Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"We rocked this week!"

Okkkkkk! Here I am!

We went to use the internet at 4pm, but there weren’t enough computers, so I didn’t get to write! Thank heavens, though, Hermana Ligias is letting me use her computer to write to you guys! We just finished Family Home Evening. This is a really great family here. I’m very excited to have a family I love and who loves me to spend my Christmas with. I need that . . .

I’m very proud of Dylan . . . Like always! And I’m positive that he had a great solo! And, as far as basketball for him, he’s doin’ great! He is really rebounding well! It’ll be fun for you guys to be able to compare our stats on MBay Prep . . . LOL! Good job though, Dylan! You better already have a DearElder sent off to me! If you don’t, you better do it soon!

So . . . The Mom from Utah . . . Is she friends with Melanie? And is her son friends with McKay? Good to hear that Elder Larsen’s Mom wrote to you! The Moms love talkin’ to other Missionary moms, so I’ve heard. I talked to Elder Larsen last night for almost an hour! The time passed sssssuper fast. Good guy, that man . . . And I talked to Legua a few times this week, too. Poor kid. He’s goin’ through a tough time. He’s been a reall good example to me.

I did get your package this past Wednesday! I almost started crying, kinda . . . LOL . . . But, really, it was so thoughtful of you guys to put together a package like that! I got to open nine gifts that first day! After that, I’ve opened them one per day in the correct order. I’ve guessed what each one was before opening it, too. I’ve guessed by the scripture and not by the size or shape of the package. I’ve gotten some right and some wrong and I wrote down my guess and what was in each package each time, so it’s been very, very fun! Thank you sooooooooooo much! Really, really! It means the world to me . . . Something thoughtful like this . . .

As far as talking with you guys on Christmas, I will call you guys. It will just be easier that way ‘cause we don’t have a set time. I do ask one favor, though. Can you guys open the package I sent you before I call you? That way, we can both give thanks for what we have received . . . LOL . . . But, I dunno . . . I just wanted it to be opened already. The niece of Hermana Ligia sent your package today from Miami. She says that it should get to the house on December 21st. Can you do me a favor and send them something for Christmas? They are going to have a baby girl, so you can send her something little for the baby. I bought them a li’l, too, but what they did saved us like $50. So, could you send her a li’l something? Thank you!

Okay . . . So now for my weekly update! And I have quite a good amount!

Well, I’ll start with my new Companion. His name is Elder Flores and he’s from Honduras. He’s been a really good Companion so far. We have had a great time so far and we had a huge, great week of work! I loved it again ‘cause I got to work like a Senior Companion since he doesn’t know the Area yet. And, we rocked this week! We have been happy which is good, too. He got mad at me once, though . . . LOL . . . ‘Cause I gave away our li’l cakes to two li’l kids . . . Hahahahaha .. . It was funny that he got mad, but he apologized later.

I want to give a shout out real quick to Grandma for always writing to me. I haven’t had a chance to write to her by my hand and pen yet, but I really appreciate it!

Oh! I was wondering . . . On one of the CDs you sent, the one with mostly Christmas instrumentals . . . One of the first songs, I think Number four, was kind of a gospel song and has a really good solo on it. When the soloist is in the low range, it sounds like Dylan . . . But that isn’t him, is it? If it is, wow! That’s crazy, crazy!

I’ve carried three things with me every day since I got in the field in Guatemala. One is my oil, the other is two linked chains (which I’ll explain another time) and the third is my first Guatemalan coin. Well, this week, I lost the coin! But someone found it and gave it back to me! LOL . . . I was very happy, though. When I get home, I wanna make it into a necklace. Random story . . . Sorry . . .

We have one investigator progressing a lot, a lot . . . Her name is Vilma . . . She has been awesome! She is a single mother of three children. The sad part is that she has cancer in her stomach. Today, she is supposed to have surgery. I’m scared, she’s scared. I really hope all goes well. It has been a long time comin’ with her. I guess they plan on taking out all of her woman parts as well. Kinda sad and depressing though, huh? Pray for her with me!

This week, I was playin’ with matches. Puttin’ ‘em out on my tongue and all . . . LOL . . . And then I did one trick and the match touched my lips . . . And they got burned! LOL . . . It hurt but I’m all good now . . . Guess I shouldn’t do dumb stuff . . .

Ummmm . . . Here’s my reading update . . . I’m in Jacob again; And in D&C 60, I believe; And in the Bible, in Judges 10 . . . The Old Testament . . . LOL . . . Sometimes very boring but good stuff too, though.

This past Friday, I believe, we had Luces Campero here in Guatemala. Pollo Campero is a good fast food place like KFC or something, almost. But they put on a light show here on December 2nd. It’s kind of like 4th of July in Guatemala. LOL . . . Not really ‘cause it’s not a day of independence, but it’s fireworks! Anyway, it was pretty fun and cool. We watched it from way up high in our area.

I got to give another blessing this week. It was to a woman and I gave it in perfect “tu” form. It’s been really hard for me to bless in “tu” when I only talk in “ust”, but I did it perfectly which was cool! And then her daughter told us that she had been praying to have someone give her a blessing, so they felt like we were sent by God. Pretty cool, huh?

We have a return missionary in our Ward! He just got back. He got here when Elder Martinez left. He’s a really good buy and was Assistant for five changes in El Salvador! All the people say he is way more serious than before his Mission, though. I wonder how I’ll have changed when I get home. LOL . . . I hope I’m not weird . . .

Can you do a search on “laky soup” and tell me what it says about it? How many times I can or should eat it per week?

Anyway . . . That’s all I’ve got for ya! I sure love you and can’t wait to hear your voices! I hate that I’m used to not hearing you guys! Anyway, I love, love, love, love you! Love you ALL!

Monday, December 7, 2009

"It was my Companion's last week . . ."

Hey, hey, hey!

Goooood to hear from you again! Yes . . . My six month mark just passed! Twenty-five percent of the way! It’s not a lot, but it’s a ton at the same time . . . LOL . . . I know you know what I mean. I am proud of myself for accomplishing what I have and I look forward to just pressin’ forward. For sure two years is a huge sacrifice, but I know that this is what I need to be doin’. Livin’ with your family forever, in the presence of God and Jesus, is kind of a big deal, so I’m tryin’ to do my best to be there for that. Can you imagine just one person from our family not making it to the Celestial Kingdom? It would be the saddest thing ever. I hope everyone at home is doin’ well and being good!

Well, I’m sad that Brad isn’t going to be entering the CCM . . . I was really lookin’ forward to seeing him!

Thanks for the Dylan quote . . . LOL . . . That’s a good one . . . For Dallas I got, “C’mon Florida! Come on!” Yellin’ of course . . . LOL . . . And, maybe for Tom, “Thanks for the compliment” when Ashley told him that he was acting like Dallas . . . Hahahaha . . .

That’s very exciting that Dylan had such a good first game! I was very, very, very, very excited to hear that! I don’t think I scored eleven points in my Junior year until about halfway through the season! Make sure Dylan remembers that I didn’t play attttt allllll to start the season my Junior year. Then, by halfway through the season, I was starting and our team played really, really well. Coach Dirks will see in time if Dylan is playin’ good and helpin’ out his unit. Then he will start to play a lot more. Just make sure you make a point every time you’re in the game, Dylan . . . Not a point as in scoring, but as in blasting someone or gettin’ a loose ball or a few huge rebounds. Things like that, yo . . . And just get ready for your Senior year! It’s right around the corner and you’re gonna wanna be the best possible, dude!

I’m very, very excited to have music again, so thank you for thinkin’ ‘bout me on that Choir topic! And good luck, Dylan, with your solo! You’re amazing, dude!

Okkkk . . . I have something sad to say . . . I don’t have my agenda where I take all the notes from the previous week. I brought my new one, dang it, so now I just have to try to remember what happened this week.

Did you guys get to watch the Christmas Devotional by the First Presidency? Pretty cool, huh? And how ‘bout the version of “O Holy Night” that the Tabernacle sang? “Fall on your knees. Oh, hear the angel voices” . . . I think that might be my favorite Christmas song and they did it soo, soo, soo good. SO powerful!

I have a new Companion now. It was really sad havin’ my other Companion, Elder Martinez, go. He is a real good guy and I’m gonna miss him a lot. I got to give him a blessing of comfort this morning before he left and it was a really cool experience. All of my best friends have officially left the Capital now. LOL . . . Kinda frustrating. Legua and Larsen are in Polochiek; Wood and Ireland are in Peten; Goodwin in Coban; and Martinez is in his house . . LOL . . . Kinda frustrating for sure, but oh well I guess! Only three people in our whole Zone had a change, though, so kinda boring. The group that entered the CCM with me is really, really good, but the President still hasn’t made anyone from our group a Senior Companion. My new companion is Elder Flores from Honduras.

I got the hook ups! The niece of Hermana Ligia lies in Florida, but is visiting here right now and leaves in like three days. The great news is that she came to have a baby shower but didin’t receive many presents, so she has a bunch of extra space in her suitcase! So, I already gave her the money and I have to give her my package tomorrow! She will send it from Florida and you guys will get it before Christmas! It will be wwwwwaaayyyyy faster and way cheaper. It couldn’t have worked out better, huh? Oh! And she told me, too, that there is a mail service from the United States that only delivers to Central America. She says it’s way faster and cheaper, too. I don’t know what it is, but it’s just what she told me . . . You could try to find out what it is, I guess!

This week was pretty crazy because it was my Companion’s last week. We had worked soooo, soooo hard for eleven weeks together and then he got sooo, sooo baggy the last week. I found out that it’s really hard to “kill” a Companion ‘cause all they do is talk about goin’ home and thinkin’ ‘bout goin’ home so you do the same with them! It was a li’l tough, but worth it ‘cause I love the kid.

Did you talk to Elder Larsen’s Mom? Or the Mom from Lehi?

If I get the package you sent me this Wednesday, I can open it, right?

Well, I can’t really remember much else about what happened this week. That’s why I always write it down, LOL! So, I’m gonna go write to Dallas. If I think of more stuff to write, I’ll write you again . . . LOL . . .

I love you all billions! Thank you for all of your prayers! Surely the Lord has been answering them! I love you all sooo, sooo much! Be good! Be safe!

Monday, November 30, 2009

I almost cried when I said what I'm thankful for . . .

