Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sheboygan Ward "Trunk or Treat"

Sheboygan District, October 2013

November 4, 2013 Update

I'm Leaving Sheboygan! I'm very sad and excited at the same time. I have loved my time here!  The people are so amazing in the ward.  The families are always so kind and have us over for dinner all the time! We have a dinner appointment nearly 5/7 nights a week.
So I found out this past Saturday that I was leaving but I didn't know where.  Then Last night (Sunday) the mission president called my companion and I.  I'm going to Rhinelander Wisconsin, I have a huge area and my new companion and I get a truck. It is in the northern area of the state and I will get dumped on as far as snow is concerned. But I am excited! I miss snow. It hasn't been too cold this past week but now with day light savings time it is dark at 5:30, which makes it hard to go out and tract because it feels a lot later than it is and people get mad when you knock or ring their doorbells when they are trying to put kids to bed.  
Oh well. This week was pretty good! We had dinner every night with a member family and for Halloween we couldn't be outside after 5oclock so we were invited to a members house to carve pumpkins! It was a blast they have a huge family and it was a lot of fun.  
This week was a little sad because we had so many awesome lessons set up but the majority of them fell through.  But those lessons we did have were also amazing so I can't complain.  
I will share one of my favorite scriptures that I read this week in Alma 26:12  Ammon is rejoicing because of all the success that he and his brethren have had so much success teaching the lamanites.  One of his brothers Aaron said v10 "Ammon, I fear that thy joy doth carry thee away unto boasting"  and verse 12 is Ammons reply, "Yea, I know that i am nothing, as to my strength I am weak: therfore I will not boast of myself, but i will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things"  I love this because I know that the things that are happening are not because of me and the words I say.  I know that God has made all of this possible and places people in my path that are seeking this gospel.  I know that I weak, but I also know that I can do anything that God asks of me through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 
I hope everyone had an amazing week!  I love hearing from everyone!  
But since i'm moving appartments please make sure to address everything to the mission office this is IMPORTANT!!!!! I don't want to lose any letters so please send them to 7111 W. Edgerton Ave. Ste. 100 Greenfield WI 53220.
Love Elder Ward

October 21st update

Hey everyone!  
I have had a great week!  It is pretty chilly in the morning and evenings, I have had to break out the coat a few times.  It rained pretty hard the other day and we are out of miles for the month with our car so we got to walk, which is alright.  It is so pretty here in Wisconsin, so many trees, so many colors!  Since there are no mountains you can see the sky in all directions and its pretty cool. 
This week was good, we talked to many new people and saw a lot of miracles.  Here's one, so my companion and I are pretty much out of miles so we were walking to a referrals house to set up an appointment, they were there and we set up a lesson for this week! We were walking back on a busy road but we felt we wouldn't really see anyone so we walked a few blocks in and headed up through the neighborhoods.  We started talking to this guy who was edging his lawn.  He has been so prepared by the Lord, He is married, lives the word of wisdom, he is looking for a new church, he has BYU tv and loves the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  We asked if we could tell him a little bit more about the church and he gladly set up a time for tomorrow.  At times I get down because I feel like no one wants to learn and no one keeps commitments, but I have learned that when I focus on the little blessings that God has given me I realize all the help and success that He gives me.  And I have all the more desire to serve him and do his will. 
My spiritual thought is one of my favorite scriptures for my mission but also for everyone on this earth.  It's in Moroni 9:6 And it talks about how we all have a duty while we are on this earth, we are commanded to labor diligently so that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness.  I really love this verse because it reminds me that when we are righteous we exercise power over satan.  When we are diligent then we do the things that please God. satan has no power over us, only the power that we give him over us.  So my challenge for everyone is to cast off those things that we do that give power to satan in little ways.  What ever it is when you rid yourself of it you grow closer to God and then he will bless you all the more fully.  

