Thursday, April 16, 2015

April Showers Bring May Flowers But What About April Floods? 4.13.15

Dear Family,

I love Michigan. It just expands the realms of possibilities. I didn't know that it could rain for DAYS straight. I knew it could snow for days on end (found that out last November) but you would think that the clouds would run out of water eventually. I guess that's part of being surrounded on three sides by water. It made for an adventuresome week. The earthworms were in abundance and the robins are getting fat (baskin' robins, anyone?). The grass has turned AMAZINGLY green and the buds on the trees are getting bigger and bigger. The flowers are poking through and the promise of a wonderful Spring and Summer are on their way! I am so glad that I get to have a complete Spring and Summer before I leave my mission. :) Blessings!

This is going to be a BUSY transfer. I think between trade-offs and blitzes and meetings, about a third of our time will be spent not in our area. President Jacobsen wants us to work more closely with the missionaries in our zones and he wants there to be a better feeling of trust and unity in our mission so he's asked us to "blitz" areas or work in other companionship's area for the day. Blitzes have had a negative connotation in our mission because usually an area tended to get blitzed by zone leaders or sister training leaders when a companionship isn't doing well. But President hopes that we can change that by using blitzes to lift, inspire, and train the missionaries and let them know we love them. :) So last week we went to Holland for a day. The Holland sisters are "pink-washing" the area (taking over an elder's area) and they're both young in the mission so we went out to make sure that they and the area were getting situated. When we got there we also found out that they didn't have a car because their "zombie car" was in the shop. so it was actually inspiration that we went when we did because we got to drive them around and help them out. Sister Morrison and I got there Wednesday night and had probably the worst night's sleep on the couch (see accompanying picture) but what's missionary work without adventure? It poured rain from about 6:25 am-5:34 pm the next day so Sister Morrison and I had an adventure door knocking while the sisters were in lessons. That's when we discovered what really lives below Michigan's soils and how many holes our rain boots had. Holland has a lot of nice people though. I really enjoyed talking with them. :) 

Our area on the other hand is going through some rough patches. We are in a season of finding. I don't think I've done this much door knocking in a really long time and honestly, sometimes it's hard to want to go door knocking. But I want to find investigators and I want to help people receive the blessings that Heavenly Father wants to give them. I was reading my journal this past week and I read through my experience at the temple and that was a great reminder of why we do missionary work. Heavenly Father wants all of His children to receive the blessings of the Gospel. He intends for all to receive these covenants and blessings. So I need to put on my "big girl skirt" and go to work. I am grateful that I get to work with Sister Morrison who also wants to work hard as well. I have a feeling that the Lord is preparing people to receive His message and I hope to be the branch that can bring forth fruit. 

Saturday was our car fast and I feel like I earned two achievements: my first blister of the year and my first sunburn of the year. I broke out the flats and apparently I haven't walked 7 miles in them in a long time because I have a lovely blister on my big toe. I think I need to look into some new shoes.... It wasn't really warm on Saturday but it was a cloudless day and my cheeks got red and I have a little red triangle on my chest. I really didn't expect that to happen. I wore a knee length skirt without tights yesterday and at one point I looked down and thought, whoa, I forgot how white I am. I also wore a black shirt at church which really doesn't help me look tanned and one of the ladies at church said, "Don't worry, black-and-white is in style."  Looks like I need to get some color on me again.

I'm doing well. I feel like I'm exhausted every day but that just means that we're working hard. I love seeing the Lord's hand every day and I know that He does miracles every day. :) This is His church and I know He loves us!

Have a wonderful week!!

Love, Sister Jensen

April is Here! 4.6.15

Dear Family,

April is here!! I remember thinking in January that April is forever away and that it was never going to come, yet here we are! Time is a weird thing, especially on your mission. Six weeks have never gone by so quickly! I was looking at the accumulation on my planners and came to the realization that this is the start of my 11th transfer as a missionary! When did I get so old (in the mission)?? This will be a strange month for us because General Conference was this weekend, and then we have back to back weekends of Stake Conference and a broadcasted Stake Conference from Salt Lake City. We will only have one week of regular sacrament meeting which will be odd. It will be hard not being able to partake of the sacrament but it will just make the first week of May that much better!

We got transfer calls last Friday and both Sister Morrison and I will be staying in Wyoming for another transfer! WOOHOO! Sister Morrison will be my longest companion, beating Sister Fehlman by 2 weeks. I can't believe that I've been with her for two transfers! It's flown by! I guess that's a good indication of our relationship as a companionship. We also got news that we will have another set of sisters in the zone now which is pretty sweet! When I first got here there was only one other set of sisters in our zone, but now we have three sets! It will be fun to go on tradeoffs with them and learn from them and their areas. One of my favorite things about being a Sister Training Leader is that I am ALWAYS learning, whether that's because I DIDN'T do something I should have done or because I DID do something I shouldn't have done (I'm guilty more of the former than the latter). There are so many tricky calls to make sometimes and thankfully with the aid of the Holy Ghost and repentance, we can change who we are in whatever capacity we serve in to become the Lord's servants. I'm grateful He hasn't lost His trust in me! 

This week was slower and we did a lot of finding (aka door knocking). We had a pretty cool finding miracle: We went to door knock a street and no one was answering. We kept door knocking anyway. We ran into a girl who told us to come back later and a lady who wasn't interested, not a lot of promising things. We knocked on another door and a lady answered. Honestly I gave one of the WORST door approaches of my mission. It was EVERYWHERE, no focus at all and I think I covered every restored truth in Preach My Gospel. But the lady asked us what book was in my hand. We told her it was the Book of Mormon and asked her if she had heard of it before. She said she had but only negative things. Well, we're here to tell you the positive things! We asked if we could come back and talk to her and her  family about the Book of Mormon and she said yes! She shined us (meaning our appointment fell through) but we are definitely going back this week to follow up. Later that day we were driving back to our area from a dinner appointment and I said, "Sister Morrison, let's go back and check up on that lady who told us to come back later." So we did and we got a return appointment! It was awesome! We're seeing her and her family tomorrow at 2pm. :) It was pretty cool to see those two finding miracles happen in the same day. It makes me want to have better faith in the Lord and His plans because He sees the big picture, even on a seemingly empty street.
We see a lot of "No Soliciting" signs but this is the best one yet.

