Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Merry Christmas again everybody!! I hope it was a good one!

I had a pretty good one, filled with food, yes there was rice, and a nice video chat with my fam!!

Really nothing much happened this week.  Hma Maria did not get baptized this week which was a bummer, so we did not get a baptism in my first 12 weeks here.. but turns out I'm gonna stay here in cayambe for another change.  My new companion will be Elder Paz from Peru I think.  He's in the coast rn, in atacames where all the earthquakes are, and he'll be here tmrw because it's a 8-9 hour drive from the coast.   My companion, Elder Aliaga is going back to the coast again!!  So that means I will be here for the baptism of hma maria which I'm excited for! Lots of changes this time around.. Elder Molina in my district will stay another change which shocked us all!! He'll be here for 6 months after this! Elder Sejas is going to quito.. that's our district! it all starts tmrw!

Both Christmas and Christmas eve we had to be in the house at 5 at night unless we had a dinner and a taxi to take us home, so the first night we went over to Elder Molina y Sejas house for a Christmas eve party..  ohh ya it was a rager!  Lots of uno playing, and yes, 3 liters of coke..  crazy night here in the mish,, haha nah it was fun.. Christmas day we had an hour of church and I had to speak like last minute bc nobody showed up who was supposed to speak..  usually I prepare my talks in English, so I was nervous especially in new language..  but ya I kinda did really bad, and was really embarrassed and sad after.. but something kinda cool happened..  after the meeting finished, this hmo from another ward came up to me and started talking to me in English.. he is from a ward in Otavalo, and is a recent returned missionary, I think he served in Virginia, so basically he was saying to me he had a similar experience at the start of his mission and that he too was really embarrassed, but over time he got better and could speak English really good.. he said what I did say was understandable and that my accent is pretty good.. basically just don't worry about it and continue forward, and it'll come.. That really pumped me up and I decided to forget the experience..  I really felt the comfort of the holy ghost in that moment and felt just a reassurance that it'll all be ok and I'll figure it out over time..  Really hoping in this next change with Elder Paz, my Spanish will accelerate! Really cool little spiritual experience I had and now I'm just excited for this next change..  that's about it for this week!

My challenge, like I've said in the past, is to read the BoM for at least 5 min each day!!  Really I've begun to develop a love for the scriptures in these short 4 months!! Right now I've been reading the stories of Ammon and his brothers in the lands of the lamanites!  They're such great examples of how a missionary should be and that this work is possible!  The lord is on our side, and if are obedient we'll have success, he will work a marvelous work through us!

Ok thanks everyone for the well wishes, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year again! Hope it's a good one!

Elder Jensen




Monday, December 19, 2016

Feliz Navidad!!!

It's Christmas time, Christmas time is here!
Merry Christmas everybody!! o feliz Navidad!
It's been a good week.. mas o menos..  we've been focusing a lot on one hermana we've been teaching, hermana maria cacuango!! We finished the lessons with her and are going to have a baptism this Saturday.. if everything works out!  Only need the baptism interview and if she feels ready.   So really excited for this!!
She is really the only investigator who is progressing rn, but should be a good week!
We had the ward Christmas party on Saturday and it was good.  A lot of people came and we just had a talent show.. some pretty funny skits and I really like our little rama!  Sometimes it's tough, and it really should be a ward but little by little!
Excited for this next weekend!  We should have some fun things planned with the members here for both days, and then to talk with the fam of course on Christmas day!!  First Christmas in the mish and should be a good one!

We had our Christmas dinner with the president this Tuesday and it was really fun!!  We were together with the imbaya zone so I got to see some familiar faces and speak English for a little ;)  It was super fun and we ate turkey.. so that made up for the crappy Thanksgiving.. haha awesome food and then we had a gift exchange thing..  we were in this big circle and president read this book.. so every time he said the word "star" we passed the gift to the left until he finished the book..   Soo it was all intense and stuff, then he finishes the story and started to ad lib..  I had this big present, and then he said star and passed to the left again..  soo I was like ok whatever.. I open it, and it's a little otavaleño girl doll..  basically I got the cutest present in the whole party..   I have no idea what I'm gonna do with it haha..  but ya a really fun day!  Really hoping for a great week this week and possibly a baptism!!
alright everyone, that's all for this week and Merry Christmas!! I'll send pics next week!

Elder Jensen

Monday, December 12, 2016

Two more Weeks of Training!

