Monday, May 18, 2015

5-4-15 One Mission

Hello Family and Friends. I am glad to say that it is Monday and that I can write you all a letter. This Monday just so happens to be the very last Monday of my mission! Although I am ending the mission I am so very grateful for the 2 year experience that I have had to be here in Paraguay and help others come unto Christ. I would like to share with you all a story that I read named "One Mission",which may be well known among fellow missionaries that was written by an Elder Nielsen.

"It´s impossible to describe a mission, but rather it´s the moments. It´s sending in your papers. It´s opening the call that is signed by the prophet. It´s the time before the MTC that seems like it will never end. It´s hugging your parents and siblings-they go one way, and you go off on the greatest adventure of a lifetime. The MTC(in Argentina?), the rules, the packages, the classroom and the firesides. It´s flight plans, too much food, testimonies, and cabin fever. It´s the airport, a phone call or two, and off you go- out of the swimming hole and into an ocean of uncertainty.

It´s the mission president(Presidente Agazzani), trainers(Elder Wesley Morgan, realizing that you didn't learn hardly anything in the MTC (so true) and loving it all the same. It´s the new food, new people, new culture, new language, new currency, new form of transportation (falling of buses), new routine, new everything under the sun(including the sun, which is really hot). It´s also a lot of firsts that change: first district meeting(Zona 14 Distrito 1), first contact, first lesson, first letter from home, first email home, first Latin companion(ELder Arteaga), first wooden bed that's broken, first shower you fry(literally with a burst of flame), first Sunday at church, first time a kid speaks to you and you ask your comp if it is Spanish and he just laughs, first first vision, first baptism(Martha), unforgettable no matter how disorganized it is. First changes and then it is all a blur after that. It´s being anxious for you companion to leave and then when he is gone you kinda miss him. It´s 99 contacts with nothing but slammed doors, shaking fingers, lying children(my moms not home), and barking dogs. But it is that hope that contact 100 will be the one. The one that wants to change(Diego Figueredo). The one that has been crying for help(Eva Rodriguez) to God that he or she wants to follow, but doesn't know where to find him. The one who seems perfect: perfect questions(Christian), perfect work schedule to come to church on Sunday (Arnaldo Montiel), perfect kids that don´t scream during a lesson, and most importantly a desire to make it work even if everything isn´t perfect. It is the hope of finding the one that gets you up every morning, gets you out  of a members house in 100 degree plus weather and everybody is sleeping.

It is finding the one, future priesthood holder or future family. It´s making plans, working with members, and lots and lots of prayers to help that family. Many are found, but few choose to be chosen. It´s thousands of disappointments as the families commitment falls to doubts(The Salcedo Family), gossip, weather, or anything else clever that Satan comes up`with on Saturday night. It is getting the family to church for the first time and helping them fell at home. It is showing them the church leaders, presenting them to the bishop, as well as the cute outgoing teenage girl so that the young man of the family can have a great experience as well. 

It is when the family gets baptized and the reality of what you are giving them hits you.It is the hope of having an eternal family. It is the hope of a better life without pain or suffering. It is giving that hope with brings you the greatest satisfaction that you have ever experienced.

It´s like going back in time and appreciating what you had back at home. It is the firm declaration that you will never complain about vacuuming again when you actually have a carpet. It is showering with flip flops and putting chlorine in the water. It is stepping into the baptism font in freezing cold water, flipping a bug out and smiling so that the person getting baptized doesn't get cold feet.

It is being soaking wet about 80 percent of the time from rain or sweat. It is sitting in front of a fan wondering if you can survive another day in the oven that you are living in. It is Elders 14, cockroaches 1 in a matter of 2 weeks. It´s tapes and packages home, but more coming your way. It is the realization that life does go on without you.It is going through 5 pairs of shoes(literally I am on my 6th pair), ripped pants(every single one), missing buttons, and socks a lot closer to heaven(holy) than me. It´s ants, cockroaches, frogs, snakes, and the little bugs that get inside you and give you diarrhea.

It is a rainstorm that soaks you and your companion. It is walking through water up to your knees and laughing while people look at you thinking that  you are crazy. It is going out in the rain because an Elder convinced that if you work in the rain, your wife gets a lot better looking. 

Its change day, mothers day, Christmas, birthday, P-Day, and Game Day. Its good days, bad days, journal entry days,. Those are the good days. The days that cant be enjoyed unless they come with a price.

It is discovering that God does hear and answer prayers. Sometimes he takes away everyone else so that we can really get to know him. It is coming to learn in a tiny degree, the power of the Atonement applies not only to vile sinners, but also to each individual including you.  

It is knowing that you have a testimony that nobody can take from you. It is building it one piece at a time. Joseph Smith was a prophet. The Book of Mormon is true. The priesthood keys have been restored. Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God. It is sharing that testimony dozens of times a day that  roots it deep into your soul.

It is watching missionary after missionary giving their final testimony while you are certain that that day will never come to you and then..... it comes. It is learning to live the moment and not for the moment because all to soon it is gone. It is the sunsets, the music, the dusty streets, the dirty kids, the tiny houses, and the love of the people. It is soaking it all in, catching every detail because you will never get it back. 

It is looking up at the night sky at the end of you mission and wondering about the effect of one mission. Does one mission really have eternal consequences? Does planting one seed, teaching one lesson, finding one person really matter at all? Did the mission of THE ONE make a difference? Did his mission his seed planting, his life, have an effect on the eternities? Did his atonement pay the price of justice and give mercy her claim?

