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.