One More Year, Baby!

Tuesday:
Had zone conference. President Taylor is super nice! I love him. I feel like he cares about us a lot more than President Hobbs did. But President Hobbs was probably super tired of missionaries.
Also discovered that tostadas are probably my new favorite mexican food. Not the crap they have at school lunches, I mean the ones in the bowls made of tostada.
Wednesday:
Tracted into an oddball who told us to keep researching or something. It was funny. We knocked on his door and he said, “Not today guys. Come back another day and I’ll tell you why you’re misled.” So we left, determined we weren’t coming back and all that, and then he stepped back out the door and called after us. We reluctantly came back, having him promise that he would not attack our religion, and then once we sat down, he said, “The Lord told me to tell you to come back.”
Our mental reaction: “YES! HE DID!”
“So I guess I need to tell you the message to keep looking into other pathways.”
“NO! THAT’S NOT WHY.”
Thursday:
Did service for Matt Garza.
Bleh.
Friday:
My year mark! Huzzah! This is apparently where everything starts to speed by. That’s crazy. Especially because it seems like things are going pretty slowly right at this moment.
Celebrated Dan’s birthday, too, because it was Dan’s birthday. We gave him a nice card, and I think he really liked it. Plus, Sister Brown and I talked to him about baptism, and it really sounds like he wants to get baptized, but he’s not sure if he feels like he’ll be able to live up to the standards. We just need to comfort him about the date. He definitely will be getting baptized on the 17th of September. Just please pray for him sincerely.
Holy shoot. One more year, baby.
Saturday:
Elder Brown and I started talking about the Pokemon games a lot, and it made us both pretty trunky.
Also had a lesson with Matt Garza. He thinks that if he gets plastic surgery, works out a butt ton and marries a girl 25 years younger than him that he’ll be happy. We told him 17 times it wouldn’t make him happy, but he kept going, “I know it won’t make me happy, but if I can just do it, it’ll make me happy” (to that effect).
Sunday:
Not much.
Alright, thanks everyone for reading and stuff, and I hope you all have a good week! I’ll try not to think trunky thoughts too much.
Elder Jensen out.
From Mom:
Hey Elder! I hope your week has been good! You should start gathering recipes from these good meals people feed you so we can make them for you later. Happy One Year! Wow! This next year will really fly. I do hoe you are here for my birthday next year but if not then that’s ok. It’s not a huge event.

 Yeah, I should do that. That’s a good idea. Also, can you send the rebaked potato recipe? There have been people that have been like, “Oh, give me your favorite recipe and I’ll make it for you,” but I know that rebaked is slightly different than twice-baked.

We took Joel out to lunch for his birthday. He also got another Ukulele. He has three now. He is really such a good kid. None of his friends wanted to hang out on his b-day so we took him to the mall and then he went to the Silver Sun Pickups concert with Athen. He needs new friends.
 Three? That seems somewhat unnecessary. Is he collecting them or something?
What friends did he want to hang out with? I would’ve thought that at least Cooper or someone would’ve come to hang out.
Did you get your stuff from Bro Lopez? Did you get to visit with him for long? I don’t see him. How is he doing? So how is Jonathan? I’m sure you will answer that in your letter.
 I didn’t get to see him either. We had a dinner appointment when he came. But, thank you so much for all the stuff that you sent me! Especially because it’s all relatively healthy. I really like the biscuit things. They’re good breakfast stuff. Same with the instant breakfast. It’s super helpful.
 Jonathan is doing well. He’s going to get interviewed soon for baptism.
Aunt Laurie took me to the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City for my birthday. We had a good time. Even though she and I are politically different we sure get along. We talked the whole time. I don’t know what I would do without her. There is nobody who I can talk to like her who gets me. Who knows the same jokes and has the same past. We stopped in Fillmore and saw the pathetic state of my grandma and grandpa Russell’s old house. It was once cute with trees and gardens everywhere. She was a true Gardner. This is what it is now (see attachment).

 Yeah, that is pretty ruined. That’s very unfortunate. Looks like most homes in Victorville, and many in Hesperia, hahah. Politics should never really get in the way of any relationships anyway. Talking about politics would be okay maybe if people ever had something good to say about their own candidates, but it’s only just bad things about the other candidates.

