Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September 26, 2016

Another week down. Time flies when you're having funπŸ˜‰.
I emailed the mission home and they said it could take up to 2 months to get a package to you. So I guess one month is over and now it's just a hope that it gets to you sometime in the next few weeks. But they are watching for it.
I have the recorders packed up and ready to send with a few other things so we will give it another shot. By the time it gets to you the elders that were wanting them might be home 😜.
I think I am going to get stuff together for Christmas and send in the next week or so too. So hopefully it will get to you in time.
This week was a little more upbeat than last week. No funerals to go to and a pretty smooth work week for the most part. We signed up for a job fair in November and are just waiting to see if we get approved to go to it or not. I've been working on our company website and a few other things so we will be ready for the job fair. I actually got the site published. It's pretty rough but it's at least started.
We worked on the deck a couple days last week and got the railing all put back in. Now we need to do the stairs, but the next project is going to be replacing the window wells before the basement gets a mudslide. And with all the rain we have gotten in the last week, that is a definite possibility.   So we are going to get started on that project tomorrow.  I got the window wells last week so we just have to get the old ones dug out. That will be the hard part of the project  they are 5' long by about 4' wide so that's how much dirt has to be moved.  We need a couple strong backs and weak minds, but you're in El Salvador so we are short one of those πŸ˜‚.  I think we will probably rent a mini excavator so we aren't dead when we get them done. But I guess we'll see how hard the digging is.
It has rained a ton this past week. There was even a tornado in Washington Terrace that did quite a bit of damage. There was flooding in Cache Valley too. I watched Aaron pull out of the yard with a tarped load of steel on Friday and holy cow!!  The water that was running off the tarp was incredible. It was like a wave off the ocean hit and was coming over the trailer. I don't think I've ever seen that much water come off a load all at once. They said that there is 6" of snow at Snowbasin this weekend too. So good news for the skiers.
Carson's football team won their game against Ogden Valley in Eden on Saturday. They actually showed up to play. It was great. Carson had a blocked punt that was taken back for a touchdown too. Pretty good for a lineman. Brian baker took video of it and Carson's feet actually come off the ground pretty far.  (And we didn't think he could jump😬).
I made 2 more batches of salsa this week. So we did 6 batches here and I think grandma did 8 at her house. So everyone has their own salsa so maybe we won't run out this year. We have 38 quart bottles of our own.
I forgot about the General Women's meeting last night, so I watched it all this morning while I was getting ready for church. It was good- each of the speakers talked about being strong women of the church, and different aspects of that, but my favorite talk was Pres. Uchtdorf and he talked about missionaries and the perseverance and faith that it takes to do the things that are asked of us. He talked about the missionaries that first contacted his wife and her mother. They decided to contact each door in an apartment building. They started and knocked the first floor with no success, then the 2nd, and 3rd and nothing. Then the 4th - every door and the last door someone answered. A girl answered and they asked to share their message and the mother wasn't too excited but let them in and shared their message and left a Book of Mormon. The mom read the book in a few days and that was the start of his wife's mother and her family's journey in joining the church. He said he will be forever grateful to those missionaries that didn't quit and had faith and love of the gospel to go to the last floor, the last door. It made me think of you and hope that you have that same conviction and desire to keep going even when it is discouraging and hard and you think you are just wasting your time because no one is going to listen. Just know that the Lord is mindful of what you are doing each day. He knows it isn't easy, but he also know that anything worth having is worth working for. If it comes easy, you won't appreciate it. It won't mean as much to you. Remember that.
Today was Andy's farewell. I think dad sent you his talk. He did a really good job. We went to his house after to visit for a while and ate. It was good to see Andy, Waylon, Riley, Jordan and Casey. We saw Logan Gardner too. He leaves in December and is also going to Columbia but different mission than Andy. He looks pretty good.
I was wanting to do something for Andy before he leaves. Get him something or whatever but I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions?
He leaves a week from Tues.
Next week is conference. Do you get to watch it live?  I'm assuming at the church or stake center if you do.
So who are the elders in your district?  Names and where they are from, how log they've been out, the ones you like or don't like and why?
They look like a pretty fun group in the pictures you've sent.
Who is the family that takes care of your laundry and food and how is that going?  What kinds of food do you eat?  Do they do meals like we do?
Do you like the family?  Do they have kids? Have you got to use the welder?  How are your clothes holding up?  (Mostly the white shirts).
How was your week?  Any new contacts or baptism commitments?  Are you still teaching the girl that decided not to get baptized a couple weeks ago?  How is the ward?  How is the Spanish coming?  You said you were doing better but how is it really?  How are you feeling this week?  Hopefully you are doing better and not sick and your back is feeling better. It probably hurt because you had the flu.
Well, have a good week remember who you are and who you represent. Work hard and have faith that things will work out. Because they always do. Maybe not how we plan but it always works out😊.
Love you

