Friday, October 31, 2014

Good-bye October

A giant cross in the outskirts of our area.

Dear Family,

This month of October has been so cool! I feel like almost every day I was giving my best to the Lord and it feels so good to be satisfied with my work to the Lord.

This week we had an incredible member missionary experience. In our ward there is a school teacher who has been attending church for about 2 years. About a month ago we went and taught him the importance of sharing the gospel in every moment and he really was touched by what we shared. About a week ago he came up to us and told us about a man he had talked to in a taxi. A. (the school teacher) started up a conversation with his taxi driver about the church and the taxi driver (J.) accepted the invitation for A. to visit with the missionaries. A. took us to J.’s house but he wasn`t there. J.`s son (named J. as well) answered the door and we started to visit and teach with him. We found that J. had a lot of spiritual needs and had a desire to grow closer to God again. It was such a spiritual lesson and A. taught so well (he is a professional teacher after all). It was one of my favorite member missionary experiences seeing how somebody had the courage to open his mouth in a taxi to share the gospel and how that led us to somebody the Lord has prepared.

We also had another crazy moment this week when we were in the middle of a lesson and a call came in to our cell phone. I didn`t want to pick up in the lesson so I hung up. The call came urgently back and I though it must be pretty important. I answered and one of the missionaries here in Malacatán told me that there was a very sick old sister who asked for a blessing from the Elders immediately. She thought she might be at the point of dying. We just kind of left our investigators with a prayer and left running as fast as we could. It was totally dark so we were kind of falling down a little bit in the mud but we just kept going. To our luck there was a tuc tuc passing once we made it to the highway and we were able to make it to the sister but the Bishop had beat us by a few minutes and gave her the blessing. The sister is still in the hospital but she seems to have improved in these days. It was a fun experience to be on the Lord`s errand running as fast as we could to give this sister a blessing! It felt good at least to give her some spiritual support.
Baptism of D.

Also we had a little miracle baptism in our area! During the conference week we were looking real hard one morning for someone to bring and hear the prophet. We remembered about a friend of some young members of the church and went to invite him and he was excited to join us to conference. His name is D. As the weeks went on we got to know his family and they supported him as he decided he wanted to be baptized! He was baptized Saturday and we hope to see more miracles in his family! Thanks to a few youth from our ward we were able to find D. I guess every member of the church can help in missionary work, young or old.

We have been having some fun in our house trying to catch a rat. I guess the Guatemalan rats area pretty sharp because every single homemade trap we have set doesn`t seem to work. It feels kind of sad getting out smarted by a rat but one of these days we will get him and enjoy not having our bread get eaten. Although it has entertained Elder Cook and I as we try to brainstorm all sorts of crazy traps.
our homemade rat trap

Sometimes I wish the time wouldn`t go by so fast and that I could remember all of these great moments sharing the gospel but I always feel happy knowing I have given my all and I hope that this week I can be better than the last. We`ll see what Heavenly Father has in store for next month!


Elder Jensen

a really cool view of a valley at Malacatan

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Dear Family,

We basically just walk up and down this highway
 and go into the neighborhoods on the side.

All us missionaries here in Malacatán have been working so so hard! The great thing is that the Lord has blessed us so so much in return!

After the awesome miracles that our zone had in conference we have seen a lot of fruits and a lot of baptisms. The Sister Missionaries in our ward had their first baptisms in Malacatán and they baptized 9 people! It was such a spiritual baptism service and the ward really came to support all these new converts. The really cool thing is that a lot of members got to perform the baptisms and one of them was a youth who has recently come back to church and is preparing to serve a mission. He got to baptize his 2 nephews. The Spirit was so strong as we got to see so many people experiencing the peace and joy of a forgiveness of all their mistakes and a new life as a follower of Jesus Christ.

Elder Cook and I worked pretty hard this week. One cool thing we tried this week was to make a small calendar for one of the people we are teaching so that she can see if she is reading in the Book of Mormon each day and praying daily as well. We left specific passages for her to read each day with a thought and I really think that this will help her to come to feel and know that what we are teaching her is true. I think the fun thing about missionary work is that there is never one secret to success. We have to rely on the guidance of God and really adapt to the unique challenges and situations.

One super fun thing here is to play soccer since the Central Americans are just so so good at it. Today we were playing with the Tecún Úman zone and an Elder from Costa Rica on our team kicked the ball up in the air and then did this sweet back flip bicycle kick to score a goal! It was so entertaining! I will probably miss seeing crazy soccer plays like this after my mission.

This week we had a couple of moments that really helped me see how important it is to work diligently to bring the gospel to everyone we can. A few times this week we had worked for several hours and not seen any success and we felt a little bit like giving up. But we decided to keep looking for people that the Lord had prepared for us and we always seemed to be led to somebody who was incredibly receptive and ready to learn about the restored gospel. They were very special moments and a testimony to me about how important hard work and diligence is.

