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, January 30, 2012

January 30, 2012

I couldnt think of any creative titles. I dont even know if that is the right date, but hey i guess its like the advice i always give to the dawg ¨the only wrong date is the one you never go on.¨ bwahahaha
well another week has passed. i have to say that it was a pretty good week. i would like to tell you all about it, but they changed the rules on the use of internet and email. they say that missionaries have been sending too much personal information home, so the new rule is that we aren´t aloud to share any experiences or write anything personal. we can only talk about things we have learned in our study and share our testimonies. Its like the advice i always give to lil´ John (johnny) ¨loose lips sinks ships¨
On tuesday Elder Amado of the quorum of the 70 came to talk to us. I have to say that it was quite an experience. the rumor is that whenever a general authority comes they like to scold the missionaries and tell them all the things they do bad, so i think everyone was a little nervous for what he would say. but it was quite the opposite. when he first got there he took time to shake everyones hand and talk to them a little bit. President Maravilla spoke. I always love it when he speaks because he is so pumped about the missionary work that i always leave feeling really excited to work. After President Maravilla Elder Amado spoke. It was pretty crazy because he started talking at about 11 30. at the beginning he told us that if we needed to use the bathroom we could reverently leave at any time, but that we werent going to be taking any breaks. He spoke from 11 30 to about 4 in the afternoon nonstop. but the cool thing was that i didnt feel the time at all, I didnt even notice how much time had gone by. He didnt even really have a topic or a prepared talk. it was just him being led by the spirit. it was pretty awesome, i took alot of notes and left feeling really edified.
On saturday we have the baptismal service of Hna amparo. It was a great baptism. we had a ton a support from the members, which always makes things better. on top of that her husband and children (2 sons) who arent members, came to the service. when they first walked in they looked uncomfortable, like they didnt really want to be there. but then the service started and we sang the first hymn ¨teach me to walk in the light.¨ it was cool to see how their attitude changed. i could tell they felt the spirit. in her interview she had said that she would like the bishop to baptize her, but the bishop had an emergency with his wife, so we asked her who and she said i could do it. the first time we had challenged her to baptism she said that the reason she hadn't done it before was because she was afraid she would drown. so when it was time for the baptism i could tell she was really nervous. but we went on as normal. i said the baptismal prayer and began to dunk her, but as i started she got scared and started trying to fight to keep her head out of the water. Luckily i have been going to the gym for about 3 months, and she is a little Guatemalan women. so i slammed her WWF style. ha just kidding but a little bit, i had to kind of force her because she was scared. it wasnt the most graceful baptism, but the witnesses said it was good. Yesterday she showed up early and was confirmed a member of the church and given the gift of the Holy Ghost. After all the trials and hard times, it really is worth it to be a missionary
well, what else can i say. its still hot as ever here. sometimes i think i dont drink enough water, but if i get really thirsty i just lick the sweat off my arms. The other elders only tried one ambush on us, but we counter attacked and sent them with their tails between their legs. i think they realized that our tactics and training are far superior to theirs. they wont be trying again too soon.
we are only about a week away from changes and the end of Elder Plateros mission. im kind of nervous because im one of the people who could be on the list to be changed. but im a ways away so i wont think about it much.
well im low on time. But i hope everyone there is having a good time and enjoying the snow. January is almost over, and time is going fast. can you believe that i am down to about 5 changes. hard to believe. but i love you all. keep hangin in there and Doowun wook (doin work). Have a good week. Send pictures of the bathroom. GOODBYE
Elder Jacobson

