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

Monday, July 29, 2013

I wish you could all come out with me just for one day

Dear Family,

This is a weird picture but Sister Medina took 3 pictures in one shot, but this is us in action we found a lady in the mall, she came to us and was talking to us and in these pictures I'm talking to her and explaining the restoration pamphlet and inviting her to come to church haha. 

  Us at a district activity at the zoo :) these are from sister Ika's camera that we took last week. 
Thanks for the pictures and the updates on everyone, Andelyn I hope you had a great time at pom camp and mom loved the pictures of you as a missionary at the youth conference experience in Thatcher.  You got to experience a little of what I do here in the mission, it's great work talaga.  Sometimes I wish you could all come out with me just for one day and see what it's like.  Wouldn't that be an adventure? haha 

This week we had a few fun things that happened, We celebrated Pioneer Day with a Church tour for our stake on Saturday.  The other ward that we share our building hosted it and it went  great and it was so organized it was wonderful.  We had a great turnout, all the missionaries in our zone were there to help be tour guides and answer questions etc.  And to end the night they had a concert and it was awesome! One of the numbers was the whole primary and they were all dressed up as pioneer children and sang some pioneer songs as they danced around the stage.  They were adorable and I even got a little teared up because even though we are thousands of miles away from where the original pioneers made their way to Utah, countries all over the world recognize their courage and celebrate them and the sacrifices they made so that we could have the gospel even here a cross the sea in the Philippines.
 Yesterday Brother Al gave his first talk in church, he spoke on ordinances and he shared experiences from his baptism with the congregation.  You could tell he was so nervous but he did a great job.  I'm grateful for the Bishop for giving him opportunities to share his new testimony with other people. 
We have been talking with the bishop about ways to help the members and investigators get to church and a few ideas have been thrown out, and one is that possibly we will start a group in our area, (a group is a smaller version of a branch).  It would be a great thing to happen for us but the problem we are having is finding a house big enough for all the members to fit in.  It's a process that could take months, it has to go through the stake president and even the area presidency.  I pray and hope that something can be done for them though, I've also mentioned it to the mission President and he's been giving his thoughts and advice to us as well.  I have faith though that they will be taken care of in time, Heavenly Father knows their needs and their struggles and he will provide a way to get the gospel to them.  
These last few days have been a little rough, I've had a bad cold ever since Saturday night after the tour.  We only went to Sacrament meeting yesterday and today Its been hard. We got caught in heavy rain on Saturday and were soaked so I think that's the cause but I'm not sure. Other than that I've been fine and dandy, just sick of being sick is all ha. So Prayers would be appreciated for both Sister Ika and I that we don't get sick anymore.  One of us has gotten sick every week this transfer and it been discouraging for us.  
I love you Fam! please be safe in all your activities this week and know that I pray for you every night.  Mahal ko kayo lahat! 

Love, Sister Jones


Monday, July 22, 2013

This culture is going to be a part of me for the rest of my life. I love it:)

Kumusta Family:) 

The view from our front door. We share this area with our roommates.

                                          Ammah on her P Day
 This is part of my area...And if you follow the road a mile or so you run into the jungle...which is part of my area as well.
 This picture is for Andelyn...Look, my bangs are as long as the rest of my hair and you said I could never do it.
             There are huge Filipino Eagles right above my head.

