Tuesday, April 30, 2013

5th Letter "Final Week at the MTC"


Thank you to everyone who wrote me/sent packages to me this week.  Alli, Mom, Dad, Sandi, Susan, Jean...sorry if I'm forgetting anyone!  And Dana and mom especially for the packages.  It's the best.  Thanks again for the shoes mom!  They are so nice.

First you must know, that I'm very proud of this watch tan line.  I've never felt tan before, but now I have an efficient way to track my progress.  Ok fine, so I'm not tan...but I'm definitely a darker shade of pale. :)  This week is my final week in the MTC!!!  I don't know why, but they changed our entire schedule.  (Probably to accommodate the influx of missionaries this week).  Just so you know, Brazil bound missionaries totally get the shaft schedule around here, but tudo bem! :)  I'm sad to leave, but very very excited to start teaching for real!  Thursday evening I will know my reassignment and travel plans.  Hopefully I will fly to my reassignment so I can call home at the airport.

It's only been a few days since I last spoke with you, but it feels like forever!  The days are so long here, but they go by way too fast.  Since we last spoke, I met the newly called  General Young Women President.  She spoke in Relief Society to all the Sisters, then we got to meet her after.  So that was really cool.  She talked about Jacob 5 (The allegory of the olive tree).  I have a new found love for this chapter.  I especially love verse 72 where it says,

"And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them..."

I'm not alone in this great cause of spreading the gospel.  The Lord is laboring with me.  And it makes us happy!  I've never been happier or more excited about what I'm doing.  There are many trying to decide whether a mission is right for them.  This can be a difficult decision that may require a lot of prayer, but my answer is always "YES!"  Go serve!  You will love it and it will alter the outcome of eternity.  I know this to be true.  I'm so grateful for my decision to serve.  That is Hayley's opinion.  Let's see what the scriptures say about those deciding whether or not to serve a mission...in D&C 4 (classic missionary section) verse 3,

"Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work"

There you have it!  The scriptures say yes too.

 I also have enjoyed the opportunity this week to reflect on the role of the Spirit on my mission.  I have often thought that I'm not very good at recognizing the Spirit.  I often think that when I feel the Spirit, I should immediately recognize that it is a spiritual prompting.  This is not true.  Usually it comes in a good thought.  And that thought makes you squirm in your seat until you act on it.  This has happened since I've been here.  A couple weeks ago I saw an old Relief Society President from my BYU student ward.  We were only together 2 and 1/2 months, so I knew she wouldn't remember me, but I couldn't shake the thought "Go say hi!"  I squirmed in my seat for a minute trying to talk myself out of it until I couldn't take it anymore.  I walked clear across the room to say hi and reintroduce myself.  I didn't know why, but I had to do it.

Read Nephi 4:6 (We don't often know beforehand the things that the Spirit wants us to do)

Sister Decker on far left
I got her attention, reintroduced myself, and told her how great I thought she was when she was my relief society president.  Then I returned to my seat.  A week later, I ran into her again and she stopped me and thanked me for saying hi.  She said that week she had been thinking a lot about her time as RS president and how she wished she could've done better.  She said that my compliment was inspired.  It was so simple, but it meant a lot to her.  I'm grateful that Heavenly Father was able to use me as an instrument in helping one of His children gain a little confidence in herself.  It was a neat experience.

Music is also a great way to invite the Spirit.  Have you ever felt the chills while listening to something beautiful?  That is the Spirit.  This week Sister Decker and I have been singing a lot.  To our investigators, roommates, and in sacrament meeting.  I love the way music invites the Spirit and I hope to use this a lot on the mission.

I wish I could write more!!!  We have to go to choir practice now.  Eu amo voces! xoxo


Sister Jensen

Friday, April 26, 2013

4th Letter "Semana 5 no CTM"


First of all, thank you to everyone who sent me mail/e-mails/packages this week.  I feel so loved!

I'm on Week 5!  Can ya believe it?  1 month down, 17 more too go!  Gosh!  I can't believe how quickly time flies here. Next week I'll be receiving my reassignment somewhere in the states.  Any guesses?  I'm very excited to start my mission in the U.S.  It's like 2 missions in one and who wouldn't want that?

The weather has been so nice the past couple days.  We've been studying outside a lot and I may have over done it because I'm starting to get a watch tan line.  I'm really proud of that tan line too!  It makes me feel like I'm making progress and it definitely makes me feel like a sister missionary.

