Friday, September 26, 2014

Ok, you guys said you wanted to know my opinion of transfers... Well, my reaction when I first got the call went a little something like this. "What. The. HEY!!!???!?"
I was not expecting that at all, Spanish Elders have gone English before, but the transition has always been Spanish District leader to English Zone leader. And now I'm whitewashing as a district leader when my companion has been out longer than me and was a district leader for 4 transfers, I bumped down the district leader who was already in the district, and there is another Elder in the district that I don't know very well but he's a super good missionary. So I would say right now stress factor #1 is being a district leader when I know nothing about what is going on.
Stress factor #2 is... well, whitewashing, and freaking the area that I'm in. From what I've heard, it's like the deadest area in the mission. For the past 6 months the missionaries here have been covering this ward and a neighboring ward, because this area has nothing going on in it. There is nothing in the area book, no nobody to work with, and it's freaking small which is something I've never had to worry about before.
Don't get me wrong, I know that a negative attitude won't do anything and I'm excited to be working here, but Im just stressed right now, I don't know what to do...
Dad there is a talk I would appreciate if you could send to me, it was given by Elder Holland at a BYU speech, it's called "Remember Lot's Wife."
If you could send me it in a PDF, soon, that would be great! And, also, if you have any thoughts, please don't wait until next week to tell me, because by then you will have forgotten them and I need to here them sooner rather than later.
To make things even crazier, although this is a good crazy, I'm living with a senior couple of missionaries for a week. Their name is the Holts and they are from Alberta, Canada.
They are my adopted grandparents, they're letting us eat their food and making us breakfast and Sister Holt is working on some of my shirts, which I'm good on by the way, and they're just nice, loving people:) So that helps!  (Editor's note:  we discovered that Elder Jorgensen's dad played football with Bro and Sister Holt's son Ben in High School in Cardston.  Small world)
My companions name is Elder Peterson and he is from Alpine, Utah... he's been out about a year and a half and we both just finished training... except him for his third time and me for my first (again with the whole why I am I district leader deal)....
Ok so all in all... I'm doing good. I really am, I'm just trying to get used to the new... stuff... and right now there's a lot to get used to! I love you guys and I'll talk to you next week!
Elder Travis Jorgensen

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sorry, today was a crappy pday 
and we wasted all of our time so this is just a straight copy and paste of what I wrote pres. Hey President! This last week of our training I am going to have him step it up quite a bit. I'm pretty much just going to act like I'm a greenie and don't know what is going on so that he can start taking lead in lessons and talking to people. I have talked with him about stepping up and helping more and that doesn't seem to get anywhere... so I'm going to give this a try. A-Area. We both know that Milwaukie had some TERRIBLE numbers this week. However, there is a pretty good reason for it, and that is because this week in Milwaukie we had ourselves an Ammon experience
We spent almost our whole week, literally from Monday to Friday, helping BBBB HHHHHH move. He is the white guy who Elder Soriano and I found last week in Moreland because the Spirit put us right in his path. So anyways, when we started helping him move this week we thought it was just gonna take a few hours, he made it sound like there was nothing too crazy and it would all be quick.

