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

Friday, April 25, 2014

He said that "Gratitude is the Catalyst for all Christ-like Attributes" so true

Apr 14
Hey Fam!

Well I'm a little later Emailing today cause we had our zone acitivity earlier today, We went to the Beach and played games for a few hours and ate lunch.  It was a lot of fun:) I love just walking along the beach and feeling the water on my feet, it's so peaceful and I can just feel of heavenly Fathers love for us.  I'm grateful I got to serve for part of my mission here in Mindoro and see more of the beauty of the Philippines.  Plus the people here are super nice and so charitable, we get about 3 eating appointments every week and we just love spending time with the Members and getting to know them better and encourage them to share the gospel with their friends.  We always have members who come and work with us almost everyday as well, some of them are young single adults who are preparing to serve full-time missions themselves and sometimes it's the older women in the ward.  One of them is Nanay Esquerra, she's 60 yrs old about 4'8 tall and as thin as a twig.  last Sunday she worked with us from 2pm until 8pm the whole time with a smile on her face and helped us teach.  I'll have to get a picture with her this week, she's just so cute hehe and hardworking.  

I was able to watch General Conference finally just this past weekend,  the messages were amazing, uplifting and inspiring.  Every single talk I realized something in myself that I could do better.  It's such a blessing when the lord helps us realize our weaknesses so that we are aware and change things we do everyday so that we can be better and be more like the Savior.  I loved how the Gilbert Temple Dedication was mentioned multiple times by the prophet and one of the general authorities.  Their was another elder from Surprise Arizona watching it too and when the prophet mentioned us we pumped our fists in the air together haha  Arizona Pride Yah!  It seemed that a lot of the talks were focused on the youth this conference, I love that because the youth are the rising generation and the future leaders of the church.  One of the talks that I loved was President Uchdorf's talk about Gratitude. He said that "Gratitude is the Catalyst for all Christ-like Attributes" so true.  If we want to be like the Savior, we must be full of Gratitude not just for certain things but even our circumstances.  He said that sometimes we tend only to be grateful for times in our lives when things are going the way we wanted them too, but when the times of hardship and trials come we forget to tell him how grateful we are for the current circumstances and the opportunity to strengthen ourselves and progress in this mortal journey.  I can look back at times in my mission and even before in my life when I was having hard times...even when I made some mistakes, at the time I think I forgot to tell him thank you...but now... I look back, and I am so grateful that he let me struggle...because I wouldn't be where I am right now without those experiences.  How grateful I am, for our Savior Jesus Christ, I know he's the only person who understands the things I've gone through.  During his suffering in Gethsemane he not only took upon himself our sins, but he also experienced our sorrows and our pains, therefore he is the only one who can help us be healed and find peace and joy.  He will help us carry our burdens, as Elder Bednar spoke about in Conference, we share the yoke with him and together we can pull together and carry the load together.  I know that's true.  and during this Easter, I would like to also add my testimony and witness that Jesus Christ does Live, and he will come again. I look forward to that day, and I know if we live the gospel of Jesus Christ we will be prepared to go with him when he comes in his glory.  

Before I end ,I just want to mention about a few things I've heard about lately about my previous areas.  Sister Docouette sent me a letter (she got transferred back to Quirino 2nd ward *the area I was in for 6 months* ) and she told me that the group in the mountain that was created just before I will become a Branch here in the next few months or so.  I am so excited! they are going to have their own branch!  That's huge, I was just so filled with joy as I read her letter...just wow!!! and also from my last area in Cainta, Marisel got married and got baptized the week after I left.  So happy for her :) I miss that family so much, they were my closest family here in the Philippines.  and Nanay Evaline is like my mission mother, we cried in each others arms when I got transferred but I promised her I would come back and visit before I left. I miss them.  But I know I'm here for a reason, I got to have an interview with President this past week cause he came here to interview us all and give a workshop, it was great to talk to him and he told me more about the reasons why the lord has need of me here.  he just told me he was proud of me and a big reason I'm here is to be an example for the missionaries here... it was good to hear that he's proud of me...and i just hope that Heavenly Father is proud of me too.  I feel that he is....but I know theirs always things i can do better and he's helping me overcome my weaknesses.  

