Letters From Home

Jonah didn’t send his weekly email, so here are the responses to the letters we sent.

On Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 5:20 AM, Susan Jensen <susan.jensen@hotmail.com> wrote:

Hello Elder! What a week! Florida was nice. The girls played their best some times and not so good some times. They placed 31st out of 500. If they played consistently they could be much higher. They have the skills but not the mental toughness.
That’s pretty cool, though. Nice work.

We arrived Saturday and went to the beach that evening. The beach is warm and very humid. Sticky. The water is warm. I’m not a beach fan so I don’t really care what it’s like. Sariah was in heaven. I was with another mom and her daughter and another girl.
I don’t care for the beach either. I’d rather be on a mountain or something. Speaking of which, Dad needs to take us skiing again.

Sunday we had a nice breakfast at our condo then a devotional. It was nice. They had a little practice in the middle of the day. We had dinner then hung out by the pool at the condo.
Monday we were up bright and early and at the conference center. We had a group dinner and then went to the mall. We got to bed early so we could get rested for games.
Tuesday after games we went paddle boarding. I was one of only two parents who would do it. It was so fun. And the lake water was warm. Like a pool. Once I got out to the middle of the lake and it was time to row back there was wind and waves and I had moved to my knees. I towed and towed and it wasn’t moving. Everyone was way ahead of me. Sariah’s coach came and showed me how I was too far forward on my board and it was pushing the tip down. Wish I would have known sooner. I was pretty tired by then so he had me hold onto the role of his board and he paddled me in. He said the weight of pulling me actually made it easier. So that was kinda fun. I wasn’t planning on doing the paddle board because the other parents weren’t going so I hadn’t dressed in clothes that could get wet. Laying down on the board got me wet. It was not comfortable so we had to go buy me some pants since we weren’t planning on heading home yet and I was freezing and super wet.

Wednesday we just hung out after the games. Thursday was the last day of games and the girls finished early so we all went to the beach as a team. The girls had so much fun! And the parents are so wonderful. Arlene was the other mom I was staying with and she was so fun! I just love her. She was married twice before her current marriage. Wasn’t active in the church. Was single for 10 years and got active. She finally married a guy with 14 kids that is 10 years older than her. She said it was only by Heavenly Fathers guidance that she married him. He was not what she thought she wanted. She says now she sees he was the best thing for her. She says he’s the best husband. He’s a former seminary principal but has been a lawyer for years.

Friday was the last day there. We went on an airboat and saw alligators. It was very cool! I’m going to add some pics to this and a video of the alligators. Watch it all the way. It’s cool.
Sounds like you had a really fun week.
It is nice to be home. Dad and I had an amazing hike Saturday. I think he is sending you a video. Don’t know if you can watch.

I hope you have had a wonderful week, even through the heat. I love you sweetie!!
I love you too

Mom

 

On Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 5:22 AM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:

Hey Jonah,

Can’t believe it’s P-day again! Wow last week flew by fast. If the rest of the summer goes by like that, you’ll be home in no time. But don’t get trunky. Finish strong!
Ha ha, I’m trying my best not to. It can be hard.

In your letter last week you mentioned you followed up on a “ton” of referrals. Where do all those referrals come from? Has anything else happened with them yet?
Well, by a ton I mean two. They just came from other missionaries. But nothing else has happened with them yet. We’re trying to get back in contact with him.

I heard there was a little fire out your way last week. Up by Big Bear lake. We had our own little fire on Saturday, but they did a great job of putting it out. It helps that there’s a ton of rock and not much fuel where it started.
Lots of fires lately. Weird stuff.

This is upon on the hill behind the gravel pit at the mouth of American Fork Canyon.

ut1

Just curious. Does Tio even know how to read? A lot of people won’t read the Book of Mormon because the can’t/don’t read. What do you do with people like that? Are we saying it’s a lot harder to be saved if you don’t know how to read?
Yeah, he can read. He just needs glasses.

I loved your prayer story! The Lord takes care of his missionaries. I think it is so cool how you guys are so connected through the Spirit. And it must be awesome for you to be sensitive enough to follow those subtle promptings. Even when you have someone right there saying your prompting is wrong. I hope you spend the rest of your life working on refining that skill and teaching your children how to develop it.
I do too. It’s way nicer to have the spirit than not

I hope you got the picture of the truck. The week went by quickly, but it was a rough week at work. Some of our leaders were so stressed out about our meeting with Toyota on Friday that they lost all common sense. The meeting actually ended up going WAY better than anyone expected (except me). Hopefully this week people will calm down and things will get back to normal.
Ha ha, you expected it to go that well?

