Wednesday, December 31, 2014

HAPPY CHRISTMAS HARRY!!!! (Yes. My companion has brought out my inner Harry Potter nerd.)

WOWZA. Another week bites the dust. I'm glad to know that I am not crazy because even Sister Romero says the time is just flying. It was a really great week here in Boone though! Lots of miracles, tears, uncontrollable laughter, and love of the Savior Jesus Christ. Doesn't get better than that. :)
Monday: Today was much needed. We just got to sit in our apartment and write letters. P-days like that are nice sometimes. Um... it also rained today. ITS THE MIDDLE OF DECEMBER!!! I think Iowa is just a  little confused. We also got to do a photo shoot and do some Christmas cards with the Elders and just us two. Haha that was great. We got to have dinner with Fern tonight who is a recent convert. She is so cute! We definitely walked away from that meal a couple pounds heavier. Best part of the day though was meeting with our investigator Jay. It was such a good lesson about the Book of Mormon and we invited him to be baptized on February 14!!!! (18 month click day, say what?!?) We are stoked though. He is still trying to recognize his answer, but he will get there.
Tuesday: It was a crazy day full of so many drop bys. We were just trying to see as many people as we could to wish them a happy Christmas! We did some service and some finding too. We had another lesson with Jay. Guys. He is the best. Haha he surprised us with homemade Chicken Noodle soup and Cheesecake. It was a night full of physical and spiritual feasting. :)
Wednesday: Happy Christmas eve!!! Such a crazy day, but good. We did some service and then had a lunch date. Then we just got to visit some more people. We also picked up a new entertainment center off the side of the road. SCORE! The Higgs invited us and the Elders over for dinner and some games so we spent the rest of the night there. So much fun. Haha we laughed way too much... psych. That's not possible.
Thursday: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! Okay. Christmas as a missionary is LITERALLY the best thing in the world. I can't believe that this was my second Christmas in the field already... my how time flies. We spent the morning at our place just opening presents and singing Christmas hymns and watching Bible Videos. Then, we spent the rest of the day at the Ballard's with the Elders. That was so much fun! Haha again... so much laughter. The Ballard's are big board game people, so I fit right in. :) One of the best parts of the day though was definitely skyping my family. It was so good and such a sweet experience. It made me pretty excited to come home in 2 months which I think is a good thing... we will see. :) But it was just a really good day! I am so grateful that my mission had taught me to keep Christ in Christmas. That is the most important part of it all.
Friday: Christmas hang over is a real thing. I was EXHAUSTED today. We had district meeting in Carroll which was about an hour away and I almost had to ask Sister Romero to drive cause I was just struggling. Haha that's what a messed up sleeping schedule will do to ya. :) It was a good meeting though. We brought a box of treats with us and so that keep the Elders pretty happy the whole time. Especially the jelly bean game. :) SO funny!
Saturday: Okay. Coolest experience ever today. We got to teach Matt and his family again and it was one of the sweetest experiences I have had on my mission. We started teaching the Restoration and quickly realized that we were teaching a lesson and not a person so we started asking him questions about his relationship with the Savior. Our lesson then turned into understanding the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I felt really inspired to show him one of my favorite videos, "Reflections of Christ" and it was a tender experience. After we watched it, we of course asked him how he felt. He talked about a couple emotions and ended with a "tingly feeling" in his back. People. Matt felt AND recognized the spirit for the first time in 8 years. At the end of the lesson we invited their family to kneel and after a little bit of stubbornness on our part, Matt offered his first out loud prayer in 14 years. I don't even know how to begin explaining how God is changing ME through these experiences. It made me very grateful that I have such a close relationship with the Spirit and feel His presence so much in my life.
Sunday: The Sacrament. I love the Sacrament. There is such a difference in my week when I have a good experience with the Sacrament. Today was one of those days. I am SO grateful that I get to partake of it weekly. It was a good Sunday though. Pretty slow, but that is nice sometimes. We did studies, had dinner at Sister Robinettes, and then came home and bagged up all our clothes. Productive day I would say. :)
Well... there is my week. I cannot believe that 2015 is almost here... It makes me excited though. I think this video explains how I feel better than I could...
"Look not behind thee." What a true principle. A new year is a time to reflect on the last year, but not to dwell on it. A new year is a time to make GOALS on how we want to do better. Some make physical goals. Some make emotional or social goals. I want to focus today on spiritual goals though. When was the last time you made a spiritual goal? That is my invitation to each of you. Make some SPIRITUAL goals for 2015. Do you want to go to the Temple more? Do you want to have 100% visiting teaching or home teaching? Do you want to read the Book of Mormon all the way through? THESE are SPIRITUAL goals. Each one of us can and should strive to draw nearer to our Savior in the upcoming year. I firmly believe that it is through these goals that we will achieve that.
I am so grateful to be a missionary. I am so grateful that my Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ chose me, and have qualified me each day to do their work. If we let it, their work CAN and WILL humble and purify us.
I am so grateful for each of you and your example. I hope that each of you had a wonderful Christmas and pray that you will have a wonderful start to 2015. I LOVE YOU ALL!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
Only in Iowa.

