Thursday, June 27, 2013

iPad for Sister Jeppson!!

In conjunction with the worldwide broadcast this past Sunday, Sister Jeppson's mission was chosen by the Missionary Department to be one of the first to integrate iPads into their missionary work, both at the Mesa Temple Visitor Center and in their areas.

Special Meeting for the Mesa Temple Visitor Center Sisters
These Sisters were chosen by the Missionary Department to integrate
iPads into their daily missionary work, both at the Visitor Center and
in their areas.

For more fantastic information and photos of Sister Jeppson, visit

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Elder Avery's Plane Ticket and Passport Arrive

Our dog went crazy, as he always does when someone comes to the front door. This time, no one was there...just a FedEx envelope addressed to Elder Jacob Joseph Avery.

Inside the envelope was a tri-fold pamphlet containing Jake's passport, a travel itinerary, plane ticket to Peru, and detailed instructions on packing, what to do at the airports, and how he will travel to the Missionary Training Center when he arrives in Lima.

The moment was surreal. We'd heard from so many people that visas to Peru have been so slow, it was very unlikely Jake would attend the MTC there as planned. He was mentally preparing himself to receive a phone call telling him that he would need to report for training in Provo instead. However, as is always the case, Heavenly Father is in charge of His work, He knows each one of His children, and Jake will go to Peru as scheduled.

This ended a wonderful week of traveling back to Washington D.C., where we visited family and enjoyed the wedding of a dear friend. We were able to watch the "Work of Salvation" Broadcast at our old church building in Bowie, Maryland, where we lived for most of Jake's younger years.

We don't understand all the miracles that had to happen for Jake to be able to go straight to Peru next week, but we do know that it is definitely miraculous. He is ready, and he is eager to get going.

Elder Avery Leaves for the Peru Missionary Training Center (MTC) (July 3, 2013)

Elder Avery Receives a Welcome Email from the Peru MTC (June 15, 2013)

Walking with Apostles - Elder Dallin Remund

Written by Elder Dallin Remund

Hello everyone!

Exactly four weeks ago, I was getting ready to enter the MTC! Holy cow! So much has happened since then, but I feel like it's gone so fast. I love it here! It's getting me pumped for the mission field and helping me come closer to Jesus Christ.

This week has been SO great. I started getting really sick this last Wednesday, but I have been getting better thanks to Priesthood Blessings, rest, and medicine. I think the best thing that resulted from me getting sick is a strong drive to improve and get back up again, and give my all these last two weeks here. I'd missed a couple classes because I was so sick, but when I got back in the classroom, I just wanted to give my all! I don't think I could have received that determination if I was doing well. I also had a couple interesting experiences with teaching my 'investigators', drugged up on cough medicine. Hahaha! There was one time where I was so scared to teach because I was so drugged and I couldn't think. Everything was funny! It was reminiscent of my experience with NyQuil on choir tour to Colorado Springs. We said a prayer before and about halfway through the lesson I started to be able to focus and speak from the heart in Spanish. It was scary, but the Lord provides a way!

I ran into Elder Jake Dansie from Herriman and we had a good talk yesterday about the MTC. We were both mourning over the fact that we missed Man of Steel, but we're both excited to see it when we come home. I've also run into Sister Jessica Crane from Herriman multiple times. We've had a couple good talks as well. She's doing great! She's learning Ukranian.... Santa vaca! Estoy muy agradecido que estoy aprendiendo el español. ;) I hope to see Sister Kylie Adams and Sister Samm Boldrin in the next couple days!!!

On Saturday night, I got to meet President Baker, my mission president for the next two years, and his wife! They love us all so much already and are excited to open up the Chesapeake Virginia mission with all of us. They are so nice and have amazing testimonies of this gospel. I've run into them a couple more times around the MTC because they're here for the New Mission President Seminar that I've been singing for from Sunday until today. President Baker is a convert, so that will be neat to hear his stories about his conversion! I also met my 'long lost' district. It's a district of four Hermanas and two Elders; all Spanish speaking and going to Virginia. I was the odd one out though, because I'm in an intermediate Spanish level district and they're all a beginning Spanish level district. I can't wait to serve with them! We'll all fly out together and be the first group called to open the mission! The English speaking Chesapeake missionaries come today! Exciting times for our mission.

Okay, so about choir! I've had so many crazy awesome experiences this week singing right next to the Apostles. I'll just start from the beginning! So Sunday, we walk into the building to warm up to sing for the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles' sacrament meeting. Right off the bat, I see Elder Ronald A. Rasband as I walk down the hallway. So then we warm up, and I have to use the restroom. We walk down the hall, and I was walking straight towards Elder Holland. I had to do a double take! He said, "Elders, how are you?" in his booming voice. Holy cow, I was in shock. I'd never been that close to an Apostle before. We all said we were good, and went over to use the restroom.

Here's the craziest story yet! I was in the stall tucking in my shirt and putting on my belt and what not, getting ready to leave the stall, and I hear a voice: "Elders, do you need to be in here?" They said yes, they were just waiting for me, but they would wait for me outside the restroom. Someone got into the stall next to me, and peeking above the stall divider, I see a head with perfectly combed white and grey hair. It looked a lot like President Uchtdorf's hair, but the voice I heard that spoke to the Elders didn't have that  familiar German accent to it, so it couldn't possibly be him. I wash my hands and walk back to the practice room, not thinking anything of it. Turns out, the voice was President Uchtdorf's bodyguard and President Uchtdorf was in the stall next to me! Hahaha! So basically, my claim to fame is that I went to the restroom with President Uchtdorf. Stoic. We all had a good laugh over that one.

Later on, we filed in and sang for all the Mission Presidents and Apostles. We left right after the song, but Elder Andersen was looking at all of us and smiling as we went out the door. I caught a glimpse of the back of President Monson's head on my way out, but that was it. I thought I would see him speak at the broadcast, but none of the First Presidency ended up being there at the broadcast. We did get the Quorum of the Twelve, besides President Packer. It was so neat!

The broadcast was amazing! We are all a part of this work of salvation! I can't wait to work with the members out in the field. It will be weird to be able to use Facebook. I think the church tours will be really neat to implement across the world!

