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 K├ębibi 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