Elder Kyle Jensen

Elder Kyle Jensen
I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am serving and sharing the Gospel in Las Vegas, Nevada until April 2015

Friday, November 29, 2013

Being Grateful


This has been the most successful and effective transfer of my mission by a long-shot.  Not only were we constantly engaged in the work, but we were seeing success in our work.  I am grateful for the opportunity that I had to witness so many incredible miracles-even though I did not always play a role in bringing them about.  There is no way that I ever could have comprehended how much love that I could have for God’s children.  I am truly blessed and although I am still facing trials, I am at peace.  One of the greatest blessing from your letter this week (letter from mom)  was the awakening that came from your reminder to me of my impatience.  Although I didn’t seem to recognize this before, I am very impatient.  Just last week I found myself complaining about how impatient Elder Silata is.  It never even crossed my mind that the real issue was my own impatience.  This week I have strived to be more patient.  Although I am still impatient my patience was increased and as a result, so has my love for others-chiefly for my companion (but even for myself).

Nina & The Pharisee Children


With the increase of teaching experiences, that I’ve had these last few weeks, there have been many moments that I thought might offer a new perspective on missionary work.  I hope to capture a few of them in this entry:

NINA & The Pharisee Children:
Note:  This particular entry is somewhat fictional-the events are true and the people are real, however I have portrayed several experiences in one visit to capture the spirit of these visits rather than to accurately record the facts.

I have a tendency to envision Christ’s legendary ministry recored in 3 Nephi as I go about my missionary service.  I often find myself attempting to live up to some degree of Christ’s example of teaching.  However, sometimes it is a little shocking to witness the contrast between the teaching environments I find myself in here and the one described in 3 Nephi 17(feel free to take a moment to study this chapter-it should add a good background to what I’m about to share):

As we approached the door of our newest investigator, Nina, with Brother Day, I briefed him “Nina is a 21 year old African American women that we street contacted about a week ago.  Her mother was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and we gave her a Priesthood blessing.  Nina was interested in hearing more, so we taught her the restoration and she said she wanted to be baptized.  She came to the Trunk or Treat with us last night and she had a good experience.   She said, “Do all of these people go to your church?  The people here are so nice”.
Then Nina came to the door...
There was a pause-a moment of shock as we tried to get past her appearance.  She looked awful!  She was exhausted and she looked it.  She was wearing the same outfit as the previous night, except I would have guessed that she had endured a week-long pioneer trek since last night.  Initially she was a little cranky with us, but after a few minutes of us reassuring her that our message was important, her appearance didn’t matter, and that we would be brief and to the point, she permitted us to enter.  We stepped over Cool-Aid spills, dirty clothes, rejected toys and random morsels of food as we made our way through the entry way and to the living room couches.  We sat down reluctantly and I thought, “what happened?”-suddenly Nina’s 2 year old son, Jordan power-slid across the tile floor.  Then he proceeded to break-dance across the rug, gradually making his way to the fireplace which would become his stage as he performed a new form of interpretive dance.  Note:  Nina explained that Jordan had woken up at 8 am and had eaten his entire bag of candy from the previous night.  Nina had awoken to his rampage to find a pile of wrappers awaiting her.  She sighed and shook her head.  I glanced at my watch, noted it was 4 pm, then joined her.  Then, as if on cue, a merry band of toddlers paraded into the room-all of which were naked (stripped down to the diapers)-with an 11 month old baby crawling behind them.  As we taught the lesson- or at least attempted to teach it- we found ourselves yelling over the crowd of “Pharisee” children.  We didn’t stand much of a chance.  One of them was trying to pry my copy of the Book of Mormon from my hands, while another dragged off my backpack to the other room.  I looked over to my companion and saw that he wasn’t having much luck either.  He had given his scriptures to one of the kids and sat there completely oblivious as the little boy took his pen and began to decorate them with his version of “modern art”. (Either that or he had decided to make a few changed to the scriptures that were conveniently in his favor)  Jordan then wedged his way between my companion and I on the couch and dug his hand into the space between the cushions.  After a minute of digging he emerged from the pillowy abyss and waved a small, green plastic rectangle triumphantly in the air for all to see. 
“I found it”, he exclaimed. 
Although nobody seemed to have a clue what this mysterious treasure actually was (perhaps not even Jordan knew what he was holding), he certainly did find it.
Brother Day-who had become a little distracted at this point-took this opportunity to ask, “So, what do you have in that fish tank over there?”
Nina responded “There were some fish in it.  But now there is just an algae feeder-she then paused and began tapping the glass.  “He’s been there a few days without moving...looks like he’s a goner as well”.  Nina glanced at Jordan, and strangely there was no need for her to say anymore.  Without warning a clothes hanger cam flying from an unseen hand somewhere on the other side of the house.  The hanger smote Brother Day’s knee and then dramatically fell to the floor.  All eyes turned to a two year old boy standing in the corner at least 30 feet away.  “He has a good aim”, I said astonished.  “He does have good aim”, Brother Day admitted.  At that point, the front door flew open and the house was flooded with people of all ages.  Apparently Nina had a lot of family.  Pretty soon the house was filled with noise-Yes, even more noise than before.  A group of teenagers were having some kind of tea party in the kitchen while others gathered around the television.  Somewhere from upstairs, music blasted throughout the house while Nina’s cousin started working on a a tattoo.  I looked over to my companion and was unsure whether he was more enticed by the television or by the cookie dough that a 6 year old boy (who had just arrived) was trying to sell him.  At this point Jordan was celebrating his archeological discovery with plan-of-salvation-pamphlet-confetti.  Which had been produced by the kids in the other room (who were now enjoying my backpack).  They were more efficient than any paper-shredder I have ever seen!  The only problem was that they were developing their unnatural and unusual talents by practicing on something purchased by the widow’s mite.  (Not just that, but there is something very wrong with a gang of kids tearing up pictures of Jesus)  Although I rarely understand what goes on in Elder Siilata’s head, what he did next still amazes me.  He opened up his backpack and pulled out a bag of candy.  The children ran to him and he carefully distributed one piece to each of them.   A few moments later a fight broke out as four of the kids fought over a pack of skittles.  I looked over to the corner of the room and noticed that Jordan had managed to sneak away and was not sitting in the corner of the room with a pile of candy it appeared that somehow he had obtained everyone else’s rations without their knowledge.  He now sat there comfortably in the corner enjoying his spoils as the other children engaged in some kind of Toddler death match.   Two of them seemed to be preparing the littlest one to be used as a burnt offering in their heathen ritual.  Another boy turned to us and began barking swear words at us as though he were possessed by a legion of unclean spirits.  For a brief moment my mind drifted to the nearby pig farm (it wasn’t hard-the odor was quite powerful that particular day).  I supposed that if the pigs were to run away then the city of North Las Vegas would be forever grateful.  Just to be sure that these children really were possessed, we ought to have a bound them with chains and fetters for the remainder of the lesson.  If they broke free then we would know that there really was issuing.  I might have suggested it too if missionaries had such resources.  At about this time, Nina’s mother, an afflicted old woman whom we had given a blessing of healing to in a previous visit-began issuing commands from her bedroom.  It appeared that not only was she feeling better, but that she was now well enough to order Nina around.  She requested a special rendition of “cup of noodles”-and her word was final.  Our lesson came to an abrupt end-probably as we reached the scripture Matthew 19:14.  After that lesson, all I can say is if the kingdom of heaven is anything like what I witnessed in Nina’s home, then I might consider reserving a room in the other kingdom.  With my blasphemy I might earn myself a booth there anyway.  
Prior to this lesson, I never could have anticipated such terrible opposition nor comprehended how anyone could teach or learn in such an environment.  Now, I am beginning to understand that children-as sweet and innocent as they may appear-can be powerful tools of the devil in bringing about the destruction of mankind.  I would like to have a word with the prophet Moroni concerning chapter 8, verse 22.  Personally, I feel that Matthew 7:15-16 might more accurately describe what I witnessed in this home.  They may have been in sheep’s clothing-but their behavior certainly did not bear any resemblance to that of a sheep.  That is unless we are comparing them to some kind of terribly mutated werewolf sheep-but that is another subject entirely. 
~Elder Jensen~

