Mission Call

Mission Call

Dropping CJ off at the MTC!

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 12, 2010


First off I love and miss you!

Oh you know you love dad's silly dancing and singing! I would be joining right on in if i was there! And im so glad you finally are getting dishes and thank yous back to people! They were so awesome to help and i hope they know how thankful i am for their generousity!! Andrew always gives you crap about my stuff being everywhere and making the house a mess... sorry! :) And man... i really had 9 MORE bins! Man.... im never getting married huh!?

Well i dont know if this week will be exciting as last week sorry... The pics should be fun tho!

We are learning the areas much better now! The little kids love me cause im white.. haha. They always run up to me and say "SITER JONE-ES!" and "UP HERES!!" to give me high 5's.... they love giving high fives! The really young ones run around with no pants on and a lot of the little boys have little ruffly girl shirts... its so funny, i love it! They are so cute... i wish i could bring them all home with me!!

Im trying to keep Sister Taperla busy so we dont have to sit at home! The other night we went out and contacted on the streets... we met lots of cool people and gave them the restoration pamphlet with our number to contact if they have questions. We met this adorable older couple sitting outside their little house. I got to touch a nanay's hand to my head for the first time! It is a great sign of respect to the elderly... you do it instead of just shaking their hand. I think we will go back to their house and teach them.

I had another really cool experience while walking around. As we were walking by a bakery i saw this girl and was quietly prompted to go share our message with her. Sister Taperla kept telling me to "follow the Spirit, follow the Spirit" as we first went out. Sadly, i hesitated at this prompting and we kept on walking and began talking to some other people. It was eating at me that i didnt go talk to her and i kept thinking to interrupt my companion and tell her we should go back but i didnt... Then... the power in the city went out!! The only light was from the motorcycles on the streets. We began to head back to our apartment and would be walking by the bakery! The girl wasnt sitting at the counter anymore... i really was feeling terrible that i didnt listen to the Spirit and felt this would be on my head... Then i spotted her! Even tho i had only seen her for a split second earlier i totally recognized her. She was sitting on her bike on the street. I told S. Taperla we needed to turn around and go talk to her so we did! We shared our message and i felt a great peace. She was very nice and im still not sure if she needed us at that moment or i needed to learn a lesson but im just so thankful for the love of God and Him continually giving us chances to prove ourselves! Im so glad that this test is a LIFE LONG TEST... and we are able to fix and correct things over and over... unlike a test at school. We are truly blessed!

I finally had my first mango!!! SO GOOD! It has like 5 flavors at different times! And then Sister Taperla made this dessert called mango float! Oh i just love it.

The bananas taste different and are much much smaller! I ate a cooked banana too at a less active members house this week. It wasnt my favorite but they werent ripe so i was told the riper ones are sweeter and softer when they are cooked.

This same lady served us fresh fish. Like they literally had just caught them (they live on the shore) and cooked them... Head, bones, skin and all. I really liked it! Its still weird eating fish like that but im getting better at it.

We had some fish on friday too as a zone at our reactivation meeting in Almeria and it took everything i had to put it down... the fish's eyeballs were just staring at me! And the flavor wasnt as good as the one we had on saturday at that ladys house on the shore.

So this is random but we go by this coconut factory place where they make oil, and all that stuff you can make with coconuts and so the smell is SO strong... And i finally realized the smell of my shampoo is a nice mixture of coffee, caramel and COCONUT! I got excited while riding on the pot-pot so i thought i would share that with you... hehe...

Well my scripture of the week is Mormon 9:21... It has been a great strength to me! How awesome is it that all we have to do is have faith and ASK and it will be given us!

Remember to read your scriptures and prayer daily! I love you SO VERY MUCH! You are the greatest mom in the whole wide world... and ive traveled half the world now!!



P.S. The time difference is 14 hours. Im 14 ahead of you! I always just add two hours to my time and switch the time of day (morning or night) to know when it is there! haha... Just think... Im praying for you and watching over you while you are sleeping! And im preparing the day... if i have a good successful day, that same day for you will be blessed for you! Hmm cool thot huh!?

Dearest Father.... I mean FASHA! (Yes of course you can still call me CJ!) I miss your dancing. I was actually thinking about it the other day! I was wondering since i never get to dance out here will i lose my touch?? I hope not! hehe. You just keep dancing no matter how the family looks at you! casue you know i would be right there dancing with you!

So we watched conference at church on sunday BUT it was in cebuano! Turns out I didnt understand much!! haha. I will just have to wait till it comes out in the magazines and we get those! I was so excited to be able to watch it! We didnt know it would be in cebuano!! OOPS! It was actually the first time my companion had seen it in cebuano so it was weird for her too.

