Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Listen Responsibly: a rebuttal to my sister's blog

While i respect the opinions of my sister's students, i disagree.

In their analysis, 'Think Responsibility,' they argue that we listen to too much music and that that drains our opinions and personality out. I have prepared the following counter-arguments.

1. listening to music while doing the mundane things in life makes you feel like you are starring in your own movie. Who hasnt thought that as they play their favorite song as a backdrop to a boring chore or walk? Personally, i enjoy throwing on my ipod to listen to a song every now and then on my walk back from class. Or better yet... 'we are the champions' after doing well on a test. Point: music spices up the mundane in life, and boosts self esteem by making one think they are starring in their own movie. (note: i kicking piles of dry leaves or giving a cheesy jump down the stairs ads to self-movie delight.)

2. I am a superstitious kinda guy. On the way to every soccer game i play, i listen to the same songs to get me fired up. If i was left to my own on these drives, i would be having the following think-conversation:
'you're going to win, T.'
'yes i am.'
'you're going to make some sick saves, T'
'sounds good to me.'
'you're going to throw it on the line tonight, T.'
'can i turn on the radio?'
Point: Listening to music can get you in the mood for anything (athletics, dates, homework, etc.)

3. Music relieves stress. This one is a fact. Here comes the example: This weekend, we discovered the 'Hide yo kids, hide yo wife' song, and have been singing it and quoting it always. On Monday, I had a tough spanish test to take, dealing with prepositions. That is not a something that rivets my soul, so my studying before the test was half-hearted. At one point, i got up off the couch and just said 'Well, its go time. I'm just going to go take this thing.' And I was off. I sat down in the ominous testing center and began. It was hard. Blast. I am about 14 questions in, 86 to go. Then, out of nowhere, enters the following: 'Hide yo kid, hide yo wife... We gonna find you, we gonna find you!' I literally put down my pencil and thought how ridiculous and hysterical it was that that song was stuck in my brain. Then i realized that it was perfect for the test! for the next 86 questions, i would read the statement and then, as i was examining the multiple guess responses, i would sing 'Im gonna find you! im gonna find you!' Turns out i found enough of the right answers, scoring a 93 on that test that i didnt really prepare too well for. Point: The humor and stress relief of music saved me on that test.

4. I am listening to music right now as i write this blog. currently playing: Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas. It gives me swagger to do what i do.

Maybe i am just avoiding awkward conversations with my subconscious. I just had 2 years of music-free life to get to know the insides of my brain. For now, i think i'll stick with the soundtrack currently playing in the background of my life.

Intramural Sporting News:

Its been a while since i've posted. i am happy to say that i am still doing cool things with my life... its just that i never have my camera to take pictures! note to self: take your camera out of your trunk. Anywho, this post is dedicated to my intramural sports and the injuries they have produced!

#1. the Ankle. This happened in my first and only ultimate frisbee game about a month ago. I went up for a sick grab in the end zone, and in an effort to keep my foot inbounds, landed bad on it. A trip the next day to the ER showed i hadnt broken anything, but we are pretty sure i messed up the ligaments a bit. Note: it still hurts when i try and turn left or right off it, and is still swollen on the front part.
#2. No photo available. The Knee. In a soccer game, i landed bad on my knee and it swelled up really big afterwards. I iced it and everything, and the next day it was pretty bad. Luckily, though, it got better within two or three days. it was scary though! i couldnt bend it!

#3. Last saturday in our soccer game, i got a nice turf burn (all my soccer games are on turf.... its a blessing and a curse worthy of another blog post.) anyways, it scabbed up a bit. then last night in my game i opened it up again and it bled a lot! it was pretty intimidating i guess. After then game i took my sock off and it was still bleeding, so i let it run down to my ankle. showering fresh turf burns hurt!!

But, the good news is that our soccer team is currently 6-0. we have scored 36 goals and allowed 2. Thats not too shabby! we are in the tournament now, and played our first game last night ( a 6-0 victory.) apparently we are playing the #1 ranked team in our next game. (rankings are so arbitrary...we'll see how good they really are!)

Moral of the story: Life is meant to be lived in a hardcore fashion.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


So here it is. The Art Extravaganza. We had some fine cheeses (Danish Blue, Bourson, Mozzarella, and Cheddar.) we had 4 different flavors of Martinellis, we had grape juice, apple cider, and sprite. We had brownies and souffles and candles. it was great. We had great turn out-- about 50 people total over the night. we finger painted and had classy conversation, with some chic jazz music in the background. Overall, i'd call it a great success.
We even put the crackers on plates and had herbal teas and everything.

Colton, Andrew, Me, and Gibbs. Classy.
Some of the girls from our ward. they got the 'dress up' memo. nice.This is a nice one me and nicole picked up at DI. we opened it up and repainted the little duck. we decided he needed to be Hawaiian. He looks good. Turns out, its actually a hallmark card, and on the inside it says 'Friends...winter, spring, summer, or fowl." (ha.). and on the lower part it says 'always behave like a duck. keep calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddle like the devil underneath." A good catch-phrase for life, i guess.
This is the second one. Another DI purchase. We 'argentine-d' this one, making it a kiosko with a yellow brick road lined by empty 2 liter bottles (an argentine classic) with shrine to 'gauchito gil' (another classic) and the 'falkland islands are really argentine' banner. (also, classic.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Food Storage.

in the past, i have always tried to have a nice little food storage in case of any emergencies. Freshman year, i had a nice supply of canned goods and other things. (see here)

This year is no different. A couple weeks ago, I went out to the grocery store Macey's to get some icecream with laura moster. When we walked in, they had huge pallets of cereal for $.98 each!!! are you kidding me? i love cereal. So we investigated a little and found out you needed a coupon to buy them for that cheap. Disappointed that i didnt have said coupon, we went and got our icecream. (it was delicious). As we were walking out, i said 'we have to at least ask if they have the coupons.' So we did. And they did-- you had to buy 5 and it dropped the price down to .98 each. WOW. I bought 20 boxes on the spot. STEAL!

I got home and unloaded my goods. I then paused and decided i need more. So i rounded up my roommate, Putzer, and his roommate landon and we raced back to maceys to get some more. A dollar a box? who wouldnt?

The final count: 35 boxes of an assortment of cap'n crunch, peanut butter cap'n crunch, honey bunches of oats, and maple brown sugar life. In addition to that, i have 10 boxes of Chewey Granola Bars (also a dollar a piece).

I am now set for the millennium. I just hope i dont get tired of this cereal!

I also had to get some soy milk to go with it--- 24 little boxes of it!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Well, its been a while.

Well, its been a while since ive posted. Ive successfully finished the first month being back from the mission! its been weird. But im still alive! Some quick hits on stuff ive done:

CLIMBING!!! ive been like 12 times now. i can still do it! wahoo!Movies-- Avatar, Batman (i had already seen it, but i love that one), Kung Fu Panda, Iron Man.
Music- i dont like the new music yet...
Classes-- im taking accounting, new testament, living prophets, spanish, communications, and humanities
Sports: Ulitmate Frisbee, Soccer, and Football. I sprained my ankle really bad playing ultimate. X-Rays showed it wasnt broken or too too bad, so with the help of my new trusty ankle brace, i was playing soccer 3 days later. (8-0 shutout. yeah baby.)thats about it on me for the past month. I dont have any crazy stories... yet.
just give that some time. I'll be back to it soon.

ps. i love mate.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Taylor's last letter from Argentina

August 16, 2010


Every new beginning comes from some others beginning's end---


Dear Family-

This past week has been great. We did 331 contacts this week-- I haven't shut up yet! And we were able to find 8 people and teach 12 lessons. Not bad for our area. The best though is that we put two fechas!! One is with a lady named Lys who we have been teaching for about 2 months. She was the one who went to Disneyworld for 3 weeks (well she actually couldn't get a visa so she went to Rio de janero in Brazil). She came back and came to church last week, and last Tuesday we put a fecha with here. She is really funny because she is super firm. She has such a strong personality and when she makes decisions, she is really strong in them. So when we challenged her, at first she didn't want to, but putting in practice what we learned last week in Neuquen we were able to bring the spirit and have her accept a fecha. It was a really spiritual experience. We were teaching her in the house of Rosa and Luciana- our converts. They have become friends and really help each other. Lys is funny-- one time she told us `I don't understand why Rosa cries all the time when she talks about how the church changed her life. to me that seems really pathetic and weak!` haha. We told her she'll understand. And it's just a way for them to express themselves. But she is incredible-- we left her a reading calendar on Saturday with some questions of the soul and a chapter to read each day. We passed by Sunday night and she had already read 10 days. She says `I was bored and didn't have anything to do, and i like reading. ` It's been a great experience for us, watching her develop a testimony. I think she fits the word `investigator' better than any other convert I've had. She is really analytical and really wants to know for herself.

