Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013 ~ Week 10

"Holy cow. Time is flying by isn't it? It's absolutely crazy to think I've been on my mission for nearly 3 months. This has been the quickest 3 months of my life I swear, but at the same time they also have been the longest. They are the shortest because everything flies by so fast.  They are the longest because of how much I have grown. I am so overcome with joy at times with the lessons I've learned and the testimony I've gained. Simply put, I can honestly say that serving a mission is the best decision I have ever made.

This week was an interesting one. We have 3 baptismal dates lined up for later in October. The two Colt children, Brandon and Judith, and the sister of a member, Cynthia. Cynthia was interesting because she already had a testimony of the Book of Mormon, she just didn't realize what that meant. She's progressing well, and is super excited. The kids grew up in an LDS home. Their mom even served a mission for pete's sake! They just went inactive because their dad speaks poor English and their Mom speaks none. There is no spanish branch in our stake so that is the problem! 

One specific cool experience: The west Philly Elders (Kitsell & Pitt) met a guy who said if they go to his church, he would come to ours. So I ended up on Sunday going to sacrament meeting, then going to a Baptist Church in the middle of Ghetto West Philly. That was an experience indeed. We walk in and the band is playing as the Pastors are all parading down the aisles. It is so obnoxiously loud. Then we go in and everyone is singing very loudly, screaming even. Then they started saying a prayer and during the prayer the band randomly starts playing again.   The Pastor lady saying the prayer starts yelling over them. It was all very theatrical. I left the experience after some other things happened thinking about how sad the whole experience was. Think about why people go to church. These people desire to worship Him. They want to be healed from the bitter blows and injuries they received from the world. They want to serve Him and feel His presence. But they don't know how. They go and they show to the other people at the church how much they love Him... With their lips, yet their hearts are far from Him. Not because they don't want to be close to Him, because they truly honestly do. They just don't know how. They've been told all these theories about God, and they all have their ideas and opinions, and many of these are true, but not all. These people go to be healed and rejuvenated, and they are, on the outside. But deep within, they still long for the love and the strength they can only receive from our Heavenly Father who loves us so much. The most important thing I learned from this experience is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not a church. I'm not inviting people to come to my Church. I'm inviting them to come unto Christ. Because I know that there is no other way we can be healed, and be happy without the guidance and the Love we receive from the priesthood authority that has been returned to the Earth. Heavenly Father didn't create a religion. He created a plan. A plan for all people.  It is the duty of each and every single person, to share that plan and let it be known. I'm so grateful I am able to do it 24/7. I love all of you. Thank you for being you."

~Elder Jorgensen

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013 ~Week 9

"Hey everyone! So I'm emailing at the Library this week and only have 7 minutes left before this computer turns off on me, so... yeah! This week has felt like the longest week in the history of weeks... Although the MTC weeks took longer.  

Anyways, Monday we went to Old City Tee's in Center City which is a t-shirt shop that is famous among missionaries... like if no one went there but missionaries, the place would stay in business. They make custom t-shirts there. It's super cool. I bought a Phillies sweatshirt and this place is so close with the missionaries, that they have the mission logo available to put on a t-shirt, so I got one of those too. (I was just informed I have 20 more minutes to email. Convenient.) Monday night we went to the Shumways for dinner. They invited both companionships to go over and it was awesome. They are pretty darn cool. They tried giving us money so that we could go to the zoo, but I took it and just left it on the counter. Hehehe, I AM SO SNEAKY!!!! Wednesday we got our new District leader, Elder Kitsell. He's from England! I've found out that me and him have a ton in common, not as in what we did or whatever, but just the way we act and the kind of people we are. He's a bit older, but me and him were talking about who we were before our mission and it was amazing to see how much I've grown up. Honestly I will never understand the person I was just 3 months ago. He was awful! I'm so grateful that I'm here, and have seen how important life really is, and have learned not to let little things bother me. To be honest though, I haven't really had any of that homesickness hit me yet, until the last week or two. Not enough to distract me from doing my work, because I do focus on missionary work as much as I can, but late at night, or during email time, it has started to affect me a little bit. I really do miss you all, and have just started to realize the profound impact many of you have made upon my life, and for each and every single one of you, I will be forever grateful.

 One  amazing thing that happened this week..... So we have been dropping by to visit this lady named Cynthia ever since I've gotten here. She is the sister of a member and she has two kids, and her husband is still in Liberia trying to get over here. We had our first real lesson with her last week, which I believe I told you all about, but then this week we had another lesson. When we asked her if she read her BOM she said she didn't know where to read. So we asked her if she had any questions about life, or just anything. Her question? How can I know that I need to be baptized again? So we taught her about the last two paragraphs in the Intro to the BOM. Read it!  They're awesome. 

"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)

Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah".  

But then after we explained that to her, we committed her to be baptized on October 27th!!! So exciting. It really is amazing seeing how excited she got, and just the light that the gospel has brought into her life. 

On a completely random side note, I really love Jello. Like I made Jello 3 times this week, and grudgingly shared with Elder Hopkins. I could have eaten it all on my own. But oh well! I'm starting to get super duper fat. I don't know if it's true, but it looks like it, and I'm losing my wrestlers body which makes me sad... oh well I guess! We have sisters in our ward too! There haven't been sisters in our Zone for a long time, but they just opened up an area that used to be part of ours. It's where all the rich jewish people live. good luck to them I guess! I made brownies for district meeting and everyone was happy. So that was good! 

I honestly am done now, and I love each and every single one of you. Thank you so much for your love and support. Bye!"

