Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 45 - Two Cakes and a Wedding

So... You might be wondering about how the eggs went down last week on my birthday. (Mom's note:  evidently, a tradition in Madagascar is to crack eggs over the birthday person's head and then dump flour over that.)  Good news is: I avoided it. See, what happened is Elder Cooley bought some eggs and hid them on the bookshelf right by the door so he could egg me as soon as he got home at night, but, when we came home I saw them and hid them somewhere else. Then... it just didn't happen, which is all good with me!

Then we had some great cakes made by members, pictures should be included down below. The chocolate one had ice cream inside... They are both, of course, gone now.

This week has been lots of fun though! We went on splits with the AP's and we got a lot of work done. It was super satisfying! Some of the highlights included going to the first marriage I've been to here in Madagascar! It was way fun to see, and they're heading to the temple in South Africa this week! Then we also just got to a bunch of really cool investigators and less actives this week! Sorry for all of you wanting crazy stories about weird animals or things like that, but the work is honestly the best part! Then it was especially fun to see some members getting ready to go to the temple, that was probably one of the most rewarding parts. I love seeing the church progress out here! Speaking of progression, Norbert, that way awesome guy we got baptized not too long back has received the priesthood and now is the first counselor in the young men's presidency! He's doing great and he's really magnifying his calling and it's just so fun to see!

In other news, there has been some sickness at our house... Elder Cooley and Elder Johnson got way sick... They took turns being sick and throwing up/diarrheaing in the toilet for three days. Elder Cooley's was especially bad because he couldn't hold anything in his stomache, not even water. So he got way dehydrated and had terrible cramps in his legs. His legs would seize up and we would rush to try and stretch them out and massage them, because he wouldn't be able to move them at all because his whole calf would be as hard as a rock, or his hamstring... It was exciting for sure. The good news is they are both doing better now. We think it was some bad food because it was just that companionship and then Elder Hull and I aren't having any problem at all.

Malagasy Morsel for the week would be Mafana. It means hot. And it is not here. But really! We're starting to have to wear sweaters in the morning because it gets down to just above 60 degrees sometimes! Way cold.

Anyway, love you all!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 44 - Happy 19th Birthday!

So thanks for the birthday wishes. They were very nice. It was also way nice to get my birthday package... wait for it... on my birthday! How nice! So thanks everybody! Now I'm just waiting to have an egg cracked on my head and then be covered in flour. I'm not a big fan of that particular tradition, but it's still Madagascar, so it's all good!

This week has been stellar! And that was even with one day that we only worked half of because my companion got sick. We got to a bunch of people and had some great investigators at church, which was fantastic! Other than that, not much really happened. We had some fantastic lessons and we got a little bit of good member help there at the end of the week.

Oh, and then yesterday we made Cafe Rio salad for dinner! It was way good! And it was also very filling, which just made it even better! For those of you who are thinking, "Wow. I didn't know there was Cafe Rio in Madagascar..." OF COURSE THERE'S NOT! We just made it on our own. From scratch. And when I say "we" I mean Elder Johnson because he's a saint and a way good cook. But that was way way way way good.

Malagasy Morsel is mivoky. it means to feast, and that is what we did last night. It is also the word that Nephi says when he says we need to feast on the words of Christ. It just changes a little to Mivokisa which is about as direct of a command as it gets. And so we need to do that! Feast on the words of Christ and they will tell us all things what we should do.
Love you all! Have a fantastic week!

Veloma daholo!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 43 - Mother's Day

Skyping was way good! I loved every minute of it and had a blast! I did notice that of all of my brothers who promised to email me, none of them did... But I'm sure they still love me... But really, it was way good to see everybody! Go family!!!

Other than skyping, this week was alright. We didn't get a whole ton of work done because we had a small zone conference kind of thing that wasn't really zone conference, but all the zone came to it. It was at the office and we got to listen to Elder Snow, of the seventy, who is also the church historian. His two assistants also came with him, as well as Elder Ellis of the area presidency. It was way cool. The only downside is that the office is kind of far away from our area, so we didn't get a completely full day of work in. However, it was a great experience, and definitely worth it!

