Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bikes and Skirts

Bikes and skirts are totally the worst combination ever!!!  This is the second time I've grease stained my favorite skirt, but oh well.  My second day in this area was super rough.  We are sharing a car with another set of sisters and they had the car that day so we had to bike to the appointment.  We biked up and down hills in the pouring rain and after an hour we finally arrived.  We taught the lesson and then made the hour journey back.  We walked our bikes up and down more hills,  and after a while Sister Strong stopped on the side of the road and just started crying.  I pulled over to go hug her, then I started crying!  This is a little embarrassing to admit, but this is missionary work sometimes.  Ya just gotta cry!

Later that night we met with a young woman whose brother had passed away.  She brought her sister downstairs to meet us and you can tell her sister was absolutely devastated.  It broke my heart as she continued to tell us how she lost her first brother many years ago, then her husband, and now this brother.  Three of her family members.   
I cried with her.  Not just because she was enduring hard things, but because she was enduring hard things without the knowledge of th Atonement.  I don't know how people can endure such things without it.  Sister Strong and I taught her about the Plan of Salvation and I bore my testimony on the significance of the Atonement.  We are going back later this week to teach her more.  We left her with a pamphlet to read and she said she would read and pray about it.  We just want to help her regain her faith.  I'll be honest, sometimes I feel like a little person doing a big person job.  Somehow Heavenly Father has trusted me with these people and I feel so inadequate.  My mom would do a way better job than me, but with Heavenly Father's help I know this work cannot fail.  I love the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  His love and support is the motivating drive I've needed to be a missionary.  I'm so grateful I don't have to do this work alone.

So what did ya think about the broadcast?  Wasn't it awesome!!?  I was more excited for that Broadcast than I have been for any finale of the Bachelorette.  I'm a changed person!  haha.  but really though, that broadcast was an answer to my prayers!!!  As members, we have a tremendous responsibility to assist in this work.  Elder Holland said something like, we are not asking you to do anything different, but we are asking you to do far more.  When an apostle of the Lord says that, you know it's a big deal.  In the next for 4 months, we are projected to have 100,000 missionaries serving throughout the world!  Heavenly Father is hastening His work and we better help it.  Missionaries and members should be working together.  Some of you may think, "Well, all my friends are members."  Well I encourage you to branch out a little more.  Get to know your neighbors, mail man, garbage man, people at school, etc.  Elder Nelson said every member knows at least one person who is being prepared to hear the message of the Restoration of the Gospel.  So pray that you will find them and invite with love.  If they don't accept, then continue loving them.  That was what I got out of that Broadcast and I thought it was so exciting!
The "Pink" Zone

We also had an area Seventy visit our mission this week and I learned a lot.  I sat by him at lunch and we asked him how President Monson was doing after the death of his wife.  He said that he was having a hard time. (Even a prophet has a hard time).  He said that when she was in the hospital, he was with her everyday.  He said President Monson misses being in the hospital because the patients would  leave their doors open because they knew President Monson would walk by.  President Monson would say, "How could I not stop at those open doors and give them a blessing?"  What an amazing man.  In the midst of this own family crisis, he was blessing the sick.  I love our good Prophet.  He is truly a prophet of God.

My darn e-mail time goes by so fast!  I want you all to know that I love you so much.  The church is true and I know it.  It is changing lives.  It is my privilege to assist in the work and I hope you feel the same.  God doesn't need us to do His work, but He chose to do it this way so all could be edified.  He loves us so much!

Also, one more thing...I checked the visa website and it's ready for pick up!!!  I think I will be in Manaus next transfer.  Yay!  Thanks for your prayers and e-mails and letters.  Love you all!  Have a great week!

Sister Jensen

Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm Being Transferred!!!

Hey Everyone!
First of all, Happy Father's Day Dad!  Hope it was a good one!  Also, thanks for your letters and e-mails!  It means so much to get mail when you're a missionary.  Thanks for taking the time :)  Sorry if I'm slow to write y'all back.

