Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ballet and Repentance

Hey, World!

It's nice to come up for air after a month and a half of burying myself in school, church, and other activities!  I've had some Gospel parallels bouncing around my head, and I need to splatter them out on a page before I forget!  Don't worry, I can still pull Gospel analogies out of just about anything.  Three months isn't enough to put out the cheesy RM flames, yet!

Since my freshman year, dance has become a surprisingly big part of my life, especially considering the fact that I was never really interested in dance in any way before.  But on finding the International Folk Dance team,

(Shameless plug: come see the Folk Dance team's performance "Christmas Around the World!"  Use promo code "CAW2014" for $2 off each ticket, and make sure to drop the name "Katie Jacobson" when you do! ;)  End plug.)

I've found a great way to develop skills I never knew I had and work towards goals that literally and figuratively stretch me.  To work towards those big goals, and because it's just dang fun, I've taken a bunch of other dance classes, including intermediate ballet this semester.  I thought the class was just going to be a breezy, fun class.  Ha.

A few little notes about ballet: it's hard, and it's painful.  You cannot half-do anything, and you cannot do all the cool jumps and turns the imaginary ballerina in your head does whenever "ballet" comes to mind until you master the basics of posture, muscle control, turnout, muscle control, and so much more.

One day in class, after a particularly intense session of my teacher lovingly cranking my legs, pulling my hips, and poking my butt back into place (she does it because she cares, I swear!), I thought a bit about how I couldn't expect anymore to actually progress as a dancer if I just stay in my comfort zone--where my legs don't quiver and my heinee doesn't burn for days after class.  Though it might burn, the constant repositioning and tweaking and straining and stretching is what makes a good ballerina.

Now repentance.  You cannot half-do anything.  You cannot expect to have an unshakable, sea-parting testimony without mastering the basics of prayer, scripture study, exercising faith, attending church meetings, and so much more.  Staying in the comfort zone is not what repentance is about--"good enough" is not good enough.  Repentance is constant repositioning and tweaking and straining and stretching until you are a different person.  When you undergo true repentance, your very desires and the core of who you are are different.  And just like ballet, improvement never ends!  There is always something to work on, even when you think you're squeezing your seat tightly enough.  (Hypothetically speaking, of course...)

And just like ballet, we have a loving Teacher who cranks, twists, pulls, and pokes at us to help us reach the potential He sees in us.  He does it because He cares, I swear!  He helps us feel that "If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" (Alma 5:26).

It's not enough to avoid the bad.  We must constantly be seeking to fill our lives with good, and better, and better.  When we're comfortable, something is wrong.  (And usually there's a finger coming to poke your hindquarters back into place right soon to come.)  That's the fun of life!

This week, focus on overcoming any spiritual complacency or comfort.  Stretch yourself!  Throw more of yourself into improving than you did yesterday, and become a better person at the end of the day than you are now.  I promise, happiness comes from sore spiritual muscles.

I love you all!

P.s. My computer isn't letting me put pictures on this one... you'll just have to use your imaginations.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Seek Light

Hey, world!

I was going to start off by talking about my inner nerd, but I feel like there's nothing "inner" about my nerd.  So I'll just say what I'm interested in and let you all judge me for being one.

Subject: light.  Possesses both wave- and particle-like qualities.  Spreads out and becomes a pretty rainbow, concentrates and becomes a deadly sci-fi weapon.  Emits heat, dispels darkness, bends, refracts, reflects, is visible and invisible, and can win a race against anyone.  Heck, if you were to run a race against light and tie, you would become denser and flatter in the process!

The most curious to me, though, is how it draws things to it.  Insects to those zappy things, bears to campfires, bums to beaches, whatever.  Light has that innate quality to attract, no doubt in part because it warms and provides clearer direction, but it also seems to radiate (no pun intended) with some inherent goodness.  All these qualities are shared by spiritual light as well.

(Bonus points to whoever can come up with a parallel to spiritual light and lasers and reports back to me.)

Too perfect.
All light comes from God, which is also where all goodness comes from.  His guidance through revelation is the fastest way to gain direction, it provides warmth and comfort to a broken heart, and that goodness and light inherently seem to draw people to it.  Both kinds of light are very important to me and both have made cool appearances in my life lately.

