Monday, March 31, 2014

We've seen a theme of "hope" this past week

Hey, family & friends!

In case you were wondering, yes, this week was also fantastic!
We found some new investigators this week!  Hailey and Rainee (and we met their brother, Sunny! badum ch!) are twins and they've been taught before, but didn't want the missionaries to keep coming.  However, they've been coming to Young Women's every wednesday night and they're ready for the lessons again!  They're way fun!

Hannah's grandpa finally answered, and she now has a solid baptism date for mid-April!  

We haven't been able to really see some people lately due to spring break and crazy schedules, but with the chains of school and everything shackling its prisoners once again, we'll finally get them all where we want them.  Muahaha!

We introduced Pat to family history this week, and he said it sounded fascinating!  We're hoping the "Spirit of Elijah" will get him going!

R.C. is still great!  We got to eat dinner with them last night for their daughter's birthday celebration and watch him and his wonderful wife play tickle and slap (more slap than tickle), which is always fun!  For the past week and a half, things have been exploding over there with computer and plumbing problems, so they've had to cancel on us about 3 times, so we know the adversary is really trying to keep him from admitting to the truth he knows.  We pointed out how as soon as we started meeting, things started going crazy, and though he seemed "skeptical" that we were bringing all these problems, we think he's making the connection of how important this is!
We've seen a theme of "hope" this past week, but I don't have enough time to give a tear-tugging sermon on it, so poke yourselves in the eye and pretend I did. 

Love you all!  Take hope this week!
-Sister Jacobson

Pics: Sister Mork sent them this week because I'm a scrub and didn't take any again.  Woops!  

Monday, March 24, 2014

My mission means everything to me!

Dear Family and Friends,
I pretty much don't care about anything anymore accept for missionary work, so I apologize if my letters are getting progressively more boring haha.  I've realized lately that all my enthusiasm and energy are being channeled only into testifying of the Gospel and inviting people to come unto Christ.  And maybe into eating Sriracha sauce.

We showed Pat a video called "Finding Faith in Christ," and he said, "Huh... maybe I do have faith after all!"  Super awesome.

The boys are all as fun as always.  Quote: "We'll have to use that idea when we go on OUR missions!"   Booyah!

Turns out, we can't baptize Greg or DeWayne for technical things  but we still will go over every once in a while to have family prayer and scripture study with them.  We know these are the things that will strengthen their relationships with each other by strengthening their relationships with Christ, and we can definitely feel a difference in their home between before and after the studies. This Gospel truly does bless families.
Hannah's as adorable as always.  Still trying to get in contact with her grandpa.

We're also going to start teaching this cute Chinese foreign exchange student soon!  We've seen her around a couple times (she lives with some members in our ward), and yesterday we invited her to take the lessons.  She probably won't be able to get baptized here, but the least we can do is provide her the opportunity to learn about Christ's restored Gospel while she can here!

Also, Ariel finally completely dropped us!  You'd think I'd be devastated; I've known and loved her since my first day in the area.  But I actually feel peace.  I know I've done every single thing I could have with both Sister Gale and Sister Mork to help her receive the joy of this Gospel, and that's all I can do.  I've cried repentance as much as I could have.

Yesterday, there was a senior couple that gave their homecoming talks after just getting home from their mission in California.  As they spoke, you could tell they gave their whole heart, might, mind, and strength to their work... which made it all the harder to hear.  About halfway through one of their talks, it hit me like a sack of bricks that that will be me a whole lot sooner than I want or like to think about.  This past transfer went by like a bullet, and I know the next few will be the same.  My mission means everything to me.  I know I'll be able to move on with my life after I get home, but I will not be ready to be home until my feet touch New York soil.  Living and sharing the Gospel with all my time and energy is my world!  This Gospel is way too good to keep to myself!  And as I share it with others, whether they accept it or not, I feel as though I'm "swallowed up in the joy of [my] God, even to the exhausting of [my] strength," (Alma 27:17).  I love my God, I love His Gospel, and I love His children, and that's why I'm here!  But this joy isn't only limited to me!  Anyone can have it!  "This is the joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness," (Alma 27:18).  Too many people try to fill up the holes in their hearts and find artificial happiness through various means, but the real source of happiness is through God and His restored Gospel on the earth!  This is too important to ignore!!  Don't delay your own search for happiness!

