Saturday, September 27, 2014

September 22nd

First Baptism
HELLO FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!! Another super crazy week here in the Philippines. Every day is so different you never know what will happen. This week I learned very important lesson. First of all we got robbed on Tuesday!!!! Yeah I know they totally took our window off of its track and it was on the ground. I have spent all morning trying to fix it! We should be getting grills on all of our windows so that doesn't happen again. But the good news is they only took money!!! It could have been much worse. I never have been the most cautious guy and I kinda had a lot of really nice things just sitting out. Palungput ako! But now i have everything hidden in crazy places that they will never find! So lesson learned. But like I said it could have been way way worse! So I feel blessed! 

I ate shark this week that was pretty crazy It was way weird and I don't think I will ever eat it again! This week we had a trainers and Trainees meeting in Iloilo. We are one of the farthest areas from Iloilo so we take a big bus all the way down to Iloilo. We go right down the middle of the Island on dirt road. It is a beautiful drive. But takes about 5 hours and you can't really write or read because it is so bumpy. But It was way cool to see all of my friends from the MTC! And hear about all of their areas. We have an awesome batch and they will all be great missionaries!

This week was a special week because I was able to baptize my first person. Last Saturday his name is Reyes Garganillo. From the PinamokanIsland. He turned 8 and his mom is a member. I love going to see him and playing marbles with him. He tries to hard to teach me how but knows no English so it is a bit difficult but we got it to work. I love him he reminds me so much of my little brothers and sisters! Just so fun and happy all the time! I just have the best little brothers and Sisters. BY the way just a little shout out to my sister Brooklyn it is her birthday this Wednesday! I love her so much! 

We had a bunch of investigators come to church this week and the area is really starting to pick up I love it! Well sorry about another short letter but I am running a little late and I need to head out! I love you all and I love being here as a missionary! I can feel all of your prayers for me and love reading your letters! I love you!!

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Shark anyone??
Take this boat to part of his area twice a week

Elder Craythorne with the local cops after getting robbed

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another week in paradise!!!!

Well hello family and friends! Magandang umaga!!! This week was really different from any week I have had. Like I said last time Elder Nambiowas in the hospital until Tuesday and another Sister in our district Sister Masse also went to the hospital! But I think for anything here you pretty much go straight to the hospital so its not like a huge emergency like it is at home when you go to the hospital! Still crazy and really makes me want to be really safe and healthy. I will don't worry!!!:) So because of this I got to go to every single apartment in Kolibo! Ya on Wednesday since Elder Garvin is the ZL and his comp was still sick I got to go around and show the two new couple missionaries around the whole zone! Ya I got really spoiled this week! I got to see some really cool places all over the zone! So that was awesome!!!!

Alright so to answer all of your questions. I have seen so much progress in the language this week! I will be honest I am pleasantly surprised like yesterday they were asking questions and I totally understood!!! Then after that I totally answered their questions!!! Then I asked them did you understand and they repeated back to me what they learned and what they thought about it! And I just had such a happy happy feeling inside that I can't describe. I have been struggling so much trying to learn a brand new language and when i can finally sorta kinda do it. O man it is the coolest feeling in the whole world!! AHHHH!  I just get so excited! They have a ton of patience for me and love that i am trying to learn their language and so it just makes for a really fun conversation! They really love Americans! It is just so sweet to be here!

So we had a baptism this week! YAY!!!!! It was so cool Well before he was baptized he was was married in the morning! So it was a way special day! He is was solid and being married was a huge sacrifice for him and really shows how much he wants to be baptized! His testimony afterwords was so sweet! Well we have a district activity right now so I have to leave a bit early so this one won't be super detailed I will try and be better next time! But I just want you guys to know I am really doing super good and really loving every day here in the mission. I get to experience some crazy things every day that I wish I could explain. But I am just loving serving a mission here in the Philippines and serving a mission forces you to learn so many different things about the gospel and real life! Like a simple washing machine would bless the lives of the people here so much. Alright I got to run I love you all so much so so much! Thanks for all of the amazing examples you all are. I think I was really born in the best place with the best family! Sorry it was a short one and not a lot of detail. I will get better at these I promise!

