Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hello Family!!

So I have some interesting news! I ate Balut the other day! My companion really wanted me to try it before he left so I said I would so we sat down and ate Balut the other day! It is very different but not as gross as I had originally thought. So after Skyping on Christmas we went and visited some members and investigators and every single one of them fed us! So we were hungry at all on Christmas! We had a lot of fun and our relationship with some of the members here has really improved! This week we are suppose to have transfers and I'm pretty sure I will be getting a new companion. And hopefully many of our investigators will return and we can go visit them again. 

On Tuesday we had our christmas party which was really fun. We played some games and watched a video. There was also a lot of food there and some of the Elders and Sisters put together a presentation for us. Our Mission president also dressed up like Santa and had some of the Elders dress up as Elves. It was pretty funny. This week I also went and bought myself a gift. I got a star wars hoodie. Its way cool. Its super comfortable. 

The Tagalog is coming well. It was hard at first and I couldn't really understand it but now I can understand enough to know what people are talking about and I can kind of have conversations with people. Om just trying to increase my vocabulary and learn how to but it all together. Its coming a long good though! 

Not a whole lot happened this week just because it was Christmas but we tried to oym some more. There were several times when I was talking to some one and my companion was talking to someone else. We oymed alot but its also really hard to find new investigators through oyming. It just depends. 

Well we have to go its 6 and we have to go to the Zablan Family for a FHE with them!! 

Love you all and miss you!! I will talk to you next week! Have a great week in Utah and tell everyone hi for me!!

Elder Jones

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hello Jones Family
This week has been pretty good but kinda slower because of the Christmas season. Since Christmas is around the corner many people are leaving the city and going to the province so our work has slowed down a little. We are just trying to use our time to find new investigators! We have found several which is really good! Right now we have several progressing investigators and Im really looking forward to seeing them be baptized hopefully this next transfer. One investigator who we have been working with since I got here is Sister Exyl. She has changed so much and she knows it is true. We are wating for her and her boyfriend, who is a member, to get married! Hopefully they will get married in the end of January or middle of February then she will be baptized shortly after that. Her boyfriend Brother Jared has been inactive for some time but is now returning to church with her. Yesterday at church Brother Jared was late but sister Exyl came early and was there 35 minutes before church started! It was sooo cool to see her there that early! Im really looking forward to her baptism. Another investigator we have is Sister Merryann. She is married but her husband is gone a lot cause of work. We have only been able to teach him once but Sister Merryann has been progressing so well! She comes to church prays and reads. She hasnt specifically told us that she ahs received and answer but we both feel that she has and that she knows it. Just this week her young baby boy was very sick and we were in a hurry so we had forgotten our oil. We quickly returned to our apartment and grabbed our oil. In a hurry I set by keys on the table and left them. When we were walking back to Merryanns I told my companion I forgot my keys and he started to worry. I asked him what was wrong and he said he didnt bring his keys since I always have mine. We were locked out. We just shrugged it off at went to work. We got back to Merryanns and gave her baby a blessing. It was so cool cause her husband was there too. The next day when we came back her baby was fine. It was such a cool experience. After our proselyting we had to get into our apartment and we finally find a way.
Tomorrow we have our Christmas party at the mission home and next week we have transfers. I will probably be getting a new companion and Im just really hoping a get a super good companion. Its good to hear you guys are all doing good! Get better those of you who are sick and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Caden Devon and Rylee!!! We celebrated your birthday at our apartment with a box of donuts and some candles!! I have pictures but I will have to send them later. Tell jamin and jared hi! I really miss those guys! Have a great week and Ill talk to you on Christmas day!
-Elder Jones

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hello Jones Family! 

This week we had a decent week but the storm and some of the other rain we have got throughout the week really messed with our proselyting time! Just the other day while getting ready to leave it started pouring so we had to stay in the apartment til it passed! We also had our ward Christmas party on Friday! It was a ton of fun! So on Monday we had to stay in our apartment all day so we went to the other missionaries apartment which is right by our where we played chess for a little and ordered pizza. Luckily we got to go out and work on Tuesday. But Friday we had hardly any work because we had weekly planning until 3 then the Christmas party at 6. Then on Saturday we had to stay in our apartment for a little and let a storm pass over but the we were able to go out. We have many investigators right now and several of them are doing really good! They have been reading and praying and we visit them several times a week. One of the hardest things is church attendance though. The church is pretty far. We are really trying to get our investigators to come to church, which many of them do and we have been working a lot with the less active families. Its so cool to see most of the less active families we have been visiting at church! There is one family here that I'm really looking forward to working with, the Ranon family. The father is less active and has been for many years and he wants for his 7 children to hear the message of the gospel. We have only taught them twice but we stop by often to see how they are doing. The kids have already been reading and praying and they want to go to church. Brother Ranon said they would go next week he is just hesitant to go back because its been so long and he doesn't feel worthy. But we shared a message with him and he said he wants to return and do what he needs to do to get back on the right path. We also invited his children to be baptized and they all said they want to be. Brother Ranon then told us don't rush their baptism because he wants them to really have faith and become good active members of the church. I though it was cool when we said that! I'm really looking forward to seeing their progression in the coming months!

I love you all!! Have a great week!!
Elder Jones

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hello Family!

So you have all heard about the storm headed this way. It hasn't hit yet it has actually slowed down and is suppose to hit later today. We can tell the storm is approaching. There is a large mass of clouds approaching our area and it has been getting closer and closer as the day has went on. The winds have been picking up and its starting to rain here right now. Our area floods very easily so after the storm there might still be a lot of water but our apartment is on the top floor. We have to return to our apartment when the rain picks up but our apartment is really close to the internet shop we are in. 

