Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fw: Dear Friends:

Taylor wants all of you to know that he is singing in a MTC Missionary Choir
at the Priesthood Session on Saturday night at General Conference this
weekend. Watch for his smiling face on the broadcast!!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Taylor Jensen"
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 2:38 PM
Subject: Dear Friends:

Hello from sunny provo utah!!

I officially have 3 weeks left...i am so ready to go!! YEAH! it is so crazy
because all of the friends i have made here have started to take off, so its
kinda sad but so exciting at the same time. Next friday is flight plan
friday!! I cant wait...i think it is going to take about 27 hours to get
from provo to Neuquen. I cant wait. (sarcasm).

I hate to say it, but nothing too too exciting happened this week. I almost
killed elder foye and he probably wanted to kill me, but now we're great!!
Najac and Lytle wanted to kill each other yesterday but now they are good. I
think we've all gotten our tough week out of our systems and will be able to
live with each other for the next 3 weeks!

Yesterday in gym, Elder najac and i were playing volleyball and he landed on
my foot and got his ankle pretty bad. At first, we all thought he was just
kinda playing it up for attention, but then last night he took off the ace
bandage and his ankle was HUGE!!! We were really worried about it last
night. He went in to the trainer today and they said it was just a bad
sprain and they didnt think it was broken/ligament damage, so that was a BIG
breath of releif!

Funny story that i forgot to put in last week even though i said i would: So
i eat soy milk still, partially because i have come to like the taste,
partially because i am still scared of real milk, and partially because it
is SO MUCH fun to go and get it! I have to walk back into the big ol'
kitchen and into one of 7 walk in freezers to get it. We can see our breath
and stuff in there! haha. Elder foye is on the soy, and so is elder palmer
(he was our Zone leader and knows the strikes from harvard) because he's
lactose intolerant, and Elder Wooley (who is from orem and we found out two
nights ago that we are basically the same person. We ski the same runs at
snowbird, climb the same walls in rock canyon, go to byu, and hike the same
trails on the mountains! how sweet?!) and he has had the exact same problem
i did his first few weeks. Needless to say, its quite the fun expedition go
go get our milk sometimes. One day last week i said ' hey elder foye-- want
to eat a bowl of cereal IN the freezer??' of course he said yes, so we
marched proudly back there with our coco roos in hand and share a bowl in
the freezer. It was great companionship bonding. We were freezing by the
end! We told Palmer and Wooley about it and the next night we went in and
had a Partay! it was hilarious though because 4 different people came and
opened the door 4 times and it was hilarious because there are these 4 boys
in there eating their cereal! haha. We love it. Its preparing us for the
southern tip of Argentina for sure.

What else happens here? i saw mitch jergensen on wednesday as he was walking
into the MTC-- we were taking a quick break from class so we go and people
watch on wednesdays because our classroom building is right were people come
and hang out and cry and take pictures before going into the MTC. We stand
and watch through the doors--its like TV! I always keep my eye peeled for
people i know. Low and behold--there is mitch! i ran out and gave him a hug
then told him to go say bye to his fam and we'd talk later. I see him once
or twice a day... its so fun seeing people i konw here!

The beginning of this week was super hard as i said in last weeks email. One
thing that i could not have made it through without is prayer. Seriously,
God is listening and WANTS to help us. We just have to ask! It was such a
great experience seeing how his hand works in my life and how it can help
guide and direct me in what to do and say. I couldnt have made it through
this week without Him!

All else is well. I love you all, write me letters! (dearelder.com, box

Anyways, the church is true, Utah is beautiful, I am learning SO SO SO much!
Keep working hard and writing me letters :)

Elder T. Jensen

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fw: Hey Friends!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Taylor Jensen"
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 1:47 PM
Subject: Hey Friends!

