Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas...

Hola everyone!

Well, this past week has been full of lots of changes.  I'm currently writing this email from the city of La Vega in my mission.  There's about 26 missionaries in La Vega, and 6 missionaries in the ward I'm in right now, so it's been fun.  Elder Farnsworth is a great guy and we're really having a good time.  He loves technology, movies, ice cream, and sleeping; so what else could I ask for in a temporary companion, haha.  I've enjoyed being a regular missionary again and doing the missionary things like teaching, walking, and sweating all day in the hot sun; it's really been a great couple of days.  However, I constantly receive calls from the mission office asking for help or questions on clarifying how things are suppose to go.  So, I guess you could say I've left the office, but the office hasn't left me, haha.

Did I tell you guys I'm a famous singer in the Dominican Republic now?  Well, not really, but I guess I'm going to be on TV here.  I arrived last Wednesday night to this area and Elder Farnsworth told me that the branch was preparing a charity event/choir recital for the public.  That sounded fun, so I decided to jump on board and participate.  Well, as it turns out it was a public charity event and a news company is funding it to play on TV all next week.  That means that I'll be on TV as a choir member in this 2 hour Christmas special of "Voces de Navidad."  It was taped last night and people said that the choir and orchestra did a good job, so I guess we'll find out when we see it next week.  All of us laugh a little bit though because it was a choir full of Dominicans with 3 Americans in the center of the choir singing; we stuck out like a sore thumb!  However, it was a fun experience and I was happy I participated.

So, mission life is growing great!  I'm happy I'm back out into the field and I'm able to teach more people now.  Being a missionary is great and I'm grateful that I decided to serve a mission.  It hasn't always been easy, but I'm grateful for the support, strength, and love I receive from Heavenly Father and all my family and friends.  I know that God lives.  He loves us and wants us to be happy!  If we do our part, I testify that God will always do his.  I hope that we can all remember that; and not just in the hard times of life.  I know that Christ lives and he's our savior.  I love this time of year when we can celebrate Christmas and realize what is important in life.  I'm so excited I can skype my family next Wednesday and celebrate Christmas with them.  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have a great week everyone and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Love,
Elder Jensen

3 Weeks left in 2013...

Hola Everyone!

It sounds like everyone is doing great!  I'm excited to know that things are going well and that everyone seems to be happy.  Christmas is approaching quickly and I'm excited to talk with the family and celebrate Christ's Birth.  I'm still opening a present everyday from the family and my companion and I have a fun time trying to figure all of them out!  Thanks for all the support and love this Christmas season!

Well, things for Elder Jensen are about to change really quickly.  Three elders are going home on December 19th to be home for Christmas and get ready for college.  So, that leaves 3 empty spaces in companionships.  That means that Pres. Douglas decided to send me and Elder Astacio out into the field to fill some of these spaces.  This means that I'll be out of the office now, and I'll spend Christmas some where new.  That changes my plans a little bit, but I'm excited to get back into the field and be a "full-time" missionary again!  The plan is that I'll head to La Vega next week and be with a new missionary named Elder Farnsworth.  He's a funny elder, and President Douglas and I figured that it'd be good for him and me to spend Christmas together as temporary companions.

After spending the last two weeks of this transfer in La Vega I'll head out to my final area on the first of January.  It's not 100% set in stone, but President Douglas said he's planning on sending me out to open a new area in a little town called Nagua on the north-east coast of the country.  There's 6 missionaries already out there, but I'm assigned to serve and help out one of the wards that is struggling.  I'm very excited to serve in that area and train a new missionary too!  It should be a fun experience to finish up my mission like that!  Guess we'll see how it all happens, haha!

Big changes are coming up soon!  I'm grateful for the opportunity I've had to serve in the mission office.  I've learned a lot about "grown-up" work, working with others, and the system of an office.  But, I'm very excited to head out to the field again and be focused 24/7 on finding people to teach and inviting all people to follow Jesus Christ.  As we live from day to day, there's always something that needs to be done.  It might be working, shopping, cleaning, etc., but I've found that spending time with people we care about brings the most happiness out of anything.  During my time in the office I've been busy doing a lot of "temporal" things.  But, the times where I've taught less-actives, helped out other missionaries, and seen Carolina get baptized are the times I remember most about these last couple of months.  In the end of it all, the most enjoyable and memorable experiences we'll have in life will where we did something to or with someone we cared about.  I'm grateful for this opportunity to serve the Dominican people and be a missionary!  I know this church is true, and that God's Plan is to help us be eternally happy with the people we care about.  I challenge everyone this coming year to take a little bit more time out of life and use it to make the day of someone we care about.  I know that pretty soon we'll find our lives a little bit happier and brighter too!  I know it's true, because I've seen it for myself.  I know we'll all be happier if we take the time.  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have a great week everyone!  Happy Holidays.

Love,
Elder Jensen

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter (Rainy) Wonderland...

Hola everyone!

Wow!  I can't believe that we're already 7 days into December.  It's also weird to think that Mitchell is coming home next Thursday and that he's already finishing up his mission.  But, I guess that is what happens after two years and I hope he has a good homecoming to his family.  Also, it sounds like all the family is doing well and staying pretty busy with the Holidays.  Dad said that snow is planned for this week, and it's planned here for this week as well.  However, the planned snow here changes from snow to rain in the atmosphere, so need less to say I'll be planning on lots of rain the next couple of days.  But, it's all good.  It's been a while since it rained.

