Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Halfway, Oregon

We corralled these cows!
Dear Family,
I feel like I am falling more and more in love with this place every day. I am really excited for this season of my mission!

This week was good, we got to see a lot of people. I don't have any major experiences to share, just lots of little things. First, we got to visit this hilarious lady in the nursing home. We also saw H., who the sisters had worked with in the past. She just had neck surgery and we are going to help her brush down her horses tomorrow. We taught a new member family about the Priesthood and church service, I am seriously so excited to watch their progression in the gospel. We got this referral for a lady named J. J. joined the church in her twenties and then stopped attending. But somehow she got in contact with a member of the church and said that she wanted us to come and teach her and her kids. We got to go over Saturday morning and teach them a little bit. The younger kids were very happy to have us over but had a hard time paying attention. The older kids were on their phones most of the time. But the one kid was very attentive and paid attention the whole lesson. Then, J. brought her one of her kids to church yesterday and they stayed the whole time! We were so excited! A lot of people we have been working with showed up at church yesterday, it just made me so happy. 

Pine Valley

The highlight of our week was definitely going to do work in Halfway. So we cover 4 wards and a branch. We do the most work in three of the wards which are here in Baker Valley where nothing is more than thirty minutes away. The other ward is in John Day which is about 2 hours away. I haven't been there yet, and Sister Moa-Sam Fong has only been once. Then we also cover the Pine Valley Branch, which is where Halfway is. Sister Moa-Sam Fong hadn't been there yet so we decided to go this past Saturday for the day, it is about an hour away and the branch is pretty spread out. The Branch Mission Leader, Brother K., is from Fiji and he works at the school there as the music teacher and is soon going to be a principal. He and Sister K. are AMAZING and just made all of the difference. We first went over to their house to talk about the branch and have lunch. The most exciting thing is that they have an acquaintance that they are really good friends with who asked to go to church with them. She has come two times and stayed the whole time. They were supposed to have her over for dinner yesterday and ask her if she wants to meet with us, so hopefully all went well! Sister K. took us around the rest of the day and we stopped by the house of one of their friends. Her name is B. and she is super awesome! When she opened the door I could have sworn I had seen her somewhere before. But she was super open to setting up an appointment with us to talk about things. Then we just went around to meet the branch leaders and then other people. We are hoping to start going once a week, they haven't really had something constant with the missionaries and I think they are excited too. I didn't think it could get any prettier than it is here in Baker, but I was wrong. The Pine Valley is gorgeous, I am so sad the pictures I have don't do any justice to it. But hopefully as we go out there more often I will get more. I also love seeing the unique lifestyle that people live there. Most of them are ranchers, and I am just so impressed by it. It is a 24/7 job and it is WORK. We visited one of the counselors in the branch presidency and helped them corral some of their cattle, it was super fun.

I continue to learn and grow and make mistakes and just love it all. Missions are the best!

Sister Jensen  

walking back to the car after tracting

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


I love these mountains!

Dear Family,

This week was a little bit of everything. I feel like I experienced the full spectrum of missionary emotions in just this week. The Wood family got baptized! That was the definite high point of the week, and probably will be one of the high points of my mission as well. Many people came, we had to hold it in the chapel because of the amount of people. All of Jared's family is active, so the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all came as well as members from both of the Baker wards. Two of Jared's brothers gave talks and it was so cool to hear them talk about how they never thought this day would come, that Tricia and the boys would join the church. As soon as the first brother started speaking both Jared and Tricia just lost it. Tricia was baptized first by Jared's dad, then Jared baptized the two boys! That was a kind of last minute change to the program, but in our last lesson with them we showed them a baptism from the district where a formerly less-active father baptized his wife. Seeing that made Sean and Henry want their dad to do it, who was worthy and able to do it. It took him a while to actually baptize Henry, I believe it was his first time ever baptizing someone. They just stood in the water for a minute or two while tears streamed down Jared's cheeks until he could finally find the words, then baptized Henry and only had to do it once. Then he baptized Sean without a problem. It was just the coolest experience, the Spirit was so strong and I can't even describe how grateful I was to be there. They were confirmed in Sacrament Meeting yesterday and we again felt that Spirit. In the blessing (which was performed by Jared's dad) after they received the Holy Ghost, there was mention of going to the temple to be sealed and later on for missions to be served. I was just grinning ear to ear the whole time I was listening to them. I have great faith in them that they will continue on this journey they are embarking on to return back to their Heavenly Father as a forever family. 

