Slow Days Again

Man, the high desert is so unmotivating. The deadness of everything is just … well, that: dead. Or maybe it’s just Hesperia. I promise it’s not normal to serve in the same zone for 3/5ths of your mission.

Tuesday:
We had a good district meeting. Talked about teaching repentance and baptizing converts. I also really like the district I’m in; it’s hilarious. Mostly because of this Elder named Elder Honeycutt. He’s so trunky. The second trunkiest man I’ve ever met. Other than that, we played a fun game with a member in our “housemates” ward, meaning Mojave River.

Wednesday:
A day of service. One for Brother Davies, the same member from the Mojave River ward, and then for a family moving in from Russia. They were teaching school there for four years.
Brother Davies had us defile and refile a grave of a close friend of his. Yeah, when his friend died, he buried him in his front yard, so we kinda put rocks all over his grave and stuff after tearing them off.
Oh also, his friend is a dog. Y’know, man’s best friend and all that. I should’ve mentioned that first.
For the people moving from Russia, we just moved a bunch of suitcases, because all they could take on a plane was suitcases. There were, like, 36 of them or something.

Thursday:
A boring day, other than dinner with the Payne’s. They made scones; I haven’t had scones in a thousand years it seems. And she knew that, so that’s why she made them apparently. But they were so tasty and bad for you. I covered mine in Nutella. Heck yeah.

Friday:
We did service for the Bennett’s again, another family in the MR ward. Hesperia should have a weed on their flag, because it’s the land of weeds, not joshua trees. Though joshua trees are in rich abundance here too. In other words, we weeded for them. And they gave us lunch. Surprisingly, I ate a lot even though I don’t like turkey meat on my sammiches.
dragon2

Saturday:
Yet more service. A fetch ton of service. Helping people move and also taking things to Goodwill to be given away and stuff. That was pretty much our whole day. It’s relaxing when people other than missionaries come to help, which was the case for the move.

Sunday:
We had dinner with an interesting family at 3 o’clock because I guess that’s how fast Sunday works. As long as you eat food at lunch time and call it dinner, it counts as fasting, right? Anyway I’m not gonna’ complain. I like not starving. Also, this family was one I had had dinner with on exchanges while I was in Green Tree 2 years ago.

Well, that’s all folks. HAGS a good summer.
Elder Jensen out.

On Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 5:01 AM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:
Hey Elder!

Hope you had a great week! Can’t wait to hear about it since we never got a letter from you last week. ☹ I guess you really were tired of writing the weekly emails. Haha. Please let us know how it’s going with your investigators. I prayed and fasted for them yesterday.
I thought I sent an e-mail saying that I didn’t have time; did I not? Sorry.

This week went by so fast it was almost as if it didn’t exist. On June 28th, I thought about you and how I would see you in 2 months! Yay!
It’s really crazy. This is the 5th week of the 6 week transfers, which is just weird to think.

It was a rough week at work. On Monday, I learned that my friend and long time work companion, Blake, got fired over some of the growing pains we’ve been going through. It was totally unfair. The guy needed the company to give him some help, not come in and take over. It was a sad day. I called him Friday after work and although he sounded OK, I know it’s got to be super-hard for him. Needless to say I’m not very happy with my company right now. I will still do my best, and hopefully it will improve, or I might have to start doing something else.
That’s really sad…. It’s always hard to hear about that. You get a lot of that in Cali.

Mom and I talked about some other business ideas, mostly in real estate. Maybe with my brother. We probably need to come up with something in the next 10 years because we need a good retirement plan. Haha.
Fair enough.

Not much else happened this week except Sariah getting here learner’s permit. We’ve been letting her drive around on some of her errands. Trouble’s brewin’! We’ve been working on painting the trim on our house, so it will look different/better when you get home. Oh, and we also got a new A/C and furnace last week because they’ve been telling us every year when it breaks down how it’s on it’s last leg. (Probs true since our house is 25 years old this year.) Next year it will probably bee the roof.
There’s always just enough to do. You think that you won’t have to spend money one day and then next thing you know, you do.

We had a great sacrament meeting yesterday. We had a lot of visitors for a baby blessing. The family that blessed the baby had 12 priesthood holders in the circle. How awesome would it be to have that many in your family?? So cool. So powerful. The dad also bore his testimony and told how he healed one of his kids through fasting and a blessing. There were a dozen other people that fore their testimony too and we went like 15 minutes over.
Those are usually good meetings. Sometimes people just give thankamonies though.

