Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Let the children come to me . . .

Nooo, the real LITTLE children, just the LITTLE--VERY LITTLE children. The ones that can't hurt you. Children will go to such great lengths to make you feel welcome, aren't they great?

He is actually a good kid (. . . or he would have let go the loaded finger).

I am having a nice and all around pleasant day--despite appearences. But, doesn't it seem as if he is finding some enjoyment in the opportunity?

Sister Jepson with Elders Jepsen & Jepson

At least I am not all alone out here as the only Elder Jeps(e)n. Witness the phenomenon Sister Jepson with an Elder Jepsen/Jepson on each arm.

But names, nationalities, places of origin or past occupations aside, we all serve together and the blessings from the work are the same. As we stand united in serving God and those around us who wants to know Him better, we ourselves benefit as much as we give. I have looked forward to these next two years for what seems like a very long time now and I am happy to be here.

Watch this and you might know what I mean as President Thomas S. Monson testifies of Jesus Christ (you'll have to copy/paste the link to your browser, but it is worth the trouble):

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 010

We're spending our prep-day together with our district leader and his companion today as a combination of bad weather and bad connections prevented them from leaving. We went to the tourist office for suggested sites and decided to all go to the zoo and have our fun there. Elder Champenois got bit by an otter because he stuck his finger down to their basin--so we all had an enoyable time! Appearantly even otters see it as a threat when you stick a finger in their face. We even got home before it rained again.

I'm not going to be writing a lot this week. A truly exhausting transport situation for the Zone-Conference tired me out and we couldn't fall asleep last night either, because we ate to much candy. . . I know, I know. But, we were out contacting yesterday all day and it started raining, well actually pouring . . . and a lot of thunder, all very dramatic. I loved every moment of it. As usual rain is wet stuff, the other elders had the keys so we had to wait for their return. A nearby candy store was open and dry, now what would you do—a growing boy, locked up in a candy store with nowhere to go but out in the pouring rain? I know, I ate too much candy—and I am paying for it with a belly-ache. But, If all my choices were perfect and without flaw I would never learn from my mistakes . . . or? OK, it was candy and I have an aching belly, that must be enough punishment . . . why beat up on myself, it will probably be a nice day outside again tomorrow?

On to the real missionary part of my mission: We sat down all day at Zone conference, no walking, no trudging and no rejections and it was still an especially spiritual experience. We saw a great movie called “Joseph Smith; The Prophet of the Restoration.” It was a well made movie that touched me deeply.

We later received some good training and messages and I took a lot of notes. I also had to say goodbye as it was my last zone conference which was hard as the Danish Mission has claimed a special place in my heart in the short time I've been here. It's going to be hard to leave.

I am truly enjoying my mission, it is the most amazing process to watch people grow as they discover God in their lives. The change that happens from when they first start out with a vague hope that maybe there is a God after all, is in itself a miracle. To experience the idea forming in their heart that a true God might actually hear that innermost prayer only known by themselves and see what happens when they discover that God answered their plea, the prayer that meant everything to them is beyond all comparison. With God we can learn and do so much that would otherwise be out of reach. I consider myself blessed to be a part of this.

I know that God is not at our command to answer our every little prayer when, where and how we think would be best. Sometimes the best and biggest lesson for us to learn is to look back at how and what we did, and make sure we remember it and avoid having to learn it again. As I see things more clearly I realize that sometimes that's where an answer is found and then the Lord confirms it in my heart. If I had the answer list to life before truly working at it myself, how much would I really have learned in the end?

Anyway, you all take care. I really miss you and I hope you are doing well. You can do a lot with the Lord behind you.


Elder Jepsen

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 009

Well, so much for the bigger desks and rooms acquired at the last transfer . . . My companion and I got a full scale whitewash (when both companions leave an area simultaneously to move together to a new area. Needless to say, full whitewashes are rare). Nevertheless, I was still eager to leave the house a much better place than when I came, so I used a lot more hours tweaking, cleaning, chucking, organizing and re-arranging, so that the Ballerup House was easy and enjoyable to move into for the six new elders coming to live there. It felt good to get it done as there was a lot of stuff that needed taking care of in there.

Today we were up against the inherent logistics problem of stuffing four elders with all of our luggage into a small car and driving down to the Copenhagen Central Train Station. I had to sit on Elder Faylor's lap in a an awkward and not especially comfortable position. The blood circulation in my right leg considered the situation beyond its job description and simply gave up on the task, leaving my leg in a cramp of uselessness all while I had no real choice in the matter.

