Friday, June 29, 2012

"How Long Will You Take To Come Unto Him?"

Elder Jenson and Hermano Toledo (Elder Jenson's MTC teacher)

Hey All!

What an incredible week this has been.  I didn't get to mention this in my last letter home, but as Mom said in one of her letters to me, this past Saturday through Wednesday was the week where new Mission Presidents come to the MTC to learn and train. Tons of General Authorities were here throughout the week. The security was crazy and everything was roped off so there was no way of seeing them.  I just heard about who was here.  We did however get to see them in our Tuesday night Devotional as I will talk about a little later in the email.

FRIDAY: This was just a normal P-Day. During the class time from 530-830 (Normal class time on P-Day), we weren't able to teach any of the investigators. It was still a good night and a relaxing day. My comp and I were able to do a "telephone call" and connect with Edwin (pretend he's right next to us). We talked to him about how he's doing. We invited him to come to a baptism of one of our friends and see what it will be like when he is baptized so that he has an idea of what to expect. We followed up on how his reading is going and how his praying is going as well.

SATURDAY: There wasn't alot of things out of the ordinary today except that there were a ton of things roped off and places that we couldn't go. Mainly in the Main Building where all the General Authorities were having their meetings with the 110 new Mission Presidents and their wives.  Saturday night we were able to watch a movie in the gym while all the Elders and Sisters that had their new Mission Presidents at the MTC were meeting them for the first time (President and Sister Essig, Elder Jenson's Mission President began their service July 1, 2011 and are currently serving in the  Chile Santiago North Mission). We watched the movie,"The Other Side of Heaven". If you haven't seen this movie, I recommend it! It's a great story about a boy in the 50s or 60s that goes on his mission to Guam and shows his experiences he has there. This movie taught me alot about the challenges that I will have on my mission. The challenges I'll have are not even going to be close to the challenges that he had while on this tiny island.  This movie strengthened my testimony and gave me the reassurance that I can do this.

SUNDAY: This day would have to be the best day at the MTC by far! This one and Tuesday (the one I will talk about later). There were 3 talks given and they were all incredible. The first one was during Priesthood Meeting in the morning with all of the Elders in the MTC.  It was given by the District President. The talk was on Coming to Christ ourselves before we invite others to Come Unto Christ.  I'm just going to list some of the great points that he made. Close to the beginning of his talk, he asked the question, "How long will you take to Come Unto Him?" I thought that was an excellent question and very inspiring.  That made me think where I was at personally. President said that Coming Unto Christ is a journey and that's what the stories in the scriptures are all about. He said that you can make a physical journey and not a spiritual one (just like Laman and Lemuel did in the wilderness). One interesting point that he made was that we need to ask for faith in our DAILY prayers. "If you have your eyes always set on the Savior, you'll be able to "walk on water". Then he asked, What is the water that is distracting you? Fear, can't teach well, don't know the doctrine well enough, etc. He said that "there's no better day to come Unto Christ than today." That hit me! Another great quote that he shared that I really love is "changed men will set fire in others because they are on fire." Such an amazing talk that I had to get up there and shake his hand. I felt the Spirit throughout his whole talk. Scriptures that he used were Moroni 10:31-33, Luke 15:11-12, Matt 14:22-23, Mosiah 3:17 and John 14:16.  The next talk that was given was during the Sunday Fireside.  It was given by President Richard Brady and his wife Sister Brady. His topic was "How to Recognize the Spirit". The first thing that President Brady did in his talk was a demonstration. He asked President Brown, the MTC President, to come to the pulpit. President Brady then proceeded to blindfold President Brown. President Brown's wife then talked into the mic saying a simple sentence like "President Brown, I know who you are, but do you know who I am?" President Brown was then asked to tell the missionaries whose voice it was. He also did this with his two Counselors and he obviously got them all right. President Brady said that President Brown recognized the voices and picked out the names of the people who were talking. This illustrated that we need to know the Spirit so well that we can recognize His voice and promptings. President Brady then talked about how to receive the promptings. The Holy Ghost stimulates, enlightens, guides, stirs our memory, allignes us with our Heavenly Father etc. The best quote that I got out of this talk was "think about the difference of having the Holy Ghost in your lives and it worth it to not have the Holy Ghost?" Wow, that's a powerful statement that when you are tempted to do something bad, you can remember that statement and always want that companionship of the Holy Ghost. Directly after the Devotional ended, another talk was shown in the Gym. It was David A. Bednar's talk he gave a few years ago on Christmas morning on a Sunday in the MTC. The topic he talked on was "Learning OF Christ".He talked a lot about the characteristics of Christ and when we as humans would normally turn inward in certain situations, Christ turns outward. In Matt 4:2-11, it talks about when Christ was tempted by Satan. Elder Bednar said that the temptation was giving into Satan's temptation of proving that you're the Son of God. There were secondary temptations as talked about in these verses, but those were not the primary temptations.  Another insight with these verses is that the ministering of angels that Christ called down were not called to Him, they were called to John. The Savior sent them to John because he was in prison if I remember correctly...something like that. The Savior sent them and turned himself outward. When you turn outward as a missionary, you're developing that Christlike attribute. If you're down and thinking about yourself and feeling sorry, you're turning inward. Conversion is constantly following the Lord and His teachings.  In Alma 30:5-6, it says that as many obtained a testimony (1) and were converted unto the Lord (2) never fell away. You need both. Know the Gospel is true and then CONSISTENTLY LIVE IT! Become a saint through the Atonement of Christ.

