Email #7

Hello familia. yes, I got the flash drives, so thank you! Also, tell
Sandy Bertha she’s a champion for sending me a care package. What a
treat. The dear elders come once a week, I get the ones you wrote for
me 4 or 5 days later, so I am able to hear from you alot. This week
was great. We had the opportunity to go outside of the CCM to a nearby
market and buy some things, and learn how to bargain. I bought some
sweater deal. 
I had a very spiritual week this week. In fact, my life was changed
this week. This mission has been changed forever. I will forever
remember last Sunday as the turning point in my mission.

I must apologize for my lack of
faith, and sometimes doubtful sounding emails. These past few weeks,
since I have reported, have tested my ability to hearken unto the
words of the spirit and place trust in myself. For weeks I have been
praying that the Lord would just help me fulfill this mission, help me
overcome my fears for the future, and help me carry out the task that
he has given me. I remember one night, in the MTC, just hearing the
spirit scream “go get help,” and I ignored it. I didn´t want to be
that one missionary that needed the MTC president. The weeks went on.
Last week I again found myself discouraged, and pleading to the Lord
to direct my steps. Again. Go talk to the CCM pres. This time… I
knew I could either sit in this mediocrity for the rest of my mission,
or do as the spirit directed. I do believe this will be the best
decision I´ve ever made. I expressed my concerns to the president last
Sunday morning. He listened patiently until I finished. He then asked
me “Can I give you the quick and dirty answer?” “By all means, yes.”
He then quoted the scripture in Mark 8:35 “Whoesever shall save his
life shall lose it, but whosoever loseth his life for my sake, and for
the gospels, the same shall find it.” He told me that I was focused
inward, and that he had full confidence that my own matters and doubts
would fly away as I focused outward. He told me to pray for charity,
and learn of it. He told me the words he spoke were not from him but
from the Lord. It was in every aspect the answer to my question, the
answer to my mission, and the answer to help me live my life. Charity.
The pure love of Christ. I don´t think we talk about it enough in
church, for without charity “we are nothing.” We literally must take
up his cross, that our burdens may be light. No one can solve problems
for themselves, because that is not the way the spirit works. Why do
you think people doubt, people have disbelief, or struggles in their
llife? When we focus inward, we directely defy the will of the Lord,
thereby casting the spirit far from us, and leaving a hold where the
adversary can reside. I was sufficiently humbled. I shared from him
passages from my patriarchal blessing, and he provided further
guidance on what I should do. I am so thankful for this experience…
Later that day, he called me back in his office and told me that he
felt impressed to issue a calling to me. I am now the AP, or assistant
to the president. I feel like I am exactly where I need to be in my
life right now. I am diligently trying to serve others, and put their
will before mine. It is hard. It has only been a few days now, but I
can feel the transforming power in my mind from Christ´s atonement,
and I can feel the power of prayer helping me along the way. Teach the
children charity… As Paul said, (roughly) and though I have all
knowledge, and all manner of talents and have not charity, I am
nothing. Charity is godliness. I am praying harder than ever that I
might be able to magnify this new calling, and develop this attribute
of charity. In order to be the missionary I set out to be, my will
must be completely swallowed up in the will of the father. I know it
is hard, but I know I am improving. This is an answer to prayer that I
have been seeking for a long time. I will be forever grateful for that
president. All of us can use charity. I we think we have it hard, then
we are probably focusing inward. I challenge anyone who reads this
email to search the topical guide and read the scriptures for charity.
As Moroni said, pray with all the energy of heart that you may be
filled with this love. I promise it works, and I hope and pray that I
might be able to renew and transform my mind forever because of this.
Anyways, how is the family doing? I saw the school pictures, looks
like the kids are doing great. It´s crazy that school is starting all ready. The weeks
literally fly by, and the days all feel like they´re mushed together
in one giant strand. Thanks family, love you mom and dad. Sorry, I
don´t have much time to write individual letters and what not, but I
will try my best. I love you all, and I am doing very well. Love,
Elder jacobsen

 

