Monday, February 23, 2015

It Is Finished.

Wow. Here I am.. comin at ya live from Iowa for the last time. Realizing that I am returning home in about 4 days is a really weird feeling. Really weird. A lot of mixed emotions... good emotions though. I think... haha. Before I get into all the deep stuff... let me just give you a run down of the last 4 days.
Thursday: The "lasts" officially began. My last district meeting.... the best. I got to give a training on a subject that I have learned a lot about as a missionary: LISTENING. At the end of district meeting, we offered a kneeling prayer and I broke down a little. I am pretty sure I will need to hold my own DM when I get home because I am going to miss them so much. Haha That night, we got to take Pam up to Ames and do some family history with her. She had a really incredible experience and it really just touched my heart.
Friday: Last weekie p session.... so weird. Yes. There was lots of chocolate and some tears. Typical though. It was a really crazy day after that just full of visiting and teaching. We taught Kyle the Law of Chastity and it went incredible. I have learned that the spirit can literally ease ANY kind of tension or awkwardness. ITS THE BEST!
Saturday: You know it's a gonna be a good day when members take you out for lunch... and then again for dinner. Haha they are trying to really plump me up before I hit the airport. :) The rest of the day was filled with painting, cleaning the church, saving souls by calling them to repentance. Ya know... all the good stuff. :)
Sunday: Today I felt like that little bird thing on Ice Age when he says, "The last melon..." Yea. You know who I am talking about. Today was..."my last Sunday." I honestly could not have asked for better church meetings. Kyle, the Brittains, and Tessa all came to church and then just the lessons and the talks and more importantly the Spirit just made it a perfect day. Plus, we got to hang out with the Maughans for lunch. One of the greatest families ever. It was just a really amazing day.
Monday: I think the only big news for today is REALLY big.... wait for it..... I'M GONNA BE A GRANDMA!!!!!!!!!  Yep. That's right. My baby is training. I am seriously so excited. She is going to do wonderful and will make such a great mother. :) Proud mama moment for sure.
Okay. So... sorry this email has been weird. I am just weird right now... because I am going home in 4 days. But, I did just want to take the opportunity to share my testimony with each of you and to share with you what my mission has meant to me. I'm gonna be honest with each of you... I came out on my mission not convinced that I would make it this far. I don't think I could have ever imagined how hard it was going to be. I was homesick, I was weak, and I felt small. In the moment of those things, I was angry that I was having those experiences and I just wanted them to be gone. I have a completely different outlook on those trials now. I am GRATEFUL for them. I feel like I am walking away from my mission will a strength that I never could have imagined. It is because of those times that I am here today, writing you this email as an 18 month old missionary. For all my Elder Hepworth fans out there, you will remember that his mission president told him that, "The key to know God is a struggle." Wow. How true that statement is. I have come to know God in my weaknesses and trials. That is why I will forever be grateful for them. I have come to know that God is aware of ME. He loves me and He cares about me. Because of that knowledge, I have come to understand John 3:16. GOD LOVED ME ENOUGH TO SEND HIS SON TO SAVE ME FROM MY SINS AND TO PROVIDE ME STRENGTH IN MY TIMES OF NEED. More than anything, I am walking away from my mission with the knowledge. I know Jesus Christ lives. I know that he is my Savior. He is my great exemplar. The Book of Mormon in true. Joseph Smith is a Prophet. Thomas S. Monson guides and directs us today as the Lord Jesus Christs chosen Prophet. This is Jesus Christs kingdom. God the Father lives, His Son Jesus Christ lives, the Spirit is real. As I reflect on the mission of our Savior, I am reminded of when he was on the cross. He sat in agony as the Father withdrew from Him, and He held on until He knew that that part of His sacrifice had been accomplished. He looked heaven ward to his Father and exclaimed, "It is Finished." I draw a lot of comfort from this as I prepare to return home. In no way does my mission come close to what my Savior experienced, but I too am looking heaven ward toward my Father and saying, "It is finished." I have begun to realize though the meaning of this phrase. I know that Jesus Christ was not finished. I know He rose from the dead 3 days later and appeared to His apostles. I know that he appeared to the Nephites in the Americas and began his ministry there. I know he appeared to Joseph Smith and began his ministry in the dispensation. Just like the Savior, I am not finished. I still have a mission that I need to do. He kept going and so will I. He understood though that that part of His mission was completed and it was time to move to the next act of love. I too am finished with this part of my mission, but I am not finished completely. Like my Savior, it is just time to move to the next phase of my mission. Ecclesiastes 7:8 reads,
 "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit."
The Lord has promised us that if we will be faithful, ALL our losses will be made up. He promises that if we are faithful, the end will be better than the beginning. I am looking forward to that promise being fulfilled as I prepare to return home. The end of my mission has been better than the beginning. And I have faith that it will continue to get better as I continue to be faithful. I have been changed by my mission and I have been changed by my Saviors love. "This is the testimony last of all which we give of him.. that He lives! For we have seen Him... even on the right hand of God." - Joseph Smith Each of you will never know how much you mean to me. I love you. I pray for you. This is the Work of the Lord... and it is the best work WE will ever do. I humbly leave these things with you in the name of our Savior and Redeemer, our Master, even Jesus Christ, amen.
-Sister Gabrielle Jensen

