Monday, March 13, 2017

The Scuttlebut

I just had a flashback to the 7th grade when my dad was driving our middle school carpool group to Springview Middle school and what came to mind was my dad giving us the word of the day. I haven't forgotten it since so if any of you are wondering just what that means exactly, its basically the sailors term for "the talk of the town/ the lowdown/rumors. Lets negate the last definition because this is not going to be an email session of me telling rumors haha. 

So here is the news:

Well this past week has just been chock full of miracles and quality stuff. For starters... i dont know if I've ever laughed so much in one week than i have with Elder Thurman. I can at least say with confidence that it is in the top tier of how much I've laughed. Doing the Lords work has just become even more of a privilege working with Elder Thurman because it is just so dang fun. He is someone that really has turned himself over to the Lord and relies on the Lord so much that it makes me want to be better and its fun to because he is just a character. Like i had to open a new file in my "types of people" category of my brain because I've never met another like him haha. But don't start thinking we spent all our time laughing because the Lord blessed us mucho.

So coming into this week our area didn't have a bunch. Elder Thurman said that things were going pretty slow and that nothing was really going through. Well at this point in my mission I am used to giving the area some love so that it gives back because it has been a pattern that the Lord builds me through me building his patches of "the vineyard" that I am called to tend. So we went hard finding, calling old potentials/investigators, and letting the Lord guide us. A couple fun stories:

Neat story number 1:
So on Monday night we went and shopped at Netto because it took forever and a day for me to finally come back to our area and settle in. So we bought food and went to check out. At this point it was 8 so we were hurrying to get home but the Lord set us up for a missionary opportunity. Luckily, we caught His drift when the young guy behind the counter asked if we were "those guys with the tags." We flashed him our badges (not the FBI ones) and told him why we are running around Denmark with ties and nametags. He ended up being pretty interested so we got his number and shot him a text that night. The next day he set up a time where we could meet in the library and he said his girlfriend was interested in learning about our message as well. So two new friends made us give thanks to the Lord :) 

Neat story number 2:
Rewind to my very first day in the land. Elder Pitcher told me that after studies we would go help a guy named L* and his wife P* move out. Of course as a brand new missionary, i was ready to ride a dragon into battle blindfolded if that was what a mission was so i was ready to help. Well, on the 30th of August in 2015 (if i remember the date correctly) we helped them move for about 3 hours and then they were off and i honestly never thought much of it after. What stuck with me though is that Elder Pitcher loved these two and talked about them a lot and so sometimes they would bubble up from my subconscious. Some may call it random, but i think that was the Spirit that helped me remember them because as i was looking through our area book, now march of 2017, i read their names and stopped. They are in our area! haha what are the chances? (well the answer is 100 percent because God made it happen) But Elder Thurman is way good friends with them so he called them to see if we could come by and visit them and he put it on speaker and introduced me and they remembered me.... what?? The wet behind the ears kid from California that they talked to off and on for a couple hours? Well you can imagine i was stoked because these people are way cool and once again, the thing we call coincidence struck again and i was left to wonder what other dots would connect in the wind up weeks of my mission.

People, the Lord hand is in your life:)

Neat story number 3:
On our way to district meeting, our train broke down for like 2 hours which was a bummer because that made our district wait a while haha. The cool thing is that we had a sweet experience because of that. Now I am not saying the Lord made it brake down just for this but he definitely used it to give us a cool opportunity. There was a guy on the train who was pretttty salty that the train broke down because it was his first day of a new job and he couldn't get a hold of his boss. After the initial rage wore off, he became curious as to why two young Californians were sitting on a train on the way to Slagelse with name tags that said "Oldest Jeppson" and "Oldest Thurman". Well one thing led to another and we sat him down and taught him a nice 30-40 minute lesson about what makes us volunteer to run around Denmark and ask people "annoying questions about religion" haha. But he got locked onto the message and the spirit definitely softened his heart because i got the impression that he was not someone to ever care to sit down and talk about what he hopes and believes about life. So that was a super neat testimony to me that all the Lord really needs us to do is just open our mouth wherever we are :) 

