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 SeƱor. 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