Archive for January 2012

Sometimes it doesn’t look like you think

Before we came on our mission I had some ideas of what being on our mission would look like. For example, driving to Pennsylvania we were so excited and wanted so much to make a difference in peoples lives for good that I could imagine that enthusiasm would have gone ahead of us and when we would pull up in front of the chapel there would be a long line of people just waiting for us to share the Gospel with them. Well . . . it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe our timing was off. However, there have been many blessings that I hadn’t even imagined.

Sunday morning 7:00 am

For example, as you know, Elder Jackson loves to work out. Sunday is the only day of the week that he doesn’t get up early and go to the gym. Well, knowing that, the Lord has a new Sunday workout program for him. Arriving for church meetings at 7:00 am gives opportunity for service and exercise.  (Notice the car lights in the window. I am sitting in the car staying warm until the walks are cleared and I have the courage to brave the cold and walk across the parking lot. I know, I am a wimp!)

 

The country is beautiful. There is water everywhere, lakes, creeks, rivers, etc. It even comes out of cracks in the rocks and then freezes making beautiful frozen waterfalls.

Ice waterfalls

 

Another ice waterfall

We have also been very blessed to meet many church members that live in this area that have become less active. They are wonderful people and we are enjoying getting to know them. Some of them have chosen to become active again. We rejoice in the process of inviting them to return to church. We are grateful for the spirit of love and peace we feel as we are teaching and supporting them in taking the next steps in their lives. It is exciting to see increased attendance each week at church as more and more members return to activity.

Another wonderful experience we enjoy is attending District Meeting each week with the missionaries. We are taught and trained by the best. These young Elders are wise beyond their years. It is an honor to meet and learn from them. They have an incredible love of the Savior and teach with such testimony and conviction.

Elder Medina, our District Leader, and a great teacher.

A humble Elder teaches us about Humility. Notice the brownies on the table. Sister Jackson makes sure the Elders have treats each week.

Each training session gives us all lots to think about.

Encouragement from Elder Holland

 

 

Winter Weather is here in Pennsylvania

This week we set out for the town of Coudersport which is 60 miles to the west of Wellsboro. It was cold and windy. The snow on the ground got deeper and deeper as we drove along. We even passed a ski hill and saw people skiing. Elder Jackson wanted to stop and ski for a bit, but didn’t succumb to the temptation.  By the time we arrived in Coudersport it was sleeting and right at freezing. The last couple of miles were on snow covered back roads with more snow and rain falling. We turned to go up the steep and narrow road to the Pomeroy’s house and only made it about 2/3 of the way. It was so slippery we couldn’t go forward or backward. It was almost impossible to even steer the car. Luckily Brother Pomeroy had a 4-wheel drive truck with a plow on front. He hooked a chain around our front axle to the plow of his truck. Sister Jackson is driving or rather sitting in the car praying that she and Isi are not going to slide off BACKWARDS down the steep hill next to the driveway!

Elder Jackson supervising attaching the chain to tow the car. Poor Isi, stuck in the snow!

He managed to pull us up about 20 feet and then lost traction with the truck. After several attempts he realized that wasn’t going to work. He pulled up to take the chain off and actually bumped into the van because the brakes were out on his truck. He got in the van and slowly backed it back down to a turnout at the bottom of the drive. He took us back up to the house in his wife’s truck. She had just returned home from work. We visited for about an hour and decided we had better head back given the potential of freezing rain on the roads. We had a prayer and then Brother Pomeroy drove us down to our van. We drove slowly on the snowy and icy back roads until we arrived in Coudersport. We turned onto US 6 and headed for home. Sister Jackson drove all the way back with trucks in front of her and behind her. We never knew when or if the water on the roads would turn to ice. Fortunately it never did. The trucks sprayed water and grime on the windshield all the way back. We had to constantly use the windshield washers to clear the windshield. Yes, we are grateful for windshield washer fluid. We were very relieved to finally arrive back home in Wellsboro after a trip of over 2 hours.

 

This week we have had some beautiful but major storms.

Lots of snow.

Even though it is cold it is pretty.

 

It is beautiful country . . . all covered in white.

 

It has also been very cold. This morning going to church it was 1 degree. Burrrrrrrr! Sister Jackson is becoming the queen of layering . . . she is looking very rounded but at least she is staying as warm as possible. Today was a 10+ layer day. . . not counting the coat, scarf, gloves, etc.

New Calling for Sister Jackson

Sister Jackson was called to be the 3rd Councilor in the Branch Relief Society Presidency.

