Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Spirit of Christ (mas)

Family!!! Can you believe it is Christmas already?? I am seriously shocked!! Where has the time gone??? I am just weirded out. I have a couple birthday shoutouts to give before I begin... First I will start with my little cousin Davis who turns one on Christmas day.  I am so baffled!! The year with him has flown! I remember when my aunt Michelle brought him home and I met him for the first time... gosh he was so chunky and the most adorable baby ever! Obviously, I fell in love with him instantly. His smile lights up a room! It is weird to think he will be big when I get home... All my Jensens out there, give him an extra hug from his favorite cousin Gabby for me! :) The next shoutout goes to my little half-sister Lynda! She is turning 13 on Christmas Eve. She is so old!!!! Me and Lynda have always had a love hate relationship. Haha she hates me and I love her. ;) No...kidding... we love each other. :) She is just awesome! She is my sassy little sister. Doesn't get better than that. Alright, I don't have a ton of time today, so I will just fill ya in on the important stuff:
Tuesday: We had our last lesson with Deloris... we had a really amazing lesson with her and the Spirit was so strong. Sister Barker and I both felt prompted to invite her to be baptized again, and again, she said no. We both decided that now just isn't her time to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are very sad, but we know that Heavenly Father has better timing than we do. We know one day she will be ready. We also had another lesson with the See family. (The Jehovah's Witnesses.) Lets just say we went in all prepared and came out very humble. They pretty much tore us apart. Man... I wish I knew the Bible better!!! Whenever we talked about the Book of Mormon we did so well, but of course it always came back to the Bible and they just know it so well. Definitely a humbling experience. We talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation and I didn't know as much as I thought. It sounds brutal, but I am very grateful for that lesson. It reminded me that there is always room to grow and to learn. That night, we were able to drive to the Stake Center in Urbandale to pick up Sister Lloyd! She is a a sister who had finished her mission and was going home early for Christmas so she needed a place to stay till Thursday morning and we were the lucky ones who got her. :)
Wednesday: Sister Lloyd's first area was actually Raccoon River, so we were able to take her around to a bunch of people she had worked with but hadn't seen in a year! How lucky is that?!?!? The look on these
peoples faces when they saw her is something I will never forget. Sister Lloyd taught me a lot today about missionary work. It doesn't matter how many baptisms you had... if you helped someone there grow their faith in some way, you were successful. She truly was an amazing missionary! I am grateful everyday that Heavenly Father inspired President Jensen to have her come stay with us. She helped us more than we helped her.
Thursday: We had to wake up at about 5:30 to have Sister Lloyd to the airport by 6:30. That was weird... but I am so happy for her. She was so excited! :) We had district meeting today and we ate with the Penners and they gave us a tour of their amazing house. They are just the cutest couple ever basically. No joke. I love them so much.
Saturday: We helped a single mom in our ward pack up all of her house. Jessica is seriously my favorite lady ever!! She reminds me so much of my mom it isn't even funny!  She is about 35 and we get along very well. She is just so fun!! We pretty much did that all day and then she took us out to dinner and then we headed home and had a lesson with the Prices. In our jammies. Rocked it.
Sunday: Church? Cancelled. No joke! How weird is that?? Because our ward boundaries are so big, when the weather gets super bad they cancel church. President Jensen also grounded all mission vehicles though so I guess it worked out. We just talked with the Prices and did studies and took a nap... haha we couldn't help it! When they finally ungrounded all the cars, we went out to leave and quickly realized we were going nowhere. The Prices driveway is all gravel and it was so cold that the gravel froze. Yea.. we didn't drive at all
yesterday. SUPER WEIRD!!! We did want to do some work though so we booked it over to the Allen's house! They are the Prices' nonmember neighbors and they love us! We just huddled on the couch with the mom and caught up. It was fun. :) Well, that is the important stuff of the week! I would fill ya in on everything, but I just don't have any time! I hope you all have wonderful Christmas though! I am including a link to the new Nativity video that the Church has released. It is absolutely amazing!
It really reminds us what Christmas is truly about. Although it is very hard to be away from my family, I KNOW that there is no better place and no better thing that I could be doing this season. I have the opportunity every day to help people remember what Christmas is all about. I would not trade this for the world. I want to leave you all with my testimony that Jesus Christ lives. That he came to this earth as a baby to fulfill the atonement for each of us. I know that because of Jesus Christ, we all have the opportunity to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father for eternity. I urge you to remember your Savior Jesus Christ this Christmas season in any way that you can. Watch a video about him, bear your testimony, read your scriptures and pray more. Whatever helps you think of Him. If you do so, you will blessed and your heart will be touched. Remember, just drop the last syllable and it becomes the spirit of Christ. I love you all and I pray for you everyday. I pray that you will have a very merry and wonderful Christmas. God bless!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."

Hahaha... it is amazing what people will give you when you help them move!!! :)

For any of you who didn't receive a Christmas card... :)

Sister Penner in her "workshop." She is the master of crafts. No joke.

The Penners AMAZING Christmas tree! She is the decorating queen!!! 

Me and sweet Karissa. (The 10 year old we are teaching) :)

The amazing Sister Lloyd who got to come and stay with us for a day.
She is freakin amazing!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Best Week So Far!

