Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Still learning lessons every day

May 28, 2013

     I love love loved all the millions of pictures I got this week! It was so fun to see all the cousins and baby Riley. Oh my goodness, she is the cutest! I'm not gunna lie, I was totally reminiscing on all the fun lake trips on Memorial Day weekend. Being with family and friends, getting in all the tubing and wakeboarding that we wanted, and sitting on the beach and just soaking in the sun. Let me just paint you the picture (as dad or John would say!) of what my day looked like yesterday.... We woke up and it was as dark as it is at about 9pm at noon. It was crazy and it was raining so hard! Luckily, it calmed down and became nice and humid/muggy around 3 just in time for our picnic with all the missionaries in our ward and John (our neighbor who was just baptized). He wanted to cook for us and thank us for all we have helped him with and let me just say that he is one good cook! It's what he does for a living (like the restaurant he's at right now, they charge over 100 bucks a plate CRAZY CRAZY!). But, this week has definitely had its ups and downs. It's been a little hard and discouraging because we've had to let go of a lot of our investigators that just aren't progressing.
     For example, a lady named Rosa. I don't know if I've told you much about her, but she's from Mexico and we've been meeting with her for a couple of weeks. We met with her twice this last week just to see if maybe we could continue to visit her, but it all ended on Wednesday after we watched the Joseph Smith movie. We invited her to come over to our Relief Society President's house (Hermana Balza) to watch it, because we had tried to share it before but the problem is that she talks too much. She won't ever let me talk unless I interrupt her which I have had to do from time to time just to get some words in. As we watched the 20-minute movie, 10 minutes into it she's just completely out on the couch (and of course it's right when Joseph Smith is having his vision). After the movie we started to talk to her about him. A little background, some of the problems we have been having with her is that she's told us she thinks Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true, but that she also thinks anyone can be a prophet. So anyway, I was hoping that this visual with the movie and the spirit that it can bring would help her to better understand his divine calling as the prophet of the Restoration, but NO! As we started to discuss things, she said, "Soy una profeta" (meaning, I'm a prophet!). She talked about how she can heal people and see visions and so on and so forth. She talked about how she believes our church is wrong in that we believe there is only one prophet. It was then that we just had to tell her that we would come back to see her here and there but that we wouldn't be seeing her like we use to anymore. It was all so sad and frustrating! But, honestly the spirit during the Joseph Smith movie, even though it was in Spanish, was so strong and powerful. Looking on the bright side, I know it strengthened Sister Wuebkes, Hermana Balza and my testimony about the prophet that day.
     Sweet Lucy is still doing pretty well. She came to church with us this past Sunday for the first time and I think she liked it. She became friends with a lady at church who is going to be getting baptized this week so we were excited about that! We watched the hour-long Restoration movie with her (pretty sure it's the one Ashy's talking about that she saw in the MTC). She really liked it and kept saying how good of a man Joseph Smith was. At the end of the movie though, she did express some concerns about having to choose between her other church and ours. It kind of scared me for a second but at the same time I think it's good because she is beginning to realize it is going to be a lifetime commitment.
     This past Thursdays and Friday, I got to go to Independence to Visitors Center training. A guy from Salt Lake came out who is a part of the missionary department and trained us. It was so cool and insightful! It really helped me to better see why I have been called to serve there. I know in the beginning when I got my call I was wanting more than anything in the world to not have to be in a Visitors Center, but now being here and the few experiences I have had there, I'm so excited to get to serve there. Not even faking it! ha-ha Transfers are this Thursday. I don't think I'll be leaving yet, but you never know. I'm pretty sure though that I'll at least stay here another transfer to finish training Sister Wuebkes and then maybe I'll head to the VC in the middle of the crazy busy season. Only the Lord knows though! :)
     LAST STORY...... So Saturday was just a super hard day for us. We literally were trying to talk to everyone and nobody, NOBODY wanted to listen, or even worse, they would argue with us. I tried so hard to stay positive but it's just so hard to want to keep talking to people after the other 20 people before them rejected you. But, as we were standing at a bus stop, I had a BOM in my hand ready to give out to the next person we saw, and this lady came up to me and asked if she could have it. She said she's been needing a BOM and that she hasn't been to church in years because of her job. We got her number and we are hopefully going to go visit her this upcoming week! It was such a tender mercy from the Lord!
     Well, I sure hope the scripture I've chosen this week isn't too long. Preston said he's doing completely good with memorizing but that mom's having a little trouble if they're too long! haha I think you guys will be able to handle this one though (partly because I think it might be hanging somewhere in our house! ha-ha) It is Joshua 24:15, " And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." President Keyes talked about this being one of his favorite scriptures this week and it just reminded me so much about you guys and home. I know that everyday we must consciously choose who we are going to serve. That if we make that decision right when we wake up, that all other decisions will fall into place and be easier. We need to be the kind of people who Satan says, "Dangit she woke up!" every single morning. The kind of people that work hard and serve the Lord by building up His kingdom here on earth. I love you guys to the moon and back and I'm so very grateful for each of you! You are all my sunshines
and support through this crazy, hard, growing, exciting journey we call a mission. XOXOXOXO MUAH!
Dinner with Bishop and Sister Smith! They are so Great!

