Thursday, December 29, 2016

Springfield Episode 13 I think? (I'm so bad at this): Holiday

Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to everyone!

It's crazy to think that at the end of this week, I'll have gone the entirety of 2016 being in Oregon as a missionary. Time really flies. I know that the most important and best months of my mission are ahead of me, and I'm excited to see what happens!

This week was wonderful from pretty much everything but a proselyting standpoint. We had very few lessons, but the lessons that we were able to have were great. We read from the Book of Mormon with Ken and Sister Moxley, which was wonderful. They gave us a Christmas card which was signed "From Brother and Sister Moxley". He's SO close! We're going to get him there I swear. We were also able to find a few new faces to teach, so that was swell.

The holidays were super fun. We had a Bethlehem dinner with the Walkers, from the ward, and then went to a Zone Testimony meeting afterward. The spirit there was so sweet and I really appreciated everything that was said. We also read the night before Christmas, so that was fun.

Christmas Day was awesome. We woke up and partied with the First Ward Elders for a bit and then went to Sacrament Meeting. It was so special to have the opportunity to take the sacrament on the day of the Savior's birth. I'm so grateful for him and his atonement for me. The comfort to know that when I mess up, I can be forgiven and become better is the best gift ever given.

It was looking pretty sparse gator wise for a while even though we invited EVERYONE to church on Christmas. Just when all hope was lost, BAM Tim Goff comes in from out of nowhere and saves the day! Christmas miracles man.

Later that day, we spent some time at the mission home with President and Sister Russell, Skyped with our families, and had dinner with our Bishop's family. It was a great way to spend the day.

This week we don't have too much going on at all. Just back to normal proselyting for a bit. We're hoping the get back into the swing of things here, so look out!


Crazy drunk homeless man!

We were just trying to start up a friendly conversation with this guy on the street. He wanted us to feed him, which we were unable to do. After conversations about costs, ladders, the Gospel (kinda), lack of teeth, him calling us gay several times, and cussing us out for being missionaries, we decided to leave. Good luck crazy homeless man.

That's a wrap folks! (Get it? Christmas.) I hope you all stay safe and enjoy the rest of this year. Thank you all for the prayers and thoughts, it really helps immensely. I love you all. Take care!

Don't say, "New Year, New Me", that's just silly,

Elder Jensen

Merry Christmas!

O Little Town

Away in a gingerbread manger 

'Twas the Night Before Christmas and all the Mission 

The Sisters gave us a Santa Costume


Springfield Episode 12: Ice Storm and a Gneit in Shining Armor

Merry Christmas everyone!

What a wonderful time to be celebrating the most wonderful time of the year. I hope that everyone's having a great Christmas season and enjoying the spirit that accompanies.

Oregon has been great these last few days. We've seen so much success and so many miracles that it'd be hard to write all of them down in an email, so I won't bore you with a travelogue or whatever. But it really is amazing that the Lord is able to work through us to accomplish His purposes. I feel so small sometimes in the scale of the world, but being a missionary really helps me to know that I'm making a difference in the lives of others.

Anywhosies, transfers happened on Monday and I have a new companion. His name is Elder Gneiting (pronounced Knight-ing) and oh man, he's just incredible. He's from Grant, Idaho and is the first companion that I've had that's taller than me, so that's cool. He's been on his mission for about 3 months, making me his first companion after his trainers. He's got spunk and a way with people that I really admire and appreciate. It's also SO SO SO nice to have someone to share the workload with. We get along super well and have been just tearing 2nd Ward apart. It's been a really blessing for sure.

So, ice storm. It doesn't really snow a lot in Oregon, but we do get freezing rain sometimes. And it came DOWN MAN. HOLY COW. We had trees and telephone poles and everything everywhere and the world was just frozen solid. It was beautiful and terrifying all at the same time. I'll attach some favorite pics.

When people can't go out and do stuff, the likelihood of them being home increases drastically, so we made some great contacts. We found some people to teach and had some appointments set up for next week after the holiday, so it'll be awesome.