What a week! Seriously a week full of miracles. God is good. Hopefully I get them all in! First though, I have to give a shout out to my brother Taylor again. He had his mission farewell yesterday and what I hear is that he freakin killed it! Tay, you are awesome. I am seriously so proud of you and all that you have done to get to this point. You are going to rock being an Elder. :) Alright, now on to my week...
Monday: Fastest. P-day. Ever. Oh my heavens. I felt like we maybe had an hour to do stuff cause it just flew by! We decided to do something fun though and we met up with all the Elders at the Saxtons MANSION
(no joke... giant house) and went sledding for an hour or two. Haha I have a couple battle wounds from that one, but it was fun. Two of the Elders in our ward have never seen snow and this was their first time sledding so that was fun to watch. That night, our dinner appt. cancelled on us so we went into Winterset for a little bit and saw Deloris. She is doing good! She is slowly beginning to understand more and is still reading the Book of Mormon. We are hopeful she will understand the importance of baptism and have a desire to be baptized.
Tuesday: What a day! We got more done today than we have the last week! Since we don't have training any more, we get out of the house at 10. We figured since we didn't have bingo till 2 and we have so many extra miles, we drove to Earlham to find some people. MIRACLES! We were able to see some less actives who Sister Barker has never even met and she has been here 7.5 months! We were able to have lessons with them all and introduce ourselves. One of the ladies even gave us fudge and clementines when we left. Haha she loved us. :) We hadn't had lunch yet so we decided to go to the one restaurant in Earlham. It is called Chestnut Cafe and it is the cutest little thing I have ever seen.  After that we headed back to Winterset for bingo. We ended up not even having it though cause someone had come in and sang so we just helped them decorate instead. Their Christmas tree looks bomb. We left there and decided to do some tracting. That is when we met the See family. They are devout Jehovah's Witnesses and just a darling family. They have two little girls who are 7 and 3. They invited us in and we ended up talking for about an hour! They asked us a billion questions and we were able to answer most of them which is awesome. They even offered us dinner. Haha they love us! We have another appt. with them tomorrow so we will see how it goes. We only left because we had an appt. with Karissa so we headed there after. She is doing good! She was not ready to be baptized this weekend, but we are hoping by the end of the year.
Wednesday: Kind of a slowish day. We helped the assisted living home decorate some more which was fun and then we did mormon.org time which I always love. After that we were able to see one of investigators who we haven't seen in a while. They were tending their grandson so we couldn't have a very good lesson with them so we just read a scripture and headed out. That night we had dinner with the Turners who are a darling family! They have two boys who are their own and then they have 4 kids that they adopted from China. They are just the funniest kids! Their littlest one, Talia, made the best comment ever. We were talking about Christmas and Sister Turner said, "Maybe the Sisters will get packages from their moms for Christmas." Then Talia said with the most confused look I have ever seen... "You have moms?" Haha it was the greatest moment ever. She was even more surprised to find out we had dads and siblings and nephews and nieces. She was baffled. 3 year olds are the cutest. That night we decided to go to mutual cause we had never been and we didn't have any appts. It was awesome! We played some basketball (Yes. In skirts. Rocked it.), baked cookies, sewed pillow cases, and ate chocolate. What could be better! It was a fun night!
Thursday: ZONE CONFERENCE! Best thing if my life!! Our mission is so big that when they do these conferences, they split the mission into three different conferences so we were there with only about a third
of the mission. There were still about 120 missionaries there though! Our mission is giant. Cause it's cool. Anyways, It was a wonderful day! The first half (9am-12pm) was spiritual. Amazing training form President and Sister Jensen, the AP's, and some of the senior couples. It was awesome because the AP's asked Sister Barker and I if we would sing so we were able to sing "I believe in Christ" again and it was fun. We did it a capella so it was a little more challenging but it was amazing. Then we all had lunch and then it was time for the fun stuff! President asked all the districts to put together a skit... and let me tell you. The missionaries in the IDMM are hilarious! We were laughing uncontrollable with each skit! HILARIOUS! I wish now that I would have recorded them, but maybe next time. :) Then President had a special treat for us... we all watched Ephraims Rescue together!  Sister Barker and I have seen it quite a couple times. but it was still fun to watch it with all the other missionaries. It was just a fun day! After, we did some knocking in Van Meter and then went home early to do some studies. It really was just an amazing day! I wish you all could have been there.
Friday: Weekly planning. Woop woop. Of course, that took up our day but we did get out for a bit and let me tell you it felt like summer. It was 30 degrees outside and we were stoked! We didn't even wear our coats! It was sweet. ") That night, we had dinner with the Elders at our ward mission leaders house! It was fun as always and she made bomb spaghetti. Sister Jackson is just awesome! During the lesson she made a comment that has really stuck with me. One of the general authorities said that people need about 7 times of contact with a member of this church until they will look into it. We were talking about that and Sister Jackson said, " I just want to be one of the 7." How amazing is that! Sometimes we don't know if we are #1 or #7, but we will be one of those numbers contributing to their journey to their Savior. What a great example she is! That night, we headed over to the McCalls to say hi and ended up staying for quite a bit. We had the most powerful lesson that we have ever had with them. Sister McCall and their two girls were all baptized in July and they are just killin it! The testimonies they and Brother McCall bore in our lesson is something I will never forget.
Saturday: Today was my officially 4 month click day!! Can you believe I have been "Sister Jensen" for 4 months now??? I am baffled!!! Where have they gone?!?! Time is flyin people. We spent most of the day
knocking in Winterset, but the night was the best part. It was the Raccoon River wards Christmas party!! AHHHH! So fun. I don't know why but on 3 of the 4 click days I have had, the ward has had a party of
some sort. Haha I like this trend. :) Anyways, the party was a blast! Great food, great company, great program. Just a very fun night! Sister Barker and I also wore ugly Christmas sweaters so that was pretty sweet. We stayed the whole night there, so after we just headed home and passed out.
Sunday: Sundays are seriously always great! Church was wonderful. Relief Society was probably my favorite part. It was hand down the most spiritual relief society lesson I have ever heard. There was not one dry eye in the room when it ended. Sister Barber did a wonderful job! She is an amazing lady. I am going to miss her when I leave Raccoon River so much! She is like my Raccoon River grandma. Ya can't beat that. After church, we went over to the Jackson to talk to Sister Jackson about Jehovah's Witnesses. She used to be one before she became a member so we were asking her all these questions for our lesson with the Sees tomorrow. We are pumped!  Then we headed home and had lunch and did studies. Then, dinner with the Thomas family. Yea... that pic of the house you see. Theirs. I was dying!!! We have only ever been there when it was dark so this was the first time I had really seen their house. Isn't it amazing! The inside is just as gorgeous! We were a little surprised though to walk up to the door and see a deer leg sitting there. Haha dogs will be dogs... Anyways we had a wonderful dinner with them and then we headed to the stake center for the Christmas program. Basically the stake choir just sang a bunch of songs and it was wonderful! Most of the missionaries in this side of the mission where there including President and Sister Jensen so it was very fun to see all of them! It was inspired for us to go though... we were about to leave and our zone leaders call us over and say, " Hey. This couple behind us.. introduce yourselves. You will be teaching them." Then they walked away and we met the Wolfs. What a darling couple! A member of another ward had brought them and they had an amazing time. The crazy thing is that they actually live about 40 minutes away but in their area there are only Elders and they requested Sisters so the Zone Leaders approved us to teach them. Of course we said yes and then after they left we started thinking... there are many sets of Sisters who are way closer to where they live. Why does Heavenly Father want US to teach them? We are so excited to find out! So that was our cool story for the night. :) Seriously.. this week was amazing!! It was full of miracles and blessing and I couldn't ask for anything more. I am absolutely loving being a missionary. I cannot believe I only have 14 months left, but I am going to do my best to find those people I promised I would find. This is my time to serve. I hope you all had a wonderful week! I miss you all dearly and pray for you everyday. I love you all! Have a marvelous week!! :)
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
The house we had dinner at last night. Are you kidding me right now?
Deer leg anyone...?
My girl Sister Muirbrook at Zone Conference! Crazy story... we met
through facebook before we both left and found out that we were going
to the same mission on the same day! She actually took my family and
mission photos as well. She is freakin amazing! We are convinced we
will be comps at least once. It will happen.
Brittney and Gavin Tunney! Gavin is probably one of the cutest kids I
have ever seen. He is a doll! And Brittney is a hoot. We just laugh...
all the time. Haha she is 13 and quite sassy. That is why I like her.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

This week has been a... "blast"...

