Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fun MTC tradition from Aunt Karron


Hank- Sept. 2010            Jonna- Feb. 2012             A.J.- June 2012

Jim and Karron (John's brother and his wife) have a friend who works in the MTC, and enjoys delivering packages to missionaries, and then takes their picture and sends it to the parents.  Jim & Karron, thank you SO much for putting together these fun care packages, and please tell your friend thank you for delivering them and sending these pictures home!  They've all loved the treats...and these pictures are treasures for us back at home!

(A.J.) 3 more weeks in the MTC

Hey how are you doing. I just read your emails and they were great. Well first thing is first, tomorrow is wed. and i know Brianna is coming in and the cool thing is, I get to ''host'' for the first time. I am excited, I cant wait to pick up a missionary and give him the first impression of the MTC. I'm excited. Well, I wont be able to host for any sis. missionaries, but I probably will see her, if we get the chance, we will try to get a picture in front of the map. Oh, so it sounds like ''brave'' was good. One of our teachers here said, oh i'm gonna see brave tonight. I was shocked I was like '' It is already out" i completely forgot that is had already come out. it is amazing at how fast time goes by sometimes, and also at how slow too. But ya, i cant wait till i get to see brave in a couple of years. I need to make a list of movies I need to see so i don't forget. anyways, Oh, so something cool i guess has happend this past week, I am the new district leader. I mean, we only have 3 in our companionship, and in our entire district, so i guess its really not that big of a deal, but ya, I am the new district leader. Oh, so guess what, so all of the new mission presidents are here at the mtc right now, and i guess before they go out, they come here for a few days and the general authorites talk with them. So right now, at this very moment, the first presidency and 10 of the apostles are at the mtc. I havent been able to see one of them yet. We are not allowed in the building where they talk with them. Oh but Relleford, is in this special choir thing where you had to try out, and for all the meetings that the general authorites speek at, he goes and sings for them. So he saw Thomas S. Monson and everyone else. He actually shook Elder Holland's hand. So ya, I am still trying to look around for them. They leave tomorrow so i only have one more day. dont count on anything though.
 Oh, and i got a hand delivered package from Aunt Karron's friend yesterday. it was awesome. It has a ton of candy and some funny scriptures attached to it. it was awesome.

A.J. getting package from Aunt Karron.
Dad: hey, thanks for the sports updates and for the letter about Josh Harris on the deadliest catch. you know, that letter was awesome.
Mom: thanks for the package with the photos. I love them!!!! They are awesome. I just keep looking at them. thanks a ton. oh and witht he camera card. on the one i have right now, I still have a little bit of room so i'm still good for a little while, but whenever you can get it sent to me, that would be great.
Jonna: Just got your letter last night, It was awesome, glad to hear you are doing good.
Hank: I think i'll send you a letter this week, once i get your new adress, if you did move, but ya, i will probably send you one this week. wow, you are so lucky, only about 2 1/2 more months to go.
Jeri: Nice job getting the job at crazy sub. Enjoy getting money and spending it. It is awesome always having money. so enjoy it. Oh and happy birthday tomorrow!!!! I will write a hand written letter to you, but you probably wont get it till like saterday, so it will be late, but i will send one to you.
Addie: how is your summer going, sounds like you are the only one who isn't busy. You know what you should do. every morning at like 5 or 5:30. go running for 30 minuites. 2 summers ago when justin park was living with us, I got up every morning at 5 and went down to westwood to go work out for 30 or 45 minuites. It was training for volleyball and it was awesome. That year i was in the best shape of my life. I could run for ever and ever and not get tired. Those were the good old days. And then after i worked out, I would come home, and watch the world cup. It was my best summer ever, I think mainly because i got up every morning and worked out. Try it, see if it is fun, and it will give you something to do. if you don't want to do it thought, thats fine. I'm just trying to give you sugestions.
Carla: Loved your letter, I got it and read it right away. I new that the one girl in the legend of korra was fishy, i guess i was right. Thanks for the letter thought it was awesome, Oh, and thanks for taking care of buster for me.
Well, I love you all, and i got to go now. I might get on later again today, and write another little short one to Mom and Dad. Well, I love you and I miss you. But I know i'm doing the right thing. see ya later.
Love, A.J.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

(JONNA) Picture- Sisters Conference. June 2012

Jonna attended a "Sister's Conference" this past month.  Jonna is in the middle row, 5th from the right.  I look forward to hearing all more about this conference, and what they did.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

