Email #54

Hey family, how´s it going over there in Florida?

We had a great week as an area, as well as a zone over here in Molino. We baptized Wilfredo Chacon last night. We confirmed Alexander, and we brought some new people to church.

The zone brought 31 people to church which is extraordinary. There are 6 areas in the zone, and we are kicking the mission´s rear right now. There is an area in our zone that brought 15 people to church themselves. They are a good example for the entire zone, and we are happy for them.

President Cordon visited our ward meeting yesterday, and participated in ward council after church. He was very pleased with the number of investigators in the ward. We have the missionary pair that brought 15, and we brought 4, and about 6 less active people. In total, the gospel principles class was packed. After the church service, we had our ward council meeting.

I´ve always considered our ward council like kicking a dead horse. President Cordon gave an excellent presentation about what traditional ward councils do, (talk about activities, budgets, and complaints), and what revelation teaches us we should do (talk about people and families). Our ward functions on the traditional side a bit, and after the meeting someone raised their hand and said “President Cordon, we already do everything you have told us…” Makes a man happy. I just love people that don´t like to learn.

I´m not in a trio anymore. Elder Carrillo got reassigned to a new ward. My only companion is now Elder Gibson. We are having a good time.

I really feel the hand of the Lord refining me into who He wants me to be. Whenever I step out of line, I feel it correct me or drive me to improve what I´m doing wrong. I´ve became a very direct person. I tell the truth. Sometimes the truth I tell to people becomes so sharp, that investigators get offended or people. I didn´t lie to the person… and the truth hurts sometime, but I´m learning to tell the truth with more love and a litte more patiently. It´s a refining process, and it´s helping me improve alot.

Well family. Enjoy the pictures. I killed a rat in the house, made me a new style, and there´s a picture of wilfredo´s baptism.

I love you all, and I hope you have a great week.

Love Elder Jacobsen

Email #53

Hey parents…
I love you and thank you for the pictures. They are awesome. I`m going to end the life of so many wild pigs when I get home… Maybe I`ll be too spiritually sensitive. I sure hope not.

We had a baptism last week. Finally. It`s been a while. His name is Alexander Martinez. We baptized his wife about a month ago.We have 2 dates: one for this week, and then one for the week after. They have all been member references: a nice proof that when the members follow the commands of the prophet, things start happening.

We also had a good miracle happen last week. One of our investigatos with a baptismal date was deciding if he should get baptized in a different ward. His parents have always gone to a ward outside of their ward boundaries. They`ve grown up in the ward, and they have some roots tied in over there. We expected difficulties trying to get them to change wards. I fasted, and yesterday he told us that he decided that he was going to get baptized in our ward, ward Molino. We were excited. I really would like to give a testimony of fasting. Last week we fasted as a zone and we brought 30 people to church, this week we didn`t fast… As a result we only brought 17. I do believe, that even as we sacrifice something so small… Even your meal, that the Lord will bless us even that much more and allow us to have more success…

We might just fast every week in our zone!

This area is a little difficult. It doesn`t get me down… I`m not that kind of person. Rather, it gives me a new challenge, something new to tackle. It`s helping analyze my work methods, and it helps me improve in every aspect. Working alone, without members is impossible here. It`s in the city. It`s a bit like taking down a brick wall with your fists. Every once and a while a member comes with a chisel and takes a chunk out. Imagine if all the members could work like that. Imagine how successfull a ward could be.

It all goes back to Romans 1:16. “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” If the members are afraid to help the missionaries, then it is because they are ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Are we like that? Do we reserve ourselves for fear? I think so. Perhaps if Satan didn`t have such a strong hold on our hearts, the progress of the church could increase exponentially. Someday when Christ asks us, as Holland stated, “Did you love me?” We should all be able to hold our head up high, and say with all boldness, “yes.” Help the missionaries.

Thank you for the letters and the support. I appreciate all of it.

There is a strange picture of some robots made out of printers and blenders and what not. There is an investigator that makes and sells them online. Kind of neat.

Take care.
Love,Elder Jacobsen

Email #52

Hey family.
Tell Mary I said happy birthday and that I love her.

The mission is going well. We had a good week. Right now I`m running around in a trio. My new companion is a gringo from Utah. His name is Elder Gibson, and he`s got about 1 more month in the mission than me. He`s an answer to prayer. I asked God to help me be more organized, and He sent me Elder Gibson. I`m the gas pedal and he`s the steering wheel in the companionship. We`re the ZL`s of our new Zone. We have 13 missionaries in this zone. It`s gotten a lot smaller… but we are throwing FIRE right now!

I consider it a blessing from God that`s he`s given me such great missionaries to work with. We`re all young in the mission and with the desire to work. As our Zonita, we brought 29 people to church. Last week we brought 30, but we had 27 missionaries. We are working hard for our sizes, and giving the other zones in the mission a run for their money.

In our area we have 3 baptismal dates for the 28th of July. We`ve been working a lot more with the members of our ward to find their friends and baptize them. Last week we put a date with a 22 yr old named Wilfredo Chacon. He was a catholic and is the son of a member in the high council. It really brings so much more satisfaction and love for missionary work when we can complete strong ties and families like that. He was a prime example of a prepared investigator.

There is power in prayers on your knees. We`ve been teaching alot more about the function of the Holy Ghost in conversion. We`ve started praying together on our knees, and challenging the investigators to ask a specific question to God. We`ve had lessons were the investigators begin to cry during the prayer or explain to us how they felt a warm calmness come over them. These types of conversions and moments ensure long lasting attendance in church.

I must confess, I lost my patience and macheted the leader of our ward in the last ward council. This is not recommended, but I get fired up when we talk about the missionary work. They weren`t willing to help, and they wanted to do activities for the ward, and not for missionary work. To all members: every function in the church should be centered on missionary work. The work of God is the immortality and eternal life of man. This should be our work as His sons. Why would the church give us a budget to throw our own parties and centralize ourselves away from news, or less active members? Every function in the church should be spread the gospel, or rescue the weary. After all that is said and done, the most important thing is preach the gospel.

I`m finding that as I go in the mission I`m throwing off all sorts of bad habits and I`m learning to balance all the bad habits or strengths that I have. I told God I`d give Him everything if He could turn me into the man he wanted me to be. It is happening and changing, and it`s nice to see what the gospel can do. It gives you great desires to share it with others as you see your personal change…. One thing I`m working on is controlling how sharply I say things. Some people say I`m way to forward, but…. it`s working for me… and Elder Holland is pretty straight forward as well.

I love you family. I send pictures your way. The mission is good.

Love Elder Jacobsen

This is my one year party.