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Transfer This Week

I am being transferred tomorrow to Warm Springs to serve in the Las Palmas ward. My new companions' names are Elder Butler and Elder Phipps. I'm not sure who they are or why I am getting 2 companions, but this will be interesting. I'm still a junior companion as well - I'm hoping that there will be two junior companions and one senior companion, because I don't think that I can handle two senior companions bossing me around. According to my zone leader who served in this ward I am going to, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's son was the previous Bishop in this ward. Also, this is the area where President and Sister Neider live, so hopefully I will get to see them a lot more. Other than that, I don't really know anything about what is going to happen tomorrow, or this week, or this transfer. I am pretty nervous about having two new companions in a new area (I've basically been in the same area for 7 and a half months since I can see my old area every week in Shadow Creek - we meet in the same church building and everything - I go to their baptisms and we talk to their members occasionally). Hopefully this change will be good (I don't handle change well). 
As for Thanksgiving, I was going to have dinner with about 4 different families (you can't just say no to your favorite members or to your investigators, or to less active members that you're trying to fellowship). But now I don't have any plans - or at least I don't know them... I hope that you have an enjoyable thanksgiving.

Elder Jensen

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bishop Rex Visits

I had a great visit with Bishop Rex last week. He brought us to Five Guys and we talked with him about our missionary experiences and about Ryan's experiences. It felt really weird to talk to him. It made me miss home a little bit, but fortunately things have been really busy so I didn't have enough time to get distracted by the visit. 


I got to go on exchanges to another ward for their trunk or treat and so this year I get to go to two. I have to be the chili cook off judge for both of them. I saw lots of neat costumes. The Bishop dressed up as a pinata and his wife hit him with a baseball bat as he walked through the costume parade and then at the end he busted open his belly and a pile of candy fell out. Then a swarm of children gobbled up the candy. I've never seen so many crock pots in my life - I literally only had one spoonful of each one and by the end I was full (probably 50 crock pots). There was one of them with caution tape on it called "the death chili". It fried off my taste buds for about 20 minutes (it had some ridiculous peppers in it).
Sincerely,
Elder Kyle Jensen

Friday, September 27, 2013

Every Member a Missionary and Service



In your email, you mentioned that the missionaries in your ward were struggling to find investigators.  We have run into similar problems here.  It is very difficult to find people who are friendly enough to talk to us, let alone let us into their home.  Recently there were some thugs show dressed up as LDS missionaries and robbed a man at gunpoint.  People have been even more unpleasant to talk to since then (when they don’t avoid us, they can be very rude).  So far every investigator that I have taught that came to use through street contacting (our own finding efforts) has dropped us after the first lesson.  The really sincere investigators almost always come through members of the ward-which is difficult because traditionally, members view the role of missionaries to be the finders.  The way I see it, the church is pushing more and more towards the idea that the members are the real missionaries, and the full-time missionaries are there mainly to assist in the work of the members.  So far on my mission, I have found that doing service for the members of the ward can be a really effective way to gain the trust of the members, which ultimately leads to teaching opportunities (whether it means they will be more willing to give us referrals, or if they are more willing to assist us in our efforts to find and teach, or even if it simply means that the Lord will bless the ward in one way or another).  I have done all kins of yard work for different members and investigators (although the most popular service has been been helping people load and unload moving vans).  I have to say that I am truly grateful for all of the work that I did at home.  I’m grateful that dad always made me help out with yard work and various other projects.  I am also grateful that Brother Mackay involved me in his yard work and other projects.  Because of those lessons that I learned, I was able to bless the lives of those whom I have met in the mission field.  Anyways, I am glad to hear that dad and Tyler have been involved in reaching out to investigators.  I am also glad to hear about all of the family’s involvement in missionary work.  It gives me a stronger testimony that families and individuals can change.  I know that I can change.  I can become more open and friendly with people-perhaps even outgoing.
Ether 12:27
In regards to the topic of service and its relations to missionary work, I have this to say:
1 Corinthians 13:1
Teaching, even when it is done masterfully, can only accomplish so much.  It has its limits.  At the end of the day our words will fade out of the minds of our investigators like a tinkling cymbal or sounding brass.  However, when we genuinely serve an individual-perhaps through the sweat of hard labor-their hearts are touched and they are forever changed.  Our actions have the potential to demonstrate charity in ways that words can never truly capture.  Ultimately it is our actions that bring us unto Christ.  Therefore it is through our actions that others may witness Christ’s love for them.  This is a plain and precious truth that I have learned.
~Elder Kyle Jensen~

Here is a link if you would like to know more about the Las Vegas robbery that he mentions in his letter:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/20/us/nevada-robbery/index.html

Reflection on Mission Experiences


One evening as my companion and I approached the apartment of a man whom we had talked to on the street earlier that day, one of the residents on the ground level yelled up to us “Good luck with that house” and laughed, while another mocked, “He’s definitely not interested”.   Although these rude remarks invited a burden of discouragement and even fear, a voice in my mind whispered “that is a good indicator that we are at the right house”, followed by a burning desire to serve the man who lived there.  I thought about Christ and recognized that his ministry was amongst sinners.   EVeryone has need of the Atonement, but Christ chose to be amongst those who were despised and rejected of men.  They were the ones who would receive Him; Christ could only dwell with those who were humble enough to accept His love.  Before the man even opened his door, I knew that he would invite us in.  When he did open his door, we were surprised to see that it was not the man we had talked to earlier.  This man was even more scraggly.  Nevertheless, he accepted our invitation to have a prayer with him. Inside his home he opened up and told us a little about his precious life.   To give just a basic image of his lifestyle I will mention that he was at one point a drug dealer and that he has spent some time in prison.  To be honest, he didn’t really need to tell us these things, because they were implied by his appearance, the appearance of his apartment, and by the appearance of his friend who we met earlier.  Regardless of his demeanor, I observed within him a sincere desire to come to know His Savior and Redeemer.  And what the spirit of the Lord taught me in this moment is perhaps best described by the scripture “thus the Lord did begin to pour out his spirit upon them; and we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name”(Alma 19:36).  We taught this man about Christ and about prayer.  We shared our testimonies and asked him the question “If Christ were here, what would you ask of him?”-to which he responded, “I would ask him to help my mother with her trials right now” (I do not recall what it was she needed help with, but the point is that what he asked for was for someone other that himself).  I then proceeded to offer a prayer for this man and his family.  Although I do not recall the words that I spoke, I recall the deep sincerity that I felt and the power of the Holy Ghost that was woven into every work.  If I were to open my eyes, I would have expected to see Christ administering to this man.  As I consider the amount of faith that I had that evening and my connection with the Holy Ghost in those hours of pure service, I am left in awe.  I never could have imagined the ways in which the Lord can work through me.  It is truly wonderful to participate in this great work of salvation.  

