Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I have a new niece!

Ok, I just got kicked off after I had half my email written for some weird here is in summary what I had already written because now I don't have very much time left.

CONGRATULATIONS to Chris and Megan on the newest little addition to the family, Claire! I am so excited to see a picture of her! When I found out last night, I ran around telling any sister willing to listen, which when it comes to girls, any one is excited about babies. :)

Both my comps are sick today so I am on a temporary comp exchange with a solo sister in my zone, Hna Aquino. She is way cute and it has been a fun p-day with her.

This week has been way good. I remember before my mission people always told me that the MTC is what you make of it. Well, I had been struggling and I thought about how I need to make more of this experience. I prayed for help from the Lord to be enthusiastic about things and he for sure blessed me with it. I studied hope this week and learned so much about how I can apply it to this sort of lull right now in the MTC. But hey, this Saturday hits my halfway mark! I can't believe it. I am so anxious to get out to NJ but I know I still have so much to learn!

Tomorrow morning, we are holding an English funeral...que triste. I'm excited though to stretch myself and learn more. I have now taught parts of all the lessons in Spanish so I know it will just get better from here if I keep working on it.

We went in to the RC again during some free time on Saturday and I dialed for 45 minutes with 0 success. So while I was sitting there dialing away, I wrote a song (more like a rap...) about being at the RC with nobody answering. Don't even stress, I sang it for the hermanas at dinner. :) oh, and remember John, from the RC? Well, I called him again last night and talked with him again for a while. I realized that last time I talked to him, I let him do way too much talking and I didn't really get a chance to teach him anything so this time, I testified, hardcore. And I know he felt the spirit...he couldn't have ignored it, it was so strong. I kept telling him how he just needs to sincerely pray about it and then I shared some experiences of how the Book of Mormon has helped me personally in my life and when I finished, I didn't even have to challenge him. He said, "You know what Meagan? I can tell the Book of Mormon means a lot to you and that you care that it means something to me too. I am going to pray, sincerely about it this week and we'll talk again next Monday." It was awesome! It makes missionary work seem so much more real because quite honestly, it gets old teaching your companion. :) I'll keep you posted.

Some funny stories: There's this new Tongan sister on our floor and she has stopped me several times to ask me questions. The first time, she was by the microwave trying to make popcorn and she was like, "Hey sister, could you help me with this? How do you know when it's done?" Haha, I love it. And then another time she was sitting on the couch reading the Ensign when she says again, "Hey sister, what does it mean to 'gird up your loins'?" I explained as she furiously scribbled in the margins everything I was saying. It just made my day. Now she says hi to me everytime she sees me. I like it :)

Another cool story: Last week for service, my comps and I were cleaning out a vacated room when I heard shrieks coming from the bathroom. I, of course, ran in only to find some other hermanas from my zone completely soaked with water and a pipe shooting water all over the place! Yeah, a pipe or something had burst and it was completely flooding the bathroom for about 15 minutes before a maintenance guy came up. Good times. :)

Yes, I went to the doctor. He thought it was lame that the MTC doctor took away my driving priviledges but there's nothing he can do about it so oh well, now I just get to use the cell phone while my comp drives. :) I was thinking of getting a tape recorder at the MTC bookstore and recording on mini-cassettes to send home and then you can just record and send the whole thing back...I don't know, we'll see.

Thank you for the letters this week! Especially mom, dad, Michael, Jackie, Amber, Carla, and Meagan! Completely made my week. And yes, I like to reply to them because then it gives more incentive to keep writing me. :) Oh byt the way, Dad, my mailbox numbered changed to #320 back on July 6 so...yeah.. :)

Thank you for the flip-flops and the socks, they were sorely needed! And don't worry about sending me nylons, I can get those at the MTC bookstore on the missionary budget.

What is Malcolm's email?

Ok, that's all the time I have. I know that this work I am doing is the best thing I can be doing right now. I know the gospel is true. Thanks for your continued support to me. I miss you tons but I love you more!

Hermana Jackson

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Little Bit of Everything!

Hey family!

Wow, it was a hard week. Spanish is getting crazy (not like it wasn't already). We had 2 days last week that we called our "English Fast" or as the optimistic people like to call it, our "Spanish Feast." I'll let you decide what I called it. :) Haha, but it was a really good experience. Unfortunately, I found that when we have our "fast/feast" days, I just kind of clam up and don't say much of anything, but don't worry, I'm getting over that. My teachers are really good at being patient with me as I try to formulate sentences and with encouraging me to speak.

