Monday, April 21, 2014

Sacramento Week 23: THIS IS IT!

Dear Family & Friends, 
It's hard to believe this is my last "Sacramento Letter". When I started I figured I would make it to number 9 or 10 but the Lord knows better than I do of course, so here we are 23 weekly emails later.
Tomorrow I will get on a plane and fly to Brazil. Yes, tomorrow. I just have to type it out because I still don't believe it yet. It's really happening. There has not been a day that has gone by since I opened my mission call in May of last year that I have not thought about this. NOW I'M REALLY BRAZIL BOUND!!!!!!!!!

Highlights of my final week as an English speaking missionary...
On Thursday two young women from another ward came out with us on splits as part of the stake youth conference. I went with a girl named Meghan and we went to visit a few less-actives and do some street contacting. Sister Cleverly took the other girl and went to a lesson with one of our investigators, which ended up being a super awkward Law of Chastity lesson where we found out we needed to stop teaching this investigator due to some issues. Anyway, on a lighter note, Meghan was going back and forth about wanting to serve and she told one of the other missionaries that coming out with me made her decide she wanted to go! So I'm glad it was a good experience for her. I thought that was a really cool idea for a youth conference- to pair off with the missionaries in the stake for some real missionary life experience. 

We tried to take advantage of the rest of the week so we could see as many people as possible (just using me leaving the country as an excuse to actually SEE and TEACH something to them). We got to see Craig & Amanda and their family and we taught them about the importance of having a forever family. I wrote them a letter and took pictures with them. I am not giving up on them, or Jason & Shelly, being sealed in the temple one day. Yes, they do have to get baptized first, but it's going to happen! The rest of the week was filled with lots of good byes to our other investigators and some less-active members we worked a lot with, which was hard. But I know Sister Cleverly and her new companion will keep up the great work and continue to see many miracles. Unfortunately there wasn't a miracle baptism for Larry this weekend but that's alright, we tried our best and did all we could!

Yesterday at church was like my mission farewell at home all over again! Now I realize why they don't tell visa-waiters about getting their visa until as late as possible. I hate good byes! The Northridge ward isn't just a ward of really great members; they are my family. There were so many people that came up and said good bye, wishing me well on my next journey, and thanking me for all the hard work I had put in there. I felt so loved! That helped me feel like I had in fact made a difference and that I won't be forgotten. Sister Cleverly and I sang with the choir for Easter, gave the prayers in Sacrament meeting, and taught Gospel Principles class for my last Sunday. I also got up in Relief Society and said a little something, thanking all those ladies for all they do for us as missionaries. I will cherish the memories I have in this area forever.

As I reflect on my past (almost) 7 months, I realize that serving in Sacramento was truly a blessing and an opportunity that I will never forget. There were many times of trial and hardship, but those were crucial growing moments for me when I had to rely on strength beyond my own. He has poured out His tender mercies and carried me through when I didn't want to stick it out any longer. Heavenly Father knew I needed this experience to help me become the valiant missionary he wants me to be.
I may not have had that golden convert baptism yet on my mission but I have seen one person converted to the gospel, and that has been ME! I know this church is true and I cannot not deny it. Each time we tell someone about Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon, or even about how families can be together forever, I feel the Spirit testify to me that it is in fact truth. I know Joseph Smith was called by God to restore His true church back to the Earth, which we so desperately need to help us return back to our Heavenly Home. I know the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith through the power of God and it compliments the Bible in testifying of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know my family and yours can be together forever through the blessings of the holy temple. I love serving a mission because I get to see the light of the gospel change people. The gospel of Jesus Christ brings me such joy and even though being a missionary isn't always fun, it's the best thing that I have ever done.

My favorite scripture is D&C 84:88 (go look it up, I am not writing it because I want to entice you to search it on your own!). I have felt the promises of this verse and I know the Lord doesn't ever leave us alone. 
My state-side mission chapter is coming to a close. Now it's time to write the next chapter... in Portuguese... (deep breath) HERE WE GO! 
Sister Jorgensen 
P.S. Pics of final biking adventures! Oh how I'll miss that bike. The other is some of the missionaries in our zone (I'm on the very right end because I had to put my camera on timer to squeeze us all in)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sacramento Week 22

Dear Family & Friends,

" receive no witness until AFTER the trial of your faith" (Ether 12:6)
Oh yes, my faith and patience have been tried quite a bit over the past 6
months but I am pleased to announce that good things come to those who wait

This week we helped the less-active Holmes family do some yard work and we
had a good talk with them at the end about the true meaning of Easter. As
Sister Holmes was reflecting on her own son's mission she said to us, "I
hope you know how proud your parents are of you and what you are doing for
people on your missions and all the service you give". That really touched
my heart as I thought about my mom and dad and how much I miss them. Just
another tender mercy phrase that I needed to hear!

We spent quite a bit of time with Craig and Amanda this week as we helped
them organize some more of their stuff for the sale. Craig told us he
really wants to be baptized but Amanda feels they are in the middle of too
much chaos right now. They have to be out of their house within the next
month and they've got some roommate problems, in addition to all the
craziness with their little kids. I think service is just the best thing we
can keep doing for them right now! It's important to keep showing them our
love so they can feel God's love for them too.