Well, I really don't have much to write because I just emailed on Wednesday night! This week really has been crazy! Since Sister Barker got her kidney stone "blasted" on Monday, we literally stayed in. All week. We got out a couple times but only for about an hour or two. SOOOOO weird. Here's the low down on the rest of the week though:
Thursday: We literally sat inside all day and watched the Joseph Smith movie and Legacy. About 10 times each. It was awesome! While Sister Barker slept I had some time to organize our area book, do some
crafts, and organize our cupboards. Haha it is amazing how productive you can be when there is literally nothing else to do. :)
Friday: We actually got out for a bit today! We scheduled an appt. with Karissa one of our investigators so we got out to go and see her, and she ended up cancelling on us dangit! So since we weren't able to
see her, we headed home and spent the rest of the night chillin.
Saturday: Today we got out for a whoppin 3 hours!! That is progress people. We saw Deloris which was nice cause it had been a while and we also stopped by the Assisted Living home to say hi and they actually
were having a concert type thing. The music company that Brooklyn (the girl we live with) is in went and sang songs for them so that was fun for us to sit and listen. Got us into the Christmas spirit. :) After that, we went and did mormon.org time which was awesome! I watched the cutest videos... here are some of my favorites:
*This one is the Christmas version of "From the mouth of babes" so it's pretty much my favorite. :)
I invite you to watch them all, they are absolutely wonderful and truly reminding us to keep Christ is Christmas.
Sunday: Church was amazing! We had to leave our house around 7 to be to ward council at 7:30 which was crazy because it snowed A LOT Sunday morning! Haha we scraped the ice off of our car for about 10 minutes. No biggie. Sacrament was awesome! We were a little sad because Karissa wasn't able to come (which means no baptism on Saturday...) and Deloris ride fell through because of the snow so we were totally bummed about that. We were happy though because Sister Barker and I had the opportunity to sing in Sacrament. We chose "I Believe in Christ" and I don't think we could have chosen anything better. It was an amazing experience. So many members came up to us after just sobbing saying thank you over and over again. It was a very powerful experience. Heavenly Father has truly blessed us both with a gift, and we are determined to use it. After Church, we went to the Barbers for their big family Sunday dinner. Haha it still makes me miss my family dinners, but it is getting better. We had great food, fun company, and we even played phase 10. My favorite. Haha SOOOO good. :) We had to leave pretty early though to head to the stake center for the Christmas Devotional. I hope you all had the opportunity to watch it because it was fantastic! Wasn't Elder Nelson's talk amazing?? Haha the music video with the kids had me sobbing. No shame. It was just a wonderful uplifting night! Driving home was definitely scary... I have never been a good winter driver, but I am counting on Heavenly Fathers protection! :) Well, that is my week! Nothing too exciting... but we are determined to have the best week ever this week! We're gonna baptize all of Winterset! Okay kidding, but we are gonna try. :) I hope you all had a wonderful weekend full of Christmas decorations and Christmas cheer! I cannot believe Christmas is almost here... Also, that rhymed. That was pretty cool! I also just wanted to share a little bit from my study this morning... Ether 12 is one of my favorite chapters so I study it often. This morning, something stuck out to me like it never has. In Ether 12:6 it reads: And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. As I thought about that verse, I thought about the witness it promises. What witness will I receive? Well, if you look in the footnotes, it directs you to Leviticus 9:6- And Moses said, This is the thing which the Lord commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you. Glory. My witness will be the glory of the Lord. What a promise! Then I started thinking... well what is a trial of my faith. I decided that a trial of my faith happens on the daily. Trusting that heavenly Father will lead us to the people who are prepared, going out into the cold, sharing my testimony, opening my mouth and talking to everyone, being with a companion 24/7, being a missionary... these are all trials of my faith that I do daily. By continuing on in our lives and obeying the commandments, that is a trial of our faith. At times, it
seems impossible. It seems like a hill ya just can't climb. But, if we endure it well... our witness will be the glory of our Lord. I loved that, and just thought I would share. Anyways, I love you all and pray for you everyday. Each of you means so much to me and I am so glad you are all part of my life. Have a great and SAFE week! I LOVE YOU!!!!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa"
It is officially winter time in Iowa! I get to walk... in a
winterland... everyday of my life. Its Fantastic!
This has been our spot for the last 7 days. Ha!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

What a Week!

