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!


Belated news from Elder Jensen

May 19, 2010


Hi parents! Today is a big day---- IM GOING BACK TO ALLEN!! WAHOO!!!


The hermanas have set it all up for us and I am so excited--- we're having lunch with the OƱates, seeing Luis and the Marquez's and Tamara and the Echegarays and Edgardo Millaqueo. It's going to be a great day! I'm going down there with Elder Henrie, driving stick the entire way! Wish me luck!  (I've actually learned it pretty well-- I only kill it every now and then, but I'm getting better!)


This past week was a good one. We went for the new standard-- I still haven't gotten it. It's a lot higher than those other standards I got. We raised it up in January and a few people have gotten it. It's been really good. So Elder Crandell and I did everything we could to try and get it, but we fell short. We had an awesome week though-- we taught 11 lessons with a member present and 11 others and did 400 contacts. Here in our area, those may be the best numbers ever! The familia Sepulveda helped us out a lot. We did divisions with them one night-- it was really good. We divided and conquered. i went out with hermano Sepulveda and we taught three lessons. Elder Crandell went out a knocked with Matthias and they got into 2 houses, so we ended that night with 5 with member. Our ward doesn't have much priesthood-- its basically the familia Sepulveda, the bishop and his counselor, and 2 or 3 other men. We've been losing attendance recently, and when we set stuff up with them a lot of the time we get no showed. But the familia Sepulveda would die before the no show us. They are great. And the other office elders are now teaching some of there family members who live over in their area. The work goes on, and i am convinced we are going to be able to baptize a lot of their family members here in this city. We have given them several books of Mormon and they keep giving them out. They are doing really well.


Ezequiel got baptized on Sunday. He was so happy-- this boy was a tough one. he was so nervous and so hesitant to commit a couple of weeks ago. When we left on the gira, we left elder Pederson and elder Henrie in charge of getting him progressing and to his baptismal interview. Somehow they did it! On Sunday in church, he said ´i feel really calm and tranquilo about this decision to get baptized. I'm excited to do it.´ That's the spirit, my boy! Elder Crandell baptized him and it was a bit of a challenge because elder Crandell is a pretty small person and Ezequiel is a very large person, but they practiced about 10 times and when they got in the water it went perfectly the first time. We're really proud of him- he is such a good pure boy. His mom is a member since like 1983 or something and is starting to come back. hno Sepulveda got her to give a talk in the baptism and it went well. Her husband isn't a member-- he doesn't drink or smoke or anything. he was just raised in a catholic school. he likes to go hide in the kitchen whenever we go over, so we haven't taught him yet. But the hna said that she'd invite us over for lunch or dinner some day and then we can start with him. I dint have any problem with that! Lunch + New investigator = the perfect combo.


We've started talking a touch about the transfers. We are really out in the dark this time around. There are some big changes that are going to be made-- a lot of changes with zone leaders and probably with me. I am excited to find out what is going to happen. I made goals while I was on the gira about how I wanted to finish this mission. I've got a good amount of specific things I want to get done before i leave. I'm just praying now that the Lord puts me in the place I need to be so I can get those things done, whether that be here in the office or as a zone leader or trainer or senior comp or wherever. We'll find out!


In one of these pictures, we are playing the bean game! It had been a long time. Elder Cox´s family mailed it to him so we played that one night after planning. Elder Cox is doing super well-- he is opening a new area and is really working well down there.


Well, its time to go back to Allen. I'm so excited. We found in our area (one of our next baptisms) the sister of a family I was teaching for a long time in Allen—I'm so excited. I'm going to see that family in Allen today, and then we teach the sister again on Friday. Things are looking good here in the office.


Here is something I sent to president today.-- he asked us all to name a couple of things we are grateful for in our emails to him this week.


