September 28, 2015

Hey everyone,

 This week probably has been my most productive in my mission so far, but since I’m packing my bags since I’m getting transferred I won’t write as much. Last Tuesday I received my iPad, and since then I’ve noticed myself able to keep track of things much easier. Our teaching pool received a huge boost this week thanks to two new families, one of which are the McIntires. During an exchange with the zone leaders me and Elder Pozernick visited them and taught them the Restoration.

The father is a less-active member, but the mother, the kids, and someone who lives with them are not members. Happy birthday Maggie, we set them all to be baptized on November 28!

 As for the transfer, I don’t know where I’m going or who I’ll be with but I’ll find out when I go up to the transfer meeting tomorrow.

Yesterday I said goodbye to some of the members in the ward (Pictures below). Brother Kilborn, the ward mission leader, was a little upset that I’m leaving so early but we worked towards being able to visit again after my mission. He’s a great friend.

 But I’ll let everyone know once everything’s situated over here. It should be exciting.

 Elder Jensen

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September 21, 2015

Hey everyone,

I don’t have as much time to write an email today; we were in Salem most of the day for today’s P-Day. We played frisbee and I lost to Elder Evans in chess. It was a lot of fun. Rumor has it I’ll get transferred next week, so it’ll be tough to leave most of these missionaries behind.

President and Sister Samuelian spoke in our ward’s sacrament meeting yesterday. After their talks it seems like the members are more interested in missionary work. The most effective way to find people to teach is through people we already know, and the Samuelians want the members to “come out of camouflage” and preach the gospel to their friends. We had our first investigator at sacrament meeting today. He’s Kristina Goodwin’s new boyfriend, Jason, and he seemed interested although he left after the first hour.

Do Nathan Harris and Cameron Hutchison have my email? I need theirs so we can stay in touch while we’re on our missions!

Nothing else interesting happened this week, although I seem to be adapting well to the missionary lifestyle. President Samuelian’s confident that I’ll become a great missionary. Hope to hear from you next week!

Elder Jensen

September 14, 2015


 I’m nearly a month into my mission. A few months ago it would have been hard for me to imagine myself this far, but I surprise myself almost every day. 23 to go.

Today’s been really fun. We found out that board games are now allowed in the mission as long as they follow the white handbook (mission rules). We didn’t have the chance to play one today, but we did go bowling with 10 elders. Somehow I beat everyone with a 122, but I was still praising others. We got haircuts with Elder Hancock and Elder Barnes, then the zone leaders, Elder Sumner and Elder Pozernick, showed up, and the owner wasn’t too pleased with having six missionaries at a time since missionaries get haircuts there for free. The zone leaders are awesome (Elder Sumner reminds me of a blonde Andrew Prince) and there’s a bunch of other cool missionaries in my zone.

Last Tuesday we visited a part-member family, the Goodwins, and the only person home was their niece, Kennedy, who lives with them. We found out that she wasn’t a member and I gave her a Book of Mormon. My first one! The mother, Christina, is a less-active member, and her husband was killed in an industrial accident recently. We continue to give her comfort and told her she can live with him again and talked about the temple. They have a 13-year-old daughter named Kendra who is a member and an 8-year-old daughter named Angelina who hasn’t been baptized and will probably get interviewed by the bishop, but we’ll teach the lessons to her anyway the best we can. Guiding the whole family toward baptism/activity would be a great start to my mission.

We had a ton of meetings and service projects last week, just like the week before. We were helping someone move for four or five hours when one of the ward members, Brother Strait, a medical student, found out that Elder Hardy tore a ligament in his foot. Elder Hardy said it was hurting for about eight weeks ever since he landed on someone’s foot playing basketball. He was told to take it easy, take ibuprofen, apply ice, etc. Hopefully it will heal quickly.

This week will probably be tougher; we’re exchanging with the zone leaders tomorrow and Wednesday, Friday is our Mission Fast, and Sunday the ward is fasting since President and Sister Samuelian will be present in our ward. But I’m expecting I’ll learn a ton. The Spirit’s becoming stronger in our lessons, and I hope we can utilize it more.

Elder Jensen

September 7, 2015

Hey everyone,

First off, I want to apologize for a misunderstanding; I have only an hour to write emails each Monday, but I can read emails all day then. I felt stressed last week thinking I had only an hour to read 12 emails and to write to you and the mission president, but we’re good now.