Singing in the choir was awesome. I did get some camera time! You can watch the broadcast on the Work of Salvation website posted on the front page. About two minutes into it, I'm up there! I heard some of you saw me! I'm glad I didn't look too ridiculous singing. I'm also on the main photo for the "Exciting Missionary Work Announcements" article on the website. My whole district and I were flipping out that night when they put it up. We think we're so famous. Hahaha! One of the funniest moments during the broadcast was probably right before Elder Perry got up to speak and Elder Holland was walking back from conducting the meeting. Him and Elder Holland did a sick bro hug. Watch it if you can. Watch the whole thing if you haven't seen it! There are some amazing addresses from our prophets and apostles!

I had a couple other cool encounters singing for the apostles each morning this week. On Monday morning, on our way out, Elder Dallin H. Oaks (my namesake) and I made eye contact and he put both thumbs up and raised his eyebrows and told us, "Really good, really good!" I was flipping out. How often do you have the chance to witness that? Yesterday, again on our way out, we sang "Lead, Kindly Light" for President Uchtdorf's address to the new Mission Presidents. Elder Nelson stopped us before we left and asked how many of us elders were 18 years old. I raised my hand along with about four other Elders. He asked the Sisters how many were under 21 years old, and just about all of them raised their hand! It was really neat to see the fruits of this mission age change. As we were walking out, I looked at Elder Perry and he said "Great!" What a man! So neat. Singing four feet away from the Quorum of the Twelve each day is SO sweet. There is an amazing spirit there. These are inspired men!

Last night, Janice Kapp Perry spoke to the missionaries! She is such a sweet lady! She's 74! I had no idea. She pulled out some really funny jokes and we got to sing a medley of her primary songs with her. She is responsible for planting a testimony in the hearts of so many people through her music. Holy cow! I had no idea she wrote most of the primary songs that I loved. One of the funniest parts was when she told all the missionaries the first line her husband told her when he first met her at BYU while she was practicing her clarinet. He said: "Those lips are made for something a lot better than playing the clarinet." We all died laughing and her husband got up and kissed her in front of everybody! It was SO funny. What a man...78 years old! At the end we sang the would be "EFY Medley" that she wrote the music for, but with changes to the Army of Helaman being : "We are now the Lord's missionaries" and the "Sisters in Zion" being the new lyrics she wrote for the sister missionaries. It was really awesome.

Well, my time is up! So much happened this week and I wish I had more time to tell you my great experiences here! I love each and every one of you. I am so happy to be doing the Lord's work at this wonderful time. He has a divine plan for all of us here today. Missionary work is amazing! The best way I can think of it is refining! It's really difficult, but it's all for the benefit for the Lord and His children.

Thanks for all your letters! I'll try my best to write back!

-Elder Remund

Elder Remund and his "investigator", Hermano Boaz
Elder Remund and Elder Reis in the MTC computer lab

All aglow at the "Hastening the Work of Salvation" Broadcast

Future Virginia Chesapeak Missionaries with their
brand new President and his wife, the Bakers

Elder Jensen Reports to the Provo MTC

Elder Nate Jensen reported to the Provo Utah Missionary Training Center today. He will prepare to labor in the Washington D.C. South Mission. Because Nate will not need to learn a new language, he will only be in the MTC for 2 weeks! He would love to receive letters:

Elder Nathan William Jensen
2011 N 900 E Unit 248
Provo UT 84602

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Work is Hastening - Sister Lindsey Jeppson

Written by Sister Lindsey Jeppson

I just want to say AMEN to the whole Sunday broadcast. The whole time I wanted to stand up and sing hallelujah!! It was so great! We had a training with Brother Stephen Allen (missionary director, like the real deal) and he told us that "the Lord gave us the internet so we can preach the gospel". The internet is a powerful tool. It can be used for good and for evil. So just remember to consider time and your purpose.

Something that popped into my head was the question, "Why is the Lord hastening his work?" Think about it. He's making efforts to gather ALL of God's children in preparation for the second coming of the Savior. The second coming is coming quickly. And after seeing the broadcast and experiencing these last few months, it's more real to me. It's so exciting! What a great time to be here on earth!!

I think it's so great that you at home are catching this wave of missionary work! Remember "preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."

This week went by so fast. I can't even believe it. Because I'm in the Visitor Center, we have two areas that we need to plan for, study for, pray for, and work for. I LOVE IT! It's just a little difficult to manage time. We're always doing something. During lunch, I'm reading handbooks, General Conference talks, and updating our area book. During dinner, we're usually with members, which means we're talking and teaching. Keeping busy with meaningful tasks that fulfill our purpose as missionaries is what I strive for!

Can you memorize something for me? "Our purpose is to invite other's to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." We recite that everyday (and it was actually kind of hard to type that in English not in Spanish :) )

Notice how it says 'others' and not 'non members'.. just food for thought :)

Anyway, Tuesday we had a baptism!!! Yeah!! It was so amazing! This young man was so ready for the gospel. And now what's even better, he gets the opportunity to help his family receive the gospel. I, of course, played the piano, and we had great talks and testimonies! The Church is true!

This week we decided to go out on bikes. Oh my word, Arizona is so hot! Pero esta bien. We were out on Friday and we saw two hispanic men so we went and talked to them. They asked us if we were missionaries, we said yes, then we invited them to come to the Visitor Center to see our new exhibit (Love thy neighbor-So amazing!! I'll talk about that later). Anyway, we wrote down their address and went off to our appointment.

Saturday, we were on exchanges and it was amazing! We saw many miracles. We were with our STL (Sister Garcia) in her area. Towards the end of the night, we decided to go visit a less active member. We knocked on the door and they let us in. When we went in, the member's boyfriend was there and he looked so familiar. I soon realized who he was and I just pointed and smiled. He smiled once he realized who I was. IT WAS THE GUY WE MET ON FRIDAY!! And he's in our area! We taught about prayer and the importance of it (well my companion did, I just testified, cuz that's all I can do in Spanish right now :) ) IT's so cool!!

Something that I have learned while I've been out is trusting in the Lord. I can't even begin to describe how that's changed me. He feels so real to me now. And I've been blessed so much. This work is not easy. I've felt discouraged. And instead of crying over it, I decided to pray and plead for help. I need Heavenly Father everyday. And once I started relying completely on him, I literally felt the burden lift. The power of the atonement is so real and so tangible if we let it be.