Well, my training continued this past week with Elder Morey.  He's learning a lot and is starting to get  the hang of how the office works.  He's not the fastest learner, but it's helping me learn a little more patience and we're both having a very fun time with being companions.  He's getting better at driving, so I'm not quite so stressed out anymore while he's behind the wheel, haha.  We've worked on getting the mail system down, church materials, and minutes.  We've just got to keep working on vehicles and cellphones and then I think he'll have it all down.  It's been interesting re-teaching something and trusting that someone else can do it as well as you.  I kind of feel like I did when I had to train new projectionists at Walkers.  But, it will all work out.

Last Sunday my companion and I had a really cool experience.  We had been contacting people all day and were on the verge of just throwing in the towel when we decided to talk to a big-buff guy and his friends about a t-shirt that they (and half of the neighborhood) were wearing.  He answered our question and then said, "Hey, I used to be one of you guys."  I was taken back.  "You mean Mormon?" He responded again, "Yeah I was Mormon 'I will go and do the things which the lord hath commanded for I know that the lord giveth no commandment unto the children save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he had commanded him'.  Yeah I know a lot about you guys."  My companion and I were completely speechless.  We talked to him a little bit more and turns out he was one of the first baptisms in Santiago.  He joined the church at 14, served a mini mission, was the head of the young men, and was a stake missionary.  We couldn't believe this guy!  Then, he told us what happened: He joined the military about 15 and they completed brain-washed how the thought and it was impossible to stay active.  Good news is that he's left the military and was willing to have us pass by another day.  We put a date and left the man to talking with his friends.  It was really cool that we randomly walked into it!  I definitely feel like the spirit intervened on that one.

So, Thursday night was our follow up visit with that buff guy named Edward.  He was there waiting for us and happy to let us into his home.  We visited, got to know him, and listened to his story.  He told us that he still feels the church is true, but needs a lot of help to change is mind-set from Military form.  I'm really excited though, because he is excited to come back, read his scriptures and attend church.  He even said, "I'm 100% positive in making it to church on Sunday."  I'm hoping that he comes and can starting receiving the gospel blessings in his life again!  These moments make me LOVE missionary work when I find people who are ready and prepared by the lord for me to find and help out!  I hope that this man can repent, come back, and be a leader in the church again.

Well, I know that this church is true and that God allows us to answer people's prayers.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary and help the Dominican people find the gospel of Jesus Christ!  He lives and he wants us to be happy!  The gospel truly blesses families and helps us become eternal families.  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have a great week everyone!  Enjoy all the cold!!

Love,
Elder Jensen

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Happy Black Friday Weekend...

Hola everyone!!

It sounds like that Thanksgiving went well for everyone!  I'm glad that you all got your feel of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and gravy.  I wasn't able to have a "traditional" thanksgiving dinner this year, but I did celebrate the occasion with a yummy chicken sandwich from Wendy's.  I figured that was the most American, bird-meat meal I could get, so I savored every bite.  Yep, thanks Wendy's!

So this past week has been a big week of teaching, patience, and Christmas spirit.  Elder Morey and I have really jumped into training this past week, so I've been trying to teach him alot of stuff.  He's starting to get it, I'm just needing alot of patience while he's trying to grasp ideas, and the process of how things work.  But, he's learning and I think he'll do a good job.  Haha, he's not quite as organized as I am, but I don't think things should get too dis-organized.  We've worked on how cell phones work, the mail system in the mission, and basic usage of computer programs.  He wasn't a big computer person growing up, so we had to learn how to type, use outlook, and excel.  But, it's been a good experience for both of us; so all it well!  Elder Morey is a great missionary and really wants to finish up his last 7 months strong.  So it's been really fun these past couple of days.  Also, I've been listen to 100% Christmas music now, haha.  So I'm really in the spirit of Christmas!

Today was a very special day.  President Douglas assigned me to take a missionary down to the temple in Santo Domingo because a family he had baptized was getting sealed as an eternal family.  I felt very privileged to take him and I was very excited to attend as well; I mean it's been a year and a half.  The session was really good, and I enjoyed the instruction given during the endowment.  It was also really neat to see that family get sealed as well.  I was surprised how simple, yet powerful the sealing ordinance really is!  Witnessing that today has made me that much more excited and committed to making my eternal marriage last into the eternities.  I'm grateful for the gospel and the Plan Heavenly Father has created for us! I know that families are forever and that God has created a way for that to happen.  I know that Jesus Christ is our savior, redeemer, and older brother.  He wants us to succeed and he wants us to be happy.  I hope that we can all remember him during this Christmas season and remember the importance of his life, and what he's done for us!  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Happy Holidays everyone!  Que vaya con Dios.

Love always,
Elder Jensen

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Feliz dia del accion del gracias!!

Hola everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I don't understand why it's so late this year, but I guess the calendar people just wanted to change things up.  So far, my plans here in the DR are nothing too special.  I think I might go to Wendy's to show my gratitude for the American Cheeseburger, but other then that I imagine it'll be a regular, normal, day.  However, I hope all of you enjoy your yummy, turkey filled dinner on Thursday!

