Monday, December 23, 2013

!Feliz Navidad!

"hello, hi, how are yuh, como esta(n)?"- a message from a gringa secretary of someone we tried to get a hold of. WOW, it's Christmas? not real. Our apartment definitely feels Christmassy haha, thats not even a problem. But it's so balmy here and just an odd thought. ANYWAY. First off I'd life to give Scoz a nice FELIZ CUMPLEANOS!!! Gettin old there papi.
So what a week i've had! We went into our lesson with Carlos and family worried, because a few days prior when we asked his "wife" how the divorce papers were going she said they were having problems. But, as always, we were amazed. First, Carlos should have the papers done pretty soon- they found some kind of loop-hole! Second, Sarah ("wife") quite her job and is looking for a new one so she can come to church every week! Third, CARLOS STOPPED SMOKING for the first time in 35 years!! We're stoked for him and can't believe how much faith they have. Also, we had to change the baptismal date to February 9 so they can actually reach it. It will be Carlos' birthday, so that should be really special. Now the heartbreaking news of the week.. We had been working with a senora named Nati with her two little kids (9 and 6) and she was so solid, coming to church every week, good friends with Hermana Lopez in our ward, came to the Christmas party.. Seriously, solid. This last Sunday she wasn't at church. In our lesson we asked her about it and apparently her husband found a new full-time job, she said it's probably because they had been praying and he goes, "yeah, let's go to church this week.. to our church". She loved the idea because she really wanted the whole family to go to church all together. So they went to their catholic church and loved it. I honestly felt as if I was being broken up with while she was telling us through her tears how much she loved it and that it reminded her of being in Peru with her mom. So we were dumped. It hurt super bad, but maybe it's just not the right time for her. Next item of business, the Christmas devotional with all the missionaries in the mission and the presidency! We've got some big things happening to the mission! First, we're going viral. We've been taking a survey for online proselyting since a little after I got here and next month we are all hittin Facebook. I'll be on my same facebook account, but I need to go through and "clean it up" and such. I can tell you more of the details WEDNESDAY! Second, it used to be a rule that we could only go to the temple on the last day of our mission. But President Berry thinks it would really help the work if we could attend twice a year so we're going next month!!!! I can't even tell you how excited I am! Wow, that'll be the best. Anyway, life is wonderful here and I'm enjoying every minute. I love that I get to experience so many different cultures! We meet everyone from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Venezuela, Honduras, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Uruguay, to Peru. It's a lil hard to catch on to all the lingo sometimes (Puerto Rico basically has their own vocabulary) and the accents throw me off every once in a while haha, but it's a grand ol' time. Not sure what else I wanted to tell you about this lovely place, but I guess I'll write it down for Wednesday haha. So excited to see you all and praying really hard that it works! I should be calling around 12:30 or 1 so keep your ears open. I love you all and I really hope you keep in mind our savior this Christmas! FELIZ NAVIDAD :)

Love, Sista Jackson


Ma girlfrens from Mexico! 
Nothin says Christmas like a taqueria 

 The luckiest sistas ever! Look at that tree! (first time i've ever threaded popcorn haha)
As we've seen the fruits of planning and know of its' importance... We planned our fiesta precisely

Monday, December 16, 2013

Recognizing Simple Things ...

Hey there fam! First I would like to shout out to Mama and Papa for the solid "missionary purpose" in espanol!! haha I LOVED IT. I'm proud of you mama, you're doing great :) Also, mamacita came through for the biggest win yet again with a package of twelve days of christmas scriptures! They look lovely under our 3 ft. tree! Wow, so I need to get goin on the week here.. First off, I received some more background on good ol Eladio. Not only was he a supreme court judge, but he fled the country with his family in the middle of the night in the trunk of a car! what?! haha he keeps getting cooler and cooler. He was confirmed yesterday in sacrament meeting and then interviewed after church to hold the aaronic priesthood. He will do great things, we're so so excited for him. Wednesday I had exchanges with a lil twist.. Sister Ward from Payson came to MY area and I was somehow the hefe for the day. Most stressful thing ever haha. I was also the only one of us who knew spanish (and by know, i mean not really at all hahaha), but somehow we both survived and the area is still in tact. I learned a lot that day- 1. that my incredible trainer does way more than I even thought she did! So now I'm trying really hard to even things out there. 2. I can speak spanish and I'm doing just fine. Obviously I'm not the best at spanish, and lessons go 100 times better with 2- there's a reason we teach in twos- but I can do it and the Lord is helping me! Much to my surprise, I gained more confidence that day. As for the rest of the week, we had lots of lessons fall through, but we did our best and that's what matters! Friday night was a bit of a drag and maybe some frustration building up. We went to an apartment complex to do come quick contacting before the ward party and the only door we knocked on, second floor, went something like this: The cutest person, Evalyn- probably about 25- opened the door with the biggest smile and said, "oh are you the mormons?" Come to find out her step brother is LDS and served a mission as well. She told us she understands how hard that would be and asked us if we wanted a treat or anything. We couldn't, but she told us to come back any time we needed to "rest and cry about things" haha. That right there told me that God is looking out for me as well and it was just what WE needed in the right time. Saturday night came around and it was starting to test me a lil bit. I found myself thinking, "make it to tomorrow" and instantly I smiled and thought, "NO, I have the choice to make the best out of this". I then thought of Mama and her quote, "it's not about you." I realized how important it is for me to create the type of atmosphere for the Lord to be able to work through me and reach the people of this area. Again, we were blessed with really sweet people to brighten our day. So although we didn't see the kind of success we've seen in the past few weeks in numbers or whatever else, we opened up to see the less-noticeable miracles and they were just as amazing! I'm truly loving my time here and couldn't be more grateful for this opportunity. I love that I get to be here for Christmas and think of the true meaning of it all. To learn of my savior all day every day and to bring other people to learn of him as well. I love you all, can't wait to talk to you :) speaking of, I'm thinkin 1 here. 11 Utah time and 7 Spain time (If my calculations are correct- finger to the bridge of the nose). Lemme know how that works for yall! preferably at the top of an email in bold capital letters.. 

