What? 5 Transfers?

Well folks, I'm not quite sure what revelation my mission president is receiving but it I got our transfer announcements today and it turns out that I am STAYING IN VICTORIAS! I'm not really quite sure how I feel about this right now. I've been here for so long. I have such strong relationships with people here, so it is just going to get harder and harder to leave. I really thought I was going this time, because 4 transfers is a long time, 5 is SOOOO dugay (that means long). It's also hard because I just kind of felt like I needed a new area to help me grow and progress in new ways, but apparently the Lord thinks there are still some things for me to learn here that I haven't yet. So I'm just going to trust in him. In happy news, I think I am finally starting to get better. Or maybe I'm just so used to it now, it seems normal. But I really do think things are better. And thankfully, milling season at the cane factory is coming to a close soon, so then I won't has a much junk in the air to worry about. So that's a silver lining.

I am pretty happy that this will mean that I will get to be here for a baptism that is very important to me. It's for Sister Elizabeth. She almost cried when we had to move her baptism date and I told her I might not be here. But now I will be. Maybe it's just for her. I don't know. But I'm way happy that I will be here for that.

So ironically my companion took over as the sick patient this week. She's been having some problems with her eyes and so I got to take care of her. It was so nice not to be the sick one, but to get to take care of one. She told me in companionship inventory this week that she knows how much I love her because of how worried I get and how I try to take care of her. That wa sso nice to hear. I love my companion and I am sad that I won't have her anymore. I forgot to mention that. She is actually just movig to the other ward in Victorias, so she will stay in my house, but just not stay my companion... sad. But at least she is still around. Changes... I don't like 'em, but that's just how life goes, especially in the mission.

Well other than all the crazy stuff, things are going really good. We have 2 families that we are teaching now, which is a huge blessing. And I have hopes that we will be able to find more quality people as well. We have another baptism this Saturday. Sister Myrna passed her interview and will be baptized this week! I'm excited for that. Bishop has a goal for 15 baptisms this year. I will have been there for at least 7 of them... awesome.

Well I love you all, not too much more to report over here in the Pines. Amo man gihapon (that means same as usual). Keep in touch if you get the chance!

Sister Jackson

Okay, so that was definitely the best part of this week and one of the best experiences of my mission. On Saturday we had our local celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Philippines! It's such an honor to be here at this time, serving a mission! And on Saturday they had this AMAZING presentation. There were traditional folk dances, hip-hop dances, ballroom dancing, and some fun drama presentations. It was SO much fun and was even better because we got to watch the youth that actually live in our ward. They did such a good job. Our stake did highlights from Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat for their drama performance. It was SOOOO good. It was the best out of all of them. When I saw all of the youth from my ward up on stage dancing I actually started crying a little bit. I just love the people in this ward so much and I am so proud of the youth. They are strong. It was just such a great experience.

We also had an exchange this week in our house so on Tuesday I got to be companions with Sister Vaipulu again, my MTC companion. I was way excited. I mean, we've lived in the same house for 3 transfers now, but it was just way fun getting to actually be companions with her. We had a lot of fun in her area. They have some great investigators and it was way fun to teach them. And I decided that we were going to extend baptism to all of them. And they all accepted! It was awesome. We had some great experiences and I learned a lot from her as well.

So this week was pretty good. I had to go to the doctor again for a check-up. I'm more anti-biotics and some more allergy pills, but I actually feel like I'm getting better now which is awesome. So hopefully I'm on the mend. Next week we get transfer announcements and I'm probably transferring. Hopefully President will put me in an area with cleaner air... Victorias is probably the worst because of the sugar cane factory. And it's milling season... yeah... So we'll see where I end up. Who knows?!

I love you all, hope you're all doing well, healthy, avoiding tornadoes (I hear there are a lot of those in America right now), and enjoying the springtime season! It's just hot here as usual! :)

Sister Jackson
Happy Mother's Day!!!

Well unfortunately because of crazy computer stuff, I don't have a lot of time this week. But I want to write and say Happy Birthday to all the mom's out there!

Also, we had a baptism this week! Brother Joel Demandar, the husband of Sis. Jeannette (my favorite recent convert). With his baptism their family is now complete! I have taught and baptized his wife, his daughter and now him! It was such a great feeling to watch prepare for this. And he was so prepared. The days leading up to his baptism he just kept telling us over and over again how excited he was to get baptized. As we taught him we really emphasized his responsibility as a father and about uniting his family eternally in the temple. He wanted that so badly from the very beginning, that is really what motivated him I think. On Sunday he was confirmed. It was one of the greatest experiences of my mission to be there at his baptism and confirmation. The Demandar family is my first complete family and is was just amazing.

