Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Hi everyone!

This is going to be another short email :( We had an all mission conference yesterday, so I wasn't able to email, and I don't have much time today! Dave is doing a lot better and has started reading and praying almost every day. He said that he has seen a difference that that has made in his life after only a week of trying to read and pray. He also came to church because Julie sang in the Christmas program! She was amazing :) I love to see how much she is growing in her faith and confidence. 

I am so grateful for this Christmas season to remind us of Christ's birth and life and all He has done for us. I testify that he lived and died for you. God loves us so much that He sent His Son to us to be a perfect example and to die for us. I am so grateful for His sacrifice. I am grateful that He lived His life to show us how we should live ours--loving and serving others. Spending the last four months in the service of others has made me happier than ever before. I still have my struggles and trials, but there is no better way to get through them than serving others. 

I am so grateful for all of you that have sent cards or packages! I was not expecting so many of you to show your love and support! Thank you so much!

Love, Sister Jacobsen

Here are some pictures from the all mission conference!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Elder Foster's Visit

Hi Everyone!

This week has been great! We can finally focus on one ward and really get things going. We have talked with the bishop and the other leaders of the ward about ways to get the missionary work really going. They are all so supportive of us--it's great! Elder Foster came to visit is last Thursday and talked to us about how to work with the members to help hasten the work. He also talked for a while about the love that our Heavenly Father has for us. I know that our Heavenly Father hears our prayers and knows each one of us personally. He wants to hear from us, and He wants to bless us--We just need to come to Him and receive His love! I have never felt so strongly about His love for us than right now. He is aware of each of us--even the ones who reject Him. 

This week has been pretty boring. We are trying to find ways to fill up our time with meaningful service now that we only have one ward. It's been hard! We are going to focus on finding more people to teach and serve. 

I am so excited for this Christmas season to remind us the importance of Christ and to find ways to serve Him. The church came out with a video about the Saviors birth entitled "A Savior is Born." It is so good! Here is the Link:

Thank you for all of your love and support! I receive strength knowing that there are people back at home that support me in the Lord's work.

Love, Sister Jacobsen

Monday, December 7, 2015

A short email this week!

Hi, everyone!

There are about 12 elders is this room, and I can't focus at all! This is going to be the shortest email. 
The Instant Choir at Walmart :)

Sister Kitchen went home :( But Sister Gee stayed with me! We've had SO much fun serving together. This is going to be such an amazing transfer! We are only serving in one ward, but we got permission to visit Naoma once a week! We were also able to go to a baptism of a ten year old last Saturday from our other ward! He was so excited :) It was really hard to say goodbye to Steve :( We all cried. Hopefully I can still see him at stake events.

We also taught the first lesson to Nathan, a golden investigator for the ward we had to leave :( He is amazing! We think he is going to be an apostle one day, so we had to get a picture.

I am so sorry for such a short email!

Love, Sister Jacobsen

Monday, November 30, 2015

Trio Fun

Hi, Everyone!

This week has been so much fun with Sister Gee here! I think this is the best trio anyone has ever created. I feel like we have a sleepover almost every night! It's great :) 

We were able to spend Monday night with a very sweet family. We had a lesson with their daughter and then decorated their tree! It was SO much fun! I just love that family :) 

Naoma came to church!!! I don't think I've ever experienced so much joy! I took notes on what the speakers said, and she really enjoyed it! I just love her so much :)

We got transfer calls on Saturday! I'm staying here with Sister Gee! We are both really excited! But we lost one of our wards, so we won't be able to see Naoma or Steve anymore :( I'm going to cry when I have to say goodbye to them. We also had a golden investigator that came to us saying he wanted to be baptized. We think he's going to be an apostle one day. But we won't be able to teach him anymore :( That's okay, though!

Sorry this email was so short! This next week should be a lot busier and more exciting things will happen :) I love you all!!

Sister Jacobsen

Monday, November 23, 2015

Kansas City Temple

Hi everyone!

I got to go to the temple on Saturday! We don't have any temples in our mission boundary, but we were able to go to the Kansas City temple for John and Julie's first time going to the temple! It was an absolutely beautiful temple! It was such an amazing experience to be in the temple with Julie. It was an all day trip because the temple was almost 4 hours away from where we are. It was so worth it! The temple is always worth the trip! 