We were also able to have some really good lessons with some of our investigators. We FINALLY got in contact with Tim again! He's doing well, but he's getting BOTH knees replaced at the same time?! The crazy. He inquired about a blessing though, so he's still building his faith. We also taught Xavier some of the commandments which really went well. We're hoping to get his whole family to come to church on Christmas.

The coolest thing I'd say that happened this week was during sacrament meeting. We were sitting in our pew looking around for people we had invited to church with no luck. Just as all hope is lost, BAM in walks Ken all by himself to come to church, and he stayed for Sunday School too. It's a Christmas miracle

Over the past few weeks, we've had the opportunity to study about the Savior and how we can grow closer to him. I've really felt my love for Him and His sacrifice for us grow as we've approached the celebration of His birth. I love Him, and I know He lives. I couldn't think of anything I'd rather be doing than serving Him as a missionary!

The Crazy Oregonian Spotlight for this week goes out to... Brother Perkins, our landlord. He's just the funniest guy that I've ever met in my entire life. We were having all sorts of technical issues at the trap house this week, so we called him up to help us out. This old guy just says he most off the wall stuff and it kills me! "I would have gone down there to fix the pipes myself, but doggone it if I get down that low I'd throw up everywhere and that wouldn't help anyone." 😂😂 He's a great guy though, and we really appreciate him looking out for us.

That's it for this week, I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and enjoy the holidays! I'm so excited to talk to my wonderful family on Sunday, it'll be the best gift ever. Thank you all so much for the prayers and support. See you next week.

Don't eat the yellow snow,

Elder Jensen

You know you're serving in a rough area when .... 

I love Oregon!

Ice storm. Now imagine everything looks like this.

Chase vs Tree Part 2 ...

Chase won!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Springfield Episode 11: The Saga Continues

Hey everyone! How's everything going? Is everyone having a good holiday? I hope so! It's transfer week in the good old Willamette Valley, so you KNOW that things are happening. But I'll save that for later. I know, I'm evil. My bad.

We actually had a very nice week to finish the transfer out. Along with some really good lessons, we also were able to enjoy some more of the Christmas cheer. We were able to meet with a lot of our investigators and contact a lot of people. We had a great lesson with Xavier, where he remembered most of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That kid is pretty bright. We're really working to get around the obstacles that come with being a ten year old boy, and we hope we can get back into the baptismal discussion again.

We were also able to meet with Ken Moxley. It was a very spiritually led discussion. I asked Ken, "Ken, straight up what is your reservation about being baptized?" To which he said that he still wasn't quite sure if it was right or not. We were then able to discuss the small and simple things and recognizing the spirit. He is making good progress. He asked us for a priesthood blessing, which we feel was really beneficial to him. Once he gains his own personal testimony, he's going to be a rockstar member.

The ward Christmas party was this week. Let me tell you, the Second Ward knows what they're doing over here. They know how to have a party! I was a little unsure on the whole "Cowboy Christmas" theme that we were going for, but it turned out really nice. It was well attended and a whole lot of fun!

We also had the Stake Christmas concert on Sunday night. There was no devotional or anything, just good music. It was lovely.

And transfer news! So my transfer sixth sense was pretty accurate. Elder Wikan is shipping out to the Eugene 3rd Ward and my companion is now Elder Gneiting (pronounced night-ing) After just a few hours with the guy I'm already super excited for the transfer. He's only been out for 3 months, but he's incredible. We're going to do some amazing things here in Second Ward!

That's it for me though, I hope everything is going well for all of you. Thank you so much for everything and anything that you do, not only to help me, but also everyone around you. The world needs more of that!

Much love from Oregon!

Don't be dumb.

 Elder Jensen

We definitely did CHILL OUT because it was like -1500 degrees outside
(ok not that cold)

A nice field of Spring




The "Crazy Oregon Story of the Week" goes to.....
this picture of Organic Gatorade. Only in Oregon!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Springfield Episode 10, I think? #LightTheWorld

Happy December Everyone!

The holiday season is in full swing over here in Oregon, but instead of snow, we have rain. So it's a little different, but it's all still good.

We had a pretty slow week work wise (say that ten times fast) but there were some aspects to it that were just awesome. We met with a few of our investigators this week (the one's not too wrapped up and busy) and had some good lessons.

