Monday, February 6, 2017

Week 80: Last One!

This last week we had a lot of blessings and miracles happen. It was crazy because Wednesday at District Meeting we were doing a role play, Sister Lindsay was the missionary and I was just a random person on the street. She introduced herself and I didn't know what my name was so I picked 'Rochelle'. We did the role play and evaluated, re-practiced and then finished. Side note is that I LOVE ROLE PLAYING!!! Then later that day we went to visit MacKenzie but she wasn't home. So we thought that we would get to know her neighbors and the first door we knocked we met a very nice man that wasn't interested. He was getting ready to shut the door but his wife came to the door and opened it all of the way and said, "Come on in! I'm Rochelle and I need some help." Umm.....WHAT! What was your name....oh ya that is right Rochelle! The same name that I used in the role play during district meeting. Holy crazy! We were able to help her and have a time to go back this next week and see her again.

At the baptism for Aariah and Calvin
Saturday we had another baptism, for Aariah and Calvin. They are so amazing and have been wanting to be baptized for a very long time. But because of family choices and circumstances there was never an adult that would allow them to do so. The Elders have been working really hard and it is so cool to see how the gospel and the spirit change an individual....or multiple individuals. The church is true and those who are willing to listen and pray to know for themselves and really want an answer are able to know for themselves.

Elle the day she arrived at the Seattle airport and her first day
in the Everett Washington Mission
 The time has come that I am now writing my last email. It is really crazy for me to think that I have been on my mission of that long. I feel like it was just yesterday that I sent home my trainer and she was so upset to be leaving. I didn't understand why she would be sad to have to go home and see her family. At that point I had only been on my mission for three months and would have gladly been able to switch her so that I could go and hang out with my family again. It is interesting to be able to look back on my mission and see the times where I grew emotionally and spiritually.

Elle in Lake Stevens, Washington
In Lake Stevens my first area is where I learned that I could do it without my family. That it is good to have a support system but that I was strong enough to be able to go out and talk to strangers, to live with someone that I didn't know very well and have to learn how to communicate with them. Where I learned what it took to be a missionary and was just doing what I knew I was supposed to. That is where I was pushed to what felt like my limits but was always able to make it through. This is where I enjoyed being a missionary and was excited to be able to live my dream. That is where I was running off of borrowed energy from Heaven.

Elle visiting the Seattle Washington Temple while
serving in Lynnwood, Washington
 Lynnwood my second area, there was a lot that happened there. This is when I was able to experience being with a companion that did not see eye to eye with me. Where I had to learn to put my own thoughts and feelings aside so that I would be able to work effectively with her. That is where I realized missionary work was a lot more than just going through the motions and doing the everyday thing that I was expected to and supposed to do. I questioned what I was doing and why I was there. Did I really have a testimony strong enough to carry myself for 18 months or was I just wasting everyone's time? I spent a lot of time on my knees for the first couple of months that I was there. That is where my relationship started with my Heavenly Father. He had always been listening but I just had never really sincerely been talking to Him. I could feel His love and could recognize when He was talking to me and when He was trying to help me understand things. I started to turn to the scriptures for more than just spiritual questions but also for my temporal needs and concerns. I grew to love the scriptures and started reading them because I wanted to and not because I was expected to. I learned how to have fun while doing missionary work and that being serious all of the time was not as enjoyable as I may have thought it was. This is where I learned who I was and what my purpose was as a missionary, but most importantly that I am a daughter of a Father in Heaven who knew of my divine potential and was just waiting for me to realize it for myself. This is where I started to study the life of Christ and wanted to know more about the Atonement and repentance. I learned what it meant to love the people, that people are not numbers but that they are children of God and that He loves them and respects the fact that not everyone will be ready for the Gospel at the same time. This is where I realized that I wasn't running off of borrowed energy from Heaven but that I was running off of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

Elle at Deception Pass while serving
in Oak Harbor, Washington
Then Oak Harbor my third and last area. This is where I continued to study the life of Christ and started to hunger to know more and more about the things that He did, the miracles that He performed, His personality and why He loves us so much. I learned what it meant to strive to become a better person every day, and why we need to apply the Atonement and repentance daily in our lives. I had to learn to put my pride aside and to be able to accept help when it was needed. That I have a lot of talents but some of them are not as strong as other ones and that there are people all around that that have strengths where I have weaknesses. But I can work on my weaknesses to make them strengths, that I can become perfect in something but not in all things. This is where my patience was tried the most and I really had to take a look at myself and wonder how could I become more as the Savior, but that I couldn't figure that out alone but turned for my Heavenly Father to help me see where and what I could do to align my will with His will. Most importantly I learned how the spirit speaks to me, and that when I follow the prompting no matter how crazy it may seem something good always comes from it even if I don't see the results right away. 

