Monday, March 31, 2014

We have a Purpose on Earth

March 31, 2014

So this week was a great one here is what I learned

Tuesday:  During my personal study I have been really trying to study the scriptures and really get the meaning out of them.  I am taking my time and really trying to internalize the truths in the scriptures. Our president of our mission told us that if we study like that and study for ourselves or for questions we have then something we study will be exactly what someone needs that day. I thought that was so neat so I gave it a try. I am reading this talk about who were before this life and how that can help me understand my purpose in this life. I feel if I don’t understand who I was and the choices I made then I can never understand my potential here. It lead to an intense study that was great.  Then I read the scripture Abraham 3:22-23 about how we were noble and great before this life and how here we must remember that.  This is where our true colors shine. We may have been  noble and great, living with God but the veil takes off our masks and reveals who we really are when  we don’t live in the presence of God. I was just thinking how important it is to know and remember who we are and that nothing is more important than God,  praying, scripture study, and going to church. This day we had the opportunity to go visit a family who is not inactive but has not been coming regularly to church like they should.  I shared this scripture with them and it was amazing because I asked them for any comments.  The father said, “Thanks for that;  we had been distancing ourselves from the church lately and I could feel the spirit testifying to me that these things are true and that we need to make some changes in our lives”. It was amazing that by just reminding people who they really are we can help them better fulfill their purpose here in this life. I am so grateful that the Lord led us to their house yesterday because they needed that reminder. I know that the Lord guides us in this work and that happenstance doesn’t exist. God’s hand is in everything.

We are teaching this couple named Maria and Sergio and they are so great. They are reading the Book of Mormon and really have open hearts to listen so pray for them that they can continue to progress.

Ok so miracle! Andres got over his beef with leaders. He has had a complete change of heart and it’s crazy! We went over there Friday and had the neatest lesson with them. They now are teachable and we now can help them progress because they have dissolved their hate. Let’s just say it was a tender mercy of the Lord because this week was rough!   I know that the Lord does visit his people in their afflictions, Mosiah 24:14. We are striving to help unify this branch and experiences like this with Andres makes me believe that step by step it is possible.We have a ways to go but we are determined and know that all is possible with the Lord and in His timing. 

love you  guys

Hermana Jennings 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Drunk Man Comes to Sunday School