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Email #6

Dear Dad,and Mom. Greetings. I can´t believe I´ve been gone for so
long now. It goes by so fast. This week I was able to go proselyting
on the streets of Guatemala for a brief period of time. It was very
cool. I was able to understand most of the spanish spoken, and I was
able to give out a book of mormon and share my elementary testimony.
The people in Guatemala are so much nicer than your average north
american. Any talk about Jesus Christ is welcome, even if they don´t
necessarily believe in everything you tell them. We passed out a bunch
of pamphlets and took down 4 or 5 contacts. It was a good day. I´d
introduce myself and make them all laugh because I talk like a 3 year
old, and then I´d give it over to the companion who would then later
take over. I still haven´t learned how to use the space bar, so you´ll
just have to bear with me. I feel bad because every time I email, I´m
sick as a dog, but I promise I was feeling healthy in between the last
email and now! My companion is still a boss. He´s a lot more lively
and fun to be around than my last companion. His name is Ty Russell,
so you could probably stalk him up on fb. This week my companion and I
got several nice compliments from our teachers. They told us our
spanish was great, and that the lessons we gave we where they should
be, so I´m happy about that. I was able to get your dearelder
letters.. Don´t worry dad, I have not neglected you. You should be
receiving some letters I wrote last week, so you´ll probably get them
in a week or so. Tell Jerrick I met his childhood best friend, Elder
See. He´s here at the CCM. Lately I´ve been reading a lot from the New
Testament. I realize I haven´t studied the New Testament as much as I
should´ve been. However, I am learning so much from the teachings of
Paul to the various cities/people he wrote. I had the oppurtunity to
read from the Acts to Hebrews this week, and it is amazing how much of
the gospel he testifies of in those books. The laying on of hands to
confer the gift of the Holy Ghost, and testimony of the God head is
scattered throughout the entire New Testament. It reminded me of your
statement, Dad, when you were challenged to discover the validity of
the church by reading the New Testament, and you said you could. I
know now how that was to be. The New Testament is filled with great
scripture and truth. These truths strengthen my testimony of the
church, with their prophecies of the apostacy, restoration, and basic
fundamentals of the gospel. Another thing I´ve learned this week:
peace of mind and the spirit are direct fruits and outcomes in faith
in yourself, and faith in Christ. When we abandon any hope of the
future, or sucumb to doubt or disbelief, in that moment the spirit
withdraws itself, and we are left alone to fight our own battles. No,
sometimes I don´t feel as strong as the testimony I bear in these
letters, or in reality, but I know that I can become as such. When I
believe that I can fulfill the mission God has set for me to do, I can
do anything, as well as anyone can. But when we submit to
discouragement, and doubt, the spirit withdraws itself, and the
testimony that we bear will suffer. I just hope I can sustain that
spirit of faith. For when I do, the spirit is strong, revelation is
present, and I have peace of mind in all things. The Lord has a plan
for me, and it is up to me to have the faith necessary to fulfill that
plan. I love you dad, and I love you mom. Tell kate that I´ll get a
bunch of missionaries to start writing her, so she can have a bunch of
friends. I know the gospel is true. -elder jacobsen.   Love you all.

