Monday, August 29, 2016

One For The Record Books!

¡Queridos amigos míos! 

This week has been wild! I will start by saying that I my iPad is having some issues sending emails right now and this may be the only one that makes it home this week. There is really nothing I can do about it, but I will try to include everything that happened!

On Friday we had a Zone Conference and were visited by Elders Foster and Costa of the Seventy and their wives! It was so amazing! I can't explain the spirit that I felt as they each spoke and shared about their own experiences with Missionary work! Sister Costa shared that after returning from her Mission, she had the opportunity to help bring her husband to the waters of baptism, and he shared later that she would have pushed him into the font if she could have! They were really funny and super spiritual. Sister Foster should coach a football team, because she got us all feeling pumped to go back to our areas and share the gospel! It was truly an experience I will never forget! She honestly said all the things EVERYONE needed to hear. She told us not to stop short of the Summit and to NEVER give up on a good thing. It was powerful. 

Elder and Sister Costa are from Argentina, so it was cool to be able to speak with them, in Spanish! (: I never thought I would live to see that day, but there it was! This is a picture of my Zone with the Coopers, Fosters, and Costas.

After the Zone Conference, I went on an exchange with some Sisters that actually entered the MTC with me! 

Sister Slawson and Gessel were also in my first District out here in Tampa!

We started out at Catfish Country...

...where I ordered...

Gator Nuggets! So, I have officially tried Gator! (Zerrick must have been praying especially hard for me to try some this week ;) It was actually pretty good! It was kind of like a cross between chicken and pork, but chewy. I liked it, but as Sister Gessel put it, "Anything Fried is Fantastic!" After dinner we split up, and I went with Sister Slawson!

We saw miracles and it was especially interesting to me to see how we each applied what we had learned individually from Zone Conference! Sister Slawson and I had some lessons to learn on diligence as we treked up the road in pouring rain to arrive at a neighborhood of some former investigators and less active members. Everyone was home and willing to talk with us! It was such a blessing!

Saturday night we returned home and made sure that all the preparations were in order for, Jacklyn's baptism!

She was baptized Sunday after church (after some CRAZY strings were pulled to get things ready in time) and it was fantastic! Her story is actually really cool. She is friends with a member of the Spanish Branch and he invited her to the Gladys Knight event we had a few months ago. After that she expressed an interest in coming to church more often and has been to church for the past month or so! She started learning with us not long after the Gladys Knight fireside and this week she decided she was ready to be baptized! We got the English ward involved and it was one of the most amazing Baptismal Services I have attended! There were prayers in Spanish, hymns in English, a welcome by the Relief Society and the ward, and her friend's dad Hermano Vasquez, who doesn't speak English, baptized her perfectly, first try! In perfect English! The Spirit was so strong!

So that has been my week! I have heard from my family that a lot of things are happening back in A-town and I want you all to know that I keep you in my prayers and will continue to do so. I know that the Lord will provide a way for us, if we turn to Him for guidance, and I know that He loves us more than we can imagine.

To my Sister who is heading off to College, and to my brother starting Highschool, you are both going to rock it in Texas and at WAHS! Be yourself and have fun! I can't wait to see what it's like there for you! Kyle, keep being awesome! Congrats on the Soccer games and keep playing hard! Don't be afraid to stand up and stand out for your standards and be a light to those around you. Never shy away from being yourself, your best self, and remember that God is with you and that your quorum, team, and classmates are counting on you to do the RIGHT thing, even if it is the HARD thing. Aubri, thank you for your advice and continual love and support! I look forward to hearing about your adventures! ¡Te veré en París Hermanita! I love you both and I send my love! 

To my adopted Sister and her family, keep pressing forward with faith. I know things are difficult right now, but God knows you. He knows your heart, your desires, but also what is best for you. He sees more than we can- "He sees the bigger picture" -that's a song that you should definitely look up. "He's my strength when I stand... I am His daughter.." Aubri will know what it is. :-j 

To those who have recently had birthdays (and not so recently) I'm sorry that I haven't been able to do more for you! But I love you and I miss you and will be back to celebrate with you soon! ;)

To those who are married now, please send me engagement pictures or something! X)

To all them Missionaries, keep on keeping on! God is with you, whether you are in the field, or taking a break, or have just gotten home from the game. He loves you and will fill your mouth with the Spirit as soon as you decide to open it! 

And to all the rest of you, I send my love, and my testimony that God loves you, so much more than you think, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

¡Los amo! 

Hermanita Jensen <3 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pictures this Week!

Some really neat kids we met that are preparing to be baptized!

Our District!

I think all Missionaries must be goofballs! (:

Those are my newfound white hairs! Just goes to show that Missionary work is stressful! Like parenting! But different! ;)

I love you all! I know that this church is true and that God loves His children. I know He will NEVER leave us alone!