Well this is a mile long ha sorry! But know that i love you and miss u.  Have a great week and keep enjoying the Easter Pageant.  I've been looking at Easter pagent pictures sometimes and I just miss it so much.  HOpe I get an opportunity to do it again someday.  But just enjoy it for me and know I'm thinking of you.  Love you! 

-Sister Ammah Jones

Love Always, Sister Ammah Jones April 21st

Magandang Hapon! 
My name in the surf again, this picture is a little better than the last one I sent you. 

From our zone activity earlier.  Me and Elder Robison, he is my zone leader.  We were together in the mtc and we've been in the same district for the past 3 transfers so were good buddies now ha He's the one that gave me a blessing when I had Dengue Fever. 
I've really enjoyed the updates on the fam, Easter sounded great and loved the videos of the girls coloring eggs.  This was my second Easter here in the Philippines and again...uneventful.  But to try to make sacrament meeting a little more special, 4 of us missionaries sang "come unto Christ" and I hope those who came to church felt the spirit of Easter...I just love that song.  I hear the girls have their dance concerts this week....shout out to the girls -good luck:) and break a leg;) I'll be thinking of you- Andelyn enjoy it, it's your last one! buy me a dvd haha-  and...Easter pageant has come to a close sad, but sounds like you guys had a great year and lots of great memories. So proud of you guys and I so wish I could have seen dad perform his part as Peter, I know he did a great job.  
Well another 6 weeks has come and past so we are having transfers again.  They called us this morning and let us know that I'll be staying here in Mindoro for at least another 6 weeks but Sister Acostan will be transferring and I'll get a new companion tomorrow.  Her name is Sister Monticalbo, she is Filipino, 24 yrs old, about 5 months into her mission.  I've met her once before and she seems really sweet, I'm excited for what this transfer has in store for us.  The area is doing great, we have 11 investigators we are preparing for baptism.  I just love them all, and just desire so much that they continue to accept this wonderful message and keep their commitments.  The Absalon family (3 blind mice) are doing great, the boys are struggling a bit with some commitments but the Father is really progressing.  He has been coming to church every Sunday, He loved General Conference and told us all about his favorite talks, we gave him some old Liahona Magazines and he's just eating it up,  and he's been following the Word of Wisdom.  He might end up being the first one baptized and be the example for the rest of his family.  It would be so special too if he could be the one to baptize them all in the future when he gets the priesthood, ahhh i can just imagine it:) We also have an older Tatay that we are teaching, he is 74 years old and has been Catholic all his life.  His wife died many years ago and we found him on the street and started talking to him and he was really interested in the fact that families can be together forever.  He's been taught by lots of different kind of missionaries in the past, but he told us that he really loves us coming to teach him and would miss us if we stopped coming by, we are trying to help him recognize the feelings of the spirit and find answers to his prayers to feel the truth for himself of what we have been teaching him.  
I've been continuing my study of the New Testament and just want to share a thought from my personal study this past week.  Luke 12:30-31- "For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you."  This verse is also repeated in the Book of Mormon by the Savior during his visit to the ancient Americas.  it hit me a little harder than usual this week for some reason.  it just made me think of all the people i've taught during my mission that chose not to act upon the things we were teaching or the members who were just "too busy" to come to church or read the scriptures.  It's so clear, "Seek 1st the kingdom of God......" and then he will provide the other things that we need and will give us blessings.  We just have to put the gospel first in our lives...and have faith in Heavenly Father that he will provide for us. those who are not willing to sacrifice the things of the world, or their time etc.. do not understand the lords promise or don't have faith that he will follow through.  like it says in Doctrine and Covenants 81:10- "I, the lord, am bound when ye do what i say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise" If we are living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the lord will keep his promises and bless us. this includes attending church, fulfilling callings, reading scriptures, personal and family prayer, tithing, etc..  and I know that is true.   I've seen many blessings in my life, even when things are hard and we are having tribulations and feeling sorrow, if we continue to be obedient their will always be blessings there. We just need to open our eyes.  
I love you guys, have a wonderful week! stay safe.
Love Always, Sister Ammah Jones  

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Sisters...we want to be baptized" ha we were like whaaaa??

