Monday, November 9, 2015


Dear Family,

My mind still thinks that in a week I will sit down again to write another email to you all about how my week went but this is the last time! I don´t know what to think! It is almost exactly like when I started 50% fear, 25% sad, 25% excited. It is so weird!!

Well, I couldn’t be happier with this past week because we worked super hard. We were able to go on a visit to almost all of the further zones this week. We left early on Thursday to go visit the Coatepeque zone and help them analyze their dats and work and see where they can improve. President accompanied us and has been sharing a really cool story in 1 Samuel chapters 1 and 2 that talks about the faith Hannah had to give her son to the Lord and the lack of faith and dedication to the lord of Eli and and his sons (who ate the Lord´s offerings in the temple and did bad things). It is super cool and I love learning from President. Later we traveled to Malacatán and stayed the rest of the day helping them with some of the investigators in the zone that could be baptized soon. We also got to go up a massive massive hill with Jaime´s (that´s the pickup truck´s name) 4 wheel drive which was awesome. We got to stay the night in the San Rafael hotel (¡Hot shower!).  We set out early on Friday to the mountain areas (San Marcos and San Pedro).

Hot chocolate in San Marcos
2 plates of dinner in San Rafael

In San Marcos we were able to help again the missionaries but we did something awesome as well. We decided to start filming a video of us challenging people to know more about the church and be baptized in the street. It was remarkable because all the missionaries have the mentality that in the mountains the people are too hard and closed but we were actually able to record many people that accepted the invitation to attend church and prepare to be baptized! The most spiritual moment was when we talked to a security guard (who wouldn’t let us film). We continued talking to him and found that he had a huge desire to attend a ¨Mormon¨ church service (since he had already tried everything else). I have never heard somebody say this but he said ¨there is no doubt in my mind that I will be attend with you this Sunday with my wife and 2 kids.¨ It was amazing and my heart was filled with so much gratitude for the opportunity to be an instrument in the Lord’s hand so that he can talk to his children!

A skate park in San Marcos
We also had a very similar experience earlier in the week in our own area.  Elder Kanahele and I saw a certain house that we both felt that we needed to go and talk. Well, we met V. that night. She used to love visiting with the missionaries and after a few minutes of getting to know her we decided to call her ¨Aunt V.¨ and she really liked that. ¨Aunt V.¨ wasn´t able to make it to church this Sunday but I am sure that in the coming weeks she is going to progress tons in the gospel. Another amazing moment! (This is why I get a little sad to be leaving and miss out on this action!) She has 2 really fun little kids that we loved making jokes with. One of them told me that I weigh about 30 pounds. I guess I look way bigger than my companion because she said that he is only 9 pounds. Unfair!

I always had a dream when I started the mission to be able to have a baptism on my last day and this tomorrow J. (who Elder Walton and I were led to about 4 months ago) will be baptized!! We helped her get married on Saturday and we are pumped for her baptism tomorrow!

 I l love this work so much and I am glad that the Lord prepares the way for us to continue even after the full time mission. These 2 years are the happiest I have ever been, without a doubt. You want to be happy? Go and make others happy! And how better than sharing the gospel!

Elder Jensen
Driving in the car with Elder Damas.
(an elder in the office that lives right close to Elder Gavarrete in Honduras)

Look at all those sardines!

Monday, November 2, 2015

I love Guatemala!

Dear Family,

Things always stay interesting here. I think that is why it is so hard to write such a small email about so many things!

First we had our multi-zone conferences on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday we had to start early the conference in Malacatan for that half of the mission.  So we went Tuesday night to sleep in a super awesome hotel in a place called San Rafael. Let’s just say they have hot shower water and it was extremely hard to get out of the shower (more than 2 years and my body still hates cold showers). 

They were awesome conferences and we showed a pretty awesome video of us opening our mission calls and a few other people who served here and everyone highly enjoyed that and was reminded of the joy we should always maintain here in the mission field. We also got the chance to show a cool video of President Monson in a talk called "My brother’s keeper." He talks about the worth of a human soul and that helped us all remember the worth each soul has that we teach every day and we should strive much harder to teach our best.

