Monday, June 29, 2015

The week that Loves America and Canada

We just received a phone call from the Mission President's wife. Kelliann was at a church function and fell backwards and broke her wrist. They think it is her left wrist, but weren't sure. The orthopedic surgeon is evaluating her now to determine the best course of action. More when we know more.

Happy Fourth of July!!! AND CANADA DAY!!!! (July 1st!!)
Where did the month of June go? I really can't believe it, but hey so is the life of a missionary!! This week has been full of ups, downs, and all arounds!! We have had quite the adventure this week and I hope that we will be able to continue to have successes in the week to come!!
Many of you have asked if I am doing cooler then you... I am going to have to say the answer to that question is no!! It is true when they say that Medicine Hat is the sunniest place in Canada... we have been getting into the 100s down here!! I really feel like the Lord has blessed me though because when most people are saying that it is really hot, my reaction is "well I have been in worse"!! Especially when we are going to walk a lot more in the next coming months! So... I FEEL FOR YOU ARIZONIANS!
 Highlights of the week....
We had the opportunity this week to serve at a wedding!! This is the 3rd wedding that I have had the privilege to help out at, and I must say that I enjoy them immensely. On Friday we decorated the Gym with the help of the Relief Society presidency and Bishop. The relief society made these awesome flower things that we put up everywhere and we had Tar Paper that Sister Fleming found online. We put it over the sound thingies on the side of the gym and then colored the words that were on them with chalk. It is always fun to help out and I really enjoy it. On Saturday at the wedding Sister Allard and I helped more by chopping lettuce, cutting Puff Wheat squares and Rice crispy treats and more!! This wedding was for a less-active and part member of the church, and it is really awesome to see what service does for the softening of the hearts of others.
Next Highlight... Dog stories!!
As Sister Allard and I were finishing up the night on Saturday, we drove around a corner that we don't normally drive and saw a dog that was bouncing around and roaming into every nook and cranny. We decided to go and help find his owner. He had a collar on but not a tag so as we knocked doors no one seemed to know whose dog he was. We said a prayer and knocked on the next door. A guy answered and didn't know who's dog he was but decided to help us by getting him some water. Then his wife opened the window and said that it was the dog of a neighbor a couple of doors down. So off we went and tried to find the owner with no luck with the houses a coupe of doors down. The dog was really friendly... however because it was a pit bull it was stronger then me and liked to roam so I let it go and it ran after a rabbit a little ways off ahead of us. We kept walking to catch up with it and then we saw this lady walking toward us. She asked us if it was our dog, but when we said that we didn't know whose dog it was she decided to put him in her back yard. We exchanged numbers and thanked her for everything. As we were walking back to our car, another car pulled up next to us and asked us if we had seen a dog... so back we went to the ladies house and got the dog for them. Only did we find out that this dog was a she named Sarah and it had jumped a 6 foot fence... again... to go out and roam. Crazy!!! The most crazy part about it was when we finally got back to our car, we saw in front of us the car that had picked up the dog and they pulled into the house of one of our less-actives!!!!! SUCH A TENDER MERCY!!!!!
That is really all of the exciting news so far. We had dinner with a less-active family and the Spanish elders last night. It was really nice to be able to get to know them and their concerns. I love you all. All of our investigators are kind of in a holding pattern right now, we are working on helping them continue to progress as we get used to the new ward mission leader and how we can help our ward. I hope that you all enjoy you week!! Happy CELEBRATION of whatever country you are in right now week!!!
Sister Kelliann Jensen

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

All Things Bright and Beautiful

Hello My dear Family, friends and all others whom I love!!!

This last week was pretty great!! I can't believe that we only have another 2 weeks left in this transfer. Seriously, 5 week transfers are the worst!! That means that we only have about 2 weeks left before we get a new mission president!!! CRAZY! I seriously never thought that I would get to this point in my mission. I remember thinking at the beginning that I would just always be in the first area, with my first companion... but funny thing about time is that it is always moving with or without us.

