Monday, April 19, 2010

These seeds have taken a LONG time to grow...

Hey my wonderful family, how are you? Things are going well here. Actually, they are going more than well because we have a baptism this Sunday!!! His name is Reymon, and he is turning 8 today. He is the son of an eternigator that can't get baptized because she's not married but he is so excited to get baptized this week. It's kind of interesting teaching a little kid...and we haven't even really taught him a ton because he has pretty much grown up in the church but hey, he's cool. His 12 yr-old sister, Paola, is a member and we're still working with his parents to get his dad moving his feet to get married to his mom. Hopefully there will be good news on that to come. But we are way excited. :)
We also got a baptismal date set with Paco for May 9! Things are finally starting to come through around here. Miguel has told us he will get baptized, he just doesn't want to set a date because, as he explained it, he has already been baptized in 2 wrong churches in his life and he doesn't want to make that same mistake again...but he'll get baptized, don't fret. :)
This week was eye-opening in some respects...I don't really know how to explain it. Basically, one of the members here, Angela, analyzed our companionship for us (and the last 2 companionships I've been in here in Morristown) and said that I always get put with someone who is really "carinosa" because I'm not, basically (I don't know how to define that's like kind, caring, sweet...I don't know). Haha, I have heard that lots on my mission and I never quite know how to take it because they always follow it up by saying that it's not a bad thing, because people can still tell I love them just in a different way...anyway, I thought a lot about it and came to the conclusion that the reason I have been left here in Morristown for so long while we're teaching all these little men is because men don't care if you're carinosa or not! They just listen to the message and take it for what it's worth so...yep, that was my conclusion and my mid-mission crisis ended just as quickly as it began.
I got to be the concluding speaker at our fireside last night for the 2 Spanish branches in our stake. I shared about how to tackle the seemingly insurmountable task of reading the Book of Mormon. It was a really good experience and I think the spirit was really strong. Everyone left with a ton of energy to start reading the Book of Mormon and see the miracles from it. Hopefully with everybody having stronger testimonies of the Book of Mormon, we will receive even more support from the members in the work and energy to share the gospel from them.
Anyway, I don't really know what else to say. It was a good week but hopefully this coming one will be even better. I hope everyone is doing well. Take care and know that I'm praying for you. I miss you tons but I love you more!
Hermana Jackson

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sorry, my creativity has run dry for the week...:)

Hey family!
How are you all doing? How is the wonderful springtime for you all? Hna Erickson and I are just loving it here in Morristown. Our favorite thing is just parking the car every once-in-a-while and WALKING! It is so much nicer to be able to contact outside and such.
This week was kind of a crazy one as we lost almost 2 entire days to proselyting because we had to go to Ellis Island for orientation one day and then start work the next (we only go there April-October to help). It was fun this time being the one to get to show my companion around because she had never been before (considering the last time we went, I was still in my first transfer of my mission). I found Papa Chuck's dad on the Ellis Island page and am hoping that when I get home I can do more searching on that. It said he declared his destination as Little Falls, NJ! That was in my first area! Crazy, I had no idea.
The month of April has been deemed "Change of Heart" month, as we are anxiously preparing for the Cherry Hill mission to join with us in July. It's consisting of several fasts, shorter preparation days, daily reading of the white handbook, and other things to help us become more unified and get more baptisms. We have already been seeing several blessings from it as we have 2 investigators praying about a baptismal date right now (Miguel and Luis) and hopefully another we will set tonight (Paco). Paco and Miguel came to church yesterday and they loved it! Paco is the coolest kid ever. He's 18-yrs old, from Mexico, and is just so humble. We've taught him twice now and he is reading the Book of Mormon and everything. Hopefully more good news on him will follow.
This week we are holding a fireside for our branch and the Dover branch about the importance of the Book of Mormon, and it will include a challenge to all of them to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover before the end of the year. I just finished the Book of Mormon for the second time all the way through in Spanish (well, almost 2 times, but the first time I made it to Helaman 13 when President Bahr challenged us all to read it from the I started over). It was an amazing experience. I absolutely love the Book of Mormon. No matter how many times I read it, I learn new and important doctrines about the Savior Jesus Christ to apply in my life. I counted how many references there are to Christ in the Spanish one and, while I don't have the exact number with me, it was something over 5,000 times in 600 pages that it talks about Him. It truly is another testament of Jesus Christ.
Well, I think that is about it for this week. I hope everyone continues to be doing well and that you are all doing things each day to grow closer to our savior Jesus Christ. That's where we find real happiness. I miss you tons but I love you more!
Hermana Jackson

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Energy Revived!

