Kamusta Cannon 1st Ward,
I pray that this letter reaches you in good health and strength. I am very grateful for all your prayers in my behalf and also for the saints here in the Philippines. We feel your prayers and we are comforted by them and I humbly ask that you continue to pray for us.
My area was impacted by Typhoon Yolanda and it brings me sorrow to recount all the things that I’ve seen, especially since I have grown to love these people. Many families were left without homes but the conditions in my area are not as horrible as that of the people in Tacloban. Through this trial I have been a witness of many miracles and I daily see the hand of the Lord work in the lives of the people here, especially for the saints. I am so grateful that I am here at this time so that I can serve these people and share with them the gospel as they struggle to overcome what has happened here. We are working very hard to make sure everyone has food, water, and have started rebuilding many homes. The Lord is blessing the people here everyday and it is starting to look a lot better.
Thank you so much for your support!
Love Sister Jensen
This past week was pretty busy. We had service projects everyday and we also finished the lessons for my two investigators that will be baptized on Christmas day. Saturday was our ward Christmas party, I had to give a talk so I talked about the Book of Mormon and how it is a great gift that we have today and how important it is to read it. We, the full-time missionaries, also planned the games and had to do a talent as well. We were also in the RS talent, we sang the song “Were You There” and I had to sing a solo!! haha.. believe it or not; It all turned out pretty well and it was a lot of fun. At the end of the game we started throwing a bunch or candy and then the Relief Society president started throwing a bunch of 10 peso coins and all the kids just went crazy. Then they brought out all the food and people started lining up to get food. In order to get food you have to bring your own plate and utensils. The food was amazing and to my surprise the drink was Root Beer! I haven’t seen Root Beer here in the Philippines. I think it is only here around Christmas time. The greatest blessing was seeing many of my investigators attend as well as many of the less-actives. Two of my investigators, the two getting baptized on Christmas, are already active in all the programs of the church. They participated in the talent that the youth performed that night and they are making many friends.
Sunday was ward conference. At the beginning of the meeting they announced all the callings and people stand up and what not… It was great to watch it because many of the reactivated members that I have helped bring back now have callings including some of my recent converts. It has been such a miracle to witness this ward progress and continue to find work to continue to help it progress and grow. It has also been such a miracle to see all the progression come about since the typhoon and how well our bishop handled everything with his one and only counselor.
I am not sure exactly what our plans are for Christmas other than the baptism but it will be great. Thanks for everything and I love you all so much!!
May koriente na kami! Pero minsan lang! We now have power! but it is way better to have some power some days rather having completely none. It is now easier to charge our phones when we need to and can listen to some music again which is nice. There still is no guarantee that we always have power which is why I wasn’t able to email yesterday.
Sad to say I never found my wallet but it is all working out ok. I am not exactly sure how it happened but that day we were out in the market around lots of people so it must’ve happened then, but i’m not sure.
On Christmas I will have another two baptisms! They are two kids of the Delacruz family. We were able to start teaching them because of the great blessing of Typhoon Yolanda. The mother is a less-active member but is coming back to church again and is bringing her kids with her. Her husband still isn’t a member nor does he want to hear our lessons yet but he is finally allowing the kids to be baptized.
Edalin is amazing, when we followed up with her prayer about Joseph Smith she shared with us that when she prayed she basically had a vision and saw, to an extent, the first vision… of Joseph Smith seeing Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
We are teaching another family and four kids will be baptized in January. The parents are both members but were less active and haven’t come to church in over ten years so they now have 4 kids that are now of age to be baptized. We have been teaching them and they are great, I love teaching kids and so far that is where all my success has come from.. baptizing kids from part-member/ less-active families.
I can’t stress how important it is for members of the church to continue to reach out to others, especially to those who have strayed away from the church for one reason or another. It is part of our calling to perfect the saints, help carry their burdens and support them in their trials. We are also called to preach the gospel. Continue to be missionaries at home and help in any way you can. Even the little things make such a big difference.
Love you all
Tuesday was a really funny day because one bad thing happened after another. My companion and I wake up and our room is such a mess because we don’t have anywhere to put our clothes (we don’t have any cabinets or shelves at all) and we don’t have any safe water to drink and both of us only had a little bit of water left that was good to drink. I go to the bathroom to start the day and it turns out that there was no water period. Couldn’t flush the toilet or take a shower or brush our teeth. All the water was gone. We asked our next door neighbors if they had water and they didn’t have water either. (let me tell you.. not showering in the morning is very gross haha) We decided that we would go to the church earlier for district meeting so we could brush our teeth there. I go in the bathroom to turn the faucet on and there was no water coming out either. It turned out that the hole city was without water. At district meeting we found out that the couple missionaries were going home because Sister was having really bad back pains. She had back surgery before they came out, and lately it has been bothering her really bad so they had to go back to the states for her doctors. Also at district meeting, my companion dropped her glasses and they broke. When we went back home we found that our apartment had flooded and so we started cleaning up that mess by mopping up all the water. I also ended up losing my wallet which had 600 pesos and our key to the apartment in it. To make it all worth it, we taught a really good lesson that night and the spirit was so strong. We found this new family and their neighbors and friends are members so they want to be baptized. They have already been coming to church and so hopefully they will be baptized on Christmas day!
Kalibo is now looking a lot better. We have already rebuilt 15 homes and things are starting to look normal again. All the big cement buildings are still there and only needed a little bit of repairs. There are 6 sister missionaries in Kalibo but 36 missionaries in Kalibo zone. There are four of us living together in the apartment. We didn’t have to go and live with other missionaries or members. Some members are staying in other members houses still, but our ward is way ahead of all the other wards in our stake. My bishop has done very well at getting the priesthood together and telling them where to go to start building houses. He is using his funds wisely as well. Other bishops in our stake haven’t even started rebuilding yet.. so our ward is way ahead of the game. A lot of the trees were damaged, all the banana trees were destroyed and fruit is a lot more expensive than usual. We still don’t have power but some places do. The places that do have power are on a schedule so they only have power every other night only for a few hours.
I love you all so much