Friday, August 22, 2014

New Time Zone

Well my fellow bloggers and devoted followers, the time has come—a little sooner than I thought, but here it is—the end of my time in Australia.

Why so soon some may inquire? To this question I simply say, “Because God’s plan is bigger and more intricate than I realized. His plan for me no longer includes me being in Australia.”

It’s the truth too. I have made the dreaded 13-hour flight across the ocean into LAX and waited another 2 hours before making the final leg of the trip into Salt Lake City, where I walked like a hung over zombie into the excited arms of my family. All this was supposed to happen, but not until December—at least in my plan that is.  However, a loving Heavenly Father took over my life and watched me suffer with back pain in Australia. True He sustained me as long as I needed it, but it came to the point where the pain in my back was far too great for me to even leave the house. Then like the loving father that He is, God gave me a solution.


(my work place-where I invited others to learn about Christ)

I got the call from Sister Henderson on a Monday morning while I was lying in bed studying Chinese. My companion, Sister Ng handed me the phone, requesting I put it on speaker. As Sister Henderson talked to me and told me I had a decision to make—whether to endure the pain and risk it getting worse, or go home to family doctors—my heart felt like it was being ripped out of my chest by some unseen force. Why couldn’t they just tell me what to do? Why did I have to make the decision?

Never in my life have I prayed so sincerely and so direct. Even on days when I thought I couldn’t take one more step because the pain was so severe, did I pray as hard as I prayed after I hung up the phone with Sister Henderson. With tear stained cheeks, I got down on my knees and I pleaded with Heavenly Father to be able to stay in Australia until December. I just knew it was a righteous desire, and so obviously that’s what God would help me fulfill. I am now a living witness of Dallin H. Oak’s  “good, better, best” talk. As I prayed and fasted throughout the day I came to realize my righteous desire was “good” but it was not what was “best” for me, nor for the life my Heavenly Father has in store for me.

As I pondered and re-pondered the idea of staying in Australia, a huge headache came upon me, and I felt farther and farther away from the Holy Spirit. I kicked my gear up a notch and read my scriptures and then I decided I should reread my study journal. I flipped back a couple of pages and started to read. Nothing seemed to stand out to me. Beginning to get discouraged that the answer I needed by the following day was nowhere in sight, I read more frantically. Finally, I came upon the journal entry the day I went to the back surgeon. Among my many insights from reading the Book of Mormon, was a random line of revelation, which read, “You will go home early. The Lord will take care of you.” Short simple and clear. I had had my answer all along.
Not wanting to make a mistake on the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make I asked Sister Ng if she would pray with me to see if this was the right decision. As we knelt together in prayer, my headache dissipated and peace that Sister Ng and I hadn’t felt before settled into our tiny apartment like the warmth and comfort of a cherished childhood blanket. We had our answer. Now I just had to press forward.

With all the love and support of President and Sister Henderson, we prepared for my departure. I left with a large group of honorable missionaries, and I was part of the group. I served the Lord with all my “heart, might, mind and strength” as it says in D&C 4. I followed promptings to talk to people and invite them to accept Christ into their lives, and I followed the prompting to go home.


No longer am I in my beloved Australia. I am in a new time zone now. I am high up in the Utah Mountains. I am going to doctors twice a week and seeing improvements with my back.  There are moments when my heart aches to be back in Australia teaching the beautiful Chinese people I’ve come to love so very, very much. Moments pass by when I wonder what in the world was I thinking, but then I kneel down on my knees and again I plead with Heavenly Father to comfort my soul. Do I know exactly why I am home right now? No, I have many guesses, but the answer is not yet completely formed. I live day to day, just as I did in Australia, doing my best to love the new faces around me, while keeping the faces of Australia tattooed on my heart.


I loved being a full-time missionary. It has been the best 14 months of my life thus far. I am on a new mission now to live life to it’s fullest by following in the footsteps of my Savior Jesus Christ. The path I have chosen is not popular, but as Robert Frost wrote, “I doubted if ever I should turn back.”

(For them my love can't be put into words)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Can you feel the Love?

To answer the question of today, yes, I can feel the love. I feel the love of my family and friends who stretch across the world, and I feel the love of my Savior, in what has been a most trying week of working through pain, and then finally going to the doctors.

Tuesday was the Chinese Regional Meeting we have quarterly and I loved it. It is such a pleasure and a sacred honor of my Heavenly Father to be a part of such a unique program. As I looked around at my fellow Australian Chinese missionaries I noticed that with the last batch of Chinese missionaries that left, I am now among the more experienced missionaries. That hit me quite hard, because that means my mission is quickly coming to its end. Then I felt overwhelming peace because I have been working hard to invite others to come unto Christ, and as long as I continue to do this, I can help these younger missionaries feel the excitement that lives within missionary work.

Wednesday Sister Ng and I were out in the streets talking to people as all the shops were closing down and hardly anyone was in the city. This is the hard part of the day because you can't go home, and yet there aren't many people to talk to. However, I stood in the middle of Queen Street, where three months ago I stood with feelings of inadequacy and fear because of the vastness of the city compared to the one bus stop in SunnyBank, but with complete and utter calmness. I scanned the street looking for the one the Spirit wanted me to talk to. My eyes landed on an Asian boy sitting by himself eating some Hungry Jacks.

I went over, and because of the pain in my back, sat right down instead of standing and talking to him as I usually do. We began to talk and this man, Parash, began to ask questions of the soul that can only be answered from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I taught him a lesson, right there on the street, about how God loves all His children and wants them to be happy in this life. Parash just sat and smiled saying, "Sounds good sounds good." When I invited Parash to continue meeting with missionaries to learn more, he accepted the invitation by thanking me! I felt so humbled and so grateful to be entrusted with this sacred calling of inviting others to learn more about Jesus Christ.

Thursday was the doctor. The good news is I am not in need of surgery. The bad news is I am stuck resting, unless we have a lesson, until a decision is made about my health. Sister Ng and I have struggled being indoors all day, but we are trying to be positive. Even though some may think God has left us alone, I know and can feel my Heavenly Father's love for both of us. There has been a special Spirit in our flat that I can only describe as the love of my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

There's a peace in my heart
That puts me to my knees
Practicing patience, as I wait
For the words, loving and smart.
For in his hands, I've put my fate.
"Why would you do such a thing?"
Is the question some will ask.
"He's put you through pain and sorrow!"
"No," I'll reply, "He gives me reason to sing.
His love and mercy, I freely borrow."
This, this is no punishment from His hand
Trials, big or small, never are.
I'm a child with His love
Counted as one among the grains of sand.
So on my knees I'll stay, praying to Father above.


