Monday, January 25, 2016

World Wide Broadcast, Soccer and MLC

Well what a crazy week this week. Seriously hardly worked at all in our area this week but we still saw some success and it was awesome.

Ponderize: 1 Nefia 19:9

So Monday we went to a soiree with the other Ambohimanarina Elders. It was fun and the food was way good. We played a game where we absolutely blew their minds. We told them we were doing magic haha. It was super fun to get to know the members. 

Tuesday we were able to teach quite a bit. That morning, the AP's called us and asked if the Reunion Zone Leaders could go with us on a split. They had flown in for the MLC and needed a place to stay while they were here. So we taught a few people and then they came with us. We taught Flavien and Hanta about forgiveness and we used the parable of the Harsh Servant and the Debt. Way good story. One of my favorites. We walked all the way out to Andry's house but he wasn't there so kinda lame. Big waste of time. We taught Jean Louis and his family and they are really starting to change since they got a baptismal date. Before they were saying they could probably not come to church but they started talking about how they could work it out so that was cool. About that time, the AP's call us again and say the are in the area so we met up with them and took the Reunion zone leaders with us. It was way fun. We gave a good taste of what Madagascar is like. We took them on a bus and taught a lesson with Edmond and Lily with them. It went way good too. 

Wednesday we took them out to eat at a hotely for lunch. They got rice, it was awesome. We went out and split and did some contacting for a little bit while we had the chance. I took one of them and we tracted into a Jehovah's Witness. Way frustrating. But then we met up with the others and taught Jean Kely. After that we went to the office for the MLC and the Missionary Broadcast. Let me just say that I love President Foote and being around him. He is just so inspirational. Just being around him makes me want to be a better person. We talked about some things that we could do better as a mission and then watched the broadcast at 8. It was way late for us. But the broadcast was way good! There were so many helpful things from the Brethren that I saw that I could work on in my personal proselyting. One thing that I really liked that they talked about was always having the name of Jesus Christ on my lips. If I don't think of anything else to say, talk about Him. And they also showed a really cool video of a family that prayed for missionary opportunities, the parents and the kids, and all were able to find one and help them learn with the missionaries. Really cool. We stayed at the AP's house that night.

Thursday we got up and went to the office for our zone activity which was soccer. We went and played soccer on this super nice field, turf. Way fun. We had a little issue with the people that worked there but we ended up getting it all worked out and got to play. We did senior companions vs junior companions. Well my team lost and it was kinda sad. But everyone had a good time and I think it was a success. After that we met at President Foote's house again and discussed the broadcast and the mission since we did not have time the day before. It was an awesome Spirit Filled meeting. President Foote started telling these stories that were just so inspirational. I really wish I could be around him more. 

Friday we watch the broadcast again with the zones in Tana because they hadn't seen it yet. It was a little bit of an issue getting it to work but it worked out. Then I went on a split in Invandry with Elder Hammer and Elder Andrianaivo. It was a cool split and I learned from it. I also did some baptismal interviews for a couple of investigators. The first one was a way cool guy. He plays rugby and he was super ready for baptism. The second one wasn't so much. She knew a lot but she still had a little bit of learning to do. 

Saturday we had a pretty good day. We taught Bruno and Lova first thing and had a great lesson with them about prayer and the Book of Mormon. We invited them to church and they came yesterday for the first time! it was awesome! We got dogged a couple times but were able to catch Rija and Tina. We talked a bit more about baptism with them and were able to clear up some things but we believe that Tina is kinda scared. I think she knows what we are saying is true but it scares her because it means she has to change. I hope she will be ok. We taught Gina after that and talked about following Christ's example. Then we had Ndriana and talked about blessings and how we get them through following the commandments. 

Sunday we had a great day. Church went super well. We had 11 investigators come to church and the other elders had 10. We had a total of 21 investigators at church yesterday! Super cool! There were a ton of people at church yesterday too. 187. Way more than I've ever seen here. Bruno and Lova came which was super awesome. We taught a referral that some recent converts gave us right after the block and then ate some lunch. We went out and had a few people dog us but we were still able to teach. We had a sad lesson with Tanjona and Tafita. THey told us that even if they come to find out that what we are teaching is true they won't be baptized because his grandpa is a pastor in a church. We taught Edmond that night and were able to clear up some things and find some new things out about their situation and will now be able to better help them progress towards baptism. 

Well hopefully this week will go better workwise. We will probably be doing a lot of tracting and finding. Well have a great week everyone! 

