Pictures with Email #28

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Email #28

Hello.
Hey I got the first package with the pics and the shirts, so thank you very much. The family looks great. I think I lost all my muscle or something because I thought I had an older brother or something looking at those pics. Made me chuckle a little bit. Kate´s getting super pretty. You better look out.
This week was great. We didn´t get any baptized in January, but we´re expecting a lot this month in February. We´re baptizing a guy this Sunday named Lionel. He was a drunk for many years of his life, and it´s nice to see a real repentant person. He progressed faster than any convert I´ve ever seen. I think we starting teaching him about 2 and a half weeks ago. There´s a family of 4 that we´re teaching as well. The two sons will be baptized on the 10th, and we´re working with the parents right now. There´s another lady named Teresa. Her husband, who was a member, died about 3 weeks ago of cancer. Right now, she wants to do everything she can to learn about the gospel and to find out about the religion of her husband. Really, the success of any lesson depends on the way you start it. One must apply to the desires of the person, and the rest follows. I was praying, trying to know how to begin, and we just promised her that she would be able to live with her husband if she followed the gospel of Jesus Christ. She has a deep hunger, and she scoops of everything we give her. You know they´re positive when a person asks, “How soon can I be baptized?” Vamos pues.
Elder Contreras is doing well. He´s a great missionary. He´s a 22 yr old convert, he´s always happy, and he is always telling me some sort of story. Can´t say I understand all the time, but it is all good. He´s a fun person of good temperament. I still don´t know much about being a missionary, but what I do know is that we need to teach people and not lessons. The minute a missionary starts reciting some rote memorization, the spirit of the room changes, and the investigator puts up a wall. The same type of wall that is put up when people are trying to sell stuff at the doorstep.
If we teach the person that we are here to improve their lives with the gospel, then the topic that the church was restored in order to have the gospel, follows. Dive for the core, and I do believe that´s what makes changes. Anywhere in the scriptures teaches that missionaries should preach nothing but repentance and baptism. Well, in order to be baptized, you must be in the right church. The mission president teaches that the focus and central of every lesson should be the doctrine of Christ. Teaching the word of wisdom leads persons to repentance, which is an aspect of the gospel. Teaching superficially is not working with the spirit.

My comp and I are moving into a new house on Monday. It´s brand-new, and nobody´s every used it. I´m pretty excited for that.

Best scripture thought of the week is in Alma 5. These are the questions of conversion. Alma 5:35-41.This talks about the voice of the good shepherd. If we aren´t listening to Christ, then we´re following the Devil. What we don´t realize is Christ only has one voice, and the Devil has millions. Any desire outside anything of serving God is a desire sent forth by the Devil. Read Moroni 7:16-17 to be able to judge. There is only one path to follow, and endless ways to fall off. We need to be careful and repent every day to make sure we´re staying humble and strong.
Thanks for the packages and pictures. Those almonds are excellent.
Dad, thank you for the letters. I haven´t read them yet, but I will be sure to respond.
Thank you,
and I love you all family.
-Elder Jacobsen.

Email #27

Hey family,
Thanks for the letters. I have not received the package yet because I´m getting my mail tomorrow. This week has been going swell. We´ve been finding alot of sucess as we´ve been working with the members full-time. It was one of the more sucessfull weeks that I´ve had in the mission. With the members working with us like bosses, they bring all the investigators to church Sunday morning, so it´s making the work pretty easy. We keep the schedule busy by going with members during free-time to ask for references, and then we contact references during the other hours. It is working very well, and I do believe I will do the same my entire mission.
The companion is great. He´s 22 years old, and he´s a convert of about 2 years. He´s always happy and positive and talks all day long, so it´s nice. I just listen. It does make me think, most of the most powerful missionaries in the field are the converts. Most of us have been members all of our life, and I think we need to constantly be checking to see if we are slipping below the potential, or the line of gratitude that we should be showing.
We´re teaching a family of four who´s progressing, a family of 5 (still new), and we´re baptizing a son of a part-member family of 14. The son is 35 years old and has a baptismal date for the 3rd of February.
El salvador never ceases to amaze me. It is just one of a kind. The other day we were walking down the street next to a soccer field, and I looked in the soccer field and saw a large family of chickens just strolling on through. Only in El Salvador. Yesterday we were teaching the father of the family of four. He´s a big, jolly man, and he sits in his hammock all day long. We were helping him say the closing prayer, and my companion said in third person to help “Please help me to be able to go to church this sunday…” The man thought for a while, and then he chuckled and said “Please… bless them that they will be able to go to church this Sunday,” and then he added “and bless the hammock that it won´t break.” There are just funny things going on over here.
I went on splits with the ZL´s this week, and it was good to see how those Elders are working. They do splits in the mission so the elders can learn from the techniques of the other missionaries. One of them is from VA and lives up by the smithfield food slaughterhouse.
What´s going on with Randall, and what is shingles? Is that temporary, or some life-long disease? How´s that baby doing?
I was thinking the other day about all the times that those missionaries came to our house…. Now that I´m a missionary, I realize that they came to get references. That is always the goal in hand, but they do so by gaining the confidence of the member by teaching the family. They always added casually at the end…”So… you guys have anyone that could benefit from this message?….”
hmm.
NO.
Missionaries leave feeling there time wasn’t well spent. Always give references, and if you don´t want to, read Romans 1:16, repent, and then give your reference. We are counseled to work through the members, but that can´t be done unless the members are willing to help. We fight for the same time, and every member has a friend that needs help.
Another thought I’ve had is about what damnation really means. It means limiting yourself. Damnation only means a stopping of your progression. If nobody wants to go to Hell, then why do we resort to Hell during our Earthly life? Why we are on Earth, we have every right to go as far as we want, but the only thing stopping us is our decisions. We shouldn’t damn ourselves while we have the choice. Make the choice to go infinitely forward, in this life and in the life to come. Literally every man has every right in the world to become perfect in this life, but our progress is only impeded by sin. It says Jesus grew in stature and knowledge, not Jesus was born perfectly knowledgeable. He made himself perfect because his resistence to sin. Truly, he is the son of God and had inherent characteristics of Godliness, but still had all the right in the world to sin… and we know this because Satan tried to tempt him, and Jesus left “triumphantly.”
In the pictures I have a sleeping man in a hammock, my buddy Jared Keuttel, the Assistent and I (Elder Zepeda), and me killing another pig.
Take care family,
Love
Elder Jacobsen

