Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mingalaba. Ningowla?

That's about the extent of my spelling in Byrmese... Not only are we teaching English but they're teaching us little words too haha. Wow, how fun was it to talk to yall a bit on Christmas!! Sorry I didn't get to sayin much. I swear my mind just went blank when I saw you haha. I didn't really know what to say anyway I guess. 
Jimmy Ray is a hoot. That's just what I have to say. He KILLS me hahaha. We got to see him a couple times this week and he's doing pretty well. Till at church  the first thing he said was, "yall are pushin me too much".. gaaaa! It's cause he's making another "gospel CD" and has the excuse that it takes a solid year to get it out and he wants to get it done. He also was so kind to give me one. He said to me the other day, "it's just too bad y'aint just a bit older, I'd marry yuh" pffff haha. he's like in his 80's so don't be alarmed. Anyway, he's doing fine, we got it resolved.
Alma! OH MAN, she's the coolest! Not sure what I've told yall bout Alma but she's so prepared. She's an eternigator, but now is definitely her time. We taught her the restoration 2 weeks ago and she closes her eyes while we talk to her and she'll talk it through so she understands it and asks the most incredible questions! You can just see the cogs spinnin. We saw her Saturday on exchanges and she had read the chapter we gave her and had notes and questions, but after she recognizes the answer she'll turn to me and say, "ok I don't want to get off track, what did you come to teach me today?". We taught the plan of salvation because the time before she asked questions that lead into it! While teaching the premortal life she asked, "so if God has a body of flesh and bone, why can't we see him?" leading right on to the veil. Then during the fall of Adam and Eve she understood 2 Nephi 2:22-25 really well saying, "oh, so it was all part of the plan!?" and she said that nobody has ever explained it so clearly. We finished on the atonement and I was putting our little pictures away when she asked, "wait, you're not done are you?" haha she in UNREAL. We haven't set a date with her YET, but not for a lack of tryin. We are focusing on a date and getting her to sacrament this week.
We also have a family from Cuba/Honduras that we just started teaching! They only speak Spanish but one of them served a mission in Honduras and hasn't been to church in a while and they were referrals from a member! I taught them on exchanges and the one that served (Nidia) bore her testimony of the book of Mormon! The spirit was pretty powerful as she did and we're excited to get her activated and the rest of the family involved. They committed to read the bom as a family. Even the Pentecostal dad was pretty excited! 
Elizabeth we just found out is moving out of our area pretty soon so we'll have to hand her off, but that's ok! She's so so ready! Herb has kinda gone MIA in the past few days so we're worried.. 
On Christmas we ate so much it was uncomfortable. We had exchanges that night and went back-to-back so it was a crazy weekend, but so fun! Both the sisters I went with are amazing missionaries and so much fun to be with. I love getting to do exchanges cause I get to know other sisters, get new ideas, etc. ope, gotta run! 
Love yall!!! Que tengan un feliz Ano Nuevo!!!
Hermanita Jackson

Monday, December 22, 2014

你好家庭!圣诞快乐![Hello family! Merry Christmas!]

