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, 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:


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~