Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Obedience is always worth it

June 9, 2014

Hello Pamilya!
My week is nowhere near as interesting as Sister Moyle's last two weeks have been, a good thing I guess, but I guess that I have a knack for unintentionally scaring people? Something about "walking quietly" and my eye color?....My poor kabahay has been dealing with me just coming up to them to ask a question only for them to jump three feet in the air and exclaim "Sister Jones!" Yeah, need to work on that.
We have a baptism coming up this week! The guy who took his earring out, Angelito Jr., is getting baptized this Saturday! He is a bit shy, but he has a testimony and we are very excited for him to be baptized this weekend...we might even have two baptisms. Si Anjel was one of our investigators, but then he had to go to Cabanatuan for school...and was supposed to be baptized this weekend...we had sent his information the missionaries over there so they could continue teaching him there and have him baptized there if he continued to go to church and build his testimony. We went to see his family yesterday to teach them (since they're less active trying to become active) and his dad told us that he was transfering his papers for school back to here and is coming back today! So, if he's still been going to church and building his testimony, he can be baptized! Blessings!!!!!!!!
When we came into this life, even before, we have this wonderful gift called agency, or the ability to choose things for ourselves (this was evident when we read that Lucifer and a third of the hosts of heaven "fell" after he was denied the honor of becoming the savior we needed here on earth). We can choose what we want to do in this life, something as small as what you'll eat for breakfast this morning to something as big as what you want to do with your life. No matter what we do or choose, there is always some sort of reaction that will either be to our advantage or disadvantage that we are responsible for, we can't run from it. Most of the time, such "reactions" or consequences are delayed. The two most commonly delayed consequences of our choices are our happiness and our sorrows as well as the happiness and sorrow of others. What we choose now may bring immediate happiness for ourselves, but later on we find out that such choices were not worth it and then we have guilt for the things that would have truly made us happy in the days and years to come. Such choices can be spending all our time on our phone, or reading for long periods of time, or not going to church on Sunday because you have too much homework, or not going out with the missionaries when they ask for your help because you just "don't want to," or even something as drastic as "taking one puff of this cigarette won't really hurt, it's just once." One thing that we barely consider sometimes is that there are people who care about us so deeply that such choices hurt them, long before the choices hurt you. Such it is with our Heavenly Father. He gave us commandments, not to hold us back, but to help us live to our fullest potential, to become truly happy. Since He knows the true happiness that comes from obedience to those commandments, it hurts Him deeply when we break even the most simple commandment (ie keeping the Sabbath day holy). Not because we did it, but because of the misery that will ultimately follow. Here in the mission there are so many people that becomes a part of your heart and it feels like they rip it to pieces when they don't wish to listen or understand the importance of the gospel in their lives, or they say they understand, but they don't live it.
Use your agency carefully, if you need to give up a couple of things to do what the Lord asks of us, all the better. True sacrifice to be obedient is always worth it.
Mahal ko kayo

Sister Jones

Monday, June 2, 2014

Simply Obedient

Hello Pamilya!
Don't have much time again...just so grateful the internet decided it was ok to upload the email.
This week was good, we got to walk through quite the rain storm last Monday. We were heading to an FHE at a member's home, but decided to contact a referral we got first. started raining when we got into the trike and then was really going by the time we got near the we kind of stood outside their home, called "tao po," and then got invited inside so we could get out of the rain (the plus side of Filipino nature). We got to know them briefly, explain why we were standing at their gate while it was raining, and then explained that we had another appointment to go to and got a return appointment for later in the week, and then went back out into the thunder and lightning to get to our appointment...that was a little interesting since it was right in the middle of the storm and the thunder was pretty loud.
We taught one of our part-member investigators (17), whose family is trying to get reactivated right now, about the Law of Chastity the other day. Part of the Law of Chastity is the earring standard (one pair only for girls/women, none for boys/men)...he had an earring. So, we started listing the things that the Law of Chastity covers and we got to the earring part, but didn't make a big deal out of it, just kept going. But I kind of watched him because when we got to that part, he started to kind of feel uncomfortable and play with his earring, (like I said, we didn't make a big deal out of it, we want people to make choices for themselves, we just teach true doctrine and invite them to do something and then help them to keep their commitments) and then he just took it out....can I just say that obedience to even the simplest of things brings the greatest joy and blessings?
When we comply to even the simplest of the commands of God willingly, it means that we are stripped of pride, something that everyone needs to fight against everyday. One way is through fasting and prayer.
Mahal ko kayo
Sister Jones
p.s. Area's good, love my companion and the other missionaries in the apartment, I have a really big headache with how often I have to switch from English to Tagalog for both of our language study...doing laundry is a bit of an adventure, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.

