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, April 30, 2012

Crazy Week

well needless to say its been a crazy week. it started crazy and ended crazy, and it was pretty much crazy in between.
on tuesday we went to the temple. what a great experience. it seems like there was a ton of stuff i had forgotten. to be honest i think i forgot it all again since last week, ha but i remember that i felt the spirit and that it was just so peacefull and relaxing. i didnt want to leave, i dont think any one did, but in the end we had to go.
on tuesday night we planned the following day. but when i talked to the zone leaders they informed us that we would be having a conference with presidente the next day. so we went to that. it was so good. supposedly it was for all the people that are currently being trained, but im sure that i learned as much, if not more than anyone there. we talked about the doctine of Christ. Faith in Christ, repenting, being obedient to baptismal covenents, and the promptings of the spirit and enduring to the end. i felt like it was all targeted at me to make me finish strong.
on thursday i did divisions with one of the zoneleaders Elder Horne. it was good, we had some good lessons, and at the end he gave me good advice of things i could do to work more affectively . it helped alot. hes a good guy.
on friday we had the second half of the conference with president. once again i learned alot. he gave us alot of good examples of things we can start doing in our area and in the district. i felt way motivated to go do work.
on saturday we had a service project with the branch. we went into a huge tank of water that supplies water to the whole city to clean it out. all i can say is that i will never drink water from the tap again. while the water was draining we swept up, and there was like a foot of mud and sand, and worms and leafs, and all kinds of gross stuff. by the time we were done though it looked really clean. i feel better about the water. for now at least.
so in the end we didnt have a whole lot of time to work in our area. we didnt find a lot of new investigators or teach a ton of lessons, but we are making some progress. the branch is doing well. our attendance went up agian, and the new chappel will be done next week. so alot of good will happen.
well things ended with a bang when i got my plan de relevo. or releif plan. basically that is what they send to the old people who are on thier way out. how nuts for me. but i still have a lot of time left, and alot to do. changes are this week. we will see what happens. i hope they leave us here together so we can see some fruits of our labor. but we will see what happens. the lord knows best.
well thats about all the hightlights and im already out of time. i love you all. thanks for everyting and have a good week . talk to you in 8 days. (thats how they say seven days in spanish)
Elder Jacobson

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's P-day once again

well here i am sentado at the computer pooring out my feelings over the miracle that is E-mail. it was a good week, we continue to work hard and enjoy ourselves.
on tuesday we had another conference with the a member of the quorom of the 70 Elder Gavarret. it was really good. he is one of the heads of the mision department in salt lake. he taught us alot of cool things about how to work effectively and teach. but one of the things i liked most was that he told us that in everything we do we just need to trust the lord. sometimes its hard to get my head around the thought, but when you really think about it we have no controll over anything. as much as i sometimes dont like to beleive it, i dont have any power to touch people hearts, or make them change years of habbits and traditions. regardless of how hard and effective i work, i cant really make a big difference on my own. Heavenly Father on the other hand is in charge of everything. He knows every heart personaly, He doesnt need help in His work, He will do it, and do it perfectly. all i have to do is try my best to be an effective instrument in His hands to do His will. like i said, sometimes i forget or have a hard time understanding, but little by little im changing my thought process. its pretty cool.
well my book of mormon experience continued this week. like i said last week we gained the confidence of the counseler (the servents) but we still needed to win the trust and confidence of the President (the King). in my reading i realized that one of the secrets of both ammon and aarons success was that the spirit of the lord worked in both of the kings to convince them of the power of the misionaries, so i had been praying to have a spiritual experience with the president. on friday he agreed to go out with us. i was hoping to find some investigators to teach with him but no one was home, i thought he might want to go back home but he said lets try a few more, where else can we go. i started thinking and remembered a less active member who had been fighting with an alcohol problem, we heard he was drinking again so i said lets find him. we went there and found him and his wife in the house. we taught with the president and it was such a spiritualy powerful expierence. President carlos talked about when his son died and he wanted to go drink, but he wouldnt do it because he knew no good would come from it. alot of tears were shed (none by me of course). it was crazy. on sunday he couldnt stop talking about it he told everyone about the great experience he had going out with the missionaries, and encouraged everyone to do it. its just like in the book or mormon. how cool huh.
well freak im already out of time. i wrote a long letter to president marravilla today so i only had like 20 minutes to write. but its been a good week. we are trying to focus on opening our mouth and talk to everyone and we are finding alot of people to teach. i feel like more and more i am becoming completely submerged in the mission. tommorrow we go to the temple in xela, im so excited. i love you all. i hope that everyone is good on health, dont be afraid to ask for a preisthood blessing, they work. have a good week. keep working hard and never get discouraged with life. be happy, i know i sure am. ADIOS
Elder Jacobson

