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

Monday, August 18, 2014

Well I think this week came one of the biggest surprises of my mission. I will be moving back to France for the last 6 weeks of my mission. 20 sisters left this last transfer, and some of them were unexpected, so they are closing several sister villes. And they are closing all the villes in Belgium to sisters except for 2, so my area is closing and i am being shipped back off to France. Suffice it to say I cried. Just having 6 weeks here, and now just going and having 6 weeks in La Mans. It breaks your heart a little bit, because you cant really get to know people in 6 weeks. So that's it.
On the even crazier side, I am officially in the last transfer of my mission, 6 weeks is all that left of my time here, it still feels like it will never end, so i'm not that worried about it.
Other than the shocking transfer news we had a good week. We met with a lot of members, we are saying our goodbyes. I haven't started with our amis, i'm too scared, I think i'll cry. Its hard to leave because I feel like there is so much more than I could do here, and I feel like they still need sisters here, oh well, apparently the Lord has decided otherwise.

One miracle we had this week though was while searching for a less active. We had planned to see this less active weeks ago but couldn't get out to her ville on the night we had planned. And then we had another night where we'd planned it out, but we didn't feel right about it so we went out porting instead. Finally on Tuesday night we felt like we should head out there, so we changed our plans and got on a bus and knocked on her door without calling ahead. She answered and she looked SO shocked to see us standing at her door, but she let us in. And after we said the prayer she said 'its amazing you just knocked on my door today'. We asked why, and she said 'I few days ago I actually said a prayer and told the Lord that maybe I was ready to start coming back to church'. It really was such a huge miracle for us to see the Lords timing, and how he really is in the details. He kept us from going just for a few weeks until she had decided that she was ready, and then he sent us. She thought it was amazing to have such an answer to her prayer. And even though I wont be here to help her progress and get back to church i'm so grateful that I was able to be an answer to her prayer.

So that is the little miracle, from this little missionary, who had just a little time in Belgium. Have a great week everyone. Miss you all.

Soeur Sarah Jackson

Monday, August 11, 2014

You know sometimes you get sick of people canceling your rendez-vous, and you get sick of everybody hating the 'mormons', and then the icing on the top of the cake, one day last week we were on a tram, and this guy starts harrassing us, then as he's about to get off he starts yelling and swearing at us. I've heard stories of people like that cursing and yelling in public places but that was the first time on my mission.
So after all that I did what any normal, sane person would do. I bought a huge ice cream cone and fries, walked out onto our balcony and cut 9 inches off my hair.

The past few weeks there has been hardly anybody at church because of "vacances" the big vacation time in europe. So everyone is gone. So the missionaries give all the lessons and the talks in sacrament. This week I got to teach etenal marriage in Relief Society. Missionaries are taking over!
But our investigator Odette came to church yesterday! Which was awesome because we hadn't been able to see her last week and the fact that she came without us asking her this week was incredible! We were really happy to see her. The members were all so great to her. American members know how to fellowship an ami. haha 

And this Saturday we were walking down the street and I went and contacted this lady and as I started to say 'hi my name is Sister Jackson' she stopped me and was like 'i know, I already know your church'. And I was like 'oh great, bring up polygamy'. But she had met the missionaries years ago but then had lost contact with them. She had met with them, and really liked them. So she gave us her number and even her email address to get in contact with her. It was just nice to see the Lord give a tender mercy at the end of the week. I didn't even have to say my reason for being here, let alone my name. But because of the example of missionaries years ago she was so happy to meet with us. I hope one day i'll have created that miracle for a future missionary.

On a not spiritual note, today we went to NATO. Coolest thing ever. We have some members that work there, its pretty legit. I don't have any pictures because they took my camera, because its all secret and cool. haha And we ate in the NATO cafeteria for lunch with men in uniform all around us, basically I felt like a cool important govermental person. I have now decided that I want to be the Supreme commander of NATO, did you know that he is always American? So that's pretty much my future dreams now.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!! Love you all!!

