Monday, October 27, 2014

The Weirdest Sunday Ever...

Well first off we'll start with Tuesday. Elder Connault discovered that one of his teeth were broken so we went to the dentist first thing in the morning. It was clear on the other side of town and it was quite the interesting experience. Let's just say I am much more motivated to brush my teeth and floss now because I do not want to have to go to a dentist here. The guy we went to was actually pretty good for Madagascar so it wasn't that bad but it is still rediculous. It's way cheap though too. He got a filling and it was only 15,000 A (I don't know how much that is in $ or how much that would actually cost in America). So that was a fun little experience.
Oh my goodness this week was so great! You know why? because I actually got to do missionary work! I actually felt like a missionary! We went out and taught investigators and recent converts and did contacting! Oh my gosh it was so great! I never want to be anything more than a normal missionary this is so great! And my Malagasy is coming along so much faster now! I've already improved so much! I love it here! It's smaller than Tana but it's still pretty big. It reminds me of like St. George or like Cedar I think it's about that big but I'm not sure. I can't exactly take a car and drive through the city.
While we were contacting this week (which was like the whole week) we found some way studly people. We found this one guy named Olivier who is way cool. He came to us which is like super rare for guys. It's so hard to find potential priesthood holders here. That's like the biggest problem with this branch right now is a lack of priesthood holders.Anyway, he came to us and invited us in and we taught the first lesson to him and his dad. He was able to relate to the JS tantara because his parents are different religions and he is too. But he's way awesome and seems like he really wants to learn from us. He work s in a pharmacy across the street from the church and talks to the guardian and tells him to tell us when he is available to be taught again so he's way sick.
We had district meeting this week and I got assigned the lesson. Not that big of a deal except I found out I had to give it in Malagasy because the senior couple missionaries down here are Malagasy, the Rakotoarisoas. It wasn't too bad though I just asked questions and everyone else taught it for me so I wasn't too mad. Following the District Meeting though, Elder Connault and Elder Lehr went on a spilt and went with the Rakotoarisoas to look and houses for missionaries so I went on a split with Elder Mack. It was interesting because he just barely got here this last transfer and I am still new so we struggled a little on the communication side of things. We had a priest with us though and he was able to help us out a lot. It was a way good experience for me too because I didn't realize how much I could understand and communicate until I had to be the one that spoke. I still have a long way to go obviously but it was a confidence booster and a good learning experience. We just contacted all day and found a bunch of people that we will go visit this week.
There is this tiny little shack just outside our apartment where this huge family lives. I'll have to send a picture sometime but anyway, they came up to us one day and told us they wanted to learn. I can't remember their names so I just call them the Brady Bunch. We got 8 new investigators from just that one family . It's nuts. And they seem really interested so we'll see how it goes but I have a lot of hope for them.
There was a baptism on Saturday for a kid that just turned 8. It was a little different than the one in Tana because they don't have a font at this church. They had one of those set up ones. I don't know really how to describe it so I'll just send a pic one time. They had it so full that when the kid got in the font he was pretty much already baptized. He just needed to put his head under the water.
SO for Sunday we had this guy from Tana come that is an investigator. His name is Norbert and he is an absolute stud. He is very high up politically and he always bring his friends to church and stuff to be taught be the missionaries. He brought a bunch of friends to church with him and introduced them to us and then after he invited us to this wedding for his friend. That was way cool to witness a Malagasy wedding. And like during the whole ceremony Norbert was telling them how they need to join the church and he even convinced them to let us give the bride and groom a blessing so that was way cool. We stayed for lunch and the whole time he was talking to everyone about our church as were we obviously. He's such a stud he's not even baptized and he's doing missionary work. Right after that, we gave like all the people there BoM and 1st and 2nd pamphlets because they live in a city that doesn't have missionaries yet. But the excitement doesn't end there. We go back to the church for a funeral service for a member. It was way cool and way sad at the same time. They are so respectful of their dead it's just super cool.
Fun story of the week: we went to our branch mission leader's house to teach his mom and she wasn't there but we are told that he is. An old lady lets us into the house and just opens the door and there's our Branch mission leader making out with his girlfriend haha. We've given him so much crap for it over the past couple days haha.

