11 months…and 20 years!!!!!

i cant believe that this week im celebrating 11 months in the mish and 20 years of life!!!!! wowwee. im so grateful to be alive and to be serving Heavenly Father. life is good. and there is just so much goodness yet to come ūüôā

this week was really good! a lot of little tender mercies and the lord led us to some reall promising families! so we stopped by neuzas house again this week and her neighbors said that she was still at the beach. what the heck. but tudo bem (all is well). she will turn up one day, and get baptised. ive got her batismal form all ready to go folded up in my scriptures. in other news, ada our 8 year old girl that we have been working with for such a long time is getting baptised this saturday!!!!! we i first started working with her she said she didnt want to get baptised and her mom (jo) kept saying that she wasnt understanding and maybe when she gets a little bit older. humph. well, we have been talking about baptism with her for the past couple weeks and at first she said, well, maybe at the end of july when its my birthday. and then she bumped it up, maybe, the first week of july when its my brothers birthday. but she asked us about baptismal clothes and who can baptised her and so we knew that we just needed to take the plunge and help her take the plunge and just git r done. that week we fasted and prayed that she would accept; so on sunday, we planned to invite her to be baptised thissaturday. so we got there and i was a little bit scared, thinking what if we scare her off, we can wait until her birthday in july. and then i said to myself, snap out of it. faith not fear, and so we invited her to be baptised this saturday and she said YES!!! and her mom was super supportive and now is really gung ho about raising her kids in the gospel, she knows it needs to be done. this really was such a miracle from god. they have changed and progessed and softened so much from the time when i got here. im so excited and sooo happy. i dont think her baptism is going to count as a baptism for the mission because she is only 8 but really it doesnt matter. satan is the one thats going to keep whispering to us to put off and put off and put off the things we need to do that will help us get back to heavenly father. its happening. this saturday. be there or be square.
so on sunday we went to pick up an investigator but she wasnt home. we ended up missing our bus to get to church and we waited at the bus stop for about an hour for another bus to come. BUT, it was most definetly part of the lords plan for us that day because when we were waiting at the bus stop a young woman came and sat down next to us, waiting as well. so we struck up a conversation and it turns out she actually stopped going to the church she had been going to for a while because she wasnt happy there. we told her about the restoration and she welcomed us to share more in her home another day. the lord makes everything work out the way its supposed to. and when we finally got to church, we sat down and i just took a deep breath and felt so much peace. i felt the calming power of the holy ghost and felt its calming witness that this is christs church.
also, i was reading in the book of mormon this past week. mom shared a quote with me that really inspired me to read in 3 nephi. “the more you know jesus, the more you trust him. he knows you better than anyone. if you want the soothing healing powers of the atonement, you must know jesus“. and so i was reading in 3 nephi 17 and i came to verse 5 and just stopped. so this was when jesus came to visit the people in the americas after his ressurection and it said `¬†1¬†Behold, now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked round about again on the multitude, and he said unto them: Behold, my¬†time is at hand.

 2 I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.

 3 Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.

 4 But now I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them.

5 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they werein tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.`   and the holy ghost does what is does best and spoke quietly but with a lightning bolt effect that the Book of Mormon is truly our source of a personal account of the savior jesus christ. what pure emotion this verse oozed. i love the bible and read and study the bible along with the book of mormon but we do not get this kind of personal emotional grasp of the saviors love in the bible like the book of mormon contains. the holy ghost told my heart that this book is true. christ loves us and knows our lives and souls, personally. i know that we can gain a deeper understanding of teh saviors love and our relationship with him through the book of mormon. i know this is another testament of jesus christ. and i know that every one of us can receive a witness through the whisperings of the holy ghost, of the truthfulness and power of the book of mormon and the reality that the gospel of christ has been restored. the church of jesus christ of latter day saints is the church of jesus christ, and his restored gospel is the only way we can return to live with Father. I say these things in the name of jesus christ amen.
love,
sister jackson
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come what may and love it!

hello!!!!!!!!!

