Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tip Toe Outta the Comfort Zone

What a week it has been... lots of good things, and as always. some hard things. But hey, that is what makes the journey enjoyable. :) I first have to give a shout out to someone that I love very dearly. We have grown very close over the last couple years, and she is someone that I look up to. My cousin Linsey returned home from her mission to Spain this weekend. WELCOME HOME LINS!!! I have no doubt that Heavenly Father is very pleased with the work that you did, and he will continue to use you as one of his faithful servants. I LOVE YOU!:)
1. My companion and I went to the Temple this week, and it was really incredible. I had been struggling a little bit, as you all know, and the Temple helped so much. I feel very blessed to be serving so close and especially to be able to attend the Nauvoo Temple. So many blessings... As we were walking out too, we ran into President and Sister Jensen. Haha those two! Direct quote from President Jensen, " I would really love to hug you two outside the Nauvoo Temple... but I probably shouldn't." I love that man... and all his awkwardness. :)
2.Carolyn admitted this week that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that this is Christs only true church on the earth today.... GHDFSLAFHVHJBCJASLVCHJLGFJ:VCHJASVCHDVSAH:C!!!! I don't even think that words can express what this means... Heavenly Father has been waiting for her to admit that since he sent her Sisters 2 1/2 years ago. This is a break through... we are extending a baptismal date to her and Herb next week. Please keep them in your prayers!
3. We had exchanges this week with our incredible Sister Training Leaders! And... I got to spend the day with my Mama. Haha I love her so much... I really learned a lot on exchanges... Sister Monroe and I have been struggling as a companionship a little bit, and we were able to all talk about it together and get some advice from the Sisters. It has helped immensely! We are getting really good at telling satan to get behind us. :)
4. I found my stress outlet this week.... you better believe I bought 3 coloring books and new crayons. I am stoked. Total stress reliever after a hard day! I am working on my Barbie one now. :)
5. The almost unbearable heat has hit. In the hundreds every day this week with the humidity. :) I be sweatin all day long.
6. Sister Raisor and I almost kicked ourselves out of relief society for laughing so hard. Story of our life.
It has been a good week, really it has. I am super exhausted, but I have excepted the fact that if I wasn't, I'm not working hard enough. We saw a lot of miracles this week, and we were really blessed. I am so grateful to be serving my mission. It truly has meant everything to me, and I still have 6 months! I have learned a lot about how to be who Heavenly Father needs me to be, and how to recognize and except his will. I struggle every day, but I know now more than ever that the Savior is right beside me pushing and pulling me.
Missionary work is full of doing things that you don't necessarily want to do. It requires you to step out of your comfort zone, and do something completely awkward sometimes. That is where the growth comes though. That is when the atonement is put into full effect. "There is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone." That has been a very true statement thus far on my mission. I want to invite each of you this week to step out of your comfort zone, and do something for someone else. It is called the "I should" theory. We have all experienced it. Whenever we have the thought that we "should" do something, that is from God. He is prompting you to do good. And then satan comes in and tries to diminish it... his greatest tool. Making revelation seem small or invalid. Step out of your comfort zone and do something you "should do." Allow yourself to be an instrument for God this week. He will bless you for your desires.
I love you all! Have a wonderful week. :)
-Sister Jensen
This is what we do at city hall during service time. :)

Trish loves us. :)

My companion gets a little crazy sometimes.

My companion attacked me with... string that be silly.

His name is... sea-willy.

This is what happens during roleplays in comp study :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Reaching for Goodness

