Obedience

Jonah’s Homecoming Talk

September 24, 2017

Good morning, Brothers and Sisters. I’d first like to start off by answering some questions: it feels good to be home, no it’s not weird, and yes, I’m going to college in January. I get those questions from literally everyone, and I’ve probably heard it at least six-hundred fifty-four times, so there’s no need to ask anymore.

Now that that’s out of the way, it’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to speak before you. I’d hazard a guess at two years and twenty-eight days at least. If anyone checks my math on that I may be horribly wrong. Also, we don’t count this last fast Sunday, because “seventeen days” doesn’t sound as cool.

Anyway, so, many of you may desire to have me remind you where I was called to serve. Many of you could answer those inquiries yourself as well. Although, if you think you could answer to the question as to where I served, I’m willing to bet you’re wrong. You see, you thought I was called to serve in the California Rancho Cucamonga mission, but no, that’s actually wrong. You see I was called to service the Hesperia, California area. Let me paint a picture for you real quick: I had twenty-four months to serve the Lord full-time. Fifteen of those months were spent in one city. In case you still don’t get it, there are eight different zones I could have served in, giving me the chance to most likely never have gone back to the Hesperia A zone, but no, I served there three times. The Lord was like, “Nope, sorry Elder Jensen; that wasn’t good enough. Nope, still not good enough; try again. Nope, you’re bad at this. Just go home.”

And now the, “called to service” line basically means that you do not know weeds until you have tried to liberate a Hesperia backyard. It is bland desert-scape where every person owns one to two acres of land. You have not truly experienced weeding until you’ve weeded a Hesperia yard. Weeds there are more abundant than grass here, and the dirt is so dry and hard that trying to pull a weed out is like trying to rip a stripped screw out of something with your bare hands. However, I was fortunate enough to discover the wonders of a hula hoe—something that probably has no use here in Utah, but saves lives in Hesperia.

However, that’s enough with the dumb jokes. I need to move on. I loved my mission. Hesperia really did become my home away from home. A home I would never, ever want to own property in, but home isn’t where you rest your head, it’s where you rest your heart … or something like that. I don’t really know. Anyway, I’ll probably be talking about my experiences in Hesperia the most just because I only spent so much time in the valley, as opposed to the desert, but I have some awesome experiences from Upland too. I also served in this place called Chino Hills, but it was like, I was there for so short it might have actually been a dream and I actually never even left Hesperia in the first place, so, essentially, not much really happened there.

When I was very first starting out, my trainer and I had white-washed into an area, which means we both came into the area together with little-to-no idea of what it was going to be like and basically nobody to guide us along. The missionaries before us kind of wrote bad whitewash notes (they’re always bad), so we were somewhat lost as to where to go. But, they did tell us to try to visit Cherelle and Bre. So we went and met them, and they were these two big black ladies with some of the biggest hearts you’ve ever met. At first their house was really awkward. It was just us and them, we didn’t realize there would be no male, so we were technically breaking a rule, it was hot (because it was, like, my third day in California), the swamp cooler was blasting in the background and the television was blaring random stuff with totally incoherent color-schemes. It was kind of chaotic, as you can tell—but, we sat down with them on their couches and talked to them for a bit, and basically asked them about themselves and stuff, and then asked them what they expected to get out of meeting with us.
It seemed that in the past, they had had more of a casual relationship with missionaries, so we explained to them that our purpose was to help them come closer to Jesus Christ. Cherelle, whose real name is Lashrelle and nickname is apparently Shrelle, not Cherelle, was excited to be baptized. She told us she had just been waiting and almost got baptized in the past before things went wrong. Bre, whose full name is Breonde Anqunisha Edriz Jackson, which I love so much, was rather hesitant.

To keep a long story short, we went over and taught them every single week for a few weeks, and things began to change. Whenever we came over, they would routinely turn off the television, eliminate as many distractions as possible and sit there and listen with open ears and open hearts to the words of Christ. Their house became more calm, relaxed and happy. As they began to live the commandments of Jesus Christ, a literal form of light could be seen in their life—their countenances just changed. I don’t know how, but they just did. They went from whatever they were before to happy. Truly happy. And let me tell you, the word of God does change people. Bre is a prime example, seeing that whereas she was the most reluctant to be baptized originally, by the end she was so enthralled by the gospel of Jesus Christ that she almost literally could not wait to be baptized. Things continued to come up every single weekend on part of Shrelle that for four or five straight weeks, though they were both ready, they couldn’t be baptized.
Then, finally, the time for baptism came—it was on Halloween, if you can believe it. Pretty sweet. However, Bre had this issue with her earrings and nose rings and lip ring and stuff like that where she didn’t want to give them up. We told her that a prophet has asked us not to wear them as excessively she did, but she didn’t want to get rid of them—so we simply asked her to just take it out at least for the baptism (since you can’t wear that kind of stuff for the ordinance of baptism). So, she reluctantly agreed. Also, side-note, she was a jokester, so she horrified us with probably a thousand things before the date of baptism came, but those aren’t of any importance.

Okay, this short story is becoming long, so let’s make it short again. They got baptized, we kept teaching them the after-baptism lessons, and one day, Bre asked us if we noticed anything different about her. Upon our inobservant man-analysis, she joyfully exclaimed that she had taken out all of her excess body piercings! She said that it just felt “childish”, and that she’s a lot more mature now, and it felt like the right thing to do.

It’s so amazing to me, that story, because as she was obedient to God’s commandments, her heart continued to change, bit by bit. We didn’t need to tell her to take the piercings out—we just had to tell her what the prophet said, and through her worthiness of the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit, she changed ounce by ounce, becoming more and more happy with doing what God asked! And my testimony is that that can happen to us to. As we’re obedient to God’s commands, we will grow to love him more, and we won’t find it burdensome to keep his commandments. It will be something we enjoy.

Later on in my mission, while I was in a city called Upland, we began this contacting goal, where we would try to give out a card to literally everyone we saw and invite them to do something in specific while still keeping it short so we didn’t annoy anyone. One time, though, we were walking along in the more “ghetto” part of our area when we came across his one guy. He seemed to be speaking this strange form of Spenglish or something, so neither of us could really understand him. We could hear halves of words and stuff, but all we were really able to make out was that he wanted money. So my companion decided to get out his wallet and pull out the only five dollars he had (because we don’t really carry cash as missionaries) and offer it to him.

That was when the guy turned it down, and we got really confused. So, he was standing there, trying to communicate to us in some ancient, long-lost language, and we were just super confused. My companion offered him the money again, and he turned it down, and we’re pretty sure he was asking for more money than that. This was all the money we had, and we weren’t quite sure why he was turning down five dollars, and we tried to explain it was all that we had, but he wasn’t content with five dollars. He wanted more money.

I, at this point, decided that we had spent way too much time with this guy to not give him a card. We could’ve handed out, like, five cards at this point—one for every dollar he turned down. We tried to give him a card, but he would not take that either, so I took matters into my own hands. I saw that his jacket pocket was just full of trash and all sorts of other things—they were kind of bulging with trash, it was weird—and figured I might as well use all of my sneak skills and put this card in his pocket. I wasn’t going to let these ten or twenty minutes go to waste. So, he’s talking to my companion in his eldritch tongue, and he’s focused on my companion. My companion glances down at my hand and sees the card, and he gives me a short, confused look, like, “What are you doing?”
I mouthed to him to basically keep the guy distracted, so my companion keeps attempting to converse with him, while I stealthily begin to slip the card into his pocket. My companion’s eyes darted to my actions and you could literally see him about to burst with laughter—and it’s at that moment that the guy is about to turn to look at me … and the card is only halfway in. So, I recoil my hand, but leave the card where it was, and I was just like, “Hey, look, we’ve got to go,” trying to cut the guy off before he feels my reverse pickpocket. But he doesn’t let us leave. He keeps talking.