Monday, April 16, 2012

The wheel in the sky keeps on turnin

i think i write this in every email, but how crazy that another week has already passed. i dont know how it happens. i feel like the more i want time to slow down the faster it goes. its crazy because i feel like im in the area where im supposed to be. like every day i have like 5 ideas of things that we could do in the branch to really get things moving. but sometimes i worry that i havent been diligent enough in going and doing them. in three weeks are changes again. its never sure, but generally when someone is training they are together two changes, then the trainer leaves. it scares me that i will leave here without doing what i was supposed to do. i guess in the end thoughts like those are just satan trying to convince me that there isnt enough time, but i still tend to worry. nevertheless i had a cool Book of mormon experience. i read of the success of ammon and the sons of mosiah, and i was trying to figure out what made them so successful. i found a key in the part where the king of all the lamanites sends a proclamation to everyone saying that they couldnt touch the nefites and basically that they had to listen to them. i compared that to my situation here, and with the leaders of the branch. like i said i have like 100 ideas of things i want to do, but sometimes when we say them to the president he says its better if we wait or do something else. i remembered that what started it all was when ammon chopped the arms off. i thought, i need some kind of opportunity like that to show the leaders that we can be good effective leaders. the opportunity came yesterday, despite our work to bring up the attendance, it fell again to an all time low of 28 people. after church was over everyone had left except the counseler (who basically is the president because the president has a stake calling and is never there) after everyone left he sat down and said "we went down again" he put his face in his hands obviously stressed out, and just said "what more can we do" ha its funny that in the book of mormon when all of the servents of the king are crying, ammon was happy for an opportunity. i felt the same way. i saw my opportunity, and started blasting him with all the things i thought we should do. we talked for a long time and came to a conclusion. when we were done he was smiling and obviously full of ANIMO. ha its cool how the book of mormon will always apply to us. there is only like 50 stories in there, but some how or other they always unlock the window to revelation. how cool.
in other news we found a posotive family last night. they dont go to any church, but the husband freddy has already been baptized. his wife marta hasnt. they were accepting and expressed their desire to have the whole family together in a church. were gonna give it all weve got with them, and continue looking for others. there is still time to do alot of good things.
well what more can i say. we talked to a man on the streets that was conviced that the united states are about 1000 times better than guatemala. the reason behind his thinking is that everyone in the states only flies airplanes every where they go. hahaha. we tried to tell him that guatemala has alot of good things too. i told him the people were really nice and he asked when someone in guatemala had done something nice for me. i told him that in the last house we were in someone had given me juice to drink. he said juice is nothing. if you were in the states instead of juice someone would have given you an airplane. ha its hard to say how funny it was talking to this guy. its officially rainy season. its really beautiful when it rains. but i hate having wet feet all day. but its inavoidable. the members say that it sometimes rains super hard. we havent seen it too hard yet, but i imagine the worst is yet to come.
i started reading the new testament. its crazy that i had always heard the stories that are in there, but never really read them. its cool to learn about the saviors life and all he did. it really makes me want to be a better person. well i cant wait to talk to you all in about a month. things are going fast. i love you all. have a good week. sorry i cant write alot, but im low on time. talk to you next week

Monday, April 9, 2012

Semana Santa

well there goes another week. it was semana santa. i think i told you about how they celebrate that here. its a holiday of the catholic church. they mainly just do parades with floats that show Jesus´ death and resurection. they sometimes have people dress up like roaman soldiers. sometimes it gets a little crazy. just like last year president didnt want missionairys outside in the festivities, so they had us all go to the church. the plan this year is that we were going to do a reading marithon, and all read the entire book of mormon in 36 hours. that means we would have to not sleep for a night to have time to get through it. i was pretty excited, i had just finished it a few days ago, and thought it would be cool to do it one more time. we started at 3 in the afternoon on thursday. i wont say all the gruesome details, but i will say that it was one of the most physicaly mentaly and emotionaly trying experiences of my life. it started out good, but the night went on and we got powned. everyone was falling asleep. there were casualties all over the place. the worst was taht we didnt read fast enough, so we didnt finish until the following morning, saturday, at like 4 in the morning. ha if you do the math thats about 46 hours without sleeping. haha i laugh every time i think about how miserable it was. but at the same time it was fun and a good experience.

yesterday was cool. we went in the morning to get investigators, but no one wanted to come. i felt bad that another week would pass without any investigators in church. it wasnt untill after that i looked back, and saw a member had brought his wife tahts not a member and a young man had brought his friend. we talked to them both, and have citas (appts) to go teach them this week. i think ive mentioned that our main enfasis has been to get the members to work with us. i feel like we havent done a ton of things. but i think our prayers, and plans are really starting to pay off. more and more people are starting to give references. the branch president even said that ever leader in the church needs to have a name of someone we can work with by next week. things are starting to move.