Heyyyyy, yo!

Thank you for all of your nice updates again! I really hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving and wedding time!

That’s crazy that Aaliyah could recognize that picture! My li’l genius! I love ‘er to death . . . If you didn’t know that already!

I haven’t received your package yet, but I really, really, really hope I get it this week! I’m prayin’! Haha! Not really, but I sure hope it comes!

I’ll be ashamed if Brad doesn’t come to the CCM here. He should if he’s serving in Cenetral America. And, that’s ggggreat about Brett, too! I can’t send him a DearElder, but if you can get me his “myldsmail” e-mail address, I’ll write to him sometime soon!

I’m very excited to hear how Dylan’s basketball game goes this week as a Varsity man! I wish him the very, very, very best . . . As always . . .

My li’l updates . . .

Yes, my Companion leaves me a week from today, which I am not very happy about. He is very excited to go home and he has told me some things that have made me very happy. Well, we haven’t had a lot of success as far as baptisms go here, but he’s told me these things . . . He told the whole District that this has been the most spiritual change he’s had in his whooooole mission because of the high goals we set and how hard we have tried to achieve them. We have been very happy together because we know when to have fun and when to just work hard, work hard, work hard and still stay happy. He also says that his thoughts have changed for the better while we have been companions. So, even though this change has been tough with baptisms, we are still very happy with what we have accomplished. My companion has been a very good missionary with success, so I’m very happy with the things he has said of our companionship. He’s a good guy and a really good friend. It’ll be sad when he goes . . .

So, yea, changes are comin’ up a week from today. I’m really hopin’ I don’t leave my area. I feel like success is just around the corner and I wanna be here for Christmas and all ‘cause there is a great family to be with. I’ve gotta be with a great family for Christmas ‘cause that’s just how it is at home!

For Thanksgiving, I got to celebrate! I got invited to a dinner with two other Elders in another area. It was a really tasty dinner. The Mom and Dad were Mission Presidents a few years ago. It was a really good opportunity. I almost cried when I was sayin’ what I am thankful for . . . LOL . . . But I talk more about what I said on my voice recorder. It was awesome to celebrate Thanksgiving, though, ‘cause it’s such a big important time at home.

This week has been very, very tiring. We had service three times this week! And two of the three were really, really hard! We had to move a huge chest of drawers and I was holding it above my head for dear life. I suppppper sore the next day! Then, the next service was moving huuuuuuge bags of dirt up and down a hill to dump them in the lake. We had to throw ‘em over our backs and carry ‘em. I did about 10 bags and I was wasted that night! I had very sore legs and shoulders the rest of the week! Then, our third service was at Metro Norte (like the mall, really). There, we shined shoes for free! While one person was shining shoes, the companion shared a message. It was a great activity, though, with a lot of success. I really enjoyed shining other people’s shoes . . . LOL . . .

I need to know somethin’ . . . What is the quote most famous for Dallas, Dylan and Tom? I need one for each of them. You’ve gotta send me the answer next Monday! Please!

I talked with Elder Larsen about how you could to other moms in the mission. He says there is a website but he isn’t sure what it is, so he gave me his mom’s e-mail to give to you. That way, you can talk to her! Her name is Amy Larsen, mother of my buddy, Taylor. Let me know how it goes. Oh, and yea . . . Let me know what happens when you talk to the mom from Lehi, too.

The other story I forgot to tell you guys . . . A few weeks ago, I saw my old CCM teacher in Stake Conference (Hermano Culcue). It was great to see him again, but when he was about to leave, he asked if I could give him a blessing of comfort and what not. He said he was going through tough times. So, I gave him a blessing. The next day, he e-mailed me and said that I spoke about a lot of things that are mentioned in his Patriarchial Blessing and that I gave the same advice! Pretty dog on cool, huh? I LOVE HAVIN’ THIS THING CALLED THE PRIESTHOOD! LOL . . .

Anyway, those are my updates! I sure love you guys billions! Less than a month and I get to hear your voices! Be safe! Love you all!

Elder Jensen

Monday, November 23, 2009

"I'm a soldier out here in the Mission field!"

Heyyyyy yo!

Okay . . . I’m not sure how you can talk to the Missionary Moms, but I know there is a way. So, I will call Elder Larsen and get the answer form him this week.

That’s so sad about David and his Mom and brother. I really, really like that family. I hurt for him for sure just like I know you do. That’s so sad . . .

Great to hear that Adam is getting’ his paper done, though! And crazy to hear about Rachel! Wowzers! Welp, growin’ up starts very soon for her!

I wanted to give you a bunch of info again this week, but not way too much happened . . .

First funny story, though . . . I got a DearElder form a lady named Leslie Smith. She told me that I don’t know her, but that her son is going to serve in this Mission, so she wanted to get some information from you, mother. . . Wanna know the crazy part, though? She’s from Lehi! So, it’s possible that I’ve met her son when I was with McKay or something! That’s where the Livingstons are livin’, right? Weird, right? But you should call her! Lemme know what she says!

That’s crazy that they have found a city bigger than Los Angeles under a hill here in Guatemala! It’s just more proof that the Book of Mormon is true! It’s pretty cool to get to live in this area, though . . . Not gonna lie. I can’t wait until after the mission, though, when the whole family can go with me to visit placed!

I finished the Book of Mormon again. I was on my knees prayin’ and prayin’ again to try to receive an answer to know that the Book of Mormon is true. Well, it took me time to realize, but I did receive an answer . . . I already knew it was true! I didn’t really have to ask again! LOL! But, yea, I’m in Dueteronomy right now in the Bible; and I’m in like Section 30 of the Doctrine and Covenants. I just finished the Pearl of Great Price again.

When does Brad Scherck enter the MTC? He will end up in the CCM after three weeks in the MTC, won’t he? I’d like to try to go visit him if he’s going to be there.

This week I got to go on Divisions with Elder Primo in my Area. He is a pretty cool cat from Peru and has one more change than I do in the Mission. It’s always good to go on Divisions ‘cause I really learn a lot from the style of every Elder . . . The good and the bad, of course! But it was a solid day with him.

Ummm . . . We painted a house as service this week. Woo hoo! Fun! LOL . . . Not really . . . And the lady whose house we painted didn’t even come to Church on Sunday, so it was in vain! LOL . . . Just kidding, just kidding . . . She was sick . . .

Ummmm . . . This week, I ate a TON of pupusas. Have you guys had them before? I don’t think we had them in the States. Ahhhh . . .They are soooooo good, though! You guys gotta look ‘em up and make some . . .

Church kinda let me down this Sunday. A lot of investigators didn’t come, but I have to remember how good last week was . . . And we had two new investigators in the Church this Sunday, so we still did okay. Now we will see if the members come through this next Sunday. I’m really hopin’ we strike gold! If we don’t, I’ll just keep tryin! I’m a soldier out here in the Mission field now! Really, thanks to Dad again . . . Keep challengin’ me!

This morning, I went to the Dentist ‘cause my permanent retainer was starting to come off. It’s a clinic that the Church started. Guess what, though? I was the first patient EVER! LOL! Kinda fun, huh? The doctor said I should give you his blogspot address, ‘cause I’m gonna be a star on it . . . LOL . . . He said it should be up within the week. The address is wayneandsusanne.blogspot.com . . . LOL . . . Lemme know how it looks!

Well, sorry I didn’t have a bunch to write this week! I hope all is well back home, though! Thanks for everything . . . All the support and love and all! And, I’m waitin’ on the package very anxiously!

Love you guys billions! Keep sendin’ me DearElders . . . Hahaha!

Monday, November 16, 2009

We had eight investigators at Church on Sunday!

Heyyyyy yo!

Man! Four days sure is a lot better than seven! You’re dog-on right, mother

I’m excited for the package! I’ll make sure to read your instructions on it first, though . . . Don’t trip, home girl . . . Thank you!

You could send a DVD like the one Skye mentioned. I’d like to watch it. I’m sure I could find somewhere to do that! And, if I cry, it’s all good! I’d only watch it one time per year!

How cool that SJCC won the tourney! Their team should be really, really good this year. A part of me is for sure sad that I can’t be out there playing with a team that I was with last year. Especially since they’re so good and two of my best friends and a bunch of really, really good buddies are on the team! Kind of a bummer for sure . . . But, that’s cool that they beat the defending State Champs!

Very nice on Gilroy beating Hollister! I don’t think that rivalry will ever die down. Maybe a li’l with Christopher High, but not a bunch.

That’s crazy that Brad is about to enter the MTC! And Brett, too! Wow! All of a sudden, Gilroy has a good number of missionaries out, huh? I hope Adam Betita already left on his mission or something and that’s why he isn’t responding to Stacie. Who knows, though!

Thank you for all of your updates right thurr . . .

Okay . . . Now “all about me” time . . .

I was wondering . . . Do you think you should delete all of the pictures that are on the memory cards I sent home to you? You could just put the pictures on CDs. I don’t want you to have to keep buying memory cards. I think it would be smarter if you deleted them all off my memory card after you make a CD or save ‘em on the computer or something. Could you also make sure you put pictures and videos from home on the memory cards I send home, too, though?

Las week I was sad that I couldn’t write to Dad and all, but that’s the price of keepin’ the rules every week! I’m the only one out of like ten last week that only had to pay the one hour internet fee. Everyone else had to pay extra! I’m trying to be good! I’m tryin’! I’m tryin’!

Hey, mother . . . Do you talk with other moms that have sons in my Mission? I’m just wondering. If you do, that’s cool! Elder Snell told me that his mom asked him if I had talked to him in a while . . . Haha . . . Just kinda random . . . Then Elder Larsen’s mom told Elder Larsen that she wants to meet me. LOL . . . Who knows what’s going on . . .

Hey, what size shirts does everyone back at home wear? All eight of you . . .

I had divisions again with Elder Lopez this week. I guess he’s been havin’ some trouble in his area, so my Companion (being District Leader) wanted to go to his Area to talk to members and see what’s goin’ on and all. So, I had Elder Lopez, the 25 year old from San Marcos, Guatemala, with me in my area again. We started divisions after lunch and had seven lessons that day! Wow! I made that kid work! It was fun, though. I like being the leader . . . You guys know me! I like to do things at my pace. And my pace here in the Mission is tough stuff, home boy!