I love this Gospel more than I can say, and I know it has blessed our family in infinitely many ways. I love all of you, and I invite you to seek God's word for happiness this week.

Sister Jacobson

  Pretty much a doctor.

Monday, March 17, 2014

We have people climbing out of the woodworks to hear this great message!

Hey, family & friends!

I'm just so amazed at how the Lord has blessed us in our area!  Seriously, we're so busy here!  We have people climbing out of the woodworks to hear this great message!

So, those teenage boys we met that I told you about?  We've been teaching them!  Adam, Dillon, Jaime, and Dustin, the first two being baptized, the last two are not--but they want to be!  We actually set a date with them, and the next time we went over (the next day; they really like lessons!  Or they just really like Sister Mork.... I'm pretty sure it's both.), they asked if we could move it up a week because they wanted to be baptized sooner!  Seriously, they're so much fun to be around with their energy and enthusiasm for learning about the Gospel!  They've been reading the Book of Mormon and praying together and individually every night, and I can just picture them all serving missions when they've grown a foot or two!

Also, cool story.  As we've been teaching them, their sister, Natalia, has declined sitting in on the lessons each time we invite, but she's still sat within earshot every time.  Yesterday, we came over to invite them to a fireside held by the mission, and that opened her up to some questions!  She agreed to coming, so she and Jaime and we piled up in a car with a member and went to the fireside all together!  We took them on a tour of the church building after it was done, and talked about the Restoration, the Book of Mormon, the Spirit, and baptism.  She didn't accept a date yet, but she felt something, and we know she will when we go back over!  It's truly amazing how the Lord softens hearts to hear His wonderful Gospel!
Another finding miracle: we got a referral for a boy that had almost been baptized about 2 years ago, but moved just before the big day.  They moved back a little while ago, and we went over to introduce ourselves to him and his family.  As we walked to the house, we saw through their big front window that people were home, but we first went to visit with their neighbors outside.  When we returned, their blinds were drawn.  Hmmm.... But!  That boy, Greg, was just getting off the bus from school and invited us right in!  We met his mom (a reactivating member) and his dad, who is not a member, and who runs away/slams doors in the faces of missionaries!  But!  We all sat down and had a quick lesson about how the Gospel specifically applies to and will bless their lives as a family, and they ALL agreed to take the lessons this time!  Woo!
Ariel's doing well!  Really busy, so it's hard to meet up sometimes, but she's asking great questions and searching for answers!
R.C. is the same.  He didn't feel ready to come to church, but he's been working harder for his answer and opening his opinions up more than he ever has, so his wife has told us.
Hannah is doing well, but they're not sure if she can baptized on 3/29 as scheduled.  Please pray for a way for her to still be baptized on her day--we know she can!
Finally reconnected with John and Megan and Felix--still as fun as ever!  We invited them to go on a church tour this week and they accepted, as long as they get to take us on a tour of their church building!  We got permission--it'll be fun!  AND..... he also accepted a baptism date!  AAAHHH!
AND we finally saw Pat again and rescheduled his baptism date!  AAAHHH!
It's just so amazing to me that we can spend our whole lives building up who we are, and the Savior just takes a second to break that all down and build us to what we need to be.  Only He and His Atonement can truly pierce through the walls we build around our hearts to let the warmth in.

I love you all!
-Sister Jacobson

1, 2, 3.  Sister Mork is a selfie master.


Monday, March 10, 2014

I promise you, the blessings will come

Hey, family & friends!

This week we've learned a lot about agency!  I think everything we've done and taught this past week could link back to it.

We had a lesson with R.C. where we really were trying to discern his needs and desires.  From what we can see not only with him, but with others we're teaching also, some people are searching for answers they most likely already know, but don't want to be true.  We claim we don't have answers, yet we've had answers enough; we're just choosing not to accept them.  We know that once we accept the answer to do what's right, we'll HAVE to follow it, but we know how hard it might be.

So we wait.  We wait for "proof."  But waiting for proof before belief is like telling a dumbell to give you muscles before you pick it up.  It just doesn't work that way!  We have to work.  And then, we'll get what we want.

