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.
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: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2015/10?cid=HP_SA_9-26-2015_dPTH_fGC_xLIDyL1-A_&lang=eng
Also, here is a great Mormon Message about the Book of Mormon (It's my favorite video of all time): http://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/testimony-of-the-book-of-mormon-2
I'm sorry this was so long! Thank you for all of your support!
Love, Sister Jacobsen