Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Another One Bites The Dust....

Well. What a week. As I pondered in the middle of the week what I wanted to tell you about, I realized that this had been a pretty slow week. I was hoping that something exciting would happen so that I could write about it. Well, Heavenly Father is mindful of me, goodness gracious. I will tell you about the rest of my week first though. Patience is a virtue. :)
Monday: Kind of the best p-day ever. Because of all the success we had as a mission in 2013, President allowed the zones close to each other to have a p-day together. So our zone and the other Des Moines zone
all met up at the stake center and basically burned a couple thousand calories. Holy moly, I am still sore. Basketball, football, volleyball, you name it and we played it. My favorite game though was probably our zombie Nerf gun war. Basically you pick a bunch of people to be zombies and they try and run at the people with Nerf guns. If a zombie touches you before you can shoot them, you are now a zombie in the next round. To get the full effect of what I am saying, please refer to the pic below. That night, us and all the Elders had dinner at Bishops house. About half way through dinner, we all get a text saying that cars were grounded so we needed to get home ASAP.
Tuesday: Just a normal bingo Tuesday. We didn't do anything too exciting today. Just saw some investigators, and did some walking. Just your normal missionary thang. We did have dinner with the Penners though and for our lesson we decided to watch the "Reflections of Christ" DVD with them. Whew. The Spirit that was in their home was absolutely incredible. Boy, do I love being a missionary.
Wednesday: We decided to sneak in our weekly time today, so that was great! We also decided to visit a less active member who I actually have never met in my whole 5 months here, and she was actually home! It was a miracle! So we got to know her and just shared a scripture with her. She was very sweet!
Thursday: District meeting day. Woot woot. I just love my district! Soooooooo much! We just laugh... a lot. Haha nothing better. :) After the meeting, we were on our way to a lesson and received a text saying we were grounded for the day. Again. Yay. Haha this is getting old... So we just went home and organized. A lot. Is fantastic! (Insert nacho Libre voice here)
Friday: So we were just sittin in personal study, having a grand time, when all the sudden we hear the phone ring. When you look at the caller ID and see that it's your mission President, something is up. So we answer... "Sister Wolfgramm, you're goin to Brazil!" Um...o que?????? Holy moly. She's goin to Brazil. We may or may not have spent the next hour sobbing and eating chocolate. SHES GOIN TO BRAZIL!!!!!! We definitely were not expecting that. Another one bites the dust.... I say goodbye to my dear companion on February 10th at 5 am. Dah. I'm gonna cry again. Well, as you might have all guessed, most likely I will be spending another transfer here in good ole' Winterset, Ia, which will bring my grand total to 7 1/2 months. WOOP WOOP! I am pretty much okay with that, not gonna lie. :) I love this ward so much! Anyways yes, that is the BIG news for the week. She is goin to Brazil. Holy moly. Basically for the rest of the day, she went through all her stuff and made a list of things to send home and a list of things to buy before she leaves, and I just sat in the corner crying and eating chocolate. We totally have a healthy relationship. Haha That night, we met with the Jacksons and it was great. Quite the day.
Saturday: Well, since we were pretty much out of commission yesterday, we did weekly planning today. That took up quite a bit of time, so we ended up just going till dinner time. So, we eventually left and went to the Barbers for dinner with the Watsons. It was Aveys first birthday party so they invited us to come and join the festivities! Goodness gracious I love that family!
Sunday: What a day. Church today was amazing! I am pretty sure I say that every week, but today... woah. Chills. The whole time. The bishopric spoke in Sacrament, and what amazing men they are. Their talks were exactly what I needed to hear... One was about missionary work, the other about Father in Heaven, and Bishops was on the priesthood. It was such an amazing spirit as they testified of the things they know to be true. It was very powerful! Then the lessons in Sunday school and Relief Society were just incredible. I LOVE THIS WARD! Have I said that before? I don't know. But I love this ward. :) After church, we headed home and did all of our studies and then headed out for about an hour to see Karissa and talk about church. This girl is amazing! Her faith grows everyday and I can truly see that. She is wonderful. Well, this has been quite the week. We were thrown some curve balls this week, but hey, it's part of life. :) If you haven't guessed already, I am kind of on a priesthood kick right now... so this video is one of my favorites. The power of a worthy priesthood holder is beyond words. It truly effects generations.
I guess my invitation to you all this week, would be to think about or study the priesthood. It is something that is very unique to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is truly a beautiful gift from our Father in Heaven. When was the last time you received a blessing? That is a question I have learned to ask myself quite frequently while on my mission. We all have access to a wonderful thing... do we utilize it like we should? I am grateful for all that my Heavenly Father has given to me. He has blessed me with a wonderful family, great friends, a companion who I love, the chance to serve a mission, and especially the knowledge of my Savior. I testify that He lives. That he loves each of you so very much. As His representative, I feel every day of His love for the people we meet, and I KNOW that that love extends to each of you individually. This is His true church on the earth today. Be grateful you are a part of it. I love you all very much! I pray you will have a wonderful week! God bless!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, this is Iowa."
Zombie nerf gun war? Yes please.
 The AMAZING sunset outside our back door Friday night... I am blessed
beyond words.
She is leaving me and I'm not happy.
Sweet little Avey girl!
Sister Wolfgramm found some nylons she had never worn in her suitcase,
so of course, being the children that we are, we HAD to have a pic
like this. No shame.
Totally got our car stuck in the snow.  The Elders showed up and had to push us out. Hahaha so

