Monday, October 14, 2013

Last Mission Letter... I Want to be Guatemalan Forever!

Well... I guess the time has come.. am I right? Feels funny and I´m depressey. I have been thinking a lot lately about... just everything!!!! My head is just so so full of spaghetti. hahaha I literally don´t know what to say right now..

This week was an extremely good week!!! First off... Mauro and Florencia got BAPTIZED!!!!!! Oh man it was so awesome. And the sisters of our ward baptized another family. Just like a sister said here, I finished my mission with a golden broach. It was just a special baptism. A ton of people showed up and we even sang a special number. I sang... weird... But it was really good and Mauro and Florencia invited a ton of their family members. It was just really special and we saw how the ward supports and loves us. They bought cakes, they helped set up tables, and they shared messages, they basically did everything, and that´s a rare thing in baptisms! It was just a super special day. I loved it! 

We also had interviews this week. We were in the church from 8:30 in the morning till 5:00 in the afternoon and my interview was literally a minute long. He basically just said that we would not have an interview since I have an interview on Wednesday before I go!

We are just so happy with the way the ward has changed and all the blessings and miracles we have seen and recieved. I´m so happy because now Pedregal is a better place than when I came. It´s stronger, there is a stronger spirit, the people trust and love the missionaries more, and it´s just an all around better place. I love it.

Yesterday in church was testimony meeting. I shared a little testimony, but during the whole meeting I basically just sat there and cried. Remember Cesar that had 9 years to not go to church and we reactivated him?? Well he blessed his granddaughter AND he was called as the ward mission leader of the ward AND his daughter got 2 callings AND his son blessed the sacrament AND that same son started his mission papers. They are so happy to be back, and tonight they invited us to eat dinner with them. We are going to get fat!

I honestly don´t know much else to write. I just feel kinda weird. I haven´t been sleeping that great, I haven´t been eating that great, and I dunno.. I just feel funny.

I´ve been thinking of all the things I´ve learned and I´m so grateful for the opportunity that I had to be a part of God´s Army. I have been a representative of Jesus Christ for 2 years. I´ve seen many things, learned many things, and lived many experiences. 2 years ago I didn´t know a lick of Spanish, I didn´t know how Guatemala would be. I wasn´t sure what to expect of this great land. But I have learned to love it. I love Guatemala. I love the culture. I love the people. It is an incredible, wonderful, amazing, beautiful place. People ask me if I´m sad, and I just tell them that there is no one on this entire planet that loves Guatemala more than me. I´m sad. It is the Promised Land. 

2 years ago I had a baby testimony of the truth. Now it´s a giant. It literally burns in my chest. I get all giddy when I think about the church. I know it´s true without a doubt. I know that Jesus Christ leads and guides the church through a prophet. Right now it´s a man named Thomas S. Monson. I know he is a prophet, seer, and revelator. A man chosen of God to be the prophet in these latter-days.

2 years ago I wasn´t sure if Joseph Smith really was a prophet. Now I know that one day in the Spring of 1820 he went and prayed. He knelt down and asked God a question. Which of all the many churches is the true church? God, our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ answered that young boy. They showed the world that They love us, They are the same yesterday, today, and forever. They gave us the opportunity to know the truth.

2 years ago I read the Book of Mormon. Now I feast from it´s pages. I apply it to my life, I learn so much. The Book of Mormon was translated by the power of God. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. I love it.

2 years ago I knew God was our Heavenly Father. Now I know that He lives. He loves us greatly. He wants us to be happy and He wants us to return to live with Him. I have felt His love, I know He listens to my prayers and He created a perfect plan so that we can be happy here on earth, and return with Him for eternity as families.