This change the first missionary from Brazil is coming to the Reu Mission. It was funny because while I was in the office for a moment the office phone rang and it was someone trying to speak Spanish to us. It turns out that it was the travel people from Brazil trying to see if the missionary had gotten here. I was super confused because I thought it was a joke of somebody saying they spoke Portuguese but as we talked more I realized it was serious and it was super funny because we were trying to speak very simple Spanish for them to understand and trying to pronounce Portuguese from google translate. Eventually we somehow got the message across that the missionary was still in the CCM. At the end of the call the guy yelled out in English "I LOVE GUATEMALA!"

Another memorable moment of the week was that on Saturday there was a baptism from another ward scheduled later in the day. The only problem was that we had to fill the font and we have no key to open the door to the fun. Well, we brainstormed a good solution. We set up a table and put a big stack of chairs on top to be able to jump into the font over the big glass wall protecting it. It seemed simple but when I was standing up on top getting ready to jump in it seemed twice the height! I finally just yelled "anything for a baptism!" and jumped in. I had a nice landing on the back of my feet and later on my rear end but nothing broken or injured. My companion said he felt like it was slow motion as I fell through the air to the bottom of the empty font.

The small moments my companion and I have to work together in our assigned area are very special and the Lord has blessed us lot. This week we had the chance to talk to a member of the church that hasn't been attending for a long time now. She was excited to tell us about some of her family members close by that we could teach and she referred us to one of her brothers who we taught yesterday. As we taught L. and his wife, T. I was happy to be teaching and testifying again to a family (even though as we taught my companions bench broke in mid-lesson, now the second time that has happened to my companions). We hope to have some good lessons with them this week and that they can have some strong spiritual answers as they read the book of Mormon.

I am excited for another week of hard work and helping the mission. It has been really hard for me to think that soon I will no longer be in this land I have grown to love so much and I will have to say goodbye to the people that now have a special place in my heart. I am so grateful for the chance I have had to serve in the lands where Lehi’s descendants walked and lived!

Elder Jensen

The famous day of the dead dish, FIAMBRE.

If you give a horse a Coke...

Dear Family,

More exciting travels this week as we helped with yet another round of emergency changes. I think due to that we have kind of burned out our Christmas music so we probably won’t break that out again until December.

Early in the week we got the chance to go work in Tecun Uman, the hottest part of the misión. It was the only part I had never seen and it happen to be chilly the day we were there because of the rain! We got to go down and help the Elders in a place called Ocos, which is a beach town. It is a super simple place and almost all of the houses have grass leaf roofs and have bamboo walls so that was super, super cool.

Playing with an animal pet.

The land you see in the back is Mexico (this is where the river that divides Guatemala hits the ocean).

 I definitely got a good amount of sand in my shoes after that visit. I got the chance to talk to an amazingly prepared man named L., who was getting ready for his baptism that same Friday. His testimony of the church was so strong and despite his major health problems that make it hard for him to breathe and move around a lot he was set and excited for his baptism. He also gave me a little bit of this super weird cream he had that when I put it on my forehead my cold went away. Strange Guatemalan remedies.

Another really awesome journey this week was when we went and visited Malacatan and I got to work a few hours in my old área, Libertad! It was a great experience because I went back to show the Elders many of the people I had taught but for certain challenges hadn’t been able to continue in church or be baptized. Well, we went to talk to one guy named J. that I vividly remembered some super spiritual lessons with him and he was super excited to see Elders at his home and accepted the invitation to go to church this Sunday.

We visited Malacatan so I got to see V. and A. that
we baptized with Elder Cook a little over a year ago.