I LOVE CONFERENCE!!!!! I loved it SO MUCH!!!! I learned a lot from it. I am SUPER SAD that you didn't get to watch the Saturday session because it was AWESOME. There were so many talks about the family. It made me really want to have a spouse and kids haha. I don't think I could pick a favorite talk. I felt like the Spirit talked to me through every talk and gave me answers to my prayers. Today I am putting the talks on CD so we can listen to them in the car as we drive. I want to digest it ALL. I love all the doctrine they expounded upon and I loved the feelings from the Holy Ghost of truth. We told Elizabeth to think of questions she wanted answers to and then listen to conference and boy, she got her answers! It was amazing to see how our prayers are answered through the Lord's servants. Heavenly Father definitely heard my praying and pleading for a talk that would answer Elizabeth's questions. I am so grateful that He heard and answered it. :)

We have some good things heading our way! I know that Sister Morrison and I are staying together because we still have a great work to accomplish here in the Grandville/Wyoming area. I am so grateful to be a missionary now and I know that I will be eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father for who I've become because of my mission. I love you all so much! I am so grateful that you got to spend time together for Easter! We'll all be together again before you know it. :)

Love, Sister Jensen

No Anti- Allowed! 3.30.15

Dear Family,
I am very grateful that I get to email you today! I was worried for a moment that I wouldn't be able to. The MyLDSmail server was down and I'm pretty sure that every missionary and their mothers were praying for it to come back up. Looks like it worked!
Thank you so much for your prayers over Brian and Ian! Here's an update on them: We dropped Brian this week. He won't answer any form of communication and we dropped by his residence and he didn't answer the door when we knocked (it was very apparent that he was home). So we decided sadly that we needed to drop him.  We suspect that there was some anti involved somewhere. President Jacobsen committed us to "inoculating" our investigators- warning them that they are going to face anti and opposition and committing our investigators to ask us their questions instead of their neighbors or the internet. Right after we "inoculated" Brian, he dropped off the face of the earth. It's sad but that's life.

Ian is.... Ian. There's actually a chance that we might not be able to teach him anymore for certain reasons. It's been heartbreaking as well. We've come to love Ian and we don't want to give up but sometimes there are things that we can't interfere with no matter how much we wish we could. I was reading in "True to the Faith" this morning and this brought me a little comfort: "Mourning is one of the deepes texpressions of love." I have mourned for my investigators. Sister Morrison and I have had many experiences when we drive down the road after lessons and such and our hearts just feel so heavy. I guess it just shows how much love we didn't know we had for them.

With all the sad things going on, Heavenly Father gave us a miracle. :) We walked out of Brian's apartment complex and started walking to another building to knock before an appointment with Ian. This guy was walking toward us and I stopped walking to talk to him. He told us that he was looking for his cat and then asked us what we were doing. Well, let us tell you. We invited him to learn about the Book of Mormon and he said that he would be interested! So we asked when we could meet with him and then I blurted out, "Do you have time right now?" He was like, "Yeah, I do." So we stood on the sidewalk and taught him the Restoration! It was great! We got to the end and committed him to reading 3 Nephi 11, praying about it, and meeting with us again. We got his number and set up an appointment for two weeks from now! It was SWEEEEET!!! As we're finishing up this guy walks over to "check his mail". He stops and introduced himself to our friend Taylor. Then he says, "When you read the Book of Mormon, make sure you compare it with the Bible because it doesn't agree with the Bible." NO WAY. HOLD UP! NO WAY ARE YOU COMING TO ANTI OUR NEW INVESTIGATOR IN FRONT OF OUR FACE. I was shocked. He then proceeded to bash us and say a lot of terrible things to us. I will let you in on a big secret to bashing. I call it "Bashing 101": Just don't do it. I have learned and I have a testimony that the best thing you can do when people want to bash is to bear your testimony that you know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. You will get nowhere pulling out the scriptures when someone is elevated and isn't open to hearing the Gospel. So just be respectful and bear your testimony. Eventually, Sister Morrison interjected and told him to stop arguing with us and that we were going to leave. Taylor even stood up for us! He turned to the guy and said, "I appreciate your concern," and he turned to us, "I appreciate your concern as well. But I think I will read and decide for myself what I think about it." Praise the Lord. We said goodbye to Taylor and got into the car. We were drained. We just sat for a couple minutes trying to get the Spirit and our nerves back. As I've looked back on this experience, and as awful as it is, I think it needed to happen. Taylor knows for sure now that the only way he's going to find out truth is by praying and asking God because that's all we bore testimony of. He also knows what the Spirit feels like when it's there and when it's not there. So maybe there are some good things that have come from this. :)
This is week 6 of the transfer so transfer calls are this week. Hopefully by the end of next transfer I can send my winter stuff home. :) It snowed a couple times this past week (no bueno) but it's sunny and in the 40's today. Rumor is is that it could get into the 60's tomorrow. I am definitely praying sincerely and with real intent about that haha.
I love my mission. I really do. I have had some of the hardest, most heart-wrenching experiences, but I would never trade my mission for anything. I am so grateful to my supportive family and my Father in Heaven for letting me go on a mission. It has changed my life. :)

I love you all so much. Can you believe that I get to call you next transfer? That's weird haha. Where has time gone?? I hope that everyone is doing well and "not burying their testimonies" (see Woman's Broadcast). You are all so wonderful!!
Love, Sister Jensen

LAND HO! 3.23.15

Dear Family,

Spring is creeping it's way into Michigan! Most of the snow has melted by now and the trees are starting bud! I am SO HAPPY!!!!! It's a blessing to see ground and not have to wear ankle weights every day (aka my snow boots. Seriously I was getting some weird muscle soreness from wearing those every day). The temperature is slowly creeping up and I keep encouraging the good weather every time I step outside- give it some good positive affirmation. ;) 

This week was a weird week. I think every one was on Spring Break last week because we would go door knocking for hours and only talk to three people. Either that or the "snow birds" haven't returned from their treks south for the winter. Whatever the reason is, we have decided that this week is going to be a let better than last week. So far it has! We went knocking yesterday and got more invitations to learn in 2 hours than we did all week. #embarrassing #mishprobs

A trend that I have noticed on my mission is that nothing will ever go smoothly. Ever. Maybe that's just life but really, Elder Richard G. Scott was right when he said that "This life is an experience in profound trust." Brian has fallen off the face of the earth. We haven't had contact with him in over a week. He won't answer our calls, texts, or Facebook messages. It's been heart wrenching. But I have confidence in the Lord. He knows all things and He knows that we just want to help Brian. Please continue to pray for him!

But let's talk about the positives. :) Ian came to church yesterday in a white shirt! Sort of. It was button up and white for the most part.  He told us yesterday that he is determined to make his date on May 2nd, which is awesome when you're investigators are excited for their baptismal date. On Saturday we went to Kalamazoo to watch a performance of the oratorio "Lamb of God" by Rob Gardner. Music combined with scripture can be powerful and when you have a 200 piece choir and a 100 piece orchestra it's just monumental. I feel blessed to have such a great connection to music. It's been a powerful influence in my life, especially in feeling the Spirit. I feel bad for Sister Morrison who had to sit next to me and see me get all emotional. It was so moving to see these people sing their testimonies of the Savior so powerfully. It was a great experience. 