2 years ago I knew that Jesus Christ was important, that He suffered. Now I know that He is the Son of the Living God, Jesus is the Christ, the Great Jehovah, the Messiah, He is our Savior, and Redeemer. He took upon Himself all the bad we have ever

done and will do. He paid the price the justice demanded. He just asks that we be obedient and we will have mercy. Jesus Christ lives. And someday we will be resurrected and judged according to our acts. If we don´t repent, we have to suffer even as Christ suffered.
I know the church is true. I don´t doubt it. I feel it within me everytime I think about it. I love it. There are so many blessings waiting for us! Families are forever!

I love you all so so much. Thank you for the endless emails, letters, packages, love, and prayers. Thank you for all the sacrifices, and for the memories that will last forever. I love you more than you can imagine.

I´ll see you on Thursday!

Elder Jensen

This was our lunch yesterday. Meet Mommy Rosi, Axel, Michel, and Milton. Every Sunday we eat lunch there, but yesterday was just so special. I love them so so much!!! Plus cool pitchas with my companion... we were just so emotional when we saw that cake. hahahahaah I´m going to miss them SO much!

Here´s a picture with Cesar and his son! and the other on is with the dinner group. We eat dinner with them every Sunday! There´s Carmen, Susi, Amanda, Grandma Luz and Byron Josue.

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's Unbelievable!

Hi everyone. What’s cooking?

I feel funny right now... but that’s normal right?

This week was a good one, as always right?? Not to mention that we listened to the living prophet and apostles.... But I realized something while I was taking notes.... I CANT SPELL ENGLISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, it’s so hard for me. Plus when I speak English my head starts to hurt. I hate it. I just need someone to translate for me. I love Spanish. There is nothing better. I’m so blessed to be able to speak 2 languages. so cool.

Well conference was just a blast. I got to watch it in my native tongue too. I loved every second of it…every single talk. I don’t have my notes here with me, so I don’t remember much (sometimes my thinker doesn’t work). 

This week we also had the monthly leadership council. It was also good. They talked a lot about the Spirit and how to use it in our work. I felt weird cause I’m going home.... but it was still good. I can use it in the life after too.

Wanna know something great about Mauro and Florencia??? Well..... THEY ARE GETTING BAPTIZED ON FRIDAY!!!! I’m so stoked. The sisters in the ward also have a family that is getting baptized on Friday so it will just be a super awesome party. I’m so happy!!! Plus this week Mauro called us and told us to come to his house, that he had a present for us. We got there and they had bought us 2 really nice big umbrellas. Holy smokes it was the best present anyone has ever given me. My heart just might explode for how much love it has in it.

My companion and I have been talking a lot about how the ward and people have changed since we got there. It used to be a ward where no one said hi to each other, no one really liked the missionaries, and they didn’t really work with them. Now they call us every few days to make sure we have enough food, we had an awesome ward council where everyone offered to go work with us. They are just so excited and I love it. The bishop is just stoked beyond belief. 

This week we also helped a lady clean her yard up. We chopped a ton of weeds with machetes. It was super fun. Remember the family that we reactivated?? Well they are in the picture that I’m sending. They invited us to eat dinner and we just ate and ate and ate and ate and ate. I love eggs, beans, platanos fritos, tortillas, and horchata. There is nothing better than that. I’m going to miss it so so so much!!!!

Well... My mind is literally full of a bunch of stuff. I can’t really keep my thoughts straight. I keep thinking of something I wanna write, but then I forget all about it. soo... sorry. haha

Everytime conference rolls around I feel such a sweet spirit telling me that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God, that I’m a member of the true church of God in these latter-days. All the people outside don’t even realize that a prophet of God spoke to the world yesterday; it’s our job to let them know. I know the church is true without a doubt.

I love you all so much. I hope you have the best week of your life, I hope you are safe, and I hope you go to church and read your scriptures and pray. There is nothing more important than following God. I love you!!!!!!

Elder Jensen

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Bittersweet Count Down

Well... It´s really getting down to the wire isn´t it...... I feel funny. Can I tell you a secret?? I´m going to bawl my eyes out in just a little bit of time. I can already feel it coming. Last night I only slept 4 hours. I was up just looking at every single picture of my mission and just thinking about the incredible people I have met and just thinking about all the experiences and EVERYTHING... long story short, I´m sad..... But happy at the same time. So bittersweet. I don´t even think words exist to describe my mission.. I´m so eternaly grateful. Forever and ever grateful. 

