Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013

It is now officially Christmas time here in the mission. I totally do not feel like its Christmas since it is just hot and there arent many Christmas lights on the houses and everything, but it is fine. By the sounds of it, Christmas is going to be just another day here in the mission, nothing too special.

Basically this week was good.

Wednesday, we went to the center of the city to have a Christmas Conference with President and Sister Willard. There were like 3 or 4 zones there and it was great. People sang and shared testimonies. I shared my testimony about my favorite hymn... Yo Se Que Vive Mi Señor. It was super great because it was just a moment to take a minute and think about our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ and this time of Christmas. We then ate our Christmas dinner... Probably the most delicious turkey I have every eaten, salad, like a potato salad and limade to drink. It was great, and i really wanted more turkey, but they wouldnt give me more.
We found another family to teach. The family Loiza, the dad David has been inactive for 13 years and his family never heard much about the church, so we went to go teach his family. The mom and the two oldest boys are listening to us and they like what they hear. I love it. We went to their three story house (which is super rare here) and it was just like walking into the United States... The Loiza family definitely have money, haha. It was just funny to see the difference between this family and the other houses that are around it. 
We taught about the restoration and we watched the movie about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. The mom and boys really liked it. We are moving forward with them and also Mery Chappy and her family.
Well, I dont have much else this week. I will call you guys later today to test out skype and then on Christmas day I will call you.

I love you all so much!!! 
Until Wednesday!!
-Elder Jensen

Monday, December 16, 2013

A New Start

This week, we had ups and downs and just a lot of hard work.
Now with us working with members more, we are recieving a bit more references. It is still not enough, but more is better than nothing. Monday we recieved a reference from the mission offices. We went to her house and we sat down and she just opened up to us.
Her name is Mery Chappi. She is a 38 year old mom with 3 kids. She is looking for answers because her husband commited suicide two months ago. She doesnt belong to any church but she believes in Christ and God. 
We have now taught her three times last week. She read the entire pamphlet for the Plan of Salvation and she loved it. 
We taught about the Spirit World and the hope that we have to see our loved ones and that the true gospel is being preached there in the Spirit World. Mery started to cry. She told us we gave her hope and that now she is a lot more relaxed and things. 
Last night, we taught her and her three kids (2 girls 20 and 18 years old, and one boy, almost 16 years old) We taught about the Book of Mormon. They had tons of questions and things, but they said they would read and would pray to know if it is true.
Wednesday, we had a mini-conference with President Willard. We listened to him and his wife talk about things, and then we had interviews with President Willard. He is seriously the best. The Lord knew that I would need President Willard to become better. Basically, he talked to us about the Priesthood Keys that he has and that through the keys, the Lord will give him guidance on how to help us. 
So, when we got in my interview, he hugged me and just asked me one question, ¨How can I help you with the keys I hold?¨ 
Honestly, it is that moment when you know you have to say something to him, and you can feel the Holy Ghost impelling you to say what you feel. Ya, that happened with me.
I told him that now that I passed my year mark that I have been feeling weird and that I have just been trying to relax and not take things too seriously (like I always do) We just talked and together we figured out what I was feeling and why. Basically he told me exactly what I needed to hear. We talked about how sometimes we are trying to give everything to the Lord but we save a tiny part of our heart for ourselves... Sometimes we are afraid to give everything. We talked about how in Mathew 14, Peter walks on the water with Christ, and then begins to sink and the Lord reaches out to save him. 
President Willard told me that is what we have to do, we have to have a broken heart (we have to give all of our heart... We have to take our heart and throw it on the ground in the hopes that Christ will take the pieces and make us into something better) and we have to reach out to Christ fully, so he can take us by the hand and guide us.
I honestly have always had problems with this and it was so amazing to see the Lord communicate through President Willard to tell me what I needed and wanted to hear. I left that interview feeling more refreshed and more committed to be better and to give my ENTIRE heart to Christ (Omni 1:26) maybe that doesnt mean I am prefect, but it means I am trying to be better. I truly felt like it is time for a new start.
Sunday, we had a breakthrough with our ward council. The bishop, the councilers, and the elders quorum president were the only ones there at the ward council meeting. Basically, we just taught the bishop and everything the new way that we need to work as a ward council. They understood and we are going to begin to see a difference.
Also, yesterday was the Primary Program here in my ward. There were only about 15 little kids, but they bore their testimonies of the simple truths of the Gospel, that we are truly children of God. That He loves us more than anything and that we can truly return to live with Him with our families in complete happiness. The kids were all there in the front, with bowties and electric blue pants, not sure why they gave the kids a uniform to wear, but ya. Haha.
Also, sadly, Felipe Brito told us that he knows the church is true, but without the support of his family, he just wants to go back to his regular church and just wants to live his regular life. We told him that he will always be welcome in the church and that we will always be his friends. It was sad and we tried so hard to listen to him and try to get him to stay in the church, but he decided and we couldnt make him change his mind. But I know one day, he will listen again and be baptized... Maybe with his family too.
That is it for this week.... UNTIL NEXT WEEK!!! I LOVE YOU!!!
-Elder Jensen

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Broken Camera

So, what is up there in Utah??? I heard you guys got lots of snow... Even in St. George. I would kill for snow here. It is hot and humid all the time, but Im used to it by now, so it isnt too bad. 
This week was good!!
MONDAY- Monday after Internet, we had a zone activity. We played futbol and had a bbq. It was really fun. The bbq was good, we basically just put the chorizos on french style bread and ate huge chorizo sandwiches with guacamole and other stuff. They were really good, until they made my stomach hurt. haha.
TUESDAY- We went to another area in the morning to finish the service project that we had done a week ago, to chop down a giant tree. Last week we chopped down the top part, and on Tuesday we went and finished off the tree. It was good, but I got super burnt and I was exhausted so we went home and kinda fell asleep for a couple of hours. My shoulders and basically my whole body just hurt from chopping the tree for a couple of hours and from the sun.
WEDNESDAY- We went out and taught people including la hermana Sonia Guanacoma who has been inactive for a long time, even after going to the temple and being sealed to her husband. She is hurting really bad because she wants to go back to church but she just feels so hurt and mad from something that the members did a long time ago to her. Basically, when she needed the most help with her daughter who is disabled, the members werent there for her and even refused to help her because she didnt have money. We are working with her so she can come back to church, but it will be a long and difficult road.

