Monday, November 25, 2013

Lost and Found

This week has been a week of much happiness as Sister Chen and I welcome Sister Cabamongan to the world of SunnyBank. This week we contacted 221 souls and have had more potentials than ever, much thanks to Sister Cabamongan I do believe. We are finding the lost sheep of Brisbane!
Yue Xing, quite possibly the cutest little Chinese girl I have ever seen. She is so petite and wears lace and platform flip flops to try to make her seem a little taller. The first thing she said when we showed her the picture of Joseph Smith was, "hen shuai" which means very handsome! We met with her on Monday and were unable to set up a return appointment, much to our dismay. However, Yue Xing lost her umbrella at the bus stop the next day, and we all know where us missionaries go everyday...THE BUS STOP! We found her umbrella called her and she asked us to please protect it until our next appointment. Yue Xing lost her umbrella and now we are going to help her find her way to salvation. What a marvelous work this is!
The second thing to be found this week was my WALLET! Yes it was found, and while it is not in my possesion yet, it will be soon hopefully! The STL's called me Thursday and told me they had found my wallet in their car. It is a miracle. Even though all the cards within have been cancelled, my temple recommend is safe as well as my lucky two dollar bill! I guess that $2 bill was good luck after all.
Missionary work is progressing. We are figuring out how to work as a tri-panionship and are finding success. We are finding more people and setting up appointments with them. A perk of having Sister Cabamongan is that she is from the city and so her old companion is going to give us all of their refferals.
So many people are lost in this big wide world, but as a missionary it is my job to listen to the guidance of the Holy Ghost in finding them and then helping them find Heavenly Father. We are so blessed to live here on earth with free agency. As Christmas draws closer and closer, I get more and more excited because at Christmas time people are usually in the Spirit of Christ, whether they recognize it as that or not. People are more prone to chat, more prone to give service, and more prone to look outside themselves and into the lives of others. What an amazing time to be a missionary as the world gets ready to celebrate the birth of our Beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. I encourage all the look forward to December with hope and love towards all you come in contact with. Hope that they will feel of their Saviors love and see the blessings of Heavenly Father, and Love for everyone you come in contact with.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hangin' Up the Jersey

I thought that when I gave up a volleyball scholarship two years ago that I was "hangin' up the jersey" to follow what my Heavenly father wantd me to do. It was probably the hardest thing I have done. I say that because when I gave up that scholarship I gave up a big part of who I wanted to be and where I wanted to go, in order to follow blindly a prompting of the Holy Ghost.
Then this past week happened! We had a huge conference with all the zones in southern Queensland. Like 140 missionaries huge! Anyway, at this conference President talked to us and the one thing he said that has seemed to just stick to me is that we all need to "Hang up the old jersey." When he first said this I smirked a little bit, because I thought I had already done that. I gave up volleyball, and I gave up continuing my education for 18 months, I had hung up my jersey long before my mission started. However, as President continued to talk, I came to the realization that while I had hung up that beautiful #12 black spandex jersey with "Rock Hill High" on it, I had put on another jersey. I had put on the college life jersey of late nights, lots of friends, and studying new things in a new atmosphere. It wasn't a bad jersey, just like my volleyball jersey wasn't bad. I learned a lot in both, but now I needed to heed President's words and put on the newest jersey, taking the best parts of my old self and refining everything to put on the missionary jersey. It made a huge difference right then and there as I was guided by the Holy Ghost to change, become better and become focused on the "hastening of the work."
The rest of this past week has been amazing! Despite the fact that for th first time since coming to Australia we had zero people at church, it has been a week of learning, finding, and teaching!
Tony is coming along. He realizes that he needs to create room for church in his life, that it is not just meeting with us on Saturdays and coming to church on Sunday. That is amazing, because so many people think they can just be baptizd and then it's done. We have a lot of recent converts that are also less active! My goal is to not have any more baptisms that become less active!
Eric and Joyce are on date!!! They will be baptized the weekend after Christmas. Now we just have to dive more deeply into what the Law of Chastity is, but I don't think it will be a problem. They both read the scriptures and pray, and have a sincere desire to do whatever we commit them to do because they can feel themselves coming closer to Heavenly Father! It is amazing. Last night we taught them the Word of Wisdom and I told them that in English the intials are WOW. We then proceeded to open our mouths and put up three fingers on either side! The picture below shows it better than I can explain. They are progressing so well, and I truly love them.
As far as the bus stop goes...I am improving. This past week I was able to get more phone numbers and on guy agreed to meet with us! My Chinese is improving, but more importantly my social skills when talking in chinese are improving. I have been able to move beyond a couple of the rehersd lines I have been practicing so hard, in order to get more personal and friendly with those I talk to. I think that is why I am seeing more receptiveness.
I was able to experience what English Australia Missionaries experience this past Tusday as I went on exchanges with the STL (sister-training-leader). We tracted for 3 hours straight in the hot humid aussie weather. I saw bats and a turkey, and I ate food that wasn't Chinese! It was fun, hard work, but lots of fun and I gained a greater appreciation for my bus stop!
Oh we also have started the rainy season of Australia. Every night there are huge thunder storms with pouring down rain. Last night it even hailed! Oh what adventures we are having!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It has been restored on the Earth again! Transfers were today and I will be staying in SunnyBank! Sister Chen and I are staying together with the addition of Sister Cambamunga, so we are in a threesome now! I knew Sister C from the MTC and she is going to be a great asset to our area. I am sure of it. I am also, the driver... pray for me!
I love letters and hearing from you all!

