Thursday, August 28, 2014

Not a Southern Utah Dust Devil!

Not a dust devil!  How about a cloud of locusts!
Cloud of locusts and the kids are out catching them.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Craziest Week Ever!

So yeah I'd have to say that this has been the craziest few days of my life. Like hands down. 

Well first off we had the whole "leaving the MTC" thing so that was great. They just told us that the MTC is the easiest part of the mission and that we hadn't seen anything yet. So that was pretty comforting. 

We left the MTC on Monday at 8:30 in the morning and jumped on the Frontrunner to Salt Lake. Then we just jumped on tracks to the airport so that wasn't anything too crazy. The airport was pretty easy and no one had any problems and we didn't have to wait very long to get on our plane so that was fun. I finally got to eat some real food! Cafe Rio has never tasted so good in my life! The flight wasn't bad from SLC to Dallas and it was pretty quick. The flight from Dallas to London though was freaking brutal. I don't know why but it was seriously awful. I got to see NYC out the window though at night so that was pretty cool. Flying into England was way cool too! We could see the countryside for miles and it was beautiful! Heathrow though, really sucks. Like a lot. I have never been scared of airport security until I got to London. They just think everyone is a terrorist. And they don't have any good places to eat in the airport. Their water even sucks! (Granted it was sparkling water... It was bad). London to J-Burg wasn't bad at all. I just slept the whole way until about an hour and 15 outside of it. By the way, British Airlines really sucks. Their food is so bad and the seats are so uncomfortable. J-burg was pretty cool actually. As we were flying in, the sun was coming up and it was the coolest sunrise I've ever seen. It was a deep red, like blood orange I guess would be the best way to describe it. I didn't get a picture because I was in the middle of the middle aisle. The airport was interesting too. We had to rush through to get to our next flight because we only had like a 2 hour layover. Then we got in this little plane and hopped over to Madagascar. I have some pictures of the South Africa coast as we fly away and some pictures of the Madagascar coast as it comes into view. 

It was so great to see Madagascar. Finally after the longest 2 days of my life we could see our destination. We landed in Tana and Sister and President Adams were there along with the APs. One of APs is Elder Fox! So I met him like first thing in country. The drive from the airport to the mission office was just straight up nuts. It wasn't culture shock it was beyond culture shock. It just smelled so bad. Burning trash, sewage, dead animals you name it. That's what you smell once you get into Tana. The traffic here is crazy too. There are no rules, no stop signs, no traffic lights and no cops. Ok that's a lie there are cops but they only direct traffic sometimes and pull over vazahas (white guys) because they're white. Other then that they just stand around and talk to each other. It was this super crazy drive to the mission office and I was just trying to take it all in. It was just straight up nuts. My companion desrcibed it as "organized anarachy" because it's super chaotic but it works. I apologize right now because I know I will forget to say things. But yeah President Adams is way cool! He's awesome! And he asked me about computers in my interview with him the first night so that's why I'm in the office haha. 

The office is just kind of like the APs second set of hands. We just help out during transfers week and other then that it's normal teaching and tracting and stuff. We have a pretty nice apartment. Two bedrooms (one for transfers), a kitchen, bathroom, and living room. It has three balconies that you can walk out on which is pretty cool. The APs live right below us so I hang out with Elder Fox like everyday. Elder Rice is way cool. He's super awesome. He's way good at the language so he does most of the talking. I try to but I can't say much. He's from Boise and he's been out a year and 2 months I think. 

Church was way interesting. I couldn't understand anything that was going on. And the power went out like 3 times during choir practice (yeah I'm in the choir) but that's just how the power is here. Sketchy at best. I also had to bear my testimony in front of the congregation in Malagasy so that was interesting. It was ok though because they have a really small ward. I think it might be a branch actually. Gospel principles and Priesthood were just a fight with the Sandman. I just had the hardest time trying to stay awake. I did end up helping teach a lesson on the Plan of Salvation with an investigator after church so that was good. We went contacting after church and it was something else. Everyone calls you vazaha or vajongo (it's like in America when you call a black guy the 'n-word' but it's for white people) and you are just walking over open sewer lines and the like so that was super fun. We also came across this super apostate church that was just crazy. It sounded like a Nazi rally as you got closer to it. It had some guy screaming over a microphone  to a huge congregation of people and they  all shout back responses back at him. It was so weird. At one point they all stood up, raised their hands in the air and shook them while the preacher guy screamed into the microphone. Also, the public transportation here are just like autobus in South America. If you don't know what that is, ask Luce or google it. But yeah the first time I rode one some lady was breast feeding her baby right next to me. Apparently that happens a lot down here. It is just the normal thing to do. Mom's breastfeed their babies during missionary lessons and like during church and stuff or out on the side of the road. I saw that earlier today.