Sister Adrielle Liana Jackson
Everett Washington Mission
July 29, 2015- February 13, 2017
Washington is where I learned that I have a Heavenly Father that loves me and that I have a Savior who died for me and for my short comings. That there isn't anything I could do that would change that, and when I do mess up that it is okay because they are just waiting for me to put my faith in to action and to turn to them for that help that I need to relieve me of the stress, guilt, and pain that I am feeling. I know that the Book of Mormon is the work of God and that it is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. That the Bible and the Book of Mormon go hand in hand and support and uplift each other. That anyone that reads the Book of Mormon will grow closer to God, and that it is the only book on earth that has the fullness of the everlasting Gospel. I know that prayer is so important and that there is never a time that we shouldn't pray. That as we allow God to be a part of every decision that we make we will be headed in the right direction. I know that repentance is essential for our happiness and that we need to be worthy to partake of the sacrament but that it can help us to come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the time that I have had to serve the Lord and to be a missionary. I am grateful that I will now be able to come home and continue the things that I have learned now. 

I love you all and will see you on Monday. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 79: Count Your Many Blessings!

Elle on her balcony in Oak Harbor
Where to even start! Every week I don't think it can get any better than the previous week, and well I am always proved wrong.

Elle with Sister Leininger. The last time they will see each other on her mission.
 Tuesday we went on exchanges with Sister Leininger and Hoch. I got to spend the day with Sister Hoch here in Oak Harbor! We had a lot of fun and she is an amazing missionary. We are defiantly lucky to be able to have her here in the Washington Everett Mission. 

I don't know if I told you but two weeks ago we went to visit a less active and she wasn't home and so we decided we were going to knock a couple of her neighbors while we were there. We knocked about four doors and no one answered so we decided we were going to leave. While we were walking away to our car I stopped and turned around because there were only two doors left. After those two doors we would have knocked all of the doors. I realized how silly we were for not knocking them while we were there. So we did the very last door first...nothing. Then we did the second to last door...first knock nothing second knock nothing. As soon as we were about to walk away from the last door, the door we had previously knocked prior to the door we were at the screen door opened. We looked over to see someone walking out of their home and there was nothing. Along with there being no person there was also no wind, and we had shut that door too. Naturally  I started to scare myself and think of all the weird scary things. We decided that God wanted us to knock that door again because there was someone there that needed the Gospel in their life. So we went and knocked the door again and this time we heard a dog bark, a second knock another dog bark but no answer. So we left but knew that we were going to come and knock that door again.

Elle and Sister Hoch
Fast forward a week and we were on exchanges and I stayed in Oak Harbor with Sister Hoch. We had just finished helping a member of ours pack her house for moving and we were supposed to go and see someone else but I decided I wanted to go and see the "creepy door" people. So we drove over there instead and guess what!!! The lady who lived there, her name is Rochelle was outside with her dogs!! So we went over and started to talk with her and after a good conversation she became a new investigator. I am so grateful for the spirit and for the direction we are able to receive as help and direction for our Heavenly Father. 

JJ also was able to get baptized and confirmed this last weekend! It was so fun to be able to see his excitement. He has been working so hard so he would be able to be baptized and be able to join the church. He definitely had his trials this last week before the baptism. Satan was relentless but he did it and he recognized the church is what makes him happy despite what family or friends might be telling him. What a testimony builder that was for me! I am so proud and happy for him. 

Wednesday we were blessed with the opportunity to be able to receive some further instruction on our missionary work from the Missionary Department. They had a broadcast on Wednesday in place of District Meeting. They gave us some further instruction from the broadcast last year about "Teach Repentance, Baptize Converts" they focused more on the Repentance side of it, which I loved!!! I had just had several amazing studies about repentance! We were also told more about the new schedule that was taking place, Sister Lindsay and I had been doing it for about a month and so we were a little more familiar with it. They gave us some examples and so that was nice to be able to see that we were doing things right, well as right as we can. Then they changed our key indicators!!! WHAT!!! instead of reporting on 12 numbers we will only be reporting on four. Baptisms, Confirmations, On-dates, Sacrament and New Investigators, that was effective right away. I have enjoyed all of the changes they have made to missionary work because they are receiving continual revelation on how to better help others come unto Christ. 

