Dear family and friends,
The week has flown by and I am loving the opportunity and blessing to be in this beautiful country! Summers in Cambridge are delightful! It has gotten warm, but not hot. The mornings and nights are cool, and perfect! I could really get used to this! I’m even getting to the point that I don’t mind the rain either!
All the schools are finished by the first of August, so the students have a 6 week summer holiday. During that time it seems that everyone goes on a holiday. It gets really quiet around here except for the vacationers visiting Cambridge from China.
We had a wonderful week, filled with miracles! Monday night for FHE we had one of our friends from BYU teach the lesson. Our friend, Alison Walker, the Methodist minister came to join us. She joined us in singing the hymn and participated in the discussion which was centered around trials in our lives. I asked her to share with the group her experience of finding God. She shared how she felt inspired at a young age to become a minister. We had her tell us what her ecclesiastical title was; Vicar, reverend, Pastor. Brad interjected and told the group that the best title he would give her is “friend”. She was very touched by that! She came to our home after and joined us in treats. The YSA’s were so kind to her. She was very impressed and commented how wonderful it was to have such a discussion and wished we would do more of this kind of thing among churches.
We had the opportunity to have dinner with Alison and her husband Robin two days later. It was an incredible experience! For three hours we talked about doctrine. We asked them about their beliefs on the Godhead, the resurrection, afterlife, the degrees of glory, pre earth life, Adam and Eve, tithing, the atonement, the sacrament, Methodist leadership, the church’s stand on gays and lesbians, women and the priesthood, and she asked us about our beliefs. When we told them about continuous revelation through latter day prophets, they said, wow, we could use that! It was an amazing opportunity for us to share our testimony on the doctrine of the church. I don’t know that anything will ever change for them, but they know where we stand and that we love and respect them. I think we have made some very genuine and eternal friends.
Another miracle we experienced this week was to visit and have lunch with our dear friends, Jim and Nita Haskins. Our good friends from the ward, John and Vivienne Cook joined us. Jim is a member of several years, but has never been active. Nita is a member of the Church of England. We had a fun visit and then Brad and John gave Jim a priesthood blessing. We had asked him earlier if he would like a blessing as he was going in for knee surgery on Friday. He was very willing and anxious! So Brad described for them what a blessing is, how one must hold the priesthood, and the anointing and blessing process. I was so proud of him and the beautifully simple way he taught them. He wanted to make sure they understood what was going to happen. So Brad did the anointing and John sealed the anointing. It was a beautiful blessing. At the conclusion, we all just sat in silence for a short time and Nita began to cry. She was weeping. I hugged her and asked if she was ok. When she regained her composure, she said, I have never felt this way before! We explained to her that what she was feeling was the spirit of the Holy Ghost. Then Jim began to cry. The Spirit of the Lord was very strong in their home. We continually pray for them that their hearts will be softened to embrace the gospel. His surgery went well. This is a great opportunity for us to serve them!
Brad had a great birthday! Thank you for all who were so kind to remember him on his special day. He felt such love from so many family members and friends! We were able to hire a bus to take the YSA’s to the temple for the day which is always so fun and inspiring! We got home and I was able to fib about a plan for the evening and got him to attend a surprise birthday party hosted by the High Priest group!! They played a game asking questions about things associated with events that happened on August 13th! I had a bunch of hamburger fixings from a YSA activity that we were able to eat up! Such a fun game, yummy food, and dear dear friends!
We had a marvelous week and felt the spirit in rich abundance! We pray for you all every day and miss you very much! The power of the gospel is real and we absolutely love our mission! It has truly been and continues to be a blessing in our lives!
We love you all!
Love,Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
Elder and Sister Jackman