Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Flowers for Mom.

Day to day life in the Philippines. These are pictures of flowers I took for mom, me on a bamboo bridge, and those are people drying rice on the road for my dad.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Party Party! Wedding!

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, this work was a lot of fun for us. Maybe too much hahaha. We went to follow up training at the mission home and ate a ton of delicious food including fresh pineapple, bananas, broccoli, and ice cream a rare commodity here. It was so good! Cookies and cream mmm... So that was all good.

On Sunday.. Well this was interesting... We were invited to one of our investigators weddings... At the catholic church. We received permission to go, so we went. I felt really weird walking in there being a missionary for another church and all, but I really wanted to see their traditions and what they did. I am pretty sure that it was more awkward for my companion because if I don't want to understand Tagalog all I have to do is not really focus. So of course the Priest was giving a sermon and things like that. They partook of their sacrament. The priest puts the bread in their mouth for them. A Filipino tradition is to kind of have a prayer circle thing and then bless everyone. To bless they take the hand of the other person and put it to their forhead. Like you would to kiss someone's hand but then no kissing, just to the forehead. They have lots of guardians. All the guardians pay 100 pesos to the catholic church for their wedding. At the reception they also pin pesos to the clothes of the bride and groom, so everyone sees what they give them. The reception wasn't too different then American wedding receptions other than it was catered with Filipino food and they go in surges to eat. First the Bride and groom and their family. They bless everyone on the way in and then sit down and eat. Then they have different surges of people. We were treated like special guests it was nice haha. 

We also had the baptism of Sister G.N. We hope that she will be the key to the rest of her family receiving the gospel. Her husband is coming along slowly but surely. She was happy and very patient. Her kids love us :). Next week we have Sister K.C. to be baptized. Her Siblings were baptized earlier and three more will be baptized with her in Bayto on Saturday. We are so happy they are all receiving the gospel :). Families are so important!  We are busy in the work. 

Our areas were changed though because we got two more elders here, and they will be teaching many of our investigators. We are sad that we don't get to teach them anymore, but be have new friends to make in our new areas. 

Love you all!

Sister Jensen

 Sister Jensen.
Sister P and I with the N children.

G.N's Baptism Day!

Wedding in the Philippines.

"bless circle"

Little boys at the wedding. 


Signing papers. 

"Our investigator is happy :) We are happy he is married! But now he will be taught by the other sisters." 

"The reception, not too different, huh?"

Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Sister H! (and more)

With Sister P at the beach. 

"One of my investigators is creative! She wrote me this whole letter backwards. I had to read it in the mirror! It may have been the single hardest letters I've ever tried to read." 

Sister H's birthday, with the Elbos and the Elders. Pancit for long life! 

Sister C. and I. 

Tacloban Missionaries

Dear Family and friends,

Well, this week has been Cray cray. We had a lot to do and not a whole lot of time to do it. We had Zone conference with President Q. It was on obedience. It is usually the topic, so it must be something we all need to work on. There are even little things we can to better each day to be more obedient. Then we had interviews with President and apartment checks. Thank goodness we passed, but of course we take care of our palace of an apartment because we want to keep it! Who wouldn't want to live in the the Belair of apartments here in the mission?President told me my companion spoke well of me... I would hope so hahaha.

 I also learned we are receiving fifteen of the Tacloban missionaries in our mission. I saw their picture today and as far as I can tell and there are only two sisters. At our zone conference President Q. had one elder that's parents live in Tacloban stand up. They don't know about his parents. There is no electricity in Tacloban and many people died. President talked about his courage to continue serving his mission  even though he doesn't know where his family is and if their okay. He stood there and wiped tears away with his black hanky as President spoke. The Filipino people are dedicated to this work. We are getting two of the Tacloban Elders in our area, well, we think. We aren't sure exactly yet, but they put in bunks in the Elders apartment. We hope they will feel at home and be able to overcome their traumatic experience. Two of the Tacloban sisters had to force a hole in the ceiling of their apartment and climb into it to escape the water. They all survived. All of the missionaries because they are blessed of the Lord.

We also had district conference. All their meetings here they try to speak in English. The second councilor to President Q. spoke. The Church here is still baby like so there are branches and districts and President Q. is over it all. The second councilor was HILARIOUS! I loved his talks. He made me laugh. He talked about Abraham and Isaac. He said that we know that the angel that appeared to Abraham wasn't Filipino because he would have been late. Patay! Isaac would have been dead. That made me laugh because I think all the latter day saints have that problem of being on time. And it is true for all of us. It is particularly hard to be on time here though because you rely on others for transportation and you never know if there is going to be a bus or not when you need it. They aren't really scheduled. It can be very hard. We have waited hours for buses before. 

President E., the district President that lives here in Masinloc, also talked about the importance of not working on Sunday. He owns a school supply store here in Masinloc and the day that they have the most kita or profit is on a Sunday. Because of his wife they are not open on Sunday now. All the other people in town think he is crazy for it, but they aren't open on Sunday. His example caused one of our investigators, Sister G.N., to talk to her husband about devoting Sunday to the Lord instead of working. It was great! Sister N. is Scheduled to be baptized this coming Saturday. Her husband has started to read the Book of Mormon and is slowly but surely coming closer to Christ. We have lots of people that are preparing themselves for baptism in December and we are so excited for them! I know that atonement of Jesus Christ is a wonderful thing and it is beautiful when we let it work in our lives.

Love you all! Stay Strong and follow God!

Sister Jensen

Zone Conference 

Monday, November 11, 2013

The work is AMAZING! I love the Gospel!

