Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ssssoooooo I guess to start off with... I had my first experience crying on the mish. It was pretty powerful. I was cutting an onion to cook for lunch and BOY that thing was strong! I tried, as hard as I could to hold the tears back... but in the end I just decided to let 'em out!!! It felt so good!!!!
Psyche. I did really cry, but the whole time I was just yelling and screaming about how stupid it was, and Morrison was saying I looked manly with tears rolling down my face, which just made me yell even more...
Ok so in case you couldn't tell not whole ton of amazing stories really happened this week... Morrison and I were busy, we taught a ton of lessons again, but none of them are really the material that made me go home asking "what on earth have I gotten myself into?!" But we did get work done. Remember how last week I told you guys about how many lessons we taught?? Well we did freaking good. Out of the 30 member present lessons taught by the 6 companionships in our zone last week, Morrison and I taught 12 of them. This week we taught 16. Our goal as a zone is 4 member presents per week per companionship... we are getting work done!!!!
Not Elder Jorgensen, but you get the idea
I'm just gonna throw this out there... I feel bad for people who think that a mission is a waste of time, because they honestly don't know what they are missing out on!!! Its hard to believe that a year ago I was thinking of delaying this, and if I'm being honest I wasn't even sure if I was going to serve a mission at all... and now I can't imagine having done anything else!! Even with all the trials that have come, are coming, and will come, this is just the best!!!
Eric is doing great. I feel super blessed to have had the opportunity to share this time with him. He is really progressing. 2 weeks ago he was baptized. A week ago I got to confirm him and give him the Holy Ghost. Just yesterday he got ordained a Priest and got the Aaronic Priesthood, and what made that special was that all 8 missionaries and the 4 priests in the ward got to stand in on the circle. And now, we have a baptismal date for his parents this coming Sunday the 22nd,
and Eric is probably going to baptize them. Morrison and I are also trying to set up a "mini mission" over Christmas Break where he comes and lives with us and does what we do for a couple days... I really want that to happen.
Morrison and I work pretty well as a companionship. I am more fire-y in lessons at times, and Morrison is a little bit more gentle... and that works out well because if I need to say something to an investigator without sugar-coating it, I can, and then Morrison comes in and calms things down... Cooper and I didn't ever really have that because we were both pretty forward, so we both had to keep it chill because if one of us went off the other would start, and the Spirit would leave pretty fast. So take MMMM for example... even though he KNOWS the Book of Mormon is true, he still comes up with reasons to doubt it. So in one of our lessons this week when he started bringing up a doubt, I stopped him before he could get started. I told him that he already knew what would happen, he already knew we'd have the answer, and he'd still end up having a doubt again because he wasn't really making an effort to know for himself if it was true or not. I said if he kept looking for reasons to doubt the Book of Mormon, he would find them. Instead he needs to start looking for reasons why it could be true! And I said it pretty much like that... I didn't ease the blow. But I think some tough love is what he needs. Morrison and I fasted for him yesterday that he could be able to make it however long is necessary without drinking so he could be baptized. 
OH AND I can't believe I forgot about this. So Eric's family is amazing. They've only been to Church a couple times and a few activities but they are legit. One of the times we were teaching them last week, Eric's dad asked about MMMM. He said he had a gift for him. We went upstairs and came back down with a FLY looking grey suit.
That thing was BEAUTIFUL. MMMM doesn't have church clothes, and Eric's dad asked us if we could help him get a white shirt, tie, and shoes so that he could dress properly for Church. I was just smiling the whole time. Eric's dad doesn't even KNOW MMMM, he's talked to him a total of like 3 times now, and yet he was still willing to help him out. Its experiences like that that make me feel bad for people who don't want to serve Missions... because they will never know what they are missing out on.
So yesterday, MMMM was at church, swaggin in his suit, looking and acting like a new man. All 4 companionships in the ward worked together to teach The Restoration Lesson in Gospel Principles yesterday, and MMMM was participating and asking questions, not to try to make the teacher look bad like he usually does, but to honestly try to learn. and it was just awesome.
Just awesome. I'm hoping we can get him baptized the 29th. But he needs help, we're praying for him, we've fasted for him, but more prayers never hurt!!!
To finish up... I'm coming to realize that prayer and fasting are a Missionary's bread and butter.
