Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Down for the Count

My email this week is going to be a little guy, cause I am having some trouble not puking right now. (TMI I know. It's a missionary thing.) I think I may have the flu bug, but I will try my best to get through this email. Monday: We had dinner at Bishops house tonight and just had the most amazing lesson! The Elders asked both Bishop and his wife to share their testimonies on the Book of Mormon, and it was just beautiful. We were all in tears by the end of it.
Tuesday: Just your regular missionary day.
Wednesday: Definitely an unexpected day. We ended up dropping both Karma and Shadae. They are both just amazing people, but it wasn't the right timing. It was a really amazing lesson though. The spirit was so strong, and I know that we all felt it.
Thursday: I got a blessing from Elder Deering before district meeting and it was wonderful. I love hearing from my Heavenly Father! It was so crazy to me that this was the last district meeting this transfer... where the heck did the last 6 weeks go?!?!?
Friday: Just a normal weekly planning day. We did get to go out to dinner with the Barbers though. They are the GREATEST!
Saturday: We got time, and we got to go to a birthday party for the Tunney's son with the Tunneys and Watsons! So fun, and so crazy. .
Sunday: Definitely a day of miracles! The Erdmans came to church today! (Tyler Erdman was my first baptism.) They haven't been in like 3 months so it was so good to see them. They even invited us over for dinner. It was a good day! The Prices also came home, and that just made me a happy camper. :)
Sorry this email is so short. Being a really sick missionary is definitely not fun.
This is a video that really touched me this week.
The plan of salvation is so real. I have had the opportunity now to teach it to many people, and I know without a doubt that it is real.
I love you all and I pray that you have a fantastic week!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
A regular Iowa sight. :)

LOVE my district!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

When You Believe!

