Monday, December 29, 2014

Dat Christmas Tho....

Hello again everyone. This is the last email I'll send in 2014! It's crazy that 2015 is already here. 2014 went by so fast... I can still remember this time last year and had no idea this is where I'd be spending my next Christmas. Never in a million years could I have imagined this. I can't think of anywhere much better than this though.
Well I left all my notes at the house because I'm so not kinga-tsaina but it's whatevs. I can remember most of the week. Last P-day was just a super chill day and just sat at home. We went out to work and contacted this way cool family. They don't seem too interested but we'll try. The dad's name is Ali, like Prince Ali and their youngest child, still only a few months old, is Valim-bavaka. Her name is significant because it means "answer to prayer" in Malagasy. I asked them if there was a story behind that and is as follows to the best of my memory.
They have four kids and the one that is just older than Valim-bavaka had some medical problems when he was born. Some pretty serious ones. He almost didn't make it but he did. They thought that was over but when they had Valim-bavaka, it was even worse. The mother had medical  problems and the kid had even more than the last one. The prayed fervently for help and miraculously, little Valim-bavaka became healthy as is as healthy as any other couple month old baby.
Tuesday was a way cool day. I did not have a lot of hopes for Tuesday because our whole program was empty which meant contacting. This close to Christmas, I didn't expect anyone to let us in. But Christmas miracle! Tons of people let us in and listened to us! More than usual in fact! Super awesome! We taught Fanasina later that night and while we were waiting for her to show up we were talking to some kids. Well Jean Chrys daughter was there and she's a deal that's for sure. She was throwing rocks at us and it was super annoying. She almost hit us a couple times. I knew that she was super scared of us so I set my bag down and ran after her. I chased her for a little ways, down a hill and totally almost ate it. But I caught myself. On a wall. That was a little sharp. So yeah I scraped myself up a little but nothing too bad. I was just super stupid.
Christmas Eve was an awesome day. We taught Tahina and Alicia about the Word of Wisdom and that went way good. THey are super smart and should be good to go for their baptism on Jan 17. We taught this new family and they are way cool. Their oldest daughter is handicapped. She's 18 and when she was born she had a twin. But the twin's head and hers were fused together. The twin died and they had to surgically remove her. Now this girl has a huge head and is super underdeveloped everywhere else. She can't do anything by herself. It is super sad. We taught them abut the Plan of Salvation though and they seemed to really like it and the idea of the Resurrection. That night we went to ZomTel, the same place we went when President came to zone conference. For some reason it was full of Indians. I guess they like to spend Christmas in Madagascar or something. There was one rich family that was Malagasy though with a little kid. They had a Malagasy Santa Claus there for him and he was super terrifying. The kid was obviously super spoiled and it made me think a lot about the people here. This kid is so happy and has all this stuff and probably has no idea about what every other kid his age has to go through in this country. After dinner, we walked home and I passed a kid that had to have been the same age as the kid I saw in the restaurant. This kid had rags for clothes and he was sleeping on the stairs of a store. He came up and begged us for money. The amount of contrast was just ridiculous. No kid should have to have that on Christmas. I felt super bad because I didn't even have any candy to give him. It was really eye opening to see this kid. That's how a lot of kid's spend their Christmas' here. Most of them don't even know what it's like to have a normal Christmas.
Christmas morning was weird. It just felt like a normal day. We went to the other house to make crepes, pancakes, burgers, and watch movies. I learned my lesson this time and brought candy and gave it to some kids on the way. At least that way they can get one present for Christmas. Our service project for Christmas was moving the pews down stairs to a bigger room. It went way fast and it's so much better now. Then the best part came: the Skype call. I won't lie it was weird to see you guys. Looking back on our conversation I realize that I was super weird haha. I don't know how to speak English anymore haha. We always use Malagasy words when we talk between missionaries so that was hard to do. I was way good to see you all though.
Friday was kinda a lame day. Got stood up a lot and didn't teach a bunch. It was a very slow day. Nothing exciting.
Saturday was interesting. We went out and taught a few lessons but Elder Connault wasn't feeling well. Elder Hammer was sick also so I took Elder Connault home and took Elder Mack with me. We worked a little in my area and then worked in his. We taught some way awesome people. Also, remember Andry? From Tana? Yeah I met his mom! Well re-met his mom I guess because I met her when I was in Tana. She's one of the ladies that made the locusts for us. In the video, she's the one sitting on the floor prepareing them.
Yesterday was good. The sacrament room is so much roomier now. And LAry and Dorise came! Again! That's two Sundays in a row! They haven't been to church in years but they're coming again. Way sweet. We taught quite a few lessons yesterday too. We taught a recent contact, Olivier, but when we got there he was a little distraught. We found out that his sister had just passed away and he was leaving soon to go to the funeral. We shared the Plan of Salvation with him and his wife and they loved it. They asked where our church was because they said we didn't give them enough so that's good haha. Hopefully they'll go next Sunday. We taught this guy named Michele too and he's a stud. He spoke English to me a couple weeks back asking what I was doing and when I told him he said we could teach him too. SO yeah super awesome. WE taught him the whole first and he asked tons of good questions. Way smart guy. We taught Eric at Etiennes about the Word of Wisdom. We saw him the other day with a cigarette in his hand so we thought it would be a good idea to talk about it. He drinks coffee too so hopefully he can get over it. He's a cool kid but he'll have to try really hard if he wants to get baptized on the 17.
Well that's it for this week I think. I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and have a happy New Year. I get to see the new year first so ha!
Elder Coleman

 This is the Christmas tree at the family's house that Austin is teaching. He calls them the  Brady bunch.

 Elder Hammer and Elder Mack playing in the rain.
Last dinner with Elder Lehr

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