Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Week

View from the Church
Howdy!! Hope everyone had a safe Christmas holiday!! 

Another week in the books and my last Christmas in Mada. I remember my first Christmas here like it was just yesterday. Whew. 

Tuesday was a great day of work. We taught a few good lessons. One that stood out to me was a lesson we taught to Tanjona, the roof guy. First off, he took us up on the top of the roof to the real house. The thing was a MANSION. Still not done but that house was incredible. We just taught him in the house. We gave him a Book of Mormon a couple weeks ago but couldnt catch him to teach him about it. Well, we got there and he basically just taught us about it hahah. He had already started reading and is loving it. He is an awesome investigator. Everything just clicks and he is so dang smart. Ive done about a million Book of Mormon lessons on my mission, but I have never felt The Spirit like that testifying of the truth of Moroni's promise at the end of the book. I felt it and I know he felt it. 

Wednesday was just another one of those days in Mada. Haha. The day started out great. Had an awesome Zone Meeting. Babb and I along with the other ZLs tried to get people PUMPED UP. Its sad how people take the Work of Salvation so lightly. Hopefully it hit someone because it hit me!! Then we had a great White Elephant. Out of 40 missionaries we only had three not bring gifts!! There always has to be a couple party poopers haha. It went well but I couldnt stop laughing. NO ONE WOULD STEAL. haha we were about 25 missionaries in and we had our first steal. I guess everyone is in their missionary mode and feel bad to break one of the Ten Commandments. People then finally started stealing a little more and the classic White Elephant banter was present. My present was 2 kilos of rice and 1 kilo of beans. The receiver was not happy hahahah. I got some toffees. They tasted beautifully. Had to rush home to Skype, and then the Cyber was closed....and then the other Cyber was closed.....and then we found one, but no Skype.....tried to email the fam and then the power went out......plus it was raining hahaha. Just one thing after another. Went to the Church where they were having a Branch Party. Went well. The Elders Quorum actually bucked up and sang a couple of numbers!! Hahah it was good to see!

CHRISTMAS DAY. Just dead here in Mada. Nothing really opened at all. Went and chilled by a lake in our area in the morning and threw the football around that Babb got for Christmas. Then we went to go find a cyber....nothing.....got a hold of a computer but no skype....man it was a tough weak on the technology side of things haha. No members had invited us over and no one was gunna let us in so we decided to go to the US Embassy and see if we could get in. Got to this security checkpoint and called the front desk to see how we could get in if we wanted to. The guy was not nice. Told us we had no business there and shouldnt be trying to get in....Yeah he was a democrat. Hahahahaha. Basically impossible to get into that building. Kinda defeats the purpose of an Embbassy haha. Made it home that evening and watched a couple church movies. It was good to just chill with the guys around the house and focus on the real reason for the Season. 

Finally got to Skype on Friday morning!! Man that was great. Good to see the fam, and I didnt get too homesick hahah. Rest of the day went awesome. Tracted into the nicest house I have been in country. People let us in and told their daughters in English to "Get your Bibles." Babb and I looked at eachother like, "What did she just say??" haha. Turns out the guy is the owner of the company that paints all our church buildings here in Madagascar. He knows all the guys that work at the office. He is also a Deacon at the Protestant church in Downtown Tana. THAT IS A BIG DEAL. They graciuosly listened to our lesson and asked us to come back...this could be one of those legendary families. Babb and I were stoked. 

A couple disappointing setbacks, church keys have still not been given to the church for some reason or another. We will probably not meet there Sunday:( Yanta, Flavien's baptism has been pushed back a couple weeks due to marriage papers having a problem again....and last but not least, Norbert and his family we will be baptized in a couple weeks. Very disappointing but the reasoning is pretty good. The Prime Minister could probably not make it this Saturday but he is free at the end of the month. Yeah you read that right, the PRIME MINISTER. Norbert is also inviting the President of Madagascar and all main officials. He is not just sending them an invitation, he is handing those out in person. This could be a big day for the Church in Mada!! 

Have a safe and Happy New Year!!