THERE CAN BE MIRACLES, WHEN YOU BELIEVE!! (Sorry I just went a little "Prince of Egypt" on ya... had to do it.) Kay. Seriously though. What a week. Whew.
Monday: Kind of a crazy day! We had some fun plans for the night, so we decided to go out and work a little in the morning. We did some tracting and then went and stopped by to see Sister Penner. That lady. Goodness gracious I love her. Sister Cole had never been to her house before so of course she had to give us a tour, and then we just sat and talked for a little bit. She was able to tell us some things that she was struggling with in her scripture reading, and we were able to help her. Then it was p-day time. We just did the normal thing of email time, games at the church, and then groceries. Great p-day! That night, we hung out  with the Allens! The Prices non-member neighbors. Haha I love them. We ate dinner and then just sat and played games. They are so chill. :)
Tuesday: We did a lot of finding today! I am pretty sure though that the potentials page in my planner filled up, so that was great. :) Heavenly Father is putting a lot of people in our path. We also had the opportunity to go and see the Green family and share with them "Reflections of Christ." Dang, I love that movie!! It invited the spirit so strong and we were able to just bear our testimony of the realness of Jesus Christ. Great lesson! Oh and I can't forget... bingo was today. :)
Wednesday: Well the day started off pretty great with teaching Karma the word of wisdom. Being bold is the best. :) After that, we went to service again and got to get down and dirty... planting flowers. Inside. Haha my Grandmas would be so proud... :) When they start growing, I will have to send a picture. After that we went and visited this referral that we had gotten from a former investigator. Well, Lisa is now our newest investigator!! WOO HOO! She is soooo prepared! We invited her to be baptized and she could hardly contain her excitement. I am pretty sure we didn't even finish the sentence before she blurted out a yes. :) We are so excited and happy for her!
Thursday: Such a great day! We had the opportunity to do some Zone training today and it was just completely inspired. The Hermanas trained on how we can be focused on our purpose even after the excitedness wears off from the MTC (totally true), and then the Zone Leaders trained on having effective studies. Seriously those trainings were so INCREDIBLE!!! Have a I ever told you that I have like the best Zone ever? Haha We all went to lunch at the mall afterwards which is always just fun. We pretty much take up about half the food court. No shame. :) After that, we had a dinner appt. in Van Meter but they ended up cancelling on us so we just did some tracting for about 3 hours. I am just glad I wore my mountain boots. Mud for days!
Friday: Shocker shocker... we did weekly planning today! It was actually really good! Probably one of the most productive ones I have ever had. Must be cause we actually have people to plan for now. :) Haha kidding. We didn't have a dinner appt. that night so we decided to go a little crazy and drive to Earlham. MIRACLES!!! We had this former investigator that we were going to try and find so when we got into town we walked to the address it said on the paper. The lady who answered said that nobody by that name lived there. Old Sister Jensen would have been like, "Oh darn. Better luck next time." But trainer Sister Jensen was like, "Oh heck yeah. PRIME OPPORTUNITY." I pulled out the best card I could think of... "Well, Ashley was interested in the message we have to share, would you be interested?" We now have an appt. with Kim on Thursday. Haha YES! The spirit is the best. :) It was a good day in Earlham. That night, the Prices left for a week cause it is spring break. Please excuse me while I sit in fetal position and cry. I am so spoiled... I am going to miss them a little too much.
Saturday: I think that it is pretty safe to say that I am spoiled AGAIN.  President McConkie of the Sunday School Presidency came to Des Moines yesterday to do a training for all the Sunday school, primary, and all the other teachers on the stake. All the missionaries were so sad cause we were not allowed to go. Well, we got a text on Thursday saying that President McConkie wanted to met with us before the actual meeting. They only had 3 zones out of the whole mission go and ours was one that was chosen. SUCH A GOOD TRAINING!!! That man is probably one of the most humble men I have ever met. He just smiled at you, and you instantly felt his love for you. What an experience! I encourage you all to go back and read his talk from this last conference. It is so inspired! So after that whole experience, we decided to all go to lunch so we headed to the mall... again. Well, traumatizing experience. On the way... I killed my first squirrel. I didn't have time to maneuver the car and I just squished him. Dead. Gono. That killed the spirit real quick. Then to make it all worse, Sister Cole told me it was probably a mom going to feed her little squirrellings. Tears for days. You better believe I prayed for the squirrels family.  We went to Winterset and had another lesson with Lisa. It was so gooood!!! We invited her to be baptized on May 10, which I am so excited for! Chances are I will probably be gone by then, but hey. Is cool. Still a great lesson! After that we went and checked up on another referral. Holy moly. What an experience. This lady basically just scared the crap out of us. Basically told us she has been risen from the dead, she has risen people from the dead, she saw the Devil, etc. Only in Iowa people... only in Iowa. Probably one of the scariest things of my life... it is crazy how lonely you feel when you don't have the spirit with you... It was just one of those experiences where you are SOOO grateful for the gospel in your life. We are so blessed!
Sunday: LISA CAME TO CHURCH!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!! She had such a great experience and the ward just embraced her so much. What a blessing it is to have a ward that is so aware and so involved. After church, the Barbers had invited us over so we went there and just had a great time. That family... so great. After that we had a little bit of time so we decided to go see the Erdman family! They were actually home. MIRACLE! We were able to talk to Tyler for a second and just kind of ask him what is going on. I miss that kid... One day though. One day he will get it.
Well, I think the jist of this week is that God lives. HE IS SO AWARE OF US!!! If any of you ever doubt that please understand that he KNOWS you. He LOVES you. He is HELPING you! I don't think I can say that enough. Heavenly Father is so aware! The video I want to share this week really just shows us his love for each of us.
I am pretty sure I have sent this before, but I just love it. I am so grateful to know that I am the daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. He knows me perfectly, and he still loves me. I am grateful to be one of his missionaries. God is so good!
I love each of you and pray that you will recognize the hand of God in you life each day. Have a great week!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
Oh ya know... I'm just a big dog riding Sister Missionary. :)

When there is a puppy that is this cute... ya better believe I need a pic or two.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Semana Encantadora!