So the night before our first fast/feast, I think I must have been stressing really bad because me and my comps had to teach a lesson the next day on the Plan of Salvation, which we barely started studying, and in Spanish. Yes, my first lesson in Spanish. So anyway, I had the craziest dream! I dreamed that I wrote an entire song about the Plan of Salvation to cover all the points of my lesson, in Spanish, of course. I woke up the next morning and could only remember one of the lines (I would sing it to you but you can't hear me so...yeah, sorry :) but don't even fret, I will have a song written about it by the time I get home. Maybe I'll sing it at my homecoming talk! Haha. :)

Speaking of my song stuff, I played the love medley of hymns I played at my farewell in RS on Sunday. It went well, at least that's what I was told. Multiple sisters came up to me and asked me where I got the music from. Haha, love it. :)

Anyway, I have had some way cool experiences at the Referral Center this week. If you don't know, that's the place at the MTC where we can make phone calls following up with people who have requested Books of Mormon and DVD's and stuff like that. One night while making phone calls, I called 2 people who spoke only Spanish! It was awesome. I didn't hand the headset over to my teacher, like I've done in the past, but I talked to them and testified to them and they both want the missionaries to come to their house! I could feel the spirit working so strong in me. I was telling one of them to please excuse my Spanish because I don't know it very well and he was like, "Oh, no lo creo, no lo creo! Muy bien! (I don't believe it, I don't believe it, it's really good)" Haha, it made me happy.

Another cool experience at the RC - we went in to do some calls on Saturday during our free time and I went about 45 minutes without a single person picking up the phone. I prayed for someone to answer and finally this guy in NC did named John. He had met with the missionaries several weeks ago but they hadn't followed up with him on anything and he had a bunch of questions about things he had read in the Book of Mormon, so he decided to ask me. We talked for 45 minutes! And then I left him to read 2 Nephi 31-32 (because he had questions about baptism) and he asked if I would call him back on Monday night to answer any more questions he might have. So I did last night and we talked for another 45 minutes! This time I left him with parts of 3 Nephi to read and asked if he would pray about the things we talked about and he said he would! It was awesome. He wants me to call him back again next Monday night and I told him I can but that then I would get him in touch with the missionaries again in his area so he can have person-to-person contact, because that is so much better. But still, it was way cool. He's one of those types of people that knows the Bible front and back but he said that I was making sense to him so we'll see. :)

DID YOU KNOW? Fun fact of the week: An elder in my district, Elder Lamoreaux, came up with this hypothesis we decided to try out. He wondered if you mailed a letter with a fake address and no postage, but with the address you wanted it to go to as the return address if it would get there. So we tried it out. We wrote a letter to our teacher, put her address in the return address, and put his address as the address to go to but in Provo (he's from Phoenix). Sure enough, a couple days later, Hermana Cochrane, our teacher, came in and said she got it! Haha, we won't do it again, because it's kind of cheating the system, but it was a fun thing to try out and know that it works. ;)

After about a week of receiving nothing, I felt so loved because I got about 11 letters in just a couple days, so thank you! I got 4 postcards from Dad in England, and a letter from him, a letter from Celecta Moss, Amy Dyer, Alison Moreno, Amber Hendrickson, and Amanda Frey. THANK YOU THANK YOU! I replied to all of you to day! :)

Well that's about it for this week. I hope these letters are actually exciting to you because I look forward to writing these all week! :) Take care and know that you are in my prayers every day. Please keep me in yours to master this language and be an amazing missionary! I miss you tons but I love you more!

Hermana Jackson

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Meagan's new motto

Hey family!

How are things going? I have gotten several letters from mom and a postcard from dad in England. Sounds like everyone's having a good summer. If anyone else would like to let me know how they're doing, all would be welcome... ;) and you can use and I get it the same day so I don't have to wait until p-day to read your letters. Haha, hint hint :)

So on Sunday, Sister Nadauld came and spoke to us for RS...they do RS here with all the sisters combined because we are usually so outnumbered...there are probably about 150 sisters here. So she spoke about comparing our bodies to temples and how none of the temples look frumpy so sister missionaries shouldn't either. It was really funny because I think the line everyone came away with remembering was "Plucking your eyebrows is like trimming the hedges of the temple." Wonderful. It is our new favorite motto. :)

