Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Temple Trip and a Geneology Miracle

So... remember that one time that the entire month of May flew by? Yea. Me too. HOLY SMOKEYS! I basically blinked, and this week was gone. It was a full week though!
Monday: Definitely a weird p-day... We usually play volleyball with our district, but for some reason it got cancelled today. So we ended up "shopping" at Walmart. We are so classy. :) We also had to go to a meeting for this place we do service at.
Tuesday: Today during service at the elderly home, they had a big photo booth so of course Sister Rasmussen and I got about 500 pictures with the lil old ladies and each other. Good memories. :) Then we had dinner with the Grows. I don't think I have ever laughed so hard... haha. Their son was looking up phobias online and came across triscadeckaphobia. We decided that it is a fear of eating triscuits on the deck. :) Haha so great! Then that night, we went with our investigators the Shallenburgers to a lecture on Joseph F. Smith at the church building. It was awesome!
Wednesday: Today was one of the best days of my mission. Hands down. It all started with a family history miracle... I went in wanting to find a woman in my family line who only needed her endowment done. Elder Christenson (Him and his wife serve in the center), told me that that is almost impossible, because people usually need baptism and confirmation and not endowment. So we were looking at my family tree for about 30 minutes and doing so research... wouldn't ya know it. On my Dads side, I found a woman who had her baptism and confirmation done in 1999 and for some reason never had her endowment done. MIRACLE!!!! Elder Christensen literally could not believe his eyes. He almost started crying! He said in his 14 months of serving in the center, he has never seen that. Guys... the spirit of Elijah is amazing. Then what made it even better, was that I was able to walk across the street and take that family name to the Temple! I FINALLY WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!! God must have known that 9 months was way too long. I am obsessed with the Temple. Literally. I wanted to sit in the Celestial room all day. Obviously I couldn't... but I would have. It was such a beautiful experience. Especially being able to take my own family name. I have literally been on cloud 9 ever since. :)
Thursday: We got to go to Carthage early cause we had scheduled breakfast with a lady that we are working with. She is not technically an investigator... yet. :) After that we were able to take our investigator Mark on a tour of Carthage Jail. He loved it!! What a great resource. That night we met with the Hunts and they are just awesome! They have been members now for about 6 years, and they are so solid. Brother Hunt is a hoot!! It was a good night.
Friday: Such a crazy day! We got to sleep at the Warners (senior couple in Nauvoo) on Thursday night, cause we woke up at about 5 so we could get to Davenport for zone conference. So fun! I saw sooooo many missionaries that I have served with in the past, and it was fun to just catch up. We received some awesome trainings, and the spirit was so amazing! That really took up our entire day, so by the time we got back... it was time to go home.
Saturday: We were able to do a church tour today with our investigator Tracy and his wife Renee who is a less active. It was a really amazing church tour! We talked about baptism and eternal families, and it was really good. After that we headed to the Higleys and helped them pack and clean some things cause they are moving. I can now say I am a pro fridge cleaner. :) That night, we had dinner with a member in Carthage. She is the sweetest lady! Her name is Donna and she has been a member for about 3 years now.
Sunday: We had to do our weekly planning this morning, which was weird, but we are glad we had time. Church was strange! Basically half the ward was gone and we could not figure it out! Then it hit us... Memorial day! Holidays as a missionary aren't that fun... we like when people are home so we can sneak up on em. :) After church, we headed to dinner at the Saints. Then we did went around Nauvoo a little bit and passed out family history cards. Good night!
This week was crazy, but so good! With my family history miracle this week... I figured that an appropriate video would have to be about family history. :)
My testimony of family history has grown so much in my time here in Nauvoo. If a missionary who hasn't really used a computer in 9 months can do it, then you can do it! Let the Spirit of Elijah touch you, and I promise you it will. I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!!
-Sister Jensen
How many South Americans does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A Brazilian.
*Joke credited to Brother Hunt.
The original Raccoon River Ward missionaries.

Raccoon River reunion! :):) This is us in a picture.