March 24, 2014

I thought I would share with you an exceptionally random day in Gospel principles. I am not sure how ya’lls gospel principle class was yesterday but ours was indescribable with that said I am going to try to describe what happened; bear with me. It starts off with the other Sisters teaching the lesson about the Gifts of the Spirit, great topic right? They were teaching one golden investigator with his 5 year old son (not sure why he wasn’t in primary, today was a really bad day to bring your kid to gospel principles). Everything is going great till we hear a knock on the door like 20 minutes into the lesson and in walks toothless Jesus in his red jumper and sun glasses. The look on the other Hermana’s faces was pure shock as he is an investigator of theirs, well more of like someone they talk to as they are waiting for the bus. We were like “Who is this?” because he sat down and then would get up and kept trying to kiss the teacher  then we properly informed him he can’t kiss the teacher we got him to sit down. They then try to proceed with the lesson. Every time they mentioned “Jesus”, Jesus would stand up and proceed-yelling my  name is Jesus while he was showing his carnet or ID to everyone it was kind of an distraction. He kept making random comments half in Spanish and half in English but we couldn’t understand any of it because of his lack of teeth. Can it get anymore awkward?  … another knock… yes it can. Coti calls 2 of us out Hermana Huber and Hermana Portillo and the rest of us are like where the heck are they going? We then tried to save the class. Meanwhile Hermana Huber went with Hermana Portillo to the gate that surrounds the church, yes the churches have large pointy sharp metal gates surrounded  down here in south America.  Coti pointed and said there is a man mumbling out there and left. They were like ok… and went to go talk to him third hour so they were all waiting outside as we bring out this drunk guy who literally is about to fall over. Everyone’s looking at us pretty weird by now but I’m just like we got to get him out of the church. We get him to the door and our branch president stops us and then takes him out the front gate having to step over another drunk guy who passed out on the church lawn/driveway. Yes I am not so sure what was with all the drunk people today but it was quite an experience.  It was sad but funny all at the same time.  All I can say is drinking is so bad please don’t do it because it really ruins lives.  It’s not cool.
. Point of view of Hermana Huber; “oh dang it I know that man”. And Hermana Portillo asked who is i?   Well a little background information -  like 2 ½ months ago Hermana Huber and I were waiting for the bus  - cause they take 20 minutes to show up. And there is this incredibly wasted man in the middle of the street shouting at the cars. I had never seen someone that drunk.  We were worried that he was going to get hit by a car and die. So as we could not leave him there in the middle of the road to die.  We were like, “ Hello - come here” trying to get him out of the road. It was a challenging task but we got him to sit down at the bus stop. It turned out his house was about 10 feet away so we took him in to his mom. It’s so sad because he is like a 45 year old man and still lives with his 80 mother.  She started to cry when we brought him in because he is always drunk. It was a sobering experience.  Ya while we were there we shared a thought with him and his mom and invited them to church and told them where the church was. We left, and time passed and we forgot about the drunk man until yesterday.   So back to point of view of Hermana Huber; so we are standing on one side of the gate and him on the other and he is  slurring the question “How do I get in?  Na├»ve Hermana Portillo says,  “It’s right here come on in.” Hermana Huber said,  “He is so drunk he can’t talk and can barely walk I don’t think bringing him to church right now will help him.” They  brought him in anyways after avoided the kisses he was trying to give them…uncomfortable… meanwhile Hermana Cabezas & I were in the class with Jesus and Pedro (peter) = oh the irony of this whole thing. The door opened and I see the other Hermanas and  this incredible wasted man walk in,  I’m like I’ve seen that nose before (because he got in some crazy drunk fights and his nose literally is like an “S”) and then I remembered who he was. I was like what?!! How the heck did he remember ago to come to church today when the one time we visited him, more like we saved his life, bcuz he was drunk was 2 months ago. I’m thinking why did the other Sisters bring him into the church?  We have children in this class!  Well the damage was done and now we had this drunk guy in the class.  It was going well till the drunk guy wanted to comment;  he wouldn’t stop talking and we couldn’t understand him between his drunk slur and hiccups.  This made Jesus angry and he started fighting with the drunk man. We had to separate them and finally we got some order in the class.  We are all trying not to burst out laughing because the whole thing was so ridiculous.  Well we ended up going over like 3 minutes and of course the room we were using is also the room for the Priesthood brethren for the 3

But ya on a more positive note we an open house in our branch Sunday and so many people came. We gave the tours and we were running around like crazy teaching and got so many references. The branch really came together and it was a success. The bummer thing is all the people who came don’t live in our sector but the elders got some sweet references and it was a neat experience giving tours about the gospel over and over because we could really feel the spirit testifying to us of the truth of the gospel. It was a powerful

This week was also went to Zone conference  - best ever. One of the things we learned from President was about making your scriptures you own. With your markings, your own testimony, revelations you have received, or words from the modern day prophets. He talked about how from 10 years from now we will not be carrying our mission study journal but we will still have our scriptures. He talked about how he has done this in his life and how they have helped him and others. We all are now striving to make our scriptures ours and to use the conference talks and study them by the scriptures in each talk and writing the words of the prophets next to the scriptures they expounded on. President talked about the importance to slow down while reading our scriptures and really pondering and studying verse by verse.

Together, we studied the parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10. We likened this parable to the Plan of Salvation. In verse 30 the symbols we found are Jerusalem represents the premortal life, and Jericho represents the world in which we live. A man went down or left the premortal life, the man can represent Adam or ourselves,  the robbers represent Satan. When the man fell to the robbers represents the fall of Adam or our own sin.  The man being half dead represents how we can be dead spiritually but not yet physically. The next verse a certain priest represents the Law of Moses, he didn’t help the wounded man because he couldn’t save him, he didn’t have the power to do it and in the next verse, the Levite couldn’t either. In verse 33, a Samaritan represents Jesus Christ; He journeys on the SAME PATH and has compassion on each of us! I know that Christ has gone through what we are going through now. He has gone on the same path as us and knows how to help us! In verse 34 the oil and wine signify the Atonement of our Lord, his own beast is the life of Christ, and the Inn can be a number of things like the Church or the temple, the office of a bishop of mission president  - anywhere we go so our Savior Jesus Christ can take care of us. In verse 35 the two pence symbolizes that we do not have the pay the whole price. In this verse we see that the Samaritan trusted the host to take care of this fallen man. As missionary I need to take care of the people the God puts in my path. Most of them have fallen and he trusts us to take care of them. I know that Christ will return!     

