Sweet mother, I love you so much. Happy birthday on Sunday! I hope you have a great day (: I come to appreciate you and dad more and more every week as I talk to people and realize how great I had it growing up. But I'll get to that later. I'm not deleting pictures from my SD card yet, but I know that when it gets full I might have to.. whenever that is. But I figured that I've gotten like 3 free ones, rather than buying one for 15 bucks. Maybe you could just send it in my Christmas package? If you can't find one, just let me know and I can buy one no problem. Oh, and I thought of something you could send! A journal. I'm surprised that I've written as much as I have, but I'm filling up the ones I brought out with me. If you could get one that's decently big (like the one Joseph and Lys gave me) and a good number of pages, that would be wonderful. Also, I would love to have a picture of my baptism if you can dig one up and make a copy or something. I actually haven't had to buy any warm clothes yet. We went on exchanges this week, and the other sisters had a coat lying around. After helping the Blockers move, they also had a coat they didn't want, so Sis Watts and I are doing sufficiently well (: That's definitely been a blessing. I haven't believed anyone who's said Georgia is humid until this morning when it rained for the first time since I've been here. It's getting a lot colder, and there's been a lot of buzz about how cold it's supposed to be this week. And Alicia, thank you so much for the package! I love getting Canyon and Savanna's letters, and the necklace is so cute! Thank you for thinking of me!
This week has been full of ups and downs, but I guess that's just mission life, right? Satan is definitely getting in our investigator's heads, and it's the worst! Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself. Haha so in Relief Society yesterday, we learned the correct steps of prayer. That's really stressed in our ward (: You know you're in the south when...
Last monday, we had another awesome lesson at Bishop Allred's! It was supposed to be just us and Lucille like the week before, but Bishop called a bit before and said he was bringing a few extra people. It ended up being like 30 people! Including the other 4 elders. an investigator family, a member family, and a few other investigators here and there, and some recent converts. Wow. and Me and Sis Watts were teaching. That was the biggest (missionary) lesson I've ever taught! We taught about President Monson, and we were luckily able to get a clip from this past general conference. It was such a cool experience. The spirit was so strong! This was most of the people's first time seeing the prophet, and by the time it was over, you just had to know that he's a prophet of God. It was sweet because I shared my testimony, then Sis Watts, and she invited the elders to do the same, and then a few of the members joined in, and we just had a little testimony meeting on the spot! That was so awesome! Man, the spirit was just so strong.Our huge lesson in the Allred's home! A bit intimidating...
We went on exchanges this week, and I went up to Fayetteville with Sis Sullivan. It was SO different! First of all, it's an actual functioning city haha. It was just so much like Utah, except no one was Mormon. We saw miracles all day, and I really learned a lot from her. She's going home in December, so she's a really solid missionary. But it was nice to come back to Barnesville with my old tongban and get back to work (:
Exchanges with Sis Sullivan! She's the cutest.
We had 3 baptisms this week, but sadly only one of ours followed through. So Alex and John (the elders taught them) were baptized, and we had Lucille, our precious 90-year old best friend. Haha she said she'd never forget us, and I believe that. Everything about her is perfect, except her vision and hearing. Pretty impressive! It was just such a testimony to me that it is never too late to enter the Kingdom of God. I just know that Heavenly Father has been keeping her alive and well so she could get baptized and go to the temple. It makes me think of the allegory of the vineyard. She's one of those workers who didn't get to work until the 12th hour, but still gets the same pay at the end of the day. She may have had to worry all her life if she'd be able to feed her family, but now she knows she'll get 'paid'. I love that story, especially with the talk from Elder Holland.
Our first baptism! Lucille!!! I love her to death (:
West and Tia were supposed to get baptized, but Tia had apparently drunk tea the day before her baptism interview. She was totally okay that she couldn't get baptized though, and she's still stoked to do it this weekend! West called us literally right as we were leaving to fill up the font. He had smoked the day before. Man, we were just devastated to hear that. Satan has been working on him so hard him this past week. Like my friend from special needs seminary always says, "STUPID SATAN!!!'" We're going to try really hard to make sure they both make their date for this saturday though.
One day when it was a little slower, we decided to pop in to see a sweet member who hasn't been to church in a while, and last sunday we noticed that she was crying. I'm so glad we made the time for her! She's been going through so much lately from deaths, people in jail, rough living situations, etc. She literally just talked for like an hour. I don't think we could have said or done anything to make her situation better, but just the fact that we listened helped her. That was one of those times where I just feel like that's what the Savior would have done. She was so appreciative, and we encouraged her to step up with the basics - prayer, reading scriptures, and going to church. It's interesting how when people are struggling, those are the first things to go. I would think that you would focus on them that much more, but that’s how Satan works, I guess. After talking to her, it just made me so grateful for the home I grew up in with wonderful, active parents, siblings that I got along with decently, and for the spirit in our home. Mom, Dad, Scott, Lys, Brigham, and Joseph, thank you so much for helping raise me and being such a wonderful family.
On saturday, we stopped by the China Wall (restaurant) hoping my little Chinese friend would be there, but she wasn't. Haha we figured we might as well eat there, just so her mom knows we're there for more than to teach her daughter. The food was really good, but some things were a little wierd. Okay, so just the jello hahah. Maybe they think that jello is an American thing, not just a Utah Mormon thing? Anyway, it tasted like soap. Blech.
Our "dessert" at China wall.. Who has clear jello?? And they oddly tasted like soap.
Well, That's all for this week. All of our investigators now have a baptismal date, and this week should be just a lot of teaching and helping them all progress. Keep praying for my visa to come, although don't pray too hard. I'm accepting the fact that I don't know when I'll be gone, and I've even unpacked most of my things. For now, I'm here to stay, and I'm loving every second of it! Thanks for all of your prayers and encouragement! Here's to another week as a missionary!
Sister Jensen is leaving us! One of our star team-ups