Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hola Everyone...

Hola everyone!

This past week has been a little slow in Fantino, but it sounds like things back home were a blast!!  I'm super happy that Holli loved going to Prom and had an excellent time!  It seems like life continues forward, and all of us are growing up.

The past 7 days were filled with teaching, walking, and sleeping.  We've starting working really hard with the branch leaders to try and create some excitement for missionary work.  We've started doing exchanges again, visiting the members everyday, and attending alot of meetings with them.  Things seem to be picking up, and the members are slowing waking up again.  We've even received a couple of referrals this past week too!

On Sunday, we had 3 new people come to church that we'd never met before.  They were referrals from a member of the Branch Presidency.  One was a couple in there late 40's and the other was a 24 year old young man.  They seemed to enjoy it alot and want to continue attending.  We stopped by their houses yesterday and shared a first message with them.  The couple seems very timid right now, but they want to continue learning.  So I'm very excited!  We then stopped by the 24 year old guy.  He's very smart and reminds me alot of David from Gurabo.  He picks up on things very early, and has alot of intelligent, profound questions.  I'm looking forward to seeing all 3 of them progress in the gospel lessons.

Our other investigators are continuing to progress and gain testimonies.  The biggest struggle we seem to be facing right now is getting people to church.  Especially on time!!  It seems like Mormon Standard Time has taken on a whole new meaning!!  However, at least they make it to church, so that's the most important part.  I think we can learn as members, that we set the example to the investigators of the church.  If we don't attend all our meetings, and especially show up on time; we can't expect our children and investigators to do like wise!!

My companion and I are doing great too!  Elder Mendoza is a really fun person and an excellent missionary!  He's obedient, has a love for the work, and is a great person!  I'm grateful for my time here in Fantino with him as my companion.  We've gone without water, power, money, and clean clothes together; and he sure makes things a blast.  I'm learning alot in Fantino about how hard people have it is come places in the world.  I'm so grateful that I have water that I can drink from the tap, AC, power 24/7, and the knowledge that all is well!  I'm grateful for this opportunity to learn gratitude!

I love missionary work and I'm grateful for this chance to serve my Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ.  The master is hastening his work, and we can see a difference here in the Dominican Republic.  I love this opportunity to learn and grow as I serve the lord in his vineyard.  I know this work is real.  God lives, and he is our loving father-in-heaven.  We truly have the potential to become like him.  And I LOVE sharing the message of happiness!  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have an Excellent week everyone!!

Love, Elder Jensen

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pictures...













Hola...

Hola mi familia!

Espero que todo esta bien y ustedes est├ín felices in la vida y en el evangelio.  Esta ultima semana fue una semana muy tranquilo sin mucho experiencias nuevas.  Pero, todo de nosotros vamos tenerla ocasionalmente.

But anyways, this week was indeed really slow.  Compared to the past couple of really stressful weeks, this week didn't really seem to full of anything really exciting.  We've been sorting out our investigators and trying to find new people to teach.  It's been quite difficult finding people to teach lately.  The problem with Fantino is that all the men pretty much work or aren't home in the afternoon, so all of our contacting is running into single women at home.   And because elders can't enter the homes without an man present, it makes contacting and the hours of 3-6 pm very, very difficult.  We've been trying to get referrals from members, but they don't seem to have a ton of excitement to work right now.  So my companion and I have changed our tactics to try and build up the strong members, and create a desire to do missionary work, and then we'll try and find more people to teach.  Just like Moroni in the Book of Mormon, we've got to strengthen the inside before we can find the outside.

We continue to make progress with our investigator named Livi.  She's really progressing and wants to continue learning more.  She feels she still doesn't have a strong testimony, but feels that its coming.  She currently has a baptismal date for the middle of April, so hopefully things will keep moving forward.  However, I feel she doesn't have a ton of fellowshipping from members, so we're trying to build that these past couple of weeks.  I feel like we're improving.  But, only time can tell.

Bladimir and Bilari are doing well and continue to progress.  We're working with the Branch President to set up a plan to get them to the temple in a year to be sealed for time and all eternity, so hopefully we can get it in motion quickly.

Sometimes in life we might feel like not much is really happening.  We may feel that our efforts are in vain, or that we really aren't making a difference in school, work, relationships, or life.  However, I testify that we always are making a difference.  Every second is a decision to follow our savior, Jesus Christ, or slip up and take a moment backwards.  When time seems to stand still, do we use the free moments to improve ourselves?  Or do we waste them on something that isn't going to make a difference.  In the moments of our lives where time seems to stand still, I hope we can use the little moments that God has given us to improve and progress forward; and not waste them into a worthless memory.  I know that as we take the small moments to improve, God will create in us a masterpiece!  God is our Heavenly Father, and his Son, Jesus Christ, lives!  With them on our team, we will always come out victorious!  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Love,
Elder Jensen

Monday, March 18, 2013

Another week...

Hola Everyone!

This past week has been one of the stressful weeks, but one of the most rewarding weeks of my mission!  The lord truly does answer our prayers and helps us achieve our goals.

