Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Week 18 - Thanksgiving/Birthday

Happy thanksgiving 
Well this week was great, different but great!

On Tuesday we did splitz with 2 recent converts all day long. I went with Dalcio who was my first baptism, it was so tight and my comp went with Patrick who is Dalcio’s friend it was like one of the coolest days ever. We taught some really good lessons but it was mostly just really cool to be with a guy that I taught and baptized and then got to watch him testify and teach about the gospel, it was soooooo cool, the best feeling in the world to see that I have actually help some one change and grow in the gospel. I know that Dalcio will be a great missionary and he is super amped to go and serve.  I’m pumped for him. 
Thursday was Thanksgiving and man was it a great day!  We woke up and unfortunately our lunch appointment fell though so we went all out and made a super dope Thanksgiving lunch.  It consisted of potatoes, they were really good,  2 rotisserie chickens,  really classy fine grape juice,  Brazilian bread,  cake, oranges, and a lime pie. It was sooooo good.  It might not sound very good but it was.  Guess you just had to be there but it was really fun. We made way too much food of course and ended up not eating all of the chickens, so we decided to give it to a bum.  It was so awesome, we just walked up to this dude and asked him if he was hungry he was like claro! (yes).  Then we gave him a whole chicken and said Happy Thanksgiving.  It was tight he was like stunned and was just said “god bless you.”  I swear the bums are like the best part of the mission, they are so funny hahah. So the rest of the day on Thanksgiving was pretty normal but we made sure to tell every person that it was Thanksgiving and all of them were like umm ok cool.  Its definitely not a Brazilian holiday but we made it one. 

On Friday we had a really good lesson with Ricardo who is on of our investigators who smokes like 2 packs a day.  Its nasty but yeah we watched the restoration video and then all of a sudden Elder Payne just started teaching the word of wisdom.  It was not planed but it ended up being really good and he admitted that he knew smoking was bad for his body and that he was destroying his temple and that he wanted to stop.  So it was actually really great. He still is really molly or soft with the baptism idea but we are still working on him. 

Saturday was my birthday and I made 20 years as the Brazilians say it.  It was a really good day, I woke up and made myself the first real breakfast I have had in brazil hahaha.  It was dope. I made a fat omelet with  4 eggs and it was sooo good.  I also made like a peanut butter banana toast sandwiches which was really good and had apple juice to drink it was a good way to start off my Bday. Pretty much like every 20 mins someone would call me and sing Happy Birthday to me which was sooo cool.  I think in total 18 people called me to wish me happy birthday. Including President and Sister Ferrin which was really nice of them. So don’t worry about me, I got a lot of birthday love even though I was here in Brazil.  I even got a couple presents,  some new ties, always appreciated!  I also bought a sick tie at a bracho, which is like a thrift store,  Yes they have them in brazil too, for 2 reals or like 1 dollar. Its dooppee. For lunch we went to a members house and they made this really good chicken and then they also made me a cake.  That night we had a huge fire side at the stake center which was really cool.  It was a play of the BOM.  The assistants came up from the mission office for the play and they brought my letters with them. So yeah I got to open up letters on the night of my birthday it was perfect!  After the activity we went and got açai drinks, it was delicious so it turned out to be a really good birthday. 
To top of the great week yesterday for sacrament meeting was the primary program and yes its still awesome even in Portuguese, soooo funny. I was like the only one in the whole congregation who thought it was funny though, so as I was laughing my head off like the whole time.  I was just getting eye balled by all these moms.  I am sure they were just thinking what the heck is this dumb Americano laughing at my daughter for?  it was just so funny I couldn’t help it.  One of the sunbeams is this super fat kid, his dad works for Mars bars so he just eats chocolate all day long.  He was being so crazy the whole time just like yelling all the songs so loud!  it was so funny I almost died. 
So yea it was like a really tight Sunday cuz  we had 7 people show up to church so that was also really super cool and all of them of course really liked it. The best part of Sunday though was when we were picking up our investigator  before church.  He lives in this like shared house thing with 20 other dudes that are all drunks and stuff.  Its crazy cuz he is this super focused African guy who studies and works all day long but he lives with these total loosers.  So when we got there to his house he wasn’t ready so we asked another guy if he could call him but he was drunk on Sunday morning at 8:30 in the morning.  Really classy, but yea he was like o yea sure and then he just  yells at the top of his lungs, “Hey Dunian the Americans are here!”  but I guess he didn’t hear us right and instead of saying Dunian he just yelled, “Hey donuts the Americans are here!”  It was so funny I almost peed my pants.  I laughed so hard but  it ended up all being fine and he came to church.  
Last night we went to a member’s home-the Marcizos-for a family night with Patrick and Dalcio. It was fun and yes they also made me a cake hahaha soooo much cake and tonight we are going to another members house for another birthday party.  Its going to be tight.  The members in our ward are sooo awesome.  Its all good hear in Brazil, glad to hear the snow was bad. Stinks to be you guys! hahah just messing with you.  I wish I could have been there this week to spend time with the whole family but thanks for all the emails and all the love. 

Pictures are sharing our thanksgiving feast and me shaving our 80 year old friend.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Elder Jensen's Address!

