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 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.