Vitora, Brazil

Vitora, Brazil

Sunday, January 24, 2016

There and Back Again, An Elder's Tale - 17 August 2015

Dear Family, 

12 tThough I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. uInstead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, vso that our joy may be complete.
3 John 1: 12

I love you all so much (more than much can describe)
Elder Jacobson (Andrew)

just a few more pictures

Keeping it Up - 10 August 2015

Dear Family,

This week went by so fast I don't know what to say. 

I love hearing the word from everyone writing me and even though my responses are not that long the words are greatly appreciated. 

I had another great experience this week in a division. We had a great day of work and even found a great family who´s daughter, upon explaining about the 8 years age mark for baptism, jumped up for joy and said ´that´s me, I want to be baptized´ it was so cute and spiritual that we left the house with big smiles a round of high-fives and then a prayer of thanks. Then in the feedback part of the division we had a great talk about how our vision of missionary work changes as we go. I left the conversation feeling very satisfied with our progress. 

The other highlight of the week might look like a sadness but I believe that it is part of a bigger plan. The other dupla in our house was teaching a married couple that at first the husband was not interested but after a little more he decided that wanted to be baptized with her. Unfortunately, he was then behind in his required amount of time keeping the commandments and had to be told that his baptism required another few days of preparation. With this news he became a little offended and sad and then didn't even come to church on Sunday(his original date for baptism). We all are feeling kind of bad that we did our best to be obedient and we did our best to explain it to him but he was still offended. But, then I just have to remember that the Lord has a bigger plan. Its always bigger and we can trust in him. I hope I can see this bigger plan in the next few weeks.

I love you all and really cant wait to see you all and be able to really express how much this mission is blessing my life. 
Elder Jacobson (Andrew) 

Check out this rainbow

This was a ward party

This is the lovely pizza my companion made

Mission Friends

Seven layer magic bars at the ward party

A Missionary Promise - 3 August 2015

Dear Family,

The entire week is gunna be pretty easily summarized in the teaching and preparing of one very special person for a very special decision. Her name is Christiane.

Christiane was a woman that we met at a family night about 3 weeks ago but until last Monday was not really available to be taught and was also kind of nervous to receive us in her house. But last Sunday we got a phone call with a marked appointment for Monday (pday) at 3 o clock. For those who don't know that is prime sleeping time. We decided to sacrifice. It was a simple lesson. She expressed her doubts, we taught a little about the restoration and the importance of being baptized in the Church or in other words becoming a member and staying firm. She had her doubts but a simple promise was made. A very familiar promise. `I know that if YOU study, ponder, and pray to God this week with all your heart, you will be ready and your prayer will be answered. ´ 

It was a long week of teaching. She allowed us to come everyday and on Friday she accepted an interview to know if she was actually prepared. She continued feeling the spirit and everything seem to be completing that promise. But, she still didn't have a response. She decided to fast after learning that it was fast Sunday and kept preparing. On Saturday at about 5:30 she declared that she wanted to be baptized. To our and her shock the entire family was present and some friends to. It was a wonderful and unforgettable experience.

We hear those talks in church about Christ waiting until the 4th watch and making us endure to the end, but I was given the privilege to see it this week. I also got to see the power of a simple but honest promise made by His representatives. I just love this mission so much. 

I know that there is just a short time left but I am praying that is goes slow. I love you all and await your smiling faced at the next encounter. Have a wonderful day and consider going out with the missionaries if you like. 

Elder Jacobson (Andrew)

28 Days - 27 July 2015

Dear Family, 

What did you think about that trunkiness? Wow we worked so much this week and we wont even stop today. Because we have a 3o´clock visit on a pday. Like, who does that right?

Well, the week went great. We spent our whole week dividing with other duplas and helping them with their investigators. I liked to see the other missionaries and the hard work they are putting in to the mission. Still, almost no one knows that I am going home this transfer so they expect me to work normally and in response I keep working normally. I wish I had been bolder at the beginning of the mission. 

Then on Friday we were back in our area and we decided to compete with the zone to see who could mark more dates. We lost by one and now we have to pay for the next acai at the next division. 

Then when Sunday rolled around we were able to get two investigators at church and we had a funny, not funny experience. Our elect investigator decided to go to a party Saturday night and woke up on Sunday so repentant but incapable of going to church. Hopefully she remembers that feeling and decides to stay away from those type of things in the future. 

But, this pday we got the whole zone up at 4 in the morning to climb a nearby mountain and see the sunrise. I am exhausted right now but we have some beautiful pictures and a wonderful experience. 

I also gave a talk on Sunday and it was the first time that I took to long. The bishop gave me that little reminder in front of everyone. how embarrassing. I think it is because I was getting used to the 15 min talks back in my last ward and I kind of forgot that the first speaker in a bigger ward is supposed to have only 7. But, In the end I learned and I was grateful to sit down. 