So this week was absolutely amazing!!!! I bet you won't believe me but I got my first baptism! It was the lady who didn't want to be baptized!!! The story this week is wild. So this week we were really pushing her and she was saying no. Honestly this week was super devoted to her but we had the highest numbers in the zone and the zone leaders thanked us for our work. So anyways this week went by super fast. Wednesday is the day that we really got to her. I studied all morning for her to see if I could get her. I found Joshua 3. It is where the Israelites need to take the ark across the Jordan river during flood season. And it wasn't like Moses where they were going to walk up to the river and Joshua was going to part it. They had to get their feet wet right? They got their feet wet and then it parted. So she wants the blessings of the Lord and needs to get her body wet in baptism to receive them. Thursday rolls around and she said no again and my faith was gone. I had lost it with her. I thought that she was never getting baptized while I was here. Friday rolls around we went and showed her a video of the Prophet Jose Smith's life. She was touched and everyone felt the spirit. She said yes to baptism the next day but I was like ya not going to happen. Then my comp was super happy for me and he was like tomorrow you are going to baptize!! I was like no I'm not. She's not going to show or she is going to tell us no. He was disappointed hurt and alone. He told me, "You are a missionary that says yes when everyone says no. What happened to him? You always need to say yes when anyone tells you no."  So we went back to the house and I prayed my heart out. I got my faith back and he said he wasn't mad but we needed to find clothes. So we looked every where and another person in our district had some. So it was all good. Then we got to the church on Saturday and all the doors were locked to the baptismal font. So we busted the door and justified it with a soul in God's kingdom is more important than a door. We baptized her and then that is it. later I'll send you a video of us cleaning my ears with fire. That's what the paper is. It has the junk from my ears.So that was this week!!! Love you guys and always be the one to say yes even when everyone says no.

Love Jackson

Mom:  So, I asked you a whole bunch of questions.  Please answer them. 
That is awesome that you were able to baptize that sister.  I think you look as happy as she does.  Now you need to make sure that she has someone in the ward that will be her friend and keep her coming to church and learning, because baptism is just the beginning.  It really is the easy part, but you have to start somewhere.  Remember my favorite lesson with my young women?  The difference between having a Testimony of the gospel and being Converted to the gospel.  There are a lot of people that know that the Church is true and have a testimony. But not all of them are truly converted and committed to do the things it takes to be able to receive ALL the blessings the Lord has in store for us.  Being truly converted takes commitment to do the things we are asked to do like accepting callings and serving missions, etc.

Jackson:  What were the questions?

Mom:  Next week is conference. Do you get to watch it live?  I'm assuming at the church or stake center if you do. So who are the elders in your district?  Names and where they are from, how log they've been out, the ones you like or don't like and why? They look like a pretty fun group in the pictures you've sent. Who is the family that takes care of your laundry and food and how is that going?  What kinds of food do you eat?  Do they do meals like we do?  Do you like the family?  Do they have kids? Have you got to use the welder?  How are your clothes holding up?  (Mostly the white shirts).   How was your week?  Any new contacts or baptism commitments?  Are you still teaching the girl that decided not to get baptized a couple weeks ago?  How is the ward?  How is the Spanish coming?  You said you were doing better but how is it really?  How are you feeling this week?  

Jackson:  Yes live. in the church. My comp is Elder Villatoro from Guatemala this week he will be out for 6 months. Elder Jimenez my 2nd favorite to my comp. 8 months. Also Guatemala. Elder Barojas from Mexico (almost gringo because he speaks perfect English and Spanish) almost 2 months. He came with me from the MTC I like him too. Elder Rojas from Panama. 6 months as well and I like him as well. Elder Tarvarez from Dominican Republic. He has been out 3 week more than me. I don't like him. He always talks about the time he has until he goes home. He is 25 I think. He can't speak Spanish or English. Like my comp can't understand him sometimes. He is just an oaf. I love the familia Gongora. They are awesome. They feed us lunch and dinner a lot of beans eggs and rice. They have 3 kids on is Taylor's age, my age and Carson's age.  My shirts are fine. We have 10 baptismal dates and no I don't get to use the welder yet. I feel great too.  

Mom:  Good-- I'm glad that you are feeling better.  I sent the Recorders with some other stuff today.  The lady out at the Corinne Post office was very helpful.  She said there was a way to send a package to you with tracking so we paid the extra $23 and I guess we'll see what happens.  Supposedly it's only supposed to take like 5 days to get to you.  (Well, to the Mission home.)  So I guess we shall see :/  What are your plans for the rest of your pday?
Jackson:  No clue!!!! Jajaja :)

Mom:  Do you do a lot of things with the members?  What kinds of Service have you gotten to do?

Jackson:  We chop with machetes is the service. and the City is a little bigger than Brigham. A lot work and a lot don't. I don't really know what kinds of things they do. But there are real stores and then there is the market. But then there are also stores that are kinda like the market so like you can barter with them.

Mom:  Is Bartering with them super weird?

Jackson:  Is stuff really inexpensive?  How much money do you get each month?  Do you have a card like Taylor did?
Mom:  Ya we have a card but we just take out cash at the begining of the month. We get $205.

