Mission Call

Mission Call

Dropping CJ off at the MTC!

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 21, 2011

This week was amazingly fun and crazy!

I got to go back to my old area and work and see a baptism of 4 people that i started teaching! I met a really cool guy on a bus and taught him as we rode and gave him the elders number where he lives. He text them the next day and told the elders that he met us and wants to join our faith! WOW cool!! On the ride back to Tacloban i stopped and held the bus cause i had to get off and go to the bathroom! I was praying SO hard cause i had to go SO bad! The bus came to a stop so i immediately asked to get off and pee... I ran to a random house and paid him 5 pisos to use his CR (bathroom). It was a little creepy cause it was a dark alley thingy and my comp was still on the bus but both of our prayers kept us safe! hehe. We gave a few trainings at zone conference and i was drugged on benadryl for one! I didnt realize that it made you sleepy when Sister Schneider gave it to me that morning!! I literally fell asleep as i was talking as Sister Blonquist and I were preparing for the training! All we could do was laugh about the situation! Please pray for us to find an apartment cause we still havent. We are just continuing in faith. That is faith... taking a few steps in the dark, showing Heavenly Father that you trust Him... then after those few steps of faith He will take your hand and guide you!

Scripture of the week... Alma 30. Read it this morning and remembered how much i love it! All things denote there is a God and we all have always known that there is a God!

Love you!

Gugma Hinduru
Sister Jones

Valentine's Day 2011

Well hello and i send my love to you all on this very happy valentines day! On the way walking to the internet shop a little ADORABLE girl was walking too and said quietly but sincerely, "You are very beautiful." It was SO cute so i of course told her she was too cause she was! and gave her a little heart balloon from Shakeys Pizza restaurant we had just ate at and told her happy valentines day. I just love people in the Philippines! Sometimes they are very blunt and its not too nice but times like this, its nice... haha.

This week was another week of crazy travel! But OH SO FUN! We worked in 3 different areas. Tanauan (which is where we live currently), Sogod, and last Hilongos. All the sisters were super awesome! I had amazing, spiritual experiences in each companion exchange. I feel like the most blessed sister missionary ever! By the end of the travels we were very exhausted. Luckily the Elder Assistants were in the same zone we were on saturday so we were able to ride in a nice air con car on the way home to Tacloban. Not that i enjoyed the air con myself.. i curled up in my malong but Sister Blonquist was excited so we were both happy. We hit a dog on the ride home... Elder Cabrera really tried not to hit it but it ran right into us. He got up and ran to the side with his leg up and about 5 dogs ran up to him. It was like they were saying, "Dude! you ok man? That was insane!... you just got hit!"

Upon arriving home i found that my leg was starting to swell and hurt pretty bad. We attended a baptism in our ward from the elders (there are 8 missionaries in our ward). And by the end of the baptism my leg was throbbing and and i could hardly walk! The office elders drove us home thankfully and i soaked it in hot water... it felt like boiling lava hot but im sure it was pretty normal to you all. My skin just isnt use to it anymore. On Sunday i could hardly walk but i managed and i can walk today. Its still really swollen... as in like nasty cankle going on but hopefully its not permanent... haha. Another ridiculous thing that happened in the category of swelling is this morning i wake up at 330 to do my laba (washing) and the left side of my top lip is swollen! After discussing it with Sister Blonquist we decided that it was a tiki kiss (which is like these little lizards that run around everywhere!) This same swelling lip thing happened to Sister Christianson two weeks ago and almost every night i wake up in crazy itch attacks! But then i have no bug bites. So the conclusion is that the mga tiki just crawl on me and then one decided to kiss me last night. Its pretty legit... i mean it is Valentines day!

Ok so we are on a great search for an apartment so PLEASE pray that we can find one in Tacloban for us sisters cause we dont want to transfer! This week we had so many brownouts! Last week we had one for 48 hours (sat thru mon) and then on sunday we had one in Tacloban so church was fun. The generator kept the lights on but no air con... oh i was in heaven with just the open windows but the other missionaries werent so much happy! haha. Im turning into such a filipina and i LOVE IT! I take that as such a compliment when people tell me that.

Last night was a fun experience... We were out of support and literally didnt have enough to get home from our apartment. We were short about 15 pisos. So... we are searching in all the corners of our bags to find extra changes. This is why we should always have 1000 pisos on us as a reserve fund... oops. But not really oops casue because a tender mercy of the Lord i remembered that last week i had put 1000 pisos in my journal which was in my bag. Oh what a blessing!

So on the spiritual side. I had some amazing experiences this week. The first one is a monumental moment of my mission for sure. As we were teaching this returning member family the Spirit was so strong. I asked them inspired questions, guided by the Spirit so that they were actually able to teach themselves and the Spirit was able to witness to them. The room was full of tears and as Sis. Schneider (my comp at the time) was talking i received the strongest witness from the Lord that this is true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth and i am a true representative of Jesus Christ Himself! This is something i could never deny. I love Heavenly Father and the love that He has for me and all His children!
Another experience was helping a investigator realize that she is more than ready for baptism! She doesnt need to wait anymore and she now knows that in her heart! I used the Book of Mormon. She bore her strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and how she knows that if she has a question she can read that book and find all answers!! It was stronger than most member testimonies of the Book of Mormon!! She was kinda looking for a sign to know she was ready... As i ask questions and taught from the Book of Mormon it gave her the opportunity to bear her testimony which then, thru the Spirit, i was able to know that the answer that Heavenly Father had given her was the Book of Mormon! I was able to tell her that and then everything made sense to her. The light in her eyes was the best and the witness i personally gained was unforgettable!

