Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hello from the DR...

Hola mi familia!!

Quizás yo necesito escribir este carta solamente en español.  Pero, probablemente no, porque es muy difícil.

Anyways, this past week has be awesome!  I had the coolest experience with one of our investigators.  It was with a young man named Rafi that I've already written about.  Well last Saturday night we took David, my first baptism, to the lesson with Rafi.  David ended up bringing a date with him, so that was cool.  But we started the lesson teaching the third lesson "The Gospel of Jesus Christ." We explained faith and repentance and then David jumped right in and started sharing.  He talked for about 15 minutes, but he shared how the gospel helps his life and how he is really happy that he exercised his faith and was baptized.  The spirit was so strong and Rafi was touched, I know he was!  We shared our testimonies about faith and then David did the coolest thing.  He asked, "Rafi tomorrow is Sunday and we attend church.  Since you have a cast on your leg, I'll come by with my car and pick you up."  Rafi said no because he has a cast on his leg for 2 months and doesn't want to be a bother.  But David, Elder Gomera, and I persisted.  David tried to get him to commit to only attend Sacrament Meeting, but Rafi didn't have it.  After about 10 minutes of this I finally said, "Look, I don't understand what's going on.  But we're going to pray now and Rafi will you ask God if you need to attend church tomorrow?"  Rafi said, "I don't want to!"  Then David replied, "Because you know the answer!"  So then Rafi said the closing prayer, and guess what??  He asked Heavenly Father if he should go!!  After the prayer we sat in silence for about a minute, then Rafi said, "I will go tomorrow!"  I WAS SO HAPPY!!!  

The next morning we headed out with David to pick Rafi up.  We were all afraid he would be asleep and not want to go!  But as we pulled up to his house and got out of the car, he opened the door and said he needed just a few more minutes to get ready to go to church!  He went to Sacrament Meeting and really liked coming to church.  He even said he wants to go the full three hours next week!  I was so, so happy!!  Pretty awesome experience this past week.

And then 2 Saturdays ago we did a Day of cleaning in the country.  The missionaries in our stake met up with the youth and cleaned a river in a zoo!  We got to wear the "Mormon Helping Hands" vests.  Super duper cool!  We cleaned the river of garbage and other junk.  It was really fun, but it stunk so much and was so dirty.  I've washed my clothes twice and they still smell haha!  But it was a really good experience, and I got to visit a zoo for free!  I even saw a lion, haha!

Well that was about my week!  I hope all is continuing to go well in Utah!  Thanks for all your love and support everybody! 

Love, Elder Jensen

Friday, September 21, 2012


Hola everyone!

Can you believe another week has already gone by?  I can't believe how fast things are moving along and how quickly Wednesday comes around again.  As for this past week, not a whole lot of things out of routine have happened.  This Friday, we do have a Special Zone Meeting with the President and his wife, so that will be really fun!  

This past week a family we've been teaching has really been progressing.  His name is Bienvenido with three daughters: Amber, Karina, and Stephanie.  His wife doesn't want to share, but they all are really interested and progressing really well.  We taught them the Law of Chasity, and Bienvenido wants to obey this law and now get legally married to his wife!  That is really cool!  So maybe I'll be witnessing a wedding pretty soon.  We have also taught them the 3 basic lessons and they really are starting to gain a testimony of the gospel and of their savior!

We also have continued teaching Rafi!  We taught him the Law of Chastity too!  I was surprised at how easily he accepted the doctrine and how willing and he was to live the law!  He is doing really well and progressing toward baptism.  He has a cast on his leg for another month and a half, so hopefully I'll still be in the area, so I can see him get baptized.

We've really started on trying to work with members and less-actives in the ward.  It is really hard to help your investigators feel welcome at church if there aren't members willing to fellowship and be friends with them.  I'm starting to realize how important it is to have a ward with a very strong desire to share the gospel and help the missionary work more forward!  I encourage you all to try a little harder to make sure that less-actives, new converts, are investigators in your wards feel welcome and know that people in the church care for them and want to help them in anyway possible!  I know you will be blessed as you do this!

This past week I've started the Book of Mormon for the second time since beginning my mission.  I'm trying to read it in Spanish this time.  It takes a lot of work trying to understand it, but thanks to the Lord I can understand what I'm reading.  It also is helping my Spanish a ton!  I was reading in 1 Nephi about Lehi's dream of the tree of life!  The tree represents the Love of God.  We read in John 3:16 that the love of God is the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  How many of us hold to the rod of iron and follow the word of god to the Atonement of Jesus Christ?  Do we continue on undaunted by the outside world and take joy in the blessings of the Atonement and invite those that struggle to partake also?  I hope we can all be like Lehi and his family and partake of the blessings of the Atonement and then help and encourage others to do the same!  The atonement is an amazing gift given to us through a loving father and elder brother!  I know the atonement is real and helps us become perfected to live with god and our families forever!  Let us never forget the love of god for us and all his children!  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Jensen

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Here it is...

