Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Life Lessons, Parole and Flight Plans

Hvadså everyone! 

This is my last time writing from the MTC and you could say im prettttttty stoked. This last week has been fantastisk and it just gets better and better here. Here is the highlights of the last week in the MTC:

Life lessons:
So this week we had some power lessons and they all had a couple fantastic points to take away from them. They really are inspired because every time i heard them id say to myself..... hey, thats exactly what i needed. The Lord is always happy to help!

1. Yet another great analogy from Brother Williamson! He gave us a great analogy about a garden. It requires fresh, rich soil. It requires diligent weeding and other maintenance. it requires constant nourishment. (ETC..) So, as long as you take care of it and put your heart into it, you will yield a great crop. However, if you say, "Ill just water it tomorrow" or " I'm pretty sure the birds wont eat my stuff" then you will end up with no yield. The main point is that there will be a product of this garden, but it is us that decides what that product will be. Will we commit to keeping our garden in good care?  will we decide to settle for a bunch of weeds? That is the question we answer in time. This was very relevant to me because i can go out and mess around and do what makes me happy, or i can fully commit myself to caring for the garden and do what makes the Lord happy. (And im not comparing Danish people to vegetables here haha). This also applies to YOU in some way shape or form so apply it!

2. We had a lesson on learning to love the people and the place we are serving. One of the teachers taught about how he had a prideful companion who was sure that America is the best country in the world and he needed to preserve his Americanness. So basically he didn't get the language at all, he didn't understand the people, and he didn't love the country. Basically.... he didn't do anything productive on his mission except grow weeds (see it applies to a lot haha). We were taught after this that we need to be like The Prophet Ammon who goes to the Lammanities to serve them with all he has. We read in Alma 17:23 that he said he desired to dwell with the Lammanites (and serve them), even until the day he dies. The main point of this lesson is that we need to lose ourselves in the work and assimilate with these people. The teacher told us that the more we try to become like those we teach, the more we understand them and are therefore successful in teaching them. He said that the blessing of doing this is a great love for the people and the country. 

3. For the future missionaries, we had a devotional by Emeritus General Authority Elder William Walker. (thats a mouthful huh). But he was a fantastic speaker and talked on 10 ways to be a more happy and successful missionary. It was really great to hear as i prepare to leave the MTC:

1. Focus on the Lord
2. Love the scriptures 
3. Forget about yourself! (My personal favorite)
4. Love the people... really love them
5. Follow the mission president
6. Learn the language of the spirit
     (This one is cool because he said he was listening to President Monson at a missionary devotional and President Monson said that every missionary needs to come home bilingual, if not trilingual! Thats was a really neat thought.)
7. Work HARD!
8. Be exactly obedient
9. Be a Preach my Gospel Missionary
10. Prepare to return home and live as a faithful member and continue to serve your fellow men

These were awesome for me and had personal study on many of the scriptures that he mentioned with these points. I know this is a sure way to be sucessful and have no regrets.

Apply these as you will haha.
Parole (not really though):
So for early Monday morning service we went to clean one of the buildings again and guess what job we got... Scrubbing Brick Walls!! So basically we died laughing in front of the cleaning manager and he didn't seem very amused which made it better. I call it parole because i felt like a juvenile community service volunteer scrubbing graffiti off walls (like The Santa Claus 2 movie haha). It was actually pretty fun and we had races to see who was the Scrub King (emphasis on Scrub). Anyway for all those coming, try and get the white board washing job. I have no clue how that helped though because after we scrubbed it for about an hour and a half guess what... still just a brick wall! 

Flight Planzz!:
Friday was the golden day for us because we finally got to see the light at the end of this timewarp tunnel. We get to leave Monday the 27th at 6 in the morning for the airport. Then we fly from SLC airport to Atlanta Georgia. After that we have an hour and then we board a fourteen hour flight to Amsterdam!! When we get there we have one hour to get to the next plan which is a three hour flight to COPENHAGEN! We all "rejoiced exceedingly". It was a little hard to focus in class for a bit after that but we somehow got back on track. I'm so excited because ive never been out of the country! Ældste Ziegler thinks this is hilarious because hes a proud Swissman and likes to tell us how many places he has been in Europe (which are all ironically better than the USA in his opinion) haha. 

I have continued to progress in Danish a lot since Sister Paulsen got here! I mean yea... she talks faster than most 13 year old girls but it has actually helped me a lot to understand better. Im really excited to see where my first transfer is to because im hoping i go somewhere in Jutland where its mostly country and its beautiful! We will see how well i actually do but its the same for all missionaries so im just gonna roll with it. 

