Monday, February 24, 2014

Normal in Brazil

Some days I really can't believe I'm in Brazil and that it feels NORMAL to be in Brazil.  Weird huh?  One thing that really impresses me here are the buses.  I think the drivers have some sort of magic ability because they are able to do the impossible on these roads.  This week I had to get into a full bus of people 2 times and that was really awkward.  I felt like I was breaking the rules sometimes because we were so awkwardly close to other people.
But this week was a good one!  All our baptism dates fell through, but I am sure they will be firm next week.  Our one firm baptism was going to happen Sunday, but someone drained the font.  Then they filled it again and that night the investigator got sick.  But, he will for sure baptized this week!

A huge miracle this week was with the children we are teaching.  Ages 10, 11, and 13.  They are siblings of a less active member.  We taught them the Restoration and invited them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.  The next day we followed up and their reply surprised me.  The first one said "I dreamed that night that I was dressed in white in the church being baptized".  The next one said, "I dreamed about baptism too".  When the 13 year old boy arrived I said, "Did you dream about baptism too?"  I was kind of joking, but sincerely asking and he said that he had the same dream!!  Wow, Heavenly Father has different ways to answer our prayers and I know that the answer they received was the most direct answer I have ever witnessed on my mission.  But they are children, pure in heart and with real desire to learn.  Of course He gave them an answer!

Unfortunately their mom won't give permission yet, but I know that she will.  I know this church is true!  When a Seventy came to visit us this week he said something that touched my heart.  He said, "Many people think that the age changed to get more baptisms.  I hope you know what our Heavenly Father is really trying to do.  He is saving you.  He is reaching out to this generation to save them."

I can't imagine my life without the mission.  I still have a lot to learn but with the things I have learned I am so eternally grateful.  I know it will bless my future family.  I know the church is true.  I love you all.  Be happy and do what is right!


Sister Jensen

Monday, February 17, 2014


 Boa Tarde!

Every week passes by so fast!  I'm already in the final week of the transfer.  It blows my mind!  I love my area so much!  In 6 weeks the work has picked up so fast.  I'm a constant witness of so many miracles.  First of all, this week we had 11 investigators show up to church!  11!  And several less actives.  The majority of investigators were brought to church because of our members.  I can see that our members are gaining more confidence in us and that makes me so happy!  I can't leave this area!
One investigator that came to church was someone the Elders found in England then passed the referral to us.  We have been teaching him and he has many doubts, but I think his bigger problem is his lack of commitment.  After teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ I invited him to come to church.  He said what a lot of people say here, "If God will want"...translates funny in english, but you get it.  I looked at him directly and said, "You will be there Sunday" and smiled.  Needless to say, he came Sunday.  I think I always want to be a missionary...I love the power and authority of the calling I have.  It seriously works miracles.

Another miracle this week was with a woman that stopped us on the street.  (I don't know why, but nowadays our investigators are finding us before we find them).  She said, "I want to understand the word of God.  Can you come teach me?"  We went by her house yesterday and she had her preacher show on as she was cleaning the kitchen.  We said a prayer and afterwards she told us about her life.  She is a really sweet humble old lady.  A widow of 14 years that never had suficient education to learn how to read.  She got really emtional and said, "I'm looking for a renovation, or in other words a rebirth".  We then taught her the gospel of Christ and explained that baptism is what we call a rebirth in the church.  I spiritual rebirth.  We told her she could be baptized and she was sooo happy!  

Another cool experience was with our investigator Bruno.  He is living with a less active and we taught him for the 3rd time this week.  We also invited them to get married, but of everyone else that want to wait several months. :(  At the end of the lesson I testified of the love our Heavenly Father has for them and that I loved them too and they both started to cry.  The Spirit was strong and they could feel His love.  

That is what the gospel of Jesus Christ does.  It allows us to feel His love more abundantly in our lives.  It allows us to share with others.  I'm grateful everyday for the blessings I'm receiving and I'm trying my best to deserve the blessings I'm receiving but I think it's almost impossible.  I love that we call Him Heavenly "Father" because I really do feel like He is looking after me and protecting me like a father would.  I love this work.  The church is true.

Seja feliz e ajuda alguém esta semana :)

Com amor,
Sister Jensen

Monday, February 10, 2014

Weekly Letter

Sorry, ran out of e-mail time today so this is going to be a quick e-mail!  But this week was really awesome.  Our 2 investigators were confirmed yesterday and I was super impressed with the ward's reaction.  Nearly everyone congratulated our new members and gave them hugs.  I could tell that they felt super good.  We also had 7 investigators show up to church.  In our area, that is a miracle!  We have been working so hard this week to help people attend church and it paid off!
In front of Manaus Temple
The highlight of this week was teaching a part member family in the ward.  We had already taught them one time the Restoration.  Yesterday was our return appointment, but at church the non-member husband wasn't there, only the less active wife.  I talked with her after the meetings and she told me that he didn't want more visits and he felt that she was pressuring him and she started to cry.  I could not help but cry too because I could feel the love that she had for him and for the gospel.  I told her not to worry and that we would pass by her house that day reguardless.  After church I sat at my desk praying and studying.  My heart felt heavy as I thought about this family and their eternal importance to our Heavenly Father.  I read that scripture, "seek and ya shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you"...something like that and I said a prayer.  Sister A. Santos and I decided that we would just listen to him.  When we arrived he let us in.  We listened.  We felt the Spirit and the words came out perfect.  He told us that when he saw us arrive at his door that day, something changed in his heart.

