Thursday, December 15, 2016

Snow Days

Me faking happiness about the snow.

Dear Family,

Winter just came out of NOWHERE. We just woke up one day and the ground was covered with snow. We went out and worked the first day of the snow, but then a couple of days later it snowed again. One of the sisters that we live with called the office to ask if it was okay to drive, and everybody told her no. So we kind of had to stay inside that day. Fortunately, it was planning day, so we still got to get a lot of work done despite being home. But we were pretty bored after we finished planning. We have a couple of portable DVD players in our apartments so we were able to watch The Testaments, which was really good. But we have been able to brave the weather the rest of this week, careful to drive very slow through all the snow and ice. 

The other sisters decorated, they are the best!

Our improvised Christmas tree

Nothing too big and exciting happened this week, so this update might be a little sparse. We continue to meet with J. a couple times a week. It is so fun to watch her learn and grow in the gospel. She tells us that she wants to learn so much more about the gospel so that she can teach and testify to everyone.  I know that she will be an instrument in the Lord's hand to bring many, many people to the gospel. Her daughter, D., has started coming to our lessons with J.. She mostly just looks at her phone, but we have the suspicion that she is listening. I showed her my scriptures and personal progress ribbons and I thought she thought is was totally dorky. But then the next day J. told me that D. said she wants scriptures just like mine if she is baptized. Just pray that she will want to listen and feel the Spirit as we teach her! I am super excited because we are planning on bringing J. to the family history center this week so she can get some names to bring to the temple. I love how much joy missionary work brings!

This week, I have seen the Lord's hand in leading us to people to teach. A couple of weeks ago, we had several of the missionaries tract in our area. The assistants were tracting in one of our neighborhoods and found these two guys, and one of them had already read in the Book of Mormon up to Helaman. We tried for a couple of weeks to meet with them, but it didn't work out until this past Monday. We went and found out that the one reading the Book of Mormon, B., is actually a member that lives with this cute couple that has two little boys. So we read the scriptures with the B. while the family was eating dinner, so hopefully they were able to hear and listen as well. We will continue to visit B. and hopefully will be able to teach the family.

Then we got a referral on our snow day! A brother in our ward called us and told us that his neighbor wanted to take the lessons. We called him the next day and set up an appointment to go and visit him. His name is R., we call him Brother R. He is 76 and lives alone. He went to the church when he was younger but never joined. It was funny because he was very good at keeping us on track, which isn't usual among the older people. He just told us that he wanted us to talk about Christ, and we were like "Great!". We taught him the restoration, but it might of been a bit much for him to take in at one time. He did tell us after we prayed that it was very nice. We set a time for us to visit him every week. 

Then, yesterday in one of our missionary correlations, one of the ward leaders told us to go visit this guy named J. He briefly mentioned that he has a girlfriend. We visited him last night and she is now our newest investigator! Her name is C. and she is SO SWEET. She was like, "Do you have classes at church? I would totally come to them" and "So how does it work when you teach people if I want to learn more about it? Do I have to go to the church? Can you can a certain time every week?" We were like, "Yes, of course we can come and teach you in your home!" So we set up a time to come and teach her on Thursday. It was funny because she was telling us how she eats oreos with a fork and puts reeses on her smores and I was like, "Me too!!" (Forgive me for saying like so many times) The Lord prepares you in weird ways to connect with those you teach haha. She suggested eating peanut M&M's with popcorn, so that is a new one I will have to try.  

I love being a missionary during Christmas! I do get hit with bouts of homesickness every once in a while, it is hard not to. Christmas time has always been my favorite time to be with family and loved ones. But I know that this is a sacred time that I have to bless other families with beauty and love of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary, even though it is the hardest thing I have ever done, I know that it is Heavenly Father shaping me into who He needs me to be. I love and miss all of you and am so thankful for everything you do for me!
Sister Jensen 

Amazon is fancy and "wraps" their presents. Thanks mom and dad!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas Tissues

Dear Family,

I got a Christmas package! I love having a present to open each day this month, and yesterday's was a real tender mercy. So...I haven't been feeling too hot the past couple of days. I have a cold or a sinus infection or something. But I was really feeling it yesterday morning as I groggily opened my present for the day. And my present was nothing other than tissues. I laughed and thanked Heavenly Father for inspired parents, as I was running out of tissues. 