THURSDAY-  We taught to Felipe Brito, a 17 year old, who we have been working with so he can get baptized. Basically right now, his uncles and family members are talking to him a lot about why he shouldnt get baptized. It is frustrating, because he tells us that he isnt sure anymore if he wants to go through with it, because he doesnt want to be alone there in the church or even there in Heaven without his family. We testified that some day, maybe not tomorrow or the next day, but some day his family will listen to the missionaries and will get baptized.
FRIDAY- Nothing special happened Friday.
SATURDAY- I turned 13 months in the mission. Time is flying by fast. We taught more people, investigators and less actives.
SUNDAY- Church. We went by to pick up the family Camacho, the recent converts who are less active now. I tried everything to get them to go, even to the point of hopping their big gate and trying to force them to go, but for some reason they just dont want to go. They tell us all the time that they know it is true, but they just wont budge. haha. But, we are going to visit them more and teach them so they can go for themselves.
So, that was basically my week. It was good, the weeks are passing faster and faster here in the mission.
I know I am right where the Lord needed me to be. I am learning so many things and while it may not be super easy, I am doing what the Lord wants me to do. I know the church is the only true church on the earth. I know it. I know that the Lord lives and He loves us. I know that families truly can be together forever and we will be in complete happiness and peace. I know it because I have prayed and God has heard my prayers. I know it to be true with everything that I am.
Soooo... I guess here comes the bad news. My camera broke. So, no new pictures until I can buy a new one. Or maybe the other elders in my zone have the pictures. I will try to send them next week.
Until next week then!
I love you!
-Elder Jensen

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Happy December!

Hello there family! Its Monday again and I am just here typing away in this internet cafe packed with kids (school got out and now all the jovens (youth) are here addicted to facebook and video games... What´s new though right? Haha.
Anyway, this week was good. I am still here with my companion, Elder Colque here in Abundancia. Not much happened this week, but here we go.
This week...
We were walked down the street and I noticed there was some one in the corner of my eye. It was a long-time investigator sitting on the sidewalk. I felt like I should talk to him. We went over and just said hi, and it was obvious by the smell that he had been drinking. We asked him how he was. He told us that he fell again into temptation. He started crying, telling us that there is no hope, he just cant break the drinking habit. I sat next to him and just listened for a bit, and then started to talk to him about how God is more powerful than Satan and how through Christ we really can change. Maybe we havent done everything perfect in the past, but it doesnt matter to God. Today is the day to act and to change.
Over and over I told him, dont give up. Never give up. Christ will help you. Christ will help you change.
It was a great experience, because not only did he leave with a little more animos (uhhh... ummpph??? Excitement? Something like that.) but I also felt the Spirit bear testimony once again to my heart that really anyone can change, even the worst of all people. The Lord will help us change, we just have to start little by little today. I know that is the truth.
I had exchanges with my district leader, Elder Corralez this week. My companion went with the district leader and the newbie greenie came to my area to work with me. it was good, we talked about a lot of things to help him with his Spanish and everything.
We got new news about the way we should work now. Our Key Indictators changed again, this time taking away the emphasis on just teaching lessons and everything, but now we are to go out and rescue the less actives and recent converts. I like the new news, but it is a bit difficult because not all are on board... My companion, the ward members... It is tough when you want to obey the new way to work, but your companion just wants to keep doing what he has always done... Knocking doors and teaching new investigators. But, little by little he will change.
Umm... What else. Really, there isnt much else. We passed Thanksgiving without anything new - we didnt do anything as a mission, nor in the ward. But, hey, that´s fine, because now it is December and Christmas is around the corner.
Well, that´s all folks. I love you all so so much and I know that the Lord lives. I know it. I know He loves us. I know that families can be together forever. I know it with everything that I am. I feel it so strongly.
Until next week then!
-Elder Jensen

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving this week! I can’t believe it has already been a year since I was in the Provo MTC about to leave for Peru. I hope this Thanksgiving day is amazing for everyone, and especially to think and to give thanks to our Father in Heaven for the blessings He has given us.

This week, we had cambios! Elder Condori and I knew that he would be leaving the area, since he had been here in this area for 6 months and that is basically the most time in one area in my mission. It was good, he said good-bye and everything and we actually got along those last two days. I am still here in the Pirai stake in the Abundancia Ward.

Wednesday, we went and picked up my new companion - Elder Colque. He is from here in Bolivia, from Cochabamba, where the temple is. He is so great. He is a hard worker and he loves the mission. He loves the people and just wants to help them, and he teaches with the spirit. I am really happy about the changes and I am pretty sure he is exactly what our investigators and the ward needs.
He has 8 months in the mission, but he is just a temporal here in the mission, his real mission is Venezuela Barcelona. He is just waiting for his visa.

This week was good. We are working hard and finally got a man we have been teaching to come to church. His name is Alcide Garcia. He has been listening to us for a while now, but with his brother is sick in bed for the last 8 months, he has been taking care of his brother and hasn’t been able to come to church. But his brother finally is getting better little by little and Alcide was able to leave his brother for an hour to come to church. It was good.

We also taught Brother Delfin Flores, the family whose daughter just died recently. He is still hurting a lot, but he remembered what we taught him last week about the Spirit World and that his daughter is happy. Yesterday, we taught him about temples and what he can do to help his dad, uncle and other family members to return to God’s presence. He liked it, but still doesn’t have a testimony that it is the true church…little by little.

