Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Well... I'd ask what's up... but I just read that so I know already... sounds like everything is doing alright... glad to hear no one is dying or anything

This week was pretty slow as far as the work goes. Morrison and I have decided that we pretty much need to scrap all of our investigators and find some new ones because we've found quite a few... but they are all not progressing how we would like them to (editor's note--I changed the wording--he's a wee bit frustrated...:).  And Morrison and I are running low on miles so we are pretty much going to be walking everywhere this week... which is going to make our teaching super ineffective because we don't have a part of our area where we can just go and street contact people... ssssssoooooo.... this last week was interesting and this one will be too. 
That's ok... we still have a few things going for us. Juana is doing good. She is going through a lot of opposition from her family because she decided to get baptized... but she is holding in there and we are still teaching Alex. Eric's younger sister has also come to church 3 times now, we are hoping to baptize her soon. AND Eric's older brother, who was the first one Cooper and I talked to at their door but haven't really talked to since, sat in while we watched a movie about Jesus last night... I've waited like 18 weeks to see some sign of progress from him.
A couple more miracles and 1 funny story... Elder Christofferson came and spoke to our mission on Saturday morning.
He was in town for a stake conference and President Morby asked him to make time to come talk to us as a mission. If every Apostle visited 4 missions a year, it would take 8.5 years for every mission to be visited... That was great. It was very easy to tell while listening to him speak that he didn't have planned what he was going to say, he was just listening to the Spirit. AND I got to bring Eric with us. I had to call President Morby and ask him for permission, and when I talked with him at first it didn't seem like it would happen. President Morby told me he'd had a lot of similar requests and he had to be consistent... which I understood. So he told me to text him Eric's name and he'd get back to me the next day, Saturday. And when he did, he said Eric could come. I don't know why, but that was great for Eric to see. He got to be in a chapel full of 230ish missionaries, and hear Sister and President Morby speak, and listen to Elder Christofferson. Elder Christofferson shook our hands... dang that was just awesome.
Miracle #2 happened walking to Church yesterday... yes... walking.
Not Elder Jorgensen, but you get the idea...
Like I said, we are short on miles, so anywhere we can walk, we are walking. And actually it's even a miracle that we got to walk instead of having to use miles to drive. Usually, since the new year, Morrison and I have had to pick up Mario to take him to Church because all of the members are late in the morning as it is and Mario lives far away from everybody, except the less actives he lives by, the ones I ate dinner with my first night here, the Acevedo family, who hasn't come to Church since I got here. Yesterday they helped us give Mario a ride, they dropped him off, which is progress with them. So it's like an hour walk to Church... we didn't leave until 45 minutes before it started, and then I realized I had forgotten my name tag, so we had to go back and grab it, and then just started speed walking pretty much. As we were walking we saw a Mexican, dressed up, walking towards us. We are supposed to talk with everyone, so I asked him how he was. He looked at my name-tag that I had forgotten, and asked us if we were going to Church. We said yes, he asked if it was in Spanish... we said yes, he asked if he could follow us, and of course we said yes. We started talking more and his name is Marcelo... he was one of the first convert baptisms in Israel. He told us he had been going to an English ward, but he doesn't really understand English, so he went out that day and tried to find the Spanish ward. And to me it was kinda just like Heavenly Father saying "I know you are working hard, and I haven't forgotten about you.
" The one Sunday that Morrison and I walked, we met him. He has met President Hinckley... the First Presidency had to authorize his baptism... and then because we were gonna be late, but we'd found Marcelo, we were able to get a ride from Juana because we had a man with us... So, that was definitely cool that I got to be a part of that.
Ummmm funny story... again relating back to us not having miles... and we needed a ride home from Church yesterday because we didn't have time to walk home and then get to where we needed to be by when we needed to be there... and another companionship needed a ride too... so we were faced with the daunting task of fitting 6 people in a 4 passenger car. How did we do it, you might ask? Well...we did (editor's note--some content has been edited so as not to give bad ideas to young drivers whom might be reading this post...:)
Oh and in other news... Our mission will be getting Ipads on February 4th... there were 30 stateside misisons selected for this Pilot program... the OPM originally was not one of them... but that got changed because the quorum of the 70 all agreed that they wanted President Morby to be one of the mission presidents who helped test this out... so yeah... He's a pretty cool dude. The new one is going to be Elder Ballard's son, he comes in July 1st...
Aight I think that's all... Love you guys!!
Elder Travis Jorgensen!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fam!! Long time no talk!!
