Grad cherishes BC’s diversity as she moves to Ecuador for church mission

Grad cherishes BC’s diversity as she moves to Ecuador for church mission

Janelle Jenson, Bear Creek Alumna 2017

Dear BC Students,

High school seems like forever ago. So many memories and feelings come back to me as I think of what to include in this letter.

I attended BC through my Junior year, and then decided to finish my credits through BYU independent study so I could get a job and work more to save money for school and to serve a mission for my church. It’s always been a goal of mine to graduate from university with no debt, and to be an example of service and love to those around me.

Can I first share some advice? You don’t know what a blessing an accepting community is until you leave it. The places I’ve been since BC have been fantastic, and not prejudiced, but they also haven’t been very diverse. But the diversity at Bear Creek isn’t what creates a friendly environment. It’s the specific people. There are thousands of diverse communities that have hatred. Cherish the BC experience while you have it.

Since graduating, I was able to attend a semester at BYU in Provo, Utah. I am a declared Anthropology major, but will probably change to Spanish or Religious Education. Learning to manage time and force yourself to go to class and study when you’re on your own is a challenge, but something everyone should have the opportunity to do. I highly recommend taking a class that is a bit adventurous for you. I took a class called Philosophy of Religion. It was the class I was most nervous and skeptical about, but ended up being my favorite. Also, don’t try and save your pride by not talking to your family while you’re away from home. Call them when you don’t think you need to. You do need them, and they need you more than you know. They deserve it to be informed on your experiences.

Now on to the present! On January 10th, I reported to the LDS Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo to spend three weeks speaking Spanish 24/7 and learning how to teach as a missionary. My religion is something so important to me. I chose to postpone my education and leave my roommates, friends, family, phone, and laptop so that I can train, and then go serve and teach the people of Ecuador for 18 months. It’s enlightening to be here in the MTC, surrounded by hundreds of people, mostly between the ages of 18 and 21, who are doing the same thing as me. I am beyond excited to continue working hard and becoming a better person.

Let me summarize everything I have learned so far with this one quote: “The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best medicine for despair is service. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired.” Test it out, and you’ll find that it’s true!

Best of wishes,

Hermana Janelle Jensen