Jackson:  So stuff iS pretty cheap then?  What do you do for breakfast?
Looks like you are way out of time.  Have a great week!! Keep up the good work and keep smiling.
Love you
Jackson:  We don't eat breakfast. I still have time.  

Mom: Why don't you eat breakfast?  You know it's the most important meal of the day right?! 

Jackson:  There isn't pisto for breakfast.

Mom: I don't know what that means.  Google translate says it means ratatouille.  I'm pretty sure that's not what you're talking about.

Jackson:  There isn't money.

Mom:  So what do you spend your money on?

Jackson:  Food. And buses. 

Mom:  So do you buy the food that the family prepares for you then? or do you pay them or what?  if they feed you lunch and dinner.

Jackson:  They feed us lunch and dinner but dinner is at like 830 so we have like some food here and there and I bought toilet paper and stuff like that is where the money goes and we pay them.  What are you guys doing today?

Mom:  We're at work.  Carson has football practice and we are going to start digging out the window wells.  We are SUPER excited about that.  I think I'm going to take a few IB's before we get started :) since I'm in such good shape!
You should probably figure out something with your budget so you can eat breakfast.  You probably don't have a fridge or anything to keep a lot of food, but like maybe crackers or fruit or something quick and easy for you so YOU don't get Hangry!!  Because you are miserable to everyone around you when you're hungry.

Jackson:  I really am not all that hungry or angry but Sundays are super bad and I am super hungry.

Mom:  I hope you don't get ornery with your companion when you're hungry.  But still something you should probably do.  What stuff have you bought with your visa?  I'll probably need to get it paid.

Jackson:  When there is pisto I'm going to send a big ole pack of letters with a tie for Carson. for his birthday. Tell dad I'm gonna get him a hat and send it later but next month I'll send you the letters and then you give them to Macey and Azalea and whoever else I decide to write.

Mom:  Sounds good.  We saw and talked with Macey and her parents at Andy's farewell yesterday. 

Jackson:  Cool cool. How are Marlese and Dave?

Mom:  They are Good and said to make sure and tell you hi.  They sat in front of us and we chatted for a little bit.  Macey was funny when they said to say Hi- she was all- They could have just asked me, I would have said Hi for them.  :)
 So how long are you supposed to be online anyway?  Do you get extra time because your comp is the district leader and has extra paperwork to send in?  Not that I'm complaining about getting to chat a little longer, but I don't want you to be getting in trouble.

Jackson:  Well ya he has that and no one can be alone and so one group of missionaries had service so they had to write earlier and then another didn't want to write until later so we just sat here with both :)

Mom:  K-- Well I am running Carson and Ben to Football so I will talk with you next week.  Keep smilin'
Love you

                                               I think they are hot and tired!  Jackson's hair is getting super blond.

                     I'm not quite sure what the fascination with laying in the street is?
                                                 'The Running of the skinny cows!'
                                                               He is such a dork! :)
 I'm not sure breaking the door was a great idea.  A little better planning would have been a better one.  But they were definitely justifying it with a baptism.
 I think Elder Villatoro is making fun of Jackson's favorite tie.
                                                                      1st Baptism

       This is one of the lizards Jackson has caught and they mark them to see who catches the most.  

Sept. 19, 2016

I've been reading a thought each day out of the book that I got from Grandma Lou for Christmas last year and I thought I would share them with you. They are thoughts from Pres. Monsen, they apply to anyone but I have been thinking they really apply to you as a missionary right now.
Sept 16- "Service with a smile" D&C 123:17. Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
"Balanced service is a virtue to be cherished. There is to be time in your life to serve God, to serve your family, to serve your country, to serve your employer. "Service with a smile" is far more than a department store slogan. It is a way of life and a path to happiness. "
Sept 17- True Finishers
Isaiah 26:3. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusted in thee.
"It has been said that the door of history turns on small hinges and so do people's lives. We are constantly making small decisions. The outcome determines the success or failure of our lives. That is why it is worthwhile to look ahead, to set a course, and at least be partly ready when the moment of decision comes. True finishers have the capacity to visualize their objective.
Sept 18. Persevere and Endure
Jacob 5:73 The natural branches began to grow and thrive exceedingly; and the wild branches began to be plucked off and to be cast away; and they did keep the root and the top thereof equal, according to the strength thereof.
"We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were--better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.
This should be our purpose -- to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow."
Sept 19. Know for Yourself- James 1:5 if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask if God, that give th to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
"In order for us to be strong and to withstand all the forces pulling us in the wrong direction or all the voices encouraging is to take the wrong path, we must have our own testimony. Whether you are 12 or 112-- or anywhere in between-- you can know for yourself that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Read the Book of Mormon. Ponder its teachings. Ask Heavenly Father if it is true. We have the promise that "if Ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it into you by the power of the Holy Ghost" Moroni 10:4"

Just something to think about for the week.

