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, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

first of all i would like to say Happy Halloween. Second of all i want to say that you cant laugh at me for spelling things rong, all of the computers here only speak el espanish, and they mark with a red squiggily underline every word i right. on top of that the spelling rules are way different in spanish. i never realy realized how weird the english language is, until yesterday when i told my comp how to say cough, and he asked me to spell it. can any one explain to me how the letters in cough are pronounced with an f sound. ha, so next time you decide to laugh at me, try taking a nice gander around the park in my shoes.
well it was a good week. an area in my district had an investigator that was close to baptism, and we wanted her to be baptized this saturday, so we spent alot of time in the other area working with her. and finally after all of the work she agreed to be baptized next saturday, but we are super happy. its not the day thats important, as long as it gets done.
on top of that we spent time preparing Hno Marvin for his baptism on saturday. ha Marvin is the young man that we met last week in the church that agreed to be baptized. the word joven in spanish means young man, or young women. but the baptism went beautifully. all of his family came and gave alot of support. the service went through without problems. (even though we started about a half hour late as usual). after the ordinance we gave marvin a chance to share his testimony. he could barely find words. his eyes filled up with tears and he talked about how he was going to be a different person from now on. it was super powerful for the whole family.
after the baptism we started running around like crazies trying to get ready for the ward activity we had planned. we had to kick everyone out of the church real quick. the activity was that we gave everyone a bunch of paper money, and they could buy treats or play games. but they also had the opportunity to pay their tithing. in the end we let everyone who had paid tithing enter into the sacrament meeting room to rest while everyone else was left outside. i was in charge of the game you play with water balloons and towels. everyone really liked it and would usually pay like ten times in a row. the activity was a success. alot of people came and really enjoyed themselves.
well today we are going to be changing houses. its my third time changing houses. its usually kind of a hassle, but fun at the same time. we are going to move right after this.
in other news the rainy season ended. now we just have the blistering hot season. ha the sun comes down so powerfully. but im loving every minute of it. im really working on trying to devote my whole self to the mission and not hold any thing back. ive found alot of happiness when i spend more time thinking about others than myself.
so in the end it has been a fun week. we are now looking forward to the temple dedication and alot of success that will follow. i love you all. save me some candy. read the scriptures. have a good week. prepare for thanksgiving and for the great and dreadful day of judgement . good bye for now.
Elder Jacobson

Monday, October 24, 2011

it was the best of times, it was the worst of times

in case any one is wondering, the title is actually a line from a book written by moby dickens. he writes really good, and well too. but i guess that line describes a little about how my week has been. monday through friday were pretty challenging. not for any reason specific. i think the main problem was is that the elder that was here before me was about to leave for his house, so they werent really working to find investigators that much. so now that im here we have (had) no investigators. every day we would go out and talk to as many people as we could, and mostly we visited members to see if they knew any one we could teach, but we couldnt find any one. almost the whole week we went without teaching one lesson to an investigator. on top of that i left the area of few times to go to the areas of other missionaries in my district (there is 3 companionship's in my district). its kind of tough because i have to keep track of all the investigators in my area (which are none) and in the other areas as well. so it was a little difficult to get my bearings. and we are coming up to the end of the month. but i learned a great lesson about faith and patients. i was looking in the book of mormon when i came upon mosia 24. it talked about the people of alma when they get put into bondage by the lamanites, when they were doing nothing wrong. but i really liked a verse towards the end of the chapter that says that they supported all their afflictions until they got to a point when their faith and patients was so great that the voice of the lord came to them saying that they would be freed from bondage the next day. after i read that i decided that i wasnt going to stress alot about not having investigators or any of the challenges. i decided to trust heavenly Father and have patients, knowing that if i did my part, He would do his.
so we kept working hard, and things definitely worked out. 2 cool things happened. the first was when we went to our ward mission leaders house. we told him that we wanted to do a mission correlation meeting. he seemed excited, and he told us about how before the ward used to always do all of the meetings, such as ward council and executive committee. but he told us that lately all of the leaders of the ward have been kind of lazy, and havent been doing really anything. and as a result, the wards success has been dropping lately. we talked about the problem and decided that if we wanted to get any work done here we would have to get the members to get to work. i think i always took for granted how much work really goes in to keeping a ward running. so any way, between the three of us we made a plan to get the members, especially the leadership working in our ward. I think we are really going to make a big difference here.
the other cool thing was on sunday. the bishop pulled us out of sunday school and said he needed to talk to us. he took us into a room and sat us down with a young man that had about 15 years. he then explained that the joven has been coming to church for about a month and he isnt a member, then left us alone. so we taught him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and invited him to be baptized and he accepted. ive realized that one of my specialties here in the mission is that when im not having any success whatsoever Heavenly Father sends us someone that is prepared for the gospel. today we are going to talk to his family and make all of the arrangements for the baptism. how awesome.
well im getting along great with my new old companion. ha hes super funny and we pass most of the day laughing. i like being with him because he has developed the ability of listening to ideas of others, while still putting in his input. so basically i never feel like he is trying to control me, but at the same time i dont feel like i have to do everything.
so like i said, im happy. things are good here. the future looks bright and we are working with alot of animo. but i gotta go. have a great week. work with all the strength you have. here is a quote i wrote to get you through the week. ¨If the whole world doubts, criticizes, mocks and hates you, trust yourself and work with confidence. Then you will almost be on the same level as Leonel Messi¨ ha i love you all.
Elder Jacobson

