November 3, 2014


Hope in the Jungle

Dearest Family,

Thank you thank you for your prayers. From the beginning I have always felt your prayers but this week I felt them even more strongly. Last Monday I received the two packets of letters you sent in September. I read them on the bus ride home--they were exactly what I needed. This week has been much better which is slightly funny because our investigators are dropping like flies :) Hermana Arone and I are improving in our teaching--and I am really teaching!! I still have a long way to go with Spanish, but I am understanding more and more each day. It`s great!!

Everyday we take motorcars or walk to our lessons. It is always a great time to think, reflect, and talk with my companion. At the beginning of the week I had my motorcar epiphany on discouragement. I realized as we made our way up the bumpy road (not really a road, more like a trail) that discouragement is a powerful tool of the adversary. There are days where we become discouraged, we are disappointed,and are tired--all of which is normal. But when we remain in that state,, we put ourselves on  the sidelines. We stop playing the game mentally. We stop looking for solutions  and we stop seeing the good in every moment. This mission already has been so fantastic in teaching me lessons that I will carry for the rest of my life. We cannot  get discouraged--we must  press forward having a perfect brightness of hope. Because even if the situation isn`t ideal, we can still find happiness and we can search for the solution to our problems. 

One of my favorite hours of the day is personal and companionship study. In these hours I receive so much inspiration and revelation from the words in the scriptures and latter day prophets. This week I have been studying President Monson`s talk "Ponder the Path of Thy Feet" It speaks of walking the path of the  Savior. He has marked the way for each of us personally. I`ve pondered the meaning of this talk as each  day Hermana Arone and I search for investigators, contact and teach the gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ. What a privilege to follow after the Savior and preach his gospel!!

This week hasn`t been prime in finding and teaching, but we are filled with  hope for the future! We have a plan to begin to contact part member families. We hope that it will help us to reactivate and baptize at the same time!!

I`m so sorry I would write more but this computer is just awful. Next week! Love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers--you all help me to keep going. I will write more  next week!!


Hermana Jackson

Adveture after Adventure in Peru!!

Dearest Family,

Hello hello! Another full week! Interviews for baptism,  district meeting, wedding dress fittings, and a city wide power outage on Tuesday night. We went home and got ready for bed by the light of our DVD player as it played the Joseph Smith movie--this is luxury living people. And just when I thought I could conquer it all--a huge spider came into the apartment one night just as we were beginning our weekly planning. Man that thing moved quickly--(I want to say that it was a little bigger than the palm of my hand). We lost it--but the Lord answers prayers and we found it just last night. Another one bites the dust!

This week was a bit of a downer as some of our investigators are falling away. Rogner and Victoria are the sweetest, and I know they would accept the gospel--but life is tricky and it doesn`t look like it`s going to happen. The same thing for Junior. So is agency--that is the tough part about the mission. We can teach and exhort, and bear testimony--but if they don`t act for themselves we can do nothing.

There were a lot of ups and downs but this week ended wonderfully with the marraige and baptism of Familia Mozombite. It was my first marriage here in the jungle. Very simple--but very sweet! Ekier and Jency Mozombite were married as well as another old couple (and I mean old--pretty sure they were in their 90s). It was the cutest thing--each time they would say "si" or "i do", the officiator--Hermano Alberto--told us to give a cheer. We all clapped loudly--too funny. But very sweet.
The next morning we got to the church morning to clean and fill up the font for the baptism later that afternoon. There was a very sweet spirit present. It was very simple--but afterwords each member of the family bore there testimony. They were very simple but the spirit was strong--Hermana Arone and I were just weeping as each one got up. In there jeans and t shirts they shared their simple but sincere testimonies. They were just glowing!! I love this family.

This week in additional study we`ve been talking about the Book of Mormon and the power from the word of God. Our goal for this week is to incorporate the Book of Mormon in every lesson. Just last night we taught Jowan (13) using the story of Captain Moroni. He listened attentively as we showed a picture and read some verses talking about the strength of Captain Moroni--I thought of you mom as we shared that story!

All is well here in the jungle--we work hard everyday. We are doing the work of the Lord! I love and miss you all. You are always in my prayers!

Love love

Hermana Jackson

Raining like crazy in the Jungle

Dearest Family,
 This week has been a whirlwind. We`ve had many interviews and pre interviews for baptism with our investigators. We`ve also been preparing for the marriage of Familia Mozombite! There hasn`t been as much teaching as we`ve liked this week because of it, but, we found a new family to teach! Rut (12) and her mom (who is single) Enit. We met Rut several weeks ago (she lives on the same street as all of those kids that I took a picture with). I started talking to her, practicing her English. We`ve taught them the lesson on the Restoration. Both are praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true. There was a sweet spirit in the home as we taught. 

My spanish is improving. It is far from perfect, but I feel more comfortable teaching and bearing testimony. Just yesterday we had a great Gospel Principles lesson. There was good attendance and a great spirit as we taught about Temple and Family History work. It went really well-my companion and I are teaching with better unity. I will send a picture of our white board as I told my companion that this is the way my mom teaches her lessons. All of the people in attendance liked our lesson! 

Last Monday I had my first FHE (or Noche de Hogar) here in the jungle. We taught the Restoration, played some games--(super funny to play in Spanish :) and then had our "dessert". It was at the home of F. Quio (recent converts). They had Familia Mozombite and Rogner and Victoria over. It was a great night as Rogner finally accepted the invitation to be baptized!! The past couple of lessons, he has skillfully dodged the question, but that night he committed to pray about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon again and be baptized when he finds out it was true. The only bummer was that his wife Victoria wasn`t there during most of the lesson and night--their son Larry--he`s 6 and they think he has autism. He doesn`t do to well in social situations. We will continue to work and pray for this family!

