Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I am so grateful for God's love and the chance I get to see that every day in my life and the lives of others.

July 24, 2017

Hey everyone!
It's been another great week in Woodland Hills! Just finishing out these last 3 weeks strong! It was an interesting week full of a lot of interesting people that felt the need to be openly mean but the work goes on haha! We aren't even phased at this point! It comes with the task of preaching the Gospel. I don't have much time so here's my weekly stat report.

WEEKLY STATS:

shirtless old guys talked to that wanted to argue: 4
people filming us in their cars: 2
firm hand shakes: 534
wedding receptions we crashed for a free dinner: 1
times we coordinated ties: 7

There are just a few stats for you! It was a great week haha!

We picked up a new investigator named Aria this week. He's from iran and is in his early 30's. We taught him the whole Restoration and he was so stoked to learn more and find out for himself if the Gospel was truly restored and if this could bring him true lasting happiness! We had a pretty funny experience with him though. As we were leaving we taught him how to pray and he asked if we would leave him with a prayer because he was heading out. We said "of course!" and asked what he wanted us to pray for. Then he asked Elder Hadley to pray for his safety as he drove to the dispensary hahahahaha. So Elder Hadley prayed that he would be safe as he went to go buy weed. California is so interesting! I love this place. 

 

I'm so grateful to be a missionary. This week was kind of tough in the sense of a lot of people were just being openly mean but it was so cool that as Elder Hadley and I continued to work hard and do our best, the Lord blessed us. I know that this is the Lord's church on the earth and that I am one of his set-apart representatives. I am so grateful for God's love and the chance I get to see that every day in my life and the lives of others.
I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!!

Elder Jensen
 
A missionary asked me to trim his neck...I left him with a little gift.


Scenic Woodland Hills

Welcome to our area...where one BMW I8 isn't enough.

 

Monday, July 17, 2017

I've had a front row seat watching the Restored Gospel change my life.

July 17, 2017

Hello Everyone! It's been a pretty amazing week here in Woodland Hills! The ward is hyped about missionary work since we had 3 baptisms this week and keep bringing more and more people to church.
The most important thing that happened this week was Mmakgabo and TK's baptism. Elder Hadley was able to baptize her! (It was his first baptism ever!) and a family friend was able to baptize TK! It was such a special experience. Mmakgabo has been having some trials lately and the morning of her baptism everything just seemed to go wrong for her. She called us and through tears said "this was supposed to be my special day. What happened?" I remember listening to Elder Hadley promise her that as soon as she stepped foot into the baptismal font, all of her worries would melt away. Seeing her big smile after her baptism was one of the greatest gifts that God has ever given me. She was so happy and at peace. She came up to us after the baptism and told us how happy she felt and how at peace she was. I knew that God had fulfilled His promise to her. What an amazing moment. On Sunday they were both confirmed members of the church and they had a chance to bear their testimonies. TK said that he can't wait to go on a mission because meeting with missionaries has brought him so much happiness. Then the Bishop let him sit up on the stand for the rest of the meeting and he was so excited to be up there with them! Mmakgabo was also so thankful for the Gospel and said she wants to be a Sr. Missionary some day as well! SO amazing!

Taylor Boyd was also able to get baptized this week! The whole ward was there to support her! It's been a long anticipated baptism for sure.
I'm so grateful for the Restored Gospel on the earth today. I got to witness it change lives the last couple months and I've had a front row seat watching it change mine. I know that Christ loves every single one of us and wants us to return to live with our Heavenly Father again. I'm so humbled to be able to play a small part in that great cause.

Funny things that happened this week:
- Got my palm read by someone while we were knocking doors. She grabbed my hand and said "I'm a hesitant person but that I'll make it." Californians are too cool.

Well I love you all and hope you have a great week!!
Elder Jensen







Monday, July 10, 2017

Woodland Hills is Bumpin!

July 10, 2017

Hello Everyone! 
I have come to the realization that I'm going to be the biggest wimp when I come back to Utah. I'm so used to the 110 degree weather and if it gets below 85 I freeze. I finally understand why Californians wear parkas in 70 degree weather! The Utah winter is going to be the death of me lol.