This week was a little crazy!!! We did divisions on Tuesday and I went to La Verde with Elder Saunders so the district leader could do the baptism interview of Mauro and Florencia.... well... we had some problems so we have to wait till the week after conference to baptize them. aka my last week, last opportunity of a baptism. I´m stoked for them. We have some other people that are progressing too, they are so close.. they just need some bravery I guess. We are hoping the conference helps everyone!!! (PS I´m so stoked for conference). PPS The picture where I´m soaking wet is in La Verde...... That´s my life. being wet all day. It's fabulous!

The whole week I had a super mean cold. I lost my voice for like 3 days and still have a little cough... But I´m ok. Don´t you go a worryin about me!!!

Mommy you asked me if I want to speak in the ward in SLC... I don´t care. I´m up to whatever. I love to speak in church. I think it´s my new favorite pastime. I´m going to have to speak my last sunday here... they already told me. I´m pretty stoked for that cause I only know how to teach the gospel in Spanish... But whatevs...

Today we went to an investigator´s house that the sisters in our ward are teaching. His name is Maco, and literally every piece of furniture in this guys house, he made. Everything was made of beautiful wood and he had some awesome boats that he had made and he is all into Guatemalan culture and the Mayans. He showed us a bunch of cool stuff and it made me love Guatemala even more. It´s the most special place on this entire planet. I love it!!! Then he taught us how to do wood burnings aka art. We each did a little scene of Guatemala... He helped us a lot, but it was really fun.

Last night we made Mac N Cheese with peas..... first time in 23 months. Is that nuts or what?! Me and my companion were sitting in the store thinking of what to eat and he said jokingly that we would eat mac n cheese... and I told him it´s what I was going to buy and eat. It was fabulous.

This week we went to go visit Mauro and Florencia and they had bought 2 new chairs for us to sit in. They are these special chairs here with metal frames and elastic string wrapped around them so it´s comfy and not too hot to sit in. We just love to go there so much. They are so cute and they just love to see us. They get so happy. They have made so many changes in their lives to be able to follow Christ more.

I have come up with a saying in the last few weeks, "There is NOTHING more important than following Christ." I say it to everyone. I love it. I know for a fact it´s true. A lot of people int he world find other things to do rather than going to church or rather than paying their tithing or whatever. But there is absolutely nothing more important than following Christ. I have learned so much about the Plan of Salvation. It´s literally the plan that our loving Heavenly Father made for us. It´s perfect, and all we have to do is obey. If we obey, we will recieve all that our Father in Heaven has. There is nothing more important than following Christ.

Well.... just know that I love you so so so much. I can´t wait to see you in just a few short days...... like 2 weeks. It feels so strange. But hasn´t completely hit me yet. I´m scared and happy and SAD. But I think I can take it on. If I can live in a foreign country speaking Spanish for 2 years I think I can do anything.

I hope you have the best week of your life. Just remember. No hay nada mas importante que seguir a Cristo.

I love you

What!? It's Time to Come Home Elder!

CHURCH TRAVEL CWT                          DATE 12AUGUST13
TELEPHONE: 801 240-5111                    JENSEN/CHASE MICHAE 250882-R
FAX      : 801-240-5115


SERVICE               DATE  FROM           TO             DEPART  ARRIVE
_____________________ _____ ______________ ______________ _______ ______
E ECONOMY                                  TERMINAL E
                            FOOD FOR PURCHASE             NON STOP
                            RESERVATION CONFIRMED         2:56 DURATION
                  AIRCRAFT: BOEING 737-800
                            SEAT 24A NO SMOKING CONFIRMED

E ECONOMY                   TERMINAL B     TERMINAL 1
                            FOOD AND BEVERAGES FOR PURCHA NON STOP
                            RESERVATION CONFIRMED         3:18 DURATION
                  AIRCRAFT: EMBRAER RJ135/140/145
                            SEAT 10A NO SMOKING CONFIRMED

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Can Feel Your Prayers

Hi... Did you know I can literally FEEL your prayers? Well if you didn’t know, now you do... I can feel your prayers. Isn´t that neat?? Keep em comin!!

