Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


It was a wonderful holiday in Oregon. The week was slow in the whole "go and teach and have lessons and stuff like that" aspect of missionary work, but that happens. Surprisingly, not a whole lot of people want to talk about religion at the time of year where it's most predominately celebrated. But, we did have a good week. We had another awesome lesson with Lesley and a great lesson with a woman named Sandra and her inactive boyfriend, Will. After about two months of trying to get in the door we were able to have a sit-down lesson with them. The spirit was very, very strong. Hopefully we can get them coming to church too.


This Christmas story starts on Christmas Eve at the Red Cross taking people's blood (we didn't actually take anyone's blood, we just gave them juice). The rest of the day was spent with members having festivities and eating lots and lots of sugar. The best part of the Eve was the zone testimony meeting at the stake center. It was an amazing experience to be able to hear fellow servants of the Lord bear testimony at Christmas time.


Oh man, what a wonderful day. I got the chance to talk to my family via FaceTime which was an absolute delight! It was so great to actually be able to see their faces. I don't know if I've ever seen my mom so happy before in her life! It made me feel good to know that I was able to make their Christmas special.

Other than the normal missionary Christmas stuff, like watching a movie and hanging out with the other missionaries, we were also able to spend time with the members around the area and in the ward. It's been such a privilege to be able to teach and testify of the Savior at this time when we celebrate His birth. I couldn't think of a better way to spend the holidays than right here in Klamath Falls, doing the Lord's work. I testify that He truly does live, and loves all of us personally and perfectly.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

Elder Jensen

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Countdown

Merry Christmas Everyone!

It's looking like it's going to be a white Christmas here in Klamath. A REALLY white Christmas. Seriously, it's been snowing nonstop for 3 days. It's made for some really precarious driving situations. But, that's beside the point because it's almost time for CHRISTMAS HOLY COW I'M SO EXCITED!!!!  What better time to be sharing the message of Jesus Christ. With the Christmas season comes a bit of trouble coming up with lessons and finding people to teach. We didn't let that get us down. Even though we didn't have a ton of lessons, we enjoyed all the opportunities we had to teach. Hopefully next week will be better (which it will because Christmas).

Among our various activities for this week was our ward Christmas party. It was combined with the Spanish speaking branch and we had a FIESTA, complete with with tamales and latin dancing (which we did not participate in). It was really fun to see all of our investigators come and enjoy time with the ward members.

Even though it was slow, we were able to get in a few great lessons. We taught the Malsi family again and it was incredibly spiritual. They are really considering having their kids baptized, which is an amazing development. They just want to make sure they have all the information on the commitments that they're making. Now we just need the parents to understand the priesthood and all that jazz, and they'll be solid too. We were also able to get in with Lesley, who's really starting to understand the things that we teach. And then Miranda too who should be on date here pretty soon.

I thought I would have more to talk about this week but looks like I'm out. We did have an ugly sweater photo shoot, so that was pretty exciting. But, other than that this week has been rather slow. Hopefully I'll have more to report after Christmas. Which reminds me, have a very Merry Christmas!!

Elder Jensen

Our church with the Articles of Faith engraved on the side 

Klamath Falls 5th Ward represent

Making friends 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas in Klamath

Dear Familia,

Feliz Navidad! (I was feeling especially Spanish today). How's everything going back home? It sounds like you've all had quite the week, that's for sure. Holy cow, that's a TON of snow you've gotten recently. We've been getting a bunch as well, but I'll explain more about that later. Tell Nash that I would like to be able to see him in one piece when I get home! Hopefully everything heals up nice and neatly.

Klamath Falls hasn't been all THAT sketchy, just a little bit. I've only heard 3 gun shots so far during my time here. Just kidding . . . or am I?  I've never once felt scared or threatened on my mission so I'm not too worried.  The city has actually been really good. A common theme in Oregon is that people tend to stay in their hometowns for life, so we've come across a lot of people with deep roots in the city. Klamath Falls also has a very distinct smell, but I'm getting used to it.

Our bikes have been put away for the winter because we have a car! (that I get to drive, word up!) We don't have al the miles in the world though so we walk around sometimes. Our apartment is actually out of our area, so our new central hub is the church building. The church is unique because it is one of only a few buildings that has the Articles of Faith engraved on the side.

My week has been really, really good. We've been teaching a ton of people and getting a lot of good work done. There have been days where we are going straight from one appointment to the next with barely enough time to eat dinner.  There was a day that we taught 5 lessons back to back! It was awesome!!