So this past week we had a baptism planned.  We needed to teach the Law of Chastity, Tithing, Prophets, and they needed to get married (and $3700 pesos to pay for it), and have a baptism interview all between Monday and Friday.  They were super busy on Monday and Tuesday.  So we then had Weds, Thurs, and Fri. to get all of this accomplished.  This is where the miracles started happening.  We taught Chastity on Weds.  Thursday afternoon they got married.  Bladimir could only come up with $1500 pesos, so the leaders and us missionaries helped pitch in the rest!  It was super stressful getting the papers, money, and time set for the marriage, but it all finally happend late afternoon Thursday.  Thursday night, we stopped by and taught Tithing, and Following the Prophet.  They both agreed to follow these commandments.  Friday afternoon they had their interviews with the District Leader and passed.  So we prepared for Saturday.  Showed up to the church Saturday morning; no water!  Luckily, we were able to use the well to pump enough water to fill the baptismal font.  Then Saturday night, Bladimir and Bilari both got baptized and started their journey towards the temple.  It was a very beautiful baptism and my companion and I both agreed it was a miracle that it happened.  So yeah, that's the exciting, stressful, awesome week in Fantino for Elder Jensen.

Things continue to continue forward in Fantino.  My companion and I are talking with the branch leaders on a new mission plan.  We feel that we need to strengthen the members and less-actives before we can really help investigators.  Like Moroni in the Book of Mormon; we need to strengthen the inner defenses and strenghen ourselves before we can talk on the world and battle the Lamanites.  So we're really starting to work hard on the members and creating a strong branch with a desire to build the kingdom and help others come to the fold.  Sometimes, we as members feel that we can't do a whole lot to help the ward grow.  However, striving to fulfill home teaching assignments, and callings strengthens the inner defenses of the ward and helps prepare the members to take on the world.  I know that's when the really progress will happen.  I know that the church is true, and that all of us have a role to play in building up the kingdom of God.  Jesus Christ lives, and he loves and wants to help each of us.  We as members of the church have a message like no other.  Let's not hesitate to share it!  It changes the world, and strengthens us too!  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Have an excellent week!  And Keep on Swimming!

Love,
Elder Jensen

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hola...

Hola Everyone!

This past week has been a really normal week.  I feel like Fantino is starting to really progress and we're seeing some progress.  Also, it seems that as I focus on building the Kingdom of God, he seems to be building me.  I'm so very grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission.

My area is going really well, and I feel like I'm finding the rhythm of things here.  We have 2 banks, and 2 kind of Convince Stores to choose from.  There are enough services to survive, but it reminds me alot of Corinne.  Lots of fields, and not very much to do.  The branch really seems to be improving!  In just 2 weeks the attendance has increased by 20 people. The leaders have alot of desire to work and we are receiving quite a few references.  Members who are inactive are starting to back, and things just seem to be moving right along right now.  Yep, Fantino is definitely interesting.

So, we have 4 really good progressing investigators.  One, is a family with a small infant.  The husband's name is Bladimir and his wife's name is Veralis.  They have a baptism date for this Saturday, so we've really been working hard with this couple.  They still need to get married tomorrow, and have to learn several more commandments, but they have a testimony of the church and are very, very excited for their baptism on Saturday!  I will say, it's been very stressful for me since we still have so much to do, and the Branch President is pushing us alot because this is the first baptism planned for almost a year.  So, for the leaders of the wards, don't pressure the missionaries; we have too much on our minds already.  But I'm looking forward to seeing what happens and how this young couple can continue to progress. I have a feeling we'll be praying very hard these next few days.

We also are teaching a young sister named Livi.  She's a 27 year old, single adult.  I guess when the missionaries starting teaching her. she didn't have a lot of desire to participate and progress, but then it stating catching her interest.  Needless to say, she's progressing a ton now!  She always attends church, she is reading the Book of Mormon, and she has a firm Testimony of the gospel.  If something gets in the way of our visits, she always calls before and asks if we can re-schedule for another day.  Yep, she is a very strong, responsible, progressing investigator.

We have a few other investigators, who are kind of progressing as well.  We've also been trying to concentrate on the less actives of the branch because that has turned into the new mission goal.  Focus on helping the lost sheep return and strengthen the fold of God!  The work is progressing well, and I love being a missionary!  I know that missionary work is very important and I'm grateful for this opportunity to serve a mission for Heavenly Father.  The church is true and the work will keep increasing!  I know that Christ lives, and that Jesus is the Christ!!  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Love,
Elder Jensen

Happy Independence Day...

Hola Everyone!

Happy Independence Day!  Today is the Independence Day of the Dominican Republic, so everyone is partying and everything is closed.  So it´s been a very relaxed P Day today.

So not much has really happened this past week, I´ve been learning the new area, and we´ve just been teaching some people.  Hopefully next week I´ll be able to tell you guys all about the investigators here in the area and how the work is progressing.  So this week I´m going to catch up on some pictures, so I hope you enjoy them!!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!  Have an amazing week!!

Love,
Elder Jensen