7 am run to Walmart for laundry detergent? Sure. Why not.
President Jensen approved us to sleep in till 8. Where we up at 6:30? Yes we were. Did we stay in bed till 8? Yes we did. SO NICE!!!
SO spoiled. Because I am a mom, I felt it my duty to make my baby's first Christmas morning in the field special. When we woke up, I made her sit in the bathroom for like 20 minutes while I arranged the presents and stockings. (I am my mothers daughter.) The pic with both of us depicts her reaction when I took the blind fold off. Priceless moment. :)

Super awesome Christmas with the Ballards and the Elders. This was after their kids went to bed. :)

The Boone ward takes care of their missionaries... by trying to fatten us up.
Well. We officially found a bed bug. His name is Stephen. He is taped to our wall currently.

Our Christmas Eve lunch date (with Stephen) :)
This is how we protect ourselves from bedbugs. :) Say hello to Sister Squidward.
We don't even know.

Haha ALL of our clothes and bedding. Oh. The joys of bed bugs.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christ-mas Spirit Lives

WOW!!!!!!!!!! If you are baffled at the fact that it is almost Christmas, welcome to the boat. I am so shocked at how fast 2014 has flown by. We have experienced a lot of Christmas miracles this week. (This email is going to be a short email, because I don't have much time. :))
   - Jay: So we met with him in Monday and the lesson went amazing! He was so close to the spirit and was seriously on the edge of his seat the whole time. At the end of the lesson, we all knelt down and we invited him to pray. It was the first time that he had prayed in years and it was one of the sweetest prayers I have ever heard. Before he closed the prayer, he just paused for a minute and said, "Your timing is perfect. Thank you for sending the girls to me." Then he started to weep a little bit and closed his prayer. People. I AM SO SPOILED! Having the opportunity to be a part of these experiences with people is worth more than anything to me.
   - Matt: Haha this one was a fun experience. He and his family just moved to Boone from Ames. His wife is the only member of the family and less active. We went to their home expecting to share a Christmas message with them, and ended up talking about Matt's religious pursuit. When we invited him to be baptized, he definitely seemed a little apprehensive, but the spirit and humility on his part can fix that. :) He is definitely going to be a challenge, but with God nothing is impossible.
   - Tessa: So, she is actually Alison (our recent converts) little Sister! Alison has been bringing her to church and she is the sweetest  11 year old girl I have ever met in my life. She is so sensitive to the spirit and it was such a humbling experience to teach her about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It just reminded me so much of teaching my little Karissa in Winterset. :)
2. I am officially getting back into real life... I have been playing phone tag with UVU all week. WHAT?!?!? So weird...
3. One night while tracting, we were knocking this door and I looked to my left and saw this sweet icicle hanging from the roof. Of course I brake it off and lick it, and then I turn to Sister Romero and jokingly asked, "Hey, can I break this on your head?" Well, she said yes. Some people never grow up. Yes, I hit her on the head with it. Haha the next 10 minutes consisted of cry laughing on both parts.
4.We had zone training meeting this week and it was awesome!! Sister Barney and I are the next ones to go home in the zone and for some reason that was the talk of the meeting. Haha it was still good though!! :)
5. This has been a really special finding MONTH for us here in the mission field. I am sure many of you have heard of it, but the Church has released the "He is the Gift" initiative and that has been such a blessing to use this month. Here is the website with the video:
Okay. I just need to talk about Christmas for a second.... I love this season. Why? Because it is the Season of Christ. People are nicer. More generous. And just happy. Being a missionary at Christmas time is LITERALLY the best thing in the world. Here are some of my favorite Christmas things to cheer up all you Scrooges... :)
WATCH THEM ALL!!! Seriously though. And grab LOTS of tissues.
Wow. I just want to leave each of you with my testimony of the Savior. I don't even know where to begin even... Jesus Christ lives. He is my Savior and your Savior. He is our Father om Heavens only begotten son. How grateful I am for the scriptures that teach me of him and teach me how to become LIKE Him. I have learned much on my mission, but nothing compares to what I have learned about my Savior. Man... HE LOVES US SO MUCH!!! Weaknesses and all. He is so aware of us and is so willing to help us. He knows exactly what we go through. He is Lord and Savior of not only this world, but all words created. If you don't have a SURE testimony that Jesus IS the Christ, then get on your knees and pray for one, and then get on your feet and share it.
I love each one of you and am so grateful for the example you are in my life. I pray that each of you may have a very wonderful Christmas. And just remember... "You only need drop the last syllable and it becomes the spirit of Christ." I love you all!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
Sometimes ya just need a pampering night. :)
Being sick is the WORST!
MY BABY IS ONE MONTH OLD!!! My how time flies...
Nightly planning gets a little crazy sometimes...
So we got in the car and Sister Romero says, "Sister Jensen... I think you may have stepped in poo." Well, me being 0% flexible, try to get my foot over so she could see the bottom of my shoe. It all ended with dog poop on the steering wheel. My life story people.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Atonement In Action

