Monday, December 30, 2013

Bring it, Pocatello!

Hey, family& friends!! 
It was so great to see you on Skype!  Sorry the connection wasn't super duper, but it was great all the same!

I don't have a lot of time, so I'll try to update as quickly as I can!
I went tracting for the first (and second) time on my mission this week!  It was actually really fun!  Who knew door-to-door contacting would be so exciting?  We tracted on a street that we've been asked not to go on at night because it's the highest crime area in Pocatello (bring it).  Don't worry, we went during the day!  We found Kim, a less active member with a Methodist husband and two step-children living with her.  She and her husband have been through a lot lately with health problems.  She had questions about the Book of Mormon, and said that we were the first missionaries to be able to answer them!  They're going to be in and out of the hospital for the next while, so she said we could come meet her husband in about a month, but said we could come back every once in a while before then.  And we plan to!  Woo!

Steph, who we spent Christmas morning with, told us when we dropped off a thank you card to her that we had made quite an impression on her daughter.  We set up an appointment to begin teaching her when she's less busy in two weeks!  Ah!  We want to begin teaching the whole family together, if we can!  We teach about eternal families, and the best way to really do that is teach them all together so they can become an eternal family! 

While we were tracting yesterday, we ran into a 7th-Day Adventist pastor.  He was politely dismissive about everything, then later apologized for seeming rude because he was sick and felt miserable.  ....Then we caught it.  Sister Gale and I were up all night Saturday and spent all day yesterday inside listening to CES devotionals and General Conference talks.  But it's good!  Builds character.  And I sure learned a lot from the prophets and apostles!  And now I'm pretty sure I know what drunk feels like--that dizzy, after-sick thing the day after 24 lockdown!  And even with the holidays and the out-of-commission day we had, we still managed to teach a bunch of lessons and get good things done!

For this New Year, I want to emulate the example of King Lamoni's father in Alma 22:18.  I want to give away all my sins to know God more.  He has given me so much--the least I can do is give myself back to Him. 

I love you all so much!  Remember the Savior and His Atonement in all things, and all those New Year's resolutions can be yours! 

Sister Jacobson
So there was this house we knocked....  (top of page)
 The sidewalk even celebrates Christmas!
District Service!


Monday, December 23, 2013

We're in Old Town

Hey, family & friends!  Merry Christmas!  Christmas is the best!

This week has been full of miracles!  Again!  On my very first day in the area, we met Ariel, whom we've met with every single day since and is so willing to learn and be baptized!  She's a single mother of a 13 month-old baby son (so cute!) and has been through a lot of hard things in her life, but has been strong through it all.  This Gospel is exactly what she's been looking for for so long, and the ward members are really embracing her.

Now.  About the area.  We're in "Old Town."  This is the place where we meet people like Simba, an old, black Vietnam vet who told us to beware of the fascist "Jesus-killas" and told me "right on, cousin" when I bore my testimony of how Jesus has saved me (with as much Southern baptist passion as I could muster).  Or like Miguel (we think), a guy passing on the street who sounds like Gwatto from Star Wars.  Or like that one girl who answered the door with no pants on.  We live in as close to ghetto as we can in Idaho, and I love it!  We cover just two wards, and work is pretty slow right now, but we see SO much potential!  Big things are happening here, and they're going to happen soon!

Our two wards are on their own hill, and we don't have a car.  So when we skype, try not to be distracted by my body-builder legs.

Even though I miss Highland, I was hit with this overwhelming wall of family and belonging here.  I'm constantly amazed at how much our Father in Heaven loves us.  He only asks us to keep His commandments, which is THE happiest way to live, and when we do, we get to have even more joy in the life to come!  Things are picking up here as we remain exactly obedient and keep working as hard as we can!

We're out of time, so I'll talk more about things over Skype and in emails next week.  Love you all so much!  Merry Christmas!

Love, Sister Jacobson

  Sister McKnight and I are really good at decorating gingerbread men.
Sister Gale!  Cutie pants.  We also share an affinity for nerdy youtube videos.
This is what happens to Sisters after a long day.  (Or this is just what happens to me every day.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Surprize Transfer!

