Saturday, July 30, 2016

Adventures in FLMTH Week 9: Wedding Crashers and Bible Bashers


Happy Pioneering day! You would think that there would be more of a celebration around here due to the whole Oregon Trail thing, but not so much. We had a couple of songs and talks about pioneers, but nothing as extravagant or celebratory as Utah. It was still a nice day though.

This was a pretty good week in Philomath. At the beginning of this week, Elder Johnson and I both came to the conclusion that we were pretty sick of nothing happening here all the time, so we've decided to change our approach a little bit. We're just talking to ANYONE that'll listen to us and asking EVERYONE for names of people we can go and talk to. So far, we still haven't found anyone new to teach using this new method, but I have faith that when we're putting forth our own effort and doing all that we can, The Lord will take care of the rest. And maybe "success" isn't what I need right now in my life, maybe I'm just learning to put forth effort even when it seems like nothing will come of it; trusting in the Lord's promises that he will be with us. Only time will tell, but we're gonna keep getting after it until they tell us to stop.

Some things that DID happen this week included a lesson with this guy named Bryan. Let me preface with the positives, he's an AWESOME guy. He loves God with all his heart and has never turned us away when we've come to talk with him. That being said, he really only believes in the bible and nothing else. Which isn't the worst thing, but it can cause for some difficulty in teaching him. We bring things up, he bibles, we explain how that doesn't make sense, and repeat. Every lesson we have with him makes me so appreciative of the truths that we have that explain things that other people search their whole lives for. The gospel's awesome yo.

OTHER FUN SHENANIGANS. We didn't have a dinner on Saturday night, so we went to the church where, Lo and Behold, there was a Wedding reception going on for a member of the ward. Boom, free dinner and a service opportunity. Right on.

We also had the chance to go and move those pianos around again, which was fun. They had a concert in a park where they put all 10 of them together and started playing. We didn't get to see it, but we were more than happy to help!

We also had ZTM at the Haslam's house is week. We had it outside in the elements which was siiiiiiiick. They set up the entire thing for us which was a HUGE blessing that we were so thankful for. And to top it off, she made us lunch too. It was probably the best meeting I've ever had on my mission.

And to top the week off, Elder Johnson got his back cracked and I got punched in the chest by a nine year old. Good stuff over here.

That's about it from my week. Pls send gift cards. Love you all so much. Talk to you soon.

Peace out Girl Scout,
Elder Jensen

Ceremonial burning of the shirts. One year down, one to go!

PMG Chapter 8: Using Time Wisely

Cutest Zone Award goes to....

Pokemon Go is taking over 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Adventures in FLMTH Week 8: "Ok, can anyone here tell me what a Pokey-Man is?"

Hey there Mommas, llamas, and President Obamas,

Honestly, this week was just another week on the mission. There wasn't a whole lot of stuff going on and not a whole lot of things to report. It's all good though, I'm sure that things will start picking up here shortly.

We had a few pretty good few lessons this week. We were able to teach Clifford about where our church comes from and why there are so many churches around today. He said he would pray about which church was right for him and we promised that God would let him know which one that was. We also taught Mark a few times, once reading from Moroni 10 and another listening to President Benson's talk Beware of Pride. He seemed to get a lot out of it.

The cake-taking lesson this week was with our recent convert, Meghan. We brought along a member in the ward who's just old as old can be. During our lesson on the Ten Commandments, he looks at us dead in the eyes, like the salvation of his soul was on the line and said, "I have a question for all of you. Ok, can anyone here tell me what a Pokey-Man is?" I lost it.

Just like all other weeks here, this one was chalked full of service. We worked with the Habitat for Humanity (and got free shirts woot woot!), the local food bank, a member who was moving his family into a new house (they have seven was ridiculous), and setting up for a luau that a community outreach program had organized. It's always a blessing to be able to serve those around us.

It's really tripping me out to think that this time next year, I'll be home. This mission has gone by SO fast. All the missionaries that have been out for longer than me say that these next few months are just going to FLY by. We'll see.

Again, I'm sorry for the lameness of this email. I guess that some weeks just aren't as exciting as others. We'll have some meetings and other shenanigans this week, so hopefully more to talk about. 

I'm praying for you. Stay safe out there friends!

Elder Jensen

Ayyyyyy 365 down, 365 to go!

An attempt at frosting some celebratory brownies. 5/10 frosting job. 8.6/10 brownies.

Other one-year Elders

View from PDay

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Adventures in FLMTH Week 7: Pianos and Rodeos and Burritos, Oh My!

Hey Mom and Dad and Fam and Crew and Internet and Friends and Visitors and the like,

I can't believe that it's been a year. I really and honestly cannot believe that this much time has passed already. It's absolutely mind boggling to think about. It feels like a whole lifetime ago, but also like it was just yesterday. Well, I guess this means that I'm over the hill now! Wahoo!