Soeur Jackson

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hello everyone!!
So this week was a fun week. We had our microwave start on fire, it exploded from the inside. It was fun. We got to call our district leader and he answered the phone and made a joke, all laughing and we were like 'hey hypothetically if our microwave was on fire, what would we do?' And he went dead and serious and into buisness mode. Elders are good for something!! haha That was adventure one of the week.
Then we had a really great experience with this lady called Jeanette. She is a new ami, so it was our first time teaching her, and she's from Congo! I'm pretty happy about that. we're going to a fun African party chez elle, and are going to eat foufou! I'm so excited. But we taught her a quick lesson about prayer and reading the book of mormon. She took the lesson really well, and just had so much respect for us. I love how Africans love that we are servants for the Lord. Then at the end of the lesson we asked if we could finish with a prayer, and she said yes, and then she kneeled. It was the first time on my mission i've had someone kneel before the missionaries, and without us asking. It was such a beautiful moment. She is just a wonderful person, who honestly wants the help of God in her life. It was just such a precious moment for us to say a kneeling prayer with this woman who so willingly fell to her knees to ask God for help. She really has a beautiful spirit.
So it was a nice week. We had some sick days in the apartement, but when we weren't we were having beautiful experiences. Love you all! Have an awesome day!! 'ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray?'
Soeur Jackson

Monday, July 28, 2014

                                                      Grand Palace - Brussels
                                           Ice cream with Mirelle
                                                     facial after a long day
Hello everyone. This will be short because my emails are coming to end, and I just realized that I actually forgot to write my mass email this week....awkward.....
Anywho, this week was really good. We are starting to get to know the members better, and visit with them. So far i've had tea with a Russian. Salad with a huge army german family. Visited with a lady from Pakistan. Played with some Irish babies. Ate sloppy joes with some Americans. Chassed some Italian kids around the chapel. And finally had lamb with some Belges. This is why they call this ward, the Bruxelles 1 ward, the international ward. It helps that NATO is in my area. So we have all the huge army people in our ward, its cool. Its less Africans than France, but more of everything else. But that hasn't stopped me from seeing MANY Africans also. Its a nice life.
We had a really bittersweet experience with a lady on the street. We were completely lost and walking down some streets looking for a bus we had to take to a rendez-vous that we were already late for. So eventually we decided that we needed to ask someone. So we went up to this nice looking African lady and asked her for directions. She ask who we were, and we said our church name and she gasped, covered her mouth and got tears in her eyes. And she was all 'I didn't know the church was here! I didn't know!' So apparently back in Africa she has a lot of members of her family that are part of the church, and even two nephews on missions. She has a Book of Mormon that she loves and left back in Africa. It was so beautiful to see the joy on her face.
But then came the bitter moment. Her husband is Muslim and she has to hide from him that she is Christian. So we weren't able to fix a rendez-vous with her, but we left her with a brochure, and our number if she is ever able to meet with us.
I know your thinking, well this is sad why is this the story I chose to share this week. And I will tell you why, because of course we taught other lessons that I could share. But I wanted to talk about Kébibi because 1, i'm convinced she'll make it into the celestial kingdom. And 2, I have never felt so much pure joy (and afterwards heartbreak) as I did when I saw her reaction to our plaques. Her face was the face of someone looking at angels, she was so happy. And we left her with a prayer, and I don't know how many times she told us thank you for that simple act. It really was a beautiful moment for me and Soeur Denning, to see that even though she cant at this moment accept the gospel she still believes in Jesus Christ. And it makes me think that there are many out there like her, that one day will be saved, because they just didn't have the choice. In short, do temple work because there is so much hope. haha
I love you all!! And I hope you all have an awesome week!!!!
Love, Soeur Jackson
Sent July 21, 2014

Hi everyone!! Its the national holiday in Belgium today. Apparently July is the month for national holidays EVERYWHERE!!! Et j'en ai mar. But its all good, go Belgium. haha

This week was crazy, having 2 days in Paris, and we had zone conference with the Babins one day too. It was really great, we had interviews with President and Soeur Babin. Its always nice to have interviews with President and Soeur, even now with the Babins. They really are a lovely couple. President Babin is A LOT like Elder Eyring. That is the closest thing I can compare him too. So they are lovely, i'm really happy to have them. And we got to see the Poznanski's on Tuesday! So its just been a good week of seeing people.