Well, this past week was a really busy week for us.  Transfers was last Wednesday, so lots of our week was dedicated to that.  Monday, was kind of like the calm before the storm and we just organized all the stuff for transfers.  Tuesday, the new missionaries got to the mission and we had around 19 missionaries come in.  So, that meant that we had to pick them all up from the bus stop and take them to the mission home.  Well, after that I had to go with Elder Carroll to help a old missionary get his passport situation figured out so he could try to get a flight to go home.  Well, after that mess, we headed back to the mission home and ate dinner with all the new missionaries.  It was tacos!!!  YUMMY!  So that was the first couple of days of this week.

Wednesday was game day and I did the same thing as last time.  I drove the missionaries who were been transferred in Naverrete to and from Santiago.  It was pretty fun and I enjoyed driving President Douglas' car.  But, like last transfer someone got into another fender-bender and messed up my plans for the day.  Luckily, no one got hurt and it wasn't too bad.  But, I hope that this crashing tradition during transfers can come to an end.  Then, I finished off a long transfer day putting minutes on everyone's phone with my companion.  Thus, ends Elder Jensen's stressful transfer week.

Well, speaking of new companions; I just was put with my replacement named Elder Morey.  President Douglas decided it would be easier for everyone in the office if me and him just became companions 24/7 so that's what he did.  He's from Mapleton, UT and has 1 year and 5 months in the mission.  He seems really nice, and he's very energetic to learn and work in the office.  To tell you the truth, he's also a little odd, but I get a good laugh and things have been really fun these last couple of days.  I'm looking forward to spending the Christmas season with him as my companion.  It should be fun, and we'll make the best out of Christmas this year.

So, a lot of my good mission friends went home this past week.  It's interesting to see missionaries that I've worked with, played with, and learned with go home and move on in life.  It's weird to see how quickly time moves forward and how things change constantly.  Change is found everywhere and I think God uses these changes to help us shape our characters and help us on the path of eternal life.  I mean, change happens in the family, in school, in our jobs, in our bodies, in the world, in cultures; seriously, change is something so constant in our lives that "change" is almost the only thing that never changes (hope that makes sense).  It's up to us to accept that change exists and learn from the constant need to adapt and react to these new situations.  I feel like God puts change in our lives to help us grow and realize our constant need of him.  I know that God lives.  He is our loving Heavenly Father who only has our best interest at heart.  He wants us to succeed and he wants up to get up and dust ourselves off when we fall. His plan is perfect and if we have faith in his promises I know we'll always succeed.  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Thanks for all the emails, love, and support everyone!  Have a good Thanksgiving!!

Love, 
Elder Jensen

Weekly email...

Hola Everyone!

Wow!  I can't believe another week has already gone by!  Next Wednesday is transfers, so things are going to be getting really busy starting Monday.  President Douglas wants me to have an opportunity to train a new missionary before I go home, so I'll be training my replacement this upcoming transfer.  I'll have one more transfer in the mission office, then I'll head back out into the field at the beginning of the year and finish my mission training a new missionary!  I'm really excited and it will be a great way to end of my mission service.  So, this next transfer will be a busy transfer teaching someone else how to do my job.

So, the baptism service was good last Saturday.  Carolina got baptized and she seems really happy now!  She's excited to go the temple in a year and be sealed as an eternal family.  Her and Omar need lots of help and lots of preparation, but  I'm confident that they'll be able to make it with the lord's help.  It was a good feeling to see someone else get baptized again.  It helps me realize the importance of what I'm doing here in the Dominican Republic.  I've attached a few photos to this email, so I hope you enjoy them!

So I finished the Peacegiver this past week and it was really good!  I really like how the author pointed out that the Atonement is for us to forgive as well!  He essentially said that Christ comes before us and says, "I've covered your sins, and I've also covered their sins too!  The debt has been paid in full, so let me deal with them and I'll be here to help you."  That is really true.  The lord has paid everyone's debt; not just ours.  He then sets the terms on their repentance, and on ours.  We can't deny someone the ability of the Atonement, because we don't deserve it anymore then they do.  So in reality, we can't judge others and force them to change; because that is exactly what we don't want someone to do to us!  It's important that we do our best to not judge others and rely on the lord to help us change OUR part and leave other people's problems up to him.  Afterall, at the end of the day, salvation is individual.  Someone else can't do our part for us; only Christ can show us the way.  I know that Christ lives and he is our savior.  He the only way we can ever hope to be saved.  He has paid the debt in full and has set the terms for our salvation.  I know that he wants us to succeed and he knows we can do it!  God is our father and he wants us to make it home as well!  I hope we can continue to keep the commandments and show them we are ready and willing to listen.  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have an excellent week everyone!  Que vaya con Dios.

Love,
Elder Jensen

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Happy November...

Hola,
 
This past week was pretty normal without anything out of the ordinary.  Monday, I spent the day at the office catching up on some paperwork.  I also had to put minutes on everybody's phone for the next three weeks.  So with 125 cell phones, it took me a while.  Tuesday, I honestly can't really remember what I did.  I ran some errands with my companion and we took a fridge to an area on the outskirts of Santiago.  Wednesday was the Missionaries' P-Day, so I stayed at the office on an exchange while my companion did his errands.  Since missionaries always stop by on P-days, we always try to have someone there.  Plus, this week the doctors came to the office to give clinics to the missionaries because President Douglas was in Santo Domingo.  Lot's of "sick" missionaries and lots of in-grown toe nails last week.  Yep, missionary health....got to love it!  Thursday and Friday were the weekly mail run days.  I even got a package this week!!  The best part is it arrived on Halloween too!  I was very content with what it contained.  And yesterday, was the "Day of Service" so we helped some members with random house chores.  It was really fun and a good way to spend P-day.  We also attended a baptismal service one of the missionaries were holding.  It was good to see a baptismal service again.  So, as you can see my week was pretty uneventful, but those weeks are good sometimes.

