Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Family and Friends...

Dear family and friends,

I'm thrilled to hear that everything is going well for the family.  .  But life seems to move on in Utah, and it continues pushing forward in the DR.

This past week we had a impact on the weather from Hurricane Sandi.  Not as bad as the US, but lots and lots of rain.  I was soaked from head to toe for about 3 days, as we walked around the area.  Not gonna lie, it was actually really, really fun!  I've never enjoyed getting soaked in October before, but here....not too bad!  I hope things continue to calm down and the damage can we taken care of now in New York.

Something really interesting happened last week with a less active member.  This member, Josphina, has a really strong testimony and loves to share the gospel, but has been inactive almost all her life as a member.  She is a heavy smoker and felt unworthy to attend church.  We sat and visited with her and her husband and let her share what she has been feeling and such.  We then shared our testimonies about the power of the Atonement to change oneself and sat in a moment of silence.  Then Josphina asked for a Priesthood blessing to help her quit smoking.  So thus ends part one...

Part two!  We stopped by Sunday afternoon, after guess what?  Church!!  Josphina attend church!!!!  She then told us that after we gave her a blessing a few days before, she had lost all desire and urge to smoke.  Even the thought made her feel sick!  How awesome is this!  Her faith is amazing!!!  She had the faith to be healed from a blessing, and because of her faith, it happened!!  I feel like this a a huge blessing for her, and the branch because she keeps saying, "Look out world, Josphina is back and sharing the gospel."  It made me super happy!!  

My testimony was strengthened by this experience with Josphina.  I testify that Jesus Christ can help us change and become new creatures through his atoning sacrifice.  He is our savior, lord, and king!  My message to the world is that Heavenly Father loves us, and through his son, everything that is ever wrong in life is made right by the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  He lives!  I know he lives! My calling is to carry his name and tell the world that God cares and Jesus Christ will ALWAYS be there!  Never forget that!!!  I know this church is his church and the work continues to roll forward even more rapidly then ever!  Sister Douglas told me that our mission is increasing from 170 missionaries to 275 missionaries with about 40% as sisters.  How can this work not be true?  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Jensen

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This week...

Hola everyone!
Another week in Gurabo has gone by and not alot of things to talk about this week. I feel kind of like you guys at times where not alot of things have happened. I've been teaching the same investigators (With some baptisms hopefully on the horizon), attending missionary meetings, and sleeping.
Offically next week Gurabo with be the newest branch in the Dominican Republic. It will take alot of work to get things started, but hopefully all the less-actives and investigators who can't afford to get to church will be able to start attending and strengthen the branch. We've started teaching a older woman, who all of her kids are LDS. She visited Utah last month and thought it was really cool. She showed us alot of Pamphlets about Temple Square. The church has really increased it's tourism stuff there! I felt like I was looking at the church version of a Disneyland map! But anyways, she said she's Catholic and doesn't want to change right away. But he kids told her, "Look, you can either get baptized in this life, or we'll baptize you in the next. So choose!" So she decided she might as well have the blessings in this life rather then miss the opportunity. I thought it was really funny that her kids kind of black mailed her into listening to us! Pretty funny story, so we'll wee what happens.
Life continues to drive forward. Days, and then weeks just kind of blur together and the next thing I know I'm here or there again. I don't feel like a huge difference is happening in my Spanish. But, many people comment on my improvement and complement me on how quickly I'm picking it up. Most American missionaries say that you never feel your Spanish is as good as it really is! I do feel that it is coming along and one day I'll speak it, haha.
My knowledge of the gospel and my testimony is really increasing. Reading the Book of Mormon everyday, and studying to teach my investigators really helps alot. I've been reading alot of different material and I came across a quote in the BOM study manual from Elder Holland about theories about how the Brother of Jared saw Christ. He said several different ideas, but all of them dealt with the outstanding faith that the Brother of Jared had. He had no doubt Christ is in all things and that he could touch the stones and give them light. In Ether 12:6, we learn more about how we can come to have that perfect faith. At times in life where we don't seem to be going forward and trials are pushing us sideways, maybe we need to just put faith in Christ and wonder why he wanted us to see the rest stop, or gas station off the freeway of life! I testify that in those minutes of trial is when we fill up the most of faith and testimony that Christ and our Heavenly Father are actively engaged to keep us driving on the freeway back to his presence. Don't ever forget that with Christ on our side, all things can happen. Even rocks that can give light. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Jensen

Monday, October 22, 2012

Merry Christmas...

Hola Everyone!

Merry Christmas from Gurabo!  Oh wait, its October!  The people in this country don't have Thanksgiving, nor Halloween so they are all getting decked out in Christmas already.  Investigators' houses, businesses, banks, posters, etc all are starting to be decked out in trees, lights, and the like!  I really like Christmas and all, but not until after Thanksgiving!  Haha, oh well I'll just go with it I guess!

This past week has been pretty slow!  On Monday we had a Zone Meeting and talked about some changes in the mission.  (Not quite as drastic as Matt's mission)  We are always suppose to have a BOM in our hands, and maintain the "Mission Language."  This means always "Elder" or "Hermano" not "Jensen" or "Rodriguez."  Also, we now have some different goals with member lessons, and the fellowshipping we want to happen in the wards we serve!  So, yeah just minor changes.  The biggest change this week is that Gurabo will now become a branch and split off of Los Jardines.  The reason is because Gurabo is a 10 minute drive from Los Jardines, and many members can't afford to make it Sundays.  The Stake President said each member will have to work very hard because technically this branch doesn't not meet the necessary requirements to be a branch.  So needless to say, the missionaries will be working very hard help this little branch get started.  It ought to be interesting to see what happens.

