Saturday, November 21, 2015

I'm being transferred to Encino

November 16, 2015

Hey everyone!! Another week down! Well I'm out of Granada Hills and I'm being transferred to Encino which is only 15 minutes away. It's another car area and my new companion will be Elder Taylor. I'm super stoked to check out the new area tomorrow!! I'll let you know all about it next Monday.

My new address is:

16815 Vanowen St. #201
Van Nuys, CA. 91406

Well sister Bradford did end up going home which is super sad. But on the bright side we got their old apartment!!! Our mission president called on Tuesday and told us to move out immediately because our apartment was being shut down. It was so trashed because it's been through a lot of missionaries. We upgraded big time!!! It's like we went from a cheap motel to a penthouse suite! Sister missionaries are livin' lavish I'll tell ya. We packed up ASAP and moved in. It took us a while because we had to take multiple trips. We had to take Anderson's bike and our desks and all of our luggage plus we had to clean the old apartment. After hours of deep cleaning I can honestly say it didn't do a thing. On the not so bright side I only got the penthouse suite for a few days. I unpacked everything and now I have to repack again and move to my new area. Another benefit of being transferred is that I no longer have to speak in church! I was scheduled to speak on the 29th...bummer!

We met with Aaron this week and he's getting a lot better!! I said bye to him and shared my testimony. He's an awesome guy and I'll miss him a lot...he's a crumpled 20$ bill but still a 20$ bill! He said not to worry about him because he was going to start going to church. I hope he gets baptized eventually!! We didn't have a lot of success in this area but I feel like I really helped him understand why we have trials in our lives and helped him grow closer to his heavenly father! He's a great example to me of enduring to the end.

Funny story of the week: On Wednesday we had a night out with the girls. It's not what it sounds like!!! We got invited to a Hawaiian relief society dinner party at the ward! It was literally 60 old women and then us. We felt so out of place but we were the life of the party! The food was super good and they sent us home with a full cheese cake and a huge tray of food which was really nice of them.

Message of the week: Elder Anderson and I had a sweet companionship study this week on prayer. We read 1 Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray without ceasing". Such a simple scripture but it's deep. I started thinking about how when I'm a father I'm going to want my kids to tell me all about their lives, about their struggles, about what they need help with, and tell me how much they appreciate what I do for them. Our Heavenly Father is the same exact way! He gave us such an amazing gift so we could let him know about our lives on a very personal level. He wants to hear from us daily because he loves us. We can all work on either praying more or making our prayers more meaningful.

Also, yesterday we went to our favorite Philippino families house for dinner and they threatened to feed us balut...it's a fermented duck egg with a dead chick inside.....we talked them out of it. Thank goodness!

Love you guys and hope you are all having a great Holiday Season!!!

Elder Jensen

Our apartment in Encino.



I seriously learn something every day....whether it's about myself or about the gospel.

November 9, 2015

This week was a really slow week for us. Not much success with our Less actives or our new investigators. I'll be honest I'm super discouraged and disappointed with how slow things are moving. Peoples hearts are so hard here and the message doesn't get through to them. But I know that there's someone here for us.

This week Aaron was doing a ton better! We taught him the last lesson and he said he would be at church in 2 weeks as long as the recovery continues at the speed it has been. He is really worried about changing his beliefs though. If I had been Jewish for 60 years I would be scared too so I don't blame him! It's a huge leap of faith and a huge life change for him but he has us to help him every step of the way. The progress he has made in these past 3 months has been amazing. He went from being a PTSD stricken veteran to a man that now has so much hope and faith that everything happens for a reason. It's really a privilege to be a part of this change he has made.

Our new investigator Renne couldn't meet this week which stinks! But we have an appointment with her tomorrow at 7! We're stoked to teach her about the plan of salvation and how her family can be together forever! We feel like since they are really family centered in their home this message will spark an even greater interest in the gospel. Pray for us!

We had an awesome Zone Training Meeting this week that really gave me a boost to keep going even when things get rough. They talked a lot about fire and how fires start. Fires start with just a little spark and can then grow into a huge fire that engulfs everything in it's path. In our case the gospel is the fire and us missionaries are the spark. In order for San Fernando to catch on fire with the gospel we need to be that spark. And in order to be that spark we have to read our scriptures daily, follow the mission rules, open our mouths and bear our testimonies, and work hard. I want these Californians to experience all the blessings The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints can bring them, so I'm going to do my part. As we do our part the Lord will use us to bless others. It was an awesome meeting and I learned a ton! I seriously learn something every day....whether it's about myself or about the gospel.

 Funny story of the week: The Granada Hills Sisters (Sister Smith and Sister Bradford) once gave us an expired can of yams that nobody wanted! In order for us to give it back to them would find clever ways to leave it in their car and at their door! Well this week they got us back for all our pranks!! They made us "Pumpkin spice" cookies and brought them to us on Thursday. As we were eating them they said "HA we got you guys!! Those aren't pumpkin spice they're mashed yam cookies with a ton of spices!"  So I guess we both ate expired yams from 2014. We each ate a full cookie...I guess anything can turn into a cookie if you cook it long enough?
Right after they took off in their car we went to our district service project and gave them out to the other sisters in the district as refreshments!! We are terrible hahaha!

Message of the week: Everything happens for a reason. This week Sister Bradford (from our district) went to the chiropractor and he messed up her neck so she has to go home 3 months early from her mission to get everything fixed. It's been super hard on her so we went over and gave her a blessing this weekend. In the blessing it said that the Lord always knows what he is doing. And that he was just transferring her to her next mission in life. I have a strong testimony that everything happens for a reason. I'm here for a reason and I'm experiencing everything I'm experiencing for a reason. Never doubt that.

I love you all and hope you have an awesome week!!

