Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Racoon River YEA!

What up people! Comin at ya again from Raccoon River, Iowa. I just have to begin by giving a couple more shoutouts since I was put in my place by someone for not giving these. ;) HAPPY (late) BIRTHDAY to my Aunt Michelle and to her daughter Elle. Michelle is an amazing person because she just is.  Michelle and I have grown really close over the past couple years and I have loved it. I know that I can always go to her with anything and she will give great advice. My mom always joked and called her my "other mother Michelle" and it's true! She is an amazing person with the funnest personality. And Elle. Oh my Elle. She is a sassy, funny, darling girl. Elle can be cuddly and sweet and then 5 minutes later be screaming bloody murder, but I love it. :) She always told me she loved me (even if I had to coax it out of her.) I love my little Elle. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY this week to my other cousins Josh Brown and Luke. They are such studs and are just funny. Josh returned home from his mission to Anaheim, California about a year ago and I just want to let him know how great of an example he is. Seeing him come home a changed person with a great love of the Gospel makes me excited for the changes I hope to see in myself. And Luke, ask that kid to tell you a joke and he will have you laughin in 5 seconds flat. He is fantastic. :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you all!
Well, things here in Iowa are goin good. Here's the day to day layout you have all been desperately dying to hear: Haha
Monday: P-days are always good. I get to hear from my family and I get a nap. Does it get better than that? Especially since my sleep deprivation is now kicking in.  The whole "wake up at 6:30 am every morning" thing is catching up with me. Big time. So I cherish my naps greatly.Haha We also had dinner with a darling family in the ward, and of course they have a 5 month old son. Not being able to hold de' babies gets harder and harder every day, but I am staying obedient people. No worries. 
Tuesday: Tuesday was great! We were able to go have zone training with President Jensen. He is such an amazing man and always knows just the right thing to say! We have been talking a lot lately about how to get the members of our ward involved in missionary work and he gave some great tips. We are excited to start implementing them and seeing the progress. :) After that we all went to lunch. Mom, you will appreciate this... I GOT CHIPOTLE! Haha for those of you who know me well, you know that Cafe Rio is my thing. Well, Chipotle is the closest thing out here and it was fantastic. I ate it and just thought of home the entire time. Especially you mom. :) Also, it sprinkled all day long and I LOVE rain. Like a little too much. I did just want to stay home in my pjs and watch movies all day, and then I remembered I am a missionary so we went out and did work. Haha, . 
Wednesday: Remember that rain I talked about from yesterday? Yea. We walked out Wednesday morning and it was like it never happened. We were back to the heat and humidity like it was the middle of July! I guess I should be used to it since Utah has bipolar weather as well, but I was hopeful. It was still a good day though! We did a lot of walking which was just great! I actually do love just walking around here because everyone is so friendly and it's like a picture perfect town. Like the one you see in the movies. When we walk, we pick out or favorite houses so it makes it kind of fun. :) 
Thursday: What a day.  It started out like any other day... we headed into Earlham to do some work. At about 2ish, we were in a home teaching a lesson when all the sudden the dads phone starts going off. He looks at it and tells us it's an alert saying that a storm was coming. We all looked outside and it was sunny as can be so we just kind of brushed it off. We ended the lesson, and left to start walking back to our car. Literally 2 seconds after we left their house... rain, lighting, thunder, branches from trees falling everywhere. It was a full on rain storm. We booked it as fast as 2 Sister missionaries in skirts could. It was one of the scariest but funniest moments of my life. We loved it!  Just imagine us running down the street skirts and hair flying everywhere and try not to laugh. Haha  It's not possible. Once we got to our car, we decided we had just endured a really scary situation and deserved a treat. Our next stop was the gas station for some hot chocolate and a donut.  Totally worth it. We wished we could have stayed in our car all day, but we had dinner planned with some members so we headed over to their house. They fed us Thai food. And mom, if you can believe it... I ate it! I am learning how to eat things other than chicken fingers! ;) It was actually pretty good. :) I also got a letter from my auntie Tracie! Thanks Auntie Trac! :)
Friday: Friday was just a normal missionary day. Wake up, eat, study, eat, tract, eat, teach. It was great! Sometimes it is just refreshing to have a normal day. We did get a little crazy that night though. Sometimes we sit downstairs with Ashton (the 16 year old girl, our "little sister") and laugh till we are all curled up on the floor in pain. Haha we love it! 
Saturday: Winterset is so fun because every Saturday they have a farmers market in town and we go and meet people and it is always so fun! We went to Frostees for lunch again because Sister Barker's click day was on Sunday. That's our place. We love our walking tacos!  After lunch we came to the library and did some lds.org time. I want to encourage you all, if you haven't already, to go there and watch the work of salvation videos. They are absolutely incredible! So uplifting and they really just enlighten you. So, please take a couple minutes and watch some. You will be so happy you did! 
Sunday: Sunday was a little hard for us. NONE of our investigators or the less actives we have been working with showed up for church. That was really hard... Sunday is always game time and this week we lost. Heavenly Father definitely humbled me. I am learning I can teach people lessons, but if I am not helping them build their faith, I am not fulfilling my purpose. I am learning how to be an effective missionary through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And it is wonderful. He is molding me into and instrument to use in His hands. It is hard, but it is glorious. We also were able to have our Sister Training Leaders train us on how to do a church tour. What an incredible experience. The church tour basically outlines the Plan of Salvation and it was wonderful. Since being on my mission, I have gained a new outlook on life. I am looking at it from an eternal perspective. The Plan of Happiness means more to me now than it ever has. It is a wonderful thing! 
Well, that is my week in a nutshell. I also wanted to share some great quotes I heard this week. "Wicked men obey because of fear. Good men obey because of love." "Become the person you were designed to be." I absolutely love being a missionary. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but also the most amazing thing. My testimony of this Gospel is growing more than I ever thought possible. My faith in prayer, scripture study, repentance, the atonement, and the power of God is growing. I can feel my Saviors love more than I ever had before and it is a feeling I cherish with all of my heart. I KNOW that my Redeemer lives and that this is his work and his glory. I know that he is guiding me through this
to lead me to the people here in Raccoon River East who are prepared. It is a comforting feeling knowing and feeling that I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. I love this Gospel with everything that I am and this is my time to prove that to Him. 
Please remember that I love you all, and more importantly that your Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ love you. This is a glorious time to live in. Always remember to be an example of the believers in word and in deed. Never be ashamed to share the light of Christ that each and every one of you have. Never be ashamed to bear your testimony. You never know who needs to hear yours personally. I love you all and keep you in every prayer. Stay faithful! Stay Awesome!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa." 

After our 6 block "brisk walk" in the pouring rain to our car. We were SOAKED, but we loved every minute of it. At one point, I was on the sidewalk in fetal position laughing hysterically cause I had to pee and Sister Barker's skirt kept flying up. It was a sight to see I'll tell ya that. :)