Monday, November 26, 2012


Morning Houston!

We got our first SNOW! I mean, it's snowed a few times but never stuck, so this is the first one that counts. And we had our first great snow adventure! So we're doing this thing called the living Christmas card that involves us going singing to the members friends, so we were going to the church to type up the cards for it and other things like that, and the snow is falling so perfectly so we decide to take a few pictures in case it stops by lunch time. So we throw our stuff in the church, take a few pictures, and head back in only to discover I forgot to pop the lock open and we just locked our church keys, car key, and phone inside the building. Awkward! We had to walk to the nearest member's home to borrow their phone and ward directory and get a member of the branch presidency to come let us in. In this hour of wasted morning we made learned that Sister DeRuvo does not own water proof boots haha she was a little wet....Then she slipped down a hill and got REALLY wet.

Thanksgiving was well celebrated! I think I should have 5 Thanksgiving dinners every year from now on.
This week was pretty exciting, we had several people at church and set a couple of people with baptismal dates. We're really excited about Shane, who we found last week and who set a goal after church yesterday for the 23rd. He's working on his brother and her mom as well, and we're slowly worming our way into his mom's heart so we have high hopes for that. (I don't know how I'll ever do missionary work without Sister DeRuvo as a companion, she can sweet talk her way with everyone! It's awesome!) We also started taking our recent convert, Jody, out teaching. That might be the best thing I've ever done. He got so excited after the first time he texted us specific days he was open asking us to make an appointment he can come with. I BAPTIZE THE BEST PEOPLE IN CANADA.

Wow, I can't believe Dad's not Bishop anymore. I guess I'm not gonna write an email about the ward mission process now lol sorry for never answering that one Dad. And oh my gosh I can't believe Sophie's going on a mission! Love it! Sounds like the entire Silver Pines young women is shipping out- GOOD.
Sorry, that's all I've got this week. I'll add a hilarious conversation with Sister DeRuvo and close up. Love you! Talk to you later!

S.DeRuvo: "Is it itching of scratching?
S. Jensen: "Itching. Unless it's scratching."
S.DeRuvo: "No, it's itching."
(I'm the world's greatest English teacher.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

'Ello chaps!

'Ello chaps!

Don't worry, I'm feeling much better. But sickness is flying around Ontario, pretty much everyone I know and meet are either sick, recovering, or catching something. Yikes.

Totally forgot my camera btw, so pictures next week? Maybe?
Sister DeRuvo melted a second strainer this week, again by putting it on the burner she just used to cook. Thankfully she caught this one pretty fast so it didn't burn all the way through and is still usable.

Leadership training this last week was so good! Most of my favorite missionaries were there, though not all because turns out they had 2 and so only half the mission was there- so no Sister Williams. Sad. Elder Kenning was there though, we had a fun fight over whether we'd been out a full year yet (silly kid was counting the MTC, but really my year mark isn't for another week and a half.) Instructing for the conference was SUPER weird though, usually just President Scott and the assistants speak but we did an hour and 2 of the zone leaders did an hour. Don't know if anyone else got anything from it but I learned tons- that was probably the reason I got asked to do it lol. Weirdest part was when we broke off into groups to role play and I realized I was supposed to walk around and listen to people and give feedback like the mission president and APs always do. Sister Tuia and I were like, are we allowed to do that? Basically I went and just sat in awe at how some of the Elders teach, it was really fun.
THIS week we having a sisters exchange, and all my worlds are colliding. I'm going to serve in Guelph (one of Sister Casners old areas she always talked about) with Sister Brown (who SIster Williams trained) while Sister DeRuvo works in Woodstock with Sister Loar (who Sister Tuisku trained). MIND BLOWN! I'm excited.

This week we found 2 AWESOME new people to teach. Kelsey is Kathleen's friend, the one I mentioned last week. She's super cool, super open, and has awesome questions. We're also teaching Shane, a guy in his 20s we've actually passed several times walking down the street and everytime there's been someone else there as well that we end up talking to instead of him (none of which were ever interested). Finally we stopped him and he let us come by. We're hoping to get his mom and 2 brothers he lives with involved as well!
We also set Bill with a baptismal date in December, and he continues to be fantastic. We taught about the restoration and he got so excited about the Book of Mormon and can't wait to read it. He loved the cross references to the Bible too, I get the feeling he's going to be very deeply studying it- GOOD.

