Monday, February 23, 2015

"juicy. juicy. fruit."‏

Greetings from beneath the ice cap! we only need 7 more inches to break the all-time snow record in Boston history, so I'm actually pushing for that. I figure we've got at least 2 storms left in us here and I want that record :)

In happy news yesterday was almost in the 40s so the thin ice/snow layer on the sidewalks and streets melted! But it will melt and refreeze tonight, as the low is -8. 

This week was good but a little slow. Had a great exchange will the Boston English elders this week; we met and taught a Chinese man whos been here for 6 months and is studying computer science at Northeastern. He had some experiences that fostered a belief in God these past few months (growing up in china, the concept of God was never suggested to him), and he referred himself on to be taught. We went to teach him, and man, he is awesome. We taught him in one of the buildings on campus and he told us he wanted to be baptized. Set a date for March 22nd. He was at church yesterday and loved it (I set him up with one of the members I knew in the ward who served in San Fran chinese speaking, who invited him over for dinner). 

We're finalizing the steps for a temple trip with our recent converts and they're all pretty jazzed about it. Maria (joined the church on Christmas with her daughter) is dying to go there and wont let us forget.... 

Djeison told us this week "I can't wait to go on a mission." Music to my ears :)

We work a lot with a recent convert of about a year named Ildo Pires, who is such a stud; he's our activities coordinator and he's preparing right now to receive the Melchizedek priesthood. I have great hopes for him to serve a mission too. 

Elder Santiago is the best cook in the mission in my opinion, and our diet has gotten approximately 10x better since he came to Boston. Also doesn't hurt that the mission felt bad for us not getting fed by members very often and started giving us a little extra money for groceries :)

Picture below: Our new friend Bob Haas lives on a pretty ghetto street in Dorchester that we always cross. Yesterday we helped him shovel and salt his walkway and driveway and in return he gave us a tour of his house, built in 1880 before anything else in the neighborhood existed. Its was just an awesome experience. This old guy took us around, showed us his photos from Haiti and his three pianos, explained how he bought the house for $6000 and restored it for $300,000, told stories of how he essentially captained and built up that entire section of Boston, and ended with a Schumann etude for Santiago and me while we sat with his giant St. Bernard. One of the coolest places I've been here in the city, and a really awesome guy. 

I'm finishing up the Book of mormon this week before transfers (staying here in Boston for 1 more, by the way!), and I always get nostalgic when I hit Ether and Moroni. What marvelous privilege we have to read their words. The sacrifice they wrought to bring forth the Book of Mormon fills these last chapters with a strong spirit. My advice is to seek the truth in it. You will never plumb all its depths, and it will never stop revealing answers for your life.

Elder Jackson

Monday, February 16, 2015

Many are cold, but few are frozen...

And in Boston we are frozen.
This week was another week of shoveling and struggling through giant drifts of snow. After Juno, Kari, Linus, and Marcus, we thought it couldn't get much worse buuuuuut then Neptune rolled along this Saturday. For the first time in my mission I didn't go to church this Sunday! Because nobody in Boston had church this Sunday! We got another 16.5 inches with this one, plus a blizzard warning and wind chill of -20. President Packard called us to let us know a fireside was cancelled, and at the end of his message he said "I don't think Lucifer has power over the weather... but I'm really starting to wonder!" Then he just laughed and hung up the phone.
One cool experience:
Luisa's cousin passed away about two weeks ago and his funeral was this week. At our lesson on Friday she told us that three days before the funeral, this cousin came to her in a dream; in the dream she was frightened and tried to run away but he grabbed her arm and told her he needed to tell her something. He said that they needed to stop worrying about him; that his death hadn't been painful, just a sharp pain in his chest and arm, and that he was still alive; that he had work to do. He said to relay the message to his family here in Boston, which she did.

Later in the week at our lesson we spent the majority of the time discussing this experience, then transitioned to talking about the Book of Mormon, how to read it and receive answers and specific guidance from it. We showed her the Index, and Luisa decided to pick a random reference and find it in the BoM. She pointed to a random scripture and then went to find it; she flipped to the right page and started to read to herself. I looked over and saw the reference was 2 Nephi 4:23, where Nephi talks about his encounters with the Lord:
"Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and hath given me knowledge by visions in the nighttime."

Luisa was stunned, as were we. She decided right then that she needed to read the whole book to find out what was inside, and set an alarm on her phone to remember to read each night.

Stay warm, stay fixe, and remember the Lord!

Elder Jackson

Monday, February 9, 2015

You Guessed It...


As of one hour ago, the snow total for Boston in the third p-day storm in a row is another 19 inches, which makes this seasons total (basically this month's total) to 73.9 inches! In case you were wondering.... I'm 74 inches tall.

Life was good this week! We shoveled more, we taught some great folks, and we had a bunch-ton of meetings and trainings. It was pretty great. 

SHOUTOUT to Jenna who will be in Washington Seminar next fall! 

I really don't have that much to update yall on, except that I'm alive and thriving. 

Mom and Dad are coming to drop off my cello, for which the member who's cello I've absconded with and secreted away for two months will be very happy. Also, I will get to play more. 

Lets finish it off with MORE SNOW PICTURES :) 
I had to change 30 minutes before a baptism to unplug the font and drain it so we could fill it again with water that couldn't induce hypothermia. It didn't really work, but at least I got soaking wet on a Sunday and lost feeling in my toes

That is a truck. But I walk past it every day and think it looks like a little buffalo. Or really a big white buffalo.


Monday, February 2, 2015


Pictures are better than words, so pictures you will receive. But I'll get some text down here before the stuff you really want to see.

I'm emailing early today because, surprise, snow is falling again! We have blizzard conditions here in Boston for the second time in a week. After I finished my email last week the snow began to fall, and we spent our evening delivering emergency supplies to the zone with the senior couple the Walshes (who spent the day at costco buying lanterns and food), which turned out to be useful when our power and heat went out that night! 

The MBTA (boston's public transit) was shut down the next day so we couldn't go anywhere, and spent 6 hours shoveling our neighbors and our street and the rest stuck at home. The best part of the storm was watching a backhoe plow our street.

The storm threw a wrench in our plans, because as a zone we set some ambitious goals for the last week of January that required us to be out on the street and working every possible minute. So we had to compensate when the snow stopped; and through miraculous means, we accomplished our goals. Suprisingly Cape Verdeans deal with "sanoh" pretty well (why don't they just say neve?), although I'm pretty sure they don't have any in Cape Verde...

The best moment of the week was when we were at the house of one of our longtime investigators Luisa, whose son PJ was baptized in November. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and she told us she had a surprise for the end of the lesson. When we finished, she told us she had decided she wanted to be baptized! She said she had experienced more happiness and peace in the church than in her entire life before, and that she wanted to be a part of it. 

Now the snow is falling again, and they're saying another foot is coming, so we'll be buried even more by the end of today! enjoy the pictures and I'll see you next week!