Monday, July 6, 2009

July in Argentina!

July 6, 2009


Hey all.

Welcome to Flu World! There are still SO many people sick here. We didn't have church yesterday and they've passed some ordinances that we are not allowed to have meetings or sports events or anything with a lot of people around. Makes working interesting, huh? Saturday night was the first thing we heard anything from the mission about it—they just said try to avoid shaking hands, hugging, and kissing (argentine kisses, of course!) I tried it for the first half of Sunday and it was so hard. People would just keep walking if we didn't shake their hand in the street! We normally try to ´roadblock´ them so they can't just walk by and blow us off, but without the handshakes our efforts are feeble. I couldn't do it and started shaking hands again. Its pretty incredible that me and my companion are still as healthy as we are. We shake hands and hug and all sorts of stuff, and neither of us are sick. I call it divine intervention. Yesterday after lunch I was feeling like I was coming down with something and it turned into a mental game where I said I'm going to ignore the pain in my head and stomach and keep working. I'm not getting sick. It just doesn't matter. I'm not getting sick. And...I didn't get sick. Who knows if it really was mind over matter, but I'd like to think so

We missed the standard by 1 fecha. My night was a bit rough last night. A refresher on what the standard is: 1 baptism, 1 confirmation, 4 fechas, 5 in church, 8 lessons taught with member, 16 other lessons, 12 new investigators, and 140 contacts. We crushed every one of those, but just could not get another fecha. I was sad. There are normally about 3 companionships to get the standard every transfer, and to my knowledge there are 2 people who have gotten it more than thrice. I was really sad, but looking at the rest of our week, we taught 34 lessons—10 with member. That's the most I've taught in a long long time. It's been a pretty miraculous change I've had here in Allen. When I got here it would be a joke to say we were going to teach 34 total lessons. I'm grateful for the hard work me and my companions have put in to find people to teach and to be diligent even on those days when everything is going wrong.

Octavio´s baptism was good. They had about 20 people there from his family and friends, and that is always good. We didn't have much of a turnout from the ward because we were told not to invite many because of said swine flu problem. (ps. My response to people talking about it like it's a big epidemic is: maybe someone should tell these people its winter) but it was a good baptism. I've got some good pictures, but can't send them because I'm on a bad computer (all the good cybers are shut down because of said swine flu). But I'll get those out. He bore a sweet testimony afterwards, and was just so happy all day. We are now working with his older brother and sister who are programmed for the 18th and 25th... his brother is having doubts, but we're working with him. Tamara has been great with this family. She basically lives there or with our ward mission leader. She has been taken in SOOOOO well in the ward. I think she may have slept at the Marquez's apartment last night actually. But she's doing great. Juan Carlos is doing alright. Still has TONS of energy for the church, but the members have a bit of fear for him because he still has a lot of evangelical mannerisms and characteristics (esp. in the way he prays. He's gotten better.) But Octavio (our ward mission leader) sat him down and had a good nice blunt chat with him and they both came out smiling so I think everything will be alright now. Hector Matus quit coming almost 3 months ago, but I've kept passing by and passing by and finally Octavio had him over and hector is going to come back to church. In the meantime, Hector read the whole book of Mormon. Hmmm.

We have another investigator named Edgardo. He's great. We challenged him to read the whole book of Mormon before his August 1st baptism. We went back on Sunday, and he had been sick with the said swine flu all weekend, but was already in 1 ne 17. He's going to do it! It's been pretty miraculous to see all the changes in his life. When we first started passing by with their family, he would run away and hide. But then he almost drunk himself to death, and started listening. He's completely changed now. He tells his friends No! I can't go out tonight I've got to go to bed early! Tomorrow is Sunday! He's funny. He's 22 and we played ping pong with him this past Thursday (we play soccer one week, ping pong the next. Am I in heaven or what?) But it is always really interesting to see the path people take to come to the Gospel.

We have a zone conference this Wednesday. I've already talked to President Peterson 3 or 4 times on the phone with some problems we were having here. He seems great and I can't wait to meet him in person! The problems we had here was this... our ward mission leader is going out of town until the 27th, and we have 4 baptisms between last Saturday and the 27th and someone has to sign the confirmation paper. But we got that figured out. It's going to be a fun 4 weeks though because he called and asked me to direct the meetings and assign the talks. Que tal.

The district is doing good. I had an idea this past district meeting. We have the standard of excellence and everyone tries to go for it when they have a baptism planned. But what about all those weeks when you don't have baptisms? People never go for 140 contacts unless they're going for the standard, and so we tried to fix that. We put in a district ´standard of effort´ (it sounds a lot cooler in Spanish). Basically its to try and help the district pick it up a bit. We have us and another companionship of elders who are really diligent and have a lot of success. The new hermana is great and is going to be a good asset here. And the other elders... yep. So we were hoping this would help the two struggling companionships pick it up, but it didn't change much in the bottom half of the district. I think we may rearrange it and try and get it more achievable for them. The prize—home made goodies from Elder Jensen!! It's a pretty coveted prize.

We're about to go have a little grill out with the hermanas to celebrate the 4th of July. Yum. Sorry yours was chilly—ours was nice—we almost went out without suit coats! Winter isn't very cold here... yet. We are lucky and don't have much wind. I'm proud of you guys for taking me to the reds game.  (editor's note:  the cardboard cutout that of himself that Taylor left at home for us!) It was a fun one to be at, even if I had to sit and listen to it in the car. Hahaha. If you ever take me anywhere cool, you have to send me pictures so I can know the cool things I'm doing.

Thanks for all your love and support. I'll stay healthy, don't you worry.

With all the love I can smuggle through customs,
Elder Taylor Jensen


Editors note:  There are new pictures posted on Taylor's


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