With Mom and Sariah gone last week, it was pretty quiet around here. It was mostly just me and Anna and/or Joel for dinner. Kind of weird.
That does sound different. Basically like missionary life.

We went to visit Grandma and Grandpa Abbott last night to have dinner and help with some things around the house. Athen was saying he is planning on getting an apartment with a couple guys from Best Buy and moving out this summer. That will be perfect timing so you’ll have a place when you move back.
That’s pretty cool. Does he know where?

Mom and I took a beautiful hike up to Horsetail Falls on Saturday. Dry Creek is running super-high so the falls were amazing. Here’s a picture and I’ll try to link a short video below as well.
Nice. Looks pretty. I miss it.

ut2

Like most outdoor photos, the camera really doesn’t do justice to the actual falls. You can’t tell how much water is pouring over.
No, it doesn’t— but at least it’s better than my camera, oddly enough.

Hope you have a great week. It’s fast Sunday next week, so let us know if there’s anything you need us to fast for.
Just that we can find new people to teach, or that our investigators will read and pray about the Book of Mormon.

All my love,

Dad

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#week

Tuesday:
We had the classic District Meeting. Afterward, we visited a ton of referrals and met a guy named Chris. He was passed off to us by the sisters, and he’s super cool. He’s going to try to get his friend to take the lessons with him, who had kind of taken them before, but one sister in the past turned him away because she was flirtatious, strangely enough. Usually it’s vice versa.

Wednesday:
We did some disgusting service. We “helped this guy move” by cleaning up his horrifyingly nasty little room that he was renting out. I used my gloves for fear of something crawling out, biting my finger and causing me to go into a state of seizures as the poison slipped effortlessly through my bloodstream.
Luckily, none of that actually even came close to happening, but it was still a really nasty house. We all insta-threw our clothes in the washer afterward.
After all that, we visited the Paddisons again, who we’ll probably drop, because they’re just not progressing at all.
We also went with the Mojave River Elders to play this game invented by a member. It’s pretty fun and 1000% luck.

Thursday:
Appointments cancelled and what not and we did some service for a member, which we thought was gonna take a couple hours, but 50% of the time, we were just kind of standing in confusion. At the end, we had to walk up and ask if we were done, to which he said, “Oh, yeah, thanks a ton!” and what not. He told us he would see us in sacrament meeting, but he did not.

Friday:
We visited people in the morning and did weekly planning in the afternoon, because it was hotter than the dickens out, as it has been for the past while. It’s miserable.
Tio finally read something; it was the pamphlet. But he still won’t read the Book of Mormon. We’re thinking that we’ll probably drop him next time if he doesn’t actually read the Book of Mormon, because we’re not really making progress with him.
Also, want to know that the Lord answers prayers? Listen to this experience right here:
We were driving home from a failed appointment that morning. Pretty much everything had fallen through, and we were going back about 30 minutes early to have lunch. It was 12:00. We were on the main street leading back to our house when I said, “I’m gonna’ call the Mojave River Elders and see if they need a ride home.”
“I don’t think they do,” began Elder Broadhead in reply. “They said thy’re busy until 12:30 this morning.”
I shrugged and slid the phone out of my pocket. “Oh well, you never know.”
So I called and Tuihaa answered, and he sounded very excited when we offered to pick them up. We came to find out that 30 seconds before, they had prayed that someone would give them a ride home because it was so hot. They were just starting to walk to a member to get a ride when we called.
Let’s do the math: 10 seconds to call + 15/20 seconds for Broadhead and I to discuss it + or – any time that human error supplies in both their comment and my math, it seems to have literally been an instantaneous prompting.
Next level.

Saturday:
We started playing a roleplaying game as a house, and we’ve been having a fun time with that lately. Funny stories that I would tell if only everyone would understand them. I will forebear.
As far as the day is concerned though, not much happened. We really struggled to get out of dinner with the Barrett family in a decent time, but they kept pulling us back in. It was kind of funny. It was this strange vortex of, “Oh, you’ve got to go? Are you sure? Oh, okay. Well,” and then they would begin a story, and then after five minutes, say, “Oh, yo’ve got to go? Are you sure you don’t want to stay and play another game? Oh, okay. Well,” etc. etc.

Sunday:
We had dinner with the Paynes again. It had been a while since they were up with most of you in Utah. Not with you, but in the same vicinity. Isn’t it crazy how I’m literally not even that far, yet it feels like I’m in a different world?
Anyway, we all shared stories about times with our fathers for fathers day, and for the thought we talked about righteous fathers, and I would just like to say that I’m grateful for my righteous father who’s been such a good example to me all of my life. Thanks, Dad! Happy Father’s day!

