Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What Will I Do To Have Eternal Life?

September 24, 2012

Hey Family and Friends!

Downtown Santiago
I went to downtown Santiago this week to send you all the photos I've taken since I arrived in Chile. I hope they get to you soon! This last week was a really good week except for the fact that Elder Weigel and I are still struggling with our investigators coming to church. Elder Weigel and I follow all the steps to commit someone to come to church, the spirit is strong, our investigators commit then they never show up to church on Sunday. On Sunday's in Chile it's their culture to sleep in until 12 noon. The streets are empty until then! It's crazy!
Logros (Achievements)
bautismos  0
confirmaciones  0
investigadores que asistieron a la reunion sac.  0
lecciones con miembro  5
otras lecciones  15
investigadores que estan progresando  0
ref recibidas  7
ref contractadas  11
nuevos investigadores 15
lecciones a converso rec. menos activo  5
contactos  141
All of our investigators lost their fechas bautismales because they didn't attend church. It's frustrating when we have members looking for our investigators to escort them to church and the investigators never leave their houses.
Investigators and their progress:
Juani: Told us that she found new work in the Northern part of Chile and she is moving this week...she's already gone! Juani told us that she's going to find the missionaries where she lives and be taught by them. Kind of a bummer that that happened.
Victor/Amauri: Amauri still has no work contract and that will take forever to get. Elder Weigel and I learned that Victor can't have a baptismal date until he either lives in a different house than Amauri and Claudia who aren't married or Amauri and Claudia get married. This scenario complicates a lot of things.
Juan Carlos Rivas, Beautriz (wife), Genesis (11 yr old daughter): Elder Weigel and I had a really powerful lesson with this family this last Friday night. We watched a 5 minute video about the church and the classes so Beautriz and Genesis could get a better idea about what to expect when they attend church. The spirit was strong. Elder Weigel and I left the Rivas house thinking that that was our best lesson that we've given since I've been in Renca. The spirit was really strong and the words just flowed out of my mouth. Elder Weigel and I committed the Rivas family to attend church and then they didn't show up on Sunday because they had a family emergency, which is acceptable. Juan Carlos told his family that he knows that this is the true church even though he left it 20 years ago. He continued,"when I came to church for the first time in 20 years a month ago, I felt like I was home and in Gods house." That was a powerful testimony builder for me and I was really thankful for Juan Carlos sharing his feelings. Members testimonies in lessons are so powerful! Elder Weigel and I are going to commit Beatriz and Genesis to a baptismal date this week. When they attend church this Sunday, they will be progressing investigators.
Flor: Elder Weigel and I ran into Flor yesterday in the street and she admitted she had been lazy about getting up to go to church. (We've had a member looking for her 3 weeks in a row and she hasn't left her house.) Flor still needs to learn the importance of coming to church. Elder Weigel and I are going to teach her more about it this week so she will be comfortable and want to come. Flor told us that she knows she needs to go to church but she's not sure when she'll come. I've got to work really hard with her!
Most of our investigators are doing well. There are a lot of obstacles in their way, like Amauri and Victor for example. The day after Elder Weigel and I fasted as a companionship this last week, we had a HUGE day! We taught 5 lessons, received 4 references, found 4 new investigators and had one ref contacted. This experience of fasting definately increased my testimony. That same day we had a list of part member families in our sector and decided to visit one of the families on our list. It turned out to be a family with a dad that wasn't a member. This dad had listened to the missionaries tons of times and attended church a lot. His problem is that he's Catholic and he doesn't want to change religions. Elder Weigel and I entered their home and started to give a brief lesson on the Restoration. I felt the spirit so strong in our lesson. The words flowed from my lips and everything I needed to say came to my mind as well as all the questions and answers. It was amazing! Part of my personal fast was to be able to better communicate effectively with the Chileans. I am really grateful for this expereince. This week, Elder Weigel and I are going to fast again for our investigators to come to church!!!!
Favorite Scripture for the week: Alma 22:4-23-This talks about Aaron teaching King Lamoni about God and the Plan of Salvation. My favorite verse is 15: "And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him; the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day?  Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy." King Lamoni wanted the Holy Ghost and eternal life so bad that he would give up everything he had just to have that joy and calmness. Are you willing to do that?
Aaron teaching King Lamoni
Favorite food of the week: Choripan- a type of sandwich with chorizo popular in Chile. The name comes from the combination of the names of its ingredients: a grilled chorizo (sausage) and a pan (crusty bread) such as a marragueta or baguette. Chilean choripanes are very popular as a classic appetizer during asados.
Chilean Choripan
Highlights of the week:
 The Santiago Chile North Mission goal this month is 100 baptisms. We are at 65. Lofty goal but all missionaries are working extra hard this week to meet.
My New District Leader is Elder Holland. He's from Del Cerro, California and has been out a year longer than I have.
Elder Holland, Elder Jenson's new District Leader in Renca
President Riquelme is the Branch President in Renca.
Elder Jenson sent a surprise note to his Dad for his birthday all in Spanish. Feliz Cumpleanos Padre!!