Like that one time I came into the kitchen to turn the light off and found a beam shining directly on my scriptures.  Or after a long day in the math lab, somehow being directed to walk upstairs to my professor's office, who normally isn't there then, and being able to get some guidance from him that helped me feel tons better that day.  The light--or the Light--drew me into where I needed to go.

So in any area of your life where you may feel darkness--sadness, despair, confusion--seek light.  Through good people, places, goals, activities, as long as they shed that God-given light.  Seek it through prayer, scripture study, and seeking God in general.  It's no coincidence that Joseph Smith said he "[remained] in darkness and confusion," before he "saw a pillar of light," (Joseph Smith History 1:12-17).  God's light is given to all, and it will illuminate our paths more the more we seek Him.

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life," (John 8:12).

I love you all!

P.s. Here are some great videos on physical and spiritual light from people that have way more credence than I do!  Watch them!



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Small Reminders, Big Happiness

Hey, world!

Starting classes up again has made my brain feel like a nice delicious plate of scrambled eggs.  But you know what?  Life is great!  Things might seem hard (like remembering math... as a math major),  things might get stressful, and sometimes it's been easy to focus on that--the right then and there of a hard, stressful situation.  But the Lord has given me some great reminders this past week and a half!

I didn't take any pictures this week, but a guy with a fancy camera did!
1. Serving your fellow brothers and sisters will help you as much as you help others.  That's not to say we should serve out of motivation to help ourselves; that's a bit self-defeating.  Awkward.  But in essence, we are blessed as we try to be a blessing in others' lives.  In any low-grade moping I've done, I've noticed that it vanishes as soon as turn outward and try to find someone to help that day, and I've been able to feel more of God's love for me as I've focused on feeling His love for them.  Even though we shouldn't use serving others as a way to procrastinate doing the things we need to (guilty.), I've noticed that when my thoughts are not centered on myself, they're much more positive and uplifting than when I try to shut out everyone with my impregnable fortress of self-centeredness.  (Word?  It is now.)

2. God answers prayers, but a lot of the time, it's up to us to find the answer.  I've seen so many small (and big) miracles these past two weeks, but only after reviewing the things I've prayed for and the things that happened, or didn't happen, in the proceeding hours, days, whatever.  It's so easy to miss when we're not looking!
Example.  Before a folk dance workshop I was part of (9:00am-9:00pm.  That's 12 hours of dancing.  No big deal.), I felt prompted to pray to find someone to help that day.  So I did.  And forgot about it pretty much as soon as I started trying to remember how to dance.  (Which after 18 months of groove power-down was not pretty.)  As soon as I got to the audition, I talked to a girl who didn't know much of what was going on, and was able to help her out, not making the connection to my prayer earlier.  Until later that night.  But no sooner had I made that connection than I remembered how great it is to have a God that hears, cares about, and responds to us.  Prayer is an open, continuous line of communication, if we want it to be. Cry unto Him in times of need, but don't forget about Him in between (Alma 24:27).

                                                   3. Yeah, trials are hard.  But they're necessary.  To become who we want to be, we have to overcome trials that our "who we want to be" selves would be able to handle.  It's like spiritual weight lifting: we might be that scrawny white kid at the gym, but we have to start lifting if we ever hope to look like that fridge of a man in the corner!  The best way to tackle something (or someone... not that I would know...) is take it down head on, even though we feel like taking it at an angle might soften the impact.  Just go for it.  With all your momentum heading that direction, you'll make it there.  Just like Jacob in the Book of Mormon said,
Like so.  (Yeah, Cougs!)
"We have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path," (2 Nephi 10:20).
I challenge you to seek for God's hand in your life every day, because it's always there.  It's there in helping you find people to serve, in answering prayers, and in helping you through trials.  Show God your appreciation for His help by always remembering Him, not just when we need things or when times get hard.  Life is so much happier with Someone who knows what He's doing!  So get that happiness!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to the "Y"

Last view of Canandaigua Lake...
Hey, world!

