Monday, June 13, 2016

The Best Two Years

The time is almost out for me here. I will forever be grateful for this beautiful place and the many things it has taught me. Ever since I was a kid I always knew I would go on a mission. I was always so excited to go on a mission. Everyone who got home always said the phrase that it was "The Best Two Years" That phrase got me so excited cuz my life was pretty good before the mission. I have an awesome family, high school was sweet, my friends were the best. I had my doubts that it would really be "The Best Two Years". When I got in the MTC I realized that saying goodbye would be harder than i ever thought. But I really enjoyed the unique Spirit that can really only be found in the MTC so it was good. But I remember I just wanted to get out so I could really start to help people.
       After about two weeks in the field I quickly missed the MTC. Life as a missionary came out of no where and slapped me in the face. It was so much harder than I ever imagined and I really started to doubt those four words. The first couple months just sitting in lessons not being able to understand or say anything with value. I had a huge desire to help people but at the time didn't really feel like I was helping anyone. But those four words "The Best Two Years" gave me hope that if I kept pushing that eventually I would find that mysterious joy everyone always talked about. Got to my 2nd area and relearned the language they taught me in the MTC. It was good. I had great companions and started to really feel that joy. We met awesome families who saw real change in their lives which was awesome! It was so cool to see the power that the Restored message of Jesus Christ had to actually change the lives of people. It was excited and contagious. I wanted to see it happen again, again, and again. My hope that I could have a happy and successful mission became real. I then honestly believe that if I just keep learning and keep working that I would find that joy that everyone always talked about.
       Then came my 3rd area....O ya. Thats when things EXPLODED!!!! Worked harder than ever before and felt happier than ever before. We not only see the lives of investigators change but also the lives of other missionaries who felt the same way as I did when I first arrived. Our whole mission literally caught on fire and everyone was working harder and smarter than ever before! We learned the joy of progressing. Of waking up and trying to improve your work, yourself, and the lives of other. We realized the Plan of Happiness is really about the constant progression and nothing makes you happier than seeing improvement all around. God wants us to get better. No matter who we are right now the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is we can improve. By my 3rd area I finally found what I was looking for. I could honestly say that the mission was "The Best Two Years" Finally being able to say that was HUGE for me. My high expections were finally met.
      Just when I thought that things couldn't get any better or that I hit the peak of my mission. I was given an opportunity to do something really special. Febuary 1, 2016 Elder Palzario and I arrived here in Caticlan with orders to start a group. Everything I ever learned in from Primary to the MTC was all applied. And you have heard all of this but it was so cool. We had a phone number of one known member and after 3 weeks we met over 60 members and established a strong group. Miracles were literally raining on us. Every day we would just get home an awe and amazement with how many miracles we saw that day. The cool thing about this place is all the members kinda fell back to their bad habits because there was no church here. So thought the next few months saw lives of the people here make huge changes and that gave us a huge thrill. It was the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. It was super successful and is still growing and progressing. I was super happy in my 3rd area. I found that pure joy of serving the Lord. I found those four words were true in my 3rd area. Then my last 6 months BOOM! Everything just shot through the roof and exploded!!! Those high expectations I had before my mission were destroyed. I knew a mission would be good. But I didn't know it would be this good. I love love love my mission. I will forever be grateful for what I have learned here and the knowledge I have obtained of the Savior. Just like those four simple words "The Best Two Years" gave me hope. Jesus Christ our Savior gives me that same hope that even when life gets rough (I know it will come) things will get better. Because of the hope that He gives me. I will continue to serve Him forever. My service to Him did not start and it will not end with this mission.  But I will forever be a representative of Him and His divine church.
One thing I love about the stories in the Bible was that Jesus taught a lot. He taught, taught, and taught. At the end of His life he was put in a situation where he applied all the lessons he taught. He taught to love your neighbor and turn the other cheek. Things that are pretty hard to do. When he got betrayed and tortured. He applied all that he taught. He walked the talk. Here in the Philippines you get to teach a lot. I have taught THOUSANDS of lessons and now that this mission in the Philippines is coming to a close its time to really apply those things and serve God with all my heart, might, and strength. 

