¡Hola a todos! My name is Hermana Allison Jackson, and I've been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Nicaragua Managua South Mission. :) I opened my call on March 7, 2015, and I will report to the Provo MTC on July 22, 2015. I am so excited to serve my brothers and sisters in Nicaragua. :) I had the opportunity of living in Querétaro, México with my family when I was a sophomore and a junior in high school, so when I read that I was going some place that was Spanish-speaking, I honestly cried. I love the Spanish language, and I know that God has allowed me to have so much exposure to it. My mom, Angie Jackson, will be managing this blog as I am in Nicaragua. But, if anyone wants to talk to me, you can reach me and firstname.lastname@example.org! I would love to hear from all of you! :)
So, as most soon-to-be missionaries do, I want to bare my testimony to all those who happen to read this post. And, it won't be anything fancy because I know that my words cannot even begin to explain the love I have for this Gospel, for my Savior Jesus Christ, and for my loving Heavenly Father; but, I will try my best to express myself adequately. I KNOW that God lives. Let me repeat myself. I know, without any doubt, that our Father in Heaven lives, and He loves us. Unconditionally. He loves us so much that He sent down His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to perform a perfect, eternal, atoning sacrifice. Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, and Elder Brother, paid the penalty for all of our sins. He loved us that much that He willing sacrificed His entire life for us. He saw each of our faces as He knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane; but, not only did He see each of our faces, He personally felt each and every one of our afflictions, infirmities, pains, weaknesses, and guilt. And, because He felt each of our own personal sufferings, He understands. He knows how to succor us, to comfort us, and to love us when we can't seem to muster enough of our own love to love ourselves. Both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want nothing more than for us--all of us--to return to their presence to live with them and partake of the wonderful blessing of eternal life. I know that God is merciful. I know that God knows that we each make mistakes, yet He loves us enough to forgive us if we accept, and have faith in, Christ and His Atonement, sincerely repent, are baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and do all that we can to endure to the end. God will not leave us. We are His children, and He is our loving Heavenly Father.
I know that Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Him as two separate beings, later calling Joseph to be a prophet. I know that God answers prayers, and not only because Joseph Smith prayed and receive a personal answer, but because I, too, have sincerely prayed and received answers to my prayers. I know that Heavenly Father takes the time to listen to every single prayer uttered by His children. He knows each and every one of us, and He has a plan for each individual here on earth. A year and a half before I could even serve a mission, all the way up to this very second, I have had multiple medical issues that have made me doubt my ability to serve a mission. BUT, I knew that without God, I am nothing. I had to trust in His plan for me. So, after many nights on my knees, pleading to know if I was on the path that He wanted me to walk, I received my answer. Heavenly Father wanted me to serve a mission. I know that He knew my desires to serve, and "if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work". I am not serving a mission because my parents or priesthood leaders wanted me to. I am not serving a mission because all of my friends were, or because I wanted to experience something new, or because it was the "cool thing" to do. I, Allie Jackson, personally decided to serve a mission because I love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, I love this Gospel, and I want nothing more than for others to experience the same joy that the Gospel brings me. I know that it will be one of the most difficult, most trying, and most demanding experiences of my life. And, I also know that without Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, I could not do it. I could not leave my family for 18 months if I didn't know that this church was Christ's true church. I simply could not do it. But I am, because in my weaknesses is Christ's glory able to rest upon me. I know that I alone am not capable of completing the tasks that the Lord has prepared for me unless I lean on my Savior Jesus Christ. I have weaknesses; the Lord gave them to me so I may be humble and have faith in Him, allowing Him to make my weaknesses strong. I am not serving a mission for myself, but for Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and my brothers and sisters whom God will put in my path to teach the everlasting Gospel. I know this Gospel is true. I know that it has the power to change lives if we humble ourselves before the Lord and willingly submit to His will. He loves us and wants nothing more than for each of us to reach our divine potential.
I know that Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s living prophet on the earth today. He receives revelations from God, and with that revelation, He guides this church. I know that the priesthood has been restored to this earth once again. It is the power of God given to man to act in His name. It is powerful. It is real. I know that the blessings of the temple are far more precious than anything this earth can offer. I know that “God helps those who help themselves”. If we do all that we can to strive to live up to the standards of the Gospel, Heavenly Father will bless us. Again, He loves us. We are His children. He cares about us. He has a plan for me, for you. Don’t give up. Don’t lose faith. Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose sight of what’s really important. Christ is our support. If we lean on Him and apply His perfect Atonement in our lives, we can do all things the Lord sees fit for us to do. As I said before, my words are incapable of explaining my true feelings, but if there is anything I would want anybody to take away from my testimony, it is this. I plead with you, always remember, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you and know you. I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
“The Lord shapes the back to bear the burden placed upon it”. –Thomas S. Monson