Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 13, 2013

There was no real letter today because of the great Mother’s Day Skype that happened the day before. Jack looked and sounded great.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Dust Off and Get Back On That Horse!–May 6, 2013

So many might think that when you become a missionary life becomes rainbows and butterflies:) That nothing can cause you too loose that spring in your step and cause you to feel tired. Even myself, I looked at missionaries as superheroes and invincible men that did God's work. I guess to a measure this is very true and to another it's only what many see on the surface. Mission takes and makes you into the things God wants you to be and transforms you into the person you are meant to be.

I guess this is best described from a members talk in church a Sunday a few weeks ago. She works with clothing and making clothes. She talked about the cloth being folded, cut, stitched, ironed, and having it happen more than one time. That all of these steps were needed to make a very nice piece of clothing. She then related it to all of us. We are constantly being "folded, cut, stitched, ironed, and repeating of these steps" in our own lives so that we will one day become that beautiful article of clothing. Then she said something that, for as simple as it was, hit home for me. That we need to remember that Heavenly Father is the one turning us and making us. That it is by his hand we are crafted from raw material to a master piece.

This week was a challenge for me. I faced many nights overwhelmed by the feeling of all my responsibilities in my life. I wished I could simply crawl under a rock and hide away. It wasn't until later did I see this was Satan at his best to get me to crumble. I then took my problems to my knees. It's funny many of our trials take us down to our knees to call on that God that gave us life. I guess the sooner we get to our knees the sooner we invite the mercy to overcome the pain. For as soon as I found myself on my knees in prayer I noticed my problems and aching of my heart stop, the love of the Lord was with me. I invite all who read this letter today, if you are facing trials or not, to invite the lord's love to fill the cracks of your life to stand up again.

Not all was lost this week, if this letter sounds like the end of the world cause it isn't. The Ackermanns, the less active family we've been working close with, went to the temple grounds as a family and had an amazing experience. It was able to give sister Ackermann the power to keep going to get over smoking and have the family know this was their goal now. It was really great to visit them yesterday an see many church pictures hung up in nice frames all over the house, the greatest was a "NO SMOKING" sign outside the front door. Then also on Sunday brother Ackermann got the Aaronic priesthood! What a mile stone it was! The entire family has come back in full strength and you can feel the change in them and the home. That was my greatest blessing to be apart of!

So in conclusion, I want to go back to my families cowboy roots to give this final message. It doesn't matter how many times you get thrown from the horse, it MATTERS how many times you dust yourself off and get back on! Never give up and kick the trails in the butt! We are stronger than we let ourselves think.

I'm excited to see you this Sunday over Skype and I hope you all are too.

Love your Son and Brother,
Elder Jack F Dalton

Monday, April 29, 2013

Lighting the Fires and Kicking the Tires–April 29, 2013

It's been a very interesting week of ups and downs, maybe even some sideways:) Still it's been a good week with more unique things happening. I've also had a confirming feeling of my "talents" that has been given to me. This week has been full of teaching, inspiring, and foundation laying. It's one that shows some work is going to get done, and I get to be the one to kick a few butts into gear.

I need to give you some background to "set the stage". Our ward in Rynfield is very nice and seems to get along, this is what many see on the top layer. It's come to our attention that their are some major cracks in the ward and the Bishop is trying to take it all on himself, often with the job of damage control. Many tragic this have happened since I've been here and I've been in the midst of it all, often told of things that are out of my priesthood keys, but since we seem to be the only ones running around to the ward we get to see it all. There is absolutely very limited home teaching being done, more than the average slack. There is also unseen barriers in the ward by class and race. Overall, the ward is missing the "Ward Family" feeling and it's every member for themselves.

We then went into action with what we needed to do. With our position and purpose we've seen and set appointments with key leadership in the ward. We've been teaching about service and using the Savior as the focus point to it all. This has caused many of our leadership to start too "Gird up their loins and be like men". We've also had a long and good meeting with our bishop, who told us he has heard amazing feed back about us and that he wants to send a request I stay for a while. We talked about things in the ward, families he needs us to focus on, and his requirements so we can help him. I felt very complimented that whole time and even at the statement he said " I'm going to be leaning on you guys a lot, we need your help", could he have said anything better to make me feel like a superhero and ready to take action to serve? I don't think so:) We were also given all rights to meetings to be a part of the ward as much as possible! Woo whoo!

From all the work we have been doing in teaching and growing our little tree in Rynfield it's starting to take major roots. I finally feel that the whole body of the ward is finally on the move and heading in the right direction. It's another testament to me that if I simply keep chipping at the mountain ahead it will fall! That is my message to everyone this week, just keep chipping away even if the end is not so clear. Also remember "You can't be wrong by doing right, and you can't be right by doing wrong"-Elder Soares

I'm doing very well and love you all. I'm excited to talk to you all in two weeks:) exciting!

