Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A wedding, a 5K and the Meridian Temple Open House

Dear Family,

I am sorry that I won't have as much to report on, since I just emailed on Wednesday. But I do have several happy things to talk about so no worries. 
We had another lesson on Wednesday with one of our investigators. We received the happy news that her and her boyfriend of 26 years were married that day! We were very happy and excited for her! We read 3 Nephi 11 with her that night, but before we did we watched a short video called "My Joy is Full".  I think it is just a beautiful portrayal of the Savior ministering to the inhabitants of America, His other sheep. She seemed to think so too as she shed a few tears. I was happy that we could help her feel the Spirit. On Friday was her reception and that was fun to attend for a little bit. Then yesterday, she came to church! It was the primary program, so that was perfect. We hope and pray that she will feel comfortable enough to attend next week too. We have another lesson with her tonight.

On Friday we had our zone conference, and it was unlike any zone conference I have been too. They told us sometime in the summer that we would be doing a 5K in October, and that is what we did. They split the mission in half, and we did ours on Friday. I was just planning on walking it, because I was too lazy to train for it. I ended up walking with Sister Smith, the sister that Sister Moa-Sam Fong trained. She is really funny, I love her. Anyway, somehow we motivated each other to run for parts of it. They had us do 6 figure eights around the stake center, and we decided to run for the last one. We did the whole thing in about 45 minutes. Many of the elders showed up in all sorts of onsies. Elder Wheeler, my MTC buddy, came in an inflatable dinosaur costume. After the race we had lunch then went into the gym to do minute to win it sort of games. We did a brainteasers, we knocked over water bottles with tights and tennis balls on our heads, we did the cookie on the face thing, and we even played corn hole, which I scored a couple of points in, surprisingly. It was a super fun zone conference. Also, we did have a training at the very beginning. President Sorensen talked to us about the Book of Mormon, since it was a major topic at conference. He challenged us all to read the Book of Mormon in three months with a question or topic in mind. In the front of my fresh copy of the Book of Mormon I wrote this:

Matthew 10:39 
She that findeth her life shall lose it: and she that loseth her life for my sake shall find it. 
How can I lose myself in service to Heavenly Father?
So that is the scripture and question that I will be pondering as I read the Book of Mormon once again. 

Saturday was spent at the temple open house. The three days I have been there were really slow, since it actually hasn't started yet. They have just been doing tours for the members and other VIP tours. But there were several people who just saw that something was happening in the temple and came to check it out, and they end up just walking in to take a tour. Several of them have been neighbors of other faiths, so that has been fun and a good preview of what is to come. One couple came through and watched the video, and we found out they were not members when the husband asked if there was coffee at the end. They were very friendly and I enjoyed talking to them. Later, I heard a tour guide mention that she took them through the temple, and the wife just kept on turning to her and telling her how peaceful it was. At the end of the day we were scheduled to be at the reception tent at the end of the tour. I was a little sad about this because then we couldn't jump onto the last tour like we could if we were in the video room. However, when we were in the tent, a set of sisters came out of a tour, and told us how they had been in the video room, but due to the lack of people they closed it and told the sisters that they could go on a tour. They then asked if they wanted to take our place in the tent so we could go on a tour, and we said yes, of course. So we just walked to the front of the temple, and they let us go in and wait for the next tour to come. We had to wait about 10 minutes, so we just sat by the recommend desk and enjoyed the peace of the temple. Then we took another tour, which was wonderful. I am so very grateful to be serving a mission here at this time. And I am so excited for this Saturday, for the open house to officially begin :) 

Sister Jensen 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Meridian Idaho Temple

Dear Family,

Since it has been longer than usual, I am not completely sure what happened this past week! Last week we got some really good news from one of our investigators. She is finally getting some of her health concerns taken care of and definitely wants to get baptized before she has some medical procedures done!  She has been meeting with the sisters for about a year, so this was a very happy development. Earlier that same day we had our meeting at the chapel next to the temple and they did indeed give us all a tour. I was sitting in front of Sister Campbell, who is notorious for her intense love of the temple. When President Sorensen announced at the very end that we would get to go through the temple, I turned around to see her teary eyed. Such a sweet moment to go into the house of the Lord with all these wonderful sisters from the Nampa and Boise mission. 

