July 29, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,                                Monday, July 29, 2013 at 12:16 p.m. (EDT)

Monday was pretty good. We played basketball with the young men in the morning. After that we hiked around the Smugglers Notch area near Mt. Mansfield. It was pretty fun. We went as a district so there was 8 missionaries there. It would have been funner as just a companionship because there were a couple of Elders that were complaining about hiking.

Tuesday we had service up in Bakersfield. We helped pull weeds at the community garden. That was pretty fun. After that we had dinner at a members house, Holly. She was taught the last time Elder Walker was here in the Lamoille Ward, and she was baptized about a year and a half ago. Her husband and mother are strict Catholics, but Alice, her mother is interested in learning about Holly's church. Dinner was excellent. Holly's husband Paul is a chef at Johnson State College and he made some excellent steak for us.

Wednesday we helped set up Lamoille County Field Days, the county fair. That went pretty well. We got to know a few more people here in Johnson. After that we went to the Jennison's for an early dinner. They then brought us to the open casket for Melvin who died Monday morning. That took up the rest of our evening. Melvin was a pretty good guy. I really liked him. He died due to smoking for 40 years. Even though he quit 10 years ago it got him in the end. The drive back was pretty interesting. Winston and Marge, being an older couple talked about their funeral plans on the way back. They said that they already have their plot and gravestone ready. So of course Winston decides to show us it. He is a super fast driver so when he pulled into the cemetery, instead of going slow like you are supposed to, he was blasting down that narrow lane at about 45 miles an hour. The road through the cemetery goes straight for a ways and then it turns a sharp 90 degree left. As we got closer and closer to the turn Winston just kept going faster and faster. We blasted straight through the turn and onto the grass, flying by the gravestones. We turned down a lane of gravestones, bumping right over the graves, and stopped right in front of theirs. We sat there for about 10 minutes just looking at their grave from inside the car. He then turned around. We were so close to all the gravestones he had to do a 3 point turn to get out of there (I think he hit a few of the stones) and then we drove to the top of the hill. There we sat watching the sun set over the graveyard, and that is how our night ended.

Thursday we had District Meeting in Essex Jct. Sis Poll made us some Cafe Rio which was really good. After that we went to Montgomery. Ezra, one of the young men was with us. We saw a few potential investigators and then headed to eat dinner with Elliot and Shekhinah, a very hippie couple. She is in her 40s and he is 29. But they are pretty cool. They made us some organic vegetarian food. It was interesting. Shekhinah has a 8 month old baby girl and it was super awkward because she didnt cover herself with a blanket when she was breast feeding. After that we went to the Malaussenas house. A less active family in the ward. They talked to us for a little bit and then we headed home.

On Friday we just hung around Johnson. We really didnt see that many people and nothing really happened.

On Saturday we helped out at Field Days again. They had us go to the back gate to help with parking and then when they didnt need us there they sent us to help out at other places around the fair. We ended up wandering around most of the time. We ended up seeing a few members and some investigators there. After we were done doing service we went with Adam and Faith and watched some of the truck pull. We didnt get to watch all of it, we only got to see the gasoline trucks pulling. There was a bunch of Dodges and a Nissan Titan. The Titan beat all of them out by 20 feet. After that we saw some former investigators, but no real success with that.

Sunday we had a baptism after church of an 8 year old girl, so we hung around for that. She asked me to be one of the witnesses to the baptism. When someone is baptized they have to go under the water all the way, so there are two witnesses that make sure the person being baptized goes under. I guess she picked me because when we had dinner at their house she thought I was funny, so I thought that was pretty cool that she wanted me to be a part of the program. After church we went to the Cochrans and had dinner. They are all pretty sad after Melvins passing. Jim was going to go to a lesson with us and he almost didnt. He decided to go and was glad that he did because he had a great time. He said that he hadnt laughed that much since his father passed away. We had a good lesson with Adam and Faith. Jim came and also Sister Larsen came. They both live near Adam and Faith. We taught the Stop Smoking Program and they both committed to follow it. We came back a little later after the lesson to give Adam a lunch box for work. While we were there we had a push up contest. Adam did 20, Isaiah did 50, I did 30, and Elder Walker did 76. It was pretty fun. Elder Walker said his good byes to them. They are an awesome family and I am glad that I get to stay here another 6 weeks to be able to teach them.

Elder CW Jensen