Monday, February 29, 2016

Prayer and Stake Conference

Ponderize: Alma 37:37

Well it was an interesting week this week. I'll explain more about the title later on in the email.

So Monday we went to the office and played some ping pong and some basketball and went with the AP's for a little bit and did some fun things. THey were so nice to drive us all the way back out to our area. We had a soiree with Rakotomalala and it was super good! Love soirees at his house. It was super fun.

Tuesday we had a really good day. We started off with Flavien adn Hanta. They are awesome. Just awesome. I love them so much. We had alot of times dog us after that so that was kinda lame But we were able to teach Peter and he is honestly a bit hard to teach. He just has his own way of seeing things. We taught Clement after that and he and his family are awesome. Just love what we are bringing them. Really willing as well to follow what it is that we want them to do. Edmond and Lily were the last time that day and we were able to talk with them about how to overcome temptation since they are both struggling with the Tenin'ny Fahendrena (Word of Wisdom). IT went really well and they are great. 

Wednesday we taught a couple times as well. We taught Armando about prayer and talked about his reading in the Book of Mormon. He's doing great! He's way solid and it reading a ton. We then taught Jean Kely about repentance and it was a great lesson. I can tell that he felt something at church. He seemed much more receptive. Naina and Fiantso were next and they told us they were moving and would call us when they are done with that. They aren't moving super far from where they currently live so it shouldn't be a big deal trying to find them again. Then we had a soiree with Tojo the DMB and it was super good! Love eating rice!

Thursday we had a zone meeting. We re-emphasized Pres Foote's goals for the mission and also talked about how to work with the ward for investigators and less actives. It went really well I thought. I love being a zone leader. I love getting to see all the missionaries all the time. Then we went out to work and got dogged so we went and contacted. Got into one time but they weren't too interested. We went and stopped by Fara and Rudolf and did a little Vatsim-panahy with them. We went and taught Tsimangiky and his family and then had his dad, who is a member, come with us to teach Clement. They are both originally from the same area of Madagascar so it worked out great. Then we went and did a FHE with Flavien and Hanta. They are so cool! They are just so patient and literally laugh together whenever something goes wrong. They have such great faith and honestly inspire me. 

Friday we had a split with Ambohimangakely and Ankadidrimmamy. I went with Elder Heiden and Elder Nelson in Ambohimangakely. It was a super fun split. They are doing great! They are both great missionaries and love the members and their area. It was fun to be back with Elder Heiden as well! It was just like being back in Mahajanga. Remember Timoty from Mahajanga? Well they moved to Ambohimangakely and we taught them that day! It was way cool to see them.

Saturday we taught Christian and his family first thing and they are awesome. They love what we are teaching them and are literally begging to be baptized. We had a really good lesson with them about the Book of Mormon and Prayer. We went and taught Armando after that and started the Plan of Salvation then went all the way to the other side of our area to teach Jean Louis. We finished that and came back to teach Gina at Rakotomalala's house. There was a meeting going on at the church for stake conference that night with the area 70 so we figured he might be there. Well he wasn't and he wasn't at home either so we didn't get to teach her. Then we went to Ndriana's house and had an awesome lesson with them. We all fasted together that day to help him get off of smoking and it was awesome. They were all home all day together reading scriptures and praying and singing. Seriously so cool. 

Sunday was stake conference and it was really good. Lots of people came and I was surprised at how many I knew. Going on so many splits gets you to know people. We had a bunch of investigators come to church too! It was awesome! We got dogged a lot on Sunday. It was kind of a rough day to be honest. We taught Clement again and had a good talk about baptism with them. They are on track. And then we went to Fara and Rudolf again. They haven't come to church in a few weeks. They make me really sad. 

SO this week I was really focusing my studies on prayer and I saw a lot of improvement. I started doing a thing I call "A prayer Journal". Basically about 15 minutes before I go to bed each night I just have a little quiet time and write down everything I want to pray for. And it works great! I'm excited to keep doing it and to get better! 

Monday, February 22, 2016

A great week and a rat

Hel 15:7-8 is my ponderize scripture of the week.

So kind of a great week. We didn't have any splits outside of our area for once so we were able to just focus on ours and it was awesome. 

Monday we had a good day. We went into central Tana and ate at a nice place and went around looking at souvenirs and stuff. That night we had a time but it fell through so that was kinda lame. 

Tuesday we were able to catch a ton of people. We taught Armando first. He's a great guy. Just showed up to church one Sunday. Doing very well. Then we went to peter who is kinda on the fence. We have this new family we are teaching that are way cool! They are super diligent and love the teachings! We taught them and they are just awesome. No complaints. Flavien and Hanta were our last time and we had a soiree with them and did a FHE. Way fun. They are super awesome and gave us some really good food. And lots of fat. Way fun. Also that morning we killed a rat. With Brooms. It was epic. 

