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

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Last Week of Change Two

Happy Birthday Elder Jacobson

Justin and the 100 year old avocado tree

Some of the sites

Our handsome missionary

well another week has passed (past) by. its hard to believe how fast the weeks go by here. this week was a really good week for us. I could really see how we were blessed as we tried to be obedient and work hard. Even though we had a bunch of appointments fall through we were still able to make our goal of 10 lessons taught and we found 12 new investigators. kind of shows that even when things dont work out like you hope, Heavenly Father always has a way for us to keep his commandments.

so we only have one more week of this, my second change. when i started my mission one of the older elders told me every change goes by faster until its time to leave. and thats how i feel now, it went by super fast. when changes come, we usually find out tuesday and have to leave for the change meeting wednesday. I dont really know how long the average is of staying in one area, but im kind of hoping i get at least one more change here. i feel like some things are just picking up, and i dont want to leave right now. but i know that ill be where im supposed to be, so im not really worried too much about it. just enjoying the ride.

ha its funny, im trying to think of the highlights of this week and not a whole lot is coming to mind. i guess im just too much in the zone. i think the just in JUSTin stands for JUST too much in the zone. but there were two highlights that stick out in my mind. the first was that we found the tree (as you can see in picture 1 and 2). i dont know if you can see what im looking at in the picture, but that is a 100 year old avocado tree. just to give you an idea, there are about 50 branches, each with at least 10 avocados. ha thats over 500 avocados. unfortunately they still arent ripe, but we picked a few any way to ripen in the casa.

the other highlight was that the ward threw me a surprise birthday party. ha actually i think that they were just as surprised as i was. the truth is that they had a surprise birthday party for the bishops daughter, and after some of the festivities one of the members mentioned that it was my birthday too. ha so even far from home i had a well planned and beautiful birthday party, complete with friends food, music, and of course cake.

so other than that it was a pretty normal week. im just enjoying every day here. sometimes i take for granted how beautiful this mountain area is, but every time i take a moment to look close, im amazed by the beauty here. its incredible.

in other news the work with the ward is going along better than i could of thought. yesterday was our ward conference. and after the conference the stake leaders put on a meeting of how the ward leadership is to work, and where they should focused. everyone, including myself, learned alot. now all the leadership is committed to have ward council meetings every week, which will give elder heywood and i a way better opportunity to work with the ward.

as far as investigators goes it was kind of a tough week. we couldnt find any times to meet with some of our more promising investigators, but i think sometimes thats good because it gives them a chance to study and fulfill the commitments on their own. we have appointments to meet with them this week. the two most promising families are the monson family, and the miranda family. the miranda family is part member, the dad is a member and the mom isnt. but the mom has been coming to church, and i think they both really like it. and the monson family is related to some members, and i think they are kind of looking for religion right now. they both have said that they want to make some changes in their lives. so we are going to continue working with both.

well im low on time now. but just know that all is well here. im very well fed and taken care of. im learning so much everyday, and my spanish is coming along splendidly. i love you all, enjoy the week in work school, and whatever else you do . stay happy. ill talk to you next week. love

Elder Jacobosn

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Monday to the Family

well another week has gone by. Its nuts but we are in our second to last week of change 2 here. thinking about my first day here is like a dream, and the mtc is like another life. time is weird like that, it doesnt seem to go so fast until its gone. but it was a really good week this week, we got alot done, and i feel that the area is progressing nicely.

this week was a week of divisions. tuesday my companion left for a meeting, so i worked in my area with another companion, and wednesday in his area. it was a fun to work with someone different and see how he teaches and works. friday we did divisions again because my companion had to be in another area to do a baptismal interview. and saturday we spent most of the afternoon in the baptism, the dad of the family he interviewed asked elder heywood to baptize him, so that was a really good day. I really learned alot from both divisions. But it was good to be back with my own area and companion, on sunday.