Shoutout to the LeBarons for ending my districts mail drought! The cookies went down in the pantry history (that's what my large food stash is called) haha. All of my district are convinced that my family reunions must have the worlds best food haha. Thanks LeBarons!

For one of our lessons we decided to sing to him! It was really cool because it kinda caught him off guard that we actually sounded pretty decent. That actually made the lesson 5x better so i was happy we did that even though it was kinda awkward at first!

We get 12 new Danes today! Its exciting to meet them because they are potentially future companions! I mean the wont replace the Fire Stør Dansker (Its what we are known as throughout the MTC haha it means the Four Great Danes) but its exciting!

Thats about all i got from this week but I love you guys! Holde ud til ende oh altid tjene andre mennisker! Gud elsker I og onske I at vende tilbage til ham! Du can gør svært tinge!!

Mel Kærlighed, 
Ældste Jeppson

Hallway Inception 

Branch Goodbyes

Branch President

Abbey Road -MTC style

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Rain, Native Speakers and Wrestling

Goddag! Another great week for the books! Time is nonexistent here so here I am already talking to you wonderful people yet again! Its really crazy how fast it goes when you're are always busy serving the Lord! Im sitting here wondering how it has already been 1 WHOLE month since I entered! I need more time! Yet  I am quite stoked to get my flight plans for my long awaited flight to Danmark!!

Here is the highlight breakdown of another stellar week:

This may not be a big deal to a lot of you reading this but it absolutely DUMPED for about an hour two of the nights this past week. The lack of rain in my life lately really got me excited (somewhat more than it should have haha). Nevertheless, me and my companion from the blazing desert of Arizona hurried and changed into our night clothes and went out and sat on the curb in the pouring rain for those deluges. Good stuff.


So this week we received a new teacher named Søstre Pauslen. She has been born and raised in Danmark... and on top of that she lives in Copenhagen, where they talk at light speed. She made her teaching debut on Saturday night when we where all pretty tired because those seem to be the hardest class sessions.  But anyways, she walked in and started teaching... and then we pondered our grasp on the Danish language. She could have been speaking Mandarin Chinese and I would have understood her the same haha. We left second guessing our language skills. But luckily it was because we were so tired and Monday morning actually was one of our best lessons! I no longer doubt my language and it seems to have significantly improved! She still talks relatively quick but its good preparation for Danmark! Also, sometimes I get the feeling that she is laughing inside at our accents but she is pretty hard to read haha. Although Elder Gardner seems to have a lot more trouble so i can definitely tell when she is laughing at him. Other than that the language is coming along! Im still amazed how fast I have learned this much in the four weeks I've been here! I still stand by my affirmation that the gift of tongues is real!

President Packers Funeral:

We had the wonderful opportunity to attend the funeral of President Boyd K. Packer! It was short and sweet and the spirit was so strong there! Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard were the first two speakers and they gave wonderful talks. It was so awesome to see the love they felt for President Packer and the spirit that accompanied this love. There was a quote I took away from it by M Russell Ballard that goes, "We must wear ourselves out in the service of the Lord." It was so relevent to me because hey... I'm on a mission! That really stuck with me all day so that can also go on a quote plaque. 

Brother Reidler:

He is the MAN! He visited us one class block and told us that he served in Denmark 34 years ago! He told us that he has prayed every personal prayer in Danish since then and he still speaks it fluently! He told us how much it has blessed him in his life as an Army Colonel. He is currently being trained in the MTC for a mission in West Point, New York! He is such an awesome man. First off, he brought us cookies one class period! They were so amazing! And then on top of that he brought us In-N-Out! Elder Ziegler has never had it so he brought us double-doubles, fries, and shakes! We smuggled them back to our rez (Residence hall: its the MTC lingo haha) and then we feasted while listening to the Hobbit Soundtrack that Elder Ziegler has haha. It was legendary! And Yes there are pictures. It was probably the highlight day of the week (It was Monday). And then on top of that, we got the homemade bread package WITH honey cinnamon butter. So we were pretty close to Heaven. And then the icing on top of that cake was two glorious loaves of Banana Chocolate Bread and Lemon Poppy seed bread (which only i know about ;) ). But all of the prior care packages made history in my zone. Most of the Nords who i hang out with a lot believe in the Gospel a whole lot more haha. So thank you Grandma (and Grandpa :) ) and Aunt Kim and the Fillmore fam! You made that day a zone legend!

 For choir we sang "This is the Christ" written by James E. Faust and it was quite stunning. The Choir was about a thousand missionaries and it was magnificent! For those comingto the MTC join the Choir! It is most excellent!!

