Monday, October 26, 2015

Yeah!!!!! A new grandson!!!

Our most fabulous news for the week is the safe arrival of Scott and Sherri's beautiful baby boy, Grayden William Jackman Miles, a long name for a 6 lb.4 oz. baby boy!!!  But so distinquished!  Grayden was born on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at 1:05 a.m.  The delivery was a little scary for a while as Grayden's heart rate began to plummet during contractions.  Miraculously, however, he made it without a C-section and mom and baby are doing well.  But Grandma is kind of having a tough time!  I went to church yesterday and as I watched a 2 month old baby boy in our ward, my heart and arms just ached to hold my babies!!  I wanted to ask the mom if I could just hold her little one, but he was asleep!  The pictures are fabulous though.  Please keep sending them to us!!!
     Every day is a new adventure here and this week was no exception.  We did a lot of traveling for different assignments.  Monday, Brad had to go with the Elders to Gillianham so Elder Kendall could take his driving test.  After one year as a missionary, it is required to get a British driver's license.  They need to take a written test (a theory test--really hard) and then a driver exam.  Because the available time in Cambridge to take the test was months out, Elder Kendall found an available time in a village a ways out.  His companion didn't have a driver's license at all, so Brad had to go with them.  The whole zone was praying that he would pass, and grateful to report, he did!!!!  The tests here are very difficult, and it often takes many tries to pass.  So while they were gone, I felt like a typical English homemaker, I grabbed my bag and walked to the market to buy a few groceries and flowers!
     We had an incredible FHE, an inspiring lesson from one of our dear YSA's, a hilarious game of telestrations, and banana splits!  Is this a mission?  It's such a load of fun!!!
     Tuesday we took a train to London to participate in a leadership training day.  It was an opportunity to meet the mission leaders, and have them teach us.  We were so inspired by them as we watched them teach the gospel, demonstrate how district meetings should be run, how to report weekly goals, and teach how to use their ipads.  The thought that went through my mind was that this is life time training for these future bishops, stake presidents, and company CEOs.   It was fun to be back in London on the subway system, and walking the streets hearing the sounds of the traffic, the people, and seeing the maze of buildings.  But it made me appreciate living and serving in a smaller city.  We also just happened to sit next to an Elder who was from Eagle Mountain whose family lives down the street from Nate and Becca!!  His name is Elder Murri and he is an outstanding missionary.  We were able to take his picture and send it to Becca, who sent it to his mom.  This was a real blessing to his mother as she is going through some health challenges along with his dad.  We told him the greatest thing he can do for his family to help them is to continue to serve honorably and they would be blessed!
     We were asked to travel to a distant town to check out a flat for the mission.  We had some wonderful visits with new members, lunch with a new young adult, meetings with investigators, a great visit with Hazel Price, a sweet English woman who was taught the gospel by my dad and mom when they were here, and a fantastic Institute class with 18 people attending!!!  One of the young men who attended served a mission in Germany and served with our Stake President's son, Cameron McGinn.  They are good friends and he is heading to America to go to Cameron's wedding.  His family moved to Eagle Mountain, Utah.  He told us that his mother was baptized here in England when she was 17, but he could not remember the name of the Elder who baptized her.  Brad baptized a young 17 year old girl when he was here about that time, but can't remember her name, so we are going to do some research to see if they match up!!!  Now that would be cool if they did! I told him he needed to meet a fabulous young lady in our ward.  He had already met her!  Another young man in the group was baptized by an Elder Jackman, (we didn't know the name), and a young lady served a mission in Bern, Switzerland and knew a Sister Glauser in her ward there!  It is amazing how small the world is!!!! 
     The missionary miracle of the week was with Callum Church (our volleyball contact).  We invited him to dinner along with the sister missionaries.  It was delightful.  The sisters wanted to walk home with him and we have a teaching appointment with him this Wednesday night!!!  He wants to learn more about the gospel and we just keep praying for him that he will feel the spirit and we won't mess things up!!!
     We started our temple prep class.  We are so excited for this!!!! We got to teach the 7 year olds in Primary as well!  Our weeks are busy, and we fall into bed exhausted every night, but we sleep well and wake up rejuvenated and raring to go the next morning!!! 
     Our prayers are with our precious little Asher this week.  He spent time in the ER with an IV for dehydration.  He just got violently ill and couldn't keep anything down.
     Our thought for the week is this, "As we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain.  We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation.  All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ."  God lives, the Church is true, we have a living prophet on earth today, and life is magnificent!!!
     We love you all!
Elder and Sister Jackman
our new friend, George Smith--missionary buddy of Cameron McGinn

