Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Little Kids Don't Have Fish" - Elder Jensen

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ok . . . I know my e-mail was kinda crappy last week so I took a bunch of notes on things that have been happenin’! So before I start answering your questions, here are things that have gone on lately . . . And it’s a lot!

1. I forgot to tell you the day we got the new people at the MTC, we went to the Guatemala Zoo! I had never been to a zoo, that I can remember at least, so it was awesome! I got a bunch of pictures but not of the lions and a few other cool things cause my camera died . . . Awwww. After that we went to Wendy’s! It was amazing of course!
2. Okay . . . Embarrassing stories . . . I had a few bad dreams here . . . And my companion threw our whites in the washer without me knowing that he put a crazy amount of bleach in the washer . . . So now it looks like CSI worked on my underwear and found my stains! Now I have big orange stains on some of my underwear! Hahahaha!
3. There is an Elder here now from Costa Rica and he’s from the lower gulf area. He works at a hotel so he can hook us up after the mission to go stay there! We can see all the hammerheads, whale sharks and dolphins they have there! Crazy, huh? I’m thinkin’ after we come down to Guatemala again, we go to Costa Rica after!
4. In one of our practice lessons this week, I meant to say “little kids don’t have sins” (ninos no tienen pecados), but I said “pescados” instead . . . Which means “fish” . . . So, I said “little kids don’t have fish” and the girl started busting up! Hahahaha! Whoops!
5. I was wondering if you could send me a good jump rope and an ab work out. Maybe you can find one on the internet. I’d really love to start a new jump rope plan if it will help and I need an ab plan!
6. Out at gym, I had 5 straight goals in soccer . . . So, I’m practicing of course! Don’t worry, I still stink though . . .
7. Can you get Stacie to get Taylor Rodriguez’s e-mail for me, too? Thank you!
8. The 23rd was our month mark here in Guatemala and time is starting to fly now! So I’m very happy!
9. Can you see if Dylan has got addresses for May, Lorenzo and Jacob? Remind him that May is the girl from France. He’d have to get on my Facebook to find her, I believe.
10. I’ve read almost 200 pages of the Book of Mormon in just three days! I’ve been so addicted! I can’t wait to talk to Dad about stuff!
11. How is Fantasy Football lookin?
12. I got three contacts at the Temple again on Saturday! IT WAS AWESOME! MY SPANISH IS GOOD WHEN THE SPIRIT IS HELPIN’ ME TEACH! HAHA!
13. How’s Fantasy Baseball?

So, I don’t have much time, but there’s a nice weekly update for you! I tried to answer a lot of your questions! I’m pumped for my Clippers! I’m lovin’ what they have done with the team thus far! I can’t wait to hear from you again! Next time I write you, I’ll be in the field! I’m pumped! I’ll have an hour in the field too, I believe. I’ll try to send a pictures and another tape very soon. Love and miss you all!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Note from the "Reinforcer" :-)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thank you very much for pictures! I think I need a lot of pictures not just on e-mail so everyone can see and I can brag! Thank you for all of those. Think you could send me a bunch in the mail of like everyyyyyone?

I was excited last week when I got to write Dad back right away. It was like having a conversation for a sec!

So, as Assistant to President Christensen, I really don’t have many duties. I open most meetings and stuff, inform everyone of everything and have to close down the building at night. Really, though, the main thing is just being an example and reinforcer . . .

My roommates are pretty cool again . . . From where, I can’t remember! The other North Americans that got here are cool . . . There are actually a couple BYU rugby players, so I was stoked ‘bout that of course! (Last Tuesday, all but 17 of the Elders and Sisters who were at the Guatemala MTC left for their different missions. Last Tuesday evening, 13 new Elders and Sisters arrived from the MTC in Provo and another 45 arrived on Wednesday from all parts of Central and South America).

Today we got to go to the temple again so that was cool . . .

Thank you so much for all the pictures! And the video! And McKay’s e-mail address!

I was gonna be so sad if the tape was broken! Phew! I can’t wait ‘til you guys can listen to it!

So I decided that you and dad should e-mail me and everyone else should just “dear elder” or send letters through regular mail for time’s sake because I only have thirty minutes on the internet each week to read and write my e-mail . . . Thank you!

