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.. Hop├Čng 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


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Such A Better Week!


This week has been a lot better!!  It actually flew by!! I’ve applied the get to work principle and it’s been a lot easier to work... on the other hand, I’ve noticed that missionary work is really hard!! no one really wants to listen.  We had to drop Angela and Dinae to the other missionaries because they’re in the other sector...  they weren’t progressing anyway so that was a bummer.  I feel the same for Maria the empanada lady.  She likes to listen to us, but never does the commitments.  I don’t think we can teach her much longer.  oh well, in spite of that, we are teaching a "family" Manuel is 71 and his girlfriend is 40. That’s a little weird, but they want to get married and like our message. his kids don’t want them to get married because it is kind of weird, but hey they’re listening.  her kids are young.  Oren listens to our message each time and is really engaged. Actually all 3 of them are! They’re doing the commitments and it’s pretty awesome. the downside is that they’re having trouble committing to come to church. Oren is 12 and is getting ready for his catecismo for the catholic church. Blanca, the gf and his mom, is in the same boat.  but I had a pretty spiritual experience. in our last lesson, we gave them the church invitation again.  after they said idk, I promised them that if they would pray with great faith like the prophets they’re reading about in the BoM, they would receive an answer that night.  idk if they felt it, but it was really awesome for me.  maybe they didn’t understand me idk, but I know for sure that testified to me the importance of sincere prayer. please pray for them. 

Other than that, the work is hard. I’ve had bizcochos and they’re the bomb!! they taste like club crackers and are a good snack. for $1 you get like 12 of them, so that’s pretty cool.  I got some great pics of volcon cayambe this week too!!

We had zone conf this week.  It was zona otavalo y imbaya. so I got to see Elder Dougherty as well as Elder Stevenson, an elder who is one change ahead of us... so that was really nice to talk to them... in English haha.  really great conference.  If you get the chance read the talk by Elder Renlund really great talk about repentance.


on the same note, also reread Elder Stevenson and Elder Nattress (the old gilbert mish pres) those were some of my favs and I’ve printed them out and studied them.  I really like the invitation from Elder Stevenson, read the BoM for 5 min a day. I know it’s really hard to remember and maybe I’m a hypocrite cause I sure as heck didn’t do that, even with my mission call... but I do know that here and now in the mish, It’s been the coolest thing to read this book!  I’ve never looked at it the way I do now, I always looked at it as scripture. Really it’s a great story, a true story. written by prophets. really enjoy reading it in my personal study.  

Today we came to Otavalo to check out the market.  I bought a super awesome backpack and a duffle bag that I’m gonna start using. all for like $20.  I really like it here in Otavalo and hope I get an opportunity to serve here someday.  last pday, we ate lunch with the other elders in our district at a member’s house.  so most pdays we don’t do a lot... I think next week we might get together with our zone or the other zone for some sports or something so I’m pumped for that.


Also this week I’m really excited for Thursday and Friday.  The new group in the mission get the opportunity to go to Quito for a night for something called verification.  not sure what that entails totally, but we get to see our whole CCM group again for a day and a night!! I’m really excited to hear from them!!

Well that’s about it this week. the language is coming, mas o menos. I’m beginning to understand a lot more, but feel less confident in my speaking because the people have a tough time understanding me, but hey I know it will come with work! Elder aliaga and I can usually work things out so we can both understand each other. so ya that’s about it... 

Love you guys!
Elder Jensen

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Week 2


 This week started out really tough..I felt really homesick ..I felt discouraged about the language. So basically every morning for me was a struggle.  Then I remembered a letter that my dad wrote me before I left.  There was a lot of great advice in there and to me the most helpful was to forget myself and go to work..that had been a recurrent theme in the mtc devos too and it all started to come back to me. So I've taken that phrase as my motto in these times. 

Well after that all, it turns out I'm still not great at spanish and really don't understand what is going on when we teach but that will come.. javier was a bust, and gave back the BoM the next day...  so that was pretty weird, but hey we now have 5 new investigators with baptismal dates.. angela perez and her daughter dayhana campoverde and marcia and her daughter jocelyn.. also an old lady named maria.. they're all street venders soooo were double lucky cause we get free food every lesson.. hahaha.. no it's been pretty great, but they still have a lot to learn and overcome before baptism.. please keep them in your prayers.. 