As you fly back to a former life that you are convinced is a dream, it is realizing that as you have been in the service of your fellow beings you have also been in the service of you God. It is the feeling in you heart overfilled with gratitude for the one chance you had to show your worth, give your all, and return with honor. It is becoming like the ONE, The ONLY Begotten, the SON of Man, the Prince of Peace, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, even Jesus Christ. It is for those 2 years of which you will eternally praise the Lord, as the life that was converted more than any other was only one-you."

Thank you all for your love and support! 

Elder Jessop

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

4/27/15 On The Lords Errand ...........

Hello Family and Friends. The time has come again to write an email to all those who desire to read it. This week, like all the weeks, went by and is gone and I am happy to say that Elder Zamora and I are taking advantage of them. Elder Zamora is almost done with his training and he can´t wait to finish the 12 week program. He is learning English too. HE is awesome. I just wanted to share a spiritual experience with you all in this letter that really touched my heart this week.

Liz Paola: We are teaching a young women named Paola and she is really trying to come unto Christ and is looking for him. My companion and I felt that we needed to watch the Restoration with her so that she could feel the spirit and know that these things are true. Luckily her neighbor is the relief society president and she invited us over to her house to watch the Restoration with her, Paola, and her family. This day was Friday and I also had to do 3 baptism interviews. The first one was at 4 and they next 2 at 5 and the Family Home Evening was going to start at 7. Then the craziness happened. I did the interview for Doroteo, which took an hour because he had some issues and then we had to travel to another area in bus to do the next 2 interviews. The house of the people who were going to get baptized lived about 30 minutes from the Elders house. The interviews took FOREVER haha. Jose Torres had some hardcore doubts that I tried to resolve. Then when we finished we family got back to wait for a bus at 7. The Family Home Evening was supposed to start at 7... We waited for a bus for 1 hour(God always test the patience, but luckily I am getting better). We finally made it to the Family home evening at 8:30. Paola, Daniella, and Ever just laughed at us. We did have time to watch the short version of the Restoration. When we asked Liz Paola if it was true she responded with certainty that it was. The room was filled with the spirit as the members, Daniella and Ever, testified of the Restoration and the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon. Liz Paola came to church on Sunday and we are planning her baptism for this Saturday, which happens to be the last Saturday of my mission. 

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. It has changed me and has helped me find my eternal perspective. It has carried me through these 2 years of trials and hardships, triumphs and joy, happiness and sorrow for the sins of the world. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I have stood by his side as I have testified of his gospel, his church, and of him. Despite the rejections, denials, and pain, I have felt the love of my Savior as he has helped me rise up and teach with power and authority and declare this gospel unto these people. I am a 20 year old, I guess you could say man, but I know that this service has prepared me for a lifetime of service in his gospel. I am eternally grateful.

Elder Jessop

Thursday, April 30, 2015

4/20/15 - The Power of Prayer‏

Hello Family and Friends. Another week has come and gone really fast. Time has no mercy. This week was super awesome. There were a lot of activities that I´d like to share with you and I hope you enjoy the letter.

Divisions: I did 2 divisions this week with Elder Samaniego (Peru) and Elder Allton (St. George, Utah). 
I do divisions about every week, but I thought I´d tell you anyways. 

Baptism Interviews: I did 4 baptism interviews this week, which are the best and spiritually uplifting. Three of them were of the Ocampos Family and the other was of a young 20 year old adult named Bernardino. I love baptism interviews. I've only done about 50 in my mission ,but each one is a spiritual experience and it is a great privilege to get to know people that have come to know that the gospel is true and that are wanting to be baptized in the church. 

Investigators: We are teaching still: Liz Paola, Andrea and Mateo Molinas, Dario and Alba Centurion, Gerardo Fleitas, The Feika Family and the Acosta Family. Liz Paola is trying really hard to find the truth. She just needs the pray and ask God!! She has never constantly prayed in her life and we are trying hard to help her with her prayers. Gerardo is the husband of a member who is active and he started coming to church. We have a family home evening planned for this Wednesday and we hope to helped him  be baptized on the 26th of April. Dario and Alba is a special case, we are trying to help them get married and baptized, but their case is special. they came to church last week and are progressing a lot. Andrea and Mateo are grand kids of a member. Their whole family are members except for their mom. We are trying to teach them all, Andrea and Mateo came to church on Sunday and we just need to ask permission for their mom and they will be able to get baptized. There are a lot of investigators to teach and the end goal is always the same; helping them make covenants with the Lord through baptism. Elder Zamora and I are working hard. 

Shoes: I am coming to the close of my mission and I have gone through a couple pairs of shoes. This week my shoes just fell apart and I didn't know what to do haha. My companion and I decided to tape them for the day/ (Don't worry mom I have other shoes that I will wear). It was a terrible idea, but I learned not to tape shoes again haha.

I learned the importance of Prayer this week. I finished the Book of Mormon and I realized how easy the Lord has made it to know the truth. I am so grateful for prayer and the privileged that it is to be a missionary. I have love every second, every tear, every laugh, every feeling, every person and every moment that I have had here

District Activity

Thursday, April 23, 2015

4-13-15 Got A Whole Lot Of Paraguayan Love‏!!

Hello Family and Friends! This week was excellent. Filled with good activities and fun events. Here in the city there are a lot of weird things that happen to be honest. Maybe I should go to Argentina again, I'd only have to walk 30 minutes and cross a river and bam, I´m there. The mission has blessed me tremendously and I'm very grateful to be here. My time is shortening, but that's just a part of the mission right. I would like to take a moment to talk about this country.

