Monday, February 24, 2014

Miracle magnet!

Hey, family & friends!

This week has been, as always, absolutely amazing!  I've said this in the past, but even more so now, we've been witnessing so many miracles pouring out on us this week!  Sister Mork is a miracle magnet.  It's awesome.

So Kaj's getting baptized in two days!  Yaayyy!  And he and his grandpa came to our ward yesterday!  YAAYYY!  We and the Relief Society President have started a movement in the ward to make his grandpa the scout leader.  There's no escape now.  (Muahaha.)

Also, remember that wonderful family that took Sister Gale and me in Christmas morning?  Well, we felt prompted to stop by earlier this week, and Stephanie and Mamie (her daughter) were home and free for a visit.  They told us their schedule had freed up a bit, and we're teaching them now!  They're both the sweetest people ever.

We also received a referral from one of our bishops of a new family that moved into the ward boundaries, and we went and visited them.  The mom (Allison) and her daughter (Carol) are members and the mom's boyfriend (Matt) is not.  The ladies are reactivating now--the young women are perfect with Carol!--and Matt is interested in seriously looking into the Church now!  They're a sweet, humble family, and we're excited to start teaching them too!

There's also this lady in one of our wards who invited a 9 year-old girl, who isn't a member, to dinner at their house last night with us, and went over to her house, got permission from her parents, and are going to be teaching her in the member's home, hopefully with the rest of the family sitting in.

And maybe the hugest miracle of the week--we've begun teaching a man named R.C.  He's been taught on and off by missionaries since 2006, and has nothing against the Church, but just has never wanted to join.  His wife has a very strong testimony of the Church, and his daughters, though not going, are also members, and they've abided by most of the Gospel standards their whole time together, and have loved having missionaries over for dinners and such.  We had been thinking of him for a few days (though I had only met him once before), and we decided to pay the family a visit.  Well, only he was home, so we weren't able to go in, but we talked to him on the doorstep and asked if he'd be willing to try taking the lessons again.  After thinking just for a few seconds, he said he actually would!  So we went to our scheduled appointment, and it was just him and his wife.  He told us beliefs and concerns of his that she had never known in 20 years of marriage, and promised to actually read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, something he's never done before.  We've received such a strong witness that his time is now, and he and his family will be able to receive so many blessings of peace and happiness that, although they've had both, they will have in so much greater abundance through this Gospel!

I've sensed a theme this week (like a lot of weeks out here).  Family is so crucial to God's plan.  Family is the center of everything.  But even more than that, as I've been trying to help these families receive the blessings of the Gospel, I've also been increasing in my love for all of you.  I'm realizing more and more how important you all are to me, and how grateful I am to be sealed to you for eternity.  I've been realizing more and more how much I love you!  I really do.  And I love seeing those pictures of all of you (or most of you) together from this past week!  Thank you for your prayers and support.  I've felt them, and I really do appreciate them.

I love you all, and I hope you feel my prayers, too!  I say them for you every night.

Sister Jacobson

Monday, February 17, 2014

A missionary trainers dream companion!

Hey, family & friends!

Ok, cool story time.  I don't remember telling you this, but about a month and a half ago, I got a letter from a future IPM sister who had found my blog asking me for advice about the mission.  I wrote her back and thought it would be super cool to meet her.  

That Sister is now my companion!

Meet Sister Mork: fun-loving, energetic, bold, loving, hilarious, strong, gorgeous, angelic, pretty much the best missionary around!  It's been so much fun getting to know her and serve with her just these past few days, and I'm excited for the months we have ahead!  She's been an incredible example to me of small things I've either forgotten or gotten out of the habit of, and even way bigger things.  She's so amazing!  Aaaahhh!!!

She also likes to run!  Woo!  And we almost had a dance party to church music for exercise this morning, but then we both felt too self-conscious, so we did sit-ups and push-ups and stuff instead.  #awkwardmissionaryprobs

She's also a miracle magnet!  I think it's interesting to note that with every transfer or change I've been a part of, the area always starts changing, too.  The Lord really does prepare the hearts and minds of the people for the missionaries that are called there, and vice versa.  We've started seeing Ariel again more regularly and she came to church again!  That was huge!  We were able to get in contact with Kelsey and Ana, two people Sister Gale and I had tried over and over to reconnect with and just weren't able to.  We were able to start teaching this Joe and Lisa, a wonderful couple that we had met briefly a few times, but we were finally able to get in their home and teach them a lesson, and they want to continue!  We've talked to so many people and there is so much more potential here than there was just a few weeks ago!  The Lord really does know His servants and the people who live in the area they work.  He's preparing their hearts and the hearts of those who know them to have the courage to be the means of them meeting the missionaries and coming unto Christ.