I was reading this Conference talk from April 2013 entitled, "The Savior Wants to Forgive Us". The Atonement is there, and we can have the blessings ONLY if we do our part. It's not just going to be given to us, we have to want it and work for it. I encourage you to kneel in prayer and ask Heavenly Father what you need to do in order to trust in Him more. If you listen and have a broken heart and contrite spirit, He will tell you. I KNOW He will.

Tip for studying Preach My Gospel (PMG). What does it mean to know PMG inside and out? I have no idea, but my advice for all is read the lessons, practice explaining them simply in your own words (teaching primary is a fantastic idea), then add scriptures.

The work is hastening! The Savior is Coming! Missionary work is amazing!

Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers! I feel them, and they make all the difference! I'm excited to hear about all your missionary experiences!!

Te Quiero,

Hermana Jeppson

Getting into the Swing of Things (June 17, 2013)

HEAT (July 1, 2013)

Sister Jeppson and Sister Valadares at the Mesa Temple Visitor Center

Sisters Jeppson and Valadares and Elders Allred and Owens
celebrating the baptism of one of the men they were teaching.

Yes, these really are MY pants! Elder Kolby Madsen

Written by Elder Kolby Madsen

Ok, quick thing on the pants...they are mine and I wear them weekly. I love them! The Assistants gave me more pictures that I will send. I call the pants min hjemme bukser, which means "my house pants" because when I first got them I had to wear then around the house to stretch them out. So, yeah, now they fit.

Well, I have a ton of stories. I found another food challenge. I am going to win this one because it’s a cheese burger, and yeah, awesome. It’s actually one kilo of meat, not including the bacon. I am supper excited. I ate the small one first to see if I could do it, and I did so I am going for the larger one this time.

Anyway, great experiences. I do a ton of walking and I can’t really understand anyone. It’s really hard, but I know the Lord is blessing me little by little. It’s just really challenging because I want to teach the people and address their concerns, but you know, I can't do that if I don’t understand. But we have two investigators that we teach in English, and at first I was really upset because I wanted to learn the language. But then I realized that it was a blessing that I could teach people out here, in a foreign land, in my native tongue. I don’t know why I was being so negative. It is no good when I do that.

The work out here is much slower than in the States, but it's okay because we get to know our investigators really well. We have some awesome appointments coming up, including a baptism in Frederacia, and the Sisters have one in our ward on Saturday. The work is progressing. I am serious when I say this, almost all of our work here in Denmark is because the members give us referrals. They have tried the whole knocking on doors thing for years and it’s not as effective as members sharing the Gospel with their friends and sparking an interest. That way, when we come in and the Spirit takes over, the Lord has his children back.

Well, I love you and am so happy to hear everything is going great. I am so happy to know that Christ is our brother and that he died for us. I am grateful for this Gospel and how it blesses my life. I know that God loves us, and the best way we can show our love for Him is by serving others.

Med Kære Hilsens,

Ældste Madsen

The newest food challenge - Cheeseburgers!
Baptisms in Denmark (July 1, 2013)

Elder Madsen's First Impressions of Denmark  (June 17, 2013)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Work of Salvation

On Sunday evening, June 30, 2013, there was a special broadcast from the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University to the membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

See "The Work of Salvation" Broadcast

Participate in the Work of Salvation

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Elder Remond is Singing His Heart Out in the MTC

Written by Elder Dallin Remond


Como estan ustedes?

This week was AWESOME. The best week in the MTC so far. The fastest, most spiritual and exciting week yet. The MTC is the beeest. Some things get repetitive, like the second 3-hour block of class and eating dinner a couple hours after lunch, but the Spirit here and all the lessons make it worth living.

I love my district so much. I feel like it took us a little bit to get used to each other, but now we're like family! We've had a ton of growing experiences together and all of our testimonies have grown together. Last night during our testimony meeting after the Devotional, Hermana Lawrence from NC going to Ogden, UT said: "I know all of us want to get together and have a big party after our missions, but here's something even more important I want all of you to commit to do. I want every single one of you to be true to the Gospel your whole lives, and I want us all to reunite in the Celestial Kingdom." The Spirit was so strong. We are not just friends here for this Earth life. We are spiritual brothers and sisters with a divine future ahead of us. I want to carry that thought that she had to my investigators! I don't want to leave anyone behind.

With that thought, the theme this week has seemed to be following the Spirit and using the Book of Mormon as a conversion tool! The Book of Mormon is truly inspired by God. It IS another testament of Jesus Christ. In the introduction it says that if you read its words, ponder them in your hearts, and pray to God to know if they are true, you will receive an answer. Once you receive that answer, then we know that Jesus Christ lives and he is our Savior, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church in this world today. It's so profoundly simple and beautiful. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the help I get each day as I study its words. It is a guide and a comfort for me!

This has been a fun week for me to see people. I saw Sister Staci Adams from Snow College, Elder Breinholt from Herriman, Sister Hone from Bingham, and then I saw my cousin, LaLoni and our family friend, Christina working at the MTC. So fun. It's really hard not to hug here. I see some girl I know and I can only put out my hand and give them a handshake! What am I going to do when I see Samm or Kylie next week? Handshakes bring blessings.

This flood of missionaries has been making history here at the MTC. Not only are we going to the Marriott Center for Tuesday Devotionals, but for the first time, they broadcasted the Sunday Devotional from the Wyview Chapel at the West Campus. Crazy!