Email #5

well… i’ve been away for a month today! it´s crazy how the time goes
by. this week has been great! i have been sick as a dog, but my spirit
is doing wonderful things. this week i had the opportunity to go the
guatemalan temple. it is so tiny, but the spirit and the workings
there are definitely the same. we didn’t get to watch it in spanish,
which was a bummer, but we will the next week i do believe. the dear
elders here work great. i think that we only can get them once a week,
but that´s ok seeing that i only reply once a week. This week I have
been quite sick, to say the least. The entire MTC has been sick. I
will spare you the details, but know the bathroom has been used far
too many times for any average human being. I got a letter from
Randall. Tell him I’ll write back today, and that I really appreciate
what he had to say. Pues…. this week has been great. Elder Russell
is a great companion, and he´s very easy to get along with. Last
Sunday was testimony meeting, and I’m going to throw it out there and
say I was the first gringo to participate. Take that back, according
to my latino friends, I´m a latino haha… not even close. Anyways,
that was a interesting experience. Mom, i must say, I am extremely
grateful for pounding those scriputre masteries in my head. They are
so useful. During lessons they pop up in my mind, and I´m always able
to refer to them and help out our ‘investigators.’ The CCM is much
better than the MTC. Everybody knows everybody else, and we all have a
personal relationship with the CCM president. The latino missionaries
are the best, and my companion and I love hanging out with them. Funny
story, some youth from Honduras came to stay at the CCM because there
are hotel like rooms here, and they were going to the temple. One
girl, I think she was probably 13 gave me a heart shaped folded dollar
bill thing. yikes. I better watch out. Then some other little kids
gave me some dollar from there country, so I could remember them.
They´re sweet little kids, and it’s surprising how many of them are
trying to learn english. Everyone down here watches english movies
with subtitles in spanish, and they listen to the american music. It´s
pretty interesting. On a spiritual note, we listened to a talk by
Elder Holland last Sunday. He gave an account of Peter and the
Disciples, the last chapter of John. After Jesus had been crucified,
the disciples, not knowing exactly what to do, reverted back to there
old habits of fishing. They caught nothing all night. Jesus, watching
them on the shore, told them to cast on the right side of the boat. We
all know the story. Their nets were so full that they couldn´t bring
the fish in. At that moment they knew it was Jesus. Later Jesus asked
Peter, ´doest thou love me, more than these?’ and he repeated this 3
times. In the end Jesus said, ‘then feed my sheep.’ Jeffrey R. Holland
then elaborated that when Jesus asked them to leave there boats, and
leave their fish, that he meant forever. I cannot go back to my way of
life before the mission. I am ´forever’ changed. When Christ asked me
to abandon my boats, abandon my fishing, and abandon those things that
would with hold me from His service, He meant forever. This mission
ending in two years does not give me the leisure to swing back into
the old way of life. Everything is different, and everything has
improved. So when faced with the choice to follow Christ, or to follow
my own will, I am reminded of the line: ‘christian, lovest thou me,
more than these?´´ The answer should always be yes. We should always
be living our lives in line with this saying. I know that by doing so,
I can become the missionary and the man that He wants me to become.
Everything I choose out here is my choice, because we have that
agency. God is not a respecter nor depender on persons, so He does not
necessarily need me to carry this forward, but He wants me to. He
wants me to find this joy in His service so bad. He wants all of us to
have this joy. I love you. Take care of the chitlens over there.
Thanks for your letters and all of your support. I love you all.

 

Email #4

hey mom. still dont know how to work the punctuation on this wack’adoo
key board, but ill see what i can do. so i am in guatemala. you did
receive an email from me a few days ago, so that is that. so theyre
having a girl! thats awesome! we all thought they were going to have a
boy. bear with me. if my transitions sound rough, its because i dont
know how to use the enter key. i was able to see the pictures of
tanner. he looks like hes doing great. its crazy to think how fast
that went by. every day i pray that i might be able to serve my
mission to the best of my ability. as far as mailage goes, i did
receive one letter, from none other than the harrison porter. what a
champ. keep em coming. umm… guatemala is a really cool place. it
looks like the land off the “testaments” movie. i am very popular
among the latino missionaries. as of now, i am in their group of
“latinos” and the rest of the whiteys are “gringos.” well done,
christian. i can understand what they say for the most part. im sure
they are dumbing it down by leagues, but hey… i still get by.

my companion is great. his name
is elder russell, and he is always willing to do his part. he is a
hard worker from southern utah, and he is eager to do what is
necessary. some funny things to hear: i am teaching my new latino
friends how to say english phrases, like “sup,” or “get outta town,”
or “hold your horses.” its hilarious. every time i pass them they all
give me the “sup,” and i say “nada.” the president here is amazing. he
is super funny and seems pretty relaxed. the other day during a
meeting i actually had to use a translator for the first time. i felt
like the korean kids i saw at the provo mtc! i am putting to good use,
my piano skills. i am the official piano player here and what
not…the mail system is pretty sketchy here. nobody is very sure when
we actually get mail, it just shows up on your desk at night. we write
back on pday, which is today, so mailage should be received in maybe 2
milleniums. i do appreciate anything. thanks for the support. tell
randall i bought another bible cover, and to not worry about that…
not that he shouldve been worrying about that. umm… it is funny the
longer youre in the mission how you see some missionaries try to bend
the rules a bit. lets face it. if were going to dedicate 2 years of
our life to serve the Lord, and obey his rules… just do it.. it
makes me laugh.. um… i can tell that this will be
a great experience for me. really, the only thing that will distance
myself from becoming the best missionary i can be is myself. everyone
on this earth has the potential to be as alma and amulek, everyone on
this earth has within themselves the potential to approach perfection.
why doesnt everyone do this? it is because none of us believe we can.
it is my prayer that we can and will eliminate that invisible barrier
which prevents all of us from reaching our goals. really, the distance
between here and the heavens is the distance we believe it is. because
the book of mormon is true, then those stories within the book are
also true. who is to say we cannot trust god to mold us into people
comparable to the sons of mosiah. it is ourselves. that is what i am
finding out here. i pray that i will break down those things that will
prevent me from becoming the missionary i need to be.. let me know how
things go on your end… ill just… be… doing missionary things.