Elder Jenson's Birthday message to his Dad in Spanish!
I received over 15 letters/packages from family and friends this past week!:) Thank-you so much! I look forward to Wednesday's when we get our mail. It means a lot to hear from family and friends and to be able to stay connected. Thank-you to everyone that wrote or sent a package to me this week... Nana, Papa, Xan, Kristin, Kim, Seth, Jeanna, Grandpa and Grandma Jenson, Dad, Mom, Taylor, Tarryn and Tallyn. You made my week!
I hope all is well and that Dad has an incredible birthday!! I love you all!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


September 20, 2012

Hey Family and Friends!

I wasn't able to send a letter home this Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday because it was Chile's Independence Day which is a National Holiday and everyone is off work and no internet places are open.

Happy Independence Day 2012 Chile!
Chile's Independence Day (Fiestas Patrias) which is on September 18th is a time where all Chileans gather together and celebrate their country, culture and Independence. Celebrations of all things Chilean center on their Independence Day. Chile's road to Independence from Spain started on September 18, 1810. Chile celebrates the 18th of 1810 with great fanfare. The 18th, or "dieciocho," is celebrated during a week full of fiestas patrias ("patriotic parties"). This includes parades, dances, eating traditional Chilean food and music.  Parades include huasos, the traditional Chilean cowboys, music and displays of national pride.

Independence Day parade with Huasos (skilled Chilean horsemen)

Chilean Independence Day parades also include girls in traditional Huasita dresses
Many of the celebrations occur in Ramadas which are temporary open buildings with thatched roofs traditionally made from tree branches. Ramanas feature a dance floor, music, tables and food.

