Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Last letter in 2015- December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas Everybody!!!! Hope you all had a great time!! It was so great to be able to see a lot of you on Christmas. Can't believe it's already come and gone. I will hit my 4 month mark this week. That's a sixth of a whole mission. Crazy!! Sorry I am so late today, but we went to Lake  Tritriva this morning so I will send some pictures of that it's super cool!! And we have baptisms coming up Saturday!! Hardis and Onja are finally going to be baptized!!! We had to push back Sitraka's date again because of her dad but her sister has started coming to church with her!! Little story about that. About two weeks ago we taught Sitraka about fasting and asked her to try it out and she said she would. She said it was really hard but she did it. She told us that she fasted for her sister, and since then her sister hasn't missed a week of church. One last person to tell you about. His name is Richard. He lives clear out in the middle of nowhere with his wife and his parents, and they've all been learning from us. His dad is so old he can't really walk or say more than one word at a time. His mom is so old she can't really hear, so when she's there we have to basically shout our lessons. Anyways we haven't even finished teaching them the full first lesson yet but he hiked a half an hour to church on Sunday!! He said his wife wanted to come but she was sick. It was super cool to see him though!!! In other news transfers are coming up on Saturday! That means that I have finished training and either me or Elder Koplin will be moving, but only one of us will be here after next week. Usually the trainer leaves which means I would stay but also most of the time the zone leaders don't move around much so yeah we have absolutely no idea what's going to happen. Personally I would love to stay. I love it here in Antsirabe. At the same time it would be super cool to move around too. I'm just super bummed that me and Elder Koplin are splitting up, he's been a great first companion and I've learned a lot from him. All in all it's shaping up to be another great week in Madagascar. Love you all!!! Tratrany taona vaovao!!
Elder Jensen

Hardis and Onja Wedding - December 21, 2015

Sup sup sup yall!!!!!!! Things are great here in Madagascar. People are progress, we're finding people, and the work is just going. The only problem is that a lot of people don't want to learn over the holidays so people just tell us to come back after the New Year. That kind of sucks to be honest. But huge update Hardis and Onja got married!!!!!! And me and Elder Koplin got to go!!! It was so dope!!! The judge lady talked really, really fast and it was all big official words so I basically had no clue what was going on. I just basically waited until she stopped talking and everyone started clapping and clapped as loud as I could (that's freaking loud). There was only like 10 people there and like half of them stopped and looked at me and it was super awkward but so, so funny. So anyways their married now and we had a big party and I'll be sure to send lots of pictures. They're getting baptized in 2 weeks though! Just seeing them be able to learn and grow and change over the last few months has been amazing. Love you all so much!!
Elder Jensen

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Rainstorms and a Big Spider- December 14, 2015

Hey there everybody!! It's been another great week in Madagascar!! We got rained on hard though, hahaha. Literally almost every day all of my stuff is just soaked. I will send some pictures but literally the roads have been like rivers, it's insane. I was talking to a couple of members about it yesterday but they just laughed at me. I guess that means that the worst is yet to come. She kept talking about Cyclone season so that's on the horizon. Haha I know a couple of missionaries that say they worked in a category 5 hurricane last year. Just another day in the life of a Madagascar missionary, I guess. The work is still going good here but we hit a few stumbling blocks this week.  
1. Lalaina is going on vacation so we can't teach him again until the New Year. We've actually gotten a lot of that lately, people just asking us to come back after Christmas because they were going to be busy. 
            2. We've been teaching a girl named Sitraka (everyone here is named Sitraka) who is 18 and has been learning from the missionaries for forever. She comes to church every week and she even goes to seminary. Basically she is more active than most of our members, she just hasn't been baptized. The problem is that her dad is an extremely faithful Jehovah’s Witness, and he won't let her get baptized. Me and Elder Koplin are hoping to talk to him this week but I'm still not sure exactly where this will go.  
            3. Remember Hardis and Onja? Well there just wasn't enough time to get them married before the Baptism so we pushed it back to Jan. 2nd. Little story about them from this week though! They have this little girl that's like 2 years old and her name is Oria she's the cutest thing ever. Anyways we were in a lesson with them the other day and Hardis picked her up and gave her a little kiss on the cheek. He's a really great dad I'm sure. Anyways I was thinking about just their future and I realized that here in a couple of years Hardis is going to be able to baptize that little girl and that just made me so happy. A little bit later we asked if they were sad we had to move the bap date back and they said no as long as they can get baptized before the baby comes. I don't remember if I told you but Onja is pregnant. Turns out there were some complications when Oria was born and she wants God on her side this time. I love that family so much. It's crazy how far they've come in such a short time. The mission is the greatest place to see the changes this gospel makes in people. Love you all so much, 
Elder Jensen