Called to Serve in the Philippines Quezon City Mission
Speaking the Tagalog language
January 2013 to July 2014

Monday, March 11, 2013

I absolutely love being a missionary!

Hello Pamilya Ko!

I looved the video! haha so funny! And the picture made me want to cry. (I sent her a video of some pageant practical jokes and a picture of Dave during the Last Supper Scene in the Easter Pageant) I am so excited for you guys especially you Dad for getting to have this experience, I'm so glad to hear that you’re loving the pageant and feeling the spirit through it. It changed my life...I probably wouldn't be on a mission now without the experiences I had through participating in the pageant. It made me realize just how much I love talking about the gospel and you get to feel the spirit of missionary work, it's so great! I wish I could be there to see it but just know that I'm thinking about you and praying for you to have missionary experiences. I'm also glad to hear that you enjoyed my last email and felt the spirit through it. My roommates story gives me courage to keep working hard every day and I feel even more blessed to have family back home that is supporting me and rooting for me in all that I do. That is one thing that right before I got set apart I felt really strongly. As everyone went around sharing their feelings of love and support for me I was overwhelmed with emotion because Heavenly Father has blessed me with such wonderful spirits in my life who have helped me learn and grow and become more like my Heavenly Father.

So things are going really well here. I absolutely love being a missionary and teaching lesson. I am getting over the culture change and just really starting to enjoy being here. Everyone here is so nice and welcoming. This was a great week for us as well, we got a lot of work done, we found 11 new investigators this week, we have 4 with baptismal dates, and we taught 47 lessons this week ha and WooHoo! We also had 5 investigators make it to church and 19 less actives they just all kept trickling into sacrament meeting and Sister Sabiano and I were getting so excited! It’s just really hard for these people to come to church. They have to pay for transportation and most of them can't afford it and that's why they don't come and then go inactive. It really shows an act of  faith on their part to come and it gives us a good feeling inside. One family that we teach is Maricris and Rafael. They have baptismal dates but they aren't married so we have had to push their date back and wait until they get married. They struggle with getting to church, but they were able to come yesterday and get interviewed by the bishop to sort out their marriage and set a date etc.. They are one of my favorite families! Sister Sabiano and I went to pick them up at 7:30am on Sunday and we helped get their kids ready for church they are the CUTEST! Their names are trixia-girl age 3, and Biero-boy age 1. I will get a picture with them sometime and send it to you they are adorable. But we picked them up and paid for them to get to church. I love teaching them they are so receptive to our message and they just soak it all up like a sponge. I love watching their faces as we teach because you can just tell that they feel the spirit and they know it's true. I am so excited for them to have this gospel because I know it will bless them and their little family. I'm starting to get to know all our investigators names and less actives which makes the work so much easier when I actually know who sister Sabiano is talking about and what we are teaching and where were going ha. Also the language is coming slowly but surely ha I just make sure I always no matter what, bare my testimony to them. We had a few investigators cry this week while we were teaching them and the spirit was so strong I'm so grateful to have experiences every day to see the gospel touch people’s lives.

 So funny story, here there are seriously no white people ha-ha, pretty much except for the missionaries. So I get stared at ALL the time by EVERYONE. People do double takes as I walk down the street and just stare as long as they can, All the little kids in the street just run up to me and just stare at me like they have never seen a white person before ha-ha, it's so funny and a lot of times awkward because even when we are teaching lessons all these kids will crowd in the doorway and just stare at me hah. They all ask me what my name is and if I’m American and they all point at my nose and stay stuff in Tagalog that I can’t understand. Sister Sabiano says they all say they like my nose and think I’m "cute", they say to me as I pass "cute mo! cute mo!" which means your cute lol. Everyone comments on my looks and whisper to each other about my skin cause Filipinos love white skin. In the stores they have all sorts of skin bleaching creams and stuff to lighten skin. I tell them that it's funny cause where I’m from everyone wants to be tan and go to tanning salons and lay out in the sun to get darker hah! They think I’m crazy ha. So as everyone stares at me I just wave and say “kumusta” and Sister Sabiano just laughs at me all the time. The food here is so good; I always try new things when I can. There is a lot of rice… A LOT but the street foods are fun to try. I haven't tried Balut yet but it is definitely on my list. It's everywhere here so I’m bound to try it soon. Sister Sabiano doesn't care for it much so we never buy it ha. I read and write my email at this internet cafe near our house. We just pay 30 pesos to use the computer for a few hours. Big news! It just got announced today that all missionaries around the world are now allowed to email friends. They are putting it in the new handbook and we get 2 hours of computer time every p-day, everyone was so excited haha. We just aren't allowed to email other missionaries in our area and we need permission from the president to email our recent converts. We get mail here every 2 weeks from the mission home, the office elders give it to us. So I can get dear elders through that as well. I haven't seen Sister Wilson since that one day that i wrote about in my last email but thank you for telling me about her email mom! I’m not allowed to email her cause she's in my mission sadly were waiting to hear what the president says on that cause it's up to him. But I will continue to pray for her. I don't know the crossroads exactly for our house we are in the Antipolo Cogeo area in gate 2. I love receiving the little updates from each of you, I'm excited for you Andelyn to get to go to prom again and have the dance concert, have so much fun and enjoy yourself! and Amelia I hope your enjoying school and I’m sorry I didn't reply to your letter i got it close to when I left and I didn't have time to write but just know that I love you and I appreciated your letter. Also Andelyn happy early birthday! We only send mail every two weeks and I came in right after the first week and if i sent a letter today it would get their way late so in my next email I’ll wish you happy birthday but it will be the night of your birthday. I love you all so much, please, please be safe and I am so proud of you all for being so wonderful! Mahal Ko Kayo!
Love Sister Jones


Sorry no pics again didn't have time to buy a card reader so maybe next time.

Also just FYI all our missions automatically get extended 2 weeks for the sisters because the day we leave falls in a weird place in between transfer days. So yep, 2 weeks extra Yay! . Ahh I'm dying right now it is so hot and humid here in the cafe ha-ha. Thank you for the video and picture they were perfect you should send more. I was excited to find out that it worked here.

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