|From the left at the Copenhagen International Airport: Returned Missionary and oldest brother Paul, Elder Jepsen, Returned Missionary (Paul's wife) and now Elder Jepsen's sister, Brittany.|
Paul and Brittany unselfishly gave me a place to stay for a portion of the time, when I had to work in Copenhagen to save up for my mission. After being called and set apart as a missionary but still waiting for my US visa to be completed, I managed to serve as a missionary in that same area where Paul and Brittany live and once again be in the same congregation that I had attended while staying with them. I count that little experience as a bonus blessing on top of all the other blessing I have already experienced on my mission.
Arriving safely at the MTC and trying to learn as much as possible in as short a time as possible has made for some very hectic few weeks but paying attention now can seriously help me later. The MTC is an amazing and effectively run place, each Wednesday several hundred missionaries arrive and they're leaving just as fast, off to their missions. It all happens faster than one could imagine but never at a rate as to diminish the experience. I love it here but soon I must go on to what I have really been preparing for all along, the mission I was called to do!
A mission only lasts a mere two years and it's my best chance for showing the Lord my appreciation for the many blessings He's allowed me through the gospel. By sharing the message of hope that has helped me in so many areas of life already, I'm taking my own understanding of that same gospel to a whole new level and while the primary focus of a mission is to serve God and our fellow beings, I continually seem to benefit more than anybody.
President Gordon B Hinckley stated that:
"If you serve a mission faithfully and well, you will be a better husband, you will be a better father, you will be a better student, a better worker in your chosen vocation. Love is of the essence of this missionary work. Selflessness is of its very nature. Self-discipline is its requirement. Prayer opens its reservoir of power.
It's overwhelming how my own efforts in serving the Lord has an effect similar to that of a boomerang but in a multiplied force. I get back more than I give but this is not to suggest that missionary work is effortless, that it's not hard work and that I don't get tired. To serve a mission according to your own conscience is without a doubt hard work but well worth it.
Elder Russell M. Nelson said, referring to the Doctrine & Covenants, 63:33 :
"As the work expands at a rate that many have described as "unbelievable," we should recall a remarkable admonition given by the Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith on 11 September 1831 to the elders of the Church assembled at the Morley Farm near Kirtland, Ohio. There the Master simply said: "Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great."
Because of my US visa delays I am already a few months into my mission, yet it's only just beginning as I'll soon be to heading for Washington.
Love you all,