Monday, May 25, 2015

Hey all! Sorry there was no update last week because we ended up hiking something called Purgatory chasm, which basically means you're not going to have time to email. It was great-- full of boulders and chasms and standing water. May have gotten bit by thousands of breeding mosquitoes but it was worth it.

This past week was TRANSFERS WEEK! My first time helping the Packards discern the will of the Lord for where everyone should go. It was a pretty incredible experience and I learned a lot about how important the council process is. And we sent out the first no-mistake Transfer-texts in 6 months according to sister packard. So at least we got that right! Also spent a day or two with the departing missionaries and sent them off to the airport, one of them being my last companion Elder santiago. I'm gonna miss him a lot. One of the calmest, most genuine missionaries I ever served with.

Sunday we headed up to Lowell to go to church in the spanish/portuguese group (E. Mccann and my specialty, considering we are spanish/portuguese) and it was an awesome church experience. The portuguese half was all brazilians, and amazingly enough, that was the first time in my mission I ever spent time with brazilian members! Its  was all cape verdeans up to then. It was REALLY. REALLY refreshing. I understood everyone and good to speak nothing but portuguese for all three hours, including translating young mens and elders quorum. Then at the end of church, I met Mauro and Patricia Mattos Silva Araujo, who's last ward was the Brambleton ward! Patricia looked really familiar but I couldn't figure out why. Turns out I saw them in church for several years when I was younger. Full circle.
Mauro and Patricia! Anyone recognize them?
Last, today was recent convert temple day, where all the recent converts come from across the mission to do temple work for their own ancestors. The last one was a bust, only 3 came, so this one we pushed a lot, and it payed off--- we had more than 60 recent converts come this morning! My favorite moment was when i was helping in the baptistry and in walks Salvador Goncalves, Orlando Barbosa, Raymond and Djara Hampton and Djeison! It was amazing to see them all come in white. The last time I had seen Raymond and Salvador was at their respective baptisms. And since I was there, they had me do the baptisms for all of them in portuguese. It brought back memories of those five months in brockton teaching Raymond, trying to help him progress and join the church... to see him there in the temple... Full circle.
I have a lot to be grateful for. 

Elder Jackson

The picture of the car grill?
We hit a deer going 50 on the highway....there were bits of intestine hangin' out. #dinner

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Month of Pictures

Since I skyped half this group yesterday, I figured I'd give you all what you really want. Pitchas!
Sidenote: Shoutout to Elder Han, Elder Allred and Elder Lewis! Everybody is coming home this next month. 

-Woods and hikes
-A famous overlook where some village burned

Best version of those family stickers I've seen yet...
Sweet bug
Sprriiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggg finally!

The famous clover boys.

Not sure if I sent this one already. If so, look again. That is Big Pimpin.
Boston Portuguese throwbacks

Love you all!
Elder Jackson

Monday, May 4, 2015

Gotta make money for my celestial hunny‏

That and other solid one liners tell the story of our road trip through hartford and connecticut this week! We spent some solid days in Cambridge, Hartford, Cromwell, Groton,  and New London. Lessons were taught, skype lessons to Brazil were taught, dinners were eaten, and a peanut butter cup.... was shaaaaaared.

Just kidding on the peanut butter cup, I don't share those. But the rest really truly happened. One of the best appointments was when we went out with Bro. Slack and his friend to get pizza and teach a lesson. Bro Slack is the living equivalent of Hulk Hogan. Except he joined the church 3 years ago. Then went to prison for a while.... Then got out, called the missionaries, and came back to church. He's honestly one of the funniest dudes I've ever met. While we were driving home, Elder Pulsipher had a little bit of a lead foot and Bro Slack yells out " HE'S GONNA KILL ME, AND I'M NOT GOING TO HEAVEN BECAUSE I DIDN'T TAKE MY SACRAMENT THIS WEEK! YOU BETTER TAKE TWO PIECES OF BREAD ON SUNDAY FOR THIS!" I couldn't stop laughing, which is probably bad, but oh well. You take what you can get on the mission. It was sweet. And his old italian lady friend agreed to meet with the missionaries after dinner. So, #success. #liveswillchange #minesurewas

We had alll the new missionaries and their trainers come back to the Belmont Chapel this week (Mom and Dad, you went to conference there a month ago!) and trained and counseled with them. It was great. I still remember when I was sitting in their chairs, and to be on the other side 17 months later was surreal. The Spirit was straight powerful. I loved it.

The work continues; the mission has soooo much success coming in May and we have a unique privilege to watch it unfold and try to make sure all the missionaries are fulfilling their potential. By the end of this week I'll have clocked 3000 miles in the car in 3.5 weeks. Its feels so different but I'm getting to know all of New England really well. The best part of all is that we're so busy that I have basically no time to think about myself or my worries. Living outward is truly the best life of all.

Last fun fact: one of the office missionaries, Elder Denney, is dad's cousin! His mom is Barbara Lou McCormick, who is Marian McCormick (grandma Jackson)'s sister. Elder Denneys wife looked at my name, looked at my face, and literally said "You must be related to my husband." Thats some keen perception powers, but we looked it up, and sure enough, Dad and him are cousins. Sister Denney knew the McCormick family growing up. Any cool connections anyone? I'd be interested to know. I gave him Dad's family history story book, since half those people are related to him too.

Love you all! I forgot my camera cord again.... Someday I'll send you some pictures!

-Elder Jackson