Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Adventures in FLMTH Week 17: Roller Coastin' on the Ocean

*Insert Adventures in FLMTH title card here*

Hey there everyone. How's everything going in all y'all parts of the world? I can tell you that things are going pretty well over in Philomath, Oregon. Elder Searcy and I are doing our best to keep up the roll that things are on over here, but as things go, it's up and down. There were still plenty of awesome things that we got to be a part of over the last week.

On Tuesday we had a Zone Conference in Corvallis combined with the Santa Clara Zone. The meeting was awesome; the spirit was there and the items that were covered in the meeting were very helpful to those that we're teaching. President Russell focused a lot on some of the more basic doctrines of the gospel, especially the Holy Ghost and it's effect in our lives. All in all, it made for a good meeting.

This week was also one of the ones where a lot of the people we teach cancelled their lessons with us. It's always a bummer when that happens because you prepare a lot and love these people so much but then have to wait a whole week to see them. We were able to see a few of the people that we've been focusing on lately and had some great lessons with them. We took a lot of time teaching Mark about why it's important for us to keep the commandments and using object lessons. His girlfriend Tiffany has also started to show a lot of interest in the things that we've been sharing, so we're going to start working with her now too.

The message that was left with me most from this week would have to be that, as missionaries, we're here to help everyone, not just those who are investigating the church. There's a culture in missionary work sometimes that tends to correlate success as a missionary with outcomes relating to work with non-members; baptisms, lessons taught, new investigators, etc. But, as missionaries, we're called to invite everyone to come unto Christ and help all those we can. One of the things we've started to do is to go through the ward list of individuals we don't know and talk to them. So far, it's been awesome. We've met some great people and have been able to help them and invite them. Along with helping the members become more missionary minded as of late, my testimony of the importance of helping and being an example to everyone around you has really grown. Heavenly Father's purpose is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man", and guess what? That's us! God's whole purpose for doing the things He does is for us. And the fact that we get to help in bringing that about is amazing and such a great blessing. Whether it's people we don't know, people we're close to, our family, or even ourselves, when we're striving to bring others close to Christ, were involved in a great work. THE great work. And I love being a part of it.

Oh, and we went to the coast as a zone for PDay. It was super fun to enjoy that with everyone.

That's about it for this week. Transfer calls are coming up here on Friday, so this might be the series finale of Adventures in FLMTH. Stay tuned!

I love you all. Have a fantastic day plus six other fantastic days.

Elder Jensen

*End Credits*

Chase: 1  Two and a half pound burrito: 0
A concerned parent making sure his son doesn't fall out of a tree 

Corvallis Zone

Local Wildlife
Man, serving stateside really sucks

The waves make this look a lot further into the ocean than it actually is

Monday, September 19, 2016

Adventures in FLMTH Week 16, I think?: Looking Up!

*we now return you to our regularly scheduled program of* 


Hey there everyone!

Oh man did Elder Searcy and I have a great week this week. There were so many wonderful blessing, miracles, and answers to prayers through the the course of these last few days. And the work is FINALLY starting to pick up after almost 3 months of being here.

On Wednesday we headed down to Winston, Oregon for a meeting with the trainers and the trainees from around the mission. It was great to see some old friends and learn how I can become a better trainer.

There's this program we used called The First Twelve Weeks (any missionary who served fairly recently should remember it) and our Assistants dissected everything inside it. It was extremely helpful and really got us focused on the core principles we need to work on to get our investigators to progress in the gospel.

We had a few really amazing lessons this week. I've mentioned Dave Jones a few times previously, but this week we were able to finally sit down and have a discussion with him. The spirit was very strong and we asked him what it would mean for him if the Book of Mormon was true. He said that if the spirit told him it was, he'd start coming to church no problem. We testified that the Book of Mormon is indeed scripture and committed him to read and sincerely pray about it. We're excited to see where that goes.