Hey, family & friends!
I'm going to start off with some surprising news we got on friday.  I'm getting transferred tomorrow night!  I'm going to another part of Pocatello, and I'll be with Sister Gale, who is sweet and hilarious.  Because of Christmas and New Years', departing missionaries are leaving tomorrow, but new missionaries won't arrive until January 1st.  That means that there needs to be a preliminary mini transfer, if you will, which I'm part of.  She's currently in a trio with a departing missionary and Sister Riding, my mission sister)and Visa waiter to Brazil who will be taking my place!,(a mission sister is a missionary who was trained by the same missionary trainer, in this case Sister Kuhns, a Visa waiter is a missionary who is serving state side while they are waiting for their Visa to arrive to their assigned mission destination, usually Brazil!)   Fun facts:
-Sister Riding and Sister McKnight grew up in Texas together and are good friends
-I'll finally know what it's like to have a Sister Training Leader
-Sister McKnight and Sister Riding will be my Sister Training Leaders
-My new area is super sketchy.  I've been on exchanges there, and it's so fun!
- I'm excited!  Sister Gale's super great, and we're going to get WORK done in the area!
-So I don't know skype plans now.... but there are a few people they know we could do it at and we'll get you in contact ASAP!  Promise!
Kenzie got baptized!!  It was one of the most Spirit-filled baptisms I've ever been to.  The talks and the musical numbers were so tender, and her family, who once was completely against her joining the Church, was in attendance, supporting her decision.  She squeaked a "woohoo!" out after coming up out of the water.  She's so dang cute!  It's really been a pleasure and honor working with her. 
We got Bible bashed this week!  We got a referral for this really sweet couple, and they're willing to listen.... as they tell us we're wrong.  But we're going to go back, share our unique message of the Restoration, and feel the Spirit.  That's all we really can do--open the environment up to the Holy Ghost so others can feel the truth of our message.
Mission Leadership Coucil was amazing.  We set a vision for what we want to have happen as a mission in 2014.  The excitement in the room was palpable, and it was very inspiring.  It was right after the Sister Training Leaders meeting that President Brinkerhoff pulled me aside and told me the news. 
This transfer has helped me grow a lot.  I've absolutely loved being with Siter McKnight, being in the Highland stake, and our new North Zone.  I'll admit, I was pretty bummed to hear that I was leaving a week before Christmas.  But you know, Christmas is the same, wherever I'll go.  I'm excited for new lessons, new people, new growth, new everything.  Where the Lord leads, I'll gladly follow.  
...And Sister McKnight may or may not have opened all of the 12 days of Christmas presents you sent.  I mean, they WERE addressed to the two of us.... Sorry!
I sure love you all!  Keep faith in the face of change.  Change is why we're here!  Change is the Atonement in action.
Sister Jacobson
1.  Kenzie's baptism!
2.  Snow picture!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Preachin' to Santa!

Hey, family & friends!

We got snow this week!  Wooooo!!!  Winter is finally here!  Everyone says it's colder than it normally gets here, but it really doesn't feel that bad.  Idaho's got nothin' on humid, bone-chilling New York cold.  But yes, I'm wearing my big coat, boots, and fleece-lined tights, don't worry.  And we're making the most of our hot chocolate maker.  And our car.  Going on exchanges in a walking area helps you appreciate things like motorized transportation with a heater.

This week we've been spending a lot of time finding more people to teach, and we were able to get into some houses finally that we haven't been able to in months!  We've been trying to see this woman named Venus and her family, and we finally got in to see them (side note: we are not above using the bathroom as an excuse to talk to people in their homes).  There are a lot of others with a lot of potential, so stay tuned for coming miracles!
We had zone conference on tuesday and I got to sing with my only living mission sister (aka she was trained by Sister Kuhns)!  It was super fun.  There was a talent show and a music program (which we sang in) after all the trainings from President and the assistants to the President.  And guess who the special speaker in the middle of the music program was.  None other than Wilber! He was amazing, as always.  We also got to witness him receive the priesthood yesterday.  I could not wipe the grin off my face either time we saw him!  It's so wonderful how tightly he's embraced the Gospel in his life.  As he said during his zone conference testimony, "[He's] in the Church now, and [he's] in it forever."

We had a great meeting with Kenzie about her baptism plans.  We're going to roll out a red carpet, have a fog machine, and she'll strut down in her baptism jumpsuit with her friend breakdancing behind her as she jackknifes into the font.  No, really.