Elder Jensen




This week has really showed me how important The Spirit is and how much it can bless our lives and others

November 2, 2015

This week was a pretty good week in Granada Hills!
Our investigator Aaron almost died!! He got an infection where they sliced him open and it started to spread to his organs. He got rushed to the hospital and is hooked up to an I.V now that pumps him full of antibiotics. We have been visiting him a ton lately and he really appreciates it because we are pretty much the only company he gets all week. He is back at home now and is doing a ton better! We really wanted to get him to come to church but that thought is going to have to be put on hold for a while because he really needs to fully recover first.

We got a new investigator during knockout! Her name is Renne. She's 18 and trilingual which is pretty crazy!! She speaks Armenian, Spanish, and English. We taught her the restoration at her door and she said that her family has been looking for a church to join for a really long time and that she couldn't wait to tell them about what she had just learned. We have another appointment with her this Wednesday and she wants the whole family to take the lessons with her. I just hope that they are supportive and let her take lessons if they don't end up being interested. We really appreciate all the prayers coming our way every day...we notice a huge difference...doors open more and people actually let us in.

We had a Halloween "party" this week after our knock out. Not exactly what I would call a party though. There was pizza and then we watched a movie. We watched Joseph Smith The Prophet of The Restoration. Elder Anderson and I voted for Paranormal Activity but we got shut down.  Just kidding. Knock out was interesting on Halloween. Lots of people were knocking doors and we got offered candy a lot because they thought we were in costume! We didn't pass up on their offers!

I went on an exchange with the Spanish zone leaders this week. It was super fun but the only thing I know how to say in Spanish is that I don't speak Spanish so that was interesting! We knocked in the projects and we had more success in one knock out there than I had in one month worth of k.o's in Granada which was crazy!! People are just much more humble there. We also had a man stop us and he pointed to his taco shop and said "Keep up the good work brothers. If you ever need food stop by my shop and I'll hook it up." Too bad I was only there for a day because I want some of those free tacos!!

Elder Anderson and I may have set a mission record this week. We gave eight blessings to eight different missionaries in one week, four each. The spirit is so real you guys!!! It's crazy when you have absolutely no idea what to say and then your mind just gets flooded with thoughts that you know aren't yours and you start to say things about someone that you couldn't have known without the spirit. We had lots of late nights because of the blessings we had to give but it's nice to know you are the go to Elders in the area.

Message of the week: Listen to the spirit!! It's hard to hear but it's so powerful. This week has really showed me how important it is and how much it can bless our lives and others. We always need to remember to take care of ourselves spiritually so that we can take care of others as well. We are all truly instruments in Gods hands. And I know that every experience we have is there for a reason...whether it's there for us to help others in the future or to help us grow and become better people. Short and sweet message this week but I hope you all took something from that.

Well I love and miss all of you so much and hope life is treating everyone well. Happy late Halloween!!


Elder Jensen



 


The Lord will always bless you whether it's through your own efforts or through others.

October 26, 2015

This week went by super slow for us but a lot of cool things happened!

There was a baptism in our district this week!  Elder Anderson got to give the baptismal interview which was pretty cool! It's the first baptism I've been to on my mission and I hope to see many more while I'm here. The baptism was for Carlos Lara. He has a super cool story and is going to be such a benefit to the ward! He also has such a strong testimony..simple but so powerful. I think that a lot of times people think their testimony has to be super long to have an impact on people but that is so false! Everyone's testimony has so much meaning and power.

We had a miracle happen to us this week. We had a lot of our solid investigators drop us throughout the week so we spent most of our time contacting on the street and knocking doors trying to find people to teach. We got a few potentials but no one that was super interested. We had been praying all week that we'd just find at least one person who was interested but Saturday night came around and we hadn't found anyone. Yesterday we were super tired and did the knock out routine and at 5:45 we still hadn't found anyone but we just kept on knocking. We got a text right after knockout from some other missionaries in our area that they had a referral for us and that Deo wanted the lessons. Then we got a call from the Sister missionaries in our area and they said they had an investigator who was now living in our area. By the end of the week we had picked up two new investigators and it was such an answer to our prayers. I have definitely learned that if you do the work the Lord will always bless you whether it's through your own efforts or through others.

Last Monday we went to the driving range with only a pitching wedge and an 8 iron, but this week we got a bag of golf clubs!! We've been asking around for the past month and we finally found an apartment with some! We're going to go play nine holes right after we finish emailing and Anderson and I are so hyped!! Anderson has been training me to be a good missionary and I've been training him to do a good golfer...it's a pretty sweet trade! Hitting golf balls is a HUGE stress reliever for me.

Things get pretty boring in the apartment at night. We try to find stuff to keep us busy but sometimes your companion takes it to the extreme! One night we were sitting on our couch and Anderson just walked over to me and stuck his thumb on my leg. I tried to push it off but he Super Glued it to my leg!!! I hope that shows you how bored we get at 10:00 pm. We spent the next 30 minutes trying to cut the super glue holding us together...He admitted after, when his finger had leg hair glued to it, that it wasn't the best idea he has ever had.

Message of the week: This week we had our zone conference and our mission president gave a huge talk on faith. He said that faith is a verb not a noun or an adjective. In order to grow our faith we first have to use it and act upon it. It's kind of like a muscle...in order to make it stronger you have to work out and put effort into it. Our faith is the same way. It doesn't just magically come to us...we have to build upon it slowly over time. That has definitely been a huge factor in my mission so far. A lot of times you don't know why you are on a certain street or why you are even knocking but after that trial of your faith blessings always come. I challenge all of you to just stretch your faith a little longer each week and help it to grow.

I love you all so much and hope you all have amazing weeks! Thanks for all the prayers...We definitely need it and can always feel the difference. There's so much more I wish I could tell you all about but we never have enough time. Love you guys!

