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!