So I'm being transferred to a family ward in Spokane tomorrow and I'm SO excited!  I will miss the YSA ward I'm in right now, but I know Heavenly Father needs me somewhere else.  I met my new companion today when we went out fear busting (taking new missionaries tracting straight off the plane) and she is super nice!  We have both been in the field for 6 weeks now so we will be co Senior companions training each other.  I'm really excited!  She said she doesn't know where we will be living yet, but she loves the ward and she said they feed us everyday!  I'm really not used to being fed everyday so I'm super excited for that!
This week we had the opportunity to meet with the recent converts in our ward.  One has been a member for 2 years and the other has been a member for almost 2 months.  They are both so solid!  Joey has been a member for 2 years and his story begins with someone giving him a Book of Mormon.  They told him, "Wherever you go in life, take this book with you."  So he did!  He told us that it was only the presence of the book in his bedroom that made him feel something different.  He felt so different in the presence of the book, that he decided to read it one day.  It wasn't too long after that Joey was baptized.  There is so much power in the Book of Mormon!  I believe that 100%!  I read the Book of Mormon in Portuguese everyday.  Do I understand most of it?  Absolutlely not, but I know Heavenly Father will bless me for my diligence.  I have no fear about the language when I get to Brazil.

The other recent convert of 2 months is Jordan.  He has been through some hard things in life, so the gospel has made a huge difference!  He had gone to church when he was younger, but his family fell away and he was never baptized.  Years later after 2 kids and a divorce Jordan found the gospel again!  His co-worker invited him to church on a testimony Sunday.  He loved it and continued coming back until he was eventually baptized.  He talked a lot about a change he has seen in himself.  The same changed as discribed in one of my favorite scriptures: Mosiah 5:2.  He said things that used to tempt him have lost their appeal since becoming a member of the church and fully repenting.  Gosh, I love recent converts!  What a leap of faith!

Me and Sister Prater (Hayley's bestie)

This week we had a lesson with our progressing investigator Melissa.  She just recently graduated high school and is eventually moving for college.  She has been going to church with a friend in the family ward for quite some time and we asked her if we could teach her more and she said yes!  This week we taught the Plan of Salvation.  The Spirit was so strong in that lesson.  I had the special opportunity to point out that spirit to her and to explain that that feeling would tell her when things are true.  I love pointing out the spirit!  When we can point out the spirit, our investigators can REALLY learn.  I'm not the teacher, the spirit is.

Another cool experience was at a baptism this week for an 18 year old girl named Gina.  She invited a lot of friends from school so her Elders invited Sister Robinson and I to come and give church tours after the baptism.  During the baptism, several people were touched by the spirit.  One of Gina's friends started crying and had to leave. After the baptism, we took them on a church tour and talked about the spirit.  Three girls said they felt something different and we told them it was the spirit. 
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ!  It is such a blessing to bear my testimony on a daily basis to these people in Spokane.  The church is true!  I wish I had more time to say more, but my e-mail time is up.  Take care!  I love you all!
Sister Jensen

Monday, June 10, 2013

Strict Obedience

Strict obedience.  A lot of mission rules are kind of silly, but it is so important to be strictly obedient.  I've been striving really hard to be the most obedient missionary.  The best way to do that, is to just have fun with it.  For example: One of the mission rules (for missionaries with cars) is that we need to stand behind the car and back out the other missionary.  You can only imagine how ridiculous and strange we look to people sometimes.  I think it's so great!  Most companionships avoid parking in spots where they will need their companion to back them up, but Sister Robinson and I look for opportunities so that I CAN back her up.  People give us the weirdest looks!  I'm probably the strangest companion she has ever had, but she also told me this week that I'm her favorite companion so far so that's a good sign!  We are both hoping that we don't get transferred.  We are really loving our ward right now and we get along great with one another.

Another funny happened a couple days ago when we went to visit a less active.  He is the same less active that came to church last week for the first time in 15 years!  When we knocked on his door, his uncle answered and the 3 little dogs were barking a lot.  Then we watched the uncle kick the dogs inside and growl at them!  Then his uncle came outside and started talking to us.  The less active came outside shortly after and his uncle was like "Are these the good looking Sisters that you were talking about?"  AWKWARD!  I've gotten pretty good at deflecting awkward comments on the mission, so I was like, "Alright so how did ya like church?"  He said he really enjoyed it and that he will come again next week.  We are going to try and find some friends in the ward for him so he starts coming to church with them instead of coming for the Sister missionaries!

We had a miracle this week with our less active named Vicky.  We started out going to the area we had planned for that day, until we realized had driven way far south.  Both of us weren't paying attention so we decided that we go visit Vicky.  We thought, maybe the Spirit is leading us farther south for a reason?  When we arrived at Vicky's, we knocked on the door and they said she wasn't home.  A little discouraged, we started driving away and as we were leaving we took a couple wrong turns and drove past Vicky!  She was on her way home from her friend's house.  We pulled over and starting talking to her and found out that she had been having the worst day.  Her pregnant sister was in the hospital and she had just been told that she was going to lose her baby.  Vicky was so sad.  We hugged and cried and I shared a few scriptures with her.  Vicky told us that she knew God loved her because He sent us to her that day.  This is physical proof of God's love for us.  We spoke with a man this week that told us he believed in dirt.  He said that he needs that facts and the science to believe in something.  That made me so sad.  There is so much proof that there is a God!  Look at all the miracles!  I see miracles on a daily basis.  Some are big and some are small, but I know God's hand is a part of every miracle.

