Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Week 48-April 25, 2016

Week 48-April 25, 2016
another week in colchizzie

Hey hey hey!!! 

Sayonara to Ashley!!!! good luck back in Provo! what an exciting moment. going back to the REAL real life! it was so cool to hear about the goodbye party you guys had and i was also really happy to hear that you all enjoyed having ashley with you the past month or two so much. 

Let me just say how excited i am as well to skype you guys in 2 weeks.. i cant wait. just to see pictures and hear you all talk about your weeks blows my mind because i feel as if you have all grown so much ( mom and dad excluded youre pretty consistent) since i left. 

This week was full of a lot lot lot of stuff and i can just say a few highlights cause i sometimes dont remember everything that happened even though there was a lot- first cool highlight. I spent a large portion of my day on wednesday in Cambridge!!! it was my first time being there- its a ward/area in our zone/stake and we had district meeting in a senior couple's home and then went finding with the sisters and elders serving there for a while that afternooon after lunch. it was a blast. and man...... it is a BEAUTIFUL place. and the colleges are just incredilbe!!!!!! i absolutely love the green feilds and trees everywhere and streams that are everywhere here in the Ipswich zone. I have fallen in love with the green everywhere so much. often times i feel such an urge to pull the car over and walk around in the trees by the road. 

another highlight: elder withers and i spent our friday taking the train into london to have an exchange and work with the assistants to the president (elder chronister and elder williams) which was a blast. it was fun to be with elder chronister as always. that guy is going home in the beginning of june!!! which is exactly when we were companions last year. we taught a nigerian university student and after inviting him to be baptised about 4 times he finally accepted to work towards the 28 of may. it was a crazy lesson. oh and i also got to see Augusto!!! we ran into him in the chapel and he is doing really well. still active and helping the missionaries a lot and doing well. 

another highlight: me and elder withers had a lot of funny experiences this week but to name a few, we squirted a bunch of cars with our windscreen wipers while we drove around, we got our hair cut by turkish barbers this morning (world famous) and they burned all the hair on my ears off with this special technique they are famous for (basically consisting of lighting a big q-tip on fire and getting in really close to your ears really quickly and pulling it back and then doing it over and over again really fast and skillfully), and we also had a lot of funny and really strange meetings with people in the streets of town center this week. some very negative and some very positive. it made for a good week. the zone is doing fairly well but we still have some really struggling companionships and they are on our minds a lot. 

oh  by the way! im not sick anymore. got healthy and now im doing just fine! Thanks so much for all your prayers and emails and support. You guys mean the world to me. have a great week this week and know that ill be praying for you.

Elder Jensen

p.s. ill send pics from my ipad
p.p.s. mom i dont know the details for skype in 2 weeks but ill figure them out asap so we can sort it out next pray

Couldn't help but grab a pic with this sign! This is a sneak peek of how beautiful Colchester is. Grass and trees everywhere..

This is a random picture we took in Russell Square after trying to contact university students in the AP's area on Friday. It was raining. That's elder Williams (elder chronisters companion) I'm next to. 
Just good old Elder Withers and I.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Week 47-April 18, 2016

Week 47-April 18, 2016
Sick week
 I don't have much time at all this week so I'll be brief! It's okay though because i don't have too many big things to report. I was sick since tuesday last week and it was pretty bad. First time getting sick my whole mission and it wasnt fun having to sleep instead of being able to work. It felt really strange actually- i realised i hadnt just rested for about a year! as a missionary its just go go go always busy, at least it has been for me. anyways, we still did a lot of work in the afternoons and evenings we went and taught some people and thursday we had interviews with president stevens. he gave me a blessing after everyone else had gone and he had talked to us about hte zone. it was a very special and memorable experience. elder withers and i have been thinking and talking a lot about how fast our missions have gone as we approach mother's day (woohoo!!!) and our one year marks. funny that we may get to pass our one year marks together after starting together as well. anyways besides what i already mentioned, i spoke in sacrament meeting and we taught the priests quorum and those went fine and yea thats about all i can think of right now. obviously a lot happened inbetween and all week but i dont have much time and its not really coming to me right now but the big news is that i was really sick. oh! youre probably wondering what i was sick with- it was a bad fever and sore throat. 

Quick comments: Lydia- you look beautiful in those pictures! wow. im glad to hear you had a lot of fun. also congrats on SMW round 2! natalie- can you make me some oatmeal chocolate no bake cookies????? those sound so good.. mandy- nice job on getting the game ball and hitting the winning score for softball!!!! benjamin- good to hear you found some fish. cook them and eat them.