Her fecha (baptism) is for the 18th of September. The day after we put the fecha, her sister came up from Bolson and she invited her sister to the baptism and it turns out the sister was baptized a couple of years ago in Bolson! What a small world. Lys smokes a lot, but last night we challenged her to quit. She loves challenges and I have no doubt she'll quit smoking really fast. It's fun to see the spirit work in people. I know that in the process of teaching her, I have been prompted to say and ask things that I wouldn't normally ask or say. Things really bold. And it works! It's exactly what she needs to hear. I am excited for her, and we've already set it up that I'm going to call her on the 18th- the day of her baptism

It'ss been a tough week with my companion. He has a really tough personality-- we were talking about it yesterday. He treats people really bad and this week was like a black hole sucking out all of our animo. We talked about it and he just kinda laughed and said yep that's how I am I like to do things to make others suffer or get mad. He' nuts. But I've really felt like I've had the backpack this week. I expressed that to him after church on Sunday and he said `I know I've been doing it on purpose.` but this week he promised to work hard so we finish really well together.

So with that in mind, I've learned a lot this week. On Thursday, I was really frustrated because we hadn't been teaching or finding this week, and my friend acted as if he couldn't care less. I studied really hard Preach My Gospel chapter 9-- how to find. I was struck by the amount of times it talks about having the faith to find. It reminded me of what Pres. Cook taught-- contacts show work, new people shows faith. I went to bed Thursday night decided to find people the next day, and to have the faith that I'd be able to. Friday morning we get up and go. And you know what? We get into the first house we knock. We taught a really good lesson to a couple of guys from Buenos Aires and it was a really good lesson. I was so happy. Friday we had a fantastic day-- we ended up teaching 6 lessons, finding 5 and doing a bunch of contacts. I realized the importance in having faith to find. It was something that for me has bee wavering a bit this transfer. But now I've realized the importance of having it and being determined to get into a house. It requires confidence. It requires animo. It requires faith. I love it.

The other thing I learned this week is prayer. I have finally begun to understand the importance of prayer. These past 4 nights, I have knelt and prayed for literally 5 or 6 minutes. And it makes a HUGE difference. I feel great doing it, and I know its what I am supposed to be doing. I am really hoping I can make this a part of my regular life. I know that it is through these prayers that I have received revelation personal about the things I should do in my area, do in my companionship, and do in my life to be a better representative of Christ. Its through prayer that we receive personal revelation, and it's about time I started learning that, huh?

On Sunday we were knocking in a neighborhood that doesn't have a single member. We were talking about that and at one point we said `well, its time to get members in coihues!` The next house we knocked, we got in and taught a lesson. After 11 minutes in the lesson, the investigator had a fecha. And after 20 we prayed and left. It was awesome. It was exactly what we learned to do in NQN last week. We were really excited, and this area is coming back to life.

We are excited for this week. We are going to Esquel today and tomorrow for their district meeting, and we are going to work with some elders that are struggling down there. Then Wednesday we'll be back here for a district meeting with those in Barilo. then we're going to work our hardest and get 300+ contacts and teach and put some more fechas. Last week I was really preoccupied with how I was finishing—I'm devastated I'm not baptizing this last transfer-- and I've been worried that we haven't been finding or teaching as much as I wanted to. But these past 3 days I have felt the confirmation of the spirit that I am finishing well. That I am working hard. Elder Argueta talked to me about that-- that no missionaries do 300 contacts their last weeks, that no one has so much desires to teach and work as I have, and no one avoids being trunky like I have. It felt really good to get that confirmation that what I am doing is acceptable for the Lord.

It's snowing a bit today-- and it couldn't be more gorgeous.

It is with great emotion and tenderness that I write this letter today. It is funny how in the MTC one waits with so much anxiety to receive their flight plans, whereas here at the end of my mission I have been dreading that envelope with flight plans. I have about 100 different emotions right now as I enjoy my last p-day here in Bariloche. I've felt a lot of anxiousness, wanting to get out and talk to as many people as I can this last week. I feel a lot of nervousness, thinking about the transition back to life without a plaque. I feel stress thinking about packing my life of 2 years into 2 suitcases!! I feel really awkward already!! It's hard to put into words what these two years have meant for me, the things I've learned, and the person I've become. I am excited to be able to see you all next week, and I'll try to sleep as much as I can on the plane so I can spend time with you all! I have a lot of mixed feelings-- on one hand, I never want to stop my service here in Argentina, and on the other I am ready to see my family again. (and sleep past 630! ha!)

Dad-- thank you for your advice. I think I feel very much the same-- I firmly believe that being a missionary is the absolute best calling in the church, and the best thing that could happen to me. I'm going to miss it dearly. But I'll just have to adjust and to the things I've learned here in a different style of life.  I am preparing my talk-- sorry i forgot to tell you that I'll do it. i am also preparing to spend as much time as possible with the fam—I'm excited to see my friends, but I'd really like to spend most of my time with you all.

I want to share my testimony one more time through email that i know God loves us and that we are His children. I know that the families can be eternal, and I know that we must have faith in Jesus Christ to make that possible. He died for us. He took every error that I have made upon his shoulders so that I can come back to His presence to be judged and if I do my part I'll go to that judgment without spot or sin. I am eternally grateful for His sacrifice for sin and cannot wait for the day in which I can look Him in the eyes, feel for myself the marks in his hands and wet his feet with my tears. He is my Savior, and has redeemed me from my errors. I love this gospel. I love life. I love knowing that God loves us and that we will live with him again. There is nothing that brings more peace to my life than this. And the Spirit I have felt and learned to love here in Argentina will be something that I treasure for the rest of my life. I can feel such a difference in the moments that I have the spirit and in those that I don't. I have a new resolution to live my life in such a way that I will always have His spirit with me, so that I can live this life in the best way possible, so that I can be happy and help lift the burdens of others. I testify that these things are true, and leave these 2 years as evidence that I know they are true.

I love you all, and thanks for the letters today from Camie Jared and Putzer. You are all awesome. See you next Wednesday at 9 AM

Elder Taylor Alan Jensen

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Forgot to send this last week!

August 9, 2010


A GREAT week! As you know, we were up in NQN for 3 days for the training and the zone leader consejo. We were in meetings from about 8:30 till 5 or 6 every day. It was a lot. But i LOVED it! All of my best friends in the mission were there-- my buds from the office who are now zone leaders, elder Taylor, the office that is still in the office. It was just a blast. And luckily I was so excited to see them-- if it wasn't for that excitement, I'd have been toast. Monday night I couldn't sleep-- i got 4 hours of sleep. Then on the all nighter bus ride Tuesday night, I slept an hour and a half. But I had more energy those three days in Neuquen than I've had in a long long time. It was so fun!


