Archive | October 2013

28 October 2013

Kamusta Pamilya!

Yesterday I got to witness two of the people that were baptized pass the sacrament for the first time! It was great and their grandmother, who is less active, came to church again this week and stayed for the gospel essential class!
This next transfer will be interesting. We are back to having zero investigators coming to church and I can see where I have been lacking so this transfer I am making goals and changing some things to help this area progress. I have a new companion. It is interesting because I am the senior companion. Her name is Sister Newton and she has been on the mission for 8 months. She has spent her whole mission in Iloilo city so all she knows is a some Ilonggo which doesn’t help here. She is a palugpat missionary but I will change that.  This area can’t handle having a palugpat missionary because there is so much work that needs to get done. I am just going to stay positive and help her to become a missionary.
Going out the past two days I have been able to see how much I have learned of the language because siyembre I am the one who knows some tagalog. It has been a great blessing to see that. This next transfer has it’s challenges but I will go forth with a positive attitude and faith. I know this is what the Lord has planned for me and that I can do anything with his help.
I am focusing on some of the other areas that I haven’t been to to do some finding there and looking up some former investigators because the previous people that I have been focusing for the past few months are not progressing which is really sad. It is hard because I love the people I have been teaching but there is no progression, I won’t give up on them yet but it is time to find other investigators that will progress and come to church.
Sorry I don’t have that much time this week. But I love you all and miss you so much. It’s great to hear from you all. Thank you for all your prayers.
Mahal ko kamo!
Sister Jensen

21 October 2013

Kamusta Pamilya,

What can I say, this past week has just been so amazing. On Friday night Sister Orani and I were at the church with our four investigators for them to be interviewed. It was great, after each one of them were interviewed they always came out with tears in their eyes. I could also feel the spirit so strong whenever the door would open and they would come out. It was a great experience. I talked with my DL afterwards and he said that they are great and definitely ready for baptism. He said that Julie Ann (13) will be a great addition for the Young Women program and can see that she will be a great example for others and choose to do the right think; Ralphael (14) will always want to do the right thing and is always striving to give the right answers; and Ralph (15) that his testimony will be the one to bring his father to the church. It was so great to hear this from my DL and that he could see how great these kids were. (Ryza is 8 so she was interviewed by the bishop). On Saturday was there baptism!! It was such a spiritual experience. Their uncle, who I reactivated, baptized all four of them. After they were baptized all four of them bore their testimonies and it was so great to hear them. Teaching them has definitely been the highlight of my mission and siyembre I will always remember them because they are just the best, they were my first baptism, and they were baptized on Nathan’s birthday so that won’t be hard to remember. Ralph, Ralphael, and Ryza are siblings and Julie Ann is their cousin.. the mother of the three kids came to the baptism as well as the grandmother (who Julie Ann lives with) and just having them come was a big deal. They are less actives. The two of them also came to church on Sunday to watch them receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Is was great to see them all at church. It was sad though that the father was not there. I’m not sure why. I am hoping though that within this year he will also be ready to be baptized. Witnessing their baptism is just a great motivation to just continue, it is the best feeling to watch someone that you have found, taught, and love be baptized!
Now that they are baptized I am a bit worried about what is to happen next. We now don’t have investigators showing up at church anymore because the ones that were are now baptized. But we do have less actives that have been coming to church that we have been teaching so there has been a lot of improvement there. Sister Flory hasn’t been available and the De Felipe family still hasn’t come to church. There lessons always go great though but Satan is definitely working with that family. The father has been busy lately so we haven’t taught him for a while and he was our main focus. The son Kevin moved out to work on construction. The other son is now working at a drug store so he doesn’t have time within our proselyting hours. So right now we teach the mom when available and the youngest daughter who is 11. Sister Jesel still hasn’t taken the steps to prepare for marriage so she can’t get baptized yet. The good thing though she comes to church but its an every other week patter but it’s better than nothing. One big thing that I will be working on this next transfer is finding more investigators and people who are ready and prepared to be baptized. I have been stressing about my area and what I will be doing next now that the four investigators that we have been focusing on are now baptized. I think today I partly received an answer to my prayer because Samuel emailed me and knows someone who served in the same area as me and he gave me some names of people that I will check up on!
Transfer day is this week and I am excited to see what new changes will take place. I’ll let you know how it all goes down next week after it happens.
It is great to hear that BYU continues to win.
I don’t know much about the whole earthquake. All I know is that is was pretty strong. I probably heard more about it but just didn’t understand what was being said haha. But I know the word for earthquake in Tagalog is lindol.
Mahal ko kayo!
Sister Jensen