I am sure you are all dying to know that J. did get baptized on Tuesday! It was incredible, a day filled with the Spirit. She was having a really tough day. She called us and broke down in tears. And she wasn't worried that she was making the wrong choice or anything like that. She told us so was so afraid that she would let the church down, and we wouldn't want her anymore. We did our best to reassure her that that would never happen, and as long as she tried her best she couldn't fail. I had the prompting that we should invite her to our dinner that night, which was with some of my favorite ladies, Sister P. and Sister D. They are the two older, single sisters that we ate with the first week here, and they really lifted my spirits during that rough transition. We texted her the address and invited her, but she didn't show up for the first half hour. But she called while we were eating and assured us that she was on her way but couldn't find the address on her phone. We gave her directions and she made it! And it was the best thing that could have happened before her baptism. Sister P. is a convert, she joined the church in Chile when she was 17. She was able to bear her testimony that being baptized was without a doubt the best decision that she had ever made. She told her how much the restored gospel of Jesus Christ had blessed her life, especially in the hard times. Sister D. as well was able to bear her strong testimony of the the truthfulness of the church. I was so grateful for the opportunity to be in that Spirit-filled home and hear these amazing women bear their testimonies to J. We soon realized that it was time to get to the church. When we got there we learned that we actually had plenty of time because the font was barely filled. That was a little stressful, because there were a lot of people there, but it was alright because J. got to talk to all of the missionaries that had taught her the past year. We eventually started with the font still filling, which was a little noisy, but could there be a better sound? Well, the font filled in time and J. was baptized by the bishop. Her face was just glowing when it came out of the water and we could hear her squeal with happiness as she walked out of the water. She told us a couple of days later that she felt so light after her baptism, like she had been carrying a ton of weight and it had taken away. We met with her the day after the baptism and it was amazing to see how full of hope she was. She just kept telling us that she knew everything would work out and that she was very content with her current situation, however tough it is. She was confirmed yesterday and she showed up with her daughter! We hadn't met D. yet, so we were very excited. We had a lovely baby blessing and then J. was confirmed by the bishop, and the Spirit was of course very strong as she received the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was testimony meeting, so she got to stand up and bear her testimony last. It was incredible because she addressed most of it to her daughter, testifying that this is the true church and that everyone wouldn't be working so hard against it if it wasn't. She asked us in her testimony to pray for her daughter.  After the meeting, they were both swarmed by ward members who wanted to talk to them. D. met the Young Women's president and some of the girls, and was able to go to the youth classes with her mom. We had invited them to come to our dinner yesterday. It was with a super sweet older couple, but then another family with a girl D.'s age invited them, so there was bit of a tug of war between the dinner invites, all in good fun of course. They ended up going to eat at the other family's house, which is a huge blessing and answer to our prayers for D.  I can't wait to see how she continues to progress in the gospel and I am so thankful that I got to have a small part in the process. 

We taught the B.’s again this week.  I often think of the missionaries that taught Sister B., a set of sister missionaries and a set of elders, and the joy they would have if they only knew that she has come back to her loving Heavenly Father's arms. We may never know on this earth the full impact of our influence, especially when it comes to missionary service. Our numbers can never measure the lives that we can touch with the beauty of Christ's atonement and gospel. I am so thankful for this short time I have to fully commit myself to this work. 

I love you all so much and thank you for all the emails, letters and packages! I am so lucky to have so many loving and supportive people in my life. I know Heavenly Father loves you all so much!

Sister Jensen