Monday, December 30, 2013

Well... Happy NEW YEAR!!

Just a heads up this email might be a little short because of time, And because they gave me this PRE-HISTORIC  Gateway laptop that sounds like It's going to Explode every time I press the Y button! haha But... ANYWAY, This Last week has been a crazy busy but an amazing one!  We had the opportunity to visit many of our Less active Members and share Christmas Messages with them as well as our active members and Carol to them too,so that was awesome! We had many opportunities to participate in service this week with A LOT OF SHOVELING since it snowed a good amount this week. My Shoulder is just Ripped now! haha 
On christmas Eve we invited a couple investigators to dinner with all the missionaries in massena! That went so well and it was so Good! But it was pretty weird to be away from all the family and friends this christmas, It just felt like any other day up here! But Christmas day was just so great! The downtown Elders and Elder Mecham and I all opened our presents together and had a blast! I got a hand carved HIPPO from a Homeless guy!! That was sweet!
After that we were able to go over to some members homes and eat breakfast, Lunch ...and Dinner and play games. We ate like kings on Christmas Day! Then after a long anticipation i was able to Skype my family!! It was soo good to see them and catch up. 
After The great excitment of Christmas, on Thursday we made our way back down to Utica for our Return and Report. We stayed the night at the mission home and began our awesome training in the morning. There President Wirthlin trained us and gave us ideas on how we can improve our relationships with our companions as well as our teaching skills. It was super helpful!  
This last Sunday we had a great turnout! we had 7 nonmembers and a good amount of less actives there! It was so rewarding to see that our efforts didnt go to waste. I just wanted to Hug everyone! haha So we had an amazing week up here in Massena! (very cold) but amazing! I hope all of you had a Wonderful Christmas and have a joyous New Year! I already have a New years resolution and everything! my goal is to read the Old and New testiment over again. im so Pumped!
 I hope all is well back home! And everyone is staying warm!
Love always, 
Elder Jepsen
P.s Thanks to all of you who sent me all those amazing packages and letters during christmas! YOU WILL be getting letters back eventually i promise! :)
Oh and i hit a Rabbit with a snowball... so that was cool..

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Today we got to see this handsome elder's face and talk for about an hour or so, first via phone, then a quick Skype session for about thirty minutes. Doesn't he look wonderful?! Best Christmas the Jepsen family could ask for. He's doing well! 

The wise man in the background was cleverly drawn by this missionary! ^^^

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!! From New York!!

Elder Jepsen's official Christmas card

I can't Believe its already Christmas time! It's so amazing how fast time flies out here! This past week has been a crazy one! Really busy and full of INSANE WEATHER!!
 We started out with our Zone training meeting on Tuesday. That was great. President Wirthlin interviwed us all and addressed what he wanted us to focus on this time of year. This time of year being Christmas that is, We are trying to focus on centering Christ in Christmas and tieing that into the Restoration. We have been trying really hard throughout the zone and we are seeing great results! Anyways after the meeting we went on an exchange with the Malone Elders.And I got to go to Malone with Elder Bloomfield. And it was amazing! i was only there for 2 days and i grew to love the people of Malone so much! we were super busy and i met a lot of great people! I learned a lot from Elder Bloomfield. It was so much fun!
 After that exchange I was home for about an hour, when the zone leaders called us and told us they were on their way to do a suprise exchange. (since my companion is a district leader, i guess they can do that haha) So i had about 5 minutes to plan the next 2 days so that was a great learning experience! Elder Gielman is the ZL i was on exchange with and he is awesome. He taught me so much about planning and tracting. We tracted an entire day and an entire neighbor hood, which was extremely humbling because, of all the houses we went to we had the door shut in our faces but one. The very last one. A super nice older guy, who only let us in because he recognized me from the volunteer work i had been doing for the Methodist dinner so that was amazing! After all that, We drove down to Potsdam to exchange back, but the weather was so bad we had to spend the night with the Zone leaders.
The Next couple days, the weather worsened. We had to cancel appointment after appointment because we couldn't get anywhere! at First we heard that it was a little snow storm, then the freezing rain came and froze everything! It took me a while to comprehend freezing rain... haha it was so foreign to me. But anyway, we made it to all our Service work appointments and delivered toys and food to many families, which was the neatest experience. We had a Less active give us a bunch of toys and clothes to give away. so we wrapped them up and gave them to a progressing family we have been teaching. They were so grateful. We just love that Family!
Eventually all the freezing rain got out of hand and froze everything so St. Lawrence county was put under a state of emergency And no cars were allowed on the roads at anytime.  All the businesses were closed for 2 days! Even Church was canceled. So We were out walking around to visit members homes on Sunday, And when we finally made the 4.5 mile walk to their homes they told us, it was even Illegal to walk on the roads in a state of emergency! WE COULD'NT EVEN WALK! so they pretty much kept us hostage in their houses until all the cops were gone. So after that we had to sneak all the way back home, dodging the police and wait out the Storm. This has been by far, One of the Most interesting weeks i have had yet!
I'm so grateful to be up here in Massena at this time of year. Christmas time brings the Best out of everyone! All we need to do is focus on the true meaning of Christmas! Yes, being selfless and giving and receiving presents is what we look forward to, But what we really need to remember, is Christmas is a time of remembrance! not just in The Nativity or Christ's birth but also his Ministry and his example! Through Him we can achieve ETERNAL HAPPINESS! You think you're happy at Christmas? Imagine being that happy all the time. Through Christ we can! I just hope we all remember that!
I truly Hope All of you have a wonderful and meaningful Christmas this year!
I love all of you.
P.S. This is a picture elder Mecham took of me after had walked 5 miles in freezing rain. Everything on me was frozen! we had to wait until my coat was unthawed to take it off! Haha MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
Elder Jepsen

