Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sounding Down: Letter from 9/27/14

Dear Jensen Family.

How are you guys doing this week?  What has been going on in Fort Collins?  It has been another tough week here, and I am glad it is over.  I only have one week left in the MTC!  That is pretty SWEET!

Here I am with Brother Carpenter
Last weekend was good and on Tuesday I found out that I didn't make the General Conference Choir, so that sucked.  Everyone else made it in my district except me and another kid from my district.  But the thing is I am nowhere near the wort singer in my group and a bunch of kids lied on their survey under the "rate your own voice section".   They all rated their voice great or excellent, instead of being honest like I was.  Me and the other elder who didn't make it were honest and said that our voices were only Okay.  At first I was super mad, especially at the kids who suck at singing and liked on the form.  Now I don't care that much because I still have my integrity and I still was honest in the sight of the Lord.  So, sadly, I will not be singing in the Priesthood Session of General Conference -- but I can still be proud of my honesty.

On Thursday we moved to the main campus.  Main Campus MTC straight up stinks.  I am living with six elders in a tiny room.  The snoring sucks at night and I have no place to hang out in anymore.  Our teachers didn't switch with us, so we have two new teachers for our last week at the MTC.  I really enjoyed my teachers, so that sucked too.

Today I received some bad news too!  My visa hasn't come yet.  So if it doesn't come by the time I am leaving then I will be sent to Sacramento California as a temporary mission until my visa gets here.  That sucks because I seriously want to go to Argentina.  Pray for my visa to get here.  The dang FBI needs to speed up their clearances.

So this week has been alright, and I hope that it gets better next week.  I really hope that I get my visa in before I head to Sacramento.  I am willing to wait six weeks in California for my visa, but after that I will come home.  I am not going to get stuck in California for my entire mission -- it is not worth my time.  I am meant to go to Buenos Aires, not California.  So that's just an FYI for you guys, so you won't be surprised if it comes to that.  I love you guys and hope all is well.

Elder Matt Jensen

PS. -- I will be expecting the package Monday!  I love you all.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Reconnecting with Old Friends at main Provo MTC

Sam and Matthew at the MTC - cool for old friends to reconnect
Mice are mice, I'm glad I was gone for that! I am looking forward to a package a lot. Hopefully Emily will put Rolo cookies in it;). This weeks sucked. you can get a long story about it in the letter i sent home this week, but shorty story is this;
I didn't make it into General Conference Men's session choir.
We moved to main campus and now I share a room with 5 elders (no privacy, space, lots of snoring).
My visa didn't come yet, so if it doesn't get here by the 6th than I have temporarily been assigned to labor in the Sacramento California mission. It sucks. I really had my heart set on the Argentina mission. 
Its good to have patience, I've gained so much patience here from six weeks it is incredible. I hope I can stay focused in the field, but this last week sucked. 
Now here are some positive things:
I can fit into my retainer again. My teeth are whiter than ever. 
I read all of Mosiah and half of Alma this last week, and I am starting to love reading the Book of Mormon.  
I can speak in Spanish very well now, and can comprehend what Spanish speakers are saying. 
I have been praying a lot, and I feel I can recognize the spirit very well now. 
I feel Jesus Christs love for me at all times. 
I miss all of you guys a ton.
I miss my home a ton but I am ready for what comes in the next two years.
I have seen Sam Merrill everywhere, and its nice to catch up with him. 
Ive grown as a person, and I continually grow everyday. 
I'm following the prophets by serving a mission. 
Love you mom. Send me a hand written letter sometime, they brighten my day when i get a letter in the mail. Let me know how everyone is doing and tell grandpa I love him. 
I hope your having a good time at home. We were able to hear from another apostle this week, Ballard. He was incredible. And inspiring. If I can be a tenth of the man he is than I will be proud of myself. 
Tell the girls I love them and dad to keep at it. Its hard work out here, but it's starting to move by faster than ever. I don't know everything, and I still have the same doubts I had before, but its almost as if they don't matter anymore. Its as if all of my personal doubts and concerns about doctrine and stuff are unimportant when i am teaching the word. they hinder me, and they are still there, but things don't bother me as much as they used to anymore. 
Have dinner with Someone this week. The best way to share our beliefs is through love. Even when people frustrate you, because a lot of people frustrate me, you need to fight through it and love them. My goal this week is to have a smile on my face at all times. I don't want anything to slow me down, especially a bad attitude. 
Love you Mom.
Elder Matthew Jensen

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mario and Luigi visit the MTC

Last week Teresa sent Matt a care package.  In those were some mustaches that were soon passed around to the other Elders.  The results -- pretty funny.
The Gang....

