Sunday, December 23, 2012
I’m sorry I don’t really have too much exciting news this week . . . It wasn’t a downer week but DEFINITELY had some downer moments . . .
Jadson (I had been saying Jackson, sorry) will not be baptized. An extremely depressing thing. Danilo MIGHT be baptized this week depending on if we get permission from his Mom . . . We cleaned her house so I’m hoping she will hook us up with a Saved Soul ;)
Douglas didn’t visit church AGAIN . . . He is thirteen years old and I don’t know if he just forgets EVERY WEEK or what the deal is but we shall soon find out! I hope. We met a girl this week that is only here for a bit, but already received all of the lessons a long time ago. She wasn’t baptized because she got married and moved to São Paulo, but we are teaching her now and she is SUPER smart. Knows all the answers and everything! Her name is Mika, and I’m hoping Mika will be our next miracle!!!
Overall, this week passed WAY fast. It was probably the fastest week I have had so far on my mission. I had my first division this week too with Elder Guerra. He is super cool. We are learning that without the Spirit, these people are going to say all the things you want to hear. But when they have CONVERSION through the SPIRIT they are going to do everything necessary to prepare for baptism! That Spirit is EVERYTHING. Without that Spirit, this Gospel cannot exist because revelations would be lost. Without the Spirit we are just one more crazy religious group who wants to get people to visit church. But NO! We have the Spirit! And it is our job to use It in EVERY single thing we do. F rom the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep! LIVE THE GOSPEL!
Today was an awesome, awesome, awesome P-Day up until now. Went to Farol and played volleyball with a bunch of Elders, practiced a song for Christmas Conference tomorrow and got SUBWAY =D That was a pretty darn great P-Day!
I’m sorry I don’t have tons to fill you all in on this week =/ BUT it was a great week and its ALMOST CHRISTMAS! "SANTA!!!!! SANTA!!!!! SANTA!!!!! *Elf Voice* I love you all! Be good, be safe, write me lots! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!
Love, Elder Jensen
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, (Nacho Voice)
Loro and Silvania were married and baptized! Honestly . . . This letter is going to be kind of short because that baptism basically completed my life. Not only had I been praying exactly for a miracle the week they called and said they wanted to get married, but they pulled through and were baptized! Saturday I pulled a "Mom". I cried my eyes out at that baptism. It was the most perfect night that I have ever had in my life! We had so many members and the Spirit was SO strong. I t hit me after their baptisms that we had just completed a family . . . Now everyone was baptized and would have the chance to be sealed in the Temple. FOR ETERNITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So when that hit me, piled on top of just how happy I was that day, I lost it. Started crying like crazy. I can’t believe how lucky I was to be the Lord’s tool. After a year of missionaries trying, the Lord decided that the job was for me and Elder Pereira . . . How lucky can I get!?!?!? Soooo . . . I was crying crying . . . Finally stopped, and then, I remembered how just a few weeks before the mission I had the chance to enter the Temple with Momma, Dad and ALL of my brothers and sisters. And it hit me just how important that day is to me now! That picture I have on my Facebook of us in the Visitors Center at the Temple will always be the most significant photo for me in my life. It marks the day that all of us had the full opportunity (besides we need to be married) to live together forever in the Celestial Kingdom. So I lost it again . . . Hahahahaha. I just kept thinking, "Man . . . I’ve never cried because of sheer happiness before. Mom would be so proud of me right now". GREATEST NIGHT EVER. To the point where I was so happy, the next day I was exhaustedddddddd. I hope you all can at least grasp a little bit how happy I was!
On another note, Elaine's brother and cousin are preparing for baptism on the 22nd and probably Douglas too. Leticia was beyond busy with other things so have to drop her until January. Douglas didn’t visit church again so we have to postpone his baptism again -_____- Dang youngin’s.
In OTHER very shocking news . . . I was called as District Leader! So this last weekend was much more crazy for me because of interviews and all that good stuff! I was super nervous but now that I’ve done most things one time, I feel alright. What an honor I have =) So excited to be able to serve even more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry this letter is kinda short! Got some photos I wanna send. The Church is true! I love you all! Be good! Be safe! #SWAGWSIGGIDYSWIGSWAG
Love, Elder Dylan Jensen
This week was quite the Spiritual uplifter for me. But before I get into all that good stuff, I’ll give you some basic updates. Josias completely fell through on Monday night and was not baptized this week. He has a "friend" who used to be basically his wife and he has been spendin’ more time with her. So he didn’t visit church which was weird so we went to visit him and he just . . . Didn’t want anything to do with baptism anymore. I think that woman is the devil speaking in his ear (Notice how I didn’t capitalize "devil" because the devil isn’t that important to me). And we had a few other investigators that we are still deciding where things will go with them. One girl read all the way to Jacob 5 in three days . . . That for sure NEVER happens. Buuuuut she does a lot to help her church and this month with Christmas they have a ton to do so we kinda have to let her go until January. Her name is Leticia. Super legit! But we will see how that plays out. And Douglas as well. He wasn’t able to visit Stake Conference because his mom didn’t want him to travel there. But she is fine with us teaching and everything so it’s all good. I believe he will play out quite beautifully =)
Well enough of the boring stuff . . . Let’s get down to the knitty gritty. I was praying everyday this week for a miracle. When I don’t know what to do next, I just pray for a miracle and get out there and work. ESPECIALLY this week. So I did. I prayed lots! Always hoping and acting and searching for a miracle. Aaaaand . . . As we were walking one night, we received a call from Silvania who is the mom of Leo (one of the youth in our ward). This was Friday night and she really wanted us to come over. We started avoiding that house because the husband, Loronildo is ALWAYS drunk. ALWAYS. And because of this Silvania never wanted to marry him. Makes sense to me. So anyway . . . We went over there and she wanted to know when the free wedding was (there was a wedding for free in some other part of Maceió that a member was headed to). When I asked why she wanted to know she said "Loro (Loronildo) said he wants to stop drinking and that he is going to stop so I want to marry him and get Baptized!!" Ummmmm..... OKAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #Ska-Doosh. My gosh. And the best part? YES. They were married the next day. And YES. I will never ever ever ever ever EVER question again if the Lord answers our prayers. MY GOSH. So we have their baptisms planned for this Saturday =)
This week I was caught up a lot in thinking about the Lords plans for our generation and it was kinda blowing my mind. Well the announcement of age change for the missionaries and that the mission in China opened up, it’s really starting to hit me that . . . We really ARE in the last days. We have a LOT of work to do. I was trying to figure out what my role would be in all of this. There must be a reason I was called right before this announcement. And the thing that came to mind was that this generation is extreeemely important for the Lords missionary work. And when all these new and younger missionaries arrive, it will be my duty to help them out and train them. The Lord has sooooo many plans and it makes me so beyond excited!!!!! I was praying about all this missionary stuff and what is going on and the Spirit was SO strong to the point that my chest was hurting a little bit and it was hard to breathe. I don’t know exactly what the Lord has got planned. But you can bet that I’m going to do EVERYTHING I can to be ready to serve where He needs me to serve and do what He needs me to do. Pretty cool stuff goin down =)
Today and yesterday also I had the chance to meet and hear from Elder Costa, our Area General Authority. He told some super legit stories and said some stuff that blew my mind but I don’t have time to write it all . . .I will write one story though real fast!
