Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fw: hey family!!

Wow. That is about all i have to say about this week.


This is week one of training. It also happens to be one of the hardest weeks of my mission. I know ive only been out a little while, but this is by far the toughest. It would be very easy for me to sit here and whine and talk about the 107 degree heat we had here Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (!!!!!!!) or the people who didnt show for citas, but thats not fun for me or you. Instead, i am going to describe some of the blessings and the things ive learned this week, because those are the things that will stay with me far longer than the sweat stains and discouragement


This week was really tough. We had 0 fechas, 0 progressing investigators, and 3 months in argentina between my companion and i. We had work to do. In District meeting, we were challenged by the zone leaders to set 5 fechas as a district, and bring 5 people per companionship to church. Hmm. Thats a bit tough to do in 1 week. But we put our minds to it, and went off to work.


We set 3 fechas that same day with the familia Asocar—the dad is a Menos Activo, and the wife, one of her kids, and one of the Dads kids are not baptized. They have been reading a good amount. The day we set the fecha, they had stayed up till 3 the night before reading about ammon cutting off arms and Korihor the anti-christ. We went in and read 2 Ne 31 about baptism, and invited her to be baptised. She readily accepted. Now we are working with them to quit smoking (they both really want to, esp since she is pregnant) and we have a marriage date set with them too. They are coming along great, and it has been such a blessing to teach them this week. Weve had 3 good lessons with them, and each time it is great. It doesnt matter how hot it is, how many people no-show us, because whenever we are in that house we feel something. Excitement that they are readily trying to change their lives so the dad can baptise them. Peace in knowing that all is well. Im going to quote a scripture real quick that explains pretty well how my week has been, and a little bit of what i experience when i teach: Alma 26:27-37

 27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to aturn back, behold, the Lord bcomforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with cpatience thine dafflictions, and I will give unto you success.

  28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.

  29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their asynagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been bstoned, and taken and bound with cstrong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.

  30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our ajoy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.

  31 Now behold, we can look forth and see the afruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are bmany; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.

  32 For behold, they had rather asacrifice their lives than even to take the life of their enemy; and they have bburied their weapons of war deep in the earth, because of their love towards their brethren.

  33 And now behold I say unto you, has there been so great love in all the land? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, there has not, even among the Nephites.

  34 For behold, they would take up arms against their brethren; they would not suffer themselves to be slain. But behold how amany of these have laid down their lives; and we know that they have gone to their God, because of their love and of their hatred to sin.

  35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all apower, ball wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a cmerciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.

  36 Now if this is aboasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a bbranch of the tree of Israel, and has been clost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, dwanderers in a strange land.

  37 Now my brethren, we see that God is amindful of every bpeople, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever.


Setting that fecha with this family was definently a tender mercy of the Lord. He prepared them, maybe reminded them to read teh scriptures like we had asked a week ago, and they were ready for us to set that fecha. They have been the bright spot in my week, and i am so greatful for the challenge we got in district meeting to set fechas, as well as for them for following the promptings of the Spirit and reading the Book of Mormon


Another tender mercy of the Lord i have seen this week was yesterday in church. Although we had zero people in church, i was so happy because i saw Ivan passing the sacrament in a white shirt, tie, and dress pants. Right before the sacrament, he ran out in the hall to tuck in his shirt without anyone telling him to. There is a difference in these kids, and i can see it. The ward sees it. Their parents see it. Bryan, who normally dresses up like a gangster with chains and an earing, also was dressed in shirt, tie and dress pants. Matias had gone out and bought or found a white shirt, tie, dress pants, and dress shoes. I was so proud of my boys. There they sat, in the front row of church, silently listening to every word of the meeting. 3 of our baptisms dressed in shirt tie and dress pants, and 2 other of the youth of our ward, also dressed up. It just made me so greatful for the influince this gospel has had in the lives of these 3 kids, and also in the lives of the other 2 young men, previously inactive, who now are just this group of 5 great friends. Im bringing my camera next week to church to take a picture of this almost heavenly sight. All the things that have discouraged me this week left my mind at this moment in church, because i was enjoying a bit of the fruits of my labors. It was an incredible experience.


This week also has been challenging because i have had to step up and be a trainer and show another missionary how to be a missionary. I know i am not perfect, and im sure i am feeling some of the things Elder Valencia felt with me. But through this experience, i am being forced to learn a couple of things, and im sure i will have some more tough experiences in the weeks to come until i humble myself and learn what i am supposed to learn in this moment. A few quick hits of things i am learning and have learned—


Patience. With myself and with my comp who doesnt say more than 10 sentences in a lesson. I have to be patient and positive with him in his efforts—and i know he is trying. I was in his shoes just a bit ago—and i have to be patient with myself because i feel like im still being trained and figuring out methods of teaching people. I am learning not to live in past mistakes or let a poorly taught lesson get me down. I just know i am learning and the next one will be better!


Love. It has been really important for me to love my companion and to build him up when he does well and constructively help him when he needs it. It has been a privledge to be his trainer and i know he wants to be a great missionary. I just hope i can set a good enough example for him, and that he can look back at this first 2 transfers of his mission with good, fond memories like i do with my trainer.


Trusting in teh Spirit. We are 2 gringos and cant explain ourselves very well in spanish. But there is one language that everyone speaks. Its the universal language of the Spirit. We dont have to speak with perfect spanish for these people to feel the importance of our message. They can feel the spirit even if we are speaking gibberish. This goes hand in hand with patience—We are doing the best we can to learn the language, and in turn, the spirit is taking our message into the hearts of our investigators. 2 Ne 32:1—the spirit carries our message. I know it does. I have felt it. I think that is a greater gift than the gift of tounges that we can get. I would 100 times rather speak and have the spirit testify to the people rather than teach with perfect spanish.


All is well down here. I feel like elder cook´s son reporting back ´hope you know, we had a hard time!´ but there is so much i can learn from this experience. I know i just need to humble myself and rely on the Lord, and as i do this He will give me success. I am so greatful for the ability i have to call upon the Lord, and for His tender mercies i have seen in my life this week. Hay que trabajar. Hay que luchar. Its not going to be easy, but it sure will be worth it. Diligence in all things. Those have been my slogans this week.


With all that said, i really hope next week is better!! Haha. But i have been praying to learn the lessons i need to, and so i guess i need to be careful what to pray for, huh? I know i have SO much more to learn, and am ready with my armour on to go learn it this coming week. I am greatful for the things i am learning, and i know i am just scratching the surface of what i have yet to learn. I look forward to what i am going to learn in the coming week, regardless of if its a good week or another week like this week.


Im going to go make skyline chili for my zone now, and then play speedball at the church. What a day this is going to be, huh!?! I figured i needed a little kick to get this coming week going good. Spanish is coming along really well. Ive been thrown into the fire and honestly i am understanding about 85 to 90 percent of what people are saying to me. That has been a miracle too. The Lord qualifies who He calls? I think so. Elder cox has been working hard on his spanish, and it has gotten a lot better this past week. It is a pleaure kneeling in prayer and humbly asking for help with him. I think as new as we are, we are still humble. That is going a long way for us.


Im going to head out, but i love you all and i appreciate your prayers in my behalf as well as in the behalf of my investigators, my area, and my kid.


Have a great week, adn enjoy the cold!! It touched between 107 and 111 here!!!!!!


Love you


Taylor Jensen


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