You better believe we all sat and reminisced on the good 'ole Raccoon River days. :)
Zone Conference picture!
This is what happens on the 2 hour ride home from Zone Conference. :)
I flippin love the Senior couples in Nauvoo!!! We knock on their door to give them a flyer, and they send us home with flowers and brownies. SCORE!
This is what happens when you clean out a Sister missionary apartments vacuum. Nast. Wig anyone?
The Temple with ma companion. :) I am a little obsessed with Nauvoo

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hi Ho Hi Ho...It's Off To Work We Go

This has been quite an incredible week. Holy guacamole. I am absolutely exhausted! I honestly have never worked so hard in my life! The amount of work we do in one day here in Hamilton, is equal to the amount of work we did in 3 in Winterset. So much to do!!! I absolutely love this area though. I am really being pushed and it is such a blessing. Because I am spoiled getting to serve in Nauvoo, there has to be some kind of growth somewhere. On word: Antis. Oh my heavens... they are everywhere. It keeps things interesting though. :) I have to give a quick shout out here to my older brother Taylor. He is 21 today. He is OLD! Kidding, kidding. Happy birthday Tay! I love you! :)
Monday: P-days here are crazy! It is go go go. We do our studies at a members house while we do our laundry, and then email, and then Walmart, and then head to Keokuk to play Volleyball with our district. I thought p-days were suppose to be relaxing... hmmm... Luckily, I don't mind it though. That night, we had met with the Criders. They are awesome! They fed us soup and we showed them "Reflections of Christ." Good trade. :) Then we headed to Carthage to to help a member clean cause she just had jaw surgery. Super fun! I am going to be a pro cleaner by the time I come home. :)
Tuesday: On Tuesdays, we do service at City Hall. I love doing secretary work! Basically, in this area you  do a lot of service cause that is how we help soften the hearts of the people who may not have the best opinion of the church. So after city hall, we head to the senior home and we get to paint nails for an hour. Those ladies are adorable! Reminds me of my Winterset girls. :) That night we had an awesome lesson with Brayan, our recent convert. He was baptized the weekend before I got here and he is stellar. He is so prepared and has such a great testimony. Plus, we got to teach him about the priesthood. My favorite. :)
Wednesday: What day is it? HUMP DAY!!! What the heck. Um. Blah.  Months have just flown by. Honestly, I cannot believe I am halfway done with my mission. It freaks me out.:)  Every Wednesday, we get to go to the family history search center for a couple hours and work on that. This is so when the summer starts, and all the people start coming, we will know how to help them with family history. ATTENTION ALL FAMILY: I will be doing a lot of family history, so make sure you are checking for names you can take to the Temple. And also, any info you can give me to help me find people and enter them in is very appreciated. :) After that, we headed to Carthage and did some service at the hospital there. Do ya see what I mean about service? LOVE IT!!! That night we decided to celebrate since it was both of our hump days. The only obvious choice? Eat Mexican food and go to institute. Yep... good night. :)