Pretty much all that happened this week was we built our program. We got 21 new investigators this past week so we'll see how many of those are actually for real. I bet only like 2 but we'll see.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Never Ending Transfer....

Well as I said last week, Monday was Elder Rice's birthday. We did our regular soiree and were given the biggest cake I have ever seen in my life. It was seriously like 8 inches tall. And they gave us literally half the cake. It was ridiculous. It was so much cake.

We taught L on Tuesday. We just gave a spiritual thought on obeying the commandments. There has been a little bit of an issue with her this past week. But anyway, after we taught her, a member who lives above her broke and egg on Elder Rices head and threw flour on it. He was so ticked haha.

We tracted into T. last week and we finally got to teach her on Wednesday. We taught the first lesson and it went way good. It turns out the missionaries taught them one time awhile back but never returned.So that's way good obviously and they are excited for us to come back so I think they'll be baptized pretty soon.

 We went to Soa's after Tahiry to give another spiritual thought. We walk in and they are watching the new Transformers movie on theri TV! I'm not sure if that is actually out in America on DVD yet so it may have been an illegal copy. Someone will need to correct me on that. But it looks like a good movie! The last ten minutes are great! Optimus Prime sounds so retarded in French though. But I can't exactly be hating on French anymore...

We went to see V. family after. It was going to be a pop or drop lesson because they weren't progressing. But when we got there, the daughters told us that they went to church on Sunday but at 8! So that was good but they need to go at 1.

Ok now for the title.So Wednesday rolled around and there we were just doing personal study. We finish personal study and all of a sudden we get a phone call from the AP's. Another emergency transfer. Elder Fox told Elder Rice to put the phone on speaker so I immediately assume someone else from my group is going home. How wrong I was. Elder Fox tells me that Elder Miller is coming up from Fianarantso that day  and then he tells me that I will be taking his place in Fianarantso. I had to pack right then because I was leaving later that day. What?! Craziness. I was being ripped away from Elder Rice before the end of my training. I was so sad but way happy to get out of the office. Like you seriously have no idea. I didn't feel like a real missionary at all because I didn't get to work very much and it killed me but now I'm out and working and it's great!

Fianarantso is south of Tana; about a 12 hour drive by cramped taxibe. But the scenery on the drive is seriously so sweet! There were way cool mountains and we actually had to up a few of them and they were just straight jungle. I would suggest a google search of the drive from Tana to Fianarantsoa just to see it. It is seriously so gorgeous. The city in and of itself is also way beautiful. It is way jungly and has jungly mountains all around. Last night we could go out on our balcony and look and tons of stars it was so sweet! I've missed the stars so much. The branch here is way cool. There are 2 branches and mine starts at 8 am so that's a little different than 1o'clock church. There are 6 missionaries down here and four of us are in 1 branch. We have the area split. No one from my group is down here. The other two companionships are training new guys from the last transfer and my new companion is Elder Connault from Elder Rice's group. Elder Connault is an interesting guy. He is 26 and he is French. Born and raised in France. He started his mission here in Madagascar and just recently got back from 4 months serving in Reunion. He's a cool guy, But he is in some ways like Elder Gant so I think we'll get along pretty well. We talked about a bunch of computer games the other day so we're off to a good start.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go on splits with some young men in the ward and do contacting. It was kind of hard because I don't know Malagasy very well but it went alright. Thanks to Elder Rice, I already knew how to do a door approach and we found a couple contacts. We found some members too and I was able to ask them if they knew anyone that we could teach and they led me to some place clear up on this mountain. It's in our area but it's clear the heck out there.

Today was probably the coolest P-day I've had this far. We went to this natural park called Ranomafana an hour taxi-brousse ride outside of Fia. It was straight Jurassic Park out there. It was way cool. It was just a hike through the jungle and watching lemurs swing through the trees above your head. It was way cool!

