Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Homba anao hatrany anie ny Ray

Howdy!

Great week. Went to Ambositra. Last Zone Conference. Branch party. Last goodbyes. Bus up to Tana with Covey. Now Im here. 

It's come down to my last blogpost. Last letter home from this crazy island that I love so much. I get on a plane tomorrow and get home Thursday. I cant believe it's here. It has flown by and I wish it wouldn't have. But life moves on and everything I have seen, heard, done, didn't do, etc, will help me be a better brother, son, student, and father. Most importantly, it will help me be a better man of God. Not a single day in the future will go by without Madagascar crossing my mind. This place has given me so much and I hope in turn, I gave some back. 

I hope I gave back the love that these people showed me. I hope I gave back some of the blessings that these people gave me here. I hope I carried myself like a man of God for these past two years. I hope people saw the light of Christ in my eyes. I hope people felt the truthfulness of the message. I hope people came closer to our Lord and Savior. 

That was my purpose. To bring souls to Christ. I prayed to God everyday to help me fulfill my purpose. I have seen His hand in the work every single day. Not one day passed on my mission, where I didnt feel the love of God. He was there everyday. He and His Son live. And they love. I know that. 

I feel accomplished. I have really tried my hardest. I worked as hard as I could. And when I didn't, I repented, and tried harder the next day. That's what the gospel of Jesus Christ is. It's repentance. It's progression. It's change. 

That's what this whole mission showed me. Yes, a missionary's job is to serve other people everyday. But I have  come to find out that the mission is the most personal thing I have ever done in my life. Once you put away yourself and look to others, you find yourself. You dont find yourself in the middle of your service. You find yourself afterwards. You see how much you have changed. How much you have grown. And that's what I've seen in me. 

I don't think I'm a completely different person. Honestly, I'm the same old same old Jessey Hein from Plano, Texas. But where I have changed is how I see everything. The way I view things is different. I just want to follow Christ more. I just wanna be a good family member. I just wanna be a good person. 

I know this is the work of God. I would have been home a long time ago if it wasn't. I've seen it change too many people's lives to not be true. More importantly, Ive seen it change mine. I love my Heavenly Father. He has a plan. We are all at the forefront of it. Everything He does, is for us. Remember that. He loves you. And He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to show us the way. He sent His Son to die for us and rise victoriously from the grave, so that we could do the same. Don't waste that. The price has already been paid. Why dont we just be diligent and take in the gift? Life is very difficult. I have seen that every day here. But, The gospel of Jesus Christ is simple. And if we follow it, the rewards we will receive are beyond comprehension. I know that to be true and this is my final testimony from this far away blessed place in the name of Jesus Christ, our Master, amen. 

God bless, 


Elder Hein

Monday, June 1, 2015

We're Famous!

Howdy!

Pretty good week here in good ol' Fianarantsoa! Seen some progress in some new investigators and some old ones!! Also, the Branch seems  to be improving each and every week, which is what we are working for. We've been doing tons of trainings, visits, lessons, talks, etc....Loads of stuff that is hopefully helping the Branch. It is sure helping me! I've had a great opportunity in this area to really see how a Branch works and what really happens underneath the surface. And trust me, there is tons of stuff underneath the surface here. I wont lie, it is tiring. But, we are just fixing up the creases and pushing out the air bubbles. It is a process, but we aren't looking forward to tomorrow. We are looking at 20 years down the road when this place is a Stake (an area with multiple congregations). We are working towards that and sometimes it is hard to get that through to the members. It is just a process and it is not like this hasn't happened before. It happens everywhere, all the time. We just need to remember that God is perfect, the church is perfect, and the members aren't. But the church is there for the "perfecting of the Saints."

Other stuff:

IT IS FREEZING HERE. I kid you not. Madagascar is not this tropical island that everyone thinks it is haha. Fianarantsoa gets COLD. Maybe Im just not used to it though haha. I'm gonna get to Provo in December and die. 

