Monday, May 25, 2015


J. from Santo Domingo (B.´s dad) and
Elder Peterson who was my replacement there.

Dear Family,

With all the rain coming in I have started to get creative. My boots aren´t as strong as they were last rain season so there has been a little leak. Well, I found a solution, plastic grocery bags! I just put them right over my socks and bam! dry feet! It looks kind of silly but it has worked pretty well. Luckily I don´t have to do it often.

Last Monday after all the preparation day activities had finished we went to visit one of the recent converts (O.). To our surprise she had a friend over and as we got to know her friend we realized that this was an investigator of one of the other areas in the zone and that she was preparing to be baptized this Saturday. She had a lot of doubts and we were able to help her with some scriptures and she ended up being baptized this Saturday. What are the chances of that? The Lord really knows His work. It was funny because at the end she jokingly asked us if she needed to show up to the baptism in a bikini, silly old Guatemalan ladies.

We also had an almost near death experience this week (ok that is an exaggeration but it was intense). Our ward mission leader asked us to help him move his new fridge up the stairs. We imagined it being a piece of cake but then we realized that he needed it on the 3rd floor and that his staircase had some tight corners. It took us almost an hour to get that thing up there and a good amount of sweat and we took out some good chunks of the walls and ceilings. It was exciting and scary at the same time but we got it up to the top! Let´s just say I should have worn service clothes to that because my shirt was brown by the end of that.

We also had some spiritual highs this week. I. was baptized on Saturday and she really was so happy to finally take this step in her life despite the opposition she faced with her family. Her testimony of the church and of the Book of Mormon are amazing and she will be someone who will endure to the end. 

Also we had an awesome moment with another recent convert named Z. She told us that she had been talking a lot to her niece about the church and that she was super interested. Right in that moment without hesitating Z. took us right to the house of her niece and we were able to teach the whole family about the church and they attended Sunday and now have a date to be baptized! I am so grateful for people like Z. that are so willing and excited to bring souls to Christ!

I have heard such silly comments this week from little kids. First we were visiting with I. and her daughter (M.) was behaving good and we asked her if she had been good all day and she said ´of course I have' but later added ´but, tomorrow I am going to behave so so bad.´ She is so silly. One other kid we saw noticed the difference of height between me and my companion and asked ´you are a lot taller because they stretched you out, huh?´ I have no idea where he got the idea that I had been stretched out but I guess they never stretched out my companion.

I am so glad to be able to work my hardest! It´s tiring work (so tiring that I fell asleep on the bus and found that I had drooled all over my tie, embarrassing) but I love it all the same! VIVA MAZATE!

Elder Jensen

Zone Pancake Party

Our area!

On our way to the zip line.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Waiting For Us

Is anyone home?

Dear Family,

This past week was loaded with spiritual experiences! Where do I begin?

Earlier in the week my companion and I were a little unsure where we could go to find new people to teach because we started to feel like there weren´t any more houses to visit. But then I vividly remembered a little street I had seen weeks before that had a good amount of houses. We went and one of the first doors we knocked a middle aged lady came out with some tears in her eyes. We began to talk with her and could quickly discern that she has been searching for more meaning in her life. She shared with us the loss of a daughter.  We felt the strongest impression to talk about God´s plan for us and explain exactly where her daughter´s spirit was. The most powerful moment was when I. read these words from the Book of Mormon - 

“And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness,which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace,where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow. - Alma 40:12

Tears flooded to her eyes when she realized that her daughter was not lost and that she was indeed in a safe and wonderful place.

Ingrid later explained that her husband was angry with God for taking away his daughter and that for that reason he hadn´t accepted anyone from any church. Well, when we came back the next day we met him and he openly received and listened to us and even told us that he had felt the Spirit as we taught. I. and their 2 children came to church with us on Sunday and B. would have come but he had to go to Guate (he will come next Sunday he told us). I. even told us that she had been waiting years for us to show up. It was an incredible experience to teach this family and I am so excited to continue visiting them and teaching them the gospel. 

We had a funny moment with one of the members here that has just starting coming back to church. We sat down to visit with him and then we realized that a bird had just pooped all over my companions backpack. The member then made a super witty comment, ´you should be so grateful that elephants don´t fly´. We had super good laugh about that.

It is amazing how much Guatemalans love the soccer teams that are all the way on the other side of the world. There is a huge division between the Real Madrid fans and the Barcelona fans and to observe people as they watch the games is a show in itself. We watched one man scream and jump around each time the other team even got close to the goal and just yell ´it smells like a goal it smells like a goal´. These people are fanatics!
Suchi in a big game in the soccer stadium.
Ir. who has been preparing for her baptism this Saturday had an amazing moment this week. My companion had told her to run her finger through the pages of the Book of Mormon and just stop on a random page and then apply the first scripture she found to her day. Well, I guess she was having some doubts about baptism but she decided to flip to a random page and she read a passage about the importance and blessings of baptism! It is a miracle and she is as sure as ever. She even told us in the last visit that the Spirit she has felt in the church and as we meet has really changed her life and she has such a strong testimony. Her daughter is so silly though.  She kept asking us why we didn´t have girl hair, the only answer I had for her was that we are boys! She still didn´t understand though.

