April 1, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,                                       Monday, April 1, 2013 3:38 p.m. (EDT)

I am doing pretty well. This last week has been pretty great. We are really trying to figure out ways to find new people to teach.

Sunday:  We were a little disappointed when none of those we were teaching came to church. We had so many say that they would come. Denise said she would love to go and was planning on it, but we think that her husband doesnt like us, because she has been avoiding us. 

Monday was a regular day, we didnt do anything fantastic. We just cleaned up around the apartment and went shopping so that was pretty good.

On Tuesday we taught Denise. It was really great, she was really interested about what we were teaching. We invited her to our Easter Potluck and to church on Sunday. She said that she would love to, so we were surprised when she didnt come.

Wednesday was really awesome. We stopped by Brother Emerson and taught about Christ's atonement. It was awesome. Brother Emerson is such a character, hes an 85 year old cowboy. Last Sunday it was testimony meeting, I invited him to get up and bear his testimony. He said that "You couldnt get me up there if you had a gun behind my head?" Well he ended up getting up. During Sunday school, Brother Cochran asked, "Does it ever feel good to be angry?" Herb took advantage and said "Yes! Yes it does!" He is a funny guy. Well during this lesson that we taught him we taught about Christ and his atonement. At the end of the lesson he told us that he felt different, that he had never had that feeling before. We were so happy because he was feeling the spirit, something he said he always wanted to feel. After Brother Emerson we went to Jay's house. Jay is an alcoholic even though he doesnt want to admit it. We have brought it up a couple of times and he always gets mad about us and feels that we are being confrontational. Well on Wednesday we decided to teach him about faith and the atonement. Well we really let the Spirit guide the lesson. We ended up talking about repentance. He asked how many times he could be forgiven. We told him he could always be forgiven as long as his repentance was true. He said he had a problem and that it was annoying to him that he would repent and the same issue would pop up again. We told him through faith he could get over it. He admitted his problem was drinking and he led us into a lesson about helping him with his drinking problem. We talked about the Word of Wisdom and told him why it was important to stay away from addictive substances. It was awesome!

Thursday was also a good day. We taught Doug and Kim, and we stopped by a few people that said they might be interested about learning about the gospel. We taught a new person in Hyde Park named Bryan. He is a little confused about the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon, and how they relate with each other. We explained that the Book of Mormon is not a run-off from the Bible and that really it is just another piece of scripture that is comparable to the Bible that adds many important stuff to it. It was pretty good.

Friday was not a good day. We had a bunch of people cancel on lessons, so we ended up visiting a couple of Less Actives. We had the Easter Dinner Friday night.

Saturday was a really good day. We were able to go to Brother Cochrans house. The sap was running that day so we helped collect and boil the sap. It was really fun. He has a mile long trail around his house that goes by all the sap buckets. His system is gravity fed. So he has about 2 taps on every tree and then he has hoses run down from several trees into a 5 gallon bucket. We hopped in his Jeep and headed down the trail. It is a mid 90s Cherokee with 38 inch tires. The lift is all home-made, but it works really well. The snow was about 2 feet deep up there so it was really fun. Brother Cochran is a crazy driver, it was fun. The first time we collected about 15 gallons of sap. We took it over to his sugar shack. His brother and father met him there. His brother had about 14 gallons and his dad about 35 gallons. We started boiling it. They can boil about 12 gallons of sap every hour. It takes 43 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. The setup he's got is pretty homegrown. Theres whats called a boiling pan on top. This is where the sap is boiled. The pan is welded onto what is called an arch. His is made out of a 50 gallon drum. We had to toss wood into the arch about every 5 minutes so that the boiling stayed constant. The sap is continually run into the pan at a constant speed. About as fast as a drinking fountain or a water dispenser in a fridge. The sap moves through the pan in an S pattern. You will probably have to look it up to see what I mean. At one side of the S it is pure sap. On the other side it is syrup. When the syrup reaches a temperature of 229* then it is ready and all the syrup is poured out until there is just sap left in the pan. Then the process starts over. Me and my companion got to regulate the wood, so every 5 minutes we tossed some wood in. It was fun. We were there for about 4 or 5 hours.

On Sunday we had dinner at the Weeds. Their son, just got off his mission. He served in Seattle Washington (Not Everett Washington, so he doesnt know Brock). Dinner was really good. Today we are headed down to Berre where I will be on exchange, while Elder Smith goes to a training meeting in Manchester NH.

 Elder C. Jensen