Dear family and friends,
As I am writing this new post, our 6th grandson born within the past 9 months is on the way. Jordan Jackman, son of Brian and Heather is making his appearance in the hospital as we speak. Maybe by the time I get this blog written he will have arrived!!! I'll be sure to let you know.
It has been some week! I've been putting off writing as I am trying to figure out the best way to share some of the most difficult experiences we've had since coming to the UK. I will begin by saying that Satan is fighting with his evil minions in this city. He is going after the most elite and valiant souls here. One of our YSA leaders joined the church about 14 months ago. She is amazing! She is currently a 2nd year medical student at Cambridge University. She is eastern Indian, very bright, beautiful, and kind and good, a very choice member of the church! She was introduced to the church here in England by a schoolmate who is now serving a mission. Because of her fear of her parents, and their culture, she did not tell her parents about being baptized. Well, over the Christmas holiday, her mother found out. I got a call from her mum late one night! She was nearly hysterical about the evilness of the Mormon Church, and how they have taken her daughter. She told me that if her daughter didn't "quit" the Mormons, she would commit suicide. She was somewhat hard to understand and I said, "What did you just say?" She repeated that she would commit suicide. I could hardly get a word in edge wise, but tried to calm her down. I said we would be talking to her daughter the next day, and we would love to talk to her and her husband. Well, she called Brad the next morning and jumped into all the doctrine our church believed in that she had gotten on google and from a Baptist minister, and a lady who was once a "Mormon", but had left the church! (great sources!!!) Well, with each accusation, Brad said very kindly, "that is not true". He again invited them to come and talk with us. Guess what? They did! We were calm and grateful for the spirit of peace we felt. We could tell when they walked into our home that they were really on edge, but as we talked, you could feel them relax. She accused Mormons of using coercion to get people to join the church. We testified that that was not so. We talked about the doctrine of agency. She asked me, "what is agency". So she was listening! We bore testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, and we told her that her daughter had the choice to believe how she would. No one would force her. I could see that she was really listening so I counseled her to listen to her daughter. "Ask her to tell you what she feels and what she believes." I promised her that we would in no way coerce her daughter and we would respect her decision. But we asked if we could continue to be her friend. We also asked if we could help her if she ever needed something in an emergency for example. I feel the mother felt our sincerity and said, "of course you can be her friend." We had talked to the daughter the day before and Brad had given her a beautiful blessing. She was however very confused and angry with God. My heart has been hurting so much this week. However, the mother called me a few days later and thanked us for talking with them and asked us to pray for her family and for her daughter. I'm not sure what will happen but I felt we built a trust with the parents and hopefully they will be less hostile against the church and its members.
The sad thing is that one of our other valiant YSA's from the Philippines was told by her mother that she was to leave her Mormon faith or she would be disowned by her family! This young lady is also struggling. She doesn't want us around so she can sort things out on her own. This is really hard as we feeling such pain for these valiant souls!
Although our dear friend Callum doesn't want to be taught the lessons anymore, we still invite him over for dinner because he has become a dear friend. (We've decided that maybe Christmas holiday is a dangerous time as many changed their minds about the value of the church). We were able to find a young man who is not a member and said he was interested in learning about the church, so we have an appointment with him next week. So after hand delivering 45 letters, we had 10 YSA's attend the CES Broadcast with President Russell M. Nelson. We were thrilled to get those 10! As far as we know we had more attend than the other wards in our stake.
I was so excited to take a meal to a sweet family in our ward who just had a baby!!! The best part of the evening was to hold that sweet little girl and snuggle her close! I get so homesick for my little blessings at home, which by the way, Jordan Jackman arrived, at 9:45 a.m. Utah time coming in weighing 8 lbs. 9 oz. He was 20 1/2 inches long and looks as if he has dark curly hair!!!! Heather is doing great. We are so grateful our 6th little warrior has arrived! We feel as though the heavens have opened and poured us out blessings we can't begin to hold.
The week has been sobering, but I also feel empowered to work harder and closer to the spirit! One morning I woke up and said outloud, "I'm up and out of bed Satan, so I hope you are trembling in your boots!!!" It's amazing how much better I felt!!!!!
The Lord is in charge! As I wrote in my journal, I thought of the verse from 2 Kings 6:16, "Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." The gospel is true! Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw and the truth will prevail, I know it!!!!
We love you all and pray for you every single day! May the Lord bless and keep you!
With all our love,
Dad and Mom
Grandma and Papa
Brad and Vicki