This week Bienvenido and his family are doing great!  He is determined to get baptized, and has a very, very strong desire to do so!  We are now working with him to save money so him and his wife can legally get married.  He keeps saying, "I'm going to get married, so I can get baptized!  I'm ready to be baptized!"  I'm so happy for this family!  I love them so much and hope we can make it happen these next few weeks!  This family is really cool and I'm glad I've been blessed to share the gospel with them!

Things continue moving forward and the work in the Dominican Republic is progressing!  I'm thankful for the opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father in helping him brings souls to Christ.  I look forward to the future of working along side more young men and young woman.  Its weird how missions are all about service, yet I think the lord serves us more!  I've learned so many things on my mission, and I couldn't progress without my Savior's help!  The mission is truly changing my outlook on things and leaving a impact on my soul!  Thanks for all you prayers and support!  Que vaya con Dios!

Elder Jensen

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Hello Everyone!

Transfers today!  No need to worry; I'm still with Elder Gomera in Gurabo!  I feel like I might spend my whole mission in Gurabo, haha!  But anyways, I'm excited because we have several baptisms planned over the next 6 weeks!  This transfer is full of excitement since several people in my district are going home and we have new members now.  I'm currently the only English speaker in my district, so I'll get alot more practice with my Spanish.  Things are going well for me here in the DR!

Big news announced last weekend!!!  Can you believe that young woman can now serve at age 19??  President and Sister Douglas said they don't know what is more shocking, 19 year old young women or 18 year old boys.  That is a weird thought to think of; 18 year old missionaries contacting the world.  I feel like this is definitely bigger then just giving more people the opportunity to serve.  Yes, more people now have to chance, but I believe this means that the church needs thousands of more missionaries in the coming months.  The work is moving forward rapidly, now we just need to missionaries to keep up with the growth.  And this is a solution from the Lord for building his Kingdom up faster.  I look forward to seeing more sister missionaries serving because they bring a personality to the mission that no young man can bring!  It should be exciting!

Conference weekend was super fun!  The English speaking missionaries met at the Stake Center to watch the sessions in English!  I don't think a Conference has impacted me as much as this conference did!  My favorite talk was given by President Uchtdorf during the first session.  I really liked how he spoke about happiness and enjoying the journey, not the end.  Alot of people look forward to a point in the future and say in that moment they will truly be happy.  But when the point becomes reality, they aren't happy and feel kind of empty.  Looking at this, we as missionaries kind of do the same thing.  When P-day, Zone Conference, Food, Rain, Transfers, Baptisms, Meetings, Sleep, or whatever it might be comes, we say to ourselves, "This is when I will be really happy and love it!"  However, these moments come and go, and guess what?  We don't feel that happiness we thought we would.  So just a President Uchtdorf said, we need to find the happiness in the journey and in the small little things that happen everyday.  We can find happiness in smiles of investigators, commits kept, feelings of the spirit, visits with members, free food, sleep, revelation, or whatever it might be!  All around us we have the opportunity to be happy, we just need to stop and look for it!  I challenge you to look back each day and ponder on what made you happy!  Set back and enjoy the ride rather then always look toward the finish line!  I know that as you do this, you will be happier and see the beauty of God's hands in our lives!  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Jensen

P.S.  Elder Sweeney is in the Picture.  He goes home tomorrow and was a very good friend in the mission.

 Hey sorry I couldn't figure out how to turn the bowling picture. -Kimberly

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Hello Everyone!

This past week has gone by so fast, I honestly can't remember what has happened the past 7 days.  Next Wednesday is transfers, so my companion says I have what they call "Transfer Fever."  A lot of missionaries get it at the end of the transfer where things just blur together, time seems to stop, and people are starting to think into next transfer.  I've been in Gurabo for 3 transfers now, so I have no idea if I will be transferred to a new area or not.  So I'm trying hard to to speculate because whatever happens the lord is in it.

But anyways, let's see... last Wednesday night, we had Elder Cornish from the Area Presidency come and speak to investigators in Santiago.  It was so cool!!!  I think I learned more then my investigators.  About teaching, testifying, and how to discern spiritual truths.  He used the example about his black book of Mormon.  He told us all he thought it was red.  Some people agreed, but the majority of us were set on the fact it was black!  He explained this is like spiritual truths.  No matter how many people might say its a different "color", the color is always black.  People in the world might try to change the "color" of spiritual truths, but its impossible!  The color will always be black like Elder Cornish's Book of Mormon.  It is impossible to change God's laws or truths!!  The world might try to convince us its a different color, but we need to stand up and show the world the real color of the truth!  Always strive to be a bearer of truth and showing the world the real color of truth!  It was a really good devotional!

Our investigators are really progressing right now!  Bienvenido and his family are trying hard to find their testimonies and commit to a baptism date!  Rafi is progressing and we're working hard to help him keep the word of wisdom!  Melissa and Robin are starting to feel that hunger for a knowledge of the gospel like Enos in the Book Of Mormon!  Overall, I'm being very blessed by the lord to teach some amazing children of our Father in Heaven and helping Christ rescue some of his lost sheep!

I have to 9 words to describe the first 6 months of my mission:  Missionary Work is hard, but I Absolutely LOVE IT!! This first six months of my mission have been full of wonder experiences, blessings, and times where I've grown up spiritually, mentally, and physically.  The first six months have been amazing, and I look forward to the next 18!!  I know this work is a marvelous work, and I know with all my heart this is where I need to be!  Thank you all for the love, support, prayers, and letters in my behalf!  I love you so very much!  

Elder Jensen