I love the MTC.  It will be sad to leave for sure.  I love meeting new people all the time.  I also really love telling people I'm from Detroit.  One Elder in my district didn't believe me for at least a week.  Everyone thinks that I grew up in the ghetto.  It's cool though.  What I will miss most is the Spirit here.  Last Saturday we went to TRC (Training Resource Center) and taught a couple volunteers.  Our favorite lesson was with Miles and Drew, two member friends that served a mission in Brazil.  Drew became less active after his mission.  Sister Decker and I spent most of the time talking to them and getting to know them.  Then we shared a message about prayer.  It went so well!  I felt like someone was actually benefiting from what I had to say and the Portuguese was flowing so easily.  The were surprised that we were doing so well after only 4 weeks.

This week I've been pondering a lot about the reality of a Savior and the Atonement.  We watched "The Testament" on Sunday and it really got me thinking about what it must have been like for the Nephite people to finally meet the promised Savior.  Then I read in 3 Nephi 17:5,

"And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and behold they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them"

I can only imagine the perfect joy they felt when the Savior had come.  How devastating to know that He would again leave them.  And then it says in verse 6,  "And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you."

The Savior has an infinite and perfect capacity to love and have compassion that extends to all who are willing to receive it.  I have felt His love so abundantly in my life.  Especially since I decided to go on a mission.  So many people today think religion was important only in ancient times and that God doesn't manifest His power anymore today.  I testify that He does.  God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He is very real and very much alive.  He is completely aware of us and what we need.  The resurrected Savior will return again.

I know God loves me.  I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had to struggle this week.  God is quick to remind me who is in charge.  I'm learning to submit my will to His and rely on the Spirit more than my own reason and logic.  The church is true.  Missions are tough, but it would be disappointing if it were easy.  I love my Savior and I'm eternally grateful for His atoning sacrifice for me.  These things I say are true.

I love you all and think of you often.  Have a great week!

Your favorite missionary,

Sister Jensen

Friday, April 19, 2013

3rd letter "We had an Apostle visit this week!"


Another excellent week in the MTC!  Thanks everyone for the e-mails and letters: Dad, Mom, Abby, Kelley, Mat, Kristie, Christy, Jane, LuLu, Nick, Katie, Kathleen and anyone else I may be forgetting.  Thanks mom and Christy for package!  Sorry if I'm missing anyone or double thanked anyone.  It's so hard to keep track!

I'm now in my fourth week at the Provo MTC.  Unreal.  Time flies when you're a missionary.  This morning our district went to the temple and it was great.  I love living close to the temple.  Always take advantage of the closeness of our temples.  We are so blessed.  I love being a missionary!  Sometimes, I forget I'm actually in Provo.  I'll walk outside and I'm like "Wait, we're in Provo?!"  I'm so tuned out of the world.  What's going on anyway?  It's amazing how we intertain ourselves in here.  This week our Elders had fun tossing candy around the classroom.  We toss candy at them and they love catching it their mouths.  The Elders are like our District pets!!!  We feed them candy, they do cool tricks, we scold them when they get out of hand....it's fun.  Makes me miss my dog haha.  I'm just teasing, our Elders are great!!!  Each night we share our highlights from the day. (Sister Prater's idea...LOVE HER!)   Last P day one Elder said his highlight was seeing the Sisters in white at the temple.  They tell us all the time how much they admire our decision to serve.  For them it's a Priesthood duty, for the Sisters it's a choice.  I'm really grateful for my district.

We had a cool devotional this week with Greg Droubay (Director of Media-Missionary Department).  He began by showing us all that the church is doing to spread the word about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Have you heard of the "I'm a Mormon" campaign?  Go to mormon.org.  The church purchased several electronic bill board displays in Time Square last Christmas that displayed the true meaning of Christmas along with the logo "mormon.org".  It is also very exciting in England right now.  The "tube" and several tunnels, taxis, and buses are completely covered with "I'm a Mormon" ads.  God is truly hastening His work.  Never pass an opportunity to share the gospel.  There are many prepared to hear the fullness of the gospel.  Help the missionaries in your ward find people to teach.

We got an apostle this week!!!  Richard G. Scott came Tuesday night and it was pretty amazing.  I wish I could write everything he said, but I'll share my favorites.  He said that our choice to be a missionary will bless us eternally.  He said that everything good that has come of his life is a direct result of his mission.  I love this!  Missions are truly the refiner's fire.  I'm humbled on a daily basis.  It is so easy to feel completely inadequate here, but according to Elder Scott, the Lord didn't call us to fail, he called us to succeed.  I'm grateful that Heavenly Father allows me to struggle, before He picks me back up.

