Monday, February 18, 2013

Hello, family!!

Things are moving here. Sister Kuhns (with an "s" at the end) and I cover a stake with five wards. Right now, activity is around 30% stakewide, from what I've heard. However, in this past week and a half, miracles have happened left and right and all around us! I know it's because we've been trying our best to be exactly obedient to mission rules, but, to be honest, I didn't think I'd see the resulting blessings so immediately and so obviously! We're going to try to work a lot more with the members, active and less-active, in our area than has been previously done. Our stake is mobilizing. Changes for good are happening. I have a feeling this stake is going to be completely different at the end of our next transfer together, and that's all thanks to the Lord. His Spirit has wrought upon so many of His children in this area, member and nonmember alike, and I'm so grateful for the work happening here!

Jasmine, 10 years old, got baptized this past saturday! She's so amazing! She was so excited to get baptized, but pretty scared, too. Before the service started, we showed her to the baptismal font and she expressed how scared she was. I just pulled her in for a hug and held her there for a bit. Sister Kuhns told her we and her mom would be right there in the wings so she could see us, and that she was making one of the greatest decisions of her life. The service was beautiful. It was so sweet to see the results of missionary efforts before us and with us. Their family is just so great.
A little more on her family: her mom, Teresa, is not a member, and is divorced. She and Kevin, her fiance and a less-active member, have been living together for years. She has four children (ages 13 to 6), Jasmine being one of them, and Kevin has a little girl, Kylee. They've been taking missionary discussions since December 2011, and they've been going to church every week as a family for a while now. They haven't been baptized yet, however, because Teresa and Kevin need to be married. The missionaries before me have told them the importance of that time and time again and have tried to get them to get married, but it hasn't happened yet. But they love the missionaries and are suuuch a fun family!

At the baptism, Teresa told us that she really feels like she wants to get married! Out of the blue! She said she's been feeling lots of external pressure to not get married, but realized that's the adversary trying to lead her astray. She told us she and Kevin talked to the bishop about it and said they might even try to do it this week! Aah!
BUT it gets better. Before church on sunday, Teresa and Kevin told us they wanted to feed us on friday. She mentioned she's getting her marriage license this wednesday, so they said they were hoping to do it soon. After church we saw them in the hall and started talking again. Just in passing, Teresa said, "Yeah, I think we're going to the ceremony while you're over for dinner." Wait.... WHAT?!? Sister Kuhns and I kind of stopped... stared... then kind of screamed a bit. (Just a bit.) We're going to watch them get married on friday!! And Teresa and Sadie, the oldest child, want to get baptized as soon as they can (2 weeks) after that!!! Aaaahhh!!! They're so close to an eternal marriage and an eternal family... Absolutely amazing. This is what missionary work is all about.
One of our investigators, Liz, is married to an inactive returned missionary and has a little 2 year-old boy named Jack who likes to yell at their cat to scare it. Pretty dang funny. Anyways, Liz has been taking missionary discussions for years and believes everything, but has a smoking problem she just hasn't been able to kick. She just doesn't have faith in herself to kick the habit. Up until this past week and a half, she didn't really read scriptures the missionaries asked her to or pray or do any of the things she knows she needs to do. But lately, she's been keeping every commitment and has been improving on her smoking habit. She's even trying to get her work schedule changed around so she can come to church! Apparently, it's been awhile since there's been a fire in her to actually do the things she needs to do, but she's progressing so well now! It's amazing to see! During this past lesson, we were inspired to suggest something that would help her quit smoking, and she seemed pretty enthusiastic about it! Her baptismal date is for April 22.... I know she can make it! If you can pray for her, that would be great, too!
Teva, the one from Sri Lanka, did not get baptized like we thought this past saturday. He's had a lot of things come up and wanted to be able to really focus on the baptism.  However, we're trying again  soon!    He has so much faith. I'm so excited for him! I've been filled with so much love for the people we talk to.

"Now behold, a marvelous work is about to go forth among the children of men. Therefore, o ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve Him with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God in the last day."
  I know His work is going forth, here and throughout the world. I am honored and humbled to be a part of it. I have seen God's hand in my life, especially in this past month (I've been out for a month--crazy, right?). I love Him. I love you. God bless all of you.

 Love, Sister Jacobson

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