Hermana Jennings

Monday, March 17, 2014

And with Him all is Possible

March 17, 2014
So I got my birthday package haha super early sorry we opened it and enjoyed the goodies together.  It was way fun!   Thanks so much for sending the package. Dad I laughed so hard when I read your note that you had started eating the Girl Scout cookies before you knew that mom was going to send them to me. That little note was a tender mercy for me just cause. Sure do love you and mom I loved my card so much! How fun to remember all the birthdays I had! It was so cute mom as Hermana Portillo, one of the Hermanas that lives with me, was looking at the photos, she was like your mom is so cute and nice I can just feel that she is a really neat person. I was like she is. I thought that was cool that you are letting your light so shine even in photos mom. Thanks for you example for me. I want to grow up to be like you. Thanks again for thinking of me! Sure do love you guys.

So this Thursday, we went to the church to fix some stuff with the secretaries. And our chapel is the stake center.  We ran into this sister from another ward who was waiting there for an interview with the stake pres. She was having a hard time and it was so neat that we got to talk to her. I swear the Lord sends us people every Thursday to comfort and to love who are broken or disheartened.  We can be His hands and help them see that the only way is through God. Not blaming others, not through running away or getting angry but through humility and love and patience and faith we can overcome all.  The Lord will send us what we need when we need it. It was neat because this same day I had a rough go at it but earlier this month I had marked a bunch of scriptures to read when I have hard times and this time I opened my scriptures and read and I felt a peace and it was ok.  Before the mission I would have taken a long nap but that really doesn’t give you the peace you are looking for - there is nothing like turning to the Lord for the peace that we crave. I testify that He is there and that if we go to Him He will catch us with open arms. I know the scriptures are the word of God and that we must turn to them to find peace in this life.   It was neat because I shared this idea with her because it was something that really helped me so I shared this with her.  I am going to bring the list to her. I challenge you guys to find scriptures that bring you comfort or strength and mark them with sticky note things or those of you with cell phones all high techie you could make a list of them so when you are struggling in the storms of life you can turn to the Lord and you can be comforted and find real peace in only place real peace is found in God and in our Savior. I promise you that this can help you overcome anything that life throws at you. Remember God loves you.

And with Him all is possible.

So Friday we did some sweet service at Hermana  Molinas house. Can I just take a moment to say how amazing this Hermana is she does everything for everyone like she is the heart of Pirque I swear. So it was about time we did some serious service for her because she always turns us down when we try to do things for her so today we got to help her with her daughter’s wedding. We set the chairs up covered them with the white cute things and ties blue bows on them lots of bows, and then we set up the rest of the stuff and cleaned the whole house and set up decorations and poor thing was so stressed but it was so fun and really neat to help her and see her happy. It was fun then we walked and walked and contacted lots of references and came home so tired as a member in my old ward said on his mission “I have earned my bed today!”

Saturday, the next day we went over to the familia Picardos house to do some intense yard work. Yes it brought me fond memories of working out in the yard Saturday morning… ok not sure I really appreciated it then but now I am thankful mom and dad that you taught me to work so hauling rocks and weeds and stuff was nothing new. We were way tired after but we went off to work after but it was great. Just kept pushing through but Sunday was the best day ever…. Wait for it…drum roll…ANDRES AND PAOLA CAME TO CHURCH!!!! Yes miracles do happen and I almost cried and wanted to give Andres a hug but I couldn’t but it was so neat to see that they have been able to forgive and learn that church is to come and learn about God and that people make mistakes but that we are all just doing our best! It was so great and they are going to get married in June! I will so be here yay! It was so neat to see that even though we worked so hard this week not a lot was resulting but Sunday was a tender mercy of the Lord.

