Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 65: Happy Halloween!!!

Before I Die.......
Happy Halloween to everyone! I can't believe the Holidays are already here. It seems like it was just yesterday I was in Lynnwood picking up trash on 164th Street. Hahaha but time must go on I guess. 

This last week has been so crazy and so much fun! I love being a missionary and getting to do missionary work. On Monday of last week we got to go to the Military FHE and it was a lot of fun. We were able to see a lot of families that we never really get to see because we aren't allowed to go on the base, darn. That is okay because we got to see those families and have dinner also! WIN if you ask me. 

Elle and Hermana Blake
Tuesday I was able to go on exchanges with Hermana Blake! I love going on exchanges because I ALWAYS learn sooo much. Hermana Blake has been on her mission for six months so she knows a good amount of Spanish. Every time I go on exchanges with a Spanish missionary I am so jealous about the fact that I don't know Spanish and they do. But then they teach me a little bit and so I feel better! Although most of our appointments canceled that day Hermana Blake was such a trooper and had the most positive attitude the entire day. I am so grateful I get to serve a long side her and both of her companions, she is in a three pack! 

Elle and Sister Leininger
Tuesday night is when I would normally go back with Sister Perry to Oak Harbor but because the next couple of days were a little crazy we weren't able to. Zone meeting was the next day and Sister Leininger and I were asked to instruct at not only our zone meeting but also Arlington's. So Tuesday night I went with Sister Leininger to Mount Vernon so that we could plan for our instructions.  Sister Perry, Sister Brush and Sister Barr all went back to Oak Harbor for a couple of days. 

Treats from Elle's training lesson
So Wednesday at Mount Vernon zone meeting we instructed on the importance of using your time wisely and having effective studies. We decided to use Elder Bednars talk from October 2011 ensign where he talks about Lehi’s dream. It went really good and so right after our instruction we had to drive over to Arlington so we could give our second instruction which was about the importance of using: How to Begin Teaching. How to Begin Teaching is my favorite and so I was excited for this. Well it decided to rain and so we were doing our best to get there on time but it didn't work out. So when we got there we parked and ran inside and it looked like their role play was over and so we were okay. But we still felt really bad. After the meeting was over though we went out to lunch and it was fun to get to know a lot of missionaries that I don't even know. 

Elle and Sister Bergamini
Sister Leininger and I stayed together that day because Wednesday night we were going to be exchanging with the Camano Island Sisters, Sisters Matthews and Bergamini. I stayed with Sister Bergamini on Camono Island and we had a lot of fun. I didn't know Sister Bergamini couldn't drive and so when the next day came and we were getting ready to go out and work she handed me the keys and told me that I was going to need to drive. Well I had left my Tiwi card (Tiwi is a unit that is in all of the missionary vehicles that in order to drive you have to clock in so it knows who is driving.  Tiwi also says when you are speeding it tells you to check your speed and if you push the gas to hard or slam on the break it gives you an aggressive driving, but you can't drive unless you have your Tiwi card.) In Oak Harbor because normally I wouldn't be driving because it’s not my area. Well we had to call Sister Matthew and Sister Leininger and ask them to head to Oak Harbor to get my card because I didn't have it, lesson learned for sure. We had plenty to go before they got here and so it worked out. Sister Bergamini is so cool. She has only been out for three weeks and so it was a lot of fun to get to work with such a new missionary again!

Finally Thursday night I got to go back to Oak Harbor with Sister Perry, it was so nice to be home.

Elle and Sister Leininger preparing for their training lesson
Saturday morning Sister Leininger and I had to go to Stanwood and do a companionship study with the Stanwood Sisters. Sister Plank, Krummanachar and Moody. So we drove there and met with them and then afterward we stopped somewhere where we could figure out our travel plans for the last couple of things that we needed to do. That took longer than we thought it was going to....but it is all figured out! 

This last week has been crazy but I am so grateful that I get to work with so many amazing missionaries! They teach me so much! 

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Week 64: Why Won't We Die? Because We are on the Lord's Side!