We ate dinner with Hannah, a potential investigator who is about to be
married to a less-active in our ward. She gave us cute little "summer
survival" kits with sunscreen (a must for biking) and lots of other fun
things- perfect missionary gift. She told us flat out that she loves us
missionaries but she doesn't ever want to become a Mormon. We'll see about

Carl, our new investigator from last week, is on date for baptism for April
26th... but we are trying to figure out if he is really accountable. He's
having trouble remembering our lessons, can't hear anything that goes on at
church, and can't see or read even a large print Book of Mormon. He's a
child of God who needs to be baptized but can he be accountable to the
higher standard? Not sure yet. We'll keep discussing it with our ward
mission leader and of course continue to pray.

On Sunday afternoon I got to practice Portuguese with a real Brazilian! Her
name is Ivane and she is a less-active member of another ward close by. She
also had a non-member friend named Mariza there who was also from Brazil.
It was fun! They told me all about the culture and I got to share my
testimony and share the Joseph Smith story in Portuguese. I understood most
of what she said but I definitely need to work on my speaking...

Lots of good things happened this week. Lots of tender mercies and little
miracles. Oh and a really big miracle... get ready for it....

SISTER JORGENSEN IS GOING TO BRAZIL!!!! That's right, I got my visa!!!!  I
leave next Tuesday April 22nd and report to the Brazil MTC in Sao Paulo for
a 2 week refresher course on the language. Then I'll be going to my Brazil
mission!!!!!! WOOOHOOOOOOO!!! Is this real life? I still am not quite sure.

We had interviews with President Lewis yesterday and that's when he told
me. He thanked me for all the service I had done here and told me I was a
"model missionary". That really meant a lot coming from him.

I called Larry and told him he has a week to get baptized. Who knows, we
could have a miracle baptism this weekend!

I know my Savior lives and I am so grateful for this time of year when we
get to remember Him and reflect on His sacrifice for us. Jesus said, "I am
the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were
dead, yet shall he live" (John 11:25). Because our Savior Jesus Christ rose
again after the third day, I know that we too will live again after we die.
He makes it possible for us to return to our Father in Heaven. He has given
me the strength to make the most of every day here in Sacramento. I feel
closer to Him than ever before and I know He will continue to be by my side
as I continue on to the next part of my mission.

I love you and miss you all! Happy Easter!
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. Pics of my new Brazilian friends that I practiced with and when I got
my visa yesterday. YIPPEEEEEEE!!!!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sacramento Week 21

Dear Family & Friends,
You hear a happy knock at your door. You find two cute, adorable, smiling sister missionaries on your doorstep. What do you do? Some people listen, some people give us the nice "thanks but no thanks". Last night it was, "just turn yourself around and go away!" SLAM. Gotta love being a Mormon missionary. It's my life, rain or shine! But honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way (and really we only go tracting when we are super desperate). Just as so many talks from General Conference encouraged us to do, we must be true to our faith! Valiantly live the gospel and defend our beliefs with love and compassion.
Let me tell you about our new investigator Carl. We met Carl on the street one day. He's an older man, probably in his 70's, and he's one of those creepy, scruffy, homeless-looking people that you would probably lock your car doors around if you passed him. But he's not homeless so we are allowed to teach him and he really wants to be baptized. He told us the reason he came here to live in Sacramento was so he could find us missionaries. Do you know what's so great able to the gospel? It changes people. Inside and out. Despite Carl's hearing and vision problems, he enjoyed watching a session of conference with us at the church building. Teaching him has been quite interesting to say the least. I'll keep you posted!
We're still working with our other investigators. We did service for Amanda this week and her husband Craig actually went to the Priesthood session of conference with one of the members in our ward. Woohoo! I wish I had something amazing to report on Larry but he's still being stubborn about a baptism date. One of the less-actives we have been working with came to the church to watch both Sunday sessions with us so that was HUGE. Yay for General Conference weekend!
We watched all the sessions at the church building with the other missionaries and their investigators so that was fun. I really enjoyed listening to all the uplifting messages, talks, and music. SO many things said during conference were just for me. One theme that really stuck out to me was that of LOVE. Of all the topics our prophet could have chosen to speak on, that's what he felt the world needed to hear. I just need to keep loving my mission and everything about it! Love my area, love my companion, and truly love the people we teach and see them as the Lord does.
I also gained insight for my trial of waiting for my visa. I'm here in Sacramento to build my faith. I am like a tree growing in strong wind and because of this wind, I am becoming stronger (Elder Andersen's talk). This trial of my faith is giving me the "spiritual load" I need to rely on my Father in Heaven to make something more out of me than I could ever achieve on my own (Elder Bednar's talk). This mission is like my golden "4 minute performance" that I have been preparing for my whole life (Bishop Stevenson's talk). I only have 18 months to serve, but an eternity to remember. I'm going to continue to work on being grateful in my circumstances (President Uchtdorf's talk). More than anything, throughout conference, I just felt like God is aware of me personally. He knows my worries, what I stress about, what I yearn for. He is building my faith and testimony of Him so I can be firm and unshakable (Elder Holland's talk).
Just like President Monson said, I want to be ever found doing the work of the Lord. I hope you each take the time to review your notes from conference and make some personal goals about what you can do to be a better disciple of our Savior Jesus Christ. I want to thank each of you for the examples you are to me. Thank you for your testimonies and thank you for cheering me on in my journey of serving the Lord!
Sister Jorgensen
P.S. P-day is on Tuesday next week because we have interviews with President Lewis on Monday. And the week after that is transfers! Enjoy the pics- my companion and I with the ASL sisters in our zone during conference weekend. One of the pics is of Sister Enggas and I. She is fully deaf and I amazed by her each and every day. If she can be a missionary, so can I!