Monday, October 27, 2014

Climbing the Mountain -- Email from 10/27/14

Hi all.

This week was good.  My Spanish is getting better and the time is just flying by.  I love the ward we have here.  The attendance is like 140 people on average, so it is a huge and loving ward.  The families are awesome and feed us so well. 

We got to hear from [our mission] president with all the other new kids like me this week as well.  The crazy thing is that they had to translate everything that was being said by the other kids into English, but I understood everything perfectly fine in Spanish. So that was pretty cool, I think I am understanding it better than the other newbies. 

My president talked about how the mission is like a mountain, and [here is] the point we are at, and that [right now] we can't see the peak. The peak is a year, and everything after a year goes by really fast and is like the descent of a mountain. I think that its going to get even faster than it is now, which is a little scary, but good at the same time.  I just am having such a good time here. 

I have been sweating constantly for the last week. It's been in the 90s and its just spring.  I will be in the heat of summer for the next 5 months at least. Loco.  I took all of my shirt to a seamstress today and she is making them all short sleeves because they are way to hot as long sleeves, lol.  Winter here isn't that cold from what I've heard other missionaries say, but summer gets up to 120 Fahrenheit. 

We Found An investigator!
This past investigator called us on Monday and said she wanted to meet with us. We came to find out later that her spouse who was a member passed away, and she wants to get baptized and needs the holy ghost for comfort.  I say "spouse" because nobody here is married.  Maybe its just a cultural thing, but we have three families that want to get baptized, but are waiting on marriage licenses first, because nobody here ever gets married.  Anyways, her name is Norma and she has a lot of problems. She is an addict, and isn't allowed to sleep in the same house as her son because she was doing drugs around him. But when we went and talked to her she really wanted to change. She seemed super sincere, but only time will tell. I hope we can help her get her life in order and be happy.

Love you all,
Elder Jensen

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's a Small World After All -- Email from 10/20/14

As a precursor, for those of you in Stetson Creek Ward, this really is a small world. Elder Corpus, one of the elders in our ward, is from Oregon.  We had the elders over for dinner last week when Teresa said (it was actually me but she doesn't agree) "So I know Oregon is a big state and all, but my son's companion is from there and is a wrestler, and been out a year- Elder Hansen- you wouldn't know him- would you?"  He says, "Wait- is your son in Argentina?  I thought you said he was in Brazil.  One of my very good friends, Elder Hansen is in Argentina!!"  We pulled out pictures and sure enough, same Elder Hansen.  Elder Corpus lived down the street from Elder Corpus.  Cool. Huh?

BTW -- in case you are wondering, that is a 1 in 88,000 chance.  Time to start playing the lotto I think.   Now -- onto Matt's letter....

That's crazy! Elder Hansen has been telling all week that his friend is in Fort Collins and I was like cool. But it is insane that he is serving in our home ward.  What a small world.  Crazy.  Loco en la cabeza.

We have had a good week here, but a super tough week.  We have been working super hard to find investigators to teach, and investigators who actually want to progress.  Right now, we teach people we meet in the street, and try with a couple investigators, but they don't want to progress, and be baptized.  So as of right now we have no investigators that are progressing.  Which sucks because we are working really hard, but this is just a tough area. I'm convinced that this week we will be able to find an investigator to teach that we can baptize in the next 3 weeks before the end of the transfer.  I will continue to work hard. 

We only receive letters here once every 3 weeks, so I will let you know over email when I get them.  I probably will just respond over email because I don't know how to mail internationally down here.  Try to send the little flip book soon.  It just has to be pictures, don't make it a scrapbook because people here cant read English.   But sent in in a letter so I will get it sooner. Because packages can take up to 5 months to get.   But thanks for doing that for me. 
Today my companion and i am starting a diet.  We are going to get jacked.  My goal is 100 pushups by the end of November. I got it easy. 

Not much going on here. Things are moving fast. The language is coming slowly but steadily. I hope that i can pick up more of it faster, but I know I need to be patient and it will come.  I hope we can find someone this week. 