A Chilean Ramada
Fondas, or refreshment stands, offer a wide variety of Chilean foods including empanadas and anticuchos (shish kabobs). There are frequent dance competitions with the national dance,la cueca, being the most popular.
The day after Independence Day is also a National Holiday. Armed Forces Day includes military and naval parades and events celebrating Chile's military victories including their Independence.
Armed Forces Day 2012 in Chile
This week has been tough in some ways and fun in others.  Today Elder Weigel and I are fasting for our investigators and also for ourselves that we will be able to teach with clarity and power so that our investigators will recognize that what we are teaching them is true and that committing to live the gospel will bring happiness into their lives. Elder Weigel and I have faith that we will see success in the near future. Elder Weigel and I are writing quick updates home this week so we can get to work. I'll just tell you about some highlights and news with our investigators.
Logros for the week (Achievements):
investigadores con fecha bautismal  1
investigadores que asisten a la reunion sac  0
lecciones con miembro  7
otras lecciones  4
investigadores que estan progresando  0
referencias recibidas  9
contactadas  11
nuevos investigadores  10
lecciones a conversos recientes y menos activos  5
contactos  84
As you can see, it was a pretty tough week. 13 lessons with all of the schedule changes wasn't bad and our referencias recibidas and contactadas were really good this week. The things that we really need to work on are getting our investigators to church and our contacts. It's hard for the people in Chile to commit for some reason. If our investigators went to church, we'd be baptizing like crazy! As of right now, we only have one person with a baptismal date.
Here's the update on our investigators...
Maria...We haven't seen her since the morning of her baptismal date two and a half weeks ago. One of the members in the Renca ward who's good friends with her is talking to her and helping her. We plan to visit Maria soon to see what we can do and how we can help her as well.
Victor...Found out he and his brother Amauri are illegal in the country because they haven't renewed their licenses to be here. Victor and Amauri can't get baptized until they figure that out as well as find a contract for work which we learned is going to take at least a month. That was really sad to hear. Now all Elder Weigel and I can do is just wait. 
Flor...Whenever members go to look for her to bring her to church with them she never leaves the house. Elder Weigel and I have to have a pretty firm lesson with her this next week about the importance and blessings that come from attending church. We are still working hard with Flor.
The 11th of September was a pretty crazy day. We got back to our casita at 7pm when usually we don't get back until 10pm. Every 11th of September there's tons of protests, gun shots etc. By the time we got home at 7pm there was ruckus already starting to happen. Elder Weigel and I heard gun shots in the distance and had a power outage because the people knocked over a telephone pole during their protests. It was a pretty crazy night!
This past Saturday, the 15th, we had an awesome activity in the Renca Stake Center with the 4 churches in Renca.There's been a Stake in Renca for 28 years. It was a really well attended activity with dances, food and games. It was fun to watch the dances and eat a little bit of authentic Chilean food. We had a good time.
Elder Jenson's testimony in Spanish:
Yo quiero compartir mi testimonio con uds...Yo se que esta iglesia es la iglesia verdadera en la tierra y que tenemos la autoridad para actuar en el nombre de Dios. Yo he visto muchos milagros en mi mision y solamente he estado en Chile por 7 semanas. No hay coincidencias en la mision y viendo esos milagros ha crecido mi testimonio mucho.  Yo puedo ver una diferencia entre mi testimonio del evangelio de Jesucristo ahora y antes de la mision.  Leyendo en las escrituras cada dia por muchas horas ha cambiado mis pensamientos diarios y ha crecido mi conocimiento del evangelio.  Muchas veces cuando yo estoy ensenando una leccion con mis investigadores, yo siento el espiritu tan fuerte diciendome que necesito decir a mis investigadores para que puedan sentir el espiritu santo y esta es la iglesia verdadera.  Yo se que el libro de mormon es verdadero y que uno puede saber por si mismo si es verdadero o no. Solo tiene que preguntar a Dios.  Hay una promesa en Moroni 10 que dice por el poder del espiritu santo, Dios contestara su oracion y decirle que es verdadero.  Yo se que Jose Smith fue un profeta de Dios y que Jesucristo restauro su iglesia por medio de el.  Yo se que familias pueden ser eternas por medio de la autoridad que se encuentra en la iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos de Los Ultimos Dias y can esa autoridad solamente se encuentra en esa iglesia. Dios y Jesucristo viven! En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
Love you!
Our family received a surprise facebook request from the Caballero family in the Renca Ward Elder Jenson is currently serving in this week! The Caballero's posted the following 2 recent photos of Elder Jenson with their own captions...
 "Today in Quinta Normal Park from Santiago, Chile. Elder Jenson dressing a cape... xD."
The Caballero family, Elder Weigel and Elder Jenson 
"Elder Jenson are sharing scriptures with my family. He's a very good person and nice. We're happy to know his family. Look a picture in Renca Stake."



Wednesday, September 12, 2012


September 10, 2012

Hey Family and Friends!

And the verdict is......I stay in Renca to finish my training with Elder Weigel!!!! Woo!! Hoo!!!

Elder Jenson and Elder Weigel continue their companionship in RENCA!
This week was a good week! We taught a good amount of lessons and found a lot of people to teach. Just to give you an idea, this is a board in our casita that shows our primary Investigators that we are teaching and their progress.

