Yo yo! So toy ny mahazatra I'm in a pretty big rush today. We gotta go get paintings ordered and all that utah jazz. So I'll just get right to it!
Elder Mack is officially gone to Tana in an area called Ambohimangakely. But last week before he left was the first time we had gotten pulled over by the fuzz here. He was driving and we were coming back from Andranomanelatra when a policeman signals for us to pull over. The police here just sit in one spot as people drive by and check busses and large vehicles and never pull over smaller ones like the one we have. But they did last Monday. And the police here aren't like American ones. They don't give a darn about your safety or anything, they just look for money any way they can. The cop pulls us over and asks for Elder Mack's license and our insurance and registration. Which up until that point we hadn't even thought about that or knew where it was in the car. So we had to look for it and he was giving us a hard time about not having it handy. We give him a folder with all the stuff in it and says there's not enough. So we call the mission and they talk to him and almost immediately the guy saw there was nothing he could do. In frustration he tells the mission in the end of the call to teach us malagasy and that's where I almost lashed out on him. Haha. I said something I probably shouldn't have and then we were off. So that's the one time we got pulled over! Yay.
Other news... We did have an oil leak so we got that patched. Good stuff. And I got my new companion who just got here from the tropics of Tamatave. From the hot straight to the cold. Elder Stringfellow is a great guy and we've been having lots of fun so far. He's amazed at how beautiful the place is, and even now it hasn't worn out for me. I love this place! He's also from Bountiful and he grew up playing football and baseball. He played at first base through high school. So we have some things to relate to with baseball :) He's planning on going back to UVU when he gets back which is a relief because everyone else and their dog are going to BYU so that was refreshing when I got that news :) He's redheaded and a big guy. He's like a big redheaded teddy bear. Way good at the language too, so we're just tearing it up out here one lesson at a time. So that's Elder Stringfellow amin'ny ankabobeny.
This week we had a fun activity with members in the branch. We went out on Thursday and went to visit less-actives. We had a team of about 10 which I thought was going to be overwhelming and suggested we split up, but they insisted on having the big group which ended up being really good actually. We got to about 5 houses and had short visits. And on Sunday we ended up getting most of them to church! Success.
So one thing I really liked that I learned about this week was the story of Nephi and his bow. He was going with his brothers to look for some loaka to put on their rice and his steel bow breaks. His brothers get way bummed about it because they had nothing to bring back to their family and they started pouting and getting upset. It's so bad that even Lehi starts murmuring. Meanwhile Nephi was being his mazoto self and decided instead of moping around to look for another solution. He builds a bow out of wood this time and asks his father hoe, "Where shall I go to obtain food?" and then they realize they have the anona that directs their ways as long as they're faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord. He followed what the anona was telling him and went and slayed many bididia and brought it back and the fam delighted in fatness. Moral of the story? When we have problems in life and a solution we try doesn't work, we should be toa an' i Nefia and actively be searching for other vahaolana. As we do so according to the direction of the Lord (A.K.A scripture study and prayer), we'll find what we need and be edified exceedingly. Anyways. Hope you got something out of that and even learned some malagasy.
This will probably be the last thing, but the other night we were going to a time we had with some recent converts. Olga and Felana, her 8 year old daughter. We were trying to be sneaky and surprise them at the door and there was something that almost made me cry. It was little Felana sitting in their small one room house by a candle, carefully studying the Book of Mormon. Not many people out here actually read that book, even members. So seeing an 8 year old doing that was just so awesome to me. She and her Mom have been through a lot. They moved to Andranomanelatra not to long ago from Fort Dauphin. When they got here the husband ran away, leaving Olga and Felana. To add to it, they had their house broken into a few weeks ago, taking their documents and pictures along with their cooking pots. All this and they're unphased and faithful members in the church. I love the people so much, and especially in this little branch. We truly have so much to be grateful for!
Well I better get going. It's not too late to send in more pictures to get painted, so feel free to keep sending them! Love you all so much and I look forward to talking to you next week. Ciao!!