Okay. I just need to start out this email with my testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. People... IT IS REAL! Not only the forgiveness side of it, but the enabling side of it. That gift from the Savior played such a major role in our week... it usually does, but especially this week. :)
Monday: Pretty normal p-day. We met up with the Sisters in Ames and got some lunch at Chipotle... so good. Haha and then we met with the Lauritsens and I came home to the sweetest Christmas package from my Nana and Pops. THANK YOU!!!! :) Then we got permission to sleep over at the STL's house and that was just hilarious. Sister Romero and I started speaking in a British accent at about 7 pm tonight (and literally haven't stopped since!), but the Sisters decided to join in so we sang hymns and laughed... in a British accent! It was great!
Tuesday: Such a good day!! I got to go home today... Well, to  West Des Moines that it. :) We had our Christmas Zone Conference today and it went so good! I got to see so many missionaries that I love and we received some really amazing trainings. We did that for the first half, and then we all had lunch and then did some skits. HILARIOUS. Seriously... all of us where wipin away tears by the end of it. Then of course they set up the projector and we all watched "Ephraims Rescue" together. Super fun! (*SHOUT OUT TO YOU MAMA BARKER!!!!) After the movie President and Sister Jensen bore the sweetest testimony that just solidified the spirit already present. I love them so much. After the conference, we had gotten permission to go to the mall so Sister Romero could get some boots. So weird to be back in a mall that I went to so many times while serving in Winterset... still got butterflies walking in. Haha by the time we got back to Boone, we only had time to do training and have dinner. It was a long, but very good day!
Wednesday: Pam had some crazy things happen this week, so right after studies we got to go over to her house with the Higgs and the Elders so she could get a blessing. I LOVE THE PRIESTHOOD! It was a very humbling experience for all on the room. The rest of the day is honestly a blur... haha it went so fast and we did so many different things. Training, finding, meetings, teaching. The usual.
Thursday: We literally spent to WHOLE day doing service for members. That happens some times... We got to organize fabric for a couple hours and cut up magazines. It was great. :) Well kind of. Haha this is when the forgiveness side of the Atonement kicked in... we realized as we looked back on our day that we definitely didn't use Heavenly Father's time very well. We were doing good and better things, but not best. Oh the lessons you learn on a mission.
Friday: WE PUT UP CHRISTMAS LIGHTS TODAY. People... I am so happy. We study by Christmas lights, we plan by Christmas lights, we even eat by Christmas lights. ITS GREAT!!! Makes our ghetto appt. not so ghetto. ;) Kidding... kind of. We had some really cool experiences today with teaching by the spirit. Let's just say that D&C 100:4-5 is a real promise.
Saturday: Pretty normal Saturday.. Sister Romero wasn't feeling too well, but I totally had a proud mama moment when she still got up and got ready and exercised her faith in the enabling power of the Atonement. I got a good one people. :)
Sunday: So.... I am officially 16 months old today. So weird. Wanna know how we celebrated?!? We went to church and partook of the sacrament. My favorite. :) The sacrament was actually a really tender experience for me this week... as I sat there pondering before it got to me, I just knew that I had not been the best missionary this week. I wasn't as diligent as I should have been or as faithful. I just prayed that my Father in Heaven would forgive me and I took the sacrament and very strongly felt that he had. Again people... THE ATONEMENT IS SO REAL. Kind of a hard experience to explain... but I just wanted to remind you that the Sacrament is THE most important part of EVERY week. No matter what, make sure you are at church on time so that you can renew ALL of your covenants with your Father. NOTHING else is more important. We had another very tender experience with the Spirit today... We had about 20 minutes before dinner so we decided to do some finding. We got in the car and of course prayed that our Father would direct us as we drove. We started driving and ended up on Prairie st. We sat there for a minute and the spirit very strongly said, "This isn't it." We felt that we needed to go finding over by a members house. Remember when the scriptures talk about a burning in the bosom? Well, the minute we pulled over on the street and started to pray, I got that feeling. At first I was like, "Nah. It's heartburn girl." But, then as we got out and started knocking, it got stronger. The first 2 doors we knocked, they weren't interested. Third time is a charm people.  We knocked on Jay's door and he opened it and immediately the Spirit confirmed what I had been feeling... "This is the one Sister Jensen." We started talking and he immediately felt comfortable with us and shared his kidney transplant experience and at one point started to weep. We related to him our experience of going to another street and not feeling like it was right and just bore testimony that God brought us to him. He did not hesitate one second when we invited him to learn about the message of the Restoration.( We have an appt. with him tonight, please pray that it goes well!) It was just a very humbling experience for all of us.
Well, there is my week. It was a week full of much growth. I am just so grateful to be a missionary. These last 16 months have been full of much sorrow and grief, but at the same time more joy than I have ever felt before. This is truly the greatest thing that I have done up to this point in my life. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I love His gospel. How blessed we are to have a knowledge of his redeeming grace.
I love you all and pray that you have a wonderful week!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
All the Sisters in the Ames Stake. :)

She's still gettin used to weekly planning... :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

One Word....Magnificent!

