Saturday, July 30, 2016

MTC: Letter 7

Wow this week sure flew by. It has been a pretty good week and it is so weird that we will be leaving soon. This Sunday we were released as zone leaders and so we have a lot more study time. It is kind of nice but I miss helping out all the other missionaries. Two of our teachers were out of town for most of this week so we only taught Lena once but we taught Vahey quite a bit. With Lena I went back to the one Elder Gray and I taught and she hasn't been taught faith yet so that is what we taught and it was awesome. The spirit was so strong as she showed her own faith by making and keeping more commitments. As for Vahey, he has to make a very difficult choice in his life right now and so at the end of this week we asked him to pray, study, and make that choice. We will hear what he chose next week. 

We also had our first skype TRC this Wednesday. Oh my goodness I was so nervous but it was amazing. We taught a lady named Seda who lives in Armenia and it was so cool! I can already tell I love these people so much and I really can't wait to teach them. Even if I can barely talk to them, I love to hear all about their lives and I just want to help them. Looks like my study of charity is really paying off. We have also practiced teaching each other this week and so we all got to make up our own investigators based off of people we know. We are teaching Drey and Geyvorg. (Elder Andros really wanted to pretend to be his friend but he named him Geyvorg after our first investigator at the MTC). I am role playing as one of my own friends too and it is so awesome to be taught. I love doing it honestly and I have a lot of fun pretending to be an investigator. 

We also finished all of the grammar this week! Finally. To be completely honest, Armenian grammar is actually really easy in comparison to other languages so we are pretty lucky. Most of the other languages don't even finish going through all of their grammar but we get to review ours multiple times which is good because I forgot most of it. Just 2 and a half weeks left! Lets see if I can make it. I am excited to hit the field and I love hearing about everyone back home. Thanks for all of your letters and have a great week!

Երեց Ջենսեն

Saturday, July 23, 2016

MTC: Letter 6

Hi Everyone!

It has been a very long week and I am so glad it is finally P-day. It was a good week, but it was really long. On Sunday at our devotional we had Elder Bednar come and speak to us. We watched the Character of Christ for the devotional and then afterwards he just walked in and we did basically a question and answer session for an hour. It was super cool and very powerful and we had front row seats which was awesome. 

Anyway, the reason this week was so long is because we were on exchanges and the amount of lessons we taught basically doubled. I don't know if I will be able to talk about everything that happened with Վահե և Լենա just because we taught them everyday but I will try. So I started this week off with Elder Tenny as my companion for the week. Elder Gray is still my companion I just plan and teach with Elder Tenny. It has been really difficult because we don't know each others teaching patterns yet so the first few lessons were terrible. Also we have different investigators so we taught his investigator Լենա and my investigator Վահե. I didn't really know where he was at with Լենա so it took some getting used to at first but we got it down and we have really gotten to know their needs better which is awesome.

It has also been a stressful week because we had to memorize the first vision in Armenian and so that took a lot of my study time that I could have had for planning. Fortunately, I did get it memorized which is awesome. We also had our last TRC this Friday with return missionary volunteers. I still taught with Elder Tenny and he really loves TRC and so we had a lot of fun with it. Next week, we have TRC Wednesday but we won't be teaching missionaries. We will be skyping people from Armenia. I am super nervous about teaching recent native converts especially over skype because for one we can't understand very much of the language anyway and two if skype starts breaking up it will be very hard to understand so lets just keep our hopes up that we will have a good wifi connection. 

Also, since I am going to California, they said I would not actually be teaching the Armenians in Armenia but they actually have someone from California ready for Elder Gray and I to teach. I thought that was pretty cool but I feel bad for Elder Gray because that means he won't get to teach someone from Armenia. He is still excited though. Well things sure are getting real now and it just gets more and more difficult each day but somehow we just keep going and we make it through. Thanks to the Lord we are learning this language at in extremely fast pace. I am so grateful to be out serving and I just can't wait to get into the field! Hope you all have a great week!

Երեց Ջենսեն

Saturday, July 16, 2016

MTC Letter 5

Hello Everyone! 

I don't even know what to talk about this week because it has been pretty normal for the most part. I just love being here and I love my calling as a zone leader but unfortunately I only have it for about one more week. I love working with all the missionaries and becoming good friends with them. I have quite a bit of time today so I will write about each day individually.

Saturday 9: Last P-day the temple was still closed so I took a nap. Everyone else napped for 20 minutes but I was out for 2 hours. I don't think they know what a true nap is. 

Sunday 10: Elder Gray and I have started getting up at 6:00 instead of 6:30 to get a little extra study in and it is really nice. Our teachers came up with a thing called super Sunday and I hate it so much. We have to learn as many words as we can but I have a very hard time with that especially because I lose a lot of study time due to leadership meetings. We did get to meet the area 70, Larry S. Ketcher though. He is the area 70 for the Armenian mission so that was pretty cool even though my mission isn't over there. Turns out the gospel is really needed over there because the only stake they had was dissolved due to misuse of tithing funds. The missionaries basically run the church over there and some will be called as branch presidents. Later we had a devotional be President Heaton on charity and I thought it was awesome because that is a characteristic I really want.

Monday 11: We taught Վահե today again and we had a very successful lesson. He really wants to learn more about how he can repent. We decided to have him pray about it and so we prayed with him and the spirit was very strong even though we didn't understand the whole thing. We then testified that he could be forgiven and asked him to be baptized on July 30th. (Which is just kind of a fake date because he is a fake investigator but we have to work towards something) He said yes and we were so excited.

