July 22, 2013

Things are looking up, it's a great little world we live in!

July 22, 2013

Okay, so I haven't even told you about the month of consecration... because I didn't feel like it was working.... til this week! :) The month of July has been the month of consecration for our mission. Every companionship is working super hard to be exactly obedient. What a great way to start my mission, right? Anway, Sister Loader and I were getting super discouraged and that's why I didn't share. I felt like even though we were being obedient and working our best, we weren't seeing miracles that everyone else was. But guess what? We had our miracle this week!!! Lots of miracles, actually :)

Our first miracle was Monday afternoon. We got mail!!!!!! Between Sis Loader and I, we got 6 letters and a package! AH! Best day ever. Really though. Now that we know that mail works... please continue to write! For those of you who sent mail and got it back, it's now safe! :)
I love the mission office.

Our next miracle was Sister Bray. Here's the story.
Monday night was soooo hard. We found a lady who knew her bible better than the back of her hand and we didn't bash, of course, but we tried to share our testimonies. When we finally got away I said, "Sister Loader, I'm going to bear my testimony to you because I know you'll listen." So I did. Twice. And when we got home we both shed some tears and expressed our desire to talk to someone, anyone who would listen to the Gospel which would bless their lives immensely. It was the next day that we found Sister Bray.
She took the discussions like 2 years ago, but had some severe health problems and couldn't get baptized. She can't attend church but they broadcast it to her so she can see it (bishop approved, of course. There are like 3 people in our ward that use it). Her main hold up has been that she wanted to be able to walk into the font. On Tuesday Sis Loader and I decided to see her. During training the elders texted us and said they'd visit with her and see if they could set up a time for us to see her (I love our elders. Seriously). So we told them to go ahead and we found some other people to visit instead. About 10 minutes later, we got a call from Sister Bray herself! She basically said that she wanted us to come over that day, she wanted to pick a baptismal date, and talk about what needed to be done so she could be baptized. So Sis Loader and I were thinking, "Wow! Those elders are seriously on top of things!" Come to find out later that she hung up the phone and then the elders knocked on her door! So... we planned on visiting her, the elders planned on visiting her, and she called us so we could visit her all on the same day! Isn't the Spirit amazing?! So we called up a member and she said, "You know. This morning I just decided to put on a skirt. I never decide to just put on a skirt!" And she was the perfect person to introduce to Sister Bray. They've both had similar experiences that two 20-year-old sister missionaries could never relate to. Toward the end, I was getting ready to invite her to baptism (my first) and she pulls out her phone and says, "So I want to be baptized on August 9 or 16, preferably the 9th. Can we do that?" Man. She's awesome.
I learned so much from that. We had been working hard the whole month, but it wasn't until we were absolutely certain that we couldn't do it by ourselves that the Lord stepped in. We had been praying all month long for Him to bring us to His children that were ready, but I never meant it more than last Monday night.

That was the big miracle this week sprinkled with lots of little ones in between.
Our next miracle is that we reached all of our goals that we set for this week! That's a big deal. Maybe not to most missionaries. But for Sister Loader and I, that's huge.
We have a couple of other potentials and we're super excited about them!
I love your letters and your emails! And I love the pictures that you send me! I can't express to you how wonderful it is to hear from family and friends.
I am so blessed. We are so blessed. The gospel is so wonderful. But it's more than wonderful, it's true! Sister Loader asked me the other day how I knew the church was true. And I had to think real hard, just because I never had a light switch moment. It has all been a sunrise. And I said, "Because it makes me happy. Nothing would make me this happy unless it was divine and true and eternal." And that's all there is to it. The gospel makes me happy. 
Life isn't easy, but the Gospel is simple. The Gospel doesn't make life easy, but it gives us peace. All of us. Listen next time you're in sacrament meeting. Not to the speaker, but to the Spirit. He tells me cool things at church. And there are cool things that you can be told, too!