This week here in our area has been pretty good. It was a little bit more challenging cause Investigators have been busy or gone so we didn't have as many lessons as the past weeks but we took the opportunity we had with more time and tried to OYM. We found several new investigators and many potential investigators. Several weeks ago we were trying to find someone who we had OYMed several weeks earlier and we stopped by a shop and asked if they knew the person we were looking for. Here in Manila there are small shops all over the place that people run our of their homes to make some extra money. The people we talked to several weeks earlier were at the little store they owned. We weren't having much success the other night so I suggested to my companion that we go back and visit that same shop from a couple weeks ago. We both had wished we OYMed them several weeks ago but we were in a hurry. We didn't want to go to this store just to OYM the owner so we ended up buying a drink from them and then turned it into a discussion. There was a Mother and 4 of her daughters all outside talking. Her husband was at work but we just talked for a little then gave them a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet. We established a good friendship with them in just a few minutes and they seemed interested. We asked if we could come back and visit and they said we could. We haven't went back yet but we will later this week. We had many other OYMing experiences this week that were really good. In our area there is a member who has been less active for about 14 years and he now has 7 kids. He and his entire family are very nice and he wants to return to church as well as have his kids hear about the gospel. We taught them all about the restoration last night and his younger kids love it when we come by. They call us Kuya which means older brother. It was great to teach them and I feel like they were really interested. 

I love you all and will talk to you all again next week.
-Elder Jones

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hello Jones Family

Tama yan Taylor Lahat ng tao dito sa mundo ay anak ng diyos. Siya'y ating ama at Mahal na mahal niya tayo at gayundin kilalang kilala niya tayo. Sige so translate that for me Taylor! Thats aweome that you learned "Ako ay anak ng diyos" So P-day namin got changed galing kahapon to ngayon. So thats why Im E mailing now. We had a Temple day today so they changed our schedule around so we had the temple this morning tapos P-Day sa Hapon. Pero aming temple time got changed. We got all ready this morning left to the temple, we rode the LRT which I told you guys before how crowded it is. We rode it para mga 35 mga minuto tapos we had to get on another one which was another 30 minutes. So our session started at 12 and we got there at about 11:20 but then the temple workers told us we would have to have our session at 2. So we just went out to eat and it was cool to see the MTC again. So we had our session at 2 then we hurried home with some of the other missionaries in our district we didnt get back to our area until 6 so we are E mailing now and its late! Opo Alam ko hindi mabuti. This week has been so great we have had so much activity in this area and we have several baptismal dates coming up. My Tagalog is improving but the conjugation sa wika na ita ay mejo mahirap pero ok long. Sinabi Ni President Ostler "For those learning Tagalog it takes about 6 months to really become effective." Pero Im really starting to understand what people are saying I just need to widen my vocabulary. So Its already December which is soo crazy! I probably wont be getting transferred from this area until at least the middle of February. So I still have almost 2 full transferres left here, or so I'm guessing. When I first got out into the field the culture was a shock but I'm use to it already. I got use to normal day life and the culture really fast! It is really different here, of course, but its so cool. Ill send some pictures next week I forgot my camera cord in our apartment. Mom turned another year older on Thanksgiving day! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM I LOVE YOU!!

Sorry this E mail is short but we are really short on time because of the temple and the session change. Oh another thing we also saw a monkey today when we were walking to the LRT. Which was really surprising cause we are in the center of a bunch of homes and businesses where its super crowded. 

I LOVE YOU ALL have a great week and I will talk to you next week!!! 

-Elder Jones

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hello again!

Well I can honestly say this week flew by. Its so crazy how it feels like just yesterday we were sitting in the computer lab. Anyway this week was really great. The work is really picking up in our area. We were so busy. On Wednesday we handed out all of our Book or Mormons and then had another lesson and we didn't have one to give. We went to see how Brother Ed was doing and he had a friend over. Brother Ed is a very strong member who was baptized several years ago. He really wanted us to share our message with his friend so we did. His friend is hard to teach cause he likes to talk and talk and talk so it was kinda difficult but that's OK we were able to share with him the lesson about the plan of salvation. After the lesson was the really unexpected part. Brother Ed started telling him you need to really and pray about the message this elders have just shared with you cause it will change your life. He was pretty stern with his friend and very bold we would have never done that as missionaries. Brother Ed then said you know these elders are sacrificing for you and Jesus Christ also sacrificed for you so you can at least pray and read the Book of Mormon. My companion and I just sat there. We didn't no what to do cause they were both just talking but very sternly. It was crazy. We didn't have a Book of Mormon so we dropped one off at Brother Ed's the next day. When we left Brother Ed's home my companion and I just looked at each-other and couldn't believe what had just happened. We have had many lessons this week and each day has been full of teaching appointments. Our mission president also wants everyone to OYM more so we have been working hard to do that. We have found several new investigators through OYM. We met a man named Brother Dennis the other day who is extremely nice and was very interested. He said at the end of the lesson that he believes the things that we taught him. The only problem is he leaves on December 1 to work on a cargo ship for 9 months. That really stunk when he told us that cause he is so interested and has been praying and he wants to read the Book of Mormon. He also told us he wants us to teach him and his wife together so we are going back tomorrow and we are going to try to teach him as much as possible before he leaves. 