I have seen more miracles happen out here as a direct result of those 2 things than anything else. Eric's baptism... fasting. Eric's parents committing to a date... fasting. New investigators so we could actually have something to do... fasting. Inspired lessons that have helped people feel the spirit... prayer. Me speaking spanish... prayer. Me just being a missionary... prayer... and COUNTLESS more!! Its the best!! I love it!!!
Talk to you guys soon!!!
Elder Travis Jorgensen!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I just don't even know what to say... This week was weird. This has been the craziest and week of my life!!! Separated, they would have all been funny stories... but the fact that they all happened in a week... I'm gonna try to tell this in chronological order so it makes more sense...
So Tuesday, our P-day... it was a pretty chill day, we did some groceries and whatnot afterwards... we ate at Carl's Junior for a quick lunch...
and when we walked in, it was only Elder Morrison, Me, the employees in the store... AND this big ole black dude walking around... on his phone... in a heated argument. "Don't you DARE tell me that. I do all the jobs, I make all the money, its time for you to start showing a little respect!" "uh uh uh, I don't wanna hear it! You just need to calm yo-self down, and take a step back and look at the situation! You have nothing!" He had that convo for like 5 minutes... and he was pacing around the store, using his hands for emphasis when he talked, he had that sweet black dude voice... it was just funny. And then later in the day Morrison and I went to Dollar tree to get some stuff... and the cashier who checked us out was a man with a name tag that read "Elena."... Man's body... girl's name... great. Good. Good for you. Awesome. Please don't talk to me. Then, after dinner on Tuesday night, we had a lesson with MMMM, and freaking had a miracle happen. We had CCCC with us for a member present, and MMMM started to go off about his doubts about the Book of Mormon again.
.. the same ones that he's had since he was found in February, that have been explained to him every week for about a year. And honestly when he started bringing them up I lost my patience with him a little but. I told him we've already talked about this, you've admitted you feel the Spirit with us more than anyone else, (he is being taught by Jehovah's witnesses too) and I was just kinda frustrated with him. Elder Morrison had the good sense to stop me from talking by having CCCC bear his testimony about how he knows the BOM is true... that brought the Spirit in, CCCC has a pretty cool conversion story. Then Morrison testified. Then I testified. And randomly, literally out of nowhere, in the middle of whatever I was saying he just popped out with "Now I know this book is true. I just barely felt it." I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped to the floor... I don't really think you guys can understand how miraculous this is without knowing MMMM... but frick... miracles happen!! So then we asked him if he wanted to get baptized, he said as soon as he can stop drinking and smoking he wants it. (I don't remember if I've told y'all this or not before... he has been drinking and smoking since he was 12... its kicking his butt). So we set up a baptismal interview with the ZL's... because I don't think I told you this but last week they split the Spanish Zone, so now there are 2, and 4 districts, and Elder Morrison is our District Leader... anywho... so that was awesome. And after that we just had a brief chat with Eric (he is a member now, so you don't have to edit out his name I don't think). I am PUMPED for that kid. He is thinking about serving now, he loves Church, he wants to get the Priesthood... UH!!
Ok so that was Tuesday... Wednesday and Thursday aren't really anything too special. The best parts of those days were the lessons we taught with Eric's parents. They are really interested to know more because they're seeing the changes Eric is making. So we taught a couple different lessons with them and took a couple different couples from the ward... and UUUHHHH that was some good stuff. Just great. Epic. Fantastic. Good members present like that are the best thing we can do as missionaries.
Now to Friday... Friday is really where the meat of how crazy this week was... without Friday it would have just been like another week... plus some good lessons... but WITH Friday... just the greatest day.