A visit with our dear friend, Hazel Price

Kent and Heaz sent us some hot chocolate!  So perfect after a cold morning walk

Cambridge--the city of bicycles!!!

Institute is GREAT!

The beautiful family, Carlee, Grayden, Sherri, Scott, Jaylee, and Chloe

Mom and Baby Grayden--is that red hair I see peeking out of that hat?

excited big sisters!!!!

What a treasure!  I cried when I saw this picture Chloe!!!

Grandpa looks so British in his new hat!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

"As we do our best, He will not let us fail!" Elder Neil L. Anderson

This has been a great week!  We find that we are doing a lot of listening!  We have had people ask to counsel with us, and generally all they want is for someone to listen to them.  A church member who has become a wonderful friend wanted some counsel about his calling.  A beautiful young mother from the Dominican Republic is living with an abusive husband and wanted some counsel.  (I think she also just needed to vent.)  A young man who has been an investigator for over a year has had a very hard life and although we just met him, he needed some listening ears.  All we did was listen and he thanked us for being there for him.  Brad has given several blessings!  One sweet little English lady in our ward has had some trouble with her knees and she feels she is too old for knee replacement surgery.  She was in a lot of pain when we visited with her and so we suggested a blessing with the counsel that she needs to see a doctor.  She agreed.  Brad gave her a very sweet blessing and this week when we stopped by to see her, she said she has had no pain at all in her knee.      
     Becca asked us what we do every day, kind of like a schedule.  I really couldn't say, because each day is full of surprises and new adventures.  But generally it goes like this.  We are up at 6:30 unless we are up until midnight the night before with young adults, then we may get up at 7.  We have our study time, personal and companion, go on a walk for our exercise, eat breakfast and get ready for the day.  Mondays are generally prep days when we clean, and do laundry and grocery shop.  We hold certain meetings each week, missionary correlation meeting, ward council, district meeting, FHE, Institute dinner and class.  Then the rest of the time we fill with visits to members, inactive and active, teaching with the missionaries, counseling with friends who need to talk.  This week we were able to weed and spade up a sweet sister's front garden!  Oh, how I love the feel of soil between my fingers! (especially the smell of beautiful English soil!)  I think the part I like is to look for people who no one has seen for ever but who are on the church records.  We have met some wonderful Saints.  I'm not sure we are doing any good there, but we  do have some pleasant chats, and feel love for these friends.
     This week we had a fabulous experience! the highlight of the week for us!  On one of our morning walks, we visited a nearby cemetery and found a poster for an upcoming service project.  We thought that would be perfect for the missionaries and the YSA's, so Monday we checked it out again to see if we could talk to the priest of the church to let him know we would love to come help.  We met a wonderful man from Boston who knew about the service project and told us they would love to have our help.  We gave him a pass along card and invited him to hear more about the church.  He told us that he loved the Mormons because they were always so willing to help.  "That, he said, "is the most effective way to do missionary work!"    Well, so Saturday morning, we took a group of young people and we spent time cleaning around the gravestones with shears, rakes, and clippers.  It was delightful because when they took a break for drinks and biscuits, the parishioners mingled with the young people and the missionaries.  Some had never heard of Mormons and I know they were very impressed with these fine young people.  In fact, the sister missionaries have an appointment with one of the church members to give him a Book of Mormon this week!  One of the young adults told me that she had never done that kind of work before.  I asked her how she felt about it, and she commented that it was wonderful for her back and for her soul.
     We attended Stake Conference this weekend and came away inspired and spiritually fed.  We have a very young stake presidency who are amazing.  Elder David Homer from the 6th Quorum of Seventy was the visiting authority.  Two thoughts that touched my heart were, "As we do our best, He will not let us fail"  by Elder Neil L. Anderson.  Small and simple things make all the difference in our everyday lives.  Then a quote by President Ezra Taft Benson was quoted which is one of my favorites; "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, we are endowed with power from on high".
     Thank you for the emails!!  We love them and we especially love the pictures.  A message about our shower!!  It has the water pressure of spitting in the air and coming back down upon us!!!!  So you have to turn the hot water on all the way and the cold water about a 1/8th of a turn, let it run a while and then get in.  If the temperature isn't just right you have to adjust the cold knob with your big toe!  But I love the hot water, even though it is just a trickle, it is hot!!!!!!
     My ponderizing scripture for the week has been, "And thou must open thy mouth in all places declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing"  D&C 28:16  I am finding that as I open my mouth, in all places, my desire and ability to do increases!!  I love this work!  I love the Gospel.  I know it is true!
Dinner at the Golden Ball with Carl Hutber (the ward mission leader) and his wife Gosha (not a member of the church.)  We love them both.  This was their first date without their 2 children in 8 years.  They thought it was the greatest idea!!!!

