Monday, July 27, 2015

We're All Alive! - Elder Braden Jeppson

Written by Elder Braden Jeppson, serving in the New York New York South Mission, speaking English.

Hello family and friends:)

So Monday I woke up at 2:30 a.m. To leave for the airport. We got on a bus by 3:45 and left. We arrived at the airport at 5:30 a.m. so we sat around for two hours. Our plane left at 7:35 and we first landed it Detroit. We had a 50 minute layover there and then arrived in New York around 3:30. When we landed the mission president and his wife and the AP's were all there to pick us up. We got in the car and went straight to this area called Jamaica. And Jamaica is ghetto! It was so scary and the people are mean.

So we went street contacting the first hour I got to New York. We went down to the subway station and anytime we walked up to somebody they started to speed walk or they would immediately say "I'm not interested". When it was my turn to go, I went up to this guy and then he just pretended not to see me or hear me. It was kinda funny but hurtful. I learned right there that this is going to be a tough mission.

After that, we went to the mission president's home and had a great dinner and devotional. We spent that night there and I slept so good that night, it was awesome.

We woke up the next morning and headed to transfers meeting to see who our new companions were. And my companion is from the Philippines and his name is Elder Barola. He's been here for 7 months, he's really funny, and a real nice guy. My district leader is Elder Muti and he's a 300 lb Tongan. He's awesome. The others in my district are Elder Beecher (who was in the MTC with me) sister lamah (who is originally from Africa but now lives in salt lake). And sister Lemmon and she's from Idaho. They're all great missionaries.

Our area is "Huntington" and it's nothing like the city. It's a suburban area and there are many trees. I like it a lot. Our area has cars and my companion doesn't know how to drive. So the first day I got to the mission I'm already driving. New York people suck at driving!! In the first hour I almost got in 6 car accidents! It was crazy but we're all alive.

We taught our first lesson on Thursday and it was a great experience. It was only supposed to be a 30 minute lesson but ended up being 1hr and 45 minutes. We taught him about the Holy Ghost and how to know you are feeling the spirit. He really opened up To us and shared personal experiences so it went really well. Then the next day we went door to door sharing our testimonies And asking if they are interested. Most say they are not and others call us liars and little girls, so it's pretty. But I like this place a lot.

We went to church Sunday and I was asked to speak, so I prepared a talk and was ready but we ran out of time in sacrament. So I will be speaking in two weeks. The ward I am in is great! There is only 80 members but they are so awesome and caring. It was a great first week in New York! Not many things happened so sorry if this letter was boring but I'm sure I'll start having amazing experience soon! Love you all thanks for all the support.

With love and care, 

Elder Jeppson

Great Week  (July 17, 2015) 


For more photos and updates, please visit Elder Jeppson's personal blog: elderbradenjeppson.blogspot.com


Make Me Look Shuai! - Elder Joshua Avery

Written by Elder Joshua Avery, serving in the Singapore Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Mandarin Chinese.

At the barber shop
Hi Everyone!

This week was super awesome. Monday was an adventure over at the barber's. We went to a member's barber shop and they gave us a good discount. I didn't know what to get, so I just told the guy "make me look shuai!," which being interpreted is just "make me look handsome." That made him very excited and he decided to cut my hair so I look like an Asian person, haha! It looks alright though, so I can't complain. I have never seen a barber concentrate so much :) After that we were able to get some phone numbers at the night market nearby.

Wednesday the mission president came over. He is awesome and he says he is going to look into getting us some of the Taiwan language material. That would be sweet! He is so awesome. He has a son our age at BYU (Brigham Young University), so I think he gets us pretty well.

Thursday we went to visit a member. We got there early, so we knocked some houses in the area. Only one person actually acknowledged us. Most of the time, Chinese people come to the door and then ignore us if they aren't interested. Occasionally they might wave their hand trying to signal us away, but we missionaries just wave back and say, "hello!" When we taught the member, we were surprised to find out that the daughter has been less active for a while. It was a great find!

Last night we had a lesson at a part member family's house, but my companion had to go do a baptismal interview. We elders went to the interview, but found that 2 of the 5 bikes had flat tires. So my companion volunteered to ride on Elder Hanks' handlebars! Thankfully it was only about a 10 minute ride. We got there on time and had a great lesson with the part member's family.

