Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Change is a Good Thing

The Lord really does love me. This week I was assigned a new companion who is the best, her name is Sister Goldrup. She was suppossed to leave last Monday, but her cornea got messed up in her eye and she had to have surgery, so she is here another three weeks. President Dunn pulled my old companionship and Sister Goldrup into another room to create our new companionships. He said, "I have a very strong feeling that Sister Jensen and Sister Goldrup should be companions." I was so excited! I had prayed the night before that whatever happened would happen, but if I had a say in it all I did not want to be companions with Sister G. because of all the struggles we had had the past week. The Lord heard my prayer and has blessed me with someone who works hard and is more advanced than me, which is humbling, but enabling me to push myself even harder to get on the same page as her.
Sister Goldrup is from London most recently, her family has lived all around the world. She is not uptight and we laugh a lot. We talk to each other in a lot of Chinese and I can't describe the weight that has been lifted off of my shoulders. The Lord surely knew I needed this.
So just a little shoutout to Sister Marissa Miller! She is in the MTC now and her class is in my building so we will be seeing each other a lot! Haleilughjia (please check my spelling)!
Another thing I want to share with everyone is the amazing discussion we had in class this week while searching the scriptures. We talked about the difference between righteousness and obediance. Let me just say I want to be righteous, not obediant. Being righteous means we have a sincere desire to follow in Christ's steps and to do the right thing. Obediance is being odediant with no testimony of what you are doing is going to help you in the long run. It was an amazing search of the scriptures as I became recharged to obey in righteousness.
The Lord shed another blessing on me Friday. Brother Townsend had an interview with me about my time at the MTC thus far. I told him I was frustrated because I felt like I should know a lot more than I do and I was worried that I was teaching lessons not people. Brother Townsend looked at me smiled and laughed quietly. He then went on to give me an analogy about how mountains. He said to look from the top of the mountains. From the top of the mountains we can see everything. He asked me how many years I studied French in which I replied, "5 years." He then asked, "And how long have you studied Chinese Jian Jie Mei?"
I replied, "Almost 6 weeks."
Brother Townsend then said I was a miracle. He said he and Brother Thatcher were amazed at how fast I was progressing. He said he could see the bigger picture because he had already reached the Mountain Top. He said my investigators could feel my love and that I was teaching their needs and not just lessons. Brother Townsend ended the conversation by saying, "Take a deep breath, take a step back and don't stress."
All that was said was exactly what I needed to hear. I still have a long way to go, but I should be happy with the progress I have made. Now that I thing about it I can probably speak more fluently in Chinese than I ever could in French. What a blessing that is! The Lord has certaintly performed miracles on me in the six short weeks I have been here and I am so excited to help build up his Kingdom so that others may feel the blessings of the Lord, our Heavenly Father.

Jian Jie Mei

 1st: My new companion Sister Goldrup and I!!!
2nd: My friend Elder Worley got to the MTC!!! Awkward handshakes :)
3rd: Sister Miller in the MTC hood!!!!

Tender Mercies

Title: Tender Mercies
This week seems like it went by faster than the last! Which is both exciting and nerve racking because I have one month left to learn Chinese in the MTC, but once I'm done I get to get the heck out of Dodge (MTC) and start being a missionary in the field! Woot woot!
In fourth grade I remember being in the class play as an elf. I looked out into the audience that filled the cafeteria and there sat my family. There was Dad, with a space big enough for another person, then Mom and Addie. I remember thinking that the space between my parents was not empty, rather my Grandma Sharon was there watching over me and smiling at my fourth grade acting skills...
This week I was lucky enough to feel my Grandma Sharon's presence again. It was Tuesday night after devotional and we were talking about times we had felt close to Heavenly Father. Sister Taylor shared an experience about her grandma, then Elder Bowcut shared an experience that was near to his heart. President Dunn, commented that there were angels watching over each and everyone of us. It then hit me that my guardian angel was Grandma Sharon. I could feel her presence in the small room where we were meeting. I hadn't really thought about her much since coming on my mission, though I have been aware of all the blessings in my life, especially this past week. It was a tender mercy of the Lord to allow me to feel my grandmother's love and watchful eye.
Then on Wednesday, I was blessed yet again with a tender mercy of the Lord. Brother Thatcher was to be gone for the rest of the week visiting an old companion out in Virginia, and as my family and friends can attest, I am not good with change, especially when it comes to teachers. Remember how hard it was for me when Madame Holst left to have her baby? Remember when Dr. Kendrick left to go to Spartenburg? Not an easy adjustment for me. With the knowledge that I could not afford to be stubborn with the sub and get confused at their different teaching styles, I started Wednesdaymorning with a prayer to my Heavenly Father to please help me have patience with the substitutes and to please help me learn, despite the absence of my real teacher. The Lord Heard my prayer and I was able to not only learn, but learn a great deal. Now granted they were not as good as teachers as Brother Thatcher, they were good enough to get me motivated and take my time here at the MTC more seriously. I created a new and improved study plan and prayed for help, once again, for Heavenly Father to give me the diligence to stick to my study plan.
My last tender mercy of the week is not related to the Gospel, other than it is definitely a tender mercy of the Lord: Volleyball. Sister Taylor and I have been playing everyday, and while it is not even comparable to playing in high school, I have been abel to find some spanish speaking Elders and Sisters who are pretty good. Together we can all get some good rallies in, and best of all I get set well enough that I can hit the ball whilst flying through the air. There are two things that make me feel alive in life. One of them is this gospel and the other is volleyball. The first time I played volleyball at the MTC it was a huge dissappointment because I was the best and everyone else could barely pass the ball. The Lord knows I need volleyball to relieve stress and to activate that other part of my soul, therefore he has blessed me with new friends who play volleyball and play it well. There is one Elder, Elder Berry, who is quite the athlete and can set, pass, and hit very well. We are quite the team when we play together.
Love you all and please write me