Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Looks like Vietnam during the 4th of July!

I got to go back for this sister's baptism. I taught her at the very beginning of my mission and she was so solid, she just wanted to wait so that her recently reactivated husband could baptize her. Look at how many missionaries she went through! It was also great to be able to see my old companions, Elders Andrus and Cornia! :) 
It was an awesome Saturday!

I had never really thought about it, but you are right, we really are those servants who are preaching repentance for the last time before the Lord comes again. That is extremely humbling. He must trust us a lot. It's a sacred privilege. And none of it would be possible without this wonderful free country that we live in, that so many of our ancestors fought and died to create and protect. I am so grateful for that. I will say though, I wish we could have gone to a park to watch a firework show. That being said, Moreno Valley looks like Vietnam during the 4th of July. All fireworks, especially aerial, are explicitly banned in Riverside County, but that doesn't stop the people here. There have been fireworks going off for almost the entirety of my time here, but last night they were going off in every direction like a mortar barrage. It was really cool, but also quite strange to see them so sporadically fired all throughout the valley. We had fun though. We played trash ball and basketball in the evening, went shopping during the day, and had pancakes from the Scouts for breakfast, and tri-tip for dinner! It was a lot of fun!   

Speaking of that, I did have some faux gangbanger who thought he was tough get up in my face this past week, like he wanted to fight (I think he just wanted to look tough in front of his friends). I felt very safe though. It was kind of strange, seeing as I am not a fighter at all. Either that, or I've got a future in MMA when I get home :) 

I really liked a promise our Mission President gave us that if we find 20 new investigators in July, we will baptize in August. I believe that full-heartedly. I want to baptize immensely. I want nothing more than to baptize a convert who can one day make covenants in the temple and be a lifelong member, as well as an eternal friend. I will continue to develop my faith and rely on the Spirit to accomplish this.

I am still loving this ward, my companion, and this zone. I am so grateful for the wonderful missionaries that are here and their efforts. Something that really stood out to me this week was the love that the leaders of the church in the scriptures had for their people, even in wickedness, as well as their complete and total dependence on the scriptures. As I was starting the book of Mosiah this week, I was impressed at how it mentions that even Lehi, one of the great prophets, would have never been able to remember all that the Lord wanted him to without the scriptures, and that he too would have eventually fallen into transgression had it not been for them. We are no different. If we do not constantly nourish ourselves on the word of God, we will fall into sin, and become the same as the Lamanites. Being a missionary or a disciple of Christ does not eliminate us from needing to continue our growth. We must do it daily so that the Holy Ghost can guide us and purify us. We all want to progress, but only through faithfulness and commandment keeping can we do so (Mosiah 1:17). I want to do a better job at relying fully on the Lord and His words, so that I can be a better missionary and priesthood holder.

I think that cooler would be fine! I think it would actually be great for summer here. I am fine with you sending whatever. I think that anything to help keep cool and hydrated would be awesome! I appreciate whatever you send though, I really do. I love getting mail.

I am blown away! I hit my year mark in just a smidgen more than a month! That is crazy! It is going so fast! I still feel like I just got here. 


Your Elder Jackson

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