Monday, November 9, 2015


Dear Family,

My mind still thinks that in a week I will sit down again to write another email to you all about how my week went but this is the last time! I don´t know what to think! It is almost exactly like when I started 50% fear, 25% sad, 25% excited. It is so weird!!

Well, I couldn’t be happier with this past week because we worked super hard. We were able to go on a visit to almost all of the further zones this week. We left early on Thursday to go visit the Coatepeque zone and help them analyze their dats and work and see where they can improve. President accompanied us and has been sharing a really cool story in 1 Samuel chapters 1 and 2 that talks about the faith Hannah had to give her son to the Lord and the lack of faith and dedication to the lord of Eli and and his sons (who ate the Lord´s offerings in the temple and did bad things). It is super cool and I love learning from President. Later we traveled to Malacatán and stayed the rest of the day helping them with some of the investigators in the zone that could be baptized soon. We also got to go up a massive massive hill with Jaime´s (that´s the pickup truck´s name) 4 wheel drive which was awesome. We got to stay the night in the San Rafael hotel (¡Hot shower!).  We set out early on Friday to the mountain areas (San Marcos and San Pedro).

Hot chocolate in San Marcos
2 plates of dinner in San Rafael

In San Marcos we were able to help again the missionaries but we did something awesome as well. We decided to start filming a video of us challenging people to know more about the church and be baptized in the street. It was remarkable because all the missionaries have the mentality that in the mountains the people are too hard and closed but we were actually able to record many people that accepted the invitation to attend church and prepare to be baptized! The most spiritual moment was when we talked to a security guard (who wouldn’t let us film). We continued talking to him and found that he had a huge desire to attend a ¨Mormon¨ church service (since he had already tried everything else). I have never heard somebody say this but he said ¨there is no doubt in my mind that I will be attend with you this Sunday with my wife and 2 kids.¨ It was amazing and my heart was filled with so much gratitude for the opportunity to be an instrument in the Lord’s hand so that he can talk to his children!

A skate park in San Marcos
We also had a very similar experience earlier in the week in our own area.  Elder Kanahele and I saw a certain house that we both felt that we needed to go and talk. Well, we met V. that night. She used to love visiting with the missionaries and after a few minutes of getting to know her we decided to call her ¨Aunt V.¨ and she really liked that. ¨Aunt V.¨ wasn´t able to make it to church this Sunday but I am sure that in the coming weeks she is going to progress tons in the gospel. Another amazing moment! (This is why I get a little sad to be leaving and miss out on this action!) She has 2 really fun little kids that we loved making jokes with. One of them told me that I weigh about 30 pounds. I guess I look way bigger than my companion because she said that he is only 9 pounds. Unfair!

I always had a dream when I started the mission to be able to have a baptism on my last day and this tomorrow J. (who Elder Walton and I were led to about 4 months ago) will be baptized!! We helped her get married on Saturday and we are pumped for her baptism tomorrow!

 I l love this work so much and I am glad that the Lord prepares the way for us to continue even after the full time mission. These 2 years are the happiest I have ever been, without a doubt. You want to be happy? Go and make others happy! And how better than sharing the gospel!

Elder Jensen
Driving in the car with Elder Damas.
(an elder in the office that lives right close to Elder Gavarrete in Honduras)

Look at all those sardines!

Monday, November 2, 2015

I love Guatemala!

Dear Family,

Things always stay interesting here. I think that is why it is so hard to write such a small email about so many things!

First we had our multi-zone conferences on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday we had to start early the conference in Malacatan for that half of the mission.  So we went Tuesday night to sleep in a super awesome hotel in a place called San Rafael. Let’s just say they have hot shower water and it was extremely hard to get out of the shower (more than 2 years and my body still hates cold showers). 

They were awesome conferences and we showed a pretty awesome video of us opening our mission calls and a few other people who served here and everyone highly enjoyed that and was reminded of the joy we should always maintain here in the mission field. We also got the chance to show a cool video of President Monson in a talk called "My brother’s keeper." He talks about the worth of a human soul and that helped us all remember the worth each soul has that we teach every day and we should strive much harder to teach our best.

This change the first missionary from Brazil is coming to the Reu Mission. It was funny because while I was in the office for a moment the office phone rang and it was someone trying to speak Spanish to us. It turns out that it was the travel people from Brazil trying to see if the missionary had gotten here. I was super confused because I thought it was a joke of somebody saying they spoke Portuguese but as we talked more I realized it was serious and it was super funny because we were trying to speak very simple Spanish for them to understand and trying to pronounce Portuguese from google translate. Eventually we somehow got the message across that the missionary was still in the CCM. At the end of the call the guy yelled out in English "I LOVE GUATEMALA!"