We also got a new companion, Sister Gee, so we're a trio for the next few weeks! A sister went home in another area, and they had to shuffle things around. Our apartment isn't meant to hold more than two people, but we made it work :) 

Dave just doesn't think he's good enough or feels like he's been left behind because Julie has already been baptized. We had a really good lesson last week and answered a lot of his concerns. We try so hard to strengthen his faith and find strength in the Lord to be able to do this, but he resists and won't do anything on his own. All we can do is testify that he has a loving Heavenly Father that wants to bless him and help him, and all he needs to do is reach out and grab His hand and seek for that strength. 

Naoma agreed to come to church! But she got lost on the way and wasn't able to make it :( We also have a new investigator, Nathan! One of the senior sister missionaries found him and will teach him with us. We are so excited! 

One of the speakers in Sacrament meeting yesterday was talking about Christmas. He said that we should change the question, "What did you get for Christmas?" to "What did you GIVE for Christmas?" I challenge you to think about ways to serve or give to your neighbors, friends, family, and the Savior this Christmas season! That's what Christmas is really for! 

I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Love, Sister Jacobsen

Here is a picture of the weekly countdown to Christmas :)

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Super Busy Week!

Hey Everyone!

I know I always start off my letter talking about how great the past week has been, but every week just gets better and better! This week has been one of the busiest/craziest weeks yet. 

Julie was baptized on Wednesday! I am so grateful to have met her and helped her along this new journey. We visited her a few days later and she said that she was so happy that she felt like she was floating. Her blessing when she received the Holy Ghost was really special. It had a lot of amazing promises about her future. We are so excited for her! Dave, her husband, has been having this inner struggle between good and evil. He knows that this church is true and that this is the path that God wants him on, but Satan is working really hard to keep him from making this big decision. He received a priesthood blessing last Monday to help him not give into those temptations of going back to who he was and things have been going a lot better for him. 

We also met with Steve (recent convert) a few times this week. His faith and testimony is so strong! Whenever we have a lesson, the spirit is so strong and I learn so much. He is one of my heroes :) We also saw Naoma a few times and she was SO close to coming to church! We made a transfer bucket list and one of the things on there is to get her to church. It's going to happen!

Kayla and Alisha have been doing great! Kayla isn't coming to church or taking things as seriously as we would like, but Alisha was able to go to Julie's baptism and come to church again this Sunday. 

On Thursdays, we joined the elders in this area in volunteering at the local thrift store. It was so much fun! I was leaning into a huge cardboard box to get something out of the bottom of it and fell into it in front of all of the volunteers. It was great :) We were able to load food onto shelves, pack grocery bags, and unload a truck full of food. I love service and being able to help other people in need!

On Friday, we had a sports night with all of the youth from both of our wards! There was a great turnout and three nonmember friends there! We hope to get even more of the youth to come and have fun with us. We had the idea to make it more of an activity night than a sports night. We were thinking of doing a human hungry hippo or mario kart. If you have any fun ideas for a big youth night, let me know! 

On Saturday we had zone training for four hours and I was able to have a real interview with President Loveland! He is so amazing! I'm so glad that he will be able to be my mission president for my whole 18 months. 

Today we were asked to work in the mission office because all of the senior missionaries had a meeting today. It has been such a long and rewarding week! Thank you so much for all of your prayers!

Sister Jacobsen

Spiritual thought: One of the speakers on Sunday talked about why he loved Christmas so much. He said that when he looks back of past Christmas' he can't remember a single present he received. He remembers most the times when they served other people, the traditions they had, and being with his family. I loved that--it is so true! The things I remember most are the times I decorated cookies or the Christmas tree with my mom, the big family get-togethers, giving homemade treats to others, and just being able to spend time with everyone! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Another Amazing Week!

Hi Everyone!

This has been yet another amazing week! I was looking at the mission map today, and I told President Loveland that the thought of being sent to any of those areas was scary. He told me not to worry and that I would be here a long time. Hopefully I will be able to stay in this area for at least another transfer! 

Julie is SO excited for her baptism! She is just beaming whenever we see her. Her husband, Dave, came to church in a white shirt and tie this last Sunday! He knows that this church is true, but he is having a hard time acting on that knowledge and coming to church. He asked for a priesthood blessing to help him with his internal struggle. He told the bishop on Sunday that he was going to be baptized soon like it was no big deal. We are so excited! It's been amazing to see the change in their relationship with each other and children as they have felt the spirit more in their life.

On Tuesday, Sister Kitchen had MLC (missionary leadership counsel) and I had to babysit three other sisters whose companions were in MLC also. It was great! We were able to visit with Steve, Julie, Jessice, and Naoma. It was really interesting to see how other sister missionaries acted and taught.