I hope that everyone is doing well. It's overwhelming to see our house changing so much. I hope that you're having fun in the process! :) Don't let it get to stressful. ;)

Love you all, Sister Jensen

Monday, March 16, 2015

You Have to Have the Spirit 3.16.15

Dear Family,
I am pleased to inform you that I have not worn tights or leggings in two days. My legs are freaking out a little bit from being so exposed but mentally I feel on top of the world. That is all.
Well, it's Monday again!! It's been a LONG week with so many things happening but we made it! Last Wednesday we had Zone Training which meant that the Zone Leaders and us, the Sister Training Leaders, had to conduct a training session. It went pretty well I think. I felt the Spirit and I know that the Spirit guided those who taught. Sister Morrison and I trained on "Obtaining and Teaching by the Spirit" and I have been doing my best to implement it into my missionary work. 

According to Joseph  Smith, “No man can preach the Gospel without the Holy Ghost” and for anyone who has been on a mission, that is one of the quickest lessons you learn. I am grateful for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and I hope that it's each one of our greatest desires to be worthy of that gift. :)
Since the Ludington sisters were at the Grand Rapids stake center for ZT we decided to go on tradeoffs with them then and then switch back Thursday evening. I got to go to Ludington with Sister Brockbank (my baby!! who's half way done with her mission......) and getting to Ludington was an adventure. Ludington is 2 hours away from Grand Rapids and so the sisters hopped from car to car to make it to training and we got to do the same thing going back. We went from car to car to car to area. It was great though. Ludington has been a struggling area and the sisters just "pink-washed" the area this transfer so they're starting from nothing. But we saw a couple of finding miracles.

When we got to the area, we checked up on a less active member but she wasn't home so we decided to knock the street. We weren't having much success but when we prayed in our car, we prayed that as we knocked we would be able to teach someone about the Restoration and gain a new investigator so I was determined to help that come true. We were walking down the street and there was a person walking toward us. I said to Sister Brockbank, "Let's go talk to that dude." We walked over and turns out the dude was a woman. Ha. Well we talked to her and ended up walking back to her home and doing her dishes and teaching her about the Restoration! And when we were done she asked for our phone number so we could come back! MIRACLES! It felt SO GOOD! And she gave me a bracelet and a pair of earrings that she made that I'll probably treasure forever. So it was a pretty cool door knocking experience. :) Miracles do happen but they happen according to our faith and faith means action most of the time, not just passive belief.
Grandville/Wyoming is going alright. We are having some trouble getting in contact with some of our investigators which is a little sad but I think this week will turn out pretty good. Ian is still doing really well. I've learned from teaching Ian that the Book of Mormon is a powerful teacher. I've learned that when you let the scriptures be bold for you, people take things a lot easier haha. We moved Ian's date to May 2nd now because he should be "retiring" from the bike club soon and he could possible be prepared by then to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Ian has changed SO MUCH since we've taught him and he told us that the greatest changes he's made in his life in the seven months he's met with the missionaries has been while Sister Morrison and I have been teaching him. That makes you feel good. :) The Gospel truly changes people.
I love you family. Isn't it great that we can be together forever? I hope you're as excited as I am to be an Eternal Family. I love you all for your uniqueness and the way you help me become a better person. I especially appreciate how you show me through your examples and faith how to become a more devoted and faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. I am so blessed to have you all in my life. :)

Well, that's it for me. I'm including a picture of Sister Morrison and me at Old Country Buffet to celebrate Chris's birthday. It had the most food options for Sister Morrison (like french fries and Jell-O! YUM!). Thanks for letting us celebrate! And the other picture is Sister Brockbank and I trying "Bacon Pop". I'm pretty sure it was left in the apartment by the previous elders. One taste was enough.
Love always,
The Michiganry :)
Bacon Popcorn


If I could make the subject of this email bigger and bolder I would.....
Dear Family,
I am so so so happy to announce that we have broken the 40's!!!!! YAAAAAYYYY!!! I do not think you can comprehend how extremely happy I am about this!!!! This is the first time in probably three months that I haven't worn my snow coat or snow boots outside. Saturday was the first day that things got warm and I was so happy I almost grabbed my hairdryer and ran outside to encourage the melting process. However with all the melting it makes the roads pretty slick in the morning after it drops below freezing at night....

Random occurrence:  found a forged dollar bill!
Life just keeps getting better and better and I do not mean that sarcastically. Sister Morrison and I  taught the most lessons we have taught as a companionship since we've been together this past week and that's even with missing a day due to MLC. Heavenly Father is so good to us. Brian is determined to meet his date next week which means we get to meet with him every day until he gets baptized! He's doing very well and I can't believe how much this Gospel can change people in such a short time. It's amazing. Ian is making progress slowly, but it's progress. We are doing our best to help him gain a church family because if he's going to quit his club he needs a family that will love him. Elizabeth has been struggling with some things that are happening in her life but she received a priesthood blessing this week. The priesthood is such a blessing!! And the great thing is that it's here to bless ALL of God's children. :)
We had some really cool "finding miracles" last week. In our mission have cards that we hand out to people with our number on it. We usually give them to people who are don't have a lot of interest or said that they would be interested in doing their own research. In the whole 13 and a half months of my mission, no one has EVER called us back. Until last Wednesday. Someone ACTUALLY called us ON PURPOSE because he was interested in learning more about the Gospel!! We have an appointment with him this Wednesday!!! Our other "finding miracle" was pretty much all of Saturday. Heavenly Father put us in the right places and we got four potential investigators from it, three of them with specific return appointments! I am just filled with gratitude. It feels so good to be a tool in His hands! He is so good!!
I'll share a little highlight with you from one of our lessons this past week. We were teaching Brian and we asked him why he should read the Book of Mormon. I was thinking he'd say something along the lines of "to know that it's true" or something like that. But no. He said, "I should read the Book of Mormon to help me endure to the end." BOOM. It kind of blew my mind a little bit. Did you know that the Book of Mormon would help you successfully endure to the end?? I did but didn't at the same time. But seriously, the Book of Mormon is all about enduring to the end and keep our covenants and preparing to meet Heavenly Father again. Read that book, people. You need it. I need it. Everyone needs it.
I love my mission so much. I understand why it has to be hard, because if it wasn't it wouldn't be so worth it. I am so grateful to be serving the Lord. I love this Gospel and I know that it is true. It just is. It's so simple and wonderful and beautiful and it just makes sense. Don't ever forget it. :)
Love, Sister Jensen

The Push 3.2.15

Dear Family, 

Having been out for 13 months gives you an interesting perspective on the mission. I've been thinking a lot about last March and how hard that was. And now it's March again and I am trying to stay mentally sane. Thankfully it's working so far. March is hard because it's a long month after a short month and Spring isn't for another two months instead of three weeks. Sitting at my computer I can see out the window and stare at the piles of snow..... I just keep reminding myself that it will be worth it when the Spring comes because the Spring cannot be beat! It is the BEST!!!! Everything gets so green, people are a lot happier when you knock on their door, and the sun stays out longer! All good things to look forward to! :) And I'm looking forward to NOT wearing my winter coat. I don't even take it off anymore when I go into people's homes, mostly because I forget I'm wearing it. It's just apart of me now......

