Friday, January 8, 2010

Get Ready!

January 7, 2010


Dear family—

It's been a good one!!! We had the two conferences with Elder Bowen and they were powerful. A year ago, Eder Adukitis came to our mission and it literally changed my mission. After that conference, I figured out how to enter into new houses. Now, my mission has been changed again. My vision has been lifted and I've got a new drive to do this thing.

We had a meeting with Elder Bowen for about an hour and a half on Monday. It was me and Elder Camacho, and the 4 office elders. He told me and Elder Camacho we need to be teaching about 28 lessons every week. Ooh. The most I've ever taught is about 34 ish. In the office my average is about 10 to 12. But I'm so ready. I was so bogged down because I wasn't accomplishing much, and now I'm stoked to go out there and do it. He talked a lot about having faith, because where doubt and fear are faith cannot exist. We can take what he is saying and go with it and get the blessings, or we can have doubt or faith and not. It was cool.

We then had a leadership meeting in which we asked questions and he helped us become better leaders. He also went through exodus 18 and talked a lot about delegation and trusting those you work with.

Then in the conference, he talked a whole lot about covenants. He had asked us to study the oath and covenant of the priesthood, the baptismal covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, and the endowment to prepare ourselves. He then went through and taught us some really powerful stuff. He says, after this meeting, I won't ever have to worry about your obedience again. He dropped it on us a little bit, but I absolutely loved it. He told us as a mission we need to use our time better. The average number for lessons taught is about 11 or12 in a week, which is weak. He says we have to get that up. And how?  Finding more people to teach. And how? Contacting! He then says 22 is weak. We need to do about 50 a day. He then said we had to double our contacts. My jaw dropped because last week I did 207.  Ha! I'm well on my way this week though. It was just an incredible conference and I'm not doing justice explaining any of this stuff, but I'll tell you later.

Monday night we had a really special lesson. We went out and taught this lady---do you remember a few weeks ago the lady we found that her boy friend had walked behind us and entered the house while we were knocking our way there?? It's that lady. She's great. Me and Elder Briggs taught here twice, and then elder Camacho went and taught her one time. She had just broken up with her boyfriend and had asked them to help her have more charity and love. So they read Moroni 7. She then went on a 2 week vacation to Junin (which, by the way has 2 fechas now). So she comes back and we met with her on Monday night. She tells us how happy she's been and how much better she feels after reading that chapter. I told her that's just the beginning. As she follows more and more what Christ teaches and learns more and more, she's just going feel better and better. And she knows it. So then Elder Skousen explained clearly what the Book of Mormon is, then elder Camacho gave an example of what we can learn from it from 3 ne 27 where it talks about faith, repentance, baptism, the spirit, etc. Then it comes back to me and we put a fecha!! It was so perfect. The spirit was absolutely present, and she was so ready to accept it. After we put it, she says, so now what do I have to do? Perfect, I say. You need to read and pray daily and come to church on Sundays. She says great. I'll do it. So after we had put our next cita for Thursday, I say so what are you going to do between now and Thursday? Read and pray!! And when are you going to start?? Today!! And are you excited?? SI!!! (she kinda threw her hands up in the air and everything on that last one.) it was just so perfect, and im really excited.

When I got here there really wasn't anything going on. We had 2 good investigators and that was it. Now we are just bursting with people. It's so exciting!! It makes me really not want to leave on this gira because I'm so excited to be teaching these good people.