Elder Aaron Jensen
Brazil Sao Paolo East Mission Office
Rua Caa-Acu 229
Sao Paulo SP


Week 17 - Thanksgiving Thoughts

Dear Family
Well its that time of year again where we settle down and get together with our families and think about what we are thankful for.  Being away from my family this week will probably stink. hahah but I can still spend time thinking of what I am thankful for.  This year the first on the list is my family.  I’m so thankful for everyone of you guys, for your support and love for your letters and emails and for your prayers.  It may not seem like you guys do that much but I want you to know that your support makes a big difference.   I know without a doubt that I am getting blessed from all your prayers because every day I can see miracles in my life here in Brasil. ‘im thankful for all my cousins and my brother who served missions before me and set such a great example for me.  I am also very thankful for the opportunity to be on a missionary in Brasil!!!!!! the best place in the world to be a missionary. I love waking up every morning and just serving all day ever day!  Its great. I am all so thankful for the gift of tongues because I know that without it there would be no way I could have learned Portuguese hahaha Really I cant even speak English so how would I be able to speak Portuguese.  I am thankful to live in America where we have so many luxuries such as huge new big screen tvs and beds and cars and food and clothes.  I have seen some pretty sad things here in Brasil and it has just made me really think about how lucky we are to be born in to a great family in America in a land of plenty.  Honestly I could list like 1,000,000 more things but I dont have time. 
This week has been great. We had 2 people come to church with us that we are teaching.  One of them is this African guy named Dunion, he is sooo cool. I hope he will get baptized next Sunday that would be tight.  The other guy is named Ricardo who has a lady friend in our ward. Hes 30 and is way dope but its going to be hard for him to get baptized because he smokes a ton, its gross like his house is just like a smoke house nasty.  We are also teaching this guy named Alex who is 19 and is a MMA fighter!  He hasnt come to church yet because he has a girlfriend who lives in Rio so he goes there every weekend but since he travels so much he has a lot of spare time to do nothing.  So he has already read the whole Book of mormon !!!!!!  He read it in 10 days. Like what the heck!  Who does that?  haha we just got to get him to come to church so we can baptize him.

So this week on Friday we had a really cool experience with Jose Almir, he is about 80 years old and lives by himself, kinda sad.  He is a member that has gone inactive so on Friday we were walking in the street like normal and he starting talking to us and told us that he was a member of our church and that he wanted us to come by his house and visit him so of course we said “ok how about right now!” hahah  So we went to his little humble home and talked to him for about 40 mins or so.  Turns out his mom died like 30 years ago and  with her death he stopped going to church.  It was a pretty sad visit honestly and made me really not want to get any old.  But when we were leaving we invited him to come to church with us on Sunday.  He accepted but he didnt want to go to church with a beard.  So we were like well shave it. But apparently he is like 40 percent blind and cant shave by himself any more so we asked him if we could help him.   He accepted and YES I shaved this old dudes beard. hahaha  It was amazing. I had my electric razor in my backpack so it was really easy.  After we shaved his beard we cleaned up his house.  It was great he was so happy for the help and for the visit.  It made me realize how much just a little service can effect people.  On Sunday we had a member go and pick him up and at church he looked soo happy.  He just keep saying “tudo bein”  (its all good) like over and over again when ever I would look at him.  It was so great.  We talked to the elders quorum pres and got him some home teaches so he can keep coming to church. 
On Saturday night we celebrated my birthday with the Wissali family because it was also Lorascas birthday and another member of our Ward named Drica.  It was fun we had a ton of cake and food. It was also the last night the Wissalis family was here in Brasil.  They moved to the states which stinks for us but its cool for them to be in Utah.
Well I hope you have a great thanksgiving 
Elder Jensen

Week 16

Dear Family,
Today I am doing splits with the ZL and he didn’t have email time yesterday so I get to email today.  Dope. Since I didn’t get to EMail yesterday.
This week was pretty cool.  To start it off we went to this town in our area called Sao Francisco Xaviar which is 1 hour and a half away up in the mountains or hills haha.  But our ward has 3 families who live way up there and they are inactive because its really hard for them to get all the way down to Sao Jose every Sunday. It would be really hard to travel for 3 hours just to go to church and pay 20 bucks for the bus.  But we went up there and had lunch with this super tight family, the food was pretty good haha and we left a message on how important the sacrament was for us and how without the sacrament we really cant feel the spirit in our lives.  It made me think alot about how important the sacrament is in my life and how many faults I have that can be passed away because of the sacrament.
But this town was soooo cool, reminded me a lot of like Morrison or Evergreen  Just this little mountain town away from all the worries of the world, felt really good up there maybe because it wasn’t so freaking hot. But honestly this week it has been raining alot more and I am definitely grateful for my umbrella (thanks Mom) or my rain guard as they call it here.  But its fine I like the rain because as my past Elder de Olivera taught me, the more it rains on your mission the better looking your wife will be, so its all good.  Apparently its a direct relation.  I miss de Olivera tons. He was an awesome trainer. but elder Payne and I are getting a long really well and I am learning alot of little things about being a missionary.  For example this week I had my first real weekly planning session.  This week we had an investigator named Rafial, he is a 17 year old kid who lives right across the street from the chapel and is really smart.  He really likes to learn about everything so he came to church with us but unfortunately, he is an atheist and doubts everything. Its really hard to teach people that are so quick to find fault in things.  We taught him like 3 times this week but he didnt make any progress,  It makes me want to be more open-minded about life and just try to try more things. Last night at district meeting the assistants were here and they gave us a really sick training on humility.  They talked about how our zone is suffering because we are lacking unity and humility.  It was really good they told the story of Ammon in Alma 26 and how he was able to have pure joy because he accepted that he is nothing in his own strength but through the help of God he was able to do everything.  It was a really good training and really made me want to try to be more humble.  He also shared a scripture in Mosiah 4 where King Benjamin said that one can never be too humble and that it is a attribute that we always need to be working on.  It was a really dope training. We had our last family night with Wissiles’ family last night because on Saturday they are moving to Utah because Valenet, the mom is getting married to some guy that lives there.  I am really going to miss this family, they are the best family in our ward and they are all so firm in their faith and are just so nice to the elders. I hope that you guys in the states are generous with the elders and are always looking for ways to serve them. 
Well I know that the church is true and love you all. 
 That’s so cool about Bryce and Karina, that’s awesome for them! 
For Christmas I really just want super sick ties and some maple syrup 

