Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Sharing the gospel in Chile brings me happiness!"

December 25, 2012

Colorado 12 noon-Chile 4pm

Elder Jenson was able to call our family from the familia de Chandia home in Quinta Normal Chile at noon Colorado time today. The following are highlights from our incredible conversation we had. What a blessing for our family to have a worthy son and brother serving a mission in the Chile Sanitago North Mission.

Elder Jenson's call came in through skype around 12:06pm. Trevor yelled,"Tanner's calling!" It was music to all of our ears as we rushed from every corner of the house to meet around the computer to catch our first glimpse of Elder Jenson in almost 7 months. Words can't describe the feelings of pure joy each of us felt as Tanner appeared on our computer screen....magical! Our first glimpse was of an Elder with a grin from ear to ear wearing a Santa hat and Christmas tie from Uncle Michael and Aunt Kristen that sings Jingle Bells! Almost in unison we all said "We love you Tanner!" Elder Jenson's reply while taking a sip of soda, "Love you too, how's everyone?"

We then began to ask Elder Jenson several questions as well as spent time updating him on questions he had. The following are highlights from our call:

One of the gifts that Elder Jenson sent his siblings was a toy called Trompo. The hour before the call Taylor, Tarryn and Tallyn were busy trying not to break windows and chandeliers trying to learn how to successfully master Trompo while looking at Elder Jenson's "how to videos" he sent, only to find out that it took Elder Jenson a few weeks to figure it out.
Tallyn, Taylor and Tarryn with their Chilean trompo's (wooden tops), sunglasses, watches and personalized postcards from Elder Jenson.
We asked Elder Jenson to describe where he lived and he said that the next sector over is downtown Santiago. Elder Jenson "se siente seguro en Quinta Normal" (he's safe).

Elder Jenson loves what friends and family write him. This week he received several dearelder letters, a card and package from Uncle Michael and Aunt Kristen and a card from Nana with pictures from Avery and Connor. Elder Jenson said it's so hard for him to send letters back. He can only send letters when he goes to the "Centro" which is in downtown Santiago. He appreciates all of your support and wants you to know that he feels really loved every week when mail is delivered. Elder Jenson told us it takes 1 1/2 to 2 weeks for him to receive dearelder letters. Thank-you to everyone!

Thank-you everyone for thinking of me!

With all of the walking Elder Jenson has done, he's already had to repair one pair of shoes but other than that, everything else is holding up great.

Elder Jenson said there are SO many prepared people in Chile waiting to hear the gospel especially in his current sector, Quinta Normal.

Elder Jenson said his current companion, Elder McKinley is "BOSS". He's a successful missionary in the CSN Mission. President Essig told Elder Jenson," I know you're a great missionary. I want you to be with Elder McKinley to learn from him for 3 weeks. Then I will send you to another sector with a different companion so you can practice what you've learned in Quinta Normal."

Elder Jenson and Elder McKinley at the familia de Chandia home on Christmas Eve 2012

How's the food in Chile? "I eat rice and chicken and sopa de frijol everyday. The members feed us lunch (in Chile this is the big meal of the day) every day except P-Day around 2pm and then I don't eat onces (Chilean for dinner) until I come home at night around 1030pm."

Elder Jenson said,"The weather in Chile is Utah weather. Today it's 90 degrees and we don't have AC or heat in the winter. Sometimes I'm on the street dying it's so hot! I miss seeing a white Christmas. It feels like I should be on the golf course today. It doesn't feel like Christmas."

We asked Elder Jenson what his favorite P-Day so far had been to which he replied,"When I golfed with 1 club! The course was literally a hilly field and my companion and 2 other Elders hit balls off mats. We each got 2 tokens and hit away for 10 mil. Heaven!"

Elder King, Elder Sampson, Elder Lawson and Elder Jenson in Cuidad Esmpresarial.

Elder Jenson said, "The Chileans people leave their front doors open. Elder Jenson yells from a steel fence that separates the street from the houses, "ha-lo". Elder Jenson said, "I always like to contact these people because it's easy to ask if my companion and I can come in and share a message. Once inside the steel fence, there are usually 5 or 6 houses that are connected together. The trick is getting past the steel fence." (Elder Jenson took the Chandia's computer outside and showed us the connected houses and the barking dogs!)

Steel fences in Chile

When asked what are some differences between Chile and America Elder Jenson said,"houses are connected and their doors have bars on them in Chile. There are tons of spiders and bugs in Chile it's crazy!The dogs here are ridiculous. In some areas dogs are more common and at times you literally can't even hear what people are saying because of the barking dogs. Chile has "skinny" streets."

Chilean bugs!
 The mission home office staff called Elder Jenson two days ago and asked him if he wanted to stay for 4 more weeks at the end of his mission or come home two weeks early due to the influx of new missionaries and the Church's recent missionary age change. Elder Jenson said," Come home two weeks early so I can work to make money because I have no money for school. I also want to stay in Chile because it's so awesome here. I was kind of torn."

Elder Jenson related his most memorable spiritual experience he has had while a missionary in Chile. "It had been the toughest week in my whole mission. I had been knocking on doors all day long, everyday. It was now Saturday night at 950pm and Elder King and I were on our way home when we pass by this mother and son. We said "hi" and kept walking. After a few steps we hear the boy (Kevin) yell,"Hey, come back here!" Elder King and I look at each other and turn around and meet Kevin and his mom halfway. Kevin says, "How can we get some visits from you guys?" Remember, this has been the hardest week of our lives and Elder King and I just look at eachother like this is crazy. Their home was 150 feet away form where we were so Elder King and I followed them. Kevin told Elder King and I of how his cousin had made a huge change in his life and had recently gotten baptized. Kevin continued, "I want what you teach in my life too. I want you to help me get on the right path too." Elder Jenson related how this experience confirmed to him that the Lord is mindful of our needs and that he put Kevin in his life at just the right time. Kevin was Elder Jenson's baptism in Renca. Elder Jenson shared with us how he had recently received 2, 2 page letters from Kevin and his mother thanking him for all he had done for their family. Elder Jenson printed off baptism pictures and sent them to Kevin and his family for Christmas this year.