WRONG. He hurt his back 25 years ago and has practically been bedridden ever since, but before that, he used to be a car mechanic. So from Monday until Wednesday we were moving car stuff into his car. Such as a 1000 lb car hoist, and a 600 lb air compressor, and the largest toolbox I have ever seen in my life.
Objects in picture may be bigger than they appear...
Those items alone took several hours apiece. Thankfully, Elder Christiansen and Elder Ballard of Moreland were there otherwise there would have been no feasible way of moving those things. So by halfway through Wednesday we were done with the car stuff, and we thought he was getting evicted that night, and the way he made it sound was like inside of his house he just had a few boxes all packed up and ready to go. Once again, WRONG! Like I previously mentioned, he just barely started walking again 6 months ago, and before that he had been bedridden for 25 years. His house was DISGUSTING.
not his actual house. visual effects only.
I can honestly say it was the grossest thing I have ever seen. Imagine those tv shows about hoarders, but worse. It was so bad because while he had been sick, he had had several different roommates, and none of them had taken care of the place. One of them had 28 cats,
no cats were harmed in the taking of this picture...
and one of the most pungent odors was that of cat urine. As we were moving some boxes around, we found 2 of the 28 cats. Both of which were dead in between some boxes and by the looks of it had been dead longer than I have been alive. So... I don't think I need to describe too much further in detail, I think you get the picture(but, some of the longest and hottest showers of my life were taken after getting home on those days, and we also washed our clothes 2 or 3 times.) The kicker is that no one came to evict him until Friday. So every day we would help and every day there would be more to do, and we couldn't just leave him, so we helped him out. On top of that, he doesn't know where he is going. Just somewhere in Encinitas, California. Today Elder Soriano, the Moreland Elders, and I fasted that he makes it there ok and that once he does he can make contact with the Church, because there is no way he will be able to unload all of that stuff by himself. The crazy part is that HHHHH is the most prepared person to receive the Gospel that I have ever met. We taught him about the Atonement and the first 2 lessons, and he says he wants to be baptized and receive the Priesthood. The challenge for me was to still be able to look at him the same way after we got inside of his house. Trying to see him like God sees him
by the time Friday came around put me to the test. So that is why our numbers were so low, because we were there every day for most of the day from Monday until Friday. But I know it was supposed to happen because God set it up, and it just felt right. M-Miracle. I think the story I just told was a miracle, the fact that we pretty much got him all packed up by Friday. P-Personal. I am doing good. S-Studies. This week with our recent convert we read Ether 12 and faith (surprising, right?) stuck out to me a lot, especially when it comes to miracles. Something that Elder Cooper taught me is that even when the miracle we are asking for makes perfect sense, we still need to have faith that it can happen. Like Alma the Younger's parents praying for him to turn around...
that is a logical thing to pray for, but the scriptures still point out that Alma the Younger's dad had faith as he prayed about it. E-Exchange. This week on Thursday we did an exchange with the Wilsonville Elders, Elder Laing and Elder Richardson. I went to Wilsonville with Elder Laing and Elder Richardson came here. It was such a good exchange, Elder Laing was my MTC companion and I really haven't gotten to serve around him until this transfer. He is a hard working, obedient, funny, good missionary. We taught a few lessons together and halfway through one of them I realized we weren't using the pamphlets, so I pulled it out and started teaching from it, and I think it helped. Alright President I love you! Thanks for all you do! Elder Jorgensen Ok guys sorry you are the best, Wes I'll get you a letter his week, this might be my last week in Milwaukie but we will see.
Transfers are the 21s or 22nd, whatever day happens to be Monday, so potentially I am coming down to the last couple of weeks here in Milwaukie. I am preparing myself to stay though, because last time when I stayed and thought I was leaving it was hard to swallow. I'll keep you guys posted.
Aight, so just so I can make sure, all of the music on the Ipod does NOT have to be Church Music.
When I was listening to music the other day with Cooper he had some OneRepublic on, as in Apologize, Feel Again, and some stuff off of their newest album. A good guideline to follow is that as long as it doesn't swear and doesn't talk about sex, there shouldn't be a problem! I'm begging you guys... hook me up!
President Ballard is all about using our mission as a time to form habits that we will be able to use for the rest of our lives.
As far as the fast for Eric went, supposedly it went pretty good. I was talking to him on FB on Saturday and it was kind of a hard convo for me to have, I asked him if he could go back to when he first started talking to Coop and I if he still would, he told me he didn't know, and he also told me he wanted to go inactive sometimes. But fasting was also his idea and apparently Coop talked to him yesterday and it was a good convo. I don't know the deets yet but when Coop and I fast together, good things usually happen.
Mom you never told me how it was talking with Karla?

Ummmmmmm... is there anything else? I love you guys... we just played a game of ping sting except instead of smacking a ping pong ball at them, we chucked a tennis ball at each other:) I went undefeated for 6 rounds and then we all were kind of tired of playing... I have an AWESOME pic I'll try to send later.
Love you guys!
Elder Jorgensen!