We got back in with Shellie again. She's doing pretty well and is focusing her Christmas on trying to be happy and help others. You know what that sounds like? The new #LightTheWorld Christmas initiative! We showed it to her and she loved it. We're going to see if we can wrangle her in to coming to church with us on Christmas Day, but we'll see.

Speaking of the initiative, isn't it great? I LOVE the approach the church is using this year with service and active participation. It's been a really great tool in talking with and teaching people. Plus, the advent calendar is just the BEST idea ever. I hope everyone is taking advantage of it.

Back to bidness. We also met with Xavier this week. After our train wreck of a lesson with him last week, we had a very pleasant time reading from the scriptures with him. He's a good kid, but we're working on developing the habits he needs to build his own testimony. It'll be a process, but the results will be great.

In the month of December, the Springfield Stake puts on what's called the Crèche exhibit. It's this HUGE nativity festival with live music, lights, and hundreds of nativities that were donated or volunteered to be shown. We got to help set up and go and see the finished product too. It was spectacular! There were so many gorgeous nativity scenes and it really put me in the Christmas spirit.  That topped off with the First Presidency devotional made for a special weekend.

There was also a parade. It was the most eclectically assembled ensemble I've ever seen, but it was still really fun!

So, I don't know if I've ever quite painted the picture for everyone of just how Coconuts Oregon is, so we're starting a new segment called:

Spotlight! Crazy Oregonian Story of the Week! (I may have stollen this idea from Elder Joey Merrill)

This week's spotlight goes to two people; Cat Kid and The Bus Master. We had this kid who was probably no more than ten years old get up and bear his testimony on Sunday and it was 10 minutes of him talking about his Mom's relationship issues and cats. The bishop had to tell him to get to the point like three times. It was hilarious. Also, there was this guy at the bus stop who would, very loudly mind you, state that he knew EXACTLY where the bus was, 24/7. 365 days out of the year. He said something about a sixth sense he had. It was weird. Also, update on Ghost Homeless guy, we still haven't found him...

That's about it for me. Transfers are also this weekend, so we'll see if things get shaken up or not. Thank you all for the love and support. I hope you have a great week and stay warm. Much love all around!

Elder Jensen

Caution: Chase Crossing (the bottom says living green which is funny because Oregon)

2nd Ward Gang

Le Creche

Springfield Zone Gang

Only in Oregon would you have a special section of your parade dedicated to Volkswagen busses

Willamalane Service Crew ft Ann

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Springfield Episode 9

Hey there everyone, it's Elder Jensen in Oregon!

This week was...different? I'm still trying to decide if it was good, or not to be honest with you. It was just kinda odd. I think odd is the best way to describe everything that was going on.

So, our progressing investigators are dropping left and right. Shellie isn't able to meet with us, Xavier is too busy being a 10 year old to pay attention to lessons (I don't really blame him, but still), Tim has kinda fallen off the complete face of the earth, and Laura just won't come to church. It's been rather frustrating trying to rally everyone together, but we're sticking to it!

As stated above, our lessons this week weren't the greatest in the entire world. Xavier just would NOT pay attention if his life depended on it. It was the first lesson that I've had where we had to cut it short because he was there, but his head wasn't. We're hoping that we can keep working with everyone going forward though.

Thanksgiving was wonderful! I've really been reflecting and pondering lately about how truly blessed I am with everything I've been given; much of which I do not deserve. My amazing family, friends, and those I serve with, constantly astound me with how loving and caring they are and how much they truly bless my life. I'm so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who gave his Son for me, and for all of us. I'm grateful to be sharing that with everyone in Oregon.

For dinner (at 3:00, does that still count as dinner?) we went over to the Luke's house. They must have had like 25-30 people there, full house (plus, not all of their kids made it, so they were expecting more!) It was kinda weird to be there with so many people, but it was still awesome and I was so thankful for them inviting us over.

The Christmas initiative launched this week. #LightTheWorld. It's absolutely INCREDIBLE and I love it so much, I've had the little piano riff stuck in my head for days. I love how the church is making it so interactive for everyone; really putting an emphasis on serving and helping others is a great idea. I've seen the best way to appreciate and become more like Christ is to serve those around us, so this initiative will be great.