Weeks full of humbling experiences are the best. :) This was a really good week, and we saw and experienced a lot of heavenly miracles. I'm really liking this whole, "share the highlights of the week" thing, so we will continue with that.
1. We taught an atheist. That was fun...
2. I found a new family line on Wednesday, and I am stoked about it. Jamie- it is on Grandpa O's side, so stay tuned for some good stuff. :)
3. We had a really amazing lesson with a less active in our ward who is really struggling. Totally spirit led and super powerful. One of my favorite things about being a missionary is being able to receive revelation for others. That makes all the difference in the world!
4. We got to paint a porch this week. It was awesome and I got red paint ALL over my pants! Battle wounds. :)
5. We found a new investigator this week named Jenny! She is a baptist and is super well versed on her Bible. Luckily, I have studied the Bible a lot on my mission and I was able to follow all her questions. When we asked her to be baptized when she came to know that the church was true, she responded with "Well...I would have too!" SO PREPARED!!!
6. It rained a lot this week. I love rain. :) But, I also lost my umbrella a couple months ago.... haha. That was fun. (Don't worry mom... I am buying a new one today!)
7. We had a ward party this week. Our ward got all the leftover food from pageant so we all just got together at the park and cooked it all up. I love this ward and it was fun to get together with everyone outside of church!
8. I got a letter from my Mom this week, and then a blessing from Elder Warner that both rebuked me pretty bad, but in a good way. :) I am grateful for people in my life who are in tune with the spirit and who are able to give me guidance and direction from my Father in Heaven. I was really humbled this week in realizing how much power I was giving satan to distract me form my purpose. I was focusing so much on how little time I have left, that I was wasting away each day. Sneaky satan...
9. I got the most amazing miracle call this week! Kim is an investigator that Sister Cole and I found in Winterset back in march. She was living in the house of a former investigator so we went to stop by and Kim answered the door. We asked her if she was Alice and she said no... so we were about to walk away when the Spirit told me to invite her to learn about the restored gospel. Well people... she is getting baptized on Saturday. I cannot even tell you how much joy that brought to my heart! Being able to see the fruit of your labors is an amazing feeling. Please keep her in your prayers!
10. I celebrated my one year mark this week. Let me tell you... that was weird. I feel like I have been on my mission for eternity but closer to 2 months at the same time. Looking back at all I have l learned in this year is awe-inspiring. I have not been the perfect missionary, nor will I ever be, but I do feel like I have been molded into the missionary that Heavenly Father needs me to be. I have learned so much in this year, and I want to share with you some of those "ah-ha" moments:
-The Savior and my Father in Heaven love me more than I can imagine. They have this love for all those that they have created. This love is perfect and eternal. They do not see us as weak little creatures, but they see us as glorious works of art. They see us as we can become, not as we are.
-The Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored in this final dispensation by the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was an unlearned man who by the power of God translated the most correct book on earth. He laid down his life for the cause of Zion and I look forward to the day when I can greet him and thank him.
-The Book of Mormon is true. It is simple as that. I believed the Book was true, but now I know. I have gained an undeniable witness from God that it is true. I have seen it change lives, but none more than my own.
-We are led by prophets and apostles TODAY. They commune with God and they guide this church today. Thomas S. Monson has been called and qualified to assist in leading us back to our Heavenly home.
-Last but, not least... I have learned to love the Priesthood. I love feeling the power of the Priesthood in my life as an ordained minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. I Love being able to go and worship in the Temple under the power of the Priesthood. I love receiving blessings through Gods worthy sons and the Priesthood they bear. I love witnessing people enter the straight and narrow gate by the power of the Priesthood. It is here, it is true, and it is His power.
My mission has been hard... really hard. I have experienced more heartache in this last year than I have in the last 10 years. But, I have also never been happier. I have been blessed more than I could imagine in this last year, and I know that it will continue not only for the next 6 months... but for eternity.
I am grateful for each of you and for your example. Because of righteous family and friends... I decided to serve a mission. Your examples in my life means the world to me. I love each of you very much, and remember that you Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ love you. No matter what. They are always reaching for us... we just need to reach back.
-Sister Jensen
It's a beautiful day in Nauvoo today. :) Are any of you sick of Temple pictures yet? No? Good. :)
Our favorite kind of studies. :)
This is what happens when you get cold during weekly planning. In August. In the mid-west... beats me.
What the heavens....

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Even the Blues are a Blessing

It has been a really crazy week. Having a new companion is always so fun but hard because there is so much to do and so many people for them to meet... and you are the only one that (kind of) knows what is going on. Sometimes it can just be a little overwhelming. I'm not sure what happened this week... but I just had a rough go at things. A lot of things are weighing down my mind and I am completely exhausted. As hard as this week was for me though, I would not have traded it for the world. I cannot even tell you how many times this week I wanted to go home and curl up in a ball, but HE wouldn't let me. He had things for me to do, so he carried me a lot of the way. I have learned to be grateful for trials because of that reason. It's when you have given your all and done everything you think you possibly can that the Savior just comes and picks you up and carries you. I am trying to express in words my very best just how much the atonement worked in my life this week, but I don't think I can. I just want each of you to know that I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I love his perfect atonement. I love the mercy and grace that are extended to me at every turn. I love knowing that I am doing HIS sacred work... He has called me, and He is qualifying me.
Well... I started with my testimony this week, so I will end with some highlights. :)
1. THE RAISORS HAD THEIR BABY!!!! Ice Pawn is finally here. :):) (name accredited to me and Sister Rasmussen.) He was born Wednesday morning at about 2:30 am weighing 5 lbs. 15 oz. His name is Robert Joseph Raisor. STUD ALERT!!! We asked Bro. Raisor why Joseph and he said it was because he gained new life where the Prophet gave his. GFHEAWVFVHJCGVFHAVFHLGWLFVJHVDHAFLVHWJLFVHEWQLF. I'm obsessed with this family. They had signed up to have us for dinner on Friday night so we got to go to the hospital and chill with Bro. and Sister Raisor and little Ice Pawn. Expect pictures soon. :)
2. We did like a million hours of service this week. Okay... that was an exaggeration. but still. Holy moly. Don't get me wrong... I'm not complainin. Just stating a fact. :)
3. We had an amazing zone training meeting this week. I am serving around such amazing missionaries! Seriously... I just want to be a fly on the wall for every companionship cause they are just kicking butt in each of their areas. Also, after the meeting, we went to the Temple to take some pictures and this sweet family took them for us. When they were done they took a sweet video... we basically flash mobbed danced with their kids. It should be on the Iowa Des Moines Mission FB page if you are interested in seeing some pure awesomeness. 
4. We found a potential family of 9 PEOPLE!!!!! Pray for them. :)
Well, we are just chuggin along here in Hamilton. Things have been pretty slow lately, but I know that the Lord has blessed us in ways unimaginable. As I walk these streets everyday, I feel his love for each of these people so immensely sometimes that I just do a little heel click cause I feel happy. That is one of my favorite things about being a missionary... being able to see people through Gods eyes and not my own. It is something we can do anytime, but I just feel like Heavenly Father gives you a little extra of it as a missionary. I love these people. I love what they are teaching me... I love what they are helping me become. I love every part of what I am doing right now... even the hard and discouraging times.
I have sent this video before, but it really applies to my week. I hope that each of you will take time to watch it, and feel of the love that your Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ have for you. Know that I love you, and that I pray for each of you everyday... some of you by name. Have a great week, and take time to smell the flowers.
-Sister Jensen
Nauvoo Zone. :) So spoiled.
Just one more pic from my favorite missionary dinner last week. :)

