Monday, January 26, 2015

SnowPacolypse chegando....(coming)‏

Part of our zone saying goodbye to the senior sister who worked on cataloging family records here in boston. She's going back to Seattle.

As we speak a behemoth of a tempestade (storm) is approaching boston! We're gonna get more or less 2 feet of snow and will be stuck in our apartment/neighborhood tomorrow. The mayor of Boston issued a driving ban and the public transit is shut down. reminds me of the time when it snowed approximately two million feet in VA 5 or 6 years ago and we didn't go to school for a week. Hopefully we'll be back out on wednesday if all the buses are back up and running.

This past week was pretty great, really the first week I felt we were following our vision for the zone here in boston. The work is truly on fire and there are miracles coming everywhere. 

A lady I talked to on the bus, Lucia Rosa, invited us over to share our message with her and her grandson. We went over yesterday and spent some time answering her questions. One concern she has was about her son, Matheus, who had died at 2 years old. She asked if she would ever see him again, if he would be old or young. It was a powerful moment for me; I testified to her that she would be able to raise her son after this life. It was a wonderful lesson and she accepted to be baptised on Feb. 22nd.

I love you all! For those on the east coast, take advantage of the snow and send me some pictures of what you do with it! I love you all!

-Elder BDJ

Monday, January 19, 2015


A caixa do aniversario! (the birthday box)
 Bolo de ginger ale! (ginger ale birthday cake)
A minha posteridade! (my posterity)

Bom dia meus amados irmaos e irmas! I'm emailing this early because the libraries are closed and were trying to distribute the schedule out through the day since all the missionaries will be using the church computers. If I miss your emails later that's why!

This week was exciting and full of changes. On Wednesday I turned 21 and almost forgot it was my birthday except for the magnificent birthday box sent from the virginia jacksons.... I'll send pictures later! Lets just say there were a lot of cookies, and they were doomed to a 2 day demise in an apartment of 4 hungry Elders. Plus a cake mix that only required ginger ale and mix.... which, by the way, worked. 

We had transfers, I did the musical number for the meeting on piano (Come, Come Ye Saints that I arranged a few summers ago) and it was really fun to play. The testimonies were sick. One elder spoke of how his father died from cancer in the first few months of his mission; he returned home for the funeral and found himself the only priesthood holder in his home, faced with the decision to stay or come back to Boston. He was set to stay, until his father appeared to him in a dream and told him to go back to his mission here. He finished his 2 years and his testimony of the experience was powerful. Then the meeting ended, and people starting asking me and Elder Santiago how they were getting back to Boston, and I realized I was supposed to know stuff like that and then I realized I was a zone leader, aka zone ride coordinator! It was sweet.

Elder Santiago and I are doing really well; we basically just converse in Portuguese now and I'm really enjoying it. I've learned that I learn by listening much more than studying from a book, so having native speaker companions has been a fantastic tender mercy. Santiago speaks Haitian creole, french, spanish, portuguese and english, so he can communicate with everyone in our building. Things are going really well.

Healthwise-- the new medicine really seems to be helping. Its a ray of light after a long struggle. 

My scripture of the week is on the cover of my planner. Its been a personal anthem as of late; a reminder that strength comes from humility, firmness comes from faith in Christ, and joy and consolation come from yielding instead of defiance. 

"They did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God." Helaman 3:35

Love you all!
-Elder Jackson

Monday, January 12, 2015


 A van that cares for us Elders no matter how much we stray.
My favorite TP holder in the local T station.

There's a live concert that Jenna and I used to listen to by a guy I can't remember because my mission has made me forget all music ever; but in this live concert the guy starts talking about birthdays and he suddenly just says in a growly tone twenty-ooonnnnee, which now is perpetually stuck in my head. I guess for me I'm feeling a strange sort of twenty-one, insomuch as nothing at all will change on my birthday!

Except for a few things. 

Elder Griffiths is getting transferred to Brockton (I seem to send all missionaries to Brockton) to serve with my two sons.
Elder Santiago, hailing from Brasilia, Brasil, is coming to Boston 1 Portuguese and together we will be the zone leaders for the Boston East zone! New adventures ahead. Only question that really matters.... does this mean they'll give us a car?
In other news; this week I went to MGH for a follow up appointment with Dr. Flaherty, got a prescription for a new medicine to help treat the brain fog, and so far, it seems to really be helping. I know brain medicine takes a while to build up, so it could be placebo. But perhaps not. I'm feeling very hopeful about it and very thankful for all the work that has brought us to this point. 

This week was exceedingly cold, like freeze-your-water-bottle-shut cold, but I got to break out some new thermals and enjoy hand-warmers scalding my palms. We taught some people, had some miracles, and had a stellar zone conference where we established goals for the last six months of President and Sister Packard's tenure. I'm recommitting myself in a lot of ways to full consecration, and in that respect my birthday will bring some changes. And some new responsibilities. Send up some prayers that I won't lead any missionaries into apostasy!

I love you all.  

-Elder Jackson

Monday, January 5, 2015

eh moooooooodi‏

 The diagram of a training in district meeting.
A column in a T stop they named after me, Jackson Square.

ta fixe here in Boston. This week was good, and really cold, and it snowed a few inches, and we walked a ton. Pretty basic!

New Years: nothing exciting, because we had an appointment with a family at 7 and then went home because the missionaries had a curfew because everybody else was drunk! So we used those noise makers and some poppits and ate a feast of hot dogs and ham and eggs, and went to bed. HAIL 2015!

Stories from this week:
Edson, our friend who disappeared on the morning of his baptism, ran away from us twice this week in his car. It was pretty hilarious because he is the fastest backwards driver in all of Cape Verde and thus all of Boston, and so it was pretty obvious the second time that he didn't want to talk to us when he went flying up a side street and literally threw us for a loop. It was kinda terrible, but at the same time, really funny.

I ate a salad, a HUGE salad, covered in cold mackerel, with an inch depth of fish oil in the bottom. I ate all of it except for the last few carrots. I felt like a hero. #smallvictories

We gave a training in district meeting using Alma 49:17-20 to explain teaching the Apostasy and Restoration. We played Sprach Zarathustra (2001: Space Odyssey) while reading the verses. I encourage you all to try to recreate that moment.

I got growled at by a hooded man hiding in the space between construction scaffolding and a brick wall and nearly peed myself.

I got schooled by Cape Verdeans at church soccer.

And I'm still here! I approach the 21st anniversary of my birth in 9 days, also transfers, here's hoping my birthday present is staying in Boston, because I wanna stick in our pequeno grupo. Really bad. And nothing else will change when I turn 21 :)

Love you all!

-Elder BDJ