Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sacramento Week 6

Dear Family & Friends,

I'm happy to report that I have completed my first transfer (6 week block in the mission field)! I will be staying in my area with my same companion, Sister Zenger, to finish my 12-week training. I love my companion and Heavenly Father knew I needed her so I'm glad everything is staying the same for 6 more weeks!

I've been praying to have more love for the people in my area and I feel like the Lord is blessing me with that. As I looked around at church yesterday, I just felt so much love for everyone there. I've been in a lot of their homes, I've heard their conversion stories, I've been around their families, and all I want to do is serve them! The Northridge Ward has become my home over the past 6 weeks and I'm excited to continue to be here.

This week was great! Started off with the temple last Tuesday, which is just what I needed to be uplifted and spiritually "re-charged". Then we had a missionary Zone Christmas Program full of incredible musical numbers and edifying talks. We carried the spirit of Christmas with us throughout the week as we've been trying to get into as many homes as we can- members, less-actives, investigators, everyone- to read part of the account of the Savior's birth in Luke 2. Each time we read it, there is always a special spirit in which we testify of Christ and the true joy and happiness that comes from following Him. It's amazing to watch how the simple message of Christ's birth touches hearts in different ways.

The biggest thing I learned this week is to never delay a prompting. Remember the crazy fortune-teller lady I told you about a few weeks ago? We usually see her every Friday but this past week she wasn't home, which was kind of unusual. We were riding our bikes around Sunday night after an appointment fell through and I felt like we should stop by and see her. When she answered the door, she looked really rough and we knew something was wrong. She invited us in and we held her hand as she cried, telling us what a mess she was and how guilty she felt about things that had happened. All she wanted was to feel like God still loved her and at her moment of break down, we knocked on the door.

At the end of the day, it's not about the number of lessons we taught or how many people we have on date for baptism. It's about helping people feel of God's love for them! God loves us when we feel like we deserve it or not, and there is always a way back. Our sweet fortune-teller lady needed to know that and I am so glad we listened to the prompting to go see her. She said a beautiful prayer before we left, thanking the Lord for sending us and helping her find the strength and love to get out of the rut she was in. That was a neat experience for me to feel like I really am an instrument in the Lord's hands.

Another experience we had about following promptings- there is a man in our ward (congregation) who lives in a very humble home with hardly anything but you would never know it by talking to him at church. Sister Zenger felt inspired that we should take him our little Christmas tree so he could have something to bring the joy of the season into his home. We wrapped it up, included ornaments for the 12 days of Christmas, and a box of candy canes, and left it on his doorstep, making sure he would not suspect it was from us. A few days later, we overheard him talking at church about it and I know that small tree meant a lot more to him than we realize. I am so grateful my companion followed inspiration from the Spirit to be able to serve in just a small, simple way. It makes me feel good to do things like that!

We're still working with Larry on his Book of Mormon reading and trying to get Lorraine to church, making progress slowly but surely. We met a few people last week that we are hoping we can start teaching! Dakota, a 15 year old boy, is part of a less-active, part member family and has recently started coming back to church. Hannah, a sweet 25 year old lady, is the fiance of a less-active and she came to the ward Christmas party on Saturday. Hopefully we can start seeing some progress with them this week! The Lord is putting people in our path and He continues to prepare people who need to hear the gospel.

I'm so grateful for this wonderful Christmas season to reflect on the birth of my Savior Jesus Christ and how truly blessed I am to be a representative of Him. This is the first Christmas that I haven't focused on buying presents or worrying about the "material" things. I've been able to focus on giving gifts that are so much more significant, gifts that are not tangible. I'm giving my time and talents to building the Lord's Kingdom here in Sacramento, and sharing gifts of love, joy, and peace. I'm giving the Savior my heart this Christmas, my willing heart, and serving Him will all my might, mind, and strength. This means not complaining when it gets rough and to be positive and as I strive to improve each and every day. The Savior asks for our "broken heart and contrite spirit" (3 Nephi 9:20). This includes my humility in acknowledging the many tender mercies He grants me, and obedience as I align my will with His will.

What will you give for Christmas? More importantly, what will you give for Christ?
I get to call home next week (YAYYYYY!!!!) so you probably won't be getting an email from me until the week of New Years. I love you all and I wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sister Jorgensen

P.S. Pics are of us at the temple and of Sister Zenger and I with our Christmas tree before we gave it away. Enjoy!

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