Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Missionary on the Go!

November 18, 2009


Hey Family!!

WHEW!!!! It's kinda hard for me to remember the blur that we like to call this past week. I think last week I wrote on Thursday, so I'll start from last Friday. We finished up the zone conferences last week in Roca on Friday. It was really fun to see my old district there where a couple of the members are still intact and doing well. We drove by Allen on the way down to Roca and I said in the car with president driving ´president!! Take me home!!´ It was kind of a joke, but in all seriousness I would go back there in a heartbeat. We kept going and had a good conference with Roca. It was fun talking to the hermanas and finding out all the stuff that was happening in Allen with our families and investigators and members that live there. I got a couple of letter s from them and they are doing alright. They've had a bit of ups and downs since we got pulled, but they'll pull through I hope.  I really want to go back and see them, but unfortunately, the schedule and rules we have make it pretty tough to get back there. We did get to drop the hermanas back in Allen on our way back, so I got to drive right through my area. It was awesome and made me miss it so bad.

Saturday and Sunday are precious days for me now because those are the only two days I get to work all day like a normal missionary. Except this Saturday and Sunday were really hard for me. I feel like I'm whitewashing again because this area really has nothing. The only problem is that we don't have too too great of a relation with the members because when we go out we only have 4.5 hours to work so we try and visit investigators. The only problem—we don't really have any. So we've been working and talking to EVERYONE, just like we've been teaching the mission. I've been really struggling here because I haven't gotten into a single house in my two weeks in neuquen and that was eating me alive. I was dying and miserable, just so desperate to get in and teach someone something that is going to help them out. This past weekend, I carried on with that anguish, just trying with all of my might to get in somewhere. I decided that I had to change something—being here and having our schedule makes it really hard to get more than a half hour of personal study in. When we are traveling, it becomes almost impossible. I decided that I had to start studying and making it something I just did everyday. So I began setting my alarm even earlier on the days that we had to leave and travel. I found some time each day and have started studying again. I also became as some of the prophets in the book of Mormon just ´wrestling with the Lord´ and praying hard hard hard that He would just guide us to some house, have some person let us in. And we didn't get in Saturday. Sunday we walked around doing straight contacts again. In my two weeks here, I had done 360 contacts, 3 lessons, and not entered into a single new house. It was awful. But, Monday was an incredible day. We did 40 contacts, taught 3 lessons, entered into 3 new houses, and found 8 people, including a family of 5 that me and elder Nilsson are going to go make skyline for in a bit. It was a miracle, and I have never been so happy!!!! It was a big tender mercy from the Lord. Yesterday, we continued and entered a house and found a family of 3. I just breathed a big sigh of relief, and now I'll be able to settle into this place and do what I've always done—find, teach, baptize!!

Last week we had a funny experience—I got robbed!!! Aw man! This one was fun. Me and my 6´4´´ companion, elder Nilsson, my best bud from Roca, were working together (I almost never work with my real comp because when we go on the Gira we want the office elders to know our investigators and stuff, so we always just work on divisions with the office). I thought being with him would give me some protection, that all the unity stuff we've been sharing in zone conference would do something but it didn't.  We do a contact with a guy in the street and invite ourselves over to his house. He says sure I live 4 houses that way and we start walking over with him. We're chatting and everything and enter with him through his fence. He then takes us around to the side of his house and starts being weird and playing around in his pockets and pants. He then says my grandma has interest in your message. There she is! He says, pointing to his dog. At this point, my companion says this is dumb and turns and leaves. In the mean time, the guy has me cornered a bit by the wall and tells me to give him my money. I told him I don't have any and that I'm going to leave. He says no seriously give it to me. I respond no seriously I don't have any. I turn to leave, keeping my eyes on this guy. He grabs my proselyting back from behind and I just tear it away from him and leave. I left the fence only to find that my companion is about a half a block away just walking. I jog over and say ´hey man. How are ya? Good, and you? He responds. I'm fine. Other than I just got robbed, everything is going great.´ His surprise was hilarious. I gave him a half hug as we walked away laughing and joking and me making fun of him for leaving me hanging. But, again, if these people want to rob me they just have to bring their A game. And I'm really lucky again the guy didn't have a knife or gun or anything.