Monday, January 23, 2012


well hello family jacobson. i hope you are found happy and healthy today. 1 week has finished as another begins. it never ceases to amaze me how time is like clock work. think about it, there has never, in all of modern history, been an instance when 1 week has finished without another one starting right after. i guess its just another sign that we are not alone in the universe, and that the ancient egyptians invented light bulbs with orange juice. If any one didnt understand that you need to watch history channel more. ALIENS ARE REAL So this week went by pretty normal. we continue to work hard, and the lord continues to bless us. things were a little harder because of the fair in san seBASTIN. it was pretty big, a ton of people came. the hard thing was that we couldnt find any one in their houses. but we always had things to do. The traditional dish here is called Chojin ( pronounced show-heen) its like a soup made out of roast beef. but its really good. we ate it for lunch on tuesday and wednesday, dinner on thursday and lunch on sunday. I dont really know how they make but they said they could get us the recipe. i think the secret ingredient is eye balls, because every time a lady in our ward gave it to us she always had two eye patches on. ha it happened in like three different houses. I dont know why i swallowed an eye... perhaps ill die. ( i just made that up) the new elder Elder lezcano bought one of those tiny airsoft guns in the fair, and he kept shooting us even when we told him stop like a thousand times. So on saturday my comp and i bought some of the big pistols, that were equipped with lazer and flash light features. we got home a little early and set up our ambush. first we shut off the breakers so they couldnt turn on any lights. we also put on our suit jackets, (it was something like james bond) then i layed on the floor behind the bed and my comp hid in the other room. when they got home they stood confused in the darkness like 3 blind mice (there was only two of them) then with a movement similar to that of a lightning bolt striking a palm tree (ive seen that) I silently attacked. first i shot elder Skousen and saw him run into the room where my comp was. i shot elder lezcano once in the leg and he ran out the door. i lept to my feet and ran out the other door as my comp terminated elder skousen. i got out the door just in time to cut off elder lezcano in his retreat, and gave him two in the chest. he turned around to go back into the house, but my comp cut him off again. once we had the victim surrounded we laid into him with everything we had. ha when we were out of bullets we both fell to the ground laughing at how perfectly the ambush had gone off. MISSION COMPLETE. on tuesday we taught hna letis friend, her name is amparo. we challenged her to baptism again, and she said that she wanted to keep listening, but that she wasnt going to get baptized. but then we taught her about the restoration and we watched the movie of joesph smith. when it was over we challenged her again and she accepted without any problem. it was amazing to me to see how the spirit could touch her heart so easily. im sure that it was nothing we said or did. it was just because the spirit was there and she felt good with the descision. now i just wish more of the members would get involved. if they invite their friends, its almost sure that they will accept the gospel, but most think that it will never happen so they dont even try. but we will keep working. Well as you know wednesday was my birthday. i thought it would be a normal day and that nothing out of the ordinary was going to happen. i hadnt really said anything to the members, and no one had said anything to me. but we had an appt with macedono, so we went to his house at 5 o clock. when we got there he was waiting outside and said that his family hadnt shown up yet. we said we could at least talk to him, so he told us we could go in. then he opened the door, and all of his family yelled surprise and held up a cake. i was really full of gratitude. that day hadnt gone that well, and i wasnt really happy. but when i saw all the people there that loved me, i really had to re think, and realize how blessed i really am. i think sometimes we get so bogged down with the little things in life that we fail to open our eyes and see all that we really have. after the cake the family went around saying nice things to me. its a tradition here. then i had to say some words. (i didnt cry) so thats about how my week was. sometimes hard, but always worth it. im happy and ready for another week. thanks for your prayers, and the birthday letters that everyone sent, they were really beautiful. have a good week. always be grateful for what we have, because we have alot. Finish the book of mormon, and start a gain if you want. i love you all. until next week Elder Jacobson

