This was an interesting week! With the call home and everything, I'm mainly just going to send most of my letter to the President:
"This was an interesting week. Great, but interesting. I went on two exchanges this week: The first was due to Elder Garrard's district leaders' meeting, and the second was a planned exchange with the zone leaders. There were a lot of awkward feeling transitions and schedule changes because of that, but it was a good experience overall! Exchanges with the zone leaders helped me get out of my comfort zone and diversify various approaches to contacting. I feel a little more confident as a result of that.
Bench where I had my first Spanish phone conversation on my first day. It was awkward, hence the awkward angle.
I'm still trying to work on understanding the Spanish around me. It's become abundantly clear that understanding the language is key at the moment. I have a very good grip on a greater part of the fundamentals and teachings of Preach My Gospel but I can't access very much of that knowledge while teaching because of the language barrier. It's something I need to keep working at, and I'm excited to find the best ways to improve my language interpretation .
I'm becoming more confident with knowing how to get around my area. This allows me to be less concerned about where I am, and more focused on the task at hand; Be it preparing my mind for a lesson, or focusing on spiritual promptings. On Saturday, Elder Garrard and I were going to stop by an investigator's home when I had the thought to stop by a less active member who lived on the way. I asked Elder Garrard, he agreed, and our little detour led us right in the path of another less-active member that we hadn't been able to contact for over a week. Being familiar with the area also helps me focus on the people in the street. On Friday, Elder Garrard and I were headed to see an investigator and we were in a bit of a hurry. On the way, I had the feeling to look at the people around me. When I did so, I noticed that we had almost walked right past the very investigator we were hurrying to see, who was standing right outside of a cafe! I made eye contact with him, frantically called to Elder Garrard a few strides ahead of me, and we were able to have a pleasant conversation and check his progress. If I hadn't looked at the people around me and seen him then, we wouldn't have been able to meet with him for another week.
I'm happy to be here! Spain is a beautiful place, and I'm eager to learn more about Spanish and missionary work every day."
The Capilla (chapel)
In greater details of the exchanges, Elder Miller (ZL) had to re-ask me how far into the mission I was when he heard my Spanish. He was surprised at how well I spoke with such little time. It made me feel good. The first contact we had was with a young woman who is a very promising future investigator, and for the first time outside of the MTC, I explained the Word of Wisdom! And I did it well! So that was crazy.
Before the exchange with the zone leaders, I had to do a quick, unplanned exchange with the other San Fernando Elders and a Cadiz Elder, because Elder Garrard had a district leaders' meeting at the mission home. For that, I was often the one leading my companion around the area! It was kind of a cool feeling.
All of these were taken about 40-60 minutes apart in the same afternoon.
Feel free to ask me more questions in your emails! Without questions to answer, it's kinda difficult to write these things with direction and purpose.
Well, I don't really know what more to say at the moment...
I love you all! Everything is going well. It's amazing how far you can stretch 20€ for groceries. I like budgeting. It's...satisfying, I guess.
Other side of the kitchen (I have more food now, don't worry)
Main living area
Talk to ya later!
Elder Jensen :)
Yesterday, I sat down and had the realization that you're kind of the best mom ever. Thank you so much for that. I love you :)