We had exchanges on Saturday and Elder Viavia from Samoa came to our area and worked with me, so I led the area that day. It was my first time leading the area and I learned a lot cause I had to take the first step in teaching, talking with investigators and I had to make the decisions on where to go. It was great Elder Viavia and I worked really well together and I feel like my Tagalog really improved because of the opportunities I had. We didn't have a lot of lesson with investigators because it was Saturday and they were all busy or not home. We had to lessons with investigators but we had 5 RCLA (Recent Convert or Less Active). It was great on Sunday almost all the members who are less active that Elder Viavia and I visited were at church. 

This week has been great and the work is really picking up. I'm looking forward to another great week.
I love you all!
-Elder Jones

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hello all!

Its good to hear about how you guys are doing back home. I hope your doing good Rylee just be careful. So here its just sobrang mainit sa araw-araw. Its never cold. Hearing about the weather back at home makes me miss the cold but thats ok. We dont have air conditioning we just have fans that we use to stay cool. So today has been so busy because we had a zone activity today, my first one. It was fun we just played a bunch of games. We have a zone activity every quarter so my next one wont be for about another 3 months. After the zone activity we had to quickly go shop and now we are at the computer store and right after this we will go out proselyting for the rest of the day.

So this week was good. We have been trying to OYM a lot to find new investigators but its so hard sometimes. We have talked to so many people but haven't got many new investigators. We have a lot of investigators right now but its difficult when people don't keep commitments. We just try our best and work with them to help them keep their commitments. But on the other hand we have a lot of investigators who are keeping their commitments. This last Saturday Jumong Zablan was baptized. He is only 8 years old but we have been working with him for a while. His older siblings have all been baptized already but when I first go here he wasn't interested at all. He didn't like listening to me cause he had a hard time understanding me. But as my Tagalog has improved so has the friendship me and him have. Just a few weeks ago he really began to show an interest in our message. He started praying and he reads the Book Of Mormon but its hard for him to understand. So now he is always excited to see us and always talks with me about basketball since he loves it. Him and his younger sister are always yelling Elder Jones Elder Jones when they see us walking down the street. He always wants to pray in the lessons and he has learned a lot. Its so cool how his attitude has changed in the past several weeks. Last week he was counting down the days till his baptism. It was cool he was in the font just seconds before his baptism with his grandpa and looks up at he and just gave me a huge smile. That was such a cool experience I felt so good. Just yesterday I was standing with all the other missionaries greeting people as they walked in and Jumong comes and stands right by me and does the same exact thing I was doing and looks up at me and says "Im a missionary" 

Mahal ko kayo
-Elder Jones

Monday, November 10, 2014


So last week I just got to shake Elder Oaks hand he had to shake the entire stakes hand so he wasn't able to talk to each and everyone of us. He talked about his purpose as an apostle and also a little about missionary work it was great. The power wasn't working so there was no air conditioning so it was very hot in the chapel. I think I told you about the electricity going out over and over again. There wasn't a storm here in our area. we haven't had a really bad storm here yet but when it rains it floods very easily in our area. If it rains really hard and floods we cant go out proselyting. That thankfully hasn't happened yet. Its good to hear about what you all are doing. I would really like to talk but we are so busy. You know missionary life. 

So this week we had some great lessons. We had 8 investigators at church this week which is good but we can do better. We are going to try this week to really find a lot of new investigators. We have many now but it would be so cool to have more. We had one day this week that was just full of lessons. We have one investigator named Medina and she lives right by a member. They all live in this building with probably around 8 different families living in it. Each room that a family lives in is about 10 feet by 10 feet or smaller. Its crazy. But it makes it perfect for teaching and being able to feel the spirit. Anyway we taught sister Medina several weeks ago as well as her husband and invited them to be baptized if she comes to know that its true. She seemed really hesitant because she is catholic. So we went back this week and ended up meeting someone else who lives in that same building. Her name is Jonnalynn. He taught Jonnalynn and sister Medina joined us to hear about the restoration again. We asked her if she had read and prayed and she said she had. She told us a story about the member who lives in that same building, Sister Kipkipan, who kept inviting someone to church and sister Medina said she keeps getting an answer of the name of that individual who sister kikipan invited to church. So I think who knows its true along with my companion but we don't think she knows it yet. So we went back again just a few days ago to teach sister Median and Jonnalynn. Then again sister Medina invited another one of her friends in that same building to come listen to our message. So we have 3 investigators all in the same building its crazy. Sister Medina is reading and praying, sister Jonnalynn is reading but we invited her again to pray, and the other sister came to church yesterday so hopefully we can continue to meet with all 3 of them. And sister Medinas husband actually seemed interested when he heard our message again. After the last message Sister Median said she could actually understand everything I said compared to the first lesson with her when she could only understand some. Learning Tagalog is so fun and they say it takes about 6 months to learn. 

I'm having a lot of fun and just love teaching the people here. Even though I'm not very good at it yet. Everyday I have tons of kids around me cause I'm white but when I speak Tagalog they flock to me and ask me a million questions. I always give them pass along cards with the picture of Jesus Christ to them.

Well until next week. I love you all and will talk to you next week! Have a great week!
-Elder Jones

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hello Family!!! 

So currently I'm serving In the Manila West Zone In the Sta Cruz Ward!! Our area floods really easily so after it rains a lot of the streets are usually under several feet of water! Its really cool yesterday I met Elder Dallin H. Oaks. He was at our church building for a special session. There was so many people there and we went through the crowd and shook everyone's hand. His talk along with the others who spoke were amazing and it was kinda funny the light kept going out and the microphone stopped working. So over and over again they continued to fix it but the power just kept going out. So Elder Oaks went and stood down in the middle of the crowd and gave his talk in a very loud voice in order for every one to hear. He kept going back and forth between the microphone when it was working and the middle of the crowd when it wasn't. He said that we was getting is exercise for the day.

