Well, as you can guess by the title of this post, my week was constantly up and down, heartache and pure joy, laughter and tears. Just everything good and bad that could have happened this week, did happen. That's missionary life I guess. :) Here we go:
Monday: Monday was just...Monday. Haha One exciting thing that happened though was that it was the 14th of October, which means it was my "click day." My official 2 month mark. Seriously so crazy! It feels like I have been here forever, but no time at all. So to celebrate, I took a 2 hour nap. It was wonderful. :)
Tuesday: Just a chill day. We did some finding and some walking. Our dinner appointment was awesome though! We had it with some members at their brothers house. Coolest house I have ever seen! It was like dome shaped and apparently is supposed to be tornado proof. I know where I'm goin if a tornado hits! ;) Anyways, we watched the cheesiest movie. Haha we aren't quite sure if it was mission approved, but they insisted and it was about the pioneers so we just went with it. Wonderful night! And they lived in the boonies so that literally took up our entire night so that was that.
Wednesday: DAY OF MIRACLES! Literally... miracle after miracle after miracle. Hands down one of the best days of my mission. It started out wonderful with our service at the Assisted Living home. We painted milk jugs! Haha it sounds lame I know, but it was so fun! We painted them like pumpkins, and ghosts, and witches, etc. As missionaries, we really don't get a lot of time to have a creative outlet so it was wonderful. We probably liked it a little too much but we have no shame. After service, we had to make about 5,000 calls so we took some time to do that. In that hour that we made calls, we had appointments set up for the rest of our week. We literally had like no time left in our week! That was wonderful! When I first got here, we had a lot of time to walk. We are seeing the fruits our labors people and it is so great! We also were able to contact people that we have been trying to for weeks but who never called us back. Wednesday every single one of them answered and set appointments. Literally a miracle. We are blessed! We also got a couple referrals and that really doesn't happen a lot. Let's just say that tears of joy were shed that day. :) We also had dinner with the Canovas again and they are just a darling family. And, it was potato soup and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. My favorite. :)
Thursday: We had zone training and as always, it was fantastic. Our leaders always know what to say! They focused a lot on member-missionary work again, and also on just making sure that we aren't too hard on ourselves. It made me realize that I am! Most of the time, I think I am just the worst missionary ever. When we don't have a lot of work or when things aren't going good, I blame myself. Well the training really helped me realize that I am a good missionary. By being here and staying, I am a good missionary. It helped me realize that if I don't believe in myself, I can't believe in the people I am trying to help. Something to work on for sure. After training, we all went to lunch at the mall and that is always fun. The best part is probably the stares that we get. Haha we always seem to smile a little bigger when we notice people staring. :) After lunch, we headed back into Winterset for our doctors appointments. SHOTS!! I literally wanted to cry I was so scared. I hate shots all together but I just wanted my mom to be there with me. Haha luckily, I survived and I am still here. That's a real shocker I know. I also have to give a big shout out to my whole Jensen Family! I came home to the greatest letter that night from a bunch of my family members. Words of encouragement are the greatest thing you can get as a missionary, especially on a semi traumatizing day. Haha so it came at the perfect time. Thank you to you all!!!
