Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My favorite month so far!

I like the roofs in Santo Domingo, its called ´teja.´

Dear Family,

What a great month of July! This has definitely been by favorite month so far!  There have been so many blessings.

This whole week we have worked a lot with the G. family, the family of C. and J. who are recent converts. We even had a really cool visit with the dad of the family. We were able to explain to him how the Lord brought his priesthood authority back to the earth and after that he wanted his kids to be baptized! This past Sunday right before the sacrament meeting 3 of the brothers, were baptized. We had made up a schedule for reading the scriptures and they have been reading each and every day in the Book of Mormon and it is really fun to see them grow in the gospel. I really believe that is a chosen family of the Lord. And how did we find them? A member chose to take one of his friends to church and now almost the whole family is attending church! Don´t be afraid to invite your friends to hear the gospel!

I think this month was especially cool because we tried not to waste a second and we really got some of the members involved in the conversion of the people we were teaching. They were able to support each other and we got to see six people be baptized this month from Santo Domingo! Now my big goal is to look for a whole family that the Lord has prepared to hear and live the gospel together! 

I kind of had a funny experience this week as we visited ´The Plaza´ (the place with all the American restaurants). As we were walking along we ran into a huge group of American High school kids. I think they kind of got confused when they saw me walk by and I was saying hi to them in English. I have no clue what they were doing but that gave me a good laugh.

We really have had some cool experiences with another family that we are teaching. I found this family with a few youth as we were doing divisions with them and it just can´t be a coincidence that we came across them. The wife of this family has such a strong testimony of the church but because of her work as a police officer it is hard to attend church. We were able to find them both together and we let the wife bear her testimony to her husband about the church (he isn´t a member) and it was probably one of the strongest testimonies I have heard. I know that he felt the Spirit and right now he is studying the Book of Mormon in his work and I really know that the Lord will help him feel the Spirit. Their names are S. and L. I don´t know that I will be here when he eventually gets baptized but I know that the Lord will help him in his search for the truth!

Each day I try to put into words how thankful I am to Heavenly Father and I can never quite do it but I know that he feels I´m grateful and that he will continue to bless me and those I teach as I am faithful to him! It is so cool being a missionary!


Elder Jensen

Looking out on what they call the Rue Valley.

I chose ´El Mingueño´ because that is how they call the natives from Santo Domingo.

We played outside of this giant dome stadium. I think next week we will get to go inside and play.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


A fun district meeting. I was Ammon teaching Lamoni.

Dear Family,

As I write to you there is a funeral procession passing and the funeral car carrying the person is playing happy cartoon music as the mourners follow behind. It´s just a little bit strange here sometimes.

I think we are really starting to catch fire here in Santo Domingo. There are so many prepared people that we have gotten to teach and see the amazing progress of them in the gospel. I don't think there´s anything better than when someone we invite to keep the commandments actually does it and then tells us about the blessings. Those are the moments when I really love Heavenly Father so much and thank him for putting his gospel once again in the earth.

From our huge wave of investigators in church last Sunday, 3 of them were almost baptized this Saturday. Their names are K., R., and J.. They are 3 brothers of C. and J. who were baptized a few months ago. In their family there are 9 people and 7 of the 9 came to church this past Sunday! And both the parents were there! This really is a huge miracle because this huge miracle began when a member brought his friend to church about 3 months ago and now this whole family is being blessed by the gospel! That really motivates me to work hard to invite everyone to come unto Christ because just by simple acts of kindness whole families can be changed and blessed! These 3 brothers are preparing to be baptized this Saturday.

I have noticed that as we try our best to serve the members of the church they really begin to trust us to teach their close friends and family. A couple weeks ago a sister in Santo Domingo who has a lot of daughters mentioned to us that one of her son-in-laws had returned to Santo Domingo to be with her daughter again. They had already prepared him a little to hear about the church and she asked us to teach him. We came and did a little Family Home Evening and got to meet C. (the son-in-law that isn´t a member). Later we began to teach him and found that he has been searching for the true church for a long time. As we taught him about the church he began to read the Book of Mormon and has really felt the Spirit because as we invite him to live the commandments of the Lord he really understands the blessings he will receive and he is starting to make small changes. The cool thing is that his wife has never chosen to be baptized but they are learning together and I know that the Lord will bless them as they progress as a family.

