Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Missionary Has Landed

Well everyone, hello from Iowa! It is so crazy to say that because I seriously thought I would be in the MTC forever but it just flew by! Of course though, now I long for the MTC. Haha funny how life works sometimes. My MTC goodbye was definitely hard. I was getting used to it and then all the sudden it was time to leave. I might have shed a few tears. Its fine. But, we had to wake up at 2:30 am so we could be to the airport by 5 so that was fun. Of course, at the airport I got to talk to my mom which was fantastic! I just sat and cried in the airport and got weird looks but I was okay with it. Anyways, we flew from Salt Lake to Denver and then from Denver Des Moines. It was weird getting off the plane because I knew that in a few short moments I would be meeting my mission presidents. Kind of surreal... but luckily, they are darling! President Jensen is about 3 inches shorter than me which is just great. Hahaha   Sister Jensen is just amazing. When I had my interview with her, she just sat and cried with me as I expressed my homesickness. She is like my grandma here and I love it!  Also, President Jensen is convinced that we are related somewhere down the line so he said he was going to do a little family history which will be sweet. So all you Jensens reading this, in your next letter (wink wink) maybe include a couple names if you can of past family so we can see if we can connect the dots. We got off the plane, and immediately headed to the mission home. Just a fun fact first, it was 102 degrees plus humidity that day. It was great. I kind of have just excepted the fact that my hair will be up every day. Its cool. So we went to the mission home, and they let us chill for a little bit and pick our beds. They had all the sisters on one side of the basement and all the elders on the other. Haha... major trust right there. It was definitely weird.. Then we just did a lot of orientation. That lasted till dinner which was fantastic! My first home cooked meal in 2 weeks and I went to town. Oh... so good! Then we had more orientation and then it was bed time! The whole process was kind of long because there were 38 new missionaries who came with me so it took forever. Can you believe that though?? The Lord is definitely hastening his work! 
That next morning, we had to wake up and get out of the house quick to make it to West Des Moines for Transfer meeting which is about 2.5 hours away. Luckily, they let us sleep in the van. Transfer meeting was amazing! And now, I can tell you all the info you have been so desperately waiting for of course. :)
-I am serving in Winterset Iowa and my ward is the Raccoon River ward.
-My companion is Sister Barker from Cottonwood Heights, UT. She is 20 years old and has been out about 3 months. She is hilarious. Basically, all we do is laugh and quote movies together. Nacho Libre is our favorite. :) She has had some medical complications this past week so we have had a lot of down time to get to know each other and it has been good. 
So where we are serving is interesting. My appreciation for where I live is definitely growing seeing how these people live here. But, I am learning to just love them no matter what their circumstance is. 
We have one investigator right now and his name is Tyler. He is 12 years old and is in a part member family. He has set a baptismal date for Sept. 28 which we are so excited for! We have a couple more lessons to teach him which is so cool! So, because we only have one, we are doing a lot of finding.  But I actually love it so its good. Everyone here is so sweet so that makes it easier. Like on Saturday, we had district meeting and we usually eat at the mall which is about 10 min away (I am serving in the nicest as well as the poorest part of Iowa) so the mall food court is a great spot for us. Me and my companion wanted to splurge a little so we went to get some kind of expensive pizza. When we went to pay, the manager stopped us and said it was on him. So sweet! And then that night, a member took us to Applebees for dinner. She actually reminded me a lot of my Auntie Tracie so it was really fun! :) But, the people here are just nice. By the way, if any of you are able, please feed the missionaries as often as you can! It means more to us than you know!  
I am doing alright. My homesickness is a struggle. Because Sister Barker has been sick, I have had a lot of time to think about home and that is not good. I miss my family more everyday but I am learning how to use the power of the Atonement to cope with it. Also, I have resolved that 2 things also make me feel better about being away from home. Pringles and Oreos. Haha I decided I will always be stocked with those because they are my stress food. Its good. I promise everything else I buy is healthy mom! 
I am hoping that our work will pick up a bit so that I stay busy but just know that all your letters and support are immensely appreciated. I can feel your prayers and I love them! Please  know that I miss you all dearly and being here away from you is hard, but I know that this is where I need to be. My testimony of this Gospel is growing and I know that I can do all things through Christ. I am absolutely learning that he qualifies those he calls. 
Keep the letters comin because I love them! I can only write and email on Mondays but I can receive mail whenever so it is greatly appreciated!  I will always write back! I love you all and I miss you dearly!

Sister Jensen

My cute companion, Sister Barker.  That is the backyard of our house.  SOO gorgeous!

My Mission Home. It is absolutely gorgeous and is just so cozy. Loved sleeping there my first night in Iowa!

Our cute little car. We havent come up with a name yet but we will. Now worries!

Our cute little apartment! We actually live with a member which is just incredible! There are only 5 sets of missionaries that do in our stake. Our stake is compromised of almost all the wards in Iowa so we are definitely blessed. They are the Price family and they are just incredible! They have a son serving in Arizona right now and then 2 girls at home. I already love them. They are my family away from home!

My side of the room. Walmart bedspreads are the best!