Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's up, family!!!!!!!

Fact . . . President Kimball looks like Yoda.  Look.  It’s super cool / creepy . . .

Well, this week was solid.  Nothin’ too special.  Just the same old classes and what not.  I sent home a letter and a few pictures today, so hopefully y’all will get those soon!  This week was pretty good.  Not too much trouble with anyone.  Of course, nothing goes perfectly, but it was definitely better than Week One!  Haha!

We got new Brazilian roommates this week – Elders Thomazinho and Silva.  Both are super cool and neither speak any English.  Luckily, our first Brazilian roommates spoke a little English so we could learn from them.  But now we HAVE to speak Portuguese and we are learning fast!  Elder Silva has an accent that’s super hard to understand.  I don’t know how to explain it.  It’s lots of “sh” and “ja”noises.  That doesn’t explain much, but people who know Portuguese would get it . . . Haha . . . So, we are learning!  Depending on the person, I can understand most of what is being said, but not all the time.  Depends what context everything is being used in as well.  No matter what, though, I’ve learned more here in a few weeks than I did in two and a half years of Spanish classes!  Haha!  So . . . Gift of tongues indeed!

My camera miraculously started working again . . . And then stopped again . . . And then worked again.  So, I don’t know what the deal is!  Very unpredictable!  But, I just used Elder Krause’s camera today and that worked out pretty well.  I think I sent three pictures home and will for sure have one more next week . . . Haha . . . I don’t really have a variety of things to take pictures of here and we can only use our cameras on P-Day, so you’ll basically have to wait until I get to Maceio for good ones!

Can you believe I’m in my fifth week?  Three days and I’ll have been here for a month already!  What I really think is cool, though, is that I’ll be in week seven by the time I was originally supposed to get here!  AWESOME!  Not regretting the decision to come early at all.  Lovin’ every bit of it!

I got to sing with a kinda small group of people in devotional yesterday, so that was pretty fun.  Not like Chanticleer, but still fun to sing again with people who know what they’re doing . . . Haha . . .

Well . . . I really don’t know what else to say for now.  Oh!  Asi!  Tell him I’m pumped for him  J  I wanted him to come to Brazil, but I know that Canada must be where he needs to be!

I keep forgetting to tell you how much I LOVE your letters, Momma.  They make my weeks.  Every day, Missionaries just wait to open those boxes at dinner time and every time I get one from you I’m sooooooo excited!  The pictures and everything!  I just love having visuals and knowing what’s goin’ on back home.  I can’t respond very often with real letters, but please know how much I love them!

It doesn’t rain every day, but for a few days it was pretty rainy.  Like my second week, we even had a black out . . . Haha!  Today and yesterday have been beautiful though!  I don’t feel much of a difference with humidity any more.  At first it was obvious, but I don’t remember what it’s like to not have it any more . . . Haha!

Please know that I’m doing great and I’m very happy and VERY blessed to be here  J

Oh!  Today I got to spend some time all alone in the Celestial Room at the Temple . . . It was the most relaxed I’ve been in a long time.  Love, love, loved it!

Well . . . I love you all!  I pray for you all every day!  Please keep sendin’ me letters and LOOOOOOOOOOOOOTS of pictures!  I like to show off the ones that Kim and Dallas sent me to other Missionaries.  I carry them in my pocket  J  So, please keep sendin’ pictures and letters!  I wanna hear from everyone!  I love you all sooooooo much!

 Love - Elder Jensen

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Well!  Week four already!  Crazy, huh?  Next week I’ll have been here for a month already!  Crazy!

Not too much really happened this week.  Everything is very, very routine.  Wake up, get ready, language study, lunch, language study, dinner, language study.  As well as teaching our teacher investigators once a day.

We taught one of our investigators yesterday and I really felt like it was the first time we were in total control of the meeting.  And the Spirit was soooooo strong!  It made me want to be out in the field so bad!  It doesn’t help that I have a lot of friends leavin’ this upcoming week, too.  I’m really gonna miss some of these Missionaries!  Our Brazilian roommates and all the Brazilians that arrived with them left yesterday morning.  I WANTED TO CRY.  It’s much quieter and cleaner with them gone . . . Haha . . . But they were so much fun!  We all traded ties the night before they left (of course my J Crew ones were off the market), and then exchanged notes on the back.  Elder Dos Anjos wrote, “Boa Missao, Elder Jensen!  You are succeed!”  Haha . . . I was laughing so hard but it’s definitely going to be one of the things I laugh about every time I wear that tie from now on.  We might get new roommates today or tomorrow.  I couldn’t really say.  I guess we’ll find out today or tomorrow!!!

The week went much better District-wise and stress-wise.  Everyone seems a little more down to earth and relaxed this week which is really nice.  And the language is still comin’ along!  I can hold small conversations and do a lot of teaching.  But there are a lot of words I don’t know that have to do with basic conversations so I know I’ll just have to wait for that to come . . . And for my mind to process everything a little bit faster!

I wish I could tell you all more, but it would be complete repetition from here on out . . . If I think of something in the next eighteen minutes, I will send another e-mail . .. Haha . . .

