Shout-outs one two three!
1) HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Ashley Allen Jackson you awesome person you. so glad you are in our family and that you and Daniel get to live in Thailand without me. not that I miss that or want to go back or anything :)
2) HAPPY FUTURE BIRTHDAY to Marcia Dean Jackson, with whom I share two of my names. She is turning 39, isn't it crazy? They say time is a construct of man, and I'm pretty sure she's proved it false by her negative aging capabilities. but heck, we're all eternal anyways so who cares.
3) A double shout-out to Mom, who in her librarian/mother craftiness sent a handmade paper box with 20 unfoldable compliments for my 20th birthday. I have opened one each day and it has been a spectacular boost from home. Sometimes you just need somebody to tell you that you're a good person. (see photo)
I thank Pai Celestial for your continued existence. And every time I say I'm from Virginia here all the members are like WAIT HOLD UP. THAT'S THE EAST COAST. Supposedly they haven't had a missionary not from the west in a very long time.... #novaproud
Bloomfield is rocking it! It seems as though CT is not altogether a fan of me because my head cold has taken an extended stay, as in 3 weeks now, but pretty much I've just come to terms with perpetual congestion. Like that blob from the Mucinex commercials-- we're friends now. And it makes me appreciate hot meals with members when the sinuses open up hahahah it's gross actually. but lovely.
Typical day? wake up, exercise muito, eat some eggs and cereal and bread, then change and do personal studies 8-9, comp study 9-10, language study 10-11, and sometimes training 11-12. That's actually the prescribed study schedule. but then we have lunch 12-12:30..... and not going out until 1pm is super hard. so usually we sacrifice training and part of language study, which perhaps we shouldn't do, but CMON. we got stuff to do.
Ward conference yesterday was all about hastening the work of salvation, and the vision for the ward is there. It's written in the bulletin, and the bishop talks about it tons. but the challenge is---the members need to catch it. Because personal contacting is our lowest priority, and we need the members to catch that vision and get their prepared friends to meet with us. This is the way Zion missionary work is supposed to happen. But also--its audacious. It's new and though in reality it shouldn't at ALL be scary (not asking you to get up on a soapbox, just live your life with spiritual eyes open for opportunities), it is a hard and refining step to take. We all have personal refiners-fire experiences right? In my opinion, this is the next refining fire for each ward. The streeeeetching process of members becoming missionaries. Faz sentido, sim?
Jerry--- the old Jamaican guy we teach every week--- is awesome. I love his faith and his chill-ness. It's a Jamaican thing, and there are SO MANY Jamaicans here. So I'm coming to love it. He's honestly ready for baptism, and understands the significance of it and thus wants to put all his bad things behind him before he makes that decision.
-----any advice on this? how to explain to him that he can just do it? He comes to church literally every week, and I feel he is slowly getting there. maybe we just need to be patient with him :)
Spiritual thought for today: DECOUPLE FULFILLMENT AND IMPERFECTION
I've been thinking a lot about fulfillment and perfection. As a missionary I am constantly faced with my imperfections, and if I attach the ability be fulfilled with a state without imperfection, I will never have it. So simple, yet we struggle with it every day; our mistakes make us feel unhappy and unfulfilled. But God gave us weaknesses, and God also gave us a commandment to be joyful. Clearly our imperfections (weaknesses) are not meant to steal our fulfillment! So what are these weaknesses meant for?
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble;"
Ether 12:27 has the answer. God wants us to be fulfilled, and he wants us to be humble. We can have joy and make mistakes simultaneously! Be honest with yourselves my friends-- you don't have to, and cannot, be perfect today. But be fulfilled in every small thing you do to build the Kingdom of God on the earth. Be kind. Be sincere. Be happy.
Com amor de New England,
me in front of the Windsor Public Library (awesome, mom, you'd love it)
the cutouts from mom on our wall (check out the wallpaper)