Mission Call

Mission Call

Dropping CJ off at the MTC!

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 9 2011

This past week was a bit slower than the last but im looking at it as a test of faith. Even tho slow still many great things happened!

We had interviews this week which was probably my highlight. I really needed it! I received lots of revelation as i spiritually prepared to learn from the Spirit. Im not gonna lie... im really scared to come home. I love it here and my life is so nice and structured and i dont know... its just not quite as scary as the real world. But i learned what i must do to prepare and also how to go home with honor. I simple just need to live the Doctrine of Christ, there are specifics to me personally, but i invite you all you study the doctrine of Christ and see how you personally can be living it better.
President Malit is so amazing! He always does things by the Spirit and i always feel better after talking to him. He has helped me to grow so much here on the mission. I realized in my interview as we talked that i really have become such a better person and im so much happier with myself than i ever was before. Its amazing i cant even describe it in words really.

Saturday it rained all day... as in storm gad! The wind was crazy! We were using our umbrellas more like shields in front of us rather then over our heads... really funny! Sometimes during ridiculous weather i just giggle and think, "what am i doing here!?" haha... i love it!

Scripture of the week... Helaman 14... As i read this this week i thought about the signs of the second coming. We are witnessing them right now. We need to make sure we recognize them for what they are. Side note... anyone have any guesses on who the 3 Nephites are?

Gugma Gad!!

Sister Carissa Jones

May... Why is it already May!!

Seriously, this whole time thing is getting out of control. Its going to fast! I know that you all want it to go fast but maybe you could pray that it goes fast for you but slow for me :) i love the Philippines so so much! Sometimes i look around and think how in a short time i wont be able to see all these beautiful faces and flowers and plants and mountains and waters... it makes me really sad!

This week has been the busiest finding week ever in my whole mission... maybe even just the busiest all around! President has really been pushing finding new investigators cause nothing happens till we have people to teach. So we made a goal of 25/week (the standard of excellence for the mission in 20/week). And guess what! We had a good start last monday with 11! We went to a family we have been trying to teach for 2 weeks and finally the kids wanted to listen. Then they invited some friends! It was a 2 hour lesson but so good! With that group we were able to add a few more at our return appointment. They are fun group of teenagers to teach. They range from ages 10 to 24! Then every day we worked hard, filling any open time we had for finding and teaching! Every day we found at least 2 new investigators and by Saturday we had achieved our goal. We were hoping to get a few more on Sunday to exceed our goal but all our appointments fell thru. We were happy to have met that goal tho! Achieving goals is like the coolest feeling ever... im such a nerd but that ok.

Michelle, our AMAZING investigator, had her baptism on Saturday! It was so special. She is 25 and after her baptism she told us that she felt like a baby :) She is so happy to be clean and is ready to just continue moving forward. She was so prepared and is already receiving so many blessings. She will be a forever friend to me.

This week the Philippines began their celebrations for their Jubilee! (50 years of the church in the Philippines)! What an exciting time for them and i feel so bless to be able to be here at this time to experience it with them. The dancing and music is so fun to watch. They started in Manila and had a big broadcast. Our stake celebration will be May 15 here in Tacloban. Cant wait to go! Our youth have been working so hard on their dances that they will be preforming. Yesterday we had a Area wide broadcast stake conference. Elder Teh gave such an amazing talk about studying the scriptures. I hope that we all will make studying the scriptures a daily duty. Then Sister Beck spoke about families, Elder Cook talked lots about history and Elder Packer gave a great talk. He told us how he spent time in the Philippines during the war and right here in Tacloban he and another member held the first sacrament meeting (as of record) that took place in the Philippines. The people here felt very special.

So our area is huge and the names of the streets and Phases help emphasize that fact :) The subdivision is split into 8 different phases (think of like all the different waterfields in Missouri). Each phase is classified with a different category for the street names. Fish, fruits, veggies, places, space, etc... Lets just say every day i take a universe tour. I can go from Pilipinas, to San Francisco, to Los Angeles, to New York, to Texas, to Jerusalem, to Israel, to Saudi, to the Milky Way, to Saturn, to Jupiter, etc. Its great... but very tiring!! :)

Ok so scripture of the week... 2 Nephi Ch. 33. Last night we used this in a FHE as we talked about the counsel from Elder Teh about reading the scriptures. We went around and had every one saying why that reading the scriptures was important to them (no one could repeat something already said). There were about 20 of us and at first they thot it would be hard to not repeat but by the end it wasnt at all. Everyone had great simple reasons and we could have gone around the circle again. I love the scriptures! They are such a blessing and a strength in my life! Reading helps answer my questions and brings me more in tune with the Spirit so that he can answer my questions. What a blessing. Remember what Nephi's last words were... "I must obey" And WE MUST OBEY too if we want to be happy and free!

I love you all so so much! Remember who you are... who Heavenly Father created.

Gugma Gad,

Sister Carissa Jones