I've really started to connect with the ward and with our investigators. I'm pretty sure that I've met everyone that we're teaching and oh boy, there are some real characters. We've had a few 2-hour lessons with Lesley, the self proclaimed Brotha, a few lessons with some hyperactive grade schoolers, and then there was the time a guy told us being a stoner was the best thing ever.

Among all the crazy, we've also had a lot of really spiritual uplifting events happen. The most noteworthy one happened yesterday, so I guess it's good that P-Day was switched to today.  We had a specialized training and interviews with President Russell. I alway love hearing from him. He brings such a special spirit when he addresses us, and I love it. He talked extensively about how the mission isn't our mission, but The Lord's. We also talked about Christmas and specifically what gift we would give to the Savior to celebrate His birth. That's something we could all take to heart as we get closer to Christmas.

After the interviews we had a lesson with a less-active member named Carl, that one of the ward members referred to us. He told us that we would be lucky to even get the time of day from him, let alone get in the door. But, for some reason he let us come in and hear about his situation. We felt the Spirit very strongly as we shared ways to grow our faith. We tried to help him understand why God gives us trials. He seemed to take the lesson very well and invited us back! It was definitely one of the greatest lessons on my mission thus far.

This wouldn't be an Elder Chase Jensen email without some fun shenanigans. Like the fact that we've totally decked the heck out of our apartment. A member gave us a Christmas tree, like a full sized 7-foot tree that's now comfortably sitting in the corner. Also, it snowed a TON down here, and really quickly at that. It made for some precarious driving situations on the hilly side of the neighborhood. One day during lunch we made a very sad looking snowman, so that was an adventure. Also, when you're out walking in the middle of a blizzard, watch out for ice. That's all I've got to say on that one.

Stay safe, stay warm, stay classy, stay away from drugs, and most importantly, stay strong!

Merry Christmas to all!!

Elder Jensen

He was destroyed by enemies shortly thereafter

Fa la la la la la la la la


Elder Way - we got excited!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mills Edition

Well hello there! 

Things have finally started to slow down enough for me to be abel to actually talk about what the heck has been going on the past few days. 

So...I'm in the good old city of Klamath Falls, Oregon serving in the 5th Ward. The neighborhood that I'm covering is known as the "Mills Edition" because the rapid growth in population when the lumber mill went up required houses fast. But, since the mill has now shut down, the area has as well.  In my past letters I would say how sketchy downtown Roseburg was, but to quote the great Elder Redding, "The Mills Edition makes downtown Roseburg look like Sugarland, Texas". The area is very economically challenged, but with that comes humility in the people which makes for an awesome pool of people to teach.

My companion this time around is named Elder Best from Detroit, Michigan. He's been out for roughly 14 months and has been in K-Falls for 6 weeks. If you're wondering if I've already made the "you're the best missionary ever" joke, the answer is yes, several times. 

This week has definitely been one of the most difficult and rewarding weeks of my mission. It was surprisingly really, REALLY hard to say goodbye to Roseburg. As much as I may have discredited it, I grew to love the area and love the people. Having to move 100 miles away and start all over was really tough. But, as the week went on and I started to meet people and become familiar with the area, things got easier and easier. 

And, holy cow, the people here are awesome. I'll talk about specific people as I start to get to know them, but we have a really wide selection of people that we teach - which is fantastic! The members of the ward are all extremely supportive of the work we do and are always willing to help us out. But, that's not what you want to hear, you want fun stories don't ya? Well, you're in luck!

This week we've been doing one thing and one thing only; area book clean out. We go through our records and visit potential and former investigators and try to get in with them. So far, it's really worked! We visited a guy named Justin and his wife Ayla and they actually invited us in right then and there. We had a great lesson with them. 

We've been teaching several people with a knowledge of the Bible and it's been great to show them what the Book of Mormon can do for them, and how God truly hasn't stopped speaking to us. 

There area also some investigators who's circumstances are really humbling. We teach an 18 year old girl named Miranda who is basically trying to decide between getting baptized and her family. There are also the Quayle boys, who's father won't allow them to be baptized even though they know it's what they want to do. It's circumstances like this that truly make me grateful not only that I have grown up in this Gospel, but now have the chance to share it with all these people. 