Relief Society Seal

Must be something about being the 3rd Councilor as she has been in this position at ward and stake levels in Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary. She is happy to serve and is looking forward to working with the sisters in the Branch.

Double overtime and a win for Wellsboro!

We have a fun group of Seniors that attend the local high school games as a group. We love being with this group. This last week the game for the Wellsboro Hornets was especially exciting. They played Mansfield their big rival.

Wellsboro Hornets

Wellsboro’s basketball team is undefeated. This was a high speed game that saw characteristics of several sports; from soccer and football, to wrestling and high speed slides that kept the floor clean. There was also some great basketball.

Great effort by both teams.

Our group is at the top of the picture. We are right in the middle, the third row down. Can you see us?

 

 

District Meeting and Zone Training with the President

We love getting together with the missionaries. We learn so much from them. This week we had District Meeting and interviews with the Mission President in addition to the instruction at the meeting. I guess we passed the interview as we get to stay!

District Meeting 1-12-12

Our visit to the Corning Museum of Glass

Two of our new friends here in Pennsylvania took us on a tour to the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York.  We were lucky to taken on a tour by Dale, our new friend, and one of the glass MASTERS from the Corning Steuben’s production team.

 

One of many wonderful displays

 

 

Big toys for all ages

If we all look at this long enough . . . we can figure it out!

We loved looking at everything.

Elder Jackson has figured it out.

Amazing Displays

 

 

 

Getting started. See the humps?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We watched her make a dragon right in front of us.

putting in texture . . .

The finished dragon.

 

 

 

 

 

Elder Jackson turning the glass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dale admiring one of his works of art.

Close up

Look at the detail. Worth several million.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a great day!

 

Our latest Tender Mercy experience.

Elder Jackson received a phone call about a member of the Church in another state, whose son is in the County Prison here. He (Elder Jackson) only had the names of the father and the son but not telephone contact information for either. He also didn’t know why the person was in prison. Elder Jackson decided to visit the prison and see what he could find out.

What we all need

At the prison he talked with the lady at the front desk who then referred him to the Deputy Warden. He was a very nice person and was willing to contact the inmate and determine if he was willing to talk with Elder Jackson. The warden escorted Elder Jackson through two sets of security doors directly into the hallway of the prison. The inmate was standing in the hall waiting for Elder Jackson’s visit. As soon as they saw each other they immediately recognized each other.

He knows and loves each one.

 

Elder and Sister Jackson met the young man at Wal-Mart while shopping shortly after they arrived in Wellsboro. He is a less-active member of the Church. When he saw our missionary name tags at Wal-Mart he came up with his daughter and talked with us. We tried to get his contact information but he was reluctant to share it with us. We had frequently talked about what a nice person he was and how disappointing it was that we were not able to contact him and his family.

 

Elder Jackson spent over an hour talking with the young man in the parole office inside the prison. Elder Jackson bore his testimony that it was not an accident that they met earlier at Wal-Mart. At the conclusion of the visit Elder Jackson offered a prayer which the young man appreciated. He agreed to another visit by Elder Jackson on Sunday when he could bring him a copy of the Book of Mormon and they could talk again.

Happy New Year! Welcome 2012

As we welcome in this new year we are grateful to be here in Pennsylvania on mission.

We invite you to join us and the Mansfield Branch by reading the Book of Mormon in the next six months. Just 3 pages a day beginning January 1 and continuing to June 30th. We are also suggesting you mark your scriptures each time they refer to Christ in order to focus on the Book of Mormon testifying of Christ. We feel that a renewed focus on the Savior Jesus Christ will help all of us.

This is the invitation that we handed out on Sunday to our Branch.

 

Sister Jackson stayed home sick. What a way to start off the new year!

Appropriate warning.

 

 

 

 

Well it was toooooo late.

 

The flu had already hit and hard.Pretty close to how I felt!

 

It has been a long week. I can’t remember when I slept so much and still felt rotten. Finally I am getting better and we are praying that Elder Jackson won’t get it.

On the plus side, it was a quick one week diet to loose the pounds that I had gained during the months of November and December. However I wouldn’t recommend it. And now that I feel like eating . . . the 10 pounds I lost will probably come right back.

If it would warm up I could exercise!    

 

We have had another wonderful adventure this week.

For example, January 3rd, our low was 4 degrees and the high was not much above that!

 

This is what it felt like to me.

 

Knowing how much Elder Jackson likes to exercise and be out in the winter, I just laid in bed, under every blanket in the house and imagined that this is what was happening . . .

You can tell this is not me . . . notice the long hair and she is smiling even though she is outside in the cold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I even found some expert information if you are thinking of going out in the cold.