Even Nephi recognized the tender mercies in his life. (1 Nephi 1:20).  Stop for a moment and recognize all the little miracles God blesses you with this week.  It will make you happy.  I love being a missionary because I feel like I get to see so many miracles!  He truly loves us.

Have a happy week everyone!

Sister Jensen

Monday, June 3, 2013


Congratulations Weston!!!  My baby brother is a graduated kid.  Dang, that's crazy.  I would have never imagined that I would be on a mission during my first year after high school graduation.  What a huge blessing!

Hayley and Sister Prater

So let's be honest, the highlight of my week was EXCHANGES!!!  How often do you get to go on an exchange with your very best friend?!  Heavenly Father loves me and He loves Sister Prater.  We met her companionship at the church building Wednesday, made the exchange, and Sister Prater and I could hardly contain our EXCITEMENT!  (But we had to because our companions would feel bad).  Sister Prater and I drove off to Deer Park, WA and had the best 24 hours of our mission life!  I don't know how to better explain this in text?  Imagine getting a taste of home for 24 hours of your mission...that's what it was like.  We were laughing, screaming, and crying in the car for at least 10 minutes before we could finally have a conversation!  It was the best feeling EVER!    I think Heavenly Father knew we needed each other.  Sister Prater is such a rock.  I love her so much!  Please pass along this e-mail to Teresa Prater so she knows how wonderful her daughter is.  You can only imagine how difficult it was to say goodbye.  We got so much done during this exchange.  Our numbers were awesome, we practiced Portugues and we strengthened one another.  Sister Prater and I will be friends forever.
Good news!  Nope, no word on the visa.  Don't worry!  It will come when the time is right.  The good news is I'm in a two person companionship again.  I loved our third companion, but it was very difficult to track and such when you're in a trio.  It's like a crowd at your door.  I've also decided that I don't know how I feel about dogs now.  (side note: I just saw a nun in the library!!!  haha I kind of want to go up to her and be like "HEY SISTA!") Anyways, dogs are a missionaries enemy!!!  I really hope I still love Jack Jack when I get home.  Everybody and their mom has a dog here in North Spokane and I swear that all of them are out to get me!
Sister Robinson and I are working really hard to strengthen the members here.  That is our emphasis this week.  We noticed that this ward really needs a push.  So that's what we are going to do!  We met with one member yesterday who recently returned home from a mission in Brazil.  We taught him the Restoration and I got to teach in Portugues!  It was awesome.  At the end we asked him how he felt and he said "better than I have in a long time".  He then went on the tell us how special it is to be a missionary.  The missionary mantle really does make a difference.  He told us to take advantage of this time we have to be missionaries.  He was very emotional about it and it made me very grateful to be a missionary.  We are going to continue to do these visits everyday this week.
Yesterday (Sunday) Sister Robinson and I were pretty bummed because we thought we had a pretty unsuccessful week.  We went to church and as we sat down, we began to notice several less actives that came to church!  First we saw Kristina and she brought her little girl, then we saw Vicky, then Kenny, then Logan and Jeremy who came without their girlfriends and finally I saw Jacob.  Jacob is a less active we made contact with Saturday night and we invited him to church.  I was absolutely shocked to see him there.  He told me that he hadn't been to church since he was 14 years old.  It's been 15 years!!!!  When we finally sat down and the meeting began my heart was so full!  I cannot explain the joy that comes when a person returns to church!  It is an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude toward each person and towards my Heavenly Father. 
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ!  It is the foundation on which we must build our testimonies (Helaman 5:12).  I know that when we strengthen our members, we will see results in both less active church attendance and new converts baptisms!  So seek out opportunities to serve one another.  Foster a spirit of community and love.  Speak kind words about each other.  Read the scriptures.  Say your prayers.  Go to church.  Endure to the end!  These things are repeated because we are so quick to forget.  I love you all.  I think of you often.  I'm so grateful for the Brighton ward and the love they've shown to my family. 
The church is true.  Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw.  The Book of Mormon is the word of God.  Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today.  The priesthood is restored!
I love you all.  Have a happy week! :)
Love your favorite sister,
Sister Hayley Jensen