We are having some pretty good success right now! We have several actually many investigators. One family the Factor Family the Grandmother is an active member but her grand-kids are not members so we have been teaching them. They are always so interested in our message and love it when we come by they get so excited. They have been reading the Book Of Mormon and are really excited to go to church! Its so cool when we teach them we have to leave the door open because of missionary rules with the oldest male only being 14 in the lessons. But at the end of each lesson there is always a crowd of kids that has gathered together in the small home and at the door listening to us share our message. There are usually about 15 kids in total. We have many other investigators. We really learn a lot about the scriptures and gospel very fast since we study for several hours everyday and then spend all day sharing what we know. We are constantly learning more and more and our testimonies are always being strengthened. There are a lot of spiritual experiences that I want to share but I don't have enough time to do so. we are only allowed a short period of time to E mail. As I read the Book of Mormon each day I learn so much so just continue to read the book of Mormon and always have something with you to highlight scriptures you like. 

We have not had any other dinner appointments they are extremely rare in this area. I have gotten to eat some food here though like Suman, Pancit, and bihon. All of which are really good! I have not eaten anything like dog or balute because we are not allowed to eat balute but I'm not sure about dog. The picture is of me eating Suman, and also Pancit. But they don't feed it to missionaries here very often.But we have FHE with many of our investigators and less active families. We usually are fed after the FHE but its so fun to get together and have FHE with people especially since not many of them understand the importance of it! We are trying to help them understand and have FHE every week. The picture I sent it us with the Gudio Family. They are less active but are at church every once in a while not very often but they came to church yesterday which was great!

Well we have to go now!!  I LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL!! Im sorry that I cant share more. I would like to tell you everything but it just isnt possible. I do write in my journal almost daily so I have many of my experiences in there! 

-Elder Jones

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hey again family!!

So I cant believe that I'm sitting here E-mailing you all again. It feels like it was just yesterday that we had our P-Day its so crazy how time is flying by. So there are computer shops all over the place here since hardly anyone owns their own computer so we have to pay 12 pisos an how for internet each week. It usually costs about 20 to 25 pisos for each of us. We are very far from the MTC and also the mission home. This week we had to go to the mission home for our interviews with the president. Some of the Elder in our district along with us rode the LRT. Its just a train that takes you long distances in a very short period of time. It is also very cheap. 10 pisos per ride but it is also very very crowded. There were tons of people just all smashed together in the trains we couldn't even move there were so many people. My talk yesterday went great I spoke on missionary work. It was very short only a 7-10 minute talk. My companion and me work really well together. And out shower has 3 buckets a big one with all the water then a small bucket with a handle which we use to scoop and pour the water. Then another bucket we use to fill the large bucket. And yes my showers are always very cold but I've gotten use to it and its actually nice since we sweat all day long plus our apartment doesn't have air conditioning. 

We have had several really good lessons this week along with our two baptisms. We had a few really slow days though where we just didn't get to teach. Pam is the girl who was baptized this week. Here grandfather baptized her and I baptized Johnlery Rosario Regadio who is the one in the picture. We have several investigators right now who we feel will get baptized within the next few months. Hopefully they will be baptized but its really hard to meet with people here since everyone is always so busy. But we do our best and we always have good numbers at the end of each week.We had family home evening with Brother Jared and Sister Exyl this week. Brother Jared's brother, who is inactive came, and Sister Exyl invited a friend. It was an amazing experience especially since we could see the joy that family home evening brought to all of them. Several of the less active members here who we have been visiting were at church yesterday which was great. 

So there are trikes and Jeepnys everywhere. Its basically how everyone gets around. The trikes are so fun to ride in and the jeepny is usually very crowded. We don't ride in them a lot just because we usually walk everywhere in our area.

Well there is so much I still want to say but don't have time for especially since I have to do some assessment or something today while we are on the computers.

- Elder Jones

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hello Family

So this week has been great we are so busy everyday. I cant believe that its already P-day again it doesn't feel like its been that long since the last P-day. So my companions name is Elder Villan he is from the Philippines. Hes really helping me with the language and he gives me plenty of opportunities to teach in the lessons. My tagalog is getting better very fast. So I hand washed my clothes for the first time today. It took a while but after a while ill get better at it. We have two baptisms on Saturday. Brother John Larry is an investigator we have been working with for a couple months and Pam is a teenager whose older sister and younger brother were baptized already. Brother Jared is a less active that we go and see every other day. His girlfriend Sister Exyl is one of our new progressing investigators. They came to church yesterday it was great. We were concerned about her getting baptized since they live together and aren't married but we asked her to be baptized and she said yes and we also found out that they are getting married in January so shes going to work to be baptized right after that. Finding out that they were getting married so soon was an answer to our prayers. We are going to Brother Jared and Sister Exyl home tonight for Family Home Evening with them and their kids. We taught another new investigator this week who seems very interested his name is JR. I invited him to be baptized and he said he would if he comes to find that the church is true. We gave him a book of mormon and hopefully hes been reading. Yesterday after church we had an amazing lesson. We went to a family whose less active and only part member. One of the sisters who is not active is married to a non member and her parents were there too. Her parents are active. We taught her husband the restoration and shared a 20 minute video with them about the restoration. Her husband brother Edward, who is not a member, was very interested. We asked him to be baptized at the end of next month and he said he would work towards it and be baptized. His wife also said she has really been wanting to return to church but just hasn't. After the lesson her dad came up to us with a tear in his and and said "Thank You" We are also teaching a lot of other people right now. 

