Sunday, October 30, 2016

Week 74-October 24, 2016

Week 74-October 24, 2016
Hey fam!

We have very little time to email.. But that's okay because we had a
great lesson today. Last night we went out street contacting for about
3 hours trying to stop by some people on the ward list nobody knows
about as well in an area we've never been to. As we were finally on
our way out of the area and after finding only rejection I stopped a
girl crossing the street. She was in her 20's and English but of
african descent. Long story short, she said she hadn't been to church
in a long time and felt like she needed to start going again. That she
felt like it was time for her to find God again. So we scheduled to
meet her the next day at the church and today we had a lesson and it
went so well. I felt the Spirit as she told us how that very day I had
stopped her, she had been thinking how she wanted to pull away from
her friend circle because they were going down a different road than
she wanted to (partying a lot) and she wished she had a way out or a
reason to take a different direction. She then told us she knew if she
tried to seek God more she would have he confidence in herself to be
herself and make the decisions she wanted to make. That was just one
of many lessons this past week that I felt the spirit during. I know
that our Father lives and he knows His children and if we have faith
in him, he can work miracles like the one that allowed us to meet

I love you guys! Thanks for all of the emails and support. I feel like
I still don't know what I'm doing but I'm just happy to be a
participant in the Lords work. Hurrah for Israel. Don't have many pics
This week but I will attach some.

Elder Jensen

The before pic for elder Mthombeni's haircut Hahahahahah

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Week 73-October 17, 2016

Week 73-October 17, 2016
Pawel's Baptism

what a great week. Pawel got baptised and it was an amazing experience. i think ive told you a lot about him but he has changed and is visibly much happier and more confident and is always doing things for other people. I love him- he has taught me many valuable lessons. I will have to tell you more about him one day at home but his story is incredible. He is so sensitive to the Spirit and so dedicated to doing what he believes is right. After receiving the Book of Mormon, he read it from cover to cover in one night and knew that it was true. Different things in his life stopped him from being baptised though and so he stopped going to church for some time. later he was divorced and life took him to England. He got in contact with the missionaries and the rest was history. He quit smoking in one day- he went from smoking 40 cigarretes a day to 0 in one day. then, he stopped drinking alcohol (he used to drink quite a bit every night) after we taught him. he prayed, and that was it- he didnt drink one more time. He is always serving the people around him, and has a rock solid testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and most of all of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. He is amazing. I am so grateful to God for the chance to have been able to be a small part of his journey. 

Besides that, we got news for transfers and i will be staying here in Lea Valley with Elder Mthombeni for another transfer. I am happy with this news and excited to spend another transfer with him. He is a great missionary. 

I love the Lord and I love the people here in Lea Valley. Last night I travelled out to Stratford (where the olympics where a few years ago) and interviewed a Nigerian woman and her 9 year old daughter for baptism. The 9 year old's answers to the interview questions were really touching. her faith was inspiring! It made me think of Benjamin. When i asked her if she believed in Jesus Christ as the Saviour and Redeemer she got quiet and her face changed a little. she said she felt a little bit "broken" inside when she thinks of Him being beaten and whipped and put on the cross but that she felt very grateful and said she loved Him because he suffered for our sins. I know that He loves us and that His sacrifice was part of Heavenly Father's plan for us. 

thanks for all of the emails as usual! i love you guys so much... I can't believe how much it seems everyone has grown up and I am always praying for you all. 

Elder Jensen

This is Pawel Gabinski. Sunday was incredible and was a day that I will never forget. I love this man. what a great experience it has been to teach him and to see him take this step. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Week 72-October 10, 2016

Week 72-October 10, 2016
guess who's back!

Hey guys sorry i didnt email last week! But all is well- it was really funny though to receive a phone call from elder gale one morning and hear him ask me how long it had been since i emailed my mother. sorry mom i wont let it happen again!

i guess theres a ton to say so i dont really know where to start. 