Thats so sweet you were able to see the Smiths and Logan! They were so nice to send me that little pack of sweet rolls while i was in the MTC! I cant believe our ward to so small now. After we moved i guess people realized it wasnt worth staying anymore.. haha.. jk jk!

I wish i could have heard you sing at church! The music here is much different. They sing everything in english so thats one thing im good at!! ha. But its funny to hear how they pronounce things and their beat is always slightly off and their pitch is always off. But what i LOVE is how they just sing their little hearts out no matter what. They are truly singing to their God and that is the most important thing. I love listening to them even when they arent on tune!!

We are struggling with the branch a bit. The members are great but they still could be better. We only have ONE family that is endowed! That is the Jamin family. Brother is the branch mission leader and Sister served her mission here in Tacloban so is wonderful help! We are going to try to teach the members about the importance of the temple ordinances! We have a couple new investigators which im excited about! I feel the spirit when we teach them and they seem to really be listening and accepting. PLUS they both have great LDS friends that will be amazing fellowshippers for them!! YEAH!! Having a fellowshipper is SO important!

I love you beyond measure!

Gugma CJ!


You seem so busy thats awesome! Im trying to stay as busy as possible... it makes it all much easier when we are busy! We have a few new investigators which i am excited about! Im not able to speak very much with my lack of language skills but i try. The members very nice and patient with me. Everyone stares at me cause im like the only white girl theyve seen in a long time... i just wave and smile. Sometimes they say things to me that im sure they are making fun of me or saying something silly cause i dont understand but soon i will understand and be able to talk to them. I need your prayers to learn this language cause its really difficult.

Im so excited for you to go to DC! I wish we could have done something cool like that. You are lucky!

Sounds like snowboarding was fun too! I cant even picture snow because its so hot here. haha. Sorry about the sun burn but thats totally sweet you got knocked out! If you would have been seriously hurt i would be sad but when you come out of something like that ok its totally rad! And always a good story to share with others! Who is it that you went with again?

Also i bet you are stoked for only 7 more weeks! You will all still probably getting together and hang out during the summer tho... playing night games and watching movies im sure! I miss being your age and just having so much fun with my friends!!

You are going to be so buff from all that shoveling! i wish i could go out and go running but all i can do are exercises with my little rubberband thing and sit ups. I hate not having time to work out... that always helped me relieve stress.

I sure hope i am blessing the people out here and im making this time away from you worth it! I need help and guidance and strongly rely on Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost!!

Ok so i love you is "Naghigugma ko sa imo" and i will punch you is "Magsumbag ko nimo"

I love you SOOOOOOOO MUCH! Keep the family in line and remember who you are and dont do anything i wouldnt do! (haha)


Sista Jones

Oh hello my little one!

Easter sounded very fun! Wish i could have been there to see it!! Mom told me that she beat dad in finding the eggs... haha. Its so hot here today! I cant even believe it... im sweating buckets. I carry a little rag around with me to wipe the sweat off my face! People are nice tho when we go to teach because if they have a fan they turn it on for us :) And yes, most of the people are shorter than me... even the men. Not EVERYONE but they are just smaller people here. My mission president is about my same height!

Well i just love you loads and tons and miss you oodles and noodles!!

Keep reading your scriptures and praying everyday! I want you to tell me how family prayer is going and are you getting it done kada gabii (every night)?

Love Your BIG Sis!... hehe

HAHA you are so silly. I cant believe mom hadnt found my charger until now... hmm. The money here is pesos. For every US dollar it equals 45 pesos! When we go out to eat its only around 50 pesos so just barely over $1 in America! CHEAP!!

Love you!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Carissa's Address in the Philippines

Sister Carissa Leigh Jones
Philippines Tacloban Mission
511 Maharlika Hwy
Fatima Vlg, Tacloban City
6500 Leyte
If you send packages you may need this phone #
Phone: 63-53-323-4063

April 5, 2010

Ive arrived in the Pilipinas


Yes im here and doing good! I wrote a letter from the mission home and they should have already sent it. It has a letter from me, pics with President Malit and Sister Malit and my companion, Sister Taperla and also a map of all the areas in the mission. You will be able to track where i am exactly which is nice. My first area is Naval. There is a college here and is probably the biggest "city", if you can call it that, on Bilirian island... yep im on the little island! My area for the most part is cebauno but there is also Waray waray. I can tell when people are speaking waray waray cause it has a different sound and i dont understand a word! ha. My companion knows cebuano, tagalog and waray waray so she is awesome! The language barrier is very difficult but i just keep praying that little by little i can break down that barrier! Please keep me in your prayers!