MONDAY: There was a great workshop in the afternoon on Faith. It really strengthened my testimony. In the night, Elder Nelson and I taught Luis for the 5th time.  Our main focus for the lesson was to focus on the commitments and really let Luis know that it was super important to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, because with the book, he will know of the true church and want to be baptized.  At this point, Luis knows that it's all on him to find out if the church is true.  We also taught Edwin. For the fourth lesson with him we finally finished the Plan of Salvation. We then talked about how Families Can Be Together Forever and he can be with his wife, Diana, forever. He said that that would be incredible for him to know that. He's really progressing and we had him set a date for his wedding with Diana for the 30th of June! He's excited and nervous and so am I. What a great step in the right direction.

These last few days have been such a spiritual feast. Boy am I feasting from all the words being said. My testimony is being strengthened and is growing so much! It's such a great feeling as I'm becoming closer and closer to Christ. My comp and I also fasted today. We had a fast for food and also an English fast (no English the whole day)! What an experience! The fast was to know how I can Come Unto Christ more fully and what things specifically I need to implement in my life.

Well, I don't have any more time...But I love you so much!!! I'll talk abut the Devotional and the last few days in my letter home. Hope you like it!



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"I Feel So Incredibly Blessed!"

Elder Jenson and Hermano Andersen. (Elder Jenson's very first teacher in the MTC)

Elder Jenson and his companion Elder Nelson in front of the Provo Temple.

Elder Jenson in front of the Provo Temple.

Elder Jenson and Hermana Hale.

Elder Jenson with his District and 2 teachers Hermano Toledo (2nd from left) and Hermano Johnston (far right).

Elder Jenson looks forward to 9pm every night when he gets to read letters from friends and family. Thank-you for your support!

Map with arrows pointing to places in the world Elder Jenson's District was Called to Serve (Elder Jenson is the orange arrow at the bottom of the map)

Hey Fam!

There's just a few days left that I want to share with you.  Continuing on with Tuesday night and how great it was to learn from President Tyler.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have him as my Branch President.  He's such a knowledgeable person who every couple of sentences quotes scriptures from  any one of the 4 books. Whenever President Tyler speaks, I get my notebook and pen ready!

Wednesday morning my comp (Elder Nelson) and I taught Edwin all about the Law of Chastity and said that before he can be baptized he needed to follow this law.  We explained that he either needed to marry Diana (his novia) or separate and live in different places. At first, Edwin was a little taken back because his lifestyle is the Latin culture.  But by the end of our lesson, Edwin was more convinced and said that he would talk with Diana and pray about it.  At the end of the lesson, we asked and committed Edwin to follow the Law of Chastity.  I was ecstatic! I also saw and talked for a bit with Andrew Paulson (Elder Jenson's roommate and golf teammate at USU this past year) on Wednesday. It was good to see him again.

Thursday was good.  I learned alot in the night class. I taught Luis for the 4th time. We decided to finish up the Plan of Salvation. We talked about the fact that it's tough for him to accept Sunday as the day of worship.  The beginning of the lesson went well and we were able to answer his questions that he had about the Spirit World and Kingdoms of Glory. We showed him Alma 40:11-14 which made things alot clearer for him. After that, we brought up the Sabbath Day. We showed him Acts 20:7 and said that after Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week (Sunday),God said that we should, in memory of the Savior's resurrection, move the day of worship to the first day of the week, Sunday.  Luis wanted to see some evidence that said Sunday is the day of worship. There's not a scripture that says so, so we told him to pray about it and ask God (after some of his tough questions he had for us).  Luis's a pretty tough investigator. It's good practice for me before the field (Chile). My comp and I both committed to read the Book of Mormon again to refortify our testimonies of it as well, and know that it is true. We are going to sincerely ask God to help us know it's true.

Answers to some questions Elder Jenson's been asked: Haircuts in the MTC are free (unlimited amount!) Elder Jenson's new passport came in and has been scanned and sent to the SLC Travel Department. Elder Jenson can't see the blog in the MTC. He has to wait until he arrives in Chile.

New Spanish words Elder Jenson learned this week: Fortaleza-strength, eleccion-choice, el mandamiento-commandment, voluntad de Dios-God's will, creencia-belief, bendicion-blessing, perdon-forgiveness and fielmente-faithfully

I love you all so much! Thanks for your support!


Friday, June 22, 2012

"Becoming a Man and Coming Unto Christ"

Hey Fam!

It has definitely been a very full week this week. I just want to thank everyone so much for all of the letters. It makes my day when the District Leader, Elder Andersen, hands me my letters for the day at 9pm every night except Sunday.  I love reading how everything is going back home and also what my friends have said that they are doing. 

