Monday, January 16, 2017

Coming to the End

Dear family and friends,

Good afternoon!  Sorry I missed last week.  We are on high speed to try and catch up with all members, non-members, friends we want to see and visit with before we leave.  So our diary is filled up with appointments!  We have loved it!

We have finished up with our homeless project assignments, and were able to say good-bye to many dear friends.  This past week we met another friend, Jill there.  We had such a delightful visit and we both felt badly that we didn’t meet each other earlier.

For Christmas, Dave and Julie and family sent us their testimonies of the Book of Mormon and challenged us to give away copies of the Book of Mormon with them.  I want you to know what a miraculous experience that has been.  Our dear friends, the Smiths whom we love so much, who are struggling with their faith, we felt are in such need for the spirit in their lives.  I felt really impressed that we needed to challenge Aimee to sincerely read the Book of Mormon again.  So we stopped by.  We gave her a copy of the General Conference Issue with a specific article marked for her to read, as well as a copy of the Book of Mormon with our testimony in it, Julie’s, testimony, and Lily’s!  The Smiths have a sweet little boy, Max who is coming up on 2 years old, and Aimee is expecting baby #2.  So when we gave her the Book of Mormon with Lily’s testimony in it, she was so excited!  I know I’m going to have a girl, she said, and we love the name Lily!!! (She found out 2 days later that they are going to have a girl!  What they are going to name her is yet to be seen!  I hope it is Lily!!!!)  She was very touched by your testimonies and promised to begin reading it again!

Then we went to visit our friend, Andy, who owns a bike shop in Cambridge.  We took him a Book of Mormon with Dave’s testimony in it.  He was very appreciative as well.  I’m saving Bailey’s and Maddie’s testimonies to give to our neighbors next door!  Thank you for the wonderful testimonies!  We are very grateful.

We’ve had some glorious culinary experiences.  Dear friends invited us to a fabulous pub in a little village about 40 minutes from Cambridge.  It was truly a Hobbit Pub, with short ceilings, a warm fire, window seats, and walls covered with silver, copper, and brass antiques.  Brad had to duck to go from room to room.  The plastered walls and exposed beams added to the charm.  The food was out of this world.  I had lamb kabobs and Brad had cod.  Then this week we were invited by our friends, the Cooks, to go to London to meet up with their daughter, Melissa (who is a chef herself!) to visit Burrough Market!  This is close to Tower Bridge, near The Shard, right next to the River Thames.  It is an open food market that sells every kind of food you can imagine.  We had to sample the pancakes, the Scottish eggs, Ricolette, cream filled donuts.  Yes, Becca, I am signing up for your exercise package when I get home!!!

We’ve met with so many of our YSA’s, many who are struggling and it gives us a chance to share again our testimonies and our love.  We’ve started up our FHE and Institute classes.  A highlight for us was to take Lucy Wedderburn, our new convert, to the London Temple, to do baptisms for the dead!  This was awesome.  The officiators were so kind to her and made her feel so welcome.  She really has a fear of going under the water and said she would only do 5 names.  But after 3 names, she told Brad she would be ok.  She was baptized for 20.  We were very proud of her.  These were names a dear woman brought to the temple that morning.

One last miracle I will share happened early Saturday morning.  We had planned to return to visit an inactive woman in the ward.  We had tried before Christmas, but she wasn’t in and we wanted to come back after the Christmas rush.  She owns and lives in a Restaurant/pub/hotel in a place called Horseheath.  It is very beautiful.  We have never met her and didn’t know how she would respond to our visit.  We went into the pub and she was standing behind the bar.  I said as I reached out my hand, oh, you must be Tracy.  Then we introduced ourselves.  She was absolutely lovely.  She invited us to sit down and talked with us for about a half an hour.  She was raised in a very active LDS home.  Her father was president of just about everything in the church she told us.  When she was about 18, she chose another way and her father has been trying to get her back into the church ever since.  She doesn’t appreciate his constant nagging at her, but she loves her dad and keeps taking the Book of Mormons he keeps giving her.  She told us how she loves the church and all the good it has done for her parents and sisters.  She couldn’t say enough good about the Church.  So we asked, was she offended or why did she leave.  She said, she just made other choices with her life.  We invited her to come back.  She lives with a partner that wouldn’t be sympathetic to the church, so she says she won’t come back.  We testified to her that Heavenly Father loves her and know her and asked if she wanted home or visiting teachers.  She didn’t want any contact from the church, but she wouldn’t have any trouble coming back to church, if she felt the time was right.   Our friend, had been sending her notes every month for over a year, just to let her know that she was cared about.  We explained that to her, but she gratefully declined any future notes.  The interesting thing is that no one we talked to in the ward, Bishop, our note writing friend, had ever met Tracy.  We don’t fault anyone.  There are over 400 names on the membership list, and so many of the names don’t even exist. The miraculous part of this experience was that Tracy made the observation that our visit that morning was not a coincidence.  Her partner was out of town and she didn’t have any pressing issues at that time that we came.  She was very appreciative of the visit. When we asked her if we could do anything for her, she requested that we pray for her sister who was going through a very difficult challenge.  We pray that hopefully something will touch her heart and she will come back!!!

There is so much still to do here in Cambridge!  It seems that we have barely touched the surface!  This mission has changed our lives however.  We have been able to see more than ever, the power that the gospel can have in one’s life, if we just embrace it with our whole heart, might, mind and strength.  We love our Heavenly Father and His Son!  This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  He is at the helm. 

We love you all!  Happy Birthday this month to our little Jordan Jackman on January 20! (Big 1st Birthday!) and our beautiful Amber on January 22!  Also great wishes to Justin and Amber on their wedding anniversary on Jan. 14th!


Love to you all!

Dad and Mom

Papa and Grandma

Elder and Sister Jackman

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