Monday, May 30, 2016

It's Changes Time In Iquitos

Well this past week I’ve definitely learned a lot more about responsibility and taking better care of my things and I promise that I’ll do my best to not let the new camera when it gets here (or anything else) get stolen!!! I am pretty sad about my pictures though): they were all from Tarapoto too.. I’m thankful you have the first group from the CCM to January.
So you guys have the “Ride the Gap” biking thing coming up this coming week though, right?  You and Dad are gonna do great! So proud of you guys working on your health. 
Oh my goodness that is so heartbreaking to hear about Stetson’s younger brother!! I remember that Jay had a big crush on him in elementary! And I remember Stetson, he is a really nice kid.. ah that’s just awful to hear! But we know that he is in a better place waiting for his savior and his family will see him again!
That’s so awesome for Kenzie!! She is going to be a great missionary! I have heard there are so many girls that are going on missions now!!! It’s so crazy and awesome!!!
I really don’t remember a lot of details about this week.. I’m trying to think what is new to tell you.. None of our newer investigators came to church, except for Marcela! She keeps asking us about being baptized so I think we might start trying to teach her again. I just don’t really understand her because she doesn’t have a testimony that this is the only true church, but she just really wants to get baptized! So if I’m here for this next change then we are going to work with her again and see what happens I guess. Oh, this week I’m changing houses! Some of the BRIGHT GREEN paint in our house is coming off the wall and Hermana Gomez said it would be easier to change houses than to repaint hahahaha,(; so yeah ! We are moving just a couple blocks away to the house of a single mother. Her house is really big and she wants to rent out the rooms to all girls. Also she has a bunch of exercise equipment that she’s gonna fix up for us to use so really I’m pretty excited for that to(; One of the rooms has a biggggg window that looks out over the street, so I’ll have to take a picture of that (when I have a camera again) and show ya!
On Monday we had family home evening with a less active. Her name is Celma and she is suuuper cute! But she actually just left yesterday to work in Lima for 2 months because there is literally no work here in Iquitos. There’s 5 little stores on every street called bodegas that sell the same stuff because the people just don’t have any other options to make money! So she left to find work and also live/be with her hubby because he left to find work about a month and a half ago. She was finishing school so that is why she couldn’t go with him when he left.. ANYWAYS…. We invited another member to the FHE and then we invited Shantal our investigator! She really enjoyed the family home evening! We read a talk from one of this year’s Liahona’s, about receiving a testimony and what a testimony really is. It says that we receive a testimony through small acts and impressions that we feel throughout each day. And our testimony grows when we try to recognize these instances. I really love looking back on how much I have grown personally throughout my mission and the testimony that I now have compared to when I started out. One of my favorite things to do at the end of the day is to think back and see how the Lords hand was guiding us/me through every step. If we pay attention and really look, we will be able to see the miracles and help of the Lord in our lives, especially in times of trial.
Today is changes!!!! Hna Lara and I are actually pretty sad. We have become super good friends, I really feel like she is my sister! My beautiful dark skinned adopted sister(; haha but I’m excited to see what my next adventure is on the mish and who I will be spending it with for the next couple months!!
As always thanks for everything! Love you guys,
Hna Jackson

Monday, May 16, 2016

Haha, yes I know it’s so crazy that it’s already been a week since we have skyped and talked, It was soooo great to see you all (even with it being so pixilated) and talking to you!!! (We mentioned how tall she looks compared to everyone there) I know I’m like normal sized and all the ladies are shorter than me, but my comps a little bit taller than me and she always says that she’s super tall for Bolivians haha. But something funny this week was that we were trying on my pensionista’s high heels because we haven’t worn them in like forever. (; and her feet are a size bigger than mine and she was so stunned and said "you’re the first gringa that I’ve met that doesn’t have huge feet" hahahaha she’s super cute. Her name is Mariela and she is the youngest pensionista in the mission! She’s just 30!

