Thursday, March 16, 2017

Mineral Wells Week 1 March 13, 2017 Week Eighty-eight

Hey y'all!

If y'all didn't remember, this last week I was transferred from Flower Mound all the way to Mineral Wells, which by far is the biggest transition I've ever had to make on my mission! Flower Mound was the epitome of suburbia, and Mineral Wells looks like it was ripped straight out of a Pixar movie about race cars...I'll let you guess which one that is. The town embraces its craziness and even advertises it! The people here are absolutely insane and I love it.

My new companion's name is Elder Rowley, and he's been out about 7 months. He's from Walla Walla, Washington of all places, so we're able to talk a lot about things back in Washington that none of my other
companions have understood. We've hit it off pretty well, and we're seeing a lot of success here in Mineral Wells. Because we're both new to the area, we get lost pretty much all the time, but sometimes it works to our advantage as we're able to find people we weren't planning on stopping by but apparently needed to talk with the missionaries right when we pull up.

This is a great area, and Elder Rowley and I both feel confident that we'll see miracles here in the crazy town of Mineral Wells.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen

P.S. Here's some photos of the central landmark of the town, the Baker Hotel. The first skyscraper every built outside a Metropolitan area, in its heyday it was a sight to see. Famous guests include Ronald Reagan, LBJ, Charlie Chaplin, Helen Keller, and more. However, it closed down in the 70's and is now allegedly one of the most haunted places in America. They offer tours of it...but not at a time when we can go. :(

Flower Mound Week 30 March 6, 2017 Week Eighty-seven

Hey y'all!

After five transfers, the time has finally come for me to say goodbye to the town of Flower Mound. It's been a difficult place, but I wouldn't trade my time here for anything in the world. As I'm leaving the missionary I trained, he in turn is training a new missionary! I never met my trainer's trainer, my trainer never met his trainer's trainer, and that goes back as far as we all know. Finally, somebody will meet their "mission grandson." As for me, I'm shipping off to the crazy, crazy town of Mineral Wells, which is right next to the town of Graham, my 3rd area. Mineral Wells is likely going to be my last area, which is a sad thought. It's not that I don't want to go to Mineral Wells; on the contrary, I'm stoked out of my mind to be going there. Rather, the idea that I likely only have one area left is a sad one, because it means my mission has almost come to a close. My new companion is somebody named Elder Rowley; I've never met him, but he hasn't ever been in Mineral Wells either; we're whitewashing in!

Once again, I don't have a whole lot of time to write this week due to the choir practice my companion is in, but I want you all to know that I'm doing well and that as good as things have been, I know there's more good things to come.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen

P.S. Here's my new address: 3001 Northeast 2nd Street #208, Mineral Wells, TX 76067

Flower Mound Week 29 February 27, 2017 Week Eighty-six

Hey y'all!

This week could've easily been a hard week. Because we had lost our phone last week during weekly planning we didn't have many appointments set up; we mostly did finding. However, we weren't able to even find a lot of new investigators! However, the ones we DID find I feel were pretty solid, so I'm not complaining a ton.

The new key indicators have really changed the nature of the work, or at least it has in this area. Instead of trying to milk stagnant investigators for lessons, we're trying to help people progress and trying to find more investigators of a higher quality. The upside to that is I think we'll see more success in the long run. The downside is all the short term losses we feel. We find people who we help progress and grow close to, but then they drop us sooner than they normally would, allowing us to build friendships to be broken faster than ever. I'm not trying to sound pessimistic, because this WILL lead to finding people who are truly worth our time, but that being said, it was heartbreaking to see Elder Petrucka's reaction when our two most progressing investigators dropped us this last week. We found them through our own efforts, we taught them, we helped them overcome obstacles in their way, and we were still dropped by Ingrid and Ryan about a month after first finding them.

All this is to say you could probably understand if we were feeling down this week. In the contrary though, I feel great. Maybe I've been sleeping better than usual, or maybe there's something in the water that wasn't there before, but I feel like there's still hope for this area, like Christ is still working for the salvation of God's children in the Flower Mound 3rd Ward. It's still not going to be easy going forward, but it will definitely be worth it once a willing soul is found.

I don't have much more time to write this week; my companion is in an acapella quartet our mission is putting together for an unnamed event, and the practice is about an hour away. In between driving and the practice itself, the practice takes up about four hours of our P-Day, and we still have to accomplish everything else we would have. I'm sure the song will be great though!