XOXO, Hermana Jackson


 Filling the font ...

dont mention our beauty.. it was a rough day haha 

 SURPRISE, pres. Berry called this week and said I could start driving.. WEEEIRD.
 We had to get one of us decorating  with egg nog.
Our treeeee! thanks to Mama Allred!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Life Couldn't Be Better!

wow wow wow! where do I even start?! We've had quite the week here in Windy mcWindy Ridge East! First of all lets start by last Monday night when we had our baptismal interview for Eladio.. haha We get to the church (after frantically finding a ride for him) and his ride takes off telling us they can come back if we really need them to. Then, our district leader asks for the baptismal record and we had no idea we were supposed to bring it. Then he asks for the key to the chapel.. what? Sooo we called the olympia sisters and they were kind to bring a record and elder romero just interviewed him outside. Our ride ended up coming back after a few minutes of waiting and all was well. Are we both new or something? I swear we read the pmg section and the paper in the binder, but there wasn't anything on bringing the key or record. Turns out that it's actually kinda funny and I learned for next time. Speaking of the next baptism!!!.. Our dear friends Carlos, Norma and Luciano. Norma is a less active member and has work on sundays. Carlos has never been a member but missionaries have been working with them for a while i guess. They've been so so sweet to us and feed us and just have the sweetest spirit about their home (apartment). This last week they had the divorce papers for Carlos to divorce his old wife so he and Norma can get married here soon. They have lots to fill out and everything but we challenged them to have them all finished by the time we meet with them this weekend. They're so ready to do it and we couldn't be more excited for them!! Carlos is still smoking a lil bit, but trying really hard. We are sending scriptures to them lots to help and his son is helping him quit as well. I really can't even describe my love for that family!!! I'm so excited for them to get married. Oh. AND we set a date for his baptism for Jan. 12! K now I want to tell you about the coolest experience on Saturday. So recently our district leader taught us how he weekly plans and nightly plans. WE. ARE. HOOKED. We're so converted to how much planning matters and changes everything. So we had been planning to go to a certain place on Saturday, but the day before received a media referral in a different place who wanted a spanish Book of Mormon. So we decided to head down there. We took the book to them (actually had a lesson with them this morning as well, but they speak english so we're passing them off) and then when we got back to the car to decide where to contact, Sister Allred mentioned the less-active families one apartment complex over. Wait, before we took the spanish book of mormon to the referral, I thought i'd put an english book of mormon in my bag (so odd cause we never give away english ones and weren't even able to contact in there or there was a possibility we could be arrested). So we knocked on the three less-active doors and on the last one they mentioned how they had lived there for 3 years and didn't know who the family we were looking for was. We proceeded to tell them who we were and immediately the lady calls "Michael, come here". He comes to the door and as we tell him who we are, he steps out, shuts the door behind him and starts telling us a story. He had been in an awful car crash the saturday before at 4 in the morning on a deserted street and when he woke up, he couldn't find a way out of the car. He found a broken window and some man showed up to help him out. He sat down and cried and the next thing he knew a state trooper was there and had happened to be driving by. He was on the verge of tears and told us he should have died and that he's never been a religious person until this experience and now he wonders if there is a God. We then testified to him that we were sent there for him and that our message was from God and could change his life. We told him that if he finds that this gospel is true and everything, he could change his life and asked if he would be baptized. He said yes three times and explained that he didn't even know what that meant but he would do it. I then pulled out the english book of mormon and told him about it. Then I happened to have an english restoration pamphlet in my bag as well! We handed him to the enlglish elders in the area, but I truly know that God sent us there at that specific time for Michael. It was the most powerful experience that I can't even explain. 
Ok, and now for yesterday.. Eladio came to sacrament with his brother-in-law, but his brother in law felt sick after so they left (bummer!). BUT he was there early for his baptism and so ready to go! However, sister allred and I got to the church an hour early to find that the font wasn't filled or being filled! The elders who were transfered from our ward this week were supposed to do it. So, with the elders and sisters at the chapel from another ward helped us run water buckets back and forth and we got it done in about 45 minutes hahaha. It was the funniest, but most stressful thing ever. The baptism was beautiful, and Eladio shared his testimony. It was the most sincere and sweet testimony of how he knows this is for him and everything. sister allred and i got to bear our testimonies toward the end and both lost it (not too bad, we held it together pretty well) but then our ward mission leader announces a special number by us which we had kinda planned on, but the elder that was supposed to sing was transferred and such.. soooo I had a solo while sister Allred played "Creo en Cristo". Oh my heavens, I could have died I was so nervous. I hardly even sing in groups, but it was just me in front of a large group of our ward haha. After it was over, one of the girls in the ward goes, "yeah, he was a supreme court judge in Venezuela, my brother in law recognized him from tv..." (in english) hahaha whaaat? Weird how the last few months of teaching him we never caught "supreme court judge" cause we only really know religious spanish words haha. We knew he was super smart and wrote a huge book though. Anyway, It was such a beautiful night, topped off with the Christmas devotional :) 
Also, I lied, it's not chilly here.. That was only a lil cold spell cause it's toasty here still! K gotta run, I love you all so much!! Thanks for all that you do for me and the examples that you are to me!! 
Con Carino, Hermana Jackson