On Wednesday, I went on an exchange to Berryville with Sister Buttars! I was able to meet some incredible people and be able to help them strengthen their faith in the Savior.  Sister Kitchen has been having me take the lead more in our lessons, and I'm not completely ruining them! Yay! For a while I kept on skipping around to different parts of the lesson and Sister Kitchen would always have to bring it back and explain things better. Steve told me I'm doing a better job, so I believe him! 

Mellissa and Russell have started coming to more church and lessons with us. They always get so destracted and off topic that it's hard to teach them. We started meeting in the church building for our lessons and that seems to be working a lot better!

There are now 46 days until Christmas :) 
We had Regional Conference on Sunday and were able to hear from Elder Dallin H Oaks. His talk was amazing! He asked us if we were active in the gospel of Jesus Christ or the church? Do we really partake of the sacrament each week promising to be better and change? Someone converted to the gospel continually repents, serves others, and partakes the sacrament weekly with a broken heart and contrite spirit and promise the Lord that we will be better. We need to constantly find ways to change and to be better. That's our purpose here on earth! 

I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Jacobsen

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Fun :)

Hello Friends!

This week actually wasn't very exciting for our investigators. Personally, I had a great week, but the people we are teaching are all still the same.

We were able to use the dresses and hats that Naoma let us borrow for our halloween party on Friday. We were planning of dressing up as senior sisters, but we couldn't find wigs and I didn't want to use the temporary hair color because we all know how that worked out before I left for my mission... Yikes. Anyway, we dressed up as missionaries from another era. It's pretty much the same thing but without gray hair and a cane. The ward party was a blast! We had the privilege to judge the chili contest with our investigators! They absolutely loved it! All of the chilis were so good and we were even able to take some home with us. It was supposed to be a trunk or treat, but it was pouring rain (yay!) so we gave out candy in the hallway. 

Halloween was a great day! We were able to see a lot of people and have a lot of great lessons. We had to be home by 6:00 because of all of the trick-or-treaters so we bought a pizza on the way home and watched Meet the Mormons! It was such a fun night! I was also able to go to bed early and got almost ten hours of sleep (thanks to daylight savings, too)! It was nice :) 

Julie is still set for being baptized on November 11th! It was so amazing to see that transition of, "I'll just set a goal for December 31, but it probably won't happen" to "I'm going to be baptized on November 11 and can't wait!" She has so much faith and is such a great example to her family. Hannah (her daughter) probably won't be baptized on the 11th, but she will be ready pretty soon! The husband is a little different story.  All I can do is pray really hard that he will act on that faith he has and come to church! 

Alisha is still doing well, but we weren't able to see her in person this week. She didn't come to church this Sunday, so she will have to come every single week until her baptism on the 28th! Kayla still hasn't received her answer yet and hasn't come to church. I'm praying really hard for them too!

There are 53 days until Christmas in case you haven't started counting down yet!

To the women of the church: This is one of my favorite talks! It's Elder Nelson's talk to the sisters in the church. It gives me so much strength.
This is also one of my favorite Mormon Messages! I love how it applies Joseph Smith's story to our own. I know that our Heavenly Father will listen and answer our prayers.

Thank you so much for all of your love and support! I love you all!

Sister Jacobsen

Monday, October 26, 2015

Another Amazing Week!

Hi Everyone!

This week has been another great week. Who knew my mission was going to be so wonderful? We taught Julie and Dave again last Monday night. Before we started the lesson, Julie told us that she wanted to change her baptism date from December 31 to November 11! She said that it just came to her earlier that day that she needed to be baptized on November 11! Sister Kitchen and I are so excited:) Her daughter is also thinking that she wants to be baptized on that same day, but she's not 100% sure. We then moved on to our lesson about why church is so important. It was such an amazing lesson. The spirit was so strong and was definitely testifying to Dave that he needed to come to church. He has been letting a lot of silly reasons get in the way of him cooming to church. He told us that he doesn't have any doubts that this Church is true, he just is letting things get in the way of making the committment to be baptized and be an active member of the church. Sadly, he didn't come to church this past Sunday, but he will come some time soon.

One of our amazing members called us one day and told us about this lady who needed some service. This lady has been going through a lot of health challenges and has a hard time moving around. Her muscles cramp up out of her control and it prevents her from cleaning the house. We went over there and washed her dishes, mopped her floors, and ironed her husband's clothes. After an hour or so, she started having a seizure and managed to call her husband to come home from work. There wasn't anything we could do to make her more comfortable--it was so hard to watch. It made us very grateful to be able to do even the smallest of everyday tasks. We hope to be able to serve her more! 