Monday!! - Monday was probably the hottest day that Medicine Hat has had for the year. But just like Calgary, the weather here does not stay the same for any amount of time. We had the opportunity to go to the butterfly house. Although it was really humid and hot, it was really cool to see all of the different butterflies. They are Sister Allard's favorite and she really enjoyed looking at all of the different ones and taking pictures of them.

Tuesday - We had Zone Training Meeting on Tuesday. I was really proud of my zone in how well they did and the spirit that was brought into the meeting. There are only 14 missionaries in our zone, and only 10 actually live in the Medicine Hat area. That is a huge difference compared to my first zone of 28 missionaries and my last zone of 22. But it is really nice because we get to know each other really well. We talked a lot about our relationships with Heavenly Father and about feeding the "good wolf" vs. the "bad wolf".

Wednesday - Sister Allard's neck started acting up this week from a past injury from when she was really little. So we stayed in that morning until her advil kicked in an she could stand up straight again. We made cookies for some less-actives and investigators, wrote our thank you notes that we give to those who help us in the ward, and by lunch time we were out and doing work!! Nothing all that special to report from Wednesday, but a good day non the less.

Friday - AWESOMELY BUSY DAY!! We ended up seeing 3 investigators, and 3 less-actives!!! I had a really special opportunity to share a lesson with an investigator named Emeka. Sister Allard shared with me before we went that he was not really committed to the gospel, so we wanted to see about his goals and reasons for meeting with us. As we got to know him a little better, we discovered that his concern was about the Priesthood authority. I could tell that both Sister Allard and I had no idea what to say to him as he talked about baptism, but as I sat there I prayed that Heavenly Father would help me know what to say and how to say it. When I opened my mouth, thing I knew but had forgotten came out of my mouth. The spirit was felt and was very near, and we invited him to truly search and know for himself that the Book of Mormon was true and the Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet. It was really cool to see the change in him as we talked. At first you could tell that he was not really interested on doing anything about his concern, but by the end he was really willing to search out his answers. I love this gospel!!!

Oh and on Friday we had a CRAAZZZZZYYYY storm. We had parked our car about 20 feet from the house we were going to and then walked to a less-actives house just down the street, but while we were walking it was just a few drops every couple of seconds. Once we got to the Less-actives house it was picking up (only like a minute or two) and then when we were inside the wind was so strong and the rain was so hard that it started blowing shingles off of the roof across the street and knocked the power out at her house. We had to run back to our car in this, but really it was quite fun haha!!! Nothing like the adventures of being a missionary!! The wind was so crazy that it blew quit a few trees down and many branches.

Saturday - SERVICE DAY!!! The 3rd ward Elders called us a week ago and told us that they had a unique opportunity to do service for a Color Run here in Medicine Hat and asked if we could help too. It was being put on through a Humanitarian group that was run by 2 of the members of their ward and they needed help. It was held at a regional park called Echo Dale which was actually closed to the public because of all of the downed trees and branches from the storm the day before. The color run got to keep going on, so we helped by picking up branches, handing out t-shirts and keeping times/throwing color at the runners as they went by. This was their first ever color run, so it was nice that we could be there to help sort out the crazy when we started. At the end of a color run everyone stands in a circle and does a giant color party where they through colors in the air and at each other. Sister Allard stayed out of the big party so that we couldn't have to shower again after... but the Elders that were there didn't like that idea so in a matter of no time we were covered in blue and pink corn starch. I will send a picture. I am still getting the blue off of my neckline. 

That night we also had a Stake Steak Social!! Our investigator Gerald came, as well as many less-actives and a few potential investigators. I love having activities that the ward members can invite friends to as well as we can invite investigators to. Gerald really enjoyed it, and it is really nice that he gets to continue to know the members. He is doing really well and progressing nicely to his baptismal date on July 25th!!

Sunday - Last but not least Sunday. We have a couple in our ward who is leaving to be the mission president and wife in Brazil so they spoke on Sunday. It was really awesome to here their testimonies and to have people come that we have been trying to see for a while. Karen, an investigator who is friends with the Hills (that are leaving), came and she really is the sweetest lady I have ever met. She doesn't have a lot of time to meet right now as she is a first grade teacher and the school year is almost done here. But I am confident that she will continue to progress in the gospel.