Do you see why I'm obsessed?! Beautiful.

Some members fed us alligator, so of course this was a "must" picture.
Baby seat...not something you see in a missionary car everyday... it made us pretty happy. :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Another Year Older and Wiser Too

What a week here in Illinois. This has probably been the most eventful week on my mission thus far. I'm gonna give ya a run down of all the major happenins...
1. On Monday night, we got a call from Elder Weiss, the AP. We kind of knew it was coming... I was staying and Sister Rasmussen would be leaving.
2. The Evans threw me an early birthday party on Tuesday without me knowing anything! These people are good. :) They invited some members from the ward and it was just very fun. My mom had sent a bunch of decorations and everyone was just obsessed. I told them that we have to have awesome decorations in Utah cause it makes up for the lack of booze. :)
3. I WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!! Our district went on our Wednesday p-day and it was amazing. It is just really incredible how much you come to love the missionaries you serve with, and to be in the Temple with each of them is really just the best thing.
4. Transfers. They are always so bittersweet.... Hard to say goodbye, but you get to see so many people you love. It was a very special meeting and my new Companion is really awesome. Here are some fun facts about Sister Monroe:
-She is from San Diego, California. (NOT UTAH!) :)
-She has been on her mission 13 months.
-She is 20 years old.
-She is obsessed with singing, cooking, and babies. (So...basically I am companions with myself.)
FUN FACT: Sister Monroe and I actually met through facebook before our mission and talked a couple times and every time we saw each other out here in the field we would say to each other that we would serve together eventually. And now we are. In Nauvoo. Pretty legit. And we just laugh a lot. And sing songs in weird voices. It's great! :)
5. Saturday was a big day... it was the last day of pageant and it was also my 20th birthday. :) I had a really great birthday! It was weird being away from family, not gonna lie, but I was still surrounded by people who I love so it worked out. :) We got to do some work in Carthage, and then we went to district meeting, and then time, and then the night ended with pageant. It was the perfect 20th birthday. :)
Well... there are some of the highlights. This is short, I know, but I figured that it evens out with all the pictures sent.
Each and every day I am just amazed at how involved the Lord is in all of this. He sent me to an area that I love with companions that I have loved and do love, and with people around me who have forever changed my life. I have a firm testimony that our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ know each of us PERSONALLY and PERFECTLY. Every moment of each day is part of the glorious plan Heavenly Father has put together for each of His children. I love this work and I love this gospel. It has truly changed and impacted my life for the better, and I love being a apart of God's army.
Thank you to all for the birthday wishes and kind thoughts. I have been blessed beyond words in my life, and each of you has given me so many things to rejoice in. I love you. I pray for you.  I leave my testimony with you in the name of my King and Savior, my Master, Jesus Christ, amen.
-Sister Jensen
Frolicking in a field of grass by the Nauvoo Temple on my 20th birthday: check.
On stage during the "British Pageant." :)

Last dinner at the Raisors and we requested spaghetti without plates, utensils, and napkins. :) Luckily, we were already in p-day clothes. :)
Sister Matley (in the pink skirt and currently serving in Winterset), and Sister Lindgren (blue skirt, I replaced her here) came to pageant and we just got to sit and I got all the details on Winterset. :)

Celebrating an early birthday at the Evans. :)

I'm obsessed...
End of transfer, after Temple, district picture. :)
Elder Bean and Elder Jones
Me, Sister Rasmussen, Sister Pratt, Sister Barker
MY NEW COMPANION! Sister Monroe :)

All of the Hamilton girls and Sister Hunt. :)
Left to right- Sister Monroe, me, Sister Lindgren, Sister Stouffers, Sister Hunt, and Sister Rasmussen.
Birthday Breakfast :)
My STL's Sister Browne and Barker. They are the cutest and obviously the most creative. I knew it was a box of Cosmic Brownies before I even opened it. My mama knows me so well. :)
Lion hair after a long night at pageant....

Having too much fun at the Hunts. :)
It's official. :)