We had some cool experiences this week. So at the beginning of the week we called some of the old sisters missionaries old amis. And we called one named Odette. So we went to the appointement with Odette and she was really into the lesson, and she shared an experience with us. She told us that she had decided that it was time to turn to God in her life, that she was sick of doing stupid things, and wanted Gods presence in her life. And she prayed to God telling him that she was ready for religion and to find a church, and that day we called her. It was really a great experience to see how God prepares people for you. If she had been ready just a few weeks earlier she would have gone searching for another church. But she was ready in the exact moment that we called her. Chance? I like to believe God had a little hand in it. :)

Life is good, and despite the humidity and my huge hair, the spirit still seems to dwell here ;) Love you all!! Have an awesome week!!!

Soeur Jackson

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy Bastille Day!!!! It was pretty cool. They flew jets all over Paris. When I walked out of the metro I first thought the city was being bombed. haha But no, just patriasm.

I'm glad to be in Paris today, to be quite honest, i've been home sick for France, never thought that would happen. Belgium is great, but I miss France. As a citizen of the French Republic I feel I am betraying my country by becoming a citizen of Belgium. Plus the Belge have weird accents, and count numbers differently, I dont like it. 

The ward is really different too. So in Belgium EVERYTHING is in 3 language, because people there cant just speak one. So there are even 3 plaques on the church, each in different language. And the ward switches off each week what language sacrament is done in. SO wierd!!! So for the first time in 15 months I sang sacrament hymns in English....not going to lie, I messed up some words. And I had to give a talk in sacrament, in English......could have gone better.....haha

I wasn't aware, but it turns out that me and Soeur Denning are white washing into Bruxelles. The sisters were taken out a little bit ago, because they had a serious emergency and one got sent home, so the ward has been without sisters. Suffice it to say everyone in the ward was very happy to have sisters back. But as I learned from Mulhouse, its not easy to white wash a ville. The sisters had 2 amis here, so we are doing a lot of building the amis pool here, which should be fun. Finding, finding, finding. Nothing happens in missionary work until you find.
But the ward has some recent converts that are really great. One is a woman with 3 kids. Her and the oldest son got baptized, and they are so adorable. The oldest son, Bruno, it just 8 and he reads his scriptures everyday. He can already tell me the scripture stories, love it. She speaks Portuguese, so he has to translate for the missionaries, and he does really well. They are adorable.
So as we are in Paris I have limited emailing time. :( Sorry!!!! So that's it, and i'll talk to y'all next week!! Love ya!

Soeur Jackso

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bonjour tout le monde! So I can now testify that it is true, spiritual confirmations come true! Even if it is over a year and half later. Because this little lady is heading up to Bruxelles!! Belgium here I come!!! haha

