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

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

We had a few adventures I guess you could say.

Today at 1:15 AM
Hello my sweet family:)
 I forgot to tell you that I had temple day this week so our pday was on Wednesday this week. Sorry! But I'm kind of glad cause I get to wish you all a HAPPY THANKSGIVING closer to the actual day hah.  so Happy Thanksgiving sa inyo lahat! They do not have thanksgiving here unfortunately so we will just be working as usual ha but that's okay.  I don't mind I love being here:) Thanks Dad for all the videos...the many many videos haha your so sweet, but sadly It won't let me watch any of them, don't know why..sorry! And also I must admit....I am sooooo jealous that you guys went and saw Catching Fire! How was it?? can't wait to see it! I've been seeing billboards all over the place for it.  We drove past one on our way to the temple this morning and me and Sister Dickison just looked at each other and than pretended to start crying! oh the missionary life.  Sometimes we will be on Jeepneys and a great song will come on and we have to restrain ourselves from lip-syncing or nodding our heads to the beat haha! Not gonna lie sometimes it happens though! It's just the dancers within us!  
This last week was a long week....We had a few adventures I guess you could say.  Thursday we went out and just were having bad luck no one was home and we ended up walking back home to grab a map to find an address we were trying to find with no success and I think it was inspired that we did go back cause than Sister Dickison got super sick.  So we decided to stay so she could rest and she starts throwing up over and over again it just wouldn't stop so we kinda start freaking out.  We ended up going to the hospital around 7pm, they admit her and get her all hooked up to IV's and stuff.  Turns out that she had a bad infection and we ended up staying in the hospital for 2 days. stuff! We were actually dying of boredom, no tv, no music, no change of I think at one point I pretended to bang my head against the wall haha and I'm pretty sure I sang almost the entire hymnbook while we were there too.  The hospital was actually SUPER nice...unlike the one Sister Andersen was in last week  (oi! that just sounded bad) yah this hospital was nicer than any I'd seen in was so nice! Now that i think of it I've been to the hospital now 5 times in my whole mission, but it wasn't for me ha.  I kind of felt right at home there though, it reminded me of my past life before the mission in the hospital drawing blood.  They came and drew blood from her and I just watched the whole time haha and after the girl left I said awww I miss that!! I also got to watch her get an ultrasound on her kidneys...which was SO COOL!  I loved it and I can't wait to do that someday.  Anywhaysssss so that was our adventure to St. Luke's this week... the end hehe.....On a good note though she is doing much better now and we are back working again yay:) 