Such a great week! Pretty much the opposite of last week, so that is good. :) Here is the run-down:
Monday: Just your normal p-day. Email, laundry, groceries, violent games at the church with the Elders. All that good stuff. :) The Bishop and his wife fed all 6 of the missionaries in our ward, so that was fun to go to their house. After dinner we had some extra time so we went and saw Linda and Ann so that Sister Cole could meet them. Those 2 are just the sweetest! After that we came home and just had a chill night.
Tuesday: CRAZIEST DAY EVER. Who would have thought that today I would be in Des Moines all day speaking Spanish. Yep. Exchanges are the greatest! :) Usually when we do exchanges, the Hermanas just come to our area and we all take different towns. This time they decided I needed some time away from Winterset so I went to Des Moines with Hermana Phelps.  It was so great... except that I only know about 10 words in Spanish. Haha pretty much all day I just nodded at everything they said and just passed out cards like candy. :) I am very proud of myself though... that night we had dinner with an Hermana in their branch and she fed us a big ole' plate of spaghetti with a GIANT heaping mound of shrimp on top. I choked down about ten pieces of shrimp and was havin a hard time so I distracted Hermana Apaio while Hermana Phelps ate the shrimp off my plate. Haha it was pretty stealthy. That night we had a really amazing experience! We weren't quite sure where to go so we sat in the car for a couple minutes while Hermana Phelps looked through the people on her GPS. I looked over for a second and told her we should visit one of the Former Investigators she had on a list. She said that she had never seen that name before and didn't even know it was on the list. So we prayed about it and decided it was a good place to go. Went and knocked on the door, and an investigator they haven't been able to find for about 2 months answered the door. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?! Heavenly Father is so good. We were able to get her contact info and make an appt. Such a cool experience! Just goes to show that the Spirit can help you no matter what the situation is. :) A lot of the people we were suppose to see ditched us today .:( 
Wednesday: It was so weird being back in my area! Haha I felt like I had been away for about a week! And I will admit... the English was nice. :) We just did a lot of finding today! We did that for a couple hours and then headed to the Greens. We planned on teaching Karma but they weren't home so we ended up teaching Karissa the Plan of Salvation. Haha that girl is so cute. She just loves Jesus so much, it's inspiring. :) Towards the end of our lesson, Karma came in just bawling. She is going through some really rough things right now, so we invited her to just listen to the end of the lesson so that she could feel the spirit. Then Shadae came in and pulled out her computer. A couple weeks ago, we had showed her the church's youth website and she came and sat down and said, "We should listen to a song." Why yes, we should. Totally inspired! I pulled up this song and the spirit was undeniable. We testified to all of them of Father in Heaven and Jesus Christs love for them. It was a very powerful moment. I absolutely love this song...
That night, we had dinner with the Turners. They are such a fun family! They have 7 kids and 4 are adopted from China. All 4 of them have some kind of disability, and they are just the cutest. They had us laughin all night!
Thursday: Kind of a crazy day! We had to be in Des Moines at 10 for our new trainers meeting which was just fantastic. President and Sister Jensen, and the Assistants all gave wonderful trainings! After that we did our studies and then headed to district meeting. We had a little bit of time after that so we decided to do some finding in Van Meter. It was weird... haha it felt like a ghost town. Out of the 50 doors we knocked, 1 answered. Haha very productive day.
Friday: Weekly planning session! We did that for a while and then headed to the Jackson's for dinner with all the Elders.  Pretty interesting... they have a 5 year old son named Jaden who is so cute and just so crazy! So we we were all just sitting in the living room waiting for dinner to finish cooking and Jaden just comes over and lifts up the skirt. Just lifts it up. Those poor Elders... haha. Luckily, I wore leggings instead of tights today. Tender mercy. Oh, the life of a Sister Missionary. :) That night we experienced a miracle!!!!! We had some time before going home so we decided to find this less active who I have never met... I had left my GPS at home and our map was lost, so we went purely by the spirit to find this guys house. No joke, within 5 minutes we were knocking on his door. Such a blessing!
Saturday: Probably one of the busiest days of my mission. We were just running around everywhere today! We got a lot done though, so that is good. We were in Winterset today and started out tracting in one of the trailer courts. We were there for about 1 hour and found 4 potentials, and set up 4 appts. for next week. That never happens. We were literally in shock the whole time. Trailer park miracles people. That's not somethin ya hear everyday. One of the people we found was Binky. Binky was very skeptical at first, but eventually let us sit down and we just listened as she told us her life story and some really hard trials she has had these last couple years. It was such an amazing experience to testify to her that we were sent to her for a reason, and that this is what she is looking for. We left her with a Restoration pamphlet, and we will see this week what she thought about it! After that we did some time, and then headed to see Beverly, the 86 year old recent convert. We went and painted her nails again and read her an amazing talk from President Eyring. ( Before we headed home we went to our appt. at the McCalls. I love that family! In these 7 months I have been here (oh p.s. I turn 7 months on Friday. Holy moly. Freaks me out. Had a crying attack about it last night. No shame. ) Anyways, I have seen the McCall family grow a lot in these 7 months I have been here. They are such a great family! Can't wait for the day when they will be sealed as a family.
Sunday: Great Sunday as always. :) Church was amazing, and the talks and lessons given were truly inspired. We had an apptWest Des Moines that night so we decided to do our studies at the church to save in miles. I never realized how loud the church was until then... haha goodness gracious. Once we finished those, we headed to the Elgs and had dinner with them. Then we headed home and did some training. Woooo. This week seriously was FULL of so many miracles and tender mercies. Wouldn't ya know they have a mormon message which portrays this perfectly... :)
I love this video. As a missionary, I have learned to become more aware of the tender mercies in my life. I have noticed just how much Heavenly Father is aware of me, and how much he blesses me. That is probably one of the greatest things I have learned in my 7 months here in Iowa... if we take the time, we will notice all the Tender Mercies the Lord gives to us. We just have to look. One thing that I have started doing is every night I write down just a couple tender mercies from the day, and truly it has changed the way I approach each day. I am excited to get up and get going, so that I can look for more. I invite and encourage you all to try this for a week, and I promise you will begin to be more aware of the many blessings around you that you Father is Heaven has blessed you with.
I love you all so very much. I am grateful for the examples in my life who have helped me get to where I am. I am especially grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. He has held me through a lot of tough times and even the good times. I feel very blessed to be counted among one of His missionaries. I love this work. I love this Gospel. I love my Savior and Father in Heaven. God bless!