Well--to end the week, we`ve had a runaway investigator. After interviewing Junior, Elder Gonzalez our District Leader felt that perhaps we should wait to baptize. Junior was really disappointed and since then, we haven`t been able to find him. Yeah.... As missionaries we are imperfect!! The situation could have been handled better--but we are learning! We have faith that we will be able to find him and help him prepare for the sacred ordinance of baptism. 

All is well here in the jungle! We get soaked on a daily basis from the rain, our rainboots are more for the protection from the mud (it is treacherous walking up the muddy hills :) But all is well. I am getting more and more accustomed to it all--I feel like I know our ward better and our investigators as well. God is good. I continually feel strength from the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Although this mission isn`t about me, I feel like I am learning so much each day. Just yesterday as I read 2 Corn 9:6. It talks about we will reap what we sow--scarce or bountiful. Let us reap bountifully!--seek out the interesting experiences, advantages, opportunites. Learn, develop our talents, stretch our of our comfort zones. We are here to progress and grow--let`s not waste time. I know that our here I am reaping bountifully--it is such a privilege to be under the mandate of Jesus Christ and his 12 apostles to preach the gospel. The good news of the gospel!! Let us always cherish this knowledge that the Lord has give us.

I am well! I love and miss you all dearly but I really am happy to be out here.

Much Love,

Hermana Jackson

Hermana J and her Chickens

Dearest Family,

All is well here in the jungle--it`s rained everyday this week so my rainboots have come in handy. We trek through the mud everyday as our area doesn`t have paved roads. It is one adventure after the next. This week has been busy but good--we are preparing Junior (18) for his baptism this week. Yeah Yeah! He is solid. Came to Conference with us yesterday, has read the 1 & 2 Nephi and Jacob. We are also working with Familia Mozombite as they will be getting married on the 24th the day before their baptism. I`m learning how to marry people out in the jungle! Lots of paperwork and errands, but it is all good. 

This week started out a little rough but ended on a strong note. At times my perspective can get cloudy--like when our water stops working and I have to shower with a bucket or when the members that are acompanying us to a lesson come 45 minutes late. The mission is challenging but I loved the message of Elder Godoy in Conference when he said that we should work the the end vision in mind. I have to keep my eyes upward--to focus on the vision of why I am here--because my time is short. This mission isn`t permanent. I was reminded why I was here during our Friday companionship study. We decided to answer the first set of questions in Chapter 1 in PMG--What is my purpose as a missionary. Each of us answered the questions. I felt the spirit as I remembered why I had put my mission papers in in the first place and why I`m here. I want to love these people!! I want to bring them closer to Christ. The talk on missionary work by Elder Bednar was gold as it perfectly describes why we share the gospel. Although I watched most all of the sessions in English with the other North American Missionaries. I was so touched to see all of the members pour out of the chapel on Sunday morning.

The church has only been here for 40 years--it`s new, but we are working to establish Zion. We were reminded of this during a training we had with all the Ward Councils in the 3 stakes here in Iquitos. 2 Area Seventy came to speak. As of right now only 34% of the members that were baptized from the past two years are active. If more were active we would have around 7 or 8 stakes and we would be esencially have a temple. I can`t remember his name but I was touched by the message of the member of the Seventy. We are to establish Zion. We are to seek out Christ`s flock. We are help bring others to Christ, to become faithful members of the church and receive temple recommends. We are to do all we can to prepare for a temple here in the jungle. It was a rad meeting. I came away ready to work. How blessed am I to work in this part of the Lord`s vineyard. To establish Zion and help members become worthy for a temple. There is a lot of work to do!

Two other highlights of my week--

On Sunday we left the house early to pick up a less active man. He is 84 years old and has 2 teeth. Julio--he is the sweetest old man. He walks around and hears fairly well. He opened the door right as we knocked with his turquoise polo on and blue basebell cap along with his little black bag. It was the cutest thing. 

On Friday we stopped by Rogner and Victoria`s house as they came back from  Requena, a town on the other side of the river (apparently there is a ton of really cool things out there but since it`s across the river I won`t get to see it during my time here. That`s ok, after!) People here in Iquitos show their love by feeding you--oh my goodness we had all kinds of fruit that they brought back. It was delicious--they have these fruit call Caminos ( I call them belly button fruit) so good! It was fun trying different fruit in the jungle. We are working with them to get married--they know the Book of Mormon is true and like going to church. They are the sweetest family.

Well all is well here in Secada. Next week are transfers--I made it through my first one in the field!!! The Lord is so good. I am safe and working hard. Love you all and miss you. You are in my prayers!


Hermana Jackson

October 7, 2014

Another week has Come and Gone!!

Dear Family,

Another week has come and gone! Each week I get more and more accustomed to the way of life here in Iquitos. It is surreal at times but I always remember what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has said about the mission--this is REAL life!! Iquitos is too funny--For example, Chickens. Almost everyone owns chickens here, rich and poor. They walk around in people`s houses like it`s nothing. Where we live, the sister of our pensionista has two little pollos. They are named Kentucky (after Kentucky Fried Chicken). They seem to like us sisters as almost everyday they walk into our little apartment just chirpping away while we study. It is the funniest thing. 

