Monday, January 25, 2016

Crazy week!

This week has been absolutely packed with crazy and cool things! 

This week we were finally able to find a bit of success finding new investigators and some of them are going to be really solid and get baptized. Still had a hard time getting anyone to church though. Next week is the week! Everyone is saying this is like the coldest it has been in Taiwan in forever and no one dared go outside yesterday to come to church! 

So I will just start listing off the crazy events as they happened! 

First on Wednesday I made the purchase of my life. My kickstand on my bike was broken so I went in to fix it and the store had a cheap bike computer. I bought it and now will be keeping track of how far and the time I spend biking for the rest of my mission! I am really excited about that! So far we have biked about 40 miles.. It turns out even the places that are super far away feeling are only like 5 miles. 

Wednesday night we went down to Zhunan for English and before class we pass out fliers for the class at the train station. A really drunk white guy from New York started talking to us! He said that things are going really down hill for him and that he needs help. He thought finding a job here wouldn't be a problem but he's had like 4 jobs fall through and he's an alcoholic and he lost his girlfriend and his phone and his belt. And he was telling us he thought he was going to die that night. So I told him that instead of going and doing something he shouldn't he should come to English class with us! He agreed to do so and we walked there with him. He drank his last beer on the way and then went clean inside for the whole hour and a half. He was saying he's ready to become a mormon and move to Utah and immerse himself in Mormons and he is done with this path and he is changing! It was really cool! I gave him a Book of Mormon and testified that Christ can help him change his life. Unfortunately we haven't heard anything since.. He lives pretty far out of our area. 

Thursday was pretty normal we met with a boy named Ronald and a man named Kevin. They are both looking pretty good! They both have dates but need to come to church if they want to meet them. 

Friday we went down to Toufen for interviews with president! The other Xiangshan Elders, Elder Diepeveen and Elder Joly accidentally got on the wrong train and ended up leaving our mission and going into Taizhong. That was pretty exciting! But Friday was just a really good day! We found a lot of new people that day! And President got to the chapel and it turned out he didn't have the keys to it. I was the first interview and he said okay we will go do it in the car until the other Elders get here with the keys! I may be the only person in the mission to have had an interview with president in his car! It was really fun;) Hahaha he got me really excited to baptize people. He is such an awesome man and leader! He said to really expect to baptize and work hard and it will happen. I'm really expecting to baptize people in the upcoming months. 

Hmm.. Saturday went really well too. It was absolutely freezing though. We got pretty soaked on Friday and a little wet Saturday too. 

Sunday! Church was good. We are really working on getting to know and develop relationships with our ward. That is going good! After church everyone started shouting "Snow! Snow!" and running outside! It was super funny! It was kind of like sleetish snow stuff and it just came down for a minute or two but it made everyone's day! It was the first time most of them had ever seen anything like that! It hasn't snowed here in like 100 years or something! So that was really fun! 

Also we had a family of three come to our ward family home evening that night with us and they really enjoyed it! It was super cool to see our ward talk with them and become friends and they said they felt like a family! That family said they will be coming to church next sunday and I can't wait! 

That was my week! It was pretty good! Things are going great here in Xiangshan and we are getting close to helping some people be baptized. It was great to see lots of prayers to be led to those who were prepared start to be answered this week. We were led over and over to the person or place where the person would be that was ready to receive this message. 

I will share one experience. We were knocking and it was freezing and I was beginning to wonder if we had planned to go to the wrong place because there was no one home and nothing happening and we were just cold;) Well then all of the sudden this kid walks around the corner from out of nowhere and we started talking to him and prayed with him and then come to find out that he has always wanted to learn about Jesus but hasn't had time because of school. He is in 9th grade I think about Koby's age. We invited him to learn this gospel and be baptized and he accepted without hesitating! It was really cool! 

I know that God is leading and guiding and watching out for us! Sometimes prayers take a long time to be answered so we can learn how to be more sincere. I am finally learning I have to put in some effort on my part. I can't just pray for something and then forget about it and expect an answer. But I know as I work for it the answers do come. Heavenly Father loves each of us. His son Atoned that we may overcome our personal weaknesses. I know this church is true. Have a wonderful week everyone! I love you!

Elder Jensen!

The whole ward celebrating the kind of snow! And us with Wendy!

More out in the snow with the ward and a cool house we found!