Elder Jensen





Granada Hills Zone Conference October 21, 2015

100 degree weather in the middle of October.

October 19, 2015

Well We made it another week! It's super weird to have 100 degree weather in the middle of October...I'm still getting used to that. And the weirdest part is that people here are starting to wear jackets and coats and I'm still sweating to death! I'll never understand it! We have been crazy busy as usual and I have never been more exhausted! I didn't believe people when they said you'd fall asleep on your knees fully dressed frequently on your mission until it happened twice this week!  Lets just say we're glad it's Monday and my comp and I plan on catching up on some sleep.

We had a rough time with knock out this week. We haven't been getting much success with it lately but we just keep going. On Thursday we were ready to just quit and go home because we had been knocking for almost 2 hours and we had only gotten 13 people to open their doors. But we decided to finish out the street. When we got to the end of the street we ran into Amber, one of our former investigators, and she said she had been thinking about us a lot lately and that she really wanted us to come back and start the lessons again. It just goes to show you that there's always a blessing at the end of hard experiences or challenges. Thanks for all the prayers coming our way! We really appreciate it and can definitely tell a difference! 

Something super funny happened this week! We had District meeting on Thursday and we went a little early to set up chairs. Well we opened the door to the church and started walking down the hall towards the class we usually set up in and the alarm went off! We FREAKED out!! We were so worried that cops were going to come and handcuff us!  Picture two missionaries sprinting up and down every hallway trying to find the alarm key pad, then finally finding it and realizing they don't know the code. That was us. We called our stake president and he gave us the code and told us to wait for the police and explain the situation but luckily police never came! It feels like something funny and unfortunate happens to us every week but that's ok with me! More stories to tell.

We are still working with all of our investigators and are helping them progress slowly but surely. Sometimes we don't think they'll end up accepting the gospel because of their addictions or other issues but a friend of mine said that you have to picture every person like a 20 dollar bill. Even if you saw a crumpled 20 dollar bill on the street you'd still pick it up because it has value! When we talk to people we can't always be looking for that crisp 20 dollar bill. Everyone has the same value whether they're crumpled a little or in perfect condition. We just have to be humble enough to realize that.

Message of the week: Lately we have been struggling with the ward in our area. They had a bad experience with former missionaries in the area and have been taking it out on us. They won't come to lessons with us and they feed us like 2 times a week on average which really stinks. But we decided to fix the problem by being charitable towards them rather than complaining about it. We spent most of our week helping members with things and asking people for service opportunities. We mowed a lawn, cleaned up a yard, etc.... Well this Sunday they had done a total 180 and saw that we were just there to help them! They saw that we were totally different than missionaries they had in the past and now they love us! Always look for ways to help others even if they aren't doing the same for you. It can fix more situations than you may believe!

Love you guys and miss SLC a lot this week. I hope you all have a great week!!

Elder Jensen

Never question why experiences happen to you because there is always a reason whether we see it or not.

October 13, 2015

We made it another week! Such a crazy week as usual. We've been extremely busy lately, mainly because of Elder Anderson's new calling as the District leader, although we both agree that it has felt like he's been more of a "baby sitter". We have some pretty dramatic sister missionaries that we have to take care of and oh man....it's been a struggle. They constantly get in fights with their companions and cause problems. One night we got a call at 9:00 and we had to go sort out a disagreement one of the here was a TV sitting in the gutter..lets just say Anderson kicked the crap out of that TV. We are definitely growing because of this new calling and because of these experiences we are having!

We had a huge break through with our Jewish investigator Aaron! We meet with him on Saturday and he has recovered from surgery really well. He told us that he threw away all his heavy prescription pain meds because he knew that he would get addicted to them if he took them. That was pretty amazing because he has struggled with drugs in the past. Then he told us that while he's been recovering from his surgery he's had a lot of time to read and a lot of time to think about what he had read in his scriptures. He said that Judaism was false because he was able to feel gods love for him stronger than ever while he sat in bed reading for the past 3 weeks. That blew us away because a week earlier he was the total opposite! We have been praying for him a ton and I guess you could say this surgery is exactly what he needed. The lord works in mysterious ways. We are going to keep working with him as he builds up his testimony of the Book of Mormon and hopefully he keeps progressing.

We also had a lesson with Mike this week. It was our 5th time meeting with him and he had absolutely no idea who we were and totally forgot everything we taught him. We're assuming it's because he is drunk every time we talk to him but we're gonna keep working with him. Sometimes you can teach someone more through your actions and service towards them than your actual words can so we're going to continue to be his friend because that seems like the main thing he needs at the moment. Just gets discouraging when everything you do doesn't seem to be enough.

Funny story of the week: Sister Warren (one of the STL's) asked me to give here a blessing this week. It was pretty late and I had a huge head ache from a long day but we hurried over there as fast as we could. I decided that I needed some medicine before I gave here the blessing so I asked for some Ibuprofen. Sister Warren insisted that I try Dotera oils instead because they work way better. After refusing for 5 minutes and demanding some modern medicine I finally gave in. She dumped peppermint on my fingers and told me to rub it into the back of my neck and my forehead....Well being the idiot that I am I itched under my eye and eventually my eyes were both just burning!!! So I was stuck in a tough situation..I had to give a blessing but my eyes were on fire! I gave here the blessing and when I finished she was crying and everyone thought I was crying but it was just the stupid peppermint making my eyes water because it stung so bad! Moral of the story is....I'm convinced that Dotera oils are a scam!

Message of the week: Everything happens to us for a reason! Just like I said about Aaron, he didn't want to get the surgery that he needed but in the end it ended up fixing his health problem and helped him feel the spirit stronger in his life. Never question why experiences happen to you because there is always a reason whether we see it or not. And we usually end up understanding why it happened to us later down the road! Just always have faith that everything is happening how it should and that it's in God's hands!

