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

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