Monday, April 29, 2013

Hello Mom :) and family...if you forward this to people...if you don't then just hello to you. :)
No I don't think I need anything...I have to send you a package next week of the things I wont be taking to France with me. Crazy right. 2 weeks from right now I will be flying out to France. That is the weirdest thing ever, I feel like my mission is the MTC haha but wait I haven't really even started my mission. Although I am officially a month down, only 17 months left. Odd.
This was a good week, hard at times, but hey what isn't. I've decided to try and take the attitidue of Joseph B. Wirthlins talk 'Come what may and love it'. So far this week it has served me well. I had somehow forgotten how much i like Elder Wirthlin, he's pretty awesome.
So me and companion are officially one of the best companionships, sadly serveral people have commented on it, because we never fight and that is apparently very unusual, it's pretty sweet. We set new goals and are trying super hard. I think i'm pushing Soeur MacKay a bit hard, but that's okay. She struggles waking up, and being able to stay up that long, whilst I have the energy that it's not a huge problem. But we plan our study times out really well and are using them the best we can. And although we are still not fluent in French our teacher says that we are improving, and that is all that you can hope for. So that's coming good.
Since the semester changed at BYU that means schedule change, that was the worst part of this last week. haha our new schedule is not wonderful, and our last one was super great. So P-Day is Monday now, and we have to wake up a lot earlier, it's crazy buisness. But it will just make it even more better when we get France being able to sleep in until 6:30. So I am deeply trying to conform my will to God, and be completely obedient, it is becoming slightly easier as I keep trying.
On Sunday nights after devotional we get to go watch a movie or a talk, it's like our treat for making it to a Sunday. So this week we watched a talk given by David A. Bednar a year and half ago at the MTC. It's called 'Character of Christ', and it was pretty amazing. Mom I think you and Colleen should try to find it, because both of you would love it. It had some really good points on how Christ's character is that he turns out to people, while we turn in. Which is very true, and I guess I never thought of it that way. But he disscused how after Jesus had suffered unimaginable pain in the Garden, suffring for your sins, and then he was dissappointed by the 3 disciples who he asked to stay awake and be with him, and then betrayed by another disciple. After all that suffring, and all that hurt from the people who were closest to him, he still turned out. While we would have had a pity party, and asked God just to strengthen us, Jesus healed the ear of the guard who was arresting him. I never really thought about it the way that Bednar put it. He turns out when we turn in, and when we are truly converted to Christ we become the kind of person who also turns out, even in the worst of our trials we are helping others. It was really incredible, I think you'd love it mom.
So I am going to list my study goals for you guys, and I challenge you to do them with me. :) haha but if you really don't want to I wont be at all offended.
Study goals: 1) Ready Jacob 5, twice, especially verses 60, 70-72.   2)Read about the character of Christ, at least 3 stories of things he did each week.     3) Study revelation through the Book of Mormon. We'll see how this goes, i'm not going to lie, i'm already pretty far into goal numbers 2 and 3, we had lots of study time this morning.
Anywho, I can't think of anything else to write. Haley and Lindsay i'll write you later today a letter. LOVE YOU LOTS AND LOTS!!!
Write me with everything going on!!! Oh, and i'll send you our zone pictures that we took on Sunday because half of our zone is leaving, and we get our travel plans this week so next Monday I will be able to e-mail them to you, because guess what! I get to call you!!! And I believe that Becca will be in town then too!! WOO HOOO!! 
So that's it. :) Much love,
Soeur Jackson. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