Well the scripture of the week would have to be Mosiah 4:27. With the craziness of our assignment right now i have to remind myself of this simple truth! Remembering that as long as i have the Spirit and am diligent i will accomplish all that the Lord wants done, even if i may think that i didnt get done everything i thot needed to get done. This is His work... not mine.

I love you all so much and pray for you daily!

Gugma Gad,

Sister Carissa Jones

Monday, February 7, 2011

The wonderful life of a missionary! Feb. 7th 2011


Every week is so busy, i dont even know where to begin! Bottom line... life is great and i love being a missionary!

Sister Blonquist and I continue to enjoy being in the office... especially S. Blonquist with the air con.. hehe. The elders arent tired of us yet... probably because we try to keep them fat with yummy snacks. This week we successfully made rice crispy treats! what an achievement! whoot whoot!! We werent in the office too much because we did lots of traveling to work with the sisters in other areas.

First we working in Dagami, which is close to Tacloban. We worked with Sister Brinton and Sister Dustin. Both are amazing missionaries and we had SO much fun. Sister Blonquist has been companions with them both and Dagami was her old area.

Next destination was to Mondragon, which is at the top of Samar! WOW! What a great experience. This is the only sister area in Samar and just recently got opened. We didnt think we would ever be able to be in Samar but look how the Lord blesses us! It was a long ride but it was fun. We rode with the Assistants (Elder Cabrera and Elder Hawkes). And also had one other elder, Elder Bowman, part of the way. We bought lots of snacks for the trip! We had a few set backs so we didnt get out until late and we finally arrived in Mondragon at 11:30 p.m. The sisters up there were amazing. Both filipinas, Sister Ponte and Sister Escanan. It rained the entire day we were there and i gave my umbrella to Sister Blonquist cause at least i had a rain coat... Well thats what i thot! Turns out that if you are in heavy rain for a long time the wettness starts to leak thru and your clothes get drenched! Oh well... sacrifice is where its at! The waray ive been learning is different from the waray there so it was fun to learn a new waray for a couple days! It was so beautiful up there and we were like right on the ocean! The waves were going every direction... a really interesting but cool sight to see.

We road back with President Malit, which was so amazing! We had 5 hours to be with our mission president and ask him anything... of course the first thing we ask was, "what's your favorite food?" hehe. It turned into a great spiritual experience and i gained some answers and assurances that i had been looking for.

On saturday we had a baptism! Two little girls. Their father is a member who isnt active. Their grandma is active and has been bringing them to church for years but the parents wouldnt allow them to be baptized until just recently. We were blessed to be able to teach them and be apart of their special day! They were so cute and gave the sweetest, pure testimonies. We visited them on Sunday and they said they felt so good at the baptism that they wanted to be baptized every week (you can thru the sacrament... how cool is that!) They also said that they wanted us to visit every day! Oh how we wish we could but we will be all over Leyte this week!

So today we were practicing teaching (Sis. Blonquist and I) and we didnt feel like talking to the wall so we pulled out a picture of you Andrew and we taught you... it was a pretty saweet lesson... im pretty sure you loved it and wanted to be baptized.. hehe.

I just love how much i am growing. I learn so much every week i wish i could convey it all to you. Ill try to organize my thots better so i can make my emails more spiritual. I cant even explain how different i am spiritually. It has changed me for the better and i thank Heavenly Father daily for it! I LOVE being a missionary!

Scripture of the week... So i was reading today and just really liked this scripture. My favorite Christlike attribute on my mission has been hope... so with that... I was reading in Alma about when Aaron teaches the king (Lamoni's father).. great story!... ok so the scripture of the week is Alma 22:15-16. Let us ask ourselves as well... Are we willing to give up everything to receive this eternal joy? Are we willing to give up temporal things to have eternal things? Then are we willing to have faith=act so that we can gain the hope=assurity that we will receive the promised blessings.

Cge. Do you all know how much i love you!!? Its a lot!!

Gugma gad!
Sister Carissa Jones

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February 3, 2011

Just want to apologize for being such a slacker at keeping this blog up to date. I have a goal to be better. We had a great Wedding (Andrew and Stacey) December 21st and then Mark and I went on an amazing cruise to the Caribbean last month. I am now back to reality and the cold weather. We love hearing from Carissa and as you will read she is having an amazing time and does not want to come home but will in July sometime. YEA for us!
Love, Lynette

January 31, 2011

BOOM number two... Jan 31

What a week! Not even sure where to being... kinda cause i forgot what i said last week. Well the assignment in the office is great but its a little hectic. love it tho!

