Monday, February 29, 2016

18 months later.......

This will be Jen's final email of her mission. Its hard to believe we went from this:

To this.........LOVE YOU! Be safe! 

And then.......the MTC.....

And of course.......she'll never ever forget these people...

These girls will always be "her"sisters....

And now...she's the end and she couldn't be happier. We are so proud of her and so thankful for her.

Let it Go package....both my kids who have gone on missions have sort of had a movie that we love as a family as their "theme", my oldest son's was Star Wars and Jen's has been Frozen. I've sent her lots of Frozen themed things and pkgs, her blog is after a Frozen song and we've said little lines from the movie every week in our letters. This week's was Let it Go... and "Do you want to come back home now?" (tune of Do you want to build a snowman?" She said she liked it a lot but it made her cry too. It will be hard to leave these people and the mission life she's so loved. We are so happy she's had such a great mission and can't wait to see her next week!

Hello everyone!!!! :) Yep you read that right, this past week I hit my 18 month mark and I can tell you right now that it goes way faster then I ever would have thought! So first off.. Here are some highlights from the week!!! :) 
We totally had the Jehovah Witnesses "knock" into us this week! Yep they knocked on our door, we talked to them for a few minutes and then invited them to learn. :) That was a pretty neat expereince! 

The Jacobsens lesson went SO good. They had so many questions but I think they are doing really well! I know the will get baptized at some point. They are just such great people! Tim's lesson went pretty well this week too, we talked about agency and he accepted it pretty well! The spirit was really strong! 

Yesterday we got to sing Armies of Helaman in church, it brought back so many memories of singing in the MTC.. We are NOW the Lords missionaries. How blessed I have been to serve the Lord for 18 months. It truly has changed my life! The musical number went well and then one of the elders that came out with me spoke about Jesus Christ, the spirit was so strong and I loved it. I love Sundays, aren't they the best?! 

We had some great finding experiences this week.. yesterday we sang a Christmas song to a lady after talking with her for a bit! :) That was great! She was super cool! We also had a district meeting this week on being clean, it was awesome!! And when I say being clean I mean like keeping our apartment, car and everything else clean. Something even after 18 months I am still working on.. :) 

Well this is it!! I will be home next Wednesday and pretty much travelling to Lansing all day next Monday so I want to leave you all with some of the feelings and testimony that I have at this time. 
I know that Jesus Christ lives, I know that He is my Savior and that He truly will help and descend lower then anything that we have done to help us. I know He walked this earth and established His church, He called 12 apostles and did amazing things. I know the New Testament teaches of His life and helps us understand Him better. I know He is the only begotten of the Father. That Heavenly Father loves us perfectly and has a perfect plan for us, His plan is to help us be happy but I know also that we choose to follow, we choose to let Him in and we choose to be happy. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that is evidence that Christs church was lost but has been restored through a prophet of God, named Joseph Smith. I know he lived and that he truly did see the Father and the Son in the grove that spring day in 1820. I know he was called of God. I know all these things and truly have for my whole life, but my mission has been perfectly tailored to me. It has changed my life and my perspective about my brothers and sisters in the Lord. We truly are all brothers and sisters and we all need to strengthen and lift others. I know that we are all children of God and that He wants us to live with Him again and by our righteousness, our faith and the grace of our Savior Jesus Christ we will. 

I have been so blessed to serve a mission for my Lord and Savior. It has changed my life, and I know that truly they stood beside me the whole entire time. Thank you all for your prayers, your support, your love and the examples you have given to me. I am excited to see you all again soon!! 

Love Sister Jenica Chisholm! <3 
Michigan Lansing Mission 
We are FAMILY!! 
Alma 26.. my motto!! <3 
The gospel is true, I know it, I live it I LOVE it!!! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Two weeks left! Valentines week, temple with Val, and I am so grateful to be ME!!!

February 22 2016

Hey everyone!! This week has been amazing.. Honestly.. I am not a broken record but every week has so many good things in it! :) I hope you all have seen some of the great tender mercies from the Lord this week! 

So the theme this week comes from my district leader that talked to us last week about looking for 3 strengths and then using our strengths to help strengthen our weaknesses! He talked about Wreck it Ralph and about how at the end of the movie he finally realizes that there is no one he would rather be then himself, even if he is a wrecker! :) So this week I have focused on this a lot about how truly there is no one I would rather be then me, all my weaknesses, all the trials, all the blessings and every thing in between all happen because it's shaping us to become more like our Father in Heaven! :D 

One of my favorite quotes about this is.. Be yourself. But do more than that. Become yourself!! This life is all about becoming and changing, we must learn how to change and apply the teachings of the gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives and then we will be able to have peace and joy! 

