This blog exists to keep friends and family up to date on Jackson's mission to Jamaica by posting his letters and pictures.
Elders McCleod and Romney
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
The Box of Trust
Yes, the Christmas devotional was so sweet! It's so interesting how your perception changes about General Conference and devotionals as you get older. I love listening to the General Authorities speak! Everyone's talk yesterday was so good. I think my favorite was President Uchtdorf's talk. Being a gracious receiver is totally over looked these days. I never thought about it that way but the way he used the story of Peter having is feet washed by Christ and the woman that anointed Christ's head with oil, being a gracious receiver of gifts is definitely a Christ-like attribute. President Eyring's was great too. It's so true- how much money you spend on a gift isn't what makes it special. And President Monson's talk- they were all so good! He had a quote that was something like "He who gives his money gives some, he who gives his time gives more, but he who gives himself gives all." I love Christmas! The music was so great, my favorite was "What Child is This". AH! So good! With the little flute thing going in the background I felt like it could be the music to Lord of the Rings or something.
President Hendricks is the man. I just think about how trusting he is. If he can trust two 20 year old's on their own island in the Caribbean, how much more can I trust someone. Obviously we aren't just two 20 year olds, we're representatives of Jesus Christ, but still- he's a very trusting man. The first day on our missions in the mission home he drew a big box on a piece of paper and said something to the effect of "This is the box of trust. It's big. You can go anywhere inside this box. If you stay in this box, you're mission will be a joyful experience. You will have opportunity's you didn't think you would have, you have my complete trust and confidence. (He was drawing a squiggly line around inside the box, then the squiggly line went outside the box) and he says "If you leave this box, you enter into another box (draws a tiny little box). This is the box of no trust. (tries to draw the line in the box- so small there isnt much space to move). There isn't much space to move around, is there? You lose a lot of freedom in this box, but you can always get back into the box of trust." It's true, that man will forgive quicker than anyone I've ever met. I had a great interview with him this week over Skype- I love listening to him teach. He's always teaching. We talked about how our teaching pool should be like an escalator, with people constantly getting on the escalator going up, rather than an elevator where you pick people up at the bottom, some people get off halfway, maybe one or two at the top but then no one else is in the elevator so you have to go back down and fill it up. Wise words!
Interesting you should mention the huge number of missionaries coming into the field. That was actually the reason for the interview with President Hendricks. He informed us that because of the huge numbers, the MTC won't be holding the missionaries as long as I was in the MTC, therefore sending them out sooner. To accommodate this they are making one transfer in each mission anywhere from 3 weeks shorter to 3 weeks longer so they can have a better stagger in the mission field for when missionaries come in. Our mission is having a 7 weeks transfer, so one week more which means rather than getting home July 11th my mission will be one week longer, getting home July 18th. Speaking of home, I will probably be calling for Christmas from the E's house- we are going over there tonight for dinner so I'll ask them what the usual protocol is for us and phone calls on Christmas. I guess they've had the missionaries over every Christmas since the beginning of time- not bad!
This week was pretty good. E was at church! He's such a boss. We were able to meet with him three times this week, all solid lessons. He's like a sponge. Everything we teach him he just soaks it all up. Even in Gospel Principles class Sunday, he's one of the most intent listeners I've taught on my mission. You ask him if he has questions and he usually says no and you think yikes, maybe he doesn't understand us, but then he will ask a great question or explain what you just taught in great detail- it's so refreshing to teach someone prepared. There is a huge difference between teaching someone like E who is ready to make changes, ready to act and willing to believe and pray as opposed to trying to convince someone the gospel is true. He's the man! His date has been moved back to Dec. 16th, hopefully Elder Worley is still here. That's the week after transfers and paper work has been moving super slow. We get transfer calls this Saturday so we will see.
Ya, those cookies aren't going to make it haha Especially since I might not be opening that package until the end of January if I go back to Jamaica then. Fruit loop cookies are my favorite! Last year I remember when you sent those Elder Taylor and I killed the bag in almost a night. Crazy to think this is my second Christmas away from home.
The branch here is so sweet. It's probably the second best branch in the mission (Cayman Branch being the first). We have regular PEC meetings and Branch Council, it runs fairly smoothly. There are about 600 baptized on record but we have about 50-80 at church every Sunday. That's how many of the branches are in the Caribbean, huge size but only a small percentage active. It doesn't help that addresses, especially in Jamaica are virtually non existent so tracking people is hard. The branch actually is probably a split right down the middle between Haitians and Bahamians with a few Jamaicans and then the E's, D's and B's from the States/England. We have tourists every week. It's such a small world, I've met people who know Uncle Brett, John Gjendems sister, a good friend of Chanda, Parish Hansons roommate at BYU who also knows Elder Randle (AP who went home a couple months ago), it's always fun.
This week is going to be great. Teaching E the rest of the things he needs to know, we will see Bro. D this week, hopefully Sis. B, some solid finding time, another great week in Nassau.
Well I love you Mom! I'll let you know next week wa gwaan with the christmas call. Have a good week, don't get sick! Love you!