One of our investigators had a question . . . She went to school in the States until she was a Junior. She finished her Sophomore year, but didn’t complete her Junior and Senior year because she had to go live in Guatemala. She was wondering, though . . . Can you go to a junior college if you haven’t graduated from High School? I don’t know if you know or if you can find the answer for me . . .

This past week, or past four days, I should say, we had a lesson and my Companion and I were already sittin’ down about to start the lesson with four people when one other girl came downstairs to join us. She shook my hand like normal and then went in for the kiss on the check (that’s all normal for everyone here . . . Minus missionaries . . . We don’t have any female contact except for shaking the hand). I had no idea what do to! LOL! We hit cheeks really, really hard . . . LOL . . . And I’m pretty sure I turned really red, although no one said anything. I know my face looked shocked, though, and the brother in the room was laughin’ a li’l. LOL . . . It was kinda funny. She didn’t do it to my Companion, though . . . She just wanted the white chocolate . . .

Grandpa and Grandma are so lucky that they got to visit the Charlots! How is Javin? I really miss my basketball buddies! Basketball has been my life since I was seven and now I can’t play at all! It’s tough, no doubt . . .

Yesterday was our Stake Conference. It’s really cool here! I guess this new Stake Conference just started here in Guatemala. General Authorities do it over the television like General Conference and it’s only for Guatemala. Pretty cool, huh? So, first we got to hear from Whitney Clayton ( of the Seventy, I believe). He’s a white guy, but he spoke Spanish. Then we heard from a lady in the Primary Presidency. She spoke through a translator. Then, Spencer V. Jones (of the Presidency of the Seventy) spoke in Spanish. And then, to top it off, we got to hear from Elder Packer! I love that guy! It will be so sad when it’s his time to go . . . We got to listen to him through a translator, too. I missed hearin’ his real voice, but it was a really cool Stake Conference. It was in our Ward building and it was packedddddddddd! My Companion and I didn’t get to listen to much of the first two talks because we were tryin’ to get everyone seated! The other really cool thing is that we had eight investigators in the Church this Sunday! And, six of them were first timers! That’s sooooo much better than what we have had in the Church here in Atlantida!

Well, it’s only been four days since I was able to write last, so my e-mail isn’t as long this week. I’m sorry! Thank you for everything, though! I can’t wait for the package! I sure love you guys! You know it! Love you!

I'm trying to be more humble and meek

Hey, Dad!

Sorry I didn’t have time to write to you last week, but here I am now! Thank you for all of you help with all my questions . . . That’s what I wanted to say first! Here I go answering your questions!

Everything is goin’ great here! I really just continue to grow . . . It’s really cool, actually. My Companion is doing great! He only has three weeks left on his Mission. I can only imagine being in his shoes right now. He and I have been working rrrrrrrrreally hard, though, so it leaves a good taste in our mouths even when we don’t have a bunch of success. Usually, at least . . . Some days just aren’t our best. Our Area is doin’ really good, though, too, and investigators are gettin’ sooooo much closer to Baptism! I feel like we could get one in the next three weeks . . . We’ll see, though!

And, of course, my testimony is growing . . . Little by little for sure. But it’s growin’ and growin’. I know it because my mind is changing on worldly things . . . It’s really weird, actually . . .

My first eight weeks, the most investigators we had in the Church was four . . . I presented the plan you gave me to my Companion. When I first read your letter, I really couldn’t believe it. And, I was a li’l mad when you said I didn’t have faith . . . But you were so right and I really tried to improve in that! Two weeks ago, my Companion and I started announcing a date for everyone to bring an investigator to Church on the 29th of this month. We are really trying to get it done! We had eight in Church yesterday, though, and it was awesome! I just hope we can keep growin’ in the investigator number. We actually had thirteen committed to comin’, so we continue to improve, I hope!

I really, really wanna thank you, Dad, for your help and caring. I’m really trying to be more humble and meek and take advice better. I feel like the challenge you gave me really helped me grow. I love you so much and you mean the world to me! I hope everything is well back home and that you are able to find peace and joy in your busy schedule. Thank you for all you do. I never told you enough. I love you, though, Dad!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Guess who gave a 16 minute talk in Spanish?

Heyyyyy! Express how sorry I am for last week! I’m so, so sorry! And, Dallas, I’m sorry!!!!!!!!!!!! Really . . . I’m so, so, so, sosososososososososo sorry! I really can’t express it . . .

Okay . . . I’ll answer your questions first. I’ll also try to answer the ones I can remember from last week, too .. .

I love, love, love the sports updates you give me. All of you! I can’t get enough of sports updates to be honest. You can send even more updates if you want! They make me so happy! Please keep ‘em comin’ always!

I’m soooo, soooo happy that you got my memory card and letters. I was gettin’ so worried about it. I don’t think I will send a memory card again in a letter . . .

The people don’t really celebrate Halloween in Guatemala. You can celebrate if you want . . . LOL . . . People get dressed up but there is for sure no trick-or-treating. I think it’s the same with Thanksgiving. You can celebrate if you want, but most people won’t. I don’t think they will get dressed up fancy on Thanksgiving or anything either . . .

I got the video you sent me, but I haven’t been able to watch it. I’ll try to figure it out if I have time at the end of my hour today, though . . .

For Christmas . . . Things I need and want are . . . CDs, the Nixon watch we already talked about, Muddy Buddies, ties (if you were able to find good ones), a lot, lot, lot of pictures and maybe money if anything else, but I’m good either way. I just figure I have two years of my life to buy things from Guatemala so a li’l extra money could never hurt! I’m also sending you guys a package but not until the first or second week of December, so it will be late! I’m sorry!

Okay . . . My stories, homies . . .

I’m soooooooooooooooooooooo sorry ‘bout last week’s e-mail . . .

Can you guys make sure that you send me every Clippers box score when you send DearElders? I really wanna see what happens every game . . .

I’ve been out for over five months! And in no time I’ll be at six months and 25% of my mission will be done! I think when I have seven or eight months under my belt, though, I will start to sound like I’m not new in the Mission, so I’m still waitin’ on that . . .

I was gonna ask you how you thought I could get in touch with Elder Sorenson (the guy who I sent a letter to and it got returned to you and then you sent it to Argentina for me), but I finally got a letter from him this past week, so I was super happy!

A new scripture for Dad and Dallas . . . You guys should be able to say what is said in this scripture. It is Leviticus 13, verses 40 and 41.

As for my reading, I am in Numbers, 3rd Nephi, almost done with the Pearl of Great price again and starting the Doctrine and Covenants again. I love reading!

This week, I had divisions with Elder Castro. He has been out in the mission field for 21 months. He is half Latino and is from Utah. He is a super cool guy and we get along really, really well. Like AJ habing and me (me and him have become really close) . . . LOL . . . I felt like I learned a lot from him as an Elder, though, like I do from being with every other Elder! He was a cool guy, though!

Do you guys receive the Liahona at home? I don’t know if they are stressin’ the importance of it back home, but they are really stressin’ it here. You guys should make sure you have that at home . . .

Hey, I’m the only gringo in my District! That’s cool! LOL . . . But I don’t feel awkward at all . . . Usually . . . LOL . . . But it’s a cool experience!

Guess what?!?!? Guess who gave a sixteen minute talk in Spanish this last Sunday?!?!? It was ya boy, Elder Jensen! I prepared the talk for two weeks (in which I got to receive help and revelation on how to do it and, of course, God answered my prayers). I was soooo, soooo, soooo nervous when it was finally my turn to talk, but I was greatly blessed. Of course, I had a big outline ready, but I hardly had to look down, you guys! I was lookin’ people dead in the eyes like the whole time! How cool, huh? I’ve been out for only five months and I can do that! I’ve been blessed with so much help! Oh! And, my talk was on Fasting and Fast Offerings, too . . . Kind of a hard first Spanish Talk subject . . .

When I was with Elder Castro, we were talkin’ into the voice recorder and we tried to listen to what we recorded. That’s how I found out that the tape didn’t work . . . LOL . . . So I had been talkin’ into that for a while, but it’s all good . . . I actually recorded my talk for you guys on a good tape and all. That will be part of your Christmas gift though! Sorry you’ll have to wait!

On Tuesday, we had a really, really cool Conference. We had it with the Central and South Missions. Elder Costa (a member of the Presidency of the Seventy) and Elder Clark (Area President) spoke to us. Elder Clark’s Counselors were also there along with three Mission Presidents! That’s a lot of power up on the stand, huh????? Four General Authorities and three Mission Presidents! I learned a lot and I got to see a lot of friends from the CCM who are serving in other Missions, so it was a really cool experience . . .

Then, on Wednesday, we had interviews with the President. Mine went just fine. It was solid. We just talked and he asked me how my scripture study is going . . . LOL . . . I was able to tell him that I’ve already read the Book of Mormon, New Testament, that I’m in Numbers and that I’ve read the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. And I’m almost done with the Book of Mormon again! Hahaha! Cool, huh? All that in less than five months!

We got to go to the Temple this morning. It was all in Spanish, but I feel like I’m learnin’ a lot more in the Temple now and I had a really good experience . . .

I got a DearElder from you, Mom, and you told me about how you were practicing the letter “D” with Aaliyah and that she looked up at you and said, “I love Derek” with a big smile. I almost started crying! No joke! LOL! I get to hear stories every week about things she says about me, but that one really got me! Who knows why??? But I sure love that girl . . .

Well, those are all of my updates for the week! Thanks so much for everything and please forgive me for last week!

Hey, I’ll talk to you guys in like four days now! Holler!

I sure love you billions!

Monday, November 2, 2009

My testimony of fasting grew from my experience!


Well . . . I’m pretty mad right now! Ughhhhh . . . LOL!

I wrote a huge e-mail to you guys and the computer decided to be retarded and delete it! So, I just can’t write it all again, nor do I have the time to do so . . . But thanks for your e-mail! And for all of your stories!

The only thing you really need to know from this week is that I fasted with my Companion and we fasted to find an eternal family. Well, the second door that we knocked on during this fast let us come in! It’s just a husband and wife, but they are married and that’s usually a huge problem here. They have a lot of faith and just haven’t chosen a religion. And, they really like us! How cool that Heavenly Father can bless us that fast in response to our prayers! Especially when we’re fasting! My testimony of fasting for sure grew from that experience!