So throughout the week we continued visiting Omar and Carolina.  She seems more attentive, and focused this time around.  She's very excited for her baptism next Saturday and I'm excited for her as well!  She wants to get baptized so bad and make it to the temple to be sealed to her three children that died a few months ago.  My companion and I feel like she's really doing well and can definitely be baptized on Saturday.  It's been hard and it's taken alot of patience on our part, but it'll be totally worth it!  I'm looking forward to Saturday.

I've been reading a little bit this week in Mosiah.  I've read alot of King Benjamin's speech to his people.  It's interesting how the "General Conference" advice given then applies to alot of things today.  We've just had a General Conference and the talks and advice are now available to us in many different forms.  However, I think we can learn and gain knowledge on many of the conferences and broadcasts of church leaders.  Many times we focus on the here and now, but many times the then and was can teach us things we never would have thought.  I hope that as we concentrate on today's world and today's problems we can remember what the past can teach us and how we can learn from all ages of history.  I know that God lives.  He loves us.  I'm grateful for his plan and I know that families are forever.  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have a great week everyone!!  Que vaya con Dios.

Love,
Elder Jensen

Monday, October 28, 2013

Onward, ever Onward...

Hola everyone!

I've been starting to get emails from a couple of friend who have finished the mission.  It's such a weird thought to read about them finishing and the first few days after the mission.  It seems like we all just started serving, but it's quickly passing and life is moving on.  Luckily for me, I still have 5 months to serve the Dominican people.  I think they are great people and I'm so happy I was called to this mission.

So another week has been put into the record books.  It seems like the weeks are starting to blur together, but all the same something interesting always happens.  So let's see...

Monday, was a travel day.  My companion needed to take some things to some missionaries in Naverrete and turn over a house back to its owner.  So, we spent a good portion of the day on the road traveling back and forth between missionaries' houses, and Santiago.  It was fun seeing some of the country side, but I've been there before, so it wasn't anything new.

Tuesday, President and Sister Douglas had missionary interviews at the office.  So that means tons of missionaries in the office which makes any desk work really hard to accomplish.  But, I did get to talk with some of my friends, so that was nice.  I did use President's Honda Pilot for a while because I need to fix a flat tire, and change the front tires too.  Let's just say I've never spent so much money on tires in my life, haha.  But, at least President Douglas shouldn't need new tires any time soon.  The Pilot is an interesting car; I feel like it's a command center or something.

Wednesday, was the P-day for regular missionaries so we try to be at the office to help missionaries who come in and need to talk to us or buy things from the store.  Plus, it was a good "catch-up" day on all the little busy work items we had to do like reports, and stuff.  At night though we taught Omar and Carolina.  She's really starting to progress and is learning so much!  We've set a goal to have her get baptized on November 9.  If she can keep praying, reading, and attending church I'm sure she'll get baptized.  The lesson was a great addition to a boring day. 

Thursday was mail day.  I spent pretty much the whole day driving around Santiago getting mail and doing errands for the AP's.  I ended up getting a package for the ward which was very cool!  They sent a bunch of trail mix and other goodies and some blank Christmas cards.  Not exactly sure what they are for, but it was a fun gift!

Friday, was a busy day.  All the mission leaders were in for a meeting and I was organizing mail.  And of course they all need something after the meeting.  It's funny how someone always wants something "now" when you're right in the middle of something else.  I think I finally understand Mom and Dad when they'd get upset when we'd bug them when they were working on something, haha.  Sorry Mom and Dad!  But, I got all the mail sent off, and nobody left angry so I thinks that's a good sign.

Saturday (today), has been a pretty chill day.  To tell you the truth I've actually been kind of lazy today.  We cleaned up the house and just chilled there until now.  Now, we're chilling in the office in the land of A/C.

So, that's been the week of Elder Jensen.  It's full of many adventures and lots of work.  I know this gospel is true and I love being a missionary!  Jesus Christ lives and he is our savior.  He knows us each personally and can walk with us when no one else can.  This is his church and we should all go forward sharing this wonderful gospel with others.  I hope we can all be examples of the believers and do some good!  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have an excellent week everyone!!  Que vaya bien.

Love,
Elder Jensen

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Weekly letter...

Hola Everyone!

It sounds like everyone had a pretty good week and enjoyed the fall break this past week!  I'm glad that everything is going well and that life continues going forward!  It's fun to read, and hear about all the fun activities that are going on in the family.

Well, as for me I can't say that I've had a super exciting week.  After all the stuff that happened the previous week, I was pretty sure that nothing could really top that.  And to tell you the truth, I'm glad that nothing did, haha....

