And we're back! How's everybody doing?
The last couple of weeks have been so great! Tamatave is really starting to pick up a lot and the missionaries are getting way pumped and so are the members. It's beautiful! We had a couple meetings this last week that were great. First we met with President Paul, the district president. He's awesome. I love meeting with him, he's such a solid member and he know how the church runs so well! Meetings with him always make me feel really optimistic about where the church is going here.
Then we had a meeting for "Project Black Plaque" a missionary prep fireside that we are working on. We talked to President Paul a couple weeks ago about how there's barely any missionaries out from Tamatave and having a mission prep fireside was our solution, so we're now on a commitee that's planning the fireside and we had a meeting and set up the whole program and we've got a mormon message that will be translated into malagasy and refreshments planned and everything! It's gonna be big! We're going to blow their minds with a good ole American style fireside. That meeting went really well too. I'm excited about that fireside, even though I might not be here for it.
So the last week or so we've been having a lot of success with some of our families. We started off by tracting in to two families who's parents are active members... Coincidence? NO! So we're way excited about them, and then we've got a story that's kind of the opposite of that, because one of the kids is a member and his parents are learning.
So there's this guy named Jean Luc, he's not active. He works all night at a night club and can never come to church or be caught during the day. So we started teaching his dad. His dad came to church that week and helped clean the church on Saturday. We told him, "You should bring your wife!" So then his wife came with him. And then his other son starting coming with them. And they're so converted already! They bought glasses so they could read the Book of Mormon, they came to every session of conference which is way more than you could say about the members, and they come early to church every single week! They're perfect. So we went in to teach them about the law of chastity so they could get started preparing to get legally married and Elder Johnson talked about how we see lots of young people just living together before getting married and that's wrong, and they both nodded their heads and agreed. Then he said, "And I know that you said that you're not married yet, so what will it take to get you guys married?" And they jumped in, "Woah there! We're married! We've been married for 20 years!!! What are you taking about?!" It's was like there was a choir of angels singing, it was so beautiful on my ears. Then we taught them about the word of wisdom so they could start working on that too. They both drink coffee. But before, Modest, the husband, smoked a lot. But as soon as he came to church the first time, he just quit cold turkey on his own. THIS MAN IS INCREDIBLE!!!! They're doing great. We asked about the coffee and they assured us that they'd stop right away because they want to get baptized. They're doing fantastic.
Then our other families are coming along great too. Jerry came to church, but Ercyla was pretty sick. Olivier and Angela were out of town. Bertello and Rogette were at their neice's house trying to help them out because their neice and her husband have been having some problems, but Jeannot and Vanessa came to church. So really, only like 2 1/2 of our families came to church, but the other ones had some pretty good excuses.
Then at church the sound system was having some problems, so there were some really gnarly echoes going on whenever someone talked, so Delphin, our brave, fearless recent convert turns around to me during one of the talks and tells me that the speaker is doing a remix and putting some weird effects on his voice. Haha I just reread what I wrote there and I promise it was waaayy funnier than it sounds there!
All start with our spiritual thought tidbit then go into the Malagasy Morsel after that, but on Saturday, when we were at the church waiting for the rest of the commitee to come for the meeting, we were translating the mormon message into malagasy and we were on lds.org on the study notebook thing doing that and I saw a quote that I really liked: "Gratitude is the key to obedience." -Nathan Rasmussen, April 3, 2014. Out of the mouths of babes. Haha alright, I was 17, but still. It was kind of cool to read that though, I think it was notes from seminary or something and the whole idea is that if we're truly grateful for all that our Heavenly Father does for us we have no desire to not be obedient. And I really liked that. So I wrote that on the back of my planner and I can look like a tool for the last two weeks of the transfer and have a quote from myself written on my planner.
That leads into our Malagasy Morsel of fisaorana which means gratitude. I really do think that being grateful for all the things that we have and not getting focused on the few things that we don't have right now is the key to happiness. I almost hate writing out things I'm grateful for because it takes so long! But I'll do a little bit now just for fun even though this email is already long.
I am grateful because:
The weather is great today.
My stomache is not having problems.
I don't have a headache.
I can email right now.
I have a great family to email.
The power is going right now.
This cyber has GREAT internet.
I'm a missionary.
I have a great companion.
My mission president is awesome!
I have clothes.
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith on a spring morning in 1820.
I've been to the temple.
Thomas S. Monson.
All of my stud buddies who speak in General Conference
A roof that doesn't leak.
Washing machines and dryers
All the great education I've gotten.
The awesome leaders I had when I was younger.
Preach My Gospel.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
The members here in Madagascar, especially here in Tamatave
The other missionaries here in my zone
My parents were sealed in the temple and I was born in that covenant.
I've been healthy enough to do everything I could possibly need to this week.
Madagascar is a safe enough place for me to do missionary work.
the Malagasy language
The Malagasy people
and tons of other stuff! That was way easy, like three minutes, but I already feel more blessed.
I love all y'all and I really hope you have the best day/week.