Monday, April 27, 2015

One of the craziest weeks of my mission

Crazy week. Like super nuts. I'm not sure how I feel about this all but we'll see how it goes.

So first thing is last Monday. Elder Delbar and Snell came up from Ambositra. I just went around with Delbar all day and picked up paintings and stuff from the painter then went to Tsena Sabotsy. Then there was a little bit of confusion getting back with the right companions so Elder Razaka ended up going with Elder Thompson and Liao and Elder Delbar and Snell came with me into my area. It was way fun though. We taught Robin's family and had a good lesson with them.

Tuesday was a pretty good day of work. We taught a bunch of less actives and a recent convert family. It was a good day but nothing really too excited to share about, I apologize.

Wednesday I went on a split with Elder Fox in his area. I was one of the last people he went on a split with since he is going home this week. I will sure miss him. He is such a good missionary and I really looked up to him. But yeah we had a way fun day of teaching and walking around beautiful Antsirabe.

Thursday we had our last zone meeting with Elder Fox and Elder Christiansen. It was very good and was all about how countless times before we actually serve our missions, we promise God that we will. We promised him in the pre-existence, at baptism, receiving the priesthood, going to the temple, receiving our call letter and sending our response back; all of those times we promised to serve a mission and our integrity is at stake if we don't fulfill the nature of our call. Way powerful lesson. We had a good day work wise too. We taught a bunch of investigators and even found a new family that has potential. Their daughter has polio and that's sad but she's very cool. She is way nice.

Friday was an ok day. We didn't get a lot of lessons in but I felt like they were quality lessons. We taught a couple less actives and 1 investigator. It was good but not too exciting.

Saturday was conference and it was super good. Conference as a missionary is a much different experience. The Saturday session was super good. All about marriage though. I'm sure what kind of message they were trying to send but yeah get married and that's that I guess. And we had a baptism. Pascal got baptized and it was super awesome. We got to take him all the way through the lesson and it was a way cool experience. he was super ready. He was practically begging us to baptize him. Then we had the Priesthood session and that was good. It was cool to have someone give their talk in Portuguese. We went and taught TIna and Naina after conference. All they need is their copies so they can get married and then they will get baptized too.

Sunday conference was super good as well. We had tons of investigators come which was way good. The only thing I can say about that conference is: Holy Cow Elder Holland's talk was amazing. I was taking notes and the only thing I wrote for that one was: Wow... just read the talk. It was incredible. We got out to work a little later than usual because of conference but had a good day.I taught one family that is doing really well. I could tell that they still hadn't prayed about Joseph Smith and we talked about baptism that day. I basically blew his mind when I told him that if Joseph Smith was a true prophet, then he needs to be baptized in our church through the proper authority and that his baptism wasn't done. He kind of had his eyes opened a little and I think he is really going to pray about it now. Well we'll fast forward to last night for transfer news. So I am staying here, the other Ambohimena is closing and I will have to take that over. I am the new district leader and I am training... And he's the only one coming in so I already know who he is. He's from New Zealand so it'll way fun. I'm super nervous and excited. but yeah crazy.

So yeah that's it for this week. I go up to Tana on Wednesday to pick him up and learn about training. But a bonus is that I am going on splits with the Betongolo Elders so I'm going back to my first area for a day! It'll be way fun! Oh and Elder Pinson is going to Fort Dauphin. It's basically the most coveted area in the mission and I'm super excited for him.
Well that's all folks! Elder Coleman

Watching General Conference

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Pretty Good Week....

This week wasn't bad. We were pretty busy preparing some people for baptism and finishing the MLS list for the church here. 

Monday after emailing we didn't really do much. Elder Nohaingoinaina came with us and we just went back to the house and chilled. Nothing too exciting. I picked up one painting I did and it turned out way good! I was impressed! I'm going to make quite a few more now. We taught Robin's family that night. It was the only lesson we ended up having because our soiree keeps getting cancelled. But it was a good lesson with them. The parents aren't coming to church as well as his older brother but his sisters are coming pretty often now. 