sunday we left early as always to invite people to church, but no one we invited could come. I was kind of disappointed, but ive been trying to not let things like that get me down. we were happy to see when another of our investigators that we havnt seen in a while showed up on his own. just goes to show that if we do all we can, God will provide the way. We also did divisions on sunday. I went out with one of the members. he was an 18 year old recent convert who was baptized about 1 year ago, and is already the ward secretary, and getting ready to go on his mission, he is as they say here bien pilas. It was good, we got to teach one lesson, and i basically had to teach the whole thing. it was tough and i dont know how good i did, but it was a good experience for me. we got out of the lesson at about 5:45, and had another appt. at 6. the problem was that the next appt. was about 2 miles away, straight uphill the whole way. ha so we ran up this mountain in about 20 min, and arrived out of breath, and sweating. the good news was that we only arrived about 10 minutes late, and he was really excited to invite us in to teach, the bad news was that he was really drunk and could barely stand up. haha so that was a disappointment, but the rest of the day went really good.

so it was tough to reach all our goals this week because my comp was gone almost the whole week, and i was gone a bunch of days, but we did well and found 10 new people to teach. all in all it was a very good week. I learned alot, especially about faith, and how when we understand the atonement there is no problem in our life that is too big to overcome.

well im low on time for today, im going to try to organize my pictures so i have more room on my camera, so i cant write alot this week, but thanks for you letters, and for your prayers, and for your support. i love you all so much, but i try not to think about you guys too often, haha gotta stay focused. talk to you next week. Elder Jacobson.

Monday, January 10, 2011

halfway through change 2

Ya se fue otra semana. siempre no creo cuando ya es p-day otra vez, porque las semanas estan pasando tan rapido. la vida es buena aqui. ya pasé mi primera semana de cocinar mi propia comida. me gusta mucha el poder a escoger lo que voy a comer. yo como cereal todos los dias por desayuno. yo olvidé tan rico es tener cereal con leche, y aveces yo pongo bananos in mi cereal. por almuerso he comido los tomalies que recibimos por la navidad casi toda esta semana. y la cena siempre es juevos papas, frijoles con jalapeños, en a tortilla, que rico.

well there is my spanish update, the whole thing is about how ive been making my own food for the past week. its been good for me to see how to buy and cook for myself, its really made me grateful for all that i had back home. other than that it has been nice living on our own. there more stuff to do like clean dishes and sweep, and the stuff the family did before, but i like it, and i think im getting more prepared for life.

although we had another kind of tough week, the work here is going along nicely. some of our families aren't progressing like we had hoped, but we are finding new people, and making sure to stay busy. im learning alot about patients and faith, and what it really means to trust the Lords time. I keep thinking that we will be able to baptize certain families or people, but im coming more to realize that it just isnt time for them yet. i read an article in the december liahona that talks about how when we really understand the atonement, we have the ability and hope to know that God will always provide a solution for our problems, and that there is never room in our life for fear or worry. that helped me alot. but that being said, elder heywood and i are still hoping and planning for a baptism this month, you can all expect pictures very soon.

One of the highlights of the week was that yesterday we were able to have a good priesthood executive meeting. we met with the bishopric, and the elders quorum pres, and talked about how we could help the ward, and how they could help us. they were all willing to help, it was a successful meeting, and we have another planned for next week. at the end i made a joke about how the most important thing to discuss in these meetings was who would bring the refreshments for the next meeting. we all laughed, but then the bishop went to his truck and brought out a cake, jaja. i really feel good about what we did there, I think i said it before, but we are really planning on making some big changes here.

we werent able to work with our normal investigators this week, for various reasons, but we have been finding more. we met with a mother who had a really sick child, and the doctors dont know whats wrong. I was able to give him a priesthood blessing. i dont really remember what i said, but i was grateful for the opportunity to exercise the priesthood. after that we talked to the mom about faith and how according to her faith her son could be healed. then we asked her to pray, she reluctantly did, and as she prayed she started to say how she wanted to change her life and be better for her children. it was really powerful. they have been in the hospital with the son so we havnt been able to meet with them since, but im really hopeful for her family. we also talked only briefly to the dad of the godinez family, but it was a good meeting and he said he would try to come to a church activity.

so thats about all the really memorable events, other than the fly massacre we had in our house this morning, (we must have killed over 100,000.) and some really good moments i had in my study. its really been awesome to have so much time to study the scriptures.

