Thursday, April 23, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 006 - Birthday Memories

Thank you so much for the... uh... birthday extravaganza. I feel SO SPOILED. Please send my thanks to Sister Meline! Thanks for the extra mail and stuff, I really enjoyed it. I just finished reading Eric´s mail and laughed so hard. I seriously love that kid. I hope I´ll have time to write him a separate mail, but he can wait till next week if I don´t get the time.

That was some birthday message from Boulder: twenty-one toots saluting me (toot, well the sound might not be much, but "toot" is really TOO SMALL a word to describe what Boulder does). He sure knows how to identify himself . . . oh, how I remember. He really is a BIG dog! ;) I sure do miss him, hearing and feeling the ground thunder when he comes galloping.

It´s kinda weird being twenty-on all of a sudden (I know, it took me tewnty years getting here and I am surprised when it happens)? I´m older than most elders around here, which seems even more weird, as I am a greenie.

We were having companionship inventory (with the Ballerup house being 4 elders we call it the Ballerup House Inventory) and I got a comment from Elder Moulton, that he looks up to me, because I am "light years ahead of where he was in the beginning of his mission." That´s kinda cool, but gives me a lot to live up to.

My comp and I are working on a member/missionary project that we just cleared yesterday with ward council, and it might just turn out to be a good project. We´re hoping that if it is successful, maybe others can use it as a template. It might have the potential of changing things. Although I am sure that everything must have been tried, I still have my hopes.

I have to end quick now because my browser keeps dying, and we need to go shopping. Take care, you all! I love you! Please, give Boulder a cuddle from me.

Elder Jepsen

PS: Boulder is a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (for those that don't know, he is a 50+kg[110+lbs] dog) with a bark that can shake a mountain and has heart of gold, but with a secret wish to be the boss and rule the world. He has stopped or averted at least 3 break-ins (one froze in a wide-eyed stare as he saw Boulder baring his teeth with a bark big enough to re-invent fear) to our home that we know of. This does a lot for his popularity rating (not that he needs it, he stopped a thief in the neighbor's yard as well).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 005

Please be a bit quicker on the email response? I was really looking forward to hearing from you, since it´s almost the only communication I get.

Not much has been going on here. We´ve been working hard and have walked a lot. The sun is great though, so great that it had to be brought before the mission council if we were allowed to take our jackets off before May, which apparently is the rule. It went through, and I had my first day without a jacket today. It´s great, and I hope that the weather is just as good over there as it is here.

Well I have to go shopping soon. I need a bit of food (and more grape juice) to last me the next week.

Love you all,

Elder Jepsen

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 004

I sure enjoyed General Conference. It is different watching it as a missionary, I find myself constantly looking for things that might help the people we teach.

About the Jepsen Purge. The zoneleaders came over for inspection (the ones I lived with for only a week and a half) and they´re first comment was: "Well it looks like Elder Jepsen was here alright."

About the yard and the leaves, then I hope that Eric might find some time for it in the vacation coming up. I tried doing the 'Accio Leaves!' thing, but it didn´t work from so far away. You can´t blame me for trying though. (Ed. note: "Accio" is a Harry Potter thing, where Harry Potter flicks his wand and stuff happens, thanks to the imagination of a good writer and Hollywod, much unlike real life).

Concerning the patriarchal blessing, then I am quite aware of my own botch-up in this matter. I had it on my bed, ready to pack, but well . . . I don´t know (I guess I confused it with being a another piece of paper to put away and it is now in one of all the boxes in Dad's workshop). But it would be handy if you could grab Eric by his wannabe moustache fuzz thing and have him help you for five minutes to find it. No pressure though ;).

I´m really sorry to hear about Lis. I´ll include her in my prayers, and I hope that they´re family can come through this hardship once more. Still however, we can´t know what the Lord´s will is, it always was in His hands and all we really can do is pray and have faith that the doctors too benfit from Gods hand in things.

About the lessons: I´ve taught the first lesson a couple dozen times now, but am greatly lacking in the others. And I´m really not concerned about teaching in English. More than half of the investigators are foreigners and don´t speak much danish. Needless to say, I´m more concerned when a "normal" Dane finally comes along, and I have to teach in Danish. But, so far it hasn´t been troubling me.

Oh, and thank you so much for the forwarded messages--from the family and Anita. I really appreciated it and I very much enjoyed reading them. Its also nice that I don´t have to write seperate emails to everybody (time is in such short supply). It´s also great to know that I´m able to contribute to Anita´s branch, and that both she AND HER BRANCH enjoys hearing from me. It is a good feeling to have that many people rooting for me--THANK YOU ALL.

