Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A mission is totally amazing and a totaly different perspective at Christmas...you are so focused on others

December 27, 2016

Merry Christmas everyone! I'm really enjoying this SoCal weather right now...It's sunny and in the low 60's :) No complaints this Christmas. I hope you're all enjoying the cold snowy weather in the good ole' SLC. Christmas on the mission is truly amazing. It's just a totally different perspective, and you are quickly reminded that Christmas is much much more than just presents and all that. It's not about yourself it's about everyone else. That's why Christmas on the mission is so memorable I think...you are so focused on others and you just never forget that.

Well here is a quick run down of our week.
Christmas eve was awesome. First we went to one of our Christmas devotionals and it was super cool. We performed a little skit/singing thing and made all the missionaries laugh. Then we had some spiritual musical numbers by some other missionaries in the Santa Clarita, Valencia and Granada Hills zones. Later we got invited over to the Christofferson's house (yes they are related to Elder Christofferson in the quorum of the 12). We had dinner with them and the Haskett's and played ping pong and spent time with their teenage kids! It was a good time. Then we spent the remainder of our Christmas Eve in the office doing reports and tracking the baptismal dates in the zone.

Christmas day was super fun! We woke up and took our presents over to the missionaries apartment next door and opened them together. Then we ran to church. After Church we went to a brunch at the Haskett's. We ate with them and then got to Skype from their house! Skyping was so much fun! It's just refreshing and get's you pumped to get to work and preach the gospel! After that we went to the Henries for dinner. President is such a goof with his grand kids haha! His grand kids got whoopee cushions and president kept sitting on it and it was just a totally different side of him. He loves to rough house with them as well..hahaha so funny! Then we went to the Hasketts again and played some games and just hung out for a while! It was a great Christmas!

I don't know If I told you all last week but Elder Anderson (my trainer) visited the mission and took us out to lunch! He took us to Korean bbq and it was awesome! Always great to see old mission friends!

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

Elder Jensen

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Skype with Drew and Elder Deyholos

December 25, 2016

It was so wonderful to hear from Drew today!  We couldn't wait to see his face and hear his voice again.  And he did not disappoint!  He was as happy and cheerful as ever.  He couldn't believe how much Ben has grown, or that his voice is so low!  Everyone was so excited to see Drew.  It was the perfect ending to a long snowy Christmas Sunday!  Drew said that they were spending Christmas evening with President and Sister Henrie.  He also mentioned that they are getting a new missionary couple in the office which will free he and Elder Deyholos up to teach more, which he is very happy about.   He would like to get out and teach people!  It was incredible to hear his voice and feel of his happy spirit and love for what he is doing.  What a wonderful Christmas gift to be able to speak with our missionary!

Anxiously awaiting Skype!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Zone Christmas Party

December, 2016

We were able to pull some pictures off of Facebook of the Zone Christmas party.  Looks like the "matching sweater" singers sang the "12 days of the mission".  Fun to hear our Elder sing!  It's been such a long time.  Can't wait to talk with him tomorrow!

Christmas Eve 2016

December 24, 2016

Tonight Drew was able to spend time with the Christofferson and the Haskett families.  They were so generous to them for sharing their Holiday time with the missionaries.  They alsomgave the Elders Christmas pajamas!  What wonderful families to watch out for our missionary at Christmas!

Making Gingerbread Houses

December 22, 2016

Tonight we got a text from a family in Drew's mission, the Birchall's, where they had been making gingerbread houses.  What a wonderful family to invite the Elders to spend their Holiday time in their home.  They also gave the missionaries stockings full of treats.  What a wonderful family.  It really makes it nice for us knowing that he is being cared for during the Holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2016

No such thing as coincidences!

December 19, 2016

Hey Everyone!

Week 2 with Elder Deyholos was great! I can honestly say I have not had a bad companion my entire mission! Everyone I get put with is seriously so cool! It’s been another awesome week in the Stevenson Ranch Ward! This is definitely the largest ward I’ve been in and it almost reminds me of a Utah ward haha, so I’m loving that.

We had a pretty cool miracle this week! We got a sweet new family to teach! Andrea and Erin and their two little girls. They have recently moved into the area and have been praying that they would find a church for their family to go to. Well "coincidentally" the missionaries knocked on their door and were an answer to their prayers. No such thing as coincidences! They are planning on coming to church as soon as they get back from vacation at the start of next year and they want us to come and teach them and tell them more about prophets and everything we believe! People are being prepared for the Gospel all over the place!!

