Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!

This was a pretty solid week down in Grants Pass. It was a bit different and not super successful, but still a good week nonetheless.

A bit more information from the last transfer switcherooski. Did I mention that Elder Best, one of my previous companions has been living in our apartment with Elder Murphy for the past week? It's been a blast - let me tell you.

This zone has gotten a major facelift over the past little while and things are actually starting to look up. the Riverside Elders found 17 new investigators this past week. Everyone's getting super excited to do the work and get stuff done.

Because there wasn't too much crazy going on this week, there isn't a whole lot to tell. I'll try my best to focus on the positives. We had some great lessons go through this week. We had a fantastic lesson with our self-referral, Ray Bennett. He's super excited to get baptized on the 19th. We thought that there was going to be some problems with the Word of Wisdom but he wholeheartedly accepted the things we talked about saying that this church made him feel like he had a "Second Chance". He's fantastic!

We also had a bomb awesome lesson with Kat and had her interviewed to be baptized! She's so solid and has planned almost the entire baptismal program by herself. All of her concerns have been resolved and she's all set for the 5th so be on the lookout for when that happens.

Other than that, we've just been trying to focus on ways that we can help the zone continue to progress and become happier and more united. We're also trying to get the Beacon Hill Elders moved out as fast as possible so I can actually take a shower in the morning without it being -30 degrees. Praying that their apartment is all ready to go by later this week.

That's about it folks. There'll be more to come this week for sure.

Love you all.
Elder Jensen

The Chomie (Cho + Homie - get it?)

Amanda Wullf's mom (who we were teaching when I was in Roseburg) got BAPTIZED!!!

Welcome Elder Cho

Hello everyone!

It's transfer week in the good old Oregon Eugene Mission and things got shaken up a bit in Grants Pass. But before we get to that, here's a rundown of the week.

With it being transfer week, the zone made a big push toward getting good work done. It kinda felt like everyone in the zone was getting sick of each other a little bit, but that just comes with being around people for a long period of time.

Even though this week hasn't been the busiest on my mission, there are still miracles around us every single day. I had the chance to go and visit a family where the mom is a member and only a few of her kids have been baptized. What made this instance so great though was that the mom, Brenda, doesn't speak English very well. We were talking to her about why she hadn't been coming to church and how she felt about it. She got really emotional and said that when she hadn't been coming to church she hadn't been feeling the Spirit. She also expressed that she knew the church was true and wanted that back in her life. We invited her to come to church the next day with all of her children. 

That was probably another one of the best parts about this week...the services on Sunday. We had the Grants Pass Stake Conference this weekend and the speakers were fantastic! One of the talks, given by the Stake President, really got me thinking. He focused on how keeping our covenants shouldn't be out of duty or obligation, but from an appreciation of the gifts that our Father in Heaven has given us. I really started to think about that in my commitment to my Father in Heaven as a missionary. The things we do as Latter Day Saints shouldn't be lost in tradition or habit, but done with an understanding of what it truly means to be a member of this church. It's nice to rethink and get a spiritual refresher out here for sure. And to make things better, Brenda brought her whole family to Stake Conference!

On to transfer stuff. Elder Black is gonzo and off to Medford. My new companion is named Elder Cho. He's from North Salt Lake but was born in South Korea. He's super cool and I'm really excited for this transfer. Some other familiar faces are back in the area which is fantastic. We've got Elder Watson and Elder Wells, who is probably going to finish his mission over here which is just dandy. There are some other great missionaries in the zone now and I'm excited for the week coming up.

That's about it, but there'll be plenty of fun stories to tell next week for sure. Until then, stay safe, brush your teeth, and love one another!

 Love, Elder Jensen

High Priest Party
From that one time we accidentally helped record a movie

Grants Pass Zone

Current sleeping arrangements 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

That one time we decided to get a little FLDS or something....

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! 

It's hard to believe that it's already been 5 weeks here in Grants Pass! It seriously feels like I just got here, and transfer calls are this weekend. It's crazy how fast time has been flying out here. This week has been good, not crazy number wise as last week was, but it was still pretty solid! This week had a nice highlight reel that we get to go through.

 On Thursday, we had meetings literally all day long. We went to the church at about 10 and didn't get home until about the same time that night. Usually, this is where I would decide to groan and gripe about such circumstances, but it was actually a great night! We had our quarterly Zone Conference with President Russell and his wife in attendance. The spirit they bring is always tremendous and I feel like we have a more personal relationship now that I've been a zone leader for a bit. We talked about faith and the atonement extensively with the spirit really confirming to me the importance and truth of the Savior's life and sacrifice for us. After a good 4 hours of that and a great chicken cordon blu dinner provided by the stake, we started the next section of the zone conference with the leadership of the wards in the stake. The meeting really focused on the relationship between missionaries and members and how we can foster that growth. It was good that some of the ward leadership was there because I don't know if they really get the whole "every member a missionary" thing.