When you told us about the gratitude that is in this email a couple of days ago, I started thinking. I've decided I've got a lot to be grateful for. I am grateful to the Lord for granting that I have success on the mission. I'm not perfect, and don't deserve what I've been blessed with. But the Lord is merciful, and grants unto us gifts. I feel blessed for those gifts. I feel grateful for my companions-- I've had the best companions in the entire mission! There is not one of them that I regret being with. The other day elder Crandell and i were talking and telling each other what we've learned from all of our companions. I realized that I had indeed learned a distinct lesson from each of them and that those lessons have shaped me into what I am now. I am also grateful for my family who support me. I know that they are there for me. I know that they pray for me. I know that they think about me a lot and really kind of participate with me here on the mission. That's a blessing a lot of elders don't have, and I am very grateful for them.


I love you parents! Have fun cleaning!

Elder Jensen

Friday, May 7, 2010

Elder Jensen update

May 6, 2010


Hi family! Greetings from my beloved Trelew. We've had a good gira so far. We started out last Saturday to come on down to Bariloche. We worked with the zone leaders in their area. Their area is a bit tough-- it's a really really rich area in Bariloche, so they don't teach and find nearly as much as other areas in the mission. We were really excited though-- on Saturday from 4-9, we found 5. Then Sunday elder Crandell and elder Hudnall found a few. Then Monday, together we found 5 more. It was a really successful weekend. Elder Argueta is one of those zone leaders in Bariloche, so it was fun to be able to work with him again. It was really good for both of us--he is really struggling with humbling himself and being a good companion, and I'm struggling with not being tired! So it was a good time for us to kinda drop the cane on each other and still love each other at the same time. The zone in Barilo is really struggling with unity. When we first got there for the conference, I was a bit frustrated because as the missionaries walked into the chapel; they formed 2 groups-- latins and north Americans. One group spoke English, the other Spanish. I was the only North American over with the latins, and it was just ugly and I know thats how it is on p-days and district meetings. So, luckily in these zone conferences, Elder Crandell and I do an obedience chat at the beginning. So in that, we dropped cane hard on speaking the language and exactly why it was a problem. It was perfect-- I used the being devastated tactics in doing it, asking some reflective questions that kinda made them understand. It went really well-- for the rest of the conference, Spanish was spoken and they didn't divide into groups. It was a great change, and we really needed that there. Also, the missionary we visited 2 weeks ago was smiling and just doing great. I was really happy. I talked to him for a bit and just expressed how happy he seemed and how much he had changed. He spoke some fun broken English back to me and told me he was reading the book of Mormon and that was helping him so much. It was really touching for me to see the drastic change that he had taken. A lot of times we think we are here just to change investigators when the reality is that we change ourselves more than anyone else.


We saw elder Bowen on Sunday. He gave a talk in stake conference about fasting, paying a generous fast offering, and paying a full tithing. I love hearing him speak because he drops it on everyone but does it in a really loving way and as he does it, everyone knows that he is exactly right. Mom- he told me to tell you hi. He's going to beat me back to the states by a transfer, but said `I'm sure we'll see you there! `


Matias got confirmed this last Sunday, and little Samuel is still anxious to get baptized. Elder Henrie and Elder Pederson in the office are taking care of our area for us this week, and so they get to set up the interview and everything. We are anxious to find out what happens with Ezequiel. He is still borderline if he is going to do it or not. I don't think he's going to get baptized on the 15th like we're planning. I'm hoping for a miracle from the missionaries that are passing by! He's a good guy; he's just a bit slow and is nervous about doing it.


I'm excited to talk to you on Sunday! Hopefully we get up there without problems or anything. Have some questions for me! and I'll try not to be a blabberbox this time and talk the whole time! I got my `trunky papers` this past Thursday. you get that when you are about 3.5 months out, and they are the papers that are your `sprint to the finish` thing and the data about where you are going to fly home to and such like that. I assume thats going to be cincy? We'll talk about that a touch on Sunday I think. Putz starts orientation the 27th? I will land on the 25th in the states, so it's going to be a crazy couple of days!


I'm excited to be here in Trelew right now-- they have stake conference this Sunday, so I get to see my whole ward!! wahoo! They've put a fecha with Noelia Azocar`s mom, so I'm really excited to talk to them and see how they're doing. This zone is taking off right now- they put 10 new fechas this past week. Some of my absolute favorite missionaries are here, so we're looking for some big things this transfer.


I love you family and I'm excited to talk to you this weekend!!