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!!

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.

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!!

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