This week went by EXTREMELY fast. I don’t know where it went. I think into the past... but I’m not sure. haha Time just keeps marching on.

We had some special experiences this week... on Tuesday we went to teach Mauro and Florencia, well.. I think it was Tuesday. But anyway we went there with a member that helps us a lot. Mauro started asking us about marriage and about how he and his wife were married but he didn’t like it so he wanted to get married again, then he started telling us about a dream that he had. He said he and his wife were young, and were in a big beautiful building. Everything was just amazing. They were running to get married. While he was telling his dream he grabbed his wife’s hand and started getting all teary eyed. In that moment we started explaining to him about the temple and about how families can be forever. We talked about how much God loves us and a little bit about the plan of Salvation. They told us that they had never heard anything like that before, and that they want to get baptized the 28th of Sept....... THIS SATURDAY!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!! I’m so stoked. 

Plus their son is a member and we visited him on Friday cause we want him to baptize his parents. He started talking about the experience that we had and was so shocked. He told us that his dad was the type of man that had his beer bottle right next to his pistol and that he had never ever seen him cry; that he was so hard and tough and a fighter. The Spirit can break through whatever wall. 

I love Mauro and Florencia. They are so special and they love us too... On Saturday we passed by to say hi and buy some tamales from them and they were installing a light right above their couch so when we come we will have light to see. Isn’t that the cutest thing ever? We also gave them a big huge bible and triple and they made us sit down and write a little note in them with our names too so they can pray for us!!! Oh my heart is going to burst with so much love for these people. The small and simple things are just too much for my heart to handle. 

BUT we need a miracle. Florencia couldn’t go to church yesterday because she had a fever and her body hurt. She had symptoms of dengue, and that’s bad. But she wants to get baptized with her hubby. Please pray for them that everything will go well for the baptism and they can be strong to handle everything... did I mention Mauro is 78 and Florencia is 74. I love them so much.

Last night I woke up at around 2:30 with a sore throat and I went downstairs to take a pill... There are 3 pills - Tabcin night, tabcin day, and tabcin cough. I wanted to take tabcin day but I couldn’t find it, so I took tabcin night. Oh man I’m walking around like a dead man. hahahaha it´s so fun. I was just singing all morning EFY songs in a deep voice.... I don’t really know what´s happening to me, but I’m ok. hahaha

I have been in such a good mood since we have progressing people. I always say that everyday is the best day of my life, and now my companion started saying it too. I think I have the best companion in the entire world. I love the guy... oh ps finally we aren’t in a trio (what’s that in English...) We are just 2 not 3 now. Elder Avelar begged President to send him to another area... I don’t really know why. but oh well. Now we are alone in our huge 2 story house. We cleaned it really really good too and moved around some furniture. I love it.

I have so many thoughts in my head right now. Everything is so bittersweet. But I’m loving my time here. I try not to think about home, and what I’m going to be doing in just a few short weeks. And I know you are praying for me so I’m focused.... I´m so thankful for that. In these last few days we have seen miracles and seen the ward change and get excited and I love it.

Remember when I told you about an inactive family that we activated?? Well in Priesthood they were talking about home teaching and after the class the guy we activated took us up front with the member that helped us and told everyone the experience we had, then he told everyone to do their visits and help one another.... (I think I told you about them right??) I dunno...... But he was just so thankful for everything and he told everyone that they were there for good and they we so happy.... (they started using their garments too and in 3 months they can go to the temple again......) I think that’s GREAT!!!!! I´m so happy. 

