Archive for September 2012

MLS Fall Workshop and Zone Training

We have 11 MLS (Member and Leader Support) Missionary Couples in our mission. We gathered together for training in Altoona, PA with President and Sister Topham.

Awesome MLS Couples receiving training from President Topham

Listening to the President

Training from President Topham

Training from Zone Leaders

Learning from the Zone Leaders


Elder Jackson leading the discussion

Here is a picture of our awesome MLS Missionary Couples with President and Sister Topham

This MLS Workshop was a great follow-up to the Zone Training we had in Williamsport, PA the week before. We are learning so much. We are blessed with incredible Zone and District leaders.

Williamsport Zone Training Group for September 2012

Miracles in Nature

This is what we found in our back yard last week.

Can you tell what this is?

From a different angle

Yes, it is a single leaf just hanging in the air . . . with the help of a spider . . . one long invisible sky-hook strand holding it mid-air.



Service project for the Deats family

We had a wonderful opportunity to provide service cutting logs for the Deats family and invited several other members of our branch to participate.

Cutting the logs

Splitting the logs

Lots of logs, lots of hard work, lots of smiles and some sore muscles the next day.

And of course, lots of food.

The women helped too, in the barn to unload and stack the wood, and prepare the food. We were tooooo busy working to take pictures.

Jacksons take a P-Day (Personal time and Preparation Day)

Sister Jackson went to 1st grade in Ithaca, New York where her father was a student at Cornell University. She had not been back since then. Realizing that things had changed in the years between then and now (we won’t mention how many years it was but if you guessed 60 you would be close), we decided to drive the 1 and 1/2 hours to see what it looks like now. We could not find her elementary school or where she had lived. Apparently the elementary school and the temporary student housing have been torn down. She did remember some of the campus buildings. Here are some pictures of  Ithaca and Cornell.

Cornell University Campus today

It was beautiful and just being there brought back happy memories.

We then headed toward Palmyra, New York and some Church History sites.

Peter Whitmer Log Home in Waterloo, New York

This is where the Church was organized in 1830. We enjoyed our visit to the visitors center here.

We drove next to Palmyra and the Grandin Building, the historic Book of Mormon Publication site.

The presses used to print the Book of Mormon. Notice the pages hanging to dry.

Sister Jackson folding a 16 page sheet

The outside of the print shop

We then went to the Smith family farm and the Sacred Grove.

The house where Joseph Smith lived when he had his first vision. He would have walked out the back door to the Sacred Grove that you can see in the background.

The view out the kitchen door looking towards the Sacred Grove

The house Joseph Smith lived in when the Angel Moroni appeared to him and where he lived when he got the plates.

Walking into the Sacred Grove

We drove over to the Hill Cumorah and the Visitors Center just a few miles away where the Pageant was held.

Angel Moroni statue on the Hill Cumorah

It was a special and spiritual day. We enjoyed the time together and the opportunity to be in such sacred places.

One week later we spent a fun evening riding the Tioga Central Railroad near where we live. We had a wonderful evening and enjoyed the train ride, dinner and beautiful scenery. What can we say . . . we miss trains!

Tioga Central Railroad

Inside the dining car taken from our table. The food was all prepared right on the train and was delicious.

A beautiful sunset taken from the train.


Branch Happenings for September and Object Lessons

Here is our Branch Happenings poster for September 2012.

Lots of fun and exciting activities and events for the month of September.


Great thought from  a talk by our son-in-law. Sister Jackson just had to make it into a thought to hand out.

This is one of the visuals we use to teach The Restoration lesson.

Sister Jackson uses the "Red Cups" to represent the Church at the time of Christ

Just the cups without the distractions of people.

After Christ Dies and the Apostles are killed the Church collapses and the cups fall down as Christ and the Apostles are gone.

The Restored Church of Jesus Christ a current Prophet and 12 Apostles


This is a great way to teach about Repentance and the Atonement

Start with an egg and a dish

Crack the egg

in the dish

If we are the white and our sins are the yolk we can not get away from the sin

Our sins stay with us and go where we go

It takes the Savior and His atoning sacrifice . . .

As we are ready to give up our sins

He comes closer to us

We repent and allow Him to take away our sins

Our sins are taken away

We are now FREE of sin thanks to His Atoning Sacrifice

As a practical note, it is also a fun way to separate eggs! Use a soda pop bottle. Do not touch the yolk with the bottle. Squeeze the bottle gently and hold just barely above the egg yolk. Allow the bottle to inflate, pulling the yolk into the mouth of the bottle. The yolk will stay whole. Follow steps in pictures above. The process can be repeated as desired.


Branch Activities and Moon Rocks!

We have had some wonderful linger-longers after our church block lately. Delicious food, great company, and lots of visiting. This Sunday we added a new dimension to our gathering. One of our sisters, a retired school teacher and educational science expert, is one of the few people in the United States to have permission to show the “Moon Rocks”. Yes, these are actual rocks from the moon. She brought them to church and after the block of meeting gave us a presentation about them. As you can see, she had a captive audience to learn about the Moon Rocks and the space program.

Up close and personal!

An interested audience . . . ready and eager to learn.


And the food was good too!

August Temple Trip to Palmyra, New York and dealing with disappointment as a missionary.

August is a wonderful time to visit the Palmyra Temple. We had a wonderful trip. It was a beautiful drive.

Elder Jackson with one of our new converts and his wife

Some of our group in front of the Temple

Beautiful country even on a cloudy day


After a busy day we had someone cancel an appointment. Don’t worry, Sister Jackson found a way to handle disappointment!

As you can see she put on her jeans, her Forever Strong shirt, her shape-ups and mowed the lawn!

Zone Conference and training from Elder Bruce Porter

We had an amazing Zone Conference this month. Elder Bruce Porter was the visiting General Authority and we were well taught.

Our Zone Conference with Elder and Sister Porter