I am officially more than halfway done here! woot.

in emails past i have said i am 'begining to like it here' and am starting
to enjoy it here more and stuff like that. Well, i finally LOVE it here. It
is incredible the things i am able to learn, the spirit i am able to feel,
and the fun i can have. I really wake up each day excited about going to my
incredibly long classes and my long long day of work. Over the past few
weeks, i have felt like a firework with a wet fuse...it takes a little while
for that fuse to dry out, but then it will eventually catch fire. My fuse is
about all the way dry and igniting now... look for some sweet fireworks to

My discovery of the week: Ro-Sham-Bo (formerly thought to be a slang way to
say rock paper scissors (thanks to my favorite TV show, Rob and Big)) turns
out to be japanesse for Rock paper scissors. Who knew!?

Medical update for the week: No e coli, salmonella, i didnt die from my 2
bottles of milk last week. I am tired of going to doctors, so i just eat
what usually keeps me healthy. More to come on that later.

We had a celebration a few days ago that was entitled 700. That is how many
days we had left to serve our missions. We also played kickball friday
morning-- you'd all be proud of me because i havent lost my flair. I dove
around 5 or 6 times, had a bloody knee, grass stained shirt and shorts, and
a big smile. I miss playing in grass :)

On thursday night, i had way too much energy ( we have night gym on
thrusdays... i am still undecided on if i like it or not) And so to release
my energy i ran. And ran. and ran. 2.5 miles -- 13000 + steps on the day!! a
new record!! haha. i guess i am a dork.

This week i was made our district's district leader. I am really excited
about this calling because i felt like it gave me a second wind of
enthusiasm. I had the chance this week to review my progress over the past
month and i realized that i am not the missionary i wanted to become. I have
so much work to do to get there. I have so much to learn! i set a lot of
goals for the next few weeks to get me to that missionary i know i can
become, and i am looking forward to the coming weeks to see how different i
will be. I am also holding my breath for the next 4 weeks as well. Our
district was really close, but as of this weekend, every companionship has
an issue within the companionship, and there are some issues between
companionships. I have a feeling like we might have some problems this
week.... i hope we dont though!! its silly to let personal issues get in the
way of our work here.

In Manny El Manzano news, we have another new sprout!!! we now have 6 plants
(and we believe they are tomatoes because they smell like tomatoes). Manny,
Borbujas, Guillermo, Pilar, Esperanza, and we have not yet named plant #6.
If anyone has any good spanish sounding names, PLEASE SEND THEM TO ME!!! if
we select the name you send in, not only will we name the plant that name,
you will get a prize!! good luck. Be creative. multiple entries are allowed.
but they must be different days because we like mail. :)

I am looking forward to see Mitch Jergensen and Brik anderson report this
week!!! i saw kevin prier a lot and it is so much fun running into people i
know here!!

I love you all, keep on being good people, keep on sending me
letters/pictures/drawings/cookies/love. It makes my day :)

Taylor Jensen

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fw: hey friends!!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Taylor Jensen"
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2008 2:51 PM
Subject: hey friends!!

Hola Amigos!

First note of business i have for you today is...

59-0!?!?!?!?!?! what!?!?! thats incredible. i could hear all the cheering
and cannon blasts and i was going nuts on friday! congrats, cougars. Ranked
number 11 i hear? thats well done!

I am just about half way done here... its felt like its been FOREVER! the
days are so long and we pack so much into each day that it really feels like
we've been here for so much longer than 4 weeks. I like it here, its a good
place. We work real hard, and each day we seriously go to bed knowing so
much more than we did when we woke up.

Elder foye and i taught our first lessons in spanish. It was tough, but we
made it through. We have 6 (dang thats a lot) lessons this week plus our TRC
on saturday morning. We are teaching 4 of them in spanish, so we really have
work to do in learning all the tenses and conjugations and such. Our first
two went well, but we are going to really try and teach great lessons this

Friday was a fun day for us-- elder foye woke up sick so we didnt go to gym
(ah! killer!) or class and instead we went to the doctor. the MTC doctor was
full so they sent us to the BYU one and had a doctor appointment there.
While i was there i saw rachel foutz and that was fun. While we were there i
also went in to get checked out and the lady wanted a few tests to be done
on us. more on that later. So after that we came back and went to lunch and
then we had another foot appointment for elder foye and then we had to go
pick up his anti biotics... it was a busy day of doctor's appointments! We
both are doing better now, so keep your fingers crossed that that continues!