so this week was a roller coaster! so¬†on thursday¬†was the first game that brasil was playing in the world cup. seriously, everything closes down. its a holiday for the brasillian people. and it gets wild. and so our mission president sent out a list of rules and times we have to be home during the jogos (games). when brasil is playing, we have to go home and stay home after lunch for the rest of the day because its basically a party in the street. so we had our own party at home and¬†sister¬†oliveira made brownies and we bought ice cream and had a blast. everytime brasil made a goal, we just heard a great roar or screams and voovoozaylas (i dont know how to spell this). really it just sounded like a high school band practice was going on in front of our house with 50 out of tune oboes and clarinets. and a civil war going on in the background. it was really cool ūüôā
so neuza didnt get baptised on saturday. so all week we were working with her, quelling (i think thats a word) any fears or questions, preparing her. and friday she had her interview with our district leader. i was praying all day and all during the interview. she passed with flying colors and was super excited. she even showed her little travel bag that she packed with her clothes and towel for the baptism the next day. so the next day (day of the baptism), we got all ready to go, tried calling neuza a few times just to make sure everything was all ready to go. she didnt answer (not strange because its her sons phone and no one usually answers). right as we were heading to pick her up, we called again and her son said that she wasnt home. weird. but maybe she took the bus to be early. so we got all loaded in the our ward mission leaders car, super excited. when we got there, our members were all waiting, font filled, everything perfect. but we were missing a neuza. so then us 4 sisters got down on our knees and prayed. and then we drove back to see if she was home. no. the house was all closed up. thenwe tried talking to her sister who is her neighbor and she said she thought neuzas son picked her up to go to the beach at around 11 am. what the heck, what do you mean she up and went to the beach. shes getting baptised today!!! (i thought in my head). and so we tried calling several other times that day and we passed by later and nothing. sister oliveira said it felt like getting stood up at the altar or something. we even bought a really pretty cake for her. so ya, we pretty much got stood up at the altar. we went home and i just got on my knees by my bed and just asked god, what more do you want me to do. because i gave my all. and i was at the end of my rope and needing guidance.
so this transfer has been full of tests of faith. full of them. full of prayers and tears and forks in the road where i could have decided to just say nope, im done, god, i cant get up again from this one. but there is another path- the path that im learning to navigate. this path is filled with light and hope and acceptance and forgiveness, patience, pure christlike love and trust.
i was asked to give the message at a family home evening and i thought about the video of stephanie nielson, that touched my heart so many years ago and still moves me today. i decided to show this video and share d&c 122:7-9    7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

 8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

¬†9¬†Therefore,¬†hold¬†on thy way, and the priesthood shall¬†remainwith thee; for their¬†bounds¬†are set, they cannot pass. Thy¬†days¬†are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore,¬†fear not¬†what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.¬†. i know that god loves us, and that every trial is an opportunity to trust Him and become more like Him. Neuza will get baptised. Tudo vai dar certo (everything will work out right…i say this about 60 times a day, its my favorite phrase). christ is our captain.
i love you and hope you have a marvelous week! like joseph b. wirthlins mama said once upon a time, come what may and love it!
love,
sister jackson
ps thank you for every email and every photo/video, everything!!!! i love you!!!!!!
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I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!

Hello my beautiful family!

We`ve had a miracle here. A big one. So do you remember our investigator Neuza who had a baptismal date for the 14th of june and whose anger cancer ridden husband got mad at her for leaving the house? well she didnt know how she was going to be able to continue coming to church and so we and she prayed for a miracle. well we got one. so one day this past week we were trying to find an address of a past contact more or less in the same vicinity as neuzas house. we found the house, knocked, and out came neuza`s¬†sister. so i surprisingly said said hello and asked how she was doing. and then she asked if we were coming by to talk to neuza because her husband had died. say what. i remember my jaw just dropped and i felt like i was in a dream and in my brain i just said to myself, god did this. i will never forget looking over at¬†sister¬†oliveira and trying to hide the smile on her face she put her hand over her mouth and said ` que horrivel“ (how horrible). we then went over to neuzas house and talked and cried with her and it just so happened that the lesson that we planned that day was the resurrection, spirit world and degrees of glory. it was marvelous. she was obviously torn up because her partner of 30something years was gone but she told us that she was finally free to be happy and that now she could come to church and be baptised. neuza is getting baptised this saturday. and her daughter and graddaughter came to church with us yesterday. we are going to help this family get baptised dangit. it was literally an answer to our prayers in the most profound way. it was just like god touched his finger on her house and said, ok neuza, its time. i do i do i do believe in miracles.
heavenly father loves us. he knows everything. he has a purpose for everything. he will take care of everything. i love him. i love my savior and know that because of the atonement, because of his suffering for us in the garden of gethsemane and his death and ressurection, that he will lift us out of our despair and pain if we will let him, and that we too can live.
love,
sister jackson
ps i almost only have 6 months left, no way jose.
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happy junho!!!!

i cant believe its already june and im going to be 20 this month. weird and wonderful. so this week was interesting. we had an emergency transfer and sister torres was sent to maffra and i receivedsister oliveira as my new companion. and sister van wagenen arrived in my area after 10 months in the georgia macon mission. turns out shes the sister of your friend lissy, such a small world. she is wonderful and is so fearless and happy. she is doing so great and its so wonderful to have a friend in my house who i can relate to about so much!