Paraguay is awesome. There's honestly not a lot to do in this country, but it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Here in the city is not very pretty, but even though I'm not in a pretty part of Paraguay, the people are still loving, kind, and super super super calm. Everybody knows each other which is something very different from the United States. In my country we don't really know each other, even some of our neighbors. Here it's a very different world. Every one says Grandpa to the old people or Grandma. At first I got really confused and thought, wow this guy must have had a lot of kids, but I was glad to know that its just a loving way to say friend. The people here are so loving and the food is SO GOOD!!! Not going to lie it is not the most healthy food in the world, but it is definitely happy food. It makes me really happy. Being here as a missionary, it has blessed me a lot. There are exceptions and sometimes as a North American some people think I'm a spy, sometimes I say that I am a spy for kicks and giggles and we always get a good laugh. The people are humble and always helping each other. I have learned here the importance of loving thy neighbor and doing my best to help those in need. This country has changed my perspective of life. It is a third world country and I have seen a lot of humble, lower means families, but that does not take away their smiles and their hopes. I know that if they world accept the gospel then they could have the hope for a much better world in another place and build mansions in the heavens. I love Paraguay and I'm sure going to miss it. 

We are teaching a couple of investigators:Liz Paola, Carol, Sofia, The Centurion family, The Molinas Family, and Martha. Coral and The Centurion family went to church on Sunday and the rest have been to church recently and we are trying to help them complete their assistance's so that they can get baptized. A lot of them are progressing and they have plans to be baptized on the 18th and 25th of April and on the 2nd of May. I will let you know of their progress. With Martha I learned the importance of actually acting with the faith that one professes. She is awesome and she told us on Saturday that she wants to know the truth and find out for herself if the church is true, but she doesn't want to go to church. We can´t expect God to answer our prayers and guide us if we do not keep his commandments and if we are not obedient to what he tells us to do.

I'm so grateful to know this gospel. I'm grateful for my parents who raised me in the church when I was very little. I'm grateful for Heavenly Father who always stretches out his hands lovingly to lift me when I fall. I know that this church is true and it is something that I treasure most dearly in my heart. I know that if we listen to the words of the ancient and modern day prophets then we will be able to return back to our Heavenly Father who has prepared the way for us to return back to our heavenly home. I love God. I love this country, I love these people, I love this gospel and I'm very grateful for the privilege that I have had to be here. 

Thank you for the love and support. I promise that I will have pictures next week. 

Elder Jessop

Friday, April 17, 2015

4/6/15 - Put God First

Hello Family and Friends! This last week was very awesome. In Paraguay they call Easter Week Semana Santa, or Holy Week. Basically it goes like this. 

Sunday before Easter Sunday:They remember when Christ went into Jerusalem on a donkey.
Thursday:They remember the last supper. 
Friday: The crucification (NOBODY DOES ANYTHING THIS DAY. It is like people start living the law of Moses again)
Sunday: The Pascua, or Easter.

It is one of the two times in the year when everyone remembers Jesus Christ. Easter and Christmas. All week there are Jesus pictures, movies, videos, and it is a nice time of year. If only they remembered Christ always though. It is a really Catholic tradition here. The best part of the tradition other than the remembrance of Jesus Christ is the making and giving away of Chipa. I LOVE CHIPA. It is like a bread thing, filled with Paraguayan cheese, and anis. I have to take a picture, but for another day.

This week I had interviews with my mission Presidente. It was my last one. He taught me a very important lesson about the importance of putting God first always in every decision that I make. It says in the scriptures that if I put God first in my life then I will not have to worry about the things of this world, that I will have everything given unto me by God. that doesn't mean that life won´t be easy and it will just be a free ride. God gives us trials so that we can grow and if I always put God first then I won´t have to worry. 

General Conference happened this week. I mostly learned the importance of having an eternal perspective in everything. That this life is not the end. That there's more that will be awaiting those that are worthy of Gods presences. I learned that MARRIAGE in the temple is essential to Gods plan and if we don´t make that covenant with God then we, with our own choices will lose the promised blessings of exaltation. They talked a lot about marriage in conference.

It is hard to describe how I feel. I don't know what to feel. I am trying my best to keep an eternal perspective. I guess the best way I can describe my feelings is just telling you how much love I feel for you, God, and for all of his children. I have seen a lot of things here in Paraguay. I have never been so blessed...they are eternal blessings and I can not explain them in this email. I love God. The greatest treasure that I hold dear is the knowledge that the god I love also loves me. The mission has been fulfilling beyond a level that I can´t describe and I want to thank you all for being a part of it. I´ve still got time left to keep trying my best to help people come to Christ. This opportunity has helped me come unto Christ and strive to be like him. Thank you for all the love and support, until next week.

Elder Jessop

Thursday, April 9, 2015

3/30/15 - LIGHT

Hello Family and Friends, this week was very fulfilling and I enjoyed it. It has been raining the past 4 days, but that hasn't downed our spirits. Apparently every year around this time it rains. I would like to tell you about the week.

Military Hospital: There is a foundation here in Paraguay called Operation Smile and what they do is they do surgery on the babies that are born without a lip, get it, operation SMILE. It is a super awesome foundation and they are located here in Asuncion. We had the privileged to go and help move some things for their foundation. The girl in charge knew how to talk in English. This week I met like 3 people that tried talking to me in English, it was bizarre. 

Changes: This last Wednesday was change day. a couple missionaries went home and a couple of missionaries came to the mission. I'm staying in Barrio Obrero with my companion Elder Zamora. It turns out that he will be my last companion and I am in my last area because I am going into my last change. It has been pretty unreal and quite a blessing to be here with Elder Zamora. He has taught me a lot and I have really learned the importance of Christ-like living with him. 

