Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter and the 12 week dying program

Well it's been a great week here in Mada. Fort Dauphin is awesome. Just beyond awesome. I'm am very excited to continue to experience this unique place. 

So ponderize scripture this week was Easter oriented, Helaman 14:15

Very good scripture. 

So last Monday we didn't do much after we got back from the wedding. I went with Elder Lenhardt out to work. Elder Koplin just got his appendix out so we've been kinda juggling back and forth between Elders for the last few days because he can't go out very much. He went out with Elder Ahlstrom though because it was not very demanding to get where their time was. We taught a cool family about the Atonement which was particularly special because it was Easter week. Then we went to a soiree with the branch president of the other branch, president Danielson. His wife is a great cook and cooked us American food! It was awesome!

Tuesday was a great day! We taught a lot! So the thing is, president Foote doesn't want to do a whitewash here. So that's why we got sent down a week early. So this whole week I've been going around with Elder Ahlstrom learning the area. And I had to learn it in a week. Interesting. But we have a ton of investigators that I need to learn. We had a very good day on Tuesday though. I will let you I know names and progress as I start to figure that out myself. We had a soiree with the branch president of our branch that night, President Dimby. He is super cool. Ok so a little side note about President Dimby and President Danielson. They work for a big mining company down here called Rio Tinto. It's like a big cooperation of a bunch of mining companies. Kennecott in Utah is part of this group. Well they are kinda high up in the company here and the compnay provides housing in small gated communities called phases.Well these communities can only be entered by their own bus system which travels on a highway type road. First off, it was weird to be driving on a real road and the communities look just like America. It's the weirdest thing. I'll send pictures next time me go. 

Wednesday we had another great day with Elder Ahlstrom. he's great. We were able to do a little bit of contacting and taught some very cool people. We have one family that we are working with that just needs to get married and then they can get baptized. I'm way excited for them. But seriously the work here is crazy. We are just teaching all day. I love it. It's been kinda misty all week. It's like rain but just walking through the mist-ers at like Lagoon or something. It's way nice.

Thursday we taught a lot as well. We have some very cool families that we taught this day. We have this couple named Rina and Anita and they have a young daughter who is just adorable. But they are awesome. He is trying really hard and is reading the Book of Mormon and loves it. They love the teachings and are really understanding and it's great. And then we have these other people, Edwardine and Joshua. They are hardcore Adventist but are great. We were talking about our purpose here on Earth the other day with him and after reading 2 Nephi 2:25 asked,"So what makes you happy" He responded immediately that over anything else he loves coming home from work and playing with his kids. Well this day we were talking about the Atonement and he absolutely loved it. It was a great lesson and we sang some hymns with them. They are awesome. And we also had Lanto and Dorothe. They are great and are so close to getting baptized. Selman is their son and he wants to helps us way bad and go on a mission. 

Friday we taught Mahala and Alvin. They are awesome. Elder Yeagley and Elder Hardy started teaching them actually when they were here so it was kinda cool to see that. They want to get baptized way bad. They are trying way hard. That's a big problem down here; legal marriage. They just don't have the money to do it so they don't. But we are working with them to get them saving money to get married and they are really close. Also we saw some random guy in a Santa hat stumbling in the middle of the road singing songs. Drunk people are way funny.

Saturday was a decent day. We got stood up a lot because it was Easter. At this point I was not going with Elder Ahlstrom anymore because he was waiting on Elder Koplin at home and let me just say that it is a miracle that I can remember where all these people are. We have so many investigators. But thankfully we were able to find everyone. Elder Ahlstrom came later that day with us because Elder Koplin wanted to go out to work. We stopped by a Catholic church on the way home after our times because they were doing a big service for Easter. I got the Holy Water sprinkled on me from the palm frond the bishop was flinging. Great way to end the night.

