Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ode to Århus

This week has been nuts and it is already Tuesday evening here in sunny Århus! The schedule has been slammed (luckily :) ) so we have had a hard time finding time to email but I will get to that righhhhht.... now.

The Highlights:

Juan: We met a way awesome guy from Bogota Colombia and he is really searching for truth! We had a way killer lesson with him and it was neat because he basically told us all his opinions and convictions.... which happened to all agree pretty right on with what we believe. Heavenly Father has really given him opportunities to be prepared:) He does not see logically why people can automatically shut out there being God, and for that matter a prophet of God on the earth today. So we are wayy stoked on Juan right now:)

L* is really great still. She was down in Svendborg to visit her family and the Svendborg elders were there and she told them to make sure that we came as soon as possible so we could teach again. She is very open still and starting to seriously consider the message and what it really could mean for her life. We met with her and got into the plan of salvation a bit and left it on a cliff hangere because we had to get home and she had so many good questions that we didn't have time to do justice. So next time we think it will be a key lesson. 

We get to meet with C* again tomorrow! Fingers crossed there:)

We met a lot of new potential investigators. Teaching with Elder  Bennett is something I could do all day because he is such a beast missionary. We had a block of finding on Saturday where we knocked for 2 hours and talked to 4 people and taught... 4 people. We figure we could just go all day long and be just fine at that rate. I'm really thankful to have him. missionary work is reaching yet another level of satisfaction:)

We had stake conference which was so good! It was great to see all of the members from the stake that I have served my whole mission in so far. I didnt realize how close i had actually gotten with some members until this conference. It could be that I can actually fully understand them on an even language playing field, but it was so good to see them again. The members here are so strong and I really admire them for how steadfast they are. Elder Tom-Atle Herland of  the area 70 came and spoke which was way sweet because he is Norwegian. Fun fact, Danish and Norwegian are close enough that I could understand almost all of what he was saying. Fun fact part two, I went up and thanked him and started talking and he asked where I was from. I told him Sacramento area and he said he has a good friend there... well I figured The Sterri family was probably a good guess so I ventured to ask who it was and wouldn't you be surprised to know it was haha. He got way stoked and said they were great friends so... the world get smaller and I have a friend in the area 70 now:) Good stuff. I think I will add Norwegian to the list of languages to learn.

On top of that, Caroline came to Stake conference too so it was way cool to see her there! Odense has really been blessed with a lot of new converts and they are all studs. It really affirmed that the Lord takes care of them, and the Lord takes care of us. Sooner or later, he puts the two together:) The Lord's Elect hear his voice for sure. But that really made me happy. I also asked how Vo Long is doing and he is still going strong down in Odense. Comes to church weekly and  goes to the temple monthly. Incredible:)

We helped carry out Operation Trojan Trash Bag. We went back to help the Lady who like to be sentimental with everything to move stuff aka fill three dumpsters full with her stuff haha. She really has a problem with Hoarding and most of the stuff is literal garbage so we did come covert stuff in order to help her. She didn't know and/or care because she was way stoked on the progress so sucess:) She gave us a marble bust of bethoven:)

We had a really good zone conference today on the Book of Mormon. President and Sister Obryant did a great job and it really was a good booster for the zone. The zone is absolutey STACKED!  Elder Bennett and I are so stoked for this transfer. WE knelt in prayer as a zone to decide on a baptismal goal and we all came together to agree on that every district baptizes has one baptism and then one more. Really though, the goal is to "find the one." God has someone who needs the gospel in EVERY area and it is up to us as missionaries called of God to help guide them back to Heavenly  Father. The spirit was very strong and I had a confirming feeling that great things will happen this transfer. I know the Lord is looking to bless us even more:)

Fun story of the week... we got off the bus later at night and I realized as the bus pulled away that my phone had fallen out on the seat in the bus. So Elder Bennett and I went gazelle mode and raced that bus down the hill and caught it just in time for the next stop to get my phone. (luckily Elder bennett is a stud runner) the victory prize for beating a bus in a footrace though was that I might have torn my quad. No worries though.... what a story right??

Have a wonderful week! We all have five minutes somewhere to make a difference so I challenge you to use it!

Ældste  j

Classic door pic

Climbing park on P-day

The one and only Elder Jakob Jensen

Turtle Meat

The Dulcimer....My next instrument when I come home :) 

The Cactus Crew 

The Bethoven head... legendary

Monday, September 19, 2016

Århus Round 5!

Well sorry if this email is pretty all over the place. Sometimes structure is the key to insanity so I am not worrying about that because things gotta get moving haha.