Well... I'm gonna start this week of with a funny story... So of the 4 companionships on the ward, 2 of them have to do a car share... that is to say that half the week they get the bike, the other half they get the car. And one of the companionships lives pretty close to us so when they are on the bikes we usually give them rides to dinner. Well, on Wednesday night, dinner was far away, and they had an appt right afterwards... and Morrison and I don't have the miles to drive them there, and actually we didn't really have time either. So we were kinda stumped because they could have ridden their bikes, but they would have gotten there just in time to leave for their appointment... and then Elder Mayer had the brilliant idea to bring the bikes with us. How you might ask? By holding them out the car windows:D Yes, you did read that right... hanging bikes out of the car windows of our 2012 Toyota Corolla.
Now let me tell you a few other details about why this story is so crazy... First of all... dinner was like a 5-7 minute drive away from where we picked the bikes up. Traffic in Beaverton at 6pm is CRAZY, the lanes are super skinny, the roads are hilly and bumpy, and lets not forget it is COLD outside. It was above freezing but the humidity just makes it bone-chilling. So how did we do it? Well, we rolled down all the windows in the car... put the handlebars in the front windows, and put the pedals inside on the back windows so as not to scratch the car. The Elders of Aloha had to stick their hands outside and hold onto the bikes... as I drove 45 miles an hour through the streets of Beaverton. That crap was COLD!!! Errytime we turned a corner we were all screaming, Aloha was complaining about their hands going numb... as the driver it was of course important that I maintained feeling in my hands so that I could drive safely.
.. so I cranked the heat and directed it straight at the steering wheel... and I would occasionally chide that I couldn't really tell if it was cold outside and then ask for the opinion of those in my car...:D We got some WEIRD looks, let me tell you! If Elder Cooper would have been present, he would have said (something we shouldn't publish) a bike rack...:) I love my trainer, miss him sometimes!
Other than that... not much happened this week.... Eric and his family are doing great, as are Juana and Mario... OH that is the other story I have for you... Mario told us he wanted to come help us teach... but he didn't want to go knock any doors. He thought instead we should try to find people in stores because "if you knock their door, they don't have to open it. But if you get them in a store, they have nowhere to go." So we had ourselves a best 2 years moment...
it wasn't quite as successful as in the movie... but it still happened:) It was pretty fun I guess.
Still no luck on Nike.. that I know of... I'm not gonna say much more because it just depresses me...:)
We did find ONE new guy to teach this week... actually we didn't even find him... he was a reference from some English Elders... his name is Israel, we taught him last night, and I haven't taught a lesson to somebody so interested since we were teaching Eric's parents. We are going back on Saturday and I'm excited. Ok, I think that's about it... 
Love you guys!!!
Elder Travis Jorgensen

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Well first of all... I'm not getting transferred!!! Looks like I have at least another 6 weeks to work here in Beaverton West!!!
Except Elder Morrison and I kind of have a problem... this transfer we baptized the main people I have been working with since I got here... Mario and Juana... and this transfer/especially this week will be critical to see if we can find enough to keep our teaching and baptizing streak going. Morrison and I were at a meeting for the missionaries in our Stake last night and last transfer/the month of December we were one of the highest teaching and baptizing companionships in the mission... I want to keep it up!!!
Sounds like ya'll had a pretty rough week... if it makes you feel any better... I had an interesting week!!! This week pretty much revolved around Juana... She did get baptized but it took a couple miracles to make it happen....
The first one happened last Monday night. We were at dinner, and our phone was dying because it didn't get charged the night before... so literally right before the phone died, we got a text from Juana saying she was feeling sad... then the phone was done. And we didn't have anything planned so we stopped by to see her. Within 5 minutes of us getting there to see her, the English Sisters who used to teach her showed up too... that has happened a few times where both sets of us show up without planning it... miracle. 
Wednesday we were driving home from somewhere... I don't really remember... and we drove past Juana's street, and I felt like I should turn around and go see Juana. I ignored it for a little bit... I don't know why, but finally I just looked at Morrison and said "Elder I think we should go see Juana." So we did, and there were the Sisters... again! They'd just barely gotten there.
And then the next miracle is that Juana freaking FINALLY got baptized!!! Good-ness!!! I alone have been working with that woman since September, and she was ready to go before I got her! But it was an awesome baptism, I swear 20 missionaries showed up because she has been being taught for so long! We went to see her last night (she was baptized on a Saturday) and she told us that when she showed up at the chapel, before things started going, she closed her eyes and said a prayer that she could just make sure what she was doing was right. And when she opened her eyes she saw an angel standing in the room. Morrison and I were the first ones she told that too, she said she wanted to tell us first. And we also talked with DDDD last night, and he was happy to see us and everything, which is a 180 from where he was at Juana's baptism... for some reason (that I've already vented about a little) he wouldn't talk to us or anything... but last night he was happy and I know we are going to baptize him too. I don't know how but I will keep trying until it happens. I will not stop.
