Monday, January 31, 2011

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 94 - Grown-Ups Doing REALLY STUPID STUFF!

Life here is cool (both °C and °F) over here. I managed to give the car a little break from all the hard work we expect from it every day as I was pulling over to make a u-turn. The surface snow on the curb looked flat and hard... but wasn't. I know and tell myself "That was REALLY stupid" just so you don't have to make any redundant efforts telling me what I have already told myself.

To get back to my story. The snow looked as innocent and white as snow and stupidly I trusted it to be there for me, supporting me in my intent. It turns out that snow can't be trusted from afar, up close or under the surface and I was left to suffer the consequences of my own stupidity. You guessed it, I dipped the passengers side of the car into the snow and we "stucked ourselves!" Perhaps we secretly hoped that quickly adapting the terminology of five-year olds might cover that we were grown-ups doing REALLY STUPID STUFF!

I really wasn't too pleased with myself but "Stucked Ourselves" became the catchphrase and helped us laugh, while waiting for some form of higher intelligence to flow by to save us from our ignorant ways.

While waiting for help from a member with a big heart and a dually truck to match (called in our moment of embarrassment), a fellow Christian stopped and pulled us out. It made me feel good to see how true Christians are to be found everywhere!

Mom, I know you have been asking yourself and don't worry "There's no blood--there's NO BLOOD!" Dad, I know you you've always taught us not to worry about a bit of blood "Just plug up the leak" you'd say, but not to worry--there was no damage done to car.

I've sent an email of to VUC in Denmark asking for their advice. President Howell suggested that instead of using the resources for two years in DK on HF, that I could go to BYU-Idaho, do the preparation and take an ACT, which he thought would help me out but I suppose it would help me more in the US than DK. I'm not sure if I like the idea much or if it is even possible, but I do like to consider and research every option carefully. Please, let me know what you think.

It could seem that I will get a visit for my birthday when I get home, eh? If that wasn't enough, it will also be the time for Sant Jordi on April 23rd! So much to do and so little time.

One of the people we teach came to church yesterday, it was awesome! When we met with him this last week, he said that he was not going to promise us that he was going to come to church. He wouldn't even promise himself. Though afterwards he said: "But I will promise God that I will come to church on Sunday." It was a very powerful moment. I was surprised when he said that and even more surprised when he actually came! I love how this wonderful Gospel has the ability to cause a deep change in people. I'm hoping that I'll be able to see him enter into the waters of baptism before I go home (and hopefully along with his family).

Love you guys! I hope that everything's working out just fine for all. 
Miss ya!

Elder Jepsen

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 93 - How I Love My Savior, Always He's Mindful of Me

Yes, the weather has been slightly cold but we don't complain (many are cold but few are frozen). I was able to recover well and get rid of my nasty cold. I liked the hot chocolate but it's not really fun to be sick and I'm happy to be a lot better now.

It's a little harder to ignore that I am coming home soon, as I soon have to begin making a few plans. A Sister from the Mission Office called and asked about home airports and I asked her to send me to Billund. I know you only have the motorcycle on the road at the moment, do you have any suggestions for my big suitcases???

Last Saturday (two days ago) a member of the Bishopric called me, and asked if they could bail them out as they just a had a speaker cancellation. I got to speak as the main speaker about missionary work from a talk given last October by Elder Russell M. Nelson. It actually turned out alright and I quite enjoyed it.

This week was almost horrible. All of our plans fell through and we lost three good people off our books (they dropped us). This is such a contrast to my previous missionary experience, where I have had a lot of people to teach. I now have almost no one to teach, reminding me once again of how little I am capable on my own. 

One would think after having nearly finished a two-year mission that past experience could carry me part of the way and I might be able to take some credit for my own strength, but no! Once again the Lord is reminding me that I am in His service, finding the people He has prepared for me to find and I better listen to Him telling me how, where, when and if. It can feel a bit rough but I like it! I've learned that any increase in strength is only achieved though an increased burden. Maybe God want's me to be stronger and more prepared for my next assignment or life when I get home? Without God I really am worthless, trusting in my own strength, thinking that I can take on everything alone. But with Him--how I love my Savior, always He's mindful of me and with Him I can lift any burden He wants lifted.