Week 15

This week was pretty cool. (Except for the fact that it was so hot!! the attached picture of Aaron shows the thermometer at 40  degrees Celsius which is 104 degrees Fahrenheit) 
I had one of the coolest experiences on my mission so far.  On Wednesday we were walking in the street going to this kids house we are teaching and a middle age dude came up to us and asked us what our work was and what do we do?  We explained to him that we are missionaries.  He said that he needed our prayers because he had to decided to kill himself  and that there was nothing we could do to change his mind. It was intense!  Luckily we where like right next to the chapel so we asked him if he had a little bit of time to talk.  We walked into the chapel and it was just walking into a wall of the spirit right as I opened the front door and stepped in.  We sat down in the chapel and just talked about God and how God views the soul of every person equally and how God loves every one.  We ended up finding out that his wife just left him with his 5 year old daughter because he was a really big drinker  He was living out on the streets for about a week with no money or no way to get back to Sao Paulo where he had a brother. After about like 30 minutes of talking to him he was already 100 percent different and he decided to stop drinking,  it was soo cool.  We decided to get him a bus ticket back to Sao Paulo so we walked to the bus staition and he was just so happy,  it was so cool.   He was laughing and joking and he accepted to take the lessons back in Sao Paulo so we gave his information to some elders in his area.  Over all I gained a huge testimony on how powerful the spirit really is and how it can change peoples lives.   it was soo cool.  Honestly if we would not have been there this dude might have tired to kill himself. 

This week we have been teaching alot of people and it has been really good.  We baptized a young man named José who is 17 years and is like super smart.  He was a referral from a sister in our stake that  knows him though school.   Since Jose is only 17 he had to get permission from his mom to be baptized and she has to sign this fixa,  don't remember the world in English (signature).  When he asked her, she said no way! never ask me again about it no way!  So he went  into his room and said a prayer that his mom would allow him to be baptized and apparently his mom saw him kneeing down in his room and it just made her change her mind.  It was great, so he was baptized yesterday and he chose me to baptize him as well.   Being down in the font is like the best feeling in the world, first of all because the water is freezzzing and its always super hot here and second because the spirit is just like wicked strong.   It is also really terrifying because there are like 30 people watching and Brazilians have some really long names haha. But I said it all right the first time again so its all good. 

My comp and I are getting along really well and we teach really well together, its tight.  We made some really good goals this week and I think we are going to be really successful this transfer as long as we depend on the Lord and just work super hard. 
Every thing is good and I am loving life here in Brasil. 
ELDER JENSAN (really slowly) thats how Brazilians say it 

Week 14

Yeah Aya!   I knew she would serve a mission, that makes me so happy I can’t even stand it. I miss and love her tons. I cant wait to her that she is coming to Brazil, the best mission in the world where the people are nice and the spirit is strong!

This week has been awesome.  On Monday night we had our last district meeting with de Olivera, it was really good.  I got up and talked about how much he taught me and how I was going to miss him tons, he was a really good trainer. I might have cried haha but it was cool.  Afterward I got kind of trunky and was talking to my ZL about how long I still have and how it’s never going to end.  Then I had one of the best experiences on the mission yet.  He asked me one question that really changed how I think it was great.  He asked, “But elder think of how many people you will change and how many people you will save.”  It really made me want to be a better missionary and made me glad to still have a lot of time on the mission.  Then on Wednesday, I got my new comp, Elder Payne, who is  super cool from Cali, he’s kind of like Andrew but with a really big head.  He is excited and really happy about every thing, we work well together and I already love him tons.
On Sunday we had 2 baptisms.  The first was Dalcio who I baptized, it was soooo cool. I was super nervous because he has like 5 names just like all Brazilians. But I did the prayer and got him under the water the first time.  When we got into the bathroom he said “Elder fui awesome” It WAS awesome! It was really great when I was in the fount the spirit was super strong and I know that he will be a great member and in about a year a killer missionary. so cool! 
We also had a surprise baptism.  Her name is Terisa,  she is the 47 year old Mom of a really strong family in the church.  I think her husband the high Priest leader.  She has been investigating the church for 25 years, been coming to church on and off and taking the lessons every once and a while. On Friday we got a call form the ward missionaries who are apparently awesome, saying that they need us to come interview her so she can be baptized it was really cool. Her husband baptized her and it was such a cool experience.  About half of the ward showed up for the service and it was just really spiritual.  Tonight is the last night that de Oliviera will be here with his parents so it should be fun but sad to say good bye to him.  I’m going to miss him tons. But all is well here in Brazi,l loving the work and missing everyone in the states. 
Sorry for my short letter.   
Elder Jensen 

Dad, that is awesome about your investigator.   There is nothing like finding teaching and baptizing people I love it!  Good luck with every thing. Also yeeessssssss Gangnam style is like the best song ever, we hear it like 10 times a day here and we all know the dance haha.  Every time we ride the bus we just start doing the dance.  I love it  but Elder de Olivera says that garoto, the little boy is totally future Benu.  Haha.  I cant believe this song is popular in the states, that makes me so happy 

Also I found my camera so its all cool, don’t fret.  Thanks for the birthday money idk when I will use it.  I did not get the Halloween package maybe some one will grab it for me from the mission office  this week during transfers.  For Christmas I really just need a thin pair of flat front pants 32 30 also ties I love ties haha. I don’t know what else.  Thanks for every thing. 