Thursday: Today, during our lunch break we decided to do something fun. Tour at Carthage Jail= check. Guys... I am spoiled. Being there brought back so many wonderful memories of heritage tours. After that we visited some less actives and had a lesson with one of our investigators Ray. He is awesome! He is 22, but has the mental capacity of a 3 year old. He is a fun one to teach. :) That night we just went and around so I could meet some more people. Good night.
Friday: Today we woke up at 5 am cause we got invited to early morning seminary. Love it! :) Then, we had zone training in Nauvoo! It was so fun to see and meet all the missionaries in my zone. There were a lot! Our zone is actually the biggest in the mission, so it was a great meeting! After the meeting, all 28 of us headed to a little restaurant and the sweetest thing happened. A cute couple visiting Nauvoo payed for all 28 of us. Guys... this restaurant wasn't cheap, and they payed for it all. They are going to be so blessed!! Oh and fun fact: Nana and Pops- Haley Newell was at the restaurant and she was walking out as we were all walking in. It was so fun to see her!! After that we did family history finding. We are not aloud to proselyte in Nauvoo or talk about the church, but we can pass out family history cards. Then we had dinner with the Bishops wife and headed home!
Saturday: Saturday was a crazy day! Literally just running around all day. We saw a lot of our investigators and had some AMAZING lessons with them.
Sunday: Something was in the air at church, cause people were fallin asleep left and right! Hahaha literally everywhere we looked, people had the whole "head nod back and forth" thing goin. It was HILARIOUS! :) After church we had a couple meeting, and then we stopped by the senior couple's house to drop off a paper. Yea... 2 hours later. Haha they ended up feeding us and just laughing the whole night... I think Heavenly Father understands. :)
As you can tell, my week was jam packed! We had a lot of people to see, and a lot of things to do. I have already grown a lot though in my 1 week here. I have never had my testimony shut down and tried as much as I have this last week. Heavenly Father loves me so much though, that every time I get an anti comment, my testimony just grows stronger. HEAVENS TO BETSY I LOVE THE GOSPEL!!!!!
So Sister Rasmussen and I have been reading a book together this week called, "Believing Christ." It is an amazing book! I can't remember who it is by, but if you look it up it should come up. It is the story of the Bicycle. My mom in her email to me this week, included a video that fits PERFECTLY with what we are reading about: the Atonement. I absolutely love this video.
I have a firm testimony that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, un-celestial beings can be made celestial. If the world was full of perfect people, we wouldn't need a Savior. But boy, do I need him! We are imperfect, but because of Him, we can become perfect.
I pray that each of you will have a great week full of tender mercies. I love you all!
-Sister Jensen
*Still don't have anything on Illinois. But, I'm workin on it. :)
My view coming out of church every Sunday. Just be prepared for a lot of Nauvoo Temple pictures as long as I am serving here. :)
Pretty much pro cooks here :)
The local Hamilton Mexican restaurant knows whats up!!! Kingdoms of glory, say what? :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