The biggest news that happened this week is that we had 3 baptisms:

From left to right: Elder Jessop (hehehe), Ausucena, Susana, and Isaias. Asucena is the daughter of Susana and it was a blessing to find them and Isaias is a reference of The Galeano Family:

This is a part of the family that introduced Isaias to the gospel. Isaias had a really spiritual experience. He took the decision to get baptized on Friday. He wasn't sure, he had been going to church and listening to us, but he had not yet had a manifestation of the spirit. We decided to go into one of the rooms of The Galeano Families house and pray. We invited Isaias to ask God if he needed to get baptized. He asked and received his answer and got baptized. It is amazing how simple the invitation of the Lord is. It was a truly wonderful experience to see them all get baptized. Quite a few people come to support, including our other two converts: Rodrigo and Ramon

One of our other investigators came to the baptismal service to. Her name is Liz Paola and she is the girl in the turtle neck purple long sleeved sweater. Liz Paola came to church on Sunday and is planning on getting baptized the 11th of April. the whole thing was a great experience.

I have been trying my best to make goals to try and be not only a better missionary, but a better person as well. My whole mission I have tried my best to represent the Lord in the best way that I can. I am grateful for the mission. It has been such a wonderful blessing and has really helped me to become more Christ like and live like he lived. I read a scripture the other day in 3rd Nephi 12:48 that says, "I would like to you to be perfected like I am perfect...(paraphrased.)" god wants us to be perfect and that is why he sent his son Jesus Christ to help us in that desire that we can all have. Although the mission ends for all missionaries, the goal and desire to become like The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ doesn't end and will never end. The is what I look forward to most. I look forward to becoming like my God. I know that I can through his Atonement. This week I exhort you all to think of the Savior and remember what he did for you. I know that he lives and because he lives, we will all live again one day.

With all the love that I posses 
Elder Jessop

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

3/23/15 - 16

Hello Family and Friends. Today is the 23rd of March, 2015. Time is just flying. This Wednesday are changes, but the lucky thing is that I know that I am staying because I am training Elder Zamora. I love the people here, the ward I am in, the people I have met and I am very grateful. 
This week was very eventful. I am going to write a shorter email today due to time. In my mission up till now we have baptized 160 people this month of March. The goal that we have for this month is 204 and if we reach it, it will be the first time that this mission, or any Paraguayan mission has ever baptized more than 200 people in a month. WE are praying, working hard, and doing all that we can to help others come unto Christ.

We have been teaching quite a few people here in Barrio Obrero and we are trying to help them come unto Christ and be baptized so that they can qualify for eternal life. WE are teaching:Susana, Ausucena, Isaias, Jose, Liz Paola, Martha, and The Molina Family. I will update you all on them next week. 
I learned this week that God has done everything he can to help guide us to his presence again. God has given us the scriptures, church, prayer, prophets, the priesthood, and all other sorts of things to help others come back to him. One big example that I found in the scriptures is that God guided the Israelites in the desert when Moses was a prophet. It says that he guided them, "With clouds by day, and fire by night." The Israelite s took 40 years to get to the promise land and the big reason why it took so long is because of the sins that they committed and their unwillingness to be humble and repent and recognize the hand of the Lord in their lives. god has given us guides similar to that so that we can make it to our own promised land. In Alma 37:44-46 it says that it is very easy to listen to the word of God and pay attention to eat and if we do so we will be taken away from this world of pain and afflictions to a PROMISED LAND that is a lot better. That has been my goal these last 2 years. Help people find a better world through repentance and baptism in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know that the church is true and I invite all to find out for themselves.

Thank you for the love and support! Until next week!
ELder Jessop

Friday, March 27, 2015

3-16-15 The Importance of Christ-Like Living.‏

Hello Family and Friends. 

This mission has changed my life. It has all been such a great blessing that has been rewarding beyond description. I have learned and felt that God really does love every single one of us. I have felt his presence in my life. I have grown to understand what he has done for me and how I should live to show my gratitude for his atoning sacrifice. I talk to many people in the street and it saddens me to recognize that they have not felt this peace, love, and redemption that comes from the atonement of Jesus Christ and it brings me such great joy that I cant describe to have the opportunity to help others come unto Christ and be perfected in him. I have grown to love my God and have come to know him better and I am extremely grateful. He has helped me become like him and I know that through repentance we may all become like him. I am happy. I know that my Redeemer lives and on that note I would like to tell you about my week.

Ramon: The biggest miracle that happened this week was the baptism and confirmation of Ramon Fernandez. He is 59 and I have said a little bit about him in past letters. His wife died 10 years ago and his son died 3 years ago at the age of 17. He has had a very hard life and it has been a privilege to be a part of his life and help him find peace and joy in a life that sometimes causes great pain and suffering. He got baptized on Friday at 8:30 and gave one of the greatest testimonies I have heard. It was such a humble testimony and a test of his faith. He is not the most wealthiest man in the world and he turned down a job to come to Church and get baptized on Friday and told us about his experience. He is very humble and I know that he will be able to become more and more like Jesus Christ as he live the principles and ordinances of the gospel.

Other Investigators: We are teaching a couple of other people too and helping them come unto Christ through baptism and repentance. We are teaching Asucena and her mom Susana. The man of the house is a member of the church and it was a great experience meeting them. Susana (mom of the house) wasn´t sure which church was true until we came to her house and before we left we invited her to pray and ask God. She did what we asked and went to work that day and said that she met a man that knows members of the church and he told her that she needed to go talk to them if she is looking for help. She talked to one of her friends, who is also a member named Myriam Bueno, and went to church with her on Saturday to a Relief Society activity and then she went to church and Sunday and she loved it. She has gone to church a couple times in the past, but never felt the urge to keep going. Now she feels like this is the way that the Lord is trying to take her. It has been a miracle and her daughter came to church to and realized that a couple of her high school classmates are members of the church to. We are teaching another young man named Isaias, who is also looking for the true church. His best friends are members and he has been to church several times and knows all the church doctrine, but feels that he isn't ready to be baptized. We are trying to help him complete with commitments and read the Book of Mormon and feel that it is true. We are teaching another women that is named Liz Paola and she came to church on Sunday to. We haven't shared with her a lot, but she lives with members, so we hope to be teaching her and helping her.

