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!