so this week was really hard. really really hard. in my 3 weeks with¬†sister¬†torres we had tons of little and big miracles and we loved serving together, became great friends and just had a marvelous time, finding and teaching prepared people. but then this week, everything fell through. neuza who who a date to be baptised in 2 weeks is really scared to leave her house because her husband got really mad at her when she came to church with us. our progressing investigators have various obstacles that make them not so progressing. and the rest of our investigators basically have all fallen through or dont want to talk to us anymore. one day we went to talk to a young melena that we started teaching. right as we walked up to her house someone shut the front door, seeing that we were coming. and then we asked her neighbors, other investigators of ours if anyone was home. they responded no, knowing rightly that they were. liar liar pants on fire. so we said thanks and started walking away and we heard the most devilish cackle behind us from the neighbor guy we had just talked to. i felt like satan was laughing at us. so since we had very few scheduled appointments this week, we did a lot of door knocking, trying to find ex investigators, contacts, less actives, anyone…knocking on all the doors on their streets. no one. we knocked at one house and a man came out and just said `√¨ dont believe in what you beleive`¬ī. then i tried to talk to him and ask him what he believed in and he said “nothing“ and just went back into his house. i walked away just feeling a sting of tears in my eyes, just so sad for him. the whole week continued this way. one night we were at irma soeli`s house and tried to put her granddaughter on date but she said she said she didnt want to be baptised. at then end of the lesson, i just looked at irma soeli and her husband sebastiao who take care of everyone and have so many struggles and they were just rubbing they eyes from pure exhaustion. in my head i just said very firmly to God, `something has got to give God. they are exhausted. I am exhausted. we are trying to save this family. we are trying to save this people. no one wants to talk to us. nobody wants to be baptised. all of our investigators are falling. i dont know where to go. i dont know what to do. please father, help me.“ ¬†i talked to and cried to God in the shower. the following morning i studied president eyrings talk, where is the pavilion (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/where-is-the-pavilion?lang=eng) and doctrine and covenants 121. i also thought long and hard about this talk by elder holland (https://www.lds.org/ensign/2001/03/missionary-work-and-the-atonement?lang=eng) when he says:

Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?

You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience.Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.

Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.

For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.

If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, ‚ÄúAbba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,‚Ä̬†16¬†then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn‚Äôt an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn‚Äôt an easier way.

The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more importantly than it will carry the investigators. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him‚ÄĒthe Way, the Truth, and the Life.
. i was also struggling with my companionship with¬†sister¬†oliveira because she is very very very very quiet. but with all of this spiritual guidance through the scriptures and the words of the living prophets, i know now…
that i am coming to know jesus christ, coming to know his sacrifice, his pain, and his love for his people. and i know that this is a marvelous opportunity to, instead of being distraught and discouraged and sad, to rely upon Christ, and love and nourish the children he has entrusted in my care, especially my companion.
i love you all and i love the Lord. i know that we need to do what he did, love serve and sacrifice to receive his love, guidance, blessings and eternal life.
i am grateful for my prova√ß√Ķes (hardships) because they are changing my heart and bringing me closer to the Savior. I pray that each one of us can turn to Him and¬†become¬†like Him through these opportunities. i love you. keep calm and carry on. and pray ūüôā
love,
sister jackson
ps mama dont worry too much about me ūüôā
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boa tarde!!!!!

this week has been amazing and quite a wild ride! so some new americans are coming tomorrow and a¬†sister¬†that has been serving for a year in the usa is coming to serve in my area!!!!!! so excited!!!!! also,¬†sister¬†torres is being transferred tomorrow which is definetly not cool because magic is happening in our area and i love her guts and she cant leave, but thats ok, i will buck up and trust in the lord ūüôā

