Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 76 - In the presence of something truly great

How I missed you dearly this week! My story begins with Elder Bennet (another Elder in the District) getting a cold which he quickly passed on to Elder Lemonds, who generously shared it with me. You can learn a lot by following others example and so I passed on this opportunity to Elder Guillory. I am not sure what to think and I have yet to find out what can learned from all this. But, we're all a miserable bunch, and that just isn't fun when there isn't a Mom around. I can in my minds ear hear Dad in the background and yes Dad, the family cure of steeped cayenne pepper and garlic was promptly implemented and I am now cured--like usual! It works once you feel sick enough (or desperate enough) to submit to it. It scares any illness right out of you, that fast--just like any nearby friends or neighbors. Elder Guillory doesn't have my luck, he managed to turn our involuntary "District Activity" into a most excellent example of Sinusitis. He clearly has more talents for this than the rest of us but, he is not enjoying himself and is just not doing well. So, I've done my best in helping him get better (might take a few more prayers yet).

While we were all nursing our ills the members here were busy as little bees. A less active but awesome family joined another awesome family for a Family Home Evening and they are going to repeat the success. I hope to be there this time (It's great when a good plan comes together).

Unplanned illness (who plans for illness, anyways?) can obliterate all plans for productivity. Being out of our area for half the week and sick for most of it makes me so disappointed with myself. I had big plans, I really wanted to accomplish something but, I had no way of winning that argument.

This weeks training sessions left lots to think about. The tactics and pedagogy are changed and improved. At first I didn't care much care for the approach but, it works and that helps me get used to it--and now I like it.

With three days of training out of town we had more travel to do than we had alloted miles on our cars. Fortunately our local members helped us out a lot. But, all that driving allowed me a lot of time to reflect on my mission so far. At first I felt quite satisfied with my effort (I have worked hard and done my best), until I saw that I had momentarily left out the most important factor, turning it all into be a rather humbling equation. I realized that for everything I thought I had accomplished, God had been there balancing and fine-tuning the scales while I was busy piling on my little contribution. In all the best times on my mission I have not only relied on God's wisdom as found in the scriptures but, whenever I could I sought His council advice and support in all that I do. Clearly, I can't turn around and take credit for God's blessings in my life and what He has made possible? Everything worthwhile on my mission happened only because the Lord helped me every bit of the way. It was like a big light went on in my heart and I could only cast a very small shadow in it's presence. I felt everything put into proper perspective and it made me feel very small and humbled. Yet, this was a good feeling--I felt in the presence of something truly great.

I love you all! We're off to buy some groceries and like a couple of old folks are we both going to take a much needed nap. Even with prayers and the Family Cure-All I'm in recovering mode and Elder Guillory is still not doing well.


Elder Jepsen

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 75 - I Felt Like I Had Witnessed a Miracle

It's great news hear that the reception went well and I am so happy for Brittany and Paul (all the best to you two).

I really enjoyed the story about Dad in the Hospital lobby helping that little old lady. I would so very much like to have seen Dad in his motorcycle gear carrying a big full-face helmet all while taking the little old lady's walker out of the Hospital after having first helped her (together with any reasonable excuse or explanation) out of the Hospital in her wheel chair. Dad has always been ready to help wherever needed to the best of his ability. I know his back isn't doing well and that impedes his walking, but to see him "using" a walker all through the Hospital lobby would have been such a laugh. There is just something about Dad isn't there? I sure love you, Dad! :-)

This week has been amazing! Early in the week I had to attend some training sessions at the Mission Office in Bloomington, requiring me to stay overnight in my old area and I met up with my last companion (and first trainee). I had the opportunity to see some of the people I knew from when I was there last. It turned out that they had some questions and concerns and with the help of the Holy Ghost we reviewed the purpose for the Church and our part in it all. I felt like I had witnessed a miracle as they clearly understood much more than the few words coming from me. It is amazing what can be accomplished when working with the Holy Ghost. I found out later that the missionaries in the area had fasted and prayed for these people in concern and worry. I am grateful that the Lord could use me for the job and would allow me there while He did the work.

This new area has its challenges. It's harder than usual to remember places and names, and I am struggling with knowing how to work in such a different environment than I'm used to from working in Minneapolis. But I am determined to do my best. Our President and his assistants have expressed great confidence in the inspiration that prompted him to send me here and told me that he's counting on me. That is a very big responsibility and I hope I can live up to his and the Lord's expectations. While this assignment doesn't appear straight forward and easy, I am quite sure the Lord will give me some directions and tools to work with along the way.

I don't have to much time to write much more. The training took up part of my week but, you know--there is still mail, groceries, laundry. It's not all missionary work, although necessary.

I love y'all, you're amazing!

Elder Jepsen

Monday, September 6, 2010

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 74 - New Area, New Town: Same God and Church

My transfer call came and it said: Go North and so I am going North... to Hibbing, a good bit smaller than Minneapolis... and I love it too! The Stake President here actually served his mission in Denmark a number of years ago, so we've been talking "Denmark."

The congregation here is a very pleasant group of people. I look forward to get to know them while serving as a missionary.

My new companion is Elder Carson Guillory. He has a good sense of humor, so chances are that we'll get along great. He's from New Mexico and actually arrived in this mission at the same time as me (except that this was his beginning mission and I had already served a portion of my mission in Denmark as my visa processing was delayed).

My new address is:

Elder Jepsen
1601 E 29th St.
55746 Hibbing MN

So, all is well. There is a different and slower pace here but, God is the same and He's the source of all our blessings and miracles, both on a mission as in life. We met this lady that welcomed us in and she wanted to come to church. We'll be meeting with her this coming week and helping her find her testimony. She explained that her children wanted to start attending church and I can't wait to teach her and her family, help them find a space for God in their lives.

Paul, I'm proud to have you as my big brother. Once again CONGRATULATIONS, when you read this you must already be a married man. Way to go, Paul! Looking forward to meet Brittany, my new sister.

Love y'all

Elder Jepsen

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