No I am not ignoring American Thanksgiving- in fact, we're being fed I think 4 Thanksgiving dinners this week. We only got 2 for Canadian Thanksgiving hahaha. Apparently my American pride is a little less subtle than I flatter myself, I thought I do so well playing the Canadian role but everyone is super excited to feed me this week. I'm making fruit salad like we always do for one of the families, and he's making green bean casserole for me even though he thinks it's the most pointless dish ever. I haven't managed to convince anyone to have a pie night for me though. Ah well.
I'm STOKED to be getting a package Mom, thanks!!

Have y'all heard about the Christmas campaign the church is doing? Basically they're gonna flood facebook, youtube, and with Christmas. One of the best parts is they're adding an option on for people to request the missionaries to share a Christmas message with them. They emailed us about how to make the Christmas lesson plan and it's going to be amazing. You guys need to get everyone you know to let the missionaries come by and do it! Seriously, start asking your friends, it's really non-intrusive and really beautiful. You should have someone over like every week of December for the missionaries to do it with!

Oh and don't worry Mom, I've planned out recording blessings. I'm going to keep a journal for each of my kids and write every blessing they ever get in it until they're old enough to have it themselves and write down what stuck out to them after the get a blessing. I'm a little obsessed with the priesthood lol.

Hmm, I think that's all my life right now. I keep having dreams about Erin, last night I dreamed I was her trainer on her mission. We wasted alot of time though learning trapeze acts and missed a few appointments. Maybe it's a premonition that she'll get called to Toronto! Or maybe it's a prompting I need to start practicing circus acts with my companions. Not sure which yet.
Anywho have a great week! Love you lots!

Monday, November 12, 2012

My life is pure comedy!

Hey family!

Good emails this week :) haha hopefully I can respond to everything! First of all, loved the pictures, thank you for those. It's literally the highlight of my week when i get photos from people.  Btw.....There's a new James Bond movie??? I only JUST found out about the new spider man movie! I'm officially an old, out of the loop missionary. Good thing Megan Hanlon sends me updates on Snoop Lion to keep me hip :)  It actually hasn't been too bad this week, and this weekend has been amazing except it's raining again today- if we get rain for 3 weeks straight we ought to get a few weeks of sun to make up for it! Ah well.

I realized I have not communicated anything about my companion at all to you- she is the funniest thing in the world. Literally, my life is pure comedy! All the missionaries around us look for excuses to call so they can talk to here, and I do not blame them one bit. Best moment with her this week was probably when she accidentally dyed her hair blue. TRUE STORY. I forgot my camera cable but I'll send you pictures next week. We were having personal study and all the sudden she screamed. I looked up and she was staring at her straightener in HORROR. She's been straightening her hair and set it down too close to one of her crayons she was marking her scriptures with and it melted onto the iron. We spent the next 15 minutes scrubbing the streaks out because we had a zone meeting that morning, and even though she looked like a little rock star and in any other circumstances I would have made her leave it for the day, we figured it may not be totally kosher as a missionary. Add that crayer to a list of things she's destroyed the last 2 months, like our pasta strainer that she melted on the stove LOL.

This upcoming week we're having a leadership training for all the zone leaders, district leaders, and trainers, which is exciting for a few reasons. First of all, I'm trying not to see it as a giant reunion but there's like 10 missionaries I'm so excited to see, including Sister Williams and her new baby! Second of all, I've been asked to do part of the instruction so me and another sister, Sister Tuia, are presenting part of the training. (No, I don't know her at all, we've been putting it together over the phone lol) So that's not intimidating at all.....It's only all of the leadership, so the best missionaries in the mission. Cool! Haha I am excited though.

This last week we started teaching 2 new people, 19 year old girls who are roommates. They have pretty much zero exposure to God and religion of any kind, so we're starting from square one, which is always a pretty special experience to see someone go from no faith at all to building a relationship with their Heavenly Father. I'm super excited.  This next week we're meeting with Kathleen and one of her friends. This is going to be the FOURTH person she's introduced us to to teach. She's 17. What the heck?? I swear, Canadian youth are the most inspiring thing!

Yesterday the son of a member back in Bowmanville was baptized. I never taught him officially, but Sister Williams and I were working pretty hard to soften him up while I was there. He was determined to NEVER join the church because he hates organized religion, so I'm pretty much dying of happiness! Sister Williams would be the person who got him too, one time we were talking to him about how many missionaries have tried to start teaching him and she looked him dead in the eye and said "Josh, I would never teach you. You don't want to know yet so it would be a waste of my time. When you're finally willing to stop talking and start listening I'll teach you." HA! He looked like she'd stolen his candy and was so insulted we were going to ask him to learn like the last hundred sets of elders had. A month later they started teaching him. That girl's a genius...
Why do I get the best companions ever?