Ok so originally we were going to build the area up around the mission home/office/church and invite the sisters to work in our area and that is how we would train them. I cant believe my Savior trusts me to train all the sister missionaries here... what an opportunity and privilege. I will grow more than ever! We were unable to obtain the apartment that we were hoping for so the office elders are on a desperate search for an awesome apartment for us. As for now, we live in Tanauan with Sister Christianson and Sister Schneider. We love them so much!! Since we are unable to really work much because travel is one hour in the morning... about 2 hours at night from Tanauan, for the month of february we will be travelling the whole mission to help the sisters in their areas! Sadly we wont be able to drive (driving is crazy here and we are all like the daughters of President and Sister Malit). This will be an insane month but Sister Blonquist and i are so willing and ready! We both feel that Heavenly Father has a lot for us to learn and we really need to be in tune at all times to be guided as we fullfill this assignment!

The ward here is amazing! Except for the fact that they all speak tagalog... so President challenged us to learn tagalog and waray waray! oo po! Sister Blonquist has been in waray waray before so she helps me a lot. Im picking it up pretty well! Just little things are weird getting used to like really everyday phrases that just come out in cebuano. i love waray tho, its interesting. Tagalog i can understand what they are talking about but speaking it would be impossible at this point. I love having the confidence to learn a language. As i trust God i truly know that i can do anything! i love that ive learned to rely on my Heavenly Father in all aspects of life. At times i look at myself and am amazed at how much i have changed for the better. i love it!

We have been able to a little work in the area. And the little work is great!! We have a baptism of two little girls this coming saturday. Also, a 21 year old male that was baptized by the elder on dec 18th, hadnt been coming to church since his baptism. So we caught him at his house twice this week and guess what!? He came to church and we able to finally get confirmed after a month had past from the time of his baptism! The Elders were so happy and so were we!! And during the lesson with him on friday he had an earring in and so we reminded him of the law of chastity and he took it out immediately! It was so saweet!! i love missionary work!!

This week we will being travelling. First in Dagami (which is next to Tacloban) and then to Catarman, Mondragon area (you can look on the map i sent home). That is the furthest north you can go in the mission! We are excited. Luckily the Assistant Elders (Hawkes and Cabrera) will be driving so we wont have to take public transportation. Hopefully next week i will have some fun exciting stories!

BTW... im freezing in the office! The air con is not my friend!... how will i ever live in America again!? yikes!

Scripture of the week... Alma 16. This is Alma going to the Lord in prayer to ask if what they plan to do is according to His will. Anything we do, or any decision we make we should finalize it with God. This will help give us courage to push through the task when it gets hard because you will look back and remember that God approved. If He approves, there is a way to accomplish the task. No need to fear. So if you have a question, go to Heavenly Father.

Gugma Gad,
Sister Carissa Jones

January 24, 2011


Where to begin... I feel like there is so much to say but im not even sure how...

Ok... lets go back to Albuera and finish there. It continued to rain and we continued to get nice and muddy. Also, when it rains a lot we lose water pressure so yep... no water... which means no showers... eww! And also a lot of dirty dishes... hehe. We managed ok tho.

On tuesday and wednesday i was assigned to do a companionship exchange. I traveled to Palompon and Sister Yao traveled to Albuera and worked with Sister Larsen. I worked with Sister Christianson. We had great experiences and i learned so much. The gospel is so true. I didnt know those people really well but as i was able to listen to the Spirit, he guided me in what to say and discern what their needs were. It was such an awesome experience! I felt the Spirit so strong and Sister Christianson told me that we were able to make some break throughs with those people that they had been struggling with. I was so happy to see that the Lord was working through me to help bless His children. On Wed we took a hike to the bukid... literally about 45 min till we got to the house. The mud was ridiculous! I feel kept sticking to the mud... like the craziest noises were created as i treded through the swamp... not to mention the barb wire fence that we were using for balance... umm that could have been dangerous. Luckily the lesson was amazing! On the way home tho of course it began to rain... guess who didnt bring her umbrella? Yep me... oops, again. I was drenched by the time that we got back to the road but oh well. I slipped out of my foot once and then when we arrived back to the apartment in Palompon i discovered a nice cut in my foot which was filled with dirt grains and a little pebble... OUCH! i got it cleaned out tho and all is well... i still have a working foot. This little adventure set us back a bit so we missed the last van ride to Ormoc so i could return to my area in Albuera... So then we discovered that we could travel and hour to Isabel and then catch a later van to ormoc. We decided to go for it and prayed that there actually would be a ride to Ormoc cause if not we would have been stranded! Our prayers were answered and we got back to Albuera eventually. The 4 of us sisters just stayed in Albuera that night.

Transfers were announced that night and Sister Christianson and I both were transferring, along with some other elders in the zone! I had been praying for more experiences so that i could grow and i got my answer. I guess i didnt realize how hard that would be tho. Saying goodbye to the people in Albuera was the hardest thing ever! I will be missing Joselyn's baptism next week which is really hard. She cried when she found out i was transferring which of course made me cry! Thursday was a day of tears... saying goodbye to the family i have gained in Albuera. I cant even describe how much i love those people!!

So... then comes Friday... transfer meeting. The ride was fun and we all made our guesses. I really didnt know where i would go. Everyone kept guessing but i wasnt sure. One elder said... "you are going here... or if not, youll be the new AP (assistant to President). I laughed and said, that will be the day when there are actually sister assistants, cause that never happens!
All the sisters from my batch were being transferred (Blonquist and Farnworth). It was great to see them and Sister Barroca was training again so i got to see her too! The training was so great and then came the letters... drum roll.....................................

