Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013 ~Week 5

Hey everyone! 
So I have decided that one reason why I am not supposed to wear shoes is because of blisters. I swear I have a blister that is half the size of my toe. That wouldn't happen if I didn't wear shoes.... But then again if I didn't wear shoes around here, my feet would be all cut up and full of glass... It wouldn't matter too much though because all the hot cigarette butts that would cauterize the cuts closed. Then the only thing I would have to worry about would be all the STD's running rampant through my body due to the bodily fluids that would get in my cuts before cauterization... Oh well... Blisters aren't that bad. What is that bad is the humidity!!! I don't believe I've stopped sweating since I got off the plane... It's terrible. I feel like I'm going to drown every time I go outside!!! But I'm getting used to it... using plenty of laundry detergent... and deodorant... and drinking lots of water...  The worst night of every week, is when we play basketball on Fridays. I honestly hate the game of basketball with such a passion. Maybe it would help if I was any good at it, but seeing how I can't play without fouling someone every 3 seconds because my wrestling instincts kick in, I'm not the favorite person to play with anyways. 

This last week has been pretty darn cool if I say so myself. One of the cool experiences I've had has been that I got to baptize Crystal! It was such a cool experience. I felt kind of bad though since I wasn't really much a part of her conversion experience. But it was awesome!

This is Titus and Crystal and Titus Jr. Right after the baptism! 
Sorry I didn't have the chance to get a picture with us in white.

This week I went on exchange with Elder Pitt. He got here the same day I did. We went to West Philly which was his area. It was interesting. We had an awesome lesson with Basil, who is moving out to Eagle Mountain in a couple weeks. He is getting married to Sister Colombo who lives out there from what I understand. I don't know Sister Colombo's first name. One miracle experience this week has been Jamar. So me and Elder Hopkins were walking down the street one day and we say Jamar just riding his bike around. We started talking to him and he asked us who we were. We started talking about what we do and stuff. We left him a Book of Mormon and our phone number and went our separate ways, though it was an amazing experience because we were having a pretty no good morning. He seemed pretty interested. So yesterday we were supposed to go give Francis, a 60 year old Liberian lady with an eye infection, a blessing, but were unable to because our member that was supposed to come with us couldn't make it. So we went around visiting members and seeing if any of them could come with us to no avail. After a while I had the impression that we should go visit the Colts, a less active family that doesn't speak much English, when lo and behold we ran into Jamar on his way home from work. We asked Jamar if he was willing to come with us. It was a bit awkward for him, but we told him just to sit down and listen. We gave Francis the blessing, which was an amazing experience in of itself. Afterwards we left and found out that Jamar had actually read from the Book of Mormon we gave him and had some questions about it. They were mostly questions that he would have answered if he kept reading, so we encouraged him to do so. Then as we were walking down the street talking about the experience, he told us how he felt during the blessing, which as you could expect, was amazing, and we asked him if he wanted to be able to feel that way always. He said that it would be a big responsibility. One cool thing about Jamar, is that he wholeheartedly believes everything we teach him, not because we are so perfect at teaching it, or anything like that, but because every single time we've talked to him, the spirit has been there. It has been strong. I know now more about how important it is to constantly be perfectly obedient. You never know who you are going to run into, and you never know how important it is to listen to the Spirit, and go where it directs you, until after you've experienced just how miraculous it is.  I honestly 100% believe that we found Jamar because Heavenly Father had been preparing him, and had placed us in his path. I know that as long as we listen to that still small voice, Heavenly Father will always place us exactly where He wants us to be. We have a lesson on Friday with Jamar and I honestly can't wait. Just a little example of how strong the spirit is when we talk to him, after we gave Francis the blessing we were walking down a street where 99% of the time the Spirit probably couldn't dwell. But as we walked down the street, you could see in Jamar's eyes that he was being touched by the Spirit. This is the hardest thing I have ever done. But it's the best. I am truly amazed by my Heavenly Father. He works. I love you so much. I love hearing from you all so much. Until next week.

