Our food this week has been fantastic. We went to Chez Billy's once with all of the elders from Antsirabe, which right now is the zone leaders, me, Elder Covey, and Elder Schroedter (who were both in my group in the MTC), and our trainers. Then we also all go to Besofina, a nice Malagasy hotely (little resturaunt), and then our house went to Pizza Inn this week, which is Malagasy pizza, and it's super greasy and has no sauce and it destroyed our digestive systems, but it was worth it. Then we've made crepes, pancakes, omelettes, spaghetti, other noodles, tortillas, burritoes, banana bread, coconut rice, and of course ramen. We have only had Malagsy food once at our house, and even then, it was Americanized some.
One of the Pizza Inn pizza boxes. We each got our own.
This week there has been a music festival in Antsirabe. It's all Malagasy music, which is pretty fantastic, and it's only at night. The best part is that you can hear it just about anywhere in the city, even half an hour plus away. So we can hear it all night long. It's usually like a mix of the mexican radio station and electronic dance music. With an occaisional banjo.
Part of the city, in the left corner you can see the spire of the cathedral on the main road.
Our investigators are improving, we have three with baptismal dates and a bunch of others that are progressing. We had a few come to church on Sunday, along with a bunch of less actives, which is great. One of the big problems we are having is retention. Most of the members are still really young in the gospel and they don't have strong foundations most of the time. So when a leader does something wrong, or someone doesn't come to the funeral of another ward member, or when there aren't any elders for a few months lots of people just stop coming. Then there's also a problem with gossip and we are running at about a 25% attendance right now, which is bad. Of course, the records need a lot of work too, and we have the records of a lot of people that have moved or died still, so it's not as bad as it seems, but we are really working on getting people to remember their covenents, teaching them about forgiveness, and helping them remember that it's Christ's church. The work is going really well though. The people are loving and good intentioned so it's usually not too hard to talk with them. All in all the people are really loving. They are just great! I haven't had a single door slammed in my face and the most hostile anyone has been is staring at the white guys as they pass by.
The word of the week is manankina, mah-NAHN-keen-ah, which means to rely on. It's important for all of us to get to the point where we don't need to rely on others for our relationship with God. We should only be relying on him and the supports that he has given us like priesthood leaders, scriptures, and modern day revelation. When people have a very strong relationship with God, they work their hardest to do the things that he wants them to do, and they are solid, solid members.
Misoatra betsaka ho ny fotoana!