Monday, November 30, 2015

Transfers, and Turkeys, and Cops...Oh My!

Well dear family and friends I'm excited for once again being able to tell you all about the amazing things going on in Delray!!

November 24: Today was my last day with Sister King and I really am going to miss working with her because she was an absolutely amazing companion. On our very last knocking day together we had a cool experience. We were knocking on this door when all of a sudden the owner of the hope drove up on his motorcycle. It's always awkward knocking on their door when they come up, but we walked up to him and told him we were there to say a prayer with him. He didn't want a prayer or a picture of Jesus but as we were walking away he offered us a drink of water. We of course accepted and he went to get us a drink. While we were drinking the water we started talking to him and finding out what was going on in his life. As we finished up our glass of water we asked if we could say a prayer with him and his heart was totally softened and he accepted the prayer and said it was refreshing because he hadn't prayed in a long while. Long story short he is not quite prepared for the gospel at this moment in time but one day he will be and it will be because he stopped to give us a drink of water.

November 25: Transfer Meeting!! So Sister King went to serve in Fort Pierce South up in Port St. Lucie so now I'm finishing being trained by Sister Jeppson. She is from West Valley and has been on her mission for almost 9 months, she is a Portuguese called sister and a total nerd like me. Well while out knocking today we met Angelina and her daughter Naiema who are going through a rough time after just losing a few family members and after we said the prayer with them Naiema just gave the two of us a big hug. It was cool to think about because as a representative of Jesus Christ me giving this little girl a hug was like the Savior personally giving her a hug in her time of need and it was really cool to be those loving arms of the Savior.

November 26: Thanksgiving!!! You will all be glad to know that I did have thanksgiving with some members and it had all the classics: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and yes even jello. Everyone we met today was pretty nice but most just wanted to know why we weren't home celebrating thanksgiving with our families so it was a cool opportunity to tell people that I had left my family for 18 months to tell them about the restored gospel because I know it is true.

November 27: Thanksgiving #2!!! We had a couple who gave us thanksgiving today as well so that was awesome because it was like having thanksgiving leftovers which is a tradition in my family. Also today after eating second thanksgiving we needed to go out and knock for an extra 15 minutes before 8:30 so that we could be exactly obedient in knocking for at least an hour and so we found the soonest houses we could because we were cutting it really close. The first door we knocked on was Sonny's and we taught him the restoration on the spot and gave him the pamphlet to read and so now we are teaching Sonny and he seems super interested about the gospel. Yeah Miracles!!

November 28: Today while knocking we met Ruth who is a buddhist and we had a really good conversation with her and taught her about the restoration, a little bit of the gospel, a little plan of salvation and she just soaked it all up. She told us that she wasn't going to convert to our religion but we gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to read it so now the spirit has the opportunity to work on her and to help soften her heart and give her a desire to learn more.

November 29: Today in church I gave my very first talk on my mission. The topic was 1 Nephi 14-15 because our stake has been challenged to read the BoM in 90 days and so the YSA has all of their talks on Sunday relating to the reading we were supposed to do that week. It was really cool focussing on these two chapters and I really learned a lot from them. After church we were knocking doors in this slightly nicer neighborhood and we were knocking our last door when all of a sudden the cops pulled up. The cop was super friendly and told us he was here for the prayer circle which we laughed at. Apparently someone in the neighborhood called the police on us because they didn't think that we were actually there to offer prayers and thought we were doing something sketchy. That's okay we talked to the police officer and he was very nice and we even invited him and his colleague (that's right two police cars for two missionary girls) to our Stake's live nativity.

Questions Asked:
How the work is going?: The work in Delray is slow but the work in South Florida is doing amazing.

So do Floridians put up Christmas lights and camp out in warm weather for Black Fridays, or are they smarter ?: They still put up Christmas lights and its really cool to see all the palm trees decked out in Christmas lights. I don't know if they camp out for deals but I assume they do and I assume they participate in all the crazy because our stake had a push to get to the temple and make it White friday instead of Black Friday. We don't know about all the black friday stuff because we don't participate in it.

Any local traditions we don't have ?: Not that I know of yet

As always I love you all so much,

Sister Jennings

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Salvation Salesman

Hello everyone! 

Did you think I died since I didn't email yesterday? Well I promise I am still alive and still loving the mission. This week our p-day is on Tuesday because transfers are tomorrow and so we prep the day before.

