Monday, June 27, 2016

June 27, 2016- Week 26

Hey everybody,

This week was a little bit rough to say the least, but it was fun all the same. You see June 26 is Independence day here in Madagascar. I don't know if I've told you this but people party very hard here and that made for an interesting week to say the least.

The work this week went very normally for the first couple of days. We caught the times that we were supposed to and also tracked into some very, very cool people, all of which agreed to let us come back (Not a shock). Then came the weekend. Between Saturday and Sunday we had about 15 times on the schedule. We taught 1 of those. Everybody and their dog was lying drunk in the streets. That's how they party here. It was a fun couple of days for sure. The elders in tana were actually on curfew, they had to be home and in the house by 4, and that's only because the last church ends at 4. They really just weren't allowed to go out. We are in a kind of small town so we didn't have it quite as bad as that. Our attendance yesterday was at a solid 45, most of which were investigators and recent converts. Everybody went to the party instead. I'm sure that everything will be back to normal soon.

So I read back over first Nephi again this week and found something in there that I like a lot. I was trying to find differences in the way that Nephi and Laman handled things that led them to be the people that they were. I found one thing specifically that stuck out a lot to me. Laman and Lemuel spent the entire time looking into the past at the things that they had had before. Nephi on the other hand focused on what was to come. They had been given a land of promise, but Laman and Lemuel were so focused on the past that they didn't see that. Our lives change every day, sometimes due to things that we do and sometimes due to things that we have no control over. The fact of the matter is that when we focus on the past, whether good or bad, it makes us bitter, but when we focus on good things to come and trust in God, we are allowed to be much, much happier people. Love you all so much,

Elder Jensen

Scripture of the week:1 Nephi 1:20

Happy Father's Day

Hey family!!
This week has been a little hectic and a little rough to say the least. Just a lot to do and not enough time to do it, and in the middle of all that we had goodbyes to say for Elder Coleman, who has passed on to a better place (America). Life is still good though!
So the work this week moved very slowly. Elder Ulrich was down with another ingrown toenail and so we spent half of the week on half day splits with them so that their area didn't die completely. It kinda killed our program but hey, it had to be done. The second half of the week was spent saying goodbyes for Elder Coleman. He and Elder Koplin left for Tana on Saturday and will be on the way to America Wednesday morning. We had some very teary moments those last couple of days. Also we ate a ton of rice. I guess when you leave a country all of the sudden everybody wants to feed you. By far the best food was at Mahala and Elvines house. They fed us fresh lobster and it was way good. I don't think that I've ever had lobster before so it was way awesome. If there is one thing that I have learned here, you can literally eat anything with rice. I have had lobster and rice to dried fish head and rice to ground leaves and rice and it is all amazing because it comes with rice!!

So studies were a little weird this week. I didn't know what to study so I decided to do a study on the heart. You see the word heart a lot in the scriptures, and of course it doesn't mean a literal heart. It's a symbol. It stands for the character of a person. More than that it stands for every part of a person's soul. Our thoughts, our feelings, everything. There are a lot of scriptures that talk about turning your heart to Christ. That means to truly turn every part of yourself over to him. To make Christ the center of our thoughts, our desires, everything that we are. Only then can we truly understand all that he did for us.

So we got transfer news Saturday morning!! It's a good thing too because Elder Coleman left that afternoon. I actually still don't have a comp right now, but he flies in to Fort D at 4 from Tana. His name is Elder Deklerk. Hopefully I spelled that right. He is from South Africa. I've never actually met him but I will pick him up at the airport in a few hours.

Love you all so much,
Elder Jensen
Scripture of the Week: John 8:28

Happy Father’s Day, Love you Dad


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ocean Baptism are the Coolest- June 13, 2016

Dear Family,

So this week was still great. We had a baptism again, a guy named Rufin (Roo Fan) but I will tell you all about him a little later. No real surprises this week though. Elder Coleman goes home on Saturday so we just go way hard every day. 

So let me tell you about my boy Rufin. He is 20 years old and just about one of the smartest people that I have ever taught. He showed up to institute my first Saturday here in Fort D with a friend of his so we asked if we could come by and teach him later. Anyways we just went home with him after institute and taught him the first lesson then gave him a Book of Mormon and a plan of salvation pamphlet and told him we'd come back. The next lesson he taught us the plan of salvation and asked when he can get baptized. He literally just never skipped a beat since then and finally got baptized on Saturday. It was even cooler too because it was in the ocean. Way awesome day. Lanto and Dorottee couldn't get the marriage figured out in time so we are going to have to wait until July for them, but it should be ok though. We had a way cool lesson last night with some really long time investigators. They have been learning off and on for years but have just kind of been in this state where they were progressing but not enough to get baptized, just kind of going through the motions. We actually went to their house last night to drop them, but things went a little different. They stopped us before we even got a word out. They have been learning about agency lately and realized that they could get baptized if they would just choose to. They set up an appointment with the commune for tomorrow and are going to get married. They have both decided to leave coffee and alcohol and are going to start staying to all 3 hours of church. Basically just everything that we had decided they needed to be doing to get baptized, and all of this before either of us said a word. It was just a way cool lesson. That's all it ever really takes to be honest. We see it every day. As soon as a person makes up his mind to get baptized there is nothing that will stop them. It's just up to them to make that choice. 
I spent a lot of time this week studying in Moses chapter 7. It is all about God showing Enoch everything that is and was and will be and just gives a great insight into his love for all of us as well as just what sort of things he thinks and feels. It also puts a great perspective on the Plan of Salvation. In fact it is my favorite chapter in all of the scriptures right now. Anybody that wants to read it definitely should. 

I don't actually have anything else that's new so...

Love you all,

Elder Jensen

Scripture of the week: Moses 7:28-33