November 11, 2013

Dear Family and Friends                    Monday, November 11, 2013 at 1:55p.m. (EST)
Well this last week has really been a crazy one.

Monday we played basketball at the church and then drove up to Groveton NH to exchange with the Colebrook Elders. I stayed in Randolph with Elder Roberts. When we got back into Berlin it was about 8:00. We ran to Walmart to get some supplies for a Stop Smoking Program that we were teaching. Elder Roberts hadnt been in a Walmart for 8 months and he was really over exaggerating his excitement to be in one.

Tuesday we went to help Mike and Kirsten with their wood. Me and Elder Roberts helped Mike split the wood on a woodsplitter and then we hauled it into the basement. Kirsten then made us some super awesome breakfast. They are such a great family. After that we were supposed to have a lesson with Jessie to teach the Stop Smoking Program but she cancelled on us, so we helped Danny stack some wood at Ann's house. Danny used to work for Ann's husband. He is renting the downstairs from her. After that we had planned on teaching Nakita, but that lesson cancelled as well, so we went and saw Lu. She was baptized a year and a half ago. Its tough for her to make it to church because she works on Sundays. We talked about preparing to meet God by going to church and reading the scriptures and praying. We got on the subject of people preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse, but it all tied into the lesson very nicely and it was a lot of fun. It also got her other daughter CJ into the conversation. Lu has two daughters, Jessie and CJ. We are teaching Jessie, but CJ doesnt want anything to do with church.
Wednesday we had District Meeting which is always a lot of fun. I am really starting to enjoy teaching the lesson each week. After that we did some service for a couple. They are great. We helped plant and prep their garlic patch. You plant garlic in the winter. We raked leaves and stacked it on the garlic for compost. During the whole deal we had a great discussion with Kathy. Afterwards we gave her a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet. After that we went to a bible study at the Lutheran Church. They have a lady minister there, Pastor Gale. The bible study is usually pretty good, but she has been mourning the loss of her husband so it was all over the place. After the meeting she talked to us for about an hour on her porch. She pretty much was using us as a vent to get out all her emotions about her husband. We talked a little bit about the people in the Berlin area and how we can collaborate as two different faiths to bring people to God. She said that there are a bunch of ministers that meet at the hospital every week, and was going to see if she could invite us to that.
Thursday we went up to Milan to do some service on a Dairy Farm up there. It is a Family farm run by a guy named Rick. We had a good time. Last week he had us wash down the barn, but then he found out that I am a mechanic, so he sent us to work. The first thing we did was replace the e-brake on their big front end loader. After we fixed that we fixed the manure spreader. In the front of the spreader theres a chain case that houses all the gears to run the machine.  One of the chains had fallen off because the tensioner had gotten loose. So we tightened up the tensioner and put the chain back on. He was really impressed with our work, and I was glad to be able to get dirty and greasy. After that we went back to the apartment and washed up and drove to the Lyndonville chapel. The Assistants to the mission president picked us and the Barre VT Elders up. Then we rode down to Manchester. There was one Elder that was really annoying on the way down. When the assistant sped up to get on the freeway, the transmission dropped into a lower gear. The Elder exclaimed, "Listen to that Hemi!" It was a Ford so I proceeded to tell him that Ford doesnt have a Hemi, Dodge makes the Hemi. He kept on making a lot of loud annoying comments like that all the way down to Manchester. We got to the Mission home at about 9:30. We got some mattresses out. There were about 6 of us that slept in the living room downstairs.
Friday morning we got up and did some exercises. Sister Stoker, the mission presidents wife made us all waffles. It was great. After breakfast we went to the Manchester Chapel to have our meeting. It was a meeting for all the new missionaries and trainers. It was a lot of fun and it was great to have a day to relax a little bit. We also got some really great lunch. They always make us some really good deli sandwiches. The meeting ended at 3:30. We loaded up in the van. Elder Woodruff a former assistant was with us and he suggested that we eat at a Mexican food place near the assistant's apartment. Elder Woodruff is a really funny missionary. They live in the inner city area in Manchester. Last week their neighbor got into a gun fight and got shot in the leg. No one eats mexican food out here so all of us jumped at the opportunity to get some authentic mexican food. It was great. Just as good as Donny G's in Montrose (Don Gilbertos) Not quite as good as El Jimador. After we had our food we went back to the assistants apartment and got in the van. Elder Woodruff had to use the restroom real quick. While we were waiting we were in the street and a car had to get by. So we had to drive around the apartment. Elder Woodruff came out and we werent there. He knew we would be back but he started sprinting around the block to catch up with us. It was pretty funny to see him running in a suit. On the drive back we dropped off some missionaries in Hanover as well as a few other places.  After that we got dropped off at the Lyndonville chapel. I decided to take a little detour and drive through St Johnsbury Vermont. While driving through I saw a Taco Bell and had to get some. so I got my fill on Mexican food. We got back to the apartment at 10:30 that night.
Saturday we helped out at the St Barnabus Episcipol Church. They have a community dinner once a month, so we set up for that. Then we walked a ladys dog. She has scoliosis and she fell the other week so she cant walk very far. So we walked him. We also stopped by a few people. While we were walking a group of teenagers yelled out at us "Hail Satan!" They do that to us all the time and it gets pretty irritating so we walked up to them and talked to them for a while. As we were walking by a gas station we saw Ralph again. Hes the one with the stories about the Puckwudgie. We talked to him for about an hour. He was going off about how he was abducted by aliens near Billings MT. We told him we had to go because we had the community meal. He told us that we should find some girls there. We gave him a Book of Mormon and our number. Elder Simmonds cant stand him, but I think hes hilarious. After that we got to eat at the community dinner. (Theyre werent any good looking girls there anyway)
Sunday was also an interesting day. In our meeting before church we talked about one of our investigators that cant get baptized until 2016 because he is on parole. The investigators a great guy.
As we were waiting in the hall some less active members walked in. One hasnt been there for a couple of years. Brother Quayle a really friendly member introduced himself to the guy. The less active shook his hand and kept walking without saying a word. Brother Quayle gave us a look like, "Whats his problem" and then pretended to straighten out his suit. It was pretty funny.
Priesthood meeting was crazy. Some of the members of the quorum got in a heated debate. One of the men got mad at the teacher and told him that he should not be teaching the class false information. It escalated pretty quickly. The teacher tried to apologize but the guy just went off. One of the brothers is really into family history research and left the class. He turned around and pointed at the disrupter and said, "I wont stand one more minute of listening to you talk about something that you know nothing about" He went and grabbed a family history manual. While he was gone the class quieted down a little and the man that had disrupted the class apologized. Just as he was finished apologizing the man that was into family history came into the room and read the church policy and it became an uproar again. Another woman came into the room and told the man that had disrupted the class "You are Wrong" It was crazy. I had never seen people fight over something that is so insignificant. After church we had dinner at Ann's house. It was really good. She gave us a bunch of christmas cards. So I will be handwritting a lot of letters on those.
Today we havent done much so far. I am really excited for tomorrow because we have Zone Conference. Elder Nielson of the 70 is coming. He talked in general conference.

Elder CWJensen