Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hello Hello,
So coming at you from the Philippines.

This past week was transfer week so it was exciting as usual. So the beginning part of the week I was with our Zone Leader Elder Tanner. That was way fun. I just did Zone Leader stuff, which was way busy and hectic-- holy moly. But than transfer day was Friday and everyone was all excited, I got transferred to Kias, which is on the outskirts of Baguio. So I went from University which was a waaaay small area and it had 25,000 people in it so it was like the heart of Baguio. To Kias, which is an open area. So it's pretty difficult but it is huuuge. It's like what you picture the Philippines at first thought kinda place. There's a main Barangy (neighborhood) called Kias which has like the Philippine military academy and what not than after that our area is like the whole bottom half of the mountain. It's insane! The Zone leaders said we don't really have a boundary on our area it's so big haha. It’s all forestry and what not and like the most humble people who pretty much have never seen a white person,  so it's fun. We just tract and explore. 
I got a new companion his name is Elder Dela Cruz. He's way nice and quiet. It's his last transfer but so far he works hard. He's just so quiet, but so kind. He's from Quezon city and said he knows Tyler Haws which was pretty cool (who doesn't know t-haws). (In) my new apartment we have 2 other Elders, Elder Hernandez and Christianson, Christianson is from Bountiful and we always talk about Bountiful stuff-- like the Bubble and stuff. He went to Mueller Park Junior High also.  Then Elder Hernandez from Quezon province-- me and him are way tight.
So I'm not training clearly which is a relief, but I am District Leader now and opening an area, so my works cut out for me. District leader life is already way busy, and I'm still just way to confused at what’s going on. My district has 8 missionaries and they are all way cool-- 4 Sisters and 4 Elders-- so it will be way fun.
My new area is nuts! We see crazy Filipinos left and right. Probably the craziest thing happened to me last Saturday: me and Elder Dela Cruz taught this random lady who let us in and was waaaaaaay nice, but we were lucky to get two words in, so I kid you not when I say we were at her house for 4 hours trying to leave/ get a quick lesson in haha. So we were actually kind of golden and once we interrupted her and got like a 2 second lesson in she was like, “oh I love you guys come back any time. The book is true. I just have to read it, I will go tell all my friends and preach it like you two!” 
So ya she was crazy, but she loooved us and loved how hard we were working and the fact that we were teaching about Christ and what not. So I said the closing prayer and as I was saying it she was like "Amen" "OPO (yes)" over and over in the middle of my prayer haha so I was straight up laughing in my prayer. So we finally left, then as we were leaving she's like “I'll walk with you,” so we were like, “okay crazy lady” so she walked with us a ways than she stopped at her mom’s house (keep in mind she is like 60 so her mom is like a dinosaur) and she invited us to teach her mom. So we are like why not.  We go in and start breaking the ice with her mom, and then they're like, “oh come downstairs and teach the rest of my family about Jesus!” So we go down and there is this HUGE Baptist Catholic party going down and as we walked down everyone just stopped what they were doing and stared at us... The most awkward thing that's ever happened, then the lady is like "THEY'RE HEAR TO TEACH US ABOUT JESUS!!!!!" so we were stunned and awkward and what not haha so this huge like Baptist party thing is going down and now they are feeding us and getting ready for us to teach them, but missionaries aren't supposed to teach lessons to huge congregations or else I would have been down.  So, me and my companion are like "Soooooooo Meron curfew na Kami...... siguro babalik kami mamia" which is just like we have a curfew we will come back some other time. But they insisted so we just bounced as fast as we could haha....
Yup one of the weirder things that's happened to me... words can't describe the weirdness...
Anyways all is good. Hope all is well with you.  Thanks for all the letters and packages. I can feel my Faith growing each day as we teach others it's amazing. 

-Elder Jones 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hey Fam.