This week was really solid. Elder Johnson got here last Monday and we just hit the ground running. We've only been together for a week, but it feels like he's been here forever. He's a great kid, a really hard worker, and one of my favorite companions so far.

Due to the nature of how missionary-ing goes, we did a lot of service this week (again) ((but that's not a bad thing)). We helped a member in the ward unload a small mountain of woodchips into their backyard (complete with sassy commentary from the local 9 year old).

Another service opportunity we had was with a project called Play Corvallis Play. What they do is place painted pianos throughout the city of Corvallis for two weeks for anyone to play. It was cool to be able to bring some of the joys of music to the people. Also, pianos are super heavy and I do not plan on going into moving them as a profession.

The coolest service that we did was at the Philomath Frolic and Rodeo on Friday and Saturday. Now, for a small town, Philomath sure knows how to have a hoedown. (Is that what it's called? I'm no expert. I think I've touched a horse maybe like three times). There's a member in the ward who's on the city council or something like that who's in charge of the whole shindig, so he hooked us up with jobs there. Elder Johnson and I manned an entrance; talking to everyone, handing out flyers, and checking for tickets/wristbands for the show. It was a great way for us to get some exposure and talk to some people that we probably wouldn't have any other way. On Saturday night, after our shift was over, they let us watch the rest of the rodeo. It was a fun way to end our week out.

Piano playing Cowboys aside, we also were able to do a lot of good work with the people here. Our ward has made a very strong push to have missionary work become a priority for the members. It's fantastic because Philomath is so small, that everyone we knock into already knows who we are and has talked to us before. This way, the connections with the church for these people become more personal when someone they know introduces them to it. We're really working hard to get the area chugging along in the right direction. It's been a slow process, but it's still working.

I stumbled upon this quote that I really liked that explains it well.

"Whenever you feel like giving up, push yourself to do one more step and continue to do so again and again. Cling to whatever you can find at the moment. And when time passes, look back and you'll see that the few steps you took have all piled up and become a whole path" ~ Quotable Guy (I don't have a reference, so if I just quoted Hitler or Kid Rock or someone I'm so sorry)

Truly, the small and the simple are the tools the Lord uses to build his kingdom. Even the smallest and simplest of people can be instrumental in the work of salvation. That gives me a lot of hope. 

Also, I ate an infant sized burrito. It was delicious.

Thank you all so much for all the thoughts and prayers and support. It really means the world to me to have people that are there for me, so when I say "This one's for the boys back home" it actually means something. Work Hard, Play Hard, Sleep Hard, Drive...Hard? Basically do everything hard. You can do hard things. I believe in you. Go get em tiger. Who am I talking to? I'm rambling. I'm going to stop the email now.

Keep it 300.

Love 4 Ever,

Elder Jensen
PO Box 765
Philomath, OR 97370

YeeHaw! Get it? Because we're at a rodeo. Ha!
(wow I'm terrible at captioning pics)

Philomath Rodeo

A proud dad with his baby burrito

Modern Art? 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Adventures in FLMTH Week 6: Death by Mexican Food

Good afternoon passengers, this is your captain speaking. We're all set for a wonderful flight through the blog today. Please keep your seat belts fastened until we've reached a cruising altitude. Have a great flight, and thank you for flying on our airliner today.

Another week has come and gone here in Philomath. Even during his last week on the mission, Elder Spencer still wanted to get stuff done. We were able to have a lot of success here over the last few days. We met with a lot of people that had previously been taught by the missionaries; some of them were willing to have us come back, others weren't. There have been times where I've felt like there isn't a whole lot of good to be done out here, but I've learned that just by doing the simple things like walking around or talking to everyone, the Lord can magnify our influence more than we know. We had a few people this week want to learn more about what we teach simply because they see us out and about all the time. It's definitely been the small and simple things that help great things come to pass.

In other news, we ate a TON of Mexican food this week. Like, a whole lot of it. Almost every dinner we had was inspired by the country of Mexico in someway. Some members took us to a Mexican restaurant one night for dinner. Later that same night, we called our dinner for the following day, and they asked how we felt about going to the SAME restaurant for dinner. We obviously couldn't say no to the almost 90 year old woman on the other side of the phone, so the cultural immersion continued. Viva la revoluciĆ³n!

Other Shenanigans include us duct taping a member's legs together (upon their request), exchanges with Elder Thurgood, and investigating the remains of house that just straight up EXPLODED THE OTHER DAY. This next week should have a lot of fun things planned out with my new companion, Elder Johnson. We've got rodeo service and some good lessons planned, so it should be a good time. 

Until next week friends. I love you all so so much. Look into the sunshine and the shadows fall behind you. Firework responsibly.

Heart Emoji,
Elder Jensen

God Bless America

Another one bites the dust

Fishers of Men 

Group photo with the family that feeds the missionaries often 

Happy 4th of July