Thanks for reading, errybody.
Elder Jensen out.

On Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 6:43 AM, Susan Jensen <susan.jensen@hotmail.com> wrote:
Hello my wonderful boy! I hope your week has been good. I’m in Florida for nationals. First game just sucked. Florida is humid but it hasn’t bothered me. Not too crazy hot. I kinda like the warm air that feels like a blanket. But it’s been mostly cloudy. We went to the beach the first day. Nice beach. Not amazing but nice. I wouldn’t want to live here but it’s fine.
I hope the teaching is coming along for you guys. I loved your video! I still never could see the pictures. Not much has happened this week so I’ll wait to hear from you. I love you! And here’s a picture of a house that fell from Heaven.

image1

Wait, what is that house?

On Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 5:23 AM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:

Hey Elder!

Hope you had a great week. It sure flew by for me. It was pretty stressful because we’ve been having some growing pains at work with a couple of our new products and it’s affecting our business with Toyota. There’s a meeting with Toyota in Dallas this Friday that I spent a lot of last week preparing for, but now it sounds like I may not have to go to.
Mm, that’s stressful.

Hopefully this week will be better.

I didn’t get to look at a lot of your pictures and video last week because the permissions weren’t set right. Hopefully you got requests to access from me. It’s so weird that the permissions always get messed up when you share. You have to look at the share option and look for a way to change it to “anyone with the link can view”. Or if you’re always putting them in the same folder, just set the permissions on the folder to “public”. Another thing may be that when you invite me to Google Drive stuff you have to use my jim.jensen.mail@gmail.com email address cause I don’t have an account on my Live address.
Yeah, I set it to do that, but sometimes it doesn’t work. I don’t know, when I get home, I’ll just pretty much post all the pictures on Facebook and you guys can look through my camera.

Mom somehow got your video though and it was hilarious! You’re getting pretty good at your gay voice. Haha! The mansion looks like quite the nice place. When we watched that we were hoping you boys aren’t trashing the place too much.
We try to keep it relatively clean. Some past missionaries have really made the walls look like trash, but what we can control we do.

Mom left for Orlando and Sariah’s last volleyball tournament of the season. They went straight to the beach when they got there. I’m sure they’re going to have a fun week.
Ha ha, doesn’t surprise me.

I spent all Saturday working in the yard. Joel helped me cut down some big branches off the trees by our fire pit and load up several months worth of yard junk we’d been piling on the side of the house. When I told him we had to get it all into my pickup bed, he was like, “No way! It is physically not possible to get al that in.” I told him we had to and we cut the branches down until it all crammed in. He was amazed.
Ha ha, that’s funny. You know, until you just said that, I wasn’t even sure if you actually got a truck. Mom mentioned it once in passing like, a year ago and I’ve never even seen a picture or been told what kind of truck it is.

Sorry. Possibly the only thing more boring than doing yardwork is reading about someone else doing it.

Sounds like the work is a little better right now with Tio, Pam and Brother Vivas. We’ll keep them in our prayers. Your mission blog at https://elderjonahjensen.com is coming along nicely, so don’t give up on writing the emails yet!
Ha ha, I won’t. How long is that supposed to stay up?

Looks like you guys are in for a major heat wave this week. Good luck with that!
yaaaaay

Now for the email topic. Elder Ben King came home on Wednesday and had his homecoming address on Sunday. This should open the floodgates of missionaries coming home this summer. Tyler Jones (not sure if you know/remember him) got his call to the Philippines last week. Leaves August 9th.
Wow, that’s pretty cool.

I loved Ben’s talk. It was so good to see/hear from him. One story he told particularly touched me. He said that he was having a hard time with one of his companions in the Washington DC South mission and things weren’t going very well for him during that portion of his mission. He was sort of getting down in the dumps about things. One day they had done a lot of tracting and had nothing but rejections and no-answers. He and his companion were walking back together and he said he must have looked really depressed as they slogged along toward home. Then a car that had BYU Cougar stickers all over it went by. A guy with a BYU hat was driving and saw them walking down the street. He rolled down the window and yelled, “Elder! Elders! Don’t give up! Don’t give up! It’s true! It’s true!”, and then kept on driving by.
Ha ha, that’s awesome. Prayers are answered in mysterious ways. It’s great.

