Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tender Mercies

We can't hold kids, but we can hold puppies. :)
Dear Family,

Miracles happen every day here in Middleton. I am constantly praying for and seeing them in our work. I have never felt so strongly that the Lord is indeed helping and strengthening me.

The most exciting news is that one of our investigators was baptized! Everything went really well, President Sorensen even attended the baptism. I am always so stressed out on baptisms days that I have a hard time being excited and happy about it throughout the day. I was think about this and was a little disappointed in myself for not having more joy. Because it is when I am at a baptism that I just feel the Spirit so strongly and get this feeling of wonder that what is taking place is more important than we know. All of the sisters that have been teaching this investigator for the past couple of months attended the baptism.  Best of all, one of them is a companion to Sister Shurtleff, my trainer! It was so good to see her. She is going home at the end of this transfer. At the end of the mission the president lets the missionaries go back and visit all of the areas where they served.  Because Sister Shurtleff was trained here, we are going to try and set up a dinner with a family that she was close to.  Also, I have cool story with the baptism. The investigator was giving us the name for the couple that was giving both of the talks. The last name sounded super familiar to me, but I just shrugged it off and assumed that there was no connection. Well, baptism day comes and this older couple, from one of my wards in Meridian where I served, show up! They had met our investigator at Wendy’s (where she works) and just became good friends. I loved seeing them there and learning of the connection that they have to M. And it makes me think of something that a general authority said at Stake Conference in La Grande: “Coincidence is God’s way of staying anonymous.”

A generation photo!
daughter, mom, and grandma

Tuesday was a harder day for me. We didn’t have any appointments, besides dinner. Most of the day was driving around trying to visit members of our congregation. We weren’t getting very many good responses, and I was feeling a little sorry for myself. It was around 8:40 at night and I was exhausted. Lastly we went out to this home in a more country part of the ward. I wasn’t very hopeful as we knocked on the door, expecting no response. But instead, a middle-aged couple answered the door, and Sister Tukumoeatu asked to use their bathroom. The wife, who is not a member, invited us in right away and was so kind to us. She filled up cups of ice and well water for us and gave us an open invite to come get eggs from their chickens and tomatoes later in the summer. When we mentioned religion, they gave off the impression that they too were not interested, but this woman’s kindness was really a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. There has not been a time when I have been feeling down or sorry for myself and I have not received some little miracle or blessing. It always happens, every single time. And I love it.

On Thursday, we found more people to teach! First, a lady that the sisters used to teach called us. She moved to Caldwell, and lost contact for a while. But she has moved back and wants to be baptized! I am excited to teach her! Later that day, we visited with a family that we are going to start teaching. Some of the members of the family have already been baptized and some have not.  They have a super awesome home teacher, that has really helped the family out. At the end of the visit, when we shared the message, we talked about how their faith helped them through difficult times.

On Sunday we had a lesson with a very special family. They have a goal to be sealed in the temple. We talked about how the marriage in the temple is performed by God’s power, the priesthood.  We encouraged them to study and pray about it. They were asking lots of different questions about how the sealing works, and then the husband, asked, “Wait, can I be sealed to my mom?” When we told him that he could, he started bawling. The Spirit was so strong in that room. We are going to continue to have weekly family home evenings with them to help them reach their goal. I hope that they will be sealed in the Meridian Temple after it is dedicated.

This work is so hard, and I think I am the most tired I have ever been on my mission. But these hard times are the best, because this is when we see the most miracles and experience those most tender mercies from Heavenly Father. I especially felt that this week.

Sister Jensen  

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