Another memorable moment of the week was that on Saturday there was a baptism from another ward scheduled later in the day. The only problem was that we had to fill the font and we have no key to open the door to the fun. Well, we brainstormed a good solution. We set up a table and put a big stack of chairs on top to be able to jump into the font over the big glass wall protecting it. It seemed simple but when I was standing up on top getting ready to jump in it seemed twice the height! I finally just yelled "anything for a baptism!" and jumped in. I had a nice landing on the back of my feet and later on my rear end but nothing broken or injured. My companion said he felt like it was slow motion as I fell through the air to the bottom of the empty font.

The small moments my companion and I have to work together in our assigned area are very special and the Lord has blessed us lot. This week we had the chance to talk to a member of the church that hasn't been attending for a long time now. She was excited to tell us about some of her family members close by that we could teach and she referred us to one of her brothers who we taught yesterday. As we taught L. and his wife, T. I was happy to be teaching and testifying again to a family (even though as we taught my companions bench broke in mid-lesson, now the second time that has happened to my companions). We hope to have some good lessons with them this week and that they can have some strong spiritual answers as they read the book of Mormon.

I am excited for another week of hard work and helping the mission. It has been really hard for me to think that soon I will no longer be in this land I have grown to love so much and I will have to say goodbye to the people that now have a special place in my heart. I am so grateful for the chance I have had to serve in the lands where Lehi’s descendants walked and lived!

Elder Jensen

The famous day of the dead dish, FIAMBRE.

If you give a horse a Coke...

Dear Family,

More exciting travels this week as we helped with yet another round of emergency changes. I think due to that we have kind of burned out our Christmas music so we probably won’t break that out again until December.

Early in the week we got the chance to go work in Tecun Uman, the hottest part of the misión. It was the only part I had never seen and it happen to be chilly the day we were there because of the rain! We got to go down and help the Elders in a place called Ocos, which is a beach town. It is a super simple place and almost all of the houses have grass leaf roofs and have bamboo walls so that was super, super cool.

Playing with an animal pet.

The land you see in the back is Mexico (this is where the river that divides Guatemala hits the ocean).

 I definitely got a good amount of sand in my shoes after that visit. I got the chance to talk to an amazingly prepared man named L., who was getting ready for his baptism that same Friday. His testimony of the church was so strong and despite his major health problems that make it hard for him to breathe and move around a lot he was set and excited for his baptism. He also gave me a little bit of this super weird cream he had that when I put it on my forehead my cold went away. Strange Guatemalan remedies.

Another really awesome journey this week was when we went and visited Malacatan and I got to work a few hours in my old área, Libertad! It was a great experience because I went back to show the Elders many of the people I had taught but for certain challenges hadn’t been able to continue in church or be baptized. Well, we went to talk to one guy named J. that I vividly remembered some super spiritual lessons with him and he was super excited to see Elders at his home and accepted the invitation to go to church this Sunday.

We visited Malacatan so I got to see V. and A. that
we baptized with Elder Cook a little over a year ago.

With my time here I have discovered a small epidemic. All the Guatemalans are extremely addicted to Coca Cola. No joke. Pretty much on any Street you can find a little Guatemalan kid bringing 2 or 3 glass liter bottles of coke to their house from the store. The new thing I learned is that not only the people of Guatemala love coke so much, but also the horses of Guatemala. Let´s just say we got a little creative when we found some horses in our área.

Here Halloween is a pretty foreign concept. The fun thing is that the 31st will be a Saturday so we can help people prepare to be baptized that day. One man we met in Coatepeque this week was named Elowee and was struggling to decide if he would be baptized the 31st or later in November. Well, he certainly liked our joke that if he would be baptized the 31st we could start a new holiday in Guatemala called ¨Elowee´ instead of Halloween. He got a got laugh out of that and we hope that after he prays and reads a Little more of the book of Mormon this week he can feel that it is the right thing to do.

This week we are preparing with President for 2 big multi-zone conferences with the 2 halves of the misión. These are always pretty exciting but also a ton of work so we are always grateful to have the Lord´s assistance and have the Spirit guide us on what to say and do to help the missionaries in this part of the Lord´s vineyard!


Elder Jensen 

Lost in a corn field with Elder Gaunt in San Marcos.
Russia, Ohio! This was on a mud flap of a truck.