Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday Tuesday

Hi Everyone,

Sorry about the little bit of confusion with not getting a letter yesterday. We had specialized training and interviews with President Russell so now our P-Day is going to be today.

Training Elder Carter has been going really well. He's a very smart and capable missionary and I really enjoy teaching him all that I can.

This has been a pretty good week. We've been doing a lot of work with some of our recent converts and less active members. We have also had some really cool spiritual experiences.

Amanda, who just got baptized, received her patriarchal blessing on Sunday. She's so excited to continue progressing in the Gospel. It's the coolest thing ever.

We've also had several meetings with our recent convert Kathy, who hasn't had any word of wisdom problems for more than a week now! We are working on getting her all moved out from the apartment she's currently living in because it's kind of a cesspool for sinning...if you know what I mean.

We had a cool experience at the library the other day when we were training. We bum wifi from the library because we're a big ol' loiter squad. When we were sitting out on the library steps we were approached by this guy on a bicycle. He looked like a mix of homeless caveman and hippie philosopher; huge beard, long hair and a general "counterculture" demeanor. He sat next to us and we started to talk religion and the like - because we're missionaries, and that's what we do!  Right before the man showed up, Elder Carter and I were training about how to introduce the Book of Mormon with the pictures in the front, and that's what we were able to do with the guy on the bike. It was really cool to be able to put the training into practice, and to know that God is putting the people we need to teach into our lives.

This week we also had the great privilege and opportunity to go to the temple in Medford. It was exactly what I needed. I felt the spirit comfort me and give me guidance I needed as well as answers to questions I had. I really loved the spirit that was there and how detached I felt from the world. I love that we have a temple so close and that we can go to so often. It really refilled my inner vessel, so to speak, and gave me the boost I needed for the weeks ahead.

I'm SUUUUUUUPER pumped for Conference this weekend! One thing that I regret is not paying as much attention to Conference when I was home. This time is going to be especially amazing with all of the new developments in the Church. I mean, 3 new Apostles? That's crazy! It's going to be an awesome spiritual experience.

Oh, and I wore one of my red ties on Sunday to celebrate the fantastic Utes win! Those are the Utes I love to see!!

Love and miss you all and hope everything is going well.

Elder Jensen

Monday, September 21, 2015

Regular and Random


This has been a relatively mild week missionary-work-wise, but a pretty busy one random-stuff-wise.

Elder Carter and I are doing pretty well I would say. He is a goofball and also a really great teacher. He is going to be an awesome missionary! We've been doing a lot of training during our down time, which has been good. We taught a few lessons and met with some people. Nothing out of the ordinary, just the regular fun stuff.

We finally got our bikes all set up and ready to go and I don't know if I'll be riding Lotoja anytime soon. MY THIGHS ARE ON FIRE! But the good kind of fire, like the spirt of God.

Some of the random craziness this week...we became the Word of Wisdom Police and took some cigarettes from one of our recent converts, we moved an entire furniture store by ourselves, and we made survival packages for homeless veterans.  It's been a great week for spontaneous things like that.

On Tuesday we had our very first Zone Conference. We went down to Grant's Pass and combined with the Zone there. We had great lessons about the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel, as well as growing testimonies both in ourselves and and our investigators. We also learned that we shouldn't kill squirrels and eat them when on the mission. It was all very insightful.

Roseburg Zone

We "share" a car with the Zone Leaders (and by share, I mean they drive it all the time and we get rides). The mission does car inspections every Zone Conference and our car was voted, and I quote, "the worst conditioned car in the fleet". What a great honor, right? You'll be happy to know that somehow we still have our car privileges.

Fleet Inspection

This week we were also able to watch the Priesthood restoration site dedication which was really an awesome experience. I'm getting really, really excited for General Conference. I've started a comprehensive list of all the missionaries I've come in contact with and their favorite talks. I've grown to love the conference talks and now I'm bummed that I didn't pay attention to Conference more when I was home.

Other than that not a lot has been going on. Things are finally starting to get colder here so I'm probably going to need a coat soon. One of the missionaries who has been here about a year says to make sure everything is waterproof waterproof WATERPROOF!

Love to you all,
Elder Jensen

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Training Wheels

Hey There!

This has been a really, really busy week. So busy that I can't even begin to tell you how crazy it's been. As you remember last Monday I left Elder Redding and spent the week hanging out with Elder Zilles my MTC companion. It was really fun to be back together for awhile. We drove up to Eugene on Wednesday and got some training on how we can be better trainers. It hit me that the responsibility I've been given is huge. I feel very blessed to know that Heavenly Father trusts me to train a new missionary, even though I've only been out for six weeks.

On Thursday we met at the 18th Street building in Eugene to pick up our trainees. After a long awaited meeting, I was given my son, Elder Gary Carter - a bundle of fun from Clearfield. In the few days we've been together I can tell he's going to be an awesome missionary, he's already helped me so much.

Elder Carter picked the best day to get to the mission field because it was Amanda's baptism. Talk about good timing! Amanda has been one of my favorite investigators. She's always been super solid and really has that desire to do what's right and follow the Gospel. She's even talked about serving a mission when she's old enough. She was baptized and confirmed by one of my favorite people, Everet Nestripke, who will be leaving for the MTC on Wednesday to prepare to serve in Independence, Missouri. He's been an awesome person to take to lessons with us and we've really been able to help each other.

