Thursday, October 8, 2015

5 October 2015    Sprained Ankle and Flat Tire!

So this week has been very interesting! I joined a Russian Tango group and we were rehearsing for a concert coming up next month when I slipped on the hardwood (why would anyone put bubble soap there?!) and my ankle went *pop*! I lied about the whole Russian Tango part, but I really did jack up my ankle pretty good. It looks the same color as those decorative ears of corn that you get for Thanksgiving. Remember how I told you that I needed to get baskeball shoes so I'd stop rolling my ankle? Well, I got them a week too late. I rolled it super good Wednesday morning and pretty soon it swelled to the size of a grapefruit. My mission president's wife, Sister Mullen (bless her heart, she's a saint), was insistent that I go to the urgent care to check it out. The report came back that it was just severely sprained and that there was a few calcified fragments, and whether they were already there or broken off wasn't known.

Elder Jackson and Jasmine are both having rough days (Jasmine is the car).
But they gave me some bandages and a SUPER stylish boot (velcro is back in this season) and some gnarly pain killers. As we were driving to the pharmacy to pick up said gnarly pain killer, we got a flat tire. Now, if seeing two Mormon missionaries change a tire wasn't funny enough, just imagine one  of them wearing a boot and hobbling around changing a tire. But alas! The Lord loves those who serve Him, because we changed it and were back in action in under 10 minutes (I think I could work as one of those tire-changing guys on Nascar). We then waited at CVS for a small eternity while they got my prescription, but it was all worth it because I spent the next two days feeling as carefree as the people at Burning Man. I also seemed to have narcolepsy because I would randomly fall asleep where ever we went. I even seemed to have totally forgotten entire chunks of things we had done those days, as my comp reminded me. Even though I felt no pain while I was on the drugs, I didn't like how hazy they made me so I stopped taking them. Burt I am now doing much better. I picked up the nickname Gimpy Swag, so that's cool too.

I promise I'm, fine, but mission policy is pretty strict, so they made it seem like a huge deal. Sitting at home and not being able to work is a real pain in the rear though! I felt so useless! Our joke was that "No unhallowed [foot] can stop the work from progressing" (Standard of Truth).

I had a great spiritual experience this week! Our area has been slow and we haven't been seeing a lot of success. At District Development Meeting, Sister Spencer suggested that maybe our faith was lacking and that if we had faith to believe that we would have success that we would. We always hear phrases like, "Just increase your faith" or "Take a step of faith", and I think for the most part, I've done alright at that, but I've never had my faith tested to any real measure. I've never really had to think that simply trusting would work. And seeing as I am a missionary and that's what we preach, it is sort of important! Well, when we were working the other evening, I prayed that we would be led by His hand to those whom would be receptive to this great message. I really tried putting my trust in the Lord. I prayed very fervently. And lo and behold! The very next door we knocked on and we had a great lesson with the guy inside and his family. In fact, as we were about to leave, it started pouring rain and he allowed us to stay longer and we got to know him and his family better! A few hours later, we got a text from a member in our ward saying that his son wants to come back to church and his daughter-in-law wants to be baptized and start the lessons! What an amazing way for the Lord to show his power! I just feel ashamed that I hadn't done that weeks earlier so that we could have had stuff like this happen then and be so much further ahead!

My companion continues to teach me things. I am amazed at how well he is able to bring off topic conversations, wherever they may be, back on topic without making it feel out of place. He keeps the flow well.

Matthew 10:28 really stood out to me this week. It was comforting how we are told that there is so much in this world to fear, yet if we are on God's side, we don't need to fear anything that can do us bodily harm. In terms of eternity, none of that matters. What we really need to fear are those things that cause us spiritual harm; those things that distance us from God and can keep us from attaining the eternal happiness and exaltation that we all yearn for. This life is the time to prepare to meet God, "and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." Work hard and do what is right, and it'll all work out in the end. We have a direct promise from God on that. Times will be tough, but we have a harbor to take refuge in, and as long as we follow the commandments with exactness, we will come off conqueror.

and of course... GENERAL CONFERENCE! 

It was so great! I have never been so attentive and thoroughly enjoyed sitting down and hearing 10 hours of conference as I was this time around. As Tyler always said, "It's like the Mormon Super Bowl!" and it really is! There was soooooo much good stuff that was said. I took 17 pages of notes, if that shows anything about how much I enjoyed it. I think the overall theme was that we really need to be converted to the Lord and His doctrine. With the world getting darker and darker, we don't have time to be half-hearted, weak-testimonied saints; we need to actively be striving every day to be coming closer to Christ and building our foundation on Him, otherwise we have no guarantee at staying upright when the winds of the adversary come blowing through.  We need to be brave to do what is right, and we need to be humble, to be able to receive strength from the Lord. Satan's determination is great, but ours needs to be greater. We don't need to be afraid to do what is right. Doubt and fear are opposite and we can only be possessed of one at a time, so we need to choose which one it'll be. As we seek to do what is right and follow Christ, we will be surrounded by those people who have the same goals and with whom we can seek refuge. I know that this is true and that these principles will bless our lives if we follow them. This all comes from God, and is an instruction manual on how to be successful. If we ponderize the words of Christ, we'll be able to "always remember Him" as we promise to do every Sunday during the Sacrament and we will receive the grace and divine help we need!

It was amazing! Let me know what you are ponderizing and which talks were your favorite!

I love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Elder Jackson

Zone Meeting

It was Blood Moon week!

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