Thanks for everything! I’ll talk to you guys next week! Love you a billion ! A billion! Sorry again for this short e-mail!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"I have the Priesthood and the right to have a hand in miracles!"

Hello, Fam Bam!

LOL . . . Mom, I think you HAVE told me how much you love Mondays! But I love ‘em soooo, soooo much, too! I love, love gettin’ to hear from you guys! Oh, and I love how you send dearelders, too, so I can hear some stories. Those letters rock!

I’m glad Dylan feels the same way I did about Zion’s Choir. That makes me feel like not such a bum. It’s just a big commitment and he can’t quit or she’ll hate the Jensens forever after I quit, too! Yikes! Make sure he knows my advice on playin’ baseball! LOL! I’m always right on these things!

You guys are soooooooo, so lucky that you all get to live together! Can we do that when I get home, too? Plleaseeeeeee?

Sounds like you guys had a good time at the Princess thang . . . Nice, nice . . . That’s cool that your work provides things like that for you!

And, don’t worry, Mom . . . You’re in my prayers to play that song on the piano, but I know you can do it! You’re a piano stud! Just a li’l practice makes perfect for you!

Okay . . . I have a few questions . . .

Did you get my letters yet? Especially the one with the memory card inside?

Does the NBA really start tomorrow? My Clips vs. your Li’l Girls?

I think you need to make sure you buy a Blake Griffin jersey for me. Maybe you can frame it or something and just put it on the wall in my room at home. Then just send me a picture of it for Christmas! LOL! Really, though . . . Good plan?

Oh, a really important question . . . Can you have everyone in our family . . . All nine of us . . . Well, minus me, so eight . . . Everyone needs to give me their favorite, famous saying for each member of the family. So everyone should write eight of them. For example, write the name and phrase . . . Dad – You know the rules better than anyone, bud . . . Stuff like that. Try to get the list to me asap, though! Can you please?!?! I’m already makin’ my list . . .

I think that’s all my questions . . . LOL . . .

My stories . . .

A member called us and asked for a blessing because he had a really bad problem with his knee. So, I got to give a blessing this week and my Companion did the anointing. It was really cool, though, ‘cause I can talk a little Spanish now so the blessing flowed pretty good and it just had a cool message to it. That was on Tuesday or Wednesday. Then, on Sunday, the man bore his testimony in class on the Priesthood and started crying. He said that the day after the blessing, he was perfectly fine and able to work! How cool that language doesn’t really matter! All that matters is that I have the Priesthood and the right to have a hand in these miracles!

This was our last week of this change and my Companion, being a District Leader, had our whole District over one night to do a nice big fire on our roof! We had pizza and a sleep over! It was a pretty fun night! Then I had to share my bed....

My Companion really, really wants to go into the Army when he gets home so Hermana Ligias’ husband (who works as a big, important guy in Central America for security stuff) made a call to one of his friends so we could visit him and he could show us stuff. Well, we went to the Army base or whatever and the guy wasn’t there for our appointment, so we started to leave. But, some other guy was really nice and showed us around and told us all about training and everything. It was pretty cool. Did you know that Guatemala has an alliance with the United States and Israel and all that good stuff? Pretty cool, I thought!

I can’t chop wood . . . Well, my Companion gave me the crappiest piece to chop when we were doin’ some service. But, still . . . I stink at it . . .

I got to go on Division on Saturday, but for a pretty dumb reason. My Companion got to go to the Temple with Elder Fyfe because one of their baptisms was entering the Temple. President Torres said Elder Fyfe’s Companion and I should just do Divisions so we could work done and because we didn’t baptize the people who were going through the Temple. I was all excited because I thought I would get to go though . . . But, Elder Fyfe’s Companion, Elder Minero, came to my area and we had Divisions until about 3pm in the afternoon because started at around 6am in the morning! Elder Minero was a cool guy, though. He’s a 22 year old from El Salvador and it was his first change so he’s even newer than me! Cool kid, though!

My companion got a haircut this week . . . Hahahahaha . . . He ended up pretty mad. I saw him gettin’ his haircut and saw that the lady who was cutting his hair wasn’t on top of her game that day, so I just told her I was gonna wait until this next week . . . LOL . . .

I got to eat Taco Bell on Friday! The first time I’ve had it in over four months! Weird, seeing as I had it every other day at home! Here, Taco Bell has fries, though . . . And the burritos aren’t as American Mexican. LOL . . . It was still good, though!

How frustrating that I can’t remember how any of my favorite songs from home go! Even “Let it Bleed”! I think that was my top listened to song on iTunes and I can’t even remember the tune! Ahhhhh! I miss The Used! LOL . . . And country! And rock! It’s really, really weird . . . I haven’t listened to music in soooo long . . . Well, not my music from home. I always hear the Spanish music in the street and everything . . .

A kid in our Ward got his Mission call. I’m not sure where he’s goin’ yet, but his sister got hers like a week before him and she’s goin’ to Honduras! Cool stuff, huh?

Welp, I love you billion! Not much more I can say! I wish there was another way to say it because just saying “I love you” gets old. Just know that when I say it, I mean it with aaaaaalllll my heart, family, and friends! Holler at me!

Oh! And I forgot to tell you that Change Conference was this morning. Well, I’m staying here and my Companion is staying, too! So, I get to “kill him” . . . LOL . . . That’s missionary terms for the fact that I get to be with him when he ends his Mission. We have our goal set for three baptisms again! We’ve still have to get a lot of work done, but we can do it!

The really, really, really sad thing, though, is that Elder Legua left my District. Everyone knew he was bound for Polochic ‘cause he knows Spanish so well. And, yea, he got sent there today. So, he will probably be learning Ke’kchi for the rest of his Mission. When missionaries go there early in their missions, they don’t really ever come out. So, it’s really, really possible that I won’t see him again for a reaaaaalllly long time. And he is my best friend in the Mission . . . Yea, I’m a li’l sad . . . The other wost part is that they took Elder Larsen there, too . . . And he’s my other best friend here in the mission . . . Yea, it makes me pretty sad . . . Well, I push on! The Mission isn’t about friends, I know . . . Still sad, though . . .

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"My brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man"

Heyyyyyy, yo!

I’m very, very happy that you got my letter! And I sent four more letters out today! All for various people, of course! But I did send you the memory card, so I REALLY, REALLY hope it gets to you guys!

Don’t worry, Mom . . . I will let you know what’s goin’ on here. But just know that I’m always safe and protected here.

The “gallon challenge” didn’t happen this past weekend because the kid went to a soccer tourney, but we have it re-scheduled for this Wednesday! Man, I hope I can afford the milk! LOL! I’ve bought a lot of crap, but I haven’t used much of my own money yet. I’m tryin’ to save it for after the Mission, but we will see if I’m able to do that!

How exciting about Dallas and everyone moving in with you! I’m really, really, really jealous that I don’t get to be there for that!

Dylan’s life . . . I’m glad he likes Zion’s Choir . . . LOL . . . It just wasn’t for me. That goin’ up there every “resting day” was just too much for me. Who takes him every Sunday? And baseball . . . Don’t let him do it, Mom! It sounds super, super fun at first and baseball is even my favorite sport, but a sport isn’t fun when you aren’t good at it and don’t play (except in practice)! And then practicing every day is horrible, too! LOL! Dylan, I love you to bits, bud, but don’t do it! It sucked for me to have to quit baseball, but it just wasn’t right. Do as ya please, bra . . . but just know that I think it’s a kinda bad idea . . .

Nnnoooooowwwwww . . . For this week’s updates!!!!!

I finished my Muddy Buddies . . . Sad . . .

I’m reading in Alma in the Book of Mormon. In Enos, I thought it was interesting . . . I think you could say that it’s thanks to Enos and not Moroni that we have the Book of Mormon! Well, at least a bit part of the reason . . . ‘Cause he asked for God to make a promise with him that their records would be preserved and God granted him that promise. Kinda interesting I thought!

In the Bible, I finished the New Testament . . . I don’t know if I already told you guys that. Now I’m just in Genesis. Here is something interesting! Abraham was circumcised when he was 99 years old! Wow! Talk about dedication to the Lord! And, Ishmael was circumcised when he was 13! Painful! Oh! And the other thing from the Bible that you need to do is this . . . Read Genesis, Chapter 27, Verse 11, and replace the first name with my name (Derek), replace the second name with your name (Cherie) and the third name with Dylan . . . Hahahahaha . . . You should love it! (Genesis 27:11 “And Jacob (Derek) said to Rebekah (Cherie) his mother, Behold Esau (Dylan) my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man”)

Dad, I love the “Hope” e-mail you sent me . . . The talk you gave . . . But you gotta know this . . . That’s the exact talk that you gave me as a starting place for my Missionary Farewell talk! Haha! It’s a very good talk though, Dad, so I give you your props again!

This week we had service . . . Pssshhhhh . . . Talk about tough stuff! We had to move a huge room of sewing stuff . . . The machines and tables and everrrrryyything. I didn’t know how heavy all that stuff really is! We had to move it all way down the street! So, it was a lot ofcarrying down the stairs and down the street to the other house. Man! My biceps were supppppper sore the next day, but they gave us free dinner! So, it was worth it! My arms are so small right now though, too! It’s tough for me to find time to exercise every part of my body every day!

This week, we were talkin’ with our drunk friends again and I had printed out pictures of all of us together. They really, really wanted a copy of the picture the minute after we took it! So, I gave them the couple pictures and I’ve never seen them sooooo happy! They’re always happy, unless they’re passed out! But they were super, super, duper happy. And then they started crying to us how we are the only good friends they have. It really is sad that they can’t break their drinkin’ habit. They are good guys . . . Just a li’l lacking in the decision making department . . . But they always have cut up faces ‘cause people go by and kick them when they are drunk or passed out. People steal their shoes from them when they’re passed out. They get their backpacks and phones and jackets and whatever else they might have taken from them. It’s really, really sad. When we found one of our drunk friends the other day, he had had his shoes stolen, but he found little tiny sandals to wear . . . Like seven sizes too small without socks . . . His feet and his whole body are sooo dirty! It’s so sad that my Companion and I can’t do more to help . . .