Okay, so for the choir stuff: The big MTC choir that I'm in will be singing for the "Hastening the Work of Salvation" broadcast this Sunday at around 4 PM. I'm not exactly sure if it will be broadcasted live, but I'm sure they'll be bringing it up in Sacrament Meeting. They're supposedly making a big announcement.... There's been some buzz around the whole MTC campus about what it's going to be. Some people think it's going to be iPads for missionaries, some people think it's going to be opening up China... I don't know anything! The most realistic one that I've heard that I think it might be is some sort of announcement that strengthens missionary work through the members. I've heard some people talk about getting rid of tracting and focusing on referrals and service opportunities... Can't be sure! But it's going to be awesome. President Monson and Boyd K. Packer and some other Apostles will be sharing stories and giving addresses. So we'll be there singing for that broadcast in the Marriott Center at 4 on Sunday! If you watch the broadcast, look for me! It's going to be a choir of 1300 missionaries and 1000 members from the area. <------- Foreshadowing?? I dunno. But yesterday, Elder Robert C. Gay from the Seventy came and spoke about stories of improving missionary work. A lot of them were about working with the members. Prepare to serve from your homes if this is the announcement! :-) Anyways, I'll try to wear a purple tie. It might be hard to find me in such a gigantic choir!

Okay! So I think last week I talked about putting in my information to be selected into the small MTC choir. Anyways, I made it in! It's a choir of 32 other missionaries. I got asked to be the tenor section leader, so that's been bringing back good memories! :-) We have to memorize 5 songs. We're singing Wilberg's arrangement of Lead Kindly, Light and then we're also singing a gorgeous arrangement of Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer. All they told us in the letter at first was that we would be singing for the New Mission President Seminar. Little did we know that that would include singing for the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles' sacrament meeting and then for President Monson, Uchtdorf, Eyring, and Elder Hales, and Scott's addresses all throughout the week for the New Mission President Seminar. I'm freaking out a little bit. They say that the apostles will come in from time to time to hear the practices before and shake hands with the choir members. !!! I'm so excited! They said that this will be a historic time. 170 mission presidents will be there. Crazy! I hope I get to see President Baker next week before I get out to Virginia!

I love this place. I keep thinking about what a great time it is to be at the MTC! I get to learn Spanish, come closer to Christ, have fun with all the missionaries, and have some incredible experiences with singing.

I wish I had more time to tell you about everything. The Spanish is going great! Yo estoy muy agradecido por la oportunidad para aprender el evangelio en Español! Keep sending out those letters! They make my day. I love hearing about how life is out there in the real world!

Mucho amor,

Elder Remund

Monday, June 17, 2013

Elder Madsen's First Impressions of Denmark

Written by Elder Kolby Madsen

Well, my first  impression of the land's super cool. We had a ton of fun the first day. We got to see some castles and other sites in the city. I have a ton of pictures that I am going to send back. The food so far tastes the same, except the kebab. It’s amazing! We have had normal food so far.

It’s so different here because when I try to contact people on the streets, they just ignore me. It’s hard because when you go up to someone and ask how their day is going, that is considered something that you would only ask someone that you know, not someone that you just met on the street.

The language is still coming, not as fast as I would like. I just want to know it. It also kind of stinks because in California we had lessons upon lessons. Here, I haven’t had one yet. So it's challenging because I can’t really learn how to speak the language if I am not talking to people about the gospel. Another thing that is hard is that everyone here knows English. So when I sound American, they just naturally change to speaking English. Also, two of our three investigators need to be taught in English because it's their native tongue. I just need to focus on the language and start to really buckle down on what I am here for. Once I get used to everything, and we finally get some lessons to teach, everything will work out. It always does!

Enough about the down side of things. We had three investigators come to church yesterday. It was awesome. One of them, Fosu, has a baptismal date scheduled for August 4, but he wants to move it up. So hopefully sooner.

My trainer is Ældtse Hansen. He is from Indiana, so he talks like a black man in English. It's super funny. I lucked out because the first day we were here, we went into this super nice apartment...I think they said in USD it costs equivalent to $2500 monthly. We got to know the Assistants (to the Mission President) really well. They are super funny and positive. When I was told I'd be living with them, and over the Frederiksberg area, I was excited. Frederiksberg is the Heart of Copenhagen. It’s so much fun. I get to learn a ton from the Assistants, and they only speak Danish around the house.

I am probably going to go buy some ties in the near future because I only have six. Biggest mistake of my life!...just kidding.

I know that this Gospel is true. Every time someone laughs in my face here, it just strengthens my testimony more. Because I know it's true, I keep trying to tell everyone about it. I know that everything is going to work out in life. As long as we are obedient to the commandments that the Lord has so lovingly given us, He will continue to bless our family and friends, and our lives.

Since I have been out here, I have learned a couple things. First, this Gospel is all about missionary work. We need to be a missionary always. If you can do anything to help the missionaries out, I strongly suggest you do it. Just remember, every time a member here does something for me, you could be blessing a missionary's life back home. Whenever the members have us over, it makes our day easier and more worthwhile. Please help them.

The second thing I have come to know is the Lord loves His missionaries. And the Lord also loves THOSE WHO love His missionaries. And with love comes blessings. If you want to show your love to the Lord, and show true gratitude, serve others and serve those WHO serve others.

I love you, and I hope all is well with you. Have a wonderful week. Oh, and it takes about a week for mail. You always ask if I need anything...that watch I was going to buy here is about $200 USD, so you could get the same watch at home on Amazon for about $50 USD. The watch is called SKAGEN. It has a full metal band and is very durable.

Med Kærlig Hilsen,

 Ældste Madsen

Yes, these really are MY pants! (June 24, 2013)

Elder Madsen Arrives in Denmark  (June 16, 2013)

I made it! Frederiksberg Castle, Copenhagen, Denmark
There are bikes EVERYWHERE!

Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen, Denmark
Home of the original Christus statue

Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen, Denmark
All the original Apostles, except Peter

Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Apostle Peter, holding the keys of the Priesthood

Eating my first kebab! Mmmmmmm

The view from my apartment

My new Danish pants

Side view of my new Danish pants

Best view of my new Danish pants

Sister Jeppson's Getting into the Swing of Things

Written by Sister Lindsey Jeppson


Well this week went by pretty fast. We are so busy, ALL THE TIME. We're always working. Which is fantastic! I wouldn't have it any other way. Sometimes, we have scheduled things during our lunch times. Like yesterday, we packed a lunch and ate it in the parking lot at church because we didn't have time to eat at home. I got roped into playing a few hymns at church because no one feels comfortable enough to play, so we went early to practice. Also, my companion and I were asked to perform a musical number for father's day. And sunday was the first time we practiced it. It went well. Sacrament went over about 30 min, so we got out at 5, which we were late to our dinner appointment, which made us late to our shift at the VC. It was a hectic day.