a fun service project!  Sister Shamukega and Sister Nebekker are stellar missionaries

our service group with the Ascension church!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Life in the missionfield!!!

Good Monday morning!!!  Monday is our p-day after a fashion.  Today, I bit the bullet and cleaned out our Harry Potter closet!  It is a closet under the stairs just like the one Harry lived in with his uncle and aunt!  I was nervous about finding critters or bugs of great size.  There has been a new floor put in the house and there was a 2 inch gap in the closet so I could see the space under the house.  I was very glad I didn't find any beady little eyes glaring up at me, but the closet is now clean!
     As I look back on the past week, I'm amazed at how full our days are.  We spent the time this week visiting with young single adults.  We had FHE on Monday nights, and Institute on Thursday nights, but we find that with busy schedules, not all young adults are able to attend, so we try to meet up with them during the week to see how they are doing.  We've come to love them all so much. 
     A highlight of our week was inviting Callum Church over for dinner.  Let me tell you his story.  A week before our mission we went to a BYU Women's volleyball game and sat next to a nice family.  His name was Harvey Scott and we started visiting with him.  We told him that we were going to England on a mission and would most likely serve in Cambridge.  He said, "you've got to be kidding. I've got a friend you need to meet."  Sitting next to him was a young man from Birmingham, England who was going to Cambridge for his second year of law school.  The Scott's had lived next door to them while they lived in England a few years before, and Callum was in America visiting them for a month before going back to school.  He was not a member of the church.  We told him that we would be serving with young single adults and would love to have him join us.  He was very interested.  Well, Brad had texted him the last week and asked if we could help him move in.  His family was helping him, but he was excited to be invited for dinner.  What an amazing young man.  We had a delightful visit.  He told us he was what Harvey called a "dry Mormon".  He doesn't drink or smoke.  He told us he has read parts of the Book of Mormon and agrees with the doctrine of the church but is not ready for baptism yet.  He is very busy in the sports at his college and with school, so we are going to keep in touch with him and hopefully attend some of his rowing or field hockey games.  He has a passion for American football and loves the Detroit Lions.  Well, we have a friend who knows Ziggy Ansau (who plays for the Lions).  Ziggy and Kyle Van Noy used to play for BYU.  We thought how much fun it would be to schedule a fireside with them because the Lions are coming to London to play football in a couple of weeks, but unfortunately, they are scheduled to tight to fit in a fireside.  Well, we are praying for Callum and for us to know best how to come in contact with him often.