To accompany my previous experience, I would like to relate an experience that I had earlier the same day.  As we visited with an investigator and recent converts, we met up with a member of Elder Fischer’s ward.  The member accompanied us to a few of our lessons.  In the lessons, because of the stressful nature of these short visits and my timid nature, I participated much less than I ought to have.  However, when I did speak, I testified boldly of Christ and of the truth of the Book of Mormon.  I spoke with power-the power of the Holy Ghost-and I touched the hearts of all those who were present.  Afterwards, the member told me “you had the most important things to say in there, you need to make sure that you say them.  Don’t let others take over the lesson, you need to make your voice heard”.  Since that moment, those words have echoed in my mind over and over again.  I have come to regard these words as the counsel of the Lord, and it has become my quest to give heed to them.
~Elder Kyle Jensen~

A Day Serving with the Zone Leader



On Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder Poteet, my zone leader.  And as expected, it turned out to be a truly blessed day.   One initial observation that I made regarding this particular day is that the Lord blessed us with unusual success.  Many of the people whom we had previously attempted to contact were available, and many people that we met on the street were receptive to our message.  I believe that the Lord blessed us with these people because we had prepared ourselves to serve them. 
One of the sacred experiences that I had with Elder Poteet came as we street contacted a disinterested and somewhat intimidating man.  As the man bluntly rejected us, a young boy around the age of 8 passed by us on his scooter.  When he observed his neighbor’s response, he approached us and innocently said, “you can talk to my parents about Jesus!”  I suspected that his parents would not appreciate him bringing us over to talk with them, however, I was touched by the smile on his bright young face and by the sweetness of the words that had just proceeded from his mouth.  So I put aside my expectation of the uncomfortable nature of the situation that I would soon find myself in, and we asked the boy to lead us to his parents.  He led us a few houses down and then went inside to get them.  A brief moment later, an unhappy man came out to talk to us (he greatly resembled the last man we spoke with-covered in tattoos and piercings, shirtless, and he had a lot of facial hair).  We offered to say a prayer for him and his family and he told us that he was unreligious and shoed us away.  Before we left we handed him a picture of Jesus and asked him to give it to his son.  There was no baptisms or discussions that resulted from this experience, yet it was precious to me because it reminded me why I am a missionary.  There is sorrow in my heart as I consider the line from a familiar hymn “searching in darkness nations have wept” (264) and associate it with this young boy’s face, however, there is a hope in my heart that one day this boy will come to know Christ as His Savior, as I know Him.  In this moment I found a renewed determination to serve the Lord more faithfully by going out of my way to share my testimony of Christ with others.  I desire to proclaim that the truth has be restored, the dawn has come, and we are with the rising sun. Christ has risen, He lives, and He will come again.
~Elder Kyle Jensen~

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Posts on Kyle's Blog

Note from mom:
I fell a little behind on the E-mail's and Journal Entries that Kyle had been.  So this is my attempt to catch up.

Becoming A Missionary: July 7, 2013



Today I write concerning a matter that has been on my mind since I was set apart as a missionary on April 15, 2013.   In my blessing President Wight mentioned that I would be blessed with opportunities to develop my talents.  Although I could not comprehend what he had meant at that time, that statement stood out to me and has remained in my thoughts ever since that evening.  I believe that I have finally come to understand what the Lord meant.  Over the course of these last two months, I have improved in my musical talents by practicing the organ and the piano.  I have expanded my athletic capacities by participating in the morning sports (getting up at 5:30 a.m. to play sports at the park) and by biking.  I have improved in my social skills by communicating with a wide range of people.  I have expanded my doctrinal understanding and knowledge as well as my general study skills as a result of the many hours of studying that I have completed.  I have improved my teaching skills, as well as my public speaking skills.  I have strengthened my testimony.  I have improved in my writing abilities.  I have become less picky in my diet and more appreciative of meals that others prepare and share with me.  I have done many difficult things and carried burdens that I never thought I could.  I have learned to care about other people more than myself-and to think about them and even understand how they think.  I have made friends.  I have overcome emotional barriers and negative mindsets.   
Work is very closely knit with the concept of happiness because heaven is a state of mind that comes through progression.  God has said that his “Work” and “Glory” comes from bringing about the immortality and eternal life of man(Moses 1:39)  Note 3:  See “Things How they really Are” –David A. Bednar, “The importance of Work” Chapter 27, Gospel Principles Manual)  To achieve this degree of glory as high as God’s, we must in turn work as he does.  I imagine that transforming a natural and carnal man into an eternally progressing and spiritually glorified man is not an easy task.  (I suspect it would require an incredible amount of work).  As I have consecrated and separated myself from worldly distractions and sought to lose myself in all forms of work, I have discovered my many hidden and suppressed talents.  I am not boasting of them, for I recognize that I’m not all that great at any of the things listed earlier when comparing myself to others, but rather to myself.  I am measuring my own personal progression, acknowledging that joy I have experienced, and rejoicing in the greatness of my God for blessing me with opportunities to develop these talents.  As I have developed this more positive mindset, my obedience has been less strict, keeping in mind that I am still striving to be obedient, (I just don’t despair when I sleep in 2 minutes in the morning) however, my heart has been more fully behind my actions and my mind has been at peace as I have recognized my progression.   My progression has accelerated and I have experienced a greater level of happiness.  By allowing myself to progress, I have a greater level of happiness.  By allowing myself to progress, I have opened myself up to future opportunities to help others progress.  (I speak of selfish interests rather than selfishness).
While all missionaries are physically removed from the worldly distractions I mentioned earlier, not all missionaries remove the distractions from their hearts or their minds.   
~Elder Jensen~

Testimony of Preach My Gospel


 7/15/13
Something that I’be wanted to mention for a while is that I think the family would benefit fro reading/studying the Preach My Gospel lessons.  I especially think that this would be beneficial because of Tyler’s upcoming baptism, as well as the family’s involvement in the missionary lessons.  Also, I believe that the missionaries will continue to use you in lessons because they have become familiar with you and witnessed your testimonies.  Not only will reading Preach My Gospel help you to be Missionary minded, but it will bring many other blessings.  The Lord will bless you with missionary opportunities if you are prepared for them.  I believe that there was a general authority who stated that Preach my Gospel was the most divine and inspired thing to be released by the Church since the Doctrine and Covenants.  Anyways, I just wanted to share that.