A man loved soccer. LOVED IT. But every Sunday he was faithful and didn’t watch or anything. He went to his church meetings and went home after to be with his family. But one day, his favorite team was going to have a HUGE game in the neighboring city aaaaand . . . Well he gave in and went to the game. After the game he went home . . . Defeated. His team had lost and he was tired and mad. But on returning home he found it strange to find his family was not yet home. And as the hour of church was long past, he was extremely confused. In search of his family he went to the neighbors houses, thinking that maybe they are there. But . . . To his great astonishment, NONE of the neighbors were home as well! Feeling extremely lost and abandoned he returned home again but found something different this time: A note on the fridge that read like this: "'Sorry! We couldnt wait for you' - Enoch"
Hahahahahaha! I love you all!!!!!! Be good!! Be safe! Write me lots! Go to the Temple! Serve a mission! The Lord has plans!!!!!!!!! HUGE PLANS AND HE NEEDS ALL OF US TO DO OUR PART!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So what is your part? A mission? Marriage? A calling in church? Who knows? Only the Lord =) So start searching right now! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!
Love, Elder Jensen
Monday, November 26, 2012
Yes . . . Swag IS still my favorite word. Sometimes (a lot of times) I use it with Brazilians and they have no idea what it means! So great!
Well people, this week was pretty darn good. Elaine was baptized! So cool! After last Sunday when she didn’t visit church again, I was done. I was not planning on going back there. She just didn’t seem like she wanted to be baptized. Buuuut . . . My little companion. Elder Pereira. said he had a feeling that she needed our help and that we needed to get back there. So, despite all desires to avoid that house for that rest of my life, we went back! And she prayed for us for the FIRST time when we went back. She showed up for the activity and she got the signature of her mom to be baptized. Her baptism on Saturday morning was great buuuut . . . Story time! We forgot to tell her to tie her hair up . . . Yeah you know where this is going. Maybe. So, when Elder Pereira dipped her down in the water, he realized that her hair was floating above the water, which obviously cannot be so. But, instead of lifting her up, telling her to tuck in her hair or tie it up, he dipped her down farther! Hahahaha. She was under the water for AT LEAST five seconds! I took a step toward the baptismal font because I thought my companion was going to kill our baptism. I guess there’s no better time to die than when you are being baptized? #CelestialKingdom . . . Hahahaha! Buuuuut . . . She lived and everything was great =) Then, last night, she told Elder Pereira that she broke up with her boyfriend which was great to hear. He is a little older than she is so we worried about law of chastity stuff. But when Elder Pereira asked why she broke up with him, ya know what she said? She said, "Because the prophet said we can only date when we are sixteen years old" . . . WHAT!?!?!? Yeah. Major respect points right there. I am SO happy she was baptized and that the Lord answered all of our prayers. Elaine was waaaay more ready for Baptism than I thought she was!
This week we are going for the baptism of Josias who is the Uncle of Rose. He just needs to stop smoking. Luckily, it isn’t a very big problem for him. Just gotta baptize that guy =)
We also had Zone Conference this last week which was awesome and I learned a ton. I got a butt load (not literally) of mail which was FANTASTIC! I love getting more mail than all the other missionaries . . . So good work everyone! Keep it up! I LOVE YOU ALL AND HEARING FROM YOU ALL!!!!!! Also, yes Mother, I got your package. Great? Yes. Terrible? Yes. Because I have this huge package of wonders in front of me every day that I cannot open for five days . . . #CruelMotherJokes
Well this last week was pretty average! We did meet one kid named Douglas and he is super legit and open to learning. We are going back there either tonight or tomorrow to talk more with him. Already taught the Book of Mormon and he reads everything we leave with him which is super legit because most people here do not do that. So add him to the prayer list for sure! Prayin’ for lots of miracles this week!