I will end with a quote that I love that helps me remember diligence to the Lord " Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory"  Neil A Maxwell 
When we dedicate ourselves to God we show Him our love for Him
I Love you all! Have an amazing week!
Elder Ward

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 14, 2013

Hello everyone! I hope you have all had an awesome week!  This week for me was pretty amazing.  We had the chance to meet with the Mission President this past Friday, President Cutler.  He is such an inspired man! Every time we have a meeting and he gives a lesson he blows my mind and the Holy Ghost is so powerful!    The interview was great, we talked about the work we are doing the people we are seeing and then he offered very specific counsel for a few individuals.  My question for him was how we can better feel the Holy Ghost in our lives his answer was through humility.  He talked about how God gives us hardships to break down our pride so we can rely on him, when we do this we rely constantly on the Holy Ghost. I learned that we must constantly pray to our Father in Heaven and when we do He will bless us with everything we need to succeed.

The past few weeks we have been very busy running around trying to talk to all of the people that have been on our lists, at times it is frustrating and hard when we spend so much time trying to talk to these people but no one is home/ they aren't interested/ try back again. At times it felt like it was time wasted, but we have seen so many blessings from diligently working.  A member's mother who is not a member of the church whos name is M has been coming to church and has set up a time to have dinner with us at her daughters house so she can learn more.  Another man is excited about reading the Book of Mormon and is at home all day long.  Two other members have a friend who feels that she isn't satisfied with her church and wants to be more committed.  I am so excited to see them grow in faith. 
I was reading in Alma 2 and how the people were in a horrible battle with the lamanites and amlicites.  But despite their hardships and fear, they remembered the Lord and prayed to be strengthened. The Lord heard their prayers and answered them and granted them strength to defend themselves and their families and their homes.  The faith of these people is such and example to me. They prayed for strength to change their conditions, they didn't pray for their  condition to change.  When we pray for strength, we put our trust in the Lord and continue to do our part and God strengthens us.   I take great comfort in knowing that I don't need to be a perfect teacher or be able to do everything perfectly on my own. I know that I have an all powerful God who will strengthen me to do His will.
Have and amazing week everyone! And may we all be blessed with the strength to do whatever it is we need to accomplish in our lives this week.
Love, Elder Ward

Weekly Update October 7, 2013

Another great week in Sheboygan Wisconsin.  The leaves are beginning to change!  For three days this week it was extreemly foggy.  The air was full of rain but it stormed on and off.  But if you walked outside the water you touched in the air would just collect on you.  There were some great lightning storms and we got to break out our rain coats and umbrellas.  We have continued to attempt to stop by a long list of people that the other missionaries have given us and as usual about half of the people aren't home, the other half are but half of them aren't interested.  The final quarter of them are split up into people that we have lessons with and people who aren't home when we have lessons set up.  So that is hard to see so little of the people we plan on teaching actually being taught but those we do manage to teach actually want to learn.  This week we get to go to early morning semminary and talk about the Book of Mormon.  Their semminary starts at 5:45 in the morning which means we have to get up at 4:45, but I'm pumped! I miss seminary! 

We do have quite a few people we are meeting with who have a sincere desire to learn, one is the Bishop's neighbor who we have seen before but he and his wife have been on a two week trip visiting family so we have a lesson set up with them.  The Bishop is coming along with us so that is already going to be an amazing experience! Another woman has always believed in God but doesn't understand why good people die before their time.  It will be an amazing lesson to share with her the Plan of Salvation and the peace, comfort, and knowledge that it brings.  With the other people who we have been teaching, they are still as busy as ever, which is so sad to see because we can tell that they want and need the gospel in their lives but can't find time for it. 
Conference was amazing, this has been the first time that I have watched all five sessions without missing one, falling asleep, ect.  It was so powerful. The variety of things taught along with the simple doctrine threaded throughout each speakers comments was backed by a powerful spirit testifying of the truthfulness of their words.  I can't even begin to decide which one was my favorite. But a quote that I loved was by Elder Dube' "Never look back! Look forward to what we still have to do."  Looking back can lead to complacency and then we can slip into a state of false confidence. But if we are focusing our attention on our weaknesses and what we can improve then we can be strengthened by Christ's Atonement.  President Monson Quoted Christ " I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."  and how strong trees are the ones who endure strong winds.  It reminded me of the lyrics of a song by a band I listened to before my mission, It goes, " I always knew I'd never reach perfection, and if I did then I wasn't trying hard enough, because there is always something more to reach for."  In this life we can't be perfect.  There is always something we will fail at.  But Jesus Christ will not fail us, and when we turn to him and humble ourselves by living the doctrine that we know to be true, then we are built and strengthened.  