Sunday, we had another area-wide satellite training session in the stake center. Basically it was about how to work more with the wards and missionaries together. My companion and I have a lot of work to do. The ward has about 200 members on our lists... The average of active members is 80. We were all supposed to go to this training, the missionaries and all of the ward council. In our ward, it was just us, and one other person--- And it wasn’t the Bishop... It was the High Priest Group Leader. Haha. So, we have got our work cut out for us. But, I know with my new companion and with the help of the Lord we can do miracles.

Now for the bad news... I just got news that the Brother Julio Cesar, the man who stopped smoking and got baptized in my last area... He died. Apparently his brother in law killed him or something like that. My old companion emailed me and asked me if I wanted to go with him to visit the family, so we are going to go today in the afternoon to talk to the sister. I feel sad, I love that man, I remember when I was saying goodbye because I would be transferred out of the area, he hugged me. He basically was bawling and didn’t want to let me go, he told me that we had changed his life forever. I am sad, but I know where he is now, and I know he is happy, that he, at least, repented and got baptized.

So, basically that is my week. Really happy with the changes and sad with the news that I just got. But, I am all right. This is the Lord’s work and I am just His servant. I feel SOOO much better now with my new companion, Elder Colque. Even the members noticed it yesterday, haha. They told me I look more happy and more energetic and with more desires to get to work.

I love you all, and I hope you are all doing great things up there in ¨Gringo-landia¨ as some say here in Santa Cruz. I honest know for a fact that the lord Jesus Christ saved us with his atonement. I know that he loves us and wants us to come back to Him. I can feel more and more light and happiness as I continue to read the scriptures and say my prayers. We are children of a God. We are royalty, so we should act like it. I know that the Lord has put on this earth one true church here on Earth so we can do ordinances (I don’t remember how to spell that-- Ordananzas) in a holy temple of the Lord. I know this with all my heart and I am so blessed and so thankful to my God that we live in this time of the world.

Be happy people. There is hope still in this world. We are loved by God.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Going Strong

Another week has passed and I am still here going strong. This week went by faster than the last and I honestly dont have much to tell you all, since we just worked like normal but here is what happened with me...
This week, we started teaching new people.
Sister Diana Sandoval is a 22 year old girl who listened to the missionaries before and this week we taught her about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. She was really nervous to pray because she thought the bed or things would start to move, but we explained to her, and she prayed and read the Book of Mormon, she said she believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and she accepted a baptismal date for December. 
She has her husband and baby girl, but the husband doesnt want to listen to us, maybe some day soon he will listen.
We also taught Brother Delfin Flores and his wife, Daisy, the couple that I told you lost their baby reciently. We taught them about eternal families and they had a lot of questions, about death and where is their daughter now. They are really confused because people from other churches (namely the Jehova´s Witnesses) are visiting them and they are just so confused. They thought their baby girl was there in the ground, just in a really deep sleep. But, we taught them and they said they would pray to know if it is true. 
The hard thing with them is that they never have time for us to visit them... just once a week every Sunday. But, little by little, they will hear our message and I hope they progress. They are hurting a lot, and I know the gospel message will help them with everything.
Other than those two, we didnt do much this week. Last week, we thought we found a house for the new missionaries and us to live in, but the zone leaders told us that we couldnt live there, so this week was ¨Find a House¨ week. When a lesson fell through, we went out on the hunt. The houses here a either just rooms put together and they all share the bathroom,  or they are really small. So, it was tough to find a house for us to live in, but we found one that is more or less suitable. But, it is fine.
Ummm... What else happened? Umm... It is getting really hot and everyone started giving us watermelon to eat, instead of just soda. It has been a nice, delicious change.
Other than that, there isnt much left. I love you guys so much. I will talk to you later... Until next week!
... My card reader broke. Pictures... some time soon!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 12, 2013

How goes it everyone? I am hoping everyone is doing well, havent heard from Brooke or Corey or even Oakley for some time now- are they still alive and doing well?
This week was good, it went by so fast, but it was good--
 Lets see what happened this week-
Monday, like I told you already, we went to go bowling on Monday, it was super fun and good to just hang out and relax for a little bit- we didnt even get to finish and see who won, because here you pay by the hour and not the game, and we didnt know that, so we didnt get to finish the game, but it was still good-
Tuesday and the majority of the week, we were told that 2 more Elders will be coming to our area to work with us at the end of the month, so we were looking for a new house to rent. We didnt do a ton of teaching since we had to look for a house, but we finally found one, and so fun stuff.
Wednesday I had an intercambio (exchange) with my district leader, Elder Sarasty, from Columbia. My companion went over to his area and he worked with me in my area- it went really well, we taught a teenager named Milton and we challenged him to baptism- he accepted and he is working on getting baptized this 30th of November,
I learned a lot that day- I learned that I need to just be me, even if my companion wants to be a robot and just teach the lessons and not according to what the people need, it was really good and he even bought me dinner to celebrate my year mark in the mission
Thursday- My year mark!! Or as mom wrote me today, the countdown begins until I am home. Haha, it was a good day! I was really happy and had a good attitude all day, even if my companion is a twinkie (just 9 more days together, I can survive.) Haha. I feel different now that I have a year under my belt, more confident, more happy- I like it
The weekend passed quickly and nothing else newsworthy happened- we are really trying to help the ward get out of the funk that it is in right now- it is going good- I am loving the work now-
Well, that is about it for this week- It went by fast but it was a good week-

I honestly know that the church is true. We teach people all day about the truth but many just think that it is impossible to know which is the true church. With all the other churchs and doctrines out there, they have just given up hope that they can know the truth for themselves. That is the thing though, we can know for ourselves what is the truth. I know with everything that I am, that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one and only true church of God here on this earth-- I know it, I can feel it in my heart! I do not have one doubt about it-. I know also, that even though we arent perfect as people, God still loves us- He will always love us and that is the truth!

I love you so much!! Talk to you all next week!
Ugh, I was going to send you all some pictures but my zone leader stole my card reader. Haha, maybe I will send them in another email if I have time, if not, I guess you all have something to look forward to next week! Bye!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Year Mark!