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


well like i said its tuesday. sorry i couldnt write yesterday, the recovery isnt going as planned and they wouldnt let me out of the hospital yesterday, so they had to find a laptop to bring to me here. haha just kidding. no the truth is that yesterday the power went out in the whole town where i am (in my new area) so we had to wait until today. but dont worry all is well and i am happy. well last week were changes. the day of changes was quite an experience, not really for me, but for the mission as a whole. i guess a huge storm hit and all of the roads were flooded. luckily we left early to come into reu, so we avoided alot of problems, but alot of other zones werent so lucky. alot got stuck or separated and couldnt get to the meeting. we were blessed and protected. no one was hurt, and now everyone is safe and happy. the change meeting had two big surprises for me. the first was my new companion, who actually is my old companion. haha you may remember hearing me talk about elder platero. well sure enough the dynamic duo is back together. I think its the first time that that has happened in the history of the church, or maybe just the history of the world. i couldnt believe it, and no body else can either. but im happy. the last time we were together it was only for three weeks, but we got along very well. he has been a few months without baptisms, so we are both ready and willing to work hard. it should be a good change or two together. the other surprise was that they called me to serve as district leader. Its not a huge deal, mainly im just supposed to help other missionaries, and make sure they are working effectively. it should be a good opportunity to learn and grow, and get to know alot more people so im excited. when i left san pablo my main regret was that i didnt do alot to help strengthen our branch there. my last 2 weeks there we started doing more to help the members, but i felt like i could have started earlier. so i was kind of hoping that i would get sent to an area where i could do alot to strengthen the ward or branch there. and sure enough Heavenly Father gave me according to my desires. my new area is san sebastian, here in reu. my comp told me that lately the ward has been kind of going down. he said the attendance has dropped by like 20 people and that none of the members have any "animo" (remember that word) so im excited for a challenge, we have made some plans to get people excited about the temple open house and see who we can find of investigators. but i love my area. the members love the missionaries and take care of us. the weather is normal, hot and rainy and i love it. the food is good. the church is true, what more can i ask for. well im low on time today, but i just wanted to share an experience to finish. there is a man here named hno Job, like from la biblia. we always eat breakfast at his house. he is an older man, and is crazy, in an awesome way. ha when we get to his house usually he greets us by saying, in english "hey boy whatsamatta you", i love him. but today as we were leaving from breakfast i shook his hand and he looked me in the eye and said, "le aprecio mucho" ha you will have to look up what that means because i dont remember the translation of aprecio, but it basicly expresses gratitude and love. but it caught me off guard a little how sincere he was. i realized that something we dont do enough is give sincere complements. so i challenge all of you to go and look for chances to complement someone. your life will be better if you do. well have a good week. enjoy your new truck. enjoy the snow when it comes. have fun in school and work and in everything you do. share the gospel with everyone you can. keep the commandments. I love you all Elder Jacobson

