Archive | April 2014

28 April 2014

Family,

This week went by fast. A lot of our time was spent hiking to Albert’s house everyday to continue to prepare him for his baptism which will take place Wednesday morning! His house is on top of a mountain and it is about a 40 minute hike to his house. I love going there, we have to climb over a rickety bamboo bridge, cross some falls, walk under a fallen tree…. it is so beautiful, but going there everyday for the past week has been a bit tiring and takes a lot of our time; but it was needed. Albert is so excited and I am so happy for him.
We went to visit Emiliana the other day and I saw her smoking a cigarette (this happened after we taught her the Word of Wisdom and she told us that she didn’t have any problems and that she didn’t smoke.) It was sad, but it is just something we will have to help her with.

Sorry I don’t have a lot of time this week… we are going to Manggahan today.
Love you all. you are in my prayers.
Sister Jensen
Advertisements

21 April 2014

Kamusta,

This past week was a bit rough for getting missionary work done, but it turned out to be a fun week. There were so many people here in Guimaras because they all came to witness Pag-taltal which is the re-enactment of the crucifixion. I didn’t see the actual guy nailed to the cross but I saw people dressed up as the roman soldiers and the apostles and the parade that took place at the bottom of balaan bukid (holy mountain) It was so crowded and we couldn’t really talk to them because we were respecting their religion and the way they celebrate the holiday. We actually were able to teach two lessons that day which was pretty amazing since the whole re-enactment thing was in my area.
Yesterday was the first district conference for Guimaras. It just recently became a district. It was previously in the Iloilo stake, but now there are enough members that the whole island of Guimaras is a district. The conference took place here in Guimaras and afterwards there was a picture taken for this historical event. The conference was really good, my mission president and his wife spoke as well as Elder Tobias (of the area quorum 70). It was mainly about raising our families in the gospel.
This coming week, starting today, is the mango festival! During a point of the festival there is an all you can eat contest of mangoes. I’ll let you know how it goes next week if the all-you-can-eat contest happens this week (the festival is 30 days long)
Brother Albert continues to progress, the other day I found out that he reads everyday to his older sister and explains to her what is happening in the scriptures and they also pray together. We are also teaching his sister but she hasn’t come to church yet due to work. Albert is only 15 years old and he is helping his older sister who is 27 understand the book of mormon. It is so great!!
Sister Violeta has been really sick the past couple of days. She didn’t even end up working during holy week because she was so sick.
Emiliana is doing good. We read the Book of Mormon with her a lot. She doesn’t want to make a decision about baptism yet so we are still working with her whole conversion process.
This past week we also have been teaching a part member family. We are hoping that we can complete the family by having the rest be baptized. It seems pretty promising.
It was great to hear from you and I am so glad you are all doing great and had a great Easter.
love you all,
Sister Jensen