I asked Austin when he felt the spirit the most this week... This is his reply.....
I felt the spirit most being with President Foote this week. He just edifies you when you are around him. I don't know it's hard to describe. But I want to be like him

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Zone Meeting

It's Monday sahady! Crazy! Time just goes so fast... this is already the 3rd week of the transfer. Not too many of those left... But Anyway, We had a pretty good week this week. 

Oh ponderize scripture of the week: Moroni 7:45

On Monday we went to this place called Saka Manga. Way good place to eat. We didn't really do a lot for P-day but it's whatever. That night we had a soiree with Fr Solofo. Way cool guy and we had way good food. Love having soirees with members.

Tuesday we had a pretty good day of teaching. We taught Flavien and Hanta first and had the opportunity of giving her aunt a blessing. She just had eye surgery and wanted a blessing. Then we went clear out to Andry and taught him. We had a great time with him and then went to a new family. They are kinda slower on the learning side and I don't think they really understand our purpose. Gotta clear that up with them. We taught Edmond and Lily and had a great lesson with them about baptism. They are awesome and I love them so much. 

Wednesday we didn't have the best day. All our times fell through except for one. We taught John Kely and had a good lesson with him. His family doesn't like us very much. They think we are devil worshipers or something. He even asked us if we made pacts. Weird. But we had our DMB meeting that night and were able to update the branch on the people we are teaching. Then our last time was super far away and we finally got all the way out there and he wasn't there. Kinda lame. But it's ok: Blessings.

Thursday we had zone meeting. But trying to leave our house was a disaster. There was way bad traffic. So we de3cided to split a taxi with the other Elders in our house. So we asked one taxi and he said he would go for 20000. Not bad. So we are thinking we will take it and as soon as we start to get in he raises the price. Well Elder Hardy didn't like that so he went and asked another taxi how much he would go and he said 15000. Well by this point, Elder Yeagley and Elder Thompson are inside the first taxi and that taxi driver starts to freak out that we are going to go to the other taxi. So Elder Yeagley and Elder Thompson try to get out because we are obviously going to take the cheaper one, and the guy starts going. He won't let them out of the car. Elder hardy and I were in the other taxi and the other two were stuck in the first one. Every time they tried to get out, he would start driving. Well Elder Yeagley got pretty mad at that guy. Well we stopped and the taxi drivers talked it over and we ended up going with the first guy but he was terrified of us haha. He was trying to like buy us things and kept asking people if there was traffic ahead and stuff. It was kinda funny. But we made it to the office eventually. We had our zone meeting and it went well. We just discussed the new mission goals that President Foote has set and we went over what our job is in our individual areas. We took a long bus ride back to our area and made it back just in time for our first appointment. Which fell through. But blessings. Our next three times were home though. We taught this new family, Rija and Tina and they are awesome. Tina wasn't there actually but we talked to Rija about the Book of Mormon and it was a great lesson. 

Friday We went on a split with Ankadidrimamy and Ambohimangakely. I went with Elder Godfrey and Elder Bingham in Ankadidrimamy. We just did splits with them 2 weeks ago but we weren't able to go with Ambohimangakely and we wanted to get them in as soon as possible. But the split went really well. They are working hard and are great missionaries. Tracting is way hard in their area too. Had a lot of doors slammed in our face. 

Saturday we made it back in time for English. That was fun. Then we went out and had our program fall apart. We were able to teach Gina that night and had a great lesson with her. We had to move her baptismal date back because she isn't ready yet. We can't quite figure out what the problem is with her. Then we taught Ndriana and his family and they are awesome. We talked about his smoking and have new goals for him to overcome it. 

Sunday was church and we had a good day. We were able to teach a bunch of people. We were finally able to catch Tolotra and Prisca and teach them a little. We caught Tanjona and Tafita and had a great lesson with them about the Book of Mormon. They loved it! It was one of the coolest lessons I've been in about the Book of Mormon. It was awesome! We taught Rija and Tina again that night and Tina was there so we reviewed about the Book of Mormon. They had great questions and it was altogether a great lesson with them. She has some concerns that because she has already been baptized, she doesn't need to get baptized again in our church. It was great! We got her some reading and we are going to talk about it next time and it'll be great! 

Great week! This week will a little iffy workwise because we have a lot of things going on with an MLC, missionary broadcast, zone activity and another split. It'll be a good email for next week though! Have a great week everyone! 