Monday, October 10, 2011


Well this week there is good news and bad news. the good news is that im alive and recovering. the bad news is that the mission isnt going to cover the cost for the operation, or for the medicine that they say i need to take. but i think i should still have enough in my personal account. if not the mission doctor will probly be sending you an email. ill let you know what happens.
any way, this wednesday is changes. ha usually at this time i am pretty nervous wondering if i am going to leave or stay. but today i got lucky and already found out. what happened is that yesterday the zone leaders called my comp to tell him that he had to go to the mission office today because he is going to be training this change. they also said that everyone that trains new elders is going to do it in their own area, which by default means that i am going to have to leave. the truth is that i am pretty sad to leave. i have grown to love the people here alot. especially the members. i dont know what we did to deserve it, but they really love us and do all they can to take care of us. ive enjoyed my time here alot and im nervous because today and tomorrow im going to have to go say good bye to everyone. but i guess thats how the mission is. i know ill get to know and love more people in the new area where i go.
in other news the electric company cut the light to our whole city of San Pablo again. ha its hard for me to understand how the problem go so out of control here, but thats how it is. i dont know if i explained it well last time, but what happens here is that the people decided that the electricity is too expensive, so they stopped paying their light bill. now the light company cuts the light every 3 or 4 months until people pay, then they put the electricity back, then the people stop paying again. ha i talked to one family that said they owned the light company more than 15000 quetzales. ha and they say about 75 percent arent paying. its crazy. now when we ask when the electricity will come back the people say the light company said that they arent going to put the electricity back on... ever. ha after wednesday it wont effect me, but my comp elder matute is going to be without electricity untill christmas. ha oh man, i cant understand it. the worst part is that we, by rule, have to be in the house by 7 when there is no light because its dangerous, so we lose alot of time to work. bad news, but we´ll keep going.
in other news yesterday we had a miracle baptism. ha i think i am seeing more and more how little i really do in this work. every single baptism i have i feel like i didnt do anything. in our branch we have a family of 8 that all got baptized about 7 months ago. one of the sons is named lismark and he is 20 years old and planning on going on a mission when he has a year of being a member. last sunday we called him to see if he wanted to play soccer with us for p day. when we called he told us that his brother had come home from being in mexico , and that he wanted to get baptized this weekend. so on tuesday went to their house and talked to him. sure enough he had gotten a terrible fungal infection in his feet and had to come home. when we showed up, he was excited to hear about the message of the restoration and accepted a baptismal date. we planned the baptism for the end of this weekend, but the branch president wanted to do it earlier, so we did it yesterday before church. then we was confirmed in sacrament meeting and ordained a priest in the priesthood session. so once again Heavenly Father is blessing us with opportunities to bless people and see some fruits of our labors.
well, i think thats it for now. i gotta go pack and cut my hair still. but i love you all. just think. at the end of this month it will be halloween, then thanksgiving, then christmas, then new years, then my birthday, then valentines day, then lonicas birthday. i dont really know what comes next, but the fact is that time, as always is going by fast. so live up every day. we only get one chance to live this life, so live it well. look for every chance you can to love someone and think about them more than yourselves. have a good week. talk to you next week from my new area. and by the way just ignore the first paragraph, it was a joke. Good bye
Elder Jacobson

Monday, October 3, 2011

General Conference

Wow, how crazy is it that another general conference has already passed, thats my third one in the mission. It was an awesome week that finished off with a bang. things are looking good here in san pablito.
This on tuesday we had a great conference con presidente maravilla. he has a good way of making us feel bad for the things we are failing to do, but then encouraging us and motivating us to be better. he gave us alot of things that we can, and need to, do. with the promise that if we do them we will see the fruits and success we are looking for. I committed to do the things he told us without delay or procrastination, and i am faithful that we will indeed see the fruit. at the end of the conference he played a video of a familia that was baptized and then went to the temple to be sealed. the spirit was so strong. I felt like something was squeezing on my chest, and had a hard time breathing. it really motivated me to go find a family that is ready to accept the gospel and be sealed as an eternal family. speaking of which, remember hno armando from La Grandeza. he and his family will be eligible in february to go the the queztaltenango temple and be sealed. wont that be a great day.
friday was an interesting day, because we finally got our acts together and changed houses. i was worried that we were going to end up staying there another month and paying way to much for a house that isnt that great. so we spent the whole afternoon moving. the problem was that it was raining buckets, and all we had to move with was a pickup. so we ended up just wrapping everything we had up in garbage bags. it was a pretty quick move, but because of the conference we havent unpacked anything. today in the afternoon we are going to have to go clean the old house and organize the new one. it will be tiring, but ill be happy to have it done.
sunday morning we were able to bring a whole family, of six, to the conference. they got there on time to watch music and a spoken word so i sat with them before going into the room where they had it in english. it was cool to see how the whole family just sat there staring at the beautiful images and listening to the choir. i think we take for granted how blessed we are to be members of the true church, because i think that the families idea of church is having their pastor yell at them for 3 hours. i think they really liked it alot. we are going today or tomorrow to invite them to baptism again. Pray for us. the other cool thing sunday night was when we went to teach another investigator. when we started the lesson we asked her if she had prayed about the things we had taught her. she told us she prayed about the book of mormon and felt a joy in her heart. we explained and testified that that feeling was from God and means that she needs to continue in what she is doing. it was a good lesson. hopefully she keeps coming to church.
well what else to tell you. General conference was amazing. i really took for granted before how much the talks can help us. i noticed that they talked alot to the youth, and especially future missionaries. i hope everyone went to the priesthood session and heard elder Hollands talk, because while i was listening to it i thought ¨ this talk is specifically for my brothers at home¨ they also talked alot about the scriptures and especially the Book of Mormon. what a great weekend.
Well changes are coming up again. we will see how it goes. alot of people think i will stay around another changed to complete the 6 months, but who knows. Ill go where He wants me to go.
its good to hear that things are going good there. looks like jalen finally started listening to my advice on how to play soccer. thats why he is goalin it up. have a good week. work hard. go online and watch the talks again. (especially Elder Holland in the priesthood session) I love you all so much. talk to you next week
Elder Jacobson