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. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Umpqua Strong

What a crazy week this has been. I'm sure that by now you know exactly what happened at the college here. Just know that I was safe and all the other missionaries and ward members were too.  It's amazing to know that after such a terrible tragedy, we can hear the words of the prophet and his apostles to give us comfort and peace. With all that being said, this week has been incredibly difficult but also so SO spiritually fulfilling.

We've had some struggles this week. We have an investigator who was supposed to be baptized on the 10th but looks like he might not get baptized at all. Some investigating families are on the verge of falling apart. One of our a recent converts just doesn't understand anything about the Gospel. Another recent convert keeps getting her home broken into and taken advantage of, but can't move. And, we have a ward that doesn't seem to care about missionary work (the other Elders had a baptism last Friday and none of the bishopric showed up and didn't announce it in church or anything). Top that stuff off with a horrific tragedy that put this small community in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons and you can see why this week has been so challenging and hard.  I've spent many long nights on my knees to know what I can do to help, and what I'm doing or not doing that is making things so difficult.

Thank goodness for General Conference! Really, what a blessing it is to be able to hear the words of men and women called of God for us today. I have a firm testimony and conviction that the prophet, apostles and all the other church leaders are called to bear witness of Jesus Christ's restored Gospel on earth.

My favorite addresses were from Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Elder James B. Martino, Sister Neill F. Marriott and Elder Allen D. Haynie. From these speakers I really, truly gained a greater understanding of the love that Christ has for us, and just how amazing and beautiful the Atonement is in our lives. I also loved the new apostles testimonies, especially Elder Renlund's. They are going to be amazing servants of the Lord. I enjoyed all the speakers of course but I loved the themes of women in the church, prophets and apostles being called of God, the Atonement, and personal growth and conversion. This conference was just what I needed. I took like 10 pages of notes! I really felt my desire and eagerness for spreading the Gospel increase. Even though this week has, in short, really sucked, I'm looking forward to the weeks ahead and the work I get to do.

We also ate a fancy restaurant this week. I had lobster scampi. It was amazing. I miss actual good cuisine.

Love you all so much. Talk to you soon!

Elder Jensen

We love Amazon Pantry!!