Wednesday I went on a split with Elder Hardy in our area. It was super fun. He's a great missionary. He goes home at the end of March. We went to CHristian first and they are way awesome. They are a member referral and they love the teachings. The wife was super interested and they are already asking when they can be baptized. After that we went and taught George and Hanta and there were a ton of people at their house. Kinda weird but it worked. We taught this referral that Elder Hardy had for us but the guy was just visiting in our area actually and really lived in Elder Hardy's area. Then we taught Jean Kely and had an awesome lesson with him! We got him to pray and come to church! More than we've ever gotten him to do! It's way awesome! We had our DMB meeting and then went to a soiree at Ndriana's house.

Thursday was a great day as well. We taught a bunch of new families and are seeing a lot of success. It's awesome! We taught Edmond and Lily that night and had a great lesson with them on the Word of Wisdom. I love them a lot but they are having a hard time progressing and I am afraid that we will have to drop them soon. After that we were walking home and a South African named Derrick picked us up and took us home. Way cool guy. He's a civil engineer and works here in Mada. He is currently building a Shoprite in Mahajanga and he also likes to do humanitarian work. Way nice guy. 

Friday we had a great day. It was mostly tracting but we were able to get into a lot of houses. We taught 3 times just by tracting is was way cool. One guy that let us in I felt way bad for. He has had a rough couple of months. His wife and one of his kids died and he has all kind of medical problems now. He just doesn't know what to do with his life. It made me realize just how great we have it; knowing the gospel and living in the place we do. That night we stopped by Ndriana again and checked on how he is doing with smoking. 

Saturday we had English class and I shared all the letters from mom's 6th grade class. They all wrote responses on the back and we will be sending them back to America soon. We taught Armando right after English and talked about the Book of Mormon more. Last time we gave him one, and on Saturday he had already read through like 60 pages. Way cool. We got dogged a lot after that but we caught Ndriana again that night. It was also pouring rain and the water in the street was up to my knees so that was fun. 

Sunday we had an area 70 come to our branch. The AP's were taking them around and they looked way stressed out haha. Elder Covey translated for the 70 during sacrament. That would be way nervewracking. It was hard enough when I translated for President Foote that one time. But church went well and Jean Kely came to church! It was way awesome! We went out to work and were able to catch a bunch of times too! We taught Clement and his family again. We also taught some new people with some big potential. Way excited!

Well great week. Hope this coming up one is better. Just gotta keep going strong, it's starting to wind down. Not a lot of time left. Well have a great week everyone!

Elder Coleman

I asked Austin what he has learned about Christlike love......
So Christlike love. Well It's something I've thought about a lot here. A few things that I have come up with are 1 sacrifice. Sacrifice is Christlike love. If you are willing to sacrifice things for others that is a great demonstration of Christlike love. 2 patience and long suffering. Something I've learned a lot about is this. It's just bearing on when things are tough. Like you are being made fun of for being white or being a missionary. Loving them regardless of what they are doing to you. Definitely a hard thing to do. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Meetings, Carnivore, and transfers

Well we had a way good week this week! Transfers were this week as well.

Monday we had Fara and Rudolf. I love them so much. They are so cool and so solid. But recently they haven't been coming to church for some reason. We had an FHE with them and it was way fun!

Tuesday we had a great day! We taught a ton of times! We taught Flavien and Hanta first thing and they are super awesome recent converts. Flavien asked when he could come and help us teach. Way cool! We are trying to work something out between our schedule and his work schedule. Then we went to this guy named Armando. He just showed up at church on Sunday so yeah we went and taught him. Pretty cool guy. We taught Peter and Jean Louis. We had some down time after that and so we went by this guy named Clement that we contacted into the other day and taught him and his family. Way cool guy! We taught Edmond and Lily that night about receiving blessings. Way good lesson; love them. 

Wednesday we got dogged a lot. It was kinda lame but yeah. Got dogged way hard. We were able to catch Jean Kely though! Talked about faith with him. We had a meeting that evening with the branch mission leader and the branch presidency but they never showed up and we ended up wasting the end of our evening with that. Kinda lame. But after that we went to this restaurant called Carnivore with the other Elders. It was super expensive but way good! It is all you can eat meat of every kind. I had snake and crocodile while I was there. SUper good! 