 I also had my exit interview this last week with President Wilding. It was good and I am grateful for the chance I had to be able to talk to him. Not that I wouldn't but to be able to spend that time specifically dedicated to going home. 

Our breaks didn't sound too good and I checked the break fluid and it was getting low and so we had to go in and get our car looked at. When we walked into the shop it was nice to be able to smell tires again..hahaha what can I say I like the smell of tires. Well after being there for almost two hours the car finally was done and we were able to go. I know that that kind of stuff takes a long time which is okay but I started to get ancy and I didn't like being in one place for that long....I am in trouble. But it has to be done, I am not going to break Heavenly Fathers car. 

I spent this last week studying "The Sacrament Can Help Us Become Holy" By Elder Peter F. Meurs. I felt like I needed to appreciate the Sacrament more then I did and so I wanted to understand it a little better. I was asked these two questions that really got me thinking, 1. When you look at the Sacrament table what do you see? 2. What do you think you ought to see? That got me thinking a lot. Elder Bednar said, " The Sacramental emblems are sanctified in remembrance of Christ's purity, of our total dependence upon His Atonement, and or our responsibility to so honor our ordinances and covenants that we can "stand spotless before [Him] at the last day." Each of us as members are responsible for the spiritual enrichment that can come from Sacrament meeting. But as we "increase our preparation for and spiritual participation in the ordinance of the sacrament" we will be able to receive an over abundance of blessings. 

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Week 78: Repentance

Sister Missionaries!
This last week was very humbling for me.. I feel like I am always being humbled but that is a good thing because it means I see when Heavenly Father is trying to teach me something! I guess that is not a good thing but a pretty cool thing! 

We found this really cool girl named Jazmin. We were trying to go out and meet new people that we haven't met before or didn't know who they were. There is a lady named Jane that the missionaries have talked to in the past and neither of us have been able to meet her. So we had put her in our schedule for the morning but ended up not being able to stop by her house. Later we were kind of in the same area and decided that we should just stop by. It was more like the spirit had decided that we were going to stop by and so he had to tell the both of us so that we would listen to the prompting. Sister Lindsay suggested it and I laughed because the thought had just popped into my head. Coincidence... I think not!! Have learned that there is no such thing as a coincidence, God had a plan and it is not going to be frustrated. So we drove to her house and there was this girl outside of it. So we hurry and parked the car and went to talk to her as fast as we could. We met Jazmin, she is Jane's daughter, so we talked to her a little bit and she said her family had talked to missionaries before but the she herself had never listened. So we talked with her about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she said, "That is interesting because science says......But I think I would like to know more." Umm what!!! What just happened! She wants to learn more and she asked if she could!! Blessing! 

Trying to jump start the car.
On Wednesday we got a call from our less active member and she said that her car was dead and so that she needed help moving it. When we got to where she was we tried jumping her car, that didn't work and we didn't know what we should do. So what do we do? Well we can't call our dads so we call our District Leader. He answered and said that he would be there in a minute and when he got to us he looked at her car. He was a mechanic before his mission and so he knew a little more than we did...but only a little bit ;)  After a while of trying to figure out the decision was made that we were going to push it to her apartment and that it was on even ground. So the four of us got behind the car and pushed it toward the hill. The four of us pushed the car down the road to the stop sign. We didn't realize that it had a flat tire until we were pushing and it was a little harder than it should’ve been with four of us. We waited until traffic was cleared and we pushed it down the hill. The car went faster than we did and so were running after it all the way to the bottom to the next stop sign. Waited for traffic to clear again so we could get in the middle lane and we just were pushing it. When we finally got to her apartment an officer drove by and asked if he could help, we were already there. So that was crazy and unexpected. 