Zone Conference: I had the last Zone conference of my mission on Friday. A Zone Conference is when a bunch of missionaries get together in the mission and we receive instructions from the Mission President. We read two talks, the first was called Start with the End in Mind and the second talk was called "The Power of Faith". The first one talked about helping people receive Temple blessing and how we should see the potential of everyone of our investigators, their potential to become like God. The second talk was about faith and how God can perform miracles according to our faith. In our mission with have a goal to baptize over 200 people this month and if we do so, it will be the first time in Paraguayan history that a mission baptized over 200 people in a month. Our goal is 204 and with our faith, God will bless us according to our desires. We also watched Meet The Mormons which is a church produced movie about 6 Mormon families and how the gospel has affected their lives and has been a blessing for them. I invite everyone one who reads this letter to go see it!!! It was absolutely awesome and I am not saying that because I am a member of the church, but if you have ever wondered what a Mormon is or why I am here in Paraguay, GO SEE IT!

I have learned so much and been so blessed. My companion is helping me understand the importance of being patient, humble, and loving others. I am trying my best to live a Christ-like life and have noticed that the more I try the more I become like him. I love you all and thank you for your love and support. Until next week.

Elder Jessop

Thursday, March 19, 2015

3-9-15 March Madness... Mission Madness !!

Hello Family and Friends! We have changed March Madness to Mission Madness, which means Baptism Madness here in the Paraguay Asuncion Mission. It has been fun these last two weeks. As a mission we have a goal to help 204 people be baptized this month this month and this is our theme:  

                    Mosiah 18:16- Y de esta manera bautizamos a todos los que estuvieron en la misión                       Paraguay Asunción y eran un número de 204 almas;si y fueron bautizados en las                           aguas de LA MISIÓN PARAGUAY ASUNCIÓN, y fueron llenos de la gracia de Dios.

That is our goal for the month. Mission Madness!! We are trying our best to help people come unto Christ here in Paraguay, but now I´d like to talk about what has been going on in Barrio Obrero. 

Divisions: We did two divisions this with Elder Edwards and another with Elder Norton. Elder Edwards(Orem, Utah) came here to do the division with me in my area and he did the baptism interview for one of our investigators name Ramos that is getting baptized this Wednesday because he can´t do it on Saturday. Elder Edwards and I were in the same district in the MTC and we had the same companion in the mission and it was super awesome the division. Next I went to an area called Republicano to do a division with Elder Norton( flagstaff,Arizona). HE is super awesome and I went there to do 3 baptism interviews for their investigators: Maria, Clara, and Mirna who all get baptized in two days. The interviews were very spiritual and it was an edifying experience for me and for them. Mirna wasn´t going to get baptized, but she prayed the night before and woke up in the middle of the night and called the Elders and said that she wanted to be baptized!!! That's what you call God answering prayers.  

Eating American Food: So my family sent me a box and seeing how my companion is from Ecuador I decided to share with him a lot of the food that they sent. He ate his first brownie, pudding, and candy corn pumpkin and pop tart. Elder Zamora is awesome and we are really having a fun time here.

Investigadors: We have an investigator named Ramon that is getting baptized on Wednesday. He is 59 and is ready to change his life. He was supposed to get baptized on Saturday, but came home really late from work and couldn't, but he did come to church the next day so we are planning his baptism again for this week, We also have an investigator named Isaias that came to church. We are trying to help him read the Book of Mormon and receive of testimony of its truthfulness. Sometimes that takes a while, but he loves to come to church and has a lot of friends there. 

I love the mission. It has been the best experience of my life. Those who have been following my emails should know that my time is running short. I have decided to take the approach of Alma, who said, " Yes, since that day, even until now, I have worked without end to bring souls unto repentance; to bring them to try the great joy that I tried; so that they can also be born of God and be filled with the spirit." (Alma 36:24 parafrased) That is my goal. To work WITHOUT END to bring souls unto Christ. I have felt such a great joy in doing so these last 2 years that I can´t stop now. There is no stopping early or going home early. I have to be like Alma and work until the end and then will my joy be complete like his was. Jesus Christ is the best example of this  complete joy. Even in the Garden of Gestemany he begged to be lifted from him the cup which he was drinking and succumbed to the will of the Father and suffered for all of us, even until the end. 

I know that the church is true. It has given me a direction and given my life joy. I know that families can be together forever. That is the  plan of God, that we may all be perfected unto Christ and believe in him so that we may one day be with the father again.

Elder Jessop

Friday, March 13, 2015

3-2-15 Fe, Consagración, Amor

Hellos Friends and Family. I hope you are not bored with my emails haha. I am doing great here is Paraguay. Sembrando y cosechando lo que siembro. The mission has been so fulfilling on a level that is very hard to describe. I can explain to you all the day to day activities, the lessons I learn, but it is really hard to explain the joy, peace, and love I have felt while serving here in Paraguay. I love it and though it has been hard, I couldn't ask for anything better.

