Friday, May 26, 2017

May 22, 2017

Hi there! Sorry about the late reply! We had some crazy stuff happen today and so we are just now being able to email. Elder Aland isn't getting transferred after all and he is going to be with my buddy Elder Dall's (who is going home tomorrow) companion, Elder Frazier. Elder Frazier was supposed to train a new missionary too but apparently he tore his ACL in the MTC and cannot come out on his mission. He is bummed but that type of thing happens! We also had to help like 3 different companionships move apartments. It doesn't help that it is like 96 degrees today. But alas, I am able to write you! I also got a really cheap haircut today and it doesn't look too good. Thankfully my hair grows quickly! 

This week was good. We were able to find some people. I am excited for this new transfer and the opportunity to be with a brand new missionary. I think that we will able to have a lot of success. It is weird though because this very well may be my last companion and I may not have any more transferring! That is crazy! I only have 12 weeks left and it will be busy with training, baptizing palagis and Samoans, doing MyPlan and having a brand new mission president come in. It's a weird feeling for sure to know that very quickly this whole life I've lived for the past 2 years will come to an end and I'll have to step back into the real world. It will be good though!

I came to know the Savior in Alma 31:38. I loved how it talked about sufferings that were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. I think that we suffer many things but they truly are swallowed up in the joy of our Savior. I look back on all that I have experienced on my mission with nothing but joy because of all the great things the Lord has done in my life for me and the miracles that have taken place. I feel that the Savior even had His pain and anguish from His life swallowed up in the joy of the redemption that Hi sacrifice made possible. He was the true example of allowing negativity to be completely swallowed up in the joy that comes from doing the Father's will. I want to continue to follow the example of Christ and be continually seeking the will of the Father so that my pains can be swallowed up in Christ.

I am really sad to see my good friend Elder Dall leave though. He's such a great kid. I have had a blast serving around him this past transfer and I am so pumped to be living close to him and hanging out with him next semester.

I really hope the missionary I train is way cool. I want to have a last comp that is really fun but also that I can get a lot of work done with. Thankfully, I've really enjoyed all of my companions and had a blast with all of them. We'll see what happens tomorrow!

Here are some pictures of service this week and pics of my drawings for a new t-shirt design that I am making! As well as a goodbye for Elder Dall! 

I love you tons and hope you have the best week ever! Let me know how everything goes with the meeting tomorrow! Love you and drive safe! Have fun in KY!


Your Elder Jackson :)​

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mother's Day was this week. Missionaries get to call home on Christmas and Mother's Day, two calls each year they are out. As a result this week's P-Day (Monday) email was short because I talked to Elder Jackson Sunday! What a Mother's Day gift!
Oh, his return date is August 15th! Flying into SLC!

This week was good. We honestly struggled to get as much done as we would have liked to due to circumstances outside of our control, but we made the most of it and tried to not let it get us down. On a day when we didn't seem to have 5 million things to do we made some goals, pled (I don't know if it's plead, pled, or pleaded haha) for the Lord's help in accomplishing them and then went to work full of faith that we would accomplish them, seeing as we had not seen much success all week. It felt so great to be putting all the let downs from the week behind us and to be working with joy and confidence. Our pleas were heard and we were able to find a family to teach and they were very open to hearing our message, despite having rambunctious kids they were tying to goal-tend. It was a miracle and we were so grateful. I am excited to have a fresh week ahead of us and to have lots of good to be done. There are no doubt people to be baptized here and we are going to do it. I fully believe that.

I really came to know the Savior through prayer this week. I feel like, as prayers so often do, my prayers had started on the "rote cylce" again and I knew they needed some spicing-up. I put a lot of effort into making it a conversation rather than a phone call. As I did I felt that the Savior really had experienced everything I had and wants to help me. I felt comfort and peace and I have tried to make my prayers just as meaningful since.

It was way good to talk to you too and it is unreal how soon I really will be home! I can't wait to see you and dad again! You two are my favorite and I can't wait to just hang out with y'all. It'll be so much fun. I will continue to make the best of the time I have left though. 

That is scary about the hacking! Ew. I'm assuming that doesn't have anything to do with the flags being at half mast today? Had you heard anything about that?

I love you a ton too! You are the best momma ever! I love you a bunch and I hope your Mother's Day was great! I can't wait to talk to you face-to-face in 3 months!


Your Elder Jackson :)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

We had stake conference this week and guess who got asked to speak?? Me. President Mullen called me on my birthday to ask. I couldn't tell if he was calling me for something else or to wish me a happy birthday, but I definitely wasn't expecting to be asked to speak! haha. It went well. His talk was on service/Just Serve, and my short talk was simply to accompany his. It was fun. I just hope I don't have to do it again since they had an RM speak too. I guess that's one of the perks of starting school a few weeks after getting home :)

I had a great birthday. This is my "Birthday Pyramid!"

This week was a fantastic one! We were able to be greatly blessed by the Lord! We were blessed particularly with unplanned finding opportunities. We were also able to be led to lots of people who were willing to accept a baptismal date. The coolest one of them all was someone who was at stake conference whom we had never met before. His name is Allan and he is married to a returned-missionary. We had heard that he wanted to take the lessons. We were hoping to be introduced to him at church. His wife called and asked if we could have a lesson with him after church. Well we thought they meant that evening, but they marched right up to us and asked if we could meet right then. Of course we were more than happy to do so. It was a powerful lesson and he is so prepared! He has already read over 100 pages of the Book of Mormon and feels it is good. He loves church and wants to serve a mission with his wife one day. He is preparing to be baptized on the 11th of June. He said he is willing to put in all the work he needs to in order to prepare for his baptism. 