We haven't had any dinner appointments yet but our first one is on Wednesday.  I'm also giving a talk this Sunday in our ward and I just shared my testimony yesterday in the ward. Ill get the mailing address to you next week I don't have it memorized. But its the Mission home that you send it to. 


Its so fun here in the Philippines I'm glad this is were I get to serve. Good Job Taylor I cant wait to see it when I get home. I love you all and I'm so happy to hear from you. Get well soon Caden Basketball season is here! HAHA! Tell Marc and Teri hi for me along with the rest of their Family. Have a great week!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hello Guys

So being out of the MTC is amazing so far. My companion is great he is from the Philippines and speaks 7 languages. English, Tagalog, and 5 other dialects here in the philippines. Its really hard being a missionary here when its so hard to communicate. My Tagalog is improving everyday but they say it takes about 6 months to get it down. One of the hardest things is the sentence structure. Is reversed from English you say the verb first and then you just say the main words that are connected with a linker. Its hard to explain but after a while is actually easy to get the hang of. We have several investigators an some with baptismal dates but right now the numbers in our area are down because the missionary here before me just went home and since he only had a few weeks left he slacked off and was disobedient. My companion and I are working very hard to get the numbers up. We met a family the other day who is going to let us come teach them this week and when we went to go see them yesterday we met the people who live right by them who also has allowed us to go teach them. So we have two potential investigators which are both families. We mainly teach a lot of less active members because we are short on investigators. 

The city is crazy I have never walked so close to moving cars before. There are homeless people everywhere and when we are proselyting at night we see homeless people sleeping on cardboard boxes in the streets. The neighborhoods are crazy. The homes here are super small and most are old. We teach one family who is active except one of them who we are trying to get to come back to church who lives in a home the size of my bedroom. When out on the streets we walk in small ally ways that lead to neighborhoods that are like giant apartment complexes made of falling apart concrete, rotten wood, rusted metal slats, and some even have portions constructed out of blankets. Of course there are some here who live in nicer conditions but nothing like at home. Our apartment is super nice though. Our shower doesn't work so we shower with a bucket of cold water but our apartment is large and clean without any cockroaches ( mga ipis) We eat rice and oatmeal everyday and rarely get dinner appointments. 

We saw General conference yesterday it was great I took notes on every talk and learned a lot. A bunch of the members from this stake and all the missionaries met at the church to watch conference all day. Some of the sisters made us all food and yes it was rice. So my new p day is Monday so I wont be emailing on Fridays anymore and the days are going by so fast its crazy. I feel like we are back in bed 4 or 5 hours after we woke up. 

The other day someone called me Jo that's what us american are referred to here and some one yelled out "Welcome to the Philippines" as I walked by. Also little kids will chase us and say "look americano americano!" 

Things are great here right now Im working hard to learn the language but still of course have a long way to go. I LOVE YOU ALL AND CANT WAIT TO HEAR FROM YOU AGAIN!!!!!! GOOD JOB on your castle Rylee and on your cake Devon!!! I cant wait to try it save some for when I get home!! 


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Kumusta Pamilya!
How are things going back at home!?
Thingsare great here! we leave the MTC here in the next couple days and go out into the field. Im really excited especially after going proselyting in Manila the other day. My companion and me went proselyting with another Elder named Elder Belnap  who leaves to go home the day we leave the MTC. It was sooo fun! We left a church building in Manila and walked for about 20 minutes over to an area where him and his companion are teaching! Let me tell you there is a very distinct smell in Manila every 10 to 20 feet its crazy and usually its not a pleasant smell! There are also people all over the place and traffic is crazy. We just walk in between moving traffic to get across the street so cars literally pass us just a foot away or so. They honk to let you know they are coming but it is so busy. There is also trash every where. There was a corner where a building was knocked over and there were still three walls but the entire things was  filled with trash. Im pretty sure thats where a bunch of people just take their trash each week! Our first lesson was with a family whose parents are members but arent active. The dad is a drug addict and the mother supports the family. When we got there the dad was sleeping and the two little boys had just gotten home from school. The mother has been going to church with the boys but the father doesnt go. The two boys, one is 9 and the other is 10, are getting baptized this weekend so we taugh them about reading the Aklat Ni Mormon ( Book of Mormon) and Panalangin (prayer). We went to two lessons after that who werent home but our last lesson was with a recent convert and we taught her about reading the Aklat Ni Mormon, Ang Plano Ng Kaligtasan (The Plan of Salvation) and Ikapu (Tithing). We just reviewed the  Aklat Ni Mormon, Ang Plano Ng Kaligtasan but actually taught her about Ikapu. It was a really goo lesson! Im soooo excited to enter the field this next week Manila is such an amazing place. During our sveral hours of proselyting we also ran into about 7 new converts. In the past several months there has been over 12 new converts just in one area from these two Elders! Its soo cool to see how the church is growing here. The people in Manila also love the elders one person yelled Gwapo from a jeepme which means handsome while he was pointing at us elders.
After Proselyting we all jumped in the cars and left to the MTC and it took us 4 hours to get back because of the rain. It started raining and within 20 minutes there was about 2 feet of water in some areas so even though we were 45 minutes away from the MTC it took us 4 hours to get home. And ya motorcycles in the rain the philippines has a solution!! A PONCHO!! HAHA! People still ride their motorcycles here in the rain they just put a poncho on. Same with riding a bike.
This week has been great Ive been learning a lot and we are starting to get ready to leave the MTC. We finished a bunch of our classes so now we just have hours of study time everyday and our lessons have gotten really good! We teach almost 100% of our lessons in taglish not quite tagalog but we are getting there! All of our investigators have been coming to church and Adam has a baptismal date! Remember this is all just practice not yet the real thing!
Our district is awesome all of us are really close and we joke around and tease eachother as well! Dont worry we always get our work done! We have two sisters from Australia, and a couple from Samoa Tonga, and one from Hawaii. Most of the Elders are from the states but one is from Samoa and one is from Tonga its so cool we are all really good friends. Our teachers are also really cool. Our teachers are Brother Alcibor and Sister Baraquiel. Both of them are from the Philippines of course and they are so funny they make class so enjoyable even thoug its the same thing over and over and over again! Thers so much that happens in a week that I dont even know waht all to say.
So the sentence structure here in the philippines is V A O L. Verb Actor ObjectLocation. So the verb is the first thing in each sentence and depending on whether you are focusing on the Actor Object or Location the sentence structure changes which also means you have to use different conjugations. So there is the root word and to make it past present or future there are diffierent conjugations but there are differnet conjugationsfor each sentence structure and they can only be used on certain verb roots. I hope thats makes sense.
So sorry for all the misspellings but this language is really messing with my spelling since some words have about 5 a's in them even though there are only 8 letters total.
Im having so much fun here and cant wait to enter the field we got to go to the temple again today which was awesome. I have so many experiences and oh ya we drove by a Lomborghini dealership where there was also a Porsche, Bently, Masarrati, BMW and Audi dealership right by it! It was so cool! We also saw a Mcclaren the other day on the road it was the one we saw at the race track.
I will talk to you all again next week!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!! BYE!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