Liana and I wanted to share to this week’s blog entry an experience we just had concerning Elle.  Last night we were in the living room when Meatball said he received a text with a picture of Elle. The text was from our former Bishop in Spanish Fork, Bishop Monte Marshall. He is now the Stake President and had Stake Conference this weekend. Elder Dube was the visiting General Authority and had mentioned he was just in the Everett Washington Mission.  Elder Dube had a picture of her along with some other sister missionaries.  Bishop Marshall’s text said, “Elder Dube came to our Stake Conference this weekend. He said that he was recently visiting the Washington Everett Mission and took this picture. He said that he interviewed a few of the missionaries and Sister Jackson was one. He was very impressed with her. He said she is a sister training leader and impressively spiritually mature. It made my day to hear about her and to see this picture. I thought you’d like it too.” This was such a surprise to receive this and to hear how well she is doing. Elder Dube was the visiting General Authority a month and a half ago at our Stake Conference, what a small world. We are thankful to our Heavenly Father for watching over Elle and placing people in her life to watch over her.

Picture taken by Elder Dube at Elle's MLC.

This last week has been CRAZY busy!! I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am for all of the blessings that Sister Perry and I have begun to receive. It is crazy because everything we do wouldn't happen unless Heavenly Father had his hand in this work every single day. I have done my best to really take a step back to see His hand in all things.

For starters Elder Dube (Click here to meet Elder Dube) came and toured the mission!! So at MLC on Sunday we were able to talk with him and all of that fun stuff. Then on Tuesday was the day that he was to be up in the North part of the mission. The meeting started at 8:30 am and so we had to leave early, but it was soooo worth it! He taught us among many other things about the importance of teaching from the scriptures. Everything that came out of his mouth as he taught, he was able to tie to a scripture; it was so cool!! All I could keep thinking is that I wanted to be able to do that! Then at lunch he came and sat at our table and was asking us where we were from and about our family. I was sitting by him and so I was last. Come to find out he just came from Stake Conference in Hobble Creek ward and knew President Wilding. So we were talking a little more and I had told him that I grew up in Spanish Fork and he asked where I lived. I told him it was up by the Canyon. He laughed and said I am going to Spanish Fork this weekend after this. So he was looking up the information on his phone and I couldn't think of what our Ward and Stake name was in Spanish Fork! Ahhhh. So after thinking and thinking I told him that I thought it was Canyon Ridge Ward and Stake. Well that is where he was going! Haha, he said the Stake President was President Marshall and I laughed and told him that he had been my Bishop. So he took a picture of all of us and said he was going to show President Marshall.

After the Conference I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Elder Dube and it was AMAZING! He asked some very good questions that made me reflect back on my testimony. I can definitely say he has been called by a prophet of God. 

Sister Skousen and Elle
We had an exchange with Sister Thompson and Sister Skousen and it was so much fun!! They are amazing Sisters and have such a strong conversion to the Gospel. It is so much fun to be able to work with other missionaries who love and care about missionary work as much as I do. I definitely learned a lot and I am so grateful for the exchange. Don't worry because we didn't go to the "zoo" this time! On the exchange Sister Skousen and I were here in Oak Harbor and we had an appointment with one of our investigators, Debbie. Sister Harris said that she could come to the lesson with us and so we were super excited. The lesson we had was on Repentance. This lesson is one that people either are okay with or the get frustrated, it is very interesting. Well Debbie was okay with it and she was getting really excited, so we in invited her to be baptized on December 3rd and she said yes!!! We were so excited. Sometimes it is all you can do not to jump up and down. She has such an amazing testimony and has many trials in her life. She has MS and things are very difficult for her but she won’t make any excuses. She does what she can but only does her best. She is amazing!  She told us she wanted to get rid of her small entertainment center and so we told her the YSA Elders could help her move it the next day.