It read that i would be serving in Tacloban City, area V&G. I am companions with Sister Blonquist!! and we have a special assignment... Elder Shelley made a comment that we were like the new APs... haha... we laughed... We were told that we would have an interview with President so he could tell us our assignment...

In that interview we were told that we would be secretaries/assistants for him... BOOM! We are leading the sisters pretty much. We are in charge of organizing companionship exchanges. And then also we are to build up our area in Tacloban and then we invited sisters to come work with us and we train them! And we also travel to their areas to help them in their areas! Yes... im not kidding! This is intense. The last couple days have been crazy but we are SO pumped! Sister Blonquist and i are loving being companions again and all the office elders call us the AP's... its funny. They all have us saved in our phone as 'AP Jonequist'... haha. We dont have an apartment yet so we are staying with other sisters about 45 min away... its a bit stressful. President drove us home last night which was super nice! And they fed us hot choc and sandwiches and spaghetti! They are so nice! We have our little office space and are working on getting all the plans organized... not to mention trying to build an area. The elders have us 3 investigators to start with... this is going to be challenging but Sister Blonquist and I are so excited!! I cant even believe how much i have learned in the last few weeks. I see that Heavenly Father has really been preparing me cause the last few days have been totally full on inspiration as we are depending on the Lord for a lot of guidance! I feel so blessed to have the trust of my mission president, President Malit, and the trust of my Savior to be called to this special assignment.

Im out of time but i will tell more next week cause there is tons more! LOVE YOU ALL!!

Sister Jones

Scripture of the week... Mosiah 5:5-6

January 17, 2011

So... what is new in the Philippines...

It continues to rain and we continue to come home with the muddiest feet ever! My toe nails are permi painted mud... no joke! Sister Larsen continues to give me foot massages tho. She says it helps her relieve stress and i have no objections of course. She is such a great companion... and not JUST because she gives me foot massages. She is a great example and pushes me to be better. With her, ive been able to see my weaknesses and now, being on the mission, i am much more humble to accept my weaknesses and desire to change. Going on a mission is definitely what i needed in my life... Hopefully ill be recognizably better when i get home.

Ive been having nightmares about coming home! In all the dreams i am suppose to come home but it doesnt feel right and i have no idea what to do! I cant even imagine coming home even tho it is approaching much quicker than i expected. I sure miss all your faces but after doing what ive been doing its hard to think of leaving these people that have become my family and friends too. Everyone begs me to come back after the mission and i hope i will be able to do so! You all can come with... ROAD TRIP!!! ... umm... across the ocean...

So this week was full of great lessons and great learnings. I wish i had better organization of all the great things that i learn... there is just so much! Before my mission i kind of thought that i need to learn it all on the mission but now ive realized that there is always more so i dont need to stress so much. I just need to focus on the people here and i have years igo to continue learning for myself.

We also had interviews this week. It was so great to talk with President. I think i might have taken the longest time... oops. We just talk about everything! I feel so much love and support from him. He always makes me feel capable and desire to keep going. He "hinted" that i might be transferring. I will be happy to gain new experiences in a new area but i will miss Albuera like crazy! I have lived here for 7 months! I have gotten so attached to the ward members and just the people in town. We walk down the street and people call across the street to me by name. And the workers at the water and electric place and market and other little shops know me by name. I just feel that Albuera is my home! It will be different to leave and very difficult to say goodbye to the people. Its really hard to think that it could be the last time i see these people here in Albuera. I love them so much... i cant even explain to you what the love is like that i have for them.

We had the funniest lesson last night with our cute little family. Sister is the one getting ready for baptism next week. (her husband is already a member). They have the two cutest little kids. We find that when one of us is talking that the other has to entertain the kids so that the couple can pay attention. So we really never know exactly what the other teaches but the lessons always turn out great! The Spirit is definitely guiding us! haha. Last night the two kids managed to take EVERYTHING out of my backpack... Every little knik knak... haha... It was funny to find everything scattered on the floor at the end of the lesson. Also, little Yan2x (1yr old girl) saw a picture in the Strength of Youth pamphlet and was SURE it was me! haha... she kept saying, "Look Look!.."... "Sistr jos! Sistr Jos!" while i was trying to read a scripture. She kept putting the pic right in my face so i couldnt see the scripture to read... we all just kept laughing. Then at the end she did a little dance for us. It was similar to a 'head, shoulders, knees, and toes' song/dance. SO CUTE!! I get so excited every time we go to visit this family!

Scripture of the week... Alma 9:26. I love when i read about Christlike attributes and how perfect He is. Just reading a description of Him makes me smile... And then to think i can obtain all those attributes if i ask for them and develop them. We all can be like our big brother one day. What a great reason to never give up! I know it will be worth it. No matter what the struggles we face, it will all be worth it in the end.

Naghigugma gud ko sa inyoha! Ayaw kabalaka mahitungod nako kay ok ra kaayo! Naggiya ang Balaang Espiritu Santo kanunay sa akoa. Buhi si JesuKristo ug naa siya permi alang kanato pinaagi sa atong mga pagsulay. Nasayud ko nga kaya nato! Padayon lang gud ug kit kits sa unom ka bulan. Amping!

January 10, 2011

I think every day in my journal ive written 2010... oops...

Lets call this week a wet dog week cause pretty positive that is what i have looked like every day! The rain has been absolutely none stop since last saturday! (so 10 days)... and yes, it is raining right now as i type. P.S. my keyboard is broken so if i miss any mistakes its not my poor english its the computer.