The branch is doing pretty well. It is hard opening a new area, but I feel like it will be up to full speed by the end of this transfer. I'm a little behind on my language study goals, but I think I can catch up this week.

Love you all!

Elder Avery

Johor Bahru (July 20, 2015)

Winter Olympics in China 2022  (August 3, 2015)


The haircut turned out OK!
Elders in the Singapore Mission

I wish this was my ride!....

...but, this is actually my ride, haha!

Cute kids at church

Ain't Nobody Got Time to Build Sidewalks - Sister Maren Madsen

Written by Sister Maren Madsen, serving in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Alaska sounds great! Green...that reminds me of how I felt when I came here...I was thinking to myself...where is all the dead grass?? I'm happy it was fun. We have this ongoing battle of who has the cutest engagement pictures on the fridge, and Kolby and Hannah have the #1 spot as of now so tell them thanks for that. :)

Also the Pringles are getting devoured. They were a good pick along with everything else, really. It's probably going to take a while to get through all that popcorn! But no worries, we can do it :) Also can you send me family pictures? Like the ones we took at Daybreak Lake?

So this week was full, to say the least. Time is the strangest thing to figure out. Sometimes it's our worst enemy and other times it is our best friend... que raro! Pero...It was bike week and it was funny because it was Hermana Hudson's first time using her bike on her mission and she was not excited. She says that in the end it was good though. I am not sure I believe her :) But, Monday we were telling her that it's fine, and when you fall it isn't bad and low and behold I wiped out going over train tracks and stopped traffic because here in the south ain't nobody got time to build sidewalks... but it was super awkward because I thought it was the funniest thing ever and my companions just sat there and worried.... HOW AWKWARD! Well at least I know I can stop traffic:)

This week we kind of all decided to be better. More exactly obedient. Mostly with punctuality. And I can see that as we have done that, we have started to see more success. I love it. I want to find more rules, and obey them! I can see how much they help my testimony grow and how they are keeping me spiritually strong.

This week we got a flash flood warning while we were biking but didn't think much of it because we get those all the time! As none of our appointments were opening their doors, we saddled back onto our bikes and giant hail started to fall. Before we knew it we were inside a nearby laundromat, freezing. It turned out to make for an interesting story. We met this guy who was... well not in his right mind at the moment because we weren't sure his label on the water bottle was correct. But he was just admiring how three young girls "found God" in their lives and anyway, we started to talk to him a little bit (He also told me I looked Irish because my hair was almost red... yeah). But he was really interested in our message. Unfortunately we weren't able to finish the lesson. He was a very interesting man, to say the least. But it was a fun experience.

We also had the chance to talk to a new investigators, and it was good to be reminded of how the
Lord truly is preparing people for us to teach. We are looking for the sheep, not the goats (a letter from Jake). But I also know that we can relate that back to our obedience. Love this gospel and love all that I am able to learn. I also really love bike week...

1 bird

2 armadillos

2 snakes

a bit of my skin :)

Love you so much, Mom! And I hope you can feel peace and know that I pray for you everyday. Te quiero mucho!

Hermana Madsen

Just thought I'd share this:

"The man whose treasure is of earth leaves it all at death; he whose wealth is in heaven goes to his own, and death is but the portal to his treasury."

Not Today Satanas! (July 20, 2015)

Doctrinal Slaps to the Face  (August 3, 2015)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Not Today Satanas! - Sister Maren Madsen

Written by Sister Maren Madsen, serving in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

So this week was a blur! I scares me how fast it all is going! No me gusta! But there has been some good lessons learned this week despite the speed of the mission!

Wednesday was kinda tough because I had a lot on my mind and it was starting to get to the point where it was interfering with my teaching and focus. I was going crazy! So that night I decided to fast the next day (and let me just tell you, it is so easy to fast on mission when you are still doing twelve week training because by the time we are done with lunch and studies it is already one in the afternoon). But I remember as I broke my fast later that night, I could feel a complete change in myself. I was so at peace and I realized that I was worrying about something that I didn't need to worry about. I was able to see that the Lord was with me 100% of the time if I am humble and willing to listen, he is willing to answer. But he is even more merciful than that, he gives me more than what I asked for and even more. I love the power of fasting!