With my time here I have discovered a small epidemic. All the Guatemalans are extremely addicted to Coca Cola. No joke. Pretty much on any Street you can find a little Guatemalan kid bringing 2 or 3 glass liter bottles of coke to their house from the store. The new thing I learned is that not only the people of Guatemala love coke so much, but also the horses of Guatemala. Let´s just say we got a little creative when we found some horses in our área.

Here Halloween is a pretty foreign concept. The fun thing is that the 31st will be a Saturday so we can help people prepare to be baptized that day. One man we met in Coatepeque this week was named Elowee and was struggling to decide if he would be baptized the 31st or later in November. Well, he certainly liked our joke that if he would be baptized the 31st we could start a new holiday in Guatemala called ¨Elowee´ instead of Halloween. He got a got laugh out of that and we hope that after he prays and reads a Little more of the book of Mormon this week he can feel that it is the right thing to do.

This week we are preparing with President for 2 big multi-zone conferences with the 2 halves of the misión. These are always pretty exciting but also a ton of work so we are always grateful to have the Lord´s assistance and have the Spirit guide us on what to say and do to help the missionaries in this part of the Lord´s vineyard!


Elder Jensen 

Lost in a corn field with Elder Gaunt in San Marcos.
Russia, Ohio! This was on a mud flap of a truck.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Transfer Travels

Elder Sanchez, who had me and my comp as zone leaders (in our room).

Dear Family,

It is super funny to see people´s expressions when I tell them that I have more than 2 years in the mission. The funniest is with the members or with the nonmembers that know we are only here for 2 years.

The big moment of the week was the visit of Elder José Alonso of the Seventy. He asked have a leaders council with all of the leaders in the mission on Tuesday and boy was it amazing! I guess this visit had President Ruiz pretty stressed but we were able to help out as we prepared an evaluation of the whole mission and some goals for the year during the leaders council. After getting ourselves prepared we actually were able to find some good solutions in the meeting and Elder Alonso was pretty pleased with everything we presented and talked about. One thing I really took away from his visit was how vital it is to submerse ourselves in the scriptures. He shared a few stories from the New Testament and was able to show us that in each one there was symbolism to the atonement and the plan of salvation. It was amazing!! One thig that I loved was his explanation that we shouldn´t have any fear at all to share this message with everyone in every moment, the people will be the ones that will have fear at times to accept it but we should never ever have fear or doubt in sharing it with others.
Where all the  zone leader training and leaders councils happen.
After that my companion and I have a challenge going on. We have decided that in every single tuc we get in we are going to boldly invite each driver to be baptized in the church and also invite everyone who we ask for directions (which we do a ton since we are in a ton of random places we don´t know each week). We have actually had some very spiritual experiences so far doing that and we are able to continue ministering to the people even though we aren´t in our area that much.

Another interesting note from the weed were out 2 emergency change adventures. First, on Tuesday we got to leave at 6am to take a couple of Elders to their new areas in San Marcos (3 hours away). The most memorable moments were somehow getting our poor pickup to start up in a gas station after many failed attempts, asking a ton of directions in the mountains since my comp and I have never been there (and many of the first attempts at asking directions were members of the church that helped us tons). Once we got up to the mountains we were able to talk to both of the zones.  We showed a cool video from Elder Christofferson about daily bread. We talked about that we can't just not study and hope that the Lord is going to make everything go okay, we have to humble ourselves and remember him each day like the Israelites did with the manna. It was fun.

Today we also worked with another round of emergency changes. This time my companion didn't make the same mistake as he did Tuesday (on Tuesday, after doing an experiment of sleeping on our tile floor he woke up at 2:30AM thinking that it was time to go and got ready to leave and discovered that it was still 2:30AM). But we still got up early to go to a place called La Blanca (a town just above a beach called Tilapa). It was another fun journey and we enjoyed listening to some Christmas music (since there is no Halloween or Thanksgiving in Guatemala we thought we would jump ahead) and also some cool CES devotionals. It was a fun day and we were able to come across some amazing Betty Crocker brownie and cookie mix so we are excited!

Riding a bike in La Blanca.