I hope everyone has a marvelous day. 
I feel your prayers and love for me as I'm sure my twin and big sis are feeling too. 
Elder Jacobson (Andrew)

I felt like Spiderman for  a moment

it was a blast

Best Rejection Ever - 20 July 2015

Dear Family,

So the week went by really fast and before we knew it there was no-one at church and it was kind of a rough week but don't sweat it, it'll be better this week. 

We had the funniest rejection ever yesterday. We knocked on a house that had plenty of small apartments and the first lady opened the door (even though we were knocking to call the person in the 5th apartment) then she looked at us, cussed about 4 times and said. ´vai tomar banho @#$%#@# @#$%@#´.. or ´go take a shower´. it was kind of a strange retort but I burst out laughing and then the family came and had to ask us why I was laughing. 

So the ward started playing volleyball 3 times a week and we decided to ´work with the members´. We quickly found 3 investigators (3 young men) and started teaching  (playing) I loved playing volleyball and we are having a good time teaching too. 

I just wanted to say to close off that our testimonies grow as we seek to use them. I loved the report from pageant and hope that after pageant and the mission we can keep using our testimonies to help others. 

Love you all, 

Elder Jacobson (Andrew)

sorry ill get photos next week

The Beginning of all the LASTs - 13 July 2015

Dear Family,

Yes, that was a very trunky title. I will not try to hide that I am not trunky. Yes, I now admit that but I will not stop thinking of the mission until the last day. But after finishing off now my 3rd companion it is my turn to do the favor. haha

We had a normal last week of the transfer. I did lots of divisions and went with my companion to everyplace imaginable saying goodbye to people. It was fun and kind of tiring. 

Also this week the ward had a special Sunday ´the day that no one is absent´ and the frequency doubled to 168 people. it was pretty cool. I was wondering if the church has ever done this there. it seems like a great idea but if we double our frequency there wouldn't be space. 

Well, that was basically the week. Lastly, I learned this week that man´s wisdom is far inferior to God´s. We had plenty of changes on the mission that no one expected and it is obvious that the Lords hand is making it happen. Hope that we can all trust more and more the decisions of leaders and the spirit that exists and acts in them to lead His Church. 

Love you all,
Elder Jacobson

Me and Elder Monteiro

Limhi´s last selfie

just tell me I have a great face, especially with a bird on my back. haha

Broken Hearts - 6 July 2015

Dear Family,

How ya´ll doing? No don't worry, I don't have a broken hearts. Our investigator did and in having so, she accepted the message and is changing her life. 

So last Tuesday we were just going through the rounds. right. visiting all the investigators and such. But when we got to this families house we noticed that this girl was much more interested that before. So, we focused our teaching to her (Naiane) and invited her to follow and become a member of the Church. She fully accepted and she started preparing by herself. So, normally we teach people the commandments and they change their lives to follow right. Before we taught her about the Law of Chastity, she had already decided that it was time for her to finish with her boyfriend. She also read the Book of Mormon everyday and despite being shy was praying every visit. He family at first made fun of her for the decision but she stuck it through and now her family wants to follow her example. 

He are also helping a man to stop smoking. His name is Tárcio. He recently separated from his wife and you can say that he is looking for something in his life. He has quickly decreased from 20 to 2 cigarettes per day but the last few are always the hardest.  

I just don't have that much new stuff to say. My companion has only 7 days left and this week is gunna be tough for me emotionally but it'll be my 3rd time like this so I'll get through it. But to finish up I'll just send a bunch of Pictures. 

Elder Jacobson (Andrew)

my awesome companion and I

Naiane´s baptism

other silly pics

UPs and DOWNs - 29 June 2015

Dear Family, 

This was a great week. I learned a lot and I grew. That´s what´s most important, right? Well, ill just give a touch up on the important points of the week and then I just wanted to leave my summary of new parts of my testimony. 

First off, we unfortunately lost our amazing Michel. Basically we have not been able to talk to him all week and his wife, we discovered, does not exactly want to talk to us. It was a disappointment but we got over it. We are going to write a card to him and see if he will respond. 

Anyhow, we had a great experience this week exchanges. We were able to go with Elder Costa and Elder Conde. A dupla with about 7 months of mission experience combined. As a dupla they had been working together and searching for a way to work more effectively and in a more focused manner. They told us in the division that during the time that me and my companion are here and during the trainings they both felt that these responses were received. That just made us both so happy that we were able to be placed here to help these two excellent missionaries. 

We also had what was the best ward activity of my mission this week. It was a Millionaire game and since in Portuguese the word million is also the word for a large piece of corn they had a corn bakeoff. I found out that our Ward mission leader is the recognized best chef in the state and he made an excellent corn on the cob. 

The next day we had interviews with president. I have never been so converted to the principle that our leaders are higher up and know things because they have a better angle and vision. He is a very inspired man and a wise leader. I would like to one day be like him. Even though the interviews are marked to last 20 min, mine was just under 50 and I enjoyed every minute. 