We have started teaching the lessons to an older sister in our ward that has felt like she needs to come closer to God again. She called us hoping that we would be able to help her 'hear' God again. We have visited with her twice already this week and have already seen an improvement. She is so sweet and loves to give us things! We hope to help her feel of God's love again.

Our ward is having a trunk or treat party this Friday, and we are so excited! We planned to dress up as senior sisters. We asked Naoma (the old lady we teach) if she had anything we could wear. She was SO excited to help us and to find things for us to wear. She got out her old dresses, skirts, and hats from the 1930s! I've never seen her so excited about anything. We were also able to talk about baptism and about the plan of salvation. Our goal is to get her to church before this transfer ends.

We had stake conference this weekend. It was so good! Alisha was able to come to church for the first time and she said she liked it. It was very different than what she was used to, but hopefully the normal schedule of church will be better for her. The Area Authority that came to visit gave a great talk! He and his wife love birds, so a lot of his stories had to do with birds. He talked about charity and about Matthew 25:40 (And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.). He asked us if we loved and served the lest of these people. It's one thing to serve the people who are nice, and another to serve and love others that aren't. He gave an example about this principle that I really liked. He and his wife love to watch their bird feeder and see the beautiful birds that come by. They didn't like the sparrows, however, because they weren't very pretty and would eat all of the bird feed! One day, a bird ran into their clear window and landed on the ground. This bird was one of their favorite, most beautiful birds that they could only see every few years. He was so sad to see how hurt it was after hitting the window! He brought it inside and made a little nest for it and prayed so hard for this little bird. By the end of the day, the bird was able to recover and fly away again. He then had the thought, "Would you have cared as much or prayed so hard if it were a sparrow that hit that window?" He knew  God was telling him this and teaching him a lesson. We need to love and care for everyone!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Sister Jacobsen

Monday, October 19, 2015

Transfer Calls

Hello everyone! 

We had our transfer calls on Saturday, and I'm staying here in Centerton with Sister Kitchen! I'm so happy! I am thinking that I will probably be here a long time because Sister Kitchen goes home after this next transfer, and I don't think they would send me away from here when she leaves. 

Every week just keeps on getting better! I went on two different exchanges this week. I love to see what other areas and other sisters are like! It's fun to be away from this area every once in a while to experience what the rest of the mission is like. Bentonville and Centerton are pretty normal, but I've never experienced anything like the other areas I visited! The streets are really narrow and confusing, there are a lot of dirt roads, the people are more of what I thought southern people are like, and the houses are all so far apart. I was able to meet one of the girls that Sarah (my sister) taught and baptized on her mission in Colorado! I was on an exchange in Barryville and she came to a lesson we had with an investigator. After I introduced myself, she told me that a Sister Jacobsen converted her when she lived in Colorado. We were both so excited to meet each other! 

While I was on another exchange in Springdale, Sister Kitchen was able to teach Kayla and Alisha about the restoration of the gospel. At the end, Alisha set a date to be baptized right before Sister Kitchen leaves. We are all so excited! Kayla is falling a little behind, but we will have her set a date soon, because she is so prepared.

We were also able to go to the pumpkin patch with a family of investigators. It was so much fun! We raced on bike-like things and I lost :( We saw cute baby pigs, an alpaca, goats, horses, and a lot of other farm animals! We also went through a corn maze and got pumpkins. They are such a sweet family! 

Thank you for all of your prayers and support! I love all of you so much!

Sister Jacobsen

Monday, October 12, 2015

The best day ever!

Hi Friends!

I had an amazing week. Well, I had an amazing weekend that made me forget what even happened earlier in the week. Sister Kitchen and I had our Friday perfectly planned out and had appointments one after another. We were so excited! When Friday came, things did not go as planned. Almost everyone cancelled or wanted to change times to meet. Even our really solid investigators that never cancel cancelled! Sister Loveland (the mission president's wife) was supposed to come out with us later that night, but everything was falling apart! We just had faith and prayed a lot that things would work out. 

We first had lunch with Julie and planned on inviting her to not have coffee for a week. When we started talking, she said that she didn't have coffee that morning and was wanting to go without coffee for the week. We didn't even have to ask her! We were so excited for her! 

We then had a member come with us to visit a potential investigator named Steve. He thought a lot about how religion played such a big role in his life growing up and how much it helped him. He and his wife had different religious backgrounds, and couldn't decide which religion to raise their kids in, so they just didn't have religion at all in their home. He needed to talk to his wife about religion again and hopefully start teaching their kids christian values. 