That’s all for now.
Love Mom
Hey Elder,
I saw it was still blazing hot down there last week. Are you getting used to it by now?
 Yeah, basically. Still sucks, though.
 Speaking of hot, I helped Joel build his gaming PC the last two Saturdays and this weekend we had to run an Ethernet cable from the family room up through the attic to the music room which is now his bedroom. I sent Joel up there because I wanted him to have the experience. He was dying and saying I’ve never sweated this much in my life. It was funny.
 Yeah, he should try cleaning any bathroom in California. Almost no houses in the desert have central air, they just use swamp coolers, so bathrooms get hotter than the dickens.
 But then the hard part came were we figured out there was a 4″ thick board covering the space between the walls. So I had to go up to drill. Then the battery on my drill kept dying. I had two and they both died, so we took a break and I finished it up while he was at the concert. So now he has wired internet access to his room. He’s loving it.

 Yeah, that sounds pretty nice. I know I won’t get to for long, but I’m excited to get to play some games with him before he leaves.

Both Joel and Sariah have been doing well in school this year. They both were doing homework and it’s the first week. Usually you guys wouldn’t crack a book until at least several weeks have gone by. Sariah is on a no sugar diet for volleyball. She’s actually doing really well on resisting. I’m proud of her.

 Man, so much progression in the family. I’m glad that Athen is the only one that can really move on to big things before I come home, hahah.

Anna is off to a good start in school too. We have her on the early bird schedule, rather than the later gators. She has to leave about 720a so she has no time to lollygag and get bored and annoying. We should have done it years ago, it’s really nice.

 Hahah, and then she’s tired by the end of the day. Except, probably not.

My calling kept me busy this week. I had to teach a lesson for YM leaders in the stake on Thursday night on the new program called Teaching in The Savior’s Way. This is for all church teachers to help them become better at bring souls to Christ. It’s a really good methodology for teaching. As missionaries, you’d do well to get the 38 page manual and read through it.

 Yeah, we’ve been helping institute that in most wards, kind of. More so in Upland than up here. But, it seems that it’s basically a less-threatening version of Preach My Gospel.

Yesterday, I had to cover for the stake YM president at stake council at 7. Then I had to go to the 11th ward conference at 11-2. Then I filled in for my home teaching family Bart (Sue Castro’s husband) in his primary calling at 2 p.m. Then I had to run back over to the stake center at 3 to attend priests quorum in the 18th ward.

 Yeah, that’s pretty crazy.

I know you didn’t want anyone to answer, but the phrase “jump the gun” comes from foot races in track and field. At the starting line, they fire a gun to start the race. If someone jumps up to start running before the gun sound, then they jumped the gun.

 Hahah, yeah, Cooper told me.

In your group email last week, you didn’t even mention Yvonne, but you talked about Bryan and Dylan (who seemed to come out of nowhere). Did you get any pictures? Am I right in thinking there were three people that were baptized in your area last week?

 Yvonne was the week before that, and Bryan and Dylan are in the Sisters’ area. No, I didn’t get any pictures. I didn’t say much about Yvonne, because as awesome as she is, I don’t feel like I taught her at all.

Have you just flat-out asked Dan why he won’t get baptized? I remember when I was ward mission leader, there was a ward that had someone like Dan who came to church for years in a certain ward. Then a friend of his from another ward asked if he would get baptized and he said yes. The ward he lived in was really bummed because he had been going there all along, but got baptized somewhere else. It turned out that the only reason he never got baptized all those years is because, he said, no one ever asked him to.

 Yeah, we have a ton. But, it seems like he actually wants to get baptized now. It’s pretty complex, though.

Tanner gave his mission report to the high council yesterday and I just happened to be there. It sounds like in Peru, they had tons of tracting, not a lot of teaching, and one of their main challenges was how to be productive until after dinner when people started getting home from work. When you get home, you’ll have a chance to give a 10 minute report to the stake presidency and high council. It’s a great chance to share your testimony with a lot of people who will be super-proud of you.

 In Peru, that’s the case? Hm. I would’ve thought they’d get tons of baptisms there.

Send us a picture of your companion if you can.

 I have, a few times.

Last night we had a good FHE and talked about the meaning of things. I shared the attached picture of our family and got a really good laugh out of everyone.
Well, son, you’re more than half way home and going strong. This next year is going to be full of you helping newer elders learn the ropes. Your love for the people in your mission is going to grow more intense, and you are going to become a power priesthood holder. I love you so much and I’m so proud of you!

 Thanks, Mom and Dad. You guys have a good week

Have a great week. All my love forever.
Dad
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