Here in Iquitos the defiinition of the weekend is party. Music is blasting in many of the houses, and boy do many people get drunk. This past Sunday was elections so we weren`t able to watch conference as there was no church. We were out proselyting instead which was a little tricky as many people were glued to the tv looking for results. Yesterday, we taught Elard--who is set to be baptized on the 1st of November. As we started teaching about the plan of salvation, a man came up--totally wasted (we were out teaching on the front porch). In Spanish they`re called borrachos. Anyways, he came over without a shirt on and started dancing to the music next to Hermana Arone. Her face was priceless as he shook his hips. He then proceeded to sit down and ask what we were teaching. Hermana Arone shared her scripture about the Spirit World and then he asked her how she felt in her heart. He then blew her a kiss, asked me the same question and did the same. It was hilariously--I couldn`t stop laughing. We eventually had to move inside and Elard held him off as we picked up our things and went into his house. As we left the teaching appointment, he was still there but now passed out on the ground. Oh Iquitos. We get some good laughs everyday. 

Currently, we have 10 baptisimal dates. It`s tricky to balance them, our progressing investigators, less actives, and recent converts. But who wouldn`t want this problem. We are working away! Zipping up and down the street in a motorcar from one appointment to the next. This week we set a date for Johan (12). He has a smile just like Alvin. When we asked him his little face just lit up. For the past several months he`s been attending church ALONE. He is so excited to get baptised. They youth here are just solid. It is always so fun to work with them!  Our closet date is on the 18th with Junior. It`s been tricky finding him--he has a lot of issues at home, but we have faith that the Lord will help us . Step by Step!

This week I had a great experience with Hermana Navvy (25). Her and her husband were recently baptized several months ago. Her faith is firm--it is beautiful to see. I loved what Hermana Arone told me. When we were evaluating our ability to be effective during district meeting she said that she feels like our plans are effective when we can see if the fruits of our labors are firm in the faith.  It`s true! Anyways. Hermana Navy shared how her mother passed away when she was 21 and how it`s been difficult. Her older sister is currently in the hospital, pregnant with twins and it`s not looking to good. I felt prompted to share D&C 84:88. I bore testimony that those angels are our family. That her mother is there with her and her family everystep of the way and how if we want help from the other side, we need to help them by doing Family History. I bore testimony of how I`ve felt my family on the other side. Both of us wept and after I felt the sustaining power of the Lord in that home. It was powerful. 

The Lord is our strength. I can feel it everyday. Some days are great and some days are not so great. But if we will turn to the Lord we will always find strength. Right now I`ve been studying the doctrine of the Resurrection and life on earth in Preach my Gospel. This life really is the time to prepare for eternity. Only through the gospel can we find peace and solace. Our burdens won`t be taken away, rather we will be given the capacity to handle them. 

I`m realizing more this week that my mission is a Journey. The Lord knows of my desires just to share and share some more about the gospel but at the moment I am limited with my abiilty to communicate. And that`s ok. I`ve learned how to say si with like 20 different intonations of my voice. That`s ok. I am on a journey and I am just learning to enjoy it all. To work hard--give my best effors, make mistakes with the language, and just accept that with time it will all work out. Nothing is a surprise to the Lord. What a blessing it is to be here on this earth with a purpose to grow. To become better, to learn how to cling to our covenants and draw upon the strength of the Lord. We must not get lazy with the basics because Satan is definitely not lazy!! 

I love you all. Keep pressing forward. Stay true to the faith! True to the faith that our parents have cherished!!!

Love love

Hermana Jackson

September 30, 2014

Another week in Secada, Peru!!!

Dear Family,

Another week in Secada! It has been full of ups and downs but we are working hard!! I have so many people that we come in contact with everyday so this week (and probably everyweek) you will just get highlights!!

Daniel and his three daughters came to church yesterday. Hermana Arone and I were ecstatic! He seemed to like it; his girls loved it. He attended our gospel principles lesson on the Law of Chastity (which was rad--we had pictures, quotes and a list of scriptures on the board--just like you mom!) We think that is girls will be the key to getting him to be more and more open to the church. This past week we taught the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was strong. We had a member come with us and he bore a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. We will continue to visit and pray that he will open his heart and accept the things we are teaching him!

Elard is the sweetest boy. If your under 18 we have to receive a permission form for baptism from the parents. We received his yesterday. He gave it to me with the biggest smile on his face. So excited and pumped for his baptism which will be at the end of October. On Friday night as we passed by his house we saw him leaving for the big youth dance at the church. It was cute to see him so excited to attend in his nice white shirt and slacks. His parents are not interested whatsoever but I know that they can see the change that has occurred with him. 

Zoila is a less active member we are working with. She is darling--very pretty. Her house is so cute with brightly decorated walls. Her husband isn`t a member, but her and her two kids are starting to come to church. She is a returned missionary and so last week she pulled out all of her pictures. It was good to talk about her experiences on the mission. We related it back to the Plan of Salvation. I felt such peace as we talked about life and how we have hope through the resurrection of Christ. God really does have a perfect plan for his imperfect children.

Our family that we`ve mainly been working with is Familia Mozombite- Ekier and Jency, and their three kids Jhorlly (16), Pedro (12), and little Ekier (7). They are the sweetest people but are definitely going through some rough times. When we report some of the challenges each week theres is that they don`t have money to eat. They already have much faith has they`ve payed a fast offering and attend church weekly. One person has to stay home though to protect the house. House are built very poorly here and it`s really easy to break in and steal stuff. But they are great! Their date for marriage is on Oct 18 and their baptism is on 25th.

We have been working really hard to obtain more references. As it is more difficult to see members since we only eat with a pensionista, we have decided to serve our members! The members here are so great. We have found that we have more success (like this week we aquired 17 new investigators 5 of them being families) when we work with the members in teaching and finding. They really are gold! And when we do involve them, they give us more and more references. We taught a lesson with Hermano Jarry and now he has been giving us more references. It is great!

I love you all! I am tacking this one day at a time. There is much work to be done and a lot to learn with regards to Spanish and being a missionary, but I am figuring it out. Love you all!!

