Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission News - The Unexpected Phonecall

Editors Note: Computer problems unfortunately are preventing my usual efforts on the blog. I must complete this entry away from my computer and software. Consequently I am unable to modify any pictures for internet use.

Elder Jepsen's brother Paul was kind enough to take some pictures at the Copenhagen Airport and I am looking forward to share them with you all. As soon as I again can access my computer I will process the pictures of Elder Jepsen's departure from Copenhagen Airport to a sufficiently small format to suit normal internet use (people have to be able to download them in order to view them).

We did however get a phone call from our dear Elder as they at the MTC had asked him to call to notify his parents of his arrival. I have tried to the best of my ability to share that phone call with you. We should soon have regular e-mails and pictures again, I hope.

After crossing the Atlantic Elder Jepsen had three hours in Atlanta, Georgia where he was looking for something more substantial than the light lunch served in flight. Having spent his last cash on luggage fees it was time to pull out the plastic. The magnetic strip on his credit card was damaged and he was asking a stranger where there might be place that had a credit card chip reader. Noting the missionary attire and missionary badge the stranger mentioned that he to was a christian and that christians should help one another. Figuring that our Elder Jepsen was looking to buy food he offered to buy him lunch and helped him out of a tight spot. Landing an impromptu dinner appointment out of his area is not at all a bad start and a terrific opportunity to talk about missionary work and the church.

Elder Jepsen was soon on route again and off to Provo, Utah where he had already had breakfast when we spoke to him. There had been nothing else on the schedule yet except meeting all the other missionaries when we spoke to him. I am sure we will hear more exciting news later.

When he called, he was tired after nineteen hours of transit but Elder Jepsen is well and happy. He enjoys where he is and what he is a part of and that is really the most important news.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Elder Jepsen - "Places To Go and People to See"

... and Elder Jepsen is off to the big adventure ahead, with places to go, people to see, testimonies to be built and shared, memories to be made and work to be done.

Elder Jepsen - Change of plans...

What do you mean, a change of plans--they have changed their minds?

They don't want me in Minneapolis... and I am going to Siberia instead after the MTC?

They must be kidding, right--oh, they are? Whew!

Elders Jepsen - Second Generation

Here they are:

Paul, (Elder Jepsen II, emeritus) and Elder Jepsen III once again ready at the airport escalator.

Elder Jepsen - My brother Paul is sooo coool!

My Danish Mission President allowed for my brother Paul to come and say goodbye at the airport. Paul is so cool, thinking of every detail (he knows what a growing young man needs, DANISH CANDY, HARIBO, PIRATOS).

I wonder how long it will be before I see that stuff again?

Now FOR THE BIG decision, do I pack it in my luggage and have a piece every month for the rest of my mission or... do I pack it in my carry-on luggage and EAT IT ALL before I get to Salt Lake City?

I have to make a quick decision and get this stuff out of sight. I am in a public area and the guy behind me is already eyeing my candy. This could quickly get very scary.

Elder Jepsen - Young men with a purpose and a plan

... and here they are, Elder Jepsen and the Mission Office Elders "Putting their shoulders to wheel" as once again a mission is about begin.

Elder Jepsen - Who are those handsome guys?

With a big adventure about to begin the kids in the airport are sensing the adventure brewing... and who are those handsome guys, really?

They must be off to something important and exciting, I am sure.

... and Elder Jepsen is OFF TO THE AIRPORT!

Well, the big moment has come and big changes are coming with it. Don't get scared now.

All seated, strapped in and ready for the "Mission Office Airport Express."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 019 - Last Week in the Copenhagen Denmark Mission

I don't have much to tell this time around. Life is all goood in good old Fredericia, but there is not a lot of time to get the last bit of work done. Time does fly and I had hoped to accomplish so much more.

I hope you all are well at home. I love you all! Soon I'll be the one to fly, I'm going to the MTC! Woooooohoooooo!

I happened to see the blog, great! Thank you for all the work you do on that blog, it could seem that an unexpected record of my mission is developing from my correspondance. That is so cool, kudos to you Dad! I should send more pictures ;)

Our mission president has allowed Paul and Jen to come say goodbye at the Copenhagen Airport.

Take care! Love y'all!

Elder Jepsen

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 018

Oh, do I have exciting news for you. Well... guess where I just got my last transfer to???

I didn't see this coming or find it easy to comprehend. I sincerely thought that I would stay in Alleroed Ward until my departure for the MTC. Life (maybe especially mission transfers) just can't be predicted by mere mortals. My last two small weeks as a Danish missionary would be spent in... Fredericia. Surprise!

For those that do not know this. We (my family and I) used to live in Fredericia. We would go for walks and sometimes bring our barbeque out on Trelde Klint (top right corner of map) and had a lot of walks in the Trelde Forest.

