Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I Don't Care About the Olympics, I Don't Care About the Olympics, I Don't...

Oh man! I'm having a hard time missing the Olympics! We had dinner with the Tatums last night and they "accidentally" left the Olympics on. I tried my hardest not to watch, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't sneak a few peaks. It was the Canada v. USA volleyball and USA v. New Zealand women's rugby. But I didn't look for more than a few moments! haha That is what real temptation is. It was intense! I'm glad to hear that Michael Phelps is still on the prowl! He's awesome. I heard a gymnast broke his tibia and fibula during his routine? That must be so painful! At least I'll be back for the Winter Olympics!

I'm glad that your visit to KY went as well as it could have. That would be hard to do. I am glad that Grandma is doing as well as can be expected though. I wonder if she'll still be alright when I get back. The knowledge of the plan of salvation really does make things like this so much easier though. I am grateful for that!

So if you get teary-eyed seeing other missionaries in the airport, what are we going to do with you when I get home? Haha just kidding. I remember watching missionaries return with you once at the airport and it touched me how much you loved seeing them greet their families. That will be such a sweet reunion. One year from today I'll be giving you a hug! I get home in 365 days! Crazy! I can't believe I'm halfway done! 

This week was awesome! We really had the Lord shower us with blessings. As we worked hard we were able to really feel His desire for us to find success and find and teach those who were prepared. The meaning of the word "prepared" really took on a lot more meaning this week. I used to think that it meant that the Lord just kind of magically softened certain people's hearts and  voila! they are ready to receive the gospel. But as I was studying in the Book of Mormon, in the Book of Mosiah, I was really touched in how much the people of Zeniff prepared themselves to conquer the Lamanites who were seeking their destruction and the Lord blessed them for their preparation. Then the words of Elder D. Todd Christofferson rang in my mind, that the Lord blesses us according to our preparation. Then all the dots connected! The prepared people we teach and baptize are not people who are just more spiritually sensitive or favored of the Lord, they have spent time preparing themselves to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ, whether they know it or not, and they are blessed by receiving it, just as the people of Zeniff were blessed for their preparations and how we as missionaries are blessed by the Lord when we prepare ourselves through diligence, obedience and faith. The gospel really is true! I feel so blessed to have been able to find and teach a little bit of divine and eternal truth that will help these beloved sons and daughters of God on their journey back to Him, and be able to do so because of their preparation in so receiving. I'm baffled how aware the Lord is of each one of us and how much He cares for our well-being a happiness.

We had an amazing couple of lessons with our investigator. She's great. She's reading the Book of Mormon everyday. She says she doesn't know it's true yet, but is praying to know if it is and likes what she's felt so far. She's recognizing the Spirit in lessons and at church. She's really liking the people at church and her and her fellowship are like best friends. She really was prepared. 

This week we also taught the most spiritual lesson of my life! We got a referral for a man from some other missionaries and after a while we were able to agree on a time to meet. The Spirit was without a doubt there. As I was relaying the words of Joseph Smith's vision of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, the Spirit engulfed us and there was no way I could deny it was true. There was one time I just opened my mouth and the Spirit definitely filled it because I don't remember what I said, but it allowed the investigator to feel the Spirit and it was what he needed to hear. It is so cool being an instrument in the Lord's hands. He was balling at the end of the lesson. If I never teach another lesson my whole mission, at least I was able to be there for that one. The Lord really does love and is aware of each one of our needs. He knew I needed a lesson  like that to boost my faith and He knew our investigator needed and was prepared to hear the message of the restoration of the full and true gospel of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! 

There haven't been any gunshots recently, but there are still random fireworks. The next 2 baptisms should be in 3 weeks. We picked up 8 new investigators this week so it will be awesome to see what happens there! 

Thank you so much for the past two packages you've sent. I really appreciate it. They help out a lot. I sent you and dad a letter and it should be there any day! I love you tons! Have a great week and fly home safe!


Your Elder Jackson


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