Name: Rebecca Jensen
Location: Elkhart, Texas
Favorite Scripture: Ether 12:27
At a glance: Named Outstanding Performer in the University Interscholastic League Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest and made the Texas State High School Band; earned state recognition with her math team; raced in state-level track and cross-country; plans to attend Brigham Young University and major in flute performance.
This flautist doesn’t flout the importance of hard work and dedication. With recognition in math, track, cross country, and academics, as well as flute, Rebecca Jensen has made the most of her time and her talents.
Why did you decide to play the flute? It is something I enjoy and something I can keep doing for the rest of my life. I also like playing for other people.
You also teach flute lessons. How has teaching blessed your life? Teaching helps me learn. I like teaching other people and seeing them progress. I’m happy whenever one of my students is excited about playing and really learns something I’ve taught. I’m sure Heavenly Father feels the same way—He’s happy to see us do well because He wants us to be happy.
You’ve had success in a variety of activities. How do you do it? I’m an ordinary person who just works really hard. I’ve had a lot of failures among the successes, but I’ve learned that as you develop your talents, you can accomplish many things.
What have you learned from struggles? My sophomore and junior years, right before the state track meet, I got injured. I had to sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else run in the race I was supposed to be in. That only made me want to work harder and be better.
What activity has taught you the most? Long-distance running. I had to endure through the races and sometimes run when I was injured. I think my work ethic defines me, and running is where I developed it, because sometimes I had to keep going even when I wanted to stop.
How do you manage your time? I decided that I wasn’t going to do any of my extracurricular activities on Sunday. I made it my day to rest. Also, even though it was hard, I still made it a priority to do my scripture study at night. I knew that Heavenly Father would bless me if I was reading my scriptures every day.
How have you shared and strengthened your testimony? I go to a school with very few members, so I’m known as the Mormon girl. I take that as a compliment. A lot of people would see me praying before competitions. And at lunchtime, I’d pray before eating. Gradually I noticed others around me started praying too.
I’ve learned that you have to be strong in your beliefs, especially when you’re around people who don’t believe. You have to have your own testimony and be firm about it. I’ve found mine by feeling the Spirit, studying the scriptures, and praying.
Photograph courtesy of Mac K. Miller III