Dad, that’s crazy about your Randolph and Morrow! Doesn’t mean a whole lot in summer league . . . Like Bellenelli last year . . . But both those guys should be real good . . . Especially Randolph. How ‘bout my Clippers? Anything new? Oh! And Dad, why did the kid for St. Mary’s come out as a Sophomore only to get picked in the low 2nd round? He was a stud before he got hurt! What was he thinking entering the draft????

Sounds like Santa Cruz was fun! Wish I coulda been there!

Can’t wait to hear from all of you again! Sorry this is kinda short! Love you all! Oh! And I got some regular mail today . . . A li’l old, but thanks for the drawing by Aaliyah!

Okay . . . Love you all . . . I’m sad I have to get off! Adios!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Derek's on his Mission at . . . Taco Bell

Couldn't resist sharing this little beauty :-)

Thanks for capturing this, Ashley!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm doin' my best to become a better man and make you proud!

July 14, 2009

I’m excited that you guys almost have my package! It has a whole lot of talking, so I hope you enjoy it. It should answer a lot of your questions but I have an hour on here today so I’ll try to answer everything!

The normal daily routine is pretty simple. Breakfast, class, lunch, study, class, dinner . . . That’s our real basic routine. And then, depending on the day, sometimes we go visit the Temple just to practice talking to people around there. Then on Tuesdays we normally get to go through the Temple. Since it was closed last week and today is kinda funky with people leaving and coming in, we don’t get to go through today either. So it’ll be two straight weeks without the Temple which is kinda a bummer but it’s all good! This morning, five North Americans and all the Latinos left for their missions, so it was actually a pretty sad morning. It’s really empty here for now. I’m excited to get the new people in, but I’d rather just have all the same people here of course. We got McDonald’s as part of our special day for breakfast today and we get Wendy’s for lunch. Yesssss! Among many other things, I guess those are a couple things we are going to go do today.

On Sunday I was super sick so I wasn’t able to go do anything. I guess it was just like a 24 hour stomach virus. Sister Christianson is a nurse so she gave me some pills and stuff and even though I’m not 100 percent, I’m doin pretty good for sure.

Ummmm . . . The weather here is actually pretty similar to home. Except that you can count on a shower almost everyday this time of year. And once about every three weeks you get a crazy rain storm. Oh and we get thunder and lightning almost every day, so it’s really cool. The thunder here just booms . . . It’s awesome. The three weeks here have gone by soooooo much faster than they did in Utah, so I’m for sure happy about that.

This past week, I think Thursday, but I can’t remember exactly, we went on splits! So I was actually on my Mission for a day in the Central Mission. I was with Elder Lopez and he’s been out for 17 months. It was crazy . . . You can’t even imagine how some people live here! We went to like the worst of the worst area. You can’t even be out there past 6:00 pm because of all the robbing and shooting that goes on every night. We talked to one mom whose son was shot and killed just three weeks ago! Anyway, you’ll know more about all that when I send home this other tape...

My companion is good. My other 4 roommates just left and I really like them all a lot, a lot so I had them wake me up at 3:00 am to say good-bye. It was kinda sad but I’m good, playa.

I have not got any of your regular mail though. Maybe I’ll get it after this computer session. I’ll go to talk to President after this.

As far as being an Assistant, I don’t really have to do too much. I need to go check up on a lot of things all the time but I don’t have to do so much. It’s nice, but a few more duties wouldn’t hurt. I think I’m beginning to be a better leader, but who knows! I read my Patriarchial Blessing again today, and it says a lot about me and leadership so don’t be surprised if I’m a General Authority later in life!

I do not need anything from home but thank you for asking! I’m doing pretty good, time is goin’ by faster so things are getting’ much eaiser! And Spanish is still comin’ along. I need to re-focus myself on a good Spanish language plan to practice but it’s still comin’ along just fine. Thank you for the payers!

