Monday, October 28, 2013

Minha novinha

Sister Acevedo
I have had quite the week.  First of all, I received my new companion early Wednesday morning.  Her name is Sister Acevedo and she is from Peru.  Oh my gosh, I can't believe I'm really training after 3 months here.  The days leading up to her arrival I could really feel the influence of Satan reminding me of my inadequacy.  Our mission received 12 new sisters on Monday and we have plenty experienced Sisters to train, but somehow I'm training.  It's funny, I really had such a naive view of missionary work before the mission.  I thought for sure after 6've got yourself a well-rounded, experienced missionary, but that is so far from the truth!  I've had to rely a whole lot on the Spirit this week and because of that I've seen miracles in my language ability.
Sister Acevedo and I have had difficulties communicating.  She is speaking Portuguese with a Spanish accent and I'm speaking with an English accent so sometimes we misunderstand each other and its really funny.  She is cool though.  I'm glad that she just laugh with me when we can't communicate because let's be real, it's funny.  Sometimes she says things in Spanish because for some reason she thinks I will understand.  After 3 years of high school Spanish...I got nothing.  Portuguese has taken over my brain!  This week she was asking me about "tiendas" and "tiendas" is Spanish for stores.  I heard her in Portuguese (because how was I supposed to know she was speaking Spanish?!) and I thought she said "tendas" which means tents.  Anyways, I stopped at a couple stores for her to see if they had tents.  I didn't know why she wanted a tent, but I wanted to help my comp, ya know?  Later that night it all clicked and we had a good laugh.
I actually got to teach in English yesterday.  There is a country near here called Guyana and the people there speak a funny sounding English.   We were knocking on doors and found this older couple from that country.  They understood English best so I taught the Restoration in English.  Man, it was hard.  I've been going strong in Portuguese for a week now and making the switch was confusing to my brain!  Please don't make fun of me when I come home.  

One lesson we had this week was when we were knocking doors.  An old lady answered and let us in.  We sat down in their backyard with her, her husband, her friend and about a dozen puppies.  When I began to talk the old man (her husband) was like, "I'm sorry, I don't speak English".  And I replied, "I'm speaking Portuguese" and he said, "bad Portuguese".  This is normal here.  I'm probably the first American he has ever talked to.  Then they let us share a message with them and at this point I was a little annoyed.  But I thought, will be good practice for my new comp.  So we started the Restoration.  By the end I could feel the spirit testify strongly that the things we were saying are true.  The friend that was visiting accepted baptism and will are going to visit her next week.  After we finished, I was surprised to hear that man rehearse everything we taught back too us....he even understood the memorized first vision!!!  I was shocked!  I left their house feeling a lot more confident in myself and having a lot more confidence in the spirit.
This week we've returned to Pedro, Simone, and Silmara's house several times to keep them firm and excited about the gospel.  I just think the world of these kids.  Every time we come over they get so excited.  They run and grab their Bibles and their Books of Mormon because they know our role as missionaries.  They know we are there to teach and they are ready to learn.  One night this week we watched the Restoration on DVD.  I love that DVD!  It lays out the message of the Restoration really well and the spirit is always strong.  Silmara, the 8 year old, said something really cute after watching the Restoration.  She said, "I really liked it, I just thought it was a little short.  I would like it to be a little longer".  Sitting in church with them this Sunday during Pedro's confirmation I was so filled with joy.  Not only can I feel my own love for them, but I can feel our Heavenly Father's love. I'm grateful that I was the missionary here when they were baptized.  Their parents really like us too.  We invited them to learn more, but the mom said she doesn't have patience.  I tried to dig a little to know what she meant, but never got a direct answer.  However, they are going to feed us next Sunday so we will prepare a really good message about eternal families!

I've really learned a lot this week and I'm so grateful that I'm here.  I have so much to learn and I've learned so much, ya know?  Right now our only challenge is my companion's legs and feet.  She is not adjusting very well to the climate and bugs here so please pray for her so we can work more.  She can barely put on her shoes.  Her feet are super red and swollen.  I feel really bad for her.  I'm healthy and normal.  My only challenge this week has been with ants.  I was sitting on my bed 2 days ago and noticed an ant so I flicked him off.  Then I saw the time I saw the 3rd ant I lifted up my sheets to find hundreds of ants!  Oh my was awful!  I promise you that I never eat on my bed so I really don't know what started it but after a lot of Raid and washing I think I've got it under control.  My prayers at night are a lot different now.  I never thought I would be asking Heavenly Father to keep ants off my bed while I sleep.

Despite all this, I am still extremely happy to be a missionary.  It's really weird, but it's true.  It's like what President Hinckley's dad said, "Forget yourself and go to work".  Whenever we forget ourselves, we can always expect to be happier.  I know this is true.  I love you all.

Sister Jensen

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