Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Greetings from Argentina

December 30, 2009


Hey family!

Merry week after Christmas! It's been a good couple of days since we talked. It was fun talking to you and hearing from everyone! Sorry for talking so much…I hung up the phone and said oh wow I think I just talked the whole hour… sorry! I just had some stories I couldn't email. It's weird to think I just have 1 phone call left, huh? It blows me away. The hermanas I got here with are leaving next transfer…

Friday was fun. I played ping pong most of the day, as you already know. I also tore my pants open! Oops! But, one of the benefits of living here in the office is that there are two hermanas that are so so willing to help you out, I've had a couple of pairs of pants stitched up, and my two torn shirts fixed. It's great. The ping pong was good—me and elder Camacho and elder Savornin(one of the new office elders) are all dead even skill wise,  so its pretty intense. We all have our paddles here ready to play when we are done emailing.

Saturday turned out great. Daniel got baptized and it was good. Unfortunately, he had to get dipped under 4 times because his elbow was popping up. Oops! But all in all, it turned out good. We didn't get much support from the ward—we had the bishop, an hermano, and at the last second a family of 5 walked in. but fortunately, there were 9 missionaries there, so there was still a good number. I went over to Daniel's on Monday and it was really cool hearing about how much he has changed. He was telling us about how he felt before, during, and after. It honestly blows me away every time I hear people talk like that the absolute faith that they exercise as the drop bad habits and do things that the Lord wants them to. The truth is that it is an incredible lesson in humility for me. I've been a member forever and sometimes its hard for me to do stuff.

The hermano Marquez is officially living in Plottier now. He is building out there and now sleeps there to protect the house. He came to Neuquen yesterday and called us to come over, so we went running. They are so good. They had a chat with the hermanas that are in Plottier and the hermanas gave him 6 chapters of reading. He was joking about how they are tougher teachers and such, but I think I might just have to step it up a bit! Haha. Tomorrow we are going to go over and dig some more and paint. I'm excited—he is such an incredible guy, and his family is just great.

We had a neat experience on Monday night. Me and elder Nilsson were out working and our cita at 8 no showed us. Into my mind popped the contact we did with a guy who had gone up to hear us sing in Centro and so we went to give him a try. He had just had his truck break down and had just gotten home, so he invited us in. We got in and taught and he was an awesome awesome guy. I gave him a Book of Mormon and said ´did you know Christ came to America after his resurrection in Israel?´ and it was hilarious—it blew his socks off. He almost started reading about it right when I handed him the book. He's a good one for sure, and I am convinced that the Lord puts us in the places we need to be.

Tonight we have a noche de hogar with a couple who needs to be married. He's started to quit smoking and they are planning to get married when they finish their house. We are going to noche de hogar it to see if we can get the married faster and baptized. Wish us luck! The husband has come 3 times to church, and the wife none because she works, but she's looking for new work. We'll see what happens!!

We are anxiously awaiting President Bowen. He gets in on Sunday, then we have 2 conferences with him Monday and Tuesday. Then on Wednesday and Thursday, we are doing divisions with Zapala zone leaders and Friday we are heading out south. I'm emailing again next Thursday, then im not going to email for a week, then ne next Monday like the 20th or 19th or something, so you can double up your letters for next week so I can have something good to read!! Haha. I think I am going to be behind the wheel for 3 years on this gira because I am driving the whole way. I think its going to be about 40 hours…wow!!!!I'm just glad I got a bag of sunflower seeds to tide me over!

Mom- those new shirts are INCREDIBLE!!!!! They are the perfect fit AND they have an elastic top button. They are the most comfy shirts I've ever worn. They are awesome. The shoes are fine, and the socks are great. Thanks so much!! (and we just busted out the caramels today…yum!)

Well, its time to go school these guys in ping pong. Look forward to next week's letter to see what Elder Bowen teaches!!
Love you!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The news from Elder Jensen

Hey family!! Greetings from Neuquen where i´m sleeping in my own bed, wearing clean shirts, and sleeping 8 hours again.

About 4 months before a missionary goes home, they get a paper that is a pledge to sprint to the finish, in which they and president sign that they are going to give it there all and work real hard. This week, I wrote my own pledge about sprinting in the office. Its so easy to get lazy or to not do the little things I have been doing the past year here. So this week, I wrote my own with a lot of specific things, like not letting us working only 4 or 5 hours a day proselyting be an excuse for not having the numbers ive always put up, and not letting the weird schedule we have be an excuse for not getting my studying in. Its going to be tough, but I am still a missionary, and I am going to baptize in this area. Its been a long long time since weve baptized in the office, and that's going to change.