November 16: Today we went and read 3 Nephi 11 with a less active named Watson and man he is an interesting kid and I really can't describe how interesting he is but as we were reading the Book of Mormon with him he absolutely loved it and could have spent the whole night reading the Book but we had to go home. We also met Rynhardt who is from South Africa and he is studying to become an international chef and so we will start teaching him this week. He is so awesome he was already starting to be a missionary when we knocked on door telling us how he would invite his roommates to learn from us as well.

November 17: Today we taught Brooke and she is amazing! She had so many amazing questions and we were able to correct a lot of her false beliefs about the gospel. It was amazing and the spirit truly testified to her about what we were saying. We also went and visited some less actives which is a large part of our work here in Delray and it was cool to hear how their testimonies are still there and so we are helping them come back to church and then also inviting them to encourage their friends to hear the gospel so hopefully we'll get some referrals from them.

November 18: Today was zone conference and it was absolutely amazing! I got to see Sister Olsen who was one of my MTC companions and it was so good catching up with her and the few other missionaries that I know. It was also amazing to hear the inspired council from our Mission President.

November 19: While we were knocking today this lady was walking her dog and the dog stopped 8-9 times to just stare at me and Sister King. Clearly the dog understood who we were and wanted its owner to learn about Jesus, we gave the lady a Jesus pass-along card. This evening we went on splits with members of our ward to go see less actives. Like I said a lot of our work here in Delray is reactivation and then hopefully getting referrals from those reactivated members. It was really cool though going out with members from our ward and showing them that we are serious about our work and that we are working hard to help their ward.

November 20: Today while knocking we met Scott who lives with his cousin. The only Scott asked us to pray for was his cousin to get better because she is not doing well. It was the most spiritual door prayer that I have ever offered, by the end of the prayer Scott was in tears because of the sincerity of the prayer that we were offering. Though Scott is not a new investigator he definitely was strengthened as he now knows how much he is loved by God.

November 21: Our car has been having problems with the A/C so we took it into the shop. It turns out some Elders who had the car before us had not kept their car cleaned and a plastic bag had been sucked up and was blocking the vent and so now our car works and doesn't make horrible sounds. Yeah!!! While knocking today someone told us that he was not interested in what we were selling. It is super funny because by his account we are Salvation Salesman because that is what we go door to door offering. What he doesn't understand is salvation isn't something you can buy its something freely given by Jesus Christ if we will but come unto him.

November 22: Today was a really rough day until we met Bob. We were not sent to help Bob, Bob was sent to help us. Bob opened the door and was the one friendly person we had seen while knocking, he lives on waterfront property and told us he didn't need anything but a Republican President, a balanced budget, and the end of ISIS. We said the prayer and I mentioned those things, which made him chuckle. He then offered us inside his house to see his backyard view and gave us a water bottle and told us to be careful because some seedy people come over to his neighborhood sometimes. We then left and continued to knock doors, when a few minutes later Bob comes walking down the street to offer us a flashlight so that we can be safe. Bob is truly amazing and one day he will be ready to receive the gospel and that seed was planted by us.

November 23: P-day (proselyting-day)! We knocked from Noon - 5 pm. Miracle Moment: A few weeks ago we gave some Jesus cards to these little girls and thought nothing of it. A week after we gave them the cards they came up to us while we were teaching someone about the gospel and I gave them a Jesus card. The little girl went away and returned a few minutes later to ask for a Bible. After the lesson I felt so bad that I had not given the little girl a Book of Mormon as well so the next day we went knocking to find them but couldn't discover where they lived. Today we received a media referral that someone wanted a Book of Mormon and we went to drop it off to discover this little girl Janaia (who had wanted a Bible) and her little sister Angela (who called for the Book of Mormon). God is good and believes in second chances. 

Transfer Call: So on Monday night we all tune into a transfer call where we find out who is leaving and who is staying. I will be staying in Delray for another 6 weeks however my companion Sister King will be leaving and tomorrow we find out where she is going. This means tomorrow I will get another trainer who will finish training me.

Love you all,

Sister Jennings

Monday, November 16, 2015

It's Raining Cats and Dogs

Wassuppp my dear family and friends! Once again it's p-day and man time flies on the mission.