Here comes the best part!! We met Alisha later that afternoon to talk about the Plan of Salvation. She wanted evidence from the Bible to know that the plan of salvation is true. We tried giving her as much as we could, but told her that we don't have all of the truth in the Bible (because it was translated so many times), that's why we have the Book of Mormon and prophets to give us the complete gospel. We talked about how gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon will make learning these things easier. We gave her our conversion stories and how we came to know the the Book of Mormon was true. The conversation then led to the different ways we can receive answers. I had the thought that I should ask her how she came to know the Bible was true. We kept on talking, but I never asked that question. Sister Kitchen started packing up her bag, but I really felt like I needed to ask her how she came to know the Bible was true. It was an awkward time to ask such a question, but I did it anyway! She told us that she had always known it was true, and she went around to different churches learning about what they believe.  She didn't understand why only the people who accept Jesus in their lives are the ones who are saved. She knew that there are good people in this world that didn't have the chance to learn about Jesus or just didn't understand the importance of him.  She then paused for a few seconds, while everyone else was still packing up, and said, "Oh my gosh.... I think I just got my answer!"  The spirit was so strong and she broke down in tears. She finally understood why we have the spirit world and the kingdoms of glory! She thanked me for listening to that prompting to ask her about the Bible because it helped her get the answer to her prayers! We were all in tears and I was so happy to see God answer her prayers right before our eyes! I know that the Holy Ghost is real! I know we can receive answers to our prayers if we have the desire to really know of truth. The answers may not come in the way we want or time we want, but they will come. God always wants to hear our prayers and wants us to ask Him to help us. He wants to give us blessings and knowledge, we just have to ask for it. 

That night, we were able to visit a few recent converts and investigators with Sister Loveland and it went really well! She told me that I was surprisingly doing really well. Apparently most missionaries look hammered for the first few months of the mission. I have faith in God that He will help me get through the day having enough energy to serve Him. There is no way I could do any of this without His help! I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ to help us in times of need. Through Him we can do ALL things!

On Saturday, we had a baptism! It went really well! We are so excited for their new journey!

I love you all!
Sister Jacobsen 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Another great week.....and my birthday!

Hi Everyone!

It has been another great week! Sister Kitchen and I were able to go to the square in Bentonville and see the Walmart museum! It wasn't very exciting. But we were eating ice cream while going through, so I guess it wasn't too bad. We also went around the block to different stores and shops and took pictures in front of the murals on the buildings. It was fun! Today we went to a member's house in the country part of our area with a few other sisters around here. We did a few things on their ropes course and took pictures around that area. It was really fun!

I went on my first exchange on Wednesday! I got to go to Anderson Missouri with Sister 'Alofaki. I got a taste of what the rest of the mission is like. Yikes! I am definitely spoiled here in Bentonville and Centerton! We visited Naoma a few times and talked about General Conference and prophets with her. She wanted to hear what the Prophet had to say, but didn't want to watch it because subtitles are too fast for her to read. We are going to print a few of our favorite talks and give them to her to read this week. We helped her set up for a garage sale on Saturday. She only wanted to sell a few barbies and plates. She collects a bunch of interesting things! She has so many vintage barbie dolls in the corner of her apartment! She gave one to me, and I put it on my desk at home :) We are also planning John's baptism that is this weekend! We are so excited! We were able to also see Kayla and Alisha this weekend. We finished the plan of salvation and they are so excited for when they can go to the temple! We haven't set a date for them to be baptized, but we will this week.  We have also started teaching Hannah, the daughter of Dave and Julie, and Jazlyn, the daughter of a less active. They are both so sweet!

We don't have any investigators or potential investigators for one of our wards, so we did a lot of finding this week. We spent hours tracting and asking for referrals but didn't get anything :( We set a goal to work really hard and get one new investigator this week.  It's going to happen! 

My birthday was on Saturday! I didn't think birthdays were that exciting in the mission field, but I was so wrong! My companion put baloons, a banner, and reasons why she loved me all around my desk. I was constantly getting calls and texts of people telling me happy birthday! Sister Kitchen told our dinner appointment what my favorite dessert was and they all sang to me. After dinner, we had an hour and a half of free time. I thought we would just be tracting, but Sister Kitchen took me to the office missionaries home for a surprise party! We ate cake and played games until we had to leave for our last appointment for the night. People were constantly giving me cake and candy this whole weekend! Our mission is known as the 30 pound mission, and I think I know why now:/

Conference was so amazing! We were able to go to different members' homes and watch it. I loved the way President Uchtdorf started the conference. He was so right! This gospel works! I also loved Elder Holland's talk on motherhood. All of the women in the room were crying through that whole thing. If you missed any of conference--watch it! It was all so good! The new apostles seem like such amazing people. I know that they have been called of God to be our new apostles. I am so grateful to hear from them more often now!