The bomb-dig-it-tee Carroll district. :)
L to R: Hooser, Kinikini, Coalwell, Raymond, Romero, Me. :)
You can't NOT get a library bathroom pic  :)
The expectant mother freaking out and the Grandma yelling for joy. :) Hahaha I'M GONNA BE A GRANDMA!!!! :):):)

Friday, February 20, 2015

It's the Final Countdown

So... for all you RM's out there... remember when you officially began the single digit countdown to being home and your heart hurt and rejoiced a little bit at the same time? Yea. I finally know what that feels like. 9 days people. Who is counting though? This email is going to be crazy because I have no time and have to write about the last week and a half. So bear with me...
1. We had a huge zone p-day last week and I don't think I have ever been so sweaty. SO PROUD!
2. RICK EXCEPTED A BAPTISMAL DATE FOR MAY 9. Enough said. This guy is so solid. Did a church tour with him and he literally cried cause he felt the spirit so strong.
3. We had a relief society activity this week and I learned all about taxes and debt. Yea for being an adult. (No sarcasm intended... psych.)
4. We had exchanges this past week! I got to be in Ames with Sumpsion and Farnsworth. Seriously was the best last exchange I could have asked for.
5. I woke up super sick this past week, got a blessing, and no joke immediately was healed and have been fine since. I LOVE THE PRIESTHOOD!!!
6. Okay. Let's just take a sec to talk about Kyle. 2 things:
    a. we taught him the Word of Wisdom this week and he had no problem committing to give up his coffee.
    b. HE CAME TO CHURCH AND LOVED IT!!!! He even stayed all 3 hours. Best thing ever. :)
    c. I lied. 3 things. He is still super solid for March 29. Super stoked!
7. Saturday was a big day... it was the day of love and also my 18 month click day. Super weird I tell ya.
8. I got to not only speak in church on Sunday but sing in church on Sunday. The Bishopric felt so bad cause they didn't know I was singing when they asked me to speak. Haha... it was just a day full of Sister Jensen. Perfect.
9. We taught Tessa who is 11 the Law of Chastity this week. So grateful I am a Sister. :)
10. So yesterday was the best... Departing Temple trip. So me and the 28 other missionaries I am going home with spent the day in Nauvoo going to the Temple, shopping, and going to dinner. Did it make me super trunky? Yes. Will that trunkyness last till I get home? NO!! Satan isn't gonna win this one. It was seriously the most perfect day though. :)
And... here we are. It honestly is the weirdest feeling knowing that I will be home next week... I can't describe it. It's really bittersweet. I have grown a lot here in the last 18 months and 4 days and there are things I have learned that I would not trade for the world. I have learned more than anything the importance of focusing on the important things in life. We can get so caught up in all the things I need to do and we forget the things that REALLY matter. I think this video sums it up really well...
For me, the important things have become Jesus Christ, my family, the scriptures, prayer, and sharing the Gospel. These have become the things I really can't live without. What are the things that you cherish the most? Are they things if God or not God? He encourages us frequently to take a step back, and analyze. I invite you to do the same as well.
I love you all so much and am so grateful for all the support I have received from you on my mission. You will never know the good you have done. Have a wonderful week and remember you are loved.
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
We made it. :)

This is what it has come too.... so ashamed right now.
Trying to be all punk rocker-ish. Super fail. HAHAHA

Things got a little too crazy.... It's da best.
Farns and I just stuck in the back of the van. Typical.
Farnsworth, me, and Sumpsion doing the Sister Jensen dance. Yes... it's a real thing. Yes. This was like our whole exchange. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Anxiously Engaged

