Monday, August 25, 2014

most incredible week ever

Hola familia! I'm glad to hear yall are happy and well :) I've just had the most incredible week ever so I've gotta get on it and tell you EVERYTHING. 
1. Zone Conference with Elder and Sister Hamula. They are the coolest people. I could tell he wasn't going by set notes at all, but that he was listening to the spirit and FOLLOWING it so well. He said things that were needed for everyone. He talked a ton about asking inspired questions so that has been the focus of our week here in Lake Nona. Man, they were both so down to earth and sincere. They actually sat next to us at lunch and I thought they were the coolest.
2. MLC was even BETTER. He really got down to how we can be baptizing more and consistently. I'm so so honored to be a part of that council! Then as we were out in the parking lot heading to the car, Elder and Sister Hamula asked to take a picture with Sister K and me! It was just super sweet of them.
3. We've been meeting with a less active family named the Aldaves. We went to see them the other night and they started talking about their desire to go to the temple. The grandma has been before and wants to go back. We had actually planned for weekly planning to go on a temple tour on Wednesday (the next night) with 2 other people and both had fallen through earlier that day! So we planned it for them. They called an hour and a half before we would leave and she said her back was really acting up and that her mom wasn't feeling too great either. We said a prayer after talking to her and then called her back up and told her we knew it was satan trying to keep them from going. We said a prayer with her on the phone and asked her to say a prayer on her own and call us back. We ended up going and she told us that after her prayer and a warm shower, she felt like a million bucks. They seemed to radiate at the temple and just had so much energy. When we got back to the car the mom asked if we could say a prayer and then offered one of the most heart-felt prayers! The grandma had an interview on Sunday and the mom needs to wait a little longer, but we're SO excited for them! 
4. We were exhausted one morning and weren't sure if we could make it that day haha. We were getting super stressed with all the things we needed to do and it was piling up that morning. We got to the mission office and laid on the floor doing the "adjusting to mission life" breathing exercise hahaha. The Spencers who are new were laughing and helped us out a ton. When we got home we said a prayer and that's really what got us through the day. We received the strength to keep going and the peace that our best was good enough. We then met with a kid named Marcus who now has a baptismal date and is being taught by YSA. While calling potentials we contacted a guy named Kyle who wasn't at all interested in the initial contact, but after doing our best with inspired questions we were teaching a lesson ON THE PHONE! hahaha we even said a prayer with him. It ended up being a really successful day. It makes sense that we need to include The Lord in His work.
5. We had a dinner this week that was the funniest most interesting experience I've had in a long whle hahahahaaaa! I'm not kidding, Sister Kreiberg and I were dyin the whole time. They're a lil not with it, but just so full of energy and kinda corky. They fed us some leftover shrimp pasta, a black "banana pancake" and an old salad from the fridge. After taking a few bites it became apparent that we weren't going to get it down without either throwing up or putting our health at risk. Luckily she was back in the kitchen, but her husband was sitting by the table reading the Bible. We urgently looked for napkins or some kind of bag when I remembered the big ziploc bag I had with me for when there's rain :) yeaaaah.. I did put our food in the bag verrrrry slyly. We were SO lucky it all worked out so we didn't hurt their feelings or our health.
6. I had my first exchange this week!!! Haha I always thought STLs evaluated me big time on exchanges, but it turns out that I feel more evaluated as the STL! But we had a lot of fun and did tons of contacting as we were on bike all day. The Lord has blessed me with opportunities to use my spanish EVERY DAY here :) We were on our way to lunch at the house when we saw some people moving. They were from Colombia so I got to chat with them and share our purpose. We helped them out and they asked if they could come to church! I haven't heard if they came or not, but I'll ask the elders. They were way cool! At the end of the day when all 4 of us were on the way back to their apartment we were stopped at a light and looked over to a car full of 3 guys with the window down. Of course we started talking about Jesus Christ and they told us to pull over cause they wanted to know more. We shared a message with them at a 7eleven parking lot and it was super cool! They were part of another church, but really were interested.
7. Yesterday was the most miraculous DAY! 2 People we had met on the street while contacting came to sacrament meeting.. Unfortunately it was the most slow sacrament meeting I've had in a while so they were kinda falling asleep. We'll see if we can get them to come back. After church we got a text from a former investigator, Michelle Melendez who is 13 and had a date not too long ago but her Mom didn't want her to be baptized and she went to Puerto Rico. She asked us to come over. She asked to set a new date and to set up all the times we can meet. We said a prayer with her and she was so excited!! Then we went to a lesson with a guy that SIster Kreiberg had met on exchanges and SIster Aldave! Richard was way prepared and the lesson was so altered to his needs. We almost set a date with him, but he'll take a little time and he wants his wife to be involved. THEN we met with Kyle (refer to #4) for the first time in person at a college campus. He biked 20 minutes to get there and called us 30 minutes before the lesson to confirm again! Lemme tell yuh, I've NEVER had someone asking as great questions as he did. He asked during the restoration: What does Jesus want of me and how do I get on the straight and narrow path? What happens when people die without a knowledge of Jesus Christ? There should be a prophet today then (after us talking about prophets and why we need them)! After telling him there is a prophet, he asked, "who is he?!" He thought it was SO cool that we knew who it was. Then, shouldn't there be ONE true church? Why are there so many churches? How can Satan be so evil to seek misery of others? haha man, it was almost funny how prepared he was!!! We were finishing with how he can know it's the truth and he stopped us and said, "No, I feel that this is the truth! I feel like it's not you guys telling me all this but that God is!" He said a wonderful prayer too. Then we stopped by another former with a date who has been super flakey lately. We asked him if he still wants to meet with us and he said, "I really do. I can notice a difference from now and when we met."
I LOVE being a missionary!!! We read in Alma 26 this morning and kept saying, "sister that's us!" "Sister, that's how I feel!" haha. Love it, love it. And i love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Jackson