But the best part was Mom’s. She told about her temple recommend interview that she had with Brother Cahoon last week. It sounds like it was a spiritual experience for her and how questions were so meaningful. (She’ll have to explain it better than me.) But anyway, it really touched me because I had a similar experience with Brother Cahoon in my temple recommend interview. As I listened to the questions, I looked for any part of the questions that I felt like I might be holding back from the Lord, but there wasn’t any. I was so grateful to be able to answer all of the questions in a fully honest way and bear my testimony with simple “Yes” or “I do” answers. The gospel is so important to me and your Mom. It brings so much clarity and purpose to our lives. It’s so awesome to be a part of it.
That’s awesome. It really does feel good, just because you know that you’re actually genuinely worthy to enter the Lord’s presence.

Mom shared an awesome missionary story from Elder Holland for FHE last night. Hopefully, she gets to share it with you. I also shared the story from stake conference about a missionary who went to Spain and one who came from Spain years later to rescue him. We could send these two you in a letter since they would take a little longer to read. I looked back through my journal and see that I mailed it to you in a letter last year.
That would be good. You mailed what to me?

I’ve also been working on a short story that expands on a few scriptures from Luke 5 and John 21. I’m almost done editing it, and I’ll mail it down so you can give me some pointers.
Ha ha, I can try, I don’t know how well I’d do.

Mom and Sariah left at 5:15a this morning to take Sariah to her private vb lessons. Man! Those girls are dedicated. It’s so awesome to see.
Yeah, it sound like they’re working really hard.

Hope you have a great week. Stay chill! And I can’t wait to hear from you.

All my love,

Dad

 

On Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 7:57 AM, Susan Jensen <susan.jensen@hotmail.com> wrote:
Hey babe! First I want to share with you parts of this talk from Elder Holland:
Elder Holland closed by relating a story — being careful to protect the privacy and anonymity of the participants — of a young man from southern Idaho. One night the young man stormed out of the house and set off to join an infamous motorcycle gang. He succeeded in that resolve and for 20 years became immersed in a culture “of temptations yielded to and degradations explored,” never contacting his parents, who feared that he was dead.
Eventually ending up in Southern California, he one day was sitting on the porch of a rented home when he saw two LDS missionaries making their way up the street.
“With a rush of memory and guilt, regret and rage, he despised the very sight of them,” Elder Holland recounted. “But he was safe, because he kept all visitors at bay by employing two Doberman Pinschers who viciously charged the gate every moment that anyone came near.”
The dogs startled the missionaries as they passed by and continued on, “our man on the porch laughing at the lovely little drama he had just witnessed, wishing only that the gate hadn’t restrained his two dogs.”
Then, the two elders stopped, looked at each other, conversed a little, “likely said a silent prayer,” then turned around and approached the gate.
“The Dobermans on cue charged the gate again, hit it, snarling, frothing, and then stopped in their tracks,” Elder Holland said. “They looked at the missionaries, dropped their heads, ambled back to the front steps and lay down.”
Holy fetch.
The man on the porch was speechless as the missionaries opened the gate, walked up the path and greeted him.
“One of the elders said, ‘Are you from this part of California?’
“The man said, ‘No. If you want to know, I’m from Pocatello, Idaho.’
“There was a pause. ‘That’s interesting,’ the elder said. ‘Do you know the [such-and-such] family in Pocatello?’
“With a stunned look, our biker paused, and then, in very measured words, said, ‘Yeah, I know them. They are my parents.’
“ ‘Well, they’re my parents too,’ the missionary said. ‘God has sent me to invite you to come home.’ ”
Mind blown.
The younger brother had been born after the older boy had left home. The elder brother did not even know of him.
“Mom and Dad have been praying for you every morning and night for 20 years,” the younger brother said. “They were not sure you were alive, but they knew if you were, that someday you would come back to us.”
The wayward son invited the two in, and they talked for the rest of the day and some of the night. He did return home, returned to Church activity and, in March 2015, was married and sealed in the Boise Idaho Temple.
Commenting on the account, Elder Holland said, “This is a story of the role of Almighty God, the Savior of the World, and the Holy Ghost involved in the work of the ministry to which we’ve been called.
This is so amazing and shows how he works from beginning to end to orchestrate our lives if we listen to him.