...And first view of the "Y" again!
If I told you everything I've been up to this week, you'd all fall asleep.  So, cutting to the chase, tons of things have happened!  Suffice it to say that I'm in Utah now, anxiously awaiting the start of fall semester at BYU!

I've also landed a job at the campus Subway, so I'm being paid for my "womanly sandwich-making duties."  Go ahead.  Stereotype me.  I'm making money while you do. :)

All of us coworkers have asked the general get-to-know-you questions, and I've been asked a bunch if this is my first semester.  Even though I already have three under my belt, I almost feel like it is!  Restarting college after not being in it since December 2012 and everything that goes with it has put some ants in my pants.  But through the mild worries of classes, time management, work, social life, etc., and maintaining a missionary mindset through all the upcoming things, it's just been another chance for the Lord to show me how aware of us He is.

Mission shoe collage!
Whether it's been through good advice from friends and family, words in a talk of a complete stranger in church this past sunday, comfort through the scriptures, or the happiness that comes from being kissed by a boy (my 3 year old nephew giving goodnight kisses...  Eat your hearts out, ladies, he's a cutie!), I've been granted so many tender mercies to remind me that He loves us and He'll take care of us, especially when we're taking care of what He's asked us to do.  In all my macho attempts at being a strong, independent woman who don't need no help, sometimes I let myself forget that people usually want to help, and our Father in Heaven especially does.  He wants to and He will if we just let Him.  He often sends help through "angels" here with people we interact with every day, and He also gives us that help through the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, as we seek for it.  And as I've remembered that I really can't do it all on my own, I've found strength far greater when I lean on Him for support.  Lehi in the Book of Mormon pretty well sums up the way I feel when he says,

The heavenly view out my plane window
"But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love," (2 Nephi 1:15).

Letting God into our lives is so much more than just aiming for Heaven and avoiding Hell in the afterlife.  It's about finding Heaven through His love here on Earth, too!  When we let go of our stubborn pride and just acknowledge that we can't do this without His help (or at the very least it'll be WAY more difficult than it would be with His help), we might feel like we're letting some of our strength go, but in reality, we're adding more strength to face the challenges of life than we could ever find through sheer willpower.  His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.  Any time we rebel against Him, we're just adding a brick to our buckets--when will we realize we're just being ridiculous?

This week, I'd encourage anyone reading this to pinpoint some area of your life that you're trying to manhandle on your own, and then to remember that God will help you with it.  We all still need to put the effort in ourselves, but remember that He wants to and will help where He needs to.  His arms are always outstretched, and we just need to reach back.  Simple as that.  (Isaiah 19:21, 20:4).

I love you all!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Creatures or Creators?

Hey, world!

These past two weeks have seen fantastically fast-paced highlights and incredibly slow interludes (oh, the mundanity!  Haha, ha...), but that's life!  It's been a great intro back into the real world.  Not every day is going to be scheduled to the minute with soul-saving, deepy fulfilling activities, and that's ok!  I've remembered that winding down and relaxing is ok, and that I can still have meaningful experiences outside of inviting people to repent and such.  In fact, I still feel the Spirit in my life about as strongly as I did on my mission!  It's all in the way you view your situation.  Will we be creatures of our circumstances and allow the events of everyday life rob us of happiness or spirituality or other positive things, or will we be creators of our circumstances, and find the happy, make the good, and choose to move forward?  That's our decision.

Which leads everso silky smoothly into what's been on my mind, lately!  We are all accountable for our own actions.  Period.  Our circumstances may affect the level of difficulty of making decisions, or even the way we think, but in the end, no one can force you to do anything.  Options might seem limited, consequences might seem better one way than the other, but we always have our agency, or our power to choose.  Obviously, there are those with conditions that limit their accountability, which is understandable, and is a part of life.  For the rest of us though, there are no excuses!  It's right or wrong.  With the right, it's even broken down into Good, Better, and Best.  There are so many choices!  But they're all OURS to make.