Hopefully that doesn't sound too whiny and depressing. I'm actually doing pretty well. :) I really feel charged spiritually from my temple trip a week and a half ago and I am really hoping that I can maintain that. We're seeing a lot of success from the work. 

I think I told you a little bit about Brian so let me recap and give you an update: We met Brian on Valentine's Day. He was the only person we talked to in the 15 minutes we were knocking doors before we received word to get out of the cold because it was too dangerous. We committed him to coming to church when we talked to him and he came the next day! We taught him that week and he told us in one of the lessons that the night before he met us he prayed to that God would help him find a new church. And then we showed up! We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon on Wednesday and on Friday he told us that he finished it. Awesome, right? We invited him to a baptism of another lady that first week were teaching him and he thought we were inviting him to be baptized on Saturday. We cleared that up and he came. Sister Morrison and I were helping the elders and our ward mission leader clean up the baptism when we got a text from Brian that said, "So maybe we can talk tomorrow about me getting baptized as well" We were BLOWN AWAY. WHAT?? This never happens! So now, Brian is on date to be baptized March 21st. :) He is so receptive and he understands so much. Every lesson we have with him I am just blown away. We're praying that we can help him be ready on the 21st. It's only three weeks away so we'll see what happens. Please keep him in your prayers!

Ian gave us a heart attack last week. Ian is part of a motorcycle club (Hell's Angels status. Not the hobby kind) and the club been a challenge for us in teaching him. It is not a good influence and they don't like how the gospel has changed him (we LOVE how the gospel has changed Ian). Well last week, we didn't have contact with him for a couple days and his fellowshipper texted us and asked us if we had had contact with him because she hadn't had contact with him either for days and they talk pretty much every day. I was pretty sure Ian was dead in a dumpster somewhere or in jail. I was freaking out. And then he called us randomly one day and I just about choked on my pancake. IAN IS ALIVE!!! He was sick with the flu and had some complications which was why didn't hear for him for a couple days. He came to church yesterday which was good. There's still a lot of things that need to change before he can get baptized but I have faith that if Alma can do it, anyone can do it. The Atonement can handle the nitty-gritty. :)

I had a crazy "small world experience" yesterday. So we had dinner with the F. family. We were probably halfway through dinner and I asked Brother F. where he was from. He said Northern Califronia, Sunnyvale. I was like oh! I know where that is. We talked about the Bay Area and as we were talking my brain started turning. I had a roommate named Kelli F. from Sunnyvale, California. He's older so maybe they're cousins or something. So I asked Brother F. if he had relatives in Sunnyvale because I had a roommate my freshman year that was from Sunnyvale and her last name was F. He asked me what her name was. I said Kelli F

. He said, "I know Kelli. Kelli is my younger sister." NO. WAY!!!! I know missionaries are supposed to be professional but my freak out probably wouldn't qualify as professional. How small is the Mormon world??? I was having dinner with my roommate's older brother!!!!! It was so great!!! We had a great time swapping stories and talking about Kelli. It was so much fun haha. I am so grateful for those small world moments. :)

Oh look, the sun came out. That's nice....

I love the Gospel so much. I am so grateful for it. It is the way to last peace and a full measure of the Atonement. Remember to doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. :)

Love, Sister Jensen

Sunday, February 22, 2015

WHAT a WEEK! 2.19.15

Dear Family!!
I promise I am safe and well and that everything is alright! Due to my temple trip today, we had to change our P-Day with Monday and I forgot to mention that. Sorry 'boot that. But today was INCREDIBLE. I have a testimony of temple attendance, brothers and sisters! (I feel like my inner Pentecostal is coming out....) Did I need it or did I need it?? I LOVE THE TEMPLE!!! So amazing. So, so amazing.

Okay, let me see if I can accurately describe my week to you:
We moved Ian's date. We went over the baptismal questions with him and did not feel good about going through with it. After praying about it and talking with our ward mission leader, zone leaders, and mission president, we decided we needed to change it. Apparently, Ian felt the same way too. So it works out when you please God before pleasing man. ;)
Last Saturday was COLD. I don't think I'll ever be as cold in my life as I have been this winter. Holy cannoli, it was COLD. We weren't allowed to leave our apartment until noon. Why, I don't know. Maybe to let it "warm up"? I don't know. But it was around zero and with the wind chill probably around -25. Also on Saturdays we have a "car fast" in our mission (our mission has the highest accident rate East of the Mississippi) so we couldn't use our car. So we layered, layered, layered and ventured out! There were some apartment type things that were indoor close to our apartment so we decided to knock those. The first guy we talked to we talked to for an hour and he committed to coming to church. And then, he actually came to church!! It was AWESOME!!! His name is Brian. He's going through a divorce right now so it's great that we met him when we did. He told us that he even prayed the night before we met him that God would help him find another church. What?? Is this real life?? We taught him this week and I think we have a solid new investigator! Another interesting thing about this the timing. As we talked to Brain, our phone kept going off. We checked our phone after we were finished and the zone leaders had called and texted us to tell us that we could use our car. They could have called us sooner but they didn't. I sincerely believe it didn't happen sooner because we needed to meet Brain. God is in control, my friends.

Sunday was stressful but memorable! Sister Morrison is a SAINT and made me breakfast (gluten, dairy, soy, nut, fruit, and vegetable free. Impressive) and served me all day. Her parents sent her a cake mix (GDSNFV free as well) so we could have cake together on my birthday! It was such a kind gesture and I need to write them a thank you note. We also had Zone Conference on Sunday (It was supposed to be Thursday and then it got moved to Saturday. And then with the weather it got moved to Sunday) with Elder Marcus B. Nash of the Seventy. I never thought a meeting could be so stressful! They packed at 8-hour meeting into 3 hours. But it was still great and I learned a lot. After that we had to eat cake! I had been dying to eat it all day. But then I thought about how lame it would be for us to just eat it so we called our investigator Elizabeth and asked her if she would like to celebrate with us. Who turns down free chocolate cake? No one. (Jim Gaffigan: What is this? Cake? Well I guess I'll try it. OM-NOM. The only thing you're doing during the song is wondering what kind of cake it is: HOPE IT'S CHOCOLATE FOR ME!) I couldn't have ended my birthday any better. Sharing it with my friends and talking about God. :) #mishlife #mishbirthdaysbestbirthdays  

