Monday, August 17, 2015

Cirque Rouge, Seaturtles, A little Asian/Malagasy wedding, sy Eldera Kôlmana...

Ok so this week was a short but long one. It went fast but I am so tired. I have never been so tired in my life as I have been here. 

Monday we went to a place called cirque rouge, which by translation means red circus if I am not mistaken in my very very broken French. It was a super cool place and it is right on the coast. It's just a super red canyon which would be like super cool if I hadn't you know like grown up with those around me my whole life, but nevertheless, it was a fun trip. I enjoyed it. We were able to walk around on the beach and climb up some hills and take some cool pictures. We were super tired after though. We got back and tried to go to Liva and Hery but we couldn't find their house. Yes I'll admit it; we got lost. As we were searching we started walking down this road that kinda felt sketchy. At one point a taxi stopped about 20m ahead of us and a guy got out with a gun. That was sketchy. No one has guns here. And right after that a girl came and told us that there are mpamono olona up the road so we decided to just teach them next week. It was already way late at this point anyway. 

Tuesday we had a really good day of teaching. We taught Modesta first thing about the apostasy and went super in depth to make sure he understood it. Well he did. it was a good lesson with him. We were able to teach quite a few other people that day as well from our contacting and we hope that they will be able to progress. We finished the day off with adolph. His daughter has been really sick and he told us he just doesn't know where to turn anymore. They've been to countless doctors and no one can find out what is really wrong with her and provide treatment. He asked us if we can give his daughter a blessing when she gets back from a visit with a doctor far away. This guy is awesome. He would honestly be baptized right now but his daughter is so sick that he hasn't been able to make it church and is repeatedly not home when we go to teach him but he is a stud. But right before our lesson with him we taught a less active member named Rogger. He is pretty old. We were there teaching him and his daughter came in and as we got acquainted, we found out that she is also less active. We asked her why she didn't come anymore and she said that she had changed to another church because at that church they cast out devils. Way frustrating.

Wednesday we taught Timoty and his family first thing and talked about the Book of Mormon. We are clearing a lot of false conceptions up about it such as: Joseph Smith wrote it and that the story of Joseph Smith is in the book and that it is the Bible. No matter how many times it is explained it seems, they still don't get it. Well it is the word of God and it is comparable to the Bible. It supports the Bible and explains concepts that are not entirely clear in the bible and more importantly it is a testament of Jesus Christ from the Americas. I have really gained a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon here on my mission. I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is true and that it was translated by divine power and that it does contain the fullness of the gospel. And I know that it is from God. I learn new things every time I read it. Every time I open it and search its pages, it is as if it was the first time. I love that book more than any other book I have ever read. We had a couple more lessons after that with Dada and Vololona and finished the day off with a less active recent convert named Mahazo. He has a hard time understanding that he can't work on Sunday and that is why he isn't coming to church right now. We had good lesson about the baptismal covenant with him and just when we though he understood it, he completely flaked. So we will be reviewing that with him again I think. 

Thursday we taught a bunch and did a lot of contacting. A lot of contacting. We contacted into a couple times. The first one was a Muslim couple with two sons that are Catholic. Weird. But we talked about the Restoration with them and showed the video. They liked it a lot. We got  a return appointment and had them ponder about it to talk about next time. After that we contacted into a Lutheran guy that had never realized some things before. Well first off he said," Andriamanitra iray ihany" which is the biggest most frustrating sentence any Malagasy can say to us. It means,"there is only one God" and they use this to justify praying at different churches. Well we explained that if there was only one god then there should only be one church and that technically all the churches pray to a different god because they all have their own concept of him. That really got him thinking and he told us about how his family all pray at a different church. We showed the Restoration video and he liked it a lot.

Friday we had a wedding. A wedding for the strangest couple i have ever seen in Madagascar. Lucy is a member, less active. Andry is the name of her husband but that isn't his real name. He is actually from Myanmar which is in Southeast Asia. He has because a Malagasy citizen. Or I should say he became a Malagasy. Everything he does is exactly how Malagasies do things. He is amazing at Malagasy. But yeah it was their wedding and they invited us to go and so we went. We had lunch with them afterwards and we were fed sea turtle. Yep, Sea turtle. Super good if you want to know. We had a good day after that as well and taught Ordnace and then taught Vololona (Modesta's wife) and a less active named Juliette. 

Saturday was English class and I had a little surprise. I was sitting in the class teaching when all of a sudden Nantenaina from Antsirabe walked in. I was so excited and it was super random. But yeah she is up here vacationing for the week. It was so nice to see her. We taught Timotyagain about prophets and got a lot of things cleared up. They still haven't come to church so we are working on that. We had a lot of lessons fall through so we ended up doing a lot of contacting. We taught Dada again that day and then we went to the newly wedded couple and taught them. They ended up feeding us some more sea turtle so that was good. 

Sunday was a not so good day. We only had 52 people at church and only 4 investigators come. It was a little rough end to the week but we are hoping to get it going a lot better this week. We gave a couple of blessings yesterday, one to Toky's younger brother, Avotra. He is super sick. He was saying that he was freezing cold even though it was blazing hot outside. We were able to be a part of that so that was cool. For our first lesson, we taught some recent converts and she asked if we could give her a blessing because she is taking her final exam today. SO we gave her a nice little blessing. It's always cool to be a part of those. Our last few times fell through yesterday so that was lame. 

Today we don't have anything planned. I think we might just relax today. We are both super tired.

So the reason I wrote my name all Malagasy like is because I am Malagasy now. I have gotten quite tan since I've been here and there have been quite a few people that have asked me and my companion if I was Malagasy and it's awesome. Just a little side note for you.

That's all folks.

Elder Coleman

This is an answer to a question I asked Austin in my letter.  
 So that’s your question of the week.  What do you feel you learned or what part of your testimony was strengthened in each of the areas that you served?SO areas, let's see...

Betongolo, I learned really how to be myself and to trust in the Lord. I learned how to just open up to complete strangers and be myself with them. Elder Rice helped me a lot with that. He really just helped me be me and I am super grateful for that. 

Fianarantsoa, I learned really just how true the church is. I never realized how much I believed it was true until I came to a branch that was riddled with apostasy. Also I learned how important the fundamentals are, Charity, being Christlike, and how appreciative I am of my family. I learned a lot about what I can do and what I can accomplish; my potential I guess you could say and gained a lot of motivation for that. I really learned a lot about my responsibility as a family member, as a brother, son and future father. Also I was there when Grandpa died and my testimony of the plan of salvation really became more solidified. And also that we always have somewhere to turn in hard times. It is also pointless to dwell on things from the past but to always look forward to the future while living in the day. 

Antsirabe, I really learned how to relate to people. I learned what it means to be a member of this church and all the things that it entails. Every little thing we do or don't do will be a testimony for us or against us at the last day. We will receive according to our works and our desires. We can do good works but if we are not desiring to do that good then it is pointless. We should always desire to serve the Lord and grow. I gained a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon and learned a great new way to study it. And that the Lord always knows what he is doing. Like having me train. I did not feel adequate enough to train. I didn't know how I was going to train when I was still learning everything my self but I learned so much about being a missionary and commitment from him. I learned a lot about working hard and always striving to be better. 

Mahajanga, So far I have just learned a lot of whys. A lot of whys behind things we do in the church. It just is starting to make more sense as to why we do things the way we do and why it is important. Also as to why nothing short of want the Lord wants us to do is acceptable. Why should we expect to get into the Celestial kingdom if we can't even keep the simple commandments let alone the big ones?

Sorry there are probably things that I have forgotten but it was kind of sudden but that is how it is this far into my mission.

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