Email #41

Thanks for the pictures, mom. I enjoy those. Sounds like Dad and Randall had a interesting experience with the horses the other day. Good thing you`re a viking. Just lift that horse right off. How was my pride and joy doing?

This week was good. We had a multizone. It`s where the president comes and talks with three zones and trains us all. He taught us about using the planner better… I got a good machete. I`m not very organized, but hey.. It`s a learning process.

Acajutla is on fire over here. The president is going to send another pair of missionaries over here next change. We`ll see what happens.

Mom, I finally paid off for splitting my head open so many times. This week a new missionary was in a well digging, and a shovel fell on his head and split it wide open. Instead of rushing to the hospital and doing all that cute stuff, I went to a store, bought me some super glue and glue that bad boy shut. The president and his wife make pretty funny comments. They were a bit surprised that I used glue, but I told them that was Russell M. Nelson`s advice….Apparantly the cowboy titles also qualifies me in super glue skills.

We didn`t baptize that family of 4 last week for health problems, but they have a baptismal date for this Sunday. We`re excited for that, and we`re preparing everything up.

The new chapel in Acajutla is opening on the 12th of May. This week we have to organize an open house. It`ll be difficult to juggle everything, but that`s the fun of the mission. The president will be coming for the open house, and we hope to have a good number of baptisms that day.

We married the Alvarez family last week. It`s pretty funny, but those weddings down here cost about 30 dollars. Dad, that`s the dream right there. Marry me down here in El Salvador. All you have to do is buy me a birthday cake. No suit or anything. Just come as you are. We get so caught up in money and material stuff over there.

I loved the pictures. Mom`s becoming excellent with those camera skills. The baby is looking good, Jessica looks nice and healthy, and looks like not much has changed. It seems strange that a year ago I came back from BYU. Time needs to slow down a bit. Seems like I blinked my eyes and I`m here. Time is very important, and I promise that I`ll never waste it again.

The mission changes everything in life. These days, a boy cannot change into a man without the mission. There are too many lessons that are learned here. It really helps you step back from the world, helps you analyze it, learn how it works… and then attack it. Before the mission, a man lives a life in defense. Enduring through temptation… and overcoming. In the mission you analyze it. I understand how it changes people.. I repent to get rid of it, and eventually you take the offensive side. Baptizing, preaching repentance, and helping others overcome. It is a great experience.

I don`t understand or really remember who I was before the mission. It wasn`t who I wanted to be. I`m not saying I`ve became weird or different. The good qualites are better, more balanced, and the bad is going away.

Love you all. Keep sending updates, pictures, and I hope that package gets here, I reckon.

Love,
Elder Jacobsen

Email #40

Hey family,
I don´t know why those pictures never sent, but I´ll send them again.
Before I forget… Can you send me a few white short- sleeved shirts? I´m needing a new batch. They have turned yellow and no amount of repentance can bring these stains out. The shirts I got before where rough textured and cotton… they yellowed up immediatly. Look for a nice thin material, that looks like it will stay white. Neck size 15.5. I have went down an inch, but don´t you worry.
The week went well. We had 9 people in church yesterday. This family Alvarez is getting baptized on Sunday. They are a family of 6, but 4 are of age to be baptized. Pray for them. They struggle not selling stuff on Sundays. They are dirt poor, and feel they must sell on Sundays. As it shouldn´t be this way, please send them up some prayers that the Lord will bless them enough to be able to keep the Sabbath Day holy.
We have 10 baptismal dates right now. In April only 4, and the rest in May. We´re looking at putting a few more, here shortly. It is nice to feel and see the blessings of the Lord in the work that we do.
I appreciate the cards and gifts everyone has sent.
I feel like I am part of the community over here in Acajutla. Everybody says hi, and it seems like I am known by all. It´s not hard to miss the gringo in a white shirt and tie.
Looks like the kids are all getting big. I haven´t received the package yet, but I´m waiting.
I can´t believe how fast the mission goes by. It´s the best 2 years as they all say.
I love you family,
Take care
Elder Jacobsen