Sister Jones says, "balot is delicious."

"A balut or balot is a developing duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines."  (I found this definition when I google searched "balot" ~mom)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

(to the tune of Ye Elders of Israel) O Camiling, O Camiling, I bid thee farewell. I'm going now to Guimba to spread God's word (and avoid head lice..)

May 26, 2014
Hello Pamilya
So, as you can see with the heading. I got the other side of the mission...I'm now in Guimba! Sister Foukimoana is now training, no, I do not know the name of her anak (trainee, we call them anak), in Camiling...we were both a little bummed that we wouldn't be able to have another transfer together, but I'm excited for her, she'll do well with her new calling.
My new companion is Sister Batican, Filipino, from the Cebu mission. So, I have a little bit of a headache again as I'm trying to get used to hearing more Tagalog than English again...that and her dialect is Bisayas, double headache, but it's good. She just finished her training and is very confident with what she does and has a good sense of humor.
The area I'm in right now is a little more bukid (rural) than Camiling and we ride a lot more trikes to get around and now have to adjust to reserving 400 pesos/week for transportation instead of 400/month and the fact that I might gain weight again. Transfer day was a little interesting since Sister Foukimoana and I had to be at the mission office with all of my stuff a whole hour before everyone else headed over since she's training and had a meeting to attend for that before even meeting her new companion. So, lots of waiting, but while I was there, I got to see Sister Laiti, one of the missionaries from my MTC district (she's training too)! She was the one who told me that I lost weight and thought that I hadn't been eating...I guess walking for 6 or more hours a day does a lot...anyway. After waiting for a while, I got on a bus with everyone else transfering to the other side of the mission and went to the meeting point in Cabanatuan where I got to see Sister Dalley! I think transfer day was a big reunion day for me, I got to see almost everyone that I haven't seen since the MTC. Anyway, met my new companion, got to our apartment with the other two Sisters that we share it with (kabahay, yay!), went out to work, and I'm now trying to learn all the names and figure out where all the homes are in time for our exchanges next week...Fun! Then a couple days later, Sister Connell asked her companion what this weird bug was that she found in her now we have to be careful of head lice...those things are HUGE! Everything's more fun in the Philippines, haha.
Mahal ko kayo
Sister Jones 

Courage and Kindness

May 19, 2014

 Hello Pamilya!
Transfer announcement is coming up this Wednesday, so we'll see if Sister Foukimoana will still be companions for another transfer. For me, it's more of a flip of a coin to see if I'm going or staying in this area this coming transfer...I don't want to leave, but we'll see what the Lord wants me to do.
This last week was pretty cool. On Tuesday, we were able to go on splits! (We don't really have anyone in our branch who's old enough or has time to do that ever) They were some sisters from the Elder's branch and we got 18 lessons in for the day, including some new investigators that we probably wouldn't have been able to find if we didn't split that day! Now we just need to figure out where to fit them into our already busy schedual, but it is so cool and I believe that we're going on splits again tomorrow with them again.
The next day, Sister Foukimoana got sick again so I worked with a different member in the other part of our area that we only visit twice a week since it's so far away. That evening, we had been teaching at the home that usually likes to feed us before we head home when one of the girls, Anahi (I hope that's how her name's spelled), asked if I could help her learn to direct a couple of hymns that she was going to be directing for the youth activity that Friday. So, I did that for about 15 minutes after we taught the lesson. It was great, I got to teach and get to enjoy a conversation with a 12 year old, to a point, but it wasn't a three year old this time :) (advancement to almost pre-teen vocab).
There is something that I have to say about inviting friends. When we had our splits, I was working with a member and while we were out, we ran into one of her friends and, after talking to her for a couple of seconds, she asked her friend if she would listen to a message...Would I have done that if I were going on splits with the missionaries back at home? No, but I admire the courage and love of this sister who will soon be going into the MTC next month to start her mission and it is something that I would encourage each of you to do because now, we have a new investigator with a baptism date who wants to know because a friend was kind enough to invite her to listen. 
Mahal ko kayo
Sister Jones