BUT.... yes transfers came around once again and I will be staying in Århus for a round 5! Sadly, Elder Lee took off to Holbæk to go and do wory with a new missionary so they're going to kill it. We had 2 power transfers and I have really become a lot more refined. Steel sharpens steel you know... (shout out to Coach dave)

Nevertheless, I get an equally beast missionary Elder Bennett!! Man I am so stoked for this transfer:) Elder Bennett hails from Bozeman Montana and is a real solid guy. We were around each other a TON when I was in Odense 2 and he was in Svendborg. So we already are pretty tight. What makes this time different is that I have lost weight hehe.

But for real, So much stoke is going to be spread.

Here is the review of the final week with Elder Lee:

Monday and Tuesday:

We went on splits in KBH with Elder Murphy and Elder Mcdougall. Good stuff! We did a good amount of teaching and finding and stuff so it was a pretty good splits all around. I haven't ridden a bike for pretty much 6 months so it was an experience to haul around KBH in the busy city traffic. Oh yea... I also forgot all my vision help (contacts and glasses) so I got to play follow the leader hahaha. It felt like Mario Cart that way... but I don't recommend doing that. 


Wednesday was solid! We went to special lengths to make it a good day and it was:) We went out and had a way tough knocking sesh... way tough. But just as always there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we stopped by our friend P* that we met last week (the guy from South Africa). We had a  great lesson and he was very receptive! The spirit was definitely there and i gotta say... that might have been one of the most clear, concise, and powerful lesson on how the message we have really can change our lives. We were way stoked to work together so fluidly and help P*. Great stuff.

We got an appointment out of no where with L*. She is still way great! She is so fascinated with what missionaries are all about and we had a great lesson with her. She is very much down to see how the message can help her life. Way sweet. I dont know if I have mentioned this but she works as a engineer building F-16 fighter jets. Way cool for a 21 year old!

ummm... the main thing that happened is that we put on a movie night at the church and a bunch of members came and 1 investigator. We watched "Meet the Mormons" and had cake and stuff. Always a great time.

On Friday we got taken out to a nice restaurant for brunch -all you can eat. It was wayyyy good. They also had some great music going so it was hard not to enjoy myself too much. (I've forgotten how fun dancing is;) ) Just think of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack and that is basically what it was. 

Other than that we had our weekly planning and district meeting. After district meeting  We did the "chocolate trident challenge" for district activity because Sister Andrew called us all out on it. You know who the only one to not do it was? yep. Sister Andrew. Even Sister Acosta pounded it haha. Basically it is a huge pastry loaded with marcipan and chocolate. Good times! (even though it offset my system for the next 3 days haha)

Saturday and Sunday:
Both days we did a lot of finding and stop by's so we could get some things scheduled. We got something set up with C* again so we are stoked for that. Also the young religous student couple N* and P* want to meet so next week we should be chocked full of stuff!

Spiritual thought:

We talked a lot about the light of Christ this week and how everyone has it and can recognize the truthfulness or the restored gospel. We really focused on trusting that the converting power of the gospel will take its course and trusting that people will use the light of Christ to so choose whether or not to accept it. We have really just declared repentance and how people can change and have even MORE happiness. Many People have great lives and are proud of how much work has paid off, but they just dont realize that it could be so much better if they gave it a shot. But this scripture helped me not try and work so much on my own "convincing power" if you can call it that. 

 18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.
 19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.
Elder Bednar nails it perfectly when he said, "that you can't take the message into the hearts of the people but unto." We need to trust that the Spirit of God will help them accept it and turn to the hope of God's light.
Have a great week! Hopefully I didn't leave out too much haha but thats all ya get. Peace!

Ældste  j

Our last photo shoot.  We found an abandoned truck.  Elder Lee and Elder Jeppson 

Some random wooden hummanoid

Århus: Mondays at 10

My Napapijri I got on a huge sale!​

The Trident Challenge- Elder Lee

Sister Acosta and me

Elder Erickson and Elder Lee

Monday, September 12, 2016

A week of Patience

This week has been pretty good overall I would say! It was a different kind of week from the last but I learned from it regardless. We had a lot more time to find this week because a lot of our investigators are busy with school and have had difficulty making/keeping appointments. So we did a lot of finding but there to, we encountered challenge. It seemed that we found exactly all of the wrong people a lot of the time haha. That is an exaggeration but that was a test of patience this week for me. We did however really have a change of mindset. I feel like the Lord added some good coals to our fire recently and especially this week. I have definitely had some solid lessons learned:) 

Like these: 

When Elder Erickson and Preece returned to Århus, they told us all about the training and especially about the training on declaring repentance and change through the atonement of the Savior. That really made Elder Lee and I think, so we added a whole new aspect to how we approach inviting people to Christ. You know... its funny that all of the things that make you go "Woah no way.... thats how you do it?" were already in preach my gospel and the scriptures all over the place. But they finally clicked for us and we put them to use and it made a huge difference. Instead of just saying "hey we have a message about God and how he loves us " or something of that nature, we have really focused on talking about how we have a message about Jesus Christ and what he did for us so that we can change our lives. Essentially, we really truly invite people to change their lives anywhere we go now. Of course the other things that we have done to fulfill our purpose before are still important pieces in conversion so I am not downplaying that at all. But rather, we are catching the vision of a better angle to go off of. Declaring Repentance and baptizing the converts of that message on the Lords time is a poignant message Heavenly Father wants me to learn this week and I think that is what made this week great. It has really made a difference.