Hello family! I hope everyone is doing well. 
Time is passing faster and faster. It is crazy to me that we are in November already.
It is the week of my year mark. I have arrived at the half-way point. Honestly, I am blown away that I have a year in the mission. I am amazed that I have less than a year left in my mission. I am excited for the second half of the mission.
This week, was a little bit more of the same. Today, I only have an hour for internet. We are beginning to do more zone and district activities (something that in the past, never happened) and so today, we are going to go BOWLING!!! haha, I am so excited. There is only one bowling alley here in Santa Cruz, and for the first time, President approved that we could go.
Let´s see what happened this week... 
Some newsworthy things, were:
We found Delfin and Daisy. A mom and dad whose baby girl was sick and recentely died. They are hurting badly and Delfin, told us that before, he wasnt open to learning about other churches, but now he has a lot of questions and he is more open. We have only taught him once, so we still arent sure if he is going to progress or anything, but at least we found someone else to teach that might be open to the church.
Oh, Happy Halloween! And Happy Birthday, gramps and Kelsey! 
Here in Santa Cruz, Halloween isn't common. Only the richer people,  (in the first and second rings) celebrate it or the kids go trick-or-treating. It was just kind of a normal day here for me. It was funny since a lot of members told me that the members of the church shouldnt celebrate halloween, since it is a night of evil things. I explained that now, it is just a night to have fun and that we still celebrate it. 
Then came their holiday, The Day of the Dead, here they call it ¨Todos Santos¨ or All Saints. Basically, everyone makes homemade bread to give to people and then they go to the cemetary all day. It isnt a big thing, with everything like it is in Mexico, so it was just a normal day, with even less people in their homes for us to teach.
Not much else is going on here in my area, Abundancia. We arent having much success... The area is pretty weathy and for the first time in my mission, it has been difficult to find people that really want to listen to us. But, we are still here, plugging along as mom calls it.

I love you all so much. I know the church is true, there isnt anyother on the earth. All the other churches are good, they can make you happy or make you a better person, they can do exactly what our church does, except for one thing, they cant allow you return to our Heavenly Father again. That is the difference and that is what makes the church the only true church... that it allows us to return to the presence of our Father in Heaven again, and that is the purpose of this life- to have happiness and to return to live with Heavenly Father again. I know this with my whole heart and I know God listens to us and still loves us.
Until next week, I guess.
-Elder Jensen

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

So, another week has come and gone.
Sorry about last week and the short letter. After I got done responding to the letters, my timer blinked zero here in this Internet cafe. The zone leaders didn’t tell us, but it was fine, because we gave up the last little part of Internet to do an activity.

This week has passed by really quickly. But, it was a good week. Here are some things that happened.

LUNES- For the first time of my mission, we did a zone activity that wasn’t just playing soccer. We went to a tourist place here in our area that is called ¨Los Lomos de Arena¨ Basically they are just sand dunes here close to Santa Cruz. It was cool because we were the first missionaries that went out there (last mission president forbade anyone from going).
It was more of a one-time thing, as there isn’t anything there, expect sand... And lots of it. We heard that there used to be a lake and stuff near by the dunes and boats and canoes and things, but I think it dried up or something because it wasn’t there. Haha.
We went to the dunes, took a lot of pictures, played around for 5 minutes (rolled down the sand mountain) and then packed up and went home to go shopping and stuff. We didn’t stay long since it started to rain and lightning. Pictures are attached of the ¨lomos de arena¨

MARTES- So, with these changes in the way that we are working here in Bolivia, it has been really nice. We are now focusing on ¨going to the rescue¨ as the prophet has asked us to do. That means we now focus on three groups of people, less actives, recent converts and investigators. We may not be having much success with investigators joining the church in my area, but we are ¨rescuing¨ (I don’t know if that is how it is spelled) an 18-year-old girl, named Selia. She has been inactive, even after going to the temple and doing baptisms for the dead for her mom. Something really cool that happened was, we were teaching the 5 missionary lessons to here again, and we were teaching lesson 2 - El Plan de Salvación. We ended up the lesson, talking about the three degrees of Glory. She told us that she didn’t believe that her mom would be there with her, since her mom wasn’t baptized here on earth.
We taught her that the Lord loves her and wants families to be eternal. That is why we have temples to do their work.. We told her that her mom would be there with her again.
She started crying. She told us that she didn’t really understand the baptisms for the dead when she went and did them. But, now she has hope and she is happy. It was a great experience.

WEDNESDAY- We had a zone conference with President Willard. We got more training on how to work with the ward and stake leaders here in Bolivia to get more references and things. It was great..
And we were given cell phones in every area and we were told that we can officially have cell phones with us all the time now in our mission. It was a great change that will help the work move forward.

THURSDAY- Nothing super special happened Thursday. Just the usual district meeting and everything.

FRIDAY- My companion and I talked about what we were going to change to help our ward. We decided that we would change the way that we ask for references or for the help of the members. Instead of just waiting and expecting the members to give us their friends names, we decided that we would visit more members and ask the way that Preach My Gospel tells us to ask ¨A quien conoce que pudiera interesarse en nuestro mensaje y beneficarse de el?¨ With empasis in asking ¨Who¨ not just a yes or no question. We have seen the fruits of the change, they are not much, but we are already seeing the difference.

SATURDAY- We did a service project to clean the chapel. We have never taken much of an interest in what we used to say ¨was the member’s jobs¨ But now, we are working together, the members and missionaries. So, the missionaries took the morning to clean, and we cleaned really well... The chapel is usually super dirty and gross. Cookies and food, dirt and bugs, and everything like that. So, we cleaned it really good. It was fun and great to see the difference.

DOMINGO- In my ward especially, we are still having problems with the ward council functioning properly. It is just the beginning of the changes here in Santa Cruz, so we have to be patient and everything. But, I know that even though now, not all the leaders come to their meetings or it turned into a war of types when someone doesn’t agree with something that someone else does, I still have hope that it will change with the Lord´s help. It will take time and effort on our part, but I am not going to lose hope.

