Monday, February 29, 2016

Power and Authority

[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!]

Hey everybody!

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?!'
'Look!!'
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.

Loves!
Signing out...for the LAST time,

-SISTER Jessica Jackson

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Power of That Book!

Hey all my favourite peoples!

Germany is still beautiful!
First off, sorry about last week, my email decided not to work, hence all the confusion. But once again, the Spirit was at work and things were resolved. I had sent a lot of emails, but apparently, most of them didn't make it through and I was stressing out because I wasn't hearing back from anyone about some important things I wanted to take care of. My Mom noticed that she hadn't seen anything come in from me and at first was inclined to think it was because I was busy writing an application I had to work on, but then the Spirit gave her a little nudge and told her to log onto my email account (she has access to all my stuff) and there she found the fifty billion messages I tried to send and was able to work with me on clearing it all up. So hopefully you all got the emails from last week. I love that God is there, even in the little things.

I gave a talk yesterday! It was my last week in this little Münster branch! Ahhh! Next week is Stake conference, so we'll all be meeting in Dortmund. It was sad, but also really cool because I didn't realise that people really had gotten to know me well enough to miss me. I wasn't here all that long. I talked about Alma and his people and the burdens they carried and how they were strengthened by the Lord and how that is sometimes why the Lord allows bad things to happen, so that He has the chance to strengthen us, so we can stand as witnesses of His might, and ultimately, so we can learn to rely and trust in Him. Our greatest trials can become our greatest strengths if we use them to come closer to God. “There is nothing more hard, nor is there anything more spiritual and strengthening than a humble prayer on the weary knees of weighed down soul.”

We've had a rather normal, busy week of missionary work. Lots of appointments and awesome people. We're working with a girl named Katharina who is the most incredible person I have worked with on my mission. We're really not doing much besides providing the information, she's just so ready. Her boyfriend is a member and was the one who introduced her to the church and he is also awesome. He's been coming to missionary functions, like district meeting and zone training so he can prepare to go on a mission and he is a hundred times more in tune and on fire than most of the missionaries! Ah! I just love these people! Katharina is going to get baptized. This I know. She's prepping herself to talk to her family about it and is willing to do what she needs to even if her family doesn't approve. She has so much faith. Pray for her and her boyfriend! They both need the love and support!

Another old church
Ann-Marie is busy as ever, but wants so badly to make progress. We're just doing our best to Spiritually uplift her as much as possible to help her through her trials. Our lesson with Alex was way cool. He had actually read in the Book of Mormon like we asked and then we spent the lesson talking about why the Book of Mormon is so important. I shared a personal experience of when I received an answer and comfort through the Book of Mormon. It acted again as a testimony to me of the power behind that book, remembering my experience.

We also met with our investigator named Victoria. She hadn't really been progressing because she wouldn't read in the Book of Mormon because the language in it was too hard. So we decided that we would sit down with her and read the first chapter together and answer any questions she might have. By the end she said she understood and really had enjoyed it and wanted to keep reading. We talked a little bit more, closed up and said a prayer, and then just as we were headed out the door, she quietly said, "I usually feel the Holy Spirit in lessons with you guys, but today was the strongest I've ever felt it."
“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”   -   Moroni 10:5
As we talked about with Alex, the Book of Mormon is the most true book ever written and the Spirit bears witness of that truth. I felt that confirmation again after talking with Victoria. It has incredible power and can change lives. I know it changed mine.

I love you and hope you have a wonderful week! Y’all are the best!
Signing out until next time!
-Sister Jackson

Germany is still beautiful. :) Funny how the near prospect of going home reminds you of that.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Loves!

Looks like she met up with Sister Peterson
Happy belated Valentine's Day!

I literally did nothing special for Valentine's Day, unlike last year, but we've been busy and focused on other things. But we DID have a wonderful potluck after church yesterday! For being a tiny branch, there was a TON of food! And somehow suddenly a ton of people as well...funny how food brings people flocking. It even works on Germans. Nah, mostly it was because it was our Branch Conference yesterday. I'm really starting to realize how much I'm gonna miss this quirky little branch here in Münster.