Flooding in Elle's apartment.
But then the next day we were out working close to Deception Pass and we got a call from our District Leader. He was dropping something off for us at our apartment and so we didn't know why he was calling us. We answered and he said when he got to our apartment there were some fire fighters knocking at our door. So he gave them our number and was calling to tell us to get back to our apartment ASAP. We were 20 min. away so we hurried as fast as Tiwi would allow us to. When we got to our apartment there was an ax outside the door. The firefighters had to break in because our apartment was flooding and we are on the second floor. So we walked in to an apartment full of fire fighters and we were the only girls...there was no third female... Needless to say we felt a little uncomfortable. The craziest part was when there was only one guy and us (uncomfortable!). This is when all the alarms in my brain were going off. But what do I say, "Oh sorry officer, we are missionaries and we have a set of rules. So because of these rules you cannot come into our apartment because there is not a third female." Um no, I can't do that, he still is going to have to do his job. Doesn't mean I wasn't uncomfortable....because I was!

 Interviews are this week and President said he was going to asks us about things that we have learned about repentance. So for the last week I have been studying Elder Renlunds talk titled "Repentance: a Joyful Choice". I learned a lot of amazing things as I have studied his talk along with a couple of other ones. President Hinckley said, "Growth comes with correction. Strength comes with repentance." Which I think is so true because when we repent we feel indescribable joy, and this joy is a result from repentance. Elder Renlund talks about how real repentance involves faith. Faith in Jesus Christ, faith that we can change, faith that through Him we can avoid our mistakes. He said that this kind of faith makes His Atonement effective in our lives. In Alma 53 we read about the Ammonites, this is right before the 2,000 stripling warriors. In it these fathers had been converted and decided that they were going to bury their weapons of war because of how much blood they had shed. Well now they have family's to "provide, preside and protect". So for a second they consider digging up their weapons of war do defend their families. Luckily they had a wise priesthood leader, Helaman, who knew that breaking a covenant with the Lord is never justified. So he is able to round up all of their sons to protect their families. Satan knew that it would be so hard for these fathers to have to sit back because of the past choices that they made. How vulnerable they must have been. Satan tries to use previous guilt to lure us back in. But we have to remember that he has no power over a righteous individual. But President Packer said, "The Atonement, which can reclaim each one of us, bears no scars. That means that no matter what we have done or where we have been or how something happened, if we truly repent, [the Savior] has promised that He would atone. And when He atoned, that settled that.... The Atonement....can wash clean every stain no matter how difficult or how long or how many times repeated." We learn in 2 Nephi 2 that "men are that they might have joy", repentance is a choice. In other words we can choose to live a joyful life! Repentance is not a punishment. It's the hope filled path to a more glorious future. Elder Scott said, "The joyful news for anyone who desires to be rid of the consequences of past poor choices is that the Lord sees weaknesses differently than he does rebellion. Whereas the Lord warns that unrepented rebellion will bring punishment, when the Lord speaks of weakness it is always with mercy." Weakness brings us closer to god whereas sin drives us away.

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

Elle's District Leader under the car trying to fix it

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Week 77: Realizations

Sister Lindsay and Elle at Deception Pass

This last week has been an interesting one. First off we were sick, I mean really sick and I didn't like that at all. I have never asked Heavenly Father to make time go faster until Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; and the time did not go faster by any means. The Elders in the district were really helpful in making sure we had everything we needed. So I consider myself very blessed and lucky to be where I am at this moment. I think though I was supposed to get sick because there were a couple of things I learned from this experience. First I learned I truly can't run faster than I have the strength. Sometimes there are just somethings that I can't do and this is okay, because what I can do at that moment is a WIN. Because there are people around me who can help me and do for me what I can't do for myself. I also was reminded of how lucky I am go have such an amazing mother. I would really have loved to be with her for those couple of days but obviously I was unable to. This whole sickness situation made me love her even more! 

Sister Lindsay, Des, and  Elle
We were able to get a lot of things done despite our limitations. We had another baptism on Saturday for Des. Her son was supposed to be baptized as well but was unable to because he had slipped and drank some coffee the day before. Not going to lie I didn't want to say anything because of how excited he has been and all the arrangements that were made. But I realized that there is no justification for breaking a covenant that you make with God and if JJ didn't realize this now then who's to say that he wouldn't go back to it after he was baptized. So we talked to him and he is going to have to wait a little bit longer. I think it was a good lesson for him but an even better lesson for me. There is no justification for breaking a covenant and I now know this now even more then I knew it before. Something really cool about Des is she is doing this kind of all by herself. Her husband was not really thrilled about her taking the lessons or getting baptized. But she decided she knew it was true and it was something that she was going to be doing for herself and not for him. He was not too happy about her baptism day but the ward has fellowshipped her and her son so well and there is a support system for her here that she doesn't have anywhere else. There is a reason people are led to the church at the time they are in their life. The Church is true and there isn't anyone or anything that is going to change this. 