The training was really good. I was really intrigued because nothing was new--- everything we read and practiced came straight out of the scriptures or predicad mi evangelio. There were 8 sessions-- (lets see if i can name them all...) 1. Doctrine of Christ. Revelation through Prayer. Revelation through the book of Mormon. Revelation through attending church. How to begin teaching. asking inspired questions. Oh no... I am forgetting two. Oh well. But it was really good-- there was a big push in not falling into a routine when teaching. We talked a lot about questions and asking inspired questions, and in leaving silence while teaching. I loved it because those things were things I had already started to work on as a teacher. It was a blast, and we all participated a lot. I was struck as I looked around the room.  thought in my mind `wow. How many times am I going to sit down for hours with 20 of my best friends and talk about the scriptures and how to teach like this? It's incredible that 20 20 year olds would gladly do that. I know I don't have much time to put it in practice, but I'm working hard on doing the things we learned. The mission is going to be a lot better, and we are going to be such powerful teachers if we can get this going. It's at times like these when I say `aw man why couldn't I have learned that two years ago??? But everything has there time.


On Wednesday, we went and saw the Sepulvedas. Matias showed me his `mission carpeta (folder) where he has all his papers that he is filling out. He's planning to leave next year. It's incredible to think he's going to go on a mission. I am so happy for him, and he is excited. He's preparing himself very well, and is teaching with the missionaries a lot. He is actively teaching and working with his brother who still hasn't been baptized yet. I love that family so much. And they basically run the ward now. hno Sepulveda is the young men's president. Hermana is the relief society president. Jackie is the primary president. Fernando is the ward mission leader and gospel doctrine teacher. they run the ward. It's incredible how solid they are.


Thursday we went and visited Ezequiel. He's doing great-- he has a suit and tie and his mom bought him a bunch of church DVD`s and scriptures. He is a good kid.


Friday, me elder Taylor, Argueta and Henrie went to Allen. We saw Luis and his wife (who got married that morning. They ended up getting baptized on Saturday). We saw the oƱate, Gladys, Edgardo Millequeo, and the Etchegaray with Gonzalo Marquez, and Octavio Moreno (the WML.) it was awesome. I have a lot of friends there, and we helped a lot of people there too. It was great to go and see all of them one more time.


Love you!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Elder Jensen will arrive back in Cincinnati on August 25th

August 2, 2010


Hi all--


It was a tough week. We had some challenges health wise between me and my companion. We took turns waking up sick. We are back to normal now, but its tough to work when you're sick!!


We have been really struggling to find and teach these past 2 weeks. We really haven

t taught much or found many new people. We are still working hard-- we did 321 contacts week 1, 305 week 2, and 317 this week. That was one of my goals-- get lots of contacts. But I almost don't want to count them because in doing almost 1000 contacts, we've found about 15 people this transfer. That's probably the lowest ratio I've had in my whole mission! But we are still trying hard.


Teaching Alberto was pretty rough this week. We went out there several times, but couldn't really teach him. On Tuesday, we went out there to teach Alberto and Malvina. We knocked the door of the house where he was staying, and he came outside and talked to us for a while. He told us he had gone to the doctor's for some problems he was having, and they did a whole bunch of exams for free. Turns out he isn't sick at all! He doesn't have any blood in his liver or anything! He was just crying as he told us this. He was so happy. And we were too. Then out comes the guy that owns the house where he was staying and the first thing the guy says to us is `i believe in a living Christ. ` and we say ... we do too... and then he just goes on a tirade just killing us and saying whatever thing about us and how its not good that we are outside at 8 o'clock working and that we knock doors at 2 in the afternoon and how Joseph Smith isn't the savior of the world and just all this trash. We kept our cool and just said `okay. Great! Yep. Good for you.` just taking all these blows. It was incredible. He told us several times how he was very bothered that we were talking to Alberto, and how he was trying to heal Alberto and didn't want any `turbulence` in the process. It was awful. Absolutely a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing. Then when he was done running his mouth he went back inside, and we arranged to meet Alberto in the house of some menos activos to teach him and his daughter. Alberto is looking for a new place to live because he doesn't want to be with those crazies either.


So the next day we went back and gosh it is so hard to find those two. The situation is so hard. Finally we got the two of them together and went over to the MA house and taught for just a quick little time because it was already late. We agreed to meet again on Friday to do the same, but when we got there Friday, neither of them were able to do it. We went to pick them up on Sunday, but neither was there again. All in all, we probably won't be going out to KM 23 very much more just because its expensive and is a lot of time, and the situation just is not stable enough to teach the gospel for now. It just broke our hearts. We probably are going to go out and see if we can find them one more time, but it just really is stretching us way too far and the situation just is not good for now.


In other news, we are going to NQN Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for a special training with all the changes. I'm excited to learn some new stuff that will help me this last little bit, and I'm also excited to see my Neuquen converts and also go to Allen to see Luis's baptism. That's going to be so great!!!


Me and my companion are getting along so well. We are just such good friends-- we've finally come to the stage where we just get along no matter what. And the best-- he said `please` for the first time the other day! haha. And he told me he was going to cry when I left! aw man... we're just good friends. We've already got a deal or two worked out—I'm going to send him beef jerky and he's going to send me alfajores. We finally started learning English together too. We had a long chat the other day about his future. He just doesn't have one in El Salvador, and so he wants to go the states. I told him he had to learn English to have a chance to get in and he got really excited about doing it. Its fun-- I like talking to latins in English. It's fun.


Have a great week!!


Elder Jensen


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Long update from down south

July 26, 2010


Here come some miracle stories... maybe the best of my mission....

So, I told you all last week how we found Alberto, the guy who was looking for his kids and such here and found them and then we found him and had an incredible chat with him and put a fecha. See last week's email if you don't remember. So, we had a cita with him for Wednesday. We went out to km 13 to meet with him in his sister's house again, and we got there at 7, the time of the cita. We knocked and he wasn't there... no one was there. So we sat on a little trash bucket outside his house and waited. We were absolutely devastated to be honest. Wednesday, we had no citas and had been knocking literally all day with less fruits than an apple tree in winter. So we sat. And hoped he was just getting there a touch late. And we kept waiting, and kept hoping. Then, we saw him walking down the street. We were so happy. But he came to see if we were there and to see if he could shower at his sister's house. He has now moved to a tiny little place in km 23 (we live in 4.2, and the church is in 4,7. We take lots of busses) So he couldn't let us in and didn't really have time that night. So we said okay-- we set up a time to go out to 23 to teach him. He had read Alma 36 (i love that chapter for people who are trying to overcome bad decisions in the past) and had liked it. So we set ourselves a cita for Friday at 8. He had done a test on Wednesday for his cirrhosis and would have the results on Friday. So then comes Friday.....

I was on divisions with my bud Elder Skousen in Centro, so this is the story that my companion called to tell me Friday night. They were getting killed again-- another day of straight bitter contacts. so they decided to go to 23 to work. We haven't ever worked out there because of distance and time and such, but they went out to knock a bit before the cita. So they go and they get in a bunch of houses- like 4 houses. They ended up finding 10 news-- incredible. They were just teaching and getting in left and right. Then it came time to meet with Alberto, so they go down to the bus stop to wait for him. they waited. and waited. and then came 2 busses. He got off of the second bus and started walking up the path to the top of the hill where this neighborhood is. My companion chases him and calls his name 3 times. He doesn't respond. They caught up to him and took him a touch by surprise, and he was just so down in the dumps. They asked about his test, and he says it didn't come out well. Oh no. He didn't tell us how bad it was, but its bad. So my companion starts walking with him and talking and trying to animate him a little bit. Alberto says `I'm going to take you to my daughter's house so you can visit them when I'm gone. So they went over and met his 15 year old daughter, Malina. They start talking and its going well. my companion had contacted her earlier in the day and she was begging her mom to let them in, but the mom didn't want to. But now we figured out why-- she had taken the charlas in Buenos Aires and was about to get baptized, but then her parents got separated and she came down here and lost touch with the church. My companion goes-- you know what? We are going to have a baptism on the 14th of August. you know who is getting baptized? She goes... who?  My comp says `ask your dad.` she looks at him. He goes errr..... me. And she looks at him with such awe and happiness and just goes no!!! really!?! And my companion told me when she said this, Alberta just kinda perked up, content that his daughter was happy with him. My companion then says `and Malina-- you know what- you can get baptized with your dad on the 14th as well. She goes `of course!` They then finished talking and arranged transportation to go to church on Sunday. My companion was at the point of tears when he called me, and me listening got there too. It was such a spiritual moment for all of us. I felt so strongly the love of God and how He created that situation to help Alberto in his great moment of need. Really, Alberto was planning on going back to Buenos Aires to die because he doesn't want his kids to see him die. his kids don't even know he is sick. But now, with this, we think he is going to stay here, just so he can be with his daughter and get baptized with her. If there was ever a man who needs the church in his life, it's Alberto. He is so down right now, and this is what he needs.