     So this week was a good last week to the transfer! We were able to meet the new president, President Babin, and his wife. Of course I already knew them, so I already knew that I would love them. But having an interview with them was fun! They seem like they will be amazing and they are so excited to be here with us! We all will miss the Poznanski's a lot but we know the Babin's are very ready to be here. :) President Babin shared with us mulitple times this scripture in Alma 5:14, "And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received His image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?" He expressed his opinion on how important it is when we meet someone in the road that they literally see the difference in our eyes. It's all about starting with ourselves personally, and then that difference can really be seen and truly help those around us. Another quote he said was, "Today is the first day of the rest of your mission."  :) It was a really great conference. I am just excited to have them, and the conference was made even better when they had us listen to 'You are loved' by Josh groban. haha That's a good start to being President.
      We also had a cool experience with some members this week! So we are in the process of planning a ward party and we shared a message with the members about inviting their friends to this activity. We received a text a few days later from one of the members and she told us that she had been praying to know what she can do to help the missionary work go forward here in st. nazaire. She had the impression to invite 5 certain families to the activity so she did! And 2 of these families have already said yes to coming! :) It is really cool to see the members getting more involved and excited about missionary work! It makes all the difference!
     And I got the most adorable message from the Swanepoels this week!! They said 'Thank you for being part of our family! We love you so much! You made a difference in our lives, you took our hand and lead us back to our God. We are blessed to know you. 'Till we meet again!' Sometimes you just have to love being a missionary.
    So goodbye beach, goodbye France. Hello Belgium, where I will loose all my french! haha Have a wonderful week everyone!!! Love you all!!!

Love, Soeur Jackson

Monday, June 30, 2014

Soeur Finneran had a conversation with a member that went a little bit like this.....
Member: 'My son just returned from his mission in Africa, and I can tell you that is was awful. Living conditions were awful, he got diseases, his housing was awful. But spiritually and emotionally he was VERY blessed. You missionaries in the Paris mission, physically you are spoiled. But emotionally, spiritually, nothing'.
I'm here to testify that that isn't true!! We just got done with the office elders looking at our apartement, and they say its the worst on the mission, in 1 month we are getting a new apartement. So there goes the physically spoiled. haha I've got nothing!
Just kidding, i've got something better than a nice apartement. This week we had to say our goodbyes to the family Swanepoel. They are moving to La Rochelle, where they will be baptized in a few weeks. Even though I wont be able to see their baptism i'm so happy I got to be a part of it. As we were having our last lesson with them they asked us to share our best moments from our missions, and after we did that we asked them what was there best moment here in St. Nazaire.
Georgette replied 'Finding out about eternel families. In our Christian church we have learned all the other stuff, the life of Jesus, ect. But never did they teach us that there was something after this life, that our family could be together forever'.
If the only good thing that came from my mission is giving them the hope of getting sealed together, even if I wont see it, my mission will never ever be a waste. I'm so grateful that that hope, and that message is what I get to bring to people.
So that was definately the highlight of my week. :) Short but sweet, I hope you all have a wonderful week! Love you! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

                                          Me and Soeur Finneran in Paris
                                          watching boat races
                                          District Meeting
Bonjour tout le monde from sunny side up beautiful saint nazaire!! things are popping like apricot trees up in here and we are melting like popsicles on a scorching hot black top!!! I guess when the Lord asked us to hasten his work, he also asked the weather to turn up the heat to help us out! ;)  haha ok for reals was a good week! (yes, this was from Soeur Finneran, she thinks she's gangster).
   On monday and tuesday we had the lovely privelege to go to Paris to pick up Soeur Finnerans legality card. Since we were there for our P-day we got to explore some of the beautiful historical sites, such as: The Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Chipotle, and the well known Paris metros. But most importantly I got to sleepover with Soeur Sorenson! It was so great to catch up, 4 weeks without seeing each other was way too long. We had a wonderful little trip. We also got to do exchanges with our lovely STL's this week, and after go to the farewell conference of President and Sister Poznanski. Tears might have flowed (from Soeur Finneran)...but the spirit was present, especially with the last remarks from Soeur Poznanski. We were uplifted and reassured of the eternal nature of the relationships we develop here on the mission. I really will miss the Poznanskis after all the things they have done for me. I think it would be impossible to name all the times they have helped me on the mission and all the good that they have done for me. But I am excited to have the Babins come in, and see what they do with the mission.
   The last story I will share with you today is that of the family home evening that we had with the Hemon family and our friends Ludovic and Ambre. We went to the Hemon's and they are a lovely family! Normally we go into FHEs with the mindset that we will do the spiritual though and they will provide some food. But the Hemons were so prepared, it was adorable. They have assigned children to do spiritual thoughts, prayer, make a dessert, and a game. Many stories were shared on personal conversion and thoughts on prayer. Ludovic even shared a personal testimony on prayer and it was powerful! Ambre was touched and even expressed that she has "a thirst" to know more! It was a testimony to us that family nights are so powerful and help our friends develop good relationships with the members. It is a good model for us all, they really were awesome, and everyone had so much fun!
   Thank you for all your prayers and kindness! I love you all! Have an awesome week!!!

