Monday, March 27, 2017

Good-Bye Meridian!

Dear Family,

Well, with Sister Eckery going home tomorrow transfers came early for me! Two other sisters are going home this week, and one of them was in a trio so her companions will just be back to a normal companionship of two. But the other sister, who just trained, leaves her companion alone for the last week of the transfer. Which of course, you can't be alone as a missionary, so they put us together! So I am here in her area and President Sorensen told us this morning that it would be a permanent change, as in this is where I definitely will be next transfer. What is this area, you may ask? Well, brace yourself Dad because I am in BAKER CITY, OREGON!!! I am here with Sister Moa-Sam Fong, she just finished up being trained, so she has been out about 3 months. I feel so super blessed because I got everything I wanted. Well, I didn't want to be transferred from my area, I loved it and we saw so many miracles even in the last week. I was definitely holding out to stay, but with 8 sisters leaving and no sisters coming in this transfer, they have to close 5 areas, and mine was consolidated. Again. One of the assistants kind of hinted at this to me at zone conference on Tuesday and then President told Sister Eckery that this would be the case. They are splitting up the wards and giving them to the other elders in our district. I was super upset after the assistants hinted at it, but I had to time to pray and for the Spirit worked on me, so when we got the more official news from President Sorensen, I was prepared and ready to go wherever I was needed. I didn't know where I was going, just that I was being transferred and that I wouldn't be in this area for the last week of the transfer. Well, yesterday we got the news while we were traveling between wards that I was going to Baker. It doesn't make any sense for me to be here for just a week since it is about 2 hours from the mission home, so I suspected that I would be here to stay, plus the assistants told me to pack up all my stuff and clean out our place. So yesterday was a little crazy, with Sister Eckery packing to go home and me getting all of my stuff together, luckily I had already started packing. Then, President told me this morning that this would be permanent (well, as permanent as a mission gets you know). And I am super excited!!! It is seriously gorgeous out here, and I hear from Sister Moa-Sam Fong that they are doing seriously so much work, teaching tons of people and having appointments all of the time. I am looking forward to this being a beautiful chapter in my mission. And I am already here, we drove up after I said goodbye to Sister Eckery and we got some shopping done in Nampa since there isn't much here in Baker. I am a little nervous just about the huge change, it is like a completely different mission out here. But I am super excited, my companion absolutely loves it here and I think I will too.
So I had some awesome days this week. Thursday was a definite highlight, the day that I got to be companions with Sister Shurtleff and we went and visited people in our old area. After emailing, we first tried A. She is doing great, she is teaching the primary kids with another sister and is a visiting teacher. We loved seeing her and catching up. Right before we left she told us how much she missed our lessons and that she was just so happy to see us. I love her much and feel so privileged to see her come back to the gospel. 

After A., we went over to see N.. It was so good to walk through his door and see his face light up when he realized who was there! We had a good little visit with him, I miss his wit and teasing. His caregiver who was there was a new one we hadn't met before, and she isn't a member. But N. was able to tell her how he just felt so good whenever he was with the missionaries, how he just feels the Spirit so strongly whenever we are around. We had N. call J. because we didn't have her number, and she was working but arranged it so that we could meet her at a member’s house later that day. I was so happy to see her! We had just started to catch up and visit with her, when she bursted out, "Can we do a lesson?! It has been so long since I've had a lesson!" We were so caught off guard be of course we were like, "Yes!" So we taught her the restoration, and it just felt so good to be teaching her again with Sister Shurtleff, it just felt right. She listens to the Book of Mormon all the time when she works and is looking forward to conference. It was the greatest blessing to see her again, I am so thankful for it.
Saturday and Sunday Sister Eckery went and said goodbye to people in all of her areas. We went to Caldwell, Nampa, Kuna, and the other side of Meridian. I am so sad to see her go, I feel like my time with her just flew! I am so excited her for to see her family though, and I wish her the best :)
I think that is all for now, hopefully I will have lots of fun things to tell about next week as I start to readjust to this new area of the mission. 

Love you all!

Sister Jensen

Tender Mercies

Dear Family,

So this email won't be quite as long, with Sister Eckery going home on Tuesday things have been a little out of the ordinary. She has her temple trip today, and I am with Sister Shurtleff (my trainer) for the day! We are so excited! We also got permission to go and visit some of the people that we taught, so hopefully can catch a couple of them this afternoon. Biggest tender mercy ever :) 

We got to visit a lot of people since I wrote last! We taught I. a little bit about the Plan of Salvation, she loved it. We finally got to meet with R. again, things have been crazy at work but he is still looking forward to being baptized. On Friday, we went to visit a member in the ward because we heard they were having some health issues and could use some uplifting. Well, we went by and talked to her on her porch for a little while, the weather was lovely. She is a convert of several decades, so she told us all about her and her husband joining the church. Then she told us how she was just having the worst day, very stressed by a lot of things. When we asked if there was anything we could do for her, she just asked that we say a prayer with her. We said it and she was just so appreciative, told us it was the most beautiful prayer and everything that was said was needed. We saw her again on Sunday and she told us that everything worked out! I was just thankful for that opportunity to see how prayer really does work, that Heavenly Father really does answer them in the best way possible. We may not always think it is the best, but He sees the bigger picture when we can't.

I think I am going to leave it at that for now, but I actually have pictures from the last couple of weeks so hopefully that will make up for the short letters. Next week will be a little crazy too, I am not sure who I will be with next week, since Sister Eckery is going home a week before the transfer ends. I just hope to be close to my area so that we can teach and visit people. I love you all so much! 


Sister Jensen 

Companion study at the church

Costa Vida for days!