Sunday was an alright day. Everyone was celebrating at a party, drunk, or both. Church went super great. There were lots of good talks and lessons even though no one showed up. Attendance was very low. We got dogged by most of our times too. But we were able to get into two families that are awesome. One of them is part of the Shine church. I don't know if that exists in America but the people from it are very nice. Very willing to accept others. But yeah we had a great week.

It was a cool week to be sharing the gospel. I was really able to feel the spirit of Easter this year which is the spirit of hope. Hope that no matter what happens, it will all be made right because of Christ. I know that to be a fact. I've seen it in the lives of so many people here. I know that it is true. 

Also I am now officially on the 12 week dying program. When you first get to country, you get the 12 week training program and now I am a dying missionary. Very sad. But I am excited to keep working hard and help these people. I don't want to leave! 

Elder Coleman
View from the house

Easter Procession

Pictures from Tana

These photos are from January-March while Austin was serving in Tana.

Monday, March 21, 2016


Yeah so this week was full of cool things! And I am also not in the same area as I was last week. Sorry the keyboard here is broken and likes to type L's so just ignore that. 

So Monday was a good day! We taught FLavien and hanta that night and had a great time with them. We gave 3 blessings to them because they were all sick. It was way cool and a great experience for all of us.

Tuesday we had a pretty good day as well. We were able to teach Armando about baptism. He's awesome! He's progressing really well and is getting really far in the Book of Mormon. We got dogged a lot after that but we got some good contacting in. We went and visited the Elders quorum president that night but he wasn't home so we went to the old president's house and taught him and his family. His family makes up about 20 members of the branch so it was pretty cool. 

Wednesday was a cool day. I went on a split with Elder Tambula to do a baptismal interview and it was a super good day. We taught a lot. Also part way through the day President called and told me I was being transferred. I was leaving on Saturday. He doesn't want to whitewash the area so he was sending me and my new companion Elder Jensen there a week and a half early. I will tell you later where I went. I had a way cool interview with their investigator. She's super cool and was so ready for baptism. 

Thursday I got a ride back to Ambohimanarina with the AP's and Elder Yeagley's new companion temporarily, Elder Andrianitinarisoa. I don't know if you remember Patrick from when I was in Fianarantsoa? Well that's him. He was in England for the last 7 months and had visa issues and is now back in Mada. We also had a split with Elder Heiden that day so Elder Heiden and Patrick came with me and we had a super good day. We contacted into a super cool guy named Fidison. He has tons of potential. We taught Mlbolatina as well and she is awesome. We were able to get her on date for the 25 of June. I was able to stop by Ndriana's as well and say goodbye to them. It rained super hard too and neither of the other two brought any thing and I felt way bad for them. 

Friday we did splits with Ivandry and Ankorondrano. I went with Elder Hammer and Elder Soper. I had to do 5 baptismal interviews for them. But it was a super cool day. They are great and work super hard and the baptismal interviews were phenomenal. I love doing them. I can really feeel the spirit in them. The 4 of the interviews was a family. I did the mom very last. When I told her she could be baptized she cried. It was so cool! After that we had to take a taxi back to our house so I could pack to leave the next morning at 8 with elder Jensen. 

So Saturday morning I woke up at 5 to get all my stuff packed and Elder Jensen and I said our good byes to the other Elders and headed off to the airport about 7. No problems with security or anything but some random lady wanted me to take a box of cheese with me to give to someone waiting at the airport. So yeah we got on our plane and arrived safely in Fort Dauphin!! Yep I died and am now in the promised land. Our house is right on this beautiful beach. We went straight out to work, had 10 times planned and caught all ten. 

Sunday was cool too. On the way to church we met the Chinese guy that I taught in Mahajanga! He was the one with the twin babies. It must be fate that I need to teach him. But church went great. The branch ran super well and we had 21 investigators at church. We went out and taught some of the most amazing investigators I have taught my whole mission. I am seriously just blown away. I am unfortunately not in the other branch which meets on the beach, it has 230 at church every week and 40+ investigators at church. This is paradise And I will finish my mission here. It's so awesome. My area had 62 lessons this week! 

