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!!!! :):):)