(A.J.) 1/2 way through the MTC

Hey guys, how is it going. This past week has been the same, nothing out of the ordinary has happened. its just classes all day, and studying all day. but, I got to keep pushing through it right. I do love gym time though. That is my favorite time of the day, I love to just play volleyball for 50 min. and have no worries in the world, it is awesome.
Well, it sounds like you guys had a really really really busy week. I am glad i'm not a part of all of that cleaning and stuff. I don't miss it one bit. And poor buster, i feel so bad for him, sounds like he is really having a hard time with the cone of shame. It also sounds like you had a really good Fathers day. You know, i was going to buy a card here at the mtc bookstore, but i just totally forgot to, so sorry, but happy late fathers day dad. Oh, so i saw Tim on Wed. I was waiting for like 30 or 40 min. where all the new elders came out, and i saw tim come out. I went up to him and gave him a nice warm welcoming MTC hug. It was funny though, it just seemed like he didn't even know i was there, i could just tell he was still just trying to soak in all that was going on. So, on Sunday night after the devotional, I was up above the bleachers in the gym and I saw Tim. He seemed a lot more himself this time. He told me that when i said hi to him on the first day, that he didn't even really realize i was there because he was just still trying to soak in all that was going on. It was nice to talk to him.
Oh, so something cool that i forgot to mention. So a couple of weeks ago when we went to the temple, after we had done the endowment session, some temple workers pulled us into the laundry room and we helped with the laundry. It was awesome. I've never had so much fun doing laundry. It was cool to just be behind the scenes of stuff. and they had these huge, gigantic laundry machines, and they were super quiet, I mean you could whisper in there and you could here what people were saying. So ya, doing laundry in the temple is fun.
Well nothing different has really gone on this past week, its basically the same old same old. Oh and just for your information, I think we do leave on July 16th. So ya, i will definately call you guys on that day sometime. I don't know what time it will be and so when i get my flight plans in 3 weeks, i'll give you more information on that. Oh and that reminds me, on sunday was my halfway point. I am that much closer to finishing the MTC. I can't wait, it has been brutal. Its super hard, i can't imagine what the field will be like. But ya, so I am more than halfway done with the mtc now. 9 weeks in here is rough.
Well, I love you guys, I miss you and I love all the letters you give me. I really do appretiate them.
Dad, thank you will the sports updates, how are the dbacks doing, I having heard about them for a bit. What is Miley's record and who has the best batting average. Oh and is Chris Young still doing good or did he go back to his old self. And did they say when steven drew will return. Let me know will you. Oh and i am super bumbed that the thunder lost. I want them to win so bad. But ya thanks for the sports updates. And I loved the letter you sent dad, your email, it was great, I really really enjoyed it. thanks.
Mom, sounds like you are still busy. I don't know how manage rasing us kids, fulfilling your calling, and doing school all at the same time. I seriously don't get it. But is sounds like you do get around to doing what you need to. And thanks for the Krispe Kreame doughnuts, they were awesome. Just for your information, we only have 3 people in our district, Me, and my companions, elder gassant, and relleford. But ya, thanks for the 24 doughnuts you sent for us three, we really appretiate it. In fact i still have some in my residence.
Jonna, how are you doing, i replied to the letter you sent me last week, and you should have gotten it last week.
Hank, I sent you a letter too, I don't know when you'll respond back but I'm looking for it.
Jeri, How is it being the oldest in the home. Its fun huh? Oh, and beware if you do get your license, because you will become the new errand girl. Its not fun, so if you do get your license, be ready and know what you are getting yourself into. You end up spending more time driving for other people than you do yourself. so beware, and good luck. haha. Oh, and thanks for your letters, I really do appretiate them.
Addie, Good job on the steak!!! It sounds like I taught you well. Sounds like the steaks were cooked very good. Oh, and next year is your freshman year, right, well, I am here to remind you, that you should do track, and do the shotput and the disciss (?) throw. I seriously think, that you have the strength to be the best in the state at that. If you started your freshman year, and practiced and lifted and got stronger, by your senior year, there is no doubt in my mind that you could win state. Seriously, I know you think you really aren't that strong, but you are, your body is full of muscle, take advantage of it.
Carla, man, it sounds like you are just living the life, you get to go to that kid camp thingy all the time. it sounds so much fun. It sounds like you don't have a worry in the world right now. Oh, and let me know how the legend of Korra is, the other day, we were eating lunch and we over heard some new elders that came that week talking about it. I said to them, "hey, i watch that show but don't tell me anything big because i want to watch it when i get home" So ya, even other missionaries out here watch that show, my companion watches that show. A ton of people watch it, so ya, let me know how it is.
Well, I love you guys, and i miss you. I wish i could be home already but a mission is not that easy. I'm working hard and i think about all of you every day.
Love, A..J.
P.S. That vacation you want to plan, I would be totally satisfied if we went to disneyland for 3 days. Just FYI

