Thursday, June 28, 2012

Another week in the DR...

Hello Family!!!

So it sounds like Nicole and Gary had quite a bit of rain.  Let me tell how the rain went here in the DR.  So it started raining randomly one afternoon.  And rained and then poured.  Elder Teran and I had to make it back to our apartment because we left our windows open.  We walked through rivers instead of streets because the streets had about 3 to 4 inches of water on them.  Right in front of our apartment was a huge lake that went up to my knees!!!  Once we swam to our door, we went inside and found my bed, and puddles of water all over the floor.  So, we spent the next 2 hours cleaning up.  That my my tropical rainstorm story.  Pretty interesting.

So with mailing stuff, I found out a few different things that will help.  Like I said last week, sending letters to the florida PO box address is the best way for letters!  When you send packages, send them to the Mission with DHL or FedEx because if you do it through the postal mail system, the people will look through it when it gets here, and I might not end up getting it.  But make sure to keep the tracking number!  Also, the mission is moving offices, so if it'll be more then 2 or 3 weeks before you send it, please let me know!

So not much really happened this week, just the same old routine.  President Lee finishes on Friday and President Douglas arrives.  I really am excited to meet the new President, but I wish I could of had a little more time to serve with President Lee.  This week I'm trying to send alot of pictures, so thats why it's so short!  Enjoy!!

Love, Elder Jensen 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Another Week...

Hola everyone!

Sounds like the wedding went really well!!  I'm glad I was able to be there and be carried along, haha!  I hope Nicole and Gary are happy and that they are really enjoying Disney World!  She is the closed she'll be to me for 2 years!  Anyways, doesn't seem like much is going on at home right now.  But things are bound to change.  Sorry if my grammar and stuff isn't the best, but the keyboards here are different then US keyboards and everything is in Spanish, so....sorry.

Anyways, things here are going really good!!  I have a really good zone and awesome Elders in my district.  I work in an area called "Gurabo A" which is really big!  I've attached some pictures of my apartment as well as my view of the area from my house.  I'll definitely send more pictures as time goes on.  These first few weeks have just kind of been a big blur...Anyways, I attend a ward with the chapel right behind a casino.  It's funny when we give people directions and say "you know the casino grande?" they reply "Your church is in the casino?"  Haha, we reply back "no, its right next door."  I will say its pretty easy to give directions though.  I'm used to big wards with 300+ people and here in the DR we're lucky to get maybe 125+.  But the saints here are really strong and dedicated to their callings.  I continue to walk, and walk, and walk.  Then after a little more walking we make rest and walk some more.  I'm really getting to be a good walker, when I get home we can walk all day and I won't break a sweat, haha.  So maybe its time to tell you how I travel around my area and to different places.  We take what we call a ruta, which is kind of like a taxi route.  The cars are little honda civic like cars and all beat up the majority of the time.  We pay 20 pesos and get in.  We just ride along the route until its time to get off.  Did I mention that they fit up to 7 in the car?  That's the best part about it.  Driving down the road with 7 people in this little beater car:) I really am liking all these new experiences I'm having here in the DR.

I continue to eat rice, and chicken.  We tend to switch it up and have pasta sometimes.  I'm losing weight because of the sweating, walking, and just because I don't snack as much.  So that's good I guess!  We get money every 2 weeks for everyday expenses, but we definitely don't live a life a steak and luxury.  I had to use a little money to buy some personal items that wouldn't    count under my "apoyo" money.  I might buy a cookie sheet so I can make cookies throughout my mission, but after that I should buy a whole lot with it.  So I'll let you know if I do.

Running out of time, so just some things I want to address:  

First, mailing stuff to me.  The best way to LETTERS is through the FLORIDA address.  For PACKAGES send it directly to MISSION.  You pay more on your end, but I don't pay anything on my end.  But make sure to have a tracking number in case it gets lost...
Lastly, I want to start of Book of Mormon challenge within the family.  Read the entire Book of Mormon from the cover to Moroni 10, so the whole entire thing.  We'll all start this Sunday (June 24) and finish by April 4, 2013.  Each week we'll share what we learned and grow together as a family in the Book of Mormon.  Seems like a long period to read it, but be warned it'll come fast!!!  Will you all agree to do it?? Including Holli?  I look forward to hearing your response next week.

