Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Dear Everybody,
Life is still great here in Madagascar. I absolutely love Tamatave. It is the second biggest city in Mada, about 200,000 people. It is way out on the farthest west coast of the island. We speak a dialect here called Betsimisaraka. It's not quite as bad as the dialects from Fort D, but it's a bit different for sure. There are 5 branches out here, and we are currently working towards making it in to a stake, which requires 6 very strong branches. Hoping that sometime this year we can get it done. Anyways, on to other news.
My area here is called Mangarivotra, which means blue breeze. Or mango breeze. I'm not really sure, you say it the same either way. The branch is great, the area is awesome, and things are just going fantastic. I would say that my favorite people right now are Frederick and Eleanore. They have been learning from the missionaries for 9 months now but the problem, as allways, is that they weren't married. So anyways, they surprized us on tuesday with their marriage certificate!!! They are getting baptized!! Currently we are planning on the 7th of January. Another cool thing! Elder Leo and I were out tracting when we walked into this little yard. There was a little girl pumping water out of the ground so we went and talked to her. Her parents weren't home which normally throws up red lights, but she was struggling way hard with the water pump. I felt bad so I took over and started pumping water. About 2 minutes later the little girl's sister Judy walked in. It turns out that Judy is a very less active member. She got baptized here in tamatave but moved to Tana for a while and when she came back just stopped going to church. She is now married and has a little kid, and she was way excited to see us. We set up a time to come and teach her husband, Alain, and left. Alain turned out to be a stud and the lesson went great so we are very excited to see where this one goes.
So this week I spent a little bit of time reading in Alma, when I came across something that I hadn't noticed before. It is in Alma 20, where Alma and King Lamoni are travelling to Middoni to free Aaron and his brethren from prison. This is just shortly after King Lamoni's conversion itself, but that's a different story. On the road to Middoni, they bump in to King Lamoni's father, who is King over all of the Lamanites. Well, Lamoni's father wasn't necessarily too happy to see his son travelling with a Nephite. To be honest, he was furious. He (king of all the lamanites) commanded King Lamoni to kill Ammon and go back to the land of Ishmael. Now in Malagasy, there are 2 ways to say "go back." There is miverina, which is to return, and mihemotra, which is kind of like to digress or fall back. Anyways, I wasn't sure which would be better to use. I started thinking about what it would mean for Lamoni to go back to the land of Ishmael. It would be like going back to his old life. It would mean forsaking Ammon and the whole new belief that he had found. Rather than returning to his old life, Lamoni defies the king and his father, knowing full well that his father will try to kill him for it. When you are trully converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, you realize that there really is no going back to the life you had before. It's just not appealing any more. To be honest, the thought of losing the joy of the gospel is downright scary. I think that Peter said it best in John chapter 16. Many of Christ's followers were leaving him, and he looked to the 12 and asked "Will ye also go away?" Peter answered him "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." Once a person comes to this realization, there is no going back. King Lamoni would rather die than go back. This is the type of conversion that we are looking for, in both investigators and in ourselves. Love you all so much,
Elder Jensen
Scripture of the week: Alma 20:15

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