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