Hey mommy! Don't worry for not emailing me, I know you're running around like crazies over there haha. I love hearing your adventures though! Thats funny that you talk about the straight and narrow path cause we had THE COOLEST investigator last night ask about why it's so narrow and what is the process to get on it- I'm tellin you mama, he was the most prepared person I think I've ever met. He was asking some incredible questions- more to come ;). Did you get a picture from Elder Hamula this week? He asked SIster Kreiberg if they could get a picture with us!!! I LOVED them so much!! Like they were the most in-tune, just genuine people. They came and sat next to us at lunch at zone conference and I just loved that they were normal people and totally down to earth. In fact, they were hilarious. I hope yall got that! He said he would email you. ANyway, we had the most incredible, miracle filled week eva!!!! I'll be gettin to the email now so I can share it all :)
Hermana Jackson

Vanessa the van 
the food... 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Parents love emails like this one!

Dear President and Sister Jackson,

My wife and I were privileged to meet your missionary daughter during our tour of the Florida Orlando Mission this week.  She is an extraordinary missionary.  You can be very proud of her.  Here she is with us, and her outstanding companion, Sister Kreiberg.

Thank you for raising such a wonderful young woman and placing her in the hands of the Lord for these 18 months of her mission.  Best wishes also to you and your wife in your sacred work in Spain.

Elder James Hamula
Of the Seventy

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tillyke med foedselsdagen! (aka Happy Birthday)