Today we went to a zoo on the other side of Tana. We went to go see lemurs and to get them to crawl all over us. Turns out, all you have to do is pay the zookeeper guys like 1000A and they'll let you in the back. So that's what we did and they put honey on our hands so the lemurs would crawl over us and eat the honey. It was way fun! We went and bought a Bible from a shop on the street and I paid to have it bound. I'll show you what that means when I get it back. I'll take a picture and send it to you. 

I sent some pictures on here and some on the camera. I was able to connect to the internet but my camera died so I'll send you some pictures later this week when I'm in the office. Sounds like everything is going well. I'll keep an eye out for the packages. Send them with pictures of Jesus on them and they won't get broken into. If you ever send me another package be sure to send a flashlight and some gummi eggs. Or maybe some cactus cooler too. It could even be my Christmas package I don't care. Oh the Coke here is so good. Way better than America's. And the Fanta is way good too! There is pineapple and grenadelle falvored kinds too. Grenadelle is like exclusive to Madagascar and it's way good! If you could send me like a picture book or some pictures of home and you guys that would be great. I ate at a members house like the 2nd night and they asked me about that so yeah I could use some pics. They also asked if I was Japanese which is super random. But they thought it was pretty cool when I told them I was part Lamanite. And you're recipe for crepes would be good to. There's Nutella here so I want to make some Strawberry Nutella crepes. "Saka" is the word for cat in Malagasy. Pronounced Sah-kah

I think that's it for this week. Sorry it's a little long but a lot has happened. Hang in there and I'll talk to you next week.

Oh I totally hung out with Elder Hein today too. He's in Tana and all the Tana elders get together on P-day and do stuff so I was with him all day.

Elder Coleman

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Arrival!


Dear Coleman Family,
We want you to know that Elder Coleman and all of the missionaries from the Provo MTC arrived in Madagascar safely yesterday afternoon.  They are all doing well.  They had a good night sleep and are ready for training, to meet their new companions today, and go to their new areas where they will be serving. 
Elder Coleman will be serving in Betongolo in Antananarivo and his trainer will be Elder Rice.
Elder Coleman is going to be a great missionary!  We are excited that he is here to serve the wonderful people of Madagascar.

Sister Cloward
Madagascar Antananarivo Mission Secretary

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Travel Days

Someone on Austin's plane took this picture and sent it to me!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

On The Way Out!

It's weird how fast these past 6 weeks have gone by. I thought 6 weeks would be an eternity but thankfully it's not. The language is still coming along but I can usually say what I want to now but it's still kinda kicking my butt on the comprehension side.
I'll start at last Friday since nothing really happened after I emailed on Thursday. First, we made a contract that we all signed to go for the next 10 days with as little English as possible. Yeah it worked for the first day and we haven't done it at all since but it helped that first day anyway! Elder Pinson taught our best lessons ever too! We stayed focused on the topics, felt the spirit, and could understand what he was saying and respond to it so it was super awesome! Also, I memorized the missionary purpose in Malagasy which is good too I guess. If you are wondering what that is, it's on the first page of chapter 1 in PMG. 
All of our zone left earlier this week so we had our last foty sabotsy (soccer Saturday) with them and that was way fun. I'll miss them though they were cool. Sunday, there was a farewell devotional kind of thing for our zone that was leaving and that was pretty cool. Maybe I should tell you who is in our zone. We have all the off the wall mission. We have Eastern Europe, Madagascar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The Eastern Europe missionaries left a few weeks ago and this was all the Indo/Malay guys. Anyway, yeah it was good and I ended up saying the closing prayer in sacrament. I asked if I could do it in Malagasy but they wouldn't let me. Our devotional that night was super cool too. Some missionaries were called up to share their conversion stories and that was awesome. 
Monday was great haha. We did a bunch of review on the language and stuff and that was good. But the best part was gym. We were playing basketball (and by we I mean my district was and a couple of us were playing volleyball haha) but Elder Hammer went to save a ball from going out of bounds and nailed his elbow on the fire alarm. It took a chunk out of his elbow and set off the fire alarm haha it was so funny. Now he can say he pulled the fire alarm in the MTC.
The last 2 days weren't anything super special. We just taught lessons and learned more Malagasy. But I did get to host Kason so that was fun. And we got new Armenians and Indonesians in yesterday.
Ok mom, here's what you've been waiting for:
British Airways 5095 Salt Lake to Dallas, Leave 1:30pm Arrive 5:05pm
British Airways 1521 Dallas to Heathrow, Leave 8:05pm Arrive 11:15am Aug 19
British Airways 55 Heathrow to J-berg Leave 7:10pm Arrive 7:10am Aug 20
South African Airways 8252 J-berg to Tana Leave 10:00am Arrive 2:10pm
I'm not sure if that is local time or here but yeah. I leave here at 8:30 monday morning. So I'm not sure when I'll call.
I think that's all for now. Veloma fianakaviako!

