August 19, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,                                        Monday, August 19, 2013 at 12:54

Well this week was really good but also really bad at the same time. The work has been great here in Vermont and I will talk about the good news first.

We had a Zone Conference in South Royalton VT where the Joseph Smith Memorial is. It was great we learned a lot. We are trying to take a different approach to missionary work. New England has always been a tracting mission. Which means we tract a lot. Tracting is basically knocking on peoples doors and checking off streets. This used to be very effective here because people are generally pretty friendly. Well the last couple of years it has not been working so well, so we as a mission are trying to use the members in finding people to teach. Instead of knocking on doors we are going to visit all the members and share short spiritual lessons with them and ask them if they can invite their friends to learn from us. We will see how it works because the members are very spread out but once we get it started it should work great. After Zone Conference I got to do something that I have been waiting forever to do, fix someones car. Ken replaced an alternator on his minivan but he couldnt get the serpentine belt on. So I did it. A simple easy job but I was so grateful to get my hands greasy again! Ken has been listening to the Book of Mormon on tape and he is really enjoying it.

Was our Preparation day. We got the oil changed on the truck, tires rotated, and emissions inspection. $142.00, what a rip off. I wish they would let me do the work on the truck.

We drove up to Underhill and visited some people. After that we drove back to Johnson and taught Kirby.  Kirby is really progressing. He came to church again and it seemed like he really enjoyed it. He is trying to read the Book of Mormon again before baptism and he is already in Alma. (He is reading it faster than me!!) After that Densie called us and asked us to come by and say a prayer with her. We asked if anything was the matter. She said that she was dealing with past temptations. We told her about priesthood blessing and she had us give her one. We gave her a priesthood blessing. Me and Elder Smith laid our hands on her head and I gave the blessing. I blessed her to be able to withstand the temptations and I said in order to do so it would require some effort on her part. I promised her if she read the scriptures and prayed every day she would not suffer from the temptations. It was a great experience and her husband who is not interested in the church thanked us.

We did some service for a lady up in Eden. She lives in a shack in the woods. She lost all her money a few years ago, so she just lives off of her Social Security check each month. She basically lives in a swamp so we dug some ditches to divert some of the water. After that we tried to contact a few people but no one was home.

We went up to Montgomery. We had lunch at the Atwaters, an active family that just moved from Orem, Utah. We tried to just eat a quick lunch and share a short lesson but they held us there for four hours. I couldnt believe it and we were trying to get out the whole time. After that we had dinner with Elliot and Shekhina. Because they are Jewish they have the Sabbath on Saturday. They start the sabbath Friday night so we got to celebrate that with them. We then discussed with them about their religion and the similarities between theirs and ours.

We stopped in by Adam and Faiths and made sure they were still coming to church. We talked to them for a bit and helped bring in groceries. They are such a great family. Then we stopped by some members homes. We visited an older sister in the Ward, Alberta who recently lost her husband. We were about to go when she started talking about him. She told us that she can feel his presence and at times has even seen him standing next to her. While we were talking about that I could feel the veil draw extremely close and it was a great testament to me of life after death. She apologized for getting it off topic and said that she had no idea why she told us that.

Adam and Faith came to church and they loved it. After church we taught the Law of Chastity. Because they have no issues with it we also taught about temples and we kind of meshed the two lessons together. We gave them a picture of the Boston temple and a Family Proclamation to put on their walls. They are so ready for baptism. I am so excited for them.

Now for the Sad News.
On Saturday night after talking with Alberta we were in the apartment and my mission president called me. He told me some really devastating news, that Kreg, a former employer and best friend of mine passed away. I could barely sleep Saturday night because I couldnt stop thinking about it. But I am getting through it. It really helped that Alberta had talked to us about her husband passing. I am so thankful for the spirit prompting her to talk to us about it. Kreg was such a great guy. These last couple of days I have been trying to remember all that I have done with him and I have been writing it in my journal. I have known him since we moved to Montrose, about 10 years ago. He was my scoutmaster for quite a while and he employed me for the past 5 years when he was in the tool business. During my freshman and sophomore years of high school it was really tough for me because I didnt have any friends and he really helped me through that. He helped me achieve my love for snowmobiles and dirt bikes and he always pushed me to ride harder and be better. I am really going to miss him. I dont even know if I would be out on a mission right now if it werent for him. He always took time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about my problems and help me see the bigger picture. He was such a great guy and I am going to miss him.

Elder CW Jensen