Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Week 95- March 20, 2017

Week 95- March 20, 2017

Coninchiwa, o shua do? watashiwa Jensen Chorro. 

It's a bit hard to think of what to tell you guys nowadays so don't blame me if they decrease in quality.

We did an accumulated approximately 6 or 7 hours of service. It was actually tons of fun it felt so good to get in a shirt and shorts and work in a yard. I'm super sore now and my arms and legs are covered in little cuts from the brambles we were cutting back in one sister's yard but it was worth it. I'll attach a picture.

Funny story: a high council speaker didn't show up to Deal ward this Sunday so the bishopric asked the four of us Elders to fill in and Elder Bowles and I literally planned our little talks on the same thing; comparing one of our service projects (both of our companionships was at this one) to the gospel. It was neat- we gave different viewpoints on it. Here was the abbreviated summary:

We were laying slabs as a foundation for a less active member to place his shed on. It involved a process: we dug up the grass, and sledge hammered the cement underneath so we could level it out a bit. then we put lots of sand and cement mix and levelled it nicely. finally we placed the big 2x2 slabs of cement on the sand nearly perfectly level with one another. Elder Bowles compared this to building a firm foundation (helaman 5:12) on christ so that our testimony (the shed) would be supported and withstand weather and such. I continued the analogy by explaining how we do that. I compared the rocky unlevel ground to us; with high points, low points, stronger places and weaker places. the sand and cement mixture I compared to the Atonement; which levels the playing ground and smooths out all our imperfections and sins,and heals the wounds and resolves injustices. As we learn and apply His Atonement, we get a more level foundation. Then I compared the big cement slabs that go on top to our application of His teachings and His gospel; one slab may be living the word of wisdom, another would be forgiving others, another would be paying tithing. That further solidifies our foundation and firms up and fortifies the level, sandy base. Then it gets interesting; at the end of our project, the member sprayed water on top of it all so the cement would have enough moisture to set. This was harder to think of a comparison to, but in the little time I had I compared it to God's grace and His blessings after we have done our part. "we are saved by grace after all we can do," so once we do our part, he sprays his blessings and sets everything so we are ready to go. Thought it was a nice analogy and hope you guys enjoyed it. 

Jamie and Carly were sick and we were busy and it was hard to meet this past week so we actually didnt see them until last night and they couldnt come to church cause they were ill so nothing to report. Kind of worried cause the wedding prep and scheduling is coming down to the wire. 

Anywasy, one more funny story. Our landlord has been repainting in our flat so he gave us 50 £ as a gift and told us to get ourselves dinner in return for the disturbance. We went to a nice chinese buffet saturday night and since we only get an hour for dinner we didn't get to binge as much as we would have liked, but it was nice to go out. we even had a white rose on our table. we must have looked real cute. 

Elder Yamada turned 19 last week! What a great guy. we had a party at the Clues and it was a lot of fun. 

Anyways, love you all! 

Mom, you will get a video from Bro Boyson. I hope you get a laugh out of it.

Dad, maybe if I have one more companion his name will start with an X. Who knows. 

Lydia, where are you and Kyara going to be living??

Elder Jensen

The three week meeting for new missionaries; great to see Elders Burgess and Withers again! Mom- Elder Wither's companion doesn't know grandma and grandpa.

My homie rockin Elder Yamada's glasses. 

Semi failed bday pic at the Clues with the Ramsgate elders too! 

Our Chinese buffet dinner

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Week 94-March 13, 2017

Week 94-March 13, 2017

March Madness?!? Nope I'm in England

Beloved Family,

What is good in the hood? 

I'll tell you what's good in the hood here in Dovakia. The weather! But more importantly, the work. We had a couple of miracles this week and in general a lot of success reaching out to some of the less active families here. 

The news with Jamie and Carly is that we had some great lessons this week with members that have never gone teaching with missionaries before but who wanted to help us. It felt satisfying to know that we were providing an opportunity for the members to learn and feel the Spirit of missionary work and strengthen their testimony through teaching with us as well as teaching our investigators like usual. One of the members is putting in her papers now; she is the Clues' oldest daughter. The other was a brand new recent convert and her daughter; the one who was baptised the last week of last transfer by Elder Cumming when we were in a trio. She bore her testimony of Joseph Smith and the Restoration after we watched the Prophet of the Restoration film with Jamie and Carly and it was incredible! It was clear that the lesson was beneficial for everyone involved. Wow... We are so blessed to be in the restored Church of Jesus Christ. Why did I not do more missionary work at home?! I can't imagine a greater blessing. We have to be living the gospel though to recognize what a blessing it is. OR not living it; it appears to me that's also a way of realizing what is missing and a reminder to people of how lucky they were to have it. You guys hear that? Be missionaries! In the Face to Face with the Youth (we watched it Lydia) Elder Eyring talks about how bearing your testimony need never be offensive to anyone; it is our duty and if we do it out of love than people will always benefit from it. Wait... back to Jamie and Carly though they didn't come to church. Big sad face. Their daughter was misbehaving too much the morning of they said. Mom; I need your help; any advice? What can we tell them? 

Also Mom, this is the 3rd. Wood, Webb, and now Yamada. Great job on the painting! I chuckled to see that old family picture of us kids is still hanging up between my room and the bathroom. 

This week we met a man from Persia who used to live next to an LDS church, attended quite a few times, but had never joined. We taught on a bench for a little while and after whispering to him, Elder Yamada invited him to be baptised, he accepted, and then gave him a date to prepare for! Unfortunately he cancelled our appointment and we are still in the process of setting a new one but it was a miracle nonetheless. 

