Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another week...

Hello Family and Friends!

This past week has been a very interesting week indeed!  We got invited over and had a wonder Thanksgiving feast, a new companion, and a week of really hot weather!

So last Thursday for Thanksgiving, my companion, the Zone Leaders, and I went over to a guy named Lazurus for Dinner!  I can sum it up in about a sentence.  A home-made thanksgiving dinner away from home!  We had yummy turkey, stuffing, potatoes, rice, chocolate cake, icecream, juice, greens beans, and stuff.  Need less to say, I ate probably more last Thursday then I've eaten in one meal my whole entire mission.  It's no wonder the Americans can only eat like that one day a year.  I'll send pictures next week because I don't have a ton of time today!  But it was a very enjoyable experience.  Not like being at home, but pretty home like for being on the mission.

We are continuing our efforts with our investigators.  This past week has been kind of difficult to make any progression because I'm showing my companion the area, appointments fail, and different circumstances haven't allowed us to visit alot of them, but hopefully this week.  Sister Douglas said they are hoping to have a very white Christmas this year.  We really can't have snow here, but a dreamy white Christmas with all the investigators and missionaries dressed in white on 22 of December for baptisms.  As of now, my companion and I have 2 baptisms planned this day, but we definitely hope to have alot more this coming week!  I guess we'll see what Heavenly Father has in plan for our investigators.

They finally started to remodel the building we will meet in for the Gurabo Branch.  The new rumor is in the middle of January is the earliest we can start meeting there.  I don't think that the Branch will really start thriving until after the move.  It's just too hard travel for the members, but the Presidency is doing their best.  Funny story, President Rodriguez is coming to Salt Lake to see his sister's wedding on December 16.  Maybe you'll run into him, haha!

This week is going along and next week is about ready to get started.  Things continue to progress forward and I find that in one way or another the Lord always provides.  I'm starting to learn the blessings of more fervent prayer and how just little prayers of thanks in our hearts can make all the difference!  Prayer is direct communication with our Heavenly Father.  He never will hang up or get tired of our pleas for strength or help.  He wants us to turn to him and pour our hearts to him.  I know that God hears every prayer of his children.  He is ready to listen, so don't be afraid to tell him everything!  From, a quick "thank you" prayer to a "all the energy of soul" prayer, Heavenly Father is always attentive and has advice for our situations!  I challenge each of you to pray a little more often and have a conversation with him, not a quick written letter!  I promise that you will be happier and see Heavenly Father's hands in more in the small things and big things of life.  I'm so grateful I can pray to my God for every aid, question, and "venting" situation.  I know he is there to listen, so just speak!  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Elder Jensen

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving...

Hello Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm so very grateful for everyone supporting me and reading my emails!  This past week has been full of things to do, and I look forward to telling you about them.

Up first, my new companion!  Elder Gomera finished his mission, so I received a new companion and I'm showing him the area, here in Gurabo.  His name is Elder Rosales and he is from the country of Peru!  He is in my same starting group, so he has around 6 months because I had 6 more weeks in the MTC.  He seems really nice, but a little shy.  I will definitely change that!  We have alot of work in head of us these next six weeks, so I hope he likes to work hard, haha!

On Friday morning, we continued our work helping that children's school.  We counts thousands of Christmas Cards that the children had drawn and they copied.  Did I say thousands???  Good, I thought so.  I never want that as a desk job.  It was fun, but only the first time.  I do enjoy giving service!

Saturday was an awesome day!!  We had two baptisms!  The family we have been teaching so hard finally hit some success.  Bienvenido wasn't able to bet married, but two of his daughters did.  Last Sunday, we were talking about Mosiah 18 and one of the daughters said, "the time of yes or no to baptism has long since past.  I want to be baptized on Saturday."  Elder Gomera and I looked at each other then said, "We're glad you've arrived at that answer."  Then her sister said she was ready too!  So there it is, two somewhat unexpected baptisms, but I'm so, so happy they decided to be baptized.  Now, we're working to get their parents married, and the wife to share with us, so the rest of the family can be baptized and then sealed in the temple in a year.  Yep, the church is true.

This past week has been really fun!  I know this church is true and that missionary work is awesome!  Serving Heavenly Father in the Dominican Republic is really rewarding and challenging.  I'm learning so much, and I'm grateful for my family and all the blessings I've received in my life.  This week is Thanksgiving, so I hope we can all be a little bit more grateful for what we have, and not worry about what we don't have.  Happy Thanksgiving, and good luck on Black Friday!