Tuesday started out pretty bad. All our times fell through. We taught Landy though and prepared her for her baptismal interview on Saturday. We taught her for quite awhile but she seems like she is pretty ready. We taught a couple of less actives after that. We went to Setra's house and right when we got there they were watching TV and a music video for the song, "All of Me" came on. The one with Lindsey Stirling in it. Yeah the members were super surprised when I was like "Hey, she's a member" It was kinda cool. 

Wednesday was horrible work wise. Our times before English Class fell through. English class was good though. I'm having them talk a lot more and telling stories. We actually read from the Bible this last Wednesday. It was their idea and it was super hard trying to explain some of the Bible words that they didn't know. But they are doing good on pronunciation. We had a meeting with our branch president after to go over the MLS list with him that pretty much ruined the rest of our day. He was half an hour late and forgot his glasses so he couldn't even read the list. It was a huge waste of time. SO we just went and prepared Pascal, Joe, and Natalie for baptism. Pascal is super ready but the other two struggle a little bit. 

Thursday was just entirely preparing people. We taught Landy and got a new family to teach out of it so that was awesome! We reviewed everything with her and did another baptismal interview with her to make sure she is 100% ready. Then we went back to Pascal and reviewed with them. We decided to push back the other 2 to get baptized with their parents after they get married. Pascal is good to go though. He's way good. He just mixes up the first vision and Moroni appearing to Joseph Smith sometimes. Just the order but he knows it all. We got him all straightened out so yeah. 

Friday was a good day though. We taught a bunch of lessons and those investigators are doing really well. We worked with a couple less actives on Friday and one family is starting to come back to church. So happy for them. That is basically the biggest problem here is getting people to come to church. 

Saturday was the big day for the bap interviews. We had a basketball activity that morning though with the district. We had a way good turnout and had a couple investigators come so it was good. Then we had a split for the bap interview and I went with Elder Morse in his area while Elder Razakamandimby and Elder Christie did the interview in our area. We had a pretty good day though. We taught a super weird lesson though to this lady that is way rich. She is good at English and French and doesn't have a Malagasy bible in her house, only an English King's James Version. SO that was kind of weird to teach with that. I just quoted scriptures in Malagasy because I don't remember them in English haha. But she had an Xbox. A freaking Xbox. I have never seen an Xbox in this country. If they play games, it is always a Playstation. Super weird. We taught a less active family that is just starting to come back to church too. Actually the first Sunday they came back was the Sunday that I gave a talk so they recognized me immediately. They are way cool and will hopefully come back. We met back up at this pretty nice restaurant by our house. Super good food. Not quite American though. Pascal passed his interview but Landy called Razaka and told him that she couldn't do the interview that day so she's going to have to wait for another time.

Sunday was good. We had a bunch of people come to church. Weird thing though is that we did not have a pianist... so we sang all the hymns accapela. It was way weird. We had a good day of work though. We do a split every Sunday because we have so many investigators that want to learn on Sunday. I wanted to finish this MLS list so I went to the old branch president's house to ask for his help. Well we sat down and he knew every single name on the list so all the stress was gone and we finished it. It was super nice. We have some way good investigators too that are progressing very nicely. We finished the day by teaching TIna and Naina again and talking about the story of Joseph Smith but in depth. Like from the first vision through his death. It was a cool lesson and the first time I've taught it in Malagasy so that was fun. 

So all in all it was a good week. This next week is probably the last one I will spend with Razaka. We have transfers next week and I am pretty sure I will be getting a new companion. We might be spending this week saying goodbye to a lot of people for him. Also, I was way sick last night. I felt way bad yesterday but it got worse last night. I hardly slept at all because I just felt like I was going to throw up all night. And it was super hot or super cold. Yeah so I am super tired right now. But I think that's it for this week.

Pictures of their house

Monday, April 13, 2015

Can't believe it's Monday again!

I can't believe that it's Monday already. Time just flies here it's ridiculous. We had a pretty good week. We have tons of way solid investigators right now. 

So last Monday we had a soiree with Evantiana's family; my favorite family in the branch. Elder Nohaingoinaina came with us for some reason but he's way cool. He's the new zone leader with Elder Fox. He was serving in England but there were some visa troubles so he is finishing his mission here in Madagascar. He's super good at English (obviously) and sometimes when he speaks, he has an English accent. It was a way fun soiree and we watched the hour long Joseph Smith movie with them. They didn't understand it but they wanted to watch it. We went to a big field later and played some football with the other missionaries. We had another soiree with President Mampionona, the district president, and it was way fun. The Malagasies there had a crazy dance party and we ate outside by a campfire under the stars. Super nice.