Fun story time. Walking to Thanksgiving dinner, we met Nathan. He seemed like your average Oregonian homeless man: friendly, talkative, weird things on his feet, the works. As we're passing him, we start to have a conversation. Long story short, he was interested in coming to church. Cool we say, and give him the details. Coming back from dinner, we meet him again. We start talking a little bit more and this guy is just absolutely cuckoo for coca puffs. He starts going OFF on some dot matrix algorithm about heaven and hell and angels and giant space cubes and the rainbow and all this jazz. We're drawing massive blanks here. Then, to top everything off, he asks if we could baptize him. We were super confused, but said that we'd talk about it at church.

Saturday night, we're leaving the church when we see a large blue lump on the front steps. Great I think to myself, a homeless man. (It's not uncommon to see this, especially in Eugene) We go to open the door and tell him he can't sleep there when he all of a sudden pops up and starts talking to us. It's the same guy! He was just SO excited to come to church the next day that he decided to crash right there. We told him we didn't want him to get in trouble, so he agreed to scamper off to somewhere else.

The next day at sacrament meeting, nothing. No Nathan to be seen. And we haven't seen him since. He may or may not have been a ghost, so hold tight.

The end.

Anyway, we're excited for this next week. I hope that you all have a great week as well. Thank you for all the love and support, it means so much. I'm thankful for YOU! Yes, you!

Much love! Keep it real.

Elder Jensen

Aptly named

Oh yea, we had exchanges this week too. It was fun.

Springfield Episode 8: Raining Cats and Dogs (and goats and horses...)

Howdy Folks! It's Elder Jensen here in the good old OEM.

It was another pretty half-decently-ok not too bad week in Springfield. There are a lot of good things that could start taking off here pretty soon, but right now we're on the grind. Looking for people to teach in the pouring rain can be pretty fun when it's not the worst thing ever. But we press on!

The holidays are apparently super rough for investigators over here. We had quite a few people who said that they're just too busy to meet with us over the next few weeks. Shelli said that she wasn't going to be able to see us until January so that was kind of the pits. The lesson that we had with her was still nice though. We also had a few other random and scattered lessons. We met with Ken again this week, he also said that the next two weeks or so would be rough, so it's kinda slowing down with him. But he's RIGHT THERE when he decides that he's ready. It's all just a matter of time.

Holy cow we walked just absolutely EVERYWHERE this week. In the rain, in the dark, in the cold, in the park. Over here, over there, we seem to walk everywhere! We also tracted out this entire apartment complex in one day, and no one yelled at us! So that was dandy.

Let's see what else happened this week... Oh I gave a conducted a baptismal interview. The sisters in the 5th ward have an 11 year old girl on date for baptism next week and I got the chance to interview her. It was an awesome experience. She's super solid and it was awesome to help her out.

We also talked to this crazy lady on a bridge he other day. The conversation was muffled but one in that I did get out of it was the quote, "I believe that Jesus Christ walked across the Atlantic Ocean!" There's Oregon for you in a nutshell. That's about it though.

This next week should be more exciting, so stay tuned.

Thank you all for all that you do. Love you all. Don't do drugs.

Elder Jensen

Not a shabby view

Watch out for random bridge ladies

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Springfield Episode 7: This Town Apparently IS Big Enough for the Two of Us!

Hey there friends and family and people who happened to stumble upon this here letter of mine.

I hope everything is going well for you. This has been an eventful week here in the city of Springfield. So, like I said in last week's email, we had another set of Elders double transfer into the area. We spent the first few days referring some people over to them so that they weren't just working up from scratch. It's been pretty fun having a second set of missionaries in the ward again. Dinner with four missionaries vs two is significantly more fun.