Just in the past 2 days we have found 7 new investigators and have been talking to EVERYONE! We met even more people and rescheduled appointments with them and we are thinking by the end of this week will have found 20 potential investigators. Yah....we are so excited!  and they are all Families....aww:) Families are the BEST.  Heavenly Father has been answering our prayers..truly! We have been praying since the beginning of the transfer to find those prepared and to help us recognize them and to give us the courage to speak to them.  I have been so proud of the both of us for being so courageous.  Maybe not all of those we found will accept the gospel but at least I know that we are doing our part and opening our mouths and Heavenly Father will fulfill his promise to us and fill our mouths with the words they need to hear.  One of the most spiritual experiences of my mission happened on Monday night during our lesson with Sister Puri (the 65 year old i mentioned a few weeks ago).  We are trying so hard to help her understand how the holy ghost works because we've been asking her to pray about the things we have taught her about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon...We've been getting discouraged..but this last lesson we went in planning on talking about prayer some more and than she asks us "what's different about your church than the church I go to now?" -PERFECT QUESTION,  the spirit was so strongly present as we testified of President Thomas S. Monson as our living prophet on the earth today who gives us guidance and revelation to return to our Loving Heavenly Father, about the Priesthood authority of God restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and about the Book of Mormon.  I teared-up many times as I shared my testimony with her...I have no doubt that she also felt the spirit as much as I could she not? We extended a baptismal date to her and she explained to us her concerns...she didn't accept...but we asked her to include the Lord and pray about it.  We will continue to teach the lessons..maybe she just needs time but I'm excited to continue to teach her... we left that appointment and started walking home...we both didn't say anything for a minute or so and just walked in silence.  When we finally looked at each other we had big smiles on our faces and talked the whole way home about how strong the spirit was and how we didn't even feel like it was us who was speaking we just knew the perfect things to say to her and we knew..that it was the Holy Ghost guiding us.  One thing it says in Preach my that you can know you are being a successful missionary when you feel the Spirit working through you...that lesson was a testimony to me that This church and this gospel is so true, and I knew that I am doing my part as a missionary and representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.   In the spirit of thanksgiving I'd like to end by saying what I'm grateful for at this tagalog:) hehe   Nagpapasalamat po ako sa inyo, ang pamilya ko.. at yung support na ibinibigay po ninyo sa akin...mahal na mahal ko kayo lahat nagpapasalamat din ako para sa ang mission ang lahat ng mga karanasang na tumanggap ko dito sa pilipinas..Nagpapasalamat din ako para kay Jesucristo at sa kanyang pagpabayad-sala case alam ko na sa pamamagitan sa kanyo..tatanggapin ko ng buhay na walang hanggang kasama ang aking pamilya.  Nagpapasalamat din po ako sa ang aking Ama sa Langgit, at ang mga biyaya na ibinibigay niya sa akin.  
Translation by google: I thank you, my family .. and those who support you please give me ... I loved you all really ... and I am also grateful for the mission i .. and all the experience that I received here
in the philippines .. I am also grateful for Jesus Christ  and his atonement pagpabayad case I know by the kanyo .. I receive eternal life with my family. I am grateful also what my Father Langgit, and the grace that he gives.
I love you guys:) Have a great week and a great Thanksgiving day with the beard family, the Jones party looked fun to, I really miss everyone.. 4 more weeks and we get to skype! hehe excited na ako sobra...  

Muah Muah Muah! be safe lagi please! Till Monday:) Ingat! 

nagpagmahal, si Sister Ammah Jones 

p.s. Amelia- I couldn't watch the videos dad sent but I don't have to see to know that you did great in your dance concert:) so proud of you and happy that you enjoy dancing so much like I did.  

p.s. Andelyn- Write me another letter someday ya?? I think about you often and keep you in my prayers every night hope na know:) love you. 

p.s. Mom- Haven't recieved my packages yet, probably on Tuesday.  Love you:) 
P.s. Dad- thank you for all the pictures and videos...makes me not miss u guys too much hehe love u!    

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

air conditioning! say whaa? haha yah it was awesome

Magandang Araw sa inyo lahat! :)

I hope your week went well my sweet family,  I have thought about you all often through out the week and I am just so grateful that Heavenly Father blessed me with such a great family.  Over the past 2 weeks we have taught a lot about God's plan for our families, and how families are part of his great plan for us.  Last night I shared with one of Our less-active families about how I'm so grateful for the spirit that was in our home while I was growing up and how I am here serving a mission because of the things I learned from my family.  I just want you to know that you are always in my prayers and I pray that you can feel my love thousands of miles away every day! I'm grateful that because we were sealed in the temple we will be an eternal family.  I love being here and helping other families understand that they have that possibly as well.  Many of the Less-actives we have been visiting with are preparing for family sealing's and it warms my heart to see them have such a great desire to be together for forever. 

I keep hearing more things about the typhoon that hit Tacloban last week I've spoken with sister Sabiano about her family, and from what I've heard her home town wasn't hit too hard but her older brother (the only other member of the church in her family) was in the city when the typhoon hit and everything in the city got wiped out.  She still hasn't heard from him or the rest of her family, but she was able to check her facebook, and go to the Mtc to talk to missionaries that were evacuated from Tacloban and get more information.  I pray that her brother is okay....I know that they were really close.  I don't know what I would do if I didn't know that you were all okay and safe.  Please keep her and her brother in your prayers this week. 
* I heard from Sister Sabiano by email this week and Ammah is right, she and her family need your prayers. She has tried several different ways to find out about the fate of her family but she has no information at all. She is trying VERY hard to be a "good missionary" and not let her feelings and thoughts about her family get in the way of her calling as a missionary. She is a very humble servant of the Lord and wants only to please him in thought and deed. She feels guilty for thinking and worrying to much about her family and is trying to put on a happy face and serve. Please, keep her in your prayers. Her family name has been added to the prayer roll*

Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again I love my companion! We have been working hard since we have been together and the lord is blessing us for our work and obedience.  We found 9 new investigators this week! All the times in our schedule where we don't have appointments we just pray about a place to go finding till our next appointment and just start walking around saying hi to everyone haha it's fun! We get a lot of attention because we are Americans, so we use it to our advantage.  People always smile and wave to us and than we just walk up and start chatting with them and invite them to listen to our message.  We attracted the attention of some Bakla's (men who dress,talk, & act like women) the other day,(Ammah says there a LOT of these type of people there in the Philippines) and let me tell you it was quite entertaining.  According to them I look like Adele and Sister Dickison is Avril Lavigne haha! They were selling laundry detergent, it was actually a pretty great deal and they were absolutely hilarious so we bought the detergent and they were so excited haha it made our day.  One of the new investigators we found this week is Sister Puri and she is a doll! she is 65 years old and just one day she came up walking beside us and asked us if we were Mormons.  We continued to converse with her and she agreed to let us share with her our message about the restored gospel so we followed her to her house and turns out she lives in a huge house with...wait for it....air conditioning! say whaa? haha yah it was awesome, but than we end up freezing each time we teach her and de-thaw as we walk away from her house haha. She actually reminds me of Grandma Thalman, I feel at home when we go to visit her.  She was taught a lesson by Elders 30 years ago and never forgot it, and she always tells us how excited she is that we come and teach her.  She's Golden!! and a plus she feeds us Peanut Butter Sandwiches yum:)))  It's funny how people are just put into our path, and I'm so grateful that we have been learning to follow promptings of the spirit and know who to talk to.  We also have two baptismal dates for December, they are children of a less-active family in the ward and they are excited to be baptized.  The rest of the family has also been coming to church as well which is great!  Sister Dickison keeps saying how much the work has progressed here just in the last two weeks that we have been together.  I know the lord put us together for a reason and I pray that we get to stay together for Christmas! fingers crossed! 

Just 5 more weeks till I get to chat with you on Skype!! yes I am counting down the weeks haha cant wait! Namiss ko kayo lahat sobra! I hope you have a great week this week.  Always rely on the spirit in everything you do, and I always pray that you have opportunities to share the gospel.  Don't let a great opportunity to share your testimony of the Restored Gospel go by! Mahal ko kayo!! hugs! 

Love, Sister Jones 

p.s. sorry no pics again this week, my memory card is all messed up now since it got wiped from that picture place.  I'll try to get it fixed some time.   Just find pics on Sister Dickisons blog from this week they are pretty much the same things I took pics of haha! love u!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Miraculous story of 10 sister missionaries surviving the Typhoon in Tacloban Philippines.

LDS News room:
It was such a terrible thing we witnessed, but I learned so much about how people will come together to help others, expecting nothing in return. I saw that from other missionaries, and I saw that from the Philippine people. It's a lesson I hope I never forget.”
Amanda Smith, LDS missionary