A- Area. Milwaukie is doing well I wasn't in the area too much this week; Wed/Thurs we did another exchange with the Sandy Elders, I'll tell you about that later, but the point is that I wasn't here, and Friday was the meeting. I think it was good for Elder Soriano to have to handle the reigns for a bit, right now we have quite a few people we could teach, but none of them really strike me as wanting to be baptized... I did some math after MLC on Friday and instead of a 1 to 16 baptism to news, Milwaukie as somewhere around a 1 to 56 baptism to news, I've been here for 28 weeks and found at least 2 news a week. Food for thought, looks like I need to keep finding.
M- Miracle This week we had an awesome miracle happened that truly opened my eyes to how there are people all around us just waiting to hear the Gospel. On Tuesday morning, we were in the Moreland ward in southwest Portland, because an investigator had a dentist appointment and needed us to translate. We got there at about 9 and left at about 10:30. As we were leaving, I had the very strong impression that we just needed to stay and walk around. I ignored it.That part of our area is pretty white and rich. In my 6 months plus here, I have not found a Spanish Speaker in those parts. So I was ready to go home, we had studies to finish and a busy day planned. We got in the car and drove away. Before we had made it a block, again the impression came to me that we needed to stay put. This time I listened, and we parked the car back where it was. I parked, turned to Elder Soriano and said, "I don't know why we are here or what we are going to do, but I feel like we need to be here." We got out, looked around, and nowhere was screaming at me. We decided to go to a Safeway nearby because I like what you said about teaching captive audiences. As we were walking there, a gentleman stopped us and very kindly asked us if we believe in Christ. He genuinely wanted to know. That is the first time in my mission that I have been stopped by a stranger, non member, for good reasons. We got talking, and he told us he was from California, and that he was being evicted from his apartment and had to go back. I asked if there was anything we could do for him. He got teary eyed and told me that he was disabled and had been stressing about how he would move. We told him we would love to help him, and are going to help him later today. To me that was such a testimony builder that God is putting people in our paths because I had never been that deep into Moreland before, and the chances of us being there just for a few hours, a few hours out of 6 months... That was a powerful experience for me.
P-Personal. I am doing well. I enjoy the privilege of being able to serve those of this district. One of the things that makes it so awesome is that we are all in groups, so we all have very similar circumstances. Sometimes I feel as if I am a greenie again in the sense that I almost feel like my greenie fire is coming back. Every day I am just excited to get out and work.
S- Studies. This week I read a conference talke entitled "By the Power of His Word Did they Cause Prisons to Tumble." ... or something like that. It was a reference to Mormon 8:26. It talked about how sometimes we can just imprison ourselves be it through pride or bad habits or what have you, and the way out of those prisons is the Word of God.
E- Exchanges. On Wednesday of this week I did an exchange with the Sandy Elders, Elder Villatoro and Elder Mann. A couple weeks ago Elder Mann came here with me, so this week I went to Wilsonville with Elder Villatoro. I loved it. Elder Villatoro is honestly who I was expecting to be district leader this transfer He is experienced in the mission, he is focused, he is a great teacher who knows when to teach, when to testify, and when to listen. We taught several really powerful lessons together, we taught so smoothy it seemed like we were companions. I told Elder Villatoro just to lead by example, the rest will follow. There wasn't really much I could tell him, he has more experience in the mission than I do so I just tried to let him know that I am here for him.

Elder Jorgensen!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hey guys!!!
Sorry this has taken me so long... We got to go to a mall outside the mission today and then we played some kickball.... I'd forgotten how much I really dislike to be in crowded places though. It was a great experience, there were 8 of us and people STARED everywhere we went...
It's going to be weird after the mission to be able to hang out with my friends and not have people watching everything I do. Ummm....I don't really have too much to say.... Mom Karla didn't really say a whole lot about when you guys talked on the phone, she said you are really cool and she likes you a lot, and she gave me the message of you miss me and you love me, but other than that she didn't say much! How did it go! I miss and love you too momma!
This week was a really good week. We taught like 26 lessons and got 10 new investigators.... Im trying to think of anything funny or crazy that happened this week... Probably the most interesting thing that happened this week was that we talked to some guy who was so drunk that he could barely stand straight. We did a couple of exchanges, one of them was with Coop and I got to go with him out to their brand new area in Estacada.
Elder Soriano is doing great, he's super quiet but he is the most Christlike and humble companion I have ever had.
I love you guys I hope you  have a good week!

Elder Jorgensen!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hey guys!!!
Things are going good, Karla got baptized and confirmed this week, I got to confirm her. She has been worried since she accepted the date pretty much that she wouldn't feel the Spirit or anything when it happened, but she was bawling both after the baptism and confirmation. Probably the coolest part though was that for the baptism, Jose, Luz, and Lupe Salazar came to see it to say hi to me. So I had to give the talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and at the end I asked Jose to come up and bear his testimony, and I translated it into English. The Spirit was pretty strong. Other than that... Elder Soriano and I once again have the need to find new investigators... 

Mom, I have some news that might make sending music easier. Pres Ballard has approved the use of Ipods in the mission... so there is my very first ipod, dad that 2 gig that I gave to you awhile ago... do you guys think you could load it up with goodness and send it to me? The music rules are SUPER chill now... pretty much as long as it doesn't drive the Spirit away, then it is ok...
I'm trying to think of if there is anything new to catch you guys up on. I did an exchange this week with and Elder from California... he is a greenie, and he knew spanish before the mish so he hasn't even been away from home a month yet... For the first 30 minutes as we drove back to Milwaukie, all he was doing was talking about "all of the things he's about in the mission" and his views on rules and whatnot... At one point I wanted to say to him, bro, you ain't even been away from home a month yet, you haven't had TIME to figure out what you're about... but, I didn't! You guys would be proud of me!

I love you guys! You're the best!