Let's see.  We've been busy trying to get this next transfer underway helping send out church supplies, things for the houses, and making sure everything is going the way it should.  A new office missionary couple just arrived that will become the new secretaries and we've been really busy helping them.  We all laugh because they are in their 70's and Sis. Carroll has never left the US before.  Need less to say, it's been a little humorous to see her try to adjust to this country.  Especially the driving, hospitals, and overall Dominican attitude about things.  We've constantly had to tell her to relax and just go with what happens and adjust to how things are done.  It's actually been quite an interesting experience.  Senior missionaries bring a maturity level, and attitude that we just can't bring the office as young missionaries.  But, it's also very different too.

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about the idea of "just roll with it" or "when you get lemons, make lemonade" or "stuff happens" or as Joseph Wirthlin said, "Come what may and love it."  I know that there are hundreds of different ways, but every way essentially says the same thing.  Lot's of things (or events) happen that we don't expect and we need to just keep moving forward and make the best of what we have.  It sounds alot easier saying one of these phrases then actually living it in day to day life.  I myself have been upset, angry, and frustrated when things happen or something doesn't go as planned.  I like to plan for things and I want everything to go as planned and everyone will be happy.  Well, the mission has helped me realize one very hard lesson:  Things happen, and we're suppose to deal with it.  Many plans, ideas, and events have fallen through, and lots of things happen that are out of control.  It hasn't been easy for me to learn, but I'm starting to understand what Elder Wirthlin said when he mentioned, "Come what may and love it."  We can't control the universe or the will of others.  But we can control us, and if we are happy or not.  We have the option to laugh or to be grateful, happy, giving, etc.  No one else but us can choose our attitude about life.  I really like the promise that god gives us in D&C 101:16  "Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning [my life] for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God."  If we can be still, we'll be able to see God's hand in everything.  Through his love and grace we can be have the attitude of"Come what may and love it."  I know it's not easy, but it God's plan for us and he'll help us make it to the end!  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have an excellent week everyone!  I look forward to hearing how things go!  Thank you for all the love, prayers, emails, and support!  It's means alot.

Love,
Elder Jensen

P.S. These pictures our by a little lake in the mountains by a town called Mao.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Crazy...

Hola everyone!

I honestly don't really know where to begin this week.  So much has happened and I can't keep my mind straight over all of it.  We had transfers, office work, a missed baptism, and just alot of stuff.  So hopefully I can keep it all straight and you guys understand.

So Monday was kind of like the calm before the storm.  There was really a whole lot of things to do.  I was just organizing and trying to make sure all the things from my part was ready for the new missionaries.  So there's Monday....

Tuesday!  We had 23 new missionaries arrive the mission on Tuesday.  Once we got them all from the bus stop to the mission home, we helped get them all settled in you could say.  I told them my part about mail, phones, and materials; and everyone else talked about their thing.  Then, I just kind of chilled at the Mission Home all day and helped Sister Douglas with preparing dinner.  And let me tell you, those tacos sure were yummy!!

Wednesday was absolutely crazy!!  We got up early and headed to the Mission Home at 6:30 to begin transfers.  There we picked up the new missionaries and took them to our "Central" area of transfers. My job during transfers was to be the "taxi" for all the missionaries serving in the Naverrete Zone.  An office elder and I were "co-pilots" and headed to Naverette to pick up the leaving missionaries from their houses.  Then back to Santiago to the "Central" area.  There we picked up the missionaries who were headed to Naverette.  It was all going pretty smoothly and we were almost done until I got a call from one of the driver's saying he got into an accident.  That was not a phone call I ever wanted to hear.  Turns out he hit a motorcycle in President Douglas' car.  So of course with cars being my responsibility I started trying to sort that problem out (Don't worry.  It wasn't a bad accident).  Well, as I'm on the way there I get another call from another elder telling me he had been arrested and was detained at the police station for supposedly running a red light.  (So I imagine what you're thinking, and it wasn't too bad.  They only had him confined to the Police Station, not in any cell or anything).  So after that phone call I had to change plans and try to get an accident figured out and bail this other elder out of jail.  Needless to say, last Wednesday just wasn't my day...but luckily I got it all worked out.
Thursday was a little bit better, but still pretty hectic.  I spent the first part of the day trying to resolve all of these car problems.  Finally, we got the ticket paid for the red light; and the accident sorted out with the police, insurance, and the church fleet coorinator in Santo Domingo.  However, in the afternoon things changed again.  We had a lesson with Omar and Carolina about her baptism.  We told her that we just don't feel like she's quite ready to be baptized and needs some more time to prepare.  She's not quite sure about her testimony and relies alot on her husband.  Well, she was angry at us for trying to change her baptism date and cancelling her baptism today.  However, she continued on optimistic...

Fast forward to Friday afternoon.  I'm working in the office doing the mail and she comes in with her husband.  She turns to me and says, "Um, I don't think we can meet on Sunday anymore.  And I'm not going to keep coming to church.  You guys have really destroyed my desire to get baptized."  That was terrible!  I was so sad after that.  For one, it proved she honestly was ready to get baptized.  But two, she doesn't have the faith to keep moving forward and blames us for trying to help her.  It was just another thing to add to the pile of life this week.  But, she's going to talk to the bishop so I hope that helps her out.  Hopefully, this all works out this her.