We try to study outside as much as possible because we are couped up in our
classroom (aka the petri dish) for so many hours each day. I noticed
something about utah--the sky is ALWAYS perfect blue. Its rained a few
times, but seriously every day is just gorgeous skies and gorgeous
mountians... i cant wait to see patagonia! haha.

We talked to someone who went to our mission and they told us about how they
could hang out with flocks of penguins and chase ostritches and stuff. i am
so pumped!!!!

Other than that, everything is still about the same here. I found the Soy
milk in the cafeteria (i have to go back into the freezer and get it--its an
adventure and its preparing me for the freezer that is southern argentina)
and that has been keeping me feeling good. The doctors think it is a lactose
intolerance and they need me go over today to have a test or two done-- i
have to drink a whole bunch of milk, get sick, go there and have them tell
me not to drink milk, come back, be sick still, and then hopefully get
better real quick. Hopefully all goes well and they dont find that i am
infected with salmonella or e coli or whatever else the doctor said can
infect the intestinal track. Funny story- me and elder foye have very
similar symptoms, so they are mix and matching our tests to diagnose us.
Fun, huh? i thought that was weird.

OH! one last cool thing. Elder foye got a new alarm clock this week-- its a
princess one with those bells on the top! it is awesome and does a great job
of waking us up. The first morning it woke us up, someone asked me about it
and i responded in spanish: yo casi ir al bano en mis pantalones cuando
nuestro nuevo reloj grito a mi (i almost wet my pants when the alarm clock
yelled at me) so since we dont know how to say ring or anything, we always
talk about how the alarm clock yells at us in the morning. we think its
funny...maybe we're going insane? perhaps.

Anyways, i love you all, keep in touch! sorry if my letters this week are a
bit short--i am planning on being sick this afternoon and am trying to get
as many out as i can!

Taylor Jensen

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fw: Hey Friends!!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Taylor Jensen" <
To: <njensen@cinci.rr.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2008 3:10 PM
Subject: Hey Friends!!

Week three is done at the MTC! i'm almost halfway out. crazy.

BIG NEWS THIS WEEK: on saturday, i found the sprout of MANNY EL MANZANO!!!
we think he is a tomato, but we really dont know since we planted apples,
oranges, cantalope, and tomatos. He is about 2 inches tall and has two
leaves now. All it took was faith. haha. BUT last night i looked in the cup
again and what did i see---another sprout! We named it borbujas (bubbles)
and its manny's girlfriend. how sweet. We are hoping for them to have some
more friends pop up because we have some sweet names for them. We take manny
outside with us when we study so he can get some light... he doesnt get out
much. Seriously, it made us so happy that our plant actually is growing.

anyways, in MTC news, we are doing really well. Elder Foye and I started
practicing teaching lesson 2 en espanol today and we are goign to give it in
a TE (teaching evaluation) on friday night. We actually felt pretty good
about it. We've started working hard on vocab--we memorized 78 words last
night and put on about 95 more today. We are starting to get a hold of what
we know and what we dont know and we're starting to work on knowing what we
dont know. follow? :)

We wrote a dear jane letter this week in our class. We all wrote individual
ones breaking up with english. Our teacher told us to make them as nasty as
we could. Mine was pretty good...i sealed the deal by busting out my crayons
and drawing a picture of me and espanol holding hands and ingles crying with
a broken heart. we are supposed to speak spanish basically all day. Our
district speaks english in the bedroom and cafeteria and gym, but in the
next week or two that will definently change.

Companionships are hard work here. We have one elder in our group that has
mannerisms that drive the other three of us nuts. We are as a group really
trying to be patient and loving with him, but sometimes it is so hard.

