Friday, July 31, 2015

Welcome to Oregon

Late Wednesday evening we received a surprise phone call from the Mission President's wife, Sister Russell.  She wanted to let us know that Elder Jensen arrived in Oregon, safe and sound.

Following are a few pictures from the Oregon Eugene Mission Blog 

With such a big group it looks like they had to use a shuttle and trailer to transport the missionaries and their luggage to the mission home.

After the group arrived at the mission home they had lunch and then each missionary was interviewed by President Russell. The new missionaries had some instruction from President and Sister Russell and the Assistants and were then able to go out on appointments. When those appointments were over Sister Russell said everyone was completely exhausted.  Sounds like a long, busy first day.

The next morning all the new missionaries met at the mission home for breakfast and studying before they went to the Stake Center for more instruction and to meet their trainers.  

The new missionaries with President and Sister Russell

Learning how to use their new iPads 

Elder Jensen will be trained by Elder Redding in Roseburg, Oregon. 

We did a quick search and found out that Roseburg is about an hour south of Eugene and only 20 minutes from Crater Lake. The city is similar to Kaysville in size and population.

We can't wait to hear from Elder Jensen and get his perspective on his first week in Oregon. We will keep you updated!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Empty Sea, Volume 2

We can't believe how quickly these last two weeks went by. After a tough first few days, the MTC ended up being a wonderful experience. Chase said in every letter how anxious he was to get into the field and begin his missionary service. Today he got his wish!!  This morning Chase was part of a group of 26 missionaries that flew to Eugene. (We found out that a group of 34 missionaries from the Eugene Mission were released and traveled home on Tuesday. Big changes happening in Oregon!)

Faith promoting story coming up.... Since families don't see their missionaries off at the airport anymore, like in the good-old days, we were really excited for Chase to call us from the airport to say goodbye. He was supposed to arrive at the airport around 6 am and would board the flight around 10:30. That was a huge block of time and since we are not morning people, we weren't surprised that by 9 am we still hadn't heard from him. We waited semi-patiently but when it was about 30 minutes before he should board the plane we (mom) started to panic. We figured he might be having a problem finding a phone since the group of missionaries was large and there aren't that many old-school telephones at the airport. Even though it was just a small thing and being able to say goodbye to our missionary certainly wasn't a life or death issue, I was hopeful we could still have the chance to talk to him. I said a quick little prayer that somehow Chase would be able to find a phone before it was too late. Not even one minute later our friend Clay called Darin from the airport. Clay was on the moving sidewalk walking one way and passed a big group of missionaries walking the other direction. Even though it was only a fast glance, Clay thought one of them might have been Chase so he called Darin to see if Chase happened to be flying out that morning. There truly are no coincidences! Darin said yes and explained that we were actually waiting to hear from him. Clay immediately went after Chase and gave him his cell phone to call us. What a sweet reminder that the Lord is always mindful of us. If it matters to us, it matters to Him. Needless to say it was a great phone call. Elder Jensen was happy and excited and ready to go. We love him and can't wait to hear about his experiences in the mission field.  

Following is an email from his last day at the MTC.

Hey Everyone!

Things are going really really well here. I'm actually kinda bummed that I'm going to have to leave now after all of the great friends that I've made. It's been such an amazing experience for my testimony and for my conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We've been able to teach people here at the MTC and honestly that's been my favorite part of being here. We had this investigator named Lisa, a sculptor with a son that joined the church a few months ago, and she was such an amazing woman. It was so special for us to see her come unto Christ and watch the Spirit work in her. I felt such a genuine love for her and can only imagine how great the actual mission field is going to be. I honestly can't think of a cooler feeling that being able to share the Gospel with people. I get so happy when I can help bring the Spirit to someone and fulfill my missionary purpose. 

This is Elder Jensen and Elder Osborn, one of Chase's favorites from the MTC. Elder Osborn is called to serve in the New Zealand Hamilton Mission and hopefully he will run across our good friends Jay and Rachel Preston who live there. Elder Osborn's visa did not come through in time for him to travel with his group so Elder Jensen and his companion Elder Zilles adopted him and became "a new powerhouse companionship". I can only imagine. ;) Elder Osborn will serve in Phoenix until he can travel to New Zealand.