Hey, I don’t know why but I feel like I should say that everyone who can needs to go to the Temple this weekend or next weekend. And those aren’t ready for the Temple need to prepare. Don’t take for granted how easy it is for us to get to the Temple . . . We just have to get in our cars and go. Before the Manaus temple was dedicated a few months back, members had to travel a few days by boat and plane just to get to the Temple. The Temple is the best thing we have in this world and the closest we can get to our Father in Heaven. EVERYONE needs to go. So please, plan it out with your family or with friends. Go to the Temple this weekend or next. Promise? I promise if you go, you will find the answer to something that you are searching. You Heavenly Father wants to talk with you and be close to you. The Temple is the best place for that =)
I love you all so much! The church is so so true and the Lord truly does exist. I hope everything is going well back home and that Thanksgiving was fantasmatical. Do work for me (and for the dead in the Temple) back home. Write me lots! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Elder Jensen
PS - DAWN WATTS, YOU STUD! YOU GO DO WORK IN THAT MISSION FIELD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, November 19, 2012
Whuddup Errrrrbody!!!!! (The missionary manual says not to use slang... I’m a rule breaker)
Well this last week was solid! We didn’t get the chance to meet a TON of new investigators, but ,you can bet we try our hardest =) I was talking with Elder Pereira about how everyone has some phrase that they say most. He says mine is "Vamos Trabalhar". Haha . . . Which more or less means ”Let’s get to work”. I hadn’t thought about it but, yeah, I use that phrase a lot! It motivates me . . . Haha.
Well, what we have all been waiting for . . . Estefany (sorry I change how I spell names . . . I never know how to spell when we start teaching them) and Rose were baptized this week! My goodness gracious that felt so incredibly great. Baptism . . . There is honestly nothing like it. I just feel GOOD after. I don’t know how to describe the feeling . . . Haha . . . Especially through typing . . . Ask someone who has served a mission =) I was super nervous for those two and was honestly having this huge inward battle with myself about if I would allow them to be baptized or not because of how lazy and boring they were during lessons. I don’t want to baptize people who aren’t ready, so I was thinking and praying a lot about postponing the baptism for another week. BUT I got my answer! On Wednesday, we had our usual church activity and they were there. Afterward, we taught them but they sent Jailton (the member who gave us them as references) back to the house. I seriously had no clue why they did that but okay! Let’s teach! So normally when we teach them they don’t talk or smile much, my gosh. My world exploded. They were SO happy and excited that night. I was kinda weirded out. I felt like Marissa Amadkhani a little because I think I gave a few dirty looks when they started . . . Hahaha. Anyway . . . Estefany said, "Good! Now I can explain everything because Jailton isn’t here!" Okay...?
So let ME tell YOU all what happened. Estefany had two dreams. The first was a few weeks ago and was why she decided to receive the lessons. S he already had spoken with missionaries in the past but it didn’t go anywhere because she didn’t want it. The first dream she saw a huge a house or all white and a man dressed in all white. She couldn’t see his face, but she saw that he extended his hand and said "Take of this water". To which she responded that she didn’t want it. "But you need this water" and again she denied it. And a third time the man said "But you NEED this water". After that she woke up sweating and breathing super hard =DDDDD So for her she took that "water" as the baptismal font. THAT’S why she decided to take the lessons again! But of course, I think it is in relation to John 4:14 =) Pretty cool stuff!
The second dream she had was just last week. She dreamed she was with her friend and they were getting ready to leave her house. Estefany was trying to bring The Book of Mormon but her friend kept telling her she didn’t need it. So after they argued a bit, Estefany convinced her friend to bring the Book of Mormon with her as well. The dream ended with Estefany looking over at her friend, and her friend had the Book on her lap. Nothing too amazing, right? Except when Estefany woke up, she received a call from that friend in the dream, saying that she had left her church and wasn’t sure what to do now because she doesn’t have a religion . . . WHAT!?!?!? So legit =) So we will be contacting that friend very soon =) Cool stuff!
Anyway . . . The Baptism for those two was perfect. The only abnormal part was . . . #ThatAwkwardMomentWhenYouHaveToGrabALizardOutOfTheBaptismalFontDirectlyBeforeEnteringTheWater . . . Hahahahah! True story! I watched Elder Pereira baptize Estefany with a lizard in the water . . . Bahahaha . . . So when I was walking in, I had to grab it and throw it out because Rose almost had a heart attack =) #OnlyInBrasil!
Elaine wasn’t baptized this week because she is just super nervous. But she seems much more firm for this Saturday. Even got her to pray for us for the first time yesterday! Accomplishments!!!! Pray for her lots =)
Oh! Almost forgot! Elder Hemingway has a new companion, Elder Santos. He is from Pará, the same as my companion, but he has a year and two months on the mission I believe. Elder Barbosa got transferred out to live with the assistants. Not to be an assistant, just to live with them . . . Haha . . . I think President didn’t know exactly what to do with him.
Well, everything is great and always getting greater! And hotter . . . Haha! That sun is STRONG, but goes down around 4:30 so we don’t have to die ALL day.
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!! Be good, be safe . . .The Church is true!!!!!!!!!!! Write me lots =)
Love, Elder Jensen
Monday, November 12, 2012
Let’s get to it.
This week was definitely much better. Numbers and everything were just more solid. The week FLEW by!!!!
We had the opportunity to paint the Relief Society presidents house . . . Gosh dang I hate paint here. It’s not real paint. It’s just this powder that they put in water and mix it and it barely does anything at all! #IHateMyLife! No just kidding but really . . . I hate that paint. BUT I can’t complain because she cooks as her job aaaaand . . . You guessed it! We got to have lunch there and snack and everything =D She even knows how much I love these cookies called Trelosos, sooooo . . . It was kind of like a preview of the Celestial Kingdom. LOTS OF TRELOSOS IN THE CELESTIAL KINGDOM. And our bodies are perfect there so I can eat as many as I want and never get fat! =DDDDD
This week we met with a young girl named Elaine a lot. She is cousins with a member and has already visited church four or five times (one of them was my first week here). She wants to be baptized and I’m 99% sure we will baptize her this Friday night. She is EXTREMELY difficult to teach though because she is beyoooooond shy. Asking questions is basically impossible . . . Haha. BUT when we have talked about her prayers in the past she says she felt something she can’t describe and . . . Well . . . We all know that that’s my boi - The Holy Ghost doin’ work =) #Spirit!