So ever since there was an earthquake a few weeks ago it has stopped raining. I´m pretty sure that the earth doesn´t have much to do with the sky but it is pretty weird. I guess this is called ´Canícula´. It´s when it stops raining in the rainy season and it gets really hot, which is very true. I'm just grateful for fans because if we didn´t have fans I would be soaked in sweat by the end of our study time. I guess all the rain has advantages.

Each day I am so grateful that the Lord helps me improve and increase in my skills as a missionary. Each day it seems like the Lord finds ways to help me serve better so that he can touch more people and help them come unto Christ and unto salvation. I don´t think there will ever be a time like this so I try each day to enjoy my missionary service to the Lord!

Elder Jensen

Trying to unclog our poor toilet.
You would be surprised how effective big buckets are to unclog toilets.
I´ve got a lot of experience now with that.

A Birthday Present

Baptism of L. This is a good friend of B., who we baptized as well. He doesn´t look terribly excited in the picture but he was anxiously waiting for this moment, he wanted to be baptized real bad.

Dear Family,

It’s hard to believe that I have 19 years (that`s how you say it in Spanish). I`ve really enjoyed seeing peoples jaws drop when I told them I`m 18 and they had thought I was 25 or something. 

Well, I think that yesterday I got one of my best birthday presents. I had been trying to figure out a way to bring more people to Sacrament Meeting in our area and it seems like the Lord kept telling me that I needed to do a fast to help give a desire to the people we are teaching and help them have a good experience in the church. I started my fast Saturday and when Sunday came we divided with the members to be able to bring more people (like we always do). We had some help from a member with a truck and with a lot of prayers and work we saw an awesome miracle. In the meeting we had 11 investigators! I can`t tell you how happy I was as we sat in the meeting and I saw all the people that we have been teaching and to see them enjoy the spirit of the meeting. Not to mention how grateful I was to the Lord for answering my prayers!

We had also been working this week to help a good friend of one of the recent converts (B.) to get permission from his parents and grandparents to be baptized. His name is L. He had such a huge desire and had gone to all the meetings of the church for a while and the Lord helped soften the heart of his family and they began to support him in this decision to be baptized and his grandma who initially was very opposed came to his baptism service to support him as he follows the Savior!

We are also going to pray hard to know the needs of the prepared families we are teaching so that they can accept the invitation to follow the Savior and return to his presence once again. The family that I mentioned last week that are both police are still far away working but I`ve had some great conversations with the husband over the phone and he is reading the Book of Mormon! I just feel so blessed to be a part in all these cool miracles!

The weather has been strange because ever since we had a fairly strong earthquake a week ago it hasn`t rained. I can`t complain much because it`s nice to not have to shout in the lessons for the noise of the rain but it has started to get a little hot. But either way the work goes on.

Thank you so much for being there for me and helping me feel stronger. I don`t think there is anywhere that I`d rather be than serving the Lord each day with such wonderful people.


Elder Jensen

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Greatest Times of My Mission

July 5th, Baptism of S. and her son, J.!
This was my first parent son baptism and it was a very cool experience.
I got to baptize J.

 Dear Family,

These are some of the greatest times of my mission. I feel like Heavenly Father trusts me a lot because he´s given me the chance to meet and teach some very special people and some very special families.

I have been thinking a lot of how I want to teach and help more families so that they can support each other in their gospel growth and it has been so cool to see the Lord answer our prayers. I mentioned that the last Saturday a huge group of youth came down to Santo Domingo to find people to teach and that morning I had received a reference of a less active member that I had never met. I hadn´t thought about that reference until a few days ago we passed the house where this person lived. I felt the impression to see if anyone was home and I noticed that the World Cup game was on. We called out and the wife of the family came out and let us in without us hardly saying a word. Luckily the game had just ended because we noticed that there in the hammock the husband was seated and he also greeted us as we went in. They both were so nice. We introduced our special message to their family and the husband was very interested and we are going to go back today.  I really have been praying hard for them and really hope that the Lord prepares their hearts and gives us a portion of his Spirit so that this family can be blessed with the restored gospel.

Another huge blessing of that day when all the youth came to Santo Domingo is that we have been able to continue working with M. (our Morgan Freeman investigator) and his family. He lives with his wife, and with his son and daughter-in-law. We have had the chance this week to teach them all and they are so so prepared and have really come to feel that this gospel is true. M., his wife D. and his Daughter-in-law, B., all came to church this Sunday. A. (the son) was in Guate this Sunday. As we visited them all again in the afternoon on Sunday they were all very pleased with the church and really felt that it is Christ´s church on the earth. M. really understands about the importance of the authority that is found in the church and really wants to keep the commandments. I am so grateful that the Lord has allowed us to teach these very special families!