Have an amazing week everyone.  I know that Jesus Christ is always there waiting, we simply need to turn to Him.
      ~Love Elder Ward

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sheboygan District

Puffy pancakes

Near Elkhorn Lake

Onward, ever onward!!

September 30, 2013
Hello Everyone, I hope everyone has had a great week!
Sheboygan is treating me well, especially the weather. It has been perfect this week, right at 70 degrees and nice big white clouds, and a great breeze.  The leaves are starting to change, but I get the feeling that the best is soon to come.  This week has been really good, my companion Elder Cranney and I have talked to lots of people.  We have spent a lot of our time this week talking to people that have showed interest in hearing more about the gospel before.  So we have a list of all their names and addresses and it takes us a few hours to stop by them all.  The hard part is most of the time they aren't home or no one answers. So it feels like we have wasted precious time.  But looking back I have seen that almost everyday we have found someone and set up a time to come back and teach them. We have 4 or 5 lessons set up this week that we set up from contacting these people.  It's amazing to see how the Lord works.  Many of these people are going through a rough time or just simply want to be closer to Jesus Christ.  So there are little miracles everywhere.  This week we were at a Chinese Buffet with some members for dinner and a lady walked up and asked us where the church was in Sheboygan, she has lived here for a few weeks but wasn't able to find where the church was online.  She hasn't been to church in a while and really wants to come back and feel that spirit that comes from hearing the gospel. Its just amazing how everything works out. 
I am so excited for Conference this up coming week!  Hearing from prophets and apostles is such an amazing and spiritual experience!  In Mosiah 8:3 Ammon goes to  the people of Limhi and teaches them, "he also rehearsed unto them the last words which king Benjamin had taught them, and explained them to the people of king Limhi, so that they might understand all the words which he spake."  I love this verse, the people of Limhi were in bondage and didn't know if the people they left in Zarahemla were even alive.  So when Ammon brings the teachings of the prophet the people of Limhi rejoice and give thanks to their Lord.  Hearing from the prophets is such a blessing, whether it is from modern prophets or ancient ones, their message is always meant for us to improve and grow closer to Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer. They help us understand His teachings and how we can become more like Him.
I am so grateful for a living prophet on the earth today.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is chosen by God to lead the people of the earth and that all who heed his counsel will be blessed.  God speaks through his prophets and this weekend God will speak to us through them.  I challenge everyone to listen to as much of conference as possible.  And to write down at least three questions that you want God to answer.  I promise that as you listen to the speakers and keep these questions in mind and have an open heart to the Holy Spirit, Your questions will be answered and if you act on your answers your life will be full of peace and joy.
My time is nearly up, but I want you all to know how much you mean to me!  I love being a missionary, I have never felt closer to my God and My Savior. They love you infinitely, and want nothing more than to bless you.  We can feel Their love whenever we pray with an open heart.
I  know this.
I hope everyone has an amazing week!
Love Elder Jackson Moroni Ward
September 23, 2013
Hey Everyone,
I hope you all have had a great week!  This week was good my companion and I were able to talk to a lot of people about the gospel!  Unfortunately we had to drop a family's baptismal dates, they are just so busy with work and school that they have to cancel appointments and aren't in town for church.  We are excited to continue to teach them and hope that they can find the time to meet with us because they have such a desire to learn!  Another investigator who has recently moved to another house and had back surgery has not been able to meet with us, but we did find her new house this week and plan on having a lesson with her this week.  The rest of the people we are teaching are doing well, our biggest struggle is setting up solid appointments to be able to teach them.  But on the up side this week, we talked to a bunch of new people who are willing to hear the gospel. Many of them were referrals from the other missionaries in Sheboygan that speak other languages that they met.  We have a big list of names and times that these people are expecting us to show up, sometimes its hard because we make the effort to be to the appointment but half of the time there is no answer so it feels like the time is wasted.  But we do find a few who do want to learn more and it makes it all worth it.  One in particular is C, a guy in his 20's who is catholic but not practicing and we have had some good talks with him. At the moment he isn't changing but he loves God and what we do, but he is beginning to read the Book of Mormon. 
    Lately I've been reading in Mosiah, and King Benjamin is such an amazing leader. He tells us that all we need to do is come to Christ and follow his commandments to receive exaltation.  In chapter 3 he repeats four or five times how salvation comes only through Christ.  I just think how important it is to accept remember and rely upon Jesus Christ and His perfect Atonement!  He also talks about how God blesses us daily in chapter 2: 23-24 He says that all God asks of us is to keep his commandments, and how we are in debt to him.  The least we can do to show our thanks is to do what he asks.  But in verse 24 we learn that when we keep the commandments "he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever" How great of a God do we have, He is continually blessing us in our lives.  I hope we all can look through our lives and find the little ways that God has blessed us and I challenge you to better thank Him and recognize the blessings He has granted you.  Verse 20 talks about giving thanks and praise  with "which your whole soul has power to posses"  I think about my prayers and the things I thank God for and all the things that I take for granted. May we all recognize and give more thanks to God for the blessings He gives us daily.  I know that we will be blessed as we try to do our best to follow the commandments and make our best effort! 
I hope everyone has a great week, I'm getting really excited for conference in the upcoming weeks!
Love you all!!!
Look for how God has blessed you today!
Love, Elder Ward 
September 16, 2013