I think that's all for this week so peace out!
Elder Coleman

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ward Activity

Things worthy of writing home always happen like right after I finish emailing. So last Monday at our suare, we get there and it's all fine and dandy and whatever but one of the members of the family has this just gnarly looking eye. She then proceeded to ask us if we would give her a blessing. This was all in Malagasy of course so I have no idea what's going on. I kind of pieced together that that was what was going down and by the time I had figured that out, Elder Rice turns to me and says, "You're doing it" That's how he is though haha. He makes me do a bunch of stuff because it's the only way I'll learn. I definately appriciate it even though it is a little annoying sometimes. I did get to do it in English because she had gone on a mission to Durban (Shoutout Elder Gant) so that made it a little better.Her name was still hard though: Ravolazafindrafaitra Damason Niry Farasoa. Yes, That is a name and yes I had to prnounce that perfectly but it worked out. I had no idea what to do so it was a very short blessing haha. But she's better now! So it all worked out!

We had a crazy emergency transfer this week that we had to help with. People were sick and Elder Reich went home. He came in my group so that was weird to see him go. I went out to the airport with him and it was just a weird situation. I was genuinely sad to see him go though. I wish he could've stayed. But yeah that took up like a whole day so we didn't get to do any work that day which is just all kinds of lame. 

We had interviews with president this week and they were way good. It was nice to jsut sit down with him and talk. I feel a lot more comfortable around him now. He's a great guy and he really wants us to work hard.

Remember Moe? Yeah we taught him once this week and he was super excited to see us. We start teaching him and he's talking about how excited he is to get baptized on the 18th. The only problem is that he hasn't gone to church in quite awhile. We told him that the only way he could be baptized is if he were to go to church on Sunday. He promised that he would and he told us that he wasn't drinking or smoking anymore. When he told us that though, his wife looked down and was a little uncomfortable so he may have been lying. After we left, we were doing some contacting very close to his house and he comes walking by with a DVD in his hand. I caught a quick glimpse of it and immediately wished I hadn't. He was returning a porno DVD. Freaking Moe. Then he didn't go to church on Sunday. 

So a couple weeks back we had the impression to teach the Law of Chastity to Andry and Aina again. They are recent converts and both are young men. Mom and Arizona will know who Andry is. Anyway, we felt like we should teach them that and we got in there and obviously it was a little awkward at first but it turned out to be a really good lesson. Later, we saw Aina walking down the road looking a little sad. We asked him what was wrong and he told that he broke up with his girlfriend. He really liked her but she wasn't a member and he knew he would probably get in trouble if he stayed with her. He knew it would be better for him in the church. What a stud.

We went to this Ward Activity on Saturday like way outside of Tana. It was way cool. It was nice to get out of the city for a little while. It wasn't actually like way out but it was outside if that makes sense. Anyway, it made me feel like I was really in Africa. I sent a bunch of pictures but my camera died halfway through so I'll have to send the rest tomorrow. 

We got some way good contacting time in this week regardless of all the other crap we had to deal with. We visited our contacts from a few days ago and they are way cool. We also were doing some contacting and got invited into this house with a huge family; FLF too! (Father Led Family). We will go visit them this week and see how they're doing and teach them some more. 

It was Elder Weber's Birthday yesterday and it's Elder Rice's Birthday today so we've been doing some celebrating. We had some cake last night and watched 17 miracles. This morning we broke eggs on their heads and threw flour on them at the office in front of a bunch of people. Yeah that's the Malagasy tradition for birthdays if you wondered. 

Today we didn't do too much. We went and got material for making suits. You can make custom suits here for so cheap! It is 80,000A To make it and like 45,000 for the material. In American Money that's only like $45 ! SO i'll have to send a picture of it when it's finished.

That's it for this week. Sorry these have been kind of boring but this transfer seriously won't end. And I don't exactly get to work a lot being in the office. It'll be a good day when I get transfered.
Elder COleman

Everything is going well. Nothing to complain about. I did talk to Elder Pinson on the phone a couple weeks ago because I heard he was having a hard time with his trainer. His trainer is a Malagasy and won't let him talk because he doesn't know Malagasy. SO he's struggling a little bit I think. I haven't talked to him since though so I don't know. Elder Hammer is doing well. I was just with him actually. He loves it here. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

When the Rain Comes Down...

