Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thank Goodness for P-day!

Thank goodness for P day!  I'm officially loosing my mind!!!  Earlier this week I woke up in the middle of the night to footsteps upstairs.  (we live with members, but they are always out of town).  So obviously I started to panic.  I didn't want the intruder to know we were here, so I "yell whispered" at Sister Robinson.  She didn't wake up, so I shook her and said "There is someone upstairs!!"  Before she could answer I realized it was probably the members getting home late from vacation.  I felt SO bad!  My heart was still pounding when I layed back in bed and we listened to them walk around for another half hour.  My poor companion!  Seriously, for a good 3 minutes there was no other option in my mind...I was positive there was an intruder!  I'm loosing it haha.

Sister Robinson and Hayley

How was the classic Jensen Memorial Day?  I'm sad I couldn't be there to help.  I hope Wes had a fun day.  Because our P day was a holiday this week, our P day got switched to today (Tuesday).  Holidays are prime for tracting.  So we went tracting in some apartments near our house in hopes of finding people home.  Specifically YSA people.  I'm really trying to develop a love for tracting.  I just wish more people were interested our curious in hearing our message.  We did have success though at a couple of apartments and we'll send those referrals to the family ward Elders.
I can't believe I'm on week 4 of this transfer!  I have a feeling my visa is here, but I don't want to get my hopes up.  The reason I think it's here is because my missionary online portal changed from Spokane WA Mission back to Manaus Brazil Mission.  Fingers crossed!  I'll find out in another week and a half.  Also, Sister Prater and I get to be companions for 24 hours this week when we go on splits tomorrow!!!  Ahhhhh!  So excited!  How often do ya get to go on splits with your best friend?  That's missionary fun right there!  Haha be sure to tell Jane for me :)
Yum, it smells like cream soda!

So this entire weekend Sister Robinson and I took on an extra Sister.    This poor sister had such a bad time that she wanted to go home.  In fact, there is nothing I could say to convince her to stay.  So Sister Robinson and I decided we would make it the funnest weekend on her mission.  She said President put her with us because we are the funnest sisters in the mission.  What a compliment!  I wouldn't say I'm that fun, but I try to find joy in the work.   
Hayley with President and Sister Mullen

We picked up a new investigator this week!  Her name is Kristen and she is dating a less active named John.  Kristen said that a year ago her and John had been praying for God to see if He was there.  She said the next day, Elders showed up at their door and they took that as a sign from God.  Kristen has been so prepared!  She has zero religious background and she truely has the desire to learn more and draw closer to God and Jesus Christ.  We are going to start with the basics.  At our first visit she had a lot of questions about life after death so we are going to teach her the Plan of Salvation first to grab her attention.  She knows she has a lot of changes to make, but I think she will be willing to change as long as we can help her feel the Spirit and keep her commitments.  We had her pray after our first visit and she did not hesitate.  Before we could ask her how she felt, she said, "I can't explain how I'm feeling".  We are so excited to teach her!
This past Sunday we got less active member Scott to come to church.  He hasn't been since his dad died a little over a month ago.  He seemed really happy to be there.  Then last night someone brought him to FHE and he was laughing and having so much fun.  It's a really different experience being a missionary.  You can see others so different.  I look at Scott smiling and laughing and my heart is so full of joy.  For a moment, I can see him how our Heavenly Father sees him and I feel like he is my son.  The same can be said for my other less actives and investigators.  I just can't help but love them.  I can see their potential and I won't give up on them.
This mission can be likened unto the Plan of Salvation.  I leave my family for a short time, have experiences that help me grow, and I endure until the day I can return to my sweet family.  I look forward to that day so much.  I think about what it must have been like to leave our Heavenly parents.  We came to Earth to endure tough things and to have joy.  We are tested.  We make choices and those choices either draw us closer or distance us from our Heavenly Father.  And if we endure this life well, we can return to His presence and enjoy eternal life with our families forever.  I look forward to that reunion the most.
Let us use this short time on Earth wisely.  Like Moroni, I would "commend you to seek this Jesus" (Ether 12:41).  Come to know your Savior Jesus Christ.  He is real and present in our lives.  I feel His love on a daily basis.  It is His love that motivates me to do this work.  I love you all.  Thank you for your e-mails/letters and prayers. 
Com Amor,
Sister Hayley Jensen

Monday, May 20, 2013

7th Letter "Shawnee YSA Ward"

Have you seen the movie Tangled?  Do you remember the part when Rapunzel leaves her home and she goes through this emotional roller coaster?!  One minute she is crying and the next she is screaming "I'm never going home!!!"  That is the mission for ya!  At least the first week in the field.  I'm not going to lie, it's tough.  But then Heavenly Father makes up for it with miracles that give me so much joy!  I don't know how to explain it.

I'm loving this area more and more.  If I do stay another transfer, I hope I can stay here.  Washington is really beautiful and the people are generally very kind, even if they're not interested.  A lot of the members around here own the Subways so we can get free Subway anytime we want!!!  This is especially exciting for Sister Robinson and I because we serve in the Young Single Adult Ward and typically missionaries don't get meals when they serve in YSA wards.  But, that's ok!  We eat a lot of microwave meals and cereal.  Sometimes when we stop at member's homes they will feed us too.