I thank you all for your support. I pray that you all know that God is there for me, and for YOU! He is all powerful. This I know to be true and will never deny in the name of my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, amen.

Can You Feel the Love?

To answer the question of today, yes, I can feel the love. I feel the love of my family and friends who stretch across the world, and I feel the love of my Savior, in what has been a most trying week of working through pain, and then finally going to the doctors.

Tuesday was the Chinese Regional Meeting we have quarterly and I loved it. It is such a pleasure and a sacred honor of my Heavenly Father to be a part of such a unique program. As I looked around at my fellow Australian Chinese missionaries I noticed that with the last batch of Chinese missionaries that left, I am now among the more experienced missionaries. That hit me quite hard, because that means my mission is quickly coming to its end. Then I felt overwhelming peace because I have been working hard to invite others to come unto Christ, and as long as I continue to do this, I can help these younger missionaries feel the excitement that lives within missionary work.

Wednesday Sister Ng and I were out in the streets talking to people as all the shops were closing down and hardly anyone was in the city. This is the hard part of the day because you can't go home, and yet there aren't many people to talk to. However, I stood in the middle of Queen Street, where three months ago I stood with feelings of inadequacy and fear because of the vastness of the city compared to the one bus stop in SunnyBank, but with complete and utter calmness. I scanned the street looking for the one the Spirit wanted me to talk to. My eyes landed on an Asian boy sitting by himself eating some Hungry Jacks.

I went over, and because of the pain in my back, sat right down instead of standing and talking to him as I usually do. We began to talk and this man, Parash, began to ask questions of the soul that can only be answered from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I taught him a lesson, right there on the street, about how God loves all His children and wants them to be happy in this life. Parash just sat and smiled saying, "Sounds good sounds good." When I invited Parash to continue meeting with missionaries to learn more, he accepted the invitation by thanking me! I felt so humbled and so grateful to be entrusted with this sacred calling of inviting others to learn more about Jesus Christ.

Thursday was the doctor. The good news is I am not in need of surgery. The bad news is I am stuck resting, unless we have a lesson, until a decision is made about my health. Sister Ng and I have struggled being indoors all day, but we are trying to be positive. Even though some may think God has left us alone, I know and can feel my Heavenly Father's love for both of us. There has been a special Spirit in our flat that I can only describe as the love of my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

There's a peace in my heart
That puts me to my knees
Practicing patience, as I wait
For the words, loving and smart.
For in his hands, I've put my fate.
"Why would you do such a thing?"
Is the question some will ask.
"He's put you through pain and sorrow!"
"No," I'll reply, "He gives me reason to sing.
His love and mercy, I freely borrow."
This, this is no punishment from His hand
Trials, big or small, never are.
I'm a child with His love
Counted as one among the grains of sand.
So on my knees I'll stay, praying to Father above.


I thank you all for your support. I pray that you all know that God is there for me, and for YOU! He is all powerful. This I know to be true and will never deny in the name of my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Daily Dosages

This past week I have had the opportunity to practice the gospel principle of "enduring to the end." One thing I have learned is that the enduring is never done alone and the end, though it may seem out of reach, is never too far from grasp with the Lord's helping hand always extended.

Tuesday we had quite the treat one of the AP's came to our District Meeting and gave a training. Elder Choi is probably my favorite AP simply because he doesn't act like an AP. He acts like a missionary who loves the Lord, loves those he serves, and loves to have fun. Too often AP's are so serious once they become Assistant to the President because they think they are extra special or something. Elder Choi is humble down to earth and isn't afraid to smile, joke, around, and learn from his fellow missionaries. Elder Choi also has a strong spirit about him that allows all around him to act in a more dignified way.

Elder Choi's training was on prayer. He asked me and another Elder to do a scenario where I was "praying" but in a very demanding way. Afterwards our district evaluated and discussed what was wrong with that prayer. Then we did round two of the same scenario, but this time my prayer was humble and submissive and I waited for an answer from Heavenly Father. My reply from "Heavenly Father" (the other elder) was that He knew what I was going through and that I should find peace while waiting for the blessings I had inquired about in my prayer. Afterwards we, as a district, took time to discuss how we can better pray to Heavenly Father. As we discussed I felt the Holy Ghost confirm to me that my pleading prayers about my back my ability to do missionary work and my family, were all in accordance with what Elder Choi was teaching. I felt Heavenly Father's love for me and it was as if He told me right then and there, "You are being respectful to my plan for your life. No worries, it'll all come forth soon." This was my first dosage of comfort that seemed to fill my soul with the needed amount of hope to get through one day more.

Wednesday was trade-offs with my beloved Sister Fau! Oh how I cherish this sister of mine. Sister Fau made sure I got my daily rest, but then we went to work. She had made sure to have many lessons planned so that there would be little to no walking during the day. We were truly blessed to teach some amazing people. One guy we taught, Josh, was at the share house of some of the members in the YSA ward. He was the friend of one of the girls that is over 30 and so she has been moved into the family ward. Josh has a very strong Christian background, which was weird for me, but a sincere desire to change his life right now and to find truth. We taught him the plan of salvation, but this time I got to see what it is like to teach someone who already knows much of this plan and then expound upon the knowledge they already have with scriptures from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. As we came to the topic of the Atonement, I asked what Josh knew. He had a pretty basic understanding, but what he didn't know was that Christ's suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane was what takes away all our sins AND sufferings. We shared Alma 7:10-12 and were able to expound Josh's knowledge about the enabling power of the Atonement! It was great! At the end of the lesson Josh still had some concerns, especially about authority, but Sister Fau and I invited him to ask in sincere prayer if what we had taught was true or not and he agreed. Then as Josh said the closing prayer he opened up completely to Heavenly Father and asked God to not only let him know if what we had taught was true, but to also let him know if what he believed was wrong in some way. Never in my mission had I heard such a sincere prayer! After Josh said, "Amen," he just kept his hands over his face and we could hear him crying a little bit. It was so tender! I know that God will answer his prayer, especially if Josh continues to have such and open heart to change!

At the end of trade-offs I didn't want to part with Sister Fau. We get along so well and I just love being with her. At evaluations she simply just told me to keep on going with trust in Heavenly Father's plan. She said she hoped that one day we could be companions longer than 24hrs and I agreed. My Spirit was lifted and again I was reminded by my Heavenly Father that He is helping me push through the days until my doctor's appointment.