With my brother Eric visiting his old friend Rasmus (in our old home town, Fredericia) for the week-end, we were actually both in the same town and that's just a bit crazy...

After the shock settled and I began to come to my senses late Friday evening I began to see the sense in this transfer. Of all the places I could have gone if I didn't stay in Allerød, the Lord chose to send me to Fredericia. I think I have some purpose here yet unknown to me. But I have very little time and I have to move fast if I have to accomplish something, start something or stir a heart. I feel strongly that there is something here that is specifically my task, important for me to get done. I have some things in mind, but I need to submit myself to a lot of prayer to be led by the Spirit in this area. I already know that this is the place that I have to be. It feels right but I also feel that this is going to be a special experience.

The Lord has much in store for me, and I know he's preparing me for something. I just wish I knew what (I might have to ask Him more specifically). I guess that all I can do is have faith and prepare for when He is ready to tell me. I was told the other day that I had a huge amount of faith, by my companion. He said it in the context of that I know that the Lord has a plan with all of us, and that I trust in his wisdom in His plan with me.

Whatever I encounter, I know that the Lord is there, somewhere behind the stage, calling the cues and pulling the strings giving me a fair chance for making good choices. I have given this a lot of thought and I do believe this. I know that my Father in heaven loves me and that he has prepared this for me. I know that it will work out, because He is walking beside me all the way, and if He can be bothered with little me then I can walk the extra mile as long as He is by my side.

Time flies, when I get to the MTC I will have been a missionary for four months already, going on five. When I finally get to Minnesota I will be celebrating my six month mark just a month after I arrive. Woohoo! Haha, life is great!

I have to head off. We have stuff to do and people to see. I love you all!

Next week will be my last email before I enter the MTC! (I'll have that letter off to the Bishop within the next couple days. With the days just whipping by it's hard to find time, even to write ín my journal) I know it's important, and I should work harder on getting in done. If you see the Bishop, would please just update him and confirm if all is in running order? There isn't much I can say or do otherwise. If there anything else that my other mission sends me just forward it or show it to the Bishop. I can't do much from where I am. Thanks for all that you've done so far.

Love you all!

Ældste Jepsen

Monday, July 20, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Real Missionary Food (NOT)

Look Mom, we don't just eat "Kraft Dinner" we eat healthy food. . .

Ooops. . .

Well, we will try to be healthy tomorrow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Seriously Silly Seriousness

I am terribly aware that I in my photos only have been depicting the moments of silly, goofy fun and intend to do my best to correct the matter.

When we actively pursue the good cause of missionary work there is no time or place for pictures and that is as it should be. In the remaining time we try to fit in as much fun as possible between cleaning the apartment, doing the laundry and cleaning behind our ears. Such an intense focus on documenting our silly moments could give cause to the misconception that silly, goofy fun is all we do. This is not so and I will seriously make an attempt at rectifying the matter of imbalance.

The following should give evidence that we not only can be very much serious even in the best of company (that is one of Denmark's past kings behind us, even he removed his hat and that is serious). My companion has for the purpose of illustrating the point transmogrified into a cast lion symbolising our serious, noble and unwavering dedication).

To further show that we indeed do serious missionary work and in a most unbiased fashion try to share our message with all, we have included one of our more quiet and less responsive teaching moments.

It doesn't look like much but she was the only one of our teaching moments that had no objections to being photographed in a teaching situation (well truth be told, she is the only one we asked if she would mind have her picture taken).

PS: On a more serious note, Edmund Burke once said that "All that is essential for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

So let's stop this silliness and all seriously do something and do our best at doing so, even with all the odds against us.

Elder Jepsen - Tivoli

Here we are for our district activity at the main entrance of Tivoli for a great day of good fun.

Elder Jepsen - Elders behind the wheel

Missionary work (or is that just when an Elder is behind the wheel) can also be scary at times!

I am the one in the picture with my mouth open.

Elder Jepsen Mission News - Visa Issues are RESOLVED!


My visa IS in order. I WILL be leaving Denmark July 27th (in the morning) to attend the MTC for three weeks (I will finally have a chance at learning how to behave on a mission), after which I am off to Minnesota Minneapolis Mission. Please pass this on to Paul as rumours tell me that he currently isn't much in the know.

Love y'all

Elder Jepsen

If God wants it so, nothing is impossible.

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 017 - Off to Tivoli

I don't have much time to write today. We're heading off to our district activity of having FUN in Tivoli (FYI for the non-Danes: except for "Dyrehavsbakken" or "Bakken" (1583), Tivoli (1843) is the oldest amusement park in the world) as district activity and for our prep-day really soon. GREAT FUN!

