(Jackson in his apartment, now serving in Oslo)
If you see the missionaries don't just look at them and go "hey Jackson is one of those" and just look at them. Go say hi !!! They need it in their lives !! They want to talk to normal people and have normal conversations. Tell them that your friend is in Norway serving a mission and they will be so excited to talk to you. They won't always be trying to convert you. Please go up to them because there's nothing better than having someone come talk to you and be like "I know missionaries" it really makes their day. And if you're feeling real generous invite them to go get some ice cream. Missionaries love ice cream.
We watched a little of conference on Saturday night, but then watched all Sunday and caught up on the ones we missed, on Sunday night. My boy, D. Todd Christofferson coming in clutch and President Nelson too, those were good.
Last week we were late for an appointment so we had to drive and I'm the only one that could drive so I got to drive in Europe. And not only that, but the directions took us through the middle of the city. Yep, I drove in the busiest city in Norway in a Norwegian car after not being behind the wheel for more than three months.
We taught this guy who came up to us on the street and told us that some missionaries helped him quit smoking ten years ago, but then five years ago he started up again. So on Tuesday last week, we went over to his house and shared with him the stop smoking program. We went over and started talking to him and his son was there too. So we went through the program step by step and he was so willing to quit, it was incredible and so cool to see the will of a man. But even more so was that his son was so ready for his dad to quit and he stayed and listened while we helped his dad through the steps. This little boy was so grateful that we were there to help his dad quit this nasty habit and be anew. What struck me is that we weren't even sharing deep principles, but simple ones such as prayer and a belief that God will help you if you allow him. I loved that we were able to help this man with something he really desired and wanted to quit. That, as a fellow man, we could assist him and really just be there to help him when it got hard. We text him every day and now he has been 7 days without a smoke. We are meeting him again tomorrow and he is so excited. So cool to just see how we can help out and be friends with people who need it.
I am so thrilled when I get to be friends to those who may not have so many. It makes me feel so good inside when these people feel a real connection to me even though I may not be able to communicate with them so well, that I can just smile and they smile back, especially if you're feeling lonely even though you're not alone. It's a terrible feeling, but I can be there to help these people. No, they're not miserable but life is so much easier when you have a couple of homies. So, even if I don't get one baptism if I can be friends with a couple of members who need it, that is more than enough for me in a lifetime.
People we stop on the street ask us all the time why bad things happen and we have no answer. But, I know that love from others can help. No it will not completely heal us, like in the priesthood session when it talked about Becky MacBeth's sister and family, I cannot imagine the pain and no one else can either, and nobody can make it alright. But, if we are that simple friend that person who can hug them and hold them close. Those who don't even need to say anything, we can help and comfort those who need it. Thanks guys for being those people.
Love you guys,
(Jackson back in Tromso with a member of the branch)