Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 15 - Antsirabe - No Bible Bashing

First things first, conference was fantastic! We finally got it here in Madagascar, and Conference is a little bit confusing in Malagasy... It was super great though, and I got a lot of good stuff.

Second, I was wrong about my forecast of rain, which leads into this week's vocab for all of you: tsy mbola, tsim-boo-lah, or if you are a member of the vakanakaritra tribe like many here in Antsirabe, you say tsahm-boo-lah. There, you got a little bit of a dialect too. (Not really, merina or official Malagasy, and vakanakaratra are essentially the same, it's just like the difference between american english and texan english). Any way tsy mbola means not yet or still not. For example you can ask, "Is it raining there?" and then I can say, "tsy mbola." Or you can ask if it's cold here, and then I can say, "Tsy mbola mangastiaka" or "tsa mbola mangitsy." In Merina and Vakanakaratra respectively. My favorite is when we are prepping people for their baptismal interviews and we ask them if they've killed anyone and they just say, "tsy mbola." Not yet. Good, keep it that way!

 Then we had a pretty sweet time yesterday night, we were teaching this family that runs a little restaurant that the missionaries always go to and have always gone to, so they've learned from a lot of sets of missionaries and never really progressed. Anyway, we were just sitting down and seeing how they were doing when a gendarme (police/soldier) comes in and sits down to listen. We prayed and started teaching the family and he starts imterrupting all the time. He is a hardcore Protestant who prays to the Bible and he was just talking himself in circles. We kept teaching as best we could and talked about Christ's appearance in the Americas and showed the picture in the front of the Book of Mormon of Christ among the Nephites, and the guy stops us and says, "That's not Jesus." What? Of course it's Jesus, look at him! He says, "No. That's not a picture of Jesus. Did they have cameras back then?" No. It's a painting of what someone thought he looks like. It's just a representation. "Ah, but the Bible says no man has seen Jesus." It says no man has seen God. And the JST says no man has seen God in his sins, but people who lived with Jesus did see him... Anyway, once we explained that it was just a representation and got back to teaching the family he kept interrupting. Then we just layed down our testimonies and said nothing could separate us from our knowledge. Elder Cartmill was on fire. With the Holy Ghost of course. Then we closed it off and he left. I was a little bummed by how it went, but we made sure not to argue with him and we didn't get into any Bible bashing with him. Then once he left the family freaked out and were all just so thrilled because the missionaries before had apparently gotten really confrontational and angry or just embarrassed and didn't know what to say when someone tried to argue with them. They were also happy because on the first lesson we laid out our purpose and told them that we would be working them towards baptism, that is one of our goals. Yay Preach My Gospel! It looks like it actually is right. Anyway, it was really cool after that and the Spirit was way strong, which was great because the guy was pretty confrontational and was doing a pretty good job of keeping away the Spirit at the beginning. The family was still freaking out right before we closed, so we asked them if they wanted to be able to feel this all the time, they said yes of course! So then we snagged them and got them to promise to read the BiM every day and come to Church each week and work towards baptism. It was great!

Pictures this week! Courtesy of Elder Cartmill's camera
Me and M., one of the biggest studs around. He's a boss.

This is one of the first families we taught. They are now active again. Mostly. The little kid with his eyes closed is super cool.

This is L.and V. and their family. They are the two girls on the right.

This is a guy named Solofo. He was one of my "investigators" in the MTC because my teacher taught him and roleplayed as him.

This is Elder Christiansen, when he was still AP, and I surrounded by kids who want our popcorn.

This is me in our room studying something.

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