WE ARE FAMOUS. Or, infamous....Talking to some members last night and they were telling us about a Pastor giving a sermon on TV last week. He's a Pastor here in Fianarantsoa and took time in his sermon to say, "Don't listen to those white guys on bikes." HAHAHAHAHA obviously the work is going well and we are making a big stamp on Fianarantsoa. I'm not saying we have thousands of people flocking to our doors, but The Spirit of The Lord is touching many here. The 8 Elders are working hard. Especially, the four on bikes;)

Well, ladies and gents, this is my last week. Some of y'all might not know why Im heading home a couple transfers early, but there is a reason!! haha. Im getting a final surgery on my hand to fix it up for good. Very disappointing, but The Lord has something for me on the other side. I know that. 

So, I got a lot on my mind. A lot of thoughts, a lot of feelings. I honestly dont know how I should be feeling haha. Ive learned to much too even begin to describe. I wish I could spit it all out. I really wish I could. But you know what? I'll try to do it next week. I'll get on and give my last testimony. 

Till next week. God bless. 


Elder Hein 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Pentecost

Howdy!! Coming in a day late due to Pentecost yesterday. Everything was shut down. I swear, Malagasies celebrate the weirdest holidays haha.
But, it provided for good entertainment yesterday as we went to a tolon'omby. BULL FIGHT haha. Lets just say it is a little different than a good ol Texas rodeo. They throw a bull into the ring and then five crazy Malagasies jump in and try to wrestle it. The bulls in this country have a weird lump of fat on their neck. Kind of like a camel's hump. Thats what the wrestlers grap onto. It's crazy. They go until the bull stops bucking and then they let it out of the ring. Then bring in another one. Awesome. The stadium was awesome. On the mountainside. Felt like I was in Ancient Greece or something. Crazy music going. Everyone screaming and yelling. They sharpened the bull's horns....Yeah usually people get gored and die...Luckily we didnt see any of that. Gladiator:Malagasy Style
Other than that yesterday, I cut Covey's hair. Im getting kinda good at it. I might open up a barbershop when I get home haha.
The week was pretty good. We had some new goals placed and we went hard to hit them. A couple things got in the way, but we came pretty dang close and saw some fruits from our labors. It's crazy what can happen when you set goals prayerfully and ask God for help to acheive them. Miracles happen.
This is officially my last full week of work....Next week we have a trip to Ambositra, Zone Conference, and a couple other things that we have to do....So this is it. Going as hard as I can.
Did some study in the New Testament on what it means to be "joint-heirs with Christ." Awesome. I literally cant wrap my mind around it. Just doesnt seem fair to me. Jesus came, lived perfect, showed us the way, dies for all of our sins, resurrects. We come here, sin, sin, sin, and sin again? But then, we still have the chance to have EVERYTHING THAT CHRIST HAS. What?! Grace. Grace. Grace. All we have to do is what Christ told us to do?! Doesnt seem fair. And it isnt. In our eyes. Someday we will be able to understand the love and the grace that God and His Son, Jesus Christ,  have for us. But as of now, the numbers just dont add up. What a beautiful plan our Father prepared for us. Get on your knees and thank him for that grace. And then, go out and do everything you can to love Him as much as He loves us. Follow Him.
God bless,
Elder Hein  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rock Climbing!

Howdy! One of the best P Days I've had my whole mission.

Let me explain:

We decided we wanted to gout on a hike to this waterfall pretty far away. So we got up at 5:30 and headed out there. This thing is a good couple hours away at least. Incredible sights. Just really trying to soak in Madagascar. Beautiful cliffs, beatufil waterfall, something out of a movie. We were singing Lord of the Rings stuff the whole time haha. Well, you get to a point where there is no path, so you make your own haha. A couple slips, nothing too serious.

We get to the waterfall....so cool. One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. This country is incredible. Especially, because most of this country hasn't even been touched. It is so far behind. I mean, it is so poor it cant even be classified as a third world country. It is a developing country. THAT IS SO COOL HAHA!!