That greatest day started out with some knocking... we had plans but we also have time to fill... and let me just say IT IS COLD!! The humidity... just penetrates anything I wear!!! But that's ok... blessings... So we just picked a random apartment complex and figured we'd do some knocking, probably not get into anything... but whatevs. The first guy who opened his door was some Islamic from India... he was pretty nice actually. When we asked him if he believed in Jesus, he said "Of course I believe in Jesus Christ. He is one of the Great and Mighty Prophets... I must follow his teachings."..... Can't say I've gotten that one before. I was definitely at a loss for words ri'thur. I don't really remember how we ended the conversation... I think we just kinda ended up walking away... I have never tracted into an Indian before... usually its just rude white people or lazy Mexicans... that was some nice variety. AND IT HAPPENED THREE MORE TIMES THAT DAY!!! They were all people who had just moved from India and who understood like no English... I think Morrison and I kinda scared them a little bit... so then it was to the point in the day where we had some stuff we could do, so we went to go get Eric because he has been asking to come to lessons with us. Have I mentioned that kid is just the bomb?? Anyways... all the stuff we had planned to pass by fell through... so we found ourselves knocking again... We went to one door and there was a hand-out card of Jesus like the ones we give people taped on it, and we got super excited thinking it was a member or something... so we knocked it, and some Sister missionaries opened up. Uh oh. Elder's and Sister's living quarters are WAY off limits to each other. No bueno. So Morrison and I quickly apologized and walked away. As they were closing the door, Eric, deciding he couldn't let an opportunity pass him by, threw in a quick "You guys are beautiful." And walked away. I thought it was pretty funny... I laughed a lot. So Morrison and I made him go back and apologize because... he just shouldn't be doing that. We stayed out of sight this time. He came back, smiling super huge, and said "She wants me. She did the hair flip and laughed when I didn't say anything funny. Yep, she wants me." Again... I was dying laughing... but I'm pretty sure he Jinxed us for what happened next!!!!! Strap in, ladies and gentlemen... ish is about to go down. So the very next door we knocked, guess who opened up?! ANOTHER INDIAN!!!!! He was almost as tall as me, had a full blown fricking white as snow beard, and was trying to mix American clothing and the garb of his country... sweats and a hoodie complete with a bright orange turban and a scarf tied over his head. HE INVITED US IN!!!! That DOESN'T HAPPEN!!! He said he was laying on his couch, and not wanting to get up. When I knocked his door I just did 4 quick taps... he said if I would have only knocked 3 he wouldn't have answered... but apparently I threw the fourth one in and he felt like he should answer. So, being missionaries and doing what we do, we got to know him, they just moved from India 2 months ago although his English was pretty good... he had an accent but he could talk and understand. We asked him if he believed in Jesus... in turn he asked us "what does it mean to believe in something?"...
well, obviously, "to have faith in something you can't see." To which he responded... "And what is faith?" And at that time he started going off about how faith is something "very deep" and you "don't just go around asking people about their faith." 'It is impossible to have faith in someone without knowing them. I don't have faith in you... I invited you in, but I have no faith in you. Your own father does not even have faith in you." At this point I was beginning to wonder how things would turn out, and also pray that we made it out of that lesson in one piece... Keep in mind Eric was with us... So the way we were set up is it was the Crazy Indian dude on his chair, and then closest to him Morrison, Eric, and me on his couch... When he started going off about something his eyes looked like they were gonna pop out of his head. He asked us how old we all were. "I am 72. I have more age than all of you combined. I know more about life, I know more about Christianity, I know more about Bible, I know more about women." Awesome... you're freaking insane. SOMEHOW we started talking about our mothers and how wonderful of women they are. I think its because he was ranting about how people have sex without getting married so kids are born to unmarried parents... that was actually pretty good stuff. Sadly... it didn't stay normal for long. "Your mother is a beautiful woman. She donated her flesh, her blood, her bones, to grow you. You must show your affection for her." Since Morrison was closest... this was directed at him. "Will you show your affection for her?" And THEN, he grabs Elder Morrisons hand... he starts caressing his forearm, rubbing his hand. "You must show her like this." AND THEN, he starts KISSING MY COMPANION'S HAND!!! He straight up tried to make out with it!!!! LET ME SAY THAT ONE MORE TIME!!!! MY COMPANION GOT HIS HAND MADE OUT WITH BY A 72 OLD BEARDED INDIAN!!!!!!!!!!!
The look on Morrison's face was PRICELESS!