Another cool little experience I had this week happened last night as we were biking out of one of our neighborhoods. A couple weeks before I saw this house with a Hispanic lady having a yard sell and we didn't stop to see her. As we were biking by, I saw a little boy playing outside and there were tons of cars. I had the thought to turn back and teach them because someone was obviously home. So I mentioned it to my companions, but because we were on our way home to make up studies we just kept biking. As we were almost out of the neighborhood, I felt again that I needed to listen to that prompting and turn around (because the more you act on the Spirit the more it demands of you). So I mentioned it again, and we ended up turning around and going back.

It wasn't one of those extravagant encounters that people talk about, but we did get a new investigator because we followed that prompting. We plan to continue to work with that family. I remember thinking to myself how rewarded and full I felt as we biked away after talking to him, and I know that the Holy Ghost is never going to make me feel bad if I follow his promptings. The only thing that will make me feel bad is to not act! I have decided to make that a goal, to act as quick as possible on those promptings, because if I am not listening to the Spirit then I am just Missionary #2 (I'll explain).

So our Zone Leaders have asked us to read a talk called The 4th Missionary in preparation for our meeting this week. So, like good little beans, we did as we were told. And it discusses the different types of missionaries and how we won't gain anything even if we complete our whole mission and work really hard unless we give our heart and will. It goes really into depth, and it taught me so many good lessons. One is about my desires. I have been struggling for a little while with "desires" and wanting to be a good servant. In the CCM (Mexico Missionary Training Center) Elder Bednar quoted a scripture something like, "If you go about looking for yourself, you lose your life. But if you give your life for others, you will find yourself" (I cant remember the reference). I have been beating myself up because I keep thinking that wanting to be a good person is a selfish desire, and how I am not focusing on other people if I want to be a better person. But as I read that talk, I realized that that is what this life is all about! We come to earth to change, to grow and experience things that help us either come close to God, or close to Satan. Those are the only two options. And I realized that having the desire to be a good person is what we were sent here to do. And if that is what drives me, then I need to hold on to that. Because really, I don't want to end my mission and be even close to the same lazy, teenage girl I left as. This is my time to learn to be more comfortable in the presence of God, and that takes change. After discovering that, I realized how sneaky Satan is..... man, I hate that guy. Well NOT TODAY SATANAS!!

I am learning so much and love the opportunity I get to be a part of this work! "This isn't easy because Salvation is not a cheap experience." Elder Holland and I love the growth that missions teach.

Love you so much Mom, and I hope that y'all have fun in Alaska! Be Safe!

Love,

Hermana Madsen

Pinto Bean (July 12, 2015)

Ain't Nobody Got Time to Build Sidewalks  (July 27, 2015)

Johor Bahru - Elder Joshua Avery

Written by Elder Joshua Avery, serving in the Singapore Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Mandarin Chinese.

My new area of Johor Bahru (JB) is awesome! My first night here we had an appointment with a recent convert, and the senior couple (Elder and Sister Benson) are awesome and took us to this great nasi lemak place.

Thursday was interesting...we woke up to a phone call from a member saying she was going to the hospital and needed us right away. Elder Pearce and I rushed as fast as we could over there and were amused (and I admit, a little annoyed) when she explained the problem. She said she had a vocal chord problem and had been to the doctors yesterday, they gave her penicillin and cough syrup, but she said that the cough syrup had to be returned because it is sealed shut and impossible to open. I asked to see it and opened it with ease, but she still had to go to change her antibiotic because she is allergic to penicillin! She went to the doctors and they gave her a different antibiotic and she got upset because it was different than her previous pills (they had to be different or they would kill her!). She insisted she see a specialist, but we were finally able to convince her that the antibiotic was fine and she should at least try it. She then tried to take us with her so she could get an HIV test and see her dentist, but we declined because we hadn't even started our weekly planning and it was already well into the afternoon.

Friday we went to a Chinese member's home for a Hari Raya party. It was good to meet the branch. It was the most Chinese I have spoken in months! It was awesome.

Saturday we met with an investigator named M** and taught the Plan of Salvation. She has been trying to feel close to God but has not for years. Her family seems awesome, and I think they will be baptized someday.

Sunday we met the fiance of the lady with the vocal chord problem, and we taught him a lesson. He took two friends to church, but they all speak Punjabi so communication and teaching are very hard. They understand Hindi though, so I think we will be able to just have them read the Hindi pamphlets to learn.

