Thursday, December 25, 2014

Feliz Navidad 2014

Dear Family,

Feliz Navidad! I´m not sure where the month of December went because it is almost gone. Time flies when you are on the Lord´s errand!

It has been another great week with a lot of more crazy things. My new companion probably still has a crazy view of Guatemala. This week we went to teach F. (our recent convert) and his family and he told us that they were having some problems with a crocodile. I thought he was joking around with us but when we got closer to his pila we looked in and sure enough there was a crocodile in there! I was pretty shocked and it was super entertaining. 

Another fun thing for me was that for one of the lunches I got to try chicken feet for the first time. Here what they do is they throw the chicken foot in soup and you suck the toes off of it. Basically a ton of fat and skin comes off.  My companion told me I was super weird. It was really funny! 

Today for P-day we did a fun Amazing Race type of scavenger hunt but with pictures. We ran around all over Malacatán looking for stuff to take pictures of like a bull, a video of us making tortillas, catching a chicken, a picture with the police, with a Christmas tree, a human pyramid, a video of us being bus workers, and other funny stuff. It was super awesome and I would love to do that again some P day in the future.

This week we were working really, really hard to try to help some of our investigators to be baptized in this month of December. We were a little sad when M. didn´t come to church last Sunday but we had some very spiritual lessons with him this week and we read him some parables in the Bible about how we need to leave everything temporal behind to follow the Savior (Mark 10 with the rich young man) and how we will receive 100 times more what we leave. Well, he really felt the Spirit and came to church this Sunday and we are preparing things for him to be baptized this week. It was a huge tender mercy and we also made him a Christmas tree with ornaments with scriptures on them to read leading up to the baptism. We may also have another miracle baptism this week but I will tell you more about that if it actually happens.

It looks like for Christmas Eve we will be eating dinner with about 4 or 5 families so hopefully my stomach can make room this week. I am so grateful for this time of the year to remember the Savior and also to talk with all you guys! I am so grateful for the chance to be a missionary and I hope you all have a wonderful and white Christmas!

Elder Jensen

Monday, December 15, 2014

A new companion for Christmas!

Dear Family,

I got an interesting gift for Christmas this year, a new companion! 

We had changes this past week and my companion got sent to a different area. But the crazy news was that I was going to train a new missionary! My new companion is Elder N., straight from the CCM. It looks like I am a ´dad´ again, as we say in the mission. He is so awesome and he brings a lot of excitement coming out of the CCM.  Elder N. and I figured out that we have a super weird connection. His older brother served in the Columbus, Ohio mission when I was preparing to head out on the mission. After seeing a picture of his brother and talking a little bit more about him I remembered that I met Elder N.´s brother when I served the mini mission! He was always famous for a big dimple he makes in his tie and that made me remember that I had met him! How weird! Also his brother served in Huber Heights I think so that was fun to figure out. We are getting along great and working hard.

I think Elder N.´s first day had to be quite interesting for him because leaving the first house we went to go visit a super drunk guy comes up and started grabbing me.  We also had signed up last week to go help a sister in the ward extend a part of her house since she lives on a hill and we had to like mine out part of a hill with pick axes and then throw the dirt in the extension they made and we had some good blisters after. I am pretty sure Elder N. won´t forget his first week with all this crazy stuff that happened.

This week we put together a ward activity where we presented the ´He is the Gift´ video and it went awesome. A lot of people came and we actually had some members from our area bring some friends. We had dvd´s made of this video and have showed it to a lot of people in our lessons and it is so fun to teach everyone about this gift that our Heavenly Father gave us, the gift of his son. Also a huge Christmas choir came this Sunday and it lead to a pretty big miracle. F. who was baptized last month has come to church every single Sunday without fail (and he usually walks). The problem is that he comes alone and none of his family has supported him. Well, I decided that we really, really needed to reach out to his wife and some of his children (who are all married) and we invited them to this choir activity. His wife and one of his daughters came to see the choir sing and I was so so happy and grateful for that miracle! I am excited to continue working with his family and helping them follow F.´s example and come taste the sweetness of the gospel as well.

I am so grateful for the chance to serve a mission. I can see Heavenly Father´s great mercy each day in my life and in the life of all of his children here. He helps us so much in our missionary efforts and we will need a lot of his help in these coming weeks but I trust in him and in this work. It is hard to think that this is my last Christmas in Guatemala, but I think next Christmas I will definitely throw off fireworks and eat tamales to bring back these fun memories!


Elder Jensen

´I love Malacatán..!´

A big drawing of our zone.

They mispelled my name at Dominos on my order.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Taking corn off the cob, this is always
 fun and painful service (painful on the fingers).

