Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 83 - Grateful for Another Good Day as a Missionary

Friday morning came much too early. I am not in the habit of getting out of bed at 5:00 AM but we had to get ready for Zone Conference in Duluth at 8:00 AM and I always like Zone Conference. We were running out of miles for the month so Brother Moyle kindly gave us and the Elders from Grand Rapids a ride there. We were all tired and didn't offer much entertainment value for Brother Moyle for next hour and a half on the way there. In my mind I could hear my old Sarge yelling: "LOOK ALIVE, MEN!" Fortunately the memory of Sarge was far enough away to not be very loud and I could continue the ride in a less demanding state of mind.

Zone Conference was well worth the effort. It was amazing. The doctrine taught was mostly reminders and reinforcements of principles that not only makes a good foundation for missionary work but for good living. The principles of teaching and internalizing the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's never a waste to be taught good doctrine, even if we already are familiar with these same concepts and are busy striving to live them. Hearing good and true principles from a different point of view broadens our perspective and allows for the Holy Spirit to confirm the truthfulness of what is taught. It leaves me with a lighter heart, feeling happier, stronger and more able. I learned of many areas where I needed to focus more attention and where I needed to improve myself. I am grateful for these opportunities to revise my behavior, patterns and priorities.

Our awesome Ward Mission Leader, Brother Ron Hall picked us all up after Zone Conference. Brother Hall is one of those "Teddy Bear personalities" that everyone knows and loves. He dropped the Grand Rapids Elders off in Hibbing where their car was parked and brought us to Eveleth for a dinner appointment. After we finished work in Eveleth and Gilbert, Brother and Sister Hall picked us up. We climbed into the back seat and all headed toward Hibbing when out of nowhere...

Well, nobody got hurt in what follows... except the deer. Sadly, it died.

I saw a flurry of green paint chips flying off the car, heard a crash and the airbags were activated. Brother Ron Hall pulled off the road and stopped the car. We all got out to see what that was all about: A deer had butted heads with the car and although the whole front of brother Hall's nice new Buick Le Sabre took a bad crumbling and made both front-lights go strangely cross-eyed, even worse off was the deer, it was not going anywhere, anymore.

Thanks to brother Hall's calm reaction to the whole event, nothing further happened after the impact with the deer. We drove away from the experience unharmed and arrived home safely.

Sunday morning brought disappointment: We had invited some good people that didn't show up and we had looked forward to them experiencing church. But, other blessings were already on their way. Ryan Otis, who's a returned missionary attending the Hibbing Community College law enforcement program walks in right before the Sacrament Services are about to begin. He quickly informs me that he has brought along some friends and needs help! Out of nowhere Ryan brought not one but--four girls to church. We offered to share a little more about the beliefs and our way of worship after the church services were over. It went very well and I was left grateful for another good day as a missionary.

When we later dropped by Ryan's he had a lot of people visiting and one of the girls from the earlier church visit was there. She had thought about what happened earlier and had a lot of good questions. The Spirit was there backing us up every step of the way, accommodating both understanding and clarity in our conversation. We answered her questions to the best of our ability and felt inclined to invite her to make full use of the Saviour's atonement in her life, through baptism. She happily accepted the invitation. It's times like this that helps me realize how much the Lord loves us all and how much I love serving the Lord.

Now for a completely different subject: Christmas packages! What in the world are you doing sending a Christmas package before it's even December, not to be opened until December 1? You must realize the torture this will be for me but I guess you already calculated that. I know, you have devised a new radical approach to strengthen my character. Oh, boggles, I guess I'll just have to wait through the days of it sitting there, taunting me with it's protective tape and concealing cardboard.

Love you!

Elder Jepsen

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