Deception Pass

We had Zone Conference on Wednesday, one of the days that I was sick. This didn't matter because Sister Lindsay and I had to instruct. It was one of the funniest things in the entire world. I am so grateful for the Spirit and the fact that the Spirit is the real teacher and not me because I probably looked really pathetic up in the front of everyone. We talked about the importance of understanding our divinity and who we were as individuals. We can learn through the Spirit all of those things we need to know and at the time we need to know them. In the talk Elder Scott says, "WIth all my capacity I encourage you to discover who you really are. I invite you to look beyond the daily routine of life. I urge you to discern through the Spirit your divinely given capacities. I exhort you to prayerfully make worthy choices that will lead you to realize your full potential.." I thought that was a really good invitations. He talks about how there are somethings that we can do that will help us understand this. One of the first things that he tells us is to study the First Vision and gain a better understanding of the Restoration of the Gospel. The second thing that he invites us to do is to read the Book of Mormon because we want to and not because we have to. Also that we must remain worthy. "When you really understand who you are, it is not difficult to resist Satan's temptations. Then he can't thwart the development of your true potential....You are of a singular generation with exceptional potential. No wonder Satan wants to cripple that potential by tempting you to violate the laws of God. He knows that he has no power over a righteous individual. Yet he is a master at making sin appealing to the undecided." Then I love this part, "If you have made bad choices, repent now. Remove any such barrier to your progress and happiness." Repentance is such an amazing thing and it is something that we can use and take full advantage of right now so that we will be prepared to stand before our maker one day.

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

Deception Pass looking East to the moon rise

Sister Lindsay, Des, JJ, and Elle

Deception Pass

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 76: Good Morning!

Sister Lindsay, Elle, Jordan, and Aaron

This week we have been super blessed to be able to witness as many miracles as we did!

First of all Aaron and Jordan were baptized on Saturday and confirmed in sacrament meeting on Sunday. They are so amazing. I was truly blessed to have been able to be the one that got to teach the two of them. They have not only strengthened Sister Lindsay's and my testimony but they have strengthened a lot of members testimony's too. We were watching them at church and you can’t help to think, "They are going to be okay." 

Sister Lindsay, Jordan, Aaron, and Elle
MLC was this last week and we were introduced to the new schedule for missionaries. We will still get up at 6:30 am, but between 6:30 am - 10 am is the only time we will have to work out, eat, get ready, plan for the day and have personal study. Everyone will be out of the apartment by 10 am. Then we have half an hour for lunch and after lunch we will have companionship study for half an hour. If you are in training or learning a language you will have training for 30 min and then language study for 30-60 min. We will still have dinner for an hour and then when we come in at 9 pm we have the rest of the evening to ourselves. This is different then what I have been doing my entire mission but if this is what the prophet has asked us to do...we do it. 

Sister Lindsay, Sister Roberts, Sister Herr, and Elle
 Honestly I don't feel good and think I have the flu. So this letter is short and going to end here. I love you all and hope that you stay safe in the snow! 

Elle said this is Sister Roundy's daughter

Elle, Sister Lindsay, Jordan, Aaron, and the Elder who baptized them.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Week 75: Humility it Real

Happy New Year!!!
It is crazy to think that I am going to have to start My Plan... Not going to lie I am not looking forward to it because that means the end is nearer than ever before. But I am grateful that my leaders have come up with something to help make my transition into the real world better and a little easier then it has been in the past for other missionaries. I consider that a blessing all in itself.

This week has been full of blessings and calling to repentance. But that is okay, because that means that I am continually learning and becoming a better disciple of Jesus Christ. Also, I don't know if I just didn't know how to recognize blessings before and it has become a new thing or if the Lord is blessing me more...but it is AMAZING and I love it and don't want it to ever stop!

This last week was a good week for Sister Lindsay and me. The Lord's hand was in everything that we did. It was cool because when I slowed down and was still it was easier to recognize the blessings that Heavenly Father was giving us then just thinking that it was all coincidence. Because if there is anything that I have learned it that there is no such thing as a coincidence. 

