Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 52 - Missing the Rain Jacket

Well, exciting stuff this week, the weather sucked! It was so cold, dang it! The best part is that I left my rain jacket up in Antananarivo... so I just got soaked in my BYU hoodie... Haha it was weird proselyting in a hoodie, I'm not going to lie, but it's like a church thing right?... BYU... Anyway, it got soaked and it's thick, so it's been wet for like three days since. However, it was only raining a lot on Saturday, so I was mostly good. Yesterday was a pretty good day, weather wise, and today is absolutely gorgeous. This week's work load was even better than last week which was a blast! The only downer is that it looked like it was going to be a rainy day Sunday morning, so church attendence was very low. I remember the AP's and President Adams talking about stats once and saying that the church attendence was one of the stats the missionaries had the least control over because the biggest factor with church attendence is the weather... Well... the church is still pretty young. A little more about Sunday before we get on to the rest of the week, we had a fantastic lesson about keeping the sabbath day holy. Elder Pinson and I asked for it the week before at branch council because we were teaching our investigators about the sabbath day, then they see members buying food on the way home from church... The lesson was fantastic though! Our first counselor in the branch presidency, the second highest military official down here, just laid it out very clear with just the right amount of humor to not drive people away from the church. We had a combined sunday school for it, so everyone except for primary and nursery was there. They had a Q&A session at the end and there were all kinds of questions and weird answers from various members. We got everything from questions about seventh day worship to "the sabbath only goes from six in the morning to six at night." Everthing has hopefully been straightened up by now though.

But other than that, this last week started off fantastically, with a grat Monday evening program. We taught a recent convert who doesn't know how to read the sacrament prayers so he can use use his newly acquired priesthood. Then we had a great family home evening with our newest family of converts.

Then on Tuesday we just had great clear, warm weather, and we got to almost all of our times and got to a lot of my favorite families we teach.

Then on Wednesday we were supposed to go on splits with our home teaching companions but they did not show up... We've been helping to get the home teaching going. So then we just went through as many times as we could get to, because we had kind of double booked that day, anticipating some splits...

Then on Thursday, July 9, we had terrible weather. We managed to get to lots of times but it was cold and I had to wear my hoodie. However, we got to a new family and had a great lesson with a less active famly too.

Then on Friday it was cold again and I wore my hoodie again. That day started off terrible. We taught this young college student who just wanted to argue and criticize our Malagasy. He hadn't come to church for like three months, and was not reading or keeping any commitments, so we told him that we would have to stop teaching him, but he knew where to find us at church every Sunday if he ever wanted to learn again. After that we had a much better day. We had a great spiritual lesson with a guy who we dropped just like the first guy a couple weeks ago and then he came to church. Then we just had great times after that. We had a soiree at the night to end it off. And we taught about the Sabbath day to some members. (It's kind of been a theme this week...) They are all active except for one of the daughters, and we pretty much just asked what the sabbath day was and then their 20 year old son who is also the young mens' president taught the rest of his family. He keeps the Sabbath day. Haha
Saturday was a terrible day. Well, it was a bad day for being on a mission in Madagascar, so it was still a really good day by other standards! It poured rain. I got soaked as soon as we walked out of the house after language study and lunch at 12. Then we tried to take some recent converts to an activity which was a bust because of the rain. It was a lot of fun to  watch Elder Hardy and Elder Tiu play musical chairs and get down to just them, then break the chair for the grand finale! I almost cried I was laughing so hard! That activity really messed with our program though, so we didn't teach much.

Which was ok, because Sunday was a great day! We started off with church at nine. One of our investigators brought his german friend with him... He knew some english but I cannot talk with white people dang it!!! Oh, and that one investigator that we dropped came. Hah, works every time! Then I gave a big boy talk about the Atonement. By big boy I mean it lasted twenty minutes! The youth speaker before me has been a member his whole life and he started off talking about the sacrament, and I was like, "Sweet! This will go on and on! There's so much to say about the sacrament!" But it was seriously just like this: "Today I'm giving a talk about the sacrament. The sacrament is important and Jesus started it at the last supper. And this is why we don't use wine anymore... Amen."

So pressure was on me to fill more of the time, but let's be real, the Atonement is the easiest topic to speak about, there's just so much good stuff about it! Then the last speaker didn't show up so our first counselor in the branch presidency, the same studly one that talked about the Sabbath, just gave a quick talk about how the sacrament and the Atonement tie together. It was way good. Then Elder Pinson and I had to go on splits after church to get to all of our times and that was fantastic to go with some recent converts who are progressing so well! I love doing this stuff out here!

And now I get another week to do some more of this, it's great. Anyway, a quick Malagasy Morsel for y'all, Magnanika if you want the Antanosy version and Mihanika if you want the Merina or official dialect version. It means to climb. Like a tree, mountain, or the side of someone's house... And it's all about that! We're all somewhere in our climb in this life and it's all about just getting a little higher! Sure, you could say climbing is hard work, but you get such beautiful views! So don't just hang in there, but climb a little bit higher this week. We can do so many good things with our potential, so just try to do that a little more this week. That's all I've got for y'all.

Tahian'ny Tompo!

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