How about that Christmas broadcast?  That little kid was winking at me.  Too bad I'm in a relationship with Jesus.

And finally, last night we got to help Domi and her host family decorate their Christmas tree!  It was so fun!  We got a 3-foot fake one from our neighbor which took about 30 seconds to decorate (shoutout to the ornaments Mom sent!), so it was good to get a little more decorating out of our systems.

As we've been approaching this Christmas season, we've been bringing a lot of our attention to Isaiah 9:6.  Read that verse and apply all the names of the then-coming Christ to how He demonstrated them in His life.  He, and the hope He brought with Him through His Atonement, truly are the reasons for why we celebrate.  

I love you all!  Keep reading scriptures, keep praying, keep strengthening your relationship with your Father in Heaven.  He knows you and loves you, no matter if you feel you deserve it.  As our prophet Thomas S. Monson said, His love is just simply THERE.

Sister Jacobson

1.  We put the nativity on the CD player so baby Jesus could be serenaded by our singing Mormon Tabernacle Choir of angels.
2.  Even Santa needs the Gospel.
3.  Snow. (side note from NY, it was -6 in Pocatello today and in the 20's and 30's here in NY!)
4.  Here's that tag close-up you wanted! (Not quite the pose I anticipated!)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Great week! Crazy week!

Hey, all!

Great week!  Crazy week!

So, we found this really sweet man to teach!  His name is Fermin, and he's married to a less-active member of the Church, and they both really want to get into it!  They have a 5 year-old son and a 3 year-old daughter and a month-old daughter, and the two older kids could join WWE wrestling.  Suplexes and pile-drives and all; super funny!  Fermin is so receptive to the Spirit and is just so nice.  We're excited to keep working with him!

Thanksgiving was great!  Unfortunately, Sister McKnight was really sick that day and didn't really get to eat much, but we did go to two members' houses!  Then the next day I got sick.  But Sister McKnight went on splits to get our work done, and we were still able to make it to the baptisms.  Missionary work: 1 Satan: 0.  Nice try!

Speaking of Sister McKnight, her leg is getting a lot better!  Still pretty painful, but between physical therapy and resting it (with me going on splits) and everything, she has a lot more mobility with it, and we're hoping she'll be off crutches soon!  Woo!

Then....... Chriss and Gabby got baptized!!!!  Yayyyy!!!!  They were both wonderful, beautiful baptisms with lots of support from the ward.  Apparently, after they closed the curtain after Chriss's baptism, she just sank back into the water and stayed there for a little while.  She's so awesome!  Their confirmations were wonderful, too.
 I don't remember if I told you, but Gabby is in foster care right now.  Her real dad was baptized two weeks ago by a set of Elders, was given the priesthood last week, and was able to baptize her!  It was incredibly sweet.  AND her sister is living in foster care in Chubbuck (a nearby city) and, from what we've heard, also wants to be baptized.  It's so sweet to me to hear about this family being bound by the Gospel, one member at a time.  We know it will bless their lives forever.

With Thanksgiving still in the back of our minds, I've been thinking a lot about how much there is to be grateful for.  There's so much.  If we peel back the rush and business of our days and think for a second, there is little to NOT be grateful for!  I'm especially grateful for all of you.  Thank you for your prayers and support and love.  Thank you for helping me become who I am.  I can never repay everything you've given me.

Also, with Thanksgiving behind us, it's time to start listening to Christmas music!  (Side note: we may or may not have been listening to Christmas music since Halloween.)  (Also, the Eclipse version of "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "Need a Little Christmas" are pretty much the only songs we listen to.  Ever.)

I love you all so much!  Make a list of small things you're grateful for that you haven't thought about in awhile.  I'll give you a start: chocolate chip cookies.  Oxygen.  You know, the simple things!


Sister Jacobson

Chriss!  (top left)

 Thank you for the package! (top right)
We LOVE soft things!  (the box we sent was full of warm soft wintery snuggly things plus hot chocolate and oatmeal packets)

  Also, I got my haircut.  Tada?


                                                                   (Because Gabby is in foster care, we can't include a picture of her online.  Suffice it to say she's adorable.)