Well, hello again. Remember that one time I just emailed you like 2 days ago? Oh wait. That was a week ago. BAHHHHHH!!! Time is absolutely flying here in the mission field. This week especially. That's probably because it was a really good week. :)
Monday: So we of course got transfer calls and since transfers were this week, our p-day wasn't till Wednesday. So we did some service at the Mamie Eishenhower Museum (aka made cookie dough balls and then snuck a couple here and there), and we visited Pam, and then we had a movie night with Joshua and Sister Robinette. It was so much fun! She made us hot chocolate and we got to watch one of my favorite movies in the world... "The Notebook." Nah. Just kidding! Haha we watched "17 Miracles." I seriously love this movie so incredibly much! I cry... EVERY TIME! Such a great reminder of how blessed we are here in this day. I have such a deep appreciation for those early saints after serving in Nauvoo and I pray that will  always remain with me.
Tuesday: Such a crazy day! We did some more service and then Sister Higgs took us out to lunch and then we had some appts. and then the best part of the day came. PAM'S BAPTISM!!!! Guys. This was one of the sweetest baptisms I have ever been to. She was so ready for this... She waited for this day for a year. It was such a sacred and personal baptism for her because the only people she wanted there were people who helped her on her path to baptism. So, it was a very small and intimate baptism. But, it was so perfect. I just feel very blessed to have worked with Pam and also to have seen the beginning to the end with meeting her. I am just very humbled. After the baptism, we got to go to the Tall Johnson's for Sister Samford's last meal with them. We laughed way to much of course and both of us were able to get a blessing as well. It doesn't get better than today. :)
Wednesday: One of the craziest p-days I think I have ever had! We spent quite a few hours after studies at the church helping set up the church for our ward Christmas party! It was actually really fun. :) Haha anytime I am allowed to be crafty is good time.  After that we did some service at the library and then finally we got to go home and Sister Samford did some major packing. Then we had coordination at the church and then went to the Wards for dinner. There was no bat this time. :)
Thursday: Transfer day. I have been on my mission 15 months and been to transfers countless times and I STILL get butterflies. Our ride picked us up around 6 and we headed to Iowa City. Since I am training, I had to be in a meeting at 8:45. I just love President and Sister Jensen so much. :) I will share with you one of my favorite parts of this meeting... President was talking about how missionaries keep asking him about ipads and shared with us a conversation he had with a missionary...
Elder: "President, are we going to get ipads soon?
President: "Yes."
Elder: "When?"
President: "Before the millennium."
HAHAHA. I love him so much. :) Transfers were absolutely crazy though... They had the 21 missionaries going home share their testimonies one last time with us... Yes. That included 21 missionaries that I know VERY well and have served with at some time. Shoutout to some of my girls who have now been home for 3 days: Lauralee Browne, Maggie Lindgren, Sydney Pratt, Halee Rogers, and last but not least... my mom. Kira Barker. I gotta admit. It was super weird to see them all go home. It freaked me out. One because I love each of them so much, and two because that means I go home in TWO transfers. It was just crazy. But... fun part of the transfer was that I finally got to meet my baby... SISTER HAILEY ROMERO!!! Yes people... she is 1% Mexican. :) She is so awesome! The first thing she said to me when we sat down on the stage is, "This might sound creepy, but I think I found your blog before I came out." Haha I knew then that we were going to be good friends. :) So a little about my daughter..
-She is 19 years old and will be 20 in April
-She is from Bountiful, Utah