Rosa Maria and her family (Rosa was one of our baptisms) were a li’l mad at us this week ‘cause we went there twice and only taught them how pray again and again and again . . . They need to know how to pray, though! And they need to know the importance of why we pray like we do!

When I was on Divisions like two weeks ago with Elder Escate, we knocked on a door and the lady was really cool but didn’t let us in. Well, this week, I felt like we should just knock on their door again to see how they really are. A guy answered the door this time and told us to come in right, right away. It was his wife that we had talked to before. But, it turns out he’s talked to Missionaries a bunch but doesn’t know if he can believe in the Book of Mormon ‘cause of historical facts. Of course, nothin’ historical proves the Book of Mormon wrong, but he knows his stuff. He brought out a map and was doin’ a timeline with the Maya and all the people that have lived in Central America and the people that lived in Jerusalem and all that. Well, I got to take out my back up map of the Book of Mormon and explained that to him (like the map that I sent to you guys). Then, he and my Companion were goin’ back and forth with examples and stuff and their own knowledge of the Bible. We had talked for more than two hours and he hadn’t progressed at all, of course, ‘cause all they were doin’ was, basically, tryin’ to prove each other wrong! So, I brought the house down to end it. I just interrupted him and told him that they only important thing and the only way we can know if the Book of Mormon is true is through prayer and gaining a testimony that way. Then I bore my testimony, of course. It was the first moment in the whole lesson, though, that we could feel the Spirit! So, it was really cool. I feel like he will receive an answer that it’s true if he really asks with a sincere heart to God, though. He knows a lot of stuff and God can help him know that the Church is true. I think this guy (David) is far away from baptism . . .

I’ve been talkin’ in the voice recorder so there are some things that I haven’t written that you will hear when you receive the tape at some point!

That’s about all of my updates for now, though! Let me know if you have questions . . . But I don’t have much more time so I’m outta here, ya’ll!

I love you billions upon “invinites”!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I love keeping my promises with the Lord

Hi, Dad!

I’m sorry that I haven’t been sufficient with my e-mails! Really . . . I’m sorry and thank you for caring so much! I’ll try to get to all of your questions . . . And thank you for Elise’s e-mail address.

Dad’s question - Do you receive mainly e-mail letters or Dear Elder Letters? Who have you heard from the most out of all of your friends?

As for hearin’ from my friends, I don’t really hear from many friends. I hear from you, Mom, Dylan, Ashley, Stacie, Aunt Skye and, randomly, some friends. But really just the fam which is my favorite anyway! It is tough to write though! I have an hour on the internet each P-Day. And I’m hardly ever at home on P-Day and that’s the only day I can write letters. I think it took me three separate P-Days to write the long letter to Dylan. This morning, though, I wrote four letters! One for Stacie, Sean Heath, Dylan and Aunt Skye. Hopefully I’ll have time to write more! But, like I said, I doubt it . . . LOL . . . I’ll try, though!

Dad’s question – I would really love to hear about your tracting experiences.

Tracting here is tough ‘cause it’s a huge area, but I love it. We don’t get to tract a whole lot because the walks from appointment to appointment are super long. I don’t really have any tracting stories, though, that I can remember. I’ll try to think . . .

Dad’s question – Can you tell me more about your teaching experiences?

Teaching is good and my Spanish is really, really improving, especially with a Latino Companion. I am still not even close to perfect, but I can teach much more effectively now. I believe we have five possibilities for Baptism right now. One young sister is eleven years old and she wants to wait to be baptized until her Mom is home in December. I’m guessing that we won’t be able to baptize her because my Companion and I will, most likely, have been transferred. But, we are still trying! Two other are “kinda” married . . . LOL . . . They are the ones that we were receiving lunch from for a long time. They are really close to Baptism but the “husband” is still married to another girl and they haven’t divorced yet, so to do all that paperwork could take some time. The other two that are really close aren’t married either, but they are also really, really close. The dad is progressing especially fast. Dang it in Guatemala though! They hate being married here!

Dad’s question – How is your Companion?

My Companion is awesome! I love him . . . Really . . . Yes, I’d like to marry him . . . It’s really weird how scared I was to have a Latin Companion, but this Companionship is, maybe, even better than my first one! And I didn’t really have problems with Elder Ireland. We butted heads a li’l sometimes ‘cause we are a lot alike, I think. But, in this Companionship with Elder Martinez, there are no problems! I can’t remember being mad at him once! The only problem is that he likes to walk really, really fast . . . LOL . . . But he’s great!

Dad’s question – How is your Ward? Do you have lots of member support?

Our Ward is really, really good. One of the better Wards in Guatemala I’ve heard! We get to go on “divisions” sometimes, too, ‘cause we have hard workin’ young men. A brother and sister both have their papers in right now to serve their missions. They are waiting on their calls together. This past week was pretty cool. The Young Men in our Ward (a lot of them) had really long hair and would wear jackets while passing the Sacrament and stuff. So, for Mutual, my companion and I gave out some tough words. My Companion and I cut our hair before we talked with them to set an example. We weren’t sure how they would respond. But, guess what? Yesterday, three kids had their hair cut like mine, all of them wore white shirts with slacks and none of them wore a jacket! They also passed the Sacrament much more reverently. It was pretty cool. I let them know I was proud of them because I think they needed to hear that.

Dad’s question – How is your Bishop and Ward Mission Leader? How are your Ward Correlation Meetings?

Our Bishop is a good guy . . . Kind of a different guy, but still a good guy. We don’t have a Ward Mission Leader that I know of. If we do, I don’t know it! LOL! My favorite guy in the entire Ward is a brother named Dennis. He is about thirty years old and served a Mission and all of that. We hit it off as soon as we met and have been buddies since the first night I was here in Atlantida. He really likes to go on visits with us.

Dad’s question – Do you receive lots of dinner appointments?

We do not really receive meals from anyone in the Ward. There are just the two families that we eat with and pay for. Hermana Ligia invites us over to eat sometimes, though. Yesterday I was fasting, though, so everyone ate with her except for me! Haha! It was tough, but my Companion ended his fast early to eat. I just went into the other room and read.

Dad’s question – How is your personal study going? What are you studying?

Right now, I am studying in Revelations and in Jacob. Well, that’s where I am in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon. I looooooove reading and marking my scriptures! They’re getting’ crowded! Revelations is sooooo interesting. Can you imagine having the Bible without the Joseph Smith translations? Ppssshhhh . . . I can’t . . . And it never stops surprising me how I can learn something new everrrrrry single time I read the Book of Mormon.

Dad’s question - How is your testimony? Is it growing and growing? How is your relationship with the Savior? Are you truly getting to know Him? Do you have complete faith in Him? Are you leaving everyone better than when you first found them or first met them?

My testimony continues to grow, especially as I read and what not. Also, as I see the changes in people’s lives, it helps my testimony grow. When I receive personal revelation, my testimony also grows. I love keeping my promises with the Lord and I feel like crap when I start struggle. I know He’s here with me and, because of that, I know I am safe here. I love loving the Lord, though, and being in His work. Sure, I misssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss you guys a billion, but I am happy here. It’s a double-edged sword for sure . . . LOL . . . But I’m doing well!

Well, I think that answers just ‘bout all your questions! I’m sorry my e-mails weren’t complete before! I’m workin’ on it! Haha!

Oh, and I thought I would try to describe where I really am. I think you guys could search Zone 18 in Guatemala or search for a map of Guatemala in zones. Then, I’m in Atlantida. We have a mall (Metro Norte) and some other shopping place (Meta Terminal). It is like a five or ten minutes bus ride to get to my old area, the Maya. So, I’m pretty close to where I was.

Well, let me know what else I can tell you whenever you like! I love you all a billion! Really, there is not one day that I don’t think of you! Please be safe, smart and healthy! And happy! I love you all!

So, yea, I'm growin' up . . .

Thank you for all your updates! I’m gonna try to be fast today so I can write to Dad, too. He’s mad at me! LOL! Just kidding . . . But thank you for all the updates!

Okay . . . Now my week . . . My really, really fast week! Seriously! This week zoomed by!

Sorry for tellin’ you about my sickness. I got a guilt trip from my Companion after I told you. He said I shouldn’t tell you about stuff like that because it could only make you sad. I really felt well after just one day, though! It was really, really weird.

Dylan will like this . . . At home when I would grow random long chest hairs, I would just pull ‘em out. But, now, no one ever sees my chest so I haven’t bothered pullin’ any out . . . LOL . . . I got a li’l to work with now. Now on Dylan’s level yet, but a couple got tangled the other day in the shower. So, yea, I’m growin’ up . . .

I got a “dearelder” from Aunt Kim. She says she misses Jamie . . . LOL . . . Is he just not home much or did he move away? Did he end up goin’ to Gav? Is he playin’ there? Or what’s goin’ on with him?

This week I went on Divisions twice. On Tuesday, I was with Elder Escate in my Area. He is newer than me! LOL! That’s hard to do! I was worried ‘cause he’s kind of a different kid, but we had a fine time together! We worked hard and everything. I didn’t get many laughs out of the day, but it was aaight. Then, on Friday, I got to go on Divisions with Elder Legua again in his Area! It’s always sweet when I get to hang out with him, but Divisions with him is the best! We like working together ‘cause we like to work hard. Elder Legua and I are both waitin’ for the chance to be Senior Companions to show what we can really do! We are a good source of strength for each other and we keep each other goin’ sometimes.

Sorry, could you send me Taylor Rodrigues’ e-mail address again? I forgot to write it down and it would take a while to find it. I’m worried about my e-mail address, too. I don’t think just puttin’ the old e-mails in folders works. I think we gotta delete ‘em, ‘cause I’m getting messages that I don’t have enough space. Dang it! I erased the messages, though! Sorry! But, yea . . . Could you just delete whatever? I’m all good with you deleting whatever you’d like. Thank you for all your help!

This Saturday, a kid in my Ward will be attempting the “Gallon Challenge” . . . LOL . . . He really thinks he can drink a gallon of milk in less than an hour without throwing up or goin’ to the bathroom! Hahahahaha! It should be funny! I tried it at Zion’s Camp, so I already know it can’t be done . . .

And, I’m in Revelations right now! Almost done with the New Testament! I’m in Jacob again in the Book of Mormon. You know I love my readin’!

