Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 34-January 18, 2016

Week 34-January 18, 2016
England is cold

Hello family, another week gone! It's so good to hear from each of
you. Ashley!!!!!!!!!!! Only 13 more days?!? Good heavens!! Or as dad
would say, hot dog!!!!!!

Mom, thank you so much for the second Christmas package! That was so
kind of you and I loved it so much. How did Natalie's birthday go?!
What did you do Natalie? I hope it was a blast.

This week we got to see a lot of people and we saw a lot of miracles.
I gained a stronger testimony that when we pray for things and then
work for them and expect God to make it happen, he will make it
happen. This week we hit all of our goals but one! Countless times
this week I found myself praying for all the specific people or things
we wanted to see achieved and then things wouldn't go as planned but
we would just keep working and then right before our eyes God would
place someone or a family that was exactly what we were praying for
but didn't expect to come in such a way. My testimony that this is not
our work but the Lord's was strengthened. I have been thinking a lot
about us and the Lord in missionary work lately. I think that the best
thing we can do is simply be worthy of receiving blessings and seeing
miracles that the Lord is trying to work among us and then the Lord
uses us to do His work. It's like we are a saw and the Master is the
carpenter... The best thing we can do is NOT to trust that we can do
everything on our own cause that gets us nowhere. The best thing we
can do is to make sure our edge is as sharp and as solid as possible
and then align ourselves as well as we can with the wood he wants us
to cut (whatever the Lord wants to do with us.) Sometimes I think
about it as an analogy- if we are on a football team but as the
quarterback we decide to run a totally different play then what the
rest of the team does and the coach tells us to run, things don't go
well at all. He's the coach and we have to be in a position where he
can use us. So instead of focusing on what words I'm going to say to
persuade people to listen to us, I should focus on being exactly
obedient and consecrated and then trusting the spirit to tell me where
to go and what to say.

Christiana is doing so well. She passed her baptismal interview and
even introduced her university friend to us and we are going to teach
her this Tuesday at dinner with Christiana! The Lord has been
preparing her for this for a long time I believe. In gospel principles
class, she basically taught the rest of us the story of Jacob and Issa
and the whole twelve tribes of Israel thing. Nagaret... Wow. This week
her two kids and husband moved from Portugal into Basildon and she got
to see them for the first time in a year. I called her the day they
were supposed to arrive and she answered with a high pitched
"Jensen!!!" Mispronounced as always because she is Portugese hahaha
and ever since they arrived she has been on cloud nine. When we met
her husband it was a sweet, precious moment to me I will not forget.
He is a Catholic and she testified to him and all of us how firmly she
believes that the Book of Mormon is true and that this is what she
wants to do and she has never really had a relationship with God until
she began reading  the Book of Mormon. He prayed at the end before we
left and in Portugese but I made out "missionaries, important for me
and my family..." He was so sincere and said he would start reading
the Book of Mormon. He originally worried us a lot because he was
really hesitant about his wife wanting to be baptised but now that we
got to meet him in person I think he is softening. We are teaching a
Russian mother who lost her phone earlier this week but showed up to
church anyways and she told us her husband wants to meet us and learn
about the Book of Mormon as well- we got them a Russian copy but we
don't speak Russian so we are in a bit of a dilemma cause the one
member of our ward who can speak Russian is always busy. But yea!!
Super pumped to teach him and their kids too.

Ok so I wanna say something about repentance: I have been pondering
this a lot this week and I feel like I am learning a lot about life
and what a missionary is supposed to do- all we are doing is crying
repentance. but instead of thinking of Samuel the Lamanite yelling at
everyone from a wall about their sins and what not, crying repentance
is merely this: ASKING PEOPLE TO CHANGE! That's all it is! Repentance
is change so if we talk to someone or teach anyone without being bold
and asking them to do something differently to change we are wasting
our time. I used to be scared to ask people to do things like go to
church or make praying and reading scriptures a priority or heaven
forbid telling people they need to get married or stop smoking but now
I realise that the Saviour would do that in a heartbeat and wouldn't
beat around the bush about it either. How I wish I could be the kind
of missionary he would be. But yea. So missionary work is about
changing people to bring their life into harmony with Gods
commandments. Asking them to live "after the manner of happiness."
What better job could I ask for? Crying repentance yo. That's what
it's all about.

Did you guys hear that Blake is going to ASU? Have you guys seen him
recently? How's Johnny doing? Are him and Ben still hanging out all
the time?

Also, I passed my theory (written test portion) driving test this week
and this Thursday I'm taking the real deal test so pray for me!
Hopefully I don't go full American and pull into the right side of the
road... It wouldn't be the first time.

Love you all to the moon and back. I hope you each have a fantastic
week I am always praying for each of you!

Elder J
Mom can you send this to Sonja and Kirk? This was the last of the captain crunch they sent me for Christmas and I wanted to tell them I was so so so grateful for their package. I don't know their email and I'm the worst at thank you notes but I wanted to make sure they knew I was really grateful. Me and my companion just about fainted when we saw the cereal... British cereal just doesn't even compete with American cereal.

Our Japanese elder!!! This was on an exchange and he wanted to take a pic. Sorry mom I never take pictures anymore I just can't be bothered so I feel bad but I don't have many to send lately... 

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