Friday, May 31, 2013

Happy Memorial Day...

Hola Everyone!

It sounds like things are going great back home!  Megan is getting ready for her marriage, Kimberly is working lots, Nicole is finishing up school, Holli is finishing up school too, and Mom and Dad are busy trying to keep track of us all running around in different directions.  I'm happy that things are going really well back at home!

So this past week has been no different from the last couple of weeks.  It seems like my family is just driving down the fast lane and I'm just trucking along doing my thing, haha.  We've continued contacting alot.  And I mean alot!  I couldn't even guess how many people we've met over the past few weeks and how my doors we've knocked.  I'm hoping that all our efforts are paying off and we'll find some new, progressing investigators soon!  We've met some really cool people, and they seem to have some interest to learn more; however, our biggest struggle is finding a good time when they're home to visit with us.  But, if they put forth the effort, I'm sure we'll see them progress!

We've found a new investigator named Dori.  We found her contacting and she said we could pass by her house some time.  So we did, and the surprising fact was: she was actually there!  We've starting teaching her, and she likes and believes what we are sharing.  We invited her to church and she attend too!  She told us she just loved church and wants to keep coming back!  She is really nice, and has a true desire to find God and follow our Savior.  She has a husband (not married) and 3 little kids.  We have alot of hope for her, and we're trying to focus alot on her husband too who is always working!  I'm excited to see what the lord has in store for Dori.  

So we've been spending alot of time as well preparing the "Open House" of the church.  We've planned how to do it, who will do what, and who we want to invite.  We've printed about 1000 invitations, and my companion, members, and I are all giving to who ever we find.  We are really hoping to have alot of people come and see what is inside that big, pretty, always closed building used by the Mormons.  Alot of people seem interested in coming, so we'll see what happens.  I really hope it'll be a big success!  Wish us luck!

Things continue to push forward in Fantino.  We may not being seeing alot of fruits from our labors right now, but I'm sure the harvest will be ready soon!  I love being a missionary and I'm grateful to serve my Heavenly Father as a full-time missionary!   Have a good week everyone and remember that we should never stop telling the world of this beautiful message!!

Elder Jensen

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

More Rain...

Hola everyone!
This past week has been full of ups and downs here in Fantino.  The end of last week didn't have a great ending, but the beginning of this week has been excellent.  As we depend more fully on the lord, I've learned that he helps us out.

So the last 3 days of last week weren't so great for me and my companion.  We spent alot of time walking, and contacting and nobody wanted to listen.  Seriously, we walked the whole day without anyone wanting to listen.  Then, for the lessons of our investigators, things didn't go so great either.  Libby told us that she doesn't feel ready to be baptized on the 25th, and she doesn't really have a reason why.  Yeah, the end of last week was just not for us!
However, don't worry; these last couple of days have been excellent.  We've been contacting alot, but have found alot of new people to teach!  The lord is helping open up the hearts of the people to at least let us listen to our message.  Now, we just need to help them have a desire to continue listening and make commitments.  We also had a really good Family night with Libby, and some members last night too!  We had a convert share a little bit about how she took along time to finally get baptized and how she regrets all the blessings she lost because of her unwillingness.  It was really good!  I'm hoping it gave Libby something to think about!
The members are starting to do a little bit better in their responsiblities too!  We've been working really hard to help them get excited about the big Open House we're planning to do at the end of this month.  They really are looking forward to show Fantino what the "Mormons" really do and what's inside our big, nice building.  So I'm really looking forward to seeing the success from this.
As few of you guys have asked what my companion and I do everyday in Fantino.  So here is a little idea....  We leave everyday at 3pm and start teaching or contacting trying to find people to teach.  We walk anywhere and everywhere trying to find families and people who are ready to teach.  We just keep on swimming along until 9-9:30 at night and then come home and plan and get ready for bed.  In the mornings we either have meetings, or we leave and try to find some service to do.  Overall, we spend alot of time on the street meeting who ever we can.
I've been thinking alot this past week on our reliance on the lord.  We, as humans, tend to find ourselves in the Pride Cycle found in the Book of Mormon.  When things are going great, we kind of slack off a little bit in our gratitude to our Heavenly Father.  Then, things get alittle rough for a while.  Then, finding ourselves low, we need to repent and rely more on the lord.  We continuously repeat this cycle everyday of our lives.  So the question is, how do we avoid it?  If we follow the counsel of the prophets and continually express our love, and gratefulness in sincere prayer, I know that'll we will receive the strength and reliance on the lord we need to avoid those "Pit falls." of the pride cycle.  I hope we can work to make our prayers a little more sincere and show a little more gratitude to our Heavenly Fathers for the things we have and not worry about what we don't have!  I know that if we do this, our relationship will grow and we'll find ourselves more happy in our lives.  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
Have an excellent week everyone!!
Elder Jensen

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy Wednesday...