We have also been teaching two references from a member in the other ward. Jailton is the members name, Estefanie is his fiance and Rose Estefanie’s cousin. They both want to be baptized this week, but I am having this inner battle with myself at the moment. I don’t want them to be baptized because Jailton wants it and because they want to get married. ‘I want them to get baptized because they KNOW that baptism is how we change our lives. It’s how we become as "perfect" as we can be. It’s how we can live with GOD again. Baptism isn’t a joke to me. I love it wayyyy too much and I don’t want them to be baptized without having that same feeling that I have. Think about this: For a few moments (it won’t stay for long), when that person is immersed in the water and when I pull them out, they are PERFECT. They are completely clean with absolutely no sins. I am essentially holding an Angel in my hands. This person has no more sins. They are completely perfect. And each week after that, they have the opportunity to partake of the Sacrament and start over again! My gosh! I love Baptism! But Baptism in the right manner - for a person who truly understands what a blessing they have to be Baptized =)
So Rose and Estefanie have the opportunity to be baptized this Friday as well. I just need to do work (the Spirit needs to do work) to get them to understand and have a true testimony of what they are doing. If they have that testimony . . . Well my life doesn’t get much better than when I have moments with people like that =)
Our Bishopric gave some amazing talks yesterday - ALL about missionary work. I LOVE OUR BISHOPRIC. I think I have a man-crush on every single one of them. They help us out so much . . . Hahaha . . . For example, this week we met the second counselor, Elias walking in the street. He was with one of his buddies who may or may not have been slightly drunk . . . Haha. So this guy’s name was Jose (his name IS Jose, his name has not changed and he did not die). So I just asked him straight up "So, Jose you gonna be baptized!?" And he just said "Vamos!!!" Haha! Or "Lets go!!!" "And your family too!?" "Vamos! Tudo mundo!" and Elias has plans now to go there and teach him and his family and everything! Haha I love it! What could easily just be taken as a joke, our Bishopric takes as "No, I’m serious. We are going to baptize them." I love it =)
Well, family and friends . . . I hope all is well! I love you all so much. Members really do make ALL the difference in missionary work. Give ALL the support you can to the missionaries in your ward and stake. They really need you all! If you can’t do much, if you’re super busy, just get ONE reference for them. Teach ONE lesson with them. If not for them then for me! And if not for them or for me, for our Heavenly Father =) D&C 18:16. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!! Be good, be safe =) The Church is true!
Love, Elder Jensen
Monday, November 5, 2012
How’s everyone doing this wonderful semana? I find myself saying many statements like that when thinking in my head. . . Always switching back and forth between English and Portuguese . . . Haha . . . It’s actually really funny!
Well this week was a pretty tough one. All of our commitments fell through basically . . . Frustrating. Really didn’t have tons of success. It’s extremely hard to meet people here who want to take action. Just a very tough area. But we keep working! We met some kids that seemed interested, one in particular really named Ygor. So we are going to focus more on him this week. The hard thing here isn’t getting people to listen, it’s getting people to ACT. And that is just something that I will have to learn how to teach better =)
Training Elder Pereira is a piece of cake! Clearly because I am incredible. Haha! No . . . He is super smart and his testimony is super strong. I don’t really know what more you could ask for from a missionary! Some of the basic teaching things he hasn’t gotten down yet but that’s where I am trying my best to help him out. He is very willing to listen and helps me out lots as well. A lot of training and study in the mornings turns into conversations about deep doctrine stuff . . . Haha . . . But somehow always makes the full circle back around to how we will apply it in our teaching. The Lord is REALLY helping me train him because I know for a fact that as a normal human missionary, I am in no way qualified or ready to train him. So each time I have to train him I just PRAY that I will say the right thing to help him out. And most of the time (coolest part), I learn a ton. I just start talking and saying things I had never thought of. I think we get called to lead more to help ourselves . . . Haha. Teaching is FOR SURE when we learn the most!!!!!
We have been working hard this week doing lessons with members and having members introduce us to friends and family. I’m almost positive that most of our baptisms will be through less actives who have family who haven’t been baptized. So that’s what we will focus A TON on. Gotta adapt to survive! =D It’s been really cool though (I know that I have already said this lots) to learn to keep on going. That moment when we feel like we are SO far away from what we want or need is really the moment that we are closest. God just wants us to take a feeeeew more steps and we are there! Those last few steps are the hardest, but they are when our faith is tried. Are we tired and quitting? Or are we thinking about how the Lord is going to deliver us if we keep going?
I’m sorry I don’t have too terribly much to fill you all in on. I would fill you in on investigators that are progressing but we honestly didn’t really have any this week. You can count on it next week though! =)
I love you all a ton! I hope everything is going great and everyone is staying strong. Be good, be safe. And write me lots! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Elder Jensen
Monday, October 29, 2012
Aaaaaaand . . . We are off!!!!
Well, let’s just get down to the nitty gritty, shall we? So, last Tuesday we headed to Maceió for transfers. Of course I was suuuuper anxious. Where am I going? Who will be my new companion? All that good stuff . . . Sooooooo. I don’t know how to say this in an interesting way, so I will just say it . . . Haha! WELL . . . I am officially TRAINING! Do not know who decided that that was a good idea . . . I just ended my training last week and now I am supposed to train someone else!? And we are opening an area. We are in Maceió in a ward called Bebedouro. The ward originally had only two Elders but they just changed it to four. So we split the area and all that good stuff with Elders Hemingway and Barbosa. And the elders before us had basically done nothing so we just knocked A LOT of doors . . . Hahaha. Opening an area . . . Remind me to never do that again!
My companion’s name is Elder Pereira and he is from Belém. I believe it is the northern part of Brazil. He is . . . Small, haha, but really cool. ALSO . . . Little fun fact . . . He is 26 years old. Yep. I’m training a man who is 7 years older than me. When people say that God has a sense of humor . . . They mean it! I was so beyond nervous to start training and to be in a brand new area for the first time. Just a lot of changes that I have never been through before. Once again, the Lord is putting me in positions to make me learn FAST. Slightly terrifying but good in an eternal perspective I suppose!