14 October 2013

Kamusta Pamilya,

General Conference was AMAZING. It was so rewarding to listen to each of the speakers. I went in with many questions and I came out with each of them being answered. Listening to the words of the church leaders is so rewarding and everything that was said was exactly what I needed to hear. We watched the Saturday sessions on Saturday and the Sunday sessions on Sunday. We only get an hour in between the sessions so we just ate in between the sessions. We had four investigators come (the four that will be baptized) to the Sunday morning session. That is basically the only session that members come to which is pretty sad but then again it is in english so they don’t understand it but the spirit is still there. It was pretty crazy, many of the scripture references/ stories that were brought up were ones that I had recently studied so that was pretty cool. For example, right now I am in the war chapters of the BOM so I read the story of the 2000 stripling warriors. I really enjoyed Richard G Scott, President Uchtdorf, Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder McConkie, and Dallin H. Oaks’ talks. Those were my favorite but I loved all of them. I really like the quote by President Uchtdorf “Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith”. This past week went by pretty fast. My companion hasn’t been feeling well so on Thursday I was able to have a member stay at the apartment with her while I went out with another member to do some work. I was at first a bit nervous because I would be teaching all the lessons on my own in Tagalog. It turned out pretty well. I taught 3 lessons within two hours and it wasn’t so bad. It was great to see how far I have come with the language and knowing my area and knowing the lessons. Siyembre I still have a LOT to learn but it is nice to see some improvement. The Spirit was definitely helping me as I was out by myself teaching. This week is full of some exciting stuff as well. President Aquino will be coming up and be interviewing our zone. Then siyembre the BAPTISM on Saturday. I am so excited to witness these four baptism. They are such great examples to their parents and I know that konti-konti, the parents will follow the example of their children and come to church. Their grandmother is also less-active so it will be good for her to come to the baptism and remember what the gospel is all about. The transfer will soon be over. I have been in the Philippines for 11 weeks and soon my training will be over. My time with Sister Orani is coming to a close. It will be weird to not be a bata anymore but still feel like I have so much to learn and to not have Sister Orani as my companion. It’s is great to hear BYU is winning! It is weird to hear that it is beginning to get colder, because it continues to stay hot here. I love you all and think about you all the time. I keep you in my prayers and I love you all so much.

Nihidlaw ko kamo! Sister Jensen

7 October 2013

Kamusta Pamilya

Magandang maganda ang simana ko. Pero on Monday night my companion found out that someone in her family recently passed away. I am just so glad that I am able to be her companion at this time and to comfort her. She continues to be strong and a good example to me. Our lessons continue to go well. On Thursday we were teaching the De Felipe family about the apostasy and restoration. It went great and they continue to ask great questions and desire to learn more. During the lesson I concluded that this was the time to ask them to commit to baptism. We teach them at a store that they own so sometimes during the lessons we get interrupted with customers but its not usually too bad. So we were teaching the lesson and the time was soon coming to extend commitments to them when suddenly out of no where a dozen customers just come in out of no where so I thought to myself “Oh no, I shouldn’t ask them anymore, the spirit is gone because we were interrupted so it will be so awkward to ask them” but then I had a change of thought. I started to visualize them in white and seeing them be baptized. And I thought about how much I cared for this family and wanted them to take the step towards baptism. I felt that I still needed to ask them to be baptized. So when they were done helping the last customer my companion said a last few things then I asked them if they would be baptized in my broken Tagalog/ Ilonggo. They didn’t understand me so I tried to ask them again, they still didn’t understand me. I turned to my companion and she asked them and they said YES! So it was both a good and bad experience at the same time. I just love the De Felipe family so much but there are still those moments when I am not able to communicate with them which can be so sad especially when you are asking an important question, but I know the language will come. The good news is is that they said yes so hopefully they will continue to make those changes and take the steps towards baptism. The day after this all happened, I practiced for about 30 minutes how to extend a baptismal commitment and later on I asked sister Maylyn, another one of our investigators, and she was able to understand me and she also said yes. So hopefully they just start coming to church now. They are all really great investigators. Especially the De Felipe family. They always have questions and  would be such strong members. Their family would just strengthen the ward so much.

As we go out I see what I need to study and practice in language study which helps but siyembre everything doesn’t fit in so I rely on the spirit and my wonderful companion as well. It’s great. I still continue to struggle with the languages but konti-konti or amat-amat it will come. I do understand more than I am able to speak and say which is good.

Yesterday (Sunday) morning we got an unexpected text message saying that I had to come down to Iloilo that night so that they could take my fingerprints today (Monday). So right now I am in Iloilo. It is always nice coming to Iloilo. Hearing Ilonggo is always a plus and seeing other missionaries and seeing president. It’s great. While I was at the mission office President Aquino interviewed me which was something I wasn’t expecting. I need to progress dasig in this language and learn as much as I can before the end of this next transfer which is just in two weeks.  This next transfer will be interesting to see how it goes. I am still here in Iloilo and I will head back to Kalibo around three in the afternoon which means we will make it back mga 7:30 or 8.

General Conference sounds like it was amazing as always. I can’t wait to watch it this coming weekend. This past Saturday I was able to watch the RS session and that was good. Pero seeing the Conference Center made me miss home gid pero ok-lang, waay problema. The messages were so great to hear and it was nice to see President Thomas S. Monson ulit. I just can’t wait to hear more on Saturday and Sunday. I’m not sure what the whole program is but i’ll let you know how it all went down next week. Oh no, this transfer is going to end so fast, general conference this week, baptism next week, then the following Thursday is transfer day! crazy

Nihidlaw ko kamo!

Sister Jensen

ps. It is against mission standards for missionaries to live in an apartment with dirt floors. so i don’t live in an apartment with dirt floor. I’ll try to send pictures next week.  It is the wet season here in the Philippines so sometimes the streets are flooded. but lately it has been pretty dry so its been good. Don’t worry, everything is great here in the Philippines.