Monday, December 2, 2013

Adventure is Out There ...

HOLA! Thanks so much for all the wonderful emails fam! ALSO, Mamacita with the win with dearelder!!! I received a package with some yummy pumpkin bread and a lil email/letter in the mail!! I loved it, thanks mama! I'd love some pictures from everyone- in emails even. Ok here goes my week... Name of the week: Fenide (fe-need). 
Carlos and Norma: he's doing really well with quitting smoking. We only get to see him once a week and he didn't make it to church this week unfortunately. But he said last week that he invited a friend at work to come to church and he might be joining in on the lessons! Carlos is seriously the coolest person!! He has the sweetest heart and really wants to get baptized and married. We challenged him to get his divorce papers taken care of before we meet with him this week so lets hope he gets that done! 
Wednesday Hermana Allred and I just about died.. cause: comida. I miss being able to not eat when I don't want to and such. We had lunch at 2 with Hermana Cabrera from the ward and she fed us the largest bowl of soup with potatoes, meat, rice, etc. She then tells us she made "arroz con leche" for us... We gulped it down and headed to the Apontes for a short lesson. Mery sits us down and says, "I've got something for you from Venezuela, it's a cake they love at Thanksgiving"... I've never had a more dense piece of cake in my life. Then we head to the Hernandez home (less actives) and they feed us dinner- sopa con papas, arroz, y meatballs. I coulda blown up. We ate as much as we could to make it look like we came hungry and finally had to tell them we would like to take it home. Just when we think we're in the clear, she brings out a piece of meat for us to each try a piece. It was liver. I prolly coulda handled it a lil better if I hadn't already felt sick, but it was rough. Sister Allred had to go to the bathroom and throw up. I wanted to, haha, but couldn't. 
Thanksgiving was a wonderful day and a solid night at the Ordinola home (he's the second counselor)! They gave us a smorgasbord, but luckily they understood if we didn't eat every lil thing. She also made tamales especially for Hermana Allred y yo! We got to have dinner with the other two companionships in the ward as well- it was way fun! I love their family tons and it was so cool to be included in their holiday. 
Elaudio continues to amaze us as he prepares for his baptism this Sunday!! He's so ready. His wife still gives us a hard time about Jesus Christ and how he's just a normal person like we are.. it breaks my heart actually. My testimony of the Savior was strengthened tons this week when she went on a rant with our member present (Brother Lopez, the ward mission leader). She's still the sweetest lady to us and supports her husband. Elaudio has already read the Book of Mormon, but started again last week so that if our district leader asks him a hard question in the interview, he will know how to answer hahaha. We went over the questions with him already too. The way he gained a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is because he wrote a huge book a while ago and when he read the Book of Mormon, he said, "there's no way he wrote this without God". He's THE BEST! 
K I don't have much more to report but I'll quickly answer some questions and SEND PICTURES! yes, that's right. I got a card reader and I'm alive. Dad- my companion is down to work out every morning. We go to the gym and run and do sit ups and stuff. Despite her willingness to eat unhealthy treats all the time.. haha I've taken over the grocery list a lil bit so that we're only getting healthy things- fruit, vegetables, nuts, etc. There's really only so much we can control on what we eat though.. unfortunately. Also, believe it or not, it's getting slightly chilly here! nooo. But it's fine. I'll get a sweater or two at target. We ride bikes for about 2 days a week and whenever we are staying around here. We're having a grand old time together and already decorating and making plans for the Christmas season. Her family is THE BOMB and sent way cool Christmasy decorations and such for us haha. We just about had a heart attack on Saturday when the Zone Leaders called about transfers and tried to make us think we would be transferred. All is well though, we're together. K I love you all, I hope Thanksgiving was wonderful! I'm so so grateful for your thoughts and prayers! Have a great one!

Love, Hermana Jackson

Also, last night at a member's house they had a golden doodle. I laughed so hard and thought I could have been dreaming cause she did all the same things as Millhouse! Hope you're taking care of her at the house!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Just pictures...

My punkin

Chick Fil A

Obsessed with the sky here!

Dealing with Ronnie (the roach)

Miss Sally from the dancing days

The cages on the back of homes that intrigue me.

Sister Heiner

Our board of things to do for Elaudio… We obviously don't know what we're doing haha. It looks like a shrine.