 so this week our amazing elect investigator neuza with a baptismal date of june 14th came to church for the first time and loved it! its hard for her to leave the house because her husband is sickly and doesnt like religion and is controlling but she got her son to stay at home with him and she was able to come for sacrament meeting! really she is such a miracle, she loves reading the book of mormon and accepts everything we have shared with her and says she feels such a strong calm when we are having our lessons and when she is reading the book of mormon. its the spirit!!!!!!!! the book is the power!!!!!!!!
and, daddy, you are going to get a kick out of this next one. so one day 2 weeks ago, i was really feeling like i wanted ice cream and so we went to a nearby sorveteria (ice cream shop) and i got forrer rocher ice cream and when i went to go pay, i felt like i should give the girl working there a pass a long card. we started talking with her and telling her who we were and who we represented and she was super friendly and said she has a friend who was an Elder and recognized the nametags. So we asked if we could visit her another day at her house. we got her address and tried visiting her but couldnt find the house. so we went back to the sorveteria another day to get things straightened out, we figured out we had been searching on the wrong street but were able to introduce the restoration to her in the sorveteria. then this past week we visited her in her home and we were talking about the restoration pamphlet and she said the part that caught her attention was the first vision. we then watched the restoration video with her and after introduced the book of mormon, normally we dont introduce this much in one visit because its a lot to swallow at one time but, she was famished. she was so excited to get her hands on the book of mormon and read it. she said she was feeling so happy and good and we testified to her in that moment that these things are true, that the gospel is here and that the book of mormon is the word of God. in minutes the three of us were in tears. thank you love of ice cream for leading us to an elect.
sunday was awesome! we woke up, hurried to get ready and speed walked to our investigator neuza“s house to help her meet up with her ride irmao peninha for church. and then he drove us all to our other investigators house where we got our investigator ruan and a less active mom , patricia, and her daughter loaded up in the car too. and then we ran, literally ran, to catch the last bus to get to church on time. and then i gave a talk. ūüôā it was awesome. as we were running i felt like heavenly father was looking down and smiling as his crazy daughter was giving her all. i felt so happy and full of life and the spirit. my talk was based on elder hollands talk, the first and great commandment (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/the-first-great-commandment?lang=eng), and d&c 4- i felt impressed to focus my talk on how the greatest examples of love in the scriptures teach that love = sacrifice. i spoke about how we must give our all, sacrificing our past lives, sins, pride, embarrassment, time, lives- to God, to the great work of salvation. This also makes me think of another talk by president monson (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2003/04/in-search-of-treasure?lang=eng) that i love and a quote in particular that says “‚ÄúThe¬†greatest¬†decision¬†I¬†ever¬†made¬†in¬†my¬†life¬†was¬†to¬†give¬†up¬†something¬†I¬†dearly¬†loved¬†to¬†the¬†God¬†I¬†loved¬†even¬†more.¬†He¬†has¬†never¬†forgotten¬†me¬†for¬†it.
i love a lot of things. i love palm trees. i love oreos. i love sleep. i love the ocean. i love movies. i love my family. but without a doubt, IT IS MY GREAT QUEST, STARTING HERE IN MY MISSION AND FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, TO LOVE GOD FIRST, WITH ALL MY HEART. WITH ALL MY MIGHT. WITH ALL MY MIND. AND WILL ALL MY STRENGTH. im learning. and i know he will not forget us.
i love you tons (20 bajillion sacks of beans worth),
sister jackson

quasi (almost) 10 months!!!!

hello my loves!!!!! this week was full of miracles, big and small, prayers answered, humbling experiences, the good soul filling stuff.

so one night, all of our plans fell through, and we were brought once again to pray, bowing our heads and closing our eyes and asking heavenly father for help in the streets of paranagua. so we asked him for help, and told him we wanted to find who he wanted us to find, go where he wanted us to go. so we started knocking doors, and nothing. we told ourselves, we are going to find one good new investigator before¬†8:30. one. and so we were walking down the street and we passed a house and i just stopped and we knocked there. a woman came out front and we started talking with her and it turns out the elders talked with her husband a few months ago but she never had a chance to talk with them. so she let us in and we began talking with her and her daughter and we were teaching the restoration and she stops us in the middle of the lesson (her name is mari by the way) and she tells us that just an hour and a half earlier (6 pm) she said a prayer to god and asked him for help. i then looked down at my watch, it was¬†7:30, and i said, “and we arrived at¬†7:30, that answer sure came fast“ (or something like that in portuguese). she and her daughter are excited to learn more and when we left it was¬†8:30¬†and we had 2 new good investigators. but more importantly, we were humbled, the lord answered our prayer, he knows us, he was and is there for us, to help us, guide us in doing his will.
another miracle, so sister torres and i went to talk to a contact of ours, they werent interested and so we clapped outside the next door neighbors house. before the person even came to the door, i had a bad feeling. but i didnt move. a young man opened the front gate and as sister torres and i were talking about it later, we both shared that our first instinct was to leave right there and then. but in that moment, neither of us budged. we introduced ourselves and asked him what his name was. ruan. we started telling him that we were representatives of the lord jesus christ and that we wanted to share a special message with him. i got the heebie jeebies every time he looked at me. we took out a restoration pamphlet and talking a little bit and the most unexpected thing happened. he just looked down at the ground and started weepíng. weeping. we asked him what he was feeling. he just touched his chest with his hand. we continued talking a little bit and we asked him what he was feeling again (he was still cryiing ish) and he said that we had a very strong force and presence, that this was the 3rd time that the lord came to him, and that this time he was going to follow. he said he done everything possibly bad in this life and that he was ready to change. after we left, we just stopped on the sidewalk and stood there for a few minutes thinking about what had just happened. we kneeled down on the sidewalk and prayed, thanking heavenly father for protecting us (we both felt that when he first came out he had bad intentions and couldve hurt us), and thanked him for bringing this young mans heart to repentance.
i know that heavenly father is real. he is in control. i know that purity and obedience will protect us, spiritually and physically. i know that when we pray, we can spill everything, and he will hear us and love us and through christ will give us the forces to keep going. i know joseph smith is a prophet of God and that the church of jesus christ lives. he lives.
i love you all and invite you all to get on your knees and talk to your father in heaven.
love,
sister jackson