I love you all thanks for you support. I will see all of you real soon:)

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Sunday, May 29, 2016

May 30, 2016

Wow the month of May is done!!!! My last full month as a full time missionary. Its all going so so so fast! I still feel like I have so much to do here! This is honestly where the meat of the Gospel is! This is so good! We are always running around trying our best to get everything to work. Sometimes it does get stressful. On Tuesday good old Chris LeDoux came out of no where and got stuck in my head. "Slow Down" Slow in the mirror slow down the best times are here and now...slow down. It made me so happy for 2 reasons: 1 I remembered how much I love my country music and 2 it really helped me focus on enjoying the joy that is right in front of me. I will be honest. I am so so so excited to come home and see you guys again. The backpacking trip the boys had this last week got me super excited. But like Chris says I am trying to slow down and just enjoy the amazing people, beautiful place, and the opportunity to be a full time servant of My Heavenly Father. I love it I know I am going to miss this I'm gonna want this back. I know I'm gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast... So three weeks left..... I'm gonna take it all in and enjoy it while its here!!!!

Alright I gotta tell you a story about two youth who live on Boracay. I will send you a picture of their family. So our plan last Monday was to all meet up together so they can take the 2 hour trip to the Stake Center together for their youth conference. Half of our youth live on one island and the other have on another island...ha ya crazy. So everyone met at 3 but we couldn't find 2 of them. They didn't have a cell phone so we couldn't get a hold of them. We sent the rest and decided to wait cuz they said they would come and they were so excited. So they showed up at 6pm. 3 hours late. They apologized and said they didn't have any money for the bus fare to get to the stake center so they took a 1 peso coin....used a hammer and other tools and made a couple of rings that they then went and sold on the front beach so they could attend the youth conference. Crazy. So we sent them off and it was all good. But when they got back here 3 days later their parents called at like 9pm wondering why they weren't home yet. Everyone else made it home but these two boys. Finally they made it home and it turned out that when they got here in Caticlan they were out of money. They still had to take a boat to their island and then take a bus to the other side of the island but they were out. So they somehow got on the boat then when they got on their island they walked 2 and a half ours to their home!!!!! BOOM what studs!!!! So we visited them a few days ago and they were just saying how they were like the pioneers and then they told us how many girls they danced with at the dance and showed me how many numbers they got...Ahh I love these two kids!!! They asked for a bible so that in October when the stake has a scripture mastery competition they will win it for Caticlan!!! I will send you a picture of them but man it was so cool! We fought for them hard to get a spot and it was so worth it. They will both be made priest and teachers in June!!!

We had another really cool miracle happen this week! So I was assinged in Roxas for 7 months and got to know a lot of people there from other wards. I saw one of the families in our area one day on vacation and went up to talk to them. It turned out that they had a nephew (named James who is 23) that just got baptized in April and they were getting his stuff from Caticlan to take him to Roxas so he can still stay active in church. Because they didn't know there was a church here. But as soon as they found out there is a church here they changed their plans right then and there and now he is staying here in Caticlan. Boom another priesthood!!! ITS GROWING!!!! I know that wasn't a coincidence but planned out for sure!!! Way cool!!!

Things are going way good. We got some awesome goals and plans for June. Lots of priesthood ordinations, starting home teaching, starting seminary!!! So so so cool. This is turning out to be really solid. Again this is where the meat of the gospel is! I am so glad to end my mission here.

Alright 3 weeks na lang!!!!! I will see you guys very soon! I love you so much!!!!

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016

HEY!!!! Wow was it soooo good to see all of you last week! It was all just so happy because we are going to see each other in just over a month!!! AHHHH SO EXCITED!!! So out of all of the skypes this one was by far the best. Not cuz I was on one of the nicest beaches in Asia but cuz I am going to be wrestling with all on you very very soon:) 

Last week was mothers day so I didn't get to give her a shout out but since you all know my mom I don't have to say too much. Mom I love you so so so much. You are my hero. I will be trying everyday to be as strong, fast, and dedicated as you! I am so excited to show you around my 2nd home here in the Philippines and go running with you:) I love you! You are the BEST!!!