Part of the family we brought to FHE! And my favorite people in the ward those are some cute kids! 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Great week!

This was another great week! Fairly normal! But we had lots of little miracles throughout the week! 

Hmm.. Last Monday it rained all day and we ate something called pidan. It is like green and brown egg and it is definitely pretty nasty! 

Then we went to work! We have been doing a lot of knocking and just trying to find the people that are really ready for this message. We are still having a hard time finding people that stick. It poured yesterday and none of our investigators came to church. We are getting close with the 9 year old Wendy! We will be bringing the primary president to her house this week and hopefully find a way that we will be able to bring her to church! 

This past week we also did a lot of biking! We had a less active bring an investigator to church last week and so we rode out to meet her! Turns out she is at college about 45 minutes away through like a forest and up a hill! It is super sweet though! I love how you ride and all of the sudden you're not in the city any more and there are trees and fields everywhere! It is beautiful! Also our meeting with her was one of the best I've ever seen! She was listening so intently and super excited to be baptized! Unfortunately she is returning home to China on Wednesday so we won't be able to baptize her but we are going to meet her again tomorrow and tell her all we can about finding the church in China and stuff! She is a really really cool lady! 

We also ran into a lot of people that had met the missionaries before on Saturday! They were all really nice and one of them seemed very willing to try coming back to church and hopefully also meeting with us again! 

Chinese New year is coming up in February and so we run into a ton of people that say they are busy until the end of Chinese New Year which is like March.. It is crazy! But it's all good! Also Taiwan was all voting on Saturday! Everyone has to go home to where they grew up so we met a lot of people that don't live here! It was fun! Everyone was pretty excited! 

This transfer has been going super super fast! It is nuts! 

Well I can't think of anything else that went on this last week! Lots of knocking lots of really nice people! 

As my study on Faith for January I have been learning a lot! I love what the bible dictionary says about faith! You all are welcome to check it out! 

Oh and one more story! Yesterday we went to dinner at a members house and we were also there for their family home evening! They had a lesson on the tree of life and holding to the rod. The fathers invitation at the end to his four elementary age kids was to be brave enough to pray before their meals at school to stand as a good example. All of us missionaries felt pretty bad because none of us prayed before meals at school out loud or even in our hearts. It was a pretty cool invitation! So what can each of us do to get a firmer grip on the iron rod? Maybe try praying at school over your lunch! It's up to you:) Hahah Love you all have a great week! 

Also congrats to everyone getting married.. That is crazy;) 

Love Elder Jensen! 

Our friend from China!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Exciting week!

On Tuesday we received some news of some changes in the mission that were kind of exciting I guess! In the past when we move we've gone to a meeting with everyone moving and met our new companion and gone back to the area together. From now on we will just receive a call and then go there. We are really focusing on being in our areas as much as possible because we are striving to teach repentance and baptize converts! That is the ultimate goal and we are trying to pick up the pace. 

That being said Elder Welch and I have really been trying to pick up the pace and have a sense of urgency in our work! I'm getting to the point in my mission were I am mostly comfortable being a missionary and am now trying to work on becoming a really good and effective one! 

Yesterday we were able to see a lot of really cool miracles. We were out knocking and trying to find the prepared and we knocked on a door and a 13 year old kid told us he'd be down in a second. As we were waiting his aunt came up from the parking lot and told us that she had become Christian not too long ago, she had to leave but set up to listen to a message from us this week. Then her nephew came down and had a lesson with us and set a baptismal date. Then at the end of his lesson a stranger came up from the road and asked if we were missionaries and told us that the road over had a kid that lived with his grandma and she was worried he isn't very well behaved and asked us to go teach him. She walked over to his house with us and we were able to schedule a time with his grandma that we'll be going back to see him. It was a crazy string of miracles and a huge blessing! 

Another great thing that happened this week is that we went to see a 9 year old girl we met 2 weeks ago and she ended up also setting a baptismal date and we were able to go back and continue to teach her every day after that. We did everything we could to get her to church and Sunday morning we went over and her grandpa told us that he was going to take her after they got breakfast and then they got into the car and drove off. They didn't end up showing up so there is still some work to do but this girl is amazing. As we teach her the lessons she understands it so clearly and often ends up explaining the principles back to us in a way that teaches us more about them. I'm really excited for her! She seems really mature for a 9 year old and it is kind of interesting because her family just lets us into the house and we teach her but the family doesn't really listen! Pray we can get her to church! 

