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 Mormon.org 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 :)

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