Thank you for all of your prayers and support! I love all of you so much!

Sister Jacobsen

Monday, September 28, 2015

Three Weeks in the ABM :)

Hey y'all!

The people here in Bentonville don't really have southern accents, and if they do, it's quite subtle. I figured I should start working on an accent before I get to the really southern towns in this mission. Sister Kitchen takes me to a few less sophisticated places in this area to prepare me for the rest of the mission. 

I wanted to start out sharing why I decided to serve a mission. This gospel has blessed my life so much. The Atonement has helped me out of some difficult times in my life when I let belittling and negative thoughts creep into my head. It gave me a constant light to focus on during those hard times. I know that because of the Atonement, Christ knows exactly what we are going through so He can help us! Not only does He know how we feel, but He also knows how to overcome it! If we let Christ lift us, we can do anything! I wanted to share this light with everyone! No matter what your circumstance may be, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will help you--even if everything is going great in life! In fact, that's the most important time for us to strengthen our relationship with our Heavenly Father, so those difficult times won't knock us down. This gospel has brought a happiness to my life that is different from the worldly happiness. I know where I came from, why I am here, and where I am going. My love for the gospel is so great that I couldn't help but to share it with others. 
A beautiful Arkansas sunset :)
I have met so many amazing people and I feel like their stories are important to share.
One of our investigators, John, is getting baptized October 10th (He's had a date since before I got here, but I get to see his baptism)! His wife, Jessica, was baptized a few months ago. They are so cute together! I have observed that faith has grown so much even in the short amount time that I have been here. I am so excited for them. We teach the newly baptized members for a year after their baptism, so we are able to go to their house often. Jessica loves to craft, so we will be decorating covers for our own copies if the Book of Mormon while talking about how amazing this book is! We are all really excited. 

Dave and Julie are the couple who were struggling to stay together, but after a mutual friend had them meet with missionaries, they decided to work things out. They have built their relationship back up on the foundation of Christ and are so amazing! Julie set a date for baptism in December, but Dave isn't so sure yet. We've been talking a lot about baptism recently, but we have decided to let Dave bring it up when he is ready for it. He has started to tell people that he is thinking about joining the Mormon Church, so that's a good sign! Their family has been so blessed with the gospel in their lives. They are such a great example of how the gospel blesses families. We are going to start teaching their daughter this week and we are so excited! She has already been coming to church a lot and even bringing friends!

Naoma is the 94-year-old deaf lady who we teach. She wants to join the church, but doesn't think we want her because she is so old and wouldn't be able to help in the church. But everyone in the ward already loves her and wants her to be there so much!

We tracted into a man named Brian and he listened to our message! We went back a few times and invited him to read the Book of Mormon. He is really interested and believes that he should ask God what He would want us to do which is exactly what we invite people to do! 

One of our members set up an appointment for two of her friends to meet with us two Fridays ago! They are so amazing! The first lesson (The Restoration) went really well and they understood everything. They asked for us to block off our Friday nights so we can meet with them. They are so much fun to teach! The next Friday we taught the first part of the Plan of Salvation. They had a lot of questions and concerns, but the Spirit was able to testify to them and get them the answers they needed. There were points in the lesson where we were all in tears or all laughing our heads off. We always look forward to seeing them :)

We have been trying to get a hold of Aaron, a potential investigator, but he has never been home--or so we thought. We saw him walking around the apartment complex one time and pretended not to see us. We are pretty sure he hid behind a building... It was kind of awkward, but that sometimes happens :/

We have had a few lessons with members to help them through hard times or if we just feel prompted to visit. The other day, we went over to a member's house to share a message with her. Her grandmother had passed away recently and we thought we would give her some support. Sister Kitchen shared a few personal experiences and I shared a scripture. I shared Alma 7:11-13 which talks about the Atonement. It is my favorite scripture of all time! After I finished sharing it and bearing testimony of it, she told me that she had been trying to find a scripture that gave a lot of comfort to share at her grandmother's funeral. She was so thankful that we came over and that we were an answer to her prayers. That scripture was definitely inspired and I am so glad that I was able to be a part of such an amazing experience.
The clouds here are so beautiful....and different from what we normally see in Washington!