To answer Mom's question, yes Elder Withers and Elder Burgess were companions for 3 transfers! They were excellent together; they were the assistants to the President and they did a great job; they are both great leaders. It was nice for them to have been my leaders when i was ZL because I have a lot of love and respect for each of them. That's why he worked on the transfers but no, zone leaders don't do anything with that, so I never participated in transfers. I will be seeing Elder Withers and Elder Nelson this week I'll ask him if they know Grandma and Grandpa. 

Recently I have been downloading lots of old General Conference talks and listening them in our spare time and while driving. I have gained a new appreciation for the apostles and prophets and their inspired wisdom. I know they are called of God and that they are true witnesses of Jesus Christ. I'm glad we can lean on them and learn from them.

Training again is opening my eyes yet again to the basics of missionary work. While we get along well and have good laughs together, it is hard to communicate easily with Elder Yamada and he doesn't speak with the members because he can't understand them and not many of them make the effort to speak slowly to him. I admire his toughness and his faith. What i have learned this week is that we say our unique message to the world is the Restoration, to people here, there is so much more that encompasses. Firstly, that God exists! that is where we hit a road block with almost everyone here. It has made me think hard about how I know He exists. I am convinced our testimonies are a living thing, as Elder Holland said. It gets stronger and weaker depending on our choices. And it's not something I can give to people; it's every individual's responsibility to discover their own. But I get real joy from bearing mine to everyone I can. I count it as a privilege. 

Anyways... I love you guys and want you to know I'm grateful that we have been sealed in the temple and will be together forever. Keep living the gospel. Happy English Mother's Day!

Elder Jensen

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Week 93-March 6, 2017

Week 93-March 6, 2017

Hello family!

Mom- I like the wallpaper! Good work. Ill bet that was a nice surprise for Dad!

Congrats to Lydia for getting a date to Mormon Prom! She can show off her supreme dance skills; those are important. after all thats how dad wooed Mom. And hey congratz to Natalie for winning all your tournament games! did you win the tournament? and Lydia we are watching the face to face (listening actually not watching) while me and some missionaries email right now. Funny to imagine you just watched it recently. Ben, sorry about the tournament. Im excited to watch your videos one day. Did my letter to Benjamin arrive? Hope Mandy is doing well sad not to hear from her this week. Ashley, you are a good example. thanks for sharing the experience. good luck with the job interviews! 

This week for us was great! We got a lot of kindness from the members this week and had some fun at the white cliffs again today with the other elders in Deal ward. Mom, its just the 4 of us. the two in b. boysons pic and us. 

About Jamie and Carly- yes we are preparing for the wedding and yes they are planning to be baptised right after they are married. I forgot Mandy was almost named Hannah! sorry back on topic.. Jamie and Carly came to Cantebury for a Regional Conference on Sunday and bishop is working with them for the wedding in April (probably the 15th) and then the baptism will be soonafter. they are excited for it and accept everything we teach; they are quitting tea and cigs really well and they accepted tithing and fasting and fast offerings which we taught at the Clue's home which was really good.

The other family decided they couldn't believe in God. Sad but happens so often. Probably the most common obstacle with people here; most have no faith at all.

We are working and all is well. Elder Yamada is doing a great job continuing to work positively and learning English. We have had some funny times this week- language study time (where we study English together) is always really funny cause as I ask him to say things from a list I toss in random things for him to say here and there and it always cracks us up for a while. 

Anyways, I gained a stronger testimony of fasting this week. I felt a very distinct answer come to me while fasting for a certain purpose. How grateful I am for gospel principles which teach us how to communicate with God and to tune into the promptings of the Spirit. (Like ashley said already) 

one thing i realized is how important family is; I had a feeling this week that family would be my greatest source of joy in my life and that I should do everything I can to prepare for that time. 

Funny story about josh asking about book ideas dad. Ive many times been glad you suggested i read some of those c.s. lewis books years ago because I loved them and they come to mind sometimes. 

Anyways, love you all and thank you for the emails! Please keep praying for Jamie's family I love them dearly and hope and pray they will be able to make these big commitments.

Elder Jensen

Jamie and Carly after they made us dinner on national pancake day

Pre- cliff jumping photo

Coninchiwa!  Origato!

What is paler, my calves or the cliffs? Hahaha just kidding they're not too white. 

On the cliff 

Elder Mecham from Utah, great guy. Living close to elder Withers and I at byu next fall!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Week 92-February 28, 2017

Week 92-February 28, 2017

I've got a Japanese companion! 

That's the big news because besides that our area hasn't seen much excitement this week. We found a new english family but haven't taught them since our first lesson so I'm not sure theyre really interested. Jamie and Carly are doing alright- poor Jamie was up all night sick saturday night so they couldn't make it to church unfortunately... that was really sad but it was out of anyone's control. The only big update is that Carly has chosen the date of their wedding to be the 15th of April- very exciting! the Relief Society has agreed to help with the reception. 

So here's the lowdown about my new companion: his name is Elder Yamada and he is from Fukui, Japan. He is awesome! im out of time. but his testimony is rock solid. he speaks good english but not great conversational speed so we are working on his English. he is a great kid. im excited to be his companion- i have learned a lot about faith and humility from him already. 

Love you guys. thanks for all the continual support and love. dont know where id be without you. 

Elder Jensen

The clue family. So good to us. 

My little friend Hannah- we are best buddies

Our district overlooking the white cliffs of Dover . We could see France! 

The lads! The wind was insane! 

Me and my companion, Elder Yamada. Coninchiwa!