Another week down. Jack seems to be doing great. The weather has started to cool and he's loving the people of Red Bank. Here's a few paragraphs from his latest letter home;
This week was a pretty good one. Frustrating at times and ridiculously rewarding like 5 minutes later. I taught this lesson to Marta the other day that I've been dying to tell you about because WOW, the spirit was so strong. So, basically I knew something was up with her. I've been praying a lot for her and just felt like I needed to go talk to her so I drive up to her house--no lesson planed, and she pulls up in her car right after us. We go inside and she sits down and basically, it's just me and Marta talking. I felt impressed to share Alma 7:12 which talks about how the Lord took upon our infirmities to best know how to understand His people. She then told me that she's been super depressed for like 10 years and when her husband died she just couldn't find motivation for anything anymore, including church. And I told her I understood, and more importantly, so does the Savior. She cried and I cried. And I felt like I was needed in Red Bank N.J. at that particular time for that particular reason. She came to church on Sunday. First time in 2 years. I sat next to her and we took the sacrament together. Good ole Marta. This next week I'm meeting with her to talk about the temple. I want to get her sealed to her husband. Marriage is so important. Literally, it's so beautiful and permeates the eternities and I love that.
This next week I have an exchange with my zone leaders which I'm excited for. And other than that, it's just another week. Time goes by pretty quickly when you're doing the same thing every day. lol, so yesterday I was at this thrift shop right next to an investigator's store because my companion needed something. So I'm there and I was like "hmmm, I want a piano." So I buy this cheap keyboard and I've been teaching myself piano. And it turns out that I'm like, not that bad. I learned both hands to "Sweet Hour of Prayer" in like an hour. Basically the next time you see me I'm going to be a sassy piano guy.
Also, funny story. While I was buying my piano the guy mumbled something and I thought he said "what's the pin" and me, being stupid, told him and he laughed and was like "you shouldn't tell that to people" and then as soon as I left the store I cancelled my card because I'm paranoid. And so now I need a new card. *shrugs".
I'm probably going to be in Red Bank for a decent amount of time and there's a lot of trees down here which are beautiful and are starting to change colors. Basically, everything is beautiful and I'm full of love every second of every day. We were with the sisters the other day and this lady and her husband bought us ice cream. She lived in SLC and she works for a company that employs a lot of mormons. She was so nice. And she had a labradoodle. I love dogs.
Anyway, that's me. I love you. Mucho. Tengo todo de la amor por mi madre. Ella es mi mejor amiga. My Spanish is really good. I talk with everybody and I dream in Spanish sometimes which is kinda fun.
Anyway, I love you.
-your boy Jack
*About the giant Book of Mormon. So some of the members made it for Sunday school and then after are going to give it to us to use for street contacting. Lol. Fun!
Elder Nielsen officially hit the 3 month mark (only three months?) last week. He is healthy, happy, and working hard. Here is a bit from his last letter home;
Hello. It's your boy. Another week down!
So this week I'm walking back to our car after trying a potential and I was looking at the ground and then I saw a bush and looked in the bush for like no reason and I found a $100 bill in the middle of the field. Like what? Just a single $100. I didn't know what to do. No one trained me for this. My first thought was "ask your mom". But since it wasn't P-day I just sat there in the car and waited for someone to look for it. It was a windy day so who knows where it came from and I called the zone leaders and they were like "keep it" and so I've decided to dedicate all of it to helping people out. Like, there's this homeless guy that's always outside this liquor store and Saturday I bought him a cheeseburger. Today I'm going to buy a less active flowers. It's so fun. Missionary work is so fun.
Fun/cute story. So there I was, driving back from Keyport. It was almost dinner time and we were going to Jersey Mikes, this super good sub place that I had a gift card that Nancy sent me (thanks Nancy). But then I was like "I need to go see the Prados right now (less active family)". We were going to swing by after dinner but I was just like "nope, now" and so I flip a u-turn and go to their house. We go and it's just Marlene (less active) and her husband (non-member). Both speak English. We talk for a while about life and stuff and started talking about Marlene. Side Note: She's the nicest lady. But she starts talking about how she's been having doubts for a while and they've really been hurting her and I could just tell how sad she was and it hurt me. She had prayed for help before we came over. So we just talked. And mom, I was supposed to be there. Like, me personally. It was one of the strongest spiritual experiences I've ever had. And then....snoring. ELDER JACOBS HAD FALLEN ASLEEP. He and I have laughed about it for the longest time. Even the Prados thought it was so funny. (P.S. He loves the Star Trek stamps you sent him).