-She quotes Nacho Libre. Enough said.
She is awesome! We seriously get a long so well and we laugh SO much. Haha We are going to have a really good time together. :) Another crazy part of the day was that we were driving away from transfers and about to get on the freeway when one of the APs called and asked us to come back to the church. Yea... they had forgotten to tell us that... WE WERE GETTING A NEW CAR!!!! You know what that means... NO MORE CAR SHARE!!!! People. It is a serious miracle. We are super humbled that Father in Heaven gave us our own car. No more walking in -20 degree weather! Happy day! When we got back to Boone, we went and saw Pam and then went to Walmart so Sister Romero could get some food and then we went home and she unpacked for a couple hours and we just talked. It was nice.
Friday: Haha my companion is awesome. She made it through a 5 hour weekly planning session without shedding one tear. Proud mama moment! :) Our ward had it's Christmas party tonight and we pretty much spent all day after WP there helping put last minute things together. They stuck us in the kitchen and we cut up chicken for 2 HOURS! My hand was stuck in the form of holding a knife for a good 10 minutes when we got done. :) Haha it was way fun though! The party went so well and the ward was excited to meet the new Sister and Elder in the ward. I am just very blessed to be able to serve here in Boone. I love it here!
Saturday: Today, I burned a few thousand calories just from laughing. Get to know you district meeting was absolutely hilarious! Haha... We laughed non stop for like 3 hours. Plus, we had to put together a skit from the Book of Mormon for a meeting next week and I about peed my pants again. Missionary humor is the best!! :) Sister Romero finally got to meet Joshua tonight and we had a sweet lesson teaching him about Patriarchal blessings. Then he surprisingly invited to stay for dinner... and I mean... who can say no to massive pork chops? Not I.
Sunday: Such a crazy, but good Sunday! After church we got to go to the Peterson's and watch "The Prophet of the Restoration" with Alison. I never get tired of that movie. Then we did our 3 hours of studies and headed to the Ballard's to watch the Christmas Devotional. People... if you missed it. Go watch it NOW! So good! And it helps if you eat pumpkin chocolate cookies while you watch it. :)
So... that is our crazy week in a nutshell! I am so happy to be on my mission and so excited to see what the next 3 months have in store. The Lord is really refining me, and it is amazing. I have learned so much on my mission and I know that there is much still to learn. I think more than anything though... I have learned about my Savior Jesus Christ. I have never been so close to Him, and as such I have developed such a deep love for the true meaning of this holiday season. As I watched the devotional last night, I was overwhelmed by the love that I have for my Savior and that he has for me. One of my favorite talks last night was Sister Oscarson's. She described so beautifully about our Saviors birth and it really just touched me to ponder for a moment on the humility of that scene. I am so grateful for the Savior and for his perfect example to me. I pray that each of us may remember to keep the Christmas season about our Savior. "When we keep the spirit of Christmas we keep the spirit of Christ. For the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit." I love you all and pray you have a wonderful week! :)
-Sister Jensen
I've acquired some really awesome cooking skills on my mission.... We were about to leave the apartment after lunch and Sister Samford says, "Is something burning?" Yea. I may or may not have forgotten that I put a roll in the oven.
She was embarrassed of her jumpsuit. Haha I love her!
Pam and Bother Farrell. :)
Such an incredible day!!!!! :)
One of the weirdest texts I think I have ever gotten.
Oh my goodness I am going to miss her so much! This one goes out to you Sister Browne!! Aka Lauralee... weird.

