Tuesday, December 6, 2016

District Conference in TAMATAVE

Dear Family,

So this week has been kind of all over the place. I have been in 3 cities, done about 5 splits, and basically just ran everywhere all the time. So here's the story.
It all started on Tuesday. We got up in Antsirabe and did studies as normal. Then at about noon we loaded up in a car with the Pascaud's (a mission couple from france) and headed for Tana. That meant 4 1/2 hours of only French with a little bit of Italian mixed in. I thought I was going to die. Did I mention it was a little French car? Not very comfortable to sleep in. On the bright side though, I did get to brush up on my French!! I am still not very good at French... It was an interesting ride to say the least. When we got to the office my man Jules was there!! Jules is a member here in Tana who is deaf. He has developed his own version of sign language but, is trying very hard to learn ASL so that he can go to the temple. He skypes from the office to the ASL missionaries in Salt Lake, and they teach him ASL, but we translate it for him and help out when we can, so I have picked up a lot from him and help when I can. So that was a blast as always.

Wednesday we had a split and I was with Elder Allen, who has been here for about 2 months. I love working with young missionaries.

Thursday we had a split and I went with Elder Tainter, who is a baller. We had a way awesome day.
We were supposed to leave Thursday morning for Tamatave, but due to complications with flights, we ended up having to pick up Elder Mdletshe, the area seventy, from the airport at around 4 in the afternoon on Friday, at which point we started making our way to Tamatave. It's about a seven hour drive through the jungle, but it was way cool to just have that much time to talk to a Seventy about the work and the church and really just life in general. We stopped for the night and finally made it to Tamatave on Saturday about 30 minutes before Elder Mdletshe had to speak in District Conference. Most of Saturday was spent translating conference for President Foote, who met us in Tamatave, and Elder Mdletshe. Translating is a lot of fun but also kind of stressful. A lot of things don't really translate super well in to Malagasy, so we just kind of have to explain things as we go.

Sunday was great!!! It was another morning full of translating and talking with members and just all those sorts of things. We finished the day on a split with Elders Monson and Chounlamany. Elder Monson is about 4 months in to country right now and is training Elder Chounlamany, who is just over a month in country. It was a great day. I took Elder Monson and we hit the program and also found a couple of way awesome families to teach. It was just a great day all around.
So studies were a little weird this week but I am going to talk about a conversation that we had with Elder Mdletshe on the way to conference about the sacrament, and it kind of changed my perspective a little. As we all know, we are commanded to take the sacrament. It is indeed a commandment from God. By taking it we renew our covenants with him and are able to become clean. That makes it in to a continuous cleansing process. It is the only ordinance that we are able to repeat over and over again, and yet it is a saving ordinance. Without it, we can’t be cleansed from sin. That is why we are commanded to take it. If we decide that we won't go to church for a week or that we aren't worthy to take the sacrament, then we are placing other things ahead of the savior's atonement. It's like saying to the Messiah "Thanks for all you did for me, ya know suffering and dying and all, but I really need to work right now. Maybe next week." That's really direct and hard and all, but it's true. We need the sacrament. It becomes our job at that point to prepare throughout the week in any way that we can to be able to take the sacrament come sunday. Love you all so much, that's all I got this week,


Elder Jensen

Scripture of the week: Moroni 4:3 and 5:2

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