This week has been great. And it ended on a really high note too. We stayed home on Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday because Elder Cartmill had some really bad diarrhea and vomiting going on. He's feeling a lot better now, but it was pretty rough for a while. While he was sleeping and/or in the bathroom, I got to study a lot. I worked on reading Preach My Gospel in Malagasy and my scriptures in Malagasy too. It was easier than I was expecting, I got through the first chapter of Preach My Gospel without really having a problem, so that was cool. And then I deep cleaned our house too. I'm pretty much the mom in that house. I even made banana bread in the evening so that it came out about when the other elders came home. It's that bad. I also reorganized the kitchen and deep cleaned it, but mostly I just studied. It was pretty weird to not be walking around all day, and it was definitely nice, but I'm glad that we got back out and starting working last night.
Before that, though, we had a pretty successful week. We have been getting to a lot of recent converts and less actives, and we got a few new investigators too. Last Monday, we went to the soirèe at the branch president's house and taught his two daughters. They are very prepared and accepting. It's amazing what a strong gospel environment in the home does. Then on Tuesday we went and talked to a less active family. The wife had been avoiding us, but we finally sat down and had a great conversation with her and she really opened up and is starting to trust us, I think. Then we taught a few more people, and went to one of the families we are teaching with baptismal dates and the dad wasn't back from work yet, so we sat around and talked with the family as we waited for him. Then Marcel, who is a recent convert and probably one of the biggest studs in the whole branch, brought in the dad. And I do mean brought, he was totally carrying him. In Malagasy terms he was "vita be" or you could say he was smashed. He was so drunk that we just put him to bed essentially and then taught the rest of the family how they could work with him to help him overcome his drinking problem. It was a reall bummer to have him slip up like that again because now we are going to need to move back their baptismal date again. I think he'll make it though, the Atonement is stronger than something like that, so I have high hopes for him.
Another story from this week was when we were teaching Marcel (that stud that I already mentioned) and his wife in his house, which only has a bed, bookshelf, and a bench sandwhiched between the bed and the wall that we sat on. We had planned to start teaching his dad earlier, but he was never available, we asked Marcel if he could set up a time with him so we could teach him. We were expecting him to get back to us the next day, but he just leaned back and yelled through the wall, "Dad! When can you meet with the missionaries?" Then his dad yelled back from his little shack that was packed in pretty close to them. It was so great!
Then on Saturday a Seventy came and talked to the district and had a Q&A session with them. It was announced in Sacrament meeting last Sunday, but only about 60 people came. It was pretty disappointing. The meeting was really cool though. And then on Church, we had about 120 people there, which is our highest attendance so far! We had a lot of less actives come that we've been working on, and it was great! We still have a long ways to go, but it's nice to see some improvement.
This week's word is befahatany. It's pronounced bay-faha-TAH-nee and the "faha" is more like one syllable than a fa-ha like we would do in English. It kind of means "in vain" and you use it after a verb to show that it doesn't really have purpose. For example you can mamaky befahatany which means you read without really getting anything out of it. It's important that everything we do has a purpose and helps us become better in some way, otherwise it isn't really doing us any good.
(From another letter home today) So I have fleas. It's actually pretty common here because the general sanitation is bad and there are stray dogs everywhere and people all live super close together. I think I probably got them from just sitting on a member or investigator's bed (often some of the only furniture in the house). But they really aren't that bad, I think mosquito bites are worse than flea bites, the only problem is that usually there are more flea bites. We are going to get some permetherin soon to put on all our clothes and bedding and then apparently eating garlicky food helps too. As far as I know all of the missionaries in Antsirabe have them, so it's not super bad, but hopefully will get rid of them soon.