Thursday was Sports Night, oh how I love Sports Night! I love seeing all the Chinese people gather together to play games and just relax a little bit. Before Sports Night started we gave Tony a tour of the church. We finally figured out why he has been avoiding coming to church! He watched a scary movie that took place in an old church with torture dungeons and who knows what other scary garbage, and so he was worried that our church was a secret torture venue or something. Ridiculous I know, but I give Satan creativity points on this one. However, the power of a dedicated house of the Lord will always and forever trump Satan, no matter how creative he is. As we showed Tony around the chapel, he checked every closed door and even made us take him down to the garage, but there was a smile on his face as he slowly but surely realized that this was a house of worship, not torture. At the end of our tour we asked him if it was scary, to which he replied, "Not at all." Obviously.

Then at Sports Night there was a cute girl that came from SunnyBank with her husband who is a member. Doris, such a cute girl, saw me sitting on the couch resting my back and came to talk to me. We sat there for the whole hour just talking and talking--in complete Chinese!!! She was so cute and so interested in my life and I was interested in her life. She was amazed that many people in our church like the idea of getting married earlier rather than putting it off, because that is something she and her husband did, and got put down by many people for it. I felt my heart expand as I talked to one of God's beautiful Chinese daughters and I also felt God's love for me. Another dosage from Heavenly Father giving me the energy to keep pushin' along.

Saturday night, at the end of weekly planning, Sister Ng and I had companionship inventory. This is the time we take to tell each other what we want to improve and what we appreciate about one another. Sister Ng, who has been so faithful, caring, and patient through all this mess with my physical health, gave me another dosage of Heavenly Father's love as she explained how she is trying to help me. She asked if I felt like it was rude of her to have stopped asking how I am doing. I told her I was actually glad she stopped because nothing has really changed and when people ask me how I am doing it is just a reminder that I am not 100% right now. Sister Ng said she knew that and that was why she had stopped asking me, then she went on to explain how much she loves me and how much she admires the way I am persevering. I was able to express my deep gratitude for the way she has listened to the Spirit in knowing how to "handle with care" her crippled companion. It was a tender mercy of the Lord for us to just praise each other and then at the end praise Heavenly Father for putting us together with the knowledge that we would go through so much together. I truly am grateful for Sister Ng.

Now I wait. I continue to receive daily dosages of spiritual strength from my Heavenly Father as I endure to this Thursday when I will meet with the back specialist and he will help me know what to do to get better. I am confident that Heavenly Father loves me and all of His children. I know that I wouldn't be able to go through this challenge without the Gospel of Jesus Christ and my faith that leads me to hope for happier days ahead. I am grateful to all or you, for support, prayers, and love. Love you all!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Power of Prayer

Well is has been a short, but eventful, four days since I last sat down at a computer. May I just begin by expressing my sincerest gratitude to all of you who are praying in my behalf. I can feel the power that is coming from my Heavenly Father each day and I know that it is not only from my personal prayers, but from the many prayers of my friends and family as well. Thank you.

Thursday was Zone Meeting and my Zone Leader, Elder Kahi, asked me to give a short 2-4 minute experience about someone's conversion through prayer that I have a close relationship with. As I pondered this and prepared to share I thought of my dear sister. I can still remember doing my homework late one night freshman year when I got a call from Addie. I was quite surprised she was calling so late at night and so I quickly answered it. She shared with me a personal experience about how Heavenly Father gave her comfort and answered one of her prayers. I shared this with my Zone and man was the Spirit present. It it me like a brick wall and I felt like I could hardly move as I also felt Heavenly Father's love encircle me. It was a great experince that provided me with spiritual strength, which I desperately need each day seeing as my physical strength is slowly diminishing.

Spiritual strength is the only way I am able to do missionary work these days. When I got my MRI results, Sister Henderson took a picture and gave them to the Area Doctor, who also happens to specialize in backs. Thursday night she called me to tell Sister Ng and congratulations on our baptisms the past month which contributed to the June 106. I think that was just to soften me up because then she got to the nitty-gritty and told me what the doctor said. According to the MRI results I will more than likely need surgery. There are rare occasions where with lots of rest the back will heal itself over time, but usually surgery is required to fix this kind of problem. Sister Henderson told me not to fret too much until the 17th when I see the specialist, but she told me she wants to come with me. So, right now I wait, for everything will be unfolded on the 17th of July. That night I knelt in prayer and asked Heavenly Father for a peace of mind.

Friday morning I woke up in the most debilitating pain I have ever experience in my life. The pain was so intense that I had to throw up a couple of times. I tell you all this, not so that you can feel sorry for me--I beg of you please don't feel sorry for me--rather I share this with you all as a testimony that Heavenly Father answers prayers. As I laid curled up in a ball on my bed in pain I called out to my Father in Heaven, "Heavenly Father I can't take this on my own! I need your help to endure this. Please help me." The pain did not leave, but I felt like someone was hugging me tight letting me know that I was not alone in this pain. My mind was brought to the Atonement on my Savior and the suffering He experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane. How the angel came to his side and placed his hand on our Savior's back to comfort him in his suffering. I have no idea the kind of pain that Christ endured, no mortal can fathom his pain and suffering, but this much I know, that because what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane I was able to feel the the Savior's presence in my affliction. As it says in Luke 22:43 "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him." I received strength to endure and wise counsel from Sister Henderson to stay in for the day.
Saturday I was able to see the Lord bless Sister Ng and I even more. We had much success and many miracles on Saturday with the ability to reach our goal for member present lessons and the ability to find a new investigator just before we had to leave the city. It was 5:50 and we had ten more minutes until we weren't allowed to be in the city anymore. There was one person at the bus stop in the city and he happened to also be a Chinese man. Sister Ng went over to talk to him and I stood to the side. As I looked at the time, I realized that this man was our last hope for accomplishing our goal of having a new investigator. So I bowed my head in prayer and asked Heavenly Father to soften his heart so that Sister Ng would be able to let him feel of the Holy Ghost and then he would have a desire to learn more. I lifted up my head and watched the miracle unfold before my eyes. Sister Ng tried to get his number and at first he just shook his head. Then I saw her teach him about the power of prayer and his countenance changed. I saw her open her planner and point to a day and time and saw him nod his head and then offer his phone number. My prayer was answered! My prayer gave my companion strength to use the Holy Spirit to pierce that man's heart so tenderly that he gained a desire to learn more. The power of prayer is real.
I will close with last night's answer to my prayer "Heavenly Father, am I doing all I can in my physically weakened condition?"
After church yesterday was the YSA fast breaker. Babs, a member from SunnyBank who moved to the farms, showed up with Rachel, another beloved member from SunnyBank. I was thrilled to see them and we just began to talk and talk, in Chinese of course. I was so excited to see them and to hear of how their testimonies have grown in the past couple of months, especially Babs because working on the farms can be so strenuous. As I talked to them I felt my ability to love them grow as I am now able to communicate with them fully, both speaking in Chinese and understanding what they say back to me in response. I was so engrossed by our conversation that I didn't notice one of the members standing nearby watching us until some time later. When I said, "Hello" he came over and told me his girlfriend, one of the Relief Society teachers and a girl I had only spoken to once before about her mission in Salt Lake and why I decided to come on a mission, felt prompted to tell me I was a good missionary. She is in New Zealand right now and wanted to tell me herself, but felt prompted that I needed to hear it sooner rather than later. Once again the Lord answered my humble prayer, this time through another person following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
I invite you revere the ability we have to communicate with our Father above. It has been a huge blessing in my life and I really don't know what I would do without it. It is such a blessing my my life. The time I spend on my knees has become so precious to me. The prayers that have and continue to be said in my behalf are my source of power. I love you all. Thank you so very much!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mission Milestones


Mission Milestones. I reached and our mission reached many milestones this past week that has me filled with the utmost joy and strengthened my testimony that Heavenly Father is always here, and will never leave us alone. Never.

