Dirt on the Shoes: a guide to missionary service

Hahaha, okay so I know the subject line is a little crazy, but today I definitely got some major dirt on my shoes... literally and it was a representation of our hard work this week. So I feel pretty good about that. We had some fun adventures. I'll get to those later.

So this last Monday was awesome. Well, the P-day part was okay, kind of long and tiring, but then we had a FHE at the Pastrana family and it was AWESOME!!! It was by far the best FHE I've had on my mission. We had a great lesson about the Word of Wisdom. Sister immediately said she was giving up coffee and switching to Energen (it's this cereal drink here... it's tasty) and she hasn't gone back. She just turned and changed. Awesome. Brother put up a little bit of stink, but he came around and has also been obediently following. So awesome, especially when that can be a huge hindrance to our work here. That was a huge blessing. After the lesson we played some way fun games and they are HILARIOUS! Brother Pastrana has the best sense of humor. We were playing this game where you are a specific fruit and you have to pass your fruit to someone else (by saying the name) and then they accept by saying there's and passing again. The catch is your not allowed to show your teeth when you talk. So basically we all sound and look like a geriatrics club at free time at the nursing home. Brother Pastrana decided to just try and laugh like an old man to get everyone else to laugh so they would show their teeth. Sister started laughing so hard that she fell off her chair... while holding the baby... whoops. She immediately started crying which meant Sister was out of the game. Hahaha... she calmed down eventually and then sister just watched and laughed a ton. We had such a good experience with them building trust and having fun. And now things are awesome. They were good before, but now they are better. The spirit is stronger in the lessons, they are really seeking to follow. They had come to church twice but had been late and had to take sacrament in the other ward. Well we committed them to come this week and to come early. They showed up a half hour early!!! It was amazing. We are so proud of them. They really are progressing. We extended a new baptismal date to them so they will be more prepared and they accepted. We explained how important it was to make that commitment to the Lord. They understand and they are ready. There questions was "what time is the baptism?" hahaha. I wish it was always that simple. They are amazing and a huge tender mercy for our work here.

This last week we were trying to apply the new council from our mission president and the area presidency in the Philippines and focus on finding the Unordained members in hopes that we can get them back to church, ordained, and contributing to the ward. So this week we had a couple of days, the "in between" days of our proselyting where we didn't have specific appointments with our other investigators. So we decided to go adventuring as much as we could to try and find these people. Well we learned a lot of information. We didn't really get to teach anyone, because most of these people have moved or died, but we were trying way hard. And we got to go trampling through sugar cane fields and cross scary bridges over rivers and all sorts of fun stuff. So that is why I got so much dirt on my shoes. It was funny, we were in a kind of far area trying to find someone. Everyone just kept telling us to keep going, that he was at the end. Well the end meant crossing a bridge, a road, walking through a cane field, saying hey to some cows along the way, walking through another little community until we did indeed actually reach the "end". It didn't get any more "end" than that. And he wasn't home. So ya know it didn't yield the best results, but that's just part of our work. And at least it was a fun adventure.

After we had traversed through another campo (that's a sugar cane field) we came out into another community we were looking for people in. It's the Philippines and the common practice is for people just to take you to whoever you are looking for. Well this time it was two of the cutest little girls ever that took us all over this place trying to find their grandma. Turned out she just wasn't home, but bless their hearts, they took us everywhere trying to find her. I just couldn't get that scripture in Isaiah out of my head "and a little child shall lead them". It was just so precious. The children here are really the most beautiful things in the whole world. There is just something so special about them. To be honest, I think it's the poverty. They aren't distracted by a million different toys, or electronics, or other ridiculous things. They have the outside world as their playground. They have eachother. That's usually about it. And it maintains an innocence in them. You can see it in their eyes. It's beautiful. It just reminds me that I may not be able to take them from the realities of their lives, but I can offer them and their families something that will bring them to God's reality. It's hard to see all of the poverty, the suffering, but that at least bring some consolation. I have the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's the greatest gift I could offer to anyone!

So this week we were finally able to contact a referral we received awhile ago. He had been visiting here, but now actually lives here, so we will be able to teach him. He's 21 and the boyfriend of the granddaughter of one our most active families. He's a way good guy and listens really intently. After teaching him one time he was at church and stayed the whole 3 hours. We taught him that night and he had these great questions. "How did the living prophet today get his authority?" And "How can you say that you are the true church?" Such great questions! And of course, because Heavenly Father is in charge of everything, it happened to be that that was what were teaching him about, because we were teaching him about the Restoration. It was a great lesson. He told us how we really answered his questions and the spirit was strong. I actually recited the first vision in English (that was weird) because he is really educated and prefers most things in English. But the spirit was SUPER strong. It was so great. And so we have great hopes for his progression. He's smart enough to understand and want to ask questions, but he also has a sense of humility that makes his heart open. Thank you Heavenly Father for such a wonderful gift with this investigator. And we needed him! I've really been seeing His hand in our work a lot this week, more than I have in awhile and it is doing wonders to build my faith and gratitude.

So next week we get transfer announcements. I have NO idea what is going to happen. I would like to say that because I have now been here for 5 transfers that I am confident I will be transferring, but I haven't a clue. I don't really have any particular feeling or impression and I'm happy to say that I'm okay with whatever. The Lord is in charge, He knows what's best. I trust Him. I will go where He wants me to go. So that's the update for now. I don't really have too much more to say, this is long enough as it is! I love you all, hope everyone is doing awesome!

Sister Jackson


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