I love being a missionary! I love you all!
Til next week, Sister Jacobs

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July 12, 2013

**Missionary, missionary, tractin through the rain...

July 8, 2013

(** From Mom's missionary tapes that I listened to when I was little.)

Friends! Family! Hi. I love you all. Like, a lot.

First of all... I got notice on Saturday that mail isn't getting to us. Which was kind of a relief at first, haha. I was like, "Isn't the beginning of my mission supposed to be when I get the most mail?" 3 weeks later, empty mailbox. But that's okay! I talked to our mailman, Antonio and asked if he knew why it wouldn't be getting to us. He tried to explain how forwarding works and then saw my name tag. He goes (in his Spanish accent), "Seester? You know. I think I bin gettin mail for a seester. But I bin sendin it back. I write down your address and take out da block." Hallelujah! So, if you've sent me a letter and got it back, I apologize for your wasted stamp, but if you send it again, I'll get it for sure! Woot!

I love Georgia. It's so great. :) Some excerpts from the week.
4th of July. I wore my red shirt, Mom! I hope you did, too! :) (We have matching shirts. I did wear mine that day.) We had a breakfast with the ward and there were a couple of investigators there, that was cool :)
RAIN!! I LOVE RAIN! We were walking around on the 4th of July and it wasn't raining. We knocked on a door. We waited for about 30 seconds. It was pouring! I'm so grateful for my umbrella and my raincoat. It's so fun. Man. So fun. We've been told over and over that this isn't normal to have this much rain in July but hey, I'm not complaining! Rain lessens the heat! Love it! :)

We were driving on a fairly busy road when the car in front of us just stopped. So we stopped behind them. After about 15 seconds, we saw why they stopped. Geese. Geese were crossing the street. 11 of them! I felt like Count Dracula from Sesame Street. "One, two, three... eleven! Eleven geese!"

The work is good! Our bishopric loooves missionary work! We're focusing a lot on getting the members pumped. Whenever we talk about missionary work to Brother Hope, even I get pumped about missionary work! More than usual! It's so great. I got another referral to the Spanish missionaries! It went better than last week's, too! All thanks to Spanish speaking missionary friends who answer my emails. :) This is something that I want to do at least once a week. Guess what? The church is true. And Heavenly Father loves us. He wants us to be happy, and everything that He does for us is all about our happiness! Awesome, right? :) 
I love ya'll! 
(^Look at me... gettin all Southern :))
Sister Jacobs

-Quote for the week from Sister Loader:
I love Barbie! Some people don't like her because she has gross proportions as a real person. I don't care. She's a fictional character! Can you imagine the proportions of a cabbage patch kid in real life?!
-Things Elders don't have to think about:
Skirts. Two examples...
We walked out the door and sat in the car, "You know, I really don't remember this skirt having a seam down the middle." Yup. I put it on sideways.
We came home at the end of the day, "Oh my gosh! No wonder my skirt feels weird, it's on wrong!" Yup. They shift throughout the day. 

Love it!

Happy 4th of July! My skirt is soaked, haha :)

Caaaan anybodyyyyyy find meeee... somebody to.... teeeeeach?

July 1, 2013

Family and friends! Recap of the week:
Monday night we met with Sis. Johnson, YW's president, to talk to her about the YW in the ward and she asked us to teach her kids for FHE since we were there anyway. We, of course, taught about missionary work and asked what kinds of opportunities they have had in the past. They had tons of stories for us! And these are all kids under the age of 10! Toward the end of the lesson, their boy (9, I think) goes, "So, are you gonna give us a challenge, or what?" and I asked, "Do you want a challenge?" All of the kids gave us a resounding "YES!" It was awesome. We gave them some mormon.org cards and asked them to give them away to their friends. That was sooo much fun! I don't feel like I'm very good at teaching and relating to adults, so teaching a group of kids was super refreshing for me. It was like a "oh yeah. This is why I wanted to teach elementary school in the first place!" At the end, they sang "I want to be a missionary now" for the closing song. Cutest thing ever.