Dad sent me all the stats on Griffin! I was super excited! He should be such a stud! If Jordan comes along too, that could be such a fun front line! And Gordon too! I’m really excited. Tell Dallas he better draft Griffin and Gordon for me at almost all costs this next year for Fantasy Basketball. And how ‘bout Curry puttin’ up his points too? Very nice. And Marcus Williams . . . 17 assists last game! How crazy is that!?! How did the Warriors never use him? That was dumb. Looks like Randolph did good too though, so that exciting. He could be a real stud, Dad. And, Mom, your Lakers . . . Morrison led your team in scoring! Whoop, whoop! Haha.

How are my babies? And that’s pretty cool, the stories ‘bout Ashley getting a new job and Dylan getting to go to EFY. Does Dylan get to be at EFY with Stacie? Is she going to be a Counselor that week? How is Dylan? I need to hear from him and Dallas!

Thank you, Dad, for those sports updates! They make me so happy, especially to stay up on my Clippers. I wear my shirt once or twice a week so they’ve gotta be gettin’ good for me!

And I never got to thank Tom for his dear elder! I loved it, bro! Haha . . . It made me laugh. Hopefully I get some dear elders a li’l later today but we will just have to wait and see.

Do you think you could send me McKay’s e-mail address though? And next time you send an e-mail, could you send a few pictures of all my friends? All of us kinda just wanna show our friends off so por favor! And make sure you’re still showin’ Aaliyah me everyday and havin’ her tell stories of me! We watched the Joseph Smith movie again and there are a few parts where I just about cry every time ‘cause I love Joseph. But I also almost cry at the beginning too because baby Joseph is crying and his Dad and brothers are caring for him. And I want to be able to do that with my baby Aaliyah! Ahhhh . . . But I’m doin’ good!

Anyway, this was very, very long, so I hope you guys enjoy it! Oh and Dallas needs to hit me with a Fantasy update. I know that he doesn’t like to write me and get sad but I wanna hear from him again asap!

Love and miss you all! I'm doin’ my best to become a better man and make you proud!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

All is Well

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Heyyyy! How is everyone? Lucky me, get to email again in just 5 days, huh?

Thank you for the bball updates! I was pumped to hear from Dad that we (the Clippers) got rid of Randolph. And, mom, congrats on Artest! That’s huge! You guys are takin’ it again next year for sure but 3 years and it’s all my team! I can’t wait to get home and watch my Clippers! I really, really like our Summer League Team. Got Christmas and some other guys that I really liked this last year in college. Dad is tryin to take Jared Jordan from me . . . haha. He didn’t make it with the Clippers . . . He wont make it with the Warriors. So why did the T-wolves draft Flynn and Rubio??? What are they sayin’ about that? And that totally stinks about Rasheed and Ben Gordon and Turk too. How is my Fantasy Team doin?

This last week has been solid, not much has gone on. Just still learnin’ and what not. Ummmm, oh I need McKay’s e-mail address!

How are Dylan, Dallas, Kim, Tom, Ash, Stacie....? I need to hear from them! Haha . . . I’m so greedy!

I got some “dear elders” from you guys after I was on my e-mail last week so it was too late but this is much easier to respond with than writin’ letters. Oh and I sent one of my tapes. Let me know if or when you get it. I hope it works out!

Ummmm . . . Is Dylan working out his muscles? Haha . . . What’s goin’ on down there? Thank you for all you pictures. I was lovin’ the picture of Dallas in the Speedo. And Aaliyah looks like she hasn’t gotten too much bigger . . . I’m sure she has . . . But I’m glad I can’t tell . . . Haha. Zander looks way bigger though! It’s crazy!

How was 4th of July? What’d you guys do?

My home sickness has been getting much, much better so I’m happy ‘bout that but I still think about all of you guys everyday and still look forward to seeing all of your smiles again when I get home. And being able to hug you and Aaliyah and Dad and Dylan and Dallas and Kim and Ashley and Zander and Tom and Stacie. And if Stacie has a hubby, I’ll shake his hand and if Dallas and Kim or Ash and Tom have a baby while I’m gone, I’ll shake that baby’s hand too.

I was thinkin’ for pictures, I’ll send pictures home whenever I move so then you can put up pictures or have ‘em separated by where I was at what time. So when I leave the Guatemala MTC, I’ll send you this memory card and use the other one. Then you can send the other one back and I’ll send my second one when I move spots again! Haha . . . I hope that kinda makes sense.