One night we had a spontaneous wrestling clinic in the confines of our Rez hallway. Someone laid out a blanket (after our workout routine (which i will mention (ive never used this many parenthesis))) but anyways we had match-ups and it was pretty hilarious. The most fun was me versus Ziegler because he is extraordinarily strong and was in the Swiss army (which we hear alllll about haha) so he seemed a worthy opponent in his mind. That was before he was on his back in a cradle so I'm not sure what he thought after that. Glad to see that all the skills I've developed will always be muscle memory (shout out to Dave and Clint and The one and only Dirty Mike). But anyways it was good fun for a bunch of restless young men with their manliness to prove haha.

We have done a workout routine for almost two and a half weeks straight now. We come straight from our last class which ends at 9:30 and we do a circuit of a workout i made up. We do push up ladders up to 10 (which is when one person does one and then the rest of the circle follows in order, then i do two and they follow and so on. This goes up to ten and back down.) Then after that we do a total of 4 minutes of planks in one minute increments, Which aren't fun without Bonus Time ;) haha. So following that we do side planks for 3 minutes and then we are done. Its a great way to get all the extra energy out and also offset our food intake haha. 

I have such a love of this gospel! I know that I am my own first convert and if I don't baptize any one at all... then i have fulfilled the Lord's goal for me! I know that He has prepared his people in Danmark to recieve His wonderful Gospel!
Jeg elsker mig Fresler, Jesu Kristi! jeg vil at han har dødt for mig og jeg kan vende tilbage til han igen. Jeg elsker jeres oh jeg huber at i kan have en fantastisk uge!

Med Kærlighed,

Ældste Jeppson
 The Tie Draft
 Zone Picture
Heavenly Bread and Honey butter from Grandma

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 4th, Goodbyes for now, and the Gospel


So we got to do this thing called TRC, or Teaching Resource Center. It basically means we get native Danish people who are members in the Provo area. We taught two sisters together for thirty minutes, and then switched rooms and taught their mom for thirty minutes. All of them were born in Denmark so it was both easier and harder to teach them. Easier in the sense that we didnt have to teach them for the first time. Imagine home teaching and that's basically what it felt like to me except that they were speaking so quickly and so fluidly that i pretty much couldn't follow them for until i got more accustomed to their accent. It was harder in that sense. I'm used to teaching my two teachers who are our "investigators", and they usually try and sound american for the sake of us understanding correctly. But nevertheless it was an amazing experience and i felt like that helped me to grow a lot more!

The wise words of Broer Williamson:
One of our teachers is very good at make a point and making it stick in your mind. He taught us during a fundamental teaching hour that we must be with our investigator until the very end, meaning that we need to go through everything with them. He told us a analogy that went like this:

        You are trying to help someone find the most succulent steak in the world. This steak is located just over some mountains. You tell them to walk along a pretty easy path (in your mind) and its just over the mountain. So they head off and get to the top of the mountain and guess what... more mountains. A whole range of them. So they trudge on going up and down until they finally reach the last peak of the last mountain. Then guess what... An ocean. So they have to build a boat and sail across this vast sea to where the restaurant with steak that the knife can cut through like butter (which sounds great to me since i have this "food" here haha). Anyways, this guy is sailing and then finally see land. But wait..... it is a small island with a volcano. So he begrudgingly hikes
the volcano and finds some locals who give him the right directions. So he sails off again but gets lost and finds himself on another island. Its pretty terrible now and really discouraging. He finally makes it through to real land after battling a 30 hour storm. By the time he gets their he quits because the steak is not in sight and he cannot do anything more.

The point of this was to illustrate the battle people go through to have this "most delicious steak" which symbolizes eternal life. This is why it is imperative that we say, "Hey don't worry we can all hike this mountain together" or " hey lets build a cool boat to sail this sea" or "hey lets race up this volcano together." To me this was really powerful.

Then he told us to look up Doctrine and Covenants 15:4-6 which basically says we are here to serve if we do it well we can rest with those we have saved up in heaven so don't give up the fight until then!!

4th of July:
For 4th of July we go to go to a special devotional. There was a cool slide show and special musical numbers and the flags of all countries where missionaries are serving! There was a short talk by someone who is a professor of ancient scripture from BYU but his name escapes me but he did well! After that we got to go watch the fireworks from the Stadium of Fire from the front parking lot haha. It was a nice change for a bunch of restless missionaries!  We actually went back earlier to watch from our third floor window and that was actually way better! We had about 8 missionaries crowded around a very small window it was awesome.