     We had a great district meeting with the missionaries in our home!  (Yes, Justin, I made them cinnamon rolls and I thought of you!)  We were so inspired by these amazing young missionaries.  We set goals for the district for the week.  After the meeting we had an appointment with a fine man who has joined the church, but his wife hasn't.  They are from Ghana.  They have 2 beautiful children who have been baptized as well.  We were so excited that we were able to meet with Wisdom (that's his name!  Hey, we have a young man in our ward whose name is Caesar Augusto!  We'll have to invite him to our Christmas pageant!!!).  Well, guess what, his wife was home and she met with us.  She was lovely.  So we bore testimony to them both and invited Tina to take the missionary lessons and she agreed!!!  We are so excited!  We are going to teach her this week with the elders.
     We were able to visit several families and individuals this week that are new members, or inactive.  One sweet little lady, Janet Stripp, was such a delight.  She's had a very hard life, but is such a woman of faith.  We invited her to attend our temple prep class we will be teaching in a couple of weeks.  She is so anxious.  As we shared thoughts from President Uchtdorf's message from conference, she wept.  She was so grateful for the visit.  We are finding that these wonderful people live so far away, that they are starving for visits.  The British people are very private and quiet people, until you get them one on one.  Then they are VERY chatty.
     Another experience was a visit  with a sweet family who is struggling with their faith.  We invited them to come back because we need them.  The husband was once a bishop, the wife, a relief society president.  They both work full time and have 4 children.  She said, in this ward, 10% of the people do 90% of the work.  We are tired and just want to spend our free time with our children.  But, she said, I love the sisters in the ward and they invite me to do things with them.  I was so grateful for those shepherds who are looking out for Vanessa.  I talked to the Relief Society president about her and applauded her efforts in reaching out to her.  That's what the family needs!
     Brad was asked to speak in Sacrament meeting and I was asked to teach Relief Society.  We are getting to know these people and feel very comfortable with them.  The Bishopric and priesthood leadership adore Brad!  They really look to him for counsel.  He is so good at seeing the good in them and letting them know how much he loves them and appreciates their consecrated efforts.
     We were able to take some YSA's to the London Temple on Saturday.  What a choice experience.  President Kenneth Johnson is the temple president and is a member of the Cambridge ward.  He was the visiting general authority in our stake a few years ago.  We remembered him but he didn't remember us.  But we know him now.  So he was so excited to see us at the temple and told us, we don't have to schedule the temple, we will always be able to get in!
     It has been a busy week!!  We haven't baptized the whole country yet, but we are loving the people and praying for them!
     We are praying for you all.  We miss you so very much, but we want you to know we know we are supposed to be here.  We love you and thank you for your support and your goodness!  And we love the emails, and yes, Bishops, your letter!!!!!! That was a highlight of our week!
     The Church is true!  This is the work of the Lord and the Savior is in charge!  We love Him and know that He lives.
Love you all,
Elder and Sister Jackman
Our Zone leaders and other missionaries in our area, left to right Elder Vander Broek, and Elder Jacobsen, Elder Alvey, and Elder Isaakson

