March 25, 2013

Dear Family and Friends                                     Monday, March 25, 2013   3:07 (EDT)

Well we got an announcement today that we as missionaries will now be allowed to write emails to both our family, and our friends. So if anyone wants to send me an email, that would be fine. I would still prefer written letters, because I can look at them on days other than Mondays, but if someone doesn't like writing letters, just send me an email. I enjoy getting letters from everybody.

It snows a lot. We got grounded on Tuesday. It snowed about a foot and a half. We had to walk all day. The hill from our apartment to Johnson is long and steep so it was no fun walking home that night. There is about a foot on the ground right now. There is about the same in each town. There is always snow on the ground. Two weeks ago it nearly all melted off but then it snowed again. 

The last week has been really great. I really forgot about myself and I went to work. My companion, Elder Smith is not getting transferred.  He received the calling to be a District Leader, which means that he leads our district which is us and the missionaries that serve in St Albans, Vermont. He will be in charge of District meeting once a week and he calls St Albans and reports to the Zone Leaders what is going on in our district. 

A weekly goal that I have made is to forget about stressing out to be perfect while teaching, and just remember that as long as I try my hardest that the spirit will guide me. A blessing that I have experienced about being obedient is that if I look at the Missionary Handbook as a book of rules I wont receive many blessings, but if I look at it as a guideline to success, I have many more blessings.

Kim did not get confirmed yet. Her back is killing her. She has some extreme health issues. She injured her back working at Price Chopper (our equivalent of City Market).  We have six weeks to confirm her or else we will have to rebaptize her.

Jake is a nonmember. His family is all baptized but his mom got divorced and went less active when he was little. But he really wants to get baptized. He is 12 and hopefully he will bring the rest of his family to church. Last week his mom and her boyfriend drove him to church, but yesterday the Weeds took him.

Tucker realized that if the Book of Mormon is true he has to commit to the church 100%. We really invited him to read it and pray about it because we know it will really help him out. 

We found out that Jessie, and Jamie and her daughters did not understand the true nature of God. We asked them, "Who is God?" and they said, "God is everything but God is not a person. We taught them that God is our Father in Heaven and that he loves us. We taught them that Jesus Christ is God's son and that through Christ's sacrifice we are able to return to live with our Father. We taught that the Holy Ghost is a spirit and that the Holy Ghost gives us good feelings and promptings to do good. This made sense to them and prayer made more sense to them since they are praying to a real person. 

Carlee has been struggling with reading the Book of Mormon. We told her that the Book of Mormon is a scriptural account, just like the Bible, but it is a record of prophets on the American Continent. The Book of Mormon adds to the truths found in the Bible. If the Book of Mormon is true then The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has authority from God on the earth again. We asked her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.

A miracle that we saw this week involved a man we are teaching, Jay. Last Monday when we got done with emails we drove to Morrisville and put the truck in the shop. It was making a funny noise. (Even though I'm a mechanic the mission wants us to take our vehicles right into the shop) We dropped off the truck and walked to the store. We realized we couldn't buy groceries without having the truck to haul it in so we walked around Morrisville. We were bored so although it was our day off we went to some of the people that we teach in Morrisville. We thought about visiting Jay and Aliza but we decided to visit them after we talked to some other people. Well we talked to about 3 families before we felt that we should visit Jay and Aliza. We showed up just as Aliza's parents were picking her up. Jay had been drunk 3 days in a row so Aliza said she was moving out until he sobered up. We consoled Aliza and her mother and then we talked to Jay. Of course he was drunk so he didn't realize the weight of the situation but we told him about the Addiction Recovery Program that the church has and we taught him a lesson about how if he had faith in Jesus Christ that he could stop drinking. He didn't think that the alcohol was the problem. We taught him a little more and then we left. We definitely were guided by the spirit to show up at their house at that time. I don't know what we really accomplished but I do know that we were meant to show up at that time.

It is so wonderful to be a missionary that I have the opportunity to strengthen people's faith in Jesus Christ and that we can bring them to know that Christ's true church is once more on the earth, and that we have the authority from God to act in his name. It is just so awesome that there are miracles that happen today and that I can be a part of them.

Elder C. Jensen