Um. Hilarious story:

so at 4:42 this morning i woke up to the sound of people talking in my room.
I looked down from my top bunk and saw some kid standing in just a t-shirt
in the middle of our room. Turns out it was a brazilian kid from the other
side of our hall and he was sleep walking. So he came in and sat on the end
of elder lytle's bed and mumbled about how he needed to get in bed and elder
lytle (literally) kicked him off. He then kinda knelt on our brown flece
blanket (BYU kids- yes we have a brown!) and just kinda sat there for a
minute. He then got up and sat on elder foye's bed right beneath me. The
whole time we were like Elder Horrshcett you're in the wrong room! go find
your bed! but he barely speaks any english and kept muttering about how he
needed to go to bed. Then he curls up in a little ball on the end of elder
foye's bed. Elder foye, about as patient as i have ever seen him, kindly and
calmly says come on elder i'll walk you back to your room. He then gets out
of bed and kneels on the floor, and then puts his head on elder foye's bed
again. Elder foye helps him up and they start for the door when we see this
elder's three roommates there. They start talking to him in portuguese and
convince him to go with them. He then turns back into our room and goes for
elder lytle's closet and starts looking for his pants (hahahaha). his
roommates then grabbed him and took him back. He left at like 6 this morning
for Chile or something, so we never got to talk to him and see if he
remembers any of it! how priceless is that though? we just laughed for about
20 minutes before any of us could fall back asleep.

In other news, i think in my last email i guessed that i had lost between 2
and 5 pounds. well i weighed myself the following day and had indeed lost 6
pounds in the first two weeks. I am feeling better now, but still cant eat
milk. I talked to my Zone Leaders last night and they one said his brother
and the other said his cousin had had the exact same symptoms/experiences as
me as they discovered they were lactose intolerant. I have a doctor's
appointment tomorrow, so we'll see if i am or not! (ps i weighed myself
yesterday and i am now down 10.5 pounds in three weeks! yikes!) But the good
news is i know what food i can eat that wont make me sick and what food
makes me sick, so the ball is in my court i guess.

I've been asked what i miss most about home and i think my honest answer
right now is my shower. The showers here are a bit better than a rainstorm
and a bit worse than a faucet. And they are TINY! Saturday nights are the
worst here because BYU plays their football games and we hear them sometimes
but we always get updates somehow. (yeah 2-0)!

I really love all the people here. It is so much fun learning and growing
with these unique people and learning what they know and teachign them what
i know. I have been really blessed with the good people in my district and
in my zone (branch). Our branch presidency is AWESOME too. they are such
nice men and they really care about us all and know us by name and stuff.
its great!

I started playing soccer outside. Its a ton of fun, but not as competitive
as volleyball and i am not allowed to play goalie either. but i think i'm
going to be doing that saturdays because we have 11 o'clock gym and its so
nice out on that field. The other days i am running/playing
volleyball/lifting weights. It still is what keeps me sane!

Friends, take care. I'll write to ya in a week. Write to me before then!!
dearelder.com box 185!

Have a GREAT week

Taylor Jensen

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Taylor's Second Self

Taylor realized that all of us here at la casa de Jensen would miss him terribly. To compensate he made this copy of himself so he'll be included in every Jensen family event. Its so realistic that its been known to actually be mistaken as Taylor. That why when put in closets and behind doors he can make people scream (ask mom). Jacob upon first sight of the cutout began a conversation until he decided he was fake. I sure you'll be hearing from skinny Taylor a lot in the next two years.

Fw: Friend Email

Week 2 from Taylor! Sounds like he is getting into the pace at the
Missionary Training Center. He requests that letters come through
DearElder.com. He has limited time to do e-mail each week and with
DearElder they are printed and delivered on a daily basis. He loves hearing
from you!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Taylor Jensen" <tajensen8@myldsmail.net>
To: <njensen@cinci.rr.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 2:03 PM
Subject: Friend Email

Hey friends!