I'll start the weekly summary with Friday the 15th.  After I was able to email home last Friday morning, I was able to take a nice nap and just catch up on some sleep.  In the afternoon, I did my laundry and cleaned up a little bit.  Friday night, my comp and I had the opportunity to teach Luis, one of our Investigators.  I can't remember if I told you about him, but he's a member of the 7th Day Adventists Church.  They believe that Saturday is the day for worship.  It's a great challenge teaching him because he is a little tougher Investigator. We taught the Plan of Salvation to Luis as this was the second time teaching him.  Alot of time that we took up (since we only have 30 minutes per lesson) was answering his questions that he had about the Book of Mormon and why we need it in our lives. We read a few scriptures and had a discussion about it and Luis finally realized the importance of it.  We challenged Luis to read and pray to know if it's true and he said that he would do so.   We got three new Elders in our District as well! Our room is pretty cramped, but that's alright.  We are all here to learn the doctrine, Spanish and how to become better teachers. Their names are Elder Sanderson, Elder Smith and Elder Holmstead.  Elder Smith is from Highlands Ranch and is one of Chase's (Elder Jenson's cousin) good friends, so that's kind of cool.

Saturday, one of our classes was centered on weekly planning and how to do that effectively with your companion. 

Sunday, was an interesting day as I said in my journal.  Sunday morning we had Priesthood from 9-10am.  President Tyler gave an incredible lesson on faith.  He showed the scripture in Proverbs 3:5-6 where it says to "trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding." I love that scripture and I was really glad to be a part of that lesson.  After the lesson we had a little study time and then lunch.  Our Sacrament was from 1:45-2:45.  After the Opening Song, Prayer, and Sacrament, President Tyler got up and announced who was speaking this Sunday.  He first said Hermana Jennifer Hansen and then he said the Elder speaking today is Elder Tanner Jenson! My heart was racing. (As soon as President Tyler got up to the pulpit I knew that it was me who would be speaking because he was looking at me the whole time). So, after Hermana Hansen gave a great talk (She's in my District), I got up and gave a talk on the Atonement.  As soon as I was up at the pulpit, I was able to describe what I wanted to describe and give my talk in a way that I hoped the Elders and Hermanas could feel the Spirit.  Lots of people came up to me afterwards and thanked me for my talk and said I did a great job which felt good.  I can feel myself becoming a man and coming unto Christ day by day.  I am learning to love church and look forward to Sundays for the meetings and the chance to learn more about the doctrine of Christ.  Sunday night, we had a great Fireside given by Sheri Dew: President of Deseret Book.  Some things that I liked were about receiving the gifts that God has presented us with and then remembering our covenants we've made with God so that we can have an eternal perspective.  If we always strive to have an eternal perspective, it will be much harder to make mistakes.  If you look at what will be good for you in the near future, you are doomed.  I took tons of notes on her talk and will strive to implement those things in my own life. 

Monday, Elder Nelson and I taught Luis for the third time.  He went to church this last Sunday with us and is really starting to grasp on to the Gospel principles.  I challenged him to be baptized and he said that if he knew that the Church was true in the future, he would definitely do it. There's just a lot of things in his life right now with classes, his parents and the religion he believes (the 7th Day Adventists).  I know that if he truly asked Heavenly Father by faith and with real intent, he will definitely get an answer. 

Tuesday morning is our service morning where we report to 1M, the Main Building, for our service assignment.  My comp and I scrubbed thresholds and dusted pictures thoughout the whole Main Building.  I actually loved doing it. I am developing a love for serving others.  This day was also Hermana Hale's last day with us in our District. She's going to the Guatemala MTC for her remaining 6 weeks. Tuesday, my comp and I didn't teach any lessons which was kind of a bummer because teaching is a lot of fun and I just learn so much! We did prepare to teach Edwin for the next day's appointment on Wednesday. Tuesday night, we had an incredible Devotional given by Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy.  His talk was mostly on Revelation and how to go about receiving it.  In 3 Nephi 17:3 it states 3 steps needed: Study, ponder and then pray.  He said that when you move past the "reading" of the scriptures and move into the studying and "feasting upon the scriptures", that's when you begin to enter the territory of Revelation.  He taught us to make a study journal where we write down great scriptures we read and also impressions you feel when reading.  Revelation will, most of the time, not happen on your knees.  You have to work for it.  After our Devotional, President Tyler held a meeting with my District to talk about the teaching methods in the scriptures and I think that they are absolutely fantastic: 1. Look for statements like "and thus we see" or "behold" because these indicate doctrine or truth 2. Lists (could be 3 ideas in a single verse sometimes) 3. Repetition: when someone wants to create emphasis 4. Contrasts: can't say good without the bad 5. Cause and Effect statements 6. Read context: if you see a therefore... 7. Study the symbolism, word meanings and cultural background. I have been looking for these teaching methods and marking where these teaching methods take place. It's made a huge difference in my scripture study.

Wednesday Edwin said that he really wants to get baptized and that he has a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  We prepared to teach him all about the Law of Chastity because his girlfriend and he are living with eachother in the same house. You can't be doing that and get baptized.

I don't have any time left, but I will continue my letter on a piece of paper and send it.  I am sending a memory card with pics and videos on it as well so be looking for it. I love you so much!!! And I can't wait to see what you think about this letter and pictures.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Snapshot of Elder Jenson's First 3 Weeks

Went to the mailbox today and was surprised to receive a package which included Elder Jenson's camera memory card! Highlights include:

Elder Jenson and his first Companion, Elder Wilson.
Left to Right: Elder Redd, Elder Jenson, Elder Herd (First District Zone Leaders).
Elder Jenson's First District at the Provo, UT Temple.
Elder Jenson playing basketball on his P -day (Friday).
Hermano Johnston (Tanner's MTC teacher) and Elder Jenson.
Elder Jenson's Current District.
Elder Oross, Elder Jenson, Elder Bray (Current District Zone Leaders).
Elder Jenson and Elder Nelson (current Companion) at the Provo, UT Temple.
Elder Jenson in front of Rey L. Pratt Building (Dorm).