Basically this week has passed fast. I want you all to know I thought of each and everyone of you on your birthdays. I was there with you all this week too. I love you all so much and I know the Lord is with us, He has not forgotten us, and he cannot.

This week, I just let everything go. I stopped being stressed about numbers and things and I am starting to learn how to have fun, and still working hard. I really love it so much better. I am happy and doing well out here.

Well, I hope this letter makes up for last week. Haha, I love you so much. And until next week, I guess.

-Elder Jensen

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

No Time!

Well, with Chase home now, I guess that means it is just me here on the mission. I am now the only Jensen from the family out here. But, that is fine. I get all the attention and what not, I guess I can handle it.
So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!! Haha, I am now 20 years old. Crazy how fast it has gone. I feel like it was just my 19th birthday the older day.For my birthday it was pretty much the same as every other day, but a member did invite me to his house and they had made a little cake for my birthday. It was good. 
And this week, happy birthday to Chase, Corey, Mason, and mom!!! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE!!
This week was more of the same. We are changing up the way we work...
Oh no. My time is up on internet... The zone leaders only gave us one hour, and not the usual 1 and a half. Ugh, I am sorry, but I spent my time badly. Haha. I guess until next week!

Love you, Elder Jensen

Good thing he was wasting his time emailing me back and forth or I'd be angry ;) xo

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

Hello my dear family!
I cant believe it is finally here, Chase´s last week in the mission. It has passed so fast, and I know everyone is happy to see him. And then, in just a year, I will be coming home. It will go by fast too.
This week we were visited by Elder Grow of the Area Presidency with my ex-mission president (now area seventy) Elder Calderón. It was great. They called together all the missonaries and all the stakes and all the ward councils together to talk about the changes and how to impliment the changes to improve the Work of Salvation. It was super great. They talked about how we need to go out and rescue people... Less actives, recent converts and also, our friends and family that arent members. I really hope that we start to see more help from the members. We are seeing little progress, but little is better than none, I suppose.
Let´s see, what else happened this week.
- I taught my first missionary lesson in English. This guy came up to us and asked me if I could teach his daughter the Bible in English. I took advantage of the teaching opportunity and said yes, so we entered his house and we sat down with him and his daughter. She spoke english pretty well, and understand almost everything that I said. it was hard, since my mind is a mix in Spanish and English, but I liked it a lot. I felt like I was just talking to a person instead of just teaching a lesson, not sure why but ya. So, I am going to change the style that I teach more like that in Spanish.
-We found a lady who is so afraid of the Second Coming of Christ because she doesnt want to go to Hell. We taught her, but she wouldnt listen or change her mind from what her church teaches, so we just left. Oh and she told us that she knows who the antichrist is, that will come and rule the world. Apparently it is Bill Gates. So, you know, watch out for him.
This week it has been burning hot. So humid and so hot. It is great, when I sweat so much and I am just soaked. I just love it. But today, it started to rain, and it is still raining. so it is better since it isnt hot. 

Ummm... Oh, happy birthday to Uncle Eric on Saturday and happy birthday to me this Saturday. I am pretty sure my birthday wont be anything to special or different, but we shall see. Strange that I am already 20. I am not even a teenager anymore.... Ya se fue mi niñez, pero esta bien. Onto bigger and better things right?
I love you all so much. I know that the church is true, even if it is run by imperfect people. I know it is so important to go out and rescue people and to help them along the way to our Father in Heaven ((What are you doing to help rescue someone?))
Anyway, until next week my family!

Monday, October 7, 2013

General Conference Weekend!

Hello everybody!

Oh my, this week was so great. I may not have had much success with our investigators (since they dont wait to really change their lives) but we did hear the words of the living prophets of God and that was enough for me.

This week, we had more changes in the mission. We are no longer going to focus on knocking doors, but rather on working with the members and references. That was a great relief. Now to just help the members get going. It is like President Monson said: ¨Now is the time for missionaries and members to work together to bring more people into the vineyard of the Lord¨ It will be tough here in Bolivia, but we must start to change things.

As for conference, they have satellites in the stake centers, so we went to the stake center and all the ¨gringos¨ were given a little room and a smallish TV to watch it in English. Oh, how much I loved the conference. I loved Elder Quentin L. Cook’s talk and also, Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk too; so much power and passion and truth. It was great.

Today officially marks 11 months for me in the mission. And for Chase, this is his last full week as a missionary. For me, it has been tough, and when I look back, it has gone by so fast. I cant believe I am 12 days away from being 20. I still feel super young. I know that I have to be here in Bolivia and to help these people progress. This first year was amazing, but I am really excited for what is to come in this second year.

As for the work, we are still having little success finding new people that want to progress. We have a couple people that tell us in our lessons that they will keep their commitments but when we leave they just don’t, or his friends tempt them to get drunk, like our teenage friend, Julio Cesar. We are still looking, but facing a little rough patch right now in the area.

The weeks have passed fast; it is already the end of another transfer cycle. We are betting that one of the two of us (my companion or I) will get transferred on Wednesday… I don’t mind either way if I stay or go. I have made great friends with the members here in the ward, but the area is pretty tough, so whatever God has in mind with me is fine with me.

 I know with my entire soul that this is the church of Jesus Christ. I have no doubt about it. I know that God loves each and every one of us, so it makes sense that he would give us a church to help us along the way to return to Him. I know that we can be even more happy then we are now if we live the teachings of Christ. Maybe we will still have tough times, but hey, that is life. We have to have tough times so that we learn and progress. I love this gospel and I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I love that even though we aren’t perfect, He still wants us to come unto Him and keep on going. It is like Dory says ¨Keep On Swimming¨ maybe that means swimming in dark waters sometimes, but we must always do our best and rely on Christ.

I love you my family and friends. The greatest blessing that God gave me is you all. I honestly love you and I have been praying for you a lot lately, that God will guide your steps and keep you safe.