Hermana Jackson

September 25, 2014

First week in Secada,Peru!!

Dear Family,

Another week in Secada!! It has been a good one--the days can be long but the weeks are short! Time is weird on the mission. Each day is different and full of different challenges, but it is all for my good!! Still can`t believe I`m in the jungle at times. Like this morning, guess who get`s to wash most all of her clothes? That`s right. No such thing as a washer and dryer here. Also, I`ve become an expert at killing these massive roaches in our home. I think the count is up to 6 right now! It is always a hilarious scene, me with a Book of Mormon to squash the thing and Hermana Arone with the spray that kills bugs. Both of us squealing. It is the best.

Well this week was full of teaching. First the family of Rogner (28), Victoria (25), and their son Larry who is 6. I love this family. Yesterday they attended the last two hours of church which was great. Victoria wasn`t able to listen much to the classes as her son is a bit difficult (they have been told by doctor`s that he is autistic--which is really hard for them to cope with and even understand out here). This week we taught about Eternal Marriage is Gospel Principles. It went ok--it`s slightly frustrating when I have so much to say but can`t say it! I ended up bearing my testimony at the end of being sealed as a family. Of course I started crying--only when I talk about family--the spirit was thick in the room. Anyways, Rogner said that when I bore my testimony, he felt this burning in his heart, that he wanted to shout from the rooftops. I was thrilled!!! My very very simple testimony was actually of some worth. He`s says that he knows the Book of Mormon is true and will continue to come to church and learn more about the gospel!!

This week we visited more with Daniel and Slyvia. Both Hermana Arone and I feel that this family is prepared for the gospel. Both are very smart, educated. Slyvia is set in her ways--she was born a Catholic and will remain a Catholic. But when we were teaching our first lesson, I felt very clearly that this family is ready and that we should not give up, or be deterred by their firmness. On Tuesday we teach the Restoration which we are both nervous for but excited at the same time!

Here in Iquitos there is a very distinct difference between members of the church and other people. There is term here: conformista, where people don`t like to study, don`t like to work. Not very ambitious. Many drop out of school. Members of the church are different. They work hard, and they are blessed with good jobs. Jobs that allow them to provide very well for the family and give them the ability to attend church. They also desire to learn. It is amazing to see the impact of the gospel. Because the gospel is truth!! The truth will set us free. Only truth, and gaining knowledge allows people to rise from poverty. It is fascinating to see. Members are also happier. They have a glow. They are happy in their families. Families truly are treasures!!! Teaching families is the goal.

We also have a sweet boy named Elard that we`re teaching (age 15). He attends seminary at 5:30 in the morning everyday. He is always very attentive and his prayers are so sincere. Each time he prayers, he asks for help with his family problems. We have a baptisimal date for him in late October, early November!!

Oh to be a missionary!! I love being guided by the spirit. One day when the family we were going to teach wasn`t at home, I started talking to the next door neighbor. We eventually sat down at taught the Restoration to Basilio (60s) and his wife right there at the side of their house just as the sun was setting. It was totally your stereotypical missionary moment!! 

Well, I am doing well! Step by step it is coming. The language is challening, but I just pray like crazy! I can get the gist, but sometimes I get none of it. But it is all okay! I am learning, and studying. My companion is so sweet and patient with me. And God is so good--I will admit, there have been a lot of tears. But I feel the strength of the Lord every hour. He is my rock through all of this.

I love you all! And miss you!! 

Hermana Jackson

September 15, 2014

Finally In the Jungle!!

On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 11:43 AM, Kayla Jackson
Oh My Family!!

I am here in the jungle. Literally it is the jungle-- it appears that for the next 18 months, I will be doing something along the lines of camping. But I really like it!! The first three days were difficult. It is a completely different world. I have never seen anything close to this in my life, but after I received a priesthood blessing (in English!) all is well. Priesthood blessings really are amazing, in my life I always thought they were for very difficult times. But now, I see that they really have been the umph I need to get a good place! That and the prayers of all of you.

Well, my first area is Secada. It is in the south part of Iquitos (about 30 minutes from the mission offices) and is more of the outskirts. My companion is Hermana Arone,23, and she`s from Lima. She`s been out on the mission for almost 7 months. I love the people here already. And our little area (actually our area covers a large spot). They are the flock of the Lord that I`ve been chosen to take care of!! I am so excited to get to work (which we already have!)

Yesterday was my first time with the Ward. They are all so dear. The bishop is young, 28 years old, but he`s great. I had the opportunity to introduce myself during sacrament meeting which is always fun. The ward has about 300 people so pretty decent sized. They are the biggest ward in Iquitos I believe. During the second hour we teach Gospel Principles which I`m really excited about. I love teaching--it went well yesterday, but I didn`t know until Sunday so I didn`t have a ton of time to prepare. Next time though, I will be on the ball. For the third hour we had Relief Society. I love the sisters. The bishop`s wife taught the Joseph Fielding Smith (I believe) lesson on Temples. It was beautiful. She shared her experience of her marriage in the temple. It was only her and her husband. None of her family was able to attend. Here in Iquitos, it is very difficult to get people to the temple because of money. People here are so poor. The homes in our ward are unimaginable. I know that I joked about living in huts out here in Iquitos but really, it`s pretty accurate. People live in dilapidated homes made of tin and wood. And some people literally live in huts. At least 6 people live in spaces that are the size of your Master Bedroom. Only well off families have electricity. Anyways, her story was very touching. She bore testimony of the power of the temple and of it`s importance. It was more important to her to make covenants in the house of the Lord, than to have any of her family there when she was married. Other women bore their testimonies of well. They are faithful here. Please don`t take advantage of the temple. It really is such a privilege to live close by to many in Utah. I love the women here in Iquitos!

