Elder Justin Jacobson ~ CALLED TO SERVE ~ Guatemala Retalhuleu Mission September/2010 - 2012

First Area: La Grandeza,
Companion: Elder Heywood 11/9/2010 -3/15/2011
Companion: Elder Tadeo 3/15/2011-4/5/2011
Second Area: Central,
Companion: Elder Platero 4/5/2011-4/26/2011
Companion: Elder Lira 4/26/2011-6/7/2011
Third Area: San Pablo (in Malacatan),
Companion: Elder Altamirano 6/7/2011-7/19/2011
Companion: Elder Matute 7/19/2011-10/11/2011

Fourth Area: San Sebastian
Companion: Elder Platero 10/11/2011-02/15/2012
Fifth Area: Pueblo Nuevo
Companion: Elder Jack 02/15/2012-
Companion: Elder Velasquez -08/30/2012
Companion: Elder Ortega 08/30/2012-09/13/2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Don't Hate

hey your probly gonna kill me, but im way out of time today.  what basically happened was that they told me i had to send pic-chus to make a slide show for the fools that are finish-un their missions.  well basically i  accidentally took way to much tiempo pick-un out pic-chus and then all of a sudden i realized i have no time.  but it was a good week.  we workin hard and having some success.  i had my first baptism in the area after 7 months here in pueblo nuevo.  it was an 8 year old boy.  technically it should only count for the branch, but they're feelin bad for me, so they let us teach him.  but i felt happy and the members were all happy.  hopefully we can use that baptism to find other ones.
   im not really thinkin alot about home still.  in the whole district we are kind of down.  we dont have a lot of investigators or people to baptize.  so there is a ton ton ton to do.  i like it though because i dont have a lot of time to think about other things.
   i had two pretty cool experiences this week that helped me alot.  first was in my interview with president.  i expressed my concerns that i felt like i had my faith very low because it had been so long without a baptism.  he talked about abinadi and asked how many baptisms he had.  i said zero.  then he told me that i had done alot of things that i may never even know. he talked about my old comp elder velasques and how when he got home he imidiately asked for a calling and wanted to work.  and other things like that. i cant really explain it but he really made me feel that i had accomplished more than i thought.
  the other one was last night.  a family invited us to dinner, so we went. (obviously)  after we ate we were talking.  we all laughed alot then later the mom said oh how we are going to miss elder jacob when he leaves.  it was kind of a sad moment, but i really felt the love of the family, and that i have been something special for them.  so i feel good.  i hope that i have accomplished Gods purpose for me here and helped change someones life.  who knows.  maybe the kid we baptized will grow up to be the first guatemalan prophet.  ha.  well im super out of time.  i love you all have a good first week of school.  talk to you later
          Elder Jacobson

Monday, August 20, 2012

Burned Like a Christmas Chicken

every time we play soccer on p day i get so burned. i dont know why i
dont learn to put on sunblock. so basically right now im burning hot,
and my shirt collar hurts my neck. but i enjoyed myself and it was
totaly worth it.

well as you probably all know im down to like 3 weeks. its so hard
to beleive. its like it hasnt really hit me yet. i try hard not to
get trunky, or baggy as they say here. but its hard sometimes.
sometimes without even wanting to i find myself making plans for what
i will do when im home. speaking of which. would it be possible for
you guys to record all of the "whos line is it any way" episodes. i
think that will be on the top of the list. ha

im happy though because only ocasionaly do i think about things like
that. theres alot to do here, and im staying focused still. we are
really trying to find alot of investigators. a few weeks ago we had
to drop some people because they wouldnt progress. so we basically
wound up with like 1 or 2 investigators. it would stink to leave the
area with no one. so we are talking to everyone and asking for
references from everyone we talk to. its paying off. this week we
found 3 posotive families. its funny how regardless of how many times
ive found a family that doesnt progress. i always get excited when we
find a new one. its like something inside me never stops saying.
"this will be the one" we keep working hard and i havent lost hope of
baptizing someone here.

on saturday we did a cool activity. it was the easiest thing in the
world we just planned like 5 games and bought a piñata and had some
members bake and decorate a cake. we told everyone it would start at
2, planning on starting at 3. at 3 30 there was still no one there.
i got kind of nervouse. but then slowly but surely people starting
showing up. in the end we only had like 20 people there. but 1 of
them was an ivestigator 3 were less actives and 3 were recent
converts. so in the end i felt good about it. when we got the cake
out one of the members started saying. didnt everyone know its elder
jacobsons birthday. everyone got all exited and told me to go by the
cake. i didnt want to break their hearts so i just pretended it was
my birthday. so they all sang to me and shouted happy birthday. the
tradicion here is that whoever is having their birthday has to take a
bite out of the cake with no hands. what always happens is that
someone from behind pushes thier face into the cake. after they sang
they all shouted bite it bite it. so before any one could get close i
took a bite. they all said. that doesnt count do it again. then
like the whole branch stood behind me. i had no other choice so i bit
it again. (how funny that it wasnt even my birthday) as soon as i was
close i felt like 8 hands smash my face into the cake. it was every
where, even on my neck and in my hair. ha we all laughed. it was
fun. but i will have my vengance.. in this life or the next.