The first missionary milestone reached this past week was my 1 year mark! ONE YEAR! I have been serving the Lord with all I have for 365 days plus and as I have had time to reflect this I am so happy to be doing what I am doing. Just last night when I couldn't sleep, I could feel my heart growing. I realized that I love the Chinese people here. I love the members, I love the investigators, and I love speaking to them in Chinese. Though there are many things I do not understand about the culture those things no longer bother me, because my heart simply embraces these sons and daughters of Heavenly Father and loves them. So how did I celebrate? Well Sister Ng and I went on an adventure to get an

Second missionary milestone was Ayako! She was baptized on Saturday. She is my first girl investigator to be baptized. Up until this point in my mission I have only baptized males. That is no longer the case as my sweet friend from Japan was baptized. She was so cute! After she came up out of the water she just stood there for a moment and then clenched both fists and shook them as if to say, "Yes! That was great." Such faith she has. She doesn't understand much that goes on in church, but she is there every Sunday and now she is starting to attend institute as well! She is excited about temples and found out there is one near her home in Japan and was so ecstatic to tell us about her discovery.

The last mission milestone is for our whole mission. We had a goal for the month of June to baptize 100 converts. Monday morning on a special conference call with President and Sister Henderson they told us that we not only reached our goal, but surpassed it with 105 baptisms in June! Elder and Sister Hamula were on the conference call as well, and congratulated our mission for going the extra mile and reaching for higher heights. Then when President and Sister Henderson came to our flats on Monday for "on the road interviews" they congratulated our flat because Sister Ng and I had two baptisms and so did Sister Cabamongan and Chen! We were contributors to the mission's success! 

So much has happened in the past week that I just don't really know where to begin, such is the case each time P-day is on Wednesday! Too much happens in 9 days! Good thing I am a firm believer in keeping a daily journal.

Numerous miracles also occurred this week. Many times during the week we would have no lessons planned and the thought of walking through the city all day would put Sister Ng and I to our knees to plead with the Lord to give us some appointments so that I would be able to rest. We didn't GQ for a whole day once this week. The Lord always provided us with one or more lessons a day.


MRI! I did get to drive and that is always fun here in Australia because it's on the left side of the road and all. It was my first time to get an MRI and so I had no idea what was going to happen. They gave me one of those high fashion hospital gowns, laid me down on the table and then asked, "Is pop music okay?" I must be a real missionary, because I am pretty sure I made a face that suggested I hadn't ever listened to pop music in my life. They quickly offered classical as an alternative, which I gladly accepted. The MRI report is hard to understand for my non-science oriented mind, but something is wrong with my S1 nerve. Now I just wait to see a specialist later this month. All is well, miracles continue to occur.
On Wednesday we taught our investigator Linda, who is a bit older and been through more horrors in life than I hope to never experience. We showed her the video "Finding Faith in Christ" where it outlines the life of Christ. After the video Linda asked if Christ really did miraculously heal all those people. We told her yes and that miracles like that still occur today. She asked how, and so we explained the Priesthood and how it is a gift from God that has healing powers. She then asked if it were possible for her to receive one of those kinds of blessings. Luckily, new missionary training was going on at the chapel where we were teaching and so there were plenty of worthy Priesthood holders. We got the office elders to help us give Linda a blessing. Afterwards she just gave many many thanks to the elders, and even though the blessing was in English and she couldn't understand she could as she said, "feel the power fill her soul." Pretty incredible.
Friday was a bit emotional. We had a lesson with a less active at the church, and it just so happened to be leadership training as well, so all the Assistants, Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, and President and Sister Henderson were all there. We finished our lesson the same time they started to eat lunch and take a break. President Henderson saw Sister Ng and I and said, "I want to meet with you two." So he sat us down and began to unfold for us his vision of why we had been placed over two wards. He told us that he feels that the Lord wants to bless us with a family to baptize and so we need to be in a Family Ward. He told us he wants us to continue to work with the YSA ward as well and keep baptizing in there as well. We were glad to finally have some understanding and some guidelines, such as no longer having to attend 6 hours of church, though we should still attend both wards, just not all the meetings. I also felt a lot of pressure. Probably didn't help that I was tired and in pain, but as I Sister Ng and I stood up to leave after President went to talk to other missionaries, I began to shake. I dropped everything because my hands were shaking, and finally I just leaned against the wall and began to sob. Tears of pain and tears of inadequacy fell down my face in a black mascara mess. Sister Ng handed me tissue and gently rubbed my back. My small 110lb companion forced me to walk forward past all my leaders until we found Sister Henderson. As Sister Ng explained that my pain was just getting worse, Sister Henderson looked at me with love and concern. Then President came over and looked at me and said, "Can I be your mission president? Stop feeling like you are not a good missionary. Take time to rest and do what you can. The Lord is pleased with your sacrifices and he has blessed you with a patient companion. Sister Ng is blessed with extra study time. Now trust in the Lord and do what you can." Tears stop, the weight on my shoulders was lifted and the Holy Ghost bore witness to me that what President Henderson said was true. The miracle is that my battle is no longer with my mind, only with my back pain.
The last miracle has boosted my faith in the Chinese people. Rarely, do you see Chinese people show the more tender sides of emotion, such as crying, and I am a huge baby sometimes, especially when the Spirit is strong. It has always been a little desire of mine to teach a lesson so powerful that the Spirit just penetrates an investigator and they cry. Last night we taught a girl named Sandy, from Taiwan. It was a simple lesson where we only taught Heavenly Father, prayer, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. We had a great member present with us from SunnyBank, and everything was going as it usually does. When we started to share about the way the Holy Ghost communicates with us I felt a change in the air, as the Holy Ghost settled in the tiny church classroom. Then we asked Sandy to say the closing prayer for us. She said a beautiful prayer and after we had all said "amen" I looked up and there was Sandy crying. She just said she felt so much peace and love. I was then able to share about the Holy Ghost sometimes communicating to me so strongly that it brings tears to my eyes as well. It was a beautiful sight to behold. I love the Holy Ghost. I encourage all to live worthy of his guidance and of his peace that only the Spirit can bring into life.
I love you all and am greatly appreciative of your prayers. They are being felt each day as I press on. We had interviews with President Henderson this past week as well and he told me they are going to do everything they can to get me fixed while I am still in Australia. I am happy about that, I am not ready to leave this giant country quite yet.
 