Thursday morning we got a text from the AP's that President Foote was meeting with the stake president at 12. SO we hurried and got to the church that they were meeting and talked with Presidetn Foote for awhile while we were waiting. Well the stake president never showed. Classic Malagasy. So the AP's came and then we all went to lunch together. President talked to me about transfers too. He told me that Elder Yeagley and I are staying together and that he doesn't have any plans yet for my last area but I will be going there next transfer. So we got to say goodbye to Elder Herrin and Elder Davis as well because they went home on Saturday. We finally got back out to our area and taught Stevie. That was a disaster. He just bashed us on how wrong we were. Depressing lesson. We went to Tsimangiky after that though and had a good little lesson with them. 

Friday we went back to the church and actually met with the stake president this time. It was a good meeting. President Foote then drove us out to Sabotsy Namehana to do splits with Elder Monson and Elder Smithson. Way fun split too. I went with Elder Smithson and he's a way hard worker. Talked to everyone and obviously has a great love for the people. He's a brand new missionary too. He's great!

Saturday we made it back just in time to teach English. There were so many students! We had to split into three classes! It was nuts! We had a lot of people dog us and so we did a lot of tracting. We also stopped by Fara and Rudolf and did a little spiritual thought with them and invited them to come to church tomorrow. We taught Jean Louis after that and then went to Gina. We Ndriana's family after that and I love them so much. He just needs to get off the cigarettes so they can get baptized. 

Sunday was rough. I woke up with horrible stomach cramps. Hurt way bad. But still went out to work and we were able to teach quite a few lessons. We contacted into a new family and then we also taught this brand new family that we contacted into the other day. Between the two of them we got 11 new investigators! Way awesome! Then we kinda got stuck in the rain for about 45 minutes walking to the bus stop and waiting for a bus to take us to our last lesson. But we made it! Then some very kind person drove us home in a very nice car. We had a great dinner of pot roast and then succeeded in capturing a rat in our house. It was way funny. It was in the bathroom and we all got up on top of things and had brooms to smack it. Elder Thompson had a little plastic tub too to trap it. Well we caught it so it's all good. We haven't figured out how we are going to kill it yet so it is still underneath that little tub.

I asked Austin what he has learned about gratitude since being on his mission.....
So gratitude wise I've definitely learned how to be grateful for the little things. Like carpet. And Cheesecake. And actual cake. Especially being here in Madagascar you really realize just how great we have it in America. And also I've become very grateful for the gospel. It's great to have this knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and to know who I am and who I can become. It's great.

Monday, February 8, 2016

So Many Splits....

Well it's been an interesting week. Lots of splits. So many. But it was a fun week.

Monday we went in to the office and picked up some stuff and had lunch out there and came back.Then we had a soiree with Ndriana's family and SOlofo's family. It was way fun and it was way good too.

Tuesday we were able to teach quite a bit. We tuaght Flavien and Hanta about FHE and gave them a paper I made that outlines FHE. Then we were able to go teach a bunch of new people. We had a bit of a frustrating lesson with Peter. We taught John Louis... kind of. He wasn't there but these other people were there from Mahamasina and they had just had missionaries come across them at their house. So we taught them and told the Mahamasina Elders about it. We went to teach Edmond that night but Lily wasn't there so we jut shared a little spiritual thought with him and Sr Juliette.

Wednesday we had a split with the Anjanahary Elders and Elder Mack came with me. We had a way fun day. We had an interesting lesson with Stevie though. He is in this weird church that stresses that the right name of Jesus is important and that's really all he believes and was a big jerk about it. He just wanted to argue with us about it. Way lame. Then we met up with the otheres and taught Fara and Rudolf at their house and it was way fun.

Thursday we had  a zone meeting and talked about the missionary broadcast and some things that President Foote would like us as a mission to work on. Just some minor things. I thought it went well. Then we had a split with Ankadidrimamy and Elder Godfrey came with me. It was super fun. We had a full day of tracting and came across some really cool people. Not a lot of interested ones though. We got into this super rich house with a nice pool and I wanted to go swimming way bad. But It was a good split and a good day. 

Friday we went to Ankorondrano and I went with Elder Tiu and Elder Bowen. It was a super fun split and I almost died like 12 times because of cars but it all turned out ok in the end. We were able to have a really good day and taught a lot of people. We met up with everyone else at the Ivandry Mall that night and I had a way good hamburger. 

Saturday we had a pretty decent day. We taught English and that was way fun. I taught them head shoulders knees and toes and made them all do it. Super funny. Then we went out and had a ton of people dog us. Way lame. But we were still able to catch a couple times and it was all good. We taught Ndriana that night and had a good lesson with them about FHE. They used to do it but they stopped so we are getting them back into it. 