We see another waterfall a few hundred yards away and go to it. Sheer slippery rock cliff face. So what do we do? Go down it. It gets to a point where I'm sliding down on my butt down on this rock face. I am hauling. The combo of the rock and the water was a slip and slide haha. We come to the waterfall and realize there is no way down but sliding for a good twenty yards. But luckily, all of us are eagle scouts and learned a couple things. We tied our jackets together and repelled down the cliff face. But Covey, being the last one, just had to slide and we caught him hahaha.

Almost at the bottom, and there is a last slip and slide portion. Everyone got down fine. I'm last. Im sliding down and finally get a hold. Wiscombe, Lambert, Covey are just dying laughing. Not helping me at all. Im still holding on but Im laughing so hard I let go....I slide down on my belly for a good 15 yards till I hit the bottom. It was literally like grating cheese. We must've laughed the whole 2 hour hike back. 

Hahaha now that that is out of the way.

Great week here. I feel like we are being incredibly productive right now. Some of the most productive weeks of my mission and I wanted it that way. We are doing tons of stuff that doesnt show up on the stat sheet. Visiting memebers, training members, being at activities, etc. Honestly, in  these past couple of weeks the Branch has progressed a lot.

Investigator wise- Its progressing in leaps and bounds. We had 7 show up at church. A few new ones as well. Also had some good investigator turnouts for the three activities we had on Saturday. Placed a couple baptismal dates on some teenagers that have been progressing really well. Also, had a couple great first lessons this week with some new families. I cant complain about anything.

Less Active wise- We had over ten less actives show up to church on Sunday. Thats BEAUTIFUL. Made the whole week worth it. Still have about 100 to go though haha. Elder Lambert and I, really have a great opportunity to go around and get to know these people. Get to know what made them convert. Get to know what made them go less active. It has been a great learning experience for me.
APs came down for a couple days this week for splits. Rigby and Morely. Two of my best friends. Wouldnt shut up about me going home in three weeks though haha. But it was a pretty good split and I tried stick shift for the first time. I got it into second before it died haha.

Had three activities this past Saturday. Had to be at all of them. Young Men and Young Women activity was great. Climbed a mountain here. Then the Primary activity was fabulous. Dora L'exploratrice for 2 hours. And then the YSA activity was just okay. Took up our whole work day. Wish we coulda gone out and taught, but it's just in our responsibility now. 

Man, its crazy how fast everything is flying. The work is keeping me way busy and I dont really think about it, but there is just little things throughout the day that hint at it. I mean, I set a bap date for sometime after I get home. Crazy. Just really trying to soak it all in. Really just trying to keep myself humble and open to receive everything God wants me to learn here. Sometimes I feel like Im missing something big. But I think Ive realized that the mission is just a bunch of small things. A bunch of small things every single day. And all things come together at the end. If you are truly working hard and desire to serve The Lord, I dont feel you will ever feel like you accomplished everything. I feel as if when that badge finally comes off for good, youll know. God will give you that pat on the back and thank you for the service. I pray each and everyday that everything Im doing is enough. Enough to get that big thing Ive been looking for my whole mission. Just to know that through The Lord's hand and His grace, I made a difference in this far away portion of His vineyard.

God bless,
Elder Hein


































Thursday, May 14, 2015

Soccer



Sorry folks - I posted this late in the week (Jeff)

Howdy and Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there!! Thanks for all you do. Sorry, but my Mom takes the cake for the best Mom. 

A FANTASTIC week here in Fianarantsoa. It really was. Work-wise, it was the best by far. Weve been building a program and visiting tons of members. Literally we are trying to visit every member in the branch, active or inactive. Everyone. Its way fun. Just annoying sometimes. Like I was saying last week, just the tiniest littlest things, are knocking people of the boat. And they just dont wanna reach out for the people trying to pull them back in. BUT, we are seeing some progress and have reactivated a couple families! 

CODY IS GOING TO FRANCE!! Cant believe he already has his call and that I am that old. Im so excited for him. 

