Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Week 5: Un mes en la obra misional!

In the words of mom:
Happy to report that Allie had a much better week! I talked with Cony (thru FB), a local member that takes the best care of the missionaries, and she said that she would  make sure that Allie ate breakfast! I can tell that she has lost weight but she looks great! Hopefully she will get an electric burner and be able to make herself some scrambled eggs or something. I told her that I wanted photo proof of it! Haha! I have to laugh as she writes because she is getting very spanglish. For most missionaries they spend the first year getting the language down. She's been so lucky to be able to speak it from the get go, fairly fluent, so I imagine that by the time she gets home she is really going to struggle. But that's ok! Since we moved back from Mexico, spanish is not spoken nearly enough in our home and I will welcome it greatly! Thank you everyone for your love and support!! She appreciates it so much!
In the words of Hermana Jackson:
Hey there, everyone in the real world! ;) So much to write! First, on Tuesday I went on divisions with my Hermana Lider (leader), Hermana Carswell. :) She's amazing!! She's Australian, and she is so understanding and patient! She helped me so much throughout this week, and I'm grateful for her Christ like example:)

So, we had a boy who was ready for baptism, Alexander, but when Saturday came around, his mom refused to let him be baptized. We were crushed, but we know that one day Alexander will have the opportunity to come unto Christ!

So we've been teaching a family, Héctor and Jennifer. At first, Héctor was very sure of his religión, but we taught the Restauración (Restoration) and the First Vision, and everything changed! :) We are going back to teach them tonight, so we shall see where the Spirit takes us with them! They are an increíble (incredible) family! :)

Milagro (miracle) of the week: Just as we were going to get investigators for church yesterday, we ran into 3 of our investigators right as they were leaving there house. Needless to say they came to church. ;) They had to leave right after though because they had to go and talk with the pólice because her children are trying to kick her and her grandchildren out of her house. I know she will be blessed for going to Church though! :)

So..Yesling has hid from us the past 3 Sundays.. meaning she won't be getting baptized this week. :( She's suuuuupeer positive and loves the church, she just feels embarrased and judged for listening to the missionaries. :/ We will keep working with her! She's an amazing Young woman!

This Saturday, the north and the South misión will be getting together because we have one of the 12 Apostles coming to talk with us! :D I will let you know more next week on the multimision. ;)

I know this is God's only true church! As I testify all day of the love that He has for each of His children, I come to better understand the love He showed for us as He sent His Son to die for us and to pay the Price for all of our sins. He loves us and is always waiting for us to come to Him. :)

Love you all!! Thanks for the support:)
Sinceramente y con amor, (Sincerley and with love)
Hermana Jackson:)

One month in the misión! ;D

Hermana Carswell from Australia! (She reminds me of Jess!)

Ice cream in a bag!!

Always wet, whether it is sweat, humidity or rain!!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 4: A first for everything!