I found this awesome quote by Ezra Taft Benson, "The old adage is still true that you sow thoughts and you reap acts, you sow acts and you reap habits, you sow habits and you reap a character, and your character determines your eternal destiny."

"As a man thinketh, even so is he (Proverbs 23:7)."

This week I wrote a vision for who I want to become this transfer and put it in a paragraph long affirmation. I memorized it so that anytime a negative or doubtful thought comes I can chase it out and replace it with my affirmation. I also repeat it first thing when I wake up and as I am falling asleep. It seems to be working already and feels like a great way to remember Jesus Christ and His Atonement as part of our covenants that we review everyday and renew every Sunday.

Things are going great! I love it here. This Elder Pearce is a different one than I thought it was, but he is awesome. He went to Brighton High and has served in East Malaysia his whole mission. His Chinese is good and he knows a pretty decent amount of Malay. He ran cross country in high school so I am always last when we go running ... :) We are staying with the Zone Leaders, Elder Lloyd and Elder Hanks. They are great and super on top of things. I blog stalked Elder Lloyd a lot before I came out, so it is funny to get to know him in real life.

The K** family from my last area got baptized this week!

Love you all,

Elder Avery

Music in Malaysia (July 12, 2015)

Make Me Look Shuai!  (July 27, 2015)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Great Week - Elder Braden Jeppson

Written by Elder Braden Jeppson, training at the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He will serve in the New York New York South Mission, speaking English.

Hello everyone how are you? I miss you all but I'm having a great time! I've had many experiences in the past week. First we were at our Tuesday devotional and a member of the area of the 70 was speaking. And my companion Elder Turnbow fell asleep. And just as the speaker was sharing a spiritual experience Elder Turnbow let out the biggest fart I've heard! And there was two thousand missionaries there. He farted himself awake. And like five rows behind us and five rows in front heard it. So after he realized what happened he put his head down and his face went bright red. It was probably the funniest moment of my life and I couldn't stop laughing. I laughed the whole rest of the talk. And now around campus he is known as "Turnbutt" and the legend. It was great. 

And then there was one night I was really struggling so I got down and prayed about what my purpose here was and to have a change of heart. So that night I was reading my scriptures and I thought I was in Heleman 10 but I was actually in 3 Nephi 10 and didn't realize it until after. So I was reading verses 3-6 and after I read that it came to me that this mission isn't about me. It's about the people of New York. And it was like I was told to get over myself and go gather up those who don't have the gospel and bring them back to the Lord. It was very humbling. This has been great. 

And then I was really struggling for a few days and I didn't know if the mission was for me. But like the third day my companion Elder Turnbow was having bad anxiety and was thinking about going home. So I pulled him into a room and i suggested we pray. So we did and after he said He felt peaceful. And he started hugging me andcrying then said "you're one of the reasons I'm not going home" That also made me realize what my purpose here was.  It was one of the greatest experiences and I felt so good about it.  

And then Tuesday I had another experience. Our district had a discussion about what we were feeling. And all the Elders and sisters were sharing personal experiences and it was powerful for everyone but me. I felt bad because I was the only one that wasn't feeling the spirit and I felt like I didn't belong here. And I didn't know why.  But after that the greatest thing happened. Elder Matthews (In my district) wanted a blessing. So the district leader, Elder Jones, asked him who he wanted to give it to him. And once he said that I had a prompting it was going to be me. So like 30 seconds later Elder Matthews asked me if I could give him the blessing. So I said yes. I started giving it to him and the spirit hit me hard! I don't remember saying this but I said "I bless you with comfort and the spirit while you teach" and then said "We bless you to know you're family is okay and is your biggest support system" and then it ended and he was crying and gave me a big hug. It really showed me I was needed here and I have a purpose.

I go to New York on Monday and I've never been more excited. I can't wait to see what I'm getting myself into. Thanks for all the love and support.

With love, Elder Jeppson

I'm Alive  (July 10, 2015)

We're All Alive  (July 27, 2015)

For more photos and updates, please visit Elder Jeppson's personal blog: elderbradenjeppson.blogspot.com

Monday, July 13, 2015

Music in Malaysia - Elder Joshua Avery

Written by Elder Joshua Avery, serving in the Singapore Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Mandarin Chinese.