Gerald also came to church and bible study. We were able to have a "heart to heart" (as he called it!!) with him after and really talk about his progression and where he wanted to go from here. We also got to meet with the bishop and talk about how we can be better use to his ward!! We are excited to continue to find and receive those whom the Lord is preparing for baptism in this area.

Oh and answer to our fast. Last week the stake asked us to fast for rain that would help out the land.... we have had rain 3 times this week. One huge storm and it looks like we will get more soon!!! I love you all!!! Have a great week!!

Sister Kelliann Jensen

Staying in Medicine Hat

Exciting news!!! (Once again sorry that I forgot to tell you all that due to transfers, Pday would be on Tuesday this week) SISTER ALLARD AND I WILL BE STAYING TOGETHER FOR AT LEAST 7 MORE WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness we are so excited!!!! We really feel like this transfer is going to be a good one. There have been lots of changes going on around here and there will continue to be some new ones happening within the next couple of weeks.
Change #1 - We got a new ward mission leader Sunday. This is a huge answer to our prays as we have been praying for a way to increase the missionary work in the ward.
Change #2 - We got a new Elders Quorum President on Sunday. Again another answer as we have started working with the Auxiliary leaders more closer to try to increase the work that is going on in our (small) area.
Change #3 - There are about 14 missionaries in my zone. We have two missionaries going home this transfer, Two missionaries are training this transfer, and we found out this morning that one of our Zone Leaders Elder Einfeldt will be transferring, as well as one missionary from every other companionship minus us... NEW ZONE!!
Change#4- This is our last week with President Nicholas..... sad day.
Change#5 - We get a new mission President, President Miles next week!!!
I really can't believe how fast this transfer has gone by. I can't believe that 4 months ago I began training Sister Kendrick. Seriously tooo fast!!!
This week we moved Lori's baptismal date to August 22nd. We are excited to help her use the atonement to really see some changes in her life. I also learned a lot about asking for the Lord to strengthen us in our times of need and everyday that we might be able to continue in the work. Even Apostles of the Lord have been recorded as never stopping to ask the Lord to strengthen them and their testimonies. As I have done this this week I have seen and felt an increase in determination and hope in this area. I am more positive, more hopeful and more patient with the things that happen. I was reading in Mosiah 24:14-15 which says
 14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
 15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
This is when the Lord is talking to the people of Alma as they are being persecuted for praying. They then decide to pray out loud and receive this council. I testify that the Lord will strengthen us is our times of need. We might not be able to see it at first but we will begin to notice little differences within us that will lead us to being stronger. I have seen on my mission an increase of trial. However, I know that the Lord will not permit us to be tempted past what we are capable of handling. Trails that I dealt with at beginning of my mission, feel now as if they were small, however if I had the trails that I do sometimes now at the beginning I know that I would not have been able to coupe. The Lord doesn't always take our trials away, but He does strengthen us so that we cannot feel the burden of our trails upon us. I love you all so much and am thankful for the support in which you have given me over the past 10 months. I am excited to continue to see the changes that the Lord wishes me to make and continue to grow in testimony of the gospel of my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that this church is true. I love you all!! Have a great week!!! Love
Sister Kelliann Jensen

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I'll be what you want me to be!

