Monday, September 26, 2016

Pics: Elder Glancy and a service project

On exchange with Elder Glancy, we got a runner from La Réunion to
take the picture and then talked to him about religion ;)

Geared up for the service project!

This was a frame in a time-lapse video. Elder Preator found it and
busted out laughing.

Il faut que vous snapchattiez la Conférence Générale

Get with the times, y'all. The Church gets more and more modern every year it seems.

So this week we taught a 7-yr old preparing for baptism about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she could not hold still to save her life. You ever tried teaching a chatty little girl how to be saved in the kingdom of God while she's doing cartwheels around the room? Well, we have! Right after that rendez-vous we went down to Cugnaux and had dinner with a super awesome family, except that the parents were out of town so it was all four of us missionaries and the family's two kids, one of whom got back from a mission in England last year and her brother who got back from Tahiti about 2 weeks ago. We had a good time.

Wednesday we went to a less active's house to do service with 6 missionaries, us four from Concorde and the two from Montauban who had come down for an exchange. We were doing a combination of painting and stucco-ing, which I'd never done before but it turned out alright! Pictures to follow.

On Thursday we had Zone Training! It was fun to see the whole zone together, since about half of the zone is scattered in far-flung places like Agen, Mont-de-Marsan, Tarbes, Pau, and Bayonne. We discussed the story of Christ calming the sea, and I learned something I'd never really thought about before: the apostles all had the exact same power to calm the storm. Any one of them could've done it himself, if only he'd had more faith. It's easy to see how they were lacking in faith when they panicked and literally thought they were going to die, even with the Messiah in the boat with them. Just remember kids: if Christ is in your boat, or if you're in His boat, you'll be just fine.

We ate delicious quiche after zone training.

Let's see, what to say, what to say...oh yeah. Miiiiiiracles!! We had a few this week, all within the span of about 10 minutes. During our weekly planning on Friday, we texted our best ami, a dude in his last year of university with whom we speak English because he speaks very well already and wants to keep practicing. He is native French though. We haven't seen him too recently so we asked if he was still reading the Book of Mormon and praying every night. HE WAS!! Best text we've received in a long time. He said that not only does he read and pray every night, but he thinks it's amazing and helps a lot. He's right. Really hoping we can get him out to General Conference this next week-end, along with our next best ami: we contacted him on the street thinking he was Chinese, which he is. I spoke in Chinese with him and he sounds totally native and everything. However, we didn't find out until the day after we talked to him and got his phone number that his parents live in Paris and he grew up in France! He speaks English with us as well, and it explains why he has a curiously French accent when he speaks...but yeah, our two best amis are both trilingual :) Fun, right? He came to Samedi Sportif and had a good time and would've come to church, but was busy that afternoon. The last miracle is that our old amie whom we haven't seen in almost 4 weeks finally answered her phone! We've been so confused as to where she went, but she answered and we were able to fix a rendez-vous with her!

C'est ça. Merci tout le monde d'avoir lu jusqu'à là, et je vous souhaite une bonne continuation :)


Elder Jensen

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pics: Toulouse, Entrecote and creepy models at a bus stop


Entrecôte! Delicious pesto steak and unlimited fries. It's the only
thing they serve.

It's hard to see, but that window ad at the bus stop is actually a
live model in a box. She was posing and smiling at people. Creative,
but creepy.

Passbacks for daaaayyyysss

Literally. However, that's not at all a bad thing :) Because there used to be an équipe down in Muret and our apartment has been a missionary apartment for decades, there are about 7 Area Books in our apartment. We've found a lot of work to do. On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, we had some slower days going to Colomiers and Muret to pass by a few people that weren't home, but Thursday we went back to Colomiers with a lot more names to look up and found a FAMILY!! They were first found not 1, not 2, but 9 years ago. Missionaries haven't been over there in we think about 2 years. I didn't know if they'd be home and had failed to think of what I would say if they were, so when the mom opened the door I stumbled through an introduction and a little awkwardly asked if they would still be open to discuss the gospel. She said yes and gave us their home phone number, so hopefully you'll be hearing more about this family very soon :)

Our awesome trilingual engagé is doing a week-long internship down in Ariège (the mountainous region down near Spain) so we can't see him now, but there should be no problems if he's reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it's true. It's just the little things that make such a big difference!

Our other engagée isn't doing as well, she's actually disappeared off the face of the earth. We've been trying to make contact with her for about three weeks and still nothing, but we keep hoping and praying that she'll turn up.

This week we had a guy in our ward come back from his mission in Tahiti. He gave an absolutely incredible testimony in sacrament meeting yesterday and he has a hilarious accent. Tahitian French has a rolled R instead of the classic French guttural sound, so hearing this white French dude sound so naturally Tahitian is really really funny :D

It's all about changing hearts. That's what he talked about as the best part of being on a mission, seeing someone's heart change and become better, more like the Savior Jesus Christ would have them become. The Gospel of Jesus Christ turns bad people good and good people better, I promise you that. Go read Alma chapter 5 in the Book of Mormon. It's a great one :)

Love you all!
Elder Jensen

Monday, September 12, 2016

Pics: The French have learned how to clone elders!!!

"You're as cool as a kitten disguised as a unicorn."

Don't you think the world is a much better place with two Elder Jensens in it?

