Monday, April 24, 2017


The editor of this blog had to find a picture of a rainstorm so that the blog would upload correctly. This picture was not taken in Madagascar. 
Dear Family,

This week was great as always. We had a lot of splits. Since there are 4 of us we spend most days with 2 elders in our area and then 2 of us spend the day with another companionship in another area, just doubling the work and trying to help them to build up a program. It has been going great so far, and we have an exciting couple of weeks ahead.

Tuesday was a great day, I got to spend it with Elder Leo. I don't know if you remember him, he was my first companion out in Tamatave, we served as zone leaders together. When he left, he whitewashed an area in Tana, and so we could get together again here now. The day went great, we tracted most of the day and found 5 new families for them to teach. One of the problems with splits is that we only really see people for the first day, and never really find out what happens afterwards, but it was great to be with Elder Leo again. 

So, every Thursday we make a 3-hour drive through the jungle to a place called Moramanga. It is a tiny little branch of about 40 people and there are currently no missionaries serving there, but the members worked so hard at finding referrals for us that once per week we go out there to teach. The road is narrow and winding up and down mountains and through the jungle, and I would say that there are more potholes then there are actual roads. So, driving home from Moramanga was my first experience behind the wheel since being a missionary. As you could assume I was a little rusty. So, we skipped town at around 4:30, a little later than we were supposed to. About an hour down the road it got very very dark. Then the rain hit. Now when I say rain I mean thick Madagascar rain that comes down in waves and threatens to wash you right off the road at every second. And then came the fog. At this point I could no longer see the road, and we had to simply follow the taillights of the guy ahead of us. I'm not going to sugar coat it, I have never been this scared while driving in my life. So, there we were, in the deep jungles of Madagascar feeling about as lost and insignificant as we could, when a very unexpected calm came over me. I can't really explain it. I felt that our Heavenly Father was there. I knew that He knew me, and that He loved me, and that he was ever so aware of 4 of His missionaries, even in the deepest corner of His world. Somehow, we made it back to Tana safely. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us. He took care of us that night. I know that He knows us, each of us, by name, and that He is pulling for us to make it always. I am so very grateful for all the experiences that I have had so far on my mission.
Love you all,

Elder Jensen

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lundi de Paque

So here in Madagascar, there is this holiday called Lundi de Paque. That's French for the Monday after Easter, and in Madagascar, they celebrate that. Because of that, pretty much everything in town is closed and so I don't really have a lot of time today, but here is a summary of my week.

So, Monday I rode down to Tana with President and Sister Foote. That was about an 8-hour drive through the winding jungle, not so fun, but it was still great because it was with President. On Tuesday, we picked up all the new missionaries coming in this transfer. There are 5 of them, all from South Africa, and they are doing great. They got all the paperwork taken care of for visas and such and then took them back to our house for the night. We spent the rest of the night delivering people around for transfers, and picking up the 5 new trainers. Most of Wednesday was spent in a training meeting for all the Trainers and trainees, and the best part of those is that Sister Foote cooks all the meals. I have almost forgotten how great a home cooked meal is. On Thursday, we drove out to a branch called Moramanga, which is about 3 hours outside of Tana. We work there on Thursdays. I have been slowly remembering how to drive, but I'm a little bit rusty. It doesn't help that there are really no traffic laws here in Madagascar, and the traffic is insane! My first time back on the roads was home from Moramanga on Thursday. Other than that, it was a pretty normal week.

Love you all so much,

Elder Jensen

Scripture of the week: JST Mark 3:22

Monday, April 10, 2017

Conference, Broken Toe and Transfers

Dear Everyone,

Yes I really did mean to put that as the subject and yes I know that I am a week late. Conference is just a little bit slower getting to Madagascar, so we finally got to watch it this weekend. As for the broken toe, don't worry it wasn't mine. And the final news of the day, I've been transferred!!
So first off conference was great as always. I loved all of the talks that were given. I think some of my favorites were the ones by President Nelson, Elder Choi, and also Elder Sabin. I think that the thing that impressed me the most about conference was all of the talks about the family, and how a family has to work together and help each other so that we can all receive eternal life, and I guess that I finally just realized how much that the family really is central to our success. That was just one of many things, but conference all together was amazing.
Now for the broken toe. Due to a tragic accident involving a falling chain in our home, Elder Koncurat broke his toe on Tuesday. He broke it pretty bad too. We spent the day at the hospital getting x-rays and checkups and such, only to find that he is going to need surgery. Well, surgeries cannot be done here in Madagascar according to church policy, and since he only had one transfer left, on Thursday Elder Koncurat was put on a plane and is now in America. We were pretty sad to see him go, but I guess sometimes life just comes up fast. 
So we thought that because Elder Koncurat had to leave that I would be staying in Tamatave. Well, we were sorely mistaken. On Friday I got a call from President Foote saying that I was moving back to Tana. I will now be working in the Anjanahary ward. That's right, my first ward of my whole mission! I am way excited to get there and get started. I am actually here in Tana now. 
All in all, it's been a pretty great week. That's all I got for now, love you all.

Elder Jensen

Close Call

Dear everyone,

Life is still great on the other side of the world. After a very long and stressful couple of days, Clovis and Jaqueline's papers finally came in at the last possible second and they were able to get baptized on Saturday, that was a great day.

So Tuesday we already had their baptismal interviews, which they both passed. Then all that was left was to wait for the papers to arrive. They were sent from Toliara last Thursday, so we were in for a nailbiter. Thursday night, very late, a full week after they were sent, the papers finally made it here to Tamatave. That made for a frantic Friday morning of trying to put them all together and make it work out, only to find that one was missing. All of this work and we were still missing a paper. Then somehow, almost miraculously, we found in their old cupboards a diferent paper that had the same effect when we got to town hall. It all worked out and we were finally able to get them married on Saturday morning before being baptized on Saturday afternoon. Baptizing Clovis was interesting because he is as tall as I am and the water was only just above knee deep, but we made it work. I love this family so much. They have been learning since before I got here and wanted so badly to be baptized but thought it would never happen, just because of all of the problems, but the Lord always finds a way.

So in my studies this week I looked a little bit in to self mastery as a part of repentance. It is a very hard part of repentance. Some old habits are very very hard to kick. I really like the scripture of Mosiah 3:19, it's one of my favorites. As it says, we must be able to put off the natural man if we are ever going to be able to return to our father in heaven. That means having enough self control to be able to change and put off the natural man.

Love you all,

Elder Jensen