Monday, January 16, 2012

Eating Soap

Im going to start this weeks email by sharing a true spiritual experience. It
all started when i received my christmas package on january 6th. i was a little
perturbed, but then i remembered that i dont know the meaning of perturbed, i
felt better after that. i opened the package, anxious and excited to see what
goodies awaited me. in an instant all 4 of my senses were filled with the
sights sounds and smells of the christmas season, and my heart was filled with
the christmas spirit. then a precurious object caught my eye. it was not
large, the size of a dead mouse perhaps, but something about it called my
attention, like the 1 true ring of power calls the attention of a weary ork (that
was an assimile). the object was of curious workmanship. it had 2 eyes, a
childlike smile, and 3 gumdrop buttons. all the elders in the house shed tears
of joy as we came to realize that it was Christmas fudge in the form of a
gingerbread man. each of us vied for the chance to take the first bight, but
finally my wise comp spoke with the voice of reason and said that since it was
my package i should take the first bight. i had to calm my nerves as i slowly
untied the dainty gold ribbon and pulled off the plastic covering. then
waisting no time i lifted the fudge to my lips and bit off the arm. as i chewed
a strange sensation came into my mouth. It was soap.
well this week went well. it went by super fast, hard to believe that
we are already into the middle of january. not a whole lot of exciting things
happened but ill fill you in on the highlights.
this week we continued working alot with the members. we tried to go
back with everyone that we had taught. we asked them if they had went to talk
to their investigators, most said no, but a few said yes, and that makes me
happy. 1 cool thing is that the members tell us that one of our recent
converts, macedonio, and his wife have started inviting people to church. how
cool huh, they say that you can tell the level of someones conversion by how
great is their desire to share the gospel. on top of that we would ask if they
had started reading the book of mormon. all of them said no. its tough because
here no one has the habit of reading. but everytime they said no we told them
to get out their book of mormons ( 1 book, multiple mormons) and we read the
first 3 or four chapters to get them started. i think it may be some work, but
i really want to get this ward to read the BOM.
yesterday we saw some fruit of our labor. 1 hna, Hna leti, told us she
woke up at 4 to make breakfast and get ready so that she would have time to go
get her friend for church. and she came. after church we took her into a
class room and challenged her to baptism (our leaders get mad at us if we wait
any longer than that haha) she told us that she had never been baptized because
she feels like she is going to drown. we told her that faith means leaving
behind her fear to do what God wants, and she agreed to be baptized. ha we dont
have a sure date, but soon enough i think.
a few days ago i was studying faith. it always amazes and confuses me
how faith is all that is required to work miracles. i was pondering alot about
it and the story of jesus and peter walking on the water came into my mind. so
i looked in jesus the christ to read about it. is pretty awesome what it says
there. it says that we as humans cant fathom the physics required to make water
support the weight of a man. but faith was the power required to make this
miracle happen. To me its so crazy to read things like that. Faith is the
power to control the particles and intelligences that make up the universe.
faith can do anything. how cool.
right now is the city fair in san sebastian. in my city they make a
special traditional dish that they dont make anywhere else in the world. so for
this whole week people are going to be coming from all parts of guatemala to our
tiny city. the members tell us that usually they dont let the elders leave during
the fair because its only drunks, and no one wants to listen to us any way.
they havent said anything to us, but imma going to ask today.
so yes the package came. thanks to everyone for everything. my comp
wants me to send a special thanks for the beef jerkey, he loves that stuff. and
thanks for the reading lights. usually at night we connect them to the shoulder
straps on our back pack and pretend we are master chief off of halo I II and
III. its not that exciting, but we entertain ourselves.
well thats about the week. it was fun and the work is moving along.
thanks for everything. I love you all. hang in there and keep trying to
spread the gospel. good luck in work and best birthday wishes to you all.
Elder Jacobson

Monday, January 9, 2012

Birth and Death: the circle of life

well i have been experiencing both faces of the mission in my house for the
last week. as i already said this will be the final change of my companion. i
was worried a little bit that he was going to have trouble working and focusing
because he is on his way home. but i have been delighted to see how it has been
opposite. instead of going down he has picked up his effort and wants to finish
strong. its been tight. on the other hand i witnessed the birth of a greenie
this week. its been cool with him. he hasnt opened up a ton, but i think thats
pretty normal when someone is starting. but hes a good guy, his name is elder
lezcano and he is from panama. i asked him if he had ever heard of the panama
canal and he only responded by spitting on my shoes. ha i dont know what that
was all about, hes kind of weird, but hes a good person and i can tell he is
going to be a great missionary.
I enjoyed the work this week alot. last week we decided to change a
little bit the way we work. we have noticed that alot of people like to listen
to us, but its really hard to get them to come to church or accept other
commitments. the secret in this area, and in all areas, is to work with the
members and have them help us find and teach people. so we didnt visit
investigators hardly at all. what we did is make a list of all the families in
the ward and then made the goal to visit all of them. so this whole week we
have been visiting members. when we go we do basically the same thing in all of
the houses. we teach the doctrine of Christ. then give them a paper that they
can use to write the name of references. then we talk about the book of mormon
and help them make the goal to read the whole thing as a family, and give them
another paper where they can mark each chapter as they read it. its funny
because we both felt that that was the right way to work, but i still felt
hesitant. it took alot of faith for me to not go and visit the investigators
that we have. but in the end we saw great results. the ward was really excited
in church on sunday. they had thier first ward council meeting in like 8
months. they organized the home and visiting teachers. and in the afternoon a
pretty big group went out to visit the less actives. we also heard the bishop
and a few others talk about how they had read the book of mormon as a family and
how they had felt a change in their houses. so it was pretty cool. we still
dont have any positive investigators, but i know that if the ward keeps working
like they are the baptisms will come.
on wednesday it was the birthday of the daughter of our cook. that
lives right in front of us. her name is hna marta, and her daughters name is
adela. the day before hna marta gave us money to go buy fireworks with the
instructions to light the fire works off in front of their house at 5 in the
morning. haha its a funny tradicion here. but it got even funnier because we
passed by again in the night to tell her everything was ready, and she had more
instructions for us. she said that she wanted us to light the fire works then
wait with a cup of water. then when adela came out we were supposed to throw it
in her face. haha man im laughing thinking about it. at first no one wanted to
but then we all agreed and made an oath that we would all throw water. so we
went through with the plan and every thing came out good. ha i still dont
understand what went on in hna martas head, but she was pretty pleased with our
well i hate to say it but im low on time today. but life is good. i
feel like we are making progress in our area. the district is working hard.
mango and avocado season is about to start. what more could i ask for. I love
you all. its good to hear that the familia yecopsen (thats us) is still doin
work and PWNING. ill pray for you all that everything goes good with work and
school this week. thank you all for fasting for us. im posotive that we are
going to see great results this week. Read the scriptures and go invite someone
that isnt a member to go to church. I love you all so much. good buy until
next week.