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen

Flower Mound Week 28 February 20, 2017 Week Eighty-five

Hey y'all!

This week was definitely one of the stranger ones I've had on my mission. Early on in the week we were helping a member of our congregation move, and then we went immediately to our dinner. While eating, we discovered that our phone had gone missing! We retraced our steps, but our phone was nowhere to be found. We reasoned that it was either in this member's now empty home or sitting in a moving box in his home in Denton, which is in an entirely different Stake! Missionary work now became much more difficult, as in order to confirm all of our appointments we had to knock on the door of every person we were going to teach the day before we did it. We had no idea if anybody was trying to reach out to us, we couldn't plan super well, and we were terrified by the prospect of calling and collecting numbers without any means to do so. Needless to say, there was much praying this week. Then, wouldn't you know, after having exhausted every possible resource, a member of our congregation knocked on our door ten minutes before we needed to call for numbers to give us our phone! He had heard of our plight, tracked down the man who might have our phone, and they searched through all their boxes to finally find it.

Other than that, there's not a whole much to report about this week. One of our investigators died while we had lost our phone, and five people ended up dropping us, but we were still able to find a fair amount of success. We didn't have a lesson with Ingrid and Ryan, but we have one tonight. Hopefully it will go well!

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen

Flower Mound Week 27 (I think) February 13, 2017 Week Eighty-four

Hey y'all!

I don't have a whole lot to report on this week. We went on exchange with our Zone Leaders, and I was the one that was sent over to their area. While we were on this exchange Elder Petrucka went with one of our Zone Leaders to go teach Ingrid and Ryan, and so my limited knowledge of what happened then came from the two of them. Ingrid had been reading in the Book of Mormon, but apparently it was all flying over her head because of the way it was written. They tried to help her understand the older English that was used, but then they realized that she had several basic misunderstandings when it came to the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They went over it again very simply, and apparently she understood it a lot better. She got really excited upon hearing certain parts of it, because she has a lot of apprehension and mistrust when it comes to many large churches because of the scandals and corruption that follow them; when she learned that they didn't have the fullness of Christ's Gospel, it all began to click together in her head. They left them with a pamphlet that goes over the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a simple way, and we're hoping that it will help them in their fledgling testimonies.

Other than that, there's not a whole lot to report. We had almost all of our appointments cancel on us, and so we spent a lot of time knocking on doors. On the bright side, most of the week the weather was fairly nice, but on Saturday it was almost 90 degrees with high humidity! Elder Petrucka with despair in his voice, said at one point, "At least now I have a taste of what summers are like here." I laughed so hard, because that is going to be NOTHING compared to what summers in Texas are like.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Love, Elder Jensen

Flower Mound Week 26 February 6, 2016 Week Eighty-three

Hey y'all!

I don't have a whole lot of time to email this week, so I'll keep it to a bare bones minimum. Elder Petrucka and I saw a lot of success this week as we continued to follow up on people from the Book of Mormon Blitz. There was a lot of people who told us to come back in an hour or so, and when we did they had cleared out completely. By this point in my mission this doesn't even faze me, but Elder Petrucka, being fairly new, still didn't appreciate being stood up by so many people. It's a sad reality of missionary work that some people will appreciate what we do and others will do their best not to speak with us, whether they hide underneath their car, pretend to be busy on the phone, literally run into their homes in fear, or jump in their car and peel out (all of which I've seen on my mission). However, the people that listen to what we say and consider the doctrine taught by the restored church truly make it worth it, because we are able to see the joy of the gospel enter into their lives.

We did get a chance to see Ingrid and Ryan this week again. We probably won't ever see Stephany again, since she's moving to Houston, but we're confident that if she's able to find the LDS missionaries down there that she'll listen to them. Ingrid had been reading more in the Book of Mormon, and she's truly feeling the truth of it impressed upon her soul. When we spoke with them this week, she opened up to a verse that had particularly impacted her: Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. (Alma 40:11). It's incredible to see how just a simple verse testifying of the resurrection, life after death, and the premortal life can have such a huge impact on people. The Book of  Mormon really was correct when it said that by small and simple things are great things come to pass.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen

P.S. Here's a picture of our mission at the worldwide missionary broadcast a few weeks ago

Gathering the elect January 30, 2017 Week Eighty-two

Hey y'all!