Elle said, "I think I killed her".
Friday (the next day) we went and had our lesson with the YSA Elders and Brittany. We decided since we all are teaching her the lesson it would be good to meet before and decide what we are going to do. Well somethings happened and the Elders were running late. Brittany wasn't feeling well and so she was going to cancel. We ran in to stop her and was just talking to her while waiting for the Elders. They got to the lesson at the same time her ride did and so we decided we would have the lesson at her house. We were walking to our cars and I asked what we were going to be sharing and the Elders said they didn't know. We hadn't prepared anything and so we were talking about possibilities and didn't have anything. Elder Carver suggested we say a prayer. Good idea!! So we did and we were all thinking. I looked at Elder Stewart and asked him what he was thinking, because if it was what I was thinking then it was meant to be. I told him if he was thinking what I was thinking then we would know what we needed to share. I was thinking the Atonement. He hesitated and we were all looking at him. HAHAHA, he said he thought of the scripture Alma 7:11. Click here to read Alma 7:11 Bingo! The spirit!! So that is what we shared and we were all so united in that lesson! It was incredible. 

Elle's apartment food storage that she can't even eat.
After the lesson we were heading over to Debbie's to move her small entertainment center. Brother and Sister Dayley have a truck and said they could come and get it and take it to the DI trailer! Best members ever!!! As we were walking to the car to the left of us were a big group of people. We all kind of just looked at them and were going to go our merry way but I started to feel guilty, so I shut the car door and walked over to the people and started to talk to them. Lucky for me they all came over and we set up appointments, with all of the people! BLESSINGS!! We ran over to Debbie’s and were now running late and lucky for us it was all okay. We moved it into the truck but the Elders had an appointment they had to run to so they couldn't help us unload. We didn't know what we were going to do, so we got to the church and I decided we were going to go knock on people’s doors and ask them if they could help us move it. I was so excited to knock on doors because I never get to knock on the door for anything other than sharing the Gospel. Once they realized we needed their help they were a lot more willing. HAHA

This week has been amazing and it helps to have a phenomenal companion. I love you all so much and hope you have an amazing week!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Week 63: And on the 6th Day...There was even More Rain!

Elle sitting in the police car.
Well you are all probably wondering if I survived the rain storm, and I did! I probably wouldn't be writing you if I hadn’t but everyone and I mean everyone on the Island was freaking out about the rain storm that was suppose to be coming in. A rain storm did come in and it really wasn't that bad, it only lasted three days. The heavy rain only lasted three days because it has rained pretty much every day for the last little bit. I keep telling Sister Perry 'Welcome to WASHINGTON' I don't think she thinks that it is very funny anymore but I do! I think  the worst part was that the winds got pretty high but even then I din't think that it was that bad. So all is well here in Zion!

Sister Foster and Elle at Mission Conference

Transfers where this last week and Sister Perry and I were safe and able to stay here in Oak Harbor. Sister Belliston was transferred to the ArMar YSA ward in Marysville! and she is companions with Sister Foster!!! What the! How lucky is she, I miss that companion (Sister Foster) so much! But it has been good, we have been able to get to know the ward a lot better and to be able to create friendships with them! I love missionary work!

This last week we were walking and we met a man named Joey. He was super cool and we talked to him for a second before he had to run but he told us that we could come back. So we took advantage of that and went back talked to him at the front door. We shard the Restoration with him and he shared his testimony and he was surprised that we had more things in common that he thought we would have. There were some things he wasn't sure about and so he said why don't you go and do your homework and I will do my homework and we will meet here at my house tomorrow at the same time. We were like OKAY!! A couple of questions he had was he had never thought or heard that our Heavenly Father has a body of flesh and bone like we do and that Jesus Christ was a prophet. So we did our home work and we went back and come to find out he is a Bible basher. I do NOT believe in bashing but I do think it is important to show him our answers because he had asked us to do our homework. In the end he said we were just going to have to agree to disagree. I think he was getting a little frustrated but that is okay, it was a good reminder to me that not everyone is ready to learn about the gospel when we want them to be but it is all in the Lords timing. Good news is that he kept the Book of Mormon, he told us that he wasn't going to read it. One day he will he will pick it up and thumb through it and maybe something will spark his interest. I think that was for sure a successful day. 