So to answer all your questions... its SO different here but i really love it. Its very very hot and humid so we shower (cold bucket showers) 2-3 times a day! We sleep with lots of fans so sleeping is very nice and enjoyable. Today i bought a malong, which i like a tube sheet that you sleep in! Brother Morrey told us about them so i found a cool one. Grocery shopping on sat was so crazy. Its so jam packed and so many different things i dont know what they are! I want to try everything tho so that i can learn what Filipino food i like! Rice is huge of course and i have yet to eat a mango... but i will this week! Ive seen some crazy foods and unsure but everything ive actually eaten so far is really yummy.

Our first few days were just at the mission home doing meetings and getting to know President Malit. We got to our area on friday night. We spent most of the day on sat cleaning because out apartment was gross.. and honestly still is! There is just no way to clean it unless we gutted it and sprayed it down. And im not even sure if that would do the job... Just know you would die! haha. The place is actually really big... just a big dump. The lady next door is who owns it and has a ton of stuff stored in there. There are three rooms with a kitchen and another living area which we use to study. There are spider webs gallor! I tried to wipe them all down today and spiders kept dropping down on me... its trying my patience :) We definately dont live alone... Its me, S. Taperla, 4 billion ants, 1000 lizards, and 473 spiders. I sleep on the top bunk so the spiders and i are pretty tight. The lizards just runs across the walls, they dont even phase me anymore. Oh and i almost forgot the cockroaches! They are nice little surprises at night!! So have you ever heard the whole thing that you eat like 8 spiders a year in your sleep? or something like that?... Well im going to break the record for that... like 8 spiders a night... no worries... i got this! Yes its gross and i dont want to lie to you but im great. It is a great growing experience and im just glad that most of the time is spent out of the apartment.

I absolutely LOVE walking around town and seeing everything. You are always close to the water so its very pretty. We walked through a rice field the other day and taught this less active , Danny. His house is far off behind the field and is built on little trunks off the ground. The floor is just flat little sticks and we had to take our shoes off before climbing in. It was crazy... i will make sure to take pics when we go back and teach him again!

Im really glad that i didnt have you buy me shoes! i bought a pair of crocs today for 100 pesos which is like 2.50 in US dollars! I think my camera will be just fine as well. Yes its humid but everyone here has normal cameras and i think it will be fine! Stuff is really cheap compared to US but we only get like 7000 pesos a month (its plenty for what we need to buy here tho!) Im trying to save a little each month so i have money to buy gifts to bring home!

Oh i just wish you could experience it all first hand! The first day here with president he was telling us about the mission. First, Tacloban is the best mission in the world! And the word Tacloban means Fisher because it is a fishing city! What a better name for a mission! We are fishers of men! How cool is that!?

Im so glad you have been enjoying conference! Hopefully we will get to go to Ormok zone and watch the broadcast next weekend. We will see...

I love you SO MUCH mom! You are the best! Thank God for all your many blessings!! Im realizing how blessed we really are in the US. It doesnt mean we need to give up what we have and live poor like this at all! God has given us these wonderful accommodations and wants us to have them and use them... We just need to realize where it comes from and thank Him everyday!

Nasayud ko nga kini ebanghelyo mao any ebanghelyo si Jesukristo! Nagpasalamat ko sa pagalagad sa atong Manluluwas. Nag-ampo ko sa mga tawo sa Pilipinas aron makadawat sila nining ebanghelyo ug sa mensahe nga nagbaton mi. Nasayud ko nga mitubos si Jesukristo sa atong mga sala' ug matabang siya nato sa mga buhaton. Naghigugma ko kaayo nimo ug sa atong pamilya. Pagsaad ko nga mag-uban ta sa hangtud sa hangtud! Pasalamaton nimo ang imong gugma!


Sister Carissa Jones... Your daughter who loves you TONS!!

Im Safe :)

No worries Dad... im here with all my belongs and im safe. Just remember if there is no news its good news! Thats actually what my mission president told us the first day. He said to not worry about our families and viceversa... cause if anything happens our families will contact him and he will immediately contact us and if anything happens to us he will immediately contact you. He is such an awesome president! President Malit and Sister Mailt are so kind and loving. I had a really good interview on thursday with him and we had a lot of conferences and meetings the first two days (wed night when we arrived and thursday). The mission home is very nice... our apartments are much different! On friday we traveled all day to drop all the sisters off (4 companionships). Both my comps from the MTC are with Americans and i am with a Filipina, Sister Taperla. She is crazy and known for being disobedient but she will be great. When we had transfer conference and they announced who would be my trainer she was shocked and slowly stood up. She had no idea she would be training me! She thought she was just getting transferred... not training. She isnt sure of herself but i keep telling her she is a great missionary and will be a great trainer. She has been out for 14 months and is from Mindanao Philippines. Her english is really good so the language barrier isnt bad but she is such a help to me. I have SO MUCH to learn in the language.

Today we were able to meet up with S. Blonquist and S. Lemmon (they are in our zone)... and they said that they ran into our 1st counselor of the branch presidency and he told them that i was homesick because i couldnt speak the language yesterday (at church). Im not... i guess he just thot not speaking the language means im homesick.