Our week here went by fast as always. Football practice. Monday we went to Kason's viewing. It was pretty rough but the team supported pretty good. I think the only one that wasn't able to be there was Ryder. Tycen was there and Mike. Tues. we went to Kason's funeral and it was interesting. They weren't active members but Micah's parents and family are active so there was a little bit of the plan of salvation shared but it was pretty sad overall to see the grief without hope of something better. Wed. We Worked on the putting the railing back on the deck. We have the north end done.
Thurs. The wind was blowing and it was raining when we were wanting to work on the deck.
Fri. We mowed the lawn. Picked up tomatoes and peppers for salsa. Carson had friends over after practice and dad went out west to find a place to hunt ducks on sat.
Sat. We went to Carson's game at bear River. They lost 14-6. These kids have a lot of talent but it doesn't seem like they are being pushed to use it. Like it's ok to be mediocre. It is driving me crazy.
We came home and started a batch of salsa. Dad went to work for a couple hours.  Taylor and Kayla came and helped with salsa for the rest of the day. Jolene came around 230ish and grandma came over around 6. We did 4 batches of salsa (49 quart jars) on sat. I took the last batch out of the canner at 1133pm. I was tired but couldn't go to sleep. 😠.
Sunday Teegan Hubbard spoke in sacrament meeting with the high council. He did a great job. I was impressed. He said he's been home about 7 weeks. So just a couple weeks after you left. I think dad recorded his talk for you. We went on a jeep ride up to Willard peak with the Baker's, Mortensen's, Kristal and Ben, Brian and Dalea, Grandma and Grandpa and Taylor and Kayla. The leaves were really pretty. There were some spots where the lane looked like a scene out of a movie with the perfect colors. We had a picnic at the half way point and met up with Leonard and some friends on their razors for a minute. It's always amazing the view at the top at inspiration point it gives you a little feel for what Heavenly Father sees when he is looking down and watching us. Kind of amazing the things he created for us.
So how was your week?  How did your appointments go?  What did you eat this week?  How is your language coming?  How about your scripture study?  What are the names of the elders in your district?  Do you have any sister missionaries there?  What is up with you laying in the road?  Are you trying to get run over by a car and not just clipped?
Bishop Petersen said that they have what they call sleeping policemen which are like big speed bumps in the road. He was wondering if maybe that was what you were doing?
I think we are going to go to the Salvodorian restaurant in Logan with Bishop and Sister Petersen in a week or so. He said that they had gone and Sister Petersen was the only one there that didn't have dark hair. So we probably will stick out like a sore thumb. Is that how it is for you there? Are the people drawn to you because of your blond hair and blue eyes?  Oh, and your magnetic personality. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜
Well, I hope you had a better week. We pray for you always and want you to be happy and healthy. If you seek the guidance of the spirit, you will be blessed and guided to those that need you. That doesn't mean everything will be smooth and perfect. It just means that they need you. - comfort, the gospel, a friend-- whatever the case may be. Just remember the best thing you can do is be an example and love them. Love them whether they are going to join the church or not, whether they are doing things they should be or not. Just love them for who there are today and see in them what they can become. It may take years, or it may never happen but they will always remember that the blond haired LDS missionary from Brigham City Utah was their genuine fun friend.
Work hard, love everyone, be kind, and have fun!!

Love you


This week went by super slow. I couldn't work 3 of the 7 days this week. The first 2 because of my back and the other because I was super congested and my bones were hurting and had a fever of 38 C. My comp says I know that you think that you can work but if you do you will get worse and instead of one day of not working it could be a month because you are laying in a bed in the hospital. So I'm not super mad about it because I don't want to be in the hospital. This week was independence day for El Salvador and Guatemala. So there was a parade... I hated it it reminded me of peach days. But we used it to contact 2000 people. No only 84 really good contacts. But we took a flag and took their pictures then wrote down the address to go give them a free picture. I thought that it was a pretty good idea. We also gave out free water so that helped attract people. This defiantly isn't easy. The mission. I knew that before and I for sure know it now. But I don't know who put this paper about callouses and blisters in my suitcase but it is super good. Callouses and blisters are formed by friction and rubbing. But they are completely different. Blisters are soft and break easy and hurt. Callouses are the opposite. They are strong and protect the soft interior skin. In our lives we develop callouses and/or blisters. Our friction is our trials and if we develop blisters we can't handle it and hurt and break. But if we develop callouses we have a strong exterior and repel things and maintain our soft heart. Sometimes soft looks better on paper but it definitely is not in the long run. I just a coffee mug this week with a picture of some missionaries and me with the temple on it. It is pretty cool. We ate with the bishop and his wife they bought us pupusas and told us that they are moving to the states in a year or so. I hope they move to Utah and maybe you guys can meet them. They are super nice people. So this week I wondered why did I choose to serve a mission? Well the reason is because I was in a dark place and I didn't think that there was a way out. But there was one way out. It was through the gospel of Jesus Christ and I want to share the gospel with others because it changed my life and I want people to be able to have the same change in their lives the way I did. Because the gospel makes me truly happy. I love you and I hope all is well in the States 

Elder Lancaster

Mom:So what address do you want the recorders sent to?  I haven't ordered the Journal yet because it was out of stock, but I will get that done.  the recorders came on Saturday so we can send them tomorrow.  Did you get your package yet?  I'm wondering if it is maybe at the mission home waiting for you to come to a zone meeting or something?