But also..... David A. Bednar.  I've never felt so starstruck in my life.  He taught us a lot about learning by the Spirit, not just writing down what we hear word-for-word.  The Spirit is the best teacher, and the only teacher of spiritual truths, so he asked us to be aware of His promptings, not just the words coming out of his mouth.  He spoke about how, as learners, we are to be agents to act, not objects to be acted upon.  Learning is an active process, not just passively waiting for someone to pour knowledge in your head.  The rest of his discussion was then not him speaking at us for hours, but a dialogue, with both him and us asking questions and answering back and forth.  It was truly amazing, and I learned so many things from his example in how to be a better teacher by asking better questions and truly discerning what needs to be asked.  Never ask a question you already know the answer to!

I was able to use some of those principles in a talk I gave yesterday in sacrament meeting.  (That was a fun discussion picking up Sister Mork: "Hey!  Great to meet you!  By the way, we're both giving 20-minute talks on sunday.")  I focused a bit of it on how we need to be anxiously engaged in a good cause regarding missionary work.  It's so easy to say, "I don't know them very well..." or, "They probably wouldn't listen..." or even, "I just don't get out much to talk to people."  But we are agents to act, not objects to be acted upon.  We can do anything if we make it a priority!  The time for "just be a good example," although crucial, is passed.  Passive missionary work is not enough anymore.  We must be actively, anxiously engaged in a good cause, and this is the best cause there is!  As you deepen your own conversion, you'll naturally start turning outward to help people feel as happy and peaceful and directed as you do.  

I love all of you!  All of you be agents this week.  You are the masters of your own destiny quite simply by choosing to act, not let things act upon you alone.

Sister Jacobson   

1.  Transfer site!!
2.  Look at our love.
3.  Also, some elders buried me in chairs.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Dear family& friends
(A trainer is someone who trains a brand new missionary straight from the Missionary Training Center as their first companion in the mission.)
I'm so crazy excited!!  Seriously, I started running around our apartment when the Assistants called us Thursday morning with the news!  If I can be half the trainer my trainer was (shoutout to former Sister Kuhns [also future Sister Kubie, yeeuh!]), then I will be a happy camper.  Seriously.  I'm so excited.  I think it's unhealthy.  It will be sad to see Sister Gale go--we've had so much fun together!  And we say everything the same way at the same time like all the time.  She'll be going up to Ammon (around Idaho Falls) with a cool Sister to whitewash into an Elders' area.  They're going to tear it up!

Other things this week:
-We stopped by Myra's (the alleged druggie) again, and this time she was pretty sober.  Turns out, she's way normal!  We exchanged phone numbers and we're going to call to set up another appointment!

-Kaj's getting baptized in just over a week.  Woo!
-A dog almost bit Sister Gale's hand off.
-We learned about self-defense from a lady here.  Don't go for the nads.  Elbow them in the throat.

-I got to go to a new trainers' meeting in Idaho Falls on friday with another Sister that's training, so we went on temporary exchanges.  President Brinkerhoff and his wife drove us back and treated us to Olive Garden.  Way nice!

-While I was gone, Sister Gale went with the other Sister's companion to their area in Chubbuck.  She met a dog with dreadlocks!
-We got to see John and Megan and had a really nice discussion about the Restoration of Christ's church.  They're like our best friends.  And we got to see Felix!  My heart will forever be wrapped around his disfigured little frame.  Sorry, gentlemen.

-Elder David A. Bednar is coming to speak to the whole mission this Saturday!  All 268+ of us!  What an honor to hear an apostle of the Lord speaking directly to us!
-But really, I'm so excited to train!!

