Monday, September 30, 2013

Week Ending Miracle!

Dear family & friends,

So it was another one of those really slow weeks where everything kind of fell through.... and ended in a huge miracle.

But I'm not going to tell you about that, yet!  And no skipping to the end. Cheaters!

We taught Stefanie and Chuck again.  Chuck is a little tentative on making solid plans for baptism because he's afraid he'll slip into old habits again afterwards.  Don't worry--we'll help him develop that faith himself and the Atonement he needs!  Both of them.  It's what we all need, really.  Faith in our ability to access the Atonement is the same as faith in the fact that the Lord can make us whole.  We need faith in ourselves--who knew?

Levi and her grandparents were visited by the Stake President and Bishop last week and talked a lot about family history.  Ace is SUPER into family history, turns out, and he's way more open to the Church again!  Let's hear it for inspired church leadership!  

Janet and Max let us pick a bag of plums from their plum tree in their yard.  I think I've eaten my weight in plums this week--which is hovering around the same as when I came out!  Or at least that's what I like to tell myself...  No scale, no worries.

We're teaching some kids--did I tell you about them yet?  Karolina, Dominique, Vicente, and Israel.  Karolina's super into it, Dominique is pretty into it, and Vicente and Israel are meh... but like the lessons!  We went to their house to walk them to church yesterday, but they didn't come out, which is a bummer, but they said they'd do it next time.  They'd better.... or we might have to go all Mom on them.

We met a girl on campus who was baptized at home about a month and a half ago.  Her boyfriend contacted us and asked us to teach the new member lessons, since she didn't get them at home.  Turns out, she was having an uber hard time the past few days and didn't know we were coming over until a few minutes before we came, so she really didn't want us there, and to top it off, she broke her leg the previous day and it felt awful.  However, we talked about trials, faith, growth, and showed her the "Mountains to Climb" Mormon Message (I've already invited you to watch that, but go watch it again.  It's just.... just so good).  She said at the end of the lesson that because the Spirit was there, her leg didn't hurt anymore.  She said that it was actually a blessing that we were able to come.  Funny how the Lord leads us to where we need to be, especially after a day where not a lot went according to plan.

Saturday we went to contact a former investigator.  A man named Matt opened the door and said they JUST moved here.  None of them are members.  They were in the middle of dinner, so we had to leave quickly, but he said we could come back any time!  I swear.... I feel like our miracle level has saturated my worthiness level ten times over.  And that's not even the miracle I was talking about at the beginning of the email.

And I guess I could tell what that is now--you've waited long enough.  So besides what I've told you so far, not much happened this week in the way we would have liked.  We only taught 21 lessons, which is really low for us, but that's partly because we've been thinning out who we go see.  We've been placing priority on teaching those who are willing to change instead of beating our heads against the brick wall of less penitent people, so instead of seeing people who don't desire to better their lives after a few meetings with us, we've been out trying to find others who want to change.  As a result, we didn't teach that much.  But we fooooound.

And right before church yesterday, a man came up to us and told us of a young family that JUST moved in a few days ago, where the mom, Lili, is reactivating, and the dad, Paul, and nine year-old daughter, Jocelynn, are not baptized (and they have a super cute 7 year-old girl (Arianna) and 2 year-old son (Donovan)).  They had been taught a little bit in another area, so they already had felt the Spirit and talked about baptism.  So we went over there that night and, before we even really taught anything, set a day on which they want to be baptized.  He even talked about wanting to receive the priesthood so he could baptize his younger daughter when she turns 8 a few months from now and getting sealed a year from now!  They are such a loving, wonderful family.  Truly amazing people.  I'm really looking forward to working with them more!