Hey fam,

These are little berry type things that we find on the trees while proselyting, Sister Acostan taught me what the trees look like and how to eat them.  Ap-Ap knows that we love them and the Sanchez family has one right outside their house and everyday he goes out and picks them for us before the neighbor hood kids pick them all and he gives them to us each time we visit hehe.  so sweet! it's called aratilis.  you put it in your mouth in between your teach and bite down and all the inside comes out. it tastes so sweet. 
We find them all over the place and look for all the ripe ones.  imagine two sister missionaries on the side of the road jumping up and down trying to grab berries from the trees haha yep thats us.

These cute little guys were walking beside us the other day so i snapped a shot.  The wittle babies are so cute! 

These caribou are all over here. They are huge.

this is a picture of "Boy-Boy" yes that is his name haha hes the baby of one of the less-actives in the ward and they invited us to come to his first birthday party.  he's so so cute! 
I know it's against the rules to kiss boys as a missionary but this little guy i just couldn't resist hehe

cute lil guy.

Halo Halo...It's yummy!

Sister Ika's Birthday party

Man I am so jealous that you guys are doing pageant right now haha i miss it soo much:) I'm so glad that you guys are doing it again this year,  have the best time and enjoy every moment, I love it and I love you guys. Dad, you will get the spanish down don't worry,  Yo se ke vive! I know he lives! (i probably just butchured the spelling on that one ha).  I'll be thinking of you and praying for all to go right during the performances, You are taking part in a wonderful experience to help others feel the spirit and gain a testimony of Jesus Christ.  Break a leg out there;) hehe
Well it's been a great week, We had the baptism of Ap-ap and he was confirmed and given the gift of the Holy ghost yesterday.  He was just beaming, and after his baptism he got up and bore his testiomony.  He has a little tiny voice and sometimes it's hard to hear him, but we had practiced his testimony with him so he would not be so nervous, he did a great job and I teared up when he mentioned Sister Acostan and I and how he was grateful that we taught him the gospel.  His mother now is the only one that is not a member, but she was there on Saturday and Sunday to give her support, we are hoping that now that Ap-Ap has been baptized she will follow his example of following the Savior and will desire to be baptized as well. 
We have many investigators progressing towards baptism. It will probably take them a few more months to get there but We can see their desire and they have been making changes in their lives to be more aligned with the commandments.  One family being the Absallon Family, the mom and dad than the two brothers who are the boys i talked about in my last email we call them (the three blind mice haha)   This family has been taking the missionary discussions on and off for the past 5 years. They came to church for the second time yesterday and it was fast and testimony meeting and they felt the spirit so strong.  We came to teach them after church and the dad says "Sisters...we want to be baptized" ha we were like whaaaa?? let me tell you those are probably the favorite words of all missionaries and i haven't heard it often.  we are excited that they have the desire to be baptized, we have been seeing the change happen in them over the past month and maybe this is the time that they are truly prepared to hear the gospel.  
Another investigator of ours is Brother Willie and his wife May, we have taught them 3 lessons now and we can only teach them on Sundays, but i looove teaching them.  Especially Brother, he is really searching for the truth,he has been to many churches and listened so many preachers but he is so confused and wants to know what church is true.  He has such great questions and a true desire to find truth. We taught him about the apostacy and Restoration yesterday, we watched the REstoration video with him too.  After we testified that the Church of Jesus Christ is on the earth today and it's lead by living prophets and apostles.  We also invited him to come to General Conference next week at teh chapel and he is so excited.  
If you didn't realize yesterday, or today for you is April 6th.  On April 6th1830 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was re-established here on the earth.  It has been 184 years since that day,  How grateful I am that i get to be a missionary and take this message of the Restoration to the world.  
I'm so excited to watch General Conference next week (it's a week late for us). I've been preparing questions throughout the week so that i'm more prepared to recieve answers and revelations.  As I bore my testimony to Brother Willie of Thomas S. Monson and the living apostles, the room was so full of the spirit and my eyes started to water.  I know that they are truly servants of the Lord, and how blessed we are that heavenly Father loves us enough to give us a living prophet on the earth to lead us and guide back to his presence.  

