Friday, December 16, 2016

Driving in Seattle (Week 27)

"Transfer meeting was crazy! It was so awesome to see all of the missionaries there together in one chapel. The spirit was strong. I know that we are called of God and that we carry His incredible spirit with us. You know it's true when you walk into a room full of 100 representatives of Jesus Christ. Of course, I already knew who my companion was going to be...Sister Christensen from the MTC! So exciting! there were a ton of changes in the mission, and we are now the only sisters in our zone. Which is really weird.

Last week was full of a lot of "lasts" with Sister Orr going home. This week was full of a lot of "firsts!" I got to teach an investigator for the first time who is truly interested in learning the truth of this gospel. The spirit permeated the air at our lesson, even though we were sitting in the hallway of a noisy church building. It was incredible. First time driving in snow. First time having to figure out what to cook. First time teaching a lesson without someone who speaks good English with me. (I mean Sis. C is great, but we have a bit of a hard time haha).

 Sister Christensen and I have been having a wonderful time taking over the Russian work here in Seattle! While everything is quite overwhelming and we aren't sure how exactly to handle life without our moms, we are figuring things out together. I have finally figured out how to merge onto the freeway without having a heart attack every single time. I guess that happens when you have to drive 50-60 miles a day in Seattle. You just get used to things.

Sister Christensen and I set some fun transfer goals. The reasoning behind what we set was the become more well-rounded/balanced missionaries in general. The word that kept coming to my mind as I prayed about a goal for us was the word "Balance"
B: be obedient
A: account
L: love
A: appreciate
N: nourish
C: convert
E: expect miracles
it's a lot of fun because we choose one every day and then make a sub goal that will help us to become better missionaries! Then we account with the Lord and our leaders to make sure that we are actually accomplishing the things that we said we would do. I am so excited to be working with Sister Christensen on improving and utilizing the Atonement in our lives more fully.

I got to translate for some Russian speakers at the Food Bank. That was really difficult because there are a lot of official, governmental terms that I have no idea how to say. However, I think that they got the idea about everything.

At English class on Wednesday, I told Brother Slava that one of my favorite ice cream flavors is Strawberry. Yesterday after church, we stopped by to read a verse with him and he handed me a container of strawberry ice cream. It was so sweet of him and I am so grateful to be in such a wonderful ward, serving around such amazing members and people!

The spirit of Christmas is everywhere! We are seeing so many miracles. This week we received something like 15 Russian referrals all over the place in all 3 missions. let's just say that Heavenly Father is keeping us very busy.

We had an experience where we were going to contact a referral and there wasn't an exact address, just an area of about 15 houses. We didn't know which one it was, but we decided on a house, knocked on it, and it was the right one! it was incredible to know that we were guided exactly to the right house by the spirit. Heavenly Father is definitely watching over Sister Jenne and Christensen.

I love each and every one of you! But not as much as God loves you. Have a wonderful week and remember the Reason for the Season!
#LightTheWorld with the spirit of Christ

Sister Jenne"

Laundry In the Snow! (Week 26)

"Attached is a picture of the snow in Seattle! I heard that it barely ever snows here except maybe once or twice a year...that's more than Alabama. I thought it was pretty special because this was Sister Orr's last day here in Washington!

This past week was a hard one, but a fun one as well! It's hard to stay focused when you kill a companion, that's for sure. However, I learned a lot about consecration and trusting my Heavenly Father. I have to trust that even though I do not speak fluent Russian and I do not know exactly what I am doing that He will provide a way for me to accomplish all of the things that I need to.
I got really distracted thinking about home this week. It was so hard to consecrate my thoughts and conversations. Tomorrow is transfers, but I already know who my new companion will be. It was realllllllly scary for me to hear that Sister Truax (from Ukraine and speaks fluent Russian) is getting transferred to English work and I will be with Sister Christensen who has been out one transfer less than me. I hit 6 months this week, but I don't feel like I'm ready to be a senior companion. We cover 3 missions. It's so overwhelming. While I was praying last night, I asked how I am supposed to do this. Heavenly Father taught me that I am going to be the most Senior Russian sister for the rest of my mission and that what happens this transfer is exactly what needs to happen for me to be ready for the rest of my mission and for the rest of my life. I know it's not going to be easy BUT I am excited to learn a LOT.

I get to be companions with an Hermana today. She is teaching me a little Spanish. Maybe by the end of the day we will each know how to say a few things in our languages.

Something that I learned this week that peace is not something calm and quiet.  Peace is the ongoing comfort that we can receive from Heavenly Father through thick and thin. In Ether 6, the Jaredites are tossed to and fro on the waves. They get thrown under the water and are driven forth by the wind. Basically, it's a really rough trip that they have to go through. God didn't give them a smooth sailing trip, but he did make sure that they had the peace that comes from a continual light inside of the barges.
And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters,towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.

