Monday, May 29, 2017

The End

Well... It has been a great ride. Can I leave it at that? haha I don't really know what else to say than it was the best that ever happened for me. But here are the highlights before i get all sentimental...


Elder Andersen and President Kearon came to Denmark and held a mission conference and a tri-stake fireside. Here are some of the things that were just fire! Here is the abbreviated version of some of my notes:

- President Kearon said: Celebrate the challenge of missionary work! Revel in it! Opposition is good for you. We are here to act for ourselves so dont be a victim to circumstance. Claim the blessings that are promised you! There is a power that can cause things to happen that need to happen. That power is faith! You must become the message. Remember, He loves you. Particularly if you are saying "no, not me."

Sister Kearon also gave a great nugget of wisdom: The same water that hardens an egg, softens a potato...

​Elder Andersen said: (a lot but here is the short version)​
I don't know anyone that doesn't stay strong in the gospel that has a clear, unalterable, in-the-bones testimony of Jesus Christ. Your foundation must be deep in the Savior and bolstered in the Book of Mormon. Don't end up nowhere.  You can only learn spiritual things in spiritual ways so start with a noble hope and start developing the faith that will become a sure conviction. We must build the kingdom by building kingdom builders! Be grateful for people of faith and help them keep it alive! Build it, nurture it, and testify of it. There are more people prepared for the gospel than we are now finding! The Celestial Kingdom is not a kingdom for a few, it is for us all. 

Sister Andersen: Treasure the gift of the Holy Ghost. You should be keenly aware of the things that take the spirit of the Lord away from you. Don't even take the chance! Do not risk losing the companionship of the Holy Ghost! Not for a day, not for an hour, not for a minute, not for a second! The gift of the Holy Ghost is a perfect gift because it comes from no other than God.
​Well that all I will say concerning their visit but i can testify that God has called living prophets and apostles on the earth today that are here for the welfare of our souls. I imagined the Romans on Mars hill sitting at the feet of Paul​ or other examples the Bible gives and it was exactly the same. They preach of Christ, testify of Christ, rejoice in Christ and invite all others to do the same and as i sat at the feet almost literally (front row seats :) ) i felt the power of that man's testimony. It was just incredible.

The week:
This week was a great last week of going hard and getting the area ready for two sisters. Yes, the apartment is clean, even for sister standards and the area is organized. We had splits with the Nykøbing Elders and we went out and knocked for 7 hours more or less  and it was just a great time. We of course took a snack break at Netto in between knocking sessions so don't worry :) Yesterday we knocked for the last time before an eating appointment and the last door we knocked we gave him a Book of Mormon :) I would say that was a fitting ending to finding!

You know... there is so much I would love to write but i can't include it all. That's just it with a mission, you and God are the only ones who fully know what happened and then that being said, I don't even begin to comprehend the good it did both for others and myself! But i too can add my voice to those who have said that a mission was the best two years for their life because it truly has been. As i stood at the pulpit in front of the Roskilde ward, i realized just how much love that i have developed for the people here and for this land. I would now venture to say that i really understand where Ammon is coming from when he says he would stay with the Lamanites if it meant for the rest of his life. Now, im sure that if i tried that my mom would come over here and stuff me in a burlap sack and kidnap me back to California but i really felt and saw so much love in the face of this wonderful ward!! 

I know this is the truth and testify of it. It is not something I am speculating on here people... it is the truth and it exists beyond belief. I have sacrificed two years for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and will gladly give the rest of my life to doing so because it works wonderfully! Nothing has brought me more lasting joy and ill continue to sound like the best broken record you ever heard because through faith repentance and baptism is it possible to experience what the scriptures call eternal happiness. 

For those not sure where the stand, kneel down and ask God. Simply decide whether or not you are willing to act if you are to receive an answer and go from there because if you are sincere, God will answer you. I cannot say exactly how or when or what but i testify that Heavenly Father knows us personally and knows how He can give us an answer in a way we will understand best. That is a promise! Become humble or get humbled, and having experienced both i would recommend the former option :)

Thank you for your testimonies and your wisdom. Very many of you have helped shaped me more than you probably think so I am happy to say your effort was not wasted here. Keep doing that because if you can shape one rough stone and make it smoother than you can surely shape another. Thank you.

