Well, it has been four months here in the field... And five months since I entered the MTC. And now.. Now, I have been called to be a trainer to train another missionary. I cannot tell you how weird it is to me that I am training someone else when I still really don't know the language and especially since they do know the language. It would seem like they should be the ones speaking all the time, but instead it is me and she adds input. Her name is Sister P. She is 21 and is Bisaya. So, she is even older than me! Nevertheless, I don't feel like I am really training her, I feel like she is training me for the most part. Actually I really love it because we are helping each other. She went out with missionaries before she came here. Youth are actually really good about that here. Anyways, she has really good input in our lessons and if I don't understand the question then she does and answers, during her answer I usually figure out what the question was and more fully answer it.
Sometimes people don't understand what I am telling them though because it is Taglish and they didn't understand the words so it is crazy.. But even if they don't always understand they still listen. Sister P. says it is because I am so beautiful. Then I feel like, "Great... I don't want people to listen to me because I am beautiful.. I want them to be interested in my message... But I guess at least they are learning about the Gospel." We ask questions to check for understanding, if they didn't understand Sister P. helps me out. Either way, we are spreading the Gospel. I am still learning Tagalog. We are going to work together to help one another with english and Tagalog and talk to each other in it. She is patient and doesn't get frustrated when she has to retell me a word.. at least not so far haha. We are learning and growing together. I really like it. It is a much different experience than before.
All is well here, I am loving it! Sometimes I feel inadequate, but I know that God helps me and is here for me. Leading the area is different too and sometimes the people expect me to be fluent in Tagalog and there are words I don't understand haha. Sometimes that is embarrassing too. But I am learning. I hope I will be fluent soon. And I know that I have all of your love and support. Thank you!
Sister J., Sister A., Sister Jensen, and Sister P..
Sister Jensen, Sister P., Sister L., and Sister H.
As I was downloading all the pictures from Jasmine's email this week (there were more than normal because they thought they were going to be transferred) I was reading from a talk by Thomas S. Monson. It's from April 2013 General Conference, and its a wonderful message about missionary work entitled, " Come, All Ye Sons of God." If you want to read the entirety, it can be found here. President Monson talks about a formula for success as a missionary.The message the Prophet shared isn't just for those who are full time missionaries, anyone can and should implement it. He said, "The final point in our formula is to serve the Lord with love. There is no substitute for love. Successful missionaries love their companions, their mission leaders, and the precious persons whom they teach. " It's wonderful to see Sister Jensen's love grow every week.
J.C., he's 12 years old, and the silent type.
Sister Jensen with the C. children.
Brother and Sister Doyle are on the left. Jasmine loves them. This is at a baptism for someone that the Elder's taught.
Don't worry, there was no earthquake here. Just in Cebu. Now that we've got that squared away. I have had a lot of different experiences this week in my work. Including an experience with an investigator, she wrote my companion a note that was backwards so you had to read it in the mirror. Really creative for sure!
We had one of our investigators tell us he doesn't want to be baptized this week. It was sad to see him make that decision. But we all have our agency. We make our own decisions and I honor his agency. I still have hopes for him. I think he felt bad that his guardians didn't think he was ready before and lost his excitement and enthusiasm. I know that God has a plan for all of us though :).
This next week we will be baptizing the C. kids. They are so cute and I know they are ready for baptism. They are reading the Book of Mormon and praying. They are so cute. I took some pics of them and will be sending them. C. is too young to be baptized, but he is cute and a handful haha. Always into everything. Climbing on the table we are teaching at and throwing things. The rest are very quite and timid. You really have to interrogate them sometimes to really figure out how they are feeling and what they need.
Yesterday I had a wonderful experience with two of our less active members. We had Family home evening at their house with all their grandchildren, of which some are members, but some are not. We were sitting there waiting for everyone to get assembled when her son, who is not a member, walked accross the room with a guitar and was headed out the door when he realized that I was staring at the guitar with envy hahaha. He stopped and asked if I wanted to play. I said yes, and took it and strummed a few chords before I realized I couldn't remember any of the songs that I knew before haha so I said, "Kayo na lang!" Which means, just you! And then he continued to play the guitar like a pro. He was VERY good! It reminded me of my cousin Steven. Then he started singing, "Take me Home Country Roads" and it reminded me of my dear mother. I think you would have loved it mom! It was his own variation. He said it was an old song, I said "Yeah, I only know it because my mom sings it." Anyways, I loved it and it got him to stay for our family home evening! He listened to our lesson and said that him and his wife would go to church on Sunday *fingers crossed. I just realized how important it is to show interest in people and their interests. I know he wouldn't have stayed otherwise. Plus, we are teaching people not lessons. We just want them to have the happiness and the joy we have. Following the commandments of God brings true joy.