When a member pays for your frozen yogurt. :)

I'm gonna miss Sister Eckery!

Dilligence in His Work-March 13

Dear Family,

Sister Eckery is on the countdown to go home in 2 weeks, so the reality of having your companion go home is starting to kick in. Next week should be relatively normal, but the week after that there is zone conference, her departing interview and temple trip, and saying goodbye to people in all of her areas. I have loved these past two transfers with her and will be so sad to see her go! But there is so much big change all of the time here on the mission and you just have to learn to adapt. I am hoping to stay here in this area for a couple of more months, plenty of work for us to do! 

As I am looking through my planner, it is looking like this past week was just one of those weeks when nobody could meet with you. It is times like those that you just really got to show Heavenly Father your diligence in doing His work. When you look at your planner and you have only 1 or 2 set appointments for the whole week, what are you going to do with all of that time? And it isn't about just filling time, it's about rescuing Heavenly Father's lost children and bringing them to the safety of His arms. We have to work hard so that we will not "sorrow that this people had not repented that they might have been clasped in the arms of Jesus" (Mormon 5:11). 

So I am not sure if I already mentioned this, but here it is anyway. A couple of weeks ago we got this media referral for a girl named H. Well, we looked up the address and it ended up being this school. So we called the number and ended up talking to this guy named A., who told us that H. is his T.A. He told us about how he teaches a comparative religion class at this Christian high school and they are doing an 8 or 9 unit on the LDS faith. He asked if it were possible for us to come to give a presentation and do a Q&A. We were of course more than happy to accept after getting permission from President Sorensen. That will be taking place this next Friday, and we will be doing it with set of Elders. A. wanted to meet us before hand and observe an LDS worship service, so he came to church on Sunday! He stayed through sacrament and gospel principles before he had to go to his church. He got a program so he was studying it and writing all of these questions, it was kind of fun to watch. So we are excited for this upcoming opportunity, there could be anywhere from 30-100 people there, as he has invited other classes to these types of presentations in the past. We are hoping that is will be a very positive experience where many seeds are planted. 

Also on Sunday we got to sit in on a presentation given to the young men and young women by a recently returned missionary. She just got back from her mission in the Dominican Republic about two weeks ago. So she showed lots of pictures, talked about the culture, and told some fun stories. Sister Eckery and I talked afterwards about how different everyone's missions are. This returned missionary’s experiences couldn't have been more different than ours. But we had interviews with our mission president this week and he kind of talked about this in my interview. He said that he doubts that when anybody in this mission opened their call they said, "Yes!!! Nampa!!!" Regardless, he said that every single missionary that he has interviewed who has gone home has KNOWN why they were sent here. They knew their calls were inspired by Heavenly Father, and I know that mine is too. And I know that this return missionary's too. They all are, because no two of Heavenly Father's children are the same, and I just love the individual and personal aspect of this gospel.

Well, I am really hoping to see more miracles this next week with the people we are trying to work with, but maybe some time to just work hard and ponder my purpose as a missionary was needed this week. Thanks to everyone who is supporting me, whether through letters or prayers or thoughts, it all helps!


Sister Jensen 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Believing Joseph Smith

Dear Family,

It was another great week here in the Idaho Nampa Mission! I have been truly blessed to be put in this area. Our wards are fabulous and there are many people who have been prepared by the members to receive the gospel. I’m hoping to stay a while :) We talked to 3 or 4 people briefly this week who are interested in meeting with us and learning more about the gospel.  We are looking forward to working with them. 

One highlight from this week is J.  We were told that she would be a good visit, so we visited with her. We were having a lovely talk with her, just getting to know her and her story. She has had some really hard things happen to her in her life. Growing up, she lived in Salt Lake so she always went to church with her friends and became active in the church. She kept on saying that she knew she was happiest when she was active in church. Then, she asked us if we could teach her the first missionary discussion. We were like, "Yes, of course!!!" We taught her, and the Spirit was really strong. She kept on saying that she was glad we came and that she thought we were supposed to come. It was just one of those great missionary moments that you know that you are where Heavenly Father wants you to be, helping his children be brought back to His warm embrace. 

We also got to meet with I. again. We finished talking about the Restoration and that Book of Mormon. She was so excited about having a living prophet and is looking forward to General Conference next month. I have been thinking a lot lately about the Restoration and about Joseph Smith. It is so incredibly important for us to have strong testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet, because our religion does stand on the fact that he was called as a prophet. If he wasn't, it would fall. And how do we know that he was a prophet? It is quite simply by the power of the Holy Ghost. We read the Book of Mormon and ask Heavenly Father in prayer if it is true not. It is so simple They only way we can receive truth is from Heavenly Father, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 
I love this quote from Brigham Young:

“If all the talent, tact, wisdom, and refinement of the world had been sent to me with the Book of Mormon, and had declared, in the most exalted of earthly eloquence, the truth of it, undertaking to prove it by learning and worldly wisdom, they would have been to me like smoke which arises only to vanish away. But when I saw a man without eloquence or talents for public speaking, who could only say, ‘I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of the Lord,’ the Holy Ghost proceeding from that individual illuminated my understanding, and a light, glory, and immortality were before me. I was encircled by them, filled with them, and I knew for myself that the testimony of the man was true." 

I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, called to restore the church of Jesus Christ. And I know it by the power of the Holy Ghost. I invite all who do not have this life changing knowledge to read the Book of Mormon, and ask Heavenly Father if it is His word and if He did call Joseph Smith as a prophet and gave him power to translate it. And as Moroni promises "And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."

I love being a missionary, I love this gospel and I know that it is true. It is the only way to find peace in this life, and ever-lasting happiness in the next. 

Sister Jensen