Board of Elder Jenson's current Investigators
Logros (Achievements)
Bautismos  0
Confirmaciones  0
Investigadores qu asisten a la reunion sacramental  0
Lecciones ensenadas a los investigadores con un miembro  11
Otras lecciones  9
Investigadores que estan progresando  0
Referencias recibidas  9
Contractadas  9
Nuevos Investigadores 11!!!!!
Lecciones con cenverso rec menos activo  6
Contactos  108
We had a good week teaching 20 lessons (if you include the 6 lessons with CR MA, we had 26 lessons) and found a lot of new people to teach.
President Essig continues to be blown away by the story of Jonathan that I came to the field with. He said that he'd never seen a missionary come to the field with a story like this.  President Essig said that sometimes missionaries come to the field with a reference from someone that they had talked to on the airplane, but that he's never heard of a missionary come to the field with a reference from a member!
President and Sister Essig
Zone Conference was great! I received a lot of training on how to commit people to read the Book of Mormon, pray, go to church and be baptized. Zone conference was VERY helpful and I now use what I learned in that Conference daily.
Elder Jenson practicing with another Elder at Zone Conference
This week we had to drop a lot of our Investigators because of their unwillingness to keep their commitments whether it was due to work related issues, habits that they weren't able to quit or not showing up to church. Elder Weigel and I are still going to continue dropping by every once in awhile, but these investigators are not going to be our primary focus going forward.
New things with our Investigators:
Juani: She is really making a lot of progress and really wants to learn more about everything. Juani told us,"I really just want to become closer to God." Elder Perez, who's from the southern part of Chile, and I taught her the Plan of Salvation this past week in an Intercambio.
Elder Perez
Plan of Salvation (Spanish)
Juani was asking all sorts of questions and was taking notes on everything that Elder Perez and I said. Juani has the desire for sure to do what is right. Now all we need to do is teach her the lessons. Juani has a baptismal date for the 23rd of September. Definately a golden Investigator!
Flor and Raul: This is a mother and son. Raul is 19 years old and has a lot of quetions about what we believe and a ton of interest in what we are doing. Flor didn't have much interest at first but really opened up the second and third time we taught her.  Elder Weigel and I have taught Flor and Raul the first lesson and also have watched the Restoration as well. Flor told us an expereince she had with the Book of Mormon.
Spanish Book of Mormon
 Flor has difficulty reading and she told us that when she read the Book of Mormon, the "words were brillant and they stood out to her." Flor continued,"I can read easily and can comprehend everything that I was reading." That was a big testimony builder for me that Heavenly Father is trying to show us the way and will help us find it.  If Elder Weigel and I are prepared and bring the Spirit to our lessons, our Investigators will feel it and see the way that they need to follow to return to live with our Heavenly Father again. 
Rivas Family: This is a new family that Elder Weigel and I have been teaching. Juan Carlos, the father, left the Church 20 years ago and this past month attended Church twice! Beatriz, (his wife), and his daughter, Genesis, are nonmembers. We taught the family the Restoration this past week.
Restoration Video in Spanish
The Rivas family had lots of interest. Just from this one lesson on the Restoration, I could feel that Juan Carlos wants to return to Church and wants his family to have the blessings of the truth of the gospel in their lives.
Amauir: He found work!!! Now he needs to get a contract and then he and Claudia can get married and then they can get baptized!
Victor: Elder Weigel and I had a powerful lesson with Victor this week on the Plan of Salvation. Victor is always asking us "When is my baptismal date?" It's the 23rd of September! We need to teach Victor the 10 Commandments and then he can get baptized.
The 10 Commandments
The language is coming along. Chileans are really difficult to understand because they talk really fast and they don't pronounce half of the word they're saying. Imagine trying to understand that! It's really hard, but each day I'm understanding more and more.
New word for the week I learned: Ablandar=to soften
Tell Papa Horsley Happy Birthday!
Thank-you to everyone for all the letters and packages! I got the 100 Day theme package! That was really nice of the family to put that together. I felt loved, that's for sure!
I'm happy Taylor is receiving letters from schools and feeling good and improving his skills.
Favorite scripture for the week: Alma 5:16..."I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying to you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth? (Put your name in the scripture and it will really make you sould search....if I were to die today, what would happen?)
***Elder Jenson wrote a letter to his younger sister Tallyn this past week for her 12th birthday. I wanted to share with you part of it..." Listen to your teachers at church. They will help keep you on the straight and narrow path. "No hay un otro camono" (there's no other way!) (2 Nephi 31:21). I hope you are reading your scriptures every single day and praying morning and night. Those are the two biggest things that you can do right now at your age to fight off the temptations of the adversary. "Pray always that you may come off conqueror" (D&C 10:5). "Feast upon the words of Christ" (2 Nephi 32:3). I have learned a lot about the importance of these two things here in Chile. It has increased my spirituality and my eternal perspective has been widened."
Beautiful Renca Chile Sunset

