Hello my wonderful family!!!!!
This week we had some really great lessons with some of our investigators. One lesson that I really loved was with our investigator Angela. She is very passionate about Jesus Christ and about the gospel and being baptised but she is having difficulty following through with her commitments to come to church. She takes care of a lot of her dependant family and is putting other people’s present needs before her eternal needs which will in turn bless her family. We brought along an amazing member, Sister Woodruff, who actually related to Angela in many ways about being a single mom and letting the gospel and baptism change her life. We are going to help cultivate this friendship between the two of them and I pray that Angela will have a witness from the Holy Ghost about what she needs to do.
Tristan is getting baptised this Thursday at 6 pm and he is so excited! He is especially excited about being able to pass the sacrament. He has led to 7 of our investigators! Five of those people are part of the Horne Family. The father met with missionaries 4 years ago in Cincinnati and loved reading the Book of Mormon. He got busy and lost touch with them. Then Tristan brought us to his family. What a miracle. The family is going through a rough custody battle which makes it nearly impossible for the 4 young boys to get to church on Sunday but we are praying for a miracle. We have been teaching the step mom and dad and the boys and they love learning! The father (Rodney) has loved reading from the Book of Mormon. They read together as a family and love watching the church videos we have brought to them. We are so excited for their future!
Tristan has also led us to John, his next door neighbor. John is just moving into the neighborhood and is in and out of town because he is having to redo a lot of the trailer. John has been looking for a new church to go to and doesn’t like the churches with all the rock music but prefers hymns.Aaahhhhh,  John came to the right place. John came to church for the first time yesterday and he really enjoyed it. He has read a little bit from the Book of Mormon and we committed him yesterday to watch the Restoration video with Tristan. We are teaching him tonight with our 97 year convert, Edith. We are so excited! A lot of unexpected pairing of members and investigators through the Holy Ghost has been going on lately for us and they are working out great.
I went on exchanges this week with Sister Ashcraft from the Highland Heights area and it actually made me miss Florence. We taught one very interesting lesson with a man named Joe. It was actually more of a doctrinal discussion. I’m so glad we had a member there who was well versed in really not well know Bible stories because Joe asked a lot of questions about those that I didnt have answers to. I just tried to testify about what I knew to be true. Basically at the end, he said that we could come back to talk doctrine but that he wasnt going to become Mormon. He got kind of hung up on the idea of the priesthood and that not every person can have it. He thought he had the priesthood just because he believed in Christ. Oh Joe. Well we did our best and didnt seem too argumentaive, i dont think. maybe we were just one of the many preparatory experiences for him to receive the gospel.
one day this week we went with sister miller, one of our ward missionaries to visit sister horn in a VA hospital in fort thomas. sister horn is the only woman in this VA hospital and she is amazing!!!! she had her army picture hanging up on the wall and she was so beautiful! i will have to take a pic of it next time we go. she is bedridden and cant really move much but she was such a sweet lady. she was a nurse in the army and then became a teacher. she and her husband adopted 2 boys because their parents died in a car accident. we sang , israel israel god is calling, and she loved it. the pic of the birds was taken just outside her room int he hallway, they had a bird atrium which was really neat! fort thomas from what we found out is a very historically rich city that was a fort during the civil war! i love civil war histroy and im so excited to be where history was made!
transfers are tomorrow but sister parker and i got the phone call that we will both be staying in our area, phew!!! florence is just starting to feel like home and i would hate to have to start over somewhere. i know i know, i’ll go where he wants me to go 🙂 we are relieved though. the mission will be receving 30 new missionaries and a good chunk are visa waiters!!!! i hope we get some in my zone!!!!!
I am taking everything day by day and sometimes I just have to step back and remember that this is the Lord’s work and everything will happen in His time and His way. I have come to realize that in order for me to become an instrument in the Lord’s hands and become what He wants me to be and allow this mission to change my life and the lives of his other children, I need to stop worrying about myself. let go of anything and everything of the world and of my doubts and fears that is holding me back. I do not want to waste this time and I know that as I trust in the Lord and just step back and let the Lord work through me, I can step into the realm of the miraculous (a favorite phrase of President Porters).
I love you all, seriously, i love you.
Love, Sister Mariah Taylor Jackson
P.s. I have a joke: Why didnt’ the lamanites have fancy dinner parties? Because Moroni had all their plates!
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