Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 28 - Infinite Power of Hope

The cold winds are blowing and the leaves are falling, but it is not yet the fabulously colorful Canadian autumn that I have heard of from you Mom. The area here doesn't have the great differences in altitude to show the ultimate variety of color. It is nice, but it hasn't peaked yet.

Now on to battling cold weather and winter. I am perhaps thick skinned, probably thick blooded, certainly I have had the impression at times to be somewhat thick headed or just plain "thick" as some might say in view of the present situation, but in spite of what one might think it does not prevent me from beginning to feel the cold. I am not really sure yet as to how I am going to tackle this. I will be needing proper winter boots soon, I don't yet have the "Long John's" or long sleeved under tops. The missionaries here use "Under Armour" as an extra layer for protection, but they don't look cheap and I just want to survive the cold. I have received an abundance of advise on dressing up like an onion (layers, layers and layers). Most wait to buy their cold gear until they arrive in the mission field, because the selection in Minnesota is aimed at local conditions. The selection here in Thunder Bay is not really that great but the temperature drops to minus forty in the winter (and that is cold no matter how warm your heart might be).

I'm glad that you have the car working again! Sorry to hear that it was such a battle, I pray often for Dad's health and miracles do happen. I know what you're going to say "If every problem was followed by a miracle, we would never learn," and that is true, but it doesn't hurt to hope for a break for others.

The locals here use the typical Canadian "eh" instead of the American "uh" or "huh" and I must do so as well as to be properly understood, so I am beginning to sound like a right proper Canadian. You would be so proud, Mom & Dad.

We are four missionaries in Thunder Bay, where the population is approximately 120.000 people and for those of you that have seen the Google Map, our area is everything South of the Harbour Express Way. The ward has eighty plus members active out of three hundred plus members listed, not ideal but lots of room for hope and prayers. The local wildlife here try hard to make up for the lack members, moose have been known to frequent the area outside the church building.

I'm looking forward to General Conference, there is always so much I need to hear and be reminded. If that wasn't enough, we have a baptism scheduled in between sessions! WooHooo! That is what it is all about, people discovering the treasure of the gospel for themselves. It is like being baptized for myself all over again, it brings back all the memories. The gospel is great--for everybody. I wanted to spend more time to tell you about actual missionary work (there is so much to tell and it's just GREAT), but all the practical stuff got in the way, sorry.

Gotta go (there is work to be done). Work is going well as always.

Love you all!

Elder Jepsen

PS.: Do you have any way of obtaining Alex Kreiberg's address, please?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thunder Bay Ward

The ward building in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada:

The building above the orange marker is the Thunder Bay Ward building.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 027 - What Matters Most

We have been working hard this past week and have just barely set another baptismal goal date with a girl a couple years older than us. She has had an increasing interest in the church over the last ten years and really could enjoy being a part of the church, rather than just looking in from the outside. It is so exciting to see the change that happens in people, as they learn to trust in the Lord and His power to deliver us when only we show our faith in Him, choose and act accordingly. It's what matters most and I pray that the Lord will protect her and all the other people we teach, that their testimonies stay strong and grow stronger. Nobody can do it by themselves, we all need God's help regardless of who owns the hands that are His tools.

The work here is progressing well and we are teaching a lot of nice people. I just wish that they all could have a sneak peek at the bigger picture, if they could only see the principles of what we are trying to teach them in the proper context of life itself. Not that I see the whole picture, but I know enough to know how the doctrines fall better into place with greater understanding. The great thing about the gospel is that as we increase our scriptural knowledge our faith is confirmed and it all makes more sense every step of the way. It is difficult to know God if we don't know His words to us, as they are recorded.

The summer has been delayed a bit and we're having a marvelous Indian summer, much to the disapproval of the locals who already had their summer holidays and without the weather we are having now. Although the leaves are falling and autumn is here, the weather is quite fabulous, warm and comfortable (for now). BUT, winter is scheduled and they have told us it returns every year. You would love the many colors of the leaves.

The members here are great, they like feeding us and we regularly have three dinner appointments a week. There are some wonderful families here that I like a lot. It is a really nice area here.

Love you all! Have to run (there is work to be done).
Take care!

Elder Jepsen

Quotes from other Minnesota Minneapolis Missionaries:

Going home Elder Spencer J. Hansen said: You have to leave and it kind of stinks. You give so very little, compared to what you get.

Elder Derick K. Lowe: Our Savior is there for everyone & anyone--it’s true; that’s why we’re here. We have been called of God; we are in our assigned areas for a specific reason, to testify & share what we have been brought up to do & know. I know as we follow the spirit & do the things we know & have been taught to know, we can bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the area
that we are in!

Elder Kyle E. Jemmett: Without diligence, you are not going to have much fun on your mission. When you are diligent, nothing can get in your way. I know how much the Savior cares for me & each of you.

