Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Letter # 68 - Last Letter - June 27, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

Due to crazy scheduling next week (we are hosting a 4th of July party for all the Albanians) this will be my last email home. I will not be emailing next week. (So if you have anything to email me today-speak now or forever hold your peace) 

Sooo...it is hard to imagine that this is actually coming to an end. I still haven't come to terms with the fact that I am going home in just 10 short days. Sisters don't get those extra 6 months and I can't believe I am finally coming home.

But I hope that you can all know what my mission has really meant to me. I never thought I would serve a mission. I never thought I could leave the comfort of my family and set on an adventure, not knowing if I could like any food besides spaghetti. Now looking back on those days of doubt, I realized what I truly lacked was the faith to step forward. I didn't think God would be able to help me learn a language, love a foreign people, or live without my family for 18 months. 

How wrong I was. I am here to testify that God loves the missionaries. I never want to take off this missionary badge. The power and Spirit that this badge has brought me has been incredible. God helps the missionaries every single day. There isn't a moment when He doesn't walk with them. I felt the presence of angels throughout every week of my mission and I know it comes partly as a result of all your prayers for me.

I can testify of the reality of the Atonement-that it can make us strong. 

2 Kings 6:16

15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?

 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and,behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

I was like this little servant who said, "What are we going to do?" But I know that God, never leaves us alone. That is the beauty of the Atonement. That is the beauty of the Gospel. That Jesus Christ suffered for us, that he can understand what we are going through. That He can strengthen us. 

Is a mission the hardest thing ever? Yes. But is it worth it? Yes. And why is it that something so hard, so frustrating, so long can become the most rewarding thing of my life? Because for a small moment, I get to "labor for life's short day for Jesus the Crucified."

I was reading another email from an friend, and he said, that someday on the mission you feel like potter's clay. Smashed down and broken but every time God rebuilds you into something better. Into a better servant for  Him. Into a better disciple.

I could go on and on about how much I love my mission, but I know that this is the most important thing I have ever done. Working day in and day out for the salvation of God's children. There hasn't been anything better. 

I know that this the true Church, that it was restored by Joseph Smith. That the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. That Christ is the Head of this Church and that He will come again, and we can finally thank for everything he has done for us. He lives! 

I love you all and the support you have given me through my whole mission. 

Love, Sister Emilie Jackson 

(Also, if you do have anything you need to tell me, I will be on the computer for then next 2ish hours). If not, see you on the other side :) 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Letter # 67 - June 20, 2016

Hello Family and Friends-

Not too much to write about this week! But things are going good! The work is awesome and I am loving every (last) minute of it! 

A little thing that I have enjoyed about this week, me and my companion have had some extra time so we decided to memorize the Living Christ. It really is one of the most powerful things I have ever read, and it is so cool that it is signed by prophets and apostles who are special witnesses of him and know that He lives.

I love you all! 

Motra J 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Letter # 66 - June 13, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

We had a baptism this week! Ondea, a sister of a member, got baptized! It was so awesome. When she bore her testimony she said, "You know when you just feel like a piece of you is missing, something that you can never find the answer to? Well, I felt that piece of me being completed when I came to this church."

Everyone.....the church is true! I couldn't be more certain of it.

I love you all. And Happy Father's Day this upcoming Sunday.

Motra J 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Letter # 65 - June 6, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

A small miracle of yesterday, we had a lesson with a woman who asked us why we allowed everyone in our Church to take the Sacrament, and we read this scripture with her

2 Nephi 26

24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.

 25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.

I was so grateful that this scripture is true. That Christ accepts us no matter what. There is nothing better than being a missionary.

Sister Jackson 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Letter # 64 - May 30, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

The summer heat has finally begun. To all of you future missionaries, let me just say that missionary work is not always the most romantic thing. Sometimes you lose 5 pounds in day just by sweating. (Definitely not something they teach in the MTC)

But life goes on, and so does missionary work. We had a great week.We had a lesson with a girl we had met on the street, and she starts crying in the middle of it. She turns to us and says, "Why am I even telling you this? I just met you." Of course, we know...it is the SPIRIT.

It is just so interesting to see the way people react when they come in contact with that. I've realized more and more that we do nothing-just invite the Spirit to be there with us. Then people have their own choice to accept or reject that.

I love you all and want you to know how grateful I am for the gospel. 

Motra J 

Letter # 63 - May 23, 2016

Dear Family and Friends!

Eni got baptized this week! It was one of the best baptisms I have seen on my mission. It was the best. She got up and bore her testimony about feeling trapped, not knowing where to go. But since she has found the church, she talked about finally finding that release.

D&C 123
 12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—

Wow, I can't really express in writing what is it is like to see someone get baptized, but I think it is a small equivalent of how God feels every single day, watching His children grow and blessing them. There is really nothing better or more important than sharing the gospel. 

I love you all.

Motra J 

Our Apartment

Letter # 62 - May 16, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

It was a good week. We managed to avoid bad food, alcoholic drinks, and for the most part the crazy people of Tirana. But somehow every week they manage to find us on the buses. We don't quite blend in as Americans.

Our investigator, Eni, came to church this last week and got up in Relief Society telling all the sisters how lucky they are to have the gospel and how they need to share it with everyone around them. She has only known the church for about 2 months now, but the change that it has made in her life is dramatic. 

I am so grateful for my mission every passing day, the things that it teaches me and how it testifies to me every day that Christ lives and loves us.

I love you all. 

Motra J