So with all the rain Sister Larsen bought a new ubrella. Then one day we were walking and got into a convo with a nice little lady selling ice cream. It began to rain...of course and i knew her how was far so i gave her my ubrella. This was especially funnny becuase Sister Larsens ubrella was a mini one. So us two with our bags were waddling under this little ubrella... we had some good laughs!

We have been humbled by incredibly poor conditions here lately. I cant even believe how some people manage in the 5 by 5 hut with 4 people. Their poor conditions but humility really humbles me. I thank God every day for all my many blessings!

So we have soe really really great investigators. One family in particular. The husband is a member but has been less active. We began teaching his wife. They have two ADORABLE kids! (4 and 2). Wow i just love them so much. I get so exctied for the days that we get to visit them. We can see how much more exctied they get everytime we visit. At first Sister was shy and hesitant but now she laughs and is so excited to be baptized! They are especailly excited becasue they are excited to go to the temple and be sealed as a family! This desire has helped her desire to be baptized grow tons! The little kids just love us too and i wish i could bring them home with me! I love the gospel and how it truly changes lives.

We also are teaching this wonderful little kid... he has NO attention span what so ever! But this last week he has really improved and he actually focused long enough to say the closing prayer of a lesson! We were SO excited. As we make the gospel more real and fun for him, he loves to learn! The gospel is a very serious thing but it can be fun too. It has to be! It is our life, our road... and of course Heavenly Father wants us to enjoy our journey! I sure love the gospel and love living it! Sister Larsen recently asked me what will i do when i go home and everyone tells me how weird i am!?... she notices how weird i am cause i always connect everything to a gospel principle... she gets a kick out of it. I kinda do to. Its crazy how much i have changed but i love all the changes. i told her that i will tell them its ok if they think im weird. I know who i am and am completely comfortable standing up for what i have learned. I dont want to have this mission be for nothing. These changes are life long changes. Dont worry... im still cool... haha.

Here is the scripture of the week.... inspired by a lesson we taught where there was a gay person and a lesbian. Its amazing how when you listen to the Spirit, he will tell you all you need to say so that the message is received well for whoever you are teaching... 3 Nephi 18:18-25
And also another inspired scripture we used. The lesson went from the girl being to busy to take the discussions to "can i come to church next sunday!?"... 2 Nephi 2:27-30.

Love you all and miss ya tons!

Gugma Gud!
Sister Carissa Jones

January 3, 2011

Well.... This new years at midnight i was asleep... hehe... Hope you all were safe and had a good new years. For new years here in the Philippines they cook a lot of food... then they wait till 12... they yell and dance and light off lots of fireworks. Then they eat their feast at 12... Then when they are done eating they sleep. And then all day on the 1st they eat left overs and lounge around the house. We were able to help a family in the ward have some food to feast on and it was the father's birthday. We had fun with them until we had to be home.

There has been LOTS of rain the passed few days. Literally it rained 24/7 for Saturday and Sunday! Saturday we kinda let it make us lazy and not want to work. At the end of Saturday i wasnt liking my lack of diligence and got pretty down on myself. I was feeling like i was letting the Lord down. I said some humble prayers and then decided that i didnt need to get down on myself. We arent perfect. I realized that i needed to practice what i preach and just take action then dig myself into a pit of guilt. Sister Larsen and I made a commitment to continue this week with full diligence whatever the weather may be. Sunday then came with continual rain and since it had rained all day saturday the puddles were huge and the mud was extra slippery (we almost biffed it a number of times... the angels must have caught us from falling completely!) We huddled under my umbrella in our rain jackets and got lots of work done! This was a total test from our Heavenly Father if we would do what we committed the night before. We pushed through the entire day and felt great and felt we had redeemed ourselves from the day before. We felt the forgiveness and love of God and Jesus Christ. I love the gospel!

Scripture of the week 2 Nephi 28:17... Repentance is ALWAYS available. I have realized recently while reading the scriptures that when it talks about destruction and the grabi doings of the wicked people, after it always mentions repentance and if they repent all will be well! All we need to do is repent!! No matter what the sin is we can be forgiven... check out all the incredible sins in 3 Nephi 30! Just be humble and repent... its a great gift!

I love you all!!!

Gugma Daghan
Sister Jones

December 27, 2010

Well we just talked this morning on the phone but i wasnt able to say everything about my Christmas... so here was Christmas in the Philippines!

First, Christmas conference was absolutely wonderful! Being in a busy city with people speaking a different dialect was quite interesting but i was able to catch on pretty fast. We met on Tuesday and played sports all morning with all the missionaries. What a blast to catch up with old mission friends!! Then at 5 we had a nice dinner and had a presentation show. Each zone gave a presentation, mostly singing. The funnest was that we all sang Once There Was a Snowman! (normal, slow, and fast, just like in primary!) Even President and Sister Malit were joining in. We had a little exchanging gifts. I got some fun little things! One thing was a green frog that ribbited... Spencer, President Malit's 6 yr old son, loved it so i gave it to him for Christmas. We was super happy! This Christmas really was able giving and not receiving which was really nice. One of the most enjoyable Christmas' ive had.