Well we're out of time but I hope you got a laugh out of this email!! We're super busy over here! Thanks for all the support and love you have shown both me and my companion!! Hope everything is going well for all of you and I hope that you all have a great week!!

Elder Jensen


There are three Jensens in the mission and we're all in the same zone!! Pretty crazy!


Monday's are like Christmas for us!

October 5, 2015

Hey guys! It was another slow but eventful week here in Granada Hills! Monday's are like Christmas for us! We get to rest a little bit and do some fun stuff. We're always exhausted by Monday and I don't know how we'd survive without P-day's!

We had a lot of success with our progressing investigators and we also had a lot of success with our knockouts. Knockout is pretty rough if I'm honest because you get like 50 doors slammed in your face, a few really nice old lady's that offer you water and candy, a few bible bashers, and if you're lucky you get one new investigator. Well we got a little of all of that this week. During knockout we picked up a new investigator named Mike. He's 55 years old and has been investigating religion for quite some time. He has always been drawn to the Mormon religion because we have solid values and he can tell it has all the truths that the Bible talks about. He's really studied up on the Bible and is excited to read the Book of Mormon. He really wants to take the lessons but here is the catch...he is drunk basically 24/7 and can't really comprehend what we say or feel the spirit our message has. We were just lucky enough to run into him when he was sober. We have been keeping an eye on him and occasionally find him passed out on park or street benches. We sit down with him and wake him up and chat for a little while,  then slowly walk him home and he talks about how much he loves his wife and kids and talks about how he wants to "clean up". He's always super appreciative and calls us his friends which is pretty cool. Elder Anderson and I are really learning to be patient and help people work through challenges. It gets aggravating and challenging but we're learning a lot and growing from our experiences.

This week we also met with Anna Maria. She's a less active member of our ward and hasn't been to church in a couple years. She's a Brazilian Model and she is the Girlfriend of one of the LA Galaxy players. I haven't figured out which player it is yet but I'm planning on asking her next time So I'll keep you updated. Anyways she's interested in coming back but she's really struggling with the word of wisdom. That's kind of the trend out here if you haven't noticed! It's really hard to show people the benefits that come from leaving all that behind when they enjoy it so much. We honestly don't know how to help sometimes but we're not going to quit. I know we'll get her back to church eventually it's just a matter of time.

Carla Salinas called us this Tuesday and moved her baptismal date back a ways. Now her whole family is interested and they want to all get baptized together which is awesome! Hopefully We're both still here to see it happen but if not that's ok..sometimes you just plant the seeds in
missionary work and there's nothing wrong with that.

We had transfer calls this Saturday and Anderson and I were so worried we were going to get split up. We got a call from the AP's and were so sad because when they call you you're usually moved but they just called to make him a District Leader! We were pretty stoked with that haha. Our new district is Elder Anderson and I and six sister missionaries.....we're the only guys....pray for us! Haha just kidding we'll be fine! We have a lot more on our plate now and will be even busier than we already were but we're not worried about it.

Also I ran into Elder Olivas this week at operation gratitude! He played for East's men's soccer team and he's still so mad about the state finals hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! To all my Skyline men's soccer friends...good work! We talked about how they should have won and how we were so lucky. But at the end of the day we still won!! Missed Brig, Sheldon, Will, Dallin, and Lil' Mitch a ton after that conversation. I attached a picture of us in the email.

Message of the week: General Conference was this week! We call it Missionary holiday because it's the only day we sort of get off.  Anyway there were some pretty awesome talks!! Elder Uchtdorf's Saturday morning talk was one of my favorites. One thing he said that I really liked was "Tell a man there's a trillion stars in the sky and he'll believe you. Tell him there's wet paint on the wall and he'll touch it just to be sure."  I'm sure we're all like this man sometimes and look for physical proof or evidence that something is true. Sometimes we want rock solid evidence or proof that the gospel is true and we fail to see that it's right in front of us. The spirit is always there to assure us of its truthfulness if we just look hard enough. People tell us our church is false every day and we always ask if they have read the book of Mormon and went to church. The answer is always no. You can't decide something isn't true or not if you haven't even checked for yourself. I challenge all of you to check for yourself and get the proof you need to strengthen your testimony.

I love you guys and hope life is treating you all well!!

Elder Jensen



I ran into Elder Olivas this week at operation gratitude! He played for East's men's soccer team and he's still so mad about the state finals hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! To all my Skyline men's soccer friends...good work! We talked about how they should have won and how we were so lucky. But at the end of the day we still won haha!! Missed Brig, Sheldon, Will, Dallin, and Lil' Mitch a ton after that conversation.


Time flies by when you don't have time to stop and think about anything

September 28, 2015

Hey everyone!! This week was a busy one which is good. Time flies by when you don't have time to stop and think about anything lol. I hope everything is going well for all of you in SLC.

Some crazy things happened this week in Granada hills!! First, this Sunday we had gospel doctrine class after sacrament meeting. I was still pretty new to the ward so we started off class by introducing ourselves and sharing a little fact about our life. Well it gets to our teacher, Brother Wyatt, and he said he was the director of Napoleon Dynamite!!! My companion and I flipped out! We started to quote funny lines from the movie and he would just burst out laughing! He was so excited that we knew the movie so well! Also, this week during knockout we went up into the hills which is the really nice neighborhood in our area. We knocked on a mans door and asked him if he would like to hear our message and he said no thanks but asked if we would like some soda. It was super hot as usual so obviously we accepted and he invited us in.  He showed us all his band memorabilia and talked to us for a while about our missions and why we were out here. Then I asked him where he got all of his stuff and he said he was a guitar player and member of the band Chicago.   Elder Anderson said it's pretty common to run into famous people here in the valley so I'll let you know if I meet anyone else!