Jackson:  I haven't got my package yet so I don't know. Just send it to the same address that you sent the other one but let me ask if he wants the journal

Mom:  You are sounding a little sad. What can I do to help from here?  We remember you in our prayers every night and morning. And lots of times in between.
We love you and want you to be happy. Don't let things get you down because it's hard. Life is hard no matter where you are or what you're doing. If you had just gone to college it would have been hard too. Not the same kind of hard but still hard and still on your own. 
I would love to send you a fun package to brighten your day but you might not get it Til Christmas. 

Andy's farewell is this week and I think Nicole Hurd left for Argentina last week or the beginning of this week I'm not sure when. 

I've already seen growth in you in the letters you write (even though they aren't long enough). Hang in there- you'll get it and you will wonder how you were discouraged to start with.  Just love what you're doing and everything will work out. 

Jackson:  I am fine? Its just I havent been able to work and I cant sit in our house another day!!! I wanna kill myself!!!! 

Mom:  Don't say stuff like that-- it's not funny!!  Not even a little bit.  Are you going out to do something today?  Did you do anything this morning?

Jackson:  We played ping pong today and latinos arent very good... Email the office tell them I need my package ;)

Mom:  What are your plans for the rest of the day?

Jackson:  Well we need to go eat then probably a family home evening. Oh so this Dominican in my district got his patrichal blessing yesterday and we told him that his tribe was gonna be Son of Cain because he is black haha no it was pretty funny though

Mom:  That is a terrible thing to say to a guy :(  Good thing that isn't one of the options.  -- I guess We will have to be creative on what we decide to send for Christmas.  Any particular treats that aren't chocolate that you are missing?

Jackson:  Only Chocolate.....

Mom:  I can try to send some. Maybe m&ms won't melt. 

Jackson:  Peanut M&Ms please :)

Mom:  So you didn't say why you were laying in the street?  and what about the blond hair and blue eyes theory.

Jackson:  The blonde hair and blue eyes people have no clue where I'm from when I start speaking spanish and we were just laying in the road to take pictures so ya thats it.

Mom:  so you bought a machete did you?  :)

Jackson:  No I have not. We just borrow them. But before I leave I'm defianitly buying a case.

Mom:  You are so weird :}  I'm guessing you are about out of time.  Have a great week!!  Get better- BE HAPPY!! WORK HARD!!
Love you
Jackson:  Nah I still get to talk. We can talk for a little longer :)

Mom:  How's azalea?  We don't see her much. She said she is working weekends at smiths but I haven't seen her there when we've been in.  Vickie said she's doing great at discovery. I asked if she was going to homecoming but Vickie said she hadn't been asked. 
We invited her to our home teaching dinner but she had to work.
Jackson:  She said she is good just working and going to school and soccer so thats about it. Maybe go say hi to her after a home soccer game that would be cool. Something like that. I'm sure once soccer is over her work schedule will change and you will be able to see her more.

Mom:  What did you think of the thoughts for the day?

Jackson:  No, no splits; and I do like the thoughts of the day.

      Not exactly sure what this is?   Or why he is wearing his backpack like a bulletproof vest.
     Coconut with a straw!

     I am wondering if they are pretending those are Star Wars Light Sabers :)
     El Salvador Independence Day Celebration
     The Elders in his District.
  Jackson is definitely the selfie king!  He has figured out how to get a good one with a regular camera :/
      I'm not exactly sure what he is doing with a baby chick, but hopefully they are doing good things. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September 12, 2016

It's been a strange week. We got the trex all put on the deck. Carson had football. I ordered the new window wells. We still need to put the railing on and do the stairs and get the window wells put in. Hopefully we can get it done before the snow flies.
We didn't go to any of peach days. Carson's game was in Clinton at 830 so we were up and going early. We were done at 10 and stopped and did some shopping for our home teaching dinner on the way home.
Dad went to work for a while and we thought Carson was going to go hang with his friends at peach days but he didn't want to go, so we decided to take some peaches to Hess's family and visit instead.
We had a good visit and they were doing ok. They are so blessed to be alive and doing as well as they are after the accident.
We found out that Kason from Carson's baseball team passed away last Wed. His funeral is on Tues. It just goes to show that life here in this earth is short and we need to make the most of the time we have here. I'm not quite sure how Carson is dealing with it all but it definitely isn't an easy thing. I can't imagine how his parents are dealing with everything. It makes my heart break for them. I know how hard it is just to let you and Taylor leave for 2 years with limited communication so I can't even imagine the heartache of losing their only son.  I am so thankful for my testimony of the plan of salvation. That we will live again and we will see each other again. I know that knowledge doesn't make the ache go away completely but it does dull it a little.
Sacrament meeting today was on Sept 11 and patriotism. It was really good. Melissa Coleman, Bonnie Robinson, and Jeff Adams spoke and  We sang the 3 patriotic songs in the hymn book. They really did give great talks.
We had our home teaching dinner today. Invited Azalea but she had to work. She spoke in sacrament meeting but we didn't know Til after or we would have gone and listened. (That's probably why she didn't tell us πŸ˜‚). Jack and Marge said she did a great job on her talk and bore her testimony after. They were super proud of her.
Dinner was really good.  We did nachos. So we had pulled pork, all sorts of cheese and chips and salsa. YUM!! Greene's, Baker's, Bailey's and Burt's came.
So how was your week?  Did your baptism happen?  How many people are you teaching?  Do you get a lot of member involvement?  How's it going with your family that feeds you and does the laundry?  How is the food?  What kinds of stuff do you eat?
I hope this week is a good one for you. Work hard and let the spirit guide you. You will never be sorry. I think most importantly keep smiling it will make your day and most certainly someone else's. πŸ˜„