This week was definitely an interesting one, filled with lots of highs and lots of lows. To start off, let me tell you about one of the more noteworthy things that happened this week. Many of you may have heard about this, but for those who didn't, this past Wednesday, there was a worldwide missionay broadcast that centered on topics such as teaching repentance and baptizing converts, as well as some changes to our schedule and the things we focus on as missionaries. Because Wednesday was our transfer day, we instead got together on Friday as a mission to watch it and then ask President Whitney about the new changes. One of the biggest changes is the flexibility we now have with our schedule. Originally, all missionaries worldwide were supposed to arise at 6:30, go out to proselyte at 10, return at 9 PM, and be in bed by 10:30. Now, we're able to change our schedules as local circumstances allow (missionaries in Latin American countries get up later and stay out later, missionaries in Africa get out earlier and get back earlier, etc). One of the larger changes that was universally hailed by missionaries around the world as inspired is an extra two hours in our preparation day! No complaints here!

The other big change that was announced was what we would report at the end of each week. Prior to this broadcast, there were nine "key indicators" that allowed us to measure our progress and see where we needed to improve. Now, however, after studying for years and determining which indicators are truly key for measuring success, they've cut the list down to only four! It's giving us a lot of focus as missionaries as to what's truly important, and we'll definitely see increased success because of this.

We're already starting to see this success begin. Due to the high number of copies of the Book of Mormon ws handed out last week, a lot of our time was dedicated to following up on these people. Out of the fifteen people we gave copies of the Book of Mormon to, five of them told us they weren't interested and never wanted us to come back (this is in addition to inactive members and random passerby who also told us the same thing this week). In addition to this, several other people dropped us too, which could have made this week a very gloomy one, especially since Elder Petrucka has such little experience as a missionary. However, there was still some success this week. In order to fully understand, y'all need to understand a situation we were in with our Book of Mormon Blitz last week.

We had set a goal of placing 15 copies of the Book of Mormon by the time we turned in on Sunday night, and it was now 8:00 PM on Sunday night. We had placed 14 copies of the Book of Mormon, and with about an hour left to place our last copy, we prayerfully considered where we needed to go. We decided to go to an apartment complex that we had already placed 7 copies of the Book of Mormon in, and we began knocking doors. We met lots of interesting people, but nobody particularly wanted to talk with us. However, we had time for one last door, and this had to be the one. We knocked on the door, and a woman who looked just a year or two older than us. We began talking to her, but she didn't seem too interested. Elder Petrucka felt prompted to ask her if we could share a quick message from the Book of Mormon (she said yes), and so he shared with her 1 Nephi 3:7, which reads: "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." Now interested, she invited us in to talk with her and her boyfriend who she lives with. When she asked us to share another scripture from the Book of Mormon with her, we shared Helaman 5:12, which reads, "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." They really liked the scripture and gladly accepted their own copy of the Book of Mormon. We left their home grateful that God has led us to somebody who would take a copy of the Book of Mormon so we could reach our goal, but we were unsure how receptive they would be in the future, since we weren't sure if it was then that was talking or the alcohol they had been drinking.

This last week, as we were out and about one evening, we decided to check in on them and see how they were doing. The couple, named Ingrid and Ryan, answered the door (fully sober) and invited us in. We had planned to share with them the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but they had another friend over named Stephany who was going through a really hard time in her life. We taught them about the  purpose of our life on Earth and the role that trials have in that. We didn't have time to share the message we planned on, but we did express to them that we had a message we wanted to share with them about the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Upon hearing that, they told us to come back again and gave us their phone number so that we could schedule an appointment. Stephany told us, "Make sure you text them and set up an appointment, because want to be here when y'all come back." 

Here in Flower Mound we are seeing a literal fulfilment of prophesy. President Russell M. Nelson once said, "The Book of Mormon is central to this work. It declares the doctrine of the gathering [of Israel]. It causes people to learn about Jesus Christ, to believe His gospel, and to join His Church. In fact, if there were no Book of Mormon, the promised gathering of Israel would not occur." President Ezra Taft Benson said, "The Book of Mormon is the instrument that God designed to 'sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out [His] elect.' (Moses 7:62.)" Despite all the setbacks we are seeing, we are still seeing success. Though we have found many, many tares, that does not diminish the value of the wheat that we find out here in our labors. Ultimately, even if Ryan, Ingrid, and Stephany were to drop us right now, we still would be blessed because we are laboring with all our heart, might, mind, and strength in the Lord's Vineyard. We'll do everything we can to help them progress, but that isn't up to us to determine. We will work our hardest and leave the harvest to the Lord.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen

Book of Mormon Blitz Part 2 January 23, 2017 Week Eighty-one

Hey y'all!

