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

Monday, August 12, 2013

Couldn't Even Tell You

Buen dia a todos de Bolivia!

I have a lot to tell you all so I will just get on with it. 

This week, we got great news. Our internet time is now an hour and a half!!! Which is great. We can write to whomever and now I have even more time... So everyone- talk to me...
If you all dont write to me, I will just be sitting here at the computer with nothing to do, so you all have to talk to me.

This week, I feel like I have learned a lot. I finished reading the Book of Mormon again and this time, I was searching for an answer to a question I have and I have learned with this, that we have to be humble. I have prayed so much and tried to change and I feel like I am beginning to change in my heart. The Lord promises us that we are humble, we will be taught from on high and I know that has been happening this past week with me. I am so happy and I just feel great.

Friday, we had our first interviews with President Willard. I love him so much... And sister Willard. They both served in Spanish speaking missiones (Him, LA, Cali and her Dominican Republic) but they speak like gringos. I love it. Haha. She is from Tennesee, so it is even worse than him. But, we understand them and we love them.
He is so loving and so strong in the spirit. He reminds me of President Wade. I love President Willard and I feel like he was the Mission President that I needed to help me improve. We talked about gratitude. That when we are grateful for the little things - like an american cheeseburger or being able to eat strawberries (two things that we cant do here)- all of our problems and our sadness goes away. I have been trying to put it in practice, and it´s true. 

As for our investigatores.

Julio Cesar - He is the dad of the kids that got baptized recently. He never wanted to listen to the Elders until my companion and I met him and we immediately became friends. He is so funny, but is extremely poor... He makes $10 a day doing construction work, but when it rains like it did this week, all construction work stops. So, he didnt have enough for him and his 6 kids and his wife to go to church or anything (the members picked them up to go to church). 
So he is facing that problem and also, he is heavily addicted to cigarettes. Like I told you all last week, since 8 years old, he has smoked. But we are seeing miracles here as he is leaving behind that addiction... In the last 4 days, he has only smoked half of a cigarette and he told us the flavor has started to change, it didnt have the same effect as before. I LOVE IT. He has been praying and we gave him a priesthood blessing and we are honestly seeing miracles of God here.

Speaking of which, with President Willard and the division of the mission, they decided to rename the mission... unofficially. I am now part of the mission Bolivia, Santa Cruz de los Milagros mission. He wants us to realize that God has his hand here in Bolivia and that even the little things can be miracles.

Umm... I still have a half hour, so if you have questions or want to talk. Write me. I dont have much else to talk about, since I am used to having only an hour. Haha. But, I love you all and I know that God loves you too. 

I know that we need the church in our lives to be truly happy. The church helps us live the teachings of Jesus Christ and when we live the teachings of Him, we will be truly happy. Maybe the members of the church arent perfect, since no one is. That is why we go to church, to be able to improve. The church is the only true church of God. I know that going to church is so important, and if we arent going, we are losing so many important things... 

Something I learned from the Book of Mormon.
Remember, to beccarnally-minded is ddeath, and to be espiritually-minded is flifegeternal.

--- Think about the things of God, and we will be closer to life eternal. 

- Elder Jensen

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mission Life

Once again, it is Monday. That week passed slowly but at the same time, went by super fast. I dont know how that is possible, but it is. 

So, here is a little about what is going on with me and my mission. 

We are changing the way we work here in my mission. Basically, in the past, we had the missionaries working and the wards working separately, as I´ve already told ya´ll. But, we are changing little by little. So, we have the rough work of training the wards and getting things going. It is a little tough, but little by little we are seeing a difference. The members are more receptive to help us and they have great desires, just missing a little bit of direction and organization which is what we are trying to work with. We are now getting Ward Missionaries and the Ward Mission Leader and all that going strong here in the Suarez ward. It is good, and I am happy to see the difference as we are progressing. 

This week was a little bit rough, Elder Gueto and I worked really hard this week, even when I was sick with a really strong cold. For most of our lessons, I couldnt hear since my ears were all messed up with congestion and all that. We ended each day and I was exhausted, I wasnt super happy with how I was. But, now I am doing better, my hearing still isnt perfect, but I am much better, and now I have energy and I am in a good mood. Haha. All is well, for now.

     We are teaching Part Member families that we want to go to the temple. One is the Jose y Maria family (No, their kid´s name is not Jesus) who were inactive for a long time and the Sabbatistas (I dont know how to say it in English) taught them and confused them, so now we are teaching them and preparing their kids for baptism and then that they can go to the temple to be sealed for time and eternity. 
      The other we are teaching is Julio Cesar. He is great. His wife was inactive but got activated again by the missionaries before us. They baptized two of their kids, but never got the chance to teach the dad, because he was always working. But now, he is at home at night, so we are teaching him. He went to church for the first time yesterday. He is addicted to cigarettes and all that garbarge, but wants to stop for his kids. so, we taught him about fasting to gain help to stop all that.Yesterday, was his first time going to church and his first time fasting! Haha. He loved church and is preparing for baptism this 24 of August. 

This morning I was studying the attributes of Jesus Christ and I realized that a lot of times I need to work on my humility. I didnt really understand it before, but I am learning more and more about faith, humility, and hope and the other attributes of Christ. 

I dont have much else to say. I know more than anything else that God loves us and that He sent his son to help us along the way here in this life. I know that we need His help or we cant do anything. We can always have his help, his guidance, his love when we pray to Him. Praying is simple. It is just being humble enough to ask a loving Heavenly Father for his help and then following through with actions with the answers or help we recieved. I know the church is true. I know it and I cannot deny it. 

I also know I love you all. I love you all so much.
Until next week,

Elder Jensen 2.0