Typical for sure.
Generation Pic. :)

Hahahahahahahaha. This. Is. My. Mother.

Yes. We did indeed get our OWN car at transfers. Yes. It is brand new. Yes... I am still scared to drive it. WE ARE SO BLESSED!!!!!
We know how to get pretty darn crafty. :) The Elders gave us the top of their tree. It works!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Giving Thanks for Heavenly Father's Hand in EVERYTHING

This has been a crazy week here in Boone, IA but a very good one too. :) I don't even know what to share because there is just so much!
Tuesday: So I share this "I have weaknesses, and they got to me today" story because it was such a learning experience for me. So... Pam was suppose to have her baptismal interview today at 2, and the ZL's were coming down from Ames to do it. Well Pam is a late sleeper, and we had planned for Sister Higgs to pick her up at 1 so we could have a lesson at the church before her interview. Sister Higgs calls us at 1 and says that Pam is not answering the door and that she was going home and to let us know when Pam woke up. We tried calling Pam and she didn't answer so we decided to go to her house. People... I went a little crazy. Haha I started pounding on her door loud enough that she would hear it upstairs, and I walked below their window and started yelling her name. I freaked out because I knew that if she didn't have her interview today, she couldn't be baptized. My sweet companion literally hid behind a tree because she was so ashamed of me. That made me a little irritated and I let her know. Well, Pam wasn't waking up so we just decided to leave. On the way back to the church, I knew that I had handled the situation wrong so I went into a room when we got there, shut the door, got on my knees, and offered a prayer out loud to my Father in Heaven. What a tender experience. I asked for peace of mind, and immediately it came. I asked for humility to apologize to my companion, and immediately it came. I then received through the Spirit the lesson that God is in COMPLETE control of literally everything. For some reason he didn't want Pam to have her interview at 2. I had lost sight for a minute in the fact that God is in control and not me. What a lesson. PEOPLE! We don't need to freak out when things don't happen the way we planned. Stay calm and pray. Seriously though. And to top it all off, Pam had her interview at 4 and passed with flying colors. :)
Thursday: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!! We had such a good day. We had district meeting after studies which was super awesome, and then we did some tracting for a couple hours, and then headed to the Higgs. It was so much fun! Us and the Elders got stuck at the "kid table" so I got harassed a little bit, but hey. I felt right at home. ;) KIDDING FAMILY!! Today was also my official, "You have 3 months left" day. Weird. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Friday: I had a tender experience today. I received a package from my Mom and in this package she sent my mission call opening video. (Thanks Jon! :)) As I watched this video, I was overcome with emotion and how fast time has flown. Watching that, I felt like I opened my mission call MAYBE 3 months ago. But, that was almost 15 months ago. It was also just amazing to see how much the Lord has molded and refined me through my mission. Especially my testimony. Watching it helped me realize that I BELIEVED in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and know I KNOW it to be true. Missions are truly the greatest experience folks.
Saturday: Just a day full of visiting people! We also didn't have a dinner appt., so we had comp date night at the pizza place below our apartment. SCORE!
Sunday: Oh man. I think if there was a scripture to describe today it would be 1 Nephi 3:7. So... Pam was suppose to get baptized last year and her husband basically told her that if she did, he would divorce her. So, this time she had decided she was going to tell him AFTER she was baptized. The Ward, President, and us didn't feel very comfortable with that, but we also had to accept that she has her agency. Well, we talked about it in PEC today and decided that when we went and saw her tonight, that Bishop would come with us and we would all talk to her about it. So we got there, and Paul was in the dining room putting up Christmas deco and Bishop immediately went to him and started talking to him and we went to Pam. We hugged her and then the first thing she said was, 'Sister Jensen... I told Paul this morning." My heart literally sunk to my stomach. I didn't know what to expect... then she said, "He said he will support me 100%." OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 Nephi 3:7. We had prayed and fasted SO much that Paul's heart would be softened, and the Lord has showed great mercy on us. So... PAM IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON TUESDAY AT 6PM. It will be such a glorious day. She has waited so long for this and she will finally be baptized and confirmed and receive a remission of her sins. God is good people.
So, as you can tell it has been quite the week. A very wonderful week. That's not the end of the big news though.... Transfers are this week so we got transfer calls this morning. *Drum roll please....*
Sister Samford will be transferred and I will be staying in Boone.
Yep. That's right. The Lord has called me to train a new missionary for the last 2 transfers of my mission. I am really excited actually! Training is so hard, but it is such a refining process. I am so grateful that the Lord is placing His trust in me to train up a brand spankin' new Sister. I can't wait to meet her and share my love of Boone and missionary work with her. :)
Well. There is that for you all. I hope that each of you have a very wonderful week. Especially because it is now December. I know... it freaks me out too. I love each of you very much though! Thank you for being such great examples in my life!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa." Reply Forward
Only in Iowa would people paint a cow and farmer on their shed.