Monday, May 20, 2013

All in all a Great Week

May 20, 2013

     I can't believe it's already P-day again! Seriously, time on the mission is the weirdest thing! Days drag on, but weeks fly! Muchas muchas gracias por my package! I absolutely LOVED it! EVERYTHING IN IT WAS PERFECT! Nothing beats cinnamon bears from the BYU Bookstore and an adorable shirt! I absolutely LOVE getting Ashy's emails! They are so her but she is really learning and growing and I'm so so proud of her! I absolutely loved the MTC (probably partly because I had an incredible district, zone, and teachers) but it is truly a spiritual place! 

This week has been pretty good! We were actually able to have quite a few sit down and talk for about an hour kind of lessons. Many people still cancelled, but there were still quite a few people that were actually there which is a MILAGRO! A complete MIRACLE! We had really high hopes of having about 5 people coming to church with us this week and we were completely stoked but then people have this thing called agency (like I've talked about before) and we ended up only having one. When these kind of things happen I just try to laugh it off and not get upset because if I get mad every time, it make for an angry 18 months. I definitely do get sad and bummed though! There were a lot of really wonderful things that happened this week though!
 So our upstairs neighbor, Lucy, HAS A BAPTISMAL DATE!!!!! :) We are so so so excited for her! She is so solid! We started teaching her last week. In our first time meeting with her, as we were getting to know her, she explained to us about how she is unable to have kids and that it is something that she is really bummed about. We went in planning on teaching about the Restoration but we were guided by the spirit to teach the plan of Salvation. All I can say is thank goodness for the spirit! She absolutely LOVED it! All of it! Her eyes just kept lighting up and she was so so happy. The next time we went to visit her we talked about the Restoration and when we told her we have a prophet today, her mouth just dropped (like, why in the world have I not heard about this?!). We then invited her to be baptized and she was so excited. She thought that President Monson was going to baptize her so we had to clear that up, but she is just so incredible. About two days ago we went over and taught her about the doctrine of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end) and we taught her about the Word of Wisdom (because you have to be living it for two weeks before you can be baptized).  She had strong faith though and we talked to her about having to change her date so we changed it from June 1st to June 22nd. The best thing about that visit though, was that when she opened up the Book of Mormon, not only had she read beyond where we had asked her to, but she was marking it! I'm telling you, this woman is incredible! We just adore her! On Saturday, she came to John (our other neighbor's baptism), who the other sisters had taught. At this rate, we are just going to try and help convert the whole apartment complex! hahah :) But, she was so excited to come and we were able to give her a tour of the chapel, it being her first time there. When we walked into the chapel, all she could say was WOW. She kept telling everyone that she was going to be getting baptized! It was so cute! 
  We started teaching another family this week too! We met a lady on the bus last week with her two girls and set up an appointment to go visit them. The mom's name is Hana and she has three kids, Brianna (14), Leanna (11), and Arnold (9). They are actually from a Navaho Resorvation in Arizona. We taught them about the Restoration and the SPIRIT WAS SO STRONG! Probably the strongest I have ever felt it in a lesson thus far. It was such an incredible experience to testify to them that the Book of Mormon was about their ancestors! There eyes just completely lit up! At the end we were able to have a kneeling family prayer and it was just such a wonderful lesson! The girls were so intrigued and of course I went home that night (like I do every night) and laid in bed dreaming up there future in the church. About how wonderful young womens would be for them and about how they could girls camp and the list could go on! Yes, I do this everytime! hahah 
 Lastly, yesterday we got to take Victor and June to the Liberty Jail for a President's Devotional. Twice a month, President and Sister Keyes hold a devotional for all the recent converts of the month. It is kind of like a testimony meeting, and then President and Sister Keyes share their testimonies. Oh my goodness was it amazing! I can't begin to describe the sweet spirit that filled the room as new members of the church shared their conviction of the truthfullness of the gospel. And then to finish it with the testimonies of President and Sister Keyes who, when he just walks in the room, the spirit can be immediately felt. It was such a neat experience and Victor and June really enjoyed it. After, we went on a tour of the jail with them and they had never been so it was great!
     Well, I sure do love you guys more than you'll ever know! At this time, I just feel so incredibly blessed! God has been so good to me! I want you to know that I have a testimony of this gospel. I know that God is our Father and that because He loves us so much, He sent His son Jesus Christ to be our Savior. I know that the same church that Christ established over 2000 years ago has been restored. That Joseph Smith was called to be an instrument in the Lord's hand to bring back what had been lost. I know that because of this restoration, the proper authority given to man to act in the name of God has been restored. Me encanta este evangelio con todo mi corazon. Les Amo MUCHO MUCHO!!!!!!
Love Always:
               Su Hermanita Jorgensen

This is our neighbor John who got baptized.

