Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hello, everyone! This is the last email I'll be sending from the MTC! As of next tuesday, I'll be out in Idaho! Wooo!

So this week, I had a bright idea. It was called, "Hey, our investigators are progressing well and no one has straight-up rejected us yet, so how about I pray for a trial so I can learn and grow?" Genius. Or something like that (haha). I've developed a strong testimony that Heavenly Father always answers our prayers and it's up to us to receive those answers. So if you pray for a trial, you sure as heck are going to get a trial.

That night, one of our investigators, Edison (both our teachers role play as people they taught on their missions--this was one of them), called us and dropped us. He said that people told him bad things about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. After talking to him about how with every good, the devil will send some bad to throw you off and opposition in all things, he still didn't want us to come over that night. It hurt so badly! He's not even real! The next day, we taught Greg (our other teacher's "character"). In short, he was taking the lessons for the wrong reasons, and the Spirit prompted both my companion and me to suggest taking a break from lessons with him. Though we tried as hard as we could to take any other route, the Holy Ghost had made it clear what we should do, and we suggested we take a break from lessons for a while. And it broke our hearts!!

Those experiences, though emotionally so hard, made it at least a little clearer how important it is to me to share this Gospel. It broke my heart each time we lost investigators, not because of anything personal to me, but because I just want them to taste of the indescribable joy I get to feel every day--and the only way to really feel this joy is following Christ's example and come unto Him through faith, repentance, baptism by proper authority, and continually striving to be more like Him.

It also taught me how to more rely on the Holy Ghost. To be open to spiritual revelation. That's something we've really been stressing this past week: receiving and helping the people you talk to receive revelation through the Holy Ghost. It's so important. And it is so amazing to know that God can communicate to our hearts as long as we keep ourselves inwardly clean.

On a more secular note, my companion and my district are so amazing! Three of the elders are 19 and the other five are 18, while we have two 19 year-old sisters, a 20 year-old, and a 21 year-old (my companion--she actually got her call the day before the age change was announced!). Oh! Also, Sister (Alyssa) Winger is in my district! She was in the Hill Cumorah Pageant this past summer and stayed with her cousins, the Cordons (for those who know them). Way fun! They are all so hilarious, fun, kind, and are all spiritual giants. Five are going to DeMoines, Iowa and the rest of us are going to Pocatello. It's going to break my heart leaving the others! And side note, we have some intense 4-square matches during gym time. We're pretty much pros. Or something.

We've had the General Primary and Relief Society Presidents talk to us! So cool! Other members of the Quorum of the 70 (hard to explain... sorry!), and the head of the Mission Department also have spoken to us! It's just.... it's just awesome. So awesome. Aw yeah.

However, I'm out of time! I love you all! The church is true! Heavenly Father and His Son love you! I love you! Hurrah for Israel!

Love, Sister Jacobson

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I can't even begin to describe how amazing this past week has been. I have grown and learned so much, and so much of it I can't really quantify, but I know I'm a different person than I was when I stepped on the MTC curb last monday.
My companion's name is Sister Barnett. She is so incredible! She and the rest of my district (a district is a group of missionaries you meet with together with--a lot more often in the Missionary Training Center--and learn together with) are such great examples to me of hard work and just being great people in general! There are eight elders (four companionships) and another companionship of sisters, so altogether we make twelve. Everyone is so doggone funny when we have time just to talk, but then so spiritually strong when we have time to study. And we have A LOT of time to study, thank goodness! Time to study the scriptures and other things to help us be more effective teachers of the Gospel. And our classroom time is just the greatest thing on earth. We have two amazing teachers who have taught us so much about how to effectively bring the Spirit into a lesson, because it is the Spirit that teaches of spiritual truths, not us. We are just an instrument through which the Holy Ghost can touch the hearts of the people we talk to.
As far as lessons go, our two teachers role play as people they taught during their missions, and we get to teach them! I feel like they really become the person they're acting as--which is the point for a more effective lesson--which helps me really grow as far as teaching experience, knowing that this lesson really means something. We also get to teach volunteers here at the MTC four times a week! Some are church members, some aren't, we don't know which. But all these experiences have really helped me learn how to rely on the Holy Ghost. We cannot be effective missionaries unless we completely rely on the Holy Ghost and find the needs of the people we talk to. Some need to hear about our Heavenly Father's love for them, some need to hear about our Savior's Atonement, some need to hear about Joseph Smith and the restored Church... whatever it is, we need the Spirit to guide us to ask the right questions and give appropriate lessons for them. I love every single person we talk to, but I feel especially connected to the people our teachers act as--we've gotten to teach them several lessons, whereas we've only talked to each volunteer once. It's amazing how when you grow in your love for God and Jesus Christ, you grow in your love for everyone else. I want them to be as happy as I am because I love them so much! And the only reason I am as joyful as I am is because I know that Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, love me.
I know that Jesus Christ suffered and died for my sins--performed the Atonement-- so I can live with Him again in Heaven. I know this because I have felt my sins washed away when I repent of them, and I can feel the Atonement working in my life. I know that Joseph Smith did see God and Christ and They, through Joseph, restored the church that Christ had organized when He dwelled on the earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know because I, like Joseph, prayed to know what was true. And I, through the Holy Ghost, received my answer. My knowledge isn't based on physical evidence or philosophy. It's based on the peaceful, warm, joyful presence of the Holy Ghost when I pray and when I read the scriptures. I know that the only way to true happiness is to make yourself more like Jesus Christ every day, by following His example. And I can only do that through repenting of my sins and following through on my commitments to Him. I can only repent because He suffered and died for me. The only way I can live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in Heaven is to come unto Christ. To come unto Him through faith in Him and His Atonement, repentance, baptism and other promises to Him, following the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and striving every day to make myself better, until the day I die.
 And if you could tell everyone about! Thank you for the letters! I love you guys!
Thanks to everyone who's written me so far! I'll try my best to get back to you as soon as I can! I can write and email on Thursdays.
I love you all so much. And I know that Heavenly Father loves you all so much. This Gospel is true.
With all my heart,
Sister Jacobson

Friday, January 11, 2013

This is the blog of a missionary inviting others to come unto Christ.  On January 16th, I'll start my eighteen-month journey to becoming a better instrument in the Lord's hands, teaching and serving as He would have me do.  What a blessing to be able to testify of what has brought me so much unending joy in my life!  The light and joy I feel, and sometimes take for granted, are the reasons I'm leaving "normal" life behind for a year and a half; I want as many others as possible to share in this happiness!  I know that truth is the only way to true happiness, and I know that this Gospel is truth.  The fulness of truth.  And heaven knows that in a world of growing darkness and contention, truth and light need to be shared!

I wish I could fully express my love for this Gospel and for any who happen to stumble upon this blog--I really do love you!  So much!  I promise!  If you know nothing else about me, know that I love you.  And if I, in my limited, dorky, imperfect state can feel this much love for all of you, how much more does your perfect Heavenly Father and His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, love you!  So, how much more you ought to love them, too!  This is the message I share, not just for these 18 months, but for the rest of my existence.

"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, He will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things."  
 (Book of Mormon, Moroni 10: 4-5) 

*Note: This is the only post I personally will update.  The rest will be copied and pasted from my weekly emails home by my parents, since I won't have any other internet access.