Yesterday we were in Zapala. It was a good day. At first, I didn't really want to go because if I'm going to somehow get to 28 lessons a week, I feel a lot stronger pushing for it in my area than in someone else's just because I have not too much control on the citas and plans they make. So we set out and worked on Wednesday. The plans were bleak—we had a maybe cita in the morning that wasn't there, and a maybe cita at night, also not there, and a cita with members right after lunch that was there. The rest of the planned time was called ´encontrando´ which is ´finding´ which a lot of missionaries use to label dead time in which they go through the motions because the APs are there. So I was a little nervous of having so much encontrando time. But I knew that the purpose of us doing these divisions is to put into practice what Elder Bowen taught us and to get these zone leaders to do it to, so with a smile on my face we put some high goals—6 other lessons, 5 new, and 55 contacts. And we set out. We found one new guy in the morning who was GREAT! He let us in and we had a great lesson with him, and they set up another cita for today with him. He was good. We then contacted and tried to get in more, but didn't get in anymore. We then went and ate lunch and set out again. We went to a member's house to do an activity to get them to set up a time to teach a friend or someone in their home. It went okay. The hermana had just gone through a hard time of losing 2 brothers within a week 2 months ago. My comp got a little frustrated because they wouldn't commit to have us teach something in their home. I felt the spirit or something because I started talking to the hermana and how Christ has helped her come through and is strengthening her and how this is helping her get closer to Him. Then I asked what it would be like to try and go through this without Christ and the church. She says ´impossible.´ Then I said ´think of someone who is also going through a situation like yours. They don't have what you have hermana. They don't have this church.´ I then paused. A second later I asked ´who came to your mind that we can teach here in your home so they too can get through their struggles?´ the husband responded first, trying to excuse his wife again from trying to share the gospel, but she piped up the name of someone. She says when he comes over to get paid on Friday, I'm going to talk to him because his mom is really ill and he could use this.´ I was overjoyed. The spirit works!

We set out again. We found another man who wants to change and recognized that his baptism wasn't done right. We were going to invite him to get baptized, there on the spot during the lesson, but decided it would be better if we do it next Friday when they go back to teach his family of 5. He was a great guy, and I'm really excited to see if they will (they easily can) put a fecha with him on Friday!

We set out again, and found another new. He was a so so guy. We set out again, and got into a house of someone named Mara. We sit down she says ´we have a big family. I am one of 13.´ My jaw dropped. Awesome!!! We started teaching, and it was great. She told us she was strong in her church, but as we taught and testified of the gospel truths, we felt a change in her. She almost fell off the couch she was sitting on she was leaning forward so much to hear us. By the end of the lesson, she said I've felt something special. Something that tells me you guys are right.´ even though we wanted to tell her ´yeah we know´ we told her to pray about it. One of the things Elder Bowen taught us to do is to basically force them to say the last prayer, so we started doing it. We taught her how to pray, and about 8 words in she was just balling. She is going to get baptized, I know it! She felt the spirit so strongly testify of the things that we said.

Yesterday I was a different missionary. You should have seen the smile I wore literally all day. I want you to know how much I love these people. I absolutely love being here and teaching people. I wish you could see me in action—it's different than you've ever seen me before. I know that the spirit testified through me yesterday. It's a feeling I cannot explain—walking into someone's house and teaching them what God wants them to do. Testifying of His love, His plan, His mercy is something I just get real emotional about doing!! I love it. A lot of times missionaries say ´there is no other place I'd rather be right now.´ I don't agree—I have 1 place I'd rather be—getting on an airplane to arrive here and start my 2 year clock over. Knowing what I know now, I can only imagine the things I can do. I am so excited to keep working and give this my all. We talked a lot about magnifying our callings, and sometimes I get nervous because there are so many tiny little things that we need to do to magnify it as missionaries. I get stressed because I'm not perfect and so I have times when I don't think I'm magnifying it. Yesterday I absolutely did. We taught 5 lessons, found 5 news, and did 67 contacts. That's exactly what Elder Bowen taught us to do, and I know that Elder Camacho and I helped these zone leaders to know that they can do it too. I felt the spirit confirm to me that I had given it all, and to be honest I had never really sought that confirmation before. I felt it really strongly that even though I'm not perfect, I'm going to be able to go out on this Gira and get the Lord's work done. What a feeling of peace I felt.

It's hard for me to go on the Gira because I don't want to leave these investigators in the hands of other missionaries for 2 weeks, but leaving Zapala yesterday was just as hard!! Haha I was so excited for those people.

I just love this.

Elder Jensen.

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