Pawel passed his baptismal interview and as long as all goes well and nothing comes up he will be baptised this sunday. please keep him in your prayers! He doesnt understand much english; only polish so we teach him with polish people to help translate but its hard on to go to church cause he doesnt understand much.that is a concern on his mind but he will be alright. He has a stronger testimony than anyone i have taught. 

fernando and his family are not progressing much because its difficult to teach them well. he has a weird work schedule and we need more spanish speakers to translate. they are also busy with lots of things having to do with moving to a new country and cant find a school for camilo still. we played football recently with camilo though one day in the park and it was good fun and we feel it will help the family as well. 

koffi is a young man from ghana who we have been teaching for a few weeks now. he came to church last week with his whole family (mom dad and sister) and again this week alone and is progressing pretty well also. he understands the gospel well and has a lot of faith. we had to pull the blankets off of him the sunday morning of GC though cause he wasnt getting out of bed.. reminded me of my seminary days hahaha so at times he's a little low on commitment but his intentions are really good. my only fear is that he leaves to ghana soon after his baptismal date (the 29th of october) so we wont be able to meet with him after that. 

we had a miracle saturday night- during pawel's baptismal interview, i took the district leader's (conducting the interview) companion and we went out on the main street and were street contacting when Elder Marin stopped a man who spoke no english but told us he was christian. we took him to the church and showed him around and used google translate a bit to have a short lesson with him. he liked it and said he'd come to church the next morning and he did! but the crazy part is that he speaks farsee- the language of persia and theres only one person in the ward who speaks that as well but it turns out they knew each other but hadnt seen each other for 10 years. we will be teaching him soon with the man in the ward. what a miracle. 

another miracle this week. while on exchange with on e of the elders in our flat, we got on a bus and i sat in the back next to a young woman and started talking to her. then anotehr woman who was more middle aged got on and sat nearby. the young woman wasnt interested so i started talking to the other woman across the aisle and she eventually said she would be happy for us to visit and share our message but warned me that she wouldnt want to make any commitments. so that saturday we went and taught her and her 2 sons; Agupe and Cass (9 and 11). it was a wonderful lesson. the woman; whose name is Angela funny enough, said she didnt like the church she used to go to and wanted to find one centered on jesus and that her family could go to and stay with. then she also said she had dreams often of running away from commitment with God but that she felt she was just waiting for the right place to commit. so sunday morning we went to her house and travelled with them to church and they loved it! they even stayed for a baptism after church. i asked cass what he thought of the baptism and he said he liked it; then said he wanted to be baptised too! hahahaha i just smiled and told him we'd talk to his mom about it this week. what a stud. 

which brings me to the last thing because this is super long. alex boye's mother has been getting taught here in lea valley for a month or two now by the sister missionaries and she got baptised on sunday- alex boye flew in and performed the baptism! so we had him in our lessons and classes that day at church and then elder Mthombeni joined him in the font to help lift his mother out of the water because she had a stroke and doesnt have full control over some parts of her body. So we got to hang out a bit with him and he is hilarious. a really great guy as well- he did a devotional at hyde park that evening which was packed and everyone loved it except for Pawel. Hahahahaha pawel didnt like it that much. 

My love for the gospel has just continued to grow these past couple of weeks. i am amazed at how everything has just increased my faith and love for the Saviour as well. everything we have and do in the church is because of and about Him and I am so grateful I'm learning that here on my mission. What a blessing it is to have His gospel. I know Jesus Christ is our Saviour and friend and i treasure every day i have to serve Him.

I love you all and hope you have amazing weeks! 

Elder Jensen

Post zone meeting with the sick Maserati 

The London North Zone 

Koffi and his family. He's the one to the left of Elder Mthombeni 

No explanation needed :) 

Camilo (Fernando's son) after playing some football! (Soccer) 

Dinner with Pawel and sister Dabrowska (the polish sister in our zone who helps us teach Pawel) at a polish restaraunt in town.

Alex Boye!