First Baptism

Back to Amanda... her baptism was really spiritual. She has had that desire, and to see that desire fulfilled was so cool. Her mom, who isn't a member, came and watched. I really hope that we might be able to start getting her into lessons and eventually get baptized.  Amanda asked us to share the Dare to Stand Alone Mormon Message from President Monson. It really put into perspective for me a bit of just how important it is to stand up for what we know to be right. Amanda has that mentality and really inspired me to do a self check, see if I'm doing the best I can when it comes to defending the church.

We've also done a lot of other really cool things this week.  With the whole Eugene thing, our week wasn't too busy lesson-wise, but fun-wise....it was chocked full! We had dinner with a family who owns a lot of property and their home basically sits on their own personal mountain.

Mountains of Eugene

Whilst on this mountain we found cows.  We entertained ourselves with the cows for far too long.

The AP's took us out to lunch on Friday which was AMAZING because we had Panda Express. I haven't had Panda since before I left. I almost started crying.

There was also some craziness this week too. We had investigators drop us, a recent convert is having problems with keeping the church standards, and one night a member came to our door in tears asking for us to pray with him. Quite an eventful few first days for Elder Carter, huh?  As crazy as it was I know that the next few days are going to be great and I'm super pumped!

Hope everyone is doing well.

Elder Jensen

Monday, September 7, 2015

Tacos, Transfers and Training

This week has been a fun and busy one for me. It was the last week before transfers so Elder Redding and I were trying to do as much as we could before we possibly got shipped off. We now have THREE investigators on date for baptism, which is awesome! One of them is named Kyle and he is the brother of a member of the ward. Kyle's brother is also a fairly new convert but has a great knowledge of the Gospel and has really helped when we've been teaching. The other investigator is named David. He recently married his less active girlfriend and knows baptism is what God wants from him. It's been really an amazing experience to see these individuals come closer to Christ with our help. We've also taught several lessons to other investigators, less actives and recent converts.

Good news! I got my first haircut out on the mission!!! I'm not gonna lie, I was absolutely terrified for what it was going to look like but I'm pretty happy with the results. Not amazing, but I don't look hideous either.

For our monthly Zone Training Meeting we threw an impromptu beach party. It was hilarious but also really spiritual. We talked about Christ coming onto the shore and saying that if we follow Him we'll be fishers of men.

We also made significantly poor dietary decisions this week. We knew that this might be our last time getting lunch with the four of us so we decided to go a little nuts; have a challenge of sorts. We went to Taco Bell and all ordered 5 ghost pepper loaded grillers. We ate them all. Every. Single. One. That's 20 between us. I have never felt so bad in my entire life. I weighed myself after and came in at 190! I was TICKED!! I'm back down to 183 now so I'm no toooooo worried, but still....

We also made friends with even more crazy homeless "prophets" which is always fun.

So now for the most fun and crazy news. We got the calls for transfers on Friday night. Elder Redding is going to be a district leader in Medford and I'm staying here in Roseburg. The catch though is that I'm going to be a TRAINER! A trainer at 6 weeks. I'm not even finished training yet. I'm really excited.  I go to Eugene on Wednesday to get my trainee. It feels like I was just there.

Well that's it for me. I'm in for a fun next few weeks.

Elder Jensen

Before the ghost pepper griller challenge 

The aftermath

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Busy Week With a Trip to the Coast!


Well, this week was just a little rough. We were doing great with the work but then some of our contacts started to cancel on us. We also had another investigator on date for baptism and then yesterday he told us that he feels too pressured and wants to back it off. Plus, I've been worried about Coleman. I know these are just the stresses of missionary work so I'm not letting it get me down! Instead, I've been burying myself in the work. I stumbled across a talk from President Eyring called Mountains to Climb (April 2012) it's really good and gave me some comfort.  One section that I really liked says, "When hard trials come, the faith to endure them well will be there, built as you may now notice by may have not at the time that you acted on the pure love of Christ, serving and forgiving others as the Savior would have done. You built a foundation of faith from loving as the Savior loved and serving for Him. Your faith in Him led to acts of charity that will bring you hope." What a promise, huh? Hope from service in real and I have seen it.

On a less self-sorry note, we had a lot of other stuff going on this week and have been really busy. Some of the highlights included; doing a ton of service, going out and having steak for dinner one night, crashing a birthday party, finding a piano, and having a 'stop smoking' intervention. The very best thing was that we got to go on a hike out to the coast with our Zone. It was awesome!! The smell of the ocean brought me back to all the family road trips we took to the Oregon Coast. I loved it!! It's been one of my favorite thing we've done so far.

It's almost time for transfers so I might not be in Roseburg for much longer, which is kinda weird that it's already been six weeks. I hope that I stay because I still have so much to do! We'll see what happens. I'm excited regardless.

Elder Jensen

Hike to the Coast - South of Reedsport

The Ocean (and the water too - family joke)

The Zone