On a less serious note, we taught this black guy named Lesley out on his front porch for 2 the 25 degree weather...without our coats. It was worth it though because Lesley is hilarious! He continually would say, "if you haven't noticed, I'm a brother" and then just go off on crazy wild tangents and stories. It was good fun for sure.

I would have to say that the highlight of my week was the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional yesterday. We watched it at the Quayle house on their teeny tiny old computer, but the experience was amazing. Feeling that love from the general officers of the Church toward our Savior and the humble means of hearing this message really touched my heart and I felt the Spirit very strongly. 

While serving so far the holidays have been very different from how they are back home; you really get the true sense of what it is we're celebrating, especially now as we celebrate the birth of Christ. If you didn't get a chance to watch the devotional, please do. It's awesome! And remember the words found in Moroni 7:40-48 during this Christmas season. 

"40  And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save he shall have hope?
41  And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope throughout the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
42  Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.
43  And again, behold I say unto you that the cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.
44  If so, his faith and hope is vain, for non is acceptable before God, save the meet and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confess by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
45  And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and enviethnot, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evel, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46  Wherefore my beloved brethren, if ye haven't charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faith. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fall --
47  But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."

God Bless us, everyone!

Elder Jensen

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Roseburg --> Klamath Falls

Today I spent the day driving all the way out to my new area in the Klamath Falls 5th Ward! My new companion's name is Elder Best from Detroit. He seems really cool and I'm excited for the work we'll be doing.

My last week in Roseburg wasn't a very crazy one. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with members named the Herlan's. We spent a lot of the time going over all the things we are thankful for and I realized just how important and thankful I am for the support that I've seen while I've been out here; from my family, friends and people that I'm serving. It means the world to know that what I'm doing is having an influence on those around me.

Hopefully next week I'll have more to talk about. Stay warm and I'l try to too (because K-Falls is FREEZING!).

Elder Jensen

Thanksgiving with the Herlan's

Look! It's Elder Peterson from Kaysville!

Sad last days of mission life

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!


This has been a really good week. We had lots of great lessons and got plenty of new investigators.

On Wednesday we had the always amazing opportunity to attend the temple. There is such a sweet and distinct spirit at the temple that you can't get anywhere else. After the temple we ate at the best burger joint I've ever been to. It's called Jasper's in Central Point and, oh my gosh, it's the bomb! I had a burger with POTSTICKERS INSIDE!!! This is what the world needs everywhere!! 10 out of 10. Amazing. Would highly recommend.

Thursday was a very interesting day. We got a call from one of the assistants earlier that week saying that President Russell wanted us on a conference call later that night. So of course Elder Carter and I started FREAKING OUT. We were racking our brains thinking of what we could possibly have done that got us in trouble. Turns out, we were selected for a special assignment where we would be Finding with another set of Elders all day Thursday. So that's what our Thursday consisted of; Finding. I went out with Elder Earl and Elder Carter went out with Elder Adams (Elder Earl's trainee). Elder Earl and I went tracting for hours. We must have knocked on hundreds and hundreds of doors and got nothing....until the very last door we knocked on. It just goes to show that you need to have faith in all that we do. Elder Carter and Elder Adams found 4 investigators and 5 potential investigators!

One of the best things that happened this week was that we finally got a lesson with Amanda's mom!!!!! Holy cow, the Spirit was so strong and WE PUT HER ON DATE FOR BAPTISM!! What's up son!!!!!!!!!!  She's so excited to learn more about the church. She was so pumped that we've had 2 lessons with her in 4 days. She's gone a full 180 - from being agnostic and not agreeing with her daughter getting baptized, to her accepting the Gospel! I'm severely bummed that I'm not gong to be able to see her continue to take the lessons, but hopefully I can get back for the baptism! :)

It's been a great week, and hopefully the last week of this transfer is as fulfilling as this one was.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Elder Jensen

Teaching the homeless
Roseburg sunset

Last week's Zone Conference with Elder Marcus B. Nash
Missionaries from the Roseburg, Medford, Central Point, Southern Coos Bay, Grants Pass and Klamath Falls Zones

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hey Howdy Hey

Another week has gone by here in the OEM. Elder Carter and I are getting closer to the end of this transfer and things are going really well. I had my first meal payed for by someone we didn't know. It was honestly the best thing.

We've had lots of lessons with people this week which is always a great thing. We just started teaching a family of four that was referred to us by a member. They are really solid. The parents are professional painters and are really open to what we have to teach. I have a feeling that they're going to make great strides in the Gospel. They let us split wood with them for awhile, which was super fun let me tell you!