Wow! It feels like forever since the last time I emailed... I guess it has been a while though. I am just weirded out cause I am emailing right now on Wednesday night at 10:30 from the Prices laptop... uh.... weird. Lots has happened this past week so I will just start with the recap:
Monday: Definitely a p-day that flew too fast! It was fun though. We got together with all the Sisters in my zone and then in the Des Moines zone and kind of had a day at the mall. We just walked, and talked, and laughed. Doesn't get better than that right?? That night, we had dinner with a member and her daughter and they took us to a buffet. So yummy.  Sister Barker wasn't feeling well after that so we headed home.
Tuesday: The day kind of started off weird with a trip to the doctor. Sister Barker was diagnosed with kidney stones a couple months ago and they have really been bothering her so she went in for a check up. We were there all morning and made it back to Winterset in time for bingo. WOOO! Hands down best part of the day. We also were able to do some mormon.org time that definitely wasn't long enough. Heavenly
Father blessed us with a miracle today and we were able to make contact with one of our investigators we haven't seen in about a month! She actually scheduled and appt. with us which is great!
Wednesday: We went to the doctors again today so that Sister Barker could get some x-rays done. That took up most of our morning. Since we were already on the freeway, we decided to go to Earlham for the day. We were able to do some tracting which felt great and also see some less active families. Sister Barker wasn't feeling well again so we went home early.
Thursday: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving! Mine was absolutely amazing! The only thing that would have made it better was having my family there, but that's okay. :)
Since it was Thursday, we still had district meeting and of course that was just awesome. I absolutely love my district so anytime we all get together it is just great. We have Zone Conference next week and
President has asked all the districts to make up a skit portraying a story from the Book of Mormon so we got to practice that. I'll let ya in on a little secret... me and Sister Barker are totally rapping. Haha it is going to be so legit. It is funny what skills you find out you have while on your mission. :) After that, Brother Spackman who is a counselor in the bishopric came and picked up us and the Elders in our ward cause they invited us all over for Thanksgiving. So fun! Their house was absolutely gorgeous! Basically all us missionaries and their 3 boys played downstairs on their ping pong, their air hockey, and Foosball tables. Then, someone had the brilliant idea to have a nerf gun war. I don't remember the bullets being that hard.. but boy was it fun. When the food was all finished they called us upstairs and let me tell you... it was nothing short of a full on Transtrum Thanksgiving dinner. There was so much food we could have fed the entire neighborhood! Sister Spackman is a wonderful cook! They wouldn't let us help clean up so we all retreated downstairs again and laid on the couchs. Haha no worries... Sisters on one couch Elders on the other... ;) We just took a little post thanksgiving nap. Eventually, they called us up for pies. No joke.... 27 pies. There were only 15 people there and Sister Spackman made 27 pies. She reminds me of my mom... haha kidding but kind of. We all ate pie until we wanted to die but it was so good. Then of course, they let us rest again and then we all decided we wanted to play some games. Apples to apples and taboo had the highest votes! It was so fun! We ended up staying there almost the whole day. When we were leaving, Sister Spackman reminded us that she had asked each of us what our favorite pies were and then proceeded to bring in 6 extra pies from the garage that she had baked especially for us. Of course, I chose pecan. Yum. Isn't she the best?? I just love the Spackmans!
Friday: Weekly planning. Kind of hard to bounce back after a day like Thursday but we tried our hardest! It was definitely a slow day. Sister Barker wasn't feeling well again so we ended up not getting out till about dinner time. We had dinner at the Jacksons (ward mission leader) and then headed into Winterset. Every year the day after Thanksgiving, they have a parade through the square and Santa rides on the fire truck and they turn on all the lights. Soo fun! We did some tracting and it was great to get back to work. That night was the best though because I came home to the greatest package from my Nana. She included a talk that my Papa wrote and a picture of him as well. My papa died about a month before I was born so having a talk from him about being a successful missionary as well as a picture meant the world. I have never felt him so near... I truly am blessed. 
Saturday: A very chill day since Sister Barker was still not feeling well. We did get out and we went to see Joey. Everyone in the house was sick so we didn't stay but we were able to say hi which was good. That night I came home to the best letter from my mom! She is the greatest!
Sunday: Quite the day... we had to go to the church a little bit early to meet up with the Elders. We are planning a sweet fireside for the youth in our ward later this month. So that was pretty fun! Can I just say that I absolutely LOVE fast Sundays in the Raccoon River ward! I love all fast Sundays but there is just something special about this ward. Most the people in it are converts so they are able to testify of how much this gospel means to them because they know what it is like without it. I just love the ward members here! After church, we got home and I realized that I had left my scriptures at the church... I officially have "missionary" brain people... We didn't have enough miles to go back and get them so I just had to live without my scriptures for a little bit. I didn't like that... That night, we were able to go into Winterset and have a pretty good lesson with Deloris. She is slowly but surely getting there. I can see her faith building every time we meet with her. I just love looking back at the first time I met Deloris and how much she has grown. The gospel is amazing people, and it truly changes lives.
Monday: Crazy day! Sister Barker decided that she wanted to have surgery to remove her kidney stone so today was the day. We went in at about 9:30 and didn't get home till about 5. They did a sweet procedure where they actually lasered her stone and blasted it. Cool right?? Luckily, our Sister Training Leaders have a third companion who is a visa waiter so she came and sat with me so I wouldn't be alone. The surgery went great! The whole thing was definitely kind of weird though cause this isn't something you expect to do while on your mission... sit in a waiting room worrying while your comp gets surgery. After the surgery we went to  pick up her meds and we finally made it home. She went straight to bed and slept for a couple hours and I just did my thing... ya know... read my scriptures, wrote some letters, organized the fridge. That kind of stuff. She eventually woke up and couldn't go back to sleep so we watched our favorite movie again... 17 Miracles. SOOOO good. Just a very chill day. Yesterday and today have just been crazy. I have had the chance to play "mom" and I never quite realized how hard it was... keeping track of meds, waking up through the night to give Sister Barker meds, making sure she eats every 2 hours, ... it's exhausting. It's funny because as I have been on my mission, I have just wanted so badly a day where I could just stay home in my pajamas all day and watch movies. Well, that has pretty much been my life yesterday and today and it actually isn't that fun... you never quite realize how much you love the work until you can't do it anymore. Tonight, we got to go out... even if it was to the ER. :/ It has just been a very crazy past couple of days. Well, I hope you have all had a better week than me. Haha I just have one favor to ask.. that you would add Sister Barker to your prayers for the next couple of days. I know she would really appreciate it. Thank you so much for being so amazing. You all are such great examples to me. I truly love each and every one of you. I hope you have a marvelous week!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."

The Winterset Courthouse all pretty. :)

Thanksgiving Clan!
from left to right: Elder Mealy, Nick, Sister Spackman, Sam, Max,
Brother Spackman, Conchi, The Scotts in the back, Kate, Elder May,
Elder Kay, Sister Barker, Elder Whiting, Me

No P-day at the mall would be complete without a little orange chicken. :)
My best bud Rexy :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Giving Thanks

Sister Jensen's Mission President has asked that all letters and packages sent between now and Christmas be sent directly to the missionaries as it creates a back up of mail at the mission home. So...just for the next month, please send any correspondence to:

Sister Gabrielle Jensen
c/o The Price Family
2169 148th St.
Winterset, IA  50273

Now...on to Sister Jensen's letter.... :) 

