Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner and a Dark Malagasy Road

Hey everybody!!

Sorry I know I'm a little later than usual this week but the power has been out all morning (again). This whole week has felt like one huge rollercoaster ride. You go up and you go down and up and down and it flips you over and turns you inside out and then spits you out at the end and you sit there like "holy crap it's already over." That was my week this week. It was transfer week so of course it was a little bit strange but I feel like this one was above and beyond. First off, Elder Koplin had to go back to Tana for a couple of days for a Zone Leader training thing. Then, since he was gone, I worked with Elder Ralaivo for a couple of days which actually scared me a lot at first. You see Elder Ralaivo is from madagascar, and while he is really good at English compared to most Malagasy’s it was still a mostly Malagasy couple of days. It turned out to be a ton of fun and Elder Ralaivo is a really great guy and a great missionary. He's actually almost done he only has 2 transfers left and he's spending them as the new Branch President out in Manadona. Any who, after that was Thanksgiving which kind a sucked without turkey. We actually got invited to have turkey dinner at this nice vazaha restaurant but we turned them down. Quick backstory vazaha basically means white dude. See there are a lot of really creepy french dudes that come here for vacation or some even live here because the drinks are cheap and the girls are cheaper. Creepy yes. Gross I know. That is the meaning of vazaha. The problem is that Malagasies don't really distinguish between us and them so we go walking down the street and kids will yell at us "Bonjour Vazaha Bonjour Vazaha." That gets annoying really fast. Anyway, this vazaha restaurant invited us to thanksgiving dinner but they said we couldn't wear prostelyting clothes so we turned them down. We still ate good but, it wasn't America. That was a really confusing bit of letter but hopefully y'all can make sense of it. I got really sick on Friday and didn't go out. Major stomach aches, diarrhea, you don't want to know trust me. Saturday we went to district conference and then to dinner with some members but I still felt like poop so that was it. It really sucks being sick away from home. I'm starting to feel better now though!! In other news I just realized that I don't think I've told you about Yartis and Onja yet! They were a referral from this really baller family here that feeds us dinner once or twice a week. Any who, they are basically gold Koplin says he's never seen anything like them. They keep every commitment and come to church every week since the very first day. In fact Onja has been coming since before we even taught her. They have 3 kids that are all just little but they are the cutest little family. They are hopefully getting baptized December 19th. The only problem is that they aren't legally married yet and his birth certificate is in this podunk little town. 5 hours away. By car. They don't have a car. But we're in luck!! The APs are driving through that town literally as I am typing this. I got everything needed from them while Koplin was in Tana. That's right I got it myself. Freaking fahaizana. Not really this language is hard. Any who, hopefully we will have that birth certificate tomorrow, and if not Elder Koplin has to visit a town about halfway between here and there in a couple of weeks so they will be married and baptized. I wish you all could have seen the look on their faces when I told them we could get the birth certificate for them. So much joy in one place. Church is true everybody
Elder Jensen

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ryker is wearing Crocs

Hey Everybody this week has been crazy so I'm gonna start off with just a brief overview. We got transfer news and me and Koplin are staying. The house is going down to 6 people. Everyone is super excited. Wore crocs to work for the first time because we got soaked. We caught a lizard!! The work was hard because Elder Lake's comp is already gone so he's been coming with us and we have had to work his area some. And also we got robbed last night!!!

Ok so first thing is first. Transfers have been announced and they are going to happen wednesday. Every companionship in the house is getting split up this transfer except me and Koplin so the house is going to look real different next week. Excited for my last transfer of training though! We got soaked a couple of times too! Wore crocs  to work all day yesterday so that was pretty dope. Glad it's totally ok to do that here because my shoes are soaked! Now for the investigators of the week. Hardy and Onja. We got them as a referal from a member family that is awesome. Those same members have been helping us teach them which is great because member present lessons rock. Anywho, they are supposed to get baptized on December 19 so now we are up to 4 baptisms on that day. Can't wait! Anyways love you all so much and sorry my emails are short and kinda suck but I'm a crappy typer so mah bad.
Elder Jensen

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Just Another Day!

Hey Y’all!!
Madagascar has been great! Still doing great here!  This week was a little bit slower than usual but still loads of fun! Elder Koplin got sick Thursday so we didn't go out. Also yesterday we literally visited 15 investigators in an hour and a half and not a single person was home. Bummer. Also it has been raining a lot. Turns out I was wrong last week when I said that it's not the rainy season. The rainy season is now. The Cyclone season is what they call January and February Literally we will be in someone's house teaching standing up because we're up to our waists in water. Loving Madagascar though! We have also hit a bit of a road block with Billy and Stephie. We tried to give them a bap date this week and as it turns out they're not married! Nor can they get married because neither of them are Afaka bac (that’s the equivelant of a high school diploma here). Anyways bummer days. Out of time here! 
Love you all!
Elder Jensen


Happy Halloween

Hey Everybody!!!
Happy Halloween from Madagascar!!! We don't actually celebrate Halloween here but it was fun anyways. Can't believe how fast time goes. Today I have officially been out for 2 months. The rain has started to come here. In fact, I have never seen so much rain in my entire life. It comes down so hard. Haha then I comment on it and Elder Koplin laughs and says just wait. Apparently the real rainy season doesn't start until like January. This is just a sprinkle. We tried to teach a lesson in a little house with a mud floor and a tin roof. That didn't really work in the rain. It was so loud on the roof that I couldn't hear a word that was said. We found some cool people this week though! We met Billy and Stephie and have taught them 2 lessons. Haha we were a little shocked when we tracted into them. We knocked on the door and he came out and we asked if his parents were home. He said nope but his wife was and we just kind a stared at him. Turns out he's 22 and she's like 19 I think. He's a really smart kid. I still don't know what his job is, but they have a really nice house for being such a young couple. I mean really, really nice. We taught them the first lesson and it went great! We were asking questions and they knew the answers and they would ask awesome questions and Elder Koplin would answer them and then a couple minutes later I would figure out what they asked!!! Hahaha it went great. We came back a couple days later and taught the book of Mormon and it went great too! They had already read the first pamphlet so we gave them a Book of Mormon. Then we went next door to his brother and sister's house and guess what!!! His brother didn't want to learn. At all. But he pulled out a guitar and had an awesome jam session because they all play freaking great and know a bunch of English songs! Not going to lie, Hero by Enrique Iglesias trunked me out hard core. It was good though we had loads of fun. It was also zone conference this week, you may have seen it on Sister Foote's Instagram. They talked a lot about finding the elect. The thing is that everyone in Madagascar will let you in and will hear your lessons and take your books, but no one wants to do anything about it. We have to start looking just for those investigators that are willing to really work and keep commitments and accept the gospel, and if they're not going to progress then we can't waste time teaching them. There are a lot of people in Madagascar and we are only here for two years. I guess that means that we're going to have to start dropping a lot of investigators but it really is a good point. We also had an amazing meal. They made pulled pork samiches!! So much better than the rice and laoka or Raman noodles we usually eat. It was freaking amazing. All in all, another boss week on the other side of the world!! Love you all!!
Elder Jensen