Monday, August 29, 2016

Ridin HW 98

Hey Yall!!! I am loving these hot and humid months over here:) I am emailin a lil late because we just got done whoopin some Elders in Volleyball. It FELT so good to play again. 
Man what a week. I just feel tired. I know there are great things ahead. We didn't have our car most the week due to repairs so Biking it was!! Field after field after field after field we road past for days on end. I am grateful for the chance to have no other option because when you feel torn down whether it is emotionally or physically or both God loves those torn hearts and souls. August days here are killer HOT!! On many occasions I would just cry out to God to help me make it where we needed to go. 

Recognizing the spirit is something that has been a focus for me lately. There is nothing sweeter than being able to see Gods hand in your thoughts and actions. Two tender experiences have happened lately that I will always cherish. The first night we were out and were thinking about where to go and who to see. Beverly came into our minds. We had already seen her that week but something inside felt good about seeing her. When we showed up she was almost in tears in immense pain. If anyone has been beat up in this life she has. The thought came to me.. Sing to her. So that is what we did. I was almost brought to tears as she chimed in her lil shaky voice to Be Still My Soul. We all knew God sent us to her that night. It was an answer to her prayers. The Lord is using me as His Servant much deeper than teaching his Doctrine. 

A very Similar experience happened Last night. Every one of our  appointments and backups fell through that entire day when Sis Fletch said we could go see Linda. She is totally out of our way, it was almost time to be in, and we are low on miles to began with but once again something inside told us to go. When we showed up and got talking we felt like we should sing to her as well. She was brought to tears in her lil white nightgown as we sang how great thou art. We had a much needed lesson. She broke down with the weight of her concerns and lack of love she felt. She said "Its like yall knew?! You knew I needed you."

I am beyond humbled to be able to be Christ hands here on earth for this short time. These small moments make up the all the difference for the endless days of little success. I know God is watching out for me here and that he is proud of any step no matter how big or small we take towards him. I love you all with everything that i am!!

Sister J:)

Beverly gave us shrimp prep with our Jubilee catches

Monday, August 22, 2016

God LOVES his children.

Hey Pals:) How lovely it is to hear your sweet voices every week via email! I am one happy girl:) I swear this week felt like a year of emotions and experiences crammed into 7 small days. The majority of this week was just pressing through exhaustion, disappointments, and internal pleadings. HOWEVER, with the weekend came the answers. Some of thee most humbling and profound moments of my life. 

We are teaching a member from Guatemala who has been ex-communicated twice hoping to come back and his Greek-Orthodox Romanian wife. The concerns and obstacles in his life run deeper than you could began to believe. And I felt so inadequate. Here a 19 year old girl, born and raised in the church. Yes I have had my own challenges but never on the level of this particular man. My mind was on this lesson all day Saturday and I knew how much he needed something God given.

When we first got to his house there almost felt like there was a tense cultural barrier in communication. They fed us a Romanian dish and the air lighten and we had a great time! We moved to the living room for a lesson and as soon as we sat down the spirit was there. The next 45 minutes were moments in my life completely above myself.  From the start, the very first word that came out of my mouth was not from me. I had been praying fervently for the past few months to let me be His servant. For God to give me the chance to be his mouthpiece and his hands in everything I do. To be led and guided in my actions and words. I just wanted to be HIS. COMPLETELY AND FULLY HIS.

 And for the first time I truly felt the Power and divinity within my calling as a Representative of Jesus Christ. I listened and understood more deeply than I ever have before. Never thinking of what i could say next or what he needed. WORDS. JUST. CAME. God gave me bold confidence through out that i would have never said to anyone in the way i did before my mission. Something that I never knew existed came out of me. The Lord worked through me like I have never seen nor herd. I am completely humbled to be his loving servant. The room was full of wet eyes and searching hearts. 

As a missionary there is an unbelievable difference teaching to a room full of seeking, genuine souls and a room of those who only draw close with their words. That night it could not have been more apparent whose souls they were. I wish so deeply you could have felt the spirit within that room. 

When I woke up yesterday i felt different. More purpose than I have ever felt here. The miracles KEPT coming. Our investigator who has been taught and dropped and taught for years came to church. At the end of the third hour, she broke down in tears. Thanking us over and over again for getting her here. And the changes she needed to make in her life. The church, despite its shortcomings, is filled with IMMENSE power and truth. I know it changes lives. 