At this point, my companion is eyes on the card, not even looking at the guy; and that is when this man takes his hands and, in real life slow motion, begins to draw them toward his jacket pockets. We’re trying so hard to cut him off and leave, but he doesn’t stop talking—and then his hand makes contact with the card. My first thought was, “Okay, we’re doomed. This is going to be real awkward,” so I immediately begin thinking of ways to dodge around his questions if he asks about this card. Before I can even finish a stream of thought, though, he feels at the card’s sharp edges … and pushes it deep into his garbage-pockets.

My companion, at this point, was literally going to die from laughter if he had to hold it in any longer, so we forcefully dismissed ourselves as he kept trying to talk to us, and we walked as fast as we possibly could without looking suspicious. Once out of range, my companion and I began suffocating from laughter.

Now, I may have told that story just because I really wanted to tell that story, but I’m going to tie it in, trust me. Later on in Upland, when I had a new companion, I would find that the skills of talking to everybody—and maybe my pickpocketing skills, I’m still not sure—really paid off. So, my companion at this time was Elder Gunnerson—probably the hardest working companion I had—and we had just had a long day. We walked all over the place, and the last of our plans had just fallen through. We were sitting on the doorstep of this less-active who wasn’t home, and we just really didn’t want to go back into the blazing, fiery inferno that is the sun in California (oh, and by the way, half of my mission area was the Mojave desert, which is the hottest desert in the world. And that’s where Hesperia is located. Fun fact). It was then that Elder Gunnerson received a prompting from the Holy Spirit, telling him to take me and go visit a person referred to us by someone else, who lived nearby. This referral, named Shawn, had not worked out many times, and it was definitely not going to work out then, so as Elder Gunnerson describes, he told the Lord, “No, that’s a bad idea; give me another one.”

So, the Lord prompted him again: “Go visit Shawn.”

“C’mon, Lord,” replied my companion mentally, “that’s not gonna’ work. Give me a better idea.”

Then, as the prompting supposedly came to Elder Gunnerson, “Go visit Shawn, you idiot.”

He turned to me and said, “Hey, we should go visit Shawn.”

And so, we went.

Of course, as always happens with promptings, we arrived just in time. We met Shawn’s little son riding his bicycle around outside. The one we thought we were looking for (meaning Shawn) wasn’t there, so we kind of sat down with the kid and talked to him as he showed us cool tricks on his bike. And then, the person we were actually there to meet stepped out of the garage to take this boy and his young friends to the swimming pool: a young black girl named Vanaysha. We began talking to her as she took the kids to the pool, and she was very nice. We asked her if she had ever heard of us, and she said no, so we described what we did as missionaries and all that jazz, then went back to talking casually.

At this point in my mission, my family at home had decided that they should go to Universal Studios without me and go to the Harry Potter exhibit or whatever. Or at least, that was part of their trip. Now me, loving Harry Potter, was sad about this, and it came up in conversation with Vanaysha, so we actually started talking about Harry Potter. We talked for a little while longer until it was time to part ways, and this time I got the prompting to invite her to take the lessons with us; so, I invited her, and she said that she would love to, since she really wanted to know more and be closer to God.

Vanaysha, a few months after I had left Upland, was baptized by immersion for the remission of her sins. It was such a sweet moment, and it wouldn’t have happened if Elder Gunnerson and I weren’t attuned to and obeying the promptings of the Spirit.
Brothers and sisters, obedience to God’s commandments is the most important thing we can learn in life. We all have or will yet learnt that the hard way—some of us may be still learning it the hard way right now—but whatever point you’re at, I would like to invite you to take Heavenly Father’s commandments seriously. He’s your dad, for crying out loud! Listen to him. How many of you are parents who have known what is best for your children, but you have had to sit back and watch them fail because they’re so set in their ways?

How do you think the Lord feels? I’m sure he groans day and night over our stupidity. As Elder Holland said, “Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it.” (Elder Jeffery R. Holland, “Lord, I Believe”, April 2013 General Conference.) So, don’t frustrate him more. Just listen to his council! Heed his words, and he will bless you in ways you cannot imagine, both spiritually and temporally.

Again, in another conference, Elder Jeffery R. Holland said, “If we give our heart to God, if we love the Lord Jesus Christ, if we do the best we can to live the gospel, then tomorrow—and every other day—is ultimately going to be magnificent, even if we don’t always recognize it as such. Why? Because our Heavenly Father wants it to be! He wants to bless us. A rewarding, abundant, and eternal life is the very object of His merciful plan for His children! It is a plan predicated on the truth ‘that all things work together for good to them that love God.’ (Romans 8:28) So keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever.” (Elder Jeffery R. Holland, “Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You”, April 2016 General Conference.)

Brothers and sisters, I promise you in the name of God’s Only Begotten Son that our Heavenly Father loves you. He has the best of things in store for you! The best. He does not want you to fail, and he weeps when you do—but you cannot fail if you will just follow his commandments. I know it’s a trillion times easier said than done, but don’t worry! That’s why we have the Atonement of Jesus Christ! We’re not lost; we’re never lost. We can always keep trying. Just don’t give up, don’t give in, and don’t give ground. Stand your ground, for God, for Jesus Christ, and for the legions of angels who support you. They need you in this fight, and only you can play the role that you do. Nobody else can do it for you. They love you, and they need you. I promise you these things and leave them with you to ponder up in the name of our beloved Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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The Lord of the Scrubs: Return of the Dragon King

Well. It looks like we’ve made it, boys. 23 months and 20 days later, I hit my two-year mark on the 26th. I’ll be home on the 28th. Among missionaries, it seems like a sin to say that you’re excited to go home, but everyone is excited, deep down inside. I’ll admit that I’m very excited. I’m ready to come home.

These past two years have been amazing. So amazing, I wish I could accurately describe it, but I wager that such a feat is impossible. The things I’ve learned are innumerable. The ways I’ve grown are immeasurable. The struggles I’ve overcome at times seemed unconquerable. And here I am; from boy to man in a short two years.

I’ve seen the world; I’ve felt to mourn for the sins therein, and felt to rejoice for the repentance I’ve seen, and known. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way back to heaven and that it is true. Jesus is the Christ, the Lord and Savior of the world. If you do not believe in Jesus Christ, have a desire. Let that desire work within you, even until you believe. The happiness that the gospel of our Lord brings us is paramount.

Unparalleled. Insurmountable. Unending. Redemption comes through the plan of salvation laid forth by our Father in Heaven, and it is the sweetest thing I have ever tasted in my short twenty years on this earth–yet I know that it is the sweetest thing there is to taste. Believe in God; believe that He is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth. Even if you can have no more than a desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until you believe; for belief in Christ is the greatest gift I know.

I would not trade these two years for anything. No amount of classes or tests, strategies or tactics, lifestyles or living conditions, could prepare me for my life ahead as well as my mission for the Lord Jesus Christ did, for none teach me to have so much faith in him as this has. In the world, I know that we will have tribulation; but be of good cheer! Christ has overcome the world. All things are possible, if we but have faith in him, and the mission has made that ring truer than anything in my ears.

I am excited to go home; I can barely contain it. I’m ready to see my family, to hug them, to talk with them, to be there for them, and to be there with them. I’m ready to pet my adorable little dog, play video games with my friends, find an eternal companion and start a life. But I’m only this way because I know that my time for serving the Lord in this capacity has come to a close. I have a lifetime of service ahead of me, and two years of experience behind me. The Lord asked two years of me, and I did my best, repenting where I fell short, and continuing on as best as I knew how.

