You're A Doozy If You Do

July 17, 2017

Hey there, People who read these emails!

This week was a doozy! 

Let's refer to the mission president letter, shaaall we?

This was a pretty busy week. We had another lesson with Abraham where we addressed the Word of Wisdom. It...went. He is very adamant about not quitting coffee, but he doesn't feel that he's addicted. He says he can quit whenever he wants, but anytime he tries, he gets extremely tired. He actually classified it as a "disease" and said it would be impossible to quit. He never really gave a fully supported reason, but just kept saying it was impossible and like trying to quit water. Between Alejandro giving him reasons why coffee isn't good and stories about his own conversion, and Elder Garrard adding his own comments, he seemed a little bombarded, and maybe a little more resistant. While this was going on, I closed my eyes and sincerely asked for help and a prompting from the Spirit. As Elder Garrard finished a thought, I touched Elder Garrard's leg to signal some time to let me speak. I simply said, "Abraham, do you believe everything we've taught about Christ and his gospel?" He nodded his head and said yes. I then noted that Christ said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."  I then asked, "Do you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God?" This question prompted greater contemplation on his part, but he eventually nodded his head and said yes. I then explained that the Word of Wisdom was revelation from God to Jospeh Smith and a commandment for the church in our time and that Christ didn't say to keep some of His commandments. He said to keep all of His commandments, old and new. We asked him to sincerely pray to God about quitting coffee and gave him a WoW pamphlet and asked him to read that as well. I then testified of things that I don't specifically remember, sorry about that. In the end, he was still resistant, but things felt more calm and he completely agreed that he should ask God. I reassured him that this commitment was an act of faith, and that acts of faith bring miracles.

For now, Abraham no longer has a baptismal date. He needs to want to make the commitment to try to keep the Word of Wisdom first. Elder Garrard and I fasted with him in mind this week. He still wants to attend church meetings/activities and be taught by us, but he wants to take things a little slower, which makes sense. Things were getting a little too bold and rushed. We might have a noche de hogar with him on Tuesday at the home of a member family and we plan on teaching him the plan of salvation. At that time, Elder Garrard will be in Seville and Elder Ruiz will be my companion, which gives me no small amount of concern, but I'll do my best with that whole situation.

This is my last week of training, but it feels like it's been longer than that--in a good, productive way. I'm not sure how prepared I am in regards to leading an area, but I'll go and do what I'm called to do and wherever I'm called to do it.

This week, we had our exchanges with Elder Anderson and Elder Bird, and they went well. Due to the fair and the heat this week, very few people were available at home or in the street no matter what time of day it was. I actually don't understand how that works, but that's what happened. However, I did get to know each of the other elders a little better as we walked from contact to contact, and I was able to set some personal goals for this week. I want to improve on contacting, looking for service opportunities, and letting people know about our English group.

I was in charge of the taller in district meeting and it went very well! It was on Baptism, Our First Covenant. I took a more simplified and forward approach on what baptism means, why we're baptized, the commitments we make, the consequences of making that covenant, and the importance of clearly presenting this information to our investigators. 

The baptism for David was good. The sisters are doing very great work. It's cool seeing the wards slowly grow as time passes by! The members here are astoundingly great with accepting investigators and converts. I can easily see why church attendance is so important especially in areas like this.

So yeah! Lots of stuff. 

The fair made the week a little more difficult to find people. Literally 5 people told us to come back after the fair. It started Wednesday evening and ends tonight. Planning for those days were a bit harder, especially since we're at a sifting point with people being visited and taught. We dropped two investigators this week. We also made practically no progress with the two new ones. One was a "fair" person, and the other needs to get his temporal life in order to be able to focus on our message. Our commitment to him the last time we visited him was "Go to the hospital" because for whatever reason he wouldn't, but he has all of these health issues that need to be taken care of. Fun stuff! 

We had another baptism! This was for David, a YSA age guy who was being taught by the sisters. There will also be another baptism this week for another investigator of the hermanas. He and his wife passed their interviews, but she is going to wait another week or something like that. I don't know. But, woo! The Work is being hastened!

The Zone.

(I did not realize that the Sisters were doing practically the same thing as me for the goofy picture. I just hadn't done The Thinker in a while DX) 

We discovered that today is a public holiday for La Virgin del Carmen, the main virgin for San Fernando, or however that works. There's a lot of virgins. The Catholics partied hard procession style into the night anoche. This meant that practically everyone was closed today! Including the supermarket chains! And we had to buy food! And rush to a surpirse birthday party for Elder Bird before noon! Luckily, a Carrefour Express (Carrefour is Wal-Mart, and Carrefour Express is it's supermarket baby) opened up down the street from us last Friday and was open today. So my grocery plans sort of altered because my mind was prepped for Mercadona, but I'll survive the week. We bought a couple bird-related items at a Chino as birthday gifts for Elder Bird (see cake picture with bird items scattered about) and hurried over to the chapel. A larger part of the zone came to San Fernando to celebrate (and play soccer). We had a good ol' time. Elder Bird was pleasantly surprised. We rotated teams playing Ultimate Frisbee and fútbol in the mediodía sun. We also visited Manuel Mures where he showed Elder Garrard and I how to make a type of pastry (he made the cake for Elder Bird).

Speaking of birthdays: Happy Birthday, Braeden!

As I said, doozy. Thanks for your support! Even greater thanks to those who wrote me ;) Have a good week!

Elder Jensen :)

P.S. Mom, why did our family start taking advantage of close concerts AFTER I left? Haha!
Thank you for super-momming at Chelsea's that was quite awesome of you. 

The early inhabitants of the Cadiz area often had to defend their ovens from fearsome giants. 
Replica of the Punic Ovens which were uncovered in the middle of San Fernando, and most of the actual dig is still there today in a glass box in the middle of a roundabout. (Not to be confused with the famous Eunuch Ovens, which is something entirely different)

The Castle Fort
The Giant Has Returned
Note: I think there were pictures of the actual castle but they didn't come through the email. Waiting to hear back about that. :)


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