So ya I was pretty confident that Elder Palzario would be my last companion......that didn't turn out to be true. Man I loved every second with him. We had a  really special time together trying to get some sort of church established here. We seriously became so so so close! He helped me out so much and I hope I was able to help him as well. We both have progressed so much here and he was needed to be a ZL in another zone and he will do so well! So the night before we left we went out and got a special dinner on the beach! SUPER AWESOME! We went to a Mongolian Grill which is like the one we have in Ogden. All you can eat!!!! AHHHHH Turned out it was all part of the plan because the chef is a MEMBER!!!! THEY ARE EVERYWHERE HERE!!! He has been less active for about 10 years now and he is ready to come back with his family!!! WOOOOOO!!! But ya we had a super nice dinner to celebrate all that has happened to us and the area. All the miracles and even the stupid mistakes we made. It really was cool! While we were eating on the beach people would come around and play songs by request on the guitar!!! SO AWESOME!!! Don't tell anyone but I requested Home by Michael Buble :) He he

But its alright because now I am companions with Elder Ramos...So just so you know a little bit about him. Out of the whole mission if you asked the missionaries and had them each vote on who is the nicest, most hardworking missionary on the mission I bet about 80% would vote for Elder Ramos!!!! He is Ramos for being super smart and super awesome. So ya he just adds to my super stacked list of companions. He is awesome and a fantastic teacher!

So ya this week our Branch President came to our church.We have been here for about 3 months now and this is his 2nd time....Imagine that. He does live 2 hours away. So we finally got him to sign the baptismal records, give him the members ship record numbers we collected, and collect the tithing so next time people can be given the priesthood and start exercising their priesthood! So its been a slow process because of that but its all good cuz seriously we have about 60 members now about 8 full families. We got tons more progressing investigators. Two families are ready to get baptized as soon as they get their problems on their birth certificate fixed....only in the Philippines.

Yup things are going SUPER SUPER well here. I love it so much! This is the best way to end a mission. I feel like a missionary of old. Its fulfilling. It feels good! I love you all so much have a great week!!!!


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Mango Season!!!
I eat about 10 every day. When we are just walking around they will just be all over on the road and you just pick them up and BOOM heaven. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016

Hey everyone!!! Well first off a Cabelas in Farmington?!?! WHAT?!?!? Wow that's a big deal!!! This week was fantastic and we were able to have the very first ever baptisms in this area!!! It was fantastic. We found a great place on the beach for the baptism. It was nice and close to the beach so everyone could see. It was going to be perfect!!! Ha ha turns out we scheduled the baptism right at low tide!!!! Come on I am from Utah those types of things don't cross my mind! I only know how to worry about the runoff in the spring! So it turned into quite the little trek to find deep enough water for the baptism. So we walked for a while on the sharp rocks to find a good place. But everyone was a good sport and understands that we are only 19 year old kids trying to run this thing. So the baptism was successful and everyone made it back safe with minimal cuts on their feet....Ha you gotta be kidding me.
 So ya that was awesome the people baptized have really made so many changes and seen so many blessings. I was kinda nervous to tell them that we had to walk way far. But one of them answered it was totally fine they would swim all the way to the next island just to get baptized!!! After she said that all my stress went away! That's one thing i am trying to work on not getting so stressed! Cuz we still don't have much support from other leaders yet we are just too far away! But I get so nervous come Sunday morning its like right before game day hoping everything goes right! There are so many moving parts but every week it always turns into a success!
Yesterday we wanted to members to learn about the Pioneers. That is something I miss so much! A lot of members here don't know how cool the pioneers are! So all of the speakers and classes were about the pioneers of the church! It was awesome because the people here are real pioneers here in Caticlan! They are the first laying down a strong foundation for the church to grow! just like the pioneers before they sacrifice so much!!! So we have church on the main island but almost 80% of the members live on another island in Boracay! So for them to come to church they literally have to take a motorcycle then a boat and then walk to go to church.  Overall about an hour travel! Imagine that. Imagine the faith of these members. All of the baptisms last week were from Boracay! So cool!
I was reading this week in Alma and a verse hit me hard and showed me that what we are doing here in Caticlan is good!

Alma 1:26 "And when the priests left their labor to impart the word of God unto the people, the people also left their labors to hear the word of God. And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God they all returned again diligently unto their labors; and the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; and thus they were all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength." That is exactly how it is here. People come to church to try to learn together. We all take turns teaching and we all take our turns listening. No we don't have a branch president or a real leader but like the scripture said "they were all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength" Its really cool. So humble and so pure! I love it! I am so grateful to be trusted to be here!!!
Alright everyone I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week! I will see you in two weeks!!!! AHHH

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016

HEY!!!! Weeks are FLYING by right now this is so crazy!!! I wish I could just slow down time and focus on whats going on right now. We are just running everywhere like we are being timed! I love it! Almost every house here was watching Kobe Bryant's last basketball game. While I was eating I heard on the radio someone interviewing Kobe and asking him what it would feel like to take that jersey off for the last time. He responded saying that he would be at peace! That hit me hard cuz I am not ready yet! I still have 10% left and I will sprint to the finish so like Kobe I can be at peace when that name tag comes off!!!