I'll be looking for a job almost the day after I come home. I'm hoping that our Bishop might be able to help out on that one now that I have a drivers license and if not I'll find something else. But, I am sure we'll be able to work something out (and thank you so much for your help)! I really can't arrange too much while I'm here, but perhaps I'll have plenty of time to figure out stuff when I come home... in nine weeks.

Love you all!

Elder Jepsen

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 92 - We Are, That We Might Have Joy

That was quite the week you had! I'm glad that it all worked out just perfectly and that you were able to help out Jen. How is she doing?

My week had the looks of being amazing but didn't quite work out that way. My companion had a cold earlier in the week but it really wasn't too bad until he shared it with me and now I've been miserable. It now seems to me that nasal passages and brain access could be closely connected, as both has behaved as if without connection for the duration. Well, we are getting out of it. On the BIG PLUS side: Being ill has attracted quite the pampering and we've had lot's of hot chocolate. This next week looks promising and hopefully that's the way it'll turn out as well.

But, in reflecting on the past week: If God didn't want us to experience illness he would have made us immune. I guess I am not just here to have joy but to learn from my weaknesses and without any weaknesses it might be a lot harder to see God's hand in my life? Does that not translate to the path to joy holding some degree of misery, that there might be opposition in all things? Maybe I should lay off on the hot chocolate, it's going to my head? I wouldn't have had any hot chocolate if not for a miserable cold. Oooh, the very idea of it--I'm going to stop right now. There is potentially way too much pondering in this and I have lots more missionary work to be done.

My companion is awesome. He has an good desire to be obedient, and he is a hard worker, which is awesome. At the same time, he's pretty laid back, which suits me just fine. It's a good balance and it works well with both of us.

As you can see, not too much has happened... sorry! I've been trying to rest and get better without it being too much of an obstacle for us.

Love you!

Elder Jepsen

PS. What is wrong with Boulder, hope he's okay?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Minnesota Minneapolis Mission Update

May 13, 2009 (while serving in the Copenhagen Denmark Mission)
The Mission Dept. in Frankfurt dealing with visa processing just received two approvals for cases that were submitted by SLC in early March. They expect an approval for Elder Jepsen (Lee) to come through by the end of this month since his latest and revised application was submitted early in April. In their estimation he should be able to make the new MTC entry date of June 16, 2009. They are pretty sure of this and will have the package sent to the Mission office directly in due time with revised instructions.

Blog reader's comment:

August 27, 2010

I wanted to let you know that Elder Jepsen is one of my most favorite companions. It was a huge blessing being able to serve with him, and I'm very glad he was my companion at the end of my mission. Elder Jepsen's patience, love, and kindness were greatly appreciated. He is a diligent, positive, and hard working missionary. Thank you for raising him and preparing  him to go on his mission. I could tell he loved you guys.

As for me and what I'm up to now that I'm home... I'm planning on going to BYU-Idaho next month. I've dated a little bit (but no one serious), dried apricots from the tree in our yard, played with my little brothers and my nice and nephew, counted people in sacrament meeting (I'm the singles ward statistical clerk), gone to family reunions, got a Utah Learners Permit, still bike everywhere (including Provo Canyon for fun and exercise) and love going to Institute.

Tell Elder Jepsen Hi for me.

Caleb Noffsinger

January 14, 2011
I just returned from my mission in Minneapolis. I was in the MTC with Elder Jepsen, I think I met him his first day there. I only served near him once in the field though, the transfer he trained an Elder from Finland. He is an extraordinary missionary, and is well respected and loved by his fellow missionaries and by the people of Minnesota. Thanks so much for sending him on a mission, he was a great example to me.

-Martha Harper

NEWS UPDATE - Jan 15, 2011 (while serving in the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission)
Elder Jepsen (scheduled to return home on March 30, 2011) transferred to a new area and his new mailing address is:

Elder Jepsen
18 Walnut St. #205
Farmington, MN, 55024 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 91 - Lay Hold Upon Every Good Thing

My new area has been treating me very well. Although quite a large area, it's a lot smaller than the Hibbing area that actually covered the entire Iron Range. We have a good part of Lakeville, Farmington and Hampton but very different from what I am used to. Elder Jason Wayne Messenger and I get along quite well. To show our appreciation for each other we have made a practice of insulting each others countries, giving Elder Messenger a bit of an advantage since I (kind of) have two whole countries to pick from and that seems to work for him.