Heeeeere pigdeon pidgeon pidgeon!
Tough guy.
Personal post-mission application: shooting guns.  On the mission: BAD NEWS.  Off the mission: cool!  I could choose to stay stuck in my missionary mentality of "we're breaking rules and wasting precious time when we could be sharing the restored Gospel with our brothers and sisters," or I could enjoy myself with family friends and develop a fun skill.  Another!  Going on a date.  On the mission: BAAAD NEWS.  Off the mission: cool!  I could choose to lock myself in a closet and take an oath of celebacy to remind myself of how much I loved my mission, and how I can't possibly move on from such an amazing event in my life, or I can buck up, act normal one-on-one with someone who's not another Sister (or as normal as I can be... not saying much), and move on.  Personally, I don't want to allow myself to be stuck in the past when I've been preaching about progressing eternally for the last year and a half.  We just have to choose to move ahead!

Totally hypothetical examples.  Totally just pulled them out of the air.  Totally not trying to brag about the fact that I got to shoot clay pidgeons with 12 gauge shotguns.  Not at all.

Super artsy sidewalk chain-link fence thing.
I also could have chosen to curl up into a fetal position in New York City with how un-missionary I felt there, but that wouldn't have been much fun, now would it?

So for this week, read 2 Nephi 2:26-27, and decide how you can decide better in your life.  Take personal responsibility for who you are, what you're doing, and who you want to become and do with your life, and choose to close any gap there might be!  Start today!  Nothing is holding you back.


Super artsy big city temple pic.  Eat your heart out, fence thing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Transfer

Hey.... world!  (I guess this isn't being sent to my family anymore.)

So.  I'm back.  This isn't exactly harvesting in the potato fields of Idaho anymore, but I will still continue the accounts of my harvesting on a less than full-time basis.  Just because I've successfully completed 18 blissful months of spiritual bootcamp doesn't mean I can coast to the finish; I've got the rest of eternity to go!  And Heaven knows that I'm still on a mission; I will always be seeking to invite others to come unto Christ, and I will always be seeking to better my own spirit.  I just got transferred, remember?

And what a transfer.  New area, new companion (or lack thereof), new language, new customs.  I've entered into a strange world of holding babies and hugging people of the opposite gender, and where people watch pictures move in magical, metal boxes.  I seem to be a bit out of my element, but as I study the culture of my new environment, they seem not to detect as much that I'm an awkward, scripture-preaching returned missionary.

Except for that one guy at a young single adult ultimate frisbee tournament who kept touching me on the arm that pointed out I kept backing away from him without even realizing it.  Oops...

Haha but other than that and just a few other minor post-mission quirks, I've been fine with the transition!  I've been blessed with wonderful family and friends to talk to when I feel like driving my head through the floorboards for lack of structured time, and I've also been blessed to find things to keep me busy to avoid the aforementioned feelings.  I know that the promises our Father in Heaven has made to take care of those who serve Him and His children are true!  In my personal studies, I've felt revelation pour into me of how to proceed and what to do, just like it did on the mission!  My questions are being answered one by one, and my concerns are being addressed, or at least given peace to counteract the stress.  I know I'm being watched over, and I feel the Spirit as strongly as I did while I was serving the Lord full-time.  It all depends on what you do with the time you're given!

With that said, I have seen a pull to gradually fall back into who I was before my mission.  To sink; to forget.  But as L. Whitney Clayton said when he toured the IPM back in February, "Success is doing the small things well."  I've noticed that as I start my days with a good personal scripture study, as I keep praying, as I seek the Spirit's guidance continually throughout the day, I can keep building up that spiritual armor around myself to keep from forgetting the wonderful lessons I've learned and the incredible blessings I saw and people I met on my mission.  Though it does kind of feel like my mission was just a dream, not only have I been able to see the change in myself, but mission memories come back and solidify themselves bit by bit as I do the small things and as I share those experiences with others.  The Lord has given me so many miraculous missionary opportunities since I've been back, and it's been such a tender mercy!

My mission wasn't a waste, and my life ahead of me, though not in full-time service, is not a waste either.  Now's the time to be "in the world, but not of the world," (John 15:19).  Though we all seem to focus on the second half of that statement, the first half is just as important.  Those with the light of Christ burning within them need to be a beacon to those whose light may have faded, but how can we do that if we avoid anyone who fits that category?