            So this week has probably been the toughest week of my mission so far.  So it started out with an emergency transfer-- I got an Elder who was struggling and Elder Tabucol and Delos Reyes just left.  So I was with this Elder and I was told just continue your work Elder Jones.  So it went from me following Elder Tabucol to now I am leading our area and teaching all the lessons. But to make a long story short he (the elder) was struggling.... bad. He had talked to President Bellados about stuff, then to me about stuff... like serious, why are you still here stuff. So I just worked him and stuff.  I'm not the most lovey-dovey person you know, so he would be like way down and depressed, and I was like, “Hey, you okay?” Than he would go off, and I would just say, “Okay, well let me know if you need anything. I had no idea what to do.  
So Friday it was way bad and it just kept getting worse. I texted the Zone Leaders and said, “Hey I can't do this. This kid needs help.” So the Zone Leaders came over and we talked and I told about some stuff this Elder had told me. So they said, oh... “He never told President any of that, call president now.” So I did. Told him everything. The next day some lady called this Elder. Turns out I was right, Yaaaaaaay! So he went to Manila, home..... So ya it was defiantly not a pleasant week. Now I'm with the Zone Leaders, and elder Kemmy, our zone leader, leaves home tomorrow.  He's awesome.  So since he leaves tomorrow, I will be Elder Tanner’s companion until transfer day haha...

            On a spiritual holy cow this week was crazy note. We taught a less active sister Jennifer who is almost a return active and we taught the Atonement. It was a way good lesson. Then I asked if everything was alright and she burst into tears which is weird because she never cries. so she was bawling and I was just like aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh what do I do??? Then she said, "Sobrang mahirap magsisi" which means ‘repentance is so hard,’ so we sat there a minute, and I said, “I know this sister, all you can do is read pray and trust in the Lord.” But she's awesome; she's coming to church and what not. Anyways transfer day is this Friday, so I will let you know what is going down with me!

Thanks peeps

-Elder Jones

Monday, October 14, 2013

So this week has been a tiny bit Carahazay!!!

So it started off just all normal and whatnot. I was with Elder Delos Reyes and Elder Tabucol in our trio. Things were good just chilling. Than I figured out Elder Delos Reyes was kind of a disobedient missionary, so as you all know how I am, I let him know and what I thought of him. And so we are arguing most the week because he wanted to do things that I didn't agree with and that the mission didn't agree with. So that was that.
Then we had Zone interviews with President Balledos on Thursday, which is where we have lunch and the President interviews each of us and the APs do a workshop. That was fun. But I had an interesting interview with the President. He asked if I had any problems but I said, “No, all is good.” Then I told him I wasn't a big fan of Elder Delos Reyes and he said, “Ya, he kind of has a past. Just be patient.” I said okay. Then President Belledos said, “So you ready to train?” I said, “Not really President, but if you need me to I can.” Then he said, “Okay. So do you want to train a Filippeno or an American?”  So that was funny... So… I guess I'm going to train.
There are 34 missionaries coming in October 25. 22 are Elders. But people here that are a lot older than me aren't even training which is interesting because trainers have usually been out a while, like a year... But I'm down to get down.
            Than we watched conference Saturday and Sunday which was great,. I loved it. And after conference our Zone Leaders invited us to lunch at a hotel. We ate there and while we were eating Elder Kemmy got a call from President that said, “Hey this Elder is struggling and I want to put him with Elder Jones.” So for the rest of the transfer I'm with Elder Swenson (my batch mate who I went to the MTC with). It's cool. He just needed some help, with some stuff, so President just told me to make him feel comfortable. So I'm just kind of helping him. Elder Tabucol and elder DelosReyes went to Tuding area, where Elder DelosReyes was originally.
   Then on the spiritual side of thing, a few of our less-actives came to conference, which was great. And we were tracting in our area and we decided to go down a street we have never been down. Then we saw this random huge house and decided to knock, so we did, and this like 24-year old lady in the nicest house I have ever seen let us in and we taught her. She loved us. She was some other religion, but she told us to go to her friends as well, which was awesome. So ya that's that. So we found a new investigator who will hasten the Lord’s work with her wealth WHEN she gets baptized. Montano family is good. Just sad we can't baptize them. Everything’s good-- just getting ready to train. Hope all is well.

Elder Jones

(Russ asked Mac if he was going to play basketball on his p-day and he replied…)
Hindi ako Sigrado (not sure) It might rain.

(He also added),

Thanks mom. And ya the Pacers and Rockets played in Manila. Everyone in the Philippines was freaking out.. you have no idea how crazy they are about basketball ... I'll try to take more pics!!! I always forget!

