Archive | September 2014

29 September 2014

Kamusta Pamilya,

After four months of working in the vineyard of Leganes I have been transferred even closer to the mission office to a city called Oton. I am no longer a Sister Training Leader so I don’t have to give trainings and conduct exchanges and travel as much anymore… but I am opening an area again and training at the same time. My bata (child) is Sister Baui and she is the absolute best! She is Filipina and I love her so much. Because she is a new missionary she doesn’t know ilonggo yet so I am remembering my Tagalog again which is great. I love training, within the past few days I have been reflecting back on the beginning of my mission and have noticed how much I have learned. Everything that is happening right now is an answer to my prayers. I will end my mission as a trainer and will end it working hard.
Oton is beautiful and I am working in a branch again. There are really 300 members here in Oton but only so few come to church that it is still a branch. The branch is so active in missionary work though, which is nice and they have helped me and my companion know our area a bit. I am still not exactly sure about where the boundaries are but we have been able to know where quite a few members live and found some investigators that the past missionaries were teaching. There are a few problems that we will have to rectify, but once it all is fixed we will find a routine and continue with the work.
I am a living witness that the blessings do come.
Sister Jensen
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22 September 2014

Kamusta Pamilya,

After much dedication, hardwork, patience, prayers, and fasting, Shane Tubongbanua was baptized and confirmed as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. The program went so well. The young woman’s president (she is 20) sang a special musical number that totally related to Shane… I’m not sure what the song is called but it had the lyrics “you were meant to fly”. After one of the young women gave a talk and then Shane was baptized by one of the young men. While waiting for Shane to get dressed, we watched a Mormon message about a youth who was first to get baptized in her family and then due to her example her parents and rest of her family followed. It was perfect because both of Shane’s parents were there to watch her be baptized. Afterwards she bore her testimony and straight up said how she wants her parents to accept this gospel because she knows that it would help them and continued on sharing her testimony. The closing remarks were then given by the stake president and then Jose Porras gave the closing prayer. It was a great program, we had one of our less active members, Jose, involved in the program as well as the young men and the young women’s president. It was a very spiritual experience. Afterward the Stake President asked if we could organize an Family Home Evening with her family and have him come with us so we will be doing that tonight. He really wants to have Shanes parents accept the gospel and he is taking the time to focus on them with us which is amazing. Shane’s father, Noel, is doing great! He has stopped drinking coffee and alcohol for the past 5 days and he still continues to read from the Book of Mormon. Not only does he read the assignments that we give him but also is reading from the beginning and continuing onward. He told us that he likes reading from the Book of Mormon and that he wants to finish the book and set a goal for himself to finish it by the end of this year! He and his wife still won’t commit to a baptismal date and they still can’t find a way to set aside work and come to church. (most of their income comes from working on Sunday) but they are making changes in their lives and continue to support Shane in accepting this gospel and they help her live it as well. I can see that her parents have the desire especially, her dad.
I wasn’t able to take a picture with Shane and her parents because everyone’s camera died. but i did get a picture with her and her mom. (we took some pictures while we were waiting for her dad to come not knowing that all the cameras were about to die)
Jose Porras is doing great. The other day we went to his house and we followed up on his reading in the Book of Mormon and we found out that he has started reading everyday. Not only that, but he writes stuff down that he learns on a piece of paper! I gave him a notebook so that he could keep it all together and all the papers won’t get lost. We also gave him a Book of Mormon reading chart to make it a bit more exciting as well. While we followed up on his reading, he went off for ten minutes telling us the story and what he learned, and questions he had. He would just talk to us and read verses and tie it in to his life. I was amazed from all the effort he was putting in as he reads. We then taught him about the priesthood and then yesterday at church he told us that he would be having an interview with bishop and they would be talking about the priesthood. So Jose is doing amazing and he wants to start working with us as well. He also takes his Book of Mormon and scripture journal wherever he goes. He brought it to the baptism and to church yesterday.
This past week we also tried something new and gave a few tours of the church to our investigators. We ended up having 12 people come which is great and they seemed to really enjoy the tour and have a better understanding what we do. At the end we shared the experience of Joseph Smith. We didn’t have any investigators this past week attend church but at least we did what we could. We will continue to work with some of them and build their testimony of Joseph Smith. Rosalie and Carisa were some of the investigators that went and they are still struggling to accept the experience of Joseph Smith. The others were basically people we just found and thought it would be cool to take a tour of the church.
One day we were tracting and looking for new investigators. We came across a few people that say the words that we like to hear. they said “we are searching for the truth. I’ve been searching for so long” so we get really excited to teach them our message but they never are willing to listen or act on what we share with them. It’s a bit frustrating but just part of the challenge. I also had the opportunity to have Sister Aquino, tmy mission president’s wife work with us which was cool. We took her to Shane’s family and we talked about the temple and family. It was great to have her their to have her strong testimony from experience to share with them and to also be able to relate to them as parents of children.
We continue to find some success with the less actives. Especially the youth. We were able to find some more part-member families this past week that we didn’t know about and so that will keep us busy as we continue to find and work with the investigators that we have. We still get rejected.. no one will accept baptismal dates or commit to coming to church but we continue to work hard and put forth new ideas to help and invite people to come to the church and partake of this great gospel. We are planning to have a fireside very soon. We had an idea that we would have members provide 7 minute workshops based off of the missionary lessons and then at the end watch the Joseph Smith movie and then give time to recent converts to share their testimonies. The idea is to have members bring their friends and investigators as well as having the members help teach them and then having the testimonies of recent converts to help them gain a testimony and feel the spirit in the church. The ward is excited to help us and that will take place this coming October. Leganes is a very strong ward.. many of the members are returned missionaries and so whenever we ask for their help or if we have ideas they are willing to put it in action and help us out.
I continue to be honored to be a laborer in this part of the vineyard. I love you all so much!!
Sister Jensen