This is Ældste Jeppson signing off for the last time. 
The best is yet to come.
Catch ya on the flip side :)
Ældste  j

The Nørrung Family :D

The one and only Gabriel Møller

​                                          Felix and Bastian

the man Michael Kjeldsen

Peter Willemann our ward mission leader

Mission conf picture

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nunchuck skills.... Computer hacking skills...

This last week was the bees knees :) This may or may not be my last email but i can assure you that it will be the last structured, thought out email because if i get around to writing about the final week it might just be me pounding random combinations of letters in order to go out one last time in Copenhagen before i get on a plane. So coming at you quick, here is some of the highlights:

So our good buddy J* locked himself out of his computer on accident because he is an older guy who has a vast quantity of info stored in his head but unfortunately he could not remember any passwords. This was a pretty big problem because he has food delivered to his house due to his confinement to a wheelchair. All of his info was stored on his desktop and if he couldn't access it he was in for really frustrating ride. On top of that, his phone service was cut for some reason so he was pretty off the grid. Luckily, after consulting the tech master Elder Howe over the phone, we were able to hack his computer for a service project :) haha interesting service project. I guess though when i say "hack" all we really did was figure out how to reset his passwords from the command prompt so it really isnt as cool as id like to make it sound. All that to help him do family history work :) He is doing great though.

So we made a goal at the beginning of this transfer to find a family to teach and we ended finding four! Way awesome :) On Thursday we went to stop by a girl that was a referral that we had called but never had gotten a hold of. We ended up driving a whole hour trying to track this girl down but no one lived at the address... however, as we were driving away we saw three girls around our age walking down the road. Now if anything you'd think id stop to talk to them because they are girls my age but on top of that you'd think by now id stop to talk to them because i felt prompted.... Let me emphasize the principle of acting on promptings! If you feel like you're being prompted, just do it! Because otherwise you'll pull what i did and rationalize that thought away and then drive home kicking myself because now i was saying "what if " instead of "oh well". Elder Ziegler had had the same thought so we knew that it was inspired to talk to them.
Luckily, the Lord took that and used it as a learning experience right away because now we were listening for sure. I received an impression for two people we should stop by now. They were both positive but one was really positive. As i stood on the doorstep i could really feel that this man needed the gospel and we had such a great chat with him. He is a single father of four is really has manned up to life to support them which i really admired as we talked. I'm sure we would have helped that girl in some way (and still can) but i have a feeling we drove 2 hours in total because God needed to make sure we were listening to Him. I would recommend though that you don't take the detour...

Other things:

A whole 2 days before Sunday came around, Sister Jones was asked to play a song on violin and i was to accompany her for sacrament meeting . I practiced (winging it) before soccer on Saturday and then again before church a little bit. I was pretty nervous because i was certain i would totally flop but this is what i wrote in my journal as soon as i sat down: "I got divine help today while accompanying Sister Baird on the piano. Not only didn't sound too bad, it sounded pretty good." I read that this morning and laughed because 1) Heavenly Father cares about the small things and 2) How quick we are to forget or take for granted the small things.

You know... it took some time but yesterday was the first time i really felt like the end was near. Here's why:

My good bud and past mission companion, Jared Amos from Coventry England, came back to visit Denmark and came to church in Roskilde. And i might add, he came back with his fiance who is from Århus :) Because he is tight with the Bishop, he was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting and I got just slammed with a sense of things how they really are. This was my comp who i had been around for a good 5 months of my life in a foreign land and it felt like just yesterday; yet, here he was with a nice little beard, a fiance, and a slightly more british danish accent speaking about how much he loved his mission and i realized that i would soon take my turn doing the same. Talk about nolstagia blaaeeehhh.

