I love Kalamazoo!!!!! I had a hard time falling asleep last night because I couldn't get over how much I loved it here!!! I just want to tell you everything about my area so feel free to skip the next paragraph if that's something that doesn't interest you.
Kalamazoo is AWESOME!!! We have a branch nicknamed "the K.U.B" (Kalamazoo University Branch) and about 80% of the branch consists of members of less than a year! I have never felt so much faith!! These people are incredible and I love asking them how they found the Gospel or in most cases how the Gospel found them. I have SO MUCH respect for converts and I already love the people in my branch. I feel so blessed to be in this branch! Sister Cunningham and I spend a lot of time personal contacting (PCing) on campus which is a really different kind of experience coming from an all door knocking area. You pretty much walk around campus and stop people and talk to them. There's a saying on our mission that "missionary work is 99% awkward." Definitely making up for that now... But I love it! I actually prefer it over door knocking. Summer classes are in session right now so there aren't too many people on campus so we've been door knocking the apartments around the campus. Which leads to the next part of our adventure: we don't have a car. So we walk. A LOT. In 80 degree weather with 1052% humidity. I have never sweated so much in my life! We are taking an adventure tonight and going to try to learn the bus system so we can expand our door knocking possibilities. The fall semester begins on theand Sister Cunningham and I can't wait for the semester to begin. Between the elders on campus and the low population, we talk to a lot of the same people. In the summer there should be 25,000 people on campus so there is some positive potential energy coming our way. :)
A little bit about Sister Cunningham: Sister Cunningham is from California. She's the middle of five kids, two older brothers and then a younger brother and sister. She loves sports and cereal. Sister Cunningham will hit her year mark this transfer. She is actually a visa waiter (her original call was to Brazil). Sister Cunningham is a very diligent missionary and I know that we will learn a lot from each other. I am really excited that I get to work with her this transfer. :)
Being an STL is an adventure (hooray, adventures!). Sister Cunningham has only been an STL a transfer longer than me so we have a lot of fun figuring things out. Sister Training Leaders are in between zone leaders and district leaders in my mission. We attend the Mission Leadership Council and we teach at Zone Training but we don't record numbers for our sisters.There are six companionships of sisters in this zone and we do trade offs with each companionship once a transfer. I never knew that planning trade offs could be so tricky! We have four companionships training this transfer and that is a determining factor in who stays in their area and who comes here to work. We also have two companionships on car rotations which means there are weeks when they don't have cars and with our lack of car, it becomes a problem. Some areas are an hour away which means we have to think about miles and times and when to start and end trade offs. We thought we had an infallible plan until we called the first companionship and they couldn't do their trade off this week. Back to the white board! We think we have it figured out. One of the greatest things I'm learning is that the Lord's Plan matters most and I'm just here to do just that. I can't tell you how often this week I have quoted D&C 123:17 to myself: "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; then may we stand still with the utmost assurance to see the salvation of God and for his arm to be revealed." I need that reminder: it's up to me to do my part (cheerfully!) and then get out of the way so Heavenly Father can do His. Whenever things fall through I think, "Well, I guess that just wasn't God's plan today." My mission is teaching me to let go of what I think is best because I definitely don't know what's best haha.
We don't have any solid investigators right now which is a slight problem so this week we've set the goal to find 5 new solid investigators. It's really amazing to pray and go to work and watch Heavenly Father work miracles. I know that if it is His will, we will find some incredible people this week. Be prepared for some awesome stories next week!
I'm very happy to hear about your vacation in Texas. It sounds like the Texas Jensens and Shirley showed you a good ol' Texas time. :) I'm a little envious of the BBQ and I wish I could have been there to see mom freak out about feeding a sting ray at a Children's Aquarium. And of course, I wish I was there to see my adorable niece and nephew! We'll just make up for it when I get home.
That's probably all you can stand to hear me say about my amazing area. I really do love it here and I know that there will be some amazing miracles this transfer. The Church is true, is true, IS TRUE!! I love this Gospel with all of my heart and I love my Savior Jesus Christ! Have an amazing week! I love you Dad, Mom, Stephen, Stephanie, Jayden, Kylie, Angela and Tim!
Love from KZoo,
Sister Jensen :)