Saturday was an awesome day mixed with your average bit of blasphemy. We had the wedding/baptism for Edward Grubb out in Cave Junction. Now, the spirit was there and the program was well received, but it was all a little strange. For starters, Ed got married to his fiancé Laura in about 10 minutes. No huge ceremony, short vows, no grandiose wedding shenanigans, just a quick in and out thing. This meant that we had a really awkward hour and forty five minute lunch until the baptism. The baptism started out well, everything going according to plan and Elder Murphy was able to perform the ordinance perfectly! After is when things started to get funky. Now, the Bishop in Cave Junction started to pull a fast one on everyone and TOTALLY switched up the program on us. We had Ed's now father-in-law give the talk on the Holy Ghost (which made absolutely no sense) and confirm Ed into the church. This is where I thought we were going to get struck down. He didn't get ANY of the wording right and had to say the prayer about three times, still not ever saying it correctly. We thought to ourselves, "Ok no damage done, we'll just fix it in the bishops office" but then NOPE. Right as the guy was about to end the blessing, he stops, starts over and GIVES ED THE PRIESTHOOD AND MAKES HIM A PRIEST. WHAT. THE. HECK. JUST. HAPPENED? All of our eyes popped open and we start looking at each other because none of us had ever had ANYTHING like this happen before in our lives. Poor Ed has no idea what's going on, so we swiftly took him back to the bishop's office and actually made him a member of the church and gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost. All in all, weird baptism. But it was still another soul to come unto to Christ, so all is well!

Other than that, this week has been just the usual! We had an awesome lesson with Kat on Saturday, where we put her on date for baptism!! Mark your calendars for March 5th! She actually told US that she wanted to get baptized! How cool is that? On Friday, we'll be getting transfer calls and I'm pretty sure that Elder Black is going to be packing, but we'll see. We have a lot of good things lined up for this week and it'll be great to see where they go.

I love all of you so much and hope you have a safe and profitable month of February. Take care, don't be square.

Love, Elder Jensen


Big Ol' Service

Ed and Laura

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I don't know how to title this week . . . it was nuts

Happy Groundhog Day errbody!

First and foremost, I would like to apologize to anyone that has written me an email that I haven't responded to. I've been absolutely SWAMPED with craziness the past month and haven't had as much time as I used to to write people back. I'm working on it though so don't give up on me!

This week has been one of the craziest weeks on the mission so far and I don't even know where to start.  Let's go with right after Pday got over last week. We got a referral from someone who was asking for a Book of Mormon. That's usually pretty good stuff. When we called to set up a time with this guy, he was AWESOME! We had like a 20 minute conversation over the phone with him just going off about how great he thought the church was and how excited he was to meet us. We scheduled him for Saturday to get the party started. We'll get back to that though as the week progresses...

Tuesday was a crazy new experience too; Missionary Leadership Conference in Eugene. We drove up to the 18th Street building at 10am and had meetings until about 3 or 4 o'clock. All of the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders from around the mission, 40 in all, came up to learn about how we could be better leaders and what we would be teaching our missionaries at ZTM that Friday. The meetings were great. I really started to feel like I was making a difference as a Zone Leader. Also I got to see Elder Redding! Elder Earl, Elder Wells, Elder Thurgood and plenty of others were all there too.

So then there was Wednesday. A bit of a foreword, the Book of Mormon musical as been playing in Eugene this week. Tuesday night the Eugene missionaries handed out 200 copies of the Book of Mormon in less than10 minutes. It was incredible! President Russell really needed to get some more scriptures to Eugene so Elder Black and I rounded up three HUGE boxes of them and gave them to President as he was driving through. That was also the day we tried to rake a 2 acre property covered in leaves, in the rain. Not fun.

Friday we got to teach the ZTM, which was actually a really enjoyable experience. I taught about prophets and the priesthood and then Elder Black and I tag teamed to teach about prayer. It was spiritually uplifting and my testimony of the simplicity and truthfulness of this gospel grew immensely.

Right after ZTM I got to go on an exchange with none other than my MTC companion Elder Zilles!!! Holy cow, it was so much fun! It was just like old times (even though those times were only like 6 months ago). On our exchange we got to teach Kat a little about the Plan of Salvation, which was really cool. We also found a river and went on a bit of an exploratory investigation.