A good half hour later we stepped out of the car (well, tried is more like it) and had to use the next five long minutes trying to get blood and feeling back into our legs. I could not feel a thing in my leg and couldn´t tell the difference if I was stepping wrong or even where my foot was pointing. All Elder Faylor and I could do was have a good laugh at this comical situation since we couldn´t balance or walk at all. We were leaning against the car, laughing at each others reactions and the fuzziness in our legs. It was all in all funny . . . but not recommendable.

All discomforts aside, the new apartment is well worth the transfer hassle. It has been crowned the nicest apartment in the whole Danish mission (it´s roomy too). However, at first glance it doesn´t quite seem that missionaries have been treating it accordingly. Oh vei!

In the days leading up to our transfer, we were very busy packing in as many appointments as possible in an attempt to say goodbye to our most prized people in our area. A particularly wonderful family in our area have been going through some tough times. We had a nice cozy little eating arrangement outside on the grass, and before we left as we gave a message as always. My companion had a short message since we really did have to leave, then he snug in a short little comment in about Family Home Evenings and its importance, but didn't say much more than that. Although unplanned that became my cue and I began to talk about setting goals and plans as a family and how they as a family could set goals together. When stressed with problems often the softer, gentler and more beautiful feelings can disappear, overpowered by the much louder obstacles and challenges that life is so full of. Standing together and looking out for each other we are stronger when facing problems and while improving our family relations we remember our love for each other. I couldn't help thinking: "How in the world did I get into talking directly and bluntly about specific things in their family life to be improved upon (It is not as is we don't all have things in need of improvement)?” But, in spite of what could seem like a lack of manners on my part I have a great love for these wonderful people and that must have shown through together with a caring message. Needless to say, I had not planned this. I have however, been praying for directions on how to help this family. In my heart I knew of their needs although I didn't feel capable of sharing my feelings without causing more hurt than good. Suddenly, here was a window of opportunity and I was given just what I needed to say. Fully aware that for that a moment I was merely an instrument in God's hands, I was still really wondering how that whole thing happened afterwards. I had prayed and recognized that this was outside of ”Elder Idon'tthinkaboutwhatidosometimes's” own reach and because of God's love for these people I received the help I needed for that given situation. Wonderful how stuff that seems beyond all logic can fit together so nicely with God's help.

We also had a goodbye visit with a woman we've praying for who has gone inactive over the years with the conclusion that faith is a matter of psychological illusions. This time around something special happened . . . . and I am not quite sure how to explain it? I think it started with my companion saying "That's just the way it is" about something, with my singing response "Things will be never be the same" (a song I know and like). He didn't know were that was from, and I did a short explanation about the song, without getting too much into detail. That got us talking about music and how it influences us, and then something came up about Helaman, and then she just started humming the primary song "Army of Helaman," I started to sing along and then my companion joined in. She hasn't been in church for something like ten years and she still remembered it! The spirit was so strong, and before we went home we had a little part of "Gud vær med dig til vi ses igen (God be with you 'til we meet again)." It was really special, and she was really happy for that particular visit. I can't help wondering if she realized that it really was the spirit making it so special (I should have pointed it out), but it was a real fantastic evening. Good food too! Talking about food, we need to go shopping now and I must finish this off..

Take care y'all! I hope that stuff is going OK for you guys! I know that our Father in heaven loves us so tremendously much, and I know that we don't just experience things by chance. God does not play dice with the universe. We do not receive trials or burdens because God is after us, but rather because we are strong enough to attract the devils attention (well, sometimes we make decisions that has unintentionally burdensome consequences, but that's how we learn and another story). Our Heavenly father loves us, and he allows trials to come to us, not so that we can become discouraged, sit down and give up, but rather that we may humbly seek His guidance and strength so needed to continue the fight. Mother Theresa once said something like this "I know that God doesn't give us more to deal with than we can handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much." Our Father in heaven knows our strengths and our weaknesses, and what we experience is accordingly tailored to help us stretch and reach our full potential. Anyway, gotta go.

I love you all!!! Adieu

Elder "Idon'tthinkaboutwhatidosometimes" Jepsen

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Update

In "Mission Entry 008" there was a mention of "interviews tomorrow in Roskilde from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM." Elder Jepsen's sister Jennifer lives in Roskilde, where she is finishing up her Masters in Medicinal Biology and Philosophy of Science (science with a conscience) at the Roskilde University.