I went on my first exchange this Friday. An exchange for those of you that don't know is when you switch companions for a day to get a little break from your area and experience mission work with a new companion. I exchanged to the Northridge area with Elder Bagly who is also from Utah (Seriously everyone in this mission is from Utah!) it ended up being a bike area...biking in 114 degree heat wearing dress pants and dress shoes is not fun at all! We rode to this one area of town that is known to be pretty sketchy and started knocking doors up and down streets. Half way into knockout we came to this one house with security cameras everywhere. It had flood lights on every corner and they were on in the middle of the day which was really weird to us. We started walking up the driveway and then we both just stopped. Something told me not to knock this door and Bagly felt the same impression. We skipped it and knocked on the next door. The neighbor answered and asked if we had knocked on the door of the house we had skipped and looked really worried. We said no and he said "Oh good don't knock on that house. It's a drug house". I don't know what would have happened if we knocked on that door but I know that the spirit did. I know we are protected out here so seriously don't worry about us!!

We had a ward cultural night yesterday which ended up being really cool! A bunch of ward members set up booths and talked about countries they either lived in or served their mission. We thought it would be funny to do a booth on Utah and hand out jello, so we did and everyone got a kick out of that! Some of the kids in the ward had never tried jello before which blew my mind! Their parents aren't raising them right!  Just kidding.
Sister Carpenter, from China, tried to get Anderson and I to try 100 year old duck egg. Oh man we ran for our lives!!! I guess it's a delicacy in China...but it sounds super gross to me!!

I learned a lot about faith this week. We often face trials in our lives that stretch our faith to the breaking point, but we have to always remember that God doesn't give us challenges he knows we won't be able to overcome. Our investigator Aaron has been having trouble with his faith that he can overcome smoking but we told him that every challenge we receive is for us to grow and learn from and that seemed to really help him.  I also learned that we need to have the faith to follow the promptings we receive...If we wouldn't have had faith during knockout who knows what would have happened.

I miss all of you so much and the distance never really gets easier but that's ok! I hope that you all enjoyed the blood moon last night like we did! Here are some pictures of my week for you to all enjoy!

Love you guys,

Elder Jensen

We had a ward cultural night yesterday which ended up being really cool! A bunch of ward members set up booths and talked about countries they either lived in or served their mission. We thought it would be funny to do a booth on Utah and hand out jello haha so we did and everyone got a kick out of that! Some of the kids in the ward had never tried jello before which blew my mind! Their parents aren't raising them right! Haha just kidding.


I know that we all think we have it harder than anyone else sometimes but just remember that Christ knows exactly how we feel and is always there to help us get through challenges!

September 21, 2015

Hey everyone!!
It's been a busy week and so much has happened!! We made some progress with a few of our investigators and got four potential investigators so that was a bonus!!

This Wednesday we went to Operation Gratitude, which is a charity that makes care packages for troops over seas. We packed boxes for a few hours and then talked with Kelly (the lady in charge) for a while about when we'd be back. She has made it really clear during the few times we've been there that she doesn't want anything to do with our religion, but she also said that she is amazed at how willing we are to serve and how big of a help we are to her. We've never been able to really tell her what Mormons are all about but we've learned that we can teach people a lot through our service. Kelly calls us "Her missionaries" now and asked us to come as often as we can.

Funny story: We were driving to an investigators house and I tried to get a drink out of my water bottle without spilling all over myself. Elder Anderson Saw his opportunity and slammed on the brakes. Lets just say the people we were teaching thought I peed my pants the whole entire time!!

Elder Anderson and I both got sick this week with really bad colds. Luckily I only had it for a day but Elder  Anderson spent a few days on the "death couch" coughing up his lungs and using all our toilet paper on his nose.

 

Message of the week: I had a lot of time to study my scriptures this week an learned a ton about Christs characteristics and how we can apply them to ourselves. I was reading in Third Nephi 27 and came across an awesome scripture.

13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.
 14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me,...
  It's crazy to think that someone could be so loving and selfless towards us all. Even though he knew we would lift him up on the cross he still came down to earth so that he could lift us all up some day. In our ward  here there are lots of of people that won't come to church because people offended them or they had bad experiences with LDS members. It's so important to love everyone as Christ did and focus on the good rather than the bad. We need to remember to forgive and forget just like he showed us to. I know that we all think we have it harder than anyone else sometimes but just remember that Christ knows exactly how we feel and is always there to help us get through challenges!
Love you all so much and hope I'm not boring you too much with my emails!! Hope everything is going good in Salt Lake!!! 

Elder Jensen
The Sister missionaries are the best!!! They brought us soup and church movies to watch so we could pass the time faster. They're kinda like our moms while we're out here...such a blessing haha! That's pretty much our week right there...we're both better now so next week will be a lot more eventful!!

This week has been a rough one!

September 14, 2015

This week has been a rough one!

We didn't have much luck with many of our investigators, everyone was either busy or out of town so we only taught a few lessons. It's really disappointing when you work super hard and not much comes from it. It's definitely taught me to be patient and humble! I'm loving it out here and continue to learn so much!! I'm really growing as a person which is awesome. I miss home a ton but it's just something you have to deal with and try to ignore.

So here's a little about our week. We taught three lessons, our first one was to Carla Salinas. She hasn't been making a ton of progress and has been having a hard time understanding the Book of Mormon because the wording is a little tricky. We just taught her a Book of Mormon Lesson, which is where we just read a chapter with her and explain the things she doesn't understand. This has really helped her better understand the wording and has made her more confidant that she can continue reading on her own. She's still set on being baptized on October 11th which is awesome!! I just hope Elder Anderson doesn't get transferred out before then! Also Carla's  younger sister has started to sit in on the lessons. Before we started coming over she wasn't interested at all but now she's showing interest and said she wants to learn more!! It really goes to show how important big siblings examples are...they have such an impact through their actions.