My comp is amazing. He knows how he wants to end my mission and he is all in as well! We grew up in totally different situations tho. I will be the first one to admit that I have been so spoiled with my beautiful family! Elder Palzario didn't have that. His dad left him when he was 3 and his mom died when he was 11. So he separated from his brothers who are now on a totally different path.  So he grew up with an uncle who was a member of the church! And because of that he is now here with me opening Boracay!!! We have so much fun and I really just love him. So proud of him!!! He owes 100% of his success to the Church and is one of the many people who has experienced a complete turn around because of the Restored Gospel!

Alright so this week we planned a bunch of things to keep the excitement up about having a new group!!!! So we planned an AWESOME group activity. Since people here are so used to world class white sand beaches we took them to my area of specialty:).....A River. Yup Ryker you know I caught a few grass hoppers and threw them in to test if any fish would take them. So ya we found a really cool river to hold an activity! It was perfect! We had some games, the members swam, we had a boodle fight (where you throw rice and food on a 5 or 6 bananas leaves and everyone just digs in with their hands!!! I was so excited for it! Like the night before I couldn't stay asleep I kept waking up and checking the clock because I was just so excited! I love my little humble group:) So ya it was a lot of work but it was a 110% success!

The Gaytano family is a family you will for sure meet when you get here! Alex Gaytano is the dad and he is one of the most humblest man I have seen here. But at the same time he one of the firmest. That's a great combination. He is a brand new member but wow does he have a powerful testimony. He spoke for the first time this Sunday and wow it was so cool to hear! We have been trying to teach his oldest son who has 2 kids of his own for 2 months now!!!  He is just like his dad and has to be one of my favorite people I have met here. So humble but at the same time so firm. He would run away whenever we got there but after 2 months he finally let us teach him and his family and it was AWESOME! He pretty much just committed himself to get baptized and it was great! 

Ha ha I was able to overcome one of my weaknesses this Sunday. So our primary teacher didn't come to church this week...but she was super nice to send her 10 CRAZY kids!!!! We had a teacher for the adults class teach about the Word of Wisdom which every adult needs right now so we had to take care of the Primary/Nursery so the adult class would be successful. I will be honest....that's a rough class. Elder Palzario usually takes it because he is just a stud but this week I finally felt bad and took one for the team. But I am proud to say that I survived!!!! Ha ha I totally should have videoed it!!!! I taught a small lesson, played the piano for them (once again thanks mom for making me take piano lessons), translated I Am a Child of God in Tagalog, and colored pictures!!! It filled up all the time with minimal fights and kids cry!!! SUCCESS!!!! This group has put me in so many uncomfortable situation that it has to be good for me!

Things are going great here! Its a lot of work tho!! Wow is it a lot of work! But I wouldn't want anything different! I have a purpose here. I have a mission to complete here in Caticlan! I am thankful for my family. I miss my family. I love my family!!!!


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

HELLO EVERYONE!!!! Another crazy week just flew by and the clock is ticking louder and louder. AHHH I can't believe how few weeks I have left here.... I am excited but have so much more work to do here. I am not done yet. Well I big shout out this week to BENNY and Grandma Patsy both turning 17!!!:) I love you both so much!!!

So this week Caticlan group made a splash at the Stake Center for General Conference. Since we are so far and its pretty expensive to get to the Stake Center the Stake sent us a DVD to show in our meeting house so they didn't have to sacrifice so much to watch it at the Stake Center. But SACRIFICE BRINGS FORTH BLESSINGS!!!!! So we piled into some vans and made the 2hr trip to Kalibo. It was awesome! Everyone was so excited to see a real chapel and listen to the Prophets and Apostles. It was cool to see. The Stake Center was PACKED!!!! You seriously couldn't fit another person if you wanted to. So we weren't able to watch.... We spent most of the time outside. We will hopefully watch it on the DVD sometime this week! I heard it was good tho so I am so excited!!! This is an awesome Stake tho...probably the strongest one in the mission. I spent my first 6 months in this stake and I will spend my last 5 here. This is also where Talon ended is mission. Kalibo Stake!!! We will be splitting stakes next year and if I have anything to do with it Caticlan will be the center and strongest unit in the new stake!!!! HOOOOOO  Go CATICLAN!!!!

