Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 41 - Sticking Around

Transfer week! You have to read everything else first though.

We had a baptism today so that Elder Hardy could see it before he leaves. There's a transfer hint for you all... And that was way cool. It's a guy named B. and he is just a stud! He got all choked up and bore a powerful testimony. He learned way fast and he's already set his goals on going on a mission and he has a lot of member support, so I hope to see him heading out in about a year or so.
Then we finally watched General Conference! So I know you are probably all aware and have been for a while, but General Conference was sooo goood!!!! I also got to see Elder Glazier at conference and we finally snapped a picture. It's way good to see him!

Conference was way good though. I loved all of the talks, and it was fun to hear them in Malagasy too! There were a couple vazaha ex-missionaries doing the translation and it was fun hear that. There weren't too many translators using French r's this time, so that was a refreshing change!
Other than conference, and slightly because of conference, we didn't have too great of a week this week. Good news is that some of our returning less actives are settling down into the church and getting really active and coming to crazy activities like a baptisms at ten in the morning on a Monday... It's way good! We did have some very powerful experiences this week, and some of our investigators are just spiritual powerhouses, which is such a blessing to both them and us!
Malagasy Morsel for the week is mamingana. And that's when you kick someone's leg and trip them. So... don't do that too much, it's annoying. I get accused of it all the time because short people don't stop to think that tall people have long strides so you shouldn't just cut in front of them while they're walking, but we do what we can!

Alrighty, transfers! Elder Hardy, for starters is going to Fort Dauphin, a beautiful city on the southern coast with sweet dialects and some crazy balling missionaries! He is way pumped. I am way jealous, but he's going to have such a blast! Elder Tavo/Richard is going to Antsirabe!!! He's going to Mahazoarivo, which is a waaaay cool area and he will live in the same house that I was in right before I came here to Tana! Then I am staying here in Ankorondrano, and I will be with Elder Hull, who is coming from Tamatave on Tuesday. I haven't met him yet, but I'm super excited! Anyway, all of you have a great week! Thanks for your email, James, it's very true! Don't do dumb things, family.

Mozotoa e!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 40 - No Prayers Are Wasted

NORBERT GOT BAPTIZED!!! He is still a stud among studs and his wife finally came to church for his baptism and his confirmation the next day and... drumroll please... she loved it!!! We are going to get the rest of that family! Ah, he's just such an awesome man!

Then what happens on this Saturday and Sunday? GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! Sorry for all of the caps and exclamation points, but that is really good stuff! So you could say that I'm way pumped for that to happen.

Also on next Sunday is the transfer news, so by next pday we'll know what's going on down here. I know things are happening because in my interview with President he thanked me for "enduring" the trio for two transfers and he told me that there will be no more trio in this next transfer. So stuff's going down. What exactly though? I haven't the slightest idea. But Elder Hardy is probably heading out because he's been here for three transfers and I wouldn't be at all surprised if either Elder Richard/Tavo (he changed his mission name a while back) or me head out. But I will miss the trio. It's been a party and we've done a lot of good work here, even if teaching got pretty awkward sometimes.

Good news: I finally got new batteries that should be reliable, so I will be uploading pictures this week if I can get on a computer that can do it because this one right now cannot.

I got a request to write a little bit more about some of the young men that we've been teaching that started coming back to church and it's really just pretty simple, but miraculous. There's this one guy, we will call him by the very Malagasy name of Alberto. That's a joke, by the way. Anyway, we've been working on Alberto for a very long time. Elder Hardy has been working on him for an even longer time. And he wouldn't have a thing to do with the church. But we always visited him and encouraged him and tried to get him to come, but he wouldn't have it. Then he got very sick. And our ward mission leader, who is his very good friend, visited and told him that his sickness might be a result of  his disobedience. Then along came the missionaries and gave him a blessing. He got better the next day and decided his life needed to change. So he started coming to church and brought his friend who has also been very less active for the last little while. And then they came again this last Sunday, and we've got them helping us teach and we have times set up with them and it's just going way better. They're getting friends at church and they don't run away from the missionaries anymore, it just makes us way happy! He has just changed so much, especially because I was about ready to give up on him. No prayers are wasted, people. No prayers are wasted.

So we'll go from there and use one of the very first Malagasy words I learned in the MTC for my Malagasy Morsel of the day: mivavaka. It means to pray. Or we can also use mivavaha which means "PRAY!" So mivavaha all y'all and you will see miracles if you want to. I promise that.
I love you all, and I send a good amount of prayers upstairs in your behalf.
Mozotoa e daholo!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 39 - Ankorondrano - Nine Months Now

So I've been here the equivalent of one term back in high school. Hah, that feels so long ago, but I still don't feel like I've really graduated yet either.

Fun facts for the week, I've been wearing a tag that says, "Elder Rasmussen" on it for more than 9 months now. That's neat. The weather is also starting to get a little bit nippier, we might have to start closing the windows at night here in the next month or so... I actually found some leaves that have just turned yellow this morning, so that's exciting. Time flies.

This week has been great! It was kind of slow, not going to lie, but we managed to get to a bunch of people anyway, and we had 19 investigators at church! We were a little bummed that we didn't hit 20, but our goal for the week was 18, so we still have to be at least a little bit happy! Then we had 167 at church! It felt way full! Especially because the chapel isn't exactly huge, but it was way neat to see some great future missionaries who have started their journey back to full activity! There's a way cool story with that, but I'll just have to send that later.

Malagasy Morsel this week is zafimpaladia. It means great great great great grandkid. Sweet, huh? Anyway, keep up the good work back there in America (or wherever else you may be) and have a great week!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Week 38 - Ankorondrano - Easter Monday

So this one's a short and sweet one because yesterday (the real p-day) all of the cybers were closed because it was Easter Monday!!! One of the biggest... holidays... Anyway, it's huge here, so we're writing today (Tuesday). But we don't want to waste too much non p-day time so it's pretty short...
This week has been great though!!! We taught a lot of lessons and we've been improving the quality of those lessons and the other proselyting stuff we do too. It's great!

Our investigators are moving along well, there's another baptism a week from this Saturday. Norbert's getting baptized baby!!! Ah, he's just such a studly future Melchizedek priesthood holder! He's who I'm most excited for, but we have other baptisms too. Right now, lots of our investigators are progressing thanks to some great help in the ward. There's always those few, but hopefully they will turn around.

I got a fantastic package this last week and enjoyed eating my american candy and wearing my new socks. Pictures will be forthcoming.

Malagasy morsel of the day is fanantenana. It means hope. It literally means to have one's self. So that's a neat little treasure there, yes, it's used all of the time.

Anyway, that's all for this week. I hope you all loved conference!!! I'm dying of envy right now, but it's all good. It should be here in a monthish. Still a bummer that no temple is announced for Madagascar, but Ivory Coast got one and they're over here too, so it can't be too long!

Tratry ny fihaonambe! Samy ho tratry ny ho avy!