Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 12: Christmas Week!

Transfer information (since most people probably don't read this super long boring email, but I don't blame you whatsoever! Haha): Sister Holcomb (a sister that I knew from Facebook before the mission) will be joining Sister Thetford and I for two weeks, and then Sister Thetford leaves to open a Spanish area in our zone. So she will still be my sister training leader, and I'll be owning my area! The zone leaders are pretty shocked that Sister Holcomb is joining me because they say we're polar opposites in every way. So this should be very interesting! :)

Christmas Eve brunch with Dallis :)
Deer! Deer in the graveyard!
Tuesday night devotional!
Sister Mola and selfies is probably my favorite combination ever!
Gingerbread houses are too mainstream

Monday, December 21st: 
We had a super early sisters breakfast this morning, where we had to wake up at 5 and then leave at 6:15. Do what you gotta do when your companion is a Sister Training Leader. Today we got to buy all of our Christmas presents for each other! We went with the trio of sisters to Deseret book so that we could split up and buy gifts and our companions wouldn't see. I love the sisters, don't get me wrong. But sometimes I like to walk fast (okay, all the time) and my issues with no longer being independent don't really come out these days until I'm companions with someone that goes around a store super slow and I have to follow her and she wants to buy a bunch of random stuff separately when the line is super long. And then when I go somewhere, she doesn't follow me. And then I'm breaking rules. So there's my rant for the day. It was a good day though! We also had a lesson with Pete and James and it seems like Pete is progressing a lot faster than James these days. We'll get him to do more stuff without just leaning on Pete to keep all the commitments. And we went to FHE with Pete and our member present from that lesson, Allison. We made gingerbread houses out of graham crackers and I love doing that! We're definitely doing that as a competition with a family reunion or something when I get back! We visited Janice really quick after FHE slowed down, and she really wanted us to come by on Christmas!! She said she would be home alone and just sad all day, so we're so there. Also we officially got 3 new wards today! Bonneville, Monument Park, and Foothill.
Tuesday, December 22nd:
Today we met with Adrienne, the Relief Society President of Bonneville ward. She was super nice, and the funniest thing ever was that apparently cute means active to her. As we were going through all the names in the ward list, she would say "oh and that girl's cute too. This one is totally cute. She's so cute! She comes all the time and she's so cute." Haha it got kinda weird after a while. Then we did the last exchanges of the transfer! Sister Mola and Sister Berrett came into my area! I love them, I really do. It's just that Sister Berrett likes to take over even when it's not her area, and has to know exactly what I'm texting to Sister Thetford, and it was fine. I was just in a mood where tiny things bugged me. We met with the Elders Quorum President of Bonneville today too, and his sister was there. They were super nice, and we're giving us referrals left and right! Super missionary minded family! We had a surprise investigator member present lesson today! We had a member message planned with Erickson, and he brought his nonmember friend to hear our message! She was super receptive and told him that she would like to meet with us again! Isn't that awesome!!?? Our fridge broke again and I figured that out by eating sour cream that was a litttttlle too sour hahaha. We had the Christmas devotional tonight that I was chorister for and sister Thetford was playing in like 4 times. She sight read a piece for a group! Crazy talent. It was weird being on exchanges but still being with our normal companions.
Wednesday, December 23rd: Christmas Adam! (Before Christmas eve, get it? This is a thing here)
We ended exchanges early today, so that we could go to Larry's lesson and so that they could all be there for the baptismal interview for one of their investigators. We had a good lesson with Larry where we watched the Christmas initiative and talked about how he feels about God. He says his faith is growing and he has more trust in God. The only problem with this lesson was the CHRISTMAS INITIATIVE. We had played it in Japanese for Shuhei before and it was the same video just with subtitles. We played it in Mandarin for Larry after having never seen the Mandarin version before.... I couldn't handle it. I had to stare at the floor and pinch myself so hard because I was about to start laughing so hard, and it obviously wasn't funny to him, because he could understand what they were saying. That video betrayed me. Please everyone just watch A Savior is Born video in Mandarin and try to imagine me IN A LESSON barely holding it together and about to ruin the relationship we have with an investigator by laughing at the language he holds dear. We had a district lunch today too! We had abelskivers(sp?), which Elder Woolsey made so that they were kind of full of uncooked batter but that's okay! He also made homemade syrup and it was like eating straight candy. It was a pretty amazing district lunch, and sister Thetford couldn't eat any of it HAHAHAHA (That's a terrible thing to laugh at. Sorry sister Thetford!). We also had district caroling tonight and went to Elder Holland's house. He wasn't there but it was worth a shot.
Thursday, December 24th: Christmas Eve!
