Monday, September 22, 2014

It was suggested this Monday, by an ever wise elder sister that I share my favorites of the mission in this email. That seems like its announcing the end, but it is still a good idea. So here we go.

Easy things first, favorite foods, Kinder! I love kinder. Although if we get into real food and not candy, dessert wise it would have to be a Rhubarb tarte. Something about that tarte makes my mouth water. I'll forever be grateful for the Alsacian members that introduced that wonderful dessert to me. And then actual food it is Fufu! Which is a main African meal that I ate quite frequently. And dont worry, i'm bringing some home. ;)

My favorite thing I visited in France was Sacré Coeur. Of course being a cathedral it is beautiful, but after you climb the whole thing and you are standing at the top, overlooking all of Paris, its the most incredible sight, one day i'll take you all. (not Lindsay, she's been)  ;) Je rigole.

My favorite conference was this weekend. It was stake conference and I had members from 3 of my wards there. And the joy of reuniting with them. Seeing those that had been baptized active. Running up and hugging each other. Having a member tell me thank you for all we did for his family. A member ask for my address so that she can send a gift to my mama. A member we reactived bear her testimony about the goodness of God. It was pure joy being reunited with the members of Evry, St Nazaire, and Le mans. And being remembered by each of them.

My favorite part of working with the members was actually everytime we got to eat with them. And no, it wasn't because of the food. It was because with almost every single member you would ask their conversion story, (and they are 90 percent converts), so it was always stories of being found by the missionaries. And it always kept you holding in when times got rough because every Sunday you would get to look around at all these miracles. They had each one been a huge miracle for the missionaries. I loved hearing the stories and knowing that there were those miracles out there. And I think often times members forgot that they had been a miracle for someone, I loved reminding them the joy that they had brought to the lives of their missionaries.

My favorite lesson would be impossible. I have multiple. But one that is forever engraved in my head, that I felt so much joy at was the lesson with Emma. I know that I shared this lesson with you all in a previous email, but I could never explain how sweet the spirit was in the lesson, after we had taught the Plan of Salvation. And she said 'we must have a loving heavenly father if he did this all for us'. That was the lesson she knew she would be baptized in the church. And I just remember silence after that statement, because the spirit was saying so much more than I could if I tried to testify.

That is all I can think of, and this is getting way too sentimental and bittersweet. I love you all, and I will be so happy to see you all again, but it breaks my heart to know that I will be leaving all this behind.
Keep being wonderful people, and I will see you all soon.

Soeur Jackson

Monday, September 15, 2014

Well this week we got to watch a special broadcast for the women in the European area. I would recommend that all women who read this watch it, because it was awesome. And Elder Bednar even made a joke, and then of course he called everyone to repentance. Here is the link, seriously if your a lady and have 2 hours to spare, watch it:

This week we had a cute experience with a family in our ward. They have an inactive son who smokes and drinks and has tatoos and never talks to the missionaries. Soeur Lusty said they had tried several times to talk to him and that he was always kind of mean to the missionaries. So on Saturday we went and ate lunch with this family, and he was there, so during the meal we were casually chatting and I asked him if he was going to marry his girlfriend, who was a member of the church, and somehow that brought us quite nicely to talking about the church. :) So we got to give him a little lesson about how he jumped out of the boat, and he even sat for the prayer. It was really fun, the whole family had fun together, and he was really nice to me and Soeur Lusty. And so we invited him to church, and he came!! 

But the best part was after church, the ward was having a linger longer so we were sitting at a table with all the young people. They had about 3 young adults from the ward, the 4 missionaries, and him. And he was surrounded by missionaries, and laughing. And at one point we looked up and saw his parents were just standing there watching him with huge smiles on their faces. They looked so happy, and his dad looked like he was going to cry. It was priceless. They told us thank you about 10 times. And even their son told us thank you for the love he felt from us.

It was so sweet to see the family all united and happy. And it was really great to see that this young kid could feel the love the lord has for him through us. That is what we were praying would happen. Its amazing how much the Lord loves each person, and as a missionary I have really felt him give me a part of that love for people that I dont even know, its incredible to feel it.

So that was our tender mercy from the Lord this week. :) I hope you all feel the love that the Lord has for each one of you. And my love too!!!! Have a great week.

Soeur Jackson

Monday, September 8, 2014

So this week we had a really cool experience, a day of finding. The France Paris and the France Lyon missions combined and did a day of finding. We all left the apartements early, no studies and only did contacting and porting. No lessons. And both the missions prayed every 30 minutes for the whole day. It was really cool to feel the spirit that was threading all the missionaries together. Even President and Soeur Babin went out and contacted. It was everyone together. And easily the hardest day of my mission, I dont think I have ever talked to so many people or walked so much. So awesome.