We went tracting all day on Saturday. No one wanted to talk to us. They were all nice about it though! Even when we aren't able to teach, we still plant seeds in their hearts and hopefully those seeds can grow one day! 

Womens Conference was so amazing! I encourage ALL of you to watch it! Here's the link: 

Also, here is a great Mormon Message about the Book of Mormon (It's my favorite video of all time):

I'm sorry this was so long! Thank you for all of your support!

Love, Sister Jacobsen

Monday, September 21, 2015

Good Advice...

Hi Everyone!

Everything has already blurred together! Hopefully I don't repeat anything from last week's email. 

My companion is also the Sister Training Leader, so she often has meetings or exchanges with other leaders or sisters in our area. On Tuesday, I was dropped off in Springdale to be "babysat" by the sisters there while Sister Kitchen was in a really long meeting. We did service at a food bank, ate lunch, and then spent a few more hours doing service at a thrift store! It was really fun:) We also had a zone conference on Friday with President and Sister Loveland. I was able to see a few people from my zone at the MTC. We talked a lot about getting members involved in missionary work and how to be a better teacher. 
Sister Jacobsen with Sister Kitchen

The members in my area are so amazing! They tell us about how they share the gospel with friends or neighbors like it's no big deal!  One less-active member casually texted us and said, "I gave two of my friends copies of the Book of Mormon and they are read to have the first discussion on Friday at 7:15pm. I hope you can make it, otherwise, could you find other missionaries to come?" Sister Kitchen and I were so excited! Having members be so involved lets us focus on our purpose--to invite people to come unto Christ by helping them apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives. To the members reading this email: if you want to help the missionaries, share the gospel with your friends, go with them on exchanges, or find ways for them to serve. To the nonmembers reading this email: you should be nice to the missionaries because being a missionary is so hard emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually!

Volunteering at a preparedness fair.

I spotted my first the preparedness fair!
Last night at dinner, I was talking with a member about what we should do when there's a tornado. I told him that my family heard that it was a good idea to tie myself to a toilet, because usually, the toilet is the last thing standing in a tornado.  They thought that was so funny! Apparently that's NOT what you are supposed to do!  It is as simple as going into a room, preferably a bathroom, away from the windows. 
Bathroom: aka tornado shelter :)

Thank you for all of your love and support!

Sister Jacobsen

Monday, September 14, 2015

First Week in Arkansas!

Hello, Friends!

I don't even know where to begin! So much has happened in the past week!  While I was at the MTC, I was able to go the the temple with my zone! It was such a humbling experience to see all of my friends there with me. On Tuesday, I had a really rough day, but God knows how to answer prayers! We had a devotional with Bishop Gerald Causse, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, along with his wife.  
They talked about the exact things that I had concerns about! The Spirit was so strong in that room! I know that God knows all of us personally and knows exactly how to answer our prayers. They may not come in the way we expect or maybe even want, but He will answer them. 

I finally got to Arkansas on Wednesday! We came to the mission home in Bentonville and they fed us an amazing homemade dinner.  First, we went over some basic rules and guidelines and the next morning, we were all sent to our areas! I have been sent to serve in two wards here in Bentonville with Sister Kitchen!  She is so amazing!  She is so patient and kind.  She knows just how far to push me so I can learn and grow as a missionary, but not completely freak out. One of the first people we visited was this 94-year-old lady named Naoma. We ironed a few of her shirts for her and shared a message.  She LOVES mormons and thinks they are so amazing and wants to be a member, but is scared to come to church.  She loves to talk and talk and tell us really long, elaborate stories about her life.  She gave me one of her skirts to have from the 60's and I love it so much!

On my first Saturday in Bentonville, one ward had an Emergency Preparedness Fair at the church! We volunteered from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm. Most of the time we were behind the curtain giving candy and toys out at the kid's 'fishing' game. 

Because we are serving in two wards, we get to go to 6 hours of church.  It was bring-a-friend-to-church day for the first ward we attended!  We had five of our investigators there.  Most of them left right after sacrament meeting, but we were so happy they came!  In the second ward we attended, a brother was giving his farewell talk before he left on his mission. It was a crazy day, but the best Sunday I've had on a mission so 

far ;)

We have so many investigators!  I'm still trying to get to know their names and remember their stories. They have so much faith and I love all of them so much! I hope to be able to help show them the joy that this gospel can bring. I love this church and gospel so much! I know that I am called of God to share my testimony and love for the gospel.  I am so grateful for God's trust in me to do this important work.