Week 13

Dear Family,
First Baptism of the Mission
On Wednesday, as a zone we did a fast for baptisms because numbers are way down this month. So we spent the whole day just contacting people and asking for referrals it was cool.  At like 4o'clock we were both dead tired and sick of talking to people and were all out of ideas of what to do so we prayed and asked to find out where  we should go.  After the prayer we both thought of Drica,  a girl in our ward.  We went over to her house and asked her if she had any friends we could teach and she was like Yea! I have a friend her name is Dauany.  Elder de Oliveira had taught her 3 lessons last transfer but her Mom made her stop taking the lessons for some reason. He didn’t really explain much, story of my life here, haha.  So that night we went over to her house with Drica and taught her mom who apparently was baptized about 20 years ago but then fell away because a bunch of stuff that happened and she got offended for some lame reason idk.  But we taught the first lesson and man was it dope! It was like the spirit of God  like a fire was burning!  The mom ended up crying and admitted that she knew the church was true it was really cool.  Then the next day we taught Dauany and she committed to being baptized that Sunday!!!! She had already attended church 3 times so it was all good.  We taught her all the commandments and then on Sunday elder de Oliveira baptized her.  It was great, the service was good, the spirit was really strong, but the best part was after.  We have also been teaching this really smart kid named Dalico who is 19 and is like going to be a future bishop, he is so great.  We have taught him  4 lessons and he came to church with us and is he is planning to be baptized, he was also a referral  we received on the day we did a zone fast.  After the baptismal service, Dalcio and I were talking and he asked me to baptize him next week!    I was just like yeeaahhhh!  jumping around the church freaking out.  It was great.

On Monday we did splits with our zone leaders, it was sick. I went with elder Atikin who is just like uncle Rich.  He's so funny, happy and super dope. he's 27  and is from Northern California and way trunky, he has 7 months left but all he talks about is home and what he is going to do when he gets home, he has like ever hour for the first 2 weeks planned exactly out.  We went to this area far away where the elders were struggling so we could help them get new investigators.  It was pretty fun, first we went out to lunch and I let him order for me, I was just like yeah dude like what ever you get I will eat..... worst choice of the mission haha.  We both ended up eating this stew kindof stuff that consisted of mostly cow intestine. It was pretty gnarly.  I almost barfed like 9 times hahaha but I ate it all cuz we never know when the next meal is going to be, so you got to eat. 

After that, we made like a bunch of contacts it was pretty fun just because Elder Atikin is crazy fun.  After like an hour or so we meet this member who gave us 15 referrals, she seriously knew like every person in the whole area.  So then for the rest of the day we just tried to contact and find these people. We taught the first lesson like 6 times in one day and it was dope and we got alot of good new people for that area.  Really sad but my dad,  Elder de Oliveira is going home!!!!!! I’m going to miss him, he's great and taught me a lot.  But all is good here in Brazil. I hope things aren't too crazy without me. 
Elder Jensen.

I only get letters about once every 3 weeks when the Zone leaders pick it up from the mission office and deliver it to us. And yes you have to send all my mail to the mission home that’s just how it works here. Sorry  
(It takes longer for our letters to get from the mission home out to Aaron than it does for the letters to get from the US to the mission home.)

Week 12

Well another week down in Brazil!  This week was pretty rough but I just got to keep working.  
So our baptism that was supposed to happen with Julia fell though because her mom said that she couldn’t be baptized, so lame.  But we are going to talk to her mom this week so we will see how it goes.  So frustrated right now because it feels like we teach like super good lessons and the spirit is so strong and then all of our investigators never come to church.  Really annoying. We met this really awesome family of 4 this week and taught them the first 3 lessons.  When I was teaching about Joseph Smith I almost cried because the spirit was so strong.  It was awesome and everything else was going perfect until Sunday morning we called them to make sure the were coming to church and of course the had some lame excuse but hopefully they will come next week because I really feel like they know our messages are true.  I just think they are kind of scared to start going to a different church. 
On Wednesday we went to the hospital, which was like really scary and sad to see so many sick people and  gave this little kid named Lucus a blessing.  Hes six and looks like my mini me, hair and all.  He even has blue eyes.  He had some surgery in his stomach, I didn’t really understand when his mom was explaining it to me hahaha. I sealed the anointing and gave my first blessing in Portuguese, it was cool.  After the blessing I asked him how he felt and with a big smile he said much better hahah  It was great.  He told me I looked like captain America and that’s what he calls me no. Its great. On Sunday he was released from the hospital and he sat with us at church. it was great. 

This week was the first week that I received  letters since being out in the field.  it was great to hear from everyone.  I got 2 packages from mom and Carson (love her so much) and like 15 letters from tons of people.  Thanks for the love and words they keep me going. 

