Monday, June 29, 2015

Fair Skin Problems!

Hello everyone!

Well, once again I'm kinda stuck without much to tell. At this point in the mission it gets really difficult to remember what happens cuz all the days run together...

On Saturday we went and gave service to a family in the zone leader’s area, hauling dirt out of their new house so they could start building it up more. They are a super awesome family that was baptized yesterday. But being white and being outside all morning takes its toll. Now Elder Bentley and I are super burned on our necks faces and still recovering. Also as a result of being white everyone assumes that we have money and try to rip us off, and all the drunks in the street want us to give them money.

My new area is a great area, though a little difficult at times. But that's how it goes in almost any area. Teaching in a trio is interesting too. You have to divide the lesson into smaller portions so everyone can share.

This week I've learned a little more about love and patience. I've come to have more empathy for the people that are struggling and giving them genuine love through my words and my ears. I've also come to understand the pains and sorrows of the prophets of old when the people rejected their prophesies; sorrow which comes from truly loving those people despite what they say, and understanding what their potential really is. The worth of souls is extremely great, and I have come to recognize that a little more this week. I love the people here. Many don't understand our message, and many don't want to. Many of them don't want anything to do with us, but that doesn't matter. They are my brothers and sisters, and I cannot help but love them, and feel true sorrow when they choose not to follow the path that Jesus laid. I also cannot describe the joy I feel for them when they decide to move forward, open their hearts and let the shining light of Christ enter into their lives. That is the joy of a missionary and minister of Jesus Christ; the joy of a disciple.

Have a wonderful week! I love you!

Elder Jackson

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What a Change!

Hello everyone!

New Comps: Elders Bentley & Alvarado
Well, I have had a very eventful change here in Nimajuyu, and the change hasn't even ended yet :P. This Wednesday, President called to let us know that my comp Elder Estrella would be going home Thursday morning to arrange some apparent problems in his family, along with resolving some personal matters. I am still in the same zone, but I am now in the area of Guajitos 1 in a trio with Elder Bentley and Elder Alvarado. 

My old ward now has no missionaries until this change ends, so I have to act as a double agent and go over to Venezuela with a member to teach some of the investigators that have baptismal dates. We put 7 fechas in this last week, but now it's going to be hard to keep with them. 

So that's my crazy week, but we had some really spiritual moments too. Elder Estrella is a powerful missionary, and between us two, we were about to catch fire. He'll be able to return in 6 months after everything gets resolved. I've had 4 comps this change... craziness.

Love you all!

Elder Jackson

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

General Authority ... Kick!

Hello everyone!

On Thursday we had zone conference, and Elder Alonso from the Area Presidency hacked us all to pieces [chastised? got them excited? not sure on his interpretation]. It was pretty cool, but crazy at the same time. Definitely made me think about a ton of stuff. The coolest thing he talked about had to do with his privileges of working with apostles and serving as a special witness of Jesus Christ. Because of how sacred it was he asked us not to share his experiences. Recently this week I was reading in 3rd Nephi, which mentions a lot of things that the people, and Mormon also, were asked not to write or talk about. I was witness to one of those types of moments this week.

The work is still moving forward in the area, and Francisco my recent convert received the Aaronic priesthood yesterday. My comp and I, the other 2 priests, and the Young men's presidency all joined in to make it a big circle, kinda like I remember mine was. We have seen many blessings this week, and the Family Garcia is still progressing. They will be baptized this year, I know it.

Love you all, have an amazing week!

Elder Benjamin Jackson

Monday, June 8, 2015

Power Boost

Hello Friends and Family!

Elder Estrella has really given me new energy! He's always looking for something funny to say or do during the day, and it keeps us both happy and diligent. As a result our area has been bursting with success, and I don't mind at all being here for a fourth change! We found a new family: Marvin, Ingrid, and their two children Sharon and Angel, who are very positive and we are looking forward to our future appointments.

We are still struggling with bringing our investigators to church, in part for the closed community that our church is in, among other difficulties. But we have faith, and we are working hard. Honestly, this week I don't know what more to write. I have really felt the spirit, and our lessons have been very powerful, even though most people we teach still don't recognize the Holy Ghost very well. I guess we should focus on that.

Also it's now entering rainy season. It rains like you wouldn't believe it, though I hear that in Texas it's been flooding. Everyone always tells me to buy an umbrella or wear a rain jacket (because I don't use either one) but I always just tell them that the rain doesn't affect me. The majority of Latinos get sick from the rain, I don't understand that.

I love you all, and hope you have a wonderful week!

Elder Benjamin Jackson

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Double Psyche!

Hello everyone!

Elder Cuello and Elder Jackson (wow on the blue eyes!)
So Elder Cuello and I didn't have changes, but then on Wednesday the ZL’s called us with emergency changes for my comp, and that Elder Estrella would be coming here with me. So my comp is no longer Elder Neck, but Elder Star. He asked for changes because he was having problems with his branch president and a lot of false gossip about him from the members. So don't worry, he didn't have changes for being wicked. That was a relief for me too.

So that was the most interesting thing this week. Yesterday was ward conference, and it was really awesome. They talked mostly about the area plan, which is the plan for all of Central America, which has to do with the strengthening of the testimonies of all the saints, incorporating the importance of scripture study, prayer, tithing, and temple work, which will help the saints become self-sufficient, get better education, and as a result, better employment. The Stake Presidency and a lot of other stake leaders gave really awesome workshops and classes about many of the points mentioned.

Right now, we are teaching Yadira, a single mom with one son, André who is 21. She knows a good deal about the church because her mom is a member, though it appears she's inactive and lives somewhere else. She has visited Temple Square also. I say she knows about the church, but when people say that, it means they "know" that we worship some guy named Smith, who wrote a mormon bible that just talks about him and that we don't drink coffee. But anyway, we've taught them now 3 times, and they are both very receptive, and want to learn more. So we will be challenging them to be baptized this week. Here in Latin America, because the people are more open, we challenge them to baptism almost every visit, especially the first visit. I can't imagine what would happen if you were to do that in Germany, Jess ;).

Have a great week!

Elder Jackson

ps Oh yeah, my new comp Elder Estrella is from Peru, he's 26, and he was baptized a little more than a year ago. He's a really good guy, and a hard worker.

Churrisos Argentinan, Uruguyan, and Colorado. A member made them for us, and they are super delicious! They're kinda like sausage.