Twas' a pretty darn cold day. My sweet companion was just loving her life. :)
Sometimes being lost is the coolest thing ever because you end up in places like this.

The district. :)
Left to Right: Me, Sis. Samford, Elder Woolley (ZL), Elder Lewis (ZL), Elder Coalwell (DL), Elder Baxter, Elder Ridenour, Elder Kinikini
Duuuuhhhhhh.... it was a must picture!

The Thanksgiving clan! The Elders, Tall Johnsons, and the Higgs. Brother Johnson likes to harass me sometimes. UNAPPROVED!!!!!
Gettin crazy on Thanksgiving with an INTENSE game of Rummi- kub. :)

Bellucies has such wise words to share...

Companions date night, say what?!?!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mighty Miracles and Frozen Noses

HOLY GUACAMOLE. I think the title of this post explains our week in a nutshell. SO many amazing things have happened, all while it was below zero outside. :) Yep. Welcome to Iowa. :) Okay, so before I go any further I need to send a shoutout to one of my favorite nephews... My little (big) Zaine turned 3 on Sunday. SO WEIRD. I remember very vividly the first time I held my little guy. Tears of joy. Literally. I remember my Dad looking at me and saying, "Gabs, why are you crying so hard?" )(Haha its an Auntie thing Dad. :)) I loved my Zainers from the moment I first met him. He is seriously a beacon of light in my life. Everyone give him and extra squeeze for me! Okay... now on to the week...
Monday: It was a pretty regular p-day. We decided to do some work during the day when it was a little bit warmer so we could be inside when the cold night hit. Totally inspired because this less active that we have been trying to meet with for weeks finally let us in. Then we got to go see Joshua. He is just awesome. :) After we got home, he called us to check if we were still alive. Apparently right after we left, his grandma told him it was -20 degrees outside and all the weather channels were saying that someone would get frostbite in about 10 minutes of being exposed. Well, we walked home which was like 30 minutes away and both of us had all body parts. Tender Mercy of the Lord? You better believe it.
Tuesday: Oh my goodness it was just a crazy day! Haha lots of people to visit and so little time. I felt like we were literally running all day. Those days are fun though. :) The best part of the day though was after dinner with the Higgs.... WE FINALLY GOT TO MEET ALISON'S FAMILY. They hadn't been super open with meeting with us, but we figured that Alison was getting baptized the next day and we NEEDED to meet them. It went great! We were able to have just a big testimony meeting, and share with them a little bit of the message of the Restoration. They seemed actually pretty excited for the baptism. It was awesome! Alison is such a good missionary. :)
Wednesday: ALISON GOT BAPTIZED TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a miracle! She was literally beaming. The entire night. It was a really awesome baptism. Kind of crazy though... Haha Bishop Campbell called like 10 minutes before the baptism was supposed to start saying he was sick and couldn't make it. Uhhhhh.... no presiding authority=no baptism. So... we stalled for about 40 minutes until one of Bishops counselors got there. I have a few extra gray hairs from that experience. :) It really was amazing though. I feel very blessed that I was able to be apart of this with her. Her testimony is truly inspiring! Plus, her family was able to come and you better believe they were touched by the Spirit! I love this church. :) After the baptism, we had a ward potluck dinner and it was fun to just be able to all get together and celebrate. Great night!
Thursday: We got to have interviews with President and Sister Jensen today. I love those two!  You know you have been on your mission too long when President actually lets you have input for your own transfers... Haha weird.  In my interview with Sister Jensen, she started crying when I told her I go home in 3 months which then made me start crying so it was just a big cry fest. It's a good thing she gives her contact info to the missionaries when we leave! :) That night we had dinner with the Wards and it was so fun! They are so awesome. Hahaha in the middle of dinner, Sister Ward literally started screaming because they had a bat in their house.. For the next 20 minutes, Brother Ward tried to catch it with a shoe and a box. So hilarious. 
Friday: Tonight we got to have dinner with Sister Maughan (Bro. Maughan was working) and it was awesome! I love that lady! She is so funny, and she made us Cafe Rio. I mean... cmon. We had the coolest conversation though... at Stake Conference last week, Elder Schwitzer talked about how each one of us has movies, books, TV shows that we like where we say, "Well, there is that one part, but everything else is good and clean!" Yep. A certain media just popped into your head didn't it? Well... we talked about that with Sister Maughan. She talked about how her and Brother M came home and mentally went through all the TV shows and movies they liked and realized how many they needed to cut out because of that comment. WE CANNOT RATIONALIZE EVEN A LITTLE BIT OF SIN! I made me think of the verses in Luke 14:25-33. Look it up. Okay. Everyone hold on to your seats because I am going to share with you a humongous miracle. So... in my interview with President Jensen yesterday, he asked me about Pam and I told him she was doing good and had a date for December 20. Well... he basically told me we needed to move her date up. WOAH. So we saw her tonight with Sister Higgs and basically told her that when she is done smoking, she can be baptized exactly 2 weeks later. She said she would be done of Sunday. Well... when we got home that night we called President and updated him a little. Guys.... he approved Pam to keep the word of Wisdom for 11 days so she can be baptized the day before transfers. PAM IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON DECEMBER 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are still in shock a little. We called her after we got off the phone with President and told her if she would stop smoking right there and then that she could be baptized in 11 days. She didn't even hesitate... she immediately said, "Kay, I am done. I'm throwing my cigarettes away right now." That is pure faith right there people. Just pray that she passes her interview tomorrow! :)
Saturday: I got to chill with Sister Rogers all morning and watch basketball. No joke. Haha our zone and another zone got to help out at the Iowa Games and so from 7-1, we got to watch and score a bunch of basketball games. Talk about being spoiled. Both Sister Rogers and I were pretty sports trunky... haha. It was way fun though! Plus, I got a free t-shirt. WOO! We saw Pam later that day and Joshua again. It was a good day. :)
Sunday: Pretty awesome Sunday. I MISSED THE SACRAMENT SO MUCH! There was totally a difference in me this week because I didn't take the sacrament last week due to stake conference. People. The Sacrament seriously works. If you don't believe me, just go read the 700 talks about it from the last General Conference.
I am just so happy. With Thanksgiving being this week... I have so much to be grateful for. The Gospel, the Godhead, my family, my little black badge, the scriptures, all my mission companions, my testimony, our investigators and recent converts.... I literally could go on forever but I will spare you the hurt eyes. Being grateful is a commandment, and one I am grateful for. :) Please take some time this week to give a prayer of thanks to your Father in Heaven and those around you. I love you all very much and I pray that you may have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
SUCH a great day. :)

Alison and Tyler. :) (And Elder Kinikini being Elder Kinikini in the background.)

Just being the best basketball scorers you have ever met.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A New Truck, SNOW and Wise Men...Whadda Week!