God bless. 

Elder Hein

My Christmas Tree - the instrument I bought awhile back.

The lake we played football at on Christmas Day.
Elder Stringfellow,  Elder Hein,  Elder Gaul
My new companion….Elder Babb
Elder Koplin.  He lived in our house for 12 weeks.  He was transferred.  Gunna miss this guy.
Somebody need to go to the bathroom?
Christmas Pancakes!

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Well, not a lot this week. Stringfellow left me Tuesday morning and Babb came in Wednesday morning. I have been training for 6 months now and I have loved it. But, it was pretty awesome to have someone speak more than me at a lesson hahahaha. Havent had that for a long time. Elder Babb is awesome. Real chill guy and a very hard worker. Cant ask for much else. Ive been very lucky with comps and Babb is no exception to that!
Also, in some news, Elder Gaul left Mada on Wednesday. I got to see him on Tuesday and it was tough to see him go. But his work is done and Im sure The Lord was pleased. It will be cool to all be back in the Provo/Orem area and just hang out after the mission.
The traffic here has literally become insane. They told us in December it gets bad. They were wrong. It is horrible. It has cut our efficiency down way bad. There is only one road that goes in and out of the city to our area....one road. And that road is a two way road.....one going in to the city and the other way leaving it. I love this place, but the Christmas hustle and bustle is killing me.
So to answer y'all's questions, is there Christmas hustle and bustle here in Mada? YES. Just this afternoon, Babb and I walked through the main part of downtown where they have all the sellers of anything you can think of. I will try to paint the picture. Imagine a football field. Now put three thousand people on that field. Now put 100 cars and buses on that field. Now put screaming babies and screaming vendors on that field. Now have the people try to walk through that field.....HAHAHA that was Analakely earlier today. You couldnt even budge. You got a bus in your face on your right, Malagasies on your left and Elder Babb's 6 foot 1 frame pushing me from behind haha. I can honestly say that India on the Amazing Race doesnt hold a candle to Madagascar at this time of year. It's crazy.
So the baptism didnt happen due to some paper problems. The baptism has been pushed back to be with Norbert's on the 3rd in the NEW CHURCH. Yep, you read that right, it is DONE. We are super pumped and the work will explode!! So grateful I get to be apart of it.

Well, thats it. Sorry kinda lame. Just a bunch of anticipation for the upcoming Christmas Skype session!!

Elder Hein

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Son Is Leaving Me!!

A bittersweet week here in Ambohimananrina, Antananarivo, Madagascar. Dang thats a mouthful. 

Tuesday we had an incredible Zone Conference. The best one I have been to in country. President and the APs were on fire. The APs went over the history of the church here in Madagascar. It has all been in my lifetime. The first missionaries to ever set foot in Mada were back in 1993. My mission was created in 1998.....I am three years older than this mission. The church is so young here and to see the growth is incredible. We are over 10000 members in that short period of time with two stakes, two districts, and branches scatered ALL over Mada. In the next five years we will have a couple more Stakes, another mission, and hopefully a temple. The craziest statistic to me was, as of Thursday, there have only been 966 missionaries to ever serve in Madagascar. I am one in a thousand. How cool is that? There have been thousands upon thousands of missionaries since the Restoration of this church. I am so blessed for the opportunity to work here. It is just amazing to look at the big picture and see how every day of work that we put in as missionaries, really counts years down the line. Its incredible. 

President then talked about repentance and true conversion. There is no doubt in my mind that Pres Adams is called of God. The Spirit about him is so evident. He is what this mission and this country needs NOW. He is so scriptually sound, it is hard to describe. He based his teachings off of a talk from Elder David A Bednar entitled, Converted Unto The Lord. Go read it. It talks about the differences of a testimony and true conversion. We often put those two together but they are very seperate ideas. A testimony is NOT ENOUGH. We need to be completely changed to be truly converted. Keeping the commandments is not enough. We need to WANT to keep the commandments. We need to have an eye single to the glory of God and His plan for us. Our thoughts, desires, everything, need to change and be lined up with God's. THEN we will be converted. So in other words, we all have a long way. But that is what I love about the Gospel. You can have that conversion EVERY SINGLE DAY. Ive seen that on my mission. In others and in myself. 

