May 20, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,                                                       Monday, May 20, 2013 at 4:17 (EDT)

I really enjoyed this past week. I had some really good insights on the gospel, as I was studying for a "Zone Conference" that we will go to here on Tuesday in South Royalton, Vermont. We will be going to the Joseph Smith Memorial. The study was about repentance. It helped me to see that as we repent and as we teach repentance, making commitments are key. I really like Moroni 6:8 says "But oft as they repented and sought forgiveness with real intent they were forgiven" and Doctrine and Covenants 1:31-32 says "For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; nevertheless he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven." I like those because it shows that we can be forgiven of any sin, but that doesnt mean that it is easy. We must repent of it with "real intent." We must make commitments and goals to succeed and we must always try our hardest. One blessing from obedience I have experienced is that as we go out and just do missionary things, success happens.

Monday: We stopped by Carlee. On Sunday she was all stressed out because of her baptismal date that we set with her. She doesnt feel like she is ready for baptism. She felt a little less stressed about it on Monday but we will probably drop her date because it stresses her out so much. Really we just set it so that they have a goal to look at.

Tuesday: We tried to teach Jaime but she was busy so we knocked on some doors in Cambridge and then went back to Johnson. We did some community service for the Municipal building in Johnson. We pulled some weeds outside. That was pretty fun. Then we taught Jamie, Bill, Marissa, and Tori. They have been going through a tough time and we shared with them Joseph Smith's account in Doctrine and Covenants Section 121 about him being in the Liberty, Missouri Jail. During this time the saints were being persecuted and Joseph Smith was put into jail on false charges. For several months he was in there unable to do anything about his people being persecuted and murdered. Finally he prayed and asked God "where art thou?.. Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions, before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them?" God's response to Joseph's question was "My son, peace be unto thy soul, thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment, and if though endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." Well this past week Jamie read the whole section and loved it. It has really helped her look past the trials she is facing right now. Jamie told us that quitting smoking has been going very well. Since we asked her to quit smoking she has gone down from 1-2 packs a day to about 3 cigarettes a day.

Wednesday: We stopped by Denise today and she shared a really cool story about prayer. She is having some difficulties with her ex husband. They had to go to court over custody issues with their daughter. She prayed that she would be calm during the whole thing. She said that she was amazingly calm, even when her ex was yelling at her and the judge. That was pretty cool to hear. It finally rained today. It has been really dry for Vermont here. All the rivers are really low, so that was good.

Thursday: We taught Brother Emerson today. He is about 78 years old and his kidneys are failing him. His wife died this past winter and it has been really tough on him. Me and Elder Smith really enjoy teaching him because hes just a cool old man. Hes always wearing cowboy boots and a hat. Brother Cochran jokes about it and says that Brother Emerson thinks hes a cowboy even though hes never left Vermont.

Friday: We went over to Jake's house and set up everything for his baptism. He is getting baptized on May 25. He has asked me to baptize him which I think is pretty cool. We finally got to see Jessie. She has really been avoiding us this past while. We talked for a bit. She wants to discontinue lessons but she still wants us to stop by every so often and talk to her.

Saturday: We did some community service at the Johnson Cold Spring. We weeded it and mulched around the plants. That was pretty fun. Then we went up to Eden. We stopped by some people that were interested in meeting with us. There is a lady named Paula who we gave a Book of Mormon and she is interested. There is also a couple, Adam and Faith that we stopped by and offered to help do some yard work. He said that many missionaries from other faiths have stopped by but that none of them had offered service so he thought that was pretty cool.

Sunday We had dinner at the Sparks house Brother Sparks is really interested in sharing the gospel with some of his friends. So we had dinner at his house and talked about the Book of Mormon with a couple of his friends. One of them is a truck driver that lives in New York. He wants a Book of Mormon, but he cant read so we will have to get him the audio version.

Elder CWJensen