1) Ayako's Batism
2) Ayako Sister Ng and me and Phil, her fellowship, translator and now BOYFRIEND! Talk about good fellowship hahah
 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Grateful in Any Circumstances

This past week I have had no real improvement in my back and have gotten quite frustrated that I continue to struggle in pain, and yet there seems to be no solution. Then in my personal study this week I have read more than once the talk by President Uchtdorf from last General Conference titled "Grateful in Any Circumstances." Please click here for a short snip-it of what helped me most this week.

So what did I have to grateful for this past week? My back is still in pain. I don't have a doctor's appointment scheduled until July, and all they can tell me is to rest, which has been hard seeing I don't sleep at night. But, my beloved friends, family and anyone else who might be reading this blog, I can tell you my heart is FULL of gratitude towards my Heavenly Father right now. Through this trial it has never crossed my mind once that we don't have a living Heavenly Father who LOVES us, and wants us to succeed. Though I have had to access the power of Christ's Atonement in a much deeper way than I ever knew possible, it has strengthened my testimony and helped me to press onward each and every day.

The first thing I have to be grateful for is Sister Henderson, who is in tune with the Spirit. As stated earlier, sleeping at night simply does not happen anymore. The pain keeps me awake and I just lay down and ponder life. Sometimes I am able to close my eyes for an hour or so, but it isn't really sleeping as I can consciously here my companion's breathing or the animals outside. Wednesday morning I was about done for. I had taken my shower, was making breakfast, and was close to tears because I was just so tired. Then the phone rang. It was Sister Henderson. She said she'd been worried about me and gave me strict instructions to take an 1 1/2 lunch from now on to eat quickly and then sleep for at least an hour. As soon as I hung up the phone, I fell to my knees in prayer and utmost gratitude to my Heavenly Father. For some reason, most likely the intervention of my Heavenly Father, I am able to sleep sound for one hour during lunch with the sun bathing my bed in light. Though I am still tired, that one hour each day gives me the needed energy to go out and work.

The second thing I have to be grateful for is Ayako. Our dear Japanese investigator who just brightens my day whenever I see her. Last week on P-day I downloaded a talk by President Monson in Japanese. Then we asked our member present, Phil, to bring along his computer to the lesson with Ayako. It happened to be Phil's first time to hear President Monson talk as well. As I watched their faces intently watch President Monson my heart was filled with the Spirit. Though I could not understand the words being spoken, the Spirit bore witness to me of President Thomas S. Monson's divine role as prophet, seer and revelator. Then at the end Ayako said in her simple English, "I feel it is very good." She is now ready to be baptized this Saturday. I am so excited for her and for Phil because it will be his first time to use his recently obtained Aaronic Priesthood.

The third thing was something I decided to put into action from President Uchtdorf's talk where he said, "This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind." As I was facing sadness this week from not being able to work as hard as my heart desired because of physical restrictions, I was given an opportunity to serve a recent convert in the ward, Ben. Ben's birthday was on Friday and Sister Ng wanted to make him a cake, but knows nothing about cooking, let alone baking. It was our dinner hour and all I wanted to do was lay down and rest my back and wallow is self-pity for a few minutes. Then I thought of President Uchtdorf's talk about how gratitude can change our souls. Instead of laying down, I went into the kitchen and started making a cake. As I made the cake, I could feel the sadness that had rested in my heart all day begin to fade away and I felt joy instead. I felt excitement to see Ben's face when we would give him the cake. I felt my heart heal and my mind did expand as I realized the power of a simple kind act of service.
Lastly, transfers. I know I told you all last week that Sister Ng and I would be staying put, but it turns out that that is only 1/2 true. We are still living in the same flat with Sister Chen and Cabamongan, but we are no longer serving in the YSA ward, rather we have been put into the Brisbane Ward, full of kids and families and only two Chinese members. A challenge lies ahead of us for sure as we have been commissioned to try to baptize Chinese people into a ward with no Chinese programs set up. Thankfully, we are able to keep all of our investigators who are attending the YSA ward, but that means two correlation meetings, two ward councils to organize with and six hours of church for the next couple of Sundays. Yesterday was crazy as we did all this for the first time. I am still not sure why we are the only Chinese missionaries in this ward, or why the Lord wants us here, but we have been warmly welcomed! Last night we had a dinner appointment for the first time in ages! Our meal calender is already filled with more names than I have ever seen in my entire mission. This ward is SO happy to have sisters! It is a little daunting because we literally know no one, but that is our goal for the next couple of weeks--to get to know the ward and invite them to help Chinese people feel welcome at church. We are going to be well cared for at least and that is something to be grateful for!
President Uchtdorf said, "When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace." I testify, with my personal experiences these past couple of weeks, that this is true. Heavenly Father is aware of us, He is there to comfort us, and for that comfort and peace He offers I will forever be grateful. I love you all, I appreciate the prayers that have been said in my behalf, and I love the Lord, even Jesus Christ.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Staying Put