Hello!!!!!

this week was full of changes and rain and skyping mommy on mommys day!!!!!!! it was the greatest 40 minutes ever and i loved hearing all your voices and laughing and crying and hearing stories about the kiddos and being filled with your love. thank you. 

so this week i want to write about a couple different people. first off, ada. so there is this less active family that we are working with. john, the dad is an immigrant from the philipines and joined the church a long time ago. jo, the mom joined just because it was the church of her husband. and their 3 kids know nothing about who God is, why we are here, nothing about religion. so we have our work cut out for us with this family. ada, the 8 year old daughter is our investigator but we are teaching everybody at the same time because they need it. so we decided that we really needed to start at the beginning with the basics. so we prepared a really wonderful lesson about the premortal life and the creation that was on her level. we made these little cut out things (i will have to take a pic of them) to demonstrate that christ made light and dark, and then stars and moon and the sun, and then the waters etc. and each time we would read one more verse in genesis about one more thing that christ created, we would have her add one more little image thing to our little earth that we cut out. and we would ask her, and who made this ada? and it took her ahwhile but she finally caught on, that god made all of these things. and we taught that god made all these things for us because he loves us. i saw such a difference in her and i think this is really going to help her learn. so excited to help this fam!!!
and then we are teaching sebastiao, who is the husband of a recent convert. i really feel good about him. when i first met him this week, i could tell that he was different. he is reading the book of mormon and really wants to receive a response from god but he says that his faith is really really small. i feel so much love in my heart for this man because i know that we is weak but has such a strong desire to know for himself that the book of mormon is the word of god and that the church is true, all of it. and so with all the love and testimony we could muster, we told sebastiao that the small seed of faith that he has can be nurtured and grow into the tree of everlasting life. just the way he handles the book of mormon with such care, searching the pages, starting to read even before we left, made my soul reach out and give his soul a hug.
so i remember one night, our plans had fallen through and we didnt know what to do and so we just stopped and prayed and asked Father what to do. sister torres then pulled out her scriptures and said something that her institute teacher said, that we pray to talk to god and we open the scriptures for him to talk to us. and so she flipped open her scriptures to a random page and picked a random scripture in the book of mormon and i dont know where it was but it was brilliant and perfect for that moment. it said something like, we have afflictions so that we can be humbled so then we are ready to hear the word of God. wowee.
i have so many more stories about answered prayers, tender mercies etc that i would share if i had 10 more hours to write but unfortunately, i dont. so i will just leave you with my testimony, my guts.
i know that God Almighty is real. He is our Father and He loves us. I know He created a beautiful and perfect plan for us so that we could gain bodies, have families, and grow to be worthy to return and live in His presence after this life. I know that Jesus Christ is at the center of this plan and that only through Him, we can overcome our weaknesses, our sins, and mortal death….and live again. I know that if we live the restored gospel of Jesus Christ by exercising faith in our Savior Jesus Christ, repent and change, be baptised by someone holding the restored priesthood authority of God, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end, continually striving to keep these covenants, that we can live with God and Jesus Christ and our families for eternity. It is not free. It means work. But it also means that it will be worth it. I love it. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
love,
sister J
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Hello!!!!!!! Holy guarana ive passed 9 months!!!!!!! Its been another marvelous week here in brasil. i love it and i love life.

so for my 9 month mark, i started the festivities off with a bang by throwing up and having diahhrea (mama and daddy dont worry im fine and i have medicine and im going to be ok ūüôā ), not even remembering that it was my hump day until after i awakened from a long nap. but it was actually a great day! i got to sleep for a few more hours, i finally got to organize all of our old teaching records (seriously, i was so happy to have time to do it, i really like organization) and we had an awesome lesson with rafael and his family and watched the restoration dvd!!!! yay!!!!