As dad was saying about the testimony meeting. When I had my temple recommend interview I just felt so strongly how much I believe these things are true. I love the Lord. I may not always feel him near me but I know it’s true and have a desire for more faith.

That’s amazing. I wish I had an experience like that XD But at the same time, I enjoy knowing all of my brothers.
I saw Reggie Sunday! It’s good to see our boys returning with honor! I love you and can’t wait to hear from you! Big hugs!!!
Wow, way to make me trunky XD Just kidding.
Mom

Sent from my iPhone

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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

Empty Empty

Empty empty empty empty.
#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.

Drama Booooomb

Pretty much all of the Hesperia zone is under immense stress, but this week we got hit by it.

Tuesday:
We went to a part member family named the Paddisons, but the husband left as soon as we got there, so that didn’t do much. Also, all of our plans feel through, so we studied Lehi’s dream as a companionship for our companionship study. That was relaxing. Only other missionaries will get that joke.
But yeah, all the plans fell through. Yay Tuesdays.
We ended the night with a Nerf war in our house. That was fun. I may or may not have lied about whether or not I got shot when I actually did.

jj1

Wednesday:
Got a major headache in the morning, so that incapacitated me essentially until about 11 or something like that; I can’t really remember. After that, we finally got to meet with a less-active named Brother Bowker, and he’s going through some major crap and needs some major prayers in major faith. He’s such a good guy. He wants to be better.
We also met with an “investigator” named Pam, who really is only not baptized because she is on probation. She hands out the programs at church. That was an interesting meeting. We sat down with her and I asked her her hobbies.
“Shopping, eating out and sleeping,” came her reply. Awkward silence ensued. “Would you like a drink of water?” she then asked.
“I’d like some,” replied Elder Ogbonna.
Awkward silence ensued.
“Alright, then get up and get some,” she answered.
Later, the doorbell rung and she sat there. I looked at her and asked, “Should I answer it?”
She looked at me and said, “Yes.”
So I got up and approached the door, opening it, where someone asked if Hannah was home, to which I said the only thing I knew to say: “Uhm … I don’t live here,” and then I directed her to Pam.
Pam got up and talked to the lady for one sentence, then said to me, “Go get Hannah– never mind, I’ll get her.”
It was hilarious. It’s also important to note that I had never been in this home before in my life.

Thursday:
The wind was blowing like never before while we were at squash. We literally pulled dirt from the ground and, due to the eddy of air that formulated around our bodies, the dirt was sucked up and thrown directly into our unsheilded (and shielded, for the case of Elder Brooksby with glasses) eyeballs. It was a painful learning experience. I don’t know what we learned, though.
Everything cancelled, so that was annoying. We did meet this lady named Angela Barber, though, who is super nice and potentially interested in the gospel. She has lots of relations to members too, which helps.

Friday:
A stressful, dramatic day.
Started off playing chess with Elder Tuihaa in the morning, who says I was “very good”.

jj2

And then, everything changed when the fire nation attacked; or, to interpret, we started Nerfing, and one thing led to another, and Tuihaa and Simmons were at each others’ throats (almost literally) to the point where Ogbonna and I had to stand between them. Tuihaa was basically threatening to beat Elder Simmons up, punching all the doors and crap, and we had to pretty much rebuke him. It was spooky. That kind of shot the rest of our day, because we were all just too exhausted from that. Like, just emotionally.

Saturday:
We just drove around all day. We used 80 miles, which is a lot compared to the usual 25. This is because we had to go deep into the mountains of our area–which was beautiful, by the way. Like, I normally would not have ever dreamt of living in Hesperia, but after that? I reconsidered, to say the least. I still won’t, but if someone told me, “You have to live in Hesperia”, I’d be down.

Sunday:
Weekly planning, because we didn’t on Friday. Oops….

