Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 97 - God's Words are Amazing When Applied!

How's Dad, I hope he's getting better soon? After this weekends blizzard we again have a nice white layer of snow about a foot deep.

Last Monday right after emailing you, we went bowling with the district and had a great time except for a beginning nausea taking some of the fun out of it. It didn't take long before I had to take a few time-outs to go  and be sick by myself but it still didn't help much. We then went over to the church, hung out and took pictures of the district--Elder Hoopes was getting transferred. But, again I had to run off and get ill. The Sisters found out, took over the situation and immediately rushed off shopping for every possible mothering tool in reach. Before I even had time to think about getting ill again I was surrounded by caring Sisters with stomach medicine, crackers, pop and bread and felt happy that they cared so much (in between feeling absolutely horrible). The other Elders gave me a blessing and we returned home where I promptly surrendered to my bed, properly beaten by aches and pains in places I didn't even know could hurt.

Around 5:30 AM I passed out and didn't open up my eyes until 10:00 AM the next morning and felt worlds better. I downed the rest of the pink stomach medicine for good measure and after some preparation we  began our day. After all the cares and prayers of the Sisters and a blessing from the Elders only good health remained and I could once again be off to be a missionary.

We went on to have an amazing week. We visited and taught a young couple that God had clearly prepared for our visit and they had room for God in their hearts and minds. We also made contact with a family that had been out of contact with the church for a while and this turned out to be a very interesting experience. They were all committed to the beliefs and doctrine, except they've never been baptized into the church. They are such an amazing family and I'm looking forward to meet with them again. It is obvious to me that the Lord loves this family deeply and I want to help them in every way I can. God's words are amazing when people allow them to sink into their hearts and lives.

I love you and... I love you!

Elder Jepsen

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

President Joliffe of the New Zealand Wellington Mission Reports on New Zealand Earthquake

President Joliffe of the New Zealand Wellington Mission reports that all missionaries are safe and accounted for. They are still working on locating all our church members in the area.

Christchurch, New Zealand was shaken by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake at 12:51pm on 22 February, 2011. The epicentre of the quake was in the harbour town of Lyttelton and was only 5 kilometres deep. A state of civil emergency has been announced in Christchurch. Due to the timing nature of the quake it appears to have caused casualties and more severe damage than the quake in September of 2010. Loss of life has been confirmed but it is too early to provide numbers. People are entrapped in rubble throughout the city, many calling for help. Television reports state that local hospitals are full to capacity. The Christchurch airport has been closed until further notice. Aftershocks’ continue on a regular basis.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 96 - God's Words Has the Power to Change Lives

Today, everybody up for a transfer were called and our phone remained silent. I am in my last area and I am now staying here to the end of my mission. Our Mission President has allowed me to focus on missionary work and released me from being a District Leader. He called and asked if I was getting "Trunky" (homesick, ready to pack your trunks and go home, thinking more about home than mission). I thought I was doing okay, he gave me some encouragement and suggested I give it all I have on the last stretch. I'm eager to follow his counsel and believe that following his lead can make me a better missionary. 

This week we had an pleasant meeting with a guy whose wife is a member of the church, though we don't often see her there. We stopped by one evening to visit and met with him. He hadn't really had the opportunity to learn much about our faith but we discussed God's continued existence, how He speaks to us today and how we are able to recognize truth. There was a pleasant Spirit there throughout our discussion. We invited him to read and to pray about the Book of Mormon and when we came back yesterday we were met with great enthusiasm. We invited his wife to read along with him as we thought it might remind her of the peace found in God's words to us. We hope that we'll be able to see this wonderful couple come to church and one day enter the temple. God's words has the power to change lives and I have seen it happen. There is so much work to be done!

The weather is beginning to melt the last attempts of winter! The temperature has climbed to around 40° Fahrenheit (4.5° Celsius) and I haven't worn a coat all last week. It somehow feels pleasantly warm after our winter!

Love you all!

Elder Jepsen

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 95 - In the House of the Lord

There was a delay in your e-mail for the week. Our schedules were shifted this week to allow for some temple time. We moved our prep-day and I just barely came back from the temple. It was absolutely amazing!! I haven't been there since attending the Mission Training Center and I absolutely love the peace that can be found in the House of God. It was almost a feeling of going home and on that subject... only seven more weeks. I like it at home and I like it here. I know I have to get on with life but I'm gratefull for what God has allowed me to experience and learn while here and I can't help having mixed feelings towards going home. I absolutely love serving God and experiencing His trust: He has trusted me with some absolutely wonderful people to learn from, to teach and work beside and I will always be indebted to my God for this experience. I love you all at home but I can't say that I have a problem being homesick, even this close to my return home. There is so much to enjoy and take in here and now, I want to remember every minute of it!

This week one of our investigators dropped us. I know that he doesn't know the scale of what we are trying to teach or he would be reading the Book of Mormon every available moment, wanting to know it all. I wish we could truly share the feelings in our hearts and he could catch just a small portion of what God is offering him. All we have is words. The feeling of the Spirit is so much greater than words but we can't make anybody want to listen to the Spirit. All we can do is testify of the Spirit and pray for people to open their hearts.

It's all so sad. This man is grieving. His wife passed away and it's hard on him. He's a real awesome guy facing a difficult time in life. God's whisper can seem very quiet when the world is yelling and screaming with pressures from all sides but we only have to step a little closer toward Him and He will be right beside all who allows Him into their hearts.

Love you all!

Elder Jepsen

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Spend an Hour Listening

If you have an hour for listening, this could prove worth your time and lift your day!

Sheri Dew in conversation with Sister Julie B. Beck and her daughters Gerilyn and Heidi:
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