Monday, August 31, 2015

Promised Land‏

 Me n Eldah Perkes

the "Special" District  (portable visitor center sisters, moving elders, digital elders, assistants, Weston sisters and Waltham Spanish elders)

 Disc @ Revere Beach
---shoutout to Scott, who turns 28 tomorrow. Tomorrow is your 10,226th day alive.

This week in the life of Elder Jackson:

-logistical Haitian planning
-training at Zone Conference in Hartford
-training at Zone Conference in Worcester
-assigning mini-missionaries
-monthly goals
-supply orders
-office time
-musical performances
-first time singing and playing piano simultaneously in a performance... and in Spanish :)
-more planning!


So maybe my week wasn't like wicked thrilling per say. But I learned things while I taught. I learned that laughter can bring the Spirit. I learned that spiritual submissiveness is easy to see and to feel from the outside. I learned that people really do want to change. I re-learned that sacred music has true power. I learned that its much better to make a fool of yourself and immediately admit a mistake, than to be defensive to cover your pride.

I'm happy, healthy and I'm working as hard as I have strength for. I had a moment this week while driving where I was just smacked in the face with how much I love New England, and specifically Boston. As cliché as it sounds, its my promised land. This is my Waters of Mormon (Mosiah 18). This is where I "came to the knowledge of my Redeemer".

Aint never gonna leave!
Hope Ireland was dope for all who went, I expect pictures POST HASTE.

Hope everyone is joyful ! Never stop moving forward!
Elder Jackson

Monday, August 24, 2015

Jesus: The Perfect Leader‏

Good afternoon everybody!

Boston's great as usual. Still in the dog days of summer, but September quickly approaches.

The family's going to Ireland this week for some much needed R&R. I'm not jealous though. I've got all the Irish catholics in the world to hang out with here so it can't be that different. Right?

This week we got to hit the road again, which is always glorious. Wednesday we were in New Haven, Yale campus, for a portable visitor center tour of the chapel there. The buildings right on campus and has a sweet rec room on the fourth floor for seminary/institute. Wish I went to seminary there...
Friday we were in Brockton and Hingham. I was with the English elders but we still walked some of my old streets in Brockton and it was a great day. We taught a guy named Tsunami, who was cape verdean. So that's always gonna be good.
Saturday we headed down to Waterford/Groton, Connecticut, right on the southern coast of CT. Groton has a heavy naval presence and is a beautiful place. I spent the day in Waterford helping the elders there and we had some great opportunities.
Sunday was spent back in Lynnfield, MA (north of Cambridge) (the same chapel we went to on vacation in Rockport). It was a FABULOUS church experience. One of the speakers answered a question I've been pondering for 4 or 5 years now. Then they had a wonderful lady get baptized who was introduced to the church by her friend at law school here.
The title of the email is my thought for the week. Its a talk by President Kimball from 1977 about how the Savior epitomized all the attributes of perfect leadership. One quote specifically got my attention, when talking about how leaders must understand others the way Jesus did:
"Jesus saw sin as wrong but also was able to see sin as springing from deep and unmet needs on the part of the sinner. This permitted him to condemn the sin without condemning the individual."
The world teaches us that bad people do bad things because they are bad. But Jesus reverses it in his mind: he knows and sees us for our potential and value, and is able to do this because he knows the source of our sins is not innate desire to do wickedly but deep and unmet spiritual needs. When we focus on those needs, we can finally have the ability to hate the sin and love the sinner-- including the sinner in ourselves. When we minister to that deeper level rather than trying to cure surface symptoms, we witness real growth and true repentance. Jesus' goal was enduring spiritual strength, not superficial solutions. His goal should also be ours.

Elder Jackson

Monday, August 17, 2015

Transfers, No Sleep, and Answers

 Boston Temple
Boston Skyline
This ones gonna be REAAAAL short. We spent the morning driving some missionaries in Boston to get groceries since they don't have a car. The glories of service in leadership

This week was President and Sister Millers first round of transfers!!!! It was crazy! We had 28 new missionaries fly in on Tuesday, the largest group I've ever had. Yet the Millers and new missionaries handled it all with finesse. We tried to have all the details planned to a T for them. Inevitably I forgot to do some things, butnobody got abandoned in Boston Common and nobody missed their flight. That's my qualifications for a successful transfer. After all was done, I was commanded by Sister Miller to take a nap. It was the best 3 hours of my week :)

Speaking of flight: word on the street is that I was approximately 100 feet from Darren Jackson and had no flippin idea. He met a few of the 16 departing missionaries we dropped off at the airport in their gate. Surreal!

Some quick news:
-I tore up my leg something fierce sliding on turf (my fault), but Elder Perkes turned my pain into a gospel metaphor in his talk on sunday (see picture)

-we had a wicked rainstorm and a tree in the church parking lot broke at the trunk and fell, but didn't detach. We chopped it off with two small hammers on Sunday. In the process, I hammered myself in the shin.

-I have been trying to figure out if I will come home in November or December. I took it to the Lord in fasting on Sunday, and I had my answer before the first hour of church was over. Looks like its December :)

Love you all! Stay sweet! Helaman 3:35! 2 Cor. 7:10! Lets go!!!
-Elder Jackson

Monday, August 10, 2015

Gazer Glasses, Moving Hutches, Making Names‏

Bom dia bom dia! Hope everybodys doing well and killing it in whatever endeavors you're on. Life goes on here in Boston, the promised land.