So then on Saturday, we were getting everything worked out for rides and such. we were going to go out there with a member in his car because the busses don't run as often on Sundays. We were preparing for 5 people in the church-- Alfredo (we taught him with the bishop on Thursday and it was great-- he is so analytical and really is learning. but he starts teaching school again and is going to be really busy.) Damian and Jessica who said they'd come but they are painting and remodeling their house, and Alberto con Malina. We were so excited, and had everything worked out how they were going to get there, and who was going to be their friend and everything. So we start rolling with the plan on Sunday. we leave super early to go out to 23 with a member. we were knocking on Malina`s door and no one answered! blast!!! we then went to Alberto's and found him leaving his door, so it was perfect. we jumped in the car with him and then went back to Malina`s. After knocking again, we decided to just go to church. So we went. We got there about 10 or 15 minutes early, and Alberto was really hesitant to go in. but I said `come on!` and he came in. We were sitting in the sacrament room together and chatting and we found out he had taken the lessons in Buenos Aires and had gone to church some times too. Awesome! we are about 5 minutes before the meeting he leans over and says `I'll be right back—I'm going to run and buy some hard candy to get me through the meeting. I say okay... and he left. And he never came back!!!!!!! I was shocked! I have never even heard of that- having someone 5 minutes before the meeting and then they ran away! BLAST!!! We think he just felt uncomfortable because of all the stuff that's going on and just got overwhelmed. We are going to teach him again on Tuesday-- we went over to 23 and talked to some menos activos to set it up so that we teach Alberto and his daughter in their house because Alberto and his daughter both have really small uncomfortable house. We've got all sorts of stuff worked out for them, to teach them and bring to them to church and everything. I've never done this much work with 2 investigators before, but they are both incredible people, so it is well worth it.

I put some goals for the end of my mission my last transfer in Neuquen and I'm doing pretty well with them-- I wanted to read the Book of Mormon in Spanish my last 2 transfers, and I'm more than halfway now, so I've got about 12 pages per day and I'm there. I've also hit 300 + contacts most of the weeks and am going to do it for sure these next 4 weeks. I also want to baptize again before I go, so we are planning a whole lot for Alberto and his daughter.

Oh!! Big news. Next week we are going to Neuquen for 3 day training on the new stuff they are doing with missions. Luis Tagle was going to get baptized this Saturday, the 31st, but Elder Taylor is working with the hermanas there to get him baptized next week, like the 5th or 6th, so that me, Elder Taylor, Elder Henrie, and Elder Argueta can go back to Allen to see his baptism. I'M SO EXCITED!!!

Other news is that Elder Taylor got some of my old investigators to church this week. We talk a lot and he asked me how I baptized there and who he can baptize there, and I gave him some names and such and he is doing so well. He is an incredible missionary. Whenever we talk, we always joke about how the tables have turned and such. It's great.

Hope you have a great week, family!!!

Elder Jensen

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hello from Taylor

July 19, 2010


Hi family!


It was a fun week of transfers and getting everything set up for this transfer. I am really excited because the majority of my district from Allen are back in the zone, and we are going to play soccer today like we did back in the day in Allen. It's going to be great!


Things are going alright here. We didn't have much time to work today because we had to be in the terminal basically all day on Monday and Tuesday ushering people in and out, and Friday we had a zone meeting and then drove with president down to Esquel to have a zone meeting there on Saturday. We got back to our area at about 5 on Saturday, so we had a couple things that ate a lot of our time this week. But--- we had some miracles happen.


My companion and I are getting along better. In my interview with president, I talked with him about it, and I was talking it became obvious why I am still with him-- he respects me a lot and I realized that we, despite our differences, have a very special bond. I get through to him when I talk, and he's gotten a lot better these two transfers. And he knows me really well and is the one who is going to help me finish my mission well. I really got a testimony in that interview that it's the Lord's will we are still together.


Another miracle we had happened last night. We both during the week felt a bit prompted to go and start working in km. 13. So on Sunday (when we finally had time) we went and got going. We were knocking and not having any real success. We finished this one set of blocks and decided to go to another. In the way, there was a string of 5 houses, so i say lets knock those on the way over. We start and we get to one house that lets us in. (finally!!). we got in and saw a articles of faith card stuck on the mirror in their entry way and we both raised our eyebrows and said ´hmm...´ We started talking with Alberto and he is a pretty incredible man. For the past year and a half, he's been looking for his 7 kids. His wife went crazy one day and ditched him and took his 7 kids, and he has been searching and searching all over the country. He got wind a month ago that they may be here in Bariloche, so he came and has been living with his sister. He didn't have money to make it through his journey, so sometimes he stopped and worked small jobs to get money to eat and to travel, and so now he is here. On Thursday, he found his kids and ex wife. He was just overjoyed. He openly expressed his gratitude to God and got pretty emotional. He said he knows it was God that led him here. He then said ´I'm looking for a church—that's why I let you in.´ So we started. We taught about families, about God's love, about the atonement of Christ and how that can erase all sins. We asked him if he believed that, and he said ´no.. I don't think so.´ We then read parts of Alma 7 and bore strong testimony about how we've been washed clean, and told him he could experience the same. It clicked with him, and the spirit bore powerful testimony that it's true. We then read 14 and 15 in Alma 7 and challenged him to take the steps to repent and be baptized for the 14th of August. He accepted. We then verified it and asked him why he wants to and he said ´I just really want to be clean, to be pure, to get rid of all the bad that i have.´ we asked again if he wants to be baptized and he responds ´´ absolutely.´´ It was a pretty incredible lesson. This man has cirrhosis-- I don't know what it is in English, but its when you drink a lot and it kills your liver. He's quit drinking and the doctors told him a bit ago he has 6 months left. He says ´I've got more than that. I've got to be here for my kids. I'm going to be here for my kids.´ He's a strong guy. A really powerful guy. and we are really excited for him. Hopefully we can stay in contact with him and that he doesn't slip away!


We've got Alfredo as well—he's the 55 year old guy we found last week. We taught him twice this week and both times he was waiting for us with a Fanta and cookies and a notebook to write down the things he learns. We tried to put a fecha with him on Tuesday, but he declined saying he wants to learn more. I don't blame him. I'd say the same thing. But he is reading and loves the book of Mormon. I'm almost certain he is going to be coming to church this Sunday. We've got another young couple named Damien and Jessica who also are planning on coming. This Sunday we didn't have anyone, but next Sunday we are looking at having at least 3 or 4 people there. It's going to be great. We've got a bishop and a ward that really supports and helps new members stay and feel welcomed.


Remember in about January one time I was on divisions here in Bariloche and we found the guy who waved us back to his house and let us in and he had gone to church in Roca, and then 3 months later I was here on divisions again and we taught him and eliminated his doubt about stuff he had read on the internet about the church?? They finally got baptized in a week ago. I love hearing things like that, and it makes me want to work harder because we never know when we are going to find the next familia Guzman (this couple) or Alberto or anyone. 


I love this work. I love this life. 


Elder Jensen  



Friday, July 9, 2010

Update from Argentina

July 5, 2010


Sorry that my letter didn't go through last week! You'll just have double for today.