Elle's District in Oak Harbor.
This last week in District Meeting we talked about the Atonement. How that when we repent and use the Atonement we don't have to carry that weight on our shoulders and allow life to weigh us down and really not enjoy ourselves at all.  We were told to come with our favorite scripture about the Atonement. Wow! That is a hard one. So I spent some time in my studies finding my favorite scripture about the Atonement...or one of my favorite scriptures and I came across Alma 34:8-17 which says, "8.And now, behold, I will testify unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of His people, and that He shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it. 9. For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made. 10. For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice." 
You can look up the rest because its long but you need to! It is so good. 

Elle and Sister Lindsay wearing their face masks.
We had a couple of baptismal interviews this week. Aaron and Jordan are doing so good, they are scheduled for baptism this Saturday!!! There were a couple of others scheduled for baptism but because of some things that have happened they won't be getting baptized this weekend. I was so sad because I have been working so hard and so long with these people and everything was set up and working but they made the last call. It was a good reminder to me that you can't "make" people ready for the Gospel but that it has to be on their time table. I'm sad about it but I know that God has a plan and I don't want to do anything that is going to frustrate God's plan. All I can do is follow the promptings of the spirit and pray.  

Elle and Sister Lindsay with some New Years Eve planning.
So the lesson that Sister Jackson learned this week: Don't give up on the Lord and think that it's not going to work out. Saturday we just needed one more new investigator so that we would be able to hit standards. We were limited on time and were not going to be able to spend as much time out finding and talking to people. So we planned some good potentials in to our schedule and had breakfast with our bishop, then we were out. We were going to find a new investigator if we had anything to say about it. Lunch time was coming and we still didn't find anyone. We decided that before we could eat we needed to knock at last five more doors. So we did and we were able to get into a couple of them but came out with no new investigators. More people knew what we believed and kept the pamphlets. Which is a win all in itself but was not what Sister Jackson wanted. First thing that I forgot was that this work is not what Sister Jackson wants but what is in Heavenly Father's plan. Went for lunch, then went to a couple of lessons. By the time that dinner came we still didn't find a new investigator. I wasn't discouraged but we had worked so hard and talked to soo many people and nothing came from it. I can just see Father in Heaven shaking his head and saying repent Sister Jackson, repent. We walked into dinner and our members had invited a non member family!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! All in all we were able to teach the Restoration and invite them to learn more. They said yes!!! Them made it to the last two hours of church! Blessings!!! I never should have thought that we were going to be forgotten...because we weren't. I just needed to align my will with Heavenly Father's and take a step back, and know it was all going to work out. Lesson learned, check that off the list of things that I need to do.

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

Week 74: Hey! Merry Christmas

Elle and Sister Lindsay
It was so nice to be able to talk to everyone yesterday! I was reminded about how amazing my family is! It is so nice to be able to talk to everyone and to hear your voices, it takes me back to before my mission when we would all sit around and laugh and do many other things. Heavenly Father truly did bless me with the best. 

So let's see.... I feel as though I told you yesterday everything from this last week. 

This week we were blessed more than I could have ever imagined. At the beginning of the week we went on exchanges with Mount Vernon 1st Sisters, Sisters Leininger and Hoch. I may never get away from Sister Leininger... ha-ha! That is okay because I like her a lot. I actually got to go on the exchange with Sister Leininger! She came here to Oak Harbor with me and we had a blast. It was just like old times....last transfer. But we got a lot of things done which is so nice.

Elle, Sister Lindsay and some Elders.
While we were on exchanges we went and saw one of our members and shared a message with her. We then helped her with her dishes and while we were doing to dishes we were having fun and singing some songs. The member was walking around, next thing I know her granddaughter was saying, "Can I get some help...please?" I turned around the member had blacked out and her granddaughter had caught her. This happens often so don't worry, it was just the first time that I had seen it. So I went behind her in case she fell backwards when she came out of it, and she did and I was able to catch her. It was the craziest thing in the world. But everything worked out and now if I ever am in that situation again...I pray I'm not, I will know what to do. 

