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!