|Ammah walking across a very safe and well constructed bridge to see her investigators.|
|P Day. hiking with some missionaries in her district.|
Hello my sweet little Family!
Thank you mom for keeping me updated on everyone it's so nice to hear what everyone is up to. I also just got in our mail run yesterday (which happens every 2 weeks) all my dearelders that people have sent and also ones that came to the mtc the day that I left that I didn't get but Elder Del Rosario was kind enough to send them to me so I got a few from you guys and also Michelle, it was fun to read them cause you were all wishing me luck on my flight hah and I've now been here for an entire month! I hope Mariah and the baby are doing well I want pictures! Tell her I said congratulations! And whaaa? Hunter is going into phlebotomy? so cool! He will love it:) Tell Elder Tuckett that it's not as bad as he is thinking ha! I have a nice comfy bed and a roof over my head so i am all fine and dandy. Thank you Sis. Tuckett for the updates on him btw they are awesome! I was reading it and getting jealous of the weather there because it is so hot here ha-ha.My most prized possessions is my fan and umbrella. Amelia good luck in all your audition endeavors keep me updated on the elite team, your solo and if you made the top choir, good luck baby sis I think about you every day and pray for you. I have the picture of the 3 of us on my study desk and I look at it all the time and just miss the heck outta ya ha-ha your definitely going to be taller than me by the time I get back ha! Ano bayen! Also Andelyn pleaaaseee be safe while learning how to drive listen to dad and do what he says (I know mom doesn't dare get in the car with you ha-ha!)
Sarah and Michelle I got your dear elder.....needless to say I laughed through the whole thing and everyone kept looking at it but it wasn't making any sense to anyone but me! I tried to explain it to Sabiano but she just didn't understand hah! I love you guys I miss you oh so much and think about you and I hope your husbands are treating you right :)
Well I made it a month in the Philippines!! It's been the hardest month but it's been full of adventure and spiritual experiences that I will never forget, and I look forward to the next 16 months here. I asked Sister Sabiano what squatters were Mom cause you mentioned that Sister Wilson has them in her area and Sister Sabiano said that they are just concrete one roomed houses that are all jammed together and they have about 10 inches in between all of them and you have to squeeze in-between them to get to the other houses. We have a few of those neighborhoods in our area but not a whole lot.
It's definitely been easier over the past week I’m getting used to the heat and the food and…I’m feeling a lot better I just need to remember to keep eating a lot of fruits and veggies.
I almost have everyone’s names down and where they live at so it makes the work so much more meaningful now that I know everyone better. I extended 3 baptismal invitations this week to our progressing investigators and they all accepted so now we have 9 investigators with baptismal dates for the month of April and we will probably have 11 by the end of this week woohoo!! The work is so fulfilling and my heart is full :) it's been so cool watching people that we found on my first few days here and they are just really accepting our message and a few of them are the ones that have baptism dates and I am sooo excited for them and I feel so blessed to watch them come closer to our savior from the very beginning. I think I told you about one of them in my last email Tatay E and his 10 year old son Jamie, They are absolutely wonderful! I love teaching them they just want to learn more and more ha-ha. And the cool thing is that one by one their other family members come in and listen to us including their 21 year old son who is really interested as well. We taught them last night about the book of Mormon and Tatay starting telling us about his past and that he has had a lot of struggles with forgiving people in the past who have really hurt him.
When he was 10 years old his parents left him and his siblings, there were 7 of them and Tatay was the oldest with the youngest being only 7 months old. He had to go out and get a full time job and he supported him and his siblings for 7 years until one day his parents just showed up again. He has never been able to forgive them for leaving him and his siblings, he feels like his childhood was taken away from him and he had to grow up really fast and the whole thing has really brought him misery throughout the years. So through the scriptures in the Book of Mormon we shared with him a message about the healing power of the atonement and how Christ can help lift those burdens off his shoulders and help him to let go of those feelings and forgive them. He had tears in his eyes and the spirit was so strong. This missionary work is so important. These people need to know their savior is Jesus Christ and I am so grateful to have been able to share with him my testimony of the atonement.
He and Jamie came to church this Sunday and loved it, they say they are going to come every week and he has been on mormon.org and lds.org everyday reading about the church YAY it's awesome. I am so excited! We got to go to the temple this morning and it was so wonderful, oh how I've missed going to the temple every week! It’s definitely something I will look forward to every transfer. It rained a few days this week and as much as I love the rain.... But as a missionary? In the Philippines?yah..no bueno! Especially cause our area is on the mountain and it's all dirt so we are climbing up these mountains in the slick mud ha-ha we have piles of mud on our shoes and we were so nasty by the time we get home, it takes us twice as long to get to our investigators houses so we only taught 4 lessons this one day but man we are exhausted! The days are so hard and we are so tired by the end but as I sit down at the end of the day to write in my journal I just love every moment with our investigators and less-actives.
A few of my favorite things here about the culture and just in general are: the babies (Filipino babies are THE cutest!), the mangoes and bananas (awe man they are so good!), everywhere you go you can always hear people singing karaoke ha-ha the Filipino’s looove to sing even if they aren’t very good (my favorite is the Power of Love by Celine Dion ha-ha that seems to be a favorite of theirs cause I hear it often and they totally and completely butcher it but it's awesome and sister Sabiano and I just crack up), during the nights ( there is always a cool breeze blowing and it feels so good after a long day) and my personal study time every day! My personal scripture study time every day is one of my favorite things here besides teaching lessons, it's my time to just study the scriptures and read, take notes, read talks etc.. I have been learning so much and growing so much spiritually, it's a habit that I want to carry on for the rest of my life. I encourage each one of you to set aside time during the day to study the scriptures and not just read them but STUDY, take notes record spiritual impressions. You will grow so much closer to our heavenly father as you study his doctrine daily and begin and end with a prayer to receive revelation and that your heart will be open to receiving guidance from the spirit. It has been strengthening my testimony about everything that I teach and it is helping me be a better missionary. I also encourage you to study Preach My Gospel, it isn't just for missionaries it is for everyone! The principles taught in it can help us all in our daily lives to learn the gospel and be able to share it with others. It is truly an inspired book and I have grown leaps and bounds through studying it daily. During our stake conference Elder Hales spoke all about scripture study and it was great! With all the temptations that come our way in the world today it is a necessity to have deep roots to hold us steady and we can strengthen those roots through daily scripture study and prayer. I invite you to start making these things daily habits my family, and I promise you that you will see a difference and you will grow closer to our savior and our Heavenly Father. I love you family I pray for you, I miss you, I think about you often (but not to often to distract me :)) but I do think about you and hope you are all doing well. Thank you for your love and support I am so blessed! Ingat pamilya ko, be safe! Enjoy the pictures :)
Ammah and her companion Sister Sabiano
The bridge Ammah has travel to and from
some of her investigators homes.
Hiking to some of the investigators homes.
Some of the hiking and trails Ammah travels each day.
The Mission Home
Some kind of fruit.
Ammah's SUPER CLEAN room. There is hope!
Companion and roomates
In front of our apartment! It's nice!
Love Sister Jones