~Elder Jorgensen

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013 ~ Week 4

"This week has been awesome. I'm really getting used to being on a schedule now and I love it. My time has become so much more productive and so much more focused. It's incredible the things that I can do and learn in just a day. Riding SEPTA around everyday is so much fun. We live right next to 69th Street Terminal so we almost never have to wait for a bus. The people around here are so diverse. There are so  many different cultures and religions. It's crazy. I never thought that real life people could actually be Muslim and wear the Muslim clothes around everywhere. I don't mean that to be discriminatory or anything, it just seemed like something people far away do. Me and my companion get along well. One of my favorite things is when we are walking down the street and just saying hi to people and talking to them a little bit. It was scary at first but just about everyone else says hi back to you. Also If you are cheery and happy and full of enthusiasm people notice it and they feed off of it. My favorite thing is when Elder Hopkins says hi to someone and they say hi real fast back. Then I smile and ask them how their day is and they smile and just open up to me. One thing I have promised myself is that I will never lose my enthusiasm and love for the people. I really do love each and every person I talk to and although it is hard sometimes, I know that what I am doing can help them be happy. 

Now for stories! So this week we visited a 17 year old kid named Eric. His grandma is a member that lives in Iowa. We taught him a little bit about the restoration but it wasn't a very good lesson. Mostly because his stepdad was watching TV in the other room. He was interested in what we have to teach, and he had questions, but we didn't do a very good job answering them. I know that next time it will be different though. We also visited Francis who is this awesome 60 year old Liberian. She has an eye infection so she can't read the BOM but once it heals I know that she is going to be able to read and love it. She is so awesome and already has such a strong faith. I can't wait to see how much stronger her faith will be once she reads the BOM. It really is such a blessing that we have this sacred record. We also visited Kimberly who is a very cool lady. She told me that I had destiny written all over my face, and that one day I would be a millionaire as long as I worked hard. It was pretty funny. Oh my gosh. There are so many dead kitties in the street. Honestly it is the most horrible thing ever. There are starving kitties everywhere and the other day we saw a little baby kitty that was in some bushes, or rather I saw her, and the second we walked by she was so scared and I just wanted to tell her it was o.k. One funny thing is how often I get hit on. Apparently black girls just like me. The other day we were walking down the street and this group of maybe 8-10 girls came up to us all confrontational like and started saying, "Hey what you doin walkin up and down my block..... Ooh you got pretty eyes, wanna be my sugah daddy? Come back here sugah! I want to stare into your eyes foreva!" They followed us for a couple blocks. Twas funny. Stuff like that has happened a few times. We visited with Titus and Crystal and taught them the rest of what they have to learn to be baptized. So we will be baptizing them on the 25th! I'm so excited for them! It has been an awesome experience seeing them. I've only seen them a couple times, and only had one lesson with them but I'm so proud of them and I love them so much! I'm growing closer and closer to my Heavenly Father everyday. I can see his blessing in  my life. I know what I need to work on to be better, and I swear that I am going to be the hardest working, most obedient, most diligent, most caring, most enthusiastic missionary I can be. Because The Lord deserves nothing less of me. I've given two years of my life to Him. So I will SERVE for two years. I love you all so much. If you have any other questions that I didn't answer in this shoot me an email. I don't have much time to respond to all of them every week, but I will get to you. I love hearing your comments and support. You are always in my prayers."