Just some photos below of the wildlife I have seen - kangaroos and bats!  and my pose for a photo in classic style!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Blessing of Trials

19 hours of Finding.
212 people contacted.
And only 6 of them want to meet up with us again.
THIS was a hard week! But I am ever grateful for the miracles that are present when we, as missionaries, undergo trials. Even though almost every single appointment cancelled on us this week, Sister Chen and I were blessed with the ability to talk to over 200 people! 200 people are that much closer to coming to Christ, even though 200 people did not accept the message, 200 people heard it and know who missionaries are now.
One of the many miracles I was able to see this week happened on Saturday night. All week we have had to cancell dinner appointments with members because our investigators could not come. Therefore, a lot of rice and pineapple was eatten this week; that or peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches! Sister Chen and I were looking forward to Saturday because we would have two appointments and then a dinner appointment that would not have to be cancelled because weekends we can eat at member's homes without an investigator.
All week our goals had been in the back of my mind. We had set them prayerfully the week before and I knew the Lord wanted us to acheive them, yet all our appointments were getting cancelled and our number of lessons taught, especially with member's present from the congregation, was very low. Then on Saturday morning, when we were suppossed to have two member present lessons, one of them cancelled on us. I was distraught. It was Saturday and now we were no where close to keeping our weekly goal, let alone our daily goal for member present lessons. I quickly said a prayer asking for patience and then went on with our day.
Finally, it was time for dinner and I was so ready to eat a home cooked meal. When we arrived at this spunky member's home who was from Chile, she was the only one there. Then five minutes later her less active son walked in with his friend who happened to be a Malaysian who spoke Chinese. After a yummy dinner of chicken, fresh green beans, pasta, and tomatos with mozzerella, we shared a lesson with the family Ullao family and their friend. The food was great and the Spirit there even better!
As we walked back to the bus stop from the Ullao family home I was feeled with sincere gratitude to my Heavenly Father for helping Sister Chen and I reach our goal for the day. It was a blessing after all the appointments that had failed during the week.
Then on Sunday we had an investogator who needed a blessing. I love the priesthood! I love that our Elders are worthy to give blessings and that they do so willingly and with mindful preparation. I am also grateful that they have become like my brothers and friends. The Chinese Elders and Sisters in each area are all pretty close because we share a car, and work together often. It is like a family away from home--the Lord knew I would need that kind of environment!
Anyways, the past couple of days I have been suffering from intense headaches. I have been doing my best to just ignore them and lose myself in the work. Sunday was the third day in a row of the constant headache. I had not wanted to be an impostition to the Elder's work, so I had just taken my advil and suffered through it. Then on Sunday when the Elders were giving Tony a blessing, Elder Lunt asked me if I needed one as well. I shook him off saying we were here to give Tony a blessing. I was just having a headache. Then later that night as we were all working the bus stop my body became very weak and the pains in my head intensified. I sat down on the bus bench and put my head in my hands. Sister Chen came and sat next to me and then Elder Lunt once again asked, "Do you need a blessing?" I began to shake my head and Sister Chen just said, "Sister Jensen, I think really think you need to do." I just nodded and Elder Lunt grabbed Elder Ladd and we went back to our office to give me a blessing.
I was so grateful that Elder Lunt had been persistant. I am so grateful for the words I received in that blessing that not only promised me I would eventually feel better, but that the Lord is pleased with my efforts and that I will be able to find the people I was forordained to teach here in Australia.
This morning I woke up, not feeling 100%, but I now know I have had the special blessing from my Heavenly Father that comes only through His proper authority that is within the Priesthood. The Lord has called me to preach to the Asian culture and will provide me with good health. This morning I read in Acts 16:6 about how the apostles were "forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia." The time has now come when the Lord feels the people of Asia are ready to recieve the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I feel humbled that Heavenly Father has entrusted me with a role in this work of bringing people from Asia unto their creator.