Fast week this week, and I have a feeling this next week will be even faster!!
It's been pretty good, we found a few more investigators and are working with the ones we have mucho rn to possibly have a baptism in this cambio!  
The days are starting to be a little faster.. really excited for this next change, and to finish my training!
Tomorrow we get to go to Quito for our Christmas dinner with President Murphy!! We're with Zona Imbaya so that should be fun.. We leave early in the morning and leave Quito at like 4.. so it's basically Almuerzo Navideña..  But ya that will be fun..  just 2 more weeks of this cambio..   
OK something really cool.. or kinda cool..  cool to me at least..  in the CCM we watched an old Provo MTC devo from Elder Holland and this week in zone mtng we talked about it..  I really like this devo a lot, and if you guys have time look it up..  It's from 2012, provo mtc devo..  basically he talks about Christ when he returned to his apostles after his death and told them to feed his sheep..  there's a lot of symbolism in that phrase and as missionaries we are doing this everyday... but what I like a lot about this experience is that his apostles, after his death went back to what they knew.. after so much time with the Savior, they didn't know what to do when he was gone so they went fishing..  Christ asked them 3 times "do you love me?" and 3 times he responded, feed my sheep..  Elder Holland said, this is not just a calling for 2 years and then return to your old life and do stupid things or not live this gospel, its a calling forever... feed my sheep forever..  I really like this a lot and probably did a bad job explaining cause I don't have my notes or anything rn, but look it up and read it!!  Elder Holland always has great talks and this is one of my favorite!

Well that's my spiritual thought of the week..  today we went to Otavalo to play futbol with the zone and zona imbaya..  Hey turns out I suck at soccer.. like really bad..  basically every time I touch the ball I screw it up..  everyone's like ahh Elder Jensen Vamos!!  haha  it's funny.. they're all like trying to help me score a goal and I always mess it up..  haha..  but hey it's still really fun to play with them..  this week we have intercambios with the zone leaders again. so I'll be with Elder Fierro..  That should be good and the saturday we have la fiesta Navideña de Rama, ward Christmas party..  gonna be a good week!
Well that's about it, talk to you all next week!
Elder Jensen

Photos from Ecuador Quito North Mission Facebook Page
Conferencia Navidena con las Zonas de Imbaya y Otavalo
Christmas Conference with the areas of Imbaya and  Otavalo
December 13, 2016



Monday, December 5, 2016

Ilumina el Mundo! - #Light the World

Hey everyone!
Well that's another week down.. Super close to being done with my training!! Really excited for that and a possibility to go and serve in a new place!  Fast week
We had our capacitacion con Elder Hugo Montoya this week in Otavalo which was really cool..  I'm almost at the point where I can understand everything.. like 85%  there's just a few words that I don't know.. well more than a few but basically when I don't know those words, I write them down or ask the latinos for help..  soo learning a little more day by day!  My accent is still a little rough, only hope that I can develop that eventually and speak really well!
Elder Montoya had a lot of cool stories and shared some really cool points with us!

Also, as I'm sure all of you have heard, the church is in the Light the World program, or en español, Ilumina el Mundo!  so as missionaries, we have these nifty lil cards to pass a long to people as we contact or to our investigators or cualquier persona..  But basically there´s 25 days and a bunch of different service actividades to do in these days..  A lot of them involve things that we can't do here in the mish, like use a phone or do something on social media, so President Murphy gave us our own challenge..  so we have a paper to record our service activities each day that goes a long with a scripture..  So that's been really cool.. the only problem is, basically no one accepts our help when we ask.. the other day we had 36 contacts. and passed out a bunch of those cards.. and then asked if we could do anything for them any service and siempre they're like nahh were good rn..    So were going to keep at that.. I really think this is a fantastic way to find new investigators, so really hoping for a successful 3 weeks.. 
Well we have hope for one baptism in this cambio!  Basically the requirements are 3 church asistencias and all the lessons..  Maria is the mom of one our investigators who randomly came last week to church.. so this week we focused on her and turns out she's full pilas!! She has a lot of desires and came to church again this week!  Soo we're really hoping we can have the opportunity to baptize her and maybe her daughter in this transfer.. But if not, I'm not going to be upset..  just hoping for her to progress and be baptized..  Even if that means  I can't participate in the service.. 
We had a great Pday today.. The district went to the cascadas de Peguche!! super awesome and really beautiful!!   attached a few pics of that.
Nothing really crazy happened..  I did have this interesting soup..  Soo there's this thing called pata...  its chicken foot..  Basically it was a soup with 3 patas..  and I'm not a fan.. I forgot my camera that day, so I didn't get a foto, but its souper (haha) weird..  The others were yellin at me, Chupa la pata!! suck the foot!!   It's really weird and the flippin toenail like scratches your tongue and eww..  it was pretty funny..
Yesterday in sacrament meeting, this little boy ran away from his mom and had this paper airplane, and started chucking it around the chapel..  it was pretty funny, cause he was like juking the people out who were trying to stop him and just kept chuckin it..haha.. the kids here are funny, and usually when we're walking around they try to speak a little english to me, and they're like soo wrong.. but hey I can't laugh, cause I'm sure I sound like an idiot most of the time trying to speak spanish.. haha
Well that's basically the week.. just preppin for navidad and cambios  again!