I write y'all at this time with great sadness in my heart......as you remember from my last letter to y'all, as a Zone we set a goal to place 157 copies of the Book of Mormon this week...and we only hit 156. Now, some people may look at this as a sign that we were not inspired in setting that goal. To them, I say this- WE PLACED 156 COPIES OF THE BOOK OF MORMON THIS WEEK!! Many missionaries in the past have written this off as a "dead" Zone where missionary work is impossible, but we just went and proved them wrong! Also, as a side note, I would like to say that our companionship reached our goal, so the fact that our Zone was 1 copy short wasn't our fault. This week we handed out copies of the Book of Mormon to do many great people we could've easily written off as not wanting to talk with us, such as a nice Muslim man, an older couple that moved here from Turkey 3 months ago, a very vocally Korean Baptist teenager, a young unmarried couple living together (the fact that they were slightly intoxicated may have helped), atheists, agnostics, a self-identified pagan, Catholics, and everything in between.

Hopefully we'll be able to keep up this incredible work we're engaged in.

Have a great week!

Elder Jensen

Book of Mormon Blitz! January 16, 2017 Week Eighty

Hey y'all!

This week was a pretty good one, albeit a little cold. We didn't have as many of the less actives we were working with come to church, but we still managed to be pretty successful. We're hoping that this next
week will go well, especially since we have this great challenge coming up that we've called the Book of Mormon Blitz!

Our Zone Leaders looked at how many copies of the Book of Mormon were in their apartment and said, "Why are we just sitting on these copies of the Book of Mormon? We need to get these out to people!" In order to do that, they decided that each companionship was going to try and place as many copies of the Book of Mormon as they could this week. During our Zone Council this week we discussed goals for the different
companionships and for the Zone as a whole, and after every companionship added up their goals, we decided that as a Zone we would hand out a total of 157 copies of the Book of Mormon this week! It's going to be hard, but it's going to be worth every bit of it. We're hoping, praying, and working as hard as we can to hit our goal of fifteen so we can contribute to this goal.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen

A cold and interesting week January 9, 2016 Week Seventy-nine

Hey y'all!

This week Texas was brought to its knees by its worst enemy, the one thing that can make a proud Texan admit defeat and cry out in silent terror and despair- SNOW.....about .6 inches of it to be precise. That only stuck on the grass. And also melted away within 24 hours......yeah....... It must be like kryptonite to them, because everything shut down. Nobody was on the streets (even though there was less snow in the streets than cars), nobody answered their doors for a few days, and generally, civilization ended. Every day felt like proselytizing in a ghost town, which wasn't very fun because it was pretty cold! Well, I mean, the coldest it got was only ever like twenty degrees, but that's pretty cold when every other day is seventy degrees and the others are twenty degrees or less. We never get used to either temperature, and we never how the day will be, so half the time we are bundled up for the hot days, and then we always end up totally unprepared for the cold days.

It was a good week though! We didn't have a lot of luck with getting investigators to church, but we did have a ton of less active members we were working with come to church! Maybe it was because they heard about the reduced time. One of the churches in the Stake had a pipe burst, and so our building took in a few of the displaced Wards. In order to compensate for the additional congregations meeting in the building, everybody only met for Sacrament meeting. We felt kinda like Baptists- we went to church for an hour, listened to a few sermons, and then immediately went home. I guess we need to empathize with all the Baptists so we can better invite them! :)

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen

Happy New Year!! January 2, 2016 Week Seventy-eight

Hey y'all!

Happy New Year! Looking back on it, 2016 has been an interesting year. If we had told people five years ago what would happen, they would have laughed is out of town. The Chicago Cubs won the world series, Leonardo diCaprio won an Oscar, Donald Trump is going to be the President, and I'm in Texas asking people to set aside their deeply ingrained beliefs and consider the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This week was very interesting. People here were wiped out after Christmas, and for a few days NOTHING happened. Then, everything shut down again in preparation for New Years. People down here love their football, and there was NO way we could tear them away from their games (not for lack of trying). We did almost teach twenty lessons though, so we did alright all things considered.

Hope y'all have a great week and a happy new year!

Elder Jensen

P.S. Here's a picture of our one at the activity we had today

Merry Christmas!! December 26, 2016 Week Seventy-seven

Hey y'all!!

