Email #19 and a Crazy Picture With a Shaved Dog

Buenas dias familia, 

gracias para toda, Tuvimos una buen dia de gracias… pero yo quiero la comida de mi mama… tal ves puede mandarme pavo.
Hey family. Happy thanksgiving. I forgot it was thanksgiving, but the good news is that we have dinner with some of the members this week. I plan to stuff myself with tortillas, beans, and rice. Maybe they´ll have some turkey. That is still up to debate.
We do have many things to be thankful for. Remember mom, Hillary Clinton is not the president. Rejoice.
This week went well. We found some new positive investigators. We got this investigator named Johny. I call him Johnny Boy. He´ll be baptized.
We´re baptizing two this upcoming week, Joseph and Franklin. Joseph is 9 years old, and he is a great kid. He has gone to church by himself for the past 4 months. His parents aren´t members… his mom is a hard core Jehovah´s Witness. On a side note, there are a ton of those here. The missionary work of those people will never cease to amaze me. Why are you preaching, if you are lessening your chance of being one of the 144,000. They don´t know what to say. 
I´ve been focusing a lot this week on making compromisos, or commitments. As a missionary, our duty is to call people unto repentance. I have earned a somewhat of a reputation around here for using the machete. If a person is fornicating, or indulging in sin, I tell them that they are in direct defiance with God. They did that in the scriptures, so I suppose that´s the way it should be. Of course, you must balance it with love, but we must reprove sharply, so that they can correct themselves afterwards. I just have to work on the love part.
Literally, comittments are how we call people to repentance. You can not stop a person from drinking unless you first invite him to do so. You cannot baptize anyone unless you invite them to do so. Nobody will ever change any conduct in their behavior unless they are first invited to do so. This is a committment. Invite, promise blessings, then testify. It´s quite effective. Our zone has the most lessons with members in the mission, yet we aren´t ranked among the highest in baptism. This is only a problem with the teachings, and the committments.
My spanish is improving… on a scale of 1-10, I´ve been told I speak a 3. Nice. Better than a 2.9.
Other than that, I am doing well. I am healthy, haven´t been sick the entire time. We´re finding people to teach, and we´re trying to tear it up.
If you want to find something to do, I would recommend contacting the missionaries and giving them references. Become one of those families that the missionaries love to use. Have lessons with people in your home. Do work. Nothing makes a missionary happier than receiving references from a member and teaching in their home.
Also, something cool to study in your personal study, I was reading about the 7 seals in revelations. If we study this deeply, it is amazing to think how close the second coming is. Literally, those seals have corresponded well and accurately to every thousand years in history. The fifth seal was the atonement of Christ in year 34, the sixth during the reformation around 1000…. just waiting for the millenium to begin, I imagine. This means we must run. If you don´t know what team you´re on, decide and never go back. Luke warm people never made the cut. 
Love you family, take care of the kids and do work over there in the states. I love you all.
Elder Christian Jacobsen. PS: didn´t get the package yet, but probably this wednesday. The closer to Christmas the better, that thing will be a stewing temptation until the 25th. 
Don´t mind the shirtlessness… I shaved my neighbors dog as a joke. Hopefully he didn´t mind.

 

 

Email #18

Hola.
Hey family, how`s it going over there in them states? I can`t believe Thanksgiving is this week. I completely forgot. Maybe you can send me a fried turkey in the mail, if you`re really up to it. 

Well.. this week went good. We dished out 39 lessons this week. I think that`s pretty good. Not very sure, but we were working it. We have 2 dates for baptism. One is on the 30th of November, and the other is Dec 2. We`re baptizing a 9 year old lad, and then we`re baptising the Franklin on the 2nd. 

Hey, I read that letter with that story the Presiding Bishop told.  Mom, I`m glad you found peace. Often times our perspective doesn`t match that of the Lords, and when those two aren`t in allign our spirit slips. There`s that phrase in the D&C 4, with the eye single in the glory of God. That means that we must try to see situations, ourselfs, and others, as God sees them. That really is key to have the spirit, I believe.
Maybe this story will increase your desire to take JP fishing.