I will inform you on what happened yesterday, because that adds to the drama bomb. So, we went to Dan’s for p-day and to have dinner with him because I love Dan and Reatha with all my heart. Apparently, though, Elder Matthews was not okay with that–and neither was the ward mission leader. Apparently, the ward mission leader decided to call the zone leaders and tell them that I had been consistently going over to Dan’s and hanging out with him over the long course of time, and that I was planning to continue to do so, and then Elder Matthews (the nugget lord serving in Santa Fe right now) told the zone leaders on us too. So tons of miscommunication commenced and Elder Ogbonna and Matthews stepped outside to talk and basically argue. Long story short, we called the zone leaders after dinner (who had called us during dinner) and explained what happened. They then told us that they were under the impression that it had been a reoccurring situation, and I told them that it wasn’t, and that we weren’t going to do it again anyway, just that it was a one time thing because I wanted to spend some time with Dan and Reatha again. They said that was fine as long as I don’t do it again, which I wasn’t planning on, and then Elder Matthews’ companion forced him to apologize to us apparently, so that’s how it ended. Also, Dan and Reatha don’t like Matthews anymore, I guess. It’s a sad story.

Wow, that’s a long e-mail. Have a good summer. See you next week.
Elder Jensen out.

Our Area: Silverwood Lake

 

Our Area: Silverwood Lake Part 2

sw4

 

Doctor and Random Pictures on Exchange

 

Pictures. A hummingbird nest in Dan and Reatha’s backyard.

 

 

One Down

On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 5:04 AM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:

Hey Elder!

It was so great to see you on Mother’s Day! You seem to have matured so much and looked so good and happy. Time is flying and we’ll be picking you up before you know it.

Sounds like you met a good friend in Elder Brooksby. Is he from Utah?

 No, but he’s going to school at BYU.

I finished Wood Badge this week, so I’ve got that behind me; two more weeks aand I’ll be doing the stake scout camp and then these two giant projects that have been looming over me for almost a year will be behind me! Yay!

 That’s good, lol.

I saw a nice picture of you and your companion that someone sent to Mom on Saturday. Elder Ogbonna is pretty tall. He looks like a super great kid.

 Yeah, we’re the same height, I think.

I opened the pool this weekend and put tons of chlorine in. It’s almost clear, but it’s still way to cold to go swimming. This week it’s not even supposed to reach the 80s.

 Ha ha, lucky.

Joel graduates (whew!) on Thursday. I can’t believe he’s done with high school and he somehow pulled it off. He wanted to follow in Athen’s traditional footsteps and get Brazilian food at Toucanos before. The ceremony will be at the BYU Marriott Center at 730 Thursday night.

 Hey, he did tell you he was going to!

Athen’s friend Casie decided to date other people so he’s been super-bummed about that. It was bad timing, too, cause it kind of ruined his work trip for doing so well in sales at Best Buy. I am glad to see that he is drawing comfort from the gospel. I hope he realizes that the gospel is the source of all happiness, not just comfort in the time of trouble. If he could stay on the path he’s on right now, he’ll be able to find that great young woman who he can be with forever.

 That’s why I’m hoping Casie will get back with him, because if she is righteous, then it will help him be righteous too.

Sariah is now practicing more than ever in volleyball because her team is going to nationals in Florida. Mom is going to take her, but I’m staying home to save money and because I’m out of vacation days at work. (I had to give up 9 vacation days for my church calling).

 Wow, really? That’s pretty crazy. Also, that sounds kind of annoying to have to give up your vacation days, but, I guess it was probably the right thing to do lol

I’m excited for the summer. It’s going to be the best summer ever because it’s the summer that my son came home from his mission. I’m so proud of you and I’m excited for you to get going on the next phase of your life. Plus I’m really looking forward to going to the temple with you.

 Yeah, it’s an exciting time. Also kind of scary, but mostly exciting. It doesn’t seem that close, but it is.

Thanks for being such and awesome young man!

All My Love,

Dad

Is Summer Going to Get Here?

On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 4:58 AM, Susan Jensen <susan.jensen@hotmail.com> wrote:

Mr Jonahman! I loved getting the pictures and recipe from the member who had you over for dinner. Sounds like you loved the pizza! I’ll try her dough. I did more recently find an awesome artisan thin crust pizza dough everyone loves but I’m up to try a new one.
 I don’t know what it was, but it was just really good pizza. She makes a lot too. They apparently eat it all throughout the week. 

So how’s the working out coming along 😉? If I get a standing punching and kicking bag would you use it when you get home? I went to a kickboxing class and think you guys would like that.
 Well, again, I would be down to try karate or something. 

