Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015

SO I GOT CHANGED TO TAMPICO AFTER MY FIRST CHANGE! Which is super uncommon, to be moved to a different area before your training is over. I had a great time there though. This week, I got sick again, but overall it was alright.  We finally figured out why I was sick all the time though!!! We took a look at our water supply to our house (we put a white bowl in the tap and shower and looked at them both) and we found a whole bunch of parasites and worms and such swimming around in there!!! We don’t drink the water of course, but when showering sometimes water gets in your mouth by accident.  So we were about to change houses, but the landlords were like, “Nooooo! We'll fix it!”  So we are giving them 2 weeks and then we were gonna change houses, which I thought was going to be the fulfillment to the revelation I received two weeks ago about whether I would move to a new area to help me not be sick during the next transfer period.  I got the answer that I would be changed, but then when we were gonna change houses in this area I thought maybe that was what God meant by yes.  So I discarded the thought of changing to a different area. (Ok, I still thought I would change, but I was less sure of the answer I had received.  But now I found out that yep, I've been changed to a different area! Woo! And I didn’t tell you guys about this 2 weeks ago because when I prayed to know if I could tell anyone, God told I needed to wait until it was fulfilled to tell anyone about it. But it happened and that's super cool right!
Elder Braithwaite mixing masa
OK so the culture shock coming from Huejutla to Tampico is so real. There are so many cars here and there are door handles and there are actual grocery stores. People eat out and it’s not expensive …all these crazy things.  I kept thinking it's gonna be so weird when I come back to the US and all this will be multiplied by like a bajillion is what will be considered normal.  I love it here though. It's really flat as opposed to all the mountains I have been sloshing through in my last area.  It's also the most dangerous part of the mission.  Huejutla, since it’s just a little town, basically the retirement home of Mexico, everything is really tranquil. But here, the military is everywhere, there's no police because they were all corrupt a while back so the military just came in. Isn't that crazy! But don’t worry. We are all really protected and cautious.  It's just such a change!   Elder Braithwaite and I made pancakes last night, but instead of pancake batter we used cake batter and it made the pancakes really good, haha. 

Oh, I forgot to tell you all about how when Elder Braithwaite was sick and I was stuck inside all day, I started to go crazy. You all know how I can’t be inside for too long or else I start to go nuts. AND on top of that, he was sleeping the whole time, which is reasonable, but I had no one to talk to! It was awful! I started to lose it and prayed to Heavenly Father that I would feel the presence of a friend, just to help me make it through the day without going insane, and guess who I felt in the room next to me? Grandma Vicki! I could almost hear her telling me to hang in there and that soon all of this would help me to be who God wants me to be. I think it is one of the kindest things God has blessed me with. I could just feel all the love and care He and all of you and Grandma Vicki have for me.  I wish I could express the amount of comfort that brought me.
2013: Our last Christmas with Grandma Vicki
I love you all. 
I Love you Mom and Dad!
I love you Dallin, Eliza, Bethany, Harrison!

Have a Great week!

A video of a dog and some chicks at an investigators house before a lesson... haha!

Friday, April 24, 2015

April 20, 2015

So yep, this week we almost got struck by lightning! I've never really been this close to lightning before and so I thought it was awesome when one struck about 15 yards from us! But my companion told me we were in danger, which I kind of figured out, so we booked it off the mountain we were on. My area is pure mountains. It’s crazy!

This week was fantastic! I had the best time ever! Ok, so first we almost got struck by lightning, (so cool I had to write about it twice). The next day, we had an awesome district meeting where my companion and I did an awesome activity to teach the apostasy (try comparing the principles of the apostasy to a blender, or a hundred dollar bill… yeah, we did that). It was super fun, hahaha! Then, the next day we went to Tampico! We went for my generation meeting. A generation is all the missionaries that showed up to a specific mission at the same time. It was awesome because since my area is a 5 hour bus ride away, we went the night before and we got pizza and REAL MILK the next morning!! It was the best! Also, another newbie (Elder Rodriguez - from another part of Mexico) went out street contacting together and we got a family to start on the lessons in their home! Really neat, especially since I don’t really even know the language too well yet; OH WAIT, TURNS OUT I´M ROCKIN´ IT WITH SPANISH. I found out at the Generation Meeting that I am the best at Spanish of all the English speakers that were in my generation! Isn't that awesome!? And I participated so much at the Generation Meeting, that the President and the Assistant to the President thanked me for my participation and input! It was great!
On the way home, on the bus drive we got hungry so we got out when the bus driver stopped for a break.  He usually stops for about 15 minutes to use the restroom and other people get out too.  While my companion and I were buying our stuff a random dude came up and told us our bus was leaving without us. I’m still not sure how he knew what bus was ours but what a miracle right? I didn't have time to buy any food, but hey, we got on the bus and made it back to our casa so all is good :)  

