Monday, May 19, 2014

Itacoatiara, Pedra Pintada-New Area

It's been a great first week here in Itacoatiara!  It's a lot different here that Manaus.  The roads here make a lot more sense and there is space for 2 cars to pass by each other.  It's very calm and reminds me a little of my first area in Boa Vista.  I had lunch the other day in a members house and when I used the bathroom, there was a parrot on the metal bar where you would put the shower curtain.  It was totally cool until the parrot started talking to me and and cat calling me while I used the bathroom.  Our house here is really big!  We live with 2 other sisters which I thought would be difficult, but it's been good.  Each companionship has their own bedroom and bathroom.  We live in he central part of the city so everything is close and convient.
But, the most important part is the work in this area.  I'm serving in a district again that has not yet turned into a stake.  When I arrived, the sisters didn't really have a lot of investigators or people to be baptized.  In situations like this, what I've always found useful is talking with people.  We walk from appointment to appointment, plan to plan and I try to focus on talking to people in between.  Our investigator people has increased significantly and we are working with some really great families now.  We taught a family this week that we found while we looking for someone else.  Carla is a member less active for about 6 years.  She has a strong testimony of the gospel, but fell away and is now living with a young man and his daughter.  We started teaching her boyfriend Lorencio and it's been awesome.  I am suprised at how well he understands and tries to learn.  He said one time, "I like to ask questions and to learn about these things because I feel like I've missed a lot because in the past I didn't ask questions".  In our last visit we spoke about the Plan of Happiness, Eternal families and temples.  My companion Sister Tancara bore testimony of the temple and right after Carla bore testimony of the temple in Manaus.  In the moment the Spirit was very strong.  I felt Heavenly Father's love for them and His desire for them to be an eternal family.

We also visited other recent converts and members whose records needed to be verified.  We visited one young man to make sure he was really confirmed and found that his whole family was less active.  His sister had not yet been baptized so we taught her this week and she was baptized yesterday.  They are a really special family too and I really want to help them return to activity in the church.  As I've worked in districts on the mission I've felt the great need to help bring families together in the gospel.  To help the growth of the church, we need families and to help the growth of the family, they need the church, or better, the gospel.

I'm so grateful for the things that I'm learning in every area.  I feel that Heavenly Father knows me and knows what I still need to change and work on before the end of my mission.  Choosing to serve a mission was the best choice I ever made.  The church is true.  Jesus Christ lives and if we live His gospel we will be blessed and changed.  

Sister Jensen

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