Monday, September 7, 2015

In memory of a great man, a great father, and a dear friend...

The week didn't inherently start out bad but yeah. It honestly couldn't have been much worse. 

Monday we were in Tana and we went on a split with the Betongolo Elders (my first area) and I was able to go with them to Sr. Helen's house. It is the family of the sister missionary on temple square. It was good to see them again. 

Tuesday we had splits with Elder Mack all day in his area since his last companion Elder Thompson, was finishing up his going home stuff. Yes I know Elder Thompson. We lived in the same house in Antsirabe for 3 months. He knows the Luces, fun fact for ya. But yeah we had a fun day on splits with Elder Mack and were able to see a bunch of missionaries that I haven't seen in a long time. They all came up for transfers and stuff and it was good to see them. 

Wednesday we left to the airport with Elder Thompson. It was weird to go to the airport with someone that was going home. So our plane was supposed to leave at 2:30 but on the way to the airport the plans changed to 6 that night. That is just a little insight into the quality of Air Madagascar. And the flight plans had already changed 3 times before that too. It would have been a waste of time to go back to the office and then have someone drive us back out to the airport (it's kinda far) so we stayed with the AP's and President and Sister Foote to see Elder Thompson off and see the new missionaries arrive. I asked Elder Thompson when he was going to go visit Kanab because his uncle just moved down there a few months ago. He said in a few months so keep your eye open for him. We were able to greet the new missionaries and then we got on our plane to Mahajanga. There were some Americans in the airport too and they kept looking at us but wouldn't come over and talk to us. 

Thursday we had a great day of work even though a lot of our plans fell through. We did some contacting and were able to get into three houses that we knocked on. We got 11 new investigators just that day! It was awesome! And we got a great new family that we are super excited to go teach this next week. We went and taught Teddy but the thing is is that the path to his house doesn't exist anymore. Someone built a wall there while we were in Tana. So we have another path that we have to use now. His house is very close to the ocean mind you and the path is very low so it had a bit of water in it as we walked through. Not a lot and there were some steps someone had placed in the path so you could avoid getting your feet wet so it was fine. Well we taught him and then we left. Only about an hour had passed. But the water level rose. Quite a bit. Like up to the pedals of the bike. And the path is really narrow too. SO what we had to do was sit on our bikes, and ride through the narrow path by holding onto the wooden fences on both sides while trying not to get wet. Also we had to jump the wooden steps in the path that were there to help people walk through when the water is lower. I got a little wet but not bad. After that we went to teach Dada (a different Dada) and had a good lesson with him about the Book of Mormon and Prayer. He is a great investigator and understands a lot. 

Friday was a bad day. Just a bad bad day. We started off teaching Vololona and had a good lesson with her and then we went to Ordance and Hanitra and taught them and had a good lesson with them. Toky was with us up to this point and when we finished those two lessons, he left to do some things for the branch president. We left our bikes at the church and walked to a less active member that lives pretty close and taught him a nice little lesson and set up a program to come back. It was about 4:45 at this point and we had our branch president meeting at 5:30. We had some extra stuff to talk about this day in particular so we decided we would go a little early and get it all done. We got to his house about 5. He wasn't home. His wife and some relatives were there. They said he had just left to go swimming since their house is right next to the ocean and that he would return in a few minutes. So we waited. And waited. And waited. 6 rolls around and still he hadn't come. Malagasies are late a lot of the time but not like this. And President is not late like this. It was strange and the wife thought it was strange too. She went and looked for him for a little bit and didn't see him swimming anywhere close to the house. So we left and went to a lesson pretty far from his house. As we were teaching, someone called us; the branch presidents number. I figured it was just an apology for not being able to come to the meeting and so I ignored the call and decided I would call him back after the lesson. Well we finish the lesson and we leave and we hardly get out the gate of the house when the phone rings again, President Lalary this time, from the mission presidency. "Did you hear the news?" He asked in perfect English. "No" I replied. "He drowned. They found his body and they are at the hospital right now. We want you to go there right now and call me back when you get there." I have never felt that awful in my life. The hospital was on the other side of town and we flew across town in our bikes to get there. I didn't want to believe that it was true. At all. We got there and met his wife on the road. We walked into the hospital and there he was, our branch president lying on a stretcher. President Lalary asked us to stay with the family until they could get the body moved to the church. We got a car that could take the body and we helped load it into the car. Mom, dad, I know you've moved your fair share of bodies in your time, but I never have and let me tell you, it was not something that I enjoyed, especially of someone I knew. We got the body to the church and by the time we got everything taken care of it was about midnight. Tons of members had gathered at the church by the time we got there and they all stayed there all night singing hymns and praying. 

We got up at the normal time on Saturday and went over to the church to make sure they had moved the body somewhere outside of the church. We cancelled English class and helped the members clean the church and figured out the program for what was going to happen. I was told to report directly to President Foote what was going on and updates in the program. We went out and taught one lessons and then came back and went with the members to a viewing that was at a family member of the branch president. We were there for awhile. 

Sunday was weird. The first councilor conducted church and our job was to make sure things ran as smoothly as possible. We are the only connection the church here has to the mission presidency, which functions as there stake presidency. Imagine if our ward was very small and not super doctrinally sound and the rest of the stake and the stake presidency was in Logan. Things went well though. Just a little bit of apostasy yesterday so not bad. I never thought I would miss a ward so much in my life. I can not wait for the time when I don't have to fight apostasy anymore. But we had a good day of teaching yesterday. We were able to teach all of the lessons we had scheduled and help one of our investigators towards his baptism on the 19th. I'm excited for that. 

It is a very sad thing, the death of our branch president. The hardest thing to see is his family. He has a daughter that was born the day before I got to Mahajanga and now she will not know her dad. His wife doesn't work right now so we aren't sure how they are going to get food. But God has a plan for each of us and he loves each of us. He will take care of us if we trust in him and put him first. Even when things are as hard as this, especially when things are as hard as this he will help us. I would ask that all of you would pray for Sister Hardy and her family in this hard time. They need it. Thank you,

Elder Coleman

(These are answers to some questions I asked him...)

No labor day. Yes we have a phone. We had a cool lesson yesterday with Ordance and the Spirit just took over and took us right to where she needed. We got to exactly what she needed to learn. It was way cool. I have learned that humility and meekness is literally everything. It separates the celestial kingdom from the terrestrial. It also ties into obedience. We always have to be willing to humble ourselves to obey the commandments no matter what it is and we always have to be willing to submit to the will of the father. Everything that exists is the Father's. He made it all. The only thing he doesn't have and the only thing we can give him that he doesn't already have is our will. Complete submission to his will, as a little child to the father, or being meek and as a little child. It is the key. And it has to happen. We should always be assessing and reassessing ourselves and trying to become more humble and meek and giving up those things that are not in harmony with his will. No price is to much for eternal life.

No comments:

Post a Comment