This Sunday one of the brethren spoke about what we say can affect others and gossip. Gossip, even if it is true, is poison it can ruin and un-unite a branch/ward faster than wildfire and it is something we each can be better at. Well I know I can be better at this by not talking gossip even if it is true and helping others not to also because it does not bring us together. And I found some scriptures about this that I liked and I invite ya’ll to read them and reflect how we all can be better about what we say. Santiago 3, Salmos 39:1, Mateo 12:36, Salmos 34:13, Proverbios 21:23, Santiago 1:26, Mornoi 7: 45’48. (I think Lauren slipped into Spanish land with these scriptures – now we can have fun figuring out which books these are?)
Well this week was really busy but we are down to start another one! And we climbed a really awesome hill thing today fun stuff

Love ya’ll

Hermana Jennings

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Attack of the Kitten

March 10, 2014

So this week some great things went down.  Thursday we went up to Puente Alto (the ghetto of Santiago)  Love it,  to teach Alex because he never is in his home in Pirque.   So we go visit him before meetings on Thursdays in the church. He really reminds me of Jorge so much. He really has had a past but he has such a desire to change and we are going to help him. After that we were walking to the church and this lady came up to us and was like Sisters! I have been waiting for you guys. She immediately started to cry. She then began to tell us her story of how she had been inactive for 4 years and how she is going through a hard time and she just left her house today and rode the metro till it stopped and got off and started praying to find the missionaries and the Lord lead us to her. We told her we were going to the church and that she should come with us.  It was a miracle because the church is only open Thursdays evenings for mutual and for scheduled meetings.  We went in and sat in the chapel and I talked to her and my comp, Hermana Huber, (a piano genius) played hymns on the piano. It was one of those neat times as a missionary that you really feel like the Saviors hands and that He has sent you to find one of his Lost sheep -  I felt like that today. As I sat with Gemma I listened to her and testified of the blessings of the gospel and how she needs to start doing the little things again. After that we called her husband to let him know where she was and that she would be coming home. She hadn’t eaten all day so we went and got some food and then walked her to the metro and she was on her way with a smile and more hope than when she arrived. This experience really just testified to me that God is aware of us, his children. He was aware of what Gemma was going through that day and he put us in her path to rescue her and to help her feel God’s love for her. I know that God will do that for you and me too because I have seen it over and over again in my life and in the lives of those around me. Remember that God loves you and will send you help with you most need it so trust in him.

This week has been full of experiences some (lindos) and some traumatic… so now it’s time to tell you my traumatic experiences of this week. First we go see an investigator and we walk in and give everyone hugs and the whole cheeks touch air kiss thing – right?   Our heads were pretty close. Then we sit down and long story short the mom starts picking out lice of her daughters hair - aka the person I just kissed yep I’m freaking out inside “man those things can jump…I better not have lice… “ yes so for like that day and 3 days after I was freaking out!  Don’t worry I don’t have lice, but it was a scare that’s for sure.

