Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Week 3: Aloha!

Elle and Sister Mahoni's welcome when they arrived at a members house. 
Lake Stevens< Washington

This week has been so interesting. It was so nice to be able to hear form everyone! Thank you for the letters, the packages, and all of the love and support. So this week I went on exchanges for the first of many. It was a lot of fun and good to see different styles of teaching. I went to Everett and it is so city compared to where I am at. Everyone was so nice and loving. We went contacting and when we started to walk down the street there were a few people who saw us and knew who we were, and B-lined it across the street so they wouldn't talk to us! HAHA I was laughing so hard!

Elle at the Community Garden
Because I was in Everett the service that I got to do was gardening. So the lady that started this big community garden is a pretty big hippie. She came to Washington a couple of years ago and started the community garden. The reason she did is because God told her to. She did a Forest Gump thing of walking all over to see where God would lead her. She ended up in Washington and so God told her to start a big community garden and so that is what she did. She bought a plot of land and started it for the food banks. The whole community helps out with it and is it so beautiful! She is so nice and loving.

Elle on Exchanges with Sister Stanley

Sister Mahoni got really sick for a couple of days and was in bed. So I just kept myself busy while she was in bed. I studied and did what I could while she was down. I know that if I am obedient the Lord will bless me. On the second day I went on splits with the Lundeen Park sisters and it was really nice to be able to get out of the house. We went tracking and it was the hottest day since I have been here. Oh course! But it was good because we were able to talk to a lot of people and go and teach a lesson. After that we went to my area for the evening and that is where we met and taught Jamie. She is so amazing and has such a big love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She was confused about a few things, but she told us it felt right and so it would all work out. She has such amazing faith! But we will be going back this week to teach her the next lesson and answer a few of her questions. I am so excited because she wants to learn and she wants her kids to be a part of it. Then there is Amy, she has a daughter that lives with her and her son lives with the dad. We are doing a FHE tonight with them, her daughter is so excited and so is Amy. She called us last night to plan for today! 

I am in a car and it has been awesome! We don't live in our area (Ward).  We have to travel 10 min before we are in our area. But our members are so loving and want to do missionary work, which has been such an amazing blessing for us. Because being whitewashed into an area you don't know where you are going and you don't know anyone. But it has been good because there is so much I have had to learn because of this. My mission president and his wife have been so amazing and are always do what they can to make this mission all that it can be. But I am excited to see what the lord has in store for me this week and am ready to continue to work! I love you all!!

Elle when she arrived at the Seattle airport

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 2: My First Area: Lake Stevens

Elle with her first companion, Sister Mahoni.

Elle's first area is Lake Stevens, Washington

Happy Birthday to Age and Happy Anniversary to Grandma and Grandpa Jackson! I hope you all had a wonderful day! It has been the most amazing, crazy, I don't know what I am doing week. I was so happy that I was able to call you guys form the airport and talk to you what felt like not long enough. We were told leaving the MTC that on the plane and in the airport that it was going to be the first time that we were going to get to share our message. That scared me like crazy...I have no idea what I am doing but they told me I could do it so I set my mind to the task. But lucky for me I was able to sit by two missionaries on the plane haha I didn't have to step out of my comfort zone yet. The two missionary's that I sat by on the plane had never been on an airplane and they were so scared. I laughed and laughed the entire time. But once we got into Washington I knew that this is where I was supposed to be and that everything was going to work out. Stepping off of the plane I had insistently and a love for the people of Washington. I have never just wanted to hug everyone that I see.

Sister Mahoni
The first day was a long day, there were 25 of us that came to Washington and so it took forever before we got our companions. But eventually we finished and I was able to get my companion, her name is Sister Mahoni. She is also from Hawaii and is very amazing. Who knew that my best friend when I left would be 1/4 Hawaiian and then my fist two companions would be from Hawaii! It’s so funny how things work out. I live in the biggest apartment that is in my mission and so I would consider myself really lucky.

