Monday, May 23, 2016

Week #14 Gladys Knight.. nuff said!

Hola mis amigos y mis queridos!! Como estan?!

So, this week was AWESOME. Do I use that word too much? Probably, but I don't get to use it too often in Spanish, so I have to use it sometime, right?! 

Gladys Knight put together a choir and decided to bring them to Florida and it was one of the most Spiritually Uplifting experiences I've ever had. For those of you who don't know, Gladys Knight is an amazing singer with a truly angelic voice. I'm not talking about one of the background "ooh's" in a Nativity reenactment, but one that "trumphs forth" with all the spirit she's got! She was baptized awhile back into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has been going around the country with her choir testifying of her Savior through music in ever state she visits. They are called the Saints Unified Voices, and if they ever come to Oregon, do everything you can to get your seat in one of the seats at the show! They are made up of people from ALL walks of life, and present music from different cultures and perspectives. One of the opening songs was led by an elderly man strumming his bass guitar and singing about his love for God, while one of the last was led by two young teens who sang of their need for Jesus and their desire to follow Him. So many cultures were represented as well, and it was quite the experience to feel the Spirit in so many different ways throughout the night. There were points where I was literally laughing with tears running down my cheeks. 

In the morning, before the event, we tracted for almost 4 hours just inviting people to come! It was a free event and we wanted to get as many people there as humanly possible. It was interesting to see the reactions of different people and I often wondered if we had been airing it as a commercial on tv, they would have been more receptive. As it turns out, we don't know if anyone that we invited came, but we have been told that out of the four different performances, 600 people have requested that the Missionaries bring by a "gift basket" that contains a sampler CD of the SUV choir, a DVD about the Restoration, and a Book of Mormon. Currently, we are working on contacting them and helping them feel of that same spirit they felt Saturday night. 

The one thing that stuck out to me, more than anything else was something Gladys said at one point before a song. She said "some people are still out there living like God's a liar." For some reason, that clicked and resounded in my mind louder than any song I had heard that night. I have often wondered while reading through the scriptures, at the response to prophets who merely say "Lord, I believe, for I know that thou canst not lie" and how blessed they are for it. That to me seems like such a silly thing to doubt, but I have realized that many of us still live that way. Many of us still think that miracles aren't possible, that God is dead, that He doesn't speak to us today, that there is nothing more to this life than dying and nailing the coffin shut. But that isn't what God has told us. He has told us that He is the SAME, "today, tomorrow and forever," that "miracles are wrought by faith," and that "He lives." This life is merely a preparation for Eternity. 

I can't express the love that I have for my Savior Jesus Christ enough, for His sacrifice, for His life, and for the life that is possible through Him. I love my Father in Heaven, I know I am His daughter, and I know that HE CAN'T LIE. I know that He has a magnificient plan for all of his children, and that NONE of His sheep are ever truly lost. I have felt His love, His power, and His might throughout my life, and seen the miracles that are possible for those who truly believe. 

It is my plea that we as Children of Him will believe and trust on His word, in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Con el amor de su Hermana,

Hermanita Jensen

Monday, May 9, 2016

Weekly Update #12 - Mother's Day and Glowing Rocks

Hola mis amigos!!

Como estan??? Feliz dia de las Madres! I am so grateful to have been able to talk to my family yesterday and see their wonderful faces! I snapped this right at the end and decided to include it! It was really a boost to talk to them and it is always a joy to hear from all of you! 

This week we also had an activity for El Dia de Las Madres in our Ward and it was amazing! Someone carved this Watermelon and I couldn't not take a picture! Everyone had a wonderful time and we brought some nonmembers as well as a few less actives who really enjoyed the activity! It was great for people to come out and see that Mormons can have fun too! I love the ward here and how energized everyone is! There is always dancing at the end of every activity and it really shows family in a whole new way out here in Florida! 

I have also been studying the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon this week, and it has really opened my eyes to just how much Pride can ruin a group of Faithful people. Ether is a record of an ancient people who lived during the time of the confounding of the languages at the Tower of Babel and they are descendants of the brother of Jared (His name is really long, so that's what everyone calls him). He has so much faith, and his people prospered because of it! There is one story in chapter 6 that talks about how he prayed to know how to give light and the breath of life to his people so that they could survive the crossing of the Ocean to the promised lands. He asked God for help and then molted rocks out of a mountain and brought them to the Lord, asking Him to give them light. One by one, The Lord touched the rocks and caused them to glow, and they stayed glowing all the way across the ocean. These people had the faith to work miracles and they used it! It is a stark contrast to the people that lived last, Coriantumr and Shiz. They had grown so  much in the pride of their own hearts that they couldn't feel the Spirit of the Lord any longer. Satan had complete control over the hearts of the children of men at this time, and the battles that followed were terrible. It really taught me how humble we have to be in order to receive the blessings of the Lord and how faithful we must remain in order to work miracles. I think that the rocks are symbolic, and that just as there were two rocks for every vessel, there are two things we must keep in our hearts in order to be kept safe from the temptations of the Devil: Faith and Humility. These two seem to go hand in hand more than once throughout the scriptures and I have seen the power they hold in my own life already. 

Keep your rocks of Faith and Hope lit this week, and let God work miracles in your life! 

I love you all, keep being the wonderful people I know you all to be! 

Con amor,

Hermanita Jensen