I have run out of funny ways to start my email so I guess I will just start with a joke. Why were the Lamanites legs sore? (Stay tuned for the answer.) Okay. Just kidding. BECAUSE OF ALL THE NEPHITES (knee-fights). HAHA. Its a good one. I also have to give some shout outs to people who I love. A lot. My Aunt Jamie, Uncle Jaun, and Uncle Gavin. HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU THREE!!! Hope it is great. :) AND... to my cousin Savannah. She enters the MTC this week and I just need her to know that I love her so much and am proud of her. YOU ARE ABOUT TO EXPERIENCE ONE OF THE GREATEST THINGS EVER!  It was another great week here in Boone. I really don't think I have ever been this busy on my mission. The Lord is spoiling us, that's for sure. Because of time, I will just give you updates:
1. Our p-day last week was insane. We had our landlord and maintenance man in our apt. for a good 3 hours working on our pipes. We went grocery shopping at 7 pm. And we ate dinner at 10 pm. Yep. There's that for ya.
2. WE FOUND A NEW INVESTIGATOR NAMED RICK. This guy is awesome. Super prepared and really understood the Restoration. Said he would be baptized if he came to know it was true. He's gonna be really blown away when he finds out it is. KA-CHING! 
3. We had the BEST lessons with Kyle this week. We taught him twice and both were in members homes. BEST SCENARIO EVER. Seriously though. The first time we taught him at the Ballards and watched, "The Prophet of the Restoration." He liked it and the Ballards totally killed it. They fed us spiritually with their added testimonies and then physically with hot chocolate. Then we taught him again at the Wards and we decided to invite Josh (our recent convert) cause we were teaching about prayer, scripture study, and how those prepare us to be baptized. Man, the spirit in that lesson was awesome. I don't think we could have had more perfect people there. Kyle said he was feeling good about baptism and was actually looking forward to it. YAYYAYYAYYAY!! Plus, Sister Ward made brownies. This is why the average weight gain for our mission is 40 pounds people. This is why...
4. I officially had my last interview this week... it was weird I tell ya. Especially when President started giving me dating advice and scenarios of how I know I am in love. HE IS THE BEST EVER! I was dying the whole time. Then in my interview with Sister Jensen it was just a big cry fest. It happens. SOOO grateful they are in my life forever. (Sister Jensen made me promise that :)) After interviews, we all went to a Mongolian buffet and my district peer pressured me to eat sushi. I about died. No joke. Gag alert I tell ya. CLEANUP ON ISLE JENSEN.
5. Sister Romero and I found a new function on her camera and have been making weird videos all week. THEY ARE THE BEST THINGS EVER. See below if you don't believe me. 
6. I'll give you an update on the Brittain family even though I am going to say what I always say... I love that family. They are doing so good! Matt came to church again with all 5 kids and had a really amazing experience. People... he isn't even a member of the church yet and was talking last night about how he can't wait to go to the Temple and do work for his family. SO HUMBLED RIGHT NOW! 
7. I FINALLY got to take the sacrament this week. Was it the best part of my week? You better believe it. I LOVE THE SACRAMENT! 
I am just really loving my life right now. Amidst all the crazy things we have to do, and the heart breaks of the door slams... I am happy. Really happy. "There is no greater joy in life than being ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED in the work of the Lord." SO true people.
I wanted to share my testimony on the Sacrament, and the best way to do that is through one of my favorite talks from conference...
A renewal for the soul. So true. I have gotten to the point where I literally CAN'T go a week without the sacrament. It has changed me...
Well... I hope each of you have a really amazing week and a wonderful  Valentines day! As you express your love to those around you, don't forget to express your love to the two people who love YOU the most... your Father in Heaven and your Savior Jesus Christ. I love you all! A LOT!! :)
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."

THEY'RE BACK! Did they eat a cracker out of my hand this week? Yes. They did. They officially know us. :)
There are perks to living in an old building, but clogged pipes is not one of them.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

