Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Door Knocking with Friends 7.7.14

Dear Family!                                                                                                                                         July 7, 2014
Mondays are always the best days because I'm never disappointed to hear about your adventures! Girls camp sounded like so much fun!! I wish someone would feed me rattlesnake.... Mom, you definitely ended your Girls camp streak with a bang. But it wouldn't surprise me if you got a new stake calling soon......
Three Sis. Jensens
I had an experience this week that taught me the power of prayer and that God has a fantastic sense of humor. For those of you who have served missions, the days/weeks can turn into "Groundhog Day" sometimes. I was sitting at our table contemplating that I hadn't had really anything interesting to write about in my journal recently so kind of jokingly I sent up a little prayer in which I said, "Heavenly Father, it would be nice to have something to write about in my journal tonight." AND GUESS WHAT. He answered it. Sister Brockbank and I were out door knocking and we noticed some kids staring at us. That's not too unfamiliar so we kept going. We walked back down the driveway and noticed they were closer. And they were getting progressive closer. We knocked on another door and turned around and they were RIGHT behind us. So we called out to them and talked to them. They were 9, 8, and 7 years old and probably BORED OUT OF THEIR MINDS because they asked us if they could come door knocking with us! So we took three kids door knocking with us! Let me tell you, kids have NO SHAME. They would run up to the door, knock, ring the doorbell and look in the side windows and tell us what was in their house even before we got to the door. And then people would answer and see two tall girls with three kids which was probably really confusing. So I would begin the door approach: "Hi I'm Sister Jensen and this is Sister Brockbank and we're representatives of Jesus Christ. These are our.... friends. They also love Jesus Christ."  It was a weird experience but definitely memorable and fun! It saved us time too because the kids would tell us who wasn't home for the holiday and we'd skip that house. Heavenly Father answered my prayer and gave me something to write about in my journal. And yes, I did in fact write it in my journal. :)

Our Fourth was pretty sweet. We did our weekly planning and then stopped by some less active members and investigators. We went to a member's house for dinner and had a great barbeque. We then went with a couple other families to another member's house to light off fireworks. Our curfew was extended until 10:30pm which was good because it wasn't dark until 10pm. It was so wonderful. It was pretty much the Fourth of July scene out of "The Sandlot". Rockford is a "Norman Rockwell Town" with it's very traditional small-town, American feel. The night was cooler but the sky was clear. The fireworks created an almost nostalgic feeling. When we walked back to our car that night, I just felt so happy- Happy to be in a simple place enjoying simple things. Rockford will always have
a place in my heart. I love it here. 
The work is going great. It's been a rough week with the holiday but we are determined to get the ball rolling and the font filled! Progression is our focus right now. I am grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed us with people to teach but now it's time to get them taking those steps back to God. Whenever I start getting frustrated about cancelled appointments and agency, I think that Satan had the same idea. That cools me right down. A mission has given me a unique perspective on how God must feel about us sometimes. He probably smacks His head watching me, saying, "Sister Jensen. What are you doing? Why- why- why did you do that? If only you would have-" Thankfully His patience isn't an account we can exhaust. It is infinite. Phew. 
I hope you're all enjoying your summer! I am L-O-V-I-N-G all of it. I'll send you some pictures from a nature walk we took this morning. SO PRETTY!! As someone told us this week, "Michigan is God's hand print on the United States." Get it? Michigan looks like a hand. Anyway, I love you all SO MUCH! Have a fantastic week!!
Lovely Michigan


