Monday, December 28, 2015


还有新年快乐!It's been a great, unusual week here in Lyon :)

We got to watch the Lion King! Yes it's a fun Disney movie, but there are actually a decent number of connections with the relationship between us and God if you pay attention, which is what we were asked to do by President Brown. This week we had an awesome conference with great musical numbers and creating a spirit of unity within the mission. We really need it, seeing as this new year will bring the dedication of the Paris Temple, going to which is a huge goal we are setting with everyone we teach and baptize. At this conference we got to see all the Chinese missionaries together for the first time since Elder Zhu and I arrived in the mission, it was super super fun :D 超级好玩了!

Christmas Eve we spent with our amis and made hot pot with them that night, it was amazing and I ate a whole squid :) It was a small one, but squid nonetheless. After we got home we did a nativity scene with the other Elders, which was really fun. I was the angel :)

CHRISTMAS! We slept in until about 8:30 (yes it was totally allowed and yes it felt amaaaazing), then got up and all opened presents together. Thank you so much to my wonderful family! I loved all your notes and presents, it was a wondrous gesture of love :) That night we were with our amis again at the institute and I got to skype everyone! That was really cool, it was good to see everyone's smiling faces even though the hour went by so quickly. Looking forward to Mother's Day when we can do it again! For dinner we had leftover hot pot with Korean stuff added in, making it more of a spicy seafood soup with mussels, shrimp, crab, and all manner of things. I wouldn't say I've learned to love seafood yet, but I can definitely eat it without a problem now. Sorry it took so long Mom!

Going to backtrack a little bit...

Tuesday: first day of Christmas Conference! The WHOLE MISSION got together, which hasn't happened in a long time since our mission covers half of the country and it's hard to organizedly get 200+ missionaries on trains and then into hotels and then onto more trains. Nevertheless, they did it and it was so much fun to see all my friends from the past few transfers and meet a lot of people I've only ever heard about. We all got to wear normal street clothes because we were going to a park to play games and stuff, which happened to be in our sector! Not only was it in the sector of Confluence, it was at the Confluence itself where the Rhône fleuve and the Saône river come together. During that big reunion we were asked to go at some point to the confluence of the two rivers and ponder the significance of it, which I did along with Elder Keller, also currently serving here in another équipe in Confluence. That evening we went to an auditorium which was in an aquarium. Super awesome, I loooovveee aquariums and zoos and safari parks. Soeur Brown had come up with some "minute to win it" type games which were absolutely hilarious and then Président Brown spoke about the significance of the Confluence. Essentially what it symbolized was the coming together of Heaven and Earth. If you look in the scriptures, you'll notice that spiritually significant events are generally marked by Heaven and Earth coming together, such as when the angels appeared to the shepherds on the night of Christ's birth. Also, remember the prophecy made by Malachi in the very last verse of the Old Testament?

6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers,

Who are the children? We are, here on Earth. Who are the fathers? All our ancestors, currently residing in the Spirit World. This prophecy is now being fulfilled as members of the church go to the temple and perform ordinances for their ancestors so that all of God's children, past, present, and future, can have the blessings that God has promised them. This is it! When we perform these ordinances, we create a bond between us and our ancestors, thus bringing Earth and Heaven together again! We are so fortunate to live in these days, let's take advantage of it!

God is real and this is His church!

Monday, December 21, 2015

When in Lyon, do as the Chinese do...

...and play badminton. Elder Bleak and I have been practicing badminton lately because we have an awesome awesome ami who is super good at it. More on that coming soon probably.

Today we went up to Fourvière! Super amazing basilica! I have like literally no time buuuuut it's Christmas in four days which means I'm skyping home this week! Can't wait to see you my wonderful family!

Just know: God knows everything. He knows who will accept the Gospel right now and who won't, but He won't lead you straight to those who are prepared because then why would we need faith or patience or anything? All I invite you to do is this: Trust God. I promise your life will be so much better because of it.

Love you bye!
Elder Jensen

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas is nearly upon us!!大大的欢欣!!

