Life... as I know it.

Maayong aga from the Philippines!

Well I hate to say this, but this week was probably one of the worst of my mission, so I don't have too much to report. I know I'm usually so upbeat and happy, and I am still happy, but this week was just kind of a low point for me.

My companion and I have just had so many issues for the last 2 transfers. I love her, I try to serve her, but it doesn't really seem to make things any better. Last Monday we had this awesome tri-zone activity where all of the missionaries just got together and played games and hung out. It was a ton of fun. I could tell my companion was upset about something, but when I asked her about it she said nothing and that she was fine. But then of course she wasn't fine and she just continued to treat me very coldly. This went on for 3 days. Yeah. It was ridiculous. At that point the tiny mole hill became Mt. Everest. I finally asked her to talk to me and tried to find out the problem. She still tried to tell me that there wasn't a problem. So i just forced it out of her. Finally she told me that on Monday that someone told her that I had something about our area and how it wasn't progressing. First of all, I NEVER said ANYTHING to anyone about our area. I didn't want to talk about my area, I was having fun just relaxing with the other missionaries. Second of all, I don't know why it would matter if I had talked about our area to anyone. Our area isn't really progressing, so that would have been the truth. But I didn't actually ever do that, so I don't know what the problem was. We have a big problem with gossip in this mission, and it's usually always negative. Anyway, that was the whole problem. This tiny little thing that wasn't even true that she wouldn't talk to me about. Then it fester and so she got more and more mad at me until we had so much disunity that we couldn't even go out to teach. It was ridiculous. I told her that she has to tell me when there is a problem. She can't lie to me when I ask her straight out about it. She usually gives me excuses like "that's just how I am". Well let me just say, I hate that excuse. As missionaries we have to give up who we are for a greater cause, to be more like the Savior. Anyway, I know this is a bit much, but I just need to vent. And I also know that many of you have been on missions or have had similar experiences with family, etc. So I need some advice. I probably won't be with Sis. Tambolero after transfers next week, but what if something like this happens again? How do I deal with a companion that never wants to talk to me, that doesn't try to be my friend, and won't be honest with me about problems or concerns? I've tried doing everything I can do help the situation and it just doesn't seem to really make a difference. I need some help!

So with all the ridiculousness of this week our work definitely suffered. I felt like crying all week thinking about how we weren't out visiting our investigators. But I also learned a lot of lessons for my future as a missionary and also for after my mission. So I'm at least really grateful for that.

I did have a coupe of really good experiences this week so I thought I would share those, try to balance out the earlier part of this email. So on Saturday we went to visit one of our investigators who is the son of one of our less-actives. We hadn't been able to see him for a whole week for a lot of reasons, so we planned to teach him just about the apostasy and the restoration. Well it was my turn to teach about the restoration. I always get a little nervous when it's time to recite the first vision. I mean, it's Hiligaynon, it's not the easiest language and the First Vision is SO important. I know it wasn't perfect, but they really understood what I was saying. When I was finished brother grabbed his arm and looked up at us... He got chills while hearing about the First Vision! It was so awesome. Then for the rest of the lesson, he just looked really thoughtful as we taught him. I think it will be little by little for him, but he's smart and he's willing. It was a great experience, the spirit was really strong.

Then yesterday, Sunday, we had Fast and Testimony meeting (we have conference next week). Since it was probably my last Sunday with that ward I decided to bear my testimony. For some reason as I walked up to the pulpit, I just felt really overwhelmed by the spirit. As I was walking up I also saw one of our less active sisters walk in. She hasn't been to church in a LONG time. I looked at bishop who was doing a thumbs up and had a huge smile on his face when he saw her. When I got to the pulpit I just started crying. My heart was so full! I love the people here in the Victorias 2nd ward SOOO much. I just felt it all come together at that moment. Shakingly I bore my testimony of the love of our Savior for each of us and my gratitude for the gospel. Right after I sat down, Sister Jeannette, my recent convert got up to bear her testimony for the first time since her baptism. I just cried all over again. I was just so grateful for that moment. It was so precious to me and much needed after a hard week and 2 difficult transfers. Despite all of the struggles, I have seen success here and I have built real relationships with people. I'm really grateful for that. That is success to me.

Well that's about it for me. We get transfer announcements next week. I think I'm probably transferring, I'll let you all know! Love you all tons and tons!

Sister Jackson

1. A GIANT cathedral in my area that was never finished. They still use it, but it looks pretty broken up close
2. Companion exchange with Sis. Ziebarth. We had lunch at a place called Chinky's... yeah...
3. California in the Philippines. The irony of this bus art is that is says San Diego, but the picture definitely looks like Washington, so it's perfect for me!
4. The way to one of our investigators, a really narrow path that sits about 8 inches above a swamp... awesome!
5. A "white" Carabao. It's kind of pink, but it's an albino of those huge bull things here.
6.The Victorias Sisters in Bacolod!
7. Having a little too much fun at the plaza in Bacolod before our zone activity
8. We're awesome...
9. I got a stye in my eye. It's ugly, I know, but it had to be documented.


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