Good Morning Everyone!
The weather in Wisconsin is amazing at this time of the year.  It is really started to cool off during the day which is amazing!  It is perfect for walking around with a cool breeze.  The trees haven't started to change colors yet but that should be happening soon.   This week was crazy!  We had so many lessons with so many different people!  We weren't able to meet with a few of our regular investigators because they were either busy or had some health problems they were recovering from. So instead we spent a lot of time trying to find new people to teach.  The other elders in Sheboygan (Hmong and Spanish) have been really busy in finding us new people to teach when they talk to people on the street. We recieved 20 referrals from them from people they talked to and we contacted 8 of them this week. Sometimes its hard because we have appointments with people but they aren't home so we have to stop by later. But we have really found so many people to teach.  Between the three companionships we have had over 130 lessons with people.  We have truly been blessed by the Lord with people to teach.
   A miracle we saw this week was when we went to talk to a guy that we had given a book of mormon to a week ago or so, so we wanted to talk with him even though he wasn't too enthusiastic about it.  But when we went his son whose in his 30s was outside so we talked with him and found out that he lives pretty close to us and had missionaries visit him a few years ago and found that the book of mormon increased his faith in Jesus Christ. So we would not have found him if we hadn't have been where we were. 
  So we had a really good week, one lesson we had with a regular investigator "T" was at the church with a member and he really felt more comfortable with the idea of coming to church after that. It was really great to have a member along with us to befriend him and make him feel more welcome.  We have started to see so many more people at church. 
  I started singing in the ward choir a few weeks ago and yesterday we sang Come thou Fount, it was really powerful because we only have maybe 10 people who sing but it was quite spiritual and didn't sound to bad. So that was a lot of fun.
There is a scripture in Enos that I would like to share in Enos 1:15 where the Lord explains that "Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it." This is such a blessing to know that we can go to the Lord with any problem and ask in faith to be able to receive an answer to our prayer that will bring us closer to Christ and God if we are patient and truly faith full.
  I love being a missionary, I'm so grateful for this opportunity and everyone who supports me! I hope everyone can have an amazing week and remember that it is through diligent study that God is able to communicate with us and refine us.
~Elder Jackson Moroni Ward

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Elders in the air

P-day fun

this is the basement of his apartment building where they
"exercise" by playing nerf gun wars.

I truly don't know what this stuff in the bowl is, but it
looks like some kind of dip for a raw hot dog.  Hmmm.



And this concoction ... looks like he is getting plenty
of protein!  I was happy to see the green beans.