This week was full of miracles and cool experiences. On Wednesday we went by a part-member family we've been working with and finally picked up the non-member wife as an investigator!  


We also taught the rest of the commandments to Mmakgabo and TK and when we taught the Word of Wisdom Mmakgabo was like "No tea????" and we got way nervous because she hasn't had a problem with anything yet so we started testifying and promising her blessings and everything and she goes "Oh no, I'll stop drinking it, I was just curious" haha mini heart attack. She's still awesome don't worry. Then on Friday we had another lesson with them and like always it was awesome. After the lesson we took our best friend Jonny (one of the priests in the ward) out to dinner. I love that kid.They were both interviewed on Saturday and are all set for their baptism this next Saturday! The ward is super excited for them and there should be tons of people there.

We were also able to see the Laguires at church this week! Frankie should be there next week now that his mom has started coming again! While we were at church Taylor Boyd (the girl that has been coming to church for 4 years) came up to us and said she chose July 16th as her baptismal date and asked if we could make that work. We told her no. HAHA jk jk we said FOR SURE! So now we have 3 baptisms this week that the ward is looking forward to!

We have also been working with a Member in the ward named Trever Sherman and this week we were able to start teaching his wife! She has never been taught anything about the gospel and during the lesson Trever said he had a dream that they needed to go on a couples mission if she were to get baptized. It was such a cool lesson. So keep them in your prayers!

Well I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Jensen







Monday, June 26, 2017

Miracles in the making!

June 26, 2017

Hey Everyone, our week was so awesome! 


So about 6 weeks ago Elder Martin and I were walking out of the Stake Center after setting up for a baptism and we saw this couple sitting in their car just inside the gate. We walked up to them and introduced ourselves to Cheryl and Michael and they asked us for some help to find the closest library. Then they asked if the church had an office they could go to and learn more...little did they know we were the "office" where they could learn more. We felt like we should invite them to the baptism we just set up for. They said yes and we went and watched the baptism with them for the next hour or so. They were both from the south and Cheryl was a culinary artist so I whipped out my southern cooking knowledge and started talking about gumbo and other southern dishes with her. Then when the missionaries shared a little message about the Restoration she started to cry and really felt the Spirit. Well this week her and her husband got baptized and I was literally in tears with her during her interview because she kept saying we saved her life and that God sent us to her. I have had experiences like this all throughout my mission and it's the most amazing feeling to know that God is working through you.

We are also getting ready for Mmakgabos and Tk's baptism! It's going to happen either this week or next week and the ward is so excited for them. She went to the temple this week and waited for her friend to come out after she got sealed...then she announced to her that she was going to get baptized. Now all of her Santa Monica friends want to come! It should be a great baptism!

Our zone is still on fire. We had 5 baptisms this week!!! It was awesome. For the Spanish baptisms, our mission President asked us to stay and make sure everything went smooth and I got to experience why yesterday. There were 3 baptisms at the same time. For two 9 year olds and one 8 year old. (The Elders told us that the 8 year old was a child of record.) So after no leadership shows up and the baptism gets started 30 minutes late we jump right into the madness. Which included (but is not limited to): 
-A man filming the baptism
-Having to redo 6 baptisms for 3 children
-The Bishop forgetting the baptismal record for one of the girls
-the baptism taking an hour longer than it should have
-the lady who was supposed to give a closing prayer giving a 5 minute talk
But in the end it all worked out and it was a lovely, stressful experience :)

Other than that, this week was just a good, sweaty week. Just trying to keep my eyes on the track and work through the heat. I love this work and the great experiences I'm having. It's definitely worth the daily heat strokes. At least I'm in a car.
Love you all!

Elder Jensen
Cheryl and Michael!

Still a sunbeam at heart.

District picture.

Squad at a baptism.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Life is good

June 19, 2017

Hey everyone! It's been another busy week here in Woodland Hills with tons of learning experiences! This week was super good! I honestly don't have too much to talk about because this week was pretty much just like last week just with a few different contents haha.

This week we had:
Interviews with our President which is always good. They went by super fast cause our zone is doing really good and so we didn't have to stay for as long as we thought. The longer I'm out on my mission, the shorter my interviews are haha.

