Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Dear family and friends,

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!  I just want you to know that the grocery store does not sell fresh turkeys this time of year!  Only frozen!  Because our wonderful British friends don’t celebrate my favorite holiday!!!  But we will be thinking of you this Thursday!  Please know how grateful we are for all of you!  You are the ones who have made our lives so richly blessed!

  We helped with another funeral in our ward.  The dear man who passed away, Derrick Lavendar was a very good man.  He raised a wonderful family.  We love his wife who is very active in the ward.  He was not a member and has spent the past several months in a care center.  We had some lovely visits with him and Brad was able to help with a blessing.  We love helping with the funeral luncheon as it gives us an opportunity to meet their family, give comfort and express love.  We agree with President Boyd K. Packer that a funeral is one of the best times to feel the Lord’s Spirit very close.

We had a very sobering week!  We have felt several promptings to meet one on one with some of our precious young single adults.  Every one we met this week was having a crisis of faith.  These are great young people, new converts, and life-long members.  Yet, they are wondering if God is really there?  We listened and prayed for wisdom in what to tell them.  We felt deeply touched that they would open up so honestly with us, but, by the end of the week, I was emotionally drained!  Brad said, now you know what it is like to be a Bishop!  (I’ve never wanted to be a Bishop anyway!!!)  I have been able to see how clever Satan can be.  He is ruthless and is going after the best of the best.  We were able to fast with one of our YSA’s on Sunday and felt spiritually rejuvenated.  We are finding that our prayers are getting longer as we add more people to pray for.  But the miracle is this!  We are finding that our love is expanding!  We are experiencing what I feel is Godlike love and genuine empathy for these precious souls.  I am also realizing how crucial it is to live a consistently obedient life.  We often wonder why the brethren keep telling us to do the little consistent daily things; prayer as individuals and as families, scripture study with real intent individually and as a family, keep the Sabbath Day holy!  All are a defense against the adversary.  I know this to be true.  As we let these things slip, it allows us to become casual, and when we become casual, we allow Satan a foothold in our lives.  Please dear ones, stay committed to righteousness!

We had a grand experience of teaching our friend, Jo, the Restoration of the Gospel.  We met her through a common friend and she agreed to have us come to her home.  We had a great conversation and then asked her about her religious beliefs.  This led us into telling her about the church and then right into the Joseph Smith story.  That is my favorite discussion!  We left her a Book of Mormon and with a challenge to read and ask if it is true.  It is a miracle to me to see the Spirit take over as we teach and testify.  Unfortunately, she said she is not interested.  (We are used to that!!!  So when Elder Anderson talks about 1000’s joining the Church every month, they must be all joining in Mexico!!!)  But we felt so good about our evening with her, I can’t help but pray that she will think about what was said and read the Book of Mormon and share it with her daughter who loves to study about other religions!

We had a great highlight this week!  A member of our ward is a major in the airforce here at a local U.S. airbase.  He is the chief flight officer and flies a fuel tanker jet.  He has even fueled Airforce One a few times!  He arranged a red carpet tour of the base for us.  We had to show our passports to even get on the base.  He arranged for us to use the jet simulator for about and hour and a half.  Brad was like a kid in a candy store.  I sat in a back row seat.  Brad got to fly the plane.   He did great!  We didn’t even crash! The graphics were incredible, and the simulator moved, tipped, and rolled just as if we were flying.  He even set up the graphics for Las Vegas and they both buzzed the Las Vegas Strip.  It was very impressive.  Then we got to tour the real jet and lay down in the back section where the boom operator goes to connect the boom arm to the jet below they are refueling.  The thing that impressed me most about this jet was when Josh told us the plane was designed and built in the 1960’s.  The engineers used slide rules to do the configurations.  (I used those when I took trigonometry in high school!)  The specs on this jet are so simple and good that they haven’t had to update them at all.  These tankers are some of the best built jets in use.  Amazing!!!  These tankers can carry 140,000 lbs. of fuel and they refuel jets at 6000 lbs./minute.  The jets can take off with that much weight, but cannot land with that much weight, so if they don’t refuel anyone, they have to fly around until they burn off sufficient fuel.  After our jet tour, we checked out the base commissary!  I loved it, to see all those American groceries was a modern day miracle for me!!!! 

We had an amazing full week!  We have been asked by our Stake Presidency to do some training to the other ward’s YSA leaders.  We are meeting some incredible people who we love immediately!  We feel as though we have been lifelong friends.  They all want to visit when they come to Utah!!!  Absolutely!

This missionary calling is the best!  We love what we are doing! 

Stay strong!  We love you and we miss you!  Keep the faith!!

With all our love,

Dad and Mom

Papa and Grandma

Elder and Sister Jackman


outside of the simulator with Josh Fuller

sitting on the tires of the fueling tanker jet

in the cockpit

turning to approach the airport

does it like a pro

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