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, May 30, 2011

Week 6

Hard to believe im in the final week of this change, this will be change five for me here in el campo misional. It was a pretty good week, it didnt rain alot and we had alot of opportunities to teach, so i cant complain.
well what can i tell you about this week. on monday we went to do a family night with one of the families in our ward. at the end we played charades, acting out some of the cards my comp and i had made. when it was my turn i drew my card and it said "caminando feliz" aka walking happy. ha i dont know why i always get the hard ones. i put a big smile on my face and started walking and the family started yelling things like "walking" and "super model" ha they didnt get it so i backed up and started again, but this time i put a bigger smile on my face and started skipping. this time they stated yelling out things like flirting and walking sexy. ha finally someone got it, but by the time it was done we were all busting up and we couldnt continue for like 5 minutes.
Another cool experience was last night. we did divisions so that we could cover 2 citas. i was with a member of the bishopric, and we went to teach the husband of a member. he had only let us teach him one time before and we could never get an appt with him, so we decided to show up by surprise (AMBUSH). his wife asked if he would accompany us, and he agreed. when the lesson started i asked if he had any questions and he told us he had seen in the bible something about Melchizedek, but he didnt know who he is or why he is so important. Ha i was a little worried. I feel like i know a little bit about Melchizedek, but i also knew that this man (his name is mario) knows the bible pretty well, and i wanted him to feel more confidence in us. so we started looking up scriptures and teaching him about the preisthood. it was cool for me to see how i could teach fairly well about a subject that i had never really studied. at one point he said " i would like to know who, out of all the people in the bible was after the order of Melchizideck" we responded that all the prophets and other men of God in the bible were priesthood holders. then i saw an opening for the fatal blow and asked said "Its important to know who had the priesthood in the past, but what might be more important is to know who has the priesthood of God today" he thought for a second and said I dont know i will have to study it more. I was about to tell him that we had the answer to that question and that we had evidence of how he could know who has it, but unfortunately one of his friends yelled into the window for him to come outside. Satan narrowly escaped defeat this time, but he is only Prolonging the inevitable. We have a cita with hno mario next suday.
Other good news, Gustavo, the young man that had problems with cutting has a baptismal date for this saturday. ha yesterday in church one of the members asked him if he knew when he was going to be baptized and he said on the 4th of june. ha i was stunned because we had never really set a date. Later in the day if my comp knew about that and he said, "ya, we talked about it on the phone and set the date a few days ago, i must have forgot to tell you" haha i dont know how he forgot to tell me, but alls well that ends well i guess. ill send pics next week.
Hna Josefina, the grandma of our recent convert didnt come to church yesterday. but i feel that she will get baptized soon. she said that the only thing holding her back is that she cant give up coffee. so we taught her about the word of wisdom and the blessings we can recieve, and we bought her a bag of coffee that isnt bad. she said she would start using that instead, and we are going to keep teaching her.
Well i think im at the point where im thinking more in spanish now than in english. ha while im writing you guys i keep wanting to write down the spanish word. its pretty cool. im just worried that im am going to be changed to have an american companion. ojala que no.
Well im out of time again. I couldnt write about everything, but those were some of the highlights. to close ill just tell you what i read in the book of mormon this morning. its in alma 62 vs 4. it talks about how moroni went from city to city and everywhere he went he raised the title of liberty. i like how i can apply that as a missionary. thinking of cities as the areas where i will be, i can raise a title of liberty in every area by making it better than when i found it. I think the scripture works for everyone. you should read it.
I love you all. have fun in your dance, engineering, gymnastics, reffing, working eating and whatever else you do with the 16 hours of daylight your given each day. until next week
Elder Jacobson