The most traumatic experience I saved for last. So one day this week we went over to a recent converts house and when we got there he wasn’t there but his 2 dogs and his 2 cats (like kittens) were there. Since he was not home we left and as we had made it a little farther down the road we realized the 2 cats were following us and then out of nowhere comes like 6 dogs and they start killing one of the cats while the other one runs into some bushes. It really looked like a great white shark attack on a poor innocent cute little seal. I was horrified!  We started to run towards the dogs and they left, but we could only find one kitty and she was covered in slobber and shaking on the ground. Who cares if I am allergic to cats, I picked up that poor baby all bruised and broken and cradled her in my arms. We started the walk back to the recent convert’s house to take back the cat where she could be safe, but as we were walking she started to convulsing and then she went still. It was horrible - she died in my arms and I started to cry.   It was the saddest thing ever!  She was just so innocent and those dogs killed her just to kill!  So sad.   As I laid her down on the grass as her final resting spot I realized that when she died she had pooped all over me, so then covered in tears and cat diarrhea I was determined to save-find the other cat.  We went back to the scene of the crime and I could hear her and so of course I hear the sound coming from a bunch of tree bush things but of course they are the thorn tree bush things so I dive in and I am getting all scratched.  Hey I did  find her in the tree after much effort in the dark we got her down and saved her just as the recent convert came home.    We told him what happened and he said that was the 3rd cat that week that the same dogs had killed. It was so sad. So I guess if we wanted to apply this sobering story to life don’t leave your safe haven - the gospel -  because Satan is out there waiting to make you his and as much as we think we can make it on our own we can’t.  Also we can be rescued but some wanderings are fatal so don’t risk it - hold fast to the iron rod and live.
Well this week was great as all the others and we had changes but I am still in Pirque and we are working hard. We were out tracking the other night and we found this guy who is inactive but he wants to come back to church. It was a miracle that we found him because we don’t know all of our sector and we probably could live here for 20 years and not know our whole sector because it’s almost bigger than the whole south mission.  God led us to Cristian and we are going to help him and his wife come back. We have been having so many meetings, sacrament meetings, stake meetings focusing on the rescue how we need to rescue those that have fallen away and that it’s our job as well. I am excited for another change with Hermana Huber. She is a dear friend and we have too much fun together being crazy and testifying. We don’t get to pick companions here in the mish but I sure got lucky with mine she is a great example and friend and we build each other and help each other to be better. But ya love ya’ll so much have a great week!

Hermana Jennings

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Meeting with Elder Evans

March 3, 2014

This week we had to tells Andres that we can’t come see anymore because he is not progressing. He just can’t forgive others. I have been thinking about forgiveness and how it is a commandment and it is essential. We cannot progress in this life spiritually if we are carrying around hate inside of us. It will destroy us. From what I have learned from forgiveness, it’s a process. I believe God understands that and He will help us through our own forgiveness processes. We are required to be humble and to let God shape us into the person He sees we can be. We do this a little bit everyday by turning it Him, placing all the hurt and pain, embarrassment, etc. on the altar of the Lord. When we do this and then do everything we can to follow Gods commandments we will begin to feel the healing power of the atonement enter our lives. When we learn to love even our enemies we learn to love like the Savior and when we forgive others we will receive the Lord’s mercy for our own short comings and sins and even more when the person we forgave doesn’t repent and change the Lord will be even more merciful to us. It’s so hard  - even after we have said all of that to Andres  he still was arguing with us that he was right.  I think the time we have given him will be good for him help him to really think about what are his priorities and about how he needs to forgive. So we need to learn to love as the Savior and if we do this we will be able to forgive and we will want to repent every day.

Tuesday: This week in district class we learned about how we need to be prepared, but also need rely on the spirit. I am a planner that’s for sure but sometimes the Lord has a different plan for us than what we plan out for ourselves. I believe God wants us to plan out our lives, set goals and be prepared, but also live with the faith and humility to drop all our plans when He has something else in mind for us. But yes after district class we came home for lunch and then were off to work. So some pretty random stuff happened today not going to lie but ya picture this us walking down a street in the middle of nowhere aka Pirque and we are standing out in front of a house, well the gate of a house, and there is this giant tree above us and today we left the house with tights and coats cause it was cold and looked like it was going to rain and as I was standing there I heard a plopping sound of runny liquid plopping like literally 5 inches of me. First observation, “That cant be rain, rain doesn’t sound like that.”  2nd observation I look up and a giant bird (like  a mix between a peacock and the bird from UP, yes it was like the size or a little bigger than Oliver – our old dog)….= sitting in the tree above me just pooping away. I was in shock cause it was so large and random and it almost pooped all over me…. And then it just flew away…I didn’t know a bird that big could fly… so random but I was definitely counted my blessings that I didn’t get pooped on.