Friday: Friday was kind of a rough day. We did our weekly planning, and then headed into Winterset to see one of investigators, and it was quite the lesson. It started out wonderful! We read the Book of Mormon with her and she was really into it. We were just so excited for her because she had accepted a baptismal date and was progressing so much! Well, at the end of the lesson we asked her how she was feeling about her baptism. She had absolutely no recollection of us asking her about accepting a date. Heart=shattered. Literally wanted to cry. She was our one super super solid investigator and she can't remember a thing. We have prayed a lot about her these last couple days and will see how this week goes. Friday night was fun though. We had dinner with all the missionaries in our ward at our mission leaders house. That is always fun, and it was nice to kind of get my mind off of things. We did find out though that one of the new missionaries we had gotten in our ward decided to go home Thursday, so we welcomed Elder Tappen as the newest Raccoon River missionary! We are glad he is in our ward now, but we are so sad for the Elder who decided to go home. This is hard, but it is worth it. To top the whole day off, I got a package from my mom. Haha seriously guys, my mom is the greatest. THANK YOU MOM!!! :)
Saturday: Saturday was supposed to be the greatest day. We had all of these appointments lined up and we had so many potential investigators to see and it should have been wonderful. Well, we also have this wonderful thing called agency. People were cancelling on us left and right. It was so crazy to just see all of our plans fade away. Luckily though, because Heavenly Father loves us, he let us keep some of our appointments which was good. :) We officially have a new investigator. His name is Cameron and he is a 14 year old boy who is so prepared to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was a referral from one of our ward members who is his friend. We had a wonderful lesson with him and when we invited him to be baptized, he didn't even have to think before he said yes. Haha that is probably one of the greatest feelings ever. Inviting my brothers and Sisters to enter the waters of baptism and to make that covenant with their Heavenly Father. A feeling I would not trade for the world. So although Saturday was hard, our night made it a great day. God is good people. God is good.
Sunday: It is so funny how fast things change on the mission! Just 7 short weeks ago, Sunday was the hardest day for me. It was the day I missed my family the most so I even kind of dreaded it. Now, it is the best part of the week! I look forward to Sunday more than any other day! The Raccoon River ward is absolutely amazing and getting to see every member once a week is wonderful! After church, all of us missionaries went to the Barber's house and had lunch with them and their 2 children and their families who live in our ward as well. We may or may not have stayed for 4 hours... haha. It was so fun! It did make me miss all of my Sunday night family dinners though. Those are one of the things I look forward to most about coming home. It reminded me about how blessed I am to be part of a family who is so close. That night, we went to the stake youth standards night with the Prices. It was so great! It was so funny because the family we sat by asked me where I was from so I told them, and they actually have a nephew who goes to Lone Peak who I worked with in my peer tutor class. How funny is that?? What are the chances right?? That was kind of cool. :)
Well, that was my week. Crazy right?? Oh, the life of a missionary. Haha really though... it is so crazy. I never would have thought. One thing that has really stuck with me though from my zone training on Thursday was the scripture 2 Timothy 4:7- "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." What a wonderful scripture. It goes along with a talk by President Monson called, "Be a finisher." What a wonderful talk. I invite all of you to read it. When I look at this scripture I think of my mission. I think of enduring to the end and being a finisher of my mission. But, I think that it can be applied on a larger scale... what is our end goal as members of this glorious church? The Celestial Kingdom. We can only do that if we endure to the end, and become "Finishers" as President Monson said. So I invite all of you to evaluate your life right now. Are you fighting a good fight? Are you finishing your course? Are you keeping the Faith? My dear family, as you cling to the scriptures and prayer, as you attend church EVERY Sunday, and as you come unto Christ in all that you do, you will be a finisher. You will be able to endure to the end with all of your might. I am grateful for the opportunity my Heavenly Father has given me to do this as a missionary. I WILL fight the good fight, I WILL keep the faith, and I WILL be a finisher. I owe my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ all that I have and all that I am. This is the least I could do for them.
I love you all and I am grateful for each of you every day. Never forget that I love you and that I miss you dearly. Keep the faith and endure to the end! I LOVE YOU!! :)
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
|A picture of the Des Moines Stake missionaries at the Mormon Helping Hands project last Saturday. :)|
|My first shots without my Mom. Haha it was a little traumatizing, but luckily I have a companion who was willing to hold my hand like my mom always would. I am blessed! :)|
|The Raccoon River Ward missionaries. :) L-R: Elder Hodges, Elder Tappen (Brazil visa waiter), Elder Kay, Elder Mealy AKA Demon eyes(Brazil visa waiter), me, and Sister Barker. Basically the best set of missionaries you have ever seen. Just sayin. :)|
|Me and Sister Barker with our ward Mission leader, Brother Jackson. He is wonderful! He has been a member for about 2 and a half years now. We love him. :)|