Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The "Sister Code" 7.21.14

Dear Family,
You have sisters in your ward?? That's awesome!!! I didn't think it was safe enough to have sisters in Pittsburg. Get the laurels to go out with them! I wish there had been sisters in the ward when I was growing up. And yes Mom, we hug A LOT. It's part of the "Sister Code". It was a huge adjustment for me when I first came on my mission but now it's pretty natural. Same with telling everyone that you love them. Missionaries are weird. Just deal with it. A lady in our ward told us that you need 8 hugs a day to be healthy and boy, do we fill that. I am so jealous that y'all get to go to Texas this week! I wish I could be there for Kylie's baby blessing but I'll just wait a year to meet her. Please be safe driving (or flying?) and have a wonderful time. I'm expecting to see pictures when I get on the computer next week. :)

This week was good. Just in case you didn't know, missionary work is emotionally complex. I have never felt so many extreme feelings before. I never knew that you could develop instantaneous love for people you didn't know. But you can and it's a wonderful and incredible thing. With those people you experience the greatest joys but also the greatest sorrows. We had an appointment fall through this week that was really hard for me. We have been trying to set up a time for the past couple of weeks for the elders to come and give a blessing to one of our investigators. Our appointments have never been consistent with her but it seemed like this time everything was going to line up and she was finally going to get this blessing. I was so hopeful and I had the faith that everything was going to line up and she was going to get this incredible blessing, something that she obviously needs. And then she called and cancelled. What else can you do but bear testimony and hang up? I was a small distance from my companion and when I hung up, I took a moment to collect myself and then delivered to the news to Sister Brockbank and the elders. These kinds of experience always make me reflect. Whenever I have these experiences, it makes me appreciate the love that Heavenly Father has for us. He feels this way probably constantly, watching us knowingly or unknowingly turn away from blessings He's waiting to give us. Yet He still loves us. Elder Wheat asked me to name three things that I was grateful for to try and cheer me up and one of those things was: "I'm grateful the Heavenly Father doesn't give up on me the way I want to give up on my investigators sometimes." It is so tempting sometimes to just give up and throw in the towel. People/Satan push your buttons in ways you can't even imagine. But even I, Sister Afton Jensen, am human. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father still loves me even though I fall short. He truly is an amazing person and I love Him very much.

Inspite of the not so happy things that happened this week, we had an awesome experience! It shows me how God can truly work in mysterious ways. We were door knocking a street and we didn't have much success going down the side of the street we were on. We had made plans to drop by a less active family before we went to another appointment so we decided to forgo the other side of the street. We were walking back to our car when I got this impression to talk to this lady who was outside watering her flowers on the other side of the street. One of the goals that I have set for myself is to always act and never delay acting on positive thoughts because they're probably from the Spirit. When the thought came, I instantly thought, "No way. That would be super awkward. She's watched us knock and be rejected on all of her neighbor's doors and I'm pretty sure we made eye contact a couple times." But the thought and my goal came into my mind so I said a simple prayer praying for the courage to talk to that lady. The next things I know, I'm telling Sister Brockbank, "I want to talk to that lady." and I'm crossing the street to go talk to her! That was most definitely the Spirit. So we went and tried to talk to her. She wasn't too open but as the conversation was winding down I got a distinct thought: ask her for a referral. So I did. She thought about is and said to try the door two houses down. She thought they might be interested. We said thanks and started walking back to our car. We had made it about 20 feet down the street when I got the distinct feeling that we needed to contact the referral right now. I looked at Sister Brockbank and said, "We need to go contact it right now." So we walked back past the lady we had just talked to and found the house two doors down. We knocked and a lady answered the door. Sister Brockbank asked her if she knew what her purpose was and the lady thought about it and said, "Yeah. Want to come in?" I had to keep my mouth from dropping open. We talked with this lady for next hour. It was awesome! We have a return appointment with her tomorrow and I am super excited. This showed me that we don't know how Heavenly Father will answer our prayers but if we do our part, He can do His. :)
I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has given me this opportunity to serve a mission. I have nothing but gratitude for this experience. It is so hard and there are days when I am pushed to my limits of patience but I love being a missionary. It is the small things that make this all worth it. I am so blessed to see His hand in this work every day. I know that prayers are answered and that He is always in charge. We are victorious because "greater is he that is in [us], than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4) We are so blessed!
I love you all. Thank you so much for your prayers! They really do wonders for me and for the people here! Have a wonderful week and be safe!
Sister Jensen

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