So, to add to the confusion of everything, Elder Finlinson's companion, Elder Terry, tore his ACL, MCL, and part of his meniscus, so he was hobbling around on crutches for a while. But, President Russell decided that it was best for him to head home and get the help that he needed. After we packed all of his stuff up, Elder Finlinson got to hang out with us for a day while his new companion, Elder Baker, came up. While we were waiting for him, we went to visit a former investigator named Ken Moxley. We knocked on his door pretty late, but he still let us in and we talked with him for a good while. In the discussion, he said that he's been thinking a lot about baptism and decided that was something he wanted to do. We weren't able to pin a date down with him specifically, but he made a goal to pray for a date that he feels will be what Heavenly Father wants for him. He even came to church with his wife, a less active member, and stayed for the entire block! That's commitment right there. I super excited to continue meeting with him. The spirit was so strong during his lesson. He's going to be a great member someday.

Other fun things that happened this week. We had interviews with President Russel on Saturday. It's always great to have some one on one time with your priesthood leaders. He was able to help me out and answer some questions that I had, which I was super appreciative for.

We also changed some guy's tire in the pouring rain last night. He hit a median on his way to pick someone up and pulled off to see what the damage was. We ran on over there to see if there was anything we could do to help out. We ended up changing the tire for him completely. One of his buddies who he called after it happened came over to assist, and it turns out he was a less active member. God truly does work in the most mysterious of ways.

Also, we met a guy who's name translates to (apparently) A Scarecrow Born in Hell without a Soul. He took a Book of Mormon. Nice guy.

That's about it for me. Thank you all for the love and support!

Have a great week.

Elder Jensen

Much needed round these parts 

The silent protector of the Pacific Northwest

Apparently in Eugene they'll wrap your food up as a duck, if you don't finish it 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Springfield Episode 6: ZL for a Week

Hey party people. Elder Jensen here coming at you live from Springfield.

This was an awesome week. Actually, this was probably one of the best weeks of my entire mission, but all for strange reasons. Allow me to explain.

Last Sunday night, the 30th, we get a call from the assistants asking if I would come to MLC on Tuesday. So, there was a lot of confusion. The next day, we figured out that one of the ZLs in Springfield got called to be one of the Assistants to President Russell, so Elder Ellis needed someone to help him teach ZTM on Friday and they asked me to fill in.

This week consisted of meetings. Soooooooo many meetings. Tuesday we had MLC, which is combined with all the Zone leaders and Sister Training Leaders from throughout the mission. It was nice to be able to be back there and feel the spirit from all the other missionaries. We discussed the things that we wanted to teach at ZTM during the meeting, and we came up with the topics of discussion for Friday. The meeting was definitely lead by the spirit and I came away with some great insights.

The next day, guess what happened? ANOTHER MEETING WOOT! We all met up together in the Eugene Stake Center with five and a half other zones of missionaries. Needless to say, there were a lot of us there. We talked about a lot really good topics and were taught by President Russell about great things. We also had some awesome announcements of things that are coming up, so there should be plenty of fun things happening, especially for Christmas!

Friday we had ZTM. It was such a blessing to be able to teach again. We talked a lot about things that we as a zone could work better on. The things we ended up teaching involved repentance and the love for our Savior. We emphasized that all that we do in missionary work stems from our love of the Savior, and we should continually seek for ways to improve ourselves through repentance. It was probably one of the best meetings I've ever been to. The spirit there was super strong and I was so grateful to be able to be a part of it.

Other than that, there isn't a whole lot of things to report. I spent most of my week being a Spanish Zone leader, so I'm not sure 100% what even happened while I was out but hopefully good things! (Also, being a Spanish missionary was super fun)

It's a good thing that Elder Wikan and I are staying together this next transfer. They're going to have me be a district leader this time around and we get another set of missionaries in our ward, so it should be a blast!

That's about it for me. I love you all so much! Thank you for all the love and support you all give me. Take care and don't be square.

Stay classy San Diego,
Elder Jensen

Elder Redding is going home and I'm so sad :( 
Springfield Zone


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Springfield Episode 5: Halloween or Normal Day? You Can't Quite Tell...

Hey there everyone. It's me, Elder Jensen again. How's everyone's day been? Having a Happy Halloween I hope. Stay safe, if there's a gun inside your candy bar DONT EAT IT.

Things have been moving slowly up here in Springfield, but they've been moving. The weather has let up a little bit, so Elder Wikan and I aren't walking around town looking like Sith Lords with our hoods up. It's been a blessing.