So Dallas . . . What’s up my dawg? How’s work playa? How’s everything? Work? Everything? Dylan, did you go see that movie? How was it? And did you get that guitar? You practicing? And how are voice lessons? Lucky . . . Keep practicin’! And, of course, how’s lifting and basketball work outs? Whatcha doin? And how are that ladies? Thank you for your updates, Dad! And the advice on how to be a leader and such!

I’m excited to be able to send you guys my pictures and another tape of my recording. Well I best be runnin’! Lemme know if you guys have more questions! I love and miss you all so much! Can’t wait to hear from all of you again! Be good everyone and keep my posted on everything! Thank you so much!

Monday, July 6, 2009

First news from Guatemala!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I have like 20 minutes on here so I’m gonna try to be fast!

It’s been crazy not talkin’ to anyone or hearin’ from anyone but I’ve been ok! I got a “dear elder” from Mom today but it was dated June 15th! I guess we get them like every 2 weeks is my guess but I dunno! I haven’t been able to write back to anyone for like 2 weeks or almost 3 without a P-Day so yea, here I am now though!

The MTC here is much better than Provo I think. The food is different for sure but I think I like it a li’l better, even though I’ve lost like 5 lbs here. I’m learnin’ a good amount too. Spanish is still comin’ along . . . probably a month or 2 away.

My Companion is from Colorado, pretty cool guy. My other 4 roomies are from Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. They are all pretty cool so I enjoy the room time.

I guess you need every update for everything since I got here! So let everyone read this! I am Assistant to the President! So that’s pretty exciting so I’m sure hoping that makes you guys proud! I’m sure you, mother, are starting to tear up ‘bout now if you hadn’t already. It’s an easy job. I kinda wish we had to do more but it’s good.

Ummm . . . We have gym time everyday except Sunday. We have 2 outside courts - One for basketball and one for fotbol even though they are both concrete basketball courts. I play both sports every day and I do my jump road everyday too, Dad! Haha! I get to lift a li’l as well so I’m keepin’ up on mis muscolos.

Ummm . . . The President is a really cool guy though. He doesn’t always say a lot but he’s a great teacher. I guess he taught religion at BYU Idaho so he’s real good with gospel stuff. He and Dad would get along real well. I guess he played ball at Ricks too. His wife is really nice too and they both speak both languages perfectly but they can’t remember some English words sometimes.

We went to the Temple a couple days ago and its suppperrr small. It has three tiny benches in the room. The celestial room is very pretty of course. But I realize now how lucky we are to have Oakland as our home Temple. It’s huge I realize! We got to walk from the MTC to the temple or around there like 3 or 4 times. This is a really nice area of the city. Oh and I got a contact in Spanish! He gave me his address and everything for missionaries to go teach him after I gave him my li’l message.

I dunno how I’m gonna get you my pictures though! I’ll try to figure it out before next time! Right now we don’t really go see anything though . . . We just stay in this quarter mile radius.

Thank you, Dad, for all the sport updates! I’m pumped ‘bout Griffin of course. That’ll be crazy if you guys do the trade for Amare though! It’d help my fantasy team like crazy! And thank you, Dylan, for your e-mail as well! Congrats on the guitar and such and I hope you had a great time in Santa Barbara. Good job on Sosa, bra!

It’s crazy it’s almost been a month! I still get homesick sometimes and I think I probably will throughout the whole mission but I hope not! The month has gone by fast but days can go by slow sometimes, ya know?

Dallas and Kim and of course Aaliyah.... and Zander, haha, how are you guys??? I miss you all so much! I hope all is well though! And I can’t wait to hear from you guys again! I can’t wait to get out in the field but I do need more time to learn for sure.

Ummm . . . I have 2 minutes left . . . So what more to say? I record on the voice recorder every night and write in my journal so I can’t wait until those are full and I can maybe send ‘em to you! They have a lot of updates from everyday. Any big news from Gilroy or anything though?? I need all the updates and pictures you can provide in any form of mail or e-mail.

I love you all a million gazillion. Oh and Ash and Stace - Holler at me! Ahha! I love you both sooooo much! And you too, Tommy! I loveeeeeeeee youuu allllllll! Be good everyone! Ahhh love you! Time!