So, hello, World.  It's good to be back!  Even though I apparently have a hard time letting your boys tap me on the arm still (seriously, I had no idea!), I'm ready to take you on!  I know that I can do anything with my Savior at my side.


1. 4 hours of ultimate frisbee :)  It's good to be back!
2. The Sacred Grove: one of my favorite places in the world

Monday, July 28, 2014

New Chapters and New Experiences Await!

Hey, family & friends!

This week was INCREDIBLE.  We have found so much solid potential in this
area in just this past week alone!  There's Gian, Jason, Nato, Selena, and
Westley, not to mention our amazing lesson with Luka and we picked Caleb
back up!  It's been such a tender mercy to see this area explode one last
time before I'm gone.

And now, to address the question that's probably been on a lot of your minds: how do I feel about coming home?  Well, I'll tell you.

As much as I've joked about extending for 3 more years (adding on the fact
that I've asked President Brinkerhoff for an extension twice) and how much
I've talked about never wanting to leave, etc., if an extension was offered
to me, I don't know if I would take it.  My mission has taught me so much
about life, the Gospel, my Father in Heaven and my Savior, who I am, and
who I want to be, and to not take those things out into the real world
would be a disservice to the past 18 and a half months I've spent devoting
my life to helping others, and myself, constantly and consistently
progress.  It's my time.  I've learned what I've needed to, I've helped the
people I was meant to, and to keep furthering my progression, I know I need
to move on.  Yes, it does break my heart to leave the people and places
that have become such an integral part of me, but it also gives my heart
cause to rejoice for the opportunities I have in front of me!  And, of
course, to see the other people and places that are an integral part of me
who I haven't seen for 18 months!  One of my friends from this mission said
it's like leaving one family to go to another, and I'd say that's true.

Our stake president yesterday asked me what I had left behind in this
mission.  Lots of blood, sweat, and tears.  What I'm taking with me?  A lot
more than I can explain (at least effectively all at once).  Overall, I've
learned more about my Savior, His Atonement, and how I can access that,
which is through the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Please, if you have
any questions about the things I've been talking about for a year and a
half, ask me or your local missionaries!  I bear my witness, for possibly
the last time as an authorized representative of Jesus Christ Himself, that
these things are true.  They will bless you.  There is nothing better and
nothing more direly important for you to accept in your life than this
Gospel, and there's nothing I've learned to love more than sharing that joy
with those that I love.  And I love you all.

Until I see you all again, I bear my sure witness to you that Jesus is the
Christ, that our Father in Heaven loves us, and that His Gospel and one way
to live with Him in His Kingdom forever is back on the earth!  How exciting
is that??  I will stand on every rooftop I can physically climb on top of
and shout it to everyone within earshot, where legal (locations may vary).
And I will because, though I'll be taking my tag off my shirt shortly, I
will always wear one on my heart.  This is just another transfer :)  New
chapters and new experiences await, but I will always have the Gospel and
sharing it as my constants.

I love you all so much.  I'll see you soon.

For the last time as a full-time servant for God in Idaho, and with all my
Sister Jacobson.

1. With President and Sister Brinkerhoff at the departing temple trip.
2. The district.
3. Sister Fredrick in front of the Institute :)  (at top of page)

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Send Off Sisters!

Hey, family!
So, we're calling ourselves the "send off sisters" now, haha.  We've had the amazing opportunity of teaching people (no fewer than 8 now) that are in our area but are either moving or don't live there, setting dates with many of them, and then sending them on to other missionaries!  Some missionaries might look at that as a bad thing, but we've seen it as a privilege. We've gotten to be the "spark" (as one of them who got baptized put it) to help people stay hooked in learning about the Gospel. In the end, the work is all the same, no matter who finds, teaches, and baptizes. We're not in this for the numbers or the glory of teaching the most investigators, we're just in this to serve God and help His children.
One of them is Luka, from Egypt!  He made us liver this week!  We were kind of nervous going in, but it was suuuper good.  He's moving in a week, but we're teaching him a lesson before he leaves!  Balvina, Fadil, Jacque (the girl who got baptized), Jacque's sister Stephanie.... they're all in the aforementioned category.  But like I said above, it really is cool to us!  We're getting to help them and help other missionaries!  What could be better?

