Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Life is Good

Dear everyone,

This week was another one for the record books. No, we didn't set any records, to be honest it was a little rough for work, but I wouldn't trade the things that I've learned for the whole world.

The one bright spot work wise was a new family we found, Aristad and Rina. We tracked into them late at night, at that time when you start getting dirty looks from people and everyone starts yelling or locking their doors. Aristad met us at the door and let us right in. He is a very faithful and smart guy, but confessed to us that he hadn't been to church for a few months. I asked if missionaries had ever taught him before, and he said no, but he told us how he already has a "Mormon

bible". We asked him to get it, and he came out with one of the oldest and most worn Book of Mormons that I have ever seen. I instantly recognized it as one of the very first Malagasy copies ever released, clear back in 2004. It had no references and no topical guide at the back, which made it really thin. Anyways, the lesson went great, he seems very prepared and loves to learn, and so hopefully we will be able to see him progress and move forward over the next couple of weeks.

Other than that, in studies this week I started reading from the Pearl of Great Price. First, in chapter 1, Moses sees the savior Jesus Christ. He is taken up and beholds the glory of the Lord, and when they conversation was over he fell to the earth and said of the experience "Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed." Later, after the devil had tempted him, The Lord again appeared and showed him this world, yea the whole earth and everything in it. He saw mountains and rivers, forests and oceans, and all that the Lord had created here. He and the Lord spoke for a moment about it all, the beauty and the power of all the Lord had created, and then the Lord said something to Moses which hit me just a little harder this time.

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

I thought about that for a long time. I thought about the eternal life of man. I thought of our Heavenly Father's plan for us, and the wonderful potential we each have to become like Him. As He says here, man kind is and always will be the greatest. All of the mountains and the oceans, the tempests and the great storms, all of the power and majesty of all that He has created is nothing compared to the potential of  a single soul. We are His greatest creation, and He loves us more than we could ever understand. I am so grateful for this opportunity to come here to earth, to learn and to grow. I am especially grateful for the Atonement of our savior that enables us to return to him again. Love you all so much

Elder Jensen

Scripture of the week: Moses 1:39

The Mission Life

Dear everyone,

This week was great. We have had some success finding new people and have had some very interesting lessons, but especially the last couple of days have been really great.

So one of the interesting parts of the week was our lesson with Jean Claude and Elizabeth. The are an older couple, maybe in their fifties, and they have met with the missionaries once before. In fact, my trainer Elder Koplin found them before I had even gotten in to country. Needless to say it has been a while. They are very very devout in their FJKM church (The Church of Jesus Christ here in Madagascar), in fact, Jean Claude is a mpiandry in the church. I honestly don't know what the translation for that one is, but he's pretty high up. Anyways, we have taught them once or twice, but this time was very different. I might have kind of accidently approached the topic of Priesthood authority in not the most tactful way. I swear I really didn't mean to, but it happened. Before we knew it he had grabbed his bible. I promise that I really do try to avoid Bible bashing with people, but every once in a while my pride still gets the better of me and pretty quick he and I were going at it. We fought and shared scriptures back and forth for about 40 minutes, but it was strange, it was not like most arguments I've gotten in to. I realized that he wasn't trying to fight, he was just caught between what he had been taught his whole life and trying to understand this new concept. We brought it back to Joseph Smith, and pretty much just layed it all on the line for him. I told him "Look, the two of us don't both have the authority. Either you do or I do. Either you are called of God or I am. Don't you think it's important that we find out which? In the end it all comes down to the Prophet Joseph Smith".  He agreed fully and we both humbled ourselves a bit and he agreed to pray about it. Then we promised we would come back and bring him a Book of Mormon, which would help him to know. As we were leaving, he said to me that he hoped that he hadn't upset me, that this was just a very important thing that he felt he really needed to understand. Of course he hadn't upset me, but I was so impressed with how much that this man sincerely wanted to serve the Lord, no matter where or when.

I am so very grateful for the Prophet, Joseph Smith, and the restored Gospel here on the earth. I am grateful that our Heavenly Father loved us enough to restore it for us, even though we had rejected it so many times. Love you all, have a great week,

Elder Jensen
Scripture of the week: Articles of Faith 1:5

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Dear Family,

This week was great. I finally got my new and final companion on Wednesday, and we got started. We are here in Toamasina, still on the coast, and we are whitewashing. I don't know if anybody knows what that is, but it basically just means that we are both new to the area and are pretty much starting from scratch. The branch here is great though, and they have helped out a lot. We have already found some pretty great people and started building up a program, but we still have a long ways to go.

One of my favorite new people is a man named Didios. I first contacted him while tracking a couple of weeks ago, and he came to church the second week of being taught. I love teaching him he is always looking for answers. He loves the principle of God calling modern day prophets and apostles to lead and guide us today. This past week we were able to start teaching his wife with him. I say wife, but it's really just his girlfriend that lives with him. We will deal with that hiccup along the way. Anyways she is not quite as easily accepting as he is, but you can tell that she really just wants to understand it all before she commits too much to anything. I am really excited to see where they go in the next couple of weeks.

So in personal study I have set a goal to finish the Book of Mormon before I get home. I started a few weeks ago, and now I am in the Book of Helaman. I love the Book of Mormon. It really is another testament of Jesus Christ and the keystone of our religion, and I know it is true.
Love you all so much,
Elder Jensen

Scripture of the week: Moroni 10:3-5

Happy Independance Day

Dear everyone,

I know that you are all thinking that I am a week early on that email, but I promise I'm not. I'm talking about Malagasy Independence Day! Tratran'ny 26 e!!!!!! It's pretty much the biggest party of the year here, which really just means a lot of booz. Legitimately everyone gets drunk. We had a 6 p.m. curfew on the 24th, 25th, and the 26th, which made working really hard because that's the only time anyone is home. Also, we got transfer news! I have officially been released from being an Assistant to the President and I will be staying here in Tamatave for my last transfer. I know, crazy right? I'm on my last transfer already. I will be whitewashing an area called Toamasina and my new companion will be a guy named Elder Van Zyl from South Africa. He is fresh out of training, two months into his mission, and the driver will be bringing him up in a few hours. At that point, we have about 7 weeks (transfers were early this time around) to tear it up out here and I couldn't be more excited. Anyways, because of the parties yesterday not a single cyber cafe was open, so I am emailing on Tuesday and I'm going to keep it short. Love you all so much,

Elder Jensen

Scripture of the Week: D&C 11:21 (I love scripture studies)