HJFSGAHLFBSAFGILGVHSAFEGLLRGHJEVFHSDGAHJLVGFHEJWVQHFLGEHWJLQVCHJEWVLQ. Literally... that is how my brain feels right now. In a good way though. :) It has been a very crazy week.
Monday & Tuesday: Literally, I spent these 2 days just saying bye to people. There just wasn't enough time in the day!!! I got to see a lot of people that I had taught in my time in Winterset and it was so good to catch up with them and just leave my testimony with them one more time. I got to see Miki! Do any of you remember Miki? Basically she is one of my favorite people in the world. She was the first non-member I ever taught on my mission. She has such a special place in my heart. I got to see her and catch up, and cry a little. It was great. :) Just a crazy couple days.
Wednesday: Packing day! Yay. When you have been in an area 9 months, you realize that you have WAYYYY too much "stuff." (Thanks mom!) :) I was done packing at about 1 and then we headed to the church to say bye to people. That was hard... I have gotten really close with a lot of these missionaries and it was hard to leave. That night we had dinner with the Turners which was great! They made bets on where I was going. :) Haha I didn't know how I felt about that. On our way home, we stopped at the Allen's and ended up being there for about 2 hours... haha oops. I just love them though!!!! Wednesday was just a crazy night... I didn't know how I was feeling.
Thursday: Transfers... I don't think it hit me that I was getting transferred until transfers. We met up with some other missionaries at the church and got a ride to Iowa City from a member in their ward. When we got to transfers, it was literally a big party. It was one of the biggest transfer meetings so you can imagine how many people I saw. I freaked out a little bit when I heard my momma Sister Barker was there though... haha I went and found her and when she saw me she immediately started crying. Haha I love her!!! We talked for quite a while and then headed in. Then it began... we got a couple trainings and then President started to announce the transfer doctrine. I just sat there waiting and waiting and he never called my name... literally the second to last area called was mine... When I found out I would be with Sister Rasmussen again we both freaked! We ran to hug each other in the chapel. I feel kind of bad cause I screamed, "Holy Crap" about 4 times as I was running in front of a congregation of missionaries... haha it's fine. No shame. After wards we just took hundreds of pics and then we headed home... to NAUVOO!!!! That's right... I am serving in Nauvoo. :) We actually live in Hamilton, but we are over Hamilton, Nauvoo, and Carthage, and then a couple little towns. I am so spoiled dangit! Hopefully I will get to go to the Temple soon. We live in a cute little apartment. I definitely miss the Prices, but I am adjusting. Thursday night, there was a RS event, so I got to meet a lot of the Sisters and they are so cool. I know I am going to love it here! It is weird though being the only missionaries in the ward... something to get used to.
Friday: We did our district meeting today and it was so fun! So Sister Barker is on my district, and then Elder Aston who was my zone leader in Winterset is my Zone Leader again. :) Haha apparently 7.5 months wasn't enough... Upside though: I am already his favorite. :) District meeting was fun! We also have a senior couple in my district but they weren't there Friday. I am excited to meet them! For the rest of the day after that, Sister Rasmussen just took me around to meet all the members! It is so weird being introduced... I am used to introducing! Long day, but a good day!
Saturday: We did our studies and then headed to the church to help the Evans (a family in the ward) set up for Mormon Prom. I have never hung so many streamers in my life. :) After that we headed to Carthage to do some work!  We went to Carthage Jail to meet the Senior couples there and also to do our weekly planning. I am excited to go there with an Investigator so I can do the tour again. :) We stayed there for a little bit and then headed to the Peels for dinner. Sister Peel made chicken roll-ups... my favorite. :) After dinner, we headed back to Hamilton to meet with an investigator. His name is Jack, and he is awesome! He was a referral from the Elders in Keokuk and he is so prepared. We taught him the restoration, and he just ate it up. We are excited to go back and teach him more.
Sunday: I LOVE THE NAUVOO 3RD WARD. Just saying... I miss Raccoon River a lot, but I feel comfortable here so I know I am going to love it. The ward members are so fantastic and have such a desire to do missionary work. Oh, the joys of working in Nauvoo. :) We have church from 2-5 (Weird!!) So before church every week, we go around and round up our investigators. It is awesome! Unfortunately, we didn't have anyone at church this week, but we keep praying for next week. After church we headed to the family history center across the street from the Temple so that Sister Rasmussen could skype. I was so excited for her and it was fun to meet her family. After that, we headed to dinner with the Raizors in Carthage. THEY ARE AMAZING!!! I was hysterically laughing the entire time. They said next time we come, we aren't using plates or utensils. I am excited. :) Then we headed to the Evans and I skyped my family! Holy moly, it was amazing!! It was awesome to see their beautiful faces and to hear their voices. It only made me a little trunky... :) Such a tender mercy! After that we headed home and got in bed. Haha oh... the life of a missionary. :)
Well, there is my week! Sorry it was kind of all over the place. Haha like I said... my brain is a little wacko lately. Just a lot of new things and I am just trying to organize all my thoughts. I am excited to be here though! I am excited to be in such a sacred place, full of amazing people. Sure, we have a lot of anti's, but that adds to the experience. :) We weren't able to fit in time this week, so I am just sending one of my favorite videos. :)
I hope that you all have a wonderful week! Remember I love you, God loves you, and Jesus Christ loves you! GOD SPEED!!!
-Sister Jensen
*I will have to find a good Illinois quote. Tune in next week for one. :)
I love my McCall family!!