November 9: For p-day we had a massive zone activity and it was so much fun. We played extreme dodgeball (I'm not a fan of it - it gives me anxiety), had a pie eating contest, and a paint war. Seriously so much fun and I now know more missionaries besides the 10 that I associate with all the time so that is a total bonus. Today was just the best day because after the zone activity we went knocking and we met Brooke and the Hemlepp family (family of 6) who are interested in learning more about the gospel so that was totally awesome!

November 10: We are working with several less actives in our ward and one of them is Sister Lombardo. She was baptized with her second ex-husband and she doesn't really know a lot about the gospel so we are working on teaching her the lessons and increasing her knowledge of the gospel so that she will have a greater testimony and will want to come to church. Also I absolutely love the YSA Branch that we work with they are so excited to help their branch grow and to bring those who aren't coming to church back.

November 11: Today we experienced a small miracle while knocking we met Rob. The weird thing with Rob is when he saw us walking up his sidewalk he actually wanted to open the door for us and talk to us (which is unusual). After the prayer he said that we came at the perfect time right when he needed a spiritual boost. Problem is Rob is not currently interested in learning more but that is okay because one day he will be. Also more sad news for today, we cleaned out our teaching pool and dropped a lot of people because they are not progressing and they are not contacting us back, so all we have is Brooke and the Hemlepps and anyone else we meet this week. The saddest one is Lynchie and Sarah they were so elect a few weeks ago and were excited to come to church and be baptized but then we lost contact with them for a week and their youth pastor got ahold of them and are organizing a bible study class for them and so they don't want to learn about the BoM anymore.

November 12 & 13: We were on a 2 day exchange and were not in our area so we didn't do any work in our area but we helped our STLs (Sister Training Leaders) area progress.

November 14: Elissia's baptism was today (she is being taught by the other sisters) and it was the most spiritual baptism I've been to, it was really cool they had testimonies from converts to the church while we waited for them to get changed. After the baptism we went knocking and we met Peggy who told us we weren't Christian. So we pointed to our nametags and told her we were Christian and she told us that her Bible didn't say that and so we have a return appointment where she is going to try and confound us but really we all know who will do the confounding. In case you don't know its Sisters Jennings and King with the aid of the Holy Ghost. Also it rained all day today, like all day which was awesome! We also found Art in the Alley #2!!

November 15: Today was the most amazing miracle! After church and a meal appointment we had a second meal appointment/lesson fall through so we started knocking earlier than we had planned. We felt impressed to go to this street but when we got there we couldn't find parking so we kept driving back and forth trying to find a place to park. While driving to find a place to park we saw these houses and we decided we wanted to knock them. After finally parking we walked up to the first house and knocked on the first door and we found Madeline. When Madeline opened the door she knew exactly who we were, so we thought awesome a former investigator, but then she told us she was a member and she was living in a recovery facility. Madeline had been praying to see the missionaries and then there we were knocking on her door. The coolest thing is if that second meal appointment hadn't have fallen through we wouldn't have met Madeline because their rehab group was going bowling literally right when we knocked on her door. #GodIsGood #AnswerstoPrayers #MiracleMoment It is amazing how God works and the prep work that went into us finding Madeline because all that started 3 weeks ago (story for another time) and it finally happened today.

Today's Title: Well it rained like two days this week and it rained like crazy. While it rained we had this little cat that we found last week that refound us and followed us while knocking so we had a little stalker cat that just wanted to come home with us. Super funny that cat seemed to like me better even though Sister King was the one petting it and talking to it. Funny dog story, while on exchanges with Sister Rampersad we were knocking doors when out of nowhere this dog just came and starting jumping on us and wanting to play with us and playfully biting us. I had to hold the dog back so Sister Rampersad could get the contact information for a potential investigator. After finishing getting the info we decided to go back to the car and the dog just followed us and kept following us and following us.

So that was my week! Love you all!

Sister Jennings

P.S. Here is our Funny District photo

Monday, November 9, 2015

Down and Derby

Hello dearest family and friends it really does not seem like it is Monday again, man this week flew by. Also I forgot to mention the title of my email last week "Hearses don't pull U-hauls" was a funny phrase that a member in the ward told us during a discussion with him and I thought it was really funny especially down here in South Florida where you live in one of 3 places: 1. Super mega rich beach side house, 2. Ghetto (mostly Haitians), 3. Gated community - with the majority being 55+. Well onto this week.