Yesterday was also stake conference. The best and most insane talk ever was given by one of the ward primary presidents hahaha she spoke on how parents should use the primary music to teach their kids, and how singing the songs in context of the principles the songs teach will help them learn the gospel. The talk was seriously brilliant and I took tons of notes about teaching in the context of the gospel-reminded me of Cheryl A. Esplin's talk in April, my favorite talk from that conference- but the woman was a bit nuts. She sang a bunch of songs and acted things out. Afterwards the member who drove us to conference told us she's wanted to be an actress but couldn't afford the training so she'd become a teacher instead and had used her acting abilities there hahaha! Conference was great though, highlight was the fact that it was on Remembrance day (Canadian Vet's day, and it's a much bigger deal here) so we had a minute of silence and then sang all 4 verses of Oh Canada. That song has officially become soul stirring, I can't wait to glue it in the back of my hymn books like they do here.
Other than that, life is good. Had a bit of a stomach virus but I think that's going away now. This is probably way too long of a letter, but thanks for enduring it anyways.

Love yall bunches!!

Monday, November 5, 2012


Oh, that weekly email time, when as usual I don't know what to say.....

Well, this week we had an AWESOME miracle finding a new investigator! His name is Bill, and I actually talked to him like my 2nd week in Woodstock. Sister DeRuvo and I were at a park waiting for someone we had an appointment with so I told her "Go talk to that man over there" and she said "NO WAY, I'm talking to the nice looking couple over THERE!" So she talked to the couple and I talked to Bill. He met with the missionaries probably like twice years ago with his ex-wife so when I walked up he was like "No thanks, not interested at all" but was friendly and chatted for a while. Eventually he opened up about his life long search he's been on for the truth in religion and aid he'd actually like to come to church sometime, so we swapped numbers. Called him the next day and it was a wrong number, I was so sad. (And the appointment we had after talking to him was not a good one, so bummer day.)

Then this week we were having a day where all our appointments fell through, we were going to drive to another town but everyone cancelled so we were just driving and walking around Woodstock dropping by some less actives and Sister DeRuvo pointed out Bill down the street. So we ran over and said hi- turns out he accidentally gives out the wrong number all the time and had been really disappointed we never called. So we swapped numbers for REAL and set up a time to meet. We taught him the plan of salvation on Friday and he loved it, he'd start to ask a question about it like "well then why does God send some spirits here on Earth for such a short time and then they died as babies?" and then immediately answer himself perfectly like "well maybe actually that spirit didn't need to stay here and be tested, they just need to gain their body and then they've fulfilled their purpose." We were like, how long did you meet with the last missionaries? Only twice?? He also had some cool connections, like he studied native american religions for a while when he found out his mother was native and he really liked their beliefs about Spirits and how we existed before this life, and so we got to explain about how the Nephites had the gospel on the American continent as well but it had been lost through apostasy so you can still see parts of the truth in their beliefs. Awesome conversation.

Unfortunately, I think day light savings messed him up a bit so he wasn't at church, but we'll see him again tomorrow.

BUT it was a cool testimony builder that the Lord really knows what he's doing- the appointment where we met Bill and the day we bumped into him again were both rough times where you could look at it and think it was a waste of time or a pointless day when in reality it was just part of a grander plan. You can't see how the Lord is arranging things to put you in the right place at the right time, so you just have to be open to the Spirit so you're able to recognize those chances when they happen.

Sorry to hear you're still down Mom, hopefully this week you'll recover totally! And glad Dad's first week of work was peachy.

Yeah, Sandy didn't affect us like at all, I'm way more distraught about the tiny bit of snow we had the other day than the hurricane rains lol yesterday was the first day in about 3 weeks though without any rain, Sister DeRuvo and I have been rejoicing in the sunlight!

I think that's the extent to my exciting news. Oh, except my new district leader gave us some crazy news (he was like "I don't know if I can tell you this...BUT I'm not a ZL anymore!" (and it's his last transfer so he spilled pretty easy)). He told us that there are SO many sisters about to come into the mission President asked all the ZLs what areas they wanted sisters in and told them about how they're going to probably have some all sisters districts- meaning there will be sister district leaders. It's gonna be like a temple square mission lol! It's nuts, but there's such a huge influx of sister missionaries that it's going to start being way more common. He said they "probably" won't have a whole zone or sister zone leaders, and we were like I HOPE NOT, no priesthood in your whole zone?? SHEESH! That also means pretty soon just about every sister in the mission is going to be training at some point. So Erin, I don't know if my mission is unusual or if that's going to be world wide, but brace yourself for some potentially cool leadership callings!

Well, loves ya lots! Talk to you in a week!