This place is just so awesome! Love it here! Last Monday, we had our usual soiree with the family of that sister missionary Temple Square right now. Sr Zanarisoa (the sisters have the french word for sister on their name tags, pronounced like 'sir' ten'anglais) was leaving in the coming transfer and Elder Rice, Sr Johnson, and their daughter Hoby were all having birthdays soon so we had a huge party. We had this banana cheesecake and this freaking massive cake. Like it was unreal. It was like an 8 layer cake and it was so hard to put down haha. 

English class on Tuesday went great! They asked to learn phonetics for English so I had fun with that. When I taught 'w' I had them say that part from Hot Rod with the whiskey and it was the best haha. 

The new Elders came in on Wednesday and they are way cool! There are so many of them! Seriously the whole mission except for like 5 companionships are training right now between my group and this group. But yeah they are way sweet and there's still quite a few in Tana so I get to chill with them for a bit. Elder Rice worked some magic and somehow got us into the new missionary lunch and I am eternally grateful for that. I have never had food taste so good as Sr Adams cooking. I can tell you right now that I will not be complaining about food too much when I get back to America. It will taste heavenly for quite awhile I assume.

Transfers were freaking nuts by the way. We took so many people the the Antsirabe and Tomatave bus stops. The traffic here is freaking nuts. It seriously takes us an hour to get somewhere that is like from the house to like the city park. Like I said, there are absolutely no rules for driving here. You just have to be assertive. And insertive too if anyone gets that reference. We spent Wednesday through Friday just taking people from the airport or to the bus stops or just where ever. It was a long couple of days for sure. 

I got to practice driving a little bit the other day. I will probably be driving during the next transfer because I'm pretty sure that Elder Rice will be leaving. So I will have to do the driving. It wasn't too bad. I peeled out a little bit once and only killed it a couple of times. 

Baptism on Saturday! It was way cool! A very neat experience for sure! I baptized the little girl and she's way cool. I went first and I totally slipped going into the font and almost went down but I recovered, like a boss (obviously), and rocked it. I don't know how one rocks a baptism but I did it regardless. I said the prayer in Malagasy and dunked her and she came up and let out the biggest gasp I have ever heard. It was like I had dunked her in Arctic waters or something. She was ok though so I have no idea what that was about. This woman is the sister of the missionary in Temple Square and they got permission to Skype her so she could watch the baptism. It was 7 in the morning back in Utah so she was a little tired obviously. The family didn't get to talk to her either because she had to go get ready for conference in a couple hours. It didn't feel like my baptism though cause I didn't really teach them. I had them read a scripture once on like my 2nd day here and then they got turned over to the sisters.

Sunday was a pretty good day. I got to help give a blessing to a sister missionary in the other ward and that was a way neat experience too. Feeling the spirit super strong is just a great way to start off a Sunday. Testimony meeting was good too. I don't remember if I mentioned this last fast Sunday but there is never that awkward silence where no one gets up and does their thing. There is just a constant stream of people heading on up. 

Ok yesterday, holy freaking water. It started raining during the last 5 minutes of ward council and by the time we got outside it was seriously like the flood of Noah had come back. I have never felt raindrops that big in my life. We had to walk from the church to our area in the pouring rain it was ridiculous. I witnessed a power pole explode and I saw the steps of Mordor turn into a waterfall. We were going to just go home but we had a soiree set up with Vololona. So we walk clear into the middle of our area in the pouring rain, and she cancels. 

Today we just played soccer against that ward again. They kicked our trash this time though so it's whatevs. Didn't really do much other than that though.

One more thing. There is an upcoming need for an office couple in this mission. So, if any of you know of anyone who could be an office couple here that would be awesome. Having someone in here I know would be way cool. I'm not sure how it's done but I'm sure their stake president would know so yeah. That's something that needs to be done way soon cause the current office couple goes home in June.

I've attached a pic of the baptism so you can see. The sister I'm standing next to is Sister Stewart, the one who's Patriarchal Blessing I found in my hymnbook.