Hope you enjoy the video my daughter Tarryn put together with all the pictures Elder Jenson sent us starting from his departure in Parker,Colorado to his 3rd week as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Don't You Dare Waste the Lord's Time"


To continue with a few more thoughts on Per G. Malm's talk. Here are a few more points he made. Trust that there are angels round about you to build you up.  It's imperative that while your companion is teaching, to pray for him and listen to the Spirit to know what to say next.  Know that the Devil will not triumph, even now, he must operate within the boundaries God has set.  I think one of my most favorite statements Per G. Malm said in his talk was: "If you deviate from the right path, it's like saying, "Heavenly Father, I know that what I am doing is wrong and I rebel against that. That's called sin.  Don't indulge yourself and stop!" After the Devotional we met as a District and talked about Elder Malm's talk.  One of the missionaries said the following: "Don't you dare waste the Lord's time"-(quote from Elder Holland). That really stuck with me.  I will always remember that quote from Elder Holland.

On Wednesday, Elder Nelson, my companion, found out where he was reassigned to.  His reassignment is to the Boise, ID Spanish speaking Mission. He is still going to be my companion for the time I am in the MTC, so no change of companion which is good. Elder Nelson likes to run and pretty much do anything. He's an animal lover. We also got 2 new roommates in our dorm and their names are Elder Rasmussen and Elder Ringer.  Elder Rasmussen is from Minnesota and went to BYU for a year.  He's really cool and likes to play ball.  Elder Ringer is from Vegas and went to USU for a year.  He said that he's seen me practice a bunch at Birch Creek (golf course) because he likes to golf, so that's pretty cool.

Ok, we got 2 brand new Investigators that we will be teaching for the next two to three weeks.  Their names are Edwin and Luis.  The Investigators are actually my two teachers acting as Investigators and playing like it's the real thing. On Thursday, we taught Edwin for the 2nd time about the Plan of Salvation. When we were done, Hermano Toledo (who plays Edwin) told my companion and I that it was the best lesson we'd taught yet! That was a really nice feeling.  We've also taught Luis once (Hermano Johnston) and will teach him again tomorrow.  After my companion and I taught Edwin and class was over, he came with us to dinner! It was so fun to sit and talk with him during dinner.  It was really thoughtful of him to do so.  Hermano Toledo is so awesome, I love him.  Also, Thursday morning, I finished memorizing all of D&C 4 in Spanish!!!  Here it is from Memory:) "He aqui, una obra maravillosa esta a punto de aparecer entre los hijos de los hombres. Por tanto, oh vosotros, que es embarcais en el servicio de Dios, mirad que le sirvais con todo vuestro corazon, alma, mente, y fuerza para que aporeziais sin culpa ante Dios en el Ultimo Dia. De modo que si teneis deseos de servir a Dios, sois llamados a la obra.  Pues, he aqui, el campo blanco esta ya para la siegal y he aqui, quien mete su hoz con su fuerza atesora para si, de modo que no parece, sino que frae salvacion a su Alma. Y fe, esperanza, caridad, y amor con la mira puesta unicamente en la gloria de Dios, lo califican para la obra. Tened presente la fe, la virtud, el conocimiento, la templanza, la paciencia, la bondad fraternal, diedad, caridad, humildad, diligencia. Pedid y recibireis; llamad y se os abrira. Amen.  When I said it Thursday morning by heart, it was so awesome! I was so grateful.

This morning, Friday, my companion Elder Nelson and I did Initiatories. It was great to be in the temple so early doing the Lord's work and saving ordinances.

In our free time, as a District, we like to come up with Spanish jokes kinda like these: 1. Red-Stop, Yellow-Slow Down, GRINGO Answer: It's pronounced like "green go" in Spanish and means American  2. Quiere abarrido?  Answer:You want a burrito?  3. Tanner drew a picture of a baseball diamond and has an arrow that points to it that says, "Habeis" Answer: Pronounced like "a base"  4.  Que es la diferencia between una pera y una novia? La pera es pera y la novia no espera.  Answer: What's the difference between a pear and a girlfriend? The pear is a pear and the girlfriend doesn't wait! 5. Habla Haber en en arbol!  Answer: Haber is pronounced ("A bear"), so it's like "There was a bear in the tree!

Quiero compartir mi testimonio con uds otra vez: Yo se que Jesucristo sufrio y murrio por nuestros pecados como, por medio de su Expiacion podemos vivir con Dios y Jesucristo otra vez. Yo se que Dios tiene un plan para nosotros y estamos en esta tierra ahora porque necesitamos ayudar y progresar. Jose Smith tradujo las planchas como podemos tener El Libro de Mormon en nuestras vidas hoy.  Tambien, yo se que esta iglesia es verdadera y estoy muy agradecide por la iglesia en mi vida y por el gozo que me trae.  Yo se que Jesucristo y Padre Celestial viven y si vivimos el Evangelio, vamos a recibir muchas bendiciones. Jesucristo restauro su inglesia por medio de Jose Smith y tenemos la inglesia en nuestras vidas. Yo se que hay angeles que estan ayudardome diariamente como puedo ser un misienero que trae salvacion a muchas personas. Y digo estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen. 



Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day Letter 2012 From Elder Jenson!

We surprised Trevor with a letter Tanner wrote to him for Father's Day just before he entered the MTC. Father's Day 2012 will never be forgotten! (Video made by Tarryn)

Friday, June 15, 2012


It's been so great to be able to read all of your letters! I'm so glad that I have a loving family back home that writes me daily.  I can't wait each and every day to be able to get letters from family and friends and be able to read about how everyone is doing back home.  Thank you!!  This past week has been incredible and has flown by! It feels like I was just dropped off at the curb.  The last P-Day, I pretty much spent the whole day writing letters home and to family and friends that have been writing me.  I've received so many letters from Aunt Jeanna, Nana and also Uncle Michael and his family to name a few.  Lolo and Will both drew me pictures about Samuel the Lamanite and the Book of Mormon! It was so great to see those pictures and put a huge smile on my face, so tell them Thank you!

I don't know if I mentioned this, but my first investigator I taught in the new District, Edwin, is now my other teacher with Hermano Johnston.  Edwin's name is Hermano Toledo and he's from Mexico.  He's so full of energy and has such passion for the gospel.  He's an incredible teacher and I feel so lucky to have him teaching and preparing me to become the best missionary I can be before I am off to Santiago, Chile.  Last Friday night Hermano Toledo talked to us about how to better study the gospel and what we should be studying to learn the right doctrine before leaving to go to our missions.  Elder Nelson, my comp, learned Friday night that he was for sure not going to be able to go to Chile and serve his mission.  He has narcolepsy (don't know if I spelled that right), which is where you fall asleep all the time.  He needs medicine to combat the disorder, and apparently in Chile, if the medicine was sent to him monthly, it would be confiscated.  That really bummed him out, but I tried to help him and comfort him as best I could. The basketball is starting to get really good and more fun in the gym because better players are starting to come to the MTC and play during my gym time.  Elder Davis, Stott and Hire to name a few. 

On Saturday, Hermano Toledo taught us for one of our 3 hour classes and taught us all about the first discussion and how to teach it better, which scriptures to use during it, and that we need to really focus on the commitments to reading the Book of Mormon and praying to see if it's true, praying to see if Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and then asking if the investigator will follow the example of the Savior and be baptized by someone who has the authority of the Priesthood of God (Seguira el ejemplo de Jesucristo y ser bautizado por alguien posea la autoridad del sacerdocio de Dios?) Learing how to teach the first discussion helped SO much. I feel like I can really teach with the spirit and can teach well. 

Sunday morning we had Priesthood from 9-10, then Sacrament at around 1.  I prepared a talk last Sunday on "Preseverar hasta el fin" (Enduring to the End).  One of the Elders in my District was called on and he went up and gave his talk.  Then, one of the Hermanas from another district gave her talk as well.  It was great to learn from them.  Sunday night we had a fireside given by Stephen B. Allen: Managing Director, Missionary Department.  He showed us lots of previous LDS commercials and some of my favorites talked about are: when everyone says you can't, believe the part of you that says you can, it's often one of the smallest moments that brings the happiest of times and the greatest memories, when you put down your companion you're putting down the Savior, it's not who you aren't it's who you are.  There were many examples like this and I learned a lot. 

Tuesday night was great. A member of the Seventy, Per G. Malm, and his wife came and spoke to us.  His wife shared her testimony and then Elder Malm had the rest of the time to speak to us.  The spirit he brought was so incredible and I'm glad that I was able to attend.  One story that he shared was about a man from Sweden.  I didn't catch his name because it was a difficult name to pronounce (Malms are from Sweden). This man really had a strong desire to climb Mt. Everest, so he trained really hard for it.  When his training was over, he then proceeded to put his pack and everything he needed in a trailor that he hooked up to his bicycle.  He then traveled over 8,000 miles to Mt. Everest by bike and tried climbing Mt. Everest 3 times.  Each time he wanted no helpers, no oxygen, and he didn't want to go up the mountain the traditional way.  He made it all the way to the top on the 3rd time passing corpses of dead frozen bodies.  When he was done, he climbed his way back down and hopped right back on his bike and rode the 8,000 miles back to his home.  He "Returned with Honor" completing his goal.  There was nothing that made him afraid!!!  I liken that unto me and my mission.  That the goal is to "Return with Honor" and to never, ever be afraid of anything!

My 30 min are up on the email, but I will write about my last few days and answer your questions in a separate had written letter. I love you so much!!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Change Continues to Happen!

Hey Fam!

Tuesday (continued)...After the devotional, we talked about it with our Branch President (Pres.Tyler).  He's a great man, full of knowledge.  He knows the scriptures inside and out.  One of my favorite things he said was that the definition of humble is "to recognize our dependence on the Lord".  I'm putting more and more dependence on the Lord in my everyday life here at the MTC. 