Our next lesson was with Aaron (the Jewish man). He was really set on being baptized last week but then his sister came and visited with him. We don't know exactly what she said but he did a complete 180. He no longer thinks he needs to be baptized and doesn't think he needs to quit smoking (even though he coughs up a lung every time we go over there). We taught him more about the word of wisdom and he just pushed it aside and said he was doing ok. We left and we were both just crushed because we tried our best but it wasn't enough...he still wants us to come back though so I guess it could be worse. He's had a really rough life and has struggles with drug addiction, war injuries, and deaths in his family. I have so much Christ like love for him and just wish he could see how happy the gospel could make him, how it could fix all the problems in his life, and how it could reunite him with his family some day. We're not giving up so we'll see how the next few weeks go.
Our last lesson was with Danial. He's 14 and loves golf and soccer and is really shy so it's nice that we have common interests to talk about to relieve some of his stress. He's always wondered about religion and kind of has a Joseph smith story of his own. He checked out a lot of churches and none of them felt right, something was missing. They always told him not to look into the Mormons so he decided he would. He referred himself to the missionaries and now we're teaching him! He loves it and even at 14 he can recognize all the truths of the gospel have been restored to the earth. He has a baptismal date of October 25th.

Stake conference was also this week!! On our way there we pulled up next to a big Samoan in a Subaru WRX and started revving our engine and he did the same. We were going to have a little drag race 😎 which probably wasn't a good idea but missionaries need to have fun too! He looked over at us and got a super scared look on his face which really confused us We didn't know people were that scared of Mormon missionaries!! The light turned green and we peeled off the line and he didn't even move. Elder Anderson and I just looked at each other and then it hit us...he thought we were cops!!! We're driving a ford fusion and we're both in suits, white shirts, and ties hahaha. It's a common mistake here in California!

Knock out was good this week! We knocked about 600 doors, 120 answered, and 6 were interested. I know that sounds depressing but the worth of every soul is great in the eyes of god. Thanks for all the prayers coming our way!

Also my companions parents are hanging out with my parents?  They went to dinner last week and talk all the time apparently! I thought that was kind of cool! I miss you all and hope everything is going good for all of you!!

Elder Jensen


Some crazy stuff happened this week!

September 7, 2015

Hey Everyone!!

Some crazy stuff happened this week!! We met with our Jewish investigator Aaron this week and taught him the word of wisdom. He said he's going to quit smoking so that he can be baptized by the 25th of October!! It's been hard for him so far but we're working with him and introducing members of the ward to him so that he has a support system. We picked him up some Sunday clothes from the thrift store we do our service at every week so now he has everything he needs! He was really worried about coming last week because he wants people to see him in his best so I hope this takes some of the pressure off!

We had a huge mission training this week and It was all focused on the Book of Esther! I really learned so much about my purpose out here. For those of you that don't know about Esther she was a woman from biblical times that saved her people from being killed because of her faith, courage, and loyalty to the Lord. I related that to my mission. As a missionary we're asked to be faithful to the promptings of the spirit all the time and I learned that if we do so we can bless so many peoples lives and many lives to come. I also learned that we need to be courageous. If we're not courageous and talk to that guy walking his dog or the woman getting her mail just because we're afraid to get rejected or yelled at again we could miss out on potential opportunities to bless people. That's definitely something I need to work on this week because I hate getting yelled. One thing my trainer taught me to do is just walk away and laugh because they have no idea what they're missing out on. I think it's crazy how people can overlook the fact that we took two years out of our lives to help them and get mad at us for caring about them. I've been really struggling to love the people here because they definitely don't love us but I know that every night when I get home I have a proud family at home, proud friends, and a proud savior. That's all that matters. I also learned that when I was in heaven I promised certain people that I would find them and teach them. I know for a fact that I'm out here for a reason and that there are people waiting for me. I'm going to be loyal to that promise I made and I'm going to work my butt off to be a blessing to those people.

I also learned about the three emotions of missionary work but it really applies to everything in life. The three emotions are
1. Feeling like you have to do something
2. Feeling like you need to do something
3. Wanting to do something.
In order to serve at our full potential we really need to want to serve others out of love and charity. That's been my goal this week is to really want to be charitable towards others even when they reject you.

FUN FACT!!! We found maggots in one our kitchen drawers this weekend! We were led to them by the terrible smell in our apartment. The missionaries from two transfers ago left potatoes in a drawer and they were all rotten and nasty. So naturally, Elder Anderson and I being Eagle Scouts, made a flamethrower and torched them.


​Elder Anderson was a fire fighter before he came on his mission so we were totally fine!! There was a pitcher of water near by. We spent the next hour cleaning all the bugs out and dumped bleach all over so we could feel sort of safe from disease and tapeworms.

That's pretty much our week so far!! We're working hard! Thanks for all the support !!!

Quote of the week "Nothing easy is good and nothing good is easy"-anonymous
-Elder Jensen

​Also I found a golf club in the apartment!!! Super blessed for that haha!

Flight to California and First week in San Fernando

September 2, 2015

Hey Fam!!!

Just a few important things real quick. P-days are on Mondays but this week got switched because we had a mission wide conference. My address is

17346 Chatsworth #104
Granada Hills, CA 91344

Send packages to the mission home because they'll get stolen from our area (super sketchy area) But you can send letters straight to me!