There is nothing more important and more rewarding than following God and being obedient. He loves us so much. I know families can be forever. I know it I know it I know it. I don’t have a doubt. I know that La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días is God´s true church here on earth. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. oh oh another experience. We were explaining to Mauro and Florencia about the leadership of the church and we showed them the pictures (the ones that come in the Ensign with all the faces and names) well they loved it. They realized that the church is established the same exact way that the church of Christ was established 2000 years ago. The church is true. Never forget it.

I love you all so so so incredibly much. I hope you have the best of weeks, and that today and tomorrow and the next day can be the best days of your lives. 
ps enjoy the pics. Us with Mauro and Florencia, then with some beans and Hna. Carmen (The mom of the mission.. she cleans presidents house and makes us banana bread whenever there are conferences.. and we eat dinner with her every Sunday night)

I love you

Elder Jensen

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We Made Chocolate!


Good news - today we made chocolate.............. Did you know that chocolate came from trees!?!?!?!?! I´m so stoked about it!! hahahahahaha alright, alright well there are a million cacao trees here. And there is a sister that got a bunch of seeds and we toasted them and took off the shell then we toasted cinnamon and put vanilla and a whole bunch of sugar, then we took it to "el molino" (the grinder??) so it could be all powdery and yummy and chocolatey. Tonight we are going back to drink some hot chocolate and bread!!!!! I´m in heaven and my hands have smelled like chocolate all day... Elder Quiroz and I keep saying that there is a waterfall in our mouths... get it.. cause they are all watery. (It´s a little saying I came up with and I think it´s the funniest thing ever.. then we pretend our mouth is just full of water and we can´t control ourselves. hahahahahahahaha) So we were basically at the members house all day, and for part of the day there wasn´t light so we had to go the molino twice and it was just a blast.... pictures are included... 

My week was also a blast!!!! We are teaching 2 teenagers named Manuel and Andrea. They are really super positive and have been to church once. They really like what we teach. We just need to soften the heart of their step dad. We also have some oldies we are teaching. Mauro and Florencia Calderon. Their son is a member, and they both went to church on Sunday and they loved it!!!! (I taught Gospel Principles by the way... I like it). We always have really good lessons with them and they understand a lot. They just want to feel sure about their decision... pray for them so they can feel sure!! That they know they have to get baptized!! I love them. Florencia always gives us juice and a sandwich when we go. I love it.

Funny story - we were teaching Mauro and Florencia and an older lady (84 years old) walks in. Elder Avelar (My other companion... we´re still in a trio)... Elder Avelar turned to her super happy and asked her how she was and she said, "No tan bien como usted Pollonazo." ("No as good as you big chicken"). and she hugged him and planted a big wet one on his cheek. We were dying of laughter..... When she left, Mauro said, Well I guess she liked you.!!! hahaha and we have been saying pollonazo to him all week. I love Guatemalans.

On Tuesday we had leader´s conference with Pres. Ruiz. It was really good. 2 weeks ago he changed assistants and put a missionary named Elder Banegas. He is a deacon-sized missionary, with the heart of a bear. Man I love his guts. He gave a really good message about finding people and faith, obedience, and repentance that I really liked. Sister Ruiz talked a lot about obedience, and basically everyone. It´s a real problem in the mission. Satan is working hard!!!!!!!

On Thursday we had our zone meeting and I shared a little about Mosiah 18. I love that chapter. Especially verses 8 and 9 where it talks about how we need to help others, and be witnesses of the truth in all times, all places, and all things. (sorry but it´s better in Spanish....) I love it though. Ever since we were baptized we made those promises. I love it. A little bit later in the chapter it talks about the unity and about preaching the gospel. The zone really liked it. Then I shared my testimony - 

I told them that I only have one month left in the mission, and nobody knows what´s going on in my mind. There are so many thoughts and it´s so tough to focus on just one little thing. But that they have to work hard, treasure the time they have, and be messengers and defenders of the truth. I know the Spirit talked more than me, the feeling in the room was so strong and undeniable. For the first time it hit me that I´m going to be home in just a short month. That I won´t be here speaking Spanish and loving the people and eating beans and tortillas. I´m going to miss it SO much!!!!! I love this place, and the people are incredible.