On Wednesday I had class starting at 7:30am.  I'll just outline how the class works...EVERYTHING is in Spanish, the hymns, prayers, teaching, EVERYTHING.  First, we open with an opening hymn. Then we pray, all kneeling down.  After that, we usually pick a few verbs we are going to talk about that day.  For example: Poner, Deber, Necesitar, Tener etc. Our teacher, Hermano Johnston, teaches us when and where to use these verbs and then we create sentences with these verbs in them to practice.  Then, after that we usually talk about a few fundamentals of teaching and go into that.  An example of a fundamental would be "Teach people, not lessons."  A lot of times we watch videos about missionaries teaching investigators which are our examples of how we should teach.  After that, Hermano Johnston helps us out individually with what we feel like we need to work on.  For classes in the evening, we usually teach our investigoator (new investigator in my new District is Edwin).  Also, don't get confused.  These investigators are really teachers at the MTC posing as investigators, just to clarify....Wednesday afternoon, the new missionaries came in to the MTC.  It's great to tell all of them "Welcome to the MTC!" like they told me when I was new (you have an orange dot on your nametag if you're new).  I saw Pierce at dinner on Wednesday.  It was good to catch up with him.  After dinner I had to apply for a new Passport.  It all went smoothly.  Should come in the mail in a little while.  Wednesday during class, Elder Nelson and I taught Edwin for the first time.  He's a 20 yr. old from Mexico.  My comp and I restarted with Edwin and teaching the Restoration of the Church again.  The first lesson went so well and my comp and I were so engaged in the lesson that we lost track of time and went over 30 minutes! Edwin had to stop us and say that he had to go and we would continue with him Thursday.

Thursday there wasn't a whole lot of action in the morning, but Thursday night was incredible.  My comp and I taught Edwin for the second time.  In this lesson we talked a lot about Joseph Smith and his story.  When it was time to share the First Vision experience Joseph had, I recited from memory the First Vision in Spanish found in Jose Smith Historia 1:16-17..."Vi una columna de luz, directamente arriba de mi cabeza; esta luz gradualmente descendio hasta descansar sobre mi; Al reposar sobre mi la luz, vi en el aire, arriba de mi, a dos personajes, cuyo fulgor y gloria no admiten descripcion.  Uno de ellos me hablo, llamandome por mi nombre y dijo, senalando al otro, "Este es mi hijo amado Escuchalo!"  I couldn't help but to tear up as I was reciting from memory the First Vision.  It was such an incredible experience for me that I will never forget.  The Spirit was so strong in the room.  I KNOW Edwin felt the Spirit. I didn't even mess up one time! I definately had some help from the Lord recalling that from my memory.  After I recited that from memory, we both testified to Edwin that we know Joseph Smith was a true prophet.  We ended our lesson by asking Edwin to pray.  He did, and his prayer was incredible.  I can't wait to teach him again on Monday.

This morning, (Friday), my comp and I woke up early to attend the temple.  We got there about 650am and attended the 7:15am session.  I saw my old investigator Efrain there! His real name is Hermano Black.  He said it was good to see me and that he was impressed with my Spanish.  I said I'd moved up to Intermediate Spanish and he said, "Ya that was a good idea."  It was a great temple session and I'm glad I went.

Basketball is a lot of fun in the MTC.  Competition, unfortunately, isn't good.  Only lost one game since I've been at the MTC!

My new building I live in is the Pratt Building.  I live in room 341.  Lots of stairs to get to my room, but that's ok.  My comp Elder Nelson can't go to Chile anymore.  He can't be sent his meds because Chile would confiscate them.  He's being reassigned next Wednesday and is really bummed about it.  Apparently the Lord wants him in a different place.  So, that means a new companion for me!

I want to recite the missionary purpose in Spanish to you guys. Here it goes..."Invitar a las personas a venir a Cristo al Ayudarlas a que reciben el Evangelico restaurado mediante la fe en JesuCristo y su explacion el arrepentamiento, el bautismo, la recepcion del don del espiritu Santo, y el perseverar hasta el fin."

Some more Spanish words I've learned this week: 1.  Padre Celestial: Heavenly Father  2.  Don de lenguas: Gift of tongues  3.  God sent us to earth to learn and grow:  Dios nos envio a la tierra para aprender y progresar  4.  Bone: hueso  5.  the cross: la cruz  (I'll put 5 words or phrases per letter)

I'm getting all of the letters and packages everyone's sending me.  It's great to hear from everyone!!! Keep sending letters cuz I love getting them. Everyone is in awe in my District because of all the letters I get.  Half the letters are for me everyday:) Well, I love you all so much!  And love getting all your letters everyday! Keep sending!

(I want to bear you my testimony)....Quiero compartir mi testimonio con Ustedes....Yo testifico que, en realidad, Dios y Jesucristo aparecieron a Jose Smith para decirle que no hay una inglesia en la tierra que tiene toda la verdad.  Yo se que Jose Smith restauro la inglesia de Jesucristo en los ultimos dias.  Tambien yo se que Jose Smith tradujo el Libro de Mormon y es la Palabra de Dios.  Estoy muy agradecido para la oprotunidad para estar en el MTC y aprender como ensenar mas mejor como puedo invitar muchas personas a venir a Cristo.  Y si trabajo duro, Dios va a poner personas en mi camino como puedo ensenarles.  No hay un otro camino para regresar y vivir con Nuestro Padre Eterno y Jesucristo.  Digo estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, Nuesrto Redentor y Salvador, Amen.

Friday, June 8, 2012

My Reaction To Getting Tanner's Very First Letter In The Mail!

After picking the girls up from a friend's house we drove past the mailbox. I had a feeling a letter from Tanner was was only feet away. We drove home, got the camcorder, and sure enough...there it was! (This video was made by my daughter Tarryn).

New District, Zone, Companion, New Everything!