This past Saturday S. and her son, J., chose to be baptized! This was pretty special because this was the first time seeing a parent and child be baptized together. I felt so happy and as we were sitting in the service all dressed in white a really big sun beam was shining in through the window on us and I felt really happy and hopeful to see all these wonderful people when we return to God´s presence. We had a really nice service and they were both confirmed this past Sunday. This was also very special because this was a huge blessing for opening my mouth to share the good news of the gospel on the bus. I guess S. didn´t sit next to me by coincidence. Now I´ve got a lot more faith to be brave and spread this joy!

I noticed this past fast Sunday that I have shared my testimony in every single fast and testimony meeting here in the mission. That kind of makes me laugh to think how scared I used to be to get up and share my testimony and now that I´m a special witness of the Savior it is something that I really love. Hopefully the ward hasn´t gotten bored of me though.

At the bottom of the fall, sooo cool!

Cool flowers!

Guatemala really is such a perfect place to be sharing the gospel. I get to enjoy a lot of the Lord's beautiful creations here (not to mention a super awesome waterfall that we visited today) and meet some of his special children each day.

Elder Jensen

Enjoying Fourth of July with a root beer (that was tough to find, but so good)!

With almost all of my comps that are still in the mission. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Platanos and Refried Beans

Making and eating plátanos with refried beans and creme in the house.

Dear Family,

Wow! I felt really, really blessed this week!

This past Saturday the ward told us that there was going to be a little activity for the youth who are going to go to the new seminary class in Santo Domingo and that they wanted us to be there. I was thinking that it would be a tiny little activity but almost all the youth from the whole ward from Las Flores came down and we all went out with missionaries to find new people to teach in Santo Domingo! We all went out to work for about 3 hours and it turns out that we got about 30 new references and 1 of these went to church this past Sunday! It was such a cool activity and everyone in the ward felt a huge energy for missionary work! It really increased my faith a lot to see how many incredible people they found!

One of these references that they found is an older man named M. He just moved to Santo Domingo and he lives in a little group of houses that is pretty separated from town. One of the Elders and the youth ran into him and had a really great lesson where he agreed to go to church this Sunday. We called him and made the arrangements to go and take him to church and he went and really, really liked it!  We visited him that afternoon and he set his own baptism date for the 12th of July! It was a very cool experience and he is such a cool person. The really cool thing is that he is basically the Guatemalan version of Morgan Freeman (the actor), he looks and sounds the same and it kind of made me laugh when I made that connection.

The other super cool blessing that we had this week is that we worked really hard during the week to have a lot of our investigators come to church this Sunday because that is so important for their conversion to the gospel. We worked hard and made plans to bring a big group of investigators. We were so blessed to be able to bring 7 investigators to church this Sunday! I really felt happy for all that came because they all felt the Spirit in church. We are going to work hard so that three of these people can be baptized this Saturday, July 5th.

I guess as a side note, a lot of the people here seem to be a little more cheerful now that Mexico got eliminated from the World Cup. They are neighbors but there is some bad blood there when it comes to soccer. I think I get better updates on the World Cup here than I would in the states.

This week in church one of our investigators named S. came with her son, J. I met Sheni in the bus and it is an evidence of the blessings for opening our mouth and being brave. She struggles just a little to understand all that we teach but she really understands the Lord´s love for her and she really wants to be faithful to him. We really hope that they both can be baptized this Saturday. The other miracle that we have is that L., one of B.´s good friends (recent convert) came to church again and he is just anticipating his baptism day so much. It is really cool to see his great desire to be obedient to the Lord and become clean of his sins.

We have had a couple of very, very powerful lessons lately. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon in these moments and the powerful testimony that I can give and really promise these people that the Lord with manifest to them the truthfulness of the book if they ask with faith and with a true intention. One of these investigators even figured out for herself that she had to ask the Lord what to do and we are anticipating to see if she has prayed and if she felt an answer.

I am so happy when I get to see the results of a lot of hard work and know that the Lord really does fulfill his promises that he will bless us if we do what he asks.

Elder Jensen

Saying goodbye to Guatemalan zone leader, Elder Flores.