We also were able to find some new investigators this week, one of them is the husband of one our Less-Actives who finally let us teach him. He's a bit of a joker, but he's heard about the church for years from his wife (she is almost active again) so he knows a lot. But he listened and the experience was great.

Well, I know it's super short this week, but there's not too much else to share and I don't have a lot of time this week. I love you all, I miss you all a ton and hope that everyone had a great Mother's Day!

Love you!

Sister Jackson

So I'm allergic...... to the Philippines?!?!?!

Well this has been kind of crazy week. So on Tuesday I finished the antibiotics that I have been taking and there really wasn't too much better so I texted Sister Tobias again. Finally she told me that I needed to get a chest x-ray and see a doctor. So Wednesday we went to Bacolod. I got the chest x-ray and then proceeded to the doctor. Now, let me explain something to you all about doctors in the Philippines. You don't really make appointments. You show up and get your name on a list. And then the doctor sees the people in order of the list. No, it is not actually 1850 here in the Philippines but yes, sometimes I feel like it is. Well turns out I was going to be #16 on that list. Oh and yeah, she only works from 12pm-5pm everyday. Well there was no way that was going to happen. So I texted Sis. Tobias. She told me to go see another doctor. Well he is only there for half day on Wednesday and so he wasn't there anymore. So i took the x-ray back to the lab. Then Sis. Tobias called and said that the other doctor actually was there. So I got the x-ray again and went back upstairs. Well he wasn't actually there, a secretary told her incorrect information. At this point I was about to freak out, but I kept my calm, continued to act like a missionary and just waited for Sis. Tobias to text back again. She told me just to get my name on the list for the other doctor for tomorrow. GAH!!! I did not want to come back to Bacolod AGAIN! But that was what we had to do. So on Thursday we went back to Bacolod. She looked at my x-ray, it was clear. She asked me lots of questions about my symptoms and then her final diagnosis is that I have allergies. REALLY?! Allerigies! She thinks it's because of all the air pollution there is here and all the dirt an all that. Yeah, I'm not sure I really buy that. I've been here for 8 months and never had problems before and I lived in Utah for 5 years which has some of the worst air pollution ever. So she prescribed me ANOTHER antibiotic to be sure it wasn't an infection and also some allergy medicine. So I'm taking it... I feel like my blood is probably running white now because I have taken so many drugs lately, but there you have it. I'm trying to anything to get healthy. But in the meantime we just keep working... can't stop working!

In other news on Friday, Brother Joel Demandar, the husband of Jeannette our recent convert had his baptismal interview and he passed! This will be my first complete family baptisms and I am SOOOO excited. He is ELECT. Like one of the most elect ever. For example, we were teaching him about the 10 commandments. We get to the "Thou Shalt Not Kill" one, everyone always kind of laughs about this one, because usually it's not really a problem for anyone. But of course I was still teaching the doctrine. Then I said that we have to understand that sometimes there are exceptions. He immediately says: "Yeah, Sis, like with Laban and Nephi. Nephi was commanded to kill Laban because the Lord told him to." OH MY GOSH! He is amazing. Who remembers that stuff when you aren't even a member yet?! He not only remembers what he reads but he understands it and applies it. Also as we were teaching him the 10 commandments, he was marking each of them in Mosiah 13 so that he wouldn't forget what each of them were! Man, he is so great and we are way excited for his baptism. And of course they are all really excited to go to the temple in a year. I am excited for them as well and told Sis. Jeannette that if they make that happen that I will come back for their sealing. And I will. They are my FAVORITE family of my whole mission. I don't think that anyone else will ever quite compare. They are awesome and so strong and just awesome.

We also got the opportunity to go and watch the broadcast of the Jubilee celebration that happened Manila this last Saturday. We will have our local celebration on May 14th, but the big one in Manila was this last week. It was awesome. The dancing was so cool and so much fun. It's just so great to get to be here during the 50th anniversary of missionary work in the Philippines. I truly feel like I am part of a great legacy here and that is awesome.

Okay, well I'm out of time and have many things to do today. I love you all and miss you and hope that everything is going great!

Sister Jackson

Pictures from my birthday!!!