Our ward Christmas party was at a swimming pool... yes, a swimming pool because its always hot here! hehe. Lots of people came and we had a good time. Sister Larsen and i sang 'Far Far Away on Judeas Plains' in cebuano. The other auxillaries performed as well. It was fun and we had lots of yummy food. Many of our investigators came which we were so excited about! We have some great people we are teaching right now. I feel so incredible privileged.

Then for Christmas Eve we visited families and gave little goodies. We made no bake cookies, since thats the only treat thing we really can make cause walay oven. We made little homemade Christmas cards and had fun giving them out to our investigators and close member families. On Christmas Day we woke up and set up a Christmas tree made out of our washing buckets. We read the account of the birth of Christ in Luke 2 and then opened the Christmas packages that Sister Larsen received. It was fun just peacefully spending time together. The best was taking most of the gifts and other things we had and figuring out who we could give them to. So we used the wrapping paper that her gifts were in and wrapped up a bunch of stuff to give to others. I gave away my earrings and lotions and such that i had. Sister Larsen made some yummy crepes before we studied. We studied and made a cool little Christmas message to share as we went about delivering gifts and more cookies! As we went out we realized that Christmas in the Philippines is much different than back home. Most people were about doing their regular routine. And many people we visited we realized didnt receive one gift. This hit Sister Larsen and I pretty hard. I guess we didnt realize that there would be zero gifts. All month people talk about gifts but when it comes down to it they dont really do the whole gift giving because of how poor they are. The main thing they do is save money to have a nice Christmas Eve dinner. This made us giving small gifts and teaching about Christ that much better and touching. As we walked up and down the street we reflected on life and how grateful we really are for our Savior, Jesus Christ. Without Him i wouldnt be on a mission. I wouldnt know all these wonderful people and i wouldnt have all the blessings of the gospel in my life. I really dont know what i would be left with. This has given me a strong desire to keep going in this great and marvelous work so others can have what i have... not material things but spiritual things that bring happiness beyond reason!

Scripture of the week... 2 Nephi 19:6

I have assignments for each one of you in the family to study. Just things ive been studying and had the inspiration to have you study and tell me what you learn... so that is your assignment this week and next email let me know what you learned! :) Ill email you individually your topic but just know that every one has something different.

Gugma Gud!

Sister Carissa Jones

December 13, 2010

This is short... sorry...

We have been teaching an entire 4th year high school class, which is about 50 students (4th year means this is their last year before graduating). It is the class of our Bishop's wife, so thats how we got the hook up. They are such a great group of kids and ask awesome questions. We taught the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration so far. About 6-10 of them are now taking individual discussions and are participating in ward activities. It has been a fun experience and a very growing experience. Faith is the shield, testimony is the sword. I love this work! My testimony grows everyday! They invited us to their school Christmas party so we spent the morning today with them playing games and serving food. They are so much fun!

We also sacrificed our mattresses this week so the ward could use them for the youth camp. We slept on couch cushions... what an experience... haha.

We watched the broadcast of the 1st Presidency Christmas devotional last night and i learned a lot. We were able to get some Christmas spirit, which can be difficult with the hot weather still. I loved listening to the 1st Presidency and their advice to us all to refocus on the true meaning of Christmas. I absolutely love that Pres. Uchtdorf referred to the Grinch... SAWEET! But what i got from them all was that sometimes this Christmas time can get full of craziness and stress but if we refocus we can see it in a new light and feel calm through all the bustle. I thought of how Christ came to us. This was Heavenly Father's greatest gift to the world and He came in a stable. This gave me a new take on giving gifts for Christmas. I love you all and hope you can review all their talks and find peace in this wonderful time of the year.

Scripture of the week... 2 Nephi 9:51

December 6, 2010


This week was totally saweet. Well actually it was really slow and work was hard... but thats the life of a missionary... its hard work!

The highlight of the week was on Saturday when President Malit came to Albuera to work with us. He worked from 3 to 8 oclock with us and helped us in all phases of the work... finding, teaching, contacting. He is the best mission president ever! We were fasting and every time i have fasted on the mission i have seen miracles! Its SAWEET!! We visited mostly investigators... one was interesting... he had drank right before we arrived, but President handled it so well and with such love. Love really is the only way you can do this work! I was able to learn so much from President Malit and the way he spoke to people and taught to each persons needs and on their level of understanding. Even though Pres. Malit was speaking Tagalog (cause everyone in the phils. understands it) i actually could understand most of what he said! The Spirit truly opens a missionary's mind so that they can discern. Im scared to not be a missionary...maybe i wont be able to understand the cebuano language as well... AHH. joke lang.

Scripture of the week... Helaman 3:33-35... Remember that people in the church are not perfect... but that doesnt mean that the church is not perfect. The Church of Jesus Christ and His gospel is absolutely perfect!

Love you all!
Gugma Daghan!
Sister Carissa Jones

November 29, 2010

Its almost December! How crazy is that! I never thought i would say that.

This week we did actually did celebrate Thanksgiving! We made mashed potatoes and corn... hehe. We also did a little chicken/green bean caserole, with rice of course. I cant eat with out rice... im weird. It was an interesting Thanksgiving... i mainly just gave Thanks for all that i have... especially all of you! That night was a very hard night for us. We just had lots of discouraging events happy right after another. We found this little circle piece of concrete and offered prayers, Sister Larsen and I. It was one of the most spiritual moments of my mission as I pleaded on my knees to Heavenly Father. I cant even explain how wonderful it was. Im stronger now because of it!