After we had ward counsel. There are a lot of financial difficulties in the ward. But I love that we have the opportunity to be ward builders and establish a stake of Zion here in Iquitos as missionaries! Well, our day to day schedule is the same:

6. 30  Wake Up, Exercise, and Get Ready for the Day
7: 30 is Breakfast. We have a pensionista who cooks all of our meals so I`m eating well! She is so dear. Hermana Sonar and her husband Cristobal. During every meal we sit and chat. Hermana Sonar`s mother who is 90 (this little frail old woman) talks with us. I love this family. They remind me so much of Grandma and Papa. The food is great. Rice and Chicken are the main things, but we have fruit smoothies for breakfast, toast. We`ve had spagetti--so it doesn`t look like I`ll be eating anything scary since we don`t eal meals with the member. 
From 8-10 is Personal Study, and then Companionship Study
From 10-1 we proselyte, do Service on Wednesdays, or have district or zone meetings. This past week we had a zone meeting has there have been some changes to the mission in terms of planning and teaching. All things that were not new to me as it was taught in the CCM. It was great. I love President and Hermana Gomez. Presidente doesn`t speak much English. Hermana Gomez does but she`s a no nonsense lady! I love them though, and I love their testimonies.
From 1-4 we have Lunch, Language Study (my comp studies English) and then an hour of training specifically for my first 12 weeks out in the field. 
From 4 until 9 we have dinner and then teaching.
We come back from teaching to plan and then prep for bed, so time is very short! 

Our apartment is like a townhome with the Familia Velez`s home (my pensionista). No AC and no Hot showers. But it`s not has bad as I thought. The weather here is hot but it`s really not that bad. But when it rain, it pours. Thank goodness for my boots. Oh! Here we either walk, or travel by motorcar (google it)

Spanish is coming along just fine. I feel like I can understand depending on the situation 60-85 percent. Talking is more difficult, but I`m not worried at all. I`ve only been here for 7 days so I know it will come! As for teaching, we meet with a lot of Recent Converts. I love Familia Quio. Roy, his wife Milagro, and there two sons Junior (12) and I don`t know the other one`s name.We`ve met with them several times--they are so dear and I love hearing their testimonies. I love teaching. It`s hard to communicate and understand. But I feel the help of the Spirit to prompt me what to say. We have 6 baptisimal dates--one family, Familia Mozombite and Junior who is 17. I was there when Junior committed to baptism. It was our first lesson. Apparently he`s been coming to church for the past 2 months, and no one knew he was not a member. He told us he wanted to get baptized and one day serve a mission! It was awesome. We also started teaching another family--Rogner, his wife Victoria, and their 6 year old son Larry. The spirit was so strong as we taught the restoration. There is power in the Book of Mormon. Rogner was very interested and said that he would read it as he saw that it was important! It was great. The people here are so sweet.

Well, I Love you all! I Love this work, and am excited to find teach and baptize. Know that I`m doing great in the jungle of Peru

Love Love

Hermana Jackson

September 4, 2014

Last Week in MTC

Hello Dear Family,
Another week down at the CCM and can you believe it--on Tuesday early in the morning, I will head out to Iquitos!! Out to the mission field we go. It´s weird how things are wrapping down here but really in the same breath just beginning. You won´t hear from me until not this upcoming Monday but the next (I believe that is September 15). However, if there is time at the airport, I may get to call! It will probably be early (like when you´re up Mom in the early morning) but keep your phone close--we´ll see. I think I will be able to. Well this week has had it´s ups and downs. I love hearing about everyone´s going ons. There hasn´t been anything new--it´s the same of just studying and having class.
Today I had such a marvelous experience in the temple. It was my last time going until I get home!! During the session, it was fine--I´ve recently come down with a cold has a lot of elders have been sick in the CCM, and since we´re all in close proximity it was bound to happen. I didn´t get a ton out of the session to be honest, but as I crossed over to the veil, I felt such a peace and love from the Lord. As I sat in the sealing room, it was amazing Mom--I felt our family. I felt Preston, Willis, Grandma Beesley and Grandpa Jackson. It was literally like a warm hug--that it´s not just me out here, but that they are all here with me. I could feel of their strength and their love for me. Kind of like a send off before I leave for the field. The spirit was so strong. I was overwhelmed with gratitude--in D&C it says that it may seem like a bold doctrine--that we seal both on heaven and on earth with the Priesthood of God, but those family ties are real. I felt it. I am so grateful for the house of the Lord. I am grateful for the strength I feel from not just you all back home, but from family on the other side of the veil. This week I received a priesthood blessing in which it said that I was set apart in the pre mortal existence to do a specific work. Being here in Peru is apart of that work. I feel the Lord and really our family right beside me as I study and prepare to head out. What an adventure ahead of me!!
We watched a devotional this past week with Jeffrey R. Holland, and he asked the question: Why isn´t salvation easier? Why is missionary work challenging. His response was that it wasn´t easy for the Savior. So there are going to be challenging days and that´s okay. It is such a privilege to be out here. Today as I was in the temple thinking about this past week and how it had been a little bit harder to focus and be positive, I was reminded what a blessing it was that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I could even be out here. That is the miracle of the atonement. And what a tragedy really it would have been if I couldn´t be out here in Lima Peru and soon to be Iquitos, doing the work of the Lord. His work is my work!!
I´m not sure whether you should post this letter to the blog--you decide you get´s to see it!! You are in my prayers for your lesson. This past week in Relief Society I was able to share the spiritual thought that the sister leaders usually do--I love being with the sisters!! I´ve been reading a lot of the conference talks--they are wonderful!! Especially Elder Nelson´s on showing your faith. Any truth is apart of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love that when it come´s to any controversial matters in the world--turn to the Lord first. For his way is the only way to go. There is this awesome quote that we got from devtional. It was from the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast--maybe you can find the full thing but this was what I was able to write down. ¨Too many people are worried about being on the wrong side of history. History is not our God, God is our god. History is not our judge, God is our judge. Public Opinion is not our judge, God is our judge.¨ If you find the full thing, let me know! I want it! I just thought it was a powerful quote as the world continues to seperate farther and farther from God´s law. In 1 Nephi 18--it talks about Nephi as he build the ship. He didn´t do it after the manner of men but of God. Even Laman and Lemuel recognized at the end that the work was exceedingly fine. When we do things the Lord way, we are choosing the better way. These are interesting days!! But we can do it and do it well if we are on the Lord´s side! 
Well, I am alive and well!! I am ready to get out to Iquitos. I love you all--I am sad to here about the many that are going through hard times, they will be in my prayers when I fast on Sunday as well. I have´t gotten the letters, but they said a lot of mail was coming in today so I will check and see. Love you all--next email will be from somewhere out in the jungle!!
Hermana Jackson

