March 17, 2014

Dear Family and Friends:          Monday, March 17, 2014 at 10:41 a.m. (EDT)

Well this last week has been pretty fantastic. I am really starting to enjoy my new area. 

On Monday we went to Freeport to do our emails for lunch we ate at a Johnny Rockets. We went and checked out the LL Bean stores. I really wanted to get something, but I dont have any money, or the space to carry anything, but lo and behold when I got back to the apartment I found an LL Bean Sidebag that another missionary left. I dont know if I told you but we have to use sidebags now. We cant use backpacks. So that nice backpack that mom and dad got me just sits at the bottom of my suitcase. Kind of a bummer. But I like the sidebags better for missionary work because it doesnt crumple up papers like the backpack does. 

The LL Bean stores are huge. They are like a mall of their own. Its pretty cool. I also cut my hair. I buzzed it to an 1/8 of an inch. I really like buzzing all my hair off. Its definitely something I will do even when I get home. Elder Hansen also got a haircut.  I am so glad that mom and dad taught me how to budget. Grandma Jensen told me that she might teach me how to do her budget when I get back home. I will definitely take her up on that. I have really come to realize the value of money on my mission. Back home I spent a lot of money that I could have saved. It seemed like I had a lot of money to blow because I had a constant flow of money while I was working.
On Tuesday we did some service at the Freeport Community Center Food Bank. We get a lot of food from there as well. After that we tracted Lower Mast Landing Rd in Freeport. I find the most success with tracting the less populated roads, because door to door salesmen dont normally knock doors on those roads, so more people are more friendly to people at their door. After that we met our Zone Leaders in Portland for an exchange. Elder Hansen went to Saco with Elder Hales, and I stayed here with Elder Harper. Elder Harper came out the same time as me. I went on an exchange with him this time last year. We were in a trio in Barre, Vermont. He is a very good missionary. 

On Wednesday It rained all day. It never ceases to amaze me how much it precipitates out here. I had never seen it really rain all day until coming out here. Out in Colorado we just get a few minutes of rain and thats about it. No wonder it is so green out here compared to out west, but I wouldnt trade the dry Colorado weather for anything else. We did service at the FCC food bank again. We tracted Upper Mast Landing Rd in Freeport. We ate at a members house, the Crawfords. We chipped up some ice on their driveway.

On Thursday It snowed all day. We didnt do much. We gave a Book of Mormon to a lady who asked for one on Lower Mast Landing Rd when we were tracting. We forgot to bring one, but it turned out all right because she said we could deliver it later. She might be interested in the future.

On Friday we taught a lady named Laurie, She is very interested in learning. We werent able to get a full lesson in though, because her husband had to leave. As missionaries we are not allowed to be in a home with a lady unless theres an adult guy there. We taught another investigator that evening, Ethan with a Priest from the Branch, Matt. Matt is only 16 but he is a great teacher. After that we knocked on a former investigators door. They invited us to come back next Wednesday.

On Saturday we met as a Zone to have a Zone Meeting and to have an interview with our mission president. After the interviews we had the Adult Session of Stake Conference. I saw something really cool while we were there. There was a few black people that were sitting in front of us. A lot of the black people in Portland are straight from Africa and speak French. During the meeting, there was a missionary that knew French and he was whispering in a man's ear telling him what the speakers were talking about. There was also a young black man that was translating it to two black women. I guess there are so many French speakers interested in the gospel here in Maine that they are going to send some French Speaking missionaries here. Pretty neat. I was amazed that someone would come to a meeting that they dont understand unless someone translates it for them.

On Sunday we had the regular session of Stake Conference. Our Stake has so many people that we had to meet in an auditorium. We went to a middle school in Westbrook that has just been built. The middle school is much larger and much nicer than my high school. They had a huge auditorium where we met. It was really cool. We taught a less active member after that and then we had dinner at the Crowley's house. It was a really good day.

Elder Carlton William Jensen