Monday, June 15, 2015

A week of interesting people...

It's crazy how fast the time flies! I can't believe that it is already Monday! It seems like I was just barely sending my email from last week. But we had a good week this week and we worked hard. 

Monday we had a lesson with Donelson, who is incredibly Catholic. He was born Catholic and will die Catholic. Well I sure hope not for his sake. So we talked with him about the Book of Mormon a bit more thoroughly and I used the Book of Mormon reference that President gave us at last zone conference to mark his Book of Mormon with the 30 most important scriptures for investigators to read. He said that he would definitely read it now that he doesn't have to start from the beginning and go all the way through. This is going to help a ton and we will see if he did it and is willing to change his mind tonight. 

Tuesday was a day full of contacting. We work in the other Ambohimena area that day(the one that was Elder Christie and Elder Morse's before) that was combined into our area. It's closer to the church and has a lot of rich people so it is kinda hard. We found a cool French guy though and talked to him for a little bit in English. We also taught this less active Melchezidek Priesthood holder that is one of the oldest members in Madagascar. When he was baptized in 1998, there were 2 church buildings in Madagascar, both in Tana and there was only one baptismal font, at the mission home. He is a very cool guy and his sister actually lives in Indianapolis. 

Wednesday we had a good day of teaching people and English class. I also learned the word for fireworks in Malagasy, afomanga, which literally means blue fire. But yeah the 26 of June is coming up so it's a little bit relevant. That is their independence day and I've heard that it is a huge thing. I went on a split with Elder Herrin, our new zone leader so he could do a baptismal interview in our area for Mampionona. Well she passed! And she's getting baptized this Saturday! She still hasn't decided who she wants to baptize her so it might be a little interesting haha. 

Thursday was kind of a disappointing day. We had a lot of times fall through but we were able to find some new investigators and teach them. They are solid and I see a good future for them. We are working really hard with an investigator named Dieu Donne and pushing him for July 18 for his baptism. We gave him the Book of Mormon thing too to help him read and we are really stressing church attendance. It's so frustrating when people don't come to church. 

Friday we had more lessons fall through but got a lot of good contacting in too. We met a very cool guy named Orlando who seems very interested in what we have to talk about. He lives in a different area but he said he's going to come to English class on Wednesday and build a program from there with the Mahazoarivo Elders. While we were talking to Orlando and his friend, some guy that I think was drunk came up to us and was talking about us "Mormons". He was talking about how the things we teach "scare him" and he was saying stuff about the Book of Mormon. Well it was almost disastrous, with him preaching anti-Mormon stuff and we are trying to contact these people. We start to take control of the situation when another guy comes out of nowhere and starts doing the same thing. He starts asking me questions, trying to catch me and prove me wrong and stuff like that. But he had no idea what he was talking about so I slayed him for lack of a better term and now he wants to learn the stuff he didn't know so hopefully it'll turn out good. We also taught Maxime and just sat down and talked about his Tenin'ny Fahendrena problem. He is still drinking toaka sometimes but he wasn't drunk this time so it was good. He knows that we are here to help and that we want to help. Elder Reynolds bore a powerful testimony to him and all in all it was a good lesson. 

Saturday we taught a lot of people and met a very interesting man. Well first we were teaching and across the street from one of our times (that stood us up by the way) lived a French guy. And he was having a yard sale with his daughter and her friends. And they all spoke English. It was the weirdest thing. Funny thing about that; The dad was talking to us and he asked Elder Reynolds where he was from. He told him and the french guy was super excited. He had been to New Zealand apparently and so they had a nice little conversation about that. But then he turns to me and repeats the question. I respond,"I'm American." and it just gets awkwardly quiet... Elder Reynolds thought it was way funny. After that we went to a contact kinda out in the boondocks and that was a surprise for sure. We get there and he gets his Bible and I figured it was just a normal Bible. I asked him if it was a Protestant, Catholic, or JW Bible and he said none of them. I was kinda confused because that is the only bibles in Madagascar in Malagasy. Oh this guy speaks English fluently by the way (with a horrible accent but still fluent) so I figured that maybe it was a King James Bible. But he opened it and he opened it the wrong way, as in it was upside down, or so I thought. But it turns out that the Bible was in Hebrew and that's how the read. And this guy is fluent in Hebrew, Greek, English, French, and Spanish. He randomly switched to Spanish at one point during the lesson and it threw me off way bad. Like I understood it, but I knew it wasn't Malagasy or English so it took me a second. Weird lesson. And for dinner that night we ate with Elder Lehr at this place called Sam's. It a vazaha place and all the vazahas happened to be hanging out there that night. I won't lie but I was incredibly uncomfortable to be in what would be considered a normal restaurant in America. It was weird to be around so many white people in a nice place. 

Sunday was good. We only had three investigators come to church which was super lame. We did have a nonmember from the outskirts of Antsirabe come to church though out of the blue so that was fun. He was an interesting guy and had some interesting insights in church. But he wants to learn so it should be good. Raholy and Hery didn't come because Raholy was sick and couldn't make the journey. We taught them the Tenin'ny Fahendrena and they both have a problem with paraky (I'm sorry; I don't remember that in English but it's the stuff you chew and it's bad for you) and coffee. We gave them a plan that they agreed on and they have the desire to quit. They want to be baptized way bad. We are pushing them for the 18 of July as well. 

The Clowards flew out today; heading home. That is very weird that they are gone. I'll miss them for sure. 

Other than that, it's still freezing cold. I know you'll look at the temperature from there and think it's not but it truly is. This is the coldest place in the mission but I wouldn't trade being in Antsirabe for anything. It's sad to think I only have 5 weeks left here... 
The Adam's and Cloward's last zone conference

The Branch Presidency

Trying to stay warm! 

This is the sand dunes.  A guy in Madagascar paints these.

This is a swimming pool.

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