Well, I sure love you! I’m sorry this is short, but I’m gonna write to Dad, too, so you’ll have more! Thank you for everrrrrrrrything! Love you all!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My first bus contact!

Hey, hey, hey!

Okay . . . First, in response to your e-mail, of course . . .

I loved Conference! I never had such a great respect for it until I was in the Mission field . . . But more stories on that to come.

The Nixon watch doesn’t come in all three of those colors on the same watch. It’s one model of watch that I saw in the three different colors.

At this house, I usually have warm showers. Sometimes no . . . But like 75% of the time, yes! And the weather has been a li’l warm, but probably only mid or high 80’s.

And, yes, if you could, please clean these bad boys up (e-mails on myldsmail.net) or I won’t have space to receive e-mails next week! That would be bad!

I did hear that Dallas and Kim are moving in! Not from you, but from Dallas though. I’m kinda mad I’m not home to enjoy that. How do you feel about their moving plans??? Sad, probably . . .

Okay, now my notes . . . Well, questions first . . .

Who is using my phone? Can you guys contact Jacob for me? I wanna hear from him really bad! And, could you also contact all the other people I asked Dylan to contact for me, too?

Oh, and I was wondering . . . I understand olive oil . . . Kinda . . . But why do we really use that for blessings?

Does Dad ever see the LaPortes? I kinda would like to hear from Elise, too . . . Shame on me . . .

Can you send me the list of all my friends’ e-mails and everything from my leaving party?

Best story first today . . .

Well, I lost in a stupid game between the first and second sessions of Conference on Saturday, so I had to eat a nice big, green chili jalapeno. Of course, my mouth was on fire for fifteen minutes. But, even better, I woke up on Sunday morning ‘cause my stomach hurt super bad! Well, from 4:00am to 7:00am, just those three hours, I had diarrhea three times to start off, and I threw up four times! All in just three hours! I’d be sitting on the crapper and then would be tossing up in the trash can. I really don’t think I can ever remember feeling so weak and crappy in my entire life! And I am not exaggerating! It was horrible, horrible! I started getting’ better last night and, even though I’m still a li’l weak, I’m almost 100% again already. I guess I just had to flush it all out, huh? I was wondering, though, too . . . When I felt like that if you or Dad received any feeling at home? I dunno . . . Just like the Conference talk with the kid bouncing on the train tracks. Just wondering . . .

So, I did get to watch all three meetings on Saturday. I had notes taken that I wanted to share, too, but I forgot to bring ‘em today. What’s with the prayer, though? LOL! Everyone tries to make them poems now! Oh, and to the boys at home . . . In Priesthood meeting . . . Can you believe the Asian guy from Mad TV gave a talk?????? LOL

Well, last week, I did my first bus contact! Talk about nerve racking! I stoop up in front of a 40- or 50-person filled bus and just talked about the Church and our message as Missionaries. I was all shaky after! Whoooo! It was tough, but I am glad I had the guts to do it!

I bought a nice, big, Guatemala flag! I’ll probably send it home to you guys and you can put it up in my room somewhere! I also bought a shirt and a jacket . . . If you guys care . . . LOL . . .

I was sooooooo happy to get Dylan’s huge letter. And it always makes my day to get “dearelders” from you and Dad as well. It’s the best, no joke . . . Okay, I gotta talk ‘bout Dylan’s for a minute, though. LOL . . . I can’t help but think ‘bout what I wanna do when I get home. Well, the fact that he wants to go straight to BYU is sick! And Dallas and Kim will be out there, too, I guess . . . So, there go my two best friends to Utah, LOL! While I’ve been thinkin’ I still wanna play basketball in Cali . . . Man . . . I’m mixed up! LOL! I have a long time, though . . .

This week, we started talkin’ to some “drinkies”. We have like five good friends now! Haha! No joke! And they are all respectful and super funny. We wanted to clean ‘em up and everything, but they just can’t come through on anything. It’s sad for sure. When you see my pictures, you guys will know who they are . . . Haha . . .

Okay . . . Know my problem eating hamburgers too fast? Just ‘cause I love ‘em so much? Well, no joke, I love, love, black beans and tortillas! And we eat them every day at our house! Well, I always start eating too fast! So, I get that “can’t breathe” problem . . . LOL . . . I’m really workin’ on eating slower. Who would have ever though t I’d fall in love with black beans, though? LOL!

We got a new area in our area . . . I’m not really sure why, haha. President just moved the area outta the Zone next to us and gave it to me and my Companion. The first day we were there, though, we knocked on one door and taught a super long lesson to them! We haven’t even had a chance to knock on another door there yet. Pretty good luck, though, huh? Or good revelation from President . . .

Well, Saturday was my 4-month mark in the Mission and Sunday was my 2-month mark in the field! But you guys know how I celebrated now . . . LOL . . .

Soooooo . . . I love you guys a billion! All is well! Thanks for everything! Like always . . . Love yoooooouuu!

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Companion is all good now!

Okay! Now I’m ready to do this thang!

Thank you for answering all my questions! Now I come to respond to all of yours!

First, Good! I’m glad my letter inspired Dylan to read the scriptures! I gave him some really good verses to read so that he’d enjoy the holy books . . . LOL . . . Have you guys read the letter? Or does Dylan say it’s ooonnnlllyyy for him? Just wonderin’ . . . Haha . . .

LOL . . . I was so confused when you were talkin’ about frames! No, silly! I want all white frames for glasses in the Temple! I think that’d be sweet! Sorry! I wasn’t specific what type of frame before. I think you probably understand my question from last letter now . . .

All I’m gonna say is . . . I’m gonna have to talk to Dylan ‘bout this lady thing . . . Haha . . . How is she though, mother?

As far as pictures of my friends, there should be a file on the computer . . . The big home computer or the laptop, I’m not sure. But before I deleted my “myspace”, I saved all the pictures. I need a lot, though! So when you can, send ‘em my way! Haha!

And yes, please, on the music and voice recordings of people. I’m tryin’ to talk on the voice recorder more for you guys again.

Don’t worry, my Companion is all good now! Tires a li’l easy, but almost perfect again!

Good work with your missionary experience! Following in my footsteps, huh huh? Haha! It is a cool feeling when you can change someone for the better towards the Church though. Good work!

Now my questions . . .

I have Grandpa’s really nice, like $2000, Citizen watch here that I’ve been wearing every day and I’ve received advice from a few people that it really isn’t smart to wear that around all the time. So, I wanna take that advice and not wear it all the time but I need to have a clock. So, I have a question. When we were in Santa Cruz, we went to a store. It’s one that we go in every time we visit Santa Cruz. It has an upstairs, a boys side and a girls side, sells a bunch of shoes on the back wall. You know what store I’m talkin’ ‘bout? Well, when you first walk in, there is a big glass case of watches. (If you don’t know what store this is, I think Stacie would know). I saw a watch there that I liked a lot. It’s a Nixon watch and it came in all pink or all blue or all teal. So, it’s a nice watch but it doesn’t look expensive because of the colors. If you could search for this watch on eBay, that’d be great! And send me a link or a picture of it so I can see it on here and tell you if it’s the watch I want . . . Okay? Lemme know if you have questions on that . . .

Think you could ask Dylan to try to find Adam Betita on “myspace” or “facebook”? I wanna know if he is serving his Mission or what he’s up to . . .

That’s really all the questions I have for now. I don’t have many stories, but here I go!

I was talkin’ to my Companion a lot this week ‘cause he couldn’t work for most of the week. We were just in the house a lot. It really strengthens your testimony to hear stories from people around here, though. I talked a lot about our conversation on the tape recorder. But, yea, he came from a bad, bad background, so the fact that is here and doesn’t wanna leave the Mission strengthens my testimony. Today is actually his 22-month mark! Pretty cool, huh?

I bought a basketball! Ahhhh! It is great to finally touch a basketball again! Can I say again how sad I am that we can’t play here? Anyway, I started my wrist flips the night I got the basketball! Man, my wrist is weak from just not shooting for over two months! It’s really, really weird. I’ll get it back, though, and be money when I get home . . . Haha . . .

Oh, and give this scripture to Dylan! Acts 16:14 . . . Tell him to tell me when it reminds him of our trip to New York . . . LOL . . . It’s pretty funny . . . He should remember.

I’ve been reading a lot this last week with my Companion sick ad all. So, now I’m in 2nd Nephi again. I’m also reading in the New Testament. I believe I’m in 2nd Timothy. Man, Timothy drops the hammer on ladies. I think it was Chapter 2, verses 9 through 15. It might be Chapter 2, but there are only like four or five Chapters, so you guys can find it. Lemme know what you think . . . LOL . . .

I got to go attend the Baptism of Maria Jose on Saturday night! I set the Baptism date with her when I was in the Maya, so everyone says that counts as my Baptism, too! Pretty cool! Her Mom can’t get baptized yet with her situation with her husbandish boyfriend. Kinda sad, but still cool that she gave Maria permission to be baptized! I was pretty happy. I also got to see a lot of people from the Maya, so it was a fun night.

After last week when Rose Maria didn’t show up to be confirmed after her Baptism, we were a li’l worried, but we are all good now ‘cause she came yesterday and was confirmed!

Church was kinda cool yesterday ‘cause a member of the Area Seventy came and spoke in Sacrament Meeting. He did a really good job. After Church wasn’t cool. We had to go to Ward Counsel. Man . . . This Ward needs counsel . . . It was horrible and long and nothing was accomplished. LOL . . . Oh, well, I guess!

Well, sorry I don’t have a lot to say this week! We didn’t go out much! This week should be a lot better. Have any questions, fam bam???

I love you guys out the ying yang and miss you all!

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Companion has Dengue Fever!

And now all my stories from the first week in Colonia Atlantida . . . LOL . . . I have a lot of stuff written down, too!

Did Dylan get my letter?

I wanna get some white frames for the Temple and special occasions . . . LOL . . . They are $25 frames here, but they aren’t the best. Can you look on eBay and see if you can find any cooler, nicer and cheaper ones? Or just tell me how much they are?

Is Dylan dating a girl? Grandma told me she took him to a game in Hollister with a girl or something . . .

Has Dylan received his Patriarchial (or however that’s spelled) blessing yet? I mean to tell him . . . If he feels ready, he should get it!