I asked Austin the happiest part of his week..... Here is his answer

The happiest part of my week this week was all the Book of Mormon lessons we taught. I love the Book of Mormon so much and it just makes me so happy to share it with others. It is by far my favorite lesson to teach.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Austin's Zone!

Thanks to Sister Foote posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram I was able to get these awesome photos.

Monday, January 11, 2016

I am 20... weird

So interesting week. Didn't get to work a lot so that was lame. But I'm 20 now! Way old...

So Monday we went into the office and had Sister Rossiter look at my toes. Yeah they were jacked up. So surgery it was so that was lame. And I also got to give a blessing to friend of Elder Connault's. That was really cool and kind of  a weird experience. I got asked to do it over email and then called her while she was in Tana and she met us at the office. Still really cool though. We went to a FHE with Fara and Rudolf that night with Fr Solofo. It went really well and they are just a super solid family. 

Tuesday we taught Flavien and Hanta first thing. They are awesome recent converts and honestly probably don't even need us to go to them anymore. They are just super solid and converted to the gospel. We went out all the way to Andry's house and found out that he couldn't learn so that was a little frustrating. But we had a couple other times after that that were way good. We taught this new family, Haja and Nantenaina. They are awesome. I love them so much. They are way solid. We had a great lesson with them about the Book of Mormon and then we went and taught Edmond about faith. Edmond is way cool too and I really hope they progress. 

Wednesday we went out and were able to teach only 1 time. We taught Andry from the day before but every other time dogged us and tracting just did not go at all. We had a meeting that night with the branch president and the branch mission leader and discussed our investigators. Then we went to this guy close to our house, we had called him that morning and confirmed the appointment but he wasn't there. So that was kind of a bummer end to the day.

Thursday I was supposed to have surgery on my foot but Sister Rossiter called in the morning and told us that the doctor could not do it today; that something came up. So we went out and tried to salvage our program. We were able to teach a couple people but for the most part, we got dogged. We had a time with the guy from yesterday again but he wasn't home again. But THursday night the AP's picked us up and took us to their house and we stayed there that night because I had my foot thing the next morning and their house is a lot closer to the clinic. 

Friday Morning we left first thing and went to the clinic. It took us a little while to find it but we did eventually. It was an Adventist clinic and it was really nice. The doctor was a guy from Argentina who actually had a practice in the States for a little while. But I also heard that it hurts way bad to have ingrown toenails removed from this guy. I was not the first missionary to go to this guy. So I was  a little nervous about it. But it went well. It didnt' hurt that bad and it was over and done in a few minutes. But now I have no toenails on either of my big toes. So we took a taxi home after that and chilled at home all day. No working. 

Saturday we had a great program with great people. So I decided that we needed to go to them. Well I decided to try English class first and see how it went. Well I felt good about it, my shoes were a little pressy but nothing too bad just a little uncomfortable and so I decided that I would go out today and teach a little. And by a little I meant our whole program. Well a bunch of our times fell through so that was lame. And while we were going Sister ROssiter called and wanted to change the wrappings. Well she was a little mad at me but that's ok. And it hurt worse to change the bandages to be honest.

Sunday we went to church. Sister Rossiter said I could go to church if I wore sandals. I didn't have any so I wore some flipflops. I got a lot of weird comments haha. Norbert brought a bunch of family to church today and some of them I met in Fianarantsoa. I don't know if you remember the Malagasy wedding that I went to down there? Well those people were at church yesterday and they remembered me which was kinda cool. After church Norbert took us to his house and fed us. It took a super long time but I couldn't work anyway. We just went home and watched more movies. Elder Hardy came back and stayed with me and Elder Yeagely and Elder Thompson went out and taught a couple people on our program so that was good. And then we ate our roast and I made my Birthday cake. It was super good. 

Well hopefully this week will go better now that I can work. So it should go well. But I have to go home if it rains so I'll be praying that it doesn't rain this week.

Oh and I got egged and floured for my birthday. Malagasy tradition

The greatest blessing form 2015 is the change I have seen. I have been able to see better who I am. And my goal for 2016 is simple: lift the knees and pump the arms. It's the homestretch. Everything that I have left.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Can't Believe It's 2016!

Crazy that another week has already gone by and that it's already 2016! It's going so fast! But this week was great! One of the best on my mission. 

So Monday we played soccer and beat the Tana 1st Ward. It was great. And then we just kinda went with the APs around Tana and did some stuff. Nothing too exciting. We went to Fara and Rudolf that night and had an awesome lesson with them. They are great and are so awesome. I love them a lot. 