Tuesday, we had a soiree with Maxime and Noelisoa, the recent converts that we baptized right when I got here. We had the best chicken I have had since I got to Madaascar. He raises chickens and the grow super fast and get way big and taste super good! We taught Landy today and it was super henjana as usual. Patience is something that I really need to work on obviously. But we are both slowly improving so it's getting better. 

Wednesday we taught a lot of lessons. We had English class too which is a lot of fun as always. I made them tell me stories and one kid, Tahiry, told an awesome story. He's a member and he told me about the time when he went to the temple with his parents. He described as being, "a magical experience". He talked about seeing the temple for the first time and to be able to walk around the grounds. He also said that he was super grateful to come back and eat rice again. Little bit of face palm on the story there but hey, that's Malagasies for ya. We taught Rasoa and Blondine about the Plan of Salvation and about baptism and the had lots of good questions about it. The sound like they really want to like be baptized but need the motivation to do what we ask them to first which is a little frustrating. 

Thursday was an awesome day. It started out not super good but it was fine. We went all the way out to Tsiry and the people outside lied to us and told us that he wasn't home. But we went back and taught Landy and they accepted baptism! Rina, one of the girls that learns with Landy, wants to but she wants to talk about it to her parents first. She's 18 so she could just do it if she wants but it's good that she wants to talk to her parents first. 

Friday was a lot of teaching less actives. We did teach one guy though, Fidy. He works at the Royal Palace, a big hotel right next to the church. So he already knows where the church is which is perfect. We had a good lesson with him. When we got there, he was watching Ratatouille and our member help was just super distracted and just watched that the whole time. That's the problem sometimes. When you ask them to turn it off they just turn the volume all the way down. It wasn't a big problem this time because the TV was out of the way and wasn't really a distraction for the lesson but Robin was turned completely around just watching it the whole time. Then, when we finished that lesson, we went to a less active's house and they were on the same channel watching Ratatouille. That was ok though cause it ended right when we got there so Robin didn't watch. 

Saturday was a good day. We taught this super less active member that moved into our area from a different branch. She gave the lamest excuse ever for not going to church anymore. She said that the Protestant church is closer so she goes there. Yeah, lame. We taught Liva after her about the Book of Mormon. He is super smart and already understands everything. Last time we taught him, we talked about it a little; about the story line and the stuff about how it's like the bible and all that. We asked him what he remembered this day and he told us the whole story. And when I gave him the book, he grabbed it and hugged it and thanked us. He said that it was the best gift he has ever received. Way cool experience. We taught Voahangy and Mampionona after. Mampionona is the girl with the bad leg that walks 2 hours to church every Sunday. She is super smart and understands it all super well. She loves church too. After that we got soaked in the rain so that was fun.

Sunday was a good day too. We had tons of people come to church. There was a girl that had an epileptic seizure right at the start of the sacrament hymn so that was scary. She has them all the time though so people knew what to do. We got a new job from the AP's too. We have to fix the MLS here because it is so messed up. So I took over branch council that day and had everyone there look over all 12 pages of names of people in the branch and mark the ones they new. I never realized how important the clerk is and how important MLS is in the church until now. We split after branch council and I went and taught a bunch of people. I taught Raholy and Hery and gave them a Book of Mormon. The said they are going to come to church on Sunday. I taught Mamy also and gave them a Book of Mormon and also watched the Restoration video. They loved it. Then the big lesson of the night was Tina and Naina. We taught them about the Word of Wisdom and they have absolutely no problem with it. That's super weird for Madagascar. But yeah they used to do it all but they just kinda stopped on their own before we taught them. Actually, part of the reason they want to be baptized is because after they met with the missionaries the first time, Naina and Pascal stopped drinking alcohol. They just didn't want to anymore. We had a little soiree with them too and had super good tsara maso and sausage. We brought some brownies for them too which they love. Missionaries here are notorious for brownies among members and investigators.

