Friday, December 30, 2016

The Most Wonderful Skype Time of the Year! (Christmas Eve)

It was so awesome to talk to you all too! I feel so blessed to be able to have such an amazing family and to have the technology available to be able to talk to you as if I were present! I am happy! I am thoroughly enjoying serving a mission. I don't want to come right now, but I don't think August 15th will come a minute too early! haha I am so tired. I am also just so excited and ready to see you all again and get back into life. That being said, I think that there is a lot of awesome stuff that I have yet to accomplish here and am excited to do so. This two years is a wonderful opportunity and I am so glad I still have time to make the best out of it and baptize people! 

I love all of the stuff you got me! I have already hung up the canvas by my desk with the binder clips. I was blown away by it all. You spoil me too much mom! haha The canvas, the book, the magnets, ornaments, ties, music, gift cards, collar bars, the Simon game.. and all the other stuff-- it was great! Thank you so much. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to get you all anything. I don't really know what to get you all and without a ton of time, it was tough. But I will do better when I get home. I can't wait to be with you all next year for Christmas! Gosh, it's my absolute favorite holiday of the year. I love getting together with the family. Thank you so much for making Christmas great, yet again! It was so nice to spend Christmas with the Turners and Mickelsons (Mickelsons are the Turner's daughter and her husband and their kids). They are just great examples of what a converted family is. They are so giving to us. They made Christmas feel just like we were at home.  

I will probably send home a box in the near future just because I don't want to have too much stuff out here. I will make a copy of all my pictures and send them then. I forgot my camera today so unfortunately I don't have any pictures to send today but I will send them next week! 

I hope you have a great trip to KY. Give Grandma my best. That is really sad to hear about her wrist. I feel terrible that that happened to her. You're right, the plan is very comforting in times like these. Travel safe. I'm glad Dad made it home safe!

That story about angels is incredible! We were actually talking about angels the other day and both Elder Drebot and I feel strongly that there are always angels watching guard over us day and night. You can almost feel their presence. 

This week was a good one. I always love the Christmas Spirit that can be so obviously felt by almost everyone. It truly is "the most wonderful time of the year." I am so thankful for the strong focus of service that we have had this Christmas season. We had a really powerful pair of experiences on Christmas Eve that I hope I will always remember. 

The first happened about 10 minutes before I was supposed to Skype home. We got a call from a lady in the ward whose roommate had had an anxiety attack and was not doing too hot and needed a blessing. My natural man wanted to say, "find someone else; I'm going to talk to my family! That's the Elders Quorum's responsibility anyways." But those thoughts only lasted a second. Immediately after I thought of the Savior. He, God Himself, probably had a million other things to do than to come and heal, bless and lift us lowly humans, but He rather decided to live by this motto: "But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:26-28 KJV)". So I immediately decided that I could not put my priesthood responsibilities to the side, even though this is one of the most important times of the year for missionaries. Now I'm not great at all, but I did feel great knowing that I put one of our Father in Heaven's children's needs above that of my own and I was able, in a small way, to serve her. It made me feel really good that I kept my covenants.

The second came at the end of the day. We were driving back from our fun zone activity of watching Scrooge ("I like life; life likes me!") and I saw a man at a gas station who was homeless. The Spirit told me so strongly that I needed to go help him. I hesitated. I don't really have money and I don't know if approaching a homeless man at 9 o'clock at night is a wise thing, but I did it anyway after talking to Elder Drebot (and I thank him for encouraging me to follow a prompting from the Spirit).  We flipped around and parked. We politely got his attention. I had no idea what to offer so I asked if he was hungry. He said no. I asked if he needed anything and he said his bike tire was flat. I gave him a couple bucks for a repair and we just asked him what his story was. He's had an incredibly hard life and recently lost his mom, whom he was very close to. Apparently she was a very strong and active member of the Church too. We told him about the Gospel and how much it could help him. It was a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas in serving others. It was nothing big, but again it made me feel great that I heeded a prompting and was able to help someone's day be a little better. The Lord is definitely aware of each one of His children and He loves them all.

It was the best thing ever to talk to you. I love you mucho! Have a great week and have a very HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!

Love ya!!!

Your Elder Jackson :)

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