On Saturday we went and did service at a nursing home with our district.  We went to a living room type place with the few residents and had blast with them. One lady used to be a singer, and they say she sang at Carnegie Hall. She is deaf now, so we had to write what we wanted to tell her on a doodle board. But she would practically yell when she responded, in a sing song sort of way. She kept on asking us what makes us happy and what we do to make other people happy. She encouraged us several times to sing, and even got us up to dance. It was quite fun :) 

We didn't have to report to the temple until 4 on Monday, so we also served a lady we met about 2 weeks ago. She is older and has some memory problems.  I think she is rather lonely and enjoys us coming. She goes to a different church very regularly, but it still kind enough to let us come help her. After that we were able to stop in and say hello to another couple. We had a wonderful visit with them.  The husband was in Okinawa in the 50s and the 70s, so we had a fun time talking about that. Then it was off to the temple! We got there and they had our dinner scheduled first, so we had sack lunches at our little area on the stage. A different stake is taking care of our meals every day. The rest of the night we spent in the chapel showing the video that the people watch before going to the temple. Right now they are just letting a few people go through, and there just aren't very many. It was a little slow at times so I started reading the New Testament and memorizing the Living Christ, while Sister Blocker was busy drawing. She is quite gifted. Towards the end of the night, around 8, I asked if we could join in the last tour. They ended up just giving all the sisters in the chapel a tour of our own, which was very nice of them. 
Yesterday, we were at the chapel by the temple at 11 for lunch. We were in a video room for 3 hours. A few members and their families from our assigned congregations came, so it was fun to meet them and their friends. Then we got to go to the reception tent for a couple of hours before dinner. That is where everyone comes out of the tour, and I enjoyed being there and talking to people. I asked three different kids what their favorite thing about the temple was and they all said the stairs. I also talked to this other 11 year old girl who was with her grandparents and cousins. She told me that her parents won't let her be baptized until she is 18, but that she really wants to be. I was happy for her to have such a wonderful experience at the temple that will strengthen her resolve to choose the right. After dinner, we spent the rest of the night in a video room. This time they just let us jump in on the last tour, which we were grateful for. I think I will just go through the temple as many times as I possibly can. It is such a sacred and beautiful building, I know that it is the house of the Lord. 

Sister Jensen

 This is us at the temple Monday night, our battery died and they couldn't even jump it :( Thankfully some sisters that live close to us have a van so they took us all home, and the car was fixed the next day.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Happy General Conference!

My new companion!

Dear Family,

Conference was basically Christmas. I love conference time because you feel such a sense of unity with the saints all over the world. I am so grateful to be a part of the Lord's kingdom one the earth. And I am so very grateful for our wonderful leaders and the divinely inspired counsel that they give us. 

We started teaching new investigators on Monday! A sister in our ward invited her friends to take the missionary lessons. They are both probably in their early 60s. We taught them the restoration and it was pretty well received. This lesson was just a reminder to me of how important the members are in missionary work.  It really does create the ideal situation for someone to learn about the church. I just love the members here in Middleton! 
The other day we were tracting the street that our dinner appointment was on. We had to go to the member's home for dinner before we finished, but we decided after dinner was over to knock on the last couple of houses. I knew there was a member that doesn’t come much in one of the houses, but I forgot to check and see which house he lived in. We ended up knocking on his door he told us that he is a member. I realized who he was and we started visiting with him at the door. He expressed a desire to be active in the church again, and said that it was kind of funny that we had stopped by, as he was just sitting and thinking about returning to the church. We asked if he wanted to take the missionary lessons as a refresher and he agreed. We said a prayer with him at the door, and I was just so grateful to be an instrument in the Lord's hand. Like President Monson always says, there is nothing more sweet then to follow where the Spirit leads and be the answer to someone else's prayer. 

