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