This week has been so so. We didn't get much forward, and I kinda feel like if you're not moving forwards, you're moving backwards. We have had a lot of challenges this week that made it hard to buckle down and get it done in our area. Monday and Tuesday we were in Esquel and Trevelin working with some missionaries there. They were tough divisions down south-- some elders really struggle because they choose to not like the situation they are in and as a result shut down as a missionary.


Wednesday we were back here and working. This week I think I've had some of the best studies in my entire mission. About a week and a half ago, I put the goal to read the whole book of Mormon in Spanish before I go home. I still haven't done that yet-- and i need to read about 10 pages everyday. I've been doing it, and I'm actually ahead of schedule. And I have learned more this time through the book of Mormon than any other time I have read it in my entire life. It's been really incredible for me because I've really had to pay more attention as I read in Spanish and I am finding a lot of little things-- words that have a bit different translation or connotation in Spanish that just bring the scriptures alive. Then in our companionship studies, we just sit and talk about what we learned for an hour and we debate some stuff and try to figure stuff out. It's easily the best studies I've ever had in my whole mission. Even on the bus ride back from Esquel I pulled out my triple to read-- I love it!


We had a fun Saturday here. Argentina got crushed by Germany in the mundial. We were instructed to either stay in the house and study or go to the chapel to do something productive. We went to the chapel in Centro to be with the other missionaries. This weekend (the 10th) we are having a `white baptism.` we've got  a baptism in our ward, and three others in the other wards in Bariloche, so we are all getting together the next weekend and baptizing the 4 in 1 ceremony. It's going to be really good. Everyone already has passed their interviews and is all ready to go. So we were in the church Saturday morning preparing a musical number for the baptism. Then we realized the hermanas weren't filling the font for their baptism that day, so we rushed over to the font to start filling it. It was filthy, so I took off my shoes and socks and got in there and gave it a good Nan Jensen scrubbing! Luckily we got it going-- the poor hermanas don't get any support from their ward. We missed our lunch doing that, and then ran over to our chapel to have our fecha interviewed, then ran back to Centro because the baptism of the hermanas asked me to baptize her. After that baptism, we went over to another chapel in Bariloche to attend another baptism and do an interview for the district leader there. It was a crazy crazy day.


The rest of the days this week have been filled with snow and rain. It gets really cold here! It's gorgeous as it snows, freezing cold as it rains, and terrible when its windy. But this is the best looking area in the entire mission-- I have zero complaints. I'm willing to get a little chilly and wet if it means working here in this area!


Today we are going up a mountain-- its going to be gorgeous. Get ready for some incredible photos.


Stomach update of the week—I'm going to get my parasite test done next Thursday or Friday when im in Neuquen. The transfer ends this week, so next week I'll be up there for zone leader conference. I've been having pain these past few days, but i think it has something to do with what I've eaten-- pasta with sauce that has tomatoes. The doctor told me to avoid that, but it's a touch difficult to avoid when you're with members. I've also gone completely off milk-- I am back on my soy milk with cereal. A member gave us a big glass of milk last Wednesday, and Thursday morning I about died, so I'm going to wait a bit to try milk again. Like 2 or 3 months ish :) one elder told me if I have a parasite I've got to get a bowl of milk and put my head close by it with my mouth open and the parasite will come crawling out. Gross. I think i might try it just for fun! Elder Crandell wrote me a note in my journal the other week and he put a sticker of a worm and said `thanks for all that milk you drink-- its great down here in your gall bladder!` ha. My parasite is the zone's mascot.


Anyways, this week we are going to teach 20 lessons. We are going to just go out and get it done. Our zone has really dipped these last 2 weeks and I feel a bit responsible because we haven't been as constant in animating the zone as we have been in past weeks. But we've put some good goals for the zone and we are going to work really hard to help them have a good week 6 so that we start next transfer out well. As a zone we've had 5 baptisms so far and we are looking forward to 5 in total this weekend. Our meta was 15 but we'll get 10. I'm nervous for next transfer because we only have 3 fechas for next transfer. It's kinda like we're just fading out and dying. President got some new instruction on preach my gospel from the general authorities this week, so I really hope that is going to spark us to know what to do to have more success. Onwards and upwards!


Elder Jensen


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Through snow and cold........

June 22, 2010


This email is going to be about a 180 degree turn around from last weeks.

It was an incredible, miraculous week. In our area, pioneros, where the work is hard and the people are mean and it gets dark early, we mustered 16 total lessons (7 with members present!) and found a whopping 25 new investigators!!!!! What? That's ridiculous. It was a week of many events, and trials, and challenges. Here we go:

Tuesday- district meeting in Esquel-- it went very well. We presented our zone plans. We talk a lot about desires and use D&C 11 to do it. I felt really prompted to base our plans in that, so with the help of elder Argueta we put together a nice presentation talk type of thing. Then, afterwards, we did interviews with the missionaries there. It was really good-- we weren't planning on doing them, but when I woke up I had a big push that I needed to do them today. I did one in particular with a missionary who is just melting down. He just told me he's depressed, doesn't like his area, members, companion, nothing. It was a tough one, but I gave him some stuff to read that had helped me in my `meltdowns` He's doing okay-- he had a transfer to start week 3 and has had 1 week with his new companion. And in that week they completely changed their dead area into one that is thumping. They put a fecha their first day together. They are great. So i was really glad for that prompting to do interviews because if we hadn't have done them, we wouldn't have known about his problems. It also was a confidence gainer—he's called us several times to talk and to complain and it's been good because we have his confidence.

We then jumped on our 5 hour bus back to Barilo and got here about 5. We got to Rosa and Luciana's about 20 minutes early. my companion was kinda walking slow up the hill to their street and saying `what are we going to do these 20 minutes?`  Get in a house! I say. We started knocking and got in a house and found a family of 6! Awesome. They were having a birthday party and invited us in for a piece of cake. We gave them a DVD finding faith in Christ. It was good-- we haven't been able to get back into their house because they haven't been there the times we've tried, but they were really nice.

Wednesday was the first day we had worked together that we didn't get in a new house here in Bariloche. But, we did 123 contacts, so it's not like we weren't trying! We talked to some people who were really good and who we ended up getting into their house later in the week

Thursday- we woke up and it was freezing cold and snowing. But that didn't matter. In the morning we were knocking in a richer part and got into 2 houses in the morning!!!! Wow. It was great-- they both were really good and we've taught one of them 3 times now. It was a blast-- we started that day so good. Then in the afternoon, we taught 3 with member and 1 other. We ended that day with 3 with member, 3 others, 6 news and 51 contacts. That's as many lessons as they were teaching in an entire week here for the past couple of months. I keep telling my companion we can change this area in 1 week. He is hesitant about that, but these past 3 weeks have absolutely proved that. We have a good new family that we are going to try and put a fecha with this week. I'm so excited!!

Friday-- Friday was probably one of the hardest days in my life! On Thursday, the police killed a 15 year old kid here. His friends and gang and family revolted and started throwing rocks at the police station and that kind of stuff, and the police came out and by the end of the day 3 teens were killed. That got all the teens in Bariloche fired up and it just started a little war between the police and the `pibes` (guys). That shut down our city to missionary work for a couple of days because it was dangerous to work because we didn't know what was going to happen or where the disturbances would be. So, the other 8 missionaries had to stay in on Friday. Our area is so tranquilo that we could keep working. The hermanas had a member who died earlier this week in their ward, so they asked if they could go to the funeral. We let them. We then get a call about an hour later that they were walking back from the chapel and everyone started running and screaming, so everyone ducked into the mall there. Then some pibes went running through and the police were chasing them and yelling `everybody down! ` So the hermanas ducked into a store where they turned off the lights and hid with a group of other people. They were terrified and called us and were just telling us how there was a shoot out going on in the mall and stuff like that (the police are shooting a lot of rubber bullets) so we were frozen-- we were 15 kilometers away and the bus wasn't going to come for another 30 minutes. We called a taxi and went flying in to Centro to `rescue` the hermanas. We were scared too-- we had no idea if it was a real shoot out or rubber bullets or anything. But, turns out, it really wasn't a big big deal what happened in the mall. We got to Centro and the hermanas were able to get out and go back to the church. We met with them there, and they were absolutely fine. It wasn't too too much danger, but they were scared. We were terrified- it was absolutely our fault they were out. So we dodged a big bullet there (pun intended :) ) Things are more or less calm now, so the missionaries were able to get out on Sunday and work. But that was a big scare. I also went to the doctor on Friday to do the test-- I am going to pick up the results today at 6, so I'll be letting you know next week what's going on. I hope i have parasites-- my stomach is really achy. I haven't had the runs all week though, so thats a huge blessing. But at this point I want it to be parasites so I can take some medications to kill them. It's turned into the zone joke-- my parasites are now the zone's pets and everyone is making sure I feed them and stuff. Pretty funny. So we'll find out today.