7/18/13
This is the guidance that I received as I reflected on some troubling experiences.  It is directed towards myself, however, it is possible that others might benefit from it.

If you want to have “Preach My Gospel” Missionary experiences, than you need to become a “Preach My Gospel” Missionary.  Learn obedience and humility.  Be obedient to the counsel of your inspired leaders-but obey for the right reasons.  Do what you are asked because you want to, because you have a testimony of it.  Don’t do it for any other reason.  If you don’t have a testimony of it or cannot understand the reason for it, do it until you do.  Pray for understanding, pray for a testimony.  Trust in the Lord, and prepare to receive answers and they will come-they will be made visible.  Know that the answers are simple-don’t expect anything greater than what you have already received in the past.  Chances are, the Lord will continue to answer your prayers in the same manner that he has in the past-not as he answers other’s prayers. 
~Elder Jensen~


Journal Entry 7/1/13


Out of the Furnace: Blessings come from enduring trials.
This evening we experienced divine intervention in the form of Sister Stevens spending an hour discussing missionary work with us.  She began brainstorming solutions to our lack of success and productivity. I realized that it was not enough for me to receive guidance, but that both of us needed to receive the same revelation. As we headed back, I discovered a thumb tack in my front tire.   Out of my flawed logic, I of course resolved to remove the thumb tack (Elder H of course would have told me to leave it in).  Within seconds my bike tire was almost entirely deflated and we realized that we would have to walk to the nearest member’s home and ask them for a ride back to our own home.  On the way home, the member explained to us his conversion story.  The story served as an inspiring reminder of my purpose as a missionary.   Once we returned home, Elder H helped me to repair my bike tire.  As I finished working on repairing my tire, Elder H prayed for guidance from the Lord.  As I walked into the other room to join him, I immediately was touched by the presence of the Holy Ghost.   The presence of the spirit was strong and it guided us to seek revelations from the Lord as a companionship.  As we pondered and prayed, we reached a point of silence where each of us began to be taught by the Holy Ghost.  After a time Elder H told me of the answer he had received.   Essentially it was the same exact revelation that I had received in the past as well as again this evening.  If we had completed and implemented our companionship constitution (and it had been successful) then it would have accomplished what we discussed this evening.  However, what I realized was that my insights were meaningless until Elder Hearn could receive the same revelation for himself.   Together we can help each other overcome these challenges and we can become the missionaries that the Lord needs (as well as the missionaries that this poor struggling ward needs).  I am the one with the flat tire, but it is hindering both of us, and it is delaying the Lord’s work.  I need Elder H’s help to repair this tire so that we get moving again.  Neither of us can overcome these challenges alone, but together, we can be representatives of Jesus Christ.  The famine is about to end.  Our prayers are being answered.  There is truly no greater happiness than that which follows the recognition of an answered prayer and a fulfilled blessing.

Journal Entry 6/27/13


The Furnace of Affliction
“For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction” (1 Nephi 20:10, see Isaiah 48:10).  Today I join Nephi by quoting the words of the prophet Isaiah.  For today truly was a furnace of affliction, both literally and figuratively.  I have never experience such intense heat in my life-I truly felt as though I were in a furnace, and it did not help that we had to bike today.  We brought in the car to the dealership for a recall on a computer part in the car.  We expected to be without the car for a few hours at the most.  However, as we went throughout the day (on our bikes) we were contacted by the dealership and then informed that one of the pistons I the engine was misfiring-which essentially meant that we would be without the car for about a week.   The news was even worse because this next week (starting today) is supposed to reach record breaking temperatures.  In addition, the other car in our district is also currently at the dealership for repairs (leaving us with quite a lot of inconvenience as far as traveling is concerned-especially when taking into consideration the amount of traveling we do on Sundays and Mondays (between Church meetings and grocery shopping, etc.). 
Note:  In addition to losing the car-we lost our meal calendar and tomorrow’s dinner appointment cancelled (all of these events happened within the space of about 10min).
As we left a members home that we visit something very peculiar happened (I might even call it a miracle at the expense of Elder H); Elder H suddenly crashed while riding his bike in the middle of the road (it was a less-busy neighborhood street).  Although it is still unclear what caused him to suddenly collapse in the road (considering that there was nothing around him-he sort of just tipped (over), I am grateful that he did (and not because I was happy to see him suffer).
This little accident seemed to have a profound impact on him.   This was evident by his reaction, which was an immediate outburst of resolute cheerfulness (there is a possibility that he finally snapped and crossed the line into insanity).  In this moment my eyes were cleansed and my vision returned to me so that I could perceive Elder H as the Savior sees him-by his virtue.  I suppose that this even may have humbled Elder H with its awakening effect, because there was a very obvious change that occurred in his conviction to the work.  Initially he suggested that we should go to Wal-Mart and purchase some new pants (since he had just ruined the ones he was wearing), and then return to the apartment for a break (especially since we were miserable and couldn’t find anything to do other than knock on doors of absent members’ homes).  However, Elder H than changes his mind and decided that it would be better to take care of those things later and he resolved that we would continue to labor in the Lord’s vineyard despite his “battle scars”, as he called them, and his slightly shocking appearance (it was quite obvious that he had taken a spill).  I was willing to support his decision either way, however, I was fonder of this decision.  Over the course of the day, we saw very little success come from our labors and our afflictions.  However, we continued to press onwards and I began to finally recognize Elder H’s strengths rather than his weaknesses.  I began to finally excuse his mistakes and see beyond his superficial flaws.  I began to see his potential as a servant of the Lord and I gained insights into how I could better work with him.  Our companionship improved.  Our obedience improved.  Our missionary work improved.  The Holy Ghost once again returned to our companionship.  We were refined by the furnace of affliction that we endured today.  And as ridiculous as it may sound, these trials allowed me to experience a greater degree of happiness as a result.   I am beginning to understand why Job might have felt inspired to praise the Lord and give thanks rather than curse Him for his afflictions.   I am beginning to comprehend the purpose of mortality.
~Elder Jensen~

8/26/13


This was a better week. I have received many blessings, and I have been able to acknowledge the Lord's hand in my life. My companionship has been gradually improving, and we have been able to become more engaged in the work. It has not been easy, but I have been making progress. I suppose it never was meant to be easy though.
Summer is about over. The schools in Las Vegas opened up today. I had the opportunity to participate in giving a few different father's blessings for students returning to school. 
It is odd that it has been dry there because this last week has been really overcast here. We have gotten as low as the 80's several times and it has even rained a few times. Last night it rained a lot and the wash was full of water (the wash is the giant storm drain that I sent you a picture of last week). The wash turned into a river and my companion wanted to jump in and float down it in an inner tube. 
(I told him about the three service activities that we did in the ward this summer and shared with him the experiences that our family had with it)
I am impressed by the missionaries in your ward. It sounds like they are really working hard and doing a good job at working with the members of the ward. Those kinds of activities rarely turn out as great as the one portrayed in The District DVDs. But I think that God acknowledges all of your efforts and that He is pleased with them. I have no doubt that the Lord will bless your ward with more missionary opportunities because if nothing else, that experience strengthened the relationship between the ward and the missionaries and earned the trust of God. I'm grateful that you shared your missionary experience and for the example that you have set for me. It has strengthened my own faith that I can do more to serve my ward.
I have learned that the members of the ward are so much better at finding and converting investigators than missionaries are. I am more and more convinced as my mission has gone on that missionaries are called to assist the members of the ward rather than the ward assisting the missionaries. 