Hola everyone!
I hope everyone had an excellent Mother's Day!  I know I sure did!  It was so good to see and talk to the family and "re-meet" my sister's fiancee, Shawn.  I had a really good time talking with them and just sharing a couple of hours through Skype.  I am so grateful for modern technology!
So we've starting seeing some changes in Fantino this past week.  The members have realized that things are looking a little down and that the branch is really struggling.  They've met, planned, and are continuing trying to encourage members to fulfill their responsibilities.  The biggest problem is that we find here: the members are all talk and don't have action to back them up.  So now, they're really trying to find the actions to back up their words.  We've set new goals of attendance, baptisms, and retaining less-actives with the leaders of the branch.  We, as missionaries, are here to help the branch, so we're trying any and all kind of new ideas we can think of the help the members get kicked into action and find the joy of serving our father-in-heaven.  So I hope to see some progress soon!
So yesterday we had Zone Conferences with Pres. and Sis. Douglas.  It was really good!  Sis Douglas talked about our new focus of the mission: Service!  She said that service with affect and build our areas faster than any kind of contacting we could ever do!  Finding service, especially the small acts, we show the world that we follow and strive to live like our savior, Jesus Christ. She then revealed a new statue from that artist who does the statues at Thanksgiving point.  The artist made a statue specifically for our Mission.  It's Christ was Peter's feet.  It looks amazing!  She encouraged all of us to find at least 3 hours of service a week and strive to find the little acts of service that Christ would do!  I encourage all of us to find the same little acts of service.  It may be helping our spouses, siblings, parents, and friends in something as simple as a hug; or as big cleaning the house.  Whatever it is, we'll find ourselves happier as we serve our fellow man.  As Mosiah 2:17 states, "When we serve our neighbors, we are only serving God."  I know that the best example of the savior we can be is serving others without any hope of return!  Let us all try to be examples of service!  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
Have and excellent week!  Que vaya con Dios!
Elder Jensen

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's raining...

Hola everyone!
So I'm sorry to everyone who is reading this letter, but it might be very, very short.  Reason one, this coming Sunday is mother's day.  And two, I'm writing this letter at the very end of P-Day because it's been raining all day!  However, I'll do my best to hurry and write how my week went.
First things first!  "It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring."  Yep, it's been raining a ton!!  It has rained every single day this month and the weather people say it will continue raining all this month.  So, I was starting to think that the whole "Caribbean rain"  season was a big exaggeration.  But, now I'm a believer.  Seriously, I've never seen so much rain in my life.  I love it!!  It keeps things cool, and I enjoy getting wet every once in a while.  Especially because there's a mission saying that says, "Every time you get soaked, your wife is going to be that much better!"  So at this rate, my wife is going to be a saint!!  Yeah, I like that idea...
So, we've continued sharing with Libby about baptism and gospel topics.  We fasted with her last Saturday for an answer on baptism.  The cool thing is, is that she feels like she received her answer, but feels like the 25 of May is the day for her.  It's still a long way out, but we're happy that she chose her own baptism date.  We're praying that this will be her day, and she's make the commitment to follow Christ and be baptized.
So, my companion and I have continued spending alot of time contacting trying to find people to teach.  It's sad with all the wickedness in the world today.  So much immorality, drinking, violence, and dis-respect is happening today that the world needs this gospel.  My companion and I just want to shout, "You need this gospel, and you need to listen!"  However, the beauty of God's plan is that we all have our agency and can make our own decisions.  We cannot force people to listen and be converted to the gospel, but as missionaries we invite, teach, and encourage all the listen to this wonderful message.  I'm so grateful for this gospel in my life, and that I've accepted it in my heart.  This is a message the world is waiting to hear, and I don't think we need to wait until we have a name plaque on our chest to share the gospel.  I don't know who's waiting for me to open my mouth and share, but I know that there's always someone waiting for each and everyone of us to open our mouths and share the gospel!  So I hope we can all just open our mouths share!
Have an excellent week everyone and Happy Mother's Day!

Elder Jensen


Hola everyone!
As I sat at my desk this morning, I realized that today is the 1st of May?  Can you all believe that we're already in the 5th month of the year?  Where is all the time going....I have no clue.  Anyways, this past week was a pretty good week, however, not too much out of the ordinary happened.  So if this email isn't very long, I'm sorry.
My companion, Elder Montes de Oca, and I are doing really well.  We've starting getting used to each other's habits, and styles; so, it seems like things are going well.  He is a great guy, however, he definitely talks Dominican.  I sometimes can barely understand him, so I imagine that my Spanish will get alot better this transfer.  I look forward to working with him over the next few weeks.
This past week, we've continued contacting alot.  And I mean alot.  We have decided that we need lots of people to teach, and that lots of people are waiting to hear the gospel.  However, finding them seems to be the big question.  We've found a couple of new people who are really interested in our message.  For example, we received a referral from the mission office for a guy named Roemil.  We contacted him and had our first visit last Saturday.  I asked him how we received his information, and he told us, "I was on the internet and came across one of the web pages of your church.  It was interesting, so I clicked on "Contact us" and entered my information.  Then about 2 days later, you guys called me to meet with me."  SUPER COOL!!  I've never heard someone enter in their info through the church's website.  And then we called him 2 days later.  Yep, the church is definitely true.
We've also found some less-active members in our search for people to teach.  One member, Andrea, is a less-active member.  The interesting thing is, is that she's deaf.  We've found a member who knows some sign language, but I'm going to study up a little bit to and see if we can help this member get re-activated.  She seems really nice, and was really patient as we tried communicating with her.
Yep, the work continues to move forward Fantino.  I love the experiences, lessons, and knowledge that I'm learning from my time here.  Things aren't always easy, but we all need opposition to learn and progress to become like our heavenly parents.  The mission is great, and I'm so very grateful to serve my Heavenly Father in the Dominican Republic.  The church is true, and we all have a very important work to do in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Keep the faith and God Speed everyone!
Elder Jensen