I just love how Heavenly Father sends little bits of help and encouragement along the way just as you most need it. What a great message for that guy to yell. I feel like he was an angel to Ben and his companion. Sometimes we get so myopic and caught up in the minutiae we fail to stand back and comprehend that most glorious fact of all. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in upstate New York in 1820 and called him to restore the gospel. They sent angels and prophets to assist in the great work and somehow they laid the foundation for all the great and glorious works we see around us today with the priesthood and temples, and the whole church organization. It is miraculous, really. And we’re so blessed to live during this time. I wish I could always keep the simple and profound thought in my mind, “It’s true! It’s true!”.
I really hope I can maintain that through my life. It’s a scary thought, thinking about going less-active, and I really hope I never forget to read my scriptures and pray. Elder Brown once said, while we were walking along, “If one day, you hear that I’m less-active, call me up and tell me to quit being lazy; because the only real reason anyone ever really goes less-active is because they don’t want to keep the commandments.”

I know that it is. I’m so grateful to have you coming home in a couple months. You’ve done such an awesome job and I’m so proud of you. We have all been blessed because of your sacrifice.

Keep the faith and finish strong, my son!

All my love,

Dad

 

On Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 11:30 AM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:
Quick answers.

Yep got a truck like a year ago. It’s a silver F-150.  That’s a good truck. cool

Elderjonahjensen.com can stay up as long as we want!

Btw, I just posted your video from last week up there like 30 minutes ago.

Jim

Life and Stuff

I keep having these nightmares (not actually; they’re more of daymares) that I’ll get transferred this upcoming transfer, and I REALLY hope I don’t. If I have to transfer again, I’ll kill somebody. Sorry, just a random sidethought.

Tuesday:
Literally nothing. We tried a flip ton of people, and nobody answered. It was unfortunate.
Also, I got distracted while I was writing and forgot to write some of the things I was thinking.

Wednesday:
We helped some peeps in the Mojave River ward try to build up a pool, but we kind of didn’t succeed, and I may or may not have broken one of their chairs.
Tio was a “return to last checkpoint” lesson, but this time we tried to give him less to do to see if he would do it. It was still a decent lesson.
We taught Pam the Plan of Salvation, which went well. She’s an awesome lady, as fried as her brain seems to be from drugs. She’s very nice. An honest seeker of truth, I’d say.
We also taught Brother Vivas. He’s just a less-active who is really cool.

Thursday:
Squash for friends and Pep Boys. Awww yeah. I got super trunky because, whilst at Pep Boys, waiting for our car to finish being fixed, Elder Broadhead changed seats for no apparent reason; so I followed, only to be met by a ton of archery magazines. Hoooooooooraaaaaaaay. Funny story, though, they were all from 2009, so they weren’t anything new and exciting.
We also had lamb for dinner. It was interesting.
pic1After all that, we had ward coordination, which was fun I guess. The Bishop is awesome, ha ha. Apparently, according to him, you’re not allowed to end your time as a bishop until you’ve offended everyone in the ward (this is a joke, in case you couldn’t tell).

Friday:
Pretty much weekly planning and failing to visit people. Well, I guess you could say we succeeded, but they did not let us in or answer.

Saturday:
We park contacted, and I discovered rapidly that truly, Elder Broadhead does not like contacting.

pic2

We tried a lot more people, and finally got to get in with Brother Gibbons, who is in the Bishopric. We want to have a dinner with him and some of our potential investigators to hopefully expose them to someone from the church and give them friends. Hurrah. Friendship is magic.

Sunday:
Nothing. I don’t really know why, but I just wrote nothing in my journal, and my brain is everywhere right now. I just know things fell through.

In case you can’t tell, I’m growing tired of writing these weekly e-mails–BUT, that will not stop me.

Thanks for reading,
Elder Jensen out.

On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 5:13 AM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:
Hey Elder!

Mom said she got an email with your itinerary last week! Yee haw! That is so awesome. Sorry, but we’re super-excited to have you come home and have a returned missionary living with us.
Yeah, lots going through my head about that XD

Sorry I didn’t email last week. I said I wouldn’t be able to since I was on the stake encampment, which went really well by the way. It was hot, but not killer hot cause it’s a little higher elevation. We had about 250 boys and leaders down there all week. We had just the right amount of injuries and broken bones, but no serious issues. We wore the boys down as planned and from all reports on Sunday, we think everyone had a great time.
That’s fine, I remembered that you said that you wouldn’t be able to.

So reading your last couple letters, it sounds like your mission has a little drama going on. Uh, come on, elders. You must need more work, haha.
Yeah, it’s super dumb. I’m ready to leave when the time comes.