August 28, 2014

Week 4 at Lima, MTC

Week 4 at the CCM
Hello Hello!!
It has been another full week at the CCM--the time is flying by. We are now considered Avanzados or the Advanced group. In less than two weeks I´ll be headed to Iquitos--it´s starting to get more and more real. Our cute roommates left on Tuesday to head to there missions. Our new roommates are Latina! Whoa is it an adventure--trying to comunicate it fun and it always takes a long time. Esta bien! It will all work it--they are just darling. Hermana Wheelock and I have been asked to be Sister Leaders for the duration of our stay--it was fun welcoming to next set of missionaries in. We have 5 new North Americans and just a slew of Latinas--I think around 14. I have a soft spot for all the sisters--they are so sweet.
Well, last Saturday we went out proselyting again and boy was it an adventure. The Friday night before I was in the moods--I basically told the Lord in my prayer just to get me through the experience as I wasn´t super excited. And I was just tired. The Lord thought otherwise! It was a full day, one of growth and love!! I was assigned to be the Senior Companion as I was paired with a Beginner Sister who is so cute and enthusiastic but her Spanish is just absolutely terrible. When I found out that it was going to be basically up to me I was not thrilled--more like scared out of my wits. But, as I got on my knees I prayed that I would be able to understand the people we would come in contact with, that I would be a good examples to Sister Borque my comp and that it would be a great experience. It was such a wonderful experience. When we got to our assigned area--Las Violetas-we were assigned to a sister in the ward who would show us around Hermana Chessna. She was so sweet. She took us around to the homes we were supposed to visit, less actives, but no one was home. Thankfully since she was a ward member she knew of two sisters who were not on the list. Wow--our first visit was with Melina just out on her porch. She was so kind to us, immediately giving besos and asking how we were doing. When Hermana Chesna asked if we had a message a scripture immediately popped into my mind (Alma 26 37 I think, something about God being mindful of all of his children). The Spirit is amazing that way. We shared the scripture and had her read it. I bore my testimony on how God was aware of us and asked if she would come to church. She wouldn´t commit so we just bore our testimony of God´s love! As we left, Hermana Chesna asked how we knew to share that scriptures--it was exactly what she needed!!
Our next visit was with Solange and her Dad. We were able to go in and sit with them for about 20 minutes. We shared the same message and I bore testimony again along with Hermana Chesna. Hermana Borque was cute, but no one understood exactly what she was saying--it was funny. The dad said he felt peace as we talked--we asked and commited them to come to church. The dad works on Sunday so he said he would try but Solange said she would! It was great.
After we spent the duration of our time street contacting. Hermana Chesna had to leave for a baptism so we were on our own (no worries--there were a lot of other missionaries around our area). We knocked on doors and shared a brief testimony. I wish I could have shared more but with my Spanish we were a little limited--a testimony and smile would have to do! Two good experiences though. There was a group of boys (around 7-8)  around Alvin´s age that were playing futbol and walking around. We each gave them a pass along card of the Savior. It was cute to see them carry their cards around even when playing soccer during the time we were there. At the end, we talked a little bit with them--they tried to be funny and ask us questions in English. They asked if I had a family and I was able to show them a picture of you all! It was cute as they crowded their little heads around to see.
As we walked around, their was a security guard who was monitering the neighborhood. I could tell he was watching us as we walked door to door and talked to others. He ended up stopping us--I couldn´t understand everything he was saying but I caught most of it. He said he was very impressed with us and how we acted around others. The way we were nice to the little boys and how it seemed that we had a purpose. He was a golden individual! He asked where the church was and when it started. We got his contact information to give to the missionaries and then we gave him a folleto (pamphelet) about the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was so kind! It was so neat and I wish I could have said more but I felt that the Lord was pleased with our efforts. We came that night tired but our hearts were full. I felt that this experience was a push from the Lord. We each have come here to progress and grow and sometimes we get to feel those growing pains. I know I did. But we just grit our teeth and get through it--and it always turns out to be worth it!
Life is good at the CCM. I was able to go to the temple again today which was great. Our teachers continue to whip us into shape as I am learning more and more Spanish and more about the gospel in general. Just yesterday I was studying about Christlike Attributes in Preach my Gospel. I focused on the area of Hope. I love how in Preach my Gospel is says something along the lines of, "as we work through our problems we will receive hope and the strength to continue." I loved the emphasis on work! We need to work if we want the Lords help. The Spirit and grace of the Lord does not work unless we do! There are some days where it´s hard to get up--somedays I have "the moods" and I don´t feel like being around people. However, I know that God is there for me. He is watching over me and when I pray specifically to see His hand in my life and that specific day--I always do. There is hope through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love alma 58 when the people are about to go to battle--they poured out their souls to God and he spoke peace unto there hearts. He gave the assurance and granted them the hope and strength to press forward. If we ask we will always receive. 2 Nephi 31 20 is also a great verse on pressing forward.
I love and miss you all!! You can do it--I´ll talk to you next week, my last email from the CCM. Oh! And tomorrow I will have been out for a month! One down, 17 more months to go.
Hermana Jackson

