Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Transfer Week

Dear everybody back home,

Life is still great out here in Madagascar. This week was kind of crazy! We had meetings, splits, and even some visa problems, all with transfers looming over our heads, and all of that made for a pretty crazy week out here in Madagascar. 
So we went into this week knowing that it was going to be a crazy one, and it only got crazier as we went. We started out Tuesday with a district leader training meeting, just a little thing we do to try to better keep in touch with each of the district leaders and help them out with their whole gig. After that we got a phone call from the AP's. I always hate getting phone calls from those guys, it's just never good news. Also their ring tone on our phone is this really mean sounding German song so it just scares the crap out of me. Anyways, Elder Lake's visa had expired, along with about 20 other Elders out here. So the next day (Wednesday) we took a 2 hour bus ride in to the center of town to get it renewed. That killed our day for sure. Thursday was more or less normal I guess, but Friday we had a split with the Ankorondrano Elders. I had Elder Bauer with me in our area for the day, which was a ton of fun. He is from Texas and has been here in Madagascar for about 6 weeks. We talked about football for most of the day. On Saturday we attended a wedding for some members which was a lot of fun. We shortly afterwards received news on transfers. Elder Lake is heading out for Fort Dauphin to work in my old area. Needless to say he is very, very excited on that one. I am getting Elder Bassett, who just finished training on the other side of Tana. He is actually the guy that I replaced down in Tanambao, so it will be really good to see him again. Also, we were trained by the same missionary, so it's going to be just 1 big family reunion out here in Ambohimanarana. In other news, there are 13 new missionaries coming in this transfer and because of that, every single companionship in our entire zone will be training this transfer. Except for me and Bassett of course. It's going to be a lot of fun and we are looking forward to good things to come.
Because of all of the different things that happened this week, I actually didn't get much done for studies. I did however read a talk that I liked a lot. It is called Living the Gospel Joyful by Pres. Deiter F. Uchtdorf and it was very, very good. It talked all about how the commandments and really just the gospel in general is sometimes viewed as a great big checklist, and once you cross everything off you then get a ticket straight to the celestial kingdom. In all reality that's not it at all. You have to look at the why of the gospel. They say that life here on earth is a big test. Thing is, You take a test after you have studied, after you have prepared. The point isn't to find out what you already know, it is to make you push yourself to learn and understand the things in the test. It's kind of like that with life. The point isn't to keep every single commandment every single time. We physically cannot do that, we're all people here. No one get's 100% the first time they take this test. It's a refining process. It's all about learning and growing. Heavenly Father doesn't care that you have 100% attendance at church every week. What he does care about is you getting that opportunity to feel the spirit and learn of Him, and you can't get that opportunity anywhere else. He doesn't care that you pay your tithing every single time. What he does care about is that we learn to trust Him in a way that we can't without paying that tithing. So I guess that people are right, life is a test. But it is an open book test, and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we all get to answer every question as many times as we need. He knows no one will get it right the first time, all he cares about is that we try, because when we try He can help us, and eventually we will get it right. What a great day that will be. Love you all so much,
Elder Jensen
Scripture of the Week: Matthew 5:48


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