hello my beautiful family!!!
We have had a wonderful week here in Northern Kentucky! The weather just turned from cool to cold! It is still beautiful outside but this Florida girl has brought out her down coat and slippers. I love the leaves and we started making hot chocolate sometimes in the mornings to bring with us when we are out. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tristan Lovelace, our 12 year old boy, was baptised this past Thursday!!!!! I love him so much and he feels like a little brother to me. I cuoldn’t stop smiling and he had the biggest smile on his face when he was raised from the water. The elders taught the Restoration while Tristan was getting dressed and I felt the SPirit so strongly. I felt the truth from the words they spoke. They showed a portion of the Restoration video and I got the chills. I love Joseph Smith so much and I know that he is a prophet of God. I know it and I’m so grateful for his sacrifices made so that we could have the complete gospel today. Tristan’s parents were able to be there and they are very supportive of him. He went to a stake priesthood campout the next night and had an amazing time. He is already fitting into the ward so well and has bonded well with the young men. He had the most amazing blessing when he was confirmed Sunday morning and was given the priesthood right after. His mom was there for all of this. They might take some time but we firmly believe that Tristan’s parents can be brought into the gospel. Because of the light that they see in Tristan, I know they will want to come nearer to it too. They have already started! We had a great conversation with Tristan’s dad, with whom we have never really talked to about church, about conversion. His mom is a wicken but she wants to come to church to be supportive of Tristan and participate in his life and church. This is just the beginning for their family!!!
We started teaching a woman this week named Crystal who really is seeking to find the light of Christ in her life and she just had so many questions about how to attain that light because she has felt the weight and darkness of so many things in her life, consuming her everyday. She is the neice of our invesigator Karen. She was so inquisitive about everything we talked about. I really felt the Spirit in that lesson and there is just so much potential in her.
We are teaching a man named John who Tristan actully introduced us to (John is Tristan’s next door neighbor). John really likes coming to church and has accepted everything we have taught so far. He is really excited about the baptismal date of November 23rd that we extended to him. John has some criminal past issues that he is going to need counsel in as part of his repentance process before his baptism that Sister Parker and I cannot do ourselves. He is such a great guy and has really changed and come a long way from the man he used to be.
The biggest obstacle in the progression of our investigators is their church attendance. They accept and believe the things they are taught and they read the Book of Mormon and pray but consistent church attendance seems to be the gang up. A lot of it is sickness or having to work on Sunday. Constant communication during the week is our plan of action to make sure they are preparing for and ready for church on Sunday. Sister Parker and I are also making a big effort to TALK TO EVERYONE and connect every conversation to the gosepl, at least introduce it a little when we meet new people. Instead of driving everywhere, we plan on just parking in a neighborhood and then walking, because it is so much easier to meet new people when we are on foot. It’s getting colder but we will just bundle up more.
We picked pears for an elderly woman named Sis. She is the grandma of a recent convert teenage boy named Hunter. Her per tree needed picking and so we offered to help. She is such a sweet old Southern lady and as we were visiting with her she told us that her husband passed away on June 25th from a freak fall in their house. she is such a tender lady and we are going to keep visiting her and helping her out. We picked about 8 bags of pears from her one tree!!!!
we have been literally running from appointment to appointment. the other day we had dinner with the millers and had a lesson planned for right after. there is a sister in the ward who lives next door to them and it was her birthday so we ran from the millers to sister fetters house to sing happy birthday to her and then run to our car for our lesson with karen. oh boy 🙂
the lost boys and christina and rodney are moving, NOOOOOO!!!!!! we love them so much but this family of 8 isd moving to covington which is NOT in our area. bummer dude. we will make sure there is a smooth transition between us and the next missionaries.
We started taking Edith (97 year old woman) to lessons. she is a rockstar! she usually just stays at home all the time so she is perfect to take to lessons, she is always available and has such a strong and fresh testimony and everyone loves her!!!
check out a poem called ‘good timber’…i love it!!!!!!!!!!
have you ever heard of sweetest day? apparently its a holiday and its like valentines day. they must only celebrate it here. one of our investigators had a huge vase of roses, i asked who they were from and she said someone sent them to her for sweetest day. sweetest what?? (i replied) appraently its a real thing.
the kurts couple is this less active awesome couple that we love to visit. in our last visit, we talked about brother kurtz’s kids and their missions. on e of his sons served in russia and oh man did it sound freezing. seriously poopy conditions. i feel spoiled. we have been singing hymns in lessons lately and we sang i know my redeemer lives to the kurtzs. then brother kurtz requested poor wayfaring stranger. he then requested how great thou art for the next time we come over. he was touched by it and thanked us for the spirit we brought to his home. he has actually started attending church again and we are soooo happy!!! we sat next to him in sacrament meeting yesterday and he thanked us again for the singing.
ps could someone send me some brownie recipes? we bring baked goods to families during the week and i would love to bake some brownes. maybe some with holiday ish themes- pumpkin, mint ?
i forgot to tell you last week about a wonderful experience i had. i was on exchanges with sister ashcraft and we had had a pretty slow day and we stopped at subway for dinner. i went into the bathroom to say a prayer to Father in Heaven because i was feeling weak and like not a good missinoary and i just needed his strength and help. i came out of the bathroom, ate my tuna sandwich and a lady who had been eating with her kids across the room from us came over and gave us each 2 cookies and thanked us for the work we were doing. i was so shocked and gave her a hug. i asked her if she wanted to know more about our church , she said she was catholic but wanted to thank us for our sacrifice. Heavenly Father answered my prayer through that woman. wowzerz.
i want to share a talk by elder holland with you but dont have enough time to write about it today…for next week then.
I LOVE YOU ALL AND MISS YOU ALL AND I AM SO GRATEFUL THAT YOU ARE MY PEOPLE. FOREVER AND EVER.
with tons and tons and tons and tons of love,
sister mariah t jackson
PS MOM AND DAD THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR MY PACKAGE!!! daddy, your cookies taste like home. mama, i love the red checkered shirt so much i had worn it 2 days ina row
PSS LISSY THANK YOU A BAJILLION TIMES OVER FOR MY HALLOWEEN PACKAGE- that came on a night when i was feeling a little down and you were an answer to my prayers. thank you thank you thank you. sister parker was so tickled that you thought of her and got her a hat too. we will have such a a jolly holiday!