Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 10 & 11, Huancayo, Peru

November 21st, 2016

Another week down! They are really starting to go fast now. I can't believe I only have two weeks left in this transfer, and Christmas is barely a month away. 
I am pretty much 100% sure that Hermana Spitale will be leaving me this transfer and I will be getting another trainer. The first two transfers are training, and your trainer is known as your "mom" haha. I have no idea who it is going to be but I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous. Did I mention that our area is the biggest in the entire mission??  I will be getting a companion who does not know the area and that means I will have to know it. Luckily there is a map but the streets are kind of just jumbled here and I don't know the ward super well. But I really think I have learned more than I give myself credit for. 

We had a mission night on Friday and we watched "Meet the mormons and our investigator Wendy came!  She is the best and will probably be baptized in December!  Yesterday was the primary program and I played the piano for the entire thing, and it was a total surprise haha.  Luckily it was just simple hymns, nothing too crazy. 

This week, we got caught in a gnarly rain storm!! haha it was kind of awesome! The storms here are so awesome and my umbrella kept blowing away, so we ran to dinner and I was SOAKED! haha   Last Thursday we made chocolate chip cookies. I was worried about using the recipe from home, because the ingredients are just different here but they actually ended up being way good!  Hermana Spitale ended up eating like 10 and then was sick all of Friday. So we ended up having to chill inside most of the day. Those darn cookies were worth it though. 

I have noticed an interesting pattern here. The mornings for me are always hard. We sit and study in our apartment until the afternoon, and I think a lot about home and get homesick. But then we go out, teach, and work our butts off and I forget about being homesick!  When I come home at night,  I am so exhausted and happy, and I tell myself I willl never forget that feeling, and then the next morning I am kind of homesick all over again. But it is just proof that missions are the happiest when you "forget yourself and go to work." I know that that is so important and I am so much happier when I am not thinking about myself. I think this week to I have started to realize how we really are making a difference here. I think it is because I am starting to understand people more when they open up to us about all the struggles that they are going through. I can see the hope that they feel when we share the gospel. I know that there is no way I would be able to do this alone. God has helped me so much, and I have been able to do and say things in a different language that I never knew I was capable of. 

Some random facts about the mission are that there are 4 or 5 areas in the mission. They include Huancayo, Huanuco, Cerro De Pasco, La Selva(the jungle) and I think Tarma. I'm in Hunacayo right now in Mariscal Castilla. I think hermana Spitale is off to Cerro de pasco next transfer. People are scared to go to that place haha. No oxygen, no water sometimes, no heat...haha. But I heard the people there are super great! 

Anyways love you all lots!!

Hermana Jensen

p.s There is a guy that lives by us who walks his cows in the streets sometimes. Also there was a guy peeing in the street the other day haha. Every time something like that happens hermana Spitale turns to me and says "Welcome to the mission"

homemade cookies

our cook Hermana Blanca

Map of my area

November 28th, 2016


Love you and love the pictures you sent for thanksgiving. That food looks so darn good! Last p-day our zone got a turkey and some mashed potatoes and we had a little feast! It was super awesome. Afterwards we went out in the middle of nowhere to this place called Cochas to a park. The park was really cool and had some really cute shops where I bought a few things. I am trying not to buy too much though because I still have like over a year left haha. 

I think I am finally starting to get a little more situated here. Yesterday we planned an activity with the Los Andes ward for Friday with Hermana Pliler and Hermana Cadena.  Hermana Cadena is from Colombia and she talks pretty fast. But it was one of the first times where I felt like I really was understanding what she was saying and able to respond and be part of the conversation. It was great!  I think the improvement has been very slow so I haven't noticed that I am progressing but really I am!  I feel like it has opened up my relationship with Hermana Spitale more now. I can ask her more about her life, and we end up talking and joking around so much more now. I have realized how important it is to confide and be close with your companions. I have also realized that the most helpful thing to do when I am sad is to talk to her. It is always nice to have somebody who is there to comfort you and to understand. I am going to miss her!   A little bit about her is she is from Cordoba Argentina. She is the only girl and has 4 brothers and her dad is a convert. He served as a mission president in Argentina when she was around 12 which is super cool. She is a super hard working missionary and a really great example of charity to me. 

Yesterday at church my stomach hurt way bad. The first hour I played the piano but kept thinking about my stomach and totally screwed up on one of the hymns, There were repeats in it and I totally blanked out on them and I think I confused everyone singing, but eh it's ok! haha. After the second hour I needed to go home and rest, which helped me a lot and I felt better. 

