Monday, October 14, 2013

Photo at the Hoth's

This is Jamison Hoth and his little brother, we have gotten close with their family the last little while.  Jamison just got back from Baya Blanca Argentina, so he has been filling me in on life in Argentina.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Two Weeks Left!!!!!!!!

October 8th 2013

Surprise!!!!  Guess who's going to see the consulate IN Argentina?!?!?  I am!!!!  I'm leaving Oct. 22nd and I should be able to call you all during my lay over!  I haven't gotten my flight plans yet though, I'll probably get those this week!  I'm so excited!  But I'm gonna miss everyone that I've made friends with here in Smithfield!  And by the way, I've known about my visa since last Thursday so it's been kind of killer not to sneak on to Facebook and send a quick message to Evie about it!  But I stayed strong haha!  As for General Conference!  Elder Trujillo and I were able to go to all 3 sessions on Saturday!  So it was an entire day in Salt Lake City, and it was a miracle that I didn't see anybody I knew!!  Conference was awesome!  My favorite talks were probably President Uchtdorf's during Priesthood or Holland's!  I really enjoyed Bednar's as well!!!  I guess it's just too difficult to pick a favorite!  And being at the conference center to see all three of those talks in person was incredible!!  If possible you should all try and go down next year to see it live!  It was definitely an experience that I'll never forget!  Other than the visa and Conference it's been somewhat of a slow week though!  One of our best investigators just moved down to Henderson for the winter and the one that we were going to drop a baptismal date on couldn't meet with us this week!  So a lot of this week was spent in service or teaching less active families.  My Spanish continues to get better and although I may not be able to speak fluently I can understand quite a bit of what I hear!  Which is good because I'm off to an all-spanish country soon haha.  It's funny that Brigham said he saw me in Priesthood, I was there, you'll have to take a look and see if you can find me!  And I've heard a lot about this government shut down thing!  Bummer that all the parks are closed down for now!  But you'll still have a fun time down in Park City!  And Caleb's getting acne!!  Congratulations!!!  You've officially begun the worst part of being a young adult! hahaha!  As for a typical P-Day....  We usually wake up do our normal morning routine and then head out for the Family History Center in Logan to do e-mails...  Afterwards we go somewhere to eat lunch, and then usually there's some sort of sporting activity going on that we go to (Soccer and volleyball seem to be the most popular) afterwards we run to Walmart to go shopping, and then typically back to the house to unload our groceries, write letters if we have time, and eat dinner.  Pretty exciting day! haha...  And as for the work here....  Door to door contacting is non-existent, we've tried....  It doesn't get us anywhere.  Everything we do comes from ward council meetings and referrals we receive from members!  Our stake president is on fire about missionary work so he's constantly making sure that we're taken care of and have enough appointments for the week.  Last week we taught a total of 9 lessons to people including one on skype to someone Elder Trujillo knows.  I'm glad that it sounds like things are going well for everyone at home!  It sounds like Evie's enjoying High School with all of the dances coming up, and I'm sure that Caleb is having fun at Jr. High....   I've loved serving in Smithfield and I can't wait to get back home and take you to meet some of the families and investigators that I've become close with.   And I can't wait to get out to Argentina and get to know the people down there!  I love you all and I love hearing from all of you! 

Your son/brother Elder Jacob Jensen
                                          Don't know why Smithfield needs this type of artillery
                                               From our apple picking adventures
            Our last district, notice Elder Trujillo trying to steal some brownies                
                                          Sometimes I feel like this tombstone

Fun Facts

October 1st 2013

-I've officially had someone try to convert my to Catholicism 
-I still can't bowl very well, scored a 102 this afternoon
-Still stink a soccer (no surprise)
-Have a pet spider in our garage who we feed all the flies that come into our house to
-Have decided to read as many General Conference talks as possible before going to Argentina (almost done with 1971)
-Was the only one in our house to guess that I'd be staying in Smithfield for another transfer
-Panicked a little bit when I saw snow on the mountains (that coat works well by the way)
-I'm fed hamburgers almost every night by members
-Taught a lesson with Elder Trujillo to someone Elder Trujillo knows, using skype on our new iPads
-Facial hair is growing faster and faster
-I might also be at the priesthood session of conference as well

