Monday, June 30, 2014

The Sunshine State and Lightning Capital of the World ... isn't that an oxymoron?!

So this week sure was a great one! Minus the fact that it's tranfers and we received the sad news that sister Brooks will be leaving tomorrow. We're almost 100% sure she'll be going to Windy Ridge and sister Dia (Day) will be coming here! With a whoppin 12 spanish sisters it's really fun to figure out what's gonna happen haha. Call us pioneers. I'm super sad I only got a transfer with Sister Brooks cause we had lots of fun together. BUT bring on whatever's ahead I suppose :) 

Let me please tell yall how cool the lightning here is!! I've never seen it just fill the whole sky and it's constantly goin- looks like paparazzi. I also prolly have more pictures of the clouds and sunsets than I do of anything else.. What a beautiful place I'm in!

Anway, this week we had a goal to get some more investigators and to contact more to reach that goal. Let's just say if I wasn't fit before, I'm definitely on my way. We rode at LEAST 20 miles for 4 days straight due to our lack of saving miles (sound familiar?) hahaha bless our hearts. I ain't complaining though cause I actually LOVE being active and talking to everyone! The only downside is the huge overpass we ride over twice a day. So we were riding to a less active's when we stopped to talk to a guy on a walk with earphones in. He wouldn't tell us his name and said his day was going super crappy. He was reluctant to inform us of why but then he finally softened and told us that yesterday his wife told him she wants a divorce and now he has nowhere to live. He said yesterday he was cursing God for doing this to him. We shared the "Mountains to Climb" Mormon Message with him and look up at the end to see him literally bawling. We bore testimony that our message could help him and asked if we could meet him somewhere to share it but he said he's got to organize himself and prepare himself before. So we told him he could learn more by reading the BOM and gave him one. Enrique looked each of us straight in the eyes and said so sincerely, "thank you". He didn't want any other missionaries to come by cause we were "the angels" that found him so he got our number. I've been praying for the past few days that he'll call or somehow get in contact with missionaries!!

We stopped by a potential that's super hard to get a hold of and sitting on the porch was Luis, whom we've met before, playing on his tablet. We asked if he'd seen the website on the back of the picture of Jesus Christ and he said no. So we invited him to check it out. Then Virginia came to the door and allowed us to teach her a lil bit. We mostly got to know her, but she shared that her father left her when she was young, but that she knows her Heavenly Father loves her. She just seems to get things and have such a strong testimony! When we came out of the house Luis was listening to the Book of Mormon! hahaha he told us all about what he had read about Joseph Smith and such, it was the coolest! We saw her again on Saturday and had plans to invite her to go to the baptism close to her house instead of us sharing a message. While waiting at the door we were saying, "what if she just came to the door dressed up for the baptism?". Pfff, she totally came to the door with a dress on! We asked her why she was dressed up and she said it was cause we were coming. However, she made some lil excuses to not go to the baptism. Again she was incredible and seemed to understand the need for a prophet in these days and especially the importance of being old enough to choose to be baptized showing heavenly father that we are willing to follow him. Yeah, she's unreal! She wouldn't set a date cause she wants it to be spontaneous.... haha but we'll see what we can do this week!

Cano Ramos is the coolest Puertorriqueno that Sister Brooks and I met on our first week in Kissimmee. We called him last week and he gladly invited us to come over! We had such a great restoration lesson with him and when we invited him to be baptized he was so pumped! We set a date for the 26th and he invited us to come the next day! sadly he fell through, but we'll see him this week. Also, he's got a sick mullet haha. I'll for sure get a picture.

Sister Brooks sent a message to her mother this week via facebook asking her to read in the BOM and bearing her testimony! She got a message back that her mama was a few chapters in and just having a hard time understanding so Sister Brooks is going to send a manual. But how cool is that?! Technology folks, it's bringing miracles!

Alrighty, it's time to say see yuh lata, but I love you all and invite you to read in the BOM and pray to know it's true. I've loved the experiences of asking again to confirm and strengthen my testimony! That book is powerful. I know it's true and can teach us the pure principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love that it teaches about the plan of salvation! Good luck yall, have a good one! over n out.