Until next week!
Elder Jensen

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I Am Thankful

So, this week was better than the last. We still arent seeing much progress with our investigators, but we have talked about it with my companion and we are going to approach the things differently. 
I am listening to Mormon Messages right now and I love one about thankfulness. I am truly thankful to God for you all, my friends and family. I know that I am so imperfect, so prideful and so silly sometimes, but God truly continues to bless me. I am not sure why, but He loves me.
The week went by fast, I am surprised that it is already Monday again. I cant believe it is October (tomorrow). It is officially the Jensen month... The best month of the year. I love it.

This week was a little bit of the same. Trying to find people with desires to change. Teaching more lessons and just speaking spanish.
We are still teaching a couple of people
. The Otta Paz family and they are progressing slow. They went to an activity at the church Thursday, but they always have someone visiting them on the weekend so they cant attend church. This week, we are going to teach them about baptism and put a goal so that they will start to progress a little bit faster. 
Felipe Brito - he is ready to be baptized, but we are just waiting for his mom to come back from Chile at the end of the year, so we cant really do anything right now, since he wants her to be there at his baptism.
This week, we are going to find more people to teach and that want to come to Christ. I am super excited for this week, because we are going to listen to the prophet of our Lord and Savior. General Conference is my favorite and I am excited to listen to the words and that our investigators will be able to go and listen too.
Ugh, sorry family and everyone. I dont really have much to say. Until next week. 
I love you all.
Here is a silly picture of me and Elder Porter, a really good friend. This was last week´s P-Day activity. Soccer and hot dogs. Good stuff. It was good to take a minute and just relax and relieve stress and everything.

A Letter from Mission President -Christmas Gifts

Dear Missionary Family,

We are so grateful for the blessing it is to have your missionary in the Bolivia Santa Cruz Mssion.  We know that Christmas is not for a while, but wanted to send some helpful tips that may be a blessing to your missionary and their companion. 

As you think of sending a Christmas package to your missionary, we ask that you keep in mind that their needs are few and the space to store things is small. Some possible gifts could include: ties, gospel pictures, hand written cards or letters, candy treats and socks, socks, socks! They are always in need of good black socks. Additional ideas for the sisters include: light scarves or modest hair accessories, and the small no show socks.

Your missionary may have a companion that comes from a family with little or no resources to send a Christmas package.  Where possible, we invite your family to consider sending your missionary’s companion a present with some of the same items in quantity and quality.  This could be sent within the same package so as not to add extra shipping costs.

Some have asked how they can assist the many other missionary companionships that will not receive any gifts this Christmas. For any friends or family who would like to assist in this effort, we invite you to send packages of similar items to the mission office that could be distributed throughout the mission.

One of the best ways to send packages is through the US Postal Service with the following guidelines: Economy rate in a padded manila envelope, but not priority or flat rate. Send less than 4 pounds with a declared value less than 100 dollars inside. Be general in the declaration of contents such as clothes, food, paper products. (If you list something of value, it may be opened and stolen.)  These type are not stopped at customs as often and make it much quicker than FedEX or UPS or even Priority Mail. If you send it by the first to middle of October, there is a good chance of it getting here before Christmas. Send all packages to: 

Name of Missionary 

Bolivia Santa Cruz Mission 

Casilla de Correo 2042 

Zona Central Santa Cruz 

Santa Cruz Bolivia

As we pray for our missionaries every night, we also pray for their wonderful families.  We know that our Heavenly Father will bless you in miraculous ways because of the service of your missionary. 

With love, 

President and Sister Willard

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Another week has passed. When I am in the middle of the week, the days pass slow and then at the end, I look back and say where did that week go?
I cant believe we are in the last week of September. Chase only has like 3 weeks left in the mission and I am almost at my year mark.
So, here in the mission, in my area Abundancia, we are teaching our investigators, recent converts and the less actives, we are teaching- not a ton of lessons, but we are working hard. This week was a little bit tough, since even though we are teaching good lessons with the spirit, we arent seeing progress with our investigators. The family Otta Paz travel to see their family in Montero (my first area) every weekend so they cant asist church. Juan and Eunise cant get married right now, for problems with family and they have debts that they have to pay back. 
So, right now, it is just a little frustrating since it isnt going how I want it to go... But, I know that maybe this is a lesson that the Lord wants me to learn- that it isnt my time, but His. I constantly have to humble myself... I have a problem with pride.
Yesterday, I spoke in church, my first time in my mission where I was actually called up to speak in church. I spoke on faith and repentence and how it is important to share this information with others. It was good. 
It was funny. The ward members said I speak like one of them now- Santa Cruz is well known to speak ¨Camba¨ which is a form of really lazy spanish that they speak here. They say ¨Puej¨ instead of ¨Pues¨ and other things. But, it was a compliment that they said that. I would rather speak Camba like them, rather than gringo.
I know that everyone is asking for pictures. It´s just that I hardly take pictures here in Bolivia. There isnt much to take pictures and we dont do a lot of service or activities or anything worthy of taking pictures. Maybe this week, I will have something to take a picture of.
Really, I laugh all the time, because I see the reasons why God called me here to Santa Cruz so that I can grow and change and be a new person. It is incredible how God knows me and how I was supposed to be called here to Bolivia. I am trying to stay strong really, and I hope it doesnt sound like I am sad or anything... Just trying to stay in there. I know that this week will be better so I dont need to worry.
I love you, my family. I know that God is watching over us all. I know He loves us and I know without a doubt that the true happiness is with the family. I love you.
Talk to you next week. 
-Elder Jensen

