Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 63 - Lights in the Bathroom

So I'll start out by saying that this last week has been fantastic. We got 31 investigators at church!!!
I'm still a little speechless at that one... they just kept on coming and coming. So did the less actives and just the people in general. We had a whopping 175 people in our little upstairs room we use for Sacrament meeting. No, their where not enough chairs. It was way sweet! The branches aren't super far away from splitting, and we're all super psyched for changes coming this week. But it was way cool!

The weather this week has been paradisiacal. You know, just another great week out here in the Indian Ocean. I'm loving it out here! Elder Price and I are just having a blast! This last week we had some balling member help going with us! So we found some former investigators and a good amount of less actives. It was fantastic!

I've got some crazy good news though: We are going to get a stove this week!!! We've been out of propane for a month and a half, and by "we" I mean the whole city of Fort Dauphin... So after lots of dry ramen consumed, we will be getting an electric stovetop to last us until someone in Antananarivo finally sends a truck full of propane tanks at us. I'm so excited for some cooked food at home! The only problem with an electric stove is that yesterday morning, half of our house's lights and plugs stopped working... It's not too bad, but our fridge is not refridgerating and our washing machine is not washing and there's no lights in the bathroom! You really need lights in the bathroom dang it!!! Haha

We had some way sweet stuff happen this week though! We were going to go sort out stuff with our power and water company on Tuesday because they claimed we had not payed, but we had, and we brought our member help with us, Fitahia. Then on the way back from that, he showed us some less actives that live kind of by the power company. We showed up and they were so pumped to see us! They'd actually had some random questions about their Book of Mormon reading, so the night before they prayed that the missionaries would come. And then we did. So that was way neat. It was also like "well... if you've got a question why don't you come to church and ask all of the people there?..." But it was still a way neat experience to be involved in answering a prayer.

The Malagasy Morsel for today would be fitahiana in the main dialect or Fitahia in Antanosy. (I know, they just drop the last syllable, way different...) but it means blessing. And it is coincidentally the name of the member help who showed us the house of the people who were praying for us to come. Blessings come in all shapes and sizes and I'm so thankful for all of the great stuff in my life that makes me so happy! Like lights in the bathroom... Haha there's lots of things we take for granted!

Love y'all!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 62 - Fruits From the Search

And just like that the transfer is halfway over... But that just means that Elder Price and I have three more weeks to rock the heck out of Amparihy! Literally. We are trying to get rid of as much heck as we possibly can.

But this last week was great! We had a poopy amount of lessons taught, but we definitely had some quality in there! We hunted down a lot more less actives and we found a lot! We've been focusing a lot on trying to get more Melchizedek priesthood holders because the church really needs those down here. We want it to grow down here, but right now we've got 12 active Melchizedek priesthood holders in the great Amparihy branch. We've also got like 7 that will coming in the next few months and we've got like three potentials that will be baptized next month, and we've been getting some more less actives coming too. Sometimes we'll have more investigators in Elders Quorum than actual elders... awkward.

Anyway, cool story with the hunting of less actives:
We heard about this less active named F. who lives out kind of far away right off the beach, so when we found a less active over by that general area we asked him if he knew her. And he did. Even better, he showed us her house! She wasn't there, but we set up a time with her family. So she lives there with her whole family, but just her, her 20 year old son, and her 13 year old grandson are members. So we got to them on Friday night. She was thrilled to see us and called us her children and told us how much she loved us and how happy she was to be visited again. She hasn't been visited in a long time... and she said her other kids and their spouses were ready to get baptized... and she said they'd come to church. And they did. So... I felt like we did some good work there. We got some new families and a less active back to church. It was great!

Then we found a recent convert named S. He was baptized and then he just dropped off the map. The former Elder Fisher who is now just Brother Fisher emailed me and asked me how the area was going because he worked here like a year ago, and he explained how to get to S.'s house. And we found it! He's been way out in the boonies for a long time and had just gotten home the last week. He was pumped to see us and he should be coming to church this next Sunday. So it was cool to see that all of God's sheep are numbered and he knows where they're at.

Then we had some other less actives come to church. They live on the military base and we've gotten the dad to come before, but his wife, who used to be the Relief Society President, has never come. But we went with the Branch Council and had a soirée at their house and she came! Her husband had guard duty, so he couldn't come... but she did! It was awesome!

So we had a great week and it ended great with lots of less actives and investigators at church.
Our Malagasy Morsel is, of course, mitady. It means to search. And we were able to see some good fruit from that this last week.

The church is still true, by the way. And so is the Book of Mormon.
I love all y'all and I wish y'all a great week.
Mazotoa e!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 61 - Getting Colder

Well, there's trouble in paradise. It's getting cold.

But like really!!! I was freezing last night!!! I was all wrapped up in a giant blanket and I we checked the thermometer and it was 71.5 degrees!!! That's below room temperature!!! That was almost in the sixties!!!