First things is first. For those of you who may be concerned with my health, well I still have no idea what is wrong with my back. I went to the Doctor on Friday thinking I would have my solution and would be able to start moving forward to a pain-free life, but the doctor just told me that yes, I do have two rather large kidney stones, but right now they are not in a spot would be causing pain--in the future they'll be a problem, but right now, not the problem. The doctor took another look at my CT scan and said there is something wrong there and refferred me to a back specialist. I have filled out the application to the back specialist and am just waiting on a call from them. I am back where I started, except this time around no pain medications are working and I just have to pray extra hard to make it through each day. I am definitely getting closer to my Savior though. Always a thing to be grateful for in each trial!
Transfers have come and gone and it looks like Sister Ng and I will be staying another transfer together in the city. Our third transfer together and Sister Ng's seventh transfer in the city! She is such a trooper. It isn't even possible for me to stay here that long. We are both very excited to be staying because we have a lot of really solid investigators right now who have accepted the invitation to be baptized this transfer! Always exciting to see the fruit of our labors as Ammon said in Alma 26: 30-31: " And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some. Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us."Saturday was a glorious day! Sister Ng and I were able to watch our investigator, Atticus, enter the waters of baptism and promise Heavenly Father to always remember Him. It was pretty awesome because a man I taught in SunnyBank,George Chen, then referred to city where he was baptized, was the one to baptize Atticus. It was George's first opportunity to baptize someone! It was sweet to watch George carefully dip Atticus into the water. The first time he did it so carefully that Atticus's hand didn't make it into the water and so they had to do it twice. It was a great teaching opportunity after because we were able to remind George and Atticus of just how important it is to be fully immersed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.Sunday was awesome as well. Atticus received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the greatest gift anyone can receive from our loving Heavenly Father! However, that wasn't my favorite part. Friday night I had texted Ayako to remind her about church. Usually she quickly replies, but we had received no confirming text. Sister Ng and prayed fervently that she would show up. Church started and no Ayako. Then after the opening prayer in walked Ayako in her new pink dress and pretty high heels WITH three of her friends! She is not even a member yet, and she is already doing missionary work! It just strengthens my testimony that this church is true and when people come to that knowledge they can't help but want to share it with their friends and family!Monday was full of lessons. Sister Ng and I were positive she'd be transferred because no one in mission history has stayed in one area longer than 6 transfers, so we invited as many people as we could to meet with us on Monday so Sister Ng could say goodbye. Well late Sunday night we got the transfer call and nobody was leaving, so we clapped our hands for joy and went to bed happy that the next day was not going to be full of goodbyes. Our first lesson was with a man named Tony, and no he is not the same person that I taught in SunnyBank. Tony has expressed in multiple lessons how difficult it is for him to feel love and to love others. His parents left him to be raised by Tony's aunt and uncle, who both worked a lot and taught Tony that charity is bad because it only comes back to hurt you. Tony's only desire in life is to be happy, he just doesn't know how. After much prayer and consideration, Sister Ng and I finally decided to veer off the usual path and teach Tony all about Charity. We invited a recently baptized member, Warren--who also had problems with being happy prior to his baptism-- to join us. As we began to teach Tony about Charity I could feel the Spirit enter my heart and fill my soul with warmth. At one point I felt prompted to ask Tony, "Tony, do you feel that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you?" He went on to explain that he'd never felt God or Christ's love before, but when he started meeting with the missionaries he started to feel a little bit happier. Tony started to cry a little bit as I testified that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do in fact love Tony and want nothing more for him than for him to have happiness in life here on earth and in the life to come. Warren was great! He shared his testimony about how once he joined the church he had a lot more friends and was as happy as he'd ever been his whole life. At the end of the lesson Sister Ng invited Tony to be baptized and to start coming to church. He said yes to both! Warren got his phone number and offered to go to church with him this Sunday. When we said our closing prayer Tony prayed that he would get passing marks on the test he was about to go pick up. An hour later when we were teaching another investigator, Tony interrupts our lesson to tell us that he passed! He had the biggest smile on his face and I could see the Light of Christ glowing from within Tony's smile! Our investigator was also very impressed that God would answer prayers so quickly, so it was a good interruption. It was truly a great first day of the transfer. I can tell Sister Ng and I are going to see miracles unfold before our eyes this transfer as we do our best to invite others to repent and be baptized so that they may have the FULL JOY that comes from living Heavenly Father's commandments.I testify that God lives. Jesus the Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. They love each and everyone of us and will help us through any trial we may be going through. I can see the hand of the Lord in my family's life back home, and I can see it ever to clearly in my life here in Australia. I bear witness that the Holy Ghost can help us know truth, can help us know what to do to help others, and can help us keep pushing forward even if we are in the same setting. These things I bear humble witness of in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.



1) Atticus's Baptism

Atticus, George and Me

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Doctors and Miracles

Well it has been an extremely long week, 10 days to be exact! We didn't have P-day until Thursday this week because earlier this morning we had the privilege of going to the temple! Which was much needed after all that has happened the past ten days.

Doctors. The past few weeks I have been all over Brisbane visiting doctors trying to figure out what in the world is wrong with my back. I got a CT scan done and there was nothing really wrong with my back, just a small bulging disc, but turns out everyone's disc are bulging a little bit. However, when the doctor was looking at my CT scans he noticed some odd junk in my kidney. He sent me to go have an Ultra Sound done ASAP.

After the ultra sound Sister Ng and I came home straight away and handed the written report to Sister Chen to translate into simple English--luckily Sister Chen almost finished her medical degree before coming out on her mission! After translating I discovered that my left kidney is just full of junk right now. I have 2-3 large kidney stones and 3 large cysts taking up space in my kidney. Thus the explanation for the intense back pain the past five weeks now! I am going to the doctor tomorrow to find out what we can do to solve my kidney issue and then hopefully I will be pain free in no time. It has been hard not sleeping at night because of the pain and then having to get up and go walk around the city. However, the Lord is very aware of me, His daughter, and has blessed Sister Ng and I immensely.

Miracles. All week we were able to have at least one or more lessons during the day so that I didn't have to walk around so much. Then on Tuesday night a huge miracle was Sister Chen and Cabamongan's investigator, Kelsey, asked to see me because Sister Chen had told her about the side affects I was having after taking the medicine the doctor prescribed me. So I went over with Sister Cabamongan and sat down in Kelsey's flat and handed over the medication I had been taking that left me loopy as a fruit loop necklace. Kelsey pulled out her laptop and called up her doctor friend and together they asked me questions about my side effects and in the end decided that I was having every negative side effect except hives and should stop taking the medicine immediately. Sure the pain was stronger, but I had my head back and was able to talk to people more effectively and help move the work in our area along more fully, rather than putting most of the weight on Sister Ng's shoulders.

Back in working condition Sister Ng and I were able to help our investigator Atticus get ready for baptism! I haven't mentioned him a whole lot in past letters because we haven't been teaching Atticus very long, but miraculously he is getting baptized this Saturday right before transfers next week! He is so ready and eager to follow Jesus Christ. It is pretty amazing how fast Atticus has been willing to change his life in order come closer to Christ, including paying tithing and giving up tea! I am very excited to see him enter the waters of BAPTISM! Which is the end result of many miracles and the beginning of Atticus's journey to returning to live with Heavenly Father again.

I also went on trade-offs with Sister Lai this week. It was fun to be her companion again for a day. She helped me realize that it is okay that I am in pain and it is okay that I am feeling weak because I am still working hard. In fact she told me I was working too hard and that I should take more time to relax because my health is not super great right now. I told her I needed to work hard because I only have so much time left in my mission, plus I really want the blessings for my family. At that moment I began to cry a little bit (I've been quite an emotional mess without sleep and a lot of pain) and just curled into my lap in frustration. Sister Lai came over and lifted my face out of my lap and told me boldly and lovingly, "Sister Jensen, you are trooper #1. I can tell you love the Lord because you are not using your pain as an excuse to work less, rather you are using it as a reason to work harder. You are crazy, but I love you and so does Heavenly Father." I love Sister Lai. I love that my Heavenly Father has placed in my path two amazing STL's who always are in tune with the Holy Ghost and know what to say to help me relax and appreciate the work I am able to do and appreciate the love of the Lord.

