Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Elder Jepsen - Snail Mail Entry: Time Flies

To all of you at home,

Before I begin I must ask your forgiveness for not having written you an actual letter since Christmas, which I feel terrible about. It is amazing how fast time flies out here. My thoughts often turn to you all at home in Esbjerg as I write my weekly e-mails to Mom and Dad. I know that Dad shares most of them on the mission blog and hope that it serves to maintain some degree of contact with you all, both friends and family.

I am writing this letter on September 30th, 2010 and will probably have to finish it at later date. But, my thoughts went back to you all and the comforts of home while relaxing on this large (they call it Queen Size [60 x 80 inches] but I like it just fine) comfortable bed in the town of Virginia, Minnesota. A member family here keep two comfortable Queen Size beds waiting for us when we visit here each week to do our missionary work. Missionary work can be so good but to sleep in a bed like this after a day of missionary work. Well, it just doesn't get any better! Working in the town of Virginia is travelling 1st class!

The springs protruding through the top of my own bed back in our apartment in Hibbing have made their presence well known, so I spend the week looking forward to the luxury of one of the softest, most comfy beds ever. But wait, there's more! We were short on miles (with General Conference coming up) and were invited to stay the whole week and we were quickly persuaded). The families in this congregation are all so helpful that missionary becomes a breeze.

Our Mission President has allowed me to take my drivers license while I'm here in the States, since it's both easier and much cheaper. Hopefully I can exchange it to the pink Danish drivers license without to much difficulty, when I return home.

I have now served in Hibbing, Minnesota for nearly a full month. Elder Guillary and I have seen many miracles together and I have learned a lot. Missionary work takes on a whole other dimension once you realize that your success is not only based on your personal effort and work. I have found great comfort in knowing that our Lord is far more involved in this work than I could ever begin to imagine.

On a day while we were following up on some less-active members in a small town in our area we found this absolutely amazing family. The lady of the house opened the door, looked at us and exclaimed ”Oh, hi guys. Did my Mom send you again?” We soon found out that her Mother is a temple worker, who lives in Utah and has through the years referred the missionaries to her daughters address in a hope to reactivate her. We were not referred by her mother or anyone else, we were just doing the work we felt inclined to do, on that day, in that town. We do continually seek the Lord's help and direction, as we otherwise would be only serving ourselves and not the Lord. We are always grateful whenever He leads us to people already prepared by Him to hear His message and this was just one of those experiences.

While there we were informed that her children actually had been expressing a desire to attend church and how much more could a missionary hope for? Last time we met with their family, their daughter had invited one of her school friends, who had before experienced some difficulty believing in God to visit with us as well and she had a lot of questions. To step the whole thing up a notch, it turns out that they live just 400 meters down the road from a very active family in the congregation. The two families now enjoy getting together every Monday for Family Home Evening, the girls from one family get along really well with the son from the other family. Missionary work is just so much easier and fun when you follow the path prepared by the Lord for His work.

It's now October 3rd and I have just returned from General Conference, still filled with the spirit from all the good words spoken there. A member in the congregation described it as a ”Great big spiritual Super Bowl.” I love the thought that we have real living prophets in the world now. Far to often I find myself taking to many things for granted. I have thought a lot about Elder Holland's speech and everything President Monson said about gratitude. I am so grateful that the president of the church is a prophet and to be a part of a church that has a prophet seer and revelator, receiving his directions from Jesus Christ, the head of the church.

This is a big thing, because God does not make mistakes and He doesn't work with coincidence. His church is a living church because He lives and He leads us through His living prophets. I thought about that and I began listening more carefully during conference this last week end. As a member in this church I have so much to be grateful for. I can't begin to express how grateful I am to all of you at home (well, I could start writing you more letters but a mission flies by so fast). Where would I be without all of you? My love for Denmark and all of you at home has seen tremendous growth while on my mission. I think a lot of all of you... and not to change the subject but I'll do it anyways: ”I passed my driver's test, just so you know ;-)!” I should receive my new driver's license in a couple of weeks. US$ 24 is just so much cheaper than the nearly DKK 20000 (US$ 3750) a drivers license costs at home in Denmark.

The weather here is getting colder. We had an extremely hot and humid summer and all the experts are expecting an extremely cold winter. I may have lost my mind because I am actually looking forward to it. Elder Guillary is not looking forward to it but I happen to have this big nice coat from Bishop Meline, it's so good that you start sweating if the outside temperature is warmer than 20 degrees, so I am looking forward to using it again. Rummer has it that if you want to find any people in the winter their all out on the lake ice fishing.

You all take care now, I hear there are a lot of new faces in the congregation and I am looking forward to meeting you all.

Love y'all

Elder Lee Jepsen

P.S. My official release date is March 30th.

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