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.

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.

Elder Jensen

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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


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.

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!

Elder Jensen