No words needed - Dave will understand

Our District! (Elder Waller from BYU behind me)

Leaves sent from utah to help us feel like it was autumn. Woulda been better with a palm tree in back.

Hannah - the sweetest lil thing! We're obsessed with her.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Feelin' grateful here in the 407

Hello hello my family! How's it goin?! This week will be quick so i apologize in advance.. First of all, how are the Runia's? I pray for them all the time and hope they're doing well. Well, I find myself in Orlando this Thanksgiving and what a treat it is!! I'm so grateful for this unreal opportunity to be a part of the Lord's work and to share it with everyone I see! I'm realizing lots lately how cool it is that I get to meet such a variety of people. I'm grateful for the leaders here in the mission! We have the best district leader and feel so lucky to learn from him- sadly, he leaves in a week. Also, I'm grateful for my companion and for all that she does for me! I've learned tons being with Hermana Allred and really really hope I can stay with her for the next transfer. I'm grateful for the Berrys!! They work so hard and make us feel so special- I love them. I'm so grateful to have such wonderful support and love from home!! It's truly a blessing to hear from you every week and to know how many prayers are being said for me. I feel them and I need them haha. I'm so glad you're all safe and happy. And finally, I'm grateful for my savior, Jesus Christ. How amazing is it that I get to indulge in the scriptures and preach my gospel every day learning more about my savior and older brother?! Also, how cool is it that I'm set apart as a representative of Him?! I also get to bring his truth to all those i come in contact with. i get to just bear my testimony all the time and give people the most precious gift they could ever receive. Ok now I'll tell you about our week since it was a fantastic one :) we put into practice the things we learned in district meeting about weekly planning and daily planning and I truly believe that's what made our week the best. Planning is such a huge part of the work! Our numbers just about doubled from the week before- which isn't the focus, but definitely matters. We're teaching a part-member family this week that the dad is addicted to smoking and wants so badly to quit so he can get baptized and married in the temple. Our lesson with them was really directed by the spirit and we were all almost crying (exception:his wife) by the end. We all fasted yesterday and he and his son came to church for the first time in a long time!! By the way, he works on NBA player's cars and currently is tight with LeBron James. Saturday night we attended an english baptism for some other missionaries and Elaudio (has a batismal date for next week) and his wife came and LOVED it. He was trying to invite all the other missionaries to come to his haha. Lately he has the biggest smile all the time. Yesterday they came to church and when they announced his baptism, he proudly stood up without being asked. It's the grreatest thing! K I'm so sorry, but I really don't have time. I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for you! Have the best week ever!

Con Amor, Hermana Stinky Jackson

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Milagros esta semana ...

Well hey fam!!! How's everyone doin? Wait, first... I SKIMMED emails today (my new execution plan is to print off emails and write about them the following week.... sorry) and that's SO sad about Ryan Runia! what a shock. I'm sorry to hear about that. I love being able to tell people of the plan of salvation and telling them what I know to be true. No greater joy comes than from the work of the Lord!!! This week has been a fabulous one! No crazy stories of me dancing or being in newspapers haha just good ol miracles happening every day :) Last week I wanted to tell you about la famila Acosta de Puerto Rico! The father and mother have both been married before and now they are happily married and members of the church. She was baptized back in May. Her daughters, Yari and Amalia are 14 and 11. We went to teach them last week and it had been one of the craziest of days so we hadn't prepared a lesson plan! We prayed and felt that the restoration was what we needed to talk about. We started teaching it and the spirit was just so strong in the room! I told of the first vision in my own words (Oh, the girls don't know much about the church btw) and was just overwhelmed by the spirit as I saw tears come to the eyes of Yari. We explained the Holy Ghost and also about Joseph Smith and that his family was split in beliefs and what churches they attended (like her father who hates mormons and mother who is now a member). We told her she could, like Joseph Smith, pray about what church is true. We watched the restoration video and after talked to them about their feelings. Both committed to praying about our message and said they would be baptized if they came to find it was true! It was such a powerful lesson. That sunday they came running up to us with the biggest smiles and told us they had prayed and had a great experience. They both are thinking about baptism. Their mother called us this week and told us the backgroud of their step dad a lil more. Also that her husband's (member) kids had wanted to be baptized, got verbal concent from their mom, and then a week before she called and said they couldn't be baptized. So basically Hermana Acosta is worried about her girls getting hurt and everything. so we need to be careful and pray for their fathers heart to be changed. We teach them tonight! Also, this Thursday we had an appointment with la familia Aponte de Venezuela. We've been teaching them the whole time I've been here and they just didn't seem to be progressing like we would like them to be. So we decided if they hadn't prayed about a baptismal date when we went to see them, then we would have to "drop" them. We brought with us the Mendez couple (members). Elaudio (the dad) seemed to be pleased and happy the whole lesson but was pretty quiet until finally we asked if he'd prayed about a date. He answered, "yes. December 8th sounds great!" He comes to church almost every week and has a really strong testimony. He's been taught for months so we're excited he's finally taking the step! Friday we had exchanges!!! Sister Heiner (ma P-town sista!) came and got me and I went to the Olympia area. It was the best day ever! I realized how much easier it is to speak english all the time, but how the english people aren't as accepting.. I actually really missed my spanish haha. We went knocking for a part of the day and ran into a fellow who just seemed like the saddest person. He was trying to argue with us and told us we were brain washed and that we couldn't tell him we "know" anything. I cried after, not because I was offended- I know this message is the truth and nothing can change that- but because I was sad at the things he believed and the way he rejected the message. One of our appointments later was canceled so we decided to go see an investigator by the name of Vanessa from Colombia. She spoke english so don't get too excited haha but she was the cutest lady with the 3 most beautiful, fun daughters! basically she was so accepting of our message of prayer and the book of mormon! She was golden. She could turn out to be mine and Hermana Allred's investigator cause they want to go tp the spanish ward. Yesterday we taught a referral from the portuguese elders, named Herson. We had to teach him in the hall of his apartment complex cause no one else was home and our members bailed. But he was soaking in our whole message about the restoration and when we told the first vision, he said, "what did Jesus say?!" so we told him that none of the churches on the earth were true and that through Josephj the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored. Then he said, "what more?!" so we taught about the book of mormon and the promise in Moroni. He committed to reading the whole thing THAT DAY!!! haha we told him it was 500 pages and he said he'd read it before next Sunday!! K what? We were blown away! Anyway, gotta run. But it was a wonderful week and we're expecting a spledid one this week as well :) I love you all and hope all is well!!! Praying for you and grateful for all your prayers- I truly feel their power. Have a good'n.

