Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mi Hijo!

Elder M.! He is super awesome!
He is called "mi hijo" or my son because he is a
brand new missionary and I get to show him the ropes.

I really loved my time with Elder B.

Dear Family,

Wow! This week probably has to be one of the most memorable weeks of my mission. So many things have happened I can´t believe it was only seven days!

This week my companion Elder B. finished his mission. He really had given so much to the mission that he felt a little bit scared about the normal life.  But we had great times talking about life and how awesome his life will be. The big highlight however, was that I am now training a new missionary! Elder M. is ¨mi hijo¨as we say in the mission or ¨my son! ¨ I was super happy to get the chance to train a new missionary and especially to be with Elder M.! He is from Mexico City, Mexico and we have really got along super well! I really like being around new missionaries because they have so much energy! We have really seen some great miracles together. 

Another amazing thing that I have seen is that the Lord really is helping me become an even better missionary and an even more effective tool in his hands. As I have made my way through the mission all my skills have been improving. This week the Lord really helped me a lot in being able to just really love talking to people and becoming a really outgoing missionary! I have been able to have more confidence with everyone and I am starting to love every single person here so much more! It is so, so cool to see the Lord using me to my potential and helping me even increase it! I am also learning a lot about listening to the Spirit about where to go and what to do in every moment of the day. It is incredible how many prepared people the Lord puts in our path and how many times we are in the perfect place in the perfect moment!

I have also seen that the Lord really prepares amazing people to receive the restored gospel. A few weeks ago an awesome young member in the ward named C. brought his friend to church. We got to meet him and had the chance to teach him. I can´t tell you how prepared C.´s friend was! We began to teach him about Jesus Christ and how the Savior can help him be clean of his sins and really become worthy of eternal life. The spirit was very strong and C’s friend recognized that because in the first lesson with him he accepted a baptismal date and since then it has been so cool to see his progress and the help of his member friend. This past Saturday he was baptized! I felt so blessed by the Lord and I know that both of them will be blessed as well. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to meet such amazing member of Christ´s church and see their incredible testimonies and their desire to share the gospel with everyone!
C. getting ready to bapitze his friend.

The rain here is a litte bit ridiculous some times. The streets literally turn into rivers! I think if I wanted to I could make my way around town just fine if I had a little raft and I rode the rivers on the streets! I am just glad to have some nice boots

I have been praying a lot to be able have opportunities to learn to have Christ-like love and charity. This week I sure got an answer to that prayer. Elder M. has started to have some bad problems with his knees and it hasn´t been easy for him. It is such an amazing experience to be able to be companions with him and be there with him in all his times of trial and difficulty. It makes me think about my baptism covenant that is found in Mosiah 18. I have felt the Spirit so strong as I do my best to comfort others in their hard times. We´ll just see what else is in store and what my next awesome experiences will be!


Elder Jensen

A noche de cine that we did at the chapel.
We had to keep taking out chairs because so many people came!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

El Día de Las Madres

Talking with you all!

Dear Family,

How fun it was to talk to you all this Sunday! I was just about beside myself for how happy I was to see you! The cool thing is that each time I get to talk to you guys I feel so much more motivated to work hard and be dedicated. I like to think that you guys believe that I`m the best missionary in the world so I try to go out and make that the truth! Not to mention it was fun to see how much different everybody sounds (including me)!

I am so glad that the Lord blesses those who really pray with all their heart and then they get up and work to fulfill their prayers. We continue to be blessed with wonderful people to teach that have almost just come to us because we have been diligent and obedient. Also I had a really big achievement for me this week. About a week ago I was studying a lot about opening our mouths in every moment to share the gospel. As a human (and a pretty shy human) it is tough sometimes to have the courage to open my mouth in every moment. Last week I built my faith a lot on the blessings of opening my mouth and I talked to a lot of people on the buses (we take a bus for 7 or 8 minutes from Santo Domingo to Mazate). I got to talk to some really amazing people. One morning this week we had some appointments that had fallen and we started to ask ourselves where we should go. I remembered somebody that I had talked to on the bus and that we were in the neighborhood he had told me. I looked at his address I had written down and his last name but the bus was so bumpy when I wrote it that I almost couldn`t read it. I basically guessed what it said and we started asking everyone where he lived (saying the name incorrectly the whole time). We kept going until I finally was able to make out my writing and remember what the name was. Right after

Elder B. and I at the Las Flores chapel

that we asked someone and they took us right to him and we found and taught him a great lesson and he went to church with us this Sunday! His name is L. and I am so glad the Lord put me in his path that day in the bus and helped me find him that morning so that he can continue to learn about the restored gospel and be able to have so many blessings! And what a great testimony builder about opening the mouth in every moment! The Lord really does put prepared people in our path!