Stories of the Week:
So this week we had to run to the store to grab some Christmas decorations for the decorating contest we are in with our missionary neighbors we are gonna kill them). Anyways, we are at the store and there is a hispanic sheriff behind us with his wife and he sees our tags. Well all of a sudden he changes to Spanish and starts to make fun of us. He called us losers and other mean stuff lol. Well he didn't know that one of these two pasty white kids spoke perfect Spanish. Elder Deyholos turned around and said "Hey sir, how are you doing? Got a lot of shopping done today huh?" in perfect Spanish hahaha! The guy just sat there and felt so dumb hahaha! Then he tried to act all friendly and was speaking in English and Elder D just answered everything in Spanish still. Haha it was so funny!! Perks of being bilingual!

We got to have dinner at presidents house and sister Henrie asked us to decorate her tree...it looked horrible so she had the sister missionaries come over after hahaha!

Well I  love you all so much and I hope you have a great week! Sorry for the short email today.

Elder Jensen

Spencer Lindsay from the YSA ward at the LA temple with us.

Elder Deyholos and I at the LA Temple

Decorating President and Sister Henrie's Christmas tree at the mission home. 

Elder Deyholos and I at the mission home with President and Sister Henrie.

Monday, December 12, 2016

We are always repaid with blessings far greater than the sacrifice.

December 12, 2016

Hey everyone! Week 1 as an assistant is over! It's a totally different experience in the office. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that no one knows about. So many little things have to get done in order for the Mission to run smoothly. So far it's just been a lot of computer work...I think I literally forgot how to use a computer because I'm so slow now. It'll come back though. It's been cool being around President Henrie and Sister Henrie so much. We eat at their house about twice a week and they seem to really enjoy having us around which is pretty cool.

Well here's a quick update on our week...

We got to take the departing missionaries to the Burbank airport this Wednesday in the mission van. Luckily I don't have to drive it yet...that's still Elder Deyholos' job haha. Two assistants have crashed it in the last year...not trying to add to that number. It feels like I was just being picked up from the airport a few months ago...now I'm the one dropping people off. Time has flown by.

We got a call from a woman in Newport Beach named Lindsay. She has been taught by missionaries for quite a while now and keeps insisting that we baptize her as soon as she moves in (which is tomorrow). She is a little hard of hearing so the phone conversations get pretty funny at times. She's taking us out to Cheese Cake Factory this week so we'll update you on how that went. She has a huge desire to follow Christ and has made some huge life changes so we are excited to meet her in person.

We've had super late nights in the office every night this week...so it makes sense why the assistants always look so tired. We're home between 9:30 and 10:30 every night.

We had Mission Leadership Conference this Thursday and we had to train all the Zone leaders so they could train their zones the next day. Well Wednesday night we had no time to plan our training due to files we had to update and transfer arrangements we had to make. So we had to plan our training 30 minutes before the meeting. It turned out really well and the Spirit definitely guided what we said on that one haha.

Elder Silva got great news last week about his sister getting baptized. Well I got permission from President Henrie to call the Bishop of the Maple Ridge British Columbia Ward this week so we could make it possible for Elder Silva to watch the Baptismal program via Facetime. I explained Elder Silva's story and the Bishop was all for it. The baptism was this Saturday and Elder Silva was there, technically haha. He didn't get to watch the actual Ordinance but he got to watch everything else and hear his sister bare her testimony of the truthfulness of this Gospel. All his sacrifices payed off and the Lord truly blessed him for his service. Miracles happen when we sacrifice and put ourselves to the side for the benefit of others. We are always repaid with blessings far greater than the sacrifice.

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

Elder Jensen

Stevenson ranch Christmas lights.

The Valencia Christmas concert.

To the airport!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Released as a Zone Leader and called as an Assistant to the President

December 5, 2016

Hello everyone! It's been another great week here in the California San Fernando Mission! Lots of changes happening due to transfers. Sadly I got transferred out of the Young Single Adult ward and away from Elder Silva. We're going on another little break so we'll probably be back together in 3 months. That's what happened last time haha. I'm gonna miss this guy. Learned so much from him. Quick side note on Elder Silva...he's been the only member in his family for 4 years now. Well this Saturday his sister and brother in-law are getting baptized!!! So happy for them and Him as well. The Gospel is going to change their lives forever!