Upon reading the blog Elder Jepsen's sister decided for a mad bicycle dash through town to catch a few minutes of visiting in between classes with her brother Elder Jepsen. She caught him in the middle of a district meeting, but they had a nice visit.

Sunday May 10th 2009 was Mother's Day, a day when missionaries all over the world get a chance to phone home and talk to Mom. A piece of information that fell by the wayside and didn't come back to mind until the weekly e-mail DIDN'T ARRIVE. Faced with the mystery of a missing e-mail, Elder Jepsen's mom suddenly remembers and confesses to her knowledge of a transfer mentioned during the Mother's Day phone call.

As we both know from experience (many years ago now), transfers are always done on prep-day, which leaves little time remaining for mail after doing the laundry and shopping for groceries.

Elder Jepsen has so far served in various parts of Copenhagen (where Denmark has its temple). Copenhagen is situated on Sjælland is the big island to the far East on the map of Denmark (see map of Denmark in a previous posting on this blog).

Directly below Sjælland are two islands that for some reason is always referred to together as Lolland-Falster. This was where our family many years back had their first farm (part of the original Baltic delta and therefore the best soil in all of Denmark) and Elder Jepsen's uncle Paul was born there in a town called Maribo (just like the name of one of Denmark's many cheeses).

The two islands known as Lolland-Falster is now Elder Jepsen's new area and we will be getting our next update from there (once he finds the library with computers for e-mails).

Everything you ever wanted to know about Lolland-Falster:

While Lolland-Falster is mostly very old delta, it is not all flat black soiled farm land and white beaches. On Falster (the Eastern island of Lolland-Falster) is one of Denmark's more dramatic coastlines.

This is part of Elder Jepsen's new area: (this is actually rather interesting). Don't miss out by not clicking on the churches (some from as far back as the year 1030), these are historic old buildings that says a lot about Denmarks past (the earliest churches in Denmark were built for viking converts, now there is a tough room).

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Dear Mom,
Not to diminish Dad but if it wasn't for mothers all over over the world, there wouldn't be many missionaries. Dad might rock solid as brick, but you Mom you are the mortar. You are the best Mom I could ever wish for, THANK YOU (and thank you for finding her Dad, she's a winner).

Love you,
Elder Lee

Map of Denmark

This is where I have lived most of my life and where I am currently serving. I lived on the big peninsula to the left and I am currently serving in that really tight clutter of names to the far East called København.

For the last few years home has been to the far West and directly opposite side of the map, by the Danish West coast of the North Sea. I have really come to like the West Coast.

If you click on the map and save it you can see it in full size and the location names will be legible.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 008 - Happy, Happy, Happy!

Except for Saturday, there´s not much to tell from the front this week. Saturday was an awesome day, we taught seven lessons on the street and found a lost investigator. It was a humbling experience that the Lord trusted us enough to allow us to be the ones to introduce His thoughts, hopes and teachings to so many of those He values and knows to be ready to learn more. It is really a privelege to represent Him. We actually reached the mission's teaching goal this week of teaching fifteen lessons, something our area hasn´t done for the longest time, it felt great and satisfying. Yet, to take it to another level we had an all out celebration making smores when we came home. Ka-CHING!

As for explaining the shorter e-mail this week: For our prep-day today I started to clean our new bathroom. The other companionship moved out and we've been putting dibs on everything of priority in the house. Being the veteran companionship in the house we moved office and bathroom over to the bigger office room and bigger bathroom. This plan required a good deal of knuckle-grease in making the move worthwhile. I spent four hours cleaning the big bathroom today and I´m almost done by now. While we do claim the biggest and best (being the the senior companionship and all) we do try remain fair as we are still sharing the space, so I´m making sure that the other companionships areas are worthwhile and cool to move into. We do have the biggest desks though . . . ;)

We´re having interviews tomorrow in Roskilde from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM . . . so I´ll be arming myself with ”The First 2000 Years,” my scriptures, study journal/journal and "whatnot" to supplement the usual long wait associated with interviews. I am trying to learn from last time we had interviews when I was the last one to have my interview. This time I´m coming prepared.

This about sums it up for this time around. Thank you so much for all you´ve done for me. I love you all, and I wish you all the best. How´s the car working these days?

Take care you all!

Elder ”Bambam” Jepsen

Friday, May 1, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 007 - Prayer

I just found out that the other companionship in the Ballerup House is getting transferred, and the Ballerup area will also be closed down for 2 weeks until new missionaries arrive. So it´ll be me and Elder Champenois in that big house for 2 solid weeks. Boring.