The week of Typhoon Haiyan:
Jasmine's mission President communicated that all the missionaries in the Olongapo mission were safe, and in a separate email to my parents Jasmine explained that there had been rain, and wind, but that the effects of the typhoon weren't severe in her area. If you're looking to donate to help with the devastation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted this article with information about the Typhoon, along with how it impacted the missionaries serving in the impacted areas, and included suggestions of ways to help (to read more click here). Of course there are many reputable options of agencies to respond to disasters that you may donate to, but I recommend researching the agency prior to providing financial support to ensure the funds are actually getting to where the need is greatest. We continue to pray for those living in Philippines who have lost their loved ones, their homes, and what little they owned.

Dear Family and Friends,
This last week was wonderful for me. We had many wonderful things happen. We went to an investigators house thinking we were going to have to tell him we couldn't continue to teach him because he wasn't keeping his commitments and going to church, but that we still loved him and would drop in on him once in a while. When we got there he said he was ready to be baptized and would go to church on Sunday. This time he kept his word and was there on Sunday! Even earlier than us. His name is S. He is 70 years old and likes to be called Brother Buddy. Even though he doesn't have a lot of money he always insists on feeding us bread and soda. He is very sweet. He just a cute old gentleman that reminds me of my Grandma Packer.
We also have been teaching Brother E. I know that I mentioned him in one of my other e-mails. We taught him a lesson and we felt the Holy Ghost so strong and we tried to commit him to be baptized. He turned us down, even though he said he knew the Book of Mormon was true, Joseph Smith was a Prophet, and that the church was true. His reason was that he wanted to finish all of the Book of Mormon before he became a member. I was thinking about this one morning while I was having my personal study. I read Mosiah 22. After I was done I was thinking about him. When I looked back down at my Book of Mormon it was on chapter 18. I read verse 8-10. And I knew it was for him. After the next lesson I assigned it to him, so he could get the answer for himself. When we came back I asked, "Kamusta ang pagbabasa mo sa Ang Aklat ni Mormon?" (How is your BOM reading) He said, "Nagbasa ako lahat Mosiah 18. Natakot ko Sister." (I read all of Mosiah 18 and I am scared.) I said, "Bakit?" (why?). Nevertheless, he knew he needed to be baptized. He will be baptized on the 7th of December. I know that that answer was for him from God. It didn't come from me. I was just a tool in his hands to share it with Brother H. AS missionaries we are given revelation from God for our investigators (people that are looking into the church). We work through God to invite others to come unto Christ and receive the restored Gospel. I love all the people I serve and want the best for them in their lives.
We also had another investigator, Sister G, who decided to be baptized on the 23rd of this month. She received a witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. She said her resolve was firmer than ever to be baptized. She had backed out one time before because her husband didn't want to get baptized. Now, because of her example, her husband went to church and he really realized that he really has to read the Book of Mormon to know if the Church is true. And it is true. I know that it true. And I know it because I have read it and prayed about it to know if it is true. We should all take Moroni's challenge and put the Book of Mormon to the test. What is the harm in reading and praying to know if it is true? There is none. I challenge all who have not done so for themselves, to read it to know if it is true. Read it and pray about it to know if it is true. Ask God, he will never lead us astray. Forget what other people may say and just ask for yourself!
The blessings of the Gospel in our life our enumerable. I know that the knowledge of the Gospel blesses me every day. The goodness of my life is a result of the gospel. Of living gospel principles. I feel the love of God every day and the love of God for others.
I love you all!

Sister Jensen

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sorry, no pics this week.

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, I am a trainer now. I am expected to be the boss, but I don't like being the boss haha. So, I just try to lead by example as best as I can. I am by no means perfect. I try though. Sometimes it is hard. I just try to lead by example. I know my companion is learning and I am learning. We are both learning more together. We try to teach each other English and Tagalog. She is patient with me and I am patient with her. That is the way it should be. President Q. told us that it is very important for us to be patient. I realize there are things we need to do and we do them, but I am not super nit-picky. As long as she is trying her best, I am happy. 

This last week we taught this old man named S. He lives in a little cinder block house. His wife died many years ago. When we visited he had just gotten back from the cemetery to visit his wife's grave. They have something called all saints day here. They don't really celebrate Halloween. It was kind of sad for me. But if they do it is on November 01. The little kids did have monster masks, but there is no trick-or-treating or anything like that here. On all saints day everyone goes to the graves of their loved ones and puts flowers on them. It is kind of like memorial day in America. Anyways, he'd just gotten back from that and he was looking like he just got back from a date. Even though he doesn't have much to eat for himself, he always buys us bread and pop. After our lessons he tells us he is full. Full of the word of God. He tries to share his beliefs with all his neighbors and always tells us that people have no respect for the word of God. He also would work with us too, if he wasn't so old and sick. He feels bad we walk everywhere haha. I love walking. I am glad that I do. It is one of the benefits of being a missionary here. No car! Walk and tricyle and bus everywhere! 

One of the saddest things for me to see is people that want to be baptized, but allow others to control what they do, or they are too young and have to have permission from their parents. Then their parents don't want them to, or aren't supportive. It is so much better if we have wonderful parents in our lives. Great role models. I am grateful for the great parents I have and their example. I am grateful for their love and support. I miss my family because I love them. I love the people here too. 

One of our investigators came to church this week with his children and his wife didn't. The funny thing is is that his wife is the member but he is the one that came to church. His wife is less active. His daughter is A, our first baptism here. His name is Brother E. His son is less active too. I can just see the happiness his family could have if he led them in the Gospel. I know he knows that it is true. We are working on him quitting cigarrettes. His kids are helping too haha. He really loves his family and his kids. He has lots of questions.  I know the gospel blesses our lives. I know it can bless the lives of those around us. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve. I love learning more about God, the people here, and the language. Thank you all for your love and support!


Sister Jensen.