Saturday and Sunday are when things really started to get nuts. We went and visited that referral from earlier in the week. We ended up having a 3 hour long discussion with the guy and were able to put him and his girlfriend on date for baptism!! Mark your calendars folks - March 19th Ray and Robin are getting baptized. He also decided to feed us with was a major plus. Later that night we had so many different things going on that we needed to go on splits with the other elders in our apartment. Elder Murphy and I went out to Cave Junction to teach an investigator named Ed who'll be getting baptized this Saturday. It was a great lesson and we were excited to keep him going.

During the split Elder Black and Elder Blackwelder went to teach Joe. They say the lesson went really well. But they got back from the lesson and Elder Black went and lost his iPad. It's been ... not pleasant.

This week we taught a ton of lessons, found eight new investigators, and had ELEVEN IN SACRAMENT ARE YOU KIDDING THAT NEVER HAPPENS! It was such a great week and really was humbling to know that the Lord will always provide for us even when we're super busy. There is no way that we could do the things that we've been doing if it weren't for the the Lord. I'm super excited to see what happens next week.

Cross your eyes and dot your teeth.

Elder Jensen

Chase in Oregon


Signs the missionaries use while standing outside the Book of Mormon musical
Elder Zilles and a puppy

Elder Jensen and Elder Black role playing at the MLC
Reunion with Elder Redding and friends at the MLC

Selfie with Sister Russell

Monday, February 1, 2016

Busy Busy Busy Busy

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

It's been another crazy week here in Grants Pass. The Cave Junction/Beacon Hill elders have officially been living with us for a whole week now. It's been fun having 4 missionaries share one bathroom, one tiny kitchen and one tinier water heater. Not the most convenient of situations, but still fun nonetheless.

Our schedule the past few days has been absolutely nuts. Covering two very active wards and having to drive out to the far reaches of the mission has been a little crazy at times. There have been days where we don't get to sit down and eat lunch or can't go to bed until rather late. It's been really fun though. I love how close I get to work with everyone in the mission. It's made for a lot of great friendships and learning opportunities.

Some of the highlights from this week include us finding another YSA investigator named Dakota and putting him on date! He's a stud that really just wanted to know more about the Gospel and felt the Spirit impress upon him that the things we were telling him were true. He should be getting baptized on March 5, so stay tuned for more details.

Speaking of YSA investigators, we had a great spiritual lesson with Kat on Friday. I really wish that everyone we talked to was as in depth and committed as she is! She comes with a full sheet of questions from the things that we asked her to read and has really sought for an understanding of what we were teaching. The Spirit has told her that she needs to listen to what we have to say, but that's all. Hopefully as she continues to listen, she'll be abel to keep progressing. She says that she would love to be baptized if the Spirit tells her it's right.

One of the things that occupied a lot of our time this week was Joe. Gosh dangit Joe. By occupation Joe is an investigative reporter so he likes to have ALL the answers. It makes for really long lessons. So, what happened to Joe? He went and Anti-ed himself on the internet. No fun. At all. He ran across an argument about the Book of Mormon that Elder Black and I haven't even HEARD of before, let alone answer it. We had to really dig into him spiritually to testify that the only way for him to understand these things for himself is to read and pray. We as missionaries can't answer all the questions, and Anti material certainly can't either; only the Spirit can. We had a chance to meet with him again last night at a dinner with the second counselor in the Stake Presidency. We had a great round table discussion about the book of Enos and finding answers to questions. We really feel that he's about to make a breakthrough.

Some fun stories from this week include the time we played soccer with a bunch of investigators. The time I prepared an ENTIRE TALK and then didn't have to give it at all. And THE TIME WE HAD TO GO INTO CAVE JUNCTION, WHERE THE MISSIONARIES ALMOST DIED, TO GIVE A LESSON. Also we got stuck outside a gate for like 30 minutes trying to get to our dinner appointment. That was fun.

This week will be full of meetings. I'll be able to see a bunch of my friends from around the mission. I'll also be able to teach my first zone training meeting on Friday. Fun times to be had!

I love all of you so much! Thank you for the support. Shoot me an email, I'd love to hear from you.

Brush yo teeth kids,

Elder Jensen

address: 152 Southridge Way, Grants Pass OR 97527

Chase in Oregon 

Call me Macklemore (please don't)

This is a bird (and a parakeet too)

How to teach that God=/=Jesus Christ 

A 12 year old member of the ward MADE these