If any of you are contemplating whether or not you should serve a mission, or know somebody who is, I would have you know this: there is nothing better that we can do as priesthood holders. If you are a female in this church, pray about it. Sometimes, the Lord has greater things for you. Be thoughtful and consider it and listen to what the Lord says. If you are a male–what are you waiting for? God has commanded us to preach the gospel, and preach the gospel we will! Don’t let him down. There are children of our Father in Heaven who are waiting for the gospel, kept from the truth ONLY because they know not where to find it. You can pray about it and ask the Lord if you should go on a mission, but I can promise you this: He will say yes. For all reasons except for an assurance of your calling, it is a waste of time. God is calling out to you. He is calling out for you. He needs your help. He wants your help. Until you have served a mission, there is no better way to spend those two years.

And on that note, as you prepare for a mission, do not be deceived; the mission is not the best two years of your life; it is the best two years for your life. It is not easy, but it is not overly hard either! Don’t get discouraged. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s too hard, especially if that person is the adversary of your soul. If you are able to serve a mission, priesthood holder, do it. It is worth every step. I promise you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Master that you will not regret it! Don’t take such a promise lightly either. When something is promised in the name of Jesus Christ under the direction of the Holy Spirit, it is truth, and there are no two ways about it.

I’ve experienced every emotion known to humankind on the mission, and the most powerful one is the love you feel from God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. You don’t want to miss out on that. Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto Christ, and have faith in him, that ye may be saved.

I write you these things in the name of our Good Lord, our Shepherd and our Master, even Jesus, who is the Christ; the promised Messiah; the Savior of the World, who was, and is, and is to come.

Amen.

From: Jim Jensen
Sent: Monday, August 21, 2017 12:57 PM
To: Jonah David Jensen
Subject: Re: The Lord of the Scrubs: Return of the Dragon King

Jonah! Best email ever! It made me cry. I’m so happy for you.
I hope you’re still at the computer. We just saw the eclipse and it was cool, but not as cool as it will be to see you in a week.
We’ve got a long drive ahead and need to get home safe. School starts tomorrow. Ad our new life with you home starts in a week. We’ve been getting things ready for you and can’t wait.
I’m so proud of you. #Jesus (don’t know why the Jesus hash tag showed up on my phone keyboard suggestions, but I put it in for you.)
All my love,
Dad

On Sun, Aug 20, 2017 at 7:01 PM, Susan Jensen <susan.jensen@hotmail.com> wrote:
Jonahman! This is crazy! Only one week! Soak it all in baby. We are at a KOA campground in Wyoming. It’s right on the snake river. It’s been super nice. We went rafting and horseback riding. It’s not to crazy here like we thought it would be. People are coming from all over. But somehow it doesn’t seem to crazy.
I hope you can enjoy and feel the Spirit this last week of service. Luckily our lives are service so this does not end. What a busy week we have before you get home. Eclipse Monday and driving home, first day of school, my birthday, sariah’s first high school VB game of the season, and then the weekend before you come home. Gotta finish getting stuff ready. Your room will be cramped since Athen is still here.
I need to contact Elder Brown’s mom again to set a time up for next Tuesday for the BBQ. We will go shopping that day for you some clothes. I’m so excited!
Not much else is going on. I’m hoping I will have cell service to be able to chat tomorrow. I’m not sure if that will happen. But we all love you and are so excited to see you!
Love always,
Mom

I’m trying to, but it just doesn’t soak in. I wish I could be there. Funny that I should technically already be on the plane, if it weren’t for 7 week transfers.
That’s true. I hope I can do some member missionary work when I get home, but I’m not sure how easy that’ll be. Utahhhh.
Yeah, happy birthday! I wanted to get you and Joel cards, but I genuinely have literally no money left. I planned out the usage of personal funds up to be out right at this last week or so, which happened, and my MSF is out. Know that I had intentions and that I remember your birthdays….
That’s okay, I don’t mind living in the same room as him. That’s fine.
We can go on Monday. I mean, since I’ll be a missionary until 5:00, there’s really nothing for me to do until then, and since it’s p-day, we would normally be shopping anyway. What is happening on Monday? I thought that the barbecue was Monday.

On Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 9:36 PM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:
Funny you should say that about going back to playing sports. When Mom said that to me, I said I didn’t think it was any different than someone who loved golf before their mission, coming home and going back to playing golf. She said, yea, except video games can be violent and golf isn’t. I said, Really? Obviously you haven’t been on very many golf outings. It can get pretty nasty when dudes hit a bad shot. Haha.

Ha ha, that’s funny. Now that you mention it, I think I’ve seen some of that, lol.
And, it’s not like we play video games because they’re violent anyway. When we “kill” someone in a video game, we fully acknowledge that they’re not actually dead, and we even recognize that they’re going to be back again in less than ten seconds. There are definitely some games that are not good, because they’re just literally there so you can pretend to kill people and rob banks and stuff *cough* Grand Theft Auto *cough*, but I hate those games as much as Mom does. As far as any video games people like Paul and I play, we just play it for the way it plays, not for the idea of killing anybody or anything like that.

Second to Last

From: Jonah David Jensen
Sent: Monday, August 14, 2017 12:02 PM
To: andreww@4life.com; Ashley Anspach; Athen Jensen; Brandon Cooke; brittney.porter@myldsmail.net; Charles Scholes; Chipper Brown; Chris Boston; Christlyn Washburn; Chuck Scholes; Connor Blackwood; Connor Blackwood; Cooper Harlan; Dave Daines; David Lambert; Dick Wilson; Dorothy Jensen; Dreason Chernov; Emily B; Garrett Kingsley Jensen; Gramzon Wingard; Grandpa; Hayden Keck; Holly J; Jennifer Leaver; Jim Jensen; Joan Abbott; Joel Jensen; john.jensen@pscipco.com; Kira Heavenly; Laurie Meredith; Melitza; Pandalove8407 Hi; Paul Louis Brede; Sariah Jensen; Shaundelyn Hadfield; Sister Mallary Gardener; Susan Jensen
Subject: Second to Last

I’m blowing my own mind thinking that this is the second to last e-mail I’ll send all of you. How did this happen? How did I get here? Where’s the beef? Who knows?

Tuesday:
I forgot to write, and it is much too long ago.

Wednesday:
We got a brand-spankin’ new car! I have no clue where the “brand-spankin'” phrase comes from, but wherever it does, it fits the current status of our car. It’s literally a 2018 Toyota Corolla. It is SOO nice. There was 19 miles on it when we picked it up from the church.
Other than that beauty that we have marveled on for the past week, we got home pretty late afterward; like, 2:00 or something like that. So we went and did My Plan, and then tracted until dinner and stuff.

Thursday:
We went with the Santa Fe Elders to Dan’s house to help move a bunch of Yvonne’s stuff over to her house.
1ragon
Yeah, that took literally the whole day. Dan had us over for lunch and dinner.

Friday:
Other than visiting people, we reached a point in the day where we tried to find this street that was on our map, but apparently doesn’t exist. So, we took some pictures of the strangely beautiful, yet dead desert.
Afterward, we tracted the street that was right next to it, and one door in we got into an amazing discussion about the Restoration with a 24-year-old. All of his questions just led us through the entire Restoration. Sadly enough, though, he didn’t want to accept a Book of Mormon or a return appointment. But hey, what can you do?

Saturday:
Shoot, I forgot to write on Saturday and Sunday. I’m bad at this thing. I want a computer so I can type instead of write. Anyhow, though, not much happened either of the days, even from what I recall, so that’s not the WORST thing.
Thanks for sticking with me, everyone. I’ll see you next week!
Elder Jensen out.

On Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 5:24 AM, Susan Jensen wrote:
Ahhhh! We are getting prepared for you here at home. We got you a bed and are waiting on the mattress. Athen and you will share a room for a couple weeks.
I’m getting worried about Joel. He isn’t thinking about a mission anymore. I know that he needs to go and it’s what the Lord wants. He needs spiritual experiences to help him want it. All he does is go to work then play video games. He doesn’t read scriptures. He doesn’t go to the temple. So of course he isn’t feeling the desire. We really need to pray for him. He needs to get in a place to go. When you get home let’s go to the temple and get his name on the prayer roll and fast for him. He needs your encouragement.
I got a call at 1:30 Friday night from the PG police. They caught Sariah at a park in dads truck with her friend Maxx. She has her phone taken away and is grounded. She’s super sad because now she won’t be able to hang out with Maxx. She says they were just talking and he was helping her thorough her sadness about VB. It was so stupid of her and she sees that now. She’s lucky the police didn’t give her a ticket that would suspend her getting her license until she’s 18.
Ryan Mickelson had his homecoming and we also had a farewell yesterday. It’s so awesome to see these. I wish it would help Joel.
How are you feeling about things? Are you getting excited? Nervous? Sad? I want to know what you are thinking. Jonah, thank you so much for never being a worry very much to me. You are such a wonderful son! You have always been such a good kid and made my heart so happy. I’m so blessed to have you for a son! I hope you feel blessed for having a righteous heart.
love ❤️ you always!
Mom

I’ll do everything I can to encourage him. I want him to go too. Beyond that, though, I don’t know if there’s much I can say on the subject.
Well, I’m glad she realized that was stupid of her. I’m just glad to hear nothing worse happened…
I’m sure it is helping Joel. I have faith in him–he’s a really good kid. I think he’ll make the right decision in the end.
Your question about how I feel brings to memory a quote from My Little Pony that I think accurately describes my situation:

(Don’t worry, I didn’t watch the quote, I just found the link google)
I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned, that’s for sure.

milk1

My milk expires after I do…. RIP

On Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 9:29 AM, Jim Jensen wrote:
Wow, Jonah! I can actually picture the remaining time till we have you home it’s so close. I pretty much know what we’ll be doing on all those days.

This is so exciting.
Tell me about it.
OK, so the Elder Arellano push-up story is just weird. Haha. You’ll probably be glad to get back with a normal family.
I definitely will. I’m so sick of this dumb state, as far as that’s concerned XD

We had our family home evening last night and talked about how you’ll be at one coming up real soon. Mom and are really looking to having you back to help us with the family’s spirituality. We need another player on our team. 😊
I’ll be glad to help, I’m sure.

Not much to say this week other than what Mom said, but I’ve been thinking it would be cool for you to look for changes when you get back. I’d love to hear what you think is different and what you think is the same, so be on the alert as we get you and hang for the first couple weeks.
Okay, I’ll try to remember to do that, ha ha.

Mom was saying she was worried cause April said that Paul went straight back to playing video games when he got home. Which I sort of get, cause, hey, they’re fun. But we’re hoping they get relegated to a small compartment in your life as you are now equipped to pursue much loftier goals.
I think it’s silly that people worry about that. I’ve discussed this with many missionaries, and jumping back into playing video games is literally the same things as jumping back into playing sports or something. People who enjoy sports will get back into playing sports just as much as a person who likes video games. They’re hobbies people tend toward, and each person has different hobbies. I mean, I can say I’ve changed infinitely on my mission, but I still think video games will be fun. Though I’m more mature and wise (hopefully), I still have the same tastes in what I enjoy. That’s why I’m still so excited for archery.

I would be super-interested to hear what you have in your My Plan. I think it’s awesome that they help you do that. I can’t wait to talk to you about your future goals now that you have so much more of a mature perspective on life. In a way it will be kind of sad because you will be coming back to the world and having to deal with mundane problems and ignorance rather than being full time in the service of the Lord. But when you get married and have kids, you’ll have the opportunity to be back in (almost) full time service.
I think they print it out for me to take home at the end of my mission, so there’s that. I’ll have it with me probably.

I’ve been thinking a lot about consecration lately and it makes me feel good. When I went to stake high adventure camp in June, someone commented to me that my pickup truck was going to get a good workout in the desert. I said, That’s OK, cause I am consecrating it to the Lord for this activity. It made me feel good to know that I was putting it in His hands and trusting Him to take care of it, which He did. Since then, I have been thinking more about consecrating everything I earn and my time to my family and their welfare and letting the Lord take care of everything else. It is so much easier when I don’t have to argue out in my mind what portion I should keep for myself and what portion I should allow to be used. It’s an interesting thought path.
That’s true. And you get everything back in return. It’s interesting.

Had a great lesson on the holy priesthood in high priests yesterday. I learned during preparation why the most important ordinance of the sacrament was entrusted to the lesser priesthood instead of the greater priesthood which holds the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church. Since the Lord revealed his covenant with the house of Israel through Moses, he has put the lesser priesthood in charge of the sacrifice that remits sins. In Moses’ day, the Aaronic priesthood officiated in the sacrifice of the lamb for forgiveness of sins for the children of Israel. That same authority is used to officiate in the ordinance that symbolizes the sacrifice of the Lamb of God in our day. To me it’s an internal evidence that Joseph didn’t just make it all up. Would he really have though of that? The logical thing to do would be to assign the sacrament to the higher priesthood. Love it.
Yeah, that’s true. I mean, there’s oodles of proof that he didn’t make this stuff up. Especially the modern day apostles, who are either the most evil men on the planet, the most INSANE men on the planet, or Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Have a great week! See ya soon.

Dad

Countdown Begins

Now that I don’t have to account for separate months and stuff, it’s a lot easier to count down.

Tuesday:
District meeting again. The I can’t remember if I mentioned this last week, but the contacting goal we’ve got has turned into a points-system, which makes me even more reluctant to join in, because things like this are dumb. It totally ruins the spiritual aspect of it. But hey, that’s okay. We’ll still try, I guess.
Other than that, we had to run a bunch of errands. It was weird. We’re going to make a zone shirt for Hesperia (finally, after three times being in this zone), so we did a few things involving that.

Wednesday:
We did this thing called My Plan that I’ve been doing for the past few weeks; if I haven’t told you what it is, it’s basically a thing for missionaries to plan their coming home and stuff. It’s pretty cool; if everyone could do it, I would recommend it in that way. But I don’t think you guys can, so, sorry.
Also, in my studies, I was looking up what it meant to be “worthy”, and I didn’t find an answer, but when I went to do My Plan, I was perusing LDS.org and found this quote that says, “To be worthy does not mean to be perfect,” which I thought was cool. I love how the Lord always answers prayers–in his own time, but he does always answer.

Thursday:
We had squash, which was actually kind of simple, not hard and boring. But I guess that’s good. It was overcast and kind of windy, so I hardly even worked up a sweat, and we just walked around spraying a bunch of plants with water mixed with fertilizer and garlic.
I had a drawing I was gonna’ put on, but it appears I forgot my camera.
Then, we drove around and visited people. We still haven’t gotten to get in contact with Carrie, which is unfortunate. I hope she’s doing okay.

Friday:
We went to the Ridgecrest church building to do some family history work according to the direction of President Taylor, and that was cool. I was traveling back through the family history to I guess familiarize myself with the website. It’s cool stuff.
We had In-N-Out for lunch after, which I was glad to do. Then, Elder Brooksby’s companion, Elder Arellano started doing push ups to “work it off”. The only thing was we could all tell he was trying too hard to show off something. We didn’t mind necessarily though, THIS time. And then, after weekly planning, we went to the Barrets for dinner, and those two came with us–and again, in the middle of a member’s home, in front of people he’d never met before, he got up after dinner and started doing push-ups without asking permission or anything. THAT was weird. Also, even though it was our member, he decided he would give the dinner thought, and just gave a thought on the Shakers from Doctrine and Covenants.