We had some cool things happen though, on Saturday we got to be part of a pretty miraculous priesthood blessing, and SHE CAME TO CHURCH!!! She wasn't even sick at all. So that was a very neat chance to see God's power in action.

This week, our church attendance was way low, though. It dipped all the way back down to 125, which was pretty standard for when I first got here, which is a bummer. We also had a lot of investigators who totally should have come to church, but didn't. I swear, just the church attendance is one of the biggest obstacles out here. But, despite that, this week was one of my favorite sessions of church!

We had some great talks by return missionaries about the word of wisdom and about the law of chastity and families, then a killer talk by our RM second counselor in the bishopric about how we, as saints, should be living our religion. It was fantastic. Then our second counselor in the bishopric (him again!) taught the investigator class about faith. Also way good. Then our elders quorum president taught about the Book of Mormon. It was just great, because these are all the things that we teach, and it was just great to see how well our recent converts were doing and how much some of our investigators were loving it!

I'm not going to lie, one of my favorite feelings in the world comes from coming in to a time and asking how their Book of Mormon reading has been going, and they brighten up and start sharing what they read and how they felt. It just gives me the best feeling because they're building a very strong foundation. The Book of Mormon is irreplaceable in missionary work. It is irreplaceable in our own conversions, and it is irreplaceable in God's work here on the earth.

Tsisy famonjena afa tsy amin'ny alalan'ny famakiana ny Bokin'i Mormona sy ny fankatoavana ny fitsipika ao anatiny. There is no salvation, except through the reading of the Book of Mormon and the obedience to the principles within it.

So read it. You'll see that it's good. And if it's been a while since you've read it, or if you've forgotten its goodness, now is a good time to discover it again.

I love you all.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 42 - This Is Way Big, Guys!

It's the first week of the transfer and it's been so good! Just kidding. We've had a kind of poopy week because all the going back and forth to drop off old companions and pick up new ones and stuff like that. We still did alright for ourselves, but it was definitely poopier than usual. But the transfer has happened and now I'm with Elder Hull, and Elder Johnson moved into my house and is with Elder Cooley. It's a party. In a very obedient, missionary way, of course.

Fun stories for this week... Well, we did missionary work in Madagascar and it's way neat. But nothing terribly exciting comes to mind...Except that we walked soooo much! Elder Hull is coming from Tamatave, where they use bikes all of the time, so it was a nice little transition for him! We were both pretty exhausted when we got home at night.  And I saw Elder Delbar! He's one of my favorite missionaries and he I saw him on Saturday (we teach English together) and it's been like forever! He's a very big stud.

So this week I just want to share a spiritual thought mixed with a Morsel of Malagasy. The word is fahasoavana and it means grace. It comes from a word that means to benefit, and that's exactly what grace is. It's Christ's way of providing a very big benefit to us. I know that Easter time has passed, but it's never too late to celebrate our Savior. He lives, He loves us, and He has given us the way to be exalted and recieve all that our Father hath. THIS IS WAY BIG GUYS!!! I'm so blessed that I get to work out here and be an instrument in the Lord's hands to bring His children into his life! My favorite part of this great work is the love that I'm getting for my brothers and sisters. I find so much satisfaction just in serving my fellow man and my Lord and all I need to feel that is some clothes and some scriptures and a desire to go out and work! It's so simple! I feel so blessed that the Lord has given this great chance to work to a bunch of his young children who are definitely not up to the task on their own, but that doesn't matter, because it's really not our job to get things happening. After all the Lord has said that he will hasten his work in his own time. We just need to show up and be ready to harvest that which he has prepared! What a blessing that is! Especially because I get to help others obtain this gospel gift that has blessed my life so much and given me so much joy and happiness. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us, and because of that we can dwell in the presence of our Father in celestial glories with our own eternal families! I love my Savior and his work that he has given to me to do! And I love you all too! Have a fantastic week and let your lights shine forth a little more!

Mandrapihaona ry mpianakaviko!