Monday, April 25, 2011
Well . . . I’ll just break the news already . . . I did not have a change. Which means I will be dying here in San Benito, Peten . . . LOL . . . I will finish my mission with just five areas which ties the Mission record . . . LOL! I will also finish my mission with eight changes (just about one year ) as Zone Leader . . . LOL . . . That will be the Mission record as well . . . LOL. The other Elder who went to Zone Leader with me and was from my group is no longer a Zone Leader this change, so I’m gonna beat him out . . . LOL.
Anyway, I’m really excited because we have had some challenges that we have to overcome in our Zone this Change because the Zone has fallen apart a li’l in just one week. But, President and the Lord are givin’ me the chance to make it happen again and I know I can. Plus, I get to finish my Mission with Elder Molina and it doesn’t get much better than that. Whenever you have a Companion that you get along with for two changes, it really just feels like one change, so I know these six weeks are really just gonna fly by. My last change, though . . . My last agenda . . . Agenda Numero 18 . . . Weird . . . I really never thought I’d get to this point in my Mission. I can’t comprehend that I’ll go home soon . . .
Well, as an answer to all of your questions . . . And to ask some of mine . . .
I never found Elder Smith’s raincoat . . . Sorry .. .
For Easter, all of the Processiones went on, but I didn’t get to see ‘em this time . . . You gotta look ‘em up on the internet . . . They’re loco . . .
We received the info as to who has changes last night, but we will know where everyone is headed on Wednesday morning . . .
Question . . . Who are all these girls that Dylan is gonna go to dances with? I don’t know any of them . . . That’s not cool . . . Explanations, please . . . LOL . . .
And, Dylan . . . Where ya gonna go to school? Be honest . . .
Also, I mailed out the memory card today with my March Madness Bracket (LOL) and some earrings and a necklace, I think. Anyway, the jewelry was made by an investigator of mine and she just wanted to give it to you.
Aaaaaand, this week we have another baptism! Her name is Aleyda and she is 15 years old. She had a loooooooot of challenges to overcome to get to the point of being baptized, but she got there with lots of repentance and changing. But . . . She did it! President Torres did the interview, not because of some great sin she committed, but because she is younger than 18 years old and her parents are not members of the Church. Anyway, though . . . Her baptism was really, really cool. Aleyda’s baptism was especially cool because of how badly she wanted to be baptized and because she reached her goal. When she came up outta the water, she just started bawling and the members started bearing their testimonies, one by one, after the baptism. I dunno . . . You could just feel something really special. She was confirmed a member of the Church on Sunday . . .
Oh! I forgot to tell you guys that when we did Zone Interviews last week, we also got to watch a talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in the MTC. Wow . . . It was amazing, haha . . . You guys can just imagine. Anyway, after we watched it and, yes, we watched it in English, all of us got up one by one and bore our testimonies. It was the first time that I had really born my testimony in English for over a year and a half and there was something awkward but very special about it. As soon as I started testifying about how it is that I know that families can live together forever, and said that I couldn’t imagine not living with my Mom, or li’l brother, or niece, or anyone from my family, I just started crying. I feel so strongly about it now and there is nothing more important than living with all of you forever.
And . . . I’ll be home to hold you all soon . . . LOL . . . I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Let me start by saying that I’m sorry if my spelling is terrible today, but I can’t see the computer screen that well and I refuse to wear my glasses ‘cause I’m sweatin’ up a storm and they keep fallin’ off my nose! They are burning all the Peten mountains and valleys (as they do every year). All I know is that Peten could use some Santa Cruz tree huggers. These tree burnin’ guys are makin’ the air as black as Satan’s drawers . . .
Any who . . . Yes, we were able to baptize and confirm Adelfa’s son a member of the true church of Jesus Christ. He was a very happy boy even though my Companion had to dunk him three times ‘cause the li’l kid is just a floater. Then, yesterday, we gave him his triple combination with a message and a picture of him dressed in his baptismal clothing and he was even happier! So, thanks for all of your prayers! They worked!
