Monday, January 25, 2016

Frederiskhaven, the fish shop, and MMA fighting

Hey so we just got a call that our landlord is coming to check up on the water pressure in our apartment so we gotta run....

Here is what happened this week in 1 minute at the speed of however fast my fingers can type:

We went and stopped by lots, and lots and lots and lots of old potentials. That went well and we got 3 return appointments.

We live right above the fish shop haha. It doesn't really smell like fish anymore because I'm used to it now haha.

Frederikshavn is super awesome!! Its way beautiful and I got some pretty sweet pictures :) and yea its a little colder and has a lot more snow but I love it! 

We taught a less active guy and his girlfriend who is not a member. They are both really positive and the girl really wants to come to church after she gets off work so we commiteed them to come to church in 3 weeks when her job ends.

We had a great zone conference this week were we watched a worldwide missionary broadcast about how we can be better missionaries. The theme was "Teach repentance, baptize converts. (think about that it is a lot deeper than it seems)

Oh man I'm running out of time haha

There is a man who is a member of the church of here who owns a MMA fighting gym. He asked me yesterday if I would be willing to come in sometime and show his athletes some folkstyle/freestyle wrestling moves because I guess in Denmark there isn't very many fighters, if any, that use folkstyle techniques. It is mostly submission holds, punches and kicks, and throws. He was super stoked about it so I get the feeling that I'm going to revolutionize the style of his gym and this region haha. He wants me to come and and run some training sessions for 30 minute blocks every once in a while so all of his athletes can learn the style and start to train it on their own so they have it down by the time I leave this area. The main thing he was asking (that he knows) is about double legs. I think they'll get a whole lot more than just that. :)  I'm so pumped for it! its going to be a great way to meet people and even find a new friend or two to teach:) We are asking president for approval as long as I don't do anything crazy:) So I'm so pumped!!

Elder Shuppy is the man still. We are going hard up here and picking up the pace with this small city. Keep up with us Frederikshavn!

Yea that's about it. The pictures speak louder than words anyways:)

Do great things in classy ways! Have a great week!

Ældste Jeppson

Ældste  Jeppson

Pictures of the Week from the Point

More of Frederikshavn

There is a sweet Naval base up here

We could go visit all the polar bears in Oslo....but nah


The Straight and narrow path of righteousness-- 

Watching Elder Shuppy beat Frank the local chess giant.  (frank...haha)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Late Trains Make Friends

Frederikshavn is a pretty sweet place... Let me briefly tell you all the highlights because they are coming at you quick:

The F-Havn experience: 

      It's a lot smaller than Odense and a totally different vibe so far. The people are little more rough and a little more- out there- but that makes it so much more fun:) It is definitely not as happening but their are some people out sometimes. But our whole area covers a ton of other cities so we travel by bus to Sæby and Hjørring and Hirtshals and stuff. It is right by the ocean and it has a huge port and stuff so definitely originated as a fishing community but its a fairly big place.  We live right next to the gå gade above a fish shop so we definitely get the ocean/ port city vibe in everyday life. They kinda speak a different language up here... haha. I'm definitely a bigger fan of the Fynsk accent as of right now but its super fun to be in a totally different place. 

 Elder Shuppy is the man! At first he was a little quieter but he is awesome. He has a killer sense of humor and he is super funny and we have had a great time together so far!! I stand by my statement that he is a chess wizard. We have played a lot of chess during lunch and dinner and after planning and stuff and I have never realized just how crazy chess can get.  But yea so far its going great! This week though me and Elder Shuppy have been going hard to really organize the area. There were tonnnns of old records going back to 2003 and we went through them ALL! Took forever but now we have a huge list of people we can stop by and now all of the old records we had that had people who had moved or lost numbers or died are now thrown away. The area hasn't been very organized in the past (including our apartment haha) and so we are going to whip it into a clean and organized operation :)

We are in an awesome little branch of about 50 or so active and regular members. I sang a musical number with Elder Shuppy and The Blackhams (the senior couple here ) and I gave a talk and 3 prayers so it definitely feels like a branch. But its way great:)

Some fun experiences:

We have been all over the place trying to get things stabilized so I'll try and give some good ones...
We were out contacting and there was a lady who only spoke Spanish... well I speak Spanish but hey guess what.... it comes out as Danish!! It is the weirdest thing and the look on Elder Shuppy's faced was proof. I started in Spanish and then switched to Danish except I though I was still in Spanish. So needless to say, I need to definitely brush up on Spanish. I think that my brain doesn't have a divided and organized space for every language I learn... I think i might just have a foreign language section that everything justs floats around freely in.... Like big hero six in that portal thing haha. 