We also got to volunteer at a color run!  We didn't run ourselves, but we filled up the bottles of color powder (and then emptied a bunch of them before the race started on each other....) and stopped traffic for the runners!  Super fun!  There's so much power in a stop sign and an orange vest.

We've found some more potential investigators, too!  We're seriously being so blessed here!  It may not show in the amount of progressing investigators we have (that amount is 0), but we know we're "laying the foundation of a great work" (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33)!  We've come to the conclusion that these past few months have really been a lot for the members here.  We've kind of been rewiring their brains to trust the missionaries again, to focus on missionary work, to increase their faith and vision, and to help them hit the ground running with their missionary work plans once the fall semester starts!  We know if we hadn't have been working like we have, it might take a while for things to get started work wise, even with all the students coming back soon.  But we feel like things will just EXPLODE once the students get here.  They think they're just coming for secular learning.  Little do they know.... :)


It really is amazing though how nothing else matters anymore.  Nothing matters accept serving God and doing what He would have us do.  I know I'll be doing that in a different way fairly soon, but I will always owe my life to my mission for helping me see that more.  There is nothing that even compares to living the Gospel.  There is nothing that brings more peace, strength, and joy in life than living the Gospel.  There is NOTHING else that compares!  We love serving for the sake of serving, not for the numbers or the outward success.  Sister Fredrick and I have been talking about how even though we're not really teaching anyone steadily anymore for the past while now, we've just been so happy!  We don't care about earthly rewards anymore.  The mission has purged that out of me.  All that matters is serving God and helping His children.  I love Him, and I can never repay what He's done for me, but I can sure as heck give Him the rest of my life gladly.

Love you all!  Give something up that's taking you away from or holding you back from coming closer to Christ this week.  Your "sacrifice" won't be a sacrifice at all, in the grand scheme of how stinkin' happy you can be all day, 'err day.  And yes,I'll write next week, don't worry haha.
Love,  Sister Jacobson
                                             The Color Run!


                                             Katie titled this one "Tennis Thugs"!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Something HUGE is coming!

Hey, family & friends!

Well, this could have been a discouraging week, if we didn't love the work so much!  We found out that 3 of our investigators aren't necessarily who they say they are, our recent convert doesn't want to stay longer than sacrament meeting anymore, the Balvina's brother isn't nearly as supportive as we'd like him to be, and we still aren't really teaching anybody else regularly.

BUT, Sister Fredrick and I (as well as the whole zone, turns out) know that though we may be going through a rough patch, it's merely a trial of our faith.  There are times it would be easy to let ourselves get down and stay down, and there were times this week we were tempted to, but we can both feel that something HUGE is coming! 

This morning, I read Alma 8 (especially verses 13-18), and it applies so much to our situation!  Though Alma was about to turn his back on the city of Ammonihah forever and felt "weighed down with sorrow, wading through much tribulation and anguish of soul, because of the wickedness of the people," when the angel came to Alma, he told him that he has "great cause to rejoice" for being faithful in keeping the commandments.  Even though we may not be seeing the blessings of people to teach, we have reason to rejoice just for the sake of knowing about this Gospel, living it, and sharing it.  I don't care about the outward blessings anymore.  As much as I love having success in our area and helping others, I don't live the Gospel or serve faithfully for those rewards.  I've discovered it's because I love Him!  It's because I'm so grateful for His Atonement that I HAVE to work as hard as I can!  Just serving Him itself is a blessing, no matter what happens.  I love my Savior, and I fear not what men can do to me.
In other news, Balvina's back!  We've all decided it would be best to just keep meeting here, but let the baptism happen when she goes home. 

