Monday, July 17, 2017

last one, people. He's comin' home!

What I sent to my mission president.

Dear President Bingham,
Well this is only my third email to you but it looks like it is my last. I am so grateful for the time that I have got to spend here in the Sydney South mission! I have learned more than I thought I would, and I have truly been changed by the Gospel, my mission, and my Savior Jesus Christ.  I have had many sacred experiences throughout my mission that have wrought this mighty change upon me! I can't really say that there has been one single event in my mission that has caused me to change, but it has been many different occasions and experiences that have changed me slowly but surely. Without my mission I know that I would be nothing. This experience has shaped my life for the eternities. I have come to learn how to live the Gospel more fully in my life and I have seen the blessings that have come from it. I have gained a strong testimony of the small and simple things. I am a lot more prepared to live a Gospel centered life than I was before my mission. I have always had the tools to live it, but now I have the knowledge and the experience which I was lacking. I have turned my testimony of this Gospel into a knowledge. I truly know that the Lord restored His church on the Earth today through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that this is the truth. I know that because I have put in the work necessary to obtain that testimony. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I have had so many spiritual experiences with the Book of Mormon, time and time again. The Spirit continues to testify of its truthfulness to me. I know that Jesus Christ truly did live and die for me. I have truly felt the power of His Atonement in my life. When I repent I truly feel the weight of my sins taken off my shoulders, and a sense of calm peace comes over me. There is no way I would feel that way if there wasn't actually an Infinite and Eternal sacrifice. One of the greatest things I was able to experience was working with a man named Byron in one of my areas. This man had been living a life completely opposite to what we teach in our church. When we met him he was on his way back to living a good life.  We gave this man a blessing to help him quit smoking and what do ya know, it worked. At that point I was like wow, the priesthood is so real and Heavenly Father is right beside us helping His work move forward. Then time went on and he got baptized and received the priesthood. One day I was with my companion in a fish n chips shop that Byron's mom worked at. She told us how grateful she was for our help in Byron's life. She went on to say that they had tried everything with him, they had even taken him to other churches and what not but nothing seemed to work. She said that she could see a complete change in Byron and that he was a new person. I remember I just wanted to cry while she was telling us about Byron's life and who he used to be. I was blown away with how much of a miracle that this guy had been. At this point I had realized how true this Church really is. Only the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Priesthood could bring to pass such a mighty change in someone like this. Through this experience and countless others I am certain that God and Jesus Chris do live and they love us so much! I have fallen in love with this Gospel and all it has to offer. I really geek out when it comes to the Gospel. I am grateful that I have learned how to study and increase my knowledge. I have a firm testimony of learning through the Spirit. Without the Holy Ghost my studies would be nothing, but with the Holy Ghost I have been able to learn more than I ever could on my own. This skill is something I am so grateful I have acquired! President I truly would be nothing without my mission, I can't say that enough. I have given the Lord a bread crumb and in return He has given me a loaf of bread. I feel like I have received way more from my mission than I ever put in. I am truly converted to Jesus Christ and His Gospel. I will always remember your advice you gave me, to be the person I have become. I will remember that and I will continue to keep doing the things that I have learned for my mission. I refuse to let these things I have learned go to waste. I will apply what I have learned. I will cherish these 2 years forever. I love you President and I sustain you with all my heart. 
Elder Jenson

Monday, July 10, 2017

two weeks, people...

Far out two weeks left.

- We went and played some mini golf for Pday which was pretty fun not gonna lie haha. I won too so that was cool.

-Had a FHE with the Perry family on the southside of Canberra which was really nice because it was last second haha.

-Drove up to Sydney for a meet and greet with the Binghams! It was so good to get to meet them and hear about them and who they are. Sister Bingham is pretty homesick and I felt bad for her haha I just wanted to give her a hug! We all got interviewed by him too which was sweet. The guy loves eye contact and he just stares into your soul haha he told me that he can tell I will be good when I go home and that I will do just fine, so that was comforting to hear. 

-We had a solid lesson with Layne and we committed him to baptism on the 29th of July and to come to church. He accepted both and he came to church on Sunday so that was sick! 