Saturday was an interesting day. We woke up and had a big conversation about changes we need to make as a companionship. Friday about killed the both of us. We talked a lot about consecrating ourselves to the work and really dedicating ourselves. Doing what we should. I was pretty frustrated with a lot of things my companion was and wasn't doing, so I just put it all on the table. He was pretty down and we just had to make some changes to be the missionaries and leaders we need to be. So he said `if the 2 fechas pass their interviews, I'll be 100% obedient and do what I'm supposed to for the rest of my mission.` The interviews passed, and my companion took seriously his promise. He is a new man, and I am so excited because he is putting aside his stubbornness and pride and really growing as a leader. We are working really hard, and had some big miracles this weekend. The fechas are great-- they are getting baptized on Saturday. We have 2 members of our ward who go with us to almost every visit and just are so supportive. This is by far my best ward on the mission-- we have the whole stake presidency, Pres. Petersons 2nd councilor, and 2 or 3 other returned missionaries. Solid, solid group who do great welcoming people in.

The assistants were in for the weekend. I worked with elder Crandell-- I miss that guy! He's so good. I also worked with the new assistant. He is so polished and bright and good. He's a 27 year old Chilean who has already graduated as a doctor, so I talk to him about my stomach a lot. He is a really humble spiritual guy. He is a solid solid assistant.

Yesterday we had zone conference. It was incredible. Hermana Peterson talked about sacrifice. President talked about faith in a very powerful way. It was exactly the chat I had with elder Argueta and just cemented the changes we've made. We are doing a mundial (soccer tournament) of Bariloche and we gave out some fun prizes to all the companionships. We recognized something great each companionship has done, and the most incredible part is that our weekly key indicators have gone up in every single category in all three of the weeks!!!!! The zone is on fire right now-- we found 111 as a zone last week. That's INCREDIBLE.

Today we have zone p-day and got permission to watch the mundial. I'm pumped! It's going to be a blast. It's been a crazy week and I've learned and grown a whole lot. Elder Rasband said the apostles saw where we were going to end our mission. Here I am—I've been prepared my whole mission to come here and end here. We're changing this area-- we're changing lives.

I love this area. I love this work.

Elder Jensen

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Belated weekly letter from Elder Jensen

June 14, 2010


hi family!


I'm back on my feet-- on Friday I was finally able to get out and work. On a day of pouring rain-- I was a bit of a zombie, but I think that getting out and working was the only thing that was going to make me better! I felt so dead and out of energy on Thursday that elder Argueta told me he was thinking about not even letting me out on Friday. He said `if you were my brother, I'd have you here in the doghouse another 3 days! ` But it felt good to get out and work-- i missed it! We were so bored. Between long naps and study sessions, we found a chess board and so between those three things, we kept our sanity. But the bronchitis and laryngitis and sinus-itis and all the other itis`s are out. I'm still on the anti-biotic for a couple more days. This week we'll have another fun medical week i think—I'm going to go have a parasite test. I've had the runs for 5 straight weeks and the AP that replaced me has already graduated in Chile as a doctor and said I should go get that test--it costs 100 dollars—I've still got some money left over from buying my robbed stuff back, so I'll just use that. I'll let you know how it goes next week!


So far, Elder Argueta and I have entered in a new house every day we've worked. Its only been 6, but here in this area that is quite the run. We've got 3 fechas that are really solid for this transfer, so that is helping us keep going. 2 of them are getting baptized on the 26th and the other on July 10th. They all have come to church the past 3 weeks, so they are doing very well. The 2 that are getting baptized in 2 weeks are really interesting. its a mom and her 22 year old daughter. Supposedly, the mom has been on the verge of getting baptized 3 times already. She's the one me and elder Argueta found a month ago. They have been overcoming a lot of problems, and it's been really fun to watch them and how the gospel has helped them find peace and calmness as things around them crumble a bit. That's the magic of the message we are sharing!


This area is easily my hardest that I've had so far. I came in with the mentality that it's going to change and become an area where we are teaching a lot. I need to keep that in mind and just have patience with the area-- we have a lot of really really big houses in our area and those houses are not the nicest to be knocking! We have 2 `normal` neighborhoods of normal argentine houses and the rest are huge houses and mansions and cabins and touristy stuff. Those 2 neighborhoods have been knocked for years by missionaries, and they aren't too big. Last night we went out to one of the other `bigger house` neighborhoods to knock. In 2 hours, 11 people opened the door. Of those 11, I think about 3 actually listened to what we said. It was very frustrating- the people don't even listen to us. at one point I threw my arms up in the air and said `what are we doing here if no one is even going to listen to a thing we say!` I felt like we were just wasting time-- just walking and knocking without a chance. I am trying to have faith in this area. Like I said, we've entered in a house each day we've worked, so that's really good. I just want to be able to teach in this area. We taught 10 lessons this past week--elder Argueta went out on divisions on Wednesday for 3 of those-- so 7 in 3 days is not bad historically in this area. But that's the thing-- I don't want to just keep going along with the norm here in pioneros. I don't like hearing that it's a tough area, or that we just don't teach as much here. I know I'm going to be frustrated for a bit, but we'll just keep working hard and get through it. I've asked myself what's more cold-- the weather or the people. Hopefully the weather because its about to get really cold here!


The mundial began. In the states, that's no big deal. But here, its insane. I love it. But we can't watch any of the games, so that makes it interesting to figure out what to do, especially while Argentina or big name countries are playing. Luckily, the games are at 830, 11, or 330, so it doesn't interfere with `prime time` work in the evening. It's so much fun seeing how this country (and every other country) absolutely lives for soccer. I wish it were like that in the states!


Today we are in Esquel-- we are here to do divisions and p-day. It'll be fun. It's hard being a zone leader. It's a fun experience trying to motivate elders with all different kind of levels of commitment and excitement. Some jump right on whatever you say, and others you have to really push. We're trying to figure out how to jumpstart the zone-- we've got 12 fechas as a zone right now. We really need to baptize at least 10 this transfer as a zone, and so we are really trying to get the missionaries to put fechas and accomplish their goals. We are having our own little `mundial` here in Bariloche. Its fun----it's animating the missionaries to achieve their daily goals and get as much done as they can. We'll see how many fechas we can put as a zone this week!


Next Monday we have zone conference. I'm excited to see elder Crandell again. I miss those office elders a lot-- luckily I can call them up and we have to work with them a bit as zone leaders. But it will be good to get the zone together and talk about what we need to do specifically here in Bariloche to have success.


*trunky moment of the week* elder Argueta and I were falling asleep and he slaps his forehead and says `I've got only six months left!` then he paused and said `maybe I shouldn't have said that... you have 10 weeks left!` it took a little while to fall asleep after that!


Have a great week, family! I'm excited for a week of finding and going back to the basics. It's super fun with elder Argueta because this area is super hard, so having a friend already really helps. We have a good time together.



Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Recovering this week.....

June 8, 2010


Hi family!


I know, it's weird that I'm emailing on a Tuesday afternoon. I'll explain shortly. We just finished a district meeting with the district here and we put the challenge with them to baptize 5 between the 3 companionships. They have been struggling and not baptizing, so that's a big challenge for them.