So this is what happens when you get a hole in your skirt and you got
a "C" in sewing class... hmmm. My mom will be so proud!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


 It is really starting to scare me how fast the weeks are flying...sometimes I find myself literally begging for more time in a day! My how things change in 5 months. :) Despite the fact that this week flew by, nothing too exciting happened. Just the same old missionary work, with a few highlights. :)
Monday: Just your regular p-day. Games at the church... dinner with the coolest family ever... ya know.  The Watson's are seriously the coolest! I will have to take a pic when we eat with them again next week so you can see what I am talking about. Any house full of 6 kids is my favorite house. :)
Tuesday: Well of course we went and played bingo with our favorite old ladies. That is always fun! Then we got to print out pictures of the Temple for the people in the ward who will be doing baptisms for the dead for the first time next week. I may have enjoyed this activity a little too much...and I may or may not have printed out 57 pics of my favorite Temples for my "Temple book." Haha don't judge! It's been 5 months. I am going through withdrawals. Anywho, then went to the Scott's for dinner. They are so sweet and we had an AMAZING lesson with them. I just am obsessed with my ward.
Wednesday: Slow day. A couple highlights though... 1. Being whistled at by a 7 year old. Haha was it weird? Why yes it was. 2. NEW BEGINNINGS! We got to go the church and participate in the Young Women's new beginnings. Holy moly I love the youth in the Raccoon river ward. these girls seriously are incredible! The spirit was so strong as they bore their testimonies and it truly touched me.
Thursday: We did the normal morning routine and then had district meeting so we all met up at the church and Sister Wolfgramm gave an amazing training on the power and authority of our calling. That has taken me some time to grasp, but I think I am getting it. :) After the meeting, we all went to the mall for some lunch. We had some time before our dinner appt. so we decided to drive to the boonies to find this less active we have never met. Then the storm hit. Haha that sounded so dark... but seriously. We could tell a storm was comin in cause the clouds were not lookin so good. Well, we made it half way down her driveway when all the sudden a literal blizzard hit. In like 4 seconds, tops! It was pretty scary actually. On our way running back to the car a giant branch actually broke off a tree, and hit me. No worries mom, I only have a couple bruises. :) When we got back tot he car, the Zone Leaders sent out a text saying that all cars and missionaries were grounded. So obviously, we headed home and spent the night inside.
Friday: Usually weekly planning is on Fridays, but we just had too many appts so we decided to do it on Saturday. Today we had a lunch appt. with one of the members and that was fun! Sister Price actually came so it was just like a lunch date with the girls. Haha it was fun. :) Then we had an appt. with the Jehovah's Witness family we have been teaching. It actually went a lot better this time! We both felt very prepared and we were. Of course, they still have a ton of questions still, but we are answering a lot of them. I am just grateful for the spirit that's for sure! After that we did our time which of course gave me my cry fest for the week. That is always nice. :) After that we had a lesson with the Greens. So we are teaching Karissa's mom, and 2 sisters. It was amazing to teach them the Plan of Salvation and testify to them about it. The most amazing thing happened though... a couple minutes into our lesson, their neighbor who is 12 years old walked into their apt. and wanted to hear the lesson. She is our newest investigator! She is so prepared. Heavenly Father is so great! After our lesson, the Barbers had invited us out to eat with them and a less active family in the ward. Of course, it had to be at the bar in town. Haha the whole "2 missionaries in a bar" thing never gets old. :) On our way home, we stopped at the Allen's (prices neighbor) so that they could meet Sister Wolfgramm. I just love them, which is good cause we always say we are going to love them into the church. :)
Saturday: weekly planning! That pretty much took up almost our whole day, but we did have time to go and visit Kathy. She is one of my heroes. This sweet woman has been a member for about 21 years, and she will be entering the Temple for the first time next Saturday to do baptisms for the dead. I am so proud of her! She truly is amazing. No worry... picture to come soon! :)
Sunday: As always, today was wonderful! Being a part of the Raccoon River ward is such a blessing. These people will forever and always have a special place in my heart. After church, we headed out to do some work! We went to the Jackson's first to do coordination and then stopped by Linda and Ann's house to say hi. Again, pic to come soon. These 2 ladies are hilarious and so wonderful! They never cease to make me smile. Well, as you can see there wasn't much goin on this week, but it was a great week! I can literally feel Heavenly Fathers blessing every day! I absolutely LOVE being a missionary! It took me a while, but I get it now. I love this work with all of my heart! At new beginnings this week, they showed a video that absolutely touched me. It made me realize how much the church truly cares about the youth. I have NO doubt that the missionaries and the youth get the most prayers! I invite you all to watch this video and to share it with your children. There is something to learn from it for all of us. Coming unto Christ is something that I have tried to do on my mission. It is so hard and so easy at the same time, we just have to remember that his arms are always open, we just have to accept Him.
I hope you have all had a wonderful week! I pray that you may all remain safe and healthy! I love you all! God bless! :)
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
 It isn't every day someone gives a missionary their "last pack" of
cigarettes... haha....

 When you forget your earmuffs in a snow storm, you have to resort to
a scarf wrap :)

 Haha you know there is a little too much snow when your pic is whited out...


 I could seriously sit and look at the scenery of Iowa forever!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

From Grounded to Great!