 6 And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.

 7 And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.
And thus they were driven forth; and no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whether it was above the water or under the water.
Peace is like unto a river. Sister Orr and I listened to Motab sing that song a few times this week. Peace is like a river in that sometimes there are rapids, and sometimes there aren't, but the water continues to flow on anyways. It's a perfect metaphor for life. Heavenly Father is the reason that I am able to continue to flow also the path of life. No matter what is thrown at me, i know that it's going to end up being okay. Anyways, I just wanted to point out that the Jaredites "had light continually." that's what the gospel does for us! That's why we have confidence and peace in our lives. I love it. I love this gospel and I love Christmas! It's a wonderful time of year to light the world with the spirit of Christ.


I love all of you so much! have a blessed week
-Cectpa Jenne"

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thanksgiving (Week 25)

"Thanksgiving was wonderful! We got to spend the day eating and serving. Stuffing is really good, I've decided. They don't eat as many casseroles here in Washington and they really love yams...they're pretty was almost like a whole different version of a thanksgiving meal but it still had rolls, turkey, and mashed potatoes. I am still stuffed!

So there was a day this week. I think it was Saturday... where it was really cold and rainy where we were in Seattle...Our car was nice and toasty and it was really, really hard to get up out of the car and walk. We had to park relatively far away and so it was a 5-10 minute walk to the apartment complex, and we knew it was locked and didn't even know if someone would let us in or not. I really didn't want to get out of the car. Like really. But, of course, I did it anyways. And then the whole walk there, I was just praying that I would be able to forget myself and go to work. That I would have a good attitude and not let any negative feelings creep into the conversations that we were going to have with people. Wow, I testify that Heavenly Father really does listen to prayers! I still felt cold and wet, but I felt like I was okay. Everything was going to be okay and I didn't even think about how cold I was anymore! I can't explain it, except that I felt so much better after walking through that cold rain than I thought possible.

Christ is the reflection of our potential. If we understand Him and His life, we understand our own potential. Do not settle for less than that! I recently met a person who truly does not believe that she can ever reach her full potential. She said that she has to find a place for herself that is in between how she grew up and where she wishes that she could be. Excuse me if this sounds rude, but I think that's absolutely ridiculous! We are here to constantly become more perfected, through Christ. And while He is the only way that we can ever do this, it's the experiences and trials and good times that we have in this life that lead us along the path that we need to take. We do have control of our own actions. We cannot force spiritual things to happen, but we just have to trust that when we are following the Savior, those spiritual and joyful experiences will come, despite the painful experiences that will also come. And, we don't need to feel guilty because we somehow did something wrong that caused that bad thing to happen.

I was reading in personal study about how Nephi and Lehi were surrounded by fire and how a cloud of darkness overcame the wicked people that were trying to imprison them and kill them. And how, when they saw the light on their faces, even though it was really dark, they (the wicked people) really wanted that light too! They wanted to know what they needed to do in order to have the light. All that they had to do is have faith and exercise that faith...act...and they saw the darkness lift and realized that they were surrounded by a pillar of fire too. This touched me so much. Especially with the focus being on LightTheWorld...

(SIDENOTE, GO WATCH THIS AMAZING VIDEO PLEASE! you won't regret it! it's an amazing way for people of all faiths to do service together and become more like our Savior Jesus Christ)

...and how we are the light of the world. I so much want to find a Russian speaking person who can see the light on our faces and wants to truly know how they can also have that light. It's hard for me to understand why that hasn't happened yet and easy to assume that it's because I am doing something wrong...however, I am just trying to be obedient and trust that God has a plan. It has all worked out so far, so I know it will continue to work out!

This week we had an interesting experience where we were the ones whose door got knocked on. Let's just say we had a very interesting conversation with some Jehovah's Witnesses. It was so funny at first, but then I realized that this is exactly what it's like for people when we knock and so I humbled myself right up and tried to listen and make them feel comfortable while still sharing our beliefs with them as well. They have a light the world card, so hopefully they can feel something when they watch the video. (go watch it if you haven't!)

We went to the temple! We got to see the Armenian couple from our Russian group get sealed to each other and their 2 adult children as well. I've never had a more peaceful experience, and I am so grateful that I now that I will be with my family into the eternities.

Love and miss everyone! Have a fantastic week and don't forget to LIGHTTHEWORLD

Sister Jenne"

It looks like Sister Jenne had a marvelous week. I'm always so grateful when she sends us so many pictures. Don't forget to #LIGHTTHEWORLD this month! :))))