Today we went out to the country side, a small little village and watched a wedding. It was super cool to see the country and drive out in the jungle and see all these cool things. I will send pictures next week because I don't have a card reader. 

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Coleman 
Fort Dauphin

 Saying Goodbye!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Zone Conference and Sickness

Well we had a pretty cool week this week. We had some splits and got to meet with a general authority. Pretty cool stuff.

Last Monday is when we met with Elder Hamilton. We had a leadership meeting before the zone conference. It was a really cool meeting. Then we went into the zone conference itself and Elder Yeagley and I were basically running it. He was conducting the meeting and then I was conducting music. It made me realize that I hope I never get called as a Ward Chorister. I can't lead music for the life of me. I just kinda waved my arm while everyone sang. No one looks at the director anyway. It was a great meeting though and learned a lot of good things. We used Elder Christensens talk from 2 conferences ago called, Free Forever, to Act for Themselves. A great talk I would suggest everyone read it. That will count as the ponderize for this week. Then a bunch of us went to Carnivore after that and ate. Way cool day.

Tuesday Elder Yeagley was sick so we stayed home for most of the day but we were able to make it out later in the evening. We picked up this family that we dropped awhile back. He was super interested in the Book of Mormon. We started teaching them and they are awesomely. During the lesson it started pouring rain so it was way hard to talk and hear what others were saying. Then we had a FHE with Flavien and Hanta and just shared a quick little lesson with them. They fed us too and it was super good food. We cook at home a lot so we don't get as much rice as we used to so it's way nice to get some from time to time.

Wednesday we taught Armando. He's super solid. He'll get baptized here soon I think. He's super cool. He just needs to get some friends in the church other than the missionaries. We taught Jean Kely too and we might need to drop him soon. He's not coming to church anymore and we are fighting just to get him to pray. We had a great meeting with the Branch President and were able to talk about less actives, recent converts, and some investigators. We also found out about a less active family in our area. Tojo, the Branch Mission Leader, took us out to his house and we taught them. They are way cool! I really hope we can get them to come back to church. They also have a 9 year old girl that is not baptized so we are going to teach her and make the family diligent at the same time. Oh also as we were leaving the meeting, Clement called us and he's out of jail! Woot!

Thursday was a great day. We taught a ton. We taught this really cool new family and they are super interested in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. They said they were going to come to church but they didn't :( We were able to teach Tsimangiky about Tithing too and figure out how they are doing on the marriage. They should be going at the end of this month and then they can be baptized. We taught Edmond and Lily about the Sabbath Day again. They just aren't keeping commitments and it's kinda frustrating cause I love them a lot. They just dont' come to church.

Friday we went on splits with Anjanahary and Betongolo. I went with ANjanhary which is Elder Pinson and Elder Tambula. Yeah, Elder Pinson and I back together. It's been since the MTC since we've been together or taught together and it was a great split. But I also got way sick on the split. I had to stop in this random Chinese hotel for a sec and I also puked outside the gate to their house. Kinda lame but we still got a full day out of it so it was fine. 

Saturday we were able to teach Faly and his wife. He lives right by the church and makes jewelry for a living. He's a way cool guy and he's got a lot of potential to be a great investigator. A lot of our other times dogged us so that was kinda lame but we made it to Gina and taught her about prayer. We wanted to make sure that she was having meaningful conversations with her Heavenly Father and not just going through the motions. Then we taught Ndriana and unfortunately we had to move the baptismal date back. He smoked again so that's kinda lame but he's trying way hard. We had a good lesson with them though about baptism and talked a little bit about some questions they had. We invited them to the baptism the other elders are having on Saturday so they can see what it's like.