and we had a miracle this week. so last sunday sister nelson and i were looking for  the house of a less active family and searched the street several times for this specific house number. brasil is wonderful but really the house numbering is a bagunça (mess) here. it can go from 86 to 51 to 335. anywho we didnt find this house. and then the next day i was on exchanges with sister wilson because since sis nelson is a sister training leader she needs to do divisions with all the sisters in our zone. so sister wilson and i were walking down the rua on our way to an apointment and this lady walking towards us calls out to us. we started talking to her and she told us that we stopped by her house yesterday and that her family was wanting to come back to church. i was confused because i had never seen this lady before in my life. turns out, we talked to her daughter the day before and the lady we were currently talking to was the mom of the less active family we had been looking for. what???? and she has two unbaptised children. and so we met with them the next day and we are currently working with them to help them develop habits of prayer, reading the book of mormon and coming to church. these really are the three things that will save a marriage, bring back children who have gone astray, bring someone closer to christ, and ultimately save a family. its the verdade (truth). cleunice and jurandir are the mom and dad and we are trying to help jaqueline and guilherme  (the two unbaptised kids) get involved in seminary and mutual and the youth program. so excited.

another miracle- we had been walking with mirian (our recent convert) one day and she showed up where she used to live and we decided to knock (well really, clap) there. the woman wasnt receptive and wasnt interested and so we had a nice conversation with her and left. and then yesterday sister nelson had the prompting to go back there, which she thought was weird because the lady didnt want to have anything to do with us. but we went back to that house because when promptings come, we go. and so we were walking up to the house and this different girl was entering the front portao (big gate in front of the house) and so we started talking to her. turns out there are 3 different households in the same lot. so ana (the girl) invited us in and we tauught her, her mom and her 2 sisters and we have a return appointment and they will hopefully be at churhc this sunday. ana has been going to different churches which only means that she hasnt found what she is looking for, she hasnt found the truth. but the lord sent us to her house. and i had actually met and talked with one of her sisters before. when we left the house, we just stopped for a minute and soaked it in. it really is a beautiful thing, when you receive a prompting from the spirit, you heed the prompting and know that the lord has used you to fulfill a part of his plan. love it.

it was a marvelous week. i am so happy. i am so grateful for my testimony, and my faith and optimism in jesus christ that is fueling my life. i just really feel so happy and just honestly, nothing can happen that will stop me from continuing and remembering that christ is in charge here. its all going to work out. i love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!!!!!!!!!!!!

oh and today we went to a beautiful botanical garden here in guarapuava and played american football and ate pb&j sammiches (elder chase has a stash of peanut butter) and walked a beautiful trail. it was just a lovely day.

ok, love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

love,sister J

 

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Bom dia!!!!!!

goooooood morning bonsucesso!!!!!! (imagine robin williams saying that)

