Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Craziness

Hello Everybody,

It's been a really good week in Grants Pass. Elder Black and I are getting around to all of our investigators and making a lot of progress.

We've been working with a young woman named Kat who's friend with the YSA kids. She's super solid and loves coming to church and to FHE activities. She should be close to getting on date soon.

This week we also had the world wide missionary broadcast from the general authorities and missionary council for the church. It was such an awesome experience to be able to have council from the Lord's anointed and hear them talk about how we can be better missionaries. Immediately following the broadcast we had a nice specialized training with President Russell and the AP's. It was a really great and spiritual day.

 This week, the first crazy Zone Leader duty happened. So, a long story made short, we had some threats made against some of our missionaries in the zone. This caused Elder Black and I to wake up at 5:00 in the morning, drive down to Cave Junction, pack up their apartment, drop them off at our apartment (where they will be living for the next month), and then take our Chevy Cruze up to Roseburg and give it to Elder Carter (*one of his companions when he served in Roseburg) who is now serving in North Bend. Elder Carter's companion is having some back problems and they need a car. It's been a crazy day to say the least, but super fun. I'm excited for the next few weeks. 

Elder Jensen

Saw Elder Carter in Roseburg

Teaching Kat

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Pants Grass

Friends, Mormons, Countrymen, lend me your ears.

Howdy! It's been a full week over here in Grants Pass and things have been great. This has been the first time on my mission where I've felt like I'm actually serving in Oregon. It's super duper rainy and there are trees EVERYWHERE! It's pretty fantastic.

My companion this time around is Elder Black from Clearfield. He's a stud missionary and we get along really well, which is always a plus. He's been training me to be a Zone Leader which is an adventure in and of itself. We are responsible for our own area plus six others. We're also accountable to the Assistants and President Russell for what goes on in the zone, and have to train and teach at the Zone Training Meetings every month. There have already been a few long nights trying to help everyone out, but it's so much fun.

One of the best things that comes with being up here in GP is that we cover two wards, Murphy Creek and Three Rivers YSA branch. Holy cow, the YSA is SO much fun! And that's where this week will begin. The very fist thing that I did after getting here (after shopping and all that) was to go to the YSA family home evening. It kinda felt like being around a big group of friends while simultaneously doing missionary work. We do a lot of fun stuff like volunteering at the local food bank and soup kitchen, but the majority of our week was spent visiting and having lessons with our investigators.

The teaching pool here is awesome. There are so many solid people to teach and lots and lots of potential investigators. It's nice to have a full schedule all the time for once. Some of the coolest people that I was able to meet included Joe Snook (and investigative reporter who wants as much information as possible before he makes a commitment on the church), the Jaramillo family (the cutest and most spunky little kids ever) and Emma Ice (a fairly recent covert who walks with a backward walker thing and just loves the heck out of the gospel). I'm still trying to get a hang of everyone and everything out here but it's been great teaching everyone and going to two different sacrament meetings.

I hit my six month mark last week. It's been such a great experience serving the people of Oregon. I've grown and learned so much over these last six months. I can't wait for the next 18!

Elder Jensen
Happy 6 months ceremonial tie burning

iPads are fun

I replaced the guy in the blue sweatshirt

Tracting in the forest 

Monday, January 11, 2016

This is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down...

HOLY COW. This week has been just absolutely off the wall with stuff to talk about. So, I'll start at the beginning.

On Monday night Elder Best, the other District Leaders, and the Zone Leaders went up north for Missionary Leadership Conference. I went on an extended exchange with Elder Wagstaff who was serving in Lakeview. We had a really great time together. We taught a woman named Heather and were really able to show her that by having her in this gospel, not only will she be blessed, but so will so many others. She really connected with that and committed to coming to church on the 17th! Elder Wagstaff also got the chance to meet Lesley and have a good lesson with him.