Sunday was a good day. Church was awesome. I've been trying recently to really pay more attention in church and learn something from every talk and lesson given. Also Clement and his wife showed up! And the less active family! All of them except the dad! We had 14 investigators at church! It was so awesome! Things are going great here. After church we had some decent teaching appointments but nothing like super great. We had one lesson and the grandma just ruined the whole lesson. She just kept interrupting with random questions and just kinda being obnoxious. We taught Edmond and Lily and tried to drop them.Edmond is doing great and Lily is definitely holding him back. It was a great lesson and we are hoping it will get them going. Then we went and stopped by Ndriana and had a little vatsim-panahy with him.

Today we are going to have another soiree with Flavien and Hanta! I love them so much! It's so crazy how little time I have left! Have a great week everyone! 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

"You aren't worthy to wash my clothes"

So super fun week this week. Love being a missionary! We had a cool week this week.

Ponderize: Romans 5:19

On Monday we didn't do much but we were able to have a soiree with the Branch president. He's a way cool guy and has a great family. We shared a little message with them about prayer and it was way cool. 

Tuesday morning we had an MLC. The AP's picked us up the night before and we stayed at their house. We had the MLC in president's office and talked about Elder Hamilton coming for the zone conference, which is today. It was a great meeting; always is with president Foote. We got out kinda later than we thought and were not really able to catch our program. We were able to stop by Ollen though. He was less active but we reactivated him and now he is doing great. His wife is a Jehovah's Witness and he really wants her to join the church. We'll just have to give her time on this one. 

Wednesday we had a pretty good day. We did a bit of contacting by the church and tracted into this scary looking guy named Faly but he was way cool actually. He was super interested in the message and had been in contact with missionaries before but he has moved since then so therefore lost contact. We then went and taught Armando. He's doing great. Still not super sure about him but we'll see. About this time we got a weird phone call from some number that we ddin't recognize and we were trying to figure out who it was. We started to head over to this other part of our area and then we called them again and figured out that it was an investigator that lived in the area that we were going to. They wanted us to come over right away. So we go over and it's Clement's son. He informs us that Clement and his wife have been thrown in jail for not paying their house payments. The kids were way sad and so we comforted them a little bit. It was sad. They were crying. We taught Jean Kely after that and had a good lesson with him. We are having a hard time getting him to come back to church. We had a FHE with Flavien and Hanta that night and it went way well. We went over "The Family: A proclamation to the world" It was way cool.

Thursday we did a lot of contacting and we had a couple times dog us that we had set up earlier in the week. That was lame. We taught Tsimangiky and also asked if Fr Monja would go visit Clement's kids and make sure they were ok. Monja is awesome. He just went straight there after that and he has been a huge support for them. Way cool. We taught Edmond and Lily that night and talked about the Word of Wisdom some more and followed up on them. They are coming off little by little. They are kind of frustrating though. 

Friday we went on splits with Ankorondrano. We both went in the same area because it is kinda struggling and got a ton of contacting in. All we did was 6 hours of straight tracting. I've never done that much tracting my whole mission. It was a lot! We found a lot of cool people that want to hear about the Restoration so it was cool. That was where the title came from too. We were contacting and a lady was washing her clothes. We offered to help. She denied and said we are not worthy to wash her clothes. I went on a split with Elder Knight who is from a suburb of Oklahoma City. Way cool guy. Had a great time.

Saturday we were able to teach quite a bit. Armando is reading a lot out of the Book of Mormon. Jean louis's family is kinda frustrating. They say a lot of good things but won't come to church. It's hard for them because they are so poor but they don't realize how many blessing they will receive if they go to church! We taught Ndriana. and had a great lesson with him. We talked about all the progress he has made smoking and we challenged him to fast again and just be done. Just stop. He says he's ready and I hope he can endure it. He needs to if he wants to get baptized on the 26.

Sunday we taught a ton. We had 12 times set up. A lot weren't home which we expected but we were still able to catch a lot. We found some really cool new people that we hope will progress. We got 13 new investigators just yesterday. it was an awesome day.

Today we have a zone conference with Elder Hamilton of the second quorum of the 70. I'm way excited for it and can't wait to apply what he teaches into our area and to our investigators. Have a great week everyone!

Elder Coleman