We had an awesome brunch with Dallis today! You know I love Dallis, she's the best! She made me put cream cheese on an English muffin, it was terrifying. Lol just kidding it was fine, but apparently that's a normal thing? Sister Thetford didn't see anything weird about it. We then had district meeting, where we exchanged secret Santa gifts and I got the most amazing gift from Leo, and I got a TON of Christmas cards! Thanks so much everyone! We mostly brought gifts and treats to investigators and less active people until 5, when we went to the YSA potluck. And then I got to Skype Mom, Dad, and Ayden, and have Leo on speaker! It was so great!! I was worried it would take me away from the work to use Skype instead of just a phone call, but it was totally fine after. It was good that I was busy and got to go straight to caroling at an old folks home with the potluck. Sister Holcomb was there too! She seemed a little annoyed at everyone for some reason... She kept saying that she just wanted a car and that she needed a car, but there's no reason she would have a car because she's not leadership, language, or YSA (they were invited to the potluck because they live right next to the mission office). She was just kinda mean to the old people at the home...So there's my rant for the day! I need to get over it, I'm sure she was having a bad day. BUT BUT BUT at caroling this old man kept interrupting while we were singing to say that he wanted to steal the young ladies for a Christmas present, and it was funny until he kept saying it and started threatening to take our keys and lock us in the building, and saying that he would punch the elders if they got in his way. Soooooo we left haha. But then we were locked in!! And he was coming for us and the elders formed a blockade in front of us, and when we were finally buzzed out we had to close the fence on him and he started climbing the fence! All in all it was kinda funny, scary, and just kinda super sad. What a way to spend Christmas eve on the mission ;)
Friday, December 25th: Christmas!!!
We had breakfast this morning at Bishop Millett's house, bishop of the Hillside ward. It's kinda awkward sitting on the edge of a family celebration where they're all opening gifts and have little kids and their own traditions, but it was great! Sister Millett got us scarves and socks and they're super nice! And breakfast was way good, and a super treat start to Christmas. We came home and opened presents, THANK THANK THANK THANK THANK YOU BY THE WAY. Basically I was freaking out the whole time opening presents. I'll send the time-lapse in a separate email and you can slow it down, but we took some screenshots that we like :) the pajama pants (that I would totally wear as regular pants) and the amazingly beautiful purse and the custom stationary?! Life is good, and I have the best family ever! :):):) after that we visited Emily, a girl who was all by herself for Christmas in the central 2nd ward. She seemed super down, and I feel like our visit didn't do anything. But she was kind and she seemed a little brighter while we were there. We just really worry about her when she's just alone with her thoughts, because her thoughts don't seem to like her. We went straight to the Institute building after that so that sister Thetford could Skype her family! So sweet :) they asked me questions and i was like lol what? If my daughter was on a mission I wouldn't care to talk to her companion! You only get 40 minutes! Haha but I guess when this is your 3rd time calling home, it gets pretty chill. We visited Janice after that and watched the testaments with her. Her cat is so sweet, and she's really struggling with the fact that her cat probably needs to be put down. It's so sad! We had dinner with Rosemary and her sisters and that was so fun! She had contacted our moms to ask what we always eat for Christmas dinner, so she made Sister Thetford an almond loaf and told me that she was going to make cinnamon rolls if I came over for breakfast, but we already had plans (she invited us that morning and everything! She's so sweet!) and they involved eating cinnamon bread at a different breakfast so hah! After that we tried to carol Elder Holland again with our district, but he wasn't home :(. So we headed off to zone caroling and had a grand old time spreading Christmas cheer for all to hear.
My new purse!
Too much excitement in this picture Smiling face with open mouth and cold sweat
I think this was her reading the card I gave her 
Timelapse captures dance moves. Noted.
After companion presents :)
Okay so I don't feel like writing anymore.
Here's the highlights: 
  • tonight (Sunday) we had a pass off lesson with the zone leaders and Thomas, a new investigator we inherited. Here's a direct quote from Elder Haight (Who already is known to be kind of a TV preacher with  his intense speeches and Elder Siebert and I are always dying laughing and trying to keep it together during lessons and zone meetings): "Thomas, I can promise you that the Lord will lead you, and he will guide you. Thomas (we were just waiting for it at this point), he'll walk beside you!(Does he stop there? No) He'll teach you all that you must do, so that you can live with Him.... Someday." I can't tell you how many times I had to pinch myself to keep from laughing (for anyone who didn't grow up in primary at church, please go look up the primary song 'I am a child of God'. It's the most common one that you learn in primary :))
  • Two sacrament meetings were combined this morning and they were 2 of our new wards, so we went! The bishop of one of them comes up to us with arms outstretched and says, "Sisters! You're allowed to hug Bishops right?" He looked so disappointed when we said no and he had to awkwardly put his hands down. Soooooo funny!
  • We took Larry to a baptism and we took Amanda to Savior of the World yesterday! It was such a good day :)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Week 6 - Halloween week is so scary on the mission!‏