Family and Friends, I know that this is truly the thing that will bring us the most joy: that God has a perfect plan designed for our ultimate and eternal happiness.  Nothing has done more good for my life and my existence, than the opportunity to teach, be taught, love, serve, sacrifice in accordance with this plan for those of God's children here in Denmark. I can say that I have been changed forever and forever and forever and that it is on eternal measures that Heavenly Father gauges our success. To have the the gift of a perfect brother, of a perfect friend, and a hope through our advocate with the Father namely Jesus Christ has brought a joy into my life that continues to fill me with light and hope and joy. Through baptism i have promised to always remember Him and-though it may not be visible on my left breast pocket- always bear his name and therefore represent him!  I have a testimony of these things and I do not speak based off of speculation here people! I know my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ is true because it was given of God, and i have paid the price to obtain these blessings. 

I will end with the words of Alma the younger: 
Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land...Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever...  Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men?"
" Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."
--Ældste  j

Basic Danish mission pics.

Rapeseed Plants

Where's Waldo

Trying to take nice pics on request of mom... took a while haha

Nykøbing Sjælland Pics

I'm a dead mon...​​​​

                                 The Stockholm family

​​Jared the member!
The final District Pics​​

Monday, May 15, 2017

Get Live

This last week was another quality week and things are starting to roll. The fun part about building up an area is pulling up on the throttle and coming out of the dive because we it goes up, it goes up fast! We got a lot more done to get this place set up for next transfer when we are "washed out" of the area and the next new set comes in. Don't worry though we aren't just seeing a buildup for the future... here is ÆLPN (my play on ESPN) top 4 plays for the week :

1)We had another family history appointment with our boy *J and it was pretty stellar! So with the danish family search there are church records that have been archived and stored online that are open to public access, and if you can read old gothic stlye danish handwriting then it is a goldmine. Well, if you take two family history "consultants" and a highly intellectual 65 year old man, you get work done. We found our way to his moms side of the family and further on his father side and he now has a good sized tree going. We all got way into it which was pretty funny because Elder Ziegler would get up and celebrate and sometimes the Swiss German in him comes out and i could imagine a polka playing to the type of dance stoke he has got going on. Great time, great play.

2)We found another old potential investigator list.... and for those who are wondering what that is it is just a list where you write down the people who give you there contact info. The purpose is that you follow up with them and if it turns out that they aren't too interested anymore great, you're done with their info. There is a spot to say you followed up with them but a whole sheet from last year was more or less untouched as far as following up with people so i guess for the sake of benefit of the doubt, they lost it under the couch... But anyway, too make a long story short an exciting, we stopped by a tonnn of people and found another family who is interested in us coming back:) It was fun because we were originally looking for the husband but he wasnt home and his wife, who had never heard of us, took a book of Mormon and invited us back. What a play off a slow rolling bunt.

3) Another highlight came from a stop by as well but this was during the 3rd round of the match on saturday. We stopped by a past investigator and he let us in for "a short chat" but that evolved into a great discussion about prayer and receiving answer to prayer. This guy is way cool because he is probably the most ripped gamer I have ever met plus he is wizard smart so i really enjoyed that discussion. He explained how he decided he was atheist a while back but exlpained how he still hopes that there  is something more to life. If there is one thing i've learned, it is that every person on this planet at some point believes, hopes, or at least desires that there is something greater and that they knew what it was. It could be the Force (which i tried hard to channel as a 7th grade basketball player) but that is just what we do as people. It was neat because we were able to bear testimony about how the Holy Ghost has influenced our lives and described how one can identify it. He isn't too sure if it is something he is willing to act on 100 percent right now but he said we could come back so good stuff!

4) We broke the plumbing under the sink and fixed it all withing 2 hours.... So we passed our spontaneous Dad/Man training *fist pump*

I had originally typed top 10 plays, but that went down to 7 which went down to 4 because my attention span is that of a squirrel with a slurpee right now... In my defense i used all my email energy to skype home yesterday which kind of trumps punching a keyboard for two hours haha.

Spiritual Thought:

Here is a neat little poem for you to memorize if today is one of those days,

Today is better than yesterday,
for i did the best i could
God helped me bear my heavy load,
just like i knew he would.

I may not have smiled the whole day through
or sung aloud a cheerful song,
but the tune of hope, that carried me, 
was His promise to make me strong.

Have a good one!

Ældste  j

Boredom and train rides equal either sleep or this.