Elder Zamora: Like you all know, Elder Zamora is the new Elder that I am training and he is super awesome. He got to baptized his first convert on Saturday. He is teaching me a lot of Spanish because almost all of my companions have been American. We are cooking a lot of...... rice. He loves rice. We buy like 2 pounds of rice a week. He is teaching me a lot of words from Ecuador; for example, when he doesn´t understand what someone said he says mande, instead of que dijo. It is super slang from Ecuador and I love it. He gives me a whole different perspective because he was baptized in the church only 1 year and a half ago and I admire his courage and strength that he has shown in these last couple of weeks in the beginning of his mission. 

Miracle 1: One of the miracles that we found this week is a 20 year old young adult named Matias. We were at a little store when he came up to us in his bike. I didn't see him so I went walking and he called my companion over and I went back so that we could talk to him. As it turns out, the missionaries visited him before, but he never went to church. He said he had left his house that day looking for someone and he ran into to us. He then went on to say that he wanted to go to church and be baptised.... Can I get a 1, 2, 3 MILAGRO!! It was an amazing experience we fixed an appointment to go there to his house the next day and we invited him to be baptized on the 21st of March. It was truly a miracle. The one that we were praying for.

Miracle 2: The next day after Matias, we found a man named Ramos, who has been to church a few times. Seeing how we are new to the area we decided to visit him and give it a shot. He let us in and he has had a pretty tough life. His wife died 9 years ago and his son died 3 years ago at the age of 17. Just that in itself as really hard to handle and overcome. We invited him to church and to be baptized because he said that he needed to find a new beginning he just didn't know what or where to find it. He was thinking of abandoning his house and just leaving, but he was very grateful that we came and changed his mind. He said in church that Sunday that he was waiting for someone to come and help him find the path and then we showed up. It is amazing how The Lord can guide his servants by the spirit even when we have no idea like my companion and I. It was a wonderful experience and he hopes to be baptized shortly.

Miracle 3: Rodrigo got confirmed this week. Our convert came to church with a tie, white shirt, and dress pants for the first time. That was awesome to see. He always tells us that he wants o be an Elder just like us and it is really special to hear people say stuff like that to us because it fills my heart knowing that I can help people complete their dreams just by being an example.

One mission. There is a lot of things that someone can do in 2 years. I chose to come here and it has been the best decision of my life. I love the Lord and I am grateful for his atoning sacrifice. It has cleansed me and made me who I am. I hope to keep doing better and keep finding more a more light until I can become perfected in him. I know that this work has blessed my life more than I had possibly imagined. I am so grateful. It has all been a miracle. 

Thank you for all the support and love. Have a great week!!

Elder Jessop

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

2-23-15 The Day and Life of a Missionary

"Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory. "-unknown

I read this quote this week. Yesterday actually and I don't know why, but it just struck my heart and I wanted to share it. We should all try our best to appreciate the situations that the Lord puts us in. We should try and learn Patience in Affliction and do our best to bear our burdens with love, serenity, and desires to accept the will of God and know that he knows what is best for us. Our live is made up of moments and memories. We should try our best to make the most of them because before we know it, it will all just be a memory. How do we want to remember those moments? I want to remember this moment of my life as a step toward the presence of God. I know that he loves me. I have felt it and I do feel it. He knows me. He sent his son for me and for all of us. I know that to be true and my desires to share that truth and high.

I am not sure what to write right now to be honest. I wish I could explain my feeling, thoughts and love for each of you, but I can not do that through a computer screen. It has all just been amazing to be sincerely honest. Today is the 23rd of February 2015. Another great day, another great week, and many more weeks to continue is ahead of me. I guess I will start with what happened this week.

Tuesday: My first district meeting here in my new area. My district consists of 4 companionship. We talked about the vision to baptize, a talk that was given by a Mission President in 2008. Our mission has the goal to baptize 200 people this month. My district has a goal of 10. We talked about the importance of repentance and the remission of sins that comes through baptism. It was a great meeting and with the Lords help he can bless us according to our desires. 

Wednesday: We had ward night. On of our investigators came named Rodrigo. He is getting baptized this Saturday. I love the Paraguayan people. They are so loving and kind. Rodrigo is a stud future missionary and he wants to baptize his family too haha. We can help with that.

Thursday: I made a cake today. I was a banana cake and we gave it to the Candia Family. The mom is less active and her kids have yet to be baptized. One is named Angel and he is a stud! He loves the church and is 15. He wants a to be a professional boxer. The next one is Nadia she is 13 and then Jose is 8. We hope to reactivate the mom by doing service and sharing with her about the Book of Mormon and the importance of keeping Gods commandments. 

Friday: We had a service project and we made a floor with the Candia Family again. There was a flood here in my area a couple months ago and their house got destroyed s we are helping them build a new one. Starting with the floor. Service always brings joy to the heart. That same night I had a really spiritual experience. I was reading in Alma 24, when is talks about the Lamanites and how the slaughtered the newly converted Anti-Nefi-Lehitas. The obedience to Gods commandments and the trust they had in his will blew my mind. They had covenanted with God that they would not take up arms against their brothers. They would die before they broke that covenant with God. Over 1000 of them were killed and because of that over 2000 Lamanites were converted and became Anti-Nefi-Lehitas. It is amazing how Gods plan is perfect and how he has a path for everyone. 

Saturday:Baptism!!!!! Rodrigo got baptized

​It was a miracle!

Sunday: I gave a talk on Sunday in church and I talked about the importance of having the vision to baptize. How we should help everyone come unto Christ inviting them to repent and be baptized. It is impossible to be saved without talking that step in our lives. If we have friends, family members, neighbors, or know anyone that isn't a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We have to help them repent, be baptized for someone that possesses the proper authority of God and help them receive the spirit by the laying on of hands. I have realized that now more than ever. 