So, that was Elder Jensen's crazy week in the Dominican Republic.  Transfers, accidents, and a failed baptism is alot is one week.  However, it's helped me handle stressful situations and prepare for time like these that will happen throughout my life.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to have this mission experience and all the things that I'm learning.  Honestly, the mission is great and I love it!  I know that Heavenly Father lives and he loves each one of us.  His son, Jesus Christ is our savior and he will always be there to walk next to us in our hardest moments.  I love this gospel and I am grateful for my testimony.  I hope all is well and that we can all remain strong is our testimonies and follow our older brother.  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have a great week everyone!  Hope that everything continues to go well!  Que vaya con Dios.

Love, 
Elder Jensen

Weekly email...

Hola everyone!

Sorry I didn't write yesterday, but I guess with conference, transfers, and missionary work I just didn't find the time.  But, I'm glad that I have the opportunity to write today in between conference sessions.

So, I wish that I had a ton to write about this week, but I regret to say I really don't.  It's the week before transfers, so we've been really busy with things.  You might say that's exciting, but honestly it's been the same thing everyday.  We've rented and prepared 4 houses for missionaries, I've visited the cellphone company for more cellphones for these new areas, and I put together and sent all the mail to all the zones.  It doesn't seem like a whole lot, but some how all of our time seems to slip out the window.

I didn't realize how complicated the transfer process is until I was assigned to the office.  Everyone person has assignments that must be done in order for everything happen smoothly.  We have to prepare for the new missionaries, send off the old ones, and make sure the ones in the middle are happy and get to where they need to go.  Transfer day isn't until this Wednesday, but we've been really busy already getting things ready for the past week and a half.  It's sure a big deal and lot's of planning to do transfers for an entire mission.  I just can't even imagine how the Missionary Department feels with 80,000 missionaries to work with.

Conference Weekend!!  I can't believe this is my last Conference in the mission.  Seeing conference as a missionary has really changed my view on the importance of conference.  Before the mission I was like, "so it's conference...that means no church and sleeping on the couch."  I definitely took the significance of conference, living in Utah, and watching it at home for granted.  Here in the DR I've learned what conference is, I'm really far from Utah, and I have to go to the nearest stake center to watch it.  It's a big eye opener to see how blessed I am to have been raised with parents who watched conference, and the opportunity to attend it in Salt Lake too.  I hope we can all realize how blessed we are to have this blessing and to hear our prophet's voice every six months.  It's a great spiritual boost to help us in these hard times.  Conference can definitely change our lives, but only if we let it.  I know this church is true and there are living prophets, seers, and revelators on the world today.  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have a great week everyone and remember to live what we learned at Conference!

Love,
Elder Jensen

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Road trip...

Hola Everyone!!

So, this past week has been a fairly regular week.  I've helped my companion with moving missionaries, I've serviced some cars, did the weekly mail run, and tried to get all the mission materials organized.  However, Thursday was a pretty fun day!  We went on a Santo Domingo Road Trip!!  The mission has 2 new missionary couples coming in the next couple of weeks, so I had to go down to Santo Domingo and pick up 2 new trucks from the Area Offices.  It was fun to see the country and the "big city" again.  We didn't have time to visit the temple, but we did go inside and sit down for a little bit.  Then, on the way home we stopped at KrispyCreme Donuts and had a very delicious "full america" donut dinner.  Overall, really fun trip the the country's capitol.  Other then that little burst of excitement this week has been a regular, uneventful week.

So the couple I mentioned last week is doing great!  Yesterday afternoon, they went to the civil offices and got married legally.  So, Carolina's baptism is still on track for October 12th.  They seem really happy, and the deep sorrow of losing their kids is being lost in the joy of gospel and the knowledge of Eternal Families.  This couple is really doing well!  Hopefully, they continue like this for the rest of their lives.  It'll be a great experience to see this couple one day be reunited with their children.

Well, as of yesterday I have 6 more months until my mission ends.  As I've thought of the past 18 months, I've realized the amazing experience I've had.  I have see things, done things, and learned things in these short 18 months that I never would have imagined possible.  I've witnessed the hand of God, I've seen the mighty change of heart, and I've grown to have a deeper gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  It's a weird thought to see how fast 18 months has gone by, and I look forward to seeing what Heavenly Father has in store for me during my final 6 months.  Serving a mission has been an amazing experience and I'm grateful that I'm a missionary!  I love this work and I love what I'm doing!  Being bold and sharing my testimony of this gospel is the best way to build my faith in God's promises and show him I love him.  I know God lives and he loves each one of us.  This church is true and President Monson is God's prophet on the earth today!  I testify of these things, en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have a great week everyone!  And good luck with everything!!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Jensen

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Office job...



Hola everyone!


This past week has been a very busy week for my companion and I.  Things in the office are just really busy right now.  We have the 2 assistants, 2 secretaries, and us.  But, it seems even with all 6 of us we can't keep up with sick missionaries, housing problems, and our regular responsibilities.  It's just a whirl-wind of exchanges, errands, and busy-ness  However, we seem to be finding a little more time to relax now that all of it is taken care of.  I have to say that the most interesting thing that happened to me at the office this week was defending on vehicle needs with a guy in Santo Domingo.  He was insisting that we needed to turn in one of our mission vehicles, but I said no.  We need the extra truck and I couldn't give it up.  Well, he tried pushing me around because I'm only 20, but I wouldn't let him.  So eventually, we came to terms that I'd give him the old truck he wanted, but he'd give me the new truck (for the incoming couple missionaries) a 3 weeks early.  So, it's been interesting doing grown-up things and having to demonstrate that I can be "grown-up."

