Monday, July 28, 2014

Festa Junina

Hello Family!

It's p day already?  What a fast week!  This letter is going to be a quick one because I got caught up e-mailing today.  Today was kind of fun because every member of my family was online while I was on.  I felt like I was chatting with everyone today! :)  Love you guys so much.  Miss you all.

So this week was a lot of fun.  We helped a lot with our Ward Activity called "Festa Junina".  For two nights in a row the youth had a rehearsal to practice a dance they were going to perform at the party.  The first night no one was prepared.  Not even the leadership.  There wasn't any music and no one wanted to teach.  Sister Lomonte and I got worried because we had brought a lot of non-members there to dance and we didn't want them to go home without a fun a experienced.  Out of no where Sister Lomonte was like "Alright, everybody hold hands and form a circle".  And basically started making up a dance that doesn't exist.  It was so funny.  Every dance move we taught was made up on the spot.  I was laughing so hard, but hey...they had a good time. One kid was like, "This isn't the dance they taught last year" and Sister Lomonte told him to shut up haha.  But  don't worry, the next day someone who knew the dance came and taught them  and it turned out really well at the party.  So many non-members came to the party and everyone loved it!

This week we have been also teaching a family.  Remember when I told you about that one family that liked in a shack in the middle of the swamp, well about a month ago the members got them out of there and after a series of events the husband left and the wife and 7 kids were put in another house in a county on the edge of the forest.  We walked to their house everyday this week to teach the mom and kids and the mom commited to be baptized!  We marked her date for this saturday and even planned to do a special service project at her house the day of her baptism.  Clean house with a clean start after baptism, but the morning we showed up to clean the husband moved back in. :(  Our district leader talked to them both and he promised again that he would change and get married to her.  It was frustrating because he has done this so many times, but we really hope he does desire to change.  Because we aren't here to break up families, but to bring them together.  In the end, we cleaned up their house and sang a hymn.  The other Elders and Sister were there to help too so we got it done really fast.  I felt like there was a better spirit there.  If I had a lot of money, I would have done a lot more there because I love those kids.  They are so sweet.  There are seven and the oldest is 12 years old.  This house is a lot better than the other shack so they seem a lot happier.  It makes me feel so grateful for all that my Heavenly Father has given me.  When we take a minute to help others and count our blessings, it is so humbling.

This week I've been reflecting a lot about my future.  Not in a trunky way, but in a spiritual way.  This might be embarrassing, but for me, all the plans I had made before the mission are so different now.  I have no idea what I will do with every little detail such as school and where and what, but what always comes to mind is my family and future family.  As I was reflecting the Holy Ghost helped me remember a scripture 2 Nephi 32:3...

Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Chriswill tell you all things whaye should do.

It helped me remember where I can find these answers for my life.  In the scriptures!  The Book of Mormon was written specifically for our day.  It is the word of God.  I was like "Duh!"  I'm grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that wants to answer our questions.  I LOVE the scriptures.  I will be reading them even more intently during the final transfer of my mission to receive special answers and personal revelation for my life.  I know the church is true.  I'm so grateful to know truth.

Love you all!

Sister Jensen

Monday, July 21, 2014

More Miracles

It's been another great week here on the mish!  Sister Lomonte and I are working super hard and by the end of the week we literally find ourselves passing out from exhaustion.  This week was a miracle!  We had to travel to Manaus for 2 days to go on splits with 2 companionships of Sisters there.  And when we came back we only had one day to prepare our investigators to be baptized.  Our one investigator, Jonny, was super excited.  He is 8 years old and his grandma is a member already.  The Elders found him while they were working in our area and passed him to us.  He is super cute and his baptism was really special.  The other girl that was baptized is Adriane.  I have been teaching Adriane for a long time now and she hadn't been baptized yet because her dad wouldn't give her permission.  While we were in Manuas, he signed her baptismal form!!!  A lot of members came to support the baptism and it was a really special moment.  Afterwards in the bathroom Adriane said, "I feel so good!  I feel like I've been freed."  

We are also still teaching Raquel.  Every lesson is a spiritual experience, but we can't help but wonder why she hasn't gotten her answer yet.  She is the most honest, humble seeker of the truth I have ever met on my mission, why wouldn't her answer be more obvious.  We are praying really hard that God answers her prayer.  We love her so much and want her to know the truth.

I'm unfortunately already out of time, but I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity I have each week to write to ya'll about my mission and my testimony.  I know the Church is true.  I know Christ lives.

Love you all,

Sister Jensen

Monday, July 14, 2014

I got "THE CALL" this week!

I got "THE CALL" this week.  The Elder in the mission office asked me what airport I wanted to fly into.  For a minute I felt really happy and excited, then a wave of sadness came over me with the realization that I really am almost done.  Just thinking about it makes me real sad.  But don't get me wrong, I'm really excited to come home to ya'll.  That will be a happy day too!

This week was an exciting week because I got to play with a monkey!  That's right, there is a house in my area that has a pet monkey named chico and he is super cute and fun to play with.  He likes stealing our name tags and picking bugs out of our hair.  I'll send ya photos of him.

Also, I'm sure you all heard that Germany won the World Cup.  They also killed Brasil in the semi-finals.  It was embarrassing.  4 goals in 6 minutes.  We didn't even feel like watching the second half.  Sad day in the history of Brazilian futbol.

