Failures and Successes

So I think this could probably the subject line of almost every week and every email I have ever written on my mission, but this week, the juxtaposition seemed to stand out to me more. As a missionary it seems that every minute of every day is a roller coaster. It's the first lesson of the day, it was one of the most spiritually powerful lessons of your life, you feel on top of the world and unconquerable faith is motivating every step you take. And then... you get punted from every other appointment that day, no one wants to listen to your message, people seem to actually scowl at you as you walk past and then rather than faith, you are fighting against discouragement that follows at your back like a shadow. But you just keep going. You just keep taking one step forward, even though you are tired, dehydrated, sweat is dripping in your eyes, your shoes are full of mud and rocks and you've just added about 5 additional pox to your already growing collection of mosquito bites. That's life as a missionary. And especially in the Philippines. But then, you have the tiniest of tenderest mercies and all of the bad, all of the difficult, all of the discouragement about faces and you press on with faith again. You know they always talk about how missionaries have such difficult work because they need to understand what is what like for the Savior. Now, I know, that what I have experienced doesn't compare in even the minutest detail to what the Savior suffered or felt, but I can say that every hard day, every day when you really do think that you just can't go on and that you are done, those are the times when, hopefully, you have the perspective to take a step back and say, "Man, what am I complaining about, this is so much bigger than me!" Never mind whatever your motivation may be, even if it's completely selfless, this work is the Lord's. period. It's a perspective that I have gained time and time again. And this week was no exception.

We found some good investigators this week, we found some families. We don't know if they will progress, but we have faith that the Lord's will will be done. And that's enough. We also got punted a ton. And we just keep going and witnessing the miracles that seem to keep on coming. We found this investigator last week and we weren't sure if she would progress or not. Then we had an exchange. Sister Vaipulu went with another sister into our area, I went to the other area. They had a great time with this investigator, Cheryl. Then she told them she wanted to come to church, asked if she was allowed. (disclaimer: This is the NO. 1 indicator that this person is golden) We of course told her she was and so on Sunday we weren't all that surprised to see her there 30 minutes early. I had to play prelude so Sis. Vaipulu sat with her and prepped her for the day. She had SO many questions, and good questions. She told Sis. V that she had read the introduction, testimonies of the witnesses and then the testimony of Joseph Smith in the BoM. Then she said that she couldn't stop reading so she read the entire book of Moroni. Holy Cow!!! We were so amazed. And she just wanted to know so much. During gospel essentials, she was answering the questions more than any of our other, more seasoned, investigators. She is awesome. We're excited for her.

We also had this crazy experience that we know had nothing to do with us. We were at the drug store for Sis. Vaipulu. We were waiting for our turn when this guy walked up. He didn't really look like a Filipino and so of course we start trying to guess what he is (it's a favorite game of ours). Vaips decides to ask him where he's from... in English... well he was from here, and only speaks Cebuano but he was from Spanish ancestry, so he looked Spanish. So he was happy to hear that we actually can speak that as well. Anyway, he was way nice and so we asked if we could come visit his home and share a message he was happy to say yes. we were excited. We got his address and went on our way. Well the next day we were talking to the Sis. Bevans (of the couple) and she was telling us about this man they met who was speaking to them in English who also looked Spanish but he was older. But they had the same address. We assured her it wasn't the same guy, because our guy couldn't speak English and was young. They told us they would give us more information later, they had written it down. Anyway, we went to their house (that was in the middle of literally nowhere) and lo and behold it turns out that the man the Bevans met was the FATHER of the guy we OYMed. Of course. Anyway, they were way excited to see us and were SOOO nice. We had a good chat and a good lesson and then they drove us home because we walked in the scorching heat for about 45min to get there. They were so nice and excited for us to come back and visit again. So another tender mercy.

Then we had an experience that was both a success and a failure all in one. hahaha. We decided to host a film showing, in hopes of finding new investigators. We were showing The Testaments. We made flyers, handed them out around town, gave them to all of our investigators, etc. Well the time came for the movie and NO ONE showed up. All we had were branch members. So we just decided to show the branch members. And it turned out to be an incredible powerful spiritual experience for ALL of them. Most of them had never seen it before. Everyone was in tears and it was just awesome. So while we may not have gained any new investigators, we did provide for the branch to which I say, still missionary work!

So anyway, that is just a bit of a narrative for my week. I love the mission. I love the successes AND the failures because of what I learn from them. It's amazing. I hope that everyone is great, I am!!! Love you all!!!!

Sister Jackson


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