Monday, October 26, 2015

The Forests on Fire!‏

 Me and Elder Dawson recording
Beautiful fall colors
The ward had a halloween party, mostly populated by people from our group

Whaddup everybody, just letting you know that the work continues up here in the smallest state in the union!

This week was interesting, not a ton of crazy things to report, but some quick highlights. 

Tuesday we finished up writing the music for the project President gave me and Elder Dawson and we recorded Wednesday night (see pics). Its kind of a secret for most of the mission so I've edited the recipients of this email... But President is creating a cd with the testimonies of Christ of all the living Apostles and Prophet, plus the past several prophets. It's a 20 minute continuous track of testimonies, and he gave me the challenge of writing/recording underscore for the whole cd. At first I almost said no, but it's turned out to be really pretty exciting. I've even had some spiritual experiences writing, as entire songs came to mind and came to be in just a few minutes. So we finished doing our writing on Tuesday, then recorded on Wednesday!  A member of the church in Foxboro, MA will be mixing the cd. So he has to do most of the work :)

On Wednesday we had zone conference. I learned a lot and had a lot of ideas. One thing I liked  most was our discussion about personal gratitude and accountability to the Lord. It reminded me of a habit I started in Boston when we just barely started with the Portuguese group. My district leader gave me the idea. Each night in prayer before bed I would write a list of all the tender mercies and blessings of the day and actively express gratitude for each one. Then I would think of the missionaries, investigators and members and ask God questions about each one, how I could help them, and record the answers as action items for the next day. Then in the next day's evening prayer I would account to the Lord whether I did what he told me to do. Because of this exercise I feel that my time during those transfers was the most grateful and some of the most productive of my mission. I lost that habit, and I restarted this week. About half the time I fall asleep doing it but that's ok! It's the effort that makes the difference.

In terms of people, one of our families that didn't make it to their baptism resolved a lot of their concerns and issues this week. They all came early to church this week for the Primary program. Also, our awesome Brasilian friend Ademar, who cold called us 3 weeks ago and asked to meet, set a date for his baptism on November 29. It was awesome. He's a man truly transformed by the gospel, to an extent that I've never seen pre-baptism. He's so ready; now we just have to convince him that he is :)

Life is good.

One thought: in Mark 1:17-18, Jesus called his future apostles from their work as fisherman, and they "straightway forsook their nets". To the extent that we realize our true calling, each one of us, as fishers of men, we also realize we have a lot of "nets". It's super evident as a missionary which ones are still holding on to their nets with one hand while they try to swim to the Savior. It's sometimes too heavy of a load to make it "to shore". What nets does the Lord want us to forsake?

Elder Jackson

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