Gobble gobble gobble! Hey everyone! How's it hangin. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I didn't really hear much about it, but sounds like everything went well! Guess what. This week was HOT. Surprise right? I'll probably be reminding you all of that every week, so don't you worry.
So we did celebrate Thanksgiving the best that we could. On Wednesday night we went and picked up a koloka (turkey) with our member help and then got back to the house and cleaned it up good. I did get pictures of it, but I think I'll spare the less appetizing ones. You get the point! We killed it, gutted it, defeathered it, and then the next day we cooked it! It was interesting because neither of us really knew how to go about it. We had no glass pans or anything fancy, so we had to improvise. We stuck it in a big pot in the oven and turned it over a few times and it was cooked! And pretty well I might add. Elder Cartmill is the master chef and made a gravy with coke it it! Plus it had a little kick to it. We honey-glazed the turkey and added carrots, potatoes, and onions and it turned out pretty dang good. Of course we had rice with it and Cartmill also had a box of chocolate pudding mix so we made that. Not your typical thanksgiving feast, but we did the best with what we had here. We finished the feast and then went out to work soon after. So yeah, that was our thanksgiving festivities here! Way fun.
As far as the work went this week, it went kinda slow. It was kinda one of those weeks where the program was falling apart on us left and right. It seemed like nobody was home or they were busy with other things and couldn't take us in. The branch is having a few new changes. Well I guess mostly subtractions, but no replacements yet. The 1st counselor in the Branch Presidency moved to Ampitatafika (hey, I worked there!) and our branch mission leader is getting all his stuff together and going on a mission soon. We've been trying to meet more one on one with the Auxiliary leaders in the branch but nobody seems too interested. In Branch Council a guy stormed out for basically no reason. Oh yeah. Fun stuff. Point is, the branch is still pretty young and still goes through growing pains from time to time. We're just doing the best with what we've got and trying to build up our relationship with the members the best we can. It's gonna take some work, but Mahajanga will be it's own mission in no time. Okay. It might need a little time still ;) But we'll get there!
I haven't mentioned this yet, but the lychees are back! Those red berry things that I fell in love with in Tamatave. I stop on the street and get a kilo every day. Elder Cartmill says I have an addiction. But hey, gotta take advantage of my last lychee season here! We've also been trying to learn more of the dialects that are spoken here. One is called Sakalava (literally long cat) and there's a few others that are just mixed together and called Teny Mahajanga. It's been fun learning all the new ways to say stuff and to get more of a connection with the people here. Yesterday we were talking to a member and learned that there are 14 different types of mangos! So we jotted down everything we could in our planners. It's been fun just taking in as much as we possibly can! Oh and remember the guy that was on a lot of stuff that I talked about last week? Well we saw him on the path! He's a pretty chill guy, but we're pretty sure that he's permafried and will never be 100% sober. He greeted us warmly and surprisingly remembered us. Got a picture and were on our way!
As far as outstanding spiritual experiences go this week I'm kinda dry. It's been one of those weeks like I've said. But with thanksgiving and all I was reminded about how thankful I am for everything I have in life. A family that raised me right. Awesome friends. And I'm here in flippin' Madagascar, the coolest (yet dang hot!) place in the world. I'm a pretty lucky boy. I think about what President Monson said about living in an attitude of gratitude. I plan on doing that more, not just once or twice a year, but daily.
Anyhoo, I think that's about all I have for the week. Enjoy the pictures! Love all of you! Toods.
Us with Frere Toky. And my awesome new shorts
The meal was a lot better than it looked
Me after the feast
It's Papan' i Eva!!