Throughout this week we were really trying hard to set up times to watch conference with investigators and members.  Sunday morning was really fun because we watched it with one of our investigator. She made us biscuits and gravy and hot chocolate. Sunday afternoon we went to the member's house where we were having dinner. They have a big projector so we watched it on that and had some Idaho potatoes and ham for dinner. We are treated quite well here in Middleton. 

On Wednesday we have a meeting with all of the sisters about the temple open house. We are having it at the new building next to the temple, so I am really hoping that they will give us a tour. President Sorensen did say in my interview last week that they have some surprises for us :) The open house officially starts on the 21st, but there are VIP tours before that, so our first day at the temple with be next Monday, the 9th. We will also be there on Tuesday and Saturday that week. Which means that I won't have p-day on Monday, we will have it on another day that week that we are not sure of yet. I am bursting with excitement, I have been waiting for this open house since the day I got my call and now it is finally here! 
Thanks everyone for the support you give! I truly am so blessed. 
Sister Jensen 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Temple Square Missionary

Dear Family,

I have had quite the week! Sister Campbell and I were together until Wednesday, bouncing between Nampa and Middleton to get everything ready for our new companions. Missionaries always talk about miracles happening on exchanges, and we had a few of our own. First, we got a referral from some elders in Caldwell for a woman who is going through a really hard time right now. We stopped by her home and met her grandma and aunt, who also live there. We were not able to find the woman we were looking for, but got to talk with the aunt. She has a really good LDS friend in the ward that she works on family history with.  

The other cool thing that happened was when we visited some members to ask about their neighbors only the wife was home, but we were able to figure out that her and her husband served a mission in the Palmyra temple, where Sister Campbell is from. Siser Campbell worked in a gas station near the temple, and the husband would come to the gas station all the time to say hi to her and buy her donuts. Just one of those crazy connections that really remind you how small the world really is.

On Wednesday, we went to district meeting then picked up our companions around 12. President and Sister Sorensen took us all out to lunch at Cafe Zupas and then we came back to the office where he assigned us our companions. My companion is Sister Blocker and she is from Dallas, Texas. She entered the MTC a week before me and left a week after. It is a welcome change to be companions with someone who has been out the same amount of time, I am really enjoying it. 

We had our baptism on Saturday! Our ten year old investigator got baptized on the 23rd. He was just beaming the whole time, and he had some pretty happy parents and grandparents. There were many sister missionaries there that had taught him over the past year, so it was really fun to see all of them. He is a really special kid, and it is cool to see how the children in a family promote and encourage their parents to be better disciples of Christ. 

Women's conference was really amazing on Saturday, and I felt like I needed to hear so many things that were said there. I felt like I kept on hearing over and over again to remember who we are, that we are sons and daughters of the most High. We have a divine nature and potential, every single one of us. I feel like I sometimes forget this, especially when I am being really hard on myself and comparing myself to other missionaries. But that is a tool of the adversary, who wants us to forget how special we are. So I am learning more about putting my trust in the Lord, and relying on Him rather than myself. I just love this gospel so much, I know that this is the Christ's restored church on the earth today. And I know that Heavenly Father does have a plan for us to be happy. 

Sister Jensen  

Monday, September 18, 2017

New Companion

Wearing lavalava in our new apartment.

Dear Family,

I am going to break my three month streak! I finally get to stay in an area for longer than 2 transfers. We got our transfer calls on Saturday morning and they were pretty surprising. If there is one thing I can count on about transfers is that I never see what's coming. First off, Sister Tukumoeatu is going to Meridian and she is going to train! I am super excited for her and know she will do an amazing job. I am staying and my new companion will be a temple square missionary! There are only two of them coming to the mission, and I think they will be helping out a ton with the open house, giving us trainings and what not. They are not coming in until Wednesday, so I will be companions with Sister Campbell, who is getting the other temple square missionary. I love Sister Campbell, she is from Rochester, New York and has the most beautiful singing voice. I told her at zone conference that we were going to be companions one day and look what happened. I am so excited about being with a sister from temple square! I honestly just can't wait to ask her tons of questions, like if they travel through the underground tunnels and how many general authorities she has met. I would never have guessed that this would happen, along with all of the other changes I have been through on my mission. 

