Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! (almost)

Yummy fruit!
This week has been a highlight week on my mission for sooo many reasons!  Reason number one...we received news that our new chapel will be ready next transfer!  I'm so excited!  I don't want to speak too soon, but I think I will be here next transfer.  Sister Acevedo has one more transfer of training and I think President Klein will keep us together.  I really hope so because I'm loving it here in Boa Vista!  It's dang hard sometimes, but I feel like Boa Vista is my little home now.  We also have a new Branch President and he is super excited and has a lot of great ideas to help accelerate the work here.
Everything in missionary work nowadays is all about working with members.  If the prophet said it, I know it's important so I've been working really hard to have good experiences with our members and finding people.  Our efforts this week are really paying off!  All 4 of our solid investigators have close contact and friendships with members!  One man named João is neighbors with a family in our Branch.  He lives with his sister in a bairro far from us.  After lunch one day we taught him and his sister.  Thanks to our member, the sister already knew a lot about the church and during the lesson everyone was teaching each other.  It was a really awesome experience.  Before we could even invite him he said, "I would like to come to church on sunday".  I thought, Freak!  I love working with members!  Our very own investigator invited himself to church!  He was there and he really liked it.  We are going to walk to his house wednesday morning to teach more and mark a baptismal date.  His house is far away, but I can't help but think it will be worth it.  Really, it's an act of faith...and a good workout. :)

Hayley and Sister Acevedo
We are also teaching a women named Solange.  She is so solid!  She has a friend in Fortaleza Brasil that is a member of the church and Solange has always wanted to learn more.  I met her over 2 months ago with Sister Crane when we were trying to make visits one night in an apartment complex.  That night, everything was going wrong.  Nobody was home, nobody wanted to talk to us and just as we were leaving we met Solange.  At first I thought she invited us back because she liked that we were Americans, but now I can see a real thirst for knowledge in her.  When Sister Acevedo and I returned for the first time to try and teach her, she was absorbing every word.  She was at church 2 sundays ago and really loved conference.  Yesterday we marked an official date for baptism and taught the commandments.  The hardest commandment to teach was tithing.  She told us that right now she is trying to recover from a financial crisis.  There are many things she once had, that she is living without and I think it's been hard for her.  She said, "Oh sister...I think I can live tithing every once in a while.  It's not the 10 percent, but the desire of our hearts and I dont think I can because I'm still recooperating".  At that moment I took confidence in the promise in Malachi 3:10.  I told her that she cannot deny herself the blessings that come from tithing and I promised her that she would recover much faster if she would live this commandment.  I then shared a story about you mom when you were deciding whether or not to pay tithing when you and dad were poor newlyweds, and the blessing you got from paying it.  That little story helped a lot!  The spirit was there to testify this truth and she accepted to live it.  Her baptism will be Sunday after church.

Finally this week, we were teaching a friend of our recent convert Simone.  Her friend's name is Loraina.  At first, Loraina didn't want to be taught because our church was too far away, but we continued.  Monday last week we had just left the home of an ex-investigator and I was feeling a bit frustrated and really discouraged because he decided over night that he didn't want to be baptized.  After that lesson we taught Loraina.  It was rough!  She wasn't understanding us very well, but she was paying real close attention.  She especially liked the part of the Plan of Salvation when we explain the Celestial Kingdom.  After reading the little part of the pamphlet I asked, "Where would you like to live one day?"  And of course she replied the celestial kingdom!  I told her that was a place we can go through baptism and invited her to be baptized.  She was still hesitant to accept the invitation so we asked her to pray and asked Heavenly Father.  About 15 seconds into the prayer she stopped.  At first I thought she was embarrassed or forgot how to pray, but then she looked at me and her eyes were full of tears.  Then I felt it too.  The most powerful presence of the Spirit I have felt on my mission so far and I could not stop myself from crying.  After the prayer we explain the feeling and invited her to be baptized again.  She accepted!  The only sad part of this story is we havent been able to talk to her since.  Everyone else has been talking for her and so we are really hoping we can talk with her this week.

I have so much more to write about this week!!!!  And so little time.  I want you all to know that I know these things are true.  I have seen miracles this week.  I'm seeing miracles with members!  I'm feeling the Spirit giving me the support to do this work and I cannot deny that this is the work of the Lord.  

I want to leave you with a funny scripture I found this morning during my personal study.  In Luke 10:8 Christ is talking to His seventies about how they should go about preaching in various cities and I thought this verse was funny:

And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you

Christ commanded that His missionaries need to eat all the food set before them!  It's in the New Testament.  I promise you that I'm doing that too.  One day this week we ate 3 lunches due to some confusion with our lunch calendar.  I wanted to cry I was so FULL!  But at least the food is super good.  Anyways, on that note, have a Happy Thanksgiving!  Even though I won't have thanksgiving this year, I can promise you that I will be eating just as much if not more here in Brazil.  Love ya'll!

Sister Jensen

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