So we are now the senior batch here in the MTC which means in less then 2 weeks we will be leaving and entering the Manila Philippines Mission!!! Im so excited to get out into the field especially after proselyting the other day! We traveled out into the Quezon City mission and met up with some elders that had been in the field for a while and went out with the in their areas! I went with Elder Anderson who is from Canada and we rode in a jeepme! My first time riding in one and it was sooo fun! HAHA! They are extremely hot though and the weather was crazy that day! It was reaining when we left the church building and then stopped raining about 20 minutes into the proselyting! It got super hot. Then later it started raining again and then stopped and got super hot again! The weather changes so much here and so fast. Anyway we went into an area where people live in homes the size of Cadens and Devons room that has a uneven concrete floor with dirt and the foundation is built out of woot that is now rotten and held together with rusty nails and screws! Then they will put metal slats on the outside of the home for walls! No carpet, hardly any lights, a floor that is falling apart, and walls that are made of rotten wood! It really makes you understand how lucky we are for what we have. I cant believe some of the living conditions here. OHH and lots and lots of cats! I saw about 30 to 40 cats in that one area that were all just skin and bones! Thats like the really poor area of the philippines but still just a humbling experience! Elder Anderson and I had the opportunity to actually teach a lesson to a women and her granchildren! He taught most of the lesson but I said the opening prayer and shared a little bit with her in tagalog!
Learning the language is actually getting much easier! Im able to learn words, memorize commintments and learn the sentence structures a lot faster than before. Yesterday I memorized "Susudin mo po ang mga bawat ng diyos?" which is "Will you follow the laws of God?" and "Luluhod ka po at mananalangin araw-araw nang mag-isa at kasama ang pamilya?" which is " will you kneel and pray with your companion and family everyday?" It only took me 5 minutes to memorize both of those! Then I used them in our lesson with Adam which went great! He has commited to a baptismal date and our lessons have really gotten better. Our first lesson stunk and now we are confident and are really able to teach well and in taglish. Which is tagalog and english mixed! My companion has improved a lot this week. He uses his time more wisely and has really improved in his tagalog! Its really nice because I see a difference in our lessons now that he is just as focused as Iam! We are both learning a lot and Im glad that we are MTC companions.
Im not one of the shortest ones here! IT just depends the missionaries from all over the world are usually the same height as me. some a little taller and some are shorter. But the Philippino Elders are all really short! When we went proselyting I felt so tall beacuse everyone was only like 5 feet tall and some were like 5 foot 6 inches but most of them are shorter then me! And when we went proselyting we just cross roads as we wish. There are no stop signs or cross walks so you just cross and everyone who is driving just stops. So we were walking in between moving cars that were inches away from us its crazy! HAHA! But its also really fun to be out in the city!
There are some historical sights here a couple weeks ago we went to a cemetery for American soldiers from World War 2! There was 17,097 soldiers buried there and a wall of rememberance that had 36,286 names of soldiers who went missing in action! It was crazy! It was called the Manila American Cemetery and Mermorail.  It was really cool to get to go there.
Oh so we all feel like were are in the CIA here! We have security cards to get into the buildings and basically all the doors have a scanner that requires a security card in order to get past. Plus we walk around in ties and collared shirts all day and we use our security card as gun since it hangs from our belt on a string that retracts. Its so fun here at the MTC. Im learning so much and I love every minute of it. We have a lot of fun and a lot of good conversations. I love my district which I sent a picture of us all right after our temple session today. Our teachers are also way awesome! There are both super funny and are really good at helping us understand the language!
The old senior batch just left on Wednesday which stinks because we really got to know all those Elders and had good friendships with them all! Mof them also played basketball so now we are down to about 12 people that play instead of 25. But the new batch just came in today and hopefully some of them play ball. But this new batch was actually really small which was very surprising! So the night before the new batch left some of the seniors had a testimony meeting in their room! It was amazing and definitely one of my most spiritual experieences this week. Over 20 Elders crammed themsleves in this tiny room and we started with a song and pray then some of the Elders from the senior and middle batch shared their testimony. Its amazing to hear what some of these guys have gone through and to hear their testimony just strenghtened mine! It was a great time and a memory that I will never forget. After the testimony meeting there is something here called the brotherhood that a senior batch started 8 batches ago. Basically your initiation is a hand shake and once a member of the brotherhood always a member. And the brotherhood is basically we are all brothers and no matter what you are going through at any moment in your life you always have your brothers to back you up even though we here at this MTC are from all over the world! Its way cool!