Email #26

Hey family, I don´t have much time and the internet isn´t working. But,
I have changes tomorrow and I´m staying in Acajutla. I´m training, so
I´ll have a new companion tomorrow. We´ll see how it goes.

Then an hour later we received this email and some pictures:

I´m sorry, but the internet is just a fail today. I´m trying to send
pics, so we´ll see if it works. The change just kind of went up in
flames. The 2 mexicans in our house want out! My companion.. all is well.
This jedi is about to take upon himself a new padawan. He will be the
chosen one, and will bring balance to the force. We are teaching a
family of 4. Family Aguilar. They are all positive and are working on
putting a date in February.

We are expecting mail this week, so I´ll know if I get that package
then. I am excited to train. I will install the toughest of work
ethic, and destroy every ounce of satan in this boy. “I will make his
intrails his extrails… there will be pain. Lots of pain.”
No, I am excited though. This will be a good opportunity. A lot of the
trainers train for a long time during there mission, so this might
start a long train of training. “Just call me Uri… the trainer who
trains.” I have got to go now, but just know I live and I´ll talk to you all
later.
Love Elder Jacobsen

Email #25

Hola,
Este semana fue en poco chafa. Right now… couldn´t say that we have any progressing investigators. However, through repentance and new plans, we are changing the way we tackle the area.
I have abolished knocking doors–it seems like a waste of time, and unless I have to fill in 10 minutes, it´s a waste.
What we have come up with is a new plan to find families to teach. I found a list of all the members in the ward, and I´m going to visit 3 or 4 every day and ask for references. While in their house, we give a proclamation of the family to them, and ask them to give it to a family that they know. We started doing this yesterday, so the fruits of our labors are still unknown. We had a family go to church last week. What holds them back from being baptized is that they are unmarried, and not willing to marry.
Just to inform, there will be changes next Wednesday, so I will write Monday. I don´t know who´s getting shipped out yet, but I´m fairly certain I´m going to stay.

Sorry I don´t have any pictures to send, not anything too exciting happened this week. I did get the Christmas card. That was exciting. Maybe I will take a picture of that. I haven´t received the package yet. Maybe someone took it and made off with some new white church shirts… and random family pictures.

The Uno card game is a hit. It wakes us up in the morning, and caps off the day in the night. That game is just a beaut.

I can´t stress enough the need for fervent scripture study and prayer. What the scriptures and prayer do, is they expel deception and help us to see and understand things more clearly. That really is all I pray for. I teach so many people that are lost. There are some that believe the strangest things. Yet, in their mind, they believe they are perfectly correct. I believe only repentance, prayer, and scripture study can really help us see things clearly.
If a person thinks they don´t have need to repent–he has deceived himself. I never understood the power of repentance until the mission. There is a definite cleansing, and purifying power that comes from it. If you are not doing it sincerely every day, then you are wasting many precious moments of a life that you can have if you repent.
A good example, this week I met a man named Elijah–he claims he’s the prophet. This man… he knows all of the Bible. He is more knowleagable than most of the best scriptorians that I know. He believes there is a need for the Restoration, for he has
recognized it in the Bilble, yet he is deceived. He believes that the spirit of Elijah has rested upon him and that he was sent to the world “to turn the hearts of the Father to the children.” He asked me if I knew about this verse…(from Malachi) and I started pulling out the Doctrine and Covenants, and an image of the painting when Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith. Nope… Didn´t buy it. He said that Elijah was here… In El Salvador.. Right in front of me.

Things with my companion are better. Just like training a horse. He doesn´t talk to me much, but neither does my horse.

Well, I love you family. Take care. I hope the new baby girl is growing. She´s going to grow up and be a power house. She´s got that name Holland.
Love you all….
Fill me in on new mission calls. I hear Jerrick got reassigned to Fortworth, TX.

Peace out,
Elder Jacobsen