Email #11

Hello. Family. I am great.

I have many things I want to say today, but first I´d like to start with saying happy birthday to Lizzie. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Second, I just want to testify of the power of prayer. I can tell you the exact minute you all gathered to pray for me. I felt those surges of power hit me through the week… but there was one particular time. I believe it was Monday night, that I knew you were all praying for me. I went to the room, and I cried like a little girl as I felt the spirit surging through me. It was almost like pulses of energy pushing me down into the ground. It kicked off a great week.
Now, what I will say I know is true. I know it more than anything. I am not perfect at living it quite yet, but I know this is the route I want to take in life, and I want everyone to know about it. These thoughts filled my mind as spiritual inspiration, and as a week long answer to prayer. Because I can`t speak-understand very much, I found myself pondering a lot of things.. and talking with others as much as I could. This answer is penetrating, and it came after 2 years of praying.
By the way, we had a baptism this week. I´ll send photos next week.
First, there are two types of powers in this world. We have the true and living power of God, and we have the power that comes from vanity, pride, and the carnal man in a sense. The first comes from living the commandments of God, and the second comes from breaking the commandments to recieve false praise from another. One is found by complete selflessness, and the latter comes by solely seeking to praise yourself. One is perfection, and the other is sin. What I discovered this week, as it says in the scriptures, that charity is the bond of perfection. Every sin, no matter what it is, is a product of a desire to fulfill your personal needs. People rob to have what they don`t have, and some people place others down to place themselves on a pedestal for a while. Here´s what I´m saying… I have been living my life wrong for the past 3 or so years. It started senior year when I began to seek this false power at the expense of others. This power will always fail, and it will leave us feeling dark and confused. Now, I always have been a good boy. I have always kept the commandments, but there was one that slipped my mind. The second. The second of all commandments. Love thy neigbor as thyself. Now that I think of it, I haven`t been living this at all. Now, on this mission, I have discovered that this is what I am to do. In luke it says, and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Second, my basic definition of a doubt is any thing that satan puts in our mind to distract from completing the work of the Lord. Anything. Also, anything that comes from satan is sin, and any sin is focused on satisfying your inward desires. I don`t know if this even makes sense, but my point is God and Jesus Christ sought only to bless the lives of others. Doubts are inward focuses. If we want true happiness, we must reach for it in a focus outside ourselves. Monson said, ¨whatever your fears or anxieties, pray and then go.¨ Doubts always leave if we seek first to bless the life of another.
In my discoveries, if we truly want to draw unto Jesus and receive the true power of God, we will never reach it if we seek it for ourselves. It comes as we keep the commandments. All of them. Love thy neighbor, help him first have true happiness, then you will find that it comes to you later. I have received letters of gratitude from people expressing their thanks to my letters for answering their prayers… This is the way. Help others. You will receive help.
Here`s the thing I love about doubts and fears, they are always pathetic. Yet, if we give place to them, they are effective. Next time you have a doubt, think… what am I missing here? Doubts are from satan to prevent us from completing the will of the father. If you have doubts, first look outward. Seek to resolve other people`s problems and doubts. This is the way of Jesus Christ. He who layeth his life down for his friend will be saved. This is not literal. This is every day communion. Seek first to benefit others, and you will find true power.
I thank God every day for giving me this knowledge. It will change my life. I have now committed to never do a thing for myself again. If I brush my teeth, do it so my investigators don`t die. This is the way. I have now committed to every one who reads this… so this is going to happen.
I am great. I had days this week I just couldn`t stop smiling. I´m not coming home until I learn this lesson. I don`t ever want to go home. I`m learning too many things about life.
Please apply this in your life. I know this is a huge lesson I have to learn, and I pray that God will have mercy on my soul that he may see fit to change me to bless others. I don`t want to live for me anymore. Our purpose is to help others. I am so grateful that I am learning this lesson so early in the field.
I love you all. Tell Lizz happy birthday. Thank you so much for the prayers. I know they working. The spirit said in my mind every time ¨they`re praying for you,¨ and it tore me up. I´m so grateful for your help. Please never forget that email, and continue praying. I am doing great, but I feel a bit like I´m walking on a tight rope trying to establish some new habits.
To Jessica, I am so sorry that I haven`t written you yet. I don`t have much time in the field, but I want you to know that I treasure your letters, and I know the Lord is blessing you and your family. I´m so excited to be an uncle. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and spiritual insights.
I love you family, Happy birthday lizzie. Thanks for thinking of me. I know that God and Jesus Christ lives.
-Love Elder Christian Jacobsen