Third Transfer

October 1st 2013

Well believe it or not I'm already starting my third transfer!  We met this morning as a zone to discuss who would be going where and who would be staying.  I'm staying in Smithfield with Elder Trujillo luckily!  I'd hate to have had to leave the area after the work that we've done!  It's been quite a week, involving a lot of service.  Last Saturday we ended up helping someone remove all the shingles from the roof, which took a good 4 hours!  And after that a member asked us to help him pick some apples from and elderly couples apple tree.  We ended up sending Elder Morales and Elder Delong up the tree to pick the apples, and Elder Trujillo and I were playing catch the apples.  I felt like was back out in left field again with how high they were throwing the apples.  After awhile though it became dodge the apples when all of a sudden there were 4 or 5 apples in the air at any given time.  Yesterday all of the trainers had to go down to Ogden for a special meeting which left Elder Delong, Elder White, and me to cover our areas for the day!  3 greenies together for a whole day!  Of course it was interesting! haha...  We ended up talking to quite a few hispanics and every time we'd find some one Elder Delong would tell them we needed service!  The only problem was, he was using the word Serveza instead of Servicio.  Which actually means beer...  Somebody finally corrected him on it, but now I'm wondering how many people think that the missionaries need beer in the area!  Hahaha....  This past week Elder Trujillo and I finally were able to meet with a lady with the name of Sister Barham.  She was a referral that we received from a less active family that we were teaching.  She and her husband are Episcopalian and at first didn't seem to interested in listening to us but was fine with sitting down chatting for a second.  We talked to her about the Book of Mormon quite a bit and then talked to her of prayer and the spirit.  I felt once again impressed to invite her to ask if her Heavenly Father did indeed know her and did care about her and promised her that she would feel the spirit that we had talked about.  She was hesitant at first, but she agreed to if she could pray silently.  We all closed our eyes and said our own silent prayers, myself pleading and hoping that she would feel and recognize the spirit.  Elder Trujillo and I finished our own personal prayers and waited for what seemed to be quite some time for her to finish her own.  She finally raised her head and opened her eyes, and tears began to stream down her cheeks.  She'd been touched so much that she was unable to speak for some time.  I couldn't help but tear up myself as I testified of God's love for her and that what she was feeling was the Holy Ghost.  She'd admitted that she always knew that God loved her, but had never asked Him personally.  We talked a little more about the Book of Mormon and gave her some chapters to read and have a returning appointment for tomorrow, hopefully things go well from here on out!  It stinks to hear that Bountiful lost to WX again!  Although I must admit, it takes a little bit of the shame off from last years loss!  Haha...  And I'm glad to hear that homecoming went for Evie!  It's also good to finally hear from Caleb!  And I hope your game went well against Stansbury!  I received a letter from Church Headquarters saying that they are in constant contact with the Argentina Consulate and are constantly receiving updates about my visa, so with luck it'll be here soon!  It also sounds like Ryan's farewell went well, and I'm excited for him to enter the MTC.  Last week I ended up having to buy a blanket cuz it was getting too cold at night time and I also ended up getting some music to add some more variety to my iPod.  I bought two cd's, Lead Thou Me On by Vocal Point, and a Piano Guys CD, which I'm pretty happy with.  I think the Vocal Point CD is my favorite and my favorite songs are probably Danny Boy, Come Thou Fount, and Savior Redeemer of my Soul, from that CD.  We also received iPad mini's in the mission and we're the third mission to get those, so that's pretty exciting!  Especially because I now have every General Conference talk since 1971 at my fingertips so I have a lot more study material to use.  I love you all and hope everything continues to go well for all of you.  It's crazy to think that I'm already going in to my 4th month of my mission!  I'll be home before you know it!!  I love you all!