Goodbye to my Dutchies:

I had to say goodbye to all my Dutch friends from my zone. It was kind of sad but most of them will be at BYU when we are all home so I will definitely see them again. It was super neat on fast Sunday to hear all of their testimonies as they were leaving. They are all awesome missionaries! I also got the chance to bear mine since it was my only fast Sunday at the MTC. I felt the spirit more strongly than I ever have at Testimony meeting! Then that night the Danes all inherited all of their extra stuff because we are their favorite "new people" haha. So we now have a small pantry that is open to the whole zone and a variety of new decorations and toys (even nerf guns haha). But i love them all they are great!


Everything is falling into place. I keep progressing at high speed and its so great! The accent is still hard but that comes with months of practicing so I'll get it someday! Sometimes though I just say English words in a slightly British accent when I don't know a word hahaha. I said "Det er.... Possible" in a lesson which means that is possible but i didn't know what the word for "Possible" is haha. I said it with a very thick British accent for some reason and then the "investigator' lost his mind and could not stop laughing so that was fun haha.

Yesterday night i got to say the opening prayer for the Tuesday night devotional! It was pretty amazing to pray on behalf of 2000+ people! It was a little bit scary but once i closed my eyes it was just a normal prayer. It was pretty weird at first because 1. I've never heard my one voice so clearly (in surround sound) and 2. I almost started it in danish so i had to rethink it haha.
But Elder Condie was the speaker and he gave a super powerful message about Joseph Smith's First Vision and had two main points:

1. If the first vision did not happen, then the LDS church is a sham so we must know for ourselves that it is true.

2. And on that note he gave a stellar one liner that belongs on a wall or something, "If you don't believe in the First Vision... take it up with God. He was there." 

So that was so powerful that it will probably go on a plaque or something when i get home haha.

Well that's about it for this week! Jeg elsker jeres! jeg er maget glad at være i MTC! Jeg vil at envangelium er sand og Jesus Kristus er vores Fresler!

Mel Kærlighed,

Ældste Jeppson

 #repthejeppsonname Family Reunion Shirt! Thanks Aunt Kristi
 Elder Jeppson & Elder Gardner
 Thank you from Elder Ziegler

Monday, July 6, 2015

MTC Life and Asparagus

Hey everyone! This week was packed full of studying and fun! The first week went pretty slow but this week was thrown in a blender so here i am again already! It is pretty much inception of time so i ponder on "how real is time anyways?" a lot haha. I'll break down this email for ya so it has some organization haha. 

The language is coming along so well! I can already hold whole conversations and can speak at probably a 5th grade level but i am able to teach the lessons in Danish no problem~! The gift of tongues is so real when we are teaching! we are able to clearly convey our message and find words that we struggle with normally haha. Its so awesome though! We teach two "investigators" a day now so we are always busy preparing to teach in danish. Its funny cuz Elder Gardner is able to say anything he wants to basically during lessons but in the classroom he just says "ja" a lot (that means yes). We all are pretty fried so pday came at a nice time to let our brain unwind. 

Daily life: 
Everyday is pretty similar. The days pretty much blend together except for "pday eve" and pday haha. We wake up every morning to go get a sack breakfast and then have personal study for an hour after that. After that we get an hour to go exercise. I usually play basketball or run on the indoor track, but on Wednesdays we have zone soccer which was much crazier today since we got 50 new nords and swedes. We had a Dutchies and Danes vs the rest today and we remain undefeated. (it was basically old veterans vs the greenies). But after exercising we get to go shower and then its off to class. The day proceeds as follows:

class for three and a half hours
lunch for an hour
class for four and a half hours
dinner for an hour
guess what....
class for three and a half more hours haha

 Its awesome though even though it can be slow. Its really nice to learn and teach in gospel terms in Danish because the repetition truly is the mother of all learning. We have two awesome teachers now. One is actually our first "investigator" so its kinda funny. Apparently i said at one point in one of the lessons that "I know these things are Satan". hahaha. So great. But the new teachers name is Brother Williamson and he is from Alpine Utah. He has Stellar Danish and is a fantastic teacher. The funny part is that sometimes we can get way off topics and it usualy ends with him on a tangent about something that needs to be changed (like the police system or stuff like that). But he is about to take the LSAT and he is going into tax law. (just for dad).

Last week we got to do a session at the Provo temple! It is so huge and beautiful! It was a neat experience to go as a whole zone. Also we get to go on temple walks on Sundays between 3:30-4:30 so i mean........ i like pizza ;)

For service on Wednesday i got to prepare asparagus for the apostles!! They were all here to train the new mission presidents. Our service job every Saturday is to help in the kitchen so we unloaded all their food and acutally cut and washed all the asparagus... probably 30 pounds. So fun. 