Elder "Mario" Jensen

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Part of a trio... 9/18/14

Hey Mom.

The Trio of Companions

Thanks for the email. Its been a good week, but a super long and hard week. I have not heard anything about my visa, so hopefully it will go through soon. I would be heartbroken if I didn't end up in Argentina because of visa problems. The phone card would work, I haven't really though about it yet, but I'm sure it would be fine. The cinnamon rolls were awesome, but so sugary. My stomach does really well when I eat healthy. I find that if I eat super healthy, and drink a ton of water than I can not have any stomach problems.

I have only sent 5 pictures so far because I don't really have much pictures to send. If you send me a little package I won't open it, but put it inside another package so I can open that one. Keep looking for my dream car. It wouldn't be the end of the world if i got another car, but it would be sweet if i could get that dream car. or something that i can go skiing in like a jeep wrangler or something. But a Delorean first choice definitely. 

Me at the Provo Temple
I have only grown a little, so now worries, but I think I have lost 5-10 pounds. There is no real way of knowing though because I have no scales here. Elder Hamilton and I received a new member to our companionship because a kid in our district went home, so we are a trio. I love them both, and I am so glad I was put with other people who want to be here as much as I do. I will send a picture later tonight of us in suits by the temple. I heard from an apostle on Tuesday night. It was cool. Richard G Scott...... a very old man full of wisdom. He talked mostly about prayer and how receive answers to it. It was very cool, and im glad that I was able to hear from an apostle of the lord.

I will send a letter today, so keep an eye out for it in the mail. It will include some of my stories and experiences of this week. In 2 weeks from Monday I leave to BA. I'm so pumped to get out of the MTC and to see the world. 

I need a new laundry bag, the one I got ripped the first day I had it. Try to get me one made of burlap or something so it wont rip please. 
Love you,

Elder Matthew Jensen 

Letter from 9/18/14

Chilling doing Laundry
Jensen Family....

Hi everyone!  I miss you guys and I am glad you have been emailing me!  This last week has been a super long and hard week, and I feel like I am worn thin.  It has been a super good, spiritual week, but a trying week still.  I am glad it is my P-day and that I can get a little rest.

We lost another elder this week.  It is the second elder we have lost since the MTC started.  Elder C went home but I have faith that once he feels better he will be back out there.  Our district is now the smallest district in the West MTC, with seven Elders total.  We picked up Elder N (Elder C's companion) in our (me and Elder H's) companionship, and he is awesome.  Having three companions is cool because I can always have 2 people to talk to.

I am going to miss the Fort Collins snow!  It is 70 here and I will be headed into summer in Argentina.  So, from here on out it is going to be super hot for me until like June!  I will endure it fine though.

On Tuesday we heard from an apostle:  Richard G. Scott.  I was astonished by how in tune with the Spirit he was.  I was also very astounded with how normal he was.  He had doubts about being a missionary too and he was very scared.  But now he is an apostle of the Lord and has been a faithful servant for 20 years.  He told us that the mission was the thing in his life that changed him for the better.  I hope my character becomes great and I become a man of faith and action.

This week we started teaching a new investigator and he gets me super discouraged.  He is supposed to be pushing how good our teaching is and giving us hard questions to answer so we can get better at teaching in the field but he speaks super fast and it can be super hard to understand.  Yesterday  was answering a question about trials and about why bad things happen to good people.  I said that I didn't know why we have trials but I do know that if we endure the well, we will be rewarded.  I asked him to then read D&C 121: 7-8, which talks about how our trials will be but a short moment eternally.  My companion asked him what the verse meant to him and he thought about it for awhile and then told us that he got that "God was going to kill our enemies"!  We told him that was wrong and had to spend the rest of the lesson explaining why killing is wrong.

He is annoying and I don't want to teach him anymore.  That being said, a thing that I need to work on is loving my investigators -- so maybe God wants me to learn how to love someone I don't really love or like at all.

Well, I'm gonna catch a nap before class.  Keep up the good work Jensens!


Elder Matt Jensen

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Email to Mom 9/11/14

With Elder Hamilton, my second companion, at Wyview.
Hey mom,

Thanks for the pictures and the email. I sent a letter today so expect it in a couple of days. I received a spanish set of scriptures and have been studying them a lot, trying to be able to comprehend old spanish dialects. slowly but surely it is coming. I got assigned a new companion on monday, and i am doing much better with him than i was with the last one. I just didnt have enough patience for him. 

I dont have much time, but i hope you all are having fun, and having a good time. Remember to pray. I love you mom, and thank god everyday for the support that you give me. 