We had our zone training meeting (ZTM) this Friday which was really good. We talked a lot about why we're out serving and it really painted a picture of what's important for me at this point in my life, and what's not. We also talked about our new Christmas initiative that's coming out called #ASaviorIsBorn and it's gong to be AMAZING! I'm honestly so excited for Christmas out here, spreading the joy that the gospel brings to me, to others.

This week should be especially fun. We are going back to the temple on Wednesday!!!!! I love the temple and I feel so blessed to know that we can go so often and have it so close.

Transfers are coming up on the 30th and I'm almost 101% positive that I'm leaving Roseburg. President Russell said in his email to me "leave your area strong" so I'm preeeeeeety positive that I'm gone. It'll be exciting to see where I'm going. I'll know for sure the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Love you all so much and hope to hear from your soon.

Elder Jensen

Typical Oregon

The Zone at ZTM

Crazy Oregon Pothead (I'm hilarious) 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Shave Everyday November

Good Mormon Everyone! (little joke)

It's been another really good week here in Roseburg. It has finally started to cool down to what you would imagine the weather in Oregon in November would be like. It's really nice to walk out the door and not feel like I'm going to die of heat exhaustion.

We were able to have one of our recent converts, Amanda, go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. While she was there she had the work done for her father, who passed away about three years ago. She sent us a text that said, "I felt my Dad's spirit at his baptism and confirmation. I know my father is ok now. He is in spirit paradise. I finally have closure and now I'm not the only one in my family [who has accepted the Gospel]."  Isn't that just THE COOLEST THING YOU'VE EVER HEARD!? It's been an awesome experience seeing Amanda be such a diligent follower of Christ. We're going to have a lesson with Amanda and her mother, who isn't a member, on Wednesday. Hopefully Amanda can have her mother join her and her father! :)

We also had the amazing opportunity to have our Zone Conference and Stake Conference be in the same weekend. Not only that, but we were able to have Elder Marcus B. Nash of the First Quorum of the Seventy preside at both conferences. He is such an amazing speaker and he really spoke to me in my calling as a missionary.  The adult session of conference was one of the most spiritual meetings I've ever had. Elder Nash talked a lot about how the Savior would be a missionary if he were serving where I am. He also had a question and answer session, which I highly recommend to anyone who can pick the mind of a General Authority.  One of the things Elder Nash talked about that I really loved was that if we keep our perspective on what we know - who we are, why we're here, and what our eternal potential is - then we can combat any adversity that may come. As beautifully put by President Uchtdorf, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith".

There is nothing that may cross our path that our knowledge of the Gospel can't overcome, wether it's affliction, sin, trials, or opposition to who we are and what we believe. The strength that comes with our eternal perspective of this life is the only sure foundation from which we can't fall. We have to grow our testimony of the Gospel. Elder Nash explained that the best way to do that is through consistency in living the Gospel. From the simple application of living Gospel standards daily, reading our scriptures, saying our prayers, and keeping our covenants, can we truly grow our conversion to the Gospel. We have to be more than just a Latter-day Saint on Sunday mornings. We have to constantly be looking for ways to increase our faith and understanding because that's what will be the true source of our strength. As Matthew 24:35 says, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Our Heavenly Father's plan for us is the greatest knowledge that we have in this life, and while the world will change in morals, values, the perception of what is good and what is evil, we will always know what God has in store for us if we abide by his words.

That was by far the highlight of the week. Other than that we didn't do a whole lot. We met a few people that we'll hopefully have the opportunity to start teaching, and had some great lessons with others. Oh and this cat followed us around a neighborhood for awhile, which was fun.

Elder Carter and I are doing really well here. Thank you for all the prayers and support. Sorry I didn't take too many pictures this week. I'll try to do better.

Elder Jensen

Twinning with Elder Holman

Roseburg Sunset

Live from P-Day

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cross One Career Off the List

Let me just start by saying that I will never be a real estate agent. The majority of our week was spent trying to get all the logistics worked out to move one of our recent converts, Kathy. Now I don't know too much about homeownership, but I know that you DO NOT put in your 30 days notice for moving out until you have another place set up. I guess Kathy didn't get that. It's been the most stressful week of my life, trying to get her not to be homeless.

