Akory aby jiabijiaby! Yes indeed, I have the news right here ready to type up. But like the mahazatra y'all will just have to read all the stuff I have to say about my week before that. Or ya know, just scroll down. But I trust you guys that you won't do that. Let's just say for now that the news is pretty mahafaly an'ahy.
I can't even believe another transfer is done... I'm already at least halfway through my stay here in Mahajanga. That's a really weird thought.. Anyways. I had a pretty good week. Last P-day after the cyber we went and just kinda wandered around Mahajanga around the beach, and it kinda rekindled that excitement I had about being here. When I first got here I was just out of my mind excited to be here in a place where not many people get to go, but then as the time went on the excitement started to wear off a little. But wandering around really made me appreciate this place. Not that I didn't appreciate it before, but it reminded me of just how cool this place really is. The ocean. The funky looking trees. The heat (yes, even that). I love this place.
Here's a little story of something interesting that happened this week. So we had just got dogged by a time and we were starting to head out again when a man running at full speed zipped right past us. This struck me as weird at first because Malagasies are NEVER in a hurry to do anything, let alone running full speed. But then I got my explanation. Another man followed running full speed pointing to the one in front shouting, "MPANGALATRA!! MPANGALATRA!!"(mpangalatra means thief). Then out of nowhere everyone within earshot dropped whatever they were doing and started chasing the guy. It was a pretty interesting site! A huge group of people were gathered in literally two seconds running after this guy. They didn't end up catching him. He was too fast. But lesson: Never steal anything in Madagascar or you will get hurt. Well. Don't steal at all! Haha. Anyhoo, just another glimpse into Malagasy culture for ya. They take that very seriously here.
The work is still going. We're still in kindof a rebuild mode, getting a more solid program. We've started to do more stuff with the members like visiting them, sharing spiritual thoughts and asking for referrals. So far not a heap load of success as far as getting names, but I think it's done more to gain the trust of the members and it's helped us get closer to them so that they'll be more willing to have their friends learn from us and whatnot. Still looking for some ballin' investigators. We already have a lot, just like what I've said before, lots of marriage problems and different things keeping them from being able to get baptized. But we're doing our best mixed with a little patience and hopefully we'll start seeing things moving more. I've got a couple little mini spiritual experiences from our teaching this week. We taught an older man named Rajaonarison and his family. He is one of those that I mentioned before, where he's ready in every way, just not vita soratra yet. Anyways, we taught about missionary work and who is responsible for it. Immediately the answer came that we are all responsible for the preaching of the gospel. Almost everyone in their family out of nowhere started bearing testimony about how the things we have taught them has blessed their lives. One his daughters said that since we've been teaching she's been praying for her husband to stop drinking and that her prayers have been answered and that she's having a better relationship with her husband. I thought that was pretty dang cool. We are all so blessed to have the gospel, shouldn't we share it with others? Yes. Another cool experience I had was teaching a middle aged couple. We've taught them for a while. Leonie and Paullin are their anarana. They still haven't made up their minds about baptism, because Paullin is still not convinced that this is right for him. Well it was my turn to lead the lesson this time and I had nothing prepared. They started off with a question about that one scripture in Matthew about making the Lord's paths straight and what it means. We discussed a few things it could mean, but that one way is through repentance and through baptism and how that's where it all starts. From then a scripture came to mind in Mosiah 18 about Alma when he went and baptized the people in the waters of Mormon. He said if the people had a desire to serve their fellow men and to make a covenant with God, then what is keeping them from being baptized? They didn't decide then to get baptized, but I could tell it touched them and that they're gonna pray about it. I'm just grateful that even though I didn't have a lesson plan or anything that I was just able to go with the flow and let the spirit take over. Heavenly Father really does look after his missionaries!
We also had some baptisms! I already talked a little about it before. It was for two primary aged girls that we've been teaching. I got to interview them and they passed with flying colors. Baptizing in the ocean... Never gets old. I could stay out there forever. But I still have work out here to do on the shore so that more people can come in the water with me. Each baptism is so special to me and I'm forever grateful that I get to be a part of it all. That's when those days of getting out in the heat and putting in the sweat and blood (okay maybe not blood) pays off. I love this work!
Anyways, this letter is very long! And we have a busy P-day to get to. I love you all so much. Keep looking after home while I'm gone. The time is flying, but I'm still here and I've still got work to do. Have a great week everybody! Tiako ianareo jiaby!!
Oh and transfer news!! Almost forgot... Haha. I'm staying in Mahajanga!! (no surprise there). Elder Razazarohavana is heading back to Tana. So I'm getting a new companion, who happens to be in the same MTC group as me. You might remember that picture at the airport in London that a man snapped with me and that other Elder. Well. That's my new companion!!! Elder Cartmill is his name. We're already buds, so I'm way excited that he's coming out here!! It's gonna be a pretty fun time having him around. So yeah, there you have it! Love you all!