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.
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.