So, my companion and I preparing for a baptism in 3 weeks.  We're teaching a couple who's really had a very hard life.  The man is a "less-active" RM and his wife isn't a member.  Well, about 1 month ago, they left for different errands and their house caught on fire.  The saddest part is that their 3 kids were left inside and died.  It's been really hard on our ward.  The miracle about this though, is that this couple knows and understands god's plan for us.  They really want to get sealed in the temple and have the knowledge that they can be with their kids again.  It's been a painful process, I'm sure, but I think it's helped Omar and Carolina realize God's Plan and the importance of the gospel.  So, my companion and I have a lot of work in head of us.

Well, not much else is new in my life.  I'm doing well and enjoying what I'm doing.  I know that I'm where I need to be and I'm doing exactly what I should be doing.  I know this church is true and I know that god lives.  Shall we not go on is so great a cause?  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

I'm going to send a bunch of pictures showing alittle of what I do and such.  Hope you enjoy!!

Have a great week everyone!!

Love,
Elder Jensen

Pictures!!!









 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekly email...

Hola Everyone!

It sounds like things are going great back at home, and everyone is getting into the routine with school, work, and cheer.  I'm glad that all is well and everyone is doing great! 

So this past week has been a pretty slow week you could say.  I've been doing my thing at the office, trying to get the hang of all my responsibilities.  I've visited Claro a few times with cell phone issues.  I've had to get 2 mission vehicles serviced and fix.  And I've done the "mail run" for the week as well.  It always seems that I find something that needs to be done.  My companion had to go to La Vega to find an apartment for a missionary couple that's coming, so that was fun.  Then today we had to go and take money to a sick missionary in a little town call Mao.  So, it's an interesting experience being an office Elder.

I really don't have a ton to say today.  It's been a kind of regular week as you can say.  I've been meeting some members and getting to know the area of Pueblo Nuevo.  It's a very small ward for being the Stake Center.  The attendance level is about 60-70, and the members are just going through the motions right now.  I hope that we can help them get up and going and be the example for the Stake that they represent.  So, I guess we'll see what happens.

Well, missionary work is awesome!  I love what I'm doing and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I've been given to serve a mission.  It hasn't always been easy, but it's always been worth it!  I'm learning alot about me, life, and how to always push forward with faith.  I know this church is true, and that God lives.  He's our loving Heavenly Father who always wants us to succeed.  I testify that God is always our friend!  He loves us and we should always love him.  Jesus Christ is our savior, and I know he's always ready to walk beside us and carry us if necessary.  All we need to do is ask.  Luckily, as a missionary I've been given the opportunity to share my testimony and invite everyone to ask him!  Thanks for all the love, support, and prayers from everyone!  I love you!  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have a great week everyone!  Que vaya con Dios.

Love always,
Elder Jensen

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Not a letter...just a question...

Nathaniel Anderson... If you happen to read this post, Elder Jensen would like your email. Just put it in the comment box and I will make sure he gets it. Thanks.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Weekly email...

Hola Everyone,

I can't believe that Saturday has already rolled around!  This week sure went quickly and I've been very busy.  But, it feels good to out and about after a week at the hospital.

So for my first full week at the Mission Office, I was very busy.  After week in the hospital, I had a little catching up to do.  So let's see...
Monday-I headed to the office and entered package reports and organized mission materials.  We also had run errands with my companion.
Tuesday-New missionaries came to a meeting and I had to help them receive all training materials.  Also, my companion and I had to go to a couple of missionaries' houses to check construction status.
Wednesday-Pretty slow day.  I ate at Wendy's.  Yummy.
Thursday-I picked up mail and packages from the different mail businesses.  Then in the afternoon my companion and I had to visit Puerto Plata and work with some missionary houses.  I pretty much just tagged along.  But, I SAW THE OCEAN!!!
Friday-I spent the day organizing mail to go to the missionaries and then a couple of errands for Pres. Douglas.
Saturday (Today)-P-day.  Good day to relax.
So all in all, that's my first full week of the office.  I have a feeling all the weeks will start looking the same.  But, I'm enjoying life; especially the A/C, haha.


So, missionary life in an office is a lot different then regular work.  I'm busy doing "non" missionary things like: visiting businesses, traveling to missionary's area around the mission, calling people, organizing mail, talking with the cell phone company, and just other random jobs that President Douglas needs or comes up.  It's an enjoyable learning experience to grow and gain knowledge of doing "grown up" things, but I'm learning something much more valuable in return.  I feel like the biggest thing I'm learning is maintaining my spirituality in a non-spiritual atmosphere.  I'm trying hard to find time to read my scriptures, pray, and share the gospel when at times I can't seem to find time to do so.  I'm learning how to continue strong in my calling and balance an "office job" at the same time.  I love this priceless experience that I'm learning that will help me prepare for my future as a working husband, father, and latter-day saint.  It's not easy to maintain your testimony and spirituality when you're very busy doing "worldly things," but we can do both and enjoy our time in the service and love of the master.  I wouldn't trade learning this for anything; Because I know that it'll help me learn to rely on my Heavenly Father and his son during the busy, hard, and "worldly" times in my life.  I know he lives and loves each and every one of us.  We are his heirs, and I know that we can return as families and live with God forever.  This church is true and Missionary work is awesome!  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have a good week everyone!!  Thanks for the continued love and support!!