We were calling all the old records that seemed still practical and legit. I came across one for a guy named IB. He was last taught and had a baptismal date 11 years ago but hadn't been talked to since as far as we figure. So I gave him a call and:
1 it started ringing
2 he answered the phone
3 he told us to call back he was driving

So he actually still exists and has the same phone number after 11 years... that's rare! That's called a blessing:) So we are working on finding a time that works for him:)

This morning we woke up at 6 to try and catch the 6:47  train to Aalborg so that we could go and get Elder Shuppy's biometrics taken care of so that we can be legal. Well after a long sprint down the gå gade, we missed it haha. But that was definitely divinely guided that I had a overly hard time getting up on time because we got to meet E*. I actually only know the first letter of his name too because he would have to write it down if I wanted to be able to repeat it and/or write it. But he is the man!! He came up and asked us about the next train and that sparked a great conversation. The train didn't come for 30 minutes so we began to talk and had a great conversation:) He came from Eritrea in Africa to make better money and help his family come live in a place where it is much better. He has had a rough life. Life 20 grain sandpaper rough. He fought in a war against Ethiopia over land control and was shot 5 different times that should have killed him, and thrown into an underground prison for 4 years where he lost his eyesight because he was talking about freedom and stuff. He also almost died in the Sahara desert because they were lost and out of water. But they ended up finding a car I'm pretty sure and driving to water. He believes firmly in God and goes to church 2 times a week. He also recently lost his wife so he has had it pretty bad. But he was so happy to talk to us and that we were similar in the sense that we left our familes and friends to come to a place to do something for a greater good. So he asked for our number and put it in his phone and said he wants to call us and talk again. We also invited him to church and we want to take him out to lunch somewhere so he is the man! :)))

Chess club:
I don't belong there haha. Basically it is a bunch of chess wizards that consist of old men, Elder Shuppy, and a nine year old chess prodigy. Luckily a new guy came who is around my speed so we sat in the corner and played. He won the first one by a hair and then I beat him handily. The only thing that was a downer was that he slowly got drunk during the course of the night so I think that spurred him to make rash decsisions.... But det skal vi ikke snakkes om:)

Definitely belong here. It is like indoor soccer meets hockey on a hardwood floor. We play every Wednesday night with a bunch of members and nonmembers. They are all way good because they have all played since birth, but I found out that I'm not to shabby at it;) It is definitely one of the more fun sports of life because you can ram each other like in hockey but also use the walls and stuff. You play with a wiffle ball.

Had more bike problems with Elder Shuppy's bike... enough said

There is a type writer in our apartment and it is the coolest thing to use for sprog studies. I write notes or stories or whatever on it :) Way more fun than a computer.

Thought from this week:

You need to be a christlike missionary. Not just do missionary things

Hope you all discover your mission for this next week and fufill it. Ha' det godt alle sammen!

Ældste Yepsen (how everyone pronounces it over here :) )
Ældste  Jeppson

This is Frederikshavn from a sweet hilltop view

Our posh apartment with a dart board, an organ, and an old Danish typewriter:) (cleaning still in progress)

Me in my fresh missionary foreklædning (shout out to the Bjorling family:)) )

A retro retro photo

Monday, January 11, 2016

Leaving the Nest

Well it finally happened... the transfers finally got me and took me from the place of my mission childhood:( But luckily enough it took to one of my dream areas on the mission so I actually couldn't be happier:)

I've had pretty mixed feelings about it all. I've wanted to transfer only because I would like to see more of Danmark. But I also had a fantastic companion, solid friends (both members and nonmembers alike), and an awesome time working with the people in Odense. As transfers came around I was pretty torn about leaving because the last week in Odense (which ill get to) turned out pretty stellar! So it was hard getting the call to leave but at the same time I've had my time in one of the all around best Places in the mission.

So my conclusion is that I was able to leave the area better than I found it, which is something I take solace in:) 

Let me get to my week before I tell about the new land of adventure:)


So we really picked it up strong for our last week! ´The only sad thing was that I wasn't able to meet with C* in a sit Down lesson becasue she went to Aarhus on Sunday, which is when we scheduled our lesson. But I did get to say goodbye so that was a happy thing. But she is now in the hands of Elder Jensen so I am planning on going to to her baptism sometime in the near future:)

So we finally got in with a guy named T*. This is one of the elusive Odense past investigators that I've tried to meet with for my entire time in Odense. So I was wayyyy stoked. Basically he has some beef with religion and the rules but most closely associates with the LDS church so thats happy! He ranted on for about 1 hour and 30 minutes but thats what he needed i think so I'm pretty sure he appreicated us as people haha. But it worked because he scheduled us (well, the Odnese Elders ;(   ) to come back and do a bunch of service and stuff. This guy has had around 4 baptismal dates so thats positive. 