Yes so that just happened and we took a bus and then just walked and walked and walked like pioneer children and when we finally got to the next appointment they canceled right so we sat down on a bus stop bench to study some language right and so yet again we are in the middle of nowhere and we look over and there is a stream and there is this guy in the stream hacking away at some shrubs and he calls us over.
He then starts telling us about all the herbs he is finding and then gives us some herbs they look like really long grass and he tells us the name is the money herb…we said thanks and went on our way but I was pretty sketched out by this herb he gave us to eat… ya we didn’t eat it but it was so random now that I am typing this story it was just one of those random stories you just had to be there but anywhoo moral of this story “don’t accept herbs from strange men”…. But ya then we went out to visit some members with Hermana Molina she is the best a real trooper and a woman who lives what she teaches. We had some neat experiences but the one I want to share was when we went to visit a less active family and when we were there we met the brother of the hermano who was a member and he listened quietly to our message and then when we were done he said “This is the third time in my life that when I am going through really hard times the Lord sends missionaries to talk to me about God.” We were all sitting in this living room in one of the most humble homes I have ever been in but the spirit there was so strong it was like a little piece of heaven on earth. Just a testimony to me that it’s so not important what we have but more of who we are and if the spirit can dwell with us. It was neat because he is going to let us come see him again, but the bummer is that he leaves in 2 days but we are going to send the reference to the other missionaries where he is going. I know that the Lord places things and people in our lives for a reason and if something or someone keeps popping into your life maybe you should stop and think about it and see what God has in store for you. Today was a great day full of laughs and sharing the gospel.

Lets see I think I just want to start off to say I really have come to love Pirque living in the middle of nowhere is beautiful, adventuresome, and full surprises and small town quirks. I love that every night we get to walk a mile home and be under a starlit sky I never get tired of looking up at the milky way and just aweing in wonder.  Just the Chilean culture, the Spanish, the weird salads that I have come to love - for example I am eating a tomatoes onion salad with oil, salt, and lemon, my favorite. I love the the simpleness here like no one cares what you look like or dress like they care more about the stuff that is important smiles, laughs, God, and food. I love that I get to be a part of their lives and help them come unto Christ.

So I had a neat study this week about my patriarchal blessing. I wrote the whole thing by hand and I wrote in different colors depending on what I was writing I broke my blessing down into 5 sections. 1.  Traits of me 2. Gifts that I have 3.  Counsel from the Lord 4. Promises from God 5. Blessings.  It was a neat experience because there is something different about writing your blessing by hand and picking it apart and organizing it. It helps you learn new things as new things stick out to you so challenge go and study your blessing this week and write it out and organize it you don’t have to use my categories but as you do you will learn more about yourself and what God sees in you.

Wednesday: So today we had a neat lesson after walking like 3 miles to get there we ended up in this giant field of grass and had our lesson under the shade of a tree. It was the brother of a less active. He is looking for direction in his life and he wants to take the things of God serious. We had a neat lesson with him and he is reading the book of Mormon but he is moving tomorrow so I hope the missionaries will teach him there because we sent them the reference. So something I am learning is that 1. no one is perfect 2.  everyone likes to blame people and heck they all might be blaming the same people but that doesn’t mean it’s right. Charity is key and that is a lifelong pursuit.

Thursday: So remember how earlier this week we had to tell Andres that we are not going to visit him anymore because he is not progressing. We went by there today because we had to return the blender and coats we borrowed from his wife Paula and he was like I have been thinking about what ya’ll said and I just might surprise you in the capilla! We are in the process of a miracle people so keep sending your prayers his way!