The Lord truly makes up the difference.  We wanted to use our time more effectively, so though we taught fewer lessons, those lessons counted for much more, and we were able to find more of God's children who really desire to draw closer to Him.  And it's like that with ourselves; we're nowhere close to perfect, but through the Atonement, we can become so.  We have to constantly keep trying, but through Him we can do anything.  ANYTHING.  Just ask Him.  I have to every day, and I can feel His strength and love and wisdom pouring into me!  So ask Him to help you overcome your weaknesses and trials.  There's a huge reservoir of blessings waiting to be unleashed, and prayer is the dynamite that breaks the dam.  (The longer I've been on my mission, the more I've realized you can make a Gospel metaphor out of pretty much anything.)

I love you all more than words can describe.

-Sister Jacobson


1.  Our district!

Monday, September 23, 2013

It's Autumn and the students are back at BYU-I!

Hey, family & friends!

It's autumn!  The temperature is dropping suddenly and the leaves are changing slightly.  But you know what the best thing about autumn here is?  The students are back!!!  Oh, how we've missed them.  We've gotten a LOT of work going in the South Stake, but it's great to see the other half of our area return.  Love all the college kids.... even if we do have to wait 10 minutes for them to cross the street.  Stinkinwhippersnappers.  
So awesome, awesome things are happening!

 We found two solid new investigators!!  Stefanie and Chuck.  And we actually weren't the ones to find them!  The Spanish missionaries (who happen to be our district leader and his companion) that cover our stake were talking to their neighbors and saw Stefanie and Chuck outside.  Our whole zone has committed to be better at talking to EVERYONE we see, so they went over to talk with them, even though Stefanie and Chuck didn't speak Spanish!  (Props to the elders.)  They got their information, told them we'd be over there that night, and passed all that along to us.  We had a completely full day planned, so thought we'd just have to call them and ask to meet some other time.  Good thing our plans completely unraveled!  Just about everything fell through, so we had time to go see Stefanie that night!  (Chuck was at work.)  She's had a hard past, and sometimes doubts that God loves her, but we reassured her that God is our Father; He loves us more than we can ever imagine, and He allows bad things to happen to us to help us grow.  We got to come back and meet Chuck last night, and they're both willing to be baptized!  They're both very receptive and very humble, and we were able to testify (with the help of the bishop, who came with us last night) that through the Atonement of Christ, they can start a new, better life for themselves.  We know this Gospel will change their lives and help them through their circumstances.  Oh, and yet again, we see that God unravels our plans to match them to His plans for what we should be doing.  He knows what we should be doing way more than we do!

We got to meet with Maria again!  She feels as though this Gospel could be true, and has seen how it has blessed the lives of her step-children.  She also really admires how two twentyish year-old girls will devote a 18 months of their lives to preach about Christ, and really loves the "old-fashioned values" members of this Church have.  They're going on vacation, so we won't be able to see her and Val (her husband) again for a little bit, but we asked her to pray to know if this is all true and good.  We know that as she prays with a sincere desire to know, a willingness to act on the answer she will get, and faith that God will answer, she WILL receive an answer.  And knowing this Gospel is true, I know she will get a "yes!"

Kelton, Sarah, Sydney, and Logan are all doing well!  Kelton missed church yesterday, but he's working hard to be ready for his baptism!  Sarah and Syndey are getting more and more confident with their prayers, and are trying now to get on their dad's case to go back to church so he can baptize them.  We heard that Logan is finished with the Book of Mormon!  We want to set an appointment to meet with her and see how she feels about it!  A testimony of the Book of Mormon is key to testimony of this Church.  It's what we fall back on!  If the Book of Mormon isn't true, then this Church simply isn't.  But it is the pure word of God, and it can fill it's readers with the Holy Ghost, if we let it.