November 2: After writing we just kind of chilled at our house and then went knocking. While knocking I started not feeling well so we went home early and I went to bed at like 8 which is incredibly early. Don't worry I felt better the next day, I really think I was just super tired and needed a little rest.

November 3: Today we got a member referral for a YSA (Young Single Adult) from a member of the other ward but that's okay because we'll take whatever we can get. So we went to our meal appointment expecting to teach and come to find out that we weren't teaching her, no she was our waitress but that's okay hopefully we can contact her this week so that we can actually teach her. We got to teach Junia today!!!! Junia is a cute YSA Haitian that we found a week or two ago but haven't been able to meet because of her crazy schedule and we got to finally teach her. The cool thing about her is that she already believes the BoM is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet (just after teaching it to her), the only thing that is holding her back is she doesn't know if she can be baptized twice so that is something that we can work with. Also today we had our first YSA mission correlation meeting and I am so excited for their branch because they are going to blow up with new members and returning less actives. Their main focus is getting them to activities which is the best way to get them in the church to feel the spirit in order to want to learn more.

November 4: Today was a lot of knocking so I won't bore you with the details of the many doors we knocked that contained people who are not quite ready to receive the gospel. 

November 5: Today was the first time I have had an honest person, the other day we set up a return appointment with a lady we knocked into and today we were verifying our meeting time. She then texted us back saying she wasn't actually interested in hearing our message, it really was awesome to see someone who was honest about their desires instead of us going there and finding out she is not interested.

November 6: Some cool knocking happened today. We met a girl who practices Kabbalah and we gave her a BoM and she gave us a Zohar book. Awesome!! Today I also got told that I am part of a cult. Did you guys know that I'm part of cult? I certainly didn't until this lady told me, I reassured her thought that I actually was not part of a cult but she wouldn't listen to a thing we said. Today we offered a prayer with a lady but she would only let us do it if she could pray for us as well. Cool thing was it wasn't a repetitious rote prayer but a prayer kind of like how we offer it so that was pretty cool.

November 7: Today was Travis's baptism - he is being taught by the Creole Delray Elders. I got to give the talk at his baptism (there were to be two speakers but because of shortage of time I gave the 30 second talk). Now for the most important part of the week....the Turkey Derby!

​We made a totally awesome pink brick car! It has graphite sparkles because one of the members in our ward helped us grease our wheels so that it would go faster so that we could possibly win. We used pennies we collect from the ghetto as our weights. Though our car looks totally ratchet (ghetto) it was totally awesome and we took 3rd place out of the 16 cars we were racing with. More important to note is we beat the Elders!!!! This was a really big deal for the ward and everyone was cheering on the Elders and the Sisters but Girl Power won in the end and it was awesome. We almost beat the fastest car and only lost to it barely so we could have won the whole event.

November 8: Today we went to go meet an old former investigator to see if she wants to learn again and guess what she was so excited to see us and to read the BoM again and she was excited to set up an appointment this week so we are excited for her. Her name is Jeanna (pronounced Jenna) and she has 3 cute little kids and is now married (she wasn't when she was dropped) so we are excited to work with her and help her progress towards baptism.

Overall an amazing week! 
These are some of the ratchet things we see in South Florida - holding your matress on the roof of your car.

Cutest little bird, it belongs to a less active we are working with and she let me hold it for a picture.

Love you all,

Sister Jennings

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hearses Don't Pull U-Hauls

Why hello dearest family and friends its that time again another update!

October 26: Yeah P-day!!! Today we went to the beach (me, my companion, and the two sisters we live with) 
​It was seriously so much fun even though we can't touch the sand or the ocean. There was this cool pier that we could go and stand on and be semi-close to the ocean and feel the salt in the air and get a few splashes from the ocean. Cool experience happened while knocking: we knocked on this door and the lady said go away, so Sister King said we were only saying a short prayer and the lady still said go away. As we were walking away from the house the lady opened the door and said we could say a short prayer with her. Wow hearts do change when the spirit is involved. Sad news today Jesus (common spanish name) is going to Puerto Rico for the next few weeks to be with his family so we won't be able to teach him this week or the next few weeks.