This is Nokomis.  We have been teaching him for a while.

This is darling Lucy our neighbor.  She came to John's baptism. 

Sister Wuebkes and I at the Liberty jail.

Victor, June, and us visiting the Liberty Jail together. What a great memory.

Victor Got Baptized

May 13, 2013

     Oh what a day yesterday was! I had been looking forward to it all week and it couldn't have gone more perfectly! There's just something about being able to see your faces and expressions that made it seem more real than on the phone. Man, do I miss all your voices! Never did I think that would be something I would miss so much! My prayers have been answered, and thus far it has not been too distracting. Thank goodness! I was so nervous it was going to make me homesick and distracted! I'm sad that I didn't get to see Ashy, but I got to read her letter she sent us today and I was laughing the entire time! She is hilarious! I could totally feel her personality the entire letter. Oh man, that girl! Well, this letter probably won't be as long as usual because we got to skype yesterday, but I do want to talk about Victor's baptism!!!! :) VICTOR GOT BAPTIZED!!!! YAY!
        So, we had been preparing and meeting with him this past week and everything went really smoothly. I was a little stressed because this was the first baptism I had ever had to plan and I since I'm training, I'm the one that's suppose to know how to do it. Let me tell you, there is a lot more that goes into preparing for the baptismal service than I thought. Our ward mission leader was out of town as well so we had to do it all on our own. Luckily, the Elders had a baptism on Saturday too so we shared the service and it made it a lot less stressful because we only had to plan

Victor's Baptism Day

for one of the songs, prayer, talk, ect. I gave a talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost and talked about His many roles in our life. As the service started and a member of our bishopric (who was conducting) welcomed everyone to this special day for Victor, Sister Wuebkes and I looked over at Victor and tears were just streaming down his face. It's moments like these that make all the hard parts and days of missionary work so worth it and rewarding. Victor was so excited and ready. Our district leader, Elder Lusk, interviewed him the night before and told me that he could just feel of his strong testimony and spirit. Victor had to be baptized twice and it took three men in the font to baptize him because he had a stroke about 3 years ago and he is paralyzed on the left side of his body and he's a pretty big guy, but the second time he was completely submerged in the water and it all went well. He was confirmed yesterday! Sister Wuebkes and I are going to now start working with him and his wife to help them hopefully get to the temple. This was definitely the highlight of this past week and of course, being able to skype you guys!
Another quick thought I had this week as I was reading in Alma..... I was in Alma 50:19, 22-23. It says, "And thus we see how merciful and just are the dealings of the Lord, to the fulfilling of all his words unto the children of men; yea, we can behold that his words are verified, even at this time, which he spake unto Lehi saying: Blessed art thou and thy children; and they shall be blessed, inasmuch as they shall keep my commandments they shall prosper in the land...." And then a few verses later it says that "there never were a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni." I don't know why these verses just hit me. All throughout the Book of Mormon there are verses that say if they keep the commandment they will prosper. This is a promise the Lord gives them and He always keeps His promise. The people of Moroni were a happy people because they did just that. It is that simple, WE MUST KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS! One thing I have learned is, when the Lord feels the need to repeat things multiple time throughout the Book of Mormon, it is because He knows this is something we are going to have a difficult time remembering and that it needs remembering. Well, I love you guys so much and I'm so grateful for all your love and support! I can definitely fill it a couple hundred miles away! LES AMO!
con mucho amor,
                  Su Hermanita Jorgensen

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I Hit My Four Month Mark This Past Week! Crazy!

     Ahhhh, I just loved all the pictures of you guys and Ashy. I feel like I was having deja vu the entire time. Same restaurant, hotel room, pictures at the temple (except the weather looked nicer), and Gabby Gabby was there and by chance you guys got to see Jeff! So cool! Ashy looks so adorable. She is going to be one cute missionary! I'm so excited for her to start on her adventure because the whole leading up to leaving is just so stressfull and hard. Once you get there, it's just nice to know it's all finally started. I've been thinking about you guys and her a lot this week. Can you believe we have two missionaries out from our fam now? INCREDIBLE! This is such a blessing! I am beyond excited for us to be out at the same time because I know when I'm having a hard day, I can just think about her and know that we are going through very similar experiences and feelings.

 OHHH I cannot wait for Mother's Day! So so so EXCITED! WE GET TO SKYPE! I'm hoping that I'll be able to keep it together this time! hahah I don't want to repeat what happened when I called at the airport but I can't promise anything! I'll probably be a little bit emotional, but hey, it happens! When you only get to talk to your family twice a year and hear their voices, I think it's completely normal!