Well heck, FELICITACIONES to the most beautiful couple in el mundo!! Sounds to me like it was the funnest wedding anyone has ever been to haha. Are they honeymooning? Will I get to speak with them on Christmas? Also, looks like we are skyping cause I'm calling outside the US. If yall don't get back to me on a time I'mma have to guess and say 12:00 here.. Plan on that unless I hear from Pops in the next bit. 
Wew, so Belleview continues to be incredible! I'm in love with this oldieville. AAANNND I got a new companion!!! Sister Taylor is from Bountiful, is a BYU coug (we went there at the same time), served in texas for 6 weeks waiting on her visa to Australia speaking Mandarine. She made it to Australia and had visa complications so now she's here! She's been here for about 5 months. We're havin so much fun! We've seen so many miracles this week and have so many solid people to work with! it's almost like "we don't have room enough to receive (these blessings)" haha. So last week I failed to mention Amber. Amber had an incredible week 2 weeks ago and was really starting to progress. We had a cool lesson on the law of chastity and the word of wisdom and actually... The member we set fell through 2 hours before so we were frantically calling members. We got sister Winston to come and she shared her experience with the word of wisdom and it was SO perfect for Amber's situation! Man, The Lord must have a lot of fun organizing tender mercies like that! It was cool. She posted on FB a picture of coffee stating to everyone that it would be her last and tagged us! She lasted a couple of days before the headaches got to her... But this week she and boyfriend aren't doing so great and she's busy busy busy with school and getting overwhelmed with everything. So we actually haven't been able to meet with her in a week. Jamie Ray.. I think I told yall bout him last week.. He called during weekly planning the day before Denise's baptism and said he was looking for sister Thomson. He said he needed to come to church. We invited him to the baptism and he came and loved it. We tried to give him a chapel tour after and it kept getting interrupted and such so it didn't actually work. BUT he came to church for the first 2 hours. We met with him on Monday night and we asked what he would need to do to find out for himself that this is the truth and he said while pushing his finger to the table in sync with his words: "I HAVE to go to church".hahaha AMEN! Then we were teaching about the book of Mormon and he said, "I got one question for yall... why didn'tcha come earlier?! This is good stuff!". To give you an idea of his accent and personality.. Y'know the new missionary on The Best Two Years? The goofy one with a drawl and coke bottle glasses? Straight up Jamie Ray! His accent is such that we're actually not sure if he's sayin Jamie Ray or Jimmy Ray haha. He's always talkin about "the man upstairs". He's sure been through a lot of health issues! He's got a baptismal date for Jan. 17th!! wooohooo! Yesterday he came to church and after sacrament wanted to talk to the bishop. He asked bishop if he could take a hymnal for a week. He used to be a big singer and such and plays the drums and guitar and keyboard. I hope you've got a good idea of this fellow cause he's seriously adorable and makes us laugh pretty hard.
We received the most GOLDEN media referral this week! Her name is Elizabeth. She lived in California and has a really rough past there, but some members reached out to her last Christmas and invited her to the church for the Christmas program. She says she's never felt so much love and the spirit was so powerful! she's elated about taking lessons and being baptized! She received the first 3 lessons in Cali and had a member family take her in as their own. I guess her family has kinda pushed her away so she loves the church family. She can talk your ear off but she's the sweetest thing! She called us the other day to ask if the lady she cares for can join in on the lessons and we can start over! We're working on setting a date with her. She's set on being baptized and can be ready soon, but she wants that family to be there. She called them and they said they will come whenever she's ready. She's praying about it too. She came to church yesterday but could only stay the first hour cause her lil lady she takes care of is really sick and getting surgery this week. 
We have tons of members helping us out all the time and this week we have potentially 3 families having our gators over for Christmas! Pray we won't have to eat 3 times...... 
We got another referral who wanted a Bible. We stopped by and he wasn't expecting missionaries to come with the book but after a bit of explaining the book of Mormon and stuff he wants us to come back in a week! his name is Mace.
We met a man Saturday night coming home from a lesson, he was out smoking and we were driving by and rolled down the window. Invited him to the Christmas program and he didn't show up so we texted him to see if we could come by. His name is Kevin and he's visiting from Virginia. We had an amazing lesson last night with a return missionary (this week from Texas- she's amazing). Anyway, the spirit was super strong and we'll see him tomorrow before he goes back. 
Denise is doing wonderfully :) She studies so so much! And asks really good questions and everything. I'm just obsessed with her!
I loves yall and I'll see you Thursday eh?!