Love,
Elder Jensen

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hello from Freedom...

Hola Everyone,

As I'm sure everyone knows, I've been in the hospital since last Monday with Dengue Fever.  They finally let me leave this morning, so I spent almost 6 days in the hospital.  It was a long week of fevers, low blood pressure, vomiting, terrible food, and just overall "Blgh."  I'm really feel tons better now and am glad I'm past the fever.  I'm still weak, and I've lost lots a weight, but I'm happy and just enjoying being a freeman from that hospital room too!

So I wish I had lots of new, exciting things to tell everyone about my assignment in the office, but you'll have to wait until next Saturday because I really didn't get around to doing it.  Being stuck in the hospital really slowed things up.  However, my new companion, Elder Astacio, is a stud and helped me out with some of my responsibilities while I was in the hospital.  So, I'm very grateful I didn't get too behind!

Well, that's how my week went.  Spent the past 6 days in the hospital with Dengue Fever.  I'm made it, and I'm doing well!  Thanks for the love and prayers everyone!  It was a very different week of my mission and I'm looking forward to a "slower" week.  

Have a great week everyone!!

Love,
Elder Jensen

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Happy Thursdaay...

Sorry for the delay in the post.

Hola Everyone!

Well, it's weird to think today is Thursday, because it honestly feels like Wednesday today.  Yesterday was Zone Conferences, so I'm having my P-day today instead.  Oh, this will probably be my last "middle of the week" P-day for a long time.  Because starting next Wednesday (Transfers) I'll be in the office "officially."  And the office elders' P-days are on Saturdays, so long story short: my P-days will be on Saturdays now.

Well, this past week has been a pretty regular week for me. I've continued my training in the office, mastered Dominican Driving, and walked around in the sun.  We've continued teaching the same investigators and trying to help them progress.  However, I feel we take 5 steps forward and 3 steps back, but I feel like the lord is helping us and touching the hearts of our investigators.

So yesterday was Zone Conferences with Elder Anderson.  It was really good!!  Pres. and Sis. Douglas talked about the importance of teaching families and how we need to focus our efforts on getting people to the temple.  Pres. and Sis. Anderson talked about sacrifice.  Sister Anderson said something I really like.  She said, "We should sacrifice our best to the lord, because he wants to give us something better: Eternal Life."  Sometimes we think we are sacrificing  too much; 2 years, 10%, 2 meals; 3 hours; etc.  But compared to Eternal life, what are we really losing?  I know it's not always easy to sacrifice for the lord.  I'd be a hypocrite if I said it was.  However, I believe it's where our hearts are that really matters in the end.  Our we trying to be obedient?  Do we sacrifice with love?  Are we trying to follow Christ's example?  I think that if we are trying our best and do our best effort to follow Jesus Christ and his father's plan we can be happy!  Heavenly Father knows it's not easy.  However, he does know we can give our best effort, so that's what he expects.  I know that if we give our best effort and sacrifice for the lord, we'll receive eternal life.  I know that god lives, and that through Christ we can make it.  This is the true church and I'm grateful for this opportunity to serve a missionary.  En el nombre de Jesucristo, amen.

Have a great week everyone!  Talk to you again next Saturday!

Love,
Elder Jensen

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Hello...



Hola everyone,

It sounds like after a few busy weeks things have finally slowed down for a couple days.  I think it's the calm before another big storm of school, football games, work, and a new season of the year.  Things seem to be changing lots, but I feel like I'm just in my "caribbean world."

So this past week was a very slow week for me as well.  Noelia continues to progress, but she's having pregnancy troubles.  So, that is putting a big rock block in the way on her progression.  She's been put on bed rest and can't attend church.  And to be baptized into the church, you kind of need to attend it, so we've pushed her date down the ward a little so it won't be so pressured to make it.

We've struggled alot trying to find people the teach during my time here in Hato Mayor.  The people just don't seem to want to progress.  Some people listen, but they can't seem to keep commitments and follow their path to Christ's gospel.  People have their agency to choose and act for themselves, but it's sad to see them choose in a way contrary to the will of our Heavenly Father!  As missionaries we are charged to preach the gospel.   We invite all people to follow Christ.  If the people don't want to, well, that's up to them.  I hope that people will starting and continuing listening to this wonderful message missionaries bring to the world.

The Hato Mayor ward is a great ward!  I've never seen a Ward Mission Leader work as hard as the one we've got.  He leaves with us, reports on the progress of investigators, and really tries to magnify his calling.  Our bishop is great person too, and wants to see this ward grow during his time as bishop.  The members are great, and alot are very strong members of the church.  Overall, I enjoy serving in this ward.  I hope we can all try to fulfill our callings and strive to help build our wards and the kingdom of god.

I'm doing well and love missionary work!  My training in the office is going good and I'll officially "take-over" in exactly two weeks.  I'm learning how to drive here and continuing to learn how everything works.  I'm excited to serve in this assignment and look forward to working in "colder weather" for a time, haha.  

I know this church is true and god lives!

Have a great week everyone!

Love,
Elder Jensen


P.S.  Next Wednesday the Mission a Special Zone Conference with The Area President, Elder Anderson.  So, I won't have my P-Day next Wednesday.  So, I'll email next Thursday.....entonces, esperamos el próximo jueves