We are so busy teaching and finding, its so great! I knew i always liked being busy and having a hundred things to get done but didnt realize this would be even more work. I still love being busy!

We had quite the experience this week... We had a Book of Mormon Fireside planned for Saturday. We have been planning it for a month. An hour before we were to start we had a huge brown out in all Albuera. It lasted for 3+ hours! By 6 we were all gathered in the chapel using out phone flashlights. We were planning to watch a movie but with no power we turned it into a question and answer session. We had some great investigators there and they had a great time, even with no power. We had a big candle light dinner in the back parking lot of the church afterwards and as we left the power came on... we just had to laugh about it.

Scripture of the week... 3 Nephi 9:20. Even if you have already been baptized, remember that this is what is required of you before and we should also strive to to this so that our baptism has validity.

I love you all so much!!

Gugma Daghan
Sister Carissa Jones

November 15, 2010

Hello again... i still love being a missionary!

So this week... hmm... we always have fun, interesting experiences. One was on Sat... we were going to pick up Annalyn to go to her baptism and we ran into a big group of people. They always say hi and lots of other things, one because filipinos just talk and say hi to everyone... so friendly!, and two because we are white. But one of them was acutally from america and had a very american accent so we went over to talk to them. He was born in the Phils. but grew up in california and is here visiting family. It was kinda strange trying to do the whole missionary thing in english to someone from the states. I realized i know how to be a missionary in cebuano and to filipinos but not really in english to americans.. haha.

We had a great baptism and Annalyn was so happy. She has been being taught for a year. I felt so good as i saw her be baptized. We finally were able to help her get to church and establish pagsimba as a part of her life.

A less active family that we visited this week finally came back to church! They have been inactive for a long time and really havent had desire to come back but as we visited them we had an amazing lesson where the Spirit was really able to touch their hearts. And then on Sunday when we saw them come into the church we were so happy! I really am nothing without the Spirit. Thats really why their are so many rules and guidelines for missionaries. We have to be worthy of the Spirit or we are worthless. There are so many temptations in this world and, of course, Satan will fight the work of the Lord, so we must be careful. As i feel the Spirit and see the blessings that come to others through this work it makes me WANT to follow and look for more i can do to be worthy... not just follow cause i have to. I hope that will be something i can continue after the mission as well. I will desire to follow and look for more rather than just settle for what i am told to do.

scripture of the week: 1 Nephi 13:37

Naghigugma ko ninyong tanan ug naa mo sa kanunay sa akong pagampo. Kini mao ang trabaho sa Ginoo ug malipayon gud ko sa pagalagad kaniya isip usa ka misionaryo! Nasayud nako nga bantayan ta sa Dios ug makalahutay ta sa tanan nga mga butang pinaagi ni Kristo. Ayaw kabalaka... padayon lang gud!

Gugma Daghan!
Sister Carissa Jones

November 8, 2010

Well this week was great! We have been struggling the last few weeks and i was getting really discouraged! But then we had a fast this Sunday. I chose that this was going to be a monumental fast for me and many miracles would happen. WOW was i right! Because of our faith and trust in the Lord, our fast brought tons of blessings! I love my Heavenly Father! We had 7 of our investigators at church and some less actives! We were stoked to see our attendence at 107 (usually 80's). Testimony meeting was amazing too! I had a very spiritual Sunday. And we sang my favorite hymn! Because I Have Been Given Much...

This week i ate Balut! And i actually really liked it. There are different stages... Day 10 is same as a hardboiled egg... and Day 19 is the full duckling with feathers. I ate a 17... it was a little duckling but no feathers yet. So my next will be a 19. I will send pics next week cause i forgot to bring my card reader for my camera to send pics.

Scripture of the Week... Mosiah 3:17

November 1, 2010

For reals!! Its NOVEMBER!! Who woulda thought it would be november already! Im actually starting to get a little scared. But when i think that im closer to coming home than to when i left i just try to remind myself that i need to work hard and just have that day totally surprise me instead of dwelling on it constantly. Its hard... no offense... i dont want to come home.

We had another baptism this week. A little girl whos family are members (except father) and they have been less active. Teaching her and baptizing Jhanelle has made the mother and kids more active again! Our next baptism is scheduled for nov 13th. And hopefully lots in december! The hardest thing is people coming to church. Sometimes i get frustrated and just want Heavenly Father to smack them in the face. They have testimonies and have received answers about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith but then for some reason they dont see how important it is that they come to church. I then get frustrated at myself cause in my mind it all just makes common sense... and i realize i need to teach it better so that they really understand. Pray that i can help others see the importance of coming to church... that is what i need right now. Thanks!

Sister Larsen and I are growing closer every day and really love being companions. We have a great meal system... i cook... she washes dishes :) Sometimes i do miss washing so i wash the dishes i used to cook while everything is cooking. One the mission, ive really learned that i love being in the kitchen! (but in the field teaching better, of course!)