What a week... definitely a lot slower than the past couple weeks.. Just gotta start of course by giving a shout out to my now TWO year old nephew! :) My Zainers turned 2 on Saturday, and I seriously cannot believe it. It feels like I was just holding him for the first time yesterday. He has been such a light in my life. I remember the first time I did hold him... I just sat and smiled. And cried. And then cried some more. I didn't understand how I could love this little boy so much right from the beginning... he has truly given me so much joy from the moment he was born. He is a sassy, funny, and crazy kid but that is why I love him so much. Please give him and extra squeeze from his Aunt Gabby when you see him (even if he tries to push you off... which he probably will.) :) Anyways, here is my week in a nutshell:
Monday: Because of transfers this week, Monday was not my p-day which was so weird! Not sure I liked it..we are used to kind of relaxing on Monday so we had a hard time gettin work done. Haha We were able  to go see Beverly Clark. She is about 86 years old and was baptized about a year ago. She is a champ! She lives in the Assisted Living home that we do service at so we visit her about twice a week. We usually just share a scripture and then leave, but today we decided to just listen to her. We found out that she really remembers nothing about what she was taught. That was so sad, but it was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had when I was able to testify of the Plan of Salvation to her and to see her eyes light up when she realized she could be with her family forever. I am so grateful for His plan, and for the opportunity that I have to tell people about it for the next 15 months. That night we were invited to have dinner with the Thomas family. Their house is HUGE!!! We chickened out and didn't ask for a tour... we totally regret that. Haha It was fun though! They have a son on a mission in California so we just talked a lot about that and it was great. To top the whole day off, I totally stepped in deer poop on our way back to the car. Haha our car still smells....
Tuesday: Kind of a weird day... the Elders in our ward invited us to go to breakfast with them and some of the ladies that work at the library in Adel. Most awkward breakfast of my life!! Haha we talked about dinosaurs the whole time. It was quite interesting... we did get a free breakfast though so we weren't complanin. :) After that, we headed into Winterset for some Bingo. WOOO! It was hard not to fall asleep, but I made it. No worries. We went and tried to see one of our investigators but she wasn't home. Again. We haven't seen her now for 3 weeks. I am about to lose my cool people. Kidding, I'm not. But, it is frustrating. We were suppose to have a lesson with a referral that night but she called last minute and cancelled so we ended up going to the McCall's who were baptized in June. They are awesome! We had a great lesson on the restoration. They are just fun! 
Wednesday: Finally... p-day. But, Heavenly Father likes to humble us so the day didn't quite go as planned... we started doing our wash in the morning and the Prices washer flooded... again! That is the third time! Haha so we ended up having to bring all of our clothes to a members house here in Winterset! That took a long time, no napping today. Haha After we did all that and bought groceries we headed home to write a couple letters and then headed out! We decided to meet up with our district at the mall because apparently they had little baby wolves and bears that you could hold for free. Of course, we all were like heck to the yes. Yea... psych. It's not free and ya can't hold em. I was super sad. After that we decided that mall was totally lame so we all headed over to the Jordan Creek mall and just walked around. We were suppose to meet with the   Canovas that night, but all of their kids were sick so Brother Canova took us all out to dinner. We were totally sad though because it was a going away party... the Canovas have officially moved to Wisconsin. It really is so sad... the Canovas were awesome! I'll just have to "facebook" em when I get home. :) That night, we decided to drop by and see Joey cause it had been a while. He just is not doing good... I have not seen him at church once since I have been here and its been 13 weeks. He is stressin us out. We will just need to work extra hard with him and help him remember why he was baptized.
Thursday: The cold officially came today! It actually rained ice... haha. Yea it sounds as fun as it was. We were just a slippin and a slidin everywhere! It took us forever to get anywhere so we weren't able to do a lot. We were able to see the Greens though! They are doing okay. It is so hard to see all of them and get them all together. We are still hopeful for Dec.14th for them all. I am just grateful we believe in a God of miracles. That night we drove to West Des Moines to have dinner with a member. She took us out and we just sat and laughed... it was just fun. :)
Friday: VERY slow day! The roads were still very icy so we weren't able to get around very well. We had time to do weekly planning, get into town and do Mormon.org time, and then head to our dinner appt. It
was with the Forbes and it was awesome like always! They are so smart so I love going to their house cause I learn sooo much. And she is a good cook. :)
Saturday: CRAZY DAY! I was kind of off my game cause I was just thinkin about my Zainers and Sister Barker was not feeling well at all. She ended up staying in bed till about 11 so our whole day was thrown off.
She eventually got a priesthood blessing from Brother Price and our Bishop and felt much better after that. I just have to say that since being on my mission, I appreciate the Priesthood so much more now. I am really beginning to understand it better and the role that I play in the priesthood. It is a marvelous thing. It just reminds me of the man that I want to marry. One that will always be worthy to uphold his Priesthood. Anyways, she got the blessing and felt better so we headed out. Because of transfers, we had district meeting today so we drove to the church and we got to meet the new Raccoon River Elders! Elder May and Elder Whiting! They are just fresh out of the MTC little 18 year olds. Haha we are trying not to scare them too much... ;) It was our "get to know you" district meeting today so we played a fun game! Afterwards, we stuck around the church for a bit and did some studies and then the Sisters in our Zone came and picked us up and we went to dinner together. Then of course... since we are girls... we walked to Scratch Cupcakes and got some chocolate. :) Then we headed over to the Stake Center for the Adult Session of Stake Conference. It was amazing! The speakers were totally inspired and it was just great. The topic was missionary work so it was fun to hear all the things the speakers had to say. It was just crazy though... the amount of adults that were there from the stake was like the amount of people in just my ward. Sometimes I still just get hit sometimes with "You aren't in Utah anymore Sister Jensen." It's weird... They did have us do something very cool though. The closing song was "Go Forth with Faith" and they had all us missionaries go up on the stand. Then they had the RM's sing the first verse, everyone sing the second. and then just us missionaries sing the third. It was so powerful and definitely a moment I will never forget.
Sunday: We got to drive to the Stake Center again for the Sunday session on Stake Conference. It was just as great as yesterday! It was fun to talk with all the missionaries in my Stake after cause we don't see each other very much. After, Bishop Arzani had invited us over to eat lunch with his family so we headed there. The Arzanis are just so great! They truly just love us so much and it means a lot. They had their son and his family over too and it was so fun cause they have a daughter entering the Provo MTC in 2 weeks. It was awesome to talk with her and give her all of our advice. She is going to be serving in Brazil and that is actually where her dad served as well so he of course just told us all his horror stories of getting gunned down and giant spiders. She was super excited to go after that. Haha Dads. :) That night, we went into Winterset to see Deloris cause it had been quite a few days. It was completely inspired cause she was having a really hard time. She had some crazy things happen this week and she just really needed us. We just prayed and read the Book of Mormon with her and it was amazing to see how much her countenance changed. The Book of Mormon is truly powerful and Heavenly Father blesses us when we read it. We went home early and watched some PMG videos. Good day.
Well folks, that was my week. Super exciting right?? Haha :) I hope you all have some wonderful plans for Thanksgiving this week! I do, but I will save the details for next weeks letter. :) In the spirit of the season I wanted to share with you a a passage on gratitude from the True to the Faith book:

"Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation and thankfulness for blessings or benefits we have received. As we cultivate a grateful attitude, we are more likely to be happy and spiritually strong. We should regularly express our gratitude to God for the blessings He gives us and to others for the kind acts they do for us. The Lord has promised, “He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious” (D&C 78:19). Gratitude is an uplifting, exalting attitude. People are generally happier when they have gratitude in their hearts. We cannot be bitter, resentful, or mean-spirited when we are grateful. We should be thankful for the wonderful blessings that are ours and for the tremendous opportunities we have. We can be thankful to our parents, family, friends, and teachers. We should express appreciation to everyone who has assisted us in any way.We should thank our Heavenly Father for His goodness to us by acknowledging His hand in all things, thanking Him for all that He gives us, keeping His commandments, and serving others. We should especially thank Him for His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, for the Savior's great example, for His teachings, for
His outreaching hand to lift and help, for His infinite Atonement."

I know that was long, but I just love it. It reminds me that expressing gratitude is a blessing. Sure, it may take time and your prayers will be longer, but you will be blessed. As a missionary, I feel like I am learning about gratitude. I am recognizing more and more the Lords hand in my life everyday and I just want to give thanks
because of how it is changing me. I want to invite you all to really focus on gratitude this week. Not only gratitude to your Heavenly Father, but to your spouse, your children, your parents, your family, your friends, your teachers. All these people around you are precious gifts from your Heavenly Father. Kneel down and thank Him. He is good and he will continue to bless us. I am grateful for each and every one of you. Each of you has been an example in some way to me and you have helped me get to where I am. I am grateful for this Gospel. Looking back on my life, there were times when I really didn't understand what I had so I just overlooked it. This gospel means everything to me now. It has brought me here to Iowa for 18 months to serve my God and King. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon. I am grateful for the growing testimony I have of it and of the power that is found in reading it. I am grateful for a companion who loves me despite all my weirdness. I am grateful for a mom who is my best friend. I am grateful for a dad who took me on dates every month. I am grateful for a sister who is an example to me of the mom I want to be one day. I am grateful for a future brother in law who teases me every chance he gets. I am grateful for nephews who have helped me learn pure love. I am grateful for a brother who is preparing to serve a mission and who is an
example to me. I am grateful for my testimony. Without my testimony I would be no where. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who is VERY aware of me. Most of all, I am grateful for Jesus Christ. He is
my rock and my Redeemer. He is my Savior. He is my Friend. He is my strength. He is my everything. I know that this was long, but I hope it inspired you in some way to just be grateful. I love you very much and I pray for you everyday.
I hope you have a marvelous week!!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa.
Awkward bathroom pic is a MUST. :)

Sister Missionaries Girls Night is the best!

Monday, November 18, 2013

I'm not a baby anymore!