MacKenzie our 10 year old investigator is on date for Nov.19!!! She is so excited and she is progressing so well. At the beginning of every lesson we ask her to remind us what we talked about the last time that we met and she is always able to tell us almost word for word what we had talked about. It is so cool to watch how the the Gospel really does help and change lives, even if you are just a 10 year old girl. 

Elle's zone at Mission Conference

One of our Less Actives Brittany who we have been working with is suppose to be in the YSA ward but wont go. We go and see her once a week and teach her and she is always there. But when the YSA Elders set up an appointment she always without fail stands them up. So one day we decided to surprise her and the Elders showed up to one of our appointments with her. We decided, the best thing to do was that. Sisters were going to have to go to the lessons she has with the Elders so that she stops canceling. So far it has been so good, it is really weird to have five missionaries in one lesson though (the Elders are in a three pack). 

Sister Foster, Sister Meininger, Elle, and Sister Herr. All
companions of Elle.
MLC was Yesterday and it was so much fun! Elder Dube is here and he came and talked to us. What was really cool is that a lot of the things that he talked about were things that I had been thinking about all this last week. Funny how the spirit works like is true! The mission conference starts tomorrow and so we are all going to be able to learn from him and figure out ways that we are going to be able to continue to improve our teaching and missionary work. Cool fact is that Sister Leininger is my STL companion!! What!! Heavenly Father has been to kind to me. I am still companions with Sister Perry but Sister Leininger and I will do STL things together. Exchanges and meeting and ect. I was so happy to find this out, I am so secluded here on the Island and so it is really nice to have something familiar. I was also able to see Sister Foster at MLC is STL companions with my MTC companion Sister Herr! I am so grateful for the friendships I have made out here in Washington. Some of them are going to last for a really long time and I am forever grateful for that!

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

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Week 62: Another Great Week!

Elle and MacKenzie

What a great week we had! I am so grateful to be a missionary, no matter how hard it might be! This last week was a little slower than normal. Sister Belliston got the flu and so we had to make sure we took care of her while doing the work; it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be but we did it! 

Elle living the ganster life in the Flintstone car

The beginning of this week we met with our investigator Justin. Justin doesn't have any religious back ground or really any religious knowledge for that matter. So we were making sure to start with the basics. Teaching him about who Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are and the role they play in our lives. He has so many good questions. Things he has thought about for a long time. The amazing thing is there are answers to pretty much all of his questions! The Church is TRUE!!! I am so honored I have the chance to teach him. This last time we went over there we discussed the Book of Mormon. We read a little from it and answered questions and all of the normal things. It was really funny in the middle of the lesson he said he thinks it is cool this church is based here in America, he think that is pretty amazing! Hahaha,  but we shared Moroni 10:3-5 at the end of the lesson and we sat in silence for a second and asked him how he felt and he said that he felt warm inside. YES!!! He is feeling the spirit! We jumped on the opportunity to tell him that is what the spirit feels like. He was so excited that in the closing prayer he prayed and asked Heavenly Father if He would help him feel the spirit more so that he can know that He is there. I am so grateful that the spirit really does answer our questions and helps us feel the love our Heavenly Father has for us. 

Sister Belliston, Brittney, Sister Perry, and Elle

On Thursday we got to go and chop and stack wood again!! I am finding that it has become my favorite pass time. It is so much fun and really a lot of work, but that is what makes it so enjoyable. That same day Sister Belliston was the worst she had been and so I stayed in the apartment with her and Sister Perry went out with the Senior Missionaries and went to all of our appointments. She did so good, I was so proud of her! She is so quiet and shy and she did such a good job! They were able to make it to all of our appointments! I am so thankful for three packs!

Elle canning chicken at Sister Phelps

We also got to learn how to can chicken. We had told Sister Phelps that we had never canned chicken before or even heard of it and she laughed and said, "Aren't all of you from Utah?!" So the other night she had bought a ton of chicken and had us come over so that she could teach us how easy it was and it was easy. I still think it looks like a science experiment but it got the job done and now they have chicken on hand for when they need it. 

