Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry CHRISTmas!

MERry CHriStmAS!!! 

I hope you are all having a holly jolly Christmas in the states. Here it is hotter than hot and it will only get hotter because it is turning to summer here... The mangoes are getting ripe. I have been given three mangoes now and bought many... They are delicious! The dried mangoes we get from the states are from here. The mangoes here are delicious! So far I have only had one kind, like the champagne mangoes they have at costco. I hear there are many different kinds though. 

There are lights here and lots of pretty things. They have giant stars that they make here that light up. They are truly works of art. They are very cool. I will try to take some pictures without looking like a tourist haha. They are very big and gorgeous. 

Well... I am off to skype my impatient family hahaha. Love you all and have a merry CHRIST mas! 

Sister Jensen

Monday, December 16, 2013

Party at the beach, zone conference, and a barbecue.

The Missionaries' Christmas Party at the beach. 

I bet some of you are wishing this is what your Christmas feels like... while I am here wishing it was my old familiar cold christmas with the smell of pine and a cowboy christmas tree. But we did have fun." 

Zone Conference. 

"Me eating some delicious Filipino bbq at Sister C's house. She invited us for New Years too... I will not refuse. It was delicious."

"I will be skyping ya'll on Monday here, but sunday evening where you are next monday.. or Sunday for you! Seee you all there! Love you! - Jas" 

Merry Christmas!

Dear Everyone,
Yeah, so this week has been really busy and fun. We had one baptism on Friday. Brother R.N. He is ten years old and really a cutie. He is very smart and he is actually the one that seems to always give the prayers at our lessons. He was so happy and excited to join the church. The day he got baptized was also his birthday. At first he didn't want to get baptized on his birthday, but by the end of the night he was saying he would never forget it. After he got baptized Sister P and I took a cake to their house for him and taught him a lesson. It was a small cake, but he loved it. If we hadn't brought it, there wouldn't have been any celebration of his birthday. Not even the normal pansit they cook "for long life". There family has very little. We managed to hide the cake before all the kids got there so we could focus on our lesson. R got in from christmas caroling. Here the kids start Christmas caroling even sometimes in November. They go from house to house caroling for money with little home made drums and shakers made out of rocks and old containers singing songs. One of the songs they usually sing is "We wish you a Merry Christmas" but... They are a little mixed up and usually sing "We wish you Americana..." Which is the feminine word for American. Well, they just must really love us americans. Anyways, He got in and we taught our lesson and sang happy birthday and had cake. As he was eating his cake he said he would never forget this day. I hope he never does. Not because of the cake, but because it was the day he decided to recieve the gospel into his life. It was the day he decided to follow Jesus Christ for the rest of his life.

I also got to see the Christmas devotional! It made me miss home so much. Seeing videos of America always make me miss the country I love so much. The Christmas trees and lights... The cold weather... I was missing home. It made me think about my home and how it smells like cinnamon candles and pine trees, and our Christmas tree that is REAL not fake. The lights everywhere... The layering of clothes and wearing boots... I miss my boots and scarfs and winter attire. People wear hats and coats here, but I think they are crazy and don't know how they are not boiling alive. They have lights here... but they are also very creative. There is a tree at a school here made out of water bottles and other assorted plastics. I will have to take some pictures for you all to see. Christmas is a little different here. They also sometimes ask for Christmas presents... It is a little strange for me.. But it is all good. Things are different here on this side of the world, but they are good. Everything here is celebrated with food.

Today we had our Christmas party for our North side of the mission. It was a lot of fun. I got to play volleyball! I haven't gotten to do that in a long time. It was at a nice resort and we played games together, had some skits, ate food, sang, danced, were given a kit-kat by president and his wife, and I received the package my mom sent me! So all and all it was a great day! I enjoyed it. I miss being able to play sports. It was great to get to play again. It still is hard to feel like it is Christmas because it isn't cold, but as President asked us to think about the Savior and what he did for us and then ask ourselves what we can do for him in our work I definitely felt the Christmas spirit. I almost cried... Because I owe so much to our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that Christ died for us so that we could have hope. He is central to the plan of our Loving Heavenly Father. Without him we could not return to live with God. Because of him and because of the gospel (The plan of God for us) we can have salvation and eternal happiness.

Love others as Jesus loves you,
I love you! Merry Christmas!

Sister Jensen

" This is the happiness the Gospel brings." 

"Birthday ni R."

Monday, December 9, 2013

Adventures in Masinloc.

Sister Jensen and the monkey.

 "They caught this monkey because it bites kids... So I wanted a pic with it.  But it also pawed me in the face hahaha, no worries no scratches, but it meant I couldn't be next to it in the pic because it wanted to paw me to death. It was an angry monkey. "

Sister Jensen and Sister P.

"Birthday of K! WE ATE SOOOOO much! It was delicious. Filipino spaghetti is sweet. They put sweetened condensed milk in it."

Baptism and nm Fiesta ng Bayan Pictures.

"Baptism of K. C, and her brothers and some others that I don't know."

 "Sister P and I with the N Family."