I couldn't begin to list all the great blessings allowed me in the past two years, all for which I owe endless gratitude to God. My mission has given me so many things that I want to share with everyone but they are feelings more than things and I just don't know any words that big. I want to share the feeling with you and have no words but I know that you too know that same feeling. Thank you for helping me find it and I have found many a good thing here.

Elder Happonen is now training a new missionary. I'm so happy!

I feel blessed with the responsibility of being a District Leader. I am looking forward to serving the Elders here and it has already taught me a lot. I'm working my hardest at turning it into an advantage that I now have the experience of a nearly completed mission to draw on when needed. I know I must focus on where I am now and not where I might be some weeks from now but in view of past observations it might have its own trials being near the end of a mission. 

I also did not need reminding of your anniversary, I promise! We had a meeting with a recent convert who had her one year baptism anniversary yesterday, and that got my wheels working... 9th of january...why is that familiar... OH, and then I remembered, thirty-one years--congratulations! I knew you would cut me to the chase and tell me about it but, I remembered. I love you both and you have been a GREAT example to me. Happy thirty-one years of marriage and THANK YOU! You two have a good thing!

Luv ya!

Elder Jepsen

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 90 - Allow Some Room for God in Your Heart

Thank you for the love and support I receive in my weekly mails from you. It means a lot to me. Thank you for all that you have done for me over the years it took to raise me and keep me out of trouble. I would never have enjoyed the blessing of being here if you hadn't helped me prepare to serve a mission.

I truly am indebted to the people I have come to know by going on a mission and for all that they have done for me. They are truly wonderfully amazing saints. I have no idea anymore how to fully show my gratitude in just an adequate measure, there is just so much! I have nothing for which to take any credit but what God has given me--my hands, feet and my heart. I can only pray that my feet will be able to take me to where my heart tells me I must go, lift and hold on.

None of this has ever been about me. It rests on me to do my part and do it well because God has allowed me what is needed to do my part. I am just one little missionary (well, 6ft.+ but), still learning from the giants around me. Yet I feel the greatness and success in serving my God thanks to the many great shoulders that has lifted me up to feel His presence: Faithful and strong parents, family, brothers, sisters, friends and teachers. 

Our Mission President has asked me to serve in a place called Farmington. I am needed as a  District Leader again. My new companion's name is Elder Messenger.

I have learned more than I can begin to list by serving a mission but still have lots to learn. I love you Mom and Dad and I appreciate all that you have done for me. I am looking forward to seek your counsel from my new point of perspective as I am sure you have more to teach me now that I can ask the right questions. I can think of no better place to seek counsel for my next steps on life, considering all that you two have been through and overcome together. I love you and know you love the Lord. I look forward to being home again (in due time, of course). I still have a lot of work to do here. If God allows it will be a great work!

Every time I see the great change that happens when people allow some room for God in their hearts, I'm amazed. I have seen people change at a rate and speed I could never have imagined, by allowing God's word and Spirit into their lives. Such experiences has the potential of adding a far perspective and further motivation to any missionary.

Thinking it through in theory, it doesn't seem that it would take long to realize God's words to us as written in the Book of Mormon. But, perhaps the reality is that we impose our own limitations to the process by being too cautious with our faith. If you imagine a connection that has to be applied between God's word and our heart as a water connection: We might be connecting sufficient to supply a little mist of water that barely would be enough for one of Grandma's smallest flowers, when we instead could connect to something big enough to supply a city the size of New York on the hottest day of the year. If you haven't prepared a little room for such a volume, you'd better be either a very good swimmer or carry a really big sponge. --But, with just a little preparation you can have a barrel of unlimited dimensions ready. Sincerely asking God to help prepare your heart with sufficient capacity to hold His word and feel His Spirit, will give you all the spiritual retention needed.

I am so grateful for this gospel, and for how it lives and breathes in those who live it. The promises are not dead, but real. Jesus Christ lives and His atonement is a very real sign of his eternal love for all of us. I know that He loves the people here in Minnesota. I love my misson!!

Love ya!!!

Elder Lee E. Jepsen

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