Please tell my dear grandma that Frederiksberg IS IN Copenhagen? My address is the Mission Office´s, and whatever they get will get forwarded to me, or I´ll just pick it up myself, meaning Grandma (and others) can write me letters all she (they) want(s).

My new area is like a half an hour away from the downtown, so everything is central in spite of the fact that we live a good bit away from the nearest bus stop (7 minutes of walking to get there)! It´s insane! hahahaha! I remember how it only took like an HOUR to walk out to the main road bus stop from our house. Some things do get easier! My new area USED to have a car, but since my companion who has an American drivers license can ONLY drive an automatic (sound familiar, Mom?), we got an all-zoner card so we can just hop on any bus, train, sub or a rickshaw, and go ANYWHERE that our area permits!! (allzoner card´s can reach to Roskilde (viking ship museum) and Helsignør (Elsinore) P-day Kronborg Castle (Hamlet's castle for all the foreigners) :) trip!)

Something that concerns me though about myself though. I´ve heard from my companion, that even though I might be a Greenie, and in light of the big gap of where MTC should have been, I really don´t act like the greenie I´m supposed to be. He said I talk, plan, teach and contact like somebody who´s been out for a good while, and I guess that is good, but the concern lies in that I notice (as does my companion), that I take over sometimes. It´s an easy mistake, as my companion is friendly and almost slightly submissive elder (not that I don't respect authority, but submission is a little foreign to me). To change that, I´ve been making a conscious effort of allowing senior companion be senior companion, and junior be junior, giving room for his authority to work. It doesn´t make it easier that I´m the one kicking HIM out of the bed in the morning. We´re good friends though, and we connect well together. He´s wacky as well. He lived in Denmark from when he was 5 till he was 16 years old, so our communication is english/danish back and forth, a bit a la Eric and I where we just switch back and forth without even thinking. I clean up after him as well (just like Eric). My companions first name is actually Erik!!! (However familiar, he still doesn´t get close to having Eric the Mugwump von Da Messiruhm (pronounced as the messy room) around. sigh.)

Life is however doing well, as you very well can hear. During The Great Purge, I set up (decorated with) a chess table (using a Book of Mormon chess set, didn't know they had those) with a perfect small little table, two chairs on each side over beside the wall (just for looks and appearance, and to make us look smart and intelligent people when we got visitors), . . . but we´ve actually used it a lot already! I didn´t plan on that . . . .

Only Elder Moulton (from the other companionship) and I use the chessboard. We have a little scoreboard (contained by a little yellow sticky-note), of who has most wins and he´s in the lead. As this is our prep-day, I have to kick his butt tonight to make it even.

While living in the Nørrebro apartment (oh yeah, I lived in Nørrebro!) (ed. note: part of Copenhagen where the gang population is fairly high, with frequent shootings etc.). I used to make food all the time for everybody, got better and more creative every time, and they liked a lot. Then I moved to Ballerup (also Copenhagen, Grandma :) ) and now we get FREE FOOD from a company owned by a member (the very same place as where I applied for work while I was unsure about my visa (the inkasso job)). They´re just down the road, and they order food (which they don't eat) from a catering company, and then they give it to us. CAN YOU IMAGINE, FREE FOOD FOR MISSIONARIES! Needless to say, I don´t make much food these days (which is cool and yet kind of a bummer, because I had some finishing touches to add on my new sauces). Well I'll get plenty more chances, but it still won't be the same only cooking for a 2-elder companionship.

Well I hope you west coast folk are doing well. I miss you guys a lot! (relatively speaking. get it. Relative! Oh well, I tried) I actually had Mom´s picture out today to look at while I had a moment. sigh. (Accio Family! . . . but only Paul comes . . . but then again, now he seems to be all over the place). I hope that the warmer weather is doing you good and warming you up a bit. My Men In Black uniform is really tough sometimes to work with, but I´m dealing with it. I am Bambam, I deal with things.

Well, just want to say that I love you all very, very much (Mom, Dad, Grandma, Auntie Susan and flock and Anita and branch, since I know you might be reading this somewhere). Please pray for our investigators, also the ones we haven't found yet and please pray that we find the ones that we are meant to teach--time is in such short supply. Take care and don´t get lost. As my Mission President says, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing".

Love you all,

Elder Jepsen

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 003

I just got my first transfer, and am now serving in Lyngby, and living in the Ballerup House. And yes it is a house, five times as big as the shabby apartment of my first area, and a very messy one at that with four other dedicated missionaries that must be focused on missionary work, because they aren't spending their time cleaning the apartment). Tomorrow we´re only going to be four elders alltogether as I´m replacing Elder Morris who is dying (missionary lingo for going home) like . . . tomorrow.