Getting to the house in La Blanca, a place close to a beach called Tilapa below Pajapita.

So much more has happened but my mind just can´t find all of the details. I am just so glad for the change of heart I have been able to find serving the Lord. I was thinking a lot on the scripture in Mosiah 5:2 that talks about not wanting to do bad things ever again and I am working make that change 100% in my heart for the rest of my life!


Elder Jensen

First house ever seen with CARPET.

Monday, October 12, 2015


On the street with one of Elder Walton's old backpacks.

Dear Family,

Usually I am able to do a good description of the week because I write certain events in my missionary planner but I lost it on a bus today! We will see how good I can remember all the stuff that happened this week.

My companion and I have had a great time together. There is nothing better to have a companion that also loves the work with all his heart. We were working super hard on Tuesday and Wednesday because we had to train all of the zone leaders, district leaders, and all the news and their trainers in just 2 days. But, somehow we did it, and were able to get some awesome food for everyone. I always enjoy getting the chance to talk to all of the leaders in the mission and help them feel a bit more capable and excited to go out and get the mission doing the best it can.

Delicious dinner!

We also had a really inspired leader’s council on Tuesday with President and all of the zone leaders where we came to the conclusion that there is a small issue with pride right now in the mission. We decided that the whole mission needed to study the Elder Benson talk called Beware of Pride. We have actually seen some awesome results (personally as well) because after that talk we were able to find out that many companionships haven't been studying together because they think their own abilities and skills are enough to help them succeed even if they haven't studied in the morning. President was able to figure all of this out after visiting a few zones and it has been cool to see things improve and get the whole mission back on its studies.

I have really enjoyed being back in the area here in Reu again because I have been able to return back and visit the investigators that my companions and I had found and taught back in July. We actually had an amazing experience with a husband named C. and his wife J. Elder Merrill and I had found them back in July but I never heard anything new about them. Well, we returned and found that they were very excited to see us again and we are helping them right now get ready to be married so that they can be baptized (Hopefully before I leave!!). It has been a great experience and a testimony that God really does prepare the hearts of the people to receive his word with joy!

My companion in a tricky situation.

Some fun things that happened this week (let’s see if I can remember):
   We met a guy whose last name was 'makepeace" , in Spanish pronounced makaypeyacay. Not sure where that last name came from.
   We also met a tuc driver whose name was "Evil". He actually had a pretty good story about how he got it. I guess his mom found a biblical book that was written in English. Knowing that the book was biblical she decided to pick out any word from the book and give that to her son. Well, it turns out she picked the work evil and assuming that it was some righteous word she named her kid "Evil". He is scared to ever go to the states because they will make a lot of fun of him there.
   We managed to find some Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix and enjoyed many many many cookies. Hopefully this week we can try some brownies!

I am so grateful for the chance to represent the Lord and help in his work. I have learned a lot in the past few days how essential it is to have the Spirit to make important decisions and I am trying my hardest to maintain that Spirit each day to loosen my tongue and help Gods children in all parts of the mission.


Elder Jensen

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Final Transfer

The 2 new elders that I was on divisions with a ton,
(I guess i could be considered their dad since I don´t have ´sons´in the mission)
Elder Adams from Arizona and Elder Sanchez from Honduras.


My new companion is from Hawaii so I am trying to get into the culture. Well, you guessed it, I got changed this week. I am back in the office as the assistant to president helping take care of the mission! It has been an adjustment but at least I already had the experience and I have loved getting to know and be with my new comp, Elder Kanahele, he is super awesome.
Saying goodbye to a cool member family.
Despite the fact I was only a short time in San Felipe I really grew to love a lot of the people and families that I had gotten to teach. I am so glad I got that chance to be there and learn. This week I got to remember how ´fun´ it is to travel on the buses again. We actually got to sit right behind this super fun baby who was about 2 years old. By the end of the ride on the bus we were able to get him dancing to the music on the bus so we got a kick out of that.