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Good morning everyone out there!
This week was not that eventful. It wasn't a bad week, we just didn't have many newsworthy events happen. But, it was a good week.
This week, we had interviews with President and Sister Willard again. I love them so much and they really want to help us out, so they are doing interviews more often, which is fine by me. Every time I talk to them I leave feeling more of the spirit and more of a desire to do what the lord wants me to do. 
Here in Bolivia, there is a holiday that is called Pedestrian Day. It is tradition that they don't have taxi´s or buses going in the center of Santa Cruz. I don't know why they do it, but President Willard talked about how they stopped the buses for one day to make the city better... or something like that. So, in the interview we talked about one thing that maybe we need to leave behind or stop doing to make my life better. It was super great and I love that man. I feel loved every time I talk to him and Sister Willard.
We are still here in Abundancia working with the members and the investigators. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with everything since we have to help both sides - the members and the investigators. But then I just remember my farewell talk and how I have to just take bites out of the apple. Not the whole thing. I can just do what I can do, then leave the rest up to God.
We have a couple people we are working with.
Felipe - He is a 17 year old kid that wants to get baptized, but his mom is in Chile and he wants her to be there at his baptism. She comes back
at the end of the year, so I think we are just going to teach him and his brother so they can be baptized some other time.
Fatima - She is a reference of a returned missionary. She received her answer that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but we discovered that she and the returned missionary are breaking the law of chastity. So, we were going to teach her about that but we haven't been able to find her this past week. She is never home and neither is her boyfriend, the returned missionary. But, we are going to keep on keeping on.
We have a couple other families that we are teaching. The familia Otta Paz and Juan y Eunise. They are doing really well and want to know, but they haven't taken the time to go to church or to pray to know if it is true. It is a little frustrating, but I just have to remember it isn't my time, but their time that they will receive an answer and do the things they need to do.
Like I said, we didn't have much newsworthy this week, so sorry if this letter isn't super great. I am doing good here in the mission. It isn't as hard as it once was and the time passes fast. I am learning new things all the time. I am seeing how I must be as a dad, as a member of the church, and as a disciple of Christ. Maybe I am not perfect, but I have the Lord Jesus Christ to help me where I lack. I still don't understand why he would help a sinner like me, but I know with my heart that He will always help us. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He is there whenever we need him. 
A member gave us a CD with Mormon Messages on them that we can use while we teach. I love one of them by Quinten Cook.
it is super powerful and I loved it.

I love you family. I know that God is watching out for you. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

To all my friends out there in the mission... Hello!!!!
I hope everything is going well out there where ever you are. I am super happy to know that you are all doing great and loving the mission!
This week, I got an email from Krista Nelson about all of my friends out there in the mission. I loved reading their letters and seeing their pictures. 
Whenever I hear about how many missionaries are out, I just think about how much of a royal army God has prepared. I love it.
This week was good. I just got an email from my last companion that he told me
Franz and Julio Cesar got married and baptized on Saturday. I wasnt there to see it, but I am so happy that all went well with them.
This week in the Abundancia ward, a member here was cooking on his stove. His propane tank had a leak so when he lit the match, the gas tank blew up. 90% of his body was burned. He was put in the hospital and was fighting for a couple days, but he passed away. The ward held a funeral and we were invited. 
It was sad, but at the same time, the members bore powerful testimonies of Christ and the plan of salvation. It was interesting that none of them were bawling, but they were calm as they expressed their love for the man and for the peace that the true gospel brings.
I know without a doubt that we will see our loved ones after death. In the church, we have the truth so we dont need to doubt or fear death, we just need to express our love for one another always and to live the gospel of Jesus Christ, because like the members said, we dont know when we will go to the other side.
So, know that I love every one of you. I honestly know that we will be together with God after this life and that this life has a purpose. Such hope and comfort it brings to know that.
Other news this week. 
We are working hard to find people this week. We have a couple with baptismal dates, but we need to find more people. We want to work with the members. The ward here isnt super strong, but we want to help them out. So, we are going to go to work with the members and hopefully, if all goes well, we will find a few Part Family members that need the gospel.
Nothing special happened this week really. Just working hard and getting to know my new companion. I am learning to love him. He is funny.
I love you so much everyone!
Keep on swimming and doing all the stuff that you do. 
Come closer to Christ to find more happiness!
-Elder Jensen

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hola Gringo-landia

Hello out there in Gringo-landia... That is what they call the United States. 
I got transfered again!
We were almost positive that Elder Gueto was going to go, but I got transfered. I am now here in the Piraí stake in Santa Cruz, in the fifth ring. As you get closer to the center the richer and more proud the people are. 
This is the closest I have been to the center of town, so I was super confused and surprised when a lot of people have really nice cars and trucks.
My area is Abundancia. It is a ward. Yesterday in Sacrament meeting we had a little bit more than 50 people. It is not that big of a ward or area, like my last area. The ward is good from what I can tell. They arent super active in the missionary work, but we are going to work with them.
My companion is Elder Condori. He is 21 years old from La Paz, Bolivia. He is kinda strange and he worries way too much about everything. I am thinking he is my lesson in patience. But, he is happy and likes to work, which is great. He likes to do contacting way too much, but at least he wants to find the people that are prepared by the lord.
Since I got transfered, I wont get to see the wedding of Julio Cesar or Franz this week. But, my last companion just emailed me and told me everything is set and ready to go for Saturday, the members are getting more involved there too and they raised enough money to have the wedding in the chapel (it is cheaper in the laywers office). So, I am still so happy for them.
We got to the house and it is a good one. I am used to the house being loud, since I was living with 3 other people and they loved to have fun and everything. But now the house is just quiet since my companion is kinda quiet. I dont like a quiet house, but whatever. 
We live in a house above a plastic chair/table renting place. our house has three rooms and is comfortable. But it doesnt have a kitchen area, so we wash our dirty plates in the bathroom sink. It is great. 

Here in Santa Cruz the cold time has ended and the sun has come out. It is hot!!! But now I am used to it. It isn't a problem anymore for me. 
I love you so much! 
Until next week!!

My last day with the four elders and my old house- it was falling apart and stuff, and had termites and bugs. And in my bedroom we didnt have glass in the windows, so we were basically sleeping outside, but I loved that house. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Zone Conference and My Twin

Hi there everyone out there reading my letters. 