Ashley- youre going back to provo next week? to study? spring semester?

Mom the boutineer and corsage on lydia look beautiful. cant believe you made so many of them.

Dad good luck with those calories this week. mind > matter. and wow thats a ton of taxes. 

love you all so much! im almost better now so im really really glad to go back to working 100%. the church is true- Im grateful to be a missionary. 

Elder Jensen

p.s. i cant wait for mothers day!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 46-April 11, 2016

Week 46-April 11, 2016
Hello family! 

This week Vladamir, Leonardo, and Andrea were baptised. I can't describe how happy it makes me, because I know how happy it makes them and I love them so much. No, I wasn't allowed to go but President allowed me to Skype Elder Silva and congratulate them and it was a special moment. It almost made it even more heartbreaking that I could not be there though. I am just so happy that it happened though. and Mom, i am praying that I do get to see them be sealed next year! It may be just in time before I leave to the States.

Elder Withers and I don't really have anyone to teach at the moment so we spent a lot of time this week in the town center trying to find people. We also had MLC and then our ZTM this past week as well, so we spent a lot of time in meetings too. It was a good week but the cherry on top was definitely Vladamir and his kids being baptised in Basildon on Sunday

It was exciting to hear about the vacation to Lake Havasu and the Grand Canyon! sounds like everyone had a blast. You guys rented a boat and everything?! awesome. cant lie and say im not jealous of that trip. 

We found quite a few people who looked like they had good potential this week but none of them have turned out to be very promising. We will continue working. I got to meet a lot of the ward this week though and they are great. The Bishop here is great. Speaking of which, how is Bishop Daines? 

Glad to hear the report on Yiwei and Amanda! and glad to hear Josh and Nicole came to Arcadia over the weekend for their break. Youth are the life of every ward i think i have learned and looking back, now i realise why everyone constantly would brag about our youth and get emotional and say how much they loved the youth in our ward because however small in numbers we were, we really did have a fantastic crew. it would probably be hard to find a group of fun, good (not to mention active) girls and guys like we had anywhere else- including utah. 

Life has been very busy and nonstop work the past week. I think we need to take some time to relax and think of things other than worrying about missionary work. other than that i was so happy about Nagaret's family that it was a good week. Had 3 people at church even though none of them are really progressing! In hindsight, it was an enormous and undeserved blessing to have been a part of Nagaret and her family's conversion in Basildon. i will always be grateful for that. Elder Silva says that Christiana is doing well too, although she has been working a lot lately and been stressed. thats good news as well. 

meeting the ward here made me think of what incredible sisters and brother I have- i would kill to be in the same ward as a family like ours. a few families like ours and the coles and the coltons are what can make a ward and give it life! Also, i got some letters from the Coltons this week and I am hoping to respond but i rarely have any time so let them know i got the letters and really enjoyed reading them all.. and that i will respond as soon as i can but until then i send my thanks and love!!! 

I really learned this week that nothing can be done if not in the Lord's way. Love is really the essence of what Christ taught and if we dont strive to always be in accordance with His teachings and do things out of love, this work goes nowhere. Elder Withers and I feel as if a lot is on our plate and we feel a lot of responsibility and weight and it takes a toll on me at times but i know that if I just trust the Lord things will work out in the end. we also talk a lot about how fast our missions have gone by and how close we are to our year mark. crazy.

Love you all so so so much and wish you the best of weeks going back to school and work! 

-Elder Jensen

p.s. mom ill attach some pics as well from my iPad!

Blurry but my friend from Basildon is trying to send me a higher quality photo soon! That's me on the phone screen!!!!!!! I LOVE THEM!!!

Our new zone! Great group of missionaries. The sister in pink in the middle was in the same MTC district as elder withers and I! She had to go home for medical reasons but just came back and came into our zone it was super cool. 

The view by our study desk.


Taylor court. Good street to live on. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 45-April 4, 2016

Week 45-April 4, 2016
Colchezzie with Withers

Hi fam! 

thanks for all the emails! and wow i cant believe you spoke with Bishop Nicholls for that long. he called me right after and told me and Elder Silva all about it while i was trying to drive. so i was a bit distracted but it sounded like he really enjoyed the conversation as well. 