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013 ~Week 3

"So Tuesday... Tuesday I woke up at 3 AM to make it to the travel center at the MTC by 3:30. I threw my stuff together and quickly made my way up there. After we had checked in and gotten on the bus, Elder Meline and I were asked to wait and get on the next bus. So we got off and waved the rest of the bus, and our district goodbye. We sat and waited, then got on the new bus and off we went to the airport! After we got to the airport we met up with the rest of our district and went and found phones to call. It was really interesting going through security at the airport. Some people were giving us funny looks but most of them were happy and said hi to us. We boarded our plane and I sat by the window next to Sister Gerber and then slept for the whole plane ride to Detroit. We got tons of funny looks at that airport though. While we were on the short plane ride from Detroit to Philly, I was sitting alone. So of course after we could move around I tricked Sister Clark into coming and sitting by me, and right when she did the fasten seat belt sign came on so she was STUCK WITH ME. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Thus my evil scheming was flushed out of my system for hopefully the rest of my mission. After we touched down in Philly, we went and met our mission prez and his wife. They were nice but I didn't have much time to talk to them. We were all thrown into 12 person vans and went to the mission home. The ride there was crazy. The mission home is in Broomall. It is soooo green there. It's like driving up in the canyon but without mountains. So pretty. We ate at the mission home and had some training. It was terribly hard to stay awake through it though. I went to bed. Woke up in the morning and we were bussed off to one of the churches in Philly. We went out and did some street contacting but weren't too successful because of our lack of confidence I guess. After that we went back to the Broomall mission office/church and we were assigned our trainers. To be honest I was assigned probably the last guy I would have guessed from first glance alone. His name is Elder Hopkins and he is from Tempe, Arizona. He wants to be a pilot when he gets back. We are serving in upper Darby. It's a SEPTA mission. We ride busses and subways and trolleys everywhere. It's a lot of fun but it is going to be a lot of work to get the routes and schedules down. We live right next to the 69th street terminal so we can pretty much get to anywhere from there. The first night walking to our apartment from the bus at like 9 at night was weird though. Now I don't mean this in a innocent little Utah boy way, but in the 3 blocks we walked we talked to 6 or so people who were straight up CrAzY. I couldn't understand them but Elder Hopkins just nodded his head and told them to pray to Heavenly Father for answers. It was interesting. So the very next day we went on exchanges with the zone leaders. I went with Elder Barker and went into Darby with him. It was my first experience in Philly and it was strange. I can pretty much guarantee that if I wasn't wearing my missionary name tag I probably would have gotten mugged. I loved it though. People gave us dirty looks as we were walking up and down these row homes that are pretty dumpy. I thought it was so funny as people opened up and just started talking to us once we smiled and talked to them. People really are very nice and love it when people talk to us. Everyone has a just have to ask. They are dying to tell you. I loved my day with Elder Barker. Most of the people I have talked to are from Africa, specifically Liberia. I learned the African handshake and everything! One of my favorite things I do is to cook for myself. I honestly love it so much. I'm so glad I spent all that time watching the cooking channel cause I guarantee that I eat more than twice as well as my companion. We haven't really had the chance to sit down and teach anyone yet. We've street contacted to no avail, and visited with people and tried to set up a return appointment with people that we already knew. We had an appointment with Crystal, who is supposed to be baptized on the 25th, but it fell through. We had dinner with the Players who are a family in our ward on Sunday and I loved talking to them. I am so ready to get the work here moving. We need investigators to teach, and I'm dead committed to teaching the Gospel. The only problem is getting people to talk to us at all. Once we start talking, people can recognize that the message we share is one of truth that can bring happiness to all people. So that's my first week! I will make sure to keep you updated hopefully every week. Love you! Bye!"

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Last Letter from MTC ~Week 2

Here's a snipit from Elder Jorgensen's letter this week:

"The MTC experience for me has been moderately hard. I've had a harder time than the others in my district but by no means have I been miserable. It's interesting to me that I have never had a trial of faith in my life until I got to the MTC. We pretty much have class all day. All we do is learn how to teach and practice teaching. The spirit finds ways to teach us and try us and test our faith in ways you wouldn't believe. I feel like I have learned how to listen to the spirit enough to let it teach the gospel to the investigator uninhibited but I am still pretty nervous about actually contacting people and everything besides teaching, but I know that if Heavenly Father can help me teach, that he can help me with everything else as well. It's crazy! I got fairly sick and went to the doctor the other day.  They had me get some blood work done because they thought it could have been a bug I picked up while camping on the High Adventure.  All was well though. I've made very good friends in the MTC. My whole entire district is great and I get along well with all of them. My companion, Elder Parker talks a lot but that is ok. The lifestyle wasn't really too difficult to get used to for me. It's interesting to see how much I've changed in such a short amount of time. The first week lasted forever, but this last week has flown by. It's funny what you learn when you are constantly bombarded by the spirit."