The next day we went on divisions and I stayed in our area and the Zone Leader, one of them I mean, was with me in my area.  So I was in charge.  Yeah, it was a lot of pressure for a new missionary, especially because I knew I was being tested.... OH WAIT, NO IT WASN'T!  I looked at it as an opportunity to show him everything we had been practicing… and the results? 8 new investigators, 14 Lessons, and 5 Lessons with a member accompanying us, and 3 more contacts besides the 8 new investigators.  The average is about half that. And usually we aim to get 2 new investigators each day. Not one person that we ended up talking to walked away without an appointment for us to stop by their home and explain a little more about how the Gospel can bless their life. Honestly, I didn't even know that those kinds of numbers were possible. But I prayed basically all the day before that I would be able to use the confidence that the Generation Meeting gave me and I would be able to have the spiritual strength of Captain Moroni. I don’t remember what scriptures it is, but a little earlier in the same chapter that explains that if all men were as Moroni the powers of hell would be shaken forever and Satan would have no power over the children of men (or something like that), it explains how Moroni was a man "Full of thanks to his God, constantly working for the well being of his people, a man firm in the faith of Christ". And so I've been working really hard to have these attributes.  And it’s been majorly paying off! 
I got our Hammocks up in our room, because it has been so dang hot. It’s so humid here guys. It is nuts!  But also our area has been deemed as one where “missionaries go to die”, either they are about to go home the next transfer, or they come here and they lose all ability to be good missionaries and sluff off. It’s annoying for us because that makes what we have to work with basically nothing.  But we are bringing about a new trend here in Huejutla! We have 3 more baptisms planned for the next 2 weeks! Woo! And we should have many more on the way. 
Also we've been learning a Mexican Navaho type language here. I don’t know if I already told you, sorry if I did, but it’s awesome.  So one thing is Toaltecl Mixniki (To-al-Te-cull Mish-Snicky) which means, "Dios nos ama," which means God loves us. Also to knock at someone’s door (since no one has doors here), you just yell at their property, you say “¡Anastoque!”  Pretty neat stuff.  Also I made crepes this week, Along with even better Mac ‘n Cheese! Woo!  I also went running this morning and did like 4 bleachers and pole vault drills so I feel amazing today! In the hurricane where we almost got struck by lightning, my shoes got wrecked so I am wearing the brown ones with everything until I buy black shoes again, haha. But it’s all good. I’m not trying to impress anyone with how I look, just how I act and preach, I’m only trying to impress God.  Yep, that was my FANTASTIC AWESOME WEEK :)

I love you family! I’m sorry ran out of time to really address you all personally, but I love all of you!  Adios! :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015

This week was super rough for like 3 hours, and then it was the best week I've had here.  Honestly, I was super struggling with health problems the past few weeks. I just didn't know if I could continue for two years in the constant health state I was in. And I couldn't see an end.  But this week I realized that my problem was that I was trying to escape my troubles rather than overcome them as I always had in the past.  I actually ended up calling the mission president’s wife and she let me know that it’s normal to be sick a lot your first exchange and that I would get through this. And even though it isn't that huge to have her tell me that, it was huge to me that morning.  She’s the health advisor and she knows about that kind of stuff, so I trust that, haha. That’s why I called her.  So, I made a change that I would dedicate the rest of my life to the service of our God, and I said a prayer, right there on the spot, to "please let me not have this pain Heavenly Father (because the pain was coming) and even if the pain comes I know you’ll be there with me through it, and I’ll still serve you to the end."  As soon as I finished the prayer the pain stopped.  

It was earlier that day that I had a major change of heart.  I just gritted my teeth and said, "Elder Jacobs, you’re no quitter and you know God wants you here." And I got down on my knees and promised my life to God. And you all know how I don’t break my promises.  So since then I have had almost no health problems. And that’s one of the greatest miracles I've seen. It’s the hardest miracle to bring about because it requires an entire change of character.  It’s also the hardest thing to do, to give yourself entirely to God.  Because first you have to find yourself, to understand what you need to give. So first I had myself lost in my pride and desires for home, then I found myself again (my confidence, my fun loving attitude, my desire to always brighten other people’s days, all the good parts of me because Satan had convince me I left those at home, but that’s not true at all), and now I have given all of that to God, to use without restraint for not only two years, but for the rest of my life!  

And since then I have had the most amazing lessons, my Spanish has been fantastic, the food is still amazing, it’s like there’s a new light on everything! I found my love for my family has a new dimension to it, a new fantastic part that I never could feel before. And I love it. I love you guys.  

Among other things, I prayed and said sorry to God for putting him aside like that before and I received the scripture: DC 39:7-13.

I wish I could say that I humbled myself, but to be honest God humbles us all, and He humbled me really well, haha. But I’m so thankful for it.

And Mom and Dad you guys are amazing! Thanks for just being awesome. Dad, you are the best dad ever! All your teachings to me came into play this week.  I couldn't have done any of this without you. And mom, you are truly inspired.  The day I made the change and found the light, I received a package with your letters, which are awesome!  My companion wants more memes, ahaha.   Those were hilarious. But anyways, the letters were exactly what I needed. I read them in order and I had already decided to make those changes in myself before I got them!! Isn't that awesome!!?? It was just like the cherry God put on top of an already fantastic day.

Thanks to the other kids and all my other friends out there reading this. You guys are amazing and do a great job praying for me. I love you all!

Mom look up "The Spiritual Influence of Women" in this month’s Liahona, I thought of you the entire time I read it.

I love you Mom and Dad!
I love you Dallin, Eliza, Bethany, Harrison!

Prepare yourselves for 2 years of the most amazing miracles and stories you've ever heard! :)

PS –  I forgot to mention me and my companion bought hammocks to sleep in because it´s so dang hot and humid here. I also made the most amazing mac and cheese the other day. Bean, you would be so proud!  But the food here is just fantastic. Like, I don’t know how I am not gonna get fat. Oh wait, yes I do. We walk like nobody’s business and we get parasites. I´m good, hahaahahah!!!  Just kidding. You guys don’t need to worry, everyone here loses weight, but I eat junk along with my good food, so I’ll just stay the same. Yep, this week and the next two years are gonna be awesome! :)

PSS - I will try to send pictures next week

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 6, 2015

It turns out April Fools Day is not a thing here. What a shame! I had my first baptism this week, which is cool!!! I didn’t really understand what was happening a lot because of my language barrier, but it’s getting better! Also, General conference was in English! So that was great!! Woohoo! That was such a relief J  I fasted for 26 hours for the first time in my life this week.  I love you all and thanks for your prayers and support.  I love you mom and dad!! Your email updates about the family were great. Thanks.  I love you other kids!