I don't have much to report since I just emailed on Thursday. Our move on Friday went really well. The four other elders in Middleton helped, which was really awesome because our apartment is upstairs. It is probably the nicest place I have lived in on my mission. We have two bedrooms and one bathroom, and we have a washer and dryer in the bathroom. The kitchen is nice and spacious. And I just love living with another set of sisters, it is really fun. 
We had stake conference yesterday and is was good as always. President Sorensen spoke about conversion, and related the story of Peter and the process of his conversion. It is pretty incredible that Peter was in the presence of the Savior, witnessed His miracles and teachings, and still wasn't converted. He had a testimony that Jesus was the Messiah, but wasn't always true to that testimony at first. But, after denying the Savior, feeling that intense sorrow, then being taught by the resurrected Savior about being a true disciple, Peter became converted. He moved mountains and shaped history. All of us need to go through our own process of conversion, laying our broken heart and contrite spirit on the alter of sacrifice in order that Heavenly Father may shape us into the person He knows we can become. I love this scripture that I read this morning: 
"I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will." Words of Mormon 1:7
I am so grateful to be here in Middleton, doing the will of the Father. 

Sister Jensen 

Baptism and Homecoming

Beautiful Idaho Sky

Dear Family,

Change is coming! Time on the mission really is so strange. I feel like I was just called as a trainer, given the challenge of a new area. But now it has almost been three months and we find out on Saturday if one of us is leaving. I am hoping to break my trend of only being in an area for three months, but we will see what Heavenly Father has in mind! 

We had the most wonderful baptism on Saturday.  Our investigators are really special people and I feel so grateful that we have been able to play a small, small part in their journey. That is what I love about missionary work. Ultimately this is all the Lord's work, but He is willing to let us help because He knows that is what will allow us to become more like Him. Heavenly Father really is so good. As they were being baptized, I had that familiar burning in my heart, felt at every baptism. It was also great to see the support from the ward, we definitely should have held the service in the Chapel. It was funny because we had the baptism in the evening, and it happened to be the same evening as homecoming. So there were a big group of homecoming goers that showed up to the baptism before going to the dance. I have just loved working with and seeing the youth so excited in this process. I am also very excited for these new members and this new life they are beginning, and I know that it already has brought them so much happiness.

The baptism was definitely the highlight or this past week. Other than that we have been busy visiting families and getting the members excited about inviting people to the open house. We finally made contact with a family whose son is 13 and not baptized yet. We had a great talk with them and the son told us that he really wants to be baptized, so we are going to teach them the first lesson tomorrow. And yesterday we had zone conference, and we focused on planning on finding new people to teach. That really is the hardest thing about missionary work, is finding. We have many, many hours open that could be used in teaching if we can just find the people. For me, I have learned that it is all about having faith that Heavenly Father is preparing people for us to teach, and then doing everything within our power to find those people. As we do that, Heavenly Father will bless us. There is so much I can improve on, and I know that I can't become the missionary Heavenly Father knows I can be unless I rely on Him. I love this gospel, I know that it has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the Savior stands by us as we testify that He lives and that He loves us.

Sister Jensen  

Monday, September 4, 2017

A visit to Baker City

Dear Family,

We have had just another wonderful week here in Middleton. I feel like I don't have any major updates, so this might be shorter than my usual email. We did have good things happen though. We met with new investigators that the sisters started teaching a year ago. A couple in our ward have befriended these people and we have started to teach them again.  We went on Wednesday night and told them about the temple. We also asked them if they want to take the lessons again and they said yes! So we are looking forward to that this week. 

We also taught C. again. We taught him more about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. He was really interested by the Book of Mormon and said that he would try to read it. I have been thinking a lot lately about the power of the Book of Mormon. I have heard so many people talk about their conversion story and the Book of Mormon's key role in that conversion. I know that if someone with real intent and faith in Christ reads that book, they will receive a witness from the Spirit that it is the word of God. On the other hand, when people I have taught don't read the Book of Mormon, they don't feel that Spirit and don't find answers to their prayers, and it is really hard for them to progress. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it works together with the Bible, they go hand in hand to accomplish the purposes of Heavenly Father in bringing His children back to Him.