Hermana Jackson

Monday, June 23, 2014

...that was the sweetest moment I've had on my mission

So wow, where to even start?! First off, the Mejia family has the most special place in my heart. I was filled with so much joy this week because of them. So on Tuesday we had exchanges (I went to lake nona with Sister Ward and had the greatest of times!) and while Sister Brooks was here she went over the baptismal questions with johanna and Barbara. When they went over tithing johanna said, "So sometimes I get 5 dollars a week and sometimes I don't get any so I'll just pay a dollar every week to be safe". Haha my heart! She's the softest most mature 12 year old. We did a temple tour with the girls and their mother Maria on Friday night and it got a lil long, but they enjoyed it. Maria's comin around and keeps bearing her testimony about knowing this is the true church and how happy she is. Johanna sat in back with me in the car and she was looking at the ctr ring she had just gotten before the tour and she looked up with me with the most sincere look and said, "This is so special. Thank you!" I'm not even kidding, that was the sweetest moment I've probably had on my mission. Moments like those make it so worth it. Saturday morning Maria called us all stressed and asked for us to come help her make the tamales. I think we made 200+ tamales and they were divine! Imma get the recipe haha. call me latina. 

The baptism couldn't have gone more smoothly. The members of the St.Cloud ward helped us SO much and the spirit was really powerful. When Johanna exited the font and we wrapped the towell? around her she bowed her head and started weeping on my shoulder. Barbara had to be baptized like 4 times cause the guy had 2 knee replacements and the water had drained a bit. She was super flustered, but still happy. Sister Brooks and I gave the message of the restoration to all present. In english... Yeah I don't have the first vision memorized in english, I would have been a lot more comfortable in spanish, but I memorized it all weekend and it turned out well haha. It was incredible though!! After the whole thing when everyone was mingling Johanna pulled sister Brooks and me aside and said, "I just want to thank you for all you've done for my family! It means so much to me and I can't imagine if you'd never come to our house". AHHHH missions are the best things ever! The church is true. Maria also shared her testimony with everyone. Yeah, she and her boyfriend are totally next! And the girls were confirmed on Sunday.

So Thursday everything was falling through and we had just about made it through all of our backups in the evening.. We stopped by Jon, the one whose Mom died the day before we met him. He's totally avoiding us. We then saw the cutest Korean woman dressed to the nines struttin down the sidewalk so we trapped her and talked to her. So she's a missionary all by herself and that's her life dream. She left her husband because he didn't believe in a God. She's living with a lady who does bible studies and the night before we met her she asked them to pray for her to meet 2 missionaries. Yeah, there aren't coincidences. She was the cutest lil thing and I was amazed at her faith. She'd be the greatest member missionary. When we set a timed camera up, she goes, "I luh Jesus!" hahaha I coulda died. 

Jesus and Nancy Avila have bailed on us 3 times in a row this week and we're getting super sad that they don't want to meet with us anymore.. We've been focusing on meeting with 2 members for a short period every day and that's been a slight fail for the spanish branch hahaha. The conversation we had the other day: "I can't meet with you tmoorrow." "Oh darn, can we set a time on Sunday for next week" "No I'm going on vacation" "Where you goin?" "Home sweet home"... Pfff haha blow to the face. We also went to see a less-active and he wouldn't let us in cause USA was playing Portugal. Priorities. 

Gotta run, but I loves you all! keep being missionaries and sharing this glad message with EVERYONE!!! 

Hermana Jackson
exchanges with Sister Ward 
Sister Scheckman 


Johanna & Barbara

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Father's Day, Papi!

Ahhhh I just wrote a good long email and somehow losst it..... Really quick I wanna tell Grammy a happy birthday too :) love you and miss you Grams!!
Ok so we are being incredibly blessed here in Kissimmee!!! We're starting to get a good group of investigators and solid ones! 
side note: A huge thunder just cracked and sister Brooks and I slowly turned to look at each other wide-eyed hahaha it just doesn't get old. It's seriously huge. The lightnight is also incredible. Love it.
So we went to see a less-active this week who has MS and only can move her head and one arm. She's the most positive person and so filled with faith. She wants to go to church, but it's just too hard for her and her husband. We showed her an "I'm a mormon" video and at the end she got quiet and started to sob. Through her tears she said, "soy mormona". It hit me so hard that I couldn't hold back tears. It made me realize just how blessed I am that "I'm a Mormon". The spirit was definitely dwelling with that sweet lady in her home. 
Yesterday we went to see an investigator and her friend and they weren't home. We stopped at the hoouse next to them where there were some people talking. yeah, they were JW's and wanted to bible bash. We didn't fan the fire, only testified of simple truths. Then Our investigator walked out and invited us in! I know that if we hadn't stopped to talk to everyone, we wouldn't have been able toteach her and her friend (whose dad just died a week or two ago) the plan of salvation. They ATE IT UP and invited us back. 
The cuban couple, Jesus and nancy are totally the coolest and have strong desires to know if this is the truth. They've been so sweet to us and the other day leaving their home they called from the driveway for us to come back to them, we went back and Jesus said that he feels like we are their daughters (they have all boys) and that they love us! Oh I love them so much and want them to embrace this message!!!
The Mejia girls are doing so great! Barbara LOVED trek this week and when we taught the law of chastity, their mom started crying at the end and testified that she knows this is where they should be. They came to church and were slightly late.. missed sacrament, so after all the meetings AND a lesson from us, the mom said, we're going to stay for the next sacrament so we can take the sacrament!!! Golden I tell you!
Running out of time, but I love you all and hope all is well! :)

Con mucho amor, Hermana Jackson

Hey mama!