Overall, this week I learned about patience and love for others. Along with these stories there were plenty of times this week that I was not so happy with some people. We asked that some things could get done and after several days of repeating the request we became impatient. But, I was able to think today about how many times My Heavenly Father expects more from me and I don't do it. I learned again to see the bright side and acknowledge to others that positive part. I learned about the immense patience that God has for us. 

Know that I am well, not trunky, and very happy to be here and learning these things. I love you all and thank you again for the support. 

Elder Jacobson (Andrew)

PS, I learned this week that the box was sent back. it might end up in Texas

last pday activities

The Elects are Prepared 22 June 2015

Dear Family,

This week was basically the most normal week of the mission except for one thing. Michel

Michel is a 24 year old man that lives with his wife and daughter about 4 minute walking distance from the church. He studies a lot and was also working plenty up until this Sunday. I believe he will end up being my favorite investigator. So we met him on Thursday and despite already being late to his class he accepted to hear our short 5 min explanation about the church. He liked the summary and understood very well that when he knows that this is the true gospel he should follow it, putting his faith to the test, and be baptized. He asked for a pamphlet to read and we gave him the Restoration pamphlet with our number and he said he would like to go to church. So, we got his number and ended our brief exchange. 

Unfortunately he was busy until Sunday and we only got to talk to him on the phone. But he was excited for the visit. Sunday morning he had two road blocks. First his mother-in-law got sick and needed medicine and also his wife's family all came to visit but he remained firm in his decision to visit the church. on the walk to church he surprised us by giving a summary of the pamphlet and showing his comprehension about the importance of the priesthood (which is typically the most difficultly explained doctrine) he also said ´até fica perto para a gente´ referring to the church which means ´oh, the church is even close for us to get to´ an obvious sign that he is thinking on being at least a frequent visitor. 

Then the church visit was great, we found out that a member was one of his favorite teachers from college that has just 4 months prior become a member and he left the last class saying how he loved that the church focusses on how to make us all better people. He says that with all the teachings he actually feels capable of fully improving his life. Knowing that we would not have much time during the week to teach him, we quickly summarized the Word of Wisdom, which talks about basically coffee and drinking, and told him we had a very special invite to give him. To this he responded, ´baptism´ (And the heavenly choirs in my heart shouted hosannas as heard these words).  He accepted a date for next Sunday and cleared up time in his schedule so we can visit on Tuesday. What a man!

 I am so touched by his humility and receptiveness to the spirit. I look forward to years of friendship and spiritual experiences with him. 

But, that was basically my week. I don't even have a picture to send. Please forgive me. 

Elder Jacobson (Andrew)

Finding Planted Seeds - 15 June 2015

Dear Family,

This was a really fun week but also I have never been more tired. It was really the spirit and just adrenaline that kept me on my feet until Sunday night. 

I have started off the week with a great fear. This ward gives us so much food I'm am sure I'm gunna get fat. Lunch is huge and every house that receives us has food or sweets just to make us happy. My companion is on his 30 days until house diet and refuses all the food and it comes down to me to not disappoint the entire populous. Not  fair. But I will restart up my exercises and try to keep it under control. 

So, we had another inspiring meeting with President Young and we learned a lot about looking for the mature seeds or in our training the mature bananas. Sometimes we end up teaching lots of people in our missions but in order for us to touch more lives we need to look for the people that are ready to be touched. We cant just force it upon everyone. We also learned from our excellent Assistant about working with members and how to strengthen the ward as well as our investigators. All of this inspired us to work really hard with these points. But, after the meeting talking with the assistants we agreed that the mission is a lot less animated as it used to be. We are not leaving meetings with the same kind of energy that we had and the mission is feeling the difference. So, we made a plan.

Two days after this meeting was our Zone Meeting and it was much different than all the other ones that i have prepared. We had very simple and direct trainings. The two missionaries going home gave powerful testimonies and then a miniature pep rally inside the baptismal font. (without water). Followed by inspirational videos and an awesome testimony by Elder Eyring. The assistants affirmed that it was the best one ever. We were so happy that it worked out but also it was a lot of work. Waking up at 5:30 and then not getting out of a shirt and tie until 10 at night. and the next day was church so no resting there. 

We also had a really special baptism on Saturday. About a year ago Elder Mitchell (my trainer) passed through this area and was teaching a family. Well, now we are here and this family decided that they have received the response and want to follow it. Marriage ceremony in about 5 weeks for the parents and there son was given the Holy Ghost yesterday. What a great family!!

Lastly, I am working on that little my family pamphlet and wanted to ask for help from all the relatives to send pictures of aunts/uncles/grandparents/and cousins. If you have these pictures just reply to this email with a photo so I can print it out and use it in the pamphlet. 

Well, I wish everyone a great week and a great move for the Jacobson Family. #partiuvirginia

Elder Jacobson (Andrew)