What a great week!!
Hello Everyone!!!
So we are now all settled in and ready for the rest of the transfer in our new place at the Shaw's. I am very grateful that Heavenly Father has helped me to adjust well to my new area as well as to all of the changes that are taking place. Did I tell you last week about everything that is going to happen in this mission soon?? So this transfer is only a 5 week transfer. Usually they are 6 weeks, but because of the mission president switch, we will be transferring a week early so that president can get everything settled before the new mission president arrives. President Nicholas goes home of July 1st (Canada Day, the Canadian 4th of July) and our new mission President comes out on the 3rd. This transfer 25 new missionaries will be coming out to this mission. Then we will have a 7 week transfer and the next transfer 50 missionaries go home and 50 new missionaries come out.... CRAZY. That means about 25% of our mission (including mission president) will be changing within the next 3 months. I am excited to see how this changes the mission.
Highlights of this week!!
Exchanges: Exchanges in the south are very strange... I am used to exchanging at around 8:30 at night and then back right before or after dinner the next day. However, our Sister Training Leaders live about an hour and a half away from us in Taber, so we exchanged at 10 in the morning to about 10 in the morning the next day so that we could all be at home on time. I stayed in Medicine Hat this time with Sister Hernandez-Alfaro. It is kind of cool because she actually started her mission in Medicine Hat 5th ward and is now over the sisters in the 5th ward for her last 3 months of her mission. We had a good exchange but the best part was really understanding how we needed to help our investigator Lori. I have a huge testimony that the Lord places His missionaries exactly where they are needed. Now that I have been about for a little over 9 months now, I can see and have seen many correlations between things that happened in the beginning of my mission and things that have happened now. People that I have worked with have been easier to help because I have an understanding of their trails, or I have seen how an experience helped me to change through the Atonement to prepare me for the things that I experience here.
The best part about it is that Sister Allard and I were able to help Lori and for the first time since we started teaching her she finally came to church!!!
Sister Allard and I have been talking a lot lately about how we can help our area and our investigators. The people that we are teaching are progressing nicely towards their goals, however we are looking to increase our teaching pool that we might be able to continue to find those that have been prepared. We are working and finding ideas that will help not only us but the ward as well to increase their missionary mindedness so that the work will continue as the missionaries leave.
I don't really have much else to report for the week. Sometimes Heavenly Father really places in front of you the person that He wants you to become. It is scary and amazing to think that the Creator of the Universe knows exactly who we are, who we can become and what we are capable of if we just accept His Son and trust that He knows us better. I am grateful for this knowledge as I have grown an overcome through my Savior. I love you all and hope that you are enjoying your week!!! We are going to a butterfly farm today for P-Day so I will send more pictures next week.    
Sister Kelliann

Hi Dad;

It is in the moments when you are home alone that Mom and I know that you really do like O'Malley!! That is a really cool impression. I am excited to see what happens with it!! You really have been the choir director for too long (and you do an amazing job at it, but maybe Heavenly Father wants you so become something even better). Did I ever tell you about the time that I was studying and I thought "President will be at District Mtg" and I got there and he was there. He has never been to another one since... I have been getting the impression lately that Heavenly Father really needs me to step it up and be a true disciple and leader for Christ. It can be scary to think about but I really do know that He knows us better.

Remember when I told you that I don't want to be a leader and that I don't like it. And then you told me that I needed to except and do the things that the Lord has asked of us. Well... I see now that that is true. I just need to trust in the Lord and do the things that He prompts me to do. I might not like it, but I know that He will help me to except it. I love you!! Thank you for being an amazing example to me. By the way. Mom has been reading the Book of Mormon lately... how is she doing on that? I know that she updated me last week, but I hope that she has continued to do so. Also the Stake President in my ward has extended a monthly goal that I was to extend to you as well. Pray about and seek for an opportunity in which you can serve someone this month. I love you!!!

SIster Kelliann

Hi Mom!!!

Yes I did get the email about how Medicine Hat got its name!! That is kind of cool, and I hope that I get to City Hall so that I can get a picture of that wall. Dad also sent me a story that was a little different ha ha, it is kind of cool to hear those Legends and I will have to see what else I can hear while I am here. Being in Medicine Hat is kind of cool. We live at the bottom of Medicine Hat, and our Zone goes all the way to a place called Elk Water Park which is basically the boarder of Saskatchewan. It also goes out to basically the work mill call Brooks which is a place where many people go for work that are immigrating into the country. We have a lot of members in the small part of town that we live in. The ward boundaries are tiny, and we often find ourselves walking a lot, but we really enjoy it and it is certainly different from the last areas that I have worked in. We will be doing a lot more working with the members so that we can increase the work that we have here. We are not sure how long we will be living with the members that we are now. It will probably be for the summer, but really as soon as Bishop Fleming has his basement free we will be moving in there. The Shaw’s are really big on being healthy. She went to a school in Thailand for teaching yoga, and she does a free yoga class every Tuesday at our church. Your wreaths look really good!! I really like the one that you did for Grandma and of course Tammy's is orange!! I am very grateful for the power of prayer. Grandma is amazing and I hope that she will continue to recover quickly, but it really does sound like she is. I wish that they had done the surgery sooner, but better late than never. I will be sending you one of my SD cards for my camera. It accidentally made is so that I couldn't look at things of the camera but you can still look at things on the computer. I have another SD card that I brought so I just switched it out for the other half of my mission. I love you so much!! Things are going to get pretty crazy here for a little while. So many new missionaries!!! I love you lots!!! Tell everyone that I say Hi!

