Monday, September 29, 2014

San Pablo Falls

A school in Malacatan named after the prophet Ezra Taft Benson, owned by a member of our ward.

Dear Family,

I think that this is going to be one of the best times in my mission when I will get to work harder than ever before!

After dividing the limits of our ward, we have started working in our area and it has been a little bit hard since most of the work was up in the city and not down where we are. We have started to find a lot of new people and get to know all the members who have stopped going to church. The amazing thing is that even though we work far from the city, we have had so much support from the members of the ward. They have come out to visit with us and help us meet new people who used to attend or find friends of theirs that we can teach. I think without the members here in Malacatán we would be struggling a lot right now. I am not sure how this ward got so much excitement for missionary work, but I love it!

We had a really cool experience with a family that we are teaching. The husband is V. and the wife is A. (The G. Family). They have 3 small boys and they are a very humble family. At night we have lessons by candle since they don`t have energy in the house. They attended the Sunday before I came and we have been trying to help them put a goal to get married and baptized. We had a lesson with them a couple days ago where we decided to teach clearly that they must get married so that they can progress and that this is necessary for their salvation. They said they will prepare themselves. It really helped me see how important it is to speak clearly and help them understand how they can return to God`s presence. 

Today we went to this huge waterfall in San Pablo and the air coming out of that thing was incredible. We got so wet from just being at the base of it because it was massive and so beautiful. 

The wind in this waterfall was so strong and awesome!

With my comp, Elder Cook, we both got soaking wet.

The most exciting thing is that this week is General Conference. There isn`t a better time to bring people to hear the living prophet and the apostles. We are going to work really hard to bring at least 10 people to the conference and help them feel the Spirit of the conference. I am so excited!

I hope you all have a great week and can also bring some people to come and hear the prophet`s voice!

Elder Jensen

On a hike we did to a waterfall in San Pablo.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


A cool guy in our area in Malacatan who owned me on pushups
and had a punching bag. He was really awesome!  
He got baptized in the church when he was 12 or 13.
He had a sweet belt that was a dead snake.
Dear Family,

I´ve had some fun getting to know my new area this week! I am going to miss Santo Domingo but I am looking forward to some new and awesome experiences.

It was pretty tough to say goodbye to everyone in Santo Domingo because I really loved all the members and people that I had worked with for so much time. I feel so blessed for all the incredible memories and miracles and my experiences there have changed my testimony. I might get to see some of these converts again in the temple I hope!

I am now in Malacatán. Our ward is called the Libertad Ward and I guess our area is the part of the city that reaches down to the next town called Catarina. The chapel here in Malacatán is so incredible. I am sure that it is the best chapel in the mission. Today we enjoyed playing basketball in the 2nd floor court in the chapel. Yeah, it is pretty cool. The other crazy news is that they put  2 sister missionaries in Malacatán for the first time in 4 years! We will be sharing the ward with them. The ward was only of the 2 Elders but now they doubled the missionaries by putting in the sisters because this Ward is one of the best wards in the mission. Our ward has a ton of return missionaries who are ready to help us and a lot of amazing new members that have some powerful testimonies. I think that this will be a really amazing time in my mission.

Me, Elder Fifita (from my CCM group) and my comp Elder Cook.
My companion is a really new missionary named Elder Cook. It has been cool for him because he has had to show the whole area to me and also the 2 new Sisters (Sister Barba from Arizona and Sister Cabrera from Honduras). He has a month and a half in the field and his Spanish is pretty impressive and I will be helping him improve as well (which will help me too). The fun thing is that I am learning to teach more simply with him which will help me a lot. Elder Cook is from San Diego, California and has a lot of awesome energy. We are going to work hard and help this ward to grow a lot.

This week we made a division in the area so that the Sister Missionaries can work and we have been working kind of further out from town. The people are a lot simpler and there a few members that have gained a strong testimony and find whatever way to make it to church (since it is a little far). We had a fun activity on Sunday called the Mormon Battalion where all the members meet up in the afternoon and we head out on splits to visit a ton of people and teach them and invite them to church. It is fun and I love seeing all this excitement in the members!