Tanner standing next to a picture of  John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus at the Temple Square Visitor's Center in Salt Lake City.

Hey Family!

I have so much to say because so much has happened this past week!  I made a whole two pages of bullet points with stuff that I want and need to tell you about my experience so far in the MTC, but I only have 30 min to do so.  If I don't finish all of what I want to say, I will continue with a hand written letter and send it today.  So, I'm going to pick up with the third day in the MTC and then write about my experiences until now (June 8th). 

Last Friday was a great day because it was the first time teaching an investigator!  3 days into my mission and all in Spanish!!  The investigator's name was Efrain.  He is from Honduras and lives with his mom, sisters and cousins here in Provo.  We started from the beginning of the first Missionary lesson, The Restoration.  I lead the discussion because I am the Senior Companion.  The lesson was so great.  The Spirit was very strong and I did so good teaching Efrain!  I was pretty much responsible for teaching the whole lesson because Elder Wilson is still learning Spanish.  I understood everything that Efrain said!!  I could answer his questions and have a conversation with him.   The Lord was definately watching over me and Elder Wilson.  The only thing that I forgot was what the word was for sins (pecados).  I will definately never forget that pecados is sins again!  You can't remember everything your third day, so that's alright. 

The next day, Saturday, we taught Efrain again.  We finished up the Restoration discussion because we didn't have enough time to finish it the day before.  We challenged Efrain to be baptized! He said that he would like to know more about the church before he makes that decision, but that it was a possibility that he would be baptized!  We also gave Efrain a Libro de Mormon and he said that he would read it and pray to know that it's true.  After I taught Efrain, that night in class, we had a substitute teacher Hermano Duarte.  He was listening to me answer all the questions in class and my fluidity when I speak Spanish and came up to me and said, "Why are you in this class?" I was like umm....Idk to be honest.  I feel like I am speaking and learning at a higher level than anyone in the class.  He then took me to be tested so that I could be moved up to Intermediate Spanish because I was in Beginner Spanish to start with.  I passed easily and the tester was like Idk why you were in Beginner to start with, but we need to move you to Intermediate so you can learn the language at a faster pace.  He said the change would take place on Monday and that I would get a whole new District, Zone, and Companion.  I was a little nervous, but knew it was for the best.  I also knew I wouldn't be teaching Efrain anymore because of my change in Districts and everything, so that kind of bummed me out. 

Sunday was good.  We had a ton of personal study time and all the meetings were really great.  I have to write a talk in Spanish every week!  The way our Branch President decides (President Tyler) is randomly.  If you get called on at the beginning of Sacrament meeting, you get to speak in Sacrament that day.  Kinda crazy!  But worth it because I will have 9 talks already made up when I enter the field. 

On Monday, my District, Zone and Companionship all changed during lunch time.  My new companion is Elder Nelson.  He looks like Peter Parker from Spiderman.  He is happy to be serving the Lord and we have a great companionship.  His mannerisms kinda remind me of Kelland Hansen.  My new District is awesome!  They are alot of fun.  Their names are Elder Smith, Macilwain,Wasden, Andersen and Hermanas Hale, Hansen and Ellsworth.  My new maestro is Hermano Johnston.  He's great.  He served his mission in Guatemala.  It's great to learn and be taught by him.  Spanish in his class comes easily to me and I'm really picking up alot.  I changed dorms and everything as well.  I had to move into a new building which isn't too far from where I originally was.  It's me, Elder Nelson and the two Zone Leaders in one room together.  They're nice Elders and leave for Mexico on Monday. 

Tuesday was my first full day in my new District.  We had a great day of classes.  A funny story....We were watching a video in class as a District.  During the video, you had to identify the fundamentals of teaching the gospel to your investigators.  Each of us received points for identifying them and Elder Smith won.  Hermano Johnston, after Elder Smith celebrated, goes "Ok, now you have to sing "I'm a Little Tea Pot" in front of the class all in Spanish!"  He did it all in Spanish and I was laughing so hard as he was doing it!  We had a Devotional Tuesday night.  Elder Marlin K. Jensen, of the Seventy, came and talked to us.  It was a powerful talk.  Some of the things he talked about were 1.  Our goal as Missionaries is to be the best teachers we can be.  If we're great teachers and work hard, we will bring many unto Christ.  2. "Everyone that we meet in this life will know what we know, and know that we know it." - Henry B. Eyring.  My impressions of this were that you don't want to be asked in the next life "Why didn't you tell me about the gospel?"  I want to share the gospel with everyone I come in contact with.  The next scriptures, and I invite you to look them up, are incredible scriptures. They are D&C 33:9, 64:29, and 18:15-16. I don't have any time left to write the rest of my thoughts of my week so I will write it in a letter later today.....I LOVE YOU GUYS!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"I'm the happiest I've ever been in my whole life!"

  Tanner in the Temple Square Visitor's Center in Salt Lake City with the current Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, President Thomas S. Monson.