Doctrine & Covenants - Section 136:29 http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/136

President & Sister Howell at the Nauvoo President's Conference

President and Sister Howell preside over the missionaries in the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission and have given up their time, vocation and money to organize, maintain and improve the efforts of the many Sisters and Elders serving in the mission.

President and Sister Howell have already served a little over a year of their three year mission. Sister Howell has resently begun a great mission blog, where she shares news from the whole mission at: http://mmmmiracles.blogspot.com/

Here they are at the Nauvoo President's Conference.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 026 - Praying in Faith

I am sorry about the super short mail this time. I wrote a nice long email and then the mail program locked up and crashed, my computer time has run out and there is no way of getting back my original mail. I should have saved my work along the way, but you know... fools rush in...??? Well, it's gone like last years rain. Sorry.

Since this latest group of new missionaries from the MTC arrived that I was a part of, the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission has more missionaries than ever before in history.

My companion and I found three new families to teach last week and three more at the beginning of this week! The Lord is there for us, listening and answering our prayers as well as the prayers of the families we teach. Teaching the gospel is the greatest. Last week I told you of a prospective sister that sought us out to re-establish her connection with the church and prepare for baptism. While she already knows many of the beliefs and has a strong testimony of the restoration, she is hard at work learning all she can about the gospel. Her baptism is scheduled for October fifth, which is also her birthday and she is looking forward to it.

You wanted more pictures for the blog, sorry. My camera somehow turned on by itself (or I forgot to turn it off) resulting in the lens protection breaking. The camera is refusing to cooperate until properly serviced by the caring hands of a technician. I have tried to renegotiate the terms, but I don't speak "Camera-tech." (I know I could try to pray for it to mend, but the camera repair guy is probably praying for bread and butter). I will try to send you better descriptions in place of pictures. Please forgive my stupidity and be patient with me.

Love you all, you're in my prayers.

Elder Jepsen

PS: Commandments do not make us heavenly, but the Savior does as HE helps us live them!

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Friday, September 11, 2009

Finding Hope

Remembering all who were affected by September 11th, those who died, and those who live.

Words from an LDS survivor of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 025 - 1-800-Dial-a-Baptism

This week I once again had the blessing of seeing my testimony grow. The Lord truly loves the people in this area the way that He prepares both them and us. We do our missionary work every week, but it was as if I this week in particular saw a clear relation in how the Lord blesses us when he finds our effort acceptable and the time is right. It could seem that perhaps we are doing something right. Now I just have to remember what that was and we can do it every week. But wait, if that doesn't happen I guess it wasn't us at all, but instead the Lord's hand at work. We just work here. ;-)

A woman phoned us up one day and said she wanted to be baptized... just like that... out of the blue. She had met with the elders four years ago and it had come to a halt for some reason.

Then she recently had a dream where she was reading in the Book of Mormon, and definitely read the word "Apocalypse" very clearly. Still in her dream, she reacted by saying out loud "I should have gotten baptized while I had the chance." This was at first particularly unsettling to her because she was reading "Apocalypse" as a synonym to "Armageddon," much more like an all encompassing version of our more recent and already horrifying September 11th.

I then proceeded to explain to her that the word itself actually simply meant "revealed," "uncovered," or even "morning of Divine light" and actually applies to all books of scripture, as the "Revelation of John" is also known as the "Apocalypse" and the word just got a bad rep because of the contents of that particular book. However, the word applied to her in the way that this was an uncovering of truth for her, a revelation to her from God mapping out a course of action for her to follow.

With that settled she was all for baptism. Well that is... she was all for baptism already when she called us, we just work here. Obviously there's a lot more to the story, but to shorten a long story we have planned for her baptism a month from now, on her birthday.

The Lord really is helping us, and I'm glad we were prepared. I know He sends the prepared hearts to prepared missionaries. At least we're doing something right. ;-)

Some times I can't help thinking that the Book of Mormon could do the missionary work all by itself without our help, if people would only read (or hear from the audio files for download) the Book of Mormon with an open heart. How could people not know of its truthfulness, flocking to the churches to be baptized?

The more we know the Book of Mormon the easier life seems to get. Not that any book will ever remove the problems and obstacles that we are to learn from in life. But, if we were to open our hearts to the truths contained in the Book of Mormon it could change our point of view, our attitude and perspective and that changes everything. I have learned that from you Mom and Dad, after seeing you live through the bumps (well, more like mountains) on your road and still be alive. You've always kept your eye on the ball and didn't waver. I know it has been hard, but I don't like to think of the consequences, had you not had knowledge of God's truth. I may not have your knowledge of the scriptures, but you've taught me to know they're true and I will always appreciate that. I love you both for what you have given me.