I say this every week... but this week flew! That seems to be the usual now days. It was a good week here in the Winterset area though. Lots of tender mercies from the Lord.
Monday: Hands down one of the greatest p-days ever. Even though it officially snowed today which was pretty crazy. Anyways, since we live so far from everyone else, we never get together as a district. Until today. We all met up at the church and played games. Namely: ultimate frisbee (in the snow!), basketball, soccer, and the best one ever... quidditch. Haha yes we stole all the church's brooms and played quidditch. Don't be jealous. Me and Sister Barker totally rocked it. It was kind of sad though, while we were playing in the snow I went to catch the frisbee and TOTALLY biffed it. On my bum. In the snow. It was fantastic. I hurt my ankle pretty bad, but of course I kept playing. Had to show all those Elders how to do it. ;) Now I am regretting it, but its all good. We went to dinner at Red Robin. Yummmmm. Haha took me back to the good old days!
Tuesday: We had exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders! Exchanges are always fun. I was able to go with Hermana Stroud and she is just awesome! She goes home on Valentines day so she had a lot of knowledge and wisdom to give me. It was great! We were able to have a lesson with one of our investigators and it was probably the craziest lesson I have ever had... and not in a good way. Just lots of info came out that was good to know but stuff we will need to take a lot of time to work on. Oh... the life of a missionary...
Wednesday: We started out going to service at the assisted living home passing out cake. Haha we love giving service. Every month, the most darling couple comes and just sings for them so we got to listen in and feed them. It was great! Then we had a lesson with the Green family! They are doing good. Still looking forward to their December 14th baptism. In the lesson today, we invited Karma's last daughter to be baptized. She said yes and we are just thrilled! Now, they can all work towards this together. Tender mercy! Then that night we saw Sister Penner. Seriously I love that woman! We gave her a lesson and then she gave us early Christmas presents. Good trade I would say! She gave us the most darling scarves from a shop she helps decorate in town. She really is amazing!
Thursday: DISTRICT MEETING! Wooo! I love district meetings. Just a time to be uplifted and enlightened by other missionaries. There is nothin better! After the meeting, us and the Elders in our ward stayed and we role played a church tour for them so they could see how it was done. Haha of course, they didn't take it very seriously but it was still fun. Elders will be Elders right?? We got to visit with the Barbers again that night and they took us out to dinner.  All good :) I received an amazing package from the young women in my Cedar Hills Ward back home!  It was so awesome!  Won't lie...made me so happy!!! :)  We also realized today that we both have a gift. I beatbox and Sister Barker raps. We are quite the pair! We did that all the way and basically rapped our planning session. We feel pretty cool.
Friday: Weekly planning of course! It always takes up so much of our day that it is hard to do anything else. So we did that and then headed into town to just do some work. We didn't have tons of time cause we were scheduled to have dinner with the Elders at the Jackson's. It was fun as always! I got stuck at the kid table though with the Jackson's two kids and Elder Kay. Haha don't ask me how. Just super awkward. It's fine. Kind of a slow day...
Saturday: Pretty good day! We were able to go into Winterset today and see some of our people. We had a good lesson with Deloris. We did make her cry and she did tell us to get out, haha but it was a miraculous lesson if you can believe that. No worries though... all is well. We worked it out and things are great! I was also able to get a brace for my foot at the pharmacy which is great. It helps a lot! That night we got to spend time with the Prices family. LOVE THEM! That night we went to the stake center for a baptism. It was for an investigator of the Sisters in our zone. Such a great experience! There were so many people there supporting him and he was just glowing. He had a really hard life growing up and actually had to get permission from President Monson to be baptized cause he is on parole. So you can imagine the impact the Gospel has had on his life. It was just a very sweet moment to watch. Of course after the baptism, we just sat with our zone and talked and laughed and all that good stuff. :)
Sunday: Good... and weird Sunday! But mostly good! We went to church of course and Deloris came again which means it was her third week in a row. She is on fire! The lessons were just really good and it was a great church service. After church, we went home and we actually got to go to the mission home and see President and Sister Jensen! Tender mercy again! I just love them so much. Then we came home and had some lunch and did some studies. Then we organized our car a bit and just made everything look super good! Haha very productive night. We had so much to do at home though that we didn't end up getting out that night so it was a night at home.
Today: Kind of a weird day. Transfers are on Thursday so our p-day will be this Wednesday but President still wants us to email on Mondays so here I am! I do have some exciting news though... I am staying in Winterset! With Sister Barker!! WOOOO!! There are no new sisters coming in this transfer so they decided to keep most the sisters the same but we are totally okay with that. We really wanted to spend the holidays together so we are just fine. I know though that the next 6 weeks are going to fly! We are determined to make the most of it! Also, Elder Hodges is leaving us and Elder Mealy (his comp and a Brazil visa waiter) will be training, and then Elder Kay and Tappen are going to receive a new Elder who they will train. Do you know what that means.... 7 missionaries in the Raccoon River ward! That is so crazy! We are stoked though to meet our new Elders! :)
Well, that is my week in a nutshell. Pretty good stuff eh?? I hope you have all had a great week! I didn't receive any pics of baby Kate this week so I am assuming she isn't here yet. Hopefully this week! I am so excited!! Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful week. Remember that I love you and that your Heavenly Father and Savior love you! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
 BEST package from the young women in my home ward! I was so excited I tore the box open. Haha no shame. Thank you girls!
A bum foot as a missionary is not fun. At all.
My "homemade" ice pack. Bread and butter anyone??
Good 'ole Beaver Creek district. AKA... best district ever.
Alright top row left to right: Elder Jones, Elder Leishman (District leader), Elder Hodges, Elder Aston (Zone leader), Elder Maughn (Zone leader), Elder Sellers, Elder Kay, Elder Mealy.
Bottom row left to right: Elder Payne, Elder Tappen, Sister Barker, yours truly.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Time is FLYING! Literally, I have no idea where this week went. It was such a good week though so I'm not complaining. :)
Monday: Just a normal p-day. Laundry. Eat. Write. Eat. Sleep. And, we may or may not have watched "17 miracles" again. Haha we love that movie. That night, we had dinner at our Bishop's house again with our Elders. So fun! After that, we just had a chill night walkin.:)
Tuesday: Such a great day! We did our usual morning routine, and then headed into Winterset for our weekly bingo fun. After bingo, we headed over to see 2 of our investigators Karma and Karissa. We met the relief society president there so that she could join in on the lesson. Karma's other daughter Alyssa was there with her friend Keyera and we ended up teaching them as well. Biggest miracle... they accepted the invitation to be baptized and they all accepted a date of December 14!!! We are so crazy happy!! We just see how much it will bless this family. They are wonderful! That night we had dinner with the Penners.  We loved it. :) That night we saw our other investigator Deloris and committed her to come to church again, and she said yes! WOO!
