Monday, July 11, 2016

Hello from Cambridge

Dear family and friends,

Good Monday morning!!  It seems as though things get busy and I don’t send out my blog on the same day each week!  So, I won’t worry about it and just send it out when I get it out! 

Since the BYU students have arrived we find ourselves very happily engaged in YSA planning, logistics, feeding, and preparing to feed!!!  One thing I have found in every culture, the language is different, but  young single adults love to eat no matter what country they come from!!  Food is a common language!

This BYU/Cambridge program has typically been organized and spearheaded by someone from BYU, until this year.  Their thinking is that the youth are mature enough to take care of themselves, so they don’t need to pay for someone to watch over the flock.  And besides, there is a Senior missionary couple that can take care of them.  We don’t mind doing that!  It’s just that we really didn’t receive any  official direction from BYU, so we are winging it!!!  We finally got approval for some money for food and activities for the group, so we have spent this week calendaring and trying to come up with some cultural and fun activities to involve the YSA’s in.  We are really excited!!  They have a Shakespeare festival for 2 months in Cambridge, so this week we are scheduled to go to King’s College Gardens to watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream!  The youth are really excited to participate, as are we!

 We held a munch and mingle affair after church yesterday for the ward as an opportunity for the new students to thank and get acquainted with the ward members.  Thank heavens for Costco!!  We had the youth serve up the fixins for hoagie sandwiches, veggies, crisps (chips), cookies and drinks.  In the summer, we have a lot of visitors come to our meetings, so we had a full house.  It was really fun to have a chance to meet a lot of new people.  And it is also amazing to us, that these kids have been here for 2 weeks and we feel like we have known and loved them our whole lives.  We are so impressed with the caliber of youth we have the blessing of knowing and working with every day.

The tragic part of the week was my practical driving test!!!  I can’t remember when I was so nervous about anything in my life, except maybe by first driving test in America at age 16!  I prayed that I would be calm!  Well, I must say, I was calm, but I flunked the test!!!!  (I flunked my first practical driving test in America as well!)  So I will try again.  This time I think I will pray that I will pass the test!!!!  Those darn round-a-bouts.  I took it in an area I was not familiar with and she had me go through some seriously busy and multi-laned round abouts, so I should have failed, but I was so ready to be done with the testing stuff.   Ho-hum!  I guess I needed to be humbled!

The highlight of the week was to be with the sister missionaries as they taught the restoration to two new investigator friends.  Tang from Viet Nam and Landy from China were both very receptive.  As we taught them about prophets, the apostasy and the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith, my heart was very touched by the spirit.  I think my favorite thing to do on a mission is to testify of the truth of Joseph Smith, and the reality of Heavenly Father and His Son! Tang offered the closing prayer, the first vocal prayer he had ever said.  He was very nervous, but his prayer was thoughtful and so humble.  It was truly a sacred experience for all of us. We also got to testify to a sweet member family of the Savior and the sanctity of baptism to their 8 year old son.  I thought so much of Jaylee and Bailey as they will be baptized in the next 2 months, and how much we will be missing them.  This was an especially tender experience for me.  Last night we visited a less active family whom we love and shared with them the story of the First Vision and testified of Heavenly Father and the Savior’s love for them, and the truthfulness of the Gospel.  You know, we are just ordinary people declaring an extraordinary message.  I think often of the Lord’s message that through the weak and simple of the world, He does His work.  My goodness, do I get that!!!  I can better understand that a mission is more for the missionary than for those they teach.

 We love this work.  Thank you for your love and prayers!  We love what we are doing (other than the driving tests!)  We love the missionaries we serve with and the people we serve!  And we LOVE you!
Have a wonderful week!  Hug and kiss and cuddle those precious little children, and pray with them!  Please teach them that Heavenly Father loves them and that the Savior is real!!!!  And please tell them that Grandpa and Grandma Jackman love them will all of our hearts!!!
Happy Birthday to our precious Charlie on July 14th!!!  He'll be in Texas when he turns "1".  We love you Charlie Ryder Jackman!!!!!

We love you all,

Grandpa and Grandma
Dad and Mom

visited American Cemetary in Cambridge  over 3000 soldiers buried here from WWII, over 5000 soldiers and others who were killed in WWII whose bodies were never found--Glen Miller-the great trumpet player died and his body was never found--remembered here!  Very beautiful and sobering

the day we visited the American Cemetary, we watched 400 motorcycles come in for a special service

Our home is on Honey Hill!  We thought it was named that because there were beehives here--No, this was the area of Cambridge used for the sewage!!!!

on a skpe call with the Bishops--This is Sam, our dapper chap!  What a cutie!!!

Can you believe it?  Brad is picking strawberries!!!! with his wellies and missionary clothes.  This is what we did on the 4th of July--we went to a PYO (pick your own) berry farm to get some strawberries  for our YSA FHE treats--strawberry/blueberry shortcake (red, white, and blue)

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