Yeah so the cubans we found by taking their groceries are back in Semoran, i haven't heard from Sister Marsh! I sure hope they're taking the discussions still! And I'm not even sure why but we seriously have a great teaching pool right now! We almost taught 8 or 9 lessons Tuesday but 2 fell through so we got 7. The Mejia girls are being baptized this week and their sweet mama is the happiest! She's totally next. She keeps telling us that she knows this is where they need to be. She's cried a couple times thinking about it. Yeah, we're being so blessed. Also, I received the packages!!! ... man, you take good care of me mama, thank you!! I pray for yall every night and hope you're not going insane with how busy you are! I love you so much and you look fantastic! Just know that I couldn't be happier here and I'm workin hard. K i'mma get to the big letter. I have tons to report on. 

Con mucho amor, Hermanita Jackson
Went to the beach for district pday!! SO fun. Yeah, the sister who took the picture timed it great... Both times. 
Lovely morn 
caught a lil froggy :) and then felt bad and let it go 5 minutes later 

the apartment we helped with... words don't even describe. It's like worse every time we go now.. 

The beautiful puffy clouds that gather early afternoon..
And the big black sky just an hourish later

Monday, June 9, 2014

What day is it? ..... Hump Dayyyy!

So the subject is a little off topic, but there's something I've learned out here and that is to be myself and also to celebrate life. We also think we're hilarious. This last week has gotten slightly sentimental with Hermanita Brooks n me due to our realization of time FLYING, but all in all I'm just so filled with gratitude to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to be here!!!
This week was one where I needed to assess myself and make sure I'm doing what the Lord wants me to do and becoming what he wants me to be. Hermana Brooks and I are focused on becoming more consecrated in our work. Wow, what miracles come when we're truly focused on our purpose 100%. I can say that I'm a happier person.
Last Sunday we had a fireside that I'm not sure I told you about. It was SO awesome! The bishops, WML's and Ward missionaries were all encouraged to come as well as other members who wanted to. President Berry was there as well as stake leaders. We all broke into little classes to talk about how we can magnify our callings and hasten the work together. And to get everyone pumped up about missionary work! This Sunday one of the stake leadrs was in our sacrament (of about 30) and invited all the members to invite their friends to be taught by us! wooo! We're on the verge of receiving 3 referrals from members- the best way to do it.
The Mejia girls are progressing wonderfully and Barbara is planning to go on trek this week! We're praying she'll have a great experience. I'm sad i never had the chance to go on trek. They're still planned for the 21st of June.
This week we had some more members coming out with us and one of them, Hermana De Couto totally LOVED it haha she's asking if she can come more and sharing her experiences with the other members and such! I'm still converted to the importance of member presents.
Haha ok wait I gotta tell you about our Friday afternoon. We had a lesson set with a woman whose husband was killed in a car accident last Sunday. We got there and she was overwhelmed that she needed to get her house cleaned before the funeral tomorrow so we offered to help. Not gonna lie, I wanted to turn and run the minute we entered her apartment... Words can't even describe the putrid stench in that lil space. Besides that there were belongings and food just everywhere. Anyway, we helped her for about 10 minutes when Hermana Brooks turned to me with tears in her eyes and said, "I'm gonna throw up sister" haha so we told her we could come back in just a bit. We had the idea of calling in backup. Unfortunately the backup plan failed so we ended up going back just us again but SHE had called backup. These ladies were from other churches and the minute we got in there they were raving about the service that the "mormons" give. After turning the place inside-out, we said a prayer with her and she was so touched by it all she started crying. I think if anything her heart was touched by a lil service and a prayer. Simplicity right there!
Ok I gotta hurry and tell yall this other amazing story that took place last night! We have been trying so hard to see this one potential that we contacted that didn't even seem too interrested besides for his son. We had an appointment set with him last night and when we arrived, his wife answered and he was sleeping... We were lookin a lil bummed that he would cancel, but she invited us in and he came out after a lil wait. Soon after we began the lesson his wife came to the table and joined in. They both were asking great questions and giving insight. She was touched that our message has to do with families and he just understood the apostacy (LOVED amos 8 where it talks about the famine. That's what hit home I think) and the need for authority. We explained the Book of Mormon and he goes, "I've got to read this book!". Sister Brooks and I did a lil squeel and a high five and told them how excited we were that they GOT IT haha. Then they invited us to stay for dinner. When he got back from buying it (yeah, we gotta repent for that, we didn't know he was gonna run to the store) he goes, "so if I were to have a friend over could we have a lil beer?". We explained the WOW and he was a lil hesitant on the coffee. K I so wish I had more time and more the ability to even explain how cool this couple is! haha they're the best and we'll be seeing them in a couple days again! Gotta run, but I love yall and hope you'll share the gospel in every opportunity you get! Just do it!
LOVE, Hermana Jackson