Elder Jensen

Otavalo Zone Conference with Elder and Sister Montoya

3 Attachments

Monday, November 28, 2016

Almost 100 Days!!! Full Trunkee

Well I've been out for 3 months.. almost 2 in the field.. almost 100 days!!! fulll trunkee hahaha..
It's been good this week. We had a lot more success in finding and connecting with our investigators which was cool..  We had a tour of the chapel with one them se llama Guillermo.. he has bastante potencial and is progressing a lot..  but he didn't come to church after expressing his desires to be baptized and go to the temple.. super frustrating!  We called him the morning of like an hour before and he didn't answer.. idk que paso..  
Today was a fun pday.. we met up with our zone and had a water balloon fight!  At one point all the elders ganged up on me and tackled me, then the rest pored buckets of water on me.. super fun and we got to ride back to cayambe wet!! haha.. soo ya a really fun day.. 

Thanksgiving was this week.. and we did absolutely nothing.. just a normal day..  I took a pic of the food I ate that day.. the usual.. rice, meat, some vegetable, and moooore rice..  pretty much I hate rice now..  I thought I'd begin to like it , but they just pile it on the plate for every meal and give us a tiny piece of meat..  

These last two weeks have gone by very fast!  and I think this week will too.. on friday we have a 4 zone conference in Otavalo to meet with Elder Montoya, an area 70..  That should be fun.. This last week we had one with the same four zones in Ibarra to prep for this conf.. so that was fun, always fun to meet new missionaries and speak english a lil bit..  Turns out the group that is just ahead of us, who's finished their training 2 weeks ago, well 5 of them are trainers now!! E Morton, who's one of them, told me he thinks this is goin to be a new thing with Pres Murphy..  E Aliaga keeps telling me I'm gonna be a trainer or a district leader, and I'm like...  what..  haha.. Hoping my spanish progresses..  I don't think I'm gonna be anything this next transfer, but this training program is designed to make the next group ready to be trainers, soo if I get called I hope I can do my best..  buutttt I still have 4 weeks until this..  

Our last pday of this change, we're climbing the Nevado Cayambe.. The other elders in our district are planning, basically we take a truck up to the base and hike like an hour to the point of the snow, soo I'm excited for that..  it's super expensive, so we're planning out a group of like 10 missionaries.. But basically this month of december should be full rapido.. we have a lot of things planned out, like a Christmas dinner in Quito with our mission pres.. each zone goes for one night so we'll find out when we go this friday!! 

Well that's my week basically..  Hoping for more success.. especially with guillermo.. Please pray for him.. we really want to baptize him this transfer, but if not we hope, well that he'll be baptized in any transfer..  

muchas gracias por las cartas electronicos
  hasta luego
Elder Jensen

My Thanksgiving Dinner - Rice and more Rice


Monday, November 21, 2016

Short and Sweet!

Hello everyone!!
Well I'm in my next transfer and this week was really hard!! We have all these investigators and none of them really want to progress?  So that's been pretty tough..  pretty uneventful week this week.. we've been shut down a lot and a lot of our lessons haven't worked out so lots of rescheduling and rescheduling.. 

We have hope for one but idk en verdad.. 
I ate a chicken foot from the street and that was kinda weird, but not bad.. 
that was probably the most eventful thing of the week!
Been enjoying my studies everyday..  it's been nice to read the B of M and really think about it, cause hey its actually pretty cool!  I've said this before, but this was probably the first time I've read it with real intent, and really enjoyed it!!  I started it over again last transfer and I'm in Mosiah..  Only been reading a little bit each day cause I've been using my study time to study P my G as well which is really helpful!!

Well that's all I've really done this week, kinda frustrating..  really hoping for a better week! I'm progressing with the language, little by little, hoping to be sufficient after this change, but we'll see!

Listo pues, I really love hearing from people so write me!! Thanks!
Elder Jensen
I have pics, but I can't send them cause this is a dumb computer so I'll be sure to send them next week!
Photos from Ecuador Quito North facebook page - Mini Zone Conference for Ibarra, Imbabura, Imbaya and Otavalo Zones


Monday, November 14, 2016

I Survived... First Transfer and CUI

Hello all

Well it's official..  I've made it through one transfer here in Ecuador..  6 Weeks!!!!!   Basically 3 months in so far... that means I'm almost done right?  Only 14 transfers more... or 21 months...  hahaha..  nah it's been pretty good..  