This week was amazing! By far the highlight was yesterday when we got to call our families. For Elder Petrucka, it was his second phone call (if you count when he got to call home in the airport), and for me it was my second to last phone call. It was great to see my family, even though we were only allowed to call for forty minutes as opposed to the hour we used to get, but there are worse things than that. We'll get all of eternity to be with each other after all...

This week also had by far the most interesting meeting of my entire mission. Every year our Mission President gets us together and we watch a Christmas movie or two and then speak about Christ and why we're celebrating this holiday. This year, we watched a Hallmark movie called Christmas for a Dollar, but that wasn't the interesting part. Right after eating lunch, the fire alarm went off, and we all started evacuating the building slightly confused as to what was happening. Turns out, it was so cold that some pipes burst and the building was flooding at a rapid pace. The fire department showed up, and not too long after that portions of the ceiling collapsed due to the weight of the water. I don't think I'm ever going to forget the image of what appeared to be rain falling out of light bulbs and air vents in the ceiling. It was quite the Christmas miracle that we were all fine!

Hope y'all have a great week (and a happy New Year)!!

Elder Jensen

Flower Mound Week 19 December 19, 2016 Week Seventy-six

Hey y'all!!

This week was so great! First off, my new companion, Elder Petrucka, is amazing. He's a theatre kid just like me, and so we're getting along great. He's from Payson, Utah, he's a little taller than me, and LOVES being a missionary.

The weather here has been typical of Texas- that is to say, it's completely unreliable. On Saturday, we went out for the morning to experience beautiful weather in the mid-70's. In the space of an hour, the temperature dropped 20 degrees, and by the time the sun set, it was twenty five degrees outside (8 if you take wind chill into account)! Fortunately it'll be up to 73 on Sunday, so I guess I can't complain too much though.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen

P.S. This picture of our apartment complex's pool was taken just a few days after people were swimming in it. Yeah.

The Separation of Flower Mound 3rd and Flower Mound 2nd December 12, 2016 Week Seventy-five

Hey y'all!

The answers to all of our questions have finally come- the Flower Mound 3rd and 2nd wards are splitting up, and both Elder Stokes and I are going back to just our original areas. Not only are we both only covering one ward now.....we're both training new missionaries! I swear, neither of us is stressed about that all! ;)

This week we continued the trend of teaching at least twenty lessons, but we're not sure if we'll be able to next week. We had two wards to work in the past few weeks, and we also had great planning sessions. This week however, we didn't know if we would be together or separate, so we set down vague plans, since we were planning two different weeks for three different wards in just an hour instead of the two hours we normally have. Yes, I said three weeks- one of our zone leaders, Elder Broberg, was just called to be the new Assistant to the President, and so his companion was with Elder Stokes and I this week as Elder Broberg was with the AP's being trained by them. We had three wards to cover for a week, but we also have the Zone Leaders' truck to drive around for that week, so we're able to stay pretty busy. Not only did we teach twenty lessons, we taught over twenty lessons in both areas, for a total of forty five lessons last week!! I'm very exhausted now, but we also have tons of energy that always comes to missionaries when serving in a trio.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen

Flower Mound 3rd/2nd Week 15 December 12, 2016 Week Seventy-four

Hey y'all!

This week was incredible! Normally in this area teaching can be a struggle, but we've managed to stay SUPER busy. Last week, we taught almost half of our lessons on Thanksgiving, which significantly boosted the number of lessons taught. We almost expected this week to be a let down compared to this one, but we managed to teach 28 lessons!! It definitely was a week or miracles. There's a less active in our area that we've been working with for months with little to no progress. This week, however, he actually came to church, which was great because it was Stake Conference. It seemed as if every time somebody got up to speak, they were addressing him directly; he had such a spiritual experience.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen

Thanksgiving!! November 28, 2016 Week Seventy-three

Hey y'all!

This week was hands down the best that I've ever had in this area. Normally in this mission, we strive to hit at least twenty lessons a week, with varying degrees of success. In many areas, twenty lessons is hard to hit, and Flower Mound 3rd and 2nd have typically been in that boat. In past areas, hitting twenty lessons a week was a piece of cake, but here, most weeks we struggle to hit fifteen. This week, however, was different. Most of our investigators didn't want to meet with us this week, which is pretty understandable with it being a week where most people were either out of town or had family visiting. As a result of this, we decided to focus on teaching members this week, both active and inactive. While we only had one lesson with a nonmember all week, long, we were still able to teach twenty two lessons!! We're truly starting to see miracles in this area, and hopefully we'll be able to keep this going.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen

Flower Mound Week 15 November 21, 2016 Week Seventy-two

Hey y'all!