I am so grateful for each testimony building experience I get to have as a missionary and to get to meet so many incredible missionaries and people who have such great faith in the Savior Jesus Christ.

Elder Jensen

Our very loud Lámina roof when it rains

the little alley we walk to our house

Marriage and Baptism of a Family

Dear Family,

I had a super fun week! Also, I can`t believe I have a year in the mission! That scares me!

On Monday we had a fun trip up to Reu for the district leaders and Elder V. and I enjoyed eating lunch in a fancy restaurant in Coatepeque. It is probably the best food I have tasted on the mission. I ate this amazing crepe and steak sandwich, soo good! We also talked about the miracles our mission had in conference and played some ball with President.

We worked really hard this week with the G. Family so that they could really meet all the members of the ward and feel excited for their marriage and baptism. We had a cool moment reading in the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi 27 when they really understood how important it is to be baptized so that Christ can heal us from all of our mistakes. Everything went great with their marriage and we enjoyed eating some cake together afterwards. Our ward mission leader (named Mahonri - which is an awesome name) planned a really nice baptism service and a lot of members showed up and we all felt so happy. The G. family has 3 small boys and that is fun for me thinking about our family as well. I think ever since our last temple trip I have really focused a lot more in finding and teaching families that can one day enter the temple and be united together forever. It is so cool!

This week I also had some really awesome experiences as I was doing some baptismal interviews. It is incredible how much people need to feel the healing power of Christ`s atonement. When we make serious mistakes the guilt stays with us for a long time if we don`t let the Savior take that upon himself. I really am understanding the process of repentance as well and it is such a cool opportunity to help these people understand how they can enjoy relief from all of their mistakes and feel clean. I also understand much better the ordinance of baptism and I really want to help as many people as I can feel these awesome feelings of joy!

It`s hard to think about how much has happened in a year in my mission and how amazing the whole experience has been. I have worked really hard and had a lot of fun doing it and I hope that it will be just as awesome in the next year. I know it will go soo fast and I need to take advantage of every minute! I hope to help a lot of families receive all the blessings of the gospel and make it to the temple one day! I am so grateful to be here in Guatemala and to serve such amazing people with so much faith!

Elder Jensen

Our awesome chapel in Malacatan (stake center too).

Acool view from the house in San Rafael (on divisions doing interviews).
 The mountin is Tajamulco (the tallest) from very very far away

Painting with a member in his house.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

General Conference

Dear Family,

This conference was so fun because we worked so hard! Here in our zone we saw a lot of miracles and some fun stories too.

We were so hyped up this week to bring a ton of people to hear the prophet at conference and coming into Saturday and Sunday I was so excited. The Lord really helped us find a lot of prepared people willing to come listen to the prophet and we had it all planned to bring a lot of people. Before each session we split up with the members to bring people and we started off slow on Saturday but on Sunday we just went crazy looking for people. Before the afternoon session on Sunday I took another crazy Elder with me to go find someone, anyone, in our area to bring to conference and we decided we would not go alone to conference! We looked and looked and finally found a pretty cool 16 year old that got ready really fast and went with us to conference. It was really fun. We ended up having 9 people in conference and the G. Family came! They are preparing to be married and baptized this week! 

Another fun thing we did was on Friday we got together with the Sister Missionaries in our ward to go invite the whole Benson High School (owned and worked my members and named after the prophet) to conference and then we went to another High School and then came back to the Benson to teach and invite even more kids. I think we invited over 500 students to conference and it was so awesome! I felt like a Book of Mormon prophet inviting everyone to come and listen to the prophet. Of course Elder Cook and I figured out how to get everyone laughing and excited for this conference. I`m not sure how many of them came but it was definitely a fun memory. 

Our whole zone will be working hard this month because we had 136 people in conference and we will be going back with all of them to help them keep progressing in the gospel!  I have to say that I just loved the Spanish talks that were given and the Spirit is so much more powerful when it is the actual voice of the speaker. How awesome for the Chapines (Guatemalans)!

Now that there is no conference this week we will see if it is still as exciting. We are planning a big group baptism this week because almost every area has people preparing for baptism and it should be really cool. I am just so grateful to be here and see that the Lord is guiding our work. We really saw success as we went and visited all the members in our area that have stopped coming to church and find new family members that are now ready to hear the gospel. Plus the members in our ward are so ´pilas´ (this word literally means batteries but is used for someone energized and ready to get to work). 

I am so grateful that the Lord has restored his gospel to the earth and that he speaks with a living prophet and councils and guides us through him. How fun to tell people that there is a prophet like Moses speaking today and we got to go listen to him! I love this work!

Elder Jensen