MISSIONARY EXPERIENCES OF CHRIS JENSEN
by Lionel Christian Jensen
|Chris Jensen Mission Picture|
The responsibility of the family rested largely on my father's shoulders, being the eldest, as the three children before him died in infancy. My grandfather suffered a broken leg when a youth and the leg never mended correctly, making him a cripple. His one leg was much shorter than the other and so he had about three or four inches of cork fastened to the bottom of his shoes.
My father was a good marksman with the rifle or shotgun. His mother schemed some way or another to buy him all the powder and shot he needed so that he could keep the family supplied with wild game, such as ducks, geese, rabbits, etc. One time up in Star Valley, Wyoming he killed a cow elk with the old muzzle stuffer. His father helped him load the old gun with pieces of bolts and small chunks of iron tamped down on an extra load of powder. Then he got an old work horse and hurried across the valley and met the elk by the log school house. He was not sure which one would suffer most, he or the elk, but he killed the elk and with some help, hung it upon on one of the logs projecting from the roof of the school house. This furnished the family with plenty of meat for some time.
This happened about 1890 while his father and mother were in hiding on account of polygamy. These were very exciting times in the history of the Church. Grandfather made his escape from the officers many times but finally gave himself up and served two years in the state penitentiary.
When my father was a young man he heard about a very beautiful young lady from Springville, Utah, who was visiting with some folks up the Job Creek in Goshen fields, so he planned a hunting trip up that way. He killed a few wild ducks, but he also got to meet the young lady, Martena Halvorsen, who later became his wife. They were married in the Manti Temple 14 April 1897. To this union four children were born, 3 girls and 1 son, in their early married life. In 1918 another son was born.
|Martena (Tina) Halvorsen Jensen|
He received the called the spring of 1908 but his finances were very poor. Early in 1908 my father, Christian Jensen received a call to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and mother had a family of four children, Hilda 8, myself 7, Mazella 5, and Viola 2.
They had been living at the Iron King Mining Camp in the mountains west of Goshen, Utah but the mine closed down and out of necessity they returned to their small home in Goshen.
Receiving a call to spend two years on a foreign mission was a serious and challenging experience. My father had been reared by parents who were very faithful and devoted members of the Church, and no call was ever to be ignored or rejected. What could he do? He was in very financial circumstances. He owed a small account in the local store, William and Isaac Allen’s Mercantile. He was unemployed and work was almost impossible to find. He counselled with his father but was told that he could not expect financial assistance from that source. There was no avenue open for him that he could find where he could help himself to finance a mission and support his wife and family also.
My father did not have any mode of transportation so he walked the twelve miles to Payson and answered the Mission call. He tried to explain his circumstances to the Seventies Quorum Presidency of the Stake but they advised him to accept the call. He had a blessing given to him stating that if he would promise to go on this mission the Lord would bless him financially. The Lord did bless him so that he was able to fill an honorable mission, traveling the last six months with Andrew Jensen, Church Historian, on a lecture tour for the church. He visited Germany, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Norway and England. He mentioned many times how he could read a paper at midnight in the land of the midnight sun (Norway). He also had the privilege of paying about 50 cents to sit on a wet plank and watch the parade when King George V and Queen Mary of England were crowned. The gold trimmed carriage, white horses and gold-inlaid harness, liveried footmen and a lot of English tradition was a great sight to him, but he said he wouldn't pay 50 cents to see it again. He didn't like the English.
He again walked the twelve long, weary miles to his home in Goshen. He and mother prayerfully sought counsel from the Lord.
He purchased a team of unbroken horses, Pat and Barney, and a three-year-old mare. He broke the team to work, purchased a new freight wagon and a new harness, also eight milk cows. They sold milk, butter and buttermilk to the commissary at the new mine which had now developed into a big venture called the "Tintic Standard". Before his year's work had expired, he also had five of his neighbors and friends working for him.
In May of 1909 my father informed the Superintendent of the mine that he would like to be released from his contract that he was going on a mission for the Mormon Church. The Superintendent could not understand why, so father tried to explain that this was a call from the Lord. He was released from his contract, but the Superintendent was very reluctant about it. He appreciated the dependability of my father. Father's neighbors called him a fool say, "Chris, this is the first time in your life that you ever prospered." This was true but he answered the call, leaving for Denmark June 2, 1909.