White Fluff and Golden People

The sun is shining... the trees are frozen... THE TREES ARE FROZEN!! (Thank you Nemo.) But yes. It has been a pretty darn eventful week here in Boone, IA and it was all topped off with a wicked blizzard. ITS DA BEST! Here are some of the highlights...
1. Sister Romero and I spent 2 hours on Monday trying to dunk a basketball. Time well spent I tell ya.
2. We were on the phone with our District Leader after planning and he asked us how our day was (it was a SUPER weird day), and for some reason I just broke into tears. Haha I think it was a mixture of a weird day plus going home soon... Either way he took it like a champ and then showed up to district meeting with a Heath bar to heal the hurt. Oh Elders... such champs. :)
3. GREATEST MIRACLE THIS WEEK!!! Okay. Does it shock you that this involves the Brittain family? THEY ARE SO AWESOME!!! We have been trying to schedule a plan of salvation church tour with them for like 3 weeks. But we also had invited some other people to come and coordinating schedules was a nightmare. Anyways... we finally did it this week. IT WAS AMAZING!! You literally could have cut the Spirit in half the whole way through the church tour. The end was the best though... we were all sitting in the chapel and just soaking in the pictures of Christ and the music playing. We then invited Devin, Jayden, and Savannah to be baptized on March 28. They were so excited. Then Matt spoke up... People. He wanted to move his date up 2 months so that he could be baptized with his kids. WE LOST IT! I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. March 28 will be a glorious day here in Boone, Iowa. :)
4. Kyle is also doing really well! We also had a church tour with him this week and it was the first time he has been to the building. He had such a great experience and just told us he felt safe there. SHAZAM! That is the Spirit. He even promised God he would come to church on Sunday. So great. :)
5. Okay. I will just fill you in on the weather a little bit... So It has been absolutely gorgeous for the last month. Like... in the 50s. Then February came. No joke.... FULL ON BLIZZARD Saturday night and then into Sunday. It didn't stop snowing till about 5 pm on Sunday night. Boone got about 9 inches. Do you want to know what that means? Yep. THEY CANCELLED CHURCH! Oh man... it was the pits. They pretty much did that through the whole mission though. It was crazy. We literally sat inside all day cause we were grounded. IT WAS THE WORST! You never know how much the sacrament affects you until you can't take it. Plus, that meant none of our investigators could come. Broke our hearts... no joke. But, since we were inside all day we did have the chance to try memorizing the baptismal interview questions for like 2 hours. SCORE! :)
Sorry this email is so short and weird and all over the place. I think I have officially lost my ability to think in complete sentences. Haha that is okay though.
I want to share with you one of my favorite mormon messages:
Okay. So yes.... I love this video because it has a cute baby in it, but that is not the only reason. As I get closer to returning home from my mission... my trust in the Lord is growing. On a mission, you feel like you have been on a mission forever and that you will be here for forever. You can't imagine yourself doing anything else than waking up and putting on that badge every morning. But, then reality hits and yo realize the Lord has a different plan for you. I am LEARNING how to trust that the Lord has things prepared for me to do when I get home. Things that only I can do. I don't have control of my mission ending soon just like the Lady in the video didn't have control of how the adoption went. Just like none of us have control over what happens each day. Or when our purse gets stolen (shout out to Sister Slater :)) But. What we do have control over is our Trust that the Lord has it. He would let us do this alone. So people. Just trust Him. It is truly as simple as that.
I love you all and pray that you have a wonderful week!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
"I looked out the window and what did I see? 8 inches of snow staring back at me." No joke. Sunday morning surprise!
Typical Sister Jensen and Sister Romero in a blizzard pic.
Yep. Guess how long it took us to get our car scraped off and out of it's spot this morning? A really long time.

So worth the below freezing temps :)
More Miranda. :) We officially belong in a psych ward...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Just Normal Peope...Who Drink Soda Sometimes