And . . . I will be waiting on Dylan’s DearElder with much anticipation. Oh, and in response to your other short e-mail as to what else you can send me other than Muddy Buddies . . . Nothin’. I’m good. I’ll be home soon . . . Thanks, though! If it isn’t free, though, don’t even send Muddy Buddies. I’ll be home soon, I repeat . . .
Well, this past week, I went on two divisions. One with Elder Toolson here in San Benito and another one all the way out in San Luis with Elder Tolley. San Luis is the furthest area we have and when we were there, we went out even further to Cain. So, we were like three hours away from San Benito . . . LOL . . . The three days of divisions really helped me, though, ‘cause I knew I had to be the best missionary I’ve ever been as I have to always be when I’m on divisions. That just makes me focus on the work ‘cause no one I visit out of my area knows how much time I have and they don’t bug me about goin’ home soon. All those comments sometimes cause you to feel baggy. So, they were great divisionsn with lots of success. Plus, we did another short division on Friday so that we could have our baptismal interview done for Manuel. So, I didn’t work a lot with my Companion this week, but I feel like it was good for me for a good refocus . . .
Also, this Sunday, President did an interview for one of our investigators who will be baptized this Saturday. President Torres had to do the interview because the girl is younger than 18 and neither of her parents are members. She passed the interview and all is well . . . She is ready to go for this Saturday . . . So, that’s pretty dog on cool!
Aaaaaand . . . This week for interviews . . . Wow . . . They went a long, long time . . . LOL! They lasted from 9am until 6pm. President interviewed every one of the thirty missionaries from our Zone . . . One by one . . . Those who weren’t being interviewed at the moment received instructions from the APs and told Hermana Torres their memorized scripture and received chocolate if they had a good one memorized. I had 2 Nephi 2:9-10 memorized and I got my US candy, of course! Then, for my interview with President . . . Well, it was the longest one I’ve ever had for sure, so that was cool. He asked me the differences between my current Companion and my last Companion (Elder Molina and Elder Alonso) and so I explained to him their different qualities and leadership techniques. Then he asked about Elder Crespin, the best missionary in our Zone who, unfortunately, goes home in a week and a half. He asked me how it is that he has had success in his Area. I explained to him that I think it is his hard work and obedience. We then talked about what’s gonna happen with me in my last change. I asked him if I will have the opportunity to serve the people of Polochic even though I don’t know the language. But, I told him that if that isn’t God’s plan, I’m fine. But, as President Torres always says, the best revelation comes from information like when missionaries share their desires with him. He said that changes weren’t fully finished yet, so it’s possible that I could go there, but I doubt it ‘cause he also said that if it’s God’s will to have me stay in San Benito, I just gotta get my Companion to understand how to light the Zone on fire and keep it on fire as it is. Sooooo, from that comment, I think I’m stayin . . .
Then, yesterday was the Zone Conference and I gave a talk. It was a short 5-7 minute talk as they asked for, but I felt that I was well prepared and I delivered it well. I talked about Paul and his missionary struggles with teaching and how it is that Silas had success with Jews in Chapter 18 of Acts, but that Paul wasn’t able to find the same success. Then I talked about the importance of teachin’ with love and the Spirit. It was cool, though, ‘cause as I was waslkin’ down off the stand after my talk, I heard Hermana Torres whispering to me, “Elder Jensen, Elder Jensen”, so I went to see what I could help her with. All she said to me once I crouched down to her was, with teared up eyes (always good make the women cry), “That was one of the best talks I’ve ever heard. Thank you, thank you”. So, I told her thanks and walked away. It was very nice of her, though. Some of the missionaries also came up to me personally to tell me how much they liked it, so I’m happy if I could touch the hearts of just a couple. The rest of the Zone Conference was great, though, and we learned lots from President, his wife, and Elder Davis. Oh, plus it was Hermana Torres’ birthday yesterday, so Elder Davis and I went out and bought her a birthday sash and a Burger King crown wrapped in Happy Birthday paper and then gave her a handwritten card with Hershey kisses. She loved it, so . . . Good, good day.
