Monday, June 24, 2013

On the Lord's Errand in Bolivia

This weeks story is all about a man that my companion and I call ¨nuestro amigo¨

We were walking as normally as ever on Friday, when my companion told me that there was a man in a house waving to us and pointing to us to come in. I didn’t see him, so we walked back a tiny bit to the house we had passed. He was there still waving at us. We didn’t understand if we should enter his home or not, but as he continued to wave to us, we went for it and entered into his home. 
Nuestro Amigo was outside sitting on a chair, and as we got closer to him, he picked up his right arm and right leg and let them drop, letting us know that half of his body doesn’t work. He couldn’t talk either except for grunts. But, he motioned for us to sit down and teach him. 
He understood us perfectly; just his body was damaged. So, we taught him about the resurrection and that his body will be made perfect. The joy in his eyes just made it all worth it. We offered to give him a blessing of strength and peace, he grunted yes and we gave him a blessing. I just felt that God loves him. After as we said good-bye, he grasped our hands tightly to say thank you with tears and joy in his eyes.

Then right before leaving, he pointed to me, and then to my companion, and then he pointed up. And even though his body is damaged and he couldn’t say anything else, he managed to say, ¨de Dios¨
He recognized us as the Lord’s servants and that we are on the Lord’s errand. The Spirit was there so strong and I loved it. 
So, there you have it. This week’s story.

As for the world training, our president didn’t even tell us anything about it, so we had to call him to ask permission. He told us we could go, if our weekly numbers are good. Which I disagree with, but whatever... But, our numbers are good, so we could’ve gone if my companion didn’t get sick after church. So, we spent the day in the hospital waiting for his test results. (my first time going to the hospital when it wasn’t me that was sick) but all is good with him now. Just is sick because of the weather. 

The other companionship in my ward went and they told us a little about it. How missionaries are wasting way too much time finding and contacting people... Which is entirely what my mission does. I know everything is going to change with this new president.

Oh, the weather. It is officially winter here in Santa Cruz…rainy and cold and with the humidity, it is STINKIN cold. I will attach a picture of me and the other gringo in my ward, Elder Morris from Arizona. The other is of my companion, Elder Gueto and me.  But, all is well, my big jacket and my scarf from the Claytons saved my life. 

AND what every mom loves to hear

Two things mom...

One, will you make sure that my card has money on it? I have to buy our weekly groceries with it today, because my mission is poor and doesnt have money. Thanks

Two, I have to ask, no, beg forgiveness of you. 
I have learned here in the mission more about life and God than anything else. I understand now why you always wanted a clean house and why you always told me that it is just easier to clean things right away. I understand now, mom, living with three other guys who are not clean. It is driving me crazy that our house is dirty. 

Also, for your amazing cooking ability. Thank you mom. Seriously, you have no idea how much I miss your food. Haha. 

Here in Bolivia, if the kids do something wrong, the parents, most of the time, call them stupid and that they don't have brains. They yell at them for the littlest things and sometimes hit them. It is very common. 

Mom, I love you so much. You are the most amazing mom there ever was in this earth. I want my wife to be like you, mom. I miss you, I love you, and I dont know how but, could you ever forgive me for all those days where you went into my room and found a disaster? All those days that I didnt clean or do what you asked?

Please forgive me mom. 

(Told you you would like this email)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This Week

Hi my family...

Another week has gone by. Some days pretty tough and others like yesterday I loved and I was refreshed and renewed spiritually. But I am still here in the mission field and loving it. It is tough but I love it. 

Here is what happened this week...

Monday, I was feeling super gross and all sicky. So we called Sister Calderon and she told me I was just dehydrated. So, she gave me permission to drink gaterade (its against the mission rules here unless you are sick) and to rest monday.. 
Then Tuesday, I had even more pain in my stomach and still diarrhea so we called again and she told me to go to the clinic here in the center of Santa Cruz. They took blood, I pooped in a cup, and we waited forever just for them to tell me that I was perfectly healthly. The tests didnt show anything. So they gave me some medicine but I was still feeling really gross. 
So I decided to pray. For some reason I feel bad asking people for a blessing, and I wanted to pray to improve my faith and to really see if I had the faith to be healed by God. As we walked to eat lunch Wednesday, I prayed and honestly it was like a balloon popped in my stomach and I just felt all the pain in my stomach go away and now I am totally fine. Well, still have diarrhea, but that is normal for the gringos here in Bolivia (the food does not treat us well)... I honestly know that God will watch out and heal us if we just have the faith in Him. 
I thought all the gritty details were necesary (I know it is spelled wrong. I cant remember how to spell it-oh Spanish!) to tell the full story, so whatever.

I cant believe Gramps is having problems with cancer and his spleen. He is in my prayers here in Bolivia. Actually, you all are. 

Umm... This week, my companion Elder Gueto and I are still looking for the people. We have met a couple people that are interested which is super great. Yesterday, we left with a member so he could show us the house of his friend. We entered and found out that it was a woman who mostly spoke quetchua...Or however you spell the native language here in Bolivia. So, we just sat there as this member and her spoke in this other language. It sounds awesome, and I want to learn it. 