Contacting has actually been pretty fun for me. Before coming out here, I thought it would be super scary, but it is fun because you just come across all types of different people, and the rejection is actually kind of funny. Yesterday we came across this guy with a basset hound, and the dog had RED EYES! it was soooooo freakin scary!! I was so disturbed. I don't like most of the dogs here. Hermana Blanca has a dog named Paloma which I just realized means dove and it made me laugh because when I think of a dove I think of peace and tranquility, and that is the opposite of her dog. He literally attacks us every time we come to eat. One of my favorite things to share while teaching is the first vision. Every time we tell the account of the first vision, I just feel so incredibly peaceful. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that this is the true Church. 

I love you all so much! 

Love, Hermana Jensen

ps. mom I brought the luggage receipt to the office, but it said it was overweight?? I told them it wasn't so they are trying to figure it out and hopefully I will get the money back. Also I got your letter on Thursday!! I loved it thank you!
stadium in Mariscal Castilla.  Near our apt.

Happy Thanksgiving with the zone!

Elder Castillo from Lima (taking photo)

park at Cochas

The food is called "Juanes", from the jungle.

Rice, eggs and pecans

Hermana Trujillo & Johnson going home

Hermana Spitale's insane tan line

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Week 9 - Huancayo, Peru

Hi everyone!

This week was good!  Remember the "Jesus the Christ" book dad gave me?  There is a note in it written by great grandpa Joy that says "it is one thing to love to preach the gospel, but to love those to whom you preach is quite another."  Well I have thought a lot about that note the past few weeks. Because I love the gospel and I know it is true, yet I have had a hard time really growing to love the people and Peru. This week I prayed like a mad person for charity. It is crazy how through difficult times, is when we pray the hardest - haha. I guess that is why we have trials!!   Let me tell you, the love has been coming. Yesterday during sacrament meeting, I started tearing up while sitting between two of our investigators because I was just like what the heck these people are so amazing and I am so happy that they decided to come to church today!  I know that love for the people is the most important thing when preaching the gospel. I still pray a lot for it everyday, and I am trying to focus more on others rather than on all of my struggles and faults. I am learning patience with the language and trust that it will come eventually. 

I went on divisions with one of the sister training leaders the other day.  It was really great!  Hermana Johnson is very cool, and we got to speak english which was nice because I have been so totally immersed in spanish. Today I think we are making cookies with our pensionista!  We are using the recipe that we always use from home. I hope they turn out good. 

Last night a family turned up at the church for an activity, and they are investigators who are super interested in the gospel and really want to fix problems in their marriage.  We are teaching them this Tuesday and I am very excited! So many people here in Huancayo are prepared to hear the gospel, and ready to make changes in their lives.  It is just a matter of finding them!   Sometimes they just miraculously show up!   I

t's a lot of hard work here, a super busy mission and that means a lot of planning, coordinating and remembering it and all in spanish. I know that it is taught in the scriptures that missionaries need not fear.  God always provides the strength if we just trust and have faith on Him. I am working on that haha.  Being a missionary is super awesome! l love you all and the gospel is so so true!!

Hermana Jensen

A normal day at breakfast.

This temple was drawn at our pensions house by some other sisters over a year ago

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Week 8 - Huancayo, Peru

Dear friends and family,

I miss you all like crazy. These last couple weeks have definitely been a roller coaster ride.   I go from feeling so homesick to incredibly happy an hour later. I heard that is normal though. 

Last week we made tacos at the mission president's house with his wife.  It was super fun. I met Hermana Schmid who is from Utah.  We got to talk a lot in english which was nice. Also the tacos were amazing. Hermana Schmid had a mexican companion so she taught us how to made tortillas like a real mexican haha. super good! 

I interviewed with president Silva who only speaks spanish. We have to write a letter every week and I wrote him a whole paragraph in spanish and he said he was very impressed.  He also told me to take it easy with the language and that I will get it in about 3 months. The hardest part is seeing people open up to us, crying and I don't know what to say to comfort them.  Hermana Spitale is amazing though, and told me that I help so much just by bearing my testimony. It's getting better and i already have noticed that I can understand much more.  The missionaries in my zone all have been out quite a while, so it is hard not to compare myself to them and their spanish skills. Sundays are long, especially fast sundays.  We had 4 investigators come to church!  It was awesome, and guess what -  I bore my testimony!!  I was so scared but I just did it, and i was so proud of myself haha! The other day I got a priesthood blessing from an elder in my zone, and it was great and much needed. I felt so incredibly good afterwards, and everything in the blessing was exactly what I needed to hear. In the blessing he mentioned that God didn't expect me to perfect, and that I would be capable of doing everything I needed to do on my mission. It was very comforting, and increased my testimony of the priesthood.  

