Monday, September 10, 2012

(JONNA): Back in Woodville after a few days in Louisiana

Hey Y'all!
Well, another week has flown by. I cannot believe that Hank gets home in a week. My goodness. I am not going to lie-it makes me a little sad. I am trying not to get homesick about it, but I still want to hear about him and how the homecoming goes. Can yall believe I've been out 7 months now? That is crazy. Two more and I'm half way through. Which does make me sad. I feel like I should be a lot more mature and more strong of a missionary by now. Sheesh...I've got LOTS to learn in the next 11 months. The last few weeks, I have gotten overwhelmed at how little time I have left. (Ok-yet sometimes it seems like a LOT of time left too) But, seriously, I have a ton to work on. I am not the missionary I want to be yet. I am really trying to, but it is a process. I hope that I figure it out soon. (With my luck I'll figure it out my last transfer!)
Things have gone alright this week. I did love Louisiana! Sister Tuig and I are super similar in a lot of things. Both the oldest of 6, she is 24 (turns 25 in about a week though), and lots of similar experiences and thoughts. Oh how I LOVED her. Probably my favorite exchange so far. We worked hard, we were busy, and we had fun. I learned a lot about being bold with her. She really takes her calling seriously and she was a fantastic example to me. 
...This morning, I cleaned the whole apartment by myself.  As I was cleaning, I realized how good I felt working. I realized that I wasn't tired and I was ready to work! (missionary work and cleaning work). I got a LOT done (I even took a toothbrush to the moldy parts of the bathroom and windexed our sliding glass doors). I was sweaty, gross, but happy. I finished, showered, made breakfast, and began to study. I realized as I was studying that I am happy when I am working. (ok, I've always known that, but it was a lot more realized). I realized that the first 6 months were difficult in relation to the sleep schedule. Getting up at 6:30am is rough. And, it is really hard when your comp sleeps in... Yet, today, I realized that because I am trying to be obedient with the schedule, my body has adjusted and my body is expecting to be woken up, worn out, and ready for bed by evening. I am tired a lot, but I am happy. The last month, I am MORE tired when I get to bed past 10:30 and I am MORE tired when I get up past 6:30. Huh-who would have thought of THAT?? Golly, I feel a little foolish that it has taken me this long to realize that obedience it truly freedom. However, I am glad to have learned this. I do not expect the next 11 months to be a piece of cake, but I am feeling more of a desire to STAY obedient no matter the difficulty. 
The rest of the week was good. We taught Ann the Word of Wisdom. Which we were nervous about, but it went well. She was happy to live it, but still needs help. Her date has been moved to the 23rd (hoping she makes it!)
We had Zone Meeting in Beaumont on Friday. I liked it, it was a nice meeting. We are the only sisters in the zone. (Which is a relief. I'm not a fan of "Girl time! Let's go sit in this corner and chat because we are girls and we don't play sports or eat with the guys." Ugh, I hate it. Sometimes, I just want to talk to the Elders about not-girly-things instead of ban together with the other Sisters and have "girl time." ugh. Makes me sick.) Well, zone meeting was good. So many of the missionaries I know well are leaving in the coming months. Very soon, we will be the "older" missionaries around. Elder Mat has one transfer left and Sister Co has 2. Weird. I don't like it.
Yesterday was Sunday and we had a GREAT sacrament meeting yesterday. We had some stake speakers come and I wish I had a copy of the talks. They were SO good. It reminded me of a 20th Ward feel again. Two weeks in a row...sweet! Let's hope that I don't ruin it when I speak on the 23rd. Haha! We had a fish fry lunch with the Wheels yesterday. I am eating more fish than I did in China. Ugh. Although I am getting used to it. And then we had hamburgers with Milton and Betty O's family. I LOVE Betty O. She is Mom's age and such a wonderful woman. I love her sweet example and the love she has for everyone. She carries such large burdens, but she is pure in heart-for real. Her son, Jarom, is leaving on a mission to the Phillipines (sp?) on Oct 10. So, she is going through the same "Missionary Mom Syndrome" that mom went through. :) But, I love her so much. She is one I will for sure keep in contact with forever. 
Ok, read all yalls emails. Boy, Addie is in badminton???? When did this happen? I had no idea! What the heck? Is Coach Anderes still the coach? I thought she retired. Send me photos! Also, congrats to Jeri on Homecoming! I never got to go to Homecoming. Send me photos of that too! And, mom, don't send me a package of anything until I send one home to yall. I am going to send yall my camera cards in a package. So, when you get the cards, download them onto the computer and put them right back into a package to send back to me. Don't delete the photos off of the cards though. I may still need the photos. You're gonna get a LOT of photos and Also, for Jeri again. Our music rule has been lifted! We no longer are restricted to only MoTab! (Which I do like!) We can listen to any uplifting, wholesome, Spiritual music. So...homework for that package. Could yall send me any Clyde Bawden Cds, Reflections of Christ, and my 2011 EFY CD "Believe Hope Endure"? They should all be on iTunes. Just send me copies if you want. Also, Jeri-back to music. Here are a list of songs I want :)
Stand in the Light
Courage to Stand Strong
These are the Days
Walking in Sunlight
Light of a New Day
For the Strength of Youth
Nearer, My God to Thee
Come to the Mountain of the Lord
Love Comes Back
(And any other songs that you want to add to the CD that you think are spiritual. They don't have to be from Just any songs we have already. Just fill this Cd with Spiritual goodness!!)
So, if yall could work on that and send it whenever, that'd be great. Just, wait until I send my camera cards first :)
Got all the photos you sent me. Thanks! Sad day that the hermanas are leaving. I wish I could meet them. If any are still there when I get home, I will have to seek them out. I think Hermana Larson will be back in TX though, hopefully I will get to meet her before I leave here! Thanks for the photos of Hank. Gosh Hank, smile much?? Smile bigger :) :) Its ok. I was going to send you a decorated planner as a welcome home gift, but we don't have any to spare. Sorry :( Enjoy your last few moments. And, get that letter to me! Haha
 Dad, how cool you were on TV again. Sweet. And, AJ-good luck with that ward. I've realized just how awesome 20th Ward is as I am out here more. But part of our duties are to help strengthen the members. Good luck! Can you believe it will only be us two??
Well, I do need to get going. Just one last FYI, we have a temple trip coming up on the 18th. We will get to go to the distribution center and LDS bookstore there. I may spend some money. Hope that is ok. I won't go crazy, but there are some things I need (like a sripture case...still). Let me know. (Also, about my ballot too!)
Love yall!
Sister Jackson

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