Vignette V6 006d67a11f35657af5f53f6a580720cf8a11ddee Sun Nov 17 09:41:48 2013

EDITOR'S NOTE: Deseret News journalist Jesse Hyde and photojournalist Ravell Call are in the Philippines and will file dispatches throughout the week about the recovery efforts underway following Typhoon Haiyan.
MANILA, Philippines — The water was rising fast.
In the darkness of early morning, Amanda Smith moved away from the window to shield her face from the slashing rain. She had shut it just moments before to ward off the raging storm whipping through the palm trees outside.
But now the wind had ripped it open, and the wooden shutters were slamming violently against the wall again and again. Sister Smith, an LDS missionary from Elk Ridge, Utah, couldn’t see anything outside, but she could smell the sea, which seemed to be getting closer and closer. They had to get out of here.
She had heard about the storm three days before, from a driver of a pedicab. It was typhoon season, and tropical storms were common in the Philippines. Still, the last storm warning had produced nothing but blue skies. Some of the missionaries wondered if this time would be any different.
There were nine missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with her in the house, a two-story structure made of cement blocks. They were young women from Utah and Alaska and the Philippines, all about her own age, 19. They had done what they could to prepare, hastily assembling 72-hour kits, and had even bought candles and rope, just like their mission president had asked, even though no one in the house thought either would be necessary.
Now, as water roared down the streets toward them, Sister Smith realized no preparations were too small. The worst storm in generations had just hit landfall.
Bracing for the worst
More than 300 miles to the north, in an apartment in the capital of Manila, Elder Ian S. Ardern sat watching CNN. A former mission president with salt and pepper hair and an easy smile, he couldn’t help but feel a looming sense of dread about what was unfolding. On the screen, the typhoon churned, a monster on a path no one could stop. Winds would eventually reach 200 miles per hour.
As first counselor in the Philippine Area Presidency, Elder Ardern worried directly about the 675,000 LDS Church members living in the Philippines, particularly the thousands living in the eye of the storm in and around a city of 235,000 called Tacloban, as well as the entire population.
A native of New Zealand, he had seen his fair share of typhoons, and knew firsthand their destructive power. He hoped the members, and the young missionaries, had heeded the call to prepare.
Days before the storm hit, his office had been sending out warnings to the 21 mission presidents in the Philippines, with maps regularly updating and charting the course of the typhoon. Prepare emergency kits, they had advised. And get to a safe place, which for many members meant a chapel.
The area presidency had asked each of the mission presidents to call in when the storm subsided to report damages and the status of their missionaries. Elder Ardern watched the news as the sun began to rise over the Philippines and waited for the first phone call to come in. He braced for the worst.
Rising panic
Sister Smith had always wanted to be a missionary, ever since she was a little girl growing up in Minnesota, toting her scriptures to Primary, learning to play hymns like “I am a Child of God” on the piano. She’d put in her mission papers as soon as she turned 19.
She had been excited to go to the Philippines. But in some ways, she seemed too delicate for this place, with her long, willowy build and fine porcelain skin. The Philippines wasn’t exactly clean, and some things had taken getting used to — rice for every meal, the choking smell of exhaust on the clogged streets, cold showers from a bucket. But she had also fallen in love with the place — the sweet smell of mangos, the effervescence of the people, the way the language of Waray-Waray had started to roll off the tongue.
One day she sat down on a stool to teach a lesson in a dirt-floor shack and out of nowhere three fuzzy chicks materialized and walked around her legs, the way birds landed on Cinderella’s shoulder, and she thought: What is this magical place?
She had been out five months, her latest area called San Jose, where some of Tacloban’s richest and poorest residents live, some in nice apartments, others in shacks of bamboo and cardboard, a tarp stained by the smoke of cooking fires the only thing passing for a roof, roosters and stray dogs running at their feet.
San Jose sits right on the sea, and so a few days before the storm, just to be safe, the mission president’s assistants (two young men, elders who help the president) asked her and her companion to come farther inland, which is where she was now, with nine other sister missionaries, in a house quickly filling with a black, mucky water.
As the storm worsened, she could feel the house shaking, metal poles outside snapping, animals howling and squealing.
At first, the sisters had all gathered in one central room on the second floor, thinking it the safest place in the house. But the water was now rising to their knees. Metal bars covered every window, preventing an escape outside. With no other choice they would have to go to the first floor, where the water nearly reached the ceiling, and try to open the front door to get out.
