Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sorry I'm Late

Dearest everybody,
Sorry that I am so late, but I have a good excuse I promise. You see I don't know if you remember, but we don't have any water in our house, nor have we for about a month. It is literally not even enough to fill a bucket so that I can shower out of it. We have 0 water whatsoever. I haven't showered in about a month now, don't judge me. Definitely not the worst thing that I have had to deal with over here. So anyways the point is that we spent the morning moving in to a new house. This one has running water and even a water heater! Score!! So that's all done now and I promise that I will take a long hot shower tonight.

The work is still going well. We have a lot of investigators who are really sitting on the fence. They will read the books and answer the questions and everything, they just won't come to church consistently enough that they can get baptized. It gets super frustrating sometimes. We actually have about 20 or 25 investigators who have been to church. On the other hand we have only ever had 8 at one time because they all come around every 2 or 3 weeks. We actually do have 2 baptisms coming up on Saturday, so that should be way super cool.
Studies this week have been kind of scarce due to a bunch of meetings and splits and things. I have however been reading from the book Jesus the Christ. It is a way freaking awesome book if anyone is out there for a not-so-quick read. Also it uses a lot of really big words. I have forgotten the meanings to about half of them over the last year. The other half I don't think I ever knew the the meanings to. It's still a great book though!!

Love you all so much

Elder Jensen
So the scripture of the week this week is one called "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. It is pretty long, about thirty minutes, but you should all listen to it. It will change your life

Missionary Life

So this week went fairly well and we had some adventures for sure. We covered everything from being sick to drunk people to splits and just were going and going and going all week.

No rest for the wicked I guess. 
The work this week went fairly well. We found/were taken to one way awesome family. What happened was that we had a meeting with President Fetra, the Branch President, about getting help from members and also about some less active members in our area. He asked if we knew a certain family, whom we of course had never met. So we made a couple of phone calls and then finally just went to the people's house, who are way close to the church. Turns out they were ex investigators! They had already learned the Gospel for a full year and come to church every single week!! Turns out it was the week of their baptism, and there was some confusion over the bap interviews. By that I mean there was a lot of confusion over the bap interviews. They got kinda scared and also a little insulted by a few things, and ended up not getting baptized. More than that, they stopped coming to church. It was really just one big misunderstanding so we spent about an hour and a half apologizing and just talking it out. They told us that they would think about coming back but we will see. 
So this week Elder Lake also had an adventure. He bumped in to a 2 headed dragon right in the middle of Family Home Evening with some members. I'm going to assume that not many people who haven't been to Madagascar know what that means, but it suffices me to say that he got very, very sick. We also had a few very odd situations thrown at us over the week. People here in Madagascar see a white dude who teaches about Jesus and they just think that we can solve all of their problems. One man came sprinting down the little dirt path to catch up to us while we were out tracting. He then pulled out of his backpack a whole collection of documents and things in French that I am pretty sure said he was a crane operator. He refused to speak Malagasy to us so instead we had to deal with his broken English. Either he wanted us to hire him (because missionaries always need crane operators), or he wanted us to send the papers to America so that someone would hire him and fly him over there to work. Basically we told him we couldn't help him but that he should come to church and that was that. 
Love you all a whole awful lot,
Elder Jensen

Scripture of the Week: 2 Cor. 1:3-5


Monday, August 15, 2016

Coolest Mission in the World.

Hey everybody, I'd just like to start off by letting you all know that I am currently serving in the coolest mission in the world. No arguments allowed.
This week went fairly well as far as the work goes. We actually got dogged a lot, meaning a lot of people just weren't there for the time that we had scheduled with them. It really kills our program when that happens. I think one of my favorite families that we are teaching right now is the family of a man named John de Dieu. We teach him with his son Eli and his son's wife Erika, all of whom are preparing for baptism right now. John has been coming to church for the last little month or two, but his son has been really stubborn about it. He basically just has always had something better to do. This week we tried a different approach. Instead of asking him to come to church, we taught them a lesson about why they should want to come to church. We talked about how God has given us one day a week as a gift. Sometimes in life we just get so preoccupied with things of the world that we start to feel as though there is a huge weight on our shoulders. Our loving Heavenly Father has given us one day out of every week, 52 days a year, to leave all of those cares and stresses behind and rest. That one really hit ol' Eli. He said that he has felt that weight for a very long time and and that he just didn't know how to get rid of it. On sunday morning, John de Dieu, Eli and Erika all came to church together. For Eli, it was the first time in more than 5 years he had been to any sort of organized church. 