Ok well that was the meat of last week:) This week is going to be all about finding a way to keep working like crazy in our area. I love you guys and hope you all start feeling better!!!
Elder Travis Jorgensen

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy freaking new years familia!!!!
Sounds like y'all had a much funner new years eve than I did... I had to be back home by 9...:D But thats ok, the blessings are worth the sacrifice!!! However... I did have a pretty interesting New Years Day...
I was on splits that day, working in Portland. And it was just different than the work we do here in Beaverton West... For example... my area doesn't have anywhere that we can just park the car and walk around street contacting people. Really our only finding tool is knocking... well I went to Portland and there was just like a block where anywhere you looked it was hispanic people... we just walked around outside for like 3 hours talking to people!!! I also got offered more beer on that day than I have the previous 18+ years of my life... We'd ask people what they were doing and without hesitation they'd just say "drinking some beer. you want some?" WHAT?!?! And some of them were pretty persistent too... 
Ok I interrupt the events of last week to tell you guys that I just got to have a lil email chat with Jonah for about 30 minutes... that was CRAZY and I loved it so much!!! It was 6 pm in Portugal and 10am here... Jonah is freaking going crazy, he is a District Leader and a trainer, and baptizing like you wouldn't believe!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD it's official, we are rooming together at BYU when we both get back. So I don't know what I'll need to do to make that happen but...its happening!!
I am just pumped right now!!!!!! We baptized Mario  last week, we have dates for Juana and her son this week, and if all goes well Eric's sister next week. I've got freaking work to do and I love it!!!!!!!
Speaking of Mario's baptism... we had a crazy week with him. Last monday we passed him by and it was the happiest I've ever seen him... we just talked and cracked jokes and he is a really funny guy when he's not depressed. And then we went by him again Friday, the day before his baptism. And in that lesson he re-hashed EVERY SINGLE DOUBT THAT I'VE EVER TAUGHT HIM ABOUT, MOST OF THEM MORE THAN ONCE!!!  <---------In case you couldn't tell... that frustrated me... A LOT!!!
I wanted SO BADLY to just tear into him about all the time we've spent covering those doubts... But, somehow, miraculously, I held my tongue. Because even though he was going over his doubts he was still ok to be baptized.... so then Saturday comes up, and the hour of Mario's baptism comes up... and no Mario. We figured he would be late because the family that was bringing him was the family that takes him to Church and they are always late so we figured... whatevs. But 10 minutes later... we called him and he was still sitting at home waiting for a ride. So The bishop grabbed us and we busted a move over to his place, then back to the chapel, and got things going. And the Spirit was SO strong during the baptism. Mario asked Jose, Erics dad, to give a talk, even though at the time he hadn't even been baptized 2 weeks ago... so Jose got up, shared some scriptures, and what he thought about them... it was pretty short but it was powerful. Mario baptized by Elder Warenski. The picture is of all of the missionaries who taught Mario to get him baptized. Warenski taught him for the longest... close to 7 months. Or maybe more. So that was special to see. And then a member named Carlos, who was baptized by Cooper and his trainer like 6 months ago, gave the talk on the Holy Ghost. And Carlos is a lot like Mario... before he was a member he was in a bad place. It took him 7 months of travel to get from Mexico here to the States... and when he got here he got into some bad stuff. A lot like Mario. And now Carlos is one of the strongest members I know and during his talk the Spirit was just... present. Strongly. Oh and I forgot while Mario and Warenski were changing, we just had people get up and share their testimonies. Eric was the first one to hop up. He talked about the role faith had in helping us baptize his parents. Yeah... special night.
Ok I think that's about it... I gotta get going!!! Oh and before I forget I've had another mexican delicacy!!!! Fried pig skin!!!!!!!!!
Love you guys!!!
Elder Jorgensen!!!
P.s.... transfers are coming up... I am pretty sure I'll be staying here, but if when you mail the package it can't get to me before Saturday, you should probably hold it just in case.... I'll let you know!!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Editor’s Note…  Many, MANY MANY apologies for being so overdue with keeping up on the blog. We are so grateful to all who follow  Elder Jorgensen in his missionary experiences.  We love him very much and are grateful he is sacrificing this time to serve.  So, without any further delay, here is the last two updates from Elder J.  The most recent one is on top, last week  is just below.

Dang it was good to hear from you guys!!! Y'all are sounding good!!!! Wes, you're turning into a man!!!! If I haven't said this already I want a picture of when mom becomes the shortest member of the family!!! That day is coming mom, so you better prepare yourself!!!!
So the best part of this week was easily the fact that Eric came on a mini-mission with us.