Email #39

Greetings family,
More success this week! Great week.
We baptized 3 yesterday. Javier and Marlene, and Berta Cruz. This completes two families. Berta is the wife of a recent convert that I baptized about a month ago. It was a great experience. Gilberto was able to baptize his wife which was great to see.
We had to marry Javier and Marlene last Friday. Can`t be living in sin before baptism. We got them married and baptized and what not.
Saturday we had a trip to the temple in San Salvador for the investigators. My companion and I brought 20 or so. I had the opportunity to teach at the doors of the temple. We explained that all could enter… some day. They only have to be baptized and repent of their sins. Sorry everybody. We put four baptismal dates yesterday, and we are going to try and put 10 more this week. Good news, I am staying in Acajutla another change. I will be here for 6 months. I am so pumped. Just let me stay here as long as I need to. We are loving life over here. The mission is great. I will be here for another 6 weeks, with the same companion. Elder Garcia is a great kid, and we are enjoying the mission very much. Don`t have much time.

I love you all, take care.
Elder Jacobsen

Email #38

Hey family,
I got to watch Sunday in English, so I was very satisfied. I was able to see Holland, Oaks, and Christoffersen, I can´t spell it, but I watched all of them. The prophets talk on obedience was very humorous and helpful. His facial expression and comments really bring life to the lessons. I have some pictures of me digging a well. That a fun experience. I broke a blister on my hand. It´s been a while since that has happened.
We had a cool miracle happen this week. This week to conference, we brought 17 investigators, 4 families. It might not be a record, but it was a lot. Normally 4 is a good amount. The point I make is that if the Lord trusts us, and if we have cleansed the invward vessel, He will send us His children to teach. We may forget it sometimes, but the people we teach are God´s children as well. Because He loves them as equally as He loves us, He will send His chosen children to the missionaries that He trusts. I feel trusted of the Lord. I feel more filled and more secure in the Lord every day. The mission is different than anything we have ever done before in life. It demands that we rely completely on the Lord, rather than our own abilities or talents.
As far as I have been concerned my whole life, I have always been completely reliant on my own strength. However, as soon as I started studying His doctrine, preaching His cause, and wearing His name everything Has changed. I have dedicated all my efforts to Him. As I keep looking upwards rather than sideways, as I keep focusing on Him rather than the false recognition of those around me, I am beginning to receive everthing that I falsely sought for in the past. The assignements come, the callings came, the baptisms come, the investigators appear, and the numeral success is thriving. Yet I have learned not to get caught up on these things.
As soon as I look sideways is when I will fall. I will not do that. This is only a two year mission, and I nearly have completed half of it. There is no time to waste time. I love the mission, and I love seeing the results that are coming from the hard changes I have made in my life. My mission experience is summed up in Mark 8:34-35. As I am losing my life for His cause, and for His gospel, He is giving me mine. My testimony of the living Jesus Christ has completely changed for the better. He lives. Just as I can´t see you, yet I know you live, he too lives. I feel His blessings, and I feel clean and whole again. The mission is necessary. A man or woman has the complete potential to change the world if they rely completely on the Lord. He wants us to baptize and build His kingdom, but will only grant such a priveledge with those He confides in.
This week we have planned to baptize 4. We have two families, and one young boy we found.
This boy is named Enrique. He is 18. The second lesson he told us that he prayed about the Book of Mormon, and he knows its true. He had some dream about the gold plates. Experiences like this change the mission..and they come weekly over here. I hope I stay here another stay. There will be much that will happen.
Conference was excellent. I loved the talk by one of the Seventies about repentance. I just don´t think we repent enough. As members of the church we have this thought that in order to repent, you must do something terrible. There are infinite ways to sin. If we don´t repent daily, during these days, we will lose our soul. Try repentance and see where you stand in a week. It is such a blessing and power.
Well family, I love you. I can´t thank you enough for the mission experience. I ask the Lord to make me better and help me fulfill my life´s calling, and I become better through Him and because of Him every day.
I invite everyone to go on missions. If you aren´t a member of the church, get baptized and start your spiritual life.
I love you family,
Take care.
Elder Jacobsen