Another week has passed here...it feels like forever!! its almost hard to
remember my life before being here just because my 16 hours of being awake
are PACKED with studying learning and classes. I have learned so so much.
Its fun learning spanish and it is a struggle. i've finished two weeks in
the MTC (which, also happens to mean i have finished about 2% of my mission
(52 weeks in a year, 2 years... think about it.)) Week two has gone SO much
better than week one. Instead of that overwhelming feeling i had first week,
this week has gone a lot more smoothly. We are all settled in and oriented
and everything now, so that is great. Elder Foye and I have been practicing
our teaching a lot. We have found one teacher who we love practicing with
because he is incredibly smart, reverent, and loving and teaches us so much.
Just little things- how to ask good questions, how to talk showing love
instead of just conveying messages. its been great, and although our
teaching still isnt very good still, we have made a lot of progress!

We have been to the RC (referrel Center) several times to work the phones
and call to make sure people recieved the missionaries or stuff they ordered
from pass along cards. Its a little scary at times, (especially when you are
calling people who havent been called since, like, 1997) (that only happened
once) but most of the time you get answering machines, so all is well! i've
talked to several people on the phone and some of them have agreed to talk
to the missionaries. its pretty exciting! just wait till i do it in
espanol...THAT will be the scary one!

I feel like ive been learning so much here. There is so much to teaching
that i have yet to learn (see above paragraph about Teaching Evaluations
(TE's). Preach My Gospel (the missionary handbook/teachign guide) is just
loaded, and we have only skimmed the surface. Spanish is going well. Its
hard to focus on listening so intently for so long each day in class, but i
feel like its really been paying off. i feel like i am doing a pretty good
job of observing sentence structures and such, so hopefully my speaking will
catch up!

I have been pretty sick basically since i got here. I've pretty much been
limited to Rice, water, sometimes a bowl of cereal, and delicious wheat
rolls. I also have delicious oyster crackers and pumpkin cookies (thanks
mama!) and nilla wafers (thanks to adrianne!)to get me through. I am pretty
sure i've lost between 2 and 5 pounds... crazy! i guess i have to fit into
my suits somehow and putting on weight wont help, so i may as well lose it!
haha. Needless to say, i'm getting a bit tired of eating that stuff (except
the rolls--they are way good!) I have a suspicion its just the food they
serve here, so i'll just have to figure out what works for me. We've also
had a bad headcold/sore throat going around our zone, and i came down with
that this week too. I just cant wait till i start feeling good all day every

Gym period is still the best. Volleyball is so much fun to play. I am
starting to pile up a few bruises and floorburns, but the pain is so worth
it!!! It has been absolutely gorgeous here. We have some snow on timp from a
rainstorm yesterday, and the weather is like mid 60s. does it get better?
nope. The mountains are always gorgeous. The clouds are nice. The snow on
Mount Timpinogas is awesome. Elder Foye and i take a long route back to our
room each night (we actually just walk a loop around the small MTC campus)
and i found two spots that i can see my stars relatively well. Its great! I
have a pedometer that i keep with me too. I've put in about 6500 each day
(which is so WEAK!!!) that number is going to jump so much when i get down
to argentina.

The advanced spanish missionaries that entered with us leave in a week or
so, and i am really sad about that because they are SUCH FUN PEOPLE! I love
the natives because most of them are so nice and will talk to you for as
long as you want and help you figure out the language and stuff. Its so much

Saturday night was a bit rough on me. I was sick and tired (see above) and
really wanted to be in the mountains rather than the white classrooms. We
got back to our rooms and i started venting in my journal and then finished
by saying basically i just need to forget all that stuff and focus on what
i'm here for. I finished writing and looked down from my top bunk and say
Elder Najac (the convert) sitting on the ground folding elder foye's clothes
(elder foye is sick too and had already fallen asleep). It was so touching
to me to see that. Here is this kid who has recieved just one letter since
being here taking time and loving us and helping us in our time of need. His
mannerisms can be a bit annoying at times, but with love, who cares? Me and
Elder Lytle jumped in as soon as we saw what was going on and started
cleaning all of elder foyes stuff up. It was definently a unique, bonding,
touching experience for us all.

Dearelder.com rocks. my box number is 185 in the provo mtc. send me some

Love you all
Fuerte con Animo
Elder Taylor Alan Jensen