Saturday:
I can’t remember. I forgot to write.

Sunday:
It was a pretty good day, other than the awkward fact that I forgot to fast. But I’ll fast another day this month. I bore my last Fast-&-Testimony-Meeting testimony on my mission. *Sniff sniff*.
Also, if you recall the game that I made with all the pictures that I drew for cards, I decided to begin the long and laborious task of drawing them all again. I was doing that as I listened to the young women give rather inspiring testimonies about their experience at Girl’s Camp.

Well, there’s my week. It was alright. I just like having the Spirit with me, that’s all I can say. It feels good.

Thanks for reading.
Elder Jensen out.

 

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 7:51 AM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:
Can’t believe how close it is. Sorry to hear about your nose last week. Have you seen a doctor for that? Mom said a friend of her mentioned that if you put a little Vaseline on the inside of your nose, it will keep it from drying out so much.
I e-mailed the mission president about it, and even though he normally doesn’t read e-mails until Friday or something, he apparently read mine that day and called the mission nurse instantly. It was literally not even a few hours later that I got the call. She told me to rub Neosporin up my nose with a q-tip

Yea, so Anna’s trip to the hospital in Price this week cost more than her entire week of camp. I don’t know how these health care people sleep at night charging $500 so someone can see a doctor to get an antibiotics prescription. Our health care system is totally screwed up.
That’s pretty dumb.

Yea, we had a great testimony meeting yesterday. The spirit was so strong in our ward. Athen’s testimony was amazing. It’s probably been a couple years since he’s done that and he now knows for himself the happiness the gospel brings. So if that was the only conversion you had on your mission, it was totally worth it!
That’s super awesome. I’m so glad to hear that.

Like Mom said, Sariah was bummed over the weekend, but I know Heavenly Father only makes things better and that this is going to be life-changing for her. Sometimes our biggest blessings come disguised as our biggest trials. The whole thing just feels right to me.
It seemed right when I read it too. I don’t know.

It was fun to Welcome Garrett home at the airport. He took the red-eye so he seemed stunned when we were talking to him. (It was 3 a.m. Hawaii time.) We were literally on our way to the airport when Mom got a text from April with a picture of Paul. So they landed within 30 minutes of each other. Unbelievable. Then for some reason, John and Amy decided it would be a good idea to go to a Denny’s at a truck stop on the west side of South Salt Lake for his welcome home meal. K, whatever. John said, “Wow, we’re taking him to a truck stop.” And I was like, Yea, Susan and I were wondering what you guys were thinking. It was kind of awkward, but very memorable. Haha.
Ha ha, that’s an interesting welcome home. Pretty funny XD

We’ve got Tyler Jones going to the Philippines and Elijah Turner going to Africa this week. They both gave good farewell talks.
Man, weird.

We had FHE last night and talked about how Moses got the Melchizedek priesthood from his father-in-law, Jethro, the High Priest of Midian and learned about how Midian was a son of Abraham by Keturah. Then we watched part of the Prince of Egypt. Great movie. So excited to have you home to help with FHE for a while.
I love Prince of Egypt.

I celebrated a little yesterday because I paid my tithing and made my last payment on your mission! Haha. Best investment I’ve ever made. The returns were beyond my wildest imagination!
Ha ha, wow that’s crazy XD That kind of made me laugh.

Stay focused, work hard, and keep the faith.

We love you so much and can’t wait to see you!

Dad

From: Susan Jensen
Sent: Sunday, August 6, 2017 3:32 PM
To: Jonah Jensen; Jim Jensen
Subject: 3

Hey Sweetie! It’s been an emotional weekend. Sariah had her tryouts. She did not make the team but all of her friends did. We found out that the coach told other that Sariah is lazy. That is insane. She has spent her Summer almost consumed with VB. She has worked harder than anyone I know. And the girl who she gave the position to didn’t touch a ball for a month. So who is lazy? She’s been crushed. Only thing I can say is that we may just be lucky. This coach is obviously not a kind and upbeat person. The coach she is getting seems awesome. The girls aren’t as good but we hope Sariah can bring the team up. And the one she made is close by so no more long drives.
I’m hoping your week of missionary work was more successful! Garrett is home! So is Paul! Wow! And on the same day. I’ll attach pictures so Joel is wanting Buffalo Wild Wings for his Bday. Are you good with that as your welcome home dinner?
Anna went to Clear Creek but ended up in the insta care. She got cellulitis. Her arm was hot and swollen. Poor girl was too far away for us to be with her and she was scared to death. But she was ok the next day and had a great week!
Athen bore his testimony today and it was so wonderful. He admonished his siblings to live the gospel for happiness. He talked about how much happier he is living it. Maybe dad can tell you more in his letter.
Well, that’s about it! I love you forever! And I like you for always!
Mommy

GarrettHomePaulHome

Bleeding Out

This was the bloodiest week probably literally of my whole life. I’m surprised I lived. This isn’t even a joke.

Monday:
The nosebleeds began. You see, when most people get nosebleeds, it’s caused by somebody socking them in the face or something like that, and then it’s just a little trickle downward. When Elder Jensen gets nosebleeds, it’s entirely random and it’s like a waterfall of blood flowing violently and unceasingly in an attempt to fill a vacant hole in the universe that can never be satisfied.

Tuesday:
The first district meeting of the Unified Hesperia Confederacy Zone. It was super freaking lame because everyone in our district is literally just the people from the old Hesperia zone, minus the cool ones. Yeah, we’re lame too. Also, there’s only two funny missionaries in the district, and one is me, and I’m not even funny. Just funny looking.
Also, our wardmates are in the district with us, and one of them is a little bit of a … wonderful daughter of God. That’s all I’ll say.
The waterfall of blood continued throughout the day at random intervals.

Erfnrdfsu:
Trust me, that was supposed to say Wednesday. I just had my fingers on the wrong keys.
We have this goal to contact 10 people a day (which apparently somehow the sisters are getting 40 people a day? I don’t know how that’s physically possible, especially because it’s supposedly in 2 hours, but hey; whatever) which we’re not doing very well at because in the Arrowhead ward, nobody actually walks around outside.
Yet more blood cascaded from my face later that night.

Thursday:
Woke up in the morning with a headache, stomach ache (probably from drinking a gallon of my own freaking blood, even though I didn’t lay back. When the blood wants to come out of my nose and the hole in my nose isn’t fast enough, it takes other routes) and then my nose began gushing some more blood. Look, I promise I’m not dying, guys, don’t worry about me, but I want you to get the idea of how ridiculous this week has been.
dragon
By the way, I do this thing called My Plan where I basically plan out my future online, so we went and did that. My nose could handle that.
Afterward, we had dinner with a member from Apple Valley (Elder Broadhead’s last ward) who took us and our housemates to La Casita Cafe. That was yummy.

Friday:
We did some mass service for a guy named Brother Fulmer again, and he took us to Taco Bell again. I will always do service for that guy– I mean, I would do it either way, but Taco Bell helps. Also, he’s really cool because it’s not for him, it’s just orchestrated by him. We do it for other people.
Then, we had to do a bunch of driving and blow a bunch of miles, and then we went up to interviews with the mission president. I didn’t get one since I have a departing interview in August. So that’s cool. Also, I realized recently that my temple recommend expired a couple months ago, so that’s also cool. President just said to wait until the departing interview.
Also more nosebleeds.

