Dear friends and family,
Happy Halloween!!!!! We hope you all have a safe and fun filled holiday!! Thanks for all the pictures. We loved them all and we keep looking at them and smiling at our darling babies (Chloe and Carlee, I still consider you my babies!!) and their parents!!!
We had a fabulous week! It began with a great FHE. We invited an older couple in our ward (they are a little older than we are, so to us, they are still young!!!) to share their conversion story. I wish I could send you the whole story, but I will share it in a very brief form. They were young marrieds and had one 8 year old daughter. They felt they wanted to take a trip to the USA, not a two week trip, but a two year trip. They sold their home in England, flew to LA and bought a caravan. ( motor home) Their plan was to see the whole United States. The first night there, they stayed in a crummy hotel and while enjoying the swimming pool, they met a family from Burley, Idaho. Their daughter became instant friends to the children who invited her to come to their hotel room. Not knowing them, the Stokes went to the room to meet the parents, and became instant friends. The family invited them to come to their home in Idaho and stay while they were on their trip. “And oh, by the way, we are Mormons!” They had no idea what that meant! But during their travels, they felt the spirit of the country, seeing US historic sites. They both felt that the Lord had a hand in the setting up of the constitution. They felt the desire for some kind of religion, so they bought a Bible and read from it every day. By the time they made their way back to Idaho, they felt they wanted to go to Burley, and ask some questions of this Mormon family. Well, to make a long story short, they stayed in Burley for 3 weeks and got baptized. The Stokes are the salt of the earth. My testimony is constantly strengthened to know that the Lord puts people in our way that we can help, or who can help us. All were so inspired by their testimonies and depth of commitment to the gospel! It also shows me that if a person is prepared to receive the gospel, the Lord provides the people to introduce the gospel to them in very simple but inspired ways.
We were on our daily walk and came across a group of Catholic monks. They were wearing their white robes. We came close to one of them who was walking ahead and we fell in step with him and had a most delightful visit. His name is Brother Clemens and he comes from Zimbabwe. He is 26 years old and is studying to become a monk. We told him about Justin serving in Zimbabwe. He was very interested. We asked about his plans, his family, and how is was doing. He asked us what we are doing here. We were able to quote a part of our missionary purpose about inviting others to come unto Christ through faith in Jesus Christ, and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. When we had to part ways, we shook his hand. He said to us,” you are so friendly, I would like to talk to you again sometime.” He told us where he lived and we said we would stop by. We felt very strongly we needed to see him again, so two days later we walked to the Blackfriar monastery and rang the doorbell. A Friar answered the door and we asked to visit with Clemens. He kept looking at our name tags, but invited us in and escorted us to a small study room. When Clemens came in, he was so surprised. He said, “I didn’t think you would come.” We had a lovely visit. Brad explained our doctrine of the Godhead and then I asked him if there was anything we could do for him. He said, I would like to meet with you again and learn more about Mormonism. We exchanged emails and we are prayerfully going to send him some information as he is limited on getting away from the monastery. There is something really special about this young man. Our mission is one that is using a lot of social media to spread and teach the gospel, so this will be a great opportunity to share some wonderful truths with him. We pray for him that his heart will be touched by the things that we send him. It was a very tender experience for us!
One of our dear friends passed away last week and we were able to help out with the funeral services in our ward chapel. As always, I was inspired by this beautiful lady, Sheila Newman. She was a righteous, and unassuming woman who had so many friends, just by being friendly. She walked her dog every day and had so many dog-walking friends, that a lot of them came to the funeral. These friends brought their dogs and lined up outside of the church in honor of Sheila. She really touched a lot of lives, just by her friendliness and genuine kindness to everyone. To me, the Celestial Kingdom will be filled with Saints like Sheila Newman!
This blog is such a blessing for me as it gives me the chance to review and ponder upon the week and clearly see the Lord’s hand in this work of salvation. As we meet with families, and couples, and people we feel impressed to visit, something always seems to happen that is directly related to those special people we meet with. It’s hard to explain, but as minute as these things seem, I feel the Lord’s hand in what we are doing. My heart is truly softened and full of love for the Lord.
We were able to spend a fun p-day walking around Cambridge with our dear friends, Ron and Michelle Gale, who are serving as a mission office couple in our mission. We connected from the first, and they will be going home to Oregon in a couple of weeks. As always, we are so sad to see dear friends go, but we have made plans to get together! They told us of a state park in Oregon that has miles of bike trails, so we are excited to explore the area with them in the future!
It has been a truly inspiring week! After serving all day and cleaning up from the funeral, we came home just hammered, so we thought we would just sit down and watch,” A Man For All Seasons”. We got through a part of it, when we got a phone call from a dear YSA who needed us to take her to the doctor. By the time we waited in the doctor’s office, and went to the pharmacy, it was well past 10:00, but what a blessing it was for us. The Lord compensates and strengthens our backs to do what we need to do! It is truly a miracle.
We love you all!
Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
Elder and Sister Jackman