Our ward is awesome! And . . . Get this . . . Our Bishop is the brother of my last Bishop! Haha! Bbut WAY different. This guy looooves to work. We had a meeting with the Ward leadership last night and we have tooooons of plans for this Ward and how we are going to get more members and reactive the less actives. This area has tons of less actives so a lot of our work will be with them. We even are making a calendar of members who will go with us to lessons and all that. GOSH! I was ready to explode with excitement. It’s SO nice to have a ward that reeeeeally wants to make changes! That wants to improve and progress!
I learned a lot this last week about the importance of the Ward and of friends in the Ward. It truly does make ALL the difference to have strong members who want to help. We can knock 200 doors and get 1 person to Church. But if we get references or members with ideas, just one reference or idea will come to Church. That kind of work is so much more productive and efficient!!!!!
It’s funny how the Lord works . . . Especially on the mission. The moment you start feeling really comfortable with something, He just switches it up on you. #Progress! At first this was really annoying to me. But it’s made me realize and remember more about the Pride Cycle in the Book of Mormon. We receive blessings and remember God but we become arrogant and ignorant after a time period of really great success. So then the Lord has to bring us back to earth and humble us. Make us feel a little uncomfortable. Make us remember just HOW we receive blessings. I think sometimes I get really lazy with prayers and really trying to feel the Spirit. So this transfer for me is really good. I am remembering once again just how I can have success. By conversing with the Lord and allowing His ideas to become mine, I am so lost. But when I trust in the Lord, that He is going to guide me, everything goes super smoothly. It’s just when everything goes smoothly for a while, I get a little cocky. I think I’ve got it all down and that this mission is ALL ME. And . . . It’s just not. This last week really taught me that. Rough week but I’m sooooo happy I can learn lessons like that! Progress is hard, but it feels SO good afterwards!!!!!!! #ProgressIsStinkyButSmellsNiceAsWell
The language is also really coming along. I say that because I can hold conversations on the phone now and that has been almost impossible for me in the past. SO LEGIT. The Gift of Tongues really does work! Shout out to Derek right there. Thanks, brah.
Well other than all that, ya know, just . . . Yep! Haha! I dont really have much else to say. Our area is gorgeous and we work every day right by a huge lake and we get to watch the sunset if we time it just right. We live literally on the top floor of the Bishop’s house which is going to be GREAT when it comes to food! I had my first REAL dinner here the other night and I was in Heaven. Haha! We eat fine during the day, but at night it’s just kind of whatever we have left over from lunch or what we bought that day. Needless to say, I was extremely excited =)
I love you all so much!!!! Be good, be safe! And do keep writing. My area is pretty close to the office now so there is a chance I will get mail faster. Keep writing please! The Church is true. If you don’t know it, pray about it! Really, really try to know. When God sees you have the desire to know, He will tell you. But first you gotta try =) I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Elder Dylan Miles Jensen
And to his Momma . . .
I cannot BELIEVE that 50% of new Missionary Applications were from girls! Gosh! That’s going to be crazy. We are going to have waaaaaay more Sisters in a few months. I’ll bet these people applying are going to have to wait foreeeeever to get their calls with how many applications are going in . . . That’s crazy! The Lord has some big plans!!!!
All the instructions for the Christmas box . . . Got it. Totally going to open everything the first day though =)
Everything is great here, Ma! Kind of a rough week but this next one is going to be reeeeeally good. I can’t believe I have five months of the mission. And next month I’ll be a fourth of the way through! I feel like when I hit January time is just going to FLY! It’s already fast right now. But everyone says that after six months it just zoooooms!!! Excited!!!
I love you so much!!!!! Keep sending me fun photos to put into my photo album will ya? Love you Momma. You have no idea how much you prepared me for this mission. Yesterday some guy just wanted to be loud and obnoxious with us in the street. I think he kept expecting me to argue and I just kept thinking about you . . . Haha. When people want to argue about stupid stuff I just let them talk. When they want to act like adults and talk maturely about what we believe, I talk. But arguing . . . Not how I roll. Can’t teach that way! And I know I learned that from you =) I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And thanks Mom . . . I get dizzy sometimes when the Spirit gets really strong I don’t know why . . . Like when we giving a blessing out at Ashley’s house, or when I had my interview with President Merrell . . . I can’t explain it, but it just happened again. I don’t know what God has planned for me here, but I think you are right. I think something big is going to happen. Love you, Ma =)
Monday, October 22, 2012
I will be transferred this week! Kind of nervous because it is my first one, but also really, really excited. It will be awesome to get out and witness a new area with new people. I will know where I am headed tomorrow! Elder Denna is also out of here, but that wasn’t a surprise. He has been here for six months now, so we all knew this transfer would be it for him here. Sad ‘cause that guy is one of my best friends now, but, hey! Gotta continue the work, right? J
Landon Creer... Parabéns!!!!!!!!!!!!! Missão Brasil... Bem-Vindo meu amigo você vai desfrutar a missão mais que qualquer outra coisa em sua vida! Eu te amo!!!!!!
Naiane was baptized this week! She was so happy and was crying like crazy! She felt really nervous . . . I think she had the same feeling I had the first time going to the Temple. And then, the next day, I had the opportunity to confirm her as well. Man . . . Passing the Gift of the Holy Ghost . . . That was incredible!!!!!!! It was my first time so, of course, I was nervous but . . . WOW!!!! Absolutely incredible J And, of course, then she cried some more. I think you and Naiane would get along great, Momma J
Jackie’s Mom had said she could decide for herself what she wanted to do. She seemed super chill when we met her and she was talking about agency and what not. But when Jackie asked her to sign the paper, she wouldn’t sign it L So, Jackie couldn’t be baptized with Naiane, which is a total bummer. But, I know with every fiber of my being that she WILL be baptized someday. She was so beyond sad that she couldn’t be. But, I know she will be! And I can’t wait for that day! J
Well . . . Next time I talk to y’all, I will be somewhere else! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!! The Church is true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Elder Jensen
Monday, October 15, 2012
This week . . .