Wow. Another week down. It feels like I was sitting at this computer just yesterday! IT was a good week though, we did some good work. :)
Monday: Well, we couldn't do much because we were grounded again. Haha well technically our cars were grounded, but because we live in the boonies that means we are grounded too. We got permission to go into
town to email and grocery shop and then we had to go straight home. Of course, we just laughed and ate junk food and watched Prophet of the Restoration. It was a great p-day. :)
Tuesday: Kind of a slower day. We came into town and we did time (which always gives me a good cry, so I enjoy it), then we went to bingo. That was something Sister Barker and I had started doing, so it was weird going with Sister Wolfgramm, but of course all the old people just loved her so it worked out. :) That night we were able to see Karissa and just talk with her about the Faith in God for girls book she had gotten. We went over the Articles of Faith with her, and she just got so excited! Every time we teach her something new, she accepts it so well. I love that girl so much!
Wednesday: When we first got into town, we stopped by and saw one of our investigators, January. We haven't been by for a while because with the Christmas season they were just so busy. We had an amazing lesson though! The spirit was really so strong, and Sister Wolfgramm and I both felt that she will be baptized sooner than later. She is so prepared she just doesn't know it yet. :) After that we went and did more service at the Assisted Living home. They ate snacks and we played checkers. Haha it was great! That night, we came home right at the perfect time, so the Prices ended up feeding us. It was my favorite meal so I was happy. :)
Thursday: Today we decided to meet up with the Elders in our ward to discuss our areas. So we all met up at the church after studies, and talked for about 3 hours. It was intense! When everyone left, Sister Wolfgramm and I stayed for a while and went through our entire area book! All of our formers, potentials, documents, etc. Literally everything and we spent about 5 hours organizing it! It felt so good! In the middle of it all we had forgotten to eat lunch so we decided Heavenly Father would understand if we needed some goldfish from the nursery. Haha no shame. :) After that, we headed to our dinner appt. with the Germaines and then headed home.
Friday: One of the best days of my mission! Haha I know I say that so much, but seriously. This day=prime. SO we started out with our studies of course, and then drove to Johnston (about 40 min. away, and NOT in our area) to meet with a potential. I think I talked about them a little bit in a previous email.. they are the Wolfs and a member brought them to a Christmas devotional that was held at the Stake center about a month ago. Anyways, we have been trying to meet with them since then and there was just never a time that worked, until today. What a lesson. I really don't even think words can describe it. Imagine the most prepared person you can think of, times that by 1000, and you have Tammy Wolf. She sat there and told us her life story, and it was completely inspiring. It is very personal, so I won't share it one here but boy. All three of us pretty much just sobbed the entire hour. She talked about how she had church hopped her whole life and just never felt complete in any of the churches. Then she came to our Christmas devotional and she said after that she literally felt hungry for more. IT was such a blessing to be able to testify of the spirit at that moment and see her eyes light up when she realized what it was. It really was just the most touching and inspiring lesson I have ever had. After our lesson, Sister Wolfgramm and I literally just cried. We feel so blessed and honored to be able to teach her! It is also amazing to see why it never worked out for Sister Barker and I to go see her.. it needed to be Sister Wolfgramm and I. PEOPLE! God knows what he is doing, okay?? After our lesson, we met up with our zone at the mall for lunch, and of course Sister Wolfgramm and I got Chipotle. ( I love having a companion that is just as obsessed as I am with it!) Then we all headed to the Stake center for Zone Training. Wow. Haha that is all that needs to be said. My zone... boy. I really am so blessed! The trainings were absolutely amazing and exactly what our zone needed. We also found out our mission goal for this year... we don't have one. President Jensen decided that with President Monson's charge for members and missionaries to unite, he decided that a mission goal was not appropriate. He did decide though, that whatever stake you are serving in, that is your goal for that time. So, our zone's goal as of right now is 214. 