Soeur Sarah Jackson!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hey everybody were in Paris this week! Get to do some legality for Soeur Finneran, so this email will be short because I want to go do some fun things this pday in Paris!! 
Also just to start off the email with some wonderful news!! A bunch of people filed multiple law suits to stop the progression of the temple, so it hasn't really gone anywhere. But! Last week the French courts passed everything! They were all shut down, and officially the construction of the temple can start. Elder Andersen was here for it, in 2 years France will have its temple!! Were pretty happy about that.
Another cool thing that happened this week was a rendez-vous that we had with the non pratiquant, Ludivic, the cool guy who contacted us in the street and his girlfriend. We got there before his girlfriend and so we were sitting in the hallway waiting for her and we hear the gentle sounds of Mormon Tabernacle Choirs 'god be with you till we meet again'. We just started laughing. So apparently Ludivic had done a mini-mission. He really is an awesome guy, but because of his dad he fell away. Darn those parents.
But we were teaching his girlfriend, Ambre, and asked her about her beliefs and she was all 'I believe in God, but how do you know which church is the true one?' :) So we told her about the young man who had the same question. And then Ludivic bore a really good testimony. He may be inactive, but he has a testimony. It was really a special moment. They'll be sealed in the temple in 2 years. ;)
Sorry that's all the time I have. But have a great day!!! Love you all!!!!
June 9

This was a week full of strange and miraculous miracles. So basically me and Finneran were basking joy, plus it got warm, so we got to buy ice cream on top of it all.
So we were walking down the street and this tinted window black car pulled over, and this tattooed black kid got out, a bunch of black gangsters in the car, and he came running up to us. First reaction was of course 'i'm getting taken'. But then he was like 'your the sister missionaries?! I've been looking for the Church here, i'm a member but have been inactive for a long time'. You could tell that by the looks of him. So we chatted for a second and then gave him the address of the Church and our phone number, praying that he wasn't going to bomb the chapel later that night.
And then a few days later we got a call from him. He asked us if we have Finding Faith in Christ DVDs, and we said yes and asked why. Apparently he has a girlfriend that he told he was a member of the Church to and that he want to go back, and she wants to take the missionary lessons and learn more! So we fixed a dinner appointment with them and he was like 'i remember the missionaries made really good cookies, feel free to bring some!' It was so awesome! Only on the mission can a creepy, crazy experience turn into a miracle.
Then another miracle we had this last week was while we were out contacting and we passed this lady and introduced ourselves, and right away she said 'oh your the Church with Joseph Smith'. Now I need to make it clear that no one in France knows Joseph Smith, they know the mormons and polygamy, but not Joseph Smith. So we were really caught off guard and asked how she knew Joseph Smith. So apparently she had seen the Book of Mormon in the store and wanted to read it. So she bought a Book of Mormon, and read it, and then in the inside was a little pamphlet about Joseph Smith, and she read that too. It was the craziest, coolest thing. So we were like 'we would love to explain the book and our beliefs better to you'. And she was all 'I dont have time right now! But come back Friday and we can! Around 4'. It was the coolest thing you guys. Huge miracles from the Lord. Its amazing the people he actually does prepare for us!
So I hope you all have a wonderful week! And see all the miracles that the Lord puts directly in our paths. Some pull over and stop us, others we have to put forth the effort to get them, but dont let one pass you by!!! Love you all!!!
June 2

Hey everybody! So yes, my new companion is a Davis Dart, and yes, we graduated together, and yes, we know all the same people. Basically I don't think i've talked so much my whole mission. We're having a lot of fun here in good old St. Nazaire. But Soeur Finneran has had a way different mission than me, a much harder one in some ways. She hasn't seen a lot of success as a missionary. She hasn't had a baptism yet, and she almost never gets let in porting. Its actually quite sad. So she came here and we have amis that are progressing, some going to get baptized and she was SO surprised. So this will hopefully be a good transfer for her. But she's a stronger missionary because of it.