Sheboygan, Wisconsin

September 9, 2013 update
Hey Everyone, I hope you all had an amazing week. 
So it rained a few times here in Sheboygan this week. It doesn't smell as good as rain in Utah, its more muggy but the lightning that comes with it is pretty sweet.  It's started to cool down to a tolerable temperature during the day.  This week for our exercise time in the mornings we have gone down to the beach and gone on runs or tossed a frisbee around. The sunrise is always amazing of the water.  This week we had two different meetings in Oshkosh about an hour and a half drive from Sheboygan. The first was just a meeting with our Zone to do some training, and the second was a training meeting for everyone who is being trained or training.  So I got to see all the people that were in my district from the MTC. That was really great to see everyone, it's so hard to believe that it has been 6 weeks out in the field.  We got to have a lesson from President Cutler and Sister Cutler, the mission president and his wife, about the gospel of Christ.  And the role that it had in the premortal life.  It was pretty deep and mind boggling. But basically he taught how we had faith in our Savior Jesus Christ and the Atonement and that it could get us back to the presence of the Father.  We repented because we made the right choice to choose the Fathers Plan and we strived to follow Jesus Christ and be more like him.  We weren't baptized but we had the faith that baptism could redeem us from sin.  And we constantly felt the Holy Ghost as we learned about the teachings of The Father and Jesus Christ. It was amazing and will be really helpful as we teach investigators about faith.  But those two days of training took a lot of our time this week, so we didn't get to get out and teach as much.  Many of our investigators weren't home when we would stop by.  We did have an amazing lesson about Faith and scripture study with our Investigator T, we taught about Enos and his experience and the faith that he had to receive a knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel.  That was a really powerful lesson. We brought a member with us who is a professor at a local college.  He is amazing, just a super friendly guy who can really relate to people. He was able to tell him how we just need a little faith and we can grow as Christ builds our faith. 

One thing we were challenged to do by the mission president was to invite everyone to read the Book of Mormon for 10 minuets every day and look for the change that comes in the lives of the people.  So we did that with T and H during the week and they were able to feel the spirit.  T described it as someone is watching over him like there is something that he needs to learn when he reads. It is amazing the change we have seen in his life in the past weeks and especially the past few days as he has been reading. 

I want to challenge you all to take this challenge. Read out of the Book of Mormon for at least 10 minutes everyday.  When you begin pray for inspiration, guidance, and understanding of the Atonement.  Look for peace that comes to your life and the spirit that you feel when you read and throughout the day.  I promise that if you pray with faith and read diligently, God will bless you with answers to your questions and guide you by the power of the Holy Ghost.  You will feel peace and His infinite love when everything else seems to just fall apart. I know that as I have read everyday and prayed for understanding that I have been blessed with spiritual promptings and guidance to help myself and the people I am teaching.  Jacob 1:2 teaches us that he only wrote what he considered to be most precious, including (V 4) sacred preaching, great revelation, and prophesying.  This record is meant for us today to guide and direct us and to give us comfort and peace.  1 Nephi 1:12 simply states " And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord."  I know that to be true.  God blesses us with the spirit when we read the inspired words of the prophet.
I Love You All!!!
Have an Amazing week! Look for the little miracles that God has Blessed you with!
Jesus Christ lives and loves us and when we strive to follow Him we Follow the will of the Father and we are blessed with the Holy Ghost.
- Elder Jackson Moroni Ward