Psych, I'm going Danish speaking!! ;) haha so I'm 99% sure yall got pictures from the Grovers and the Larson's this week and you already know my new comp! Sista Kreiberg (still workin on the accent..). YES! She's the coolest and we couldn't be happier to be together!! Funny story.. The day I got to the mission home Sister Berry asked me if I was Danish because I looked so much like the Danish sister who had arrived a few weeks earlier! haha so it's been a joke for months and now we're finally comps.
I'm not even sure where to start this week but I'mma just dive in cause there's TONS! I'm in Lake Nona now and yes, I'm technically an english sister, but will get to go on exchanges with the spanish sisters as well so that'll be good. There isn't anyone Sister Kreiberg and I can't talk to here haha. Between her danish and german and my spanish which can sometimes help with portuguese and then of course the english.. we're set to conquer. So the coolest thing is that we're equally excited to share this message and to just give it our all!! The term "equally yoked" has new meaning in my life haha. From the second transfer meeting was over I've just felt like I'm running like a mad woman and it's stressful and whatever else, but I'm. SO. HAPPY! This week Sister Kreiberg and I have had a breakthrough. I've loved and enjoyed my mission thus far and that's the down right truth. But this week something happened where I've just consistently felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude to be here!! Its the funniest thing that missions are exhausting and frustrating and sometimes I feel like I'm so inadequate.. But it's the most beautiful, rewarding, joyous experience I could ever ask for. Sometimes I feel like the physical looks are really on a downhill haha but Im the most beautiful on the inside that I've ever been- don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm perfect by any means. But I'm being refined. So yeah, this week wasn't even a way successful week- we started out with one investigator having a date and getting pretty close and now his mama isn't sure she's ok with it. Then within the first 2 days and teaching 2 lessons that were so filled with the spirit and so directed to their needs to a super awesome mother and her 7 year old son, we had set solid dates with them, but then we received a text that she was having reservations and we haven't gotten in contact with her since.. We met a man (when we were supposed to be meeting with his son) that was oh so bitter about some trials he's had in his life recently that he believes there isn't a God. And if there is.. He aint happy with him. We spent 2 hours talking with him in his garage about God. Normally I would be stressed on time or frustrated with that kind of situation, but he sincerely wants to know and we felt a real need to help him. He went inside after a long period of time to grab something and Sister K and I turned to each other and both said, "I feel totally calm about this. We need to stay here". We basically tied everything to the BOM and in the end asked him to try it out. We knelt in his garage and he gave the prayer. At first he was maybe a lil sarcastic and through expressing his bitter feelings, he began to calm down and started to really ask if there was a God. This whole weekend we've been receiving inspiration for how we can best meet his needs. Ay church there was an incredible talk given about trials. Unfortunately he wasn't there.. but then we had a way cool fireside last night with Elder Hamula of the 70 there!!! It was so awesome! Recent converts shared their conversion stories and then when Elder. Hamula spoke he told how he truly came to know as a teenager and was super bold but lead by the spirit. I wish I could tell yall everything, i just don't have time. Slash, words are sufficient for all these expereiences haha. I can't wait for all the meetings this week (I never thought I would say such a thing haha). We have zone conference tomorrow and MLC on Wednesday! woo, should be a FEAST. 
Oh, also the other night was a movie night at the chapel and about 90 people came!! the spirit was RADIATING. A cute lil family stopped Sisdter K and I in the hall and asked us how we know Jesus visited the Americas. We taught them about the BOM and testified. That was a way cool idea and tons of people are interested!

Fun facts: we drive a mini van hahaha. Please picture two lil blondies in a mini van with a bike rack.
The man who plays Jesus Christ in the Testaments is my comp.'s sunday school teacher.
We ride bikes like no one's business in this area :) loooove it!
My birthday was the greatest eva. Thanks to all those who sent me cards and emails and packages!!!
Jeg elsker dig
(I love you)
Hermana Jackson
Melvin. How cool was HE?!!! 
itty bitty 
The Cortez family (refugees from Venezuela)!! I LOVE them! And their lil cinthia loves meee :) 
Kissimmee mission'ries 
My comp bought me a cake! 

Sista Moffitt- loves her 
Look who it is!!!!! lil cheater hahaha totally fine with it. 
the Grovers! 
Cutest lil thing. We instantly became friends here in LN. 

We celebrated :) Thanks for the fun stuff!! It was her birthday on the 9th!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Yeah, I'm la peor and don't have much more time after all the birthday emails...

MMM happy birthday, I need a root canal..... I went to the dentist this morn and it turns out I need a root canal. So should i get it here, or just settle on antibiotics for the rest of the mish? Also, i did get one package from anthro (!) and one from the fam. Their calling my name from under the bed haha. Thank you!!! I'm sorry I don't have time.. I know that's the worst. We saw SOO many miracles this week and I really do love these people!! Man. But excited for the adventure ahead! and honored. I love you so so much! Have a good week!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Continued Adventures of Hermanita Jackson