It has been quite the adventurous week here in Boone, IA. I love weeks like that. :) I'll try to collect my thoughts as much as I can...
Monday: Pretty regular p-day, but we did get to have lunch with Sister Anders. She is a doll! Seriously the sweetest lady ever. She is my little Argentinian friend. :) Plus, she makes BOMB chili.
Tuesday: We had the truck this week, and we utilized it today. Uhmmmm.... 150 miles later. That is what happens when you live in the boonies and only get the truck every other week. :) We had service in Ogden and then we decided to visit Sister Slawson. She technically lives in another ward, but comes to ours. She seriously lives FOREVER away. But, it was worth it. We got to have lunch with her and then we shared the Restoration movie. It worked out well. We had made a goal this week to contact every less active on our side, so we decided to try each one on the way back to Boone. SUCH A MIRACLE! We were able to meet some that have not seen missionaries in years and although they didn't want us to teach them, at least they know who we are. :) Tender mercy. Also, I literally drove on the road that takes you to Winterset. Happy day. Also, it snowed today for the first time. And when I say it snowed... I mean it snowed. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!
Wednesday: Well. It snowed all day again. Pure bliss. :) It was a pretty normal day just full of awesome time, dropped lessons, hot chocolate, and coordination. Plus, the Wards surprisingly took us out to dinner. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. They are awesome!
Thursday: We did quite a bit of service today which was awesome. I got to clean a little girls room and pick up all their toys. Did I sit there and play with the cool ones? You betcha. We were planning on doing weekly planning today, but when we came home to do it, the spirit pretty strongly told me to ask Sister Samford if she was okay cause she seemed off. We spent the next 2 hours crying and talking about the Atonement. It was a really cool experience... It is at those times that I am so grateful for the spirit and for His perfect promptings. I see so much of myself in Sister Samford in the fact that a lot of the things that she is struggling with, were things I struggled with at the beginning of my mission. It makes me so incredibly grateful for the Atonement and for the missionary it had helped me become, and that I am now able to share what I have learned with my sweet companion. The Gospel is so true.
Friday: Such a good day. I got to go home today. Well... to Des Moines at least. :) It felt so good to be back and a little crazy at the same time. We had a mission tour today with Elder Cardon of the Seventy and it was totally awesome! He is a very wise man. (Please go and look up his two talks. They are awesome!) He shared a lot with us, and really inspired us. I also, got to see so many people that I love. Doesn't get better than that. Oh... and we were also sent home with a brand spankin new truck. It literally had 7 miles on it. I'm still a little freaked out to drive it cause it is so nice, but it is working out well. :) Oh and fun fact... I AM 15 MONTHS OLD TODAY. Uh... how did that happen? No idea. Did I sing the Taylor Swift song all day long? Absolutely. That seriously freaks me out... I have learned a lot in these last 15 months and I am excited to see how the Lord will continue to stretch me these last 3 months. :)
Saturday: Super crazy day! We got to go to a baptism today for a girl in Ames. It was a pretty special thing actually cause she was one I taught when I was on exchanges in Ames. :) I LOVE BAPTISMS!!!! Plus, Alison got to come. (Oh and hello... Alison is getting baptized in 3 days. What-e-who-tee-what-e? We are stoked.) After that we headed to Walmart because a kid who is doing his Eagle-Scout project asked us to pass out fliers for the coat drive there. Yes it was snowing and yes, hot hands were our best friends. :) After that we headed back to Ames for Stake Conference. IT WAS SO GOOD! Elder Schwitzer of the Seventy came and he is just hilarious. Both he and his wife spoke, and they pretty much had the congregation in tears. SO funny.... yet so spiritual. I love that. :)
Sunday: Back to Ames again for the last session of Stake Conference. It was way good! We got to sing in the choir, Elder Schwitzer spoke again, and I received revelation. The best. After wards, I got to receive a blessing from Elder Woolley, one of my Zone Leaders. 2 things:
1. I am super grateful for the Priesthood. Seriously. I just sat there as they had their hands on my head and could not help but be overwhelmed with gratitude for the Priesthood power. We are so blessed!
2. The last time I received a blessing from Elder Woolley was the last night in the MTC. It was very cool to see how much he has grown and matured on his mission. It just made me excited to one day marry a return missionary and hopefully send my children on missions because so many blessings and growth come into your life through that sacrifice.
We also got to see Pam tonight. She is doing so good, and she now has a baptismal date of December 20. WOOOHOOOOOO!!! We are excited. Just praying really hard that the Lord will soften her husbands heart... according to His will of course. :)
Whew. What a week. Seriously. So many good things came our way and I thank my Father in Heaven so much for those things. One key thing I have learned on my mission is that humility and gratitude are key in this mortal journey.
I just want to share a very eye-opening experience with you this week. It is something that hit me very hard... We had driven to Des Moines with some of the Sisters serving in Ames and Sister Johansson had gotten permission to stop in Waukee and visit one of her investigators. Waukee is literally 15 minutes from Winterset. I wanted to so badly just ask if we could stop by some peoples houses that I missed so I could say hi for a minute, but I knew that I had not gotten permission. That hurt, because I knew we were SO CLOSE to all those people that changed my life forever. As we drove back to Boone, I couldn't help but relate that to Judgement day. I thought about all the people who during that time, will still reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They still will not understand how it could bless them. They will know someone though, someone they love dearly, who will have embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ completely. That person of course, will be blessed to reside in the Celestial Kingdom. For that person who did not accept the message, they will be so close to that same glory, but they chose not to get permission to enter. They will not be able to reside with those they love.
I don't even know if that made sense... but I hope it did. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life and that I have a knowledge and understanding of everything that I need to do in order to walk back to the presence of my Father in Heaven and my Savior. I am grateful that I am a worthy Temple Recommend holder. I am grateful that I am a worthy Representative of Christ. I am just grateful to have the Gospel in my life and to know that I am on the straight and narrow path that leads to Exaltation. This is the hope that Mormon talks about in Moroni 7:41. It is the hope that can carry you through anything. I promise you that.
I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
So... we were just driving through Ogden (one of our towns) and I see this sign. PEOPLE!! I was standing 29 miles from the Raccoon River ward (my first area) boundaries. Yes. I freaked out a little.

...conquer the world.... or just Boone, IA for now. :)
My Swedish Roots! Oh the towns you find in Iowa. :)
Pretty typical picture. :)
Left to right: Rogers, Zendaas, Rasmussen, me, Ramsey, Barker, Barney
Ma girl Sister Rasmussen. This is our relationship in a picture... Sister Jensen does something weird and Sister Rasmussen just looks in horror cause she can't believe she knows me. :)
My mamma is going home in 3 weeks... way to weird.
Mission tour with Elder Cardon. :)

It was a must.
Father is Heaven spoils us way too much here in Boone...