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!

Monday, May 19, 2014


Always going,
Here or there.
On the street
Or in the mind.
Yes, something
Is always there.

This week our mission had the sincere pleasure and revelatory experience of having Elder Hamula and his wife come and talk to us and give us counsel and wisdom as to what it is we, as missionaries, need to take not only our missions to the next level but our personal spirituality as well.

My favorite part was when Elder Hamula, who spent 2 hours teaching us out of the five hour conference, taught the "Doctrine of You." I really needed to hear this because sometimes I am so focused on all that I must do to be a great missionary that I often forget that my Heavenly Father has given me talents and abilities that the Chinese need, and try to just coy what the natives do. I am not a native Chinese girl, nor will I ever be, so why has God called me to serve a people I have had no connection with until coming on my mission?

As I went home and reflected on the words of Elder Hamula I came to discover that though I may not be as smart as a Chinese person, nor as nonathletic, I am a hard worker. I am determined to accomplish the goals I have set in my life, whether it is being the best on the volleyball team, or getting into a good school, I have set the goals and accomplished them. Chinese people are the same in that regard. The better I understand myself the better I can serve the people around me. I also came to realize that whenever I belittle myself and call myself "stupid" or "fat" I am being selfish and am focusing on things that do not pertain to my missionary purpose and I am belittling a creation of my Heavenly Father. I need to love myself and then I can more fully love those around me.

Aside from our conference with Elder Hamula, we also had a meeting with all the ward mission leaders on a different date. At that meeting during President Henderson's talk he called me and Sister Peterson up to the pulpit. I had no idea what he was going to ask us to do. Then, placing one hand on my shoulder and another on Sister Peterson's he asked us to lead the missionaries in reciting "My Missionary Commission." My heart about dropped. That is our longest memorization, but I love it and I know it. So I squared back my shoulders and recited the commission with all the resolve I could muster. It felt great.

Now as for missionary work...Miracles continue to occur. We continue to teach Tintin! This week she attempted to read all of the Book of Mormon and when we met with her she had made it all the way to 1 Nephi Chapter 16! She said she tried to finish it, but that it was a little harder to understand than she expected. This was the first time at the end of a lesson that I have had to challenge an investigator to SLOW down when reading the Book of Mormon. Sister Ng and I also committed her to completely follow the Word of Wisdom and as she did that we would forgo chocolate for one week with her. Anything to help someone open the door to the path to Salvation!

Sister Ng and I also had the neat experience of teaching three Chinese people up North in Emerald. How you may ask? Well they didn't fly us up there for the night, although would have been really cool! We used skype! It definitely reminded me that I am a missionary in the 21st Century. It was cool though to see these three people huddled together anxious to learn about the Plan of Salvation.

Something is always in motion when you are a missionary. I have really come to learn that this past week. Sister Ng and I have been sacrificing more and more and we are seeing the miracles unfold. It is a blessing to share this happy message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love what I do. I love it! I love my Savior Jesus Christ and am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost which leads and guides me each and everyday of my mission. Thanks for y'alls support! I really appreciate it. Love you all!

Funny side note: Sister Chen's clothes were stolen from our wash room. Apparently there is an underwear theif roaming around our flat complex because all of our neighbors have had stuff stolen in the past two months. Weirdo.

​Just a little selfie from today! Love you all and pray for you!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It Must Be Miracle May

I just finished talking to these wonderful three people for the last time until I arrive home in December. How crazy is that? Yet my mission does not seem to slow down but the rate at which I see miracles speeds up and I am blessed more and more each and every day of my life.
Miracle #1

This picture actually has two miracles. The first is the Sister Ng is wearing pink, which never happens, but because it was Mother's Day and she talked to her mom right after this picture she wore a nice pink sweater!

The second miracle is the cute Taiwanese people. They texted us Tuesday in the middle of our P-day and they asked to come to English Class. We met them at Hungry Jacks and then rode with them on the ferry to English Class. After English Class we stayed and talked for a bit and found out that Rosa (aqua pants) worked as a nurse at a Christian hospital in Taiwan and was willing to learn more about our church.