XOXO, Hermanita Jackson

Monday, December 15, 2014

My Cup Runneth Over

Oooo what a week!!! Last Monday we got to go to the choir concert for Denise at a presbyterian church. It was a grand ol time and spiritual too. We were definitely the youngest people in there by a long shot haha welcome to the villages. That night we tracted a lil street that had given us some luck before and the one and only door we knocked on was a lady and her 30 year old son. They were so cool! She kept saying, You're both so happy and different.. and 20th century, like you're pretty with it in style haha. She asked us to please come back the next day! Mind you, we approached the whole situation with the He is the Gift vid (eye brow raises that Dave always does with a smirk haha). Unfortunately they fell through the next night, so we'll be in touch with them. BUT she held our hands and sang "you areso beautiful to me, can't you see! You're everything 've ever hoped for, you're everything I need. You are so beautiful, etc, etc." She prolly said you are so beautiful about 10 times hahaha. It was really hard not to laugh cause she was dead serious.
Happenings with Denise this week: We had an incredible lesson on Joseph Smith with her member sister and invited her to pray once more about him. She read the talk by elder anderson this last conference and was lead to the book of Moses where it said, "God's words never cease". She was really excited to tell us the next day. She cried trying to read a quote about the atonement by elder holland. PS she reads conference talks like a maniac haha she's AWESOME! She's trying to share the gospel with her mom who was really offended ten years ago by the last missionary experience. At her baptism Denise got up and said, "My cup runneth over" to begin and said the sweetest lil testimony! I spoke at her baptism on the holy ghost haha she printed off a talk and highlighted what she wanted read from it so basically my talk was done, but then her sister thought she was speaking on the holy ghost as well so I hadda rebound and tie in the baptism side after finding out when I was announced to speak haha. It turned out pretty good. Helps to be prepared eh?
Our memebrs are UNREAL! I'm obsessed with belleview!
Gotta run actually, but I loves yall.. Matty n Shan, I wish I coudl be there for yuh, but just send me the pics k? Lani, wish I could be at yours too! I love you all dearly and have the best week!!!!!
Hermana Jackson

Monday, December 8, 2014

I NEVER want to be too busy to help someone

I've been pretty selfish today in reading all the emails from loved ones.. :) sorry! I forgot last week to report on the cool plan our ward is doing with reactivation and stuff. We're working with a sister who we and the bishop and wml prayed about, the bishop met with her and now we teach her basics once every week. there are 12 lessons. Last week we taught about the BoM and she was so emotional as she remembered the swelling in her bosom when she read it a long while ago. She also had come to church last sunday with a question and shared her sweet and personal experience. She had been praying all morning before we came that the spirit would testify to her and she just couldn't hold it together! The spirit definitely testified to all of us and she's so excited to read the BoM again.
Um, Denise Brown is getting BAPTIZED saturday!!!!! EEEE. She just makes me the happiest. She's so involved in everything and loved the christmas devotional. We get to go to her concert today in the villages at the presbyterian church cause our memebr got us tickets!! I'm pleased as punch with that cutie. Thanks for all the prayers! PS she is converted on the word of wisdom and doing wonderfully :)

One night we were coming home from exchanges and a man was on the very edge of the busy road in his lil jazzy with nothing but his phone flashlight to identify him. We turned around after barely seeing him and drove next to him slowly with our blinkers on so he could get home safely. We were home late unfortunately, but I don't feel guilty about it at all! He was so overcome by it that he started to cry and thank us profusely. When we told him that we are missionaries he got so excited! He seems to be in a search for truth and is open to try all beliefs. It made me the happiest person! That right there is joy. I thought over and over that night how I NEVER want to be too busy to help someone like tha! I never want to pass up opportunities to serve.
We had 2 wonderful exchanges this week :) We're focusing a lot more on our sisters, even at the expense of things in our area cause that's what we're supposed to do. I just love the sisters in our zone! We've had some definite challenges this transfer, but I'm happy to report that things are swell.
I found out from dear sister Kreiberg that Richard, whom we taught in Lake Noney is baptized!! Imma get permission to write him! He divorced his wife cause she was being a pill about it I guess. Sounds like he's doing amazing!
Had MLC this week and almost didn't make it cause our tire popped..! BUT miraculously we made it there even 20 minutes early on our donut. MLC was incredible and we talked a lot about going JSUT ONE MORE! SO that's our focus and it's already helped.
I get to teach a spanish family in Lecanto! (about an hour away) but there's no other missionaries up here who speak spanish! They're SO prepared and it was the happiest thing to talk to them in spanish cause i don't have too many opportunities to use it.
Dad, I thought of you at the christmas devotional :) when we sat on the couch together watching it at home! haha how long ago was that? Also, I promise to pick up the piano again when I get home! I actually was  thinking that and then turned to where i was in matthew about the parable of talents.. Not a coincidence.
Chels, a two year old lil girl leaned to me from her mothers arms the other day and it was almost like it was Sophs haha. Give her my loves.
Alright, I've got to run. Love you all! Mama, fly safe, Matty, keep calm and carry on (You can do all things through Christ ;), Papa, I hope you're well back in Madrid. Loves to the rest of you!!!
Hermana Jackson
BETCHA! hahaha saw this on exchanges and just about died.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Feliz Dia de Acion de Gracias