Week 71-October 3, 2016

Week 71-October 3, 2016

No email

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Week 70-September 26, 2016

Week 70-September 26, 2016

The city that never sleeps

the city that never sleeps. I thought that was funny cause sometimes it feels like as missionaries we never sleep... there you go thats my best attempt at being witty and clever with that dang subject line! itll probably be a while before i try doing another one

We had a crazy busy week and got so much done and it seemed as if we never stopped. we were just going and going the entire week. It was great- we saw a lot of great success! Fernando (a guy who referred himself a few weeks ago online) had left last week to go back to spain and get his family and he came back this week and came to church with them! i have never spoke so much spanish in my life than the past few weeks. His family is Columbian and they are a fantastic family.. fernando is a funny guy but also a great father and he is very hard working. His wife and son are so cool too. His son is 12, about the same age as mandy! They came to church and it was fast and testimony meeting so i got up and sat behind the father of another columbian family in the ward and asked him to bear his testimony for Fernando and his family in spanish. he did, and it was great. it was the first time he stood up at the pulpit for 25 years he said. Then after sacrament meeting, the father of the columbian family and a byu study abroad student who served her mission in guatemala took fernandos family into some little room and started teaching them L1 while we were busy with the other investigators who came to church. LOL. we joined them later on and it went great.

another family from bulgaria that asked us for directions during the week came to church after we invited them.. it was sweet! they didnt understand a word but they speak a tiny bit of spanish so we communicated with that. 

pawel progressed a ton this week. we saw him 3 times in the polish members home and he has finished the book of mormon for his 2nd time now. what a stud. he says he'll probably finish it again before his baptism. love that guy. came to church and spent the 2nd and 3rd hour in nursery with the polish members son cause they showed the womens GC and her son loves pawel. what a champ!

it was an exciting week! we had 3 exchanges last week and they all went well. 2 of them were with greenies and that was a blast :) the other was with someone in his 2nd transfer; he is from spain and to improve my spanish we spoke only spanish the whole day together (tried.) i even prayed in spanish! hahaha im just practicing for fernando and his family.

Dad: Kwaku is doing well. we taught him on tuesday and he cut me short in the middle of something i was saying and asked us if he could be baptised. he said that he is tired ofh is church cause its run like a business and he could feel the difference as he walked into ours last sunday. he said his spirit recognized that Jesus is in this church. Hallelujah! but he didnt come this sunday and we didnt see him since cause his wifes sister is in the hospital and they are with her.

the ward here is great- i love them! they are so friendly and welcoming to all the people we bring. they just reach out and treat them as part of the family like i havent seen any other ward do before. its such a great feeling as a missionary to see members reach out and make your investigators feel welcome at church. 

we didnt do so hot as a zone this week. we have some good plans though. 

a couple of funny moments- this week i started talking to some young girl about our age who was really dressed up and had lots of make up on while we walked out of the tube and she gave me a really weird look and then ignored me and walked towards some guy standing against the wall waiting for her who gave me this weird look and then kissed the girl and they walked away together. Elder Mthombeni and i laughed pretty hard... poor guy thought i was trying to steal his girl

overall though this week a couple things stood out to me as key lessons. one of which me and elder Mthombeni deliberated about and thought long and hard about. it was that people progress and get baptised when the missionaries teaching them arent afraid to be themselves. too many missionaries (including ourselves for most of our missions) just turn into a robot. at some point, conversion has to first be to the missionaries before it will be to the gospel. 

my comparison is this: early 19th century americans needed to believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet in order to become converted to what he was claiming and teaching. in a similar way, missionaries are the carriers of the message and as such people need to be converted to a certain extent to them before they will believe what we teach. interesting huh? brings up a lot of questions but i think its true.

Anyways, i love this gospel. I couldnt be happier and I know that i definitely couldnt work this hard and learn so much without divine help and i know the Saviour is strengthening me to fulfill this calling. I love Him and Im proud to be His representative.

Have a great week!!

Love you
Elder Jensen