We were SO close to baptizing Naiane! She was going to be but . . . It just didn’t quite work out. As for Jackeline . . . WE GET TO MEET HER MOM TONIGHT!!!!! I don’t know what y’all are doing back home, but keep it up! Such a HUGE answer to prayers. I am beyond excited to meet her and help her understand more about what we believe. I truly believe Jackie and Naiane are going to be baptized this Saturday J I can feel it! Thank you all so much for your prayers and fasting!!!!!
Other than that, the week wasn’t anything TOO exhilarating. One day, it was raining and my umbrella was blocking my vision because the wind was in front of us aaaaaand . . . I may or may not have run into a car. Bad news = I ran into a car. Good news = I’m basically the Hulk and Elder Del Castillo said that I bent the license plate. I didn’t see it because I walked away as quickly as possible. Buuuuuut . . . Yea . . . I’m super strong like that.
Elder Denna and Elder Ezquierdo had two baptisms this week, so of course I am super happy for them. Except Marina . . . One of the girls is a “snake”. A “snake” is a girl that tries to tempt missionaries or . . . ya know. She’s always looking at me and Elder Denna super weird and I just cringe and feel extremely uncomfortable . . . #SuperAwkward #DangBraziliansLoveUsAmericanDudes
We managed to meet a few solid investigators this week, but nothing that I can say is “for sure” yet. As time goes on and we know more about them, I will fill you in J We taught a lady and invited her to Church. She said she would go and we asked if we could walk with her. She basically said, “You don’t trust me? If I say I’m going to go, I’m going to go!” Yeah . . . She didn’t go . . .
Well, besides that, really not too much to report! This week really picked up and working with Elder Del Castillo is awesome even though he is super OCD with everything having to be perfectly clean and in place . . . It’s weird but, hey! Good guy!
I love you all a ton!!!!! Please keep writing. I love hearing from all of you. I especially want to hear from all of the youth who are deciding to go on Missions! GO! But write me first!!!!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Elder Jensen
Monday, October 8, 2012
SOMEONE TELL ME THAT ANGELA MERRELL IS GOING ON A MISSION THIS INSTANT. Holy 19!!!!!!!!!! I was blown away!!! We were sittin’ in Conference and President Monson was talking and before he even said anything everything got really quiet and peaceful. I had been getting stuff out of my bag and all of a sudden I just felt that feeling and looked up to hear the announcement that it is 18 for boys and 19 for girls! The boys part was cool but the girls? MY GOSH! The first person I thought of was Angela. I reeeeeally hope she has a desire to go!!! Please let me know! It was prettty funny right after though. It basically means that all guys on missions right now aren’t going to have ANYONE to marry when we get home! Hahahaha . . . Like every Elder was saying this exact same thing.
But, really, Conference was absolutely INCREDIBLE. I think it may have been the first time that I ever really truly stuck to watching all the way through. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me that the words of the Prophet and Apostles are so dang swaggy!? They had a room for English speakers, of course, so I went to that room. I could understand in Portuguese, but i didn’t want to miss anything. Eonference is only two times a year, so i couldn’t let anything slip. I don’t have my notes with me but Elder Holland . . . He never ceases to amaze me. I don’t know what else to say. You all know what I mean. There was also a talk in Priesthood session (the name is passing my mind) about being men. I don’t know how to explain it and do it justice so . . . Go look it up. Super awesome =) And, of course, all of President Uchtdorf’s talks . . . That guy just rocks my socks.
Well . . . As you all know, this last week was my first week with Elder del Castillo. He is super smart and also very OCD with some things. Haha . . . For instance, he uses four shavers every day. One for his neck, one for his moustache, one for the other parts of his face and, the fourth one, I have yet to figure out. He’s always up by 5:30am (#insane) to shower for like 30-45 minutes. He is a mysterious, mysterious man. But, if things like that are my biggest worry about him, I suppose I don’t have much to worry about at all!
This week was pretty slow and super short. We only had three days to work because of a baptism for Elders Denna and Izquierdo and General Conference. We are in Maceió right now and got to watch Conference here . . .
Jacqualine and Naiane . . . Nope L The adversary is doing everything he can to stop them. Their families are hating on the like crazy. Jackie is scared to talk to her Mom and Naiane didn’t want to be baptized because of her family arguing with her. It’s interesting how when they were investigating other churches, it was never a problem with their families. Bu, the moment they started investigating our Church, the world exploded. #proofthatthechurchistrue . . . Their families think we are a cult and that we are manipulating them. Yes . . . I was trained for years in the arts of manipulation and lies. All those years of Kingdom Hearts and PlayStation taught me how to be a masterful teacher and liar who can fool absolutely anyone . . . Obviously, that’s exactly why I am here. That’s exactly why I left behind my entire life for two years . . .To lie to people . . .
So, we made a goal with them . . . By Tuesday, they need to have a date that we can visit their families. I see no other way to change the families’ minds other than showing them that all we do is teach about Christ. We just need them to know that we are normal human beings with a great message. I’ve been praying a lot that this works out. Jackie and Naiane are BEYOND prepared. The Lord has put them in this spot for a reason. I don’t know for sure when they will be baptized, but I know that it will happen someday. Maybe I won’t be here . . . But in two years when I get home and look on FaceBook to see pictures of their baptisms, I am going to cry my eyes out with joy. I LOVE THESE GIRLS! They are absolutely incredible and their desires are amazing. I’m hoping that our goal works and that I can baptize them. Pray lots for them!!!!!
