Archive for July 2012

Mission activities . . . Zone and District leader changes and a gathering of all the Senior Couples

Our district before the changes. We love these Elders!

Our new District with a new District and new Zone leader. We love these new Elders too!

When we came last November we were one of 4 MLS (Member and Leader Support) couples. Now we have 12 MLS couples; 2 office couples, 1 medical couple, and 2 Family History couples and of course our wonderful Mission President and his wife.

What a wonderful group of Senior Couples.

The room was FULL!

All of us together.

Without the cameras in front.

If you are thinking about serving a mission and you are a Senior Couple . . . Elder and Sister Jackson recommend the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission. We are so grateful to be here in this place at this time.


Hill Cumorah Pageant

We were lucky enough to make three trips to the pageant in Palmyra, New York. We took a car full of people each time. We had a wonderful time and loved getting to see the pageant over and over. We also went to the temple on one of our trips and were blessed to participate in some sealings where a dear sister of our branch was sealed with her siblings to her parents and her parents sealed to her grandparents and the grandparents were sealed to their parents or her great grandparents. There must have been celebrations going on in heaven that day.

Here is our group outside the Palmyra Temple. The sister sitting on the bench is the one that was sealed to her parents.

With our landlady and participants in the pageant

They had many displays and costumes from pageants in the past as this was the 75th anniversary of the pageant.

The seats are starting to fill up several hours before it begins. Can you see the statue of Angel Moroni over the tops of the trees on the left of the stage?

This is a closer view. Love the Zoom lens!

Visiting with performers is a highlight of the pageant experience.

More of our group enjoying the costumes and characters.

Tristen with his hero Nephi.

Part of the 800 cast members

The Savior visiting the Book of Mormon peoples


Branch Food Drive

It is wonderful to see the giving spirit of our Branch. Many hardly have enough food for their own families, yet they chose to donate to help others with greater needs than their own.

Our car filled with food to take to the local food bank

We love serving here!

Our Branch President and his wife helped load our car

The Relief Society 1st Councilor and Secretary also helped

Third Baptism for July and another “Linger Longer”

We are so excited that John Cummings choose to be baptized while we are here. He is an amazing man and is so happy. His wife has been an active member their whole marriage of 27 years. As you can imagine she is very happy as well.  It is incredible to see the physical change that happens as people have His image in their countenances.

A very happy John Cummings and Elder Jackson

With the happy wives

John with a couple of his grandchildren


We had a wonderful group for the Linger Longer




Second Baptism for July!

Saturday, July 7th, we had a baptism of a wonderful 9 year old boy. He wants to be like the prophet Nephi, and do what the Lord wants him to do. We sang Nephi’s Courage as the opening song.

Elder Jackson and Tristen

Tristen and the "Elders"

The Elders came and spoke and gave support. Elder Jackson baptized him and then confirmed him at Sacrament meeting the next day.

Tristen and his family after church.

All American Breakfast at the Branch

To celebrate the 4th of July our Branch had an “All American Breakfast” on Saturday, July 7th.

Many arrived to begin eating at 8am. As you can see, there was lots of delicious food.

This cutie had been up all night helping ??? her family move but still had a great appetite.

She loved the strawberries.

The Zone and District leaders came for the event (really for the baptism that was after).

We had a great group. Can you find Elder Jackson?

We had a wonderful group to share our celebration. We had 51 that attended. There were 29 members, 7 less-active, and 15 investigators.

How Many Missionaries Does It Take To Find A Lost Key?

At District Meeting we had an adventure of sorts. The Elders had to get a key to the Stake Center for our meeting because the Zone Leaders, who usually have the key and weren’t there, forgot to leave the key for them. They did round up the key and came back to the building all smiles. The smiles quickly faded as they realized that the key had dropped somewhere in the car. Here are the pictures of the event . . . which did result in the finding of the key.

As you can see we made it in the building.

Since it was the 4th of July, the couples provided treats of chips, dip, and veggies.

Need we say more?

After a great lesson we played "Missionary Jeopardy". Can you read the categories?

Who Am I? – Songs of the soul – Who said it? – Church History – and PMG (Preach My Gospel). It was fun and we learned a lot. Mostly that these Elders are very SMART! and FAST!


Busy, busy and an outpouring of blessings

We have been busy, busy, busy. Elder Jackson is grateful that he retired so he could relax! NOT. We are happy to be working here and reaping the blessings of serving the Lord and the people of the area.

For example here are a couple of graphs that show what has been happening in our area. Our mission’s goal is “Continual Improvement” so hopefully we can keep it up.

This graph shows Sacrament Meeting attendance by Less actives and Investigators.


This graph shows lessons taught to Less Actives and Investigators.


We have a less active family of 7 that has become active again. On June 24th, one of their sons received a Priesthood advancement to a Priest and another received the Aaronic Priesthood and became a Deacon. Their 8 year old daughter was baptized by her father, who was called as 2nd Councilor in the Branch Presidency. What a day for celebration.

Such a darling happy girl!

This baptism was on June 24th and then on July 1st we had another baptism.

Sister Jackson was busy on June 30th making food for a linger – longer. It was half-way day (half -way through the year) but she did the full-way on the food she fixed.

Saturday cooking.

Food, food and more food.



The tall gentleman next to Elder Jackson was baptized.


Plenty of food for everyone.

Lots of people enjoying each others company.







Great times with friends.

Lots of hungry people.










We are being very blessed. Our branch members are being blessed.

We are excited about the upcoming month of July!

July 2012 Branch Happenings Board








Tragedy, sadness and an outpouring of love and support.

Sunday morning, June 24th a tragedy happened in our branch. There was a fire that destroyed 4 homes, one was a members house, and an 11 year old member of our branch died in the fire. Two of her siblings were able to escape out an upstairs window and jump to safety off the burning roof. They are healing with non life-threatening burns.

The house, a duplex was destroyed

The houses on each side were also burned


Our hearts ache for this family. The community has reached out to them in many ways. Over 400 attended the funeral and another 200 came to the viewing/reception to visit with the family before the funeral.

Elder Jackson visits with Branch members before the funeral.

The cute T-shirts were a fundraiser for the family who lost everything . . . including their daughter.

The funeral was held in the High School Auditorium to allow for the huge crowd. Notice the bicycle on the stage behind the casket.

Gia's favorite color was purple and there was purple everywhere. The t-shirts were purple, and many, many wore purple clothes, and of course there were purple balloons as decorations and then sent up to heaven.

The day after the funeral the community held fundraiser for the 4 families that lost their homes. In addition to mountains of clothes and household supplies that were donated, they raised over $20,000.00 dollars. The out pouring of love was amazing.


Patt’s Camp Party

A family from our branch has access to a lodge and forest area. They invited the branch to visit for the day. Everyone brought a dish to pass and we had a delicious meal and lots of time to play and visit.


Can you tell which is the mother of the 2 darling daughters?


Fun for all ages


Fun for the big kids too!

Plenty to eat

Food and visiting for everyone