Pfff hahaha it's been a WEEK! I've got oodles to report on so buckle down while this flies all ova the place..
Last Monday was district Pday and we played some fun games at the chapel, one of them being chair soccer haha. First off, I've never laughed so hard in my life- my throat hurt the rest of the day haha. Second off, I was literally fiiine all day and then that night my foot started hurting like it was a lil tweaked. To the point where I was hobblin around. We had exchanges that night and I got in touch with ma roots with my Danish friend Sister Kreiberg!!!! Within 1 minute of me talking about Mama's cousin Serita, we were flipping out cause she knows her! small world, eh? Then we got an unexpected call from el jefe. He was slightly confused when I answered as Sisters Jackson and Kreiberg.. Member how I said there aren't any spanish STL's? That's about to change! Not gonna lie, it's pretty crazy and slightly scary haha, but what an honor! I'm excited for the growth that will take place and to really learn how to serve and love. Attending MLC last week was like being a freshman entering college again haha. But that's the coolest meeting I've prolly ever been to. There were things said that were definitely for me. It was actually super fun too. Hermana Fisi is going to be one as well! But we'll be english/spanish sisters. I'm guessing I'll be here in Hunter's Creek (Lake Nona area) with my Danish friend! We'll see. Anway, what a night that was on Monday. I couldn't sleep due to my foot and my mind runnin' all over the place, but guess what happened! I woke up without any signs of pain in my foot! Prayers. Are. Answered. It was way cool. We had a fabulous day together and she clued me in to some tips haha. 
So last week I never talked about the Grovers! How cool are they!? It was such a treat to be with them and they brought us 1. home made cookies that I had been craving. And 2. MUSIC! Tell Hermana Grover how awesome her parents are for me!
We gave service to Louise (the one we cleaned her house and have been walking with every other morn) and she offered us money at the end. We both refused and just told her we loved her. She buried her face in a big hug and cried. ahh, I love being a missionary!!!
We were visiting some referrals and such the other day when randomly  person nearby that sounded cool popped up on the record. We called  him and he said to come over right then! He's so prepared and so excited to read the BOM! We've seen so many miracles this week by contacting EVERYONE! haha lets just say, the comfort zone is expanding big time :) We have a blast contacting everyone and are finding some golden people. 
Melvin. He's SO ready! We found him 2 Saturdays ago out on his driveway and we invited him to church. He hasn't come to church, but we were able to see him 4 times this week!! He keeps inviting us back and asking if we can read in the BOM! He's from Puerto Rico and has a sick beard that's braided, like 6 in. and has beads on the end. Super hard spanish, but what a gem! He's progressing really well, besides coming to church... and we're hoping to set a date this week. My dream came true the other day when we gave service at a school as a steak and I got a HELPING HANDS SHIRT!!! haha Melvin actually wanted to come to that, but didn't wake up till late, unfortunately. Oh man, the humidity hit us pretty hard this week haha! woooo. It's all part of the experience and I totally accept it :)
 We went to Wild Life Florida this morn and had a blast holding animals and such. A memebr owns it so we got a private tour. Anyway, I wanna end this with telling you how truly happy I am to be here! What a blessing to share this joyous message with EVERYONE. Please try and step out of the comfort zone this week and share your testimony with someone (or everyone haha)! We had a member just tell us a cool story of him at work sharing a BOM with a couple and then hadn't heard from them for several weeks. He found a reason to call them and it turns out they lost his number and were hoping he would call because they were meeting with the missionaries and going to be baptized! Stepping out of the comfort zone=stepping into the miracle zone. Lemme know how it goes! I hope y'all are happy and healthy.Les amo.

Hermana Jackson

Lulu took a swing at my face. Luckily I dodged it haha. 

lil rascals try'na get me through the fence

We pet the porky and he licked our hands! 

Its really real!

Walkin with Louise this morning. We do an arm workout with canned beans haha. 
Louise's tupperware sale that we helped her set up :)
This is Marcus. Sister Brooks and I found him 2 months ago and he's getting baptized this Saturday!!
Best contact ever! Told him our message was better than a magnum bar and he gave us free ones!! haha Reminded me of Spain with Papa. He wasn't too open to our message, but he put the card in his truck :) 
Look familiar with Sista Allred? haha 

digital macro on a lil Geico. 
the cool thing to do out here.  
can I get a whoop whoop? 
cool spider 
The Grovers! 
Mas nubes