Love, Hermana Jackson

Monday, November 11, 2013

My debuts this week … As well as the return of Ronny the Roach!

HEY FAM!! Glad to hear yall are doin well! I'm sorry to hear about lil Easty being so sick! Matt- I can't believe you're going to Brazil for THE WORLD CUP!!! geeze, that's unreal. Take lotsa pitchas for me ;) and be safe (in a few months...) Soph looks like a nice lil chunk!! And happy as can "Bee" as usual. Sounds like the rest of you are chuggin along just fine and enjoying life. I don't have time to read mama and papa's emails, so imma print them off in a sec and read them for next week. I've had the most outrageous week hahaha and be outrageous I mean totally normal. If you were to ask if I MC-ed a show for a huge group of people with Prader Willie's Syndrome, danced on stage in front of hundreds, was in charge of a booth at Chick-Fil-A, and listened to Lady Gaga and other worldly musicians.... It would be affirmative. Is anyone surprised about the dancing though? Ill get back to that... First I'd like to tell you my favorite name from the past week: Shneiyanka (sh-nee-yonk-uh). Guess the race if you can.. Wednesday night hermana Allred and I were asked to go to Chick-Fil-A and have a lil table full of crafts about the family that lil kids could do. Apparently it's the week or month of the family? It was a grand ol time, but killed us cause we couldn't share the gospel with people unless they asked us first! But it ended up being great and we met the mayor of Ocoe and he's putting a thing in the paper for us? haha wooo. We also got a free meal and lemonade so I guess I can't complain. Tuesday we set apart a time to contact in a park before dinner with the Dominguez family. We rode our bikes to the park and EVERY person we talked to was prepared for us! One lady mentioned a time she visited BYU with a friend and loved the spirit there and how genuine the people were. We told her that its a church owned school and also got to talk to her lots about how our message blesses families and such. Long discussion. She asked if she could come to church! She was amazing and so ready to receive the gospel! It was a cool experience. Ok so we (60 missionaries) volunteered at a Prader Willie's convention at a Hotel near disney for 2 days. Friday we were there from 7:30 am to 5 pm and of course Hermana Allred and I were the first to step up for the dance class. So for the whole day we memorized every person's name with gestures and then taught them a lil dance to Philip Philip's "Home".. It was a grand ol time but secretly we took one for the team cause we felt so worldly! We were EXHAUSTED by the end of the day cause it took so much energy. That night we had dinner with the Sandoval family (less actives in the ward) and she took us to her favorite mexican restaurant. We put this saucy guac on all 3 of our tacos thinking it would be wonderful and it turns out that it was probably one of the spiciest things I've ever had!!! Hermana Allred was crying and I was frantically eating cucumbers hahaha. Then Sister Sandoval tried a nice dollup (?) of it on her taco and laughed.. She told us sorry cause it was even spicy for her! The next day we had some more dancing all day and went over a flashlight song with them to Jason Mraz's "I won't give up". At the end of a day was a big banquet with all the parents (literally hundreds of people) and all the missionaries came in with the kids and did our dance.... Hermana Allred and I were asked to do the dance up on stage so they could watch us hahaha. Oh bless our hearts, it was too good. Oh and the day before, the missionaries were asked to entertain for an hour. Somehow, once again, Hermana Allred and I were handed the microphone and took charge of the show. It was an awesome experience and we really loved all the people there! One kid gave Hermana Allred and me a card that said think you and had pictures he had drawn haha. We were all stars. Youll have to check the blog for some pictures. And finally... Wednesday night after a really spiritual and amazing lesson with the Acosta family (Ill have to tell you next week!) we encountered our friend Ronny Roach in the bathroom. This time we toughened up and took the matter to the next leve. I grabbed the hairspray, Hermana Allred grabbed the bulky shoes some elder left in the apartment and we executed. Pretty impressive, eh? K I gotta run... Time is short. Love you all so much and so happy to hear you're doing well!!! Have an impecable(?) week :)

LOVE, Hermana Jackson

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Letter from Hermana Child

This is a note received on Facebook from Hermana Child, who was Megan's teacher in the MTC in Mexico. Megan absolutely loved Hermana Child. This is a letter any parent is thrilled to receive!

