Monday, October 31, 2016

Letter 20

Hey Everyone! 

I feel like my emails are never super exciting because I always forget what happened. We did have transfers this week though and nothing happened in my companionship but we did have some changes in our district so that was cool. I really like changing things up to be honest and so I wouldn't mind working with different people every transfer which is funny because I am in Armenian work which means we rarely get changed.
Not gonna lie this week was pretty tough and we pretty much dropped everybody except for our miracle people with the baptismal dates Asal and Lia. Also trios can make it really hard to get along. We get along pretty well we just argue a lot about stupid stuff. It is also super hard to learn Armenian here. We aren't able to speak it like at all because we have no one to practice with except each other and on street contacts. On the bright side, I am getting pretty good at street contacting in Armenian. Except for sometimes when I approach people in Armenian and then they just look at me confused. That is always awkward but for the most part it works out.
Anyway, life is still good in the field and we did have a cool visitor in the Armenian class yesterday. A branch president named Rolland came to the class. He lives in North Ridge though so I don't think he will make it every time but he is super cool and I hope he can come more often because we need all the help we can get in the Armenian group. 
I also had a special visitor show up to church yesterday so that was pretty fun and totally crazy although I am not in the least bit surprised that he came because he works super close to us. I gave a talk in sacrament meeting too so that was fun. I am pretty much terrible at public speaking but it was alright because there were a lot of speakers so I only had to take a few minutes. That's pretty much it for this week so I hope you all continue in your personal lives with faith. I have realized that faith is super important if you want to be successful so if you don't have much faith then you better start to grow it! Read your scriptures everyday, pray, and go to church. If you do that then you are doing pretty good and your faith will grow so much. Have a good week!
Pictured: So there is this crazy guy named Minas who just kind of walks around the building and every time it is open he comes in and prays and eats if there is food. He even came in while we were having zone conference once. I am pretty sure he has no idea what is going on most of the time but I asked him to take a picture with us and so that was fun. I have no idea how old he is but he is just super funny. Sorry that is all the pictures I have. Hopefully I can get more next week.
 Elder Jensen with his "special visitor," Lance Douglas -- his Young Men's President from back home!!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Letter 19

So this week was pretty good for the most part. It's hard to find Armenian investigators but it is possible. We do have a couple but it has been hard because every time we find one they drop us early on. The one we have that is progressing right now is super awesome and we were able to help him come to church this week. The only problem is everything is in English because there are not enough people in the Armenian group. Even the Sunday school class was in English because the teacher wasn't there. I hope he was able to understand a little bit.

On the bright side, our English investigators are doing great! Lia wasn't able to come to church this week because the access van bailed on her. She was going to try to walk to church but we wouldn't let her because it was definitely too far for her electric chair. We will just have to push her date back again. 

Another great surprise is that Asal wants to be baptized. Her husband is a recent convert and they are from Iran. They speak Farsi but their English is good enough for us to teach them and Moosi (her husband) can help us translate. At first she didn't want to get baptized but I guess last week she went to church at her own church instead of ours like she normally does and she said she just felt like our church is where she is supposed to go. It was super amazing, this family has been through a lot and I have come to love them so much. I will have to get a picture. She has set a date for the 12th of November and we are super excited!

I hope you all keep up the good work with school and such. Don't worry you are already a fourth of the way through. That's super weird. Anyway, have a good week!

Pictured: sorry not a lot this week. Apparently they have a ton of peacocks in Arcadia just all over the place so I took some pictures. None with the feathers though sorry. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Letter 18

Hello Everyone!
I just wrote to you a couple of days ago so there isn't really much to write but we do still have one investigator with a baptismal date so that is super awesome. We had a hard week this week but yesterday made up for it. We were able to get a lot of our investigators to church and it was a stressful meeting to figure out everything going on but we got it to work. It was the primary program so what a great time to have a bunch of investigators there. 
We were also able to pick up three new investigators yesterday which was super awesome. Things will keep looking up as long as we just keep finding and opening up to people! I am excited for how things are looking with the people we have found. Now we just need to find more Armenians specifically. One of those investigators from yesterday is Armenian so that is good and he is also a younger Armenian so I really hope he progresses. Anyway, that is about all for this week. Sorry but there just isn't much to write but I hope you all have a great week!