I remember that morning very vividly. I can still see in my mind the D. &. R. G. passenger train as it came down the slope from Eureka through Elberta. It was to take my father away to Denmark. I remember the yellow roses were in bloom. Dragon flies were on the clothes line and I was hanging to the clothes line crying and wishing that the train would fly the track before it got to the depot.
Two years is a very long time. Mother had the responsibility of caring for and supporting four children and sending about $30.00 per month to Denmark to her missionary husband. She did laundry work for the men at the mines. She was a very good seamstress which also brought in a few dollars. Along with these duties, she gave freely of her service to nurse and help many of her friends and neighbors who were ill. She did not fear especially contagious diseases. She trusted in the Lord and he inspired and helped her in all of her many needs and responsibilities.
|Martena H. Jensen|
I was all decked out in a new outfit to meet my father as he came home that evening on the D. & R. G. train. I remember that he picked me up in his arms and kissed me. Boy, was he really something! All dressed up in a new blue serge suit, his shoes shined, a Duffy hat and a big black mustache with the ends all curled up fancy-like.
Times were better after this, but I would like to bear witness that the blessings given him in 1908 held true all the remainder of his life. The Lord continued to bless him financially all of his days.
In closing, I should like to quote from the Book of Mormon, 1st Nephi, Chapter3, Verse 7: "And it came to pass that I Nephi said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."
Chris Jensen’s Missionary Journal One year of missing journal
2 June 1909
I answered the call, leaving for Denmark.
27 May 1910
I visited my cousin at Glampsbjerg Mill all day, visited my cousin, Katrine at night. Talked the Gospel all day and until 2 0’clock at night.
28 May 1910
I came home to Odense and delivered Stars in the afternoon and visited the Jorgensen’s at night.
29 May 1910, Sunday
I held Sunday School. Had the best attended Sunday School we ever had since we organized las October. It rained in the afternoon. We were going out in the Skov (forest) but were wise and stayed home. In the evening we held meeting.
30, May 1910
I studied and tracted. 31, did the same. 1 June, I made out monthly reports and tracted. Held meeting at night, had a good turnout.
Thursday was a holiday called “Help for the Children who are Poor”. I saw more people on the streets than I ever saw before. One could hardly get along. Then ever other step we met someone with a can shaking and begging for help for the poor.
3 June 1910
Just one year today since I left my dear ones in Goshen, Utah. I wrote a letter to them and one to the Relief Society thanking them for the five dollars they sent me. In the afternoon I visited friends and “Star” subscribers, also Jorgensens to encourage them to come Saturday night.
Brother N.J. Larsen, our Conference President and I went to the bath house. From there to Lichenstines, then home. After dinner we went out to Jorgensens and talked baptism. We got him to come with us. I baptized 4 at night, my cousins, Lars Larsen and his wife, Jorgensen and wife, confirmed my cousins wife. We had chocolate and cake after.
5 July 1910, Sunday
We held Sunday School. I presided. We got 2 new ones enrolled. In the afternoon we held fast meeting. I also preside; we blessed 4 children. Had a good meeting. Brother Torvil Jensen, and Hansen and myself took a walk out in the Skov by the Forde.
19 August 1910
Visited with my two cousins, Peter and Lars Larsen. First to Bagenrup, from there to the light house on the very futherest south end of Langland. It is a very fruitful land. Very much Lucerne being raised there and the best grain I have seen in Denmark. In the town called Bagenrup is a settlement of fishermen and saloons, the main fish caught is Rod Spetter and Seal, also some cod fish.
31 October 1910
Odense, started trip to rent halls in the southern part of Fyen, landed in Svendborg at 8 o’clock, couldn’t rent a hall. I bought an amber bracelet and sent it home with Franklin Jensen from Provo. E sailed at 2:15 p.m. for Rudkopeler, landed at 5o’clock, had good luck in renting a hall but hunted all over the town for a place to stay overnight. Finally got one at double the price.
1 November 1910
We sailed at 10:10 for Oro, landed at Marstof at 2 o’clock p.m., rented a hall in Hotel Oro, stayed overnight in same hotel. They held us up for 6 kroner each for board and lodging.
2 November 1910
We got up at 4 o’clock to meet the stage for Aroskobing. Still storming a blizzard. The boat was the same as yesterday, two hours late on account of rough sea. We had a rough ride yesterday from Rudkjobing to Oro or Marstal. Rain with heavy wind. We parted with Jensen at the boat. He left for Sisland on his way home to Provo. We waited at the hotel for the boat for one hour. We landed at Aroskobing at 9 o’clock, rented a hotel or hall, then we went to a printing office and advertised our lecture. Then we took in the town and walked through nearly every street, bought some cake for dinner. We couldn’t stand any more holdups. We sailed at 12:10 for Svendborg, road one deck lower than the pigs. There were about 100 live pigs on deck. We had to take the cabin below as there was no room on deck and even if there was, a man couldn’t stand the smell.