Well thats about it for this week. I hope all is well there, and that everyone is enjoying this new year. i also hope that everyone took the chance to make a missionary plan, and think of someone you can invite to the church. I hope everyone is happy, the scriptures say we are here that we might have joy, so i think it would be a shame if we let any days go by without fulfilling our purpose. so be happy this week, and i will talk to you in another short seven days. I love you all, and am more grateful every day for the life that you have given me. talk to you soon.

Elder Jacobson

Another week is gone. not always think when it's p-day again, because the weeks are going so fast. life is good here. I spent my first week of cooking my own food. I like a lot of power to choose what I eat. I eat cereal every day for breakfast. I forgot so rich is to have cereal with milk, and sometimes I put bananas in my cereal. I've eaten by almuerS Tomalia Christmas we received almost all week. and dinner is always Thursday potatoes, beans and peppers in a tortilla, that rich.

Monday, January 3, 2011

año nuevo vida nueava

Well its hard to believe, but yes we have already reached a new year. Despite the fireworks and other celebrations, i think it still hasnt hit me how fast the time has gone. its crazy for me to think of where i was a year ago and where i am now. time is really a crazy thing.

not only another year, but another week has passed. this week was really good. One thing i didnt realize was that here new years is celebrated more than Christmas. so it was kind of tough. we literally couldnt get one single appointment for news years eve, and only variouse on new years day. it seemed like it would be a perfect occasion for 2 good days of knocking doors with everyone home and with family. But it turned that most people didnt like being disturbed in the holiday season. i guess it makes sense, it be like if vacuum salesman came to our house on Christmas eve. so this week was a little tough for me, it was frustrating because my companion and i really wanted to get some stuff done, but we kind of hit a wall. but we know that this is the work of the Lord, and that it will go forward, sometimes it just takes time i guess.

Despite that there was some good progress. Hermano armando is progressing very well. he told us about a peace he feels only when he is in the church with his family, and promised to read the book of mormon. we are planning on baptizing him the 18th of this month. ha now we just need to tell him about it. but its been amazing to see his life change as he does lives the gospel. something hit me this morning, that when we baptize him we will be giving his family the chance to be together forever. I think its pretty amazing. We also had a good lesson with a family called the Godinez family. the dad had alot of questions about the plan of salvation, so we taught him everything. it seemed to answer his questions, and they promised to read the book of mormon to know if they should get baptized. we went back yesterday to invite them to church. the parents said they were busy, but they told us they had been reading. so all in all the work is going forward well.

another good thing is that we had the opportunity to work with bishopric. we talked about some ways we could be more organized in the work, and they were very willing to listen. the ward really wants to put in effort with the missionaries. we also got a ward mission leader, and we are going to meet with him to see what more we can do. its kind of overwhelming right now, but i know that great things are going to happen as we establish and organize the work more. the hope is that even when we leave this area, the new missionaries will have everything they need to keep moving forward, and not have to start from scratch like we did.

So we moved into our new house. I cant believe how blessed we have been. the house is really big, and probably one of the nicer ones in this entire area. we have basically all new stuff because this area hasn't had anything in the past. we were going to make some weights out of cement for exercise, and when we asked a member where to buy cement, he told us he had weights that he never uses. so really we are living the dream here.

Well im running low on time now. but its good to know that in only seven short days ill be reading your email and emailing you guys again. So give my love and gratitude to everyone. I love you all, have a great week.

Elder Jacobson

P.S. all this work with the ward made me think of the time i waited before the mish when i could have been helping with the work. So i challenge everyone who reads this to look on pg. 221 (i think) of preach my gospel. its almost the last page and it talks about making a missionary plan. i encourage the family to make a plan, and also to start praying for and looking for missionary opportunities. and to find someone to go visit with the missionaries. you can report on your success next week.

P.S.S. tell the flints and grammy and grampy, and everyone else thanks for the packages. I really enjoyed them alot, and it meant alot to me to receive them

Well good by for real this time. i love you all.