Monday, November 14, 2016

Feeling the Spirit

This week was another great week! We are continuing to build the ward up and get it rolling. We have been having very spiritual experiences with members as we have our dinner lessons and also in talking about how we can build a team and work together. Our Ward Council is super supportive of us and we are definitely seeing their excitement grow as they see us working hard and being obedient. 

This week I really continued to focus on coming to know the Savior. I am so grateful for this new focus we have. As I was reading the account of the beheading of John the Baptist and the feeding of the 5,000, I came to learn something new of the character of Christ. Even though He knew where John was and that he would live again, He still felt the very real human pain of loss. He loved John and losing him tore at Jesus. I'm guessing He departed so He could mourn in solitude, but after seeing the 5,000 waiting to hear from Him, he had compassion on them and put His mourning aside to serve others. He was glad to help and lift others. As I read this, I could see so much more clearly the human side of Christ. He really does know how we feel and what we go through. It made Him feel a lot closer than I had previously thought or felt.

I've been feeling the Spirit a lot more this transfer. It's been amazing to feel the power of this calling as a missionary come to life as you strive to magnify it. We really do nothing, but the Lord allows amazing things to happen through and around us if we desire it and have faith. As I've simply prayed for miracles, I've been floored by how they happen left and right. It's made this work so much fun to see God's hands working all throughout the mission, and in particular, our area.

Don't worry about sending the watches. It's no hurry to get them. They did have a huge watch sale going on at the mall today and it took all I had not to buy one. I also bought some new shoes and a jacket today because my stuff is finally starting to get worn out. I bought the comfiest shoes I could find, but they had to be ordered because they didn't have my size. Missionary work will be oh-so comfy now! 

Grandma looks great! That is good to hear that things are going as well as can be expected with her. Tell all the family I say Hi, even if they don't remember me! haha

So yeah, that was the craziest thing! When we were in Priesthood opening exercises, they asked if there was any visitors and a man whom I thought looked familiar said his name was Bryan Watterson and that he and his wife had just moved in from Ontario! My jaw dropped and I ran over and asked if he was a Watterson from Winnemucca and he said yes. I told him I grew up in the same quorums as Josh. I don't know him really, but I'm sure I've seen him around. We got to talking (probably should've been in class. Ooops) and he said the whole family is coming down for his oldest's baptism. I thought that was so crazy! The Parent Trap is correct: this world gets smaller and smaller.

I also found out that I know a ton of people from this ward already. I met a guy who just returned from his mission and served with and knew Olivia Snow on her mission! AND one of my favorite member families in the ward have a son on a mission who was in the same MTC District and mission as Jameson Shirley from Lovelock, whom I became good friends with at Camp Helaman. The list goes on and on.

Speaking of the Turners, Brother Turner just started getting into the real estate business and my suspicions are confirmed, I think I want to do that on the side, or as a backup if Industrial Design doesn't pan out. I loved hearing about all the fun things you can do-- and still make money-- with houses! I think I wouldn't even feel like I'm working!

We are slowly but steadily building up our area and will continue to see more success!

This week we also head some super cool and unique experiences! We were taken by the coolest family ever (the Turners) to Applebees on Veteran's Day, and we got to meet Robert Byer (I think), who served in Vietnam and was awarded two Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and the Congressional Medal of Honor. It was such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

We also got to go to the Louis Rubidoux (I'm with Dad, French is wack) Nature Center and do some service. It has a creek that runs down from the mountains and it gets SUPER full of garbage. So I got to put on some waders (I know you can't see me, but that's just the camo) and dig out dozens of cubic feet of filth from this creek that is a little bigger than Water Canyon. Just in our little section of creek about the size of a small bedroom, we pulled out every thing from thousands of Polar Pop cups (darn Circle K), Ugg boots, used hypodermic needles and even full sized pillows--and it equaled about 20 large trash bags' worth of junk. It was gnarly! It was a ton of fun to do though! 

I'm loving the mission! I can't wait to see more baptisms. I am already getting nervous about the idea of being back in the real world in 9 months! Have a great trip in KY. Travel safe and have the best week ever! 

Love ya!!

Your Elder Jackson :)

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