Sister Kelliann

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hello from Medicine Hat!

So sorry for not telling you last week that Pday was moved for this week to Tuesday here in Medicine Hat. President came down yesterday from Calgary for our last interviews with President before he and Sister Nicholas finish there mission on the 1st of July so our Pday was moved. Things have been going crazy in 5th ward. I am adjusting well and actually feel like I adjusted as soon as I got here, however that doesn't stop things from being a little crazy as the transfer begins!!!

Highlights of the Week!!!!

Did I tell you about #MayNiftyFifty??? As of the Beginning of May we as a mission had 30 people on date to be baptized and 100+ people considered progressing. As President Nicholas met with the leadership in our mission, the topic was discussed as to why the numbers of progressing towards baptism and on a baptism date didn't match. So President challenged us as a mission to put 50 people of date by the time the next Missionary Leadership counsel happens (which will be tomorrow). The first few weeks of this goal didn't really seem to get us anywhere, except that as we tried we noticed that in the numbers missionaries were truly considering whether or not an investigator was truly progressing to baptism. We had 29 on date the first week,  23 the next and 35 and 43 the last two weeks. As of yesterday our total numbers landed at 49 with two days to go!!!!!!

Here is our contribution to this goal. We had one investigator on date when I got here named Lori for June 26th. She is the sweetest lady and I am excited for this gospel to help her in her life. We also had two other progressing investigators named Kevin and Gerald. Kevin as of this week is no longer in investigator which was a sad moment that was very challenging to me and Sister Allard. It is really sad when the world steps in and takes it's effect on us.
That news aside, on Sunday neither Lori or Gerald could come to church, but we were able to get Gerald to come to bible study that night. It was a pretty good bible study (we actually taught it last week, I never thought that I would teach Bible Study... read Mark 10:13-27) about the parable of the Wheat and the Tares. Afterwards, Sister Allard and I talked to Gerald for a couple of minutes about his progression and how he feels. He told us that he has felt like this is where he needs to be but that he is scared... long story short we put Gerald on a baptismal date for July 25th!!!! On the last day in May!!!!!

Other Highlights...
So Medicine Hat really reminds me of Saint George, Utah. Not really in color but in size and the people. I have really enjoyed it, although it is weird to me to live in a city other the one that is the size of Calgary and Phoenix which are roughly the same size. Medicine Hat is about an hour away for both the Sashkatiwan (I have no idea how to spell that) boarder and also about an hour from the U.S boarder. Our area is very small compared to my other areas however about an hour outside of town is another part of our area call Manyberries. It is a very small town with maybe a population of 20 people, but on of our members lives out there. On Saturday about 35-40 members of our ward both adult and children went out to Manyberries so do a service project. We cleaned up the yard, weedwacked, hammered in some railroad stakes, took down a fence, moved some rocks and the biggest project was to paint there house. We had a great time painting that house which we almost finished. Even little kids got in on the job and we painted it a rusty red color (kind of like an old barn). I wish I had taken pictures but after about an hour the rain started sprinkling and I was already covered in paint (haha). It really did look nice though and we enjoyed a nice meal of hotdogs, watermelon, and Puffwheat squares. (For those of you who don't know what that is it is basically Honeysmacks cereal covered in gooey chocolate and cut into squares.