The highlight of this week was returning to Baker City for a baptism! I taught E. when I was there. E. has other members of her family that have already joined the church.  It was really cool because I got to see their family start coming back to church when I was there. And E.'s dad actually got to baptize her, which was really special. I love, love, love the Spirit that is always present at baptisms. It is always a confirmation to me that this is the Lord's work that we are participating in a work that is more important than we can comprehend. I love this gospel and I love my Savior.

Sister Jensen 

Birthday Time!

Dear Family,

Another wonderful week filled with miracles here in Middleton has come and gone. It is so unfair how quickly the time goes by, but I guess I just have to learn to be grateful for the time that Heavenly Father does bless me with.

The eclipse last Monday was pretty cool. We went to this member's home that lives on a hill so you could see most of the valley. Leading up to the eclipse things started to get slightly dim. One unexpected thing was the temperature dropping. It got the darkest around 11:30, and it was cool to see the lights come on throughout the valley. It got pretty light quickly after that and it was over. I wish we could have been somewhere that had the total eclipse, because just with that little bit of sun still shining it was pretty light. But it was still an amazing experience that makes me think of the wonder of God's creation. 

We found a new investigator this week! He lives with a member of the church and the sisters taught some of the other family members about a year ago. This week, about the fifth or sixth time that we have talked to C., we asked if he would be interested in us coming and teaching him. He told us that he isn't really interested in the church, but that we could come over and talk about our beliefs. That is not a response that we get very often, so we were pretty excited. We went a couple of days later with a sister in the ward and taught most of the first lesson. C. has read the Bible 5 times over that last 15ish years. When we talked about God's love for us, we asked him if he has felt that love in his life. He told us about how the birth of his son was one major time that he felt God's love for him. We had a great talk about Christ and His earthly ministry. One thing that I love about this mission is that 9 out of 10 people that you talk to have this strong belief in Jesus Christ. We were running out of time and we could only briefly teach the restoration, but what we did teach about it was well received. We were also able to tell him that we believe we have a prophet in our day, and that he leads and guides us through direct revelation from Jesus Christ. We were able to set up a return appointment for this next week, stay tuned for how that goes!

We also found a couple of potential investigators. There is this girl in our ward who just got back from her mission. We went out with her about a month ago and went over to this family that she used to know. We talked to them about the Meridian Temple and invited them to the open house, which they seemed excited about. Then we told them what we do as missionaries, and asked if we could come back and teach them, and they both said that we could! We are going back tomorrow.

Sister Helm moved back to Middleton after her mission! I lived in the same apartment with Sister Helm for 6 weeks back in Nampa during all of the crazy winter weather. Now she is back and I am trying to make myself call her Jenni. I am very excited for her to be here, she already has brought me Costa Vida for my birthday and she is planning on driving me to a baptism in Halfway, Oregon in October. And my birthday was good! We did service for most of the day so that was fun. In the morning we helped a less-active lady in her garage, and in the afternoon we helped clean out horse stalls for these other less-actives. This older couple lives in this upstairs room in a barn, which is actually nicer than you think it would be. We had dinner with them later in the day, and they knew it was my birthday. They got me one of those huge chocolate cakes from Costco that are super rich. They sent it home with us, and we were about to drive away without it, but I remember and ran back up the stairs to their apartment to take that cake. More than half of it is left so I am going to try and share with some of the elders today. 

Thank you to everyone that sent me stuff for birthday! It was a good day and I couldn't ask for anything better on my birthday than to be a missionary.

Sister Jensen

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Dear Family,

It is hard to believe that another week has flown by. It is also hard to believe that after months and months of hearing about it, it is finally the day of the eclipse. People talked about it all the time in Baker City because they are right in the path. Here in Middleton, we will get about 99.5% coverage, so it will still be pretty good. I am not sure how much everyone is hearing on the news, but it is kind of crazy the effect that it has had on the people here. Hotel prices are ridiculously high, and people are renting out their homes for thousands of dollars. I hear the main concern in Weiser, Idaho (where they will get the total eclipse) is that there are not enough toilets for all the people they will be expecting. There is a nice foothill in Middleton, so we will just be going to a member's house on the foothill to watch it with our glasses that are for sure certified.  Luckily, all the members have extra pairs so we got some from them. So that has been the big excitement around here. 

