Monday, August 10, 2015

My Son's Mission and His Testimony

My son, Brandon, served a full-time 2-year mission for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the Oregon, Salem mission.  Brandon worked hard and saved up money after he graduated from high school so that he could serve this mission.  Yesterday he shared his testimony and how he gained it on Facebook and he gave me permission to share it as well.

"You will often hear me say that I love Oregon, that I would go back as soon as I can if I had the chance. What you don't know, is that I died in Oregon.
You see, before I left, I was an uncertain, selfish, lazy, prideful son of a gun. I knew not my Savior, and I definitely did not know his gospel. I was a punk kid who would angrily argue with anyone who I did not see eye-to-eye with.
Then, something fantastic happened. I was transferred from beautiful Prineville Oregon over to the meth capital of the Northwest, Lebanon Oregon. I was stuck with a missionary who was even more of a selfish jerk than i was, and we had nobody for us to teach. We fought often and I was never happy. One day, after a particularly hard week, we had our quarterly interviews with our Mission President.
President Samuelian, albeit short in stature, was a giant of a man. He knew his Savior, he spoke with power and authority, and he loved his missionaries dearly. The first 5 minutes of our interview, I proceeded to complain about my situation, about how I hated my companion, how I hated my area, and how I didn't understand why he put me in this situation. Then, in a way that I would become all too familiar with, President Samuelian got quiet. He was listening to the Spirit to know what he needed to say to help me.
"Elder Jensen," he began, "are you done?"
"Yeah, actually, I think so," in a matter-of-fact sort of way, I answered.
"Okay," leaning forward so he could look me right in the eye, "let me tell you something..... It's not, about, YOU."
I was stunned, confused, and unsure of what would happen next. President Samuelian proceeded to tell me how selfish I was, about how I didn't have the love for others that I needed, and that I would never be happy like this. His voice struck me to my very core, I knew what he was saying was true.
There were tears. There was weeping. Mostly (actually, entirely) coming from me. He proceeded to teach me that I needed to change, or that I would never have a successful mission.
I began to die at that point. A long process where my heart and soul would suffer more pain than I had ever thought possible. I had many companions out there, each one slowly killing me until, eventually, I perished.
I was also born in Oregon. There, though the love and sacrifice of The Lord Jesus Christ, I was able to take upon myself his name and be able to wear it upon my chest proudly. I learned of him, and I acquired the attributes I needed to become a true follower of his Gospel. The one true Gospel. Selfishness, Pride, and uncertainty gave way to Love, Humility, and Confidence. I was reborn. The process is not complete, by any standards, but I know that I am on the right path.
I died in Oregon. I was also born there too.
I encourage you all to come to know Jesus Christ and to be reborn. He is the only way to peace and lasting happiness. The only way to salvation. His arms are outstretched towards you, all you need to do is to reach for him.
Ask and ye shall receive, knock it shall be opened unto you."

Here's a few photos from his mission.

Thank you for stopping by!

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