Saturday:
More nosebleeds, and then tried to visit people and failed. It was a boring day.

Sunday:
More nosebleeds, which was this time accompanied by a headache. I guess when you bleed out all the water in your body, and then combine that with the heat of Hesperia, California, you get dehydrated headaches. Church was good though. There were some cool stories shared.

Well, there’s my week of sheer blood and horror, minus the horror.
Thanks for reading.
Elder Jensen out.

On Sun, Jul 30, 2017 at 9:22 PM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:

Hey Dude! (ahem, Elder!)

Crazy talk, but we’re going to meet Garrett at the airport on Thursday. Yes, that’s this week. Time is picking up speed now, you’ll be with us before you know it.
Apparently.

I went through the letters and stuff we’ve been getting about your return. Here are some dates about some of the things you should think about when you get home.

-mission release, Aug 28, 500p at our home
Mission release is at 5? We’re not really gonna’ have time to do stuff that day then, are we?
-institute, Thursday, Aug 31, 700p, lone Peak Seminary, need to register (6 weeks course)
-text 801-837-6121 for invites to YSA activities
-mission ward sacrament report, Sep 17, 900a
Wow, that’s a while after. I thought I was supposed to choose.
-stake high council mission report, Sep 24, 745a stake center
-fireside for RM and parents, Sep 24, 700p, 2195 N 100 E, PG
-speak with high councilor, Oct 15

None of these dates are set in stone yet (except your release), but it gives you a good idea of some things to expect.

I’ve been thinking a lot about your return and what it will be like for you and us. In a way, we’ll want to act like you never left. Hopefully, there’s not time wasted trying to get reacquainted or whatnot. It will be somewhat weird for you. You’ve gone and lived a lifetime in 2 years. We just carried on as usual. When you get home, you won’t have anything to do or anywhere to be, but we’ll all have to go to work on Tuesday and you’ll probably be bored after lunch. Haha.
That’s comforting…. Lol

Reorientation to home life can be tricky from what I’ve heard. It will be tempting to just try to pick up where you left off, but you will have changed so much and gained so much experience you won’t be able to do that. You’ll be a different person.

I’m excited to meet with you and talk about your future and the many options you have. Jonah, it will be so good to have you back. I can hardly wait. I’m so proud of what you’ve done. You’re a man, an adult, a full-on person with mature life understanding. We’re so looking forward to the blessings that will come from your service.

All my love,

Dad

On Sun, Jul 30, 2017 at 8:26 PM, Susan Jensen <susan.jensen@hotmail.com> wrote:
Garrett comes home this week! So exciting! I was clearing out some stuff in the basement to get ready for you. I’d like to get the room ready all the way but Athen hasn’t found a place yet. He has so much junk, it’s going to take days to get it all organized. I’m just not convinced he will be out.
Athens friend, Gabe, is going to do some video and pictures for us at the airport. Sariah has EFY this week and Anna is going to Clear Creek. It will be quiet here. Tyler Jones had his farewell today. He’s going to the Philippines.
Looks like the Stake President will be releasing you at 5 pm at our house when you get home. It’s going to be a busy day! How long has your companion been out? I hope you’ve had some chances to teach and serve this week. I look forward to hearing about it. Love you!
Mom

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Man, everything’s excellerating. It’s crazy. I got a haircut from a girl at a barber shop who gave me a haircut at the beginning of my mission and she apparently recognized me, and it was weird to both of us thinking that I was about to go home.

 

Short Correspondence

Sorry, guys, I forgot to write the e-mail this week until everybody said that they’re about ready to go. I’m gonna’ keep it brief, with that being said.

We didn’t have a whole lot going on this week. It’s been discouraging to us a bit (kinda seems that whenever I go into an area it dies), so we were a little … well, I guess the best way to put it is we were lacking this week. One of the missionaries we live with talked to us about it, though, and we’re going to keep trying.
Right now we just really need to find new investigators, and the only way seems to be through potential and former investigators, so we’re going to start doing that.
One thing that is cool is that an Elder I really like to spend time with is in this zone again. His name is Elder Brooksby. We give them a ride on p-days.
All in all, I’m grateful that the way things are is how I’m ending my mission–at least on the missionary side. On the work side … things will improve, I’m sure.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Have a good week.
Elder Jensen out.

From: Jonah David Jensen
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2017 1:50 PM
To: Jim Jensen
Subject: Re: Re: Replies

Oh, that’s right. I figured you told me something about that…. At least you like the new guy.
That’s intense. I’m glad to hear everything’s alright, and that the guy wasn’t a jerk. He probably saw Sariah and you and realized what was happening, I would guess.

On Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 12:40 PM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:
It’s weird that you say the RC mission hasn’t gotten enough missionaries. I was thinking you had too many based on how often you teach.

Well, I was reporting to the CTO (my friend Blake that I’ve worked with for 20+ years) but we had some big technology problems that required someone be a sacrificial lamb and since he was the Chief Technology Officer, he was let go. Not really his fault, lots of politics, totally unfair, but it is what it is. I’m just trying to make the best of it.

Yea, Sariah had a close call the other day when I was with her, but I didn’t tell Mom cause it would have freaked her out. She drove us over to Aunt Laurie’s to pick up Anna and she didn’t slow down enough to make the right turn. A guy was pulling out of Laurie’s street just as she was turning in too fast. It freaked everyone out, and I tried to grab the steering wheel to pull to the right, but I missed. But she pulled it off somehow (pretty sure there was some angels helping steer at that point). The guy honked at her and then backed up to talk to us in front of Laurie’s house. I told her to roll down the window and just say sorry. I thought he was going to cuss her out, but he was nice and said, “Is everything OK? I though you had some kind of emergency.” It was weird, and when he left and he said, “God bless.” So there’s that. She’s doing really good though. She pays a lot of attention.

Dad

From: Jonah David Jensen
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2017 11:55 AM
To: Jim Jensen
Cc: Susan Jensen
Subject: Re:

On Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 5:18 AM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:
Hey Elder,

So that’s a big change to see your zones combine. Is that because the number of missionaries is down?
Yeah, the Rancho Cucamonga mission hasn’t gotten as many as they need lately.

I can’t believe you’re on your last transfer. Your next one is going to be transferring back home. I know you’re going to “die” to y our mission, but you’re going to wake up in the celestial kingdom with your family. Haha. It’s going to be so awesome.
Ha ha, it’s so true. It’s kind of funny, ’cause I can just tell people, “I’m transferring to the Highland Ward” which is a ward in Rancho Cucamonga.

Sounds like you guys got some new roommates, which isn’t a bad thing. Should be an enjoyable last month.
Yeah, it’s gonna’ be great.

Pretty quick week on the home front. Things are starting to settle down a little. I really like my new boss and some good changes have come from all the drama, so I’m really optimistic about things right now.
That’s awesome to hear. Why did you get a new boss again?

My day trip to Fargo, North Dakota, was good. It rained while I was there, which was nice. There hasn’t been much rain in Utah this summer. When I was waiting in line through security in SLC there was a bunch of missionaries exiting nearby. The guy in line in front of me saw an Elder he knew and called him over and they chatted. What a coincidence that the first person he sees after he gets home is some dude from his ward while his mom was waiting just downstairs. Haha.
Ha ha, that is strange.

Next week should be quiet. Sariah has EFY and Anna has Clear Creak. Sariah is still busy with volleyball and learning how to drive. She drove us up to Suncrest to look at the lights after the sun went down yesterday. It was a little nerve-wracking because they are digging up the road to the top and it’s down to two lanes with a bunch of cones all the way up. But she’s doing great.
Summer’s coming to a close. I hope Sariah enjoys EFY. That’s good to hear she’s doing good. Hasn’t crashed into a tree or anything? Ha ha.

