Friday, October 16, 2009

The news from down south

Editor's note:
The editor has been traveling this week and didn't get Elder Jensen's letter forwarded in a timely manner.  Sorry about that!  He uses several terms and Spanish words that may not be understood by his faithful readers.  Here is a little glossary:
menos activo---a member of the Church but not attending regularly
cita---an appointment to teach a lesson 
rama--local branch of the Church
divisions---when 2 missionary campanions switch and serve for a day with 2 other missionaries
whitewashing---all missionaries in an area are transferred to a new location and replaced with new missionaries which means there is no continuity
fecha--commitment to set a date to be baptized
Hope this is helpful!

October 12.2009


Hey family!

This week was a good one. We had a miracle happen on Friday. We are really fighting to get good investigators and people who are ready to progress and go now. On Friday morning, we were trying to find old contacts, but no one was home. We kind of started wandering around, not knowing where we were going. I then saw the house of a menos activo we had contacted 2 weeks before. I decided, half out of desperation, to go contact it. An 18 year old boy named Cesar opens up and cordially lets us in. We talked with him (who isn't a member) and his dad (who has been inactive for 15 years) about the church. It was short, but good. We set up a cita for the following night. Saturday, we went by with our Branch President. We had 2 citas and the first one no showed us and our branch president was blaming it on the Argentina-Peru soccer game that was playing. He kept telling us "They aren't going to be home. Just go set a cita for Sunday." We drove over to their home, and I jumped out of the car praying with all my heart they'd let us in for 2 reasons: 1- we were with the branch president and it would be a great member present lesson, and 2- to get the branch president to get a positive outlook on what was going on here. Well, the door opened, they turned off the TV, and we chatted for 45 minutes. The spirit made me bold and I challenged the dad to get active so he can baptize his son. They both readily accepted. It was a very sweet moment, and our branch president is excited that we have a few people on the point of baptism now. It's been tough, but there has been a great change in the attitude these past 3 weeks. I know things will keep changing and that this rama will get turned around.

We did divisions for the 1st time with the San Martin elders on Tuesday and it went well. I was with a porteño (elder from Buenos Aires) and it was GREAT!! Haha. It was a great break to be with him and not have to shoulder everything. He was a good elder with a strong testimony. We were able to get in a few houses and teach, and one of the lessons we taught was really powerful. We are doing divisions again with them on Tuesday.

We are doing a ton of contacting and entering in a ton of houses and teaching a good amount. It's just hard because we enter, enter, enter and then never are able to find the people again. It's kind of frustrating and results in us walking a lot.

We had 13 in church this week. We had 3 people come who didn't my first week, so that's good. There are just a lot of people here who are toeing the line of being active and menos activo. It's tough because I feel like a lot of our calling is to help this branch and support the worn out branch president. Luckily, this past week we've pumped some new energy into him by having 2 people who are progressing and coming to church next week. I think that as we continue to do that and get energy in him, we can really change the attitude of this place and get it more positive.

I literally have never been more tired in my life. We walk an awful lot here, and walk and walk. Then add on the stress of whitewashing and having a comp that does not speak well at all and I'm exhausted. I woke up this morning and felt like I hadn't even gone to bed. Thank goodness for p-day. I feel bad-- we are in such a beautiful place and all I want to do is go get in my sleeping bag.

I got 2 awesome letters this week from Hermana Marquez and Tamara. It gave me a lot of animo because things are going well back there. Karen and Gonzalo are singing in a stake choir (haha. I never saw that happening). Gonzalo is going early to church to prepare the sacrament. Octavio hasn't gone because he still gets little ´attacks´ of missing his elders, where he remembers and it really hurts him still. But Tamara is hanging in there and doing great and really helping them stay strong. She's incredible. I'm still grateful to this day for the opportunity I had to find them, to bring them together, and that they are so great.

I don't really have much to say this week. Sorry! Hopefully things will pick up a bit more and we'll have more people here to talk about. I know God is aware of us and our needs. He trusts us in this work and will lead us to the people that are prepared. We need to be obedient, prepare ourselves through studying, and work our absolute hardest, and we will become tools in the master's hands. This is the greatest work because God is in charge. Now we just have to go out and do it!

Taylor Jensen

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