At 8:51am this morning my phone rang. As I looked at it, I noticed an (801) area code. My heart raced knowing that that area code was from UTAH! Who could be calling me....The conversation went something like this, "Hello", "Hi Mom, it's Tanner". "Are you ok?" "Mom, I"M THE HAPPIEST I"VE EVER BEEN IN MY WHOLE LIFE!" Tanner had called about a VISA problem which needed to be addressed, so when he left for Chile in July he would be able to enter the country as a missionary and not be sent back to the United States by a Chilean Customs Agent. Everything was addressed and a new VISA is now being issued with the help of the Church. Then at 9:23am a call from the same number! What mother gets two calls from her missionary on his 1 week mark! A dream come true!!! Tanner had a few more questions so his VISA form could be filled out accurately and be expedited today. In about a minute flat Tanner mentioned that he had a new companion, new district, new roommates, new P-DAY (Friday), new everything! Tanner's spirit and happiness were contagious as I listened to him. Due to Tanner's level of Spanish, it was determined that he needed to be put in a higher level group (I believe he said Intermediate) which meant changing everything. Tanner said that he had had incredible life-changing experiences this week and that he would share them in his email home Friday. We closed our conversation with our goodbyes knowing this would be the last time I talked with him until Christmas. Tanner said, "Mom. thanks for everything.  I feel so loved while I've been at the MTC." This goodbye was a happy one for me personally knowing that Tanner was in good hands and doing what he had prepared his whole life for,serving the Lord and that he had felt so much love and support from family and friends that he expressed it openingly before the final goodbye.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The 1st Letter Has Finally Arrived!

Elder Tanner Jenson in the Salt Lake Visitor's Center next to Prophet Joseph Smith.
1st letter to arrive home from Elder Jenson! (June 4, 2012)

May 31, 2012


I don't know where to begin! The past two days have been awesome! The Spirit is so strong here! I'll just run you through my first couple of days and then answer some of the questions you told me to answer.

First Day: Elder Campbell was the host missionary as you might recall. The first thing we did was go to the main office and get my picture taken, my new nametags were waiting for me. They put orange dots on the nametags of the new missionaries. After I was done with those few things, we went to my residence hall. I am in 16M, Booth Building. My room is 231. After that, Elder Campbell took me to my classroom which is in 17M room 221. I walked right in and all that was being spoken was Spanish! It's a good thing I took a lot of language classes or else I would be lost just like the rest of the Elders in my District. Hermano Andersen is my teacher. He served his mission in Honduras and has been home for only 11 months. Elder Campbell wished me luck and I was on my own. Hermano Anderson took me to a computer lab where I watched a brief orientation video. I returned to the classroom and when I got back, my companion was there! His name is Elder Wilson. He's from St. George, UT and likes to do outdoor things. He'd fit in with dad's side of the family for sure. After I met him, we had to introduce ourselves. First of all, there's 12 people in my District including me. They are awesome! 6 people going to Santiago North, 4 going to Conception South and 2 going to Guatemala and they leave in 3 weeks! The rest of us are here for 9 weeks. Oh, BTW, I leave on July 30th (tentatively), not July 31st. After studying a little bit of Preach My Gospel, we went to an orientation with President and Sister Brown. We got another introduction to the MTC and learned a lot about our purpose as missionaries. The food is very good! I love it. After we ate, we went right to class. In class we had 3 investigators. We had to hear their stories and then come up with ways to approach teaching them in an effective way. After seeing the heartache of the investigators and that they weren't happy, I really wanted to help them out and teach them about the gospel. After class we met our Zone leaders. They're Elder Herd and Elder Redd. They're awesome! After we met them, we went back to our dorm to unpack our things. My roommates were there. They are Elder Wilson, obviously, Elder Fernandez, and Elder Alder. Elder Fernandez was on the cheer team at UVU...Elder Alder was a ballroom dancer all his life. I'm glad I have Elder Wilson in my room. Even though Elder Wilson is really shy, he's a good guy. Elder Wilson likes to ride bikes and do outdoor stuff. After we unpacked, we went to bed. So there was my first day!

Second Day: Since then, I have had one more day in the MTC where we went on a tour, attended 6 hours of class and met our Branch Presidency. President Bowen is a great guy along with Elder Wright and Elder Ohman. We each had to have interviews (District) and then President Bowen assigned Elder Galloway to be the District Leader. He's a really funny and energetic guy so that's good. Spanish is coming really easy to me here so far. Everyone calls me the "translator" and comes to me with questions all the time about how to say different things. I'm grateful for the opportunity to help all of the Elders out. Elder Wilson knows nothing about Spanish whatsoever and his accent is terrible. It's really funny. He'll get it. For gym we went as a Zone and played sand volleyball. It was a blast! My Zone is awesome and I love to be around them. My district is good. I actually have seen like 4 people from USU! It's cool to see them again and see them doing well. I also saw Andy (Williamson)! He's leaving for Germany already on Tuesday! Crazy huh? I can't write you an email until next Saturday, the 9th, so I am sorry it'll be so long, but that's how it goes. I have received all of your letters and packages too, but I can't go and get the packages until tomorrow. I'll let you know how they are in a little while.

I know that this Gospel is true and Joseph Smith translated the plates. The Spirit is so strong in the MTC and I have learned so much.  The gift of tongues is real.  I am a personal witness.  I love you guys so much!  And I can't wait to keep getting your letters.  I am doing well.  I want to finish my testimony in Spanish... (without cheating :)).

Yo se que El Dios es nuestro Padre Eterno. El vive! Yo se que nuestro Padres Eterno es muy amoroso y el quiere el mejor por todos sus hijos. El libro de Mormon es verdadero la iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los ultimos dias es verdadera tambien. Amor mi Padre Eterno-En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen. Love, Tanner