Anyway, back to transfers. So I got a call Sunday night from from President Henrie and he released me as a Zone Leader which was pretty sad because I love being a Zone Leader. Then he asked if I would accept a new call and asked me to come be the New Assistant! Definitely didn't see that coming haha! So I'll be spending the next few transfers with President Henrie and Elder Deyholos. I guess I'll have more updates about it all next week. Here's my new address:

25399 the Old Road #10-302
Santa Clarita CA, 91381

I'll be at the office all the time so just send packages there.
That address is:

23504 Lyons Ave Suite 107
Santa Clarita, Ca 91321

This week was great in the YSA ward though. Nelly is really progressing. She's starting to make great friends in the ward and she's feeling the spirit in the lessons. Evelyn is coming to church now and she's also making friends and diving into the Book of Mormon!

We picked up two new investigators this week. Kassandra and Taylor Mcintosh. They're twins and their cousin, who is a member, lives with them which really helps! We shared the Light The World video and they loved it! The church always puts out such inspired videos! Keep sharing it!

Well I'm going to really miss the Santa Clarita Stake. So many great friends there and so many people I'll miss. Off to the Office.

Elder Jensen

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Elder Silva and Elder Jensen are awesome teachers helping me prepare for my mission!

November 29, 2016

We love receiving texts from people on Andrew's mission.  This one was from Kaiten who was so happy to share her appreciation for both Elder Silva and Andrew.  She said:

"Your missionary is in great hands!  He is having a great time in the Santa Clarita Young Single Adult ward and he misses you a lot!  They are both really great!!  They are  helping me prepare for my mission, they are such great teachers!

So nice to hear from those that Andrew is serving, and feeling of their love for the missionaries and their efforts.

Kaiten in the Young Single Adult ward.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to be in the Lord's service and focus more on others than myself

November 28, 2016

Hello everyone!!

Another week has flown by here in sunny California! It's weird that it's the Holiday season because it doesn't even look or feel cold like I'm used to. It was a warm, sunny Thanksgiving and I sure missed you all, but it was another great opportunity to be in the Lords service and focus more on others than myself.

I think I'll start off this week with a funny story.

So this week we had a baptism and we had to fill the font. We show up at 4 and turned on the water, changed into suits and set up all the chairs and what not. So by this point the water was almost to the top and we needed to shut it off in a few minutes or it would overflow. Well we did the stupidest thing possible...we ran outside to throw our change of clothes in the car, and when we got back to the church doors they were locked, my keys and phone were in the building and the water was still running! We were 100% sure our mission president was going to release us because we flooded the building. After the panic subsided we realized that Elder Silva still had his car keys so we ran to the building coordinators house and it was pitch black. We knocked anyways and he was miraculously home. We told him what was happening and he spazzed out and ran to his car. Well, to make a long story short...we stopped the water just in time...the baptism was great...and we're not released :)

We took our spikeball net to our favorite members house on Thanksgiving and had a crazy game going with Brother Bryant and his daughters. He was so addicted to it and by the time we were finished he was so winded hahaha! He bought it for his kids for Christmas!

We also had a great lesson with Nelly. I think she really believes what we are teaching her is true but she's just struggling with the negativity her family is giving her. We teach her all these things and they sound and feel right but then her family just tells her all these bad things and puts her on this spiritual roller coaster. We talked about the Commandments and how they are there to protect us. I've really seen that to be true on my mission. We are so blessed to have the Commandments to protect us.

We spoke in church this week and talked about gratitude for the gospel. We're so blessed to have the gospel in our lives. We have the Book of Mormon, knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, a living Prophet, the Priesthood, etc. We have so many blessings to be thankful for. Lets all show our gratitude by living the Gospel we've been given.

Also check out the Christmas initiative at www.mormon.org

Sorry for the short email this week!!

Love you all so much! Hope you have a great snowy week in Utah!

Elder Jensen

At the Young Single Adult ward in action!

November 27, 2016

We got a text today from Meg with a photo of Andrew and Elder Silva at the Young Single Adult ward.  Someone that was a friend of a friend happened to be there and snapped this photo.  So fun to see them in action!

Thanksgiving dinner with the Bryant's

November 24th, 2016

We got a short video and a great photo of Andrew and Elder Silva having Thanksgiving dinner at a members home today!  They are eating with the Bryant family.  So grateful that these members will share their Holiday with these missionaries to soften these times of being without their own family members.  We are so blessed!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

We're all striving to make it back to our Heavenly Father and we all need to just help others along the way.