Dear Family,

We are starting to feel some Christmas excitement here in Guatemala. The smell of fireworks and tamales is in the air.

We had a fun week with a mission trip to Xetulul. Always really fun to meet up with all the missionaries and ride some rides. This time we had some good pictures as a group on the rides making silly faces and poses. I always love visiting that place, gives me a little taste of those Ohio roller coasters I miss.
Sleeping on the roller coaster.


The Zone

This past Sunday we were so blessed to see 3 people come to church and I was just so, so grateful for that miracle. One of these people is R. who we found a few weeks ago when somebody referred us to him. I guess he used to be like a former mayor of the small neighborhood type place where he lives and he is such a believer.  He doesn´t doubt in God and was grateful to us for helping him get close to God again. Another person that came was F. who a very less active member. I felt impressed this week to go visit him. and help him to help us in the missionary work. He used to be the secretary of the branch in our area many years ago and when we asked for his help he started visiting people with us and he still has an incredible testimony! He helped another friend come to the Christmas devotional this Sunday and I was so grateful for that.  The other person that came was H. who we have visited since I arrived who is an awesome friend of ours but studies every Sunday in the morning. After the Christmas devotional we threw up some lanterns into the sky with him and the other people who came and it was really cool. That was a big tender mercy this week to have all of them come to church.

There is also a lot of excitement about the church video ´He is the Gift´ and we are really trying to help more people discover, accept, and share this Gift that our Heavenly Father gave us, the gift of a Savior. I am excited in these weeks to find new ways to share this video and this message with everyone. 

I notice more each day that it is so important for me as a missionary not only to represent the Savior, but really work to become like he is. I have seen how much I´ve grown to love these people here in Guatemala and really serve them. I am always learning to be more humble but also be more diligent. The Lord helps me a lot as I seek to gain all these attributes and I know they will help me all my life.     

Elder Jensen

Eating some very random fruit that someone found, I liked it a lot. 
Painting with Elder Heyrend (new missionary in San Rafael) on divisions.
A rabbit ready to cook, yummy
 (we didn´t eat it, just showed up to see the preparation).

A P-day party, eating cereal.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Moving to a new living space.

Dear Family,

Hopefully you all had a great Thanksgiving! This year I missed the food just a little bit more since my companion and I spent a lot of the day talking about our favorite Thanksgiving dishes. I guess our family isn´t the only one that makes pink jello, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, homemade rolls with jam, and other fun stuff. 

I guess the big news this week is that we decided to finally change houses. We got a little tired of all the crazy stuff in our last house and we moved in to a member´s house this week. I wish I would have taken some pictures of our pickup truck trips because somehow we got our stuff in only a few trips. It´s a good thing the police aren´t too picky about that kind of stuff because we had a lot of stuff crammed in the back of that pickup truck. It all turned out all right and we are now enjoying having a better shower and other better conditions. It is a little tight in the couple rooms that we live but I guess we will never get all we want. 

Like every other Sunday morning we did divisions with members this Sunday to go bring our investigators to church. My companion, Elder Cook, went to get an investigator named M. that we have been teaching for over a month who has said that we will go to church but has never gone. He is a great guy and a good friend of some members but he has never made it to church. Well, yesterday Elder Cook decided that he wasn´t going to leave the M.´s house unless it was to the church with M.. After a series of intense conversations with M.´s wife and a lot of waiting I saw Elder Cook walk in with M. right before the sacrament. It was so cool and M. felt so happy in church as his friends came over and hugged him after the meeting. I am really excited for him and I know that he will progress a lot more now that he has gone to church and felt good there. He is about 50 years old and it turns out he is a good friend of F., who was just baptized so we hope to see miracles with him.

Since our ward is divided in two areas, we have decided to start to focus on strengthening our part of the ward. We actually had some cool moments with our recent converts (V. and F.) where they came and visited their friends and family members with us. It is so nice to see these new converts getting excited and involved in missionary work and I know that will really help the church to grow down in our area. It takes a lot of hard work and patience but I know that we will see a lot of cool miracles if we have love for the people here. 

It sounds like this week we will return to Xetulul! This is going to be our mission Christmas activity so I am pretty excited for that and also to see some more of my mission friends from other zones. Sorry I forgot to take pictures this week but I´m sure there will be some good ones this week.

I know that Heavenly Father is so merciful with us in our area. Even though we don´t always give it our best effort the Lord always blesses us and makes up for the difference. I really want to improve each day and try to serve more effectively to the investigators and missionaries that I serve. I am also thankful for my perfect example to follow, Jesus Christ.

Elder Jensen