Thursday, January 12, 2017
Ni hau! This week I went on an exchange with the Chinese Elders. We...well actually they...taught a lot and had a lot of success and I understood absolutely none of it! haha But they cover 3 missions so it was a lot of fun to go outside of the mission for a lesson! The street sign says Ontario which is outside of the mission (it's all legal though! haha). We also had a yummy meal with a Chinese member named Brother Zhiang. It was hot pot and it was divine!
Jackson jong lau (I probably mispelled all of that)
We had a great week this week! It was a little slower and less fruitful than the previous one, but it felt much better. I for one felt the Spirit much more and feel like I came closer to the Lord this week than I have in a while. I definitely learned a lot about grace this week and I feel like I understand what it is, how one gets it, and why it is so important much clearer now. I had a hard time at first, but as I prayed for help in recognizing times when the Lord helped me do things I couldn't do on my own I had an interesting thing pop in my head: Mario. I have never been big into video games but Mario was one that I loved as a kid. There is a special thing in Mario called Star Power. When a star pops up, you have to run and jump to catch it, but when you do you are able to run faster, jump higher and have defense against those trying to hurt you. You still have to do all the work, but the strength of this power that is beyond your own makes you many times more effective. It eventually wears off and you have to find more. I thought this was an incredible connection that the Lord helped me see. When we are under the influence of grace we still have to go and work, but the effects of that effort are drastically larger than before when we are on our own. After I understood this more, coupled with what we learned at MLC, I was able to ask for grace and feel the strength of the Lord come into my life. I felt myself becoming enabled. I felt my gratitude for my Savior growing. I hope to continue receiving grace throughout the rest of my life and I hope I can continue to have the Spirit teach me things like this that help me understand the gospel more.
We had another amazing experience this week with the Lord showing forth His power. A few weeks back we had a family mention to us that they wanted us to stop by their parents' who had become inactive. Wrongly, we forgot to go by, but yesterday we saw the family who had referred us at church and quickly remembered that we hadn't stopped by. We both felt very strongly impressed to stop by. The impression grew stronger and stronger. When we eventually stopped by that evening, the wife, answered the door. The Spirit immediately touched our hearts that this was exactly where we needed to be. As we sat down and got to know them, the Spirit got stronger. As we started talking about the First Vision I felt the Spirit probably one of the strongest times I ever have on my mission (top 5 for sure). We felt the Spirit guide us to which scriptures to use and what to say. We felt prompted to open it up to a testimony meeting and all of us (Elder Drebot, Brother and Sister Garcia, their adult daughter, and I) bore testimony of the Savior and what we knew to be true concerning this restored gospel. There was not a dry eye in the room and like I said, I can only remember a handful of times where I could feel the Spirit stronger than I did then. They said that they had literally just been praying for something and we knocked on their door. They said having us show up on their doorstep brought back the exact same feelings they had had when the Elders had originally knocked on their door in Bogota, Colombia back in the 70s. It was amazing to be such a literal answer to a family's prayer and an obvious instrument in the Lord's hands. We did nothing, but through us the Lord was able to show forth His power to some of His beloved children. That was an experience I will always treasure.
Wow, Little Bryson is adorable! I can't wait to meet him. Where are Trent and Taylor living? Maine? I can't wait to see him. He's so cute! I hope Trent is dong well!
I bet Jesse is having a blast! I will have to take him snowboarding next winter! I miss snowboarding so much, but that would be a ton of fun to go with him. I'm sure he'd pick it up very quickly!
I heard that there has been some crazy weather. It's been raining a lot here, but nothing too heavy. I heard LA flooded too! Sounds like there is a lot going on weather wise! Stay safe! I'm glad that you didn't drive home yet. Wait until it clears up!
I love you tons! I hope you have a great week! I still love you and miss you a lot too!
Your Elder Jackson :)