Sincerely, Elder Jensen

8/12/13


Here is a picture of Brother Fernandez's baptism. He is was an investigator that was baptized my first week in the Shadow Creek ward. I never got to teach him (and I only met him the day before his baptism - just enough time for him to ask me to give a talk at his baptism). 


New Companion/Ward 7/22/13


I was assigned to serve in the Shadow-Creek Ward with Elder Kyle James Claridge from Oregon. I am going to be in a new district, but the same zone (and the same Stake). In fact, I will still be meeting in the same church building. It's kind of funny because we recently had 3 or 4 families move from the Mountain Shadows ward into the Shadow Creek ward, so I've actually already met a few of the families (we helped them move). I believe that one of the families was the Cardall family (the ones that sent you a picture of me). My ward is a little upset that they are losing me to the Shadow Creek ward - they said "not you too!"
As far as my companion goes, I already know a little bit about him since I see him every morning at morning sports. Also, I see him on Mondays at the Stake Center when we come to do emails. It was interesting that I was assigned to him because he was one of the few people in our zone that I hadn't really ever talked to.
This weekend our Stake had a pioneer day celebration on Friday and Saturday. Apparently it is the Second biggest pioneer day event (second to Utah). However, this year we had remarkably terrible weather. At first it started out as a normal cloudless sunny day (well over 100 degrees). But then out of nowhere there was a blast of sandy wind followed by the biggest storm that I have ever experienced. I thought I knew what heavy rain was back at home, but I never could have imagined this. We were drenched with water instantly, and the pavilion did nothing to protect us because it came sideways. There were hailstones the size of walnuts and lightning all around us. I have never seen lightning so close up. A car in the church parking lot was struck by lightning and all of the power went out. The food was carried away in the newly formed rivers that covered the sidewalks. I had just started dinner at the time and my plate became a bowl of soup within seconds (then of course it kind of just fell apart). 

Sincerely,
Elder Jensen

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

7/15/13 Here are a few events that I thought were worth mentioning:



  • The largest fire in the United States this week was just on the other side of the mountains and I could see the smoke all week. For a couple of days the entire sky was blackened and it blocked out the sun and lowered the temperature several degrees. I believe that it got as low as the 80s and it actually felt a little cold outside. The smoke even caused it to rain for a couple of minutes twice this week. But even when it rains here it still feels dry because of the low humidity. Since it doesn't rain often here the roads get really grimy and then the brief periods of rain just make the ground sticky and messy.

  • One of the days it actually started raining down ash (the cars got covered in ash and it was difficult for some people to breathe).
  • Our stake dedicated a brand new girls camp this summer and the Stake President prayed that the camp would be protected from natural disasters. So far the camp has been preserved despite the fire.
  • I've seen more bugs here than anywhere else in my life. But I saw my first black widow the other night. They are pretty sinister looking - I wish that I could have gotten a picture to send but my camera battery died at the exact moment that I tried to take the picture. Apparently it has been living on the web just in front of our front door this whole time, I just never saw it because it hides during the day time.
  • We had a lot of training meetings this week. It is always nice to get to see President and Sister Neider. Just being in their presence is inspiring and uplifting. Sister Neider showed us a few scenes from the football film "facing the giants". That was pretty neat.
  • This is my last week of training, so next week I will be getting a new companion and I might be going to a new area as well.
As I have continued to develop the communication skills that I have lacked my whole life, I have improved my companionship with Elder H. In addition, every aspect of the work has likewise improved. My challenge now is to continue to not only endure but to strive for progression. I won't deny the fact that I am really struggling at this stage of my mission, however, I am optimistic about the future and I am striving to find the faith necessary for the miracles that are necessary for me to become the missionary that the Lord needs me to be.



7/9/13


Mondays have been really stressful for me (there is always a lot that I want to get done, and it is hard to adjust my schedule around all of the other missionaries - I never really know ahead of time how much time I will have to email or write letters). 
We got our car back, but the A/C wasn't working for a few days (but today we realized that there was just a button that we missed or something because it worked for the other missionaries that borrowed the car from us). However, we still have been biking a little to conserve miles.
The good thing is you sort of get used to the heat (it isn't comfortable, but I at least don't feel like I am dying all of the time). 
That is so cool that you got to go with the missionaries to a discussion. I wish I could go to a discussion (it seems like it has been forever since anyone let us come and teach another lesson). Honestly, I've been a little down because we have so few investigators and the few that we have wanted a break from the lessons. Hopefully things will pick up more this week. 
One good thing that has come out of all of this is that one of our less active members has started to come back to church. She told us that it has been a wonderful blessing to have us come by and visit her every week, and that simple act of visiting her had inspired her and reminded her of her testimony. It was nice to be able to see something good come from all of our efforts. 
As far as your speaking fears go, I don't have a whole lot that I can say right now. But one thing that has helped me is prayer. I pray that I can have the faith necessary to rely on the Lord and trust that He will guide me to say and do the right things. I have found that to be able to speak up in lessons, I need to speak up everywhere else. I can't just walk into a lesson and become a missionary; I have to be a missionary everywhere. It is hard, but as long as I don't become discouraged and continue to push myself, things have worked out.

6/3/13


Jahmari is getting baptized this Saturday, and things are starting to pick up with Melissa (she has been opening up and we are now up to about 3 lessons with members a week with her).
We have gained two new investigators since last week. One is named Reggie, and the other is named Faith. Reggie is a truck driver that travels from Las Vegas to Utah everyday (he leaves at 1 am in the morning and gets back in the afternoon). Reggie delivers to a man in Utah named Chris who is LDS, and so he has had many opportunities to discuss the church with  him. Chris decided to refer Reggie to the church, and we were sent by his house. Although it took a while for us to finally contact him, we were able to get into his house and talk to him a little about the gospel. We were also able to give him a copy of The Book of Mormon and a pamphlet about the Restoration. Unfortunately we won't be able to teach him for 2 more weeks, and then even after that he only wants us coming by on Saturdays. So I doubt that we will be able to make very much progress with him (he may go through several missionaries before he starts to progress - unless he really goes the extra mile in keeping his commitments, which is yet to be seen). As for Faith, she is a very intelligent and religious woman that would like us to come by and share a message of the gospel with her family. When we talked to her last, she asked us what message we would be sharing with her family, and so we basically taught her the Restoration on her doorstep. The biggest question that arose from our discussion was: "why do we need prophets today if we already have the scriptures - especially if they are saying the same things that the prophets said in ancient times?" In response, we referred to Amos 3:7 and I then explained to her that although God never changes, the world is constantly changing and as a result, we constantly need guidance that is applicable to our daily lives.