Noelia passed her interview and is getting baptized this Saturday. President said we could work our schedule for when we are in Trelew so I can go and be there. That is going to be very special. The elders there have told the ward I'm going to be there so I am really hoping to see a lot of my people!! I'm really pumped.

The new missionaries are getting here tonight, we are training tomorrow and then leaving at about 2 to go down on the gira (the loop) we have Trelew and Puerto Madryn together on Friday, Caleta Olivia on Tuesday, Comodoro on Wednesday, and Bariloche on Friday. The other days will be used for doing divisions with zone leaders and traveling. We are going together in president's Hilux (it's a lot like mom's car) and he and I will take turns driving. It's going to be a great time to study, talk and get to know president, and maybe sleep a little????? Well see.

I'm on the run again. My time is so darn limited!! Oh well. Have a great week—I'lll be writing from the south of the world next week!!  I love you all and really appreciate all of your prayers!

I love you all. Love, Elder Jensen

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A little longer letter from Elder Jensen

November 12, 2009


Hey all--

Well; it's been a rush so far. I woke up an hour early to email this morning because I just do not have time to do anything! It's really a different lifestyle. I have woken up at 5:30 or earlier more than half of my days as assistant. That's a lot different. These last two transfers I was always so tired that I was pretty useless from 6:30 to 7 ish until I got in the shower. But now, I'm up an hour early and working on projects or stuff like that. It also applies to the other end- we are supposed to go to bed at 10:30, but my comp and I have been staying up late because we get swamped with phone calls till 10:30, we have stuff we need to do to prepare for the zone conferences the next day, and so we normally are in bed at about 11 ish. I'm holding up well so far…it's just a lot less sleep than the sacred 8 hours we are supposed to have!

This week, we started zone conferences. First up was Zapala, the zone where Junin is. It was fun to see my old district there. The elders in San martin changed- one stayed and one left, and now the one that came in gets along incredibly well with the one that stayed. That made me really happy—he needed a good companion. Elder Henrie is doing alright, it looks like. His new companion is an x zone leader who was zone leader for a long time and is now finishing his mission. I think that he will help Elder Henrie a lot. For that zone conference, we had to wake up at 4:45 to leave at 5:30 and get there at 8. But the conference went really well. It was a pretty powerful one this transfer, and we're changed several things in the mission. All my mission I have had this strange obsession with contacts. President recently has also gotten that strange obsession, so that's one of the big things we are talking about in the zone conferences. I get really excited talking about it, and we've put really high goals in the mission to get everyone out and working more. President is calling this the New Era. We've put a goal to baptize a whole lot more this transfer, and that goal is being backed up by the zones. In the past week, the mission has soared from 70 fechas to about 90 as of last night. There is a lot of positive energy now!
Yesterday, we were here with one of the Neuquen zones, and it also was a good conference. Elder Cox is here in this zone, so it was fun to see him again. Its interesting being in each zone conference, because every zone has its own unique kinda feel. I think a lot of that also depends on the zone leaders- if they are hard workers and set a good example or not. Its also fun being at every zone conference because you get to see how the messages and principles adapt themselves to each individual zone.