 I'll tell you the good things that are happening. My comapnion is wonderful. I didn't realize what a blessing that really was until this weekend when we noticed all these companionships getting in fights. And we just kind of clicked and really work well together, so that's good. My teachers are both still great. Soeur Larsen tells a lot of really good mission stories, that make this whole thing seem a little bit more achievable. Me and Soeur MacKay have come up with a study regime to try and make us learn a lot better. yesterday was the first day we actually got to impliment it, and it seemed to work yesterday, so lets hope we keep on continuing.
Sundays are always good, because of church and devotional. They always seem to say just the right thing to make you feel like your not just drownding here. For relief society we had some lady from the Primary Presidency of the Church, i think. And she was really awesome, and she made some good points about what I need to be doing. That I have been doing, but apparently not enough. So I will just study study study and trust in the Lord, i'm sure he knew what he was doing when he called me to France (most of the time I believe that:) ). haha I can't really think of anything else that happened. On my super bad day Soeur MacKay took me into a room with a piano, and I got to play for the first time in weeks, I might have shed a tear, but in a good way. So that improved my day substantially. And I found that for some reason keeping a journal really does help, it's the oddest thing. So I write a lot. But yeah, that's about it. We got to watch the Testaments. I love love love that show, so I was pretty excited about that. Soeur MacKay thought it was so funny that i was crying so hard at the end. But what isn't beautiful about the part where Jesus is blessing the children, and the father is just so happy that his son can see him, and doesn't even care that he can't. And then Jesus comes up, calls him by name and heals him, and he gets to see him. It's just so great. So we walked out, I was crying, and I just said casually 'man I love Jesus'. Soeur MacKay laughed for like 10 minutes. It was good.
So all is alright.
Let me know how everything is with everyone there. Lots of details! I miss you all tons and tons and tons and tons! LOVE YOU!!!
Your trying to be full of faith daughter.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Alright, so I have made it to P-day yet again, I guess that a good thing.  this last week has been crazy, tons of things happen everyday i'll try to share them all with you. It's pretty crazy, great at some times, awful at others. So let me tell you a big about what has been happening.
We have had some super good devotionals, they are probably the best part because you can forget for a minute about having to learn an impossible language. One was with Gerald N. Lund and he was way good, he talked about revelation. It was sweet, I got tons of notes from it. He talked about how guidance from the Lord was often a quiet a whispering feelings and impressions, and the reason the Lord does this and not grand gestures or just tell you right out, is to protect our agency. That was cool.
The trip to San Fran was good in a lot of ways, and bad in some. We had to wake up super early, which wasn't bad because everyone was excited to get out. I got to sit next to Elder Jacobson (the kid in the pictures), which was good, he's our district leader and he sat and talked to me for as long as I wanted. haha and the French consulate was very nice to us, apparently they are just so used to dealing with the missionaries. Then we got to do a bunch of sight seeing, I will try to send pictures but I am not sure how to properly use the MTC computers, they are evil. But then we had to go home and we got home to the Salt Lake Airport before 8 o'clock, and guess what?!
They forgot us.
It was the most ridiculous thing ever. So we sat at the airport for hours and hours and hours. And then didn't get back to the MTC until way past lights out, and the next day was awful. So that was not the best thing ever. But the people at the airport were really nice and came and talked to us, and some guys bought us some pizza around 9, and it was literally the best thing that I have ever had.
Me and my companion are still getting along well, we had one bad day but then had a companion inventory where we hashed it out and got it taken care of. A lot of the girls in our room are super struggling right now, all with way different things, so their is a lot of crying. One burst into tears in the middle of class and the teacher had to take her outside and talk to her. So after that experience the Elders noticed something was going on with us, and they awkwardly came into the room one day and said they would love to give anyone of us a blessing if we needed it, and then awkwardly shuffled back out. It was really cute, and an sincere offer. And i think it was good for the girls to realize that they aren't alone, and the Lord gave them 4 men who are watching over them and want to help them.
Both my teachers are awesome, but in totally different ways. Frere Blosil is way funny, but can be intimidating and down to buisness. He's always smiling though, and just wants to help. And we just got our second teacher! And you'll never guess who she is, our first investigator Dominique. Her name is really Soeur Larsen, she is was nice. She is just this small (smaller than me) girl, and she shares a ton of spiritual experiences from her mission and just tries to help each of us. They are both really great. I feel aweful some of the time because I just struggle sometimes with the language. I would like to pick it up a bit faster than I am.
I've had a little bit of a fever that keeps coming and going, and it's been giving me a bit of issues with concentrating and doing a few things, but i'm sure it will be gone soon.
Today wiill be a very interesting day. So France is who makes us go to San Fran to in person apply for your visa, but it is Belgium that is the true evil. I have to get a physical, where they take a lot of blood, and best of all! A stool sample! Because Belgium people are crazy. I just have to keep telling myself that hey, they are worth it. hahaha.
Sunday was good, Sundays are always good, instead of stressing out about learning everything you just get to soak in the gospel. We have the 3 hours of course, but they are spread out throughout the day. So it's Sacrament, breakfast, study, relief society, district meeting, Lunch, Sunday school, meeting, dinner, devotional, meeting. It's busy, but it's probably the most relaxed day we have, other than P-days of course. My branch president seems nice, and his wife too. I haven't gotten to them him a lot because he's been super sick too. C'est la vie.
I'm sorry to hear about Aunt Donna, I hope Grandma is doing okay, tell her that I send my love and wish I could be there to give her a hug. But i'm glad LIndsay made it there safely, I hope she has tons of fun, and sends me pictures, or else I might be a little mad.
And tell dad i'm sorry that he's in pain, and I love him, and that i'm doing alright, I've only cried a few times :) And only about 3 times a day do I think 'hey i'm done with this, I just want to go home'. Hahaha.
Love you guys tons, and miss you all so much!! I wish I could just be home and hug all of you. Keep up the good work on being such an awesome family!!!
I hope I gave you enough details. hahaha
Thanks for everything!!
Soeur Jackson.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