Last night President Ferrien came up to our stake and gave a really good fireside, made me proud to be a missionary it was about how we as missionaries need the members help and support.  At the end of the fireside he opened it up for questions and one of the bishops in the stake that doesn't have missionaries  cried in front of everyone because he really wants the spirit of elders in his ward and in his home. It was cool and made me want to work harder and help the ward even more. 

The main point of the fireside was that elders need referrals and help of the ward. So my challenge to you is to go and teach with the missionaries or have people over and the elders over at the same time like the new neighbors or friends,  just try to be missionaries.  Oh yea and feed the elders more the once a month!  

Elder Jensen 

Week 11

Dear Family and Friends,
We are teaching so many people, its crazy.  We worked really hard this week and it definitely paid off.  We are teaching a group of boys who are like 15 and they are all really cool After we taught a lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ to them my comp said to me when we were walking to our next lesson, “Dude we got to get these noobs baptized.” haha it was really funny.  (Aarons companion is Brazilian and of course learned the term noob from Aaron).  We will hopefully have our first baptism this week which is awesome her name is Julia, shes 15 and is dating a member of the church whose 18, normal here in Brazil but he’s awesome and will get to dunk his own girlfriend this week, how cool. 
We are teaching this huge family, I think Wisseli sent you a picture of them but they are all on different levels.  One lady had a dream as a response to her prayer and in her dream she saw a white fruit and she said it was most desirable it was crazy!  We read Lehi’s dream and explained it to her.  She’s really religious so it’s going to be hard for her to leave her old church but we will see how it goes. 

The hardest part of the work here in Brazil is getting people to come to church. People here love talking to us but really don’t like coming to church hahah its lame. 

Conference was great!  I feel like it was all on missionary work starting with lowering the age of missionaries that’s crazzzzzy!  cant belive that stuff.  I hope it makes a lot more sisters want to serve. idk what my favorite talk was because there were so many good ones.  I really liked President Monson’s during priesthood session.  It was great and 
Elder Holland’s in the morning session. He’s my favorite, so bold and direct. 

I learned from conference that we all need to come unto Christ and to invite all to do the same is to have courage and to teach with the spirit.  We have to help people feel the spirit so they can know that truth of our message for themselves.  We also need to love and care for all people.  We all come form different places of the world with different opportunities and different circumstances but we are all children of god and we all need to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives if we want to be happy. 

This week I went on my first spilt, it was a weird experience, but a good one.  It was really weird not being with elder de Oliviera.  I went with elder Silva who is a little bit of a “fubecca” or slaker.  He’s Brazilian and speaks 0 English so I got to put my Portuguese to the test, or lack thereof haha!  We taught a girl who is struggling to get baptized because she doesn’t want to offend her Pastor its a hard situation but I think she knows the church is true.  The split made me really grateful to have a comp that works hard and wants to teach and baptize.

Right now I am obsessed with the song called “Savior Redeemer of my Soul.”  I sing it all day, every day and I know without a doubt that Jesus is our savior and that we are forever in debt to him but that he loves us and that though him we can have joy that is greater then any other joy here on earth.

Hope all is well
love you all
Elder Jensen 

Savior Redeemer of my Soul

Week 8

Dear Family 
It is sooooo great to be in the field but everything is really fast.  Last week in the CTM was great. I learned a ton.   On the last Sunday of the CTM I  talked in church about earth life and our purpose in Portuguese for like 6 minutes.   I read (the testimony of a missionary) its a story you can find it on Google.  Its awesome and was probably my favorite part of the CTM because I realized that I was called to Brazil to find my friends and share the gospel with people of Brazil. 

OK the field its great!  My comp yes is Brazilian, his name is Elder de Oliveira and is from Fortilasa. He speaks really great english so its cool.  This is his last transfer on the mission so I will kill him (that means I will send him home) and I can tell he is a pro.  I am his 5th son or Elder that he has trained and I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher.  He is also the District Leader(DL).  

The first day in the field we had interviews and training like all day till 2:00 and it was pretty boring.  But I met alot of guys who know Truman and they all said he was the funnest guy ever!  They  told my some great stories about him. Hahaha.  At like 2:00  we meet our trainers and then just went straight to our house, we had to take a 2 hour bus ride to get here so its pretty far from Sao Paulo .   That night we went straight to the Rabello Family’s house, who are the best!  But they played a joke on me and had me teach them a lesson so they could see how good my Portuguese was.  It was scary.  My comp was just like “Elder Jensen will now teach you about the restoration.” and he wouldn’t help me at all.  It went pretty well, I was teaching Wissali, the lady who emailed you.  She was pretending to be an investigator haha!  It was cool I guess but after the fake lesson they all starting laughing and were like saying how good I spoke Portuguese so it was cool.  Their family is so great, we teach a lot of lessons at their house.
So we teach like crazy, its insane.  Like all day every day we are either teaching or going to another appointment. Its cool we have to invite people to be baptized on the 1st visit so its either they are interested or not. Because almost everyone here is Christian, we mostly teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and invite people to follow the example of his perfect baptism.  My comp teaches really simply and very cool.  I have learned so much from him already, and the best part about teaching is that he actually lets me teach too so its kinda scary but people here are really nice and they understand that I am an American and they speak slowly and have patience with me.  Its good. 
Every day we have lunch with the members because its the main meal here. Kinda wierd but its cool.  We eat mostly rice and beans and other random stuff.  My comp makes me give the message every day because he says I need the practice.  My favorite message is to talked about how the greatest joy in this life comes from spreading the gospel and bringing people to Christ.  I use Lehis dream and how he ate of the fruit and how he wanted to share this joy with everyone else. 1 Nephi 8 12. and then we ask if they have any friends that we could teach.  I have gotten some really good results and referrals from it.  Yesterday at church I bore my testimony because I am new in the field.  It was pretty good but scary.  Afterward tons of people wanted to talk to me and couldn’t believe I had only been out for 1 week.  I know that the only reason I am able to understand and speak Portuguese is because the help of the lord and the gift of tongues.  In sunday school the lesson was on obedience and it was perfect for our investigators.  The teacher talked alot about 1 Nephi 3:7 and how the lord would not ask us to do something unless he will help us do it. (This is Aaron’s mission scripture)  All we have to do is try our hardest and the Lord will do the rest. 
Pretty much everyday we get home and I am asleep by 10 haha!  I am definitely not used to walking this much.  Our area is huge, we cover 2 wards and have to walk a lot.  My comp says that this is one of the hardest areas because its not as poor. But I like it a lot. Our house is pretty ghetto haha.  It’s in a members home and it would make Peter’s basement apartment in the Victorian house look really nice.  But it doesn’t bother me.  All I need is a desk and a bed so its fine hahah.
I love you all 
Elder Jensen 