Tomorrow we head on out to Roca, so I get to see my old district out there. Then Saturday and Sunday we get to work all day! Yay! Next week, we head on out south on Thursday afternoon and are gone till the 30th or so. We had a nice little miracle happen this week too. We had 8 new missionaries come at the beginning of this transfer, but 5 more were delayed. We've been really worried about when they were going it be able to get here. If we leave on the gira (the loop down south for the zone conferences), we would have to have them wait till December when we got back up here. That would really really be a pain, because there are 5 elders and hermanas here that have a ´mini missionary´ and not all of the mini missionaries can be minis that long. We finally got a call last night that they were going to arrive on the 18th. That is absolutely perfect—now we'll have a short little training meeting on the 19th and roll on out that afternoon. The Lord is mindful of us, even way down south at the tip of south America!
Its fun working in the office. It drives me nuts because we don't go out and work as much as a normal elder, but I understand why. I actually hardly ever work proselyting with my real companion, Elder Camacho. I work most of the time with Elder Nilsson, who spent 6 months in my district in Roca (Allen). It's really funny, because every time we did divisions down there, we'd always dream of how it would be if we could just be companions- what kinda things we'd do, how well we'd work together. Well, now we get to see! So I am happy because I have 2 great companions up here in the office. Elder Camacho is great too. He is Elder Foye´s trainer, so he has some fun stories about that. We also have the office senior couple that lives here in the house with us. They are HILARIOUS. The hermana is just so loving and nice and cooks us stuff a couple times a week. Her husband is a really… strong presence that just makes me laugh. He has no problem in yelling ´WHO LEFT THE DOOR OPEN! DO WE LIVE IN A BARN??´ it's also funny because he speaks very very limited Spanish, so when he needs to make a phone call he makes us do it. That can be good and bad. These past 4 weeks, the internet here in the office has been horrible, so he has made me call and be pushy with the internet people who are just a horrible company. He hands me the phone and says Elder Jensen these people are idiots and I want you to tell them that. Tell em every bad word you know in Spanish so we can get this thing fixed! Haha. (don't worry, I didn't tell em any bad words).

Next transfer, we are getting 14 new missionaries! And we are also going to do a mission tour with the Bowens. I'm excited for that. Also, Elder Taylor's baptismal goal is 15 this transfer. That made a pretty big splash here in the office. I talked to him last night for the first time in more than 3 months, and he sounds good. He is a great missionary.

Well, its time to shower and head off to a zone conference. I've been trying to throw a picture in this email, but the internet is being spotty again, so I haven't been able to upload it. Maybe next week if I call em up and give them a hassle again we'll have better internet!

I love you!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

News of a transfer

November 3, 2009

Hey family!

Well, to be honest, I don't really remember too too much of what happened
this past week in Junin. It went by pretty quick, and I've had a bit of a
whirlwind weekend. Let's start—this week, we'll go backwards, from yesterday
back to last Monday ish, depending on what I remember!

I am in Neuquen. I was called as the Assistant to the President. Wow. Never
has this happened in remembered history of the mission where someone who was
never a zone leader gotten that bump, but here I am. I got a bit of a
warning this past week—I got a call on Thursday from president asking for my
drivers license number—and there are only 2 places you need to drive- the
office and as Assistant. I knew I wasn't coming up to be in the office, but
I thought maybe it was just for next transfer or something. But nope. Friday
night, President called me and extended the calling. I told him he blew his
cover a bit calling for my drivers license, and that I figured I was coming
up to be assistant. He says well you aren't a Hinckley scholar for nothing.
I say `well, I had the dark horse idea that you were sending a car down to
Junín de los Andes! ` haha. I'm glad I have a mission president that I can
joke around like that with.

He tells me that the mission is struggling, and that we're making a lot of
changes. The assistant I am replacing only was the assistant for 3 transfers—you
almost always are for 4. But I feel like that assistant was SO much better
of a missionary than me. I love the kid. But president tells me it all
starts with contacting and finding, and looking at your numbers, and what
you've done with the districts in Roca and Junin, you are the man for the
job. I told him I absolutely agree with what he said about contacts, that I
would do all I can to help jumpstart the whole mission on doing their 154
every week. We'll see how it goes!

So I rolled out on Sunday right after church. Normally transfers happen
Mondays, but I had to be in neuquen Monday morning because the missionaries
that end come and leave. It was a sad experience, taking the missionaries to
the airport this morning. We sent home several great missionaries today—and
ex AP, and Elder Goveia from Trelew. It sad, and gave me a lot of desires to
work hard to the end of my mission. Some of those guys were just… I don't
know. They had stopped working a while ago and just left. How sad. That's
not going to be me.