We met with President and Sister Calderon to practice teaching the lessons on Thursday. Basically the whole day, each companionship went up in front of everyone to practice teaching about the doctine of Christ, the Book of Mormon and the Sabbath Day. It was good to practice and to learn more. 
In this zone conference, he told us all good bye and to obey our new President. I am excited to get this new president and to see the changes. I think it is what my mission needs right now.

Nothing much really happened. We met with a member that has a great plan for our ward to work with us. But, we cant really put it into action because the way we work in my mission right now, isnt with the members of the ward. We hardly ever work with them. But, we have this plan now and my companion and the other two elders in our ward, we are all super excited about this plan, but now we are just waiting this 13 days until we get the new president so we can change the way we work here. 

That is all from me, here in Bolivia. 
I know this is truly where I am supposed to be and I know that the Lord is watching out for us. Not just the missionaries, but the members and the families of the world. I know that He is a God of love and is truly our Father in Heaven. If you doubt that, pray about it and ask him if He loves you. You will see.

I love you all so much! Talk to you next week!
-Elder Jensen

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Opening a New Area

My family!
How goes it? It is going pretty good with me here in the mission.

We had transfers this last week and I knew I was going to be changed.
So, now I am with Elder Gueto in the stake, La Merced in the Suarez
ward. My area is still in Santa Cruz city but south... Santa Cruz is
set up in rings like a bullseye. There are 8 rings right now and we
are in the 7th ring. And it is in the southern part of Santa Cruz,
which means, with the mission split, I am in the Santa Cruz mission
(the other being Santa Cruz north mission) and that my new mission
president is the one from Arizona that you sent me a picture.
we live in a house with another companionship. A lazy Peruvian who is
training another gringo like me, Elder Morris from Arizona. He has 6
weeks in the field and cant speak Spanish really well. But, he is
working hard at speaking and he is a good kid. With him I realized two
things. One, how fast the time has passed. I am neither being trained
nor training. So I feel like I can do more with my companion... That I
can speak with the people and it is a great feeling.
Two, I realized I never really had a time where I struggled super bad
speaking spanish. I guess the Lord really blessed me with the gift of
tongues like the stake president promised in my setting apart.

So, here I am, in my area. Elder Gueto and I are opening the area so
we dont have any previous work to go off of. So, it is a bit harder
but we are working hard and I know this week we will find someone.

Elder Gueto is from Columbia. He has 11 months in the mission and he
is a cool guy. He laughs and speaks super exaggerated, but its fine.
He reminds me of like a Latino Eddy Murphy. He is black skinned
too.Umm... he is a dancer and taught dance classes before the mission.
He says he always saw Michael Jackson dance, and that he wanted to do
what Michael did.

Umm... the internet is super slow and I cant write more... Or send
pictures. Until next week then.

ELder Jensen

Monday, June 3, 2013

This Week

This week....

1) We had a mouse in our house. we were trying to trap it so we could release it into the wild, but it went behind my dresser and I accidently squished him with the dresser as I was moving it. 

2) Tuesday we had the last zone conference with President Calderon. They still have until the end of June, but we wont have another one with him. He is super powerful and we learned about repentance and how it is for everyone of us. Then, we practiced teaching and he taught us about teaching persons, not just lessons. It was super good.

3) We have cambios coming up on Wednesday, and I have the feeling that they are going to move me again. We have 45 new missionaries coming this week, and the mission divides on Thursday, so they are going to change a ton of us. I dont mind really, I like change. The only thing I dont like, is if I leave, it means I wont be able to see the Romero family get married or baptized with their neice this 15th of June. But, i guess I will just have to trust that the other elders will do it.
It was so cool. We fasted together with them yesterday and they fasted the whole time. I love teaching them. Yesterday, I showed them pictures of you all. First thing she told me was, Look at your mom. Ella es joven todavia. Then I showed her the picture of Oakley in the soup pot and she loved it. Haha. 

4) With the whole stress/numbers thing, two things happened. Today we finally have an activity... Futbol and pizza. So, I can relax a bit. And two, I read Preach my Gospel, where is says, that numbers arent important and dont mean that you arent a good missionary. So, I just focused on what I could do and forgot what I couldnt, and it doesnt matter if I disappoint my district leader or whatever. I am doing much better with stress and all that. Plus, my companion, Elder Caro has been losing his shyness and so we have been having good memories and laughing and and it is just great. 

Not much happened. Yesterday, we met both with our ward mission leader and the bishop to talk about how we can work with the ward more. We spoke a lot about how the members here are "cold". They never talk to one another, except in church. It was interesting and it just made me think how much of a family the church needs to be to help one another out. We are going to try and help the ward more. 

That is all for this week. Not much to report. Just every day and every week passes faster and faster. This week marks 7 months. Crazy, no? Crazy that Chase only has 5 months left until he is back at home. 

I love you all so much! Talk to you next week!
Elder Jensen