 Wednesday we went and helped a member move. It was a blessing because we got everything done in like three and a half hours. I was very grateful for that! I have noticed the members always ask for the Elders to come so that they can do all the "hard" things. I am always a little offended when this happens because I can do a lot of the things that the Elders are asked to do. We don't need them. But I don't do that because I am supposed to be a lady. So I stand back and don't do what they would like the Elders to do. One day I will be able to and I will be so happy!!! But at the end of the move they gave us some live crab that was caught fresh that morning from the sound. I was excited and nervous all at the same time, I mean I like seafood and I mean this is as fresh as it is going to get. So later that night Sister Lindsay and I started to boil some water to cook the crab. The hardest thing was picking them up and getting them in the water.

 After a few screams and panics we finally got one of the three in! Whew!! One down two to go... Well the same thing happened for the next two. Luckily we got it on camera! After they were cooked now we had to clean them.... this was my least favorite part. Ugh, I think that I will never become a cook. We cleaned them got all of the meat out and well had bit and I couldn't eat anymore. I think I have been traumatized. We didn't touch it at all but that does okay because that means there will be more for other people that want it. 

Watching the Movie 17 Miracles.
We had the half mission conference for Christmas this last week! It was amazing! I love my Savior Jesus Christ so much and am grateful for any opportunity I have to talk about him. President and Sister Wilding are amazing and have done everything they can to help make our mission the best learning experience. #grateful at the very end they let us watch a movie! We got to watch 17 Miracles and it was so good! It was a little weird to be watching something other the then Restoration or the Testaments but I liked it a lot. I did good not to cry until the end and then I couldn't do it any more... darn! 

Elle with Sister Herr her MTC companion.
Christmas Eve was amazing! One of our members invited Aaron and Jordan over for dinner, then we watched some movie produced by the Church about Christ and then afterward they gave them the movie and it was so cool! Brother Glade is the Stake Patriarch and so the spirit in the home is evident! 

Sunday was amazing being able to partake of the Sacrament and remember Christ on CHRISTmas! Also I got to talk to all of you! Happy day! Thank you for all the gifts and the love!

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

This is an email we received from our Bishop Monte Marshall in Spanish Fork who is now the Stake President. He had emailed Elle and she in turn replied back to him. We usually don’t add emails to the blog but we were very touched by Elle’s Testimony and wanted to share it with all of you.

Dear Sister Jackson,

I just wanted to quickly wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  In October, Elder Dube visited our stake and showed me a picture of you on your mission. It made my day.  I have been meaning to write you ever since.  He said he got to interview you and that he was very impressed with how well you were able to articulate how the mission was doing.  What a blessing you are to your mission president and his wife!  I still have a hard time thinking you are old enough to be on a mission.  …getting to the end even!

Attached are some fun pictures I stumbled upon today.  We had some great times.  You are all grown up now!  In the group pictures are several returned missionaries.  I recently released Brody Barton, Chandler Johns, Corina Gunyan, and Josh Bennett. Several others have been home for over a year (Marcus Benhoff, Michael Walton, Scott Johnson, Annie Record, and Jordan Robb). And a few are serving right along with you: Lucas Walton (Washington, Kennewick), Taylor Crandall (Tahitti), Kaleb Robb (Japan).  Jordan Robb and Devan Baucom are happily married. Most of those in this picture are doing very well. What a blessing to have associated with such a remarkable group!

I just looked at your blog.  You are amazing!  Keep up the great work.  I am so happy for you. 

With love,

Your former bishop,

Monte Marshall

President Marshall!

I am so glad that I was able to hear from you. Elder Dube is amazing and it was crazy to find out that he was going to be going to my original home ward! I am so grateful for you and so many others that I was able to learn from and look up to. My desire to serve a mission definitely started from when I was young. 

There are a lot of things that I have learned but I think that the most important one is that I know that I have a Savior who loves me and that I am able to turn to in the time of need for anything. 

I know that He lives. I know that He loves me and that He truly is the Savior of the world. I am grateful for a Father in Heaven who sent His Only Begotten Son to die for me, so that I may be able to return and live with both of them some day. I am grateful for eternal families and for the Plan of Salvation in knowing that there is a purpose in all that we do. I am grateful for repentance and that we are able to continue to work and become better and better every day so that one day we will be able to become even as He is. Most importantly right now I am grateful for my mission. I am sad to think that I am going to have to go home on February 13th and for this chapter in my life to end but I am grateful for the time that I do have. Who I have become and who I will be is owed all to my Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and to the opportunity that I have had to serve a mission. I now know what I want for my future family and many other things.

Thank you so much for the email! I hope that you and your family continue to do well and I pray that you continue to have a good holiday!