Laurie and I went to Park City for her birthday (it’s not for a week though). It was kind of fun and I love spending time with her but it’s such a pain to get up there and the beds sucked and I felt awful most of the next day.
 Oh, that’s not that fun. 

We had a party for the volleyball families and played capture the flag. You need to be proud of me. I chased down a 15 year old athlete in my sandals and captured her. I had to sprint harder than I ever had. And I’m not even sore. It feels good to be in decent shape!
 Ha ha, that’s good. I wonder how the 15 year old felt? 

I learned something in church. Did you know Noah’s son Ham married out of the covenant, a woman named Egyptus? He could never have the true priesthood (yet he always wanted it) because of this and so when they left the ark they moved to their own land and called it Egypt. Ham was always trying to mimic the rights and gifts of the priesthood. Things like tarot cards were started there. Many of the writing show similarities to our ordinances. Satan tries to mimic but can never have the power to save and nothing of lasting happiness will come from him.
 Wow, that’s really interesting. I didn’t know that. 

Joel stood in for a drummer in a band and was the best thing about the band! He’s talented and knows how to perform. Seminary graduation was last night. It was great! And graduation is this Thursday. It’s hard to believe all three of my little guys will be graduated high school! I can still remember the feel of holding your solid frame on my hip with your cute diapered bum. You loved me to hold you and were always so loving. Oh, I miss that. I can’t wait to have grandkids! I’m going to come snuggle and play with them all the time!
 Ha ha, alright Mom. 

Well, that’s about it. I love you!!! Please take care of yourself. Workout. We have heart issues in my family and I worry. My mom and dad are proof of that. Your body is a gift. A temple. Take care of it.
❤️ Mom

 I may not have time to write a big e-mail this week.
Sent from my iPhone

Clones

So, I forgot my bag in its entirety today, so I don’t have my journal or my planner, which will make this just a fantastic party bus.

Hop aboard.

Tuesday:

It was a weird day, from what I remember, because we didn’t have District Meeting, due to having Zone Conference on Thursday…. I’m struggling to remember; sorry. Like, this would be a lot easier if all of the days of missionary life didn’t blend together like bananas, strawberries, milk and yogurt.

Yeah, I can’t remember much, but we drove around and visited people, and had dinner with a member named Russ Blewwit. Do you know how many jokes we made about that name? At least 17,000.

Wednesday:

We got to go to Lord’s Table again, but apparently it only really happens once per transfer now because Green Tree is selfish and wants to have all the days to themselves, but we got to eat at Apollo Burger again, which was a blessing indeed. T’was delicious.

After that, we kind of just visited people with what few miles we had remaining for the day until dinner with the Rosenthals, again, then went home. The Rosenthals are a less active family, but they’re never there for the lesson. The food is always good though.

Thursday:

We had Zone Conference, as previously stated, which was fun, but weird. They told us that we’re not allowed to text outside of our district anymore … but our wardmates (meaning the other set of missionaries in our ward) are not in our district. So we’re confused.

They did have a delicious lunch for us afterward, though. It was a potato bar, and as you all know, Elder Jensen can’t resist potatoes.

Afterward, we just drove around some more.

Friday:

We had service for a guy who we had service for last week, because Hesperia fines people if they have weeds in their backyard, so nobody takes care of their weeds until the city is threatening their livelihood because natural man or something. I can’t blame them, they all purchase ten times more land than they can take care of, because it’s so fetching cheap.

That’s all I can remember of Friday. I know we did some weekly planning at some point.

Saturday:

Here’s where the clone thing comes in: I got to go on exchanges with Elder Brooksby, finally, and we are pretty much just clones of each other. Except he’s the clone of me because I’m older. We just spent the whole day talking about writing, drawing, books, My Little Pony and things of that nature, and we played some fun board games during free time we had. We literally walked for about 5 hours, if not more, so we had plenty of time to talk. It was a party.

Then, when I got back to the mansion, our house was filled with all sorts of random junk that a member from the Mojave River ward threw in our house after they moved out, because I guess they were too lazy to take it to the dump or something, so now we pretty much have to. Hurrah.

Sunday:

Mother’s day. Happy Mother’s day to all the mothers out there. I got to Skype home, so that was a party. That was pretty much our day, other than a roleplay that we did with the Sisters in preparation for a youth activity we’re doing.