I love you all and thanks for everything you do!!  Keep up the good work!  THANKS FOR ALL YOU LOVE AND PRAYERS!  IT MEANS THE WORLD TO ME!!

Elder Jensen

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hola from Gurabo!...

Hola Everyone!

Things in the field are completely different from anything I've ever heard.  Missionary life out in the field is very different than I had thought!! I don't even know where to begin...Let's see.  Last Wednesday night we finally made it back to our apartment.  We essentially dropped our bags off and went out and walked around our area.  After meeting several people, we headed back home and went right to bed; I was so, so tired!  The next morning I unpacked and starting cleaning the apartment.  Let's just say it wasn't up to par on the Russell Scale.  I still have to finish cleaning today, but I should get it pretty clean.  My apartment is on the 4th floor of a really nice apartment building.  It has a living area, kitchen, and 3 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms.  The power and water goes out pretty regularly, so I've learned to just go with whatever works that day.  I'm high enough that I can see my area and I have a very pretty view of the mountains.  So that's kind of what my apartment is like.  It's pretty fun!!

Once we leave our apartment we go right to work.  I've only been here for a week, but I've met a ton of people!  We've taught quite a few lessons and contacted so many people.  My area has a lot of rich people, but also a lot of poor people too; so I have a pretty good variety of people here to teach.  The people are so, so nice and loving.  We walk up to their gate and yell, "Buenas!" and they usually come out and talk to us.  After introductions, they invite us to come in and sit down.  It's kind of weird that people here let random strangers inside and tell us missionaries their complete life story and how Jesus Christ had helped them.  The only problem is is trying to get them to commit to stuff or are home for the next meeting.  Some people are really cool and have interesting stories.  We were contacting and stopped at a guy's house.  He invited us in and we told him that we were missionaries with a message that can bless his life.  He said not 30 seconds before we showed up he post on a blog site something like "I'm stuck right now.  I don't know what to do with life or my family."  That really shows how the lord blesses and prepares the people for us to teach.  I just hope this man is prepared and ready to come unto Christ.  We've met some other people who also seem ready to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The food here is very different!  Rice, and lots of rice.  I get tired of rice.  The propane in our house is gone, so today we have to get our tank filled up.  Also, we really don't have a lot of food right now, so there is another thing we have to get done today.  Busy, busy, busy.  But we seem to get everything done. 

Walking.  Who knew that word could be something so hard?  I've never walked so much in my entire life.  I think we probably walk 8+ miles everyday.  My blisters have blisters.  The sun is brutal too, I don't think I've ever sweat so hard in my life too!  But I love being in the field.  I'd rather be out in the field then my apartment, because meeting people and staying busy is really keeping my spirits high!!  I've also lost a little more than 5 pounds in one week!  I'm gonna come home a tooth pick.

Love, Elder Jensen

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I'm the real deal now...

Hello Family!!!

Well it's a fact!  I'm a real deal missionary.  I traveled to the mission home early Tuesday morning and spent the day there!  My President is really, really nice and caring so I'm kinda bummed that he only has one more month!  I went on the split yesterday to what is now my area with a missionary who was there.  The area is called "Gurrabo" in the the Santiago city.  The mission home is actually in my area! My companion's name is Elder Taron and he is from Arizona.  He actually was one of the APs for the
last four months, so I've been following him around all day as he finishes up his duties.  He is really cool, and I've heard only amazing things about him.  I haven't been my house yet, nor been out in the field so next week should be full of adventures!  I'm really excited to get started and begin my field work.  It's going one amazing adventure out here in the field. The little I've seen in my area so far, it seems like a very rich neighborhood.  A lot of big houses and nice buildings.  The church house is right behind a casino, haha.  I thought that was pretty funny!  My area is a big area so I'll have plenty of walking to do!  Yesterday, I walk probably 5+ miles in a little less then 3 hours.  I'm gonna have legs the size of my head, haha!!!(:  I don't have a ton of time, but I'll definitely have a lot to share next week after I've been in the field and had alot of new adventures!  Let me know of questions you have!  Oh! I also decided I don't know Spanish, haha!  It seems like a different language in the field!