We are really hoping that we can have some more baptisms this Saturday. A sister named C. and her daughter M. came to church again with their member friend. They were the ones who showed up to church my miracle last Sunday. We have had wonderful lessons with them this week and they are really feeling the conversion of the Spirit. We will continue to teach them this week and help them accept a date for baptism. Also we are teaching another amazing youth named C. who is another friend of a member. We taught him about the gift of the Holy Ghost and the lasting comfort that He gives us, C. really lit up and felt a huge desire to have that comforter at his side at all times. He also wants to be baptized this week. There will be a lot of prayers for that. We are also teaching a couple named L. and R. They have been married for 30 years and have children who have already moved out. When they first heard the message of the Restoration of the Gospel they were really touched by the Spirit. I am very excited for this week and really hope to have some great experiences to tell you next week!

I`ve been just a little bit anxious about these changes this week. I am almost sure that a new missionary will be coming and that means I`m in for some amazing and unforgettable experiences. I will do my best to be an amazing example and help someone through a change that`s sometimes really tough but very worthwhile. I will also be relying a whole lot on the Spirit to magnify our callings so that we are guided to the exact spot where we need to be and we can teach exactly what the Lord wants us to teach. Not to mention that I will get to talk with this guy about all the fun little culture notes of Guatemala.

One great thing I am learning to do is to keep people very interested in the gospel. Sometimes it takes a little bit of creativeness but people love to have fun as they learn more about the church. We have had some Fireside nights here in Santo Domingo that have been so so fun and so very spiritual also. We, the missionaries, acted out some really funny skits from the scriptures about when Nephi broke his bow and when Abraham took us son up to be sacrificed. People were just dying from laughing and when we talked about the stories after everyone wanted to participate and learn and everyone felt the Spirit for sure! I loved it so much and really felt a great love for everyone there! It is just so special to be part of experiences like that!

I am so glad that the Lord lets normal people like me be his missionaries. It really is the greatest thing that I can do and I feel like it almost isn`t fair for all the amazing blessings that the Lord gives me. I know that as long as we continue to show the Lord the love we have for him, he will always take care of us and show us his love as well!

Elder Jensen

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Zipping around Santo Domingo

 We went to a place in Mazate with paintball and ziplining.
It was really fun, this was after finishing the zipline (you can see it in the back).

Dear Family,

I am basically convinced that there is nothing quite like being a missionary, getting to put every ounce of energy in bringing people to Christ and really changing lives for generations! It is just so so cool!

The Lord really gave us some great blessings this week. This past Saturday the Lord blessed us with two more baptisms! Our good friend B., who is sixteen, was baptized this Saturday. He has been progressing really fast in the gospel and has even talked about being a missionary some day. The cool thing with him is that his dad is actually a less active member right now but has started to catch interest as well as the rest of his family. We will see what miracles come from that! The other great blessing was that of L., a single mom who the Elders were teaching for over a month, chose to be baptized this past Saturday. She hadn`t decided about a date to be baptized and was pretty apprehensive over the past weeks but she finally took the huge step in asking Heavenly Father what she should do and she felt the Spirit telling her that it was the right thing to do. Her older son, A. was baptized last month and he had the great chance to see his mom be baptized as well. I am so glad that the Lord fulfills his promises that we make to his children that if they ask the Lord in faith, he will respond through his Spirit.

This week I also had some really cool experiences working with the Ward Leadership her in our ward, The Las Flores Ward. There is a really cool vision to have a chapel one day in Santo Domingo but we have to find 25 priesthood holders to have a ward. It was cool to see everyone so excited to help us and make this vision a reality. I hope to keep up the great relationship with the ward because that is how we are going to be able to have more success and really find prepared people who will be able to endure to the end. I hope to soon find a complete family to bring to the gospel and see gospel take root in their home.

This past Sunday at church we were a little bit scared because we had passed by a lot of our investigators before the meeting (in a tuk tuk) and we hadn`t found anyone who could go. We went to the meeting a little sad when we noticed that a sister from Santo Domingo had brought two friends to the meeting! We got to meet them both and they really enjoyed the experience. Later that day we went to visit them with the member and we had a great visit with the whole family. My testimony of the need for member missionary work will never cease to grow! Also I really think that was a huge blessing for just being obedient and doing our best and the Lord does the rest!

I realized that I have kind of forgotten everybody`s birthdays since I got here in the mission so I want to wish a Happy Birthday to everyone that I forgot to say it to. Yeah, it sounds kind of lame but I just can`t seem to remember everyone`s birthday!