So, fun story time. We're out doing the whole door knocking thing we do one day and decide to start knocking this street with a trailer park on it. As we start to tract it out, we run into a man who was trying to convince us that we worship a "failed Jesus" (?), another man who actually gave US a pass along card, and a lady who after she shut us down, just kinda stared at us on her porch for a while.

We weren't feeling pretty good about this area, so we were thinking about just turning back and trying somewhere else, but we decided to knock a few more doors. Mumbling Onward Christian Soldiers to ourselves, we walk up the steps to a trailer, knock on the door, and out pops this guy named Spencer. Spencer was actually SUPER excited to see us, gladly took a Book of Mormon, and invited us back to teach him! It was truly an answer to a prayer I had the night earlier to find someone in Philomath that was actually interested in our message. God really does answer our prayers, no matter how silly we might feel asking him.

We also had a few lessons with Mark and Brian, both who are starting to progress a little bit better.

I think one of the best lessons we had this week was Sunday night with Kay. We took Brother and Sister Josi, the ward mission leader and his wife, to go and help us teach. We were able to finish up the restoration lesson with her and committed her to read the Book of Mormon, which she was pumped to do. Immediately after leaving, we started talking with some less active members who are Kay's neighbors and had a fantastic discussion with them.

All in all, this week has really helped me grow my testimony of patience and relying on the Lord's timing. We don't always see the full picture, rarely do we even see parts of it, but when we put our trust in Heavenly Father, he'll turn our smallest sincere efforts and use them for good. Sometime it takes far longer than you expect, but he really does bless us with what we need, because he loves us. It's been awesome to see that happen and in excited to see it continue forward!

Also, I'm still super bad at emailing back, so if you're waiting on a message from me, send me a "Still Waiting" and I'll get back to you.

I love you all so much and I'm continually grateful for everything that's gotten me here; all the friendships, advice, love, prayers, support, and all of your help. Thank you all so much, and may God bless you.

Don't be a square,

Elder Jensen

Elder Best goes home this transfer. I'm very sad.

Welcome to CorVegas! (I was trying to run into the picture after a self timer . . . I'm not very good at it)

Elder Hallam, Elder Thurgdood and Elder Jensen at the trainer's meeting (ft. Little Debbie cupcakes)

Adventures in FLMTH Week 15: "Sorry, I'm a Godless Heathen!"

August is finally over, and September is here *insert Green Day lyrics here*

Things are going pretty well over here in the strange and foreign land of Philomath Oregon. Elder Searcy and I are still working hard to keep things going out here. It's difficult a lot of the time to find people over here who are interested in religion or looking for something more than what they have right now, but we press forward.

Elder Searcy has a real knack for getting us lost out in the middle of freaking nowhere. We went down this week to a little town called Alsea to try and find some people to teach. Alsea isn't right down the street from Philomath, it's like 30 minutes away. So were down there, knocking on all the doors and not finding much in the ways of people. We talked to this goat farmer lady, which is where we get this week's title from, and who also said that her dog would probably eat us, so that was wonderful. We also found an inactive member who we invited to church. We'll see if she ever shows up.

Now, about that whole getting lost bit. Elder Searcy, instead of just turning around and going back the way we came, decided that if we loop around in a particular way, we could find more houses and get back quicker. Whelp, long story short, we ended up in a national forest. It wasn't all too bad, because the forests out there were GORGEOUS! All in all, we had no idea where we were and used a lot of miles that day.

Not too much else exciting has been happening. Lots of cancelations, lots of houses with nobody home. The ward is noticing that the work has been in a bit of a lull as of late and is trying to help us out. We're revising the ward mission plan and working on how to help in the reactivation of ward members over here. Hopefully things should start to get back on an upswing. Press forward saints as they say.

That's about it for this week. Tune in next week to see if our adventurers get us lost again!

Thank you all so much for the love and support. It means the world. Tell your mom you love her today.


Elder Jensen

P.S. I've been doing a study in general conference talks lately, so if you'd want to send me your favorite talk, that'd be awesome!