Much has happened, yet some things stay the same

Heyo family! We had transfaaaaaaassssss

We're staying. Elder Preator and I had a fun transfer together and now we're going to have another one :) The new Chinese Elder should be at the Salt Lake airport as I write this, but as I'm not training I won't be serving with him yet. Maybe soon....

A sincere "Fare thee well" and "Godspeed" to my dear trainer, Elder Pien! He goes home today and I will always be grateful for our time together, both in St. Genis and in Lyon. Probably means I'll be road tripping it out to Montréal sometime in the next couple years.

But you remember Elder Tomlinson, who is from Medford, Oregon and has been in my zone my entire mission? We were in the same district my last transfer in St. Genis and the the same apartment in Lyon for six months and then the same district for four more months with me in Toulouse and him in Montauban. This transfer we were sure he was leaving far away, like to Nice or somewhere. He did leave Montauban, but against all odds he came right here to Toulouse! We're actually serving in the same ward, good old Concorde. It's a good time :)

Speaking of Concorde Ward, we had 163 people at church yesterday. For my ward back home that's not too many, but in France that is a TON. We have one of the biggest chapels in the mission and it was full to bursting. It was a good day!

Little story time about Sunday: It started out pretty normal. We started planning out goals for the transfer but then had to do some other stuff. On the way to church we realized that we had missed the last reasonable bus, so we took the tram. At Palais de Justice where we got off, we found that due to a triathlon in ville, the bus didn't come by there. We walked a little ways to another main bus stop and the bus wasn't coming by there either (the street was all blocked off for cyclists). Then we walked a long ways to another main bus/metro stop and found that the bus wasn't coming for 22 minutes. Church would be starting in 20 minutes, so that wasn't an option. We walked the rest of the way, and I just found out that in all we walked 4 km to get to church! Took us almost an hour and we walked in not 30 seconds before church started. Success. However, due to bus struggles, we weren't able to meet our amazing trilingual ami and bring him to church so we asked if he could find his own way. I didn't realize he has a bad habit of getting lost. He got lost and was half an hour late, but he came anyway and had a good time and after church we taught him about the Plan of Salvation and a bit about temples and engaged him to baptism! Elder Preator extended the baptismal invite like a champ, it was awesome.

But wait, there's more! We went back to Pau to pick up my Carte de Séjour, which is super cool to have. I am bien legal in the République Française and I have an awesome pink plastic card to prove it. We were sitting down eating lunch and a dude came and sat next to us and asked if we were American. We got talking a bit and he said he doesn't believe in chance. That was surprising already, but then we got talking about big problems in the world and he literally said the words "free agency" before I could bring it up. It was cool. Hopefully the Pau Elders can help him! We passed them his phone number just as we were on the train pulling out of the gare.

My spiritual thought this week is in the form of an experience I had while at church yesterday: We walked into the salle de culte (chapel) and Elder Shimazaki asked if we would be willing to go sit by this one older woman, he wasn't sure if she was a member or not. We did so and got talking with her a bit just as the meeting was about to start. She informed us very quickly that she was a member, but hadn't attended church in 45 years! I realized who it was, a less active woman who we'd been asked to visit, but hadn't been able to yet because she lives super far away. We will do it though. Anyway, during the hymn "O My Father," she got partway through the first verse and suddenly whispered to me, "Oh! I remember this!" And then sang the rest of the song just fine. After the closing hymn, she started flipping through the hymnbook and showing me hymns she remembered from 45 years ago and letting all those wonderful memories come flooding back. I will forever treasure that as one of the best moments of my mission, when I got to see a woman who hadn't been to church in decades realize that, while a lot had changed, she was home and that the Gospel was still just as wonderful as it ever was. And that is my message to you all! A wise man who served in this mission once told me: "The Spirit never gets old." It's true! No matter what, feeling the Spirit will never be bothersome or less joyful than it always has been. It's never too late to come back :)

Love you all!
Elder Jensen

Monday, September 5, 2016

Weeeeeeeeeekkkkk Siiiiiiiixxxxxx

Thus begins the last week of the transfer. It's gone by "uh real fast"
as my collègue Elder Preator would say. This is also the last week of
my trainer Elder Pien's mission, so I got a really great email from

We finally saw a Chinese person this week! Elder Tomlinson and I were
on exchange and saw a Chinese lady at the library, it went well. She's
not super interested, but it's a start. The students have all returned
though, which means we see a lot more Asians now. Chinese work is back
y'all! :D Good thing too, my Chinese is pretty bad now.

District meeting went well! We had good discussion and did some role
plays and it was fun. Go read the talk "Rise to Your Call" by
President Eyring in the October 2002 General Conference. Super

In finishing, our suuuuper cool ami came to church! The members were
really great at fellowshipping, it was wonderful. He enjoyed church
and said he'd come next week, in addition to Samedi Sportif. However
over the past 24 hours both our basketball and volleyball have gone
flat. Exceedingly curious. Opposition is real.

I shall testify of the importance of members. If you go to church and
you see someone you don't know, go talk to them! Missionaries are
great, but it makes us sooooo sad when members seem not to care about
new people at church. You never know when you might be the difference
between someone having a good time or a bad time at church, and
everyone needs to have a good time! The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints is the true church on the earth and contains all the
power and authority that Christ's church did when He established it
himself 2000 years ago. You're extremely blessed to be a part of it,
so don't take it for granted and encourage others to receive those
same blessings! Love you all!


Elder Jensen