But we have been white washed into the area and so it has been so weird. We don't know where we are going and we ended up in Arlington one night and the next day were driving to some other place I can't remember the name. We have to start from the bottom and work our way up to the top. The previous missionary's didn't have a lot of lessons planed and so we have had to work our way around.  But I hate the feeling of not being able to help and so hopefully that will be going away this week.

We volunteer at the food bank every week which was such an amazing experience. It is held and the Ebenezer Lutheran Church and we were able to meet so many people that way. I am excited to get to go back and work with the Lutheran Church. We were able to get so much done and they don't care if we talk to people about the Gospel! We met with Sister DuPape and I guess I am related to her through Grandma Munn; it really is a small world. I am serving in the Lake Stevens ward and they have been amazing. They love missionary work and want to help out in every way that they can. We eat at a member house every night and it’s been nice because it is such a great way to get to know everyone. Our bishop is so awesome and is ready to get the work done which is just what we need.

 I have learned so much in so many ways, I know that if I wouldn't have come on my mission there are probably things that I wouldn't have the chance to learn. But I know that the lord has a plan and as long as I am willing to submit to him everything will work out how it is supposed to. I am excited to see what is in store for me and the lessons that I will get to learn.

 I am so excited for all of you with school starting, football games, being able to become better than the year before. I can't wait for pictures from the wedding! You are all going to look so amazing and what can I say we have a pretty good looking family! I love you all and loving hearing about how your week is going and what is happening. Have a good week and be excited to go back to school and be able to get to learn again! Hahaha

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Week 1: Holy Cow!!!

Elle at the Provo Temple.
Let me first start off by telling you that I have learned so much and am so thankful that I made this decision!

July29, 2015:

When I was dropped of here and the MTC I was doing my best to hold in the tears and let me tell you that I was successful! I was very happy for being able to do that. As we were walking off I couldn't look back in fear that I would change my mind. But I didn't and I haven't and so everything was good. We walked around got all of the books that I needed and took me to my room and then from there I was dropped off  in my classroom (which I would later realize I spend more time in that classroom then I do in my own bed). That is where I met Sister Herr, she is my companion, and she is from Hawaii. We hit it off really fast! We have a lot in common and have very similar personality’s, which has helped a lot. We met with our district for about an hour then we went to orientation where we started to teach people! YES!! On the very first day! We taught as a group and not by ourselves. But it counts we taught three people that night which I thought was crazy. Then we went to dinner and had steak and potatoes which was a good comfort food. But then we went and had a lesson and taught one more person! We are in our class until 9:30 every night which is not late but I am so tired by that time. I layed in bed after finishing everything up for the day and as soon as the light went off tears started to run down my face, I didn't make any noises but the tears kept coming.
Elle and her companion Sister Herr

July 30, 2015:

 Now the next day was even crazier!! The second day I felt as if I had been there for one whole week! We wake up at 5:45 to get ready for the workout class that they have in the morning for the sisters (I have woke up at that time every day except for Sunday I got to wake up at 6:30 (: and how good that felt). The workout starts at 6:00 am and only goes for half an hour so we hurry back to get ready for the day because breakfast is at 7:15. Sunday was the first day that I was able to eat all my breakfast without getting sick!! Which I am so THANKFUL for, but after we ate that’s when all of the classes start. Like I said I spend more time in my class learning and teaching investagatitors then I do in my own bed. We eat lunch about 11:30 and dinner between 4:30-5:00 depending on how many people we teach that day. But that second day July 30 is when me and Sister Herr taught our fist investagator her name is Meir but now we call her Megan cause we don't speak French (we are the biggest group of missionary’s that they have ever received and so they were short on teachers. So the two of our teachers were pulled from the French department. I like them a lot Brother Davis and Sister Hafen). She is has had such an amazing testimony of Christ since the first time that we met with her and the more we meet with her the more she learns. We have taught her a few times now and she will be getting baptized!! YAY!! We are so excited! In the short time that we have known her I feel as though she is family because I would do anything for her! I want her to have this happiness and now she will. I was finally able to read dads letter he gave me without tearing up when I look at it. We were in class till the end of the night again and same thing as the day before I was fine then the light went off and the tears were a coming.