If people applied the teachings of the Book of Mormon to their lives, how could they not know of its truthfulness? If people opened up themselves to the Book of Mormon and prayed as is suggested in the Book of Moroni, how could they not know of the truthfulness?

All the people that know of the Book of Mormon, but don't know the Book of Mormon--don't they want to know, don't they want happiness?

It's both a privilege and responsibility to have a knowledge of the truth although many people won't listen to what we have to say. But, I sometimes think that if we all prayed together for those who didn't have God's truth (anybody) to have a chance to feel the certainty of truth, recognize it and the opportunity to accept a continuous growth of God's truth in their hearts, we could all begin to share some hope.

I love you all! From what you tell me is happening at home, I'm convinced that the blessings from my work here spreads a little like rings in the water. Could you please make a request for some communications from Paul to come my way now and then? I really miss hearing from him. How's Jen doing? I miss Eric something terrible, if he could only manage to wrap the fury of those fist punches of his and send me some. I actually miss that "brotherly love" of his.


Your Elder Son

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 024 - This is it, I am NOT here now--in MINNESOTA! . . . I am in CANADA!

I'm having great fun and although it is not nearly as far North as Denmark, it seems they get more snow here than we did at home. :-) Thunder Bay is the greatest. Since it's so far away from EVERYTHING, it is NOTHING like the bigger cities, but the people here are wonderful. I guess they get more of a chance to be themselves up here (not that I have had much of chance to compare with the rest of the mission, but people here are great).

Kanno and I are working very hard and he is an excellent trainer. We have a goal of ten baptisms before he goes home. It's a lofty goal but it can be accomplished with Gods help. We have names down for all the baptisms and I know that as we continually consult the Lord in our hopes, decisions and ambitions, the Lord will send His spirit to help those prepared to accept Him in their lives.

I feel really blessed to be here serving the Lord. During my work as a missionary, both in Denmark and at the MTC I have come to be so grateful for the person I have become as your son. Thank you Mom and Dad for helping me become someone that can serve the Lord on a mission, I am so happy to be here and I am really glad to be able to serve the people in Thunder Bay.

I am so grateful that way back before I was born, you didn't trust our doctor more than the Lord, advising you against having any more children. You still had me and my brother Eric and I will always be indebted to your courage, faith and great example. You have always been there for me at the end of every road. I know that you both have made countless sacrifices over the years, more than I can begin to imagine. You unselfishly chose to have children and family instead of just thinking of yourselves and how much easier life could have been without the added responsibility.

I am overwhelmed when I think of the great blessings I have experienced and wouldn't want to be without. Thank you for your examples to me, thank you for being my parents and thank you for being there for me. You have given me a lot to work for and live up to.

I'll be writing a letter to Anita today to thank her for the awesome quilt and pillow and army-green sheets (YES). The bike has no insurance or warranty, so I have to buy two sturdy locks and hope the Lord sees fit to continue blessing me as he has so far. I'd better make sure that He has time for other things than to look after my bike, so I'll double lock it and be careful allowing room for God to focus on helping our teaching appointments work out for the best. (Not that I really consider God's omnipotent powers to have limits, but some things are still on my shoulders).

I'm happy to hear that people enjoy the blog! I'm grateful to you Dad for all the work you put into sharing my mails and thoughts. I couldn't possibly keep connected to everyone as I would like, without your help. Thank you. :-)

I love you all and may the Lord bless everyone reading and following the accounts of my mission adventure. I am grateful to be here. My prayers are with you as I have felt your prayers be with me, it's good to know that I am not doing this alone. I hope you are all doing well!


Elder Jepsen

Elder Jepsen - MTC group, all with their new trainers

President and Sister Howell with new group of missionaries, fresh from the MTC with their newly assigned trainers.

Elder Jepsen is number three from the right in the second row.

If you click on the picture, it will show in greater detail.

This is one of three pictures sent to us from the mission office with a nice letter from President Howell.

Elder Jepsen - Fresh From the MTC

President and Sister Howell with the group of missionaries arriving from the MTC at the same as Elder Jepsen.

These missionaries all trained together at the MTC while preparing for their missions in the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission. Elder Jepsen is standing to the far left in the second row.

The next group from the MTC will only be six missionaries.

If you click on the picture it will show in greater detail.

This is one of three pictures sent to us from the mission office with a nice letter from President Howell.

Sister Howell, President Howell and Elder Jepsen

Elder Jepsen's arrival at the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission with President and Sister Howell. Elder Jepsen is the one to the far right. ;)

If you click on the picture it will show in greater detail.

This is one of three pictures sent to us from the mission office with a nice letter from President Howell.

Minnesota Minneapolis Mission Map

This is an approximate map of the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission.

The mission includes parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Ontario, Canada where Elder Jepsen currently is serving.

To see the map in greater detail, click on the map and it will open to full scale.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...