The area i am in is Naval. We wrote letters and a map of all the areas in the mission along with pics with the president and my companion. You should be getting those soon because the mission office sent them out this week. The Naval area is in Bilirian island which is the tiny island between the two main islands of the mission (Leyte and Samar). You will see when you get the map... and that will make it easier for you to track where i am whenever i get transferred. We are trying to work with the members to learn the area. Its kinda a big area and i get lost everytime we go out. The members are great but sacrament meeting attendance is very very low. Only 39 this week!!! Our meeting house is very small. One big room where we use plastic chairs and then 3 room to the side. One is for the branch presidents office and the other two we use for classes. I dont even think they have a primary cause i saw the kids just running around outside during sunday school. For RS and Priesthood we separate in the main room where sacrament meeting is. Its very very different but im excited to work and get attendance up. If they can keep it up for 6 months above 70 people we can build a real chapel! I bore my testimony because here it was fast and testimony meeting. We dont get conference till next week. And we should be able to go to another zone to watch the broadcast... we arent positive yet. Anyway... my testimony was short and i tried my best... i was very nervous and feel like i forgot everything that i learned in the MTC. My comp is very encouraging and some of the members are very nice to me. After church we had a really good MCM and the branch mission leader is really good!! He is getting everyone to help us. He was the branch president before. We had someone to go around with us everyday which is awesome! I cant wait to know the area better and the investigators that have already been taught. There havent been missionaries here for 3 weeks so we are pretty much starting from scratch. I want to find more investigators and just stay really really busy! The people here are so sweet... for the most part. Most of them stare at the white girl but i just smile and wave. The kids are funny and laugh when they see me... We ate at a members house last night and the little 3 year old was telling me that he wanted me to eat more! and kept hiding around the corner and then peeking at me. The mom told me that he found me guapa (beautiful). Haha.

Thank you for all your love and support. You are the great dad ever!! You are such a good teacher to us kids and i just love you sooooooo much!!!!! I hope you are reading your scriptures and praying daily! with mom too! Help eachother!

Love Your Favorite Daughter


I love you!

Hey there! Just wanted to drop in real fast and say that i love you and loved being able to talk to you on the phone!! Let me know when baseball rolls around! Im so excited for you to dominate!

You wouldnt even believe the crazy cold bucket showers that i take! Its so humid so we shower like 3 times a days (at least 2!) So pretty much you fill a big bucket with water (cold may i remind you) and then use another smaller bucket (looks like a plastic pot) and you just pour the water over your head. It shocks your body everytime! I dont think you can ever get used to them. Even when you are SO hot it still shocks your body! After the first couple buckets over your head its ok and you can pour it with ease! Its so crazy but a great experience. Oh and there is no like flusher to flush the toilet so you just pour a bucket of water in the toilet and it causes it to flush... its so weird! Im learning to go to the bathroom with minimal toilet paper since its so expensive. We get about 150 dollars a month... which is like 7000 pesos. I bought some new shoes today for 100 pesos and a bunch of other stuff. I will try to send pics next week through the email. The email shops here are different but i think i will be able to!

I love you sooo sooo much! Keep up your reading and praying! Let me know how its going!!


Sister Jones!

Hello There!

How are you and your teeth doing little boy!? It was so good to talk to you this last week on the phone! I wish it wouldnt have been so late so you hadnt been so tired! I just loved hearing your cute little voice tho!

Things here are very different! Especially the food! I ate some squid the other day! It was different but good. We went grocery shopping on saturday and its so crowded and you wait in line forever! They have so many different types of food... i want to try them all!!! haha. You eat rice with every meal! i like it cause its always with something different or a different type of rice. And when you eat there are no knives... just forks and spoons and you eat off the spoon. You just use the fork to push the food onto the spoon. You hold the fork in your left hand and the spoon in your right. Im getting used to it but i know i look really silly when im trying to pull apart meat only using a spoon and fork! ha.

So with the rice you have to dry it after you cut it and before you take it to the mill. They dry the rice on the streets! They just lay out these nets and the rice is yellow. Ill take pics so you can see it. Its so cool!

The driving here is insane! There are no rules and you constantly pass people and drive on the left side of the road. So many times you feel like you are going to crash because you are going head on with someone while passing another. There are buses (like giant taxis) and they are called jeepnis... we usually ride the pot-pot which is a bike with a cart that two people can sit in attached to the side. It is usually 5 pesos a person to ride. Its either blazing hot or raining so i always carry around an umbrella!!! I love it and wish you could see all these crazy things!... dont worry... ill take lots of pics!

Keep up with your reading and praying! Let me know how things are going and what is new in life!!! I just love you sooooooooooooooo much!!!!!


Sister Carissa Jones