well what else to say. on thursday elder platero came from el salvador
to see the baptism of the daughter of the family we baptised. the
next day he came up to my area. ha it was good to see him and we just
laughed at old stories. i get along well with my comp. sometimes i
have to put him in his place. but generally we dont have any
problems. i love the members and the work and plan to keep going till
the end.

i think it would be awesome to go study with the bros in byu idaho.
you guys must have been prompted by the spirit because i had been
having similar thoughts lately. look it up and tell me whats going
down. i think its a great idea

well thats all i have time for. i love you all. enjoy your final
weeks of summer, and keep working hard. remember that the church is
true and that all the keys to happiness and in the scriptures and in
church. talk to you later
Elder Jacobson

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Final Countdown

well theres good news and theres bad news. the good news is that my computer is a spanish speaker, so every single word i write appears with a red underline. you may be wondering if that was supposed to be the bad news. but lets just say that that is about the best thing that has happened to me all day. the bad news is that i woke up this morning to find a dog marking his terretory on my bed. in a furiouse rage of anger i shouted to my compañon. KILL DOG NOW. he responded with the same emphatical force I NO ESPIKIN INGLISH. Thats when i happened to round house kick the poor little guy in his ugly snout. afterwards i realized that i should have kicked the dog instead of my companion. but i guess thats one of lifes priceless little lessons.
later we went to rhetaluleaue. to buy food. i was hangin off the side of the bus as usual. everyone was makin fun of me for being a white guy hangin off the side of the bus. so i decide to do something cool to shut up their dumb mouths. when it was our place to get off i stuck my leg out to jump off while the bus is in motion. thats what all the native experienced bus riders do. the bad news is that right as i jumped the bus driver hitted the breaks. therefor the bus stopped faster than i did. thats when suddenly my knee went rammun into the side of the bus. i screamed out in pain. and all the riders including my companion started chanting "GRINGO ESTUPID, GRINGO ESTUPID"
i limped off having taken a serious blow to my knee and my pride.
the other good news is that our zone did really well and had a lot of success in july. so any way the mission let us go to an amusement park called xetulul. we went there once before. it was way fun. mostly went on bumper cars. other missionaries and i would gang up and smash little kids into the wall. bwahahaha ill show them gringo stupid. i had a lot of fun. the coolest part was to see macedonio. the man that we baptized in san sebastian. his wife was there too. they said that he has been blessing the sacrament every week, and that he is going to baptize his daughter next week. he also asked if it would be possible for me to go see their sealing in october. i told him i would have to see, but that i would do everything i could to be there. what do you guys think about me coming back in october. we can talk about it later.
in other news. we have been working for a long time with an investigator named Luis. he has never really considered baptism before, but my comp went while i was at the park, and he accepted a baptismal date for the 25 of august. we will have to work hard with him because he hasnt come to church yet. but i really feel like it will happen. ill let you know.
for like a year i have been playing the harmonica. ive gotten pretty good. i can play pretty much any hymn by ear. my comp told some members and they all said taht i have to present my tallent in a family home evening tonight. my comp also says that i have to do it in a branch activiy this saturday. i dont know about that but ill think about it.
well thats like all i have time for. just so you know only like 34 % of the first part i wrote was true. no one called me gringo stupid. ha but i love you all. the weeks are flying by. just four more. how crazy. have a good week. talk to you soon.
Elder Jacobson