Elder Jensen

The Up's and Down's

September 24th 2013

Sep 24
Well this week has been all over the place.  We've had a few less active members that we've been teaching and we were happy to see a good portion of them at church that next week.  (Probably helped that their kids were in the primary program.)  Haha, but either way we were glad to see them their.  It's been somewhat of a tough week though.  Elder Delong and Elder Morales were dropped by the Estrada family, which was terrible because the 17 year old son was making great progress, but the dad just doesn't want them being taught anymore.  And Sister Webber said she needed a little break from all of the religious stuff but thanked us for helping her regain her faith in God and with helping her get into the habit of praying daily.  That was tough, just because we've seen her progress so much!  She's gone from not believing in God at all to turning to Him daily in prayer!  But, I guess that's just part of the mission, and she has grown closer to the Savior through our lessons so I still count that as success in itself.  I also was asked to speak in sacrament meeting last week, so I gave a 15 minute talk on the Atonement to the 7th ward on Sunday.  If I have time I'll try to type that up and send it to all of you.  I got the package a few days ago!  And I love the tie and the pin, and I haven't had a real candy bar since the MTC so all of those snacks were much appreciated!  I'm excited to hear about Kirsten's baby!  You'll have to tell her congratulations for me!  And it's funny to think that MorMor and Grandpa became Great Grandparents on their 50th anniversary!  Tell them late Happy Anniversary from me as well!  So, awesome news!  Elder Trujillo and I were able to get Conference Tickets for the Saturday Afternoon session, and with luck we'll be taking Sean with us to watch it!  So we're pretty excited about that.  And I'll find out next week whether I stay in Smithfield or get transferred to a new area.  It sounds like things are going well at home, and it sounds like Caleb is off the walls from the Ute's win this last week!  It also sounds like a lot of exciting things are coming this week for homecoming too!  Hope you have a fun time with that!  Skyview just had their homecoming week, and it made me remember how much fun and exciting all of that stuff was!  And it's crazy that Ryan's getting ready to pack out of here!!!  Poor Jordan won't know what to do with himself after that.  I love hearing from all of you!  And I'm glad to hear that things are going well for all of you!  I love you all and miss you, but I'll be home before you know it!  I've almost been out 3 months already!!!  That's crazy!  Love you all,
Elder Jensen  

Week 4 in Smithfield

September 17th 2013

This week has been all over the place!  Elder Trujillo pulled something in his calf a week ago and then had a flat tire so we had been on foot for quite some time.  Luckily his leg and the tire are good now and we're finally back on our bikes!  Wednesday the district leader went on exchanges with us and I was kept in Smithfield with Elder Hennessee while Elder Trujillo went into Logan with Elder Knittle.  So I was pretty much the one in charge since Elder Hennessee was unfamiliar with the area!  I was a little nervous to take charge of everything but it went fantastically.  I managed to get us four returning appointments from families that we'd been trying to contact for weeks now, and Elder Hennessee and I had an amazing lesson with a woman by the name of Christina Webber.  Christina lives in an assisted living home up here in Smithfield and was involved in a serious accident that left her in a coma for 3 whole years.  She can't walk very much at all and is originally from Argentina.  She was a member of the church at one time, but doesn't agree with some of the doctrines, so a lot of the time our lessons with her are simply answering her questions and clearing up a little bit of confusion.  While I was there with Elder Hennessee though, we had quite a touching experience!  She'd been going through a little bit of a rough time, and for whatever reason we decided to talk a lot about prayer and the importance of prayer.  After we taught her I promised her that Heavenly Father loves her very much and knows what she's going through and then promised her that if she were to pray right then to know if God loved her, that she would feel of that love.  She agreed and gave a very simple but sincere prayer, asking to know if God did love her.  She ended and we looked at her to see a smile on her face and tears in her eyes.  I asked her how she felt and she said that she felt a peace inside that she hadn't felt in quite awhile.  She's told just about everybody at the assisted living home about that experience and continues to bring it up with us when we visit her! haha.  We've had similar experiences with her since that day in asking her to pray for forgiveness or reading 3rd Nephi 11 to her. She's quite the character and we love going over to visit her.  Elder Trujillo and I think it's time to extend the baptismal commitment to her so hopefully things go well in the next few days.  Our other investigator that we're excited about is Sean Orem.  He's made tremendous progress in our lessons and we're planning on committing him this coming week as well!  So hopefully we have some exciting things coming up!  It sounds like everything's going alright at home!  I'm glad to hear that the dog is doing better now!  And Evie's getting ready for Homecoming?!?  That's really weird!  My baby sister can't be going on dates!  I heard a funny story from Melissa Anding about Caleb in the grocery store.  She said she was walking around and all of a sudden she heard "Hey Anding!" and turned around and saw Caleb in his officer jacket!  Haha I love hearing stories about Caleb!  But I wonder why in the world he doesn't email me!??  And I'm not surprised that Bountiful beat Clearfield haha, it's sad that they killed them on their homecoming!  But everyone here goes to Skyview, so whenever anybody hears that I'm from Bountiful, they immediately ask if I was at the basketball game where we lost to them with the buzzer beater half court shot!  And of course all anyone ever talks about is Utah State football so whether I want to or not, I keep up to date on their wins or losses!  I love hearing from all of you and hope things continue to go well at home.  I love you all and miss you.