Pictured: The first two are just this tree we found with a huge hole in it. It was pretty cool so we took pictures with it although it was pretty much solely for the purpose of having pictures to send home. The third one is from today. We found this awesome bookstore that sells a ton of cool Armenian stuff. I was able to buy some good dictionaries and I can probably buy a bunch of souvenirs there later. Anyway, the picture is a brand new copy of the first Harry Potter book in Armenian. It hasn't been out for very long and I think it is super legit that they translated it into Armenian so I will definitely need to buy it later.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Letter 17

Hey everyone! Sorry for all the mix-up from this week. We had P-day today (Thursday) so that we could go to the temple on Monday. I am so grateful I am able to go to the temple in my mission. It was a super long week though because we didn't have P-day until today and we didn't find out about the change until the morning of.  To be honest, it was a ten day week so I can't actually remember anything that happened really but I did get to try some Armenian food and Iranian food. It is super good. 

We did pick up one new investigator this week who is now progressing so that is good. The hardest thing out here is just meeting with people multiple times a week. We have a hard time keeping steady appointments with people because they keep cancelling them. It is hard to find people who have time to listen to our message. Lia however, is progressing very well. We had a date set for October 29th but we will probably have to push it back because we have a hard time figuring out how to get her to church since she is completely wheelchair bound. Other than those two, we really don't have any investigators or at least not any with good potential. 

We are still trying to find an Armenian family or at this point, just an Armenian in general who goes further than the restoration. If we do get to teach people, they usually don't want to join our church they just think we share a good message. I am hoping we can just get more people to read from the book of Mormon. Sometimes that is the hardest thing but if they actually read it with the intent to know then they will find out its true. I think we are going to try and use the Book of Mormon in our teaching more this week. I hope you all continue working hard and have a great week!

Pictured: The first 5 pictures are all pictures of the food we got from a member named Anoush. She is awesome and the food was really good.The first picture is called Plav (rice in armenian) and they don't use utensils so what you do is you tear off some of the lavash (second picture, tortilla like bread) and pick up some of the rice using the lavash. It is super good. The other thing is called Lamajoon (sorry for the weird spelling, I have know idea how to spell this using English letters because of it's limited alphabet) and is also very good. The last picture was Iranian food we had with a Persian speaking family and that was also super amazing. 

(Letter to the Primary Kids from back home in response to a packet of letters sent out)

Dear Primary Kids,

I am glad so many of you want to serve missions like in Oregon, Australia, Taiwan, or Mexico. That is so cool! You never know where you will get called to serve though but no matter where you go, it will be the right place for you. I heard you had a wonderful primary program and it sounds like you all have wonderful testimonies of the gospel. I sure loved reading your letters! My mission has been hard because I am trying to learn Armenian but many people here speak different types of Armenian which makes it hard to learn. My mission has been really hard so far, but I know that the lord is preparing people for me to find.

It is a great experience to serve a mission and I hope you all have a desire to do so. It has helped me learn so much more about Jesus Christ and how much he loves me and others. Always do your best to serve the lord because then he will be able to bless you. I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ that has been restored to the earth today. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet because I know that the Book of Mormon is true. If you have not read the Book of Mormon you should do it and you can know for yourself if it is true or not. I know that we can do all things through Jesus Christ, even learn a new language. Thank you for being awesome and don't forget to share the gospel with your friends! Ես սիրում եմ ձեզ! (I love you all!)

Երեց Ջենսեն (Elder Jensen)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Letter 16

So Conference was super bomb this week! So many good talks and on top of that it's like missionary vacation!  It was a busy week though with zone conferences the day before but I had a really good time listening to all the talks.
I really wish I paid more attention to Conference before coming out here because it is amazing. If you didn't watch Conference you should at least watch some of the talks because they were all super good. Also, members feed you really well over Conference so that is just a plus.

The beginning of the week involved a lot more finding and unfortunately dropping. Hopefully we will find someone who is ready for the message of the gospel and not just ready for a one time lesson or a two hour service everyday. We did find a lot more new investigators though so that was good. Unfortunately I have no pictures his week so sorry for that but it was a really good week for us still and my companions really like to work hard which is very good.

I hope you all watch Conference if you haven't all ready and appreciate the messages we are given. I took Conference for granted before my mission and now I realize that these messages are super important because they came from prophets and apostles. Who knew that these are prophets in our day? 

It's amazing but sometimes we forget that but I promise as you watch with a specific question or concern in mind, Heavenly Father will answer it. I hope you all have a good week and keep working hard to be your best!