Week 1 in Bariloche was everything I hoped it to be. Tuesday we went out and got in a house and taught. Wednesday, the same. Thursday, the same. When I got there, I asked for what their goals were for the week-- 3 with member, 4 others, 4 new investigators, and 335 contacts. I (I already knew this was going to happen way before I asked) said `nope. Not acceptable. We're better than that. Next week, we're putting higher goals. `` And with that, we left and worked. Between Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, we taught 3 with member, 4 others, found 6, and put 3 new fechas. We saw some miracles, and we are changing this area. My goal is to teach 20 lessons in a week here in Pioneros. That's probably never been done before. I'm really excited-- I know we are going to change this area. It's interesting being with elder Argueta again. It's tough. He's got a lot of bad habits that we are going to change. He became really negative with his last companion and they fought all the time and that vibe killed the zone. Now we've got to change that. And he's changed already. In the calls he makes, he is more focused. But we still have some ground to cover.


Our very first new investigator came Tuesday morning. It went about like this <clap clap clap> (a guy comes out side and yells come in) we look at each other saying ¿really? He says `come in` again. So in we go. As we go up the walkway, he says `I fed a Mormon to my dogs for breakfast this morning. Right this way.., ` we entered into his home and he was just a nice old man who told us in the nicest way how big of sinners and liars we were. It was so nice though! He had a library of everything the Jehovah's Witnesses had ever written in Spanish, English, and German. He'd read everything. He then told us they are the biggest liars, even bigger than us. He, at one point yelled at my companion for not respecting the Sabbath, then turned to me with his finger still pointed at my comp and said `should i hit him now or later?` `later` I said with a smile. He pulled his finger back and said `okay. I'll save it for later.` needless to say, it was a crazy first investigator to find, but he was fun! We went back on Thursday and he took our jackets and gave us juice and was just such an interesting guy. He reads the bible literally 10 hours a day. Crazy. You can visit his site-- or something like that :)


We had a good experience on Wednesday night. We were walking and it was 7:55. We were knocking a street, and it was cold and rainy and we had a cita at 8. There was one house left, and elder Argueta and I look at each other like `well, that one is far from the street, should we just go to the cita? elder Argueta feet were soaked and freezing. But then something kicked me so that we walked over. We knocked, and they let us in. we taught Claudio and Maria a bit of lesson one and put 2 fechas right there on the spot. Interesting. Wasn't Pioneros a tough area where you couldn't teach and find and baptize?  think NOT! We had a cita to go visit them again Saturday but couldn't leave so we are going to have to go verify that fecha this week. We now have 5 fechas in our area. 2 are Claudio and Maria-- they aren't too firm of fechas but we have 3 that are strong strong. They went to church and everything, so they are going to get baptized for sure. But I'm excited just to change this area and make it what every other of my areas has been-- a baptizing one!


Thursday night we went up to Neuquen for a conference with all the leaders of zona. It was great-- it was really interesting and relaxing to be there without the AP mantle.--- it was so much more fun and tranquilo. And I love elder Taylor-- he is incredible. haha. Every time I see him I am just so happy. The meta is 100 again for the mission. I feel good about our plans-- I read a lot about desires in D&C 11 and am teaching that to my zone.  I think that's been the difference in my mission. It was fun presenting our plans because I got sick and had no voice at all, so they made fun of me and such, but it was fun. Afterwards, we went out and cooked tacos with the Sepulveda's and saw some people. Its fun having worked in the office because I get to go back every now and then!


Now, we got back early early Saturday morning. Like at 5:30am. And it's a bit tough to sleep on these busses. But I told elder Argueta we were going to get up and work anyways. But when it was time to do it, we just couldn't. We slept in. when it was time to leave, I felt like I was going to die with my throat and cough and headache, so we called hna Peterson and stayed in house. At about 5 we went to the doctors, where we found out I had severe bronchitis, laryngitis, a sinus infection, and a 103 degree fever. She told us to get some drugs and I had to rest rest rest rest and rest. So we did. I was like unconscious at this point-- we had waited about an hour and a half in the doctors and I was just toast. So we rested. Saturday, Sunday, yesterday. Today we left because we had a cita with the doctor and a district meeting. I'm doing a WHOLE LOT BETTER. I'm doing fine. But she is making me rest through Thursday from the missionary work because she says I was at the point of picking up pneumonia. So, I'm going back to the house to rest some more. I've slept so much these past days, and I feel exhausted right now. So it's probably a good thing that I don't die here in the mission. I feel bad because I wanted to come in and just jumpstart this area and zone, but looks like we're going to have a couple trials of our faith. Elder Argueta lost his wallet and some money so he's already passed his. But we're going to make it through and baptize. I'm taking more than 4000 mg of drugs per day! haha. It's crazy. My companion wakes me up to give me pills and stuff. He's taking such good care of me. The poor guy is bored out of his mind. Our pension is super clean though-- he has had too much time and not enough to do!


On Sunday, the stake president came to see us, the stake mission leader and his wife (who also went to the hospital with us), and some converts from this area that take care of us. They all brought food and it was SO nice to have people come and visit it made a big difference. Don't worry too much about me-- I've already passed the worst. Just keep praying, and hopefully Friday I'll be out working again!


I have 2 favors on my companion's part. His family doesn't write him much. Like once every 5 weeks or so. We have some Spanish speakers in the family and I think it would be good for him to know that someone is interested in him. is his email-- maybe could someone send him a note or something? There is another elder in the mission who has been writing one of his comps families for the past year because his family doesn't write him. Elder Argueta also loves beef jerky...


I love you family. Thanks for supporting me. I'm trying to sprint to the finish--- even if this body of mine doesn't want to cooperate; we're going to get it done.


love you!

Elder Jensen

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Writing from a new city in Argentina


Transfers are going to happen this weekend. I won't say much today (because I don't know anything yet) other than that I'm going to Bariloche as a zone leader and I'm going to be with elder Argueta again! Wow. What a surprise. Bariloche hit the fan these past two transfers and completely fell apart. Elder Argueta basically shut down because he didn't like his comp. He loves me, and when we were out there he told me he was praying I'd come out there and we could run the streets again. Well, my friend, I guess God answers prayers! This is going to be a bit of a bear for me. After the first time I did divisions in that area in Bariloche, I said ´I think that is the one area in the mission I wouldn't like to be in.´´ the area is 27 kilometers long and just the rich rich richest part of all of the Patagonia. I'll be sending some pics in the coming months. It is incredible how much money people have out there. And they teach about 6 lessons per week. For the past year, they've been teaching just 6 a week. That's awful, and not how I'm going to finish my mission. It's time to go and turn that area around, and turn the zone around. The zone can be very good... and I think that's why I'm going out there--to turn it around. Cool story-- when on divisions, me and elder Argueta found a lady who had been taught before. That lady has been progressing, and they were planning on putting a fecha with her for next transfer. Is that poetic or what? I'm excited to be with elder Argueta-- he is a champ, and I feel like we really had a special bond. I think we learned a ton from each other, and I know I can be a good influence for him to turn him back to how he should be working.



May 31, 2010


Well, here I am, sitting next to my El Salvadorian friend, typing. It's been a strange turn of events these last couple of days. Yesterday I officially ended as AP. it was strange. Handing over the phone and keys and binder were kinda tough-- I had really grown attached to the calling and have loved serving in that capacity. But, it's definitely time to move on and to go do something else. Bariloche has really struggled the past 2 transfers and so we had a lot of changes in this zone. Almost every companionship changed. This place has the potential to baptize a ton of people-- we just need to prepare ourselves to do it. There have been big problems with disobedience and lack of focus in this zone, and now I think I've been sent here to help get this zone back together. Elder Argueta is a good guy—he's a lot different from round 1. He's not as full of faith as he once was-- he really struggled with his last companion and that has left him not as strong as he'd like to be. He couldn't be happier I'm in as his companion-- he says he's just been waiting for a companion he gets along with to get things going again. Today i got in around 4-- we spent from 4 until 745 cleaning the pension. We literally took all the furniture out and cleaned the place out. We said we were taking out all the bad and negativity-- we cleaned it so well. We then changed all the location of all the beds and desks and it looks way different. The place was a mess, but now it's pretty nice. It's a small pension, and its got a couple of mold problems in the bathroom, but oh well, we'll get through it.

