Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 89 - Big Week!

This was an exciting week complete with transfers and everything, but I'll tell you about the transfers at the end.

I don't know if you all remember, but like two weeks ago I told you about this guy who goes by "Kevin's dad" that was way drunk and kept telling us that he loved us. Yeah, we were suppossed to teach him again on Tuesday, but... he was drunk again. And this time he kissed our hands. That was a once in a lifetime opportunity. So by then we were giving this guy a 1/6. We'd seen him 6 times and he'd been sober once. We didn't teach him on Tuesday, we told him we'd be back the next day and "remember, Kevin's dad, don't drink, right? Ok, that's good, Kevin's dad, we gotta go now, ok? Yeah, we love you too. Yeah. Uh-huh. Ok, bye. Yeah. Goodbye! Tomorrow. Don't drink. Yeah." That was pretty much how the conversation went. Then on Wednesday we caught him. Sober. Bam! 2/7!!! He's doing great!

Then we've been teaching some way cool families that have been coming to church. Two of the best are Olivier and Angela, and Jerry and Ercyla. Jerry and Olivier work together, and Angela and Ercyla are sisters. Way cool families! They learn together once a week, then they each learn separately once a week too. When we taught them together, we went over the Plan of Salvation. They loved it. Accepted bap. dates. It was great. Then a guy was being chased by a bunch of dogs outside and we heard him yell at the barking dogs, "In the name of Jesus!" Then the dogs stopped barking... We all just looked around at each other and busted up laughing. I couldn't help myself. Then when we taught them that we committed them to talk about getting married with their spouses and making a decision about doing that because none of them are technically married yet. Then we come back yesterday to ask how that's going. Jerry says, looking down, "Yeah, I talked to Ercyla about it." (she's sitting right next to him looking at him.) We're like, "And what did she say?..." He looks up with a slow grin and says, "She says she's really, really ready to get married!" Ah that was great! They're so great together. They're both around 24, still no kids, and they are just such a couple. That's a big deal because usually here, not a lot of couples seem like a couple. They just live together and have kids but they don't do stuff together. Jerry and Ercyla come to church together, they sit way close and look like they are together. AND THEY'RE GOING TO GET MARRIED!!! So cool. Then when we went to Olivier and Angela and asked what they decided on, they said that they need to get married. So they will. Then Olivier's crazy mom piped in that they needed to get married and it really wasn't all that hard to do. So it was great.

Then it was Easter this week so we were expecting lots of people at church. But then it rained. So we had 83 at church. Not happy Bob. But we still got 19 investigators and one of them was KEVIN'S DAD!!!! 3/8 BABY!!!! HE'S KILLING IT! hahahahaha but really we were way stoked to see him. He seemed to really enjoy himself. The members were great.

Then for our Malagasy Morsel this week we'll do teny gasy. Short for Fiteny Malagasy which means the Malagasy language. Dumbest Malagasy Morsel ever, I know. But the reason that we're doing that today is because Elder Johnson and I are staying together for another transfer, so we've got big plans. One of those is to only speak Malagasy for the rest of the transfer exept for emails home, important phone calls, and zone meeting when we're teaching. We even buried my large plates (my english scriptures) in the hole in the hill cummorah (in my suitcase under my bed) and they won't be coming out until the year 1823 (about May 11 when I'll probably get to my next area in a transfer). So that's the big announcement for the Malagasy Morsel this week. We'll see how that goes.

Then to end on a little bit more of a spiritual note. We had a great district meeting this last week with a lesson by The Elder Brown. He was talking about how we can conquer fears through faith and referenced Elder Ballard's talk that referenced Brigham Young's talk about being in the good ship Zion. And then he talked about when Jesus calmed the tempest and how the Apostles were all freaking out and he said "Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" The Elder Brown said that Jesus is in the boat with us, so we don't ever need to worry that we'll sink. We're doing His work so we can do it with confidence and enthusiasm because we're not going to fail as long as we keep it up. I really liked that a lot.

Anyway, way long email, but hopefully you all will manage to have a good week in your spare time when you're not reading that way long email. And those of you back home, make sure you don't forget about James, because he's coming home this week and he can't wait. It would be a bummer if he didn't have anyone to pick him up at the airport. Have fun Elder Rasmussen from South Africa! Elder Rasmussen from Madagascar will see you when he skypes home in a month and a half.

Mazotoa e!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 88 - Rain

So this week we got caught in the rain a little bit. Nice, huh? I'm all for keeping it really simple in my bag, so I usually don't bring a coat. That's what a waterproof bag is for, right? I don't need to worry about that!  So anyway, we got soaked. Elder Johnson kind of feels the same way about jackets. But, to be a hundred percent honest, it's too hot for a jacket. I feel like if I wear a jacket I end up getting soaked with sweat instead. So then it's just a choice between sweat or rainwater. Obviously rainwater wins, so no jacket for me!

