Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 61 - The Right Choice is Always at the End of an Uphill Road!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!!! I don't know how old you are, but I am not sure it matters--you've been there for me as long as I have lived and we're still having that beard growing contest when I get home!

I really enjoyed my Mother's Day call on Skype and wish that I could have talked to you more, but it was after all Mother's Day and you have always taught me to love, honor and respect her. I did enjoy everyone's voices and news. Just seeing you was great, even if mostly in the background! It's actually rather difficult to express my feelings for you and I'm kind'a getting a lump in my throat thinking about it, but seeing you brought me a great deal of comfort. I want you to know that you give me a lot of strength just being my Dad. I am amazed at how long it took for life to tire you out. The experience of seeing you fight battle after battle for the family, while overcoming obstacles in your own path as I was growing up, has given me a lot of strength and I am feeling that now as a missionary. I have never known you to take the easy road and as I have learned over the years from you, the road to the best choice is ALWAYS UPHILL and if the road you are on is not uphill, you're going the wrong way! You've made me a better son, missionary--and man (once I finish my mission). I love you Dad and miss you so much. I almost can't wait to see you again! But, I also know that I would want to at least finish my mission before I do, so I'm not in a hurry. Phrasing it in a typical Danish west-coast farmer attitude... "It takes the time it takes." :)

I realized the other day that I haven't really gone "knocking on doors" for several months. We just have so many other things to do! Not that I really miss it. There are other much better ways to find people to teach and better things to do with our precious time. Missionary work here is great! I love it! The people we are teaching are doing great! They come out to church and they love it! We bring them to a fireside at our mission presidents house and they love it. We are doing a few baptisms this weekend, they are all progressing so much and it makes me so happy!

You can't possibly have all the miracles of seeing people discover and grow closer to God without paying the price of disappointment after disappointment. I naturally experience all the pains of missionary work. Appointments that fall through are common; People that you get super excited about teaching and then you never can get a hold of them again; Bike punctures in the middle of nowhere; Rain decides to start pouring on an otherwise sunny day and we get WET! We had a couple of rainy days this week and I had to laugh at my own stubbornness for not bringing and wearing one of Grandma's bright and cheery ponchos. But now the weather is both hot and humid, a lot like when in Denmark the weather goes from one extreme to another within hours. I have had so many interesting experiences that just complete the missionary picture and I wouldn't want to be without any of them.

Another thing that I've been enjoying is biking! I'm finally getting some of my bicycling muscles back that I had from before my mission. We have to meet with people when it suits them best and with "our convenience" not being one of our top priorities, many of our appointments end up across town from each other leaving us to put thirty to forty blocks behind us within ten to fifteen minutes. With a few of those appointments during a day and who needs a gym?

Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Jepsen

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