This last week we had 3 intercambios (when we switch with the other elders in our district for a day).. that was really awesome..  Tuesday I was with Elder Sejas..  and Friday with Elder Molina..  I really enjoy those opportunities because it's really nice to see how other missionaries work..  In my training I've basically only seen how one elder operates, so these types of opportunities are awesome and I really learned a lot in those days..  Wednesday, we did intercambios with our zone leaders, so Elder Aliaga went to Otavalo to work with Elder Fierro and I stayed in our sector with Elder Purtill..  Yep I got to speak English for a day 😎  haha..  no that actually helped a lot because I could ask a lot of questions about words and other things that I can't really get across in Spanish to the other elders..  so ya that was a 24 hour change and the others were 12 hours..  being here in our sector meant I had the opportunity to lead us through it basically and take the initiative every time which I think really helped me so ya that was really awesome..  

This last week, teniamos bastante lluvia aqui en Cayambe!  the other day, it rained soo much.. and the drops were massive!!! then like 10 min into it, it started to hail a lot! pretty big too so that was pretty cool..  

Hail Stones on the Street

Well remember last Saturday when I said we were hoping for a really productive Sunday? Well it actually was pretty bad since none of them showed.. we called everyone of them and they all had an excuse which sucked..   but this last Sunday, erik inlago came which was awesome!  We're really hoping for a baptism this transfer..  on Saturday, the other elders baptized a family that has been receiving the lessons for like 3 transfers so 4 1/2 months!  but that was really cool to see.. We were asked to give a talk on enduring to the end...   I had all this stuff prepared and then they cut me off like 3 min into it...  so that was pretty funny  actually..   Well que mas....  we have a new investigator who is progressing.. his name is guillermo... pero the huge problem with him is that he works like basically every other Sunday so it's really hard to get his schedule clear for church.. he has some desires to progress and is really interested but that's his big problem..  also he has a pretty bad speech impediment so as a white boy who can barely understand clear Spanish, its flippin tough, but hey I'm getting there.. I've been told that he speaks like the people in the coast, but not on purpose..  apparently the ppl at the coast speak with speech impediments on purpose basically..  just the culture there, its really sloppy Spanish and here and at Quito it's pretty clear.  so kinda glad I'm here to learn, and hoping to make a lot of progress this transfer..  

Ok, well today, we ate cui...  yep, guinea pig..   I was pretty excited but it wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be..  it's really salty and super tough to eat, plus filled with the little bones which makes it tough to eat but definitely not bad..    well that's basically it for these last 9 days..  

CUI (Guinea Pig)


oh and we have pday from now on Monday..  It's not changing back to Saturday soo I'll talk to you all next Monday.


Elder Jensen

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Uno Mes en ECUADOR

Hey everyone

Soo  this week has gone by pretty quick! We've been pretty busy with lessons this week with our investigators as well as the flippin tons of menos activos here..  if we had all the menos activos here come to church we'd probably be a ward.. or even 2.. its pretty crazy, but hey that's all of south america as I've been told.. 
Basically this week the biggest struggle has been the language..  I feel like I know a lot of words and talking with Elder Aliaga I can get my point across and we can communicate pretty well.. but with other people, they either choose not to understand me cause I'm white, or really can't understand me.. I think it's both.. I understand my accent is a problem right now soo that's a major part of it..  it's pretty frustrating in lessons when I'll say something and they'll just stare at me and look at Aliaga who says the exact same thing and they can understand him but hey I guess that's just part of the learning process..  
We've found a few new investigators, hopefully with potential! Uno de ellos es se llama Alexandra Cuadros.. We met her last saturday after our pday at a ward activity..  we've taught her like 3 - 4 times and she it really receptive.. the problem is they are moving soon and she doesn't know where, so there's a good chance she could move into the other elders sector, and we'll have to transfer her but hey as long as she gets baptised haha
the other is ericka inlago.. she as well has been very receptive so were hoping to have a productive sabbath tmrw with lots of asistencias..  
Starting to realize how beautiful ecuador is.. we have that sweet volcano cayambe that's visible basically everywhere and it's always covered in snow.. we're gonna try to climb it next pday if we can make it over there.  the mountains are really awesome and we have a lot of the fields here in caymabe soo its really green every where