This update might be a little shorter. But crucial events of the week:

-Did a webex to the whole mission broadcast from the massive Cambridge Stake center. The internet was cruddy and nobody could hear, except for the end when President spoke. Just goes to show who the Lord really wants the missionaries to hear :) we are chopped liver

-Stayed up....late preparing our portion of the mission leadership council for Wednesday. Much like last time, Elder Perkes and I got most of the way there on our planning but hit a wall, feeling we just didn't get it all right. But given it was....late and we still had to load up the truck with the mission's supply orders, we gave up and called it. The next day we had MLC, and our training turned out to be perfect and the whole mission used it in zone meetings. It was the Spirit that made the difference in that meeting; we didn't account for the Spirit's influence when we planned. I learned to ALWAYS rely on the power of the Holy Ghost doing the teaching when I plan a lesson or training.... it won't feel right if you forget...

-I've had an eye twitch for about 23 months now, since before the mission. They said it would go away in 6 months, but sadly it hasn't, so I went to the ophthalmologist on Friday morning. She was brilliant and all but basically said... Ami ka sabe (Cape Verdean for I have no idea) and suggested I try some dry eye treatment. Apparently my eyes are totes healthy. So no solution, but at least I don't have cataracts. Plus I got those sweet GazerBeam roll-out sunglasses for my dilated pupils. I know you know what I'm talking about.

 -Saturday was Transfer Text day! The whoooole mission has been bugging us since we were late getting them out. Planning transfers with the brand new mission president is a different experience for sure, but he received the revelation he needed and transfers were made. Not to mention, we have 28 new missionaries coming in... so 1/4 of the mission will be training! GREENIE FIRE!

The best experience of the week came last Monday night. We helped an investigator, Tim, move his stuff from the second floor apartment to the first floor. That included bear hugging an entire washing machine and taking off doors and dismantling couches. One piece, a hutch from a cabinet set, was taken outside to be left on the curb for anyone who wanted it. A lady came right as we were finishing and asked if she could have it, so we helped get it in her car. She started saying how much she loved Mormons but we believed some weird stuff about planets and spaceships... It was all off, so we explained that it was misinformation. Then Elder Perkes offered to come over to teach her what we really believe... and she accepted! Kim wrote down her whole life story in my planner (home #, cell #, husbands cell # and name, address) which was a first and very trusting of her. She's in Florida for a few weeks, but when she returns, we'll teach her and her family.

Elder Jackson

Monday, August 3, 2015

Reunions, opposition and sick cabins‏

 A random lady's daylily farm (mom would love it) call "daybydeb"

 Cabin in Peterborough
 Recent convert temple day.
My favorite view in Boston.
My sweet ride, "The Black Pearl"
This weeks email may be slightly less engrossing than last week, but cool stuff happened nonetheless. Summer has arrived here in Boston, its hot as the blazes, I still like humidity but given the lack of east coaster-missionaries here, the general consensus is this is ridiculous. I bet its worse in Virginia!

We're pushing strong through interviews this week with President Miller; he's got remarkable stamina and has been going 8am-8pm every day for a week! The missionaries love him and find it easy to open up to him. Something I was worried about.

Here's some cool stuff from the week:

On Tuesday we got a call from the missionaries in Brockton asking if we could come help teach Jane, a girl me and Elder Lopes taught there last summer. When on exchanges a month ago in the city, she walked past us on the street and I talked to her and set up a visit for the sisters to start teaching again. Found out on Tuesday that she has been progressing rapidly, and hit with incredible opposition. (getting beat up in the park by other 14 year old girls, getting beat up at home, fake FB accounts making fun of her, etc....) We had an incredibly powerful lesson where she told us she received her answer that the church was true, and wanted to be baptized, but is afraid of the reaction of abusive family members. The spirit witnessed to both me and Elder Perkes that she is extremely important to the Lord and that he has big plans for her; that's why there has been such overwhelming opposition. So grateful the Lord let us cross paths a month ago.

We also spent some time on exchanges this week, and I got to go up to Peterborough, NH. It was SO DOPE. THe elders are great, and the lay of the land reminded me so much of Virginia. Our meeting with one family out in the woods was super productive, then after dinner he threw us on his strange ATV like vehicle and drove through the woods.... to a siiiiick cabin he's built in a forest clearing. See pictures.

Besides that, this week we had our recent convert temple day at the Boston Temple, with over 40 recent converts coming to perform ordinances for their own family names. I was left the assignment by President Packard to make sure the day was successful (he said, half joking, that if it fell apart it was on my shoulders), and it was. President Miller loved it and said, "We should be doing this in every mission that has a temple." They highlighted our R.C.T.D. it in the past Mission Presidents Seminar, so I think the idea will be spreading soon.... I'm sure that doesn't interest you, but its cool to me.

We planned transfers, which is thrilling and difficult and inspiring when the mission president has only met each missionary .5-1 times. Lots of bold moves and revelation.

and this week, a senior couple was miraculously reassigned from Russia to here in the MBM. We have been hoping and praying for something like this to happen, so we can build up our Hartford City group. #answered

That's it! Enjoy pictures! Until next week!
Elder Jackson