Elder Jensen

P.S. my new P-Day is Wednesday's for the rest of my mission.  So just so you know!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Last Week in the CCM...


  How are things back in Utah?  Things here at the CCM are winding down pretty fast!  I only have a couple more days and then it's out in the field doing the real deal missionary work!!  I leave Tuesday, June 5th, super early in the morning.  I head to the mission office, receive a couple hours of orientation, and then I'm out on my own with my trainer!  I'm ready to get out of here and start the next chapter of my mission.
  Last friday I was able to do exchanges with the some missionaries in the West Mission.  It was crazy!!!  I had the biggest piece of humble pie I've ever had in my entire life!  We met the missionaries at a chapel where we received a companion.  My companion and I headed out and got onto the Metro.  The metro was super cool!  It is only 2 years old, so it still is pretty nice!  Like it could give traks a run for its money.  However, as soon as we got off, it was a completely different world!  Not even close to what I ever thought it was going to be like!  People everywhere, little carts with goods, and just very different.  I don't think you can fully picture what it looks like until you actually see it with you own eyes!  It is really just a different place then the good old US.  The best word I can use is just: Poor; the DR a very poor country.  I can't wait to get out into the thick of it in Santiago!!  Anyways, once we walked a little while we found another mode of transportation that carried us to the assigned area!  Very tropical place, and alot of sweat involved too!  We briefly
stopped at the apartment and took care of some business and then we headed out to teach!  Since we had to spend most of the time traveling we could only teach two lessons!  The first lady and daughter had set a baptism date; and were just finishing up the lessons.  We sat and read 1 Nephi1 with them. I couldn't understand anything!!  I just sat there and tried to look pretty!!  I bore my testimony of the BOM and tried to answer some questions.  It was really spiritual and very exciting, even though I
couldn't understand anything!  She even gave us some soda because it was a hot day.
  After that lesson we headed into the poor part of town.  We walked though the main street and headed down a little alley.  Just cinder block walls everywhere!  We winded down and around through this maze of cinder block houses.  Pretty soon we ascended above all the rest to level 2.  As we rounded the corner, it hit me of what everyone had told me about!  There before my eyes was the valley full of tin-roofed, shacks.  Those who have seen it know what I'm talking about.  We stopped at this gate with a very small yard and a hut.  The yard was full of water and clothes.  Naked kids ran everywhere!  I later found out that Friday was the first day in 25 days that this family had water, so they were taking baths, and doing laundry, and stocking back up on water.  We maneuvered around the water and took a seat in the house.  The kitchen, bedroom, and living area was all one room.  We sat down and talked with the family and did the same lesson of reading from 1 Nephi 1.  Randomly, one of the girls made a comment, and everyone laughed, and the mother than rebuked her daughter.  Turns out the girl said "You're kind of fat.  Why are you bigger than your companions?" The mother replied, "He's not fat, he's full of love.  Like me!" I laughed so hard!!  If I'm fat, I wonder what she would call the people on the Biggest Loser, haha!  Anyways, that was pretty fun!!  We headed back and I was sent back the CCM.  It was so much fun being out in the field for the day!  I get to go again tomorrow, and then for the next 22 months on Tuesday.  I can't wait to t each the gospel and help other people come unto Christ.  I learned from this experience that it doesn't matter what culture you live in, what means you grow up with, or what language you speak. The fact that we are all sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father, who wants us to turn to him and rely on Jesus Christ.  The spirit talks to everyone in the same language, that is the language of the heart.  I look forward to serving the people of the DR with all my heart, might, mind, and strength.  I love the humility of the people in the DR, and I can't wait to teach all kinds of people in every circumstance!  I know I've been called of God!

   This past week I watched the youth Mormon message titled "Dare to stand Alone." It was about President Monson and his story about Navy boot camp.  I would challenge each person who reads this to take five minutes and watch this video!  You can currently watch it from the home page of  So much can be learned from it!  Remember the phrase, "Dare to be a Mormon; Dare to stand alone!  Dare to have a purpose firm; Dare to make it known!"  I know we have a prophet on earth today and he leads and helps direct God's work on earth.  Jesus is the Christ, and the church is true!  I love you all, and thanks for all the support and prayers!

Elder Jensen