Love you guys,

Elder Matthew Jensen
PS --  how is my Delorean coming along?

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Keys: An Email from 10/13/14

Hey All.

It's pretty awesome here. I arrived on Tuesday and have been working ever since.  Elder Hansen is a Beast. He is exactly who I needed to be with these first few months. He is a wrestler too, and he won state in Oregon his senior year -- so he is a beast.  He has been out a year longer than I have and is an awesome guy.  We are serving in the area of Pacheco. It's a city a little north of Buenos Aires, like 20 minutes outside of downtown.
Our area is really nice compared to the other areas. But that being said, its still at a way lower standard of living than the United States.  There are fences outside of everything, and a lot of homeless people. But I like it here, its fun.  Our area is a little nicer than others, so naturally its harder to find investigators. We will continue to work hard, and hopefully we will be blessed with some investigators.

I wish i understood the language a little better. I understand about half of everything that any Spanish speak has said. I am starting to understand all of it, but my speaking still needs some work. I bet in a month or two the language barrier wont be so bad. Ive picked up a bunch this week, and i am a
fast learner so i will stay hopeful.

We only eat two meals a day here. Breakfast and then a lunch that is impossibly big. The members are saints, and wash our clothes, and some family provides lunch for the 4 missionaries in this area every day.  That is a lot of food.  Also, this week we taught 20 lessons with members present. When missionaries and members work together, miracles happen. 

My funny story of this week is the locks. They turn twice instead of once when you lock anything. Weird keys. But On Thursday I locked our apartment door and turned it once, instead of twice, and pulled the key out. When we arrived back the lock would only partly turn, and wouldn't open. We slept over at the other elders apartment, and in the morning still couldn't get it and called a locksmith. He came, laughed, and turned the key over and opened the door with ease.  All we had to do was turn the key over.  My companion and I laughed a bunch. It makes me think, what else do we just need to turn the key over, and try things from a different angle. Our family, or our friends? Our scripture study or our prayer?  Try things from a different angle this week! love you all!

Love you all,
Elder Matthew Jensen

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Arriving Sisters and Elders 10/7/14, Buenos Aires North

On my plane there were 50 missionaries going to Argentina.

BAN Temple.  Day One!
These are the missionaries that arrived with me -- at Temple.

A Message from the Mission President

Dear Family,
We are thrilled to report that your son, Elder Jensen, has finally arrived safely in his mission here in Buenos Aires.  He was picked up at the airport, and after a brief tour of Buenos Aires was brought to the mission home for a luncheon, followed by an interview with the President.  You should expect to hear from your missionary on his next P-day which will be Monday, October 13.  Thank you for your prayers and support.
President and Sister Ayre
MisiĆ³n Buenos Aires Norte


Saturday, October 4, 2014

And as if we didn't get the emails -- A Letter from 10/3/14


I got your letter today!  It was good and super long.  How is grandpa?  Is he doing alright?  I'm gonna miss seeing him for the next two years!  It is super warm here too.  I miss the big mountains.  And the Continental Divide.  We are going to have to head up there when I'm back.  The falls are beautiful -- I miss them [referring to the trip that Teresa took with her dad].  I hope that he is happy for the next couple of years.   The game should be fun! [referring to the Broncos/Cardinals game that we got for Teresa's dad]  I remember a couple times when Alex and I were skiing it took us like six hours to get down from the mountains.  The time to get back is ridiculous [referring to the 4.5 hours it took us to get back from Silverthorne on a Sunday afternoon].  They need to improve the highways or something.

Today I got some good news.  I rec'd my travel plans to Buenos Aires!  I leave on Monday, so I guess my visa got through!  I dunno, maybe I just overreacted about Sacramento.  It seems like when I was finally okay with going to Sacramento God decided to put my visa through!  Its funny how God gives us trials to strengthen us.  I think that God just wanted me to come to terms with the fact that I needed to go wherever he told me I had to.