" So i wear that beard everyday in personal study! i love it! you cant even comprehend! (ill send a pic)"You think he's excited? Best. Sister. Ever. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Great (cold) Dayzz in Massena

 This week was a Great week in Massena! This week went by so fast! 
A pretty big blizzard came up this way and Dusted the area with over a foot and a half of snow. A lot like Utah snow, Very powdery. But its so cold here when the snow comes down it just stays as ice! It's usually in the single digits OR LOWER. Very cold. But Things are starting to look up for the Massena Branch up here!

We have been going around doing all the service we can up here, and i think people are slowly beginning to notice. People are beginning to ask us questions and how long we are here, its great! We are constantly shoveling walks, baking stuff and helping at soup kitchens. The Methodist church up here puts on this huge, food drive for the needy up here so we help alot with that. The Methodists also like us alot because we aren't afraid to work, or sing for them. Elder Tollefson and I are in their choir and we had our first ...concert... recital...thing? At a Nursing home on Saturday so that was great!

Elder Mecham and I have been Meeting with an awesome investigator Family that live way out in the country, They are a Farm family and we love them. They are catching onto the gospel slowly but surely. We have been teaching them alot  about Heavenly father and the plan of salvation and its going really well! They love to hunt and be self reliant so they are pretty legit when it comes to life haha. I have been going on Many exchanges lately, with the Zone leaders as well as the downtown elders. While i was tracting with a zone leader in Brasher we were knocking on doors in negative degree weather and we got a couple potentials so we are super excited about that! I was also on another split with the downtown elders, and we were teaching this really interesting guy, (who's super nice and always makes us cookies) He asked me alot of questions and i asked him alot of questions. And he told me he was Pegan. But he believes in Jesus, but he believes he was a warlock.... Then he started to tell me he believes in the wolf spirit and how he has many spell books and he asked if i could use a spell. Haha so that was interesting. I mostly just tied History into the gospel and how the Mormons never burned witches and that kind of Shut him up. You cant disprove History haha but other than that everything's going great up here I love it.
This last sunday, because of the weather we only had about 10 people show up to sacrament meeting. The missionaries and the 5 oldest members in Massena! Even the old and decrepit came! I thought these people would be used to this new york weather now but... Oh well... All we can do is try to influence them, and try to pull them out of the lazy habits.
I'm so grateful for my testimony of this gospel, And for the greater knowledge ive acquired because of it. And i wouldn't give that up for anything in this world. And i never will. I love this gospel and this season. To be reminded of christs  birth and of his example. So that we may apply it to our live and give thanks for what he has given us. I'm so grateful to be up here in Massena and to Serve the lord.
Anyways again I hope all is well back home. And you all are doing well!
Love always
Elder Jepsen

Monday, December 9, 2013

Massena, the Backwoods of New York

Well, The first "official week" in Messena went great! kind of slow but great!
Elder Mecham and I have been trying really hard to catch up with the Less actives in the North country. We do really well with hunting them down and talking to them! the new trick is finding ways to re-teach them the Discussions ha. 

