Elder Jenson was able to call our family from both the Salt Lake City,UT airport and Altanta,GA airport before his 1030pm flight to Sanitago Chile. The following are highlights from our incredible conversations throughout the day. What a blessing for our family to have a worthy son and brother serving a mission in the Chile Sanitago North Mission.
Elder Jenson's first call came in around 1030am..."Hello", "Hi, Mama it's Tanner!" My heart raced as I heard this happy, energetic voice on the other end. "How are you", I said. "I'm GREAT!" "You're never going to guess who I just saw in the airport Mom." "Who?", I said. "President Uchtdorf!" "We had just finished weighing and checking in our luggage and I saw President Uchtdorf riding up the escalator. I yelled to President Uchtdorf, "I love you!" "He smiled and pointed right at me.""By this time everyone in my traveling group was looking and President Uchtdorf then said,"Good Luck Elders!""Wow, I can't believe we saw him. He's one of my favorites! What a great way to end my MTC expereince before I enter the field."
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
We asked Elder Jenson several questions throughout the day during our conversations. The following are highlights from our conversations....
Who did you look up to and learn the most from while in the MTC? Definately my teachers Johnston and Toledo. Toldeo is from Mexico and is so awesome. He had a glow about him and a very strong testimony that he shared with me right before I left.
Hermano Johnston (MTC Teacher)
Elder Jenson and Hermano Toledo (MTC Teacher)
Who will you remember seeing the most when you look back on your MTC experience?
Elder L. Tom Perry and the other apostles that came to visit the MTC in June for the New Mission President Seminar.
What is your favorite memory that you will remember about your District at the MTC? Going to the temple on Saturday before I left and spending time with them in the Celesterial Room and singing God Be With You Till We Meet Again in Spanish-"Hasta Ver" (Dios este con usteded hasta que nos encontremos de nuevo). We had a sobfest!
Elder Smith and Elder Jenson after their last session as companions at the Provo Temple on Saturday, July 28, 2012 before Elder Jenson's departure on July 30th!
What was your most memorable MTC experience? Being the first in line with Elder Smith for In-Field Training and being asked by Brother Bott to participate as Elder Wright, the Elder's Quorum President in the end of training play in front of the 450 departing missionaries.
Accomplishments you've made while at the MTC? Being able to recite from memory in Spanish the First Vision, James 1:5, 1 Nephi 3:7, D&C 4, and my favorite scripture Isaiah 41:10.
Favorite scriptures from your MTC experience? Proverbs 3:5-6, 3 Nephi 11, Alma 32, ether 12:4-6, Alma 7:11-12, Alma 12:20-21, D&C 90:24.
Trevor asked Elder Jenson to share some thoughts on the Holy Ghost: "The Holy Ghost isn't just a burning in your bosom. President Tyler taught me a lot about how the Holy Ghost guides us throughout our whole life and that we can always receive revelation if we are worthy of the Spirit. There's no way we can receive confirmation of the truthfulness without the Holy Ghost. There are a lot of scriptures that talk about the Holy Ghost. D&C 88:11 talks about gifts we receive from Heavenly Father and Galatians 5:22-23 talks about how we feel when we have the spirit with us-peace, joy, love....."
How did you spend your last day in the MTC? Our District sang Jesus The Very Thought of Thee in Spanish at our "Farewell Sunday" Sacrament meeting, said good bye to President Tyler, district went on our last temple walk together from 330-430pm, said good bye to friends and teachers and sang God Be With You Till We Meet Again in Spanish with my District one last time before packing last minute things for Santiago.
President Tyler and Elder Jenson
Last minute thoughts on MTC: "When you're in the MTC it feels like time has stopped. It's another world outside of the MTC. It feels wierd to talk to my family, but it makes me happy. I love talking to you. My last week of the MTC I had a different schedule to better prepare me for the field. I was in the classroom the whole day and then in my dorm the last hour before bed with a 30 minute break for breakfast and a 45 minute break for lunch and dinner. I loved the MTC. My teachers were great! I learned so much more about the scriptures and was able to memorize scriptures in Spanish as well as reference points. My teachers were amazing and taught me so well. I feel really comfortable with my Spanish skills as well as being able to teach in Spanish. I could teach a lesson right now! I'm so prepared."
What are you most looking forward to when you land in Santigao? "Teaching my first lesson for the first time in Spanish to my very first investigator in Chile."
Last minute thoughts before final goodbyes: I'm so excited to get to Sanitago. I'm not excited for the long flight from Atlanta to Santiago. I don't land until 810am Sanitago time! Tallyn told Elder Jenson how she was going into 7th grade this Fall. They had a very sweet conversation that went something like this..."Hey Tanner, I'm taking Spanish in 7th grade this year." "You are. That's great "Tally". "Are you going to tell your Spanish teacher that your brother is on a mission in Chile and share the gospel with her?" "Yes, Tanner I will." "Can you committ to me Tallyn to do this." "Yes, Tanner I will share the gospel." "OK, I'm going to follow up with you on that Tallyn. That's what I was taught in the MTC. I need to ask for commitments and then follow up. I'll write you a letter soon to see if you've followed through on your commitment to share the gospel with your Spanish teacher." "Ok, I love you so much. You're the best missionary. I know the Chilean people will love you." "Not as much as I love you "Tally".""I hope you have a good time in Chile." "I know I will." "I will pray for you everyday." "I will pray for the family every day too." Trevor then told Tallyn how to say "God be with you" in Spanish to Tanner. "Via con dios!" "Via con dios "Tally"!"
We were about to say our final goodbyes and Elder Jenson asked if he could say a prayer in Spanish. What a tender moment that was for our family as we listened intently and felt the spirit of Elder Jenson testify of the truthfulness of the gospel, how he was thankful to be a member of this church, how he was grateful for families and that he felt the love of our family for him and that he was grateful for the opportunity to serve the people in Chile. Tears of happiness flowed as we all in unison said,"WE LOVE YOU TANNER! Via con dios!"
GOODBYE PROVO MTC!
HELLO SANTIAGO CHILE!