In my studies this week I spent a day studying an article written in a Liahona about Integrity. It was written by President Russell M. Nelson and it is really good. Integrity is the foundation for all Christlike attributes. It means recognizing and trusting in The Lord, and placing him above all other things. Sometimes in life we are tempted to bend the commandments to fit them into our lives. We actually get that a lot out here. Everyone always says that they will come to church "If it's God's will." They think that if he wants them at church he will send them himself, that he will make the path blatantly obvious. Their boss will miraculously give them the day off of work "If it's God's will." But the thing is is that isn't how it works. God has set the commandments for us. They are laws placed by Him to help us. It's not our place to try to change and bend them to fit in with our lives. Our job is to change and shape our own lives in order to fit them in to commandments that He gave to us. That's integrity. Doing what's right even when it's not what's popular. Love you all so much.
Elder Jensen
Scripture of the week: Job 31: 6 but the entire Story of Job is good

When all you have is eggs to eat and the gas stove goes out. Clever! 

 My new area.
 Me and my boy Elder Lake



Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tana Life

Hey everybody,
So here I am in Tana at long last. I feel like I've been living in the jungle for the last year, but that's all over now. I finally made it to the big city. Its noisy, smelly, and dirty, and I totally love it here. It's definitely a different kind of missionary work though. On top of that it's a whole new language again. But all in all it's the same old work as it always has been and I love it so much.
So on Tuesday I finally got on a plane and made it to my new area. The APs picked us up and took me to my new house, where I dropped my stuff inside the door and Elder Lake and I went out to work. We had a good few days of work and a great Zone Conference. The work here in Tana is going extremely well, I was impressed. We have a ton of times and people to teach. Almost too many to be truly honest. We have been trying to sift through those who are maybe not quite ready so that we can make room for those who are. I only have a year left after all. That's not near enough time and we can't waste a second of it.

On Thursday Elder Lake and I took a 2 hour bus ride into the center of town where the mission office is. I havn't been there in a full year. We had a really big zone conference. It was all of the missionaries in Tana and also Antsirabe, plus Mahajanga, Fianarantsoa and Tamatave. Basically there were about 10 missionaries who weren't there. Because it was so big, Elder Lake and I didn't have to do much, just a zone report and President did the rest. We talked a lot about preparation and being ready to be guided by the spirit and also to know and find the needs of each individual investigator rather than just slipping into a routine on each lesson. There was also a comment made that hit me really hard. They said that the moment you try to convert someone by how much you know, and not by the spirit, you're doing it wrong. I feel like ever since I started picking up the language I have kind of started to just teach people the gospel rather than letting the Holy G

host truly convert them. It was definitely something that I needed to hear.

I sure love you all, til next week,

Elder Jensen
Scripture of the week: Mosiah 4:9

(I may have already used this one, sorry bout that I just really like it, it's way awesome in Malagasy)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Emergency Transfer

Hey everybody,
So we had a very eventful week this week. It started with a call from President saying that I am being emergency transfered! I'll explain that one a little bit later. Then after that the week was spent teaching some great lessons and saying some very, very hard goodbyes, and we ended it with another DIT foot surgery!! I didn't actually have to help this time (halelujah). All in all, we had ourselves a great adventure.

 So on Tuesday at around 8 in the morning Elder Maluleka's phone went off. Elder Maluleka is our district leader here in Fort D and just an awesome missionary. Anyways he was to be emergency transferred back up into Tana (the capitol) to be the Zone Leader in south zone. Not a really big shocker, we all saw that one coming. Then President Foote shocked the world by asking Elder Maluleka to please hand Elder Jensen the phone. I was also to be emergency transferred up to Tana, to be the North Zone Leader. Trust me I was just as shocked as you are. The two of us were supposed to get on a plane at 3:20 Saturday afternoon to fly us up to Tana. 

So because of that, we spent the week saying goodbyes. Mahala and Elvine were probably the hardest. They are now preparing to go to the temple next year. That's quite the ordeal here, Moreso than probably anywhere else because we are on an island so they have to fly all the way to Johannesburg to the nearest temple. We also said goodbye to a bunch of other people, members, investigators, old friends. It was a fun but very sad time. Then came the big morning. Saturday. There was a baptism for some other missionaries that morning so we all got ready and set that up. At about 7 we got a text from our Branch President saying that our flight time may have been changed to 7:50 am and that we should check on it. We called the APs and they said that they were in province so they hadn't heard anything, so we just assumed that we were good. Big mistake. At around 8 we heard the only plane in Fort Dauphin take off, without us on it. We made a few slightly frantic phone calls and found out that it had indeed been changed. The airport let the church travel agent know, who emailed the AP's, who were supposed to call us. They however were driving in the middle of nowhere to visit a town with no reception and thus had no idea what was going on. Our flight has now been rescheduled to Tuesday morning, so we will head out then. Good times right? Hahaha it ended up good though, I got one more Sunday and one more P-day here and that's enough for me. 

 This week I have been studying Christ, especially the way that he interacted with people. He always used parables that related to people because in that way people could understand the very hard things that he taught. He called fishermen to be his disciples and not rich educated people because he knew that they would be humble and teach people with love. We teach people not lessons because people matter, not lessons. I learned some really great things to apply in teaching and I feel like it has helped a lot. Love you all so much,

Elder Jensen

Scripture of the week: Matt. 13: 10-13