But nothing can be more exciting than missionary work, right?! This week we continued to teach a mother and son. We have the most wonderful, Spirit-filled lessons with them, mostly thanks to the wonderful young men in this ward who have really risen to the challenge of teaching their friend the gospel. I feel really thankful that Heavenly Father has allowed me to be a small part of this journey for them, just like He has for people throughout my mission. 

This has been kind of a short update, but I don't believe I have anything else to report! Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me in whatever way, whether it be emails, letters, packages, or simply prayers. It all means so much, so thank you.

Sister Jensen 

Sister Tukumoeatu decided to document us picking
up pizza for our district after district meeting.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Little Miracles

Dear Family,

We had a week filled with little miracles. I am so grateful for this life that I get to live. I am thankful for this special opportunity that I have to consecrate all I have to serving the Lord by sharing the gospel.

One of the biggest miracles has been teaching a mother and son. We have taught them twice now and set a baptismal date for September 9th! We taught the Restoration on Tuesday, and the son told us that he has already prayed to know I f the Book of Mormon is true, if Joseph Smith was a prophet, and if the church is true. And he told us that he received his answer that it is all true. We taught them the Plan of Salvation on Friday and that went great as well. We have been extra careful to involve members of the congregation in the teaching process, especially the young men. It has been really cool to see these teenage boys rise to the challenge of teaching their friend the gospel. When they go on their missions, they will truly be prepared, they will already love the work of the Lord.

The other big highlight from this week was hearing from Elder Rasband and Elder Wakolo. The whole mission got together in Eagle, which is where Elder Rasband was attending Stake Conference this weekend. First we heard from Elder Wakolo, who had quite the story. His is from Fiji and joined the church when he was 27. He married a member but never let her even have a copy of the Book of Mormon in his home. He took the missionary lessons 4 times in 8 years and had 24 sets of missionaries. It was a question that the last set asked that really changed his heart. They asked him what his family would call their grocery store if they happened to own a grocery store. He said that they would call it after their family since they owned it. They then related that to Christ’s church, and that if it was really Christ’s church it would be called after his name. This pierced his heart, he felt the Spirit, and he agreed to be baptized. Within a year he was called to be the branch president. And now he is a new seventy and this was his first assignment, because he just finished up being a mission president in Little Rock, Arkansas.

After Elder Wakolo, Elder Rasband spoke to us. He spoke to us about a lot of things, and I won’t try to relate them all. He gave us the assignment beforehand to study his talk, “Let the Holy Spirit Guide”, and the Spirit was our main discussion. There is one cool story that he told us from when we was a mission president in New York. At the end of their missions, Elder Rasband had the missionaries come to his home and have a testimony meeting, like we do here and in many other missions. They were having a testimony meeting and this one elder was bearing his testimony about how wonderful his mission was, except the end. He was sent to the Spanish branch in Stanford, Connecticut and said that all he did was hand out copies of the Book of Mormon on a street corner, and nothing else. Elder Rasband said this just broke his heart. Well, 18 months later, they were having another testimony meeting. This one elder stood up and said that he has the most wonderful mission, especially the end when he went to the Spanish branch in Stanford. He then told this story. One night, the received a telephone call from a woman crying. She told them how she was a single mom with many kids. One night, she was sitting alone in her living room when she looking up at her book shelf and saw this book that just seemed to shine at her. She looked to see what it was and saw that it was a Book of Mormon. She started to read it, and read it every night until she finished it, and she knew that it was true. At the very end of the Book of Mormon there was stamp, with the name of two elders and their number. She was then baptized along with many, if not all, of her children. Elder Rasband asked the missionary bearing his testimony what the names of those two elders are, and one of them was that same elder who bore his testimony 18 months before. Elder Rasband then bore his testimony of how we do not know the future consequences of our actions today, we do not know the lives that we will affect.