Getting to "serve" again at March AFB Museum. Love this kind of service.

We also had a wonderful lesson with Alliyah. She loves what she's learning. She's feeling a little bit of opposition as she gets closer to her baptismal date. She missed church because her uncle died the night before and she was too distraught to come, however she felt the Spirit tell her to go. She ignored the prompting and said she felt bad. She then prayed for forgiveness without us even having to tell her! It was awesome! She even invited her friend to come to a lesson. Her friend loved it so much that she wants to keep taking the lessons too and be baptized the week after Alliyah! Her name is Selena.

I came to know the Savior much more during Stake Conference. I really came to know that I need to trust the first prompting of the Spirit. No matter what doubt comes our way after that, to stick to the things the Spirit told us to do in the beginning. That is something that I learned in interviews with President Mullen a few weeks back, but it was reaffirmed. I feel like the Lord was rebuking me lovingly for "sign-seeking", for lack of a better term. I can have no greater witness than from God, so why look for one. Simply trust what He gives you. Jesus was tempted in all points, like we are, but yet was without sin. He had every reason to doubt, especially when the devil came to tempt him and the Jews were mocking Him, yet He gave them no heed and looked only to the Father and relied on the witnesses he had been given. I need to be like that. I must "wait on the Lord" and His blessings.

Funny story for the week, we were going to leave for stake conference Sunday morning and as I am backing out Elder Aland I hear a loud screeching from a car slamming on the brakes. That is quite odd for slow traffic in an apartment complex on a Sunday morning. There is a huge skid mark on the pavement, and a car leaning awkwardly connected to it, just about 20 feet away from us. We see a lady get out and we go offer help and see what happened. She had gone over basically an inverted speed bump (the kind that are used for drainage) and somehow that had yanked the front wheel sideways, shearing off the bolts holding it on, causing the wheel to be ripped off and the drive shaft to be ground into the pavement. It was nuts! I don't know how on earth that happened- it had to be a million to one chances of that happening- but it was intense! We asked to help, but there was pretty much nothing we could do. It was memorable though! 


Your Elder Jackson :)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Love this Samoan Ward

This week was full of great experiences! We had an excellent baptism in the Ironwood Samoan ward for Brother Jimmy Vakatau. It was amazing to see how many ward members showed up to support him in this wonderful step that he was taking. It was also super inspiring to be able to feel the Spirit testifying of truth, even though a lot of the service was conducted in Samoan, which is obviously a language I do not speak. I truly have fallen in love with the Samoan people; they are a wonderful group of saints. They are so happy and all love the gospel so much. I am grateful that I get to serve in their ward and feel of their spirits. I hope I can at least spend a while longer in this ward and continue laboring with them to help bring souls to Christ. We have 5 recently-returned missionaries who are all so excited and helpful in teaching. We have been having them come out with us and will continue to do so!

We are also experiencing miracles in the Lasselle ward too! We received a referral for an A. Ford. We gave her the bible that she requested and taught part of the Restoration. We came back and taught the rest. That night she apparently chatted with someone on and was led to scriptures to read. From exploring the website, doing her research, and of course, reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, she knew, before our next lesson, that the Church was true. It was mind-blowing! I am so excited for her! Also, we did a church tour and it really helped her feel much more comfortable yesterday at church. She even brought her friend! She got along with her fellowship as well. My testimony of praying for and then totally expecting miracles has grown so much in the past 6 months or so. I really do fully believe that if you do all you can to be obedient and diligent in the work, and then ask the Lord for His intervention, fully expecting it will happen, you will receive it. Finding and baptizing is not like blindly throwing darts at a dart board and hoping they find the bull's eye, it is an act of faith that, if done properly, will always bring results. Baptizing is not a numbers game, it's about saving souls. April has been the most amazing month. The Lord has so richly blessed the areas that I have been and it has been a blessing to see so many people whom the Lord has prepared and led us to enter into the waters of baptism. This I think applies in so many other things. If, for example, I truly trust that I have the priesthood and that it is God's power and authority, than I can act in so much more faith when someone is sick and needs a blessing that will have a major impact on his or her life. That is just one example, but I hope that makes sense. My trust in the Lord's promises is so much more meaningful and I am forever grateful for that. I am excited to see what more miracles are in store!

Thank you! I don't think that I will be able to get it until Thursday because that's when the next time is that anyone is going down to the Mission Office. I kind of forgot that I was turning 22 until just a few days ago. Man, I feel old. I got my hair cut last week and the lady said my hair is very thick, so age isn't taking its toll yet!

Thank you for praying for my safety. I appreciate it. To put you at ease (if you were uneasy at all) the area I'm in is not that bad at all. Really all of the mission is safe. We just don't go certain places at night and we are fine. I really do feel like I've been protected on my mission-- I've even felt strongly that there are angels around keeping watch over us as we work. The only thing that scares me is that soon I won't have that protection any more! My patriarchal blessing also says that I'll be protected throughout my teenage and young-adult years of my life! I hope that doesn't mean that once I'm older I'm just going to be completely wrecked and left without protection! haha I'll just make sure I always wear my garments and keep my covenants. That's the best bet! 

Also, I know this is kind of far down the road, but when I get home I'd like to fly into Salt Lake instead of Reno, that way I can see the whole family. Also, we will have to work out the logistics of how I'll get released and all of that. I think I have 3 weeks from when I get home until school starts. 

I love you a lot! Thank you so much for all you do! Have the best week ever!


Your Elder Jackson :)