We got back in touch with E*. He was a friend we were teaching back when it was me and elder gifford so that was cool! He says he will meet tomorrow with the elders so #letsgo.

Vo Long... he is the man:) It was hard having to say goodbye to him but he said that he will always remember me and that he is very thankful for me and Elder Pitcher in his life... Made my eyes start to sweat when I tried to end with a prayer haha. I'm getting soft... But it was awesome. I'm coming back for him. He also has plans to come to Temple Square so I'll be there to greet him in Vietnamese:) I'll miss him and drinking a liter of juice every week that he buys just for us haha. I took that for the team because it made him really happy that we drank all his juice. What a guy:)

Misc. thoughts and experiences from the week:

We did some service for Jette again for the last time. We are 4 for 4 for not hitting her house with trees we chop down;) haha. This last time we went for the mother tree and it was a pretty jank rigging job with ropes and stuff to make sure that the tree didn't hit the house. It ended up that I had to run down the hill and wrap the rope around the entire trunk (which had to be as big as my waist (which has gotten slightly bigger)) and pull up so that the tree fell towards the hill instead of on the house and the lady watching us desperately exert all our energy to stop it... and of course she was directly in the path to be hit if it fell the wrong way so we came in clutch haha. Shoutout to Dave and Clint for making me lift heavy things haha.

Random thought...I don't know if I've mentioned this but over the course of two transfers, Elder Howe in the other companionship has been teaching me how to Do a rubiks cube really fast and I've shaved my time Down from 4 minutes to 1 minute and 31 seconds:)) So i feel pretty cool.

During lunch hour, me and Elder Jensen found this park that had flooded and then frozen over:) So of course we played on it and slid around (safely). But then the Next day for Work out time we went back for a district "Work out" and had a snowball fight for 30 minutes since all of us live pretty close to it. I must say that as a guy from California who has never lived in snow, that was a new joy in life to be able to wake up and go throw snow at your friends on your own turf. Good stuff.

One thought:
As missionaries, unless you are sleeping or studying, the Apartment is a very, very boring place. Me and elder Amos found that out because Elder Amos broke his bike and they are an internal gear systlem so it took forever for me to fix that part. We were inside the Apartment fixing it because it snowed/sleeted on us way hard this last week. It was kind of a reminder that missionary work is really the only reason i am here because not doing any Work would make for a very boring time. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the most fun stems from hard Work:)

So I am currently emailing you from a library in Frederikshavn:) It is, as mentioned, one of the dream areas I've had because I've heard it has a great branch, Skagen (look that up:) ) and its on Jylland so I was super stoked to get the transfer call here! I'm companions with Elder Shuppy from Francis Utah. He is way awesome. He is a chess wizard and kicked my butt on the train ride up here. So now I'll be able to beat Grandpa Jeppson:) But it is going to be so great! I just feel this different energy for this area to test my hand at teaching the people of Frederikshavn:) So I'm stoked.

So they weren't actually too crazy. We dragged my bags to the train station (which have broken Wheels so I lost faith in Samsonite haha) and I hopped on a train with Elder Perkins to Aalborg. He is actually going to be in my district so I'm pretty pumped! Also Elder Murphy (Rocklin, CA) is in my district- awesome, and Elder Gudmundson WHO is a stud so I'm pumped. But in Aarhus we had to switch trains, which is a hard thing to do when you only have two hands and two bags and a bike to carry. So the train conductor had a great time watching me struggle to make the train  with all my stuff haha. In total it took  around 4 hours and a half so it was a fun day of transfers!

well I'd like to leave a quote with you all :)

"If for a while, the harder you try, the harder it gets, take Heart. So it has been with the best people that have ever lived" -Elder Jeffery R Holland

Well I hardly have any P-day time so I gotta run but do great Things  in great ways:)

Ældste jeppson

Goodbyes- The Single adults crew:) - from Left Nico Dam (beast fodbold player, Eric Jepsen (my Danish Dad), The missionary (me), Mads Held (wayyyy great guy), and Mr. Denmark International haha - Nicos Brother)
The OLC (Odense Lumber Crew)

Last time with Vo Long (for now) 

#Because He Lives (courtesy of my foot :)

Slurpees in -3 celsius:)


Saying Goodbye to the Grandt Family

Leaving my mark on the legendary sign of missionaries 

Goodbye pics with the man, the myth, and legend, Jens Pedersen:))))

Dad Again - haha

Eric Jepsen and Elder Jepsen

Lets go Mads Held

Goodbye to the Jensens

Elder Howe - the Man

Good bye to my Son (they grow up so fast....)

Elder Eaves on transfer duty

Elder Hartman

Me and Elder Perkins and our houses in four bags and our bikes

Lights out 

Frederikshavn... Lets Get Started

4th Companion- Elder Shuppy...brotha's son (He was trained by Elder Gardiner) 

Monday, January 4, 2016

The New Year...2016!!!