This Sunday me and AEldste Gardner were assigned to teach the lesson on baptism. It was basically us and three other companionships in a room and the spirit was so strong! You could say we definitely killed it... haha. It was so neat though to feel of everyone's spirit and the love God has for them.

P-day Eve:
  Pday eve is the most exciting night of the week. We have awesome devotionals and last night Elder Sitati of the 70 came and spoke and he was really good!  Then we go back and hang out at the rez, (residence hall haha). We usually have a potluck of food from our care packages (feel free to send them) haha and then play nerf basketball games of horse. Its usually pretty crazy and we make up the most insane shots. My signature shots are called the "crazy steve" and "the journalist". It gets pretty heated usually. 

Well thats all i can think to cover right now! Jeg håbe at du er alle godt og glad! Jeg vil at vores Frelser eslker os mir end vi kan vil. 
Mel Kærlighed,

Ældste Jeppson

 A peaceful protest against the MTC food
 Elder Gardner in his glory
The raincoat crew

Sunday, July 5, 2015

First Email from MTC after 1 week

Its already been one week! time is virtually non existent here its so cool. We wake up, get breakfast, get an hour of gym, an hour of personal study in our rooms, and then we have 10+ hours of classes for language study and missionary study. We have an investigator named Anders and he is Awesome! Two days into the MTC we had our first discussion all in Danish! We have had two more since then and that is just i n the first week of the MTC. It is so cool to teach in Danish! I love the language already and have progressed rapidly. The accent is pretty hard haha imagine holding a cotton ball in your mouth when you talk. But The gift of tongues is so real! Yesterday we taught about the Atonement and the spirit was so strong! the words just came to me as i spoke and i was able to clearly convey the message we had for Anders. It was a fantastisk dag! My companion is Elder Gardner and he is legit. We have so much fun along with our zone. We have two other danes, Elder Gerber and Elder Ziegler, and the tons of Dutchies and a couple Norwegian. We get 32 new swedish and norwegians today so we get to be the big dawgs. Elder Ziegler is from Switzerland and he is so funny! We are always correcting his words that are some of our more colorful words but hes awesome. He speaks 5 languages already. Elder Gerber is very awesome as well. He is our District Leader and has an Awesome spirit about him. This place is so fun! We have weekly pday zone soccer games and today we one 7-6. You could say i was man of the match with a hat trick...... but we dont keep score here. But if we did though...... i was haha. Our zone is so tight i love it. Everyone is really cool and we have a lot of fun. We had the tie draft last Wednesday and we have another tonight but basically we put all our worst ties on the pull up bar and put our names in a pillowcase and see who gets lucky. There are absolutely the ugliest ties ive ever seen. Its prettty much if you mixed the 70's and and old rug and thats the ties. Its so fun though. The food..... well basically i do service in the kitchen so  got a tour of everything so i could know how it works back there. There is nothing even relatively healthy back there. I have never ate so much salad in my life so im pretty sure my spirit animal is now a rabbit. Thanks for the care packages though i Love them! Its funny cuz we are all desperate for outside contact so we all rush for mail and packages twice a day after meals haha. Its so great. Its so nice to read all the letters and emails.  Also i say Nathan Porter after 4 days and we honestly lost our minds. Now we see each other everywhere haha i love that guy. We are stilll the same person and i swear we are telapathic.

The devotionals, 
we have devotionals every Tuesday and Sunday! they are so powerful every time and its usually a quorum of the 70 or an apostle. We haven't had an apostle yet but Elder Nash and his wife spoke and he was so powerful. His message was to leave it all behind and give everything to the lord. It was so powerful and the spirit was so strong. Also, I was in the Choir and we sang Precious Savior, Dear redeemer, and that was so powerful all in itself. It gave me the chills it was so powerful. We basically sounded like Angels meet MoTab so it was awesome. Well i think ive covered as much as i know to cover haha so Jeg elsker di og jeg vil at Mormons bog er sadnt. Also, Himmelske Fader elsker os mir end vi kan vil. vaer godt! 

Mel Karelighed,
Elder Jeppson

 Elder Gardner and Elder Jeppson (First mission companion)
 The Danish district in the MTC (Jeppson, Gardner, Ziegler, Gerber)
 Provo Temple
 Brandon's Tag in Danish

Jeppson, Gardner, Gerber, and Ziegler in class