I know our Heavenly Father has the power to change hearts.  He has changed mine.  I'm constantly touched by the miracles he lets me be apart of.  Because of His spirit, the mood of a house changed.  A family contemplating separation because of religious beliefs changed because of the spirit of our lesson.  I love this work.  Love you all.  Time is already up. :(

Sister Jensen

Hayley's group letter was short this week so I wanted to include a little of the personal letter she wrote to me.  It includes a sweet story about Marcelo's parents.  It cracks me up that she starts with DUDE.  She is still 100% Hayley.


Dude, I forgot it was valentines day.  Seriously, on the mission you don't follow a real world schedule.  It is strange.  It also doesn't help to be in a different country.  This week was a good one.  We didnt baptize this week, but that gave us more time to teach and focus on other people.  We are constantly seeing miracles and I'm loving every minute of the mission.  I feel it going by too fast and when people talk about the end I start getting emotional.  Don't hate me if I decide to extend.  It is something I'm going to start thinking a praying about.  

Yeah little Marcelo was a good kid.  His death was terrible, but miracles will come from it.  I hurt most for his parents.  They are such good good people.  The most christ-like couple I have met on the mission.  They walked a good 2 miles one night to do visits with us.  And if we passed by during the day or night we couldnt leave their house without accepting water or eating something.  They found the church through missionaries that stopped to drink water.  At that time they had been looking for a church to join.  They didnt like the other churches because they were all dancing and singing.  The elders invited them to church, offered to walk with them there but Manuel (Marcelo's dad) refused and said "we will find it and we will be there".  After the first sunday they felt the spirit so strong in the church.  The were soon married and baptized.  A year ago Manuel and Sandra were sealed without their children.  All of their children are less active.  I just can't help but think this will be the trial that changes things for them.  But my heart aches for Sandra and Manuel.  I printed pictures of Marcelo today to send to them.  I want them to have every memory they can.

Sorry that ya'll have cabin fever.  We should have a little vacation!  Because lets be real. after the mission life will be speeding fast with school and work.  We NEED something!  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Remembering Marcelo

Boa Tarde!

First of all, thank you dad and stacie for the package!  And thanks to everyone for the e-mails.  This was a really good week and a really hard week.  I'll first explain it was good! :)

Throwing out bag of coffee 
This week Sister A. Santos and I had been praying really hard to find a man to baptize.  You may be wondering...why specifially a "man"?  Well, because obviously, they hold the Priesthood.  So we said a fervent prayer and that night we were walking down the street and a man stopped us and said, "Want to receive visits.  I want to know more about your church".  Fortunately we had a member with us so we went immediately to his house to teach him.  This man has been golden all week!  Friday we taught him the Word of Wisdom and at the end I asked if I could throw out all his coffee for him and without a word he poured it into a plastic sack and handed it to me.  What faith!  I never cease to be impressed with my investigators and their faith in the things we teach.  We also had a member at every lesson and that really made all the difference.  The ward gave him a warm welcome and yesterday he was baptized.  

Aldineia, the girl we baptized last week was confirmed this week.  She is doing great and she has been introducing us to all her friends.  She started to open up to us more this week.  She said, "Sisters, the weeks leading up to our visits I was depressed because I stay inside all day with my son" (She is only 19 years old), "But after my baptism, my depression is gone.  I feel a new peace in my life".  The gospel is life changing.  

We also baptized a women.  We actually did nothing to help this women get baptized.  Some Elders from a different area taught her.  She has been through several missionaries, but never got baptized until now because she is sick and she doesn't know the day she will day.  The baptism was still special to me as I watched her son, tears streaming down his face, gently help his mother into the waters of baptism.  The gate to eternal life.  

This week I finally got to go to the temple for the first time in 7 months!  It was sooo needed.  After taking a few pictures outside I ran into some members from my branch in Boa Vista that I just left.  The Irmã told me that there had been an accident and my little buddy Marcelo had passed away january 29th, only 16 years old.  He was hit by a drunk driver while riding on his bike down a busy road I walked several times on the mission.  I could not hold back my tears.  Marcelo reminded me a lot of my own brother.  And he came from a really good family.  A family of converts with very active parents and less active children.  This week has been difficult for me as I've reflected on his death and how this must be effecting his sweet family.  Really, no one knows the day we will return to our Heavenly Father.  We can't wait until we are sick to receive the blessings of eternal life.  We need to do something about it now.  

Hayley and Marcelo the "Strippling Warrior"

I love the scripture in Mosiah 16:8-9 "the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ".  Really, the sting of anything is swallowed up in Christ.  The sting of sin can be swallowed up in christ also.  He paid the price.  For this reason, I love Him and it is my life mission to constantly be repenting and seeking out those who are in need of the Atonement as well.

I love you all.  Remember to be grateful for everyday you have.  Love you Marcelo.

Sister Jensen