But it sounds like you’ve got a few things going on with Fred, Tio, and Pam. We’ll pray for them and hope they don’t have to keep going back to the checkpoint. Oh, and when you get back and meet with President Sheffield to get released, don’t make fun of pickleball. He is literally an international champion for his age category. He went to Italy to play in some huge tournament and won in a couple categories.
Ha ha, that’s funny. Alright, I won’t mention it, lol.

How’s Elder Broadhead? He looks like a nice guy from your pic. Speaking of arrowheads and broad heads, I went to the rock shop in Moab and got each of the kids a little gift. Since you are into archery, I got you an arrowhead. I’ll give it to your when you get home, but here’s a picture of it for now.
He’s pretty cool. We have a lot in common, as I said to Mom. He is very nice. A little quirky, but nice.
ah1
Sweet! Thanks a ton.
sb1
And here’s a picture from my sleeping back last week. It was awesome. Have a great week! Finish strong!
Wow, that’s cool.

Love,

Dad

On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 4:59 AM, Susan Jensen <susan.jensen@hotmail.com> wrote:
I got and email with your travel plans! You’ll be home by 1 pm on the 28th. Wow, it’s crazy how close that is!
Yeah, my mind is getting blown each day.
I’ve been busy painting the trim on our house. It’s a big project. It’s looking way better though! It was lame having dad gone all week. Man, I missed that hunk of burning love! Aunt Rose died, grandpa Jensens sister, and her funeral was Saturday. She was such a sweet person. She always said the kindest things to me on FB.
Awww, that’s sad to hear…. But, I guess it is “the way of all the earth”.
Sariah and I leave for nationals on Saturday. It should be pretty fun! It’s in Florida. Coleman submitted his papers. They aren’t sure if he will be able to go very far. It may just be close like Orem or Provo. We will see.
Those are both some exciting items of news. Nationals? That’s crazy. And I hope Coleman gets somewhere that he can enjoy.
Well, I’m curious to how the new companionship is going. Are you the senior companion? How do you get along? And are you still at the mansion?
It’s going well, we have a lot in common, more or less. I am the senior, not that it means anything in this mission. I am still at the mansion. I should go home from here.
Well, not much is going on here. Just a busy summer. We found a great family for our rental home. They are moving in July 1st. That’s about all. Anything you need from me? Hope to talk to you today.
I don’t think I need anything.
I LOVE you!
Mother

Cooling Down and Heating Up

Our lives are cooling down, but the conditions of the surrounding air are heating up. Verily much so.

Tuesday:
Elder Matthews e-mail president and whined to him and claimed that Elder Ogbonna “chastised him” for “being obedient”, and President got angry at Elder Ogbonna. It was really annoying, especially because the zone leaders said, “Yeah, don’t worry about it, as long as it doesn’t happen again.” It pissed Dan off a lot more when he found out that he told President yet again.

Wednesday:
I realized it was the last day of May and about pooped my pants.
We met with Fred, and the best way to explain this is when you die in a video game and you have to return to the last checkpoint, because he literally reverted to the same way he was when we had last met with him.
Then, we visited Tio, which was also a return to last checkpoint, because he just wanted us to come watch him play Pickleball, and he still hadn’t read. So that was sad. He might have read this time though.

Thursday:
We met with Pam again, which was good, and we taught her the Restoration, but beyond that, all of our appointments fell through.
That night, we went and watched Tio play pickleball, which is basically just, like, if tennis is too hard for you because it’s too fast, and ping pong is too hard for you because it’s too small, then you’ve got pickleball. It was kind of funny. We just acted as commentators the whole time. But, Tio said he would try to read the Book of Mormon!

Friday:
We got transfer info that Elder Ogbonna had to leave me…. So sad. But that’s alright, life goes on.
Also, everyone cool in Hesperia left, basically.
dragon1
Elder Ogbonna just said goodbye to a lot of people.
The Rosenthal family made some delicious teriyaki chicken for us.

Saturday:
Service for the Payne family all day, which was a party, but also very tiring. It was Elder Ogbonna’s birthday, so they made us their delicious pizza and some crazy-awful-for-you-dessert.

Sundaaaaaaaaay:
I received the information that I would be with Elder Broadhead (he heh, funny because he’s in the arrowhead ward … and his name is Broadhead….).
broadhead1
Also, fast Sunday. I bore my testimony and now the whole ward thinks I’m trunky– which I kind of am, but not in a bad way!
Elder Ogbonna spent the day saying goodbye to peeps, then we had another dinner of ribs at the Rosenthal’s. It was very delicious.
Also, testimonies in testimony meeting were very, very strange, and I miss Utah where people are not fried from drugs. That’s all I’ll say.

Thanks for reading, all you peeps and other forms of marshmallows.
Elder Jensen out.