This week my highlight was being able to be at the temple with Valerie, I was able to teach her over a year ago and then baptize her, be at the temple when she did baptisms for her family and then with her when she went through for her own endowment. What an amazing day! :) I learned so much from the spirit in the temple that day, the temple truly is a house of learning and a place where we can put everything in perspective to find out who the Lord needs us to be. I am so thankful for the temple! That was one of the best days on my mission for sure. :) 

We were able to teach our investigator the Plan of Salvation on Tuesday and she has recently lost her father, she felt peace as we testified to her that we all lived before we came her and that we will continue to live after this life. The spirit was so strong as we testified to her. I know that no matter the situation, even in smoke filled rooms the spirit can still come if we let it and if we testify of truth. 

We had a family at church yesterday and yet again another moment when I am so grateful to be me!! :D It's so wonderful to be in a place where so many people desire to come to church and want to feel the spirit! They loved church and I know they are going to join the church one day, they are such an amazing family! They even had cute little bible books.. haha 

We all lived with our Father in Heaven before we came here, and even though we can't remember we have so many things that help us to know that we truly are the Lords children, scriptures, blessings, and revelation all teach us that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father and that we each are destined to become more like him!! :D I hope that you all think this week that truly there is no one you would rather be then you, because in all reality you are exactly who Heavenly Father needs you to be, of course that also means that we continue to change and become better every single day!! I know that as we have the desire to improve we will, and at that last day when we stand before our Savior we will be able to say. I have done my very best!! 

The gospel is true! Jesus Christ lives, Heavenly Father loves you, yesterday, today and forever! I love being a missionary and I know that even though soon enough I will take my name tag off, His name is still on my heart just as it is on all of yours! Have a great week!! 

Love Sister Chisholm! 

Detriot temple!!!! <3 With of course some of my very favorite people!!! 

Man.. this week! Honestly.. I can't really think about much besides how amazing Saturday was!!! :) I went to the temple with a couple in our branch and it was so SO great!! Oh my gosh.. one of the best days of my mission that is for sure!! :) We left at like 8:30 and drove to Detroit, it took like 5 hours and so we had some super good conversations.. like way good ones!!! :) The Matthews was the family that took me and they are AMAZING!!!!! We went to this delcious pizza place called Blaze pizza.. where it's kind of like subway but with pizza!! SO good! :) Then we went to Trader Joes which is awesome! !I had never been there and it was so fun! They bought me so much stuff, like this yummy cookie spread, and then lots of treats and so much yummy stuff! We got this pound of german chocolate.. yumm.... :) haha they were just like getting me everything and it was SO fun! Then we went to the temple and honestly.. it was like the scripture in Alma 17:2-3.. Almost every single person from Midland that I LOVE was there!!!!!! :D The Jones, Sister Wheeler, Valerie of course, the sisters from Midland were there, Sister Lau, Sister Steele ( my old companions!), and so SO many others!! Then a member of our mission presidency was the officiator in the session and that was AMAZING!! There were 7 missioniaries in the session and then he officiated it, I cried.. just saying! :) I learned so much too, so much spiritual knowledge and peace. That was the greatest take aways. I really thought a lot yesterday about how quickly Eve repented after partaking of the fruit, I want to be more like that! :) It shows a lot of humility and very submissive, which I really love! Lots of good things from the temple on Saturday, I am going to go every week when I go home. It's such a great check point for youself and truly helps us become so much better!!! :D I also can't wait to go to the provo city center temple!! That's going to be AWESOME!!!! :D yay!!! haha So after the temple we went to this delicious Mediterannean place, but it was  Bamize food!! haha.. I can't really spell it! Have you heard of that!!? Oh my gosh.. it was SO SO SOOOO good.. Man.. I LOVED it! A new favorite the kids would like it cuz we had sharma like off of the end of avengers! haha :) SO good, then we drove the good ole 5 hours back to TC! And again had some awesome conversations, I loved being with the Matthews, it was weird not having a companion but it also was so good! Exactly what I needed and I feel even more ready to take on the next 2 weeks!! :) I love the temple.. it's my favorite place to be! <3 
 Beautiful sunshine!
 Yummy Trader Joe's food from The Matthews! SO kind!
 Cute knit hats made by a member in the Traverse City Branch!
 A member made me stuffed shells this week!!!!! :D Oh and garlic bread and ceasar salad!! yep.. I was SO happy!!
The snow is melting a little bit....isn't TC gorgeous!

