Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Week 42: Happy Dad? Lots of Pictures

Brother Coles Baptism
This week has been the craziest most rewarding week I might have ever had while I have been here in Washington! We started off the week having to go all the way up to Mount Vernon so that one of my companions could meet with the counselor up there. We feel asleep while she was in there. All I remember is that I was reading the Book of Mormon and all of the sudden I was being woken up. I was on the ground in the church, honestly it has never been more comfortable then that moment-the church floor that is.

Sister Nichols and Elle
We then had a crazy Wednesday with all of our normal meetings, with service, and trying to fit in a couple of appointments that couldn't be put off. I never realized that miles could be so stressful, but they are! So we were running around and hopefully we didn't look like chickens with our heads cut off (Sharee I still don't like chickens at all...that has not changed).

We then had to go on a double exchange back to back. On our way to the first exchange with Sister Belliston and Sister Nichols (Sister Belliston is the Blond and Sister Nichols is the one that I am wearing a jacket and my hair is all over the place). We had to call President about this referral we got. It was super confusing and I still am not 100% sure what is going on but I do know we get to teach this super cute family and I am super excited. We are still working hard on finding people and so it is nice when we get a little help from the members.
 So I was with Sister Belliston and we had such an amazing day! We found so many potentials and people that we are going to be able to go back and be able to teach and or give service too.

Sister Meininger, Pickup, Elle, Hermana's Jensen, Spackman, Hubner

After my exchange with Sister Belliston we then had to go all the way over to Snohomish for exchanges with Hermana Jensen, Spackman and Hubner. They are the ones where I am wearing that yellow shirt. It was so much fun being able to spend the next day with Hermana Jensen! She taught me so much and I am excited to be able to apply everything I have learned. It was funny because she never really contacts white people and so we were working on it and helping her feel a little more comfortable with this. She thinks White people are so much more mean then Hispanics and she asked, "How do you do it?" I laughed and said that you brush it off and just keep going. in my own opinion I think any contact can be hard it you go into it thinking that it is going to be hard. We had a good day and got to go and teach that referral. It was nice to finally have Sister Leininger back with us!

Elle, Sister pickup, and Hermana Jensen

We then had Brother Coles baptism on Saturday and what an amazing beautiful day it was. He is so happy and his family is so excited to be able to be sealed together in one year. It is so cool to watch those that are willing to take a chance and how it ends up being the best choice they have ever made! I love his little family so much and am going to miss them when they move. But I don't have to worry because I know that they are doing some amazing things! He got confirmed on Sunday and he was just glowing! 

Brother Coles and his wife

Church was awesome! Sundays we have no time to think and that is just how this last Sunday went. We were able to go to Come See for Yourself! It was in Lake Stevens and so it was first off fun to go with Brother Coles and his cute little family; and then to have the Mergens join us as well. It was also nice to see everyone in Lake Stevens and be able to say Hi! 
We received this pictures from Brother Mergen Sunday
night. He said, "I'm in a Come See for Yourself meeting
with your daughter and Anthony. He is a convert that was
baptized this weekend. One of the speakers was another one
 of her converts.You have so much to be proud of. This guy
 changed his life because of your little girls prayers. This
 picture is of your daughter and Anthony."
What made the night the best was that Michael Hammel spoke and told his story about joining the church. I don't know if you remember but Sister Foster and I got to teach him and his wife and they were baptized back in January! Anyways he talked about Sister Foster and me and told about how it was really hard for him to quit coffee, and that we worked so hard on it -all of us together. He switched to Perro and everything was going well until they ran out of it and decided that it wasn't going to be a big deal if he were to drink a little coffee. So he did and it ended up being the grossest taste to him. We had a lesson that same day and I remember going over and he was telling us about it and instead of being sad or disappointed (mind you he had been drinking coffee for 38 years, and it had been like 3 weeks that he hadn't touched it) I started to laugh. He asked me why I was laughing and I told him I had been praying that coffee would task gross to them. Prayers are answered because it did! It was amazing to see how converted he is to the Gospel and that he is working toward going to the temple. I cried a little, It is moments like this that make being a missionary the greatest thing I could ever do! 

Sister Meininger, Brother and Sister Coles, Elle, and Sister Pickup

I love being a missionary and am grateful everyday for the chance I have to be one! 

I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week! 

We received this picture via text message, it said, "Met your daughter
Sister Jackson!Very lovely missionary! She says feel better Dad and
she loves you."

Sister Pickup, Elle, and Sister Leininger

Sister Meininger, Sister Coles, and Elle
The three pack and Sister Coles

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Week 41: I Am The Happiest I Have Ever Been!

What an amazing thing it is to be able to serve our Heavenly Father and be able to share my testimony with all those I see. I think I can honestly say I am the happiest I have ever been! What an amazing feeling this is! So this week was go go go and there was no time to rest. I found that when I stopped moving I would crash. So "no stopping of the moving!"(Sharee and Mom you better get that...shout out to Shaun T).