Anywho, this was a good week. On Tuesday night, my last night with Soeur Sorenson, we went and had a lesson with the Swanepoels and brought up baptism again. And Soeur Sorenson invited them to be baptized and right away Bookie was like 'oh yeah, I would love to be!' It was awesome, without hesitation!! Georgette said she's already been baptized, so she needs to pray about it, but she's ready to pay tithing to our church so i'm not that worried. And Bokkie was all 'could it be in 3 weeks?' And I was like 'anything is possible with God'. So we are pretty happy about that, trying to get ready. They are moving in a few weeks so they actually might be getting baptized in another area in France, but I really don't care, i'm just so happy for them. Although I don't imagine that the church has a baptismal outfit in Bookies size.....

And we had a lesson with Marion, she's 24 and French, really cool. And she striaght up said she was atheist, and we were like 'why are we here then?' So we taught her a bit, and she is secretly believing (like all French people. And we brought out the Book of Mormon, and she was like 'yeah I cant really make a decision until I read the book!' So she's reading. It was really great.

On another side note, we had a member who lost her baby this last week, and she bore her testimony on Sunday, it was the most powerful thing i've ever heard. It was so sad, probably the most powerful testimony meeting i've been to. Members, they amaze me.

I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

Monday, May 26, 2014

                                                        William's Baptism
                                                        Goodbye, Soeur Sorensen
Its official, Soeur Sorenson is leavening. :( But i'm getting Soeur Finneran, who comes from Davis County, we went to Davis together, so that should be pretty fun!

But this week was such an awesome end to the transfer. Saturday we had Williams baptism, a young boy who is in one of the part member families in our branch. It was awesome to see how happy he was. We had a great experience teaching him and he is such a good example for his family. At the baptism he bore his testimony, and it was his decision to share his testimony. We actually hadn't even asked and he came running down the stairs one day and was all 'I have my testimony ready for my baptism!' And we were like 'great!' haha 0it was only about three lines but the spirit was so strong. His mom was so proud of him too and she also bore her testimony, crying a whole lot. And then he sang with us during the baptism for the musical number, it was so cute. It was really a precious moment for their family and for everyone who came. It was special to see how happy Mata was to see her son make the decision to be baptized. She is a good mama :) 

Unfortunately our lovely Swanepoel family couldn't make it to the baptism but we were still able to see them!! They are in the middle of a lot of decision making right now and after talking about it all for awhile I suggested that they both get blessings after church. And we explained how it can be for guidance and comfort and they were like oh that's exactly what we need. Sunday was really special, they both got blessings after church and afterwards the spirit was just so strong and had really touched their hearts. Georgette was like ahhh it feels so good that's exactly what we needed. :) Also we had a lesson where we talked about temples and how the reason is to have families sealed together forever. They started gloaing, and asked what they had to go to go to the temples and be sealed together for eternity, and you should've seen how much joy was on their faces when we talked about that. Serisouly this family never ceases to surprise me, they are the most loving, good-hearted and open people. Wonderful people, they are getting baptized one day! Soon, hopefully!

So those were the big events that happened this last week! Eternel perspective! haha You've got to keep it, its what gives you the greatest joy in life. LOVE YOU ALL!! Have a great week!!!

Soeur Jackson

P.S. Everyweek me and Soeur Sorenson have switched off which one of us writes the mass email, so that we only have to do it once every two weeks. Have you noticed? Can you guess which one of us is which week? haha

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This week was a really interesting week, interesting miracles.