Thank you for all of your love and support while I serve the Lord!

Sister Jacobsen

Friday, September 11, 2015

MTC....the happiest place on earth!

Hey Everyone!

It's been another great week at the MTC! About an hour after I sent last week's email, I got a bad cold.  I had a sore throat, headache, runny nose, and felt nauseous.  I'm feeling better now though! I just have to blow my nose ever few hours! God definitely helped me through and I was able to learn and feel the spirit just as much as everyone else here!  My branch president came up to me after church and said, "It looked like you were deep in thought today, what's on your mind?"  I laughed and told him that I was actually planning an escape route to the closest trash can and trying not to have to use it.  Even though I was feeling really sick last week, it was still the best week of my life!
The Sisters in my District

I feel like I've been here for months, but I also can't believe that it's already time to email again. The MTC does weird things to your perspective on time... On Sunday, I was able to watch "The Character of Christ," a devotional given to missionaries by David A Bednar.  It changed my life! Overall, it talked about how Christ turns out when the natural man would turn in.  He would always serve and love others, even when He was going through so much! 

I had a really rough day on Tuesday.  Sister Hannig and I were having a hard time with our investigators and didn't  know what the next step was to increase their faith. We asked our teacher, and he just told us to pray about it.  Honestly, I didn't like that answer because I just wanted him to tell us! Later that night, Dallin H Oaks came to speak with us.  He answered all of our prayers! After that experience, I know that God is always looking out for us and answers all of our prayers.  We taught another one of our investigators last night and her faith was so strong!  She followed through with our commitments and told us that she wanted to be baptized for that peaceful, comforting feeling (the Spirit) all of the time.  During that lesson, I opened my heart fully to God and let the Spirit direct me in what to say for the first time.  Listening to the Spirit makes missionary life so easy!  All you have to do is open your mouth, and God will teach them.

I know that God loves us and wants to hear our prayers.  He doesn't want us to feel unhappy, that is why He gave His only begotten Son to come to earth and not only suffer for our sins, but to experience our pains and afflictions so we don't have to feel alone in this world (Alma 7:11-13).

Sister Jacobsen

Provo Temple with my District

Friday, September 4, 2015

First week at the MTC!

Hello Friends and Family!

These first few days in the MTC have been amazing!  I've only had one full day so far, and it was definitely the longest day of my life--in a good way! We are always either in a classroom being taught, reading our scriptures, eating, or sleeping.  There isn't time for anything else! We are all here in the MTC not only to learn how to teach the gospel, but to come closer to Christ ourselves.  When we come closer to the Savior, we can't help but to have the desire to share the gospel with everyone and do so with the Spirit to guide us.  

I absolutely love my companion!  Her name is Sister Hannig.  We are so similar in so many ways.  We instantly became friends when we first met!  The other sisters and elders in our district are amazing as well!  It is amazing to see how close our district has become in such a short amount of time.  The elders are always excited to see us and talk to us.  I have never felt the spirit so strong for so long before!  I encourage all of the young men and young women who are able and worthy to go on missions to do so! 

Spiritual thought: Do we earn salvation?  We had an amazing lesson/discussion one day about this question.  An elder answered the question and he believed that we work for our salvation.  We go on a mission, accept a calling, and find opportunities to be involved in our church so that we can have salvation.  Then our teacher gave us this scripture: Mosiah 2:21 which reads, "I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another--I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants."  We think we can earn salvation by work, but God gave us that ability to do that work, so we are only giving what is his back to him.  The only thing we can truly give back to our Father in Heaven is our agency, desires, and thoughts.  That is the only thing that is truly ours! To the members of the church, we have covenanted to give everything to God because everything is his in the first place. Even after doing our best here on earth, we are still "unprofitable servants."  Through the Atonement and God's grace, we are saved  That is the most amazing thing!  His grace is sufficient.

This church is true. I know that as we accept Christ and become more like Him, we can be happy. I know that we can't even comprehend how much God loves each and every one of you!  I love all of you, too!  Thank you for the support and love you have given me throughout my life! 

Love, Sister Jacobsen

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mission Call

I opened my mission call on June 6, 2015 in my apartment at BYU. My call originally said Oklahoma Tulsa Mission but they moved the mission home so now it's called the Arkansas Bentonville Mission. I will be reporting to the Provo MTC on August 26, 2015. I can't wait!