Sunday, June 29, 2014

Telephone Lessons

Teaching an investigator that was working all week
far away so we had to teach him over the phone.

Dear Family,

I really enjoyed getting to work really hard this week to find a lot of new people and really help them feel the joy of the good news that we have for them!

Some of the people that we were teaching decided not to continue lessons with us. We started to pretty much ask everyone who we could teach or who would be interested and it was very cool to see how we were guided to some very prepared people and also able to offer more service! I am really starting to love offering service to people; it just makes me feel super happy.

Eating lunch with the ward mission leader in his meat shop!
Our investigator L. (who I had been calling and teaching over the phone for about two weeks) finally came back to Santo Domingo and we were able to have a visit in person (10 times better in person). He is very smart when it comes to religion so we got to have a really powerful lesson about the Book of Mormon.  It was one of the times that I felt that I gave a very powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. I have really prayed hard that the Lord would reveal to him the truthfulness of the book.

You guys would just not believe the World Cup hype here in Central America. Every single little business has a TV with the game going and when you`re in the bus they always stop now and again to see what is happening in the game on whatever TV is close. Sometimes when we are in lessons there will be a little roar if someone scores a goal! It is pretty funny!

This week as we were meeting new people and teaching them about the restored gospel I really did my best to invite all of them to attend church with us this Sunday to help them have the best chance to feel the Spirit of Christ`s church. It was really cool to see that people accepted and this week and we were able to attend church with five new people that we met this week! It was really great and it was all because we worked hard to find families and friends of the members here in Santo Domingo. Brandon, who was baptized a couple months ago, brought a lot of his friends and his sister, who isn`t a member. It was a really cool sight and I really felt happy this Sunday seeing the Lord`s help in all our labors.

Enjoying super, super, delicious
POPS ice cream with Elder P. in the plaza.
The Lord really does bless me a lot. I am really enjoying my area and also being with Elder Perdomo my companion. We get along really well and I`ve enjoyed getting to teach him a bit of English.  He is a really great missionary and he helps me not to stress out too much because we enjoy working together to bless the lives of God`s children.

I think that Heavenly Father is so smart to have his children be missionaries because it is just the best thing! I am grateful that the Lord lets me be a special part of his work and I always work to make him proud!


Elder Jensen

A crazy big spider that we ran into.

The infamous rain clouds that come in every afternoon.
Turns out this storm that was coming ruined
Elder P.`s cheap Guatemalan umbrella.


A little path that had the famous plant walls.
This one was really long so it felt cool to walk it

Dear Family,

I had a couple of experiences this week that made me get really excited! One thing that happened is that as we were asking a bunch of people for references and new people that we could teach, we were led to a tiny little path or Cayejon as we say here in Guatemala.  We went down the path when we started to notice that there were a ton of houses and eventually a paved road! We explored a little and we found a whole new part of the area and also we found the river and a whole ton of cool stuff! It was a pretty fun experience that made me kind of exited again!

The day that we found this new part of our area I had been studying a lot about lending service and just really desiring to serve these people. As we walked around a little in this new area I really had a desire to serve somebody when I saw an older man struggling to saw some wood all by himself. I jumped right on that chance and we got to saw some wood with him and after talk to him about what makes us different from the so many churches here. It was really an answer to my prayer and I know that the Lord knew the desire that I had to serve. I will try to keep with this mindset and see what other chances the Lord gives us!
The Mazate Las Flores zone at President´s house

For our preparation day to day we were invited to the mission housie by President Ruiz and it really was a great way to spend the day. Not to mention that that house is so amazing inside! 

So I found out not too long ago that my companion Elder M. who I got to train for a week had to return home to Mexico. I felt a little sad for him because he really had a big desire to serve the Lord but his knees just wouldn't let him. I know that the Lord will use his talents to bless s o many people and that he will be a light for all who know him!

I notice more and more each day the love that I have for the members with whom I am serving.  We really grow so much together and we get to have great spiritual experiences together as we work shoulder to shoulder in the work of salvation. I am grateful each day to be able to meet such amazing people who have so much to give in the kingdom of the Lord here on the earth. 