Week 7

Whatz up from Brazil?

Things are going good here in the life of elder Jensen.  Loving my comp and my life as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints.   Its a weird life being a missionary but a good one. I know that I am here to spread the gospel that I know to be true with all my heart because I have received revelation from god that this is the one and only true church of god.  And the only thing that I want in my life for the next 2 years is to share this knowledge with people because I know that it is the only way we can be truly happy here on earth.  If any one is reading this who doesn’t know the truth of what I am talking about I challenge you to search out the missionaries and to listen to their teachings and to ponder in your hearts what they teach and to pray to know if their message is true and I promise that if you do this you will be more happy in your life. 

This week was great but really hard, we are teaching a ton of different people.  Its crazy constantly inviting people to come unto Christ by repenting and by being baptized. 
On Tuesday we taught a huge family of like 8 people the first lesson and it was really good.  I talked about how the joy the gospel brings our family and how I know that we have such love in our family because of the gospels. I carry with me the picture of our family that we took in Africa after we climbed Kilimanjaro and I show it to almost every one because people love pictures here. There is nothing more that I miss then my family.  I think of you all a ton all the fun times we have had in Breckenridge, over holidays and birthdays, the adventures we have had together.  I am so glad that I was born in to the gospel and that I have always had this knowledge in my life.

On Thursday we taught English in the morning it was really fun.  haha. the house we live in is owned by a guy who teaches English so we went with him to talk with his students. They all said “I like” a lot and “very nice” haha  It made me think about my Portuguese and how funny I must sound to people. 

On Saturday, we helped the bishop move to his new house.  He lived on the 4th floor of an apartment building with no elevator so you can imagine I am really sore.  My comp and I got to carry all the heavy stuff of course, which included a washer, dryer, couches, a FRIDGE  and 2 dressers it was great fun haha.  But was nice to do some service. The bishop also took us out to lunch after which made it worth it. 

On Sunday we unfortunately didn’t have anyone come to church with us!!!!!  but church went really good.  The stake president talked in sacrament meeting on the Sabbath day, it was really good and for 3rd hour the Bishop talked about the story of Naaman who washed 7 times in the water to be healed of leprosy. (2 Kings 5:10)  He then told us how this story is like conference.  His point was that we will be asked to do simple things by the prophets and we just need to do them.   It was really good, never been so pumped for conference in my life.  

I Hope life is good in the USA and that you aren’t missing me too bad. 

Elder Jensen 

Week 6

Heeeeellllo everyone,

Well this week was really great! It started out kindof rough but its good now.  On Thursday we our teachers and class rooms were changed because they wanted to push us for the last 2 weeks we are here in the CTM.  At first this was like the worst thing of all time because our teachers were awesome and our new teacher Marico is super strict and doesn’t like to have any fun and speaks 0 English hahaha!  After a couple of days we got used to how hard he wants us to work and we all started getting alot more out of class. So it was a change for the better.  Really like all day we study and teach, its alot but like I said really good because its almost time for the real deal.
On Sunday night for our fireside my Sao Paolo East Mission President, President Ferrien and his wife came and talked to the CTM,  it was awesome. Sister Ferrien seemed really nice and Presendent Ferrien is amazing.   He gave his whole talk in Portuguese even though he is an American and would not let the translator translate.  He just said that we should all be able to understand by now.  I could understand him fine but I felt bad for the new kids sitting next me who looked really bored after about 1 minute hahaha  It was great.  He talked about work and how we really need to be diligent, it was an awesome talk.   He said that hard work can solve 99 percent of our problems as missionaries and I believe him.  Afterward me and the other guys in my district went up and talked to him and he was cooler then i thought he would be. Haha.  He served his mission in Rio so he has a fun accent to his Portuguese and he says na alot its like um or a filler word in Portuguese which is really funny.  He's from Utah and loves to ski and loves soccer so I think we will get a long really well.   

We talked about Truman for a little while and he had nothing but great things to say about Truman.  He said how every one loved Truman and that he was a really hard worker and that he was one of the funniest elders he had in the mission.  HE also said, “I miss that kid.”  He also really hopes that he will be able to make it back out and so do I!!!  So don’t give up Truman cuz we need you. 