He straight came and lived with us for 2 days and it was just a blast. He went home, and told his parents he is for sure serving a mission. And President Morby said he can do another one with us so tonight we are gonna go pick him up and he's gonna do it for the rest of the night if he can. And his parents are just AWESOME. Straight ballers. We asked Jose if we could take him to a lesson last night, and he said yeah he could come, and then the lesson bailed but we still wanted to bring him because we figured we could knock and maybe get into some lessons... but instead he opened the door and said "come in, I want you guys to meet somebody." And he had a couple members of his family just chillin in there, so we went and taught them... which pretty much just ended up sitting back and listening as Jose and Luz taught them some parts of like all 5 lessons!!! It was so baller!!!!! I was just screaming "YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" inside the whole time!!!! I love that family, they are freaking amazing!!!
And man I LOVE YOU GUYS!!! For working on passes to Nike!!!!!
I sent those people an email so we will wait to see what happens... I'll keep you posted though!!!!
In other news... Elder Morrison have been leading our Zone in lessons taught with members present every week since we have been a companionship. MMMM officially PASSED his baptismal interview, he is set to be dunked this Saturday, January 4th!!!! I'd just ask that you guys keep praying for him, a lot, maybe even get his name on the Temple Prayer Roll so that he doesn't relapse. He is close! In Sunday School yesterday he was going off about how this is the only Church that he feels the Spirit in!!! I have fasted for him probably about 5 times, and I'm probably going to do it again at least once this week... JJJJ also passed her Baptismal interview, and fingers crossed that she gets the perfect baptism she wants, her date is next Saturday, the 11th!!! And we got 8 new investigators this last week, I think that's the highest I've ever had, and our area is just rolling!! Wes one of them is a 13 year old named ZZZZZ in 8th grade and his feet are huge... he kinda reminds me of you, although he is a little shy!! His family seems pretty interested and I am hoping we get them progressing pretty quick!!! Just UUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHH getting work done!!!! Eric is gonna come with us this week and we are just going to shred our area, leave our name all over it!!!!
 Ok I love you guys, I can't believe its been 5 months to the day since I've seen y'all.... but hey it's going by quick!!! Love you talk to you soon!!!
P.S. Wes good job on those rank advancements in Scouts!!! Look at my lil gingi... all grown up and finally a second class!!!!
-Elder Travis Jorgensen!

I am just happy. I love being a missionary. Its da bomb. I don't have a lot of time this week, but I'll tell you some quick stories!!!
1st... I am starting to realize that if we have to knock more than once for our dinner appointment, it usually means we are at the wrong house. How have I come to this wonderful discovery you might ask?? Well, allow me to enlighten you:D You see, our ward directory isn't very accurate... because most of our members live in apartments and move a lot... and me being the directionally confused man I am... I am very dependent on my GPS and the Ward Directory... So some time this week, I don't remember what day, we showed up to dinner. We knocked on the door. No one answered. We knocked on it again. Still no answer. We knocked a 3rd time, this wan a little more forcefully. And a freaking Asian man, clothed in only a shirt,
answered the door. ARE. YOU. SERIOUS?!?! WHAT on God's green earth is wrong with you?!?! Who in the HALLIBUT does that!?!
Clearly, CLEARLY, that was the rational thing to do. He only had time to throw on one piece of clothing, and logic dictates the shirt. Yep. Good thinking. When he opened up, and he freaking opened wide, I didn't even say anything. I just threw up a little in my mouth, turned around, and started walking away:D Elder Morrison said "sorry, wrong door." I just... I just... WHAT. WHY. Some people...
The second story comes from knocking... we were knocking, and noticed this door was partially open, and heard Spanish from within, so we knocked it. Oddly enough, all noise inside the house ceased. But the door was open. So freaking Morrison, the stud he is, just starts talking to them through the partially open door... I just started laughing and again walked away...:)
And the last story... BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!! We dunked Eric's parents last night and it was one of the most spiritual experiences of my whole mission.
Jose, Eric's dad (who is a member now so you don't have to censor his name) was giddy the whole time. He was jumping up and down, saying he just felt like a kid, and he and his wife were both just radiating. I got to baptize Jose. Which was amazing. Words can't describe it. But after that, Eric got to baptize his mom. And I freaking just felt the Spirit on that one. She came up out of the water looking so fresh and new. And then after we changed, pretty much the whole ward got up to welcome them in, then Jose and his wife got up to say thank you, and to wrap things up I felt like I should get up and tell them how privileged I felt to be able to teach them. I can't lie, I almost started crying... the Spirit was just there. That family is the reason I was sent here, when I was sent here. I know it, without a doubt.
Ok I don't have too much more time... So I'll call y'all sometime on Wednesday!!! Probably in the morning!!! I love you guys!!! Merry Christmas!!!
Elder Travis Jorgensen