214 souls to Christ. That literally gives me shivers. It really was just an amazing training! After it was over, Sister Wolfgramm and I both felt like we needed blessings. Can I just say that I love the Priesthood. Holy Moly. It was a very touching moment to hear Elder Aston say things in my blessing that were in my patriarchal blessing. I JUST LOVE HEAVENLY FATHER!!!! He knew exactly what I needed to hear. So, after our blessing and after one last cry fest because of how blessed we feel, Sister Wolfgramm and I headed to dinner with the Barbers. I love that family! They had invited some members of another ward over to eat with us, so that was fun. Also, the brothers name was Tony Stark. Yep. Ya heard that right. I ate dinner with Tony Stark. Haha I felt pretty legit. :) That night, our cars got grounded because of the icy roads, so after dinner we had to go straight home.
Saturday: Because of the zone training yesterday, we did weekly planning today which literally took up all of our day. That night, we had dinner with the Elders at the Jacksons! I always love those dinners. :) Then we went home so that Sister Wolfgramm could do language study. Can I just say that I love having a companion who has to do language study?? Haha extra hour of personal for Sister Jensen. I'm not complainin. :)
Sunday: I LOVE SUNDAYS!!!! So much. Church was amazing as always... I just had a proud big sister moment because Ashton (the girl we live with) got her young womanhood medallion. Haha yes, I cried. I was so proud. :) After church, we headed back the Price's cause they had invited a ton of people over for a big potluck lunch. YUMMY. We were able to stay and eat with everyone, and just have a good time. Then we finished all of our studies. We decided to end our week right, so before we went to bed we watched "Reflections of Christ" and ate Doritos and kettle popcorn. Great end to a great week. :) This seriously was such a great week! Just so many miracles and blessings. I just love being a missionary. It is so hard and absolutely exhausting, but I would not trade these last 5 months for anything. In my time this week, as I was watching some videos there was one in particular that stood out to me.
This video just really touched me. As a missionary, I have A LOT of trials, and I know that you all do too, but I KNOW that they are given to make us stronger. They are given to draw us closer to our Savior and to our Heavenly Father. If there is one thing I have learned on my mission so far, it is to be grateful for trials. I hope you can all take the time to watch this video, and if you don't have time, print out the talk and read it later.
I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that Heavenly Father is completely aware of us. I know that the Book of Mormon is His word. I know that this Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is the Lord's kingdom once again established on the earth. How blessed are we to be apart of it?? My invitation to you this week, is to take time to thank your Heavenly Father for all that he has given you. One thing that I have loved doing on my mission is prayers of gratitude. In these prayers, I am just thankful. I don't ask for
blessings, I don't ask for anything. I just thank my Heavenly Father for all that he has given me. I invite each of you to do a prayer of gratitude at least once this week. I can promise that you will draw nearer unto Him and he will drawer nearer unto you. I love you all so much! Thank you for taking the time to check up on me and follow my adventures as a missionary. I pray that you will all have a safe and great week. I LOVE YOU!!!! :)
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."