Well, that’s all I can remember. HAGW. Have a good week.

Elder Jensen out.

Some Progression at Last

We got some new potentials this week, which is nice, seeing as both Santa Fe and Carbon Canyon hardly had any work for us. It was a pretty good week.

Guess what a forgot again?

Tuesday:

I gave a training in District Meeting about coming to know Christ more. That went well, I guess. We also went to this place called “Fresh Wok” for lunch, and that was tasty. It’s a cheaper version of Panda Express.

By the way, I also don’t have my planner, so I’m super unprepared.

I’m so sorry.

Wednesday:

We had some service helping this family move, and they’re dumb as rocks. The Relief Society President came up and asked them, “Hey, can we help you with your moving?”

“No,” she replied, “we’ve got the sister missionaries helping us.”

“Are you sure? We’d love to help!”

“No, it’s okay, the sister missionaries are coming to help!”

… Just so you know, it is not the missionaries’ job to help you move your house at the last second. It is our job to teach and baptize.

The service took all day too.

Thursday:

We had squash again and actually arrived pretty late, despite the fact that we live right next to the farm. We spent the whole time digging up weeds again.

After that, I can’t even remember. I have the worst memory in the 7 seas, I tell you.

It must not have been important, I guess…. I hope.

Friday:

We had some more service (I know, lots of service), but on the way to it, we passed this Mexican restaurant where we had eaten before and I said, “You guys want Mexican for lunch?”

Elder Ogbonna and Simmons replied that they didn’t have their wallets with them, so I said jokingly, “If you want to call my mom and ask her if it’s okay for me to buy you guys lunch, I’ll do it.”

“What’s your mom’s number?” asked Elder Ogbonna– now, here’s the thing: he didn’t expect me to actually tell him my mom’s number.

I proceeded to tell him my mother’s number, not expecting him to actually CALL.

“… Hi, is this Mrs. Jensen?”

The rest is history.

We pretty much had service all day, I think, because I know we didn’t do weekly planning.

Saturday:

Exchanges with Elder Smith, the zone leader. We went park contacting and ran into this guy who was the epitome of “When men are learned they think they are wise”. It was interesting. On the bright side, he didn’t bash on the church necessarily.

Also, whilst tracting, we met a lady named Alma (yes), who is a trucker, and she said she would be interested to learn more; she sounded very genuine, and gave us her number and we set up a time to come back, so we hope that pans out.

It was a weird day; all of our fore-plans fell through, but our back-up plans worked out great. Taught a few lessons.

Sunday:

Ah yes, a classic fast Sunday. It was a weird one. Lots of people got up and told their stories, which is never too fun to listen to unless they’re short, but I got the chance to bear my testimony and what not. Afterward, we studied, then went to breakfast for dinner at the Payne’s house. They’re such an awesome family. Sister Payne got stuck in her Australian accent for, like, 30 minutes (because she served in Australia on a mission) and she just couldn’t get out. It was hilarious.

Afterward, we weekly planned.

Well, there’s my week to the best of my ability. I hope you enjoyed yours!

Elder Jensen out.

 

On Sun, May 7, 2017 at 9:54 PM, Jim Jensen <jim.jensen@live.com> wrote:

Hi Jonah,

This weekend was fast day for our ward (and probably yours too). I was proud of our family today cause everyone fasted for Grandpa Abbott. His heart is still acting up and getting out of rhythm. Anna did what I think was probably her first fast. We had Mom’s famous marinated barbeque chicken to end it and it was awesome.

 Wow, that sounds pretty nice. We had breakfast for dinner with the Payne family.

I got to bear my testimony today and it was centered around my witness of God’s love for his children. This was something I learned to understand through my callings in the church. I am so grateful for the knowledge and to have a correct understanding of the characters and attributes of the Lord.

 That’s what I bore my testimony on too

This week is Wood Badge. It’s finally here. The weather looks like it’s going to be nice (probably cold at night in the canyon). I’m looking forward to it because of the spiritual aspect of it, but it is a big sacrifice: 4 vacation days from work and the better part of two Saturdays where I won’t be able to work around the house. And we have a lot to do around the house this year. Mom and I were talking today that we’ll save some of it until this fall so you can help us. Now that you know how to work and serve! 😊 In any case, I know heavenly father will bless our family because of our efforts.