Tuesday we had a split with the APs. They both came with us and we did an actual split. Elder Covey and I went together and it was way fun. It was cool to be with someone from my group and just to see how far we've come as missionaries. We did a lot of contacting and came across some pretty cool people. We knocked on the door of the director of Shoprite here in Madagascar. He's from South Africa. He wasn't home but I assume he is white because all his kids were. And they all spoke English so it was kinda weird. We taught some cool people too. We taught this one guy, Stevie Jefferson. He is Malagasy but has a weird American name? Not sure why. But he belongs to this weird church and wasn't sure about us opening the time with a prayer so that was kinda weird. We all met back up later and taught Edmond and Lily and had a great lesson with them about the Plan of Salvation. 

Wednesday we had an ok day. We had a lot of people dog us. We were able to go to a contact's house and teach them and they seem pretty cool. And then we taught Tolotra and Prisca. THey are absolutely awesome. I love them so much. They are just so humble and willing to learn. They struggle a little bit to do so but they are awesome. We had a meeting with our DMB after that and then went to this other contact named TIna. He's a way awesome guy that I think will do well. He has great potential.

Thursday I screwed up big time. As we were leaving the house that morning I felt like I should take a 1st pamphlet in English and we could stop by the Shoprite guy and give it to him. SO this is the first time I have ever carried anything in English with me out to work. Well as we were going out to our first lesson which is out in the middle of nowhere, we come across this white guy riding a bike. He stops and starts talking to us and we figure out that he is American, is from Washington and works in the American Embassy. Well we were talking to him for quite awhile and then we parted ways. After he left I realized that I had the pamphlet in English and I should have given it to him. I felt way bad about it. Hopefully we can see him again. But we taught Andry after that and gave him a baptismal date. He is getting way excited about the lessons now that he has a Book of Mormon. We did tracting after that for most of the day and then taught Tsimangiky. We just shared a little spiritual thought with them because they are pretty solid. Then we went to Norbert's house and he fed us and took us most of the way home in his car. It's so nice when a member has a car. 

New years day we got up bright and early and went all the way out to Ankadidrimamy to do a split with them and with the Ambohimangakely Elders. Well the Ambohimangakely Elders didn't really work out so the both of us just went with Elder Godfrey and Elder Bingham. They are awesome and I had a great time with them on the split. We tracted from 12 to 7. Long day. But we had a time to end the day and they are a super awesome family. But it was way fun. 

Saturday we taught a bunch. We taught Bruno and Lova and they committed to a baptismal date. They love the teachings and were pretty excited to get a baptismal date too. We taught Tanjona and Tafita and that was one of the coolest lessons that I have ever been in. He read the whole 1st pamphlet before we got there and he had some questions about Joseph Smith and came off pretty hostile right off the bat. He saw some things on the internet I guess about him. But as we were talking and teaching, everything just changed and you could just see his mind opening and thinking,"Wait a minute, it could be true" It was way cool. He committed to pray about it. We taught a couple other lessons after that and had just a way good day. 

Sunday we had a great day. Church went great. Not as many people came because it was New Years. We taught a ton of people though. We taught Tolotra and Prisca again and they are awesome. We taught a bunch of contacts and got a ton of new investigators that day, all families. We had some just awesome lessons and things are just going super great here. We are really being blessed with some really awesome families right now. Oh little side note, we made a roast yesterday and it was so good! I haven't had one of those in so long!

So today we are going to the office and might play some basketball and then go to Analakely and buy some stuff. I'm also going to have Sister Rossiter look at my foot. Kind of have a nasty ingrown toenail that is going to need to be removed. Not sure how that's going to go in Madagascar. I've only heard stories.

Well have a great week everyone! I'll email you again when I'm 20

Here are a couple of questions I asked Austin and his responses..........

Question of the week from last week…….What are your thought on worldly possessions?  How has this changed since you’ve been in Mada?

And question of the week…..How has being in Madagascar changed your outlook on life? Or how has it changed how you look at your future?

I feel like people in America especially put a lot of pride on worldly possessions. It shows how weathly someone is. It's so easy to tell who has money here just by what they have. I feel like people put too much emphasis on it back home to be honest. It really doesn't matter though. People here can be just as happy without everything that we have. 

It kinda relates to the first question. I feel like I will be able to live on a lot less and will be more appreciative of the things that I do have. Like Carpet. And traffic rules. Streetlights are way nice too.