I've also seen firsthand the power of the Book of Mormon even more this week!  Yesterday, in one of those times where I was cave in to feelings of despair, we went to visit Balvina.  Before that, I just couldn't shake feelings of negativity, which is not normal for me.  But then we sat down and read a chapter of the Book of Mormon with her, and I IMMEDIATELY felt TONS better.  I realized that because of all the meetings we had had that morning, we never got the chance to study or read the scriptures.  That's so unusual for missionary work that it didn't even occur to me that maybe I need to read!  There is a tangible power and Spirit that comes from reading the Book of Mormon.  Next time you're in a bad mood, try it.  Dare you!
Love you all!  Find that sunshine in your soul today!
-Sister Jacobson

picture: Sister Trainer Leaders
Close up of Katie and her companion

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fourth of July fun in Pocatello!

Hey, family & friends!

So the 4th of July was probably one of the most fun days of my mission!  Neighborhood pancake breakfast at one of our Bishop's, climbed a cherry tree and picked a ton in a member's yard, picnic and sports all day with 3 zones of missionaries, got to watch "Frozen," (now I see what all the fuss is about!) with said missionaries, and then we all went to fireworks.  So sore the next day, but so fun!  Then the next day we fasted from our car to save on miles in the mid-90's with no set appointments and not many home.

Needless to say, I'm thoroughly kissed by the sun.  (But don't worry, I told him that wasn't appropriate.) 

Other than that, lately, our area has kind of taken a nose dive as far as how many people we're working with.  Sister Fredrick and I had a good conversation about this though, and I was able to think about similar experiences I've already had on my mission.  These are the refining times where we take constant inventory of ourselves and the way we work.  I developed much more humility, patience, and diligence during these kinds of times than with others, and it's just a way of Heavenly Father stretching and strengthening our faith.  Though we might be putting a, b, and c into the formula, we might not get our expected x, y, and z immediately, or even at all.  But that's not to say we won't get a w, p, or f in there, though we might miss them if we're not looking for them.  There are so many subtle, yet significant blessings that can come from trials, but they so often get overlooked while we're so focused on getting the results we think we need.  I'm grateful for these times to remind me of all the amazing, yet more subtle, blessings I do have.

I hope all of you stay nice and chilly.  We've got mid-90's all week again!  I'll tell the sun to keep off me.  But I do look fabulous.  (Totally kidding.)
Love you all,                                                         
Sister Jacobson

This is going to be in two installments
1.  Cherry picking!
2.  Still cherry picking!
3.  Group cherry picking!
4.  Merka.
5.  Zone picture!
6. Fireworks
7. Watching Frozen
8. More Cherry tree!
9. #Called to Share
For those of you who haven't heard of the #Called to Share program on facebook, go there today and join!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Blow Something Up For Me!

Hey, family& friends!

This is probably going to be short.  Due to our full day P-day on the 4th of July, today is just 2 hours, so we've been running around like crazy to get things done.  Sorry also to anyone I would normally email today as well who's reading this.  I'll repent next week.  

Austin's baptism was so great!  Tons of people came, and it was so sweet to see his brother, Harley, (the one who got baptized our first week in this area), do the baptizing!  Their mom was there, too, and she was so happy, she was in tears!  One of the sweetest baptisms I think I've ever been to.

As far as other things go, not a whole lot happened this week.  We looked at each other last night, wondering where the miracles and new investigators and things had gone, but then we realized that we were letting ourselves get a little lax on the missionary schedule.  We weren't being grossly disobedient--just a few minutes late here and there to things-- but every single minute counts, especially in missionary work, and ESPECIALLY in these hastening times!  I'm grateful for a gentle chastening from our Father in Heaven to remind me of exact obedience before we go too far astray.  There's just NO time to waste!

Hope you all have a great 4th of July week!  Blow something up for me!  Go America!

Sister Jacobson

*She didn't send the 4th picture she described but her description is so Katie we left it in! Hopefully we'll get that picture next week! Stay tuned!
1. He-Man Croquet: sledge hammers, bowling balls, metal bar tunnel things.  SO fun.
2. Sister Fredrick and President Brinkerhoff.  It was close, but he won!  That's what we get for challenging God's anointed...
3. Austin's on the left, Harley's on the right!
4. This guy was the voice of Nephi for the Hill Cumorah Pageant!!  I had him say, "In the name of Almighty God, I command you TOUCH ME NOT!"  It sounded 25 years older and deeper, but I was still tickleder than a 5 year-old's Elmo doll.  Made my day!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Floodgate of Miracles

Hey, family & friends!

