Well hello family and friends!

So this week I don't have any crazy stories to tell, but I definitely had some great spiritual experiences that I wanted to share and just some awesome things about my week.

So earlier this week we went to visit Jeannette, one of our solid investigators. I've talked about her before. Anyway, it was her son's 4th birthday on Feb. 2 so I decided (because he is my favorite... :0) to get him a little gift. So we went to go teach her and bring the gift over. The teaching was great and she is just getting more and more excited for her baptism. When we were done I gave the toy to Joel. He was pretty excited. It was a Spiderman and a motorcycle. He was over the moon. That of course made me pretty happy. This family is VERY poor. Their house is falling apart, they have to work all the time to provide, but they are also fiercely independent. So you can imagine my shock when she demanded that we share in the birthday meal. We tried to resist, knowing how little they had, but she was SO insistent. It's tradition here on birthdays to have spaghetti. They also had lumpia (like spring rolls) and some macaroni salad. It was a feast, let me tell you. I could barely eat knowing the sacrifice it was. I almost started crying right there. I think, even with all the poverty around me, that was the first time it really effected me. I only ate a little, mostly because I just couldn't because I was feeling so emotional. She wanted us to eat more, but we just told her we were really full and had other appointments so we needed to go. The rest of the day I just thought about that sacrifice--she just wanted to share with us. The generosity here AMAZES me. Seriously, it's incredible. Then later this last week I was reading in Jesus the Christ and came across the part about the Widow's mite. I couldn't help but think about my experience earlier that week. The people here definitely understand what it means to sacrifice. I think that is why Pres. Hinckley was able to give them such an incredible blessing and promise if they were willing to pay their tithing. He said they would never be cursed with wealth, but they would have rice in their bowls, clothes on their backs and a roof over their heads. It's a beautiful promise and not one that has been given to every culture. Tithing is so important!!!

So Jeannette also had her baptismal interview on Friday and she passed with flying colors. She is so excited and I am ecstatic about it. We had to move our other baptisms. Jenelyn is great, but she has little education and so she has really struggled to understand everything. We thought she was doing great (she keeps commitments) but when we went over BIQs with her, she couldn't even tell us why prophets were important. So we pushed her back 2 weeks. Hopefully she will be ready by then. John Ray is totally ready and one of the smartest kids I have ever met, but we haven't been able to get to him enough. He lives out way far and now has a job and so it's been difficult to get everything taught to him. So we pushed his back one week. He's so excited he wasn't phased by that at all. He just wants to keep progressing. He's such a great kid. I have all these visions of who he will be in the future: a leader, a missionary, a bishop... :)

So obviously this week was the first week of February so we had the opportunity to fast this Sunday. It was a great experience. I had been fasting for some specific things and IMMEDIATELY saw the effects of my fast while we were teaching one of our investigators. It was so incredible. And then during studies on Sunday I was able to receive some really crucial personal revelation. I just want to say that fasting is amazing. I felt the spirit SO strongly this particular time and I really needed that experience. I had a strong desire and the Lord really provided for me perfectly. Just a little plug for fasting. If you can, DO IT!!!! :)

So this week we have mission tour. Elder Teh of the Philippines Area Presidency is coming to tour the mission, conduct zone conferences and also make home visits. We are all pretty excited. In preparation we had a huge house cleaning project. We were told that Elder Teh for sure would be visiting our house, so we worked hard getting the house ready. Luckily we have a house CSP every first friday of the month, so we had the time to really clean. It's such a privilege to have a general authority come to our mission. He has asked us that we come fasting to our respective meetings. Another opportunity to fast! I'm excited for what he will teach us and train us on. It's going to be a great week!

Well I think that's really it for now. I'm sure there are other things, but I can't remember them. The weeks are all going by so quickly that I can't even remember what week or day was what! hahaha. Well I hope everyone is doing really well back home. Of course I miss and love you all, but I'll admit, I'm much happier that I am here than in the U.S. right now! You should all be jealous that I am in the Philippines, it's basically the best place on earth! I love you all!!!

Sister Jackson


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