Remember that Kangaroo I was tellin ya about with the baby and some spicy chips? Well, go ahead and add an orangutan in a suit drinking hot milk with sprinkles to that. I tell ya people, I don't think I have had more crazy weeks than I have here in Boone. Especially lately. I think the Lord is just trying to keep me on my toes so I don't get trunky. :) As crazy as the week was for Sister Romero and I, it was way good and we had some really incredible experiences. Eye-opening experiences I guess you could say. Those are always a good thing. For lack of time, I will just share with you some highlights...
1. Yes. I got my official "you're going home" letter. I will admit, it freaked me out at first but then I was quickly comforted and reminded that it is okay to go home. The Lord never expected me to serve a 70 year mission. What he also reminded me of though is how hard I need to work for these next 4 weeks. There is still SOOO much to do and the Lord has not been shy in letting me know that this week. Makes me super pumped to be completely exhausted by the time I step off the airplane. Just like Elder Holland said: "I want you to have nothing left when you step off that airplane. I want them to have to CARRY you off the airplane." That's the plan. :)
2. KYLE HAS A DATE FOR MARCH 29!!!! Guys. This man is so prepared. He is absorbing EVERYTHING that we teach him and more importantly what the Spirit is teaching him. He was on the phone with his mom (who is a Methodist preacher BTW) the night after our first visit and she told him to not meet with us cause we were a cult. Ya wanna know what Kyle did? He told her we are just normal people who like to drink soda sometimes. HAHA YES!!!! Already doing mission work. :)  He is reading the Book of Mormon on his own, and praying. He hasn't come to church yet because of work, but he will be there this Sunday. We got a text from him last night that literally made us giddy. "I read Nephi2 and prayed. I'm going to bed." Haha so great...
3. I am so grateful for the power of the Spirit and the gift of discernment. We had kind of a crazy lesson with Pam this week... she has had a lot of things happen in her life and she just suppressed them for so long and she snapped this week. She brought up a lot of doubts that she has had. I have no doubt that Satan was speaking directly through her because she was so vulnerable. So many times while she was speaking things would come to mind and I would start to share them but then I would be constrained. Same with Sister Romero. Looking back now, if we would have shared those things, the lesson wouldn't have gone as well as it did. We let her just rail on us for about 20 minutes and then finally we spoke. SO MUCH POWER! Wow... I don't even know how to explain it. Because Satan's presence was so strong, the Spirit came full force. It ended up being a really good thing for all of us. We eventually felt like she should get a blessing just to help her and it was absolutely perfect... of course. It was a very humbling and growing experience for all of us, that's for sure.
4. I finished ALL of my school stuff this week and don't have to worry about it till I get home. HALLELUJAH!
5. I had my last Zone Training meeting this week and it was incredible. I was moved to the point of tears because of how strong the Spirit was. That is one thing I am going to miss the most... the meetings. 
6. We think we might officially be rid of our little friends... aka our bed bugs. :) Since we got the new beds, we have gone 8 DAYS WITHOUT ANY BITES!! It's a miracle. We did have to spend like 7 hours on Thursday though doing ALL of our laundry again. Haha such a pain, but worth it if they are gone. Keep us in your prayers!
7. We got fed TWO dinners on Sunday night. I am still full.
8 Matt and his kids came to church for the FOURTH SUNDAY IN A ROW! We just don't even know how to handle ourselves any more. I have seriously been praying for the family my ENTIRE mission. The Lord is so wise and merciful people. Never forget that. They are incredible though. We are still working with Sister Brittain to get her to church, but we know she will come eventually. I do have a miracle to share though... WE FINALLY INVITED DEVIN, JAYDEN, AND SAVANNAH TO BE BAPTIZED!!! Each of them was SOOO excited and we are excited for them all to be baptized together. Ah. The Gospel is so true.
Well, there is all of that for you. I really can't believe how fast the time is flying, but I am learning it is a good thing because it helps us work harder. :)
In my studies this week, I have spent quite a bit of time in the book of 1 John chapter 3. If you haven't read this chapter recently, PLEASE GO READ IT NOW! My mind was absolutely blown, and I learned SO much! I will share with you one of the things that hit me the most...

11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, howdwelleth the love of God in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue;but in deed and in truth.

Part of the summary of this chapter is that love for others is required to gain eternal life. CHARITY. As a missionary and as a representative of Christ, you learn a lot about charity. You learn about the perfect love that God has for His children because sometimes He lets you feel it. You learn a lot about unconditional service. Charity was one of the main attributes of our Savior Jesus Christ. In the second verse of this chapter it talks about how when Christ comes again, we will be like him because we will see his as he is. I thought about how each of us will have the privilege of seeing the Savior physically, but I want to see him spiritually. That is only possible if we are like him, as this verse reminds us. The point of this life is to become like Jesus Christ. "Be ye therefore Perfect." What a commandment and what a promise. I encourage each of you to not only study this chapter, but also to "examine yourselves" (2 Cor. 13:5) and see where your charity is at.
I love each of you and am so grateful for you. Keep the faith and remember God loves you... no matter what.
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
Officially got "the letter" this week....

I'm pretty sure that all of Boone has the flu right now, and it is hindering our old people visits. I NEED MY ELDERLY!!!!
Scholarships and scholar-chips.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

FIRE! (In our hearts...and in a toaster)