I've got a lot of mixed feelings-- I already miss the office. There I lived with 5 other elders who were just so much fun. I also could call anyone in the mission, and I knew everything that was happening. Now, separating yourself from that is a bit strange. I'll get used to it. Elder Argueta and I found a lady and her daughter 3 weeks ago when I was here on divisions, and the 2 of them both have fechas already. We have another little girl who is going to get baptized as well this transfer, so we are looking pretty good. I really want this zone to turn around and become the force it needs to be. If we are going to get to 100 baptisms as a mission, we have to baptize at least 15 or 20 here in Bariloche. There are 10 companionships. you'll have to MapQuest this-- we have 2 elders in Trevelin, 2 elders and 2 hermanas in Esquel, 2 elders in el Bolson, 2 in villa la Angostura and then 4 hermanas and 6 elders here in Bariloche. It's a very big zone, so we'll be doing a decent amount of traveling to go on divisions and to district meetings and such.

I feel like I've got a big challenge right now. The zone knows why I'm here. But baptizing is what I do and that's what we've got to do here in the zone. As a mission, we only baptized 49. I am happy that Elder Crandell and I got our goal of 3-- Samuel ended up getting baptized yesterday. He was great. He was really excited--- he's come a long way from that shy scared of water little boy I first met. He asked me to baptize him, and I tried to talk him into letting a member do it but he refused, so I gladly did it. I realized that in each of my 4 areas, we've baptized the last weekend I was there. I hope that continues!

The goodbyes weren't too bad. I didn't really have a strong connection with this ward like I did in Allen or Trelew. We only had 2 of the families that lived on our side, and with our limited time we didn't pass by the members too much. With he converts it also wasn't bad at all because on Friday I go back to Neuquen for the zone leader council. The council ends at 5 ish and then we can go and visit people if we've worked there before, so I'm going to go visit Ezequiel and then go make tacos with the Sepulveda's. the goodbyes were really just `see you on Friday!` and then it will be `see you in 6 weeks!` and then it will be `see you in six more weeks!` so it really wasn't too bad.

I've got to spill the beans on something too-- this past month I've been pretty sick. I have had the runs every day for about 4 weeks now. They convinced me to go to the doctor and I did 2 weeks ago. He gave me some pills that were supposed to regulate me and help out my guts a bit. They didn't do anything. So I went back in the last Friday. He was shocked they didn't do anything, so then he gave me some antibiotics and decided it was an infection or something. The next day i couldn't even leave.  went to the bathroom more that day than some missionaries do contacts in a week! I was nervous about traveling like that, but it's settled down a lot and I'm doing a little better. Its not back to normal yet though so I think next Friday when I'm in Neuquen I'm going to go back to the doctor. It actually turns out the first pills he gave me were pills for anxiety problems---he says a lot of problems like the ones I've been having are caused by anxiety and stress. I say `hmm that's funny. Why would that happen the last couple of weeks of my 5th transfer as AP? It's got to be something else. But they relax you a whole ton, so I've slept real well this week! And I've had some pretty crazy dreams too! Haha. But just thought I'd give you the heads up so you can throw a little health line or two in your prayers so I can sprint to the finish and not to the toilet!

I'm down a little bit right now, just for the circumstances in which I've found myself. But, like I said last email, I've done this before in Allen. In Junin. In the office. So, now it's just time to write the chapter `Bariloche`

I love you all. Take care.
I love snow ;)
Elder Jensen

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Latest Elder Jensen update

May 25, 2010


Wow! Sounds like quite the adventure you two had moving all of that stuff out! I'm glad you were at least able to find a couple of treasures to take home. Sounds like contacting to me-- sift through all the stuff and every now and then you get something great!


Ezequiel got confirmed this Sunday and was doing just great. Yesterday we had an activity in the church and he showed up way early and just grabbed some ping pong stuff and started playing with whoever was there. He was a terribly shy kid at first, and now he is just really calm and has no problem in coming to activities and interacting with the other people. The family Sepulveda have been instrumental in helping him feel welcome and comfortable. I think my love for the familia Sepulveda has grown each passing week. This week, we had an investigator come to church for the first time and I grabbed Jackie and said ´hey there is someone here for the first time more or less your age... could you go meet her and ask her to sit with you? Jackie about ran over to do it, and I looked over about 5 minutes later and they were just deep in conversation. After church, Jackie comes over and says ´yeah she's great. I'm going over to visit her on Wednesday at 5!´ That family is incredible. They may be one of the best member missionary families I have ever seen. I think they've given away more than 10 books of Mormon in the past 2 months. Fernando (the son in law) has a brother who came to the wedding and is a good guy. I then made a street contact with him about 2 months later (about 2 weeks ago) and invited ourselves over. Unfortunately he doesn't live in our area, but he lives in the area of 2 elders that live with us. They passed by and started teaching and he is progressing a ton! He came to our ward's activity yesterday and is just a really special guy. I know he's going to get baptized next transfer for sure. And I am also sure that he isn't the end of baptisms that stem from the familia Sepulveda. They have 2 cousins or sister in laws or something that we are going to teach this next week who are thinking about starting coming to church even before we've taught them. Fernando´s mom and other sister also are going to start receiving missionaries soon. It's incredible to think of the difference that was made that one afternoon when elder Camacho and I went out knocking. It was about 3 in the afternoon when we met them. a lot of missionaries think that is a dead hour, the siesta. But I have looked at my baptisms and i think about 75% have been found in that ´dead´ hour. Incredible.


Samuel didn't get baptized this past Sunday. We've got a cita with them in about an hour, so we are going to put everything in line so that he gets baptized this Sunday for sure! We saw him one day in the street and he say ´and when am I getting baptized!?´ We'll take care of that pretty quick. I also received news this week that one of my investigators from Trelew is getting baptized next week-- I tried so hard to get this guy to progress, but it wasn't his time. Now he's getting in the water! It's so exciting.


Allen was great. I got to see the Onate's, Marquez, Eechegaray, Luis Tagle, and Tamara. They are doing okay--- hna Marquez just started crying when she saw us and said ´oh elders I've needed you so bad.´ it absolutely broke my heart. They had fallen and were having a ton of problems with her son who is losing his vision and is becoming suicidal. It was a really tough hour we spent there, but in the end, we read 1 Nephi 8 and drew the vision of the tree of life (something we had done before) and we reviewed it. I had them all label themselves, where they were. Some were in the river, some in the midst of darkness. I then labeled myself as Lehi (in the sense that as missionaries we call people to the tree) and then read some of the passages of that chapter in which Lehi is scared for some of his children and exhorts them with all the feeling of a tender father. I read those, and put in there the words missionary or brother. It was a touching moment for all of us, and i hope they can realize and understand that the iron rod wasn't us. It was and still is the book of Mormon, going to church, and praying. I think sometimes the rod gets confused. But I love that family so much and really hope they can overcome these mists of darkness that are surrounding them. The Echegaray´s were doing well. The boys were really happy to see us. Elder Henrie had a really special connection with Christian, and he was pretty emotional to see elder Henrie again. They had all kinds of food for us and it was awesome! They also have been reading the blog-- they have a translating program or something, so they were up to date about how we got robbed and all that. How fun! Luis Tagle announced he was getting married in July and baptized the next day. He's incredible. He knows a ton of church doctrine and is just waiting for the moment to get baptized. They had had a baby since I'd been gone! I didn't realize I was gone for so long! haha. I'm excited for him-- he is going to be a good leader in the church.


It's time to sprint to the finish. I'll be doing it through the snow! Mama- don't worry-- I'll grab boots here. I think they have extras, so I'll be good on that.


I love you family! Happy anniversary mom and dad!