I hope all of you have a great week! Lots of love from Chile!




Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Elder Jenson reminded by his 5 year old cousin Will to always follow Jesus
September 3, 2012
Hello All!
This week was a tough week! First, I'll tell you about my logros (achievements) and then I'll tell you about my investigators...
Bautismos  0  (I'll explain later)
Confirmacion  0
Investigadores con fecha bautismal  3
Investigadores que asisten a la reunion sac.  0
Lecciones con miembro  6
Otras lecciones  9
Investigadores que estan progresando  0
Referencias recibidas  4
Contactadas  3
Nuevos Invest.  7
Lecciones con conversos recientes y a miembros menos activos  7
Contactos  101
Board in our Casita of our 3 Sectors in our Rama (Branch) in Renca, Chile.
We have 7 missionaries in our Rama! The names in black are our Familias/Miembros Activos. The names in blue are our Miembros Inactivos. The names in red are our Investigators.
Progress of my investigators...
Maria- Oh boy...where do I begin? On Wednesday Elder Weigel and I went to Maria's house and were able to finish the lessons with her. We finished the commandments and the only other thing that she needed before her baptism was the interview with the Zone Leader. Maria's excitement was really strong despite expressing a little sadness because her daughter was putting things in her head that God was going to punish her for what she's doing (getting baptized). She expressed that she was really sad because of what her daughter was saying and that she doesn't want to destroy her realationship she has with her daughter. Elder Weigel and I resolved her problems and we left her home confident that she was alright.
We had another Intercambio this week on Friday. Elder Holland and I went to teach Maria.
Elder Jaromy Holland in front of the Santiago Chile temple
Right from the beginning of our meeting, Maria was depressed (it seems like every time we go to teach Maria, she has a really hard time with her family because they're all Catholic). Maria brought up her relationship with her daughter and how she doesn't want her whole family to hate her. She is really sad that she doesn't have any support. Elder Holland and I just listened to her vent her feelings. We had her stop and say a prayer. In her prayer she said a few key things. They were: 1. thank-you for "my hermanos" that are always helping me feel good  2. help my daughter understand that what I'm doing is right (getting baptized). Elder Holland and I talked to Maria about her prayer and asked her what makes her feel good when we come and talk to her, what experiences she's had as we have talked and had her recount her experiences and feelings she's had with us when she's prayed. She shared an experience with me of when she prayed and she really asked Heavenly Father for help in reading the Book of Mormon (Maria has reading difficulties).
Spanish Book of Mormon
 Maria said right after she was done praying, she was reading the Book of Mormon and was able to understand everything she read. After recounting this expereince she had and experiences she has had with us, she started to notice the feelings she was experiencing and knew that she needed to get baptized. Then we talked to her about her daughter and asked her why she asked Heavenly Father to help her daughter gain knowledge about why baptism is important to her. That brought the Spirit more fully into the room and I bore my testimony to her and said that this is no coincidence that Elder Holland and I are teaching you. By the end of the visit, Maria was excited again and determined to get baptized.
Elder Jenson standing by a picture of Jesus being baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist
 Everything was good up until Sunday morning. Elder Weigel and I passed Maria's house. She came out in her jammies and said she can't go to Church nor be baptized. Maria said that her boyfriend had arrived and said that if she got baptized, he would leave her and she wouldn't have any food, a place to live etc. (Maria's boyfriend provides everything for her. She has no income other than what her boyfriend gives her). Maria told us that she couldn't meet with us anymore and then started sobbing and told us she didn't know what to do. I could tell she wanted to get baptized and do the right thing, but that at this time in her life, it just wasn't going to happen. I'm not sure what we're going to do with Maria. Elder Weigel and I told her we would talk a little bit later after her boyfriend had left and work it out. This news ruined my whole day! I couldn't help but think of Maria and all of the problems that she's going through. She really wants to do what's right, but it's almost like she can't. Maria basically has to leave her boyfriend and look for a job at 60 years old. She told Elder Weigel and I that she can't work because her hands hurt her. Maria's story is really complicated and sad.