This week has been pretty good. Its by far been my best week numbers wise here in neuquen-I taught 13 lessons! Wahoo. Other weeks, I hadn't had double digits which is horrible for me. I´m really excited now---weve found some GREAT new families and had 3 people come to church yesterday. We have 3 families of people that are progressing and its really fun to go and teach solid people that we can see have testimonies already. One of the families is a family of 5 that me and elder Nilsson found week 3 and they are progressing so much. They are reading and praying and are coming to church next week. We ate skyline with them on Saturday, and then talked about baptism and stuff. They are so going to get baptized. They just don't know it yet. They are nervous because they've never been to church before, but once they come once, they´ll be excited. The mom is such a nice, loving person, and the dad looks like mr. miagi from karate kid  and he is just hilarious. I love being there. And they love us being there. And the best part is is that they recognize the feelings they have when we come and when they read and such. I was talking to elder Nilsson about the importance of love when we teach and that's something that is absolutely is present when we are with them. He  chased us down on his scooter after one lesson to give us a tupper of cake that his wife wanted to give us. It was hilarious seeing mr. miagi on a scooter chasing us down the street. Man I love that family.

Another family is a couple who surprised us by going to church yesterday. They are really good too—they are always asking really really good questions that shows us that they are thinking and really trying to apply what they are learning. They came to church yesterday even though he thought he had to work. They liked it so much they decided to go to the first presidency broadcast last night even though it started at 10 at night. Awesome.

The third was another couple who we are teaching and the wife is similar in that she asks really in depth questions and really understands what we are teaching. The crowning moment—she says I feel like these things you are teaching are things ive always known but never heard said out loud before. Wow. Im excited in our area now---before when I first got here there was nothing nothing, but now we have some really solid families.

We had a really cool thing happen last night. So the office elders and me and my companion all share 1 area, so sometimes we visit the same person on the same day or cross in the street. Yesterday we met up by chance at the house of a member. As we left, I had someone in my head I wanted to go visit. We gave our cita we had to the other elders and they went and did it. Me and my companion, Elder Briggs (we do divisions a ton so that when me and my comp leave on the gira someone knows the people we find) started knocking a little bit on the way over to this house in my head. For some reason, I decided to knock the block before the block where this house is, so we did and it was alright. We then started knocking our way down the next block to the corner where this house was. We were 2 houses away and a guy walks behind us and around the corner. We then go around the corner and knock the house I had in mind. It just so happened that that guy had just walked in and we were able to pass in too (we aren't allowed to enter houses with women without a guy being there). This lady I had contacted earlier, but hadn't been able to get in a teach because there wasn't a guy, and we could never get a member to go with us. But there that night it just so happened that her friend came over and we were able to go in. And it just so happened that we had to knock that block and a half before because if we had gone right on over we would not have been able to get in. Get it? The Lord guides us in this work, and I absolutely know that He gave me those promptings to go over there and to knock my way over there. Wow. What a cool experience. (and they really loved what we taught. Icing on the cake).

This week is transfer week, so president is working hard on those right now. Me and my comp give suggestions on who should train and be zone leaders, and then president shuts himself in and works on it for a long time. I was in charge of writing the suggestions on the white board, and of course the first name I put down on the board for trainers was my own. We had a good laugh, and president said ´maybe in a couple transfers.´ Weve got a group of 14 missionaries coming in, so we are all really excited.

Christmas call—I am going to call from here, but its not clear if we need to get calling cards. Elder Camacho said no, that we can just use the office phone, but elder nilsson said the finance guy said we had to get cards. The finance guy is out in bariloche right now so ill ask him when he gets back and let you know for sure next email. It would be a lot better if you could buy it this time because I don't want to have to deal with those cheap garbage cards like I had last time. As for times, we have no idea yet. We´ll get on that in 2 weeks  or so after transfers and such.

Well, im going to go play some soccer. Its getting real hot here now. Mama-I haven't gotten your package yet. And im sending you all something this week too, so let me know if you get it! And to all my friends who have written me and I haven't written back—IM SORRY!!!!!! Im going to write a bit today. I just don't have pdays anymore!!!!

Les quiero un montón. Have a great week!!!

Until next transfer, (wow. This transfer FLEW by)
Elder Jensen