Hola everyone!

This past week in Gurabo has been a slow week!  We started the third week into the transfer which usually means that nothing major happens.  We spent almost everyday teaching and contacting in my area.  On Sunday, however, we did have a Stake Conference.  It was a really good conference, but definitely different then the one's in Utah!  President Douglas and his wife spoke and did a really good job!  I don't know what it is with Sister Douglas, but she is a really good speaker!  President Douglas did a really good job as well; he spoke about the Tree of Life vision that Lehi had.  I will admit after about half way through my spanish brain was fried, so I didn't really understand alot of the last half.  Trying really hard to understand a new language is really exhausting mentally.

My spanish is really coming along!  My companion, Elder Gomera, is really helping me alot.  Most days, I can really understand pretty good and follow what's going on.  He is also practicing his english and is doing really good.  It's a win-win for both of us!  He likes the Harry Potter movies (which is really good!) and we get along really well!

This past week I've seen the lord work in so many ways!  He seems to guide people to act and prompts people to listen to the Holy Ghost to help another come unto Christ!  I'm so very grateful for the tender mercies of the lord in my life.  I know that the lord is mindful to each and everyone of us and wants to help us all along the way!  Tender mercies are small gifts of kindness that the lord gives us each individually to help us continue pushing forward!  The church is true, and the work I'm performing is truly the work of the lord and savior Jesus Christ!  Thank you all for your love and prayers; they truly me alot to me! 

Elder Jensen
So the mission is in a brand new office, so for future packages, use the following address!:
                Elder Russell Jensen 
                Ave Estrella Sadhala
                #10  2do Piso
                Frente a Universidad UTESA
                Santiago, Rep. Dom.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Hola Everyone!

Another week has gone by here in Gurabo!  It has been a very different week having a new companion and all.  I'm very grateful for the opportunity to have Elder Gomera as a companion.  He is very patient, and has alot of experience in the mission.  My spanish has improved a ton over the past week since I'm forced to speak spanish 24/7.  It's been really good practice for me!!  Chances are I will have him as my companion for 2 transfers because he finishes up his mission in November.  I'm really learning alot from all these experienced missionaries that come my way.

This past week was a very interesting week.  We spent alot of time walking around so I could show Elder Gomera the area and introduce him to all the investigators in Gurabo.  Everyone would always ask "Where's the other guy? Yeah, the other guy, not him."  And I'd have to say that he finished and left the mission for Arizona.  But it seems that Elder Gomera is getting to know the area and our investigators too.  Hopefully this week we will have less walking and more teaching.

This week we found a really good new investigator of the church.  His name is Raffi and he is 19 years old.  He had an accident in soccer, so he has a cast on his leg for 2 months!!  We found him near another investigator and he told us he was interested to know more about God.  So we have begun teaching him.  He has alot of excitement to learn and is very intelligent.  One time we were 15 minutes late and he said, "Ah, you said 3pm not 3:15, you're late."  I thought that was pretty cool that he remembers exactly when we have a visit with him.  I really hope he progresses towards baptism!!  Good news as well!  David, the new convert, received a calling in the ward.  He's going to be a Sunday school teacher.  And he is being ordained to the Priesthood.  I was really happy to hear this!!  We take him with us on visits and he really enjoys teaching a testifying.  He really has a very strong testimony of the gospel in his life!  MAKES ME SUPER HAPPY TO SEE HIM HAVE A DESIRE TO SHARE!!!!!

I've been reading alot in the Book of Ether, and I agree with dad.  Moroni's comments on faith in Chapter 12 are amazing.  He really expounds faith and builds on the foundation we need to have in order to endure to the end and become perfected in Christ.  In Ether 12:6 he says we need to act to build are faith in order to receive a testimony.  So many people think that a testimony comes right out of the blue, but one needs to act in order to create that testimony.  The material is there; one just needs to ACT and create a master piece.  So many people tell me they have faith in Christ, but they aren't willing to work and create a testimony built on his teachings.  Christ showed us the way and I know that this Church is the Church of Jesus Christ.  We all need to act on our faith and do what he has commanded.

 "He lives all glory to his name...What joy this sentence gives: for I KNOW that my redeemer lives!!"

Elder Jensen