With all these new adventures I have felt a little tired but I feel so grateful that I get to serve the Lord in a lot more ways and help even more people feel the purifying power of the atonement. I also love serving here in Guatemala, even if we run into random wild horses and old men who can do clapping pushups!  I love it here and I love serving my Heavenly Father!


Elder Jensen

My comp and I found some wild horses.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Feliz 15 de Septiembre

Dear Family,

¡Feliz 15 de Septiembre! Happy Guatemalan Independence Day! How fun to see everyone proud of their country and all the crazy parades!

Today we got to see a couple of parades which were pretty fun. There are all sorts of things that pass in the parade but I think my favorite was seeing a guy with a backpack looking thing that had a ton of fireworks attached and then they started going off and I was hoping he wouldn`t catch on fire or start flying into the air for all of those pyrotectics but it turned out ok. The only thing I didn`t like was that last night at midnight they did a `torcha ` or a torch run. There were a ton of motos and tuc tucs honking real loud at 12 and 1 in the morning right outside the house but it kind of made me laugh. A lot of fun and crazy traditions.

This week the whole mission got treated to a little de-stress activity. We got to go to Xetulul! (Shetoolool). It is a sweet theme park that has a sweet roller coaster and other fun rides. I was kind of running around like a little kid and really excited because it made me think of going to Kings Island and things like that. 

The other really fun thing this week is that today we went to an area in our zone called Chicacao (my CCM comp is there). The Elders there had heard of a cool waterfall just out of town. We hired a pickup driver to take us all there and it was crazy because we went way far out into a mountain. We finally got the permission of the owner of the land to let us go towards the waterfall. We brought a member from Chicacao who already knew the place. We started to climb up this mountain and not before long it started pouring rain. I am so glad I thought to bring my poncho because that saved my camera, wallet, etc. After a lot of rain and mud and climbing we got to a point to see the waterfall. Going down was also an adventure because it got all muddy and we got to slide a little bit ... without wanting to. It was a fun and wet memory.

The really great success we are having is with all of the converts from the past months. Almost every single one is attending faithfully to church and some of them have begun to comment on the meetings and help establish the church here in Santo Domingo. A. will start to help with the seminary class and F. is working to prepare for a mission in a year. We had a priesthood meeting in J.`s house and he was making some really good comments and advice to the other members. It has been so fun to see their progress and see that the Lord does work miracles in places like Santo Domingo.

I am so grateful to be a missionary and bring the good news of the gospel to all of God`s children. I know this is the Lord`s work because he leads it and always moves it forward. I am so grateful for the time I have had in Santo Domingo as well. I don`t know if I will stay or leave but either way it has made a difference in my life being there and getting to be a part of people`s lives and helping them receive blessings!


Elder Jensen

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Faith in Every Footstep

Dear Family,

We worked pretty hard this week and we had a couple of days where it seemed like we walked around town several times but I guess I will have some strong legs when I get finished with the mission.

After all the great miracles in the past months we have wanted to keep up the pace and keep working our hearts out. It was kind of funny because we had a day where almost nobody let us into their house. We taught several people just standing in their doorway but by the end of the day we basically just fell into our beds. The next morning we were like zombies because as we were studying in the morning I kind of feel a sleep as I was telling Elder Perdomo what I had learned that morning and when I kind of woke up he was asleep too at his desk. But I guess that's a sign that we are working hard!

A puzzle I made for S. Each piece of the puzzle
has a reading assignment in the Book of Mormon.
I think the biggest miracle of this week is that S. and L. (the family that we have been teaching for months) came to church together for the first time this past Sunday. It was such an awesome sight! The fun thing is that they got to sit with the family of the Ward Mission Leader (who is a long time friend of Sebastian it turns out). We had a great lesson with them where Lucy bore her testimony of the church to her husband and we made a puzzle for S. with scriptures from the Book of Mormon so that he can read each day and pray so that Heavenly Father can help him know the book is true. There is a part in Preach My Gospel that I love that says ´Nobody can know the spiritual truths without prayer´ (or at least that´s how I translated it to English). We are helping him pray and turn to the source of all truth so that he can know that what we teach is true.