Wednesday: Another great day! Haha we had a lot of those this week... We had to come into Winterset again cause we had crafts with the oldies. So we did that, and then had mormon.org time. Seriously the best ever! If you are ever bored, go onto Mormon.org and just watch the videos. You will be hooked. That night we had dinner with the Christensen's and they are just amazing! Such a great member missionary family. They also have 2 little boys that I just love. :) Makes me not so homesick for my own boys.
Thursday: Earlham day! WOOO! Earlham is one of the towns in our area but we don't get there a lot cause it takes a lot of our miles. We decided though that it was time. Heavenly Father knew we needed to be there! We were able to see so many less active members who we have never been able to see before. We also did a little bit of exploring and realized that Earlham is actually quite amazing. We though it was just some run down little town. Well, it is. On one side. On the other side of town, it is gorgeous! It reminded me of Cedar Hills. Haha it was sweet. Just very new and clean. That night we were supposed to have dinner with a member but they ended up cancelling on us so we decided to go see Sister Costello instead. She is a single member and she is a little bit older. She has some health issues so we go check on her every once in a while. She also had some food she wanted us to pick up, so we decided that was a perfect time to go see her. So we get there and ask her if we can share a message with her. Of course she says yes so we all go into the living room and we sit on the couches and she sits in her recliner. Sister Barker starts saying the prayer and says amen and we both realize that Sister Costello didn't say it. We both look up... she is gone.. snoring and all. We both of course burst out in uncontrollable laughter. We kept trying to wake her up and she would for a sec and mumble something and then she would fall asleep again. Eventually, it got the point that I was YELLING my testimony of prayer at her to keep her awake. Haha it was probably one of the funniest moments on my mission. We felt bad cause we were laughing so hard, but we figured she couldn't hear us anyway. :) Haha we headed home after that and the member who we were supposed to have dinner with actually dropped dinner off. The Barbers are the best.:)
Friday: Today was fun cause we got to do something different than our usual. Normally, we have weekly planning on Friday but today we had Zone training instead. BEST TRAINING OF MY LIFE! They talked about helping our investigators and not hoping. They also emphasized the importance of our investigators, reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and attending church. That was exactly what we needed to hear! They also showed us an amazing video. They put together all the pics of the baptisms the mission has had this year to a song. Bawling. It was amazing to see my Brothers and Sisters who have been found and to think of the many more who will be. Such an amazing feeling. That night we were able to meet with a less active member who has been dodging us for a while. We had an AMAZING lesson on the Temple and on the Endowment and the spirit was super strong. That night, we didn't have a dinner appt., and we figured that since it was closing this weekend, Frostees was the only clear choice. I am going to miss that place... Coming home that night just topped the day off. A letter from Pops (my grandpa), and a letter from my sister with pics of my boys. I was in letter heaven people. Just sat and cried... and laughed... and cried some more. Saturday: Since we didn't do weekly planning yesterday, we got to do it today. Every weekly planning session we have about an hour set apart to do companion inventory. Basically, we just evaluate our companionship and fix our problems. We have never really had a comp inventory cause we have never had problems. This week, Sister Barker and I actually took the time to look deep and see if we had any. We concluded that we are competitive little buggers! Haha we wrote down a list of all the things we are competitive about and decided to be better. It is working so far! :) After that, we were able to see Tyler our recent convert. We taught him about the priesthood and I had found a really cool video about the priesthood during my Mormon.org time that we showed him. It is a Mormon message called. "Power of God." You should all go watch it cause it is wonderful! So we had a good lesson with him and then headed into Winterset to see our investigators and remind them about church. Good night!
Sunday: Miracle day!! Church was just amazing. I was able to give a talk in sacrament. Elder Kay and Elder Tappen also spoke and their talks were amazing! Best part though was that our investigators Deloris and Karissa came! I cant even begin to tell you how happy that made me.  And the ward literally just took them under their wing. Karissa was swept off to primary and Deloris was taken to gospel principles class. We didn't have to do anything..it was awesome!  After church, we talked to Deloris about it and she said it was a lot easier for her today. She said she actually knew what to expect and everybody was so nice and she had a great time! Karissa loved it as well. :) YAY! After church, we just sat outside and talked to our Elders for a little bit and ate Vanilla Wafers. Haha  We went home after that and did our studies and then headed out. We went to Winterset first to see a potential and it was good. We just talked and got to know her a little bit better. I will keep you updated. That night was the best though! We had dinner with the Hancocks. 10 Children. no joke. Ages 14 to 7 months. And they are all adopted! They are such a fun family! We love the kids and the kids loved us! Haha it was a great night! Although I wasn't able to hold any of the kids, we still just played and laughed. And, we named all 47 of their fishes. Playing with their 7 month old baby was nice cause my Zander boy turned 6 months old today so at least I got to play with A baby. :)
Today before we came to the library we did some exploring. We went to City Park and saw Clarks Tower and a covered bridge! It was so fun! It is absolutely gorgeous up there! Cold...but pretty none the less.
Well folks, that was my week. It was a fantastic week for sure! The Lord is blessing us here in the Winterset area. We are finding the people who are being prepared and it is amazing. Since I am a missionary and all we do is invite, I want to leave an invitation with all of you today! Go onto LDS.org and go to the Mormon Messages channel. Watch "Mountains to Climb." It is an amazing video that reminds us that Heavenly Father is always there for us. No matter what our circumstance, he is there to protect and guide us. He loves us. We are His children. He will never leave us. There is also an amazing quote by President Eyring that goes along with that video and I invite you to read that as well. Just always remember that YOU, are loved. He knows you individually.
Well guys, I hope you all had a wonderful week full of good things. I love you all and I will continue to pray for each of you! Also, I have to give a shout out to my cousin Stephanie and her husband Kevan. They are expecting a little girl soon and I have a feeling it might be this week... so in case it is... CONGRATS!  I love you guys and I know you will be wonderful parents. Don't forget to take lots of pics! :)
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
Covered Bridge. Obviously we had to go see it cause that's one thing Iowa is famous for! :)