My new district is working out great. We have all started to bond really well and my Spanish is progressing. The other day, we played a game called El Nativo, meaning Hermana Cochrane (one of our teachers) selected one of us to be the native and we couldn't speak English all day...guess who was selected to be the first native...yep, that's right, me! I was confined to only Spanish for about 8 hours. I actually learned a lot and it really helped....I'm going to try it more often from now on. Hermana Cochrane is so led by the spirit in her lessons and she knows so much about Spanish and the gospel. Class goes by so quickly when she's teaching. We were telling her one day that it is hard to keep practicing giving the lessons to each other because it doesn't feel real so she decided to take on the role of one of the investigators she taught on her mission and we get to teach her progressive lessons like an actual investigator. It is helping so much! Me and my comps had the chance to teach her on Saturday and after the lesson, we could tell we had really taught by the spirit. We had so much planned that we didn't end up even saying because she didn't need that. Wow, it was cool. I can't wait to be able to do that more and with more practice, we will just get better!

So guess who is in my zone? Kyle Nichols! His classroom is just a couple doors down from mine so I see him all the time. Plus we're in the same branch and have the same schedule and everything. It was really cool this morning because we all went to the temple together and it was really good to see him there. However, while I get to see Kyle all the time, I rarely ever see Matt! But I did get to see him when Ashley came by, and I saw Ashley. Hopefully I'll see him a couple more times before he takes off.

Thank you so much for the packages! I do not need any more junk food! Haha...I swear I don't eat that much at meals but I am so sick of eating. But this morning at 6am, me and my comps went to the gym to exercise. They are trying this thing out where they open the gym from 6-6:30 for just sisters to exercise and other stuff. So we went and I played volleyball with some girls while H. Andersen and Cornish ran laps around the track. It was nice...they played "worldly music" during that half hour...and by worldly I mean Disney music from Aladdin and Hercules. :) That is about the most exciting it gets!

JENNY SPENCER! Thank you so so much for your letter and the twix bar! :) I am replying this afternoon. Best of luck to you later this week on going through the temple. I wish I could have gotten a letter to you before you go but p-day wasn't until today.

JACKIE! You rock. Thanks for the tips on pranks for the elders. I told the elders in my district that I am loaded with new ideas...none of which are against the white handbook...haha, just kidding. :) Love you!

Thanks for everything you do for me. I love you all so much. I sent a letter with pictures last week and I've got another one coming this week that maybe you could scan and put on my blog (I can't load them onto the computers at the MTC). Remember, you don't need to email out all my letters, just put them on there (and my subject title could be the title for each new post :) haha

I know that the preparation I am doing is going to bless so many people and I know that the Lord is aware of each of us and blesses us according to our needs. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that because of it's truthfulness, we can know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he restored Christ's church on the earth. I hope everyone is doing well and I hope to hear from several of you soon. I miss you tons but I love you more!

Hermana Jackson

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

First Transfer


So, I did end up switching districts. Yesterday after lunch, Hna Cornish came in and told me that the change was official and we had to be at class in half an hour, so just like that my p-day was over. But then I found out that my new district has p-day today, so I got 2 in a row.

Intermediate Spanish is SO HARD!!! I went in there yesterday afternoon and sat there for the first hour just wanting to cry. But it got better. I figure that since I can understand enough of what they're saying to get by in class, then I am in the right place because I'm challenging myself just enough. So now I have 2 new companions (yep, I'm in a trio). There's Hna Cornish and Hna Andersen. Hna Andersen is from San Diego and she's going to Kentucky for her mission. Her Spanish is WAY good but she's really nice about helping me out. I have a feeling I know the least Spanish in my district. So along with the change of districts, I also had to move rooms so I got to pack up all my things and carry them upstairs. It's good though. I'm feeling more comfortable with the language now.

I saw Marsha and Julia today in the MTC cafeteria. Crazy! It was so good to see them and give them a little update. Tell Matt Hunt and Kyle Nichols that I am looking forward to finding them tomorrow! Their first couple of days will be rough but if they need anything, tell them they can find me in 7M-203. :)

I got to go to the temple this morning with my new district and it was wonderful! I absolutely love the feeling there. And knowing that missionaries are prayed for throughout the world gives me so much strength and comfort.

So, I already told you most everything yesterday but here's for my shout-out:
JACKIE! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your letters!!! I have now received both of them and feel so loved and blessed. I am replying in person as soon as I put my laundry in this afternoon.