I had a way killer personal study on like 4 things at once haha but the main take away was in the Bible in John chapter 4: 

35) behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 
36) And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 
37)And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
38)I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

I does not matter whether we are "reapers" or "sowers!" What really matters most to the Lord is that we do his will on his timing and that is why it is so important to have Christlike attributes! Patience, diligence, faith.... all of them:) So no matter what you do, success is measured by our commitment to find, teach, and baptize; essentially, if we love the Lord and put our trust in Him as we strive to do our best, the Lord will take care of the rest and all things will work out to our good, and the good of others. One day we will all rejoice together for the efforts we gave and how they collaborated with the Lord's will in order to bring to pass his purpose. 


My goal this week is to work on the "stepping stones of positivity".  I had a cool inspiration that because it is 10% of what really happens in the day and 90% of what we make of it that defines our days, that upon the stones of positive experiences will we we be able to successfully and happily cross over the disheartening currents of negativity. (that is as shortly said as I can describe it ) The Lord knows I think in quotes sometimes haha.

Other than that I will share one quick cool snippet from the week cuz I gotta hurry:)

We got to be "investigators" for the youth of the stake. There was a stake youth activity where they had an MTC day where they did some way cool mission prep stuff and it really gave the youth a taste of what a mission will be like if they so choose to serve. We had two groups of four each. The first was 13-15 year old girls and the second was 16-18 year year old boys. I was blown away!! It is incredible how well they taught and how much they knew! The coolest part was that a 13 year old girl named Celeste bore really powerful testimony of a neat experience she had had. My group was a little over time so when they called stop I asked for two more minutes so she could finish and it turned out that everyone went quiet so they could listen to her finish. It was super neat to see her continue and just nail the "appointment," even under the eyes of 30 other youth in the room. 

I am thankful that testimonies come from personal conversions to the gospel.:)


Elder Amos came back to visit.... or should i say Jared the member haha. So weird.

Happiness came in the form of notes, American candy and new socks.... thanks family:) That really was something I didn't know I needed (not that candy is good for you... but I needed it :D )

Well I send my best. Have a great week!

Video Clip :) https://youtu.be/hm-8rJ-TN_E

Ældste  J

My Pokemon card :) (mom note- Love the small print- shout out to Grandpa)
             ​Pokemon cards we made for the zone:

random Århus stuff...

The hippie complex. Yes... people live in those things

                                     The Young Single Adults

Jonas (a young man here) Elder lee, Me, Jared the member, and Big Mike

Reinforcements from Home :) 

A rare glimpse into my night time habits 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week of Understatements

Well as far as my week, it was just incredible! 

I think I said "Today was great" every single day and I don't think I was close to capturing how great it truly was.
There were gems in every day at some point and I really feel that the Lord has helped me grow a lot this week. I don't know if I could love life more until my capacity to love increases haha. I really truly feel blessed to be in a great zone with a great area and two-ish great companions. The gospel works wonderfully as usual. I'm glad it will always be that way:)

As far as the zone, everything is going well! I think there is an increased desire to cultivate the right motives and really dial into the work. We have recently finished touring the districts and had a great district meeting every time. We focused on members and how we need to recognize the weight and meaning of our identity as representatives of Jesus Christ. I think it really helped some wheels turn.
Here is a quick run down:

P-day: We had the Frederikshavn Elders down on splits, Elder Jensen and Elder Brown. Both studs:) We ate kebabs and drank boosters (a soda here) and played the card game bang! For like four hours haha. Great stuff!

I got to go on splits with Elder Jensen who I trained. It was just a blast. We have both grown so much since we were last together. Incredible! He is a beast missionary and just a solid dude in general. We had a solid day of work (and some play) and ended it off by contacting and teaching a way open and happy referral we got from the Svendborg elders! So solid!

