Monday, January 30, 2012

Following the Spirit - Jan. 16

Dear Family and friends!
   I am glad you are all doing so well and that you all still love me :)  So good to know. It was great to hear about Maegan's wedding and Erik thanks for the pictures! Maegan looked so happy and just wonderful. I'm loving her man already... and definitely will want to join in on their adventures! Mom don’t lose your passport in Aruba and get stuck there.
   SO... you of course want to know how life is going up here in the northern country. I have a new companion named Syster Juker. She is 5 10, brown curly hair, she sings and makes funny noises as we go through out the day (like me), she likes to read, she is very organized :), and more quiet with big groups. I love her already! She sometimes reminds me of Alex Lysenko... and who wouldn’t want to be companions with Alex! (if you are reading this Alex... write me a letter before you get into the MTC!!)  A short story so you can understand how awesome Syster Juker is. She said that in High School she was kind of inactive. I said... what do you mean by kind of?  And she said... Well I went to church every week and I was in the laurels presidency... but I didn’t really read my scriptures and pray. -- ½! who says they are inactive because they don’t read their scriptures!? probably half the members would be less active.  She has such a strong testimony and I just love her!
   Before Syster Dabb left... she had us running around like crazy people. Tuesday morning we had our first appointment at 7 and didn’t leave our last place till 8:30. It was jammed pack. But I like it best that way.  We met with Tony--a guy from Uganda who Syster Dabb has been working with since September. We hadn't really planned on teaching him anything... because Syster Dabb just wanted to say good-bye. But after we had a prayer... Syster Dabb just opened up her scriptures and read 2 Nephi 31 with him. It is a great chapter that talks about the five steps we need to take here on this earth to come back to Heavenly Father. We need to have faith, repent, be baptized with the proper authority, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then endure to the end. This is the only way.  We committed him to baptism and he said yes! After he said it was interesting that she chose to read that chapter because he had just been reading that same chapter before he came to the lesson.
  I know that the spirit guides us even when we don’t recognize it. As Syster Juker and I were walking home our first night together she said something that I felt like was an answer to prayer.  She said that "Heavenly Father knows us and he knows our desires. And if we are ourselves than he can work through us"... or something to that sense.  What I got from it was that--The Lord knows who I, Jacqueline, am. And so I don’t need to worry about being like Syster Dabb or Syster Erickson. The Lord knows how I think and can inspire me that way.
  This might not make any sense to you. But it was inspiration for me. Yesterday, we were on our way to find a less active. As the bus stop was coming up I all the sudden got scared. We were kind of in a ghetto area... but I had been there before and it wasn't really bad. I thought, silly Jacqueline, stop being scared... nothing is going to happen. Besides we are not usually over in Huskvarna, this will be the perfect time to go find him.  But then I stopped and thought, maybe this is a prompting? I thought well, better just follow it... just incase. So I turned to Syster Juker to tell her that we would be just staying on the bus because I didn’t feel right about it. She looked at me with a little surprise and said... I was just going to say I didn’t feel good about it either!  So.... These are just the little things I experience on a daily basis.
Syster Juker and I are settling in together quite nicely. The hard part is being in charge... just because Syster Juker doesn’t know anyone else. So it is easy to feel stressed... thinking... I don’t know what to teach this person, or I don’t know where to go, or who to visit. But I'm learning how to just decide and go with it... knowing that the Lord directs my thoughts and he is with me every step of the way.
     On a side note:
I am really starting to like this walking thing. Swedes love to walk... everywhere. I heard of a swede that lived in Texas for a few months and tried to walk to work... it just didn’t work. So mom! I'm excited to come back and go on walks with you .)
 My Swedish is coming along! It just hit me this week... that I can understand everyone and I feel like I can say most of the things I want to. That is so cool! :)  It always helps to get extra confidence from all the people on the bus that ask how long I've been here in Sweden.... I say 4 months and their mouths drop.  It is a joy every missionary gets to experience. :)
 Well! I Love you all! Keep reading those scriptures! and saying your prayers! 

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