Monday, October 7, 2013

Sandal tan lines

My life is so good!  I love being a missionary in Brazil!  This week I had my first encounter with a lizard in our house.  I walked in and he was crawling up the wall.  He got so nervous when he heard us come in that he fell down and I started yelling some Portuguese at him, then he ran outside.  You have to speak Portuguese to Brazilian lizards.  They understand way better that way. Sister Crane found a big cockroach in our sink while doing dishes one day this week.  She screamed and I tossed her the Raid.  We are basically pros at this now.  I also ate capivara again this week.  I'll be honest, now that I know what it is a lot harder to eat.  I think I like eating in ignorance better.
This week we've been teaching a woman named Camila pretty consistently.  We met her one day when we were walking by a less active/recent convert in our ward that was out talking with her.  The less active/recent convert's name is Maria and Camila is her neighbor.  I've had some of the best lessons this week with Camila!  She loves our visits and Maria has been at everyone of them.  I'm convinced there is no better way to reactivate than helping others feel needed and important.  I think it was Elder Utchdorf during conference that said, most people want to do more than just sit and listen to sermons.  That is the truth!  This week Maria has felt so important helping the missionaries.  She has helped bear testimony, teach parts of the lesson, and best yet...she HERSELF invited Camila to be baptized! 
We really do see miracles when members are involved in the work.  It is even better to help recent converts and less actives be involved in the work.  Maria is receiving the lessons again and in turn is strengthening her testimony.  I just beam when I see our members and our investigators getting it.  I can feel only a portion of what our Heavenly Father must feel for them, and trust me..He loves us a lot!

Making peanut butter cookies
I hope ya'll felt that way during conference.  There were several themes talked about during conference, did you notice that?  One of those was obviously missionary work.  Elder M. Russell Ballard told us that it is impossible for us to fail in doing missionary work!  Many of us in the past have viewed sharing the gospel as a burden and it is not.  It is a priviledge!  Just invite with love.  Even if the answer is no, they will never forget the feeling.  You might be one of the "stepping stones" that lead them to finding the truth one day.  Think about it!  We are the only church on Earth that has authority to share the fulness of the gospel.  We are a missionary church!  We broke 15 million members!  Now let's break 16 million!

Another theme was the Atonement.  Let's be honest though, the Atonement is central to everything we do.  Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered all, so we would not have to suffer alone.  Because of the Atonement we can repent.  Because of the Atonement we can be healed.  And because of the Atonement, we can become more like Him.  Richard Maynes said something that was very profound to me, but I don't remember it word for word.  He said, our testimonies can't get into shape from just sitting and watching conference.  Don't we do that sometimes?  We receive spiritual promptings and then there is zero action.  I'm inviting you to act!  I'm so guilty of this.  Last night I set some personal goals to help me improve so I don't become a lazy conference coach  potato.

It is true what Elder Russell M.Nelson, Heavenly Father has known us for a very long time.  He loves us.  I can only imagine how terribly frustrating it was for us sitting in the pre-mortal existance just dieing to progress.  Our Heavenly Father wanted us to know the fullest joy, so He created this plan.  Try not to be upset if sometimes it's not easy.  I have to tell myself that every week here.  Missionary work is not easy.  Sometimes, He requires us to endure patiently.  I so have hope though, that I will one day be like Him.  One day, the pains and trials of this life will be a thing of the past.

I like bringing this message to the people in Brazil.  Trust me, we have it so good.  Our lives are so comfortable.  I am absolutely humbled when I walk into some of the homes here.  The people of Brazil are really special.  There are so giving, kind and close to our Heavenly Father.  I just have the sacred calling to help them find His complete doutrine.  I love being a missionary.  Thank you for your love and for your prayers.

Love (Your Favorite Sister in the Amazon),

Sister Jensen

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