Please pray for Yanta and Flavien as their papers have a little problem. Their baptism is scheduled for this weekend, but it might have to be moved to the 27th. 


Elder Stringfellow is headed out of here and going to TAMATAVE!!!!! Lucky duck. Gets out of the city and out to the northwest coast. Tamatave is a tropical place with rain all the time and the beach!! We have a Zone out there of 10 missionaries and they all ride bikes, on SAND hahaha. I can hear String's legs pleading and begging for mercy. Im gunna miss his guts. One of my favorite comps for sure. Learned a lot from him. He is just a straight baller and will be an incredible missionary. Cant wait to see what the future holds for him. 

I am receiving: ELDER BABB!! He is from Pleasant Grove, Utah and I have known him for a long time. We will both be ZLs together. He got here to Mada one transfer before me so we are pretty much the same age. He is a running back and has offers to utah and byu....lets just say BYU will have another recruit after I give him my sales patch. Sorry Dad. GO COUGS

Thats pretty much the week. Bittersweet to say the least. I hope yall get a chance to see The Hobbit this next week. 

God bless. 

Elder Hein

What is written below in blue came from Jessey's companion Elder Stringfellow on Dec. 8 on his blog.  We thought it would be interesting to post here as well.

This week was a crazy week and I have a lot of really cool stories. To start off on Tuesday Elder Hein and I taught the poorest family we've been to so far....They live in a one room house with no electricity or running water. They have a dirt floor and the only two things in the house were a twin bed for the parents and a candle sitting on the window ledge. All seven kids sleep on the dirt floor and they only have one set of clothing. It literally broke my heart when I walked in. It's really humbling being here in Mada and seeing the poverty all around. I'm just really grateful for what I have and were I live. If you get the chance please read the talk by Elder Holland that he gave in this last conference. It has changed my life!


Petra loved this story she got from Jessey's in an email he sent directly to her.  She wanted to share it.  See below in blue.

We taught the roof guy the first lesson in depth and he understood it completely. It was actually really cool because I was drawing in the dirt the lesson as I taught it. And then he would grab the stick from me and point out things in my drawing he had questions about. Super awesome! 

Yanta, Flavien, Sylvie and Elder Stringfellow

Norbert and Elder Stringfellow

The rain as destroyed two of our walls.

Our walls washed away.  Mada construction!
Another view of what the rain did around us.

An Indian Guy who rides his bike around the world getting donations for AIDS!!! Hes been doing it for 20 years. We helped him find the Indian Embassy haha. Look at that pose and hair...Beautiful

Coolest soccer field I have ever seen!

Ducklings are mahafatifaty kely

Can you find my companion?

Monday, December 8, 2014


Another great week here. This has been one of the most fun times on my mission.
On the mission you learn to deal with a lot of things. One of them is disappointment. One of our investigators, Gina, who String and I basically taught all the lessons, kinda let us go. She was super diligent, but just kept saying she hadnt gotten an answer of the truthfulness. So we dropped by on Friday and taught her one last time to see if anything had changed, but nothing had. It was pretty sad, especially because she was String's first lesson in country. Gina just kept saying right now just isnt her time and she hasnt got an answer. She also added that she will probably get baptized in the future just not now. This isnt a first for me on the mission. This happens weekly with investigators. This is when you get angry at God's gift of agency to men haha. But, at first, it always bummed me out, but honestly, I just realized that Im just planting seeds for the future. Everything is done in The Lord's time and if we have done everything we can, we shouldnt fret about it too much.
But on the happier side of things....
Yanta, Flavien, and their adoptive daughter passed their bap interviews and will be getting baptized on the 20th!!!!! We are super excited. They have been through a little more than two years of missionaries and lessons and now it is paying off. They were the most ready people I have ever taught. They just had to go through a trial of faith (getting legally married) to receive the testimony. I am thankful to God for the opportunity I had to see that trial of faith and their struggle be completed. It has helped my testimony a lot. I cant wait to see their baptism, and their progression in the Gospel afterwards!!
Also, on Saturday I went on a split with ELDER GAUL!!! My father from my first days on the mission in Ambositra!! He is heading home in a week and a half and it was just a great time to get to hit the streets, preaching the good word with him once again. Felt like old times, but I think my Malagasy has improved since then haha. Gaul is just a missionary legend. Someone I always strive to be like. Always worked hard, loved the people, good at the language, connected with the people, but most importantly: Loves His Savior and loves doing His work. I hope when I get towards my last week that people will be able to say that about me. He's a boss and I am gunna miss him.
Wel, transfers are next week.......String and I will be getting new comps. Pretty sad, but exciting for Stringfellow to kinda get to fly on his own. Ive loved working with him.
I cant say enough about the mission. I just wish yall could be here working with me!! I see so many things everyday that I bet everyone would change and improve from. Love yall and have a great week!!
God bless.
Elder Hein 
My Area