Monday, June 18, 2012

(JONNA) June 18. Father's Day...First big storm

Hey Yall!
Happy Father's Day Dad!!! I'm glad yall liked my package. It wasn't much, but I thought yall would enjoy it. Also, Happy 25th Anniversary Mom & Dad!! Tomorrow, while you are celebrating, I will be at our "Sister's Conference." All the Sisters in the Mission get together and have a conference. It is fun, and I'll get to see my trainer again!
Sounds like things at home are going well.
Mom-Tell Tim Happy Birthday for me, will you? I don't have his address, but I know his birthday is this week. Tell him hi for me!
Hank-Good luck with transfers! Ours are the first week in July.
AJ-I got your letter. I'm gonna try to write one back this week.
Jeri-Look for a letter in the next week or so.
Family-I need a photo of Buster in the cone of shame!
Yesterday, in sacrament meeting, the Bishop spoke. He did a great job, but boy...let me tell about feeling trunky! Sister S and I both whispered to each other "Are you feeling trunky like I am?" Haha, we got over it, but talking about Father's Day was definitely a bit rough. Not sad, but rough. I was thinking about the last 2 Father's Days. Two years ago, we gave dad a card that sang "Little Bity." Remember that? (Actually, I think that was the song that was on right after I was set a part as a missionary too) Anyway, I have always loved that song and I thought Dad would like that card. I think he did :) Then, I remembered last year's Father's Day. I was at EFY in Flagstaff. I was planning on staying up there for 2 weeks straight. Then, I got a call from mom. She said, "There was a speaker in church that can't make it and Todd wanted to know if you could speak." So, I drove back to Mesa in between EFY sessions and stayed the night at Kylie & Charlie's place. I showed up to sacrament meeting and suprised dad there. Anyway, the memories made me smile :) In fact, the following quote was on the program:
"Brethren, noble fatherhood gives us a glimpse of the divine attributes of our Father in Heaven. A father should be many things. He should magnify his priesthood and be an example of righteousness. In companionship with his wife, he should be the source of stability and strength for the whole family. He should be the protector and the providor and the champion of the members of his family. Much of his love for his children should flow from his uncompromising example and he should instill character into his children." -James E. Faust (Ensign, July 2001).
Well dad, you are my champion! I like to think we've got some character as your kids, what do you think?  ;)
Well, onto my week...not much. The two baptisms we were hoping to have, have fallen through. We are trying to figure out what is going on with T.  Then, A still is working on (some things). It has been hard for him and we are doing all we can to help him out.
(By the way, Sister S is from Murray, UT. She went to high school with David Archuletta! She (and Sister H-a new Sister) hung out with him and his sister. Cool, huh? Sister S actually had conversations with him about his choice to go on a mission. Neat, ya??)
Guess what?? There was a crazy storm on Tuesday! Ok, for me it was crazy because I've never seen one like it before. Everyone else here was telling me it is normal. BUT, on Tuesday, about 6pm, we had blue skies. Out of nowhere, clouds came. They got darker and darker. I'm excited because I love thunderstorms. Then, by 7pm, there were black clouds coming at us. THEN, they turned green!! (I hear that means tornado-but I am not for sure) So, (because it was the safest thing to do...) Sister Salsberry and I pulled over and started to get photos and video of it! It was pretty awesome. We could see tons of birds flying away and then it started raining. The raindrops here are huge! It is the best.
Also, last week, we went shopping and Kylie...I have to tell you what I found! An Asian Pear! I know we have them in AZ, but I could never find them. So, I got a couple and boy, was it yummy! It has been almost 6 years since I've had one. Can you believe it? 6 years ago, we went to China?? Wow. And, I've been out longer now than I was there. Thats weird too.
So, how are the profiles coming? Here are those I've found: Ciara, Monica, Mom, Aunt Debi, Jeri, Sarah Baxter, Ross Ford, Sarah Lewis & Sarah Atkin (from 54th Ward long ago), David Little, Shye Peterson, Lindsey Layton, Kaylonnie, Ammon Clanton, Daliah & Jayze Flake, Brandon Flake, Lgan & Clarissa Baxter, Jim Wright, Molly Wright, Arielle Tanner, Mette, and Joseph Beecroft. CONGRATS to all these people! I loved reading their testimonies and hearing their stories. Everyone else who is a member of the Church...get on it! I WILL be checking. And, if I haven't found yours, I will be emailing/writing you individually. So, the challenge is again extended. What a blessing to those who read them. We get Media Referrals almost daily from So, people are reading and learning! For those who are not members of the Church. You should check out Our basic beliefs are there and then you can read the testimonies of church members from all over the world. And, there are videos of some too. It is awesome!
Ok, well I have to get going now. Pray that the hearts of those we are working with will soften. And, that the parents of those who want to learn will soften too. There are lots of youth now who are interested, but parents are not. It is hard. Pray for them!
Have an awesome week!
Sister Jackson

