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

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