So we'll start this week off with a quick review of the end of last week. On Sunday, Elder Razakamandimby was sick. Ok, that's enough to get going here. So on Monday he was feeling a lot better, so what does he do to continue the rest and recovery stuff? He plays a very competitive game of basketball with all of the other missionaries. Then, when P-day was over, we headed off to have a soirèe at a less active family's house. After eating a lot of corn, with lot's of sacay (like mashed peppers with oil--way spicy) on them, he decided he once again wasn't feeling good. The timing was pretty good, because it was already just about time to go home. So he went home, threw up, and then slept. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday, that's mostly all he did. Threw up and slept. And used the bathroom. He was even sick on Christmas too, but he was feeling better and we managed to get the skyping done without a problem. The poor guy was finally feeling better on Friday, so we managed to get back out to work. Moral of the story is don't push yourself too much when you're sick. And something else we can learn from that is that we didn't do very much work this last week. It was kind of nice staying home and studying a lot, and it was nice to stay home so my companion didn't die, but I'm not going to lie, I missed working pretty bad. I've got a nice habit of working every day, so not working just drove me crazy, but it's all good, because he's doing a lot better now.
Then, Christmas happened!! It did not at all feel like Christmas, but we did have a Christmas pageant thing that we were able to get to, in which the missionaries were all angels and sang "Far Far Away on Judea's Plains" in Malagasy, of course. Then I was the lucky duck who got to be the Angel Gabriel and wave my arms around and look angelic while the narrator read my lines. It was pretty fun. Then we skyped home! That was amazing!!!! You all looked so good and it was so nice to talk to you all!!!
It was pretty fun getting to be a part of the present opening on Christmas morning too! Things I learned from that:
1. Matthew's voice dropped and is comparable to mine now.
2. Sammy and Danny are HUGE!!!
3. Every one of you is HUGE!!! (That might have been because the camera was right next to the floor, but also, when I see a 5'8" person now, I think he's way tall. And my 13 year old brother is the same height as my companion...)
4. Andrew looks a lot older.
5. South Africa does actually look like a very pretty place. I will admit that now.
The whole skyping thing was fantastic though, I had a blast and it was so great to see everybody and talk to y'all. Between seeing everybody at home and James in South Africa and even talking to Elder Glazier on the phone and wishing him a merry Christmas too, it was like I never left!!! Except I was in Madagascar. Small sidenote.
One other cool story for this week, after writing in my journal on Saturday night, I was reading through it some, the entries before I left on my mission, and I read one from March 2nd 2014. It talked about how I got a plate of snickerdoodles at my door with a typed note that said, "Nate Rasmussen (that was my name back then), you are probably the nicest guy I know. You are a great example of a disciple of Christ in everything that you do. You are smart and funny and a great friend. Thanks for that. :)" Feel free to start the "nice guy" jokes now, but my entire journal entry was just super happy and I just felt so loved! It was probably around a half an hour or so of effort to make some cookies, but the part that made me the most happy was just this little note with 4 little sentences and it totally made my day and made me feel so great about myself! Then, when I read it again, almost a year later, it made my day again!!! That's a lot of influence that one person with a little bit of free time has! I still have no idea who sent that, and that's part of why I'm writing this, so that maybe they will read it and know that I'm super grateful for them. So what you should all be getting out of this, is send me cookies. Not really, they would go bad, but really, if we each take a little bit more time to build up the people around us, then we can do so much good and so much service and we will get so many blessings! Complimenting someone is not going to have bad effects on you, even though we might think so, and it could totally make someone's day! Even if they're having a WAY rough time! A little bit of kindness goes a long way. So, my little challenge for you is to work on spreading a little more goodness, and I'll work on that too.
Going somewhat along those lines, the Malagasy Morsel this week is manatsara, mah-nah-TSAH-rah. It literally means to make good. You can use it as improve but you can also use it as compliment or talk good about someone. I think that's pretty cool because when we spread kindness like that, we are really improving the world a little bit. Rehefa manatsara ny olona hafa isika, dia tsy manao afa-tsy ny fanatsarana izao tontolo izao.
Love you all!
Aza adino ny manoratra ahy matetika! Satria tiako ianareo!
PS sorry there are no pictures, some should be coming next week. And a new camera might be coming soon too, we'll see.