October 27: Today we got a call from a guy named Gary who said that he wants to meet with the missionaries which is super cool because I've never gotten a referral like that so tomorrow we are going to go and teach him. While knocking today we met Randall and Chris (and their dog Mr. Bean) and they said something that really saddened me. They told us that we probably wouldn't want to pray with them because of the things they have done in their life and we told them no that God wants everyone to pray with them. So we ended up praying with them and it was a good experience for both of them. Just remember that when you don't feel like praying or you don't feel worthy to pray is when you need to pray the most because that is Satan working on you.

October 28: Today we got to teach Sarah a little bit and find out why she is hesitant about baptism. Her mom had told her that her church believes that after you are baptized you cannot sin anymore. We quickly assured Sarah that you can and will sin after your baptized but that's okay because we believe in the power of repentance. How sad would that be though to believe that you cannot sin after you have been baptized? Also today we got a huge downpour of rain like torrential style which I guess isn't supposed to happen in these winter months but I thought it was awesome because it was rain. Also we found real grass like Utah grass style not this weird weed like Florida grass and we definitely had to lay down in it and cherish the feeling of it.

October 29: Not a lot happened today but while knocking we found Art in the Alley #3 which was totally awesome so me and Sister King have decided that we want to find all of them because it was really the highlight of our day.

October 30: Yeah I have officially been on my mission for a month only 17 more to go!! Today Shane got baptized. Now before you get all excited he is not someone we've been teaching but our fellow sisters we live with taught him but it is still exciting to see the work in this area and to see the success. 

October 31: Happy Halloween!! (This is how you can tell we are not JWs because I absolutely love Halloween). Today we had so many appointments that I don't have any time to tell you about how awesome it was. Just know that we taught a lot of people and had an absolutely amazing day meeting people and teaching a lot of awesome people. 

November 1: Man I cannot believe that it is already November wow how time flies when you are on the errand of the Lord. Today we had another amazing 6 hours of church plus ward council in the morning plus breaking the fast with the YSA branch which was awesome. The YSA branch is absolutely amazing and they are so excited for missionary work. We also got to meet the Ocean kids, 3 kids who got baptized about a year ago. They haven't come to church in a while but they are still absolutely amazing and I know that they are going to start coming back to church soon and wonder why they ever stopped going because it is truly amazing.

Question time:
What is tracting like in your area? are the people polite or rude?: Tracting for us is knocking on doors and offering to say prayers with people in which we help them feel the spirit. Most people are nice and don't turn down a prayer but then there are some really rude people who think that by praying with us they are going to get converted or something and so they slam the door in our face. But it is a really religious area down here so most people willing pray with us and then sometimes from there we get new potential investigators.

How big is your area? How many wards or branches do you cover?: My area is the size of Delray Beach, Florida plus a little bit of Boca Raton and Boynton Beach. The area I serve in is half the size of our ward the Delray Beach Ward. (My area is called the Delray Beach South area). But we also serve part time over the YSA branch and so we can teach them anywhere in our Palm Beach Zone (we don't teach very many of them).

How much biking and is your bike really really fast?: I actually haven't used my bike yet because I am in a car area and we use our car and then walk from wherever we park to several different places. Though the elders in our area do use their bikes because we are short one car because it is being fixed right now so they should soon have a car as well.

Do you have ward mission leaders or do team ups?: We do have ward mission leaders and several ward missionaries though we (as the sisters) don't do very many team ups since the Sister Ward missionaries are very busy and don't have very much time to come out with us.

Tell me more about sister king, where she is from, how long she has been out, etc.?: Sister King hit her one year mark Thursday. She has served all over Southern Florida so far. She is from Logan, Utah and went to Southern Utah University (SUU) for a year studying Dance performance. She is a ballerina but does other dance as well. She likes to have a lot of fun and is notable in the mission for whitewashing (this is her 3rd time I think). 

How much support do you get from the members? Do you cook your own meals, eat at members, etc.?: We get a little support from the ward and they come out with us on occasion although our meal calendar is pretty empty except for Sundays. Though we do now have a meal appointment for Thanksgiving yeah!! So we largely cook for ourselves or go out to eat (since we live outside of our area).

Thanks everyone love you all!!

Also quick item of business I typed my address wrong last week (I have still been getting all my mail I promise)

Corrected Address:
2301 S. Congress Ave #113
Boynton Beach, Florida 33426

Ponderize Scripture this week: Nahum 1:7

Until next time,

Sister Jennings