Good things are happening. There are 4 of us now here and we have been able to find so many cool people who are really wanting to learn. Never have I had someone take notes while teaching until this week! Its so exciting. We expect great things to happen here.

Its summer here and boy is it hot!!! I don't ever remember it being this hot last year. Its crazy! What we have found to work for us is we start working at 8am then come back and do our studies when its soooo hot!!!! Its been way nice!

I truly feel like I am in the "Land of Promise" like the Brother of Jared in Ether 2:8 "whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time and henceforth and forever, should serve Him, the true and only God" I love this place and I just want to serve the true and only God. Not only for the few weeks I have left but even after this name tag comes off. I am trying to become less dependent on the name tag that I wear because its about to come off. I don't want to be obedient just cuz I am a missionary or I don't want to act this way just because I have a name tag. I want to serve the Lord and His children because I love Him. I love Him and I know I am His son. So when the times comes....I won't be dreading the day that I take off this name tag but I will be at the point where the name tag means...nothing. I am still a son of God and will still serve Him and His children forever.

Thank you so much for always writing me! I love reading about all you are doing!!! I am so proud of all of you and LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Here is a little something he wrote to me that I thought I would share.  I noticed a comment on Facebook from Elder Dorman's mom that said something like "a cat had kittens on Elder Craythorne's clothes" so I asked Jackson and this was his reply.

HEY!!!! Alright here I got so much to say!!! Well its been an AWESOME WEEK!!!! Good things are happening. I was way excited for General Conference but we were only able to watch Sunday morning Session and Sunday afternoon session...except Elder Holland....We had to leave early. Another story I will tell you after. I will listen to it sometime this week. Haha you heard about the cat born in my closet. I could fill up a whole book with little stories like that. This place is so crazy. We only have running water for like 6 hrs a day, when we walk in our apartment like 20 cockroaches will scatter. Its that crazy. We climbed the coconut trees today and got fresh coconut. We bought fish the size of our pinkie didn't even cook them we just put it in vinegar. So many cool things we do here!!! We have the most beautiful spot on the beach in Boracay we do out Comp Study. I am seriously so happy. Everything is just so awesome!


Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016

Hey everyone!!!!!!! Well March 2016 is in the books it will go down as one of my favorite months ever!!!! So so busy! It taught me a lot and I loved it. Now its going to be a little different. There are now 4 missionaries here in the area which means the work is going to EXPLODE!!!!!! It also takes a lot of pressure off us! We are planning on renting a bus to take everyone to General Conference next week! We are all going to roll up for stake conference in style and show the stake that we are for REAL!!!! Ha ha we are so excited!!!! 

Last night was awesome we taught the Solis family which is one of the most influential families in our neighborhood! We tried to teach them when we first got here but they kept saying they were too busy. But we did a simple service project for the neighborhood and they saw. So they actually invited us over to teach them!!! So last night we came and taught the restoration. It was AWESOME!!!! Their nephew is a member and he did a great job helping out. After we were done they invited us to stay for dinner. It took about an hour to cook the food and they dad seriously wouldn't not let us stop the lesson. He wanted us to keep going and teach until the food was done....ya I know.  NEVER HAS THIS EVER HAPPENED!!! So ya they are way excited and we are even more excited for them!!!!

The Garcia family are awesome!!!!! They are such a happy family. Finding families that love each other is like my hobby here. I love nothing more than teaching happy families. The Garcia family is one of them. The husband and the wife both think they are the luckiest people in the world because of who they married. How cool is that?!?! LOVE IT. They are the family in the picture where we are eating dinner with them! 

So ya right now we are training leaders so that missionaries will just have to focus on finding and teaching. We are planning an activity to a river to help build the unity!!! THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO!!!!! Just taking things step by step! 

Alright guys have a great week!!!!!!

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016

Hey everyone!!! It sounds like quite the week for the Craythorne family! Asking someone to Prom!!! Wrestling tournament!! Making the Cheer team!! Goblin Valley!!! Wow I am so proud of all of you!!! Wish I was there to take you all out to a Red Mango!!!:)

We had another GREAT Sunday with a wonderful turn out! We also for the first time got a member of the stake presidency to come visit us to see all the progress that has been made! They were so shocked and had no idea how strong this brand new unofficial group has become. They said they will apply to make it a branch ASAP!! So that was super good news!!! We were way happy!!! I get way nervous come Sunday morning just cuz there is so much going on but we are always so happy with how it turns out! 