Also this week I gave my dying testimony. Now Soeur Lusty got it on video so that mom can see it when I get home, but I figured i'd write it to you guys, because it was probably the biggest thing of my week. It was really weird to be standing up there being that missionary. I dont feel like it was right, and it broke my heart a little bit to be giving it. But here it is, almost word for word, :)

'I know everybody says this, but I cant believe i'm doing this. For you blues and those at the beginning of your missions, I know you think this day will never come, but one day your going to be standing up here giving your dying testimony, your going to have your flight information, and your going to hate it. Its the worst feeling.
This last week I thought a little bit about what I wanted to testify about, and one particular experience kept coming back into my mind of something that I went through on my mission.
At the beginning of my mission I was obedient, I did missionary work and was doing fine. The language was slowly coming and I liked my companion. But I can honestly say that I hadn't changed that much. I was being obedient to the rules, but me as a person hadn't changed. And it took me until I had been in the mission about 6 months to find out why.
I received some bad news from home and I got to the point where I just wanted to go home, I didn't see a point in staying on the mission.
And so I had a meeting with Soeur Poznanski, and she was a little bit sassy. And was like 'have you prayed about this soeur Jackson?' And I was like 'Soeur Poznanski I say like 14 prayers a day, yes i've prayed about i'. And she was like 'Are you praying with a real intention?' And honestly, I hadn't, my prayers hadn't been sincere to the Lord. And I hadn't been relying upon the Lord, i'd been completely relying upon myself, which on the mission is not something you can do.
You can try, and you can be obedient, but when your just relying upon yourself and not the Lord your not going to change. Your not going to be changed by the mission, and your not going to feel the same spirit.
So that day I kneeled, I said my prayer to the Lord, I told him I couldn't do it. For the first time on my mission I told him I couldn't do it and I needed him. Thats that moment where I started changing.
I just want all of you, not to have the same experience because it took a hard hard experience to bring me to my knees. But I want all of you to learn from me and learn to rely upon the Lord cause you really will feel the spirit in such a different way, and the mission will change you, and you'll love every minute of it.
And i'm so grateful that I got to serve a mission for my Lord, here in France, i'm so jealous of you who have lots of time left.
I want you all to know that I know this church is true. I know the plan of salvation is a real thing, we can live eternally with our families. We can see all the people that we lost after this life, and that is the reason I am on this mission, to bring that joy to the people here in France. I hope all of you blues can enjoy the time you have here on the mission. And really let yourself grow and be changed by your misison. The mission will change you if you let it.
This is my dying testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

For my god hath been my support- 
Soeur Sarah Jackson.

Monday, September 1, 2014

This week is a testimony of when it rains, it pours. Little does satan know, that missionaries even go out when its pouring. This email is going to be short, i've got a little bit of a fever, so its giving me a headache to write for a long time.

But one really cute thing that happened this week was a lesson we had with Laura. Laura is a young girl who was baptized a few months ago and so we are just re-teaching her all the lessons. She is preparing for a mission, so she has lots of questions for us. But we taught her about the Restoration, she of course already knew it. But then it turns out that she had been studying Joseph Smith because she had a friend that asked her some questions about it. So she asked us the questions for the answers to give to her friend. And she said it was perfect timing. Then on Sunday she gave us a little card that was a thank you note, saying that the missionaries were her heros and she hopes one day to be like us. It was probably the cutest thing i've ever gotten from a recent convert.

Sorry its short, I promise a better email next week. Love you all. Have an awesome week!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hello everyone! This is missionary Jackson reporting from the good old France, specifically Le Mans. Its a nice old ville, with some very old streets, and with an obsession for racing and race cars. They have little golden plaques hidden all over the ville of the people who have won the 24, so that's fun.
Leaving Strombeek was hard, but we got to say goodbye to almost everybody we knew well before we left, which was nice, we ate with TONS of people before we left, i'm afraid i've gained weight. haha But it was worth every ounce.

On Monday we had dinner and a lesson/miracle with Marie when we went to say goodbye. We went and had dinner and ice cream wit her, it was really fun, she's such a sweetheart. At the end we wanted to share the Restoration movie with her, so we watched it. Whe it had ended she had tears in her eyes. We asked her what she though about it, and she said that it makes her heart warm. It was such a touching moment to see her feel the spirit and recognize it. We asked her if she thought that this could be true, that Joseph Smith was called as a prophet, and she said that she would like to believe its true and that he saw God and Jesus. She promised to keep reading The Book of Mormon, she's already to chapter 13. She really is such a miracle, a sassy, hilarious miracle. And when we had to go she gave us a present and big hugs and thanked us about 5 times. It was so heartbreaking to leave her so quickly, but i'm sure that the Elders will take good care of her. I'm just thankful that I got to teach her, even if it was just for a few weeks.

Wednesday in Paris was weird, saying goodbye to all the leaving sisters, I had 5 companions leave this transfer, its odd, it slightly feels like I should have gone with them. But i'm not done yet, and i'm grateful for the time that I have left.

Then getting here in Le Mans was fun. Soeur Lusty is hilarious, and finding out that we both knew Kim Bell and exchanging stories about that was lots of fun. So i'm happy that she will be my last companion. She's young with lots of energy, its a really good example for me, i've got lots to learn from her.

So there is a quick update from this French missionary. Love you all, have an awesome week!!!!

Soeur Sarah Jackson