Package from the Andersons!
Dear Family and Friends,

I got to see the new mission president, President Simmons, a couple of times this week. He and his wife have a lot of spunk and energy, and I am so excited to work with them. At Tuesday's Zone Meeting they gave me the Anderson's package. It was amazing!! Me and all of the missionaries in my house loved it, and we still have a lot of goodies to go through. What a great "ma" and "pa", even after all these years! (Phil and Lia were Josh's trek parents four years ago :)

The night of Zone Conference, we elders got to usher for a concert with David Glenn Hatch and his prodigies. It was awesome music, but my favorite was on Wednesday when he and his students did a fireside of hymns he arranged. It was so so so awesome. He talked about how when words can't soften a hardened heart, music can. He also talked about how Christ and His apostles sang a hymn before he went to suffer in Gethsemane for the sins of this world. Surely it helped Him find comfort despite the trials placed before him. That lesson stuck with me and we applied it this week.

Later in the week, we were on exchanges. I was with my district leader, Elder Cash, and he has a great voice. We were talking to this Christian on the street who seemed uninterested and wanted to get away from us. I asked him, "Can we sing you a hymn?" He didn't answer, so Elder Cash and I just started singing Amazing Grace. After that, his heart was softened and we had a great conversation with him. We gave him a Restoration DVD, which he watched. But afterwards he texted us, "I can't accept any prophet after Christ or Mohamed." So, things didn't go exactly how we'd hoped, but it taught me an important principle and gave that brother an opportunity to increase his relationship with God.

The K** family is going to be baptized next week and I am so excited! My language study goals are being met despite being in an area where I use Chinese much less than before. The work is hastening. Love you all!

Elder Avery

Miracles with Rough Edges (July 6, 2015)

Johor Bahru  (July 19, 2015)

Pinto Bean - Sister Maren Madsen

Written by Sister Maren Madsen, serving in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

I read Elder Jeppson's email and it made me so happy to hear that he wasn't all sorts of stressed! And I could tell he liked the Missionary Training Center (MTC). I also think his experience is going to be different then mine because, not only is it a different MTC, but also that he is there for quite a bit less time then I was. That is great because it starts to get super repetitive. But he seems happy and excited, which is the key to missionary work I think.  But what do I know.. I'm still pretty green, haha:) Sometimes.

So this week, because Sister Kennach was gone until Friday and we are a trio, we were each taking turns teaching in English with Sister Nielsen. It was really good because I got to learn from her and teach without getting all awkward and stressed that I am conjugating wrong. #spanishprobs (Yeah, every missionary here speaks in hashtags and it's worn off on me.)

So we were able to teach V** and J** and their family, and they told us the they have been reading the Book of Mormon! I can definitely see a difference in the investigators when they are reading and when they aren't. The Book of Mormon is so important in conversion!! ustedes deben leer lo cada dia!! porque puede cambiar sus vidas, y esta es mi testimonio! Also one thing that happened this week, V** AND J** CAME TO CHURCH! It was so exciting! She was so cute! She got up and introduced herself in Relief Society and said that she was here with Hermana Ponce and....uhh las otra hermanas (yeah she loves Hermana Ponce :) but she is making lots of progress! 

During the week Hermana Hudson and I taught for a day and it was cool because we were able to get by (she was trained by Hermana Ponce the 6 weeks before me so this is her third transfer...we only have three transfers between the two of us). We actually teach very well together. We went to one of the less active member's houses, and he had his friends come over and we kinda ambushed them and taught them about the first vision in Spanish and English. It was a great lesson because, while we were talking about the apostasy, one of the girls asked where the true church was? The church that has the priesthood (talk about golden!) We then proceeded with the restoration and bore our testimonies about the Book of Mormon. She asked for one and she said she was going to read it!

It was a very cool experience for me because I was able to see that there really are some people who are just ready to hear the gospel and others who need a little push. I am sure it it no coincidence that that is what our Zone Meeting was about this week. I love how everything works together. How the puzzle is starting to come together. I love this mission life! I have thought to myself many times this week how lucky I am to be a full time missionary and working alongside God's chosen. He has a plan for all y'all, and He loves every single one of his children. Even those who are not accepting of His simple truths.

Love Hermana Madsen (or Pinto bean)

P.S. The elders gave us nick names bean because we are Spanish speaking, and pinto is because I have freckles... elders....

TrioTastic! (July 6, 2015)

Not Today Satanas!  (July 20, 2015)

Friday, July 10, 2015

I'm Alive! - Elder Braden Jeppson

Written by Elder Braden Jeppson, training at the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He will serve in the New York New York South Mission, speaking English.