What ever happened to, I think his name was, Miles Curley? Basketball player from Morgan Hill? He was a member, I think . . . He was a real good basketball player, right? Did he serve a mission? I dunno why his name popped in my head!

Could you send me a bunch of pictures? A bunch of me with all my friends, with all the family? I just want to have a lot more with me in the house now . . .

Also, in the next package you send, could you include some CDs? Maybe just some of my choir music. Maybe ask Dylan to burn some CDs of just the slower rand intense songs, not the funny ones or anything, though. And, maybe Stacie can send me a CD of her friend that plays the piano? Just a few ideas . . . I can buy a CD player . . .

Now my stories . . . I’ll try to make ‘em in order . . .

Well, I’ll just start with an update on how I like it here. My Companion is awesome! I love him to death! I didn’t know how I’d like livin’ with a native, but he’s amazing! Super funny! All that good stuff. I like the area a lot, too. It’s way bigger than the Maya so it doesn’t leave me bored and days tend to go by a li’l faster.

This week, we were preparing three girls for baptism. One of them, Rosa Maria, is about 30 years old and can’t read, write, do math or any of that. Needless to say, it was very difficult to teach her about tithing. Good thing she doesn’t have a job or make any money . . . LOL!

I was tellin’ Elder Legua the whole Kara Melander story . . . What happened with her . . . And he gave me a new way to look at it . . . LOL . . . I loved it! I told him the guy she started dating during and after me was the guy she married and has a baby with . . . LOL . . . He told me, though, it’s like losing in the Play-Offs. At least I lost to the team that won the Championship, ‘cause he married her and I was the last to date her. LOL . . . I was busting up!

I didn’t know that the Giants got Brad Penny, so thank you for that update! I hope the Giants are stayin’ in the race! How close are they to Colorado for the Wild Card now? And how far out is Florida? Or did the play-offs already start? If they did . . . That is a real bummer that I’m not home . . .

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the package! I loved it! Of course, I needed muddy buddies and I’m trying to tame myself with them. I started eating ‘em the first day and ate almost half a bag (sad face). I didn’t need a jump rope, though, so I sold it to a friend that needed one. I’m sorry! But thank you! I was hoping there would be a bunch of pictures on my memory card or just printed out or a voice recording or something in the package! The longer I’ve been out, the more I need to know stuff! I know I told you differently before, but I’ve changed my mind . . . LOL . . . Just so ya know . . .

After two days in my area this past week, we had exchanges. Dallas, Dad or Tom can probably explain to you what that is exactly. So, I stayed in my area and I had exchanges with Elder Legua for a day! It was awesome! He’s probably my best friend out here so it was super fun! It was really cool, too, ‘cause we have only been in the field a month and a half and we taught lessons and everything! And here we are just two new gringos! Then, the day after that, I had exchanges with Elder Pratt. This is his last change, so he is about done! He was a cool guy, though, and man, he can really, really, really plan the piano! He has written songs and everything! I love listening to someone who plays so easy like that.

Then, on Saturday, we had three baptisms! I got to do one of them. I baptized Rosa Maria and my Companion baptized Maria Elena and her daughter, Jessica. All three were perfect, though . . . Without any mistakes! It was pretty cool to come into this area and jump into three baptisms! Two are coming up this week from baptismal dates I set while I was in the Maya. Although it was cool to get to be part of the three baptisms here, there weren’t like my first three in the Maya ‘cause I had worked with my first three for SO long. Still really cool, though! Then, on Sunday, Rosa Maria didn’t show up to be confirmed!!!!!! Aaaaah! She gave some stupid reason why she didn’t come and how she is supposed to be confirmed this Sunday. We will have to wait and see, though!

So, I didn’t write you on Monday because we had our Zone Conference on that day. We also had our President Interviews and, of course, nothing happened in mine but I just thought you’d like to know. The Zone Conference was aaight this time. Five guys and I sang a nice li’l song at the Zone Conference, too. It was fun to sing with people that can actually sing again.

My Companion has been really sick, though, and hasn’t really been himself. On Sunday, he couldn’t work, so we lost that day after Church. Then, at Zone Conference, he was doin’ horrible. Hermana Torres couldn’t figure outu what it was, so we got to leave the Conference with President and his wife. Man, riding in a nice car feels like heaven after riding in nothing but horrible busses all the time! They were really good to us, though. We went to their beautiful home . . . b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l! It looks out over everything in the City and the inside is super pretty! When we got there, Hermana Torres just took us to a guest room and told us to rest until she got a doctor appointment for my Companion. So, we laid down and slept on these heavenly, like the best beds ever, beds for like three hours! It was awesome . . . LOL! Then she made us dinner, gave us some cookies and bug spray and sent us to the doctor! LOL! It was awesome! At the doctor’s office, my Companion found that he has Dengue Fever! He’s a soldier for pushing through it for like five days! But now we won’t be doin’ anything for at least a week. I’m still not 100% sure how I feel ‘bout that but, yea, I will be doin’ splits so I can still be getting some work done.

Then today, it’s P-Day! So I’m makin’ my Companion fight through his illness . . . LOL . . . We went to the Maya and got some stuff I left behind and bought a few things from pacas. I got my customized shorts back from Hermana Esperanza. She had worked on them for like five weeks. She didn’t sew them all, but she made the shorts and had the stitching done for her. They were expensive for her, but in American money, they were just $25! They are mostly black with white sides and baby blue stripes. Down one side, it says “Jensen” and down the other it says, “Guatemala” and over one knee it has my number, “14”! They are sweet! Then, in paca, I bought a 5 quet jacket. It’s teal, pink, white and black . . . Super old school . . . Solid purchase . . .

Well, I think that’s all I have for now! I sure love the heck out of all of you! Really though . . . The heck out of . . . I love you!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"I've watched lives being changed"

Thank you for your e-mails and such! And late Happy Birthday again, Mom!

First off, Zander is lookin’ like a li’l boy now, haha . . . I love it! He just doesn’t kill me like Aaliyah does . . . LOL . . . Sorry, Zander! You all understand, though, haha . . .

I have not yet received the package, but I know it takes forever here. I’m sure it is okay, but we will have to wait and see! We get our mail and packages on Wednesdays, so we will seeeeee . . .

Okay . . . My stories . . .

I thought I would first just recap my first six weeks in Guatemala. My Companion ended up bein’ a really cool guy. We had a bunch of good times and laughs together . . . LOL . . . Sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Hermana Esperansa was amazing. She made everything so easy at our house. She cooked when we wanted, did laundry when we wanted, sewed for us when we wanted and was just willin’ to always help us out. The Maya was a little hard because of how small it was, but we did a good job. Of course the last couple days weren’t our best days at work, but we did good. We got three baptisms in six weeks which is the goal the President has set for us for every change. So, we did a solid job and it was really cool because the three baptisms completed a family. The Maya was a really cool place, though, and I did have a good time and learned a lot. I thought I’d be happy to leave but, of course, I wasn’t really. I was used to it and comfortable . . . Oh, well, though!

On Monday last week, after I wrote you guys, we had a huuuuuge rain storm. It was really, really cool. Before it started raining, though, there was the coooooooooolest thunder. It was literally scary how loud and shaking it was! It was absolutely pounding! It was by far the loudest I’ve ever heard. It was awesome!

I already said Happy Birthday to mother twice now, but I wanted to apologize to Stacie for being so late on this . . . Happy Birthday, Stacie! Haha! I love you! Go gamble a bunch! That’s the advice from your Missionary brother!

Luis and Teresa haven’t been able to go on their honeymoon yet. They were planning on goin’ to El Salvador, but he couldn’t get off work . . . LOL . . . Just so you guys know . . .

This past week my Companion, Elder Ireland, got kinda sick. He and I were talkin’ about how cool it is that Hermana Esperansa loves us and is dying for us when we are sick. But, then we were talkin’ about how there is nothin’ like being healed by your own Mom in your own house. Something very, very special ‘bout that. We both decided we really miss that for sure!

Dylan will like this . . . I saw a rollie polie the other day . . . Which I hadn’t seen in a long time for some reason . . . And the first name that came to my mind was . . . See if Dylan can guess it . . . It was Max! LOL! I remember when every first rollie polie that Dylan would find (at Grandma and Grandpa’s or at Grandma Trudy’s or at our house) would always be Max. He always swore it was the same old Max . . . Hahahahaha . . . I was laughin’ pretty hard . . .

Three days before I left the Maya, we set two baptismal dates. Maria Jose and her Mom. Maria Jose has really grown and she seems pretty ready. They have a date set for the 26th now. They are kind in a weird spot, though. The husband of the mom, Vilma, has lived in the states for five years now and hasn’t lived with them. And, they aren’t even married . . . But, yea, Elder Ireland has to figure out that situation now! But we will see . . . I have hope for them.

It was funny yesterday . . . We passed by our good friends’ houses to say “good-bye” and I had some good, awkward moments. One girl kept hugging me and tellin’ me not to leave. And I couldn’t hug back, so it was reeeealllly, really funny. My Companion and I were crackin’ up after ‘cause I had no idea what to do! Then, I was taking a picture with one family. Elder Ireland was taking the picture and doin’ the countdown. Then he just started smirkin’ and I didn’t know what for! LOL! So, I asked him later and I guess one of the girls, Maria Jose, hahaha, pulled her shirt sleeves off her shoulders for the picture . . . hahahahaha . . . How sexy! Then saying “good-bye” to Teresa was a li’l weird ‘cause she tried to hug me good-bye and I told her I couldn’t. I felt bad, but she just gave me a really long handshake instead . . . Haha . . .

Then, last night, Luis and Teresa threw a surprise party for me at my house . . . Haha . . . Like twenty people came over and we played some games and stuff. Elder Ireland has been out about a year now and he said he has never heard of or seen a “leaving party” or anything before, so that was really cool that they did that for me. It was really nice ‘cause they all went around one-by-one and said something to me, too. It was a really cool experience. Then, after they all said something, I got to talk too. I even had a few people crying, haha, but it was really, really sweet of them. Those kinds of things make a Mission worthwhile for sure!