This week we started teaching a woman named Raquel.  I LOVE teaching her.  She is super smart and knows the Bible really well.  At first, that intimidated me, but after about 3 lessons with her she could not deny it.  Our most powerful lesson was when we talked about the Plan of Salvation.  She loves the emphasis the church has on the family and she especially loved learning about  the 3 Kingdoms of Glory.  She said, "That makes so much sense.  I've always believed in a merciful God, not a God that would send so many children to hell".  I told her my take on hell.  That hell would be where my family is not, and that is why we seal our families for time and all eternity.  I also told her that God would not make a plan that wouldn't bring home a majority of His children.  This plan is meant to work.  Then I bore testimony of the pre-existence.  I said, "Raquel, is it possible that we knew each other there?  Is it possible that you and I both knew that I would teach you these things here on the Earth?"  Then Raquel started to cry.  The spirit was way strong and we know that she knows that it is true.  Our only conflict is that she isn't married and her husband wants nothing to do with the church.  We hope that she will be able to get baptized and that he will soften his heart.

While we were teaching her this week, Jobson, our most recent convert would play with the other youth in the chapel.  One day he asked, "What do you guys do in the room?"  And we said, "Remember when we taught you before your baptism?  We are teaching this woman the same things."  Then he said, "Well does she know yet?"  
"Know what?" 
"Does she know that it is all true?"
I thought that was so precious of him to say.  "Does she know yet?"  Jobson is 12 years old and was only confirmed a member yesterday, but he knows the truth.  We can know the truth.  When he was confirmed, the Priesthood holder blessed him to serve a full-time mission.  When Jobson was being interviewed before his baptism the Elder asked, "How many people do you want to help?"  And Jobson said, "One thousand".  

Is it possible that Jobson's baptism changed generations?  YES!  Just imagine the difference one baptisam makes!  Not only generation in front, but everyone behind also.  This week we invited all our members to invite a friend to church for Sunday July 20th.  I invite everyone that reads this letter to invite a friend to church too!  Not only will the missionaries in your ward LOVE you, but you will allow your friend to feel the sweet spirit we feel every sunday at church.

I love you all.  Thanks for your letters and prayers.  The church is true.  Share the gospel!

Sister Jensen

Monday, July 7, 2014


It's been another great week in the AMAZON!  I've already been in Brazil over a year now and I still think it is crazy that I'm working in the Amazon.  I feel so blessed to have been called here.  I LOVE my mission so much!  This week we traveled to Manuas to have a meeting with the new mission President.  President and Sister Castro are awesome!  I love them so much.  They shared with us their conversion stories and their love for missionary work.  I felt the spirit so much as they talked and I know that they were called by God to serve in this mission.  Unfortunately, we couldn't travel to Parintins because the sisters were going to come to our area instead.  We were really sad about that, but it was good having extra help this week from the sisters to make visits.

This week we continued teaching Jobson, a 12 year old boy that we found as we were teaching Fernando and Yan.  He is soooooo smart!  We were shocked when we passed by his house earlier this week to teach him and I asked, "So have you read more in the Book of Mormon?"  and he replied, "Yeah I read Joseph Smith's testimony and how he saw an angelic messenger 3 times in one night...."  and he told us the entire story.  We were like, this kid needs to get baptized!  Then we went to get permission from his parents and they are super protective of him.  That was our biggest challenge this week, getting permission to baptize Jobson.  During an exchange Sister Lomonte went there and had Jobson bear his testimony to his parents.  She asked him, "Jobson, why do you want to be baptized?"  He replied, "Honestly, because I feel like I'm a lot like Joseph Smith.  I have been to many churches and I have never felt that they were made by God until I found the church of Jesus Christ.  I want to be baptized because I want to wash away my sins."  You can imagine how proud we were of him!  His parents gave us permission.  Yesterday he was baptized and it was a sweet moment.  After his baptism I asked him how he was feeling and he said, "Awesome!"  We are convinced that he will be a general authority one day.

A member from another branch brought her friend to watch the baptism.  A young mom with 2 young kids and a super hard headed religious husband.  She wants to receive our lessons in secret to learn about the church without any commitment.  She told us there are many things that interest her about the church that gives her reason to research and learn and she loves our focus on the family.  We have our first lesson with her tomorrow and I'm excited to teach someone none judgemental and humbling seeking the truth.  I feel super inadaquate to teach her, but we are so grateful for the opportunity.  I can already feel that she will be baptized in the church.  I'm also super grateful for my companion.  She is super good at teaching in a way that makes sense and I'm learning a lot from her.

Finally, I want to share something cute that happened on Sunday.  After Yan's confirmation, he sat down with me and was looking at the pictures in the front of the Book of Mormon and was asking my questions about the stories (he is only 9 years old).  Then he started looking at the details of the chapel and said, "Did men make this church or did God?"  I said, "What do you think?"  and he said, "I think God, because this church is so beautiful.  Men can't make things this beautiful".  Then I showed him a picture of the Manaus temple and told him that God made that too and he was so excited!  He grabbed the photo and started showing it to his friends, "Look guys!  God made this building too!"  I love the logic of a 9 year old.  It is so simple.  Why don't we think more simply?  Of course this is God's church!  That is why it is SO beautiful!  Look at the temples, who can deny that they were created by Christ?

I know that the church was created by God.  Literally.  I'm grateful for the role of the Spirit in conversion.  I'm grateful for the sacred ordinance of baptism and my role in that process.  The church is true.  I hope you all have a great week!

Sister Jensen