[So, here is the moms' final parenthetical word! Who is this amazing woman? I am so proud of her and who she has become. I left in all the European spellings because I can't wait to greet my thoroughly European daughter on Friday! The end of this letter is the best and actually, I am glad there are no pictures this week. Her words express more than a thousand pictures ever could. Thank you all for sharing our incredible daughter these past 18 months!]
This week has been pretty crazy and incredible. I can officially say that I am trunky (no really, my bags are half packed) we also had a lot of pretty amazing appointments, and Sister Kemlage will be training! It was weird because yesterday was Stake Conference and so all of my goodbyes happened last week for the most part. Stake conference was great and I'm glad I got to go. Katharina was also there! That was way cool. She really seemed to enjoy it. I'm really going to miss her and working with her. We didn't really get to meet with her this week because she was in Austria. But at least I got to see her.
Victoria is amazing! So you know how I said that we had a lesson on the Book of Mormon and she finally came to understand it better? Well she actually was super excited to read it and read past the chapter we asked her to read and would have kept reading, but she said she didn't want to get too far ahead without discussing it with us. So she read 1 Nephi 3 and pointed out her favourite scripture from it....yep! Verse 7 'I will go and do'. I was so excited because that was my favourite childhood scripture! The very first scripture that I ever memorised. It's been way cool to see her progress as much as she has been.
We had a really touching lesson with Eva a couple days ago. She hasn't been progressing and we we've been worried about having to drop her, but she needs the love and support. It's been hard to have spirit filled lessons, but we decided to talk about Alma and his people and when they had their burdens lightened, and it was exactly what she needed to hear. She's still struggling and not progressing, but we felt the Spirit and she could feel our love and I hope also the love of God. Ann-Marie has been so busy that I just hope I'll be able to see her before leaving! :/
Our lesson with Alex was pretty cool as we talked about priesthood authority and how it connects to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We've kind of hit a wall with him in that he believes that his church has all of the same things as our church, but we are praying to know what to do from here.
Funny story time :)
So I was sitting, minding my own business when randomly, out of the blue, Sister Kemlage exclaims 'I want some chicken nuggets!'
So I was like 'okay.....do you have money for that? Because I don't.'
She goes and digs through all her stuff, looking for spare change. 'All I need is 1.49. Just 1.49.' But eventually she had to give up because we had nothing at that point.
So she sits back down and looks at me 'Do you think that maybe if I pray hard enough, money will just fall from the sky?'
I'm not going to lie; I had a rather judgey look. She replied, 'No, Sister, you don't understand how bad I'm craving chicken nuggets! I want nuggets!'
So, I realised that I actually had 1.50 stashed away somewhere for something else that I had almost forgotten about, so I decided to be nice and let her use it. But of course I was going to pull a prank on her with it. So I sneakily got it and put it in her coat pocket. But then all hell broke loose. 'I want my chicken nuggets!' And then she proceeded to pull out our jar of 1 and 2 cent pieces to try and collect enough for chicken nuggets. She was frustrating my diabolical plan! So I told her to give it up and get dressed and ready to go. I tried everything g to keep her from grabbing 100 little coins to pay for her chicken nuggets, but man! I have never met anyone so stubborn! Finally, I at least convinced her to stop counting long enough to go get dressed. In that time, I grabbed the 1.50 and walked over to where her piles of neatly organised coins were.....oh, but she did NOT trust me to leave them alone so she kept on vulturing me to keep me from messing up her count. Finally, she looked away long enough for me to throw the 1.50 on top of the pile of coins. She heard it and was like 'What are you doing!?' and came running in. I looked at her with a mischievous look and shoved all her carefully sorted coins into a big messy pile. 'No!' She ran over the coins and started stacking them again! 'We are not leaving until I have the money for my nuggets!'
By this point I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. There was a nice shiny 1.50 on TOP of the pile and she was still counting 1's and 2's.
'Are you stupid?!'
'Why are you calling me stupid?!'
Finally, she saw it. 'Oh, how did that get there?'
So Sister Kemlage and I laughed our heads off about her stubbornness and the hilarity of the whole situation and we both enjoyed chicken nuggets later that day. (She still doesn't know where I got the 1.50)
Wow, I have to admit that this is really weird....I keep on feeling like this is just another letter and that I'm just going to write another one next week. I mean, I probably will write emails again next week, but not in the same way and not from this account.
I honestly am really excited. Excited for the next chapter of my life, excited to see my family, excited to have a change....and I know I've done what I needed to. I will always love my mission and the people I've met here and I would never trade it for anything else I could have been doing for the past 18 months. I have grown to truly love Germany and my wards and investigators and the Germans and I will genuinely miss all of this. But it is time to move forward. A mission is a year and a half for a reason. The Power and Authority to preach the Gospel and make decisions concerning people's souls is an honour and blessing to carry and one that I am grateful to have carried, but it is also a weight. A weight of responsibility and it is okay to set it down after the year and half. God expects us to carry this burden for that time and He strengthens us so we can carry it until the end. And that is what I have done. I didn't even realise that I was carrying this weight until I reached the point of putting it down.
I'm grateful that He trusted me to carry it and helped me to realise how strong I am through Him in helping me carry it to the end. And now my time for carrying this burden is done but I pray that the strength it has given me will help me to carry the burdens that the future holds. I really do know that God is there and that He cares. I have felt in ways that cannot be described. I have tasted of the fruit of the love of God, and oh how sweet it truly is. Come and taste of it also.
I love my Saviour so much. I love Germany so much. I love my family and I love this Gospel. And for me and my experience, love is truth. It is through the love of a Saviour that I have come to know the truth of His teachings. If it weren't for the love I have felt on my mission and even before, I would have no knowledge of His existence. The knowledge of the existence of my Creator came through the love He has shown me.
I love you all so much. I really have no idea what else to say. This is kind of unreal. But I guess, if you’re a missionary, so long, enjoy the time you have here and NEVER GIVE UP. Everyone else, I'll see you soon via skype or in person or over the phone....bis dann.
Signing out...for the LAST time,
-SISTER Jessica Jackson