Hola Sister Jackson!

I saw a picture of Megan Jackson & Sydnee Wilson together on my Facebook page linked to you, and I sure hope you are Hermana Jackson's mother. I had the privilege of being her MTC teacher! And what an incredible missionary she is!

During the six weeks that we were together in Mexico, I was able to witness one of the most beautiful transformations I have ever seen in a district. Your daughter in particular showed a great desire to seek out and follow the impressions of the Spirit. And, over time, fine-tuned her ability to discern what the Spirit would have her understand, say, do and be. Her fun, lively spirit that emits so much love only became brighter as she began to understand more of her Savior and how to be a worthy representative of Him. As she would put it, she's learning how to not only dedicate her might and strength, but also her heart and mind!

Her lessons and role-plays in class showed a deep understanding of what conversion is, and I know that reflects a life-time of living and becoming like our Savior. So, thank you for raising your daughter in the light of the gospel and instilling in her a character worthy of representing Christ. I know that she is and will continue to be a great strength in building Zion! I will forever love your daughter and treasure the experiences we had together. I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for the opportunity I have to teach these incredible missionaries! 

I hope the work in Spain is progressing and that you continually receive strength and happiness from above! Missionary blessings are the best.

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kelli Child

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Hey fam, what up?! wow, so what a WEEEEEEK! Im not even sure I can handle how amazing this all is. I really wish I could tell you every little detail, but ill do my best in the short time I have.. To answer questions about my welfare: I am safe, Im healthy as an ox (taking multivitamin pills and drinking tons of water and gatorade), my apartment complex thing is great- we will expand on that later.., we dont do much cooking- we have dinner almost every night and sometimes lunches as well, with member. DAD.. we dont have maids here like you did in Colombia hahaha I kinda wish, but its great to feel so independant. My companion continues to amaze me with her spirit and zest for life. She has the mosxt beautiful testimony and desire to obey. She could easily be my twin.. no joke. I know I already said that, but I sincerely think so. The weather is pretty nice. Its gotten a lil colder in the last lil bit. At night when we're out we get a lil chilly. It rained for the first time the other day (while on bike) and I loved it! I got a bike helmet at zone conference this week (so Im borrowing it). Oh and can I tell you real quick how in love with the clouds I am?! Theyre so puffy and huge and we have the most stunning sunrises and sunsets. K.. Zone conference was tuesday and was the best!!! Elder Walker from the 70 came and was way down to earth, funny and gave us a good time- while uplifting and teaching tons,, of course. Im in love with sister Berry, shes adorable. And kinda reminds me of my cute Mommy :) maybe cause she has lots of energy, such a capacity to love and just is in your same position Mama. Its a huge compliment, I promise. Youd love her as well. President Berry shows so much love for us and a desire for us to be successful. He's always asking how we are doing and about our investigators and such. Wednesday we had temple service and got to plant flowers all over!!! I felt like I was home again on a good ol' gardening day. The flowers were stunning as well. Also, it was miss Bee's birthday!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUMBLEBEE! Ive been wearing my bee necklace all week. Give her lots of lovins from auntie Megs!! She looks so big. I cant believe she's taking steps! what the. Halloween was a pretty normal day, but hermana Allred and I bought punkins on Monday and carved them. We only had about 15 minutes, but it brought the "noche de brujas" spirit. We started riding bikes this week!!!! Its a love/hate relationship... Its nice to get places quickly but be able to contact everyone you see. Its a struggle in a skirt, as you can imagine... thanks to chels for getting me biking spandex things! Also, its like riding a horse every day.. If you know what Im sayin (im sure Mama gets it). Thursday Hermana Allred was throwing up and not feeling well so we were buckled down in the pinch, but it was actually a good time for me to study all day! That night I felt so good about my spanish and was just fired up and ready to go! Thursday night we had to run home (pretty far) to make it on time for curfew, but we made it in time and it was the funniest experience. We believe we've already received blessings from it. Friday night on our bikes, we stopped to visit a less active family- the Sandovals (we visited them last week as well) and Im seriously in love with them!! They're the sweetest lil family. Lil Hannah is 2 and loves to try and play with me and hug me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. Shes my lil pal. But we were there a few minutes late so we had to bike our guts out to get back home on time (keep in mind we have to carry our bikes up 2 flights of stairs hahaha). Oh, Wednesday night we were asked to come and give a lesson about missionary work to the young women. It was so much fun and I believe it helped me gain a greater testimony of my call and why I'm out here. The girls were really excited and we invited them to share their testimonies with friends and invite them to church. Two of them got their friends to church this week and 2 others will have them there next week. Sunday we had an investigator at church!!! Her name is Jessica. Shes had tons of lessons from elders before us but has a hard time with commitments. She and her aunt got a ride from our members (the Millans) to come to all three hours of church! They loved it and we saw them today. They both want to be baptized and are praying about a date for next time we see them! We're really excited about them. Both seem ready and excited. Also, I now know why the boys always say sundays are the longest days hahaha. I was SO drained yesterday after a meeting before church with the ward mission leader and all auxilliarys, then 3 hours of church and worrying about the testimonies of members with our investigators there (also trying to understand as much spanish as i can), and then having lots of lessons later. Its great though. I love this struggle with all my heart!!! Oh, real quick... We had a lil friend join us last night.. A HUGE COCKROACH! aksjfhlksadfhsealfh. yuck. He was about 2 in. long and the longest, yuckiest antennas ever. We named him ronny the roach. And we successfully duct taped the vent from whence it came. Good thing we're so tough. I had the most frightening dreams last night so I may need a teeny nap today. K gotta run.l I love you all and pray for you to be safe and happy!! Thanks for all your emails and your prayers! have the best week :)