On Sep 12, 2016, at 4:04 PM, Jackson B Lancaster <jackson.lancaster@myldsmail.net> wrote:
This week sucked. I'm gonna be honest. Our baptism fell through she decided she didn't want to be baptized and it was just chafa. I wanted to come home super bad one day. I woke up and started to study like normal but then Satan got to work on me, He was like you should just go home. You're baptism didn't work out your Spanish sucks you might as well call the president and go home. So I said wait you can hold it out for a little bit longer and I did. Then my companion told me I was going to be with my favorite person besides him which is true and I was like whatever I don't really care I just want to go home. We went and did spilts. I was just hanging my head and barely hanging in there. We got to our first contact because all we were doing was contacting. So Jimenz started talking and I was understanding, then the guy started talking and I started understanding him I was like WHAT?????  I got so happy and it is a tender mercy of the lord for sure. He was looking out for me when I was down. I contacted 33 people and got 5 baptismal dates. Yep that's right. I did most of the work too :) So honestly that was my week. We really didn't do a ton of stuff this week just teach and preach like normal but those were the two experiences that I had this week I'll send more photos too.

Mom:  Well. I'm sorry you're feeling down. But you can do it. There are going to be days that suck whether on a mission or just life in general and you just have to work through it. Which is what you did. That's just life. People are going to change their minds all the time too and that's ok. Not any reflection on you or anything that you've done. 

Jackson:  I know it was just super tough you know. 

Mom:  I don't know exactly. But I do know you are tough. And you just have to remember that quote that I sent you last week. 'This too shall pass... It might pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass. ' πŸ˜‰
Other than a down day. Sounds like things are going well and You like your companion and the other Elders in your district.  Just know that we are here praying for you every day through the good and the bad. You'll be fine. Just keep smiling and fake it Til you make it if you have to.

Jackson: Love you mommy. I remembered what President Ferry said just imagine your mom praying and her eyes and you can get through it. That's what kept me from calling in the morning. I love you and I really do fake it a lot... 

Mom: Love you too. Keep smiling. Have a great week!!

Mom: What are you doing the rest of the day?  

Jackson:  I'm going get some candy and chocolate because I need some if I want to survive.

Mom:  You sound like a girl. πŸ˜‚ 

Jackson:  No like I miss having cake and stuff like that almost every night...

Mom:  That's why we're all fat. So you'll get skinny out there😊

It makes me sad that Jackson is struggling, and I'm not there to encourage or help him.  I know that through the struggles of life that we become strong and learn to rely on the Lord for strength to get through each day, but as a Mom it tears a little piece of my heart, and sometimes I just want him to come home too so I can give him a hug and tell him that everything is going to be ok, But I KNOW he is where he is supposed to be and doing what he has been asked by the Lord to do; and the 2 years will go by so fast we won't know why we were sad about it sometimes because the joy that comes from selfless service will outweigh any of the heartache we feel now.  

He didn't tell me who the people are in the pictures, but I am assuming these are the Elders in his district.  The pictures are from his first trip to the Temple in San Salvador a week after he got to the mission. 

He is STILL a big GOOBER!!! LOL

I think he is the selfie KING!

This picture is kind of making me think Harry Potter for some reason.  Anyone else?  ;)

It's good to see he is getting use out of his hammock.  I think?  

 Who knew Jackson could catch a cow?

This picture is just flat out STUPID!!  But good to see he still has pretty good abs. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September 6, 2016 2 weeks in the Mission Field

On Sun, Sep 4, 2016 at 10:13 PM, Sharon Lancaster <slancaster@kellerits.com> wrote:

Labor Day weekend. It has been nice to have a couple days not to worry about trucks and drivers and just relax. Carson had practice on Friday and then went to the football game at Bear River with Charlie. The bees won 20-6. Six straight wins of the spike.  We went to Carson's game on Saturday in Clearfield and then came to the cabin after. Jolene and Kevin came up and grandma and grandpa. We brought the projector and the kids played the wii outside in the garage door until it started to rain and then they came in and watched Here Comes the Boom on the projector in the main bedroom.
Today we left a with grandma and grandpa a little before noon and met Brian and Dalea, Shay and Molly, and Jared Rhodes and his wife at the Anderson cabin and went on a jeep ride. We took the road up to Bloomington Lake and where the road splits to go to the lake we stayed straight and followed it up over a rocky dug way and over into Mink creek. It was pretty cool. Really nice ride.
Carson didn't want to come so he went with Kevin and Jolene and they went up to Minnetonka caves and the Paris ice cave and spent the day hiking and playing football at the park. Taylor and Kayla couldn't come because Taylor had responsibilities to play for the ward choir and made plans with some friends to go to the Spiral Jetty on Monday afternoon.
We were talking about missionary work today as we were driving. I totally admit I could never be a good full time missionary because I just can't see myself being aggressive about it.
We mainly were talking about when dad gave the spiritual thought in bishopric meeting a while ago and he asked if anyone had ever spent any time with friends that belong to another church at their church functions. We haven't had many opportunities to do that but we have had a few and it puts missionary work into perspective for me.
As we invite others to come to activities or church or whatever the case may be, they go through the questions - will I fit in?  Will they know I'm not a member of their hitch and treat me different?  Are they being my friend just so I might join their church?  At least those are some of the questions that went through my mind and we almost didn't go because it might be uncomfortable for us. I think as Mormons we avoid going to other people's churches more for reasons of insecurity than anything else, but it comes off more as seeming like we think we're better than they are. Which isn't the case at all. But we need to remember that we invite people to church and activities etc because we want to share the joy that we feel being members of the church. When we likewise get invited to attend things at other churches we need to be mindful that they are also wanting to share the joy that they feel from being members of their church also. We all believe in the same Jesus Christ. Just some of he details may be a little different. We need to be respectful of that with one another.   I also think that the best way to do member missionary work is to live our lives as we should. And the example of the gospel in our lives will show through. You and your friends growing up were always great examples of that to your friends. It didn't matter whether they were members of the church or not you were all friends regardless and you showed the light of Christ in your lives to all those around you. Not to say that any of you were perfect, but you were all amazing examples to those around you.
I have a greater appreciation of missionary work since Taylor and now you are serving full time missions. It is definitely a hard thing to ask of a mom but it is the best opportunity for you to test your testimony and knowledge of the gospel and for you to decide if you not only have a testimony but are truly converted to the gospel.
I think I've kind a rambled today but I've had a lot of things running through my head today and this week.
Hopefully you had a great week.  Your companion seems nice. How is that going?  Have you got to use the welder yet?  How was the rabbit for dinner? Did you have to kill it yourself?  Dad said you ate Fido and it wasn't very good. What kinds of food do they eat on a regular basis?  Anything normal?  Did you get your package yet? (I'm guessing not yet, but hopeful that maybe you got it). I need to figure out how long a package is going to take so we can send something for Christmas.  Your letter took about 3 weeks so I'm planning on at least that much time but who knows.
Tell me what you've been up to all week.
Work hard, love the people, love the Lord, listen to the spirit and let it guide your thoughts and actions in all you do, stay busy and you will be happy. We love you and miss you but know that you are exactly where you need to be at this time in your life. Even the times when I'm thinking about you and what you might be doing and I get a little sad, I always have a peaceful feeling come over me that makes me remember that you are doing exactly what the Lord asked and he will watch over and protect you.  Love you always.


This week went by super fast. I taught a few lessons but didn't do much. I have been practicing my Spanish a ton. My companion says that it is getting better everyday but I'm not completely sure sometimes. I didn't get to eat the rabbit yet which sucks. I really want to try it. Yesterday was fast Sunday and I had absolutely zero energy. I don't know how I ever wrestled. But also yesterday I saved a little girls life. My companion and I were sitting in a house and the little girl tripped and fell and started crying. But remember how Easton would stop breathing when he would cry? That happened. So the mom started freaking out. My companion took the girl trying to get her to breath and I blew in her face we both said a quick prayer and she started breathing. It was really wild. Then we gave her a blessing. Super chivo. I was pretty scared. Since my comp is the district leader the zone leaders have to interview our baptismal candidates. So since they live an hour away in San Vincente they didn't make it here so we could baptize Hma Blanca. But they are coming this week so we can. Hma Blanca is awesome. I get to baptize her. We asked her how long she could hold her breath under water because we hold her under and wash all her sins with shampoo. Hahaha She was like but I have a lot of sins!!! Ha we told her it was a joke so its all good. Well that's all for this week mommy!!!!

Te amo tanto
Elder Lancaster
Su hijo favorito

Mom:  How old is the lady your are baptizing? How long has she taken The discussions?  
What is the name of the town you are in?  How big is it?  How far away was the temple? I'm assuming you got to go last week like you said.
So I'm wondering what your schedule is going to be?  Are you just going to be all over the place or are you going to have a regular time?  What is your schedule like all day on a normal day and on pday?  Is there anywhere to go shopping? Did you get the shoes you were trying to get?