This week’s been rather busy and rather slow at the same time. We didn’t have much time to teach since it’s hard to be in touch with our few investigators nowadays, but we were in a bunch of meetings and service projects. This Wednesday we had a meeting called accountability, where me and Elder Hardy meet with Elder Hancock (the district leader) and report for the month of August about our area. Normally the meeting lasts about an hour, but we had to stay for three since the rest of our area is sisters and one pair of elders and one pair of sisters are not allowed to be alone with each other.

The next day was zone conference. I wish I remembered more of it; it was very spiritual. It was divided into two parts; in the first part all the missionaries from two zones (normally it’s just one) gathered and listened to President and Sister Samuelian speak. They talked about plenty of topics but mainly the family. We’re supposed to memorize “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” in 40 days. Hopefully me and Elder Hardy will feel motivated enough. Then we had a very spiritual testimony meeting. Two testimonies came from Elder Hancock and Elder Evans, and this is their last zone conference for both of them.

Before zone conference there was a car inspection, and while we were eating lasagna for dinner they announced the awards for the Cleanest Car contest (aka Lightning McClean Awards). Me and Elder Hardy scored second place, and President said that every time elders win he gives them a hug. And so he did!

After dinner we had a member/missionary portion of zone conference. We expected more people, but around 100 members showed up. The focus was on member missionary work, and the members got to roleplay as missionaries and investigators just as we do. The President and his wife’s message was clear, but it’s up to the members to follow up and do missionary work themselves. Because as Elder Ballard said, “RM does not mean Retired Mormon!” I myself felt inspired to continue in missionary work when I can after my mission.

This Saturday we got to meet one of the former elders in this mission, Elder Frankenberry, at basketball this morning. We called him “a voice from the dust,” since he’s my trainer’s trainer’s trainer’s trainer’s trainer’s trainer, or in mission lingo, my great-great-great-great-grandfather. They call whoever trained someone their father, and the person who trained him grandfather, etc. I’ve traced my “lineage” like this:

Elder Young

Elder Frankenberry

Elder McLoughlin

Elder Gift (Current assistant to the president)

Elder Adams

Elder Larsen

Elder Hardy

Elder Jensen

There’s a bunch of other mission lingo as well, like when someone dies they leave the mission, when someone’s trunky they’re ready to leave and get lazy, and new missionaries like me are called greenies. I seem to catching onto everything quickly, but if there’s one thing I learned so far, it’s that missionaries are as weird as the rest of us. But I’m grateful the Lord gave me the opportunity to serve anyway. We still haven’t been successful, but I feel that will change soon.

Elder Jensen

August 31, 2015

Hey everyone,

Thanks for all your support! Sounds like Vancouver had a rainstorm too. The other day (Saturday I think) me and Elder Hardy got caught in a rainstorm while we were street contacting outside. We were about a mile and a half from our car when it hit. But before some other elders could come rescue us someone we tracted earlier and rejected us harshly felt bad for us and offered us a ride. It goes to show that kindness can happen when you least expect it.

As of this week as a whole, it’s good in some ways and bad in others. We lost half of our investigators, including Dale since he’s moving to Portland, but we still taught 14 lessons, mainly among less-actives and recent converts. Food’s also been a highlight of my mission; I’ve had good dinners and bad dinners. One of them I forgot to share last week was that I tried hot wings! The sauce was mild but I got through them and actually enjoyed them.

I’m coming to like the other elders better as well. Our district leader is Elder Hancock, and he and another new missionary, Elder Barnes, serve in the Pioneer Ward, and Elder Carlisle and Elder Evans (who goes home this transfer) serve in the Snow Peak Ward, all with the same church building. Our zone leaders are Elder Sumner, who was originally a Spanish missionary but now speaks English so he can be a zone leader, and Elder Pozernick. As for President Samuelian, I really wish I could know him better, I think he’s the most Christlike person I have ever met.

On the 3rd will be my first zone conference, and we’re having a member fireside at the end with President Samuelian. I’m really looking forward to it, though I’m still not sure what will happen there. I hope that we’ll find more investigators as well, otherwise I’ll be in my apartment for too long. Elder Hardy’s still great, he’s been in Riverview Ward for all his mission so far and fills me in on a lot of things I missed.

By the way, I only have an hour each week to read and send email, so I’ll have more time to read snail mail if it’s possible for you to send. Sorry about no pictures this week either, I’m still figuring out how to send them. But I will soon! Thanks again!

Elder Jensen

Elder David Jensen

700 Deborah Road #260

Newberg, OR 97132