My Area - Again!

Wild Life!

Norbert, his family and Elder Gaul - my father (first companion)

Norbert and Elder Gaul

Elder Gaul (my father) and Elder Stringfellow (my second son)!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Turkey Time!!

Howdy! Hope all had a good Thanksgiving and a safe Black Friday. 

This week was great. Taught a lot, got some really cool new investigators, and had one of my favorite Turkey Days of all time!! 

Tuesday I went on a split with Elder Thompson. We were both in the MTC together so it was great to see how far both of us have come as missionaries. I love him to death and we had a cool experience: So first off, here in Mada, white people kinda get racially abused. It all stems from how bad the French treated the Malagasies in the past, but it floods over onto us too. It isnt too bad, you kinda just learn to deal with it. Ive kinda learned to either tune it out, or turn to them and talk. Once they see you are good at their language, they start to like you. Well, we were walking past a house being built and a guy in his twentys yelled at us pretty loud and rude so I continued to walk. Didnt wanna give him the time of day. (Thats Elder Hein's pride, baby!) Kept walking and he repeated and repeated it, so I finally turned and said WHAT? He told us to enter, I replied, "You are on the roof, where in the world do you want us to enter?" He laughed and came down and we had a VERY good lesson. He asked incredible questions that literally led right into the lesson. Finished the lesson and he said he would be at church on Sunday....Yeahhh...Ive heard that one a lot. Walk into church Sunday morning and he is there 45 minutes early, just waiting for it to start. I just about dropped dead hahaha. It was a nice big smack in the face of humility. I felt like an idiot for being too prideful, but I learned from it hhaha! 

Wednesday was a nice day of work for me and string. Found a couple new investigators that really have some potential. But Wednesday was just more of anticipation for the big turkey day!! 

TURKEY DAY!!! We woke up and took some final pictures with our Turkey, Queen. She was a good turkey. We had her for a month. She gained weight but was still a little disobedient to us. Haha animals are never perfect. But we decided that I would kill it because it was my baby. So we went outside and got the job done.  Stringfellow was filming and almost passing out HAHA.  Then Randrianantenaina and I defeathered it and cleaned it out. Cut it up for the feast later. Went out and worked and then came back late ready to cook some turkey!!!!!! We cooked the turkey with potatoes and carrots and we made a sauce out of Coke, lemonade, and spices....Trust me it was amazing. We cooked green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits, creamed corn all on the side and had a FEAST!!! And of course we went around the table and said what we were thankful for. It was delicious and to top it off, brownies for dessert!!! 

Rest of the week went great. Taught a TON on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The work is really really hopping. Both areas in the Branch are getting as many lessons in their respective areas as two Elders did by themselves before when both areas were combined!! I love the area. The city gets a little tiring sometimes, but when the work goes and your comp is a legend, nothing could be better!! 

Thats pretty much it. Pretty long one this week. Enjoy the Christmas Season!!

God bless. 

Elder Hein