LOVE< Hermanita Jackson

Monday, October 28, 2013

I, Hermana Jackson, having been "born" of a "goodly mother"

Hello hello!! K, quick disclaimer: I dont actually fancy the mission lingo of "born", "Mother".. all that jazz.. However, I thought it was quite clever on my part, so I couldnt resist. WOAH what a week!! This place somehow continues to get better and Im lovin it! Despite my horrors of getting put with a hard (as in disobedient or just nothing like me) I got put with the opposite! Hermana Allred, from AF, could easily be my twin. Not by looks, but by personality and such. hahaa so as you can imagine, there's quite a lot of energy here in Windy Ridge. K how cool is this, my area contains Disney World, Sea world, Universal Studios, and international drive (still have yet to know what that even is, but I guess its pretty cool). So Monday night after I shot you a lil email, we had mission president interviews, a lil meeting (which I was asked to bear my testimony in... Slightly intimidating) and then the Sisters were all taken to the Wood's house to stay. Dad asked how many languages are in the mission and how many missionaries are spanish speaking. there are 4- english, spanish, portuguese(?), and creole. Not many speak spanish.. For instance, for 4 incoming hermanas the president had to use all the hermanas here in the mission (5) to train. After a breif orientation on Tuesday we were introduced to trainers, picked up my bike- side note: I dont have a helmet.. Im wondering if that has been sent yet- and then to the mission office because Sister Busathe was gettin flustered with all my packages :) hahaha WOW it was like Christmas!!! THANKS! I got my lovely quilt from Mama/Aunt Lyssa (MUCHAS GRACIAS), a box of goods from the sweet McGuires (they must know me real well or had some insiders from you mama and papa, cause they nailed it). May I ask that people dont send lots of treats......Im really scared about getting fat. We'll give some to others if needed- it's likely. I got my 2 skirts Mama, and they are perfect- so comfy and light weight. We had 3 lessons planned for the day, but all 3 fell through :( We contacted a ton and I was the happiest person ever. It was way fun! Wednesday we had a meeting with a member, dinner with a member (holy cow, we have incredible dinners with members). The next day we had dinner with the Mendez family and while we were waiting for the food to be done, their son thats 20 was expressing his worries about going on a mission. He didnt want to be held back that much in school. He sounded like he wasnt getting time in to read his scriptures every day and that church was a burden to him. It was a good moment for me to reflect and to try and express how I felt about my mission. It was hard not to just say "GO ON A MISSION!" haha and it was hard for me to try and understand his feelings, but we committed him to reading PMG so he would get a better idea of what a mission is like. Then we had a wonderful meal and shared a thought about member missionarys. It was really cool during my testimony I noticed the mom was crying.. It was seriously such a simple testimony (clearly) but then she told me how much missionaries mean to them and that I had said something that really touched her. That was a really sweet moment. The language is comin along. Its a lil stressful that everyone expects so much here haha but the members are super sweet to me and I just try my hardest to learn. On Thursday we were supposed to meet with 3 teenagers, but 2 werent home, so we taught the one (Robert) with his mother and sister in the background, and we had a member present (America- yes, her name is America). We thought he spoke spanish, but apparently he's more comfortable with english so we taught in english. He accepted the invitation to be baptized, prayed with us and was super excited. I cant even tell you how cool it was!! Alright so I need to wrap this up pretty quick here.. Its amazing and humbling to me that these people give us food all the time and work so hard to get to church. I love these people! And I love this area! Saturday we had a service project (WITH HELPING HANDS JERSEYS ON- always a dream of mine) at a school and one of the members had a BYU shirt on. I said something and he told me about BYU beating Boise state!!! what? yes. Im so proud. And Dad, Mason Herzog says hello? apparetnly he went to East. Liz, way to stand strong and true and blue with all those boise state fans, by the way!!! Atta girl. Dad, sounds like your driving is improving... Way to be fast and furious driving on mediaans and over steps. And thanks for the jokes, I sure did enjoy them :) always. I love you all and Ill talk to you next week!!

Love, Hermana Jackson

Zone Conference

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Letter from the Jones' - missionary couple at Mexico MTC

This is a letter from The Jones' - the grandparents of one of our new missionaries! They are serving in the Mexico MTC and sent this note and these pictures today. Such sweet people!

It was so hard to say good bye to Hermana Jackson yesterday.  She was the sunshine of the CCM.  I would often see her posing for pictures - every time with someone different.  She made everyone feel like they were her best friends.