My roommates and comp
More of my area
Sounds like a lot of great things are coming up for you guys, when are you  going to Cali?? haha thats the first I've heard of it but thats awesome and I hope you have a blast especially in that  new car of yours ;) how fun! I'll get to see it one day and you can take me on a fun car trip in it. 
The Youth Conference event in Safford sounds like a great experience I so wish the girls could go.  But I hope the young women that are going will get something out of it and it and will get them excited to serve missions. Hope you have fun Mom.
This week has been okay, Sister Ika was sick for a few days so we were unable to work for a bit.   She's feeling better now though so we can catch up on our work this week.  She's still adjusting to being here and to the food, I remember those days haha so glad that I'm past it all.  The Philippines has really become my home, I  feel comfortable here and I'm really enjoying it most of the time.  It's still hard though (siempre) it's a totally different world but I've adapted to it and this culture is going to be a part of me for the rest of my life.  I love it:)  
We have been having a hard time lately with the people we are working with, our area is farthest from the chapel and it's a bit of a travel.  It takes  over an hour to walk to some of our areas so that's why we use jeepneys and tricycles often.  The problem is, our investigators cant afford to come to church on Sundays, same with our less-actives.  We can hardly get anyone to come to church and its because of money.  For one person it's takes up to 32 pesos for a round trip and that can pay for a kilo of rice.  Most of them have kids as well and that makes it impossible.  We are working with the Bishop at the moment to see what can be done for them.  But for now we just continue to visit them and let them know that we are there for them.  It's just hard..and it's been on my mind a lot lately. I emailed President today to ask for advice so maybe we can find a way to get them to church. Please keep this in mind when you are praying for me here.
We don't have many progressing investigators right now but we've been continuing to find and teach.  We have a ward missionary in our ward who knows our area really well and he's been coming with us often to help us find less actives in our area.  He has been a great help and he adds such a great testimony to our lessons and has been helping us get to know the people.  He has been a huge blessing to us, and just a week ago I found out that he and his family had been less-actives themselves up until a year ago.  And missionaries kept coming by to visit them and eventually they started coming back again.  I am so grateful that they visited him because he's been so willing to work with us and we have been able to find more people to teach.  
Not much else to tell about family, just know that I'm safe and still working hard here. 
Family I love you and please be safe in all your travels this coming week, I will be praying for each of you, have fun in Cali. and in the new car.  Be safe.. Please..
Love you all!

Love, Sister Jones

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I don't know why I was so scared

 Hello Fam!

 This is Amy on her wedding day. Isn't she beautiful.

My two roommates and Sister Ika and Me.
Umm yeah.
Sister Ika is crazy fun.

So good to hear about all your fun adventures with Andelyn starting Pom rehearsals, Amelia enjoying break from dance a little and hanging out with friends, and Dad painting away all weekend.  Sounds great:) What a great experience also for you mom to have so many opportunities to teach on Sundays at church, I've really grown to love teaching here, I hope to get a lot of callings in the future that give me chances to teach as well.  HAHA Mom! your comment about the AC going out at grandmas while you were there made me laugh, cause that is EXACTLY how it is here.  The second we walk through the door we turn all the fans on but it's still so hot.  I've really become more used to it, it's just a part of life  ha.... poor sister Streble (sister medinas trainee) has been having a hard time with it, I keep trying to tell her that it will get better, I don't think she believes me yet.  
This week has been awesome, I love my companion Sister Ika, we get along so great and have just been having fun with each other.  We've been talking to people on the streets finding new investigators, visiting less-actives, bringing investigators to ward activities.  This week has been busy but I've really enjoyed it.  Training her has been a joy and I don't know why I was so scared about training someone, it's actually quite fun and I've been learning even more myself to help me be a better missionary. It's been an adventure leading this area and I've gotten to know it really well.  We have to ride a lot of tricycles and jeepneys around (cause our area is far) and it's easy to get lost but we just make our way around and get work done:)
So update on Brother Al.. he received the Aaronic priesthood last Sunday and yesterday (with permission from President of course) we attended their marriage ceremony and their reception last night.  It was a blast and I'm really grateful to President that he let us go and support them because they have been begging us to come for weeks now.  We met his family who are nonmembers and Sister Ika and I sat at a table with all his coworkers and we talked to them about our purpose as missionaries and all about what we do everyday.  So it was a great missionary opportunity. Hopefully Brother Al will be able to answer more questions that they have later on and will introduce them to the missionaries, that would be way cool! 
So today is my 6th months mark in the mission :) soo crazy..I can't believe that I only have a year left..Not that I like counting or anything cause I really don't but I like noticing marks in my mission cause I look back and reflect on all the things that have happened and all the things I've learned.  All the things I've learned in the past 6 months I know I couldn't have learned them anywhere else but here.  And I can look at the time I have left and think about the things I want to improve on and things I want to accomplish through out the rest of my mission.  I still have a while left and I'm grateful for that, I look for ward to it :)
Thank You family for giving me so much support every week, I love you and miss you and everyday I pray for you.  Be safe and continue to share the gospel with those who you care about.  Love you guys:) Ingat!
Love, Sister Jones

P.S. sorry this email is way late, we had temple day this morning and we didn't know until yesterday haha long story.  So yep sorry I couldn't give you a warning that today was P-day and not yesterday. but I love you :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

I've had to really be courageous and confident, more so than ever before,

Kumusta sa inyo lahat mula sa Pilipinas! 

