The House of Crazy......

Well hello there folks!

So I'm happy to report that there were no natural disasters or any crazy illnesses this week! I definitely appreciated that, but the week was not uneventful. So last week we got transfer announcements, and as you will all remember (because you follow my blog religiously) that my wonderful companion, Sis. Elwood was transferring. Well on Tuesday we went to visit everyone we could so she could say goodbye and give a little goodbye testimony/message. It was so hard. I wasn't even leaving, but I got emotional at almost every place. It was ridiculous. I think I just started to feel a bit of the weight of responsibility as I am now the only person that knows this area right now. It was terrifying actually.

On Wednesday we went to Bacolod for the transfer. They changed everything, so we didn't have the big meeting like normal. They just got right to the announcements, well they told us who was going to what "checkpoint" but they didn't tell us where our companions were going! I hate that so much. So I just bugged one of the APs who used to be my Zone Leader until he told me and Sister Elwood went to La Carlota! Can you believe it? My first area! Well, she's actually going to the other branch, Sis. Stadler is still in 2nd branch. But I was so excited. It will keep us connected! I was definitely bummed to see her go, but of course that's just how things work around here.

So now... I have a new companion!!! And... she's a Filipina! I was so excited. I mean, I love Americans and all, but I'm in the Philippines and I haven't had a Filipino companion yet. So I was pretty stoked, and I already know her from when I went on an exchange into her area. Her name is Sister Tambolero and she is awesome. She's 5'2" (yeah, I stick out even more now) and a ball of crazy energy but she is HILARIOUS and awesome and I know I will be learning a lot from her. It's going to be a fun transfer. And in other news, Sister Vaipulu moved into my house! I couldn't believe that! So now we are together again. She's in the other ward with her companion, but it's like old times in the MTC.

So here's some updates about who we are teaching and all the amazing people I love here so much. First of all, lets talk about Kenneth Plaida. He's the one that got baptized on Christmas day. Yeah, he's pretty much the most amazing person I have ever met. He is ready to serve a mission now. We went to go see him (so Sis. Tambolero could meet him). I was following up on his reading. I was a little disappointed that he hadn't made more progress in the Book of Mormon, but when I asked him if we was studying other things like PMG, preparing for his mission, he told me that he read the entire Gospel Principles manual... in 2 weeks! We had just barely given that to him and he just raced through it. And it's in English! Seriously, he just amazes me. He told us also that he had taken a break from his readthrough because he wanted to study the sacrament prayers in Moroni more so he would be prepared to bless the sacrament in the coming weeks. Seriously, we need so many people like him in this world!

Okay, that's enough about him. So then we have Jeannette. I don't know if I've written much about her before, but she is solid. When I first met her I was pretty concerned. She's really smart, maybe even a little too much and she asked a lot of questions that were good, but just off topic and not really important for her progression with the gospel. I was always pretty frustrated after her teachings. They would last over an hour and were just exhausting. So S. Elwood and I had decided we would give her some space for awhile. She wasn't progressing at that point--no church, ya know. So we let about 2 weeks go by and then we went back. Let's just say that was the best decision we could have made with her. In that time she went from only having been in 1 Nephi 8 (after over a month) to being in Jacob 2. She read that far in 2 weeks! And she was different. She recognized the difference when we weren't there, she recognized the difference not having the spirit. And she knew it for herself. We had a really powerful lesson with her and S. Elwood extended baptism. We had done it before, and usually it was a fairly non-committal answer. But this time she gave a resounding yes. S. Elwood started crying, I started crying, Jeannette started crying. It was awesome. Since then she has just been progressing so well. She's been at church, she asks the right questions, she doesn't try to argue everything. She accepts the doctrine, she prays about it and she follows it. She's great!

Then there's John Ray. HE IS AMAZING. He is 15 and is the nephew of two of our other recent converts. Since he lives with them, they have been teaching him everything they can about the church. He lives WAY far away so we hadn't planned to teach him, but when he came to church 3 weeks in a row in a white shirt and tie and with his Book of Mormon, we decided we should teach him. And when we did, he taught us. He knew everything about Lesson 1, he was already praying and reading his scriptures. He is amazing. In fact he had all these deep questions for us. Can I just say how blessed we are with such solid investigators? We don't have a ton, but they are all QUALITY! They are the kind of people we know we can bring into the church and they won't just leave it. Seriously, I love being a missionary. I love everything about it.

Well, that's all for this week. I hope everyone is doing great. I hear there's been crazy snow all over the country. Well it's sunny and warm here everyday! Okay, actually it's been raining like CRAZY everyday and it's totally out of the ordinary and just about every missionary is getting sick. But not me!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!! Thank you for all of your prayers and love. I miss you all dearly!

Love, love, love!
Sister Jackson

P.S. I promise there will be pictures next week. I can't send them from this computer. Sorry!!!


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