Love your son and Brother,
Elder Jack F Dalton

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pictures–April 22, 2013


The BEST street – I tried to find the BEST address!

The Blessings of Job and the Power of the Priesthood–April 22, 2013

Sounds like your week was pretty sweet and normal:) It's fun to have an easy week of the norm that is full of exciting things:) First tell the Vance's I'm so happy for them and their new baby girl! It's funny to think that when I left there wasn't even a whisper of them having another child:) LOl kind of cool to think about:) I also I'm so excited that Tyler has gotten the call of calls:) I never thought the world could handle two First ward boys in the same mission? I got a feeling that the mission is need of some serious power from heaven, that's why they come knocking at our wards door:) All of us were taught, tested, and supported for mission, a lot more than the missionaries I see out here today. I testify the words of mom, " It does take a ward to raise a child."

Testifying is really what I feel I've been doing the most:) Our week has been a huge blessing and seen miracles. It's funny how last week I likened it to Job in the bible. If that was the case, then this week the Lord poured out a blessing twice as big as before. For example, we were blessed with teaching 20 lessons this week, where the area record is 15. We also have two people on date for baptism and three others we are challenging this week. On top of it all was the amount of the spirit I felt this week and the power I felt by using my priesthood.

Let me start from the "least" to the best to me, even though all these blessings are great. We tracted about a week ago into a Father Lead family with the surname Sothoani. The first time the husband opened the door right away and let us in, first shock to me. We met his wife and little boy and began to give our message of the restoration. Afterward, through different miscommunication, didn't see them for many days, this got us worried we had lost them. We then chose to go back around the time we found them, they were so happy to reach us. They had told us that we had brought the most "unusual" spirit last time and they knew we were men from God. Through the week we taught again the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation. My favorite was teaching the Plan of Salvation. They are a very smart young couple that as we taught kept saying things like, "Oh, that makes sense", "Interesting", and " I never knew how it all fit together". Probably my favorite thing in that lesson is when Vuci, the father who has studied religion, put together how the Book of Mormon helps the bible to fill in the gaps. The spirit was strong and we are now excited to go back and teach about Baptisms.

The last two major miracles happened to my beloved family the Ackermanns. We pulled up on Tuesday this week to have a lesson to find on their gate a "For Sale" sign. My heart sank immediately at the sign and thoughts swamped my head that I might loose this family. Inside I said a prayer that we might continue to teach them and not loose them. As we went in we were told the the man who they were renting from needs to sell the house and that the first person with the money can buy the place. We also found from Oma, which is grandma in Afrikaans, the Brother and Sister Ackermann were talking to the people now and would be back soon. When they got back, we had a long talk with them about what was happening. We taught them that this was the first major test since they've started to change their life. We also poured over the scriptures to teach them to continue in faith and show courage in their tithe. It was very powerful to listen to how they would continue to go forward with faith. They expressed a great hope in even if they have to move again, It maybe that Heavenly Father has something better for them. I was on the verge of tears at the family I love so so so so much. I then began to teach about how great blessings come from "burying the weapons of our own rebellion". That was mainly to Sis Ackermann and her smoking habit that we were working on, because she is the last one in the family that was struggling to give it up.

Needless to say the blessings have sense began to pour out. We just stopped by the next day to check on them, to have Sis Ackermann very excited to tell us that Saturday was the day she's giving up smoking, I was shocked! Here was the woman that never said she would give it up. The woman who needed a list of things to happen first before giving it up. Yet, she told us that day we left her with a new sense to change and talked with her husband. We then planned on fasting together and that we would give out blessings after. It wasn't long until they told us of blessings. They said that a ward member just showed up with two huge black bags full of clothes for the twins! And how that day they were worried how they would buy the twins new clothes on top of everything! Then this Sunday we got the news we were waiting for, Bishop told Brother Ackermann that 2 more weeks until he could get the priesthood! I could've died at that news! So I can testify that blessings are coming to this family, I'm very excited what the Lord has instore next.

So that was just the first side of the Major blessings. The second also involves the Ackermann family. Brother Ackermann on the way from a far away job picked up his friend to come and stay with them. The two have been friends for ages and his friend was going through a very hard time. His wife had left him for another man, his job had fallen through, and the people he was staying with where horrible abusers. So as a result we met brother Albetus, a 52 white Afrikaans broken man. That's just the kind of person missionaries help! The Ackermanns had told him a lot about the church and how they were changing. He had also noticed the change of heart in Brother Ackermann ( Who just for the sense is only 42), from party man to calm church goer. Our first lesson was on Christ and the atonement, but it quickly changed to a power house of the spirit and tears as we talked to Albetus. He told us that the words we were speaking to him were hitting home. WE then invited him to church with the Ackermanns the next day. After church, when we went to break our fast with the Ackermanns and give blessings he was sitting with Brother Ackermann watching a Restoration video to understand the church. It was cool to see the Ackermanns testifying of their religion again and to see how far they have come. But before giving a lesson we needed to give oma and Sister Ackermann blessings. I'll tell you these blessings that I had the right to give where a powerful testimony to these women that god loved them. It also answered the questions of their hearts as they told us after. We then gave a blessing to Albetus.