FRIDA!!! Hahaha sometimes you just gotta live life with a unibrow
Inspiration Photo for Frida Kahlo 

COULDN'T LEAVE IT AT THAT. WENT FOR THE UNIBROW. And Sister Thetford is just a girl from the 60s. She hasn't dressed up since she trick or treated. Lame. Peer pressure for the win!! :) 

Exchanges with Sister Mola! :) 
Exchanges with Sister Payne and Aguilar! I'm dying laughing because they were SO EXCITED to take a picture :) 
Chicken feet  dinner given to us on our exchange! I may be down to eat everything... but I didn't try this- I'm sad about it to haha..    *I asked her question  " How often do the YSA feed your dinner"?"  
every night but Monday night! One week our ward mission leader lost the sign up sheet so we were on our own for a week, but since we have 4 wards, they each get a week of the month that they have to cover 6 nights. Since there's so many RM's, they're usually pretty excited to feed us

Dallis, who showed up to a lesson the day before halloween in a gypsy costume. Larry loved it! (I was losing my mind with excitement) 
What I looked like all throughout halloween- pretty low-key, whatever it's glasses right? 
Sister Thetford hemmed Elder Andrew's baptismal pants and then decided to wear them... Don't tell Elder Andrew hahaha

Friday, October 30, 2015

Week 5 - Fab 4 reunited, Exchanges, P-Day Halloween, learning Botswana language

What I look like today. I'm wearing my glasses to our zone activity of making haunted gingerbread houses and I'll be the version of Sister Jensen that has bad eyesight. SO ORIGINAL

Sister Mola is from Botswana and is Mandarin speaking and we are on exchanges today (Thursday) because both of our companions have a meeting we can't go to. This is her language study. She is teaching me to say "I love my family"

MTC Fab Four Reunited at training session!

We made haunted gingerbread houses for p-day and played hours of Volleyball. My knees are so bloody. It's amazing.

Sister Jensen finds yet another feline investigator....

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Week 4 - leading lessons, grateful for mail, singing in zone conference

Thank you for the mail and packages! I'm sending my replies hopefully next Monday! I can only get mail on Fridays, when they bring it to district meetings, but that's totally fine.

My wall in the living room! Besides the sticky notes with the quotes on them, those were already there. LITERALLY EVERYONE that sees this picture of Ayden and I ask if I have a boyfriend back home. Without fail. Everyone.

On our way to Zone Conference! Actually, this is us sitting in our car waiting for them to open the doors, because we all got there an hour early.

The note we made for Emily! On top of some of my notes for some reason.

Here's me driving! I do most of the driving now so I can learn my way around better.  Super unsafe. Shame on you Sister Thetford. lol
I SAW A CAT. I've been seeing so many cats, I really should have Sister Thetford take a picture of me with all of them. I pet most of the ones I see. It's so wonderful.

Here's Sister Thetford being the best aunt ever and sewing this baby blanket for her new niece! She was up so late last night finishing it!

Here's a screengrab of me singing at zone conference (more like a screengrab of me looking super awkwardly at the huge audience but oh well).

I got mail!!! Everyone was so excited for me at zone prayer when more and more kept coming (or at least that's what it felt like haha) Thank you so much!!!

Love you all so much!!
--  Sister Jensen

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Praise to the Man" Quartet for First Zone Conference

First area on the mission - Bonneville Young Single Adult Stake!

This is our new apartment!  We cover 3 wards in one stake plus another ward. They are all YSA wards.
We're in the Bonneville YSA (Young Single Adult) stake right next to the University of Utah.  Over 50% of the housing in this mission is member homes. So that's kinda intense. I'm just glad to be starting in a sketch apartment.

My trainer, Hermana Thetford, has been out for 8 months and spent the past 6 months speaking Spanish.  

Sister Thetford can't eat sweets, I get all of them! I'm going to gain so much weight! hahahahaha

This is the computer I'm emailing on. Talk about retro, eh? Supes slow, but a lot less locked down than the MTC ones. I might be able to do a family iCloud sharing thing during the week where I could share pictures but I just don't know. Also, this computer doesn't want to recognize my camera. Hopefully it does soon. Luckily I took a few with my iPad

First day in mission field with President and Sister Spendlove and my new trainer and companion,  Hermana Thetford.

I'm assuming you noticed my haircut since you always notice haha. It was free! I got it the day I left the MTC haha and my hair was all split ends and hadn't been cut since last December.
This is us touching President Monson's fence. We're nerds.

Cool companions wear polka dots!

Left the MTC - taking the train to our mission in SLC!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

First email from her mission!