Email #10….First week in El Salvador

Hello family,

I am in El Salvador! It was my first week and a little crazy. I can´t quite understand anyone, they can’t understand me, and I can´t talk to my companion! It´s all good! El Salvador is cool. It is unlike anything I have ever seen. I have never seen such poverty in my life, and it is very humbling to see the circumstances that people are living under. My companion, elder urban, is a guatemalan who speaks zero english. I guess the pres thought I was advanced enough to handle that. In response to your questions, peanut butter. That is the answer. It´s nice to write something in english. Umm.. We have 9 investigators, no baptisms yet, but we have dates set or trying to set for 3. Some are just struggling with some of the commandments. Everyone believes in Jesus Christ over here, so it is very easy to get a conversation started. People sell stuff like it´s their job over here… and it is their job. They are constantly street vending, and selling things to passing people. I am of good health, and I am doing well. I now have 45 min to write other people so we’ll see what we can do. The president is a great man. He is 45 or so, and he looks really young. One of my buddies thought he was a missionary. Pupusas are great. I´ve only had 2 or so, but they are great when you get them. The showers… whew doggie. They´ll take your breath away for a few minutes. They definitely wake a person up in the morning. Anyways, I hope you´re all doing well. Keep up the excellency. The gospel is true no matter where you go. I love you and here are some pics.

Welcome to El Salvador Elder Jacobsen!

Dear Jacobsen Family and Leaders,

            We are happy to announce that your son, Elder Jacobsen, has safely arrived to our mission. The night of his arrival, we enjoyed getting to know him in a dinner at the mission home, and we can tell that he is a great missionary. We are grateful for his sacrifices and your sacrifices to allow him to be here. We pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will pour out his blessings upon your family. We are very happy to have your son with us and we know he will bless the lives of many people here in the great country of El Salvador.

Elder Jacobsen has been assigned to serve in the Colon area, in the Paraiso Stake. His companion is Elder Urban from Guatemala. We are confident that they well have much success together.

 

Atentamente,

Elder Gealta

Secretario General

Misión El Salvador Santa Ana / Belice

Email #9

Hello. This will be my last email from the MTC. It´s a good feeling.
Some good things have been going on this week. Last Monday, my
companion and I had the opportunity to go street contacting again. We
wanted to fulfill some big goals, so we prayerfully considered what we
could do in our 2.5 hrs. We mutually decided to pass out 10 book of
mormons, 20 pamphlets, and get 10 referrals. I am happy to say that
with some hard work we exceeded all three of these goals. It reminds
me of the scripture in james… or john that faith without works is
dead, being alone. Any person can have faith to fulfill a goal, or
expect a miracle, but those miracles will not come if the one asking
for them doesn´t act. A miracle is nothing more than an outcome of
correct application of faith and works. In other news, my companion
and I have been teaching some of the CCM guards. We have been teaching
four and have challenged three to be baptized. Each of them have said
yes, if they knew the church was true. The only way people can know of
the truthfulness of the church is by asking God, so we challenged all
of them to pray about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Latin
people are very open to discussion about Jesus Christ, with the correct application of
doctrine, lives can change. This week I was blessed to get
some really nice letters from some people I didn´t know I even had an effect on.
It was very much appreciated. I have learned much this week. Even more
about charity. I cannot stress the scripture more, ¨he that saves his
life shall lose it, but he who loseth his life for my sake shall find
it.¨ How are we to lose our life for His sake? It says in the
scriptures that when you are in the service of your fellow men, you
are only in the service of your God. It also tells us that men should
be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and to be doing many things of
their own free will. I have been trying to take this to heart. I have
been looking for trash on the ground, straightening pictures, and
looking for troubled faces. I can promise, that somehow… it has changed
me. I am constantly reminded of the scripture in Romans, ¨do not
conform to the ways of the world, but be ye transformed by the
renewing of your mind.¨ I have been trying my hardest. Anything good
is hard to attain, and this is hard. It is hard to put others before
your will, but I know by my experience that therein lies true
happiness. Can you imagine a world where nobody thought of themselves
first? I don´t think there would be any problems. I do believe this
was the lesson I was to learn in the MTC. Spanish hasn´t been a
stress, and developing scripture studying habits before the MTC has
helped more than anything. This MTC experience was strictly for me to
learn the concept of charity. I will be forever thankful for that
president. He told me an interesting thing the other day. I told him
that I thought it would take me a long time to develop this gift of
charity. He told me that was not the case. Charity is a gift. You
receive it through prayer. When a gift is given, you receive it all at
once. Now that I know this, it makes sense. My thoughts have changed, and I
notice things differently after a strong prayer for charity. I think
the gift of charity can be bestowed upon us quickly, but it takes time
for us to throw off the carnal and natural characteristics within our
mind that so easily beset us. God intends for each one of us to have joy. “Adam
fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy.” Any
feeling contrary to joy is most like from the adversary, for no man can serve to
masters. If any of you feel any degree of
unhappiness, take a look inside of yourself and see if some of the
ends don´t line up. If they don´t, take advantage of the atonement and have

