Monday, January 27, 2014

Natives and Snow Storms

This past week in Massena has been a great one!! One i think i will always remember.
I will just go through my whole week for ya.
So to start out the week we went on Exchange with the Malone Elders (which is always awesome). Elder Bloomfield came to Massena here with me, and we went and saw this crazy Native guy who LOVES elder Bloomfeild because he's from Arizona and they have this weird "bond". So we stayed at his home for a while and he thought it was such a good night he lit up his Smudge pot (a little native American pot with a hole in the top that burns cedar cones) and he held our hands and Prayed to the creator. Saying how much he loved us and wanted us to come over in the morning for lunch. Well the next day we received a text from him saying he was in the Hospital... He had apparently left the smudge pot on as well as a pan on the stove over night. And it smoked up his entire apartment and he couldn't breath. So we saw him and ran some errands for him. Ooh man, never a dull moment with that guy that's for sure haha
We exchanged back on Wednesday, At Zone Conference. Which was amazing! the over theme was faith. Both the assistants taught us, as well as the president. One of the assistants Elder Tanner, He is hilarious and a fun guy to be around! it might be because he's from Alaska... but anyways he told us everything That happened to his father this past october. His father was with his son and his brother flying in Alaska. And something happened and the plane went down so at the last minute his father turned his side into the ground and he was killed. But his son and his brother lived. This all happened on Elder Tanners mission. And he never went home. HE knew that this is where he was needed. HE is such a great example to us all. I'm grateful for his example.
The rest of the week we saw many less- actives and taught a couple lessons. Its been going really well. we still volunteer at the Methodist church and wash dishes there! They love us! they always give us a TON of food. They are all so nice. But after that Elder mecham caught a bug and got really sick so we had to wrestle with that for a couple days, on top of his ankle! But he is pulling through. I really look up to him and his example. He hit his year mark on Thursday and Elder Peterson hit his ^ month mark on the same day! So we celebrated by going to McDonalds and Burning a shirt and a tie! (as is the missionary Tradition).
 So this last week has definitely been a better week for all of us! 
OH! besides all the terrible weather! It is So COLD! the day we went to Zone conference it was -30 Degrees!. elder Peterson got Frostbite on his ear it was that cold!... he didn't want to wear a hat... Now he does ( i think he learned his lesson) haha 
It has been snowing on and off all week! dipping below zero everyday! AH! ....its gettin old....
So it's still cold,
The people are still crazy,
I'm still learning, 
I hope you all have an amazing week! And are always striving to strengthen your faith!
Love always, Elder Jepsen

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Split Seconds...

So.... I would be lying if i said this last week wasn't a tough one... 
No joke 1 hour after we e-mailed last week we were playing basketball and we were all getting pretty into it aaannd... elder Mecham came down on his ankle weird and sprained it really bad. So in a matter of seconds our whole week was affected. That was really tough on him, and us as a companionship. We really werent allowed to go anywhere because of his ankle, so the beginning part of the week was very slow... But i got alot done in the apartment! so that was good. But after our first day of his injury, we were pretty Freaking bored!!
So we prayed and prayed that he would be healed and we would be able to go out and do his work. Then not even a day later, he was able to walk without hardly feeling the pain! The lord has such a powerful hand in our lives, and in our work out here as missionaries! sometimes its hard to comprehend! haha
We had many opportunities to help with service this last week! its been so great to work with such amazing people in the area, and get our names and our church out there. People really begining to look up to us here in the north country, its so great!
But other than that, most, if not all our appointments we had this past week fell through. And that was really rough... especially on me and my patience. By sunday my patience went out the window. whether it was from my companion or everything that was going wrong. I just wanted to go home and sleep... But my missionary scripture kept coming into my head CONSTANTLY. Isiah 61:1 It was then i realized, i needed to push my selfish feelings and needs aside and say to myself, "what does the LORD need me to do right now for the people?" 
The answer was simple, Forget yourself.
Forget your wants, your thoughts, Just do what he would do!  
In a split second, the spirit made that known to me! And i couldn't be more grateful for the spirit in my life!
The gospel of Jesus Christ is sooo KEY in every aspect of our lives! we all just need to take a step back and look at the big picture and realize it for ourselves. 
That is my challenge for everyone this week:)
I hope all is well with all of you!
Have a great week
Love always,

Elder Jepsen
P.s. Sorry my E-mail is late. The library was closed yesterday for Matrin Luther king day sooooo yeah...
 Also feel free to write me anytime... I promise i'll write back... eventually..... i always do:)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A New Transfer