In a couple hours, the new missionaries get here and we have to go pick them
up and start the training and stuff with them. I'm really excited. I still
remember getting off the plane and seeing president cook with Elder Romero
and Guzman! Haha. They get here in just a couple of hours.

These past two days have been spent planning the workshops in the zone
conferences with my companion, Elder Camacho (who is the trainer of Elder
Foye… que tal!) He's from Santiago, Chile. He's a good guy, and reminds me
of elder Valencia. I don't know if its because I am the junior guy again or
what, but he reminds me of elder Valencia. We have been making a power point
and organizing everything. It's a lot different the work we do… its not
nearly as much `missionary work.` we spend the whole day in the office until
430 then we go work. It's going to be a bit of an adjustment, but that's
alright. In November, we are only going to be here in neuquen for 10 of the
30 days, so my emails will be coming from somewhere in Argentina at some
point of the week—if you don't get one for a couple days, don't worry!

I am living a block away from the mission home with the senior couple, The
Graves, Elder Nilsson (my best friend from Roca (while I was in Allen)),
and my comp and his comp. It's nice. But different. We've just got a lot of
stuff to organize and put together.

My last week in Junin was good. We had 5 in church!!!!!!!!!! It was
incredible. We actually were hoping for 7, but 5 is absolutely incredible
for that little place. Cesar and his girlfriend came, with their little
nephew who I hope is getting baptized this transfer. Then 2 other of our
investigators came, and it was great. One of them got up and took a picture
of Elder Henrie on her cell phone while he bore his testimony. It was a
strange moment.

On Saturday, I dressed up in all white! Happy Halloween! I baptized an 8
year old in our branch named Nahuel. His step dad is a member, but didn't
want to do it, which made me sad. See last weeks rant about being a good
priesthood holder. But yep. We had passed by and taught him a couple times
this week, and it was good. I was happy to baptize in that place before I
left! The druggie from last email came with his wife and daughter and LOVED
it. I was so happy!! The members accepted him really well.

The rest of the week I don't really remember that well, to be honest. It
snowed and rained and stuff, and we taught Cesar and our druggie a couple
times, and it was a good week. It's all left because of the blur that was
this weekend though!

I found out from one of the elders that is going home that Noelia, wife of
Gabriel and mother of Leo and Lucas from Trelew is getting baptized this
coming weekend!!!! We had started the whole process with their divorce
papers when we were there, and they finally came through and the finally got
married and now she is getting baptized!! Wahoo!! I also heard good things
about a lot of my converts down there, and less of them are inactive than I
thought. I also heard rough news that my family in Allen is struggling big
time. I'm going to have to write them a letter or figure out some way to
help them out. I just wish everyone would stay in the church and remember
the things they have felt and learned!!

Dad—I have to give you a HUGE thank you for the strings you pulled to get my
my license. It arrived on Monday—right in time!! My comp doesn't drive, and
the old assistant was leaving and so we were in a bit of a pinch. But the
papers got here, and I'm legal! Wahoo! It really saved us and was clutch.
THANKS! I'll be taking my eye test soon and getting that up to you. I
absolutely love driving, but this place is hard! There are not stop signs or
lights or anything. The rule is whoever is going faster gets the right of
way in an intersection. YIKES is all I have to say about that! So far, I
have been zipping around with out a problem. I think I must have the spirit
or something because I don't drive crazy like I used to…

Mama- I'll get you a picture next week. I will take a good one. Why don't
you just put my cardboard cutout in the picture!?! Haha. But yeah…I'll get
on that this week.

Putzer—good work on anchorman. You make me proud. You won the contest in my

Well, all, I'm out to go work. We don't really get p-days as assistants. But
that's okay—we have a lot of good stuff to make up for it. Like a dryer and
a real washing machine! Good stuff.

Love you family. Stay strong. Dunno when I'll write next, but I'll be loving
you till then.

OH!! Julie Beck, Hermana. Matsumori, and the Bowens were over for lunch on
Monday. I finally met your cousin, mama! They are doing a mission tour in
December or January, so I'll be able to spend some good time with them.

Love you! Chau!!