Yeah everything is honestly going good! I did get a haircut TODAY so chill. Tell Whitni if you see her soon that I think it's really weird that she's married for the record. And that's really funny what she said. 
I am very anxious to get there even though I've heard the stories that our teachers have told us. Not a single solid bowel movement in two years. Yeah that'll be rough. The language is coming pretty well I think. I'm already speaking it better then I ever did Spanish haha. I randomly throw in Spanish words into the mix though. Once I start thinking of English I get everything haha. Everyone from Kanab is doing great up here as far as I know. They all seem to be doing well. I'm not sure how well the picture thing will work out. I usually only see them in passing but Merrill does have the same dinner time and gym time as me so we'll see I guess. I'm glad Jarrin is liking scouts. Hopefully he'll stay that way for awhile anyway. 
Thanks for telling me about Arizona. When did this happen? Let me know how she's doing. Teague would too. I'm praying for her to recover quickly. Don't worry I won't let this distract me. Malagasy is hard enough without distractions but I am concerned so keep me updated at least until I leave the MTC. 
Tiako ianao (Love ya)
Elder Coleman
P.S. you better not be touching my pillows.

Us saying goodbye to our teachers. The last one is Elder Koplin taking a selfie with my camera.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tender Mercy 2!

Austin was able to be Kason's host!  Linsey sent me these great pictures.  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Busy Week

So this week was pretty fun! I forgot to mention in last weeks email that I ran into President Nally outside of our classroom and shook his hand! He's the MTC president so that was cool.
Elder Pinson and I took our suits to get dry cleaned on Thursday and since we only have one suit they guarantee one day and it's done but they didn't so I didn't have a suit for Sunday which was awful. I explained to the Branch President though and he understood. It happens a lot I guess. I saw Hayden on Sunday! I walked into the devotional and there he was! He gave me the hug from you and then we got a picture so you'll have to get it from Suzanne. The devotional was the BYU president and I don't remember what he talked about but I did take notes so I did pay attention. We've been teaching more lessons. We're up to like 2 everyday! So we're pretty booked that way. The devotional on Tuesday was good too. It was an ex-general authority and he talked about the temple and why we go before we go on our missions. so that was cool. You've already heard this but I did get to host Merrill on Wednesday and that was a neat experience. I waited at the top of the hill watching the gate for like 20 minutes cause I knew he was coming in soon. If it wasn't for the Kanab Cowboy hat in the windshield, I wouldn't have seen it probably. He seemed a little overwhelmed but that's pretty natural. I haven't seen him since but I'm sure I will soon. We are supposed to get our flight itinerary today so we'll knowwhere we are going and how long all the layovers are. I don't know of anything I'll need you to send to Madagascar but I'm sure I'll have to send stuff home to get the weight right so probably that stuff. I will be hosting this next Wednesday too so I'll try to get Kason. I don't have any idea what car he'll be driving or what time so you'll have to help me on that. Nothing really all that different is going on this week. Next week is our last week in the MTC though. Let me know what time you'd like me to call from the airport. I'm sure we'll be there super early so I'll need to know a time. Arizona finally emailed me! I'm glad you got on her case. She may be asking you for my address so she can send me a letter. She's moved out already so you may have to text her it or something I don't know. I hope everything's going ok! I'll let you know the flight plan next week probably.
Elder Coleman

I forgot to tell you that I taught a lesson on Monday over Skype. It was to a Malagasy that lives in J-berg right now. She used to live in Provo and she is orignally from Madagascar. It was difficult to do because the internet was crappy and she talked really fast. Also, her kid was making lots of noise so it was even harder to understand her. But it went alright I think. We taught about our favorite scriptures and asked her to share hers. We invited her to read the scriptures and to read them with her family.
Austin and his friend Brooks Rigtrup.  Brooks is going to New Jersey.

Austin and his district.

Austin and his district

Austin and elders from his district

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tender Mercy!

Got these awesome pictures and email today from the Terrys!

It was so fun to see Elder Coleman today! He really did look so happy. He said, "Welcome to the MTC." I asked him to say it in Malagasy and he did. He is such a neat young man! I think the smile on Merrill's face says how happy he was to have Austin be his host. He knew it would be a possibility, but we really didn't know if it would work out!  A tender mercy for all of us!  Love our boys!