As we were walking along this week I noticed this really cool house that looks a lot like a house in the states. I kind of felt curious to see who lived there and I saw a dad outside playing with his daughters and I kind of said hi and he asked us to come in and visit with him. It turns out that he was really involved in religion but had kind of moved away from that because he felt left by his congregation. He had heard about the church before and had a lot of doubts but has begun to read the Book of Mormon and is intently trying to receive an answer. He is a really amazing person and loves his family a lot. The weird thing is that when we teach him outside of his house I feel like I am in the states because he has a swing for the kids all sorts of toys and it feels a little weird but I love visiting with him! I really hope he keeps praying!

This week we had a really neat meeting with the Stake President of Mazate and with President Ruiz where they really talked about the vision of the stake to split and really become a strong part of Zion. It made me feel really excited and helped me realize what a huge part I have in establishing the Lord´s kingdom in the earth and in Guatemala. It is so fun!

This week I think I decided that I will have to hire a Guatemalan chef when I get back. I am just loving the food here and maybe I will just have to start a restaurant and sell all my favorite Guatemalan dishes and maybe some drinks in bags like they sell here. I think people would go crazy for that.

I am so grateful to be one of the Lord´s helpers here on the earth and help find his children that need to feel his love. This week we met some wonderful people who really just needed someone to help them with their spiritual needs and it is so cool to see the gospel fill that empty spot in their lives. I love being a part of this work!

Elder Jensen

Friday, September 5, 2014

Baptizing a Family!

We were witnesses at the marriage (office of lawyer)

Dear Family,

What an incredible month of August!  I think that had to be my favorite month in all my mission!

Well, I think I had the highest point of my mission this week! J. and V. decided to get married and be baptized this week! We were going crazy early in the week with all the papers and documents to get a marriage ready and I´m not sure how many trips we made in a tuc tuc but there were a lot. It was a little tricky because J. had accidentally broke his ID card in a little pieces but everything turned out great. The cool thing is that the lawyer that prepared it all is member of the church and she was so nice and helpful in the whole process. On Wednesday we found time in the afternoon to go up to Mazate where the lawyer works. They were so, so happy as they were married and afterwards we went with them to eat some fancy Guatemalan cake. The days after we helped them get ready to be baptized Saturday and after a lot of prayers on their part, Heavenly Father answered them and they decided to be baptized. It was a wonderful service and I got to baptize V. and Elder Perdomo baptized J. I was sure to be extra careful because V. is 7 or 8 months pregnant (like when grandma was baptized). For their confirmation Sunday it was a little bit scary because J. had to run an errand in the morning and made it to the church as we finished the last verse of the hymn before the confirmation but it all turned out great and the Lord answered our prayers!

J. and V. with the sisters from our ward (they helped in the baptism service) and C. (who helped fellowship)

I really feel so so grateful to have been part of the lives of J. and V. and see them take step by step to become clean and free from all their past mistakes and feel the joy of forgiveness and obedience! It was kind of fun how we found ourselves with them and got to meet them. We were talking to somebody who really didn´t want much to do with us but I happened to ask at the end of the conversation who could be interested in our message. She pointed us to J.´s little ´torta´
 store and I decided I´d try a torta for the first time and meet J.  We had a fun little conversation with him finding out that he is half Jamaican and had a really cool history and had just moved to Santo Domingo with his wife and son. We got to know them and really saw the faith that they had in Jesus Christ even though they hadn´t learned much about him. We gave J. the Book of Mormon and were surprised when he read almost half of the book in just a week! I have just loved the chance to teach this family and see them receive blessing after blessing!

Eating ´tortas´in J.'s store.

I can´t tell you all the fun and awesome experiences we had this week but one cool this is that F., who was baptized a couple of weeks ago, started to help some of his friends learn about the church. We taught him last week about the need to share the gospel and spread the blessings that we have received with others. We talked to him about being a missionary just like us (because he is 18) and he has decided to prepare to be a missionary in a year! We will work hard with him and also with J. and V. so that we can accompany them to the Xela temple in a year!! F. is almost a missionary already because he took a friend to church this Sunday!

My time here in Santo Domingo has been such a huge blessing. I had the goal to help a family be baptized since I arrived and thanks to Heavenly Father´s help we saw it happen! I have gotten to see the gospel change so many lives and see the faith grow in new members of the church! I just love being a missionary!


Elder Jensen