We didnt get to watch the sunday afternoon session cause thats too late in the night but all the others we watched! it was great. i loved it so much- i look up to those men (the apostles and prophet) so much and i am grateful for their worthiness to serve in the ways that they do in those callings.

yea i dont know much of the ward yet but i did meet quite a few of them over conference weekend. the bishop is super cool we played football (soccer) saturday morning with him and some youth and it was fun. they were all shocked that an american knew how to play football! 

yes dad me and elder withers are the zone leaders here. tough job cause the zone (equivalent of a stake; its the same actually) is geographically massive and there are 14 companionships as opposed to the prior 8 in basildon. doesnt seem like that much but its just a lot more work to know everything thats going on. man- its good though. and yes i am now a veteran i suppose. still clueless though- a clueless veteran. 

Lydia, send me a video of you and kyara and kylies song! i want to hear it! and believe it or not i had the same thought while watching GC! and yes knowing elder withers has made the transition much smoother. its like moving in with a friend. 

natalie- are you playing on a boys indoor soccer team? im confused... thats exciting that you are learning violin though! 

mandy- hope youre doing well! how are the braces? are they painful? and were your legs super sore after all that softball? 

ben- sorry about your finger man. glad it feels better now. also, midfeild is what i used to play as well- thats the best position cause you get to go wherever the ball is anywhere on the feild basically! 

ash- iagree about praying all the time. "counsel with the lord in all thy doings and he will direct thee for good." thank you for praying for me. i love you! 


love you all tons! colchester is BEAUTIFUL. i love this town- its very old and very green. the oldest recorded town in all of england! this is where Humpty Dumpty and Twinkle Twinkle Little star comes from! those both came from this town. 

Vladamir, Leonardo, and Andrea are getting baptised this Sunday!!! Pray for them!

Elder Jensen

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Week 44-March 28, 2016

Week 44-March 28, 2016
Hey fam! 

I got transferred. heartbreaking news but I am happy to do what the Lord wants. And guess who my next companion is going to be? 

ELDER WITHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My MTC companion! we have been dreaming and praying and joking about serving together sometime in our missions since we met at BYU and now here we are not even a year out and we will be together. crazy!

But i am so sad to leave Basildon- this week was insane and now Vladamir and his kids have decided on the 10th of April as the day they will be baptised which means i will miss it but i am so incredibly happy for this huge step. i will be praying for the rest of my mission that they will go to the temple in a years time and be sealed! 

So basically this week was non stop travelling all over our zone for baptisms, helping other missionaries with different things, easter devotionals and dinner appointments. It went by in a blur but it was full of miracles. Yes Dad, we attended the Hungarian girl's baptism and that was beautiful. it amazes me how simple the ordinances of the gospel are- yet powerful too. Then we also went to ilford on the other side of our zone that evening for the Portugese woman and her son's baptism which was WILD! the font broke and it was only knee deep and freezing water- Elder Silva was baptising them in portugese and on the 3rd try the son was successfully baptised but it just wasnt going to work for the mother so they postponed the baptism to the following day right after church in the romford building instead. so we left early on sunday from our church and they finished the baptism for her and their confirmations in romford on sunday. Which means that as a zone, we reached our goal of 5 baptisms in the stake this month. which is something i have been praying so hard for all month. i honestly was afraid for most of the month that we werent going to reach our goal but somehow the Lord provided.and now april is looking to be full of baptisms across the zone! i am so happy for the work that is happening. i learned that without goals, missionaries would be almost useless to the Lord. We dont work hard enough or trust in the Lord enough without a goal to strive for- its the same in life as well. So set goals and work for them- and we will accomplish much more than without them. #lessonlearned

Thank you all so much for the love i felt on easter from you all! the basket was so appreciated. I will miss elder Silva and i will miss Basildon ward with so much of my heart but the work of the Lord goes on. I will be in Colchester ward- part of the Ipswich zone. Elder WIthers and i have something like 28 missionaries in our zone (its one of the biggest) and a MASSIVE stake- probably 10 or 15 romford stakes could fit inside of it. We will have lots of work to do! hahahahaha i cant wait! i will tell you all about the new area and ward next week. Love you lots!

Elder Jensen
Taylor's Bishop Nicholls from Basildon called us on Easter and sent us this short video from Taylor.  He expressed his love and appreciation for the great missionary Taylor has been.

Pic of video from Taylor and companion Elder Silva, who speaks portuguese and has been teaching Vladimir and kids.