"Young Women's presentation for our investigators."   

"Fiesta ng Bayan. These little dirty fellers won the dance competition. Conveniently they were outside the house we ate at. "

The Baptism of Brother Buddy

Dear Family and Friends,
The weeks just seem to be flying by. This week I felt so sad. Sister H, who has been with me since I've been in Masinloc, since I've been here in the Philippines, was transferred. It was a bitter and unexpected goodbye. We assumed she would be here for Christmas. Needless to say... I cried. I cried the most I cried since I left my family. We truly are like sisters. We have lots of plans for when we get back. Thus is the way of missionary life, full of surprises. We never know when we will be called to go somewhere else, but we do know it is the plan of God for us.
Our new house mate is a sister training leader... soo... Yeah, she is a rule keeper, but no problems there. She kind of reminds me of my sister Jacque. Maybe it is because she is 28 and knows how to get people to do things that need to be done in a non-pushy way. It really made me miss my family at first... Especially Jacque. She is very nice and talkative. So life is alright. I was worried at first to have a new house mate for Christmas.
This last week Brother R or Brother "Buddy" to us was baptized. He is 69 years old. He was so ready for the gospel. When we go to teach him he never ceases to thank us for bringing him the gospel. He truly cherishes the gospel. His wife died several years ago and he has no kids. He said before his life was just eating and sleeping. He said now his life has changed since we brought him the gospel. He said it changed his life. This is the reason why I am here on a mission, so that others can feel the joy of the gospel. When I go see him he always buys us bread from the local store and pop. He always buys me extra because I am tall and he thinks that that means I eat a lot... Which is not true hahaha, but it is very sweet of him. If I don't finish it he always makes me take it with me. He is very kind and giving. He already wants to live the law of tithing. He is always giving to us. He is going to be a wonderful member of the church. He calls me Jensen or Jen sometimes. He is like a grandfather to me.
I love my work here. I love the people here. I love serving the Lord. I know that the Gospel is the thing that will make us the happiest in our lives. It is eternal happiness. If we have an open heart and mind we will enjoy the blessings of it. I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve the people here in the Philippines. This next week Ryan Nesperos will be baptized. His mother was baptized last month. We have high hopes for his brother and his father to receive the restored gospel and eternal happiness. This is life eternal. I love you all!
Mahal Kita!
Sister Jensen

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fiesta ng Bayan.

Dear Family and friends, 

This last week we had a baptism! Sister K.C. We were so excited for her to be baptized with two of her siblings in Bayto. Earlier when I was here we baptized two of her other siblings, so now all of her siblings have accepted the gospel except the oldest sibling. The amazing thing is that they live in different places, but they still all received the gospel. Some of them live with their grandma here in Masinloc and some live with their dad in Bayto or Santa Cruz. We are so happy for her. She already has friends and is doing great! Her mother died a couple years ago that is why some of them live with their grandma. Their mother was a member. Her cousins also live with her. Their mother also died. Her cousins were baptized with the two other of her siblings before. He will be receiving the priesthood! We are so excited for him. Well at least I am. His name is J :). J.C, and I am so excited for him. I hope he serves a mission. He is only 12, but he looks older because he is tall.

This week was also the Fiesta of the Bayan here. So it looks a lot like Cherry Festival. There are food stands, clothes stands, rides like the farris wheel and octopus, and banners everywhere. It is really quite festive. We got invited to lunch at one of our investigators houses. After we got outside, our landlord who just got in from Canada, invited us in for lunch at his house. So not only were we going to eat two lunches, but he insisted on us going for round two. It was very good Filipino food. It included a dish in which they cook blood.. It was okay, it had kind of a bitter taste. Then we went to our investigators house. We were supposed to teach a lesson before, but they were busy entertaining their guests in and out of the house. They served us inside. We were the only ones inside and we ate on china... That was a first for me in a long time. Usually only plastic plates. It was very fancy and delicious! Afterwards they all wanted pictures with me. It was great! They invited us back for Christmas. NO complaints here, but I also hope to be able to teach them a lesson as well sometime before Christmas. They are nice people and would do well to hear the gospel. I will send a picture of them and all our fun next week because we can't hook up a usb in this computer shop. Viruses. There were people EVERYWHERE. It reminding me of Cherry Festival. No wonder it doesn't feel like Christmas to me. It is WAY too much like summer. 

Then we went and taught lessons. One to the C family and they fed us this delicious Filipino dessert that is made out of macaroni, fruit cocktail and other delicious ingredients.. It was so nummy. Later we caught a victory bus with Kristil and her phone went off. Neen, it was Paramore. I can't remember the title, but it reminded me of you. 

So this week has been a lot of fun for us. We have been working hard and exploring our areas. We had many new investigators. The people here are really friendly, caring, and loving people. I am glad I was sent to the Philippines on my mission. The people are great! I love it here. I know that it is worth the sacrifice to be here on my mission. I know that I was sent here to help this people. I miss home sometimes, but I love my work. Thank you all for your love and support. More pics next time!


Sister Jensen