We had a way cool experience at the new covenant Bible study. My brotha Joshua asked the question, "Why are there so many branches of Christianity if Jesus only set up one?" Well an intense hour long discussion of this topic ensued and it was so powerful. Us missionaries really testified strongly about the apostacy and  did very well to give a neutral yet powerful answer. (Our goal there is to just participate and we don't want to come off preachy) We have a great reputation there and are great friends with the members so I feel like they really listened to us. One of the coolest parts was that Apostle (the leader) said,

 " The thing is... we should all be unified. If someone was to come in here and say that, for example, that Jesus Christ has revealed who is the right church, then we must be ready to follow them. I don't say I am right, but I am trying to find it. For example, if the Mormons are right, we must be ready to follow them. They are great Christian people who I really admire and if God said they are right, we will follow them. And if God told them to follow us, they would do that too."

Well the spirit was way strong and I think wheels were really turning that night. I really feel like that was an inspired question:) So great stuff on Wednesday night too. Three for three so far.


We had a great time going up to Ålborg's district meeting and bringing Elder Poff and Stephens back on splits. There is some solid gems but I don't have time to write it because I want to do Friday right now:))


With Elder Poff, we did great work. He is a very good missionary who has a great heart and a handle on how to represent Jesus Christ. This pretty much sums up our splits:

We were out in a seemingly average contacting session where people were "too busy" and not a lot was happening. About 30 minutes in, we met a very nice young man of about 24 from the Czech Republic. We tried starting in Danish but he shut us down and asked to speak English. So we switched and started again. Elder Poff asked, "so why do you think there are so many churches on the earth today?" This guy (his name is V*) responded by saying that everyone interprets things differently and has different views and opinions. I followed up with that by asking what he thinks and he said he really is not sure about the whole religion thing. I asked if he had ever tried to pray before and he said he had not. We began to talk about God and prayer and other things of that nature. Basically he admitted he does not really know if he believes in a higher power but said he thinks he has seen evidence that He might exist.. We asked what the evidence is and he told us that he thinks he has started to realize and find his destiny. He had moved to Denmark 10 days prior and was very happy to begin university and become a stock broker. He said that some things have happened that have shown his path of destiny in some ways. We asked what he meant by that and he said " I don't know... but I guess for an example I will  tell you something. It is funny that we are having this conversation right now because I had a dream a couple nights ago that I met people like you two here, and now that I think about it... this is kind of deja vous because I feel like I've met you before but I dont think I have."

Well that gave Elder Poff and I a surge of confidence that Heavenly Father's hand was in this, so we began to testify of how God helps us on our journey back to Him. We kept talking and it led into the the message of the Restoration and at some point we mentioned that God gives us guidance and communicates with us in ways that we will understand. Well here is the coolest part of the experience... after saying that he interrupts the flow of teaching and says, " Here's what I think. I was sitting up in the botanical gardens waiting for a meeting with people from school. No one showed up because it started raining hard but I just sat there. After a while it stopped and I just kept sitting there." Then jokingly he says, "I was lonely and bored so I pulled out this one hundred dollar bill so Franklin could keep me company." He smiled and continued by talking about how he just looked at the bill and saw how it said "in God We Trust" and he said that really made him think. He said that if America bases basic moral values on God, then there must be something up there. He then said "So i just got up at was thinking about that as I left and then right after all that, I meet you two. So there must be a higher power."

Well for me in any case, that put my stoke meter at 100%, so I began to testify to him of God and that his plan for All of us was that we cross paths and that he had prepared us to meet. Then Elder Poff came in and began to promise blessings of praying to know the truth of God and pulled out a pamphlet where it describes prayer and begins to talk about it, but V* cuts him off by saying "woah, I knew you were going to give me this! I was starting to wonder when, but in my dream you gave this to me."

Two things came to mind. 1) I truly have the greatest calling... doing the Lord's work and being a worthy vessel. and 2) I learned a bit more about what it means to be "possessed by charity" like it says in the scriptures. Heavenly Father really blessed us that Thursday morning. 
So we will see where the Lord takes it:) We didn't get his info because he had recently been mugged so he had no phone or anything and I am pretty sure he is staying with a friend so he didn't give us an address. We gave him probably all the info we could possibly give him and we invited him in the very least if we didn't meet again, to pray to find out about the truth of a living and loving God and he said "I can promise you that I will do it. I want to try" I hope Heavenly Father keeps helping us cross paths:) I love that God talks to us in a way we understand. turns out money isn't always the root of all evil haha. 

Played sport with our friend Salaam and the sisters. Did weekly planning. Ate dinner with Salaam and the sisters. Quality day:)

It was Sunday. They're always good:)

Spiritual thought:

Don't be a human doing, be a human being!

A man could be happy in a cave if it was his duty to be there -John Poulsipher

Well Have a great week!! Sorry this was rushed:) Not really though because P-day is here haha.


Ældste  j

the Ålborg district meeting
Elder Jensen and I- Reunion splits

Lights out XD

                         Elder Poff. The man myth and legend

Weekly planning doodles

Dinner with Salaam, one of our friends

The crew still going strong

               The one and only... Elder Erickson. Hails from Sweden