Soooo . . . Yea . . . It was a great week! Well . . . Next time I write you, I’ll already have my change for my last change of the Mission! Weird, huh? Well . . . Love you! Talk to you soon!
Oh! And . . . Happy Birthday, Ryan!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Welp . . . I’m writing this e-mail very, very dirty. I’m not gonna say dirty things, I just mean that my clothes are dirty. Details to come . . . Ooooooo . . .
Well . . . Thanks for your e-mail!
To answer all of your questions . . .
Our Zone has been pretty cool . . . We have had baptisms for five straight weeks now and that, well, I haven’t ever seen that before, so we are doin’ good. Plus, this weekend, my Companion and I are going to baptize the son of Adelfa and there should be two other baptisms in another Area, so that should be baptisms for six straight weeks! Holler! Now we just gotta get up the number of baptisms we are having each week. The Lord will provide the way . . .
Aaaaaand, as for P-Day, we came all the way out to Poptun today to go in some more caves. These caves were a lot different from the ones in Santa Elena. There wasn’t as much mud in these caves, but they were still cool. In these caves, you had to get down on your stomach and back even more than the last one. Don’t worry . . . I took pictures (winky face) and a video of me goin’ through one of the tight holes. Love you, Mom! Plus, we didn’t have a real guide again . . . Just some members that live close and had gone in before . . . LOL . . . But don’t worry. You can’t really get lost in the Poptun caves . . . Just in the first Santa Elena caves that we went through a while back. The hike to get to the opening of these caves was really, really cool, though. Up through the trees and mountains. Cool, once in a lifetime thing . . .
Well, in our Area, we are doing very, very well. We have some families that are really starting to progress, too! We are really seeing some miracles in our Area starting to happen again.
Well, I love you all sooooo, sooooo much! I’m going to write to Dad and Dallas. Love you!
Oh! And Dylan needs to write to me asap . . .
Thanks again for all of your help and consideration. I actually really like what you were talkin’ about . . . Everyone get one. LOL . . . That’s actually the plan that we put with our District Leaders last Sunday. We realized the same thing! If everyone gets one, we are really on our way! My Companion and I offered lunch to any District in which every Area baptizes. We really, really focused on the District Leaders and Trainers and us, as the Zone Leaders, more than anyone else, though. We, the Zone Leaders, have to lead by example. If everyone can baptize one, plus the four District Leaders baptizing two, the trainer baptizing two and the Zone Leaders baptizing two, we could actually have a month of 21 baptisms! We really are on our way. As a Zone, we are baptizing consistently . . . We just have to baptize even more in every week. It’s kinda like we are scoring two points a quarter and end up with only eight points . . . LOL . . . It’s a consistent game, but coming out with only eight points isn’t enough. We gotta score a few more points a quarter. Maybe just double it. We feel like we are putting’ good new high goals that we can reach.
Dad, I’m really so grateful for your help. I am so thankful for all of the ideas you have given me and for pushing me to be better throughout my Mission. I really feel like I get it, Dad. I can go into any Area or Zone and I can completely change it . . . I know I can. I’m very confident because all I’ve learned from your counsel and putting it into practice. Ever since High School when you started pushing me to be a leader . . . At that time, I didn’t understand why you wanted me to be a leader so bad, but now I really do. Being a leader in basketball really translates to being a leader in the Church and leading anything. Thank you, Dad. Love you!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Sorry I couldn’t write much last week! We were in the Capital and all ten “out of the Capital” Zone Leaders were together and trying to get me to hurry up so they could get on with the day, soooo . . . I had to cut my writing a li’l short. But today, I don’t!
Soooo, to answer your questions as always . . .
General Conference was for sure watched in English, buuuuuuut we didn’t get to see all of it because the satellite wasn’t working on Saturday until the 6 o’clock Priesthood Session. We got to see li’l parts of the first two Sessions by internet, but we didn’t see much. When it came on in English for the Priesthood Session, though, all the gringos got soooooo excited! There is just nothing like listening to General Conference in English in a country where everyone speaks Spanish!