Another miracle that just occurred over and over agian this week was our members! They are getting the feel of the hastening of the work. One Sister in Relief  Society said to me, "I can really feel the hastening. Even at uni my friends are asking me more and more about my church." Then this week we have been able to have multiple members come to our lessons. Not only are they coming to the lessons but they are starting to go the extra mile and invite the investigators to do stuff with them! Ben, a recent convert, willingly brings Atticus to church every week and offered to bring him to the baptism as well! Phil, a recent Japanese convert, has taken Ayako under his wing and walks with her to church is at every lesson to make sure she understands what we are teaching and is encouraging her to be baptized on June 28th. At church the members are eager to sit by investigators and welcome them to the ward. My testimony of member missionary work is growing stronger and stronger as I see members eagerly engage the investigators who are at church. It is a miracle for sure!

I know this church is true! I am a living modern day witness that the Atonement can not only help us receive the loving forgiveness of our Heavenly Father, but can also enable us to do more than others think we are capable. Such has been the case with my pain. This past Tuesday we took the ferry to English class, and I had Sister Ng curled up trying to escape the cold on my left and Ayako curled up on my right. I looked around at all our investigators on the ferry and all the other Asian faces and I just felt love. Love for the people I have been called to serve and the Holy Ghost let me know right then and there that that love I was feeling was the reason I have been able to push through the pain and the fears about what might happen at the next doctor's appointment. Love can conquer anything. It was love that caused Heavenly Father to send Jesus Christ to the earth and it was Christ's love for his fellow man that caused him to "drink the bitter cup." I invite everyone to put aside any feelings that are not love and to love those around you. I love you all and am grateful for your prayers. I can feel myself gaining strength from them each and every day. Thank you.

1) Sister Ng and I being very mature as we pick the crocodile's nose
2) My loveyly x-companion and current STL Sister Lai and I at the end of trade-offs
3) Another sister in my zone did hair before her mission and gave me a free cut today! Thanks Sister Bailey


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Trial of My Faith

There is a saying in the sporting world that I have grown up hearing, starting with my Mom and enforced by my beloved volleyball coaches Cindy Elder and Janie, "No pain, no gain." This week I have felt multiple forms of 'pain' and have been able to 'gain' much from the week Sister Ng and I were blessed to experience.

Tuesday I went to a Physio Therapist and it was just...awkward and terrible. First of all he had me change into short short and a tank top! I had no idea that this was going to be happening and was in no way prepared. I had to roll up my underwear and then for the first time in eleven months I wore short shorts! I felt so naked as I sat in the office in nothing but short short and a tank top. Then the Physio started poking me trying to figure out what was wrong. He did some weird "all natural" treatments with his hands that just felt like he was taking a knife to my back. He then told me I would need 8 more sessions of this insane treatment. I left feeling quite uneasy and in even more pain that I had started out with. I called Sister Henderson that night and told I just wasn't feeling the Physio and asked if there was another route we could take. She gave me the number to a doctor who happens to be a member. Right away I felt peace. I called to see when I could schedule an appointment. Nothing was open until Friday. My heart sunk just a little bit, knowing that I would have to endure the pain for the rest of the week, but I took the appointment and got down on my knees to pray. At that time I thought we had a week full of lessons, so there wouldn't be that much walking around anyways.

Wednesday. Every single appointment we had cancelled. Luckily we had District Meeting to take a chunk out of our day. After District Meeting our District Leaders (we have two since they are also the Chinese training Leaders) came over to our flat while we were eating lunch to drop off the chapel keys. I was sprawled out on my bed which is in the living room, trying to find some bit of comfort. They gave us the key and left. Not five minutes later there was a knock on our door. Elder Anderson and Low asked if they could give me a blessing. Of course Sister Chen, Cabamongan, and Ng all said yes! before I could even answer. Since Elders aren't allowed in Sister's flat while we are in the flat we pulled a chair over to the door and they stood outside and I sat inside on the chair. Then they gave me a blessing from my Heavenly Father in which I was instructed to keep on being diligent and to use this trail as an opportunity to come closer to my Savior. Afterwards Sister Ng and I went out to walk and talk to people for 5 1/2 hours. My pain was not completely gone, but it was decreased and when I felt like it was too much, I would say a prayer and I could literally feel my Saviors hand touching the part of my back that hurt most and giving me a push forward. Miracles happened this day. I listened to the promptings of the Spirit to talk to a Japanese girl instead of a Chinese girl. The girl's name is Ayako and she is amazing. We were able to teach her with a recently baptized member from Japan. Then she came to church on Sunday and said she had a great time and is excited to learn more. I know that the Lord blessed me with miracles because I was willing to put my pain in His hands and push through the discomfort in order to bring souls unto Christ.


Thursday was much like Wednesday, except this time around we had an appointment all set up and President Henderson said he was going to join us. I was so excited to be able to witness President teach and to learn from him. However, Sister Ng and I were not meant to learn from President this past week. Our investigator who had confirmed that same morning cancelled right as President Henderson showed up. We got to shake his hand and then leave because we had no one to teach. However, that day I met a very nice girl from Taiwan and was able to just joke around and talk to her in complete Chinese. Then as I was getting ready to go she asked, "Can I draw you?" How did she know that one of the things I love is to be someone's subject, whether it is a picture or a drawing? I know it was Heavenly Father saying,"I see you, I know you are in pain, here relax, I love you."
Friday Sister Ng and I woke up early to make the long bus ride to the doctor's office. It was an hour and half bus ride there and once we got there the doctor simply "pounded" each knee. My left knee reacted as it should have, bouncing up the moment it was hit. However, when the doctor hit my right knee nothing happened. He hit it again a little harder and there was slight movement. He gave me a prescription for some pain killers and told me to do some certain exercises, but if the pain continues I need to get a CT scan done. The drugs are pretty strong and have caused me to have some funny moments and the pain is still there, so once I Sister Henderson picks up her phone I am going to go get that CT scan. Luckily Friday was a great day when nobody cancelled their appointments and so I didn't have to walk very much!  Sister Ng and I also got on the wrong bus by accident on the way home and ended up being able to see the ocean in a place called Capalaba! It was beautiful!
The rest of the week was and continues to be a bit hazy. I am on drugs to lessen the pain and they make me feel "high" like after I got my wisdom teeth taken out. However, I continue to do the work I have been called to do because I know that I am not alone. Sister Ng is so supportive and loving as is Sister Cabamongan and Chen; most importantly is that the blessing I was given on Wednesday is coming forth. I am closer to my Savior now than I ever have been in my life. I am feeling the enabling power of the Atonement in my everyday life, because I literally can't work without the help of my Savior. I just move my body unsure exactly what I am doing and an unseen force leads me onward ever onward.
I know this church is true. I know that Jesus is the Christ. He is by my side now and will be as long as I need Him. I am grateful for the Atonement that not only cleanses, but enables the children of Heavenly Father. I thank you all for you prayers and support. May God bless you and may you all have a desire to come closer to the Father who awaits your return to His presence above. I love you all!
1st picture: Our wrong bus took us to the ocean! My first time seeing the ocean since landing in Australia!
2nd picture: Sister Chen was playing with bubbles this morning and so I joined her!
 