Juani- We had one visit with Juani this week. We watched the movie the Restoration.
Spanish Restoration Movie
I don't know why Juani didn't go to church this week. We'll have to figure that out and get her to church next week. Juani is really enthusiastic and hungry to learn more about the right path that she should be following. Juani said that she's looking for that path to follow and wants to become closer to God. That's really exciting! Elder Weigel  and I are going to start meeting with Juani more often. It's difficult to do this because she works until late at night and by the time she gets home, she's really tired. Elder Weigel and I are determined to work really hard with her this week. We put her baptismal date as the 23rd of Sept! I'm excited for that!
Amauri- He still hasn't found a contract. Amauri didn't come to church because he and Claudia were out of town at Claudia's mom's house. Elder Weigel and I met with Amauri a couple of times this week. He's trying his best to find a contract. Just has to find one so he can get married and baptized!
Toloza-Castro Family- They didn't come to church this last Sunday (never been) so they lost their baptismal date. In our mission you have to attend church 3 times before your baptized. This is the main reason our investigators con fecha bautismal dropped drastically this week. I don't know what's holding them back. They seem to not want to make commitments. I think Elder Weigel and I are going to have one last lesson with them.
Spanish Preach My Gospel Lesson Manual
If the Toloza-Castro Family doesn't come to church, we will probably have to drop them. We need to spend our time teaching people who are prepared and are ready for the gospel and are willing to make commitments. If we're not teaching those people, we need to spend our time finding them.
Yesterday was really tough as you can tell. No investigators came to church and Maria wasn't baptized. A little bit sad, but I can't let that get to me. I have to keep pressing forward and find those that are prepared for this gospel and the happiness it brings.
***Jonathan's Family update: To clarify, I only was given permission to go and visit and teach the Farias family 1 time (unless I get sent to their area sometime while I'm on my mission). I handed the Farias family off to the missionaries in that sector who are teaching them now. Hopefully Isaac is doing well. I'm not sure!
To answer a few questions...
Seminary is every day in the night at the church in Renca. It starts at 8pm and 5-10 kids attend.
(The Seminary program was established in 1972 in Chile. Seminary is a four-year curriculum of study that includes the holy scriptures and the Church history for youth ages 14 to 18. It started very small in Utah in 1912 and now has an annual enrollment of more than 375,000 youth in 143 countries with 38,000 volunteer and full-time teachers. President Eyring, First counselor in the First Presidency of the Church said,
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency
"In the 100 years of seminary (1912-2012) that have come and gone, countless lives have been touched. Our task has been and will always be to teach and to learn so that the gospel of Jesus Christ will go down into the heart of the one-the individual son or daughter of Heavenly Father." Chad H. Webb, administrator of Seminaries and Institutes for the Church said, "Students discover stories, the people, the backgrounds and the history of those volumes of scripture. It's a process that allows them to find answers to questions in their own lives. In some ways, seminary hasn't changed a lot in the 100 years. Elder Joseph F. Merrill, who was a faculty member at the University of Utah, a Church leader in the Granite High School neighborhood and the pioneer of that first seminary class, hoped for the same results in the lives of young people that we hope for today. Merrill, the first teacher, helped their seminary students to study, to learn the scriptures and to love the Lord. We hope that is what will happen in every seminary class today and forever."
Ended my Sunday fast and a tough week with the best dessert I've had in Chile so far!
Elder Jenson's favorite Chilean dessert! Ice cream with hot fudge and waffers-Yum!

I hope you all have a good week!