I actually knew about Eric's encounter with the Giant Hogweed before I heard through your email. Sorry to hear about his case of photodermatitis, what a mess! I was at the American Embassy taking care of some business (visa) where I met Astrid Frederiksen right outside, she was sporting a nicely "painted" face and a fancy blue umbrella having to avoid the sun at all costs (I hope you're doing the same Eric?). She was apparently at the same event where they had this service project of removing Giant Hogweed (without sufficient protection and proper instruction for all the participants). Astrid told me that you had a good laugh over it and that sounds like you. Her description of your experience made me laugh too (sorry for any discomfort cause by the experience).

Love you all! The Church Is true!

Elder Jepsen

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 016 - Hot Danish Summer

YES! It has been very, very hot! But it wasn't wet and it wasn't cold, so we survive. Thank you Mom for reminding me to use sunscreen. I love you mom. ;)

I'm trying to transfer some pictures over to the computer so I can send you some, but it's acting up and it wants me to transfer ALL the pictures and I just want to send some of them. The camera and I are not exactly on the same wavelength because I've been able to send specific pictures before. Not to worry, I'll figure it out next time.

Time is going by so fast! Weeks are something that just seem to whip by if you're not careful. I understand now the concern that my fellow missionaries have expressed: "We have to use the time NOW, we have to work as hard as we can and do as much as we can." (Not a single minute will ever come back for us spend it differently than right now).

In my prayers I pray that I can be even more of an active missionary, instead of a re-active missionary. The days where I just react to stuff, I am left feeling like I haven't accomplished much. Hence I try focusing on being more active and work harder. I really only have 2 years . . . and as I am finding out . . . it's not all that long. I understand how important it is to utilize these two short years to their fullest.

I have been blessed with a very sacred calling that I must learn to magnify, for this truly is God's church containing the full potential of His love and His truth. I am beginning to feel in my heart that He really is MY savior and MY Christ as well as he is YOUR savior and YOUR Christ and no longer the savior and the Christ. The gospel is GREAT and I have so much to learn, so much I want learn and know. This feeling, this love is what I'm out here working to help people feel and understand.

I love you all, and I hope you are having some of "them there good times" and stuff. Take care and say "Hi" to the Ward for me. If you see Elder Wirig and Elder Dalton (Big D), tell them that I miss them as well. If there's anything I can do for you, just say.

Love you all,

Elder Jepsen

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 015 - Sunshine

I'm beginning to miss a good Mom and Dad hug, but work keeps me busy and I sure like to be out here. It's not like I am "trunkin' out" and getting all homesick.

I have finally nailed down the exact departure date when I will be leaving Denmark to be July 27th. I was at the embassy the other day and took care of some business there. Things are finally getting into gear and falling in place. The July 27th departure date allows for some planned baptisms (three) and a couple more zone conferences. I am getting the best of both worlds and love it and I'll be able to enjoy the 4th of July BBQ at our Mission Presidents home, YES!!!!

Not much is happening here. But we do the work and we have been blessed to have two planned baptisms in this area and they are going well so far. Additionally we have some prospective baptism dates and we are working on helping them through the potential obstacles.

Things continue to go well and we are getting a lot done. My companions are excellent missionaries and effective planners and I feel privileged far beyond my share to continually witness the change in people when they hear about the gospel.

In order to maximise our efforts we've begun to work with the members again. We just drop in on the members when we're in the area--just to see how they're doing and if there is anything we can help them with. They get to know us better and it seems it helps them trust us enough to send us to their friends.

We have discovered a new way to measure success. You are successful if you're tired and you are still working hard, (and we are tired all the time so I guess we doing OK?).

We are enjoying the good weather (LOTS of SUNSHINE and it's HOT and MUGGY) and yes, I will begin using sunscreeen. Our car get's very hot though in this weather. Missionary cars don't have have AC so the first thing we do when we get in is to roll the windows down. We could drive around like a bunch of puppies with our heads out the windows, facing the wind with out tongues hanging out--but I am afraid they would all think that we had lost it completely, so we don't do that but the thought had crossed my mind.

We all recieved permission from our Mission President to stay up late, so we could stay out and watch the annual witch burning. I don't think she really minds it as she keeps coming back every year. It was fun, and I got some good pictures!! They actually tried to ignite it by shooting arrows, but the missed all forty times, so they chose to go out with a Sievert ( a GOOD blowtorch) and take proper care of business.

I have been converted. I have now entirely abstained from the ways of the electric shaver to embrace a proper shave using the manual razor. It's changed my life ;) well, at the very least it has changed and cleared my skin up considerably and I'm very happy about it, as you can tell.

Well I hope that you guys take care and that you are enjoying the Danish summer (without the rain) AIN'T IT GREAT?

Love y'all! "Muah"

Elder Jepsen

PS: Today is big cleaning day and we have in mind to chuck a lot of the junk that has piled up in our apartment over the many missionary generations before our arrival. Sister missionaries used to live here (NO, of course NOT while there was elders) last year and there's a lot of stuff still stuff like hairdryer's, woman's deo and other stuff best described as stuff.

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