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I know how to transmit and receive using UART, but is there a way to test a simple send/receive app while only having openMSP430?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps a loopback, but who will it inform you of the result? Consider getting yourself some sort of USB-UART adapter for your development PC... \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Sep 25 at 23:47
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You can do a simple "loopback" test - connect your Tx output to your RX input - if all is well, you can talk to yourself.

EDIT

The loopback test only shows that your transmit/receive routines are working. As @BeB00 comments, this does not test the baud rate settings, as most UARTs use the same clock for both transmit and receive.

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    \$\begingroup\$ one (small) problem with this is that if your clock is misconfigured then you will be able to talk to yourself, but when you try to talk to something else, it wont work \$\endgroup\$ – BeB00 Sep 26 at 0:56

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