Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Great Week

So this week was awesome, as always. We had some great progress with some great investigators, and things just all went smoothly.
So our biggest progress this week was with Ndriana and Lucy, a family we've been teaching for a while now. They have been coming to church for about 9 months now, but just aren't married yet. We finally gave them a hard bap date for Feb. 4 and have set in an almost (I hesitate to say completely) foolproof plan in to place which, with the help of a pastor about 50 kilometers away, just might have a chance. We will see what happens there and I will for sure keep you all posted.
This week in my studies I continued to study about faith, more specifically focusing on Peter. I love this guy, he is one of my favorites in all of the scriptures. I love how much passion he has. I actually was reminded of something I learned playing football, all those years ago. If you're going to mess up, at least do it at 110% effort. At least that way you know that it wasn't just a lack of effort that made you mess up, and you can fix things and move on. Ol' Peter had more than his fair share of mistakes, but he was never kivy about it, he just kept on pushing forward until he got it right. That's why I love Peter. Love you all so much, you're great,
Elder Jensen
Scripture of the week: Matt. 14:29

Friday, January 20, 2017

Madagascar Update!

Dear Family,
This week was great. You might have heard by now of the earthquake over here in Madagascar, but everything is ok, no one got hurt. I am actually far away from it so we really didn't even feel it. Other than that things are good here. We have some great investigators that we are just working on getting married so that they can get baptized here coming up. 

This week was a big success for us. I actually spent a couple of days on splits, so I was outside of my area a little bit. I went with Elder Shoemaker and Elder Chounlamany, and it was a great couple of days. It is allways good to get back to my area when that is all done though. We have a bunch of super cool families who come to church every week but we are just working on getting them all married first. One of the things that we have been struggling with a little bit is finding cool new people. We tract a lot and always get in to find lessons and families and people let us in all of the time, but it has been difficult to find people who have been truly prepared for the gospel. We will keep working right along all the same and see where everything goes. One of my favorite people is Christian. He is around 23 years old and he just showed up to church one day with one of his good friends. He has been learning for a few weeks now and comes to church every week and is just a way cool guy. Things are going great.

So this week in my study on faith I moved on to Father Adam, and I looked in to how Heavenly Father helped him to develop faith. Adam is a pretty cool guy, I wish that we had a little bit of information about him. One the things that I notice comes from the Book of Moses (great book). Adam falls and is cast out of the garden. I read through it, and nowhere in the fall does it say anything about The Atonement or the Savior or anything like that. What I gathered was that when Adam fell, he thought he was done. He didn't know that he was going to be able to make it back. That must have been a pretty dreary time for him. Then, the
 Lord commands him to start making sacrifices. Adam doesn't really know why, he just does it anyways. Then an angel comes and says "Dude, why are you doing these sacrifices" (not a direct quote, I paraphrased that). Adam looks at him for a second and then answers him "Ya know, I don't really know" (also paraphrased). The angel then goes on to explain that it is symbolic of the Savior and His Great and Atoning Sacrifice. This is the way that Heavenly Father teaches all of us. He gives us hands on experiences so that when the explanation finally comes it is much more clear to us. The angel could have just come down in a pillar of light and told Adam that there would be an Atonement, and Adam might have understood it, but it took on a whole new meaning to him because he had experienced it himself. In Matthew 5:48 we are commanded to be perfect like our Father in Heaven. More than anyone else, He knows what we need to do and to learn in order for us to become perfect like him, and he guides us in our lives to places and people that will teach us these things. Sometimes this is a hard way to learn. That is where faith comes in. Faith is trusting that, as D&C 1 says, all of these things will be for our benifit, and having the humility to allow The Lord to change us each in to what he needs us to be. I know he has a plan for each of us. Love you all so much,

Elder Jensen

Scripture of the week: Moses 5:6-10

Monday, January 9, 2017


Dear everybody,
Have I ever told you how much I love my job? It is the greatest. This week was awesome. President Foote and the assistants were here all week which was great. We were able to do interviews, go on splits, and finished it all off with 22 baptisms as a zone on Saturday!! All in all, just a great week.

Hopefully you all remember Frederic and Eleanore. They were the family I talked about right when I got here to Tamatave, and they are just awesome. Anyways, they got baptized on Saturday, which was just about the greatest thing ever. Also Clovis and Jaqueline came to church again yesterday! We are sending the information over to the missionaries in Toliear (A long ways away) so that they can get all of the paperwork for us and then send it up with transfers next week. That way they can get married and eventually baptized! Life is great.