So they said that they will visit us every other week now to help it grow! That was the crazy thing here. We have been here for 7 weeks and no one from the stake or other branches has any idea what we have been doing here...until now which is good. And its safe to say we got their attention now:)

We have found some awesome families with some awesome dads this week! That is our only focus. We know in order to build a solid branch we need a solid foundation of strong families. This Wednesday there will be 4 of us here in Caticlan to help speed up the work! There is so much to do and it will be way nice to have another pair of missionaries to help. Elder Dorman will be one of the missionaries coming. He was my last comp and we are so ready to end our missions together here and establish the best branch we can before we go. Because this dream is going to end soon whether I like it or not!

Happy Easter everyone! Where we celebrate the most important thing that has ever happened! The Atonement and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I love everyday of my mission where I get to testify that it really happened and its not just a story. Everyday I get to share the good news of the gospel. That no matter who we are and where we are at.....we can always get better. No matter what we are going through because of Him we have the hope that things will get better.

I love you guys so so so much!!!!


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

Hey everyone! Well before I start. I got a really cool email again today from a lady who read this blog. She heard about the area I was in and said she was looking for missionaries in that area to teach one of her friends. That was about 6 weeks ago. So we were able to get that referral to the right missionaries and now she emailed me again saying that they got baptized yesterday. How cool is that? Its crazy how the Lord works sometimes.

So yesterday was one of those days. So we tried really hard to get our Mission President to come to see how awesome this place is and how strong of a group it is! So he told us Saturday that he could come if we moved sacrament meeting from 1pm to 9am. So sent out big group text and changed the time. Since people sit outside of the church 1pm is good because the sun is on the other the side of the building which made a nice shady spot to sit.  But at 9 wow it would be so hot! So we woke up early Sunday cut down some bamboo and tried to make some sort of canopy...well it didn't work. So we ended up throwing together  some sad looking screen to keep the make some shade. I will send pictures but its nothing to be proud of...We will do better next week! It was a huge turnout and so cool because after sacrament meeting we had a meeting with the Mission President and the classes went on without us!!!! Boo ya!!!

Ha ha we played basketball with the minister of one of the biggest churches here this week. That was way interesting. We made some friends with some members of his church and invited them to come play basketball with us. When we showed up we realized what was going on. We started to play but every time he touched the ball he would stop and ask us a dumb question or try and make us look like fools. It was ridiculous and funny at the same time. My comp is awesome and is so funny. it is impossible not to like my comp. So he just did what he does best and it turned out OK! 

So now that we have a solid organized church we will focus more on finding more new families to teach. Next week there will be 4 of us and its going to really explode. I am so excited to come back here in a few years and see their chapel. That will be HUGE!

I think my favorite thing about this place is since we are still we new. Everyone has a lot of problems and they know it. This church feels more like a hospital than anything. People have been sick from not being able to go to church. They forgot a lot, they started some bad habits, and now they are trying to get better. Isn't that how its supposed to be? Its such an exciting spirit that is in our meetings! I wish you could see it! So humble and so real. Real lives with real problems. I love it!!! So we have keeping the Sabbath day holy down. Next week we will tackle the Word of Wisdom...ha

Alright well another week went by way too fast. I love you all so much!!!!


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Got a free ride home in a dump truck......gotta love the Philippines!!!!:)

Monday, March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016

We did not receive a group email this week for some reason.  I did get a short letter from him and things are going well.  As you can see from the pictures and his comments below they have to seat people outside during sacrament meeting.  Here is a little bit of what he wrote me last night.....

"Alright so the church here is legit and very organized. Its only 2 hours though. I take the adults after sacrament. (I CANNOT HANDLE THE PRIMARY) Elder Palzario takes them. It's unlike other places because these people are not used to coming to church so they aren't just coming out of habit but they actually want to learn and that attitude makes a HUGE difference."

"Our biggest concern right now is marriage. People can't get baptized if they aren't married. People here can't get married if they have a previous marriage. It's impossible to get a divorce here. Its a sad situation......"

Our Meeting house! We have no choice people sit outside....