I love my God. I have been extraordinarily blessed by his son, Jesus Christ, who came to this earth and suffered for me. I have come to appreciate that suffering and have learned the importance of daily repentance to be perfected in him. I invite all to come unto Christ and be perfected in him. Jesus Christ invites all to come unto him in every book of scripture that exists. He only wants us to be happy and has shown us how. I am happy. I have never been more happy. and I know that my joy and happiness and light will grow as I continue to share the gospel, obey gods commandments, and try my best to be like him. I love you all and I wish you a great week. 

Elder Jessop

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2-16-15 Can I get a Wh. Wh. Wh. White Wash!

Hello Family and Friends this week was super interesting and exciting!! President Agazzani through a bomb at me near the end of my mission and told me in one of my emails that I was going to have a "mind shark" coming my way. I didnt know what that meant, but I will let you all know in 3.. 2.... 1.......... Blast Off.

Monday: Good Old P Day. I took a ton of pictures, but the computer wont accept my photos and the computer turns off every time I plug my USB cord in. Good old Paraguay for ya haha. We ended up climbing the Hill Lambare, which is a really famous tourist site in Paraguay (here in Paraguay, not in the world). It is a hill that has asfaulted roads and we walked up to the top and it turns out that my zone has limits with Argentina. You could see Argentina from the top and it was awesome. It was like crossing a state border. You really have no clue when you do it, unless a sign tells you on the side of the road like "Welcome to California", or the best state in the world, but I wont get onto that subject today. We climb the hill for our district activity and then we walked back down. 

Tuesday: The assistants called us and told me that I have changes!!! I left my area Ybate 1.1 and I left my dearly beloved Elder McFarland, but we go home together so I will see him again someday. I was told that I am getting sent into a WHITE WASH, or when two new Elders go to an area without knowing anything about it. I am super excited and I cant wait and I was also told that I will be training a new missionary, again! That should be fun. The last time I trained was over a year ago so we will see what happens. Super excited!

Wednesday: Change Day, got to see a lot of missionaries in the terminal. I went straight to the office! To pick up my new greenie Elder. His name is Elder Zamora!! Finally! A Latin comp. I have had 8 American comps and 4 Latin comps. Elder Zamora is from Ecuador and got baptized a year and a half ago. It is pretty amazing and we are going to have so much fun. We are both going to a new area, with new members, new people, and I am very blessed to have this opportunity. My area is called Barrio Obrero. There is a giant soccer stadium in our area and like I mean giant!! I still haven't seen it yet because I am not sure where it is (so much for giant), but that is just what people have said to me haha. 

Thursday: The fun thing about a White Wash is that you do not know anyone, anything, and you can talk to anyone. We are trying our best not to get lost, but that happens sometimes when all you got is a map. We found someone to teach though and his name is Rodrigo. He is 13 and he is a stud. He turns 14 in March and has a lot of friends that are members! He loves the church and is getting baptized this Saturday!

Friday and Saturday: Fun adventures getting lost in the rain. We are basically looking for every single person that has gone to church in our area book and that is all that we have done for two days. Elder Zamora is great, super funny and all he wants to do is work and help people come unto Christ be baptism. I will send a picture home of him next week!

Sunday: Finally Church!! We got to know all the members. It is a branch here in Asuncion and about 75 people went to church on Sunday. Sundays in Paraguay are super awesome. Sundays anywhere are awesome, but right now I am here. There is something special about Sunday.

I learned today the importance of dedication and repetition. I have done the same thing every day for about a year and a half and it says to become a master of something you have to do it 10,000 times and even then you are not perfect. I have learned the importance of self conversion and perfecting ones self. We can all be perfect in Christ who helps us kick out the the kinks, refine the edges, and molds us into who he needs us to be. I am becoming the man he needs me to be, the husband my wife will need me to be, and the father that my kids will need me to be. Even though I am not perfect, I have been extremely blessed by the Lord these last years of my life and I still have a lot to do here and a lot of souls to bring unto Christ. 

I love it here. I love the people, the sites, the blessings and everything that has happened. I am happy and it is the happiness that I see in other people that accept the gospel that truly makes me happy. I love you all and thank you for all the prayers, love and support.

Elder Jessop

Thursday, February 19, 2015

2/9/15 - All of Your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength

My Mission...... What is it like to be a missionary? 

People always talk about the missionary life. I have felt recently that I was preserved until this time so that I could serve a mission. It has been the hardest years of my life, but like they also say, its been the best years of my life. Changes/transfers are this Wednesday and I don't know what is going to happen, but I know that I must serve with everything I can because before I know it, it will be gone. I love the mission and it always makes me happy that I can share my experiences every Monday with my beloved Friends and Family. 

Capacitación de Zona: This last Friday we had our Capacitación de Zona and in our mission we talked about the importance of baptism, retention, and Reactivating less active families. That was the basis of the capacitation that we gave, my companion and I. The doctrine is that every one needs to be baptized in order to enter into the kingdom of God. After baptism everyone must be nurtured by the word of God and do all they can to live in accordance with the principles of the gospel. Unfortunately some people fall and stop living these principles, but every one can come back if they repent and come unto Christ again. The doctrine is always the answer. We talked about the applications that we are applying in our mission so that we can baptize more sons and daughters of God, help them in their conversion process, and reactivate the ones that have let go of the iron rod. We read a talk by Elder Lawrence B. Corbridge that was a Mission President in Chile in 2008 and A vision to baptize. We baptize people because it is the only way that they can enter into the kingdom of God. You can be a great person, do everything right, even keep all the commandments, but without the baptism we can´t enter into his kingdom. That is why Christ got baptized right. In my mission we are changing our mission so that we can baptize more, retain more, and reactivate more. The goal in our mission is 2000 converts this year and it is quite a t ask ahead, but God blesses us according to our desires.(Alma 29:4). It was an awesome Capacitación de Zona. 