The dogs here are nuts. Hermana Blanca has a dog that is crazy, and every time we come to eat we run in as fast as we can to avoid her crazy dog. They bark all night long, and usually wake me up. 

I have met so many wonderful people here, who are loving and amazing. There is this old woman named Mila that we teach that is just the sweetest. Also the food here is super good, and the picky eater in me is definitely going away which is nice.  I am slowly gaining a love for the people here and am excited and anxious to get the language down. I know that my faith has grown so much.  I have had to put so much more trust in God these past few weeks. I am learning patience which is super good for me. The mission is a wonderful thing! 

Love and miss you all,

Hermana Charlotte Jensen

Church building in Huancayo where we are gathering to get our new assignments.

My new companion, Hermana Spitale

Hermana Spitale and Hermana Schmid

Sister Silva - Mission President's wife

President and Sister Silva (Mission President of the Huancayo Peru mission)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Week 7 - Huancayo, Peru

You can send letters to:
Hermana Charlotte Jensen
In care of President Edgar Rolando Silva
Jiron Cusco #278

First week in Huancayo down! The 8 hour bus ride was beautiful but also very miserable. I ended up throwing up because of the altitude and having a massive headache that night. 

My new companion is Hermana Spitale and she is an absoulte angel. When I first met her I thought she was a gringo so I started talking to her in english haha!  She was very confused and said in spanish that she was actually from Argentina. I was worried at first about having an only spanish speaking companion but it is really helping me improve in the language. Our area is Mariscal Castila II and it is in the city of Huancayo. The other zones include Hanuco, La selva and Cerro de pasco i think.. Hermana Spitale is super patient with me.   I ask her questions all the time and try to tell her stories about my life in spanish. I also teach her english.   She knows some english pretty well. We have a pentionista who cooks for us named Hermana Blanca, and she is very sweet. She does not have very many teeth and I can barely understand her but she seems nice haha! .The first day I was here she blew up a bunch of balloons for me and made us a huge thing of jello. The food here is very good and my stomach has been doing ok. mas o menos haha. 

Proselytizing is really great and easily the time I feel the happiest. There are so many people to remember!  We have tons of investigators, recent converts, less actives and then there is the ward too. It is kind of overwhelming. Lots of people are willing to listen but I'm learning that people here are pretty flaky and bad at committing. But I can tell that the people here are so humble and loving and very religious too. My favorite so far was teaching a new investigator named Wendy the other day. It was the first time we met with her and she was just glowing when we gave her our mesasage. We asked her to be baptized and she just smiled and said yes I'd like that very much. Of course it hasn't all been like that and people are stubborn and don't want to listen or change sometimes and that is hard. Hermana Spitale has so much love for everyone we teach and her heart breaks every time someone does not want to accept our message. I really look up to her for that and want to get to that point on my mission. She told me the most important thing to do is to love the people you are teaching, because if that comes first, you will know how to reach the hearts of the people. I am basically immersed in spanish and it is been pretty overwhelming/  I'm trying to just be proud of where I am right now. Life here is very different, with some crazy thunderstorms haha but it is so fun, even when it is hard sometimes! I love you all and miss you lots. I know that the message I am sharing blesses lives and that the Book of Mormon is true!

Love,  Hermana Charlotte Jensen

Last days in the CCM (MTC)  Sister Hermana Lanchi from Iquitos, Peru in green striped dress.  One of my favorite hermanas.

Hermana Bromley from Danville, CA!!

Pretty good odds don't you think?

Saying goodbye to my CCM companion

President & Sister Moore of the CCM

The bus ride up to Huancayo - elevation approx. 10,000 ft.

Missionaries meeting at the church building to get assignments

Hermana Asto - training leader

My new companion - Hermana Spitale from Argentina

me in front of the church in Huancayo

Getting our new assignments and companions

Our lovely desk in our apartment

roof of our apartment

Hermana Spitale and me