But, the work makes up for the lack of company in the house in plenty measure. Last saturday, we taught five lessons, four of them right on the street. One kid, David, who just turned eighteen the same day we met him was born in
Jerusalem! He was both friendly, positive and interested, so we are going to meet up with him again. . . he also mentioned that his friends possibly might be interested as well. ;) Yeah!

Later that same day we were tired and getting ready to go home. Instead we decided on taking one more road. We hadn´t taken more than two stairways when my comp suggested to skip some and go to # 111. I felt good about it, so we hurried over to # 111.

On the middle floor, a guy of a somewhat excentric appearance answered. Upon seeing us he chuckled a bit and without saying anything further, he turned his head back inside to inform his ladyfriend who was at the door and ask if she wanted to hear whatever these mormon people had to say. She obliged, we thanked and came in. There were two chairs only, one occupied by the man (bad back) and my companion. We started with a prayer, and I proceded to teach both of them for the next fifteen minutes. I don´t remember what happened next, but my companion just answered some questions from the man and a discussion ensued. Meanwhile, I continued teaching the woman who had questions of her own resulting in two completely different lessons taught, both according to their specific needs. This all happened in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, while the spirit confirmed the principles taught. I know they felt the spirit touch their hearts. It was as if they were prepared for hearing our message, and their hearts were opened and ready for the gospel. It soon began to get dark and the only lighting in the room was a candle. In spite of the darkness it didn´t at all feel dark in the room as the spirit filled the room. We returned home late that day, convinced that we found two good people who too could share in the comfort and answers found in the restored gospel.

Last Monday after a dinner appointment we had an hour we could work before going home. We decided on a road close by to the bus stop. At the very first door a slightly aggravated father opened. We were not a welcome sight as people representing other beliefs had been there some days before us. This experience had not left the people interested in God or gospel and was not exactly the warmup band we wanted, but we decided to continue anyway.

On the way back up the road we met two friendly cats seeking a moments attentions. Having a soft spot for frindly animals I couldn't resist. Being a good and dedicated missionary, my companion asked if we should continue. Oddly enough I resisted, feeling that we should stay with the cats for a moment. We did and moments later a woman came out from her garden (it was her cat) and we began visiting. We connected really well and soon gave her a really good first lesson. The day was the two year mark for her father´s death and my companion shared a good scripture from Alma concerning God's love for all His children and the state of our souls after we die (that they are eternal).

After talking for something like forty-five minutes she referred us to the guy next door, and left us since her husband was making food inside. She mentioned that he had this huge dog (my bells started ringing already then), and said that he might be interested to hear us as well. Chuckling over our good fortune, we walked a dozen steps over to her neighbors garden and saw him coming out of his front door. We met at the garden gate and were soon in a very casual conversation. He's fond of animals and shared several stories about animals and everything else. He told us that the whole family has a bad flu and he wouldn´t let us in just now. The timing for us going from the woman and meeting him coming out of the door couldn´t be more perfect, because if we knocked I don´t think he would have let us in (with the family illness), and we wouldn´t have met him or been able to teach him. We noticed this humongous dog in the window, barking and wanting to be a part of the attention (sound familiar?) and asked if we could say hi to his dog. He gladly obliged brought out this Pyrenean Mastiff (Google it, it´s bigger than Boulder!!!). It was hairy, and slobbery, but I loved it! (duh)

We began teaching him and he was extremely positive, and said he would come to church! The thought of having two prepared people like that, living right next to each other. . . hard to believe how blessed we were in just one day. That whole sequence of us meeting them was as if perfectly planned. This humbled us greatly, knowing that we were just tools in a much greater plan. If it wasn´t because of the Lord´s love and wisdom, and Him preparing the way for us as we´ve experienced quite a bit now, we wouldn´t and couldn't progress in the work. It´s His gospel, and it´s His church, and if we don´t work with Him, we won´t get far.

Tonight, we´re heading off to a dinner appointmant at the Briscoe's in Holte. Last time they made loads and loads of really good pizza (and I heard it´s what they usually make as well)!!! They´re a great family (even without the pizza), and they´re in Denmark because of the fathers work. But they´re learning Danish, and the father has learned Danish super fast (they arrived last September), the kids are catching on quite well, and sister Briscoe is well on the way.
I love you all, and I´m looking forward to my phone call home in a week or two!!!!!. It´s going to be great to hear from you all and it´ll be nice as well, right before I leave at least to hear you guys laugh:)


Elder Jepsen

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...