    Ok here's how my week went.
Tuesday Morning we woke up at 2:00 am and got ready to leave by three. We took trax to the airport and  got on the plane at 8 which made me so mad because we could have slept for at least another 2 hours hahaha. They flight wasn't bad but we had a connection flight in Tacoma Seattle. On the Flight from Seattle I sat next to a 69 year old woman named Marissa who had an abusive childhood and blamed it all on god. She said that she's tried to understand why those things happened to her so I started to explain the concept of agency and how God couldn't take that away from us even if he wanted to step in and stop what was happening to her. Then I went into the atonement and explained how Christ suffered every pain and sorrow she ever experienced when he was in the garden. I told her that he did that for her on a very personal level and that because of that sacrifice he made she could find peace of mind and feel healed emotionally. She really grabbed onto that and then started asking tons of questions about our church and why I felt like I needed to go teach people about it for two years. I told her it was for reasons just like this. I wanted people to feel the happiness and comfort that I felt through living the gospel. I wrote a note to her in the front of a Book of Mormon I had in my bag and told her that this book is full of answers to life's questions and would bring her peace. She said she would read it and email me with any questions. I don't know if she'll join the church but I hope I comforted her and I know I planted a seed .
    When we got to the airport and stepped off the plane it was 114 degrees outside!! Everyone was sweating a ton except me because I don't really have much to sweat off hahahahaha. They took us to a hotel and told us to sleep for 12 hours so we could go to work the next day. I was so excited!!! It was my last time sleeping in for two years and man it felt nice!

    The next day we got assigned to our trainers. Everyone said you want Elder Anderson to train you because he's a hard worker but is still so much fun to be with. Well I got Elder Anderson and they were right he is awesome!! We have so much fun together but get a ton of work done out here! We went to meet with a potential investigator named Carla. She's 18 and is really interested in the church! We taught her about the restoration and she loved it so I just straight up asked her if she would get baptized and she said yes! My companions jaw just dropped because it was my first day, first lesson, and I already had a baptismal commitment haha. Now I'm known around the mission as the guy who got a baptism on his first day. Crazy things happen when you listen to the spirit!

    Thursday sucked! We had weekly planning which took up most of our morning followed by knock out. Knock out is a mission wide thing where we knock doors every day from 4-6. It sucks extremely bad in this heat but we pick up investigators this way so its worth is. At 3:55 we pray that we'll find people to teach and be safe so if anyone else wants to join in at 3:55 feel free to!

    The ward is super good to us! Not as good as my home ward though! We are usually get fed around 5 times a week which is awesome! On Sunday I got to meet all of them and they all offered to help us with anything we need!

      On Friday we meet with a 60 year old man named Aaron. He's Jewish and Didn't believe that Christ was the Messiah so we showed him prophesies of Christ in the old testament coming true in the new testament. By the end of the lesson he believed that Christ was the Messiah and asked for a Book of Mormon and invited us to come back. Well we met with him again yesterday and he was already half way through the Book of Mormon! He  said that he felt the spirit as he read and believes that the church is true. So I asked him if he would commit to be baptized by October 25th and he said yes!! It was such a cool experience but there was one thing he was worried about and it's quitting smoking. He smokes a lot...we leave our lessons reeking of smoke because he smokes during our lessons. He knows that he'll be able to get through it with the lords help so pray for him and pray that we'll be able to help him!. He also committed to come to church but didn't have any church clothes so we're picking some up for him when we do our service at the thrift store.

Well I'm out of time! There's so much more I wish I could tell you guys but It'll have to twait till next week. The mission is hard but it's already shaping me into a better person! Thanks so much for all of the support and love that I have felt!! Miss you all and hope all is well back in SLC!

Elder Jensen

Flying into Washington then on to California.

Drew's first night in California with Elder Phillips from the MTC, August 25, 2015.  This photo was sent by a woman in the hotel who happened to see these two Elders at breakfast.  She is a missionary mom and has a daughter on a mission in Florida.  She asked them if she could send their moms a picture!  I was so greatful!!


New missionaries in the San Fernando mission today August 26, 2015

Meeting President and Sister Henrie


August 27, 2017

Dear Brother and Sister Jensen,

Elder Jensen arrived this week in the Great California San Fernando Mission.  President Henrie and I are excited he is here.  Elder Jensen has received his companion and has been assigned to his first area.  All is well.  We look forward to serving with your son as we join with him in the great purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ.

In addition, we would invite you to follow the Great California San Fernando Mission on our Facebook page.  You can find us on Facebook at CASF Mission 2015-2018.  Check in often to see pictures of our mission activities.

Thank you for raising a righteous son who is willing to consecrate himself to serving the Lord.  We will take good care of him.

Love,

Sister Henrie


Week Two in the MTC

August 21, 2015

Hey everyone!!