Life As a Missionary 5/27/13


Jamari is going to be baptized on June 8th. 
We have not had many teaching experiences so far. We have found a few potential investigators through having lessons with members, however, we haven't been able to schedule very many lessons. That is our biggest challenge right now - finding people to teach. Apparently President Neider has instructed the missionaries not to tract. I believe most of the baptisms have come through member referrals. This week we have a few appointments scheduled with potential investigators. However, in past weeks, most of our appointments have fallen through. It is a lot of work to find people, and so far our efforts haven't seemed to be paying off. On a positive note, President Neider gave Elder H and I a car a couple of days ago (we were spending the majority of our time biking). Hopefully things will begin to pick up speed soon. 
Yes we are teaching Melissa, but I can't remember what I said about her in my letter. We have mainly been joining the Dahl family's scripture reading twice a week with Melissa up until this week. This week we did some yard work for Melissa (she has been sick and she may have cancer and she keeps herself busy - basically she wasn't able to mow her lawn or take care of the yard for a while) and we invited her to start coming to church again (she has a long history of working with the missionaries). She came to church yesterday, which was wonderful.
My schedule is consistently inconsistent. However, here is the basic outline:
Wake up at 6:30 (unless we decide to attend morning sports in which case we get up at 5:40)
Prepare for the day (eat breakfast, shower, etc)
Studies from 8-10 am
The 12 week program at 11 am
Lunch 12 pm
Then we visit members of the ward from 1 - 5 pm (we go off of a less-active and part member family list that the bishopric put together)
Dinner around 5 pm
Then we probably just return to the list until 8:30 - 9 pm
We return home around 9 pm and then plan for the next day (I usually get to bed around 10:30 pm)
(We had really hoped to have more people to teach at this point to fill in our schedule, however, for now we are just going to try and get to know the ward better)

We have not been attending ward council, however, we have been attending the beginning of P.E.C. every week.
I have found that there are a ton of inactive members in this ward, but the members that attend church regularly are very strong families who are actively engaged in missionary work. We have found that they really have been doing all that they can to help out their missionaries. This will be an easy ward for fellow-shipping investigators and new converts. 

We have been fed nearly every night since we have been here (with the exception of the first week or so due to the impression that the last missionaries left). Occasionally members will cancel dinner appointments on us, however, as we have gotten to know the families better, we have found people who are always stepping in to help us out when members cancel. One family invited us over tonight to join their barbecue since our original appointment failed. It is the same family where we skyped from a few weeks ago. Also, there is another family that fed us twice last week that cooked us two of the most delicious meals I have had in a long time (they believed that if they fed us well then their daughter who was also serving a mission would be fed well).
My companion is a lot like Tyler - he wanted to do the same thing the other day - he said that he wanted to catch one of the jack rabbits here and bring it back to the apartment as a pet. I pointed out that we couldn't keep pets and he resolved that he would just catch one and then cook it into a stew. I guess he isn't as friendly as Tyler. 

That is funny that you would say "keep being obedient and you will be blessed" because yesterday my companion and I had to teach the Elders quorum lesson and the talk we used was Thomas S Monson's talk "Obedience Brings Blessings" from this last conference.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Just A Note From Mom: 

It is Kyle's Birthday on Sunday, June 23

If you are thinking about him it would be great if you could send him a quick Birthday note or wish.



Las Vegas Nevada

Journal Entry June 4, 2013 This was the only Pleasant Page I could find in my Journal entries that I felt might be of value to others. It also hints at some of the challenges I am facing.


I received a prompting the other morning while praying that I should wash Elder Hearne’s dishes.  I was a little upset with him at the time and it was so hard for me to do it, but I decided to follow through and wash his dishes.  Later in the the day, when he noticed what I had done, he expressed gratitude and things began to change very quickly.  The rest of the day was incredible because our communication with each other improved and we also began to street contact and open up to others.  I realized that whenever I find myself upset with Elder Hearn, it is because I am only thinking about myself.  Washing Elder Hearne’s dishes was my way of washing his feet  It is incomprehensibly less significant than what Christ has done and would have done in my place, however, it was a big thing on my level, and it helped to purify and cleanse our relationship.  One thing that I have learned from my various interactions with the residents of North Las Vegas is that there are some significant barriers dividing the community.  I’m not just referring to the physical walls, gates, bars, and rocks, dividing each house from the next, but rather the social barriers that have proved to be more effective.


Journal Entry Illustrating the concept of Personal Revelation(which is unique to our Church) and my testimony of it.


As I reflect back on some of my experiences this week, there is one in particular that stands out to me that I wish to share.  I believe that this experience demonstrates a concept that I am beginning to understand after a series of trying events.  The following experience is an illustration of the role of revelation in missionary work:
Yesterday I went on exchanges1 with my District Leader, Elder Mcclure.  Prior to visiting an excommunicated member, Elder Mcclure invited me to prepare a spiritual thought to share with him.  I accepted and Elder Mcclure proceeded to tell me a little about the man we would visit that evening.  Here is what Elder Mcclure shared: 2”Brother Judd is an excommunicated member of the church that has recently lost 100 pounds.  We visited him and I felt impressed to offer to dedicate him home.  In the blessing I was prompted to cast out 3evil spirits that were residing within his home.  Brother Judd thought the event was a little silly at first, however, when his friend came over shortly afterwards she exclaimed “what have you done to your house?  The bad Karma is gone!”  There was a distinct difference in the atmosphere of Brother Judd’s home.  He recognized this miracle and his testimony was rekindled.  Currently he is working on quitting smoking so that he can be baptized again.   So far he has shown progress”.