That streak of yellow is not from a massive highlighter, those are flowers!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Life is Good (Slurpee Emoji)

Coming to you live from Roskilde... your reporter today is going to a viking museum so this one is going to be short and sweet:

Well the work has been going pretty well here in our efforts to organize everything in our path. At this point we have gotten up to date and had tabs on most everyone that has been interested in the church for the past couple years so everyone has more or less gotten a chance to meet again. Its fun because you have to assume the best with everyone potential new friend, which means miracles! So you'll go to the ends of the earth to get in contact with them. For example, we drove all over the northern part of our area to do stop-bys that no one has done in a while. We ended up in what happened to be a psychiatric institution/asylum community to do a legitimate stop-by but they ended up not being home. We thought the place had an weird feeling but Elder Ziegler wanted a pic or two in front of an old castle type building so we took pics there before realizing where we were. That is the last place i want to be at night haha i knew i had a bad feeling about that place. Anyways, the stop-by after that was in the middle of nowhere on a farm. As we got out, two men drove up and asked who we were. We told them and then asked the name of the man we were looking for and they had no clue whatsoever... and just as the cherry on top weirdness for the day they told us that was also a institution ran by the local government. Not sure how the missionaries found all these people but at least we sorted some things out.

With our boy J* we were going to scan all of his family pictures dating back to the late 1800's but his internet was cut. So we had a hyggeligt talk in his small apartment in the middle of the countryside while an irish band called the Dubliners played in the background. Mental snapshot for you all haha.

Still in the works with a lot of the people we have called and they'll "call us back" *cough* classic so we are stoked to go out and just go hard knocking on some doors for the remainder of our stay here in this dejligt land :)

Other things:
We did a decent amount of service this week moving about a mile of electric fencing for some pastures and helping lay a driveway so that was great to get out in the beautiful weather and do something physical.

We went to a baptism for a girl that Elder Ziegler taught in his last area so that was awesome! Of course it isnt a baptism without the font not working correctly so we spent some time filling it up with buckets of water that we taped from other faucets around the church building. That wasn't even a big deal though the girl getting baptized just took it in stride like a champ. 

We got put in time out this week by an angry train conductor heh heh. We happened to be on the wrong train line and by the time we realized that the train had switched to a different track, the time was pretty thin. So normally to access other tracks you have to go down some stairs and under and then back up to your track of choice. Well, as i gathered my stuff i realized Elder Ziegler had left my side already so when i turned and saw him halfway across the tracks, you could imagine i reacted fast. Yes... i realized it wasn't smart to follow but i had a half second moral debate whether it was better for me to leave him to go down alone for this one or not. I reasoned that we as companions must stay together at all times, plus the adventurous part of me was game for crossing so i did. Well, by the time i caught the train conductor saw the whole thing and was already chewing Elder Ziegler so you bet he was mad when he saw another kid without a brain enter the scene. Luckily, we avoided a LOT of problems by being put in a thirty minute timeout (wait for the next train) and think about our actions because we would have missed that one anyways had we gone the right way. 
Well that was a humbling blow haha i was like dannnng i feel like I am 4 again. I think i might need two more years out here.....

Lesson learned: Yet again...The fastest way do to something is to do it right.

Spiritual thought:
I've recently thought alot about polishing. If you catch my drift here, I am talking about the things that we sometimes put unnecessary emphasis on. We polish our cars, our teeth, the floors of our home, our resume, our reputation, and so on. In that sense of the word the dictionary defines Polish as : "to make smooth and glossy usually by friction." 
The next definition though is "to bring to a highly developed, finished, or refined state" and i've often wondered if ive been equally or at least more diligent in polishing my testimony. I am not saying its a bad thing to polish your teeth- in fact I would highly recommend it- but do the things of less import detract from our focus of bringing our testimonies to a highly developed, finished or refined state? 
Alma would tell you "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." (alma 34:32) 
​his is coming from the man who was told by an angel that his testimony was tarnished and that if he would not turn away from the path he was on he would perish. Well, He listened and spent the rest of his life polishing out every speck of weakness and imperfection with a polish called Grace. He was developed and refined from "the vilest of sinners" to true disciple of Christ. That is what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about!!!