We had a super cool miracle this week! So we got a media referral for this lady named Maria. There was barely any information about Maria and why she wanted to meet with us, it only gave her first name and her address. Well, we drove by the address and it turned out to be a place where you could get dentures. So we were a bit confused. We went inside and asked if there was anybody there by the name of Maria, and the receptionist told us there wasn't. We get in the car disappointed, but then decide that we should follow the counsel in Preach My Gospel to go tracting around media referrals. I got to be honest though, I was so not feeling it. It was kind of an ugly part of town and it was cold and rainy. So I just prayed to Heavenly Father that we could just please find someone who was open and humble enough to accept this message. We try one house and no one answers. We try the next, and we talk to this guy named Craig who was grilling outside. He was friendly and talked to us for a couple of minutes. He has family members who are active but he really wasn't interested. The last house we tried was situated behind the denture place. There were TONS of cigarettes outside the door and a couple of cases of beer. So I didn't have the greatest attitude walking up to this door. But we knocked and this really pretty blonde girl our age answers the door. Then, Sister Moa-Sam Fong is like, "I know you!" The girl invites us in and it turns out that the sisters met her before I came. They had gone to a restaurant with some members for dinner and this girl (Her name is Emily) is a waitress there. The members they were with are good friends with her so they were like, "Do you want to meet with the missionaries?" and she was like, "Yeah, sure!" And even before that the zone leaders ran into her there at the restaurant and again at another restaurant in town. She was talked to her for a couple of minutes in her entry way and she said she still wants to meet with us, and has just been waiting for that member to text her about it. So HUGE answer to prayer! That did happen on Tuesday and we have had a hard time getting to contact with her since then, but I am still praying that it will work out. I have seen a trend in my mission where I see little miracles like this but nothing ever comes of it while I am there. But that doesn't that nothing doesn't ever come of it, I just don't see it and that is okay. I just want to fulfill the work that Heavenly Father has for me to do now. 

We have kind of a busy day today, so that will be all for now. Just know that I am loving life here in Baker City! I have a testimony that the Lord's hand is in this work and I am so grateful to be a part of it. 
Sister Jensen

 a one-legged peacock

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Missionary Forever

Dear Family,

We've had a wonderful week full of teaching. I am learning more and more why this part of the mission is called the promised land. The members just aren't afraid to share the gospel with their friends and it is so incredibly refreshing. Hopefully the rest of the church can catch up with eastern Oregon when it comes to member missionary work. 

The next day, we had a lesson with a couple that have been meeting with the missionaries. When we went to teach them we got a new investigator in the process! When we got to their house, there was a man and a woman standing outside the door with a crying girl. We just kind of walked past them and knocked on the door and started to visit with J & K. We learned that the man was J.'s nephew and M. came and listened to the lesson. We read a talk about commitments.  They all liked the talk, and then M. started asking us a bunch of questions. We gave him a Book of Mormon and a restoration pamphlet, and are going back tomorrow to teach all of them. Pray that it goes well! M. really needs this gospel in his life, and I pray that he really is interested. 