So this is super weird, we've been here for over a week and finally get to email our families. DearElder has been a TRUE blessing, I get those same day and then I can read them when we get back to our residency hall. Basically, thank you to everyone that has sent me one, because even if it's a sentence, we all rejoice and read our letters together (okay maybe that's just the sisters in our district). Sister Bonzo, my lovely companion, knows so much about my family now, and Mom she DIES laughing when we read your letters, and thank you Dad for sending those spiritual thoughts at the end of your letters, I think I'll do the same thing. Also, it doesn't put the date on the DearElders so I'm kinda over here guessing the order of the letters and when everything is happening :). ALSO Mom, I haven't seen Women's Conference yet! Stop giving me these amazing teaser trailers! Haha they recorded it and we'll watch it when the elders watch the Priesthood session.     
So, yeah! That's it for now! Love you, Sister Jensen

***Side note from Mom ****Sister Jensen is leaving MTC today so no more to the MTC address. You can now send mail to her at:  Sister Linda Jensen, Utah Salt Lake City Mission, 1535 South Edison Street, SLC UT, 84115-1625

JUST kidding! Haha I've taken over 100 pictures this past week, you didn't think I would pass up the chance to send them did you? :)  I plan to send emails with just a ton of pictures in them haha sorry I'm not so great at this email business. I'm no Sister Robinson, I can't just write emails without picture prompts. I'M NO MONSTER. lol                     

Okay so here's a sideways pic that I can't be bothered to fix (Mom fixed) but it shows my dork dot! I immediately changed after classes the first day because I wasn't really feeling the whole dress and blazer thing RIGHT out the gate.

Here's a selfie though! And it's the right way so you're welcome haha just take note of how happy and vibrant I look, it will be important on the pop quiz later. ( I have to put all these pictures as small or this message won't send apparently)

HEAVEN HELP ME THIS COMPUTER IS SLOW. It keeps telling me to remove pictures, and I keep adding pictures. Time will tell who will win this battle. Anyway, here's Sister Bonzo! She's a super cutie and crazy smart and I love her so much. I feel like I've known her for at least 2 years, but I guess it's technically been 8 days. Sister (can't say man here), the MTC BONDS people. And quickly. Behind her by the way is Sister Mooneyhan, also adorable, also a spiritual giant. She's companions with Sister Brady!! I knew Sister Brady from facebook, skype, and snapchat so it was an amazing reunion.

Yeah so we forced someone to take a nice picture of us- here's the crew! These girls are my life now (haha no just kidding my life now is teaching and studying and praying, but still). We are the only ones in our 6 person room and it is amazingly great to have that extra room. They make me stay up like an hour late because they're talking all the time, but it's worth it, I love these sisters.

Sister Bonzo and I after our first lesson! We taught Eva, our PI, who is played by our teacher, Sister Neilsen. But Eva is so real, you have no idea. We were like almost sick before our lesson with her and then it got a lot better and we only thought it went well because of how calm we were in the lesson. We were the first people to teach a lesson in our class and we didn't even know how to do most of it. Like, did you know we're supposed to start with a prayer? Of course you did! WE DIDN'T. 

Sister Mooneyhan was the first one to get a package! Pumpkin bread by the way (took us so long to finish it)

They're cute and they know it, they just kinda shove it in our faces how cute they are haha so rude!

I got new scriptures AND THEY ARE THE STUFF OF LEGEND. I still had stuff like "bautiful elafant" written in the front of my old scriptures and now mine are beautiful and almost as big as an elephant

Here's our zone! All of them just left except our district and we just got a new batch of missionaries in yesterday! They're so cute :)\

Thank you so much for the packages!! The pictures were so amazing to get and we all ate chips and salsa and these cinnamon rolls were bomb diggity. Actually they came on the perfect day because we went to devo as the MTC choir and accidentally missed dinner to do so. But singing in the choir made it so worth it! :)

Here's how good we looked for service yesterday. It was kind of a ridiculous thing to do considering we mopped floors, but you've gotta look drop dead gorgeous sometimes, amirite??? 

Here's me today getting summoned for a flu shot. Notice Sister Bonzo in the back not even showing any sympathy for me. What an awful companion...

I think this is the day we taught 3 lessons. Today we'll teach our 10th, but there's only one today for us since we don't have class instruction with Sister Neilson, just Brother Rogers (who is the most hilarious teacher ever btw). Sister Neilsen is super spiritual and actually I totally had a meltdown/breakdown last night and cried all over the place and she was super sweet about it and called us exceptional missionaries and that our standards are just a lot higher than the rest of the class (the standards we put on ourselves)

This was the funeral for Elder Scott! Powerful funeral. ALSO IF YOU CAN FIND THE MTC ADDRESS THAT ELDER BEDNAR GAVE called the character of christ, it is life changing.  Hey I love you all so much! Sorry there's a lot more pictures and a lot less words but I took so many and they show a thousand words or some bologna. HAHA LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUU

--  Sister Jensen