Monday, August 6, 2012

Big Changes

 Elder Heywood comes back.  This was Justin's "Dad" or trainer.  He is back for a visit.
well its official.  the end of the begining.  the last change has started.  i think ive said this like 1000 times, but its so weird how fast the time goes.  it seems like i just got to this area, and i already have a half of a year here. 
   changes were cool.  they put on a special presentation for the group of people that were leaving to their houses.  it brought back a ton of memories because a bunch were from the group that came in with me and a lot were some of my best freinds in the mission.  imma miss those guys alot, but im planning on finding them after.  we already planned a trip to the snake river.  when i first got off the bus at the change meeting someone came up to me and said "Elder Jacobson, Heywood is here"  ha i dropped everything and ran inside, only to see my mission dad run up and give me a big bear hug.  it was so good to see him.  he left almost a year ago.  we talked for a while and after i wrote down my info to stay in contact.  then he walked away and came back with his hands full of candy and goody from the states.  hes such a good guy. 
   i had kind of a cool experience with the changes.  with elder velasquez i got along great, but he was ready to go home, and it was hard to really stay focused and work hard with him.  i was hoping they would send me a really hard working diligent missionary to help me end my mission well.  when they announced the changes i was a little worried.  my new companion is elder ortega.  he kind of has a reputation of being a lazy elder that doesnt really like to work.  i dont really like to listen to what others say about the missionaries, but i can say that i was thinking, how am i going to finish strong if my companion doesnt even want to work.  we said good bye to everyone and headed home.  in the house he was unpacking his stuff and i saw a jesus the christ book on the floor.  i picked it up and opened it.  by "coincidence" it opened up to a part that i had read before one time when it talks about the time when jesus walks on water.  i started reading.  it talked about how the apostles had been in the boat all night fighting with the storm,  they were exhausted and scared when christ showed up walking on water.  many were afraid and thought it was a ghost.  but christ calmed their fear with the words "fear not, it is I" (i think thats how it goes) but the cool thing is that the author explains that sometimes when we have worked hard for a long period of time (like i have here) when the help finally comes we think it is something bad, or something to be afraid of.  i thought that that could maybe apply whith my new companion.  i decided to trust the Lords descision and give it a try.
   its been cool because since then my comp has been helping me a ton.  something that i have lacked for a while is just really pushing hard and being bold enough to help people change thier lives.  and boldness is definately one of the strong suits of my new companion.  i love it because hes not afraid to tell any one to listen to our message and to be baptized in our church.  i have seen, and will continue to see how Gods ways are higher than ours.  He knew exactly what he was doing. 
   yesterday we saw a miracle.  we went to invit a member to church.  his wife isnt a member.  the member said he was going to go and bring his wife.  i almost didnt even want to beleive because he has been saying that for the past 4 months, and has never gone.  but sure enough about half way through sacrament meeting he walked in with his wife.  later we went and challenged her to baptism.  she said she wanted to, but not yet.  we will have to work a ton to make it happen, but i truly have faith.  ittl happen.
   well, what else to say.  when we went to go say good bye with elder velasquez to some of the members i told a lady that i was going to leave as well.  she imidiately started sobbing uncontrollably.  even when i told her it was a joke she wouldnt stop.  so we left her in her house alone crying.... i hope shes alright.  well that didnt really happen but you can imagine how cool it would be right.  i think its gonna be sad to leave.  i really love the members here.  who knows.  ittl probly be me sobbing uncontrollably.
   well i think ill finish up with that.  there is a ton of people waiting to use computers so imma go.  but i love you all.  enjoy the last of summer break.  remember only 5 weeks and isle be home.  im going to work my hardest untill the end and end it with no regrets.  have a great week.  talk to you later
         Elder Jacobson

Monday, July 30, 2012

Chill'n at the Beach

well how can i start.  today in the morning they took us to the beach.  supposedly we were going to play soccer and volleyball but it was too hot so we just hung out and took pictures.  the beach is so cool.  looking out at the vast expanse is like looking into eternity.  i tried to catch sand crabs but i didnt find any.
   saturday was really cool.  i dont know if i told you but for the past like 2 weeks all the elders in our zone have been practicing a tongan dance to perform in a stake talent show we did as an activity to find more investigadores.  ha it was tight.  we all made grass skirts.  they say like 1000 people showed up.  that might be an exaggeration but it was at least 600.  when we started dancing they all screamed.  it was a cool dance too.  someone recorded it ill try to get a copy.  after the activity we came home in a bus with all the members in our branch.  they all said "Elder Jacobson you lied to us"  they were referring to the times when i had told them i cant dance. its pretty common question i get because dancing is a big part of the culture here. the people who cant dance are considered like kind of the outcast of society.  so they all think its weird when i say that i , a bright tallented, athletic, fairly good looking young man, cant dance.  they all think that i mean here in the mission but i always say that if they had gone to my high school prom they would know that i honestly cant dance.  ha i guess that was kind of a tangent, but long story short, i had fun and the activity was a success.  

   changes are this week.  i already told all the members that i dont have changes.  which could be bad news if i do.  the truth is that it could go either way.  but i have a feeling i will stay.  either way ill be happy and will work as hard as i can till the end.  speaking of the end.  hard to believe that i am on my last change.  its like every month just goes by like a dream.  how crazy.  my companion elder velasquez finishes his mission tomorrow.  its been a fun three months with him.  ive learned a ton, and i really love him.  its gonna be hard to see him go.  but i imagine we will be in contact.  i still write elder platero almost every week and he is giving me advice to finish the mission.  its been cool to get to know so many people.  the mission is such a great experience.  
    well sorry but im out of time.  its late, im covered in sand, and we gotta get back to our area.  i love you all.  enjoy the snake river.  see you soon.
         Elder Jacobson