We've had the opportunity to do a few different things in the vineyard this past little while. On Wednesday, we helped out at the local Adult Activities center and their Meals on Wheels program. It was an awesome opportunity to help some of the members of the community. Old people are the best oh man. It was a blast!

We didn't have too many lessons this week, but the ones that we did have were great. We retaught the Plan of Salvation lesson to Xavier and tried to make it fun for him. I think it worked. We cut out a bunch of paper circles, labeled them with the different steps of the Plan, and then had him put the pieces in the order he remembered them. I think he got a lot out of it.

We also had a two hour long discussion with a less active member who wound up getting baptized into the seventh day Adventist church. We discussed points of doctrine and differences/similarities between the two. Most of what we talked about we agreed on; probably about 90% of it was exactly what we believe. It was cool to get that perspective and knowledge about other's religious beliefs.

On Saturday, we had our ward Halloween party which was combined with the First Ward. It was a huge blast! Chili cook off, trunk or treat, and good company. What more could you want? I opted to dress up as a nerdy Spanish missionary (thanks in part to Elder Adams and the name tag he lost in Corvallis) and on Sunday, we had the primary program. It's always sweet to see the kids go up and speak about what's important to them. It was great.

Other than that, not a whole lot to report. This week is going to be jam packed though. We have lessons and meetings and transfers and more (Oh my!) So I promise next week's letter will be better.

Until then, thank you all for the love and support. I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week.

Don't talk to strangers.

Elder Jensen

First + Second = Third?

Hola, soy Elder Adams (ft Elder Bowers)

I got my holidays mixed up 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Springfield Episode 4

Not every week that we have in the mission field is the best, and not all of them are full of huge events or amazing stories. Sometimes, you just perform your calling the best you can and that's it.

It was one of those weeks.

There really wasn't too much to talk about, but I still feel like we did our best to help those around us.

We had a few great lessons this week. Shellie is progressing really well. She asked some great questions, like why we're out on missions and what exactly we do at our church. We talked and testified that we know this is Christ's church and invited her to attend next week. She seemed really eager to go and we're excited for her.

Side note, we saw a guy riding his bike without any pants on. Good job Oregon!

We also had lessons with some of our other progressing investigators. Xavier was supposed to get baptized this week, but that didn't happen. We're working with him and his mom to make sure he can get all the lessons and that his commitment and support levels are there. We're shooting for the beginning of December now. Everyone else we're working with seems to be doing well.

The Springfield Stake had their Stake Conference this weekend. It was really nifty. President Ennis is a great man and had some wonderful remarks about charity and what it truly means. We also had a member of the Seventy there presiding; Elder Blunck (I have absolutely no idea how to spell that). The spirit was there especially during the closing hymn I Believe in Christ, a personal favorite.

I think what really struck me the most this week came from a lesson we had with two less active members on Sunday. Now, I'll give a little bit of background on why this was so meaningful. For the past little while I've been struggling with thoughts of inadequacy and really wondering if I'm making any sort of difference. I mean, things have been slow for like the past 6 months of my mission. I was really discouraged and have been wondering what I was doing wrong. I mean, other missionaries are having success and seem to be doing a whole lot better than I am, so what's wrong with me? Even if it hasn't been at the forefront of my thoughts, it's definitely been in the back of my mind.

Now, Sunday night. We were talking with Sister Ryckman, a less active convert of about 20-30 years or so, who's trying to get herself to the temple. Also in attendance was my main man Brother Wilde, who's working to take the sacrament again. We get on the topic of how we feel like there's so much that we're not doing that we feel like we should be. During my studies, I stumbled on something I really loved, and I shared it with them.

In Mathew Chapter 5, Christ is giving the Sermon on the Mount. In the last verse of that chapter, the Savior gives the famous council to Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. We're counseled here to strive and eventually achieve a higher standard. I feel like this commandment that the Savior gives is often misunderstood.