The VC is great! I love getting unexpected visits from all your friends in Arizona dad. It's comforting. We have an investigator here in the center. His phone doesn't work, so he comes in to the VC for lessons. He cracks me up, anytime we ask him questions about how he feels when he reads el Libro de Mormon, he just shrugs his shoulders and says I don't know. He pretends like he's not touched by the spirit, but he so is, I can see it on his face. And want to know something really exciting.. Last monday, I invited him to be baptized.. IN SPANISH! WHOO! He said YES!! But we have to get him to meet with his local missionaries before he can. And that's what we're working on. He also is unsure about some vital things, like Joseph Smith, so that's where we are headed! But He is so great!!!

I am surprised at how many people come in completely depressed looking for answers. One lady came in, in tears. I was kind of nervous to talk to her, but my companion took the lead and I soon came in (This was in english). She asked me how I know that this is true, and I told her that because of the things I have felt, I know that it is true. She didn't believe me, so I said,"I wouldn't have sacrificed and year and a half of my life if I wasn't completely positive this was true." That got her thinking.

So we have this investigator who just turned 18 and graduated High School. And he accepted to be baptized before I came here. So we continued to talk to him. but it was so hard to get a hold of him. His phone broke so we had to communicate through his sister's phone. Anyway, things just got complicated, so we thought he was backing out. But!!! On Thursday, we got a text asking when we would meet again.. guess what, it was HIM!! He went out and bought a new phone and contacted us ! Anyway one thing led to another, and he's getting baptized tomorrow!!! I am so stoked!! You can tell this is something he so wants! And he's the only one in his family that is doing this, so he won't have a ton of support from them, so we've been working a lot with the members trying to find people who would fellowship him. And we found some solid members! I'm so happy!!!!

Entonces, THINGS ARE MOVING QUICKLY with missionary work. The church is amazing. MAKE SURE YOU MAKE IT TO THE BROADCAST THIS COMING SUNDAY!! We will learn a lot from our prophet. It is for everyone!!!

I am so happy to hear your member missionary experiences. Remember, Prayer is super important. Pray ALWAYS! And not only that, but have the faith to act on the promptings of the spirit. That's what I'm working on this week. I've been so focused on trying to figure out what everyone is saying to me, that I've almost completely shut out the spirit. My goal is to listen to the person I'm speaking with. Then before I respond, I will listen for the spirit and say what comes. I did it yesterday when I was ending a movie at the visitor center. (After a movies ends, we  bare our testimony and commit the visitors to do something) While I was waiting for the movie to end, I was listening for the spirit and what came to my mind did not make sense at all, but I said it. And after the movie, one of the men there came up to me and thanked me. He was there with his daughter, and he said that she was going through some hard times and this experience really helped her. SO YEAH!! Trust in the Lord!!! Be humble!!

Scripture of the day:

2 Nefi 32:3
Los ángeles hablan por el poder del Espíritu Santo; por lo que declaran las palabras de Cristo. Por tanto, os dije: Deleitaos en las palabras de Cristo; porque he aquí, las palabras de Cristo os dirán todas las cosas que debéis hacer.

Le quiero much!!

Hermana Jeppson

First Week in Mesa  (June 10, 2013)

The Work is Hastening (June 24, 2013)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Elder Madsen Arrives in Denmark!

After some more blog stalking, Elder Madsen's mom found evidence that he, indeed, is alive and in Denmark! haha! Here are some photos from

To make them bigger, just click on them and they will enlarge in another window.

Elder Madsen's First Impressions of Denmark (June 17, 2013)

Elder Madsen Leaves for Denmark  (June 10, 2013)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Elder Avery Receives a Welcome Email from the Peru MTC!

Right now, Jacob Avery is somewhere between home and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, white water rafting with his brothers and other boy scouts. So he doesn't yet know that we received a welcome email from the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Lima, Peru, where he is scheduled to report on July 3.

The email is very informative, explaining what Jake should do to prepare for his arrival at the MTC as far as studying, reading, and receiving required immunizations. It also details what he should bring with him, and what he can expect while at the MTC.

The best way for Jake to send and receive letters is through "pouch mail" because the Peruvian postal service, Serpost, is "inconvenient and unreliable." No packages should be sent to the Peru MTC. Once a week, he will have the ability to email with family and friends.

Jake will be assigned a companion who is a "native Spanish speaking missionary, with the intent to increase his Spanish speaking ability," and he will be in the Peru MTC for six weeks. If his Peruvian visa is not issued by his report date of July 3, he will begin training at the MTC in Provo, Utah, until he receives his visa, then he will finish his training in Peru.

Elder Avery's Plane Ticket and Passport Arrive  (June 26, 2013)

Elder Avery Receives Travel Instructions (March 4, 2013)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Elder Remund's 2nd Week in the MTC

Written by Elder Dallin Remond

Hello everybody!

I have been here at the MTC for two weeks! It's gone by so fast. I'm loving it out here. I'm becoming very humbled and realizing that I need the Lord and His prophet's words to help me get through the day! It gets tiring out here. You wake up at 6:30 a.m. and keep going till 10:30 at night. 8 o'clock feels like midnight in the mission life! Haha! It's so strange! The planned out schedule is really nice, though. There's really no time to waste. I've made it a priority this week to use every ounce of my study time! I only have a month until I have to teach real people in Spanish! The thought is scary sometimes, but I am continually comforted and the fears only turn to a determination to work harder.

So, every Thursday our District does a service project. You get assigned one place and you keep going there your whole stay in the MTC. Elder Smith and I ended up having to scrub the TOILETS in one of the residence halls. Everyone was joking around before about how we would have to scrub toilets, and it really happened. It was terrible, but we laughed it off! I'm running for the Windex next week... Wish me luck!

So, this week has been a good week for teaching! We taught our 3rd and 4th lesson with Claudio, our mock investigator this week. He likes the idea of the Sospel, but he doesn't quite understand the scope of the Atonement and how he can truly be forgiven for all of his sins. He's coming closer and closer to Heavenly Father and has started praying a little more, which is fantastic. We taught another mock investigator, Josue, who is our teacher, Hermano Miller. When we were teaching him, he was just staring off into space like he was extremely bored or spaced out. It was so weird, and made me feel like we weren't connecting with him on a personal level. We are always talking about teaching people, NOT lessons in our classes and devotionals. It is truly so important. When you can converse with them and truly make them feel important and loved, the Spirit is there when you bear testimony and tell them you know the Gospel is true.