                                         The only thing that stands between us and the front door

las estradas

September 10th

Well this week has been quite an adventure!  Elder Trujillo and I finally have an idea of where everyone is in our area so we're not wandering around like deer in the headlights anymore.  It's crazy though how many snakes we've seen here!  Granted most of them have been dead in the road, but we've seen 9 in the last 3 weeks!  And two of them have been rattlers!!  We almost stepped on a big snake a few nights ago while we were heading back to our house.  It was dark and Elder Trujillo was using the cellphone for a flashlight.  He spotted it just to the right of his foot, which is lucky cuz if he hadn't I would've stepped right on top of it!  We've managed to talk with a few investigators this week.  We had a lot of lessons scheduled but a lot of them fell through for one reason or another.  One day we had 3 out of our 4 lessons fall through!  But the times we have gotten inside to teach have been great!  We met with a sister who is now living in an assisted living home who hasn't been to church in just under 50 years!  She got offended by a bishop when she was 16 and has disagreed with some of the churches teachings for awhile, but we were able to help her understand a few things and resolve a few of her concerns.  She really enjoyed our visit with her and wants us to come back soon so hopefully we can continue to help her along.  If I haven't already mentioned Elder Trujillo and I live in the basement of a members house with two other Elders.  (Elder Delong and Elder Morales)  Yesterday the other Elders had a few appointments scheduled at the same time and so they asked us to come on exchanges with them.  Elder Delong and I met with the Estradas while Elder Trujillo and Elder Morales went to a few other places.  Elder Delong came into the mission the same as me so we're both greenies, but we were pretty comfortable about going into this lesson because we would be teaching the son who prefers to talk in English.  Well, about five minutes after arriving and talking with Eric (the 17 year old son) the entire family was outside with us listening to our lesson.  The catch was that the parents spoke little to no English, so now Elder Delong and I both had to use what Spanish we could to communicate our thoughts and feelings to them.  Sounds like a train wreck doesn't it....  It actually went fantastic!  We were able to understand and communicate with little to no problem, and we managed to commit them all to baptism (without a date.)  Talking with Eric was the best though.  Before the family had come out we'd taught him what the spirit was and what feelings come when we felt the spirit.  At one point in the lesson we taught how God was our loving Heavenly Father and put big emphasis on the fact that He knows each one of us by name and truly loves us.  The spirit was incredible at that point and I felt prompted to turn to Eric and ask him how he was feeling.  He sat for a few seconds trying to describe it, and then gave up and said "I can't really describe it, but it's just like you said, how it feels good.  When you said that God loves me personally I just felt amazing..."   I could tell that the entire family was feeling that way and Sister Estrada was almost in tears as she heard her son explain to us how he felt.  I testified to him that, that was the spirit communicating to him that God truly does love him, and then told him to remember those feelings.  The lesson with the Estradas was by far the highlight of the week for me, just being able to see someone recognize God's love for them for the first time was almost enough to bring me to tears in that moment......  I'm glad to hear that everyone seems to be doing fine at home!  Bummer loss for Bountiful, but it sounds like regular season hasn't started yet so don't worry too much.  I'm glad to hear that Caleb's doing so great in football!!  Keep up the good work and keep practicing!  Before you know it, you could be where Trevor and Jordan are.  I'm so excited to hear that Jordan's going to Atlanta Georgia!!!  And that he's speaking the coolest language in the world too!  We'll be able to speak to each other after we get back!  Glad to hear that you're enjoying seminary Evie, that's always a fun class!  And junior year is tough but as long as you try to have fun with it then it's not too bad.  The name Maxfield sound really familiar and I'm going to have to keep my ears peeled to see if I can't find mom's cousin!  And I've heard that the leaves are starting to fall of the trees....  Have fun raking!!  haha I love getting all of your letters and hearing about everything that's going on back at home!  I love you all and miss you all too.    Love Elder Jensen