One of the harder parts of the week was seeing the group of missionaries that I started with leave. It has been so fun to serve with them until this point and grow together. But then again, I feel there is a little more for me to give in the coming weeks. During the good-bye meal with them L. (president´s granddaughter) decided to turn into a zombie and was trying to bite me in the leg. She failed but later got revenge when she bit me on the shoulder. That was pretty silly.

My favorite part of the week was getting to return to visit Mazate. The zone was having some struggles so we got to go visit and work with them. The fun part was that I was able to eat lunch with A. (who was baptized in April) and his family and also get to see a few other converts there in the center and many of them are going strong in the church.

 I was sad to see M. (who was baptized in June) very sick in his bed. When he was baptized he just had a jump in his step and so excited to be a new member of the church but he has gotten very sick but I know he will get better and back to church soon. It is hard to express how much I have gotten to love these people I was able to teach and to see them change their lives.

I love asking questions to older Guatemalan people. In Mazate I was able to go help some missionaries with an older investigator that they were teaching. After talking to him I was pretty surprised by how young he looked and how old he really was. I asked how he managed to look so young and healthy. He gave me an unexpected answer, ¨Don´t drink cold things¨. I was astonished, I have no idea how science backs up this amazing piece of advice but maybe I better try it!

There was a point this week that we were in the office waiting on President to arrive to meet with him. We got a little board and started throwing up skittles in the air and catching them in our mouth. My companion got pretty creative and managed to do an amazing trick shot that I just can´t get over. With his back to the wall (sitting down in an office rolling chair) he threw the skittle behind his back bouncing it off the wall and then off the ceiling and right into his mouth! It was insane!

Well, it has been a great week and I hope to have some fun adventures for you all next week. I am just so glad to continue on the Lord´s errand and find joy and make eternal friends along the way!

Elder Jensen

Monday, September 28, 2015


Dear Family,

Wow, in just a few weeks I will be hitting the exact 2 year mark of my mission! I will definitely have to burn a shirt or something because most US missionaries don´t get to make it to the same date they left (because of how the changes work). It has gone way too fast!!

Well, this week started kind of weird because I didn't get to be in my own area until Thursday. On Monday we had a leaders’ council in Reu where we made some plans for how our mission can bring the most new families to the General Conference. Sadly the room where my companion and I stayed in the hotel had not fans or anything but I think my body is now in super hot coast mode because I had no problems. On Tuesday I went to work in another area of the zone since I had return to Reu in the night to be able to go with my CCM group to the temple the next day. The temple trip on Wednesday was super awesome and I was able to commit to the Lord that I am going to give him all I’ve got in these next few weeks! I felt really good after and I am ready to give it my all. 

This is my CCM group 2 years ago.

I think one of the coolest things this week had been to see the progression of the P. Family (L. and A. and their 5 kids). There really is a light in their faces every time we come and as they learn more and more about the gospel. One thing I have also enjoyed is to see the value the family has for the Book of Mormon. They always handle it with care and love reading new things between each visit. They also started inviting us to visit and teach their family members that live close by and we have gotten to meet some other really cool families as well! I think that really is the best way to share the gospel.

There was also another unforgettable experience this week. My companion and I have been teaching a family where the husband was baptized about a year and a half ago (I actually happened to be in that baptismal service never imagining that I would be teaching him and his wife someday) and his wife never chose to be baptized.  One of the members of the church who lives close by, took it upon himself to go give them a visit without us knowing about it. Well, to our surprise, about halfway through the sacrament meeting, who walked in? H. and E. with their family! It was a miracle and a huge testimony to me that the members of the church can almost always help people feel comfortable coming to church than the missionaries can. It was an awesome experience and a good lesson for the future.

Well, next week we will know if I will continue in San Felipe or have a new assignment but all I know is that these will be the hardest working weeks of my mission!

Love you all,

Elder Jensen

Playing a game called ´signs´with the zone.

 What our house looked like this after we finally found and killed the rat.

Add caption

i would eventually fall in this river.