Seeing every person out there like God sees them is so amazing. In conference, they talked about how one of the missionaries would look at people as if they were dressed in white, entering the waters of baptism, or entering the temple! I love that! When I can imagine that, I truly see my investigators as my brother or sister. We all share a spiritual connection with our brothers and sisters here on this earth! I know that we promised some of our very dear friends in the pre-mortal existence that we would bring them the Gospel. It's a solemn and wonderful responsibility!

We had TRC (Training Resource Center) for the first time. We all went to go speak with Spanish speaking members and share our testimonies with them, and teach them a little bit of the things we know about the Gospel. Elder Smith and I talked to two awesome hermanas. They were really impressed with our Spanish, and they were  surprised we had only been here for two weeks. That was really nice to hear! Both of them shared their testimonies and they were powerful! The Gospel is true in every language!!! I love TRC.

The Sunday night devotional was awesome. Brother Heaton, who has some sort of high ranking MTC leadership, spoke on getting on the same plane as your investigators. About how to get to know your investigator personally and connect. It's been a theme in my lessons this week and is something I continue to work on! It's not easy. We want to be there to invite them to Christ and help them in any way we can. We're not there to shove a lesson down their throat or read off a list of things they have to do to be saved. These are our friends, our brothers and sisters! The Gospel needs to be taught with the Spirit! I love it.

The Tuesday night devotional was the best! It was a historic event because it was the first time in the history of the MTC that the Tuesday Night devotional was held in the Marriott Center. From now until August, they're holding all the Tuesday devotionals in the Marriott Center because of all the missionaries coming in this summer. So cool.

Elder Mervyn B. Arnold from the Seventy came to speak. He's the guy who gave that talk with the 'stupid cow' that ate the wheat and bloated and died back in 2009. I think it was Priesthood session. Anyways, his wife recounted the story and talked about how the rules are there to protect us! Elder Arnold spoke on 5 principles that can help us on our mission, like understanding your purpose and remembering the sacredness of your calling. He also emphasized seeing people not as they are, but as they can become. Again, that's been a theme this whole past week. I love how those themes show up everywhere. He also talked about how President Monson loves the missionaries and is continually emphasizing praying for all of them and their sacred calling.

I got to sing in the MTC choir. There were so many people! There were about 2,000 of us. The biggest choir I've ever sung in! Holy cow. We all sang 'Called to Serve.' Classic. It's been so nice to be singing again. I've been practicing in the dorms with my District the past couple days. It feels good to be practicing music again! Much needed.

Okay, now for the exciting part: They told the choir on Sunday night that the June 23rd Sunday devotional is going to be a church worldwide mission training broadcast. We'll be singing in it and President Monson and a bunch of other apostles are going to be there in the Marriott Center!!! I GET TO SING FOR THE PROPHET. Best news of the week by far. Anyone can watch the broadcast, so if you're free on Sunday night on June 23rd, try to figure out where they're broadcasting it and you might see me on the camera! So exciting. I'm so stoked. They also asked some experienced singers (college level) that want to sing for a certain event in the next couple weeks. I volunteered and I'm waiting to hear back, but I can't wait to get singing again. I miss it!

I love it here! Thanks for all the letters/packages this week! I have been so happy! I want to hear from more of you still! If you've got a couple seconds, just go onto Dear Elder and write me something! I would really love to hear how you're doing!

I love all of you guys! Thanks for your amazing example and support!

Con todo mi corazon,

Elder Remund

Elder Remund and Elder Reis (Elder Kiene's companion, and one of the
funniest kids in the world!)

Elder Smith (Elder Remund's MTC companion) and Elder Kiene
(These two keep us sane when we take things too seriously!)

Elder Remund's MTC District

The Elders in Elder Remund's MTC District

Elder Albright is HOME!!

After honorably serving a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission, Elder John Albright returned home to his family in Maryland! John's sister, Emily, who returned from the Alabama Birmingham Mission in December, is getting married next week, so there is understandably a LOT of excitement at the Albright house.
Happy Parents!
Tim Albright, Elder John Albright, Lisa Albright

John with his sister, Emily, who is getting married
next week in the Washington DC Temple!

All the Albright kids, two years apart! The first picture was taken right before Emily and John reported to the
Missionary Training Center in June 2011. The second picture was taken exactly two years later when John returned
from two years in the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission.
Right to left: Emily, Ashley, Nick, John, Laura

John's mom said John was like the Pied Piper,
walking through the airport with lots of little children
trailing behind him (his nieces and nephews!).

Rapper, Ice Cube, posing with Elder John Albright
at the BWI baggage claim.

With his parents, all his siblings, his nieces and nephews, and lots of friends to greet him at the airport, John made quite a stir. There was another guy at the baggage claim with them, signing a few autographs. It's not everyday that rapper, Ice Cube, is out shown in popularity haha!

Now John begins the steady acclimation back into "real life." Word is that he's already getting handy with the new iPhone 5, AND he has a new set of wheels. By the end of summer, he will be back at Brigham Young University to continue his schooling. Welcome home, Elder Albright! Well done!!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Meet Elder Nate Jensen

Nate Jensen is the only son of Cynthia and Mark Jensen. Nate has twin sisters, Lindsey and Lauren, who are both currently serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Lindsey is in the West Virginia Charleston Mission and Lauren is in the New Hampshire Manchester Mission.

Nate graduated from Herriman High School this year, and has lived in South Jordan, Utah, for most of his life. His passions are DECA and golf, and he works as a lifeguard at a local recreation center. Nate is TALL, with a super kind heart, and a great sense of humor.

Lauren, Lindsey, Cynthia and Nate Jensen at the Palmyra Temple
Being among the large number of young people affected by the age requirement for missionary service, Nate submitted his application for missionary service before he even graduated from high school. In the early Spring, he received his assignment to labor in the Washington D.C. South Mission. He will report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, where he will prepare to preach the Gospel in the English language.