We were able to meet them two more times during the week to share about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, they left this morning to go work on the farms, where there are no Chinese missionaries, but we told them to call us whenever they needed help with English and that when their 100 days of farm work were done that we would love to meet up with them again. 100 days is only three transfers after all. We gave them a Book of Mormon and encouraged them to read and pray together. Before they left we said a prayer and Rosa and Kangaroo (the guy in black who picked his English name after going to a zoo) said a prayer together. Rosa would say something and Kangaroo would repeat it. It was so sweet my heart just melted. I sure pray they will meet with missionaries again.
Miracle #2

I really love the Korean people, especially their food, but Thursday all I seemed to be able to find were Koreans who didn't want to talk about religion (unlike my two friends from English class above).
It was ten minutes before we had to go catch a bus home and I was wondering where in the world my miracle for the day was. Hadn't President Henderson promised us that this month of MAY was going to be FULL of MIRACLES? In my head asked Heavenly Father, "Where is my miracle?"
Then I looked left to a spot where Sister Ng and I usually pass by because it is full of smokers and it is thick with the stench of tobacco. However, as I looked at this spot I saw only one girl. She looked slightly Korean to me, but I took a chance and followed my Spirit which was telling me "go talk to her." Alice was there and as we talked I had the opportunity to teach about prayer. We prayed together and I asked if she'd be willing to learn more. She flipped out her iPad Mini and looked at her schedule and pointed to a date and said this would work. She proceeded to get my details and then enter me into her calendar. I got her information and then as Sister Ng and I rushed to the bus stop I thought, "Thank you for my daily miracle Heavenly Father." It strengthened my testimony that miracles are all around me, I just have to be patient--and sometimes that means waiting until the 11th hour.
Miracle #3
So, if you haven't figured it out yet President Henderson has termed this month Miracle May and with that he wants every companionship to have a baptism this month. I have been a little worried about that because the couple dates we do have this month are no longer solid. I have been fervently praying for a true miracle to come forth that would be ready for baptism this month.
Well last week I told you all about Tintin. Well this week before church she came for a lesson. We were able to teach her on the temple grounds right beside our chapel and it was a lovely environment for the Spirit to come and settle in on our lesson with us. As we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of Wisdom I felt complete peace. Then we introduced the Book of Mormon and Tintin just soaked it up. We were blessed with the opportunity to resolve her concern about stopping her consumption of green tea and to really expound on the power to repentance in each and everyone of our lives. Then as the lesson was drawing to a close I invited Tintin to be baptized on May 31st. She said yes with a smile on her face.
The miracle within this miracle is that Tintin just had her last exam for the month of May and so she'll have time to meet with us so that we can teach all of the lessons before her baptism and get her involved with the ward so that she really feels welcomed and part of the ward family.
It has been a wonderful week. I love the Lord with all my heart and I feel so privileged to give him my all. I pray that all of you who read this will search your daily lives for the miracles around you. I know that they are there, whether big or small. As you recognize these miracles recognize that they are from God and He gives them to us because He loves us. I love you all. Thank you for your support, prayers, and love!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Joel 3:10 "...let the weak say, I am strong."

The weather in Australia has finally snapped! We are finally in the midst of fall/winter in which I can wear leggings, sweaters, scarfs, and sleep in the comfort of my bed snuggled in my blankets. If that isn't a miracle I don't know what is! Thankfully the Lord loves us even more than I can comprehend and He blessed Sister Ng and me with more miracles outside of the weather.

Something President Henderson has coined this month "Miracle May" and has asked for greater faith from all of us missionaries in the mighty ABM. There are new things to tighten up our obedience and to prepare us to better receive the miracles the Lord wants to bestow upon us. We are also preparing for a mission tour, which means one of the Seventy is coming to visit the mission.