Con amor,

Hermanita Jensen


Just some Pictures this week!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Transfer Detected!

Hola mis amigos!!

So this week was amazing! I started out by finding out that I would be getting transferred, which meant that I would need to pack up everything I owned and move to a whole new part of Florida by Wednesday morning. We saw that I was transferring, and that NONE of the other Spanish Sisters were transferring. Which was strange. Well come Tuesday night, we received an email that transfers were being delayed a whole day because of some transportation issues (that happens when 29 missionaries come to the best mission in the whole world) and it also included the Transfer list! I found out that I would be going to the Crustal slake Branch and joining the Spanish set of Sister Missionaries there. I'm in a threesome once again! Do to the delay, I had to unpack an extra set of clothes and say goodbye again to some of my investigator and members. Very Sad! I helped Sister Gucake and the Ward council set up things for the baptismal program and then said goodbye to Tampa. It was bittersweet. Come Thursday morning we were on our way to the Mission Office to face the unknown! 

Sister Gucake received Sister Chavez, a native from Mexico who had been waiting for her visa to clear. They are now in the Tampa 5 Ward and doing wonders! I was received by Hermanas Whitlock and Greenberg serving in the Crystal Lake branch out here in Lakeland! It is definitely different out here, but it's fun! Hard being in a trio again, but we are working out our kinks!

So Saturday! Best day ever! 
They caught me mid laugh in the second one, but I was too happy to care!
I got to go back to Tampa to see the baptisms of these lovely three women! If the second picture looks familiar, it should! Let me refresh your memory! 
This was last March, when her daughter was baptized! 

It was definitely such a miracle to see them all together as a family. Their next step is the Temple! 
Martha and Brianna are doing so good and I am so excited for them too! 
Is is them with Martha's older son Anthony, he isn't a member, but I think he felt something really special at the baptism!

Some other pictures from the week!
This man was a really cool Hermano we met out Tracting! Hoped to see him on Sunday, but he missed out! We are planning on going back for him soon!
The most adorable puppies you ever did see!
This is a double rainbow, so we had to take another picture!
Mostly because I have two companions now x)

Other exciting news is that I am now serving as the Sister Training Leader for the Lakeland Zone and will be serving with Sister Gessel! She was in my District in the MTC and the first transfer or two of my mission! It will be so fun to be reunited with her and get to know the Sisters in this zone!

I love you all!

Hermanita Jensen <3

Monday, August 1, 2016

True Repentance Requires a Change of Heart

Hola mis amigos y amistades! (: 

So this week has been a roller coaster of emotions and super hard, but it has taught me something really important. 

We have been teaching this woman named Martha for a long time and she has had the desire to be baptized since before we started teaching her, but this week has been extremely hard for her. She has undergone a lot of adversity because of the decisions of someone else, and has been effected heavily by those consequences. Through it all, she has been full of patience and charity for this individual and just prayed and asked that someone can help him find a change of heart. he had already "felt to sing the song of redeeming love" but has been having trouble feeling "so now" (Alma 5:26). The hardest day was probably Tuesday, because we had a lesson with them and just learned about all the things they have been through because of his decisions. It was hard because he had been working for almost a month prior to overcome those temptations, but fell apart on Sunday when he decided not to come to church. It was hard because we could feel the negativity when we walked into their home. It was tangible. And it didn't sit well with anyone. It was really hard to come home from that, offering help and scriptures and prayer, and just see that it wasn't being accepted. He had lost the desire to change.. When we came back on Saturday, it was worse, and I had trouble understanding. But I've been studying a lot about Faith, Repentance, and Enduring to the end, and have realized how important that word is. ENDURING. In spanish we say Perseverar, which is more like Persevering and I like it better, here's why!

Persevering means enduring with patience. It means overcoming your temptations, your weaknesses and shortcomings through Faith on Jesus Christ and Daily Repentance. "We can't be bench warmers" as Hermana Gucake has put it, and we have to continually give our all. If we have not experienced a true change of heart, we will be faithful for a time, but when the trials come and the rain comes down, we will fall down. If we aren't firmly rooted in Christ, we will fail. 

I also have realized that I can't help an unwilling heart, no matter how much I love them. It's hard, but its true. We carry our message to the heart, but they have to let it in. 

I know this gospel is true and that if we open our hearts and minds and let Christ in, we can overcome every and any obstacle that is put in our path. I know that God lives, that Christ lives, and that they still talk to us today through a living prophet, Thomas S Monson. I know that God has revealed many great and wonderful things and "has yet to reveal many things" if we have ears to listen. I love this gospel of my Savior Jesus Christ, I love the Plan that God has for each and every one of us, and I know that if we have faith in them, it will all work out. I bear you all this witness in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

les amo! (:

Hermanita Jensen <3