The District with President and Sister Menlove

Elder Jensen and his MTC companion Elder Zilles

Elder Jensen and Elder Braden Ross, a friend from Kaysville

New address:

55 W. 29th AVE., Ste. A
EUEGNE, OR 97405

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

First Email from the Empty Sea

Hurray for P-day!

It was a super morning at the Jensen's. We finally heard from Elder Jensen at the MTC and he sounds happy and excited to get in the field next week. Chase says, "I can't wait to get out to Oregon! I have a strong desire to go and teach the people there."

Chase's companion is Elder Zilles from Logan. He says he is a cool guy, very nice, friendly and kind of quiet.  Apparently there are a lot of missionaries called to the Oregon Eugene Mission at the MTC right now. Chase is part of a group of 26 leaving for Eugene on July 29. All those missionaries on the same flight will be quite a sight!

Elder Zilles

The District

Chase said he has been able to teach investigators during training, and has participated in some great workshops where he says he is learning even more about his purpose as a missionary. He expressed several times how anxious he is to get to Oregon and get started. So much excitement and enthusiasm.

Some of the best information from Chase today was that the MTC food was over hyped. He said there is certainly A LOT of food and he can have as much as he wants (which is nice) but in his opinion it's just not that great. Funny.

It was fun to see a few familiar faces in Chase's pictures today.  I'm sure it was great for these awesome Elders to see each other and feel a little love from home. Elder Jake Hawkins is from our Ward, and Elders Adam Taylor and Conner Simonsen were in Student Government with Chase at Davis High. So proud of these awesome young men (and the many others getting ready to leave). They will all be fantastic missionaries.

Elder Hawkins, going to Georgia

Elder Taylor, going to Toronto

Elder Simonsen, going to Rome

Chase said he would love to hear from you. For those that don't know, there is an online service,, that sends same day, hand delivered letters to the missionaries. Letters to the MTC are FREE. So easy to use. FYI, Chase is only able to check and respond to emails on P-day (which will now be next Tuesday) but he is able to receive and read the letters and regular old-fashioned letters through the post office, every day.  Chase's MTC mailbox is 166.

Thanks again for your love, support and prayers.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Let the Adventure Begin!

The looooooong anticipated MTC day finally arrived after weeks of shopping, planning, preparing, packing and waiting. After Chase was set apart on Tuesday night he said he felt different. We think he looked different too. He was a missionary and he was ready to start the next chapter. 

Wednesday morning we got up early to have Grandma Julaine fix a rip in his suit and pick up one forgotten prescription (procrastination is the name of the game around here). Once those little details were taken care of we checked the packing list one last time, zipped up the bags, had a family prayer and headed to Provo. 

One last pic in front of the house

Jensen party of 7

Wednesdays in Provo are awesome. It was fun spotting missionary families in the parking lots of nearly every restaurant. As far as we know there are no ChickFilA restaurants in Oregon so Chase's last meal had to be a #1 with no pickle and a Dr. Pepper.

ChickFilA rocks

We pulled up to the Provo Temple and there were missionaries everywhere! So many young men and women and their families saying goodbyes, taking pictures and waiting for their turn to head down to the MTC. It really was an awesome sight.  We took our turn for goodbyes and loves and hugs and tears and pictures.

Unbeknownst to me, Chase had set an alarm on my phone so we wouldn't be late for our MTC time. ;)  So thoughtful.

When we pulled into the MTC we were met by the very friendly and helpful Elder Howard, who is called to serve in the Philippines. He helped get Chase's luggage out of the car and made sure we took some fun pics for mom's social media (his words - he was a funny Elder). One last quick hug and kiss and wave and Elder Jensen was off to experience the best two years.

As we left the MTC there was some serious weeping and wailing going on in the back seat. It felt a little like a Southern funeral there for a few minutes. It showed me how much our kids really love each other and how much Chase's presence will be missed.

When the going gets tough, the tough get ice cream