Have a good week, go forth with faith, and read your scriptures. 

Matthew Jensen

As for my scripture for my plaque,I want Psalms Chapter 24;3-4
 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

A Letter between Friends

Here is an email from Matt to Elder Leonard, currently also serving in South America.

11 Sept 2014.

Dear Elder Leonard,

Its funny that you talked about fasting, because last week my district fasted twice to help with learning the language.  Let me tell you that i can attest to the blessing of fasting. I have picked up the language faster than i had over 3 whole years of high school.  I testify that the gift of tongues is real, and present in my life! The time where i felt the spirit here the most was during our fast and testimony meeting.... I was able to bear my testimony in Spanish from my heart, something I know that I cant do by myself. thanks for the email, and I will write again next Thursday!

Elder Matthew Jensen

Thursday, September 4, 2014

MTC West Campus- Letter

4 September 2014

Dear Jensen Family.

I decided to write because I felt like I didn't get enough time to write a good enough email because we only get 1 hour of time to use our emails.  I sent a good amount of pictures of my district and my companion this past week.

I don't think a lot of these guys have ever been a couple days away from their parents in their lives. Some don't know how to cook or clean.  One guy isn't investing himself in the Spanish language, he just sleeps during class, or is just not paying attention.   I am the senior companion, so I am the leader.  I write the lessons in Spanish and he reads his part and has no idea what he is saying, or how to pronounce words, even thought we study it before hand.  I am not sure if he doesn't understand it or if he just isn't trying very hard.  Luckily, I have been blessed and am picking up Spanish muy rapido.  I will be ready to go when I get there and Spanish is just seeming to come naturally.

I'm very glad that I spent a year out of the house.  It was good for me and helped me mature a lot.  Out of the nine boys in my district, I am the only 19 year old, and there is one 20 year old, but the rest are fresh out of high school and 18 years of age.
We are on the west campus MTC.  This is an entirely spanish campus and is located in a sectioned off part of of the Wyview and Raintree dorms.  We have one dorm (apartment) like Emily's old one and we have 6 missionaries in 3 rooms.  We have another dorm that has been turned into a class room, and this is where we we spend a lot of our time learning.  I am typically here studying or trying to study. :) 

Katie, I am so proud of you for trying new things!  I know your going to do great, and even if you don't make cheerleading this year, at least you tried.  I will pray for you to make it!  I love you!

Mom, thanks for the donuts, my companion and district and I really enjoyed them.  I can get stamps here, so no need to send me them.  I am very grateful for you letters, they give me strength when I am weary.  I am looking forward to eating some home cooked food in two years when I get home because the food here - es muy Mal!  It is so fake.

Dad, thanks for caring about me, but don't worry about me being robbed. I am not worried in the least.  I know I'm going to be robbed, but I will just be happy about it, and give them what they want.  Happy Birthday Old Man!

Em, How was Texas?  How are your classes?  It is weird to think that you will be graduated and out of in the real world when I'm back.  I know you you will make a great nurse, and eventually some kind of Doctor.  BTW, I made it a week here, and I will make it another 103 weeks here.  What you said that day will motivate me for the rest of my mission.

I love all of you, and will write again next Thursday.  Can you get my email to Savannah.  I want to write to her.  I will see you all in 103 weeks,
With much love for you all,

Elder Matthew Jensen

Btw 4 of the kids in my district are headed to my mission, including my companion.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

MTC -- well Sort of...

August 27th.... D-Day.  This is 45 minutes before reporting to the MTC.  The following is Matt's first letter to us after going into the mission field:

Hey Dad.

First of all, Happy Birthday! I am having a good time here, but i am looking forward to getting out into the actual field. Here there are so many rules and all i do all day is study. I study Spanish, all day everyday. I am grasping the language, and can give all discussions in spanish. I know that i need to be in Buenos Aires, especially because i am picking up the language so fast. 

I sent mom a schedule of my day, and don't have much time to write, so i will let you look on hers if that's alright. Thanks for figuring out what i need to do to get my credits! I will be careful in Buenos Aires. I'm a smart kid, and i will be just fine. The lord will watch over me, and keep me safe from all harm. I don't like the MTC at all, and can't wait until I'm out in the field, actually effecting people and there salvation. 

Dad, I love you and I know you are working hard. Thanks for paying for this for me, its really going to help turn me into the man i need and want to be. I will send you a letter next week with any updates, but theres not much going on here. Do me a favor, and read 3rd Nephi 11 for me. IT is Christ coming to the Nephites, and he outlines all we need for salvation. 

Love you dad,

Elder Matthew Jensen