 We met a girl named Courtney yesterday and she fed us dinner!  She's married to a student at BYU-I.  She met once with elders a few days ago who gave her information to us, but one of them was apparently being a toolbox, so she  was nervous to have us over.  But she really likes us!  She's still apprehensive about taking missionary discussions, but we'll still keep in contact and see if she eventually will let us teach the lessons.  She's so fun, though!  Her personality and mannerisms kind of remind me of you, Amber! Super fun time with her! (Amber is Katie's sister in law, married to her brother Tyler and the mother of her 2 beautiful  nieces and adorable  nephew)

Hope you all have a great week!  Read 3 Nephi 14.  If we, as imperfect, limited human beings can love as much as we do, how much more can our all-powerful, perfect Father in Heaven love us and give us the things we need?  Not necessarily the things we want, but definitely what we need.

Love you all thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much!!

-Sister Jacobson


1. Adriana's baptism!!

2. That's Brita.  Her dad is one of our ward mission leaders. The whole family is awesome!

3.  Don't put your children in the paper shredder.  It's just rude

Monday, September 16, 2013

Every week is awsome!

Dear family & friends,
Awesome awesome week.  But what's new?  Every week is awesome.
Adriana: inspirational.  She kept thanking us this week, especially at the baptism and confirmation, but we really didn't do anything.  She pretty much baptized herself!  But the Spirit was incredibly strong during the baptismal service, and it bore witness to me again of the importance of eternal families.
Saturday morning during our personal study hour, the doorbell rang, and behind it was an old man with a walking stick in his hand and tears in his eyes.  He lives two doors down from us and said his wife had died two days earlier and really needed someone to pray with him.  It was a really heartbreakingly tender experience.  He was so humble, and just really needed someone to turn to.  I was yet again so grateful for the knowledge and ability we have to live with our families forever through this Gospel. 
Yesterday we went with one of our ward mission leaders to a house of someone who's really good friends with a nonmember here.  We all knelt and prayed over whether or not this was the time for this man to share the Gospel with his friend.  The Spirit was so thick in that room!  He just got married and we know now is the time.  We can see him being sealed to his new wife.  He's been prepared to hear this message!
Mission Leadership Council: amazing!  Such a strong spirit there!  We discussed the urgency of sharing this message.  It's crunch time.  These are the last days.  We're not just here to plant seeds of the Gospel message; we're here to lead those who have been prepared to the waters of baptism.  It's the gate by which we can follow the path to live with our Father in Heaven again.  It's so important!  That meeting and a meeting we had with our favorite ward mission leader who asked us both why we're here just reiterated how IMPORTANT this Gospel is!  It's eternal life!  It's endless joy!  This is the reason we're here as missionaries and we're all here as humans!  To find the Gospel, to live it, to love it, to prepare ourselves to live with God again through all the essential steps we need to take here!  There's NO way I could keep my mouth shut about this!!  Keep growing your testimonies.  Keep learning more.  Keep following the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And if you have any questions, ask the missionaries!  They can help you!
Not a lot of time.  I love you all!
-Sister Jacobson

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dear family & friends,

For those who don't know, a missionary in this mission lost his life Wednesday due to a car accident.  Please pray for his family, friends, and his companion.  This truly is a tragic time for all involved.

It's also opened the door to a lot of different thoughts this week.  For one thing, Sister Barnett and I had never met this Elder, yet it was really hard for both of us to hear about his passing.  Every missionary in the Pocatello Idaho Mission is a member of this big family, and our spirits were connected by this purpose we share to invite others to come unto Christ 24/7.  We also took some time out of our day to visit some of the Sisters we cover; three of them were in the same MTC district with him and were having an especially hard time.  As we talked, we spoke of the Plan of Salvation a lot.  Knowing that he and his family can be together forever through the Gospel is a big comfort.  We know he's in "a state of rest, a state of peace, where [he] shall rest form all [his] troubles, and from all care and sorrow" (Alma 40:12).  We know he's in a better place, so we don't mourn for him.  We mourn for us; we miss his presence, and we sorrow for those he left behind.  However, we also talked about how that's ok--we each can have our own time to grieve.  We don't need to force things back to normalcy, but just let them ease back in their natural time.  Through the Atonement of Christ, we can feel the comfort and strength we need as we put our trust in Him.