We also had two exchanges this week. And I got to go with Elder Liddiard! Got to finish Elder Martins training for me back when I was in Burbank. So we had a lot of great stuff to talk about. We also had a great lesson with their investigator family and set 2 baptismal dates! 

Other than that, not much else to talk about! Our area is on fire, we're finding, our investigators are progressing. Life is good :) Now if we could figure out a way to turn the heat down, that would be nice :) I'll probably go home to Utah and be the biggest wimp! It get's down to like 70 here and I'm shivering haha.

I guess I have one last thing. So in our mission we do this thing called Knock Out. I've talked about it a lot but just in case you don't know what I'm talking about, every day from 4-6 o clock we knock doors. That's 130 missionaries within two Valleys of 2 million people all knocking. But right before, at 3:55, we all bow our heads and say our KO prayer. So there's missionaries, members and others all praying at 3:55 every day in unison. How cool is that? I want to invite everyone to join us! At 3:55 (4:55 if you're in Utah) just say a quick little prayer for ya boy, it would mean a lot :)

Love you all!!

Elder Jensen



















Monday, June 12, 2017

I am so blessed that I get to be a missionary. My mission is truly a gift from God.

June 12, 2017

Hello Everyone! It's been another great week here in Woodland Hills! 
This week was PACKED! so I'll try to condense everything into a nice weekly email...
First off our area is on FIRE! It's awesome! We were sitting down in weekly planning and we realized that if everything goes as planned (which it usually doesn't) we should have 5 baptisms in the next few months in our area!!!!! That would be amazing! 

I'm gonna talk about 2 experiences this week that stuck out to me and probably just preach a sermon so strap in.

First, we helped this Jewish family move some stuff a few weeks ago and they invited us over for dinner. We went over and it was awesome! A lot of fun, good food, and good times. But the thing that stuck out to me was during dinner, we started talking about their beliefs. But they didn't seem to know. We asked if they believed in an afterlife and they all just kinda looked at each other and laughed and said that they weren't sure what the Jewish belief was! It blew me away. I couldn't imagine life without this Gospel or about the knowledge of God's plan. I hope we all take some time to learn more about it and fully appreciate what a gift this life is. And if you haven't had the chance to hear about God's plan for us, feel free to ask me any questions :)

Second, this last week Mmakgabo was kinda MIA. Like she was dodging our calls, texts, we tried stopping by and nothing. I was so sad but I felt a quiet assurance that everything was ok. Well that assurance was backed up this weekend. We went by on Saturday and she was finally there!!!! She told us how as soon as she started meeting with us she felt good, but not shortly after obstacles started popping up left and right for her. As a missionary, this seriously happens all the time and we were about to teach her that it was the adversary trying to keep her from this happiness, but before we could get the words out, she beat us to it! She started telling us how she knew that this was from God and that Satan is trying t stop her. She said that she was going to trust the feelings she got as she read the Book of Mormon and "take a leap of faith." This woman amazes me. She has the strongest faith and is so willing to follow God's plan. So we had a lesson with her and her son Thabang (TK) that night and taught them about Lehi's Dream. They loved it and we put TK on date for July 1st as well! It was sooooo cool! please keep them in your prayers though. They need as much support as they can get.

The last thing I wanted to talk about in this email is attitude. Our mission has had a big focus on attitude recently and I had a thought jump into my mind. When I was in Young Men's back home we had to go out once a month to collect Fast Offerings. Now most 12-14 year olds weren't completely ecstatic about this and you'd often hear the phrase "We HAVE to..." But I had a leader who would always remind us, it's not that we HAVE to, it's that we GET to. I've been thinking a lot about that and how it relates to missionary work and even life in general. When it comes to responsibilities, there are 2 kind of attitudes. You can choose to look at it as if you have to, or that you get to. There's a sentence in preach my gospel that goes something like this, "teaching the restored Gospel is your responsibility and blessing" and I love that. I am so blessed that I get to be a missionary. My mission is truly a gift from God. I hope we can all have an "I get to" attitude. It truly is a life changer.



Other weekly highlights:
-Driving by Drake, Adele, and the Kardashian's house
-MLC
-Playing basketball with TK after our lesson, and when we scheduled another lesson with  his mom he said "Can I come???" 

Love you all!

Elder Jensen