Monday, July 23, 2012


well. i dont have much to say. other than that is was the worst week of my life. hahah just kidding.
it acutally wasnt that bad of a week. but at the same time it wasnt that great either.
basically it went down like this.
sometime in the last week my comp and i were talking, and we realized that we werent working very effectively. the problem was (is) that we are constantly teaching and inviting people to be baptized, but that its always the same people, that have said no or that they want to wait like 50 times. what happens is that we are like in a comfort zone because its alot easier to just visit the same people that we already know then it is to try to find new people who will listen to us. so we basically went cold turkey and decided not to visit any of the regulars for a while. sometimes that helps alot, because the people recognize that they dont feel the spirit as much when we dont come, that way when we come back they are more willing to listen and keep commitments. so we pretty much just spent a week knocking on doors and asking for references from the members. but theres not that many memberrs and we have already asked them for references alot, so we didnt really find any one that way. knocking doors went about the same. alot of people just said no. its funny though because i dont feel really bad. i guess if people dont want to hear or accept that is there choice, we can only invite. i think that sometimes Heavenly Father feels the same way. like He is constantly inviting us to do things that will just make us happier. and sometimes we just ignore or reject the invitation. but if He can be patient with someone as stubborn and hard headed as me. who am i to lose my patients with others. "who am i to judge another when i walk imperfectly"
well on a little bit lighter note, i bought a nice hammock. ha it was pretty funny. i was out of milk and eggs (which is pretty sad because my two main meals are milk and cereal and beans and eggs) so i decided i would buy some while we were out working. i put 100 quetzales en my wallet. right as we got around the corner a salesmen came running up and asked me if i wanted to buy a hammock. before i could respod he already had pulled out a nice big hammock. it looked like nice quality so i asked how much it cost. he said usually it costs 350 to 375 (they always say stuff like that) but that he wanted to sell his whole supply by the end of the day so he was willing to drop to 225. i told him i didnt have that much. he asked how much i had. i reached in my wallet and pulled out the 100 bill. without saying a word he stuffed the hammock in a black garbage bag. tied it shut. grabbed my bill and walked away. we sat there for a few seconds wondering what had just happened. then my comp looked over at me and said. "well that was weird" so later we hung it up in our house. i like it. i was thinking about buying one any way so i guess it all worked out.
it still rains alot. in our district we have baptized 5 people and 2 families. i fell pretty good but i wish i could contribute a little more. but ill keep working as hard as i can. changes are next week. who knows what will happen.
well im out of time. i love you all. enjoy the cornacopia of events that are coming up. enjoy the river for me. have a good week. talk to you en 8 days
Elder Jacobson

Monday, July 16, 2012

time is short

well, you guys will probly kill me, but i only have like 166 seconds to write you. baisically i wrote a long letter to my president. and on top of that i took some time to organize the fotos en my memory so that they are more organized (go figure right) but long story short im low on time. but ill try to fill you in on the good the bad and the ugly.
weve been having some success with a new thing we started in our area. we wanted to have more help teaching lessons with the members. usually its better to go out with priesthood holders, but theres only like 3 in our branch and they can only help us like once a week, so we enlisted the help of the releif society. we did a little game where each time they came out with us they got a point. when they reach a certain amount of points we give them a prize. little things like pictures of jesus or church videos. almost everyday this week we had visits with members. and i think it is helping everyone to get excited about misionery work.
i told you about the family that we are teaching. on saturday we taught them and they said they would go to church again and they seemed realy close to baptism. yesterday we went to visit them again, and the husband said that he had found work on the other side of the country adn that he would be out of town for a month. man what a heart breaker. i felt so bad after, but i read some scriptures. ( the last part of jacob 5) and i felt better. i think we just gotta work a little harder, or a little better to see some real success.
so thats some of the good and the bad. i think i already showed you some of the ugly in the pictures i sent last week. the other ugly is that somehow i aquired a skin disease in my hand. basically what happens is that out of no where a bunch of tiny blister filled with fluid apear on my hand. usualy i pop them all because they look so gross, then once they are all popped my skin in that area dies and starts falling off. i think its leoprasy. but im trying to controll it with some creams from the witchdoctor down the street. but its all good.
life is good and im still working hard. sorry im out of time and my companions want to go. i love you all. keep it real . do wrok, and work
Elder Jacobson