Elder Jensen

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Hello Everyone!!

This past week has been a very busy week.  I can't believe that Wednesday is already here!  We've had service projects, Zone Conferences, and all sorts of stuff.

So last Thursday we had Zone Conferences with Elder Cornish.  Amazing!!  We learned about the importance of the first lesson and how to teach "God is our loving Heavenly Father" first because everything leads back to that.  If people don't know we have a Father in Heaven, they won't believe the Plan, Prophets, The Atonement, scriptures, the church, everything.  If people don't realize we have a God who loves each one of us individually and personally, what is the point of all of this?  We also learned about teaching people and not lessons.  The mission has tons of investigators, but few baptisms; so Elder Cornish talked about why that's happening.  We need to have the spirit in the lessons, and that only comes if we teach the people and not the lessons.  President Douglas also talked about the responsibility we need to have with all the changes in the mission.  We so many new missionaries in the coming months, we will again have 4 man houses, and alot of missionaries will be training, so we must prepare for that.  Overall, I was very happy with Zone Conferences and I learned a ton!

Friday morning we did a service project at a school.  They want to use more of the school and maybe involve us missionaries more.  So we spent the morning cleaning this huge school house.  It was in the downtown, old part of Santiago, so it was a really old building and pretty cool!  My group was in charge of cleaning the side patio of the building.  After about an hour and a half we got it all clean and then they starting dropping trees off the roof, so that all went down the tube.  But we cleaned it up all again and made it look really nice!  I had a really good time and got to meet alot of new missionaries.  Go service!

The branch in Gurabo is really starting to take shape.  Callings are being made and the leaders of the branch all want our help.  They are asking for addresses of investigators, when they can do exchanges, who needs the Primary, who needs the Relief Society, who need this or that.  Honestly, I love it!  I don't know what to do with it all!  I really have a testimony that this branch will be one of the strongest wards in Santiago in a few years.

As far as investigators go, we are really working hard with a few families.  Hopefully I will have some news in the coming weeks.  We've also been trying to find some more.  Funny story, with the division of the ward/branch we lost 4 families to the other Elders.  They were complaining that it's too far from their house and the mission president said they just received 4 really good families for free and not complain.  Haha, I thought that was funny because I was really sad to tell them we couldn't teach them anymore.  They really are 4 really good families.

The work continues to push forward here in Gurabo!  I know this church is true and that Christ is our savior and redeemer!  This Christmas let us look for Christ more in our lives.  I encourage you all to read the December Ensign or Liahona, they're just absolutely loaded with amazing Christmas stories.  I know that as you look for Christ in Christmas, you'll find he's already found you.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Elder Jensen

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Hello Everyone!

First off to answer some questions about the mission, and how the new branch in Gurabo is doing.  My companion Elder Gomera is finishing his mission in 2 weeks, so I will be getting a new companion and staying in Gurabo until at least the beginning of the year.  He is a really good companion and I've learned so much from him.  The branch is officially in its second week as a branch of the church.  They are still finishing a small local place to meet in, so we are still meeting in the chapel of Los Jardines.  This branch has about 98 members, with about 30 active.  Just enough, that the missionaries don't have to teach, or participate heavily in the running of the branch.  I believe that within 3 years this branch will be one of the strongest wards in Santiago.  The leaders of the ward have a strong desire to work and help us missionaries to build up the kingdom of god in this small little section of Santiago.  Oh, I'm so excited to help this branch.  We had a meeting last night with the leaders of the branch and came up with some really bold goals, and plans to strengthen and build this branch.  I love missionary work!!

This past week has just rolled into another week from last week.  I honestly felt like yesterday was last P-day.  Josphina is continuing her streak of not smoking and is really helping us out missionary efforts.  We've received over 5 referrals from her in the last week alone.  Our investigators are continuing to progress, but it seems that whenever we take a few steps forward, Satan is there pushing them back.  Failed citas, unkempt commitments, an nonacceptance of not changing, etc. is really keeping our investigators from progressing more.  But, if they are unable to have faith and prevail against these trials, they will not most likely be able to prevail against harder ones in the future.  As we continue to have faith against the storms of life, God will give us the strength to continue to prevail against the bigger storms that come our way.  However without faith, we can't calm the stormy sea, or walk on the water.  Faith in our Heavenly Father's plan and the knowledge of his son's atonement is the fuel that can power our testimonies through the most trying of circumstances.  We just need to take a step back and realize God has his hands in our lives.  Tenga Fe!

Have a good week everyone and thank you for all the support and prayers!

Elder Jensen