My companion and I had a fun experience this week trying to get the font water to go from green to blue. You can find little packs of water coloring in the paper and book stores here and we started throwing that stuff in the water hoping to turn it blue because it was a pretty ugly green. The problem was that if a little speck of that powder gets on something it starts to grow and make a little stain so our shirts looked a little interesting but we were able to get it all out and have a bluish green font, but everything went great!

I am a little sad as my companions days in the mission grow short but I really am grateful for the time I`ve had with him and for the great blessings we have seen together. I know that the Lord really answers our prayers and knows the desires of our hearts because he helps me out each day. I have a lot of weaknesses but the Savior helps me make up the difference and bring even more people to him and find the joy that comes in having a new start over and over again!


Elder Jensen

Santo Domingo living quarters

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Changing Tires and Changing Lives

Changing the tire before going to the baptism.

Dear Family,

What a great week! I think I really am starting to enjoy more and more each week that goes by as I learn to love these people even more and more!

This past week I had the amazing opportunity to be part of two more baptisms! J. and J. were baptized this past Saturday! It was pretty much a huge blessing from the Lord because they have cousins and aunts and uncles who are members of our congregation and one Sunday they just showed up in the Sacrament Meeting. We got to meet them a couple weeks ago and started to teach them and saw that they both have such a special spirit and desire to follow Christ the best they can. They want to keep the commandments the best they can and they really enjoyed their baptism (me too!). I just really love the people here in my new area. It seems like so many people have been prepared by the Lord and they really are so willing to listen to what the Lord tells them and follow their Savior the best they can. I really hope that I get to be here for a good amount of time and help as many people as I can to have their lives changed forever as they make promises with their Heavenly Father and follow Christ.

The baptism itself was also a miracle because as I mentioned, Santo Domingo is a little separated from everything. There is one member who is a recent convert (actually almost all the members are recent converts) who has a truck but as he came to pick us all up to go to the chapel for the baptism, his tire popped. Luckily in Santo Domingo there is a gas station so we stopped there (the truck barely made it) and the member and the two of us missionaries had to change the tire. It was actually pretty fun despite the little bit of stress. The good thing was that we had told everyone an hour early for the service because everyone shows up late to everything and with that extra hour we got where we needed on time with the spare tire and everything! It was a pretty cool blessing!

For a little interesting side note this week I found some cool stuff in one of the Megapacas. The paca´s are basically just goodwill shops that are all over the place but there are a couple that are really big and like a Goodwill store in the states. I have already bought really nice Ecco shoes at one of these stors and today I found some cool stuff that I didn´t buy but I enjoyed. We elders always look for ties and today at the Megapaca there was a BYU tie and also U of U tie right next to each other! The other fun thing was a big plaque to hang up on the wall to do a Family Home Evening! It had Song, Prayer, Scripture, Lesson, Activity, Refreshments and all that stuff on it! Also there were some church CDs and some CTR ties. Who knows what you can find in those places!?

I am really enjoying my time here in my new area. Also my companion, Elder Banegas is really helping me to learn a lot. He has had some so many awesome experiences and has amazing advice to help me really get more out of this experience and really work closer with the Lord. Recently we have been doing something really awesome. We have been pleading with the Lord each day that he will guide us to a family that we can teach. A father, mother, and children that we can teach and a family that can one day be sealed in the temple and be together after this life. We are asking for this almost in every prayer and doing our best to act in faith and show the Lord through our works that we really want this amazing blessing to teach a family. The Lord is really helping me to have this goal in my mind and not have fear in talking to whatever family that we see or meet and offer them the greatest blessings that the Lord has for his children. It really is such a cool thing to plead to the Lord and know that if we have faith, show the Lord this desire with our works, and search for his guidance, that this miracle can really happen and a family can be sealed in the temple one day. I really am learning more and more how I must not do this all on my own, but seek the Lord´s guidance in all that I do and let him do the work as I am his hands.

I am excited for another week in the Lords work! This week we will have another baptism of a 16 year old youth named B. We have been teaching him for these couple weeks and he really asks us amazing questions and is really learning and living the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He even wants to be a missionary some day! I am so grateful to be here serving the Lord and learning so much about how he loves each one of us!

Elder Jensen

Making tortillas! I love doing this!
The tortillas here are all by hand and
they are eaten at all times, with every meal.

A enourmous dead worm we found on the ground.

The department of Suchitepequez is known as the Land of Deer.
I think they´ve all been hunted but I found a few in a sanctuary.