Nate was honored to compete at DECA Nationals


Demonstrating that great sense of humor!

Sister Lindsey Jeppson and Elder Nate Jensen

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sister Jeppson's First Week in Mesa

Written by Sister Lindsey Jeppson


Well, life is just great. This week has been super crazy and super busy. I woke up at 3 a.m. Tuesday morning, our flight was at 8, and I landed in Arizona at 9:40 (there is an hour difference). When we got off the plane and through security, we met our Mission President and his Assistants. He is so amazing!! I am so so so sad that he's leaving, however I am so excited to get to know the new Mission President. And it is SOOOO hot here. My third day out it reached about 115 degrees. Everyday about 10 a.m. it's 100 without fail. SOO hot...but it's great! I love every bit of it.

We took pictures with all the new missionaries (33 total, 17 Sisters, and 7 of the Sisters are Visitor Center Sisters). We then went to the mission home for what felt like HOURS! They fed us lunch and we had orientation. There I found out that my companion couldn't drive. So as the Junior companion, I am the driver! Scary huh. Anyway, I had to take a written test and pass a driving test. I passed with flying colors!! So yup, we drive. It's because we are Visitor Center Sisters. When I go full field, I'll most likely be on a bike. We'll see.

That night, I was put with a companionship and stayed with them. We had two dinner appointments and two lessons planned. Hispanics really know how to eat! I can already tell that I'm going to gain weight here. But that was the most exhausting day of my mission thus far.

In the morning, I met my companion, Hermana Valladares. She's from Honduras! And she speaks Spanish to me ALL the time (except when we're at the Visitor Center, because it's kind of a rule to speak only English unless the visitor you're talking with speaks Spanish). So really my mission is Spanish and English speaking.

I spend half the day in the Visitor Center, then the other half in an area. The ward we are working with is so great. They have a huge emphasis on missionary work, so we are trying to help them all become better member missionaries (AS SHOULD YOU ALL). But first, we figured that we need to gain their trust. So we've been visiting a lot of members. When we do, I really don't talk because I don't know what they're saying. But when they ask me to pray, or to bare my testimony, or share a scripture...I shine. Everytime I speak in Spanish, the members just smile. They say that I speak good Spanish for only being in the field for a week.

OH GUESS WHAT!! Our ward mission leader is Randy Borchardt. He was in the bishopric with Grandpa Jeppson a few years back! What a small world. He is amazing!

We eat dinner with the members every night. And, oh my word, the food is SO amazing. I love Mexican food. We were eating at a members house last night. We found out that they are both converts. Eight years ago they went to the Easter Pageant, filled out a guest card, met with the missionaries, and got baptized! I did my best to speak in Spanish and the wife just smiled at me. She told me that I have a "cara de nina". Basically she told me that I have a baby face. She also gave me a huge hug, and in her best English said "I'm so proud of you!" I was so happy!

The Visitor Center is considered an area. So I have two areas. When we're at the Visitor Center, we teach people online and on the phone for a few hours. We call all the referrals from the guest cards, we take calls from, and we answer chats. So on there we have around 10 progressing investigators. One with a baptismal date, and another who is so close! He's just a bit stubborn. But he's getting there.

In our other areas, we have two investigators who had a date for this Saturday, but they didn't come to church, so we have to push it back. It's been tough, because they don't like to answer their phone (they're 17, what teenager doesn't answer their phone ;) ). So we've got work to do.

My companion is fearless. She kind of reminds me of you, Mom. Meaning, our phone is always ringing, and she's always on the phone coordinating stuff, and she is hard to say no to. Yesterday she said,"Sister, P-days are stressful." Me: "Um, and why  is that?" Her: "Because there is just so much to do! I don't know how to relax." Um...Mom...does that sound familiar? I just laughed. And she talks to EVERYONE! She's like a hawk. We have sprinted across the parking lot to talk to people. Keeping up with her is tough (when you she her picture, just imagine her running after people, she's fierce).

I'm doing great! Missionary work is awesome! However, if you would have asked me how I was feeling a few days ago, I probably would have given you the most terrible look. It was just a ton of information. But no worries, I found a system! It's called relax and give it to the Lord. I have spent so much time on my knees pleading. And guess what, prayers really are answered. The key to missionary work is truly forgetting yourself and accepting the Lord's will. This is HIS work. I'm just here to represent Him. I am literally an instrument in HIS hands. He tells me what to do and I do it... most of the time. It's a bit scary to talk to people I don't know, in Spanish.

The Visitor Center is amazing! The spirit is always so strong here! The weekends are crazy because everyone decides to get married, and because it's so hot outside, all their guests come into the Visitor Center. Let me tell you how fun it is to tell people to be quiet, nicely and reverently.

I'm sorry this letter is so scattered, but I have almost no time, and there is so much I want to tell you!! Missionary work is awesome! Remember your role as member missionaries! It is a vital role. Also, the missionaries in your area are the representatives of Christ. Treat them well. If you get the blessing to have them over for dinner, take it! They are representing Christ and can teach you amazing things. You are all AWESOME!!! Thank you, Thank you, for all that you do!!

Le quiero,

Hermana Jeppson

Last Day in the MTC  (June 5, 2013)

Getting into the Swing of Things (June 17, 2013)

Sister Lindsey Jeppson
Mesa Temple Visitor Center

Sister Jeppson and her companion, Sister Valladares, at the Mesa Temple

Elder Madsen Leaves for Denmark!

Earlier today we learned that Elder Madsen's visa came through and he was leaving for Denmark...IN THREE HOURS! His mom invited family and friends to be at her home when he called later in the day. About 5 p.m., he called from the Los Angeles International Airport where he was laying over on the way to London.

Here is a copy of the email Kolby's mom received, alerting her to the news:

"Mom, I love you and am happy to report that in about 3 hours I will be in the airport to go to Denmark! My visa came in, and now, after all this success and hard work, with about four baptisms scheduled this month, I will be going half way around the world to start teaching in Danish. I am not going to send a long email because I will call you in a little bit from the airport. Just know I love you and I am leaving today !!!"

