Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Unique Cali Experiences! Service at March Airforce Base to Boot!

 This week has been awesome! We were able to have such a beautiful baptism for Rayli. She is so great! She was so excited to be baptized-- she literally was dancing before, during, and after the service. I know that she will do so well in this gospel. She's made so many friends in the ward and has so much support from them and her family from Running Springs (Get this, she was referred to us by her family up in Running Springs, which is by Crestline. Rayli is 17 and has a cousin with whom she is really close who is the same age up there. They are best friends and she had a huge influence on Rayli getting baptized. The family-- the Purkiss family-- knows the Smithsons and the cousin who is Rayli's age is friends with Katie Smithson! Isn't that crazy! They know Tyler and Cyndi too. Such a small world!). Her family was really touched and her mom was so grateful that we helped her along this path, even though she's not a member. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been able to teach (even though she really taught me) someone so prepared and willing to follow the Lord and to have seen her grow so much. I felt the Spirit so strongly at her baptism. It was re-confirmed to me that this is indeed a true ordinance and the first covenant in which we must enter into in order to return to our Father in Heaven. It is such a great experience to witness!

We had a slower week in other aspects of our work. We were able to find a few new investigators, but we want to find more. We are so glad to have been able to teach those whom the Lord has prepared and we are bound and determined to find more who are as prepared as Rayli and Hila. We have been working with the leaders of the ward as well in order to work smarter. We are finding success in asking members to come out with us personally at church. We are also going to focus a lot more on finding through other means than just our own finding efforts (in particular street contacting). We have not been as diligent in that, so we will repent and be smarter about it. I can't wait to see the fruits that come from finding more in the way the Lord has asked us to. We are so excited to find whom the Lord has prepared!

We did have some fun and unique Cali experiences though!

First off we hear sirens all the time, but we heard a lot on Friday night. Turns out there was a football game at a high school and someone (I don't know if it was gang-related or not) got in a fight and shot another kid in our area! That's the first homicide that I know of that has happened in my area. Pretty nuts! We were talking to a cop who is in our ward about it afterward. He's got some crazy stories from working here in MoVal. He said he can taze us next time we come to his house:)

We met a  guy and were contacting him. He was pretty short with us and so we tried to keep it cordial. We asked if we could share a message with him and he said, "No, I'm intoxicated now." It was one of those situations where the way he said it just made Elder Gulbranson and I die laughing. Right down the street we met some people having a party. This one drunk guy (hoodrats) warned us and said, "It's gettin' late. Y'all boys better get on home! It's kinda late for people like you to be out here. It could get dangerous." We replied that we were on our way home and thanked him. He then said, "Eh, but y'all good? Need some drinks or anything? Want some wata?" I just thought it was great that even though he was plastered, he was still a kind and loving guy who recognized us as representatives of Christ and wanted to help us. It felt good :)  Don't worry though, I've never felt unsafe here. 

Volunteering at March Airforce Base Museum. It's tough work, but someone has to help with restoration!


It's been a great week! Looking forward to another one!

Oh and this week we did a ton of awesome service! Elders Gossett, Matau, Gulbranson and I went to an Evangelistic Center and helped pass out food to the needy and we built a shed (without any directions!) for them. It was a lot of fun. Then we got to do the best service EVER! We were asked to start helping at the museum for March Airforce Base! So we will be doing restoration of their old airplanes (including the SR-71 Blackbird!), cataloging artifacts, doing research, working in the lobby and giftshop, doing tours and other odd jobs. Does it get any better than that?? We are going to have sooo much fun there. I can't wait for it. It will definitely be one of the coolest service projects of my mission! We went with Elders Gossett (my favorites) and Matau, Gulbranson and I, and Hermanas Rowe and Visick. It was the coolest project ever (as you can tell by the pics :)

That is so great for you to be hanging out with Bryce and Amy. I love them. They are great. Speaking of rain, it sprinkled here today and it is the first time in 4 or 5 months I've seen any rain! I'm so ready for winter! But it's still like 98 degrees here.

Building a shed at the Evangelistic Center

That is great that you made it to Lake's homecoming. He was one of my favorite companions, but it is hard to say because I've been so blessed with great comps (let's hope it continues!). I definitely laughed more with him than any other comp. He is awesome and his testimony and knowledge of the gospel has skyrocketed. I'm so glad he served a mission, he blessed my life by doing so. 

Too bad you weren't able to make it to Alana's. She's another of my favorite missionaries. She's so fun and just a stellar missionary. She helped me a lot as a missionary and has blessed my life too. I hope I can stay in touch with both of them!
Love you!! Have a great week!

Your Elder Jackson​

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