There is a spiritual connection though. We told Kathy that she could fast and pray that things would work out as we try to make them happen. She said that she gained a testimony of God answering prayers because we were able to work out all the impossible details (like getting a queen sized box spring and mattress up a tiny flight of stairs with two 90 degree angles) and get her all moved in on Halloween night.  That was a trial of faith right there!

Halloween was super fun. We had our ward's Trunk-or-Treat. We invited some of our investigators to attend, and they actually did! Elder Carter and I went as each other which was pretty hilarious.

We concluded Halloween night with a pizza party and jam session, complete with board games (after appropriate studying of talks, of course). It was awesome!

We had difficulty getting with our investigators this week, but we were able to have good lessons with them once we found them. We've really been trying hard to get as much work done as possible so that we can have those people to teach. It's been slowly starting to get busier. I have faith that it'll start getting up there.

Stay strong, be happy and read 1 Nephi 19:22-23 

Elder Jensen

My pumpkin this year (I made do)

Watch out tweakers

Monday, October 26, 2015

Country Roads, Critters and a Confirmation

Hey there!

It's been another good week here in Roseburg. Not a whole lot has happened, but we did have a lot of cool experiences. 

We started off the week by biking out into the middle of the woods trying to find someone that missionaries had met in the past. You know you are out in the boonies when your asphalt road turns into gravel and then dirt. It's not fun to bike on that. We did end up finding the guy and he said he wanted to meet with us, which is awesome.

On a less fun note...every Wednesday we eat dinner with the same family. Now this family doesn't have the most desirable of living conditions. I'm talking an old shack with flies everywhere, random debris all around, vines growing thorough the walls and the whole shebang. This Wednesday was the worst so far when a few fun little mice started running all over my feet. Needless to say I'm not excited to go back.

On Friday we drove up to Eugene for a very nice Specialized Training. We learned how to feel the Spirit better, how to magnify our callings, and how we have to choose this day whom we will serve. It was a great reminder, and really put into perspective why we are out here and how important it is to remember who we represent. We read the First Presidency message from February 1977 titled Choose Ye This Day, which talked about how there can't be any fence sitting in the battle between good and evil; no neutral countries, no putting your hands up and walking away. We must choose who we're going to align our wills with, and we know which side is going to win, so why would we choose the losing side? We also went and got Chipotle afterward - which was sadly one of the best meals I've had while I've been out here.

To finish the week out, yesterday we had the confirmation for David. Elder Carter was the one to perform the ordinance and it was very special to see David become a full fledged member of the Church. He looked so excited and happy to be there, which really spoke to me telling me David knew that what he was doing was right. He's going to be such an awesome member. I'm so excited for him.

That's about all she wrote for this week. Tune in next time.

This email was made possible by viewers like you. Thank you! ;)

Elder Jensen

Rainbow Family Bus

Inside the Van

Chicken with Sprinkles (yes, I'm an adult)

Big Hills

Monday, October 19, 2015


Hey there!

Before I get too crazy with the events of the week...we had transfer calls this weekend and both Elder Carter and I will be staying in Roseburg. Looks like I'm going to see this place around Halloween. I'm a little scared for that.

This week we were able to get in contact with several of our potential investigators so our teaching pool is going to be larger for this next transfer which is going to be nice.  We were also able to meet with Kyle again for the first time in like a month. He's not on date for baptism at the moment but we're hoping that he'll pop back up there soon.

Speaking of baptisms, David was baptized this week! It was an incredibly spiritual experience and I felt very honored and humbled that David wanted me to perform the baptism. Seeing his desire to come unto Christ and change from the person he was before has been one of the coolest experiences of my mission so far.

Great news! I finally finished the 12 week training program. I'm not a Greenie anymore! Wahoo!!!

I feel so official

Other fun happenings this week included going on exchanges to Sutherlin with Elder Flemming, making Raspberry-Banana-Kiwi (Rasbankwi) smoothies, investigating a fire while on exchanges with Elder Myers, and playing with cats.  Overall it was a pretty good week and I'm excited for the next few weeks to come here in good old Roseburg!

Me and my new friend Bernadette

On a sad note, my main man Elder Myers isn't going to spend his last transfer here in Roseburg. He's being shipped up to Veneta where he'll die off. I'm pretty bummed, but we're going to be successful businessmen after the mission so it'll all be ok.

Bye Myers

The Roseburg Ward 4

We're going to go get haircuts and groceries, and then do laundry later today. It costs $2 a load and I hate that. But, I'll wash stuff, I guess, if I have to.