Later, as our lesson went on Albetus asked us where this power came from? He told us as soon as I placed my hands on his head all of his worry left him and he felt a comfort never before known, and he wanted more of it. We would go on for the next two and a half hours teaching. He had questions about the temple, why there where so many churches, Joseph Smith, what God expected of him, and (my favorite) how do I join your church? It was a missionary dream to have someone really asking us questions of life and then accepting them on the spot. After it all he was so determined that it was time to change everything and listen to everything we would give him. What a humbling experience to see someone broken notice the prompting of the spirit and answer the call to change! It was Freak'n SWEET!

So needless to say we've been rocking it and the Lord has been blessing us for it:) I'm happy and excited to see all of the change Rynfeild is making from when I first got here. It has turned upside down and moving at a powerful rate, especially for a town area!

Have a great week and know I love you so much:)

Love your Son and Brother,
Elder Jack F Dalton

P.S. Oh I almost forgot, I've already made solid plans to Skype you on mother's day! So Woot Woot!


The Week Like Job–April 15, 2013

Sounds to me like you are happy and well. I'm very excited and laughed very hard at the fact that Jacob finally bought his colored jeans, yellow ones too! That is so Jacob's style and fashion, I'm sure he rocks them wherever he goes.It makes me also feel very weird to know that Jillian got her driving permit, and one the first try no doubt! It's weird to imagine my little sister driving and my little bother. I'm sure that will take getting used too when I get back, but now they can drive themselves everywhere.

I've thought a lot about you guys this week. This week was one that challenged the thoughts of missionaries, with the challenge of why am I here. We had three days this week in a row cancel on us and we were left with no one to teach. When a missionary has no one to go and see, it kind of blows up their purpose. I felt myself feel very discourage, this caused me to ask myself serious questions. Then came a great lesson I learned, it was a beautiful spiritual confirmation of patience and long-suffering.

After the first day of no one to teach, I was prompted to study the account of Job in the Holy Bible. I read about this man who was being blessed right and left, one who was doing the things he should be. Then a great challenge was placed on him, where Satan caused many of his "possessions" to be taken away, even to the loss of his good health. Job was in the depths of great affliction and suffering, yet still he persisted to praise god. My favorite part of what Job said something like this, "Gird up your loins and be a man". This statement made me laugh so hard! Basically the scriptures were telling me to man up and go forward.

In the end of the account of Job, comes the happily ever after part. In the end, after showing faith unto God and never giving up, he was blessed with double he had at the start. He once regained all that he had lost and was given even more. I testify that this promise is true to all of us. How often do we feel overcome with the struggles of life or the temptations of addiction that we "seem" to lose everything we had? How often does it seem like the heavens have shut their doors and left us too the wolfs of Satan? It is often in these times do we show the faith we believe in and often need to fall to our knees in humble prayer. At the time of great pain and anguish it may seem that there is no end to the torment, but I tell you there is! The hope we have in Jesus Christ and his everlasting atonement gives us that light at the end of our tunnels of challenges. And similar to Job, if we endure well what is placed before us, we will receive our own blessings greater than the first.

My challenge to you my family, and even to all of those that I send this too is to seek the testimony of the Savior. Learn to use his sacrifice and his gospel to give you the light you need in your darkest of hours. The reinforcement is coming, the day dawn is breaking, and the train is coming in to rescue you; all you need to do is trust in the lord's timing and power. He asks you to jump off the edge, so that he can make you fly!

As we did our best to endure well, mainly tracting. We found a new Father lead family to begin teaching. WE also had more lessons on Sunday that made up for our lost three days. So this is my testimony, it is true, and it is for you.

Never give up your Faith and Hope in a better world! It is coming!

I loved General Conference so much. It always refills my tank spiritually. My favorite talks were from Elder Uctdorhf about tittles we hold in priesthood session, President Thomas S Monson's talk about obedience in Sunday morning, and finally Elder Holland's talk about faith leading in Sunday Afternoon. It was an awesome conference and the place to be. It was also cool to think that I only have one more until I'm back home with all of you, and the next time there is a Spring conference I'll be back!

Thank you for all of your prayers that lift me and protect me. It is amazing to be on the receiving end of so much faith:)

Have a great week and enjoy work/school:) Also again Happy Birthday to MOM! Your the best looking and hottest 40 year old I know:)

All my love and know All is well:)

Love your Son and Brother,
Elder Jack F Dalton

Pictures–April 8, 2013