Monday, July 28, 2014


Tudo beemmmmmm irmaos e irmas. This week I spent some time catching up on emails so I don't have as much time to email this big ol' group. But it's not for lack of love for you all! Just a lack of time since....

We're leaving in an hour to drive to Elder Carvalho, excuse me--Assistant to the President Elder Carvalho, to the mission home to begin his AP duties. And with that I'll hit you with this stunner of a transfer change (which many of you probably don't care about but some will understand:

Elder Carvalho is now AP Carvalho,
Elder MacJanet is training a brand new missionary,

Elder Lopes and I are receiving a third companion Elder Vecchi,
AND 3 weeks I'm transferring to Dorchester, opening a new area and training, again. YUP!

So I have three weeks notice before I'll leave to open up Dorchester. There's a new Portuguese speaking missionary coming and I'll be there to meet him. It's a little bit more responsibility than I was expecting, when I thought for sure I would stay. But the Lord is teaching me line upon line; when I began, the idea of starting my mission was terrifying and new, then leaving the MTC for Boston was scary, then when that happened teaching and learning in real life was scary, then coming to Brockton when I didn't speak Portuguese was scary, then finding out I was taking over the area and training was scary, then finding out I'm leaving to open a new area and train is scary. But it has demonstrated to me the truth of 2 Nephi 28:30. To him that receiveth I will give more. The Lord surprises us with change, with steps upward; then once we realize we can, and we do, He gives us more to do. More to achieve. And thus, step by step, we learn who God really is and what we have to do to be like Him.

Yesterday we had a fantastic baptism. Baptisms in the Brockton branch are always crazy, because things always go different than planned, but it was awesome. Luisa was baptized by her husband and took the first step back home. SO COOL.

Elder Jackson

Monday, July 21, 2014

Listen to all, then repeat: elephant, desk, carrot, lamp, motorcycle, giraffe, radish.....‏

This week in Brockton:
-Had a sweet lesson with Raymond before he departed for Portugal. Gonna get things figured out when he comes back this week, and we have a plan. It will involve Mosiah 3:19 and hopefully some revelation. 
-Increased our visits with Luisa immensely to prepare her for her baptism next Sunday. I keep learning more about how long and grueling of a process this has been for her since last October, and its thrilling to be a part of preparing her for it, right now, for real this time. She's got family names preparing for the temple. We're gonna be on it like white on rice, because you know the last week before baptism is the hardest to get through.
-Tuesday was taken up by a sweet zone conference, which ended with President Packard giving a talk about pride. I realized that pride really is the enemy of discipleship. The enemy of consecration, the enemy of contentment, the enemy of Zion-- pride. Nephi describes it plainly (as usual): 
"And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall." 2 Nephi 28:28

-Wednesday we did a division with the zone leaders; Elder Lopes my son went to Return and Report (meeting for trainers and new missionaries) with E. Sowards and I went to my neuropsych eval with E. Mangelson. There I was given a 5 hour battery of mental exercises that essentially tested tested and aggravated my brain in all the ways that make the symptoms worse! It was pretty fun though. I got to put pegs in a pegboard, remember long strings of numbers and letters, redraw pictures and shapes from memory ("did you take art in school?"), and be completely frustrated by a card matching test that had NO DISCERNIBLE PATTERN. But in two weeks, give or take, we'll know if I've got ADD or just about any other mental dysfunction. If you want to test yourself, do this:

-Have someone read these once to you: 6a4j8p5s2t
now repeat those numbers, but with the numbers in numerical order followed by the letters in alphabetical order. answer: 24568ajpst. I'll have you know... I think I got one of the ten-character ones right. word.


-I saw Luigi and Carlos after not seeing them in a week or so. I love those kids. They alone would make my whole mission worth it. 

-Socorro came to a lesson with us on Saturday, was a fantastic missionary, shared her baptism story which almost made me cry (...almost), and afterwards told us that she wants to go on a mission with her husband when she's older. first step is that her husband actually needs to join the church :) BUT HE MAY BE COMING TO AMERICA NEXT MONTH. Cross ya fingahs

-We were reunited with William after he spent a glorious week at scout camp. They asked him to come up and talk about the experience in sacrament meeting, but he wasn't in the room, so I dashed down the hallway, found him coming out of the bathroom and sent him up to the pulpit to speak. Wouldn't you know it, he didn't know before scout camp why the church cared about scouts at all, but what did he learn? He learned that a lot of scouts live the same standards we do as members of the church, so he's glad we are a part of it to help strengthen the young men and be with other boys who are living good lives. What a boss.

