"Poulsbo's loss, Denmark's gain"

"SCANDIA - Although he was sitting in his own living room, Ken Jensen looked a bit out of place. Wearing slacks, spiffy shoes and a clean shirt, the man who has become known locally by countless kids, parents and school teachers simply as Farmer Jensen was a far cry from the overall, floppy hat-wearing fellow most have become accustomed to. The genuine smile was unchanged though. After years of greeting visitors to his Scandia Valley Farm, Jensen and his wife Marylou will be taking a break from their famous pumpkin patch next fall. The couple will be leaving for a mission to Denmark with the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints on Thursday, making a stop in Provo, Utah for training before heading across the Atlantic. I've never been so busy in my whole life, Ken said with a laugh. I'm trying to tie up all the loose ends before we leave and decide what ends not to tie. It's not easy to get ready to go on a mission, Marylou added. Despite facing one final, frantic week, the two could barely contain their excitement about the impending experience. I'm looking forward to it, Ken said. It sure is going to be a change from farming. It's not the first time he has been to Denmark but things have surely changed a little since he last visited the Scandinavian country. I went there after I served in World War II - that was 1946, he said. Okay, maybe things have changed a lot in the past 55 years, Ken admitted, noting that as far as he knew they still speak Danish in Denmark. That's a good thing because so does Ken. He also reads and writes the language. Marylou doesn't but she's learning. Although she claims to be computer illiterate, Marylou is actually picking up a lot of Danish via instructional programs. She'll also get training on the language in Utah. I have nine weeks to learn it, she said. The quicker I learn, the quicker we can leave for Denmark. Language barriers aside, the Yensens - that's Danish for Jensens - will likely be able to converse with most locals in English there as well. Nonetheless, Marylou will go armed with Teach Yourself Danish: A Complete Course for Beginners. As for the farm, the couple said their daughter will be taking care of the day-to-day operations and the animals which have been downsized in preparation for the extended trip. We've got some geese we have to get rid of - eight actually, Marylou said. They're nice geese too. They're not what I would call 'attack geese.' She'll miss them and the animals of the farm. Marylou anticipated that it would be tough being away from her grandchildren for so long. I'll also miss all the kids, teachers and moms and dads who visit here every year, she added. One thing the couple won't miss is their golden wedding anniversary on June 8. The Jensens plan to mark their 50th in Denmark - something Ken is definitely looking forward to. I tell you something. The Danes know how to celebrate, he remarked with a smile. "

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