We are still working hard with Hermano L. who is still working pretty far away but we have continued to call him almost daily and practically teach him over the phone which has been pretty interesting and cool I guess. He is reading the Book of Mormon really faithfully and I really think that he has been feeling the sprit strongly. He didn`t make it to church this Sunday but I have been praying a lot for him. Also C.`s brothers are progressing a lot as well and I think for the other Saturday they will be able to join their brother and sister in making the decision to be baptized. How blessed I am to meet these amazing people!

I can´t  describe how cool it is to see the Lord changing my weaknesses and how each week I become stronger and stronger in the things that have always been hard for me. I know that the Lord loves his missionaries and really takes care of us!

Elder Jensen

The bus terminal in Mazate

Sunday, June 15, 2014

One by One

Dear Family,

It is interesting to see my development as a missionary with each week that passes. I really try my best to be a better servant of the Lord each week.

This past Saturday we got to have a really big baptismal service with 3 wards. We were going to have almost 20 people being baptized but it turned out that we had 10. It was very special and the awesome part was that C.´s sister, J. chose to be baptized this past Saturday as well. It was such a blessing to see her progress in the gospel and how she really has learned to love the gospel. It was very special to see how members of this familiy grew to feel the truthfulness of our message and begin to understand why the Savior wanted them to take this step. It also helped us a lot as C. bore his testimony to his own family! There are 8 kids in the family and we are getting to know and teach almost all of them. This Sunday the mom, O., came along with C., J., and two younger brothers who also want to be baptized soon (Co. and R.). We hope to meet the dad soon.  I can´t imagine how wonderful it would be to see that whole entire family going to the temple to be sealed!

On Sunday we had a cool experience with some of the ward members. After church about 7 or 8 young men and 5 or 6 of the Ward Leaders came down to visit with us in Santo Domingo. It looked so cool as we went to visit. I felt like I was part of the Mormon Battalion like in the pioneer days of the church!

We have been teaching a very prepared investigator named L. who is about 50 years old. This whole week he had to travel far to take care of corn but I called him each day of the week to help him to keep praying and feeling the spirit and this Sunday he made the hour and a half trip to the chapel to be able to attend church! All by himself! I felt that the Lord really is working with him.

I really feel so so blessed to be on the Lord´s errand 24/7. It is so cool to part of a work that is led by the Lord. I am grateful that my Heavenly Father always picks me up when I feel sad and gives me the encouragement I need to keep on serving with all my heart!


Elder Jensen

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Corn, Pizza Hut, and a Tenor Sax

Enjoying the awesome smell of corn!  It reminds me of home!

Dear Family,

I think that I get to love and understand missionary work better each week that the Lord gives me in his service. I also find a lot of things I can improve but that is when I get to see the miracles and the help of the Lord as I get better each day.

This past weekend we had our Stake Conference in Mazate. It was a really great experience because Elder Valledares came and gave some great messages. The Saturday session for adults was really cool because he made it an open discussion talking about the Work of Salvation and he showed some really great videos to help us understand how we can work better with the members and the leaders in the ward. I really felt a greater desire to reach out a lot more to the members and really help them understand the importance of the Work of Salvation and get them involved the most I can. I hope the Lord can help me and I can be brave as I work to help the members here experience the joy of sharing the gospel.

A tenor sax in Guatemala!
As we were looking for a reference this week I passed a house where someone was playing an acoustic guitar and they were playing some of my favorite songs. We stopped to talk to him and he came out with his guitar and played some great songs for us including some Coldplay songs and also some songs from Guatemalan Bands (which are actually really cool). We talked a little and found out that he was pretty interested in the gospel. When we went back later in the week we met the drummer of his band and they played some more songs for us and we got the chance to teach the two of them. We had a great lesson because they didn´t know that much about Jesus Christ (which is super rare for Guatemala) and they felt the Spirit as we taught. The cool thing was that the dad came in after the lesson and talked a little with us and told us that he plays the Tenor Saxophone. I got excited and told him that I played too and he actually brought his Tenor Sax and let me play a little bit! It was super fun and I had to get a picture because probably won´t happen again! I think us missionaries pretty much run into about everything.