Elder Denna and I did splits this week, too. As we were knocking on doors, we came across five women and we explained who we were. They then proceeded to explain that they are missionaries for the Betel church. A little awkward, but it’s all good! They invited us in to pray, so we entered, closed our eyes, and crossed our arms and BOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!! The whole world exploded! All five women started yelling and screaming their prayers with their hands in the air. Ohhhhhhhh my gosh. I couldn’t stop laughing! I was cryyyyyying! And then I looked over at Elder Denna and he was doing the exact same thing . . . Hahaha . . . Which made me die even more! I was so glad that the women had their eyes closed because they would have haaaaaated us! Ohhhhh . . . Such a priceless moment!
I’ve got a good feeling about this upcoming week. I’ve got some ideas of where we are going to work and I feel like the success is really going to come through this week. I’m really excited to get back to São Miguel and start workin’ again. This weekend has been great, but it’s really time to get back to work!!!!
Well, I love you all so much! Thanks for all of your support. And YOU . . . Yes, YOU! If you are a young man of 18 years or a young woman of 19, GO ON A MISSION. We truly are in the last days, the Lord needs the greatest army he can gain. GO! Start your papers now!!! Can’t wait to hear from you all! Write me lots!!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!
Monday, October 1, 2012
This last week had its ups and downs without a DOUBT . . . We had one day where eeeeeeverything was fallin’ right into place! Perfect day with everything . . . And then we had two days following that just . . . Stunk . . . Haha. Nothing. No one kept commitments, people weren’t showin’ up and people didn’t want to hear the message. Rough two days! We even talked with this kid who is a Jehovah’s Witness. All he wanted to do was prove that God and Christ are two different people . . . Ummmm . . . Yea . . . We already established that we believe that as well, remember? But, nope. He kept wanting to argue and prove it . . . Hahaha . . . Pretty funny. Also, a little frustrated with people who say things like, “I’m searching for God so much in my life. I haven’t found the right path yet, and I know that He will show it to me if I have faith. I just know the right path is out there somewhere.” Bam . . . You’re so ready for this Gospel! So you start talking to them and ask if they want to hear aaaaaaand . . . They say, “No, I don’t want to hear it right now”. What?!?!?! #confused J On the flip side, Heavenly Father has blessed me with an amazing ability to stay positive. So, life goes on!
Jaqueline and Naiane are progressing AWESOMELY. Naiane is for sure going to baptized this week . . . 100% . . . Jackie . . . She will be baptized if she gets permission from her parents. They are not very receptive and she is afraid to ask about baptism. So, please pray a TON for her. She rrrrrrrreeeeeeally needs the prayers! They are so legit and ready!!!!!!!
We met two people this week named Francisco and Adriane. Suuuuuper legit couple who live together, have two daughters, buuuuut . . . Don’t want to be married. Adriane wants to, but Francisco . . . It’s so sad. It’s like they have no real confidence in their relationship. They both understand that being married means being truly TOGETHER and it’s like they are afraid of that. Almost as if they know they aren’t going to make it . . . It’s super depressing. So please . . . Pray lots for them!
Well, the reason I am writing late today is because . . . Drum roll . . . Emergency transfer! But I didn’t leave São Miguel. Elder Rodrigues left for somewhere in Sergipe. No one really knows why . . . It’s kinda sad ‘cause I learned a ton from him and we were reeeeeeally good buddies. But it’s time to keep goin’! Pretty excited really J My new companion’s name is Elder Del Castillo and he is from Bolivia. SUPER legit as well. I’ve gotten really lucky with companions so far. He’s super nice and laid back and the Spirit is really strong around him! We just visited the super market, though, and DANG! I guess the dude loves to cook! Skinniest guy ever, but . . . Oh, boy! Looks like he can eat like nobody’s business!
Haha . . . So, yea! That was the week! New companion . . . Time to learn more and progress more and help these people change their lives!!!!! #mormonswag
I love you all! Be good! Be safe!!!!!!
Love, Elder Jensen
Well . . . Really not toooo much this week, but I’ll let ya know about the important things I can remember!
I’ve learned a ton this past week about the importance of families. Jackie and Naiane, two of our investigators that are absolutely AWESOME (they even made us a cake last night and I almost cried of sheer joy J), have a lot of problems with family. Neither of their families want them talking to us. For Naiane, it’s not a big deal because she is 20, but for Jackie, it’s a problem because she is only 16. And, we have to have consent from the parents to speak with minors . . . They are increeeeeedible and both really need this Gospel to help them. It’s what they are searching for and I know that without a doubt in my mind.
Another story about the importance of families, stronger story really . . . Is about a woman named Jessica. It’s a really sad thing here . . . When a husband has a wife, it’s normal for him to leave his family and go live with another woman or family, even states away. It’s one of the most depressing things I’ve ever seen. Jessica is “married” (I really don’t know what to call it) to this guy called Sandro who really has a different wife and family in some other state. The saddest part is, and the part I reeeeeeally don’t understand, that she absolutely hates this guy. After he left, she was talkin’ to us about how ignorant he is and how much she doesn’t like him. She was crying her eyes out. We don’t really understand why she stays with him . . .But there must be some reason.
All I know is it really made me see how important it is to have love at home. How important it is that we love our spouses (for those of us with one) and our children, and our brothers, and sisters, and just everyone. That we have such a POWERFUL influence on those in our home because we really are a unit and a team. We live together and do everything. Every action we take has an impact on someone else. This is why Heavenly Father gave us families – To help the other improve and feel more happiness and joy during our times together or not together – That we absolutely ALWAYS have each others’ backs. Friends come and go, but our families are OUR FAMILIES. We only get one. If you only had one computer for your whole life, how would you treat it? You would do everything you could do keep it in perfect shape. It’s the same thing and waaaaayyyyy more with families. We only get one. And not just for this life . . .But for ETERNITY! So, we have to do everything we can to stick together and help one another J THAT is when we will feel truuuuuuuly happy J
Well . . . I sure do love you all! No baptisms this week, but things are lookin’ up. Investigators are poppin’ out of no where and reeeeeeeeally are answers to all of your prayers! We have four weeks to close ‘em up and get ‘em baptized! Maybe more if I stay here, but we will see! Everything’s great! Life is fantastic! I think about you all every day! But I’m so happy to be able to bring this joy that I have at home to others. Because everyone needs it! J I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!
