with us! Thank goodness kay we would never be able to find our way in some of the barangays. Some of the branch missionaries are like full time missionaries. Such great teaching skills and testimonies... they blow me away! Ive also already gained a little boyfriend in the branch. He is 2 and his name is Yehosheua (no he cant say his own name... i hardly can!). He sat with me all during church... well he didnt sit the whole time. But then after church he grabbed my finger and dragged me to the door and said we had to go home now. When he found out that we werent going to their house he threw a little fit... how cute! He is the grandson of the district president.

We have had such a great time visiting people.... lots and lots of good laughs! One day we went to the bukid (we didnt realize the family we chose to visit lived in the bukid). Bukid means mountain. It had rained earlier that day so the mud was nice and fresh. Its difficult to balance on logs and scurry up and down muddy hills in plastic shoes. Which, by the way, ive already walk a whole in these pairs of shoes and ive only had them more 3 months! Anything... back to the bukid... we finally arrive to the house... seriously SO far. By the time we shared a message it was dark. That trail was ten times harder! We all had our cell phone flashlights and two of the sons of the family followed us out. Sister Manzano and i both fell... i ripped my skirt really good!! When we got out all we could do was first breathe and then laugh! :) Thats not the end... we waited for a ride on the hwy... none... so we began walking. One hour later we arrived at our next appointment... of course late so we rescheduled and went to the last appointment (which was one of those tender mercy lessons!). Im so glad i had Sister Manzano by my side!

Well i love you all. The scripture of the week is Jacob 2. Sister Manzano shared it in our companionship study today and i remembered how much i like that chapter!

Gugma ora2x,

Sister Carissa Jones

new area- May30

Well .... ill make it quick!

I got transferred! I am now in Samar in Calbayog! It is new for sister so new... dirty... apartment. We spent all day sat cleaning. I am with Sister Manzano. I trained sister Larsen and SIster Larsen trained SIster MAnzano... so its fun! Also there are 4 of us in the apartment.. Us two and Sister Larsen with Sister Quimson! Oh man its fun. Ill explain more details next week cause we are out of time!

SIster Jones

May 23, 2011


This week was great...

The Santa Cruzans will last all of May so the work will continue to be a little up in the air.

We found awesome investigators this week and im so excited for them! The 2 really good ones came to church! YAY!! Sunday feels so successful when your investigators and returning members are at church!

There were lots of white people at church... it was kinda the joke of the day! Like seriously lots. I talked to one after sacrament. His name is Henry and is super cool He is from Baltimore and is just has been working here. He goes back to Amerika today. He is episcapalian (dont know how to spell) and he just wanted to see the church and learn what it was like. He said the one thing he would want to know is what the main difference is between us and other churches. It was so fun to share to him about the restoration! I explained the Priesthood and living prophets and that is the greatest difference. It was really difficult to teach in english... everything was coming to my brain in waray waray! But Heavenly Father helped me. I hope i was able to plant a seed and he will continue his search back in Amerika!

So last week we made this deal that we would only walk everywhere on Sundays. We felt like we were encouraging working on Sundays and that would be breaking the Sabbath Day. So... last week wasnt to bad cause we stayed pretty close to the house. But this week we WERE NOT thinking when we scheduled appointments. We literally went from one end to the other and then back. We had 3 ward missionaries with us... who were dying but still laughing about it. Thats all we could do was laugh! The sun seemed to be 3 times as hot yesterday... dont know why! As in, boiling lava hot! When we arrived to the first appointment i looked like i had just gotten out of the shower... sick! And the best part is that the sister we went to visit wasnt home! The next two appointments were tho so its all good. We got fed cake at the 2nd which made us all feel a little better. Then at the last we got fed dinner. This really helped with our kulang energy. Those pour ward missionaries... haha. I love them!

Scripture of the week... Alma 7. We taught a lesson and focused on developing Christlike Attributes as members of the church to continue on our journey after baptism. Our goal is to be like Christ in the end so we must work on becoming like Him in this life. We did the Christlike attribute activity in Preach My Gospel (last page of ch 6). I invite you all to do it and see where you can improve and then this week study that attribute in the scriptures and work on developing that attribute! Im working on patience this week :)

i love you all so much!