After the devotional we were talking to president Deng about his piano skills and he invited us to his apartment to listen to him play the piano because sister Deng is in Salt Lake.  So 8 of the kids from our district went, it was awesome.   Apparently, he is a concert pianist and his is crazy good.  It was sweet just this old man straight killing the piano. He now writes medley of like 3 hymns joined together they are cool. It was really spiritual and he played a medley of 4 songs that Joseph Smith liked. It was sweet, I felt the spirit really strong.

On Monday we got to go proselytizing and it was soooooo crazy.  Really scary at first but super dope haha.  We placed 4 book of Mormons and all the people we gave them to seemed really interested.  My favorite was this guy named Ricardo who is like 30ish and had a family with 2 little girls.  We talked about how God answers prayers and he was totally into it then we talked about eternal families and he seemed like he really wanted to learn more it was cool.  Hopefully he will call the number and except the missionaries into his home.
Well next week I head out to the field. Yeah baby! I cant wait! kinda nervous but it will be good to start actual being a missionary. I wont have a pday next week, so don’t freak out when you don’t get my email.  
I love you all
Elder Jensen
I will send you my current adress when i get it but you can allways send stuff to my mission home

Aaron is begging for letters.  He has been really good about writing had written letters home. 
AAron's Address
Elder Aaron Jensen
Brazil Sao Paolo East Mission Office
Rua Caa-Acu 229
Sao Paulo SP

This is a permanent address for Aaron as they will always forward letters to him, although it make take abit longer.  I will forward his direct address next week.  We have found that letters take around 1 week to get to him and the postage is $1.05


Week 5

Boa tarde 
I hope everything is going well. Things in the CTM are going pretty great. Glad to hear that Nathan is loving Provo, wish I could be there with him to have tons of fun. But thats way too bad about Truman's leg. I have been praying for him like crazy and I know  he can get back out here. So glad to hear that Andrew made it back and thanks for the notes from his talk Mom.

Pretty much the same old stuff has been happing this week.  We go to class alot and learn tons. Its great, but I am ready for the field.  We have 2 more weeks here!!!!! and then its field time baby! I cant wait.  My Portuguese is pretty good and I am starting to just be able to think in Portuguese when I speak it instead of translating it into English.  Its coming a lot easier now and its good to see improvement, but I am still far away from being fluent haha.
Highlights of the week.
The package from Mission Ties was the best; the fruit loops and the skittles were the best part, soooooo goood hahaha.  Thanks so much for that! I need more skittles though.  Send me all the flavors whenever you can! haha  The cookies you got me are like the best cookies in the world but if you eat more then one you feel like crap so my comp and I did some street contacts with the help of some cookies.  It was sweet, we would ask them if they wanted a cookie and then give them a cookie and a pass along card and would then share a message about the church.  It was really fun!  I talked to tons of people.

On Sunday we had mission conference and had a 2 hour meeting where we had tons of good talks. It was awesome, my favorite one was giving by Sister Camargo who is the wife of the 2nd counselor in the CTM presidency and she talked about the story of Lotts wife.  It was cool and she taught about how she was turned into a pillar of salt because she doubted and looked back. Sister Camargo likened this story to us in that we need to not forget about the past but to learn from it and press forward hoping with faith that our futures can be as good or better then our past. It really cheered me up and strengthened me to want to do better.  With everyone starting school again and being at BYU, it kind of made me miss BYU and my friends and I wondered if I would every have that life again.  But this talk made me just want to work harder and press forward with faith knowing that this mission will not only be great and fun but that after the mission I will have more fun then ever before and be so much more successful and happy in my life. 

I finished the Book of Mormon again and I know without a doubt that it is true and I challenge every one to read it and to pray to know if its true. This book will change your life and will bring you more happiness then anything else in your life.  Good week. 
Mom and Nathan’s India trip sounded sweet, but not as cool as Peru. Haha
I love you all
The church is true
Elder Aaron Jensen

Week 4

Dear Family
The CTM  is going good as normal.  My ankle is doing much better and I am feeling great.  This week was a really good week. the CTM is kind of a wierd place and its really easy to get down on yourself here because there is so much to learn but this week I really saw a lot of prgress in myself which is awesome.
On Thursday and friday my companion was sick with the cold that everyone has been getting so he was really out of it which was actually really good for me because i taught like 90 percent of our lessons those days. But i felt really bad for him.  It was cool to see how much Portuguese i knew.  On friday we had our last trc and I taught the investigator that they really need  to feel the spirit and how he can feel the spirit and helped him learn how he feels the spirit,  it was cool.
We had some really good devotionals this week that both taught almost the same thing.  The first one was given by the president of the Sao Paulo north mission.  He is awesome!  He was the first black missionary in Brazil and was really funny.  He spoke in portuguese,  like most of our devotionals,  but when he was telling a joke or a really important part he would just translate his talk himself instead of letting the translator do it haha. It was sweet.  He talked on how we as missionaries will have restrictions if we put them on ourselfs because we lack faith.  It was really awesome and then on Tuesday night Sister Deng (the President of the CTM) talked about how through the atonement of Christ and help of the Lord we can become spectacular and do anything. She used Alma 5:15-16  and it was really good.  She also taught about how we must see the potential that God sees in us in other people and how we must try our best to not judge people by appearances or temporal faults but how we must look for the good in people and see God's potential for them.  It was a really good talk and gave me a lot to think about and ALOT TO WORK ON FOR MYSELF.  It reminded me of the song  "I will posses your heart" by death cab for cutie haha.