I baught a book of mormon today thats in tagalog it also came with the doctrine and covenants and pearl of great price. It cost me 21.00 pisos which is about 48 cents. Its so cool how I was able to get it for so cheap along with everything else here. I spent 81 pisos today at rustans super market which is about $2. Its so wierd to look at skittles and see a 38.00 on the price. It seems like its so expensive but when you do the math its only like 90 cents. Its crazy!
Well we have dinner now so I have to go! I still have a bunch to tell you all but I write in my Journal daily so you can read it when I get home! I will write you all again next week! I LOVE YOU ALL AND PRAY FOR YOU EACH AND EVERYDAY!! Good job on everything you are doing! I wish I could see your new trick Rylee! I LOVE YOU CADEN, DEVON, RYLEE, TAYLOR AND MOM AND DAD!!! I MISS YOU ALL A LOT!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hello Family
I hope you guys got the pictures I sent to you!
This week was really good we had a ton of fun and learned a bunch! The days are getting really repetitive just because our schedule is the exact same everyday! But we make the best of it and we have so much time to study each day its great! Im learning so much and my testimony is strenghtening so much and Im only in the MTC. Honestly I cant wait to get out into the field. After feeling the spirit the way I have this week Im so excited to share this gospel with the people of the Philippines! We are the middle batch right now and next week the senior batch leaves which means we will be the senior batch and will only have about two weeks left here in the MTC! I know that Im going to learn so much more out in the field and its going to be so amazing!
So we learned this week that here in Manila it rains sooooo much! Its been raining for over 12 hours now and its still raining! I heard that theres a possible typhoon coming into this area but I dont think it we really affect us here at the MTC if there really is a typhoon! So we just got back from the temple and we had to run over there in the rain and back so we were all soaked but were pretty much dry now! I love this weather!
Everyday we play basketball in the gym and its so fun! The only thing is the humidity! And Ive also been doing pushups crunches and some other work outs everynight before I go to bed. Its cool now all the Elders in my room expect for a couple work out everynight its fun! HAHA! We all also write in our journals everynight! I havent missed a single day of writing in my journal since Ive been here which is great! Its really becoming a habit!
Im starting to get a hang of teaching progressing investigators. Its getting easier and I feel my comfortable doing it. Because of some of the experiences Ive had doing it I am now really looking forward to entering the field and teaching real investigators. My companion is a good Elder but because the MTC is acutall a really hard place to focus he messes around a lot. Im not trying to be mean but our lessons have suffer a couple times because of it! I try my best to use my time wisely and Ive been trying to get him to do the same! Hes been getting better but theres still some work to be done! Im actually really thankhful for it because it making me a stronger missionary, teacher, and person. 
Again this week we had some more opportunities to gibve preisthood blessings! Some of the sisters in our district got sick and we were able to give them blessings it was a great experience. 
My tagalog is getting better and Im learning a lot of new words but again I feel like I will learn so much fatser in the field because I will be communicating in tagalog. Here at the MTC there is still a lot of english because everyone here can speak it. Im looking forward to learning this language and I cant wait to be able to speak it!
Time is still going bu extremely fast here! It feels like I was just on the plane a couples days ago on my way here and now we are about to be the sneior batch! 
I hope everything is going great at home!! I MISS you all and love being able to email you guys! I love being a missionary and am looking forward for the next two years. Alam Ko po na (I know that) This Simbahan (church) is the totoo (true) Simbahan on the Diagdig (earth) today. Make sure you guys are praying and reading your scriptures each night because it truely doesn make a huge difference! I have had the spirit with me so much this week and feel the spirit often! LOVE YOU ALL!!! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