Now the big news! I’m now in Zone Atlantico and Area Atlantido. It’s about ten minutes away from the Maya in a car or bus. This area of ours is huuuuuuge, though! It will be a big change ‘cause the Maya is the smallest area in the Mission. The area has a lot of “coolish” stuff, though. It has the “Hiperpice”, the Wal-mart basically. And the mall and all . . . So it will be way different ‘cause there was nothin’ in the Maya. My new Companion says this area is hard ‘cause the people are a lot richer. But, the good news is that we are already set up for three Baptisms this Saturday! LOL! Pretty easy to reach my goal! I guess our new goal will probably be six or something.

I just got into this area a few hours ago, though, so I don’t know a bunch about it yet. Our house is still big, but it’s a big change. We don’t have someone to clean our clothes and we will only have our lunch prepared for us. In the Maya, we were treated like kings! They did it all for us! Oh, and the house was really dirty when I got here, so the first thing I did before I unpacked, was broom the floors. Then I had my Companion mop the floors, haha! I’m not a clean freak or anything, but a home isn’t a nice comfortable home to me if it isn’t clean. We also have a bunch of mosquitoes. That stinks ‘cause we didn’t have very many mosquitoes in the Maya house and I already got eaten alive there! All the people here say the mosquitoes love my healthy blood. So, yea, estoy fregado aqui. And, yea, they’ve tried a bunch to spray, but my Companion says we live where they want to be so they just come right back!

My new companion is a cool guy. He has been out on his Mission for twenty-two months already, so he is almost done! He’s a really little guy, like 5’6” or something and he’s from El Salvador. So, yea, he’s my first Latin Companion! I think it will be fun, though. Different for sure, yes, but still fun! I should learn a lot here. Also, Elder Legua is in my District, so that’s cool ‘cause he has been like my best friend here since the CCM.

I sure love you all and think ‘bout you aaaallllll everrrrrry day. It isn’t always easy bein’ out here, but I know it’s the right thing to do be doin’. I’ve watched lives being changed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I've been sleep talkin' in Spanish!

Que Pasa!

Well, your e-mail was nice and simple this week, haha, so I have lots of time which is good because I wrote a lot of stuff this week!

First, though, I haven’t received your package yet. I get mail on Wednesdays, though, so we will see if maybe I get it tomorrow. Now for my weekly story . . . Haha!

The wedding did take place on Saturday! It was scheduled for 5pm, but everyone runs late in Guatemala. The people gettin’ married were 15 minutes late and the lady that was doing the marriage was an hour late! Haha! Luis and Teresa weren’t too happy ‘bout it, though. They were both pretty upset, actually. And Teresa let the lady know what’s up! My Companion and I were the ring bearers, or whatever it’s called, though. So, that was pretty cool. They wanted us to be the witnesses and sign for them but we aren’t from Guatemala and won’t be living here forever, so it was safer that we weren’t the witnesses. After the wedding, we had a li’l “after party”. The party was at the Stake Center. The wedding was in the Ward Building. We just ate and socialized . . . So I was happy! But, yea, it was a really fun and cool day.

Then we woke up really early the next morning to get to the Stake Center at 5:00am to set up for the 6:00am baptism! Of course, it ended up starting more around 7:00am, LOL, but it was good! My Companion baptized Teresa and I baptized Luis. I forgot to say one word the first time, so I stopped halfway through and got it perfect the second time. He fully submerged on my first try, haha, so it was solid! It was a really cool experience, though! I believe you guys will see a lot of pictures of it very soon!

Then, after the baptism, we had Church at 9:00am like always. My Company and I got to be in the circle to confirm them and all that good stuff, so it was pretty cool as well. Oh, and Sunday was Fast Sunday, right? So, I got my fast on. My Companion and I ended our fast around 5:00pm and ate his HUGE bag of M and Ms ‘cause we were starrrrrving!

Well, my three-month mark was this past week on the 3rd, of course! And then, on the 4th, was my one month mark in La Colonia Maya! So, on the 3rd, I felt very nice and sick. I had like a 24-hour stomach flu again or somethin’, so I was on the toilet for a while . . . haha . . . Sorry for all the info! I won’t tell you what was comin’ out of me, but it was nasty . . . I didn’t eat much on that day. The next day, though, when I was feelin’ better, I was starving! So, for my one month mark in La Maya, we ordered some pizza and had Subway for lunch. So it was a solid day, I guess!

I bought a sweet Bob Marley shirt! Haha! It was only 5 quets, Mom! I had to get it! He isn’t smokin’ or anything, though, so don’t worry. He’s actually playin’ soccer on it, haha, and it just says “Jammin’”. Then I got a tie as well for 3 quets. Of course, these two purchases don’t come close to matching the price of my 1 quet pants, but they were solid purchases for sure.

This week in English class, we got stuck on trying to teach people how to make the sound “ee” and not the sound “i”. For instance, they must learn to say “sheet” and not the other word that would have the “i” in the middle instead of the “ee”. LOL . . . It’s very difficult for them. Of course, we took videos of them trying to stay it. Some of them got it down but most of them . . . No, they didn’t get it down . . . LOL . . .

Good news! My Companion told me I’ve been sleep talkin’ in Spanish! How sweet is that! Haha! I guess I’m catchin’ some or something then!

Today we got to go the Temple. It was my first time that I’ve done it alllllll in Spanish! It was a really solid experience and I feel like I learned a li’l something new so I was happy! Our Session was at 7:00am, so we had to wake up at 4:00am this morning, hahaha! It was fun to take a nice, cold shower that early!

I am just about finished writing a huge letter to Dylan, so I’ll be sending it tomorrow. It’s huge, hahaha! Well, but my standards, at least. But, I bet none of you care . . . Except Dylan . . . Just so ya know, though . . .

Anyway, any other questions or anything? I sure love you and thank you for everything, family!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Guatemala MTC Top 10 (or now 11)

I'm doin' excellent

Hey, hey, handsome man!

Excuse me while I try and answer all of your questions . . . Haha . . . In my number format of course . . .

1. I’m doin’ excellent. This week seemed a li’l slow, but it was good nonetheless.
2. My health is perfect. I’m still getting’ a lot of bug bites, but they aren’t holdin’ me back from anything as of now . . . Haha . . . And the cockroaches don’t hurt anyone, so I’m good!
3. I’m doin’ great with eating . . . I’m getting’ a li’l fat from all the bread we eat! And chocolate is cheap so you know I struggle there, too . . .
4. Okay . . . So, our Ward . . . It’s about 300 members, I believe. On average, there are about 70 people in Sacrament Meeting every week. It’s pretty bad. If missionaries weren’t here, the Ward would be a disaster. There aren’t very many solid members, so it’s tough to bring people back. We just don’t have time in the day to find everrrrrrryone. We just need a li’l help.
5. The Bishop is awesome . . . He’s 29 or something and he’s a really good helper and what not. We love him for sure.
6. We have a Mission Leader, too. He tries really hard so we like him. We’ll take whatever hard working members we can get!
7. I haven’t given a talk in Church yet. I have not yet even been asked to speak, so no update in that category. Sorry!
8. We tract a good amount, but not a lot lately. We have had a lot of lessons to teach, which is awesome! That’s why we tract, is to get lessons . . . Hahaha! So, we are doin’ good!
9. We have one other girl with a baptism date of September 26th. We have to wait on her because she was born in Mexico, so she needs her papers.

Thank you for all your sport updates! I try to follow baseball standings in the Prensa Libre but it just doesn’t suffice . . . Haha! So, thank you! And thanks for all your testimony and gospel info! I can always use that! Well, I hope you get this e-mail before four days has passed, like last time! I sure love you, though! And thanks for everything, Dad!

Monday, August 31, 2009

First Zone Conference in Guatemala!


Okay . . . So I will get to all your questions, but I’m gonna give my few updates and ask my few questions too real quick, if ya don’t mind . . . Oh, you don’t? Thanks! Here I go!

Last P-Day, we found a bum cheap ice cream place, so you know we’ll get ice cream again today! And, today for our Zone P-Day activity, we played dogdgeball. The people in the Zone elected me to the All-Star Team, so we played 5 vs. 20 and we lost. I was the last one standing and took out a few guys by myself and caught a guy in, too, but we still lost. Anyway, now my elbow is killlllin me! Oh, well!

I did quite a great job hittin’ up the pacas these P-Days, too! I got a pair of plaid dress pants for 1 quet which is, ummm, 12 cents! They’re sweeeeet! Hahahaha! I was lovin’ it! Then I bought dress shoes for 10 quets ‘cause I feel like I’m gonna need a third pair of shoes. The shoes I wear every day, one of the pairs of Timberlands, might be wearin’ out, but we will have to wait and see how they hold up! Then today I bought LRG jeans for 10 quets! Hahahah! Shoppin’ in pacas is just all luck . . . You gotta go treasure huntin’ through all their garbage to find the hidden gems.

So, as you guys know, I think, I finished the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price last week! So, now I’m in the Bible. I’m still readin’ in English so I can learn more. In just four days, I’ve already read half way through Luke! I feel like I’m good and on pace again.

This week we taught a new family and . . . wow . . . they just wanted to teach us! They were yellin’ at us and callin’ us sons of the devil and stuff! Hahaha! The old lady swears she knows the Bible from front to back but, ummmm, she’s never been able to read . . . LOL . . . They didn’t wanna listen at all. Needless to say, we don’t have a follow up appointment with them.

How is GHS Football? Is James playin’? How are Nick and everyone on the team this year? Maybe Dylan can talk to James ‘bout that question . . . or who ever know the most ‘bout it can answer the question.

Can Stacie get Taylor Rodriguez e-mail address for me from Carly or something? Por favor . . .

Did school start for Dylan already now?

Now I’ll try to answer your questions . . .

First, nice picture and stories of Aaliyah . . . Haha . . . Thanks! You know I need those! I actually had a dream that I was playin’ around with her the other night. It was awesome! Then when I woke up to our alarm, I was kinda sad . . .

Oh, and I don’t need a jump rope. I hope I didn’t say I need one . . . Haha! ‘Cause I don’t, but thank you!

Remember that when you send a package, put a bunch of Jesus stickers and stuff on it. That’s the trick to it actually getting to me, I believe . . .

We don’t really have anyone else progressing very fast right now, but we had eight investigators in church this past Sunday (yesterday)! And, yes, Luis and Teresa are getting’ married on Saturday and then we are baptizing them before church on Sunday at 6am . . . Hahah! Should be fun! They are awesome, though.

Well, I’m off to go write back to Dad! Haha! Love you all!