I wish i had more time to do everything that i want to do. There are always so many things i want to study and organize... i am getting better tho. Gospel study is SO important and i hope that each one of us takes the opportunity to study the precious words that God has given us. He tells us the most important things that we need to know through the scriptures (including the words of living prophets). There is so much to study... it never can get old or boring! Just remember line upon line, precept upon precept. Dont get frustrated that you dont know or understand everything (im mostly talking to myself). Just look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow and become closer to God. President Malit compared the gospel to a ladder once. Each person's ladder is a little different. All have the rungs (each rung is a different gospel principle) but maybe the order of the rungs is different for each person. You cant jump 5 rungs... you need to take it one at a time... build upon your knowledge slowly and firmly.

Im so grateful for the gospel in my life and all the blessings i receive. As i teaching people about the blessings that they can receive i realize that i have received those blessings in my life! Its real! It works! Another thing about blessings that ive learned is that they dont come immediately sometimes but they are building up. We shouldnt only live a righteous principle because we want an immediate blessing but instead, we ought to live it because it is securing the greatest blessing we can have... eternal life with our Heavenly Father, Savior and precious families!

I love you all so much and can never thank you enough for all the support you give to me! Never give up... keep your chin up... and endure to the end!

Gugma Daghan

Sister Carissa Jones

October 25, 2010

Hello hello hello Family!!

This week was exciting! Lots of busy adventures! I know my emails are getting smaller and smaller but it just means im working harder and harder!

We had a great baptism on Saturday and will have another this coming Saturday. The Mesias family (mother and 3 of her daughters) were baptize and it was very special. All week the girls would tell us how excited they were for their baptism on Saturday when we would bisita them. And Gina, the mom, had trouble sleeping the two night before the baptism cause she was so anxious! The husband is very shy and has not yet been taught but we prayed so hard that he would attend the baptism and he did! YAY!!

I cooked a bunch of Filipino food for a bunch of Filipinos... SCARY!!!! But they all said it was good so i think i passed... hehe.

We had lots of appointments fall through this week and we prayed about where to go because nothing seemed to be working. Once we went in this little abandoned cement thing and offered a prayer. It was pretty cool.

I had a really touching and testimony building experience this week as well on Friday afternoon. We are teaching this older couple and they are relatives of a member family. The sister is not very open and is very content with her catholic religion. I look back at the lesson and still cant think of how what happened, happened. I began to speak VERY bold and everything that i said in cebuano flowed liked cebuano has never flowed before! I remember even thinking while i was speaking, "what are you saying!? what is going on!?" i was completely overwhelmed by the Spirit. I dont know how, but he had complete control of my mouth. Then as i began to testify i was so overwhelmed that i began to cry and it was very difficult to not bawl my eyes out. Everything i said was so true and the Holy Ghost testified to me, through me. What an amazing and unforgettable experience. The Church of JesusChrist of Latter-day Saints is the true church on earth and there is no other. The priesthood power of God is real and was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. We are so blessed!

Scripture of the week!... Proverbs 28:25... (this is why im getting fat...haha)

October 18, 2010

Hello All!

The mission is great and i love everyday even if my feet are covered in mud, my hair is wet from rain, half our appointments fell through, and we have a burnout during nightly planning. Nothing can ever compare the beauty of a mission!

We have a baptism this sat and next sat! This sat 4 family members and next one little girl. We are so excited for them!

This week i have felt the Spirit very strong. I have felt his guidance in exactly what to say. A few times i even said sentences that im not sure how i knew those words or the correct grammer but it came out smooth and was correct! What a power gift we are given as members of the church. We have the privilege to have the 3rd member of the godhead with us. We should take every advantage of that gift!

Scripture of the week... Alma 13:28

Gugma Daghan!
Sister Carissa Jones

October 11, 2010

The PTM is doing great!

Conference was AMAZING! I loved listening to every talk... the main messages i saw was follow the prophet!, faith, and the plan of salvation.

We, Sister Larsen and i, have had some funny experiences while teaching lessons, such as, HUGE rats fighting (as in jumping, rolling and kicking... it was like something you would see in a cartoon... hilarious!), a goose trying to enter the house and making whatever noise a goose makes, and tiki's (little lizards) dropping poop from the ceiling.

We also have had a tire blow up on TWO muliticab rides in our area!... not something i think is very common.

But we are continuing to be diligent and spread the gospel. I love being a missionary and having such a great life!

Scripture of the week!... Mosiah 5:7

September 27,2010

All is well in the Philippines!

Training is difficult but im receiving so much help and strength from my Heavenly Father that i cant complain one bit. Ive improved so much in the last two weeks! I feel like im actually becoming a real missionary now. I can understand people and their concerns and i feel like my language is so smooth in committing and promising blessings to people because im listening to the Spirit for what to say. What an opportunity this is! I love Sister Larsen. She is a hard worker and very funny! She always is making me laugh!!

We had a huge birthday party at a members house (lets just say... they know how to party!), then zone conference (which i was able to receive so much guidance), and then family week celebration at the stake center in Ormoc (which 3 of our investigators went with us!)

The highlight of the week was that we had 8 investigators at church! and they were ALL legit investigators (sometimes random none members show up with their family but have no desire to listen to us missionaries and be converted). It was a happy happy day! I felt so blessed. Im receiving more than i deserve! I just gotta work hard to try pay Heavenly Father back... even tho that is impossible. I wont stop trying tho!

Scripture of the week... Alma 31:5... the gospel is such a powerful thing!!

Sister Carissa Jones