And that means singing and rejoicing :) we did a musical number with
some other missionaries because on Saturday there was a baptism in the
Ecully chapel which is also the Lyon stake center. We practiced a few
times during the week and then performed pretty well, which was a
great blessing because we were all pretty nervous! Didn't help that
the tenors, namely my collègue and I, were singing right in between
head voice and falsetto range for most of the song. We talked to a
Taiwanese lady on vacation in Lyon and showed her the Christmas video,
she liked it :)

On Thursday morning we went to Chalon-sur-Saône! That's in Burgundy by
the way, over halfway to Dijon from here. It seemed to me like a super
French city, and they have several beautiful cathedrals :D I was on
exchange with Elder Ramsey who is super awesome; we went to a hat
shop, met a less-active from Nuku'alofa (Tonga), and did a survey
about cheese. That survey went super well, Elder Ramsey was able to
wrap the conversation back around to why we're here and what we do,
although we did get to talk about the culture of this beautiful
country :)

Friday, we did some stuff. Oh yeah I remember! We went to the mall
with our Chinese recent convert for lunch and discovered a treasure: a
true Mexican restaurant (run by Chileans) that tastes like Costa Vida
but feels more like Chipotle. Super super awesome, totally going back
there soon :D

Saturday was the baptism. Not only that, it was OUR AMI who was
getting baptized!! Also the ami of the Porte-des-Alpes Soeurs :) our
ami/recent convert is from French Guyane and is super cool, he's
suuuuper excited to go to the temple and do work for his ancestors :)

On Sunday our now recent convert was confirmed as a member of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Hooray!

Today we played badminton with our super prepared ami and his four
Indian friends, they all play at a collegiate competitive level which
means we were in over our heads, but it was super fun :)

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. Everyone grows closer to their
families, but they should also be growing closer to God! Everyone
please oh please take the time to pray and read the scriptures this
Christmas season (a.k.a. tonight!). I promise if you do, you'll get
more peace and joy out of the season :D


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Wash your hands and your soul daily

Sorry I'm writing a day late, we were busy doing service yesterday helping some people move. It's funny, they're actually moving to Thoiry, the little town in my last sector that I went to all the time! One of the branch members from up there was here helping them move, so I got to see him again after just two weeks away. Brought back very recent memories even though I've been plenty busy creating memories here in Lyon for the past little bit.

Last Wednesday I went on exchange with the Zone Leaders, so I was with Elder Walker from Utah. He makes good pasta, one of the most valuable skills you can have as a missionary in France. We had two rendez-vous fall through that day, so we ended up doing a lot of contacting on the walks to and from the Institute (LDS Young Adult center). A lot of people were actually willing to stop and talk to us, it was super cool! We shared a Christmas video with a woman and it brought the Spirit right there next to a busy road. We also talked to a middle aged Chinese man who might be the only Chinese person in all of Lyon who's not a student. He invited us to come over to his house and share a message about Christmas!

Thursday was a good day! We had zone training in the morning, so I got to know some people in the zone a little better and we had amazing amazing potato soup with baguettes. I love food. We talked to one of our amis who's progressing really well at the Institute, then headed back to the church for Ward Council. We were at the church over an hour early and it was already dark so we weren't allowed to leave to go home, which means we were rather dinnerless. The Sœur missionaries came by and we all did language study by singing French hymns, and we were all exceedingly starving. Later on a member was super nice and brought us pizza. That was a good night :) I've been studying the provinces of China so that we can sparc (rough translation of sparc = make someone happy) Chinese people more by knowing stuff about their country, hopefully it'll pay off!

Friday night we met with a super awesome member from Congo Brazza, he gave us banana chips and we talked for a long time about the Gospel with him. I love Africans!

Saturday we explored Vieux Lyon a bit more trying to find a small gift for our amie (it was her birthday) and got some advice from some French girls and some Chinese girls that were all hanging out together. That was right outside the Hôtel de Ville which is sooooo pretty. I love that part of the city :)

Sunday I went to both Porte-des-Alpes and Confluence wards because Elder Tomlinson was sick, so Elder Bleak stayed with him in the morning and Elder Brown stayed with him in the afternoon. Six hours of church was fun, I'm just glad I didn't have to translate everything for the non-French speakers like both my collègues did...

Christmas is upon us! Everyone go to and watch the new Christmas videos! They're really great for reminding us that we do have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who is there for us and that there is hope in the world no matter what your situation might be. You haven't done anything that can't be forgiven :)

Love y'all!