14 April 2014

Kamusta Pamilya,

This past week was great. I was looking forward to General Conference and the talks were so great. I was so grateful to be edified and strengthened by the talks and words of our church leaders and living prophet today. Take what you learned from conference and declare and live it!
This past week I got a new companion. Her name is Sister Punsalan and she is great. She is so skinny, short, and well… Filipino. She is such a great missionary and her testimony is so strong. She struggles a little bit with english so my tagalog language skills will pick up again and progress. Ilongo is still a challenge, but it is normal. The other day I was truly humbled by her. We were tracting and we were able to get into a house a share a message of how we have a Heavenly Father. This lady was old and catholic and she had a firm belief that what we know is wrong. Due to us not fully used to teaching with one another and having a stubborn investigator, the lesson didn’t go too well. She sent us back out the door and told us not to come back. I turn to my companion and said “that was an awful lesson” and then my sweet, innocent companion said “Sister, what is awful?” I was quite surprised that she didn’t know what the meaning was. She knows english pretty well, but at that moment I realized that I was having a negative attitude and that the language that was coming out of my mouth wasn’t uplifting or positive. I put in my mind that I needed to change and have more uplifting and positive language. My companion is so loving and innocent that she does’t even have such words like that in her vocabulary and that I shouldn’t have it in mine either.
The other day a miracle occurred. One of the greatest miracles that can ever happen as a missionary. After I picked up my new companion, we received a text from an unfamiliar number. It read “Sisters, my sister and her children are ready to hear the gospel. Can you meet us tonight at 6? We will be waiting for you.” I couldn’t fully believe what I had read, in the back of my mind I thought that this text wasn’t meant to be sent to us but was for some other missionaries because that happens quite often,  but it wasn’t. The text was for us and I replied with “Yes!” The lesson went great and her family prepared her well. She already knows a lot about our church. Her oldest daughter has already been praying as we do and says that she feels the spirit and love as she prays. As we made the next appointment her daughter requested that we come twice a week instead of just once a week. I am so excited to teach them. The member that gave us the referral is a strong member in a different area but he will be present as we teach them.
Another highlight of the week is that one of the less active members that we have been focusing on for weeks finally came to church yesterday! It was great, she was able to watch the Sunday morning session of General Conference. She seemed happy to be there and I hope she continues to come to church. Next week we will have our district conference so that is something else to look forward to.
I have also seen through the life of one of my new investigators that money does not buy happiness. It truly is all about the family. She understands this and wishes to do all that she can for her family and provide them with the opportunities that life has to offer but they choose not to. They choose to just sit around the house being on the computer and her husband just drinks, sleeps, and watches tv all the day long. She is the first person that I know who has a car and her life is indeed not the best. She is a religious woman and one thing that she said is “He sends people into our lives to help us” I was able to respond with “yes, yes He does, and He has sent us here to help you at this time….” I look forward to continue to teach her and help her find happiness and joy in this life through the gospel.
This past week was one of the most spiritual weeks here on my mission. The experiences and listening to General Conference was so great. I am truly blessed and continue to recognize more blessings and have a more thankful and humble heart. The gospel is true. I love you all.
Sister Jensen

7 April 2014

Kamusta Pamilya,

It was great to hear from all of you and see some pictures of the family! It seems you all had a great week and were inspired through the talks and other experiences in life. I am grateful to know that you are all doing well.

The baptism of Sister Violeta didn’t end up happening. She is having  a challenging time right now and instead of turning to the Lord she is choosing to do what she thinks will best help her. She is working on Sundays and isn’t able to come to church. This coming month is Holy Week and she lives in Balaan Bukid which is translated to mean “holy mountain”. On good Friday they re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, so people from all over come to watch this event. She is preparing stuff to sell to people to earn some money that way. We were very sad about it but hopefully she will be prepared on a later date. Anyway, there is this reenactment and they choose someone from my area to crucify as well as two other people. There will be many people that come from all over the Philippines. It is a huge event here in Guimaras and everybody is talking about it.

We have another investigator that is doing really well. His name is Albert and he is 15. He is amazing and is always reading the Book of Mormon and he comes to church on his own. His parents work in Iloilo on Sunday mornings so he comes to church all on his own. He participates in the classes and is progressing very well. We hope that he can be baptized this month. He is one of 11 kids (he is the youngest) and we are also teaching other members of his family but he is the only one that comes to church. It is pretty amazing.

I got to climb a coconut tree this past week, it was pretty fun and not as hard as I thought it would be. Another crazy thing is that I go to crown a queen. There was this pageant thing going on in my area and they asked me to crown the queen. I didn’t really know what was going on but it was in front of a lot of people in one of our areas and it turned out to be a great opportunity to talk to a lot of people about our church. I even was able to talk to the mayor about the gospel and what I do as a missionary. It was a really fun and random experience that I’m sure will never happen again. I hope that now the people will recognize us when we walk down the street and now let us into their homes.

One thing that I have come to learn is that it isn’t necessarily important to know more  but to live and declare what I already do know.  As we live and share our testimonies of what we know it becomes a part of us and we become who we are supposed to become. We reach a potential to be like Him. As we live and declare what we know, more knowledge will be added to us and more opportunities to share what we know will be given to us.

I love you all.

Sister Jensen