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bring the Rain

Another week passes in here in San Felipe. Hard to believe that time is passing so quickly. I think i left a week before the school season started, and now its about to be over, ha it doesnt feel like ive been gone that long, but at the same time it feels like its been forever. The rainy season has officially started, and its crazy how hard it comes down. like five times we have been in lessons and we have to stop because we cant hear anything with the rain pounding on the metal roofs. for a while i thought i might leave the shoe dryer you sent me in one of my areas, because it takes up alot of space and i wasnt really using it. but lately ive been using it like everyday. Thanks for the foresight mom.
This week was pretty awesome, we had some breakthroughs with a couple of investigators. We are working with a family who contacted one of the members, asking if he could help with their son because he had gotten into some bad crowds and involved in drinking and other things. Last week his sister told us that she thought he was getting better from what we were teaching him, but that i few days before he was cutting himself in the arms again. we kept working with him and teaching him things we thought would help. we read from the book of mormon about people who had been sinners, but repented and were healed in Christ. and more than anything we just tried to be good friends with him. The other day he told us that he felt like cutting himself again, but he went to read the book of mormon, starting in 1st nefi, and that after he felt happier and didnt feel like cutting himself any more. now he says he has some personal goals he wants to complete, but when he does them he wants to get baptized. Its pretty incredible the things the Gospel can do in peoples lives. We have another investigator that is the grandma of one of our recent converts. We tried to get her to go to church, but usually she would have something come up. so lately we have just been teaching her principles like faith, prayer, and the spirit, things like that. Yesterday , to our surprise, when we got to church she was there seated with her grandaughter. I could hardly believe it, I think the next time we visit her we are going to challenge her to baptism and see what her objections are, if she has any.
my companion and i are getting along well. the other night they had another disco in the building across the street from our house and they had the music super loud. Elder Lira said, cool, now i can teach you to dance. ha i tried to learn, but i think i just dont have it in me. in the end we both gave up and resorted back to wrestling, something i can actually do. I gave him a pretty good pounding.
I was grateful for the quotes you sent about charity, and how people just want to be loved and we cant love people if we focus only on the negative things that they do. I think alot of times we, as human beings, tend to focus mainly on the flaws that we see, and have a harder time seeing all the good things. not only in other people but in life. The other day we were walking down the street in the rain. I was looking down at the ground like i usually do when i walk, i dont know why, but ive just kind of developed the habit of keeping me head and eyes down as we go from place to place. Well for some reason, i raised my vision, and saw one of the most beautiful views i have seen. it was just super green with lots of big trees, and the sun in the sky, like something from a post card. A fact of life is that we are always surrounded by beauty, because Heavenly Father put us here on earth to be happy, but the majority of the time we just have our heads and eyes on the ground and fail to see just how blessed we really are.
I think this week im going to try to focus on gratitude, and on recognizing all of the blessings that i have.
Well i hate to say it but its time to go again. its been fun but it couldnt last forever. Keep working hard and finish the school year strong. theres no point in running a marathon if you decide to stop a few steps before the finish line. (I hope your making a book out of all these quotes im coming up with) I love you all so much, and im grateful for this chance to be seperated because it is increasing my love and gratitude for you all. DO WORK.
Elder Jacobson.