I am so grateful to be a missionary! I was thinking back to the beginning of my mission and I have changed so much. I know who I am and I know what I stand for and there is not one person that can take that away from me! I love you all so much and I hope that you have an amazing week! I love you!!
Service Project

Sister Belliston and MacKenzie

They may have made a tent in their apartment

There's a little frog if you look close

Oak Harbor, Washington

Elle in the Flintstone car

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 61: Prophets, Seers and Revelators!

Elle in Oak Harbor
I am so full of gratitude from this last week! I am so grateful that we have the chance to hear from Prophets, Seers and Revelators!! We have one of the greatest truths that was lost in the great apostasy. We know that God has a prophet on the earth today and his name is President Thomas S. Monson. He leads and guides this church with his Apostles and they hold the Priesthood keys that will never be lost or taken from the earth again! How lucky are we! 

Sister Belliston, Elle, and Sister Perry

A lot of talks from Conference were so good. I loved how much they were focusing on the basics. That we need to have a bed rock of Faith in Jesus Christ and that we have to make sure we are saying our prayers daily not weekly. We MUST repent and how special of a gift that is. As we study the Book of Mormon and strengthen our understanding of it we will be able to strengthen our testimony of Joseph Smith. I know the spirit has testified to us of things we can work on, improve on, and become better. Whatever the spirit testified to you....DO IT!!!-Because the Lord will bless you and help you. I loved in the closing prayer the guy said that we would study the things that we learned.  We have a lot to learn before next Conference to uphold that promise that was made to our Heavenly Father. 

View from Widbney Island

 Monday of this last week was just the best start to our week. All of our plans canceled. I have found that I am so grateful for agency and that we have the ability to choose. Sometimes though I wish I could take people agency away, just for a second. However it worked out okay because we had a member call and ask us if we could come over for a last minute FHE. It all worked out! 

Elle enjoying being a back seat passinger

 Wednesday we got to instruct at District Meeting, it was really good.  We talked about the importance of bearing testimony to all those that you talk to. There are so many scriptural examples of people who shared their testimony every time they opened their mouths. I hope I will be able to bear my testimony for the rest of my life, that it will be something that becomes a part of who I am. A testimony is something no one can take from you, or tell you that you are wrong, and that none of it is true. Because you are sharing a personal witness that you have received! How amazing are TESTIMONYS!!! We then had a District lunch and that was fun.

Fog on Widbney Isalnd

 Our investigator Des might be a member. How awkward is that!  How have we been teaching her for so long and not been able to figure this out? I don't know. She has shared with us that she was baptized and when we asked her to what church she was baptized into she didn't ever give us an answer. Then we were putting her on date for baptism by someone that has the Priesthood authority. She told us oh I have been. We explained that we are essentially the only Church with that Priesthood authority and she said, "I know." After talking she might be a member but if so her records are lost, so we are looking for them!

Sisters hanging out in the mission car

 We were out knocking doors and weren't really having any success. We were ready to leave to our next appointment but Sister Perry said that she would like to knock on one more door. So she pointed to the door that we were going to knock. A man by the name of Randy answered the door. We shared with him our purpose and that we know that there is a prophet on the earth and so on. We set up a time for us to come back the next day where we were able to share the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He asked so many good questions and at the end said that he was so grateful that there were people like us who were out sharing a message on Christ but he was not interested in learning more. We left Randy’s house and I wasn't sad at all. One day missionaries will knock on that door again and he will be ready to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It just wasn't his time at the moment, but Heavenly Father will continue to prepare him and he will be able to make covenants with our Father which is in Heaven.

Thursday we got to go and chop wood! I am realizing more and more every day how much like my mother I am. It felt so good to go and chop wood and stack it for a couple of hours, I felt accomplished. I have found that I find so much happiness when I am out doing yard work and stuff like that. I owe all of that to my mom for teaching me how to work hard and do things right the first time! I get to go and chop wood and stack it again this Thursday! So excited! 

I love you all so much and am so grateful for the knowledge I have of my Savior. I know that we are all sons or daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves us. So much that he sent His Only Begotten Son to die for us. I hope that you all have such an amazing week!