November 18, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,          Monday, November 18, 2013 at 12:15 p.m. (EST)
This week was a very good week. It was surprising to see how much success that we had.

Monday really started it off. We usually teach one if any lessons on Monday. Last Monday we taught the Bergerons, Jules, Jessie, and CJ. CJ is a new person that we are teaching. She is Lu's daughter. Lu was baptized last year. She has been encouraging her daughters to think about the church. Her one daughter, Jessie has been investigating for quite a while. CJ was always disinterested, but all of a sudden the other night she decided that she wanted her two sons to learn about the church and that led to her wanting to learn about the church.

Tuesday was also a very good day. We got up at 4:00 and drove to Lancaster. In Lancaster the Colebrook Elders picked us up and drove us down to Concord. We had a missionary Zone Conference at the chapel down there. There must have been 100 missionaries in that meeting. Elder Nielsen, a leader in the church came and spoke to us. He is from the first quorum of the Seventy. "A Seventy is a church leader that is assigned to headquarters administrative functions, Like the Apostles, they travel frequently to visit and teach congregations of the Church.

Click this link for information about Elder Gifford Nielsen 

It was a very uplifting spiritual day. In the morning our mission president talked to us, as well as his wife, and Elder Nielson and his wife. Much of what was talked about was how we as missionaries are helping to "hasten the work" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:3)
Many people think that when church leaders talk about hastening the work they think about all of the missionaries that are being called to serve. There are now 80,000 missionaries. Up from 58,000 last year. Because of this many people see all of the people that these missionaries will bring into the church. He told us that this was great, but he told us to think of the effects 10-15 years down the road. He made us think of how a mission is a training ground for each of us. Each of us is changed by a mission. This forms us into great leaders that will be leading the church 10-15 years down the road. He said this is what he thinks about with the hastening of the work. After they spoke we had a really good lunch and then we took a group picture with Elder Nielsen. Then we headed back in for more talks. The meeting ended at about 4:00. It was really an uplifting day. We got our ride back to Lancaster. By the time we made it to Berlin it was 7:00. We stopped by the Bergerons. Brother Bergeron had a heart attack, so me and Elder Simmonds gave him a blessing.
Wednesday was also a good day. It was very busy. In the morning we went to the Family History Center at the Church and learned how to use It was fun. After that we drove to Milan and helped do a little bit of service for a Less Active Member, Ann. After that we drove to Lancaster and had dinner at a Less Active Member's house. The Senior couple that serves in our area was there as well. The man's name is Mark. He hasnt been to church in 30 years. We taught him and his wife and invited them to come to church on Sunday. They ended up coming. It was really good. After that we headed back to Berlin.
Thursday we stayed in Berlin. An older couple in the branch took us to a Chinese buffet so that was really nice. We did a little bit of service for the Farmers Market. They are setting up a Fall Market indoors. They are using one of the many vacant buildings in Berlin in order to do it. We helped clean the building for that. After that we taught Amanda. She is interested in the church a little bit. After that we had a really good lesson at Lu's house. Her daughter CJ was there, along with CJ's sons, Seth and Ethan. Seth is 12, Ethan is 9. We taught the Restoration, which is the Joseph Smith Story. When we were talking about prophets we played Simon says. We said that the person who is Simon is like the prophet. Everyone is supposed to listen to what he says. There is only supposed to be one of them, or else it could get confusing. That was really good, and they enjoyed it.
Friday was also a busy day. In the morning we had our weekly planning, afterwhich we did some service at the thrift store in Berlin. We vacuum the floors. Then we taught Jules. After teaching Jules we went to a dinner at Sister Sgrulloni's house. It was pretty good. Half of the branch was there. After the dinner we stopped by the Jenkin's house. The Jenkin's are Nakita's parents. They were very nice to us. They might be interested in having lessons and having us help them quit smoking. After that we went to the Bergeron's. The Bergeron's friend was there, Ricky. We invited him to learn and he accepted.
Saturday we went up to Milan. We did some service on the Dairy Farm up there. It was a lot of fun. I got the boots that mom and dad sent me so it was nice to have those. Elder Simmonds powerwashed a corn chopper and I reparied a barn by nailing up some boards. We got a gallon and a half of milk. It was sweet. After that we taught Ricky again, the Bergeron's friend. We watched the video "Finding Faith in Christ" 
 It went well. He really enjoyed it.
Sunday we went to church of course. It was great. Our mission president came and spoke. The branch really enjoyed it. He stayed for the whole of church and got to meet some of the people we are teaching. A lot of people showed up which was great. After that we tried to teach Nakita but we couldnt find anyone to go teaching with us, so that didnt turn out. We stopped by Sister Topier a less active member. She said she doesnt believe that we can be married in heaven, and she didnt like that the church taught that. She also doesnt like the temple. She has never been but she didnt like it. We also saw Brother Murphy another less active. He said he wont come to church because people are hypocrites there.
Over all it was a very good week and we had a lot of fun.

Elder Simmonds is doing really well. He is a great missionary and a hard worker. He is a little quiet at times, which is no surprise being a new missionary, but sometimes it makes me control lessons and conversations. 

A goal that I have made this week is to focus on growing myself on my mission. I want to use my mission to help my life.

We have really been working with Part Member Families and Less Active Members, this has helped us find many people to teach. Jessie, could be doing a lot better. She keeps on forgetting about our lessons, and has not been pushing herself to reach her baptism date. CJ, Ethan, & Seth, are new investigators. They are related to a recent convert. They are doing very well. It was a surprise to us that they wanted to learn. Nakita, has been doing good. She has been coming to church consistently. Amanda, is a new investigator. It has been good to see how fast she has begun to become more interested as she reads the Book of Mormon. Ricky, is also a new investigator. He is the friend of a less active family. We watched the Finding Faith in Christ Video as an introduction to the gospel, and to show we focus on Jesus Christ.

Elder CW Jensen