There's a culture in the church and in the world that I've noticed of trying to be someone who isn't us; who we feel is like us but better, and calling that "Perfection". We're constantly comparing ourselves to those around us and trying to make ourselves "better." We're trying to reach a level that we think is perfect; the best job, the best clothes, the best car, the perfect family, the perfect marriage, the perfect everything. We try to eliminate all flaws and negative aspects of our lives trying to become something that we feel we HAVE to be at. This leads to so many problems and heartaches. That's not what the Savior wants, because that's not what He meant when he said to be ye therefor perfect.

In the 12th chapter of the 3rd Book of Nephi, Christ is giving his disciples in the Americas a similar address to the Sermon on the Mount that he gave back in Galilee before he performed the Atonement and ascended to heaven as a resurrected being. The last verse of that chapter gives the same council as the verse in Matthew, with one minor variation:

48 Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.

Jesus Christ, the only person to ever walk this earth with a life free from sin and transgression, performing every commandment given to him with exactness - a man who embodied the attributes of love, charity, obedience, and faith - a man who by all means lived a perfect life, didn't refer to himself as perfect. Not until he had died and been resurrected.

There's so much comfort to me in that realization. We're not commanded to be perfect meaning without flaw or fault, but rather to be perfect meaning to be complete or whole. In this context, to be made whole through the grace and merits of Jesus Christ's atonement. We're not commanded to be without flaw or to not make any mistakes; rather we're commanded to live the gospel and do our best. Heavenly Father wouldn't command us to be something we're not, or to aim for some infinite goal knowing full well we won't reach it. God loves us, no matter where we are in our walk with him. This life and gospel isn't a sprit to the finish line to see who gets to go and live with God again if you win first place. This life is like a marathon; a personalized struggle that we all go through, where we all have the same goal, the same prize on the other side; eternal life. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to get there, it just matters that you get there!

After teaching this during that lesson, the spirit really hit me. Hard. I know that I'm not expected to be the "perfect" missionary. I still get scared to talk to people, I still hate knocking doors, and I still struggle with the things that I go through, but that's exactly how it's supposed to be. If it wasn't, what would there be to learn? I was called here to be me, not anyone else. I'm very grateful for that insight going forward.

For anyone who is struggling with thoughts or feelings of not being good enough, or who are comparing themselves to some self-imposed standard of excellence or to the highlight reel of others, remember, you don't have to be discouraged. God loves us for who we are, faults and all, and as we try our best to do our best, then he can work through us. I pray that on your path to eventual perfection, you remember this.

I love you all so much. Thank you for everything and all that you do. It doesn't go unnoticed! Stay safe and keep your heads up.

Take it easy,
Elder Jensen

Bus shenanigans 

*misty mountain song from The Hobbit goes here*

I call this "Cultural Diversity"

Springfield Stake Conference 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Springfield Episode 3: Public Transportation and Intense Precipitation

Hey everyone! How's it going? It's your friendly neighborhood Elder Jensen here, live from Springfield Oregon. We got to experience fall for probably about a week or so, then the rain came. And it hasn't stopped since. I now understand the stereotypes of the Pacific Northwest.

Due in part to the rain and the fact that we're just sick of walking everywhere, we figured out how to use the bus system around here and it is SO HELPFUL OH BOY. Walks that'd take an hour are cut down to maybe 10 minutes at most. It gives us so much more time to get stuff done, which is awesome. The Lane Transit District is also home to some of the funniest individuals I've ever met, so that's up there too.

This has been a pretty interesting week; lots of highs and lots of lows. All in all though, it's been a pretty positive experience. Sometimes you just have to take a look at the bad to be able to enjoy the good a little bit more. I've definitely felt that.

This week technically started on Wednesday I guess after we got done with the temple. The Portland temple is fantastic by the way, just so you're all aware. The next day, we had every single one of our lessons cancel on us. We were able to talk to a few people, but everything that was set up happened to fall through. We went over to visit the Hastings for our lesson, and got some bad news. It turns out that Zabs dad heard some information about the church that he didn't like, so he didn't want us to come back. We were devastated; they were really starting to come around. Sister Hastings said she always felt good when we were over, and we were able to tell her that that was the spirit working in her. Hopefully she'll remember that and be able to come around sometime. The door is always open.