I am just in love with Guatemala. God has prepared so many hearts here to receive the gospel and what an amazing experience to find those prepared souls!

Elder Jensen

Part of our area.

A mariachi band walking in the street.

I got a hole in my pants from a sneaky spring in a sofa.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Green. Gum.

Skyping on Mother's Day

Dear Family,

It is always a little tough to write about the week after a skype call. Mostly because I will be repeating things but it´s still fun to remember all the fun events of the week!

I think the most memorable moment in these past few days was in my visit to the Maquina. I had done divisions there in the past but this time would turn out different. The heat was a new level this week. Also, I had totally forgotten to bring my toothbrush and toothpaste and stuff so I had bought some gum earlier in the day and put it in my shirt pocket. Well, somehow I forgot and after sweating a few gallons (ok maybe not that much but it was a lot) someone pointed out that my shirt had a huge green stain! The gum had totally melted in my pocket and my sweat just made it 10 times worse. Then to top that off I got woken up at 2 in the morning just covered in sweat (even though I had the fan on full blast but it was just shooting out hot air). I was trying to brainstorm some idea to be able to go back to sleep and not be so hot so I went and searched the fridge. I found a huge bottle of juice so I had the brilliant idea to sleep hugging this cold juice bottle and it worked. Of course the other Elder was so confused when he saw me sleeping with his bottle of juice but it did the trick! Fun times with the Guatemalan heat!

My stained shirt from the gum I forgot in my pocket.

On Saturday L.C. was baptized and it was a super spiritual moment (despite the power going out right before the actual baptism but we still managed to see him more or less). One part I loved is that before the service we watched the Bible Video whenJesus Christ teaches Nicodemus how it is that a man being old can be born again and it was cool to think that even though L. is older and has probably made some mistakes in his life he was able to start from 0 and be born again!

Baptism of L.C.

During one of our lessons this past week I was super inspired to share a few verses I had just studied in the Bible. We were teaching a family that was having problems accepting the invitation to come to church because of some other things they were going to do on Sunday when the Spirit told me to share 1 John 2:15,17:

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever."

Right after reading that the father of the family told us that he felt that he has put way to much of his time and love into his soccer team and that he needed to shift his love from the world towards the Lord and they all committed to come to church this Sunday! 

A few days ago we were walking and heard the usual ´give me a quetzal´ from one of the drunks on the street. My companion told him no because we both knew that it was so he could buy more alcohol but we got an unusual response. He yelled back ´But Jesus said in the scriptures that we should eat drink and be merry´. I am not sure how this guy got the scriptures so backwards but it was kind of silly.

A glimpse at our area, which is mostly businesses.

I keep feeling each day that the Lord has prepared a lot more people for me to go and find and teach and that is what keeps me going and working me hardest each day! It is so amazing when we get to meet these prepared people and it makes it all worth it!

Elder Jensen

A cat with a black mustache!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


A group of missionaries walking through
my old area near the mission office.

Dear Family,

It is so fun to see the excitement of the new members of the church!

Yesterday in our church meeting we really got to see the new members work miracles. O., who was baptized a few weeks ago, has just loved learning all about the restored gospel. We stopped by to visit her this week and she had a friend visiting her and right when we showed up she started telling her friend how much the church meant to her and how much she has loved attending and learning more about it. She was pretty persistent in inviting her friend and on Sunday she not only brought her friend but more family members and she just radiated happiness during all of the meetings. It was so cool!

Also a family that we have helped return to the church invited their cousin, I., to start visiting with us. Since the first visit we have felt that the Lord has prepared her to receive the gospel because she has been so faithful in reading her Book of Mormon and she set her baptism date for the 23rd of this month and on Sunday she was commenting in the class for new members and visitors and I know that she can feel the Spirit each time she visits with us. This just shows that the Lord really is the one who does it all!

The amazing family that I talked about last week (L. and F.) both attended church on Sunday as well as many other surprise people that attended as well. I felt so grateful for the sacrifices of this family because L. left his work to be able to attend and F. had to walk a good distance which is really hard for her. L. and F. were married today and this Saturday L. will be baptized! (it turned out that F. is already a member of the church).

Marriage of L. and F.

I think that if I could have one super power it would be the power to be able to eat any food off the street here in Guatemala and not get sick. There are some amazing foods that are sold on the street but I just can´t take the risk of eating them even though I want to so bad. Although I did kind of give into temptation and I ate some delicious churros this week which were covered in chocolate, and I didn´t get sick! 

Trying to decide if I should risk my health to eat some delicious churros.

My companion and I discovered that a lot of the time here in our area we aren´t just looking for people to teach, but we are looking for houses where people live, because there are so many businesses! We actually get super excited when we find some hidden part of our area with apartments our houses! I actually feel strange when I go to other areas where it is just houses because I feel kind of empty without all of the businesses and traffic noise. But somehow we continue to be lead to prepared people!

Some views of Mazate

I just feel so happy to be working as a missionary and getting to be with a lot of awesome missionaries here in Mazate and learn from them and have fun together as well! This work is amazing!

Elder Jensen

Guatemalan Boy Scouts (first time ever seeing this!)