Cayambe is the field area of Ecuador..but where we are is city..  but it turns out we haven't been to like most of our sector cause we do actually go out into the fields of cayambe..  its also pretty cold here, we have one of the few mountains with snow on it which is pretty cool, but I haven't gotten a picture yet cause the clouds are usually covering it since its soo high up..  
Was able to get this picture of the mountain from my companion
I'll be sure to send it.. we usually walk everywhere but occasionally we take a bus to the other side or when we go to otavalo obviously..  we actually did go to that massive stake conference that you probably saw from pre murphy..  Two stakes gathered there and we are part of the otavalo stake soo that was crazy.. all the missionaries in the three zones that touch otavalo went so I saw elder dougherty and a lot of new elders (english speaking elders too which was nice)  a lot of the people that spoke spoke in quichua which was really interesting..  
Stake Conference in Otavolo.  Elder Carlos A. Godoy, Area President and Elder Nelson Ardila, of the Seventys.
Created three stakes of the two. 

our district in this zone is made up of 4 elders.. Elder aliaga and I are Cayambe 1 and elder sejas and molina are cayambe 2..  Sejas and aliaga are both from bolivia and were actually comps for 2 changes before this.. molina is from peru and was here the last transfer so he knows a lot about the area..  then there's me the only gringo in cayambe..  the food has been pretty good but its all rice and chicken..  and usually a soup..  not much to complain about there except that it is repetitive..  we shopped today so hoping for some variety in the nights now.. members only feed lunch here and we have to do dinner for ourselves..  

don't know much about the boating stuff on saturdays.. only that it is a better day for us to have pday so this is only a trial for the first 6 weeks..   if it turns out that we are getting better numbers in these 3 zones, we will keep it, if not we will go to mondays..  

aliaga is 22 and went to 3 years of college.. he wants to be a pediatrician and is the youngest of 6..  his mother passed away like 5 yrs ago i think and now none of his sibs are members except for one sister who went on a mission in bolivia i think but came home later..  our house is actually not that bad but its not great.. its just super dirty from the old elders and 6 weeks of no use..  the shower this week has been like boiling hot and neither of us can stand in it so that kinda sucks but other than that its not that bad..

well thats basically it for this week, just hoping ot make it through the next..

keep me in your prayers as well as our investigators.  I didn't take many pics this week soo I'll try to take a lot next week to send..

Love Elder Jensen
More photos of the Stake Conference in Otavolo found on the Ecuador Quito North Mission Facebook Page



Saturday, October 8, 2016

Roller Coaster Week

Otavalo Zone
This has been a roller coaster of a week.  really long week. started off great with general conference and I learned a lot of great things there, but then we finished the mtc. we flew all night to Bogota Colombia and then flew to Quito, landing at about 10am Tuesday morning.  we were met by President and sister murphy with the 2 APs.  we stayed the night in Quito in a huge room with like 16 beds, because there was 13 new elders to the mission.   the next day, it all began.

We had our classes with the president and his secretaries about a bunch of different things, then they assigned us companions. My comp is Elder Aliaga, he is from Bolivia and is 22. He’s really patient but it’s really tough to understand a lot of the time. and that goes for basically all Ecuadorians  Spanish is pretty tough when your surrounded by it 24/7

We are in the sector cayambe 2 only 4 elders in our district, and our zone is Otavalo, the really cool outdoor stores in Ecuador, who also speak quichua instead of Spanish. but Cayambe is Spanish.  It’s like the field area of Ecuador.  but we’re in a really small city for our sector, it’s about 40 min away by bus to Otavalo.  That’s where the rest of our zone is. 

We’ve been contacting most nights since no one has been in our area for 6 weeks.  We have a couple new investigators.  The most prominent are javier and jefferson.  Jefferson is 17 and is really interested. Javier is kinda sketchy some times, but he’s accepted to prepare to be baptized the 29th of October.  

other than that, I’ve just been trying to get used to life here.  It’s tough but there’s not much to do but work.  well that’s about all the time I have this week!


Elder Jensen


Elder Jensen and Elder Burgi v2.0.  Their dads were missionary companions in Las Vegas 26 years ago. These two will be serving in Ecuador and Oregon (both speaking Spanish). We are excited for this next generation of missionaries! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hello from Ecuador

 I made it to the mission field!! flight was flippin long and we left late last night.. arrived to colombia early this morning and then flew to ecuador.. long day and im super tired.. we’ve arrived to quito and its super huge!! We’ve had a lot of meetings with the aps and the pres.. and now we get to go contacting. flippin nervous but whateves.. we all stay the night together and tmrw we meet our trainers and go to our sectors. really excited. I love you all and I’ll talk to you monday..  pray for me.

love Elder Jensen

MTC District in the Airport

With President and Sister Murphy

New Companion - Elder Aliaga

Welcome Dinner with District and President and Sister Murphy


Group Photo with our Trainers

Heading out!