Email #2

Hey mom
Thanks for the support, and thanks for all the letters! I love all of them!
I have been getting everyone’s dear elders and letters, as far as I am concerned. I do think there was some confusion on your end: I can write emails for 30 min a week, but I am free to respond in hand-written letters all day during p-day, which is Friday. I’m not sure what the rules will be like in Guatemala, but you will know in a week. Also, tell Randall and Jessica that I love the scripture case Randall gave me. I would love to see him before I leave, as well.
This week at the MTC-
It is my last week here, and it has been a tough one, to say the least. I have been very humbled this week, as I have found myself continually praying for the Lord’s help due to personal weakness and for help in the learning. I have definitely learned a lot about myself this week, as I have recognized some of the things in my life that I can eliminate in order to become a more consecrated servant of the Lord. This week we taught a few “investigators,” they are workers here, but nonetheless we taught them. I could feel the spirit helping me as attempted to speak some spanish, and it was a great experience. I have had a good amount of fun as well. We keep each other laughing a lot. I’ve found that humor is my greatest method for relieving stress. So long as I can keep myself and others laughing, I’m having a good time.
As far as flight plans go, I leave for Guatemala on the 31st. I arrive in Guatemala at 6am on August 1st. I’m super excited to go there. There are only 80 missionaries, and apparently we can street contact and go into the neighboring towns to buy things.
17 minutes left… I am so happy to get all the mail/support. I did get your package, with all the great things it included. I was a little upset to begin with because I didn’t have a picture of the family, but you sent me a few so thanks. Also, that beef jerky is key. Tis the first taste of real meat I’ve had for a few weeks.
So apparently I’ve gained a lot of man respect out here for my ability to do a one-handed pullup and rip apples in half during lunch. We do what we can. Literally, if has any value of entertainment, we do it. We laugh at the funniest things around here, things that would not be funny at all in the outside world. Somehow. Someway, the silliest things are so hilarious.
My companion is still doing well. We had the opportunity to give each other blessings this morning to cope with some of the demands and stress we are experiencing. It was a great experience, and I could feel my words being guided as I spoke the words of the blessing. The same goes for him. He gave me a powerful blessing that fit my needs although I didn’t tell him what to say. Earlier this morning, we had the experience to go to the temple and take part in some endowment work for the dead. Jeffrey R. Holland said in a talk I watched, that sometimes the brethren worry if we are fit to take upon such covenants. They are a huge deal. Bigger than I can comprehend, but I know I can strongly feel the spirit when I’m inside the temple, and it was so good for me to go this morning. I can’t tell you how inadequate I feel sometimes out here, but I know that there will be bright things ahead, so long as I excercise some faith and do my part.  I am trying to do my part. I’m trying hard. I make mistakes every day, and this changing process is rigorous…but it is happening. I hope by the end, I will be able to look back and know that I did my best. Keep me in your prayers and thoughts.
I hope the best things are going on over there in FL. I heard about Bruce, and it got me concerned. I hope he is recovering all right.
As far as emails go, I did your pictures. There were great, so thank you. I can’t email people back that are not related to me directly, so they will receive a reply in the mail.
Next week is going to be an adventure. There’s no telling what it’s going to be like to be outside of the states, so wish me luck.
Tell the kids and family that I love them, and that I think about them all the time.
(tell Lisa I got her letter, and that I wrote her back. I had a great experience with answered prayers and the power of prayer within the temple today, so that was sawheat. 45 seconds left… love you.) I hope I’ll be able to write longer in Guatemala.

Email #1

Dearest parents,

I live.

Sorry for not being able to get a hold of you. I wrote a letter and sent it to our home address, but I realized you were on vacation, so this has been a long haul. I can only write on Fridays, and I am limited to 30 minutes, so I’ll be as fast as I can.

Some things to note, I leave the Provo MTC on July 31st. I arrive in Guatemala at 6am on August 1st. As far as I’m concerned, dear elder works in Guatemala as well.

Thank you so much for the letters and dear elders. Getting mail on the mission is pretty much the best thing since Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. Aunt Caroline and Sandy Bertha sent me cinnamon rolls too. I do believe i had 24 total! The residence hall loves me, to say the least. Also, I think I might send my flash card to you in the mail. When you get it you can upload some pics, and send me back another card, so we can have a constant feed of pictures.

My companion, Elder Kwak, is a good companion. He is willing to work hard and be 100% obedient, so I am happy. We have a great time over here, and I keep the entire district laughing with my jokes and what-not. I have found a very healthy balance for having fun while working hard. The first week was pretty rough.. I was in strict game-mode, where I was trying to be so into my job that I was a little too serious and unapproachable. However, I work as hard as ever, I am still 100% obedient, but I am having a great amount of fun at the same time.

The Spanish is hard. I was placed in the intermediate class when I arrived, and it felt a bit like drowning; however, as far as gospel-related topic goes, I can almost read anything out of the manuals and scripture and understand what’s being said. I can’t speak very well yet, but it’s only been a week.

There is a decent gym here with some free weights, so yeah… you could say I pump it out a bit. Gym time is esteemed very highly, and it gives us all a constructive outlet for our overwhelmed brains.

I heard that the Guatemala MTC only has 80-100 missionaries in at a time. That will be very different from the 2500 missionaries enrolled here. I’m excited to get out of Provo. I still feel like I’m at home because I can see the BYU campus from here. It’ll be nice to get out, and remove all sorts of extra ties from the secular world.

Spiritually, I feel like I am growing so much. I do feel like I belong here, and that is a great comfort for me. I have never experienced so much revelation in so little time. I make sure I write everything down, and I’m keeping some legitimate journal entries. I do feel like I’m going through some stretching and bending, for I do feel like the Lord is shaping me into what He wants me to become. I pray every night that every aspect of my potential can be fulfilled down here. The way I see things, the Lord has foreordained me to carry out His plans, and I want to do everything in my power to fulfill His purposes. I realize coming into the MTC, that I’m still just a boy. I’m still an immature, goofy kid that probably jokes around too much, but I know that I will and am changing. For this reason, there is a degree of discomfort, but it is like the pain you feel associated with strengthening a muscle. I’m just trying to get spiritually ripped. The Lord saves us by grace, after all that we do. I’m just making sure I’m doing everything I need to do. Then, if He sees fit, He will make me into the man that both Him and I desire to become. I have a large perspective on things. I analyze the consequences of every decision that I make out here. I constantly remind myself to try harder because of the sacrifice dad made for joining the church, what kind of influence I’m being for JP, and the countless other friends that look up to me for holding up my religion. It’s tough, and there sure are a bunch of “pile” missionaries out here (disobedient), but they don’t matter. As long as I do my part, there is no need to compare.

The letters you send are like gold. I can’t stress that enough. I re-read them over and over again…(only during personal time). This dearelder thing, whoever made it… They deserve a dearelder letter or something, because they’re awesome.

I have so many friends at the MTC. It is like going back to Helaman Halls, male version. I probably knew 50 people upon entering, and I ran into friends right after saying goodbye. It really helped with the transition, and I’m so glad I was able to go to BYU.

Other than that, thank you for being excellent parents. You have prepared me to the best of any parents’ ability. Dad’s diligence, and mom’s wide array of gospel knowledge has incorporated its own aspects in my life, and I appreciate the healthy balance that I have between the two.

On a side note, I took President Monson’s promise: He said if you memorize a scripture daily on your mission, you will have a photographic memory by the end. I do think he said that… Anyways, I’m doing it, and I have 10 down so far. I love you all.

Talk to you in a week,

Love Elder Christian Jacobsen