Have a wonderful week family, I love you and pray for you every day:)  5 weeks and i get to skype with you again hehe yay:) 

Love always, Sister Ammah Jones      

Magandang Hapon po Pamilya!

Magandang Hapon po Pamilya!
March 31st,
Well this week has gone by insanely fast ha  and I feel like we just had P-day a few days ago. Maybe it feels like that way cause we are just so busy and the days just fly by.  I love this area so much, We always have a lot of work, and we have been finding lots of people and our schedule is all filled up everyday.  Something we have been working on in our companionship is increasing our finding,  we have been talking to everyone and inviting everyone to hear our message, it's been great fun and I'm  really enjoying being a missionary:)  One older man we started talking to on the street the other day, he was walking beside us and we struck up a conversation with him.  He was about 73 years old and told us that his wife had passed away many years ago, So I started telling him that our message was about families and that actually we believe that Families can still be together even after death.  His eyes got all big and he said "you mean..I will be able to see my wife again??"  I just loved his reaction  and we told him yes and that we would like to share more with him about our message so we scheduled a return appointment with him and hopefully we will be able to teach him a lesson this week. 
Our investigators are doing great,  We had a lot of them attend church this past Sunday which was awesome.  Our investigator Ap-Ap had his baptismal interview and will be getting baptized this weekend. He is just my favorite! We go to his house 3 times a week and teach him with his Father and older Brother who were baptized 2 years ago.  Ap-ap is 26 years old but mentally he is about the age of 10.  I think he is Autistic.  We checked with president and since mentally he is capable of understanding the gospel they said that he can be baptized.  He is so excited for his baptism and he is so bright.  He remembers everything we teach him and he prays and has been gaining a testimony of his own.  He makes us laugh every time we go over cause he's so shy but says the funniest thing.  I just love their little family.  We are hoping that after Ap-Ap is baptized his mother who is an investigator will follow his example. 
We also have 3 investigators, we call them the (3 blind mice) haha they are 3 teenage boys around 18 years old who are best friends, 2 of them are brothers and the other a friend down the road. they have been taught for the last few months.  Sister Acostan says they have changed so much since the first time the missionaries met them.  They are little punks haha always causing trouble and driving their mother crazy but every time we come they get all serious and they even pray at the end of the lessons.  Their mom is just amazed haha we have trouble getting them to church but I just love them and hope that they will get baptized. 
One of the new families that we found last week live on a small pig farm,  so 2 times a week we go and teach them right outside where they keep all the pigs.  and these pigs are HUGE.  like the pigs we see at the state fair, they have about 8 of them, each time we come over we walk around and say hi to them all haha one of them jumped up and put it's hoofs on the gate and its snout was right in my face, ahh! haha but than they have some little baby ones too, I knelt down and started singing to them Fern's song to Wilber from Charlotte's Web haha.  They are so cute! I'll get a picture of them this week. 
This transfer I have learned a lot from my studies personally and as a companionship with Sister Acostan.  I've learned even more about who Heavenly Father is and about the plan of Salvation.  My testimony has been strengthened of his plan for me and how much he truly loves me and the role of Jesus Christ in that plan.  I've been reading the new testament in my personal studies and studying the life and ministry of Christ as well, and I can feel as I learn more about him and who he was I am slowly becoming more like him. I'm so grateful for his example.
Family, thank you for your wonderful examples to me and your support.  Continue to share the gospel with your friends and to be a light to all those around you so that 'they may see your good works and glorify your God which is in heaven'
love you so much! have a great week!
Love Sister Ammah Jones