Everything is goin’ great.  Time is flying just like everyone said it would.  When I look forward, I feel like I have forever, but when I look back, I can’t believe it’s already been almost a month.

Did you manage to send all those addresses of friends and family, Momma?  I’ve been writing letters but have nowhere to send them at the moment . . . Haha . . .

Bad news . . . Last week the camera broke.  No . . . I didn’t drop it.  Something must have happened with the lens.  I can see pictures that are on the card so the screen works totally fine.  But when I go to take a picture, the screen is just pink and won’t take pictures.  Should I send the camera home?  Or what do you think is the best plan?  At this point, it looks like I might not have any pictures at the CTM . . . Unless I take some with my Companion’s camera and go get them printed which I can definitely do!

I’ve been using my voice recorder a lot!  I absolutely love recording things . . . Haha . . . I would send the first tape, but I feel like it was a lot of my first week which was really hard and I don’t wanna make you all sad, so I will probably wait until I leave the CTM and will send the first along with the second which has more funny stuff on it!  Haha . . . I think you all will enjoy the recordings.

Has Asi received his Mission Call yet???????????????  I wanna know where he’s goin!!!!!!!!!!!!  PLEASE, please, please find out as soon as possible.

I love you all with all my heart and LOVED getting more letters this week.  At dinner, the Missionaries just stare at the mailbox waiting for Sister Steadman to go put in the mail.  It’s like waiting in line to buy an iPhone or something.  Everyone gets super excited and it happens every night!!!!!  Haha . . . I love hearing from you all, so please keep sendin’ letters whenever you can and I will write back when I can!

What is the best way to send those recordings home, Ma?  Would it be safe to wrap ‘em up and put ‘em in an envelope with the plastic cases?  Or should I buy a little box?  Lemme know what you think is best.

Well . . . All of your other questions should be answered in thee-mail I just sent!  I love you so much, Momma!  And everyone in my District knows who you are . . . Everyone even calls you Momma J.  I love you with all my heart and LOVED getting more letters this week at dinner.  Yea . . . I guess I kinda talk about you all too much and get a little too excited when I get letters from you . . . Haha . . .

I sure do love you all!  The Lord is blessing me so much out here and I have grown so much in just three weeks.  I can’t imagine what 23 more months will do to me (in a good way)!  I LOVE YOU!

Elder Jensen

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Oi!!! Come vai?

Well . . . This week has been MUCH better than my first.  Things have really started movin’ along.  I feel like I can actually express thoughts and ideas now.  They press so much Gospel stuff on us right away that I have started gettin’ decent at speakin’ with Gospel related topics.  But, just speaking and holding a conversation are different ‘cause we don’t really get to do that allll too much.  But still . . . I’m learning A LOT!

Mom, I wish you had been here when I got your first letter.  The Sisters were makin’ fun of me a lot.  “Dylan, you got a letter!  From who?  Momma Jensen?!?!?!?”  Haha.  I was sooooooo excited!  Of course, first question I got was, “You’re a Momma’s boy, aren’t you?”  And I said, “Heck yeah and proud of it!”  Then I proceeded to tell them how you act and speak like a gangster, haha . . .

I can’t even begin to explain how much the Temple means to me now.  Once again today, it kinda allowed me to slow down and get my feet back under me, which I really needed.  I feel like I feel the Spirit so strongly there and hear the things I need to hear in order to grow.  After a week of being stressed, the Spirit really helps me relax and calm down.  I thought I enjoyed the Temple back home, but here, where I legitimately NEED it, I feel things more strongly than I have felt before.

I really wish you could meet Irmao Costa.  Chances are that I will mention him in every letter until I leave the CTM.  He is just the coolest and most spiritual guy ever.  All he wants is for us to be successful, even if that means being a little rough on us.  He lets us know when he doesn’t like something we do ‘cause he wants us to be the best Missionaries we can be.

Well, we got four new people this week - Three Sisters and one Elder.  Elder Krauser is Elder Garn’s and my new Companion. He knows Spanish pretty well so his Portuguese is coming along very quickly and he is a huge blessing.  He changes everything for me and Elder Garn – makes our lessons much more powerful.

Things are gettin’ better with my District now that everyone is more used to the whole situation.  Not nearly as much stress, so that’s good.  And, I gave my first blessing here!  To Sister Stewart.  I have a feeling I will be giving lots of blessings since we have seven Sisters, haha . . . But, it was really cool.  I could reeeeeeeeally feel the Spirit telling me what to say.  I knew exactly where to go with each sentence and I’m so happy I’m worthy of receiving those things from Him.

One of the new Sisters, Sister Johnson . . . Yeah . . . Beastin’ at basketball.  She played at Utah State and then played professionally in Australia.  Her first day here, she was like, “I don’t care!  I’ll go beast mode on the Elders!”  I was scared outta my mind . . . She’s like 6’2” or 6’3” and is so strong!  She’s super good at shooting . . . Strokes it pretty legit, haha . . .

Well, I bought a ton of chocolate today ‘cause I find myself craving it throughout the week.  Hopefully it lasts longer than two hours.  I try not to spend too much out here.  I’m still the same money-wise.  I hate spending money unless I have to.  And chocolate?  I had to . . . Definitely a necessity.