I’m really scraping for things to say, so sorry for the short letter this week. Looking forward to hearing from you. Have a great week!
It’s all good. I don’t need a ton of things, just enough to get an idea, ha ha.

All my love,

Dad

On Sun, Jul 23, 2017 at 6:23 PM, Susan Jensen <susan.jensen@hotmail.com> wrote:

Woot, woot! Partay! Got a letter from the YSA Alpine stake for us and you to get you going to their classes when you get home.  Crazy to be getting that. It makes it so real.

 LIke, get me going to the YSA ward?

I got a picture from Chipper Browns mom with the two of you. That’s cool that he came back and you were able to see him!  Reggies dad said he’s having a bit of a hard adjustment. He got a full time job and will wait for January to start school.  Elijah Turner had his farewell today and it was great. We also had my niece, Mysti’s, son Elijah’s birthday. He just turned one. So it was the Elijah day!

 Yeah, it was awesome to get to see him again, ha ha. When she saw me, a youth in the ward had taken my magnet tag and put it on his suit, so I put my clip tag on my suit. She approached and she was like, “Elder Jensen!” to me, and then she looked at the youth in confusion and said, “Or, are you Elder Jensen?” It was really funny, ha ha.

I love summer and it’s going by so fast. But it just means it’s getting almost time to have my boy back. Things are good around here. I hope your week has been ok. I know the work is hard. Missions are hard. Are you teaching anyone this week?

 We did not get to teach anyone this week :/ It was kind of a dull week. Elder Broadhead and I are going to go through the area book soon to find former and potential investigators to visit, probably.

Not much else is going on so I’ll just wait to hear from you. Love you! Oh, can you give me your address again? I may send you something for one last time from Amazon.

 Sure: 18887 Yucca St., Hesperia, CA 92345

Love you!!!

Mother

The Iron Curtain Comes Down

The Hesperia A zone and Hesperia B zone are officially combined this transfer. This is something I have been expecting since the beginning of my mission. I have witnessed a peace treaty between two sort-of-great-but-not-really nations. I didn’t know if the iron curtain would fall in my lifetime, but it did. We are now:
The Hesperia Unified Confederacy.
Just kidding, we’re just one Hesperia zone, finally.

Tuesday:
Wow, last district meeting of the transfer. I witnessed two missionaries give their final testimonies to the district and it was spoopy because that’s coming up for me. Only 6 more weeks; that’s just so crazy. It’s not real. It’s NOT I TELL YOU.
I also forgot my journal this week. Sorry.
Human Memory: Being Jogged.
OH! I recall one thing. We did a lemonade stand to hope to give out supplies and stuff, and it went decently. It was at LEAST a nice break from tracting.

Wednesday:
I really wish I could remember. Sorry, guys, we were in a rush today to get places and that’s why I forgot my journal. If I can’t recall, I doubt anything significant happened.

Thursday:
I genuinely have no clue. Again, I know that nothing significant happened, at least.

Friday:
We went to a buffet with our housemates and got the call for transfer information. Also, as part of the transfer information, Elders Simmons and Tuihaa were asked to basically immediately switch living places with Elders Plautz and Phillips, so now Elders Plautz and Phillips are living with us. Which is significantly more enjoyable, I might add.
We spent the whole day moving them in/out.

Saturday:
We did the lemonade stand again, which was a lot better, since it was a Saturday. There were LOTS of kids that came and took our supplies, and a few adults. Oh well, though, what matters is that they’re placed in someone’s home.

Sunday:
Not much. Church takes up most of the day. This is the day we received the info about the zone doing its thing. I tried to fix a Nerf gun too, but that didn’t work. It was frustrating.

Well, there’s my dry week. I’m lucky I remembered the lemonade stand thing. It was fun.
So, I’m here in Arrowhead until I die. Huzzah.
#Hesperia4Life

Elder Jensen out.

 

On Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 7:58 AM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:
Hey Jonah!

Seems like I just wrote to you! Not much happened this week, which was actually kind of nice.

Reggie was funny in his talk yesterday. At the beginning, he said everything he is about to say will come to us courtesy of the Federal Heights Mission and the color green. (I guess everything was green in WA where he was.) I thought, ‘Jonah will probably say that everything is brought to us by the color brown’. 😊
Very true. You don’t know what weeds are like until you’ve been a missionary in Hesperia.
Joel sounds like he had a fun time in Seattle last week at Calvin’s. It was good for him to get away for a while. Unfortunately, he didn’t take many pictures or tell us much about his trip other than he had fun.
Probably didn’t think about taking pictures much.
I’m headed to Fargo tonight. (I know, how cool!) I’ll be back tomorrow night.
Where’s Fargo?
I got to teach high priests yesterday and we talked about how service to others is a cure for any form of sadness. We reviewed President Hinckley’s letter that he sent his dad when he first got to his mission saying he was wasting his time and his father’s money. Then his dad (who was the stake president at the time) wrote back, “Gordon, forget yourself and go to work.” Does that sound about right to you?
Ha ha, yeah, that’s a really cool letter. It’s very true.
We had FHE last night on some church research I got from Wood Badge about young missionaries not being able to handle the transition from the cushy life at home to being on a mission. Any advice you have for Joel and Athen?
I don’t know, probably. You just have to get used to having less of everything and handling things on your own, I guess. Like, I had never touched a thermostat until I came on my mission, honestly. I don’t really know if there’s anything that I can say that can prepare someone for living on their own better than a mission will, and I don’t know if there’s anything that can really quite prepare you for a mission. It’d be easier to say in person….
In the research it also noted how returned missionaries have a much high chance of being married in the temple and having a temple recommend when they are 38. Also, a better chance to graduate college and be a manager at work. All around, you’re much better off if you can serve a mission.
I would agree. It’s like a cushion to the hard world in my opinion. Helps you learn all these life skills without actually throwing you into the fire if you fall.
We are getting so excited to see you. We talk about it every single day. It’s going to be so cool.
I agree. It is exciting to think about. 42 days. I only know that because that’s how long a transfer is.
Have a great week! And talk to you soon.

Love,

Dad

From: Susan Jensen
Sent: Sunday, July 16, 2017 5:10 PM
To: Jonah Jensen; Jim Jensen
Subject: 6!

Hey Jonahman!! Time is flying. They are getting the back to school stuff in at the store and getting rid of the summer stuff. I hate that! Busy week ahead. Work is busy, Sariah has drivers ed and volleyball plus privates for VB, Anna has a karate camp all week. This week will zoom by. Looks like the Brede’s will be here when you come home!! So they will go out to dinner with us for Joel’s bday and your homecoming dinner. It’s so cool that you come home on his bday.
I loved your card to Athen. So funny! He’s wanting to get moved out soon and you’ll have that room to yourself.
So something to think about when you get home. You’ll need to find a job that will let you have that week off for Hawaii. So probably not something in retail. Maybe you’ll need to get something to just get you by until after the trip. Athen can’t come to the first two days of the trip. So if you are thinking of Best Buy it may have to wait.
Enough about the future. How has your week been? Reggie had his homecoming and he lamented how hard tracting is and how it never works. it seems he had some success with it. How do you feel about it? So from what I remember you had one girl get baptized that you found to teach. Other elders got to baptize her though. You got to baptize those two ladies in the beginning who had been being taught. I wonder how they are doing. Tell me if you feel like any other seeds were planted. Have any been planted this week? I think even if nobody accepted the gospel message but you were changed by your mission, if your testimony is strengthened then it was a success. All the Lord ask is that we thrust in our sickle. Things may be happening in the hearts of people who didn’t even accept.
I’m sure it’s been crazy hot there. It’s been bad here too! We’ve had a couple fires on the mountain by Alpine.
Are you planning on attending the singles ward or ours? You, Joel, and Athen should take an institute class together.
So how is your companion? You get along ok? And how long does he have left? Do you know sister Hughes? Her mom is on FB and it looks like she comes home on the flight with you but she has to switch planes in SLC to go to Georgia.
Do you meet much with the mission president? I don’t hear much about him. You said once what a great man he is.
Well, I hope I get a chance to talk to you tomorrow. Love you always!!
Mom

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Holiday Week

Sort of. Just two of them.