So as many of you know we aren't allowed to contact men on the street, its against mission rules. So Soeur Sorenson and I were just walking down the street contacting people and walked by the pizza stand, so we stopped to smell it and talk for a minute if we were going to buy anything, but then just decided to keep walking. So about 2 minutes later a man came running up behind us, and we were like 'oh crap, creepy French man'. But he asked if we worked for the church and we said yes. And he said he would love to go to church, we totally weren't sure if he was serious. But we gave hime the address to the church and took his number to give to a member. We had the member call him and give him directions to the church and then didn't hear anything .Then while we were in Sunday school Soeur Sorenson jerks up and waves someone in, it was him! His name is Alé. So he came to all of church, and at the end we got a rendez-vous with him, and asked him what he thought about it all, and he was like 'I really liked it, I felt something'. Coolest thing ever. I almost couldn't believe it. Its just not normal for men to contact us girl with the actualy desire of going to church! haha It was really great.

Then we have another ami, Anne-Claire who was an old ami of the Elders and she didn't want to see the missionaries. She just came to church, but didn't want to meet with the missionaries at all. So a few weeks ago she text us to see if she could meet with us! And every week since she has text us for a rendez-vous. Its been really great. So we decided last week to invite her to baptism, we only did a soft baptism invite, not with a date. And she she said, 'Oh I was already baptized', so we had to go back and explain Priesthood authority. And she asked if her baptism would work, if she would still get into the celestial kingdom. And I hate telling people no, because baptism is still a good thing. But we did, and invited her to be baptized by someone who has the authority to do it. And she said 'yes!' it was really great. She was at church, and she looked so happy, it was really nice.

So those are two miracles that we had this week! Next week is transfers! Soeur Sorenson will be out of here, its really sad, I love her guts. 
I hope you all have a great week! Love you lots!!!

Soeur Jackson

Monday, May 12, 2014

This week was a really cool week. We went and visited an older lady in the branch who is not active, we have been visiting her a ton. We started reading the book of mormon with her and gave her the challenge to read 5 verses a day, which she has more or less been doing. So during our lesson we talked about it and it was really a great lesson. About half way through we asked, Soeur Rousslet, how do you feel when you read this book and she looked at us and was like sometimes when I am reading I just want to cry. And we asked why she thought that was. And she said 'I don't know, perhaps because it pierces me right here' and touched her heart. The spirit was so strong and we decided to invite her to church again hoping she would finally come back after many years of inactivity, and this Sunday she came to Sacrament. When a certain member saw her she walked up to her, gave her a huge hug and they both started crying. it was wonderful. 

Saturday we basically met the whole rugby team for France haha. We did service for Mata whose husband is on the rugby team. It was her 3 year olds birthday party so we helped her set up for that. Oh my goodness though the men were so huge! And all their wives were so pretty. I felt like I was on a episode of basketball wives haha its real people! It was another awesome oppurtunity though to talk about our church and about what we do as missionaries. Also the Swanepeol's were there and I just love them so much!! 

So our miracle for the week. This Sunday if you count all the less active members and non members of our church, we had 13 come to church!!! And normally about 25 members come. IT was amazing. Soeur Sorenson and I were so happy! Sitting in that sacrament I thought 'life cannot get better than this'.....then I skyped. It was a great week. 

I know God lives and loves us so so much and I am so thankful to share that with these people as best I can! Have a great week!! LOVE you! Skyping you guys was the best thing ever!!! Your all looking so beautiful!!! Have a most wonderful week!!

Soeur Jackson
Oh what a week, Satan is throwing curve balls, but luckily President took pity on us and let us go to Planet sauvage today!! Probably the best P-day I have ever had in my mission, it was magical, I petted a zebra. And dad, I got to feed like a whole herd of Emus. :) Wonderful.