Paraguyan Buses: My companion and I had to go do a baptism interview for some Elders in our Zone and it was the crazy experience of our time together. Talk about a 1 and a half hour detour there and back. We were supposed to be there at 5 and we got there at 6:30. We left at 7 and were supposed to get back into our area at 7:30 and got home at 8:40. It was a rough day to take buses. I looked at my map so many times and we were pretty lost, but luckily Paraguayans are really good with directions, not so much street names, but directions yes. It taught me a big lesson and now I know a lot better the city of Asunción. Good adventures.

Investigators: We have a couple investigators that are progressing and getting baptized soon. Jose Enciso has a baptism date for the 21st. He has to go to church once more but he is super prepared and super ready to be baptized. He loves God and reads everything we give him. We are trying to help him feel the spirit and recognize his answer by using the Book of Mormon. He is amazing and will get baptized. Then we got Juan Francisco, he is 42 and has been divorced but he is really interested in the church. It helps when his Best Friend is a member and went to high school with him and her two daughters are return missionaries. They have been preparing him for like 1 year. We are teaching him about the restoration and he is doing great!! Then we have the Mora Family that we found. The dad is a member and the rest of his family isn't and he really want to go to church he just didn't know where it was, but thankfully we found his house and we have an appointment with him tomorrow. The work is going great here and I love being a missionary.

I have been extremely blessed to be here in Paraguay serving the Lord the best I can. I know that the church is true and I know that everyone can know that truth if there are willing to ask God. It has been hard, but every second has been joyous, I have learned the importance of love and serving the Lord and his children because of the love that we have for them. I hope that you all enjoy my emails and I will let you know if I get changed or not.

Elder Jessop

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2-2-15 La gran misión Paraguay Asunción. La mejor misión en el mundo‏

Hello Family and Friends!

This week went by very nicely and we did everything that we could to invite people to repent of their sins and be baptized. WE have a very awesome investigador named Jose Enciso. He is 20 years old and already did 2 years of military service. He loves that gospel and he accepted a baptism date and has gone to church 2. In our area here in South America. Every person before they can get baptized has to go to church 3 times in order to show that they are trying to repent. We also have another investigator family that is the Sanchez family. They are a family of 4 and we invited them to be baptized and they also accepted a baptism date for this month and we hope to help them so that they can work towards baptism and then an eternal family. Now I´d like to tell you about my week.

District Meeting: I learned the importance this week of using the Book of Mormon always. There are a lot of people that reject the Book of Mormon and don't accept it simply because they do not know what it is. We were doing a practice and my doubt as the investigator was that the Book of Mormon is false. What the Elder did in our practice was respond using the Book of Mormon and invite me to know that it is true using the Scripture in Moroni 10:3-5. It was very spiritual and helped me a ton. 

Teaching Investigators with General Authorities: So as it happens it turns out that Sister Linda K. Burton came to Paraguay this week and Sister Marriot came too. Sister Burton is the president of the Relief Society in the church and Sister Marriot is the 2nd counselor of the Young Women's and they came to visit Paraguay. On Saturday they came to my area. MY AREA!! I know that they don't really have to do anything with me because I am not a girl, but it is knot everyday that general authorities come to your area in South America. They visited one of the families in our area and that night we happened to have an appointment with that family to teach an investigator so we thought that we were doing to teach with them!!! It turns out that that didn't happen... Haha we are not as important as general authorities so we rescheduled the appointment, but it was still kinda cool. 

I am out of time. I love the mission. It is February and the Liahona this month had a theme of giving all your might, mind, soul, and heart!! That is my plan and I know that God will help me be the way that we can help many of his children be baptized in the true church of God. Thank you for all the support and all the love.

Con cariño!
Elder Jessop 

Elder Arteaga, My second companion in the mission. He goes home in 2 weeks!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

1-28-15 I´m Going To Go On a Mission And I Want To Be Ready......

Hey everyone!! This week was a week of goodbyes in my Ward where I'm serving in Ybaté. It was a great and fulfilling week and it has all just been a blessing.
Benjamin Machuca: This is a future missionary that is going to The Argentina Buenos Aires North mission and the guy is a stud to say the least. We eat at his house on Wednesdays and he is fully converted. He is a light and my life and I know he is going to be a great missionary. He just wants to help people come unto Christ and save souls. The Ward is going to miss him.

Victor Ortellado: Victor is going on a mission to the Lima Peru West mission. He has had two other brothers that have gone on mission's and he is super awesome. He has had a lot of help to prepare himself to go and he will be a great missionary.

Sunday we had a really awesome investigator in church named Jose Enciso. He is 20 years old, has already served in the military and is really prepared to hear the Gospel, accept it and be baptized. We found him doing contacts in the street and he just let us in as if he was expecting to see us. We hope to see progress with him and all of the other investigators that we are teaching.
Today I went to the temple to clean it. We went up stairs and cleaned the hallways where all the electrical stuff is. I really wanted to go on the roof, but that didn't happen. I love the temple and it is truly a blessing in our lives.

I love the mission. Words cant describe the feelings, emotions, and peace that it brings to the life of a Young man like myself. I have been changed by it. I have been sanctified by it and the reward has been indescribable beyond measure. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Gods kingdom here upon the earth and that the Book of Mormon is the key to that truth. I love inviting people to read it and feel the peace and comfort that comes by doing it. It has brought me great joy and peace. God leads this church and his missionaries. I know that to be true.
Elder Jessop
P.S. Please I wanna wish by big sister Amanda Jessop a Happy Birthday!!!!!