November 21, 2016

Hello everyone! Week 2 in YSA was much better haha! I actually really love the YSA area we are in! One of the reasons is because it's so cool teaching kids that are your age and can really relate to you and your experiences. Also, they're not close-minded and are open to learn and hear the message of the Gospel!

We had a couple really cool miracles happen this week! First off we had the Valencia Elders text us and ask to have a pass off with a Young Single Adult age guy named Albert. Albert is from Russia and has never really been taught about the Gospel or Jesus Christ at all and this has been an eye opening and uplifting experience for him. He recently learned how to pray. Being totally new to this he's super sensitive to the Spirit and even just a simple prayer blows him away because he can instantly feel peace and comfort. It's so cool! He came to church with us this Sunday and loved the ward. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has already started changing his life.

We also picked up a girl named Evelyn. Evelyn was a former investigator and this week she called and said she misses meeting with missionaries because she can't feel the Spirit anymore. So we met with her this week and taught her the Restortion and explained how it could bless her in her life. She accepted a baptismal commitment but we're going to take this slow. She came to church and had a great experience!

We picked up some new investigators that my trainer Elder Anderson taught a while back! It was cool to see how God really places us in the path of people we can connect with. They hadn't had missionaries there in a while and they seemed glad to see us! But right after they accepted to be taught again one of the daughters yelled "AHH BUT I LOVE COFFEE!!!" Hahahaha so that's gonna be a struggle.

Something cool I've learned in YSA so far is the importance of looking after others and doing home teaching. So many kids have just dropped off the map and it's because they just didn't feel the love of others, then no one went looking for them. That's something I'm going to really focus on when I'm home. We're all striving to make it back to our Heavenly Father and we all need to just help others along the way.

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

Elder Jensen

It's snowing in California!!!!!

Just kidding it's just rain.

Monday, November 14, 2016

This was our first week in the Young Single Adult Ward

November 14, 2016

Hey everyone! This was our first week in the Young Single Adult Ward and wow it's different than what I'm used to! It's been tough not being able to teach all the people we got close to while in Canyon Country. That's one of the amazing parts about being a missionary...you get so close to those you serve and teach.

We Started off the week with a bunch of pass off lessons. So the sisters would be there with us. We always got to the lesson a few minutes later than the sisters and the investigators would see us walking towards them, they'd look so confused, and then we'd hear the sisters drop the bomb about us being their new missionaries now and the investigators would start to stress out. We thought they would have already told them but they did it for 3 or 4 consecutive lessons...people warmed up to us though and it wasn't a big deal in the end.

We taught a guy named Quico Spang about repentance this week and it was great. He has a baptismal date for December 10th. The only downside to all this is that he was super high. That was my first YSA experience lol. #cali

My second YSA experience was institute! I was stoked to go because I've never been before. Well it was definitely interesting. The lesson was on marriage and then they went around the room and had everyone say why they loved being single...kinda contradicting but whatever!

We got Nelly back! We taught Her and her brother Sam when we were in the Canyon Country Ward and sadly had to pass her off to the Young Single Adult Sisters. Well now we are her missionaries again! She was super stoked to see us again and said she was glad to have us back because she was able to be more open with us and ask questions without getting nervous. We had a lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we read 2 nephi 31. We committed her to baptism and had a super spiritual lesson that ended with some tears from her and the member we brought. She's coming to the Young Single Adult Family Home Evening activity tonight and she's gonna make some great friends there!

We went to 3 sacrament meetings the other day. We went at 9:00 so Nelly could come because she had work. We went at 11:00 so we could say goodbye to the Canyon Ward. And we went at 1:00 to the Young Single Adult Ward. James and Shannon were at church with the whole family and they were all dressed up so nice! Shannon came in a dress and James came in a button up shirt. They've made some major progress these past few months. Gotta keep in contact with them for sure!

Well that was our week in a nut shell! I hope you all have a safe week! Love you all.

Elder Jensen

P.s. Sorry that literally all the pics are of the same thing. We'll do better next week!
Elder Martin and Kerr bought us customized trophies hahaha!!So sick!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

We are the first Elders in the Young Single Adult ward in 6 years!

November 7, 2016

Hello Everyone!!
Some crazy things happened this week and history was made, so get ready for today's email. First off, the stake's ward boundaries were redone and everything got messed up. Our ward combined with the Canyon Country 2nd ward and became one big ward. So since we combined wards there were 6 missionaries in a ward that was definitely not big enough for 6 missionaries. We had a feeling that one set was going to have to get moved into a different area and we were pretty stressed about it haha. So anyway the Mission President decided to put Elder Silva and I in the Young Single Adult ward that covers the entire valley which has been Elder Silva's dream area his whole mission. The cool part is that we are the first Elders in theYoung Single Adult ward in 6+ years! The sad part is that we can't teach James and Shannon's family, Jim, Dennis, or any of our other investigators that we've been working with :( So sad about that.  Also this week we had a mission leadership meeting where we got to see the new Christmas initiative that we will be using this year which is sooo good! We can't wait to start using it later this month!