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Brother Jomel's Wedding

Brother Jomel's Baptism

Made his own soy milk and soy flour

Hanging out with Elder Garvin his Zone Leader who lives with him.

Primary mode of transportation

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week 4

Ok well hello everyone! It is another great day here in the Philippines. Right now I am in Kolibo again due to some health issues with a missionary that lives with me! Elder Nambio. He is 23 and a Filipino. He is way sweet! He should be able to come back tomorrow but that made this week a little exciting! This week is was so rainy. I knew it was going to be like that but still is just shocks me that every day it rains! EVERY DAY! I saw the sun one time and it was amazing! I was walking in it just soaking it in! While the people here hate it because they want to be whiter and so they are always trying to find the shade it is so funny! Then there in me the white guy out in the middle just soaking it in. I really was just so happy to see the sun this week I can't explain it! This week has been sweet. We taught some really good lessons. And ya I taught! I can now sort of teach in Tagalog. I have spent most of my time in Tagalog! But then there are always those places and always those people who will just talk to you in Aklanon. So that is where I am very weak. I haven't spent a lot of my time in understanding or speaking that language yet! I need to. But ya I am very happy with my Tagalog is. That will be really nice to know throughout my whole mission. I should be able to communicate with everyone here. So even when I need to learn a new language like Illongo or War-ay. I will still be able to teach while learning their own native language. So I am blessed to be in such a big Tagalog area to start out with. It is hard right now. But I know it is going to be so good for me!
We had a cool dinner appointment on the island that we go to. There are some crazy awesome members here who have to sacrifice so much just to go to church. But you know what? They do it!!! Every week! But ya that is where I ate my chicken feet. Which was the only thing so far that I really didn't like! But it is a challenge to get investigator to church who live there! But it is a cool place.
So I am really excited for this week because our investigator Jamel is getting married!!!! YAY!!!!! He is getting married at 8 in the morning on Saturday and then getting Baptized that afternoon. He is way sweet and way solid. Getting married here is kinda hard, which I think I have said before. So it really shows a lot of faith and a lot of trust in the Lord to sacrifice in order to get baptized! So ya you can say I am really excited to be apart of my first Baptism as a missionary!!! Wow it has been cool to teach him and to see him grow! It really shows me why I have came so far to be here! To see his testimony grow and his love for his Heavenly Father with the knowledge that there is a plan for all of us. He has a plan for every single one of us! Wow that has been the theme of my week! It started off with my Aunt Michele! I have to give her a shout out this week! She sent me a story last week. And since I don't have time to read all of my emails I take quick pictures of them so that I can read them on the jeepny ride home or something. I do love those so much so keep them coming! So ya I read hers last Monday and it told a story which I have heard before. About a current bush who grew too big and the gardener cut it down so it could focus on getting fruit! I think it was in the 1974 New Era or something like that I wish I could explain it more. But it talked about how the bush was sad because he was getting so big and now the gardener cut him down. The gardener said that he didn't want him to be a big shade tree but that he wanted him to be a current bush with fruit! It hit me hard that our Heavenly Father has put us in certain situations to shape us and to form us to what he wants us to be! But we still have our agency to choose his plan. That is our choice. But I have come to know that it is so true and that all trials have a purpose. My investigator told me that this week and that hit me way hard to! Man isn't that so cool?!?! Alright well I got to roll out! Thanks again for all the emails and support. I love you all so much and I want you all to know that I really do love it here. I love learning everyday and know that this forming me to become the man that our Heavenly Father wants me to be. And I want to be the person Heavenly Father wants me to be! I love you all so much and hope you all have a good week.

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

No pictures this week :(  He forgot to take his camera with him.  Jil emailed Jackson back and was not happy that she didn't get any pictures and Jackson replied back "I just didn't want to make you jealous of all the beautiful sunsets ;)"