Our Brazilian roommate who we call grandpa is getting a little bt annoying.  Hes funny though. He calls me "Capital america" haha which means "Captain America"  Its great but pretty much all he says is "capital america muito loco" (very crazy) and that he is very cold which is funny because its like 75 degrees every day here and he wears a sweater all day.  We keep the fan on at night because we all get so hot and he says he cant sleep because its so cold.  When we told him to use another blanket he yelled noooooo and we asked him why not he said because his blaket is muito bom haha he also gets up at 4:30 because its muito bom (very good)! 
I love you all.  If you are reading this, send me a letter haha.

Elder Jensen

Week 3

Hello family and friends,
I hope all is doing well in Colorado. It sounds like you are having a great time. I hope you don’t get too sad with out Nathan around and hope that David doesn’t go crazy by himself.

Life in the CTM is going well this week.  One of my good buddies from BYU D’Aaron made it here to the CTM.  Its good to see a friend, he’s really excited to be here. His companion is Elder Oaks and yes his grandfather is the Elder Oaks and we are hoping that he will come talk to us cuz that would be freaking sweet hahaha! Life is going pretty well this week. I have been focusing more on my scripture study because its less frustrating then trying to understand past subjunctive tense and the past participle in Portuguese. AAAHHH!  I hate grammar, its hard but I am learning a lot every day.

On Sunday elder Ury, who was the mission president of my mission-Sao Paolo East-came and talked to us. He is awesome and he was wearing the exact same suit as me.  hahaha we looked dope together.  He is American and talked about teaching with the spirit. I felt like his talk was written just for me.  He told a story about a missionary he had in his mission who was a really great missionary.  He was Brazilian and he loved to talk about everything. The focus of his story was on his companion who was a greeny from California who was dyslexic and wasnt very good at Portuguese hahaha!  He told a story about a family who they baptized. The family said that most of the times they had no idea what the American said when he was teaching but all they knew was when he was teaching they could feel the spirit so strong  and how they didn’t feel it as much when the fluent Brazilian was teaching. It was really inspiring and made we want to study the gospel even harder and teach with the spirit as much I could.

This week we are pretending that it is Christmas week just because its fun. It is a tradition in the Brazil CTM.  We sing Christmas songs for the start of every meeting and we are doing a secret santa.  Its pretty much really funny but ever since we have decided that it is Christmas week everything has been going super good.  Last night we didn’t have choir and we got to watch President Monson’s birthday celebration,  it was sweet and then we had cake to celebrate. It was freaking so good mainly because all the deserts here aren’t very good. (interesting since Aaron NEVER liked or ate cake living in America!) Its great. The best part about fake Christmas is that our District Leader hates it hahaha and he gets so mad about it.  Its so funny cuz he’s like the scrooge of the district.

We have been playing volleyball like crazy in gym time.  It’s been dope. Me and Elder Funck from cali have been tearing it up but on Monday I wrecked my ankle like about the same as it was in Peru haha. It kinda stinks but I can walk so it’s fine, its all black and blue, looks good.

I love you guys so much and  hope all is going well. I hope you are getting my letters and PLEASE keep writing me.
Elder Jensen

Elder Jensen with district

Dear Family,

We are pleased to be able to send you a picture of your missionary´s recent visit to the Campinas temple.  The morning they enter as a group is a very sacred experience for them, and it is an experience that is always anticipated with much excitement. We know they will treasure this remembrance. 
It is a great honor to serve with each of these fine young people and to watch their growth as they learn more about their sacred calling of a missionary.  We have a great love and respect for each one of them.
Thank you for your support for them.  They love to receive emails and letters from you, and feel of your love.  We know that your family will feel the blessings of their service.


President and Sister Degn

Week 2

August 15th

Well the start of this week was kinda lame because I was really sick. I had a really bad cold, tons of congestion. It was not fun but I was better by Sunday so that’s good. The good news of the week is that I am half way done with the CTM. YEA and 1 month into my mission, It feels weird. It’s definitely going a lot faster now so thats good. 

On Sunday Elder Demars, who is crazy diligent and works really hard all the time, gave a talk on why were are serving a mission. It was really good,  he talked about the 5 reasons of motivation 

1. Force being the lowest from of motivation like slavery something that has to be done
2. punishment something that is done because if not you will be punished for it
3. reward something we do for a good out come like money or grades
4. duty we do things because we feel the need to 
5. love, the greatest form of motivation,  we should do things because we truly love them. 

Elder Demars likened it to our motivations for serving missions. We serve because we all love the gospel and love Jesus not because we are forced by our parents or not because we want the blessing of a mission and not even because its our duty we do it because we truly love the gospel and know that every one else needs it. it was a dope talk, I really like it. on Sunday night pres Deng talked about how we must avoid fiery darts of temptation it was pretty cool.  He did a demonstration on how fast darts gun are and he actually shot a real dart gun into a box it was sweet hahaha.  He’s like 80 haha it was awesome!  On Tuesday, an area 70 named President Gadoi talked to us on how we might have doubts about our missions but that we should not worry and that we should just put trust in the Lord and we will be fine.  It was a sweet talk, he also shared his conversion story with us and it was great. Our Brazilian companions left us, which was sad going to miss them but tomorrow we get knew ones so its all fine.  We went to the Campinas temple today cuz the Sao Paulo temple was closed it was sooo cool.  It is much bigger and was really pretty.
Hope everything is going well miss you guys,  thanks for the letters.
Keep it steezy
Elder Jensen