With all this in mind Sister Ng and I have been praying more diligently and putting forth our best to receive all that the Lord wants us to take on. I have also been praying in my personal prayers to be led to one who has been prepared to hear the gospel. I have been on my mission 10 months now and I think it is high time I found a person who is prepared by the Lord. I met some in SunnyBank, but I am no longer there. So this week in my prayers I asked my heavenly Father to lead me to one of His children He has been preparing.

Saturday I was GQ'ing when I walked around the bend and saw 6 Asians. Usually when this happens I look for the Chinese Asian and start there because that's the language I speak after all! However, this time, from what I could tell, they were all Chinese. I had the feeling that one of these 6 people was prepared to receive the gospel, I just had no idea who. I quickly said a most sincere prayer, pleading with Heavenly Father asking Him to lead me to the one who was prepared. As I lifted up my head and looked at the six people it was as if my whole body was being drawn towards the girl sitting farthest away (which is weird because if you have been reading my blog for a while you know I usually only teach boys). I followed the promptings of the Spirit and went to go talk to this girl, Tintin.

As we began talking I quickly followed the Spirit's direction and told Tintin I was a missionary who shared a message about God and Jesus Christ and how they can help us in our lives. Tintin said, "Good because I need help." We continued talking and I discovered Tintin was struggling with a housemate who gets drunk a lot and has really been a challenge in her life lately because she works and studies. I taught her about the nature of God and Jesus Christ and the power of prayer. I then said a prayer with Tintin. Amongst all the noise and the band playing just a couple meters away, I could feel the Spirit enter my soul and exemplify my simple Chinese spoken prayer. Afterwards I asked Tintin how she felt and she replied, "Peaceful." I then invited her to pray that night and I would pray for her as well. I promised her that could would hear her prayer and help her have the same peace tonight. She then asked me, "Do you have church tomorrow?" Shocked I said, "Yes!" She got the church address, entered my number into her phone, and gave me her details.

That night I prayed fervently that Tintin would have a good night and that she would come to church on Sunday. At church there was no sign of her. Then right before they started singing the sacrament hymn in walked Tintin. She looked a little nervous and I suddenly realized how much courage it took for her to come to church all by herself having never stepped foot in a Christian church before. She seemed to find peace as the meetings went on. Then after Sunday school I asked her how her night had gone. She told me she prayed a little bit and that the guy hadn't drunken anything the night before. I told her that God answered her prayer and she nodded in agreement.

I am very excited to see where this miracle goes. We are meeting Tintin later this week and I pray and hope that things continue to progress. I pray that I remain worthy of the Lord's trust and of His protection over Tintin. It's "Miracle May" indeed. I know I am weak, but with God's help I can be strong.

Just a funny little side-note, I had just gotten off the phone with an investigator who called while we were GQ'ing in the city when a very attractive, tall, blond haired, green-eyed man with a lovely New Zealand accent approached me and said, "So are Mormons allowed to date non-Mormons?"

My mind went blank for about three seconds while I looked this attractive man up and down wandering what in the world was going to happen once I answered truthfully, "Yes we have free agency to date anyone we want."

"Interesting. So do you have some time to talk about Joseph Smith?"

"Of course..."

This attractive man then continued to ask me questions about the church, mostly about the history (thankfully I have been reading "Our Heritage" lately which is all about the early history of the church). He said he wasn't interested too much in religion. When I asked him why he had chosen to talk to me he said, "Because I was bored." In which I replied, "For a man who isn't very interested in religion, but chooses to talk to a missionary in the middle of the city when he is bored, must be more interested than he realizes." He smiled and then got a phone call and had to leave, but not before I gave him a card and invited him to meet with missionaries. Such an attractive and intelligent man should be a member of the church, just my personal opinion.

Well that was my week! Transfers came and Sister Ng and I are still together in the city. Sister Peterson left Sister Chen and Sister Cabamongan will be taking her place so now I will be living with both of my "x-companions." The Chinese Sister's program is such a small world!