Life here in Morristown is going SO well! I will admit, it is hard for me to be here another transfer but luckily I love the people here and my new companion, Hna Erickson (from Boise, ID), is AMAZING! We have such a great energy for the work here and are going to see some amazing miracles this transfer, I can feel it. We've got branch activities and firesides in the making and all sorts of neat things planned to see this place grow. I'm so excited! So yeah, Hna Erickson was in trained in Paterson by Hna Bushman (she replaced me when I left for here) and now we're companions! I just love her, don't even fret. :)
Wasn't General Conference just amazing? We watched it here in the chapel in Morristown and went to check on our members/investigators in the Relief Society room during the hymns (we watched it in English). Lots of amazing talks and all focused on family and strengthening the family and the home. We see just how important that is so much every day. I also had fresh in my mind the special day that Saturday was in our family and kept thinking over and over again how grateful I am that our family was sealed in the temple and that mom and dad had Jesus Christ as the center of our home. Memories were coming back of waking up to read the Book of Mormon before seminary, interviews with Dad, consistent Family Home Evening, and the example of always turning to the Lord in times of trial. I am so grateful that I have been blessed with a family like that and hope that I can help be the means of bringing that joy and comfort to the people here in New Jersey. These people here have become like my family and I want them to have what we have! And it's gotten to the point where I walk down the street and know almost everybody...haha, oh Morristown. So conference...Darwin came to the Saturday morning session and Miguel went to the Priesthood session and they both loved it too. Afterwards on Saturday afternoon, Darwin told us he wanted to get baptized!!!! We went over to visit him yesterday and talk with him a little more about it and Miguel told us he had been kicked out of the house Saturday night because he hadn't been paying rent or working for a year. Miguel called him and he was in Ohio, moving to Michigan. I wanted to cry so bad but my tears had already been expelled during conference. I got to talk to him for a sec and he said that when he figures out where he's moving, he wants the missionaries to come by. He said thanks for everything and that was it. It was a hard night, to say the least, but I know that the Lord will take care of him. I'm not even giving justice to explaining what all happened but I think you get the jist of it.
Anyway, I wish I had my notes with me right now from conference, but I don't so I will have to go off the top of my head. I loved President Monson's talk I think the most. When he mentioned about the missionaries serving on both sides of the veil, my thoughts of course went straight to Anthony and the work he is doing there and what I am trying to do here. This is the most important work that exists! It is the work that spans the timeline of existence and brings families together for eternity. Now if we can just get some of our investigators married! We're shooting for 3 weddings this transfer. Haha, definitely next on our to-do list. :)
Well, Hna Erickson and I are still working hard and trying to do our best. I don't think she believed me at first when I kept telling her that all of our investigators are "little men"...and then she started meeting them and found out it's true. One of these days, I will get to sit down in a house again for a lesson! It's pretty funny. Please keep praying for them to recognize this is true, because I know it is! I miss you tons but I love you more!
Hermana Jackson
Ok, and now I suppose I'll attach some pictures.
341 - Hna Binning, Hna Cornish, and I going out to lunch at Panera Bread to celebrate our halfway mark.
320 - Hna Evens and I with Miguel (doing the bunny ears) and Darwin. I love those guys!
281 - my zone last transfer (transfer 5)
328 - eating frog legs. Yeah, we went out to lunch with the branch mission leader between sessions on Saturday and he took us to a Chinese buffet...and I might have loved it.
338 - my new comp, Hna Erickson, and I :)

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