December 9, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,           Monday, December 09, 2013 at 11:36 a.m. (EDT)

This last week went really well! I am really enjoying my time here in New Hampshire.

On Monday we had a really good Preparation day. Some things that I forgot to tell you in my last email is that we have a less active member that told us that he knows a nonmember that loves the Book of Mormon. He told him that the Book of Mormon's thin pages are perfect for rolling joints! Also we asked this same less active member how we could get people to come to church. His suggestion was that we offer them beer after the meeting. After Preparation day was over we taught the Word of Wisdom to Lu, CJ, Ethan, and Seth. It went very well and we are going to teach CJ the stop smoking program tonight. Also Lu is going to do it again. She quit smoking to be baptized but has picked it up again. Never smoke, it is such an addiction.

On Tuesday we had a great lesson with Debra. We taught her the Restoration again and showed her a video of Joseph Smith. She loved it. She prayed about the Book of Mormon and discovered that it is true. She committed to be baptized on February 22 2014 (I know, Dads birthday!) That was a really fun lesson. After that we went over to the Jenkins. We taught a brief lesson there and then helped them wash their dishes because they have been really busy lately. We also stopped by Ben. He is a less active member that has agreed to have us come over. He got offended by the branch president a few years back so he doesnt want to come to church. After visiting with him we went to the Bergeron's and had a lesson there. We go over there probablly 2-3 times a week. That is something I really like about this area is that we can teach people multiple times a week.

On Wednesday we had District Meeting. Colebrook missionaries ran their car into a ditch so we had to drive up there and have District Meeting in their apartment. After that we drove down to Gorham to have the oil changed on the car. (I wish we could do it ourselves.) They had a cool sample paper that showed the coloring of the fluids in our car. They took a drop of each fluid and put it on some tissue paper type stuff. They took a sample of the brake fluid and the transmission fluid. The lady said that our transmission fluid could need replacing. ATF is red. Brake Fluid is clear. She pointed at the ATF mark and said this is what your transmission fluid looks like, then she pointed at the Brake fluid mark and said, this is what it is supposed to look like. Tire and Lube shops are great... No one there knows a clue about cars... (I hope that story made sense. I thought Casey and Carson would enjoy that!) After getting our oil changed we drove to Lancaster. It ended up being a 160 mile day for us.... pretty crazy. In Lancaster we had dinner with the Anthony's. He made us a Sandwich for dinner... but not just any sandwich. Brother Anthony is a professional chef, so he made the best sandwich I have ever had. This Wednesday he is making us BBQ ribs. We will see if it is better than the little place in Gunnison that me and Kreg liked to go to! While driving back to Berlin we saw another moose. A cow this time. The stretch between Berlin and Groveton has tons of moose.

On Thursday we got up early and got in our jeans and T-shirt. We did service down in Twin Mountain. A lady down there needed a couple of cords of wood. So Brother Jared Irwin picked us up (This is for Carson-> in his 2003 Toyota Tundra and we headed down there. I have always liked Toyotas, in particular Tacoma's, but I had never thought of getting an older Tundra. On the drive down I started to really debate it.  Are the 6 cylinder Tundra's pretty good? They seem to be very similar to the Tacoma's just a little more roomy with a bigger bed.) We split wood from 8 until 3. It was a lot of fun. We split a lot by hand and also used the wood splitter. New England has a lot of hardwood trees that dont split well with an axe. So a lot of people use hydraulic wood splitters. We dropped off the wood. The lady didnt even realize that we were going to do that for her. She was at work at the time. So I can only imagine the look on her face when she drives in the door yard (New England term - door yard) and sees all that wood! After that we had a really good conversation with Jared. He got into politics a little. As missionaries of course we couldnt really talk about politics, but he knew we were both Conservative. I think he just wanted to vent because there are so many Liberals up here. I cant believe it sometimes. We were helping at a community meal the other day and there was a 19 year old working with us. I asked him if he was in highschool. He said he had dropped out. I asked if he was looking for a job. He told me that he wasnt but instead he was trying to apply for welfare. He and his girlfriend are getting married so that they can get more welfare benefits. Anyway we turned the conversation to church topics and he told us how he wants to get his nonmember wife to church. We told him to just have faith and patience and that it would happen sometime, especially since she just had a baby. And Lo and Behold she came with him to church on Sunday! After we got dropped off we showered and had dinner at Ann's house with some members, the Savards and Sister Hawkins. It went really well.

On Friday we had our weekly planning. That took a long time. We also taught Jules and the Bergerons. It was a pretty good day.

On Saturday we helped with the community meal. That is a lot of fun to help with that. We just set up tables and it is good when people see us over there giving back to the community. We also taught Debra again. We taught her the Plan of Salvation with Brother Bergeron. The lesson went really well. We also taught Danny and his son Zach. We read a great story out of the Book of Mormon. We read Alma 49. In the chapter an army comes to attack a city, but the city has strong fortifications, so the army gets slaughtered. We talked about strengthening our own weak places. After that we went and taught Lu CJ, Ethan and Seth about modern prophets and watched a talk by Thomas S Monson.

Click this link to watch The Race of Life by Thomas S. Monson 

We also watched a Christmas video: It is a really good one.

Click this link to watch the Christmas video 

Sunday was a great day. I really enjoyed church. Debra came which was sweet! All the talks were really good. We do have an odd branch here. We were asking who could come teaching with us. We asked one of the men, a high priest, if he would be able to go teaching with us. He is older and retired so we figured he would have time to. He told us that he couldnt go teaching with us because he didnt have a testimony of the church or of Joseph Smith being a prophet and that he didnt agree with missionary work either. His thoughts were that if people wanted to join the church they could, but that we as members dont need to share our beliefs with others. This really surprised me because he is a very active member. It just goes to show that seemingly active members are less active and seemingly less active members are active. It reminds me of something Karli told me a couple of weeks ago... "Merely sitting in the church doesnt make you an active member anymore than sitting in a garage makes you a nice truck!" As members we need to both go to church and be active in it. We have to endure to the end. After church we taught CJ, Ethan and Seth. We read with Ethan and Seth out of the Childrens Book of Mormon and then we played soccer with them. After that we had lunch and then we contacted some people. We had some pretty good successes and we taught a lesson to Ben later that night. So really good day! Also Debra really enjoyed church and is excited to be a member! Today we are going to drive to Wolfeboro and have a sleepover with the Elders there. Then me and Elder Holley who is serving in Wolfeboro are going to drive to Manchester for a Mission Leadership Training Meeting. That should be a lot of fun. I am excited for it. I like going to meetings because I can relax in them a little more. We have Monday's off so we can kind of relax, but I am still running around getting things prepared for the rest of the week, so Mondays are almost more stressful than the other days of the week. I have been really stressed out lately. It has been hard to relieve it because usually I relieve it by hitting the throttle on a dirtbike or by going on a drive by myself, and going offroading and camping things I cant do as a missionary.

Elder CW Jensen