well what else can i say. Elder Jack and i are continuing to get along well. ive been greatful for his patients and his work ethic. he just has a great attitude that always keeps me posotive and happy to work. the new district is awesome as well. i told them some things that they could try that have worked for us, and they all went and did it and things are starting to get movin in the whole district. i wrote to my president that i feel really good. like we are actually getting some things done. theres alot to do, we need to start baptizing some of the families we have. but it will be alot easier to find and teach as long as the branch keeps working.

im very happy. its not always easy, but i know that Heavenly father is always wilth us, and always proud when we do our best. times going too fast, another month just went by. how crazy. wll im out of time. i love you all. have a good week and do work. finish the school year strong. its like i always say. if you finish stong, its because you are strong. if you finish weak, its because YOU SUCK. haha dont quote me on that one. i love you all

Elder Jacobson

Monday, April 2, 2012

To Lonica

To londica blythe jacocson

well well well. hard to believe you are already about 9 or ten years old. i thought you were just a little baby still. oh wait now i remember you are a little bebe. ha just kidding. but i just wanted to write and tell you HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you. i hope you had a way good birthday even though your number 1 brother wasnt there. just one advice now that you are starting to get a little older. and the advice that i give is this. if any boys come and want to be your boy freind, all you gotta do is give them a fake fone number, then KICKEM to the curb. ALWAYS. ha just kidding. but i just want you to know that i love you so much. even though i have always had to pwn you alot, but you have been a good sister, and a good example to me. just keep doing what your doing, and dont change. be a good cheerleader, adn dont get addicted to faceblook. love you Adios

The First Last

When i was with elder platero, he was always mentioning his last things. like last fast sunday, last baptism, last P-day ect. up until now i have only had a ton of first: first baptism, first time training, first time vomiting blood ect. ha but yesterday marked my last general conference in the mission. it was kind of wierd for me. at the end they announced that the conference would finish until six months later. elder horne (an elder that came in with me) and i just looked at eachother, knowing that when the next general conference came around we would be in our houses. its crazy for me. but since we left the church yesterday i havent realy even thought about anything like that. Honestly there isnt time. another month passed without a baptism, and going into april we only have a few posotive people. so basically we have to get things moving alot more quickly starting now. the thing i feel good about is that we have things set up to succeed. we have been working alot with members and gaining their confidence. and lately we have seen alot of people starting to get more excited about doing missionary work. yesterday we had a good talk to the counseler in our branch and he said we need alot more work in reactivation retention and finding investigators, so we made plans to call five pairs of branch missionaries. today we are going to the office to buy some preach my gospels, and we are going to have them set apart sunday. On top of that the new building should be finished soon (ha this time for real) there was a problem with the pipes, so they are a little late. but once we are there things are going to sky rocket... hopefully.
well what else to tell you. my whole district got changed, except for me and elder Jack. all the new elders that came are tight. they are way excited to work. in all three areas someone is getting trained. i like it like that because it means that in each area there is one elder who has experience, and proved themselve to be a hard worker, and one elder that is fresh out of the mtc with energy and a ton of animo. things are gonna start moving like a chineese magnent train on magnetic ice

the conference was incredible to me. when it began i wrote down a few questions that i have been thinking about. and without exageration every one was answered specificaly. as if they were talking directly to me. i felt the spirit very strong and made some plans of things i will do to improve. how cool is it to be in the one true church that is lead by God through his prophets. i think i had to come here to understand what the apostacy and restoration really are. everywhere i go i see churches where people are screaming and clapping and chanting, without reverence and without the spirit. in others i see people who never come out of poverty because they pay the majority of what they make as an offering to the church, which goes straight to the pastor who lives in the nicest house, and drives the nicest car and who never has to worry about money. its so sad to me. but i am so greatful to be in the truth. on friday we taught a 20 year old girl that has listen to the missionaries alot. after we taught a little she thought a second and said. "i dont think you guys should always talk about how yours is the only true church. alot of people get offended, and more people would listen to you if you just made friends with them and told them about the bible and invited them to see if they like your church." there was alot of things i thought about responding, but in the end we just testified that we know that there is one true church just like there was in Christs day, and that everyone can know the church is true by reading the book of mormon, and praying and asking God. i think whe wanted to argue more, but the spirit was there, and she couldnt deny our testimony. we commited her to read the book of mormon.

well im outta time ( thats spanish for out of time) so ill get going. but i love you all. congradulations for being number 1. Keep working hard until summer, and then you can start working hard in the summer. have a good week and everyone try to do something they talked about in conference. talk to ya later

Elder Jacobson