December 8, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,                           Monday, December 8, 2014

This week has been one of the worst on my mission. I felt almost zero desire to work or even be a missionary which is a feeling that I have never felt before on my mission. Many times this week all I could think about was home and how much I want to be back. Throughout the week I kept trying to ignite my desire somehow but it didn't really come back until last night.  It still isn't huge but I am working on it. I have been very frustrated with the work. It just seems to be so slow here. I feel like we have been working so hard with slim to nothing improvement to the area these past 5 weeks. We were able to find several investigators but they dropped us as soon as they started investigating. We have one investigator now. That is it. I have no idea what to do to find people that would be effective. We have been contacting less actives and boxing them out like crazy. We have been trying to set things up with ward members and seeking referrals. We have been handing out 10 or more Christmas pass along cards every day. All of this and no for-seen success has been very frustrating and disappointing.
Last night I couldn't sleep because of the anxiety of trying to get this area going. I tossed and turned until 11:30; then I finally got up and read my scriptures in the bathroom until 12:00. I was able to find some scriptures that helped. I wanted to find something that gave me the desire to work. Here are several of these scriptures:

Alma 36:3 O my son [Elder Jensen], behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.
After I am changed from these trials I want to be able to say as Alma:
Alma 36:24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:31 If God be for us, who can [prevail] against us? (JST)

Before I left on my mission me and President Taylor had a very good talk. He told me that my mission would be such a growing experience and it truly has. He told me that I would pass through a refiners fire. He knows I am a mechanic. He asked me if I had ever machined an engine block. I told him I had not. He reminded me of the process. In order to work both the head and the block of an engine must be perfectly smooth and flat... perfectly. It cannot be off 1000th of an inch, otherwise it easily would blow a head gasket. So both the head and the block are machined down perfectly. In the machine shop they cut down a tiny portion at the top of the metal to make it smooth. In a metaphor the engine block must endure pain in order to be perfect. He read a scripture to me that relates the experience Isaiah had before he was called to be a prophet. 

2Ne 16:7  5 Then said I: Wo is unto me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips; and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar;
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said: Lo, this has touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

Before being called Isaiah was an unclean person. He had unclean lips and he felt unworthy to become a prophet. But in metaphor an angel came with a live coal from the altar of the temple and placed it to his lips cleansing them with fire and his sins were taken away. President Taylor told me to imagine that happening and the amount of pain that it would be to have a live coal pressed to your lips. He told me I would have similar experiences on my mission. He told me that it would be the most painful thing I have ever done up to this point in my life. And it has. I testify that God knows what he wants us to be and he gives us experiences to make us into what he sees us becoming. I know that God loves us and that he wants whats best for us. He gives us painful experiences but as we trust in God we can prevail. Just like the inscription on a coin. In God We Trust.
Elder CWJensen