Yesterday we had an AWESOME day of lessons! It was almost stressful because we had back to back lessons. We were running a tight ship, that's for sure! The Spirit was strong and it still baffles me all the success we're seeing this week. It is amazing to see what happens when we pray, have faith, obey the rules, and work hard. When we do those things as missionaries, the Lord can bless us. I have seen this area grow and so many of my prayers me answered this transfer. I don't feel worthy of so many blessings! I am grateful that the Lord trusts us with His children. Tomorrow will be a busy day of appointments as well. I am SUPER excited. :)
Today we went to the temple. President Jacobsen changed the rules and we can now go to the temple twice a year, six months apart. There are other special circumstance that will allow us to go but as soon as I heard that we could go, I knew that I NEEDED to go. I have been praying and asking people all transfer to help us get to the temple. Sister V. (the lady in the picture with me and Sister Morrison) is amazing and decided that she was going to take us. I am SO grateful that the Lord worked through her to bless us. I am so grateful to have been able to attend the temple today. I have a greater desire to help others make AND keep their covenants. Those covenants we make in the temple are real and serious. We need to do our best to walk up to those covenants. They are a source of power and safety. "In the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest." I felt that today! I feel like this is what I need to help me be strong for the last couple months of my mission. I want to give it all to the Lord. I loved being dressed in white- purity and victory. I saw and felt my potential as a daughter of God. I love the temple and I will go for the rest of my life!

I love you all! I have been praying all week that you have been comforted and know that I'm okay. I love being a missionary and I am so grateful for the blessings that I have seen in my life over the last 13 months. This is the Lord's work! This is His Church!
Love, Sister Jensen
PS The transfer ends this week. Predictions? ;)

There's "SNOW" Better Work 2.9.15

Dear Family,
It's P-Day again. It always sneaks up on me.
This week was great! I feel like if a week was ever boring, I wasn't doing my job haha. I love adventures!
Tuesday we didn't have our car and had to walk all day. MAN, was I sore!! Wearing snow boots and walking through the snow is akin to walking through sand with ankle weights! But do you know what? I loved it! I loved walking through the beautiful snow and talking with my companion about spiritual things as we walked. We planned to stop by a potential investigator but she wasn't home so we went to a street nearby to knock. We had some great talks with people there, one of them really standing out to me. During studies that morning, I was thinking about how I should approach people that day and something in PMG stood out to me. "Even when people do not accept theopportunity to learn the gospel, your service and words are evidence of God’s love for them" and I thought, how often do I tell people on their doorstep that we're knocking on their door because God loves them? Worth a shot. So as we knocked that street, we got to a door and I felt very strongly impressed to tell the man that we were there because God loved him and I asked him how he'd seen God's love in his life. He said that he didn't because God didn't answer his prayers when his daughter was dying of cancer. Sister Morrison and I were able to share with him the Plan of Salvation and testify of God's love for him. It was neat to see how the Lord had prepared me that morning to answer the need of one of His children. I know that Heavenly Father can do the same with you and you can bless lives as well if you ask for it and act on the promptings you receive. :)
Wednesday was crazy. Nothing went according to plan (does it ever do that?) but we still had a good day of crying repentance. We went door knocking and started talking to this lady. After a minute or so of talking to her, her father came up and started talking to us. The Spirit left REALLY fast because he was not interested in hearing what we had to say and he only wanted to prove us wrong. Thankfully that morning in district meeting we talked about using the Book of Mormon when people get contentious, so Sister Morrison and I bore our testimonies of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and left it at that. By the end of the encounter, the lady we initially talked to even told her dad to stop arguing with us. As much as I dislike bashing, I learn a lot every time. I gain a stronger testimony of this work and of this Gospel.
We had our tradeoff this week. Tradeoffs are always an adventure! The sister I was with this time is extremely bold and it was a little shocking sometimes to listen to her say things to the people we were talking to. I've been pondering the Alma 38:12 and 2 Nephi 26:29-30 since that tradeoff. In everything we do, love needs to be our motivation. Paul told us in Corinthians: "Though I speak with the tongues ofmen and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." As missionaries and members of the Church, we can't condone sin or apostasy, but we can love them and with the aid of the Spirit help people find the right path again. This sister has been out 5 months so it let me ponder how far I've come since the beginning of my mission and I know that she will change as well.
Saturday was AMAZING!!! We went with Elizabeth to a baptism in Grand Rapids on Saturday. We have been talking about baptism with Elizabeth since I got here and she has had a lot of concerns about it. She wanted to watch a video of a baptism but we had something better: a live baptism!! Two of them in fact haha. We got to the church about 30 minutes early and I remembered (definitely the Spirit bringing things to my remembrance) that the Grand Rapids stake center had pictures through the hallways. So I suggested we have a picture tour of the building and talk about the pictures before the baptism. We walked around and talked and we stopped at a painting by Simon Dewey. Elizabeth stopped and looked at it for a long moment. I felt really impressed to ask Elizabeth how she felt. Tears welled up and flowed as she told us her feelings as she looked at the picture. It was a powerful moment and the Spirit was strong. I am so grateful that we had that time to look at the pictures because it set the tone for the whole service. She cried through most of it. She felt the Spirit so strongly and she felt the peace of the Spirit. It was incredible to see the Spirit change her heart and it was a powerful testimony to me that the Spirit is real and it is the converting power of the Gospel. Elizabeth needed a spiritual experience and our prayers were answered as she got that experience on Saturday. I am really hopeful that we can set a solid date with her soon. We went over the baptism interview questions with her last night and she is so close to being ready! PLEASE pray for Elizabeth!!
I also got to go to Kalamazoo to see Bin be baptized!! Oooooooh, HAPPY DAY!! I thought I was going to die of happiness on Saturday night!! I got to see my two past areas and wards, watch the heart of our investigator soften, and see a person I had taught and prayed about for so long be baptized!! THIS my family, is happiness. The Gospel is happiness. Even thinking about it right now is making my heart almost burst with happiness!!! Where else can you find this happiness?? Nowhere else!! This is why the Gospel is so important!! This is why we do missionary work!! This Gospel is the only way for us to be happy in this life and happy in the life to come!! What can I say more? The Gospel is true. The end.
Man, life is good. I love this work. I love being a missionary. It is SO HARD all the time, but it is SO WORTH IT.
I hope you don't mind me going on for so long. I am grateful that I could share with you some of the special experiences I've had on my mission. They mean so much to me and I hope they mean a lot to you. :)
I love you all and I hope your testimonies are burning bright! The Lord loves you. He died for you. He will help you though whatever comes your way.
Love, Sister Jensen

It's Hard to Teach Lessons When Your Keys Are Locked in the Glove Box 2.2.15

Dear Family,
Just so you are all aware, it is still winter out here. We got at least a foot of snow yesterday! I think it's the first time in my life that church has been cancelled. We thankfully still had sacrament meeting but they cancelled the rest of the block. It was weird driving home after sacrament. I felt like I was ditching church. I'm pretty sure a lot of the ward didn't know what to do with themselves having so much time....