Gugma Gad!

Sister Jones

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 16, 2011

Hello. Its been a week...

Had a really awesome family home evening with the family we are working with getting back to church. The daughter (who has been the first to come back to church and now works with us every week) gave the lesson on faith. It was such a touching lesson as she pleaded for her family to hear her and follow the commandments. She cried and i sure did too! It was a very special moment in my mission.

Zone conference... or what we call it here, 'a revelatory experience.' It truly was a revelatory experience for me. Every time i take questions to such meetings (including church) i receive answers. We always promise our investigators and members that if they bring a question in their mind to church then it will be answered there. Its a really neat experience. I challenge all to do so. Every Suday can be a revelatory experience where you can receive personal guidance for things in your life.

Fiesta Time! this is where they celebrate the saints. Different times of the year there are different fiesta for one specific saint. I think this week was Saint Cruz. They celebrate by eating lots of food and drinking and singing for all hours of the night and day. Its sad how these celebrations are bigger sometimes than the celebrations for Christmas. It affects the work cause all your catholic investigators are busy with fiesta or anyone new you meet is drunk from the fiesta. We were able to find some that were available though. Next to our house, music played for literally 48 hours none stop. Many different genres. Friday morning i was listening to Jack Johnson during personal study and then by Saturday i got to listen to Chicago and Hotel California. Reminded me of home!
So at the beginning of the week i was thinking would Jesus Christ attend a fiesta? As members we dont have fiestas cause we dont worship the saints but we do recognize them as good people. I think i got my answer and i will never attend a fiesta again... So our apartment owner is a less active (back to catholic) and they had a big fiesta. His aunt, who lives there, is a very active LDS member still and she invited us to eat lunch on friday with them. We accepted the invitation. It was catered and very delicious... Friday night my stomach began to hurt really bad but it was bearable. Went to bed. Woke up at 1:30 and my stomach was killing! I cant even explain it. I went to the CR (bathroom). It was a not so wonderful experience! Most pain ive ever had going to the bathroom! This wasnt the end... I went back upstairs but as soon as i laid down it hit again! This repeated 3 times (going up and down the stairs was very exhausting since i was still partially sleeping). by the 4th time i decided to just stay downstairs. I would spend 15 min in the CR and then go out... read true to the faith or lay down on the tile then shortly return to the CR. The pain never stopped. By 3:30 (2hours later) i was able to go upstairs and sleep.. sort of. I kept waking because of the pain but luckily didnt have to go down to the CR. Saturday morning i text Sister Malit and she put me on the BRAT diet (banana, rice, apple, toast). And i just drank lots of water. So my conclusion is that the water (or ice they used) wasnt filtered. Ive drank unfiltered water here before and didnt have problems but im taking this as my answer to my question... Would Christ ever attend a fiesta?... NOPE!

Saturday afternoon was our Jubilee celebration. I felt a little better by then and we were able to attend. It was such a good show! It started late but it was ok. I just sat there drinking lots and lots of water. It was so fun to see all the youth and single adults perform their dances. Their costumes were so fun and their enthusiasm was inspiring. Our ward did the hardest filipino dance (tinkling). It is with bamboo sticks and dancing in between them as they are clapped together. I dont really know a better way to explain it but its really cool! The celebration was really long. It was funny cause after 4 hours we looked around at all the missionaries and you could tell by their body language what they were thinking... "oh man, we have been sitting here forever not being productive!" Us missionaries arent used to that! :)

We had more companionship exchanges this week as well. They were really good and i had such a fun time working with and learning from Sister Christianson and Sister Insong. I have seen a tremendous growth in Sister Christianson since the first time i was able to work with her. She is such an amazing missionary who really knows her purpose. It felt so good to teach with her because the Spirit was so strong! I love her! Then Sister Insong is so cute. I learned lots of language things from her and felt her strong dedication to the work. She is never lazy and a future leader!

Scripture of the week...Alma 5:26. The old mission president here and his wife came to visit and they spoke in church on Sunday. They were really good talks. Brother Elgren used this in his talk and it touched me.

Naghigugma gad ak ha iyo! Bagoha ang imong pag-istoryia ug magbago ang imong kalibutan!

Sister Carissa Jones