Monday, October 7, 2013

 So hello.

            All’s well. That's crazy about everything sports wise! Basketball is crazy here and all the Philippenos are just waiting for the NBA to start. This week was a bit crazy.
            So we had to look for apartments around our area earlier this week with the Zone Leaders cause ours is crappy and they want to get us a new one. Turns out they were lying. They are white washing us and putting sisters in our ward! So they need to find a new apartment for sisters... But shhhh no one knows that. The zone leader for some reason told me.
            I was talking to our zone leader, Elder Kemmy, who is going home this transfer. He’s awesome. Anyways he said there are so many missionaries coming in that by December we will literally have no where to put missionaries! He said the only option is to open up Banguet which is like....... never seen white people. Like what you picture the Philippines at first thought type of place. It's 5 hours away from the nearest anything and I guess it's just like crazy there. Like crazy as in you have to use machetes to get to peoples houses.  So I actually want to go there.
            But ya there is a very high chance I will get transferred to the low lands, which I'm stoked about. That's where you really learn Tagalog. We only had 8 lessons this week, which is awful, but it's only because we were with the zone leaders a lot. We worked in Tuding, Elder Delos Reyes area, and since it's an open area we just tracted… that's it... just tracted.
            More less-actives came to church like Brother Ricck Aguinaldo, Sister Jennifer Gorinto, which is awesome. All of our golden investigators are out of town, which is rough because we haven't been able to teach them... But it's okay. I'm still pretty sick, I didn't get a lot of sleep this past week but I'm getting better... I think.
            Our ward missionary, Litots, just left for his mission yesterday to San Diego. He was a cool cat. So we had a farewell party for him and it was the first farewell party in our ward since like 2008 so everyone went way crazy and it was at the church with tons of food and stuff.
            That's about it. We are with Elder Delos Reyes still, which is okay... He's just lazy because he's from Loag. But he's okay....

Love you; keep me updated with more pics! Hope all is well.
-Elder Jones

Oh and apparently China is close to opening up... so according to Elder Kemmy, when it does every single Filipino will be sent there and than Philippines will just have Americans which would be great.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

This is Elder Jones coming at you from p-land.
So all is well. I have a bit of a cold but I'll man it up. Literally nothing happened this week.... We just worked and stuff-- did missionary stuff, taught missionary lessons, walked a lot, just a usual week. Elder Delos Reyes is still with us and he will be with us for the rest of the transfer so as for right now I have two trainers and it kind of sucks because the teaching time we have is limited, but it's no big.
So we have literally re-activated the whole city of Baguio. Almost all of our less actives are coming to church. But sad news now… all of our investigators with Baptismal dates want to suddenly attend church and get baptized now??? Which is great but you have to attend church 4 times and me and Elder Tabucol figured out transfer day is the day before the baptismal date, so the missionaries coming into our area would get like 500398540 baptisms. But there is a time for harvesting, and a time for planting seeds, so right now me and Tabucol are planting seeds.
            So there is literally nothing else that happened so I will tell you a funny story, this family that Elder Lagasca just baptized is huge with like a million kids and we always go there for family night which is fun. And then the other day the little sisters of that family who are like 14-23 are like, "So what do you like in a girl?" I’m like uhhhh I don't know.” "Sooooo, do you have a girlfriend???" “Uhhhh no”...... They kept asking me stuff like that then they are like, “well do you like Filipino girls?” and I'm like, “Not really.” Then they are like, “Oh that's too bad because she likes you” (I forgot her name) and I turn to this girl and she turns bright red and it was way funny, and they keep saying, “So you should return to the Philippines after your mission” and stuff like that and it was funny. But turns out this girl who "likes" me or whatever is 23!!!...... So that makes things even funnier cause they always joke with me about her and I’m like... “I'll just stick with white girls thanks.”
And that's about it. The father of Montano asked us when he could be baptized which is like sweet music to your soul when you’re on a mission.
Soooo the foods good........ Bananas are great, let me know how you
guys are. I sent a letter today.

Love you, got your letters. Sports. Keep me updated!

-Elder Jones