(HANK)- Father's Day- Baptism

hey mom how you doing? so buster got fixed, man that's funny about the cone of shame, haha i would have had a lot of fun with that! well yesterday we had the baptism, it was good. so yesterday at sacrament meeting i had to give a talk about fathers day, i was so nervous for it but i think i did ok. then i was stressing out about the baptism because it would happen right after church. oh the day before i had to call people for stuff and then pretty much make the program. after church we went into the primary room and set everything up. Boyd gave the talk on baptism and then after that Nathaniel got baptized. we went into the hallway where the font was and opened the doors and and everyone came out to see. he was baptized and we just waited in the room for them to come back in. he was baptized by one of the members in the branch. so when he came back in i gave the talk on the holy ghost and i was nervous for that, but i just gave like a 3-4 minute shpeel about the holy ghost. then we ended it and had lunch. i had to conduct the music too. Nathaniel will be confirmed next week. so yah that's pretty much how it went. it was my 4th baptism. this week also on Monday to Wednesday we had exchanges and it was awesome, i went with b from greenwood and we had a good time, i needed that break. were doing another one on Wednesday to Thursday. transfer info will be this Saturday and transfers in on Tuesday the 26th. oh also i celebrated my 21 month mark. 3 left! awesome! that pretty much sums up what this week was like, oh and i got money on my account, but its not enough for a camera. did you still want me to get one? or was this money for like normal stuff. I'm just wondering. well mom thanks for the letter ill talk to you next week and let you know what happens, for now though send stuff to the mission home just in case i leave. thanks again for everything, love ya bye!
love hank

hey dad how you doing? happy fathers day yesterday. i had to give as talk yesterday and i talked about you quite a bit. so yesterday we had the baptism and it was good, i talked about it in moms letter, so i think you'll read that. thanks for the letter dad, i liked reading it felt good after it. i thought about home a lot yesterday and thinking about what you guys would be doing for fathers day. i knew you guys were going to have steak, haha. sounds like it would have been good. i had a ham sandwich, just as good as steak. this week i went on exchange with greenwood missionaries and it was awesome, i really needed it. I'm looking forward to it again his week because we are doing another one. transfers are coming up and i think that one of us may be leaving. i thought that i would leave but now I'm not so sure so i guess we'll see. I'm going to write you next week and let you know whats going on. well dad thanks for your letter, I've already re-read it helped me out alot. ill talk to you next week, love ya bye!
love hank

June 11, 2012 (JONNA)

Boy has this week been intersting...first, it was so awesome to see the Harris family! We went to Spring Creek BBQ. That is where the Mission President takes the new missionaries right after they arrive. So, most missionaries only get to go once during their mission. So, it was such a treat when we got to go again! I hope the Harris' liked it. Boy, it was sure nice to see an AZ license plate pull up. Refreshing! And, to see familiar faces. I really, really appreciate them dropping by. They are awesome!
Man, sounds like things are so fun at home! Sister L have me a copy of Hermana L's email from last week! So cool to hear her talk about familiar things like the Mesa Grande Branch! It was cool to hear her perspective on the story of moving into our house! (For those who are reading and don't know what I'm talking about...a girl from the ward I'm serving in-in Humble-is serving in Mesa! She is now living in our house! So, we literally swapped places. Pretty awesome.) I also can't believe that I'm not in your stake anymore! Crazy. This new stake is definitely inspired, but I am a little sad about the change. As always, change is hard. Thats why a mission is so good for me. Change is always happening! But, keep me posted on the new Stake President, Bishops, etc!
Also, this week, I was on Ahem...some of you do not have your profiles yet! I am searching, and searching! In fact, I found a ton of people already! I left the list at home, but I am going to send you a list of those I found. If you don't have your profiles yet, yall should make them this week! Do it! Blessings to follow!
Well, the A/C has gone out at the library, and it is almost time to go. So, until next time!
Sister Jackson
PS-Mom, will you forward Hank & AJ's emails? I don't get them often. Thanks :)

June 12, 2012 (A.J.)