Monday, May 16, 2011


well as you may have guessed from the title, i got baptized again. I know that technaquilaly we should only do it once, but i had some free time and figured id give it another go around. ha just kidding. but we did have another baptism this week. last saturday was the baptismal service of Ruby xiloj and her little brother Fernando. We have been teaching them for some time now. Their dad is an inactive member, and their mom isnt a member. but they were always really smart and really eager to learn.
Saturday morning was pretty crazy, the baptism was supposed to be at nine and at 8-45 my companion hadnt come back from divisions in another area. when he showed up we took off running, only to find out that i was supposed to fill up the baptismal font (which i didnt do) and we didnt have cloths for Fernando and the church wasnt unlocked, and chairs werent set up, and it was already like 8 50. well to make a long story short, we ran around for the next hour setting things up and started the service at 10 30. but the happy ending is that it was a beautiful baptism. I got to baptize Hna Ruby and a member baptized fernando. the spirit was really strong, and when it was all over, everyone was really happy. On sunday they were both confirmed in sacrament meeting, and given the Holy Ghost. so it was a little crazy, but you know what they say, All's well that ends well.
Well to answer your questions about my companion, we are getting along very well. Something ive learned is that everyone has good and bad of them. The trick to being happy is dont think about the bad parts. Elder Lira is easy to get along with though. He has a pretty laid back attitude like me, so when dont really ever have any disputes. We made a deal that at the end of the day I would help him learn english, and he is going to help me learn how to dance. Apparently he was in like one of the top dance groups in nicaragua, so i figured i might as well take advantage of the opportunity to learn. Ha i have to admit, its freakin weird for me to be dancing at night in our appartment, but you know what they say, When in rome...
I liked what you said in your email about goals and doing them. Another thing ive realized is that the difference between those who are average, and those who are extraordinary is that the people who are great are always seeking change and improvement, while others are satisfied with where they are. Every where you look you will see that people are always on different levels. In sports, a career, or any type of skill, even in the mission with investigators, members, and missionaries, its the same. some people excel while others stay the same. And the difference is the desire to be better tomorrow than we are today. I think one of the coolest things about being alive is that every day we are free to choose if we will be one of the people who excel or not. I think that that is in a nutshell the purpose of life. but you know what they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat (but only one way to skin a frog...)
well in other news we have some other investigators that are positive for baptism. 2 of them have already told us they want to, but they just need some more time. Its really cool to see how the spirit works with people to help them learn, as they start to live the gospel. last week we had a class on how important it is that people pray. so we made the goal that if we taught someone we wouldnt leave the house until they said a prayer. its crazy to me that sometimes its so hard to get people to pray, satan really works hard to prevent people from doing it. but we have been working hard as well. I cant say that all of our methods were honorable, or even legal. but we have been true to our goal, and have had some really beautiful experiences when people finally kneel down and offer a sincere prayer. Its like i always say, Prayer is a metaphoracle hand grenade hurled into the rickety foundations of the kingdom of satan.
well unfortunately im low on time again. the good news is that the weeks go by like a dream, so ill probly wake up tomorrow and it will be p day again. you know what they say, Good bye just french for hello. I love you all. I love to hear that everyones doing well. keep me updated on the good news. and the bad news as well. Talk to you next week. Love
Elder Jacobson
P.S. Everyone go and get a breakfast burrito from betos, my treat.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Well its not really rainy seasons. actually its quite the opposite, aka sunny season. the people here keep telling me that its going to cool down, but it seems like every time they say that it gets a little hotter. Last night i fell asleep with my blanket on and my fan on at the foot of my bed. when i woke up i had kicked off my blanket and turned my body around so that the fan was right on my face. but im loving it here. we are starting to get to know the area and the members better. and we are starting to have a more investigators. the people are really receptive and the members help alot. on wednesday we went out with a member named hno rudy. he took us to an area where we had never been and started introducing us to people. we ended up finding like 6 people that day, and putting appts to go back with others. its awesome.
well what else can i say. tomorrow is dia de las madres here in guatemala. I think today we are going to go buy something for some of the moms in our ward. I think it will help alot to strengthen our relationship with the members. we just have to think of what to get them. there is a little dollar store by our house that sells all kinds of little knick knacks, and they sell tube socks there for like 3 quetz. I suggested to my comp that we buy those for the moms. he just walked away without saying anything. I think he was really excited about the idea. Im so creative.
Yesterday i had to give a lesson in the principles of the gospel class. I cant say that it was last minute, but i hadnt really prepared. and it was a tough lesson. i felt like the class room was 100 degrees, and i was dripping great globs of salty sweat that puddled up on the floor. but i guess that's just another experience for the journal. After church we ate lunch with hna mariah and her family. it was really good. she made this salsa out of tomatoes and cilantro and onions and lots of lime juice. after that we had a conference for recent converts that was put together by my zone leaders to strengthen them and encourage them to share the gospel. right as it was about to start my ZL elder cortez came to me and told me that i was going to dirigir (ha i cant remember the word) the meeting. I was kind of nervous, but i just had to read a paper, and there was only like 329 people there. no big deal. Later in the day we went to the appt that i told you about already. it was pretty awesome and the spirit was so strong. I just hope that the family can start exercising some faith to go to church. Then it will be in the hands of the Lord.
ha yesterday after i talked to you my companion woke up when i went in the room. he said he wouldnt be able to fall asleep again and that it was my fault. then out of no where he attacked me, and we wrestled like brothers for like a half hour. i won of course, but to let him feel like he was winning i let him put me in a choke hold until i fell asleep. I think he almost killed me. but somehow i woke up to see the light of day again.
Well im low on time and my zone is waiting for me to go play soccer. I dont know why, but they never start without me. maybe its because of how good i am. or it might be because im the only one with a soccer ball. ha i like to think that its the first.
Congratulations to johnny in his success. its crazy to think of how far he's come from the first time i taught him to do a back flip until now. i feel great pride knowing that i taught him everything he knows. my mind is called back to the words of the legendary nacho libre "Me and my friend think we are ready to go pro" Ha good work johnny, keep working hard
I love you all. it was so nice to talk to you yesterday. its weird to think but next thing we know we will be speaking again at christmas. Crazy. to the whole family, keep hangin in there and working hard. remember that the gospel is what makes us happy and that obedience to the commandments is what will bring us true blessings and happiness. Remember that we are always doing better than we think, but we are never doing good enough ( i thought of that just now, and yes you can quote me). Lastly i encourage everyone to look for people that the missionaries can teach. i have seen the difference between a ward that helps the missionaries and a ward that doesnt and its like night and day. I love you and always pray for you. Hasta el otro lunes
Elder Jacobson