Sunday was fast Sunday and it was way fun. I like fasting. We did not catch a lot of times because after church we had to go to another church that doesn't have missionaries and collect some stats for the mission and that took awhile because they lost the papers that we gave them a month ago. We were able to teach Edmond and Lily and have a great lesson with them and then we had a FHE with Flavien and Hanta. And we made some way good food last night too. Some pulled pork tacos. Super good. Nice way to end a fast. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

What a week!

It has been an interesting week this week. Lots of ups and downs. 

Monday we tuaght this college kid that just showed up to church on Sunday. Way cool. He's really good at English too and we had a good lesson with him on the Restoration. It was raining super hard to and it was nuts! I got soaked in a matter of seconds. 

Tuesday we had an interesting day. During studies the AP's showed up at our house with the Reunion Zone Leaders. Their plane got cancelled so they were going to be here another day. So they came with us again and it was super fun and we had a way good day. Elder Nichols came with me and we went and taught some pretty cool lessons. We taught Andry first and had a good review with him about the Plan of Salvation. Elder Nichols got to help too! He would say it in English and then I would translate for him. It was a very cool lesson. After that we went to a guy named Peter. He's just looking for the right place to worship. He is good at French so Elder Nichols was able to take more part in the lesson. I still had to translate to llet him know what was going on but it went really well. THere was something really cool that happened too. Elder Nichols is speaking to this guy in French and we are talking about the introduction to the Book of Mormon and he's talking about it and gets kinda stuck. The guy isn't sure what he's talking about. So I jump in and ask a question that I felt went with the conversation that had just happened in French. He answered the question correctly and I turned to Elder Nichols and translated waht I had just asked and his answer and he said that that was exactly what he had been talking about and the question I asked was right where he left off. It was pretty cool. We did some tracting after that and taught a guy named Olivier. Pretty cool guy. THen we went and met up with teh other two at our last lesson but they weren't home so that was kinda lame. 

Wednesday we had a day of tracting. No one was home. We were able to teach Jean Kely though so that was good. We had a DMB meeting that night. and then they dropped on us suddenly a PEC meeting. So we got out kinda late. We taught Olivier again and it was good. He's leaving to Moramanga though and won't be back for a month so that's kinda lame. 

Thursday we had a great district meeting where we talked about studies. It was really good. Then Elder Hammer and Elder Andrianaivo came to our area and had a split with them. We ate at this weird place for lunch that didn't put sauce on our pizza. Kinda weird. But we had a good day with them. Elder Andrianaivo came with me and we had a good day. We taught a new investigator named Tahiana and he's a way cool guy. Very receptive. Then we had some tracting and were able to find some really cool people. We found this rich guy that actually learned English at the church before and wanted to invite the missionaries over to teach him. So we got his number. Way nice guy. We taught Tsimangiky, tracted some more, got into a French guy's house, who immediately kicked us out; fun times. WE had a soiree with Rakotomalala and it was way good. Love eating at their house. 

Friday we went on splits. I went with Elder Mack and Elder Tambula in their area. They also needed baptismal interviews so I got to kill 2 birds with one stone. They are doing so awesome. Elder Mack is doing so great. The investigators I did baptismal interviews for were way awesome and so ready for baptism. The guy I did on Friday plays for a professional soccer team in Mada and his wife was already a member. He is super cool though. 

Saturday morning I did the other Baptismal interview for a 15 year old kid. Such a stud. Way converted. I am super grateful for the opportunity I have to do baptismal interviews. I get to see the change that these people have gone through. It's awesome. We made it back to our area just in time to teach a little English and then went out to work. A lot of our times fell through so that was lame. We were able to find some people to teach though including a less active member that is married to a Jehovah's Witness. We were able to teach Ndriana as well and had a great lesson with them.

Sunday we had an interesting day. Church went well. We had Lily come but she went home early because her kid is way naughty and it embarrasses her. We had all of our times fall through basically but we were still able to catch some. We taught a bunch of new investigators and one family really wants to come to church. They already have plans to come next week. But yeah that's the week. A little short on time so sorry it's lacking on extensive explanation.

I asked Austin what he loves most about the Malagasy people and what his thoughts on reverence were........
Yes I use the cards. No I haven't got the package yet. I love that people here are so nice. I never realized how mean white people are until I came here. Americans are nice but it might just be because we are American also. I love that the people are so willing to let you in and feed you just because you are a missionary. So reverence is essential. The sacrament is a time to focus on the Atonement and on Christ and on the baptismal covenant. It's kinda hard to do that if there are distractions.