As the title of my email states, it's hard to teach lessons when you're car keys are locked in the glove box of your car. We had the craziest Wednesday EVER. We are on a car rotation (two weeks on, one week off) and Wednesday was the day we were giving our car to the elders. We had to leave district lunch before them so we could get to a lesson and I asked Elder Palmer where he'd like me to stick the keys so he wouldn't have to disturb our lesson. He said to stick them in the glove box. So we got to the church, put the keys in the glove box, and locked the doors. It didn't even dawn on me what I had just done until Elder Palmer comes into the church and says, "Do you have the keys?" Horror. That was my first thought. Immediately I looked at Ian and said, "Do you know how to break into a car?" He said, "Psh, yeah!" and jumps up and leaves. While Ian and the elders are figuring out how to get the keys, Sister VanHorn is using Ian's phone to contact her car company because her car wasn't fixed properly and still having problems. Then Ian comes back and says that he has AAA and he's going to call them (because he left his "tools" at home). So Ian and Sister VanHorn play phone tag with their car companies for a little and finally we get to a point where we feel like we can start our lesson. I'm super frazzled by this time anyway ("women drivers" jokes get really old really fast) and I decide that I should say the prayer to get the Spirit back. In the middle of my prayer, Ian's phone starts going off, which by the way, his ringtone is not missionary approved music. I decide that I'm just going to keep praying and Ian quickly silents it. Then Sister VanHorn says(in her best black woman voice), "Answer it!! It might be my people." We all died. We couldn't control ourselves. I felt so bad about that prayer but the Spirit was gone and there was no way of recovering from that. Eventually we had a lesson and the elders got the keys. Sometimes when life gives you lemons, you must humbly drink the lemonade.
This week was alright. Sister Morrison and I got a touch of whatever has been going around. We're better now but this week was a little hard because of it. Being sick on your mission is the worst but we've been trying to make the most of it.
Bin will be getting baptized this week in Kalamazoo, Elizabeth might be getting baptized next week, and Ian should be getting baptized on the 21st. It should be a really good month baptism wise. :) It feels so good to see people progress towards baptism. It's hard to tell people about the blessings that the Lord will pour out upon them as they get baptized because they have to take that step first. It's so great to see faith in action!!
Have you read General Conference recently?? I LOVE IT!! I have been trying to read more and more of it because every time I do, I feel the power of their words. I feel a desire to be and do better. One talk that I really loved was one that I read this morning. Sister Morrison and I have been talking with Elizabeth about the importance of being baptized (we've invited her at least a dozen times to be baptized) and I was studying about covenants and why their important. This really stood out to me from Sister Stevens talk "Covenant Daughters if God": "Covenants with God help us to know who we really are. They connect us to Him in a personal way through which we come to feel our value in His sight and our place in His kingdom. In a way we can’t fully comprehend, we are known and loved individually by Him. Think of it—each of us holds such a place in His heart. His desire is that we will choose the path that will bring us home to Him." Doesn't that make you feel SO GOOD about the covenants you have made??? I LOVE IT!! I pondered about that and I have seen how my covenants with God have drawn me closer to Him. I have seen how real my relationship with Heavenly Father is, especially on my mission, and it all stems from the promises that I have made with Him. Covenants are a blessing. :)
Thank you all so much for your love and prayers. I am truly so grateful for all the support I receive from you. I hope that the Lord is blessing you and that you see His had in your life. I know He is watching over you. He loves you. :) I love you too!! Have a wonderful week!!
Love, Sister Jensen

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Meetings and More Meetings 1.26.15

Dear Family,
When I first got on my mission, my trainers told me that missionary work is a lot of meetings. Boy, were they right! I feel like we go to so many meetings! But thankfully they're always good meetings. I always leave feeling like I accomplished things and that I got reprimanded by the Spirit in the right ways haha. I've learned that we don't go to meetings just to attend meetings, but we go to meetings to change. When you have that attitude, meetings become a lot better. At least the church ones do. ;)
This week we had a training from Brother Hemmingway and Brother Radford from the Church Missionary Department. All of the zone leaders, sister training leaders, and district leaders assembled and we discussed effective proselyting. They are really pushing to use Facebook as a tool in the Work so we got permission to use our Facebooks from home to do missionary work! That's a scarey thought but I think I feel confident that I can use it wisely now. I didn't really like Facebook  when I started using it 6 months ago (in fact, I loathed it) but I've come to see the useful tool it can be to stay in contact with investigators, less active members and recent converts. So you'll be seeing my posts and feel free to like/share them!
Sister Morrison and I are doing great! We have found a couple new investigators in the past week! I know that they say that tracting is the least effective way to do missionary work (which trust me, there are better ways than tracting) but 41% of the baptisms in our mission come from door knocking. We found one of our investigators through tracting this week. We went to this street that the sisters didn't knock because it said "no soliciting" and knocked there anyway. We found Becky! And not coincidentally, she is the daughter of a less active member of the ward! She isn't a member and she invited us to come back this week! We're super excited and we know that there is some potential there. :) We're seeing some amazing things happen and I'm grateful for the training because it has really helped us be more effective.
I'm doing well. My foot still aches a little but it's definitely not broken anymore. Sister Morrison and I have been exhausted this week. Between meetings and seminary, we've been getting up kind of early. We had the opportunity to teach seminary this past week with the other missionaries and that was neat. I had forgotten what that was like and it scares me to have teenagers one day. But I loved the Spirit I felt there and I am grateful for dedicated seminary teachers who work so hard to be happy and upbeat in the mornings.
Please also pray for Ian. He's struggling with somethings and being in a biker club isn't helping. We really want him to feel prepared to be baptized next month and it will take some changes in his life to get there. Please keep him in your prayers!!
I know this is short but I have got to run! I love you all!! This is the Lord's church!
Love, Sister Jensen

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I'm Not Dead Yet 1.13.15

Dear Family,
I want to assure you that I am completely fine and healthy. Yesterday was a CRAZY adventure and I ended up not having time to email so I was allotted some time today to send you a quick letter.
So the thing you may all be wondering is, "What was my adventure yesterday?" I have news: I GOT TRANSFERRED! I am now in Wyoming, Michigan, about 40 minutes south of my first area! I'm actually back in the Grand Rapids Stake so I'm really looking forward to stake conference so I can see my past ward family. It should be great. :)
While waiting at the mission home, Pres. Jepson gets his ping-pong mojo going.
So the assistants wanted to do all of transfers in one day (usually they do it in two because the mission is so big) so I got on the transfer van at 8:50 am, rode all around Michigan and wound up in East Lansing at the mission office, stayed there for a couple hours, then hopped back in the transfer van and got to my area at about 5:45 pm that evening. It made for a long day but even longer for the assistants so I can't complain too much. It was fun to see other parts of Michigan even when they're covered in two feet of snow.