September 3, 2013 update
Life in Sheboygan is better than ever.  This week has been really great as far as the weather and the work goes.  It has really started to cool off at nights and during the day. Which makes it a lot easier to walk places and not get heat exhaustion. We have been able to talk to all of our investigators the past week with summer winding down and everything starting to get back to normal.  We had some really great lessons this week about the plan of salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The people ask questions and really care about learning and growing in the spirit.  We have started to text out a daily scripture to our investigators to encourage and remind them to read from the book of mormon. Last night the verse was from Helaman 5;12 it talks about when we have Christ as our foundation we can not fail.  How important is this guarantee. We already know that if we follow satan we will lose and how hard it is sometimes to resist temptation and to not let trials get us down. But when we remember that through Jesus Christ we always have someone to turn to.  There is a scripture in 2 nephi 28;32 that the Lord said ''come unto me; for mine arm is lengthend out all the day long" and he will help us with whatever we need. It such a blessing to be able to teach people that they have this great support and source of peace and comfort in the Lord.  This week we were tracting and some guy got out of his car and started "enlightening" us about how the ''mormon'' religion is false and how all we need to do is accept Christ to be saved.  He kept giving us garbage for about 30 minuets and finally we bore testimony (which he discredited) and left.  Feeling quite ticked that this man was so close minded against the truth, we stopped by the bishops house on the corner of the street to feel the spirit again and shared a quick testimony and scripture in 2 nephi 28;2 how the things in the book of mormon will be of great worth to the children of men.  We talked about how powerful the atonement is and how we can learn about it better through the Book of Mormon.  Bishop Holmes then shared how when looking at infinity it doesn't matter if we go 10 miles or 10,000 miles we are no closer to infinity. But when we accept Christ and apply the Atonement He takes us to infinity.  The Bishop then invited us for lunch.  For Labor Day we had a Brat cookout at a members house.  Brother Klunk is the Ward missionary and he's a recent convert so he is awesome. We take him teaching all the time.  Well that was my week. I love hearing from everyone!  Love you all!
Elder Jackson Moroni Ward

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Weekly Update

This week has flown by, it seems that it was just a few days ago that I was writing emails.  We had a good week.  Alot of our Appointments fell through but we had backup plans to tract and also visit less active members.  Even though we don't find much success Tracting, we find that when we have success elsewhere.  For example, we had plans to go teach a lesson with an investigator but it fell through. So we decided to go visit some less active members in the area.  We got to their house but their neighbors were loading stuff from their shared porch into the house so we decided to go around the block and try again.  When we got there we knocked but got no answer.  As we turned to leave, they pulled up in their car. We found out that it had been a rough day for her, her husband had left her that morning and she was feeling stressed and sad.  She recognized that she had a desire to return to church and that our visit was a sign of sorts that it was time to do so.  We realized that if we would have just stopped by another time instead of going around the block we would have missed her.  She ended up coming to church with her two daughters, one of which isn't yet baptized.  So even though things aren't going the way that they are "supposed to" things always work out and we notice miracles.  There was a saying that we heard in our district meeting that has become our goal.  It goes '' Obedience brings blessings, but Exact obedience brings miracles." I know that is true.  I've found that as I diligently study the scriptures and pray, God blesses me with opportunities to teach and bless peoples lives.  This week has been full of little miracles like this where our plans fell through but everything worked out.  I'm loving the work.  I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us so much and have promised us countless blessings and miracles if we merely do what they ask. 
I hope everyone has a wonderful week!
Elder Jackson Moroni Ward

Monday, August 12, 2013

So I received a different Mission home address from Jackson today, I don't know what address I had on the blog earlier, but disregard that address.  Here it is:

Elder Jackson Ward
Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission
7111 W Edgerton Ave Ste 100
Greenfield, WI 53220

His email is

He would love to hear from you!