So would invite you to consider these questions:
When was the last time you polished your testimony? 
Can you see the yourself for who you truly are in the the reflection of it? 

​A good time to do so may be while brushing your teeth ;)

I'm out. May the best of the suns rays find you (--probably a chinese proverb)

Ældste  j

Pics from splits

Trying to reenact pride rock from lion king...

Our field trip to an asylum 

                    The Ships pulled from the bottom of the Fjord

​​​​​​​​​​The Viking Crew! (Sister Jones, Sister Baird, Elder Me, Elder Ziegler)

The Blacksmith I made friends with

Monday, May 1, 2017

Ebony and Ivory

Well this last week was kind of unique because we were all over the place but we did manage to do as much as possible between zone training and splits and sickness. But let me think.....

 Our buddy J* is doing pretty well. For the moment he really just wants to focus on family history work so we are coming this week to scan all of his family photos into the computer and put faces to names that are already on his family search account. So i guess you could say that we have leveled up in the family history game... heh heh. He is really changing though! Yesterday we stopped by after church while he was watching a recording of thew Dubliners in concert and he got way stoked to see us and we had a great talk. It adds more bitter to the bittersweetness of going home soon because besides us he doesn't really have much and im still not sure what will be happening with the area. 

About three weeks ago a guy named Matt was baptized in my old area Frederikshavn but he comes to school here in Roskilde every so often because he is training to be a master butcher. So he has some free time down here and wanted to know if there are any activities. We ended up bringing him to an activity with the young man where we attempted to make ties haha but it was great because there were a lot of leaders there so he got to meet some people down here and have a bit more of a network here on Sjælland. Way solid dude!!

We had to cancel some stuff/didnt get around to doing it because i got sick Friday and Saturday. I don't know what it was but recently I've been way whacked and I haven't been able to shake it and the on Saturday of all days I got a fever and some alien came in the night and stole all my energy. We were supposed to go to a baptism for the ward mission leaders twins and then go to an appointment with the S* family buuuuut we had a change of plans and I got a lot of time to ponder on how I should be more grateful for my good health while I have it haha. I guess on the positive side i finished "the Miracle of Forgiveness" by Spencer W. Kimball and read a bajillion talks and stuff so I've been pretty enlightened as of late.

OtHeR StUfF:
We had splits down on the Island of Nykøbing Falster and had a great old time. I was in a trio with Elder Evans and Elder Peel so we got creative with how we did finding. The day was just way solid becuase we went and visited a man who has really been thinking about the church since he stopped meeting with missionaries and now he would like to be bapitized and have his family along as well to find out if it is true :) Way sweet! Escpecially for that area because they have a smaller branch down there...

After that we went out and contacted people on the streets of a town called Vordingborg and had a solid 3 hour sesh. 

Story time: This was probably the contact of the week... So i was on my own solo contacting on the left side of the Gå Gade and the other two had the right side. It was just way perfect timing because i walked up to a girl about my age and began talking to her. Well come to find out she had met with the missionaries while she lived in Peru doing some form of volunteer type stuff (i think). Well, you all better believe i switched to Spanish ;) Upon switching  I was pleasantly surprised because 1) she spoke great spanish and 2) thanks to my spanish teacher Sister Acosta, So did I (Well, for my standards heh heh) But in the end i gave her a Book of Mormon in Danish and she was way stoked and said she would contact the others at some point. Choice👍

​Im going to leave the rest of my week up to your imagination because my brain is currently post-sickness dormant. But hey here is the spiritual thought! Get stoked:

​So as i was sitting in Zone training a little nugget of wisdom from on high fell and hit me in the head and stuck there. It goes somewhat like this:
"To truly have an eternal perspective, we must have a celestial perspective. Things must be seen at their highest potential; as God sees them. We must cease to focus on anything but the ' immortality and eternal life of man' as that is God's ultimate goal. As a man thinketh, so is he."

So in essence, if you think celestial thoughts, they'll become celestial words. If you say celestial words, they'll become celestial deeds. If you do celestials deeds, they'll become celestial habits. If you develop celestial habits, the'll become celestial character. Character is everything. (Based off a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson i believe with some gospel twist.)

That's a wrap. (where you at MTC food)

Ældste  j