New Digs and New Friends

So this was a busy week. On Tuesday we found out that we needed to move out of our house by Wednesday. So we spent all day moving on Wednesday... and just to another house on our same lot. BUT this house is awesome. It's HUGE, has air con in the bedroom, A MICROWAVE (which sounded much more exciting than it is, I haven't used it yet and I don't even know if I will... I forgot how to use microwaves!), I get to sleep in a queen size bed (it's too big to move and my companion loves me too much) and it's just a nice house. It's a little ostentatious for us, but it's where we were told to move. It was the old couple's house before, but the new couple has moved to another house. We don't know how long we will stay here, but hopefully forever. I love it! Anyway, the whole day was spent moving and we were EXHAUSTED by the end. I hate moving. I've decided that it's the thing I hate the most. Not really, but it definitely was a huge pain. Oh well, it's done now... for now, and we are just enjoying ourselves. Oh... and we have an oven. I really hope that I am still in this house in November because I am definitely making Thanksgiving again!!! And brownies... We're excited. Oh the simple pleasures of life. My dad wrote me not to long ago and asked me what I missed the most about home. Well aside from family and friends it would definitely be washing machines, carpet, and not sweating all the time. Hahaha. I appreciate so much more the simplest things that I took for granted SOOO much before my mission. Don't worry, I'm not going to come home and be one of those "i only live from the earth" people, but I definitely have a new perspective about things.

So we had to go to Bacolod this week. That trip was exciting. First of all, it takes 3 hours for us to get there on the ceres because we are so far away and because we have to take this gigantor bus up into the mountains... that means slow moving. On the way there our eyes and ears were assailed by a ridiculous and foul action movie. But luckily I was so car sick that I had to keep my eyes glued to the road in front of us and spent the whole time praying that Heavenly Father would keep this giant white girl from yacking all over these Filipinos. My prayer was answered. I was never happier to get my feet on solid ground. Before we went back I bought some motion sickness pills and was find and dandy the way home... thank goodness. On the trip back this man asked to sit next to us. We were disappointed because we wanted the extra space, but we were also curious because he had been speaking English on the phone when he got on (we have this weird fascination with english speakers or white people... the Pines will do that to you). Anyway, turns out he was half Scottish and half Filipino and Spanish. Yeah, weird mix. But he had lived in England for a long time and so he had this scottish/english/filipino/spanish accent thing going on. He was quite the character. Of course, being good missionaries we tried to explain our purpose and share our message. Well he knew who we were and no desire to discuss religion at all. He just wanted to chat. So that's what we did. Well he's British and so his sense of humor and comments were appropriate for a pub... not so much for missionaries. But he was incredibly nice, sometimes funny without being offensive, and it was nice to have someone else to talk to in English after so long. And despite the fact that he didn't want to talk about religion, he kept asking so many questions that the only way to answer them was to teach him about our beliefs. So you know, he got it anyway. Hahaha. I'll do whatever I can to share the gospel! But we made a friend and had some fun. And I didn't barf, that was the real accomplishment of that trip home.

Yesterday after church we had a really successful activity where the members came together to pool all the information they know about the branch so we could update the records. They were champions! They were so excited and serious about helping us. They wanted to get us all the information they could. They are SUCH good people. They do really care and they want to be organized. They just need some help and guidance and that is what we are doing. They are so receptive, especially Pres. Pacheco, the branch president. He's fairly young, only 34 but he is a rockstar. He knows what is most important and he earnestly tries to follow everything. On Saturday we had an auxiliary meeting/ward council/correlation and there was an AGENDA!!! I can't tell you how rare that is. I've never seen it my whole mission. They had the new handbook of instructions open and they used in consulting for all their activities and decisions. I know for most of you that must seem crazy, because it's how everything is in America. But here, that was miraculous and one of the most beautiful sights I have seen on my mission. In a way, because this is a district, they are lucky because they have President Tobias at the head. The stakes are strong, but no one is a better leader, administrator and steward than our mission president. This month we have district conference and an area authority is coming and we are excited. I'm determined to see good things happen in this branch, get it to where it needs to be so that the missionary work (ie. investigators, reactivation, etc) can really take off and be successful here. We need to lay the foundation first and we have a lot of resources to do that now and an incredibly unit that wants to comply and become stronger. It's awesome. I really do love being out here. I don't even miss Bacolod. :)

Well that's all for this week. Happy September to all. That means Christmas here in the Philippines (yes, I am serious... Christmas starts in September here) so Merry Christmas to all! I love you all and can't wait to hear from you!

Sister Jackson


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