-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
My companion is a champ. Sometimes when you have been finding all day you have to get creative... as in knocking on the window of a car with two people inside makin out hard core and asking them if they want to learn about Jesus Christ. But hey, when you make an appt. with them for the next week I would say it is a success. :)

Raccoon River Valentines dinner from February. One of my favorite
people ever... Kathy  :)

"I thought I was serving in Raccoon River. No one told me it was
Raccoon Road... kill." :)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Break-ups, Chocolate and Poetry

Hmmmmm.... well. This week was probably the weirdest week on my mission.... Between getting grounded 4 times, the Prices being out of town, and getting "broken up with" by too many people to count... it made for a pretty interesting week. Let me tell ya about it.
Monday: Definitely an interesting day... I got some news from home that made me sad. My testimony of the
Priesthood grew immensely though... I realized, again, that I can have comfort and gain strength from my Heavenly Father through Priesthood blessings.  Boy, did he give it to me. The Elder who have me the blessing had no idea what had happened, but his words comforted me like he had. SO powerful! THE PRIESTHOOD IS REAL! That night, we went home cause we had gotten grounded and Sister Price could tell that something was wrong, so I kind of talked it out with her and she just gave me a big mamma hug. Holy moly I love that woman. She is truly an angel!
Tuesday: ZONE CONFERENCE!!!! Ahhhh. So needed. The trainings that were given and testimonies shared were exactly what I needed. Have I ever told you how much I love my mission? Cause I do. A lot. I am privileged to serve with a lot of amazing people. That night, we had dinner with the Trimbles at a cute little Mexican restaurant in Winterset! About half of the relief society came too! :) They were doing book club after so they all met up to eat. I really felt like I was living "Bugs Life".... "They come. They eat. They leave." :) It was great though.
Wednesday: Because of the cold today, we weren't allowed to do any walking. Not being able to walk makes doing missionary work pretty dang hard. We are blessed though because we have a car so we were able to still go out, we just had to drive to each place. We did crafts for service of course, and then just drove around to see different people. We decided to go to Mutual cause we hadn't been in a while and it would be a good use of our time. It is always so fun to bond with the youth in the ward. They are amazing kids! Today, we had set a goal for ourselves to pass out 5 cards, but because of the no walking rule we weren't really able to do that. So, on our way home we decided to stop by a couple gas stations and offer salvation to those working. It was great! :) Hey, we passed out 4 out of the 5. Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
Thursday: Wooooo. Again... no walking. Because we had Zone conference this week we didn't have district meeting so it was just a normal day. We had some extra miles so we decided to visit some people who we normally don't get to cause they live far. Apparently it was just one of those days where everyone decided to not be home.
Friday: Usually we do weekly planning today but since it was the last day of the month, we had like 200 miles left over. We first went to visit Sister Costello who is a single sister. She has had a lot of health problems recently and hasn't been able to clean her house, so we decided to be the girls that we are and we helped her clean. A lot. Hahaha I don't think I have ever mopped so much in my life. It was great though and she was so thankful so it made it all worth it. After that, we tried to go see Tammy, the lady that Sister Wolfgramm and I taught. She wasn't home but we were able to leave a note on her door so hopefully she calls us. After that we stopped by the Erdmans house cause Tyler's little sister Tabitha was turning 12. I made my "famous" cookies and we took them over to tell her happy birthday. :)  We ended our night with the Tunneys. That family.... SO COOL! Their youngest son Gavin was turning 6 so we just celebrated with them. It was weird coming home because the Prices had left town that afternoon to go to South Dakota. Lets just say that I do not like it when the Prices are gone. Haha I felt like my family was going on vacation and they were leaving me behind. I might be a little attached to these people.