I hope you know that God is aware of you and there are answers to every one of your doubts or questions in the restored church of Jesus Christ. 

Hi family! 

Monday here again, and it is super cold here in Santa Cruz. It is humid so it feels freezing. I do not like to get out of bed when it is cold. 

This week we had some great experiences and memories. I know you all want to hear about them.

Zone Conference. 
      Our first official zone conference with President Willard and his wife. Oh how I loved it. They are super spiritual and we were taught by the spirit what our investigadores need. We learned from Chapter One in preach my gospel. Then we did some practices to help our investigators receive for themselves the gospel of Jesus Christ. We practiced asking inspired questions and just following the spirit. It was wonderful. Elder Gueto says that it changed the way he thinks; he says it changed his whole mission. 

   Julio Cesar and his family-
            He is fighting to give up the cigarettes. He has been smoking a little every day and so Friday we challenged him to give up his addiction totally and to depend on God. He committed and we also committed his family to helping him. His wife threw away his cigarettes without him knowing. When we went to go smoke, he got all mad at her, but she reminded him of his goal. He calmed down and now he says, I was a smoker. Now I’m not, I don’t smoke anymore. 

   Franz and Mireya.
          They were a reference given to us by other elders. Mireya is the cousin of Wara (my convert) and she is a member already. Her husband isn’t but has been taught all the lessons by other Elders. Now we just have to have a wedding and he can get baptized. He bore a powerful testimony yesterday in the Priesthood meeting about how much he gains when he comes to church. Then he announced that they are going to have a baby. They just found out yesterday.

We are truly seeing miracles here with these people. Friday morning we went with them to submit their papers so they can get married on Sept. 7th. They didn’t have enough money to submit them, since there aren’t many jobs here, but the ward helped us out. Everything is ready and set for both of their marriages/baptisms this 7th. We are excited. 

This week was fun. We worked hard but we also just had a bit of fun. We were joking with our people here about how I was fat before the mission and then they started calling my yellow (for my skin)- They told me I am yellow like the Simpsons even up to my hair. I told them no. And then they started to say that I look like a little yellow baby chicken. We laughed and laughed and laughed. Then, they held up one of their chickens and told me that it was my twin. 
So, here is a picture of me with my twin. Sorry mom, your missionary son is a little yellow chicken. 

The other picture is of me in my area. There is ton of green and some of the paths are just bordered with trees, like the picture. 

The next picture is of my ugly companion, Elder Gueto. We are super similar and we goof around sometimes. He is funny. 

We have cambios coming up this week. We are thinking the Elder Gueto is going to leave and I will stay here in the area Suarez, La merced. It will be interesting, as it always is when we have cambios. 

This week was great, cold and rainy, but great. I am definitely seeing changes in my character, as I am learning and applying new things. I don’t want to be the same person as I was before the mission. 

Until next week then,
I love you.
-Elder Jensen

Monday, August 19, 2013

We're Nerds!

Hello family!
once again, it´s Monday and I am here writing everyone in this Internet place. How is everything there in that part of the world? Everyone sounds good... Well, I didnt hear from Corey, Brooke or Kelsey, but I am sure everything is good. 

This week went by super fast. I honestly feel like I was emailing you yesterday. This week we worked super hard and it was just great. 

Alrighty then, here we go. 

Tuesday, we went out to serve members in another area of the stake. We weeded with machetes, moved a pile of bricks and rocks, a racked leaves. I didnt take my camera, so I dont have pictures of that... (like we say here in Bolivia, van a disculpar) 

We have a couple families that we are teaching... Julio Cesar, who is leaving behind smoking, Franz and Mireya, who just need to get married, and Jose and Maria, who are members of the church but got confused because the 7th day advantists are visiting them. 
With the first two, everything is set for their baptism. They are ready to go, they just have to get married. And here in Bolivia is costs a lot of money and time, which I am realizing that they dont have a lot of here. But, we are getting help from the members so they can get married and then baptism. 

I am still constantly learning. This week, I had a doubt/question where it says in the Book of Mormon that God cant look upon sin with the least bit of allowance. I thought that meant that I as well had to give up movies and songs and things that I like to do that didnt take me to Christ. 
But, I prayed and I have come to realize that following Christ doesnt mean sitting it your room, avoiding everything. God gave us these things that we can have fun and joy. We just have to be careful with everything. Like I wrote last week, we have to think spiritually and have the guidance of the Holy Ghost, that will help us know what things are good and which arent. 

I hope that made sense. haha. I dont even know anymore. My english is bad, and some days, I get lazy with my spanish and I slur it like we do in Utah, and the people dont understand me. haha. 
I guess I´d better work on that. Little by little.

Not much else happened this week. We walked a lot. And then we walked some more and taught some people. A great week, but one without many stories. 

In my life, I want to always do two things. 
1) Be constant in the faith. I never want to leave behind what I have learned or the church. I never want to become inactive or anything like that. The true way to happiness is living the gospel of Christ, the church helps us live the gospel. That is why it is important to go to church and say our prayers and read the scriptures. 

2) I want to always act. 
Faith is a principle of action. To improve your faith, we must act. To show our faith, we must act. It isnt enough to say we believe, we must show it with our actions. This is the biggest problem we face with the members here. It is all just words, and then when it comes down to it, they dont act.

These are my two goals until the end of my life. I know that as we are faithful and we act, we do the things we believe, God will bless us. We will be taught from on high. I promise that. I promise that we will find joy and happiness as we do those things. I am commiting myself every day to do it, and I hope that you all will do it with me. 
Say a prayer, ask Him what is one thing that you can improve, then ask for strength to do it.Then go do. 

I love you. I know this church is true and I know that maybe we arent perfect, but Christ is. He lives and He loves us more then we can think. We must follow Him in every way, maybe it is hard to give up certain things, but little by little, step by step we can do it together. 

Until next week you nerds. 
I love you!

-Elder Jensen