And one more neat story because i dont have enough finger stamina to type out all the neat-ness:

So my good buddy Jordan the member (the former Elder Lee) and Elder Evans did some knocking like 3ish months ago and found a lady who said they could return. Well because life gets pretty lifey, there was never an opportunity for them to meet; however, they were "sweet young men" and the lady was impressed with the things they told her/the way she felt talking with servants of the Lord. So we knocked on the door of what we thought to be "another stop by" when she invited us in because she had a 15 minute window of time. Well "coincidence" would have it that she was just thinking about the missionaries because her husband has lung cancer and life threw a curve-ball because she was suddenly trying to come through it with her head above the water. Well we had a great convo with her and ended up telling her that we are here to help and set an appointment where we would do some service landscaping her yard and then bring her cookies. She wasnt expecting that at all but i could really tell she was very touched because two young American missionaries cared to help. It is neat to play a role like that because those kinds of things are what really help me feel the Lord working through me. :) 

Well here are some other noteworthy things before i close:

We are 2 of three male voices in a Danish church choir. It is way sweet because we sing gospel music in an old church on a hill with killer acoustics and it is just a blast. The other man is also American and he married a Dane, thus the reason he has lived in Denmark. They actually invited us over for dinner as well so we are pretty in with the Folkekirke here:) It is was fun to be a part of and makes me wish we sang a little more gospel music sometimes haha. 

We have had 5 eating appointments this last week and I'll just say that I'll come home in shape if round counts as a shape. The ward here is pretty big and wayyyy awesome. They pride themselves on taking care of the missionaries and feeding us and stuff so i love it already :) I've met a ton of really awesome members already and it is only week one so I am looking forward to serving in this ward!

We did service on a cow farm sorting giant meat freezers :) Way fun stuff. They showed us all of their cows and stuff and there are like 60 of those suckers! They provide milk to a company called Arla so its a legit operation. We got some way nice steaks and some fresh milk straight from the cow (and filtered) for our work so not a bad gig:) Elder Thurman got to name one of the calves he saw be born last week so he named it Pink Floyd so that gives you a taste of who he is:)

Spiritual thought:

Here is a cool little allegory i read this week:

This is the story of two frogs. One frog was fat and the other skinny. They inadvertently jumped into a vat of milk. They couldn’t get out, as the sides were too slippery, so they were just swimming around. The fat frog said to the skinny frog, “Brother frog, there’s no use paddling any longer. We’re just going to drown, so we might as well give up.” The skinny frog replied, “Hold on brother, keep paddling. Somebody will get us out.” And they continued paddling for hours. After a while, the fat frog said, “Brother frog, there’s no use. I’m becoming very tired now. I’m just going to stop paddling and drown. It’s Sunday and nobody’s working. We’re doomed. There’s no possible way out of here.” But the skinny frog said, “Keep trying. Keep paddling. Something will happen, keep paddling.” Another couple of hours passed. The fat frog said, “I can’t go on any longer. There’s no sense in doing it because we’re going to drown anyway. What’s the use?” And the fat frog stopped. He gave up. And he drowned in the milk. But the skinny frog kept on paddling. Ten minutes later, the skinny frog felt something solid beneath his feet. He had churned the milk into butter and he hopped out of the vat.
Moral of the story: Don't be a fat frog and give up! Keep grinding through and soon enough you'll make butter :) or in more profound words:
 "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God." -- Zechariah 13:9
"A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials." Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Spring is officially here in 10 days. Get stoked:)

Ældste  j

1 comment:

  1. I promise not to be a fat frog or a skinny frog with a bad attitude. Riley said to say hello to you, stud. Way to work hard and be a great example to those folks in Denmark. Be safe, be solid, be diligent and be faithful.
    Bro Z