That same day we taught the W. family the restoration! In case I haven't already said it enough, they are AMAZING. T., the mom, is just so prepared. She is really sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit, and is willing to follow them. We weren't with her in Relief Society on Sunday, but a member told us later that she stood up and told them how she had a prompting 15 years or so ago that she should go to her husband’s church, but had ignored it. Then, a year ago, when a member invited her to church as she was picking up her boys from scouts, she remembered her prompting and knew she had to go. She then admonished the sisters in Relief Society to never ignore that first prompting. Anyway, we taught them the restoration and they loved it! They had lots of questions but they were always very satisfied with our answers. We pulled up the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration movie on their TV for them and asked them to watch it. They watched it that night and told us how much they loved it when we met with them the next day. They said that once it was over they wished there was a part two, like about Brigham Young or something.   One of the family members said to us the other day, "Can I just tell you something?" We were like, "Of course!" He then went on to explain to us that a year ago, when he was drinking all of these really caffeinated beverages, he felt really dark and depressed. He knew he had to quit, so he did, and he told us how he didn't feel that way anymore and that he felt like all of this light entered into his life. He told us how he feels like all of these things have fallen into place in his life for this to happen. We showed them the baptismal font in the church building and he just thanked us because we had "changed his life." It was just the sweetest thing!  

I will write about one more teaching experience that we had, though there are more. Yesterday, we taught J. and his mom. J. has been meeting with the missionaries for a couple of months and wants to be baptized.  We talked about families, priesthood, and the temple. As we were talking about priesthood and how that will be the next step for J. after his baptism, his mom said, "So that means J. could baptize me? Wouldn't that be so cool for him to baptize his own mother? I mean, I am already baptized, but wouldn't that just be so cool?" Then she started crying. It is cool to see how her heart is opening to our message, and hopefully we can continue teaching her so that she can be baptized by J. I just love missionary work. 
Fun side note, one day we were eating our lunch in the park under this tree. About ten feet away from us a ton of branches broke off the tree and showered down to the ground. I just started laughing really hard, imagining if we had been in that spot and were rained on by branches while Sister Moa-Sam Fong was like, "Why are you laughing we almost died?!" It was fun.

Also, we were teaching another investigator and she was telling us how she has been really feeling strongly about how our bodies are temples and we need to take care of them. She said she is going to try to eat better and exercise. Sister Moa-Sam Fong and I have been talking about that as well, since recently we have been snacking on junk food all day. So we committed to her that we would be healthier as well. It’s been a struggle but it has also been good. It has made me see how addicted I am to sugar since I have been suffering withdrawals. 

So yeah, life is good. I got to take a two hour nap this morning so I am pretty happy. Mission life is great, I think I'll do it forever. 
Sister Jensen 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Baker City

Dear Family,

After being in Baker City for a week, I already feel like I have been here forever. I am already in love with it, and hope that I can stay for the next 6 months which is a typical amount of time to be out here. We saw lots of people this week, met some awesome members, got some new investigators, and set some baptism dates. 

The major highlight from this week was teaching a family. We taught them the Plan of Salvation as the first lesson this week.  We also talked a lot about the Spirit, and they just get that too.  The father told us that there have definitely been times in his life where he has felt the Spirit. That night we set a baptism date for the Saturday of Easter weekend! We are super excited for them, and are meeting with them twice this week. They are golden! 

Other than that, a lot of good small things happened. We taught an investigator a lesson on the priesthood, watched general conference with a less-active member, helped two people move, visited this lady in a motel she runs, tried honeycomb, played games at a birthday party, and much more. I love it here because there really is so much work to do. I did have to break out my tights after putting them away a week ago, but other than that no complaints! 

I always seem to forget to do this, but I will write a little bit about my companion. Sister Moa-Sam Fong is from Southern California but spent half of her life in Maui. Her dad is Tongan and her mom is a Hawaiian, Chinese, and Portuguese. She is super funny, she has the greatest laugh. She is also a super hard worker, so I think we will be able to do some great things together, see a lot of miracles. 

General conference was amazing! All of the talks were great, I especially loved the ones given by Elder Eyring, Elder Holland, Joy Jones, L. Whitney Clayton, and Joaquin Costa. Of course President Monson's as well, I hope that anybody reading this who hasn't read the Book of Mormon will truly and seriously read it. I know that it is true and that it really does testify of Christ. I love this gospel and am so humbled that Heavenly Father would bless me with the opportunity to be one of His missionaries to these people. 


Sister Jensen