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Email #75

Hey family.

I´ll be skyping you chaps Christmas day at 4 pm my time, which will be 5pm in Florida. I hope you´re ready to rumble.

Sounds like the family is doing well… I guess. You folks didn´t send me any family news.

Elder Anderson and I have been having a great time teaching and finding families. We have truly mastered the balance between hard work and just having a good time. Many missionaries pass their time very stressed out, or uptight… that´s never been the way I have worked. I have a great time. If we did poorly, we will do better the next day. We laugh alot, sing country music, and talk to every living family in this place. We´ve talked with so many people that we don´t know who to talk with anymore.
We´ve started leaking into uncharted territory, where people haven´t seen missionaries for years. We´ve been finding many positive families and we hope to bring several to church this week.

We brought a family to church yesterday: the Martinez family. Nelson, the husband, is the most powerful, positive investigator I have found in my mission. If we ask if to keep a certain commandment, he looks at us in some confused manner and asks, “why do you even ask? Yes. Ask my wife. We need to help her out.” He is on fire, and is a great strength for his wife. His wife, Bartola, she is a timid and shy lady. We brought a young family of members to encourage them to attend church last Friday. It worked. The family attended church, and they loved it. They have a young daughter of 2 years as well.

This week we have two baptisms: Lisbeth and Maria. They are a mother and a daughter that have been going to church for the past few weeks. They are both member references, and they are very excited to be baptized. The mother, Lisbeth, has been experiencing some economic difficulties. Her angry step mother forced her out of the house she´s been living in for the past 10 years, but she told me that God has a reason in it. He wants them to come closer to Him and His church. She has incredible faith that makes me marvel sometimes.

It´s so fun to hit the streets and learn how to talk with people. I talk with so many people, and see so many recognizable traits and repeated reactions that we can almost predict what they say. Sometimes we´ll jump ahead of their conversation and tell them what they´re about to say… and they get really confused. We have alot of fun.

Well family, I am excited to skype you folks this Wednesday. Hopefully I have some interesting things to say. I can´t believe how tall those little girls are. Mary has grown tremendously since I´ve left. They all look beautiful.

I love you,

Elder Jacobsen

Email #74

Hey family,

Seems like you`re all doing well. I have a new companion. His name is Elder Anderson. He`s finishing the mission this change, so I`m “killing” him in mission terms. He`s a great guy. I`ve known him my whole mission and now we`re companions. We have a great time working hard, speaking english, singing Christmas songs and telling jokes. He`s a good missionary, and I`m grateful to have a good companion. His is the missionary with the dark hair sitting down with me.

The pictures of the gift tree made me very content and happy. That`s so sad to see Natalie without hair. Is she doing well?

Dad, I met some people from our stake. They have family members out here in Atiquizaya. They are the Macintosh family… I can`t remember the dad`s name, but the wife is Caroline Macintosh and the son Ernesto. They live in the Titusville ward, and told me that they remember you coming to give a talk in their ward. They are a great family. The man with the big beard is the family member here in Atiquizaya. I call him papa bear. His name is Roberto Afane. Sounds like he sent a flag of El Salvador back with the family, for you.

We managed to bring 6 investigators to church. However, they were two half-families. We didn`t mangage to bring the husband and wife of the both familes. Next week… The zone is working hard. We all brought 39 people as a zone, and hopefully we can raise that up.

Elder Anderson and I have been working hard finding families. We talk to every family that passes us in the street. Sometimes it makes some seriously awkward moments, but we work it. If we see a family heading our way, we stop them in their tracks and say “hey… what a beautiful family you have here…” Then they blush, we pop a joke, and bam. We`re teaching them in their house. Of course, it doesn`t always work out like that… Sometimes the plow us over and tell us they are busy. Well… that`s about 95% of the time, but we`re working it!

Sounds like I`m going to skype you blokes this 25th.

I still haven`t opened the package. Hopefully you didn`t put any perishables in there.

Well family. I love you. I hope you`re doing well. I hope you focus on the real meaning of Christmas this time of year. Don`t get lost in the gifts and the superficial things of Christmas. There are some great bible videos and mormon message on Christmas that you can watch. Dad, perhaps you should take the family to do some service on Christmas. Surely the Son of Man came not to receive but to give, not to be served, but to serve.

Thanks family,

love Elder Jacobsen

Email #73

Hey family,
I had a good week this week. I had the opportunity to go to the temple. It was a great experience and was able to witness the session in HD and newness. It was amazing. While I was there, I ran into my boy Elder Garcia: the kid I trained in Acajutla. I was thrilled. He is now a zone leader, both my boys are, and they are doing great. Elder Garcia told me that all the family we baptized in Acajutla are active, and even the friends and family of them were baptized. I was overjoyed, and really experienced a sweet satisfaction. Sounds like I have some temple sealings coming up, starting in April. There is no better feeling in the world, than to know that the Lord has used you to accomplish His purposes. As Thomas S. Monson said, to be on the Lord´s errand is the sweetest feeling. It´s not just good enough to be defensive members of the church, merely “avoiding sin,” and fleeing Satan. We should be offensive members. We should fight against sin, and make Satan squirm. This is a great motto for life. It fills us with the spirit, give us more protection, power, and blesses many many lives.

We are planting many seeds here in Atiquizaya. I don´t know how quick they will be baptized, but I know that we will, at least, baptize three families here in a bit. There is no greater joy for me, than to baptize and help the families out here. The mission, more than anything, has really taught me that the gospel blesses families. It is the basic unit of society. Being out here… everyone fornicates, and commits adultry. For this, this nation is suffering. The kids don´t have good parents, so they are raised badly. It is great to find a complete family, commit them to Christ, and help them progress. When we baptize one family, we baptize millions. That is my goal. It has helped me realize what I need to do in my future family as well… or better, what not to do.

We´re jamming out to Christmas over here. I´ve been going Christmas since October, and I´ve been rocking Christmas ties every day of the month. “It´s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”

Mom, I’ve been thinking about the seminary kids… It´s like training horses. If you don´t get them while they´re young, you don´t get them. Kids these days can´t afford to not have scripture reading and prayer habits while they´re young. Relying on the parents doesn´t work anymore. The teenage years and the critical ones, that´s why Satan works so hard. Bear your testimony. Teach about the Plan of Salvation. Teach the Plan of Redemption. The role of Jesus Christ. The purpose of their life. The doctrine is the answer. Doctrines influence principles, and principles influence action. We can´t just punish actions by telling them “don´t do that.” We must explain the “why.” If they understand the role of Jesus Christ in God´s plan, and if they understand the Satan is the enemy to this plan, it will help open minds and hearts. Read “The plan of Salvation” in Preach my Gospel, and focus on the first section, “the premortal life, and God´s plan.” God wants us to learn and grow, and become like Him. For this, He sent us here, gave us bodies, and a Savior to show the way and make it possilbe to return. The enemy is Satan. We must learn during this life to follow Jesus Christ in order to return with God and fulfill His purposes for us. Don´t be afraid to tell them the God wants us to become like Him. That´s not secretive, but very eye-opening. We are children of God, it only makes sense.

Love you,

Elder Jacobsen