Well, Skyping this morning with the fan was great. Can't put it any other way. Really weird though because I'll be on the other side of the camera with them in 4 weeks...

Big time news this week was the WORLD CUP OF FIANARANTSOA. We had been planning it for weeks. The two branches had an incredible battle of skill at the field here at the train station. I was so pumped for it. I could barely focus all Saturday morning haha. It was honestly the worst field I have ever played on, but it was so fun. We even interviewed some people about the match HAHAHA. South branch (mine) came out with the victory 4-2!!! I ended up not even playing that much. The referee got a little annoyed so I took over haha. But it was a great time, had tons of investigators come, and got a victory over the North Branch!! 

Way short this week, but on a spiritual note.....

READ YOUR SCRIPTURES. Not just every now and then, but everyday. Im talking 10 minutes. That's it. I can honestly say that we might only have 10 people(at most) in this Branch that read their scriptures everyday. It's no wonder that people are lost in "the mist of darkness." They arent holding on to the rod. A lot of people have been complaining,"I havent gotten an answer. God doesnt answer." Do you read the scriptures everyday? "No." There is your problem. We expect this grande angelic visitation with an answer, but yet it is already written on paper in our own homes. God has already repeated himself hundreds of times. And most of the time, our answer IS ALREADY IN THERE!!! If we want to know what to do in life, what to study, what path to take, how to get back to heaven, etc, we need to read the words of Christ. They tell us everything. They tell us ALL THINGS WHAT WE SHOULD DO.

Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost;wherefore, they speak   the  words of Christ. Wherefore, said unto you, feast upon the words  of Christ; for behold,the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye   should do.

 If we want to know what to do in life, what to study, what path to take, how to get back to heaven, etc, we need to read the words of Christ. They tell us everything. They tell us ALL THINGS WHAT WE SHOULD DO. So, before we complain about not getting answers to prayers, look in the scriptures. I know that the Holy Ghost will touch your heart and tell you the things you should do. It happens to me everyday. 

God bless, 

Elder Hein

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

All New!



Howdy!
Well, new comp, new house, new transfer, new haircut!!

Just got buzzed at the barber. Haaha no matter how good I get at the language, they still dont know how to cut white people hair haha.

Well I was on a split with a younger missionary in the zone for three days this week, Elder Hammer. We were both waiting for new comps as both of ours went home. Way fun time and I got to lend him some missionary wisdom. Hahaha I love this Grandpa role I have now in the mission. Crazy to think that I'm the next one leaving this island….

Elder Lambert
Elder Lambert came in Wednesday night!! Great to have a new comp and some new energy! He's from St George, Utah and will soon go home as well. We are already having a great time. We both like country music and sports so obviously the work is going well haha. I've just seen on my mission how important the relationship is between companions. When you are both on the same page with the same goals, everything just seems to work.

Well our last house had some problems (mpamaky trano) so we moved on Friday.  Yes this is my second move on the mission haha. Not the most fun, but we like the new house and we are happy.

So weve had lots of stuff to do fixing up the new house so we didnt get much work done. But lets just say, Elder Lambert's legs are already destroyed hahaha (because of riding bikes). BUT our main focus on the maha-mpanolotsaina anay dia hoe is on the members. So many less actives here. So many hurt feelings. So much gossip. So few strong testimonies. It's sad. So what do we do?

LOVE. Just love people. Teach them the doctrine. Teach them the doctrine with love. People go less active over the littlest things. Why? Because they arent loving each other. They arent helping each other hold on to the iron rod, TOGETHER. So all I gotta say is, just be nice. Just love each other. Just help someone out. Just go out of your way to make someone's day. It is pretty simple. Ive realized how much of a dunce I was before the mission for not saying hi to someone or just smiling. JUST BE NICE. Trust me. It makes life better.

Love ya'll. God bless.
Elder Hein




Monday, April 27, 2015

Return to Ambositra (a visit to my first area)



Howdy.

