Monday, April 18, 2016

Rebels With a Cause

Hello from Grants Pass!

My week has been a pretty good one to start the transfer off. We've taught well and had a lot of success in the zone. I'll get to some of the highlights of the week.

So one day we were just straight chilling on this street corner waiting for a member to pick us up for a lesson, when all of a sudden this lady drives up and starts talking to us. Turns out she has had missionaries over helping her in the past and was actually praying for someone to come and help her. Well look who just happened to be standing on the street! We went over a few days later to help her in her yard, or should I say, small forest. There was grass up to about my thighs in places. We still haven't gotten it all the way finished, but the woman invited us back to help and teach her, which is awesome! It's also been pretty enjoyable. I never thought I would actually enjoy mowing a lawn, but there ya go! (We also may or may not have broken the bishop's lawn mower...whoops)

Elder Cho was out for the count for a day or too, so I was taking over in teaching people while he was resting up. I had 4 different companions in the space of about 4 hours one day. It was a pretty swell day and we were able to teach a lot of people over that time.

We also had an instance where some of the sisters wouldn't answer their phone so we had to go and investigate to make sure they weren't dead. Long story short, they just went to bed early and were dead to the world so they didn't hear their phone blowing up. We were driving around the city at 11 at night! Rebellious.

On a less than happy note, the Jaramillos (have I mentioned them before?) kinda dropped us this week. If I haven't, here's an up-to-speed analysis. So Lilly, Delilah, and Luke are all Mystique's kids. Mystique has a sister who is a recent convert and we've been teaching them with her help. Mystique also has a boyfriend who's a bit of a...not nice guy, and he eventually put his foot down and said we couldn't come over anymore. I told the kids that if I have to come back in 8-12 years to see them get baptized, I will! Everyone has their own timetable for their salvation, so we can only be patient and trust in the Lord. Hopefully we can still get in and see them every so often.

That's about it for this week, I'm grateful for all of the love, prayers, and support from everyone. It makes this big ol adventure a heck of a lot easier! I hope to hear from you all soon. Make sure to properly defrost the windshield BEFORE you start driving as to avoid accidents.

Love you all!

Elder Jensen

address: 152 Southridge Way, Grants Pass, Oregon 97527

Hungry Hungry Elder

So. Many. Ribs.

View from the top of Grants Pass

Hanging in our apartment. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Week with the Zone Princess

Hey there family and home and friends and people and moms and all!

It's transfer week down here in good old Grants Pass! With transfer news upon us, Elder Cho and I aren't going to be splitting up for the time being. 6 more weeks. It should be a heck of a time and I'm really excited for what's to come.

This week was yet another out of the ordinary experience. So, last week, I told the story of how we had to take Elder Zilles's companion to the airport. Definitely good times looking back on it, but still a bummer to see a good guy go. Anywhooises, Elder Zilles, being without a companion, needed somewhere to go. So who got to hangout in a tri-panionship for the week? WE DID WAHOOOOOOO!!! Elder Zilles was then dubbed the zone princess due to his accompanying us. 

Tuesday we went up to Eugene for MLC. It wasn't my favorite meeting in the world, but there was still some good stuff that was taught that we were able to pass on to our zones during ZTM on Friday. This zone meeting actually went really well and was relatively fun to teach. We were able to talk extensively about planning. And not just any planning, hardcore nose to the grindstone extreme planning. We were also able to focus our missionaries attentions on the Why's of missionary work. Everything we do as missionaries is to help others receive eternal life. We know that God is more than capable of doing this without our help, so I find it an amazing blessing that we're able to be here and be part of the production of such a great work. It's honestly such a blessing, and should be treated as such, not an obligation or a burden or something to endure, but rather a way for both bettering ourselves and those around us more fully.

Amongst other things, we also toured a hotel, sorted some clothes, taught some crazy kids, played intense capture the flag, and bought British treats. All in a day's work for we missionaries. :)

That's about it for this week. Stay tuned for some fun stuff regarding the first week of the transfer. 

Love you all lots!

Elder Jensen

What a reunion with Elder Carter

The family tree

The native inhabitants of Oregon are not interested in the Gospel at this time
Flower Tie Friday

The Zone

Another day in the YSA

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tune my Heart to Sing Thy Grace (aka the time we played airport shuttle)

What a rollercoaster these past few weeks have been. Holy cow, there's so much to talk about.

This week was another crazy one, filled with the most up of ups and the most down downs and everywhere in between. It was a week for growth and strengthening of testimony and refinement into what God wants me to be. But with each and every event, there's something to take away and apply for the better.

Let me first start out by saying that every single set lesson that we had this week cancelled or bailed on us. Every one. We had impromptu drop in lessons and talked with lots of people, but only had maybe 2-3 actual sit down discussions. I've found when you're not teaching, missionary work doesn't feel as fun.

Because we didn't have any lessons, we spent a lot of time trying to find people to teach through tracting, potential lists, and other means. No one was interested, but we sure as sure planted a lot of seeds in the hearts of people.

Like I said before, a lot of our week was really up and down. We went to have a lesson with Fawn and the kids only to find a note on the doorframe saying that they needed to "talk as a family and see if our visits were necessary." We thought we got dropped; dropped like it was hot. After being somewhat devastated for a few days, we went back over to their house to see what the big deal was. Turns out that Fawn is still interested, but gets stressed out when we're over because she doesn't think her kids are listening. We told her that it wasn't a problem and that we could have separate lessons with her and the kids so she didn't feel so stressed. Problem solved and crisis averted!

