Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 012 - Hard at Work (learning a lesson)

Thank you for sending me the recipe and don't worry Mother, every single time I present your mac-n-cheese I ALWAYS make sure people know it's my own "Mother's Way of the Ninja" and NOT something out of a cardboard box that I am talking about. Thank you again--Mother's own homemade mac-n-cheese AAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH!!!!! (Sorry, but thinking of the stuff and I very nearly start acting silly).

I'm glad to hear that something is happening for Dad's back and it seems that Eric is becoming quite the Bonsai expert--I am impressed.

I've just recently had mac-n-cheese at a friends place so I know the gargantuan contrast there is between "Mother's Own" and the stuff from the cardboard box! Once again, thank you the recipe! I love you!!!

Food is important: If you don't eat--you die, every missionary knows that!

When I last talked to the Mission Presidents wife and she asked me what I'd like to eat for my last dinner here in the Danish Mission I told her of my birthday tradition of mac-n-cheese. When she heard about your amazing prowess in making the killer cheese sauce she really wanted your recipe and she might consider giving it a try. I sure hope she remembers the Tabasco, it's just not right without it.

We had a rather interesting day last Thursday. My companion had decided that we leave the city and try contacting an area on the map that looked like a nice residential area. It was close to a place called Hyldtofte, . . and so with sun on our backs we headed toward a supposed land of promise. After a little train ride we began our walk out of town attempting to find doors untouched by previous missionaries. As our adventure began unfolding and we encountered the distance seen on a little map in real foot-on-pavement distances, the thought of possible shortcuts soon became appealing. Halfway there we saw a field road that seemed to go straight through and might reduce both distance and time invested. As is the tradition for any sort of shortcut, whether conceptual or otherwise they never get you what you want. We ended up walking in fields for a good part of the way, trying desperately to find a way back to our mission. For what was essentially a complete waste of time, it was fun. When we finally finished trudging we were actually within a reasonable proximity to where we intended to be.

What my companion had imagined to be a little honey-pot of untouched doors with people all awaiting our arrival with baited breath, was not even a residential area, but (this is were that big embarrassing drum-roll gets in the way of my story) a summer cottage area where NOBODY lived. We (with very little hope left) knocked on some doors but non held any rewards in store for our efforts.

In the search for something that we could do and be reasonably sure of a positive outcome when faced with our obvious absence of success, we decided to drown our defeat in ice cream while the sun was mocking us from a clear blue sky as if to say"I told you so. Maybe now you can remember who you work for."

With our planned contacting and teaching swiftly wiped from our "To-Do List," we were right back to trudging . . . right back to the apartment. Nothing was really easy anymore that day, but what seemed to hold the least obstacles in our path was a walk to Rødbyhavn. If we hadn't realized our failed efforts by now to be futile we were reminded as the wind picked up something fierce. This was no longer one of those pleasant experiences that you write home about (and yet, here I am doing just that, sorry). But I guess when it comes right down to the facts, missionary work is also about finding the places where no return is needed, or we wouldn't know where to increase our efforts?

Unpleasant, fierce and in your face--the wind managed to bring along good memories of the good old west Coast back home, which was the least it could do since it took and blew away my ice cream together with my last bit of hope for the day. We walked along the coast route against the full force of the wind all the way back. Bicyclists going the opposite way didn't even have to do anything as they were just blown along like a kite-on-a-bike. To thoroughly confirm our lack of brains we managed to take two more stupid shortcuts (as if we didn't learn from from our trudging along in the fields), before we finally arrived discovering that we had to wait an hour and a half for the train back to the apartment.

With time to spare on top of all the time wasted we discussed what we could learn from this, so it NEVER happened again. Essence of what we learned: Always include the Lord in HIS work. If you try to do it on your own... you're on your own and that's not how you best can do the Lord's work.

You wouldn't know it after reading this account. But in spite of us and our own stupid folly, much to the Lord's credit and very much a testimony to the Lord's love for the people we teach, our area is progressing and we are teaching many positive people who are ready to accept the gospel into their lives. It's humbling to see how the Lord loves to bless us (and teach us) as He does. One can sometimes wonder why he sends such novices as us out to do a Master's work?

Even on a day without the kind of results we were hoping for, we are blessed to do the work we do and we couldn't ask for a better taskmaster. After a day like Thursday the Lord was ready to hear our prayers again on Friday while helping and directing us along to learn from our mistakes. Trusting less in our own ability and more in the Lord surely can help us better fine-tune our spiritual senses and be better listeners to His instructions. There is so many who would find peace, comfort and strength for the rigors of the world we live in, from what God has to offer us. Why do we keep trying to do it on our own instead of seeking him out in scripture and prayer? Life can be plenty tough even with God by our side, why try go it on our own?

I love you all and hope you all take care. We are off to teach at a real appointment now and hopefully there will be people answering, when we knock on their door this time. Bye!

Elder Jepsen

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...