He spent most of his time talking about prayer.  He said learn how to pray on your mission.  Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father.  This reminded me of a quote I really love:

"Of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that are given to Deity, He has asked us to address Him as Father"

-Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

He wants to hear from us because He is our loving Heavenly Father.  Elder Scott then closed by saying "I know Christ lives because I know Him".  He left us with a special Apostolic blessing that we would master our foreign languages and that we'd be richly blessed for our service.  It was so powerful. I know this church is true.  My heart is full of gratitude for the opportunity to serve Him.  Sometimes I wish my family was here so badly.  I yearn for you to hear the words of these speakers and feel what I'm feeling.  There is no place like the MTC.  Rumor has it we are getting another General Authority this Sunday!  So excited.

Thanks for the letters!  Alli, I hope you got mine.  Mom never told me that you did.  If so, I expect one stat Miss!
Eu amo voces!

Tchau!  Tchau! 

Sister Jensen

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hayley's 2nd letter from the MTC

Oi familia e amigos!

Tudo bem no CTM! (All is well in the MTC)

First off, thanks for all the e-mails, letters, DearElders, and packages.  They are much appreciated here.  Letters are gold.  Thank you Mom, Dad, Alli, Wes, Jayne, Sue&Jim, Christy, Kristie, Teresa, Amy, Austin, Abby, Kelley, Jane, Lesa, and Clint.  Sorry if I missed anyone.  Thanks for the love!

This week was awesome!  Vocal Point came and gave the devotional on Sunday.  It was very fun.  Everyday I'm more and more grateful to be here.  When we're not learning, we are laughing and having a great time.  I have some awesome missionaries in my district.  The Elders are especially awesome.  I was sick this week and the Elders were more than willing to give me a Priesthood blessing.  I love our Elders.  Despite their ages (18 and 19 year-olds) they are more than adequately prepared to serve.  They also make us laugh a lot.  On April Fools day they made all us Sisters believe that they got their visas!!  That really got us going, until they started laughing and said "April Fools!"  We totally forgot it was April Fools day.

They also do this thing called "spooning".  In the MTC, spooning is defined by carefully placing plastic spoons in another Elder's pocket, belt loop, etc. without them knowing.  It's pretty funny.  I like to joke and say that our Elders are always "spooning" each other and it's really awkward haha.  We have fun Elders.

Sister Decker and I are pretty cool too.  One day I started beat boxing and she started rapping in Portuguese.  It was funny, really funny.  She kind of reminds me of the funny Elder on the movie "Best Two Years".  You can only imagine how awesome her rapping is.  The Elders in our Branch are obsessed with it.  They think it's funny that a girl like me can make those kinds of vocal percussion noises!

This week we found out that 2 missionaries in our district received their visas.  They both went through the San Francisco Consulate and they leave for the Sao Paulo MTC this Tuesday.  We are so sad they are leaving, but also very happy for them.  One girl in our district is very dramatic about getting her visa.  It is all that she talks about.  As much as I'd love to be in Brazil, I know that Lord has different plans in mind.  I signed up for a mission, not for Brazil.  This is not a vacation to me.  I'm on the Lord's errand.  He will send me where He needs me.  In fact, I'd be very excited about a temporary reassignment.  Two missions in ONE!

How did ya like General Conference?  I thought it was wonderful.  It is a neat experience watching GC in the MTC.  The Spirit is so strong here.  I loved all the talk of missionary work as well.  It is so cool being numbered with the missionaries of the church.  It's an exciting time!  Not only for missionaries, but also member missionaries.  Do not miss an opportunity to share the gospel with others.  If you are reading this letter right now, find out for yourself why I'm sacrificing 18 months in the prime of my life to preach the gospel.  This is Christ's church.  If you want to know more, call the missionaries or write me and I'll hook you up. :)

This week I'm cherished my personal study time.  I especially loved reading in John 13:1-17 where Christ is washing the feet of the 12 apostles.  He says that He does this to give them an example, that they should do to others as He has done unto them.  Then He makes this promise in verse 17, "And if you know these things, happy are ye if ye do them".  We can find happiness in serving one another and loving one another.  I had a viral infection earlier this week.  Wednesday was a tough day.  It was all about my sickness, my antibiotics, me me me.  It was not the best day I've had in the MTC.  Not because I was sick, but because the focus of the day was on me.  I knew sister Decker had been wanting to go to the early morning yoga class.  Even though I was really against it, I went because is was important to her.  As a result of this sacrifice, I had a much better day.  Turn outward instead of inward.  "Happy are ye"

Thanks for your note Alli.  It made me cry.  I'm sorry I can't be there for you right now during high school starting.  Trust me, it is very hard not to call my mom and vent to her on a daily basis.  But it is forcing me to rely more on my Heavenly Father.  I believe that is why we have limited communication in the MTC.  Instead of venting to mom, I pour out my heart to my Father in Heaven.  He knows you best.  So Alli, when you have no one to turn to, go to Him.  He will comfort you.  He understands and He loves you.  Keep being a good example to others.