25 November 1910
Brother Sudvigsen and myself left Odense for Assens at 12:53, arrived at Assens at 4p.m. Rented a fine hall, then we took in the town, also went through this sugar factory from one end to the other, from top to bottom and vice versa.
21 February 1911
I visited with Marten Petersen to Veilby with an old lady by the name of Anna Sorensen. She has a daughter in in Logan, Utah. She was glad to receive us.
7 April 1911
I left Aarhus to visit friends and relatives. I landed in Randers same day. Went to Skovbaken, also all important part of town. Left Randers 8 April at10:34 for Aalborg. Landed in Aalborg 2:15, went to headquarters in Voldmragade, was heartily welcomed. Eleven of us missionaries went out to see the town. We went to Beisbaken and Skovbaken, had our pictures taken, ran foot races, jumped, played ball, went home and attended meeting. After the meeting Brother Hyrum Petersen and myself went out and took in the town, came home and went to bed.
Got up Sunday morning at 8, shaved and went to Sunday School. I was called to give a report of Aarhus Sunday School. After School I got together with brother Chipman, went to Kiggaars for dinner, had sweet soup and ableskiver. Went the same place for supper, went to meeting at night and spoke to a congregation of about 200.
Monday morning we held Priesthood Meeting. After dinner we had our pictures taken, also the 9 Jensens had our pictures taken, went home and went to meeting, also a farewell party at night.
Tuesday morning Brother N.P. Jensen, Peter Petersen and myself went to see the city of Aalborg, went across the Bridge of Boots. From there to Norresonby and up on Skansebaken and viewed the county. Also went through the old slot and tunnels under the Fouard. Left Aalborg at 8 p.m. for Copenhagen by steamer. Arrived Wendsday morning at 8 o’clock, visited my aunt and uncle, also a young girl from Aarhus. Went to meeting at night and spoke to the congregation.
Thursday I visit it again. At night we had a social in honor of the Choir, played games and ate chocolate.
Friday I left Odense, landed in Odense at 12:53 p.m. Visited my relatives.
Saturday cousin Lars, his wife and myself went to Steinlose and visited the Masons. Had a long Gospel conversation, came home at 10 p.m.
16 April 1911 Sunday
Went to Sunday School. After Sunday School I went to Larsen’s to dinner, visitedVego Christensen, Hensine Jensen and Maren Hansen. Went to meeting at night.
17 April 1911
I left at 8 o’clock for Knnareberg to visit my Aunt, was well treated. Sold my bicycle to cousin Niels for 50 kroner, left Tuesday morning for Glampsbjerg. Was good and tired when I got there, visited Lars Madsen, cousin Christian and Sophia, walked one mile to Glampsbjerg Station, left for Odense. Arrived at 10 o’clock, rested all night, got up at 7 o’clock and cleaned my clothes and shoes.
23 April 1911
I toured Europe with Church Historian, Andrew Jensen. This is part of the tour of Germany.
I together with Brother Hyrum Petersen. Visited Hamberg. Had a hard time to find headquarters but finally succeeded. Went from there to Sunday School and visited the different classes. In class no. 1 there were 43, 2nd class 42, and Theological about 80. All hands were up when questions were asked. All questions were well answered. After School we held Priesthood meeting, then went to the family of Saints by name of H. Brenneke, Hamberg Badisty 105 T.
After dinner we, Brother Petersen, Brenneke, and myself went to the cemetery. From there to supper with his parents then to a meeting. I had a chance to speak to about 400 people. President Douglas from Ogden then spoke, also Hyrum Petersen.
Monday morning I wrote a card to my wife, then went to the court house and saw the nicest engraving both in wood and stone I have ever seen, and in fact the nicest building inside. Went to exchange market in the afternoon, also Hagenbeck Park, a very nice park, lots of artificial work in cement, large mountains made of cement. Visited a family of Saints where we left our suitcases.
