This week I learned two very important words in French that a foreign traveler ought to be able to differentiate (sp?). They are gasoil and essence. Gasoil means diesel fuel and essence is regular gas. You do NOT want to fill your Citroen Berlingo with gasoil or it will make the car not so happy. Don't ask me how I learned that this week. That's not important...
This week was the 26 of June. That's Madagascar's independance day from France. And here that's celebrated more than anything else, including Christmas. When we were driving we could see a bunch of semi trucks full of beer and other zava-pisotro mahamamo on their way to Antsirabe. It was pretty obvious what they were preparing for. People celebrate hard here. At the beginning of the day, we went to go get our rice and loaka at the hotely Be Sofina (literally 'lots of ears') and on their TV was a parade going on in Tana with just the armies marching around and it was pretty boring to watch. Later that night before getting home at 7 (we got a curfew that night) we stopped by a small shop to grab some ramen and on their TV was the same setting, only it was the very popular singer Stephanie on the stage in front of a crazy audience. As the day went on, people just got gradually more and more drunk. Luckily we didn't have to put up with too much of it out in the wilderness. On the drive we saw a man laying face down in the middle of the road and we asked our member help if he was dead and he said he was just drunk. Haha kinda sketchy stuff happens on the 26th. Even the police and officers get festive. We were walking to one of our times and this officer in camo starts yelling at us in French and he was clearly drunk. I told him hi and that he was drunk and I guess that was not very 'ca va'. He started following us and we were still just going to the time we had. We got there and I told the family that we had a plan and for them to play along. The officer got there and greeted us again and me and Elder Stringfellow spoke straight English, pretending we didn't have a clue what was going on. The officer told our member help and the mother of the family to translate for us, but they had no idea how to speak English. The guy was clearly just trying to get some money out of us, but when he saw that he couldn't do anything he threw some colorful words at us and was off. It's a pretty weird experience playing dumb when you know exactly what they're saying to you. But it works. So that's my 26th story :)
Vaovao mahafaly!! So President Daniel (the branch president) is currently on his way to South Africa to get sealed to his wife. The first members in Andranomanelatra to go through the Temple. That's pretty cool, and it should help other members here get more motivated to go having another person in a similar situation having been there. Way cool! Oh man. I'm pretty dang excited to get to go back to the Temple. Something else, I think I've told y'all about Rob. He's an investigator out in Sarodroa who's been learning from the missionaries for a while. He always comes to church even though he lives far away. His problem has been that he's still in the same house as his ex wife and they haven't been able to work out any other living arrangements. But we got news that his ex wife is willing to learn from the missionaries and that they've been talking and they might get back together. So if all works out, they'll be vita soratra and get baptised together! If not, he says that she'll be moving out. So either way, he'll be able to be baptized sometime soon! It's kindof a miracle. It's gonna happen in the foreseeable future!!
Other than that, not a whole lot to ambara. The work is still going good out here and I'm a happy boy. Isn't it weird that I'll only have about 3 more letters to write until I'm home? Weird. I'll go out and make the best of this short time I have left! Keep the fort down in the meantime. Love you all. Have a great week!