P.S. the answer is a
red car

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year - Life New

Heres a riddle for the family. I think that it is going to stump you all and give your noggins a good work out. What has 4 tires, a wind-shield, a steering wheel, seat belts, and red paint. Well i wont give you the answer, im going to let you think about it and get super frustrated in the process. bwahahaha ha.
well ladies and gentle men its true. another week, another month another change and another year have all passed by in the blink of an eye. hard to believe i know. this year has had ups and downs, but at the end of it all i have to say that 2011 treated me well. But i guess now its time to move on. one of my new years resolutions is to get married before 2013. it might not be easy, or even very wise, but goals are supposed to make us stretch. haha bring on another year.
This week was a good one. nothing super exciting. we worked hard and had little successes here and there that helps us keep moving forward. we still dont have any one that is positive for baptism, but something ive seen (maybe i already told you this) is that if we search and work hard, Heavenly Father provides the people, so im not too worried. My comp is on his last change (by the way they already told us about our changes. the only one thats leaving from our district is elder caceres. im going to stay wit Elder Platero and Elder Skousen is going to be a father (hes training) How dope) so i think Elder Platero will have to battle a little bit to not think about his house all of the time. i understand him a little because the day i called you guys i tried to read scriptures before the call and i couldnt focus on anything, so it must be like 100 times harder for him. but he wants to work hard and finish with baptisms, so it will be good.
Here they celebrate new years exactly like you would expect it. they burn a ton of tires in the center of the village and then throw buckets full of dog and pig and chicken legs into the gaping throat of the hungry leaping flames. i dont really know why. i guess they like the way it smells or something. haha just kidding. the big thing here is fireworks. the tradition is that you eat dinner then wait for midnight. at midnight you burn all of your fireworks. and every one gives each other a hug for new years. then alot of families will say a prayer. after that just chat until everyone falls asleep. out of all those things i only participated in dinner. one of the hermanas from our ward invited us and made a special dinner. it was cool to see how happy she was to take us into her house and give us the very best that she had, just because she loved us. it was a happy night for me. we went to bed at like 10 (earlier than usual) because we were all exhausted. i only woke up at 12 because they lit off like 1000 bombs in front of our house, but then i fell asleep again.
before dinner that night we went to visit a less active member named david. we just talked for a while then said a prayer and left. the next day we saw him again and he told us that before we came he was having trouble fighting the temptation to go get drunk ( another new years tradition) but that when we came he had the strength to stay in his house with his family. its not really a huge story, but like i said, little successes that make it worth what we do.
in our building there are 2 wards that attend. its funny because there is kind of a rivalry between the 2 wards. yesterday there was confusion about the time and both wards showed up at 8. ha it was actually pretty cool, because they all know each other. but the funny thing is that i think there was a little bit a competition to see which ward would have more people bear their testimony. so people just kept getting up. sometimes there was a line of about 6 people waiting. haha long story short our 1 hour meeting ended up lasting about 2 and a half hours. but i loved it. i felt the spirit strong. especially when one hermana from our ward talked about having patients to let God answer our prayers in His time. it reminded me alot of the need to wait sometimes for things, even the good things, that we want.
So all in all it was a great week and year. im ready for another. January should be a great month. Still no sign of the package, but i think any time soon it will be here. I love you all have a great week.
Elder Jacobson