Eric was leaning into me, and he was shaking like crazy because he was trying so hard not to laugh. I was chomping on my finger, all I was thinking is "What THE HECK is going on?! How did we get here?! What else is gonna happen?! What are family relationships like in India?!?!" Later he wanted to show us something on his laptop. He looked at us, and said "we can all 4 fit on that couch, no?" So he came in and sat between Eric and Morrison. And just rested his hand on Eric's thigh... He was trying to show us us Temple. "You are missionary. That means you have mission. Go to Sikh temple, and you will be perfect missionary." What made the whole thing even WEIRDER, is that the whole time his wife was behind a closed door, reciting whatever holy book they have, in whatever other language they speak!! Just crazy!!! So we had been in there for a little over an hour... and we had other stuff to do, so I tried to get us on the way. I told him we had to leave, and he got up and put his jacket on!!!! Somewhat puzzled, I asked him what he was doing. "I will accompany you outside." At that point Morrison and I just looked at each other and both thought the same thing. "Oh, shat." We were hoping he meant like outside his door... or maybe down the stairs... so we got there and I was like, "ok, it was nice talking to you, see you later." To which I got "Where is your car? I want to show you my church." We tried to talk him out of it, but he was insistent on going with us. We got to the car, and before I could say anything, he opened the backside passenger's door and told Eric and Morrison to get in. The other big rule we have is NON-MEMBERS DON'T GET IN CARS!!!! But he got them in, then he got in shotgun... in like 5 seconds he broke SO many rules. Luckily his church was like 30 seconds away... so he showed us it, and said he wanted to see ours, and then just got out of the car and walked home. Morrison Eric and I were trippin all night... but the night wasn't over!!! Oh no!! We had our baptismal interview with MMMM... and when we got there and knocked the door, he didn't answer. We waited for awhile but nothing happened. So we went pack to the car, because we needed to think of something to do... I felt like I should say a prayer. In the middle of that prayer, I felt like I should open my eyes and look for MMMM. So I did, and he was standing in his doorway, looking outside for us. When I asked him what he had been doing, he said he had been sleeping and then something just "touched his mind and he felt like he should wake up." Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. And I'm just gonna finish telling you guys about him right now... he had to be interviewed again by one of President Morby's counsellors. Our goal WAS to try to baptize him on Saturday and confirm him on Sunday, so he could have the Holy Ghost to help with his addictions. And I've talked with the ZL's about it because that is what he needs. Well, after last night it was decided that MMMM needs a couple more weeks free of drinking and smoking. I have faith in him, but its gonna be tough. You guys' prayers that he can stay sober and clean would really help.
Ok one last story from Sunday that is the icing on the cake that is my week. Church is at 2 here, so yesterday at 1 we decided to go out and invite some people to come... no one answered... but we saw this dude chillin in a park and decided to go talk to him. He was hispanic, and his name is EEEE. We started talking with him and he told us he had served a mission, had baptized over 100 people, but then had asked the Church to take his name off the records. Later we found out why. He was telling us his story, when all of the sudden I heard him say. "You see, I was born gay. I served my mission and I loved the Gospel, but I was denying myself these feelings. I came home and went through the process of finding myself, and now I just feel free!!! Nothing is impeding me, I enjoy my relationships, and I just feel good." I freaking almost just walked away. This dude lives in our apartment complex!!! I am severely homophobic!!!! We kept talking to him, and Morrison popped the question, "Do you think we could come by and talk to you again sometime??" MORRISON!!!! NO!!!! We just barely escaped who knows what with that Indian!!! Are you LOOKING to get harassed??!?
I just... no. Don't know what to say. Craziest freaking week of my life... and Morrison's too, and he's been out awhile.
Ok actually one more spiritual experience from yesterday. As you know, there are 8 of us in the ward! One of the Elders who is a transfer younger than me, and actually the only other Spanish Elder that I know who is from Idaho, came up to me yesterday and asked me if I could give him a blessing. I don't know WHY he picked me, his trainer is a super obedient, awesome missionary, and there are 5 others he could have chosen besides. But I told him yeah. So after Church we found a room and Morrison, Warenski (Halverson's trainer) and I put our hands on his head. I don't even remember what I said... I just know I felt the Spirit working through me and I had chills for like a half hour after I gave him the blessing. When I finished, he got up, turned around, and there were tears in his eyes. He gave me a hug and a very sincere thank you. That was incredible for me to see.
Ok soool... that's the weirdest week of my life. And Wesley... you keep asking me what its like to be an Elder... what do you want me to say dude?? I write you home about it every week!! That's what its like!! Its hard work, unforgettable. Trying. Learning. Patience. Growing. Praying. Fasting. The Best 2 Years,
worth every second of it.