Tuesday 12: We taught Լենա today and that lesson was awesome as well. We taught her about the holy ghost and she really wants to feel the spirit. We showed her ways she could do that and gave her a chapter of the Book of Mormon to read. After class and lunch we had exercise time and one Elder got a package with jellyfish in it. We made a bet in volleyball that whoever lost had to eat it. Since we don't actually keep score we just decided it was a tie and we all have to eat it.

Wednesday 13: Today we ate the jellyfish and it was very disgusting. I am so grateful my mission has fast food restaurants in it. I have been kinda sick all week but today it was especially bad and we have had lots of sickness going around. At least I can still go to class though. We also hosted today and it was a lot of fun. 

Thursday 14: Today we taught Լենա and that lesson was pretty awkward but it all worked out. We decided she needed to go to church to help her feel the spirit but when we asked her about church she said she was already going. Oh. Didn't see that coming. We were proud of her but it messed up our whole lesson. Luckily we were able to talk about the sacrament still because she had a lot of questions. We also taught Վահե and that lesson went very well. He kept all of his commitments and he is really progressing but we still have a lot of work to do. He is still unsure about repentance and baptism so we will have to explain why it is important next time.

Friday 15: Today we had TRC (Teaching Recent Converts) and it was very good. The language is coming along a lot better but there is still a ton we don't know. We challenged both of our groups of missionaries to read the Book of Mormon for an hour each day. We have been thinking a lot lately just how important the Book of Mormon is. If the Book of Mormon is that important in our lives then we can't just settle for a little bit a day. We have to work hard and diligently study if we want to be better. They thought we asked a lot of them, but they said they would try to do it and we know they can do it if they really have the faith. I know for me that my hour of Book of Mormon study is very important.

Normally I wont write this much but I just had a lot of time today. I hope you all continue to have a good week and keep living the gospel strong! It will bless you if you do!

Երեց Ջենսեն


Saturday, July 9, 2016

MTC: Letter 4

Dear Family and Friends,

Unfortunately I don't have pictures this week but I sent a lot last time anyway. Hopefully I will have some good ones next week. This week has been a blast for Elder Gray and I and we have especially seen the gift of tongues in our lessons. To start off the week, I was released as a district leader on Sunday. I was excited because it means I get more study time and I really like learning the language and sometimes I feel behind. 

Just as I was thinking this Elder Gray and I were called as zone leaders. Apparently, when you get too comfortable in a church calling, the lord decides to change it up. That's okay, more personal growth I guess. I am excited to serve in this position as well though because we get new Germans this week. We said goodbye to the old Germans and welcomed the new ones. There are a lot of them so this will be a fun calling. I am especially excited to serve with Elder Gray and I think we make a great team. 

This week we taught a total of 6 lessons. We taught Վահե (Vahey) twice and started to lead into the plan of salvation. We hope he will find it very helpful and we think it is just what he needs. We also taught Լենա (Lena) twice. She is improving so much and we have really felt the gift of tongues with her. Lately Elder Gray and I have been going in without notes and so we just have to use what we know and it sure has helped make the lessons more personal. Elder Gray has also improved a lot more on the language this week and he says even more than me in the lessons now. Լենա has agreed to read the Book of Mormon and has also agreed to be baptized when she knows more about the gospel.

Lastly, taught two TRC discussions. After last week, we really wanted to do a lot better but it is hard since we have to teach them as members already and we have to find their needs. Last week we didn't even understand what they said to us so we had no idea what to do. This week, we went in without notes and we were able to talk about goals with some of them and set some better ones to make them better people. The spirit was really strong even when we were slow of speech. I am so grateful I was called to serve in this language and it feels like it is a part of me now. I am slow of speech whether I teach in English or in Armenian but I have found that it doesn't matter because I am not the one talking. It is the spirit that testifies the truth to them no matter how badly I am at speaking. We sure have made a lot of progress here so far and I can't wait to keep making more!

Երեց Ջենսեն (Elder Jensen)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

MTC: Letter 3

Hello Everyone!

This week really flew by and it was kinda just a regular old week. I don't really have much to talk about except we taught վահե (Vahe) again and it was a great lesson. We didn't go in with memorized phrases so it was good practice trying to teach with what we knew and we taught him about the Book of Mormon as well as how to pray. 

We also had our first TRC this week. That is where we teach members and try to find their needs and teach them what they need to know. That didn't go as well because we don't really speak Armenian and they actually do. We would ask, "How are you?" and the answers we got were like "sadlkgoiweajgl;akxdgljaoirjgtaojgl;aj" so basically we just decided we would pretend we understood and keep asking questions and then we jsut shared testimony on the importance of prayer and reading the Book of Mormon. I think one of the people said he liked swimming and that's about all I got.

As you can see, week 3 is proving to be very exciting and we are pretty much fluent in Armenian by now so yeah. Also I don't think I mentioned this before but one of the sisters in my district learning Armenian is from and Armenian family in California. She doesn't speak it (yet) but her family does and so I might get to see them! That is pretty cool. 

Our classroom also split into two because it was too crowded so now the prison cell with cinder block walls and no windows is much more roomy. Luckily things are still going well here and it is a lot of fun to struggle and it is easy to remain positive. Also for those of you who know Braden Bringhurst, he is going to be in my zone next week because the old Germans are leaving and he is one of the new ones. That is exciting! Well, I don't really have much else to talk about so have a great week!

Elder Jensen

This is what 10 hours of class time in a day does to you. This is me at about 9:00 P.M. Every day.