What we want might not be what God is prompting us to do.  We want something good, but not what's best.  If we choose to act with what we want, not what God wants, we'll be blessed with doing that thing we want to do.  Good!  But if we do what He wants us to do, we're blessed with so much more--greater happiness, peace, specific blessings to the specific action, but overall, we get the best blessings.  

Though we weren't able to get out as much this week, when we went out, we were so guided!  We were able to "run into" so many potential investigators, and our wards are increasingly inviting people to meet with us in their homes!  I feel so much love and support from so many different sources, not the least of which is my Savior.

This coming week, when you're prompted to do that which is good, know that it's from God.  Then act.  I promise you, the blessings will come, and you might not even realize just how blessed you are.

Love you all!
-Sister Jacobson

Monday, March 3, 2014

Huuuuge miracles this week

Hi family & friends!

This week was a little bit different, but we were still blessed greatly!

Poor Sister Mork got a bad case of the flu last sunday night and was pretty much out for the count for most of this past week.  We even took a nice little trip to the ER till 4:30am one night!  (No worries!  Just had to get rehydrated and stuff.)  But she's getting a lot better, and we're going to get out a lot more this coming week!  Woo!

Even with all that, though, we still had huuuuge miracles this week!  We taught 11 lessons to investigators with members present (just 2 fewer than last week), and were able to set 3 more baptism dates with investigators!

One was that little girl Hannah I told you about last week.  She's so precious!  Her sister was there, which is a plus, and we're going to try to get her whole family there this next time we see her!

One is Matt that I told you about last week also!  He faces a lot of challenges with his family, but he's agreed to work towards baptism on a specific date!  He and Allison and Carol are sweethearts.

Another is..... Pat!  Aaaahhh!!  I think I've told you about him before, but if not, he's been taught many times before, including the past few months before I even got to this area.  We've extended invitations for him to be baptized soooo many times in each of our lessons, but he's never committed.  However, this past week, we had an incredible lesson with him, where he started off by saying he didn't want to waste our time anymore.  He didn't see himself as progressing towards anything and knew that we have other things to do, so he suggested we stop meeting.  We both felt like we should keep going though, and fought tooth and nail to help him see how important this Gospel is for him personally.  Eventually, the lesson shifted from how all he has to do is try what we ask him to do to feel the blessings to how much Heavenly Father loves him, and how much more he can feel that through this Gospel.  I've come to see so much on my mission that sometimes, people just need to feel that God loves them.  That anybody loves them, for that matter!  (Sidenote: if you're reading this and feel unloved, unappreciated, or unknown, know that there is Someone who knows, appreciates, and loves you more than any limited human being can.  He loves you.  I promise you that.)  Through talking about all these things, we invited him to be baptized on a specific date one more time, and he finally said, "Ok!"  AAAAAAAHHH!!
Kaj got baptized!!! So precious!! 
I went with Sister McKnight and Sister Riding to the Parrish family funeral We got to be a part of a missionary choir that sang prelude music to the family before the funeral. So beautiful. (A family from Pocatello all died from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in their home. The parents and 2 boys ages 12 & 14 were home at the time. Two older children were living away from home serving as LDS missionaires as Katie is doing)

God's love is the sweetest thing in the world.  Also the most addicting.  One taste can hook you for eternity.  Best part?  No end, no crash, no adverse side-effects (unless you count becoming more like our Savior Jesus Christ as adverse.... in that case, I would advise you to REPENT.)

Really though, God loves you.  You.  Individually, personally, completely.  He wants to hear from you and is eager to talk back!  Pray to Him; talk to Him!  He may give you lighter burdens and increased flocks when you ask for deliverance from bondage, He may make you wait out your personal storms just for a little longer, but He does answer in the way you need to be answered to best grow to your potential (Mosiah 21:14-16).  He also wants to hear from you often, not just a "spasmodic cry in the time of crisis," otherwise it is "utterly selfish!" (Howard W. Hunter [Preach My Gospel pg. 97]).  Just like our fathers or other loved ones would LOVE for us to call just to tell him we love him (p.s. Dad, I love you!), or just to talk, so He wants to be remembered more often than just when He's a last-resort effort to fix all our problems.  Just like the children's song says, "Pray; He is there.  Speak; He is listening.  You are His child, His love now surrounds you."

I testify of the power of prayer.  So talk to Him--He's waiting. :)

I love you all!
-Sister Jacobson