Weak Things Become Strong

So as many of you may recall, last week Sister Chen and I spent 19 hours finding people, with only four potentials out of the 212 people we talked to. Oh this was frustrating, from the paper perspective, but as this week has progressed, my view has changed and I am ever grateful for the people we are teaching!
Sonia, she is a cute girl from Taiwan with the longest asain hair I have ever seen! She was taught by missionaries before and lost contact somehow. However, Sister Chen and I met up with her this week, established her understanding, taught her about faith, repentance, baptism, recieving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End; then listening to the Spirit I blurted out in terrible Chinese grammer "We invite you to be baptized!" I think I scared her a little bit because she just stared at me. Then Sister Chen cleaned up the mess I had just made and explained that we wanted her to set a date for the future in order to prepare for baptism. Sister Chen cleaned up well, and now Sonia is on date for the 14th of December!
Eric and Joyce are heaven sent! There are golden investogators and then there are, as Sister Chen has coined it, "diamonds."  Eric and Joyce just arrived from Taiwan and are boyfriend and girlfriend who live together. Now that may seem like a bit of a problem, but so far no problem. we have been teaching them and they have just soaked up everything so far. They actually read the Book of Mormon, and pray! Even though prayer was a bit awkward for them at first, they continued to do it. Joyce, explained to us last night that she doesn't always know what to pray for, but she does it anyways because she knows it will help her come closer to God. We invited them to be baptized, and they said they would think about it, because they understand it to be a very big commitment. It is so exciting and they are so friendly. Joyce "read our palms" and said I was a happy person, romantic, and would marry younger than most people do in the world. It was so cute the way she gasped when she "read" that I would get married young. The Chinese culture doesn't get married until they are in their 30's usually. I love Eric and Joyce.
Tony. Tony has been on date for the 23rd of this month for three weeks, but had yet to come to church. In order for him to be baptized he needed to come to church this week. I prayed dilligently for Tony to be able to come to church this week--my prayer was answered. Tony, who is usually late to everything, even showed up to the place we give rides on time! It was such a relief to see him come to church, partake of the sacrament, and watch the little kids sing (it was the Primary Program).
The Primary Program was awesome, they incorporated Chinese into the program and it was beautiful. One of our Chinese members and the ward choirister, Jessie, helped the kids sing "I am a child of God" in Chinese for the closing hymn, and my heart was about to burst. This church is for everyone, we are all children of God, and that is a beautiful thing. Sadly, Jessie leaves this week to go to the states for a holiday, and then she will return for a short while before heading back to China. I am sad to see her go, but I know that she will be happy as she chooses to pursue her goal of living in Utah. She's a gem.
My final exciting news is that yesterday at church Sister Chen and I had 5 investigators at church! That's a ton of people. It was crazy trying to make sure everyone felt welcome and understood where they were going and such; but oh so rewarding as we saw them laugh at the Primary kids, and feel of the peace that can be felt only in a house of God. It was a great week. I love being a missionary and I love the people I am blessed to come in contact with.
Fun Side Notes:
-I had Lamington this week: a Australian Dessert that is sponge cake dipped in chocolate, cooled and then rolled in coconut with cream and strawberries on top. YUMM!
-I made the best scrambled eggs!
-I finally feel better. The power of the priesthood is real, use it!