We instructed at Zone Meeting which was a lot of fun until we had to run over to Snohomish and instruct at theirs as well but it is okay. We got lunch after that! Then the very next day we had Interviews with President Bonham. I love talking with him one and one and being able to just....I don't know I love him and Sister Bonham so much and so it is nice to be able to talk to him, just me and him. It will be so sad to see them go but I am excited to be able to meet the Wildings and to be able to get to know them!  Anyways enough about that. 

On Friday we had an amazing day! It was quite a good reminder that everything works out and as long as you are doing everything in your power Heavenly Father is going to bless you and the others around you! So we were able to start the day by giving service to our Ward Mission Leaders wife. You'll never guess what we got to do....yep you guess it! My favorite thing, yard work! It was awesome! We then had to rush to a lesson after ward and it fell through. So we went home and finished weekly planning and got done what we could before we had to go back out and finish working. We went to try and find this Potential Dan that lived in T-5. The thing is thought T-5 hasn't been found by any missionaries and well, it just doesn't exist. Which is dumb because he sounded like a pretty solid guy. We decided we were going to go and try one more time. So we were driving around couldn't find it. We were driving by a lady who was doing her yard work. So we pulled over to ask her if she knew where T-5 was and she said it doesn't exist and everything. So we started to talk to her (teach when you find, find when you teach) and we had a good conversation. Then she asked who we were looking for and we told her Dan and she laughed. She went to her door and said Dan these nice girls are looking for you! It was so amazing! We were able to talk to them both set up a time to go back and she took a Book of Mormon and she said she was going to look through it before we came back! 

Later that evening we felt like we should go see Brother Coles wife who is amazing. We had to cancel an appointment we had with him that day because she ended up going to the ER. So we went to check on her and while talking to her at her door a guy walks by named Taylor. Thank goodness for three packs because I got to go and teach him the Restoration while my companions talked with Sister Coles! It was amazing! All of those easy role plays with the Restoration you do with the new missionaries that just came in....well it happened! Every question led into the next thing and before you know it he asked to meet again and we exchanged numbers and he was off! What an amazing contact! After all that and talking with Sister Coles we had to go home. We were planning for the next day and we got a text from Sister Coles thanking us for the cookies and that she loved us. Well I was about in tears because of how good of a day it had been. Needless to say when I woke up the next morning it was my turn to say the prayer and I fell asleep in the middle of the prayer. Sister Leininger woke me up, ”Sister J" then me, "Dang it!". I finished saying the prayer and lets just say after she woke me up it was an amazing prayer.

We then had the chance to go and give a day of service with the Hope Creek Church. It was a pretty fun, wet day! It is always nice to be able to give back to the community in any way that we can. Oh and on top of that a member gave us a drink that had green tea in it and we didn't even know that until three hours after we had finished drinking it. repentance is real! Hahaha hope you have an amazing week! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Week 40: Happy Mothers Day!

Elle Says, "I got these nice flowers from a nice lady."

Well I hope that everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day! It was such a crazy good day that couldn't have gotten any better. 

So this past week was a little different. We had MLC (Mission Leader Counsel) on May 5th. Our Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leaders brought chips, salsa and guacamole and it was really good!  We had to celebrate one way or another. I might think differently later in my life but I actually like meetings and think that they are fun. Probably because it is different change of pace, but I really don't know why.

This is Rhonda and she is so cool!
She is the one who pulled my hair.
Saturday we were on Exchanges with Sisters Deaver and Packer. I met the two of them when I was in Lake Stevens and so it is super cool that we are all in the Zone together again and that Sister Leininger and I get to be the STL's. Exchanges were cool, I got called self-righteous and my hair pulled, however I did get flowers from this cute lady. The whole morning started off amazing! I got to go running for the first time on my mission and needless to say I haven't been running in over 9 months. Because of this my 7 minute mile has turned into an 11-12 minute mile. I was super sad, but that is okay because I LOVED it so much! We then went back cleaned up and had our studies (Oh wait I ran 2 miles and kept the same pace and didn't stop once!!). Okay studies and then we got a call from our District Leader that they needed some more help moving this lady. Well Sister Jackson didn't listen to the promptings of the spirit while I was packing my bags and so I didn't have any pants or anything. The Sister that I was with is like 5 foot 3 inch and so her pants don't fit me and her companion doesn't own any!! So we had to go to Walmart so I could buy some pants. Moral of the story is to listen to the spirit the first time. Then I wouldn't have to spend money. Also this isn't the first time I have done this. You would think that I would learn. We went and helped their Investigator move and she wants to serve a mission so we got to talk to her a bit about that.
Then she went and bought us Pink Roses! So stinkin' nice! Had to run to a lesson in where this Investigator only does deep doctrine. She doesn't understand the basics so I don't understand any of it. Anyways we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I talked about repentance and she stopped us at the end and said that something sounded self-righteous, and so I thought, "Oh baptism and proper priesthood authority...."  Well nope it was repentance when I was talking about the importance of repentance and I sounded self-righteous. Then we went and saw Rhonda, she is the coolest hippie...hipster....something that I have ever met! I loved getting to know her. She loved my hair and so she pulled it and tried to put it on her head, oh my sweet flower child! Then about 4:30 we finally had time for lunch and then dinner was at 6:30.....crazy day!