They knew the current could pull them out into the ocean, but if they stayed where they were now, they would drown in what had essentially become a box of cement walls.
One by one the sisters slipped into the freezing water on the first floor. A few couldn’t swim; they held tight to their companions. Some of the women started to cry.
Sister Smith was scared too, but she was determined not to let it show. She wanted to stay calm for the others.
The front door was locked with a metal latch on the bottom and the top. One of the sisters dived under the water and unlocked the bottom latch; another reached the top and did the same. But when they tried to open the door it wouldn’t budge. The water pressing from the outside and inside had sealed it shut.
What had been ebbing as a low level panic reached hysteria for some of the sisters, who began weeping and sobbing. Sister Smith could feel the panic rising in her chest too, but she had to stay calm. With a few of the other sisters who had become leaders of the group, she started to sing hymns, their voices muted by the stinky water rising to their chins. They quoted scripture. They prayed. Sister Smith put on a brave face, not daring to say aloud what she was thinking:
“I never thought this is where my life would end.”
Finding survivors
As the storm subsided, the phone in Elder Ardern’s office started to ring. One by one, the presidents of the 21 missions in the Philippines called in, reporting that all their missionaries were safe and accounted for. Except for one. The president from the Tacloban mission never called.
As Elder Ardern waited, the phone rang. Parents from Idaho and Texas called in, frantic for news of their children. The wives of the area presidency took most of the calls, assuring parents that as soon as they had word they’d let them know the status of their missionary children.
More than 24 hours passed and the area presidency still hadn’t heard any word on the status of the 205 Tacloban missionaries. Elder Ardern was pacing when an email finally came in from the mission president. The 38 missionaries in the city of Tacloban were safe. He had negotiated with local government officials to send an email on the only functioning Internet portal in town. As soon as he found the rest of his missionaries he’d be in touch, he promised.
Cell service was still impossible, and would be for days, if not weeks. Elder Ardern was relieved, but also worried about the rest of the mission.
The area presidency dispatched every church employee in Cebu and Manila — security and building maintenance and church welfare and others — to go to Tacloban to search for members. They would travel the six hours from Cebu to Tacloban to count survivors, return to Cebu to find a working phone or Internet connection to make a report to church headquarters in Manila, and then head back out in to the wreckage to find more survivors and help.
In one Mormon congregation alone, 95 percent of the members saw their homes destroyed. Scores had lost family members, many carried out to sea with the current, never to return.
Praying for a miracle
The sister missionaries worked together. Sister Schaap punched a hole through an opening in a flimsy wall, and the group of 10 swam through the murky water that would soon carry their journals and clothes and pots and pans out to sea. Those who couldn’t swim clung tightly to their companions.
Sister missionary apartment in Tacloban, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. This shows the water level downstairs in the apartment. (Art Maligon)
The sisters used the rope to reach a nearby roof. Sister Smith stood on the rain gutter, the other nine sister missionaries shivering beside her, the rain still coming down in sheets. Hours had passed since the beginning of the storm, and yet the sky above Tacloban was still gray, shrouded by fog.
Sister Smith said thoughts of dying left her mind. But some of the sisters appeared pale and their bodies were shaking. The water was still rising and they feared it would engulf them.
One of the sisters suggested they pray. They huddled closely together, bowed their heads, and with the rain dripping down their chins, asked God to make the water stop. And then, in what Sister Smith could only describe as the greatest miracle of her life, the sea stopped rising.
By the time Elder Ardern arrived in Tecloban four days after the storm, the water had receded, leaving a putrid scene of destruction in its wake. Bloated bodies lay exposed on the sides of the road, some covered by a blanket, or rusty corrugated roofing, others by a moldy piece of cardboard. The stench was sickening.
At one point, the city had tried to conduct a mass burial for 200, but had turned its trucks around when they heard gunfire.
The city had descended into chaos and lawlessness. Survivors of the typhoon had broken into stores that hadn’t been flattened to steal televisions and toys, food, even light fixtures, despite the fact that there was no electricity.
Hours after the storm, the president’s two assistants had made the walk from the mission home to the house where the sisters had been staying. The house was destroyed but they had to kick through the door to get inside. When they found no one, they feared the worse, a sense that only heightened when a neighbor told them they’d seen four sisters leaving for a nearby elementary school.
“There were supposed to be 10,” one of the elders said.
They found all 10 at a nearby elementary school, and soon learned the story of the escape from the house and the hours spent on the roof, praying for someone to find them.