In the words of mom:
It's weeks like this that will tear at a momma's heart strings! Allie had a rough week. As some of you know, she has dealt with bouts of IBS. They struggle to have time to eat breakfast and dinner and it is wreaking a bit of havoc with her tummy. She told me that her tummy hurts, so she doesn't want to eat, but she knows it's hurting because she hasn't eaten. I made her promise me that she would do more than just one meal per day. I also received a Friend Request from a dear Sister member there in Rivas, today.  She said that she sees Allie almost every day (and that Allie is adorable;) and she loves and supports the missionaries there so much. She calls them every day to see how they are doing. She told me that she would see to it that Allie and ALL of the missionaries would eat better! I am so proud of Allie and her desire to serve and bring others to Christ. I know that Allie will find the happy medium that she needs to get thru the difficult days. We all know that missions are tough! They are NO JOKE! As with many things in life she will have her ups and her downs, and what a better lesson in life than this? Being on her own, in a different country, a different language, living with different companions, facing the daily challenges of working with other people, will all prepare her for whatever lies ahead in her future. She will have served her Heavenly Father Faithfully while strengthening and building her own character. The blessings are two fold. Those who receive the gospel and the lessons that Allie and EVERY missionary learns, will last a lifetime (well... eternity!) Keep her in your prayers that she will eat breakfast (haha!) but most importantly that she will have peace and be comforted in knowing that she is doing the Lord's work, regardless of the numbers! ;) Thank you so much for your loving support!! 
P.S. I was truly inspired to send those granola bars with Allie! ;)
In the words of Allie:
What a week!! Holy smokes!! I'm not even sure where to begin... First, on Tuesday, Hermana Ajqui had to go to the hospital in Managua, so we left at 7:00 am to get there in time for her appointment. Well, we were there until 4:00pm. We were running around everywhere in the hospital, and then we had to wait for like, two hours, while all of the doctors took a break for almuerzo! The best part? We didn't have any food, except for two granola bars I miraculously had in my bag! We hadn't eaten breakfast or lunch, and we barely made it home in time to make it to our dinner appointment! We were STARVING! We practically did a 24 hour fast for no reason;) But man, gallo pinto never tasted so good! ;)
Second, the rain! We've had two huge storms that have passed through, and we got drenched!! Luckily my bag's water proof bag, realllllly works! so that was a miracle;) We were under a tin roof when one of the storms came through, and the lighting flashed, and instantly the thunder followed, and it was the loudest crack of thunder I had EVER heard!! It shook the entire home!!! It's crazy! ;) The paths we walk turn to complete mud! It's quite the adventure;)
Third, Sunday's here are SO different. We walk from sun up to sundown, running all around our area to try to get investigators to church! This week, sadly, we had many investigators that did not want to come to church, so they practically hid from us. Meaning, they purposely left their house. That's one of the many  heartbreaking times on your mission, because you want them so bad to come to church because you love them so much, then they just use their agency to choose not to come. However, we did have Jose, our viejito friend, and Alexander come! :) If Alexander doesn't drink cafe this week, he'll get baptized! :) Wish us luck;)
Fourth, I GOT TO PLAY THE GUITAR. :D A member's grandson had his, and they had me play part of my mission song, and it was SUCH A STRESS RELIEVER! ;) You have no idea! Also, I rode in my first pepano (bike with a cart/seat up front to take people places) and I had my first, fresh, Nicaraguan mango! ;)
The teaching here is going great! We have some investigators who are really progressing! I can understand mostly everyone now, and I feel a lot more comfortable in my Spanish, even though I still am learning SO much everyday!! I have definitely seen the Lord's hand in my life! :)
Well, I will let y'all go. :) Que tengan una semana de exito!
Sinceramente y con amor,
Hermana Jackson:)
Our crazy district;)

 Umm... that's a legit American style school bus! We never even saw those in Mexico!! LOL!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 3: My New Buena Vista!

In the words of mom:
I had the fabulous opportunity to talk to Allie for about and hour and a half, thru emails, today. Seriously, how did moms do it before computers and internet! I know how they did it, but oh man am I so grateful for our technology! She says that her back is doing fantastic! Those are comforting words for this mama! She says that her back and her feet don't hurt (but she does have a rash on her butt from sweating and chaffing! She said that she used some powder and it helped a lot! TMI!!!) LOL! We worried that she may get blisters but so far so good! She said that it is definitely difficult, but she is loving it! I asked her why it was difficult. Was it the heat and all of the walking?? She said, "Yes! I stink, they stink, we ALL stink!! but it's fantastic!"  What I wouldn't give to be a 'fly on her shoulder bag' and walk with her and to see her in action sharing her testimony and her love of the gospel. Well.... here's to her first week in Nicaragua!! ENJOY!! :)

In the words of Allie:

Hola a todos!! Well, I made it to Nicaragua!! :D So much to tell, so little time. We had training on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I got my companion as well! :) Her name is Hermana Ajqui from Guatemala! She will be training me for the last 3 months of her mission, and she is such an example to me! She loves the work and is so bold and strong in her testimony! :) Also, my first area: Rivas! :) My area is considered "Buena Vista". :) Lots of dirt roads, people riding motos and bikes (with seats on them so they can give people rides--they're called pepanos) and lots of heat. ;) It doesn't rain here..like, ever.. so it's SUPER hot!! Plus we only have a lunch appointment, so we don't ever have breakfast, and only a few times do we have dinner. All that matters is that I have water!! It's super tiring, we walk constantly, but I love the work and the mission! :) My home is quite nice; I shower in cold water (which is sooooo nice here because it's SO HOT!) and with a bucket, so it's always and adventure. :) I love it!
The switch to ALL Spanish has been good, but difficult at times. It is soooooo hard to understand them here! Oh my goodness! They drop their s, they mumble, and a lot of the time they speak so fast. I'm beginning to understand more though! :)
Funny story: we were walking, and this drunk man that was an investigators father kept screaming at us to come talk to him. We didn't get super close, but we sat and talked to him forever because he had all of these SUPER weird misconceptions about the church.. Then he got mad because I wasn't talking to him. ;) But once I was talking to him, he got mad because I had to keep turning to my companion because I couldn't understand his mumbled drunk words. ;) Oh the mission life in Nicaragua!
We're teaching a lot of investigators, and two or three are really progressing! Alexander is a young 8 year old boy who lives down a dirt path. His home is so humble, and he is soon to be the oldest of 4 other siblings. His mom is pregnant and has anemia, so she can't come to church, but I just love seeing how happy Alexander and all of his siblings are! They find so much joy in the little things! :) Also we contacted this older man, and he is so prepared! The only thing is, he's only here in Rivas every sunday, so it'll be hard to teach him. He's so receptive though!! :)
All of the days seem to mush together! I have seen Elder Anderson and Elder Jensen for those who were wondering! They're doing great! :) Elder Jensen is in my zone and I see him every Friday and Sunday! And Lori, Elder Anderson got his camera. :)
Well, I will be letting you all go! I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week! :)
Hermana Jackson

Hermana Ajqui, Me, Elder Jenson and Elder Avila!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Week 2 continued: Safe Arrival of Sister Jackson

In the words of mom:

The most comforting words that I could ever see are simply put:

"Safe arrival of Sister Jackson"

These words brought a mix of emotions to this momma's heart!  The biggest relief and weight were lifted off of my shoulders to know that she was safe and sound and surrounded by a huge group of other amazing missionaries a long with President and Sister Russell. Tears of joy to know that she is doing exactly what she wants to do and that she is where she has wanted to be for, well........EVER!! I've never known of another missionary that was so anxious and desirous to serve a mission, as Allie, and has dreamed of this day just as much as a girl dreams of her wedding, and that makes it hard to miss her (in a sad way) because I am so happy that she is happy! I think of her often throughout the day and each time, my heart and chest swell with joy.

Imagine my surprise as I opened my messages and saw a fabulous surprise photo from the mother of another sister missionary serving in Nicaragua. A sister member in Nicaragua took a photo of the "new" missionary (Allie) serving in her area of Rivas and sent it to this mother. Allie's first companion and trainer is Sister Adjia of Guatemala. Allie doesn't even know that I know yet! haha! Ahhh... the powers of Facebook!!!

I can't wait for Monday (P-Day) to hear from her and her first official 'Mission Field' email! I can imagine that Mondays, for the next 17 1/2 months, will be like Christmas each and every time!!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Week 2: Una Semana que cambio mi vida!