On Friday I went out to Oakridge (about 45 minutes outside Springfield) with Elder Garrett Peterson from Kaysville! It was good to spend some time with an old friend and work in someone else's area for a while. Oh man, some of the people out in Oakridge are NUTS! We went over to visit this lady named Anna who was the perfect mixture of hilarious and bonkers. We're sitting there talking to her when all of a sudden she jumps up and says she'll be right back. When she returns, she gives us two bowls just FULL of beets. Beets? Beets. That combined with conversation about the best type of marijuana, Native American spirituality rituals, how terrible white men are, and how she got banned from the local Jehovah's Witness congregation made for one roller coaster of a...lesson? I don't even know.

Things did start to pick up towards the end of the week though. We taught some great lessons to some less active members and our investigators. We found a new person to teach named Victor who's pretty much a member already, but just needs to be baptized. We're excited to be working with him and get to know him more.

We finished off the week with a special broadcast from Elder Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve. He was down in the Medford/Central Point area for regional training and gave a devotional for everyone too. It was awesome hear from an apostle in a more casual environment. There were so many wonderful things discussed and I learned a lot of how I can better my missionary work and discipleship to our Savior.

That's about it for me. Thank you all so much for all that you do; the prayers, love, and support mean more to me than you could imagine.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Stay dry, I know I'm trying to!

Much love. Be good!

Elder Jensen

Take me down to the Springfield City where the fields are springs and the springs are fieldy

Oregon is pretty cool I guess 

Anna + Pete + Jensen

Huge hole in my right shoe so at the end of the rainy day this is what my brown shoes look like 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Springfield Episode Two: Lambor-feet-i Mercy (because walking)

Hey there home!

It's Elder Jensen again. Good to hear from you! I hope that you're staying warm and not being attacked by clowns?? (Why is that even a thing?)

Things are moving up here in the Springfield 2nd Ward. I can tell you, not having a car is kinda kicking my butt a little bit. Now now, i know that there are going to be people who say "Well on MY mission we had to walk EVERYDAY AND EVERYWHERE for 2 years uphill both ways to each investigators house blah blah." Yes, I know. You're true warriors and God bless you for your service.

So yeah, lots and lots of walking around. We sometimes bike around too, but it can be a bit of a hassle biking through Oregonian rain all day. It's actually been really nice to walk around. You get the chance to see and talk to people that you otherwise would have missed. You also become the target of a lot of attention when you're on foot, both good and bad. LOTS of people waving or shouting. It's kinda fun.

We had the chance to meet with a few of our other investigators this week. Enter Crystal, Laura, and Xavier. Crystal is a mom who's always had some interest about the church, but also has her hang ups (which she will LET YOU KNOW ABOUT HOLY COW). We had an awesome lesson with her in her carport of all places. She wants to know what's true so she can give it to her kids. Awesome lady. Laura is interesting too, she's desperately looking for the truth, but doesn't really like to commit to one thing. We've been helping her through that. Xavier is a cool kid! He's 10 and his mom is a less active member. He really likes going to church and wants to get baptized, but we really need his mom to be willing to take him to church and not have to rely on members for help. There are a lot of great people here who are searching for something, and the chance that we have to help them with that is such a blessing in my life.

We had a Zone Training where we talked extensively about how we can better plan our time. In doing that, a system was developed where we put every single person in our area book into our schedule and basically go nuts. It's actually been super helpful to get everyone sectioned off, and makes planning a heck of a lot easier! It's been a great blessing.

Now for some funny stuff. We locked ourselves out of our apartment last night and had to call in reinforcements to cover our butts. Mind you, it was like 9:30 at night. Whoops.

We had a zone service activity at an adult activities center doing a bunch of yard work and stuff. The FIRST STROKE of the rake I uncovered a nice rusty old hypodermic needle. Ok, awesome. Stroke two? Barbed Wire. Gotta love Oregon!

Other than that, it's been a rather uneventful week. Lots of walking around, lots of people not being home. We're sticking to it though!

Thank you for all that you do for me; the prayers and love and thoughts and all.

This program was made possible by viewers like you. Thank you! Love you all! Have a great week! 

Don't do drugs.
Elder Jensen

(Elder Garrett Peterson from Kaysville is in the same zone! He's in front with the red tie)

Autumn in Springfield