watching general conference with some YSA's

always have to have waffles on conference morning!

on our morning walks we watch college rowing teams practicing on the Cam River

Insitute at the beginning--more come later--Sister Ablett, Brother John Cook, Jordan Clarke, Smiji Saji, Elder Sunglao, Elder Kendall, Kieren Barron, John Ablett

a picture of the Cam River

the London Temple

The Temple Party, Sister Newman, John Ablett, Sam Dearden, Sister Jackman, Elder Jackman, Brother Hewson, Madeline Ary, and Smiji Saji

Brad sitting in our hot rod

Don't you love the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car!!!

The primary children made us a note and gave us sweets

Brad liked this sign on our walk

a shot of Kings College on our walk.  The cows are a novelty!!!

Soooo excited to get a letter!!!!!

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Great Week

We can't believe how fast the time is flying!!!  It has been a week of inspiration, of learning and self evaluation for us!  First on the list was the spectacular experience we had at General Conference!  I am amazed how each conference is geared just for me.  We are thrilled with the wonderful men called to fill the vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve.  We know they have been called and sanctioned by Jesus Christ through a living prophet.  It was wonderful to listen to the prophet.  We can tell it is getting harder for him, but what a testimony!!!  One of the highlights for me was a visit I had with one of our young single adults after the first session.  Her name is Katrina.  She is a beautiful young lady from the Phillippines.  She is working in a local hospital as a nurse and joined the church just this past July.  We had talked about preparing for General Conference by writing down questions or concerns they might have and listening for answers.  She told me that she had done that and all of her questions and concerns had been answered.  All were answered in a way she wasn't expecting.  When I questioned her more she said," I felt the overwhelming spirit that the Church IS true!"  How blessed we are to have a living prophet on the earth today!  My questions were likewise answered.  I was inspired by President Russell M. Nelson.  I saw a mantle of authority upon him that was incredible.  As a missionary, I need to open my mouth without fear and testify of the truthfulness I know.
We actually went tracting this week.  We went to a village close by looking to find out about one of our YSA members, so we decided to visit all the members of the ward in that area.  There were four families.  Because one of the post codes were wrong, we couldn't find a certain street, so we stopped at a few houses to get directions.  We have been told that the British people aren't very friendly unless you stop them and ask for directions.  Well, that is the truth!  So I told Brad that we need to leave a spiritual message at the houses.  One little lady answered the door after sending her dog out first.  We complimented her on her gorgeous dahlias and she became an instant friend!  She invited us in to look at a city map, pulled out her magnifying glass which belonged to her father, and we found the street.  We told her who we were and left her a message that she is a daughter of God who loves and cares about her very much.. As senior missionaries, we haven't practiced a door approach,  and we didn't even have a Book of Mormon with us (our bad).  We blew that, but we now have them in our car and will be better prepared!!!  After prayer and driving around, we found the road we were looking for.  We were warned that these people were very antagonistic about the church.  I've never experienced a door slammed in my face, so I was looking forward to the experience!!!  But it never happened.  Sandra was so glad to see us.  They were leaving for town in a few minutes, but she invited us in and offered us a drink.  (Everyone here invites you in for a drink--probably tea or coffee or squash--a koolAid type drink) Brad asked if the gentleman was related to Sandra.  Well, he was the husband.  So Brad said, well, you aren't on our records, so you must not be a member of the Church.  He said that he wasn't and Brad quickly replied, so why haven't you been baptized?  They both commented that it takes an American to be so bold.  We were soon friends.  They were lovely people and we plan to go back and see them again!
Just a comment about the cooking here!  It takes along time to find the ingredients.  Sugar, is it caster, icing, or coffee sugar?  flour, is it plain (for use in pastries, biscuits), or strong (for use in bread making) cream, single or double or soured.  I try to use my recipes and after having found the ingredients, they just don't taste the same.  I don't have to cook things quite as long.  The eggs are not refrigerated in the stores which kind of freaks me out, but we haven't had salmonella yet, so I guess they are ok.  But we did find a COSTCO!!!  I felt like kneeling on the ground to kiss it!!!  They have Guiredelli brownie mix, so I am saved!!!
I am doing better at understanding the people, but sometimes when talking to the Sister missionaries from Australia and Rwanda, I can't understand them and we start giggling so hard that we can't stop!
making cookies (biscuits) do I use plain flour, strong flour, self-rising flour,  caster sugar, icing sugar, or granualated sugar?

putting in a load of wash.  Because the washing machines are so small here, people wash every day, and then hang them outside or on racks inside to dry.
It's embarrassing, especially during the missionary correlation meetings!!!
I was introducing myself to some members I haven't met at the church yesterday, and I said, Hi, I'm Sister Taylor(the name of the sister whose place we took here), I mean I'm Sister Jackman!  I told them that's why seniors wear name tags, so when they forget their name, they can read it!!!  I couldn't stop giggling!!! (these experiences make me really miss my daughters!!!!) Oh, isn't life magnificent!!!
Happy Birthday Becca on Oct. 3!!!  It was so good to Skype with ya'll this weekend!  We love you all so very much!
Please know that we know this Church is true!!!We are doing what the Lord wants us to do right now, and even though we miss you terribly, we know you will be blessed!  Our message is from President Russell M. Nelson, "We want to raise a sin resistant generation!!!!"  Give those little ones a big hug and slobbery kiss from Grandma and Papa!  You are all our favorites!  Be strong and let your light so shine every where you go!
With much love,
Elder and Sister Jackman