Here was my mental response to what he shared:  “Well, that’s a great story, however, I don’t see how there could be anything for me to share with him just based on that limited information.”  As I pondered on the information I was presented with, I attempted to analyze this imaginary character that represented brother Judd.  I tried to formulate what the best prescription might be for this spiritual patient.  Perhaps I would have focused on a topic related to the Word of Wisdom if I had known all of the details listed above(I don’t think Elder Mcclure mentioned smoking or baptism now that I think about it).  Essentially what I came to realize was that I had nothing to share with this man, and that there was no way that I could possibly find the right scripture to share with him if I could not even discern his needs.  So I decided to turn to the Lord and depend upon Him to direct me towards the message he wanted me to share.  I began by flipping through a combination of scripture mastery scriptures and scriptures that I was familiar with.  For some reason, one of the scriptures 4 stood out to me. I didn’t understand why, and I didn’t understand how it would relate, so I continued looking for other scriptures that seemed more logical to share.  I found no other scriptures that seemed appropriate for the situation, and I found that the scripture I had dismissed previously had continued to come to my mind.  The scripture was Isaiah 1:18.  I was not ver anxious to use this scripture because I could not think of anything to say about it.   However, as I began to study the scripture using the Bible Dictionary, the footnotes, the topical guide, I began to receive greater insights into the Atonement, ad I begin to feel the spirit prompting me and confirming the truths that I learned.  I received quite a lot of revelations through this experience, however, I was able to clearly distinguish which things the Lord wanted me to share with Brother Judd and which things I was supposed to keep to myself.  That evening as I met Brother Judd, my first impression was-”Oh, no, that was the wrong message to pick for him”.  (He did not appear to be very educated-which quite frankly turned out to be true- and the message I had prepared was somewhat deeper than what I would typically share).  However, as I got to know him better, I began to feel the spirit testify in my heart and mind that this was the perfect message for Brother Judd.  When it came time for me to share the spiritually thought, I was able to testify of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost.  I felt it and Brother Judd felt it because afterwards there was a physical change in his countenance and in his demeanor.  He shared with me his own testimony, and he expressed his desire and determination to come unto Christ, be baptized, and endure to the end.  After visiting with Brother Judd, Elder Mcclure and I visited a family in his ward for a dinner appointment.  AT this appointment Elder Mcclure enthusiastically expressed his admiration for the insightful spiritual thought I had shared with Brother Judd, and then volunteered me to repeat what I said for the White family to hear.  Although I shared the same scriptures and essentially the same insights that I had used earlier, it was a completely different experience.  The Spirit didn’t seem to be present, and the message didn’t seem to have much of an impact.  As I reflect back on these experiences, what I have come to recognize is that the Lord permitted me to gain this revelation so that I could share His message with Brother Judd.  This message was not intended for the White family, and as a result, the Spirit could not carry it into their hearts the same way that it could with Brother Judd.
The key to revelation is knowing who it is intended for.  Most often we receive revelation for ourselves.  Occasionally it may be for others in relationships such as that between a husband and wife.  Missionaries can receive revelation regarding how they teach investigators.  Parents can receive revelation for raising their children.  The prophet can receive revelation to help him lead the church.  However, in all of these instances, there is a specific person or group of people to whom the revelation is intended for.  Only when the intended audience is present will the Holy Ghost truly testify of the truth of the message being shared.  Spiritual experiences cannot be forced, triggered, or arranged.  They come only as the Lord desires them and only to those whom He has prepared to receive them.  The message that I shared with Brother Judd belonged to him, it was not a message that I ought to have shared with others when I had not been prompted to do so.

~Elder Kyle Jensen~











1-Exchange=swap companions for a day in this case I spent the day in a different area/ward.
2-This is not a perfect record but rather my own attempt to paraphrase what he said.
3-Evil was not the word he used, I do not recall the exact wording.
4-It was not a strong feeling or anything unfamiliar-but rather it resonated in my mind slightly differently than all of the others.


Elder Jensen and Elder Mcclure on exchanges

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Journal Entry-May 15th, 2013 This Journal Entry Describes what most days have been like for us this week. (This is one of the better days). Things went downhill afterwards.


Note:
According to the map, we biked about 90 miles.  
It has become apparent that our map key is incorrect.  I have no idea how much we are actually biking. 
Today we labored to the extent of our capacities.  We visited dozens of homes belonging to less active members.  The majority of the houses had gates in front of the doors blocking us from reaching them.  My companion refers to them as salvation blockers.  Out of the few homes that did not have gates, nobody answered the door.  After spending three hours biking in temperatures over one hundred degrees, having emptied the water bottles that I brought with me (only to realized that I probably should have brought twice as much water and applied sunscreen), we notices a couple of benches residing in the shade provided by a few small trees.  As I reflect back on this experience, it occurs to me that this may have been the only shade (sufficient to sit under) within miles of the area.  Palm trees and Cacti don’t offer much protection from the penetrating sun)  Almost immediately after resting on these benches(to plan our next course of action of course).  A man pulled up a and stepped out of his car.  He approached us and welcomed us into his house (which was directly behind where we were sitting).   It turned out that him and his wife were members, and that they happened to be the only active members in the entire neighborhood.  This type of event is what Nephi would call a “tender mercy of the Lord”.    These members gave us a chance to regain our strength and energy and they helped to lift our spirits at a time when I was physically worn out.  Afterwards, the day continued as it had started-Hot, dry & tiresome. 
We were not any more successful that afternoon.  After dinner, we returned to the same neighborhood.  As we rode through the street a gang of 7 year old children surrounded.   They closed in and begin asking me if I had anything for them.   Trying not to panic (noticing that my companion had escaped) I asked “Like what?”  
“Do you have any God cards” a particularly precocious child responded.  
Relieved by their request, (initially I had thought that they wanted money) I began distributing mormon.org cards to them (which they collected from me as if they were Pokemon trading cards).  At this point Elder Hearne had turned around and come back to where the children had cornered me.  We bid them a good day and then dismissed ourselves.  
Note: People never answer the door(unless children open it).  They don’t talk/w their neighbors-or know anything about them and they never come outside because it is so hot.
At the first home we arrived at this evening the door was answered by a child (who was scolded by their parents).  A man about 26 years old came out and began to talk with us.  After looking at the state that we were in (sunburned, dripping w/sweat), he offered us some water and invited us into him house.  We learned that this man was living with his parents, who were the less-active members in our ward. Note: His parents may be active members attending the Spanish ward-we just haven’t figured this our yet. After conversing with him a short while, his wife came downstairs and joined in our conversation.  Initially we discussed our lives.  We learned that this man worked at a golf course and that one of his co-workers had served a mission for the church in South America.  We learned that he had two children.  We learned of his respect for the members of our church and for the missionaries.  However, he then began to express to us that he believed that he didn’t need religion and that he simply wasn’t meant for the type of lifestyle we lived(he felt that he had found how he could be happy that we had found what makes us happy-which were defined as two separate lifestyles).  However, just when it seemed that we would not be able to make any progress with these people, the man turned to his wife and said, “You should talk to them about religion.”  Before his wife had a chance to express her irritation at her husband and dismiss this teaching/learning opportunity, we jumped in and began digging deeper.  She expressed that she had many questions about religion and that although she believed that there could be a God, she didn’t understand religion.  Through our discussion we identified that she felt that there was too much confusion regarding religion, and that she felt that having a religion was somewhat pointless.   She expressed her feeling that there wasn’t really a need for her to join a religion.  She said that she lived a good life, and made good choices and that she was happy.  As we answered her questions we were able to teach her the first lesson from Preach My Gospel.  It became clear to me that her questions were the questions of the soul-the questions ingrained in everyone’s mind-resulting from the absence of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  This need for the Atonement was made evident through the questions that she had, and it became my focus to help this woman recognize the emptiness in her life.  Recognize the possibility of something missing.  She expressed her sense of fulfillment in life, and then expressed her belief that she would be fine after this life.  I agreed with her.   I told her that her happiness in this life would carry over to the next life.   I explained that when we die our mindset does not change.  But then I said something that I believe had a profound impact on her.  I said, “But is there a greater happiness than what we already have?  Is the question that we must all ask ourselves.” We discussed many thing this evening, but in the end the biggest message that came from our discussion was: Life is constantly changing, however, God and His Church doesn’t change.  They had reached a critical point in their life and had began to wonder if there was anything more to life (they saw something in the two teenage boys speaking to them-who seemed to know much more than they should-They couldn’t believe we were 18 and 19)
Perhaps there is something valuable in religion.