The amount of good that comes from Christ's Restored Gospel will never end. Keep reading, keep searching, keep praying. He loves you andddd I love you:) 
Sending so much love!!

Sister Jackson

As far as I know I ate breaded deer meat for dinner last night..How i loveee the SOUTH.

 Rolll Tide Rolll every day here

Earlier this weeek stress was flyin high so I made sis Fletch write a list of things she can and can't control and drove her to the bay to rip up and set free the list of cants. Ha kind of silly but who doesn't love a good therapeutic exercise?:)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Another week in August

Hey hey hey my favorite people! You all are simply the best and I just love you all from the depths of my soul! I am doing alright after the accident, still in a bit of pain. I finally broke down and agreed to go to the Chiropractor this week! All is well! This week has just been a tough one and not too much success. Satan has his grasp on so many hearts here. However, through it all I feel strengthened. It is the hardest days that I feel closest to God and this Gospel. I know Jesus Christ Lives and I know there is such immense truth in this restored Gospel. I am grateful to be serving Him with all that I am. Keep reading, keep searching, keep praying! He is there. 

So much love Sister Jackson:)

The Elders insisted on the sisters to cook for District Meeting.. Needless to say we shot that stereotype straight down with the filthy burnt cookies we brought. Not on purpose.:)

Monday, August 8, 2016

A week sent from Thomas

Hello my dearest ones!! I AM ALIVE AND WELL!  I'm sure you were surprised to get a call from my Mission President last night! I had wished he hadn't call you all because I didn't want you guys to be worried about me over here. I was in a car accident in Linda Williams car. We were at the stop light and a car behind us was texting or something and ran full speed into the back of us. But we are all okay! I promise!! Just on loads of meds for the headaches and back pains! 

I spent yesterday at Thomas Hospital and they ran tests and gave us some pain meds and we were good to go:) Absolutely no worries! Honestly it was a neat experience that i want to tell you about a bit. I had a few hours to myself. Completely to myself. I was laying in a room waiting for our xray results to come back,(Sis Fletcher was in a different one) with no one or nothing to distract me from my thoughts. Out here you rarely have moments where you aren't trying to do or accomplish something. MAN i felt so strange.In that silent hospital room as my thoughts wondered every direction I started praying. I felt such peace and comfort feeling God with me in that room. No family, no companion, just God. And for the first time I began to understand how so many people in this life make it simply through God.
We got home late and the Elders came to our apartment and gave us both a blessing. So many awesome awesome people out here, OH how im grateful!

This week was soooo great!! There is no better feeling than coming home at night exhausted and happy for the efforts you made. I have 10034 things I want to say and no time to say it! A few tender mercies will do:)

We got in contact with a L.A that i had never met sense being here! We found out she was in the Thomas hospital, called her home teachers, and they gave her a blessing! Her story is remarkable. She was taking 18 pills 4x a time. Completely hooked in Satan's tight grasp of addiction. One night while watching T.V she decided to take her life. She had all of her pills in the palm of her hand when the Mormon ad commercial came on T.V, she quickly turned the channel when a few moments later another one came one. The Mormon Ads came on 5 more times as she kept trying to change the stations. It was then she realized God was speaking to her and she put the pills down, called the number and joined the church. GOD IS REAL. He is so good. 

We were able to teach teach teach this week!!! Most of them were in the BLAZINNNN heat. OH August will be the death of me. Inside and outside of homes we just sweat and sweat and sweat. Ha its filthy. Most lessons are taught on lil plastic chairs covered in dirt, I have come to love and cherish them:)

SO I actuallyyyy had a few moments of panic this week. A lot of close calls. We knocked on a Catholic investigator Bill's house for our appointment that day. He opened the door and started talking to us when all of a sudden his eyes rolled back into his head and he collapsed. He layed there wide eyed unconscious. We ran to him yelling "BILL!!" "ARE YOU OKAY BILL!" we reached for the phone to call 911, because he was totally unresponsive and we didn't know what eles to do. It wasn't long before he started sitting up asking why he was on the floor. He hit his head on the way down but didn't remember that, so he sat there Indian style in the door way while I  inspected the back of his head for blood! It scared me have to death, i care about that man so much! He got out of Thomas Hospital a few months ago. Ha he was so embarrassed and i guess this has happened a few times in his life before and just wanted to move to the back porch for our lesson. We ended up having a decent lesson with him haha. As many people say here ROLLL TIDEEE. Strange things happen in the South, I tell ya.  