Love, Elder Jensen
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
This week was prrrrrrretty slow again . . . Haha . . . But the Lord is really blessing me with this upbeat attitude that I don’t completely understand how I can keep! But it’s definitely a good thing!
This week we had a few miracles. First one was on Monday night. Elder Rodrigues and I were finishing our planning for the night and we heard some young kids sittin’ in front of our house. Now, keep in mind that we had a tough week with practically no investigators. So, normally, when kids are talking at 10pm at night, it’s about relationships, drugs, or Telly Tubbies. But, no . . . What were they talking about? The Bible! What?!?!? We were shocked! So, we walked out there and talked to them. Turned out to be five young girls around 14 years of age. They are all way into the Bible and religion, so we invited them to a Church activity that week and didn’t think too much of it. But . . . We should have! Cuz THAT is a sign! And, then, all of them showed up to the activity! And the loved it!!!! My gosh! Such a huuuuuuuge answer to prayers!
The next miracle happened yesterday. Basically, all of our investigators dropped going to Church when we thought we had tons of “firm” people. So, basically, no investigators at Church except three of those five girls I just told you about. But then, suuuuuuper random, a lady we contacted in the street turned up! Sooooo random! We were way confused . . . Haha . . . But very happy! We spoke with her that night, too, and she is awesome. We will be returning to her house sooooooon! Wednesday, I believe!
Ah . . . Three miracles . . . My mistake. And, the last . . . Wow . . . I will explain . . . We were walking past a huuuuuuge Betel (probably different name in English) church to visit a less active member. I had this weird feeling, or maybe I heard them, I don’t know. But, like ten seconds after, two girls ran up behind us to talk to us. I was just thinking, “What are you doing? It’s OUR job to make people feel awkward in the street!” Anyway . . . Naiane is 20 and Jaquelinen is 16 and both have attended toooooons of different churches. They said they hadn’t found that place where they reeeeeally felt happy and comfortable and that they were still searching for something . . . They just didn’t know what it was. “Oh, hey! I have an idea!!!!!!!” Yeah . . .BOOM . . . Called up a recent convert and got over to her house and taught an amaaaaaazing lesson. The Spirit was incredible! I could feel it even before we started! So, when we got to the First Vision . . . I felt like I was going to explode! It was absolutely incredible! Both of them cried at some point during that lesson. Aaaaah . . . I wish you all could have been there! If that’s not a miracle, I don’t know what is!!!!
The Lord just put them right in our path because they are ready! More like He put us in THEIR path, actually! Sooooo awesome! So, we will be going back to talk with him in two days.
Everyone . . . The Church is true. God is there and He has a plan. We might not understand it. Most times, we won’t. But the way that He works is AMAZING. God truly is a God of miracles! I LOVE YOU ALLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Elder Jensen
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Well . . . This week definitely had its ups and downs. Definitely lots of learning goin’ on here! Really not tons of people who wanted to hear our message or just didn’t like us at all . . . Haha . . . Buuuuuut . . . We met this family that lives in, I don’t know how to describe it. It’s a little house with one light bulb, a bed, a tiiiiiiny couch and a drawer. It’s probably smaller than my room back home. Super sad and super humbling. Anyway, turns out this little family of four has tons of problems. Junior, the Dad there, has problems with basically every drug you can think of, every addictive substance that pops into your head is what he has used. He has this strong desire to change his life, but with addictions like that, changing is a whole new story, ya know? It’s really a sad thing . . . And when we returned there a few days ago, we learned that he had been imprisoned because of drugs . . . Suuuuuper sad. No one that has only lived in the United States can understand how complete spoiled we reeeeeeeally are.
I had a couple run-ins with language problems this week . . . When people are super rude and don’t wanna listen. Three ladies just laughed their heads off ‘cause they couldn’t understand me. Yea, I wasn’t happy to say the least . . . But! Luckily, I’m not very good at stayin’ down, so I was fine after about ten minutes J
Adriana and Wesliane . . . #dropped . . . They aren’t going to be baptized. We went there to visit them just to confirm that they were comin’ to Church and . . . nope. Adriana just kept sayin’, “If I feel the desire, I will go.” Someone doesn’t quite understand sacrifice and the importance of Church. She believes everything we have taught all that. She has a testimony and everything you could hope for, but isn’t gonna pull through all the way. And, of course, Wesliane is her daughter, so she’s not gonna be baptized either. I’m still hopin’ and prayin’ for a miracle for them, but it’s not lookin’ good L
So ya know, we have all of these challenges for a reason. I’ve been prayin’ a lot lately for the opportunity to learn and grow. It’s just . . . These opportunities are basically never easy or fun! Haha! But I totally brought it upon myself by asking for these chances. I think that’s why I can keep such a positive attitude when things get rough. ‘Cause I know that this is all part of progressing and becoming the best person I can be. That’s what this life is about, right?!?! A chance to learn and a chance to grow to help others J
The Lord really blessed us on Sunday (the very end of the week, of course) by giving us a new investigator. Michelle is a friend of a less active member. We got them both to come to Church and they LOVED it. Patience really does work if you practice it, I guess! Really helped us end the week on a happy note!
Transfers are this week, but everything in our District will be stayin’ the same. I think because of the 12-week training program. Sometimes the President will end it early, but it won’t be happenin’ for us! So, at least six more weeks here in Sao Miguel, which is no problem if this is where I need to be!
Well . . . I love you all so much! It was a kind of rough week, but just know that I can feel all your prayers pullin’ me along. The Lord is right beside me in every step I take and everything is great ! I promise! Be good! Be safe!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Elder Jensen