Dear family and friends,
What a fantastic week!!!!! It started out with a FHE with Bishop Sanz and his wife Mila, and their 7 year old daughter Andrea. They shared their dating and courtship story. This was very appropriate for Valentine’s Day. The young adults loved it! One of our YSA’s is just coming back to church. He told Sister Sanz that he wanted what they have. He was so inspired, as were all who attended. We had a group of 21. After the discussion we had treats and a game of “signs” and we had a blast. (I haven’t played that game since girl’s camp!!!!) It gave the Bishop the opportunity to mingle with the YSA’s and relate to them as friends.
We experienced a miracle this week. Our missionary district meeting was held on Thursday. I had planned a girl’s outing with our sweet neighbors, Elizabeth Steen and her two daughters, Alicia (age 7) and Isabelle (age 5). We went to a nearby park, then to see the girls school and then to Costa to get hot chocolate and cake! I have grown to love these little girls like my own. Elizabeth is so kind, knowing how I miss my grandchildren so much, so she includes me in things! Well, Brad had to go pick up the Bury Elders at the train station for the district meeting. They were so excited to tell him all about a new baptismal candidate in their area, a man named David. He showed up at church about a month ago and wanted to learn about the gospel, so they taught him. One Sunday, the priesthood lesson was on priesthood blessings. After the meeting, David approached the Elder’s Quorum President and told him he had a knowledge and testimony of priesthood power. Quite surprised, for someone just introduced to the church, the EQ President asked him about it. He said he had been in the hospital visiting a friend of his (he was the landlord). She was pregnant and suffering from pre-clampsya and was very ill. Then he said this tall American came in and asked if he could give her a priesthood blessing. The American explained what a priesthood blessing was and how it was administered and invited David to stay in the room while he gave it to her. After he left, David said, Keisha was miraculously healed. He had never seen anything like it, and knew it was truly a miracle. After the Elder’s finished the story, Brad asked if David was at Addenbrooks Hospital and if the mother was Keisha Cosette? Yes, to both questions. Brad then said, I was the tall American! We had been asked to go the hospital that day to visit a young unwed mother who was very ill. She lives in another village and in another ward and the Bishop couldn’t get there to see her. We waited there that day (probably in October) for several hours. The nurses kept putting us off, I’m sure for Keisha’s safety because she didn’t know who we were. Well, we were almost ready to leave, when for the last time we stepped into the room and asked Keisha if Brad could give her a blessing, as we were missionaries from her church. She finally agreed. We left shortly thereafter. We did go see Keisha a couple more times and did see her after she had the baby. A miracle, yes! We thought we had wasted nearly a whole day waiting, and yet apparently, the Lord knew what needed to happen. This touched David’s heart. Whether it had anything to do with his conversion, we don’t know, but he definitely felt and witnessed a miracle that day.
Well, this was our big week! We taught the Word of Wisdom to our two investigators, both Andrew and to Lucy. Lucy is so close to baptism, in fact we challenged her to be baptized in March. She is praying and thinking about it. We can see the change in her and she can feel the change. We had a sweet member of our ward with us during the discussion, (Fiona Boston). She was wonderful and shared her testimony of joining the church and having to give up her tea, and what a blessing that has been in her life. Andrew didn’t take it so well. He is a dedicated coffee drinker and likes his glass of whiskey every other week or so. He has never gotten drunk, and doesn’t see the reason to quit drinking. We told him, it is obedience! He said, this is going to be a hard one! I thought of the Savior’s words, that this one goeth not out but by fasting and prayer. I think it is going to take some time with him.
We have become very close to both of these families! Andrew loves golf and he and Brad have set up a tee time with another member of our ward to play this Friday. You would think that Andrew just discovered King Tut’s tomb!!! He is so excited to have a friend to go golfing with him. He has two sets of clubs. He is about Brad’s height, so the clubs will work for Brad. Who would have thought that golfing is part of missionary work!!!!!! (We are thinking that maybe they can strike a deal about giving up the alcohol)
We try to meet each week with inactive members, kind of on a regular basis. It is amazing how much we love them and have gotten very close to them. Mike and Sandra Budd and their son David have become wonderful friends. Mike is not a member and Sandra and David are not active. They are some of the kindest people I have met in this country. They are so welcoming and we enjoy their friendship so much. We also met Fabiola a lovely lady from Brazil. Her son is one of our YSA’s who is just coming back to church. She is a member, but has gone back to the Catholic faith. The longer we talked, the more she warmed up to us and just before we left, she pulled out her computer and showed us on facebook a picture of the missionary who baptized her. We invited her to come back to church! With her son’s encouragement, we are hoping she will return. There is a lot of work to do, and WE LOVE IT!!!
My thought for the week is from President Howard W. Hunter. How I loved this great prophet. “The gospel of Jesus Christ is the divine plan for that spiritual growth eternally. It is more than a code of ethics. It is more than an ideal social order. It is more than positive thinking about self-improvement and determination. The gospel is the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ with his priesthood and sustenance and with the Holy Spirit.”
I know this to be true. Every day, I cherish more and more my membership in this glorious church, and I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May you all know of our deep love for you all who have been such a strength to us. We love you all!
Happy Birthday this week to Scott Miles (February 23) and Avery Jackman (February 27). We are so grateful for these two very special members of our family! They have brought us such joy and happiness! We love you both!!!!!With all of our love,
Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
Elder and Sister Jackman
Bishop and Mila Sanz and Andrea at FHE
Our FHE "signs" game
Alicia and Isabelle Steens at Costa for girl's day out
funeral of Barry Palmer--the pall bearers lower the casket into the ground with straps. There is no concrete vault. It is lowered right onto the ground. Then the family throw handfuls of soil on the casket.
Vicki with Westin McCoy Bateman--3 days old. I had to snuggle this little guy because I miss my own little grandsons so! What a blessed experience!