The first two days have been great. I've prayed more times in the last two days than I have in my whole life. Yesterday I heard/said about twenty prayers. They don't mess around here. The first night as a district we taught three investigators. It was a cool learning experience and now I'm looking forward to doing that in New York.

Thursday was a little tough for me. We were told that my companion and I are going to teach an investigator on Saturday and it's going to be just us. Also, we all have to prepare a talk for Sunday and the branch president is going to pick two elders to come up and speak. I already know it's going to be me. So, I'm a little anxious, but I'll walk it off. 

Biggest thing I've learned while teaching is using personal experiences and listening to the Spirit. My companion Elder Turnbow is a really funny guy and he's great, and his anxiety is worse than mine, so we're in good shape.

The first day was really cool, but also overwhelming. It's true what they say about the Missionary Training Center (MTC). The food is good, but I'm glad I'm only here for twelve days. It's been a little overwhelming and I feel anxious sometimes, but I know every time I feel that, I can get down on my knees and ask for comfort. I'm so thankful for the opportunity I have to serve. I can't wait for all the spiritual experiences that are ahead of me. I love you all and thanks for the examples you set for me.

Elder Jeppson

Meet Elder Braden Jeppson (July 8, 2015)

Great Week  (July 17, 2015)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Meet Elder Braden Jeppson

Written by Holley Jeppson (Braden's mom)

Elder Braden Micah Jeppson was born in Salt Lake City, Utah.  As a baby he was known throughout the ward as the "peace whisperer." Whoever held him would feel his calming spirit and it would bring calm among the person. He has kept that gift throughout his life. His friends, co-workers, teachers, church leaders, peers, and family members all have felt at different times in their life Braden’s  natural calming influence.  He has the ability to love, and he is now going to bring that gift to the people of Long Island and Bermuda, which are in the New York, New York South Mission.

Braden is the second child of five born to Brad and Holley Jeppson. His older sister, Lindsey, served in the Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors Center, speaking Spanish. She completed her mission in October 2014. Braden also has two younger brothers, Taylor (16) and Brycen (11), and one younger sister, McKinsey (14).

Braden was invited to play on a primer competition soccer team when he was 8 and played on that team for four years. At the end of the four years he wanted to try football and had three successful years, but then discovered his true love – GOLF. Golf has been Braden’s focus for the past four  years. He has worked at River Oaks and played for the Herriman High School where he was MVP his Sophomore year and team Captain his Senior year. Golf taught him perseverance, focus, leadership, team work, endurance, and positive self talk and confidence. The skills he learned in golf will benefit him greatly on his mission.

After his mission, Braden plans on attending Southern Utah University and is hoping to be on their golf team, as well as pursuing a degree in business marketing.

In February 2015, Braden received his call to serve as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was assigned to labor in the New York, New York South Mission, speaking English.

When Braden opened his call he was in a little bit of a daze, but after everybody left and he was alone a few hours later he felt the spirit of truth testifying that he knew the people of New York, and that is where he was suppose to be. He felt that there were people there that he had made promises to and from that moment on felt the motivation to prepare and serve.

Braden Jeppson reports to the Provo Missionary Training Center July 8, 2015.

For a full account of Elder Jeppson's mission experiences, please visit his blog: http://elderbradenjeppson.blogspot.com/

I'm Alive  (June 10, 2015)


Elder Braden Micah Jeppson



Monday, July 6, 2015

Miracles with Rough Edges - Elder Joshua Avery

Written by Elder Joshua Avery, serving in the Singapore Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Mandarin Chinese.
 
The reason we have ankle and knee issues....
Hello Everyone!

This week was rough as far as numbers go, but it was still filled with miracles. I've learned that an aspect of faith is not getting down when things are tough. We spent a lot of time out talking to people and knocking hoping to find some more prepared investigators. We were able to find some potential investigators and get a couple numbers, but for the most part things were a little slow. At the beginning of my mission I would have thought this meant God wasn't with me and I must have done something wrong.  After a more careful study of the last verses of Hebrews 11, I would say that this week was typical and I should be grateful that things are going better for me than they did for many of Christ's disciples. At least I'm not getting stoned or have birds bring me bugs to eat. Cendol for under 2 ringott is amazing!!!