We got in touch with Ann-Marie! And we met with her and she's still doing her best to follow God and make changes. That was one of the most touching lessons ever! She said so many inspiring things, she even quoted scripture! From Doctrine and Covenants! She's never read Doctrine and Covenants! It was so cool! Her heart is in the right place and I've never had an investigator with so much fire and desire to change before. She is truly incredible.

Street Chalk
I don't have anything particularly exciting or new to talk about. I had my “leaving” interview with President Stoddard on Wednesday. That was a cool experience because he said a lot of similar things to what my Mom, Dad, Brian, and even Ann-Marie said to me as advice and support. It was so neat to see the amount of love and compassion he has for his missionaries. Of course, I also got the dating and marriage talk as well...weird. But he had some really good advice and tips to help me with future stuff.

Speaking of which, future stuff is calling me and I can't take too long on this. But I wanted to share the scripture our area presidency chose to be our focus this year, which I think is beautiful and goes along with a lot of the thoughts and feelings I've been going rough these past few weeks.

“And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.” ~ Omni 1:26

Teaching the Gospel on the sidewalk!
'Give your whole soul...' We talked a lot today about sacrifices and the sort of hardships we go through. But the difference that I've discovered in getting through these hardships is in our hands. God will take away our burdens or He won't. But what is it we have to take away? I've learned that as we hand ourselves over to Him, not just our mistakes and sins, but our hopes and dreams too, He will accept that as an offering and bless us more than you can imagine. He gives back a thousand times more than we could ever give Him in the first place. We just have to choose Him first. And we do that by giving our wills over to Him. By not allowing ANYTHING, no matter how good or bad it is, to get in the way of our devotion to Him. I don't feel like I'm explaining this well, but this is the beginning of my understanding of the law of consecration.

I love you all. So does God. We're tight now, He and I. And I can say that I KNOW He loves you. I've felt how immense His love is, and you are not excluded from His divine and loving parental care. Trust Him.

Add caption
Loves!
Signing out until next time!

-Sister Jackson

Monday, February 8, 2016

Message from the Spirit: Shut up and Listen!

Hey everybody! 
Karnival time in Munster
This week really has been all over the place, it's kind of hard to explain exactly why. Let's just say we experienced some dramatic ups and downs this week. 

One of the huge ups was with an investigator named Victoria. I had never met her because she was really busy through the holidays and then things kept on getting in the way on both ends. But we finally met with her on Tuesday! She's really amazing and has a lot of faith. Because we'd been dealing with a little sickness that day, we weren't super well prepared for the lesson, so Sister Kemlage said a beautiful prayer right before we went in to help us have the Spirit there. I don’t really remember much of what was said, which I've learned is a good indication that the Spirit was teaching and not us, but I do remember the Spirit being so strong as we bore testimony of what we can do to show our faith. So now I feel like we have set really good expectations with her and she will be able to progress. 

We've lost contact with Ann-Marie and we are really worried about her. Please pray for her. 

The really cool thing that happened this week though was with Alex. I had been dealing with some stresses before we went in to teach him, so I was trying hard to focus and bring the Spirit in. And then, in the appointment, I pulled out my iPad and the screen was cracked. My brain cracked. I was like 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!' (Internally of course.) But I tried to keep calm and didn't react a lot and just kept moving. But it kind of tipped me over the edge after a week of stress and I wasn't all there for that lesson. I regret to say I didn't handle it so well, and communication between me and Alex was down to zero. And then Sister Kemlage said 'can I say something?' And it was like WHAM, Spirit to the face! 'Shut up and listen to your companion!' She ended up needing to switch into English, which I thought was going to be a problem because he doesn't speak incredible English, but then she told her conversion story....and the spirit was SO strong. I just sat back and tried not to cry as I felt very humbled and grateful for my amazing companion. Alex also felt the spirit so strong, the language wasn't a barrier, and he promised to come to church, which is a HUGE deal. So he was at church yesterday, which was really awesome and Sister Kemlage and I both learned a lot from the experience. Like how sometimes, you just got to stop talking and listen to the Spirit.