First MTC email

First off, thank you for the package!! I loved! I actually just barely got to go pick it up. It's great. And your right. I have a very limited time on the computer. haha but you can always write more mom!!!! I liked conference a lot, they were all good, it is pretty funny at the MTC to see how all the missionaries react to certain things. it's uncomfortable, but fun. Doing priesthood the sisters watch the young womens conference. which honestly was better than almost all of the conference sessions. Uchtdorf rocked his talk! So that was lots of fun. And yes that's very true, you have a lot more confidence in me than I do.
I have to prewrite some of my letter because i only have a half an hour on the computer, and between reading all the e-mails it doesn't leave me a ton of time, so here is some of my pre-written letter, enjoy. You need to forward it to becca and stuff cause I didn't have the chance to write her a ton of details yet.
First matter of buisness. Things this daughter of yours needs:
1. a long letter
2. a razor, mine has decided to leave me. And if you decide to send that to me (it's a blue venus one) please also send popcorn. I desperately need a razor. Also if you send me a package you may feel free to send my blowdryer and curling iron, I can't believe i forgot them, but it has somewhat backfired.
3. And...a letter. I love you mom but a one sentence flash card does not a letter make. :)
Secondly would you like to hear my mission motto that i have taken. It is what i have to keep telling myself over and over again everytime I want to curl up into a ball and cry.
"Ask and ye shall recieve; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened." I say it over and over and over again, it gets me through the day, and keeps me motivated in my prayers.
You at home may ask what exactly it the MTC about? Strict obedience is the firm answer i give. And as this is not a natural gift of mine I have to work extra hard, but I really do try hard.
And what people say about the MTC is all true!! You lie awake at night and listen to multiple girls in your room sob themselves to sleep. But you will be proud to hear that I have not cried, not once!! Which i find simply amazing. Curl up into a ball and die, yes, but cry, no.
My companion is awesome, we get along really well. But she struggles here a lot, and she doesn't concentrate very well, and her family hasn't written her at all yet. And she cries, a lot, like ALL the time. she is one of the ones that sobs herself to sleep at night. It's rough. Her name is Soeur MacKay. So it's fun. All the girls are fun in their own ways, and so are the boys, but they are never on task. They just sit and talk all the time. But they are pretty funny.
I go to San Fransisco on Friday. i leave at 5 am, and i get back to the MTC at 9 pm. So that will be fun, a whole day of freedom! haha They have been sending us all different days and Soeur Green was on monday but she didn't wake up, so she was like freaking out, so we did an unauthorized split and I had to get up and run her across the MTC in pajamas and no shoes to meet her group cause none of the other Soeurs would get out of bed. haha So much fun, so I guess technically I have already broken a pretty big role. But my district leader is 18, and he isn't going to call me on anything.
All you do is study. all alone. You only have a teacher for 3 of the 7 hours you sit in a classroom, it's really weird. But my teacher Frere Bloisel is super awesome! I love him tons!! He's pretty funny when he's trying to explain something that none of us understand.
I'm sorry this is hurried but my 30 minutes are up!! Haha so I will try and hurry the end of this. And we only get to write on Tuesday, but we get letters everyday, so write and then I can have my letter planned out before hand.
Oh! And just so you can think about it, the date that my mission is supposed to end, although it can change, is September 30th, 2014. So crazy!! So you guys can start thinking about your trip!
I will write Haley today, but tell her that i love that picture she sent me so much! It almost made me cry.
So quick sum up, the MTC is fun. I only get mad sometimes when I get woken up before 6. The language isn't at all coming. Our investigator Dominque is adorable, but doesn't understand what we are saying at all and it makes me want to cry. hopefully i'll get better at teaching. but i can bear my testimony in French, so that's a begginning. I will send it to you next time and you can see what you think! Its pretty simple but oh well. The food is good, I have not gained any weight, we have enough gym time that it's not a problem. haha
Love you guys so much! So proud to be your daughter. Tell dad that I miss him tons, and love him, and hope that his surgery goes well, i pray about that more than the gift of tongues probably. haha Thank you for the letters, and the package! I'll talk to you next week!
Soeur Jackson
who only has 5 weeks until she arrives in Paris, it has never felt so far away. ;)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pre-Mission Post

“Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your
Tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy
 Unto this generation”
 D&C 31:3
                So my mission is finally here. After an incredibly long wait I finally get to serve the Lord! I am so excited and so happy, and so going to miss everyone! I hope you all write so I can be up-to-date on what is happening in your lives. See you all in 18!