It apparently takes really long for me to blink because I have only been on my mission 6 months, but I am officially in my last transfer. Hmmmmmm. Interesting, yes? I'll tell ya what though... it was a really great week to usher in the beginning of the end. AKA: this week rocked our socks off. :)
Monday: Well, it was transfer week, so today wasn't p-day. We were so incredibly busy though!! We did some service, training, more service, emailing, lesson with Pam, and then dinner and some Bible Videos to end it all off. :) I think both of us were ready for bed at about 9 cause we were so tired. A good day indeed.
Tuesday: We pretty much spent about 2 hours after studies trying to figure out the bed bug situation. The Lord is really trying to teach us some patience with this one... The rest of the day is pretty much a blur. We visited with some people and then we had a super fun RS activity that night. You can't go wrong with donuts, apple juice, and talking with your Sisters. :)
Wednesday: Today was officially p-day... and also my 17 MONTH CLICK DAY! With each click day that comes and go's, it just makes me reflect on who I was 9,14, and now 17 months ago. It is really crazy actually. Makes me very grateful for all that my mission has taught me. Sister Romero and I spent about 15 min. reminiscing on what my day looked like 17 months ago... haha one of the craziest days of my life, I'll tell ya that. We ended up going to Ames to get some things and grabbing some lunch and then we came back to Boone and did some service at the library. We had an AWESOME lesson with our sweet little Tessa before coordination. We got to teach her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she loved it. At the end of the lesson though, she was getting pretty tired and didn't want to pray. We were trying to talk to her and just figure out what was goin on. She said she was just too tired to pray and didn't know what to say. So we told her that we would all say a prayer and each say one thing we are grateful for and then asked her if she would pray after us. She said yes. So I said a prayer, then Sister Romero, then Alison, and then Tessa said one of the sweetest prayers I have ever heard her say. She just asked so simply for Father in Heaven to help her parents let her get baptized. Did I cry a little bit? You better believe it. So sweet! After coordination meeting, the Elders and us were in the library making some copies and things and I picked up the "Legacy" DVD and started reading it's description in Tongan off the back. Haha it was super weird! Elder Kinikini (who is Tongan) said he could understand about 85% of what I had read. SO.... SURPRISE!!! I CAN READ AND SPEAK TONGAN!!! Haha my dream is fulfilled. :) That night while we were planning, I see in the corner of my eye something on Sister Romero's bed. Wouldn't ya know it was one of our little bed bug "friends." So... the steaming officially didn't work. HAHAHA GHhHGSHGhghdfhdghdfhadghfdaFH!!! Man... we thought we were so close.
Thursday: We got to see a lot of people today! Some members and then Joshua and Pam. They are both doing great by the way. :) I think there is only one really crazy thing to report for the day... Sister Romero and I officially have mommy/daughter telepathy. We literally read each others minds ALL the time! (Flashback to Mama Barker? YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!!!) We make the same expressions all the time, and use the same intonations all the time. It's just weird. So tonight while we were eating dinner, both of us literally sneezed at the exact same time with the same pitched sneeze. Our companionship is now official.
Friday: We got to do some major weekly planning for the week and for the transfer as well! That always just makes my OCD so happy. :) The rest of the day was literally insane! After planning, we went to the library for a couple hours cause I needed to work on some school and scholarship stuff. (BLAH!), and then for the next like 3 hours we had a house full of people in our apartment. WE OFFICIALLY HAVE NEW BEDS!!! Woot woot. They closed and area in the mission and so we got those beds. They are like new to us though! :) We are hoping that will help the problem, but we shall see. (As of now, neither of us have gotten new bites. :))
Saturday: We had our get to know you district meeting and we made sure it was a good one cause every one kept reminding me "it's your last one!" Haha I think my district is more trunky than I am. :) After the meeting, we got to visit with Sister Thomas. People. This lady is incredible. She is in her late 80's and is RAISING her 3 year old grandson. She has had him since he was about 2 months old. As cute as Kayden is... he is such a troublemaker. Man... he gives her a run for her money. So while we were there, we were sharing a scripture with her and then all the sudden she notices that Kayden has been gone and quiet for about 5 or 6 minutes. (Every mothers nightmare!!) She hurries and gets up and says, "I smell something burning!" Then she books it into the kitchen and we hear Kayden start yelling bloody murder. So we book it into the kitchen! This cute little 3 year old had stuck 2 forks and 2 toys into the toaster and set it on fire. No joke. Hahaha Sister Romero and I were freakin out! What else do you do though when you see flames to the ceiling? So we hurried and put the fire out and then I spent the next 10 minutes trying to get the forks and toys out... but to no avail. That toaster was officially dead. Haha I think that was literally one of the scariest moments of my mission! So... theres that for ya. That night we got to have a lesson with our new investigator Kyle! He is so awesome. He has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and has been so humbled by that. We were able to take our recent convert Pam to the lesson and we seriously could not have taken someone more perfect. We all felt the spirit so strong, and it was just so edifying.
Sunday: PROGRESS!!!!!!!!! Matt brought all FIVE of his children to church today and they were EIGHT minutes early!!! Haha Sister Romero and I about died! That family... woo. I love them way to much.... ha kidding. Not possible! After church we got to have some lunch with the Higgs which means that it was Thanksgiving in February. SO good! We were supposed to have a lesson with the Brittan's that night, but Matt called about an hour before and he had a fever so we had to reschedule for Tuesday. So we ended up staying home and doing studies and doing some phone finding. It was great.
So... there is our week! It really was great and I feel like I grew and learned a lot this week. There is a scripture that I have decided is my "last transfer" scripture:
 Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me,even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was,that I am, and that I am to come. (Doctrine and Covenants 68: 6)
What an amazing promise that is... I love that this is something the Lord is saying to ALL his missionaries. Not just the ones with a badge. He is saying it to each of you too. For me, this verse means so much and I am SO excited to share my testimony as a Representative of Christ for 6 more weeks. This has truly been one of the greatest blessings in my life. It will come to and end soon, but I will be prepared for it all because He is with me.
I love each of you so much and am so grateful for your example. Thank you for being amazing! Just remember that the Lord loves you and everything will be okay. :) Have a great week!
-Sister Kepilieli SeniSeni :)
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
Pretty much wake up to this EVERY morning these days. :)