February 15 2016

Hello Everyone!!! :D 
I hope that you are all doing well and that you had a wonderful Valentines day!!!!! :) I sure did! It was filled with love from members and from others!! If you didn't get to feel love I am sending my love your way! No one should be sad on Valentines day!! :) 

So this week our theme was Remember when.. I have learned that it's so important to remember moments that have changed us and shaped us into who we are becoming.. and remember when's work great for jokes too!! haha :) So today I am going to tell you some of the remember when's from my week and hope that you all can also reflect on your week and think of all the times the Lord has blessed you!! :) 

We remember when... Elizabeth and Nick became new investigators this week!!!! We found one of them knocking and the other was when we stopped by an old former investigator! He didn't live there anymore but Elizabeth did instead!! That was awesome!! :) We had two great lessons with them and they are both awesome! I am excited to be teaching them! 

We remember when... We had a stellar lesson with Tim this week! His less active son sat in and totally taught Tim more then us!! He is a rockstar, he knew exactly what to say to help Tim understand the pre eart life! It was such a cool lesson!! This week we are praying that Brandon, the son will take that leap of faith and come to church!! :) He is so cool! 

We remember when.. We didn't freeze to death from the cold.. but we did get close!! We also remember not being able to see more then 2 feet in front of us on the road, we made up an analogy, life without the gospel is like being stuck in a whiteout, you can't see in front of you and all you do is fear. However with the gospel you just keep going and knowing that the Lord will provide the way!! :) 

We remember when we partook of the Sacrament and renewed our Covenants with our Father in Heaven. That is the greatest moment of remembering, we can always take that moment to think of our Savior and His sacrifice. I have gained such a strong testimony of the Sabbath Day, it truly is the way to rejuvenate our Soul! I know that the gospel is true! I love it! I love being a missionary, and love being a member of Christ's church! I know this is true! It's a fact!! :) Have a great week everyone and keep remembering when!!!!!:) 

Love Sister Chisholm! <3 
My flowers that my parents sent me!!!!! :) 
They are the best!! <3 #familiesareforever
Valentine Flowers! (and as a side note...I am so proud of these girls for their cute, CLEAN little apartment!!!)

 Flowers and treats from ward members!

 The Frozen Chosen!!
After a long day of contacting these girls have some rosy cheeks and noses! I love that smile! I asked her how she was feeling about coming home in TWO WEEKS!!!!!! Her response:

So to be honest mommy this is how I feel about coming home! :) I am super douper WAY excited to have the new adventures that are too come! I am so SO excited to see my family and to talk with all of you and not have all these funny times limits!! And I am like I said excited for the next things that are to come, but I am truly going to miss being a missionary! :) I love the feeling of completely serving the Lord all the time, no excuses. I love serving and strengthening others and wearing my Saviors name on my heart all the time! That will be an adjustment but I know that as I give it my all in the next few weeks that Heavenly Father is going to help me adjust! I just know it, He always has done that for me and I know that just like that scripture you sent He always will! :) I also have some amazing people willing and ready to help me adjust! I will be ready when I come home though, it will still tear my heart but I will be ready for the next chapters!! They are exciting!!!!! :D haha But yes.. I am nervous, excited, anxious, sad, heartbroken, joyful, and happy!! :)

 Cool library and excalibur sword collection of the Branch President!

So Valentines day was great!!! :) I played the piano in sacrament meeting, yep you heard that right!! :) I totally got to play and Heavenly Father really helped my fingers play great! :) Then I got to speak, I may have cried a little bit.. I spoke on Buidling our foundations on Christ and how we can't let them lean like the leaning tower of pisa. It went well I think! :) I talked about the small and simple things or the essential things, church prayer and scripture study and then I talked about service and that's when I cried, I said that you are such an example of that to me, and then I talked also about how the branch reached out to us when we came into this new area not knowing anything. It was good though! :) The spirit was there, and that's what matters! A lot of people told me that I did a great job! Hopefully it was good! :) Then we also taught gospel principles, that was an adventure!! haha but it went well! then I got to play the piano again in relief society!! :D So many members gave us treats.. oh man!! haha I am little candied out.. and you know me and my sweet tooth!! ;) it was so sweet of everyone though! :) We had dinner with a sweet older single lady in our branch and another single man brother roan! He totally played for the green bay packers at one point in his life! cool right?! :) He had some amazing stories, I am amazed at the stories people have! :) I also got to look at some of my family history yesterday!!! I would love to hear some cool stories about our ancestors when I get home!! There are some great people with some way cool stories in our blood!!! :) It was a great Valentines day!!! :) I was happy, and honestly it was because it was Sunday!! I just love this branch they are great and so loving!! It just makes my day to be around members!! 

This week we didn't get to do a ton of service.. lots of finding though! And man it was so dang cold!! haha but hey the cold never bothered me anyway! 

I got a text from a very sweet lady in their branch who took them up to a museum and cultural center way up north in Interlochen! Cold and sweet!