And the final tender mercy that I want talk about is the application of that very principle in my own mission. Right after hearing from Elder Rasband, we went to Nampa for the baptism of C., who I had taught just the first lesson to back in December. It was a beautiful baptism. C. has many of extended family members who are faithful members. I got to see these grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who were so excited for C. to take this step. She was just glowing, so ready to be brought closer to her Heavenly Father.

I also got to see many people that I love from the Nampa 12th ward. One of them was Sister S., my ward mission leader’s wife. She told me that I just had to go see A. She was baptized 20 years ago in Hungary, went inactive shortly after that because of her family, but is now very active. We aren’t really supposed to be going around and visiting people in our areas because we need to be back in our current areas. But, thankfully, the assistants were at this baptism because they brought an investigator. So I asked them for permission to see this one person and they said that I could. So I got to see A.! I don’t think I have ever met a more righteous, sweet, and humble person. Her daughter has been here for the summer from Hungary and has actually been taking the missionary lessons! We got to meet her, and she is just like A. 

I was thankful for these experiences because they have helped me to see my mission on a larger scope, rather than just focusing on the day to day. And I am trying extra hard to see the little miracles that Heavenly Father places in our path every day here in Middleton.

Sister Jensen  

Monday, August 7, 2017

Good-bye to Sister Shurtleff

Dear Family,

I said goodbye to my trainer yesterday, Sister Shurtleff. She will be going home tomorrow morning. It was one of those moments where you just really stop and realize how quickly time really does go by. I love and admire Sister Shurtleff so much, and it will be strange to not see her anymore. Thankfully, she will just be living in Utah, so I will get to see her after the mission. This area that we are serving in is her first area, so yesterday she came and we all had dinner with a family in the ward. It was so fun, and we took many pictures. Super sad to see her go, but super excited for all the possibilities ahead of her!

It was a great week; we have a lot of good things happening. The highlight is that we have some people that are ready to be taught by the missionaries! It is a mom and her son.  The son has some really good friends in the ward.  We haven’t met with them yet, but we are tomorrow at the Bishop’s house. We are really excited!

I get to attend a baptism this Saturday in Nampa! Sister Shurtleff called me earlier this week to tell me that someone we taught together accepted to be baptized and that she really wants us to be there. I remember she answered the door and just welcomed us in. That first visit was really good, she expressed a sincere interest in taking the lessons. I loved her right away, she is literally the sweetest. We got to teach them about the Restoration, and she received it really well. Then, all the crazy winter stuff happened, they got busy, and then both Sister Shurtleff and I got transferred. Thankfully, the elders were able to continue teaching her. Elder Wheeler, who came out with me from the MTC, got transferred there a couple of months ago and really connected with them. They got married a couple of weeks ago and now her baptism is on Saturday! I think one of the most rewarding parts of the mission has been seeing how those little seeds that I have helped sow have grown and been harvested by other missionaries. It is a really humbling experience in which you can really see the hand of the Lord. And you feel so thankful that you were able to play a small part in it.

Also, we went on exchanges this week. Our Sister Training Leader, Sister Sellar, is training a new missionary in addition to being the STL. Usually we have companionships in which both sisters are STLs but with the large amount of sisters that have been coming in, they are having the STLs train. Sister Tukumoeatu stayed in our area with Sister Sellar and I went to be with Sister Abbott, who came out the same time as Sister Tukumoeatu. It was really great, we got to teach a recent convert in a park. I love teaching in parks, it is my favorite. At this particular park there is just this random tank, so we took a picture on it. Then we got to teach their new investigator. This guy just showed up at church with a friend and asked the sisters if he could take the lessons. Sister Abbott and Sister Sellar were telling us about him earlier in the week and told us about how he has a friend serving a mission in Japan. Well, I didn’t connect the dots until I was there teaching him the Plan of Salvation with Sister Abbott and he told us that his friend’s name was Elder Yeakley, who served in our branch in Okinawa! That was a fun connection.