 Also, we found a new investigator named Kelsey this week who agreed to prepare for baptism! We first met her and her husband with the Relief Society President going on visits (shoutout to all auxiliary leaders doing their job plus taking the missionaries out with you. Rock on, you champions.)  They're new move-ins to the area, and we weren't sure if they were both members of this church or not, and when we asked, she wasn't sure at first either haha.  She and her sister had walked to church a lot as kids (her parents aren't fans of the Church) and went to Young Women's and Girls' Camp and all that, so at first she said she was.  But when we asked her if she had been baptized, she said no.  We talked with her a bit about it, and she's accepted a date to prepare to be baptized on!  We're so excited to begin working with her!  It's been incredible to see this area grow so much, and I'm so grateful to have some solid people to work with for the new Sister coming in.  We're going to hit the ground running!

 This week I've learned more about how God truly is in the details of our lives!  From saying the right thing at the right time without realizing it to asking someone to give us a ride to a baptism and it turns out the driver and the family of the baptizees knew each other and had lost contact, He wants us to have joy on the grand scale of things, but also in the small things.  Those little tender mercies are His little winks in our general direction to let us know He cares!

 I love you all so much, and I pray for you every night.  Stay close to your Father in Heaven.  He will provide you with everything He knows you need, not necessarily with what you think you need.  He sees the big picture.  He'll guide you to where you need to be most.

Sister Jacobson
1. Hide-n-seek on beast mode. (top of page)
2. Hey, Palmyra peeps, look who's in the same zone now! (Spencer Cook is from Pittsford NY and he and Katie have known each other for several years!)
3. So we had this muffin mix and no muffin pan.  Thus, muffin cake.  Best idea we've ever had.

4. Also, Idaho gas prices.  First time I've seen it below $3.00 in who knows how long! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Holy Crazies!

Hey, family & friends!

What.  A.  Week.  This might have been the best week of my mission.
First part of the week was pretty cool.  We had a lesson with Pat, and he said he would consider a baptism date!  That's way better than a "no" right off the bat!

We got to see John and Megan again.  They're way fun!  We talked a lot about how much we all love sriracha sauce, and they're going to feed us on wednesday!  And Felix is doing well, in case you were wondering!  We love him.

But really.  The main part of the week was friday and on.

I don't think I've told you all about Kandra, yet!  Kandra and her family has been taught since March of last year.  It used to be an elders' area, and they baptized their two children.  Kandra also wanted to be baptized, but because of own personal reasons wasn't ready yet.  However, this past friday, she decided that sunday was the day!  AAAHHHH!!!!  But wait, there's more!

The elders that found and taught them all and baptized the kids and Kandra had a really tight relationship, along with another Elder that was transferred in after they were baptized.  That one is our zone leader Elder Malau'ulu, one of the original two is home, and the other, Elder Lopes, is serving in Idaho Falls.  Kandra wanted Elder Lopes to baptize her as originally planned, and wanted Elder Malau'ulu to be there, but we decided to make it a surprise for both of them.  We got the Assistants to the President involved to call Elder Lopes and tell him that President wanted to meet with him, and we got Elder Malau'ulu to agree to help with our unexpected baptism that weekend for Kevin, a man who was already taught all the lessons and everything in Boise who had to move, but still wanted to get baptized.  

She told us on friday night at about 8:45pm (and curfew is 9:00).  So we had approximately a day and a half to get everything ready.  But you know what?  The Lord provides a way for all!  After a day and a half of scrambling to get everything in order, it all came perfectly together yesterday afternoon after stake conference.  (By the way, we had two general authorities come!  The stake presidency was just reorganized yesterday, and so these two area 70s were there to talk to us.  I was fangirling all over the place.)  The elders had NO idea, and the service was beautiful.  The Spirit was strong as Kandra took that step towards her eternal family. 

But surprises and crazies aside, it's SO amazing to see this HUMONGOUS miracle thrown at us! We've been working so hard and being so obedient, and to finally see it come to fruition in this way has strengthened my testimony of hard work and obedience even more.  When we do things the Lord's way, He has promised to be with us.  He has promised to bless us.  He might wait until we're in the 9th inning.  He might wait until we're sweating and straining and have pushed past what we thought our extremities were and then some.  But oh, my goodness, He will come through in the end! He always will!  He is a perfect God, and He always keeps His word!  Mosiah 2:41.  He has promised that keeping the commandments is the happiest way to live, and I testify of that with everything I have!  I will continue to testify of that until my dying day!
This!  Gospel!  Is!  True!
I love you all so much.  Believe in miracles!  They're so real.
Sister Jacobson  

1. Elder Erikson and Elder Marc B. Nash and the stake missionaries!
2. The elders and Kandra!