We had some interesting things this week. But one thing that was a huge backwards miracle for me was our lesson with Gaelle. So we showed up and she was acting really weird and different, so we asked her what was wrong. She had heard A LOT of bad, and some of them crazy things about our church over the week. And she said she wasn't going to let us come back, because it made it sound like our church was a cult. (hate it when people say that!). Anywho, she said that her husband sat her down and was talking to her about us, which was a miracle because he has never been really pro-mormons. And he said how do you feel when the Sisters are here? And she said wonderful. And he told her that she should let us come back and explain if she feels good when we are there. And she said it was that spirit that made her invite us back. She felt the spirit when we were there, and even after we left she felt the spirit. It was really a testimony to me that the spirit speaks louder than the forces of Satan. It was definately a miracle.

Then another miracle that happened was we had a hard experience, and so during lunch break we were in the apartement and I was sitting there praying asking the Lord to just send help. I actually had the audacity to demand a miracle (3rd time in my life I have done that, so it isn't too often). And right as I said amen the phone buzzed, it was President Poznanski :) I felt so loved. 
So at the end of the day I said a prayer that we could be an answer to someones prayer like that. Then the next day me and Soeur Sorenson were sitting at a bus stop and I said 'I think we should text Soeur Poisbeau' and her head shot over and she was all 'I was just about too!' So we texted her, and Soeur Poisbeau text back and said that Satan was trying to tear her down. So we ran over, sang with her, I left her my favorite talk and we left. The next Sunday in sacrament Soeur Poisbeau went and gave her testimony. She said that she had had a week full of trials, and she had been feeling really weak, so she went into the bathroom and she prayed for help. When she came out of the bathroom her phone buzzed, it was us. Its such a small thing when the spirit whispers someones name in your head, but when you listen to it and follow it its such a miracle to see how the Lord unfolds his plan.

So that was my week. I'm so excited to skype in 6 days!!! WOO HOO!!! Love you all!!!

Soeur Jackson!

Monday, April 28, 2014

                                           Our Sarah still has her super human strength.
                                           It only took her 10 minutes to take Soeur Sorensen down
                                            Two super heroes
Theme song of the week: I get knocked down, then I get up again, you aint never gonna keep me down.
I think that song perfectly describes our missionary week. Satan was taking some pretty low blows.
So our church got grafitied, twice. We got called a cult more times than I can count. A beloved ami said that there was no way he was ever touching our blue bible for the mormons..hmmm...what else.....Moving on,

Sooooo wonderful miracle of the week.....we've been continuing to teach Allan our ami who is awesome and he really wants to get baptized but has had a few problems with his family agreeing. But we've also  been teaching his girlfriend, Cindy, whose brother is 2nd ccouncelor in the branch presidency :). It's been so great teaching them together and they are so so sincere. Allan is already almost finished with Alma in the Book of Mormon!!! So this week we thought and prayed a lot and invited them both to be baptized, and they both accepted! It was actually way cute because Allan was like yes I would love to be baptized. And then he turns to Cindy and he's like 'the two of us, together'! Oh my Soeur Sorenson and I just melted in our chairs it was the cutest thing in the world. Really for how he said it. And Cindy is such a sweetheart though and she really wants to study it out in her heart and pray for an answer about being baptized. She agreed, but she said she needs to really read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, and we were both like 'yes, yes you do'. But her and Allan were at church on Sunday, and they fit in so well with the Branch. I really have a lot of faith she will recieve an answer and be guided by the spirit to make the decision. We are very excited about them and we're going to work hard with them.

And we had a lovely lesson with the Swanepoel family, they are the South African family we are teaching. They are like fascinated by missionaries and what we do. And so they were asking a member about us, and she gave them 'The Other Side of Heaven' to watch, and told them that this is the sacrafice that the missionaries make. So funny. So i'm excited to talk to them about that.

And that was pretty much our week. Sorry that was two long emails for some of you. :)
Have a wonderful week!! Love you all!!!

Soeur Jackson