With the sisters now accounted for, the assistants and other missionaries assigned to the mission office fanned out through the city, trying to find the rest of their mission force. A dense cloud cover prevented even satellite phones from working, meaning the missionaries had no way to communicate with missionaries serving in outlying areas.
But these missionaries, they said guided by the spirit and survival instincts, made their way to the mission home. Some walked for four hours. Others hitched a ride on a motorcycle, relying on the kindness of strangers unsure how to feed their own children. One group of missionaries cobbled together more than a thousand dollars and made their way to Tacloban by boat. All 205 missionaries were now accounted for.
The two assistants to the president, one from Dallas and the other from Fiji, stayed with the 10 sisters and others at the mission home, supporting each other, especially at night when gunshots rang out.
With their own food running low, the assistants, under the direction of their mission president, decided they had to make their way to the airport. So before dawn, four days after the storm but again in pouring rain, they headed out with their flashlights pointing the way through the darkness.
“It was the hardest thing,” said one of the assistants. “People had gotten so hungry they had begun to attack each other. The worst part was the smell, the stench of death.”
Some sisters, their feet blistered, could barely walk. The looting had become more severe, and the missionaries had heard rumors that prisoners at the jail, which had lost its electricity and its guards, had simply walked out. The assistants stood at the front and back of the long line of missionaries — dozens and dozens — as they made the long march to the airport.
As they walked, Elder Ardern tried to arrange a flight out. He had booked flights in Manila, but thousands of other survivors had mobbed the Tacloban airport. The ticket agent told him if he wanted a flight out, he’d have to pay more to get his 205 missionaries to safety.
As Elder Ardern tried other options, the missionaries milled about what was left of the airport terminal, its walls blasted out by the gale force winds of the storm. And then, a final miracle.
An Army sergeant with a C-130 airplane, assigned by the U.S. government to fly Americans out of the disaster area, said he had a feeling he should walk through the terminal one more time. As he did, he saw out of the corner of his eye what looked like the nametag of a Mormon missionary. The sergeant, a Mormon himself, asked if the missionary was American. When he said he was, the sergeant told him he could arrange flights out for all the Americans and foreigners in his C-130.
Before the day had ended, many of the missionaries Elder Ardern had come for were flying out of Tecloban. By week’s end, all of the missionaries in the area would be evacuated to Manila, where they would await a new assignment in other missions in the Philippines.
The Road Ahead
It’s a Saturday afternoon in Manila, a week after the storm, the air hot and sticky. Sister Amanda Smith and the nine other survivors are sitting on a bench on the well-manicured grounds of the Philippine Missionary Training Center, talking to a television crew from New York. Their story of survival and resistance will inspire millions, they are told.
Still, it is hard for most of them to talk about their experience, and the things they saw. They said night terrors awake them. And so, just as they did during the storm, they sing hymns and say quiet prayers, hoping for peace, and an ability to leave behind the terror of what they witnessed.
And yet, there is a part of them that wishes they could go back, to help those members and non-members alike, who are still stuck. They are comforted to know that the church has never stopped searching for those that are lost, and that in the coming weeks church officials, from Salt Lake and throughout the Philippines, will continue to push food and medical supplies, blankets and tents, into the areas most affected by the typhoon, to provide relief to Filipinos, whether they are Mormons or not, part of a rescue operation that includes dozens of non-governmental organziations (NGO's), faith groups and governments from around the world.
When the interview with the TV crew is over, Sister Smith and the other sisters hurry to a parking lot, where the missionaries evacuated from Tecloban are boarding vans that will take them to their new area. They hug and cry, bonded by a tragedy they never saw coming, but one they were surprisingly prepared for.
For many, their missions are just beginning.
“It was such a terrible thing we witnessed,” Sister Smith said. “But I learned so much about how people will come together to help others, expecting nothing in return. I saw that from other missionaries, and I saw that from the Philippine people. It’s a lesson I hope I never forget.”
Sisters Camille Dial, left, Rebekah Guy and Amanda Smith talk Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 about their escape from their apartment during a typhoon in Tacloban. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)Sisters Camille Dial, left, Rebekah Guy and Amanda Smith talk Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 about their escape from their apartment during a typhoon in Tacloban. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)