This last week was the dis de los muertos... so we didn't have all that much success the last few days cause everyone is in the cemetaries paying their respects to their family members.. something special about this time of year is the food.. they make this thing called colada morada which is.. well idk how to explain it.. it's not bad, and it's a warm drink, but the thing is sooo flippin sweet and they give like 2 big cups of it everywhere for free soo we have to drink and I just feel like crap after..  look it up.. one cup is really good!!   also look up pan de guagua   another specialty for this time of year.
Pan De Gagua
Ecuadorian Bread Babies - It is a traditional Ecuadorian custom to have these breads, along with a purple corn and fruit drink called Colada Morada, on November 2nd for the Day of the Deceased.  The holiday is meant to honor the memory of relatives and friends who have passed away
Well that's been about it this week.. we went to otavalo today to play futbol with some other elders in our zone and the zone imbaya.. so that was pretty fun!  well next week we don't have a Saturday pday so I'll be writing on Monday in like 9 days..  

Thanks for all the emails this week tambien!!
Love Elder Jensen

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Another Great Week!

Hello Friends and Family
Well this week has been pretty good!  We met in Quito this week for verification, so that was a really awesome experience.  It was soo nice to meet with my friends from the ccm for a day..  we got to leave our trainers and drive with president y hermana murphy to el pentacillo I think. The huge statue in Quito overlooking the whole city..  It was tough to leave because it was basically the first day over again..  we said good bye and left back to our sectors..  Those like 2 hours away got to sleep in Quito one night together so we had all the coast y oriente elders.   Emmelkamp, Palmer , Ericksen, and Haslam are in the coast..  Palmer and Emmelkamp stay in the same house cause one of theirs was destroyed in the earthquake before we got here..   Ericksen is close by to them but not in the same district..  Haslam is like 2 hours away in (I have 0 idea how to spell it) quiniday.. so they've seen each other a little bit in zone mtngs..  Baumgartner and one other kid not from our ccm district se llama Elder Searle are at the coast together..  in Quito is Gehring, Christensen and Moody..  the first 2 are in the same zone, and Moody's zone is based in Quito but it turns out, he's like 40/45 min away from Cayambe in Guayabamba so its pretty similar there..  Then its me and Dougherty here in the zones touching Otavalo..  basically everyone had a really tough week where they didn't know if they could do it..   The coast elders have had a really tough time.. its really humid there, the ppl speak really fast and like mumble and Ericksen has to shower with a bucket.  basically I was really humbled after that..  I have it easy here.  but it was really awesome to be together for a day.. the last time in 2 years we´ll all see each other together for 2 years.. Hopìng I get an opportunity to be comps with them or in the same district some time with one of them..  oh and in the car ride I was all pumped telling them that the dodgers have a chance to make it to the world series, then Ericksen was like "ya, they did" I was like what, then I remembered they have pday on Monday so they heard like 5 days before me..   I was all pumped all week for it, then I was just shattered.. oh well haha thanks Ericksen!  not much happened this week..  it's cold here, but not that cold.. only in the morning and the night..   it doesn't rain that much but when it does, it rains a lot..  it usually is pretty cloudy though.
                      Pictures from the Mission Facebook page from the verification time in Quito.


We have a new investigator.. her name is Ericka..  We talked to her one day, and she listened but asked a lot of questions trying to make us stumble or make us feel bad, but when we got to the Joseph Smith part, she stopped and listened .. she said she felt peace..  two days later we came back and taught about prayer and in the middle of  it she asked about the BoM..  we told her about it and she said she wanted a copy.. we snagged her a copy later that day, and she also told us she will come to church this week.! really hoping it works out with her.. everyone else isn't really progressing..  so that's a bummer.  

The branch is pretty small.. the problem here is that there a TONS of menos activos..   tons.. lots of ppl get baptized but don't stay in the church..   so that's pretty tough.. we probably work more with menos activos than investigators because not many ppl want to listen in the first place, and the MA´s usually invite us in to listen.. so basically we're trying to rescue a lot of ppl. The branch is pretty small so not many ppl.. they don't have a piano.. they have a small little keyboard that they never pull out.. so they just play the cd in church..  

Oh also there is a promotion here where if you find 12 pilsener beer caps on the ground in good condition and bring $4 you get a soccer jersey.. so I'm gonna do it this week cause I have everything just need to trade it in.. I'll show you next week!

We went to laguna mojanda today and got some sweet pics!! that was a blast but a really tough hike!! Especially with the altitude.. we had to taxi up to the mountain for like 30 min then hike into a valley to the laguna, the hike up sucked, but hey the pics are sweet!!  well that's basically my week!! miss you all!!
Love Elder Jensen