We´ve already settled for the Elder Jepsen Purge, and will commence operation de fungi today. I find it hard to concentrate, and relax with the mess as bad as it is. I´m also thinking that it is a proper thing to do, as a house of the Lord is a house of order (well, we don't live in a church or temple, but we are serving Him). As the Lord's representatives I think we shouldn´t only be clean in mind, heart and appearance, but our living quarters should also reflect the integrity of the work. So I´m looking forward to how that goes. Thanks for sending my new passport over with Paul. I´ll be taking care of the procedures as soon as possible. I all love you people and I hope you are doing well.


Elder Jepsen

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 002

We are moving to the Søborg area, but that´s only an intermediate solution as there now is thirteen missionaries in Frederiksberg. When the new office elders have been trained, we´ll switch all around again and we´ll still be living in the same flat:). This area has a car and Copenhagen comes down in size when you have a car. ;)

I can´t wait to experience the challenges just waiting for me out there. Otherwise, life is good, and not much has happened. I surprised myself by making food most of the time, and made food to fill up six hungry elders after contacting all day!


Elder Jepsen

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 001

Well... this is it. The reality of actually being a missionary and working in the Lord's vineyard is finally dawning little by little, and the the work is becoming more and more real to me. Elder Bitner is my trainer and he's a nice guy, we go running in the morning and he'll help me out for a morning training program to stay fit or increase the same.

I'm sitting in the mission office with my uncle trainer Elder Palmer. We´re a foursome companionship, Elder Bitner, Clawson and Palmer (the same Elder who we had over for Christmas eve). We live in the smallest apartment in the mission with a bathroom the size of the . . . uhm . . . smaller than our food storage. You can take care of business, brush your teeth, and take a bath at the same time and you almost have to. I know it's not easy for men to multitask, but they sure did make it easy in there.

Something that everybody seems to have a love-hate relationship to is finding and contacting. some days it really gets on your nerves, and other days it brings you right to the top floor and skyrockets your day.

We have a car that we use a lot and I have to watch out not to become lazy. Because of it, and I'm going to try to focus a lot on morning training.

Zone Conference was way awesome! It was nice to be there, and the messages were great and well thought out as well. Paul apparently built a robot with my three companions. They're all zoneleaders...3 ZLs and a greenie (sounds like a missionary soap opera), and they used it for their training at conference. The idea was to emphasise the importance of our testimony, our ability to feel and utilize the spirit, and exercise empathy, it was a cool training, and I got copyright permission to use in Minnesota later.

I was told by my companions that I adapt very well and have tackled being thrown into everything as I have (without having been to the MTC, yet), very well . I hope that'll continue for a while, and I have put a couple of goals down, to measure my improvement, since I have such a far way to go.

Well I'll wrap this up now, and i hope y'all doing well over there. I s my passport home yet? When it comes, please just send it to the mission office (you were right).

Elder Jepsen

Elder Jepsen - Intro to a Mission

Above are the first e-mails from our "Man in Black" Elder Jepsen found. They will be added so the latest is always on the top. Unfortunately I can't make the dates correspond with the date they were sent as his e-mails don't transfer directly to the blog by themselves.

Elder Jepsen is only a young man, still of limited experience in life. But he has already now found something of great value that he wants to both hold on to and share. This conviction of his is strong enough that is giving two years of his life to testify of the treasure that increase as you share it.

This blog will contain his correspondence as he encounters the many experiences that may be contained in spending two years in the Lord's service, while still having to deal with the more mundane elements of shopping for groceries, cleaning the apartment and finding dirty socks in corners long forgotten.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland - The Bible and Continuing Revelation - Part 1 of 2

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland - The Bible and Continuing Revelation - Part 2 of 2

Elder Jepsen - And he is off...

Lee has begun his time as Elder Jepsen, although currently this is Ældste (pronounced aelste or elste) Jepsen due to recent US visa policy changes.
First reaction to this was to patiently wait. But, when wait became waiting, more waiting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and still waiting, an intermediate solution was deviced for Lee and many others waiting around the world called a "visa-waiting mission." This is not like a mini-mission, merely a segment of a full-time mission served under different circumstances than originally planned.

Lee is where he wants to be, which is anywhere that he can serve his mission. When the next phase begins, the new visa is approved and the BIG transfer to Minnesota happens, he will again be where he wants to be.

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