Well, the fastest 6 weeks on my mission just finished. That's not a good thing. It has been a weird experience this transfer. Just working with a missionary that was on his last transfer was a weird thing. But, Elder Fisher is done. He's gone. On his way back to the US of A. We dropped him off last night with Elder Payne at the bus stop and they both headed up to Tana. Wednesday they will be on their way home and both get back to Utah on Thursday morning. Grateful for the chance I had to work with him. I learned a lot. He served a great mission and deserves some rest!

Fianarantsoa
A big time week to say the least. 

Last night was indeed transfer news. My next and last companion will be ELDER LAMBERT. I dont know him super well, but he's not a new face to me. I really like him a lot!! He's from St George, Utah (man I'm on a role of Utah comps)  and we actually share the same first name haha.  Way excited to get him down here and start my last transfer. 

We finally got to view all the sessions of General Conference this past weekend!! It was incredible.  Link is here -    General Conference Talks I thought al the talks were spot on. Lots of the same motifs going around through all the speakers.   Lots of marriage....I aint ready for that hahaha. Favorite three talks were obviously Elder Holland Link, President Uchtdorf (Sunday morn) Link. They were delivered perfectly. The Spirit of The Lord was so strong and it just fit so well with the Easter theme. My next favorite talk went to Kevin S Pearson of the Seventy. PHENOMENAL TALK on Lehi's dream of the tree of life Link. He outlined 6 very good tips to help us progress in this life. Also, shout out to Elder Renlund and Elder Hamilton, both of the Seventy, who had responsibilities in the Conference. Ive met them both as they have visited our mission. Shout out to Africa!!

I am so thankful for latter day Prophets and Apostles. I know they are men of God. They have the same keys that the Apostles of old did. No difference. 

Also, the big highlight of the week was....WE GOT TO DO SPLITS IN AMBOSITRA. Way good to see the old area. Hasn't changed too much. Same old same old. Great to see some of my favorite people. We got two ballin elders down there and the work is progressing. I had a way cool experience down there. So I got a little note from my Dad a couple weeks ago, that I totally saw fulfilled in Ambositra:

"Help people change Jess, even if it is  just a little bit.  That little bit they change will ripple through their lives.  You have been set apart to do so.  Don't let any opportunity pass you by."

Well, let me explain. I taught this guy named Joshua twice in Ambositra my last week there. Didnt really think anything of him. Completely forgot about him. Well, turns out he went off to the countryside and came back after a year. He couldnt remember any of the lessons, but he remembered the Spirit he felt in the two twenty minute lessons. He found the Elders in Ambositra and approached them asking about me. He wanted to know if he could see me and talk to me. Well, we were already planning to go to Ambositra so we set up a lesson with him. The lesson went beautifully. I was just a little confused how he remembered me. At the time, I wasnt great at the language, wasnt great at teaching, etc. But yet, I didnt realize the effect the Spirit has on a person. No matter if it's for 6 months or 5 minutes. 

I was very humbled by this experience. Very much in awe at the power and authority that can come from this call to serve as a missionary. Very much in awe at the way The Lord can work. Even when we might think it is just a little thing. A smile, a pat on the back, a small testimony of the gospel, whatever. We can help change people. The thought is too much for me to take. It is crazy how throughout my mission I have slowly began to figure these things out. Part of the learning process. Part of the growth and part of the conversion to The Lord. I love this work. 

God bless. 

Elder Hein

Fianarantsoa

Fianarantsoa


Food in Ambositra - my very first area in late 2013

Ambositra

Ambositra

Ambositra


Ambositra


Our General Conference set up

Saying goodbye to Elder Fisher

Saying goodbye to Elder Fisher

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Urgency!