Friday, November 15, 2013

I'm perfectly fine here and everything is okay!

 Hello Everyone!

First off just wanted to address the news about the Typhoon.  I'm perfectly fine here and everything is okay! We were asked to go home early on Friday night that's all cause of the heavy wind and rain.  But over the past few days it's been clear sky's and stinkin hot I've actually been getting sunburned haha.   We actually didn't know a whole lot about what was going on, I knew a typhoon was coming but that's the 20th time I've heard that throughout my mission so I didn't think much about it.  I pray and hope that they find all the missionaries in the Tacloban mission, and that the families that have lost loved ones will be comforted.  I can't believe how bad it was and how many people were killed.... these are my people...i love them so much...and my heart just hurts right now... I'm grateful that our mission was kept safe though, and I feel blessed to be safe in this mission.  It seems like the typhoons always just barely miss us.

Well I'm now in my new area with my new companion and it's just been a great week.  I love Sister Dickison so much, we are so alike! She also grew up dancing in a studio since she was young, she loves to read, we like the same music etc...seriously a match made in heaven:)  She is a really great missionary, and was kind of held back by her trainer and wasn't taught a lot of things that she should have.  I'm a little ticked at her trainer actually, that's all I'll say about that though.  The trust of the ward and bishop was lost so that's something that we want to work on this transfer is gaining back their trust and showing them our desire to work really hard.  We don't have a lot of investigators, none with baptismal dates, so we will be doing a lot of finding new people to teach.  We've already found some potentials just in the last few days.  We work so good together!! I have felt the spirit so strongly in every lesson we've taught together.  We teach in such great unity, and Sister Dickison just loves these people so much.  We've gotten compliments on our teaching from people we teach haha sweet! Seriously this is going to be an awesome transfer, great area, great companion, great ward, no squatters, all middle class.....ahhhh man I'm so happy right now haha. Life is good! Their are a lot of less-actives in this ward too, we visited 9 of them just in the past 3 days and 8 of them came to church yesterday! Sister Dickison was so surprised she said some of them haven't been in so long.  We've been sharing a lot about Temples and Family history with them.  You can just see it in their faces that they want to be sealed in the temple so badly and I think it just sparked something inside them to come to church and work on being active so that they can get temple recommends and go to the Temple with their families:)  I'm so excited for the work here, we are gonna be  busy which is perfect!   I love this work so much, I enjoy very much being a missionary and teaching....oh man...I just love teaching.  I continue to learn so much everyday.  I am so grateful that I am here, and that I've had this opportunity to share the gospel.  I am so happy:) 

Again mom, sorry a bout the lack of communication during the typhoon, just know that i'm perfectly safe and doing great, still working hard.  I love you guys and stay safe this week:) muah! 

love, SIster Jones

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Transfers and a practical joke

Nov 4 at 11:58 PM
Kamusta po ba kayo?!:) 
Pictures from the house I have lived in for the past almost 5 months.