Arzanis!!!! Left to right: Sister Arzani, Bishop, and then Bishops sister Dianne.

The Jacksons!

The Saxtons!!! (minus Chandler) :)
Ma Allens. :):)

Transfers were CRAZY!!! My old new comp on the left, Sister Rasmussen (we were companions in the MTC), and my Momma Sister Barker on the right! She is now my Sister Training leader and in my District. Haha so crazy...

Generation Pic. :)

Reunited and it feels so good!!! :) All of my MTC favorites!!!!!! Transfers rock.
I get this view about 4-6 times a week. Um... what?
We did our weekly planning on the grounds at Carthage Jail... AMAZING!!!
We make this drive almost every day!

Most spiritual place in the house. :)

We are on the Left! Home sweet home. :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow....

So, when your Mission President tells you that this will most likely be your last week in the area you have spent 9 MONTHS laboring in, it makes for a pretty crazy week. :) Even though I am not 100% sure I am leaving yet, I decided to still make this the best week ever since it is about a 99% chance I am.
Monday: On Monday, it rained. All day. Wanna know whats near the top of my "things I love list?" Rain. Yep! I was in heaven! We got to do a little work before we headed to the library to email, so we went and saw Sister Costello. We just sat and visited with her for a little bit, and shared a message and then went on with our p-day.  I was kind of a little bum though cause I kept thinking about how it was most likely my last p-day. DON'T DO THAT FUTURE MISSIONARIES!!! After games at the church, we headed to the Christensens. We got some awesome home-made food and then got to play with the boys for a little bit. And I got to make mom noises to their 2 month old baby girl. It was perfect. :) After that we headed to the Arzanis so I could get a haircut. Sister Arzani was so ashamed of me... word to the wise... don't wait 6 months to get a haircut. Woo.
Tuesday: Sister Koboldt took us out to lunch today. She is just so cute! For some reason we always make her cry! Haha I think they are good tears though. :) Then of course we had our weekly bingo, which was awesome. No one yelled at me to call louder this week. TENDER MERCY! Then I had a really cool experience... we were at the Greens having a lesson with them and we had decided the night before to just read the Book of Mormon with them. Well, we started reading and the spirit told me so strongly that that was not what they needed. So I asked for their computer and I pulled up this video ( We just talked about how much Heavenly Father loved them, and it was truly what they needed to hear. Karma was in tears by the end of it. Folks... this is why I am grateful for the spirit. Because it was the the end of the month, we had tons of left over miles so we got to drive to the BOONIES to visit this less-active. She was actually home! It was my first time meeting her, so I know Heavenly Father had a hand in that.
Wednesday: We got a new investigator today! Her name is Judy and she is awesome. We actually found her last week, but neither Sister Cole or I felt good about extending her a baptismal invite. Luckily, our district leader understands that the spirit trumps all. :) But, we did invite her today! She is excited about baptism. Now, it is just getting her to church! I never knew before my mission that that would be such a hard thing to do. After meeting with her, we got to go do crafts. I was the "hot glue gun girl" as they liked to call me. We decorated these little fences... made me feel pretty crafty. Then we got to go do service for this non-member family in Van Meter. It was so fun!!!! We got to wipe down all the wood in their house for like 4 hours, cause the mom was starting chemo the next day. We honestly walked into their house and it was like we were instant friends. Here's the catch... We never would have found them if our Bishops wife didn't give us her number and told us to call her. MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK AT IT'S FINEST! Your help matters people. On our way home, we got an interesting phone call... Binky told us that she was pretty upset about the date we extended to her last time we were there. I took about the next 20 minutes and tried to talk her off the ledge. I asked her one question, and I knew what her problem was. I asked her if she had prayed and asked her Heavenly Father about that date and what he thought... she was silent for a moment and finally said, "no." Counseling with our Father in Heaven is so important! When we do that, He will bless us with clarity and comfort. That is something Binky will have to learn through her own experiences. Luckily though, she didn't drop us she just told us to give her a week. TENDER MERCY!
Thursday: Today was kind of a crazy day! After studies we headed to Kathys house and helped her paint for a couple hours. I don't know for sure that I am leaving, but I decided to tell Kathy that it was a possibility just to prepare her. She immediately broke into tears and basically broke my heart. I feel so very blessed to be able to serve in a place that is so close to home, because I was able to tell her that I will be back next year. What a blessing! Dang, I just love her. After we got cleaned up, (yes... Kathy had a paint war. With my clothes.) we headed to district lunch at Costco. Haha that made me a little trunky... District meeting was awesome! Sister Cole gave her first training and she did so good! It was a proud mama moment. :) We had  plans with Linda and Ann tonight so we headed there after district meeting. We got to talk to them for a while, and then headed home.