I have really enjoyed working in Medicine Hat. I feel like I am really learning how to rely on the Lord here, and it is so fun to be with Sister Allard and to watch her blossom into an even better missionary. She is so cute and I really love being able to teach her more English. Many times during the day she asks me what things mean and how to spell them (she might be asking the wrong person on that one...). This week we learned the word goo, gooey, and Leisure among other things. It is funny how things come up in conversation. My goal for this transfer and the rest of my mission is found in a talk by Elder Michael T. Ringwood from this past conference call "Truly Good and Without Guile" at the end of his talk he says "All I really want in life is to please my fathers—both earthly and heavenly—and to be more like Shiblon". I love you all so much and hope that you know how much I love you. I am so sorry for there past weeks and my lacking in writing... but I am still here and do still love you!!!! Today we will be moving to a new home. The members we live with now have had the missionaries for a little while, and so things are still as crazy as ever. I hope that you all have an amazing week!!!! 

Love Sister Kelliann Jensen 

Hi Dad;
Silly goose, but I guess I know exactly where I get it from because I can't even count the number of times that I have sent an email without finishing it. I can't believe that my video is that popular that they are showing it in Primary!!! I wish that I could tell Sister Kendrick haha!! It sounds like you are having a pretty eventful week this week. We will be moving today as well to a new members house. I can't tell you how excited I am that Mandy and Tyler will be living in Arizona when I get home. It is really amazing to me that I will be able to finally have a relationship with my siblings and my sister especially. How is Josh doing?? I heard from him last week! Tell Adelle that I love her and that I am so proud of her for making this choice to be baptized. We got to attend a stake baptism on Saturday after our scourge out to Manyberries and see 3 8 year olds be baptized. It was really a tender mercy because I am missing Adelle's baptism. I love you so much!!!

Sister Kelliann (p.s my ward hasn't figured out that I am musically talented yet... it is a new record... the difference of living in a more Mormon populated town).
Hi mom!!!

How was your flight to Utah??? Things are actually going the opposite of settling in until tonight, haha. We are moving tonight to a new members house so I had to repack (which I didn't actually even fully unpack) yesterday. It has been good living with the Saretskys. Brother Saretsky is not a members, but they have had the missionaries now for about 7 months. It is a thing in the Medicine Hat stake for the missionaries to live with members. The stake president really promotes it and I really enjoy the time that we have to spend with them. We will be moving to the Shaws tonight so that will be really fun to get to know more members!!! Sister Allard is seriously the cutest thing in the world. She tries to teach me French but I really am awful with the accent and the "air" (I have no idea what that means that is just what she calls it). I did learn all of my colors, numbers, and letters in Sign language with Sister Kendrick.

Thank you for praying for me to feel at home... it is kind of funny, there is this member in my ward named Brother Lawrence and all I can think of when I am with him is Danny. It really is funny and I think it is because of the testimony that he has and the true conversion to the gospel. Also Sister Allard and I both remind each other of our sisters. It does feel homey here I just have to get used to all of the changes and the difference in size. I am not really supposed to go onto google so I was wondering if you could tell me why it is called Medicine Hat?

We had our last interviews with President Nicholas yesterday (which is why my email is late) and he told me something that really hit me and that I hope with help you while you are with your mom. The Lord will never give us anything that we cannot handle nor are capable of. So those feelings of insecurity and worry... those don't come from Heavenly Father. So pray and know that as long as you are trying your best the Lord with consecrate your efforts. Have you thought about studying with Grandma?? I think that she would enjoy it if you could have an awesome spiritual conversation based on the Book of Mormon. I know that I really enjoy being able to have those with you. I love you so much and will be praying for you this week!! So sorry again for the cruddy emails lately. Sometimes as a missionary home just doesn't seem real so it can be hard to really get into them but I promise that I will do better. I love you so much!! Medicine Hat is definitely what I am more used to weather wise. It was about 30 degrees yesterday which come out to about 92 degrees Fahrenheit. Have a good week!! Say hi to Grandma for me!! Tell her I love her and that I am sorry for the lack of letters lately!!

Love Sister Kelliann