Jackson:  Yeah went to the temple. It is like an hour and a half drive. My card works now. I bought a new pair of shoes and I'm getting a back pack this week too. The city is Zacetecolcua. Its pretty big. I love it. I forgot my camera at the house because we went to San Vicente earlier today for Zone something. I don't know the details of the other two questions sorry.
Kinda all over the place. But plan on like 1ish or 2ish I'm not completely sure. Ya there is a supermarket but I don't have to shop. They have the market that is good too. Ya I got my shoes. We study until noon then we have lessons and contacting that's it.

Mom:  So are there other missionaries in your area that you meet with sometimes? Or is it just you 2?  How big is your district?

Jackson:  We have six in the district. We are with another companionship a lot.

Mom:  So where is the temple actually at?  When we were looking it looked like there were 2 temples in El Salvador. Which one did you go to?

Jackson:  There is only one in the Capitol

Mom:  Well that's pretty cool you got to go then. Is that something that you'll get to do on a regular basis or was that just a one time thing?

Jackson:  We get to go twice a year

Mom:  So I guess that will probably be it for this year. How's the weather?  We saw some pictures of Parker Stewart and it looks like it is definitely the rainy season in Guatemala. 

Jackson:  Guatemala is freezing compared to here it is about 1000 degrees and rains hard about once a day.  I forgot my camera so next week pictures 

Mom:  I forgot - I wanted to know where you email from?  Do you go to the church,  someone's house, Internet cafe?

Jackson:  Internet place. its ACed (air conditioned) and so nice.   Might buy a machete with a sheath today I'm pretty stoked.

Mom:  I was seriously laughing at the pictures if you with the machete last week. You have been bugging us about getting one for about 6 years. What did you do for the service project with them?  Was it the weed eater?

Jackson:  Yep it was the weed eater

Mom:  So what are you doing for the rest of your day?
Jackson:  Walk around buy stuff contact and family home evening.

Mom:  I'm guessing you are about out of time. Keep working hard. Keep smiling and have fun in all you do. Sometimes you might have to fake it Til you make it but that might have to be good enough. Remember we love you and that you are always in our prayers. 
Just a thought that I read last week and it is still making me laugh. 
'This too shall pass. . . . It might pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass'. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Love you have a great week!!

Here is a little bit of Carson's Correspondence.(Well, actually all of it :) )  

Carson:  Hi from Carson. So how's it going
You catch lizards from you closet and sign them?

Jackson:  Yeah but we don't have a closet. Just a spot to hang clothes.

Carson:  So it is supper duper hot down there and you are going to buy a machete so what else fun do you get to do?

Jackson:  Buy Pupusas.

Boyd didn't let me have the letter he sent to Jackson, but I confiscated his correspondence because it's a little bit more entertaining than mine.

Jackson:  Suave la papaya. I don't know what you want me to say to you. My feet are blistered my head aches. It's super hot. I work so hard that at 10:30 I crash? I don't have all that much to say.

Boyd:  What's the country like? What do you eat? Does it rain a lot?   Is the town small or big?  Do the people hate you? How's the laundry? Did you get our package?

Jackson:  It rains hard once a day and the city is pretty big. Some people hate me some don't. The laundry is by hand but by a lady in the ward. No I didn't get the package yet and I want it so bad.

Boyd:  Have you taken any pictures of anything good. Don't forget to take pictures so you can always remember things you have done.

Jackson:  Ya we take pictures I just forgot my camera or I would send some.

Boyd:  How do you travel to all these places?

Jackson:  Bus 100% or walk

Boyd: So is it a chicken bus?  Bus pass or pay every time ?

Jackson:  No.  No animals on the bus. But the dog thing is true. There are dogs everywhere.  It is like a quarter every time, or sometimes 20 cents. but when we travel farther its like 65 cents

Boyd:  What dog thing?

Jackson:  There are dogs absolutely everywhere. Like everywhere!!!

Boyd:  If the dogs are everywhere they are not eating them. 
  We just saw Brady Dart and his family at the chevron at Bear Lake.

Jackson:  Wow thats cool. Did you talk to them?

Boyd:  No, but his dad just stared at us like I know these people but who are they .?

Jackson:  Jaja a la vida there is some cool stuff here though for super cheap. Tell carson I got him a tie for his birthday.

Boyd:  How are you going to get it here?

Jackson:  Through the mail.

Boyd:  Just don't send any lizards home 

Jackson:  Oh my haha we have caught 11. Well just me. My comp has 20. You catch them and then tag them with a marker. 

I guess that's it for this week.  It is hard to believe that Jackson has been gone for 8 weeks today.  The time goes by fast when you look back, but going through each day seems long.  We are liking the 'free time' that we have to catch up on all the home projects that we haven't had time to do since Taylor started playing football 13 years ago.  Carson is playing Football, Wrestling and Baseball still, but for some reason chasing only 1 child and one sport at a time is really almost no stress at all and takes hardly any time. :)  Boyd and I have decided that once we get our projects caught up this fall we are going to need to find a hobby to occupy our time.  It will have to wait until after the World Series though, because Boyd has to watch his baseball games.