Wednesday was so fantastic. We had interviews with President. And it was just good! I don't even remember why it was so great. I just remember my face hurting from smiling so much at the end of the day.
We heard back from Blair. She told us that she was in the hospital again and that her parents are going through a super rough time. I'm not very happy with the adversary right now. Not that I'm ever happy with him... but I'm reeeeally not happy with him, haha. We've got a couple of ideas of things we can do for her. 
We just have to make them happen. 

I love the Sabbath. Seriously. I love getting ready on Sunday morning and just thinking. Pondering the questions and concerns that I have, and prepping myself to get those answers in a few hours. I just love it. As we walked out of Sacrament meeting, I got a text from the ward mission leader, "Hey, I'm not there today. I asked Bishop if he could find someone to cover gospel essentials but didn't hear back. Can you teach?" Um... so I walk into class and Bishop's 14-yr-old son was standing at the front of the room, ready to teach! He just got back from EFY (Especially for Youth Program) and kind of re-taught a missionary lesson he learned there. It was so great! He called it, "10 ways Ammon was a missionary." One of his ways was to be an example and he said that we can only reflect His light when we're standing in it. I loved that! It's just like the moon! If you think about it, we have all the phases of the moon because we only see the light that is directly reflected from the sun. Man. Everything connects to the gospel.
Sister Loader and I went to YW instead of Relief Society so we could introduce ourselves to the YW. It's been a while! I loved it! For opening exercises, they asked for "Missionary Moments" and they all shared stories from the week. Man. This ward is great! After church I found a piano to practice hymns on (yeah. I'm the designated piano player for district meetings now. Never thought that would happen) and one of Sister Johnson's daughters came in and told us that she gave away her mormon.org card! Suuuper cute. 

I'm going to try to start a new section of my letters, but we'll see how long it lasts, haha. It's called "Things Elders don't have to think/worry about on their missions." For instance... I now part my hair on the other side of my head so that my hair doesn't hang over my name tag. Tuesday morning I told Sister Loader, "This is a monumental day. I hope that you're excited to be a part of this major change I'm making in my life" haha. It was good times.

Well, my dear family and friends, I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July and that it's full of fireworks and hot dogs! I love you all!!
~Sister Jacobs.

Perfect Week!

June 24, 2013
Perfect Week!

Hello friends and family!!
This week has been awesome! I've tried to write down specific things that I want to share throughout the week so I'm not just talking about the weekend. 

As Sister Loader and I walked around our complex, we saw a lady taking stuff from the back of her car so we stopped to talk to her and she said, "I no speak English" So um... I talked to her in Spanish!!! Woo hoo!! I was able to ask her about her beliefs and she gave me permission to refer her to the Spanish elders! She was super patient with me, but I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day. It meant a lot.

This week we also went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders (like the sister zone leaders of sorts). I went with Sister Paepaetaata to her area and it was so great! I learned so much from her! In the evening we visited a less active lady and she had Disney stuff *everywhere*!!! Her walls were red and everything in her home was Mickey! That was my tender mercy for the day.

That fireside ('The Work of Salvation' at http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/mormon-lmissionary-work-worldwide-broadcast?CID=HPL2P01W01032) was great last night, am I right?! Something that really stuck out to me was the importance of less actives. I don't remember the exact quote, but it was said that whether they hadn't heard the message before or they heard it once and had forgotten, they need visits and love! As I thought about it, every person on this Earth knew the message at one point and forgot because of the veil. So really every person on the street is less active and it's our job (as missionaries and members) to remind them of the infinite love that Heavenly Father has for them!

Well. I know that this isn't as detailed as last week, but I'm short on time. Guess what?! The church is true!! I love it! I love you all dearly!
Til next week,
Sister (and sometimes Hermana) Jacobs :)