We had an experience the other day that strengthened all our testimonies. Right after our study time we were getting ready to go and we heard the doorbell. We left and there were 2 women... Jehovah’s Witnesses. They shared a little bit with us about preaching the gospel and who knows what else, (She was literally peeing herself I think). But then we started talking a little bit about our message, and she was so closed off that she didn´t want to hear anything. It was nuts. She wouldn´t accept our pamphlet either cause it "wasn´t based on the Bible," Then we showed her that it was... and she still didn´t want it haha.

I´m so glad and blessed with the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. I´m a missionary, a representative of Jesus Christ. A messenger and defender of the truth. I´m Elder Jensen. I only have 1 more month to be able to say that. I´m not going to lie, I´m so super super excited to see you. But it´s bittersweet. I can feel that you are praying for me. I know it. THANK YOU. I´m forever grateful for your support, love, and prayers.

Elder Quiroz and I read a talk today from Elder Holland that explained something like this - When a missionary goes home and the family is in the airport waiting for him, I imagine it´s a moment as special as the moment when Jesus Christ had finished His mission here on earth; the proud family, and the tears, and the gratitude for service and time given. 

I know the church is true, without a doubt. Jesus Christ lives. He is our Savior and Redeemer.

I love you all so so so much. Be faithful, happy, and always remember who you are and what you stand for!

Elder Jensen

Monday, September 9, 2013

Well hello.

This week was insane. We literally worked in our area like 2 half days this week... This week the mission had changes. Before there were 4 elders in our ward, but now it´s just us and 2 sisters... We have been getting their house ready, doing baptismal interviews. Baptizing the people we interview haha, and changes (Which are crazy), buying flowers, and a bunch of stuff!! My companion from San Antonio, Elder Juarez went home. Bummer. I love that guy to death. (in the picture)

For the change meeting on Wednesday they used our chapel.. mostly used chapel in the world I think. They always use it. But we had to clean up a little, run to the market to buy flowers, and open up the church then wait till everyone left to close it and take the sisters in our ward to their house and other new elders in the zone to their house cause they took out the others and put two news in.... nutso. But it´s fun that way. Ever since the changes we have had another companion. Elder Avelar. He is waiting for them to reasign his mission and this week he´s gone... I hope.. It´s rough with 3... plus he talks a ton!!!!! I´m used to my quiet companion. Oh man I love my companion!!!

Now that there are sisters in our ward they are where we were and we are where the other elders were because it´s a little more far/dangerous. We are getting to know the members better and visiting them and serving them. I´m super excited to work in this area. I love this ward, the people are so so special. We have seen the attitude of the ward change a ton. They are stoked that there are sisters here... me too. They just bring another spirit and a little bit more love to the work. It´s great and the ward needs it.

This week I baptized a little girl from a less active family in another ward. (picture) I did the interview and baptized her. She was so smart and happy to be baptized. She asked me if saying bad words meant she wasn´t faithful to God. Such a cute question. She was so worried too when she asked me it. I love the people here. They are incredible.

The other day there was an earthquake. Everyone was crazy scared, but luckily nothing happened. I wasn´t scared though, I´m really brave.

I feel like I don´t have everything that happened this week, actually I know I don´t have it all... We just have to go to the office... Who knows why.

I just want you to know that I know that the church is true. Jesus Christ lives. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He saw the Father and the Son one day in 1820. I know it. I have a very strong testimony of it, I know it´s true. I know God has a plan for us. He wants us to return to live with Him one day because He loves us. All we have to do is be obedient.

I hope you have the best week of your life. I love you so so so so much!!!! 

ps tell my girlfriend hi for me.

Elder Jensen