I LOVE IT HERE. I love it here because of my love for our Savior and his work! I mention in Sacrament meeting yesterday of the sincere blessing that comes from trusting him. How much power comes from the simple act to TRUST HIM. This has been one of my focuses lately and any tribulation that comes can be healed with those two words. God does not make mistakes in our life. I love this Gospel. I love you all. Thank you for making me the luckiest Sister Missionary:) Keep reading and keep praying, I know as you do will carry you through. Sending you my whole heart,

Sister Jackson:)


This is our less active Bill from last weeks letter! 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Pokemon Go Is Savin the Souls

I love you guys. I love hearing the fun things everyone is doing! Truly lifts my spirits! This week was a learning week for me. We had exchanges so the Monroville Sisters came down and stayed two nights at our place, it was grand to see Sister Redfearn again:) I am a firm believer in exchanges. They always roll around when you feel like you can't take a step further! They are so many incredible Sisters in this Mission. Also had the interview with The Mission President, cool to get to know him better. 

Amongst the dead ends in the week there are ALWAYS tender mercies! How wonderful they are! Bill Barnett was one of the Gems from this week. He is a less active older guy who we visit. Every week it goes something like " Well Pastor Heagy said... Or Pastor Heagy teaches..Pastor Heagy this..Pastor Heagy that.." Every. Single. Week. And every single week for the past 4 1/2 months i'v invited Bill to come to church. And have racked my brain over and over again in circles of what he needs. This Sunday HE CAME! You would've thought i won the lottery when i saw that man standing in front of me in the chapel! There is no better feeling than seeing someone who truly needs the gospel partake of the sacrament. 
You go all week with no success,disappointments fighting the discouragement for these lil tiny golden moments. These moments make every pain worth it.

Last night was another one. we were contacting/chasing down people playing Pokemon Go. After about 10 people who to say were even a least bit interested in listening to us or what we had to say would be an understatement. At 9:15 we started walking back and there was a guy named Hani sitting on a bench by himself. I try my hardest to follow the spirit with who to talk to! So we stopped and he is from Saudi Arabia, he honestly spoke pretty good english. We testified to him of the power and reality of a God in this life. I meant every word i said and something was different with this contact. He seemed hesitant and he was out of our area but still got his number for the Mobile Elders. 10 minutes later we were still in the parking lot about to go home when he chased us down. With his Saudi Arabia accent he said "who can help me learn more." "I want to know more." We just looked at him for a moment will full hearts. How powerful it is to be able to have this access and knowledge to provide for wandering souls like Hani. It was one of my fondest moments on the mission where my purpose collided with the work im putting in. It is remarkable that one true seeking man like Hani outshines the 100s of harden hearts that came before him. 

4 1/2 months out and i feel myself shifting into who i need to be here. I was on the phone with our District Leader one night and he was asking about all my lil problems and concerns and i just layed them alll out there hah. I was telling him how I am really hard on my self and so often times I am burning myself out with constantly trying to be a better missionary. And how I never want to not give it my best. And sometimes i will get home and beat myself up about not talking to so and so that day on the street. And all he said was that THIS IS THE LORDS WORK. My first thoughts were yeah of course it is! But did i believe that? Looking back, every one of those thoughts was about me! This work is not about me! Our work here on earth is not about us. Everything the savior did was for someone else. I don't care who i come home as as long as i was able to simply be the lords hands here in Alabama. 

Everything thing we receive or are are because of the Savior. Every talent, possession, relationship, miracle, victory are all his. Everything has its origin with in the Savior. Every single thing but one; our will. He does not have our hearts and desires. It is the only gift we have to offer that He does not already have. And so when we give ourselves, we truly give everything to him.

I know that there is a profound change within ourselves when we find the humility and strength to give of ourselves in this capacity. I know God lives. And I love him.
Sending so much dang love from Fairhope:)
xoxo Sister Jackson

here is a awkward picture of me outside "Fairhopes Castle" Dean Mosher is a famous artist around here and gave us a tour of his house that he crafted. It was inspiring! So neat.