Elle and Sister Herr

July 31, 2015:

I have the same morning every day we wake up eat breakfast, go and study. Study some more and then more studying and so forth. But we did service today, but service is just cleaning your building so don't let them fool you. But after that we had workouts and then got ready for the day again (by the way I have the privilege of getting to shower three times a day). But today was the hardest day for me. I finally broke down later that night and Sister Herr has been so good to me. I got really lucky to have her for my companion. But as soon as I was able to let it all out that is when the real work began!

Aug. 1, 2015:

Everyone said that the first Saturday in the MTC was the hardest. I thought the day went by a lot faster then the other days. We studied ALL day, but I was able to learn so much about myself and about my relationship with my Father in Heaven. We taught Megan again today and it went awesome. But I think that your fist investigator is going to be easy...it’s our teacher. But I got Bradyn's first letter today and wasn't able to get my packages. But that night was awesome! I have some awesome roommates and awesome zone and district and so I couldn't have asked for anything better!

Wishing Katie a Happy Birthday, MTC style.

Elle's MTC District.
 Aug. 2, 2015:

Today was my fist Sunday in the MTC and it was also fast Sunday. I don't think that I have ever fasted a full 24 hours until now! I wasn't hungry at all I was just running low on energy. We had mission Conf. in the morning which had such amazing talks. It started the day off right. Then we had several hours of studying. But we then had a Temple walk where we walk up to the temple with all of the missionary’s and then we take a lot of pictures. We had sacrament and RS and the Sunday Devotional. But Sunday nights we get to watch a movie!! Not what is sounds like. You can watch meet the Mormons or you get to watch different talks. There is one talk by Elder Bednar The Characteristics of Christ 2011 Christmas Devo.   that they only show in the MTC! It was one of the most amazing talks that I have ever listened to! I am so glad that I get to listen to it again of Sunday because you are in such awe that you have to watch it a few time in order to get everything. But I have had so much inspiration and it was amazing. I feel so at home here in the MTC and am so happy that I get to be here!

Aug. 3 2015:

Nothing to big happened to day other then we taught 4 lessons. It was so crazy! My relationship with my Father in heaven has grown so much I have had to opportunity to have the Holy Ghost as a constant companion! I have had more sincere prayers and have really wanted to talk to my Father in Heaven and listen to what he is saying to me. He is the reason that we were able to get through all of the lessons that we taught. We taught Stephen, Carolina, Megan, and a member. I go crazy if I don't have fun every now and then but like I said my father in heaven and my savor have carried me a lot of the way. 

Aug. 4, 2015:

Today is the day that I have been looking forward to! We had the Tuesday Night Devotional. It was so amazing. There were rumors that someone from the 12 was coming!! After we taught all of our lessons again today me and Sister Herr decided to apart of the choir, and it was such an amazing experience! We sang the song Be Still My Soul, the Choir director told us that this song is about us. It is us talking to our self. When we started to sing the song I was overcome with the spirit and that is now one of my favorite songs. He then told us that Russel M. Nelson was coming to speak to us. When he walked in the room it was the most amazing feeling ever. His spirit was felt like everyone! That is what I want, I want to have the spirit that he talked with and the had everyone near tears. He is such an amazing person and I am so glad that I was able to listen to him. We then had a District mtg. and my district we have grown to love each other and I believe that we will forever be friends after we go off on our different missions. 
I love hearing form all of you and am so excited to continue to hear from all of you! Thank you for all the packages and the letters they have meant so much to me! I love you all so much! 

P.S. My letters won’t be this long every time! I don't think so. 

You have not failed until you quit trying.

Love, Sister Jackson 

Elle and Sister Herr