Monday, February 29, 2016

February 29, 2016

AHHHH THIS IS SO FUN!!!! So many HUGE miracles this week and we have seen so many people CHANGE!!!! SOOOOOOOOOO I love my cute little group! We have 63 people attend our sacrament meeting last week. The 3rd time ever having sacrament meeting ever in Malay!!! Such a unique mix of people. Everyone is either a long time less active member or nonmembers. The spirit is so strong in such a humble group of members. Everyone is so different. But when we get together to have church....something special happens and the spirit gets so strong!!!! I love it!!!

Sunday when we got to the meeting house to set everything up we were met with a big surprise......IT FLOODED!!!! Like really flooded!!! We freaked out and moved everything into another room in the unfinished building. Made a bridge so members can cross the flooded room and made it work!!! I owe a lot to my companion. I stressed out a little bit but he stayed way calm and handled the situation so well! So many people came and it was really organized. We separated in 3 classes after sacrament. Adults, primary, and the youth. Since we are only a group we only have church for 2 hours.  But its really good. Even though it was thrown together from two 19 year old kids. The spirit makes up for all of our mistakes. We found a new meeting house. Nothing short of a HUGE miracles that we can meet there for almost FREE! SO COOL!!!!  Missionary work is so good on a vacation island.........I cant say it enough...THIS IS WHERE THE JOBS ARE And the stud members go where the jobs are! Mark...he is so awesome he just married one of the most Jehovah's witness on the island. The  family of 11 have came to church every week.


Have a great week.  I feel like I am the luckiest missionary in the world.


Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Monday, February 22, 2016

February 22 2016

No group email from Jackson this week just a few pictures.  I also received the following letter and a couple of pictures from that couple (Mr. and Mrs. Cooper) from Portland who is vacationing on that island.


Had another great Sunday meeting today! We have some family & friends staying with us now in Boracay so most of our group joined us at church today. The Elders are still looking for a more appropriate meeting place so until then they will meet in this hot, noisy location - makes for a unique experience!
Here's a few more photos of us & the group today!

Don & Cathy Cooper

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 16, 2016

ALRIGHT!!! Where do I start this week? It was such a successful week! We spent all week preparing for the very first sacrament meeting in Malay, Aklan! This is a huge deal! We tried to make this unfinished building look nice. So we made some curtains and put a bunch of pictures on the wall. We even scored a keyboard! Such a humble meeting house. I just think back at home how many class rooms we have at home....a indoor basketball court and just how lucky we are. Any way we tried to make it not look scary! We were so excited but way nervous for how it was going to start! Two weeks ago we didn't know a single member! But on Sunday we had a total of 42 people come to church! Which exceeded all of our expectations. Everyone was so excited!!! About 12 of them were investigators. There rest are all less active members who are so excited to partake of the sacrament again!

We had a testimony meeting and the spirit was so strong where members who have not been able to partake of the sacrament for years felt so privileged to renew their covenants. They all just shined and there will be no way to explain how amazing it was to be there! Since there we have no leader yet I presided at the meeting. Which was way crazy! Then afterwords Elder Palzario took the primary and then I took the rest and we all counciled together about how we are going to organize this. We made goals and plans to make it a branch and talked about we have to work together to build the kingdom of God here in Malay! Never have I felt more led by the spirit in my whole mission. I was way nervous and had no idea what to do. But by the guidance of the Spirit! IT WAS A HUGE SUCCESS!!!

We found some amazing people. Mark Baldismo. He has been less active for 10 years he even served a mission. Now he is a head manager on a really nice resort! We got his number and asked him where we could meet. So he took us to the beach of his resort and bought us real hamburgers! REAL HAMBURGERS! (I sent pictures). He got really excited about coming back to church and helping it grow here. He is such a nice guy! I love him so much! The people on this island didn't go less active because of their lack of testimony that is for sure! They just didn't want to be poor anymore (which is good) and wanted a better life for their family! Which is so good to see. These are the people who want to improve their situation. Tonight we are going to a birthday party of an owner of a hotel who is also a member! She is so nice and said we can eat for free at here restaurant every time we come!!!!!!:):) 

We found two Americans who are members. They live and work on Boracay! We talked to them in full English!!! So not used to that. It is so funny! But I love it! The both came to church and I really like talking to them. It gives me a small taste of what it would be like to be a missionary in America. I have always been so curious about that. This area is the closest I will get be. 