-We had a huge turnout to institute which was really good. It is good to see some progress with the YSA.

-We had a good lesson with Jordan Amosa about the Sacrament. Elder Lammi and him just went song for song on the piano so that was fun to watch haha they are both way good at playing piano and guitar! Jordan is self taught too. He can just listen to a song and then play it. 

-We did a big service project for David Amosa (Jordan's dad). We wheel burrowed heaps of wood chips, rocks, and dirt into his backyard so that was a good day of some manual labor! 

- Had dinner again with the Perry's on the southside and we were able to meet with the whole family this time which was good. We played a fun game before our lesson with them called "Speak Out". I definitely want to buy that when I get home haha. Look it up, it is crack up.

- We had mini mission over the weekend so we had Tj Sione with us for the weekend. We took him to do some service, door knocking and we tried to do some teaching but no one was home so that was a bummer. He seemed to enjoy it though so that was good :) 

Some awesome advice I got from my mission president this week in my interview was "to be the person I have become when I get home". I loved that advice and it is exactly what I needed to hear! I know that if I just be the person that my mission/the Gospel has formed me into, then I will be just fine. The Gospel has shaped me into a much better man and for that I am eternally grateful! I love this Gospel and what it can do for people and I love my mission and what it has done for me and taught me. Next  week is my final group email and I will just send you the one I send to my mission president because I have to send a big one to him reporting on my mission so I will send it to you guys as well! Love you have a good week! 

Elder Jenson

Monday, July 3, 2017

how many days? 22.

We are halfway through the transfer... I think I can smell Utah ;) Here are some highlights from the week.

- Had a solid visit with the Sione family! One of their sons (Fa'alelei) is one of our YSA that we have been trying to work with. He is such a solid guy, he just has footy all the time which is why we aren't able to meet up as much as we would like. He had footy off this week so we were able to catch up and share a meal and a lesson with him. 

- Had a final DTM with President and Sister Back. They toured around the whole mission for their last 3 weeks and met with each district. We had such a solid training by both of them and it was so good to get to see them one more time before they go. I love them and I am grateful for their service these past 3 years. They definitely deserve a rest haha.

- We trained at the gym with David Dwyer which was so sick! Later that morning we met back up with him after studies and had a good lesson with him about service and reaching outside himself. The dude is a beast at the gym too just so ya know hahaha.

- A new YSA just moved down to Canberra from Brisbane. He is cousins with Ezra and Julius. He hooked us up with some mean haircuts so now I look way more presentable haha.

- We were able to finally sit down and have a lesson with Ezra and Julius. We were more trying to focus it on Ezra because he goes on his mission a week before I come home. We are wanting to re activate Julius too because he is the key for YSA success down here. He does everything he should be doing, he just chooses to work on Sundays, so hopefully we can fix that. The next day he took us out to dinner and dessert too so that was sick.

- We had a good FHE with the Belconnen ward YSA at the new YSA parent's house. We played some good games which I was cracking up at haha and we had 2 non members there that we are hoping will be keen for some lessons soon! 

Here is some of the best advice I have received on my mission. This is the recipe for activity in the church from the main man Pres Back himself. Here ya go,
1. Pray every single day, multiple times a day. Always keep a prayer in your heart!
2. Read the scriptures every single day, especially the Book of Mormon. Hold on to the Iron rod and you won't go astray in the mists of darkness.
3.Seek first the Kingdom of God. Fulfill your duties in the church and the Lord will provide for you.
4. Attend the Temple once a week. The blessings that come from that are incredible! I already had the experience of that before I came on my mission so I know it works and I want to continue that when I get home. the temple is the place where we can go with our problems and questions, and receive the answers/direction that we need from the Lord. Live too far away from the temple? Here is a solution for ya :) Make time once a week to go to a solitary place that is like a "temple" for 1-2 hours to pray and ponder so that the Lord can direct you more in your life. 

I know that this recipe is going to work so it is exactly what I am going to follow when I get home. It really isn't that hard and if you set goals, make plans, and do all you can to make them happen then you will be able to do these 4 simple things. The Lord lives and this is truly His church. Love you all have a good week :) 

Elder Jenson