Happy New Years!! Hopefully you all had a great time celebrating the World's birthday again because it is worth celebrating:) 


So patience really is a virtue because C* still hasn't been able to meet. Something always seems to be getting in the way. You would think she is burning us but she is really positive when we see her in church or at institute. She also has told some of the young adults that she still really would like to be baptized. So happy! But at the same time it's hard because i really want to be able to help her the most i can before i leave Odense (ill get to that).

Vo Long is my hero. :) He is so dang solid! If anything, he could be the sole reason i have a testimony of the gospel. It took 8 whole years for him to even think of being baptized and now he is a solid member. He has the most pure desire to do God's will:) He was telling us last time how much he notices God's Hand in his life and it is way inspiring. He has dealt with post war stress and also the war has haunted him for a long time. Now he tells us that he has had absolutely no problems with any of that:) Im gonna learn vietnamese fluently so we can be better homies haha. 'nuff said.

So we picked up a guy named L* again. He is an "eternal investigator" of sorts. But we just found out that he is way into family history so hey... so are we;) We will see whats going on.

Remember that hungarian guy? He is now our investigator:) Haven't taught him yet but we just redrew the area boundaries for our district and we get the priviledge to teach him:)


So Transfers are upon us as i hinted earlier. I'll find out Wednesday if i leave Odense or not. Kinda crazy stuff! I have mixed feelings about tranfering because this is really I'll I've known so far.... I don't know I'll probably elaborate on them some other time when i can explain then haha.

New Years Eve/day:

 So for New Years Eve we went to familien Sprehn from 5 to 10:30. They are a wayyy awesome family:) They have kids from 5 to 14 so I loved it! Also, they had friends over at similar ages so there were tons of little kids! It was kinda like being at home because all this wild energy is running around throwing pillows at me and trying to make me do magic which I don't really know how one does magic....  haha.  But we played board games and ate a wayyyy bomb dinner. Like I've been really stuffed after some eating appointments and didn't enjoy it... but I really enjoyed being full on this one. :) But we mostly just hung out and talked and played games. They threw a flash bang military grenade for the firework show out at their house haha it was so awesome:) 

We had to be home by 11 but the party was still going hard until 8 the next morning haha. Danes really become pyros on New years because i think fireworks were going off constantly for basically the entire night time haha. But i slept threw it all like a champ. For new years day we stayed in all day to clean. A deep clean. Really deep. Like we are talking pulling out the oven and cleaning the grease from 4 years worth of missionaries because no one else has had the courage to do it.;)

On Tuesday we ate dinner with the Bishop and his family:) It was like a rerun of Christmas which I was plenty happy for:) We ate lots of food and danced around the tree again and played a board games and ate awesome carrot cake (shout out to dad... I ate your piece for you:) ) It was awesome!

Operation C.B.O.M.B :

So we as a district have been working on showing our ward our commitment and gratitude to help earn trust and have a good relationship with the ward. So on Saturday me and Elder Jensen made 40 chocolate chip cookies and put them in a large tupperware. We then chose 6 families who have been a huge support to us and have had us over for dinner (especially during Christmas week). So we planned a loop that we thought would be good and did it. Most of the families weren't home but the next day in church they were way happy with us :) whooohoo! But our "loop" took three hours in -4 degree celcius weather. It was so fun because we would hop off our bikes and pull our gloves off and then make plates of cookies:) I felt like a ninja/secret agent not gonna lie:) Then we rode wicked fast to all the other houses.

That was satisfaction.

But quote for  the week:

We are creatures of our thinking...
Cynics do not contribute
Skeptics do not create
Doubters do not acheive

-President Gordan B Hinkley

"There are no instant Christians, only constant Christians."

Neal A Maxwell

So basically... be optimistic and positive and don't just say youre a disciple of Christ, BE a disciple of Christ.

 My New years goal is really to be able to serve others fully everyday, and look back at the day and feel satisfied. not just happy. That is one that will really make me stretch and also if i break it,  there is repentance the next day:) But yea thats the best to know you did as much as you could that day. I heard a quote that "No man who gave his best ever regretted it" so I'm going off of that.

Hold me to it.

Well make the start of the new year a fresh one and if it's not, call the fabreeze brothers.


Ældste Jeppson

Ps. We got a hug from a guy with a sweet ginger afro this week. So follow his example and give someone a hug who needs it haha:)

Ældste  Jeppson

After operation C.B.O.M.B (cookie bomb)

I got a part time job (very part time....)

Deep Clean Day with Elder Jensen

Lunch Time- mini ping pong

Fan Charts we help people make (or are trying to at least:))

The Sprehn Family + others on New Years Eve