Hahaha gosh dang it I'm going to die when I get back to Utah. I was so freezing. It was pathetic. Anyway, Elder Rasmussen likes the hot. Not the cold.

Other than that, it's still been pretty warm. I'm convinced my effectiveness as a missionary depends on the weather though... Wednesday was way hot and super clear and we taught 10 lessons. Thursday was a little cooler and slightly cloudly and we only taught 6 lessons. Then Saturday was drizzly and cold and we taught 1. We also had a baptism that started late and went kind of long, so yeah... There might be a different reason for that, but still... I feel like that's not a coincidence. But yeah... baptism!

We had a combined baptism with Tanambao and they had a couple who finally got married this last week so they got baptized. Then we had M. and we had a child of record who was baptized by his brother. That was way cool! We were supposed to have two other baptisms too, but they didn't show up to their baptismal interviews or church... awkward... so their date has been pushed back some. I won't say how long so you don't think I'm a crazy nazi about that, but let's just say it won't be this year... haha jkjkjkjk it will definitely be this year, but we are going over the Sabbath day a lot... They will be baptized before with our next batch though.

But yeah, the baptism was great! The water was cold! It rained on us! (Keep in mind the font is outside...) and it was fantastic! M. has actually been learning for like three years but never was really dilligent. He finally pulled himself around. He said he kept trying to fight against it, but he kept getting pulled back into the church and he had to accept it was true. His baptism resulted in him being disowned by his parents who will not pay for his school anymore. When he told us that, he told us he's got food and shelter figured out and he's been doing some odd jobs here and there so he'll be fine. He's a stud. I was very impressed.

This last week has had some more excercising. A couple of weeks ago on Pday we bought a bunch of wood and made parallel bars for doing dips. That was lots of fun because we just hauled the wood across town on our shoulders. We got lots of weird looks and some funny comments about how vazahas were working for Malagasies. (Elder Razakamandimby and Razafindretsetra were walking behind Elder Price and yours truly looking like they were our bosses.) It was way fun, but it's been fun to get a little more kotrana in here and there. I won't send a picture, but just imagine if Dwane "The Rock" Johnson had worked out a little harder and you'd be about right...

Malagasy word of the week is gidro. It means monkey. Down here in Fort Dauphin it is also slang for guitar. So... yeah. Cool right? So it brings more meaning to monkeying around...? haha

This last week was just way sweet and Elder Price and I have been having a blast. We've got some good work. Even with barely any lessons taught on Sunday and Saturday we still taught more than I usually did in my other areas. And we've been having fantastic branch councils too! The church runs so great down here! I love how commited all of the leaders are! We've been working with members to try to get to lots of the less actives. And since we have 33 recent converts who have been baptized in the last year, we've been teaching lots of members. We have also started to get some great referrals from all of that. I love it. The church is true. When people get other people going to that true church they get blessings.

Love y'all.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 60 - Finding New Families

So this has been a great week ending on a higher note. We did some way good work this week and found some great new families! Contacting here is so easy. We literally got into every house we went to. We usually try to do more contacting on the streets then going door to door because then we can find more families easier. I'm not going to lie, sometimes I dread contacting, but I love it so much once I get going! It's just so cool to meet some new people and learn all about them and become good friends with them! I love it. Plus it makes me feel like a baller because our program gets nice and full again. So that's way nice. But yeah, we had some way good days!

Then this week I was really looking forward for fast sunday. That was kind of weird, but it was way good! And then we had some of the most powerful lessons I've ever taught on Fast Sunday after we broke our fast at lunch. So that was all a win!  But there were just so many cool things that happened this week! We had a Family Home Evening with our First Counselor in the Branch Presidency and he is also a Colonal. Which means he's the second highest ranked military official here in Fort D. His family is so cool! His conversion story is way cool too! He was baptized in 2002 which makes him easily one of the oldest members here! He and his family have been to the temple, and he's learning English with his wife so they can be more effective when they go on a mission together. They still have a 7 year old daughter... They are way cool!

Then on Tuesday we had a FHE with M. and F. and that went way good! They're doing great! It was way fun! We played a game with them where you each have a fruit name and one person is it and they say their fruit then someone else's fruit and it keeps going around like that. Trick is you can't show your teeth... They were terrible. Missionaries won the first game in a minute and a half... They are just to smiley and happy! That was lots of fun though. Then we taught some way cool people and just had a great week!

Malagasy Morsel would be mahafesy (Antanosy) or mahafantatra (Merina/official dialect) it means know. And tena mahafesy tenga fa maregna itiky fiangonana itiky. There a lot of things that I know, and the most important ones go like this: I know that God live and He loves me. I know that Jesus Christ died for my sins. I know that the true gospel in its fulness was restored throught the prophet Joseph Smith. And I know that Thomas S. Monson is truly God's prophet in our day. And I especially know that it is in God's plan for me to have an eternal family and I am so grateful for all y'all in there. Teaching about the family is one of my favorite things to do and I know that our families are one of the biggest gifts God has given us.

I love y'all.
Tahian'ny Tompo