After our lesson we played games. One of the games we stacked matches on top a bottle and if you had three fall you got a penalty. After we built it up we took it down. It was fun. Kind of like Jhenga. Then we played the fruit game where you aren't allowed to show your teeth. It reminded me of the time I played it with my family at the Rhoenhorst's. Except that it was in Tagalog and there were Filipino fruits and it wasn't as intense. They were allowed to smile afterwards, where we don't. It was a lot of fun though :). FHE is my favorite haha. We have another tonight with the N. family. Some of our investigators. It should be fun!
We teach so many different people, with so many different concerns. I love seeing the different types of people. I love this work. It is hard work. It can be stressful and if you don't think I am aging not only physically, but mentally you would be wrong. But, we are inviting others to come unto Christ and important is our call and demanding is our work.
Jasmine was born February 28, 1993 to Vaughn and Lisa Jensen. She is the youngest of five. Our dad has always said he had farmer's luck when it came to his children because all of them are boys except for four. Jasmine was raised on the family farm in Emmett, Idaho. It was here that she first learned the value of hard work in her life. She spent her summers in the hot Idaho sun, irrigating, picking rocks, and operating heavy machinery, among other things. Our family worked hard together, and we played together too. Every year we would go on a family camping trip at the end of the summer. Dad and Mom would pack up the horses, sheep herder tents, bedding, the four girls and one boy, and drive hours and hours to the chosen remote forest trail head that would lead to our vacation destination. We would walk for hours, taking turns on the horses, and singing songs together. Many favorite family memories are of these trips. Including little Jazzy sneaking into the coolers to take bites of cheese directly from the block.
Jasmine always participated in lots of extra curricular activities. She was involved in 4-H, where she showed the horse she loved, learned to cook, sew, scrapbook, quilt, decorate cakes and many other domestic skills. Jasmine is the cake boss of our family. She would create beautiful birthday cakes for all the members of our family whenever there was a birthday or other occasion to celebrate. When Jasmine is around the oven is hot, and there are always sweets.
Music has always been present in our home since our mom is a talented singer and guitarist, and Jasmine followed in her footsteps and loves to play the violin. Though at first screechy, nail-on-chalkboard renditions of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb" were played over and over and over, seemingly overnight she began to touch our hearts with the beautiful violin hymns and music she played.
Jasmine is a gifted athlete. She has participated in many sports, soccer, softball, swimming basketball, volleyball, and her favorite: tennis. She played tennis through middle school and high school, and earned an athletic scholarship to play collegiate tennis before her mission. Her ability to lead and influence others for good shone when she was chosen to be the ladies team captain. Jasmine always played hard, but she never sacrificed her integrity for a point in her favor, and has always been courteous and friendly to her opponents. Jasmine was first in her conference in both brackets she played in for ladies singles and ladies doubles. She uses her talent in the sport to serve others, she would give pointers and tips to all those who asked and gave free lessons to anyone who wanted to learn. I coached tennis for the local middle school and Jasmine was always willing to talk about drills, or technique and even though she was taking 19 credits, and playing tennis for her school, she would find the time to come to the courts at the city park and help the 60 middle schoolers learn to love the game.
Jasmine is ultra modest, and probably wouldn't have told you half of the stuff I just gushed about, but trust me, thats just the beginning of the sweetness that is Jasmine. We have many names for the baby of the family, Jazzy, Jaz, Jazzle, Jazman Tazman, Jazmataz, Lady Jones, Aunt Jaz, but we know that her favorite is the one she goes by today: Sister Jensen.
Jasmine's first camping trip. September 1993.
My dad and Janeen on Chester.
Jasmine (asleep in Mom's arms), Mom, and I on Smokey.
Jasmine, Janeen, Jacqueline, and Jannelle.
Another camping trip.
Jasmine sneaking into the cooler.
Langer Lake with our family, and Grandparents.
Pinion Peak Look-Out, with our cousins, the Wests,
and Grandma and Grandpa Jensen.
Winter Olympics 2002, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jensen cousins, and Ukrainian TV Crew.
Jazzy shoveling corrugates.
The family on the farm, irrigating/shoveling corrugates together.