Sooooo . . . Eight of us watched the General Conference in a li’l air conditioned room (money!) while everyone else watched it in the main room in Spanish. There were some very, very good talks given. Of course, my favorite is always Elder Eyring. His talk in the Priesthood session was my favorite. I also loved the talks by Elders Christofferson, Scott, Uchtdorf and Holland, of course. Hey, question . . . Does one Apostle not speak in every General Conference? He has to be away from the Conference Center in case something happens so that all the apostolic keys aren’t lost? Is that right? Or what’s up with that?
And very cool that I was the only one with UConn . . . LOL . . . Lucky guess! I can’t believe my Butler boys made it back-to-back years while I’m not home . . . LOL!
Zone Leader Council went very, very well. We really didn’t seem to receive as much teaching from President as we have in the past, but Elder Davis taught us a lot. He was called as Assistant this change. I really love the kid. He was in my Zone when I was first Zone Leader. He always worked very, very hard and, even though he wasn’t a Zone Leader, I told President he was a very special case and could be a Zone Leader without being District Leader first even though no one ever does that in this Mission. He’s just a way special kid with very special leadership abilities. I got to talk to him alone for like an hour after Zone Leader council and it was really funny because he asked for a lot of advice because I’m the “older” missionary and he looks up to me in that way. I totally understand because every younger missionary looks up to the older ones. I was my Trainer’s Zone Leader when he ended his mission, but he was always my example. I explained to him what a special leader he is. He really is changing the Office for the better already. Great, great kid . . .
For P-Day today, we went to Tikal for our Zone activity. It wasn’t quite as cool as the first time I went because it is all just so jaw-dropping the first time you see it, but it was still very, very cool. Many missionaries got to see all the temples and ruins for the first time. Plus, I got some cool pictures that I didn’t get the first time . . . LOL . . .
As far as washing clothes, we have a lady in this area who does our laundry. LOL . . . Yes! That’s a huge blessing. As far as cooking, we eat the food that we cook ourselves. We do have a cheap li’l restaurant close, so we eat there maybe a time or two a week. I’m doin’ good though, I promise. LOL . . . I’m comin’ home chubby . . . Not ‘cause I eat amazing, though, just ‘cause I can’t do all the exercise that I did before the Mission. I’ll lose it when I’m home, though. Gotta lose my huuuuuuuuge tan line too . . . LOL! Remember how I thought I was gonna come home just huge and in shape? Hahahahahahahahahahaha!
Well . . . Happy Birthday, Uncle Matt!
And Happy Birthday, Dad! I really was thinkin’ so much about you on your birthday. I try not to think much about home, but that day I couldn’t help it. I was just talkin’ ‘bout you to a lot of people . . . LOL . . . Many people wanted to call you on the spot to tell you happy birthday for me but I told them I couldn’t. LOL . . . I don’t know what their plan was with the language barrier anyway . . . LOL . . .
Hey, Mom . . . The Office Elders said they asked you what airport I should fly in to . . . ? LOL . . . They said you were very excited to get the e-mail . . . LOL . . . Which airport did you tell them?
Well, this Friday we had an emergency change in the Zone. That was a bummer ‘cause it was a District Leader that had to leave. He is a good Elder and I know he will be just fine and that he will get better. That change took up a lot of our time on Friday, though . . . LOL. We really hardly worked this week. Monday, we did Zone errands until 3pm. Tuesday and Wednesday we were in the Capital. Thursday we did weekly planning and bought food. Friday, the emergency change. Then, Saturday and Sunday was General Conference! LOL . . . It was a busssssy, bussssssy week! I’ve probably never worked so little in a week! Not a good thing . . . LOL . . . But I’m happy that I’m busy!
We also had a District Leader Meeting this week . . . Yesterday to be exact. I think that always helps the Zone a lot. This week we went back up in fechas again, soooo . . . That’s good stuff! I feel like the Zone is doin’ very well. In March, we led the Mission in baptisms and fechas and people in Church. Very, very cool . . .
Well . . . I love you all soooo, soooo much! Talk to you soon! Like Mother’s Day soon! LOL!