Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 26 - Antsirabe - Beginning to Learn French

So I'm a little late getting this sent out today because this morning we had a breakfast meal with the Tolmans, the couple missionaries here. We have an Elder going home this week because he extended, so he's not going home on the transfer schedule, and we were having a good bye breakfast for him. His name is Elder Andriamanganoro and he is from Tana. It's weird that he's already going home! Anyway, the fruit salad, potato casserole, yogurt, and like ten cinnamon rolls consumed by yours truly were amazing. I love eating at the Tolmans.

That being said, I'll start off now with our Malagasy Morsel of izany hoe. If you want to be technical you would pronounce it as ee-ZAHN-ee way. But if you say it like that you don't have a malagasy accent because the words are ellided a lot of the time, so you barely pronounce the first syllable, then the third syllable runs into the last so it sounds like zahn-way. It means, "that is" or "like" and you use it when you add some clarification. It's pretty handy and I say it all the time.

Then, Friday was a pretty big day. As of Friday, I have been on my mission for 6 months. That's crazy!!! I still can't believe that I am more than a fourth of the way done now. I'm not sure that I'm quite as good at Malagasy as I was expecting to be when I was a fourth of the way done, but I'm pretty pumped I still have some improving I can do! Speaking of language learning, I officially started learning French this week. I already have picked up a bunch because Malagasies will use it all the time, especially because they think all white people are from France usually. But I officially started this week, so that's cool.

Before I get too much farther I will just apologize for any spelling errors, the computer is set to French so spellcheck tells me all my words are spelled wrong so I don't bother trying to check them.

I've been getting a lot of requests for just little things about how life is out here and for pictures, so this week I'll send some, if I can get a card reader from one of the other missionaries that works. Then just a little bit about Madagascar right now: it's hot. It usually rains each night, and it rains a lot. A lot a lot a lot. Yes, there is different food here. Some of my favorite things are passion fruit fanta (yes, that exists), coke (you can pretty much only get coke products here- coke, fanta, sprite, and they use cane sugar so it's way better than in America!), mofo akondro-- which is a deep fried banana covered in pancake batter pretty much, and ravimbofotsy, which is a type of herbal tea that's pretty common. Ooh, and there's this mango lasary, which is sliced mangoes in vinegar with peppers and other good stuff. You guys are probably all sick of me always talking about food though, so we'll move on to other things.

This week we have been working super hard! Last week Elder Razakamandimby was sick, so we didn't get a ton of work in, but this work we came back hard and we have destroyed our previous records on like everything! It's been great! We did a bunch of tracting and our schedule is just about to burst because we are teaching so many people! I love it! We've been having a lot of really cool experiences with our investigators too! We taught a family last week, and then when we came back yesterday, the wife told us that her husband was touched by our message and he stopped drinking, staying out late, he doesn't smoke anymore and he's been trying to be a better person! We didn't teach him about the Word of Wisdom either! We just barely taught about the restoration and that's it! It was so neat! Then we got to a guy who is a Bible Scholar and he pretty much already believes everything we teach, we just have to get him through the lessons to get baptized! He already promised to come to church, which is usually one of the hardest things to get people to do, he's a straight up stud!

Then we've also had a lot of fun experiences with crazy people. We were stopped by a drunk, old, probably crazy, lady who asked us to pray for her. We sat down and talked to her family a little bit to get a feel for what we should teach, and then she just starts praying and shouting up at the sky! She was like commanding God to help her, and then when she was done, she trailed off super quiet, then yelled a few more things. Then we told her that if she wanted to be able to think straight and not have a sick head all the time (what whe was praying for help with) she needed to stop drinking because she was most definitely on the bottle... It was super funny!

Another cool experience I had was looking at the stars last night. I haven't seen them for a month or two because there have been so many cloudy nights, but it was super nice to see them again! Then I've been having some problems with pousse-pousses, they're like these rickshaw things that are everywhere here. I am apparently too heavy now, and the last couple of times I've gone in one, I've had to get out and walk up the hills with them because they couldn't pull me. That's a real self confidence builder...

The work is going great though! Our church attendence was 154 last week and 149 yesterday! That's double what it was when we first got here! It makes me super happy to see all the growth and the less active members coming back and heating up their testimonies a little bit!

Anyway, I love you all, and I wish you all a fantastic week!
Mba hifalia foana!

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