Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sit down for a long letter!

April 6, 2009


Wow I have a TON to say so I am going to write as fast as I can and I'll try to keep it detailed but brief.

ON Wednesday, we were walking down the street and we haven't been doing as many street contacts as we used to. Something told me as I was crossing the street ´hey Jensen get street contacting! ´ So I did. Our first contact... nothing. Second... Nothing. Third was a long haired beer bottle in hand guy. We both were like oh great. Elder Cox did the contact and the guy stopped and listened and said you know what, me and my wife were wondering why there are so many churches and so many bibles. Can you come over now? We were like SURE! So we went over to his apartment a fourth of a block away but his wife was sick, so we set up a cita for Friday. We then went back on Friday and they let us right in and we started talking. Her first question was if we believe in angels. Justo I had been studying Moroni 7 and reading Elder Holland's talk about angels and their modern day ministry. HMMM. Coincidence? Keep reading. We then talked about the apostasy and explained that that is where all the bibles and religions come from, and then into the restoration. The loved it and were so excited to read the book of Mormon. They asked us about why people make bad decisions, why people die (they had a young child die) and more questions about death. We answered them and it was easily me and elder Cox's best lesson ever together. He did an incredible job explaining what the book of Mormon had done for him and was articulate in explaining the Holy Ghost. We invited them to conference the next day and they immediately accepted.

Conference on Saturday afternoon was INCREDIBLE for them because it literally answered every doubt and concern that Graciela had. At the end I looked over at her and she was just balling. It was incredible. I had told our zone leader about finding them and he came up to me after conference and just said Jensen that answered every question she had! Go put a fecha! We couldn't put a fecha because they aren't married and are going to have to wait a bit because they have to divorce their previous spouses. But we invited them to come back for Sunday morning session and to stick around for our baptism in between. They did, and it was awesome again. They know its true, they saw a baptism, and they are convinced the church is true. Now they just have to learn a bit more of the doctrine and get divorced then married and they'll get baptized. It was an incredible experience to meet them and see how ready they are. It strengthened my testimony that there are people out there in the world that need the gospel and are just waiting for us to come knocking for them to accept it. WOW. What an experience.

Next experience. BAPTISMS! We had 2 on Sunday, and it was a bit of a miracle. We swung by Lucas's house to check up and make sure everything was alright for Sunday on Saturday between the sessions. Gabriel was leaving to go play soccer and asked if we could move the baptism to next Saturday because he had to work on Sunday. We almost started crying. We went and said a prayer and went back to conference. We were just so sad. We then went back after Saturday night and he was cooking an asado sitting outside behind his house. We sat down and just started talking. He told me how hard his life had been, he told me about the problems he's been through and I just gave him all the support i could. It was a touching experience. When we had to go, we asked if we could swing by and pick up his boys to take them and he said nah. I'll take them. We said what? He said yeah ill just not go to work tomorrow because we want you to be here for this baptism, Jensen. I was so touched and so happy! It was great, and Lucas was thrilled to hear the news.

The baptism itself was great. It was the perfect way to end our time together me and elder Cox. We were both dressed in white, baptizing. The service was great... Carlos Buselli gave an INCREDIBLE talk about the Holy Ghost. It was really really touching. I had my doubts if he'd be able to adapt his message for an 8 year old and a 10 year old, but he nailed it. It was perfect. He taught with power, and bore the sweetest, purest testimony about what his baptism meant to him afterwards. I couldn't hold back my tears watching him and listening to him talk about how his baptism changed his life, and what it meant to him to have the Holy Ghost. WOW. I cannot think of a better way to end my time in Trelew than to hear the testimony of that man. It was neat because when we were teaching him back in November, I told him before his baptism that he would rise and be a great leader and teacher in the church. He came up to me after the baptism and said, Elder Jensen I have always remembered those words you told me about becoming a great leader and teacher. When you said it I doubted and didn't understand what you meant. Now I do. I smiled and gave him a hug. It is so neat watching your investigators grow in the church.

Next part. My memories book. I have a book that I have all my friends, missionaries, members, and converts write in while I'm down here. It has been really touching to read what people say to me and tell me the difference I have made in their lives. As I read their comments and testimonies, I feel very humbled. The things we do as missionaries are incredible. They are things I never will understand the significance of. Gabriel, for example, wrote about his lack of friends and how I came to him at a time in his life when he needed someone. He said i have brought him again to God and that he never wants to distance himself again. It is incredible the things we are able to do as missionaries, and I will never understand the true impact that i have on the people here in Trelew. It humbles me and makes me not feel worthy of bringing these great things to pass here. They all write and tell me ´don't forget us! ´ and I would say that that would be literally impossible. The moments I've had with these people are unforgettable. I will cherish the moments and friendships I have made with these people forever.

Next cosa. General Conference was amazing. We went to all the sessions but priesthood. They start at 1 and 5 here, and priesthood started at 9 so we couldn't go. I listened to both the Saturday sessions in Spanish, then on Sunday I started listening in English in the room with all the missionaries, but then left to listen in Spanish when Graciela and Hugo )the 2 new people we found mentioned earlier) came. Then I got to relax and listen in English to the last session. I understood pretty well everything, it just didn't have as big as an affect on me as it would have in English. The messages were all great, and I loved it. For lack of time, I'll stop my G.C. analysis there.

Next. We ALMOST hit the standard this week. We missed it by 1 fecha. It was devastating. We would have been the first companionship to hit it back to back, but we barely missed it. Blast.

Next. I am OUTTA HERE. I am going to Allen in the zone Roca. Allen (said ahsh-en) is about 40 minutes north of Roca and was opened to missionaries a year ago. There are 4 missionaries there. Me and my comp, a native from El Salvador who came in with elder Cox, and 2 hermanas. I will be the district leader up there. There are 2 companionships sharing that ward. I am looking forward to meeting new people and having some new experiences. I am devastated to leave Trelew, and the members here are sad I'm leaving. People have given me all kinds of cakes and socks and a sweatshirt. I feel really good leaving and looking and knowing that I have made a big difference here in the lives of not only my converts, but also the members. It has been a blast, and I can only hope to have the same experience in my new area. It is really hard saying goodbye to these people, and it is hard expressing the feelings I have for them and the impact we have had on each other's lives. They will be dearly missed, but I know I am going to try and come back down here some day and if not, I will just hope that we will see each other after this life.

Sorry that I have been so short of words this letter.  

I hope you all know how much I love being a missionary, how much joy I feel. I will kinda quote Alma 26:30ish

And now behold, we look and see our fruits and are they few? Nay they are many!

That's how I feel, and I feel some great joy.

Funny story. I am leaving here 12 baptisms happier and also 12 pounds heavier. In my next area, I think ill try and lose a pound for every baptism. Well see how that goes! Haha

I love you all. Take care!

Taylor Jensen

Elder Cox is great and sad to see me go. He'll be a great missionary.

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