MOM!!! I love you. Thanks for your email and letter. I can't believe you told me I have a package coming and didn't tell me what's in it. The anticipation is killing me! Thanks :)

Well, I think that's about it for now. I wish I had some crazy funny story to tell you but I don't really. I am full-on praying in Spanish now and trying to joke around with people but...haha, yeah, let's just say that Oh Baby and Don't Fret don't translate into Spanish very well. :) Things are getting better here...but it's definitely the hardest thing I've ever done.

Thanks for all your love. Tell everyone I said hi. I miss you tons but I love you more!

Hermana Jackson

P.S. I have a new address with the district change and everything (but if you sent one to my old mailbox #, it will still get to me)

Hermana Meagan EM Jackson
MTC Mailbox #320
NJ-MOR 0901
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604

Monday, July 6, 2009

What a week!

Hola mi familia!

Oh wow, I don't even know where to start. It has been a wild first weeks here at the MTC. I never thought I could feel so overwhelmed! But life is getting better. The first couple of days were rough but now that I'm kind of getting into the swing of things it is nice. I'm actually probably going to have a switch-up here pretty soon. I took the Spanish language assessment on Saturday and they want to put me in the intermediate class starting this afternoon/evening, so that will mean having a new companion and district and zone and everything, which is really sad because I LOVE my district. There are 12 of us, 4 hermanas and 8 elders. 7 of us are going to NJ Morristown, 3 to Las Vegas, and 2 to the Dominican Republic. My companion so far has been Hna. Binning, from Tucson, AZ. She actually is the girl I met at the end of the semester so that is cool. We get along really well but when I move into intermediate, I will probably get switched to be with one of the other hermanas who is also moving up, Hna Cornish, from Orem. It is a tough decision for me because I don't want to leave my district but I was reading in my Patriarchal Blessing and it told me to take every opportunity I have to progress and improve myself so I can be a blessing to those around me and that is what being a missionary is all about, being a blessing to those around me, not hanging out with my friends. Plus, I will still get to see 6 of them in NJ. So yeah, I may end up with 2 p-days this week because my new district has p-day on Thursday, I think. :)

What else is new? Oh, they let all the elders and sisters stay up on Saturday night and stand in the MTC parking lot to watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks, which was way exciting. I saw a sister from China and started speaking to her in Chinese while we were all just standing around. :) My district got to go into the Referral Center on Friday and make phone calls following up with people that had called in and asked for things like church DVD's or Books of Mormon or something. I was way nervous at first but then the first 10 numbers I dialed weren't home so I calmed down...until someone answered when I wasn't expecting it, and they wanted to know more...and I freaked out but then I bore testimony to her and told her we would send the missionaries over to her house in the next week. Life is good. :) I also called this one lady and asked for her husband (because he was who was listed on the referral) and she's like, "He's dead." I was so shocked, I had no idea what to say...unfortunately, I passed up the golden opportunity to share the gospel with her because I was still in shock but I put them on the call-back list and made a note that he had died. Hopefully someone will call them soon. :)

I'm sorry to say but I passed out on Saturday while doing gym time out on the field. I went to see the MTC doctor this morning (because they made me) and he was all strict and told me I'm not allowed to drive in NJ and wants me to go see my cardiologist again in AF before I leave the MTC, so we're setting that up for sometime next week. Grrr....oh well. Pray for me.

So I mentioned how my Spanish has just been growing so much here (so much so that I'm going to intermediate). I try to say all my prayers in Spanish and I bore my testimony in Spanish yesterday. I'm currently working on trying to learn the first lesson, though my class just barely started conjugations. It is going to be so hard moving into intermediate...I don't know if I'm ready for it. But I was talking to some hermanas yesterday who did the same thing and they said that even though they always feel a little behind in their new class, they were bored in the old one and it is just so much better now because they can be completely thrown into it. More details on how it actually goes later. :)

I've run into TONS of people I know here. Several girls I didn't even know were on missions. It's good to see them and nice to have a familiar face like the other night when I was overwhelmed. My friend told me to just pray and do all I can because the Lord will take care of the rest, and he definitely has. This week I will have an extra stress of Spanish study hardcore but I know I can do it with the Lord's help.

Well, I think that's about all I have to say for now. Thank you for your wonderful examples and support. I miss you tons but I love you more!

Hermana Jackson

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Meagan's on her way!

Meagan is now in the MTC! There were lost of tears but we are excited for her and you know that she will be an awesome missionary!
Her address for the next two months will be:
Hermana Meagan Jackson
MTC Mailbox 257-0901
2005 North 900 East
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Setting apart

The evening Meagan was set apart as a missionary!

Meagan modeling all the skirts she made.