C.´s family has been coming along really nicely. We had a really good lesson about why the Church of Jesus Christ is different and why it is so important that we can find all the ordinances and covenants of salvation there. We hope to have more spiritual experiences with them and really do our best to bring the Spirit to their home and help this family be part of the gospel and see a wonderful change in their home. I am just so grateful for C.´s member friend who had the courage to introduce his friend to the gospel and now there is a chance that a whole family´s life could be changed! That is a huge testimony for me about the simple things we can do to introduce our friends to the gospel and the Spirit that they and their family will feel!

We will be praying hard for miracles this week and doing our best to have the Lord´s help as he guides us to his prepared children and as we help his children make covenants with him this week! Thank you always for the great encouragement and prayers!


Elder Jensen

¨La plaza¨ in Mazate where all the great restaurants are
(Subway and Pizza Hut are my favorites).

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Companero de El Salvador

Park in Santo Domingo

Dear Family,

It sounds like I shouldn´t be complaining about all the rain too much with all that crazy flooding back home! I guess some stray Guatemalan Rain clouds wandered their way to Ohio!

Well, no surprise that things keep on changing around here. It turns out that on Monday Elder M.'s knees only got worse and worse and he was having trouble walking. We actually had to carry him around a little bit which was pretty fun to be honest (I should have gotten a picture). He had a talk with the nurses and he decided he needed to go to Reu to see a doctor. I hope that everything can go well for him and I guess we will see what the future holds for Elder M. I really am so grateful that I could be his companion because it really did help me learn to love the Lord's children no matter what their problems or weaknesses are and that as we serve the Lord's children, we really feel happy!

On Tuesday morning the assistants came in their truck and brought my new companion from Tecun Uman. His name is Elder P.! He is from El Salvador and he is a really fun guy! We already had a really fun time taking on a mini ¨Cucaracha¨ army in the house (cockroaches). Don´t worry, we won. Anyway, he has a lot of energy and has 4 months in the mission. He also speaks really, really fast but it is fun to try to speed up the Spanish part of my brain!
My new companion, Elder P. from El Salvador.

We had a really really awesome conference with our new area president, Elder Duncan. He came to Reu and taught us a bunch of really awesome stuff. I really felt like I learned a ton about how to be a more effective missionary. Sometimes I forget how special this time is that the Lord has given us. I learned a lot of really cool ways to use this time better and be able to share this gospel with even more of the God´s children. He also helped us see our potential and how we can reach it. He taught us that in the mission and in our areas we must have various visions of how we want things to be. He actually said that all of our areas can be stakes one day. I really believe that is true and I won´t be surprised if in a few years not too far that Santo Domingo will have a stake. He taught us how to achieve our visions by setting goals and plans. It was really really cool and the Spirit taught me a lot!

This weekend we will have our Stake Conference in Mazatenango. The cool plan we have is that since we won´t be able to have baptism´s this Saturday, all the possibilities will be moved to the next Saturday. We have plans to have a mega baptism service (¨megasplash¨) in all the zone! The crazy goal we have is to have a ton of miracles there and have a story or picture in the Ensign! We will just have to see.

We are really seeing some cool things as we have worked hard with the members and new converts in Santo Domingo. C., the investigator friend that was baptized by his friend, asked us to visit his family. We had never gone to his house because it is pretty far but one morning we went in a tuc tuc with C. (miembro) to meet his family. We got to meet them and we had an incredible lesson where his mom and sister said they want to be baptized. The mom is O. and his sister is J. They actually both came to church yesterday and on Tuesday we hope to meet the whole family and be able to share the restored gospel with them. The really awesome thing is that C. got interested in the gospel because he loves his family and now his family has the opportunity to accept the gospel as well and really feel the healing power of Christ´s atonement!

Sometimes it´s hard to describe really how amazing it is to be a missionary! I just hope that I will be able to thank the Lord for this experience by helping even more and more people come unto him and find the happiness that Heavenly Father wants to give them!


Elder Jensen

My awesome package from some family friends.
Thanks guys!