The phone call:

At first, he seemed a little out of sorts, so we asked him why he was grumpy. He said, "I'm hungry!" That's the Kolby we all know and love :) He said there wasn't a food court in the international terminal and the only place to get food was at a bar. He and the two other missionaries traveling with him decided they probably shouldn't walk into the bar in their suits and name tags, even if it was only to get some hot food haha!

After getting some jerky out of a vending machine, he started to come around. He told us about the people he's been teaching in California and the several baptisms coming up this month and next. His companions promised to update him on the progress, but it was easy to tell he would miss being there to see it himself. He said he found out he was going to Denmark on Sunday, so he had a "mini farewell" at church. He said it was hard to say goodbye to the people he was teaching, and the members in the ward he had started to care about.

We asked him what were some things he wished he'd known before he left for his mission, and he said:

1. The first week in the MTC is the very hardest. It's totally overwhelming. Just know that it does get better!

2. Know Preach My Gospel inside and out, especially if you are learning a new language. He said he can't imagine trying to learn Danish AND church doctrine at the same time.

3. Talk to everyone about the Gospel. Don't be embarrassed because they will never remember who you are...unless you say something that changes their life. Everyone deserves to hear the good news.

Kolby warned Hannah that when she is on her mission, people will want to feed her all the time. He said this would be fine for Jake because he needs to gain some weight haha! Then he reminded Jake that he'll be eating goats and guinea pigs in Peru. The kids asked him if he'd gained or lost weight so far. He said, "I'm exactly the same. I've lost muscle and gained fat." Love that kid!

He also said that we can send packages to Denmark, but absolutely no jerky or Cheetos (there's probably a list online of other prohibited items, so if you're planning to send a package, check on those items first). If these prohibited items are sent, Kolby will have to pay a fine and will still not get to eat the food. If we send packages, we need to write "Missionary Gift" on the outside of the box. The more specific you are about what's in the package, the more likely to cause problems. He will try to give his mom the address in the next day or two.

He told his mom that he will need to buy bedding when he arrives in Denmark tomorrow, and he may need to buy a bike. He also said he's running everyday and that his knee is feeling good. He's still taking it easy from sports for a while.

Uncle Brad, Lindsey's dad, requested that Kolby speak some Danish for us before he got off the phone. Without hesitation (remember, he's been speaking English for three weeks in California), he recounted The First Vision for us, completely in Danish. It was incredible to hear the words flow out of his mouth, like he'd been speaking them all of his life. Then, in typical Kolby fashion, he said, "I love you. Bye." CLICK....

(People who were there when Kolby called, please email me with any parts of the conversation I didn't add here. I was a little emotional... :)

Elder Madsen Arrives in Denmark (June 16, 2013)

Elder Madsen's Second Week in Fresno  (June 3, 2013)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Elder Remund's First Week in the MTC

Written by Elder Dallin Remund


Just so you guys know, Wednesdays are my P-Days, but I can get letters and packages any day of the week.

I've been having an amazing time in the MTC. The first day was kind of overwhelming, but I was excited and I learned a lot. Very humbling.

The MTC is awesome! I have a way sweet District. There are 6 Hermanas and 6 of us Elders in our District. We get along really well, and all of us are pretty good at Spanish. It's so great getting to be with a group of kids who want to serve the Lord 24/7. My companion, Elder Smith, is so great. He's from Dana Point, California, and he went to BYU last year. We're so different, but we get along really well and are so glad that we got great first companions. He's going to the New York, New York North Mission. There are two elders going to Honduras, one going to Independence, Missouri, and the other one going to Ogden, Utah (He's from Brazil, and he's the funniest kid on the planet!). Our whole District feels like family.

I have seen so many people I know at the MTC! The first day I got to see Elder Riboldi and Hermana Kerr. It was a great reunion for the first day in the MTC. Throughout the week, I've seen Elder Allinson and Sister Herzog from Snow College, and then from Herriman I've seen Elder Isaac Smith, Sister Avery Holt, and I caught a glimpse of Hermana Jeppson, but I didn't get to say hi to her unfortunately. It's so great being able to see my great friends out here in the MTC! I can't wait to see more of you guys come out here.

The mission life is so great. A lot of people focus on the restrictions here, but I've realized that the restrictions are there for a reason, and following them with exact obedience brings reverence. It's a spiritual powerhouse here! We are constantly bearing our testimonies and having really insightful studies. Just last night we had a devotional with Tad R. Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy. He shared with us how the New Testament is the blueprint for the home (the Church) we have today, and he shared scriptures that correlated to the ordinances and teachings we have in the true Church today. Very insightful!

On Sunday, we had Dan Gibbons come act out a monologue as Dr. Willard Roberts from early Church history who was there when the martyrdom occurred in Carthage. It was so powerful and it made my Sunday! The devotionals are awesome. I get chills when the whole auditorium of missionaries sings hymns in unison. It's very powerful. They said that they want people to join the choir for a very special event on June 23rd. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm pretty excited. I've heard whispers about it being a broadcast for a special missionary devotional (fingers crossed for an apostle!).

The Spanish is coming along great! I'm so glad that I took Spanish in high school. We had to teach a mock investigator our second full day in the MTC. It was so crazy. I understood him perfectly, and I kept a constant conversation with him the whole time, but trying to explain the first lesson in Spanish was so hard. We taught him a second time and it went so much better. It's so nice to have those mock investigators so you can feel what it will be like in the field. You really have to depend on good study of Preach My Gospel and the Spirit. All you missionaries preparing right now, get to know Preach My Gospel right now! You will be so grateful if you already have the lessons learned, and then you can learn deeper and teach by the Spirit! The Church is true!

The MTC has been a truly humbling experience so far! One week is gone already. It went by so fast!

I'm doing so great, and I hope I can hear from more of you! If you have some time, I'd love to get a letter or Dear Elder. Tell me how life is!

I know that my Savior lives. I am incredibly grateful for His sacrifice. He didn't just tell us what to do, He showed us what to do. As members of the Church, we should not tell people what to do, but live our teachings and show what everyone should do. I know this Church is true and I'm grateful for all the blessings that have come because of it! I'm enjoying P-Day and we're going to the temple today, which will be awesome! I've missed going to the temple all the time!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Remund

Elder Remund will be preaching the Gospel in the Spanish language.