You know those moments where you feel like a floodgate of miracles is opening?

Karen and Elizabeth are roommates of a member here.  We taught them a lesson and they want to continue learning!

Cody is on the ISU football team.  Taught him a lesson.  He wants to continue.

We were doing laps around the Institute again and found a guy named Marcelo.  Challenged him to fuesball, and he accepted.  And he lost :)  We took him on an impromptu tour of the building, and he told us in the chapel that when he was walking home, he was stressed out thinking about a ton of things, but he felt way calmer after talking to us--aka he was feeling the Spirit mad hard.  He wants to continue meeting with us!

This girl named Lexi is friends with a member here.  When she asked her pastor a question and he told her to Google it, she turned to said friend, Delaney.  She had the answer right off the bat, and they kept talking about the Gospel.  Delaney invited her to church and to meet with us, and she did both.  She already knows it's true, and she wants to get baptized!

THEN there's Kevin, who I might have told you about, but his church closed for the summer, so his roommate invited him to church with him.  He came to all 3 hours, and asked us afterwards if we could have a lesson.  We did, and he also wants to get baptized!  

Balvina's doing great, Austin's doing great, and Caleb decided he doesn't want to take lessons anymore, but is going to read the Book of Mormon on his own and still come to church things every once in a while.  

God loves us so much.  I can't even tell you how blessed I feel!  Alma 26:16!  He gives us so much in return for so little!  He asks us to do things that make us happy, and He blesses us in return with more happiness!  The work is truly hastening--so many hearts are prepared for this message, and the only need an invitation to find it!  

I don't have much time, but my gosh.  I hope your weeks are going as well as ours!  We're off to go watch Sister Fredrick play our mission president in ping-pong, no big deal.

Sister Jacobson

1. Making tortillas like a Mexican mom.
2. Baseball activity!  Those few years of playing way back when are NOT coming back to me...

Monday, June 16, 2014

We're being richly blessed here!

Hey, family & friends!
This might be short--sorry!
Also, as of July 1, our mission address will be changing to:
135 S. 7th Ave.
Pocatello, ID 83201
For all those MILLIONS of letters coming in.  (But I'm not bitter.)
(You've only got 5 more weeks to write her, She'll be home in 6 weeks! Her current address is on the right. It's the address you will want to use til the end of June!)

So miracle: remember Harley?  The awesome new convert my first weekend here?  Well, his brother, Austin, and his mom just moved up from Arizona.  And now we're teaching Austin!  And he's getting baptized this month!  And his mom is interested and we're going to send the family elders to her!  For one thing, we didn't have a baptism lined up for this month, but God saw fit to bless us with this miracle!  But more importantly, this is a FAMILY!  And we're only in Young Single Adult work!  This is the first family I've seen baptized (a few reactivated as a result of a child getting baptized, yes, but all getting baptized?  No.) on my mission, and we're not even working with families!  What a miracle to see the promise come to pass that the Gospel blesses families.  We haven't met the mom, yet, but the brothers seem close, and the Gospel's going to bring them all even closer!
Also, a ward member's sister just moved in with him for the summer!  He converted a few years back and is the only member in his family.... for now :)  We taught her a lesson with him and a few good friends from the ward, and she just ate it up!  She's so receptive and so sweet, and we can tell this is going to be a wonderful process for their family too, even if it's just the two of them here.  They'll be a light to the rest of the family, too!
Caleb is fantastic!  His faith is growing SO much and so quickly!  He's already finished   1 Nephi, and he's a lot more receptive to seeing God's hand in his life!  We can tell he's right on that cusp of recognizing and accepting the truth into his life!
I wish I could tell you in detail the miracles we've been seeing daily.  There's no time, and there's no way.  Suffice it to say we're being richly blessed here.  I know that diligence and obedience are divine principles.  "Stick to your task till it sticks to you!"  Though things may be hard, the fun is IN the hard work, not just in addition to or after or instead of.  I love work, and this is the best work there is!
Love you all!
-Sister Jacobson                                Painting, Companion Unity Style!
Ping Pong Tracting!
Fusball Champion!
And Again!