 This week started off pretty normal! We had our usual 5 hour classes and averaged about 6 hours of sleep so It's not too bad. We've been doing a ton of role playing and practice teaching, and me and my companion aren't too bad at it! We got our first real investigator this week and we have taught her 3 of the discussions so far! She really wants to know about where we came from and where we are going so we've been teaching her a lot about the plan of salvation! In our second lesson I brought up the Priesthood and told her that I would get blessings before school and that they always brought me comfort! At the end of the lesson she said that when she came to BYU her family disowned her because they hate Mormons and that she was working 3 jobs so she could try and pay for college and she was super nervous that her grades would fall through because of all the time she spent at work. She had never heard of the Priesthood but she said something about how I talked about it made it sound so right and she knew she needed a blessing. So me and Elder Castillo told her that we would give her a blessing of council and comfort next lesson (These blessings don't need consecrated oil for those of you that don't know). We fasted all day and tried to make sure that we would say everything the spirit would tell us to. The next day before we left to meet with Miranda Elder Castillo left his Scripture case on his desk (with his oil in it) because we didn't need oil for our blessing, and I left my mission hand book on my desk (with the blessings in it) because we knew the blessing that we were going to give by heart. As we were leaving the class we both just stopped and looked at each other...and at the same time we said, "We meed to bring oil and the handbook. We didn't know why but we grabbed them just kind of forgot about it! We got to the lesson and Miranda told us that she had been getting really bad migraines and sometimes couldn't pronounce words properly. Elder Castillo pulled out his oil, I pulled out my handbook, and we just stared at each other for a sec. We asked if we could give her a blessing to heal her instead and she said that it was an answer to her prayers because she couldn't afford to go to a specialist and get checked out. We quickly looked at what we were supposed to say in the handbook and gave her the blessing. Now I was freaking out because I had never given a bless before, but after the blessing she said that I said things in there that were exactly what she was praying to hear and just started bawling. I don't remember anything I said but I do remember using super big words that aren't in my vocabulary because I'm a pretty simple speaker. I know that the spirit spoke through me yesterday during that blessing and I know that this church is true. God knew that she needed a healing blessing before we went to the lesson and he made sure we were prepared to help her through the nudging of the holy ghost. I never thought I would see miracles happen here in the MTC but it just goes to show you that when you listen to the spirit and make sure you are doing what is right you'll be able to help others when you least expect it.

Now for some funny stuff!
I have been drinking orange juice for every meal because its my favorite. At home I'd have orange juice a couple times a day but I took it to a whole new level here. I'm not 100% sure if its super hydrating but my urine's a healthy color so I think I'm ok...wish me luck though. I also got my first haircut here in the MTC.......lets just say I could have done a better job with a butter knife....that's not a joke. Not super happy with it but I'll live with it. Just hope my mission President doesn't think I'm crazy when I get to San Fernando next Tuesday!

Everyone in my district loves my family and my girlfriend so much because I've gotten four packages full of food, (answer to our prayers). You know you're lucky to have people in your life when people who have never met them before love them so much. Thanks to everyone who has sent me packages and letters!! They help more than you know!

I have come to realize that this mission might not be the best two years of my life, but it will be the best two years for my life. And because of that it will be the best two years of my life. I miss you all and hope everything is going great in Salt Lake! Keep me updated on what's happening!

-Elder Jensen



Friday, November 20, 2015

First week in the MTC

August 14, 2015

Hey everyone!! 

It's been a long week so far! But I'm glad it's finally P-Day!!

Day 1: It sucks soooo bad!!! I got my companion... His name is Elder Castillo and he's from Chandler Arizona. He's a really cool guy and I'm lucky he's my companion because our district is rough! They threw us in a classroom for 6 hour but it felt like a year I'm serious. One of the Elders in our district is semi autistic but we work with him and are super patient with him. He has the strongest testimony and it's so cool that he's serving a mission still. I feel like it's kind of pointless for me to be here because I know everything we're learning because of my wonderful parents, ward, mission prep classes, and seminary but its ok I'm still learning how to better connect and teach with the spirit! The showers are freezing cold which is awful because I basically get hypothermia every time because we all know I need to put on a few pounds. The food is good though so hopefully that will help a little bit. Our trainers are awesome and really know how to work with us teenage kids. It's a huge change and sacrifice but other peoples eternal happiness is more important than my temporary happiness and comfort.

Day 2: I MISS HOME!!!! I wanted to come home today more than ever because I miss my family, friends, and girlfriend all sooo much. But in district meeting we all shared a  little bit about ourselves and realized how much easier my journey here and in life has been than others in my district. Two of the sister Missionaries are the only members in their families and got disowned before they came to the MTC. One Elder is partially autistic and and struggles but we are really patient and work with him. Another Elder only has one arm and struggles to function every day and another Sister worked 3 jobs to help pay for college at the Y and then come on a mission. After hearing all that I realized how selfish and ungrateful I have been for such a wonderful life! I am so blessed to have made it here with perfect health and a supportive family. I got to see Dallin today and I guess he has an appointment at the barbershop here to shave his head?  Anyway he told me it gets easier and that you've just gotta make it to Sunday. 6 of the 10 kids in my district are going to Salt Lake so they just all ask me what places are fun and where to eat so I'm glad I can help them realize that Utah isn't as bad as they all think.

Day 3: We had an amazing lesson today on teaching the people not the lesson. You can't just force information down their throats you have to teach them stories and principles that they can relate to and help them better feel the Spirit that way. It was new to some of the Sisters and Elders but I've always been able to relate to people and hold good conversations so it's easy to me. I've seen the power of prayer a ton lately! I've been missing you all so much and I've been praying for comfort and reassurance. It's crazy how often I'll find the perfect scripture to calm my nerves or motivate me right after I pray. But today something pretty cool happened...I was going to lunch and really needed some motivation so I prayed for some help. No Joke one minute later Brig walks around the corner and said exactly what I needed to hear! Seeing a familiar face made it seem less foreign and more like home! P-days are great!! Less classes and free time from 1:00-5:00 pm so look for emails from me around then. If you catch me at the right time we can probably chat back and forth for a while.

Well guys I'm signing off for the day but I want you all to know that the Gospel is great and that true happiness is found through living its teachings. I've experienced that first hand. My testimony has Grown soo much and I'm so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life! I miss you guys and appreciate everything everyone did for me. Thanks for your support!! We got the mail for the first time today because we just got our district leaders so sorry if I haven't gotten back to you! Love you all and if you ever get tired of hearing from me just let me know and I'll take you off the list! I promise it wont offend me.  I know how repetitive these emails can get! Also I'd love to hear from all of you!

Elder Jensen
The Provo Temple on the day I entered the MTC, August 12, 2015.
At the MTC with my family, being welcomed by Brigham Jackson.
Dallin Holding and I at the MTC