Holiday time for dress up and partying
Well, as for my iPad, fortunately only the screen was damaged and because it wasn't my fault, President said I wouldn't have to pay the 200€ to fix it. Whew!! That's why I had a panic attack, because I thought I was going to have to pay for it.  But really, this week has been crazy, and hard, but I've learned a lot from it. Honestly, never before have I felt as close to the Lord as I have this week. He's helped us both out a lot as we've run into a lot of random stresses that kept on piling on top of each other (like my iPad breaking). 

I feel like, for the first time in my life, I've been able to just....talk to Him. On the good and the bad days. He really does listen, in fact, most of the time He's just waiting for us to talk to Him. Not as some scary, faraway unknown thing, but as a regular father that just wants to hear about how our day went. What's more relieving than spilling your guts out to someone after a rough day? Do it with God. He's the best listener, He knows exactly how to make us feel better. 

I love you all! Y'all are awesome! 

Signing out until next time,
-Sister Jackson

Me and Sister Kemlage in the city center. This is right before the huge German holiday, Karnival where everyone goes and gets drunk and then dresses up and parties. There's also a huge parade. That's Münster for you!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Dusseldorf, Dentures in Doors and Domo

Hey everybody!

This week has definitely been an adventure. So, first off, we got permission from President Stoddard to go to Düsseldorf for our p-day on Monday! Woohoo! I got to go to my old area! I hadn't been there in almost a year, so it was really cool to see it again. Our adventure started before we even got out of the train station and it was pretty funny. The thing you gotta understand about missionary problems is the badge. People see it and automatically assume that you work for the place/people that they are mad at or need help from...most often that would be Deutsche Bahn (the German train system people thing). So any time a missionary is in a major train station, they run the risk of someone stopping them and asking for help because they think you're a Deutsche Bahn worker. (I've also had people demand stuff of me in department stores because they think I work there.)

So this one random person, who didn't speak English or German, asked us in the Düsseldorf train station for help, and then in the middle of us helping this person, another lady demanded our help to know how to get somewhere and so we ended up running all over the place helping strangers with my limited memory of Düsseldorf all within the first 10 minutes of pulling into the station. But after that, we headed to the church building and ran into a bunch of missionaries there. It was cool because I also got to see one of the Düsseldorf Elders' old investigators, Bernard, and he actually remembered me! Then we headed into the city and did some shopping. It was weird because I felt like I had never really actually left. There was no really big overwhelming moment of 'woah! I'm back in Düsseldorf again.' Then we walked down to the Rhein river and that was super happy for me. :) I love the the Rhein, it reminded me of good times with Sister Wood and also of the Mississippi River when I used to live in Iowa. Aside from that, everything was pretty normal. :)

At least until I went on my split with the STL's in Duisburg.....story time..... :)

It started out as a fairly standard day. The sun was shining and the cool gentle air rebelled against the winter month of January, teasing the three sisters with a small taste of Spring (Duisburg is in a trio right now, so that's why there were three of us). Sister Roderer, Sister Johnson, and Sister Jackson set out for another day of meeting with interested people, knocking on doors, talking with people on the streets, and general service. Little did they expect the strange events yet to come.

They set off in search for the proper address of a friend with whom they had had little contact, and with a little time to spare, they considered it worthwhile to stop and help poor souls along the way. Sure enough, they were met on their merry way by a shuffling figure not too far ahead. It was an elderly woman, using the wall of the apartment building next to her to support herself. Jumping into action, Sister Johnson reached out a helping hand. 'May we help you?' She asked.

The woman gratefully accepted the offer and handed her purse to Sister Roderer as Sister Johnson grasped the lady's arm and began walking her along the sidewalk.