 the joy and peace that Christ wants us to have. No one was sent here to
have anything else. Well family… I´m signing off. Next time you hear
from me, I´ll be in the field.  I´ll
be praying for all of you. Love, Christian. 

Email #8

Hello familia! Gracias por sus cartas. I can’t believe it is the 8th
week in the CCM. I leave a week from Monday. I couldn’t believe it. I
thought I had at least two more weeks, but I´ll take what I can get.
Thanks for all the letters and dearelders. They are always uplifiting
and nice to recieve. This week was a good one. I have had the
opportunity to be the baby-sitter of a bunch of disobedient latino
missionaries, and have really struggled knowing and defining the line
between reproving with sharpness, and unrighteous dominion. But all is
well, as far as I´m concerned, they are improving, and it is a lot
easier to handle than it was a week ago. Much has been happening as I
have been looking for opportunities to serve others. I see garbage
that needs picking up, I try and study the countenance on people´s
faces, to see if they need something. As I do this, I recognize my own
personal sanctification. My fears, supposed problems and trials
flutter away as I swallow my will for the will of others. Now, I feel
somewhat like a hypocrite as I tell you these things because I made
the mistake like Lot’s wife by looking back inside to see if it is
working. Never look back. I’m just lucky I didn´t turn into a pillar
of salt, but part of becoming a new person in Christ is looking
forward into the future. Put off the natural man and become a saint
through the atonement of Christ the Lord. As Paul said… along these
lines.. do not conform to the ways of the world, but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind. I guess I expected myself to become
compeletely selfless in a week. Ha. Nice try. It´s hard to develop
charity. It really means throwing away all your cares, all your
worries, and focus your attention on someone else. At times it seems
impossible, but as I continue to practice, my cares vanish and I have
the spirit. The great news of this is… I have something to strive
for. Complete charity. However, I, like all of us, need not look back.
Recall that short verse in the Bible: Remember Lot´s wife. All of us,
regardless of who we are, have imperfections. Jesus commanded all: Be
ye therefore perfect, even as I, and your father in Heaven, are
perfect. Of course this cannot be handled overnight, and of course we
are not expected to immediatly reach perfection. For this reason we
are to constantly strive for it: every week we take the sacrament and
renew our covenants to follow him, we repent, we shed qualities of the
natural man, and as we do this… we become sanctified. The key is to
not look back. Don´t look back. We will never go anywhere so long as
we are caught up on the old-self. Put off the natural man. Throw him
away, and become a saint throught the atonement. This week I had the
incredible opportunity to give blessings to three individuals who
needed help. The spirit is with us when we
think of others, and it leaves as soon as we conform back to old
habits. Become a new creature. Seek the spirit, and we cannot go
astray. On a side note, my companion and I grew tired of teaching fake
investigators so we´re trying it with some of the security guards
outside. We´ll see how it goes. Tell the family I love them. Teach
them to love and serve one another, and I know that will solve any
amount of quarrel or discontent in the home. Isn´t that what King
Benjamin said? I love all of you. I leave in 9 days. Dear elders sent
on Sunday will be received.  I enjoyed the pics… Looks like
the horse is getting fat. Maybe Kate should take her for a spin or
two. I love you all, and will be thinking of you. Love Elder Jacobsen