Como estan a todos?? This week I will be writing on today, Saturday, instead of Monday, because I FLY OUT MONDAY MORNING TO NICARAGUA!! :D I am so excited! I have learned so much here at the MTC. I have gotten to be so close with my district, and it breaks my heart to have to leave them. But, I know that this is the next step that I have to take! And I could not be more excited! :)

A lot has happened this week, but most of our schedule is the same every day, so there's not much to explain. However, throughout the week, we have been teaching our TRC investigator (Don't ask me what TRC stands for because I have nooooo idea...). Her name is Hely, and no one knows if she is an actual member/recent convert, or if she is actually an investigator. We taught her three times this week, and woooooah does she love to talk! ;) We connected very well. ;) She's from Guatemala and is Catholic. The first time we were teaching her, we invited her to be baptized, and she said she already was in the Catholic church with her. She has a strong desire to follow God, so we taught her to pray and we even taught her the Restauracion. It was soooo powerful! I got to recite the first vision, and I love the power of the Spirit that fills the room as soon as it is spoken. :) Just yesterday, we taught her out of 3 Nephi 11 where Christ explains baptism to the Nephites. She understood that she needed to be submerged and that it needed to be done with the right authority, so she committed to baptism. :) I'm thinking she's already a  member though..because that's the last time we see her..;) Others will be there to teach her, so it's all good! It was such an amazing experience, though! The love I felt for her was overwhelming. :)

So, on Wednesday, the new missionaries arrived!! We got to give the orientation as ZL and STL, so that was pretty fun! The best part? I still miserably mess up in Spanish. ;) I asked Hermana Nambo what raspberries was (we were introducing ourselves, and for some reason were saying our favorite fruit..) and she said zarzamoras! Of course, when it comes to my turn, I completely forget what she said, so I say the first thing that came to my mind that was relatively close, which was zanahorrias. ;) In other words, carrots are my favorite fruit. ;) Everyone got a good laugh at that, including myself! ;) It helped break the ice, so it was good. ;) We gave them a tour, and then we've been doing other meetings and interviews, so it's been tiring, but I wouldn't have it any other way! 

So, I have a challenge for everyone!! Look up on YouTube the video "Missionary Work and the Atonement". I'm not sure if that's the exact title, but it's with Elder Holland. WATCH IT. And then read Moroni 7:46-48, but replace the word "charity" with "Atonement." We did this today, and we were all bawling! The Spirit was so strong, and I can not express in my own words the gratitude that I have for my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. He gave everything for us. HIS LIFE. Of course it won't be easy for any of us! As it says in D&C 122, 7-9: "The Son of God hath descended below it all. Art thou greater than He?" I'm reciting from memory, so excuse me if some of the words are wrong. But, that scripture it's hard. We cannot expect to go through this life easily and without any troubles if the Savior of this world, the only perfect man who walked this earth, suffered more than any of us ever will.

I know Jesus is the Christ. I know He lives. He loves us, and that love is constant. It will never change! We can always lean on Him, and because of His Atonement, we can be victorious in all things. :) For the in-field orientation that we had, something hit me really hard. They explained that if we are the missionaries that Christ expects us to be--hard working, selfless, obedient, etc.--then God will put people into our lives and cause them to cross our paths, the same people that, if He were here, He would have talked to and with whom He would've shared His everlasting Gospel. We are representatives of Jesus Christ! We are here to stand in His place, only to be funnels through which He can send the Gospel message through, to His children that are ready to receive it! It's so amazing!

So... my compañera, Hermana Nambo, got the news that her VISA arrived late to the travels office.. so she will be going for one transfer to Fort Collins Colorado!! (VENESSA AND MEGAN!!!) She keeps saying "two missions for the price of one! ;)" She's such an example to me! She has helped me to grow spiritually, and also in my Spanish vocabulary! She means the world to me! I'm going to miss her as my companion. But we're going to have an incredible time out on the mission! :)

Well, I'm not sure what else to write. ;) I hope you are all having an amazing day and week! :) 

Sinceramente y con amor,
Hermana Jackson :)

Picture: Here's the district :) The computer only lets me send one picture..so my mom will have the rest. ;)