It was especially fun to see her grow while she was here.  Last Thursday I talked to her right after she got back from the Temple. She was so happy because she did the whole session in Spanish and "got it."  She understood everything and really embraced the Temple covenants.

Thought you'd like to see a few more pictures.

I'm Home and Walkin on Sunshine!! (ha, Get it?!)

Note from Megan's Mom - We were able to talk with Megan on Monday afternoon, our time in Spain, as she headed to Florida. We were in Toledo, Spain, with Dave and Susie Groesbeck, who are visiting. It was soooo good to hear her voice, and how happy and excited she is. When we were almost finished with our conversation, we were somehow disconnected! But, all is well ...

Hey Mama and Papa!
     Touchdown Florida!! Sorry I hung up on you this morning.. Not even sure what happened. But Im here safely in the cozy mission home of President and sister Berry! Turns out they didnt remember me from their farewell, but they said I looked familiar. Understandable, theyre busy haha. We were fed at the chapel cause there are too many of us i guess (3 sisters from the provo mtc and 6 elders plus us 4 hermanas and 4 elders from mexico). It was so nice to have a home-cooked meal and american haha. We had pulled pork sandwiches, salad, potatoe salad and grapes and some ice cream to top it off. Sister Berry talked about all the food she makes and how fast it disappears.. it sounded familiar ;) Anyway, Imma get my interview in just a bit and then head to the Woods house with the rest of the hermanas cause there isnt room for us in the mission home. Love you lots!! Dont worry about this one :) Im happy as a clam and super excited for this adventure!!!

Love, Hermana Jackson

Sunday, October 20, 2013

T-minus 14 hours!! It's GO TIME!

Hola mis padres!! Que tal? So Im emailing to tell you that my flight leaves here at 9:10. Ill be calling sometime before then if I can figure out how. Or if I struggle too much, maybe Ill wait till I get to Dallas around 11:45 (if Ive got time after customs). I tried to print off my boarding pass today and for some reason it didnt work, but I was assured that it wouldnt be a problem and that id just have to check in at the aiport. Pray.
So these last few days have been interesting. Its interesting to think Ive already been here for 6 weeks and that I really am going to Orlando! TOMORROW! I never thought the day would actually come.. Im slightly nervous, but so excited to get pushed into whatever is ahead! Im excited to see Presidente Berry and Hermana Berry again! I feel like I met them so long ago haha the other day I was wondering if they would even remember me. Theyre very sweet though and I know theyll welcome me with lots of love. Friday wae had in-field all day and they just had lots of meetings with really awesome things to learn. Ive heard for weeks how aweful it is, but I honestly loved it haha. I wondered if they had the same classes as I did.. Yesterday we did our packing during gym time (against my will) and guess how much my bags weighed (minus hairspray and a couple outfits and my pillow)!! 23 lbs. and 36 lbs. Whos good? haha. It finally rained again and Hermana Fisi and I were really excited about it and decided that Florida is calling our names :) Last night we had our last classes with Hermana Child... She expressed her love for us and how much weve grown and helped her through our teaching in the past 6 weeks. It was actually a really sweet moment. We asked her to share stories about who her investigators were that we taught (usually they are people from the teachers missions or someone they know struggling so they can understand how they can help). She cried and told us that she was herself. She had so many questions and through all our lessons, she was able to receive answers and peace. Then she took me into another room and talked to me one on one. It was SO nice to express my expectations for the mission, how I can continue to progress, get advice and express fears as well. she told me she could see a 180 degree difference from my first lesson to the one right after General Conference. Shes one of the sweetest people I know and so in tune with the spirit. She has probably one of the biggest hearts I know and Im so grateful for all the incredible lessons shes taught me. Today we are kinda running around with our heads cut off trying to get some things done that had to be done today haha. OHHHH! So I got to district meeting and had a PACKAGE!!!!!! Along with Elder Hansens two haha. So apparently Grammy and Grandpa Bob sent a lil package with their friends coming down here and today when they went to church, my counselor in the presidency happened to be there and thought the Hermana Jackson on the box could be me. He figured out that it was me and brought mine and elder hansens package to sacrament!!! How lucky is it that I got it the DAY before I leave?! Im stoked. I know its got some baked yummies from home cause there are oil splotches on the side and crumbs stuck in the tape on the box haha wooo! count on Grammy to somehow get me some goodies. Im so so excited to open it tonight and share all the goods with my comp and 2 roommates. Alrighty, I think thats all Ive got to share, but I love you so much and hope it works out for us to talk ON THE PHONE tomorrow! :) Also, Im about to send some pictures since I didnt on Thursday. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.
love, Hermana Jackson

Package from Grammy!

Someone got this of our class

Hermano Florez

Class with Presidency

Roomies ... not excited to say farewell.

Name that band

Hermanas Denis, Maxfield and Moss (Hermana Maxfield I know from BYU!)

Hermanas Behan and Hawkins. We became really good friends and they left last week. 
Hermana Josse (from Celtic Storm)

latina friends ..

Nice lil selfie of the district ..
 .. and a portrait as well. With 2 Zone leaders.

Last day at the Temple!

The other two sisters in our Zone. We love them, they're so sweet!

Our Latina friends ...

For CHELS - I really enjoyed the mustard!