Monday, April 27, 2015

Just Another Week

Hello Friends and Family!

Well, this week was just another week in the mission field! Not that it was boring, it's never boring, but not much out of the ordinary happened. We did walk around for like 45 minutes with a half crazy woman looking for her sister and her son so she could tell them sorry for something she had done. We wanted to help her, and we did let her borrow our phone to call her sister, but she didn't know exactly where she lived, but she didn't want us to leave. So that was interesting.

Mom, I loved what you told me about the elder who always read Alma 7:23-24 and applied one of the attributes in his day. I have felt a difference. I also felt a lot of opposition. The day I chose "temperate in all things" I lost my temper with a Catholic contact who bashed the church saying it was a sect and that we have no base in our beliefs. It was really weird because I haven't lost my temper in like 9 months. But afterwards I felt really bad and had to pray to get the spirit back. The Lord lets us be tested, and He knows we mess up, but He also knows that messing up is the best way to learn. I learned a lot from that experience, one major lesson being forgiving those who offend us. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints we naturally inherit the persecution, offenses, and abuses that have attacked it since the beginning. Those negative forces should never overpower our desire to follow Christ, and love our fellow men no matter what they do or say to us. We must be examples of the believers, and show the world how to truly follow the Savior. I will try to be humble and kind, full of charity and forgiveness towards those who offend me. Then I will receive the forgiveness of God in the last day.

Love you all a ton!

Elder Benjamin Jackson

Monday, April 20, 2015

Divisions Overload & Work Supercharge

Hello everyone!

Well, this week my comp and I got a supercharge in our area! On Wednesday we had divisions with the traveling assistants, who don't have an area, they just do divisions every day with all the missionaries in the mission. So there were 4 of us working in our area and we had a really good day. Then on Friday we had divisions with the Zone Leaders, and I stayed in the area with Elder Gudiel, and we had another great day. Then in the morning he and Elder Hart his comp stayed with us to plan and help us form a vision of what we want to accomplish in the area this change (We just started a new change on Tuesday, but Elder Cuello and I were the only companionship in the zone that didn't have changes). He and I are now pumped and ready to burn the area this change. That's a reference to the parable of the wheat field.

I had a really great experience Thursday morning when Elder and Sister Daly came to our house. They are the senior couple assigned to teach English to the Latinos in the mission. Well, Sister Daly teaches while Elder Daly tells jokes and shares stories on the side. But on Thursday he and I talked a lot about repentance, intelligence, and temple ordinances, and eternal life. He was a stake president before, and I can see the wisdom and knowledge he has as a result every time I talk with him. In the scriptures such as in Moses 1:39: "For behold, this is my work and my glory- to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man"

We read many times the phrase eternal life, but do we really understand what it means? Thanks to modern revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 19:10-12, we can discover that Endless is His name, and "Endless is God's punishment". Just as Endless is God's life and reward to the faithful. So to live an endless and eternal life is to live the life of a God. Therefore, eternal life literally means, "the life of a God" So replace in Moses the phrase eternal life with "god-like life", and see how the purpose of this life and God's desire for us becomes much clearer.

"For behold, this is my work and my glory; to bring to pass the immortality and god-like life of man"

We are destined to become even as God is; endless and eternal. Maybe we complain that God's path is too hard, that it's not worth all the things we have to give up. But look at the final destination of that path. Is that not worth it? To me it sure is. If all I have to do is give up a few short years of carnal pleasures to live in perfect joy with my family for time and all eternity, that is much more than a fair trade. In fact it's almost unfair, and the advantage is on our side. God asks very little of us, but He gives us all that He has, if we want it.

Til next week! I love you all and you are in my prayers!

Elder Jackson

Monday, April 13, 2015

Don't Give Up

Dear Family and Friends:
Zone T-shirts - Delta Psi Nimajuyu
I hope you all thought of the Josh Groban song when you read the title. This week has been just another affirmation that you should never give up... ever! My comp and I had about 2 weeks straight of contacting without any success and hardly being able to teach any lessons, but despite all the difficulties, we continued working, because we knew there was something waiting just around the corner. I knew that because I already experienced it back in January with Alejandra.

So anyway we went to church yesterday and we didn't have any investigators with us. We got through all of the meetings and then at the end, a youth presented his friend Francisco to us. We talked a bit and he said he wanted to be baptized this weekend. We told him that he needs to attend church 3 consecutive times and that would give us more time to give him all the lessons. He said that was fine. He is only 17 so he has to get his parents to sign a form, but he said that his parents said that it was his decision, and that he just needed to be responsible about it. So we have our first lesson with him today at 6 after P-day ends. 

Overnight Splits with Elder Jensen
When we do the Lord's will and His work, come rain, hail, snow, or satan, He does bless us. He wants to bless us, but He also wants us to do something to deserve them. Like His divine gift of grace. We are not saved by works, we are saved by grace. However, why would God, who is perfectly just and true, give a gift that we don't deserve, or desire? How can we deserve, or say that we desire His saving grace, if we aren't willing to work for it? He wants us to receive His gift, that's why Jesus Christ gave His life; to make possible the redemption. But how much do we want it? That is why we do works, and that is why works are necessary. It's how we show our desire to be saved. They can't save us, but they make us eligible to be saved. 

What are you willing to do to be worthy of such a gift? What are you willing to sacrifice? W
hat are you willing to take upon you? I will take upon me the name of Christ, I will sacrifice my own desires and do the will of the Father, I will do everything in my power to repent and become a better person.
How about you?

I love you all! Hugs and kisses from Guatemala :)

Elder Benjamin Jackson

Monday, April 6, 2015

Holy Week? (kinda)

Hello everyone!

This week was Semana Santa (many missionaries call it Hell week because everyone leaves or is with their family and don't have time to attend us) so it was an interesting week. Despite the challenges we continued working and had some success. Also this week everyone gets drunk like everyday. Pretty holy right?

Lunch between General Conference sessions
General conference was amazing! I loved that this year instead of President Monson giving the welcome talk he just let President Eyring come in on the topic of fast offerings. Basically every talk was based on the family, persevering, and temples. As a choir nerd I especially loved Elder Wilford Anderson on The Music of the Gospel. "If we can't hear the music of the gospel in our home, keep practicing!"

Mom, I know you want me to send longer letters, but sometimes I just don't have things to say. You know me ;)

Everyone have a wonderful week! I love you all!

Elder Benjamin Jackson