But here's a quick update on how they are all doing:

James and Shannon are still doing good! Shannon has really stepped up her game lately. She has been reading and praying every day for the past week and it's made such a difference in her personality and everything about her! This week also started off with a really cool experience with Shannon and her mom. We got a call from Shannon saying her mom was in the hospital and said that her mom wanted us to call her, so we did. She was so sweet and was very grateful we called. We set up a time the following morning to come by and give her a blessing. We went to her hospital that we had to get permission for because it was in the other valley way out of our area and we ended up giving her the blessing after talking with her about what we do as missionaries and taught her about the Priesthood. When we left, Shannon called us later that night and told us that when her mom had called her the first time the first thought her mother had was to ask for the missionaries that are teaching her. Her mom had also called her Priest (she is catholic) but the priest didn't come but we did. The mom was overwhelmed and so appreciative that we could come and give her a blessing. She will start coming to church with Shannon and her family shortly! Such a miracle.

Jim is still doing great. His job has really been busy lately and it's been tough to see him but he's reading out of the Book of Mormon a ton and he has frequent meetings with the Bishop which is so cool. Hopefully he can really connect with the sisters who teach him.

Dennis is on date for December 3rd!! We've been working hard with that guy and he's really made progress! Hopefully I'll be able to come back and see him join that ward family soon.

Well that's our week in a quick update. Sorry about no pictures this week. We dropped the ball on that one!

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

Elder Jensen

Monday, October 31, 2016

Prayers are answered every time!

October 13, 2016

Hey everyone, another crazy busy week here in Canyon Country first! We got some news this Sunday that the ward boundaries will be reconstructed in a week. Not that excited for that because James and Shannon are on the edge of our boundaries and might fall into a new ward after the changes...it's gonna be a stressful week anticipating the changes.

Anyway, here's the week in a quick summary:
We had a sick lesson with James and Shannon with our ward mission leader. James had a family member visit him this week and they told him that they are all so happy that he is getting out of the lifestyle that they raised him in and that they want him to join the church! He told us that during the lesson and just knowing that his family was behind him on this made such a difference for him. He said that it had been super hard to quit drinking and smoking and not drinking coffee or tea because he wasn't ALL in. But after that experience he said he's all in. James has now been 5 days without Smoking, drinking alcohol, tea, or coffee! And he says that he's never felt better!! Shannon is almost more committed to being baptized now than James is and James is super committed! Just seeing the gospel change James and her kids has really helped her see the importance of it in their lives. She knows that this is The true church and she wants to be a part of it forever! Their whole family came to our Halloween party at the church this Friday. Shannon helped run the games while James (and elder Silva and I) took care of the kids and took them to games and stuff. They all loved it. Oh and James came to church in a white shirt and tie this week!! So sick!!

Jim is still doing great! He is in 2 Nephi now and is just flying through. He said his favorite app on his phone is the Gospel Library app...nothing you'd rather hear as a missionary haha! He's also making some lifestyle changes and is making awesome progress. His baptism will be soon...that’s my gut feeling.

Nelly is doing great! We weren't able to meet with her this week but she came to church! She prayed Saturday night that the talks in church would really apply to her and help her through the week. Well she thought that they were all directed at her specifically and was just in awe. Prayers are answered every time!

We also had a lesson with Mark and we brought brother Singley along. Brother Singley seems like a super soft spoken guy but when he gets into the lesson...man he's a whole different person! Mark has been investigating off and on for 2 years and Brother Singley was super bold and told him that if he wants to get an answer he needs to do a little more than just read a chapter here and there...he needs to come to church. SO hopefully something will change with that guy.

Funny Story: Shirley Whitbeck came up to us at church and said..."You know boys, I was thinking about you last night and I you know what there has never been a companionship that has jived as good as you two. You're like salt and pepper!" We just replied "Starsky and Hutch!" Then walked away lol.

Well I love you all so much! Have a safe Halloween!

Elder Jensen

California sunset.

Halloween Party

Halloween Party

Sith Lord Vs. Servant of the Lord