Actual last thing... promise. Elder Morrison and I TORE IT UP THIS WEEK!!! We taught 23 lessons I think... and we even lost a day of work because of Transfers!!! That is double what Coop and I usually taught, and we taught more than the other 2 companionships in our zone combined!!!! UUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
Love, Elder Travis Jorgensen

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It sounds like you guys had an eventful week!!! So did I!!!! So much happened that I can't freaking even remember it all... so hopefully in some way or another I get it all in.
I'll start of with Thanksgiving... it was freaking DOPE!!!!!!!!! We had a Turkey Bowl in the morning, but because I'm a Spanish Missionary serving with a bunch of Mexicans, WE PLAYED A SOCCER GAME!!!!!!!!!!!! It was freaking legit!!!
We played with most of the youth of the ward, and a couple of their dads came too, AND LLLL and his dad came!!! We played for 2 hours and I just had so much freaking fun!!! I got to run, I got to be competitive and push people around (which I still do when we play other sports... but like in basketball for instance people get a little madder....) and LLLL and his dad had a great time, and I am just happy to be a missionary!!!!! We weren't supposed to do any proselyting on Thursday, so Coop and I went with another set of missionaries to eat lunch at Denny's!!! And then for dinner, LLLL's family had us over, and his mom cooked some delicious ham, chicken, and pasta!!! We chilled at LLLL's  house for almost 2 hours, then we went and finished the night with the Granados family! I don't know if I have told you about them before... Hermana Granados is pretty much like our ward mom. She is our go to any time we need a member present for a lesson or a ride for an investigator to Church, she helps us out! It was at her house that we made the video... it was her idea... I didn't know if you'd see it or not mom but I figured it wouldn't hurt to say how awesome you are!!!!
What else has happened... OH on Tuesday night, the lady who was going to feed us dinner forgot about it, and felt super bad. Usually when that happens we just eat in the apartment. But not Tuesday! She called us and said she wanted to give us money to go eat somewhere... we were thinking it would be enough for like McDonald's or something like that... but she gave us SIXTY DOLLARS!!!!! For four of us!!!!! And she said she wanted us to spend it all!!!!!!!! We went to a Mexican restaurant and just had a good time!!! Being a Stateside missionary definitely has it's perks sometimes... and I am extremely grateful.
The other highlight of the week is LLLL's BAPTISM!!!!! What a good way for Cooper and I to end our companionship!!!!
It was AWESOME!!!!!! I got to baptize him and as I put my right arm to the Square I just felt power flowing through me... Its an addictive feeling and I want some more!!!! I want more I tell you, more!!!!! The baptism was great, LLLL had a lot of his friends come, the Ward showed some pretty good support, his parents were there and I'm pretty sure they felt the Spirit.
I'm also pretty sure that LLLL and his family are a reason, if not THE reason, that I got sent here when I got sent here. We found him my first transfer here, and if I would have gotten here at any other time, I wouldn't have been assigned to this area, nor would I have had the privilege of getting to know LLLL and his family.
Morrison (that's my new comp, he only has 4 months in the mission left, he is 20 and from Utah) and I taught LLLL's family last night, and they want to know more!!! And LLLL was saying he might want to serve a mission now!!!! YYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I love being a missionary!!!!! I just love it. Its kinda hard sometimes but I know looking back that I won't remember any of the hard times... just the successes that come from praying and working hard!!!
So the scoop on my new comp... I already told you the basics... I don't really know him that well yet... this companionship will definitely be different than the ones I had with Cooper, that is for sure. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but for example the first thing Elder Morrison started doing when we got home last night was rearranging the apartment... which I am ok with, its just different. I don't think we will have many problems getting along... we taught pretty well yesterday for not having anything planned... I am excited for this transfer, Elder Morrison and I are going to tear Beaverton West apart!!!!
The other thing that is new as of yesterday is that yesterday I drove a car for the first time in 18 weeks!!!!!!
yyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwww!!!!! Its a little more touchy than my beaut I left at home...
but, I'm still alive and so is my companion!!! Alright guys, until next week, eso es todo!! I love you guys and I can't wait to talk with y'all!!
Elder Travis Jorgensen