Oh ya know... just woke up to deer family outside our bedroom window. No biggie.

Steal nursery treats...check.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year...New Companion!

Happy 2014!!!!!!! Wow. It is 2014. This is weird. Where the heck did 2013 go?!? I don't even know, but I am so excited for this new year. I know that this will be one hard year, but also one of the greatest. This last week was just a glimpse I feel of what my 2014 will look like. It was absolutely stressful. It also was probably the greatest week on my mission so far. I am so blessed! Here we go...
Monday: Since transfers were this week, Monday wasn't our p-day so we just did the regular missionary thing. Ya know... just tried to put a baptism together. We literally did that the entire day! I would have never guessed that so many small details go into a baptism, but boy do they. We were calling people all day and making sure everything was good to go for Tuesday. We also were on ice the whole day because today was the day we were going to get transfer calls... we both kind of new what was going to happen. Sister Barker was going to leave. I mean, she had been here 7.5 months. That's a long time! So we waited... 1 pm... 4pm... 8pm... no call. Usually when you are being transferred, the Assistants will call you in the morning, so we basically took that as she was staying! Then 9:11pm rolls around... It is so crazy how a 2 minute phone call can shake your entire world. "Sister Jensen you are staying, Sister Barker you are leaving." Literally pure shock. We had decided we were spending the next 6 weeks together, so we just sat there and cried. Then we pulled ourselves together and decided to make the next two days the best days.
Tuesday: Miracle day. Karissa looked beautiful in her white dress. She was so pure and so ready. She got to the church and was just glowing. Boy, do I love that girl! I know without a doubt that I was sent to Iowa and to Winterset specifically to find her and help her. What a great feeling! The ward was there to support her, and I know she felt so loved! Her less active grandma, nonmember grandpa, and her nonmember mom were able to come and that was a blessing. They were touched immensely. The spirit is the greatest!! What a way to end the year. Seriously, I am so blessed. That night because it was new years, our cars were grounded so we just went home after the baptism and had dinner with the Prices and just laughed. They are amazing! Did I already say I am blessed? Cause I am! Holy moly!
Wednesday: P-day! It was fun, but also super hard. We were still grounded so we just spent the whole day inside packing and organizing. I love packing so it was kind of fun, but bittersweet. The girls didn't have school so we just hung out with them and played games and danced and sang. That night we went and walked to the Allens so that Sister Barker could say bye. Then we came home and cried a little bit more... then we sat on the couch and burned candles. Haha don't ask why. I never thought it would be so hard to get a new companion. It literally is like being ripped away from your family again. Sister Barker and I were together almost 24/7 for 4.5 months. That is a long time! We became so close. She is truly my sister. She taught me a lot about the work and also about myself. I could not have asked for a more amazing trainer and friend.
Thursday: Transfers. Bittersweet! It is so fun because you get to see so many people, but at the same time so nerve racking because you know big changes are about to happen. Transfers was amazing though! The spirit that is there is incredible, and it is amazing to just be surrounded by all these people who have chosen to serve as well. So we had some talks and then President read our transfer doctrine. My heart literally was pounding out of my chest the whole time. Then he read Winterset... "Sister Jensen, your new companion will be Sister Wolfgramm." In the IDMM, when you get a new comp you run to each other and give the biggest bear hug ever. We do it cause we are cool. Anyways, Yay! Sister Wolfgramm! We were both kind of in shock and President kept reading the doctrine so we sat down. Afterwards, Sister Wolfgramm said by to her companion and I said bye to Sister Barker (which was freakin hard...) and we headed for home! Can I just say that Sister Wolfgramm is amazing! Haha day one we were just laughing, having fun like we had been friends for years. So a little background on my new companion:
She is 20 years old
She is from Georgia
She did 2 years at BYU before she came out
She has been out almost 9 months
She has 4 younger brothers
She is 1/8 Polynesian (heck yes!)
How cool does she sound right now? Pretty freakin cool! We seriously are so close. It is kinda weird... haha no. Not really. We just have a ton in common! We get along so well and we teach very well together which is great! That night, we stopped at the Jacksons so she could meet them and then headed home so she could unpack.
Friday: Weekly planning! This was kind of weird... haha it is amazing how different everyone is trained! That is one hard thing about a new companion... all the differences in how you do things. Luckily though, we are both open minded to trying new things and it has worked out really well! We have both contributed ideas and found something that works for both of us! We pretty much spent all day inside just talking about the area... and eating... and laughing. Haha but mostly talking about the area. :)
Saturday: DISTRICT MEETING! I am pretty sure I have never laughed so hard in my life. Haha so every district meeting right after transfers, we always play a get to know you game. We decided to play the sock game! So every one writes down 5 fun facts about them and the district leader reads them and you have to throw the sock at whoever you think it is. Hahaha seriously, funnest district meeting ever! By the end of it, most of us were on the floor in pain cause we were laughing so hard. My district is awesome! So we have 3 new Elders (Elder Horn, Elder Hollan, and Elder Dragon) and then Sister Wolfgramm. I am slightly obsessed with my district. We all click so well and we just get along! We all love to laugh which is great so it was just fun! After district meeting, we went into Winterset for dinner with the Tunneys! They are seriously awesome. They are so laid back and just fun! We ate dinner on the floor... it doesn't get any better than that! We also watched them wrestle and play football in the house. Haha I am not complainin! I just love them! After dinner, we visit the Penners so that Sister Wolfgramm could meet them. The Penners are my peeps. Enough said.
Sunday: So weird! Since it is a new year, our ward changed to 11 o'clock church. That was crazy! So nice though. :) Church was awesome! Many of the ward members got up to bear their testimonies and they always just touch me so deeply. It was fun to introduce Sister Wolfgramm to everyone! Karissa also came and so they introduced her in sacrament meeting. The ward is so great! After church, our zone leaders sent out a text saying that for the rest of the day and for the next couple days, we were grounded because it is suppose to be a about -40 with windchill. So we got home and did our studies, and then just laughed and played games with the girls and danced. Haha it was a blast! Well, that was my week. Goodness gracious! It truly was though the greatest week on my mission. God is so good! I am so excited to be His missionary this year and to give my whole heart and soul to Him. I hope you all had a wonderful new years and that you made some good new years goals. :) Know that I pray for you all daily and that I am so grateful to have you all in my life! Have a great week!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
My sister Justine sent me this picture with a piece of fake corn
rolled up in it. I laughed for days!
So... we decided to re-enact it. :)
Our miracle girl.