Tuesday got up at 7a.m. , left at 8:55 for Berlin. Saw on our way some very good land, also some very poor, the water being right next to the top. We passed through lots of woods, saw antelope in flocks out in the grain fields feeding. Stopped in Wittenborg for a short stay, saw the Singer Sewing machine factory. Something got wrong with our just before we got into Berlin at 12:30 noon. Had a hard time finding the Elders but found them at last. I wrote this in the Kiser Palace. We went to the Royal Opera same night where to program where the program consisted of music and singing.
26 April 1911
We visited the Bank, from there to the Kings Palace which cost us 50 fennnings. From there to the Kings Stables where we saw his horses and carriages. He has 160 horses, most black and bays. He also has about 200 carriages, some from 1600. We the visited the Royal Museum where all old relics are kept of the different wars. From there to the Art Gallery and the Dorn Church, also to the Catholic Church and saw a wedding. Then went through another museum, from there to a family of Saints where we spent a lovely evening where they were celebrating an anniversary of their Baptism.
Thursday morning at 10’ Brother Petersen, joseph Jensen and myself went to see another museum where there were lots of collections from 1200 to date, old glass and earthen ware. From there Brother Petersen went to the present Kaiser’s Old Palace, noted the fine structure present and the echo in the large hall.
28 April 1911
We visited two other museums, the Zoological Garden, the large park and statues of Bismarck. We left Berlin at 9:44 p.m. for Rotterdam, Holland, landed Friday morning at 10 o’clock. Went to Hotel Holland for dinner. After dinner we visited the Elders. From there to the Old Pilgrims Church, where they held their last service before migrating to the New England States. We registered in the same old book kept for that purpose, then we visited the docks, harbor and park.
29 April 1911 Saturday we went to sever different churches, old palace and market. Then to the boat to arrange our tickets. I bought a pocket knife for $1.50, came to the Hotel Holland, found my umbrella was stolen, had dinner and got ready to sail for London.
Got on boat; all was well for about 3 hours, then we got into the North Sea from River Maas. It was a short time before nearly all were sick. I offered several times and was sick all night. In the morning we found smooth sea and all was well. We landed in London at 11 o’clock. All okay but very hungry. Came the headquarters Deseret, found Sunday School in session. After dinner we listened to an anti-Mormon meeting held out in the road just in front of the Hall. At evening we held a very interesting meeting.
1 May 1911
I got up but my eyes are very sore and swollen, read an article in the newspaper where in the article was printed against us. Brother Birchall spoke at our meeting Sunday night. Brother Birchall who sent to Utah 20 years ago to convert the Mormons, but instead got converted to Mormonism. He was a Methodist Minister, has now filled a 12 year mission in England
Monday we started at 9:30 to see London. First visited St. Paul’s Church, from there to Westminster, the home of Parliament. From there to the National Art Gallery, then to dinner. From there to the wax works, thence to Piccadilly Circus, thence to the Gaiety Theater, “Peggy” the name of the play. Came home at 12 o’clock.
Tuesday, got up, wrote one letter to my wife and one to my cousin, Lars in Denmark. After dinner we went to a museum. Rained so we went to Deseret High Road.
Wednesday, we first went to London Castle, saw through the castle, all the gold presents to the different Kings, the Kings Crown, gold cups. W then visited the house of Armors, saw different armors used 1300 to the present time. Went to the execution place where the king had so many executed, even 3 of his own wives. From there to the jail, also to the traitor’s jail. We net had dinner and went to the Zoological Gardens and home.
4 May 1911
We got up feeling well, got ready to leave for Liverpool at 3 p.m. we landed in Liverpool at 8:15 p.m. Stopped at Hotel Lord Nelson’s, found several of of our company waiting for us.
Friday: got up at 6 o’clock, walked up to 295 Edge lane and got my mail, back to the hotel for breakfast, then I wrote some letters and visited the docks. We also went to 295 again, went to a picture show at night.
We sailed again Sunday morning, landed in Montréal at 7 o’clock same day. Left Montreal at 11:30 p.m., landed in Chicago Tuesday morning a 8:30, stayed in Chicago until 11 p.m., ten started for Salt Lake City Friday 19 may at 10:30 a.m. Reported at the office, got my ticket for Goshen, called up my famil
y on the telephone and talked to them, left Salt Lake City at 5:05 p.m.
y on the telephone and talked to them, left Salt Lake City at 5:05 p.m.
Our family were all present when the 7 o’clock passenger train stopped at Goshen
My sister, Viola, now about 4 years old, would not accept my father as head of the house. She said, Momma was the “Boss” she was part of the time.
Lionel C. Jensen