Friday: Today was a weird weekly planning session... because this week is transfers, we weren't able to plan for much. After planning, we headed to Winterset and helped this member who just moved into our ward move some furniture. She is a hoot! She had us laughing for hours! :) Then Sister Capps was so sweet and took us out. I LOVE THE MEMBERS HERE! We got to decorate Brother McCalls car with gum so he can quit smoking... Saint George Temple... here comes the McCall family!! I am so excited for them!!!!!! :)
Saturday: So Friday night we planned and had our whole day planned out. We were suppose to spend most of the day today doing service for this family in our ward. No joke... Friday night at like 10 we get a call that we can't go cause the Elders were going. Well, there went all our plans. Luckily, we spiritually winged it though. :) We helped the Prices with yard work for about an hour, (their mulch looks great!), and then headed to Kathys again. After that we headed to Earlham so that I could see some members there and get some pictures. Then we had another awesome lesson with the Greens! We taught about faith and used fire. Yea... it was pretty sweet. :)
Sunday: One of the best Sundays I have had in this ward. Testimony meeting was amazing! I started bawling in the first testimony, and I looked over at Sister Cole and she too was just sobbing. We looked like blabbering fools, but we don't care. Then in Relief Society, we had the most amazing lesson on visiting teaching. I just love this ward, in case you didn't know already. I don't think I have ever hugged so many people than I did at church on Sunday. Wooo. After church, we took some time to just go around and visit members. The Barbers invited us over for dinner, so that was fun. A good send off from them. Saying bye to them literally broke my heart, But... I'll be back. :) Then we headed out to the Erdmans to say bye to them. We got there and they were pickin ticks off their dogs and squishing them. Haha that's ma Erdman fam. :) Then we headed to Winterset to say bye to the Penners. I am just going to miss all these people so much!
Well, that was my (last) week here in good ole' Winterset Iowa. My love for this place began day 1 and has grown so much with each day. All the people that I have net here, and the experiences I have had have truly changed me for the better. I have no doubt that All that I have done here has truly helped me more then the people I have helped. I read a talk this week called "Waiting on the road to Damascus." ( It talks about the story of Saul and Joseph Smith and how a lot of people believe that they need to have an experience like that to know that this is truly the Lords Kingdom. That was me before my mission. Growing up, I always heard people talk about their "big experience" of when they knew the church was true. For a long time, I was mad that I was not having a "Joseph Smith" experience. I was truly waiting on my road to Damascus. In this talk, President Uchtdorf counsels us to not spend too long on our road to Damascus and to do something to get going. Winterset was that thing for me. I will always have a special place in my heart for this area, because it was here that I had my ah-ha moment. I do not need an experience like Saul or Joseph Smith to know that this is true... it is the simple, little whisperings of the Spirit at different times that confirms to us and grows or testimony that this truly is the Lords kingdom. The Lord himself taught that we learn line upon line, precept on precept. Why wouldn't a testimony be the same? While here on my mission, I have truly come to know with a surety, without a doubt in my mind... that Jesus IS the Christ. That He performed a very perfect atonement for his imperfect people. I know that God the father lives and that He loves us with a love we cannot comprehend. I have felt glimpses of that love for his children here in Winterset on many occasions. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that he, by the grace and power of God, translated the Book of Mormon. He was the first prophet of this dispensation, and we are still led by a prophet today. I am grateful for all that I have learned in my 9 months as a representative of my Savior Jesus Christ. He has pushed me, led me, carried me, and let me fly and those are the moments I am eternally grateful for. 
I hope you all have a wonderful week. This weekend is mothers day and I just need to rant on my mom for a minute... She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She is kind, funny, brilliant, beautiful, a bit sassy sometimes, and truly just wonderful. Mom, happy mothers day. :) And that goes to all you other out there too! I pray that you may each feel of your divine role as a mother and truly feel of the ones you have touched so deeply. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
HAHAHA! We laughed for days about this one. :)
Our companionship in a picture. :)

Round-about cemetary? Sure.
Joan. She will be a member ONE DAY!!!!! :)

Beverly  :)

Ma Erdmans. :)
The Barber Clan!!! :)

The Johnsons! Basically the cutest family ever! If I could choose one baby in the ward to hold.. it would be Jameson. Cause he reminds me of my Zainers. :)
Sister Ratliff (sitting down), and Sister McVey!

Only in Earlham. :)
Brother McCalls car!!!!!! :)
Sister Capps and Quentin!

When you are serving in the town where John Wayne was born, ya gotta get a pic with his statue. :)
My dearest Linda and Ann. :)

The district. :)

Top row: Elder Deering (ZL), Elder Hoskins, Elder Garner, Elder Blackburn, Elder Aston (ZL), Elder Bolinder, Elder Dickson, Elder Dragon

Bottom row: Sister Cole, Elder Jensen (WOOT WOOT!), Elder Hollan (DL)