Well this week begins a new transfer! I am so ready! Elder Mecham and I are still companions, and get along better than ever! we work super well together. We love it up here in the North Country! Elder Mecham hits his year mark this transfer so he's super stoked. I hit my 2 month mark tomorrow and my 3 month this transfer also. It's so weird... But we suspect Elder mecham to leave Massena here soon because he's been here for over 6 months! And everyone teases me and says I'll be training after 2 transfers haha... I hope not... 
BUT anyways, This past week was a great one! we stayed pretty busy visiting less actives and helping with alot of service activities as well as moving GIANT washing machines into tiny cellars! (everyone's cellars up here are really creepy, and dirty and smelly haha) That was a good workout! We also had some really good lessons this week that went really well! We have been teaching this Awesome Farm family, but we have mostly been teaching the father. He is very open minded and a deep thinker. He is super Analytical.. like me so we get along really well! His oldest daughter has been secretly listening to our lessons for a while, she's great! she told me she loves to read so I gave her a bunch of Pamphlets and I told her if she reads those i could give her The "BEST book in the world!" She was very excited. (she's gonna read! i know it:)
We also received a Head Quarter Re feral, For this guy who requested a bible off line. so we contacted him, and gave him a bible. He seemed surprised that we delivered it personally. HE told us that his family has really been pushing religion lately and they were very intrigued by the missionaries. So we picked them up as investigators! That was such an answer to our prayers! We have been praying everyday to find someone who we can teach. And the lord answered!   AH I LOVE THIS WORK! haha and i love these people, I get along so well with everyone! They better not take me away!;)
This last sunday was Awesome! we had Branch Conference so we had all the District Presidency there. They are all amazing men. They are all pretty much Professors at Potsdam so that got me super excited! The over all theme for our conference was Member missionary work. And it was perfect, that was exactly what the branch needed to hear! We also had over 30 members there so afterwards we had a pot-luck and filled the church! It was so good to see.
Things are looking really well up here! I love it. (especially since its been over 30 degrees here lately!!!...and raining..) 
I hope you all have an amazing week! 
Always remember the potential we all have as Heavenly father children, And what we may achieve.
I love you all 
Elder Jepsen

Monday, January 6, 2014

This Week was a Very Adventurous One!

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Well, This last week in Massena was a GREAT one! We have been staying pretty busy up here in the North Country. A lot has happened in just one week sooooo here we go!
First off, The week started out BITTER cold. Like below -25!!  so cold! This first part of the week I was on Exchange with Elder Peterson. He is one of the downtown Elders, And we walked all over town visiting members and investigators IN that cold! haha ...that was fun. It was a great learning experience for me. I learned a lot about teaching, and how long it usually takes to walk across town on mounds of ice. I'm beginning to realize how much easier it is to talk to people now and gain relationships with them. I just love the people here in Massena. I just only wish they could see there potential, many of the people here just kind of settle for what they have and become what others say they are. Most of the houses up here are actually Apartments within the house. There is a lot of poverty here. So not a lot of people work up here...they just all smoke... I JUST WANT THEM TO SEE THEIR POTENTIAL! ah anyways...

After our exchange we had our Branch New years eve party! That went very well. We had many members as well as 10 Non members there. We played games and got to know one another better. It was a great success. 

On New years day they split the area of Massena, and we as drive elders, picked up a new area! So we are so excited! it was an answer to our prayers. With that area we have more members to work with as well as Less-actives. We also picked up 2 NEW INVESTIGATORS after working the area!! They are both Veterans and we couldnt be more ecstatic! Oh that same day, we were making our way down to Potsdam for District meeting. And we looked behind us and we were being pulled over by a state trooper! so we pulled over and he gave us a big ole ticket for our registration! haha That was the first time Elder Mecham had ever been pulled over, as well as his first ticket. HE was so mad! haha it was kind of nice not being the one being pulled over for a change... haha..... So that mishap created a lot of havoc for rest of the week. But we got it all straightened out... kinda.. 

But anyway, The remainder of the week was Awesome, we had a lesson with one of our new investigators he was struggling with gaining faith. So I shared Alma ch:32:21 with him. It reads; "And now as I said concerning faith—afaith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye bhope for things which are cnot seen, which are true.";  Then I bore probably the strongest testimony I have ever given in my life.  But I have never felt the spirit so strong in my entire life then I had in that smoke filled room. My faith in the gospel grew 10 fold that night. I will never forget that night.
Then after that lesson we went home to our apartment. When we walked into the building, we noticed a really nasty smell. And as we got closer to the apartment it got stronger. When we opened the door, a wave of unbelievable stench burst out! OF SEWAGE AND DEATH! it smelt sooooooo bad. So we called the office and the told us to check all the traps in the pipes and dump water down them and to plunge everything ( as seen in the picture below). They later found out that it was the apartment below us that was being renovated, The sewage pipe had backed up and sat there for weeks and the smell just emanated into our apartment. So we put tons of car fresheners all over the apartment and all over our coats! it was so bad.. haha We ended up having to crash at the other elders apartment!  That was a great experience haha
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After that fiasco we went to church and had our Fast and testimony meeting which went super well. I think everyone bore there testimony! I had to share my experience i had with faith the other day and shared a personal experience along with it! I LOVE bearing my testimony! it never gets old. I just wish i could have done it more back home. But that will come in time ;)
This week was a very adventurous one! I love every second and every minute of being a missionary. I wouldn't trade it for anything. 
I hope your lives are full of adventures and spiritual experiences this week! 
Oh and resolutions! Mine is to read the Entire Bible! cover to cover! I'm so pumped!
I hope all is well back home!
Love always,

Elder Jepsen