And I proudly stand UP.....

......*DUH-DUH-DUH* NEXT TO YOU and defend her still todayyy, and there ain't no doubt, I love this laaaaaaand, GOD BLESS THE USAAAA!!!

Happy best day of the year tomorrow, America. Something about being out of the country this time of year really gets your patriotic juices flowing. That feeling is magnified even further as I write from a Burger King.

*Handsome group at the Burger Del Rey! Have I mentioned how much I miss that smile?*

This was an absotootely great week. The beginning of the week was a little slow, but picked up the closer we got to zone conference. Thursday afternoon, we had to pick up Elder Bird to form a trio because Elder Anderson had a leadership conference in Seville. We accompanied him to a cita with a member, but our small army was powerless against an empty apartment. During our studies, we received a call from Manuel Mures. He had been cooking all day for a noche de hogar, but half of the people he invited fell through. Needless to say, we received a restaurant-quality meal (he's a very good cook and I believe at one point he was a professional chef, but don't quote me on that one) and a nice message on eternal marriage. We were also housing a trio of elders from Algiciras for the zone conference later that evening. As we all sat in casa wondering how to configure the sleeping scenario with two different grouped train departure times, and Elder Bird's lack of overnight things, it was decided that Elder Gerrard, Bird and I would stay in Elder Bird's piso while the Algiciras elders slept in ours to catch their earlier train. So we threw together overnight bags and rushed over to Elder Bird's. All morning preparations and travels went smooth and we arrived at the chapel in Seville just as quiet spiritual prep time started.

The zone conference was really good! And almost entirely in Spanish. And very long. I could understand everything, it was just a matter of keeping my eyes open. They changed things up so we ate in the middle which made things a little more engaging. There were final testimonies of missionaries scattered throughout the entire conference. There were about 10. The leaders from each zone gave different presentations on PMG, prayer, and working with members. 

Ok, rewind to Monday evening. P-Day had just ended and Elder Garrard and I were updating our area book when we received a call from Elder Anderson. He had just been asked to do a musical number for the conference and he needed back-up. Fast-forward to Friday: Our musical number was perfect. We sang "Brillan rayos de clemencia". Elder Anderson sang melody for the first verse soloing, and Elder Bird, Garrard, and I joined in on the bass line for the chorus. The second verse, I joined the melody but we pulled back on the reigns while the other two kept the bass. We then ended the second chorus crescendo-ing into a full-blown four-part barbershop harmony throughout the last verse and chorus to cut off right before the last phrase, then ever-so-celestially bring the last phrase to a clean close. The utter joy on Presidents's face as we passed by him to sit down was priceless. I will send a video of our arrangement probably next week.

That's all I have to say about that. Now for some unbelievably fan-flippin-tastic news. Friday evening, we had a lesson set with Abraham. Elder Garrard and I decided to teach him the Gospel of Christ and to commit him to baptism. The cita started. He quickly volunteered to say the opening prayer. During said prayer HE ASKED FOR HELP TO AS HE PREPARES FOR BAPTISM. We've barely even touched the subject before! So our lesson continued as planned, but instead of inviting him to baptism, we set a date for the 22nd. If he keeps doing what he's been doing (praying, reading, developing a testimony, and asking questions ON HIS OWN) he should be be more than ready by then. *sigh* So that's awesome. Now to focus on clearly presenting the information we have to share so he can fully know what he's getting into.

Saturday morning, we were asked to help clean out the old chapel. It is a "bajo" meaning that it takes up the first two floors of a building with other uses. It was cool going through a bunch of older Spanish gospel material! We also were able to score a couple chapel-worthy framed pictures for the piso. Saturday afternoon, we started a mission-wide fast to complete our goals for this month. This means that at 3:00 on Saturday, literally hundreds of people were praying and starting a fast for the exact same reason. That was a really cool thought. One more cool little tidbit about Saturday, I took part in my first blessing as a holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood. The sisters are teaching a man struggling with quitting tobacco, so we came over before a lesson to bless him. I did the Español. Cool stuff being a missionary.

Sunday, I learned that I will be in ANOTHER musical number for stake priesthood conference. We are singing the same song (Elder Anderson chose that song for zone conference because he already knew about this musical number and wanted to practice) but differently. We now have accompaniment, We have two more tenors and Elders Garrard and Bird singing bass, Elder Anderson singing alto, and now I'm singing melody the whole way through. On top of that, I'm soloing the second verse while everyone else harmoniously hums their parts, and we're doing a similar thing to end it. It sounds really cool.

I'm happy everything is busy but well on the home front. Keep reading your scriptures. Say your prayers. God loves you. 

Have a good week! I'm going to do the best I can to teach and preach and work. You know, as missionaries do ;)

Elder Jensen :)


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