Well today has been my 6th day being a trainer for the first time and it's going pretty great so far:) My anak's (they call new missionaries "children" anak means child) name is Sister Ika, she is 20 years old from Tonga.  And let me tell you.... she is a hoot!! She's very outgoing and pretty hilarious, were gonna have fun together this transfer I just know it.

 Me and Sister Ika

More importantly though, she has a great desire to work hard which is perfect because we have a lot of work to do in this area.  She's always up for anything and willing to try new things and..she's already really good sa Tagalog which is awesome  She's almost as good as me and I've been here for 4 1\2 months! I guess she watched a lot of Filipino movies and TV shows back home in Tonga so she understands a lot and she picks up the language pretty fast.  She throws around words that I don't even know sometimes hah!...but I've still been able to help her learn more about the language.
 I was so nervous before I met her because I just want to be a good trainer and lead us in this I prayed a lot last week to be comforted and know what I need to do to help her learn the things she needs to learn here, and also to help me lead the area.  We have a lot of less actives and even investigators in this area that I haven't met yet cause the area was so large before, I've had to really be courageous and confident, more so than ever before, and talk to people I don't know.  Over all though, I've truly felt Heavenly Father answering my prayers.  Every morning I've woken up this week and have felt a lot of peace and comfort and it's just carried me through out the day.  We've been able to find peoples houses in areas that I don't know very well and had only been there once but I just remember them somehow.  Heavenly Father is really helping us with the work in this area, we just need to continue to be obedient and he will continue to be with us and help us.
I've felt also an even deeper desire to work really hard, I think the lord is helping me with that as well, and I know I am feeling that way for a reason.  Their are people here waiting to hear the gospel and we need to be prepared to bring it to them.  Yesterday Sister Ika and I taught two Sisters in our area Angelic (20yrs.) and Vea (14yrs).  We haven't taught them very often this past transfer because they really haven't been interested.  The older one even goes and hides when we stop by to see if we can teach them.  But yesterday they let us in, and we taught them about the Plan of Salvation, more specifically about Our purpose on earth and the atonement.  The spirit was so strong and Sister Ika and I taught in such great unity with each other.  They both sat their listening and when we would ask questions they would answer, even the older one who usually never says anything or isn't even there, she was really listening and shared her feelings with us about the Savior.
I shared my testimony of the Savior and his atonement, and how I am so grateful that I am able to repent of my sins everyday and be more worthy to someday live with my Heavenly Father again.  My eyes were tearing up and the two sisters just had their eyes locked on me and I knew that the spirit was touching their hearts through my testimony.  
I will forever be grateful for the experiences and opportunities I have everyday to bear my testimony to those who do not believe.  Being here on a mission has strengthened my testimony of the Restored Gospel and solidified it within me.  I will never be able to deny the things I know, for I know that they are completely true.  We have a living prophet on the earth today who leads and guides the true church of Jesus Christ, We have a Savior and Redeemer who is Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon is the word of god and it is another Testament of our Savior and redeemer and I know these things are true through the Holy Ghost, which has testified to me that they are true.
I love you family be safe and continue to do missionary work.  Take care this week...... till next week, Mahal ko kayo lahat. Ingat  :)
Or tiny little room.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I have been called to be a trainer :o)

 Kamusta po Family:) 
 ME! in front of the President Quezon monument. At a district activity. Fun Day.

Little characters I drew of my trio...and our little saying in Tagolog. It's totally us to a T!

The Quezon Monument. It's huge. 