In missionary work news, we had 5 investigators at church on Sunday!! It was super amazing. I kind of rolled my eyes, looked upward, and said, "Really? Really?? Right when I'm getting transferred??" Anyone who's been a missionary knows that that's how the cookie always crumbles. Miracles start and then- TRANSFER. Sister Carter and Sister Chatman are going to have so many incredible things happen this transfer! It blows my mind to think about it. We have so many solid investigators there! I am really hoping that I will be heading back to Kalamazoo twice for the baptism of Bin and Taylor. Maybe more? That would be really cool. :)
Sis. Jensen with Taylor

My new companion is Sister Morrison. She's from Flagstaff, Arizona. She's been out almost nine months and she's super cool (as far as I can tell from the past 18 hours) and I think we're going to have a great transfer together. :) We only have to go on one tradeoff this transfer which makes being a STL super relaxing. I don't feel as stressed here in Wyoming and I'm taking that as a good thing. I am stoked to be in Grand Rapids again and I am really looking forward to some awesome things happen in this area. 

This week was EXTREMELY cold. Our car told us that it was -5 degrees at one point and people keep telling us that with the wind chills, we have been getting down to -20 or lower. At the beginning of the winter as was kind of bummed because I bought that heavy duty coat and boots and it seemed they were only good for only last winter. HA JUST KIDDING. I cherish them with my whole heart and I frequently wonder how the pioneer crossed the frozen plains in nothing but holey shoes and worn blankets. It's a very sobering thought and it stops me from complaining. I am SO GRATEFUL for long skirts because they hide my pajama pants really well. I've also been going through those hand warmers like popcorn. I don't think they last as long when it's this cold.

I hope I didn't cause too much worry yesterday. I am quite well and I'm looking forward to serving the people here in Wyoming. I love this work and sometimes I wonder if I can extend my mission for another five years. Being a missionary is the best thing ever! I would recommend it to everyone. :)
Love you all! I will send some pictures next week!
Sister Jensen

Way out West! 1.19.15

With the WMU Bronco
Dear Family,
"The purpose and central blessing of life is change." (Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge). I've had to remind myself of this quote A LOT this week. Change! And a lot of it!

Wyoming is wonderful. It's almost a 180 degree difference from Kalamazoo.Yesterday we had over 200 people at church! I think the past couple weeks at the KUB we had an average of 20 people. Everyone is extremely nice and there's definitely a warm and inviting Spirit in the Wyoming Ward. I had forgotten how loud family wards are and also how wonderful it is to hear the Primary sing. Hearing the primary sing brought tears to my eyes, mostly because I was laughing so hard. The children were singing "A Child's Prayer" and the girls were singing the first verse while the boys sang the second. You can tell who felt comfortable up there because the girls were strung out in a row along the front of the wall while the boys all clumped together for strength and support. Hearing the boys sing was like listening to a bag pipe warming up. It was THE BEST. I love that song and I tried to be reverent but my thoughts were making me laugh so hard. Hopefully it came across as the new sister being overcome with emotion. I had to wipe away some tears that were leaking out so that may have convinced some people. I know that I will love this ward.
Wyoming is also a door knocking area which has been a pretty big adjustment. I felt lost for the first couple of days. I had totally forgotten how to talk to people with families! Sister Morrison has been so patient with me and I really appreciate it because it's been a bumpy ride on the struggle bus. Heavenly Father has so graciously reminded me of how weak I am and how much more I need to rely on Him. He's definitely not letting me get comfortable haha. I've been praying more earnestly for charity and love for these people as well. It's so hard not to get frustrated with people when you've been as clear with them as you can be and they still choose to reject the truth. Sometimes I ponder the quote by Elder Holland as I door knock:

 "Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it 
go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church?... I am 
convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was 
easy. We are The Church of JesusChrist, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we 
believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy forHim? It seems to me that missionaries and 
mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries andmission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary." I have tried to do as the apostles did and "[rejoice] that [I am] counted worthy to suffer shame for His name." It is a special experience to represent the Savior.

Sis. Jensen and Sis. Carter

Although finding has been rough, there are a lot of things to be happy for: we have someone on date!! His name is Ian and he's pretty awesome. He has had a pretty rough life but ran into the Spanish Branch elders back in August and has been learning ever since. Ian is on date to be baptized on the 21st of February and we're doing all we can to prepare him!
Also, the BEST NEWS EVER came last Saturday: BIN IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!! Sister Carter and Sister Chatman called me on Saturday to tell me that two of the people we were teaching at WMU are on date!! It was the happiest moment of my mission probably. I was bouncing up and down in the slush squealling. Yup, squealing. Bin asked the sisters what more he needed to do to be baptized and their mouths just about dropped open. I am so so so so so happy!!!!! Also, Taylor set her date!!! We felt really impressed that she needed to set her own date so we invited her to pray about it and she told them that she wanted to be baptized on February 21st! Looks like I'll be making a couple trips to Kalamazoo this transfer!! Seriously, I could not be more happy. It's one of the greatest feelings/experiences to watch people grow and progress in the Gospel. :)

But that's about that. Funny experience real quick. My first dinner appointment in Wyoming was probably the best one ever. Sister Morrison is allergic to almost every food except meat, rice and potatoes, so we had "Meat Treat" for dinner: Chicken wrapped in bacon and covered in gobs of barbeque sauce. My arteries exploded just looking at it. It was so good though and I don't regret eating it. About halfway through the dinner the nine year old boy gets a serious look on his face and asks us, "Do you ever wonder how Mexicans get to Africa?" Why yes, I've been contemplating that very thing. I just about died laughing. I know I'm going to love it here. ;)

The Church is true and Christ is at its head. Remember that.
Love you!
Sister Jensen

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cold But Bold 1.5.15

Dear Family,

Winter has finally set in. The week of Christmas we enjoyed a pretty cozy 50 degree week. I was starting to wonder if Jack Frost had shoved our whole winter into a week last November and we were enjoying and early spring. Haha so much for that thought. Our car told us this morning that it was 9 degrees outside. It snowed all day yesterday to make sure we knew that it was really winter and not an early spring. Too bad it was a week and a half late. Everything looks so much prettier when it's flocked in snow. It makes me want to celebrate Christmas again.

And you read the last paragraph correctly, we got a car!!!! Well, for like all of last week and the rest of this week. With the "mini transfer" happening last Tuesday, it left two extra cars in Kalamazoo to collect snow on them so we asked if we could take one of them. They took pity on us and let us drive one haha. We have been in heaven all week! And it came right in time! We got our car and it decided to drop 30 degrees. Plus with campus still not living, we've been having to walk farther and farther to our door knocking areas. Having a car has been the biggest blessing and I hate to say it but we've seen a lot of tender mercies this week (more like miracles to me at least).
                                                    (Sister Carter brushing off our car.) 