Moving on from feelings, though.... we're having a baptism this Saturday!!  It kind of came out of nowhere.  We really don't know what we did to deserve such HUMONGOUS blessings, but hey, no complaints!

Her name is Adriana.  She's a student at BYU-I and has been married to a member for a little while, has been going to church with him pretty much every Sunday, and has already taken the discussions from missionaries before, but backed out because she was nervous of change.  However, she decided that before they started a family that she needed to decide if this is true.  At the end of the lesson, we asked her if she knows the Book of Mormon is true.  Yes.  We asked her if she knows the Church is true.  Yes.  Then she burst into tears and said she didn't want to wait anymore for baptism.  We normally set a goal with people for when they can be baptized by, but we let her set it.  "Would this weekend be too soon?"  *blank stares*  ....We said that would be fine, after we came to our senses.  So we're meeting with her every night this week and she's getting baptized on Saturday.

Which brings about another theme we've seen on our mission!  This week was the lowest number of lessons we've taught since Sister Barnett and I have been together.  Things fell through, people just weren't home this week, and of course we were more emotional than normal.  However!  We have seen that when things go horribly wrong, something absolutely wonderful is right around the corner.  And so it is with life: it's hard, and sometimes it feels like it's just dang awful.  But these trials are preparing us for something incredible.  Divine, in fact.  As we remain faithful through trials, whatever they may be, we grow and become more like Christ.  As we become more like Christ, we prepare to enter into His presence, where we want to be forever!  Sometimes life seems full of sacrifice, but when we think of what's to come, it's no sacrifice at all.  It's a privilege to be trusted with trials.  They help us reach our eternal goal: living with our Savior, our families, and our Father in Heaven for eternity.

This week, read Alma 40, 41, and 42.  It's a lot of great doctrine on the Plan of Salvation.  In fact, just study the Plan of Salvation.  It's beautiful.

I love you all more than I can say.

-Sister Jacobson  

P.s. Sorry for the solitary picture.  Sister Barnett and I bought comp shirts on her birthday!  Three bucks at Walmart, no big deal.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hello, family & friends!!
First item of business: it's Sister Barnett's birthday!!  Everybody sing!  1, 2, 3.......... good job!  I only had one balloon left from Danielle's birthday package, but it fulfilled the measure of its creation today.  That solitary balloon is inspirational.

This week was pretty much the same--lots of lessons, lots of miracles, lots of teaching, lots of love, lots of Spirit.... you know.  Amazing.  For example, two students called us with referrals of people they know that want to meet with missionaries.  And school hasn't even started back up, yet!  We're waiting to hear back from the people again with more details, but we're super excited!

Our investigators are all doing really well!  Yesterday, Logan got up and bore a simple, sweet testimony during testimony meeting!  How awesome is that??

I'd love to jump into details, but I'm short on time again.  Suffice it to say that Sarah and Sydney are loving the Gospel as much as ever, along with Kari and Hallie.  Kelton is way fun and we're hopefully going to talk about baptism with him this next lesson.  We're finding more people to teach and establishing good relationships with those we want to begin teaching.  The Lord has put us in the path of so many people we know already and didn't know before that we've been able to help, and the Spirit is working in the hearts and minds of God's children in this area.  Our ward members are very supportive, I have an awesome companion, and I love this place.  I just love my mission!  It's the best of my life.  Just so you know, I'm extending for an extra 5 years.  That ok?  Ok, thanks!

I love this Gospel.  Living it is the way to experience true joy.  That has manifested itself again and again over the course of my life and mission, especially this past week!

I love you all and pray for you daily!


Sister Jacobson

Sister Trainers with Zone

With "Mission Mom"


It's always fun to see what Katie and her companion are wearing. This outfit that Sister Barnett is wearing is completely Katies! Katie's dress in the district photo is Sister Barnetts!