This is her

​She is super blunt too.. She tells us how we have bad Chinese and she will teach us and then she talks really fast and we don't understand and she is like you didn't get that? And sighs and falls over or something and then tells us our brains are super slow;) It is great to find out what people are really thinking about our Chinese since everyone else tells us it is really good;) 

I guess that I should say that the language is going well! I have struggled to improve my speaking and vocab and stuff as I am working on learning how to read. Learning to read is hit and miss.. The characters still all look the same sometimes;) But it is coming! 

And.. Now to close I have been reading and studying faith this month! I am learning a lot! Miracles are all wrought according to faith! But I'm also learning that faith is a choice and you have to choose to act if you really believe. You have to work as hard as you can and despite challenges or set backs you have to choose to keep believing and having faith and working! And as we continue choosing faith we start to see the miracles! Some big and many small! I am working on letting my faith lead me to work harder and harder and be more believing. I know their are prepared people here in Xianshan we just have to keep looking and trusting we'll be led to them and them to us! 

I hope you all have a blessed and wonderful week! If you get a chance tell someone how this gospel has blessed your life this week! I know it will bless you and them:) 

Love Elder Jensen! 

P day... Super nice massage chairs. 

Some friends we met in McDonald's. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

The New Year is here!

Hmm.. This last week was a pretty normal one! Really fun though! And occasionally frustrating! I'll tell you about the frustrating part right here and then just share about the great week! We had about 6 or 7 people we were hoping would be to church and ended up with 0. We just can't seem to find any super solid investigators so we are still working on that! A big factor as well is that it was raining and if it rains most people don't want to go outside for church. 

Okay so this last week was really really fun! On Monday we went to the coast and it was really fun! Most of our zone was there and we played ultimate Frisbee with a rugby ball! It was a blast! The beach was nice! It is pretty nice to be able to just hop on a train for a few minutes and then walk over to it! No where in Taiwan is nearly as far from the ocean as we are in Utah;) 

That night we went to Samba's Pizza with Jason and it was fun! Jason leaves for Europe this week.. I'm sure going to miss him! He also fed us dinner at his house last night which I was super grateful for cause we don't have much food at home! I ate squid again and it was pretty good! 

Tuesday and Wednesday we went to Zhunan.. Once for District meeting and once for English class. It is kinda far away and takes up a large part of our day! English class was really fun though! 

Thursday we found a 9 year old girl that was super super nice and invited us into her house! We will be going back on Wednesday to meet with her again! Hopefully it goes well! We have been doing a lot of knocking here lately! Most people say no, but if you get let into their house our thinking is they'll be more solid investigators! It has been enjoyable! We've definitely had some interesting experiences! 

So Thursday night we went to dinner again with Jason at a restaurant called "Feed me" I had a pineapple hamburger so that was really good! Also they played Taylor Swift once or twice.. That brought back a lot of great memories driving around and not getting pulled over.. (I don't know if anyone saw Elder Jacksons email but he got me pretty good) That morning I also ate a sandwich on black bread with peanut butter and egg and bacon! So that day had some great food! 

Later that night as we were knocking we came across a group of college kids about to have a Barbecue for New Years Eve. There were 11 of them and we just asked them if we could pray with them and they were all for it. That was the biggest group of people I've ever taught at once! None of them turned out too interested but they were all really nice and it was an exciting way to close out 2015! 

2016 is here and with it I have gotten a bit of a boost of energy and excitement! I'm excited about setting goals and striving to improve and give more and more people a chance to learn the gospel! It is going to be a great year! We have been sharing about setting new years resolutions with some investigators and less actives and it is always exciting to see the goals they set as well! We have a brand new year to continue to learn, grow, develop our testimonies, and become more like our Heavenly Father! And more like the person He wants and knows we can be! I know that he will help us as we strive to do this! Also I think it would be a good idea to ask him what we can do to improve.. "What Lack I yet?" I guess! I want to close out with this awesome scripture for the new year! 3 Nephi 12:47! It is like a fresh start! I'm super excited for this upcoming year! Let's all go make the most we possibly can of it! 

Love and miss you all! Have a wonderful week! 

Love, Elder Jensen!

Headed to the Beach! And Holding a ton of money!

Some black bread and French toast we made!

This is our group of college kids!

Fun at the beach.