Monday, May 2, 2011

Some Big Changes

well, changes came around again. ha for some reason i was more nervous this time because i thought that there might be a chance that i would get changed. Always before when it was time for changes i was pretty sure the i was going to stay in the same area, but now i dont know what to think, im so confused. ha but surprisingly enough im going to be here in area central for at least six more weeks, im excited this area is tight, and im sure that we are going to have alot of success. the big surprise was that my compañon elder platero did get changed. I was kind of sad, because we got along really well, but i guess thats how the mission goes.
my new compañons name is elder Lira, he is from nicaragua. i was really happy to have a latino compañon again because i can tell my spanish improves alot when i cant go back to speaking english every time that i run out of words in english. I like elder lira alot, he has about 1 more change than me and he is our district leader. hes a good missionary and a hard worker. but i dont really know that much about him because we have only known each other for like 4 days.
this week went well. Our focus for the week was finding new investigators because we only had like two that we were teaching. we started our search in the area book that has all the records of past investigators. so far we have only found one family, but when we got there they said, what a miracle that you came, we thought the mission werent going to come by any more. on top of that hno luis took us to a family that he has been teaching. they seem really positive, and the two children came to church on sunday. we are planning on giving them a baptismal date tonight. also the brother and sister fernando y ruby came to church and we are going to try to baptize them this saturday. so things are looking good for the work here.
I think the main challenge in this area will be retention. as far as i can tell like 50 percent of the people here were baptized in the church at one point or another, but now hardly any come. were are going to have a ward council meeting to see what we can do to reactivate and retain the less actives and recent converts. we may have to start burning down the houses of the people that dont come. i hope it doesnt come to that, but in the end, its for their own good right.
so besides changes there wasnt alot of exciting things that happened this week. besides that i sang another solo in church, ha just kidding. but we did have one really cool experience where we went to eat dinner with a family of members. i always feel bad because they love giving us things here, and i feel like we never do any thing to pay them back. the family is all girls, consisting of the mom and her four daughters. after dinner we asked if we could do anything for them and the mom asked if we could give her a blessing because she was sick. my comp blessed her, and after she asked if we could bless her other daughters. we asked if there was anything wrong, but they said they have just been going through some hard times and could use some comfort. I think i had never realized before what a blessing it has been to always have the priesthood so close in my life. but it was a great opportunity to bless them and feel like i was doing something to help them and not just eat their food. when we finished, hna diana (the mom) had tears in her eyes. i was really grateful.
well i dont know what else to say. you may have noticed that my email came late this week. that was because all the computers were being used this morning and we had stuff to do, so we asked if we could come back later, and here i am now. the only problem is that now we are a little late for our first appt.
but i love you all. thank you for your support and love. keep hanging in there and stay strong in the gospel. im starting to see alot that all the commandments and things we do in the church are just to make us happy. so keep doing the things, and keep being happy. what else is there
Elder Jacobson