We also had a specialized training with President Russell and the assistants this week. It was a great spiritually uplifting meeting full of good teachings and the spirit. Even better than that though was our zone testimony meeting we had on Friday. Everyone in the zone was able to share something, even those who we didn't think would and the spirit was SUPER strong! I feel like it brought everyone together and made us more united. Then, in true Murphy's law form, we shattered the screen on our phone, rendering it almost unusable. As the Zone Leaders, we kiiiinnnndddaaa need to have a phone, and we went without one for FOUR DAYS. It was the worst thing. 0/10. Would not recommend.

But then, my saving grace came: General Conference. This was probably the best conference that I've had the chance to listen to in my entire life. I loved all the messages that were shared and the council that was given. The spirit that was felt really gave me a much needed boost and helped keep me positive and focused. Some of my favorite talks that were given include the addresses of President Uchtdorf, Elder Rendlund, Elder Holland, President Nelson, and our wonderful prophet, President Monson. I loved the central themes of family and support for those around us, temples, and the priesthood. From President Eyring starting off the conference with a great promise of the spirit to Elder Holland driving home a powerful testimony of love and support, this conference felt complete. Every address flowed well into the next and brought comfort and peace to me and my soul. Some favorite moments also included the guy in the choir that was crying during "Come Thou Fount", Elder Ballard saying "Snapchat" and President Uchtdorf talking about the Chewbacca costume. Also, I really want to have a British apostle now.

After being on such a spiritual high, we were super pumped and ready to have the baptismal interview for Ray. We had it all set up and were waiting for him to show up when ten minutes go by, then twenty, then thirty. Amidst all the calls and texts we sent to him, we decided to run over to his house and investigate. When we got there, we felt trouble in the air. We walked in and discovered that Ray had relapsed into old Ray habits. Badly. We had a full lesson with him using the things we talked about in conference telling him that he IS worth something in the eyes of God and he can be forgiven of his sins. He finished the lesson in tears and a sweet prayer. We're working with him to get baptized on the 30th of April!

The craziness of this week was capped off with our mad dash around the state of Oregon yesterday. We have an elder that has been struggling and it was suggested by his doctors that it's time for him to go home. What started off as us just taking him up to the mission home turned into us literally driving as fast as missionarily possible straight to the airport. We were FLYING. White knuckles. Constant calls from President Russell. No stopping. It was intense. But, he made it there safe and sound! It was a bummer to see him go, but we know that home is where he needs to be right now. So that's where the majority of our PDay went yesterday, on the road.

Although our week was crazy, it's definitely been for my benefit. These past few weeks have been full of more growth and learning than any other time in my life. It hasn't been easy, but it's sure as heck been an adventure. I feel like President Monson's words at conference really sum it up well. We know where we want to go, so we must make the choices that will get us there. If we choose Christ, we will always choose the correct path for us, even when times are hard. No, especially when times are hard.

Here's looking toward the last week of the transfer! I love you all and hope that everyone has a lovely day/night/morning/evening!

Oh, and I also got my eyebrows waxed this week. It wasn't pleasant.

Elder Jensen

There is a family in the ward named the Webster's. Guess where they're from?
(I'll give you a hint, it's written on the book)  ((I'll give you another hint, it's Kaysville))

Traditional post-Priesthood ice cream

Our cute lil temple

Happy Easter!

Hello world! What it is?

This week was just straight molasses. Pure snail racing. 100% three toed sloth. Or, in other words, this week was slow. Really, REALLY slow. But, does that mean it was a bad week? NO! This week was pretty good, especially with the celebration of Easter! But, we'll get to that in a bit.

What was the content of this supah slow week you might ask? Let me tell ya. We had a ton of lessons scheduled for this week, like, you'd look at our plans and say "Dang, that's a lot of lessons." But with it being spring break over here, did most of those lessons happen? If you guessed "No", then you'd absolutely correct! We only taught five or so lessons this week due to everyone running around and I was only there for two of them because of exchanges.

Of the lessons we did have, there were some good ones. We've been going through the new member lessons with Kat and she's still solid as solid can be. She's got her limited use temple recommend so she can do baptisms and even got some callings in the YSA yesterday. I'm so proud of her. We've also been meeting with Joe lately too. He's right there man. If we don't get him dunked imma lose it.

This was also one of the weeks where we did a whole bunch of random stuff that made no sense. The Beacon Hill elders FINALLY GOT THEIR OWN PLACE HALLELUJAH WE'RE FREE!! It was kinda weird being all by our lonesomeness in our apartment, but it was time. The apartment manager didn't give them a refrigerator. Lame.

We also helped the Redwood Elders with "moving" one of their referrals. And by "moving" I mean, we CLEANED UP THESE KIDS' ROOMS FOR LIKE 2 HOURS I DIDN'T SIGN UP FOR THIS. WHAT. Maybe I did sign up for that, I dunno. BUT IT STILL WASNT FUN.

The one thing that made this week doable was Easter. What a fantastic opportunity to spend this wonderful holiday in the service of the Lord. What we've been sharing this past month has been just how important this celebration should be for us. Christmas is a fantastic and a great celebration of the birth of our Savior, but I feel that it overshadows the celebration of the most crucial and important aspect of our entire lives; the Atonement, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of Him, our lives have meaning and our existence means something. He allows us to live again and be forgiven of our faults and weaknesses. I love Him so much. Hallelujah!

That's about it for me. How are YOU all doing? I'd love to know. Talk to you all later.

Same mish time, same mish channel!

Love, Elder Jensen

Hanging with Elder Zilles on exchanges

Elder with guitar