This week was kinda sad because Marcela totally failed her entrevista (interview) with president. So what happened was the day before, she was acting super weird, and up until then she had been asking us every other day about her baptism, but this day I felt the need to ask her again if she believed the church was the only true church and she couldn’t give us an answer! So we knew that she wasn’t prepared for her interview but we went through with it anyway because president can help her with things that we can’t. So her baptism date fell through): at this point we feel like she just wanted to get baptized just to be baptized without really having her own testimony of the church. She just doesn’t have a desire to gain her own testimony, so we are just going to lay off on her for a while until she is more prepared... BUT also this week we found some reallllly cool new people! So on Friday I had a work visit! My comp went to the area of Hermana Willis’ (the houses on stilts) and I directed my area with Hermana Cantos - she’s suppppper cute and is from Ecuador! - That night we went and visited Cesar who is a convert! He was baptized in January and his mom is Hermana Luz! Anyways he told us a super cool story, he said that before he was a member of the church, he had a friend who he absolutely could not forgive and he had a lot of bad feelings towards him, but  the day before he was baptized, he met up with his friend so that he could forgive him and he said that it’s because the church has truly changed him and his life! This is why I LOVE missionary work, because I truly get to see people change their lives and attitudes and EVERYTHING for the better. And see their true happiness.

Then the next morning we visited one of our new investigators. Her name is Consuelo and we visit her daughter as well, but she had already gone to work. So the mom told us that her daughter had prayed about the church and had had a dream that god was leading her on the right path! So we are super excited to talk to the daughter tomorrow, but they are both really interested in the church (:

Then we have another new investigator named Shantal. She is 16 and we actually found her through a member! She told us that she had been super interested in our church for a while now and had always wanted to attend but she was scared to because she had no one to go with! But yesterday she came to church with us and she lovvved it (: she completes with every compromiso (commitment) we give here and she is super willing to learn. So right now we have some people who are super promising and I’m really excited to teach them (:

We have changes on the 30th of this month and Hna Lara is definitely going to be leaving because she has been here for forever and I think that when she leaves I might be training someone because in our work visits my Hermana leader put on the report that I was ready for more responsibility this next change! sooo we will see:)

Love you guys!

Hermana Jackson

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

This week was good!!! I was sitting in church yesterday and we were in the second hour and I was sitting next to Marcela and she leaned over and asked me when she could for sure get baptized!!! Lara and I had the date 21 of May in mind for her but we hadn’t said anything yet because we were waiting until she was feeling a lot better after of all the crazy stuff that had happened! But now she is preparing to be baptized on this day!! She is super awesome and is making a lot of progress!!

With the other people that we are teaching, we really have felt that they have the desire to improve. So yesterday we fasted for the people that we weren’t sure if we should continue teaching or not! That night we planned the lessons for each of them, and every one of those plans fell through! So we felt like this was a super strong answer that heavenly father was telling us that they aren’t quite ready to receive the fullness of this gospel. So we are going to put their names on the old investigators list and other missionaries, when they come to this area, will try again a little ways down the road(;

Our less actives are really progressing though! This week we had a really cool lesson with a big family of less actives. The dad was actually an former bishop and a lot of things happened and he hasn’t come to church in a while, but we all read the Book of Mormon in the first chapter of 1st Nephi together and then we each shared our thoughts and what we got out of it and it was super cool to see how the BOM works and applies differently to each and every one of us!! And then he came to church this Sunday!! The whole family!!!

Also this week I saw some crazy stuff!! First of all we were looking at an apartment and all of the sudden the street got super full of motokars!! And a big crowd of people just popped out of nowhere! What happened was a kid stole a tablet and a bunch of people surrounded him until the police came! But the police here ride on their motorcycles!! So they just handcuffed him and put him on the back of his motorcycle... haha super sketchy!! Then I saw a guy doing witchcraft in his house when we stopped by to visit someone else!!! Pretty scary.  ahhh my comp says witchcraft is super common here and also  in her home country of Bolivia and its super evil!!  So grateful for what we know in this gospel of ours and the blessings it brings us.

For P-day today we will be going paintballing as a Zone.  Should be a lot of fun. Can’t wait to see you and talk to you Sunday!!

Love you guys!!

Hermana Jackson