                                            The "Corn Lady's children. I adore them.
A little Halloween FUN.
          Jenmy's Nephew...He is sitting in this baby swing thing. They are in a lot of houses here.
Thanks Dad for the videos of Andelyn's competition it was awesome! I was so impressed you all look really talented and the routine was really put together well.  Wish I could have seen it in person.  I'm so proud:)  I forgot until earlier this morning that mom and Amelia had gone to Disneyland, so jealous especially of the Bread bowls yummmm my fave haha.  Glad you guys enjoyed yourselves though and got home safely.  
So big news this week,... I'm being transferred!  My time here in Quirino 2nd ward has come to an end:( I cried when I found out... 6 months is a long time and I love the people here so much.  So many great things are happening and it's really progressed since I've been here.  I am leaving happy and proud of myself for the work I've done here and for the missionary I've become in the process.  But I am also excited for what this new area has in store for me.  I am now in the Pasig zone in the Pateros area.  It's still in the City but I've heard good things from other missionaries.  Sister Wilson actually served in the same ward, different area, but same ward and she said she loved it there.  My new companions name is Sister Dickson.  She's from Utah and she just finished her 12 weeks training so this will be her 3rd transfer in the field.  I've met her a few times before at temple tours and she seems super nice, I think we will get a long great.  I'm sad to leave my anak though:(  She will get a follow-up trainer to finish her last 6 weeks training.  We both cried this morning when we got the news that we would be split up.  We've become such good friends here and it's been such a joy to be her trainer.  She's really nervous about having to lead the area, she still doesn't know where some houses are up in the mountain, but I know she can do it:) The members will help her out...I'm not to worried.  We found a lot of great new investigators who are really progressing and I'm sad to leave them and not see what happens to them but I know their is work to be done and people to find in Pateros as well.  
This week was just so so great it is the best way to leave this area.  Our two investigators who are getting baptized came to church for the first time. Ruben and Tumtum, the children of the corn lady.  They loved it! and I was so proud of the youth and the leaders because as soon as they walked in they were just greeted and introduced to everyone and the young men just whisked them away from us and took them to class haha afterwards we came to find them and found them practicing a song with the choir, they will be singing with them next week for Sacrament meeting haha! They just had these huge smiles on their faces and they just looked so happy.  We visited them yesterday and asked how it went and they said they loved it and made lots of new friends and they asked us if their friend could come next time with them.  They introduced us to their friend and we started teaching him too.  I'm so excited for them I hope and pray that they continue to come so that they can be baptized. 
We also met the son of one of our investigators, his name is Jake he's 22.  His dad told us a little bit about him before we met him, and he told us that he had been looking up info about Mormons online (oh gosh) and had tons of questions.  We were a little nervous going in haha but...we met him and he is one of the nicest people I've met and really interested in the gospel.  In the middle of our lesson he stopped us and said, "I just love how you talk about Jesus Christ, Your faces just light up" aww:) we continued to teach him about the Restoration and after we told him about the first vision he sayd "oh! I just got goose bumps!" haha! aw man I'm sad to not see what happens to him.  He will be baptized I just know it! 
Brother Madz worked with us this past week.  He bore his testimony during the lesson and talked about how he was baptized a few months ago.  I was so proud:) I just kept remembering the day we knocked on his door the first time while tracking and now look at him, teaching with the missionaries.  His life has just changed so much, and he just has a light about him.  Made my heart feel so good! 
Alright Funny story time:) hehe..So Friday's we have weekly planning, it's not always the funnest day and it takes a long time sometimes.  I love having the time set aside to plan for our whole week, receive revelation, and talk about each and every investigator and less active and talk about what they need and what we will teach them that week.  So Sister Andersen had the idea to play a prank on the other sisters cause we were all so serious and planning and she sat at the top of the stairs and filmed the whole thing, but I had a cheap candy bar and we set it out in the sun in our window till it melted and I took it with me into the bathroom.  So the thing about the Philippines is that most people don't use toilet paper here, we do haha, but most don't.  And people tell us not to shake peoples left hands cause that's the one they use to wipe....yah haha.  So I'm in the bathroom and smear the melted chocolate on my left hand than I holler for Sister Strebel to bring me my toilet paper that i had "forgotten" on the top of the fridge haha. Sweet girl, She comes bringing me my toilet paper and knocks on the door, I open it up a little bit and stick my chocolate smeared hand out to get the toilet paper and she screams as I grab the toilet paper 'touching her hand along the way, so now the chocolates on her' and pull it inside the bathroom.  She starts screaming "It's on my finger! it's on my finger!" hahah! oh man...haha it was so good:) She also enjoyed it and was a good sport about it after lol.
wow...this is so long..sorry!! i'm done now haha it just was a great week and I'm gonna miss it.  Especially living with Sister Hepworth and Sister Strebel.   Sister Strebel and I have been in the same house for 4 1/2 months now.  We've become such good friends along the way, I'll miss her.  She makes me laugh so hard.  But I'm excited for Pateros, and all the new people I'll meet and the new experiences I'll have.  
I love you guys so much, Andelyn and Amelia- don't tire yourselves out too much.  Mom and Dad I love you guys thanks for emailing me every week with love and support, it keeps me from being homesick and encourages me to keep working hard.  Hugs and Kisses all around! Mahal na mahal ko kayo lahat:) Till next week,
Love, Sister Jones.