Monday, November 24, 2014

Homesick (tough week) -- Email from 11/24/14

Thanks for the pictures. Our family pictures look great! 
I just got mom's email.  I hope she feels better!  How did she get bronchitis? 
Tell her that I know being on a mission is tough on her.  I miss everyone, so that feeling is mutual.  I have been incredibly homesick this week.  Like painfully homesick.  The mission is good, but so hard.  So much hard work, and so little results. We have been working incredibly hard here for the last six weeks and haven't even gotten anyone to church.  We teach a lot of lessons a week, and are working as hard as we can, but nothing is seeming to work here in Pacheco.  I don't know if I can continue with this for two years.  It is a real test of faith -- kind of have to ask where is God and why is he leaving us alone in Pacheco?  I often wonder what I am even doing here right now.  I speak broken Spanish with an American accent so think that people can't understand me.
I love the mission, but this is going to be the hardest two years of my life for sure.  I am going to give this mission my best effort.
On a brighter note, I hope the eagles win the super bowl this year.  I am going to be mad if they win the one year that i can't watch them :(
Hopefully next week is better!

Love you Dad.
Elder Matthew Jensen

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Transfers and The Wrestling Mat -- Email from 11/18/14


Good to hear everything is going well for you guys. First of all, we had transfers today. So I was worried about Elder Hansen leaving because he is such a beast, but last night we got the call, and we are both staying in Pacheco!  We are so pumped!  Having Elder Hansen as my companion is awesome, because we like the same stuff and both like to wrestle.  This morning we even found a place that has wrestling mats, so we were able to wrestle. He out weighs me by like 10 pounds and is a beast, so he beat me, but it was a lot of fun. We are going to start wrestling every P Day for a little bit as a workout! 

Unlike you all in Colorado, we are amping up to summer right now. It has been getting hotter and hotter everyday, and we are just starting summer. Its sunny and warm, which is cool, but super duper hot. I sweat a lot.  We walk everywhere in this area, but its really different for every area. In our area we should have bikes, because it is all paved. But if we need to get anywhere fast, we just take the bus really fast. So I end up taking the bus like once or twice a day. I was so afraid the first time I was on a bus, because they are crazy drivers, and weave rather than break. But actually I have never seen anyone here every get in an accident. I think if dad was here, he would freak out from the driving. 

The truth is that everything here is like it is in the states, just a little worse. The people are a little stinkier. The cities are a little trashier. The nights are a little more dangerous. The police do a little less here (nothing). People have big fences outside there houses, because it gets dangerous here at night. I have not been robbed yet, and I wont be robbed in this area that I am in. It's a pretty nice area. 

Don't move, That house is really cool. And it doesn't make any sense to move. You guys don't need anymore space. If anything downsizing is what you should think about. Tell mom I said that I think you should stay in that house because I love it. About the food, it is enough because we eat oatmeal in the mornings -- and with the amount we eat in the afternoon I am still stuffed by the time night comes around. 

I want to share a scripture this week from 1st Nephi 11:17.  Here Nephi is talking to an angel, and the angel asks if he knows about God. He gives the best answer ever. He says that He knows God loves his children, but he doesn't know the meaning of all things. We can use this in our lives a lot. Like if something goes wrong or you don't understand something?  If you know God loves you, than you are okay saying "I don't know the meaning of this, but its alright because God loves me and its for my good". 

Love you dad
Elder Mathew Jensen

Monday, November 10, 2014

Da Gunz and Crisp Bills -- Email from 11/10/14

Hey All.

Pacheco is sweet. I love it here, and the members are awesome. I am still with Elder Hansen and we have transfers next Monday. I believe we will both stay in Pacheco for one more 6 week transfer, and then he will go, but nothing is for sure. My companion and I try to speak all Spanish, but a lot of times when we are alone we end up talking in English. But when we are out of the house we use entirely Spanish.

I am doing well here. I got all of the pictures that you sent in an envelope. You should print out pictures of the last year and just send them to me in an envelope, and then I can put them into an album here. I eat a lot of rice, and chicken. I love it, but I sure miss some American breakfast food and a good hamburger. When I get back, you can make all of those for me in one big meal.

Elder Hansen and I Flexing the Guns
A run down of my day is that I wake up at six and exercise for an hour. Oatmeal for breakfast, and then studying until 12. We have lunch with a different member family everyday at one, so we go to that and then eat for a while with them. We start our proselytizing after that. We are proselytizing from 3-9 and then planning from 9-930 and bed at ten. We eat so much food for lunch at like two that we don't eat a dinner here. I've gotten pretty ripped - so that's cool.

So this week was good. we still are working hard, but the members attitude towards us is really changed. When I got here some of the ward members were cold to the missionaries as a result of some other missionaries not trying hard and being hard to get along with. But now, they love us. this ward is like 150 people big, and they have everything our home ward has. My companion told me that this is probably the only place in my mission where the ward will be this good.

I'm gonna be so mad if the eagles win the Superbowl the year that I am on my mission. It's gonna be such a let down for me. I'm super tired too, so I feel you. But hey, we can sleep when we are dead.

If you can please send a $50 bill -- this actually is better than a $20 because the members really enjoy trading for big bills. Thanks a million.

Always be trying to strengthen your faith in Christ. I have to go but i love you and will send pictures.
I love you mom and dad and will write you next week.

Elder Jensen

ps. Will write you next Tuesday because of transfers.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tall Blond Catcall -- Email from 11/3/14

Some diner in Buenos Aires.
So first things first, don't send anymore packages. I probably wont receive them. But they don't give us enough money here for food and supplies, we only get 1000 pesos a month, which buys one or the other.  It is only like 100 bucks because the dollar is worth ten pesos. Don't send me money on my card because the bank rate is 8 pesos for every one dollars. However, if you send me crisp bills in a card in the mail, i can trade them with the members for an exchange rate of 15 pesos to ever one dollar. The bills have to be nice and crisp though. So if you send me a crisp $50 in a card, that can go lot longer than if i got it out here.  Almost double. 
This week was super wet!  It rained almost everyday. So that was cool. I have to say I love the rain as much a I love the heat. They are both so different than Colorado. But I love it here, and everyday flies by faster than the last one.  This week, I focus a lot on working with the members.  We were able to find a new family here, that has accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.  It is always so awesome when you have lessons to teach because it makes the days fly by.  We have been working like crazy trying to find people to share the gospel with and I know that we can find more.  It's crazy that in two weeks my first transfer is over! These are going to go by very fast.  

Ahh. Norma was progressing pretty well, but she didn't go to church this week, or answer our calls yesterday, so I don't know if she really wants to change anymore.  Its alright though, all humans have there own agency.
I must be the only 6 foot tall blonde kid in Argentina because everywhere i go people stare at me.'s pretty cool.   Women will say "Ayyyy Que lindo.  Una Rubio" when I walk by, which translates to "How pretty, a blonde!"  It's kind of funny, and I am getting the experience of being a minority here too.  And most people here are 5'8" or shorter; so I tower over most people.  

I am starting to get a good handle on the spanish language, but now its hard because I will start talking in spanish and a will slip an English word in here and there because i don't have to think so hard about talking in spanish anymore. I also learned how to roll my Rs now, which i have never been able to do my entire life.  I think after a couple more months of this, that my espaƱol will be doing just fine though.  We don't have air conditioning, and we sleep with a fan on, and I  don't get letters until the end of transfers, so i have no idea.
Will send pictures!
Love you Madre.
Elder Matthew Jensen
Apparently with either an Elder Jensen or an Elder Hicks
The Mission President says my hat is OK to wear!