Saturday:  We had the NEATEST opportunity to meet with all 4 missions in Santiago all 1000 of us to listen to Elder David F. Evans of the 70. We are just blessed here in Santiago since we just listened to Elder Holland in November. But this Saturday was AMAZING. So here is what I learned:
He told us missionaries that we need to look for more families because we are here to help other come unto Christ and endure to the end. And the family is so important we just don’t want to baptize people we want them to come unto Christ with their family and become a family forever. We are in the work of salvation and its serious being a missionary.  It is not how many people you baptize it’s about helping people live the gospel of Jesus Christ so they can receive all the blessings. We must help build the kingdom where we are. Your work is your life’s work. God’s purpose is your purpose. We must live the gospel of Jesus Christ. He told us he had a reunion with all of the general authorities and him and Elder Holland had to teach the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. He said the first part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that we need to have the humility and the desire to follow Jesus Christ in all things We need faith, we need to repent daily, need to be baptized, to receive the holy ghost, and endure to the end with all of these things especially following Jesus for the rest of our lives. He then spent some time on what it means to receive the Holy Ghost.
Our confirmation allowed us to have the gift of the Holy Ghost but how we live our lives depends on if we receive the Holy Ghost. So in other words if we are living the gospel of Jesus Christ then we are worthy to receive the Holy Ghost, but if not we don’t receive it. When we receive the Holy Ghost in our lives we are living according to the will of God. After he said that I was sitting there and some questions entered my mind and I was bothered because I didn’t know and was having a war with myself in my head. That’s when Elder Evans asked us to share something we were personally going to change about ourselves to build up the kingdom where we are. One of the things that popped into my head was “You need to help unify your branch Pirque”  because we struggle with that here. And I just got the strongest impression in me to raise my hand and share that. WHAT!!!_ ya right am I going to stand up in front of 1000 missionaries and share what I am PERSONALLLY going to change about me… but against all logic I raised my hand and when he called on the sister in the green and blue… yep that’s me  - to stand I was freaking out -  Lauren what the heck did you get yourself into.   I stood up and some Elder passed me a microphone. My legs were shaking the whole time I am not sure if anyone noticed it my comp did so the probably everyone else did too. I was like, “So you want me to share what we can do better in our branch”  He was like “No what can you do better”  I’m thinking duh Lauren the question is “you” not “we” but ya I answered that I want to help the ward be more unified by loving others because that is something we lack and it’s hard to bring investigators to the church when even they can feel the tension. I was expecting him to comment on that but instead he said, “And who told you that”, that threw me off guard… “I said the spirit” and he said, “See you have received the Holy Ghost” he said some other things that were exact direct answers to the questions that I was asking myself in my head. I almost started crying because I just felt God’s love for me so very strongly. And after I received these answers the spirit was right behind testifying to me that it was true. I testify that the Lord is aware of us. Even if we are in a sea of 1,000 missionaries He will send us help when we need it. I know that the Lord used Elder Evans to get a message to me and I am so thankful that I stood up even though it was the scariest thing ever! But after this experience I truly testify that God knows the thoughts of our minds and He is our loving Father that is involved in our lives to help us return to Him. He is not in some far corner of space doing paperwork or “important stuff” no He is here with you. His important stuff is the worries that you have, so he can comfort you, having joy in your joys. You are his everything and that I testify to be true because I felt that this Saturday. It was a neat experience to have a conversation with a seventy of the church which to me was very personal and I bet he didn’t even know it but it was like just me and him talking with 999 onlookers. It will be something I will remember to help me remember that God loves me and is aware of me during hard times. All and all it was a great experience to go to the North mission to listen to Elder Evans and I got to see a bunch of old friends from freshman year at BYU who are serving the Lord along with me. And I saw Hermana Leishman!!!! Like we almost cried of happiness but you bet we shouted for joy! Sure miss that girl but don’t worry we pinky promised to be friends for life!

After the reunion we went out to work and had this amazing lesson with Jessica and Maria Elena. We pretty much focused on the Book of Mormon because Elder Evans told us something that really hit us as a companionship. He said was there a time in your lives when you had to know if this church was true_ and we all were thinking yes and then he was like so what did you do to know if this church was true_ Did you read the book of Mormon_ and we were all like yes. So what should we do with our investigators if we want to help them know for themselves if the church is true… read the Book of Mormon! So in this lesson we just focused on that and they committed to read it like with enthusiasm too! We just testified how this book is everything it’s the key to see if it’s true. I am so pumped to be a missionary and I am determined as so should ya’ll to strengthen where you are to help build up the kingdom of God no importa if you are a missionary or a member we have a proposito to build up the kingdom where we are! So we can do this. We are all in this together.

Sunday: We went to church and there was a change.  It was a miracle because the wife of Elder Evans spoke to me responding to my question of how I can help the branch be more unified and she gave me some suggestions and the in end said things will change. And today we saw a change and we really went out of our way to bring a cheerful loving feeling into the church. We made sure no one ever sat alone and all I think felt our love. She was right things are going to change they did and they will continue to change. I believe and have seen miracles. I guess you could say I am learning a lot here in Pirque and I love it. I am not the same person I was before the mission - thank goodness I am different and I want to keep changing.


Hermana Jennings