15 September 2014

Kamusta Pamilya,

This past week was busy and full of miracles as usual. We had a stake conference and it was exciting and there were great messages prepared. My mission president and his wife always speak at each stake conference so I was able to see them again. Shane passed her baptismal interview and she will be baptized this coming week!! I’m so excited. We have been working with her family but her parents just can’t find the time to come to church. The dad reads from the Book of Mormon everyday and they pray as a family as well. Sister Viliami and I continue to pray for a miracle so that the parents can find the time to come to church. When the dad was younger, he had the missionary lessons and was going to church but he just never got baptized. He told us that as we have been teaching them, this is the first time where he really has the desire to be baptized. We told him that the time is now and then he told us to come back in two years… then he’ll get baptized. He is a bit worried about some of the things he does and knows he has to give up..such as  coffee.. and knows it will take time.. but we will keep on helping him and pushing him for a time sooner than two years.
Jose Porras, a less active member who is about 19 years old, has returned and we are so happy for him. He wants to be all in and really wants to start preparing to go on a mission. He already knows so much about the gospel and he is doing so great, so the preparation shouldn’t take too long. We just wish his family was following his example as well. His family is a part-member family and we really want to see all of them coming to church.
Yesterday we did some tracting, and for the first time ever on my entire mission I was able to teach a complete family… all at the same time. It is a family of 5 and all three of the kids are in high school so they could really help the ward out. Sister Viliami and I were a bit too excited in our first lesson with them so we kinda taught them a little bit of everything which confused them but we will get more in control and focus on principles and clear things up with them in the next lesson.
Another investigator I am really excited about is Rosalie and her sister Karisa. When we first “tag balay”ed their house and asked if we could share a message with her she said “no”. But we have taught her about three times now and her testimony is struggling with having a living prophet today and she was asking us how Heavenly Father answers prayers and what it feels like for us so she can understand if she knows that President Thomas S. Monson is the living and true prophet today. I just wish I could give her a Book of Mormon to help her with her testimony.The problem we have been having is that for the past month or so our mission has been out of copies of the Book of Mormon so we haven’t been able to hand any out to our investigators… its been a bit rough since all we are doing is finding and everyone we are teaching right now needs a Book of Mormon but we have been working with the situation and miracles continue to happen. We should be getting the order very soon so that’ll be exciting.
I continue to feel the Savior close beside me and I see how he blesses my life each day as well as the days of others. I hope and pray that you recognize it daily in your life as well. I am grateful for the challenges that I have been given to me because those are the times where I feel the love of my Savior so close to me, leading and guiding me.
I love you all so much. Palangga ta kamo
Sister Jensen

1 September 2014

FAMILY

Merry Christmas!!!! It is the start of September which shoots off the Christmas spirit here in the Philippines! With August now complete and heading into the BER months I am realizing how close the end is coming and that one day I will be forced on a plane to leave the Philippines and to come home. It still feels like it will never happen/ still is a long ways but despite the situation I will continue to work hard and enjoy serving my mission here in the Philippines. I have come to truly love the people here.

Shane continues to do great. She hasn’t given in to temptations regarding the word of wisdom and has even stopped hanging out with her friends that do smoke and drink. She also has her family do family prayer every night and we have been focusing more on the family lately. Shane is making huge changes in her life and I can see how important the gospel is to her and her desire to change and become a better person. Yesterday we had ward conference and the choir sang a few pieces. Shane also joined the choir and it was nice seeing her be a part of church activities. Her dad also has word of wisdom problems that we will have to work on, and both of her parents are always working on Sundays but we continue to pray, fast, and teach them. Her parents are really noticing the great change in Shane and want to know for themselves as well. Teaching Shane and seeing her change has been the greatest blessing as I have been here in Leganes. As I have served her and watched her it has truly humbled me and made me grateful for the truthfulness of the gospel. 

I love you all so much. I hope Grandpa Koutz is getting better. i’m praying for him as well as all of you!

love

Sister Jensen