 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Intricate Designs





This picture is from Saturday after an early lesson. Sister Ng and I were headed to lunch in the city when this chic started doing tricks and such. It reminded me of my Falkner family! It also was really cool to see a girl "doing hard things"as my Mom often pins it. However, the longer I look at this picture, the more I realize how much it relates to the week I have just had and the impact of the Lord's hand I have felt in my life the past seven days.
I am the motor bike and my Heavenly Father is the girl riding the bike. From the outside many people look at me in the Chinese program and wonder what in the world I am doing here. I have asked myself the same question at least once every week of my mission. I am tall. I am athletic. I am not the smartest person in my family. I am energetic. I am a hugger. I am an American girl born in Utah and raised in the blessed Southern States. Why was I sent to Australia to speak an almost impossible language and teach an extremely foreign culture/cultures with other missionaries who understand it? I am the motor bike. Heavenly Father is the driver.
When I look at that motorcycle I think of it going down a nice straight path with no bumps or distractions. That is the only way I can imagine riding a motor bike. However, when that girl looks at this bike she sees much more potential and she uses that bike for far greater things that the average person could imagine. Part of it is her love for the sport, the other part is because she understands the mechanics of the bike and knows how far she can stretch it.
This week Heavenly Father pushed me and stretched me, and there were days that I didn't think I was going to make it, but alas here I am writing to you all at the start of a new week. I have been suffering from severe back pain lately and it has really been a challenge to go out everyday and walk the streets with the knowledge that by the end of the night I am going to come back with pain I don't know how to describe. "The Lord is my strength" (2 Nephi 22:2) has been a true principle this week, as I have looked forward to the relief of teaching a lesson and then it cancels and I have to go back out on the streets talking to people. I changed my attitude, and instead of focusing on the loss of an appointment, I said to myself, "There must be someone the Lord needs us to find this hour instead of teach." The Lord has definitely blessed me! He has strengthened my faith in a new culture! This week I GQ'd a lot of Japanese people during those cancelled appointments. I usually get frustrated when that happens because they usually have no interest, but this week Sister Ng and I set two new baptismal dates with two guys from Japan; Yuki and Hey! They are both miracles and blessings from the Lord for putting forth the effort to talk to all the Asian people I see, whether they are Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, or Japanese.
There was one day when we had a full day of walking in the city talking to people and it was getting towards the end of the day. We had 2 hours to go and my back was just killing me. Then our phone buzzed and I looked down to a text from Tintin: Hi, Sister J, just let you know that I get used to pray everyday now, I even pray for my tenant, feel so good, thanks!
My Spirit was lifted and I followed the example of our investigator and said a prayer of my own asking Heavenly Father for strength to go forward. The Lord answers our prayers, and I was able to work hard until it was time to go home.



Thursday was trade-offs with my beloved STL Sister Fau (pronounced Fo). It was a sincere blessing from Heavenly Father. Like always the couple of days leading up to trade-offs I hit my knees in sincere prayer asking Heavenly Father to open up my heart to the things He would have me learn from my leaders. This time when the night came to leave, I was not dreading it, but was a little excited and full of peace. Sister Fau is the sister missionary that changed my perspective about being able to speak powerfully in Chinese back in January at Sister's Conference when we did role plays. I knew that I would be able to learn a lot from being her companion for the day.
I was blessed to leave the city for a day and go be part of the English Program. I hadn't realized how much I missed teaching in quiet secluded places until I was teaching a lesson with Sister Fau and the Spirit just hit me so strong and powerful. I don't feel that very often in the city because of all the chaos and noise that is going around us as we teach our investigators. We also had the opportunity to teach a man from Iran and it brought back memories of teaching Arash. The Spirit was so strong and we put this man on date to be baptized next month!
The whole day I just felt full of light. Even when we were tracting and it was pouring down rain and people shut the door in our faces. Then at the end of the night, while we were eating some yummy mango chicken and garlic nan at an Indian restaurant Sister Fau asked the question, "How are you doing Sister Jensen?" I told her I was fine, but as we talked more and more I opened up and told her some of my concerns. Nothing major, just the day to day struggles of being a missionary and trying to understand the Chinese culture that belongs to not only my companion, but to the people we teach as well. Sister Fau just listened. At first I wondered why, but the Spirit told me that He needed time to communicate to her what I needed to hear. Once we were home and doing evaluations she opened her mouth and spoke. The things she said I do not remember exactly, but I can never forget the feelings I experienced. It was something along the lines of how she admired the way I was handling the mission life I have been dealt. She assured me that although I may be completely different from all the sisters in the Chinese program, Heavenly Father knows that I am needed to help these sisters, to help the Chinese investigators and to be a leader among them. She told me Heavenly Father was preparing me to be one of the great "Mother's in Zion." Sister Fau then asked me to bear my testimony. As I looked at her and bore my testimony, I felt overcome by the Spirit. I felt my Savior's arms wrap around me and I felt the strength of the Lord fill my bosom until it could not be consumed any longer and leaked out in the form of quiet tears. I could feel the Lord's approval of my efforts. What a glorious trade-off it was!
I am amazed at how intricate the Lord knows each and everyone of us. He has a plan for us that will help Him fulfill a greater plan. Heavenly Father's hand is in our everyday lives and He is the master of Intricate Designs. Much like the building of a motor bike is a bit complex, so was our creation, but with that complexity comes great potential and only Heavenly Father knows what we are capable of. It is our job to let him direct our lives so that we may live more meaningful and fulfilling lives. I know this church is Jesus Christ's church. It was restored by the prophet Joseph Smith. We have a living prophet today, Thomas S. Monson, who leads and guides all who will listen. I love you all and appreciate your prayers and support!