With Frostees closing, of course we had to get a pic with the sign. :)
Clarks Tower. Soo COOL!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November Already?!?

Hello again family! This week literally flew by! It feels like just a couple days ago I was sitting here writing you all an email. I also cannot believe it is November! Where the heck did October go?? I gotta admit, I am a little happy time is flying, but at the same time so sad.  I am not sure how I am going to survive this winter season. I am a little scared... it will be good though. Haha well I have a couple shout outs this week. First one goes to my nephew, Zander. My little guy will be 6 MONTHS OLD this upcoming Sunday. Can you believe that?? He is the sweetest boy ever. The 3 months I got to spend with him, getting to know him, were my favorite. Make sure you all give him an extra squeeze from his favorite Auntie Gabby! My second shout out goes to my best friend, my mom. Her birthday is on Saturday and I just have to take a sec to tell you all how great she is. She truly is one of the most amazing, selfless, caring, hilarious, tender, awesome people I have met. We are like the same person so for many years, we butted heads. Haha but in the last couple years, our relationship has grown to something amazing. She truly is my biggest supporter and my greatest example. I am thankful for her every day and for the amazing mom that she is to me. So again, when you see her give her an extra hug from her missionary. :) Also, I just have to share one "fun" fact I learned this week. In Winterset (one of the towns I serve in, which has a population of about 10,000 people), there are 17 different churches here. Can you believe that?? So crazy. Anyways, here is the weekly lowdown:
Monday: Since it was the end of the month almost, we had TONS of miles leftover on our car so we decided to go a little crazy this p-day. We drove into West Des Moines and went to the mall. It was soooo great! It just felt like a day at the mall with one of my friends. Things did get a bit crazy though cause Sister Barkers birthday was yesterday, so while we were at the mall she decided to do something crazy. We were just joking around and I said, "Hey. You should get your ears pierced." (She has never had them pierced!) 10 minutes later, her ears were pierced. Haha being spontaneous is pretty fun. :) So we spent the day there and then had dinner that night at our Bishop's house with all the other missionaries. It was pretty fun. We ended up just staying to whole night talking. We seem to do that a lot... :)
Tuesday: Most of our day Tuesday was taken up by interviews with President Jensen. He seriously is so great! We also got to do interviews with Sister Jensen and she reminds me of my Nana so that is always fun. :) After interviews, we came home to do our studies. Pretty low key day.
Wednesday: Such a fun day! We had service today of course and we painted pumpkins which was so fun! Me and Sister Barker decided we have to stop making our crafts look so good cause the residents are getting mad when theirs doesn't look like ours. Haha  We did some walking for the rest of the day and had to head home early cause we were grounded at 6. Here in Iowa, they have something called Beggars night. It is where the kids go trick or treating on a night other than Halloween so then on actual Halloween the adults can go out and party.  Classy right? ;) Anyways, Wednesday was beggars night so President Jensen grounded all the missionaries at 6 so that we wouldn't be tempted to trick or treat. It turned out great though cause we ended up playing apples to apples with the Prices all night. :)
Thursday: HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I hope you all had a wonderful day. If you have cute pics of your costumes, I would love to see em. Since today was Thursday, we had district meeting which is always great. Kind of weird though... the Elders serving in our ward had ZERO miles left on their car for the month so we had to give em a ride to the church. Haha we were all kinda weirded out. Of course though, we just cranked MoTab and sang our little hearts out. :) Because it was Halloween, we also had to be in by 6 tonight. We  watched "17 Miracles" with the Prices. If you haven't seen that movie, seriously watch it. So good! I feel so blessed too, that I am serving my mission in the place where these pioneers traveled. I feel almost spoiled actually. It is quite wonderful. Sister Price is awesome too and made homemade frosted sugar cookies for us while we watched. She is so great!
Friday: Weekly planning. Woo. It is just crazy cause that takes up almost all of our day! We did however get one lesson in with Deloris who is one of our investigators. We had a member who was just baptized about 4 months ago come with us and it was a total blessing cause they actually already knew each other! Revelation is real people! The lesson went pretty good. We committed her to come to Church and she said yes. Progress. That night, we had dinner with the Elders at our ward mission leader, Brother Jackson's house.  We were able to talk to Brother Jackson and just update him on who we are seeing which is always good and then the Elders gave a sweet lesson. Great night!
Saturday: A day of blessings. We were really stuck on what to do on Saturday cause we had no appts. and we didn't know where we wanted to go. Well, it all worked out of course and Heavenly Father blessed us with amazing plans. We headed into Van Meter first to see a potential we met a couple weeks ago. His name is Steve and he is so awesome! So prepared! We got there though, and he was home alone so we weren't able to teach him! So frustrating! Luckily though, we made an appt. for Tuesday and we are really excited! After that, we headed into Winterset to go to the library to print out some stuff. The weather has been great here, so we are trying to do all our walking now before it gets super cold! So we went and saw a less-active sister and had an amazing lesson with her. Then we walked over to the other side of Winterset to see some of our investigators. It is nice cause 4 of our 7 all live in the same neighborhood so it makes our life a little easier. We didn't have time to teach them so we just said hi and reminded them all about church the next day. When we came home, Sister Barker had gotten a bunch of packages for her birthday so we decided to open them all. :) Sister Barker got a bunch of balloons in hers so we blew em all up and played balloon soccer with Ash. It was great. :)
Sunday: Today was awesome, and tiring. It was Sister Barker's birthday today so we partied all morning while we got ready for church. We were both so excited for church cause testimony meeting in the Raccoon River ward is seriously the best! So we walk in and sit down, and church starts. We look around and not one of our investigators was there. We were so sad!  Then, all the sudden Deloris walks in! We wanted to jump for joy! We waved her over to us and she came and sat down and just looked overwhelmed but so happy. We were so glad she made it in time for the sacrament so that she could see that. Amazingly, she stayed all 3 hours! It was wonderful! I never thought though how hard it would be to have an investigator at church. Haha you are constantly worried about how they are taking it all in, making sure the ward is introducing themselves, making sure they get where they need to be. It is exhausting, but so worth it. :) After church, we came home and had a birthday lunch with the Prices. They made Sister Barkers favorite... fettuccine alfredo. It was pretty dang good! Then of course, we played an intense game of UNO. Man are the Prices competitive. Haha I fit right in. We only did that for a little bit cause then we had to get back to work. We did our studies, then headed into Winterset to see Deloris. We just talked through church with her and answered her questions and she committed to come again next week! Wooo! After we saw her, the Tunney family wanted us to come over for some dessert. Brother Tunney is a chef so anything he makes is glorious. We shared a lesson with them about the plan of salvation and then headed home.
Well family, that was my week! It was a really good one! I hope that you all had a good week too. I just want to leave my testimony with you before I end my letter.
I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he is my savior. I know that Joseph Smith was the first Prophet of this dispensation and that he miraculously translated the Book of Mormon with the power of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is the truest book on the earth today, and that what Joseph Smith said about it is true. A man CAN draw nearer to God by reading this book than by any other book on the Earth today. What an amazing promise that is! I know that Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet today and that he holds all of the Priesthood keys and directs this Church by revelation. This truly is the most amazing and the only true church on the Earth. Dear family and friends, we have a wonderful gift. We have been given the knowledge of this Gospel and we have the Holy Ghost. With this gift comes the responsibility of sharing what we know with those around us. Our dear Prophet in his opening remarks in General Conference, urged the members and the missionaries to come together. There are people around you, who are waiting to hear you testimony. Never be afraid or ashamed to share it. It is a glorious thing. The invitation that I want to leave with you all this week, is that you will take 15 minutes and create a mormon.org profile. What a great way to share what you know! Who knows, maybe someone will read your profile and they will be uplifted in some way. It is a beautiful tool our Heavenly Father has given us to share the gift that we have.
I love you all so much. The examples that you are to me mean more than you know. I miss you all dearly, but I know that at this time, I need to be in Iowa giving my all to my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. This is my time to prove my faith to them, and I am so grateful that I am able to wear my Saviors name on my chest every day. I truly feel His love for me every day and I know that you will feel it too. If you will let him in.
Have a great week and stay safe! I LOVE YOU!!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa." 
The Price family! Left to right: Brooklyn, Sister B., Ashton, Sister Price, and Brother Price!
Of course, we had to take a funny pic with our celebration birthday hats. :)
Pumpkin decorating...Happy Halloween! :)
The Price family is so cool, they burn their own trash.