Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fw: hey friends!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Taylor Jensen"
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 4:01 PM
Subject: hey friends!


i'm pretty pumped, if you couldnt tell.

Lets see here. What do i want to write about in my last email here? i have
been thinking a lot about how different i am from the kid who reported here
2 months ago. Not so much different as in personality (i'm still a goofball,
no worries) but in terms of my knowledge and understanding of things that
are important to me. I learned so much here in the past 2 months.More here
than i probably did in at least a semester, probably two semesters at
school. But unlike memorizing artwork and stuff, this stuff actually is
important to me. I have felt so good here. So loved! and its so weird
because i dont really have a social life anymore, other than meals and the
45 minutes before bed. I love it here! it is almost a little hard to leave.
I NEVER thought i'd say that. I am glad for my time here and for the
opportunity i have to be on a mission. I am so glad i have the opportunity
to go to argentina and help people understand the things i know and feel and
help them change their lives. I cant wait!!!

i just got out of our meeting with the consul. It was supposed to be 2
hours...it ended up being 3! my p-day was shrinking away! i was devastated!
but its alright. I learned so much about argentina-- it looks like i'm about
to put on a ton of weight because he kept talking about the food and how
good and how cheap it was! like steaks, pastas pizzas, and icecream! what
more do i need in my life? maybe orange juice? i'm excited.

I have my flight plans and am ready to go!! i leave at 5 AM from the MTC,
fly out at 825 to LA, land at 9:25AM there. I then take off at 120 from LA
and fly to Santiago, Chile and land there at 625 AM. i then leave chile at
725 and land in Buenos Aires at 10:25 AM. WE then will be greeted there by
somebody and finish up our visa stuff or somthing, then we will either fly
another 2.5 hours or take a 600 mile bus ride to Neuquen. YIKES!!!!
basically, we leave at 5 am on monday and wont get to neuquen until late
tuesday night/early wednesday morning! that is a long long long day of
traveling, my friends!

Its been a bit of a sad weekend because Elders lytle and Najac left
yesterday morning at 6. It was pretty bittersweet-- i LOVE those two to
death. It was so lonely going to bed last night without our two boys in our
room with us! our room is so big now though! haha. It was so fun being here
in the MTC with them, but there are bigger and better things, like paraguay
for them and argentina for us. I'm looking forward to the letters i'll be
sending those two! haha. i cant wait.

I'm trying to think of a crazy story from this week. I'm struggling to get
any! i am ADDICTED to 4 square now though. During gym i am always diving on
the floor while we play and i've gotten in trouble for it 2 or 3 times now.
People here just dont understand that diving is a part of who i am!! haha. I
guess i better play it safe this week... i dont want to stay here any longer
than i have to!!

Hmmm. Other news. Manny now has 11 plants. WE are giving him up for
adoption, so hopefully he'll live for 2 years, right? haha. THAT is going to
be a sad parting!

I have reflected a lot on how fortunate i am to be here, serving the Lord
and doing His work. It is honestly a miracle the amount of spanish i know
right now, the amount of scripture knowledge i've developed, and the amount
i have learned about myself and about my savior. I love every day here, and
cannot wait to get to argentina to start using what i've learned to help
people come unto Christ, to help them find peace, happiness, and joy in
their lives. I am so blessed to have come from an incredible family and
group of friends who supports me through their love, letters, cookies, and
prayers! Thank you so much, I hope i am able to talk to you all again soon,
but who knows when i'll get to a computer again! Could be this next week,
could be 2 weeks, could be never. WE'll hope not on that last one.

I love you all, take care, smile, read the scriptures, do good things with
your lives, and send me letters in argentina!!

Con Fuerte y animo
Elder Taylor Jensen

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fw: Hey Friends!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Taylor Jensen"
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 6:44 PM
Subject: Hey Friends!

Hola Amigos!

Its been another whirlwind week here at the mtc. They seriously fly by so
fast! i feel like i was just sitting in this chair emailing a few days ago!
its hard for me because i never remember when things happen here so
hopefully i dont repeat any of my stories!

Hmmmm. What unique happened this week? well, It SNOWED HERE! I was so
pumped. it is really funny because there are all these goofball kids who put
on their thermals and their parkas and their snow boots and their scarves
like its the next iceage. I still rock the short sleeve dress shirt until
this monday when they said we had to wear our suits all day. Bummer. I still
love being out side in the cold--its training for my mission in the southern
part of Argentina! we can get sack lunches and breakfasts instead of going
into the cafeteria, so me and Elder foye do that every day and eat at a
picnic table that we can freeze our buns off at and look at the mountains
at the same time. So worth it.

Speaking of argentina-- Visa update-- We did not get our flight plans last
friday (but the rest of my district did-- not fair!) but we went to the
travel office and they said we will get ours this friday. We leave on the
27th of october-- the rest of the argentina missions are leaving on the
23rd, but our mission president cant pick us up till the 28th. Bummer. I
hope we get a lot of free study time that extra week we have to stay
because i have so much i still need to do here. It is so crazy--i have way
too much to do and not enough time to do it!! i guess its a good thing that
i am too busy rather than not having enough to do!

Manny El Manzano update- i havent given one of these in a little while. We
now have 10 manny's. Most of them are about 2 inches tall or so and have 4
or 5 leaves. They are such a cute little family. It has been a pleasure
growing them. We are working out an adoption right now so that they can have
a good parent looking after them when we leave (we've debated taking them to
Argentina with us! haha.)