Through this week i have slowly but surely gotten used to the COLD!!! ...granted it warmed up to 50 and melted the snow but im getting there!
Lately the downtown Messena Elders and elder mecham and I have been doing all we can to reach out to the people of Messena, by helping all the churches in the area with service projects and meals as well as helping out with the Boys and Girls club! We were also invited to come sing in the Northern New york Methodist Choir. Elder Tollefson (the oldest missionary) thought it would be a great way to meet more people, so he and I made our way to the giant church they have in Downtown Messena. It was Very interesting! But Naturally they loved our "great Mormon Boy Voices"...(more like amazing Mormon Men Voices) they want us to sing to the Nursing homes with them, and later to their congregation... ha so we'll see how that goes...
We have also had the pleasure of putting on Church socials, to start bringing back Less active Members. We are starting to see great success, so we are super excited. The best of which was last night, we had a get together Before the Christmas devotional (which was amazing by the way, Go watch it!) we made cookies and cider for many people. And what better way to end the night, then By a Christmas devotional given by the church! I also had the pleasure of giving a talk in church this last sunday, It was great, there isn't too many people in the branch, so it wasn't as nerve racking as giving a talk in front of 200 people back at home! haha but it went well i talked about missionary work. As well as member missionary work. I told the the story of how i was bit by a black widow... then somehow tied it into missionary work. I don't know how, but all i know is i made people cry/feel the spirit so that's all that matters!
So as i've been up here in the North Country I've come to a realization that people are very interesting up here... They are very stubborn and they cling to the old ways. There are a lot of ... interesting.. *cough cough crazy* people up this way. (it must be all the snow) We met with a man name John Sterling, He is a peculiar man. We tried to teach him a discussion but he never let us get a word in. He LOVES to talk, especially how he claims he see's Jesus and Satan fighting and going at it in the woods behind his house. And thats how the lightning is created haha He's a character.
I also came to learn that there are alot of dear here, But they are much smaller than our Utah dear. and much more dumb... They always run into the road. So the natives here make a sport out of it and try to kill them with theyre cars. That way they can pick them up and have Venison for dinner. GREAT FUN...? witnessed that the other night.. haha
I love the people up here! they are so grumpy, stubborn, dirty and smelly, It's amazing how funny they are! I love it!
But other than that everything is going very well! just remember to Pray for missionaries, cause they definitely need it. And also, pray for the Messena Branch. We need to become a ward already!!!
I hope everyone is doing great and everything back home is great!
Love you all
Elder Jepsen
" And The view from our front door. over that road is the St. Lawrence River, The Canada."

Monday, December 2, 2013


So I'm finally here in New York! and.... IT'S SO COLD!! wow...After we hopped off the plane we drove to Utica and to the Mission home where we stayed the night. Then that morning we were given the rundown and then we were assigned to new companions and new Area's. My new area is... Massena new york. One of the most Northern parts of the mission!! haha I should never have told the president i was from St. George. I think he just really wanted to humble me! ha Massensa NY is an amazing place! cold.... but amazing. It is right next the the St. Lawrence River and the Canadian Border. No joke, i can see Canada from my Apartment! Masseena is a small village/town and everyone in it knows eachother. Its a very poor part of new york. A lot of the houses here have been retro fitted to be apartments because people cant afford houses.The people here are very hard,  Burly and independent. There is a mohawk Reservation up here also, so there is alot of gambling, but not alot of people go up there because a lot of trouble goes on up there. Okay! The NATIVES here... They are like brick walls THEY'RE HUGE! haa so cool
    But anyways There are Many different types of churches here, SO MANY! so there are A lot of Church hoppers around Massenna its very interesting, the seem to go to the church that is the most popular that slowl starting to understand the ways of the Massennans haha. They just barley re-opened the Branch up here in June. We have alot of less actives up here, around 150 members. but an average of 25 come to church. It was a real eye opener for me. These people Have such strong testimonies for having so little! AND THEY STILL LOVE TO FEED THE MISSIONARIES! haha ! They are amazing. So alot of our work here is Re- activation. its very interesting, Some people love to have the missionaries and some want nothing to do with the church anymore. Whether it be past experiences with the church, or just caught in some bad habits. But we'll get'em back Don't Worry!
Oh my New Companion/Trainers Name is Elder Mecham. He's been out for almost a Year now, and he Is really cool! We are slowly getting to know one another better as the days go by. But we get along really well. He's from South Jordan so he likes me to fill him in on whats he's missed! ha
I'm so Grateful to have someone so encouraging and inspired to train me! He's Taught me so much just in the first week. like i said, we try to focus alot on reactivation, so we do alot of service! On my first "real day" we helped at a baptist church on Thanksgiving day to feed the homeless or less fortunate dinner, it was amazing! We shovel walkways, we build things, we actually just moved This Homeless guy across town, (for a homeless guy he had alot of stuff) He also had 2 HUGE dogs that I had to Hold and sit with the whole car ride, Who had never been brushed they're whole lives! ha they smelt so bad! But it turns out that where he moved to is a less active members home! so that was amazing. we had a chance to talk to them. The lord works in Mysterious ways. im starting to learn that now! I'm so grateful to be here and to serve the Lord here in Massenna! i already love the people and im almost learning to love the Cold... but i will soon. Dont worry!
I love you all I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving!
Hope everything is going well back home!
Love always 
Elder Jepsen

Elder Mecham and Elder Jepsen, ready to serve!

First day in New York!

President Worthlin, Elder Mecham, Elder Jepsen, Sister Worthlin