Monday, June 2, 2014

...little flames starting to appear

Hey hey Jackson clan! And crew I suppose. Still unsure who these reach by the time Mama J's done with em haha. Thanks for all the emails and PICTURES and some letters here n there!! Hermanita Jackson's just havin a swell time here in the 321 :) This week was a tough one with things falling through, BUT we found some way cool new investigators that we're so excited for! Also, real quick update on Maria Mejia and her two girls.. Maria can't be baptized this week and one of the daughters needs some more discussions so we've planned for the 21st for the girls. Johanna is getting so excited and really loved church yesterday (all 3 hours!). Speaking of church we had 14 people to start with in our spanish sacrament meeting... four.teen. Lo and behold we ended up with 26 inclusing Hermana Brooks and myself. Ok so now with all the cool stuff this week! 
Last Sunday sister Brooks and I weere headed to a dinner appointment and contacted a man named Jon (he was actually our only contact in that area). He seemed mildly interested but we got his info and told him we would call him. We then found out that it was the other Wakefield family that we were supposed to be going to so we were in the wrong neighborhood (but not really cause we totally had to find Jon!). Monday night we were planning for Tuesday and realized we would be in the area of Jon so we called him up and here's how the conversation went..
"How are you tonight?"
"a little sad.. My Mom just died on Saturday"
..... *imagine my mouth completely dropping and then turning to a huge smile because I KNOW he's totally prepared! YES. The lesson went super well and not only did we teach the plan of salvation, but he was totally asking the best questions and we went into the restoration! It all just flowed and was so filled with the spirit. I was in the middle of testifying that he would see his mother again and he looked me straight in the eyes and asked, "how?" Like he was so. prepared. Unfortunately he isn't sure his wife will want to hear and everything, so it's been super hard to get another appointment with him (darn it satan!) but he totally understood the need for authority and the BOM. I'll let you know what happens with him. 
Next miracle. The english sisters in our area happened to hfind the CUTEST family- escapees from Venezuela- the other night! We got to go teach the man in his garage while his friends were setting things out for a garage sale.. And as weird as the setting was, he was totally there and so accepting! I so wish i could even describe the way these lessons go, but its difficult to descibe- and even more so over email. He promised to read the BOM and to come to church (they didn't make it unfortunately) and said he would be baptized. His responses were so golden when we were asking questions and teaching about Joseph Smith. His wife was at work, but has been keeping in touch and we will meet with them tomorrow! 
We found a lady named Wanda the other day who so badly wanted to have a new life, to just get rid of her past. We shared the mormon message, "mountains to climb" and the whole time she was sayin, "that's so true!" "wow, i like that", etc. We taught her the restoration and part of the plan of salvation as she told us she hopes to see her mother again. 
I'm running out of time and need to send pictures and such, but I forgot to tell you Elder Christofferson visited a couple weeks ago! We're feeling SUPER blessed to have all these general authorities coming to teach the members and us how to hasten the work. Last night our stake put on a fireside where bishops and ward mission leaders and ward missionaries had lil classes and such. I'm stoked about the little flames starting to appear as the people respond to their "challenges" from the authorities and such! Wooo. I hope yall are missionary minded and inviting all your friends to come to church and such! Even sharing stuff on FB and insta. Way to go fam, I love you so much and am so honored to be a part of the Jackson clan! Have the best week!!!

LOVE, Hermana Megs
"the real mexican food" restaurant haha. The owners will soon be our investigators! 
caught it the rain again! SO FUN.
outside the apt. 
got domestic this week. Pinterest just called and wants us on their staff.

Aurora, Juan and Nathan
Not posed, I promise haha but this is the only one I got on ma camera 

I planted those flowers!