 Kamusta po Family:)

Sounds like you have been having a great summer so far:) tubing down the salt river sounds soo fun! I'm extremely jealous right now as I'm sitting here in this stuffy internet cafĂ© with no air con or fans  it's so hot! July 4th is coming up, I'm excited to hear all about your activities for that.  No celebrations here  just work work work and I love it :o)
 This week has been busy, getting ready for transfers and such. Before he left President Delamare   scheduled a big cleaning day for the whole mission, no morning studies just cleaning the apartment from top to bottom.  Basically it wasn't all that fun cause our apt? was pretty messy haha but we had fun while we worked, practicing our Tagalog, and..chasing the mouse out. Whew! we got the little guy out but than we found him again yesterday so I give up! The mission office has mouse traps though so maybe we will ask for one but I really don't want it to have to come down to that eww..
SOME exciting news for this transfer. I have been called to be a trainer:)  I meet my new missionary tomorrow, she will be coming straight off the plane from the MTC in Provo.  I'm really nervous, and scared but excited to.  It's a great opportunity for me to grow and become a good teacher.  I'm nervous because I'll have to teach her Tagalog too and I'm not completely fluent yet myself! but.. I know Heavenly Father will help me to teach her and be able to lead this area. Our little trio is now dissolved but Sister Medina and her new missionary will be living in our same apartment.
Sister Doucette is being transferred, she is going to my old zone the Cogeo Zone, I'm excited for her she will love that area, it's not exactly my old area but it's about 15 minutes away from it.  Sister Medina and I will be training in our area, and it's being split.  Which is so good and I'm so happy about it.  It's been a real struggle with this area being so big and we can only visit people once a week or so.  Right now we have no progressing investigators.  We have many investigators they just aren't progressing, they each have different things that are holding them back from progressing in the gospel, we've been really bummed:/ but..I feel good about this transfer, we will now be able to focus on people more in each area and be able to visit them more often and teach them.
We still need more people to teach though, so my trainee and I will be busy "tao po" ing at doors ( instead of knocking on doors, the missionaries just stand at the entrances of the little houses and huts and call out "tao po" which means "hello there people") and talking to people in the streets which will be great experience for her as well as for me.  It's actually one of my favorite things to do, I love finding new people to teach:)
Brother Al is doing very well, I think he is getting the Priesthood this Sunday or next?? so that will be great for him and I'm proud of him he's still doing great and coming to church and He and Amy's wedding plans are coming along good :) I was able to see the missionary broadcast this past Sunday, and it was absolutely wonderful.  Within 5 minutes I was crying Ha. just seeing all those missionaries singing 'hark all ye nations' at the beginning just really got me and I immediately got goose bumps just thinking that all those missionaries are going out into the world to preach the gospel. .just wow
 I'm really excited for all the new opportunities that will be offered to missionaries to help with the work.  I don't think a lot of those things will start in the Philippines anytime soon though, probably around the time when I'll be leaving actually.  I absolutely loved the broadcast though, and how it focused on the members doing their part in the missionary work.  I'm so excited when I get home to be a member missionary and help the missionaries.  The members are KEY.  We cannot do this work without them.  It really encouraged me to be even better here in the mission as well, it was truly inspired and inspirational.
 I also had the opportunity to meet our new MIssion President Revillo, at the trainers meeting, he is so nice and I already love him, he will do great things for the Quezon City Mission.
We've really ben enjoying all the things in my box this week as well YUMMY... and .  We gave some much loved boxes of hash browns, cereal  and a cookie mix  to a few of the Elders in our district and they ate it all in one night!!! yeah...that's the elders for ya haha. Here we are savoring every bit and they blow it all in one night.  Don't worry I've been sharing all my treats ;)
 I need to wrap this up now though but HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!  I love you all and have fun and be safe this week, I'm excited to let you know how my first week as a trainer will go next week when i email again.  Love you guys Muah! Ingat! 

Love, Sister Jones

****What she didn't say was that she has been sick all week. Sure is hard to be a Mother of a sick missionary. I want to bring her dinner and .take care of her. :(  She is feeling better now and I chewed her out for not going to the Dr. Just get nervous about all the things she can get or catch out there in another country.