9 December 2013

Kamusta Pamilya,

Tuesday was a really funny day because one bad thing happened after another. My companion and I wake up and our room is such a mess because we don’t have anywhere to put our clothes (we don’t have any cabinets or shelves at all) and we don’t have any safe water to drink and both of us only had a little bit of water left that was good to drink. I go to the bathroom to start the day and it turns out that there was no water period. Couldn’t flush the toilet or take a shower or brush our teeth. All the water was gone. We asked our next door neighbors if they had water and they didn’t have water either. (let me tell you.. not showering in the morning is very gross haha) We decided that we would go to the church earlier for district meeting so we could brush our teeth there. I go in the bathroom to turn the faucet on and there was no water coming out either. It turned out that the hole city was without water. At district meeting we found out that the couple missionaries were going home because Sister was having really bad back pains. She had back surgery before they came out, and lately it has been bothering her really bad so they had to go back to the states for her doctors. Also at district meeting, my companion dropped her glasses and they broke. When we went back home we found that our apartment had flooded and so we started cleaning up that mess by mopping up all the water. I also ended up losing my wallet which had 600 pesos and our key to the apartment in it. To make it all worth it, we taught a really good lesson that night and the spirit was so strong. We found this new family and their neighbors and friends are members so they want to be baptized. They have already been coming to church and so hopefully they will be baptized on Christmas day!

We have some investigators that are improving which is such a blessing. Yesterday we had 6 investigators come to church. I have found that all my success has been coming from teaching part member families. Especially now when some of the less active members are now coming back to church, they have kids that they want to get baptized. So we will be occupied with teaching them; which is great. It is nice teaching lessons because I haven’t been able to practice the language lately, and it has been getting pretty bad.
Today I got to do one of the coolest things ever. My companion and I needed to ride a jeepney because we were going to meet up with our district leader and we got to ride on TOP of the jeepney! it was soo fun. I always wanted to do it. The jeepney was full so we got to ride on the top. it was really fun and nice to have the wind in my face as I’m riding a jeepney. I don’t get to ride jeepneys that often, when we ride to places it is usually in a tricycle.
Kalibo.. day after strorm..  All the power lines were down and just lying in the street. Homes were completely gone, slanted over, or partially damaged. Many trees were torn from the ground and leaves were everywhere. I am used to so much vegetation and growth everywhere but a lot of that is gone now. People did die from the storm. But we were truly blessed that there wasn’t deep flooding so that was really good.

Kalibo is now looking a lot better. We have already rebuilt 15 homes and things are starting to look normal again. All the big cement buildings are still there and only needed a little bit of repairs. There are 6 sister missionaries in Kalibo but 36 missionaries in Kalibo zone. There are four of us living together in the apartment. We didn’t have to go and live with other missionaries or members. Some members are staying in other members houses still,  but our ward is way ahead of all the other wards in our stake. My bishop has done very well at getting the priesthood together and telling them where to go to start building houses. He is using his funds wisely as well. Other bishops in our stake haven’t even started rebuilding yet.. so our ward is way ahead of the game. A lot of the trees were damaged, all the banana trees were destroyed and fruit is a lot more expensive than usual. We still don’t have power but some places do. The places that do have power are on a schedule so they only have power every other night only for  a few hours.

Kalibo now has water so we are able to take showers and brush our teeth and flush the toilet now, but we still don’t have safe water to drink so we buy huge jugs of water which last a week. I also invested in a mosquito net because our new apartment attracts marami mga lamok. (lots of mosquitos). Each month we have a service project at our house and this past week it came time  again and we desperately needed it. I cleaned the kitchen that we have outside. It was pretty disgusting so I was so happy to clean it. Our place hadn’t been lived in for a long time so there was quite of bit of cleaning to do. Life is definitely not boring. It is great and  I love it so much; but there are times when I miss America.
This past week we got to teach 10 lessons which is so more than what we have been able to do lately with all the service and traveling to Iloilo and moving. It has been great to finally teach some lessons again. The miracles continue to happen araw araw (everyday) and it is such a blessing to see this work roll forth and to be a part of it.
I love you all so much
Sister Jensen
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About rachelejensen

Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

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