I was on an exchange this past Tuesday and Wednesday with Elder Covington, my new district leader. So I was English speaking for a day. Funniest guy. I had quite possibly the most productive and most fun day of doing missionary work with him. It was crazy. We just taught every second of the day. And we even got called to the hospital to give a blessing and then we helped this lady move until 9:30 and then we were super hungry because we hadn't had time to eat so we got Chinese food and then we talked until like midnight (in our beds so we didn't break any rules). Then we woke up at 5:15 am and met up with the Ocean elders and watched the sunrise on the beach while we walked in the sand and it was really nice.
I want you to know that I'm so happy and I'm so healthy and I love my mom so much. I don't feel lonely and I don't feel sad and I don't feel scared. I just feel full of love. For everybody I meet. And especially you.
I love you.
--your boy Jack.
Our sweet missionary guy is working hard and blessing lives. We are so proud of him and all he is doing to spread love and peace to the wonderful people of Red Bank, N.J. Here is a portion of his letter home this week;
So the gift of tongues is the craziest thing on this planet, right. I don't know freaking any Spanish but as soon as I need it I'm spitting bars of spiritual significance. Like Saturday night we were getting fed by this member and his wife (they're my favorite couple. Marriage is so fun) and his brother and his brother's wife and I just start talking about how important it is to realize that God is literally our Father and how beautiful families are and then I just start telling them how much I love them and then the wife starts crying and talking about how grateful she is for missionaries and it was really touching.
Okay, so listen to how sweet this is. So we went to go see this less active woman. We've tried her a lot before and she's never been home. So I just had the impression to go try this lady even though I've never met her and she was HOME. She let us in and we started talking and I told her how beautiful her home is and we just talked for the longest time and she just stopped and said to me "You have something about you. I don't know what it is but it filled my home the second you walked in." And I was so flattered. Wow. She and I are homies now and I'm going back this afternoon to help her fix a door frame in her home because// former construction worker (thanks Joe!). Freakin' Marta. She has a hard time going to church because it's hard for her to get up on time. I told her that I would literally piggy-back her to church and she laughed. I wasn't kidding.
So Jesus the Christ is the best thing that's happened to me. I love how Talmage writes, too. It makes it so much more personal and real to me. He really is the Great Physician. I love that. I like reading about His healing of the sick. They're always so beautiful and compassionate. One of my favorite aspects about Him which I never considered before was how observant He is. He notices the lives and feelings and emotions of everybody. And He can do so because He isn't hindered by sin or pride or self-concernment. I like that a lot. I imagine a world in which everyone understands and loves and shows unbridled compassion and that thought gives me hope and peace and happiness.
Basically know that everything is super good with me and I love you. I'm so happy and proud of myself and feel like I'm doing something that is really meaningful. Thank you for helping me get here. I love you. I hope you have a happy day today and you know how much I love you because I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. I'm here for a reason and I miss you horribly but you'll be with me for the rest of eternity so I feel like it's our duty to help other families have the same.
This boy has our hearts. He hits his 3 month mark this week. 1/8 of the way finished. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. -K
Just a short letter from Elder Nielsen this week since we were out of town. He sounds happy and healthy though. Transfer conferences came and he will be with Elder Jacobs for 6 more weeks in Red Bank, N.J. He is happy about it. He loves Red Bank and the people. Here is a bit of what he has been up to;
"We had Justo at sacrament meeting yesterday and testimony meeting was SO POWERFUL. When he walked in I died. I saw the spirit work in him. He's just a really swell guy. We are going to the temple with him in a few hours so #Philly.
Yesterday after church we had an appointment with a new guy. I hadn't eaten in 24 hours because of a fast so my body was dying a little. We went to talk to this guy and everything I wanted to say I was able to say and I understood everything he said. The Spirit literally shook me to my core. He told me that he liked the feelings he had when he talked to me and set up another appointment and now he's progressing and I can feel the sun shining out of my face.
At the beginning of this week I was a little discouraged because we didn't have much success last week. But we had an exchange on Tuesday and I led out my area with our district leader, Elder Jeon. He doesn't speak any Spanish so I translated for him and we went around our area and ended up with 5 other lessons taught, two new investigators, and a lesson taught to a less active for the day. I cried in my prayer that night because I was so grateful and humbled. It really improved my Spanish to be literally teaching and translating all day. And Elder Jeon is my best friend.
Anyway, I love you so, so, so, so much. I LOVE YOU. I pray for your happiness in every prayer I say. There is a boy in NJ who loves you with all of his lil heart.
Called to Serve June 2016-2018
My son is currently serving a 2-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This Blog is for family and friends interested in following his adventures for the next 24 months.