'I went out to meet someone, but they didn't come. They said they would come, but I've been waiting and they're not here.' Sister Jackson looked at the old lady as she spoke and a suspicious feeling crept into her heart. The way the woman spoke, denoted that perhaps she was not all there. Her suspicions were soon to be confirmed piece by piece throughout the encounter and as they worked on bringing her home. 'House number 96 sounds right. The name is Lehman.' The lady leaned in close to the names on the doorbells of house number 96. 'No Lehman. Maybe I got it wrong. You always have to check when you are old.' Eventually, contrary to Sister Jackson's beliefs, they did manage to find the name Lehman. Maybe I was too quick to judge. 

'Oh...keys. I don't have keys. Do you have keys? You must have keys. I don't have keys.' Never mind. And that is when the real adventure started. They commenced to dig through her purse very thoroughly to find the elusive keys...with no success. She continued to mutter in confusion. 'Maybe they're in your pockets?' Suggested Sister Roderer.

'No, no. The only thing in my pockets is this.' She pulled out....dentures. Dentures? Okaaay.... 'Maybe they will work. Do you think they will work? I think they might.' The sisters watched in amazed bewilderment as she proceeded to shove the dentures into the keyhole.

Eventually, a kind student who lived in the building allowed this strange company in and they waited in the stairwell as she called someone who would be able to help out. Off and on for about 20 minutes, the disoriented lady would ask if any of the sisters had her keys, and repeatedly they responded 'No, we don't,' Then a mail man came and she asked him 'Do you have my keys?'

'No.' He responded.

'He's lying! He has keys! You can see them in his pockets! No one ever helps me or lets me in!' She exclaimed.

Finally, after a long wait, a woman came. 'Oh, Henny, there you are! Did you go for a walk by yourself again?' She turned to the three sisters 'Thank you so much! She has dementia. Where did you find her?'

And yeah, that basically concludes the story.

Other than that, this week has been fairly normal. Still working with our people. We've started working with an old Croatian man named Domo and he's the sweetest thing ever. He is so genuine and wants to understand the gospel. We had a really cool experience with him. Normally he prays with recited prayers, but during our split, Sister Kemlage and Sister Terry encouraged him to say his own prayer, with his own words and thoughts. Afterward, he simply closed his eyes, put his hand to his heart, and said 'this is good. This feels good.'

It's amazing the power of saying a sincere prayer. Not just reciting something, but actually talking with God likes He's your Father. Because He is! He is our Father and wants to hear what we have to say, not just a monotone, same thing everyday sort of thing (we all do it, including me.) He knows us personally, so we should be open and personal with Him.

I love this church so much and the amazing foundation it has given me in my life. I would be so lost without it. I really have no idea who I'd be because this gospel is everything to me and has been such a driving force in my life that I would be deflated and lifeless without it.
God is there and He loves us. Never forget Him because He has never forgotten you.

I love you all so much! 
Signing out until next time!
-Sister Jackson


Monday, January 25, 2016

Birthday Bashes and Bellersens

Hey Everyone!
Bday Queen Sis Kemlage, Jessa, Eva
I don't feel like this week has been anything extraordinary, but we did have a birthday this week. Sister Kemlage turned 21!

I knew she really wanted to have a special birthday because it's important to her and because her birthday last year was terrible. Basically the missionaries in her district showed up for a couple minutes, said it was boring and ditched her and her companion. So I was determined to make it special for her....but I was drawing the worst blank ever as to what to do.

So I called Elder Ireton when she was napping and he was like, 'don't worry, I got it from here.' He called all the people that Sister Kemlage is closest to and organised a party for Monday night. Basically it was us, the Elders, the Bellersens (an awesome member family in our branch. They're a young couple with a four-month old baby named Nino, and the best people ever!), and our investigator, Eva. The elders called Luckie, but said he wouldn't be able to come. Sister Kemlage knew something was happening, but didn't know everything.

Bellersens in front - Elder Cocker and Luckie Maori greeting
So we spent that p-day with the Hamm sisters and towards the end, Sister Kemlage and Sister Landeen took off to get some food, so sister Hadfield and I blew up a bunch of balloons and put up a couple decorations that Sister Bellersen had brought and Sister Bellersen worked on getting the food ready. (We did everything at the church). 