I was thinking this week of those children of yours, and I had a thought. As a young boy, I always prayed. If you remembered I would wear baseball caps everywhere, and  praying became such a habit that I would unconsciously throw my hand up to remove a hat that wasn`t there throughout the day. I prayed to catch more fish, I prayed for everything. That really grew my relationship with God more than anything. Teach the kids literally to pray always. Reading the scriptures, and praying at early ages influence there relationship with God more than anything.

Our investigator Franklin already finished reading the Book of Mormon. He`s been an investigator for about 2 weeks. He`s starting over. Some of the missionaries out here havent read the Book of Mormon coming into the field. With all the darkness, confusion, and evil in this world, members cannot afford to not read the Book of Mormon every day. Every day. There are investigators reading the entire book in 2 weeks. Let’s go! 

I got those pics from Kate. She is getting super pretty. Tell her to calm down. 
That`s exciting about Matt Mauldwin. Lima Peru is super legit. I`m pretty sure that`s were Jorden Mortensen went. 
If you ever get a chance, send me a long sleeve shirt. The ones I have are all for midgets, but`s its all good. Don`t worry about it, just the next time you send something.

Well family, I love you all. Let me know if you need anything.
Peace, love…
Coke?
-Elder Jacobsen

 

 

Email #17

Greetings,
Welp family. Sorry to tell you, but Ill be extending my mission for 2 more years. I think my chances of success and posterity will be great in El Salvador for the next 4. But don´t worry…
After the Great Apostacy we received light again in the world.
That was a bummer, I thought he was winning…and he was until later in the night. Oh well, can´t say that it applies to me very much. I´ll let those gringos worry about it.

I hope things are going well. Don´t worry, I get all of your emails, and I get all of the dear elders. The jumbo package sounds swell. Thanks for sending it. It will really be a test of patience and temptation not opening it until Christmas. 

This week was kind of a letdown. We had 2 or 3 dates for baptism, but they all fell through. One of the persons we had on the list…turns out he´s a member all ready. What the. Surprise. That was cool. Our other investigator Franklin, he didn´t attend church last week. He still has a date for baptism, but we have to push it back another week because investigators have to attend church 3 times in order to be baptized.

This week’s focus will be finding. An interesting thing to think about, is that the keys to finding people to teach is held by the Bishop, and the responsibility falls with the members. Missionaries are only set apart to teach the people and help them to be converted. I do believe we have not been having too much success finding because we are trying to do it. So remember that with those missionaries at home. As members, you have the responsibility to find persons for the missionaries to teach. 

Interestingly enough, I had the chance to teach a Buddhist from Espana. He looks like a gringo, and He´s a buddhist. I never thought I´d run into anybody that wasn´t obsessed with Jesus. I didn´t really know how to begin. If we go to the scriptures, the answer and method to teach people unfamiliar with Jesus Christ can be found in Alma 18, and Alma 22. 
You ask simple questions, and then you teach them lesson 2, or the plan of redemption. We´ll see how it goes with this man, but I think that it will improve. He has a hard time developing or applying faith in his life. He tells us he can´t believe in something that he doesn´t have evidence for. This is true religion. Real faith. If the Book of Mormon could be proved true, then what type of members would we have? Who´s to say they have conviction or a true testimony. Remember Laman and Lemuel saw an angel, yet they still couldn´t believe. It´s quite amazing that faith can be more powerful than vision. I don´t think we quite comprehend and understand the meaning of faith. 

How about that second coming, huh? Let´s prepare ourselves to day. The signs of the times are near complete. Arrepentirse, the day of the Lord is soon. He tells us in the Doctrine and Covenants that He is at the threshold of his coming. That was 200 years ago. 

Well family, I love all of you. If it gets too wicked in the US, the lamanites are blossoming like a rose. Maybe you should join the party. I´m sure Uncle Preston can stay in the US and clean up shop over there.

I´m trying to improve. There are missionaries here that baptize 10 people every month. That day will come, but I have to improve my teachings. Right now we are trying to get 2 or so a month. I am truly blessed to be in such a successfull part of the world. Really the numbers don´t matter, and if anything lasting conversion is hard to install here. Nearly everybody was once acquainted with the church or was baptized.