Things are going well down here in Flower Mound! We're starting to figure out how to cover two different wards that meet in two different church buildings......but for every step forwards we take we get pushed another back. Our area book deletes all of the information for one of the wards, then our LDS tools app that tells us where the members live deletes the members in one of the wards, etc.
It's kind of frustrating, but we're still able to get a lot done.

So we're SUPER excited for Thanksgiving this week! Normally, Thanksgiving is a nightmare for missionaries, since no investigator would ever want to take time from their Thanksgiving with their family to talk about church with some random people, especially if it takes away from their football watching time. However, we decided to text a bunch of members to see if we could stop by and share a quick message about Thanksgiving, and we hoped that would take up our day. We kind of lucked out- about half the people we asked said yes, and they ALL want to feed us dinner! We're probably going to die from overconsumption of food on Thursday.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen

Flower Mound Week 14 November 14, 2016 Week Seventy-one

Hey y'all!

As I'm guessing you gathered from the subject of this email that I have stayed here in Flower Mound, but there's been a few changes. Coincidence of all coincidences, a missionary in a neighboring Ward went home the exact same day as Elder Frost, which meant that there was not one, but two missionaries lacking companions. You could say that this was just an incredible coincidence, but it is anything but that. God knew our companions would be going home, and so he put both of them in areas adjacent to each other. Now, we're sharing the two Wards, the Flower Mound 3rd and 2nd Wards. My new companion is Elder Stokes, and he is a GREAT missionary. I'm follow up training him just like I was with Elder Frost, but I doubt that he's going to have the same issues that Elder Frost did. Our first week together had been very interesting, a little stressful, a bit confusing, and super busy to boot. We've got a few wrinkles to iron out (our Wards meet in different buildings at overlapping times, we have to cancel dinner with some people in one Ward so we can go to dinner in the other Ward, the other Ward is about a half hour bike ride away, etc), but we're looking forward to an exciting transfer together.

Hope y'all have a great week!!

Elder Jensen

Flower Mound Week 13 November 7, 2016 Week Seventy

Hey y'all!

This week was by far the most interesting week of my mission. Transfers were this past Wednesday, and I was introduced to my new companion, Elder Frost. I had heard from another missionary that he had some anxiety problems, but I wasn't too worried. Many missionaries struggles with anxiety or depression to a degree on their mission, but it's never too much to handle.....except for when it is.

Elder Frost has one of those cases where it is. From the moment I first met him I could tell he was struggling to keep it in check, but it just got worse and worse. We took him to see the counselor that missionaries visit if they have problems like this, and to be honest, I thought that it was just going to be a forty-five minute deal where they spoke and then Elder Frost would be good to go for a week or so. Turns out, my idea of a magical therapy session wasn't quite grounded in reality. After the appointment, Elder Frost got on the phone with our mission president, and they decided that it would be best for him to go home. I was heartbroken to hear that, especially since Elder Frost has only been out for three months! I understood why he is going home, but that didn't stop me from  asking myself why repeatedly for the next few days, when I had LOTS of time to do that. Normally when a missionary (or really, not just missionaries, but humans in general) would learn something big like this, it might occupy their thoughts for a few days, but they would be thinking about it as they go about their normal schedule, but we didn't get that luxury. Our mission president instructed us to stay in our apartment and NOT proselyte until he goes home (which is tomorrow), meaning we had PLENTY of spare time to think about it. Our Mission President did that so that Elder Frost can avoid being in a stressful situation that could give him another panic attack, but it wasn't exactly easy to just sit inside for days on end. We were able to go to church, and we were able to go to our P-Day activity today, but that's about it. I enjoyed the extra time to read and study; normally I would be able to do that for days on end with no problem. The reason it was difficult for me now is because I was called to preach the fullness of the everlasting gospel for two years, not to study it.

Looking back on the last few days, I have to say, while they were very hard, I would never give them up for anything. I've learned how to handle stress better, I've learned how to help other missionaries having a hard time, I've learned how to love more, I've learned how to be more patient, and I've learned to turn to Christ in times of need. I don't know if I'm going to be in the same area tomorrow, I don't know if I'll be in a trio with neighboring missionaries, I don't know if I'll be emergency transferred somewhere else, but I do know that whatever happens, it is God directing it.

Also, today is my sixteen month mark. Thought I should mention that.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Jensen