Well. It's just been a "Miranda Sings" kind of week. Our bed bugs wanted to participate.
It has seriously been like this all week! This time last year we were battlin negative degrees and blizzards. We ain't complainin. :)

These squirrels have visited my windowsill EVERY morning this week. Yes... we leave them treats every morning. Yes. They have names now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Niiiiiiiice! With a Touch of Kangaroo.

I just want you to picture this.... a kangaroo holding a baby dingo while eating spicy cheese Doritos. Yea... our week was about that weird. SUPER good though... just weird. :) I lost my mind a little bit this week and forgot to keep a little card with what I wanted to share, so I'll just give you some highlights.
1. Our car got grounded once this week, and we got "door-to-door" grounded this week. NEGATIVE DEGREES ARE THE BEST!!!! 2 tender mercies pertaining to weather though...
   a. It is supposed to be in the 40's this weekend
   b. Everyone has been asking us how we are surviving the cold and Sister Romero and I always say it's not that bad. Missionaries can't lie people! The Lord really blesses our minds and bodies to adapt to the cold quickly because we are serving Him. :)
2. It was Sister Romero's senior comp week for training so I got to chillax in the passenger seat. It was niiiiiiiiiiiiice.
3. We had exchanges this week and it was so awesome. We drove over to Ames on Thursday night and had a sweet sleepover (insert face masks here) and then I got to come back to Boone with Sister Barney on Friday. I came out with her and we have always wanted to serve with each other so it was a fantastic day. :) Lots of laughter and freak outs about going home in 6 weeks.
4. Go ahead and ask me if we got to do any proselyting on Saturday? The answer is a whopping no. Our mission and stake apartment coordinators came over and literally spent about 4 hours steaming our entire apartment to get rid of the bed bugs. (And they totally left us the steamer so that we can steam some other things. We are having way too much fun with it.) Then we had to take our clothes to Ames and dry them all. Luckily, we have amazing Zone Leaders who sneaked us into their apartment complex to use their dryers so we wouldn't have to pay as much. No worries... we wrote them a sweet rap to say thank you. :) We also dealt with our overwhelming stress by eating Coldstone and Chipotle and drinking Dr. Pepper. The whole "5 months of no caffeine" thing wasn't workin for me anymore.
5. So.... we officially have two people on date now to be baptized. :) Tessa (our little 11 year old) for February 21 and Matt for May 23. SO MANY MIRACLES!!! Matt came to church with 4 of his 5 kids this week... progress! He is doing so good... when we asked him to be baptized on May 23 he thought for what felt like forever and finally said, "I don't think we have anything going on that day." Haha I love that family so much. I think I might just bring them back to Utah with me! :)
Well. Those are the highlights. It really was a great week. I have just been very grateful for my mission lately. I will hit 17 months in 2 days and that really just makes me so grateful that the Lord qualified me to have served this long. I seriously NEVER thought that I would make it to this point. And the fact that I only have 6 weeks left.... I am just grateful. My mission has changed me in ways I never thought possible. There is a video that explains my feelings and missions exactly....
I have gone through a refiners fire for the last 17 months and I will continue to until the day that I stand with my Savior at my side before our Father. The Gospel gives me so much hope and confidence for that day and that is something very invaluable to me. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that He IS our advocate with the Father. He WILL one day stand with us and plead our cause before the Father. Not just him though... All the people whose lives we changed by sharing the Gospel with them will also stand and plead our cause before the Father. What a glorious day that will be. I invite, remind, exhort, and encourage us all to continue or to start preparing for that day. DO you want to stand confidently before your maker? Then make that choice now and stick to it. "Stick to your task till it sticks to you. Beginners are many but enders are few. Glory, honor, love and praise will always come to the one who stays." This IS Gods church.
I love you all and pray you have a very wonderful week!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."  Reply Forward
The "pampering night" was finally shared with our STL's. BEST. EXCHANGE. EVER.
L to r: Barney, Me, Sumpsion, Romero
Welcome to Iowa in January. ITS DA BEST!
It's a pretty awkward moment when you really want some black beans and then realize you have no can opener... what is Sister Jensens solution? Cutting the can in half. Works every time.
The good ole Carroll district. :)
L to R: Kinikini, Raymond, Coalwell, Hooser, me, Romero