so sorry that i wasnt able to email yesterday! our pday was switched because we had a zone meeting during the middle of the day. i dont know exactly, but im here now!!!
holy cow can you ¬†believe how amazing conference was!!!!! i couldnt get enough of it, i didnt want it to end. i especially related to that one talk, i think it was president uchtdorf speaking, who said that as humans we naturally dont like endings because we are eternal beings. true that. so saturday and¬†sunday¬†were basically vacay days and were wonderful. we did our studies in the morning, packed a sack lunch and walked about a half hour to the chapel in the centro where conference was being broadcasted. the had a room set aside upstairs for all the americans in my zone. even though it would have been really cool to watch in porkajeez, it was wonderful to watch and listen and feel in my own tonuge. mommy, i knew you would like that one talk about “beloved mariah“. it made me smile and i thought of you lots. there were sooo many things that related to my patriarchal blessings, questions answered, fears calmed, wisdom bestowed. it was wonderful. i loved elder scotts talk about sharing ¬†the gospel is really all about simple example and love. “we bare testimony and love them and love Father in Heaven and give them the opportunity to make the decision…giving them confidence in your love ¬†can help them to develop confidence in god`s love“. brilliant. what i basically got out of conference was 1) obedience/ safety in keeping the commandments 2) safety in following the words of our living day prophet 3) love/importance of taking care of the family ….and a whole lot of other personal revelation. it was glorious and i was so exhausted after ūüôā other fave talks were elder bednar`s about how our loads help us to get back home to heavenly father and president uchtdorfs about gratitude. i am so grateful that we having a living prophet and living apostles on the earth today that hold the priesthood power of God to guide and keep our families safe and on the right path to return. for my friends that are not of my faith, im guessing this whole conference thing might be a little confusing-¬†https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2014/04?cid=HPSU040614654&lang=eng¬†¬† -check it out.
So i love sister wilson and she is amazing. she is from wisconsin and she has been serving in brasil for about 6 months now and served one transfer in the macon, georgia mission. oh how we have bonded over our love of the south. she was such a blessing from heaven because i was starting to feel really discouraged, not being about to really communicate ME. i get by with portuguese but after a while you just start to feel like your SELF is kinda lost when you cant talkto people the way you like to. and so at night when we are walking home and oober tired, we tell stories and talk about life in english and its marvelous. my portuguese is coming along well. a couple people this week that we met were surprised that i was from the US and super surprised that ive only been here 7 weeks. i love portuguese and its becoming more natural. i am so grateful for heavenly fathers help to understand the people and that they understand me (i hope).
ent√£o (so), i have 3 precious people i want to write about today
1) rafael!!!! our golden boy!!!! rafael is the nephew of mirian (our 17 year old that was baptised last month). we started teaching him this past week because he expressed interest to mirian that he liked our church and wanted to starting coming. yippeee!!!! he is 10 years old and such a stud, he does ballet (our little brasillian billy elliott) and is just wonderful. we had a great first lesson with him and he was so focused and the spirit was so strong. we taught prophets as being awesome guys that helped God to help the world and that God gives them a special superPOWER to do this. he asked why jesus was put on a cross. it was so wonderful to teach someone so pure, so unadultered by the junk and cynicism thattypically comes with life and age. he was just a boy who wanted to know more about god. we invited him to be baptised and tonight we are setting a date for the 26th of this month.
2) adriana and cristiane are progressing well and we are continuing to teach them and prepare for baptism in the near future. cristiane is not married to her “husband“- super common here for people to live together and call it marriage because divorce is really expensive and most people here have a poopy experience the first go around- or so ive heard. anywho, she is determined to get baptised and so we are praying for a miracle for her to have the desire to get married so she can make this covenant with god.
3)next i want to talk about diane. yesterday we were on exchanges with our sister training leaders and sister mansur was with sister wilson and i. we were teaching a lot of lessons and having a good day but i was starting to get discouraged because of the feed back we were getting of things to change and work on to be better teachers. i was just starting to feel like, man, im a poopy teacher and cant doanything right -bleh satantalk. então, we stopped at a little supermercado because sister wilson needed to use to bathroom. and i really felt like i needed to pray. so after sis wilson, i slipped into the bathroom for a few short minutes to pour out my heart to heavenly father and ask for help and foregiveness and strength. i love praying. anyways, after that we stopped at the house of a contact (annarosa). she let us in and on the couch lay a little body of a young woman. annarosas daughter diane, was born with seroius physical and mental disabilities and she stopped growing when she was 3 years old. she was basically skin and bones and she had the hands of a little toddler. her mom told us that today was dianes  17th birthday. as we were getting to know annarosa a little bit better, she had her precious little daughter scooped up in her arms and was spoon feeding her. tears came to my eyes and i was filled with the pain and sadness that i could feel this tired mother was feeling. i was also filled with loveand compassion for these precious daughters of heavenly father. she wasnt really available for a lesson lesson and so we just offered to read a scripture with her and pray. i immediately thought of my favorite scripture in doctrine and covenants 50:40-46- 40 Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot abear all thingsnow; ye must bgrow in cgrace and in the knowledge of the truth.

 41 aFear not, little bchildren, for you are mine, and I havecovercome the world, and you are of them that my Father hathdgiven me;

 42 And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be alost.

 43 And the Father and I are aone. I am bin the Father and theFather in me; and inasmuch as ye have received me, ye are in meand I in you.

 44 Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the agood bshepherd,and the cstone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this drock shallnever efall.

 45 And the aday cometh that you shall hear my voice and bsee me,and cknow that I am.

 46 aWatch, therefore, that ye may be bready. Even so. Amen.

 

i assured her that christ is our good sheppard and that none of his precious are lost or forgotten about. this was such a  humbling experience for me and i am so grateful for my life, my health, my good sheppard. i know that he loves us, and that because he is love and because of his atonement, that we can grow in grace. i love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.

 

love, sister mariah jackson

Oi!!!!!!

hello my beautiful family and friends!!! it warmed my heart so much last week to read all of your emails and see all of your pics of the jackson family adventure in FL. i was so overwhelmed with love and gratitude that we are an eternal family, that we are good, and happy, and love and strengthen one another and are covenant keepers. i am so grateful. i love you.