We've seen a lot of miracles this week.  One of these miracles is Audrey.  Audrey was a member referral that started taking the discussions because she was curious.  We met with her a second time this week and this time she came without her fellowshipper!!!  Miracle number ONE!  We had planned to give her a church tour, but instead we sat down and got to know her a little better because she didn't keep her commitment to read the Book of Mormon.  After asking her some inspired questions, we found out why she felt like God wasn't in her life.  We asked her if she wanted to know if God was there and she said yes.  So we kneeled down and asked her to pray right there and to ask God if He was there.  Audrey offered the most simple prayer and because of her desires God answered immediately!  We could all feel it and we could not deny it.  I have never felt so much joy.  Heavenly Father truly cares if our prayers are answered, but we need to ask in faith.  After the prayer, we took her on a church tour and commited her to baptism on a specific date.  She is so awesome!  I really want her to continue progressing.

Another new investigator is named David.  (I'm calling him David to hide his identity).  David has been taught by the Elders before, but because he is YSA age, they gave him to us.  He is so ready to be baptized!  He asked us in our last meeting, "How can I show Jesus that I love Him?"  How many times do missionaries get that question?  There is a bit of a language barrier when we teach him and we are worried about being able to baptize him because of his family's religious background.  He wants to be baptized so bad.  He came to church yesterday and sat through all 3 hours.  When we had to leave him for priesthood meeting, I was worried.  He could tell I was worried so he said, "Just go, don't worry about me.  I'm fine!"  It was a weird feeling when we left.  For a moment, I felt like David was my son and I was genuinely worried about him and his welfare.  At the end, he went to the munch and mingle and he said he really liked church, but he only wants to come back for Sunday School next week.  He loved the Sunday School teacher.  Hopefully we can teach him how important the other meetings are too in our next lesson.

I wish I could tell you more!  There are so many miracles happening everyday!  There are people prepared all around us.  Last General Conference Elder Nelson said, "Catch the Wave!"  The hour of our mission has come and it will never end.  Everyone knows someone who is prepared or who is being prepared to hear the gospel.  I challenge all who read this e-mail to create a list of 5 names, pray over it, and decide who Heavenly Father wants you to invite to hear more about the gospel.  D&C 31:7 says, "I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive you."  I can promise this is true.  If we do this, God gives us a promise in verse 13 "Be faithful unto the end, and lo, I am with you".  What an excellent promise!  Open your mouths!  We can all be better missionaries!

I love you all and I think of you often.  Thank you for your prayers.  I know that this is Christ's church today.  He is at the head of it.  When we take the gospel more seriously, God will bless our lives.  I know this.  I know He lives and loves us. 

Have a great week!  Your favorite missionary,

Sister Jensen

P.S. Read GC talk Catch the Wave! :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

6th Letter "It's Official"

Hello Family and Friends!

Happy Birthday mom and Weston!  (and Mother's Day!)  I love you both so much!  Have a great Birthday week :)
I'm finally in the field!  I'm now serving in the Washington Spokane Mission.  It's so beautiful here!  I love it!  Thank you Lesa and Ron for the packages!  And everyone else for the letters and e-mails!  I'm trying to write ya'll back, but I can't promise I'll always be this good at writing.  Be sure to include my first name on all letters and packages.  There are apparently 3 Sister Jensen's here.  Crazy!
Walking through the SLC Airport Monday morning was literally a dream come true.  I love sporting the tag and talking to people about the church.  On my flight from Oakland to Spokane, I sat between 2 very nice ladies. Terry and Karina.  Karina and I hit it off right away.  She has a faith in Jesus Christ and was leaving for a mission trip the next day.  We had a great conversation about the church and I gave her a picture of Jesus Christ.  She was so happy!  Terry didn't care to know much about the church, so I was just friendly to her.  At the end of the flight, I gave them each a Book of Mormon with my testimony inside and a pass-along card.  Karina hugged me!!!  She was so grateful.  She has been so prepared to hear the message of the Restored gospel!  I'm going to try and e-mail her this week.  Terry accepted it and said she would take a look at it.  I think she mostly accepted it out of obligation because I was so nice to her haha.  Convert with kindness!

My companion is really great!  Her name is Sister Robinson and she is originally from London, England and moved to Ohio when she was 12.  She is a great trainer and we're having a lot of success here.  Her accent is difficult to understand sometimes.  For instance, I asked her if she had an apostle when she was in the MTC and she thought I said "parcel" (a.k.a. another word for package).  She send her mom tried to send her one but it was too late.  I just kind of laughed to myself.  It's fun being her companion.  We are sweeping the area together and that's been challenging because our area covers the entire stake because we serve in the Shawnee YSA Ward.  We love the area and the people are very kind to us.  We live in a basement apartment (kind of) and the owners were out of town for the past couple days so we watched their dog Kula. Kula is pretty old and smelly and helpless, but that's what makes him so cute I think haha.  His owner left instructions of what to do if Kula died while they were gone and who to call to get him cremated!!!  I took a picture of the note, I thought it was so funny.  It was very detailed haha.  

The funny note

We already have 2 investigators!  Isaiah and Audrey.  Isaiah has been working with the Elders for quite some time now.  He is graduating from high school this year and said he is struggling with some spiritual battles.  We are trying to help him feel the spirit and recognize that Christ can help him overcome these battles.  It's tough though because he has to want it too.  Audrey is a referral!  We LOVE referrals!  She is just curious about our church, but if we can help her fell the Spirit, I know we can get her to progress towards baptism.  I extended the baptismal invitation to both of them this week and they both said yes!  Hopefully we'll have them both on date this week.

I have so much more I want to share, but I'm already out of e-mail time!  I want you all to know that I love my Savior.  Everyday is so hard, yet so joyful!  I find my self repeating in my head often, "I love my Savior.  I love my Savior.  I love my Savior."  He is the reason I am here.  I've also developed a greater love for the scriptures.  I love reading my scriptures everyday and marking them up.  I treasure this opportunity that I have to serve.  Thank you for your prayers.  I love you all!

Sister Hayley Jensen