Howdy!
Hope everyone's week went well. Great to hear that Cody got his mission papers in!! I hope he comes here!!
Well Elder Fisher is on the brink of death, ladies and gentleman. Literally, he can see the finish line. This time next week, he will be up in Tana taking care of some final souveneir purchases, interview with President and then Wednesday he gets out of here!! Crazy crazy stuff. His group were a bunch of legends. (Fox, Christiansen, Roush,...) They will be sorely missed.
You can tell this mission has taken a toll on the Fish man. Up all night in the restroom...Poor guy.
He has been an incredible missionary and deserves a month long nap from his labors haha. But hes still got one more week with me!!!!!
Not too much has been happening here.
I'm playing soccer every morning. It is good to get back out and kick the ball around. I can already tell its gunna be fun getting back into shape haha.
I kinda had a theme in my mind all week. I had read a talk called "Four Minutes" given a couple conferences ago. I remember liking the talk when it was given because it talked about the olympics haha. He discusses how this life is short and we got to put everything we have into it. We have to prove our skills. We have to prove our diligence. We have to prove that we are disciples of Christ. One line in it really hit me though,

"Do you feel the urgency?"
I can say for a fact in my life I dont feel the urgency as much as I should. The urgency to do the right thing. The urgency to help someone. The urgency to always be progressing. The urgency to be more like my Savior. The mission has helped me realize this more and more. Esrecially with Fisher leaving and me going a transfer after, this bit of urgency keeps coming to the forefront of my mind. The difference is this: I know when my mission is ending. We DONT KNOW when our true mission here on earth is ending. That'
s the scary thing. We dont know when our time to shine and perform and prove to God our faith in Him is over. We dont know. There is no clock. There is no timer. We just have to do it. Do you feel the urgency?

God bless.
Elder Hein
A missionary who was up all night due to illness.  Yep, we get sick here.
Malagasy Stove

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Puking Everywhere - Tons of Pics




Howdy!
Cutest kid ever!!
After a tough Saturday of throwing up everywhere alongside Elder Wiscombe, I've made it through another Madagascar sickness haha.
All the way in Madagascar!
Here's the story: Had a great day Friday and finished it off with some Macaroni and Cheese(thanks for the packets Mom). Woke up at about 5 feeling terrible and about to blow chunks.   I kept it down and still went to go play soccer with Covey and Davis. Made it back to the house, just chilling, studying, and then BOOM. It started to come. Luckily I had a casserole dish and I filled it all the way to the brim. Beautiful. Layed back down for the rest of the morning and went out to go work. Met the other Elders for lunch and Wiscombe was doing terrible....he felt like he was gunna throw up. So me and him head back to the house. We figured out we both ate the same thing Friday for lunch (an omlette). Get back to the house, we fall asleep. I wake up to the sound of him throwing up everywhere. HAHA i shouldnt be laughing but I had just done the same thing earlier so I felt his pain haha. There was only one good thing coming out of this: it wasn't the Macaroni and Cheese that got me sick!! 

Not much else this week. I still havent seen conference, but to get me pumped up, Ive been watching Conferences of the past couple years. Tad R Callister gave a legend of a talk last conference on Parenthood.   To read it go here  First things first, I am nowhere near ready for marriage (haha) but it was an absolute quality talk that just talked about how important the role of a parent is. They are the ultimate teachers. I struggle sometimes seeing members here, or even fellow missionaries, that dont know the simplest parts of the doctrine of Jesus Christ. Do Family  Home Evening. Love each other. The home is the best place to learn the Gospel. All the small little things that our church leaders preach all the time make the biggest differences. Trust me. I see it everyday. I am very blessed for the parents I grew up with that always had us learning in the home.  

I always felt loved in the home. Make home the preparation for the battlegrounds against Satan that young people go out to everyday. Young people need the foundation in Christ and they need it at a very young age. Family is the best. Just focus it on making it even better.
Pretty short this week, but tons of pics.
God bless.
Elder Hein



Bus Station

Bus Station

My companion sleeping at the Bus Station

Yep…my leg room for the 10 hour ride!

Leg room up close

My Bike

Double Decker Train

Elder Wiscombe egged on his birthday



Shall I pole vault?


Some strange mole creature.


P-Day (I am top right)