SOOOOOOOOOO, for this week, transfers rolled around again and sister morais was transferred this morning and i received sister wilson as my new companion. uma americana!!!!!!!!!! she was actually in the same district with sister beeson in the mtc. loco!!! weve been out the same amount of time and she served one transfer in macon, georgia before coming to brasil. she is great and im so excited!!!!
its been a week of great miracles and i have been truly humbled and blessed by heavenly father. cristiane is progressing beautifully and came to chruch for the first time yesterday. she works at our local grocery store and normally hasnt been able to come to church on sunday because she has to work. but this week she told us that she just told her boss `no“, that she was taking sunday off because she needed to go to church. oh i love her. she brought her 9 year old son peterson with her and he will most likely be baptised with her. cristiane knows that god sent us to her life and that this is the path for her, the path of jesus christ. we also began teaching her friend adriana who is living with her. we had a lesson with adriana and cristiane this past week and it was so incredibly powerful. we were teaching about the gospel of jesus christ and in particular, repentance and baptism. adriana began to cry and said she so desperately wanted to learn how to forgive her abusive husband who she left 4 months ago. cristiane then began to cry and said she wanted to leave behind her past too. i didnt understand a lot of what she said because she was crying at the same time but i knew she earnestly wanted to begin again and so strongly desired the presence and healing power of the atonement in her life. i knew in that lesson like i could feel in our previous lesson with cristiane, that she wsa different, that she was prepared. a couple days later, we came back to check up on adriana. oh my goodness. she said that she read the “evangelho de jesus cristo“ pamphlet over and over and prayed about it a lot and said that when she went to bed that night, for the first time in a really long time she slept peacefully and woke up invigorated and with the unusual desire to bake bread (something she said she hasnt done in a really long time). she said that she knew god answered her prayers, that she had found the path of jesus christ and that she has a very strong desire to be baptised. here comes even more SPIRIT– before i left kentucky , brother pew, a member of the bishopric gave me a marvelous priesthood blessing and in part of it he said that there was someone waiting for me in brasil. someone waiting to hear my voice, even in my broken portuguese. the lord led me to her. adriana said that in our first lesson, she felt something so strong when i was talking and knew that god sent me to her to help her find her way. i knew she was right. i was so grateful to heavenly father that despite my inadequacy, he was still using me to bring souls to christ. during our entire lesson, all three of us could not keep from grinning so big. we knew god knew us and brought us together. updates to come. :))))))))
ive had some very humbling experiences in the past couple days. on saturday during the day we did a service project and weeded someones garden. i was attacked by these crazy little black bugs that suck your blood on the spot and leave your legs streaming with blood and right now, swollen and oober itchy. i had been feeling a wee bit discouraged and small and lost lately and my encounter with the bugs was kind of my breaking point. we ate lunch with ¬†a member (hot dogs- cachorro quente- super popular aqui) and a little bit later i was starting not to feel so good. my stomach felt upset and i was starting to feel dizzy so we went home so i could lay down for a little bit before we went to a baptism. we went to the baptism and i was not feeling good…but i knew we needed to be at that baptism. erlder erickson and elder pacheco baptised a mother and her 3 young children. it was so beautiful. and sister morais and i sang “i like to look for rainbows` ¬†in portuguese. as each one entered the waters of bapstism, they were so happy, and were lifted up so pure and good. i was smelly and dirty and my legs were covered with huge red splotches and i felt like my stomach was about to explode, but i felt so at peace. i knew i was supposed to be there to help remind me of my purpose, to help families make this covenant with Father. we sang- nearer my god to thee and it brought tears to my eyes. i was humbled thinking about the grand sacrifice of christ, so much more than my few bug bites. he gave everything. he is so pure and so giving. i want to be just like him. after the baptism, elder erickson thanked us for singing what we sang, he said that a wave of the spirit hit him when we sang and that the husband of the woman that was baptised who apparently never said anything to the elders, said at the end, `thank you for helping my family`. i was so grateful to have been able to use a gift heavenly father gave me to help that family and bring the spirit. i have been feeling lately that i havent felt like myself because i talk substantially less here than i did in the USA. i felt like i didnt really know my talents, what i can contribute, how i can have confidence in myself and in christ. that night was an answer to my prayers.
so the jackson plague finally caught up to me in brasil and ive been vomiting and diarrhea-ing for the past 3 days. but in the last 3 days i have learned a lot about being compassionate, being empathetic and really relying on heavenly father and prayer. heavenly father has answered my prayers through the general conference issue of the ensign. i read most of the ensign from november 2012 while in the bathroom. i know its weird but while i fely physically and emotionally weak, i was strengthened by the words of prophets, seers and revelators. i am so grateful and feel a breath of fresh air in my life. i can start again. today.
and yes i was able to watch the women¬īs conference, (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch/2014/04?lang=eng&vid=3408781210001) in portuguese. i understood most of it more or less but more importantly i felt love and strength from all of my sisters all around the world. the hymn, lord i would follow thee, brought tears. i am so grateful for the gospel and grateful for trials. i am grateful for my eternal family, and prayer and personal revelation. i love you all and i pray for you daily. stay true to the faith my dear ones.
with all the love ive got,
sister mariah jackson
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