 Ha ha, alright, fair enough.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what Mom said in one of her letters about how she was looking at the leaves on the trees and thinking that those are the leaves that will be on the trees when here Jonah comes home. What a poetic thought! It has really stuck with me and given me new appreciation for the green leaves.

 Ha ha, trunky thoughts.

Sounds like this last transfer really improved things for you. Now that you’re living in “the mansion”, do you want to send us your new address? What is “the mansion” anyway? Did you ever receive the letter about family history I mailed down to Chino Hills?

Mom has my new address. She sent us some water bottles! Thanks for that, by the way, Mom. The mansion is just a house where two sets of missionaries live, as opposed to an apartment. I did get the letter; I have yet to read it though.

How did things go with Teo this week? Did you get to see him again?

We did not.

I saw that Mom told you about Ari’s engagement. That was sort of a surprise, but not really. She’s a super nice and smart girl, but always a little different. Like today in testimony meeting she got up to bare here testimony and was so emotional (she didn’t really say why) that she could barely talk and grabbed some tissue and was covering her face. She never did really ever bare much of a testimony and then sat down. It was odd, but typical Ari.

 Ha ha, she’s funny.

Well, I guess next Sunday is Mother’s Day! We get to see you again! Have you made any plans for Skyping yet? I guess that’s something you’ll have to figure out ASAP and let us know in your email today. I guess we’ll just be ready to do whatever we did last time. You can Skype me at jim.jensen@live.com. We have church from 9-12, so any time after that. Probably best around 2-3 your time. Let us know.

 We still have not found a place to Skype yet, so I can’t let you know for certain.

Keep up the good work! You’re the best and I can’t wait to hear from you tomorrow.  All my love, Dad

On May 8, 2017, at 11:43 AM, Jonah David Jensen <jensen.jonah@myldsmail.net> wrote:

On Sun, May 7, 2017 at 9:06 PM, Susan Jensen <susan.jensen@hotmail.com> wrote:

Dear Jonah,
The end of the school year is fast approaching. Joel is going to go on a trip with Athen to California. Joel will have to miss school.
 Why are they going to California? 

Athen has a trip from work. He gets to take a guest. He’s taking Joel.
Hey, I remember you saying you wrote back to me after my last letter, but yours never came. Did you know your supposed to but the persons name at the top and the address user that? I noticed you do that backwards. The computer may not have been able to read it so it couldn’t send it. Did you send one?
 Dad explained that to me. I can’t remember if I did, honestly. I might not have. With all the transfers and what not, I can’t recall if I replied…. But I did get your letters and read them. 

Where did you have lunch the other day? Was that your companion that called or was it some other guy with an African accent? I was confused at first, then worried. I was just caught off guard. If you want to buy someone lunch you can just do it. I just wouldn’t do it regularly.
 Yeah, it was Elder Ogbonna, ha ha. I’ll explain that in my e-mail.  

I saw an interesting video on what “green pastures ” means in the scriptures. In the holy land there is and area of land that one of the names they call it is green pastures. It’s not green at all. The guy goes on to describe why the scriptures don’t actually mean that the Lord leads us to a place of ease where all we need is around us without work. The actual place they are talking about was in this video and he is a guide who does tours there. The land is rocky, dirt, seems dry and not green. He says the air has moisture. It comes in from the Mediterranean Sea. It get some rainfall but not much. If you look around each rock there is a small amount of moisture that accumulates and small amounts of grass will grow. The shepherds lead there flock along these steep mountainous trails and the sheep eat this grass as the walk. Little bits at a time. It’s work but it is sufficient. He says that’s like the Lord. If we follow his voice he will not give us all we need at once but sufficient for the day and bits at a time. It’s work. I found this interesting.
Wow, that’s super deep. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing.

Well that’s about it for me. I’ll talk to you if we can in email tomorrow. BTW Ari is engaged. I was surprised!
 Oh, wow, that’s unexpected. Is she getting married soon? Somebody from this ward knows the Whites and said there was a marriage happening soon or something, but I wasn’t sure if it was in there family or not. 

I’m not sure when it is. I had no idea she was even dating. He’s not a very big guy. He looks a bit small next to her.

Love you always!
Mom