                A Good Breakfast, tell Gerret thanks for the one eyed jack recipe
                                                 Biking through Smithfield

Month 2

September 3rd 2013

Well, believe it or not, the second month of my mission is already done!!  That's crazy!  This week has been all over the place, from awesome to strange to tiring and everything!  As I mentioned in my letter home, we ate a Spanish family's house whose names were the Guaderrama's.  They apparently love the missionaries, they just don't want us to teach them anything...  But while we were there they sat us down and started giving us some food.  One of which was the corn on the cob smothered in mayo and we were told to put chili powder and graded cheese on it as well...  It almost grew on me towards the end of eating it, but I think I'll stick with butter and salt!  Elder Trujillo said that all of the hispanics in the Ogden Mission eat it though, so I'll have more opportunities to let it grow on me.  Also, while we were on our way to an appointment we were stopped by a lady and she asked which one of us were going to Argentina.  I told her I was and she got really excited and told us to stop by her house sometime.  We managed to stop by yesterday, and I found out that she has an uncle in Santa Fe, which is in my mission, who is apparently interested in the church, but for whatever reason hasn't had missionaries stop by his house yet.  She's giving me the address and phone number for him today, to go find him later in Argentina, or to pass the referral along once I got there.  I've already received two referrals for my mission in Argentina and I don't even know when I'll leave!  Also, apparently this week there is an Elder coming home from Rosario and Elder Trujillo and I are supposed to have dinner at this family's house the day after he gets back!  So hopefully I'll learn even more about my mission!  We do have bikes, and we also live at the top of the mountain... It's pretty easy to get out of the house and down to an appointment, not so easy to get back up though....  We also have a baptismal date set with an 11 year old who comes from a part member family.  We taught him the Restoration last Thursday, and because Elder Trujillo still isn't as comfortable with English as he'd like to be, I took a good portion of that lesson.  It went really well though and he understood everything we taught him.  We have another appointment with him this Thursday so we'll see how that goes!  It's great to hear that things are going well at home!  It sounds like Caleb is doing great in football, and I hope that ankle gets better soon!  Evie, it sounds like your enjoying your junior year so far, and that's awesome!  It's a busy year but as long as you try to have fun, it's not too bad!  Grandma sent me an email saying that Hannah Nelson dropped by their house!  That's awesome!  And a small world!  She was a grade above me in school but I know who she is!  Using Facebook for missionary work is absolutely amazing as well!  We use it for an hour a day, and I already have 5 people that I'm working with that I found myself.  Well, I hope that everything continues to go well at home!  I love you all and miss you, and I'm having a great time out in the field!

Elder Jensen

Jake has a temporary reassignment

August 15 2013

Elder Jensen:

We have not received your visa to travel to Argentina.  You will be serving a temporary assignment in the Utah Ogden Mission until your visa arrives!  Haha awesome right! :) one other elder in my district has the exact same reassignment so we're excited to get out and serve only a short distance from home. I know that this is where the Lord wants me and that this is where I can best serve Him and His purposes.  I can't wait to get out and serve my Master in the capacity that I am able to and to take this message to all those around me!  I love you all!

Con amor,
Elder Jensen