Week 3 at Lima.Peru MTC

Hi Family!!
On Week 3 at the CCM. Can´t believe I hit the half way point. Life here at the CCM is great. I just laugh all day as there are so many quirks. On Tuesday before the devotional Hermana Gonzalez (the MTC Prez wife) came up to the pulpit and ask who had the diarehha. Then the zone leaders had to go around and ask specifically. It is too funny. Love all the elders and sisters here.  I feel as if I´m pretty much adjusted to the missionary schedule and such. I love my teachers--they are whipping us in to shape, and I love all of my study time! Sundays are always nice--full of meetings (in english!). On Sunday I gave a talk in church! The way it works here is that after the sacrament is passed, the branch president will randomly call up 4 missionaries to speak for 5 minutes in Spanish!--and I was one of them.  I felt like I was going to--thank goodness I prepared well. My talk was on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Our Father in Heaven did not put us on this earth to fail but to succeed gloriously. And we can through the Atonement of Jesus Christ! What a marvelous doctrine. I love my studying time here. Several nights ago I had my first dream in Spanish--which apparently means the language is beginning to click. I didn´t understand a lot of the dream, but I´m super pumped that I had one! Anyways, studying time are my favorites. Personal Revelation just flows as I read the scriptures and study Preach My Gospel. Those 3-4 hours I have are precious.  I just finished the Book of Mormon. It is an amazing book. It is the evidence of God´s love for us as it contains the fulness of the gospel. Can´t wait to start reading it again.
Today I got to attend the temple--it was absolutely beautiful. I had headphones so it was nice to get it in English--going through the veil in Spanish was interesting, but good! The temple is the house of the Lord. I am just trying to cherish these times I´m there. Only two more til I´m out in the field!! My comp and I are doing great--I just love her now. The grace of God is real. Yesterday as we were talking, she starting sharing some of her struggles with the language. Immediately the words of Ether came to mind as I had just read earlier that day of Moroni´s words to the Lord. Of how he was concerned fools would mock him for his weakness in writing. The Lord responded in Chapter 12 of 26 that he will make sure we have success. Our words will be received. I just felt such a love for my companion. Her success is my success. Day by day we are doing it! We are growing through the gospel of the Lord!
 As I was reading in Helaman several days ago, I was touched by the words of Nephi about placing our treasures in heaven. This mission for me is a treasure in heaven. Lay up treasures in heaven!! Things that last for eternity!! Also Prayer, God is so good to me. I find such strength and comfort through prayer. One day as I woke up I was just not feeling it. As I got on my knees and began to pray, I immediately felt such love from our Father in Heaven. He is listening.
Know that I am doing really well.  I love you with all of my heart. You are in my prayers. I love this gospel so much. The fulness of the gospel is restored on the earth today. Don´t be asleep during the Restoration and the hastening of the work. Wake up and get to work!! (Read Elder Uchtdorf´s talk in Priesthood. Love it!!) Amazing things are happening on the earth today!!
Besos! Much Love,
Hermana Jackson

August 19, 2014

Week 2 in Lima,Peru MTC

Hola familia!!
It´s been another good week at the CCM. I´ve gotten a lot more comfortable being here and it´s been a lot better since last week. Thank you for your prayers and your love because I feel it--I am strengthened by you all and I love hearing what´s going on each week. Well, after I finished emailing last week, we headed out to Lima for a couple hours to shop. Everytime we head out it´s always surreal to think I´m actually in another country. The day was so fun. We all got on the bus to get around--buses here are these old vans where they fit in as many people as possible. It is definitely an adventure. There aren´t actually bus stops. They´ll stop stop with the door opening yelling to see if they can take you somewhere. All of us had to yell "templo, templo!!" to get on the bus that would get us the stores we needed to. Walking around Lima is great--we are really in a nice part of town. The stores are nice and the people are so friendly.
We stick to the same schedule at the CCM. Eat, Study, Class and One hour of physical activity so there´s not a ton of adventures going on. But, here are some highlights from this past week:
-Last Saturday we went out and proselyted for a couple of hours!! It was quite the adventure. Here at the CCM we do this every other week so I´ll get to do it 2 more times before I leave. I was paired up with Hermana Ramierez from Mexico. Although I didn´t talk much, I felt so much love for these people. We stopped and talked to quite a people at the park, and met with a less active member. I got the general gist of the conversations which was good. And I got to testify and talk about the Restoration with a few people. It was great!! When we stopped at Catty´s home, I was so humbled. She´s about 16 or 17 and had a couple other siblings running around. They were all so cute. Their living conditions were very humble. I was taken aback to be honest. But I felt the spirit as we talked about attending church and feeling the spirit. It was a good experience to have, and it reminded me why I´m out here.
-My highlight of the day at the CCM is teaching our "investigators." Our Spanish gets better each time we teach. As we were waiting to teach one night, we started talking to the Latinos. They are all so nice and it´s fun to practice our Spanish with them. One Elder gave me a nice compliment saying that my accent was great--he wondered why all the other elders and hermanas still speak with a "gringo" accent. Hermana Wheelock and I also got a compliment after we taught a lesson with Matias and committed him to come to church. He said that he felt the spirit as we taught and that we were the best missionaries at the CCM. While I don´t think the latter compliment is quite true, I felt the spirit as we taught as well. Even though our Spanish is broken, and we require a lot of time to plan and prepare our lessons, I feel the spirit helping and guiding us. The Lord is making all the difference and for that I am grateful.
-One thing I keep realizing each week is that we all have stories. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences and each of them are valid. We can´t discount other people and their differences just because we haven´t experienced the same thing--and our initial judgements are never right. Just this week I´ve had so many experiences on my knees praying asking forgiveness for the judgements that I´ve made. Like this past week I found out that one of the elder´s in my district--his brother came home from his mission early because he got some sort of genetic disease and isn´t expected to live much longer. He left for his mission earlier than planned hoping to get back and spend as much time as he can. This is just one example of many. Sometimes it can get frustrating being with the same 12 people for 10 plus hours a day--they really are just a bunch of 18 year boys, fresh out of high school. But there are so many moments when you know that we´ve all been called of God. That we all--each with different backgrounds and experiences-have come to Peru to serve the Lord. I love that sense of unity knowing that we are all in this together.
- I love studying each day. One of the challenges at the CCM is to read the whole Book of Mormon from start to finish. I love this book! I just finished reading about the Anti Nephi Lehis. What beautiful examples they are to me of a people who are whole heartedly committed to God.
Well, I love you all. Can´t wait to read all of your letters. I am so proud of each of you and what you are doing! I want each of you to know how seriously I take to wearing my missionary tag because I get to represent my favorite people in the world--Our Savior Jesus Christ, and My Family. It is such a privilege to be a missionary for the Lord. Each time we sing Called to Serve I just can´t get through it because how many times will you actually get to sing that song in your lifetime being an actually missionary!! I love it. Love and miss you all, Besos Besos (that means kisses;)
Hermana Jackson