Its kinda weird right now because we are now the oldest district in our zone
in the MTC. Its strange. We dont feel like the oldest, but we are. Its fun
though. We know how it works here, and we actually are a REALLY good
district because we work really hard and dont screw around. I have been
extremely fortunate to have gotten to know and associate with the fine
missionaries in my district here.

Gym time still rocks. I am now addicted to basketball and 4 square. They
just instituted a new rule about diving though- apparently we arent allowed
to dive after a ball in 4 square. Are you kidding me? Sometimes i do it
anyway because i just cant control that! its just built in to my system.

Crazy story of the week- me and elder lytle built a bobsled the other day on
my bed. we were cleaning our room and i threw all 4 of our chairs into his
bed (i always throw all of my stuff in his bed just because its funny and we
always joke about it) and so he takes them and starts sitting them up on my
bed like a bobsled. We then went out in the hall and did the 'feel the
rythm, feel the ride, come on jamaica, its bobsled time!' from cool runnings
and then ran into our room and jumped on our bobsled. It was a blast. But it
lasted about 20 seconds. haha. We like our strange activities.

I'm trying to think of what else new or profound i have learned here...
nothing is coming to mind. I get kinda stressed on preparation days because
i only get a half hour to email so i have to type SO FAST! oh well.

Oh i thought of something. I decided that i was going to read the Book of
Mormon straight through during my time in the MTC. I finished it this past
sunday and it was incredible. I seriously learned so much more this time
through than i ever have in any other time i've read it. I guess i just read
things in a different light as a missionary and a representitive of Christ.
There is no doubt in my mind that it is true. It answers deep questions of
the soul that i've had this past month. It has answered prayers. Its
incredible. Thats what new and profound thing i've learned this week is. The
book of Mormon is TRUE!

Alright i need to go off to choir--i hung with it after singing in general
conference just because i like singing in english so much! I leave the 27th,
so dont send me letters that will get here later than that! (oh and my
birthday is the 24th. Just thought i'd drop that out there :))

I love you all, have a great week, go byu football, go missionaries, go
mission work, go book of mormon, and go mail for taylor!

Elder Taylor Alan Jensen

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fw: Hey Friends!!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Taylor Jensen"
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2008 2:46 PM
Subject: Hey Friends!!

Wow. What a week. It has been super busy preparing for conference last
weekend and learning spanish and doing crazy things to keep our sanity. I
cant believe i only have 2 weeks left! AH! I get my flight plans THIS
FRIDAY!!!! i cant wait. I am so stoked. I think i have learned and grown
more here than at any other point in my life. its been a whirlwind-i can
hardly remember my pre-mission life (well, until i look at the mountains

Anyways, New stuff this week:

-I got a paper telling me i was meeting with the visa people on thursday and
then again on the 21st of october. I wont get my visa till then (i was
suppossed to be out on the 20th) so i'll hopefully be out on the 23ish. Some
people have said we wont leave till the 27th though. I'd actually be alright
being delayed a few days because then i'd have so much free time to study
and mark my spanish scriptures and stuff! I'll let you know next week!

-We had a sweet campout last thursday night. Thursday we have night gym and
have an extra half our of getting ready for bed, so we made a quick blanket
fort in our room, put flashlights in elder foye's orange laundry bag for a
fire, and had a pot luck type campout. Dont worry-we were all in jeans and
sweatshirts, i had my headband on and headlamp on, and we had a really long
spiritual thought by our zone leader. IT was great! i cant wait till next

-Pretty much the coolest thing that has happened to me here happened this
weekend. We had General conference (5 2 hour meetings held and broadcasted
by our church general authorities) and it happens every 6 months. I had the
chance to go be in the choir that sang at the saturday night priesthood
meeting. It was INCREDIBLE!!! it was so much fun, so much energy, so much of
the spirit. It was a really unique experience. It was incredible seeing all
the people there, looking out from teh viewpoint of the apostles and prophet
at the priesthood body of the church. It was also fun to be sitting behind
the aforementioned apostles and prophets-- it was like we were literally
following them. The songs we sang were powerful - Called to serve, Lord i
would follow thee, and Hark all ye nations. I loved it! and i heard i was on
camera a few times too... we get to watch it tonight, so i'll figure out the
final count and see if i can settle the debate about whether my eyebrows
were in in the last song or not :)

-ANOTHER sweet thing that happened while i was at conference is that
inbetween warming up in the conference center and conference, i ran out to
the bathroom with about half of the choir. I waited like 10 minutes so i
didnt have to wait in as long of a line, and i went to a bathroom farther
away than the close one to avoid the line. ON my way there, i was greeted by
a nice man named L TOM PERRY! he shook my hand, said 'what are you up to?'
"just running to the bathroom to get the pre-singing jitters out" "Good luck
out there!" "Thanks" and i patted him on teh back and went on my way. How
incredible! (L Tom perry is an apostle in our church) Definently made all of
the personal study time lost, the long practices, and the long bus ride up
there worth it just for that. Singing my heart out was just icing on teh

Well friends, i need to head out. Anna-i got your letter last tuesday night
and couldnt get back to you till today, so one is on the way. Take care, i
love you, write me letters because i only have 2 weeks left!!

Taylor Jensen