Elder King, Kevin and Elder Jenson.

At the end of the conversation we asked Elder Jenson to bear his testimony in Spanish. This was a tender moment for our family as we all listened intently and felt the spirit of Elder Jenson testify of the truthfulness of the gospel. (Translation by Trevor) "I know the Church of Jesus Christ is the only true church on earth today with all my heart. This is the reason I'm here in Chile on my mission. I know the Book of Mormon is true because I've read it and have done the 3 steps that Moroni counsels us in Moroni 10:3-5 which are to read, to have real intent and to then ask the Lord if the things you've read are true. I know that the Book of Mormon is true because  I've received my own confirmation through the spirit of the Holy Ghost. I know that families are eternal and that we are on this earth to progress and learn so we can one day become like God. I asked Heavenly Father if this is true and he told me personally it was. Many people say that there are many true churches on the earth today but I know that's not the case. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church and that this church is the pathway that we want to follow which leads to happiness. I know that temples are very important and through them we can become eternal families. We should go to the temple often so we can become like Jesus Christ and become more like our Heavenly Father. We should go to the temple to perform ordinances for others so they too can become like our Heavenly Father. One of the reasons I came on my mission was to help people have the chance for eternal life through baptism. Baptism is the door and the Priesthood helps open the door. I want to help others because I know these things are true. If they weren't true,  I wouldn't be here. I'm really happy sharing the truth of the gospel in Chile. It brings me happiness and I want to share it with other people so they too can receive that happiness the gospel gives me. I know that the things I'm engaged in are true because it brings me happiness and I feel it in my heart. I feel the presence of Heavenly Father every day as I'm walking in the street and as I talk to every person I come in contact with. I know I will never go down a street in Chile without the help of the Lord. These things are true! I share my testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ-Amen."

What are you doing for the rest of the day?  Going to see investigators and members and watch the movie, "Alegra el Senor nacio."

Rejoice the Lord was born!

Elder Jenson didn't know where he was going to be transferred tomorrow (26th). The office missionaries are coming to pick him up between 11 and 12 noon which he was really happy about because that means he doesn't have to figure out how to carry all of his belongings on a bus and then the metro to his new sector.

"Estas Feliz?" (Are you happy?) to which Elder Jenson replied, "Muy Feliz!"

Elder Jenson said to tell his friends he loved them, that he loved Chile, Merry Christmas and I love their letters and they need to send me more!

Taylor shared a favorite memory of his when Elder Jenson came home from college last year and every day he'd come home from school, Elder Jenson would always greet him with a classic "Hey bud!" which made his day!

Tarryn left Elder Jenson with a final thought about the Savior and how Elder Jenson reminds her of the Savior because of all of his hard work, loving everybody and his courage. "I just love you lots. My biggest blessing is you and being your sister. I miss you lots and love you."

Tallyn told Elder Jenson, "I miss you Tanner." Elder Jenson replied," I miss you too Tal." Tallyn then said,"I want you to come home through the screen right now." Elder Jenson replied,"Only a year and a half more Tal! Jajajaja."

Trevor left Elder Jenson with some final thoughts..."I love your letters, how hard your working, serving and how much I feel like you've developed and grown in testimony and in Priesthood and in service. I want to tell you how much I love you and how great your doing in serving the Lord. Jenson's are Champions and you're a Champion. Keep serving with all your heart, might, mind and strength. Store blessings up in heaven because that's what matters most." "Thanks Dad, I love you!"

Elder Jenson said,"It's about time to roll..." to which the girls (including mom!) said a loud,"NO!" We all said, "te quiro" to Elder Jenson to which he replied,"te quiro mucho!"  Elder Jenson said his good-byes and final love you's and said, "I hope you all have a great Christmas."

Feliz Navidad 2012 from Elder Jenson and Elders of the Chile Santiago North Mission! 

Trevor then spoke with Hna Chandia in Spanish and said the following: "Thank-you so much for giving us your home so our family could talk to Elder Jenson." To which Hna Chandia replied,"He's like my own son!" Trevor ended by saying,"This is a big gift for our home and our family. Thank-you!" Hna Chandia replied, "De nada....Feliz Navidad!"

Elder Jenson and Elder McKinley at the familia de Chandia's Christmas Eve Asada!

Elder Jenson and Elder McKinley with the familia de Chandia on Christmas Eve 2012.

Elder McKinley, Sebastian Chandia and Elder Jenson.

Christmas Eve at the familia de Chandia casa.

Elder McKinley and Elder Jenson opening presents while Hna Chandia watches!

Elder Jenson, Sebastian and Paulina Chandia relaxing after opening presents Christmas Eve 2012.

Elder Jenson and Elder McKinley opening presents from the familia de Chandia on Christmas Eve 2012. Muchas gracias a la familia de Chandia para el cuidado de personas Elder Jenson! La familia Jenson te ama!

Tears of happiness flowed as last minute "Te Quiero Mundo's" and kisses were blown back and forth.  The family kept on saying "love you, love you, love you" until Elder Jenson hung up the phone. We can hardly wait until Mother's Day to talk with Elder Jenson again!

¡Te amamos mundos Elder Jenson!

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