On Saturday we went to visit the K** family to help prepare them for their baptismal interview. They are an awesome family!  They are the only investigators we use Chinese with here, so I am always a little rusty when we go teach them. We explained a little more about the baptismal interview because they seemed to have some anxiety about it. Even though we explained to them that it is not a test and role-played with them what it will be like, they are stressed. We also invited them to fast on fast Sunday and they all started getting competitive, haha! We had to help them understand it is private between you and God. I felt the Spirit strong and really felt the Gift of Tongues as we taught so that we could help them hush their fears. On the train ride home, I was somehow able to learn 50 characters which was a great blessing.

We tried visiting some less active members this week, but only one was home and most are inaccessible. We are trying to be a little more creative on how to reach them. We plan on calling through all of our less active members tonight and hopefully set up some appointments with the members in our branch as well. Elder Cash has been visiting members and watching the Restoration DVD with them, and it has been bringing in a lot of referrals. I think Elder Li and I will start doing the same thing.

Love you all!,
Elder Avery

Interfaith Meeting and Miracles (June 29, 2015)

Music in Malaysia  (July 13, 2015)

TrioTastic! - Sister Maren Madsen

Written by Sister Maren Madsen, serving in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Well, first of all "friend" is a more endearing term than I would use for the guy who interrupted my testimony twice. But I'm not bitter :) It's funny that you mentioned him because he actually called us!! QUE RARO! He doesn't live in our area. He was just working here for a little bit and then the Sunday he came to church he ended up going back to his home in North Carolina. So I honestly thought we would never hear from that guy again. But he called us this week and told us that he will be back in town next week and wants us to come visit him. I am nervous because I don't know if he had a super change of heart and wants us to teach him more, or if he just wants to tell us we are listening to the devil again. I now feel super guilty for being angry at this guy because he was just so opinionated and set on his beliefs, but Hermana Ponce is convinced that he is legit and has a soft heart. I sure hope so.

So this week is just packed full of stuff, so I won't be able to go into too much detail. We saw N** and he is just beaming! He has the Holy Ghost with him and he was baptized and I can see the change in his life! Working with him is tough, along with lots of people around here, because they are always telling us that they just don't have any time to read the scriptures. Or to say prayers. I am not too keen (Amberlee quote) on that excuse. I definitely understand that life if busy, and yes everybody has an excuse, even true excuses not to do something. But I just feel like I am consistently testifying of the blessings that come from putting God first in their life. I know that anytime God and his gospel is the #1 priority in life EVERYTHING will turn out. Anyway, it was hard to get him in the scriptures and in the routine of prayer and it still is tough, but he is just a whole different person. I love being able to witness it!

So Wednesday was transfers and the American Sign Language (ASL) sisters we live with got a phone call and they were to spend the night in Arkansas and take the transfer van after the transfer meeting. So we get a call at the end of studies and one of the Assistants to the President said, "Did we forget to tell you to come to transfer meeting?"...... uh yeah... haha, so it ended up the Sister Training Leaders (STL) brought Hermana Husdon (the sister who was trained before me by Hermana Ponce). So we are indeed in a trio! It's weird, but good. So the reason that the ASL sisters had to go to Arkansas was because Sister Kennach's dad passed away, and with serious news they have the Mission President break it to them. It was horribly sad :'(  We all cried a little bit. So the STLs stayed the night (because they do that when times are tough, I guess) so there were 7 of us in our apartment. It was nuts.

Sister Kennach went home for a week to help out her family and go to the funeral. She will be back next Friday. Any prayers that could be sent her way would be of much help. So it was definitely divine intervention for us to be a trio so one of us could trade off going with sister Neilsen for the week and teach in English. It is going to be crazy around here for a while, but I love that we are all still seeing investigators progress!

We have this family with a newborn and a 6 year old who just had two back surgeries. They all were given priesthood blessings the night before and the doctors were unsure about the surgery. V** and J** both knew that if he made it out okay it was because of the priesthood. And I am happy to report that Ju** (the son) is healing very quickly and both surgeries were a success. We taught them yesterday and they were both very engaged. I could tell that they were feeling the truth of our message.

Well, I love you family! Tell Braden I say "good luck" and send me his email so I can write him! He will do so great. I am so excited for him. Les quiero mucho!

Con amor,

Hermana Madsen

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