man, sounds like I'm missing out on a lot of stuff. Sounds like you guys are doing just fine without me, haha. just joking. Oh and mom if you could forward this to everyone, that would be great.
first of all, dad, thanks for those frequent "dear elder" sports update letters. i really enjoy them a lot. when i got that one about miley being 7-2 for the season and him being tied i was like "oh man, that's awesome, maybe he'll have a year like kennedy did last year." but nobody here likes the diamond backs as much as i do. the only person they really know on the d backs is like justin uptin. so i don't really have anybody to talk to when it comes to baseball. but the basketball ones are good too. everyone here gets updates from their parents about the playoffs, its funny. sometimes i find out who one before i even get your letter. but ya, i love the sports updates, keep them going will you.
 Oh but i am really excited to see Tim come tomorrow, I can't wait to see him. I know he will cheer me up a ton. I can just imagine how he is feeling right now and how he will feel once he gets here. For me, when we finally came up to the MTC is when it hit me. I was so scared and nervous, then the thing that really made me calm and feel a lot better, was I saw Kaden Dixon, one of my good friends. So i am going to look for Tim a ton so i can make him feel better, if he is feeling that way at all. Oh, and i got the letter about Brianna coming, i will definitely look for her too. June 27th right? Something else is on that day, what is it? OH YA JERI'S B DAY!!!!!! I'll send you a letter on your b day, ok. Oh so to answer some of your questions mom, I never met uncle Leslie's nephew or the elder who spoke in our ward that one week. there are like something around 2,000 missionaries here and its like, near impossible to find someone here, unless you know their schedule and where their classroom is and where their residence is. But I've seen Jacob Black here a lot too. I've probably seen him about 10 times. He leaves in i think 2 or 3 weeks. he must be excited. i wish i was leaving that soon. I still have another 5 weeks here. man its brutal. oh to answer some other questions, our teachers are really cool. they are all from Provo and 2 of them served in Florida, and the other one served in Boston. their names are, Brother Pixton, Brother Edwards, and Brother Nelson. They are all completely different. like Pixton is the super reverent one who always focuses on the spirit and talks with a super quiet voice. Brother Nelson is the guy who is cool, but also wants to stick to the lesson plan. And my favorite, actually all of our favorite's is Brother Edwards. He served in Fort Lauderdale Florida and he is just super cool. He knows how to have fun but teach at the same time. He knows when to joke around and when to be serious and focus on the spirit and lesson. he is awesome. But ya, so those are my teachers. and about the bike situation. i weigh about 160 pounds, so i don't know if that helps, and if i gain wait i might need a different one. (actually I've gained about 4 or 5 pounds since I've been here) haha. so ya, i hope that helps.
Well, Jonna, i got you're email and I loved the scripture you shared, the one in Alma, that scripture is great, and i can see why it hit you so hard. Oh and i will send you a personal handwritten letter this week, ok?
Hank, I sent you a letter this past week, you probably have it already by now, and by the time you get this, next week, you will probably have already replied, but ya. hope you enjoy it.
Jeri, like i said, I'll send you a hand written letter around your birthday. sounds like you're having a fun time with the water balloons and stuff.
Addie, thank you so much for your letter, i really loved it. again thank you so much. it was just what i needed. thanks.
Carla, how is that activity thing that mom put you in, sounds like you get to have a ton of fun.
Buster, hang in there with the cone of shame, they'll take it off soon. haha.
Well you guys, it sounds like you are having fun. i sure love you guys and i miss you. take care and be safe. 
Love, A.J.

June 11, 2012 (HANK)

hey mom how you doing? thanks for the letter, it sounds like things are going good back home. so what was this boredom buster thing that you were talking about? i do recall jumping off in the deep end when i didn't know how to swim, its kind of funny now that i think about it. so here in Philly we have a baptism next week. its this guy named Nathaniel. he was working with the past missionaries and then he showed up like 3 weeks ago randomly and told us he wanted to get baptized. so we set everything up and its going to happen next week. its going to be cool. well today is exchanges and I'm looking forward to it, I'm staying here and Bisel from greenwood is coming here for the next 2 days. transfers are in 2 weeks, there is a good chance that I'm going to be leaving. but we'll see. i keep in touch with aj and jonna. i write them in emails and stuff, and i get letters from them too. so its all good, that's crazy that aj has already been out for almost a month. he leaves the mtc July right? I'm glad that back home the girls are doing good, Carla especially sounds like shes having a lot of fun. i always hated getting blood drawn, I'm glad she did good. well that's really about it this week, oh and don't worry i didn't think you were getting pre Alzheimer's haha. ill talk to you next week, love ya bye!
love hank

Monday, June 11, 2012

(Hank)- a couple of pictures

April 2012- Hank's District

May 2012- Jackson District (Hank is back row, 2nd from left)