We threw all he balloons in the hallway for Sister Kemlage when she got back, took some pictures of her playing with them and then helped finish the dinner. Eva showed up as a surprise to Sister Kemlage and the Hamm sisters had to leave to go to an appointment. Elder Ireton made the best cheesecake ever and we had a blast eating, and talking and taking pictures.....then my favourite part.

Luckie showed up. Sister Kemlage screamed so loud. She was so happy he showed up and made her birthday complete. We played a game and then finished up. We stayed behind to clean up the church and Sister Kemlage and Elder Ireton got into a balloon fight...it was hilarious. I felt like I was back at home with my siblings. Don't worry, I recorded the whole thing. :)

Then on the morning of her actual birthday, I got up a little early, stole her iPad so the alarm wouldn't wake her up and quietly made her breakfast. I made her a breakfast burrito. It's her favourite. :) She was so confused when I walked in carrying a plate and cup and a bottle of ketchup in my pocket.

B-day Balloons - Sister Kemlage
We helped Ann-Marie paint a room in her apartment (that was so much fun!) And she is still doing awesome. We met with Alex again, and we're just praying that he will be able to understand the importance of there being only one true church on the earth and how he can find out which one it is.

We also have been meeting with a Croatian man named Domo. He's funny. He has a sincere desire to learn about the gospel. We weren't sure at first, but after teaching him the restoration simply, he really seemed to grasp it well.

We also met with the Bellersens this week. We actually meet with them every week, but this week was cool. Bruder Bellersen was asking about finding that balance in responsibilities in the church. He was mostly talking about the talk that President Uchtdorf gave in this last General Conference. Living the gospel simply. He was wondering how to do that when it seems like even the important things in the church are taking too much time. I didn't have any immediate answers for him, so I said I would look more into it. Boy, that was a really good personal study. I came to the unfinished conclusion that the list of responsibilities has to be broken down into two categories. What are the divinely directed responsibilities instituted by God? And, what are the responsibilities instituted by man/church leaders? I made a decent list under both and every single one was really good. But we need to start with God and what He has asked of us. And then our families, and then everything else. If ever all the other things in the second list, the stuff put out by people as opposed to God, ever disrupt your responsibility to your relationship with God, or your relationship with your family, then learn to say no. First comes God and His simple teachings, then comes family and family relationships, THEN comes church functions and activities. Sometimes we get so caught up in the busy work of the church that we bury the simple beauty of the gospel. 

"This beautiful gospel is so simple a child can grasp it, yet so profound and complex that it will take a lifetime--even an eternity--of study and discovery to fully understand it."
    ~President Uchtdorf.

Remember the basics. Read in the scriptures daily. Pray in morning and night and with your families. Go to church, not because you get to see your friends, or get to eat food that someone decided to bring as a treat, but rather because you get to take the holy sacrament. Simply understand that God hears and answers your prayers. He is there and will bring you the peace you need to accomplish all the responsibilities asked of you. Remember that He is only one prayer away and He knows exactly what you can and can't do and He will direct you in prioritizing your life. Even if your 'musts' list feels heavier than you can manage, remember, God always provides a way for us to accomplish His commandments.

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”   ~1 Nephi 3:7

My favourite scripture as a child. :)

I know God knows your righteous actions and is sure to bless you for them. Don't get discouraged, just simply go back to the basics.

I love you all!

Signing out until next time!
-Sister Jackson



Dear Mommy, 
Sorry, I'm such a demanding daughter! Psh, I send you a whole email about all of my little things and questions, but don't take the time to tell you how much I love you. Well, I love you!! You're the best Mommy ever! I really am excited to see your face again! I am sad that Lynnae and Brian can't be there, but it will be okay. I'll see them soon enough.

