Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Hello! Happy Valentine's Day and President's Day!

That is awesome to hear that you and dad are heading to the Provo City Center Temple open house. I heard it is absolutely breathtaking and really want to go when I get back. Thank you so much for the package as well! I have been drawing up a storm and am so excited to do more. I have found that a few minutes of art every day really keeps me relaxed and able to work hard without feeling overwhelmed.

I met someone who knows Mike Snow! His name is Brother Taylor. I think he said Mike's brother is married to his daughter in Hemet or something to that effect. If I ever serve in Hemet, I will let look out for them. If you find out his brother's name, I will see if I can find him. Tell Olivia I say congrats! That is so cool! Tell her to send me an announcement! That is so great!

Random Steve Tyler Guy in short shorts on Valentines:)

Corona is awesome! I think it is one area in California I wouldn't mind living in. The people are amazing and super funny. I have had some fun experiences here already with some super cool members. Missionary work here is tough since it is fairly affluent and people here are pretty happy, for the most part, with what they have and don't feel an overwhelming desire to change. I have been lucky enough to only have met the most cordial Corona has to offer (in fact we contacted these three kids in a car who were in the middle of smoking weed and were completely gone, but ended up having a great conversation with them and they felt uplifted. They also offered us some weed, so we'll have to teach the Word of Wisdom, but that is down the road haha ) and am confident we can find someone to baptize this transfer.

Elder Thompson and I had a rough week with regards to missionary work. We were not able to teach nearly as much as we would have liked to and our efforts in finding were not super fruitful. I don't want the previous things I have heard about Corona being a "dead-spot" for missionary work to have an effect on either Elder Thompson or I. There are people here that the Lord has prepared and we can find them if we are faithful and diligent. I have made progress in relying on the Spirit, but still want to improve my efforts there. I found something very uplifting and motivating though while Elder Thompson and I were street contacting the other day and I was in the midst of feeling down about our low numbers and lack of outward success, and that thought was: What would Jesus have me do right now if He were here? I thought it was funny because I seem to always see "What Would Jesus Do?" stickers, but this thought really hit home with me and I have pondered it ever since. We are told that Christ is with us as missionaries when we do His will and His work, so I imagined that Christ Himself were with us in the streets of Corona talking with people with Elder Thompson and I. I know it sounds silly, but it really got me motivated. I was so excited from then on to be talking to people and the Spirit was with me so much stronger. It helped me remember why I came on a  mission and reaffirmed to me that this is the best place I can be and that this is where the Lord sent me to labor in His name. "The Name at the bottom of the name tag is much more important that the name on the top". I will try to keep this simple yet motivating phrase continually in my mind over the next 18 months so that I can continually do that which I have been called to do and that which my loving Father in Heaven would want me to do to help His children here in this area of the vineyard.

Saying goodbye to my host family in my first area.

I have been feeling the Spirit a lot more recently and for that I am so grateful. I hope you can too. This work is so incredibly important and we all play a part in it.

Oh PS: The Young Women in our ward are all trying to go to see the Saturday Morning session of the April General Conference. I don't know if you'd possibly be able to send some tickets down, but they would be very appreciative here if you could.

Also, if you could send those CD's I left, that would be great. The more music, the better. We can listen to any gospel music. Also, if you could print out some pictures that would be much appreciated. I would love to have some pictures of me cheering too.

Love you lots! Take care and talk to you next week!

Your Elder Jackson

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