Our ENTIRE bed bug family tree. We added some new additions to our bed bug family tree this week...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Below Zero Miracles

Well. The title of this post explains it all. Yes. The weather... pretty much below zero (windchill) all week. Yes. Miracles were comin out of our ears this week. What do those two things together make? ANOTHER FANTASTICAL WEEK HERE IN BOONE, IOWA!!!!! Let me explain...
Monday: Well. Most stressful p-days in the history of p-days. Haha we basically spent the WHOLE day trying to figure out our bed-bug situation. Okay okay and played some chair soccer in between... :) But really. We finally figured something out though... Two of the Elders in the Zone came and fogged our apartment. Yes. They literally set off fog bombs in our apartment. Did we have to hide our food in the oven to keep it from being contaminated? Ya better believe it. They started the foggers at about 9:30 and they take 2 hours, so we got to sleep at the STL's apartment in Ames. Total tender mercy. :) It was a fun night.
Tuesday: Well. Because Sister Higgs literally had EVERY ounce of clothing we owned (besides the ones on our back), that meant we had no skirts, bras, shirts, or coats. President Jensen was so kind and gave us permission to just use it as a stay inside day. Literally the worst thing ever. The windows in our apartment had to be open all day to let the fog out, so it was like 20 degrees in our apartment. No socks + no blankets=2 very cold Sister missionaries. We made it out alive though.
Wednesday: Well, it was kind of just a crazy day of running around. We taught a couple lessons and then partied like it was 2015. Oh wait.... awkward. All the missionaries in the IDMM were grounded at 6, so Sister Romero and I got to just sit at home in our jammies, drink sparkling cider, eat swedish fish, cookie dough, and oreos, and watch "The Testaments." Sitting makes us both pretty exhausted so we were asleep by like 10. Haha We are so lame...
Thursday: Wow. First day of 2015. SO CRAZY!!!! I can't believe how fast 2014 went.... I can't complain though. :) We got to do some service today and then had district meeting. Then we taught a couple lessons. It was a great way to ring in the new year!
Friday: So... the thing you have to know about Iowa is that if the Hawkeyes or the Cyclones are ever playing, NO ONE answers their doors. I love football, but not as a missionary. We did finding for like 2 hours, and no joke... not ONE person answered. But... we did make up some sweet songs/raps about finding. SUCCESS!!!! We also had dinner with the Johnson's tonight. Bro Johnson served his mission in France and Sister Johnson served hers in New Zealand. Are you kidding me? These are my kinda people. Bro. Johnson obviously picked up some cooking skills in France... people. They served us a four course french meal complete with fancy cheese, candles, and classical music. I felt so LEGIT!!!! And then their kids spoke french to us. What the heck.
Saturday: We literally spent 90% of the day in the car. This was a week full of sitting... we had a new trainers meeting in Iowa city so we got to drive there with some other Sisters. It was so much fun! Haha we probably got a little too crazy in the car... but hey. Its normal. The meeting was so good! And then the rest of the day was spent driving back to Boone. Woo.
Sunday: Okay. I don't have much time so I cant give ya the whole story... but I will give you the best parts:
1. Matt prayed this week about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and got a FOR SURE answer that it was true.
2. From the beginning, he told us he wouldn't come to church cause he thinks it is boring and he always falls asleep.
HE CAME TO CHURCH TODAY AND BROUGHT 2 OF HIS CHILDREN WITH HIM!!! The ward also totally took him under their wings and they ended up staying all 3 hours. He walked in half way through the opening song and Sister Romero and I both burst into tears. This is HUGE!!!! How I told it doesn't even begin to scratch the surface on how important this step was. Just know that it was one of the coolest experiences of my mission thus far.
Wow. I think this might be the WORST email I have ever written. Haha when you get so far into your mission, your brain just stops working. So... as jumbled as this was, it made sense to me. :) I am just so grateful to be here. My wonderful mom in her email today kindly reminded me that I will be home in 53 days. Did it freak me out? Yes. But, it also reminded me that this time is so precious and that I need to work my absolute hardest these next couple of months. I'M STOKED!!!!
I am just so grateful for each of you. Seriously... thank you for your example and your love and especially your prayers. They truly mean everything to me. Remember that I love you and that your Savior and Father in Heaven love you! Have a great week!
-Sister Jensen
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa."
My child has officially been introduced to "The Beehive" hair style...This one is for you Pops! :)
Iowa city craziness with Sister Olive and Sister Ramsey! :)
The Elders went a little crazy with the marker when they fogged our apartment....
We partied hard.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! :):):):):)
Sister Romero got the BEST postcard ever this week!