It’s funny hearing all the other Districts tell me how sorry they are for me ‘cause I have all Sisters, haha.  At first, I thought it was terrible, but I just realized I learn a lot from them and can learn a lot from them.  It just takes patience sometimes, which is one of those things I really do need to learn.  Maybe that’s why I’ve been given all these situations.  It’s all preparing me, though!

Well, really, not too much happened this week . . . Everything is comin’ along.  I’m glad you guys are gettin’ people to write to me.  Just make sure everyone sends me “real” letters (in the mail).  I know y’all got it, though, and that’s why I love you!  You all are the best!  I’m gonna go read some letters and then maybe I’ll send another.  Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Elder Jensen

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dylan's First Letter from the São Paulo CTM


Okay . . . So, I only have 30 minutes, so I’m not doing any proper grammar or typing, so don’t judge me.  I also am just going to write one big letter and if I have time to respond to the individual ones, I will do that afterward!

So, the flight here was super long.  I got sick right off the bat and my stomach was killing . . . Ha, ha . . . So the four hour layover in Texas was kinda rough.  Sittin’ on the bathroom floor trying to throw up.  I never did and I felt a lot better by the time we boarded the plane . . . So, life goes on!  Luckily, I sat next to a girl named Bruna who understood English and she taught me a little bit of Portuguese and what not.  The flight wasn’t too bad except that I couldn’t sleep at allllll.  Maybe like an hour or two.  It wasn’t too bad, though.  It seemed like a while, but not like 10 hours.

So, I finally got here and got all situated and everything.  There was someone at the airport to pick us up and help us exchange money and all that good stuff, so the airport wasn’t too stressful.  Luckily there was someone there to help or I woulda got way lost.

Then came the CTM!  Intense, but I was ready!  The first day seemed like a week cuz I was ake for so long, but it did end eventually . . . Ha, ha.  Within the first two days, I could pray and bear my testimony in Portuguese which was extremely cool.  The language seemed to come pretty easy.  Definitely the Lord blessing Missionaries!!!  It’s stressful learning the language, but also really fun.

My Companion is Elder Garn.  He is from Centerville, Utah and he’s a pretty cool guy.  He knows a lot about cars so we talk about cars a lot . . . Ha, ha.  We also got two Brazilian roommates the day after we arrived.  They are Elder Dos Anjos and Elder Sanchez.  Elder Dos Anjos is from Salvador (in Brasil) and I’m honestly not sure where Elder Sanchez is from . . . I forgot.

Well, it got pretty stressful right off the bat.  Mostly because of one thing . . . Investigators.  Not real ones, luckily, but our teachers role play.   So, they just throw you into the teaching.  It was soooooo hard.  They just all out speak Portuguese to me and I have no clue what’s going on.  Our first meeting is supposed to be getting to know them, but I had no clue.  Just things here and there.  So, that was a huge learning experience.  It’s incredibly hard right now, but I know it will pay off in the end. 

The good is pretty dang good here!  Tons of meat.  EVERY MEAL IS MEAT.  Except breakfast.  That’s usually just bread or fruit.  But, I thought that was good . . . Irmao Costa (my favorite teacher by faaaaar) took us out to a bbq place.  AMAZING.  You guys are gonna think I’m crazy . . . This is more extreme than Derek liking black beans . . . But . . . Chicken hearts.  I know.  Don’t judge me.  But it’s amazing!  I know the Lord is blessing me because if someone put a chicken heart in front of my face a week ago and said to try it two things could have happened.  (1) Just smack it out of my face cuz it looks disgusting or (2) I try it and totally puke because of the thought that a chicken’s heart is in my mouth.  Anyway . . . Absolutely amazing.  Everything there was sooooo good!  I don’t know all of what I ate and I try not to ask so I don’t gross myself out.  But it was all super good.

Funny story about Irmao Costa.  He started off with us ONLY speaking Portuguese which actually really helped.  Everyone said he spoke no English, but we all knew he did . . . Ha, ha.  Eventually he admitted it, but it was cool to have him do it.  Taught us a lot . . .

So, our District is the only District I think ever to have more Sisters than Elders, which has its ups and downs . . . Ha, ha . . . Mom, you know how much I wanted to get away from girls and the . . . It just doesn’t happen . . . Ha, ha . . . Even on a Mission.  Oh, well!  They are all really great! 

I learned within the first two days that I don’t rely on the Lord enough.  He showed me that by some of the situations that are taking place.  Situations that I can’t control by myself.  He is preparing me for something . . . I just don’t know what yet.

Well, I don’t have time for everything, but I love you all so much and wish you could see all that I am learning.  I’ve learned so much in just a few days.  It’s so great to be out here doing the Lord’s work.  I know that when I get this language down and head to Maceio, that I’m gonna fall in love with everything.  I LOVE YOU ALL!  Make sure everyone knows that.  I’ll write some letters so you can know more.  WRITE ME LOTS, PLEASE . . . WITH ACTUAL LETTERS.

Well, I’m gonna try to respond to everyone.  I love you all so much and think about you every day!!!!!!!

Love, Elder Jensen