So on Monday morning I fly to Argentina and will be immersed in the Spanish language.  I am a bit nervous, as I won't be able to speak that much, but I will pick it up in 4-6 months I bet.  I leave at 6:00am on Monday and have a layover in Atlanta from 4:33pm to 9:30pm, so w expect a call from me sometime then.  Remember the time change!  Then I have an 11 hour flight from Atlanta to BAN and should get in around 8:30 AM in the city.  I am super excited for this.  It should be awesome.  I am going to pull out $200 for my baggage fees also, so just letting you know about this.  I also had my suits dry cleaned so I paid $23 for that.

Tomorrow I pack my bags up so I can fly to Argentina.  If I am over weight I will send you back some stuff in a package tomorrow.  Just put in into my room until I get back.  I think I might be a little over so I will have to check tomorrow.

Time does fly, you are right.  In no time I will be back in FOCO, ready to go to school again.  It doesn't seem like I am 19 and when I get back I doubt that I will feel 21.  It seems like just yesterday I was starting middle school with Alex and swimming in our backyard.  Or it feels like only a couple of years ago I was a freshman in high school, getting sick with the swine flu.  Or going to prom for the first time.  When I get back, things will change, and have changed.  But I hope that the change will be for the better.  I hope I still have some friends when I get back.  Maybe I will move in with Ben!  That would be super fun.  Love you guys!  A lot!

Matt Jensen

Friday, October 3, 2014

Good News: Email from Matt 10/3/14


I just sent you guys a letter, but here is an update.

My visa went through and I am headed to Buenos Aires on Monday.  I believe that the lord wanted to humble me, and wanted me to realize that i will have to go wherever he wants me to go.  It was a very humbling experience. I just packed my bags, and I should be good on weight. Tomorrow i will pull out $200 for travel, so just an fyi.

How Grandpa? How is foco doing? Thanks for all of your letters, whenever I get a letter it just makes that day and week so much better. I will call you at my layover in at Atlanta, sometime in between 5-9 Atlanta time. so just keep your phone on and close. I should be able to talk for a decent amount of time!  So that should be good.

Its crazy how much has happened since I left Fort Collins just 6 weeks ago, and I'm super ready to be out in the field, spreading the word of God. I have a feeling that these next two years will fly by for me. Before I know it I will be fluent in another language and be headed back to Fort Collins.

I miss you and love you mom,
Elder Matthew Jensen

Getting Better: Letter from 10/3/14

Dear Jensen Family.

Thanks for the packages and the letters.  I really appreciate them and they make my days here better.  I especially enjoyed the rolo cookies and the presents.  Which two am I supposed to wait until Christmas Day to open?  The new laundry bag is working good, thanks.  Tell Emily I said thanks [for the cookies]!

I am doing better about going to California now.  At first I was super sad about it, and didn't want to go.  But now I realize that ti could have been much worse.  Out of the 18 missionaries here that are headed to Argentina, none of them got visas.  The other missionaries in my district are headed to St. Louis and to Wisconsin.  So I have decided that California isn't so bad.  My visa isn't hear yet because Argentina's government is being super unstable and the FBI isn't letting anyone through.  This means I should be in Cali for 2-12 months probably.  Which is alright.  I hope that the visa comes in sooner rather than later though.

It is my last weekend here and I head to Sacramento on Monday.  I am ready to get out of the MTC.  It has been good, but too long.  I will send you my address for California on Friday -- Our main campus P-day.

The kids who lied about the level of their singing abilities were moved to the alternate choir, so I guess the Lord does care about integrity.  It was not surprising to me at all.

This week I learned a ton about the atonement.  It is really simple if you think about it like this:  God demands justice for the laws we break on earth while we demand [request] mercy for our sins and trespasses.  The only way that both Justice and Mercy can be filled is through the atonement of Jesus Christ.  He suffered an immeasurable amount of pain so that the Justice for our sins was paid for, and he offers mercy to all that believe in Him.  When we are being judged the only person that will be talking is Jesus Christ, and he will be pleading with God the Father to have mercy on our souls.  A good section to read about the atonement is Alma 42 where Alma is talking to his son Coriantamer.

Thanks for the letters and the packages.  I love you all so much.  I will write again on Friday.

Elder Matthew Jensen