Elder Best got back later in the evening on Tuesday with everyone. Come to find out, Elder Hinton (Elder Thurgood's companion) was called to be an assistant to the President, so that means Elder Thurgood got to spend the entire rest of the week with us! So for those keeping track at home, that's 2 new missionaries I got to be with this week< Thursday was the next new companion adventure. While the DL's, STL's, and Elder Thurgood planned Zone Training meeting, I went out with Elder Greer who just so happens to be a Spanish speaking missionary! The next few hours consisted of us going around talking and teaching in the Spanish language. Now, I don't speak any form of Spanish whatsoever, but hearing Elder Greer testify of the restored gospel and of the Savior was such a special experience. I could really feel the spirit even though I couldn't make hide nor hair of what was being said. This gospel is truly universal and I love that so much.

Friday was the day of ZTM. Poor companion-less Elder Thurgood had no one to help him teach. It was actually kind of funny. It was a wonderful meeting where we talked in depth about the converting power of the spirit and how we must truly feast on the Book of Mormon to testify of its truthfulness. Also, President Russell made a surprise visit to the meeting which is always fun! He truly brings the spirit with him when he's around us. After ZTM, we had a great lesson with a girl named Leah. Leah has lupus and had actually gotten home from the doctor just a few minutes before we went over to teach her. At her appointment, the doctors told her that she may not have the opportunity to live to see her 30th birthday. This poor woman is only 26 and has two awesome kids. The spirit strongly impressed us to change our lesson plan completely and teach her about the Plan of Salvation and why we go through trials. She really seemed to connect with what we said, and was very grateful for the message.

Then...we road tripped. Elder Thurgood covers the Keno branch which extends all the way down to the city of Dorris, California, so we went on an adventure. And what an adventure it was! The people down there were not super friendly, but now we can say that we tracted in two states on the mission. Also, Elder Best got to pump his own gas which he enjoyed very much.

Friday night was the night that things got crazy. This weekend was transfer calls, and at ZTM President Russell said that only one companionship in the zone would be staying together through transfers, so we all started to make predictions. I thought for SURE that Elder Best was going to be leaving, but I had this feeling that something else was going to happen. When President called us with our information, he asked me if I would leave Klamath Falls and go to Grants Pass to be a Zone Leader. I was shocked! I haven't even been a District Leader yet, but I was being called to help lead a zone. I was very humbled that the Lord has enough faith in me to leave my area, start over again, and take on this responsibility. I'm excited to go to Grants Pass for this next adventure.

The rest of the week was spent packing up and saying goodbye to members and investigators. Even though my stay in Klamath was short, I'm very grateful for the chance I had to spread the gospel there! On to GP!

Elder Jensen

Monday, January 4, 2016


Root a Toot Happy Scootin Newtin New Year!

This was a good week in Klamath Falls. It's been cold as heck over here, like 9 degrees with windchill that makes it seem like it's -15, but that just makes it fun. Some of the highlights of this week include New Year's exchanges and the most amazing tacos ever.

On Wednesday, I went on exchanges with Elder Thurgood, one of the Zone Leaders in this area. Now, the thing about when I go on exchanges is that when I do things tend to not go as planned. All of the lessons that we scheduled fell through, tracting wasn't successful, and to top it off we got stuck in a snowbank for an hour! Don't let people from New Mexico drive in the snow.

New Year's was a party! Especially when you have to be in by 5pm. In case you couldn't catch the sarcasm in my words . . . it was not that fun. But ringing in the new year was still a trip. It's weird to think that it's 2016 now. It was nice to be able to hangout with everyone in the zone.

We also ate amazing tacos for dinner last night. Like bring a tear to your eyeball good.

On a more missionary related note, we're finally starting to come off of the "It's Christmas don't bug me please" season and getting back in with people. It was great to get into the groove of doing work. We had another great lesson with Lesley and I think that we're about to make a breakthrough where he starts to progress.

This week will be the last week of the transfer, so we'll get more news about what happens with me and Elder Best soon. Stay tuned.

Happy New Year!
Elder Jensen

The icicles here are crazy sauce
New Mexi-Snow

The Falls