So this week I decided to start a very long and in depth study on the fourth article of faith. In case you aren't familiar with that one, it's the one that starts out "We believe". If you didn't get that joke, you should probably go read the articles of faith again. Anyways, I started out by studying about faith, which I am still going on right now. I have decided that there are many levels of faith, starting with simply having a desire to believe and going all the way up to having a perfect knowledge. I spent about three days studying on a having a desire to believe. I think that my favorite example of this came from the wife of King Lamoni. This takes place just after Lamoni's encounter with Ammon. He has prayed and then fell to the earth as though dead. A few days go by and everyone thinks he is dead. Everyone except for his wife, who is clinging to this hope that he is still alive. She goes to Ammon and asks for advice. Ammon tells her that on the next day, he will rise. Now this is a woman with absolutely no spiritual knowledge, but she believes him. She doesn't know HOW he will rise, or WHY he will rise, but that doesn't matter. All she knew was THAT he would rise. And that is faith. The Lord has all knowledge, and all of our knowledge comes through him. If there is something we don't understand yet, maybe we weren't supposed to. Many people question Joseph Smith's vision because they can't explain it. Some even go as far as to question the existance of our Heavenly Father, simply because they can't explain it. Well, maybe we weren't meant to. If we could explain every little detail of the gospel we wouldn't need faith any more. Christ suffered and died for us. We can't really explain how or why it happened, and we don't need to. All we need to know is that it happened. THAT he lived, THAT he died for us, and THAT he is risen and lives still. Love you all so much. That paragraph made sense in my head, hopefully I wrote it down right and it makes sense to you. 
Elder Jensen

Scripture of the week: 2 Corrinthians 5:7

 Here in Madagascar even the cats eat rice

 That spider is about 4 inches across and the white thing is the egg sack. He just eyed me down a whole lesson.
Frederik and Eleanore 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year

Dear everybody,
Sorry I missed you last week but I skyped with most of you anyways. Merry late Christmas and happy late new years. It has been a great couple of weeks out here in Tamatave for sure.
Life is just awesome.

So this week was great. We had a solid week teaching some way awesome people. I actually didn't spend much time in my own area just due to the fact that we had a lot of baptismal interviews to be done in preparation for Jan. 7. It should be a great baptism for the whole zone. New Years was great. We taught some awesome families. I think one of my favorites still is Clovesil and Jacqueline and their 3 kids. They are amazing. They have been learning from the missionaries for quite a while. The kids come to church every week and are basically just members. The parents are also great but have been really hesitant in leaving their old church. Anyways, on christmas they finally came!! All together as a family!! It made me way happy. They came again this week, and I think they are finally ready. The only problem left is that they are not yet legally married. Also, everything they need to get married is a week long trip in a bus all the way across the country. No big deal right? Yeah, we're still working on figuring that one out. 

So I have been thinking a lot the last couple of days about a conversation that I had with President Foote a couple of weeks ago about culture. You see, the culture here in madagascar is pretty diferent from the culture over there in utah. Thing is, our old Utah culture is very different from anywhere else in the world, even anywhere in the states. That's because what The Lord says is ok and what The World says is ok are 2 very diferent things. President Foote explained it like this. He first drew a straight line on a piece of paper. This is The Lord's culture. It never changes. Ever. He then drew another line very close to the first that was parallel to it for a little bit and then slowly veered away, making a big gap. This line represents the world's culture.
Fifty years ago it was fairly close. Now it has become pretty far apart, and it just keeps getting farther and farther. It's hard to be a latter day saint, people think we're wierd. To be honest they're right. We are weird because the things we do aren't the things that society says are "cool". As time goes on we're going to keep getting weirder and weirder. It's not that we are changing, it is that the world's views are getting farther away from The Lord's. As the gap gets bigger, it's going to keep getting harder and harder to be a Latter Day Saint. The only true and lasting happiness comes from doing things The Lord's way. Hold to the rod folks. I know the church is true, and I am so very grateful that I was able to be raised the way I was and to know things that I know. Love you all,

Elder Jensen

Scripture of the Week: Isaiah 55: 6-9