We can’t believe it’s time to write about the wrapping up of Jake’s service in the mission field. We have been overly compensated by Heavenly Father for Jake’s service. We will miss missionary letters, stories, and the Hoosier friends we have made through Jake. He has had a glorious mission and we are so grateful for his example and sacrifice. He is finishing his mission in South Bend, Indiana. His area stops right at the campus of Notre’ Dame. He is training a ballroom dancing elder from Preston, Idaho. They have had a great time serving together. We are excited to see and squeeze him!
If Jake had a reoccurring theme for his mission it very well may this: "And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith." Enos 1:12
A few excerpts from Jake’s letters that have brought a smile to our faces:
Our gospel principles class has been temporarily cancelled due to a large attendance of recent converts and returning less actives in the temple prep class. It is a joy to sit in there with them and make comments about the greatness of the temple.
The temple open house has been a great experience for everyone. We have been able to go down three times so far and take 5 nonmembers with us. It is a little frustrating dealing with all the anti-mormon stuff that is going on at the temple, but the work moves on! Apparently the anti-mormon crusade has been pretty heavy at this temple open house.
There is an ex-bishop who is leading the campaign and has hired several people to dress up as parking ushers and hand out anti-mormon literature disguised as church information. Some people have also come through the tour and when they went through the celestial room, they emptied pockets full of dirt on the white carpets. Someone else also brought in animal poop and put in in the celestial room as well. I quickly realized why they didn't have any elders help out at the open house, because if they did then there would be one too many brawls happening with anti's :)
Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, live. They are performing a great work here on earth. They are training their children to live the eternal life that is prepared for us. Opposition may ensue, but the war has already been won between good and evil. It is a honor to serve in the Lord's army.
…When we met with her on Sunday morning HER FRIEND WAS THERE! Her friend read the Plan of Salvation and loved it. She wanted to learn more and so we taught them both how to recognize the Spirit using the scriptures and they both felt the Spirit. Kadesha said she felt a light feeling like she was on a plane that was descending. We committed them both to baptism and in the closing prayer her friend, Autumn, told Heavenly Father that this was the best day she has had in a long time.
Last Saturday we had the privilege of going to the temple in Louisville, Kentucky with Crystal. It was her first time there and she had some of her own family names to do baptisms and confirmations for. I will never forget what took place as she walked into the temple for the first time. She stepped in and saw all the people dressed in white and the beauty of the front foyer and took a step back in emotion. She stood there and with excitement said "I feel like I am in heaven." The Spirit was so strong that day in the temple and I had the opportunity to baptize her for her deceased ancestors and also to baptize Elder Dodd for her male ancestors. I was able to look at Crystal as they were confirming her father who was deceased. She just smiled and cried :) There is nothing like going to the temple with those you have seen join the church and be there with them for their first time. It was a truly remarkable experience.