August 12, 2014

Lima, Peru

airport 007.JPG

More MTC Lima, Peru pics

airport 004.JPG

airport 005.JPG

Pictures at the MTC in Lima, Peru

airport 001.JPG

airport 009.JPG

First Week

Hello all!
It´s so good to finally be able to write--feels like it´s been forever since I left last Tuesday for Lima! My first week at the CCM (or the Ce Ce Eme as we pronounce it in Spanish) has been jampacked. There are about 130 missionaries, 25% Latino, the rest Norte Americanos. There are only 5 companionships of sisters, and it´s just me and Hna. Wheelock in District 112. There are 13 missionaries in my District (one companionship is a trio). Each day we get up at 6am have breakfast and then head to class. Most all of our day is for class, personal study, and companionship study. We have 2 teachers--one in the morning and one in the evening. Class goes til 9, we plan til 930 and then it´s off to our rooms to write and go to bed!
Spanish is going well! I am so grateful for the class I took last semester, otherwise I would be drowning in the language. The spirit is strong at the CCM. I love how one of the Elders in my District likened it to a temple of learning. It really is! Starting on Monday we started teaching investigators (they are just the teachers). The first time did not go well at all. Hna Wheelock and I left slightly discouraged. I remembered that after all the years of planning and preparing lessons for FHE the one thing we forgot to do as a companionship was plan in detail!!  So as the senior companion, we sat down, got to work, and planned in detail our next lesson on prayer for our investiagtor Matias. It went so well! We were able to answer his questions and flow almost seamlessly into the topic we planned. I loved getting a taste of what I´ll be doing for the next 18 months.
Lima is so cool. I´ve been out 2 times since the airport--both times for immigration. I love it. It´s winter time right now so it´s pretty hazy and drizzles almost every morning. When the sun comes out--which it finally has this past week, it is heaven. Driving is crazy. All of the buildings are smooshed together. The CCM is in the Molina district which is a really nice area. There are beautiful flowers everywhere. The people here are so kind. Yesterday while we waited several hours at interpol, we were talking to everyone. Although we can´t communicate that well-the people are so dear and slow down so that we can pick out a few words.
Some highlights for the week--
We had a devotional this week from Elder Juadell (I think that´s how you spell it) from the 70. It was powerful. Our purpose as missionaries is not to baptize but to fully convert others to the gospel. The temple is our goal. He said that the disadvantage and the advantage of missionary work here in Peru it´s easy to get baptisms. Our challenge will be to make sure people continue to come to church and progress in making and keeping additional covenants with the Lord. I´ve spent a lot of time studying Lesson 1 in Preach My Gospel (I love that book). One theme that I´ve picked out is that the Lord continues to reach out to his children in love through things like the scriptures, prophets, revelation etc. One that I love is that the Lord reaches out to his children through covenants. Cherish the covenants you make!! Our covenants empowers us to do hard things, to stretch beyond our capacities and be tools in the Lord´s hands.
I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers. Love hearing all the updates. Know that this Hermana is doing great-- my scripture for this week has been d&C 31 verse 3.
Love you more than words can express,
Hermana Jackson

I made It!!!

Dearest Family,

I made it to the CCM late last night at around 2 am. Today has been full of orientation and getting the swing of things. My companion, Sister Wheelock is super cute-- she is going to Lima Central. I am the only sister headed to Iquitos but there are a ton of Elders going so it has been great.When I got to Atlanta I met up with about 17 elders, we made it Lima just fine and got through immigration and customs with no problem. So fun driving through Lima even at nigh! I love you all, I am really excited to be here. I am officially an Hermana with the naetag and all! Expect to hear from me not this Thursday but next Thursday as Thusrdays are my P-Days at the CCM.


Hermana Jackson