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