Tuesday:
Happy America day, gents!
That’s mostly all of what happened. District meeting was good. There’s this Elder named Elder Honeycutt, and he makes everything hilarious. He’s super trunky; he goes home this upcoming week.
Anyway, we had to go in early because of the whole 4th of July thing. Speaking of which, I wonder why we call it 4th of July so much, rather than Independence Day? Who really knows.
Again, we just tried to visit people. Not many have been home. Probably because summer break and stuff.

Wednesday:
I kept getting these e-mails telling me that I need to do this thing called “My Plan”, which is this thing for missionaries to make them trunkier, and also to help them plan ahead for when they go home, so I thought that I needed to go do My Plan, so we did that, and when I got there, it told me I didn’t need to do it until my last transfer, so there’s that. Elder Broadhead had to use the computers to get some music on his iPod though, so I went on LDS.org and stuff.

Thursday:
Squarsh for friends. There’s a guy at the farm named Mark who kind of works there, and he genuinely does call it squarsh. I have no clue why.
Anyway, me and this other missionary named Elder Plautz teamed up and planted a bunch of cucumbers or something; some of those plants were half as tall as me; and we had to untangle them and all that junk. Also, there’s one constant in Hesperia, California, and that is wind. There is always wind in Hesperia—sometimes more than we can handle; always wind, that is, except on days of squash. It was hot.
Also, after that, we went and gave a blessing to a lady at the Victor Valley hospital in Green Tree, and then found out that it was not the Victor Valley hospital, so that was fun. We drove to a different hospital and gave her a blessing and she talked to us for time and all eternity. We had to walk away while she was trying to talk to us because she talked so much. I found out, too, that she was the grandma of a boy I knew in Santa Fe ward. So there’s that.

Friday:
Happy birthday to AthenWeekly planning and visiting peeps. We really need new investigators. It’s hard.

Saturday:
Elder Broadhead made this surprisingly tasty meal for lunch. It was just cooked spam, pork and beans and rice. I enjoyed it. I don’t know if it was terribly healthy, but his Hawaiian companion taught it to him. They apparently like spam a lot, I guess? Is that right, Garrett? I don’t even know if you read this one.
Afterward, we visited the same peeps, but at least we saw Carrie this time, our investigator. She was hurting and stuff, so she couldn’t stay and talk, and she wasn’t able to make it to church, sadly. Something called a heel spur.
Also, there’s this game in this mission that I should’ve told you about, it’s called Poop and Seek. It’s where one missionary goes to poop, so you run around, turn out all the lights in the house and hide, so that when the missionary comes out from the pooper, he has to come find you.

Sunday:
Throughout the day I listened to this oratory about the life of Jesus Christ called “Lamb of God” by Rob Gardner, and it is super good. I’ve listened to it before, but as I was listening to it this time I really felt the spirit strongly. I got kind of emotional thinking about the phrase that Christ is the resurrection and the life, and when it got to the part of Christ being crucified, I felt a sense of indignation about it, giving me a bit of a hint into what it must’ve been like to be an apostle at that time and witness our own Lord and Savior being so cruelly martyred. It was really emotional to me, and I’m very grateful for the sacrifice of God’s Only Begotten.

Thanks for reading. I hope you all have a great week.
Elder Jensen out.

 

On Mon, Jul 10, 2017 at 5:21 AM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:
Hey Elder,

How was your week? Ours was super-hot and I bet yours was hotter.
I won’t take that bet. I know mine was hotter.

I hope you got a chance to celebrate the 4th on the 4th. Do they allow fireworks down there? Seems like they should be legal since everything looks so dead that if everything burned down, probably no one would notice…
Ha ha, I don’t know if they do, honestly. We heard one firework go off on the 4th and another on the 5th.

We had a some family over. Mike and Laurie, John’s family with Amy’s Mom. My Mom, and Susan’s niece Misty, with her fiancé and baby. It was hot and fun. I was thinking that I was glad that it is the last holiday that you will miss with our family. (Other than Athen’s and Mom’s birthdays).
At least you guys have a pool to get in when it’s hot, ha ha.

I’ve heard Reggie is home, but so far I haven’t seen him, other than some bad photos from Facebook Mom showed me. Yesterday at church Dallin Cahoon and Ethan Brunson both gave their farewell talks. Dallin pointed out something cool. In Section 75, the Lord names a few companionships for missions. Verses 33-34 say: “Also my servant Hyrum Smith and my servant Reynolds Cahoon; and also my servant Daniel Stanton and my servant Seymour Brunson;” Reynolds Cahoon is one of Dallin’s ancestors and Seymour Brunson is one of Ethan’s ancestors. So two of their great, great, great, grandchildren were going into the MTC on the same day. Funny.
Holy cow, that’s super awesome XD I love that.

Sariah also gave a talk before the two soon-to-be Elders. She did a great job, but man was she nervous. Apparently she has an irrational fear of getting up in front of people, which is so weird because she is so confident in other things. But many she was in tears begging us to let her off the hook. But we were proud, cause ultimately she ended up doing it anyway.
That’s good. It does seem uncharacteristic of her, though.

Athen had his 22nd birthday this week. It was kind of a normal day. We got him a 7-round magazine for his handgun (yea, he carries now) with some 45 caliber ammo. Later, we headed down to Orem for some pizza. He didn’t do much else, cause most of his friends have gotten married now or have sort of moved on in life.
Really, he got a handgun? That’s pretty cool. And he has a permit to carry it?

We finished painting the trim on the house on Saturday. It looks a LOT better. I think you’ll like it. I had to fight the Wasp Wars to finish the side over the garage. There were dozens of wasps nesting up under the eves literally right where I had to paint. I went through two cans of Raid and the final score was Me: 30, Wasps: 0. It helps to be more intelligent than an insect.
Wow, that’s a lot of wasps XD Sounds fun. And potentially frightening at the thought of them surviving and attacking.

Joel went to Seattle this week to visit his friend Calvin and have what he is calling his senior trip. He should have a great week and has already said it’s the most beautiful scenery he’s been to. He comes home on Saturday.
Apparently there’s half of Washington that’s beautiful and another half that looks, pretty much, like Hesperia.

Sariah has her learner’s permit and has been driving us around everywhere. She’s doing really well. Anna went camping with Aunt Laurie’s family this weekend and a four-year-old accidentally hit her in the head with a rock and it started bleeding and she freaked. Fun times. She’s home safe and sound now. Haha.
Poor Anna, ha ha. I’m glad she didn’t exercise her wrath on them.

Mom mentioned that we were invited to her niece, Misty’s, sons first birthday part on July 23. I thought about that and how it’s not that far away and by the time we’re there it will be only a month left for you. Man, this is so cool. We heard Ryan M is headed home the first week of August. I know Garrett is coming home in there somewhere, but I can’t remember the date. Crazy times.
Yeah, it’s really weird to think. I can’t believe July is almost half over too….

We love you, brother. Keep the faith and finish strong! You’re the best.

All my love,

Dad