Well yeah that's all I guess for this week. Tina and Naina are still waiting for their copies so they will be waiting a little while to get baptized but Pascal, Joe, and the girl whose name I cannot remember for the life of me are getting baptized on the 25th of this month. Their interviews are this Saturday. They are super ready. I'm way excited for them. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter and Stefanie....

So this week was nothing other than nuts. I mean the fact that it's already April is already crazy enough and that this is the 2nd conference that has happened since I have been on my mission. Time flies. 

Well Monday was a way fun day. Elder Delbar (from my group) and Elder Snell (the group after me;Elder Kelch's group) came up from Ambositra to do a P-day here. It was way cool to see them. There is a guy here that makes paintings and can do anything you want him too. It's a little bit more expensive to do a custom one but well worth it. If you guys want anything painted, just send me a picture and I'll get it done. He looks like he does a really good job too. All the missionaries go to him. I'll see today if the painting I did turns out good. Elder Hein and Elder Fisher came up from Fianarantsoa for an MLC in Tana. The zone leaders here took them up in the car so Elder Mack and Elder Gariki didn't have a car for a couple days. So Elder Gariki came with us that night as well as Elder Delbar. We went and taught this new investigator, Robine and Jeannot. They have huge potential and will hopefully progress very well. We had a very spiritual lesson with them.

Tuesday was a pretty good day. We did a split and taught a ton of people. I did a bunch of contacting in this one part of our area that I guess is kind of near a Jehovah's Witness church so every thought that's who we were and didn't want to let us in. But when we told them we weren't, it was fine. We met back up with Razaka at some less active member's house and taught him. We've been doing a lot of that recently. 

Wednesday was English class and no one came because it's Easter week. Kinda lame but that's essentially what the rest of the week ended up being too. We didn't teach a bunch of lessons that day because of the aforementioned cause, but our member help gave a fun spiritual thought at one of our lessons. Genesis 6:1-2. Yeah...

Thursday we had a zone meeting and it was way good. It was all about bearing testimony and how to do it powerfully. It was way cool. There are quite a few things I need to improve on in my own testimony bearing and that lesson was very helpful in that. Another lame day teaching wise because of Easter. Like no one is home at all.

Friday was a pretty good day though. The city began shutting down for the huge Easter celebration that it's famous for. A lot of people weren't home but we got a bunch of less actives. I taught one family, Jean Marie, and they just make me super mad. They have been inactive for a very long time. When we taught them before they always said that they can't come because they are old and can't walk that far. But when I was there that night, the parents weren't home. I asked the kids where they were and they said that they went to Mahazoarivo, which is as far if not farther than the church from their house. It's frustrating when people don't understand that their eternal salvation is on the line. 

Saturday we taught Robine and Jeannot again and showed the Restoration video in Malagasy. It was a way spiritually awesome lesson. We were there for a long time though because they are just thirsting for more and were asking tons of questions. We had a fireside with the district for Easter and watched Bible videos with Malagasy subtitles added to the bottom. It was a way cool video and you could really feel the spirit. After that, we were riding our bikes to our area and rode past the big celebration. Well we heard Stefanie singing like right near us so we stopped and got some pictures of her real quick. She's like the most famous Malagasy singer. We taught Tina and Naina after that and had a super good lesson with them. They want to be baptized so bad. The church gave them a Gospel Principles book and they've been reading it. They always ask about the temple too.

Sunday was the worst day of all of them. We did a split and had around 15 people that were on the schedule for me to visit. I went and not a single one was home. Not one. The most lame thing ever. Of all time. We went back and tried them all again and still nothing. We did find one though and taught them so it wasn't an entire waste of the day. We actually ended up teaching two more people after that so it was good. And when we went to go meet Razaka it was chaos. It was like walking through Disneyland at night but add bus and pousse pousses. I almost got hit by a bunch of things countless times. We taught Tina and Naina again and taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about the temple. They really wanted to know about it and really want to go. They are so awesome I love them so much.

Today we are going to go to the booths and stuff set up for Easter because it's still going. I'm hoping there will be some cool stuff there. And we have a soiree with the district president tonight who actually served his mission in south Africa so he's way good at English

Well that's all for this week. I hope everyone enjoyed conference. I'll know how good it was in about a month.