Sister Jensen

Specific Prayers 6.30.14

Dear Family,                                                                                                                                         June 30, 2014
I need to get something off of my chest: I have the best family EVER. I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH!!!! Okay. I'm good. :)
This week was AWESOME! The Lord's hand is in everything! A over a week ago, the Zone Leaders asked us to prayerfully set a goal of how many new investigators we wanted to find this week and then pray about it every time we prayed and work hard to accomplish it. I felt that we could get 5 new investigators, which as you may remember was the number of investigators we wanted to get in a TRANSFER two transfers ago. But it felt right and it felt doable. Well Wednesday we got a text from our less active member asking if we could meet at her friend's apartment. When we got there, the friend started asking a ton of questions about why we were on our missions and what we believed. We had a great discussion and invited her to read Mosiah 3 as a follow up and asked if we could meet next week to go over it. The friend then said to Jodi, "Well. why don't we just trade off every week? My place, your place? Next week on Wednesday?" New investigator!! Jodi has now been the source of two of our investigators. President was right when he said to talk to less active members about finding people to teach. Plus, having lessons with Jodi will hopefully help strengthen Jodi's testimony. I'm pumped!
Saturday came and we hadn't been able to find any new investigators Thursday or Friday. I still felt good about our goal of 5 and the whole time all I could think was "after a trial of your faith". So at 7:43pm, I drew upon all remaining mental powers I possessed and thought of every potential investigator I could think of in the area that we hadn't contacted yet. We had a list of 6 potentials and I was ready to do all I could to find 4 new investigators in 1 hour and 17 minutes. We contacted an old referral and even though he was pretty drunk, we got a return appointment. New investigator! It was now 8:44pm. This is the most AWKWARD time for missionary work but we were "fixed in our minds with a determined resolution" to find 3 more investigators before 9pm. We thought about who we should visit with the time we had left and we felt good about trying to see a guy we had tried to contact twice that past week but wasn't home. He was home. And not only was he home but he said that he and his wife would like to meet with us! AH! MIRACLES!! We didn't quite make 5 new investigators but we were the recipients of miracles! Heavenly Father is blessing this area! I tell Sister Brockbank sometimes that she's here at an incredible time. When I got here we had maybe one family we were teaching. Now we are working with 11 people! It's such a blessing to watch this area grow! Now we just need to get them progressing haha. A little side note: our zone leaders texted us last night and told us that our zone TRIPLED our new investigators indicator for that week! "Specific prayers get specific answers!"
Besides that we're great. :) Sister Brockbank is a great missionary. She is gaining a lot confidence and is participating in our lessons and door knocking more. Sister Brockbank is adjusting very well to missionary life. Her only set back is dealing with me haha. I'm very lucky to have Sister Brockbank as my companion. We love being in Rockford! It really is the best area in the mission.   
Sis. Jensen & Sis. Brockbank
Somehow the bishopric keeps asking me to give talks that I find personally significant: asking a greenie to talk about their family on Mother's Day, and now giving a talk about why the Plan of Salvation is significant to me in the month of July. One of the spiritual gifts of being in a bishopric, I guess... So I've been pondering a lot as to why the Plan of Salvation is important to me. Sister Brockbank and I were talking about it yesterday and I think why it's so important to me is because it gives me an eternal perspective. I know we throw that phrase around a lot but I think of it in terms of a phrase by Elder Scott: "He is preparing you to be a god." Everything here on earth, before this earth, and after this earth is preparing us to be a god. Every trial, every covenant, every commandment, serves to help us become more like our Heavenly Father and live the life He lives. Isn't that comforting?? It brings me so much comfort knowing that God allows me to endure those things here because He wants me to be like Him someday. He wants me to reach a high potential and He's going to help me get there! He doesn't send us here to fail and I really don't think His goal to just to get some of His kids into some glory of some kind. His purpose is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man"! Not just a few but all of us! He wants us all to have glory and immortality and eternal life with Him! And even better, it's with our families! How fantastic is that?? Look at what we know! Look at our perspective here and after! It's AWESOME! I love the Gospel. It is the best, most incredible thing I have in my life. :)
Well, I think I've written quite a lot. I love you all and I hope you can see how knowing the Plan of Salvation has blessed us as a family and individually. We are so blessed to have the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are just SO. BLESSED. 
Have a fun and safe week! The Church is true!

Sister Jensen

Parenting 6.23.14

Dear Family,                                                                                                                         June 23, 2014
I'm so glad to hear things are going well! I understand your whole feeling about summer. It will be gone before we know it. Someone told us yesterday that the local Meijer just got their shipment of "Back to School" supplies. Can't we enjoy our summers just a little bit?? Oh well. That's life, I guess.

Training is SO MUCH FUN! I love being a trainer! I lucked out and got the best missionary EVER. My trainee's name is Sister Brockbank! She is a hard worker and is so anxious to learn and grow and become the best missionary she can be! I will probably be learning more from her than she will from me. All I have on her is experience haha. Sister Brockbank will be awesome in this area and we are going to work, work, work!
I have never been a parent but I can only imagine how this is preparing me to be a parent. Sister Brockbank is so patient with me while I make mistakes. The most embarrassing thing happened 18 hours after I got her: the alarm didn't go off. I thought I set our alarm for6:25am and as I laid in bed that morning, I began to think that it had been light in our room for way too long. I dismissed it the first time and went back to bed. The thought came back again, "It is WAY to light in our room to be 6:30." Guess what the clock said? 7:19. My inward reaction: Panic. Sheer Panic. My outward reaction: "Um. Sister Brockbank. We need to get up. It's 7:19." Elder Faust had warned us that we were going to make mistakes, I just didn't think mine would come so soon. But that's part of the learning process, I guess. She hasn't lost the phone on the Beltline yet so we're good. This is teaching me a new side of humility and meekness. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have as a trainer to walk close to God and learn by the Spirit. There will be mistakes but that's why there's an Atonement. Repent and try again. Just better this time :)
Yesterday we had a lesson with an evangelical atheist. That was.... interesting. I learned some really good lessons from it: 1) We do not convince people, the Spirit does. And 2) Only people who have desire and real intent will receive that witness from the Spirit. I was doing everything I could to listen to the Spirit, read from the scriptures and bear testimony but we can only bring the Spirit unto the hearts of people- they have to let the Spirit into their hearts (2 Nephi 33:1). I also gained a further witness that people who live without God are never truly happy. I felt bad for this guy by the end of his talk. He was so unhappy. Why do people choose to be unhappy? Why do we choose not to allow the Atonement to "heal our wounded souls" (Jacob 2:8)? Satan really does want people to be unhappy and miserable like him and he's succeeding. Quit it, Satan. 
So basically our whole lesson was this guy telling us that we can't know that things are true. It was awful and he said awful things to us. While he was trying to prove a point, I thought "I think there's a story in Jacob 7 about an anti-Christ." I flipped over and listened to this guy a for a little bit. When I glanced down at my page, this was the first thing I read: "And he had hope to shake me from the faith,notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and theyhad ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I couldnot be shaken." BOOM. That my friends is the Spirit. I know the things I know to be true, no matter what this guy or any other person will say to me. The gift of discernment is amazing and once I got that answer, I stopped worrying about trying to convince him and let the discussion die. I told my companion and our member after the lesson, "Lessons are like dating: you're only obligated to the first one." I have no desire to see him again. But I wish him well and I hope he can find happiness someday. I am grateful that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I know He is real and I know this is His church. I know that the Holy Ghost is real and it will tell us truth. 
I love you all so much! I am grateful that you continue to do the things of God. We are so blessed to have the Gospel! Keep up your awesome work!
Lots of Love and Pineapples!

Sister Jensen