~Elder Jorgensen

{LOVE this cute boy and his companion!  Not quite sure what this picture is about but HE SENT ME A PICTURE!}

Friday, September 20, 2013

Blog Stalking Pays Off

Elder Hopkins, Elder Jorgensen, Elder Jenkins, and Elder Pitt .....I think ;)

So yesterday I googled some of the Elders mentioned in Elder Jorgensen's letters and guess what I found??  An actual picture of him with his companion and 2 Elders that he goes on exchange with. 
 I was one happy mama.

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013 ~ Week 8

"Well, I've survived my first transfer as a missionary. Weird huh? I've been out almost 2 months. I feel so strange writing emails today, and I really have no clue as to why. Oh well! Life is great, and I'm loving every single second of serving. It gets hard sometimes, and I find myself on my knees more often than I would have expected, but despite all my shortcomings, and all the hardships of a mission, there isn't a second where I've thought that this was a bad decision. 

This week we had an awesome lesson with Cynthia. She said she wanted to be baptized, but Elder Hopkins goofed and we didn't give her a date. Oh well. We'll get her a date next time. We had our ward bar-b-que which was pretty fun. I've had several people ask me if I would rather receive Emails, or real life letters. The answer to this question is real life letters. I am also more likely to respond to real life letters because they don't get lost in my super messy inbox. So real life letters are just good. One sad thing is that this transfer, our super awesome District leader was taken away from us to be a zone leader somewhere else. Oh well though! It's for the best. He's been a super awesome example for me and he'll be awesome elsewhere. I need to go now, but I love you all a whole bunch! Also people also have asked for my address, for the sake of laziness, it is my signature. Love you! Bye!"

-Elder Jorgensen
Elder Cody Scott Jorgensen
7200 Merion Terrace
Apt. A-213
Upper Darby PA 19082-1712

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9, 2013 ~ Week 7

"Hey everyone! So today we are having zone unity day and we are supposed to be 30 minutes away in 20 minutes so this will be a quicker email! This week has been interesting. Because of Labor Day, we had P-day on Tuesday. Wednesday I invited someone to be baptized and he said, "no!" But that was because he was scared of the water, and he's 9. We'll continue meeting with him though. His name is Brandon. His parents are members.  When we went over there they fed us real authentic mexican tacos. They are from Mexico. They were good, but greasy. The kids speak good english, and the dad speaks alright english, but the mom doesn't speak any. She's a RM from Mexico though. Thursday we had District meeting and planning, which is always awesome. We have such an awesome district leader. He always knows how to help us learn and grow. Friday morning I went on exchange with Elder Jenkins, our district leader, over in West Philly. The one thing I am absolutely terrible at is talking to people. So that is what I kind of sort of tried to work on. I'm getting there though. The thing is I'm not really even all that scared to talk to people, I just don't. I have some sort of apprehension that causes me to not open my mouth and talk. I'll get over it sooner or later. I do know that on Saturday, when I tried to talk to as many people as I could, I was ten trillion times happier than I normally am. Also on Saturday we had a lesson with Sherma, A JW. We brought a recent convert, Sabir, with us. It was a pretty good lesson and we invited her to be baptized, but alas, she isn't ready yet. All is well with me! I've started to learn how to feed myself better, so that's good! I'm always so happy to hear all of your messages and emails every week. Today I have next to no time, but I will get to all of you as soon as I can! Love you!"  ~Elder Jorgensen

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 3, 2013 - Week 6 (Better Late than Never)

"To my dearest friend...YOU,
 I am having a phenomenal time! Yesterday it rained a whole bunch and I was happy. My companion wasn't though. Sometimes I have just a bit too much energy for him to handle. But if he is going to get mad at me for anything, I would prefer he get mad at me for being excited and friendly and just happy. We didn't really have any particularly cool lessons or stories this week, I spent Wednesday sick in bed, Thursday was Zone Conference, and Friday was District meeting and Area book updating. Jamar came to basketball this last week, so it wasn't an entirely miserable experience! OOOH OOOH OOOH!!!! I do have one MIRACLE story! I realized how to fix me being moody!!! Some of you thought it was absolutely impossible. But I have been blessed to figure it out! It was getting pretty bad throughout the day. I was having huge mood swings and making my companion irritated. But I realized if I eat all day, every day the problem is solved! I mean all day. Like eat a cracker every ten minutes. Also I need to eat a huge, good breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My favorite thing is when we go to the Meus' house to eat. They are the best! They are from Haiti and Sister Meus yells at you if you don't eat everything... and she gives you so much. Sometimes I'm not even sure if I can eat it all... but then I wait 5 minutes and wish I had more. I'm always hungry, despite the fact that I eat 5 times as much as I did back home. I'm learning to buy food that goes a long way. Grocery stores here are weird though. Also a week feels like a blink of your eyes. This is awesome. I always make brownies or cookies or something for district meeting because it's the best. I have one request for you my friend, and that is will you mail me a physical picture of you? My wall is empty. It's rather sad. No one believes I have friends. Ok love you bye!" ~Elder Jorgensen

 {Note from Mom.....PLEASE write to Elder Jorgensen. Even if it is just a quick, "I'm thinking of you" email. Or better yet, if you have the time...write him an ACTUAL letter. I promise you will be blessed for supporting our missionary. The letter I post is the general blog letter that he sends me. You may even get it too. :) In my personal email, he told me today that he got his first hair cut from a fellow missionary. This is REALLY hard for me because, aside from one friend in beauty school, I am the ONLY person who has ever cut his hair. Believe it or not, I used to actually do that for real. (sigh) He also told me that if anyone is wondering what to send him in a package, he really loves FOOD! Funny boy. I think his past 4 years of cutting to make weight for wrestling is catching up to him. Thanks for supporting my sweet boy. It means a lot to him but it means MORE to me. I appreciate his sacrifice so much and I don't want him to be forgotten. LOVE YOU ALL!}