Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013 First Week in Ohio

Hello everyone! 

I am writing from good ol Twinsburg, OHIO! And man is it beautiful here! All of the leaves are changing and the weather this week was great, so I am loving it! I have had such an amazing week and I hope I have time to tell you all about it!  I miss you all! 

So on my first full day in Ohio we got to go to Kirtland. We first went to the Kirtland temple and we were able to have the coolest tour. So the Community of Christ church owns the temple now, so we had a guide named Ron from that church, but they also let Carl Anderson (who is the stake Patriarch, and he has written all of the church books about Kirtland- basically he knows everything) come and give us a tour as well. So we got to learn a lot about the temple from their church standpoint as well as ours which was really neat. We got to read from the scriptures the D &C revalations where they were receieved.. which was so cool. The feeling was incredible and it really just confirmed to me that Joesph Smith was a prophet and that this is Jesus Christ's church. My favorite part was when we were in the main part of the temple and we all stood and sang The Spirit of God, which has always been my favorite hymn, and it was written for the Kirtland Temple dedication. The spirit was so strong, and it was cool because the people from the Community of Christ church were singing with us.. and it just was really neat. I just felt so strongly that God loves all of us and we are all his children, regardless of what religion we are. It was such a cool experience. Then we went to the Historic Kirtland Visitor Center! And we went to the N.K. Whitney Store! Carl Anderson talked to us about how special our call to Kirtland is and how special and important Krirtland is. The last vision Joesph Smith had before he died was about Kirtland.. so that itself shows that it is a really important place. We got to go into the School of the Prophets and read the scriptures there. It was really cool to be learning where Joesph Smith taught and so many incredible people went to learn. The feeling in that room is so incredible I honestly like can't describe it. But it was a really neat experience. Then I got to meet my companion! Her name is Sister Derrick, she is from St. George. She is so nice! She has only been out 3 months, but she knows a ton. 

The first night we had dinner at a members home and she brought us Olive Garden so yeah that was awesome haha. She was really nice and she has 2 sons, one is 12 and he is austitic. He was so sweet though. The funniest part was half way through dinner he just casually walked through the room with just his underwear on and we all just laughed so hard. It was a classic.  Then we went out tracting. Guess what. The FIRST door I ever knocked on they let us in! We taught them a little but they were like "We have our church" and kept pointing at the door. Haha it was funny. Then we met this other guy Andre and we were able to teach a little bit and it was so cool. We prayed, and then he wanted to say a prayer so he did, and then he said "People always say that drinking solves your problems... it doesn't... this feeling right here, this solves your problems" and we were like YES it does! It was so neat. We have tried to go back and visit him but he hasn't been home. Hopefully we can soon!

I spent Thursday at Kirtland.. I gave a few tours but It is sorta hard because I don't know a lot yet. They practically gave me a textbook I have to read and learn. But I will get it eventually! Kirtland is so pretty though and I love being there. There is just such a good feeling and I really glad I have the opportunity to serve there. Oh so I will be there like 2/3 days a week, and the rest of the time in my area. Which is called Solon South. We have 2 other sets of missionaries in our ward... and in me and my companion's  we cover parts of 7 different cities... and then we drive to Kirtland on the days we are there. So there are a ton of people to teach! It is hard because we are supposed to have the same amount of lessons and investigators and do all of that on top of being at Kirtland. Haha they say that visitor center sisters do twice the work and I am really seeing that already! It is great though I love being able to do both. That reminds me... ELDER BALLARD IS COMING TO KIRTLAND THIS WEEKEND! Like Russel Ballard. The Apostle. So I am really excited for that because we will get to meet him and hear him speak and it is going to be so good. 

This weekend was great watching conference! I loved it! I learned a lot and I loved how much they talked about missionary work. My favorite thing is how they said that since we love this church and love the gospel.. we should want to share it. It should be natural to tell people about it. So just to look for opportunities to share what you believe and love... you don't have to like awkwardly call people or make it weird.. you can just share it in a natural way and people will want to know more. I also really liked Elder Uchdorf's talk.. and how he said "Doubt your doubts more than you doubt your faith". I know that sometimes I get caught up in what I think I can't do or what I don't understand.. But if I just have faith and stop worrying about every little thing I think I can't do, than those things don't matter and everything works out. I guess we need to remember to put faith over doubts and we will be happier and more successful in everything we do. 

We did a lot of tracting and it is actually really fun. It is HARD but I like it. Haha most people look at me like I am this crazy white girl... and well I am.. but it is fun. Most people don't let us in, but we have found a few people who have invited us back. We went to try to find this one ladies house, but she had moved.. and the neighbor told us to go try the next road over..  and it led us to another house miraculously and we met this lady Gloria and she said "I have been praying a lot lately for help and I think you two girls are the answer to my prayer" and I was like YES WE ARE! We are teaching her tonight and I am so excited! It was just crazy how we even ended up at her house.. we had no plan to even be on that street. It was amazing.  We met another lady named Elna who said we could come back. And a guy named Dana who said he has been searching for a church! There are just so many cool experiences. But anyways it is great. Some people are like "I am not a member of your church" and we are like yeah we know that is why we are here... hahah. It's just lots of awkward situations... like it is not normal to go knock on peoples door and immediately talk about religion... but it's good and I am learning how to talk to some really interesting people! haha one lady like yelled from an upstairs window and said "I don't open the door during the day because it isn't safe"........ I am still trying to figure that one out. And this other lady thought that we were searching for our Prophet.. not sure how she came to that conclusion.. haha.  But it is amazing how Heavenly Father will lead us to the people that need us. I am seeing that everyday and it is the coolest experience. 

BUT anywho it has been a great first few days here in Ohio! Thanks for all of your prayers and emails! It makes my day!  I love my mission and I feel so blessed to be in such an incredible place. I have learned so much already, and I have just felt how much Heavenly Father loves everyone I have met. It's weird how you can already love someone that you just meet. The Gospel is true and it brings so much happiness to me. I love you all SO much! I hope you have an incredible week! I'm praying for you always!

Love Sister Jensen 

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