I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week!

Best Shirts Ever!

Sister Leininger, Sister Pickup, and Elle

Exchanges with Sister Packer

They weren't home

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Week 39: Happy Mothers Day!

Elle's new companions. Sister Pickup (Wellington, Utah)
 and Sister Leininger.(South Ogden, Utah)
(One side note Liana and I wanted to add. Last Friday April 29th was Elle's 9 month mark or half way point. We as a family have witnessed so many blessing to our family because of her missionary service. We want to thank all of you who have helped her and especially those of you who help Elle each month so she can spread the Gospel message. We can't wait to see how things go for Elle these last 9 months.-Todd & Liana)

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to the most amazing mother that I am blessed to have. Also to all the other women in my life that have done so much for me, it is the small and simple things that make the biggest difference. One thing that I have learned thus far on my mission is I have so many amazing shining examples in my life and my mother Liana Jackson will always and forever be the number one! She is the one who taught me how to work hard and how genuine love is what others need from us. She taught me I have a Heavenly Father who loves me even more then she does (I find it super hard to imagine this sometimes, all the time). She taught me the importance of doing the things I have committed to and not doing a job half way, but put all I have into it. She taught me the importance of serving others and loving all of Heavenly Fathers children even when it is hard, I could go on and on.
Jeffery R, Holland in 1997 gave a talk called "Because She Is a Mother" (Click Here to read) and I love this talk. He tells of an experience of a young mother which says, "One young mother wrote to me recently that her anxiety tended to come on three fronts. One was that whenever she heard talks on LDS mother hood, she worried because she felt she didn't measure up or somehow wasn't going to be equal to the task. Secondly, she felt like the world expected her to teach her children reading, writing, interior design, Latin, calculus, and the Internet--all before the baby said something terribly ordinary, like "goo goo". Thirdly she often felt people were sometimes patronizing, almost always without meaning to be, because the advice she got or even the compliments she received seemed to reflect nothing of the mental investment, the spiritual and emotional exertion, the long-night, long-day, stretched-to-the-limit demands that sometimes required in trying to be and wanting to be the mother God hopes she will be. But one thing, she said, keeps her going: "Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God's work. I know that in my motherhood I am in an eternal partnership with Him. I am deeply moved that God finds His ultimate purpose and meaning in being a parent, even if some of His children make Him weep. "It is this realization," she says, "that I try to recall on those inevitably difficult days when all of this can be a bit overwhelming. Maybe it is precisely our inability and anxiousness that urge us to reach out to Him and enhance His ability to reach back to us. Maybe He secretly hopes we will be anxious, “she said, "and will plead for His help. Then, I believe, He can teach these children directly. Through us, but with no resistance offered. I like that idea," she concludes. "It gives me hope. If I can be right before my Father in Heaven, perhaps His guidance to our children can be unimpeded. Maybe then it can be His work and His glory in a very literal sense." 

This last week I was able to get a new companion and to my surprise I received two! I am in a three pack! I love three packs so much! They are a lot of fun, hard to teach and do things sometimes but you learn and grow from them the most. My two companions are Sister Pickup and Sister Leininger. Sister Pick up is from Wellington, Utah and is one transfer a head of me. She is such a great missionary and I am so lucky to be able to work with her. She is excited to work hard and to find those of Heavenly Fathers children who are ready to except this Gospel message. Sister Leininger is from South Ogden, Utah.  She came out a transfer after me. She is so amazing and loves missionary work and loves to work hard and do all that she can to please the Lord. She went to BYU for a year before her mission. I am so very lucky to be able to serve with these two sisters! I have so much to learn and I think they are going to help me a lot! 

The Alderwood Ward is doing well! Brother Coles is doing amazing and I am so excited to be able to get to be a long with him for the ride. He has taught me so much and I am so thankful I am here for it all! This week the weather has been really nice. We have been able to talk to a lot of people, share our testimonies, and hear their stories. We have a lot or appointments set up for this next week. Hopefully Satan decides to take a vacation and maybe it could be this week. I think it would be beneficial for quite a few people. We met this couple from the Bronx, New York and they are super cool! Eddie and Cocoa, they are super nice and love learning about all different religions. They are going to be going back to New York soon but said that they would love to talk and to hear more. Oh side note, we got NEW PAMPHLETS!!! They are amazing! So this is what we used with them. One of the pamphlets has The Family: A Proclamation to the World in it. This is what we used to contact them and it worked like a charm. Well it worked because of Heavenly Father, but it was awesome! I have such a strong testimony about sharing truths that we know like that. These are the things people need to hear! 

This week is going to be super crazy and busy and going to fly by so fast. I am so excited to be able to work with my new companions!

I love you all so much and hope that you have an amazing week! 

Happy Mother’s Day!