My time is up!  (I may have even gone a little over time)  Oops!  Just too much on my mind.  Love you all so much!  Continue to write me.  (Remember, this is the only time on my mission you can write me everyday on DearElder for free!!!!)  So do it!  When I don't get mail, the Elders feel bad for me and buy me candy haha.  so send mail!

Love your favorite Missionary/Amazon women,

Sister Hayley Jensen

Friday, April 5, 2013


I cannot believe I'm finally a missionary!  I want you all to know that I just love it.  I find myself staring at my little name tag and getting all giddy inside because I'm a real, live sister missionary!  It's the best.

So my P day is Friday, but my first Friday here didn't count as a P day so they made me wait a whole week to e-mail!  That was the hardest part.  The entire first week I found myself reaching in my purse for my cell phone to call ya, but then realized I couldn't :(  But no worries, I'm very well adjusted now.  I can see why they make that a rule.  It would be a huge distraction.

So I'll start from the beginning.  After Brock and Kristie dropped me off, I was immediately thrown into a tornado of new missionaries.  They don't waste anytime.  We picked up my books, dropped off my bags, and went straight to class.  In class Brother Read only spoke to us in Portuguese.  It was very scary!  And 2 days later we were teaching our first lesson in Portuguese to our fake investigator Aquilino.  Sister Decker (my companion) and I decided to teach about the restoration.  It was really cool that I already knew how to bear my testimony and recite the First Vision in Portuguese.  Thank you so much Abby Shaha!  Shout out to you for teaching me so well.  It helped so much knowing how to say those things.  I also said prayer in class my second day there.  My District was so excited about it, they asked me to teach them how to pray in Portuguese too.  I taught them all I know haha, which isn't much, but it was cool.  Abby Shaha, you're the best!  In my setting apart blessing I was told that I would be a teacher of missionaries.  I just cannot believe that that promise is being fulfilled so quickly!

Our first lesson went really well.  The Spirit was so strong, even with a fake investigator.  I really do love it here.  I'm learning how to rely on the Spirit so much when I teach.  I may not speak Portuguese well, but the Spirit can speak Portuguese.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't discouraged sometimes.  I really love D&C 6:36 lately.  It says: "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."  So perfect for what I'm doing.  I don't need to fear about the language or the dangers of where I'm going.  The Lord knows what He is doing.  I'm extremely grateful for this knowledge.  Sister Decker loves learning Portuguese.  The first week here I helped her memorize our purpose and the First Vision also.  She is a champ.  We find we are most effect when we work out.  That is when we work on most of our Portuguese.  I'm also grateful to Amy Hamaker for the letter she sent me this week.  She shared with me a scripture she referenced many times on her mission and I think I will do the same.  It's in Alma 26:27 "Now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said, "Go amongst thy brethren the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give unto you success."  I love that.  This mission will be difficult, but I would be very disappointed if it were easy.  How am I supposed to learn and grow if this was a walk in the park?  I'm so grateful to be called to Manaus.  Thanks Amy.  I shared this with a new Sister last night.  She is in our room and she was really struggling and frustrated only 2 days out.  I think it helped her a lot.

I love all that I'm learning here.  This last Sunday we had 2 awesome speakers.  The Presiding Bishop of the church and Sheri Dew!  Sheri Dew!!!  It was amazing.  But my favorite thing was watching the filmed CES devotional Elder Bednar gave a while ago.  It's call "Character of Christ".  Look it up.  Watch it or read it, then write to me your thoughts.  That goes to all who receive this e-mail.  There are many of you.  Send me a short letter.  Honestly, letters are the best thing here.  I used to think missionaries were so pathetic about their mail, but now that I am a missionary...I'm obsessed with mail!  So write me PLEASE!  DearElder.com or look up my address on Facebook.  Also, Dad I need your home address.  Can you shoot me a letter or use DearElder.com?  Or have the kids send it to me?  Thanks!

I'm out of time.  Love you all so much!  The church is true.  We are extremely blessed.  Please watch General Conference this weekend.  Mom, include conference info when you forward this e-mail and explain it a little please.

Love you, I've never been happier.

Your favorite Squishinary,

Sister Hayley Jensen