We got our transfer calls on Saturday and Sister Tukumoeatu and officially get to stay together here in Middleton for another transfer! Not really a surprise and it’s what I wanted to happen. I feel like I might stay in this area for longer than three months this time. At least I am hoping. But I am very, very, very, excited for the temple open house, which is happening next transfer! I have just been thinking lately about how inspired mission calls really are, because this is the perfect mission for me, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the 

Sister Jensen  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Rock Climbing

Last week we had the opportunity to rock climb.  It was so fun!

Dear Family,

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! While it has been very hot this past month, I have enjoyed many aspects of the summer. It doesn’t get dark until much later, which makes being out until 9 much easier. We also get to enjoy some beautiful sunsets. And then there is constantly being given popsicles and water, which I have already mentioned. For our dinners, we mostly get grilled meat and salads, which I really enjoy. It seems strange that we are almost into August, but exciting because that means the temple open house is coming up!
We had a good week, though not much to report on. We had a lesson with the one of or families. We are teaching 10 year old who hasn’t been baptized. The father is huge into hunting, so they always feed the sisters some type of meat before the lesson. This time they fed us buffalo, and it was amazing! The lesson was on the temple. It really inspired the parents to be want to come to church more often.  It has been fun to see some progress with this family.

We also got to teach another one of our investigators, have FHE with a member family, and have good visits with a couple of other members. Sunday was really cool as well because a few members that don’t come very often were there. One of them is really into family history, so we went to the family history class with her, which was very enjoyable. We also had a third hour combined meeting on family history. I just really felt the Spirit and a lot of excitement to work on my family history for the rest of my life.

Much has been on my mind this last week, especially as we have been working to find new people to teach. I’ve been thinking about how we have to have the faith that the Lord is preparing people and that if we follow the Spirit, we will find those people. I have also been thinking about consecration. I came across this quote by Elder Maxwell: “Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory.” As we hand everything over to the Lord, that is when He can start making of us who He wants us to be. While I cannot believe how much of my mission has gone by, I am thankful for the amount of time I still have left. I hope to work on laying everything on the altar, yielding my heart completely to the Lord for Him to change it. I know He can, I just have to let Him.

Sister Jensen 

Beautiful Idaho Sky

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Family Search

I ran into Elder Ashby, who is from my home congregation.

Dear Family,

Mission life is great! I love it. We had a really good week here in Middleton, Idaho, and we are seeing miracles daily.
We have an investigator who the missionaries have been teaching for a little less than a year.  She is awesome and totally knows the church is true. However, her boyfriend isn’t super comfortable talking about religion. But we had a family home evening with them at a member’s home where we introduced them to FamilySearch and now he is obsessed now. Just by putting in his grandparent’s information, he could trace some lines back to the 1200s. It has been fun to see him so excited about it.

We also met and taught one of the investigators the sisters before us had been working with. Members of his family have all recently joined the church. He is not confident in his English (even though it is really good) so it is a little hard to get him to open up, but his is a super nice guy. He is still searching to know what is special or different about this church, so I am excited to help him learn and find out for himself.

The biggest miracle from this week is the C. family. They just moved here earlier this month. When they came, church members just showed up at their place and unloaded their stuff in about 40 minutes, which they were just so impressed by.  They have family members who are active members of the church and they have really felt and seen the difference in their family members, and they want that for her son.  We got to meet them on Friday, and had a great visit with L. She told us how she was hoping to become more involved with the church so that her son could have a good foundation. She loves to read, so she has already sped read the Book of Mormon, but wants to read it again so that she can study it more. She agreed to take the lessons, and we are going back tonight to teach her! I am so excited, and am so grateful that I have been blessed to teach people on my mission that are prepared and ready to receive the gospel.

I am not sure why, but I think that I am the most exhausted that I have ever been on my mission. While it has been so rewarding, it has also been really hard. The difficulty of this time in my mission has really caused me to turn to the Savior for help and strength. I ask Him at the beginning of each day to help me get through, to give me the strength I need to do His work. I am really learning the meaning of taking things one day at a time. I remember a sister missionary telling me at the beginning of the mission that Heavenly Father is going to refine me over and over and over again. And He has.

Sister Jensen