Hey hey fam! So before I forget! At zone conference they showed us these new lil pamphlets we'll be getting as missionaries to show our family tree and stuff. i need some birth dates, death dates, etc about my relatives :) I think 4 generations.
So we didn't hear from Denise hardly at all while she was gone to Chicago for 2 weeks. Probably the scariest thing ever, but we got permission to text her sister Saturday and she said that Denise was "being a good little mormon girl and has her own lil testimony of the word of wisdom!" eeee! Just makes me pleased as punch. Denise called this morning and she's home safe after a terrible day of driving yesterday. She's putting up Cristmas decorations and it's hard for her cause she had a stroke a few years back and so we get to go spend some pday time with her :) YES! I'll take pictures. She's getting interviewed this week.
Thanksgiving was wonderful! We have THE BEST memebrs in Belleview. No joke, I love this ward and hope I can stay here for a lil while longer. Mostly likely will with SIster Conger leaving. The Gilmans made us the yummiest Thanksgiving at lunch time and then the Copelands (he served as a mission president years ago in portugal) fed us the most extravigant(sp?) meal with creme brulee. Don't worry, I got some yummy hoem made punkin (:)) pie at the Gilmans.
We've been focusing TONS on He is the Gift!! I really hope yall have seen it, are passing onut the 9 pass along cards from the ensign and whatever else! Email it to friends, put in on insta, etc. It's the coolest that the church is going through so much efforts to #sharethegift. We went knkocking the other night ([prolly the first or second time I've knocked here in this area) and the second door we came to a woman named Pam let us in to watch the video. She and her husband watched it with us and she ended in tears. It really brought the spirit and led us into the restoration and such. They are looking for a church and at first were hesitant saying they probably wouldn't come to church or allow us back, but ended up taking our number and saying they would probably call us back! She admitted that the video really opened the door.
Amber is doing well. She had a bit of a scare this week cause she has lots of family members who are members of the church, including her mother who was excommunicated and such. So she got some opposition and her husband doesn't like our religion but refuses to listen to us. She's getting there. Unfortunately she didn't come to church yesterday cause she was asleep when our memebr went to lead her there.
Antonia and girls didn't come last week to church but called us and said that since she wanted to be early, he was speeding and got pulled over.. But she came this week even though we tried really hard to be in touch with her this week. she loves church and stuff, but they have family here.
We met a new guy, Dan on saturday when we stopped the car in our complex to talk to him. Gave him the restoration pamphlet and set a time to go back later that day and within an hour he called us and said, "hey, I'm reading about priethood meeting in this pamphlet and I'm wondering if I can go to that meeting!" He had read the whole pamphlet. Unfortunately yesterday was the 5th sunday and a combined meeting about emergency preparedness, but he came and loved church. He's like TOO knowledgable in sciptures.. Its hard cause he believes different things cause he reads a different bible.. like 8 days of creation and stuff. We went back last night and had an ok lesson. He's just kinda hard hearted.
We met a James on exchanges 2 weeks ago and have been trying hard to meet with him and something happens every time. But we met with him last night and he's SO cool! He too knows the scriptures but reads the king james and said he will read the bom in a week haha. He's super humble and it seems to me like he's recently hit a rock bottom. His friend was there too and he's a young guy that doesn't believe in god. He wasn't taking things too seriously and finally the woman with us bore her firm testimony and started crying about how god spared her life to bring her son (who was present and recently returned from his mission) to earth so he could serve a mission. It was unreal. Like the spirit was so strong!
The burmese family is progressing just ever so slightly haha they're the cutest family and we love them. Taught them about testimony, god, jesus christ and the bom this week :)
Reading in Matthew (SO behind in the mission read) but I'm learning a ton! Lot's about following Christ Immediately. I thought of you Mama and Papa being so quick to say yes to your present calling. I also learn tons about the attributes of Christ. he's just constantly ministering to those in his path. He'll be on his way to raise the daughter of Lazerus (sp?) and then stops to talk to the woman who touched his garment! LOVE it. It's so rich with love and good lessons.
Gotta run cause I just talked to the guy next to me for a bit haha. He's gonna watch he is the Gift :D hahaha. Alrighty, Loves yall and have a wonderful week. I'm so grateful for yall and hope you know I'm tryin to email and write yall back..
Hermanita Jackson