At the end of our discussion, they desired to schedule another time to meet with us (really without us even asking-the husband tends to volunteer his wife and put her on the spot).  Although there may be alot of work for us to do before we make progress with this family(if they truly are ready at this point in their lives to accept Christ), I look forward to meeting with them again.  They were fun people that I came to this desert to meet.  In comparison to the happiness that finding them brought to me, the miserable days leading up to this moment were a small price to pay.  I wish that I could adequately express the joy that came to me from this experience.
~Kyle Jensen~

Journal Entry May 12, 2013-Here is a journal entry that describes Jamari-Our investigator. (we have 2 progressing investigators, but Melissa isn’t progressing very fast.

Today was Mother’s Day-I realized that it can be a huge distraction from the work when you Skype your family. I taught a lesson to our investigator Jamari-afterwards, and it was hard to focus on the work at hand. We committed him to baptism, and I knew that he was ready for it. He should have joined the church long ago-its just that nobody ever asked him. Some of the members in the ward even thought that he was a member. The Deacon’s quorum president even asked him to be his 2nd counselor at the same time he invited him to be baptized. He went as far as saying, “I hope you will become the next deacons quorum president.” Jamari already knows the lessons and he probably reads The Book of Mormon more than most members. Jamari will become a wonderful and faithful member of the church. He will set an example for his family and for many others. When the Lord says that the field is white and ready to harvest, he means it. Jamari was about as ready as they come. It wasn’t hard to picture him in the baptismal font dressed in white. His countenance is pure and his heart is strong.

Last week my companion crashed into a stop sign while riding on his bike. Since then I have thought of that image every time I see that stop sign (which is multiple times a day). Tonight I made the mistake of mentioning it to Elder Hearne-to mock him a little-and immediately afterwards I slipped off the sidewalk and lost my balance on my own bike-resulting in a somewhat humbling experience. I suppose you might call this Karma-but I suspect that it was the Lord giving me a reminder of my role as a missionary. After all, I did pray to be humbled last night.

~Kyle Jensen~

Well, these last few days have been pretty crazy.
A few things to mention:

We went to the Temple. It’s a beautiful temple and it was nice to do a session again. This is the longest that I have gone w/out visiting the Temple since I received my endowment. I will send a picture through e-mail. (I forgot my camera, so I will just have to get a picture from my companion). I didn’t realize that temples have cafeterias. Missionaries receive a discounted rate, so it was the best $3 meal I have ever eaten.

One of the members in the ward prayed that we would have a good time on our missions(during a dinner appointment) It reminded me of Tyler. It was a three year old girl named Phoebe-she had a pet chick and a baby duck, which I thought was pretty cool. I should have taken a picture(Caitlyn and Tyler would have loved to see them playing around in a cardboard box in their kitchen) I’ve had some interesting biking experiences and I had a flat tire last week. (We do a ton of biking and there is broken glass everywhere) My tires might not be very good(my companion says that bikes come w/bad tires usually). In one of my crashes one of my pairs of pants got a little beat up-But I’m going to keep wearing them anyways(they aren’t too bad) Don’t tell Remington. Fortunately I changed out of my suit before this happened, so it could have been much worse.

Apparently there are only five “certified organists” in the valley-according to a man I met last week(who prided himself as one of them)Sister Neider is going to utilize my talents.

I am going to be sending a lot more letters because there are so many people that use the computers on P-Day, and some of them will spend hours(and I like to spend time practicing the organ too) on the computers.

Weird event: Yesterday we were biking home and three people on motorcycles drove past us. They were wearing only Basketball shorts and T-shirts and they were driving the wrong side of the road(w/out helmets). We had to move off the road so that they didn’t hit us. If you don’t want these random letters than ask me specific questions so I know what you want to hear about.




~Kyle Jensen~




E-Mail 5/27/13


Jamari is going to be baptized on June 8th.
We have not had many teaching experiences so far. We have found a few potential investigators through having lessons with members, however, we haven't been able to schedule very many lessons. That is our biggest challenge right now - finding people to teach. Apparently President Neider has instructed the missionaries not to tract. I believe most of the baptisms have come through member referrals. This week we have a few appointments scheduled with potential investigators. However, in past weeks, most of our appointments have fallen through. It is a lot of work to find people, and so far our efforts haven't seemed to be paying off. On a positive note, President Neider gave Elder Hearne and I a car a couple of days ago (we were spending the majority of our time biking). Hopefully things will begin to pick up speed soon.
Yes we are teaching Melissa, but I can't remember what I said about her in my letter. We have mainly been joining the Dahl family's scripture reading twice a week with Melissa up until this week. This week we did some yard work for Melissa (she has been sick and she may have cancer and she keeps herself busy - basically she wasn't able to mow her lawn or take care of the yard for a while) and we invited her to start coming to church again (she has a long history of working with the missionaries). She came to church yesterday, which was wonderful.

My schedule is consistently inconsistent. However, here is the basic outline:
Wake up at 6:30 (unless we decide to attend morning sports in which case we get up at 5:40)
Prepare for the day (eat breakfast, shower, etc)
Studies from 8-10 am
The 12 week program at 11 am
Lunch 12 pm
Then we visit members of the ward from 1 - 5 pm (we go off of a less-active and part member family list that the bishopric put together)
Dinner around 5 pm
Then we probably just return to the list until 8:30 - 9 pm
We return home around 9 pm and then plan for the next day (I usually get to bed around 10:30 pm)
(We had really hoped to have more people to teach at this point to fill in our schedule, however, for now we are just going to try and get to know the ward better)

I have found that there are a ton of inactive members in this ward, but the members that attend church regularly are very strong families who are actively engaged in missionary work. We have found that they really have been doing all that they can to help out their missionaries. This will be an easy ward for fellow-shipping investigators and new converts.
We have been fed nearly every night since we have been here (with the exception of the first week or so due to the impression that the last missionaries left). Occasionally members will cancel dinner appointments on us, however, as we have gotten to know the families better, we have found people who are always stepping in to help us out when members cancel. One family invited us over tonight to join their barbecue since our original appointment failed. It is the same family where we skyped from a few weeks ago. Also, there is another family that fed us twice last week that cooked us two of the most delicious meals I have had in a long time (they believed that if they fed us well then their daughter who was also serving a mission would be fed well).
My companion is a lot like Tyler - he wanted to do the same thing the other day - he said that he wanted to catch one of the jack rabbits here and bring it back to the apartment as a pet. I pointed out that we couldn't keep pets and he resolved that he would just catch one and then cook it into a stew. I guess he isn't as friendly as Tyler.
That is funny that you would say "keep being obedient and you will be blessed" because yesterday my companion and I had to teach the Elders quorum lesson and the talk we used was Thomas S Monson's talk "Obedience Brings Blessings" from this last conference.