I've heard bits and pieces that the world is falling apart in the middle east/ukraine. tbh, we don't really hear about any of it because most people in brockton don't really watch world news. but I'm glad we've got the rock to build on, and I'm glad we don't have to tremble. A quote from President Packard: 
"Those of us who have fully consecrated ourselves should expect these types of experiences (spiritual/physical trials and challenges), and when they come (and they will come) we will not shirk and we will not run. We will not be “very sorrowful” because the Lord asks everything of us. Nor will we endure our challenges with shoulder shrugging apathy, but with shoulder squaring determination. After all, if all we do is “get through it,” we will have missed the point and will have suffered without growth. However, with the Lord’s help, these experiences can teach our minds, enlarge our souls, and deepen our spiritual capacities."

Couldn't say it any better. 

Elder Jackson

Monday, July 14, 2014


Bem-vindos everybody, this email's coming at you early because we've got a zone p-day today!

This week was full of baptismal preparations, disappointments, successes and miracles. but the end was a glorious baptism of Tony, Nuno and Nando.

Tony was somebody that helped me see my purpose in being here in Brockton instead of brazil. When I arrived here the missionaries had taught him so many times (several sets of missionaries over 8 months) and had seen a lack of commitment from him; thus E. Lopes was understandably reluctant to try to reestablish contact with him. but I pushed for it for reasons I didn't really understand. And when we finally met with him, he told that he had been waiting and that he still wanted to join the church and be baptized. Even with that desire, we struggled to get him to church on Sundays, but with endurance things changed; he's come to each Sunday the past month and on Saturday he was baptized. E. Lopes #1 came up from Connecticut for the baptism, and he told me "Elder Jackson, its a good thing you came along, because otherwise we wouldn't have tried again with Tony." And I felt like the Spirit witness that I had been sent here to help with this work, with these specific people. No credit is due to the miniscule capacities of Elder Jackson. I just came here and tried. And the Lord prepared it all. I cannot see him preparing it, but I hope for it, and I believe in it, and it is true.

Another tender mercy? Watching William give his first talk yesterday in church, 1.5 months after he was baptized. about dating. he's 13. but when I went over Sunday morning to make sure he felt okay about it, he showed me the outline he had written on his phone based on the Strength of Youth pamphlet. he didn't even write out his talk. he just went up there and gave it. and even though he forgot to end "in the name of Jesus Christ, amen", but rather said "that's all.... thank you", it was awesome and I felt like a proud parent. I love these guys. 

Other successes? My son Elder Lopes the Second is growing up faster than the morning glory in my windowsill.  We found six new people to teach this week. We have two more people set to be baptized and join this church on the 27th. Although the health struggle continues, I get to have a bunch of diodes glued to my head on Wednesday while some doctors poke around my brainwaves. There's nothing better.
Random scripture of the day:
"8 I behold that ye are lowly in heart; and if so, blessed are ye.
 9 Behold thy brother hath said, What shall we do?--for we are cast out of our synagogues, that we cannot worship our God.
10 Behold I say unto you, do ye suppose that ye cannot worship God save it be in your synagogues only?
11 And moreover, I would ask, do ye suppose that ye must not worship God only once in a week?"

Elder Jackson

p.s. Shoutout to Mama Jackson for making cookies so good, they can sit in the post office for 4 days and still make a grown man cry.
p.p.s pictures: Tony is the one next to e. Lopes, and Andre is his best friend who is a priest. Andre practiced the baptism with all 200lbs of Elder Jackson, just so he knew he could do it with 100lbs of Tony. Also, Tony doesn't know how to smile. That's legit what he told us when we took these pictures.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Greetings from Elder Bomba

My dear dear people,

SHOUTOUT TO PAPAI NOEL, Mark Jackson, for whom the country celebrated once again this July 4th. He's worth it. 

Life is good. This week has been full of ups and downs, lefts and rights, crazy driving and crazy contacting, appointments dropped and miracles occurred. If I had the memory of Sister Jenna Jackson I would be able to give you a play-by-play of the weeks highlights but by Monday I've forgotten everything! But here are some of the coolest:

-Met Dee Dee, whose friend Iggy is on a "spiritual journey" here in the US. He's from Nigeria and is staying with her while here in Brockton. And we had a sweet discussion about our mutual purposes while Dee Dee demonstrated true southern Alabamian hospitality but feeding us and calling us sweetheart. Plus I learned how to cut a tomato the right way
-I had my first experience of contacting someone who's been prepared by friendship with a member of the church, a member who was partially reactivated by William our recent convert. It's a miraculous sequence of events all around and I really think something big could come of it!

-We went over the baptismal interview questions with Raymond and it was a powerfully spiritual experience. He's ready. Plus when we talked about family history on Saturday, we discovered he already basically has his 4 generation chart filled, due to a 6 month genealogical trip his cousin took a year or two ago. Next Saturday, the 12th, will be the day. 

It's time for me to jet--- gotta go eat some Brazilian stroganoff and play soccer with all the kids of Brockton. 

Elder Jackson
p.s. Photo: walking around in Arthur..