Love to you all.
Elder Jensen

Elder Zilles (MTC Comp) is leaving me for the coast and I'm very upset about it 

Community support for Umpqua Community College 

Monday, October 12, 2015


My Fellow Americans,

Hey howdy hey! Another week has since passed here in the good old city of Roseburg Oregon, and what a week it's been. Things have really started to look up.

In light of recent events at the Umpqua Community College the president decided to visit. Let me tell you, the people of Douglas County do NOT like President Obama. At all. You hear of Oregon and think that it's a very liberal state, which up north it is. But down here, people like their guns.

We actually were driving down then road when Marine 1 landed at the Roseburg Airport. We pulled over and got some pretty good footage. I was literally in the same town as the president, wait, scratch that, I was 200 yards from the president. It was pretty cool.

President in Roserburg

Now more things pertaining to actual missionary work. One of our investigators, David, is getting baptized on Saturday the 17th!!!! I'm so excited. He's been really showing his desire to learn and grow. He even quit one of his jobs so that he didn't have to work on Sunday. It's going to be a great service and an awesome way to finish out the transfer.

We also have been doing sooooooo muuuuuuuuch tracking and searching for people to teach. And you know what? It's working. It's been really awesome to see our faith fulfilled in our work.

Sunday we had a fireside from the Stake Presidency about the shootings. It was a really comforting place to be and I felt the love of the Savior and the Spirit very strongly.

On a less missionary note, this week I gave Elder Carter a haircut. I don't think I did too bad. I feel like a full and accomplished missionary now!!

Heck YES University of Utah Football!!!!  I can't tell you how good it feels to smugly rub the fact that we're undefeated in the Pac 12 into all the Duck fans faces. It's super rad.

This last transfer flew by. I'm not sure where it is that I'm going to be next. Honestly it could go either way - I could stay and finish training Elder Carter, but I could see myself leaving as well.  We'll have to wait and see.

Love and miss you all and can't wait to hear from your soon.

Elder Jensen

Double rainbow over Roseburg

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Roseburg Shooting - Missionary Thoughts

I have been in Roseburg since July 30. My initial impression was that it was a small and quiet town; very humble and deeply rooted in their community and each other. It's a town that's rather peculiar, but with an interesting charm and character. Over the past few months, I've come to love these people. I've taught them, learned from them, served them, and gained a great appreciation for them, their spirits and their love for each other. It's because of this that I can't believe what has happened.

Every time a tragedy like this occurs, especially form the direct choices of another, there are thoughts of "How can this happen? Not here! Why here?" This has never been truer than in Roseburg. The Umpqua Community College, with a student body of less than my high school, nestled near middle-of-nowhere Oregon, suffered the loss of 9 innocent lives, with many more injured. No one is unaffected. It's at times like these the age old question surfaces: Why do bad things happen to good people?

1 Nephi 11:17 "And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things"

I'm not here to try and say why tragedies like this happen. I'm not trying to provide a psych evaluation of what drives a person to do something like this. This isn't a conversation of "pro guns" or "anti guns". This is an instance of someone making a choice with consequences, which we are now facing. With that considered, how are we to face them?

To my friends in Roseburg, back home, or anywhere reading this message, I don't know much but I do know two things; God loves all His children, and that Christ knows everything that we are going through. These are two simple truths that are almost taken for granted, but the power and comfort behind them is incredible. From the account of Nephi above, it's ok that we don't understand everything. It's ok to have questions and to struggle and have these pains. Because God loves us, He allowed for the ultimate comfort: the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Alma 7:11-12  "And he shall go forth suffering pains and affliction and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities"

Christ took upon him everything. Every pain, every temptation, every sickness, every trial. Whether it's large or small, He's felt it. He's felt the pain of this community. He's felt and suffered through every loss of innocent life, every tear shed at the realization of a tragedy, and every confused and frustrated thought of "Why me?" "Why Here?" and Why Now?"

And He did all of this so He could know how to help us. He descended to the lowest form of humanity in order to lift us back up and save us from the pains we are burdened with. He knows everything we are going through.  Every. Last. Bit.

Roseburg is not alone. Never feel like you are either. Anyone who is in pain, struggling and feeling like there is no one out there who can help; know that I love you, but more importantly our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ love you more than we can understand. And it's through that love that all things are possible.