It's FINALLY OFFICIAL!!!! I'M GOING TO BRAZIL! :) My mission President called yesterday before church to give me the good news. I had a feeling it was coming, but I'm so happy that I know for sure now and I'm so excited! Thank you Sue LaFontaine and Kathleen for the letters this week. They meant a lot to me and thank you everyone for the e-mails. Sorry that I have trouble getting back to ya'll. I try my best! Please don't mail anything else to my Washington address because I leave a week from today. I will have my mom find out my new address and she will update that on the blog: sisterhayleyjensen.blogspot.
com. I'm really excited and nervous, but the excitement definitely out weighs the nerves. Please pray for me! I will need help with the language. I'm about to leave the mother land for a straight 14 months and that's a pretty overwhelming thought. God Bless the USA!
In other news, I had a scary encounter last night at 4 A.M. For weeks I've heard scratching in the wall behind my bed, but I didn't give it much though until this week when Sister Strong started hearing it too. We thought of every possiblity and then we decided to just brush it off...until last night! I woke up to use the bathroom at 4 A.M. (sorry, too much information I know) and Sister Strong was awake. She whispered, "Sister Jensen! I've heard squeaking all night and I've been praying that it would go away." I was like, "Ok well, we will tell the Clarks about it tomorrow morning". When I walked into the bathroom, I felt a little critter walk over my foot. IT WAS A MOUSE!!!! Obviously, I did the most rational thing any girl my age would do and SCREAMED! Then I ran back in the bedroom and turned on the light. Sister Strong and I were laughing at this point. Then I decided I better close the bathroom door to trap the little stinker inside and before I could close it he ran out into the open basement. We now have no idea where he is. Unfortunately, my screaming and laughing woke up the Clarks, but luckily we didn't scare them too bad because they heard us laughing. Don't worry, we have 4 mouse traps set up around the basement...we're gonna get him!
This week has been extremely humbling. We gained a new investigator named Tanya and she has been through a lot. She recently escaped from an absuive relationship and now she is completely homeless. The Elders found her in our area and referred her to us. She wants to be baptized, quit smoking and learn more about the church. This week we took her to a women and children's shelter. When we pulled in, my eyes filled with tears. I could not believe the way these people were living. It is a concrete square of several doors facing a small parking lot. They smash as many people as they can into the rooms and all they can take with them is what they can fit into a small box. It made me reflect on my life and I realized how blessed I've been. I've never wanted for anything. How could I ever think to complain when these people have nothing. I know I will soon witness even more poverty in Brazil. The phrase that keeps coming to mind is from that favorite hymn "Because I Have Been Given Much I Too Must Give". I'm so grateful that I've been so blessed, and because of that I feel a greater urgency to give back to my Heavenly Father by helping to take care of His children. I have felt so much love for the people in this area and it breaks my heart to imagine leaving a people I've grown to love so much. It's really true. You love who you serve.
We had a really cool experience this week in an apartment complex we frequently visit. We had just finished seeing an investigator with some members and we were talking with the members in the complex parking lot. That day there was a pest control man there treating the apartments for fleas. When he finished the job, I watched him walk to his car and the impression came to me "Don't let him leave!" Before I could say anything, the member (Brother Sanderson), turned to us and asked us if we had a Book of Mormon. I knew we were all on the same page. I quickly ran over to the man while Sister Strong B-lined it for the car to get a Book of Mormon. His name is Greg. Sister Strong started showing Greg the photos in the Book of Mormon and we explained what the Book was all about. All of a sudden, Greg turned to Brother Sanderson and said "Woah! Can you feel that? What she is saying is true!" It was like a story staright from an Ensign article! I was so amazed that he recognize the Spirit so well. We exchanged information and we haven't heard from him since. We are really hoping and praying that he will call us back soon. He told us he would read the Book of Mormon and get back to us with questions. I'm so grateful for the Spirit that testifies when things are true! I'm not a perfect teacher so I sure am grateful that the Spirit is!
There have been several other instances this week that have really strengthened my testimony of the Spirit. I'm so grateful for that gift! As members of the church, we are so blessed to have that all the time. I invite you to try and recognize those promptings this week to talk to others and to recognize truth. Also, call the missionaries and ask them when you can go out with them! Tell them you can drive. I know that miracles happen when members go out with missionaries. I love you all so much. Have a great week! I will e-mail 2 weeks from today about my first week in Brazil. Thank you for your prayers and kind letters!