     Well, this week was a little bit of a slower week for us. We had tons and tons and tons of appointments set up, but people have this thing called agency, and a lot of the time they choose not to be there! haha As missionaries, each day we plan our appointments and then we plan out two other back up plans for each appointment so if/when they do fall through, we still have other plans so we stay busy. This week was special though because a lot of our plans and back up plans all fell through. But hey, these kind of things happen in the mission and so we just start knocking doors and talking to people. If there is one thing I have learned about being a missionary, it is that you become an amazing planner. I feel like this was something I was kind of already good at, planning and organizing, but on the mission I have learned to stay positive and happy, despite all plans falling through (and that was something I wasn't good at doing before the mission).     

     So this week, we didn't find as many new investigators and people to teach like we had hoped but we did focus on a lot of the people we already are teaching. We have been teaching this guy named Nokomis for about two weeks now. We have commmitted him for a baptisimal date and HE CAME TO CHURCH!!!! :) He rode the bus for an hour and a half and then walked a mile to get to church! He's so great! I love him! He's in his 50's and we found him about a month ago on the bus. We set up an appointment with him about three weeks ago but when we went, he wasn't there. We were bummed, but that's kind of the norm so we didn't think too much of it, but then he called us the next day and asked why we didn't come. SAY WHAT, he called us! These kind of things never happen! It turns out we just both mixed up the times, so we set up another appointment with him and we've met with him about 4 or 5 times in the past two weeks. He is progressing pretty well. He does have a Word of Wisdom problem but we are working on that with him. Victor is doing great! We have been trying to figure everything out for his baptism this past week (like who's going to baptize him, the program, his baptismal interview, etc.) so it's been pretty busy. There's a lot more work that goes into that than I thought! We are going to be meeting with him like four times this week just to make sure everything is good. Continue to pray for him! If all goes well he is suppose to be getting baptized this week! YAY!!!! :) I sure do love him and his wife June! They are both pretty interesting characters, actually pretty much everyone in our ward is! hahaha But, I have come to love this ward and area more than I ever thought I could. The thought of one day having to leave this area makes me so sad.  They all have a really special place in my heart. I have learned so much from serving here thus far. I have learned that as we pray for charity and go out and serve, we are capable of loving everyone, even those that to us seem hard to love or different from us. 

     One thing I was pondering a lot about yesterday at church, was how important our role as member missionaries really is. We were in a meeting with the bishop and he told us about two scenarios that happened in our ward. He first talked about a teenage boy a few years back who had come to the ward for the first time. At that time, bishop was serving in the high council and he decided, knowing that it was this boys first time, he was going to follow him around for the day. (Now this sounds completely creepy haha but he wanted to see what someones experience was like for their first time in the church) He didn't make it obvious or anything that he was following him from class to class, but he just sat back and observed. He said he was completely devasted as he watched that not a single, NOT A SINGLE person welcomed him, introduced themselves, or took him under their wing. He then talked about another family in our ward that joined the church three years ago. He said when he talked to them about their experiences when they first started coming to church, they kept talking about how they had never felt so loved and included before in their lives. They are still completely active. This other boy did join the church but he is now struggling deciding whether he's going to go on a mission or not. Bishop then talked about how people do have their agency, but that we are the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, Christ's true church on the earth today. WE MUST FELLOWSHIP visitors, new members, and everyone in our ward. This new push for missionaries will do us no good if we do not have ward members who are willing to play their role in missionary work. This is just something I thought a lot about yesterday, having Nokomis at church with us. It is true, not too many people came up and said hi or visited with him. We (the missionaries) had to initiate almost all of that. It just breaks my heart because I got to thinking, being in an investigator's shoes, why would they want to return if not a single person welcomed them or said hi to them and if they sat by themselves in priesthood (when the sister missionaries had to go to relief society). Being a missionary, has really helped me to see just how vital a members role is in this work. I invite you guys to think of ways you can become better member missionaries because I know we can all improve. I know I was not a good member missionary before my mission and I wish I would have been. We need to be there for these investigators and new members as they are making this huge transition. They need love and support! Sorry for this huge long tangent, but this was just something that really tugged at my heart yesterday as I also tried to watch, as bishop did, how someones first experience of church is like sometimes. 

I sure do love you guys! I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord fulltime! I know that this is His church, that He is directing it today. I know that He lives and that this is His sacred work. Why on earth He has trusted us, His imperfect children, to be a part of such a sacred and important work, I'm just amazed and feel so humbled. I know He allows us to participate in this work, because through it we become forever changed, we become more like Him. 
Pues, Les Amo Mucho! XOXOXOXOX Cannot wait for Mother's Day! :)