Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Already Week 5??!!

Hello!

District with Pres & Sis Caffaro visiting
I can't believe we're already starting the fifth week of the change! I feel like I just started... I'm really enjoying it here with Elder Caal. He's a great companion. Even though he's finishing his mission, he still has a desire to work, and I'm gonna make sure he keeps it up. 

Sunsets
We found a really awesome family this week! Francisco is a member from another stake, but he went inactive for a while and moved to our area. He got married, and he decided to start reactivating himself. His wife is extremely interested. He was going to his old ward with his mom, but the missionaries talked with them and passed the references to us about 2 weeks ago. This week we finally went to look for them. Just in time I might add. Today their first little girl is being born, and with that, they want to provide her with the best example in their home. Hence, Cindy really wants to learn more about the gospel and the church to find out if it's where she needs to be. Up to this point in her life, she has never found the religion that she feels good enough to be baptized in. This Sunday they are going to come to church with us as long as she is able to come for the baby, and for the recuperation from the C-section. But they are super awesome so we have faith that they will come.

Sunset
So, we're pluggin along with faith to find more of the chosen people like the Gonzalez family that God has prepared in the area. I love this work with all my heart!

I also love all of you :D

-Elder Jackson



[Half of the quilt I made Ben. Striped fabric is from Guatemala]
Dear Mom,
That hurricane hit us too! Just the spin-off though. 

[After seeing pictures of his quilt I made with the Guatemala fabric he sent home.] 
IT'S SO AWESOME!!! Thank you Mommy!! Seriously though, I love the quilt! But I don't give you permission to use it . . .  ;)

[David and I used Brians the whole time he was gone. So this winter we plan to use Ben's!]

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came Up!

Hello everyone!

Marvin and Heidy's Baptism
Well, the rain came back with a vengeance right as the rainy season should have been ending! We've had almost 3 days straight of nonstop rain, and my poor broken shoes can't handle any more water logging. I guess I should buy new ones but I've discovered that I'm quite "codo" (elbow in Spanish, but it also means stingy).

But aside from us getting wet, there were also 2 other people that wanted to get wet. Our 16 year old buddy Marvin, and Heidy, an investigator of the sisters were both baptized on Saturday! They also both wanted me to baptize them so I got to get wet too! This week has been a really great week. There are still many difficulties in the area and in the district, but I am truly thankful for everything that has happened.

Elder Caal, Marvin, Elder Ben
I am learning a lot in this area personally. I have discovered that I can do a lot of things better than I thought. Basically the first year of my mission was discovering my weaknesses, which are many, but now I feel the strength of the Savior much stronger, and through His atonement, He has shown me that I can overcome them. Some things have been an immediate change since I came to this area, and others I know will still take some more time, but I know now more than ever that I am a child of God. If I wasn't, I wouldn't still be here. I would have given up a long time ago. But I have a loving Father who is by my side, guiding me and supporting me through all t
hat life has to throw at me. If I could put what I've learned into one short phrase it would be this: I am loved.

And I love you too! Have a great week!

-Elder Jackson
Heidy and Sister Misionaries



Thursday, October 15, 2015

Trials


¡Hola!

Well this week has been a bit of a trial week. I feel a lot like some of the ancient prophets when they were saddened by the hardness of the hearts of the people. It just so happens that it has been our lot to contact some of the most sour people I've met in my whole mission recently. But I don't even get angry anymore; all I can feel for them is sorrow. I just want to help them have a good day with a message from Jesus Christ but they throw it in my face. 

It's been a humbling experience. It's helped me think a lot more about Christ's atonement. He was beaten, betrayed, spit upon, scourged, forsaken, nailed to a tree, and hung on a cross. Elder Oaks asked a question in general conference: "Why did Christ suffer all?" My response is this. So that we can do all. I can continue contacting rude harsh people every day because I know He has felt the same humiliation when they smote Him in the cheek and spat upon Him. I can walk nonstop every day because He has felt the same pain in His feet when they drove nails into them.

All I can feel is gratitude for what Jesus Christ suffered. Again as Elder oaks said, "His suffering results in our succoring" His atonement is everything to me and thanks to Him I can do hard things. Someone else in the conference said, "Hard can be good". I like that quote.

Love you guys! Have a great week!

-Elder Jackson



Dear Mom and Dad,
My time as DL [district leader] has been good. A little stressful at times, but I'm enjoying it. I only have one pair of elders to do divisions with, because the other 4 missionaries in my district are sisters. I should take more time to think about what I learn in divisions. A lot of elders just do them cuz we have to, but they don't look for a purpose. My 2 best zone leaders taught me the importance of having a purpose for divisions, and I would like to put it into practice. 

I love you muchísisisimo :)
-Ben

Monday, October 5, 2015

New Area!

Good morning!

Well, I'm in a new area that neither my comp nor I know, so it's been fun! We walked a lot, sometimes in the neighboring mission, we talked with a lot of interesting people, and we almost got lost! But everything is going great! My companion Elder Caal is from Coban, Guatemala and finishes his mission in December. 

[I just looked on the map and his new area has the mission boundaries run right through it with a few zigzags! He can literally walk back and forth between missions depending on what block they are on!]

So I've been learning a lot about clarity recently. For a while I got into the habit of making long complex explanations of doctrinal principles, but I lost the beautiful clarity of the simple gospel truths. Then I started going back to the basics, and I have felt so much power in our lessons. All we have to do is tell the people exactly what they need. A doctor doesn't beat around the bush when he gives a prescription. He tells you what medicine you need to take, how often, and for how long. So as I've put that into practice my own understanding has increased. People need to repent because if they don't, they can't be saved in the kingdom of God. People need to read the Book of Mormon because it was written for them and tells them how to live the gospel correctly. People need to be baptized by priesthood authority because if they don't, it doesn't count. We know this is true, so why be afraid to share it? 

I know it's true, so I won't be afraid to share it. The other day I contacted a man who wanted to prove that the Book of Mormon couldn't be the word of God. He tried to win me over with Biblical references. The spirit whispered to me multiple biblical references to counter him, and then I simply testified of the simple truths of the Book of Mormon. Before we said goodbye he asked if we could bring him a Book of Mormon so he could read it. I told him it would be my pleasure. 

In the words of President Uchtdorf on Saturday, Simplify!

I love you all!
-Elder Jackson