Last day with my momma...
My new compy comp Sister Wolfgramm!
Haha when you are grounded, you have to have some fun. Fun=Book of
  Mormon board game. :)
Haha day one we decided we needed a "thing." This is our apollo stance. :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

WOW...sums it up!

Wow. That is really all I can say to sum up this last week. I know without a shadow of a doubt looking back on this last week that God is completely aware of me. He is aware of my circumstances and He has a plan for me. I also know that I am here to do His work. He has a plan for His children here in Winterset Iowa and I am part of that plan. God is so good!!!! I don't have a ton of time so I will not tell you all that happened this week, but I will fill you in on some of the AMAZING MIRACLES that I have seen here in Iowa this last week.
Tuesday: Christmas Eve. I'll be honest with you... I was really scared for today. This was my first Christmas away from home and I really didn't know how I was going to feel... We decided that to defeat our homesickness we would work our butts off! So on Christmas Eve we walked around for about 4 hours (in 6 degree weather. It was awesome!) and wished all the ward members a merry Christmas! What a blessing it was to be able to do that! I was not homesick at all because the gratitude from these members made it worth being here. We were also able to go to the assisted living home and play bingo with them. Haha they crack me up! I don't know what I will do when I am transferred and can't play bingo with these sweet people anymore.... ahhhh! I don't want to talk about it. Anyways, after bingo we headed to the Saxtons house for dinner. Sister Saxton is the relief society president so they decided to invite us and the four Elders serving in the ward. They took us all out to Ohanas for their Christmas eve tradition. Basically it is Iowas version of Tepanyaki. Are you kidding me??? I was in heaven!!! Haha I love me some meat. Also, I tried shrimp for the first time. Haha it was a big deal okay! :) After dinner, we all went back to the Saxtons and watched them open their presents. They have a tradition that they actually open all their presents on Christmas eve so that was fun to be a part of. Fun fact: Sister Saxton's maiden name is Jensen. Haha. Her parents live in Provo actually. Right by Timpview High School. I thought that was pretty cool!
Wednesday: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Holy moly. How is it already Christmas. I am shocked. Time is flying! Our dear President Jensen allowed all the missionaries to sleep in till 8 and it was awesome! Haha sad thing though is that my body has adjusted to waking up at 6:30 so that is what I did. But, it was nice to stay in my bed till 8. Tender mercy. :) We eventually went upstairs and opened presents with the Prices and ate some breakfast and then chilled. It was a great morning! Thank you so so much to everyone who sent me something! Every letter and package meant so much and it really made me feel so loved. THANK YOU! That afternoon to night, the Saxtons invited us over again and it was just a blast! We played games and ate food. And then ate some more. Haha we just laughed. I also got to skype my family there. I am so blessed to be in a place where I am able to do that! Seeing all of my family's beautiful faces made me so happy and really helped me remember why I am here. I love each of them so much. I am truly blessed. :)
Thursday: What a day. District meeting today changed my life. A little back story here... Karissa the little girl we have been teaching was supposed to be baptized this year, but she left for her dads last week for the rest of the year. He lives in Milo so we were not able to teach her at all. So we pretty much just accepted that she would be a 2014 baptism. Anyways, Elder Maughn (one of the Zone Leaders and also going home on Friday) is pretty much is the greatest. At district meeting, he asked us straight up what was happening with Karissa. We told him the situation and he said... "And? You need to go and get her. Sure, you can baptize her next year, but it is the Lord's will for her to be baptized this year." ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! He basically just slapped us around and called us to repentance. Instead of being stupid and just shrugging it off, we decided to listen. People.... KARISSA IS GETTING BAPTIZED TOMORROW. I am seriously sitting in the library right now just bawling. This sweet daughter of God is getting baptized on December 31st, 2013. Miracles. It doesn't stop there though... the miracles keep on comin. Karissa has only been to church once and in the IDMM, an investigator has to come to church twice to be able to be baptized. Now remember, Karissa is at her dads house in Milo which is about 2 hours away. We prayed...and prayed... and prayed for inspiration on who to ask to go and get her. We felt prompted to ask sweet Sister Scott. We called her and told her the situation and she didn't even hesitate. She immediately said, "Of course I will go and get her." Sister barker and I literally sat there and cried. This sweet Sister was willing to drive 2 hours to get her and then do it again after church. We could not believe it... No joke 20 minutes later Karissa calls. "Hey Sisters. I asked my dad to bring me home early so I could come to church tomorrow. I will be to Winterset in about 10 minutes." MIRACLE. Again, we just sat there and cried. Watching sweet little Karissa walk into the Chapel yesterday was one of the greatest feelings ever. For the last 4 days, The Lord has carried us through planning a baptism and through arranging everything. We have seen miracle after miracle after miracle. This has pretty much been a life changing last couple of days. My faith has grown in ways I cannot even describe. Words cannot express my love for my Savior. He has truly given me so much. The last 5 months of being his representative has been the best 5 months of my life. I have grown in ways I never thought imaginable. I am beginning to truly understand Him and our relationship. I know without a shadow of a doubt that He lives! I have felt his warm embrace truly engulf me this week. He is my Savior and my Redeemer. He is my light. He is my friend. He truly has become my everything. I feel incredibly blessed to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This is His church on the earth today. I am His
missionary. What a blessing. As I look towards this new year, I have so much love and hope in my heart. I get to be his representative every moment of 2014. Can you imagine anything greater?? This new year will be full of heartache, love, sacrifice, miracles, and lots of crying. I am so ready though because I am certain with all of my heart that my Savior will be right beside me every step of the way. I absolutely love this video. It really has such a great message that will truly help us all in preparing for this new year:
I am grateful for each and every one of you. The lights that you have been in my life is something that I will never be able to repay. You each have taught me something that has helped me get to where I am now. I want to take a second and give a shout out to one of my greatest examples. My brother Taylor will be entering the MTC this week to become an Elder. He has taught me many things throughout my life and he has always been someone I looked up too. Even though we fought a lot and didn't seem to like each other for lots of years, he is truly one of my greatest friends. He is my brother and my example. And this week, he will become my fellow missionary. Taylor Michael, I love you. With all of my heart. You have been called by a prophet of God and you have the opportunity to serve your Lord and King. Serve him with all of your heart, mind, and strength. This will bless you for eternity. I have truly been blessed. I am a missionary in the Iowa Des Moines Mission. I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father, and I am a humbled servant of my Savior Jesus Christ. I hope this new year brings many great and wonderful opportunities for each of you. "Look not behind thee." I love you all! God bless!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
Happy Christmas morning! :) The Prices are so sweet and gave us our OWN trees!

Exchanges with the Hermanas! L to R: Hermana Stroud, Sister Deleu (a
temple square missionary. She is from France so we had a ton of fun
talking in French all night!), Hermana Phelps! Seriously some of the
greatest Sisters ever!

Aftermath of constant "bun hair"! )

Christmas night with the Saxtons! Some of the greatest people I have ever met!

Christmas morning breakfast with "the fam." :)
Jessica Armstrong... This is the Sister we helped move. I seriously
love her with all my heart! I will miss her big time!
Merle. Basically my best bud. She is always the one most excited for
bingo. Haha I love her. (and the tree we got to decorate!)