We had a fantastic week this week though. We worked a lot and it was a lot of fun! We also had two splits this week, one with the Ankirihiry elders. We pulled both of them into our area and had two companionships working our area. I started with Elder Maleka, a convert from Uganda, then halfway through the day we switched and I worked with Elder Francom, from Kaysville, Utah. It was lots of fun. Then the second split was on Saturday and I was with Elder Snell, also from Kaysville, Utah, while Elder Johnson went into Ambolomadinika with Elder Band, Elder Snell's companion. It was lots of fun and I had a blast working with all of them. Splits are always so fun and it's way neat to work with other missionaries. But honestly? I'm usually pretty excited to get back with my companion again once the split is over... It's nice to work with someone that you've been working with for a little while and you're both on the same page. I've been blessed with some balling companions though, that makes it nicer. But we might just have one more week together and then it's transfers!!! Crazy right? Time's flying, it's already Fall down here, so we're going to start getting a little more chilly. Tamatave won't really get too chilly, but if I move next week, and I probably will, then I might be pretty chilly for the next little while. I'm not too excited about that.

Then it rained on Sunday. You might want to know why that's worth mentioning that it rained on Sunday when it rained on a couple other days too. Well, when it rains on Sunday people don't come to church. We've been in the 90's with church attendance, got into the low 100's a decent amount. It rained this week and we had *drumroll* 57. Haha that's the lowest I've had my whole mission! Then there were only like 45 members that came. Not super good. I feel like if you live your whole life in a rainy place the rain would stop bothering you as much, but you never know!

Then next week is Easter! So church attendance should be pretty high for that. Also, I might be emailing late or not emailing next week because the Monday after Easter is a huge party here. So just a heads up.

But for our Malagasy Morsel we'll keep it way simple and in line with Easter. In our good old Fotopampianarana sy Fanekempihavanana (Doctrine and Covenants) section 76 verse 22 we got "velona izy." "He lives." BEST TESTIMONY EVER. So there is is guys. He lives.

Love y'all.
Mazotoa e!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 87 - Zone Conference!

Well, this last week was exciting! We had a zone conference with a member of the 70! It was Elder Kevin Hamilton and he's in the area presidency down here in the Africa Southeast Area. It was way good. Fun note though, my first day in country involved a zone conference with him, and here we are having a zone conference with him again! We talked about a ton of different things and it was great. Everyone came way prepared with questions and had read the talk that we were supposed to read in preparation for it.

Then, the day before that we went on splits with Elder Brown and Elder Nolan, except instead of one us us going there and one of them coming to us, we pulled both of them into our area for the day and then switched companions halfway through the day. It was lots of fun! They're doing great! They're both pretty new missionaries, but they're doing fantastic right now. It was lot's of fun to work with them. Especially because Elder Brown and I were already companions down in Fort D, so it was way cool to work with him again and see how much better at malagasy he's gotten. Way cool guys. I had a blast with them.

Then the rest of the week was just working. It was nice. We found a way cool family, and then our two best families right now came to church and were way pumped and happy! I love being a missionary!

Malagasy Morsel for this week is mimohy or mihomehy, Betsimisaraka and Merina versions. It means to laugh. And I feel like the one thing that makes me have a good day no matter what is finding something to laugh about. There's lots of good things out there and when I am good at laughing, I'm way happier. Isn't that great?

Anyway, love you all, have a great week!
Mazotoa e!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Week 86 - He's My Zoky Be Too!

Alright, so this week was great. We just went down and went to work. It was lot's of fun. Then on Wednesday we had a split with some elders from the other house, so we snuck into their house in the evening and called them and told them they all needed to come home right now! Then when they got there we had sloppy joes just finishing up. Then we hit them with a spiritual thought in D&C 100:4 about how the Lord has sent them here for a reason. Then we told some stories about some awesome people we've found that the Lord has prepared for us and just tried to get them pumped up to be missionaries here in Tamatave. It went great. Then we split up and I took Elder Tshuma from South Africa with me. He's from JoBurg and he has been out for about 8 months or so. He's doing great. He was a little bit under the weather so I feel a little bit bad because I dragged him around and taught eight times. I think he was a little bit overwhelmed... But it was great! We had lots of fun. Then Elder Johnson and I ran a little get to know you thing in zone meeting on Thursday then had a Preach My Gospel Jeapardy thing going on. It was great. We made situations and had them give the right answer according to Preach My Gospel. It was lots of fun.

Then the rest of the week was just work and work. It was great. Then we had 26 investigators at church! It was so cool! We just had people crawling out of the woodwork and talking to us during the week then coming to church! It was so fantastic!

Our Malagasy morsel this week is zoky. It means older sibling. And then zoky be is the oldest sibling who usually is the head of the family when the parents die. It's a really important thing here. So story time, Delphin, our awesome recent convert who was baptized by Elder Glazier a little bit before I got here was flipping through a pamphlet and so I pointed at a picture of an old african man and said, "that's my  grandpa." He laughed and then turned to a picture of Jesus being baptized and said, "That's my zoky be!" I was all, "No way! Mine too!!!" Then we laughed and he said we were related and it was great. But really. Isn't it great having an older brother that's always got your back perfectly. Like the judge at the final judgement is our older brother who died for us! How awesome is that? Way awesome. Anyway, that's all for this week. I hope y'all have a fantastic week and we'll talk to again in a week.