KUMUSTA PAMILYA!! (Hello Family)
So this week at the MTC went by so fast it was crazy!! I woke up the other day and thought it was wednesday but it wasnt!! It was thursday!! I cant believe how fats time is going here at the MTC! Everyday Is super busy with Ebanghelyo (Gospel) studay and language study!! We have way more langauage study then gospel study just because we are here for 6 weeks! The langauge isnt to hard to learn. Some of the words can be difficult but the sentence structure is super simple! We just need to practice a lot more.The sntence structure is backwards so learning this language is messing with our english! We all speak english backwards now its funny! So all the regualr training missionaries as well as the senior batch of the Language training missionaries just left the other day and for dalawa (two) days there were only about 4 districts in the MTC it was so nice! But today a new batch came in. The biggest batch to enter this MTC with about 120 missionaries! Here we get missionaries from all other the place! There are tons of philippino missionaries and some from Australia, Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji and today we got some from Pakistan and India. Now there are a bunch of missionaries here at the MTC. So my kasama (Companion) and I are already teaching tatlo (three) investigators and its difficult to teach because they just speak in tagalog! But we are always reminded that when we are teaching the is only one langauge and it is the language of the spirirt. One of our progressing investigaors is named Adam. This is all acting and pretending so its not real. But we had an awesome lesson the other day with Adam! We taught him about the plan of salvation. At theend I bore my testimony on the plan of asvlation and my kasama started to cry and our investigator Adam almost cried! The spirit was sooo strong it was crazy! Adam is totally going to get baptized! I invited him to get baptized and he said he would. By the way I already have the baptismal invitaion memorized in tagalog. I dont know if I told you guys that last time. Also read 2 Nephi kabanata (Chapter) 31. We invited adam to read it and I think that it was a great chapter to have him read! Its just a great chapter in general. 
Things are great here right outside our window is the city of Manila so our room basially over looks the city! Its a big and heavily crowded city! There are a bunch of skycrapers probably just as many cranes in the air as there are skyscrapers just cause they are building sooo much stuff here!! Oh and we asked what the minimum wage is here and its 10 pesos a day which is about $10 a day. Gas is also about a $1 a gallon and we can get candy bars for 8 pesos so about 20 to 30 cents. Its nice. Some of the other missionaries spend so much money here on p day. My campanion spend over 1000 pesos on our p day which is crazy! I dont spend nearly that amaount.
I havent been able so sent pictures cause there is no WIFI here at the MTC and the computers will only send isa (one) picture at a time and it takes forever! Im trying to send some right now! The rules here are really strict which it completely understandable. We arent allowed to chew GUM!! Which stinks because I use to crew gum ALL the time. So im going through withdrawls right now! HAHA!
We get an hour of gym everday and we always play basketball its so fun except the humidity makes us all sweat like crazy!
We also got to go to the Manila temple again this week! We go every P-day so we will get to go about 4 or 5 times while we are here in the MTC. Its really cool.
I read those letter you all wrote for me!! Salamat po (Thank you with respect) They were awesome to read I leave them in my bag in the envelope and they will stay there!
So today on our way to rustans the store thats right by the MTC I bought a ring that says Philippines Manila Mission and inside it says Elder Jones. I actually ordered it today it will be here next week! It will cost me 400 pesos or like $8. So it was worth it. There are these ladys that stand on the sidewalk everyday and sell CTR rings and mission rings. Its crazy how busy they are all the time!
There is so much thats happens in a week here so Im not sure if I wrote everything I wanted to.
LOVE YOU ALL!!! I cant wait to here from you next week!!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Kumusta pamilya! Or should I say hello family.The MTC here is amazing it is so nice. Our schedule everyday is jam packed with tons of classes and study time. I hardly have time to think some times. For one of our training exercises we have to teach a progressing investigator which is crazy. Its not so much the teaching part thats hard its the fact that the investigator speaks very little english and we have to communicate in tagalog. It helps us a lot to learn the language. My companion and I are doing good in the lessons we just finished teaching our first investigator yesterday and we have already been assigned 2 newnvestigators.
So our flight over here was super long but luckily we had plenty of time to sleep. I met up with Elder Ashton and Elder Beagley in Salt lake city and then in portland we met up with Elder Boshard who is my companion, Elder Thacker sho looke EXACTLY like Stephen, Elder dunford, Bowers, and Gibson. We all flew from portland to tokuo then to Manila. The planes we flew on had tvs in the back of the seats and it kinda stunk cause we couldnt watch tv. We got to manila super late beacuse our flight got delayed in tokyo because of rain. we then went to this super fancy hotel in Manila and the next morning went to the MTC. The driving here is absolutley insane there are zero traffic laws everyone honks their horn to tell you they are comng and people cut eachother off all the time the buses here just weave in and out of traffic and people walk through the streets while we are driving. its crazy. we also had to go to the immigration center to finish our visas and I thought we were going to die because how insane the driving is around here. the city is also crazy there is a really nice part ansd then also a part that is really run down with tons of homeless people and its also super dirty but that makes up the majority of the city. The other day one of our kasamas got really sick and we all gave him a blessing in our room. Within a couple hours he was back to normal. There are 6 of us in our room 2 elders from samoa and 4 of us from the states. There are a bunch of philipino elders here some from tonga samoa one from new zealand how is like 6 feet 6 inches and probably weighs 350 pounds and not beacuse hes fat but beacuse hes so strong. The other day he picked up and elder with one arm it was crazy. By the way his name is elder hapi and he is massive. today we had the chance to go to the temple and do a session as a district the manila temple is amazing and theres an underground tunnel connecting the MTC to the temple. Theres a really busy street that seperates the 2. It rains everyday here and it is actually raining right now. The humudity is crazy. it is so humid and so strong. Oh and i havent sent and photos because there is no wifi here. the MTC rules are so strict. Every Friday is our p day and we still have to wear church clothes all day and we still have classes. not much of a p day. The food here is really good we have had rice for breakfast lunch and dinner everyday except for maybe 4 meals. so ya we eat a lot of rice. even on our p days we only have an hour to email which isnt much time at all considering how much happens in one week. We had a really good devotional the other day and our speaker said "Faith and Fear cannot exhist in our hearts at the same time." So remember you either have faith or you are afraid. I have so much more to say but i dont have much time left. Its 10:48 here so its about 8:48 at night back home.
Sorry this letter is so unorganized i just have so much to tell you and not enough time so im just writing whatever pops into my head.
LOVE YOU ALL!!! I will write you again next friday about the same time.