Saturday: Weekly planning! We did that until about 3 and then headed to the Stake Center for a baptism! Her name is Martha and she was taught by a set of Elders in our ward. She is so amazing! She is now the only member of the church in her family and she is just so solid! Seeing her enter the waters of baptism was such a tender mercy for me. was Sister Coles 1 MONTH CLICK DAY!!!! So weird... haha it took me back.... that night we got grounded again so we went home at about 6 and just did our thing. Took weird pictures of course. :)
Sunday: We did the normal studies in the morning and then headed to church, which was just fantastic! Martha was confirmed and that was just amazing! I got to sit by her in sacrament and after she was confirmed she came and sat down and just bawled and then turned to me and said, "I felt it," with all the sincerity of her heart! I love that woman! After church, since it was fast Sunday we just went straight to work. We weren't allowed to walk again so we just had to drive everywhere. So we decided to go see Joey. He is 15 years old and was baptized about 2 weeks before I got here. He basically told us to stop coming by cause he didn't believe it and he never did. Woah. Dagger to the heart... Sometimes agency just really makes me mad. And sad. We just got in the car and sat there for a couple minutes and then just prayed for him. I guess that's all you can do. After that we headed into Winterset for an appt. with the Greens and they totally bailed on us. So we went to check up on a referral and the address didn't exist. So we went and knocked an apartment building.  On the first door we knocked the guy basically told us that God doesn't give a crap about the universe. After all these slaps in the face, we decided to go see the Allens. Haha they won't reject us... we just talked with them for a little bit and then headed home for dinner and training. And chocolate... lots of chocolate. And tears. Then we got a text reminding us that we were supposed to be grounded today, so we found out that we were obediently disobedient. It was kind of a hard day... but those happen. I am just grateful that today is a new day. :)
Well, that was my week. Pretty crazy huh? I never expected missionary work to be so up and down. But, I definitely draw strength in knowing that God is aware of me and that he loves me. He knows that these
trials and struggles will make me stronger. I am grateful for the trust he has put in me to take on these challenges. So something that I wanted to share with all of you is something that I learned at Zone Conference. Some of the Sister Training Leaders in our mission talked about the Light of Christ and they said something that really hit me. They said, "The light of Christ within people draws them to the Holy Ghost." I have thought about that a lot lately, and I have realized even more so than before that everything happens for a reason. There is a reason that person was your cashier, there is a reason that person sat by you at that sports game, there is a reason you talked to that person on the phone. All of those people were there at that specific time because they were hearkening to the light of Christ within them. That is why reaching out to everyone is so critical. There is a reason that they are with you in that very moment... they are drawn to the Holy Ghost that you have been given. I KNOW that God has a hand in everything. There are no coincidences people. Well, I hope that you all have a wonderful week. I pray for your safety and happiness daily. Know that I love you and I am grateful for you all. God bless! I LOVE YOU!!!
-Sister Jensen
'Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."

P.S.- This poem describes last week pretty perfectly. Thought I would share. :)
It's winter in Iowa
and the gentle breezes blow
seventy miles an hour
at 35 below

oh, how I love Iowa
when the snows up to your butt
you take a breath of winter
and your nose gets frozen shut

yes, the weather here is wonderful
so I guess I'll hang around
I could never leave Iowa
I'm frozen to the ground
1/3 of the Iowa Des Moines Mission. :)
We take craft time very seriously. Haha the little elderly ladies just kept
tellin us we looked so beautiful. I just love them!
You know you have become a true, hard workin missionary when you have "tacos" in
-10 degree weather... I am so proud. :)
This is what results from being grounded 4 times in 7 days