Take care, and much love.
-Elder Christian Jacobsen

Email #16…and a boy who has found his groove

Hey family, 
Just to confirm we had two baptisms and two confirmations this week! I have some pics here. Their names are Diana and her mom Ana. My companion and I are throwing fire like it´s our job, and the strange thing is.. it is our job. So I guess we are all in agreement. We are going to try to baptize 5 people this month. That is a goal, but goals are attainable based on the faith of the laborers. 
We found this new investigator. He is a star. His name is Franklin, and hes quite the miracle. My companion and I were walking next to an area where we´ve never been before, and we just mutually walked straight to this house where this man stood. I´m saying it was the beckoning of the spirit, but we stopped and he invited us in. He´s in the picture with in by the temple. He is 34, used to lived in the US, and he has done about everything in the book. He wants to change his life around big time, and so I told him that´s what we do. I left him a chapter to read in the book of mormon, and he read 3. One does not simply find someone to do that. The normal response to the question, ¨did you read¨ is…. estaba ocupado. I was busy. His response was, öh yeah, and I just kept going. I read all these chapters. Then he proceeded to discuss Laman and Lemuel, things like that. He´s a champ. I repeat. One does not simply find someone like him. I´m hoping he progresses and continues like he has. 
We are teaching another family, a very spiritual family. The are evangelicals, and they are a family of 5. I´m learning not to descredit the power of prayer. It blows my mind, and people receive revelation outside of the church too. This man tells us of visions he sees, he tells us revelation he receives during lessons, and for the most part everything he finds out in prayer is in accordance with the gospel. During a lesson, I passed him the Bible, and he told us missionaries that as I did that he heard the holy spirit tell him that we were chosen by God. Of course, we were super excited, and then he proceed to give us a nice discourse. I do believe he will progress, but sometimes we can manipulate spiritual revelation and become a little twisted in the way we receive or express it. 
This week has gone swell. My new companion is a boss, and I am learning a lot. My spanish is improving, so that is good. The food here is great. We eat a lot of tortillas, beans, rice, and chicken, but I gobble that stuff up. I eat more than anybody. I´m probably the biggest guy in this town. My companion always gets concerned when there´s a dark street or something, and I just tell him ¨listen buddy, nobody is going to rob someone who is a foot taller than him.¨ Therefore, we have not been robbed….todavia. 
I know the church is true. Everything is religious here, everything. Like I said, Jesus is a celebrity here. We can definitely see the difference between the spirit and what others offer. 
Loud preaching can never replace a small touch to the heart by a soft voice.
On a side note, there are almost as many Jehovah´s witnesses here as there are Mormons. I always joke around with them and ask what they´re preaching today. They´re good people. Yet, the missionary efforts don´t make sense if only 144,000 will be saved. But hey, that´s not our problem.
The doctrine of Christ. This is what should be taught in seminary. Every lesson we have is based around the doctrine of Christ. Faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. If we teach the word of wisdom, we focus on faith, repentace, and how baptism can rid you of this sin, and how you must obstain from drinking forever. Everything is centered on the doctrine. Mom, I suggest you do the same in your teachings of seminary. Really, old time religion is what our religion is. Be baptized and be saved. Put an emphasis on the doctrine. You can´t go wrong there. Also, when disciplining a child, continue using the scriptures. Elder David Bednar said, the doctrine is always the answer. Always. We are the messengers of the doctrine. We present the message and the doctrine in a clear and simple manner, and they teach themselves. True conversion comes from learning the doctrine and aligning your life in accordance with it, not by punishment or change by fear. The mission is like that medicine for Captain America. Both your good and bad qualities are heightened, and we must choose to develop those which are good in order to lesson the bad.
Welp, got to go. I hope the elections are everything you dreamed of parents. Let me know when or if Mary gets her letter. Send me pics of that fat stomach of JJ, and keep Kate positive with the ACT, get Lizzie developing her talents in a humble way, tell Mary to stop growing so fast, and get JP studying the scriptures like he´s going to die tomorrow. Learning in our youth is key. IT is KEY. If we fail teaching them as a young person, they will never become the person they could´ve been.    It´s like training a horse. 
Nos vemos, 
much love, family.