We picked up two new investigators this week, Taylor and Tang. Taylor is seriously amazing. She showed up at church one day a couple months ago because the missionaries knocked on her sister's door. We called her the past couple weeks to invite her and she has always been busy (which most of the time translates into "not interested") so I hadn't thought too much about it until she showed up at church a week ago! We picked her up as a new investigator and we've taught her a couple times and I don't want to jinx anything but she's pretty much GOLD. She's asked us what she can to do be forgiven and she's had a lot of questions about baptism. When we explained that the upcoming Sunday was Fast Sunday she told us that she was going to fast without us even explaining it. Taylor is seriously awesome. Please keep her in your prayers!

Tang  (sounds more like "wrong" with a long A sound) is our new Chinese investigator. She has been in American for about a month and she doesn't know anything about God or Christianity. She wanted to read the Bible (I think Chinese people look at the Bible like we read Greek Mythology) but after reading to her from the Book of Mormon she said, "Perhaps I read this one first, yes?" She's great! We've had to start our really basic with her on who Jesus Christ is so we began with Luke 2 and His birth. When we read about the angels appearing to the shepherd she said, "It's magical." Definitely never used that word to describe it but it totally works! We love Tang and I know that she has felt the Spirit as we've talked to her. It will be interesting to see how she progresses once the school year starts.

So to explain more of the title of the email, something that we were trained on at our Half-Mission training was effective finding. Elder Green, one of the assistants, gave us a list of ways to be an effective finder and it was been working MIRACLES in our area and in our mission. This was his list of qualities of an effective finder: great attitude toward finding, eliminates half truths and approaches that don't create a need, works to eliminate weak words, limits the use of the card, and works to limit how much we talk by asking effective follow up questions. I've really been working on eliminating half truths because that is something that weakens the power of the Spirit. The Spirit can testify when we are bold. Sister Carter and I went out door knocking and tried to implement these into our finding. It was INCREDIBLE, we were on fire!!! We got three return appointments in just that little span that we knocked! We felt so much better about our use of time when we were bold and we didn't hold back. We felt so much better when we let people know exactly what we were offering. It's been SUPER cold (thank you SO MUCH for the hand warmers!!) but we're being bold. :) You will love missionary work when you put everything into it!

                                                                       (Smile! God loves you!)

I've learned a lot about my testimony this week and the importance of turning to God for answers to our questions, especially questions about doctrine. We will never be happy if we turn to man for the answer. God is our loving Heavenly Father and He knows what is best for us. I know that as we seek Him, He will answer and "the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto [you], by the power of the Holy Ghost" (1 Nephi 10:19). God does hear and answer prayers but it's up to us to "open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view." (Mosiah 2:9)

I know that this is Jesus Christ's church on the earth. I love the Lord with all my heart. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!

Love, Sister Jensen

PS Signs of a true Michigander: pumpkins from Halloween still on your door step. 

PPS I just heard the librarian say that it's supposed to be a high of 12 today

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Merry Christmas to All! 12.29.14

Dear Family,

First off, I need to apologize for my awkwardness on the phone!! I feel so bad!! I blame being a missionary haha. I've forgotten how to talk to people about not gospel related things. Second, I need to apologize for my lame stories!! As I was telling you about things I realized something: I have been a missionary waaaay too long if I find playing with cats underneath doors the funniest thing to happen to me. Sorry I don't have any cool stories about ax-murders. And I think I just get on the phone and forget EVERYTHING I was going to tell you about. So I apologize for a less than par phone call. (Editor's note:  We had a GREAT phone call with our Michiganary.  The "guard cat" would swipe at anything near the front door. :-)

This week was great! We had Half Mission Training on Tuesday at the Grand Rapids Stake Center and I was going bonkers being back in my old area. I LOVE GRAND RAPIDS!! There's something about your first area that always stays in your heart. There are now elders serving in Rockford and I asked them about everyone and everything. It was so nice to hear about the ward and people they're seeing.
Sis. Jensen with Sis. Baham and the "miracle violin."
 I loved training from the Assistants and President and we had a blast making gingerbread houses. The missionaries only had ten minutes to make a "house" so we got a wide variety of dwellings. It felt like a Food Network Challenge as they concluded building their hovels and then we told them that they needed to take their house from the table to the display table. The anxiety in moving their houses was almost palpable at times. I think they all had fun though. 


Christmas Eve was an evening to remember. The Williamsen's went all out to make sure we had the best Christmas ever. To begin our tale you need to picture nine missionaries and six civilians in a two bedroom apartment. We had a full Christmas dinner with oven roasted turkey, homemade stuffing (from homemade bread even), green beans, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, creamed spinach and dinner rolls. Half of us sat at the table and half of us sat on the floor haha. We watched a skit called "Six to Eight Black Men" which we were told was approved last year but I have my doubts haha. Now I know more about Christmas in the Netherlands..... Then we had a Nativity. I don't know if Luke would approve of the changes we made to the original casting but it was definitely memorable. We watched "Mr. Krooger's Christmas", sang songs, and had a visit from Santa. It even snowed a little bit to make the evening more magical.

Christmas morning we woke up at 6am to open presents. THANK YOU SO MUCH for the gifts that all of you gave to me! I can't express enough of my gratitude! I think the thing I loved most about opening presents was not the presents themselves but the feeling I had as I opened them. I felt so much love which I wasn't expecting to feel. I am SO appreciative for everything that I got but I mostly just love that feeling that I had. I think that's what made this Christmas so wonderful to me, the feeling of love that I had all day. I felt so much love for all of you and I felt your love in return. After opening presents, we had a "heart stopper breakfast" all thanks to Chasity who the day before gave us bags of more than just toast to eat for breakfast. After breakfast, we had a very powerful testimony meeting between the three of us. I will remember that forever I think. Then we spent the day at the Rock's and the Griswold's homes, eating ourselves silly and playing games. You don't know how much more exciting spoons gets when you replace the spoons with Duplo blocks and put those on a smooth surface. This was one of the best Christmases I've had in my life. I feel so blessed to have had this experience.

Yesterday, we had twelve people total at church. Stephen can probably relate to how that feels haha. Even though it was small, it was still a great block of meetings. Church is always great because we get to partake of the sacrament and fellowship with others, even if there's only a few of them. We even had an investigator at church! That was a miracle. Let me just say though, I am really looking forward to the end of break. I miss my amazing branch. They are some of the most incredible people. 

Something I am making as a goal for the upcoming year is to better recognize the Spirit. I just watched "On the Lord's Errand" and hearing about President Monson's experiences makes me want to be a better tool in Heavenly Father's hands. Why can't Heavenly Father use me to help others? I think the Spirit is always speaking but I'm don't pay attention like I should. So I want to work on that. How have you been able to notice the Spirit in your life? What has helped you recognize and follow His promptings?

I hope you are all recovering well from Christmas. Thank you again for being patient with me on the phone. I love you all so much!! It was such a blessing to talk to you last week! The Lord loves you and I do too!

Peace and Blessin's,
Sister Jensen      
                                              L to R:  Sis. Carter, Sis. Jensen, Sis. Fehlman