(email sent August 12, 2013)
I've successfully arrived in the Sheboygan Wisconsin Zone.  After arriving in the Milwaukee Airport at 8:30 ish on Tuesday morning all thirty ish of us met President Cutler and his wife and daughter and then got in the mission vans and headed for the stake center near the mission home.  We weren't able to sleep after being up for 40 hours because we would have gotten our sleep schedule all messed up so instead we watched the Testament movie, and did personal study while we were interviewed by president Cutler.  We had a newcomers meeting and meals at the Stake center and then retired to a nearby hotel for bed at 8:30.  The next morning on Wednesday we went back to the stake center to receive our Trainers and be assigned to a zone.  My companion is Elder Cranney from Roosevelt Utah.  He's been here for 5 months and He's awesome.  He loves the Lord and loves to serve, He's a hard worker and we get along well. Sheboygan city zone and the surrounding areas.  It's right on the shores of lake Michigan, (attached photos).  Sheboygan is an interesting city i've been told and also seen for myself.  Brats were invented right here in Sheboygan and we've already had a brat cookout at a members house. The member was a guy named Brother Klunk.  He is a recent convert (January) and is retired, he loves to spend time with the missionaries, he goes with us as a member to our appointments whenever we need him.  Our zone uses cars but we have limited miles, but he always volunteers to drive us where ever we need to go.  He's awesome.  The weather is quite nice, I came at the perfect time.  It's only hot in direct sunlight if there is no breeze.  If you are in the shade and its breezy then its perfect.  The humidity isn't too bad but its noticeable.  The apartment I live in isn't too bad, we've got a big table and living room to study in but we have a tiny kitchen.  There were two other elders living in our apartment but we helped them move to an apartment downstairs on Saturday.  The Ward is quite large for the area that we're in but we hope to make it grow.  Our District has 3 companion ships; I'm in the English companion ship, there is the Hmong Elders, and the Spanish elders .  On Sunday our district ate at the Bishops house and got to know him and his family better.   The days go pretty smoothly, we wake up and have time to exercise, usually we play basketball or tennis at a nearby park, or sometimes we have a nerf war in basement of our apartment against the Hmong elders.  After exercise we get ready and eat then begin studying.  We study personally for an hour then we have two hours of companion study.  Usually we follow studies with lunch and then begin tracting or go to the appointments that we have set up for the day.  We either have a dinner appointment or return for dinner at the apartment and continue tracting until 9 where we plan for the next day then hang out and write in our journals.  I love it here and I'm so glad I have so much time to learn from the scriptures and the spirit.  I've really recognized the blessings that I've received and I can only hope that I can serve my hardest for these two short years.  If you want to send me letters, the best way is to send them to the mission home. Packages need to be priority mail or first class, not ups or fedex, and those will need to be sent to the mission home as well.

I love and miss you all!

God loves us! The Church is True!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Here is a letter Jackson sent from the MTC, dated July 30th, 2013
Hey Everyone,  

      I am having such a good time at the MTC. I love the classes and the teachers, there is so much spiritual knowledge to be had.  We have had classes everyday, pretty much all day. But its great! Our district is amazing, we have two sister companion ships and three elders companion ships.  We have classes together during the day and then have a devotional at night, we eat together just chill.  On Sunday we were able to go walk around the Provo Temple and it was a blast.  We also got to watch a recorded Christmas devotional by Elder Bednar that talked all about growing closer to Christ by turning outward and serving others before ourselves when the natural man would turn inwards.  When we turn outwards then we are spiritualy enlightened. 

 I have been called as the district leader and have loved serving my district, I know it has blessed me by getting to know the members in my district better and have an increased love for them. In our class we have teachers who role play as investigators who they had on their missions. It is unreal how you can be talking to a teacher in one room and then they leave to another room, you go in to teach and it is a comletley different person with real problems who you can teach and help grow. For example we have an investigator named Steve who knows of God and Jesus Christ but didnÂșt think that they knew about him as an individual. So in our lesson we taught him that God loves him and testified to him that God cares, we then had him pray and taugh him that the feeling he had was the spirit.  We invited him to pray at nights and also pray and read the book of mormon.  When we study we are able to leave ourselves out of the equation and focus on our investigators needs and learn for them and I always find that I learn something that I need and grow in spirit and faith.
My time is out but I love you all and guess what, next week is fast Sunday


           Elder Ward

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hi everyone,

Elder Ward flew from SLC to Milwaukee last night.  We got to talk to him at 11:30 pm in Salt Lake, and again at 5:30 am during his layover in Detroit.  He sounds so great!  He loved the MTC, and is excited to find out where he is going to serve. 

Top picture:  His district.  He was the District Leader, and he told me it was such a great experience.  He got to know everyone really well, and quickly. 
Middle picture:  Elders in his district.
Bottom picture:  His companion, Elder Shine from St. George.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hi family and friends,

Welcome to Elder Ward's blog!  He is flying to Wisconsin tonight, so we should get a phone call around midnight.  We are definitely looking forward to hearing from him!  He has loved the MTC.
The mission address is:

Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission 5651 Broad Street, Suite: #1,
Greendale, WI  53129

Thanks for all of your love and support.  It has meant a lot to all of us!