thanks, love christian.. from what i understand, there arent any
prohibitations from emailing others, but i wont… because i need to
dedicate time to the fam. tell lisa or anyone if they want to send
pícs or mail, i can write a little and read them and things. love you

How to reach Elder Jacobsen

The easiest way is to go to: www.dearelder.com Click, “Write a missionary” and then look on the left hand side at the menu for “POUCH (free)” and click on that. Then you will see a white bar to scroll through and find his mission. For the next 4 weeks, find “El Salvador Santa Ana/Belize” and then add his name to the address. It is free and it will get to him faster than snail mailing a letter to SLC to get picked up in the POUCH system.

NOT sure why the spacing looks so crazy. Just pretend it’s lined up nicely on the left margin. 🙂

To send letters, his snail mail address is to the Mission Home is:

Letter mailing address:

Elder Christian Paul Jacobsen                                                                                                     El Salvador Santa Ana/Belize Mission                                                         ApartadoPostal#142 Iglesia de Jesucrist                                                                    Carreteraa Candelaria de la Frontera                                                                                        Y Autopista a San Salvador                                                                                                      Santa Ana, EL SALVADOR

To send packages:

Elder Christian Paul Jacobsen                                                                                                     El Salvador Santa/Ana Belize Mission                                                                                 Edificio Paraiso carretera a Candelaria                                                                                      de la Frontera y autopista a S.Salvador                                                                                     CP Santa Ana, Santa Ana                                                                                                            El Salvador

His email address is: christian.jacobsen@myldsmail.net

The draw back with email is that he can only email immediate family and has limited time on the computer to read and then type his weekly email home. He will know more about how much time he has this week I’m sure. He can respond anytime on P-Day (Preparation Day) to the dear elder or snail mail letters he gets. He hopes he will be able to print off the emails and respond to them via mail. He is a GREAT letter writer, so if you write to him, you will get a letter back!

Thank you so much!

Email #3–Just after arriving at the Guatemala MTC

Christian was able to call us last night when he was at the SLC airport, and again when he landed in LA before flying to Guatemala. It was so wonderful to hear his voice and hear how he’s doing! He has grown so much already! When he called from LA he said he was so excited to see tattooed people, and men with long hair because the missionaries looked so different from everyone else and that was exciting to him. He said he felt like his mission was officially beginning now that he was leaving the country because he knew so many people in the MTC from BYU. It was hard to hang up and say goodbye once again, but with the tears came a big smile! Here is his letter:

dear mom, i made it to the mtc in guatemala. i cant use punctuation
because this typer keyboard is loco. guatemala pretty much looks like
something from pirates of the carribean. there are huge volcano
mountains and whatnot. there is a temple next to the mtc, which is
very small. the food here is very good. they have these juices that i
have never heard of, but it is muy riquisimo. it was so good to talk
to you last night. im glad we had that opportunity. mom, i really hope
i can do everything i set out to do here. im a little discouraged at
times, but the secret to my good work will be in not becoming
discouraged, it says so in my pat blessing…which is in my file if
you ever want to read it. i have one as well. i hope things are going
well for the family. the mtc, or ccm as they call it, is very nice.
everything is tile floored, and there is wood furnishings. the showers
and bed rooms are much nicer, the food is an improvement, and it is
swell. i have never been out of the country before and this is kind of
a culture shock, but all is well. i felt like i was in nacho libre
when i walked off the plane. this isnt pday today, but they gave us
time to send an email and let you know that i am well. i didnt have a
chance to buy a memory card for the camera because of our flight
delay, but ill see what i can do. i think things will be well. i have
a new companion, elder russell, and he seems like hes going to be
great. hes a whitey from utah, and he seems like a cool person to be
around, so that is a blessing.

take care, family, i love you all. i do
believe that we have pday on saturday, it might be one of those half
days that they do for the new missionaries, so hopefully ill be able
to send you some emailage. i love you so much mom, you and dad, and
the rest of the family. i hope i can make you proud. take care over
there, and keep me in mind. i love you all