I love you! And I promise, I'm not being too trunky. You just hear it all because you're my mom. I actually think my comp is more trunky than me. I'm trying to keep a good balance of not bothering people with the whole 'guess what? I'm going home!' thing, but I'm also trying to prep myself for it. So many missionaries try to play it off cool and pretend like they're not excited to go home just because they think it will look bad, but then they get blindsided when it actually happens. There's nothing wrong with being excited to go home and see your family! It's not a sin! Just as long as you don't stop doing missionary work. Which is not in my agenda. Missionary 'till the end. :)

Love Jess


Pictures: 
The birthday party crew! That's Bruder and Schwester Bellersen and baby Nino in front. And don't mind Luckie and Elder Cocker in the background, Luckie likes doing that to Elder Cocker because it's the traditional Maori greeting and Elder Cocker's from New Zealand.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Last Stretch on a Branch of Hope

Hey peoples!!

It's Snowing!!
So today starts off the beginning of the end for me. Today is officially the first day of my last transfer. You know what that means? SIX MORE WEEKS OF AWESOMENESS!!!

I am actually really excited for this next six weeks. Things are really happening here in Münster and in he mission in general. We're breaking mission records on a weekly basis and so many people are finding the truth of the gospel. Our elders here have several people that have accepted the invitation to be baptised and we're working with some amazing people that are headed in that direction. I feel like there's this strange energy buzzing around right now as things are moving forward. This branch here in Münster is coming to life. For the longest time, they've struggled with unity and willingness to do much. They haven't seen a lot of success and have remained small and kind of without hope. But things are changing.

First Sunday of this year, Fast and Testimony meeting. Every single person who got up, which was pretty much everybody, expressed a sincere desire to change and to grow and to reach out to those people that don't come to church, or the missionaries' investigators that come to visit. They are so full of hope and desire to grow. Ann-Marie showed up and everyone was so excited and loving! The Elders had so many people come last week and the whole sacrament meeting was so warm and happy feeling as people greeted them and welcomed them. This week, a member family that hasn't come in a while, came and everyone was so happy to see them. This little branch is blossoming and I'm so happy to be a part of that.

My comp is dead .... tired
Ann-Marie is making so much progress! She is amazing! She figured out something that takes some people--members--years to figure out. Sometimes when we are looking for an answer to our prayers, we already know the answer. We are just sometimes not wanting to face the answer we get and keep on demanding another one. Ann-Marie is showing such amazing faith in courage in recognising the answer she already has and acting on it. She knows what she needs to do and is telling the Lord that she is willing to do it. Pray for her that she will have the strength to follow through on her decision. Satan will do his best to beat her down and tell her she can't or shouldn't, but I know she can. 

We met with Alex twice this week and that went so well. He loves the Book of Mormon, has been reading in it and has a sincere desire to pray to know if it is true. Pray that he receives this spiritual confirmation, because he wants to come to church and get baptised when he does.

This is the time that really counts. It's the last few seconds on the clock, the ball is in my hands and what I do with it will decide the outcome of the game. My game. My mission. I want to make the most of it. I feel like the work of God is in a headlong sprint now, racing toward the end. Yeah sure, some responses are a little delayed...Germany and Europe in general are some of those slower to respond missions in the work of salvation. But now they're shaking off the dust and picking up stride. Things are moving faster here than ever before. People are listening to the word of God and accepting it. God is picking up His elect and almost literally throwing them in our paths. He knows exactly who is ready to be baptised and He's bringing them out of the woodwork. He wants His work done. And He wants his servants there to assist Him in this last hurrah before the end comes.
“And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come.”    Jacob 5:71
I'm on the last stretch of my mission of doing this work full-time and the world is on its last stretch before the time that our Saviour comes again. I know that God loves us. I know that He loves me. He's told me so. I want to be worthy of that love as I do my part in His vineyard both now and back home after my mission. He loves each of His children and is calling them home...and many are answering. I'm seeing it here in little Münster Branch. People are ready and this is a time of hope for us here.

I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!
God bless you and be Happy.

Signing out until next time,

-Sister Jackson