Monday, August 6, 2012

“I ain’t in Checotah anymore!”

Well, hero!

How’s everyone doin?  Mom . . . I’m still not going to type with proper grammar . . . It’s too much work.  I have an hour on here so I’ll fill ya in on as much as I can think of!!!

Tuesday was a very weird day ‘cause I was the only Elder in my District leavin’.  So, I woke up, finished packing, and just kinda wandered aimlessly around the CTM . . . Haha . . . It was weird not havin’ a Companion or anything.  But, I left there at 8:30am!  I went straight to the airport with two other Elders (one from Uruguay and one from Sao Paulo) and got on the plane.  I also met one other Elder there who was headed to Maceio, but he never even went to the CTM ‘cause of VISA issues.  He learned some Portuguese at the MTC in Provo, but was then sent to Louisiana Spanish speaking . . . He was kinda lost with the Portuguese, but I know he will learn quickly.

On the way here, I gave away a Book of Mormon on the plane.  The gal I gave it to seemed super interested . . . She read the whole introduction and then started prayin’ about it right there!  Haha . . . It was a pretty cool experience, and fun, too!  So, then we arrived in Maceio and President Gonzaga and his wife were there with their Assistants (Elder Langlois was there!) to pick us up.  We went to the Mission Home and ate and all that good stuff . . . Except I felt kinda like Katniss . . . They are giving you all this super nice stuff but underneath it all . . . You know you’re about to die . . .Hahaha . . . Totally different world out here than the picture we got at their home!  But, it was really cool to get comfortable in the area and to get to know them and everything.

So . . . I have my first Companion!  Not FIRST, but you know what I mean . . . His name is Elder Rodrigues and he’s from Rio Grande do Sul.  He speaks ssssssuuuuuper limited English and lots of Portuguese . . . Thanks, Heavenly Father?  Haha . . . It’s a blessing though.  I am learning really fast from him.  He has only been out for about four months, but he’s my Trainer!  Pretty cool stuff!

The first week here was pretty insane.  The first day, we walked onto the street and Elder Rodrigues said, “Agora, vamos andar muito” which means, “Now, we are going to walk a lot”.  Haha . . . He was not lying!  I was dying!  Two months of sittin’ around and gaining weight will get to ya, but it felt reeeeeeeally good to finally get out and work.  So it began!

I can’t give ya the play-by-play, so I’ll give ya the overall . . . We were supposed to have a Baptism on Saturday for Gabriela, whose entire family are members, but she smoked again this week so she wasn’t ready.  We have one family, Gilbena and Cicera, who have two little boys.  The boys are members who my Companion recently baptized, but the parents aren’t married.  So, this week . . . We are having a wedding!  Haha . . . How cool is that?  They are getting’ married so that they can be baptized  J  So pumped!  And excited for them!

There is another girl named Deborah who is ready to be baptized but has been on vacation so I’ve only met her once.  We also found another family of four.  The little girl, Gabby, is three and the boy, Simon, is seven (eight next month J) and the parents are Ana and Monoel.  They seemed really interested and really cool.  We taught the first lesson and they committed to pray and be baptized and all that good stuff.  Pretty cool!  I feel good about them.

Honestly, though, a ton of stuff here are just lessons here and there . . . Knockin’ doors and explaining . . . Getting turned down, or getting asked in . . . All in a day’s work, right?  It’s been good, though.  The people here are really ready for our message.

Sheesh!  I didn’t say where I am!  Haha . . . Sorry!  The city I am in is Sao Miguel!  Pretty poor area . . .But cool and GORGEOUS!  We are surrounded by green hills and open space.  After being in the CTM for two months . . . This is perfect . . . Exactly what I wanted.  We have four missionaries in our District – Me and Elder Rodrigues and Elders Deen and Izquierda.  Elder Deen is from Sacramento  and Elder Izquierda is the Elder from Uruguay.  Both are really cool guys.  So, our area of Sao Miguel is kinda divided by a big mountain.  Whenever we need to go to the other side, we will cross over the mountain on a random dirt trail . . . Haha . . . It’s really cool.  Way different than being in Gilroy, for sure!  Crappy / cool part . . . We live on a huge hill.  Good news . . . We have a gorgeous view of the entire city!  Bad news . . . Of course, we have to walk to our house up that hill every day – not cool.  But it’s worth it once we are at the top!

This week has been a roller coaster.  Some things can lift you up and make you so happy and other things can bring you tumbling straight down.  Those “down” moments are the moments in which I’m really having to learn the most.  Because if I’m not happy, I start thinkin’ about home and wondering why I’m here and thinking of how much more comfortable I COULD be.  But those “up” moments, those moments when I remember why I am here and what I am doing, those are the good moments  J  I’m learning a lot about trusting in the Lord and knowing that He will lift me up.  And I know that is how it needs to be for the next twenty-two months!  Doin’ work, son!  I love it here.  It’s beautiful and I am learning SOOOOO much.

Well, other than that, I could type forever on specifics but I won’t . . . Haha . . . Too much.  I love you all so much and I hope everything is going GREAT!  You are always in my prayers and I know that the Lord is helping, protecting, and blessing you all.  I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  J

Love, Elder Jensen

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