This place is such a mixing pot of so many different cultures. So many different kinds of people! It is so cool and makes me want to travel all over the world! O ya we met a member from Russia!!! We are going to be so so so busy the next few weeks! We have a lot more work to do and I am so up for the challenge! I now know more than ever that it is not me. We as missionaries have such a small part in building the church, conversion, and reactivation. It is the Spirit. He guides and we follow! I have felt it more than ever right now and it is now all I want! 

I love you all so much and hope you all are having fun at the cabin! And A BIG SHOUT OUT to Lexi Craythorne for turning 9 years old!! She is such a sweet little sister. I love her and I miss her great big hugs:) HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!


Tagalog: Ingat (language I had to learn in my first area)
IllongoHalong (language I learned in the MTC and the language I know the best)
MalaynonDahan (current area)
English: Take Care

Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne

Sunday, February 7, 2016

February 8, 2016

You are probably sick of me saying this but this week was the best ever! Everything just went right for us here in Caticlan. So I am sure a bunch of you have seen the pictures of my new area. Ya it is that beautiful. So much has happened this week i will do my best to have it all make sense in this email.
So last week at this time we just had our bags, a box of  Book of Mormons, and knew 1 member. We were able to find and move into our apartment and and find a place for a meeting house. We found so many members and got them excited about having church in Caticlan.
So Monday night last week was a great start. We heard that there were members  in this one neighborhood and so we asked around and that led us to one of the biggest houses I have ever seen. My companion never hesitates to do anything so we went up and knocked on their door and when they saw us their faces lit up and were so happy to see us! They let us in and made us dinner. They have 11 kids and they are an awesome family. they live right on the beach and they even have a pool. In my whole mission I have never seen a house with a pool! They are all members but have been less active for a long time. They are excited to have church close to their house and they are going to be a HUGE help to us! They came to stake conference with us yesterday which was a 2 hour trip!
So that was awesome then Tuesday was even better. We went to the famous island of Boracay! A member who lives their came with us and showed us around. We met a ton of members who were about to cry when they found out that we were going to start having sacrament meeting in Caticlan. They were so happy and really missed the church so much! We would just be walking down the street and people would call us and ask where the nearest church was! It was amazing. We went on the beach and talked to some life guards who are members and they were so excited that they could go to church again! It was the best. Then the member who was with us (who has tons of big time friends) took us to some amazing beach resorts to have dinner with the owners cuz he has tons of hook ups. It was amazing!!! Boracay really has so many different kinds of people from all around the world. We testified to Koreans and gave pamphlets to Russians. It was awesome. I have learned so much just this week. We met a member from American as well. He is a RM and was the public relations director for BYU Hawaii. He lives on Boracay and will help the church here grow!!! So many miracles!
We really tried to go Ammon style in this area and  gain the trust of the people here. It is been awesome one of the coolest things I heard someone say this week was from this lady named Regina. We haven't even taught her yet but last night she came up to us and asked us why we were  so different from other people and why can't there be more of you. We explained very briefly about why and she was like "even though you haven't taught me yet I think I know your message." It hit me hard and goes to show people notice a lot more about what you do than what you say. I can go around just testifying about the Restoration and Jesus Christ and people will listen to what I have to say but I have seen the power of service and actions.  Just like the scripture that is on my plaque back home. Alma 17:29. And when I do talk and I do teach. I still try and stay out of the way of the Spirit.
I am so excited for this area! It is so ready to have the church here and it will progress. I love my mission and I love and miss you all! Have a great week!
Elder Jackson Erik Craythorne:)